Firefly again

Sep 12, 2009 15:18

I'm doing a Firefly rewatch with housemate Chessie, who's only seen the movie long ago and forgotten most of that. Last night we watched the premiere, "Serenity." I've been very curious to see the show from my new fannish perspective, but so far the rewatch has mainly just confirmed my previous impressions, namely ( Read more... )

entry: ep notes, entry: musings, fandom: firefly

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Comments 16

clawofcat September 12 2009, 22:13:49 UTC
I watched Firefly for the first time in May/June shortly after the end of Dollhouse, so I think my impressions of the characters were pretty different than they would have been had I seen the show fresh off the blocks. I had Caleb, Jasmine, Hamilton, Alpha and Cameron (from Sarah Connor Chronicles) on the mind when I first "met" Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash and River. Which, I guess, is a weird way to back into a show.

I had a similar impression of really loving the characters, but not being too impressed with the actual plot/story telling.

So with you on the Zoe/Wash and Jayne love. Jayne's got to be my favorite. Also hated Kaylee. I thought they took a page out of her book with Fred, too, except Kaylee was so much more annoying because there's something oddly childish and infantile about her characterization. I also get sick and tired of Joss throwing his female characters under the bus through either injury or death to illicit fan sympathy. Shootng Kaylee so early on in the series didn't make me like her anymore, Joss!

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snickfic September 12 2009, 22:29:39 UTC
Oh, yes, seeing the actors as other things would be radically different. Firefly was the first Whedon thing I saw - I watched the entire series the winter after the movie came out - so I saw the actors fresh. Which is just as well, I think, since their characters were all much more developed on Firefly than on those other shows (with the possible exception of SCC, which I haven't seen).

Yes to the the infantility of Kaylee. I like it even less when they start bringing her uncomplicated sexual enthusiasm into it.

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eowyn_315 September 12 2009, 22:15:41 UTC
So, I'm curious - do you like the show overall? I'm not much of a Firefly fan (and by "not much" I mean "not at all"), and your comments sound almost exactly like my thoughts, lol, but that would make a rewatch pretty masochistic. :)

I love Jayne to pieces, and Wash and Zoe are awesome, both singularly and as a couple, but the rest of them I would totally, totally airlock. I share you dislike of Book and Inara, for pretty much the same reasons. Kaylee didn't bother me as much as Fred did, but yeah, forced cuteness abounds, and Mal... I mostly want to slap him, and not in a good way.

I also dislike River and Simon, whom you didn't really mention (but as I recall, they're not in the pilot much), so overall not a group of people I really wanted to spend time with.

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snickfic September 12 2009, 22:26:10 UTC
Despite the complaints, yes, I do actually like the show quite a bit. :) Partly it's for the characters I do love - primarily Jayne, Zoe, and River, with Wash, Simon, and Mal as the second tier. But largely it's to do with the fact that I adore exotic and pseudo-exotic worldbuilding. Firefly has a very specific futuristic Western-Chinese fusion flavor to its setting that I just love. So it's got a few characters I really like, a setting I enjoy, and the fabulous Whedon dialogue, and apparently that's enough.

I like River very much, but then Whedon and I seem to share a thing for near-prescient psychotics. Simon took me much longer to warm up to.

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eowyn_315 September 12 2009, 22:33:38 UTC
Huh. His world-building was another one of the things that completely turned me off. The Chinese aspects seemed rather fetishy, not like a serious consideration of what a fusion culture would be like. (The Western/space combo was weird enough on its own, but it didn't give me that icky feeling the way the Chinese parts did.)

In general, I think Joss' world-building skills leave something to be desired. He did the same thing with Buffy/Angelverse and Dollhouse, IMO - throws out a bunch of things with great potential, but which only sort of make sense. As long as you don't think too hard about the holes, and can focus on the character development (which is usually top-notch, but in this case, not to my liking) and of course the Whedon dialogue, then you're good.

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snickfic September 12 2009, 22:45:34 UTC
Well, *as* worldbuilding it makes no sense, agreed. But if I like the flavor of a world well enough, then sense isn't always necessary. *g* And while intellectually I can understand the fetishistic complaint about the Chinese elements, it doesn't bother me personally.

Also, it's possible the logic fail of the worldbuilding would bother me a lot more if the canon was larger. Buffy has a number of huge gaping holes where the plot tore the flimsy worldbuilding to shreds, but since there's so little of Firefly I don't think the weak points were tested nearly so much.

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penny_lane_42 September 13 2009, 04:14:48 UTC
I agree with you on lots of things here, but especially the bit about the funniest part of the episode being Jayne and the fed. That's a pretty perfect scene.

I hate the fan-service naked Inara scenes even more than I used to. It's almost visceral at this point. I'm opposed to and squicked by everything she is professionally I totally agree. Though I still like her, if only because I find her interactions with Mal fascinating. They've got such completely opposite worldviews, and those worldviews are constantly clashing, and I find that fascinating. I would have liked to have seen that developed more.

I would like you so much better if there was any evidence at all that the writers had ever, like, been personally acquainted with a person practicing a traditionally-flavored religion of the sort that you supposedly come from. YES. Just...YES.

because I'm so patently supposed to love her. Yes. Just like Fred. And like Willow on occasion, too. Fred was awesome when she was still insane. And when she was Illyria. There are ( ... )

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snickfic September 13 2009, 04:38:28 UTC
Fred was awesome when she was still insane. And when she was Illyria.

Yup. Exactly. I like Illyria ever so much better than Fred.

Kaylee would be perfectly described using that Spanish word that means "so cute it's too cute"! Did you ever settle on an English translation?

Well, for the context I needed I finally decided 'cutesy' would be best, since it has that informal flavor I think my student was looking for. But here I think the less common definition of 'precious' might work better.

Is it just because religion is so central to his character and the writers clearly don't understand it?

Pretty much. It isn't even so much Book specifically as it is Book as representative of every single time I've seen TV and movies portray a bland, watered-down faux-Christianity that no one in their right mind would devote their life to. Sigh. Looking at Book, I suspect it's just as well Joss ignored basically all the Christian symbolism built into the vampire concept - except for the crosses, which in the context of the Buffyverse never did ( ... )

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penny_lane_42 September 13 2009, 05:01:40 UTC
Cutesy works, sure. I remember seeing "precious" used in that way the first couple of times, and I was so confused because I'd never seen it before and the dictionaries I had didn't have that definition of them. It's still weird to hear that word with that connotation, even if I think you're right that it fits with this particular context ( ... )

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snickfic September 13 2009, 10:52:17 UTC
Actually, of my very few options I think Riley's my favorite Jossian representation of a religious character - certainly of a Christian character. Not only does he get a line, but he actually goes to church in "Who Are You?" What's more, Joss doesn't make a big deal of this or try to make any particular point with it - which I'm pretty sure is just as well, considering Joss' history. It's just an unremarked aspect of who Riley is.

To my mind, this is much more convincing and interesting than Willow's occasional "Hanukkah!" exclamations. It also hints that there's a lot more to Riley than we're ever shown, which I also like. Despite his insecurities and his basic incompatibility with Buffy, I like Riley and appreciate anything that rounds out his character a little more.

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blackoberst September 17 2009, 10:34:38 UTC
Sotia and myself are going to start watching Firefly as soon as we're done with S4 of Bones. So far, I'm intrigued by what it's going to be like. (As for Bones, I really like it, despite the enormous ammount of UST between the two main characters.)

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snickfic September 17 2009, 23:33:18 UTC
Feel free to drop back in with your observations after you've seen a few eps. :)

As for Bones, I saw the first season but am now woefully behind. I was really enjoying what I saw, though, and there were a number of fun characters. Plus, turns out I like Boreanaz much better when he's not being Angel.

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