Of Wes and Wedgies
They say justice is blind, and now, thanks to this episode, so am I. I don't say that this is The Worst TNG episode ever made, but it really ranks up there. "Rank" being the key word. Basically, the best thing I can say about TNG's first season is that it's very clearly an '80s makeover of a '60s show. Unfortunately, in the '80s we got bad perms and lighting that would make a Marriott banquet room jealous. The '60s hair and set lighting have come to be regarded as retro chic, whereas the '80s equivalents are just retro weak.
FloorCam stares up at Picard as his log VOs that they are going to visit an unusually lovely planet in the Rubicun system. Picard logs that Riker went down to have sex -- ahem, "make contact" -- and is on his way back with his homemade porn videos. Picard sits in his seat and addresses Troi next to him" "Riker says the life-forms are almost identical to us." "He sounded very enthusiastic --" Troi starts to say when she's interrupted by Dr. Beverly's thigh-length blue cardigan flapping into the room. Dr. Beverly apologizes. "The doctor has something very important to tell you, Captain," Troi smiles at Picard. Gee, can you tell that because you're an empath or because the Dancing Doctor came rampaging in with her Feria Red No. 1: The Doting Parent Shade a-flying? Dr. Beverly is very insistent on giving the crew shore leave since they've all been worked to death in recent missions. Next to Troi, we can see Wesley sitting on the Bridge. Now, when did they allow that? He's not an acting ensign yet, and what's with the brown sixteenth-century peasant attire? Speaking of horrible costuming mistakes, this was definitely a bad year for Deanna Troi. She's wearing that shiny black onesie with the wide twisted grey belt -- it looks itchy and dumpy. And then there's her hair: it's parted in the middle but then pulled back and twisted up in painfully complicated coils with a random necklace looped around the entire shellacked mess. She looks like a cone-headed genie that has temporarily misplaced her bottle.
Riker, Data, Geordi, and Yar storm the Bridge with happy smiles and remarkably cleared-up complexions. Riker waxes enthusiastic about the beauties of the planet. "Sounds wonderful for the children," Dr. Beverly butts in, her arms crossed. "The holodecks are marvelous of course, but there's nothing like open spaces and fresh air!" Shut up, Dr. Beverly -- no one's listening to you. Yar says that her report contains specifics on the laws and customs of the planet's inhabitants. "They're wild in some ways, actually puritanical in others," Geordi adds. "Neat as pins, ultra-lawful and they make love at the drop of a hat." Okay, I REALLY don't need to hear that from the face of Reading Rainbow. And "neat as pins" -- what did they do? Conduct a point-by-point inspection of their bedrooms? Ugh, forget I asked! "Any hat," Yar clarifies, and looks up at the ceiling. To retch is human, to purge divine. Then again, it's been what? Five episodes since she called Data a "jewel" for being "fully functional." "Riker's going to beam down with a few hats to drop," the Evil Dr. Mathra giggles from behind the couch. "Three berets, a Stetson, and maybe a fez."