At some point over the holiday break I was sent a link to this gag reel … which also served as a reminder of how much things have changed, as I got a completely blank expression from my kids when I used the term ‘gag reel’. So let me back up.
A ‘gag’ is a joke or other humorous moment, whether intentional or unintentional.
A ‘reel’ is one of those tape terms where you spool the ‘film’. Way back when, when shows were recorded on film, mistakes had to be ‘cut’ from the tape. Sometimes they would end up ‘on the cutting room floor’, but occasionally someone noted that a particular mistake or series of mistakes was amusing and they would save them.
These mistakes were often termed ‘bloopers’, but once collected and taped (literally) together, they would become known as a ‘gag reel’.
Whew! So there is the term – and what we have here is a 10+ minute collection of screw-ups, mis-cues, set faults, and more from the second season of Star Trek The Next Generation. If you watch until the end there is a cool surprise (not going to tell … then it wouldn’t be a surprise!)