So, speaking as the type who doesn't like science fiction very much, is there any point in me bothering? [I was going to say that my tastes ran more to X, but I can't actually think of the last movie I really liked...]
Actually, I am heretical of the flavor that says Joss should have just made the series a western. The names and situations would have changed, but not by much. And I think it wouldn't have suffered from network execs saying, "But, we're not attracting the Andromeda and Enterprise fan base. This is a failed project."
The sci-fi elements are minor and relatively unimportant. I mean, sure, they're flying around in a starship, but this isn't drama founded on, "Look, isn't this cool that we're flying around in a starship?"
Actually, the show has a lot in common with "The Outlaw Josie Wales" if you've ever seen that.
'Fraid not. For better or worse, I have seen very little television in the past 14 years.
Maybe we'll rent one DVD this weekend.
You don't know how wrong you are.
I'm not meaning to be confrontational on this, but there's lots of stuff you're missing. I know things that I can't talk about yet without Kate outright killing me. Both elements of Sci-fi and Western are present for a reason, and it does make sense.
That's cool. All I'm saying is that based on what I've enjoyed about the series, they could have skipped the sci fi stuff. The sci fi stuff is totally cool and enjoyable--I just think it helped lead people to see the show in the wrong way--as an action/adventure/space opera. Which is really not what's cool about it.
But I'm not saying it should be a pure western for aesthetic reasons--more like I think the genre-bending setting combined with executives who ALWAYS want to sum something up into the simplest possible terms ("Um. . . is this 'Buffy in space' or 'Star Wars with horses' or 'Star Trek with criminals?'") led to all the problems that caused its early demise.
Are you actually scared I would (or even could) kill you? ;)
That's kinda cool.
There were manly tears? Oh. My.
I was all okay with you going until I read this. Now, well, there might be some residual grumpiness, or outright jealousy.
You are totally justified in any feelings of jealousy you care to indulge in. I wish I had been awake enough to think of grabbing tickets for you and others. Curse you, slow-booting brain!
It's hard to say. Most of why Firefly is good has more to do with the characters and their interactions than the plot or setting. Rent/borrow some of the DVDs, I guess.
I probably wouldn't have
cried gotten as much out of it if I didn't already know the characters well.
Well, it's been a shit week; maybe some amusing TV will cheer me up a little...
We just watched what I guess may have been the 2-hour pilot (it's the first thing on the first DVD). So far, not my thing. Reminds me too much of NextGen. Characters too stock.
It is pretty, but so was The Pillow Book, and that didn't make it a good movie, either.
We'll try one more episode (probably Wednesday) before I completely give up.
Fair enough. Just don't watch The Train Job (the second episode on the DVDs) -- it's the worst episode of the entire series.
I'm of the opinion that, primarily, Joss Whedon is a storyteller, and when he wants to tell a story, he picks the setting best needed to tell that story. Would Firefly work as simply a Western? Yes. It might even survive translation to other genres/settings, with varying degrees of success. But, I trust, and KFM mentioned, there are reasons for the sci-fi elements, but those reasons are generally about expressing or getting at a truth about the characters, which really, are the core of a Joss Whedon enterprise. Characters and story are what matter.
"De gustibus non est disputandem." =)
No beatings for you!
Remind me to have you tell me about Deadwood next time I'm over.
Deadwood is worth Netflixing, and I've not yet seen more than clips (it's in my queue, but, as far as I can tell, from discussions and other press, is that the one develeoped character is really Swearengen. But, I've not seen it, so that might be incorrect.
I think Firefly has weaknesses, and one of them is that there are *9* main characters. In the handful of episodes there were, the characters only had time to become individuals, not fully-formed characters. It would take years, at the rate, they were going to become full characters. I was interested in all of them, and I cared about all of them, but, the build was going to be slow. It might've worked better to introduce the other characters over time.
One way to illustrate this: In the 2-hour beginning of Firefly, you know that each character is distinct: you'd never confuse Kaylee for Inara (physical looks aside), or Mal for Simon. In 2 years, I couldn't distinguish between the two male minority CSI guys on CSI:Miami. Now that one was killed off, I distinguish them as the one that died, and the one that didn't die. now, granted, the characters in a CSI show take a backseat to the procedural, but, my point is, I could distinquish the Firefly characters, and felt they all offered potential.
I remember reading somewhere (it might even have been here) an opinion that the largest problem with character development (or non-) in Firefly was the number of "main" characters that were introduced all at once, thus limiting the time for establishing them and making the audience care about them individually. I tend to agree with that assessment. In both 'Buffy' and 'Angel,' the viewer only had to get to know three or four "mains" initially, and then got to know others as the series progressed. That established a "care factor" that perhaps kept more people watching longer. They were able to ask: "ooh, how does this new person relate to this other one that I care about already?" rather than continuing to ask "OK, so who are these people?" for the longer time required by more characters being developed all at once.