blackjohn

Firefly

251 posts in this topic

Knowing a bit about Joss Whedon's style I suspect that the making of Serenity forced a much simpler ending than what would have developed in the series. There were so very many plot lines that got opened but never closed.

Ah well.

I've just started watching the series again for, it must be, the seventh time. Its been about six months since the last watching.

Mission, just stop thinking about the 15 hours. Watch one episode a week, you may even (try) to work on some sedentary project while you do so. Or eat dinner or something. But you should at least try watching them. Its not as if you need to worry they'll come out with another thirty hours of life wasting material for you to be caught up in. Its a finite time to travel.

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Knowing a bit about Joss Whedon's style I suspect that the making of Serenity forced a much simpler ending than what would have developed in the series. There were so very many plot lines that got opened but never closed.

Ah well.

As you and I have discussed off-line, my ambiguity tolerance level is pretty low. With the series being so short and what I saw in the movie...well, I fear for having to keep wondering what happened. (I still have not watched the last three episodes of the magnificent series Wonderfalls or the last season finale episode of The Pretender for this reason (And I'm complaining about 15 hours. :D ). Ironically enough, this puts me in the doubly ambiguous situation of not having completed these two series and still wondering what happened. I think about that from time to time - it gnaws away like a little trapped squirrel.)

Alright, fine. I'll put it on my Netflix list. Maybe I can watch it while I'm building my antique POTC dioramas...probably not, though. I get too involved.

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Yes! Peer pressure does work.

Well you can watch up until the last three episodes and stop if you like. And all things must come to an end...

At least Firefly had the movie to sort of tie things up. Poor Wonderfalls had nothing.

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Dude... If you can start the series, and NOT shot gun one after the other for a few days till you get er done, than... please post back here and tell us about it.

I thought I would watch one every once in a while (which is what i did with Stargate Atlantis).

Ended up watching it in about 2-3 days.

About half the way through, I had this really sad feeling though... I knew it was going to be over (that is, that the show was canceled and that was it) and kept dreading it.

Greg

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Red Cat Jenny, The first time I watched Serenity, I didn't know much about it, so wasn't horribly impressed.... but then I found a podcast about the show, and after listining to a few of them, I knew more about the characters, and when I watched it again I liked it much better......

http://signal.serenityfirefly.com/audio/si...reflyprimer.mp3

(if this link dosen't work, then try )

http://signal.serenityfirefly.com

It's the "Primer" listed in the first parragraph.....

This is mostly spoiler free... in the podcast, they will warn you befor a spoiler...

The "Songs from the Black" is all Firefly music...

Well I have to get back to work.......

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Yes! Peer pressure does work.

Well, not usually. There's your and blackjohn's concerted opinions working here. Plus if Patrick liked it...well, I guess selected peer pressure may be working. I have this whole system of movie recommendation checks and balances working in my head. I wish I could explain it, but...

My natural skepticism is still at work here. I have a learned bias against SciFi for some reason I can't explain. (Could it have been that night in Montana when I was abducted by aliens? Nah... :D:D:D ) So it's on my list, but I'm going to finish Season 1 of McLeod's Daughters before I consider the four Firefly discs.

At least Firefly had the movie to sort of tie things up. Poor Wonderfalls had nothing.

You're so right. Based on your comments now I'm really worried about those last three episodes. I know Eric's wife returns, so what happens to poor Jaye? Don't tell me... (Say, I forgot Jaye in my list of cool fictional females.)

Dude... If you can start the series, and NOT shot gun one after the other for a few days till you get er done, than... please post back here and tell us about it.

Ah, but Netflix will solve that for me. It takes a week to turn a disc around and there are four of them, so this will take me a month from the point at which I begin. I really do have an acquired bias against the more pure strains of SciFi and this may dampen my opinion somewhat. Hard to say. OTOH, Men in Black is a minor favorite movie of mine, so I guess it could go either way.

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I really do have an acquired bias against the more pure strains of SciFi and this may dampen my opinion somewhat

Well this is a horse of a different color.

If you like Science fiction, chances are good that you would love Firefly.

But if you are not really a fan of the genre, then it will be a toss up.

Fortunately, its sci-fi, western, and drama... so you might luck out.

Greg

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Fortunately, its sci-fi, western, and drama... so you might luck out.

Yes, SciFi/Western/Soap Opera have worked for me before. I actually purchased some of the Cowboy Bebop DVDs after I rented it on Duchess's recommendation. It sort of depends if I like one of the characters. In the case of Bebop, it was the character of Ed...and Ein the hyper-intelligent Welsh Corgi dog. (Ed - another fictional female of fine report, although she's only 13.)

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I remember thinking how dumb and typically sci-fi channel Firefly looked when it first came out. Since then, I've only seen a couple episodes (no cable tv for me) but I surprised myself by enjoying them. Maybe someday when I have more time (like when there's bacon in the trees) I'll have to rent them. The movie was great too.

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Fwiw... if you plan on watching it, DON'T watch the feature film first. I think you will lose alot if you do.

If you like the clever use of words and witty dialogue being bandied about by interesting characters, this show is for you.

If you liked Barney Miller... then you have to watch it to see Ron Glass play a character quite different from Harris!

:)

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Ron is just as good in this show as he was in Barney Miller. I really like his role in Firefly...he provided an even keel, good thoughts to ponder and diffusion to alot of intensity.

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I agree. After Mal, his character was the one I could most easily identify with.

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So, I got the first Disc from Netflix and I watched the first two episodes...

(This is all just my first thoughts, fresh from viewing last night. Unfortunately, this has to compete with recent viewings of the first season of McLeod's Daughters which I find to be exceptionally well acted and written. They are two completely different sorts of shows, but that does impact my first impressions.)

First off, let me briefly explain my experience with Whedon's previous series Buffy the Vamp, which I watched for almost a season. I never really identified with any of the characters on that show and only watched the season I did (season 4, I think) because friend insisted that I do so. I took half a liking to the main villain there, a sort of Frankenstein thing that could apparently pop a whole case of disks directly into the drive on his chest. (How cool is that?)

My problem with Buffy was that none of the characters seemed "right" to me. They weren't...something. Whole? Consistent? Very believable? This show already appears to me to have the same problem. I haven't identified with any of the regulars. They seem off in the same way Buffy's little cadre did. I suspect this is a Whedon thing.

Most of them are stock "Western" caricatures of a sort. We have the surly, embittered leader who appears all gruff and mean, but actually is very concerned about his group. (Which, so far, seems to borrow a lot personality-wise from the character of Han Solo. "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." Except he doesn't have enough of the fun cockiness Solo had. He's got that teenager-oriented "brooding" thing going on instead.) We have the rash and impulsive hot shot who is apparently only concerned about money. (Which reminds me of one of the characters in the western Yellow Sky, but I don't remember his name.) We have the reluctant and intelligent "Doc." If he were also a drunk, he would be a complete Western stereotype. We have the hooker with a heart of gold (I'm assuming she will eventually be shone to have a heart of gold. So far, not so much, but there are indications.) And we have the preacher. There is often a good preacher in earlier Westerns for some reason. If a preacher appears in later Westerns, he is pretty cynically drawn. This character appears to be pretty good, so he appears to be a throwback to the older Westerns.

Then we have these other characters that seem like they don't quite belong in this show at all. There's the quiet female hotshot. (Is she a hotshot? I'm assuming so.) So far, her character is as interesting as cardboard, so I hope that changes. We have her husband who, for the life of me, I can't figure out how he wound up in this ensemble cast. His character doesn't fit at all IMO. I guess he's the sort of hotshot pilot/mob wheelman, but he doesn't even seem to be that. We have the cheerful mechanic chick who reminds me for all the world of Number 3 on the cartoon Kids Next Door. (Does she have any rainbow monkeys? I saw teddy bears...) Then there's River who is a sort of standard X-Files/The Pretender type character who is brilliant but damaged. (She's still the most interesting thing going in the show for me. Somehow she doesn't suffer quite so badly from that whole Whedon "not quite right" character thing. Probably because she hasn't said much. Well, and she is inherently "not quite right.")

And what the heck is up with those accents? The funny words - fine. Even cool. The obvious dropping of gs in things ending in "ing"? Weird...it sounds completely unnatural the way several of the actors do it. It struck a jarring chord with me from the outset. That may only be the first episode, though. I didn't notice it quite as much in the second show. I also notice they like to drop the nouns in sentences. A bit of this - again, it's cool. But doing it consistently makes it sound sort of forced to me.

A point made by the director of a previous series I watched was that the first few shows of any given series are not written with the actor in mind. As the actors grow into their characters, the writer takes this into account and the character improves as the actor becomes more comfortable. Still, even season 4 of Buffy retained that sort of out-of-place, alienated character facet, so who knows?

The two stories I saw were pretty standard modern-western/sci-fi fare. (The train in the second episode was sort of neat, but why would they use trains and not transports? But I am carping about foolish things.) So far it hasn't hooked me. I ordered the second one right on the tails of the first one thinking that this was going to be pretty compelling. I'll watch them both and see if things improve. The key to these sorts of series' is to hook you into what they call "the mythology" of the story - the back-stories and on-going stories involving the regular characters.

It sort of borrows from Cowboy Bebop too. Does an "Ed" character show up? How about Ein? Then I'd be hooked...

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Keep watching the show sir, and I'll bet several of the episodes will strike a chord and prove to be worth the watch time, if not provide more interesting comparison between other shows or story formulas. I am not a fan of anime or much of today's animated television shows (might've been way back in the 80's), so I couldn't make any connections between Firefly and Cowboy Bebop.

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The first disk isn't all that memorable. Hell, probably my favorite episode is the very last one!

As for cliche, yes, it is. I won't argue that. But I will ask a question, just how many character archetypes are there? Astrology gives us what, a dozen? Myers-Briggs gives us what, 16?

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Caraccioli

I think that is why the series had some problems and was eventually canceled. I think its hard to build character identity in the first show, or even in the first 5 shows.

But if Firefly doesn't do it for you, don't feel bad or disappointed. Also, you have to suspend some disbelief too for this to work for you. Its a low budget sci-fi tv series, so its not going to be polished and expensive like Star Trek, so if you get caught up in, "hey, why is that bum on another planet 500 years from now wearing Italian cammo coveralls?" you might end up missing what is good about the series.

So force yourself to enjoy it for what it is, a western in space. You may see some stereotypes you have seen a million times before, but these might just be able to take you along for one hell of a ride.

But if you don't like it, don't worry, they canceled it for you!

Greg

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As for cliche, yes, it is. I won't argue that. But I will ask a question, just how many character archetypes are there? Astrology gives us what, a dozen? Myers-Briggs gives us what, 16?

Funny you should mention MBTI - this is exactly what I noticed about the characters in McLeod's Daughters...they do behave fairly close to type. (And at least 3 and maybe all 4 of the basic types are represented among the main characters.) In fact, I find that in many shows I like because it keeps the characters more realistic and consistent (for me).

Don't get me wrong, guys. It's not the worst thing I've ever seen, I am just commenting on what I noticed. I had sort of forgotten that Whedon did Buffy until I noticed that one of the things I didn't enjoy much about the characters so far was the same undefinable thing that I didn't enjoy much about the characters on Buffy. (I wish I could pin that down better.) I think my biggest problem isn't that it's cliche, it's more than I don't identify with anyone and there are several things that stick out rather rudely and spoil some of the escapism for me. Maybe if one of the characters could stick a bunch of disks in his chest...

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Its a low budget sci-fi tv series, so its not going to be polished and expensive like Star Trek, so if you get caught up in, "hey, why is that bum on another planet 500 years from now wearing Italian cammo coveralls?" you might end up missing what is good about the series.

Actually, I did notice that several of the vehicles have been quite well done. The reaver ship, their ship, that space station thing where the evil guy was at and the train. (Which was probably CGI, but what can I say? I like trains.) They even had some custom ground transportation that was kind of interesting.

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As for cliche, yes, it is.  I won't argue that.  But I will ask a question, just how many character archetypes are there?  Astrology gives us what, a dozen?  Myers-Briggs gives us what, 16?

Funny you should mention MBTI

C'mon Mark, this *is* me you are "talking" to...

:)

Did I ever tell you about the lecture the guy who played Kevin Riley in original Trek did at a Star Trek con? You would've eaten it up!

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Ok, disc 2 is better. I sorta' liked the episode where they went to the big ball and got into the whole duel situation. It was somewhat refreshing to see a female character who dressed in what she thought was beautiful, but actually failed to dress "properly" for a dance, yet managed to avoid suffering through a whole episode of self-doubt as a result. She just bounced along and talked shop with a bunch of guys. Tres cool. Also the lines, "You didn't have to wound that man." "Yeah, I know. It was just funny." :rolleyes: (One thing Whedon does well is humor. Sometimes I get the notion that the humor isn't appropriate to the character, but it's usually funny all the same. (This time it was appropriate, though.)

I really liked the episode where the girl claims to be Mal's wife. At last a character that I like: Mal. He didn't appeal to me very much until this episode. Now he has more character and (oddly enough) integrity. (The women are still iffy. The mechanic seems too cartoony and that dropping g's things sounds too artificial. The cool chick is still about as interesting and dimensional as cardboard. The hooker seems to be far too serious. Of course, River is still pretty interesting.)

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Our Mrs Reynolds, the one with his wife, is one of the best, imho.

If you are like me, you'll find River so interesting that, by the final episode, you will pop.

:rolleyes:

I shouldn't get your expectations up like that, I suppose. Suffice to say I find the final episode to be one of the most interesting. The commentary for it just as interesting.

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Well it helps that Saffron is hot (or at least I think so... )

Anywhoo...

Caraccioli, you better watch out, you are turning into a fan!

I agree that Mal came off as kind of a prick for the first coupla episodes. But I chalk that up to taking a while before the characters fit the actors and vise versa.

I am REALLY tired of River though. As far as the show goes, to me, she is the weak link.

I haven't seen Serenity yet though... and I am debating watching it. I am sure its good, I am not sure I am ready to have all the loose ends tied up.

Greg

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Dang.... the copy of Firefly that I orderd last month, acording to the Post Office tracking number ...........is somewhere in Laredo TX.....

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And by the way...

I started yahoo group for firefly/verse/serenity costuming

http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/fireflyverse/

come join us!

gof

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Well it helps that Saffron is hot (or at least I think so... )

Saffron may look attractive, but her characters (both of them)...yuck. Beauty is skin deep. (I know, I know, it's fiction. But fiction reflects our reality - which, interestingly enough, is entirely perceived and filtered through our personal lenses creating multiple, separate realities. But I digress...)

Caraccioli, you better watch out, you are turning into a fan!\

The same thing happened with Cowboy Bebop. Unless it really clicks with me from the get go (The first season of The Pretender), they have to convince me. (Curiously, the latter seasons of The Pretender were diminished for me in that they got too involved with the backstory - or the mythology - and stopped focusing on the childlike character of Jarod and his personal mission.)

I am REALLY tired of River though.  As far as the show goes, to me, she is the weak link.

Yeah...but she's the most interesting character by far. Plus she's hyper-intelligent. If you want to evaluate based on primarily on utility in crises situations, you'd probably have to go with the two most cardboard characters on the show: the cool chick and the greedy thief. Everyone else has utility, but they also have human flaws that will interfere with their utility in a crises. Yet these are the traits that give them dimension.

I haven't seen Serenity yet though... and I am debating watching it.  I am sure its good, I am not sure I am ready to have all the loose ends tied up.

You Perceivers always fascinate me. Oddly enough I HAVE seen Serenity. I suppose I'll have to see it again now. It spends a lot of time on the River story thread as I recall it.

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