season 1 rewatch... (and then maybe the rest)

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by cosmic mouse, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. cosmic mouse

    cosmic mouse Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I am pretty sure I haven't previously seen any TNG episodes other than season 1, which I watched when it originally aired. Overall my rewatch experience of s1, haphazard as it is, has been a little disappointing so far, since the show seems dated to me. However, despite that, these episodes do stick in the brain somehow because I find myself recalling small details as I watch, and I haven’t seen any of these eps in almost 30 years off just one initial view (save Naked Now, which I’ve seen like 3 or 4 times).

    Anyway season 1 seemed to get progressively better since I was on the cusp of stopping my rewatch several times early on (Code of Honor, ugh, for example), but by the time I got to Conspiracy things started looking up. Where No One Has Gone Before was also pretty cool.

    So, TNG peeps, I ask of you: does this series get substantially better after season 1?
     
  2. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

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    The replies will be totally subjective ranging from "S1 sucks!" to "S1 feels the most like TOS" to "S1 RULES!" so be prepared for a stream of subjectivity. As a fan, I find gold and a little coal in every season's stocking and would recommend going through the six remaining seasons in order. I believe you'll be glad you did.
     
  3. cosmic mouse

    cosmic mouse Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks a lot, Mutai... I welcome all subjective opinions and if I get a cross-section of responses they'll just fed through the processing mill of my brain into one jumbled mass of information that I can just sort through at my leisure.

    I suppose regardless of opinion I'll be watching this series next (about to finish VOY in the next day or two)... my novice Star Trek mainframe is really getting a workout these days. :techman:
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I tend to rate TNG season one as the best of the spinoffs. But, I'm a TOS fan at heart, so any comments should be taken in that context.
     
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  5. Nakita Akita

    Nakita Akita Captain Captain

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    I think season 1 is the closest thing to fingernails on a chalkboard.

    The series, to me, can only improve after season one and it does.
    Seasons 3-6 are the best I think. Season two has some good episodes as does season 7 but there are some real lemons in both.
    I recommend that you keep watching. I think you'll enjoy it.
     
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  6. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Keep watching, as many people might agree, after two seasons TNG changes and really gets going on season 3.
     
  7. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Mutai Sho-Rin said it best, however. Go through all seasons in order - as much as episode-hopscotch can be fun, it makes more of an impact for the excellent episodes after sitting through the embarrassing and trashy ones. And even then there's bound to be one scene or line of dialogue that shows real potential

    And now, my chance to ramblebabblethroughsomebramble:

    On first viewing, in 1987, it often felt like a hackneyed remake of TOS - complete with models of TOS-era ships for no reason. Having said that, some episodes did try new narrative directions and some felt like a continuation of TOS as opposed to being a hacked up TOS-Wannabe mess. Having said that, at the time, I mocked far more of season 1 back then than appreciating even the smallest bit of potential. Which includes "Justice" since it explores one possible solution to preventing crime. And once I read how the story had been rewritten from something far more sinister into what got produced on screen, I appreciated the original author a lot more.

    But on rewatch, a decade later and then a decade later after the blu-rays came out:

    There's a lot I wish I didn't heckle. There are a lot of unpolished gems. After "Datalore", there's a change in tone for the show.

    I stayed for season 2. Again, in the late-80s, it was hit or miss. But I did re-watch more of them on repeats and season 2 has a number of (IMHO) high points:

    * Where Silence has Lease (the least-effective story on this list, many are far better but the episode is really solid for the first 75% or so)
    * Elementary Dear Data
    * Unnatural Selection
    * A Matter of Honor
    * The Measure of a Man
    * Time Squared
    * The Royale (it's quirky and feels like another type of story shoehorned into TNG's format, but the more I rewatch it the more I've appreciated and enjoyed it - because it's not a typical TNG genre story yet largely uses the TNG characters as "fish out of water" trope very well.)
    * Contagion
    * Pen Pals (despite that throwaway ending)
    * The Dauphin (another decent Wesley story, gotta love Worf as well, and is one of the best "teenage awkward love interest" tropes, especially considering how raunchy most coming of age movies and shows in the 80s were)
    * Q Who
    * The Emissary
    * Peak Performance

    For me, TNG seasons 2-5 are the definitive era, even with the clunkers seasons 2 and 5 have. But season 1 I find a lot more entertaining. Nostalgia isn't exactly a reason, since I spent that year of my youth belittling most of it. The late-80s I'd often want to forget due to childhood traumas anyway, so when I say the reasons for liking it aren't nostalgic, you can believe it. :)

    Season 1 episodes I personally gravitated toward, despite the clunker scenes - note that season 2's good eps, for me, pretty much trounces on most of these episodes:
    * Encounter at Farpoint
    * Where No One Has Gone Before
    * The Battle (arguably the best Ferengi-centric story in TNG's run, DS9 does a lot more with the Ferengi and not always as cartoon relief)
    * Hide and Q
    * The Big Goodbye (first real holodeck story isn't bad)
    * Datalore (the clunkiest on this list still hit a homer thanks to Lore's malicious nature - which is pretty chilling)
    * Angel One (okay, solely for the eye candy, big 80s hair, smellovision with the hairspray you can smell through the TV set, and Picard's amazing line to Dr Crusher that seems as much realistic as it is out of place. Otherwise this one wouldn't be on the list.)
    * 11001001 (Must see!)
    * Too Short a Season (has the TOS feel done right, even if the aging makeup isn't always perfect)
    * When the Bough Breaks (an interesting family-themed episode but it has a nice sci-fi background at its core)
    * Home Soil (who can hate a terraforming story?)
    * Coming of Age (implausible on some plot details, but it's one of the better Wesley stories)
    * Heart of Glory (first Klingon-themed story and it's quite good)
    * The Arsenal of Freedom (nice action piece of the sort you'll want far more of by the time you're halfway into season 6 or 5, I'd wager. 50 Quatloos, hehe.)
    * Symbiosis
    * Skin of Evil
    * Conspiracy
     
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  8. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^^This.

    Season 3 took what worked in season 2 and made the few tweaks needed to hit home run after home run. I can only think of 2 stories that wouldn't be on the must-see list, which are "Transfigurations" and "A Matter of Perspective" (which had some clever moments to tie up the story with, but the trope they used just didn't work for me. YMMV. A lot of people adore "A Matter of Perspective". It's really just a matter of perspective...)
     
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  9. Phoenix219

    Phoenix219 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Honestly, I only rewatch the first 2-3 seasons.... after which they find their boring, talky, techno babble formula with no drama or excitement for the next 4 years. The scope, atmosphere, music all is better early on IMO. It doesn't get any better then the Best of Both Worlds, Part 1, anyways.
     
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  10. Armus

    Armus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I love season one for the scope of the stories, the grand music, the chemistry between the cast(took about mid season for the cast to really click) and the cinematic seriousness with which the episodes were produced. Season one has genuine suspense, awe, and Rodenberry upbeatness. Theres no technobabble and no soap opera in season one, which I thought ruined TNG in seasons 6-7.

    There are only 5 season one episodes that I would say are terrible. Lonely Among Us, The Battle, Justice, Angel One, and Home Soil. I think the rest of the season is excellent and underrated.

    Datalore is an example of an episode with a lot of scope. It begins with Data returning home and the away team discovering Soong's lab. It doesn't become an evil twin story until about 20 minutes in.

    The Big Goodbye is the first and best Holodeck shows and a great homage to Raymond Chandler.

    Conspiracy is an edgy parasite invasion show that has worm eating and exploding heads. Picard and Riker get to destroy the mother creature parasite and save the Federation. TNG never got any cooler than that in my view.

    Seasons 2-4 are very good and the show gets more character oriented and does more moral and ethical dilemma stories but I missed the some of the qualities from first season.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
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  11. cosmic mouse

    cosmic mouse Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks for the feedback you guys... kind of what I had heard before was re-iterated here, for the most part. I had gotten the feeling, from the perspective of many (not all), that the show improves after season 1.
    I don't quite agree to the extent that s1 is like nails on the proverbial chalkboard, but it does seem dated to me rewatching it now 30 years later. I think that possibly has more to do with the technological leaps and bounds made in the effects department rather than the series itself, although most of s1 for me would be pretty low on rewatch value for me, if I ever consider a third viewing of it.
    I only really have VOY as a ST comparison right now (I've seen TOS but as a kid, and not in order, but just random episode-watching) and VOY season 1 was the weakest of that series easily, imho. Similarly, I could say the same about season 1 of the X-Files; it took a little while for the characters to gel.

    I was planning on watching the series, despite what you guys said, so forgive me for purposely misleading you (just a tiny bit, with the subtitle for this thread), but I did want some opinions, subjective as they are. ;)

    :beer:
     
  12. cosmic mouse

    cosmic mouse Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This episode was pretty cool, I agree.... the horror-action vibe can be kind of hit or miss, regardless of venue, but it is an enjoyable experience imo, esp. when it's not overused. The ending to Conspiracy reminded me a bit of a Cronenberg film in some ways... it had that body-horror-explosion thing going for it. ;)

    I think, subconsciously , I felt a bit this way when I initially watched it. At the time I was young (and distracted) enough that I likely didn't consciously compare it to TOS (and I also wasn't a "Trekkie", mainly just a casual fan of TOS and TWOK, but I was a pretty big sci-fi fan, generally speaking). Anyway, probably another reason why it feels dated to me.
     
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  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I just rewatched both of these the other day and enjoyed them both. :techman:
     
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  14. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Captain Captain

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    Season One is charming, in a kitsch way, and occasionally hints at greatness, but on the whole it stinks. Especially early on. The pilot was neat mostly because of Q, and the characters we would come to like later being introduced. Other than that, it was really a whoopty do. However, it is enjoyable for that cheesiness and silliness, and the tropes like super bestest boy Wesley Crusher, non-emotional Data somehow being sarcastic, and the goofy moments and occasionally really, really bad or odd acting and writing. And it was downhill from the pilot and most of that season was a wreck. Season two gets better right off the bat, but every character is mad at each other for some reason (one imagines Maurice Hurley shouting "Drama!"). Season three is the TNG that you know right from episode one of that season.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  15. Phoenix219

    Phoenix219 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Season Two is one of my absolute favorites - Pulaski brings a lot to the table that is lacking before, and after. Yes, I have unpopular opinions. Never been a big fan of the Crushers. Wesley may have been okay if he was struggling alone with no parents on board while having to deal with his Captain being the guy that "killed" his dad. They didn't need the wonderkid stuff to have good drama.
     
  16. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I actually really like S1 (and S2) of TNG. It feels a little more like a show exploring and adventuring "out there" on the edge of space rather than ferrying passengers, doing errands, and exercising diplomacy endlessly like the show felt like later.

    The only S1 episodes I think are fairly unenjoyable are:
    Code of Honor
    Justice
    Haven
    Datalore
    Angel One

    Some of my favorite TNG episodes are also in S1:
    Where No One Has Gone Before
    11001001
    Heart Of Glory
    Conspiracy
     
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  17. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Season 2 is as underrated as Season 1, in my opinion. While there is some absolute crap:
    Schizoid Man
    Unnatural Selection
    Samaritan Snare
    Icarus Factor
    Up the Long Laddar
    Manhunt

    There is some real gold, IMHO, in there too:
    Where Silence Has Lease
    A Matter of Honor
    Contagion
    Time Squared
    The Royale
    Q Who
     
  18. Armus

    Armus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Comparing seasons 2, and 3, I'd say season 3 has more consistency and a better than average quantity of classic episodes but comparing a good season 2 episode, The Emissary or Peak Performance , versus an average season 3 episode, Evolution or The Ensigns of Command, I don't see a huge jump in quality.
     
  19. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Interesting because I think there's a huge difference between seasons 2 and 3.
    For me seasons 1 & 2 feel almost like a different series than rest of TNG.
     
  20. Armus

    Armus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    With the change in cinematography and uniforms TNG did look much different after season 2 but I think season 3 feels more like season 2 than say season 7 in terms of the characters, the music, and Rodenberry's influence on the stories.