I don't have an issue with 'issue shows' (sorry, bad choice of words), at least not when they're done well. Because at its best science fiction is ABOUT issues that affect our society today. But this is soooo not the way to do it. 'Loud As A Whisper' is poorly conceived, poorly scripted and an altogether failure both as an issue show and as entertainment.
Again, one of the problems is bringing in a guest character and making the show about him. Last episode we had the tedious Okona and this week we have the equally charmless Riva. It's unfortunate that Riva is so wholly unlikable: he's rude, arrogant, sleazy and excessively self-pitying (and he manages all that without technically uttering a single word, which is quite a feat in itself).
Exploring disabilities and how they can be turned into an advantage is a worthy theme, but it's utterly botched by this half-baked script and the fact that we simply don't care about Riva. The way he communicates via his 'chorus' is interesting for about two minutes until you start to question the rather dubious concept. Who are the people that comprise the chorus? Here, they're portrayed as being Riva's slaves without a mind or lives of their own. And why did he need three of them, couldnt he communicate all he needed to communicate with just one translator?
Riva's flirting with Troi made me quite queasy, because he was clearly imposing himself on her and giving her little choice but to accept his advances. And the conclusion, where Riva decides that he will make peace between the two factions by teaching them sign language is just...stupid and completely unconvincing. Here the writers saw it more important to shoe-horn in their moral of the week (which was so patronisingly simple that it belonged in a Saturday morning kid's show)than to provide a plausible and dramatically satisfying resolution to the storyline and that is a mistake of the highest order.