Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's nebulose

Lately, in the hour in which I'm preparing dinner, David has taken to watching one of the many Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes that TiVo lovingly gathers for us. I listen from the kitchen as if it were radio drama.

Now, I am a life-long Star Trek devotee - I convinced my mother to sew me a Captain Kirk costume for Halloween, using the pattern contained in the Star Fleet Cadet's Manual or whatever it's called. However, there are some plots that the Trek gang returned to a few times too many. One of these TNG episodes was on the other day - where the Enterprise encounters a sentient cloud being.

I'll have to narrow that down a bit - the Enterprise (and Voyager) encountered sentient cloud beings quite often. So much so that, whenever they came upon a nebula, you would think that the idea would cross someone's mind ... "Hey, do you think this is a sentient cloud being?" But no, it usually takes two-thirds of the episode before someone says, thunderstruck, "It's ... alive. It's a sentient ... oh, how can I describe it ... cloud being!"

In this particular episode, the sentient cloud being (or some non-corporeal being that was living in a giant space cloud - same thing) somehow got into the Enterprise through the exhaust pipe, and jumped from person to person before finally inhabiting the body of Picard.

So it was a combo of the "sentient cloud being" plot, and the "a member of the crew is taken over by an alien intelligence." They covered both these plots quite fully in the original series - no need to go back there.

Some other plots that drive me nertz:

Wesley figures it all out.

Something goes wrong with the holodeck!

The ship is in a tight spot until someone exclaims, hey, let's reconfigure the deflector dish to emit blahdeblah particles! It's so crazy that it just. might. work. (Half the time, the person who exclaims this is Wesley, in which case, see above.)

Although not rising to the level of full-blown plot, the filler material of Neelix does something exasperating but ultimately charming also made me want to pull my hair out.

Why do the sentient cloud being plots push my buttons so? Partly it's the over-done-ness of them, but probably partly too is that a lot of the time, I'm a sentient cloud being myself. Drifting around ... in a daze ... just all foggy and nebulaic.

Next season, I'd like to see sentient cloud beings represented on Project Runway.

TIM GUNN: All right, designers, your challenge was to make a dress for Lindsay Lohan to wear to rehab, which can convert to a straitjacket. Sentient cloud being, how far along are you?

(SENTIENT CLOUD BEING floats, serene, unchanging and mute, in the voids of space.)

TIM GUNN: Sentient cloud being ... I'm concerned. The clock is ticking. Make it work!

(SENTIENT CLOUD BEING drifts, free of thought or care, through the cold of interstellar emptiness.)

Then, it whips up a combo bubbleskirt/straitjacket out of galactic waste material. Sentient Cloud Being's model, LaVivicaZa, works it and is fierce.

MICHAEL KORS: I don't know. I like the straps. I just feel like it's all ... "Look at me, I'm a gaseous glowing cloud."

NINA GARCIA: It feels old to me. Like endless cosmic eons old.

HEIDI: I vould vear it to rehahb.

GUEST JUDGE LINDSAY LOHAN: (vomits behind chair)

CONFESSIONAL BY CONTESTANT MALAN, BROUGHT BACK FOR SEASON FOUR: My mother was disappointed that I had no interest in growing up to become a sentient cloud being. She threw my watercolors into the bidet, and tossed my sketchpads into the furnace. And she laughed.

Sentient cloud being is such a bitch.


Blogger David said...

I was pretty sure there was a reason I married you.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Crash said...

Another overused (over-used? over used?) plot: The Mr. Data Variety Hour (Data learns to dance, data meets Joe Piscapo, Data plays music, etc.).

Christ on a cracker, could they give the poor robot a break?

8:48 PM  
Blogger jwer said...

Let's not forget "Data is, ahem, fully functional"...

4:15 AM  
Anonymous Jason Rohrblogger said...

Sigh. I've been away from the blogosphere and I come back to discover all these gems you've posted. "Nebulaic" is my new favorite word.

6:59 PM  

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