Raw Nerve with William Shatner: LeVar Burton was fascinating to listen to and watch. I continued to be surprised by the volume to which I enjoyed this series in the second season. The thing is that Shatner has an incredible past. He’s one of those boisterous types that sometimes you don’t know whether to like or not.
However, he has a knack of being able to conduct these one on one interviews that lures viewers in and keeps us watching. Shatner doesn’t sit behind a desk in these shows, but in one of those S-shaped sofas where he’s facing his guest, which was LeVar Burton for this episode. This seating arrangement invites a closeness that really propels the interview to an area it probably wouldn’t reach otherwise.
Best known as Captain Kirk, Shatner’s interview with the next edition of Star Trek’s Burton was intriguing. Burton talked about how he admired Shatner, but what was the most compelling part of the half hour was when the mini-series, Roots, was discussed.
Roots was a phenomenal program, one that Burton stated changed his life forever. They talked about how it also changed the consciousness of an entire nation, and that wasn’t an exaggeration. I actually remember the week that Roots aired, and it definitely did change America. Burton played Kunte Kinte in that series, and he was fantastic.
Later, Burton took on the role of Geordi on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Amazingly, while ST:TNG was talked about, it really wasn’t the focus. Instead, the most impact laced discussions were on Roots and Burton’s later project, Reading Rainbow.
I felt like I learned a lot about Burton during Raw Nerve and Shatner’s interview. It really was like just eavesdropping on a private conversation. Maybe that’s why Raw Nerve is a successful talk show: it’s personal, almost intimate sometimes.
Burton is an intelligent individual, and it was really nice to see him in this kind of format where we got to see and hear a personal side of him. I hadn’t seen that before, so that is another reason why I liked the show.
If you get the chance, definitely catch this in rerun.