Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by junkdata, Jul 10, 2014.
As a kid who watched TNG, I related to his character the least.
I don't completely buy into that idea. You don't need a child character to get a child to be pulled into a show (or a teen, or whatever.) I mean, if this were true why don't all works of fiction have child/teen characters in them to pull in younger viewers?
When you were a kid and watched "Star Wars" did you really have a hard time connecting with anyone because there was no child around?
No, you wanted to BE Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Obi Won Kenobi and save the galaxy from Darth Vader!
You don't want to be a child in that universe because you know being a child sucks and that being an adult rocks!
I think it was Season 2 when Wesley's character was treated a bit more seriously that I started liking him, when he became less of the "saves the ship/day" guy or the "puts himself/others in peril to get the story rolling" guy.
In those early episodes when he's saving the day it's absurd because here we have a ship filled with adults who represent the very best and brightest of Starfleet being upstaged by a teenager in doofy sweaters.
Once Wesley became less of this special, infallible, snowflake who must be cherished and isthe most specialist person on the ship and more of an everyday teen who was particularly adept and driven he worked better.
I totally agree. It's Batman and Robin, not Robin and Batman. When you're a kid, your impressed by the heroic figure, not by another kid.
Spock is said to have inspired some young viewers to become scientists and Spock wasn't a young science student.
Uhura didn't need to be a teenager to inspire a young Whoopi Goldberg. So of course, she identified herself to the character...but not because the age.
Wasn't there originally suppose to be the Picard/Riker/Wesley triad things going on. Where you basically have the same guy in different eras of his life, figuratively speaking. You have Wesley as the young smart kid thinking of going into Starfleet. You have Riker and the young tactically skilled officer that needs experience to hone his skills, and then you have Picard so is the old captain that has the skills and experience, though possibly not the body to keep up as he use to.
That ended soon after it started as the characters started to drift from their original concepts.
First two and a half seasons of Wesley were pretty annoying, after that, he got a little better. First Duty was a great episode.
I bet some people here like the scene where Wesley is in the wrong end of a bayonet in season 1 AND would have liked if the scene where he is decapitated would have been filmed as it was originally written for 'Yesterday's Enterprise'.
Wesley was such an obvious plant for young viewers to fantasize about being it was hard to consider him as a character. He reminded me of the fan fictions where some young spunky female cadet helps Kirk save the day and they have a 'special moment' -
When Wesley was making mistakes and behaving more as a regular person in the later shows he became tolerable.
Wesley was annoying because they always seemed to have him saving the Enterprise. Didn't they think the other 1,000 crewmembers ever contributed anything?
And, true, he was smart for a youth, and he had two brilliant parents (apparently). But, what about all the scientists and engineers on the ship, who had already graduated from the Academy and may have had years of starship-duty experience?
That was what really irked me about having Wesley always know the answer.
Now, in some of the recent books, he has matured considerably, as a Traveler. But, that storyline is not yet canon.
I think part of the problem with Wes was how his character was written. They seemed to get a better handle on how to write for him in S3 and into S4 when they put him into uniform.
Your personal canon can be whatever you want it to be. I have my own...
Not everyone hates Wesley.
His mother adores him, and The Traveler seems to had taking a liking to him as well.
I was always a fan of Wesley, but then I was the same age as his character when I started watching TNG so he totally clicked for me.
I never had a big problem with the character. I didn't like the early concept of him being the boy genius, but when they gave him a regular job on the ship, I liked him just fine...he was just a very green young officer at that point.
The reader/viewer identification character doesn't necessarily have to be the one that you want to be...just the one who's more down on your level...someone via whom the smarter, wiser character can share exposition with the reader/viewer. For a less juvenile example, see Dr. Watson.
When I first got into TNG it was between seasons 6 and 7, I was 9 and watching it in syndication. I was kind of a math whiz and had hero fantasies, so of COURSE I loved Wesley. Wish fulfillment character all the way. It wasn't kids Wesley's age he appealed to, it was kids right below Wesley's age. Just like high school kids didn't like High School Musical, middle school kids did.
Wesley being brilliant wasn't the problem, so much as having the personality of a character for Full House. In a way I think that's how TV teenagers were 'supposed' to be written before the Simpsons. Sort of Beaver Cleaver 'Aww shucks' types. But if they had made Wesley more of a brilliant version of Jake Sisko he would have been more tolerable. A genius with the feelings of a believable teenager.
I might have made him forgetful--a bit absent minded--that would have helped humanize the character--that and having him be played by Chris Hardwick...
Of course, every time I see Talking Dead, I yell at the screen "Where's Wheaton?"
He was, he just saved the ship far to much for his role.
The sad thing is, the writers still didn't know what to do with him in the end, with that horrible send off. Does he get a commission somewhere? No. Does he meet a girl at a deep space science facility and decide to stay behind to help further the facility with the girl of his dreams? No. He turns to energy and screws off.
Works of fiction that are aimed at children do. If you ever briefly check out channels like ABC Family, Nick, Disney, the child/teen actors are prominently featured, and the adult actors are supporting characters.
Consider The Big Bang Theory, all the main characters are in the age bracket of the prime age demographic (even if the actors aren't). This attracts people in the desired demographic.
With ST: Enterprise there was Trip, he was in his twenties, but seemed younger. When I was in High School he was the one people talked about, not the thirty-something Archer and fifty-something T'Pol.
And if the heroic character is also young so much the better for kids.
Spiderman is perpetually late teens - early twenties. Why not have him be in his forties? In the last Superman movie, Kent as an adult was moved from his thirties/forties into his twenties. So that the people who go to fantasy films in large numbers (and go more than once) would identify with the hero on the screen
But in that case the identification was by race, so there was a link, Whoopi saw someone from her group on screen. If Uhura were white there would have been no link.
^Kids are going to relate to whoever they're going to relate to, regardless of age. Robert Downey Jr. is pushing 50 but kids love him as Iron Man all the same.
Wesley as a character was okay, though. I really felt for him, but he was a bit too much of a pollyanna. Even at 12 years old (when I was old enough to understand what was going on, and had caught a rerun of the episode), I wasn't that damned innocent. I was closely observing the nearly naked Edo. That Wesley could completely ignore that, and being somewhat older than myself at the time, baffled me.
That being said, I had a major crush on Wil Wheaton.
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