ST:TNG Blog Project

ST:TNG Blog Project

I feel like the quality is improving. I’m still not blown away by the stories and the show kinda feels trapped by the 45 minute time limit with some episodes rushing to a conclusion, but the character development is getting stronger. Picard’s backstory in The Battle told us more about our new captain. And now we get to learn a bit more about Riker and Data:

S1:E10 Hide and Q

I was surprised this episode happened so early in the show! As I have said before, Q is one of my favorite antagonists. He’s just such a lovable jackass. Here he is, back again, convinced he knows how to corrupt Riker and, to his credit, he almost does if it wasn’t for the voice of reason of Captain Picard talking him down from the slippery slope of absolute power. As conundrums go, trying to decide if you should keep the power over life and death would be a hard one, especially for a Starfleet Commander.  This is probably the best episode with a big idea so far.

S1:E11 Haven

This episode is most notable because it is the introduction of Deanna Troi’s mother, Lwaxana. She is a staple in the series, showing up to torture Picard, though in a complete different way than Q. We also get lots of great Troi/Riker and if you weren’t shipping these two yet, this episode makes it pretty clear that the show writers want these crazy kids to get together. This is the goofiest episode yet, the main plot is forgettable, and the only parts that stay with you is how ridiculous Lwaxana is.

S1:E12 The Big Goodbye

And so begins a long line of “How is the holodeck even a thing?” episodes where something random goes wrong, allowing the Holodeck to hold crew members hostage and endanger them by putting them in a time period closer to our own, when humans were still “savages”. To “relax” Picard decides to play his favorite noir detective, Dixon Hill (think Sam Spade but without the copyright infringement).  We find out that the Enterprise has a “20th century expert” on board and that women in the future don’t apply their own makeup (Beverly is fascinated by the woman checking her face in the police station.)  Oh, and again, if you weren’t sure if you should ‘ship Picard/Crusher, this episodes makes it pretty clear that, yeah, the writers are going to make that a thing eventually.

S1:E13 Datalore

THIS might be one of the best episodes so far, though the ending suffers from the classic “OMG THE SHOW IS ALMOST OVER DO SOMETHING!” but otherwise, great character stuff for Data. The Enterprise goes to visit the planet where Data was found and discover another android body. They decide to assemble the body and meet Data’s “brother” – Lore.

I would like to subtitle this episode – “Phrasing and Synth Music” because it had some awful music and some great lines that made me giggle, such as:

“Does he have all the same parts as you?”

“How do we turn him on?”

“He has a child’s body but we have found him to be much more.”

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But it also had some great moments, like when Data tells Dr. Crusher that he can be shut down by pressing a special button on his back. He swears her to secrecy, noting “If you had an off switch Doctor, would you not keep it a secret?” (This, of course, plays into the plot later).

We also find out that Data earned his Starfleet uniform with 4 years at the academy and has been working for at least 15 years since then. Gotta respect that because I’m sure Starfleet would have given him an honorary degree if he had asked.

This is also the episode that brought us this often used/abused quote:

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Which, honestly, seemed really uncalled for!  And even worse when his own mother chimes in! First, really rude of Captain Picard to use such language toward ANYWAY, but especially a kid who is learning how to be a Starfleet member. Wesley does lose his shit later, pointing out that if he was an adult, they wouldn’t speak to him that way (which is 1000% true).

Anyway, I really enjoyed this episode and all 4 of these were a lot of fun. Now I need to distract myself with some other shows while Andy catches up. 🙂

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movie thoughts: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend (2013)

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This is not really a movie. It’s also not really stand-up. It is a recording of Mike Birbiglia’s one-man play, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend.

It’s not hilarious. But it’s not depressing. Though at times it is sad. It is serious comedy.

For 70 minutes, Mike Birbiglia takes you through a small portion of his life, telling you, in his amiable and witty way, about his love life, or lack there of, from middle school up until now. While describing a day at he carnival with the girl he had a crush on in his teens, the audience groans, knowing what is coming, Mike says in his soft voice, “I know – I’m in the future too.” That sums up the whole show – Birbiglia stands on stage, telling us a list of youthful mistakes, the romantic missteps of a young adult, and his fumbling as an adult.

You will find some overlap with material covered in this play and Birbiglia’s autobiographical movie “Sleepwalk with Me”. But where that was a motion picture with actors and edits, “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend” is meant to feel more raw, more exposed, since it is just Mike on stage, alone. And it works.

I sorta loved this play, the same reason you love sitting around with friends and after a few drinks you start to talk about traumatizing life events – you feel a bond knowing that we’ve all been there in some way. The pain of growing up, of learning to be yourself…yeah, it’s that kind of show.

tv shows I did not expect to like: Archer

Archer on FX

Not knowing anything about ‘Archer’ (the description on Netflix leaves something to be desired), I assumed it was just another spy show, a James Bond clone. I’m not even sure I knew it was animated, but I had no idea it was a comedy.

A friend had me watch the first episode, and it was funny enough, but I set it aside to watching some other things. Thank goodness it was still on streaming a few months later. I decided to give it another try after reading people raving about the fourth season.

I can’t quite pinpoint why I love this rude, crude, and sometimes downright vile show. I think the fact that, even at it’s strangest moments, ‘Archer’ (the series, not the man) has it’s heart in the right place. I love all the characters, love the running gags (which span SEASONS), but I think the thing that has endeared it to my little geek heart the most are the super-random references that Archer (the man) will make to comic books, sci-fi and fantasy shows. He’s this badass who mocks everyone slightly nerdy, yet he clearly has this other layer that has read tons of X-Men comics and watched Stargate.

The show is vulgar and I’m never sure who I should tell about it because of that. The humor is twisted and it catches me off guard, actually making me laugh out loud.

And I didn’t even mention the fantastic cast. You’ll recognize a lot of them on sight, even if you don’t know there names. And SO MANY GUEST STARS.

If you’re a fan of ‘Venture Brothers’, this is something you should be watching. If you’re a fan of over-the-top comedies that manage to mix high brow and low brow humor into a single one-liner, you should watch this. But don’t say I didn’t warn you!