So you’d like to know a little more about me, eh? Very nosy of you. But since you’re here… I’m “Crazy Uncle” Dennis, and I’m an independent media critic, reviewer, and columnist. This is my website, and I write about topics like Star Trek, gaming, cinema, sci-fi, and general geekdom and entertainment.
In a former life I was a professional writer, with a focus on marketing. I’ve worked with large and small companies, including several years spent with a large games company. No, I’m not telling you which one! Having been on “the inside” of the games industry for a time, I like to think that gives me a somewhat different perspective when discussing the subject here on the website.
Speaking of the website, I founded crazyuncledennis.com in late 2019, at a time when the impending end of the decade really hit me with a sense of time marching on. For a long time I’d wanted a space of my own where I could talk about the subjects that interest me, and it seemed like it was one of those “now or never” moments. If you’d like to know a little more about how the website came to be, as well as its early days and weeks, click or tap here.
As someone with physical and mental health issues, my life can be pretty complicated. Even pre-COVID, I spent most of my time at home. I’m not able to travel very far or do things like go to the cinema any more, which can be a little sad. But my health was another factor in wanting to have a space of my own on the internet.
Spending time in a fictional world provides an excellent escape for me from some of these health issues, and taking even more time to think and write about something I’ve watched is an extension of that. From a selfish point of view, the kind of thing I do here is an escape from other aspects of my life. That sounds somewhat more depressing than it actually is, but what I’m really trying to say is that spending more time in a fictional world exercises these old brain cells, and can help provide a much-needed distraction at times.
Though I don’t talk about sexuality and gender issues exclusively, I’m asexual and my gender identity falls in somewhere in between male and female (despite the website having a “masculine” sounding name!) I grew up in the UK, and after spending a number of years living and working overseas I returned here in the early 2010s and am now settled.
So that’s a little about me and how the website came to be. Perhaps it could be helpful to list some of the franchises that I enjoy to give you an idea of some of the topics I talk about. The main one is Star Trek, which has been my biggest fandom since the early 1990s. My first contact with the franchise was Star Trek: The Next Generation, which I watched during its original broadcast run here in the UK, along with Deep Space Nine and Voyager. I went back and watched The Original Series and its films in the ’90s too. During Enterprise’s run I didn’t tune in regularly – though I was still disappointed when it was cancelled! I know many Trekkies who didn’t watch the Kelvin timeline films beginning with the 2009 reboot, but I did and while they aren’t my favourite part of the franchise I think they’re solid standalone titles. When Discovery brought the franchise back to the small screen I was thrilled, and modern Star Trek is a big topic that you’ll find me talking about.
I was lucky enough to come to Star Wars in the early ’90s, before George Lucas messed with the original films too much! A friend of mine introduced me to the trilogy, and though it’s always been a secondary fandom of mine compared with Star Trek, I enjoyed it. The prequels didn’t work for me, sorry to say, and while the first two parts of the sequel trilogy were definitely an improvement, the way it wrapped up was poor. I keep hoping for better things from Star Wars, and there have been some solid stories in there, including Rogue One. Thankfully the “Star Trek versus Star Wars” phenomenon has mostly died out – I never understood that rivalry!
There are many other films, games, and television shows I enjoy outside of Star Trek and Star Wars. Here’s a short selection of each! In the film category we have everything from James Bond to Disney animation, with Alien and Jurassic Park thrown in for good measure. Television shows include titles like Futurama and Game of Thrones, as well as some relatively obscure, older sci-fi series like Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Space Precinct. Finally, a handful of video games I enjoy: Age of Empires, Fall Guys, the Mass Effect trilogy, and Shenmue.
Though I may sometimes express opinions which run counter to what’s popular, I don’t set out to be a contrarian. Disliking something just because other people like it is not what I’m about, and I’ve often found the opposite to be true: when a film, game, or television series picks up a lot of buzz, it’s often because it’s good! I’m also not a hipster who wants to tell you about some obscure Argentinian arthouse film that’s been dubbed in Swahili; for the most part, my tastes stay in the mainstream, with a focus on sci-fi and fantasy.
History is another passion of mine. In fact it was the subject I studied at university, though I doubt I’ll spend too much time writing about it here! Though I firmly believe any topic or era can be interesting if presented well, I have a greater fascination with American history – even though I’m not an American – and the post-medieval period.
Comments on all articles and columns here are deliberately switched off. And they are unlikely to be switched on any time soon. There is an insane amount of content on the web where people have vomited their half-digested opinions. This little slice of the internet is for my half-digested vomit, and mine alone. I’m not a particularly sociable person – especially with strangers online – and I have no real desire to be “interactive”, or to spend a lot of time moderating comments and replies to keep this site ship-shape. I recognise that lots of people need to be able to have that interactive element, but this isn’t that kind of website.
You might’ve noticed that every piece I write here ends with a little disclaimer. There’s no legal reason to put that there, but I want people to know that everything I write, especially if it’s something critical about a franchise they like, is just the opinion of one person. There are lots of arguments online which often descend into toxicity, and while I try to be positive about the things I like, as an independent critic sometimes I will talk negatively about a television series, film, or video game. I reserve the right to do so, but at the same time it’s all just my subjective opinion. I have a piece about subjectivity that I really recommend – you can find it by clicking or tapping here.
I truly hope you’ll find some of the topics I write about interesting and engaging. I will try to write reviews of Star Trek episodes and films as they’re released, as well as other titles that I find interesting. Though Star Trek, sci-fi, fantasy, and gaming are perhaps my primary topics, almost anything in the entertainment realm might end up being the subject of an article or column.
Just as a final note, I know what it’s like to deal with mental health issues. If you’re suffering, or caring for someone who is, help is available. You’re a simple Google search away from a phone number or email address for organisations like the Samaritans, or others which might be more local to you. Please don’t suffer in silence. Help is available! I sincerely wish you the very best with whatever you’re going through.