Star Trek:TNG "Shades of Gray" (The Clip Show)

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by doom1701, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. doom1701

    doom1701 Time for a new Title TCF Club

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    I might watch this if I have absolutely nothing else to do. But I prefer to look at this as a prelude to everybody's Christmas present--on Christmas Day, we officially start season 3. Better stories, Hottie McFadden is back, and no more spandex!
     
  2. DougF

    DougF Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure the completist in my will cave and watch this, but this has long been on my "worst-of" list. Yes, I know it's a clip show (that's usually the excuse people give me when I say it sucks), but it, well, sucks.
     
  3. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    I actually started to watch this, but then I wondered why I was re-watching an episode full of clips of episodes I just re-watched, and stopped.
     
  4. DougF

    DougF Well-Known Member

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    But, you're going to miss Pulaski focusing that beam just a little tighter or whatever the hell it is she does.
     
  5. JohnB1000

    JohnB1000 Well-Known Member

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    "Hottie McFadden" - wow !
     
  6. DougF

    DougF Well-Known Member

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    Even worse than I remembered.
     
  7. gchance

    gchance 4 8 15 16 23 42

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    After watching this, I feel like Riker did when still on the planet. UGH.

    Greg
     
  8. doom1701

    doom1701 Time for a new Title TCF Club

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    I started watching while I was eating lunch, and I was also surprised how much new content there was in the episode. And for what was there, it wasn't that bad. But I'm right at the point where their jabbing the giant brain needles into Riker's head, and I think that the extent of "new" content after this is probably just Pulaski and Troi looking concerned.

    I do wonder how much they spent putting the giant brain needle thingy together. Other than artificial suspense, is there really any reason for that instead of the usual sticky circuit board things they usually use for brain type plot points?

    Edit: So I had some office downtime (this week and next are traditionally quite slow), and I fast forwarded through the rest of the episode. The new content was not too bad, but the clip show part was terrible. OK, so we need to stimulate emotions to kill the virus (or whatever it was called). And we wind up seeing completely disjoint memories to convey those emotions. Blech.

    I did chuckle at the discussion about Riker's feelings being "passionate", and Pulaski responding "You mean erotic?" My brain added her saying "I can tell, because he's pitching a huge tent and dislodging my medical encasement thingybob."
     
  9. Bryanmc

    Bryanmc I'm normal.

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    I'm in season 6 now (!) and there's still plenty of spandex.

    It's pretty obvious when you look for it, but apparently the Enterprise was provided 7 new uniforms and everyone else still had to wear the old ones. Even through season 6 you still see the old ones in the background all over the place.
     
  10. doom1701

    doom1701 Time for a new Title TCF Club

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    As long as the main characters are out of it, I'm good. It's painful to see Patrick Stewart, one of the best actors of his generation, strutting around in a body hugging spandex sock. It's also painful to see some of the moobs on the other actors stuffed into a body hugging spandex sock.
     
  11. Fish Man

    Fish Man Phish Food

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    I will not watch this one. It's too painful, and I'll comment here on WHY it's too painful.

    The show was so obviously cheap, so obviously a POS just thrown together, that when I saw it in first run (and this was before The Internet and search engines like Google, etc.) I was absolutely, positively convinced the show was canceled!

    Why else would they throw together such a horrendous "contractual obligation" POS?

    I remember watching in horror, thinking: "Oh! $h1t! It's canceled! It's canceled! It's that damn Pulaski - she killed the show! Crap! It's canceled!"

    I was so pleased to later learn it wasn't.

    I still find the shear horrendous crappiness of throwing together such a clip show baffling. I'll never understand it.
     
  12. tiassa

    tiassa Me --Avatar

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    IIRC there was a Hollywood writers strike around that time which meant that no new scripts could be produced, and when the strike was settled they had to do some "quick and dirty" shows to get them on screen in the appropriate time frame.
     
  13. Fish Man

    Fish Man Phish Food

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    The writer's strike occurred at the end of the first season. (This was the second season "finale").

    The last episode filmed (not the last shown) at the end of the first season was "We'll Always Have Paris", and as a result of the writer's strike, the scene in the "Paris Cafe" (Holodeck) was improvised, they had no script for it.

    The season 1 finale (Neutral Zone), with it's foreshadowing of the Borg, was rushed into production earlier in the season because they were concerned the strike would occur and wanted to have a solid season finale "in the can".

    This season 2 "finale" cannot use the writer's strike as an excuse. This was a whole year after the strike.

    One excuse I have heard for the atrocity of "Shades of Grey" was that they went overboard on budget on several shows in season 2 (particularly the Borg episode) and were just flat-out out of money.

    However, subsequent seasons consistently had fairly strong season finale episodes.
     
  14. DougF

    DougF Well-Known Member

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    The strike shortened the second season (late start), not the first. The first season had a full 26 episodes while the second only had 22.
     
  15. Fish Man

    Fish Man Phish Food

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    I didn't say it shortened the first season, but it affected it.

    The strike started late in the 1987 - 1988 TV season, ST:TNG's first (but you are correct, ST:TNG, along with most other shows saw it coming and managed to produce a full season before the strike began). It lasted until well after the next season (1988 - 1989) needed to be in production to hit their debut dates and shortened that season for many shows including ST:TNG (as you said).

    I sand by what I said that first-season episode "The Neutral Zone" was rushed into production early and first-season episode "We'll always have Paris" was affected by the strike (probably the only two episodes that were visibly affected by the strike). These factoids can be looked up on "Memory Alpha" and other places.

    So, my point is still valid, "Shades of Grey" came at the END of the season who's START was delayed by the strike so the strike cannot be an excuse for its crappiness.
     
  16. DougF

    DougF Well-Known Member

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    Um, yeah, you did. :)
     
  17. Fish Man

    Fish Man Phish Food

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    Oops. Brain fart.

    However: 1988 Writers Guild of America strike ran from March 7 to August 7, 1988. Cannot be used as an excuse for the suckiness of this episode which aired July 17, 1989 and was produced roughly a year after that strike ended.
     
  18. JYoung

    JYoung Series 3

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    It can in terms of they needed one more episode in a shortened season and they rushed this out.
     
  19. alansh

    alansh Active Member

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    I think it's pretty clear the strike was the reason -- the airdate of July is a pretty good clue of that, as it's long after the season finale would normally air. The strike pushed off the start of production for season 2. They didn't have time or money to complete a full 22, so they got off cheap on this one on both counts -- it took only 3 days to shoot, as opposed to the normal 7 or more, plus had little post-production work other than editing together the clips.
     
  20. Fish Man

    Fish Man Phish Food

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    The fact that it's airdate was July doesn't mean anything since virtually all TV shows had their season finale that week because of the strike at the beginning of the season. (This "TV season" ran November - July for almost all shows instead of the usual September - May.) Many of those shows had the usual grand season finale, albeit late.

    Director Robert Bowman explained the show this way, "It was Paramount saying, 'We gave you more money for "Elementary, Dear Data" and the Borg show. Now do us a favor and give us a three-day show.' So that's what you do. It's an accepted part of the medium." (From "Captain's Logs", a book on the production of Star Trek).

    Bowman is completely correct, of course, the occasional "cheap show" is "an accepted part of the medium."

    I'm not saying it's weird that ST:TNG was occasionally pressured to do a "cheap show", what's weird is that they ended the season with such a lame show.

    Even if the strike was a factor in having to do such a cheap show during the season, they could have aired this crapfest as the second or third to last episode they aired in the season (even if it was the last filmed) and saved a stronger one for the "season finale".
     

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