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

    Aug 16, 2009
    In the Joel Zone, identifying as Sexually Fluid.
    "Code of Honor" is one of my favorites. It was pretty cool having a cast of majority dark-skinned individuals....but after the whining of alleged racism - primarily from white viewers - we never really saw a planet that was majority dark-skinned again. We only got a mention of the Ligonians in "First Duty."

    Of course, no one had problems with planets that had aliens visibly portrayed by white individuals in the franchise after that episode.

    Some of the cries of racism are - which are, ironically, racist cries themselves are:
    *"They're too tribal!" (So, basically, South Americans, Africans, and Asians still in tribes today better civilize themselves!)

    *"How dare that black Lutan have an interest in white Tasha Yar! That's racist!" (Of course, no one has a problem with every Asian woman being paired with a white male in the Trek franchise, but it's a problem when a black male is opposite a non-black woman).

    (That's the problem when you have primarily white males behind the scenes, rather than a diverse group, calling the shots).

    I would have liked to have seen the Ligonians in a more stronger story in later seasons...but, alas, in the Berman-era even the extras were primarily white - just look at Enterprise.

    "Lonely Among Us" is another favorite I watched a few days back. And, Data mimicking his idea of Sherlock Holmes was hilarious...

    I have a few from Season 1 I will be watching...

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

    Nov 26, 2008
    I think naming "The Royale" is cheating, I don't think it's actually much-maligned :p That said, I like it myself. A lot.
  3. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 11, 2008
    San Francisco, CA
    "A Night in Sickba-" - wait, TNG, sorry. :p

    I admit I haven't seen it in decades, but based on the hilarity of the AV Club's review, "Sub Rosa" sounds like a lot of fun:

    “I’m going to be part of you Beverly, would you like that?” “Yes, more than anything.”
    If Beverly had turned into the Gatekeeper at this point, I would’ve give “Sub Rosa” so many A pluses.


    I’m not going to lie. This was pretty amazing.


    “Somehow he realized one of my ancestors had a biochemistry that was compatible with his energy matrix.”
    Oh, that old saw.
  4. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 28, 2004
    I thought it would have been a great episode if the Ligonian culture would have been portrayed as other advanced cultures usually were (like in The Wounded, or The High Ground).

    The story could have still worked out with some changes.

    If I remember correctly, Lutan was interested in Yar, but she was also attracted to him.

    I think somewhere down the line, they just really didn't think of how racist the episode would appear to be in the final product.
  5. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jul 9, 2013
    I just want to balance out the 'Royale' love for a moment and say: that episode sucks :) Nah it's okay, but I have to be in the mood for a certain level of pain to watch that episode. Trek characters in modern day settings is bad enough, but the ep goes one step forward and it's a modern day crappy novel setting. The only way it could be worse is if historical characters showed up like Mark Twain.

    I'd go with Cost of Living which seems very much disliked. It's actually one of the episodes I distinctly remember seeing on TV as a kid. I found it one of the most unique uses of the holodeck, jugglers and that floating ball head.

    Shades of grey in my opinion is not that bad, for a clip show that is.
  6. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 4, 2003
    The talking treasure chest gets points just because it's Quark.
  7. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 16, 2009
    In the Joel Zone, identifying as Sexually Fluid.
    I haven't seen 'The High Ground' or 'The Wounded,' but yeah, you remember correctly: There was a mutual attraction between Yar and Lutan. Nothing wrong with that; it's not racist. Of course, those who have issues with interracial relationships involving black people are the ones racist. Black people can have relationships with people who are non-black. For example, I like Eurasian girls.

    Trek, overseen primarily by white males, doesn't have a problem with Asian female/white male relationships, so there shouldn't have any problem with black male/non-black female relationships.

    However, I think you're forgetting: A teleplay not strongly written doesn't equal racism just because an episode features a predominantly black cast or features black cast members or a black cast member. If that were true, we could possibly point to racist teleplays in how Geordi LaForge was depicted. For example, every other character was able to have healthy relationships, except Geordi. As aforementioned, there was no problem with the writers/producers putting yet another Asian woman in the Trek franchise with a white male in "Data's Day," but they had to write Geordi with failed relationships with everyone except an alien that was visibly portrayed by a black woman in 'Aquiel' - and even that lasted one episode.

    And, everyone seems to handle themselves in hand-to-hand combat, yet Geordi seems to be a wimp.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  8. wulfio

    wulfio Captain Captain

    Jun 29, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    I enjoy the outrageous Okona.
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Sorry... You now have been excommunitcated from the Holy Church of the Rod! :lol:
  10. AgentCoop

    AgentCoop Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    I also love both "The Royale" and "Masks". Another favorite of mine that I think is less than popular is "Thine Own Self". I generally enjoy any Data-centric episode, but that one is offbeat enough to stand out.
  11. Pondwater

    Pondwater Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 27, 2011
    The Backwoods
    "Thine Own Self" is another one of my favorites.
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    "Thine Own Self" suffers from the Troi bridge officer test B-story. I really like the Data portions of it.
  13. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 28, 2004
    Well I think the problem is that most of the time, Trek has been written to appeal to white males. So Geordi's relationship attempts are always with white chicks, simply because they are eye candy for the "supposed" majority viewer (MHO anyway).

    From an in-universe perspective, I kept wanting to scream at Geordi "hello?? hello?? you're blind you idiot!! stop going after the hottest looking women on the ship!! Go for a more homely gal that feels good and you're set!

    I thought Aquiel was a great episode, and I think they made her a black girl because the necessity of of the episode to do a serious love story required suspension of disbelief, and nobody was going to believe that the typical hot females he was going after would actually fall in love with him. So the writers came up with someone more in his league. I don't think it was necessary for them to make her black though. She could have been a more homely white chick.

    I also remember clearly that another black girl (an Ensign) was crazy about him, and he kept shrugging her off. That girl was cute, and again, Geordi is fucking blind! His tastes in women should NOT be based on visual cues!

    The Data story was great except for the end. It would have been cool to have the people from that village find out what he really was. Man, that would have opened a can of worms, one that would have been cool to have a follow up on. Transporting him out of the ground secretly was a cop out IMO.

    The Troi stuff was lame, as every story about her usually was (except maybe "Face of the Enemy"). She smugly goes to Data at the end "You may call me..Commander now".

    So much for humility.
  14. Chairslinger

    Chairslinger Ensign Newbie

    Jul 25, 2014
    I like a lot of season 7. While there was a decline in quality, I've never really got why anyone would act that the decline was anywhere close to bringing season 7 down to season 1 levels of awfulness, or even season 2 levels of "meh to really good".

    Really, when I think of much maligned episodes, it's hard to think of many outside of s1 and s2. I have been rewatching season 1 lately because I have rewatched the later seasons so often that it's almost interesting to watch season 1 as a completely different show.

    I am old enough that I watched most of these episodes as a kid, and for some reason even though Arsenal of Freedom is a pretty meh episode, for some reason it strikes the nostalgia cords just right and I love it every time I watch it.

    Also, I think Symbiosis is a really good episode(not just as a personal favorite, but as an overall episode). I have heard it take some flack for being an after school special with Tasha and Wesley's scene about drug abuse. But I also thought it had a nice twist with the disease turning out to be drug addiction. But best of all, it was probably the most nuanced handling of the Prime Directive in the first season with Picard finding a creative, but not perfect, solution to helping the Ornarans.

    I think the scene with Picard and Crusher in the turbolift really established that the Prime Directive in TNG wasn't just a dusty old frustrating plot impediment that kept keeping the crew from doing what seemed immediately "right". It was something that Picard believed in, and for good reason.

  15. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    The Royale definitely. Love the way it just riffs on bad literature.

    And nobody, in the world, ever, has complained about Code of Honor for a black man being interested in a white women. More the fact that he suddenly kidnaps her then tries to conscript her into marriage. Nobody would have ever complained if he simply asked her out on a date or had a consensual one night stand with her, and it's incredibly obnoxious that you refuse to acknowledge the distinction then cite the race of people who disagree with your opinion to discredit theirs.

    Also if a TV show came out today with a group of black people who held a cure to a horrible disease hostage if the crew didn't respect ancient superstitions that involved holding a woman hostage against her will, it would be cancelled the next day and the showrunner would get a segment on Fox News.
  16. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 27, 2012
    Bay Area, CA
    Imagine if the alien race in A Night in Sickbay had the same casting as Code of Honor. Yikes!
  17. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 9, 2012
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    While I agree it's a great speech and there's some excellent interplay (even conflict!) generated between the characters, it is rather undermined by Picard's own actions in episodes from earlier in the same season, leading to unfortunate contradictions. It's a shame he couldn't have been so clear cut in his principals when it came to the events of "Justice", or "Angel One".
  18. Riker Kenobi

    Riker Kenobi Ensign Red Shirt

    Jun 23, 2014
    Off the top of my head, I love The Royale, Night Terrors, and everything with Lwaxana Troi.

  19. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 16, 2009
    In the Joel Zone, identifying as Sexually Fluid.

    So, based on your perspective, they had Aquiel portrayed by a black woman because no one would believe a 'hot' female (e.g. a white female) would go for Geordi. (He's black for goodness sake!) So, they - the writers/producers - thought they should put him with someone in his league, someone 'black.'

    According to you, since he was a blind black man he should have been put with a homely white girl (Asian woman need no apply, nor Latin women and attractive white women - those are for 'white' men!) if not a black woman.


    I know huh! Too many black faces onscreen for some whites to handle, right?

    Hey, imagine this: What if we had a well-written Star Trek show with a predominantly black cast! I'm sure you - and likeminded individuals - would hate that....! hahaha

    Yikes indeed!
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  20. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Oct 8, 2005
    Los Angeles, California
    I like several of the crazy high concept episodes from later in the series, including "Masks" and "Genesis."

    This sort of thing is uncalled for. JirinPanthosa laid out a rather concise version of why the episode is problematic (for a longer version, Daniel Bernardi devotes fifteen pages to the subject in his book on Star Trek and race, which is worth reading if you really want to do this sort of thing as an academic) and it has nothing to do with fearing a predominantely black cast.