"Star Trek: Picard" is back for a third season, with its first episode premiering last night, and the available evidence would suggest that - finally - the sequel series to "Star Trek: The Next Generation" may have figured out how to recapture the old magic.
The first two seasons of "Star Trek: Picard" have been uneven. I enjoyed them, but in retrospect it mostly because I enjoyed seeing Patrick Stewart returning as now retired Admiral Jean-Luc Picard. The plots were hit and miss, but Stewart was great. It was no accident, I suspect, that the best episode of the first two seasons came in the first one, when Picard was briefly reunited with Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis as his former shipmates, Will Riker and Deanna Troi. The magic of all the Treks has been when the actors and their characters connect with each other, and that one episode only left us wanting more.
In season three, all of the old Enterprise crew are returning, which promises to be fun and, hopefully, dramatically pleasing. Last night's episode was a bit of a tease, but there was a wonderful moment when Picard and Riker are about to face off against bad guys, and Riker cracks, "Between your stiff fingers and my bad knees, as long as we don't have to shoot anyone or move, we should be okay."
Now that's the "Star Trek" I love.
I'm a big fan of both Marc Maron's podcast, "WTF," and his standup comedy, and his latest, now available on HBO, is called "From Bleak To Dark," and it is terrific. Like all great comedy, it is rooted in both reality and tragedy - the death of his girlfriend during Covid, the dementia of his father, and the general state of the world. He doesn't offer any reassurances - in fact, he's pretty sure nothing ever is going to get better - but he manages to illuminate both the state of the world and the human heart.
(I'd post a trailer, but it is a little profane…so you'll have to look at it here.)