Newsletter Mini: Jonathan Frakes Appreciation Post
with bonus Wil Wheaton
Hi everybody, sorry I disappeared on you again; I hope you were enjoying your busy lives enough that you didn’t even notice my absence, but still appreciate me popping into your inbox nonetheless!
This isn’t a movie review post, though I do hope to get back to those (I have so many reviews. SO MANY) (it’s legit overwhelming which is why I procrastinate) — this is just a quick update with a few pop culture things I felt like sharing. I may do future Newsletter Minis if this goes well; who knows?
I know that a lot of people have been saying recently about how tough and disillusioning so much media that they love has become, particularly due to what we know about the creators. And while sometimes I’m still able to enjoy stuff regardless of the behind-the-scenes knowledge, sometimes fandoms do turn to ash in your hands, emotionally speaking, and there’s just no way to go back, and that sucks.
So I wanted to offer my nerdy peoples a bit of an antidote —
I just watched a few episodes of the Behind the Scenes featurette of Star Trek: Discovery ("The Ready Room," hosted by Wil Wheaton, aka Wesley Crusher from Next Generation) and I find it just lovely and refreshing how all the actors Wil talks to gush about how they particularly love working under the direction of Jonathan Frakes (who played Riker on TNG and has directed lots of Trek). And then on an episode where Wil interviews Frakes himself, Frakes says that he sees his job as a director as being primarily to create an environment where people feel comfortable, feel like they can make a mistake, because that lets them be more creative.
I just found that to be such a wholesome contrast to what we've heard about Joss Whedon and how he loved to humiliate his actors, and I wanted to share and give Jonathan Frakes some props as a powerful male director who uses his powers for good.
(It also brought to mind something my father has said in regard to being a rabbi — that when someone approaches you with a question about Judaism or Jewish Law, one of your jobs as a rabbi is to make sure to address the question with respect and understanding and in such a way that the asker will feel comfortable asking more questions in the future. You want to bring people in, not alienate them or shut them down — clearly this lesson holds true for all people in positions of authority.)
And of course I’d like to add the quick post-script that if you haven’t followed Wil Wheaton’s career and social media presence in the past bunch of years, he’s also a great one to keep tabs on, particularly his frank writing on depression and anxiety, his struggle for sobriety, and coping with abusive parents.
…aaaaand that’s all for now. Hopefully my next update won’t take so long but no promises!
SM’s Movie Cramming Project is a newsletter where I, SM Rosenberg, watch all the movies so you don’t have to, and also share general pop culture musings that I hope will enhance your life in some small way. Agree? Disagree? Feel free to reply!