Monday, May 10, 2010

To disguise the obvious fact that I haven't done any blogging for ages I thought I had better quickly paste another post over the top of the one I just added ( ie my usual monthly interminable list of crappy movies I have watched).

So, I'm happy to report that the kids and Merriol are all happy. The washing machine hasn't broken down (which means I'm happy) and I have recently spent an awful lot (far too much) time wondering why is it that every episode of Star Trek that I watch is crappier than the last one? This is starting to bother me. Recently, armed with a pocketful of loose change and faced with a wall of really cheap videos in a charity shop, I bought a whole pile of episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I have no idea why. I hate Star Trek. But on those evenings when I'm not up to watching a crappy movie and I don't want to think for forty-five minutes, I'll bung one in the player. (Watching a crappy movie rather than episodic TV involves not thinking for ninety minutes and sometimes I just don't have the energy for that.)

It is impossible that every episode of Star Trek I happen to watch at random is crappier than the one I previously watched. (Unless I have by random chance hit the exact order of descending episode crappyness .) I suspect that if I watch a set of, say, ten episodes and when I have got to the end of the tenth episode immediately watched the first one again it would, somehow, appear to be crappier than the last one, despite the eight in between each being worse that the one before. I do not intend to try this experiment - there are limits that even I can't imagine overstepping and watching any episode of Star Trek more than once is one of them.

It's an interesting phenomenon, rather like the famous Shepard Scales which never reach an end*. Watching a whole series of Deep Space Nine must be like trying to live in a house designed by Escher.

I have been working on a method of trying to gauge the crappyness of any individual episode of Star Trek. The object being to find the crappiest episode ever, watch it, and then watch another one and see if it is an improvement.

So far the factors I have decided that need to be taken into consideration when evaluating the Crap Quotient of any given episode include:
  • Does the Enterprise encounter an unknown energy field?
  • How many of the crew members are possessed by an alien life form?
  • How many common everyday words or idioms have to be explained to Spock/Data/Worf/Seven of Nine etc. (Extra weigh will be given to this question if it can be shown that any of the words of idioms explained had already been used correctly by Spock/Data/Worf/Seven of Nine etc. in a previous episode.)
  • How often does Riker look smug?
  • Does the hitherto unseen crew member with a speaking role survive to the end of the episode? (As if...)
  • Does the episode take place on a faulty Holodeck or a parallel Earth that has, by some amazing coincidence, built a Paramount Studio back-lot exactly the same as the one on the real Earth.
  • Does the episode have a crew member playing bland lounge jazz.
  • Does the episode contain the word 'Recalibrate'.
All I need now is a team of willing volunteers and that Ig Nobel Prize is mine! Mwahahaha!

*I don't understand how they (it?) works either, despite having read and reread several different explanations.

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