Star Trek TNG - Season 3 Megareview

In season 2, TNG was a bad show with a few good episodes. By season 4, it had become the finest science fiction show ever made. This is the transition season, and is so all over the map that it's impossible to summarize.

Evolution - Actually not awful for a Wesley episode. Extra two stars for bringing his mother back, minus one star for her going on and on about her son. - 3/5

The Ensigns of Command - Watching Data trying to figure out mob psychology is pretty fun. In 2018, watching a group of opinion-sharers sabotage itself out of sheer tenacity isn't the subtle analysis of human behaviour it once was. - 5/5

The Survivors - A personal favourite of mine, not just for the ending, but for the image of a well-manicured lawn and cozy house in the middle of a genocide-scared wasteland. - 5/5

Who Watches the Watchers - What's a "proto-Vulcan"? Are they going to go back in time and become the Vulcans?- 4/5

The Bonding - The concept is clumsy, but the beginning and ending are actually pretty moving. - 4/5

Booby Trap - The Geordi parts are good, although "Geordi is the only one who can't get laid" is a pretty weird series-long character arc. A lot of reviews say it's creepy, although let's not pretend we all don't know what the hollodeck would be used for. The moral of the story is that humans don't need to worry about computers, because computers will never have gumption, or mojo, or chutzpah, or whatever. Not only is that hacky, clichéd sci-fi, but in the real world, thousands of physics undergrads have programmed the sort of gravity simulations the computer is not supposed to be able to handle, in their free time. - 3/5

The Enemy - Geordi is good in this, and the Worf subplot is so bold that I can't give this episode a low rating. - 4/5

The Price - One of many "Diana gets a headache" episodes. Nothing spectacular. In the end, the Feregis get stranded alone, forever, with not hope, and they play it up for laughs. I've always thought it was extremely disturbing, and a disproportionate punishment for characters that were scoundrelly-at-worst. But, of course, about half of us mainly remember this for one specific scene. - 2/5

The Vengeance Factor - Not a bad idea, but the execution is extremely boring. - 1/5

The Defector - Solid military thriller - 4/5

The Hunted - Another episode that's a nice idea, but a bit dull in practice. - 3/5

The High Ground - This is so boring that I stopped watching the show for eight months. - 1/5

Déjà Q - This is the legendary facepalm episode. - 5/5

A Matter Of Perspective - Passable Rashomon knockoff. - 3/5

Yesterday's Enterprise - Even the best episodes of season 3 can feel pretty rushed and low-budget. Except this one, which is so well-crafted, and done with such a deft touch, that it's hypnotic. - 5/5

The Offspring - I hope you like emotions because prepare to have a lot of them. - 5/5

Sins Of The Father - As I kid, I was never crazy about the Klingon politics episodes, so watching this one as an adult I was kind of surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Like 'The Defector', it is basically a very good paperback novel that's incidentally also a Star Trek episode. - 5/5

Allegiance - The parts with real Picard are good fun, and the parts with fake Picard reminded me of Uncle Jesse's Diary. - 4/5

Captain's Holiday - There've been a lot of schlocky scripts in Star Trek's history, but this is like a bad fanfic. It seems to be a find-and-replace-all Indiana Jones story, except with unmovtivated time travellers who give up easily, and don't mind standing around waiting. At one point, Picard goes on a weird, random, racist tirade for no real reason. Right after the dramatic climax, Picard explicitly points out the gigantic, stupid plot hole the entire episode is built around. In the last scene, he blatantly orders Riker to have sex with him, which gives Riker a weird, goofy smile. - 1/5

Tin Man - Tired episode made better by Brent Spiner, in spite of not much screen time. It's easy to forget what a subtle actor he is. - 3/5

Hollow Pursuits - One of the funniest Star Trek episodes, and one of the best of the series. In spite of the comedy, it's tactfully done at a time when most shows were still doing clumsy Very Special Episodes. This is also the episode where Wesley goes from being annoying to being some kind of ascended smugness demigod. - 5/5

The Most Toys - This is one of my favourite plot fake outs. It starts out as a wacky comic relief episode, and smoothly shifts into something creepy and disturbing. - 5/5

Sarek - I like this episode for the little details, like Sarek having a type, or some of the windows in an Enterprise corridor having cheap Venetian blinds. - 4/5

Ménage à Troi - Weirdly a lot of rape jokes for a family-friendly show. Wesley is going to leave the Enterprise forever, but decides not to so that he can save the day, again. - 2/5

Transfigurations - Beverley falls in love with a foldy man, and then he turns into a glow stick. - 2/5

The Best Of Both Worlds: Part 1 - I like that fact that they wrote an extremely tense body horror/military thriller, seemingly spent more money on it than on all of the other episodes combined, and pivoted the whole thing around catty office drama.

I haven't mentioned it before, but it's worth saying that Whoopi Goldberg could make even a good episode ten times better. What would this have been without her bleak attempt at a motivational speech and knowing look of pity? I kind of forgot this, because I was just a little kid, but at the time Whoopi Goldberg was mainly a hip stand up comedian. - 5/5

The overall average score is 3.577, rounding up to four.

Kim's Convenience - Season 1

The cast is perfect, the writers obviously take a great deal of care with the characters, and the jokes are really funny. My first fit of uncontrollable laughter was at the beginning of episode 2. It's pretty rare to see a great family sitcom - I can't think of any offhand - and it's especially rare to see a sitcom where all the parts fit together perfectly right from the beginning.

Schitt's Creek - Season One

This one starts out badly. The cast is perfect but the characters are unlikable. There are solid jokes, but the stories are clichéd. As the season goes on, though, the writers start sanding down the edges, and by the end it starts looking like a decent show.

Chris Rock - Tambourine (2018)

Don't drag me into your friggin divorce, man. I wanted to watch some dang comedy.

Ricky Gervais: Humanity (2018)

It's not bad, in spite of the fact that half of it is just him complaining about Twitter.

Kim's Convenience - Season 2

Kim's Convenience is still going strong for season two. Along with great character arcs, some of the jokes make me cry with laughter. One gag in particular had me laughing uncontrollably for days afterwards every time I thought about it.

Master Of None - Season 1

At first I thought, "This is funny, but the main character is a bit of a Mary Sue." Then I got to the Nashville episode. The entire episode involves Aziz's character taking a girl out on a perfect date. The plot doesn't start till about minute 21 (75% of the way through the episode), when he makes a mistake but then makes up for it in a charming way.

Can you imagine being so self-absorbed that you would write an entire script about how attractive and wonderful and funny and kind you are, and then assemble a film crew halfway across the country so that you could have it broadcast to the world? I don't think I've ever been so embarrassed for someone I've never met.

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee - Season 1

It turns out small talk with famous people is about as interesting as small talk with normal people. That's actually pretty comforting.

Only Norm MacDonald and Ricky Gervais are hilarious. Aziz Ansari calls himself talented. Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers are the most uninteresting people on earth. You would think the ability to reach that extreme of uninterestingness would be interesting in itself, but it is definitely not.

Will And Grace