02. The Naked Now

The whole time I was watching Naked Now, I kept hearing the song “Let’s Get It On” play in my head. Not the Marvin Gaye version, but Jack Black’s from the movie High Fidelity.

In honor of that movie, here are my All Time Top Five Hookups from Naked Now:

  1. Tasha Yar and Data

Actually that’s all. I couldn’t think of any more because the choices aren’t all that great. Let’s see Doctor Crusher and Captain Picard didn’t happen, and besides watching it almost happen was kind of like watching your parents get drunk and try to be funny.

Who else?

Deanna and Riker? Didn’t happen.

I considered making a joke about the Wesley Crusher and Jim Shimoda hookup, but Wesley was underage, so it didn’t feel right.

Sorry. Not a great Top Five list.

I’ll try again.

The Top Five Things I Didn’t Like About Naked Now

  1. The music and sound effects
  1. The editing – How long do we have to watch Wesley Crusher move a chair with his toy tractor beam? OK. Chekhov’s gun. Got it already. The hissing touch sound effect was kind of insulting. As if we, the audience, wouldn’t get it otherwise. Watching Data’s hands speedily returning the same chips to the same slots doesn’t create as much tension as may have been intended.
  1. The directing – A little bit of subtlety when acting drunk would’ve made this show heaps better. Plus whose version of a teenager is Wesley playing?
  1. The message – More on that later.
  1. Data bashing – Every time someone takes a jab at Data I’m reminded of African-American actors in old Hollywood black and white films. The condescension is terrible, but when he has to be the butt of his own joke, it’s particularly cringe-worthy.

I can’t help but feel that top five list was a bit too negative. I’ll try again.

The Top Five Great Quotes from Naked Now

  1. “No, this will take slightly more time than we have.” said by Data as he’s returning the chips. It was made hilarious by Brent Spiner’s throwing the joke away.
  1. “Fully, captain.” said by Data during his postcoital glow when Captain Picard said, “At least you’re functioning.”
  1. “I’m sure he meant now.” said by Data when Tasha Yar asked if the captain said when Data should take her to the bridge. (Also thrown away.)
  1. “I’m programed in multiple techniques, a broad variety of pleasuring.”
  1. “You are fully functional, aren’t you?”

OK, so obviously Brent Spiner’s performance was total domination.

There was a gleam of greatness from Marina Sirtis when Riker picked up Troi and carried her to sickbay. She pleads with him to be alone with her, and the insecurity and longing in her voice would be heartbreaking if it lasted longer than a second.

The rest of the episode was Data’s.

Morals, Messages and Meanings

1) A quick message that came when Tasha found Geordi was that helping others is more important than the org chart.

2) The importance of learning from the past. By remembering what the former crew of Enterprise learned, Riker saves the current crew.

3) The main message was that giving into our desires and longings leads to self-destructive insanity.

Consider what happened on the USS Tsiolkovsky. The crew gave into one desire, which led to their giving into another and another until next thing you know they had the insane desire to freeze people and open a hatch and get blown out of the ship.

The crew of the USS Enterprise begins a similar process. Giving into their desires starts them on a road that undoes their better qualities until they’re headed for destruction.

Tasha Yar is a strong woman, but she wants to be loved. Giving into her desires makes her weak.

Wesley Crusher is a talented young man, but he wants to make others treat him like an adult. Giving into that desire makes others forget his talent.

Dr. Crusher is a good doctor, but she wants the comfort of a man. She doesn’t give into her desires, but if she had, she wouldn’t have found the cure.

Geordi La Forge. Well, what can he do? We don’t know because all we see is him giving into his desires to have normal vision.

Deanna Troi can understand others’ emotions, but she wants to be loved by Riker. By giving into her desires, she becomes a useless mess of emotions.

Riker wants her as well, but he’s too strong to give into his desires.

Worf doesn’t go around touching people or letting them touch him.

Picard is a great decision maker, but he wants to comfort Dr. Crusher. As he begins to give into his feelings, he loses his ability to make decisions.

I don’t like this message so much.

I’m more in agreement with Malcolm Reynolds who when asked if he knew what his sin was said, “Hell. I’m a fan of all seven.”

Because what he meant was that all those things make us human and are a part of who we are.

Our desires are not bad, having them isn’t bad, and giving into them isn’t bad. Of course, harming others is bad and self-destructive behavior is bad, but our desires aren’t  dichotomous in the way the episode Naked Now presents them.

That’s why I didn’t like Picard’s farewell comment “I think we shall end up with a fine crew if we avoid temptation.”

Perhaps he should amend that last part to “…if we don’t stop doing our jobs.”

Also *sexism alert* why are all the women so needy?

One last thing, I’m interested in the idea that the Next Gen crew are the parts of a more complex person. This is what I’ve come up with so far, based on these two episodes. What do you think?

Data- memory, rote learning

Dr. Crusher – wisdom

Wesley – creative thinking

Deanna Troi – emotions

William Riker – sense of duty

Worf – sense of honor

Picard – decision making

 

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