Awkward Embraces

By Phil Plait | February 3, 2011 10:08 am

I love geeks, being one myself, and I love geeky humor. So as soon as I saw the first episode of Awkward Embraces, a (relatively adult) comedy web series about three women who are looking for love, I knew I was going to really like it. And how could I not, especially when one of them loses a guy in the middle of a date when she starts reciting chapter and verse from the TNG episode "Darmok"*?

Here’s that specific episode of the show, which should make this clearer (warning: probably SFW, but mildly adult situations, and featuring awkwardness most extreme):

You’ve really got give her credit for really going the whole 8.23 meters, getting through that entire description of Darmok. Wow.

Of course, my loving this show has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Jessica Mills, the creator, co-writer, and star, is totally adorable and I might have the eensiest bit of a nerdcrush on her.

Anyway, Awkward Embraces is an independent production, and so it’s run on a shoestring. They’re having a fund drive, so if you like the show, toss them some filthy lucre so they can finish Season 2. Please! I’m dying to know how it turns out. And for added awkwardness, you can follow Jessica and the show on Twitter, too.

* And if you don’t get that reference, well then, what can I say but: Shaka, when the walls fell.


Comments (37)

  1. MadScientist

    I guess you mean 8.2296; I don’t see a need to approximate when the exact number is so short.

  2. That’s a lot of geek credibility in quoting the Darmok episode. Although, truth be told, it was really not high on my list of favorite episode (so low as to rank in the dislike category).

    But I think I will follow Jessica since I am suddenly struck with the same affliction you have.

  3. Timmy

    Good show but kind of implausible. What idiot doesn’t remember that episode? The alien captain was also in Star Trek II! And Ashley Judd was in it (to be honest I just learned that on Wikipedia).

  4. Other Paul

    Did not recognise the episode by its apparently canonical name, but it’s the one I immediately thought of. Very odd.

  5. TK421

    Funny clip, though not realistic, I think

    Not to be sexist, but women with, uh, tracts of land like that generally get a pass on things like a slightly longwinded Star Trek TNG summary.

    Just sayin’

  6. Craig

    The Mrs. and I have actually been planning to inscribe Darmok quotes inside our wedding rings. It, and Inner Light are both of our favourite episodes. What still boggles my mind is that she’s both a stunningly beautiful woman who loves TNG, and she actually enjoys my company!

  7. CJ

    I LOVE “Darmok”. Without a doubt one of the best episodes of TNG. Sure, not quite “Yesterday’s Enterprise” but still brilliant. How could a marketing guy not recognize that? What’s that all about? If he can’t recognize top-floating cream then that doesn’t say a lot about his marketing acumen. Still, it can’t be easy being a muggle (or worse, a mundane). What a sad, small little life he must lead. She’s lucky he didn’t comprehend her awesomeness.

  8. Kevin

    Star Trek wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me. If I was on a date, and she started spouting Trek references, I’d totally be in love with her.

    But that’s just me.

  9. Anatol

    I lost count of Phil’s crushes on geeky girls long time ago. Dude, you gotta chill out, find one particular geek that will love you, and crush on her. I mean have a crush 😛

  10. I would really love it if the sexist comments were kept to a minimum.

    That minimum being zero.

  11. skinman

    I just want to echo CJ and say “Darmok” and “Yesetrday’s Enterprise” are two of TNG’s best episodes. I would also add “Family” to that list, the ep that followed “Best of Both Worlds Part II”. Seeing Picard dealing with the aftermath of his assimilation made for an episode that was very different from all the others.

  12. bystander

    Maybe Awkward Embraces could take on The Science of Kissing.

    I am sooo tired of hearing it. Enough, already!

  13. Rory Kent

    “I would really love it if the sexist comments were kept to a minimum.
    That minimum being zero”

    Yeah, some people really can’t go beyond that. They’re on a stationary point or something..


  14. Yeah, I saw your tweet from last night and thought to myself “I need to add that to my ever-growing list of things to do”. :) My nerdcrush is on Meekakitty, who did Star Trek Girl ( She’s a terrific confluence of attractions that arrived on the scene about 18 years too late. 😉

  15. Robin Byron

    As a grandfather to three beautiful, intelligent women in this age group, I can, like, totally relate.

    Darmok was one of the best ever and this guy was a luser from the start: “I’m an engineer…I know a little bit about computers.” Sheesh!

  16. Anatol

    Sexist comment ? Geez man. I consider myself a feminist most of the time.

  17. Mike

    I just watched the episode. I could feel the awkwardness, but like Phil and many others, I’ve got a bit of a nerd crush on Jessica too after listening to her gush about Star Trek TNG.

  18. Jeeves

    Well, what did she expect. He’s the head of the Marketing team, for Pete’s sake. Marketing! She’s better off without him.

  19. TK421

    Phil and Anatol, on the blog.

  20. Rick

    Was that even a shirt she was wearing? I think I’m in love.

  21. Bill

    Stepping into the camp of people who loved the Darmok episode.

    It always reminded me of an oldish Dennis Quaid/Louis Gossett science fiction film called ‘Enemy Mine’ with a very similar plot – a human (Quaid) ends up stranded all alone on a remote planet with a member of an alien race (Gossett) that humans are at war with. No trust, no pity and no common language between them, but they each realize that they’ll quickly die on their own.

    Not a bad little flick (he said, having last seen it 20 years or so…)

  22. Kevin McCoy

    I, too, oppose sexist comments. Have there been any here? I’d like to point out that the show itself sets a certain tone when one of the characters says to the other “show him your boobs” along with hand gestures.

  23. Enzo

    I am still laughing at your reference annotation:

    * And if you don’t get that reference, well then, what can I say but: Shaka, when the walls fell.

    Well played, Plait. Well played.

  24. Ben

    I couldn’t bear the awkwardness….

  25. Missy

    Oh man, how have I never watched this before!!! Great combination of hot and hilarious. In the third episode when she was talking about how to set up an experiment to find out if you can tell a mans “size” by listening to him pee I said out loud “Ok..I think I love her” 😀 Thank you so much for sharing Phil!!

  26. Shavenyak

    Phil: You’ve really got give her credit for really going the whole 8.23 meters, getting through that entire description of Darmok.

    MadScientist: I guess you mean 8.2296; I don’t see a need to approximate when the exact number is so short.

    There’s only one significant figure in the phrase “the whole 9 yards”, so the conversion should simply be 8 meters.

    Darmok is probably my favorite episode too – and Bill: I thought of Enemy Mine the first time I saw it as well, despite the fact that I haven’t seen it since it was actually in the theatre.

  27. If I were on a date with a woman that good looking who then started talking about Darmok, I would consider myself very, VERY lucky, no matter how the date ended.

  28. I would marry a woman who quoted Darmok to me. It’s probably one of my two favorite episodes (“The Inner Light” is the other) and it demonstrates how smart she is.

    The novella _Enemy Mine_ is related, and is probably the best linguistic puzzle ever achieved in science fiction. Darmok is a close second.

    Oh, and the chick is HAWT.

  29. Electro

    Geeky trivia warning!!!

    The phrase “the whole nine yards”(8.23m) is derived from the 27ft long ammunition belts in the P40 Tomahawk attack plane.

    Commander: Did you hit the rail car?
    Pilot: I gave him the whole nine yards, sir.

  30. RobT

    The Darmok episode, while not my favourite, is still pretty good. Besides, how can you not like Paul Winfield in it? Or pretty much anything he did? A&E City Confidential just wasn’t the same without him.

    Luckily, I can mostly keep my inner geek inside, at least for a first date. Though sometimes it just escapes and makes everything all awkward.

  31. Zucchi

    CJ @7: I was reading science fiction decades (probably) before you were born. (Since before “Star Trek” ever came on tv. Yes, there was sf before Star Trek.) I’ve also been a member of the SCA for 30 years. Let me clue you in: there are few things that will make you look more silly and pathetic than calling people who don’t happen to share your particular enthusiasms “muggles” or “mundanes”.

    Jessica’s date was definitely a jerk. I can’t imagine bailing on a girl like that, even if she did talk about stuff that didn’t interest me. His loss, anyway. And “Star Trek” is so much a part of mainstream pop culture now, she should have no trouble finding a nice guy whom she can communicate with.

    Oh, Electro @29: No; sorry. The phrase “the whole nine yards” definitely predates the existence of P40’s. There are countless stories about its origin, but no definitive proof.

  32. icewings

    Phil Plait @10 – This from the guy who admits that one of his main attractions to this show is that Jessica Mills is hawt.

  33. Electro


    Please direct me to a reliable reference showing this saying predates WWII.

    Given evidence, I am flexible but this particular explanation seems to have “The ring of truth” to it.

    There is no doubt that this term was used in this context (I have seen interviews with former pilots), but mebbe they adapted an older saying to fit their circumstances.

    More than happy to live and learn.

  34. Matt B.

    “Darmok” was linguistically stupid. How can you translate the words without having deciphered any of the sentences? Phil Farrand tore it to shreds. But that would not hurt her chances.

    I love the shirt with the chocolate and graham cracker chasing the marshmallow with torches.

  35. Jeremy Henderson

    @Electro #33: While there is no evidence of the phrase predating WWII, there is actually no evidence of the phrase exisiting during WWII either. The earliest print occurrence of the phrase is from 1962, in an issue of Car Life magazine.

    And interestingly, if you do a Google Book search for the phrase you discover 0 occurrences prior to 1962, and then a veritable explosion of occurrences afterward. It appears to be a phrase that quickly became quite popular once it entered the common lexicon.

    There are a ton of theories about the origins of the phrase as a reference to everything from tailoring to the concrete industry, but right now all of them seem to be merely anecdotal.

    Anyway, back on topic…during a first date I once found myself launching into a long and very detailed explanation of the DC Comics miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths. Somewhere around the 8 minute mark I suddenly realized what I was doing and changed the subject. There was no second date.

  36. Electro

    Thank you, Jeremy.

    Although I cannot cite the exact reference, I have seen a documentary interview with a former P40 pilot explaining this specific usage.


  37. Brian Too

    While Darmok is a favourite episode of mine, I have to say that one of the ideas at the core of it makes no sense to me.

    I really dispute the idea that a species whose only method of communications is metaphor will achieve technological sophistication. Spacefaring?? I don’t think so. Not when all understanding is necessarily based upon shared (and personal) experience.

    However once you put aside that issue, I thought the rest of it was exceptional.


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