What's wrong with Wesley?

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by QuarkforNagus, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think that played a significant role too.

    I believe that conceptually Wesley was a fine character, and a decent idea. He could have been likeable, even while retaining some of the characteristics that seem to make him unlikeable right now. He could have been a great character who shows that people can outgrow their age, and accomplish more than society gives them credit for, in a believable way. He could given a children's vigour and excitement to the journey, and truly humorous take on his own immaturity, a well-thought different perspective that his young age could have created. He could have painted children geniuses in good light, as relatable people, and not as someone who'd you want to smash with a baseball bat (that's how I felt about him when 12, I'd reckon the adult audience was a little bit less extreme).

    I just don't think you can approach such character so casually. He should have been written better, and with more thought put into him. I think something was wrong at the heart of their take on him. Consider how even an experienced adult such as Picard was immediately looked upon with prejudice from everyone when he happened to be in a child's body. You'd assume that both Starfleet personnel and the writers would know better than that, but turns out they didn't. If you can't fit adult Picard on a starship, how can you fit an actual teenager?
     
  2. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    When I was younger I was probably a little better at math, but there's a difference between having raw talents and having trained skill at a trade.

    All I'm sayin, if you need a math problem solved or advice on the next move of a chess game, ask teenage me. If you need a real world problem solved, ask adult me.

    And TNG Star Trek is always all about working hard to earn your place on a team, and Wesley had it handed to him because the Captain had history with his mother.

    It's true Wesley only saved the ship a handful of times but there were other episodes like Peak Performance, The Enemy, Menage a Troi where he comes up with some magical idea that nobody else could have thought of. In The Enemy Geordi even sees the particle beam and says "Wesley!" as if he's the only one who could have come up with such an idea.

    That's the main problem with the way Wesley was written, not that he was such a genius, that all the adults were always super ready and willing to play into the cult of Gene Wesley Roddenberry's middle name wish fulfillment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  3. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    WESLEY: But he still won't let me on the Bridge. And there's nothing there I don't understand.
    LAFORGE: I wish I understood myself that well.

    Indeed Jean-Luc, why don't you allow a proclaimed 15-year-old self-taught to work on a bridge?

    On the other hand, Worf and Geordi were both Lieutenant Junior Grade and weren't even members of the department for which they have been promoted Chief. Of course, in the subtext it was well-deserved appointments.:p
     
  4. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Boy, you said it, T.O.M.! She had a very lovely, a very willowy look, during her stint on TNG. Just exceptional.
     
  5. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    FWIW, that wasn't so much a comment on Ashley Judd's particular qualities as a way of saying, "He just needed to get laid." :p
     
  6. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not withou a condom! She was annoying with her stupid laws, imagine if Wesley and her reproduced together.
     
  7. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    Hopefully Wes knew about "the injection"...he had been at the Academy for a while by then....
     
  8. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    The writers didn't know how to write kids. As a kid watching TNG, I couldn't relate to the character.
     
  9. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    That was my problem with the character (though I was in my mid-to-late 30s). Wil did what he could with it, but they'd give him some of the worst dialogue which didn't sound like a boy of his age at all. In "When the Bough Breaks", he's the oldest of the kidnapped children by maybe five or six years, yet the writing seems to treat him as being the same age even though he's got lots of dialogue scenes as their spokesman.

    I always thought his best episodes were those he did as a guest star, particularly with "The Game". Wesley was finally talking like a real person.
     
  10. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's like if the writers didn't really catch the concept of adolescence as a bridge between childhood and adulthood.
     
  11. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    Couldn't Wesley make a mistake without being the episodes main focus and don't get me started on how they wrote him off the script...


    Traveler BS.
     
  12. { Emilia }

    { Emilia } alta moda Moderator

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    I'm sure he made plenty of minor mistakes, too... and they didn't end up in an episode because... you know... they were minor.
     
  13. Runetouch

    Runetouch Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Wesley was, imo, the worst character of TNG.
     
  14. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Reginald Barclay was the worst character in TNG, I thought. Wesley could've become a very successful character, with a few modifications, and some judicious rewriting. It's surprising how these writers couldn't channel their own childhood to inform Wesley. It's even more surprising what actors can channel their childhood, like Bruce Willis, who was always good at that - as evidenced in 12 Monkey's, for example. It's not such a hard thing to do, really.
     
  15. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    Reg was fine, though quirky. A genius without charisma is believable. I agree with Runetouch, though I'll promote Wesley to worst main character.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  16. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I didn't mind Wesley, and his first "send off" in Final Mission was pretty touching. It just seemed so out of character when he threw his Starfleet career away in Journey's End, and I wish they explained how he got back into Starfleet for the wedding in Nemesis.

    Sure Wesley's character was sort of clunky in the beginning, but really, so were ALL the TNG characters.
     
  17. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    He teleported from... where ever.
     
  18. Shat Happens

    Shat Happens Captain Captain

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    the same way Worf came back to the Enterprise for the movies.

    Also only just now I noticed Wesley wasn't in them. Lol
     
  19. WesleysDisciple

    WesleysDisciple Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I loved Wesley... but thats largely from watching the whole series as a preteen.

    He was a youth appeal charachter, who frequently outwitted and outperformed the grownups... I loved him for that.
     
  20. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

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    He was not written likeable in most episodes, just annoying.