What is the purpose of science fiction?
To reel through rapid visuals and acrobatics getting ocular-drunk and twisting your adrenal gland? Or to dream about what we could be, to plot a course on how we would be better humans.
Star Trek TNG confirms the latter intelligently. In a cogent way they can outline flaws in humanity like greed, prejudice, jealousy; but opens the door of choice in all of us instead showing the future victories of people choosing to keep everyone fed.
Sure there are “pew-pews” of lasers and warp engines bending space; and some of the episodes legitimately gave me nightmares for the next 20 years of my life (The Skin of Evil, Genesis episodes in particular: imagine being 8 and watching a man getting pulled into an omniscient tar monster)
What makes me re-visit it, however, are the hopes for the future. In the show the reason we haven’t killed each other is because we built human morality with technology; prized the earth and humankind as much as progress; evolved past monetary systems and classism so that all beings will rise or fall based on their merits, their work, and their decisions.
There are episodes that I will show people to illustrate how easy parties can go to war, how quickly fascism can rise, to how men can talk to their children.
In between the phasers you will grow to a more evolved nerd. So yes, in times of stress I begin the seasons’ journeys again.
Picard will always be the superior Officer