Nitpicking: The Next Generation

Where we take a beloved part of the Star Trek franchise, look at it with jaded eyes, and then tell you everything that's wrong with it.

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Season One

EPISODE ONE: Encounter at Farpoint
[January 3, 2016]
Our inaugural episode opens with Q judging humanity and two giant color-coded jellyfish being lovingly reunited.

EPISODE TWO: The Naked Now
[January 10, 2016]
Wesley gets naughty, Yar and Data get nasty, and we all agree that none of this ever happened.

EPISODE THREE: Code of Honor
[January 17, 2016]
Women who love Space Zulus and the stereotypes who abuse them.

EPISODE FOUR: The Last Outpost [January 24, 2016]
The Ferengi dance and the Enterprise crew gets a lecture from someone more self-righteous than they are.

EPISODE FIVE: Where No One Has Gone Before [January 31, 2016]
Only thinking happy thoughts can save the Enterprise from a Windows screen saver.

EPISODE SIX: Lonely Among Us [February 7, 2016]
An encounter with a cloud full of energy beings becomes a tale of existential horror when Picard loses himself, his body and his personality. Oh and there are snake people and dog people.

EPISODE SEVEN: Justice [February 14, 2016]
A visit with a god-governed child-race reveals that, when the Federationís involved, even skimpy clothes, sex, and law-breaking are dull.

EPISODE EIGHT: The Battle [February 21, 2016]
The Enterprise falls for an obvious Ferengi trap, and Picard falls for an even more obvious brainwashing device. Oh, and he has a maneuver.

EPISODE NINE: Hide and Q [February 28, 2016]
Q demonstrates his omnipotence by putting the characters through the most tedious episode so far. And he makes Napoleonic Pig People!

EPISODE TEN: Haven [March 6, 2016]
Deanna Troi's love life is turned upside down by a telepathic space Dowager Countess.

EPISODE ELEVEN: The Big Goodbye [March 13, 2016]
The first holodeck episode finds the Enterprise crew trapped in the most boring noir novel ever written. At least until The Royale.

EPISODE TWELVE: Datalore [March 20, 2016]
Data's encounter with his evil twin leaves everyone in a plot worthy of General Hospital without the genre savvy to deal with it.

EPISODE THIRTEEN: Angel One [March 27, 2016]
The crew of the Enterprise interferes with a matriarchy enough to tick them off but not enough to do any good. And Riker gets sexy. For some value of sexy.

EPISODE FOURTEEN: 11001001 [April 3, 2016]
While Riker is on the most pathetic cyber-date in history, the Enterprise is hijacked. Again.

EPISODE FIFTEEN: Too Short a Season [April 10, 2016]
The long tradition of Starfleet admirals up to no good begins with a gun-running renegade hopped up on the Fountain of Youth.

EPISODE SIXTEEN: When the Bough Breaks [April 17, 2016]
We find the inevitable endpoint of the Federation in the form of an antiseptic, naive, technologically over-reliant Atlantis of the Stars.

EPISODE SEVENTEEN: Home Soil [April 24, 2016]
After sixteen episodes, the writers finally serve up a science fiction story for us ugly bags of mostly water.

EPISODE EIGHTEEN: Coming of Age [May 1, 2016]
We are made to witness the mind-games that are the Starfleet entrance exam while yet another admiral acts shifty.

EPISODE NINETEEN: Heart of Glory [May 8, 2016]
Our first look at real Klingons and our first experience of just how ineffective forcefields in the brig really are.

EPISODE TWENTY: The Arsenal of Freedom [May 15, 2016]
An arms dealer confronts the Enterprise with the ultimate hard sell, giving the crew's people of color a chance to save the day. For once.

EPISODE TWENTY-ONE: Symbiosis [May 22, 2016]
The Enterprise crew films a public service announcement entitled "Just Say No to the Prime Directive."

EPISODE TWENTY-TWO: Skin of Evil [May 29, 2016]
In the best episode of the series thus far, we bid a sad farewell to Tasha Yar.

EPISODE TWENTY-THREE: We'll Always Have Paris [June 5, 2016]
What do you get when you insert an an old flame episode into a time loop? Boredom. (But, Michelle Phillips!)

EPISODE TWENTY-FOUR: Conspiracy [June 12, 2016]
The Enterprise crew is faced with a conspiracy so transparent a first grade classroom could see through it.

EPISODE TWENTY-FIVE: The Neutral Zone [June 19, 2016]
Season One goes out not with a bang, but with a yawn as the Enterprise learns a not-very-important lesson from a bunch of people who have slept through the last three hundred years.

EPISODE TWENTY-SIX: Bonus Season 1 Wrapup [June 19, 2016]
A summary of our feelings as we (finally!) finish off the first season of TNG, along with a look ahead at Season Two.

Season Two

EPISODE TWENTY-SEVEN: The Child [June 26, 2016]
Season Two gets off to an inauspicious and offensive start when Troi suffers a mystic pregnancy. Includes guest commentator Jill Neff.

EPISODE TWENTY-EIGHT: Where Silence Has Lease [July 3, 2016]
The Enterprise crew encounters ANOTHER omnipotent being who makes attempts to make their heads explode, both figuratively and literally.

EPISODE TWENTY-NINE: Elementary, Dear Data [July 10, 2016]
In yet another "Dear god, never go on the holodeck" episode, the Enterprise computer is revealed to be a magical wish engine.

EPISODE THIRTY: The Outrageous Okona [July 17, 2016]
The Enterprise crew encounters the rogue-iest (the most roguey?) rogue to ever rogue his way through a bad Romeo and Juliet ripoff.

EPISODE THIRTY-ONE: Loud as a Whisper [July 24, 2016]
We watch as, when faced with concepts like disability, communication, isolation and the differences between us, the Enterprise crew stand around and fail at doing nothing.

EPISODE THIRTY-TWO: The Schizoid Man [July 31, 2016]
As the Enterprise crew once again fails to recognize someone impersonating Data, we learn that, in the Federation, some animals are more equal than others.

EPISODE THIRTY-THREE: Unnatural Selection [August 7, 2016]
In an episode that initially flirts with actual science fiction, the transporter is revealed to be a magical cure-all device, a fact that will immediately be forgotten.

EPISODE THIRTY-FOUR: A Matter of Honor [August 14, 2016]
We see the Federation at its racist worst when Riker joins, and somehow manages not to offend, a Klingon crew.

EPISODE THIRTY-FIVE: The Measure of a Man [August 21, 2016]
A high point of the season--and the series so far--as Data's personhood is put on trial. Actual science fiction! Who'da thunk it?

EPISODE THIRTY-SIX: The Dauphin [August 28, 2016]
Wesley seeks advice on women from the worst people in the galaxy. Includes guest commentators Jill Neff and Cynthia Taylor.

EPISODE THIRTY-SEVEN: Contagion [September 4, 2016]
The Enterprise crew find themselves trapped in a late 90's CD-ROM adventure game and discover the wonder that is rebooting from disk.

EPISODE THIRTY-EIGHT: The Royale [September 11, 2016]
Data and the away team live through a bad noir novel in the first of several "holodeck without the holodeck" episodes. Less Enterprise, just as much suck.

EPISODE FORTY: The Icarus Factor [September 25, 2016]
In this episode, Worf is put through a ritual of pain and Riker introduces the ultimate evolution in the martial arts. In other words, another ritual of pain. Includes guest commentator Daniel Linehan.

EPISODE FORTY-ONE: Pen Pals [October 2, 2016]
This episode focuses on the Prime Directive and how an emotionless android can nonetheless conduct emotional manipulation. Warning: May contain sophistry or sophistry-like components.

EPISODE FORTY-TWO: Q Who [October 9, 2016]
The single best Q episode ever, notable for both its introduction of the Borg and Q and Guinan's century-spanning relationship as frenemies.

EPISODE FORTY-THREE: Samaritan Snare [October 16, 2016]
Riker is left in charge of the Enterprise and in a mere six hours proves that the Pakleds aren't the only dummies in this episode.

EPISODE FORTY-FOUR: Up the Long Ladder [October 23, 2016]
We confront what happens when you mix "The Beverly Hillbillies" with The Handmaid's Tale. Includes guest commentators Jill Neff and Cynthia Taylor.

EPISODE FORTY-FIVE: Manhunt [October 30, 2016]
Lwaxana Troi is ill-used in an episode that's functionally a one-hour joke -- and not a particuarly funny one. Oh, and Fleetwood Mac.

EPISODE FORTY-SIX: The Emissary [November 6, 2016]
In her role as the inimitable K'Ehleyr, Suzie Plakson manages to steal the spotlight, our hearts, and Worf's virginity. Includes guest commentator Jill Neff.

EPISODE FORTY-SEVEN: Peak Performance [November 13, 2016]
In a stunning departure from the norm, a 24th-century Quentin Crisp judges the hell out of the Enterprise crew.

EPISODE FORTY-EIGHT: Shades of Gray and Season 2 Wrap-up [November 20, 2016]
Pulaski and Troi, along with the rest of us, are forced to look back over the last season, as a virus almost kills Riker with his own blandness.

Season Three

EPISODE FORTY-NINE: Evolution [November 27, 2016]
Doctor Crusher returns to the Enterprise just in time to help us through a brain-dead version of "Home Soil". Now with 50% less actual science!

EPISODE FIFTY: The Ensigns of Command [December 4, 2016]
Because of plot-related radiation, Data and Picard pull a Freaky Friday and end up doing each other's jobs. Poorly. Includes guest commentator Ryan Veeder.

EPISODE FIFTY-ONE: The Survivors [December 11, 2016]
Despite the appearance of *another* omnipotent creature, the Enterprise crew manages to react competently to the mystery of the only two survivors of an alien attack.

EPISODE FIFTY-TWO: Who Watches the Watchers [December 18, 2016]
One of Neil's favorite episodes proves it stands the test of time: a Prime Directive episode where the Enterprise crew actually follows the Prime Directive!

EPISODE FIFTY-THREE: The Bonding [December 25, 2016]
We finish off our first year of Nitpicking: The Next Generation with a surprisingly touching examination of what happens when the Enterprise crew ends up on the other side of the Prime Directive.

EPISODE FIFTY-FOUR: Booby Trap [January 1, 2017]
The first of a pair of episodes that establish that Geordi LaForge truly is a creeper. Includes guest commentator Cynthia Taylor.

EPISODE FIFTY-FIVE: The Enemy [January 8, 2017]
Geordi, Picard and Worf's relative dealings with the Romulans ends up producing a plot somewhere between "Enemy Mine" and "General Hospital".

EPISODE FIFTY-SIX: The Price [January 15, 2017]
In an episode centering around a stable wormhole, we witness two empaths on opposites sides of a negotiation fail to have insight on anything. Includes guest commentator Jill Neff.

EPISODE FIFTY-SEVEN: The Vengeance Factor [January 22, 2017]
In yet another 'Factor' episode involving Riker and one of his boners, the Federation dabbles in nation-building to rid itself of a slight annoyance.

EPISODE FIFTY-EIGHT: The Defector [January 29, 2017]
In a suprisingly serious, cynical, and reasonable episode, Picard must deal with a seeming Romulan defector. And another appearance by Andreas Katsulas!

EPISODE FIFTY-NINE: The Hunted [February 5, 2017]
A terrible combination of prime directive violations and a distilled display of incompetence when a super-soldier is let loose on the Enterprise.

EPISODE SIXTY: The High Ground [February 12, 2017]
TNG gets as political as it ever does when Dr. Crusher and Picard learn the important lesson that terrorism is bad.

EPISODE SIXTY-ONE: Deja Q [February 19, 2017]
Q's powers (or lack thereof) produce the ultimate impossibility: a fun and well-written Q episode.

EPISODE SIXTY-TWO: A Matter of Perspective [February 26, 2017]
Not for the first time nor the last, Riker gets the Enterprise into trouble because of his boner.

EPISODE SIXTY-THREE: Yesterday's Enterprise [March 5, 2017]
When the Enterprise-C arrives through a temporal rift, it transports us to a universe we'd much rather watch with characters we'd much rather follow. Includes guest commentator Ryan Veeder.

EPISODE SIXTY-FOUR: The Offspring [March 12, 2017]
Star Trek pulls off a real science fiction story suffused with a sense of charming poignancy when Data decides to create a child. So good!

EPISODE SIXTY-FIVE: Sins of the Father [March 19, 2017]
We continue our run of good episodes with a lively romp through Klingon politics, proving that Qo'noS *isn't* a Planet of Hats.

EPISODE SIXTY-SIX: Allegiance [March 26, 2017]
An unexpected "worst of" TNG when the awful peanut-butter of The Lonely Among Us meets the horrible chocolate of Where Silence Has Lease.

EPISODE SIXTY-SEVEN: Captain's Holiday [April 2, 2017]
A cranky Picard is forced to reenact "Romancing the Stone" with Ferengii, time travellers, and Vash. Includes guest commentator Cynthia Taylor.

EXTRASODE 1: In the Pale Moonlight (PREVIEW) [April 9, 2017]
In our inaugural extrasode, we cover Neil's favorite episode in the entire franchise, and have an appearance by our favorite queer Cardassian, Garak.

EPISODE SIXTY-EIGHT: Tin Man [April 9, 2017]
With the help of her gay BFF from college, Troi faces a first contact situation with a ship from Babylon 5.

EPISODE SIXTY-NINE: Hollow Pursuits [April 16, 2017]
The holographic misadventures of a new crew member tell us more about the prejudices of the regular cast than they do about Lieutenant Barclay.

EPISODE SEVENTY: The Most Toys [April 23, 2017]
Season Three's theme of kidnapping continues when Data is taken hostage by a show-offy art-collecting queen.

EPISODE SEVENTY-ONE: Sarek [April 30, 2017]
The Enterprise crew prove themselves so bland that the only way they can become interesting is feeling other people's emotions.

EXTRASODE 2: Parallax (PREVIEW) [May 1, 2017]
In our second extrasode, the women of Voyager aren't taking care of people's feelings; they're taking care of business. GEEKY business.

EPISODE SEVENTY-TWO: Menage a Troi [May 7, 2017]
A tedious and offensive episode that's even less clever than its (not-very-clever) name. Includes guest commentator Jill Neff.

EPISODE SEVENTY-THREE: Transfigurations [May 14, 2017]
Even the series' FIFTH omnipotent being can't save this dumb-all-the-way-down episode.

EPISODE SEVENTY-FOUR: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I [May 21, 2017]
The first-ever end-of-season cliffhanger is also the episode that pulled Neil back into the TNG fold.

EPISODE SEVENTY-FIVE: Bonus Season 1 Wrapup [May 21, 2017]
A summary of our feelings on characters new and old as we finish off the third season of TNG and take a look ahead at Season Four.

Season Four

EPISODE SEVENTY-SIX: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II [May 28, 2017]
The fourth season kicks off with the thrilling conclusion of the Borg storyline, plus--gasp!--a strong Riker episode!

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