Star Trek: The Next Generation analysis of season 1 episode 2 (The Naked Now)
Inexplicably, the second-ever episode of TNG finds the crew drunk off dying dwarf star juice and lookin' to bone DOWN. In an episode that is mostly nonsense, we find many things to laugh about and a few to analyze.
The first thing we noticed was that this episode hits different in COVID-times. Between the severe lack of hygiene protocols and the uncontested application of the vaccine, it is really hard not to draw parallels to our post-2020 reality!
Though most of the lusty shenanigans in this episode have little bearing on the series as a whole or the characters within it, one event DOES bear scrutiny and that is the hookup between Data and Tasha Yar. We talk in-depth about how that scene was handled, in terms of Tasha's status as a victim/survivor, as well as Data's autistic coding. This pairing could've been a really beautiful moment but unfortunately fell into a few problematic tropes - specifically sexualizing a survivor from the male gaze, and supporting the idea that sleeping with autistic/disabled people is embarrassing.
Our sweet baby boy Wesley officially saves the day for the first time, Data imparts some words of wisdom, Bev develops a vaccine, and everyone's sweaty upper lips dry in relief.
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