the story: Troi engages in a romance that leaves her aged prematurely.
similar to: "The Price," "Sub Rosa" (Next Generation)
my thoughts: Above, I've linked "Man of the People" to a couple of other bad romances the unlucky women of Next Generation suffered ("Sub Rosa" is my pick for one of the worst episodes ever, by the way), and while "People" has that going for it, it's really just a poor excuse for dipping into the franchise trope of having someone age prematurely (see as a classic example, the original series' "Deadly Years"). Literally every series has at least one character parade around in old age makeup (that more often than not looks terrible).
But since I don't want to be totally unfair to this unique blend of bad tropes (which, to be fair, have had their good examples, even in the more gimmicky ones, like Bashir's aging in Deep Space Nine's "Distant Voices," while there are good examples of bad old age makeup appearing in very good episodes, like "The Inner Light," from Next Generation, or "The Visitor," also from Deep Space Nine, as well as the thematically similar "Timeless" and "Twilight," from Voyager and Enterprise, respectively). And it's not as if Troi (or Crusher) was thoroughly incapable of having a good romantic encounter. But "People" is a hackneyed one.
Unless you feel like being generous. So I'm giving you this one, a small bone, to chew on, in what is otherwise an overly forgettable (and regrettable) third episode (!) from the sixth season. Honestly, I think some of the later episodes they were so eager to get to, in the production offices, that they just let this one slip past them...
criteria analysis: franchise -
Patti Yasutake (Ogawa)