Episode Report CardKeckler: C- | Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
Years later I was living on my own in Boston, working in publishing, when my older sister out in Montana and my mother got interested in watching TNG in reruns. It became a constant topic of conversation with them. Having had my Original Interest -- or O.I., if you will -- sneered at back in 1987, I snubbed this "new" interest of theirs. Coincidentally, or As Fate Would Have It, I had just started dating a guy, a sciencey-mathy guy, who liked the show. But it wasn't until he began asking me stuff like, "Oh, remember the time when Worf was accused by Picard of going into hiding because of his Klingon dishonor?" or "Didn't you love how Data got a cat and named her Spot?" about certain episodes, I realized how much he liked the show and how much I really didn't know about it. The late-night snoozing through Picard's Shakespearean accents left some holes in my memories. Since these Remember Whens from him were inevitably followed by "that was sooo awesome!" I decided to let him school me in Trek. But, I cautioned, only TNG -- I wasn't ready for TOS and Kirk's over-enunciations. The local WB helped us out a lot by having TNG on at 11:00 every night five days a week, and sometimes Sundays. At first, something within me rebelled, and I tried to find fault with the series. But the first time I heard Q ask Worf if he'd "eaten any good books lately," I was hooked. Furthermore, my previous infatuation with Wil Wheaton was cured immediately, since we started watching the latter half of the series when he'd turned into a puffy, pasty adult. When we ended up watching the earlier episodes, I was already so annoyed with his whiny jump-suited ass that I clawed out my eyes whenever a plot revolved around him. So, I have to admit that I really did get into TNG. I found myself sounding just like my mother (gasp) when I started talking to Mathra about the "philosophies" and "moral situations" explored in the episodes. Not to mention some really stellar acting by Patrick Stewart, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, and Jon DeLancie. I'm not going to go into my favorite scenes or episodes; all I'm trying to do is lay the groundwork of my Trek background. Suffice it to say, the more I watched TNG, the more I began to understand what all the Trek hoohah is about. When we popped Trekkies into the machine the other night, I settled back to watch what I thought would be a quirky but insightful documentary that would blow my mind with all the scoops on the world of Trek fandom. I don't know what parallel plane of temporal distortions I tripped over, because no mind-blowing occurred that night. I was bored. Mathra was bored. The cats were so bored that they collected all their fur balls from under the couches and knitted sweaters. The majority of footage they showed of the conventions, the auctions, the getting dressed up, the Klingon dictionary was all stuff I had known way before Trekkies came out. And you don't have to be a graduate of Starfleet Academy to know the extremes to which some Trek fans will go. I understand that by focusing on a few choice individuals -- the Commander, the dentist's office, Gabriel the teenager -- they were trying to show these fans as people rather than fanatics. But by showing the extreme cases, they didn't really de-freakify the sometimes-unwarranted reputation Trekkies/Trekkers have amassed over the years. They only shoved them further into the Spotlight O' Weirdos.