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The Schizoid Man (TNG Rewatch: Season 2, Episode 6)

Rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation after a 20-year break. In his final hours, an arrogant, crotchety cybernetics genius takes a liking to Data. After the genius dies, Data starts acting arrogant and crotchety. Hmm. This early in the run of TNG, we’ve already seen the trope of a brilliant, older professional man supported and in some sense idolized by a female companion in Too Short a Season, We’ll Always…

You, Too, Can Have a Viral Tweet Like Mine: Demystifying Poetic Meter

Saving for the next time I teach “Intro to English Study.” It’s all well and good to sing “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd” to the tune of “Hallelujah,” but why can’t you do it the other way around? For that matter, why does it work only when you limit yourself to the first two lines of the song? Why can’t you make the whole tune fit? Generally speaking, the answer…

Loud as a Whisper (ST:TNG Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 5)

Rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation after a 20-year break. A mediator who communicates via a telepathic chorus is a warring planet’s only hope for peace. While the episode isn’t perfect, nothing made me want to facepalm. I cared about Riva (the mediator) and his romantic (but at the same time respectful and professionally empathetic) interest in Troi. Her fascination with his methods, the shocking plot twist that shakes his confidence,…

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The Outrageous Okona (TNG Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 4)

Rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation after a 20-year break. A pony-tailed pirate-shirt-wearing pile of charisma steps out of a Renaissance Festival sideshow onto the Enterprise for a silly low-stakes caper. Meanwhile, Data tries stand-up comedy. I cringed when the guest star put the moves on the pretty transporter technician (played by a before-she-was-famous Teri Hatcher), and I had to take a break while watching an excruciating scene featuring Data…

My Review of the Charlottesville Tryout of “A Few Good Men” 30 Years Ago

A librarian at the University of Virginia kindly scanned and emailed the review I wrote, as an undergraduate student journalist, of the pre-Broadway tryout of A Few Good Men, in September 1989. I was prepared to cringe, but I was actually kind of proud of the lead, which applies equally to the professional production now playing at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre. The courtroom drama now playing at the Culbreth Theatre…