The Greatest Generation (podcast)

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The Greatest Generation
Presentation
Hosted byAdam Pranica
Benjamin Ahr Harrison
GenreComedy
UpdatesWeekly (Mondays)
Length50-75 min.
Production
Opening themeThe Picard Song
Composed byDarkmateria
No. of episodes246 (as of 28 January 2019)
Publication
Original releaseJanuary 25, 2016 – present
Websitehttp://www.maximumfun.org/shows/greatest-generation

The Greatest Generation is a weekly comedy Star Trek podcast hosted by Adam Pranica and Benjamin Harrison and distributed online by Maximum Fun. The show's tagline is "A Star Trek podcast by two guys who are a little bit embarrassed to have a Star Trek Podcast." The show started on January 25, 2016 and after 30 episodes joined the Maximum Fun network on May 9, 2016.[1] The show, as of August 2018, is the highest rated Star Trek podcast on iTunes, holding a Five Star rating with 1,932 reviews.[2]

History and format[edit]

From January 2016 to September 2017 the podcast was posted twice-weekly (on Mondays and Wednesdays), with each show reviewing an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (where the podcast gets its name). After completing its run of The Next Generation, the show switched to once a week (Mondays) and moved on to review episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in October 2017.

The podcast has a number of running gags, such as referring to the listeners as "viewers" and Pranica and Harrison impersonating the character of Kevin Uxbridge (played by John Anderson) from The Next Generation episode "The Survivors".

Maron open and review[edit]

Every show starts with a Maron Open (named after comedian Marc Maron's podcast, WTF with Marc Maron). There are a few standard opening segments including opening trading cards, reading fan mail, or "Bible Study" (where they open up the show bible and compare the plan for the show to its eventual execution). The opening for episode 152 (which was published on July 10, 2017 and reviewed "Descent, part II") featured Pranica and Harrison interviewing LeVar Burton, who portrayed Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in The Next Generation.[3]

Following the Maron Open, Pranica and Harrison give a walk-through of the selected Star Trek episode scene by scene, followed by a review. Pranica and Harrison, both of whom have professional video production experience[4][5], use their knowledge of cinematography to provide commentary on the show, offering insight into some of the aspects of Star Trek while also pointing out some of the areas where it could be better. Using their experience, they critique the show's sets, special effects, acting, hairstyles, writing, and directing.

Drunk Shimoda[edit]

After the review of the episode, Pranica and Harrison designate their "Drunk Shimoda" for that episode, which is the character or actor (or in some cases TV crew member) having the most fun or just being the silliest in the episode. The term "Drunk Shimoda" is a reference to the second episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Naked Now," in which assistant chief engineer Jim Shimoda is inebriated by a virus and removes all of the isolinear chips from the engine control station.

Episode vetoes[edit]

At the end of each episode, Harrison reads the preview for the next episode they are to review from Amazon and Netflix. During their reviews of The Next Generation, Pranica and Harrison each had the chance to veto one episode per season of The Next Generation, meaning they would skip that episode and review the one after instead. However, the vetoes could be nullified if the other host chose to use their veto to counter the decision, which is what happened every time the vetoes were used.

In Season 1 Pranica vetoed "Haven" because it featured Lwaxana Troi, but this was nullified by Harrison. In Season 2 Harrison attempted to veto the episode “Up the Long Ladder,” but Pranica nullified as he felt they should watch a low quality episode. In Season 3 Harrison described "The Ensigns of Command" as one of his favorite episodes, leading Pranica to veto it and forcing Harrison to counter-veto. In Season 4 Harrison vetoed “Remember Me", describing it as "a turkey", but Pranica nullified. In Season 5 Harrison attempted to veto “New Ground", incorrectly thinking it featured Lwaxana Troi, but Pranica nullified as he felt Harrison was "vetoing blind". In Season 6 Pranica vetoed "Rascals" (in which four adult characters are turned into 12-year-old children) stating he was "anti-kids", Harrison countered because he liked the episode and thought it needed a second chance. In Season 7 Pranica attempted to veto "Dark Page", again because it featured Lwaxana Troi, but Harrison countered it because he did not have detailed intelligence about the episode.

Board game[edit]

As Pranica and Harrison's knowledge of Deep Space Nine was not as strong as it was for The Next Generation, instead of vetoes, for the last fifteen episodes of the first season of Deep Space Nine, Harrison rolled a virtual die. If they rolled the number of the next episode, they would have to be drunk for that episode, something they achieved once (on their first try).

From the second season onward, Pranica and Harrison created a Snakes and Ladders style board game called "Game of Buttholes: The Will Of the Prophets ".[6] At the end of each episode the virtual die is rolled and Pranica and Harrison advance as many spaces on the board, resulting in either a blank tile (meaning a normal next episode) or an action tile containing a theme for the next episode. There are 100 tiles out of which 76 are blank, 18 are action tiles and 6 are Bajoran Wormholes (meaning they would move to a lower part of the board, the equivalent of snakes in Snakes and Ladders).

The action tile themes are:

  • Quark's Bar: A "Drunkisode", where Pranica and Harrison have to be drunk recording the show (9 tiles)
  • CoCo NoNo: A tiki-themed Drunkisode
  • Mornhammered: Power Hour, where Pranica and Harrison have to take a one shot of beer every minute while recording
  • Starship Mine: Where Pranica and Harrison have to build a spaceship model while recording the show
  • Caught in the Nebula: Where Pranica and Harrison have no notes and cannot scroll through the episode while recording
  • The Nth Degree: Where Pranica and Harrison have to undertake extensive research about the episode
  • Measure of a Man: Pranica and Harrison flip a coin at the start of the recording and then vehemently argue the pros and cons of the episode depending on the result of the coin toss
  • The Naked Now: Pranica and Harrison record the show in a bathtub
  • Looking At Eachother During: One host has to fly to the other host's city and record in-person
  • Fuck It, We’ll Do It Live!: Livestream the recording session

The Greatest Discovery[edit]

In 2017 Pranica and Harrison started a new podcast, The Greatest Discovery, following the launch of Star Trek: Discovery. It was billed as "Its the unofficial, irreverent and filthy aftershow Discovery didn't know it needed."[7]

The podcast, which is released the Tuesday after a new episode of Star Trek: Discovery is aired, reviews each episode in the same format as The Greatest Generation. When Star Trek: Discovery is off the air, the podcast is released monthly with Pranica and Harrison discussing Star Trek related news, interviewing guests and reviewing other Star Trek media related to Star Trek: Discovery, such as comics and specific episodes of The Original Series.

Reception[edit]

On February 14, 2016 arsTechnica published a review of the podcast titled "If you grew up watching ST:TNG, then you'll love this new podcast."[8] On July 29, 2016, Slate's Sarah Archer offered a review of the podcast noting that the "show has lost a few listeners thanks to their willingness to bust the show's chops, other listeners (like me) delight in their clear affection for it and their admiration for its progressive ideals."[9] Archer also stated the podcast was "more Mystery Science Theater 3000 than Comic-Con."[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ep 30: Dick Valet (S2E5) | Maximum Fun". www.maximumfun.org.
  2. ^ "The Greatest Generation". iTunes Store. Apple. 23 August 2018. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  3. ^ Harrison, Benjamin Ahr (14 July 2017). "LeVar Burton on The Greatest Generation". Benjamin Ahr Harrison. Medium. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Bad Character". www.badcharacter.com. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Dorsia Films". www.dorsiafilms.com. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  6. ^ "The Greatest Generation". gagh.biz. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  7. ^ "The Greatest Discovery | Maximum Fun". www.maximumfun.org. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  8. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (14 February 2016). "If you grew up watching ST:TNG, then you'll love this new podcast". arsTechnica. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  9. ^ a b Archer, Sarah (29 July 2016). "This Hilarious Star Trek Podcast Perfectly Captures the Spirit of The Next Generation". Slate. Retrieved 29 November 2017.

External links[edit]