Favourite Much-Maligned TNG Episodes

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by BigJake, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    First off, you might want to actually read the responses, particularly posts #33 and 34, before you try to tell me what I should and shouldn't be speaking out against. Those posters, in their own way, also give their little opinions on why the particular episode was problematic, as well as why certain black characters - Geordi LaForge - were portrayed the way they were.

    And, I've read Daniel Bernardi's book, and I while I think he does make some interesting points, that doesn't change MY personal fascination with 'Code of Honor.' Just because some folks have a problem with it - the episode - and have a problem with black performers in Trek as we saw above doesn't mean I have to follow that line of thinking especially as a black man who watches Trek shows and plans on delving into the film/tv realm someday.

    Fuck that noise.

    So, no, it's not uncalled for. A diverse voice is much needed because there seems to be an abundance of misinformation - as well as individuals, in 2014 - who still see some individuals as inferior because of their skin color.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  2. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I've always had a lot of affection for ”The Royale.” The story. The fictional, pulpy characters right out of corny film noir. The peek into 21st century Earth space exploration before the invention of warp drive. How Riker and Data joyously milk almost every scene they're in.

    It's campy, but occasionally creepy and eerie as well as when they discover the decaying remains of Colonel Richey and Riker reads from his diary. All in all, a ”bad” episode that I always enjoy and find a lot of fun after a quarter-century of reruns.
     
  3. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I don't have much sympathy for GalaxyX's views either. Fortunately relatively few posters here do, though, and I hope you don't do him the favour of earning an infraction on his account.
     
  4. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I read them, and you'll notice I didn't object towards your response to post #33. The idea that Geordi should have gone after "homely gal" because he was blind deserves to be called out as offensive, for a multitude of reasons.

    Your reaction to jimbotron and others, however, was hyperbolic to say the least.
     
  5. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, and I also enjoy Brent Spiner's tour de force performance in ”Masks.” Two things are for sure with this episode: Masaka is waking, and haters gonna hate.
     
  6. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I think the mythology in "Masks" is cute, but the idea that this alien culture chose to communicate for posterity in a way that is a hazard to the benefactors of their legacy is just plain bizarre, to say the least.

    Also, we should pause to appreciate the subtlety in the name Masaka, about on the level of getting whacked in the face by a shovel.

    Still, it dared to be different, and for that I give it points. It's in the better half of season seven, AFAIC.
     
  7. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, you're only looking at 'part' of the response in #33; again not reading comprehensively.

    Post #33 had the idea that Geordi should go for homely gals, or be paired with a homely 'white' gal because he was blind and black. The reason he was paired with 'Aquiel' (an forehead alien woman, visibly portrayed by a black woman) was because she was 'in his league' - black - basically saying that Geordi should 1. Stay with his own kind. 2. Black women aren't as good as other women. 3. Attractive Asian, Latin, or white women are only regulated to white men.

    This line of thinking isn't something new. And since you were quick to throw a non-fiction book on me - one I've already read, and a subject I'm all too familiar with - you might want to look up representations of people of color, specifically African Americans, outside a Trek board.

    Furthermore, post #34 just basically said 'yikes' at another Trek episode being predominantly black. That was offensive. Whether or not 'A Night in Sickbay' is considered a 'bad' or 'good' episode, just saying the episode will be bad if the cast is hypothetically non-white is offensive.

    Welcome to 2014. We should all be a bit more enlightened.

    If you don't think so. Well, you can hold that opinion. As an African American male who holds a 'different' opinion on the matter - and was offended by a few racist comments, as aforementioned - I will give an alternative point of view.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  8. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Season 7 had some real stinkers, that's for certain. I believe it's still considered a war crime in over 100 countries to even watch ”Sub Rosa” alone in a dark room with the sound turned all the way down.
     
  9. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    No need to be condescending. My reading was comprehensive; my response was not. When I said "I didn't object towards your response to post #33" I meant that I didn't object to your response to post #33, including all the points you made therein.

    I thought Bernardi was pretty relevant, since he talks about the episode in question in depth. Anything else would be pretty tangential to this thread, which is ostensibly about "favorite much-maligned TNG episodes."

    I can't speak for jimbotron, but I think you're reaching here, and ignoring the context of both episodes, which I think was the point.

    It's a little late here, and I think this conversation has derailed this thread quite a bit.

    So, I'll just say, I think "The Royale" is a decent little episode, with an interesting mystery and some appropriate atmosphere.
     
  10. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To answer your first point:
    Well, this is the internet. When a comment is made, especially if it concerns race or gender or any 'touchy' subject, one should make sure he or she is clear.

    I've always said that if 'Code of Honor' was so bad, they - the writers and producers - should have used the characters again in a stronger story. They didn't and chose to stick with primarily white performers as 'aliens.'

    And, no, I'm not ignoring the context of 'Code of Honor.' As constantly stated, I don't mind the episode, and I wished the producers/writers actually had the balls to write a stronger story with the Ligonians in a later season.

    As a writer and a person who wants to produce his own films someday, as a person who literally dislikes Hollywood and as an African American, I'll be quick to call out something if I found the context of a book or movie or TV episode questionable.

    And, I agree: It's late here as well - Northern California - and the offensive comments that started this particular conversation have derailed the thread momentarily. Of course, until someone else points out race, and/or 'Code of Honor,' again.;)
     
  11. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

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    And let's keep this thread on its intended rails to avoid the need of any trolling or flaming warnings.
     
  12. Kobayshi Maru

    Kobayshi Maru Commodore

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    I like The Game, though most people I know hate it.
     
  13. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Wow, what did I create?

    Though the moderator requested this thread get back on track, I feel I should elaborate my point.

    Code of Honor was an episode which featured an alien species with something the Enterprise crew desperately needed, but were characterized as stereotypically tribal and unreasonable, with the crew needing to jump through hoops to appease them. Separate from that fact, the director chose to cast the entire species with African actors. I believe the script mentioned only the bodyguards were African. Even if that casting change hadn't been made, it would have been considered an awful episode, but the racist casting took it to a new level.

    A Night in Sickbay sticks out to me as being another awful episode featuring backwards and unreasonable aliens who have something that the Enterprise crew desperately needs, and so the crew needs to jump through hoops to appease them. Similar to Code of Honor in many ways. It is recognized as an awful episode on its own merits. I just thought out the idea that what if they had made the same casting blunder? It would have made an awful episode even worse because of the trope "unfortunate implications". That's all.
     
  14. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Genesis.

    An episode thoroughly mocked for its total illogical BS of a plot, it holds a place in my heart as the single TNG episode I enjoyed completely without reservation. No preachiness, no diplomacy, just straight up monsters eating each other and hunting Data and Picard.
     
  15. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Genesis is amusing to me for one reason. Gates McFadden directed the episode and couldn't spend time behind the camera and in heavy makeup. So the solution? Have Worf spit acid on her face and stick her in a box for the whole episode. :lol:
     
  16. Vasquez Rocks

    Vasquez Rocks Commodore Commodore

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    Do I dare say it? Ah hell, I find Imaginary Friend watchable. Not great, but not as horrible as it has been made out to be. The story of an alien seeing the crew from a child's perspective was kind of interesting. I thought Whoopi had a really nice scene with the little girl in Ten Forward and the ending while silly was also kind of sweet.

    I can see the hate for the episode if you dislike shows focusing on children, but still I'd rather watch this then Realm of Fear, which on paper sounds like an interesting concept, but on screen ends up being one long technobabble borefest.
     
  17. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I believe they were 'African American' actors - unless some of the performers actually were from the continent. It's like calling white actors - no matter where they are from - British actors. (It's is also the same with calling a black individual 'African American' even though there are black people from all areas of the world).

    Now that I hear the fact that initially only the bodyguards were dark-skinned folk, I find that racist. Trek kinda followed that anyhow, specially in ENT where they only time you see actual black people or non-whites - aside from Travis and Hoshi - are the MACOs. (Of course, you don't hear anything about that!)

    And, according to you, they - the Ligonians - were unreasonable. So, being reasonable would mean they are not stereotypes? (They are a proud and strong race like many other alien races in Star Trek, just because they didn't kowtow to Picard and his crew doesn't make them bad).
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  18. Kobayshi Maru

    Kobayshi Maru Commodore

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    I agree that Code of Honor was an awful episode on many levels. One being that watching it, I kept asking myself: "What the hell does a people so retarded socially has to offer on a scientific level that could rival with star fleet and its enormous resources? " I just couldn't buy it. Things don't happen in a vacuum. Usually when a society is severely retarded in one of its aspects, it's not very advanced in the others. It's not a coincidence that Pasteur (which happens to be the name of Beverly's ship in the future part of the last episode of the series) lived in the most sophisticated part of Europe, that happened to be the first power of the world back then. So I can't believe for one second that a people that still practice, cruel, barbaric acts, as a matter of traditions could be this advanced in the domain of vaccines. Plus vaccines that can prevent diseases on other planets? Please!!
     
  19. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    From Memory Alpha:
    In this episode, the entire humanoid population of the planet is portrayed by African-American performers. In the teleplay, however, only Lutan's guards were specifically written as being African.
    The director was fired over this, and Les Landau directed the rest of the episode uncredited.

    The unreasonable part referred to abducting a woman, and refusing to hand over precious medicine (or whatever it was) unless they let them keep her. Stereotype referred to the clothing and drum-beating, etc, things you would see in movies from the 1940s. Not mutually inclusive. They were written as unreasonable and portrayed as stereotypes.
     
  20. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, an alien race not fully realized isn't synonymous with 'Code of Honor.' For example, the Talosians (from TOS) and their intentions weren't clearly written. And, I'm sure I can find other examples throughout the franchise.

    And, it's interesting you say the Ligionians practice barbaric acts, when we've seen Vulcans do the pon farr ritual in 'Amok Time' (considered one of the best TOS episodes, where the ritual is considered 'logical') and Andorians fight for their honor as seen in the ENT episode 'United.'

    Certain rituals shouldn't be considered 'barbaric' based on the skin tone of the people overlooking said rituals.

    Thank you for that, Jimbotron...

    The writers/producers should have definitely expanded on Ligon II in later seasons. Too, the fact that Les Landau continued with the direction, with the same cast, shows that there was probably something else going on behind-the-scenes that wasn't made public.

    Hmmm, so apparently 'Drumline' with Nick Cannon was racist because it was about a band of young African Americans banging drums in a high school competition.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0303933/

    Apparently, 'Mambo Kings' was racist because you had Afro-Cubans banging drums (if I remember correctly) creating and dancing to salsa music.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104802/

    Not too mention, I'm sure college Ethnic Centers - such as what I involved in at UC Santa Cruz, when I was a student from 2011 to 2012 - were racist because there are those who put on performances of either African dance or historical performances of the African American experience in America.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014