In a world gone crazy with faux nerd culture it’s refreshing to see a dyed-in-the-wool, bona fide, self-proclaimed geek stand up and take the helm of the all too often watered down realm of all things geek. Not surprisingly the geek in question is none other than the intrepid Wil Wheaton who started his journey into our nerd-loving hearts as Wesley Crusher on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
His latest incarnation is as host of “The Wil Wheaton Project,” a weekly breakdown of the current pulse of science fiction news and entertainment that premiers on SyFy May 27. The half-hour show will be filled with clips of things Wheaton loves from the Internet and television. Wheaton, along with guests from the geekosphere will provide insightful, mostly hilarious commentary on the types of programs and entertainment that Wheaton and his nerdy ilk just can’t get enough of.
Reminiscent of shows like “The Soup,” “The Wil Wheaton Project” will skewer both scripted and unscripted shows that delve into the paranormal, science fiction and other genre topics that your weird little brother watches in the basement. Alone.
“It’s sort of like Talk Soup for geeks, with a heavy focus on those hilariously bad paranormal reality shows. In fact, that’s where the whole thing started a year ago,” Wheaton shared on his blog. “But as we worked on the show more and more, we discovered that there were lots of scripted paranormal shows that provided a ton of comedic material. When we expanded to cover the scripted shows, we discovered that nobody was doing a show like this that was just focused on the genre shows that nerds like us love”
Hopefully one thing they love will be taking a few shots at the likes of pretty boy Zak from “Ghost Adventures” and all those celebrity haunting confession shows – not to mention pseudo-geek shows like TNT’s reality competition “King of the Nerds.” After all, “The Wil Wheaton Project” is hosted by the undisputed “King” and Wheaton’s rock star status will no doubt garner instant street cred throughout geekdom.
One of the coolest things about Wheaton is the consistency of his personal character – he’s been true to his own nerdy obsessions and become not just a Hollywood survivor but a strong role model and inspiration for anyone who has ever felt picked on or left out for liking something that wasn’t in the mainstream.
“When a person makes fun of you, when a person is cruel to you, it has nothing to do with you…it’s about them feeling bad about themselves,” Wheaton said during a panel at Denver’s Comic Con last June. “It absolutely gets better as you get older. Don’t ever let them make you feel bad because you love something they decided is only for nerds.”
But nerd culture is growing and if “The Wil Wheaton Project” has anything to say about it, it wouldn’t be surprising to find the “cool” kids clamoring to get in on the joke as Wheaton riffs his way through the latest geek news, events, pop culture and viral videos.
From musing about the nature of Goofy in “Stand By Me” to playing the boy wonder of the Starship Enterprise and becoming the arch nemesis turned boon pal to Sheldon Cooper on “The Big Bang Theory,” Wil Wheaton is a man who has most definitely become far more than the sum of his parts.
The culmination of all that is Wheaton has become a cultural icon – and one with deep insight, searing humor and one great big heart. Wheaton has his finger on the pulse of geek culture because he’s one of them and like any great leader he knows that with great power comes great responsibility. There’s no doubt that “The Wil Wheaton Project” will deliver. And, for those of us swooning on the sidelines, it feels like May 27 just can’t get here fast enough.
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