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Mr. Worf, please wait until the first officer is finished.
December 30, 2012 1:03 PM   Subscribe

Check out the fantastic 10 minute gag reel that accompanies Season 2 release of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-Ray. (SLYT)
posted by kbanas (165 comments total) 78 users marked this as a favorite

 
I saw 1:48 going around as a series of GIFs and thank you for posting this.
posted by griphus at 1:07 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, rad! When they showed a couple episodes of Season 2 in the theatre, recently, they included part of this as a bonus feature. There was also an interminable group interview with the cast, recorded fairly recently, and I really wished they'd cut that out and just showed the entire blooper reel.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:07 PM on December 30, 2012


Wow, the image quality is really high. Yay for 35mm! Of course that's also the reason why the directors keep reminding the actors: "Come on guys we're rolling! Hold it together!" That shit wasn't cheap.
posted by Potsy at 1:11 PM on December 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Mister La Forge, time thing... time thing, Mister La... Thing."
posted by Flunkie at 1:16 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Michael Dorn is the best.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:16 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, goddamn marker beacons.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:17 PM on December 30, 2012


Fun fact to make you feel old: Michael Dorn is 60!
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:17 PM on December 30, 2012 [13 favorites]


Why do actors just start laughing in the middle of saying their lines? Apart from just messing up their lines, which I get. I just don't get the random cracking up.
posted by bleep at 1:18 PM on December 30, 2012


And Patrick Stewart is 73.

(Still hotter than you.)
posted by tzikeh at 1:19 PM on December 30, 2012 [31 favorites]


Why do actors just start laughing in the middle of saying their lines?

A phenomenon knows as The Giggle Loop.
posted by griphus at 1:20 PM on December 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


Klingons are silly! Tee hee hee.
posted by palomar at 1:20 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was just going to say probably Frakes making goofy faces off camera.
posted by yellowbinder at 1:20 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know, I've always been slightly baffled about Sir Patrick Stewart becoming a regular in a Seth MacFarlane cartoon.*

I am no longer baffled.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:21 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why do actors just start laughing in the middle of saying their lines?

I bet it's mostly Brent Spiner making a doofy face at them.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:21 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why do actors just start laughing in the middle of saying their lines? Apart from just messing up their lines, which I get. I just don't get the random cracking up.
In my (limited) experience, cracking up is generally due to one or more of three things:
  1. You know you've just screwed up
  2. You know you're about to screw up
  3. You cracked up on the last take
And often #3 just gets worse and worse as the takes progress.
posted by Flunkie at 1:22 PM on December 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Interesting that Michael Dorn, who plays the most dour-faced of all the main characters, seems to have the most trouble keeping a straight face for some of these scenes.
posted by grouse at 1:24 PM on December 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


Maybe also it's my imagination because it's my childhood and I WANT TO BELIEVE but they just seem to like each other so darn much. I know from Twitter that many of them still pal around and talk, so I guess maybe it's more than just my childhood projection, but, yeah, watching this just makes me happy. So happy.
posted by kbanas at 1:25 PM on December 30, 2012 [21 favorites]


The best thing about this was discovering that Data & Geordi had their own secret handshake (@ 4:28), a la Troy & Abed. (previously on MeFi!)
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:25 PM on December 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


I wonder if this means they'll release the S1 gag reel in decent quality. That would rule. The only copies out there are terrible.
posted by tzikeh at 1:26 PM on December 30, 2012


tzikeh: "(Still hotter than you.)"

As evidenced by this photo.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:31 PM on December 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


Okay, I am aware that Brent Spiner is a good actor, and that he is acting, but it is still weird to see Data laughing properly.
posted by theredpen at 1:32 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I tend to not watch season-2 episodes because no Gates McFadden.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:32 PM on December 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


A good chunk of these are mistakes caused by Worf being unable to control his emotions. Just like in the show!
posted by painquale at 1:37 PM on December 30, 2012 [20 favorites]


I don't know why 7:15-7:25 is the funniest thing I've seen this month, but it is.
posted by eugenen at 1:43 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, for most of your gif needs.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:45 PM on December 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


"(Still hotter than you.)"

As evidenced by this photo.


This seems to be as good a time as any to tell this story:

So I was meeting my ex's family for the first time, and that included her sister's boyfriend. Shortly after meeting me, he was like, "So... I heard that you like Star Trek?" I replied that yes indeedy I do. He says:

"So I was staying in this hotel for a poli sci conference, and I'm in the hotel gym, which is just a tiny little room with a couple of weight machines and treadmills in it. And I'm the only one there, working out, and suddenly, Patrick Stewart walks in.

"And I'm like, 'What the fuck, that's Captain Picard!' but I'm trying to play it cool, so I just sort of nod at him and then keep working out. So it's me and Patrick Stewart exercising together in this little room, me trying as self-consciously as possible to look un-self-conscious.

"And then at some point, I'm using the weight machine to bench press, and he walks over and asks, 'Do you mind if I work in between your sets?' And I'm like, 'Uh no, please, go right ahead.'

"So he starts exercising WITH me, and is giving me little tips and stuff, like, 'If you hold your hands like THIS, you'll get a greater range of motion,' and I'm thinking 'OH MY GOD CAPTAIN PICARD IS GIVING ME WORKOUT ADVICE'"

"Wow!" I said. "So he was nice?"

"He was really nice!" he said. "But he's also TOTALLY RIPPED"
posted by Greg Nog at 1:47 PM on December 30, 2012 [157 favorites]


Getting a cuddle from Jonathan Frakes when I screw something up is now apparently a thing that I need in my life. Goodness, he's snuggly with Patrick Stewart.

(And aw. Yes, this is hilarious, but it's also nice to see them pal around so much.)
posted by kalimac at 1:53 PM on December 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


Among my SNL ideas has been doing a gag reel for Schindler's List.
posted by flarbuse at 2:05 PM on December 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Even better: Gag reel for The Day The Clown Cried.
posted by sourwookie at 2:09 PM on December 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


This is, without a doubt, the best ten-and-a-half minutes from Season 2 of TNG. Any season that gave us this gag reel couldn't be quite as bad as I initially thought it was. (But S2 is still pretty bad.)

Thanks for posting, I'm still teary-eyed from laughing so hard.
posted by juliebug at 2:13 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


1 You know you've just screwed up
2 You know you're about to screw up
3 You cracked up on the last take

And often #3 just gets worse and worse as the takes progress.


Yeah, I've had lots of experience with this (not on ST, but a little with Patrick Stewart, who is very cool). It's very contagious, sometimes so much so that the crew starts to catch it. At times it gets so bad that they have to call a five or lunch so everyone can get some coffee and smoke and calm down.

It tends to be far less contagious to the crew at the end of a 14 hr shooting day....we get there hours before talent and stay hours after they leave. At some point we all walk away muttering "Come on assholes, fucking get it right. We have homes to go to also."
posted by nevercalm at 2:14 PM on December 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


ST:TOS had much the same, q.v. "Who put the tribbles in the quadrotriticale?".

The on-stage giggles, I've always known as 'corpsing'. which is a British theatrical term anecdotally ascribed to the problems one actor had on stage when he was playing a corpse but the others were trying to make him giggle. It is, as nevercalm says, sometimes contagious and a much needed release of tension; at other times, a royal pain in the imperial arse.
posted by Devonian at 2:23 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The fact that they didn't catch Riker banging Deanna in one of the turbolifts, or Dr. Crusher begging for her job back, is seriously disappointing.
posted by phaedon at 2:26 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


As good as LarpTrek already is, I predict this will help make it even better. I hope Josh is feverishly screencapping away.
posted by meinvt at 2:30 PM on December 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's good to have proof that Jonathan Frakes is pretty much exactly how I imagined he'd be.
posted by Rangeboy at 2:44 PM on December 30, 2012 [3 favorites]




Oh man. So, remember that awful screaming anti-semite Elmo in Central Park? He is related to a filmmaker from my small town out West. Said filmmaker made educational films, kind of like the "Going on a job interview" or just picture one of the MST3K shorts. Same quality, but we kids got paid real good.

I was cast to fit the part of some major dork. Now, I was a major dork. That role was MADE for me. But whether because they were just dorky or because they were funny -- the lines -- oh man. Anyway, we're doing this like fourteen-hour shoot, we're kids, and it's a series of close ups. My series is last.

Have you ever been laughing so hard snot and tears are on your face, meanwhile, a circle of increasingly annoyed adults are getting angry at you, all while being a total dork in real life so no delicious Patrick Stewart-like roll with it tendencies? Well, I wanted to die, fall ill, start vomiting, anything to stop laughing.
posted by angrycat at 3:19 PM on December 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


Also fun (though part of an entirely different catechism) is the gag reel from the JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot.
posted by workerant at 3:41 PM on December 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


I love these! The best ones make me laugh harder than most anything. And this is (one reason) why I love Stefon.
posted by Glinn at 3:41 PM on December 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Nthing the "giggle loop" answer for "why are they laughing in the middle of a take". Also, it could be that a few takes before something legitimately funny did happen, and coming back around to the moment when it happened earlier is just reminding people about it. (I was once in a rehearsal that ground to a total halt for five minutes simply because someone had had the line "Zounds" and had mispronounced it, and every time we got up to that point....)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:42 PM on December 30, 2012


It should be noted that the cat in the sweater-vest on the left in the last bit (singing "Phil the Fluther's Ball" with Barrie Ingham) is the Great Bird of the Galaxy himself.
 
posted by Herodios at 3:54 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


> From Ricky Gervais

He really comes across as a jerk in that. Not just in character, but where he says he deliberately makes his fellow actors crack up -- but in a way that makes them look bad, and him look fine.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:19 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


By all accounts, the Next Generation cast had a blast filming the show, and they were very friendly. (The same cannot be said for DS9, alas, and really can't be said for Voyager. Robert Beltran was an angry, angry man.) In a large ensemble cast you can usually expect a diva jerk or two, but the Next Gen producers really lucked out with this bunch.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:37 PM on December 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Lovely to see Worf laugh.
posted by the noob at 4:41 PM on December 30, 2012


He really comes across as a jerk in that. Not just in character, but where he says he deliberately makes his fellow actors crack up -- but in a way that makes them look bad, and him look fine.

That's the part I found hilarious. He's sabotaging his own show !! And everybody knows it.
posted by Pendragon at 4:45 PM on December 30, 2012


For the record, I don't have particularly bad self-esteem, but I'm pretty sure Patrick Stewart will be hotter than me until he is dead for at least six months.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:52 PM on December 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


Stray observations

Brent Spiner is a wee little slip of a man

Man everyone is all over each other, touch all the cast members!

Stewart is gracious even in flubbing.

It's nice to see old TV hands just rewind a line on a dime and start again.

Upon seeing this in HD, wait am I related to Jonahatan Frakes? I look more like him then I do some actual relatives. What the hell.
posted by The Whelk at 5:10 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Watch to the end for the Roddenberry cameo.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:39 PM on December 30, 2012


Love this. Gosh, I miss ST:TNG. My favorite by far of the spinoffs. Thanks for posting it.

Also, were Lwaxana Troi's eyes always that huge and dark?

Also, Deanna Troi *sigh*
posted by the sobsister at 5:56 PM on December 30, 2012


I know TNG has its detractors, but to this day it's hard to believe Worf is the first one to laugh in these outtakes. And it's even harder to believe you can watch season 3 and 4 in one weekend if you are determined. This show was all-consuming when I was a kid, and part of me still treats it as real. As if that is what the future really looks like.

Also, if it's been a while, you should really re-watch The Drumhead. Unbelievably relevant episode these days.
posted by phaedon at 7:11 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Paging cortex, I think Larp Trek is about to need some of this.
posted by 256 at 7:22 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, were Lwaxana Troi's eyes always that huge and dark?

Yep, all Betazoids have eyes like that ('cept that quarter-Betazoid jerk Devinoni Ral...).
posted by limeonaire at 7:39 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I still can't look at Data without cracking up. Brent Spiner's part in Night Court is one of the funniest things ever.
posted by azpenguin at 7:55 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


As an amateur Trekkie and a professional Televisually Employed Person, I'm of two minds about this.

1. I have a recurring dream (the kind where you're asleep, not a daydream) that I've been hired as a staff writer on a new Trek series. This makes me hope that, when said dream finally comes true (because it WILL, y'all), the cast is this rad.

2. Oh holy balls, if I had been on this set with these people at four in the morning after a sixteen hour day, I would want to MURDER THEM. Especially you, Michael Dorn.
posted by Sara C. at 8:09 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


the directors keep reminding the actors

That's actually the First AD (who is not "a director"), and they're probably talking more to the crew. The actors know the cameras are rolling. They wouldn't be there if they weren't.

When stuff like this happens on set, the crew can start getting fidgety and chatty and the like, which causes the whole thing to spin out of control. It's like, if the actors are just playing around up there, of course it's OK for me to loudly open a can of Diet Coke, or leave my phone on, or stomp rather than tiptoe over to Video Village.

The first AD on TNG must of hated his fucking job.
posted by Sara C. at 8:14 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why do actors just start laughing in the middle of saying their lines? Apart from just messing up their lines, which I get. I just don't get the random cracking up.

Typically this happens very late, at the end of an extremely long day. Everyone is just so exhausted they can't keep it together anymore. Can also be inspired by other sensory issues like not seeing daylight for days on end due to shooting on a windowless soundstage in winter, shooting nights, shooting in extreme temperatures, and "senioritis" in the final days before a hiatus or a holiday weekend, etc.

Or maybe if you are Michael Dorn and Jonathan Frakes that's your default setting, who knows.
posted by Sara C. at 8:18 PM on December 30, 2012


The one thing Gene Roddenberry should be remembered for, apart from his anti-sexism, anti-racism, pursue story over convention and pursue character over story, apart from all that, it's that cast chemistry matters.

He sort-of got it right with TOS... but he helped hit it out of the goddamned park with TNG. These are people who like and respect each other, who aren't afraid of each other, who will do whatever is required to bring this imaginary universe to life, professional actors, some of them at the very top of their profession. (Whoopie Goldberg as a comedienne, Patrick Stewart as a Shakespearian actor, LeVar Burton as both an actor and educator)

When people say that DS9 is the best Trek, it's usually because they compare it to what came after - Voyager and Enterprise. It's not as good as TNG, because can you imagine Avery Brooks and René Auberjonois yukking it up like that? Neither can I. (The best bloopers of DS9 involve Frakes and Delancey... TNG alums.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:34 PM on December 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Does this include a shot of their gym?
posted by mrzarquon at 8:39 PM on December 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


So I've always heard that 35mm is expensive but just how expensive? Like, is there a dollars-per-second value that would've been accurate for this time period?
posted by disillusioned at 8:41 PM on December 30, 2012


Also, I'm in a mood to rant, so I'm gonna rant. I heard an "On The Media" piece on the current Golden Age of television. They traced it back to Oz. I say, Oz doesn't happen unless Babylon 5 happens... an independent drama that took incredible chances, and saw those gambles on characterization and plot and challenging themes pay off big.

Babylon 5 doesn't happen without the success of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

So if you like Breaking Bad and Boardwalk Empire... thank Gene Roddenberry.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:42 PM on December 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


Also, boy can Ricky Gervais truly guffaw.
posted by disillusioned at 8:43 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bloopers are not necessarily a good thing for television production. It's great that the cast got along that well, but the cast all being total besties isn't a necessary criteria for making a really good show.

That said, I don't know much about the behind the scenes issues on DS9. I'm aware that they weren't as chummy as the TNG gang, but A) two cast members ultimately married each other, and B) did they all like totes hate each other or something? It doesn't come across on the screen at all.

Disillusioned -- I don't know a direct dollars per second number, but yeah, expensive. Expensive enough that when Robert Rodriguez shot his first feature (the legendarily micro-budgeted El Mariachi), film stock was one of the biggest budget expenses. And that was shot on 16mm, I believe. In fact, 35 is so expensive that, before video, it used to be impossible for most independent filmmakers to shoot a professional-grade feature film. They would use 16mm or Super 16 and have it blown up on the chance that it got distribution via festivals. The emergence of digital and its adoption by mainstream big-budget projects was HUGE for small filmmakers.

That said, I've worked on 35mm and digital projects with similar budgets, and I don't recall ever noticing a difference in terms of on-set antics. The biggest cost on a project like TNG is labor, anyway -- the real source of the angsty "STILL ROLLING! STILL ROLLING!" cries from the First AD is the fact that, if the shoot goes too long, a crew of 100+ people will go into overtime. Or worse, if they get into a habit of not "making their day", they will have to shoot additional days, or in the case of TV, hire a second crew to shoot in tandem to cover everything. Which makes film stock look like toilet paper.
posted by Sara C. at 8:51 PM on December 30, 2012 [11 favorites]


did they all like totes hate each other or something?

IIRC, it was more individuals rubbing each other the wrong way, rather than a full-blown hatefest. The one that sticks out in my mind is Terry Farrell and Rene Auberjonois having a mutual non-admiration society early on; Farrell even owned up that there were...issues there (all past tense, of course!) in the ultra-puffy promotional magazines, which is saying something.
posted by thomas j wise at 9:01 PM on December 30, 2012


Thanks for that, Sara.

So how much wiggle room is there for a given scene or day? I imagine that blocking out days has to be a bit of a special skill in its own right.
posted by disillusioned at 9:01 PM on December 30, 2012


For some reason, I never get tired of the bloopers where the doors don't open.

The bit at the end with Gene made the whole thing unexpectedly poignant.

Also, I have no personal experience with acting and production and so forth, but watching Frakes try to get through the "marker beacon" bit over and over seems like a special kind of hell to be trapped in.
posted by dry white toast at 9:10 PM on December 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


The whole thing is gold, but Worf practically barfing his line at 20 seconds in is just about the funniest thing I have seen in my life. I probably watched it 40 times.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 9:12 PM on December 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


...the beaker markins
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 9:14 PM on December 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


I was doing a good job holding it together through most of this and then 9:09 and Worf giggling in the background and Diana Muldaur sighing... "Jesus..." and I just lost it.
posted by greenland at 9:15 PM on December 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Disillusioned:

Yes, that's a huge part of the job of the First Assistant Director. Which is a career in its own right, not a stepping stone to direct, or the assistant to a director.

A first AD has two major jobs: scheduling the shoot and then running the set (All that yelling in the blooper reel about "STILL ROLLING!" and "QUIET!" and "GOING AGAIN!", among many MANY other things). For scheduling, the big work is mostly in arranging locations and pinning down cast availability.

How many scenes to shoot per day is somewhat boilerplate, depending on the project. Rather than decide on a number of scenes, it's all arranged by script page. So, for example, on the big budget feature I worked on last summer, we shot in the range of 2-4 pages per day. The cable network pilot I worked on this fall shot in the range of 6 pages per day.

I've heard TNG shot crazy hours, though I don't know whether they actually shot more pages or they just ended up working crazy hours because Michael Dorn is a gigglepants.

There are a million union bylaws about who can work how many hours under what conditions, who gets how much overtime in what circumstances, how meal breaks work, how turnaround times work, whether commute time is calculated, etc. It's the responsibility of the AD team and the Production Manager to be familiar with all these rules and work them so that labor costs are kept at a minimum. A large part of figuring out the schedule, beyond big picture stuff like actor and location availability, is reliably estimating how the production can make union rules work for them.
posted by Sara C. at 9:22 PM on December 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


For those who want to see the Season One blooper reel--

Part one

Part two

It's not entirely a gag reel; there's some mucking around that the post group did that has nothing to do with mistakes or corpsing (intercutting stuff from the original series, goofy sound effects, etc.). But it's certainly worth seeing.

(Though as I said upthread, the quality is horrendous. Here's hoping they release a nice, clean reel.)
posted by tzikeh at 9:28 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


The TNG actors have all talked about the difficulty of reeling off the "technobabble" at 1 in the morning, and dealing with all the special effects. So, in addition to the usual pressures of TV production, they had to try and look serious while discussing faulty tachyon compensators with a guy wearing a rubber turtle forehead.

I was mostly basing my remarks about DS9 on The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion and other Trekkie stuff I've read. That book is very diplomatic, but it's clear there were plenty of arguments behind the scenes. But Voyager (a show I quite like) sounds like a total nightmare to work on. The actors were feuding with each other and feuding with the writers, and the writers were feuding with the studio... It's amazing the show lasted seven seasons, given how miserable everybody seemed to be.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:35 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you tell me now with all honesty that "gigglepants" is a legitimate technical term in the trade, I will love you forever.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:41 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's a moment in the first of those Season 1 gag reels where someone in a jacket and tie is touching up Frakes' hair. Which means that either things have really changed in Hollywood over the last 20 years, or the TNG crew did Tie-Day Friday!

(In film production, it's a running joke that the dress code is so casual, we should have dress-up Fridays rather than casual Fridays. I've actually worked on a few productions that implemented this, to hilarious effect.)
posted by Sara C. at 9:43 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm a sourpuss, but I reckon this could have been cut down to less than three minutes.
I just don't find actors flubbing their lines or gurning at the camera all that interesting.

But the way they coasted on through Admiral Data, or Picards "Energise is what we say in this room" are interesting to me (and the bits where the "difficulty of reeling off the "technobabble" at 1 in the morning" way Ursula Hitler mentions above become real.

It's amazing the show lasted seven seasons, given how miserable everybody seemed to be.

So, does that mean These Are The Voyages.... was a giant "Fuck You" from the poor souls who had to work of VOY and Enterprise? Because it felt like that, and I liked Enterprise.
posted by Mezentian at 9:44 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Point of fact, in the more conservative financial firms in Boston, Fridays are dress-up days... you see men dressed in their Easter finest on Fridays. (Women would wear their usual power-suit and heels.)

I worked on the trading floor of one of these as an independent contractor doing sysadmin work on their realtime financial info feeds. I had a tiny trader's desk right in front of the big glass doors. I dressed up for Friday once... then the CIO of the company growled at me, "Where's the Hawaiian shirt? Your company dresses down on Fridays, and these guys better get used to that if they want you on the floor."

So, I wore a Hawaiian shirt the next Friday. Then I got a cubicle somewhere dark and windowless the week after, and was much happier.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:51 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


The actors were feuding with each other and feuding with the writers, and the writers were feuding with the studio... It's amazing the show lasted seven seasons, given how miserable everybody seemed to be.

I worked on a show like this that ran for ten seasons. It was surprisingly not that big of a deal, unless you were one of the people directly impacted by it. It would probably depend exactly who hated exactly who. Luckily there's a well-understood pecking order, so unless the people are sociopaths everyone knows who has to kowtow to whom.

A lot of the time the studio/network side and the production side don't see eye to eye, and it's very common for that tension to lie with the writers. That's just another day at work. You always hope it's not like that and everyone can at least come together to make the thing, but yeah. Even my smoothest job had production snarking about the stupid fucking STUDIO ASSHOLES several times a week.
posted by Sara C. at 9:52 PM on December 30, 2012


"So, does that mean These Are The Voyages.... was a giant "Fuck You" from the poor souls who had to work of VOY and Enterprise? Because it felt like that, and I liked Enterprise."

I think it was Berman and co. doing the best they could manage with a crappy situation. As much as I love Trek, by the time of Enterprise, Berman, Braga, et al were clearly very, very tired. They'd been making Trek since the 1980s, the inspiration was running dry, and the endless fan bitching from DS9 onwards had to be pretty demoralizing. By the final season of Enterprise, Trek as a franchise was in dire straits and Berman and Braga had gotten bounced off their own show to be replaced by Manny Coto. Then they were brought in to write an episode that had to serve as not just a series finale, but possibly a farewell to the entire Trek franchise, and that's just... Well, that's an hour of television it would be very challenging to get right.

So they tried to make a nice little episode uniting the Next Generaton era and the Enterprise era, and it wasn't great but it wasn't really terrible. I really dislike the JJ Abrams reboot (Vulcan explodin' piece of...) but nobody can say the Berman era ended too soon.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:41 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The most surprising thing about this clip to me (despite the fact that I could probably watch it daily, which I guess shouldn't surprise me at all) is how many episodes I recognized as ones I had always mentally cataloged in my memory as "Season One episodes" (read: bad) -- I'm looking at you "Up The Long Ladder" and "The Royale" (the latter of which I still like). You'd think memories of Riker's beard would have stuck with me over the years.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:11 AM on December 31, 2012


I was doing a good job holding it together through most of this and then 9:09 and Worf giggling in the background and Diana Muldaur sighing... "Jesus..." and I just lost it.

I was doing a good job holding it together through most of this and then 4:15, after Frakes flubs his line for 800th time and Worf bursting with "aw, Jesus!" and I'm still losing it.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:15 AM on December 31, 2012


is how many episodes I recognized as ones I had always mentally cataloged in my memory as "Season One episodes"

I think it's the uniforms.
posted by Mezentian at 1:43 AM on December 31, 2012


When people say that DS9 is the best Trek, it's usually because they compare it to what came after - Voyager and Enterprise. It's not as good as TNG, because can you imagine Avery Brooks and René Auberjonois yukking it up like that?
I'm not going to pick a "best" Trek, but if I were to do so and if it happened to be DS9, it definitely wouldn't be for this reason. It would be because DS9 was more "real". Real people with real flaws and real emotions that carry over from episode to episode and sometimes slowly change, rather than virtually perfect people living in a fulfilled utopia where almost everything is wrapped up nice and tidy at the end of every episode other than explicit two-parters.

To be clear, I like TNG a lot, and again, I'm not saying DS9 is "better". But they're good in very different ways, and whether or not the actors just love horsin' around with each other behind the scenes has nothing to do with my opinion on them. I'm sure you can argue back that TNG wouldn't have been as good if they hadn't, or DS9 would have been better if they had, but that strikes me as questionable at best.
posted by Flunkie at 5:58 AM on December 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


As if that is what the future really looks like.

If you want a cheap vacation to the future, I should tell you that big chunks of the skyway in downtown Minneapolis were decorated in the early 90s and haven't been updated, and look uncannily like you're strolling along the passages of the Enterprise-D.
posted by COBRA! at 6:12 AM on December 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


So if you like Breaking Bad and Boardwalk Empire... thank Gene Roddenberry.

That is a little tenuous: I would suspect the flow of events that leads us from TNG --> Babylon 5 --> Oz --> Current Golden Age is a wee little tributary compared to the mighty rivers that have their sources at Hill Street Blues and Miami Vice.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:13 AM on December 31, 2012


As per the NPR segment, those series were severely hobbled by the network, and sort of had the opposite effect... It taught the industry that good television was impossible.

Now, if you had said Twin Peaks and X-Files, I might have been given pause.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:37 AM on December 31, 2012


Which NPR segment?
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:12 AM on December 31, 2012


TNG was on BBCA the other day and it was the one with Data performing Shakespeare and he and Picard start discussing the motivation of the character and I thought "there will never be another major network television show that dedicates a solid 5 minutes to serious discussion of literature ever again" and then I was sad.
posted by M Edward at 9:30 AM on December 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


I've heard TNG shot crazy hours, though I don't know whether they actually shot more pages or they just ended up working crazy hours because Michael Dorn is a gigglepants.

Next time you see Worf on-screen, think: this man is the voice of I.M. Weasel.

It'll give you a new appreciation for him, I think.
posted by JHarris at 9:37 AM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I never really appreciated how funny TNG really is until recently. Any scene with Data and Riker is hilarious, Whenever Riker gets super serious and blustery, Data gets a subtly smirk like "get a load of this guy". Spiner was great as Data, it isn't surprising that towards the end he was playing like half the characters.

I like DS9 better as well, and I never watched DS9, Voyager or Enterprise until recently. DS9 really was more "real", all the characters had lives outside their work and that they included non federation peeps and an actual non-officer as recurring characters made it seem less cloistered. Some of the cooler moments were things like Quark comparing the federation to root beer or seeing Morn stumble out of Quarks at odd moments.

TNG was all business all the time, execept when Pikard or Riker went on those ridiculous and inevitably almost fatal vacations. Those dudes almost died every time they went on holiday. The holodecks were even more dangerous. After about the 5th time Moriarty almost destroyed the ship they should have uninstalled those things. Sure they added Guinan the magical bartender to mix things up but she was no Quark.

DS9 also really struck gold with Garak, I re-watched his episodes last week and I'm convinced that he is one of the best TV characters ever.

Sisko was also much more human than Pikard, even before he went totally off the rails. Can you imagine Pikard chuckling if one of the enlisted men started complaining about his wife, or snapping along if his chief of security started staring off into space and humming in his ready room? Pikard may have been a good captain, and may have invented his own Maneuver, but he really wasn't vey likable even with all the attempts to make him seem like more than an officious prick.

If they do a new trek, and I kinda hope they do, they should set it at the Utopia Planitia ship yards.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:48 AM on December 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


Brent Spiner's imitation of "Data on acid".

That is where I first giggled.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:59 AM on December 31, 2012


If they do a new trek, and I kinda hope they do, they should set it at the Utopia Planitia ship yards.

Space hospital! Starfleet medical! People like medical dramas and you can just make up the various life threatening medical emergencies and complications.
posted by The Whelk at 10:09 AM on December 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


DS9 really was more "real", all the characters had lives outside their work and that they included non federation peeps and an actual non-officer as recurring characters made it seem less cloistered.

This is an interesting point, one that occurred to me as a preteen Trekkie but didn't seem to occur to almost anyone else in the fandom.

Everyone on the Starship Enterprise that we get to know in the first two series is basically a naval officer. This works OK for TOS back in the 60's, where most TV drama was procedural, there was a lack of continuity from episode to episode, and the concept of "franchises" that run for decades didn't exist yet. But as the franchise progresses, and you have the basic world of Starfleet down pat, and TV gets more complex, suddenly you realize that a series where all the main characters are naval officers is kind of a weird fishbowl to find yourself in.

This is why TNG had to introduce characters who were somewhat outside that (a psychologist and a child prodigy, for example), even though they were an awkward fit. I don't want to speculate about Roddenberry's writing strengths, or frankly how the writing staff of TNG worked, because I either haven't done the research or did as a teenager and didn't know enough about this stuff back then to really understand how the production worked. But it occurs to me that one of Roddenberry's blind spots is that he has no idea how to write people who aren't in the military. (Someone could write a whole dissertation on the number of WWII and Korea vets who went into TV production in the 50's and 60's and what that meant for American media.)

So, OK, Roddenberry becomes progressively less involved, and eventually passes away, and the series goes in the logical direction in terms of conflict and interesting stories to tell -- away from the military setting and toward the obviously compelling aspects of the world Roddenberry built. This is what makes DS9 so fucking good, and it's also where the interesting parts of Voyager lie. I haven't seen Enterprise at all, but my guess is that people didn't watch it because it takes us back to military land, a territory that Trek burnt over decades before and which just isn't that compelling to most people in an era where we don't have entire generations who recently fought in wars, as was the case in The Original Series' heyday.
posted by Sara C. at 10:10 AM on December 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Whelk, your idea has officially been stolen.
posted by Sara C. at 10:11 AM on December 31, 2012


Space hospital! Starfleet medical! People like medical dramas and you can just make up the various life threatening medical emergencies and complications.

Wouldn't it just be "Take two hypo-sprays and hail me in the morning" every time, though?

(Also, I am reminded of the Mitchell and Webb line, "Quick, put him in the machine that's like one of those metal slidey things that's the old way of doing a credit card!")
posted by Sys Rq at 10:11 AM on December 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sys Rq -- I think that would depend on what kind of thing it really was. You could easily do a sort of Trek/MASH mashup (heh) which was about a medical unit dispatched to some farflung colony. Each episode would be "about" the exotic medical conditions suffered by people on the colony (think of the DS9 episode "The Quickening", and jesus christ I can't believe I remembered that off the top of my head after 15-odd Trek-free years). But, really, like most TV shows, it's actually about the lives and conflicts and dramas of the characters.

So, say, you have a Chief Medical Officer who's a stodgy Federation by-the-book Picard wannabe. And you have some junior person (maybe a GP or other non-specialist, maybe a nurse practitioner) who gets too personally involved. There's TONS of conflict there, regardless of what the Medical Phlebotinum of this week's episode is.
posted by Sara C. at 10:20 AM on December 31, 2012


Star Trek Doctors Without Borders, I guess.
posted by Sara C. at 10:21 AM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd kind of like to see a series in the same universe but outside of the Federation, or at least outside of (as I believe a Klingon once put it) the Homo Sapiens Only Club. I don't mean physically out of it (like Voyager). Rather, I mean it seems like every crew is primarily human, and while there's an exception here and there, those exceptions are often half-human, or raised by humans, or actively aspiring to be like humans, or whatever. And I could easily be wrong, but I honestly don't remember seeing a nonhuman Star Fleet admiral.

Let's see some other culture, fundamentally different from humanity, in depth, that we have only seen glimpses of! Another member of the Federation, or a nonaligned world, or even a world in which the Federation are the bad guys.

My vote is for the Horta. "Number One, set course to one one three mark two six, and devour rock!"
posted by Flunkie at 10:27 AM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Space Doctors Without Borders can get into places the Federation would never be, nasty little intraplanet conflicts and the like, and of course the main cast are young interns of various degrees of idealism and goals.
posted by The Whelk at 10:27 AM on December 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


I haven't seen Enterprise at all, but my guess is that people didn't watch it because it takes us back to military land

They are ostensibly explorers more akin to NASA.

It was kind of an interesting idea. Trek is really reactive to fan criticism. We got Picard because people joked about Kirk going on every away mission and personally beating up aliens. In the first episode Picard picks Riker because he says "no captain of mine will ever go on an away mission".

I think we got Enterprise because People had been complaining for a while that the federation was just too powerful, adding new and more terrible enemies, as cool as they were, was getting ridiculous. We got Kirk++ and a pre federation rag-tag crew that were outgunned and outmatched at every turn yet still came out ahead because they had heart. They had nothing but flaws and fucked everything up but still came out ahead because everyone love an underdog. I kinda liked it, and the song was so ridiculous it almost worked. It was firefly theme song ridiculous.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:32 AM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


You need at least one intern who's only there cause they kinda sort of flunked out of the more traditional medical career path and really couldn't care less about the goals of the mission and one Federation true believer do gooderism rules lawyer and they both learn hard lessons.
posted by The Whelk at 10:33 AM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


As good as LarpTrek already is, I predict this will help make it even better. I hope Josh is feverishly screencapping away.

I'm a bit worried that the relative clarity of these screencaps will jar with the SD-quality "I taped this on my VHS" aesthetic of the existing pool of screenshots. But we'll see.
posted by cortex at 10:35 AM on December 31, 2012


Bashir should be the beleaguered medical director, always complaining about the federation stuffed shirts who just don't know what it is like on the front lines.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:37 AM on December 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Basically they can't get a replicator so everysingle episode is about how few supplies they have and have to ad hoc solutions
posted by The Whelk at 10:38 AM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


If they don't fire up the hologram emitters at least once per season to give Robert Picardo a cameo, I'm not watching.
posted by radwolf76 at 10:40 AM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a bit worried that the relative clarity of these screencaps will jar with the SD-quality "I taped this on my VHS" aesthetic of the existing pool of screenshots.

Due to beaming up from a planet surrounded by a tachyonic gravity haze, certain crewmembers are experiencing a temporary fortification of their molecular structure, making them appear "crisper." It should wear off after a few days.
posted by griphus at 10:46 AM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


The EMH eventually shuts himself off cause they keep using him off label.
posted by The Whelk at 10:47 AM on December 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


Has anyone played Spaceteam yet?
posted by griphus at 10:51 AM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: "The EMH eventually shuts himself off cause they keep using him off label."

I can get behind this idea. Doubly so if "off label use" is a euphemism for one of the doctors engaging in Lieutenant Barclay-style holodeck sexytiemz shenanigans.
posted by radwolf76 at 10:53 AM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


No, the uninterested intern is the offspring of an upper-level Starfleet Medical officer who Can't Get Her Shit Together, so Daddy/Grandma/Uncle Whoever called in a few favors and got her sent off to where people have Real Problems.

She fights endlessly with the Bleeding Heart nurse whose DREAM was to get sent on one of these missions so she could help the pestilence-ridden wretches on whatever Tasha Yar's home planet was called.
posted by Sara C. at 11:15 AM on December 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


griphus: Has anyone played Spaceteam yet?

Yes, and it is amazing and do not snipe the Spaceteam FPP I am planning.

Star Trek Doctors Without Borders

How have you people not mentioned the sexy female alien doctor who has Different Ideas about clothing and sexuality?
posted by Rock Steady at 11:25 AM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


China Beach in Space.
posted by the_artificer at 11:26 AM on December 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Space hospital! Starfleet medical! People like medical dramas and you can just make up the various life threatening medical emergencies and complications.

Mercy Point.
posted by griphus at 11:35 AM on December 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


How have I lived this long without an awareness of China Beach?

I lived and watched TV when that came on, too. It's a little before my time (my first non-TNG adult TV shows were ER, Friends, and Seinfeld), but not that long before my time. Also my parents both work in medicine, and my dad is a huge military history buff, so you think we'd have watched that.
posted by Sara C. at 11:37 AM on December 31, 2012


China Beach, previously
posted by the_artificer at 11:41 AM on December 31, 2012


I kinda liked it, and the song was so ridiculous it almost worked. It was firefly theme song ridiculous.

Hey now, the Firefly theme song's country/folk/blues sound was exactly right for a Western in space, and only "ridiculous" if you were expecting a garden-variety military space show a la Trek or BSG. On the other hand, the Enterprise theme was originally written for and appeared in the Patch Adams soundtrack. Literally any other song would've been more Star Trek-appropriate than that one.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:53 AM on December 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Strange Interlude: Literally any other song would've been more Star Trek-appropriate than that one.

A challenger appears...
posted by Rock Steady at 11:58 AM on December 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Let me preface this by saying I meant ridiculous in the best possible way. Firefly and Enterprise are the only two shows where I watch the opening every time I watch an episode on Netflix. I get kinda fed up with those pompous orchestral themes and the accompanying shots of giant ships floating grandly through space.I'm also a pretty big Firefly fan, I even read the comics.

IMO the lyrics to The Balad of Serentiy are pretty laughable:

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me.

Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain't comin' back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me.

Sure, that kinda describes the show, but in the most florid way possible. A group of space pirates are itinerant freedom fighters, cast adrift. It isn't about robbing people, it is about the quest for freedom.

To me, that Patch Adams Faith from the Heart song does the same thing. The show isn't about mucking about in space, it is about what is great about humanity, as opposed to all the other alien species, and why humanity always triumphs. We've got faith, and heart and nothing can keep us down, and stuff like that.

They both serve to make the shows seem bigger and more important than they really might be. They are about grand themes and universal truths, not just space ships and aliens.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:35 PM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mercy Point


THANK YOU. I remember seeing a preview for that as a wee one and going oh man that looks cool I'll try to catch it and then it vanished from the world and human knowledge almost instantly.
posted by The Whelk at 12:53 PM on December 31, 2012


As a big long time Firefly fan I will admit that the theme song is freaking stupid sounding.
posted by The Whelk at 12:54 PM on December 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


I remember seeing a preview for that as a wee one and going oh man that looks cool I'll try to catch it and then it vanished from the world and human knowledge almost instantly.

Ah, the world of television pre-Internet. For a while, I was convinced I had imagined Now and Again.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:58 PM on December 31, 2012


I am rewatching Firefly for like the nth time and have been muttering to the cats, this is better than Avengers by far in a comic book/David Hyde Pierce as Niles voice. And then those opening credits
posted by angrycat at 12:59 PM on December 31, 2012


Was there ever a sitcom about an Irish guy who looks like Jay Leno moving in with a family around 1991? I believe in the opening (which resembled Home Improvement's) he was in a kilt and with bagpipes.
posted by griphus at 1:00 PM on December 31, 2012


Was it Billy?
posted by Sara C. at 1:13 PM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy crap, it was! Thank you! That has been bugging me since, well, 1993.

Also I apparently don't know the difference between Scotland and Ireland.
posted by griphus at 1:17 PM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


It should also be noted there were two versions of the Enterprise theme. The season 1&2 power ballad versionversion and more upbeat season 3&4. I think the power ballad version is goofier but both of them are pretty fucking bad in an equally amazing way.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:18 PM on December 31, 2012


It's OK, I only recalled it because I originally thought you were talking about the random re-casting of Head Of The Class. Then I noticed in the wiki page that Billy Connolly got his own short-lived spinoff series.

I was going to make a comment about the difference between the Olden Times, where a show would get cancelled and immediately forgotten, in comparison to today when shows that get cancelled get released on DVD and thrown to Netflix for the inevitable cult following. But then I remembered that I did 13 episodes on a CBS series that has already been forgotten, despite still being on the air a year ago.
posted by Sara C. at 1:25 PM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why wasn't Thanks a hit?

It would totally be a hit today.
posted by The Whelk at 1:29 PM on December 31, 2012


"The program explored the trials and tribulations of the Winthrops, a 17th century Puritan family, in Plymouth, Massachusetts."

I can totally picture this being a hit if it was produced like The Tudors (costumed intrigue/fucking.)
posted by griphus at 1:31 PM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, I feel like every standup comedian who had any televised success past "six minutes on Premium Blend" between 1989 and 1999 managed to score a short-lived sitcom where they cracked wise at a suburban family.
posted by griphus at 1:33 PM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, I feel like every standup comedian who had any televised success past "six minutes on Premium Blend" between 1989 and 1999 managed to score a short-lived sitcom where they cracked wise at a suburban family.

With Emo Philips being the sole lamentable exception to this rule.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:52 PM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ad hominem: "It should also be noted there were two versions of the Enterprise theme."

Three.
posted by the_artificer at 1:53 PM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Three

Damn forgot that one. Sounds like video game music and not in a good way, they should have thrown some orcs or a mage in there to mess with people. Maybe the next trek should be the Terran Empire.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:04 PM on December 31, 2012


Also, I feel like every standup comedian who had any televised success past "six minutes on Premium Blend" between 1989 and 1999 managed to score a short-lived sitcom where they cracked wise at a suburban family.

I once wondered What Ever Happened To Laura Knightlinger?* And then one day I looked it up and like, married Jack Black, divorced Jack Black, producer on Sex In The City, is probibly lying coiled on top of a pile of diamonds right now.

*"I used to to drink because I thought it was the only point in life, but now I know better, there is no point."
posted by The Whelk at 2:14 PM on December 31, 2012


I was one of those "I don't even own a TV" jerks for many years, always "reading" or seeing "films" at the Angelika or the Film Forum, like some sort of sophisticate. Now I have a lot to catch up on. I got someone to give me a breakdown of the various CSI and Law and Order shows over Christmas so I'm about to start those.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:24 PM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who else at 9:42 was waiting for Riker to pitch tent?
posted by phaedon at 2:36 PM on December 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Literally any other song would've been more Star Trek-appropriate than that one."

I remember hearing that the theme was going to be Rocket Man by Elton John, which could've been awesome but was maybe a little too melancholy. (Also, it has some unfortunate Trek associations.)

I do think some sort of rock song would've been a good idea to set a bold new tone, but Enterprise was this weird thing that was trying to be a Trek reboot without taking a lot of risks or changing too much, so the song they picked was not a classic Trek kind of theme but wasn't an interesting departure either. I wish they'd gone with Magic Carpet Ride. I mean, come on.

The Firefly song is fine. I'm not the biggest fan of Joss Whedon as a songwriter, but his music always gets the job done.

"I am rewatching Firefly for like the nth time and have been muttering to the cats, this is better than Avengers by far in a comic book/David Hyde Pierce as Niles voice."

I haven't seen Avengers yet, but Whedon seems like he's really plugging himself into the Marvel machine in a big way, and as a Buffy/Angel maniac I'm not too thrilled about it. At best, he's just putting his spin on somebody else's universe, and he's so good at creating his own universes. (I don't know if you can draw a straight line from Trek to shows like Breaking Bad, but I think we probably do have Whedon to thank for popularizing stuff like season-long arcs, "big bads" and beloved characters dying at random. All of that stuff had been done occasionally on TV before, but Whedon really made it work.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:43 PM on December 31, 2012


Ursula, Whedon has showed a remarkable amount of respect for the Marvel Universe characters and a shit ton of love for the Kirby-Era tone they had going, and it works really well.
posted by The Whelk at 3:46 PM on December 31, 2012


Mercy Point.
Oh, yes! I totally forgot that one. Was really sad to see it die young. Joe Morton ftw.

Who else at 9:42 yt was waiting for Riker to pitch tent?
Me. I just kept waiting for it. I would bet he did it on another take. They just left it off the public gag reel.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:54 PM on December 31, 2012


I am now obsessing over songs with each of the TNG crew members' names as the titles and what they might sound like. I think I most want to hear "Tasha Yar" for some reason.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:56 PM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm just confused there was a spin-off of Head Of The Class.
posted by Mezentian at 5:17 PM on December 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Ursula, Whedon has showed a remarkable amount of respect for the Marvel Universe characters and a shit ton of love for the Kirby-Era tone they had going, and it works really well."

Oh, I'm sure he does a good job with it. Whedon almost always delivers. (But that first season of Dollhouse, oy vey...) I've just never been very invested in Marvel comics, and Whedon can be so good working on his own stuff that it makes me a little sad to see him basically becoming Mr. Marvel for the next few years at least. I don't think he's selling out, I know he's genuinely passionate about the superhero stuff... I just don't feel like it's the best use for his talents.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 8:10 PM on December 31, 2012


>Re: Jerk

Tim Conway used to do the same thing
posted by deemer at 8:24 PM on December 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


My favorite fanboi continuity Firefly storyline...

The Browncoats had it coming. They had literally enslaved the Chinese, and only the valiant defense put up by the Core Worlds set them free, at terrible cost. Yeah, they're assholes, but they're lightyears better than the Browncoats... who are still out there.

More, Jane was a freedom fighter... when he gets drunk he gets sentimental and makes promises he feels he needs to keep even when sober, and he kind of promised to free all the slaves, so... he feels guilty being a race-traitor, and so submits to Malc when sober and strongarmed into it.

River then realizes she's wanted by very evil people who want to own her and user her... and she's also on the ship of a Nazi-Confederate-Klansman who only trusts her because she's not Asian. She has to betray both...
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:27 PM on December 31, 2012


Do NOT watch that Tim Conway clip if you expect to maintain any sort of composure. The guy on the far right? That's Dick Van Dyke completely losing it. He was the Seinfeld of his day. Picture Seinfeld completely cracking up and losing it on-set, to where he couldn't speak or even breathe. Yeah.

fnOrkey!
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:43 PM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Picture Seinfeld completely cracking up and losing it on-set, to where he couldn't speak or even breathe.

If you need help picturing that...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:14 PM on December 31, 2012


I knew which Tim Conway clip you were talking about without looking: the conjoined elephants. GN-SNORK.
posted by JHarris at 6:02 AM on January 1, 2013


I'm not sure I've ever seen that Tim Conway clip. My god, that's hilarious.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:02 AM on January 1, 2013


It seems like there are two different things going on here: one would be getting the giggles, where you can't stop laughing because it's so freaking funny (and because you're sitting on a sofa with Carol Burnett or because Patrick Stewart is making a face at you). But there also is when someone can't stop laughing even though they're not enjoying the situation at all, and the crew is getting royally pissed off at you, and -- like that first speaker in the Ricky Gervais bit says -- it's a form of hysteria. You can see some of the actors get frustrated with themselves. Are they both called "corpsing," or just the second type?
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:57 AM on January 1, 2013


in that Tim Conway clip, what does mama say that sort of releases the atomic bomb of laughter? "You mean that little asshole's through?" Is it the 'asshole' that is so funny? I mean, the elephants are hilarious but I didn't get the hilariousness of the asshole comment.
posted by angrycat at 10:22 AM on January 1, 2013


in that Tim Conway clip, what does mama say that sort of releases the atomic bomb of laughter? "You mean that little asshole's through?"

If you look closely throughout the clip, Carol Burnett keeps trying to show Mama a business card of some sort. That's because the whole thing Tim Conway was doing wasn't originally part of the script - it was something he was just coming up with on the fly, and it was interrupting the script itself. "Are you sure that little asshole's through" was Vicki Lawrence's way of acknowledging that even though Tim Conway was being hilarious, he was also holding everything else up - "okay, smartass, can we get back to what we're doing now?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:45 AM on January 1, 2013


Hit post too soon - "are you sure that little asshole's through" also wasn't in the script, it was an in-character improv that expressed the actor's amusement and frustration.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:46 AM on January 1, 2013


ah, thanks EC
posted by angrycat at 10:46 AM on January 1, 2013


The card Burnett has is a game card. They're playing a game of Password and, IIRC, Tim Conway's character keeps guessing elephant.

The Carol Burnett Show was always filmed twice to cover for gaffes and moments of breaking up. Often on the second time around, Conway would take over a scene for as long as he could, which is what he did here. You'll notice through the scene that everybody's trying very hard not to break up except Lawrence, who stays in cranky-ass character the entire time, which makes her final ad-lib at the end even better. You can tell she's just waiting to unleash it.
posted by Spatch at 12:34 PM on January 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


The card was part of a game that they were supposed to be playing as part of the scene. Carol keeps trying to continue the scene, while Vickie, who was marvelous at staying in character when in her Mama role, just let Tim continue as far as he would go. The huge laugh at the asshole comment was, in addition to what EC mentioned, also a big shock due to the language, which wasn't commonly used on television back then, but was totally something Mama would say.
posted by blurker at 12:35 PM on January 1, 2013


Yes, what Spatch said. :)
posted by blurker at 12:36 PM on January 1, 2013


How could the gag reel hurt anything, production or otherwise? It's excellent promotional material.
posted by Brocktoon at 1:03 PM on January 1, 2013


I don't know anything about "hurt anything", but at first they weren't made as promotional material. Usually the post-production department makes gag reels as a joke to show at the wrap party at the end of the season*. Which I think explains the sort of mashup/funny editing nontraditional one for the first season of TNG. They definitely would have been celebrating the Return Of Star Trek On TV, hence the cutting between the original crew and the Enterprise D crew.

Later (and possibly simultaneously for TNG, since I believe there are also gag reels for TOS), they were done with the fans in mind, to screen at conventions. Which is probably the point when most of the swearing got bleeped out, and they would have stopped using stuff like the possibility of Riker pitching a tent in that one clip.

At this point, they are made more as a promotional thing or for the entertainment of the fans. For all I know the crew has an entirely separate in-house gag reel for the wrap party, and the ones that come packaged with DVDs are done separately by the network, or the people who put together the rest of the Special Features content.

*Also probably something for the intern or PA to do, especially back in the day when it was all film stock that had to be literally cut and pasted together, and you couldn't trust some wet-behind-the-ears film school kid to play around with the good stuff.
posted by Sara C. at 1:17 PM on January 1, 2013


Oh, durrr. "How could the gag reel hurt anything" is probably a response to my comment that bloopers aren't necessarily a good thing for TV shows.

I didn't mean blooper reels. Gag reels are awesome and hilarious, and it's especially great to see the behind-the-scenes camaraderie between the famously awesome Next Generation cast.

I meant the giggly "don't know my lines" hamming it up behavior.
posted by Sara C. at 3:59 PM on January 1, 2013


I meant the giggly "don't know my lines" hamming it up behavior.

Partly it's a way of breaking out of a giggle loop, but there's more to it than that.

Laughing is a way of apologizing. If you've just wasted a few minutes of everyone's time and made yourself look like an idiot you might as well ham it up a bit. Let everybody laugh at you a bit. Not with you, at you. You deserve it and you know it.

The other standard response is to angrily swear at yourself, knowing that you are speaking on behalf of everyone in the cast and crew who is rightfully annoyed that you couldn't be bothered to learn your lines properly.

There's a reason why Frakes switches between the two on sequential flubbed takes. Too much of the latter and you're spoiling the mood, too much of the former and you're treating other peoples' wasted time like it's a joke. You shouldn't do much of either because you really should just know your lines.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:27 PM on January 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, when I was a teenage community theatre drama nerd whose main point of contact with How TV Is Made was featurettes and gag reels, I assumed that not knowing your lines was, like, a thing.

Now that I actually do this for a living, it amazes me how typical it is that the cast knows the shit out of their lines. I think I've been on set maybe 3 or 4 times (over the course of 7+ years) and seen the whole "zomg I don't know my lines!" thing go down. Most actors are extreme professionals, know their shit, and are there to do a job. Not only do they know their lines, they hit their marks, can take direction like a boss, and can back it up and do it over again on command, the same way every time. All while forcing themselves through gut-wrenching emotions. Under hot lights, with microphones in their personal space. Backwards. In heels. Watching a good actor can be awe inspiring.

That said, I know that technobabble is responsible in a lot of the flubs on the Trek gag reels, and I'm sure all of those actors (even the ones I keep ragging on) are consummate professionals. It's got to be hard to talk about beaker markens marking beacons over and over for hours at a time.
posted by Sara C. at 7:32 PM on January 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I waited too long to watch this, and now the link is BORKED. Sad faces all around. Must I amuse myself only with gifs?
posted by redsparkler at 4:08 PM on January 2, 2013


I'm in the same boat as you, redsparkler. Did you already see the TNG bloopers in that one Reading Rainbow episode?

Forgotten 80s & 90s US sitcoms -- "Boston Common", a member of the glorious NBC's "Must See TV / Comedy Night Done Right" template. Some of these aired for, like, 2 episodes.
posted by brainwane at 5:17 PM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Shhh....brainwane...don't tell anyone, but I found another copy of the Season 2 bloopers somewhere else! Enjoy!
posted by redsparkler at 6:56 PM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


This link is still working as of this post.
posted by blueberry at 12:33 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, a third reason for the in-the-scene sudden giggling could be: sometimes, you could be in the middle of a scene, and your concentration wavers right when someone else is saying a line that is totally ridiculous when taken out of context, and it just strikes you as a really funny sort of "what the HELL have I got myself in the middle of" situation.

I think that's part of Michael Dorn's suddenly bursting out laughing at the line "is EVERYONE on your planet made up of clones" or whatever.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:54 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I have just discovered more gag reel goodness - this clip strings together excerpts from the gag reels from every point of the Star Trek franchise, from original series up through J.J. Abrams' relaunch.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:28 PM on January 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


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