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Unedited, slightly incoherent, and mostly redundant, The Beige and The Bold Solo Sessions are episodes where I run through a show without Derek. Solo Sessions are published when production difficulties prevent the posting of a new, original episode on Mondays. To break tradition somewhat I’m going to be watching the much-touted episode of Black Mirror, “USS Callister.”

I watched “Bandersnatch” before and was a bit disappointed. I’ll be honest: Black Mirror has been nothing if not consistent for me. Are these episodes really the best the series has to offer? I keep hearing good things, but I’m not interested in a pointless, techno-scare circle-jerk.

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT.

Gahncai: I can’t fight here. It’s too narrow. These goblins are just chewing on me.
Rulah: Take Ularon back. I’ll do it.
Gahncai: Can you climb over me a little more gently?
Rulah: Fill less of this crevasse.
Fire: FWOOSH!
Goblins: Skree!
Gahncai: Can you get less fire on me?
Rulah: Fill less of this crevasse.
Gahncai: Some of these goblins are stabbing past you and into me.
Rulah: Fill. Less. Of this. Crevasse.

This one got me thinking about Star Trek and fanfiction. I don’t judge Star Trek fanfiction, mainly because I make improvisational Star Trek fanfiction every week with my friend Derek under the presumption it will amuse other people. Also because Star Trek’s ability to inspire people is part of its strength.

And yet…I feel like there’s a transition from when a show is true to its premise and fights hard to establish its characters to when it feels established enough to take itself less seriously.

TNG goes from “Symbiosis” to “Qpid.” Deep Space Nine goes from “If Wishes Were Horses” to “Badda Bing Badda Bang.” Buffy: the Vampire Slayer eventually makes that musical episode.

Even shows that are comedic or tongue in cheek seem to do it. Scrubs went from having a very serious core with humor around it to the sitcom it celebrated not being in “My Life in Four Colors.” Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, already tongue-in-cheek, eventually threw up its hands and recast its entire cast as its own production staff in “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Hercules” and “For Those of You Just Joining Us…”

Maybe I’m cherry-picking. Law and Order is on its billionth, tonally-even season. Firefly seemed to consistently have fun with itself. There are definitely anime series which start light, but buckle down–the one with Vash the Stampede comes to mind.

Who knows? Maybe I’m just finding patterns in the static.

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT.

It’s another Barclay episode. It’s great to see the range of Dwight Schultz, even if our leads get warped a bit to make it work. Is it necessary for shows to have bad guys and good guys? Is it necessary just for episodic shows like The Next Generation?

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT.

Gahncai: GRAHH!
Wall: CRAAACK!
Gahncai: It’s open! Looks like there’s an old ash chamber on the other side!
Rulah: Blaze!
Poop Corner: Fwoosh!
Flaming poop goblins: Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!
Rulah: While they’re distracted, get Ularon. I’ve got Bria. Follow me into the gap!
Gahncai: You don’t have to tell me how to retreat from burning poop-goblins into a volcanic gash with half a party. This isn’t my first dungeon crawl!

Last Time, on this comment: Garak has lots of context, but no agency. He is a very big archetype, but he isn’t relatable. He’s fuckin’ consistent, but his character arc only twitches slightly upward in the last scene of the damned series.

And now, the conclusion:

Garak is efficacious, don’t get me wrong, he gets shit done. But given that his motivation is to GET BACK TO CARDASSIA, he’s fucking god-awful at it. Not in that he refuses to shoot people or slit throats to get what he wants–though he’s inconsistent at that (like when he lets the Cardassians go in “Cardassians”). No, this genius, wheels-within-wheels mastermind doesn’t come up with a single fucking plan to get himself back to Cardassia. He lives at the pivot point of the fucking galaxy and sits there hemming trousers while looking across the Promenade at Quark who’s swimming in the opportunities available. The one time he has a chance in hell of getting back into the good graces are after he panics, blows up his shop, and then stumbles ass-first into boss-daddy’s half-baked return to glory.

He does have internal conflicts that he struggles with Garak has a conscience and he fights it. He’s a smart enough man to see the benefits of Federation society and the flaws of Cardassian society. So much so that after a certain point he doth protest too much when he says the opposite. It’s great stuff.

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