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It's official. A new "Star Trek" series is slated to air in 2017...

...and the following reaction would not be at all inappropriate:

That's because the "Star Trek" TV series weren't just fantastic television. Although they were that.


Photo by The Conmunity/Flickr.

"Star Trek" is a show that has long been committed to optimism, progress, and, perhaps most importantly, diversity. The original series featured one of the first black female main characters on a network TV show, as well as one of American TV's first interracial kisses. Racial — and gender — equality have long been established as part of the original series' vision of the future.

Like its predecessors, the 2017 iteration of "Star Trek" has a tremendous opportunity not just to be quality TV, but to uphold the franchise's tradition of breaking new ground as well.

In that vein, here are 15 things we'd be excited to see on the new show.

1. An LGBTQ character ... or several.

Photo by Tim Evanson/Flickr.

"Star Trek" has a history of breaking new ground in casting, but when it comes to LGBTQ main cast members, it not only hasn't boldly gone there, it's behind the times. The franchise has yet to feature even one non-straight, non-cisgender main character. It's high time to get one — or preferably more than one — on the crew, or in the captain's chair, and have it be no big deal.

2. Planets with diverse, complex cultures.

Photo by European Southern Observatory/Wikimedia Commons.

Let's be honest: In "Star Trek" captain-speak, "seek out new life and new civilizations," is often code for, "Let's go to the planet where everyone is greedy," or "The planet where the genders are flipped," or, "The planet where everyone is Benjamin Button."

Planets are big places! Full of all kinds of people! Religious people, secular people, liberals, conservatives, soldiers, civilians, good guys, bad guys, medium guys — and everything in between. Do all Klingons really like to fight? The whole planet of them? What about the pacifist Klingons? What about the ethnic minority Klingons? The conscientious objectors?

Let's see a few more planets that look a little more like Earth — and the way-more-interesting stories that come from landing there.

3. Worf.

Photo by Michael Doss/Flickr.

I mean...

4. Darkness and moral complexity.

Photo by Ryan Somma/Flickr.

Remember the last two-and-a-half seasons of "Deep Space Nine" where the Federation got completely owned by the Dominion in pretty much every episode? Remember how Sisko straight-up committed a war crime to persuade the Romulans to join the fight and completely got away with it? Remember how Damar shot a child in cold blood but, by the end, we're all rooting for him?

That was kind of awesome. More of that please.

5. Gender parity.


European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti aboard the International Space Station as Captain Kathryn Janeway. Photo by NASA.

That doesn't just mean a female captain or a smattering of women crew members. That means an officer corps that's at least fifty-fifty. And let's get some gender nonconforming people in there as well. Who says aliens (and humans!) exist have only two fixed, never-changing genders. It's the freaking 23rd century, people!

6. Fewer stereotypes.

Photo by Jonathan McIntosh/Flickr.

I love Quark. Quark is the best. I would go to Quark's Passover Seder in a heartbeat. But no more weird stereotypes masquerading as "alien" cultures going forward, please.

7. No time travel. Not ever.

Photo by Oto Godfrey and Justin Morton/Wikimedia Commons.

I realize this is controversial. Time travel has been a fixture of the Star Trek universe since the beginning. And ... responsible for some of its weakestepisodes (though shoutout to "City on the Edge of Forever" — never change).

Even "First Contact," an otherwise perfect movie, is rendered 40% more annoying by its time travel premise. It's science fiction! It is possible to comment on the world we live in today without actually, literally going back to it.

No time travel, please. Let's leave that to "Doctor Who." That show does it so well.

8. A diverse creative team.

Writers at the WGAw Committee of Black Writers and LGBT Writers Committee. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

While "Star Trek" has been far better than many of its peers at reflecting diversity on-screen, like so many other shows, its writers' room, historically, has been a white dude party. It's employed some great women writers for sure — D.C. Fontana! Jane Espenson! — but generally speaking, white dudes.

And there's nothing wrong with white dudes! Some of my best friends are white dudes! Some of them are pretty good writers too. But there are lots of good women writers and writers of color out there too, who have stories to tell that many white dudes might not think of. Getting them to the table could lead to some singularly great TV.

9. Ostensibly adorable aliens that create mass chaos.

Tribbles! Photo by Tim Bailey/Flickr.

Awwww. Aaaaaaaaggggh! Awwww. Aaaaaaaaggghhh!

10. Serialization.

Photo by flash.pro/Flickr.

While the vast majority "Star Trek" episodes have historically been self-contained, some of the best runs of the franchise — like "Deep Space Nine's" Dominion War arc and "Enterprise's" third season — have explored a single story for multiple episodes. In the age of binge-viewing, where most of the best shows on TV give their main characters a series-long arc, a "Star Trek" that joined the party could potentially be pretty amazing.

11. A serious exploration of the implications of the holodeck.

Photo by john and carolina/Flickr.

It's incredibly weird how infrequently it's remarked upon that, in addition to tri-corders, photon torpedoes, and emergency medical holograms, Federation starships are equipped with a magic machine that allows anyone on the ship to live out literally any fantasy they so desire.

Some fans hate the holodeck — and holodeck episodes — for this very reason. But I disagree. The holodeck is fascinating. The way people use the holodeck — and what it says about them — is fascinating to think about. The series doesn't explore this often enough.

The franchise already did one great episode on this premise. I hope the holodeck stays. And that there are more.

12. Cameos from a time-traveling Sulu.

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.

I know I said no time travel, but come on. This would be worth it.

13. Searing social relevance.

Civil rights marchers in front of the White House, 1964. Photo by National Archives/Getty Images.

This has been "Star Trek's" bread-and-butter since day one. The original series dealt frankly with race relations and civil rights. "Deep Space Nine" explored war, occupation and its complicated aftermath. "Enterprise" took on terrorism and post-9/11 paranoia.

History hasn't stopped happening. Let's hope with the new series, there's lots more where that came from.

14. A captain who breaks boundaries.

GIF via "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"/Paramount.

For a while, "Star Trek" was all over this. The franchise debuted its first black captain and first female captain in the '90s, before retreating in the 2000s and doubling down on the white guys. (Again, love me some white guys. Hey, Josh!)

Stoic, steely, TV-attractive white guys are a dime a dozen. We've seen it. Let's see an Asian captain, a Latino captain, a queer captain, or a woman-of-color captain. How fantastic would that be? Pretty fantastic, is how!

15. An optimistic vision of the future.

"Star Trek" fans at a convention in England. Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images.

At the end of the day, what "Star Trek" does better than anyone else is show us a future we want to be a part of. It can still have moral complexity, darkness, violence, and sadness. But, ultimately, its vision of progress on terms that uplift all humankind and human resilience is what keeps us coming back episode after episode, series after series.

It's why we love it so much.

Even the Tribbles.

Keep it real, Tribbles.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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