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  #8881  
Old 04-21-2017, 09:31 AM
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Hey so "The Inner Light" is a pretty tough one to watch while exercising, it turns out.
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  #8882  
Old 04-21-2017, 09:32 AM
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Don't skip tear duct day!
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  #8883  
Old 04-21-2017, 09:37 AM
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After several interminable episodes about Lxwana and Alexander, "I Borg" was a much-needed breath of fresh air. And "The Next Phase" was fun, even if it relied on some pretty dumb contrivances.
The higher... the fewer...

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Hey so "The Inner Light" is a pretty tough one to watch while exercising, it turns out.
From a "too many emotions!" perspective? Or a "oh god, existential crisis about getting old" perspective? Because for me these days, it would probably be more the latter as I workout to stave off the reaper's touch.
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  #8884  
Old 04-21-2017, 10:07 AM
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And "The Next Phase" was fun, even if it relied on some pretty dumb contrivances.
Ro: How come we can still see? And breathe? And talk? And walk? How come we aren't affected by relativity?

Geordi: It's just a phase, Ro.
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  #8885  
Old 04-21-2017, 12:12 PM
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Hey so here's my short list of TNG episodes to show my girlfriend, who's never seen any TV Trek. It's a bit of a greatest hits list:

Encounter at Farpoint - I wasn't initially wanting to show the pilot but I think it's pretty necessary for someone who doesn't know any of the characters
Elementary, Dear Data - I remember this one being pretty fun, but then towards the end with Holo-Moriatry it actually confronts the reality of a sentient AI.
Best of Both Worlds - So, I dunno about this. I should probably add in the first episode with the Borg and Q before hitting this one?
Darmok - No explanation needed, really.
Tapestry - Picard's background in the Academy is really cool.
Conundum - Jeremy's mention for this a few posts back made me think this could be pretty fun, once we get through a bunch of other episodes first and she has a decent sense of these characters.

I don't have any episodes really related to Jordi or Worf, but tbh I never liked Worf's stuff much anyway, and Jordi always had a lot of engineering techno-babble I didn't wanna get bogged down in. I could probably stand to add 3 or 4 more episodes.
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  #8886  
Old 04-21-2017, 12:19 PM
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I'd skip Encounter at Farpoint. It's long and boring, and the characterization on display there doesn't necessarily jibe with the rest of the series (i.e. Picard being kind of a frosty dick to Riker for no real reason). You can probably explain most of the characters to her yourself in a sentence or two each.

When I want to introduce someone new to TNG I usually show them Darmok first, as it's an interesting but easy to understand dilemma and requires very little prior knowledge of the characters or premise ("they're peaceful explorers looking for weird cool stuff in space")
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  #8887  
Old 04-21-2017, 12:23 PM
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I think BOBW merits an introduction to the Borg as prelude, yeah.
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  #8888  
Old 04-21-2017, 12:37 PM
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I'd skip BOBW entirely. It's one of my favourites, but I feel like the stakes would be lessened without investment in the characters/universe. Better to stick with good standalone eps (like the recently discussed Inner Light).
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  #8889  
Old 04-21-2017, 01:03 PM
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Yet there is a colossal insipidity in both patronising “this art product was good for its time” arguments and in Columbus-discovering sexism (or other forms of injustice) in the cultural materials of the past (gosh, what a find). Both can be somewhat valid positions to take, but they are often the lazy products of a false consciousness of our own differently-coded era as universally better, and of history as neatly and linearly progressive. Think not of “the arc of history,” that long single line that, god willing, bends towards justice. The position of a thing like “gender relations in 2017” is nothing like so easily determined: it is comprised of a thousand strings, some of them inching forward, some of them being looped and snarled and even pulled back, and some of them being twisted in unforeseen directions. Only in centuries will we be able to make out, or perhaps to tell ourselves that we see, that “arc.”
Bless this essay.
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  #8890  
Old 04-22-2017, 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Vaeran View Post
I'd skip Encounter at Farpoint. It's long and boring, and the characterization on display there doesn't necessarily jibe with the rest of the series (i.e. Picard being kind of a frosty dick to Riker for no real reason). You can probably explain most of the characters to her yourself in a sentence or two each.
Yes. For the love of god, skip Encounter at Farpoint. The only reason to start with that is if she is a completionist and wants to watch every episode in order. If you are curating the best episodes, stay far, far away. If you're watching a good TNG episode, you don't even need to explain who the characters are. It's almost entirely bottle episodes. It's built for someone catching one episode out of context in syndication. Trust that she's smart enough to figure it out unless she asks questions.

So, I'm basically someone coming at this from the perspective of your girlfriend, because I'm married to a big Star Trek (specifically TNG/DS9/Voyager) fan, while I never really got into it while I was younger. Having watched a few now, here are some that appealed to me as a non-Trek person:

If you want a Worf/Klingons episode, I think A Matter Of Honor and Sins of the Father as a set are a good option. The former is more of a Riker episoder with the fun officer exchange, and the latter is more of a Worf episode dealing with Worf's background. In both choices it's character centered and not too lore-dump heavy as an introduction.

The Enemy is an action oriented (i.e., non-technobabble) Geordi episode, and a low-key introduction to Romulans. People on opposite sides of a conflict stuck in a dangerous situation together is pretty universal.

Even if you're never watched Star Trek, you probably know who Spock is. Sarek, about the death of Spock's father, is both an introduction to larger Trek mythology and also contains a brilliant performance by Patrick Stewart.

The Neutral Zone is a good introduction to Romulans and one of the few legitimately good Season 1 episodes. (I am a crazy completionist of the type that wanted to watch every episode in order if I was going to watch it, and this was one of the first where I started to enjoy the show instead of seeing it as a weird curiosity.) Tense space diplomacy after confronting a hostile force. A very clear premise, executed well. Also the first Borg episode. Unless you think she is the kind of person who would really enjoy the inherent silliness of Q, I would say just watch this and skip the borg episode with Q, and pretend this is the real prologue to Best of Worlds... It was supposed to be, before the strike happened.

(Lwaxana Troi episodes>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Q episodes)

Some good bottle episodes that don't really tie too much into the larger world but are good examples of TNG as a well executed anthology show: Time Squared is a clever time travel premise that doesn't require the background to appreciate that something like Yesterday's Enterprise does. (<--Obviously watch Yesterday's Enterprise, but as you know that one needs some familiarity with the characters.) The Survivors is a fun little mystery episode, a great example of episode type where they find something just a little odd in the normal course of things that turns out to be something worse than they expected. Who Watches The Watchers is a great "The Prime Directive is hard" type episode, although possibly confusing because the alien species are not-Vulcans.

Last edited by estragon; 04-22-2017 at 08:04 AM.
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  #8891  
Old 04-22-2017, 03:51 AM
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I might suggest A Fistfull of Datas, Power Play, Space Die Hard (can't recall the actual title), The Royale and Devils Due (Which I might also have wrong).

These are also a solid group of episodes to watch if you're trying to determine if somebody is Literally Octo.
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  #8892  
Old 04-22-2017, 04:37 AM
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I understand the impulse to say to skip Farpoint, but if you can help it I would still watch it. Maybe not as a first episode because it's admittedly a very poor hook into the series and you risk alienating a prospective viewer that's on the fence or easily turned off of things. But if you're going to stick with the show, it really behooves a viewer to comeback to it at some point. If only because:

1) The great series finale isn't going to mean as much or be as cool without that frame of reference.

2) Even if the Farpoint Outpost story itself is boring, it's still a Q episode, and there's never a time where Q isn't a delight on screen.
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  #8893  
Old 04-22-2017, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by WisteriaHysteria View Post
1) The great series finale isn't going to mean as much or be as cool without that frame of reference.
I can't follow the assumptions going into this.

If you're curating the best episodes of a continuity light show for someone as an introduction, start with good bottle episodes. If they later come around to wanting to pay the season one pain tax of their own volition, let them make that decision of their own free will. But don't start someone with Farpoint as an pain tax to get more out of a series finale they may never even be interested in watching.

(And Q is an acquired test, at best.)
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  #8894  
Old 04-22-2017, 05:19 AM
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Logan made a hell of a chaser to "The Inner Light." That was not an intentional pairing, just a soul-destroying coincidence.

At least I have Deep Throat As Mark Twain to look forward to next.
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  #8895  
Old 04-22-2017, 07:13 AM
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Logan made a hell of a chaser to "The Inner Light." That was not an intentional pairing, just a soul-destroying coincidence.

At least I have Deep Throat As Mark Twain to look forward to next.
Harry Reems?
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  #8896  
Old 04-22-2017, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by estragon View Post
Yes. For the love of god, skip Encounter at Farpoint. The only reason to start with that is if she is a completionist and wants to watch every episode in order. If you are curating the best episodes, stay far, far away. If you're watching a good TNG episode, you don't even need to explain who the characters are. It's almost entirely bottle episodes. It's built for someone catching one episode out of context in syndication. Trust that she's smart enough to figure it out unless she asks questions.
Seconded.

One of the very best episodes to include as part of an introduction to TNG is Q Who. It's a great episode on its own merits, it prominently features the enormously entertaining Q, and it introduces the Borg. The vast reaches of space that the TNG's Enterprise traversed could sometimes seem quite tame. But after this episode the crew comes to realize that there are depths of the galaxy that are totally unknown to them and that the universe and its inhabitants could be hostile. Not merely hostile, but existentially terrifying. The Borg are TNG's greatest villain (probably the greatest villain in all of Star Trek) and Q Who does a superb job of introducing the greatest threat to The Federation. Then, if that episode seems to strike a chord you can proceed onto The Best of Both Worlds.

Elementary, Dear Data is a fun little holodeck episode with the butler from The Nanny as Moriarty (pop that question as your 90's obscure TV trivia). Darmok is a great episode about bridging cultures (and, sticking with the trivia trend features Paul Winfield who you might also remember as the detective who gets killed by a rampaging Arnold Schwarzenegger in the first Terminator movie). Tapestry is a great episode but always makes me feel miserable. And I don't remember Conundrum off the top of my head.

Other suggestions for good episodes to introduce someone to TNG:

Time Squared: Where did future Picard come from!?

The Survivors: How did this old couple such a devastating war!?

Deja Q: Has my favorite line ever uttered by Worf: Q, lamenting about his loss of powers asks the crew, "What must I do to convince you people?" Worf growls, "Die."

Cause and Effect: Time loop storyline before it was totally overdone.

The Inner Light: Great story where Picards lives in another person's shoes.

Starship Mine: The Die Hard version of TNG.

Frame of Mind: Is Riker crazy?
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  #8897  
Old 04-22-2017, 07:40 AM
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Logan made a hell of a chaser to "The Inner Light." That was not an intentional pairing, just a soul-destroying coincidence.

At least I have Deep Throat As Mark Twain to look forward to next.
Holy shit that's the same guy!
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  #8898  
Old 04-22-2017, 11:25 AM
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Holy shit that's the same guy!
There's gotta be a fan theory somewhere that says Deep Throat is actually Mark Twain, rendered ageless by the temporal energy that sent him back to the 19th century, living an immortal life dedicated to learning more about the aliens he witnessed on the Enterprise.
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  #8899  
Old 04-22-2017, 12:16 PM
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There's gotta be a fan theory somewhere that says Deep Throat is actually Mark Twain, rendered ageless by the temporal energy that sent him back to the 19th century, living an immortal life dedicated to learning more about the aliens he witnessed on the Enterprise.
I'm sure the TVTropes community would be more than happy to entertain this notion.
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  #8900  
Old 04-22-2017, 02:02 PM
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I'm sure the TVTropes community would be more than happy to entertain this notion.
Is there a notion they wouldn't be happy to entertain?
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  #8901  
Old 04-22-2017, 04:36 PM
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(And Q is an acquired test, at best.)
Literally the only Q episode I ever saw that didn't make me flip channels ten minutes in was the finale.
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  #8902  
Old 04-22-2017, 05:22 PM
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2) Even if the Farpoint Outpost story itself is boring, it's still a Q episode, and there's never a time where Q isn't a delight on screen.
Nah, Q was mostly dry, humorless and boring in the first season.
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  #8903  
Old 04-22-2017, 06:14 PM
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I'd say the thing that best sums up Qs character is the time he reveals that the Q once discretely had someone assassinated by killing them with tornados.

It really shows off what they think of the concept of subtlety.
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  #8904  
Old 04-22-2017, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Meditative_Zebra View Post
One of the very best episodes to include as part of an introduction to TNG is Q Who. It's a great episode on its own merits, it prominently features the enormously entertaining Q, and it introduces the Borg. The vast reaches of space that the TNG's Enterprise traversed could sometimes seem quite tame. But after this episode the crew comes to realize that there are depths of the galaxy that are totally unknown to them and that the universe and its inhabitants could be hostile. Not merely hostile, but existentially terrifying. The Borg are TNG's greatest villain (probably the greatest villain in all of Star Trek) and Q Who does a superb job of introducing the greatest threat to The Federation. Then, if that episode seems to strike a chord you can proceed onto The Best of Both Worlds.
I was thinking about this remark, so I rewatched "Q Who?". The episode is front-loaded with some workplace drama that seems out of place, looking back. The clumsy ensign bit goes nowhere and doesn't contribute much to the episode, other than "comedy". Apparently they had intentions for her to be a recurring character, and I can see why they never proceeded with that.

One thing I thought contributed greatly to the episode was the music. The score for the episode is subtle and atmospheric, giving it a sense of real tension and mystery that seemed absent from much of the rest of the series. It's no wonder to me that Ron Jones won an Emmy for it.
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  #8905  
Old 04-23-2017, 05:40 AM
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Guys, guys... I'm watching Season 4 and it's been three episodes since we last saw Wesley... And I honestly miss him.

Is there something wrong with me? And... And is there some kind of cure?
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  #8906  
Old 04-23-2017, 05:53 AM
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Guys, guys... I'm watching Season 4 and it's been three episodes since we last saw Wesley... And I honestly miss him.

Is there something wrong with me? And... And is there some kind of cure?
You've already been cured! Of the insufferable-Trek-boor-itis that affects so much of the fandom.
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  #8907  
Old 04-23-2017, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Parish View Post
There's gotta be a fan theory somewhere that says Deep Throat is actually Mark Twain, rendered ageless by the temporal energy that sent him back to the 19th century, living an immortal life dedicated to learning more about the aliens he witnessed on the Enterprise.
Fun weird coincidence, the All the President's Men Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook) had a long-running Mark Twain one-man show. I wonder if Jerry Hardin's casting was a weird meta-joke on the X-Files producers' part.
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  #8908  
Old 04-23-2017, 08:33 AM
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Wesley as the wide-eyed, young, naive, idealist has an important role on the show to balance out Picard's jaded and sometimes inflexible perspective. And there are times where his character gets put to good use (ironically, the episodes that send him away to Starfleet Academy are some of the best uses of his character).

But Wesley the Human Deus Ex Machina Device is really boring from a plot perspective. I don't even mind him as a wunderkind, but the show needed the writers to demonstrate his skill and ability better rather than have him magically have/be solutions to the dilemma of the week.

Also, the whole point of his character is that he is "The Next Generation" and his grooming/character development into a capable heir is something the show never quite executes well, and then eventually forgets.
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  #8909  
Old 04-23-2017, 10:46 AM
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Like Callow Lothario Kirk, Deus Ex Machina Wesley is one of those things that seems to have been amplified considerably in the collective memory.
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  #8910  
Old 04-23-2017, 11:22 AM
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You've already been cured! Of the insufferable-Trek-boor-itis that affects so much of the fandom.
Are they just jealous that he had an onscreen kiss with Ashley Judd?
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