Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sunday Gift: Wil Wheaton

Anyone who knows me knows that I have an abiding love for Star Trek: The Next Generation. I like being contrarian, but what I like more is being unexpected and improbable. Yes, I do watch a lot of Masterpiece Theatre, Turner Classic Movies, and movies with subtitles. Yes, I dress like a Wellesley girl, circa 1952. Yes, I watch a lot of legal procedure shows. And I love science fiction. I am not the only literate science fiction freak, but I am the only one in my immediate circle of friends. It is lonely.

I don't read it (too much of a time investment when I still have yet to read Finnegan's Wake), but I do like to watch it, very carefuly. I have what I call an "infatuated personality"--as distinct from "obssessive"--so I have to check the things I get on very quickly and off even quicker. I loved The X-Files for two years, from 1994-96--and havne't really watched an episode since. I had a revival with Quantum Leap a few years ago, and am currently obsessed with Firefly. I didn't start watching Battlestar Galactica out of fear--if I liked it, I would watch it, and that means time not spent writing about sexual harassment law. Better to wait for the DVD, which really works well for my personality. I can watch an entire season during a weekend with the flu, and the commitment is intense and brief, and there is the rest of life to return to after the weekend is over, and the main commitment is always there in the background. In many ways, I wonder if this is how my romantic life goes. Unless you're already there, the time to invest in a relationship is daunting, and I don't have much time, and am too autonmomous to shift around too many priorities. There is one main commitment right now, and that's about as much as I can handle--if I want to get my first tenure track job. I like the pure fun of the other Netflix dalliances, and secretly always hope that one day they'll become as abiding a love, but it's okay if it doesn't. It is like casual dating and hoping for love, even though you're too busy for either.

So yes, I do love Star Trek. When I'm at home and too tired or sick to do work, I catch it occasionally on Spike: The Network for Men (puh-leeze, with four hours of Star Trek a day and MXC, it is the network for Belle!). But as much as I love Star Trek, I hated, hated the nerd punk Wesley Crusher character. He was always too whiny and smart-alecky. And he became a big jerk towards the end until he became a "Traveller"--able to shift within the space-time continuum.

But now I realize that my years-long hatred of Wesley was misplaced. I should have hated the writers! Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley, says as much (he is quite candid). And he understands why people hated his character, even if it really bothered him growing up (and now I feel bad).

He's had a big come back on the net, and you know, it makes me like him better, and reinforces my love of my favorite TV show ever.

Here is his blog. It is weird and funny.

Here are his personal retrospective reviews of some episodes of TNG. They are HILARIOUS.