Thursday, August 11, 2005

 

"Just a Geek" by Wil Wheaton


I have been having a bit of a reading frenzy of late and "Just A Geek" by Wil Wheaton is the latest book I have finished. This is basically an autobiography although it doesn't start from childhood. Wheaton used entries from his blogs to show his feelings about having left Star Trek and his life since. His struggle to make it as an actor and then a writer.

As everyone probably knows I am a huge Star Trek fan. In the sci fi world it was my first love. I was brought up on it. I suppose having parents who were huge sci fi fans I could have went down the road of hating it like my sister did. But no, I was hooked and am now probably a bigger fan than my parents are. The Next Generation was my generation which is probably why I liked this best and I grew up with these characters. Wesley was never my favourite although I didn't hate him like I know a lot of people did. I always wondered what happened to him after he left Star Trek. I then heard about his website, WWdN, and made a point of visiting it. I can't remember what the first entry I read was but I have been visiting it ever since. I have enjoyed reading stories about his family and his success with his writing. He is good at grabbing your attention and keeping it. I respect him for his openness about his political beliefs. The only entries I don't really read are the ones about poker. I'm just not a fan of poker and so can't get interested (I realise I am rambling a bit).

When I heard about the publication of his books I have been itching to read them. They seem to have done well for him in the US and his strong fan base is even bigger thanks to his books and his blog. They were never really released properly here (unless maybe I missed it) so I finally decided to just go ahead and buy a copy from Amazon. I received it and finished it yesterday. I will never be a fan of Wesley but I am now a fan of Wil Wheaton. He was so open and honest that it is hard not to like him. I got upset with him when he was dismissed by Rick Berman and then when he was told he wasn't part of the Trek family. I was excited for him when his writing was a success. I think I was also amazed by how much he had to struggle. I just assumed that because he had spent all those years in Star Trek that he would be relatively well off. It shows you that actors are people too and most of them need to keep working to make ends meat. I will be buying "Dancing Barefoot" at some point in the future. And I will continue to visit WWdN to see what other plans he has for the future (hopefully more books).

Comments:
I think the reason Wesley Crusher was disliked is because he didn't come across as confident, despite all his knowledge, and people like to watch characters who are sure of themselves. The same was true of Adric a decade earlier and this was acknowledged in the recent series of "Doctor Who" when they got rid of Adam after only two episodes!

This type of character probably works better in the written word where it is easier to get inside a person's heart and mind than it is on television where external spectacle is needed to pull the viewer in. I know that's a simplification but it's generally true.

Who are your favourite "Trek" characters? Picard is mine probably because Patrick Stewart is just such a good actor and always comes across as a decent human being you can respect. I like Kes too. I bet women dislike her the way men dislike Wes but I sensed she was vulnerable and wanted to protect her!
 
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