During my morning blogroll roundup Wednesday, I linked to a post by Wil Wheaton. Yes, the actor. And poker player. And blogger.
Anyway, Wheaton is a left-winger. Big surprise, huh? Most actors seem to be that way. So, no, it's not a shock.
I didn't agree with all he wrote ... and certainly not the topic I mentioned in my blurb ... but I've actually become a fan of Wil Wheaton recently.
Why? NOT because of Star Trek. Well, maybe a little.
I didn't care for his Wesley Crusher character. Not because of how he played Wesley. But the character itself. "Wesley the Wonderdog" he was derisively called by fans of Star Trek. I thought much of the storylines surrounding Wesley were ... lame.
Of course, in the later seasons of TNG, every other week was "Data went crazy" and we didn't turn on the Data character. But that's because ... for me anyway ... I had already grown attached to Data and was more forgiving.
Unfortunately for Wil Wheaton, we turned on him because of the "Wesley saves the day" shows happened so much before we grew to love the character. So we hated the character.
The actor? Well, in all honesty, he did a fine job.
In his defense, I can't imagine how anyone else could have played the Wesley Crusher character any better. If the stories surrounding Wesley were lame ... it wasn't Wil Wheaton's fault. It was Gene Roddenberry's fault. He's the one that put a kid on the bridge of the Enterprise. If I had any talent and was offered the chance to play Wesley Crusher, I'd jump at it. Being a part of the Star Trek universe would be ... AWESOME! Because I like Star Trek.
But before I explain why I like Star Trek, let me finish the reason I've become a fan of Wil Wheaton.
It's certainly not because of his politics. The guy's a lefty. Almost a raving looney lefty. But not quite.
What he is ... is a family man.
His blog covers things about his family. And it's apparent he loves his family. And that says a lot.
And, if you've followed his blog, you know much of his family is conservative. And that he and his family disagree on many things. But he loves them. And defends them. And that says a lot.
So, I've become a fan of Wil Wheaton. Still don't care much for Wesley Crusher, though.
But, why do I like Star Trek?
Well, lots of people like Star Trek because of its "vision."
But not me.
I like Star Trek. The original series, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager (somewhat), and Enterprise.
But not because of the vision.
Because of the Data Effect.
That is, I watched all the spin-offs and gave them all a chance because I liked the original series. Just like I liked Data in the early TNG shows, I gave him a chance ... again and again ... despite the "crazy Data" episodes late in the series. The fondness of Data from the early seasons made the "bad Data" shows in the later seasons okay.
I loved the original series. And developed a fondness for the other series because of that.
So, why did I like the original series?
Because it was a space show.
I liked shows about space ships and space men. The guy with the ears was cool, too.
But it was a space show. I liked space shows. Like Lost in Space.
And It's About Time. Betcha don't remember that one, do you?
And The Thunderbirds. Yes, the puppet show.
And My Favorite Martian.
And The Jetsons. Yeah, Judy was hot. But Jane was a babe, too.
And I Dream of Jeannie. Yeah, Barbara Eden was hot. But Tony Nelson was a space man.
It pretty much didn't matter what the show was about. Whether a silly show about a boy and his robot ... or a Martian with antennae coming out his head ... I loved space shows.
And Star Trek was a space show.
Yes, it had some good episodes. Like City on the Edge of Forever ... but it also had Spock's Brain. But I watched them because it was a space show.
But that was enough.