Sketchfest: The Greatest Generation podcast boldly going where Star Trek did not

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The Greatest Generation, Star Trek, Benjamin Ahr Harrison, Star Trek: The Greatest Generation , Adam Pranica

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Star Trek: The Greatest Generation is the dorky, hilarious podcast you’ve been waiting for. Hosts Benjamin Ahr Harrison and Adam Pranica, or the “two guys who are embarrassed to have a Star Trek podcast,” as the tagline goes, have dedicated themselves to watching the entirety of The Next Generation. They’ve also made the brave decision of beginning Deep Space Nine.

The Greatest Generation, Friendly Fire
7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 17
Marines’ Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter St.
Tickets: $25.

SF Sketchfest has put Harrison and Pranica on the bill to record (perform?) The Greatest Generation (as well as another podcast, Friendly Fire) on Wednesday.

I can’t remember a point in my life when my family didn’t watch Star Trek. Some of my earliest memories are cuddling up and seeing the possibilities that lurk in science and space, the complexities of humans and the problems that can arise. Hearing Captain Janeway’s voice still helps me fall asleep to this day.

The live podcast shows, however, typically step away from the TV shows and instead focus on the movies. In San Francisco, Harrison and Pranica will be discussing the 1996 film Star Trek: First Contact, which was part of their “Premature Assimilation” tour from 2017. People can expect to be handed out the ever-coveted “Natural Yeager” trading card, their favorite form of currency–scarves, and, of course, the long-standing jokes from throughout the show.

Clips from the film will also be shown, and as for the music, the hosts will be playing “The Picard Song” by Dark Materia. Anyone who has listened to the podcast knows how “The Picard Song” can worm its way into your ear, and the transitional music was created by Adam Ragusea, which will also be used throughout the show.

Harrison and Pranica make sure to balance the constant raunchy humor with commentary on the more technical aspects. Acting, directing, writing, cinematography and, most importantly, the glorious hairstyles, are usually highlights of the podcast.

Harrison and Pranica love First Contact director Jonathan Frakes, who plays Commander Will Riker on The Next Generation. They are fans of his directing, so the cinematography is sure to be a big talking piece during the show.

Having the show discussed thoroughly by two guys who are just as nerdy as I am, but are also educated on visual media, has reawakened my love for the TV series. Harrison and Pranica are not afraid to own their awkwardness and embarrassment, which creates an environment of acceptance that nerds like me aren’t accustomed to. Knowing that there are thousands of people who share the same twisted, dorky humor and interests only makes it that much more enjoyable.

Harrison and Pranica provide not only laughs centered on dark humor, but legitimate criticisms as well. This podcast isn’t afraid to face the truth; sometimes Star Trek sucks. Both of the hosts are honest and have thought-out opinions about the parts that are lacking. Both hosts have a film background, which adds depth to the conversation.

Anyone interested in cinematography, Star Trek, or dark humor should come. Harrison and Pranica make sure there’s a little something for everybody. The humor is exceptionally dirty. They touch on Captain Picard’s inability to interact with children, his inappropriate relationship with “the boy” Wesley Crusher and the filthy ramifications of Riker’s ability to seduce nearly anyone he meets.

The hosts aren’t afraid to comment on controversial and timely aspects, such as racism and feminism. The hosts bring attention to female women who were seemingly forgotten at times during the writing. They’re also able to discuss the contradiction of creating a world without sexism or racism but writing scripts where women and minorities fall to the wayside. As a long-time fan, being able to watch the series through Ben and Adam’s eyes gave me a fresh perspective.

Trekkers or Trekkies, or however you identify, are sure to get a kick out of the show.

After going through Star Trek: First Contact, there will be a short intermission, followed by the hosts’ new podcast. Friendly Fire is a podcast that talks about war films throughout the years. They discuss questions on how realistic the battles are, and much, much more.

Follow Sara Whitham at Twitter.com/Sara_Whitham.

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