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  • Jonas
    replied
    From what he says in the DVD audio commentaries, Whedon originally envisioned Firefly as a "dark" show where people spent half their time hating each other - and when he was given the freedom to do what he wanted in Serenity, that's what the story became. And thus it lost what was the best part of Firefly: the sense of family, of sticking together. The story of Simon and River becoming part of the crew was one of the things that drove the show, and that viewers were emotionally invested in.

    I loved Firefly deeply and I very much wanted to like Serenity. Instead, it was a slap in the face. Hell, it doesn't even have the decency to stick to series continuity.

    Leave a comment:


  • valens_shadow
    replied
    Originally posted by lotjx View Post
    Well, I guess since you asked, I will give some more of my stupid thoughts. First, Serenity fans who are so hardcore about it coming back they can't see the reality that its over. It doesn't help with Nathan Fillion saying he wants to get the rights back. I won't say it will never happen, but as I have pointed out before when a studio gets a right to something they almost neve release it. It just seems like whenever there is a sci-fi discussionstarts, Firefly gets brought up and people lose their minds about how great it was.

    Second, if I am the first person you have heard that was pissed about those deaths then I doubt it will be the last one. River is more stable now then she has been in the series and probably ever. The entire point of the film was to discover River's secret and for her to be a full sane character after it. At the end of the film, she is more of reliable asset then Jayne and probably most of the crew since the doctor and engineer seem to intend to screw til the end of time.

    Third, Joss has pissed off fans for a variety of reasons. I even have a list of 60 things Joss did wrong through out his career. I don't think Joss is the god writer that people make him out to be. He has been blessed with writers who are very good and know where to make a stand. Joss' original plot for Season 5 was to make Xander, Glory's avatar. Then have Glory kill Tara then Dark Willow kills Xander and starts the end of the world. Buffy kills Dark Willow and takes the plunge to save the world. Thankfully, the writers revolted and they went with probably their weakest season with five, but still infinitly better then Joss' original idea. You can even see most of those ideas through out the series and even in the comics. I also think while WB were morons for canning Angel, Fox was right to tell him to finish up Dollhouse which turned out to be one of his better works. Whoever said that Joss sometimes needs a heavy hand earlier in this post, is correct. He may hate outsider interference, but it has saved him a couple of times.

    Lastly, if you are using the Buffy comics as a biase of his "good" work then I think you are very very wrong. Minus the first three issues and the Faith stuff, Buffy the comic has been a disaster. Angel was great til they got out of hell then it became boring. I think a lot of anti-Whedon comes from his comic writing and not just the Buffyverse. While, his first storyline with Astonishing X-Men was great, it became Buffy with Kitty has Buffy and Colossus as Angel. It was also really boring. He also came up with the end of Civil War which also intentionally or unintentionally lead to JMS having a falling out with Marvel. So, if you are wondering why comic fans are concerned with him directing Avengers this is why. Yet, I feel Avengers is almost immune to screw ups due to how closley this being watched by everyone plus, you have to go out of your way to really destroy the momentum they have built for this film. Still, I can see him randomly killing Wasp or Tony or someone for his famous "shock" value. He really has no idea how to tell a love story when the couple is together for a long time.
    I must be one of those deluded fans because I seriously don't believe it's the end of Firefly/Serenity. Studios want to make money and while Serenity wasn't a massive success, it has made them a serious profit. Serenity has made many converts who subsequently discovered Firefly. So with each year that passes more people are discovering and enjoying this sci-fi universe.

    Another reason why Serenity wasn't the great success everyone hoped for was because it didn't have a star name attached. The entire cast however talented are relative unknowns. At least for the future the entire cast will be more well known, not only for Firefly and Serenity but from their other TV series and movies. Especially from the sci-fi community where we have seen the cast-off Firefly in so many different sci-fi shows, as guest stars, in recurring roles and main cast members.

    Why wouldn't people lose their minds about how great it was? It was after all great.

    Maybe the point was to discover River's secret but I will be surprised if she's fully sane in the next movie.

    I'm not saying Joss is infallible as a writer but he is tenfold better than any of the other writers on Buffy, Angel and Firefly. It's immediately clear when looking at the quality of the series where he took a lesser role and more episodes were written by the staff writers... As for the writers revolted I've never heard anything about this. If you wouldn't mind I'd love it if you could post some links. I would say in my opinion season six was by far the weakest of Buffy. Still the worst idea Joss ever had was Dawn. If anything she should have been killed off during season five but that's just my opinion.

    Admittedly I haven't seen the second series of dollhouse but from what I've read keeping myself spoiler free and watching the first series, it definitely is not one of his better works. Buffy and Firefly is the pinnacle of his work to date and I'm only talking about his work on screen, closely followed by Angel with Dollhouse falling up the rear.

    I also disagree with comments that he needs a firm hand. Fox executives don't know Jack about making a quality TV series. You only need to look at the pilot movie for Firefly to see it was much better than what was finally shown. Also as they understand it in their divine wisdom they showed the series out of order,ever-changing time slots and ensured they killed off the show. The unaired pilot for Dollhouse was the same story forcing changes on him. He gave them what they wanted and I think it's probably damaged his reputation more with such a bland beginning.

    Leave a comment:


  • Garibaldi's Hair
    replied
    The thing is, we SF geeks have a completely different take on what happened with Firefly and Serenity than your average movie-goer. Like B5, FF's fan base is not large enough to sustain a movie franchise without engaging more widely with the movie going audience.

    The movie was my first exposure to the world of Serenity and whilst I enjoyed it, I didn't come out of the cinema blown away and desperate to see more of it ... and I love me some space-based SF.

    IMO, Serenity's relative under performance at the BO has little, if anything, to do with whether Wash was unnecessarily killed and more to do with it just not being an appealling enough movie, in its own right, to engage as widely as it needed to beyond the established Firefly fan base.

    Leave a comment:


  • lotjx
    replied
    Well, I guess since you asked, I will give some more of my stupid thoughts. First, Serenity fans who are so hardcore about it coming back they can't see the reality that its over. It doesn't help with Nathan Fillion saying he wants to get the rights back. I won't say it will never happen, but as I have pointed out before when a studio gets a right to something they almost neve release it. It just seems like whenever there is a sci-fi discussionstarts, Firefly gets brought up and people lose their minds about how great it was.

    Second, if I am the first person you have heard that was pissed about those deaths then I doubt it will be the last one. River is more stable now then she has been in the series and probably ever. The entire point of the film was to discover River's secret and for her to be a full sane character after it. At the end of the film, she is more of reliable asset then Jayne and probably most of the crew since the doctor and engineer seem to intend to screw til the end of time.

    Third, Joss has pissed off fans for a variety of reasons. I even have a list of 60 things Joss did wrong through out his career. I don't think Joss is the god writer that people make him out to be. He has been blessed with writers who are very good and know where to make a stand. Joss' original plot for Season 5 was to make Xander, Glory's avatar. Then have Glory kill Tara then Dark Willow kills Xander and starts the end of the world. Buffy kills Dark Willow and takes the plunge to save the world. Thankfully, the writers revolted and they went with probably their weakest season with five, but still infinitly better then Joss' original idea. You can even see most of those ideas through out the series and even in the comics. I also think while WB were morons for canning Angel, Fox was right to tell him to finish up Dollhouse which turned out to be one of his better works. Whoever said that Joss sometimes needs a heavy hand earlier in this post, is correct. He may hate outsider interference, but it has saved him a couple of times.

    Lastly, if you are using the Buffy comics as a biase of his "good" work then I think you are very very wrong. Minus the first three issues and the Faith stuff, Buffy the comic has been a disaster. Angel was great til they got out of hell then it became boring. I think a lot of anti-Whedon comes from his comic writing and not just the Buffyverse. While, his first storyline with Astonishing X-Men was great, it became Buffy with Kitty has Buffy and Colossus as Angel. It was also really boring. He also came up with the end of Civil War which also intentionally or unintentionally lead to JMS having a falling out with Marvel. So, if you are wondering why comic fans are concerned with him directing Avengers this is why. Yet, I feel Avengers is almost immune to screw ups due to how closley this being watched by everyone plus, you have to go out of your way to really destroy the momentum they have built for this film. Still, I can see him randomly killing Wasp or Tony or someone for his famous "shock" value. He really has no idea how to tell a love story when the couple is together for a long time.

    Leave a comment:


  • valens_shadow
    replied
    Originally posted by lotjx View Post

    Joss gave the middle finger to the network, no question about it. Did he force the issue, yes then the network regretted it later when they merged with UPN. After the early cancelations, I do believe Joss said screw it, I will finish Angel in the comics down the road and forget dealing with the studios. To me, it was him saying to the network, I will make sure at the end of the day, people will hate you, because I am going to tease them with this giant battle and it will be never resovled.

    Serenity bombed for a lot of reasons. One, it doesn't or probably will never have the Star Trek or Star Wars fanbase even as loud as they cry. Two, it didn't matter if the press didn't release spoilers, we live in the techno age were you can send one message in a theater to about 100 people. Once, it was leaked at Friday at 1 pm and the fans for that show had, I am sure everyone knew by 7 or 9 that night Walsh and Book died. Three, no one likes coming into a room while people are already talking. That is what a casual fan was thinking when he saw the ads. It looks like a good sci-fil film, but wasn't it a TV show and I don't want to get lost or feel like I am lost, so why bother. Lastly, it wasn't that good. It had some nice action moments like the two fleets colliding, Simon rescuing River and the Operative fights, but thats about it. It felt like we were missing parts of the story like how Book was now on a planet full of people, who is guy who has all these TVs and why all of sudden is the government doing a full court press on River? It just never flowed well for me and minus the shocking deaths, it just feels like we wondered into this story then when we feel ok about it, shocking death, then big space fight, then shocking death, then big melee fight and movie is over. It was not paced well or at all.



    I don't buy that for one second. The finale of Angel is no different to any other cancelled show ending with a cliffhanger in the hope that the ratings will bring it back for another season. Of course it doesn't always work and unfortunately the fan out cry didn't work either.

    I also never got a sniff of spoilers for Serenity. Any spoilers were clearly labelled so even when I watched three - four months later on DVD because I wasn't well enough to go to see it at the cinema. I had no clue.

    Given how poorly Firefly was treated I don't imagine many people thought "but wasn't it a TV show and might get lost". I should imagine the "Star Trek effect" came to be where people expect all sci-fi is like Star Trek, thus don't like sci-fi. You'd be surprised how many people fall into this category!

    I will agree Serenity lacked something that the series had. However Serenity was filled with great moments throughout the film. Clearly you're in the minority with your view.


    Originally posted by Jonas View Post
    I loved Firefly deeply and profoundly, but a combination of listening to the audio commentaries and watching Serenity has actually forced me to reach the conclusion that it was a good thing that there was studio interference and that the show was cancelled before Whedon could ruin it.

    Whedon does have some real talents, but they're marred by his belief in the Bad Writer 101 Clichés that so many people in Hollywood are so enthralled by. Like that mantra about stories being all about conflict, which results in Whedon bending his wonderful characters all out of shape to make them fight each other, because he believes this makes his show "dark" and "deep" - when in fact the real depth of the show came from its exploration of community, of creating new families, of friendship.

    And then, of course, there is his obsession with killing off characters "to show how high the stakes are" and other such nonsense. Which is just sad, because several episodes of Firefly managed to be a thousand times more heartbreaking and shocking than Serenity without random character deaths.

    (Note that I'm not opposed to character deaths or conflict. But these are tools, not principles.)

    I'm glad Firefly didn't become another Battlestar Galactica.
    I think it's a fallacy that Joss has a penchant for killing off his characters. Think about it. At the end of seven series of Buffy how many characters actually died and stayed dead? During the finale chosen all of the original main cast members were alive when the end titles ran.

    I think perhaps there was some shock value but the it did create a situation where you're not sure if characters are going to survive. I think that uncertainty helps especially with a cast of characters you care about.

    I am also glad Firefly didn't become another Battlestar Galactica. But then I honestly don't think it would have. Even during the later years of Buffy when it wasn't so good I still cared about the characters and the writers never lost track of who they were. Battlestar Galactica lost that along with everything else. By the end of season three I couldn't care less if the Cylon's obliterated everyone. I can and do like some very dark characters with many shades of grey but those in Battlestar really failed to make me care.
    Last edited by valens_shadow; 04-02-2011, 07:01 PM.

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  • valens_shadow
    replied
    Originally posted by lotjx View Post
    People walking out after Walsh's death then telling their friends is probably what happened to the box office. Simon's death would have sparked River to do all the kick butt stuff that she did at the end. The reason to kill Walsh as my friend put it was tell the fans we are not coming back to TV. It would have made more sense to kill Simon or even Jayne then to kill Walsh. When Mal flies away at the end, it was basically saying, we never really never needed Walsh to begin with. If the point of the death was to kill off a character who is replacable River can easily replace Jayne or the Eva Torres character in the fighting department and to some degree already did during the bank robbery. If you wanted to shock people, kill River or Mal, no one would have seen that coming. You don't kill the fun character as well as someone with an incrediable backstory then leave Doctor Boring and Mr. I have big gun and say mean things to get some reaction, alive. If they do a sequel how they going to get in and out of the Alliance situations without Shepard and realistically not losing their entire crew? Maybe they'll bandage someone up or shove a gun in someone's face while screaming profanities at them. I am sure that will work.

    People also don't seem to understand on how Hollywood works even if the Firefly cast and fans get the money for the rights, the studio will demand more since now there is a demand for it. Same thing happened to my friends who bought the B5 CCG license. The previous company owed WB and instead of getting it from the original company, they wanted my friends to pay for it. Even after it got resolved, WB keep saying they needed more money, because they did the numbers wrong. Eventually, they gave up or waiting til they get more money. It won't matter, because once the studios own something they rarelly give it up unless, its something that is dead in their eyes or they get some money on the back end. I also think the Firefly fans are bordering on the Star Trek and Star Wars level of creepy.

    I am at the point of giving up on Joss Whedon as this creative genius. He gave the middle finger to the network with the end of Angel thus giving it to the fans as well. Probably already knowing, he was going to milk the fanbase with the comics. Speaking of the comics, Buffy is a joke right and I almost appluad Fox for rebooting the series. If you are not reading Buffy, don't. Leave it with the nice feeling of Chosen and the hints you get in Angel season 5. Dollhouse was his last good work, but that more to do with Fox telling him he was canned and they were not going to settle for him keeping the show in nuetral. I am also not a fan of Joss' every romance has to die horribly, because that is the way the world works or people who are together are boring. To me, it screams I am a TV hack who happened to get lucky with one franchise, so I don't need to grow my writing talents. Even Kevin Smith upped his game for Green Arrow and Daredevil while Joss wrote Astonishing X-Men as Buffy and Angel as mutants. Joss to me is a very good writer, but only when motivated. As a director, I am not sold and I do think he got Avengers, because he was cheap as well as work cheap. They probably canned Norton, because they thought he would out direct him at times which he probably would have and made it a better film. At this point, I am skeptical anything Joss touches including redoing a movie where he pissed off a ton of his fans.

    I didn't see Wash's death as they weren't returning to TV even if Joss Wheadon didn't realistically believe it wouldn't return to that media. Like workercaste hypothesised , I had never thought of that, I think it was about raising the stakes and making you believe that any character could die at any moment. He's completely right and that really made the end more exciting. I also disagree with the fact that they didn't need Wash. He was clearly a skilled pilot and had the expertise that Mal and Zoe lacked. No doubt over the years they've picked up more knowledge hence his ability to pilot at the end. In the same way that Mal can probably repair lots of problems with Serenity but Kaylee is the expert. Or others can do rudimentary medical techniques but the doctor has skills they do not.

    For me I thought the end signified a hopeful future for the crew of Serenity. I'm also sure like most people when they first watched it thought it was the beginning of a fruitful franchise, the first of many big screen movies.

    Yes you can replace Jayne from that perspective but let's face it River isn't the most balanced character to be relied on in a tense situation. You never quite know what she's going to do next. But from a viewer's perspective she brings something very different. Jayne brings a certain brutal honesty, a lack of thought on how those words will be received and a selfishness much like Cordelia and Anya from Buffy. I think generally these characters bring a lot of humour with them and would think are highly popular with fans of these series, on the whole..

    If they run into the Alliance I'm sure Joss will find some creative escape. Who knows what will discover about River Tam? Having enjoyed JW's work through Buffy, Angel and Firefly I have no doubt in his ability to entertain, he's a top writer and really knows how to deliver the goods. He's definitely not a hack writer, far from it.

    I certainly think that JW has an awful lot to offer but the biggest problem his studio executives. You only need to look at Dollhouse to see how pedestrian it started because they weren't happy with his original pilot. Basically we could have been saved the humdrum mediocrity that was forced upon us and get to the good stuff straight away like in the unaired pilot. More viewers would have stuck with the show and instead of being cancelled in season 2 could have gone on to bigger and better things. I can't comment on his comics but even if I didn't enjoy them, everything I've seen with his stamp on at has really been fantastic. I've not seen all of dollhouse but have seen enough to know that he was creatively stifled.

    I think the biggest problem in series created by Joss is usually down to the weaker writers amongst the staff. Buffy was much better when he was heavily involved, the same with Angel and Firefly was superb because he wrote most of the episodes.

    I am curious though has he pissed off tons of his fans? Your the first person I've read saying this about killing off Wash. People were sad about the loss of both characters but pissed-off with Joss?

    I also don't think it's justified your comments about Firefly fans. I'm not really sure what you mean by that level of creepy but I should imagine every fan base will have those.
    Last edited by valens_shadow; 04-02-2011, 06:18 PM.

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  • Doom Shepherd
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Thanks for the kind words. Nobody really crossed the line but it looked like it might be heading that way.
    Hrm, my fault, I guess. I should really have expected that. Apologies.

    The thing is, all opinions are subjective, and it really annoys me when people start talking about theirs as though they are issues of fact. LOT of people do that.

    Anyways, I like that JMS quote on conflict. It reminds me of something Julie and I were talking about the other day, after watching entirely too much dramatic television... (and it reminds me of the Internet, as well... but not really here...)

    It's amazing how much drama, both in the real world and the fictional worlds, flows from people just being stupid.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jonas
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    I know you said that you're not opposed to conflict later in your post but it's worth noting that even JMS has often said that conflict is at the heart of good drama, though he notes that it can also be the conflict of the human heart against itself.
    Which I think shows a somewhat more nuanced understanding of "conflict."

    Leave a comment:


  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Jonas View Post
    Whedon does have some real talents, but they're marred by his belief in the Bad Writer 101 ClichÚs that so many people in Hollywood are so enthralled by. Like that mantra about stories being all about conflict, ....
    I know you said that you're not opposed to conflict later in your post but it's worth noting that even JMS has often said that conflict is at the heart of good drama, though he notes that it can also be the conflict of the human heart against itself.

    Originally posted by WorkerCaste View Post
    I hope I wasn't in violation of that courtesy. It's one of mt pet peeves and I do try and label my opinions as such. I would never want to get on the wrong side of such a, in my opinion, wonderful person no matter how good you look in the hat.
    Thanks for the kind words. Nobody really crossed the line but it looked like it might be heading that way. And since it had been a while since I'd thrown my Mod weight around, I thought I'd make a pre-emptive post. Face it, we've got such a high class of posters here, I've got the easiest Moderator job ever. If it weren't for putting the Ban Hammer on the spammers, I'd hardly have anything to do except enjoy the company - which I do!

    I love vigorous discussions as long as they're kept polite.

    Jan

    Leave a comment:


  • WorkerCaste
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Children...play nicely.

    Yes, maybe it's obvious that each of us is stating our opinion but it's polite to remember to insert the words "I think", "In my opinion", and all the rest of that sort of thing.

    And NEVER make personal remarks.

    Remember, Jan hates putting on the Moderator Hat.

    "We thank you for your support."

    Jan
    Friendly neighborhood moderator
    I hope I wasn't in violation of that courtesy. It's one of mt pet peeves and I do try and label my opinions as such. I would never want to get on the wrong side of such a, in my opinion, wonderful person no matter how good you look in the hat.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jonas
    replied
    I loved Firefly deeply and profoundly, but a combination of listening to the audio commentaries and watching Serenity has actually forced me to reach the conclusion that it was a good thing that there was studio interference and that the show was cancelled before Whedon could ruin it.

    Whedon does have some real talents, but they're marred by his belief in the Bad Writer 101 ClichÚs that so many people in Hollywood are so enthralled by. Like that mantra about stories being all about conflict, which results in Whedon bending his wonderful characters all out of shape to make them fight each other, because he believes this makes his show "dark" and "deep" - when in fact the real depth of the show came from its exploration of community, of creating new families, of friendship.

    And then, of course, there is his obsession with killing off characters "to show how high the stakes are" and other such nonsense. Which is just sad, because several episodes of Firefly managed to be a thousand times more heartbreaking and shocking than Serenity without random character deaths.

    (Note that I'm not opposed to character deaths or conflict. But these are tools, not principles.)

    I'm glad Firefly didn't become another Battlestar Galactica.

    Leave a comment:


  • Karen
    replied
    Just in case anyone else is interested in more of Book's backstory:

    http://www.amazon.com/Serenity-Sheph...f=pd_rhf_p_t_1

    This is the graphic novel. It's a good story!

    Leave a comment:


  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair View Post
    But it does look good on you.
    Flatterer! Okay, fine, it goes with my eyes but I still hate it so don't you think about misbehaving just so you can see me in it!

    Jan

    Leave a comment:


  • Garibaldi's Hair
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Remember, Jan hates putting on the Moderator Hat.
    But it does look good on you.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jan
    replied
    Children...play nicely.

    Yes, maybe it's obvious that each of us is stating our opinion but it's polite to remember to insert the words "I think", "In my opinion", and all the rest of that sort of thing.

    And NEVER make personal remarks.

    Remember, Jan hates putting on the Moderator Hat.

    "We thank you for your support."

    Jan
    Friendly neighborhood moderator

    Leave a comment:

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