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Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 4

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Season 4 proceeds much the same way as the previous two do, with solid pacing and decent writing.  The show hasn't quite developed the whimsy that I remember (I'm pretty sure that will come around in season five and six), but it's getting closer.  It's good for its time, which is still pretty bad when you compare it with the fantastic shows that are the best of TV today.

Let's take a moment to talk about Geordi.  Has there ever been a character who is so downplayed?  Geordi's almost a prop most of the time.  It's not because of Levar Burton, he performs the role adequately, if not outstandingly.  No, the writing for Geordi is intensely boring, and he has yet to break out of his flat season one character.  This is the same aw-shucks, world-acts-upon-him persona that he had then, even though he's gotten a promotion.  Is it because of the racial politics of the 90s?  Was it determined that in order to get a black character on the show, he had to be completely passive, to take MLK's nonviolence to an infeasible endpoint?  Is it because he just wasn't written?  Did they not know what to do with an engineer not named Scotty?  It's puzzling.

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