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

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.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.