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.


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 3 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!

EPISODE SEVENTY-SEVEN: Family [June 4, 2017]
After the roller-coaster ride of the Borg incursion, we're treated a low-key, introspective episode about--surprise, surprise!--family. The documentary we mentioned, "Live Long and Podcast" can be found here!

EPISODE SEVENTY-EIGHT: Brothers [June 11, 2017]
A deeply stupid plot involving Data taking over the Enterprise due to a magical black-box in his positronic brain forces us to ask the question: "Do you even Star Trek?"

EPISODE SEVENTY-NINE: Suddenly Human [June 18, 2017]
Picard makes a decision that, in the Baltimore of "The Wire", would condemn him to riding the boat.

EPISODE EIGHTY: Remember Me [June 25, 2017]
The return of "The Traveler" and his conflation of physics with metaphysics mars what could have been a decent Crusher episode.

EPISODE EIGHTY-ONE: Legacy [July 2, 2017]
The appearance of Tasha Yar's long-lost sister makes for an episode that falls right into the Goldilocks zone.

EPISODE EIGHTY-TWO: Reunion [July 9, 2017]
In this episode, we bid hail and farewell to two beloved recurring characters, and say hello to another. Includes guest commentator, Jill Neff.

EXTRASODE 3: The Andorian Incident (PREVIEW) [July 16, 2017]
In our third extrasode, Captain Archer's racism and inability to listen to anyone unsurprisingly causes trouble for the Enterprise crew.

EPISODE EIGHTY-THREE: Future Imperfect [July 16, 2017]
In an episode where Riker is once again saved by his own ineptness, we can't even nitpick without losing it.

EPISODE EIGHTY-FOUR: Final Mission [July 23, 2017]
In which we we bid a fond farewell to Wesley Crusher by reenacting the Water Weird scene from The Dungeon of Dread.

EPISODE EIGHTY-FIVE: The Loss [July 30, 2017]
In this episode we get to see what happens when Troi stops being polite and starts being real. Oh, and Riker is THE WORST. Includes guest commentator Cynthia Taylor.

EPISODE EIGHTY-SIX: Data's Day [August 6, 2017]
Data watches everyone (including the newly introduced Keiko O'Brien) be stupid in this slice-of-life episode. Oh, and there's something about a Romulan spy. Includes guest commentator Ryan Veeder.

EPISODE EIGHTY-SEVEN: The Wounded [August 13, 2017]
In a nice change of pace, a captain (not an admiral) goes rogue against the Cardassians, who suddenly appear to have been at war with the Federation for years.

EPISODE EIGHTY-EIGHT: Devil's Due [August 20, 2017]
Picard takes on the godmother of all drag queens, as she tries to take over a planet of FABULOUSLY fashionable people.

EPISODE EIGHTY-NINE: Clues [August 27, 2017]
Thirty seconds of lost time leaves the Enterprise crew with an awful execution of a stupid mystery that has something for everyone to hate.

EPISODE NINETY: First Contact [September 3, 2017]
The story of Riker royally bollixing up a first contact situation is made bearable by the fact that he spends most of the episode unconscious.

EPISODE NINETY-ONE: Galaxy's Child [September 10, 2017]
The long-anticipated end to the Leah Brahms duology tells you all you need to know about Geordi La Forge.

EPISODE NINETY-TWO: Night Terrors [September 17, 2017]
In an episode that Dan somehow managed to miss first-run, the Enterprise crew combat a deadly attack of sleep apnea.

EPISODE NINETY-THREE: Identity Crisis [September 24, 2017]
Geordi manages to science his way out of a shaky-cam horror movie--without burying us in tech talk.

EPISODE NINETY-FOUR: The Nth Degree [October 1, 2017]
Lt. Barclay returns to help the Enterprise crew yawn its way to the center of the galaxy. Includes "hierarchical collective command structures." Interrogative!

EPISODE NINETY-FIVE: Qpid [October 8, 2017]
This horrible (and derivative!) Q episode gives you a not-completely-awful opening section, only to really get you in the second half. Includes guest commentator Jill Neff.

EPISODE NINETY-SIX: The Drumhead [October 15, 2017]
Another installment in the 'Admiral Goes Rogue' category, except this time Picard gets called on the carpet as well.

EPISODE NINETY-SEVEN: Half a Life [October 22, 2017]
One of the best episodes of TNG, full stop, and one of the best examples of what Star Trek is all about.

EPISODE NINETY-EIGHT: The Host [October 29, 2017]
In an suprisingly progressive (but not progressive enough) episode, we have another Crusher who just can't deal with change.

EXTRASODE 4: Balance of Terror (PREVIEW) [November 1, 2017]
Our fourth extrasode plays out as a cat-and-mouse game between James T. Kirk and a Romulan who looks very Vulcan.

EPISODE NINETY-NINE: The Mind's Eye [November 5, 2017]
A small bit of continuity does little to save an episode in which the Romulans try to stupidly reimplement The Manchurian Candiate.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED: In Theory [November 11, 2017]
In our ONE HUNDREDTH EPISODE (how did THAT happen so fast?) we find an "exciting science!" B-plot that's almost as artificial as Data's relationship with his new girlfriend. Includes guest commentator Ryan Veeder.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED ONE: Redemption, Part I [November 19, 2017]
We finish up a season rife with continuity with the beginning of the end of the House of Mogh saga.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED TWO: Bonus Season 4 Wrapup [November 19, 2017]
We examine continuity in plotlines and characters as we end the fourth season and take a look ahead at Season Five.

Season Five

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED THREE: Redemption, Part II [November 26, 2017]
Season Five opens with a disappointingly compressed conclusion to the Klingon civil war.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED FOUR: Darmok [December 3, 2017]
A fun and entertainingly executed episode about language, metaphor, and communication that ultimately makes no fucking sense.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED FIVE: Ensign Ro [December 10, 2017]
The arrival of a new member of the crew coincides with the introduction of the Cardassian-Bajoran conflict. Includes guest commentator Jill Neff.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED SIX: Silicon Avatar [December 17, 2017]
In a wonderfully written and performed episode with a sympathetic antagonist, the Enterprise crew comes to the wrong decision regarding the Crystaline Entity.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED SEVEN: Disaster [December 24, 2017]
When a catastrophic event forces Troi to take command of the Enterprise, we learn that Ensign Ro is wrong even when she's right. Includes guest commentator Ryan Veeder.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED EIGHT: The Game [December 31, 2017]
Riker's dick gets the Enterprise in trouble once again when he comes back from Risa with something worse than herpes. Includes guest commentator Victor Rubio.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED NINE: Unification, Part I [January 7, 2018]
A mostly-setup episode about a very silly Romulan plan which manages to be entertaining by introducing some fun side characters. Also Spock!

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED TEN: Unification, Part II [January 14, 2018]
Another two-parter ends disappointingly when it's revealed that the Romulans have no idea how many actual soldiers it would take to invade Vulcan.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED ELEVEN: A Matter of Time [January 21, 2018]
A forgettable episode ensues when a supposed "historian" from the future travels through time to see the Enterprise crew put through their usual paces.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED TWELVE: New Ground [January 28, 2018]
Once again, an interpersonal problem is solved by putting everyone in danger, this time by Worf's son, Alexander.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED THIRTEEN: Hero Worship [February 4, 2018]
A fifth-season version of 'The Bonding' with twice the danger and half the personal resonance.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED FOURTEEN: Violations [February 11, 2018]
The ladies run wild this week as Dan and Neil hide in a Jefferies tube rather than face this painful slog of an episode. Includes guest hosts Jill Neff and Cynthia Taylor.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED FIFTEEN: The Masterpiece Society [February 18, 2018]
We reach peak TNG medocrity when the Enterprise encounters yet another Utopia, this time one that can't dress itself or adapt to anything.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED SIXTEEN: Conundrum [February 25, 2018]
Another tedious entry in the "Ship Gets Taken Over" genre, but with a Gilligan's Island twist!

This episode has everything: hostage-taking, exciting hallway-walking action and two (count them TWO) kickings of Worf's ass.

Despite the near-kicking of Worf's ass (which would have been a three-episode hat trick), a suprisingly good episode in which Riker is, still, the worst.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED NINETEEN: The Outcast [March 18, 2018]
Both Star Trek and Riker take a big step forward as the Enterprise deals a love affair between an officer and a member of a seemingly genderless society.

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