@LeVarBurton, in the latimes:
Great interview with LeVar Burton over on Hero Complex. He talks about “Star Trek,” “Reading Rainbow” and “Roots.”
PKD: Who do you see the most?
LB: Brent [Spiner] and Marina [Sirtis]. Jonathan travels a lot directing. Patrick infrequently. I go over there or he comes over here. Gates [McFadden] is busy with her theater. Michael Dorn is out spending his money.
PKD: Any notable fans?
LB: Jimmy Fallon is a big fan of the show. He does all of these singer impersonations and a couple of months ago he did Jim Morrison singing the “Reading Rainbow” theme song. It’s really good.
PKD: It seems like Geordi always got shot down by women. Constantly. Did you ever bring that up to the showrunners?
LB: Mm-hmm. It was frustrating to me. I mean from a writer’s perspective, I get that it was the idea that the nerd or the geek is inept around the feminine form. But I was never comfortable with it. And I also thought there were some other things going on. Sociological things. Everybody had a sexual identity, even Data the robot. But Geordi didn’t. The Klingon did. But the black man didn’t. You’d have to be a black man to have the perspective, because you see that pattern repeated throughout popular culture, so it becomes a familiar pattern that you notice readily.
Bonus nerd thing: Just realized Times’ staffer Patrick Day’s initials are PKD.
Photo: Astronaut Mae Jemison appears in an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” with LeVar Burton. Credit: Robbie Robinson / Paramount Pictures
Yeah the PKD thing threw me, for a second.
Having been rewatching all of TNG, recently, these ideas are fresh in my mind. I was, in fact, just last night, thinking about the fact that Geordi never has a successful relationship, and it’s a little upsetting to me, for obvious reasons.
And now this has me wondering how many of my early relationships were coloured (so to speak) by this invisible architecture of bias… Hm
Geordie turns out to be a horrible character, along with Troi & Crusher. My theory? Writers who projected themselves into Geordie (Jerky and unable to deal with women in realistic, non-creepy ways), and their “ideas” of what women are supposed to be (so much so that they are way too idealized and hollow.) Troi becomes a better-ish character towards the end, but really only shines in parts of the roll that get her to channel her inner Demona.
The interesting thing is that these 3 characters make for good supporting characters (for the most part) Geordie is a great straight-man to Data, and Troi is a great straight-woman to Lexanna Troi. Crusher… erm.. she’s…er? AT ANY RATE… Even Riker has problems… Picard, Data, Wolf are excellent, well fleshed out characters that are the most appealing out of the gang. It’s such a shame that Geordie suffers from this nerdy, coldish portrayal of an engineer who likes to spend time on the holodeck with fake women. That’s it.
Why bother having LeVar? He has a great voice, his performance is engaging in other projects (I mean, how many times do you get caught up with his charisma and his caring eyes, and want to read a book? )—- so when you give somebody like LeVar a visor over his eyes, give him a cold, creepy role.. what are you going to get? You get a character that’s not suited for this actor.
My 2 cents.
Source: Los Angeles Times
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