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Croaker

Firefly

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Those of you who miss what Star Trek used to give you should do what ever you can to watch Firefly. I bought the DVD set on a friends recommendation a few months ago and was blown away. The best thing about them is that they are FUNNY!! It's not a "comedy", but I've laughed less at most sitcoms. Great characters who do unexpected things. Joss Whedon is a master at this. I was never a fan of Buffy or Angel. I just didn't get them. Firefly I get. I wish I had tried to watch it when it was on the air, but it was advertised so poorly I can't even remember seeing a commercial for it. I remember my friend asking me if I'd seen it, and he tried to describe it to me, but it just sounded like a bad knock-off of Star Trek to me. After watching it there are things about this show that I like better than Trek. I probably like Star Trek more than most people on this board, so let me use another example. Think: Han Solo meets Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The early adventures of Han Solo before he met Chewbacca, and won the Millenium Falcon from Lando Calrissian. A space western, but so much more. It has a great cast including Alan Tudyick, who has recently been seen in such odd films such as; "Dodgeball", as a man who thinks he is a pirate, and "I Robot", as the voice of the robot. It also stars Ron Glass from Barney Miller fame! (Remember that show?) Anyway, if I can't convince you just watch "Serenity" that is coming out sometime next year.


Exagerate the essential. Leave the obvious vague. ---Vincent Van Gogh

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I think there are a few 'Firefly' fans on the board...

I'd have to say that the time I've spent going through the 'Firefly' series this year has been more worthwhile than most of the films I've seen. Like 'SportsNight' and the early great days of 'Alias', it proves that a television series can consistently provide higher art, or at least more rewarding entertainment, than most mainstream movies. 'Firefly' is everything the Star Wars prequels should have been but aren't, and if Whedon can make it translate to the big screen, then 'Serenity' will be quite a contender next year.

Who could have asked for a more perfect cast?

If only Lucas would let him write the script for Episode 3. He'd be my top choice.

And I'm not a fan of Buffy or Angel either.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Link to Firefly movie thread.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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As you might expect, I'm a Firefly fan. Watched all the episodes when they were originally broadcast. Three of them never aired at all, thanks to FOX network's lack of support and untimely cancellation of the show. Fan petitions and write-in campaigning seems to have helped convince the powers that it would be worthwhile to bring out the full series on DVD, and the phenomenal sales of the DVD set (including a campaign to send sets to troops in Iraq, where it was well-received) helped convince Universal to greenlight the movie project.

My DH will endure Buffy, and enjoys Angel, but we're equally enthusiastic about Firefly. "Jaynestown" is his favorite episode. I like "War Stories." Actually, I like 'em all.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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My favorite is "Our Mrs. Reynolds". I hope that character shows up in the movie. I also love the very last episode, on the discs anyway, with the bounty hunter. It would be cool if he showed up in the movie too.


Exagerate the essential. Leave the obvious vague. ---Vincent Van Gogh

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Whedon's commentary on "Objects in Space" is very interesting, both from a director's POV, and for what it reveals of his personal philosopy and influences.

"Our Mrs. Reynolds" is also one of my favorites, with one of the wickedest lines ever:

spoilers1.gif

Rev. Book's threatening Mal with "a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater."


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Croaker wrote:

: It also stars Ron Glass from Barney Miller fame!

Oh! oh! that's RIGHT! so THAT'S where I recognized him from!

My priest is out of town right now, so last Friday his daughter had a few of us over to watch the first two pilot episodes of Firefly. (Clarification: The actual "pilot" is a two-hour episode and thus constitutes Episodes 1 and 2, I believe, and our host said Episode 3 was sort of a "second pilot" that the network commissioned to get the series off to a more action-packed start. So it was actually THREE episodes that we watched, depending on how you count.) I liked what I saw and am definitely interested in watching the rest of the series -- especially since there aren't that many episodes! -- and I particularly got a kick out of the way the captain, uh, kills people without much warning.

And while I haven't seen Enterprise in years, I did find myself wondering if there is some sort of trend going on with blues-y western Bon Jovi-style guitar themes playing over the opening credits of spaceship shows.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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And while I haven't seen Enterprise in years, I did find myself wondering if there is some sort of trend going on with blues-y western Bon Jovi-style guitar themes playing over the opening credits of spaceship shows.

It's something to do with 'grounding' these series and demonstarting that, however far we go into the distant corners of space, it's really not much different to the ol' expeditions to go off "finding" new bits of America and whatever. Something Firefly does with significantly more aplomb than Enterprise

Joss Whedon and Tim Minear, the writers of that third episode (or second, or indeed first... You know what I mean) do a nice commentary on the DVD outlining what it was the network had issues with in their pilot (or, as it was, tenth or so) episode and how they tried to appease them. Good listening for anyone who wants a lesson in why network TV is a very, very frustrating place to work if you like doing new things.

Phil.


"We live as if the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be." - Angel

"We don't do perms!" - Trevor and Simon

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And really, Firefly was a western with the appearance of sci-fi.


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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I've read teh same about Star Trek, but Firefly was mor obvious about it.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Yeah, Gene Roddenberry pitched Star Trek as "Wagon Train goes to the stars," or some such thing.

It's also interesting how the "hero" of this series is basically a Confederate soldier who spouts "The South will rise again!" type rhetoric. What is Whedon's own geographical background, I wonder?


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I believe Whedon is born and bred west coast. But he was interested in the idea of the hero being from the side that lost.


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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I believe Whedon is born and bred west coast.  But he was interested in the idea of the hero being from the side that lost.

West coast plus a few years of English public school and college at Wesleyan University. He's been around.

Edited by BethR

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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I've finally finished watching the DVD's, and I'm now primed for the movie, as I'm hoping they address a couple of questions I have. It's too bad there wasn't a second season, because I really think this show could have taken off if given a real chance.

I do have one question, though. Does Joss Whedon ever explain why there were so many phrases spoken in Chinese? I really like having a different culture referenced so frequently, but some of those phrases seem to extend quite a bit. I was curious as to the reasoning.

The show has some wonderful quirks, compelling storylines, laugh-out-loud humor, and great characters. Another great series from Whedon.


Subtlety is underrated

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I think he addresses the Mandarin chinese in the commentary on the DVDs. From what I remember, the idea is that Mandarin is the common bartering language of the poorer worlds, because the biggest corporation (that has offices on all planets) is Mandarin. Or something like that.


It had a face like Robert Tilton's -- without the horns.

- Steve Taylor, "Cash Cow"

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Also, it allowed the characters to swear extensively without being censored by the network. smile.gif


It had a face like Robert Tilton's -- without the horns.

- Steve Taylor, "Cash Cow"

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I do have one question, though.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
Opus, Twitter, Facebook

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Hm. I vaguely remember that explanation too. I remember it more than the corporation one, now that you've posted it. So I think yours is probably the right one.


It had a face like Robert Tilton's -- without the horns.

- Steve Taylor, "Cash Cow"

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Although I still think the *real* one is that it allowed the characters to swear with impunity without fearing american censors. smile.gif


It had a face like Robert Tilton's -- without the horns.

- Steve Taylor, "Cash Cow"

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Although I still think the *real* one is that it allowed the characters to swear with impunity without fearing american censors. smile.gif

Same here. biggrin.gif


"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
Opus, Twitter, Facebook

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Growing up with lots of Chinese-Canadian classmates, I did manage to pick up at least one rather offensive expression. Years after I had finished high school, I trotted it out of my rusty memory and tested it on a Chinese-Canadian co-worker, who gasped and said she couldn't believe I had said that. (She did know that I was going to try to quote some sort of offensive expression from memory, but I guess she hadn't expected that it would be THAT one.)

It's intriguing to see how Arthur C. Clarke predicted the Chinese space program would be giving the Russians and Americans a race for their money, when he wrote 2010: Odyssey Two back in the early '80s (the film -- which omitted the Chinese stuff -- came out in '84, the novel before that). Here we are, over 20 years later and just 5 years away from that novel's cover date, and whaddayaknow, the Chinese are indeed getting their space program up to speed, and America doesn't want to be left behind.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Darn you, Joss Whedon. Darn you for creating a show outside of the Buffy universe that I really really like now. I've only watched the first three episodes, but I can't wait for the rest (I'm currently Netflixing the set).

I do like the fact that the show (so far) is less sci-fi and more western. It makes for an interesting look and feel. I'd write more, but I've still have some episodes to watch.

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Further discussion of the connection between China's military-industrial ambitions and Firefly in this SyFy Portal article, which includes a link to a site which translates all the Chinese phrases from the show, several of them, as has been noted--um--not FCC-friendly in English. A few are innocuous, such as "mei-mei"--"little sister", or some conversational phrases.

excl.gif The article itself includes two of the objectionable expletives.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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