My revisiting of "Star Trek: The Next Generation"

wonderfly

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I recently finished re-watching "Star Trek: The Next Generation", and just wanted to share some thoughts. This was a series near and dear to my heart, because it was on the air during my adolescent years. I was in grade school when the show premiered and I was finishing up high school when the series ended. Anyone else here have a series that lasted several years and you find it was on the air for most of your teenage years? It's something that can become tied to your memories in a unique way.

The Next Generation had been in syndicated reruns for years in the 90's and 2000's (last I saw, it was on "G4" on cable in the late 2000's), but when I started re-watching the series 2 years ago, that was the first time really watching any episodes in a decade (yes, it took 2 years to watch all of the seasons. I don't binge shows).

I remember watching the first season with my Dad in 1987. He introduced me to all things Star Trek (though he still claims the 60's version is still the best version). The first season of "The Next Generation" in 1987-1988 was just rough, it was the worst season of them all. Even 10 year old me could tell this was cheesy nonsense. But Season 2 was better, and everybody knows Season 3 is when the series truly took off. The Season 3 cliffhanger (with Picard captured by the Borg and transformed into a Borg) was television history, an iconic moment (and to end a season on a cliffhanger like that, it made the Summer of 1990 a long wait, as we waited for the Season 4 premiere). I also feel that Season 3/Season 4 time period in 1990 is when the show really took off in popularity (and it also kicked off the 90's pop culture in a great way). I was in Junior High at that point.

Season 4 and Season 5 were probably the best of the series. I was surprised by how much of Season 6 I hadn't watched or didn't remember. Out of the 178 episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation, I'd probably only not seen maybe 10 to 15 (possibly 20) episodes. Even though I watched the show faithfully, you miss episodes, it's just what happens, so discovering new episodes I had never seen before were kind of like a finding gold, a rare treat. A good number of those "hadn't watched" episodes were in Season 6. That would've been around 1992/1993, and I was busy with high school and comic book collecting (and watching Fox Kids. Lots and lots of Fox Kids that year).

With Season 7, when they published up front that Season 7 was the final season - that the show was basically going out on a high note, not letting the series "jump the shark", fizzle out and get cancelled due to low ratings (like so many 80's shows had done), I started tuning back in faithfully and knew it was going to be a special season. Random observation: It was very strange to start a Worf/Troi romance halfway through the final season of the series. Not sure why they injected that so late in the story, when they could've built it up over several seasons.

Anyway, the series finale came out in May 1994, and the "Next Generation" movie came out in theaters that summer. I was wrapping up high school, and just getting to see the series conclude (on it's own terms) was great. Anyone else have a show that's tied to your grade school, junior high, and high school years, like this? Anyone else here remember watching "Star Trek" on TV (either when it premiered, or in reruns in the later 90's and 2000's?)
 

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