I don’t know if we have a policy about log-rolling, but real quick before we dive in, this post is dedicated to my beloved co-blogger Anna Marquardt and her merry band of theater peeps who are THIS VERY EVEN’ opening a show in the New York International Fringe Festival, The Bobbed-Haired Bandit. If you’re in NYC, you should DEFINITELY check it out! Dates, times, locales, and more info are here: http://www.thebobbedhairedbanditmusical.com/ or I suppose here: http://www.facebook.com/bobbedhairedbandit. Anyway. Go! See! Enjoy!
Second off, we have to give a hat tip to Brian Rubin (@brianrubin) for suggesting this ep… and what a doozy it was! As I watched it the second time to grab the images I needed, I started wondering if this wasn’t a really well-textured, deeply layered episode. There certainly were a lot of layers and textures in the clothes. WAY-OH!
So this episode starts off with the Enterprise buying some hytritium to deal with a tricyanate problem on some planet somewhere. But because this hytritium is really unstable, they have to buy it from this guy:
Sure, he looks like a schlemiel now, but you should’ve seen him at his space Bar Mitzvah… such a punum!
Throughout this episode, I kept wondering why they were trading with this guy and not the Ferengi, but, well, I guess the Ferengi just weren’t Jewwy enough. Or gay enough. They’re definitely trying to work some sort of spoiled, Jewish man-child who “never married for some reason. Look at the rings on his fingers! Look at these hand gestures:
Awww SNAP. Also: are those eyebrow extensions?
Anyway, girlfriend likes his FIIINERY. We’ll get more into his outfit later. The reason he’s important is because he KIDNAPS DATA WTF.
So is that what a placenta looks like? (Actually, I’ve seen one IRL and THEY ARE WAY GROSSER.)
This looks like something that would normally only be seen in a high-roller’s suite in a third-rate Vegas casino… and in fact, if Fajo existed in the real world, that’s probably what he’d be doing with his life (actually, data refers to his hucksterism about four minutes after this shot).
But what is he doing here?
Why do I feel like I’m in an AMC movie theater circa 1998?
Oh, Data, that’s simply because YOU ARE! Those crazy light fixtures on the wall were definitely in the AMC Van Ness 14 when I was in High School. So technically, with this episode airing in 1990, either the TNG interior design department was ahead of its time, or the AMC design department was woefully behind. Probably both.
Anyway, Data discovers he’s part of Fajo’s “collection”, which looks a little like this:
EVERYTHING MUST BE DISPLAYED ON CUBES. BECAUSE IT’S THE FUTURE.
Really, this room is super unappealing in color… it’s like they found the gray version of beige. Hey, though, that orange vase is pretty ugly, right? Oh, and a Dalí. That’s how Fajo points to it in the episode, actually, just saying “Dalí” like it’s NBD. I feel kind of bad for the production design department on TNG, needing to come up with priceless objects and works of art from make-believe cultures. Anyway, FASHION.
This may or may not be the Galactic Horah.
For reasons passing understanding, Fajo (and everyone on his ship) wears breeches. (Anna would have known the name of this straight-up, but I of course had to do research). I don’t even know if there’s a specific name for these kind of breeches, but man, oh, man do they look weird. Plus, Fajo insists on wearing an item of clothing whose color I believe can only be described charitably as “Zinfandel”. LBR, “Purple Breeches” is my new band name.
I’m not into stereotypes, but that is one limp wrist.
The other element that runs rampant through Fajo’s mandated wardrobe is diagonals. I kind of want to believe that that sash was a botched prototype of Worf’s, but I bet in actuality it’s Fajo hoping that those diagonal stripes are slimming. Looking at that left sleeve, it looks like this outfit is tight and loose in all the wrong places. Even that belt isn’t the same width all the way around. Also, I think my grandma has that brooch he’s wearing. Baga (that’s what I call my grandma) might be able to pull it off, but Fajo… not so sure.
What more can really be said here? It matches his outfit, it’s shiny, beaded and I bet you 2,000,000 Wulongs that it’s imprinted with something like this:
Okay, well, actually, it would probably be like this:
Lucida handwriting will survive until the 24th Century. Sorry, Universe.
Fajo’s right-hand lady has some big hair and some equally crazy clothes.
There must be a wormhole holding this thing together, because this outfit is definitely from two different quadrants, amirite or amirite?
First of all, opposite ends of the color wheel, so we’re already off to a good start. Then we have the whole, “oh this arm doesn’t need a sleeve!” I’m trying to think under what circumstances that would be an all helpful. Maybe when sitting sideways next to a campfire? One-handed baking? What kind of tan lines would this create? It’s not a farmer tan, it’s a… crazy-ass tan is what it is. Also, diagonal-cut sleeve. That I’m not so mad at. Plus, she has nice upper arms. If you’ve got ‘em, etc.
Also, she’s being required to wear one of those tapered belts. Also also, if you notice her right sleeve, it also has a diagonal cut and then another “hint” of that glorious purple fabric. Here, check this out (and take a gander at that belt):
Breeches really don’t do any favors for the ass, do they? Or do they?
What I don’t get is why her hair is so big. OMG I started doing research for comparison hair, and I was thinking of Lainie Kazan (specifically I was remembering her in The Big Hit, but she’s also appeared probably more memorably in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.) and then I happened upon this gem of a photograph of Lainie Kazan with Saul Rubinek, who plays Kivas Fajo…
…IN A FILM CALLED OY VEY! MY SON IS GAY! It stars Carmen Electra, Jai Rodriguez (who you may remember from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, ‘sup 2003!), and BRUCE VILANCH who plays a character without a last name, “Max”.
Needless to say this is already saved in my Netflix queue. But you can see what I’m talking about with that hair, right? Big and Jewish!
Where was I? Oh yes. Data. Fajo hates his star fleet uniform and so he throws some acid on him to burn it off.
This is the part of the episode which seals Fajo’s queerness for me, because he states that he’d be delighted if Data would just go around naked. “I assume you have no modesty.” And then of course there’s the episode where Data dates a girl and states that he’s “anatomically equipped” or something weird like that. (Note from Anna: it’s “fully functional”, and it’s in The Naked Now.) Now I’m just wondering whether, uh, the elements used for the drapes match, er, the composites used for the carpet.
So what is this magical outfit that data will be wearing?
That’s right, Data, you should look concerned.
More diagonals, which in this outfit seems to make Data’s torso look extra long. Of course, this lavender-gray combination makes almost no sense to me, and the loose sleeves again are confusing. I don’t even really understand how he put this on. Maybe the gray things are REALLY HIGH WAISTED pants? Why would you do that?
This is my favorite part of the episode, where Data is staring at the Mona Lisa.
He’s either trying to replicate the expression on her face, or seduce her, I can’t tell which.
I will say that slightly more open collar on that shirt is making Brent’s neck look real long.
Unfortunately, for those things that might be pants:
They come up to that weird mid-abdominal region that only really serves to diminish his pecs and accentuate his paunch (and he doesn’t even really have one, until he put on those pants). The thick lip of those pants are just so weird! It looks like he’s growing out of them, as if they were some sort of pod! Podpants!
The only other major fashion comes from Fajo’s frenemy, Palor Toff, and man, this guy is fashion.
Get me all the putrid green fabric in the alpha quadrant!
This this is basically a luxurious bathrobe, which, I guess if you were a vaguely affected, über-rich collector of stuff, is exactly what you’d wear. Of course, it’s more than just that.
Either that’s the 24th-Century version of a nose-piercing OR it’s the most disgusting booger the galaxy has ever seen. Reader’s choice!
Actually, more disgusting to me is the little hint of chest hair at the base of that low-cut v-neck that screams “pedophile”. The chin-nostrils are pretty gross, too. The ribbed collar on the other hand is almost a nice touch, though really, it belongs on a woman about a fifth of this guy’s size.
What is this I don’t even.
That little hand gesture was a pretty great touch by guest star Nehemiah Persoff. And that patterning on the darker green panels gives this otherwise hideous outfit some nice texture. Of course, the two of them standing next to each other is another color wheel violation, but I guess I should be used to that by now.
Anyway, that’s basically it for the Fashion. At some point, Data and the chick try to escape, and we get a shot of another one of Fajo’s dudes’ outfits:
Diagonals, BUT NOW WITH SHOULDERPADS! I mean, it was the ’80s after all.
At least those two gray colors go together. A bit. Speaking of gray:
What do we do with our hands?
For reasons beyond understanding, I love this shot. And I still don’t understand why waists are so high in the 24th Century. And wow, they never quite got Wesley’s crotch right, did they?
Two more shots: when the Enterprise gets to the planet with the tricyanate problem, here’s what the previously-poisoned-now-fixed water supply looks like:
I’m pretty sure this was shot on-site at the Kabuki Hot Springs in San Francisco’s Japantown.
And then, as I was fast-forwarding through this scene, I got another great pause-grab of one of the crew’s face, this time Beverly:
This one is begging for a meme treatment, @jnd3001.