Friday, August 13, 2010

Personal Review - Remember Me

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Episode Title: Remember Me
Episode #: 79
Season: Four
Star Date: 44161.2
Original Airdate: October 22, 1990
Written by: Lee Sheldon
Directed by: Cliff Bole

As my blogging friends John Kenneth Muir and Sci-Fi Fanatic would perhaps agree, a program I once adored, Star Trek: The Next Generation, has not aged as well as I'd have hoped since it initially hit the analog airwaves (those are now gone, but not forgotten) back in September 1987. Star Trek, the original series, has fared far better in retrospection (see Sci-Fi Fanatic's look into the series, if you don't believe me). Glancing back (from more than 20 years out) at the series, a few of the episodes can be a cold slap in the face for the Star Trek follower in me. What I once found ideal (or even cutting edge... maybe it was just New Agey) is now a bit uneven and dated, at times. I have a personal connection with the sci-fi program because, when it debuted, a light was also dawning on me regarding one special person I'd known at work (my future bride). We dated, became engaged and married during the show's first and second seasons, in fact. It was a commonality for us in our first years of wedlock, too. We watched the program devotedly all the way through to its final episode.
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  1. Michael. Simply your finest, most beautiful and touching post. You are a wonder. Thank you for this. I like to think I appreciate my mother daily but that's probably a conceit. Today though, thanks to you, I will cherish her that much more.

  2. First my friend, wonderful piece.  Second, I love brunettes too!  : ^)
    In general, I really need to revisit ST:TNG to note the flaws or imperfections you mentioned and review how it has aged to give you a proper read.

    We all know ST:TOS is king and can essentially do no wrong.  My recollection of ST:TNG is of a series of peaks and valleys.  It had many wonderful moments as you write about, but had a number of episodes that just never executed for the viewer.  I suppose that will happen with any series that lasted seven seasons.  Obviously I wouldn't change a thing.  I do love each of the Star Trek franchises for different reasons and certainly each has its classic moments.

    I have a friend I work with that swears by ST:TNG over and above TOS.  I'm such a huge fan of the Kirk, Spock, McCoy triumverate that I simply can't leave those boys behind.  Still, the TNG cast was wonderful on the whole, and like you, I love the female stars of the series.  Anyway, this friend of mine loved the fact TNG was about ideas and concepts and he recites passages from the series like its some kind of visual bible.  So, TNG does indeed have its ardent followers.  I can imagine, not having seen it in quite sometime, that visually it has its flaws.  Still, I think TNG is probably one of the stronger of the ST franchises on the whole, but your points are well taken my friend.

    On a personal note, I loved your personal reflections, because like you, I have a fascination with death and loss and its something I think about obsessively.  Don't get me wrong, it doesn't rule my life, but when seeing it dealt with in television or writing it is something that gives me pause and I ponder and reflect about it endlessly and leaving those we love behind and all of the other ramifications that go along with loss.  Mortality is a subject of endless reflection for me.

    Anyway, I certainly connect with your feelings.  In fact, it's funny you write about this because I've been pondering much of this the last 48 hours.  My father's birthday would have been yesterday.  He passed away some years ago and I was quite reflective about him and was looking through some old photos.  I thought about posting one.  Then my grandmother, 92, is in the hospital so I visited her today.  She's such a chipper wonderful person and she's actually doing well and should be out today.  But again, these people that mean so much to us in our lives, that take us to the edge, make us consider what's important and what matters.  I'm right there with you.  I hope I didn't go on too long.  All the best.

  3. What a heartfelt tribute and terrific "cult-tv flashback."  I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this episode of TNG.  I think you nailed the theme perfectly through the line of dialogue from Dr. Quince.  We think we we will always have our friends and family members surrounding us but, alas, life doesn't work that way.  Seize the day.

    I recall very well when "Remember Me" first aired, and that kind of throat-clutching tension it generated as every attempt Crusher made to set things right went absolutely wrong. 

    And she felt so much responsibility to her missing/erased friends...that she not forget they were there; or what they had contributed to her life. The episode has a powerful sweep and sense of the inevitable about it. 

    "Remember me," -- those are the words we want to say to those we eventually have to leave behind; that our interactions still carry meaning; that we know we did, in fact, contribute positively.  The only kind of immortality we get is if others remember us, and remember us well.  This episode of Next Gen gets it.

    Also, I  will always remember the wonderful, self-involved (and beautifully human...) line  Crusher spoke when she attempted to apply logic to the situation:  "If there's not something wrong with me...there must be something wrong with the universe!"  Wow! That still makes me laugh.  But it's such a perfect enunciation of the human point of view (and also the beauty of the human equation.)

    Great post, my friend.

    John Kenneth Muir

  4. Your insight and generosity is inspiring. Absolutely beautiful.

  5. 人生像一杯茶,若一飲而盡,會提早見到杯底..................................................

  6. 你不能決定生命的長度,但你可以控制它的寬度..................................................................

  7. Thank you, Elizabeth.

  8. You are very kind to say, Rachel.

  9. You provided a very thoughtful and contextual comment, my friend. I'm very much in agreement with your thoughts regarding the ST:TNG Remember Me episode (and it was a simple, but perfect title for it, too). And McFadden's Crusher really brought it all home (in a number of ways). Thank you very much, John.

  10. I believe you and I have a great deal in common, SFF. Your thoughts about ST:TOS and ST:TNG mirror mine to a great degree. As well, your poignant thoughts about loved ones and loss have a tremendous meaning and ring familiar for me. Crossing the various milestones of close family members does bring about a good amount of reflection, doesn't it? I hope you grandmother comes home soon (if she hasn't already), and thanks for your kind words and sentiments, my friend.

  11. You are ever so kind, Naomi. I thank you very much for that, and for being my friend.

    p.s., give you mom a hug from me.

  12. Thanks very much, John.

  13. Wow, le0pard13, this one hit me hard. So right, all those you hold in your heart can't stay in the world forever. Great post on love and loss. Thanks.

  14. Oh yes, Happy Belated Birthday my blogger friend~~

  15. Thank you very much, Bev.

  16. You're very right kind, Bev. Thank you.

  17. Love this episode. Fan-blooy-tastic episode. When I think back to my favorite TNG episodes, they usually have Beverly in them. Probably the most under utilized character in ALL of Trek but she had some GREAT episodes.

    I remember (np pun intended) watching 'Remember Me' when I was in 7th grade and recovering from apendicitus. I almost died and it took me a week or two to recover because of a low white blood cell count. Luckily, UPN44 in Tampa played TNG, like, 100 times a day so I watched the entire run of TNG in two weeks. . .and this one stuck out as did the other Beverly episode 'Suspicions'. Great ep.

    Loved your write up. I love when people get personal and explain how things relate to them. TNG helped me get through a personal tough time and it's great that this episode helped you and effected you but in a different way. Very cool.

  18. You nailed it about Beverly Crusher in ST:TNG, Will. And Suspicions is a great ep.

    An appendicitis in 7th grade? Owwwww!!! That's a lot to go through for a couple weeks off from school, buddy. I'm personally glad (along with your family, then and now) that you recovered. And thank you very much for your comment and kind words, my friend.