WGA Officially Declares “Star Trek” Better Written Than “TNG”

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

The Writers Guild of America has announced the 101 best written TV shows of all time, and I would like to draw your attention to a small excerpt from the list:

33. Star Trek

79. Star Trek: The Next Generation

This officially gives the lie to Matt Yglesias’ absurd contention a couple of weeks ago that TNG was the better-written series. Think about it this way. TNG‘s most famous line is “Make it so,” an expression of pure mush. Star Trek‘s most famous line is “Beam me up, Scotty,” a phrase that no one on the show ever actually said. How many shows are so well written that they become famous for a line that was never even used? Not many.

And don’t forget Star Trek‘s other great lines! “Fascinating.” “I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer.” “A hundred quatloos on the newcomers.” “Live long and prosper.” Top that, TNG.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend