The Beige and The Bold

I miss Yar as much as the next guy. I don’t know if we had to jump up and down on the space/time continuum to get her back.

Still, it’s a good, high-concept episode with plenty of action and drama. Not the Yar/McGavin relationship. I don’t hate it, but I see how it’s the strongest emotional hook they could give to a character who never had a proper emotional hook during her time on the show proper.

Then again, what else could they have given her? I’m partial to the Yar/LaForge relationship (and its Chasing Amy cousin Yar/LaForge/Data), but what are our options?

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.

So we’re a bit offended here and maybe just bored enough to make up a B-plot where Worf and Geordi are trying to complete space’s most insane scavenger hunt.

Roshamon was directed by Kurosawa, but I was only correct because I was an idiot. It’s a classic example of answer by accident. I am a buffoon.

We understand how the Tanugans’ legal system is a bit unfair, but it still feels like Starfleet closed ranks around Riker and his alleged murder with an unsettling quickness. Why couldn’t Picard have just been, y’know, in the right here for extradition? Why didn’t we examine Federation Law and space law in more depth? Why couldn’t we even work a mention in edgewise about state v federal power, or at least one where federal officials aren’t inherently personally involved in the conflict?

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.

Unspoken emotions in a relationship we don’t ship, a stock villain with one quirk and a paper-thin idea behind him, relevant technology we’ll never see again, and a sociopolitical conflict that gets The Federation’s fingers slick with blood just by touching it that we never see or hear from again. This episode has everything.

I don’t think I completed my thought on the IRA. I have a layperson’s knowledge of The Troubles and despite being acquainted with Britain’s history of imperialism and oppression, a sympathetic view of the IRA is far enough outside of my scope that I’m skeptical of it. It’s something I’m not educated on and which is far beyond the scope of the research I do for The Beige and The Bold.

Derek’s second guessing of tactics towards the gun-wielding kid at the end seems like criticism for criticism’s sake? It feels like it’d be easy if we followed his advice–if the cops jumped a child from behind to wrestle a gun away from him–to argue with equal fervor that it was foolish because the kid might have gotten a shot off. Am I being sensitive about the critical light Derek is here to shine on this series? Or this a gratuitous reach for a ‘well actually’?

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Monday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT.

We talk about Angosian architecture, re-using actors, and how everyone expects the Picard Speech to support them until it doesn’t. Also, we bemoan the lack of kids these days being unable to artfully turn an authoritarian invocation of the Prime Directive.

There’s so much to unpack with the Angosian leadership wanting Danar to put their arms down before negotiating. I know the analogy is veterans and their mistreatment, specifically the treatment of Vietnam veterans, which was a larger issue back in the late eighties/early nineties.

There’s also–with the reservations and the call to disarm before negotiation–a parallel with Native American treatment in the United States. I wish we had a little more time to look into the realpolitik of the disarmament of minority groups, but I guess that’s what the comments section is for.

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Monday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT.

It’s weird for me to say right out of the box that something is overrated and then to laud it for forty minutes, but there we are. If nothing else, it’s a satisfying episode, like a Saturday afternoon earned after a particularly hard week. It’s a lot of reward, not for anything unpleasant, but it’s gratifying, like a pizza after a strict diet.

I’m not trying to make the rest of The Next Generation sound like a chore; it’s just that it’s a responsible, restrained show that’s got all kinds of ideology and knowledge that are the bran and vegetables of television so the episodes where it can be equally smart and high-minded but also indulge in canon and action scenes feel very, very, very, earned.

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Monday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT.

There have been good episodes of TNG up until now. But I strongly feel like The Defector is our first Hot Damn episode of TNG. It’s not ‘every frame a painting’ good, but it’s a lean 45 minutes of television and it’s gripping. There’s no personal tsuris about–I don’t know–Troi grappling with drug use or Crusher having trouble at home. There’s no lagniappe drama; there’s no small, personal bullshit or character arc that Jarok’s mission folds neatly into.

Again, I kinda freewheel about what I’m going to call “VanVelding’s Starfleet TOE,” which I think I hit on just enough to quiet the voices. I’m not going crazy when I expect the Enterprise to have a home port and to be assigned to the command of an admiral, right?

The book that Derek is referring to is the one, I think, Picard and Wesley talked about in “Samaritan Snare.” It included the work of American philosopher William James.

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Monday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT.

I would have liked a musical cooking montage where Riker bonds with Yuta. This episode needs an additional Riker/Yuta scene and improvements on the ones its already got. I like the dimensions of Acamarian society, but it comes at a cost of the heart of this episode, which IS Yuta.

The idea of having Riker’s emotional investment in folks get the viewer emotionally invested is a good one, but the execution is often a bit too romantically focused. It comes off forced and shallow. That’s probably because I’m a homosexual man. On an earnest level, I hope it works better on straight dudes.

Does it?

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Monday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT.

50 Shades of Grey (1989)

I’m still stuck in this thing where I’m kinda obsessed with how aware the writers were of the size of Devinoni Ral’s terribleness. I feel like they wanted us to think of him as appealing and then suddenly realize he’s terrible for reasons they couldn’t articulate, but I have a hard time believing they could be that bad at writing. On the other hand, the alternative is that they knew he was terrible and made Troi an idiot.

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Monday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT.

Should the Romulan they found have had some well-buried desire to live? Oh yeah. Derek was even right about Worf reading between the lines on that one. Alas.

Still though, I really like this episode because it’s good to have a Geordi episode which lacks a certain level of…romantic complexity.

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Monday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT.