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Did or is Wil Wheaton getting a bum rap?


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#1 of 23 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted November 03 2006 - 04:22 PM

Ok..I admit it. When TNG premier back in 1987. I couldn't stand Wesley's character. Was it that it was ridiculous that some teenage kid was smarter than the cream of the crop of Star Fleet....Or was it something else? Could it have been jealousy of being a kid and working on a show that was someting we fans would love to be a part of? I am sure their are different answer for each person you ask. But, while I can understand fans coming down on the character....I am shocked at how Convention promoters have ignored him. For example at Trek's 40th anniversary show. Where dozens of Trek actors appeared...I have even seen the actor who played the Gorn appear at a show. Now, like it or not Wil was a big part of TNG and Trek. So when I did not see his name on the guest list. I assumed he couldn't go. Then by accident I came upon his blog/website and started reading up. I find out he was never asked....Never asked?? You can bring in a guy who was on the show for 2 minutes and never said a word...But, not even invite an actor who was on the show for over half of the 160+ episodes. That is just stupid. Reading on in his blog. For the first time I really feel bad for what he went through years ago. Here was a guy...who in real life was a lot like me and a lot of other scifi comic fans. Even before Trek. He would attend comic and gaming shows. He went to buy comics, see the stars and even buy Robotech toys (Alright, I wasn't into Robotech..But, you get the point). Even when he went to the shows as a fan...He would be constantly heckled by fans. It was so bad that he didn't go to a convention for years...But, he didn't want to give up his love of going to shows and seeing all of the new (& old) comics and such. So he would conceal himself as best he could and go to a local monthly comic show and deal with those who knew him and wouldn't give him grief.
We treated him like crap for years and for no good reason. He was an actor...You want to scream at someone..Blame Rodenberry, the writers, producers,etc. But, to villify this guy is nuts. So hopefully convention promoters will grow up and welcome this guy back. Will their still be people who want to give him grief...No doubt. But, I am sure their are thousands of fans who would enjoy seeing him and hearing about his experience on the show...And in my case be the last person I need to sign my autographed TNG cast photo. Posted Image
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#2 of 23 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted November 04 2006 - 10:00 AM

Yes, he does get a bum rap.

#3 of 23 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted November 05 2006 - 07:15 AM

I agree that the actor appears to have been badly treated, but perhaps there's a further information we've not been told.

However, I have to say that I have not got the first few series of TNG on DVD precisely because Wesley is in them (indeed, when the show first aired, if an episode was obviously predominantely about Wesley, my wife and I would switch off the programme). I've often wondered just why, in the name of all things holy, anyone thought that having an irritating kid on the command deck on a spaceship was a good idea. However, heckling him at conventions is not only bad-mannered, but plain stupid. The dislike should be of the character, not the actor playing the part. But there again, not all Star Trek fans are renowned for a solid grasp of reality.

#4 of 23 OFFLINE   Buzz Foster

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Posted November 05 2006 - 08:24 AM

Quote:
But there again, not all Star Trek fans are renowned for a solid grasp of reality.

Posted Image)

That is hilarious! I might just use that as a sig quote somewhere...approriate credit given, of course.
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#5 of 23 OFFLINE   RobertR

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Posted November 05 2006 - 10:03 AM

Quote:
I've often wondered just why, in the name of all things holy, anyone thought that having an irritating kid on the command deck on a spaceship was a good idea.
It was purely Gene Roddenberry's idea (the worst one he ever came up with in connection with Star Trek). The Wesley character was supposed to be a proxy depiction of how Roddenberry viewed himself as a kid, and his fixation on that kept him from seeing what a bad idea it was.

#6 of 23 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted November 05 2006 - 10:04 AM

BTW, his slashdot nick is CleverNickName. He's generally well liked by the other nerds there.

#7 of 23 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted November 05 2006 - 10:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew markworthy
However, heckling him at conventions is not only bad-mannered, but plain stupid. The dislike should be of the character, not the actor playing the part.

This is all part of the ultra-ridiculous (but unfortunately very common) syndrome of identifying so strongly with fictitious characters on film and t.v. that one cannot separate them from the actors who portray them. Women despise some actors who play villainous roles on soap operas. Men despise some actors who happened to play gay characters in films. Why? Is the line between fantasy and reality truly that frigging narrow? Or are people just morons? Yes to both?

Wheaton was a decent child actor. His performance in STAND BY ME as well as in TNG was extremely competent, and it's a shame his career seems to have gone into a nosedive simply because so many of us are unable to differentiate between his on-screen characters and his real-life ability to portray them well. Not even overpaid actors deserve this bullsh*t.

All the world is a headline for THE STAR and THE GLOBE, I guess.

#8 of 23 OFFLINE   Brian D H

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Posted November 06 2006 - 02:38 AM

I'd say that he is.

While I've enjoyed him as an actor and (like most everyone else) found him sometimes annoying as Wesley, I've grown to appreciate him as a person and a writer on his blog.

I never actually hated his character on STTNG but the way he was written was, at times, cring-inducing. I wasn't one of those who blamed the actor, though. The story lines for Wesley did improve in later episodes and I actually did appreciate him by the last few seasons.

I started reading his blog a few years ago after it was recommended by a friend and I found an honest forthright person who wasn't afraid to lay all his personal feelings and his life open for critique. I also found a person a lot like myself who related stories about being a 'geek', going to cons, reading comic books, gaming, being too scared to talk to girls, being scared to audition, being a husband, and a father. I was also impressed with the fact that, unlike a number of his 'Stand by Me' co-stars, he never messed up his life. Instead he got married to a woman with two boys and consistantly puts his family first.

Once or twice I've emailed him about something he asked on his blog and I usually get a response. I emailed him about this thread - maybe we'll hear from him. If we do we may want get him on the celebrity section of the site.
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#9 of 23 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted November 06 2006 - 05:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian D H

Once or twice I've emailed him about something he asked on his blog and I usually get a response. I emailed him about this thread - maybe we'll hear from him. If we do we may want get him on the celebrity section of the site.

I actually posted my original post on his blog to him. Hoping he would realize their are fans out their that do appreciate his work.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#10 of 23 OFFLINE   Gary Seven

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Posted November 06 2006 - 05:40 AM

I actually thought the idea of a "Mozart type" genius was a great concept. However, it was badly executed over the years he was on. I thought his best season was the first, but I'm probably in the minority. I would have preferred him to be the genius but at the same time mischevious and a bit of a trouble maker. But the crew would put up with him due to his ultimate contribution.

That said I do think he gets a bum rap for portraying the character as written. Sorry to hear that it apparently continues.

#11 of 23 OFFLINE   Paul Padilla

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Posted November 08 2006 - 10:35 AM

[minor geek mode]
Wesley was a great concept who, I feel, did eventually develop and mature as a part of the show. Most every other character had some semblance of a predecessor on TOS so I think we felt more comfortable with their growing pains. The "too smart for his/her own good kid" is really more of a sitcom staple, so working that in to a dramatic sci-fi series had to have been tough. I think that is a big reason why Wesley's character grated early on. He was purposefully awkward, but all of the actors were awkward in the beginning. The reruns on Spike happen to be on when I get home from work so I get a chance to see it fairly regularly.

[major geek mode] It's tough when you see bits from the last couple of seasons, then all of a sudden, there's Jonathan Frakes quoting Sun Tsu during their first encounter with Ferengi. Yeesh. [/major geek mode] [/minor geek mode]

Kudos to Wil for side stepping the Stand By Me dark cloud and shame on the Trek industry for slighting him. Wil, if you're peeking in here, SBM is one of mine and my wife's favorite movies. You're lucky to have gotten out of Hollywierd in one piece.

Best of luck...peace.

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#12 of 23 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted November 08 2006 - 10:51 AM

A thread about ... Wil Wheaton? Man, I gotta log off.

#13 of 23 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted November 09 2006 - 10:52 AM

I don't know if it's still there, but some time back he had a website that he maintained. It was quite witty and the guy really does seem to have a pretty good head on his shoulders....and as I recall a good sense of humour about the whole Wesley bashing issue.
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#14 of 23 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted November 09 2006 - 11:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain
I don't know if it's still there, but some time back he had a website that he maintained. It was quite witty and the guy really does seem to have a pretty good head on his shoulders....and as I recall a good sense of humour about the whole Wesley bashing issue.
http://www.wilwheaton.net/

#15 of 23 OFFLINE   Dave Poehlman

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Posted November 15 2006 - 06:25 AM

I didn't think Will's character was that bad on TNG. No worse that the others, anyway. When the show first came on-air.. I found all of the characters obnoxious. Save for maybe Captain Picard.

#16 of 23 OFFLINE   Bryan^H

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Posted November 16 2006 - 12:24 PM

What???? Wesley was an important in TNG. Without him the series would be severly lacking. Jake Sisko in DS9 however was a terrible child character, and almost prevented me from watching that series.

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#17 of 23 OFFLINE   Hugh Jackes

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Posted November 16 2006 - 01:21 PM

The Wesley character did bring one thing to TNG. It gave the Picard character a chance to develop as a man who didn't get children, didn't particularly like children, and barely tolerated them. This was presented in a way that wasn't reminiscent of WC Fields "Get away from my kid, ya bother me" attitude, more a discomfort. Picard had worked his whole life to get where he had. Did he sacrifice wife and children to get there? Or did he get there because he had no interest in a wife and children? Ryker was single and childless. Troi was single and childless. Geordi was single and childless. Data was single and childless (I know, but follow me here). For that matter, so were Kirk, Spock, and Scott.

Whorf and Beverly Crusher had children; but they weren't command material; Crusher was physician, not a line officer, and Whorf was a second class citizen because he was Klingon.

I found it interesting to see Picard's disdain for children reflected in eppies where he had to have an interest in them. Malign ST Generations all you like, but Picard's reaction when he found out that his brother and his nephew Robert (or "Rohbaht") had perished in a fire and there was no one to carry on the Picard name was crushing. The most moving part of the period he spent in the Nexus was the Christmas scene where he met the children that he could have had if his life had taken a different turn.

Boy, how OT did my post become?
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#18 of 23 OFFLINE   Joe S.

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Posted November 17 2006 - 09:40 AM

I don't know about a bum rap, but I do feel sorry for Wil Wheaton on that show. I'm about the same age and if that smokin' redhead Doctor was your Mom (or even played your Mom on TV), you would have be having issues. Serious issues, every single day.

#19 of 23 OFFLINE   Rex Bachmann

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Posted November 19 2006 - 07:59 PM

Jack Briggs wrote (post #12):

Quote:
A thread about . . . Wil Wheaton? Man, I gotta log off.

There have been several before on these forums that I myself have participated in. One was back in 2001, I believe, by a young man asking these very same questions. I'd link to it, except I think it's been "archived" out of existence.

Dick wrote (post #7):

Quote:
Wheaton was a decent child actor. His performance in STAND BY ME as well as in TNG was extremely competent, and it's a shame his career seems to have gone into a nosedive simply because so many of us are unable to differentiate between his on-screen characters and his real-life ability to portray them well. Not even overpaid actors deserve this bullsh*t.

Part of it was (is) the adle-patedness of some "far-out" fans of the franchise, to be sure, but the further component I think is the traditional general American disdain for child actors once they've grown up. It's a well documented phenomenon (despite some notable exceptions) and I think, combined with Mr. Wheaton's reputation for the one character for which the actor is remembered by the masses, it doubly vehemently applies here, fairly or not.

andrew markworthy (post #3)

Quote:
. . . I've often wondered just why, in the name of all things holy, anyone thought that having an irritating kid on the command deck on a spaceship was a good idea.

Hugh Jackes (post #17):

Quote:
The Wesley character did bring one thing to TNG. It gave the Picard character a chance to develop as a man who didn't get children, didn't particularly like children, and barely tolerated them.

Wesley's presence on the show was cynically---and Mr. Roddenberry discussed this openly---intended to ensure the attraction of the Star Wars generation of "sci-fi fans"---the youth market, in other words---who'd grown up seeing adults ridiculed and kids depicted in popular filmed entertainment, but especially on television, as uniquely imbued with, and therefore praised for having, all the "real understanding" of how the world works. There was some feeling that somehow the original series had lacked real youth-identifiable characters (despite Chekov and his mop-top hair-do). In this worldview, adults are stupid and rigid, while youths are "cool" and insightful, which leads to many of the ridiculous (and insulting to audience intelligence) scenarios whereby the little "genius" pulls the adults' asses out of the fire in the course of the show. ("Youth must be served." [Yeeesh!])

To wit:

Bryan^H (post #16):

Quote:
What???? Wesley was an important in TNG. Without him the series would be severly lacking. Jake Sisko in DS9 however was a terrible child character, and almost prevented me from watching that series.

Jake Sisko is a realistic character who has real problems that anyone could, in theory, identify with: struggling to resolve the loss of his mother early on in life, dealing with budding puberty and then blooming sexuality (tempered by moral constraints), his coming to "be a man", yet still remain his father's son, etc. When young Sisko cries out of a sense of guilt (as in "The Visitor") or self-loathing ("Nor the Battle to the Strong"), the audience can feel just what is going on within, and not just have to be satisfied with some superficial smartass dialog or baseless bravado.

I'll take that over the ludicrous and incredible boy-who-saves-the-universe-every-other-week-as-part-of-his-science-homework-project -and-adults-won't-listen-to-me-when-I-tell-'em-they-don't-know-their-eleven-dimensional-quantum-calculations-worth-"squat"-boo-hoo!-boo-hoo!-BS cartoon icon that the Wesley Crusher-character is any day.

Quote:
Picard had worked his whole life to get where he had. Did he sacrifice wife and children to get there?

Of course, he did. He tells Data this in a(n extended?) scene in Nemesis, and I'm sure he mentions it more than once in the series itself. Note that Captain Kirk, as he's trying to gather himself together to resist the effects of the behavior-altering water and save his ship in "The Naked Time", also mumbles something to the effect that he will never rid himself of "her" (the Enterprise = his career in Star Fleet), which has so consumed him that it even causes him to forego a committed relationship with any woman (as opposed to his weekly flings).


Quote:
I found it interesting to see Picard's disdain for children reflected in eppies where he had to have an interest in them.

Well, the point, as I understand it, was supposed to be that all of these people had given their lives to the "service" and, travelling on difficult and dangerous missions in deep space, didn't have time for a family. (Yeah, despite the families viewed on the Enterprise-D. Ever notice the Enterprise-E doesn't seem to have any?) Anyway, Picard had long before Generations moved away from the cantankerous "anti-child" disciplinarian of the original season. By the time of "Disaster" and "The Pegasus", for instance, he's given up his British (depite the character's supposed Gallicism) "stiff-upper-lip" propriety and practically become an old "softie" on the subject.


Quote:
Ryker was single and childless. Troi was single and childless. Geordi was single and childless. Data was single and childless (I know, but follow me here). For that matter, so were Kirk, Spock, and Scott.

Whorf and Beverly Crusher had children; but they weren't command material; Crusher was physician, not a line officer, and Whorf was a second class citizen because he was Klingon.

Crusher had mated with another SF officer to produce her little gumba. Worf was an "unplanned parent" ("Reunion"). As for the rest, they simply mirror the intended audience that will watch and identify with them, as progressively more and more of the populace of the home countri(es) of the series is---you got it---single and childless.

The whole child-inclusion aspect of the TNG world of Star Trek was totally misguided, in my opinion. Space is too vast and hostile a place to endanger one's posterity in. Yet, the ideological (and commercial) dictates of Mr. Roddenberry required that it essentially have been "conquered by man" already. A huge "comfort zone" for the intended audiences, perhaps, but neither dramatically nor scientifically verisimilar.
"Delenda est . . . . "

 


#20 of 23 OFFLINE   Rex Bachmann

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Posted November 19 2006 - 08:04 PM

Ugh! Technical problems, duplicate post!
"Delenda est . . . . "

 



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