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"Where were these screaming people a decade ago?"
July 16, 2012 9:03 AM   Subscribe

The cast of Firefly reunites on stage at SDCC (slyt)

I suppose I should say 55% of the cast of Firefly (missing are Jewel Staite, Morena Baccarin, Gina Torres, and Ron Glass) reunites on stage, accompanied by Joss Whedon, Jose Molina and Tim Minear. These people love each other, and, if you like Firefly, they love you too.
posted by dirtdirt (184 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
Seriously needs more Jewel.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:12 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]




Everytime I hear Tim Minear speak I fall in love just a little bit more.
posted by The Whelk at 9:16 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Shiny! Thanks.
posted by hal9k at 9:16 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


current top comment: "The 7 people who disliked this vid supported Unification."

I should go rewatch the whole series.
posted by jb at 9:18 AM on July 16, 2012 [12 favorites]


Upon the recommendation of a friend, I watched through the entirety of Firefly after having my wisdom teeth taken out (not knowing anything prior about the series or franchise).

After watching the last episode that was available on Netflix, I went looking for the season finale and second season.

This was a distinct low point in my life.
posted by schmod at 9:18 AM on July 16, 2012 [46 favorites]


Shiny! But as I said on a previous MeFi thread, Future Ex-Husband Nathan Fillion has bulked up quite a bit since Castle started. Again, I wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating crackers, but I'd have to ask, "You sure you want those crackers?"
posted by Kitteh at 9:20 AM on July 16, 2012 [12 favorites]


After watching the last episode that was available on Netflix, I went looking for the season finale and second season.

This was a distinct low point in my life.


Me too. Then I went and watched Serenity and I hit rock bottom.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:20 AM on July 16, 2012 [5 favorites]



Jewel's doing pretty okay!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:16 AM on July 16 [+] [!]


I'll be in my bunk.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:22 AM on July 16, 2012 [17 favorites]


"I'm learning people's names, it is a contest. I'm winning."
posted by The Whelk at 9:23 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm just glad I sat down and watched the show long after it was declared a corpse. It feels like I skipped some demoralizing crushed hopes altogether.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:23 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


jb: "current top comment: "The 7 people who disliked this vid supported Unification.""

Weird, it looks like "herp derp derp herp derp derp" to me.
posted by Plutor at 9:25 AM on July 16, 2012 [26 favorites]


While had I been at this event I would have been yelling my fool head off--much to my husband's embarrassment--I comfort myself with the fact I met the majority of the cast at a couple of Dragon*Cons and have the photos to remember it by.
posted by Kitteh at 9:29 AM on July 16, 2012


humboldt32: "Jewel's doing pretty okay!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:16 AM on July 16 [+] [!]

I'll be in my bunk.
"

From her blog:
God, I love burgers. I love them every which way. I love beef burgers, chicken burgers, bison burgers, halibut burgers, turkey burgers, even the occasional veggie burger as long as it’s topped with cheese and bacon. I cannot for the life of me think of anything more satisfying than a big juicy burger on any given day, no matter what my temperamental actressy “bitch get out my way” mood may be. I eat them when I feel like celebrating, or when I’m splayed out on the couch hungover, on summer days off the barbecue and on winter days when I need a pick-me-up. They are my very favorite food indulgence. Ice cream? I’d take a cheeseburger with extra pickles over that any day. Unless it was cheeseburger pickle ice cream. (Yeah, I know, I have problems.)

--by Jewel Staite
Damnit. My Firefly crush just shifted from Sean Maher to Jewel Staite. I need to go rethink my life right now....

Okay, so no matter how much those wonderful words made me swoon, I'm still pretty sure I don't play for her team.

However, I'd still love go to make hamburgers with her, if you know what I'm talking about*.

*Not a euphemism: Cooking is fun, burgers are tasty, and she seems pretty awesome.

posted by schmod at 9:31 AM on July 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


Serenity's big problem is that there was just too much to tell to get it all into the movie, but have that movie still play well for people who hadn't watched Firefly. Whedon is really at his best when he can take his time and develop stories slowly, and packing three or four seasons of television into two hours doesn't play to his strengths.

There's just no way they could directly continue the show. Even if they ignored the permanent story alterations in Serenity, the actors are all ten years older, and don't really fit the original roles anymore. At best, it would have to be a new show, maybe with cameos by the old crew, but if they put them in a small roaming ship TOO.... I dunno. Maybe Whedon could pull that off, but I think even his talents would be hard-pressed to make that idea work.

The early cancellation of Serenity has got to go down as one of the all-time great television blunders. Buffy's success gave Whedon enough cred that the guys at Fox probably weren't allowed to say no, but I think whatever manager was actually in charge of running Serenity decided he didn't like Whedon or the show, and did everything in his power to sabotage and then cancel it.

From his standpoint, it was probably a good thing, overall, because Whedon is one of those evil libruls, doncha know.
posted by Malor at 9:32 AM on July 16, 2012


I wouldn't kick Jewel Staite out of my bunk for eating burgers.


(or any reason for that matter. "Oh hai Mrs. Humboldt32. Have you met Jewel? She'll be staying with us for a while....")
posted by humboldt32 at 9:37 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe Whedon could pull that off, but I think even his talents would be hard-pressed to make that idea work.

I suppose that as Whedon has said about fourteen thousand times he would love to go back to it, and as Whedon has about as much clout right now as he ever has, if anything were to happen it would be happening soon.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:37 AM on July 16, 2012


"He gets Very Canadian."
posted by The Whelk at 9:38 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


as I said on a previous MeFi thread, Future Ex-Husband Nathan Fillion has bulked up quite a bit since Castle started. Again, I wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating crackers, but I'd have to ask, "You sure you want those crackers?"
Please don't be like that.
posted by samofidelis at 9:40 AM on July 16, 2012 [44 favorites]


Yeah, after Avengers, he can probably write his own ticket for one project. So if something's going to happen with Firefly, it'll probably be in the next year or two.
posted by Malor at 9:41 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


samofidelis: "Please don't be like that."

Oh, thank God, someone else said that, it was beginning to hurt how much I was biting my tongue about that.
posted by WCityMike at 9:41 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


He gets Very Canadian.

Does anyone have any insight into who/what Joss is referring here? In talking about Fillion he says something about how a visiting actor to the Firefly (Serenity?) set was disrespectful to the women in the cast and Nathan got Angry at them. Curious.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:42 AM on July 16, 2012


"Someone tried to talk to you and she broke down into tears."
"Well I kicked her."
posted by The Whelk at 9:43 AM on July 16, 2012


"These people are the finest meat puppets I've ever controlled."
posted by WCityMike at 9:44 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, so no matter how much those wonderful words made me swoon, I'm still pretty sure I don't play for her team.

*checks profile*

Wait, WHAT?
posted by restless_nomad at 9:44 AM on July 16, 2012


"Director of the 3rd biggest movie of all time."

What, no. That can't....holy shit!

Joss Whedon now has license to do whatever he wants for his next movie. That's....amazing.
posted by Frayed Knot at 9:45 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Discussing SyFy's Eureka at the weekend, and the way they've been forced to put two season's of plot into one so they can wrap things up, I remembered just how much I hate Fox and how different things might have been if SyFy was doing their own programming 10 years ago.

Firefly with Eureka's home and budget would have been a wonderful, wonderful thing...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 9:46 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


dirtdirt: "He gets Very Canadian.

Does anyone have any insight into who/what Joss is referring here? In talking about Fillion he says something about how a visiting actor to the Firefly (Serenity?) set was disrespectful to the women in the cast and Nathan got Angry at them. Curious.
"



I also just saw that bit and am curious about it as well. the quote: "we had a visiting actor who was very disrespectful to the females of the cast. And he got a little taste of what Nathan is like when his loved ones are threatened.”

(on preview: woah how'd i make that little angly quote mark?)
posted by rebent at 9:47 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I wonder if it's at all distressing to know that nothing you will ever do in your career will ever be as beloved as a show you did years ago and which got summarily cancelled?

I mean, the Firefly love is awesome, and I love the show, but if I were Nathan Fillion, I might be a little disturbed that a show I'd done for like 5 years had nowhere near the rabid fanbase of something I did for a few weeks 10 years ago.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:49 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Serenity's big problem is that there was just too much to tell to get it all into the movie, but have that movie still play well for people who hadn't watched Firefly. Whedon is really at his best when he can take his time and develop stories slowly, and packing three or four seasons of television into two hours doesn't play to his strengths.

Oh, I know. I don't blame him for Serenity (but Wash? Really?), it's just that it was so unsatisfying as a conclusion.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:50 AM on July 16, 2012


Is it just me or is Summer scared out of her gourd?
posted by WCityMike at 9:50 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I continue to maintain that the only way forward for Firefly would be a spinoff which follows the continuing adventures of Kaylee Frye, captaining a rust-bucket of her own. Simon Tam optional, but sure, why not?
posted by Sara C. at 9:50 AM on July 16, 2012 [14 favorites]


I should go rewatch the whole series.

We just did and it's fascinating to compare and contrast what Whedon got wrong in Firefly and what he got right in Avengers. As most as I love the former, the premise and western tropes were problematic and downright silly at times (i.e. Heart of Gold).

I'm thankful that the series ended with decent conclusion and no attempt was ever made to film to satisfy those who hadn't seen the tv series.

However, I would be open to a movie or limited tv series that looks at where the crew ended 10 years or so down the road, as long as Ms. Reynolds puts in an appearance.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:56 AM on July 16, 2012


35m38s – Okay, Whedon just announced they're going to continue the storyline from where the series and movie left off, in comic form, because they came up with "all this cool shit" ... that combined with Gaiman doing new Sandman? 'scuse me, I have to cue up Kool & the Gang's "Celebration" ...
posted by WCityMike at 9:59 AM on July 16, 2012


Just because there's going to be quite a few Firefly fans in this thread, obviously, if any of you haven't seen the "Take My Love webcomic, it's a bit painful to read, yet the punchline is hysterical.
posted by WCityMike at 10:02 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I mean, the Firefly love is awesome, and I love the show, but if I were Nathan Fillion, I might be a little disturbed that a show I'd done for like 5 years had nowhere near the rabid fanbase of something I did for a few weeks 10 years ago.

Fillion is on a successful network show that is pretty much guaranteed to hit the magic 88-100 episodes, and so will very likely have a good income for the rest of his life, and he's still doing little geek projects with Whedon and really whoever he wants. He's probably ok with it.
posted by Huck500 at 10:06 AM on July 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


My god has there been a lot of nerd-bait headlines spun off of this... "WHAT'S NEXT FOR FIREFLY?" and the like and the sheepish admission that the answer is actually nothing inside...
posted by Artw at 10:07 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Joss and co were all over SDCC this year. There was also a Firefly Reunion press conference thing: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. And Joss did a solo Dark Horse panel.

I suppose that as Whedon has said about fourteen thousand times he would love to go back to it, and as Whedon has about as much clout right now as he ever has, if anything were to happen it would be happening soon.

At this point, Nathan, Gina, and Morena all have ongoing series, and most of the others have jobs here and there. I can imagine maybe a movie, but definitely no TV show. Something like an animated series or the joked about radio show might be possible, I suppose, but seem unlikely.

I mean, the Firefly love is awesome, and I love the show, but if I were Nathan Fillion, I might be a little disturbed that a show I'd done for like 5 years had nowhere near the rabid fanbase of something I did for a few weeks 10 years ago.

Well, it probably helps that it's clear Nathan Fillion is one of the biggest fans of Firefly there is. It's clear that he still thinks it's the best job he ever had.

However, fans definitely have gone too far sometimes. Nathan loves the show but he's looking forward. There were people calling for Castle to be canceled so that he would be available for some imagined Firefly/Serenity continuation, and that's just not cool. Then there was that Help Nathan Buy Firefly fiasco. Hint for some so-called fans: the actors and producers of Firefly can't put their careers on stasis.
posted by kmz at 10:07 AM on July 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


if I were Nathan Fillion, I might be a little disturbed that a show I'd done for like 5 years had nowhere near the rabid fanbase of something I did for a few weeks 10 years ago.

I think he understands that Castle is somewhat watchable, but nothing like the quality of Firefly.
posted by jb at 10:08 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is it just me or is Summer scared out of her gourd?

There was a reference to "last night" and then a quick "uh Alan some of our fans may be under the age of 18" quick asscover so I'm just assuming half the cast there has a raging hangover.
posted by The Whelk at 10:10 AM on July 16, 2012


The early cancellation of Serenity has got to go down as one of the all-time great television blunders. Buffy's success gave Whedon enough cred that the guys at Fox probably weren't allowed to say no, but I think whatever manager was actually in charge of running Serenity decided he didn't like Whedon or the show, and did everything in his power to sabotage and then cancel it.

Then again, it gave him enough nerd cred and fan support to push forward with some really awesome experimental stuff like Dr. Horrible and Cabin in the Woods while allowing him to run the show (and run it well) on what is so far the big-ticket superhero team movie.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:13 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is this where I copypaste the awesome Firefly "Defying Gravity" fanvid? Because here is the awesome Firefly "Defying Gravity" fanvid.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:14 AM on July 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


Just to follow up on Nathan's Firefly love: when he's dabbing his eyes at the end? That's not a gag. Joss and Nathan are literally choked up with tears (and I expect I'm not the only one who was right there with them).
posted by kmz at 10:18 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Director of the 3rd biggest movie of all time."

It's actually number 26 if you adjust for inflation, which is pretty important when comparing box office numbers.
posted by jedicus at 10:19 AM on July 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Economically, maybe, jedicus. In terms of Hollywood clout, not so much.
posted by Frayed Knot at 10:21 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's actually number 26 if you adjust for inflation, which is pretty important when comparing box office numbers.

The adjusted for inflation numbers are almost never used for these things. Do you also adjust for the difference in how many avenues of entertainment there are these days?
posted by kmz at 10:22 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


There were about 7,000 people at the panel.
posted by WCityMike at 10:24 AM on July 16, 2012


Looking at the movies adjusted for inflation I propose we make a three hour sweeping musical/romantic epic set in space on a doomed starship set against the backdrop of intergalactic civil war.
posted by The Whelk at 10:24 AM on July 16, 2012 [10 favorites]


And holy crap, I just realized Ballroom 20 had Community, Korra, and Firefly panels all in a row. No wonder people were lining up overnight.
posted by kmz at 10:25 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh come on. Adjusted for inflation and time travel, I am the wealthiest person in Pre-Columbian America.
posted by elizardbits at 10:25 AM on July 16, 2012 [17 favorites]


The Whelk: "Looking at the movies adjusted for inflation I propose we make a three hour sweeping musical/romantic epic set in space on a doomed starship set against the backdrop of intergalactic civil war."

A John Williams song with a Celine Dion vocal part.
posted by WCityMike at 10:25 AM on July 16, 2012


Looking at the movies adjusted for inflation I propose we make a three hour sweeping musical/romantic epic set in space on a doomed starship set against the backdrop of intergalactic civil war.

You joke, but I'd love to see this.
posted by Edison Carter at 10:26 AM on July 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


So I think the time has come to except the fact that the Browncoats are the new trekkies and demand our Firesfly: The next generation.

But to be honest they could just do the radio plays on weeekknds via skype and I am sure the internet will animate them for us.
Can someone make that happen? Please?
posted by The Violet Cypher at 10:27 AM on July 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Frayed Knot: ""Director of the 3rd biggest movie of all time."
What, no. That can't....holy shit!
"

Yeah, it'll almost definitely end up outgrossing Titanic, which is impressive, except that the average ticket price today is about 70% higher than it was in 1997. ($7.92 vs 4.59)
posted by Plutor at 10:29 AM on July 16, 2012


Firesfly: The next generation.

As mentioned in one of the panels: featuring Zac Efron as Simon Tam!
posted by kmz at 10:29 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


You joke, but I'd love to see this.

Who's joking? I'm writing the Engineering Dept's Song in my head as we speak
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]




Sorry I can't type when I am excited. Or any other time for that mater
posted by The Violet Cypher at 10:30 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The adjusted for inflation numbers are almost never used for these things.

That's because Hollywood has a short attention span. The unadjusted numbers are heavily biased in favor of recent movies, which works out because people in the movie business are primarily concerned with recent performances ("you're only as good as your last picture").

But if you want to talk in terms of "all time" as opposed to "the last 10 years", then adjusting for inflation is essential or else the comparison is just meaningless.

Do you also adjust for the difference in how many avenues of entertainment there are these days?

If I were the one in charge of the stats? Yes, I would adjust for the changing share of income spent on movies.
posted by jedicus at 10:31 AM on July 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


There should be an animated Firefly/My Little Pony mashup series. Both shows feature horses already. Main characters: Inararity, Rainbow Wash, Pinkie Frye, Rivershy and Applemal. Fans will call themselves Brownies.
posted by elgilito at 10:40 AM on July 16, 2012 [17 favorites]


Inararity

The Pynchon fan in me demands that this character be named Inverarity.
posted by Sara C. at 10:50 AM on July 16, 2012


I've said it before and I'll say it again: when the revolution comes, the second bunch lined up against the wall will be the Fox execs who fucked over Firefly. 1st group is some folks named Cheney, Rumsfield, etc. Yeah, I can carry a grudge a LONG time.
posted by Ber at 11:00 AM on July 16, 2012


This might be a reasonable place to say that The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (part of Mira Grant's Newsflesh universe) was pretty great. Doubly so if you've actually been to Comic-con.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:03 AM on July 16, 2012


I think he understands that Castle is somewhat watchable, but nothing like the quality of Firefly.

It's an absolutely routine assembly-line TV series that demands little of the viewer and less of the writer; just barely cute and gimmicky and charismatic enough (and not one iota more) to keep people who watch TV every night regardless tuning it in instead of something else. Such things can go on forever. Yeah, I think he knows the difference better than you or I.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:03 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man I've always wanted to set a heist movie at SDCC just so I could call it "The Con".
posted by The Whelk at 11:05 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hell, I've always wanted to run a con at Comic-con. Swap a licensed replica of Mjolnir in the Marvel booth for a cheap knockoff or something. We should get a dozen or so people together, plan it out.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:07 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Director of the 3rd biggest movie of all time.

And climbing. For all this talk of ticket price inflation, don't forget that The Avengers probably still has some gas in the tank.
posted by Edgewise at 11:09 AM on July 16, 2012


the premise and western tropes were problematic and downright silly at times (i.e. Heart of Gold).

Heart of Gold was appallingly bad. Much as I wish there were more episodes of Firefly, things being as the are there arguably should have been one fewer.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:09 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hell, I've always wanted to run a con at Comic-con. Swap a licensed replica of Mjolnir in the Marvel booth for a cheap knockoff or something. We should get a dozen or so people together, plan it out.

We'll need the Comic Con equivalent of the Heavy, the Gymnast, The Honey Pot, The Tech Guy, The Charmer....


And this will be the music for the big "going through the plan scene"
posted by The Whelk at 11:11 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've said it before and I'll say it again: when the revolution comes, the second bunch lined up against the wall will be the Fox execs who fucked over Firefly.

If we're having a revoultion, why not just write the re-constitution and un-cancellability of Firefly into our founding documents? But then the unity of the rebellion's leaders would splinter over the question of whether the re-constituted show would reflect the ending of Serenity. Oh well, we can dream...
posted by dry white toast at 11:11 AM on July 16, 2012


Swap a licensed replica of Mjolnir in the Marvel booth for a cheap knockoff or something the actual hammer of the gods.
posted by The Whelk at 11:12 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it'll almost definitely end up outgrossing Titanic, which is impressive, except that the average ticket price today is about 70% higher than it was in 1997. ($7.92 vs 4.59)

To my mind, a movie should be considered for the "all-time biggest" list solely on the basis of number of tickets purchased. How many butts actually sat in the theater to see it.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:13 AM on July 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


the average ticket price today is about 70% higher than it was in 1997. ($7.92 vs 4.59)

That average seems low considering the huge push for 3D and its higher prices. It is getting difficult to find 2D showtimes for major blockbusters.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:18 AM on July 16, 2012


To my mind, a movie should be considered for the "all-time biggest" list solely on the basis of number of tickets purchased. How many butts actually sat in the theater to see it.

Total butts or unique butts? 'Total butts' has some merit, but at the extreme end (e.g. Titanic), large numbers of hyper-repeat-viewers can skew the results. But I don't know if anyone collects statistics on the number of unique cinema-goers per film, so it may be a moot point.
posted by jedicus at 11:21 AM on July 16, 2012


large numbers of hyper-repeat-viewers can skew the results.

My social circle alone probably bumped up Star Wars a couple of notches.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:23 AM on July 16, 2012




Why unique butts? Uniques makes sense if you're trying to draw people to advertising, because you can determine if different people are seeing the ads. But if you're selling popcorn, then what difference does it make if you sell it to one person today and a different one tomorrow or two buckets to the same person on two days?
posted by jacquilynne at 11:30 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


...large numbers of hyper-repeat-viewers can skew the results.

No more so than such repeat viewers would help skew the dollar take. What I'm getting at is that judging a movie as "all time best" based on its dollar gross only really tells you about ticket prices. To me, the "all time best movie" should be judged by how many people actually came and saw it, repeat viewings and all.

I mean...As an art project, one could make "the world's greatest movie of all time" and charge $100MM per ticket. If you get 8 or 10 viewers, it's now the greatest movie of all time, based on the current measurement method.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:30 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


and in other comic-con someone is going to eventually have to tell RDJ he's not actually Tony Stark but I don't want to be the one who does it

I'm not totally sure that RDJ isn't Tony Stark. Except when he's being Sherlock Holmes, I guess.

(I do appreciate that the man seems to live for fanservice. Flirting with Jude Law in interviews, doing stuff like this - he appears to be having a pretty splendid time being exactly who all of the squealing fanpeople want him to be.)
posted by restless_nomad at 11:33 AM on July 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


He also donates a lot of serious money to rehab facilities so ...philanthropist.

(Ruffalo is not helping the fiction/reality barrier by talking about science and fracking and corporate greed in all his interviews.)
posted by The Whelk at 11:35 AM on July 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


And considering the current Nick Fury character was created specifically with SLJ in mind, it is only a matter of time before they all fly off on a helicarrier.
posted by elizardbits at 11:40 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


citing the amount of money they've pulled in, the cast of the Avengers shocked the press today by announcing they would no longer be doing any movies and instead have pooled their resources in order to fight crime.
posted by The Whelk at 11:43 AM on July 16, 2012 [13 favorites]


I made an audio drama. It was basically larping as Joss through audio form.

I would rather love very much to make a Firefly audio drama. I would love it just slightly less if someone else did it. Anything is more than nothing, and we have no new content with the actors for the past 6 years at this point. (Comics do not count.)
posted by andreaazure at 11:45 AM on July 16, 2012


I just don't get the Firefly love. The whole Western-in-space shtick firefly had going was extremely tiresome and made very little sense. And Joss Whedon didn't seem to have a firm grasp on the difference between a solar system and a galaxy. Yeah, the banter was good in a Whedonesque way and the cast was almost uniformly excellent and so on but, really, the show Had Problems.
posted by Justinian at 11:52 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I smell crossover!

(As if that fic hasn't already been written a thousand times.)

And ok, just what exactly are Nathan Fillion and Joel McHale doing to Liam McIntyre's ass?
posted by kmz at 11:53 AM on July 16, 2012


(These are all things that will be fixed in my Jewel Staite-driven Firefly next-gen/reboot/spinoff.)
posted by Sara C. at 11:53 AM on July 16, 2012


Justinian, I'm not saying you aren't allowed to have your say, but you seem to have wandered into the wrong thread.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 11:53 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Seems like the right thread to me.
posted by Justinian at 11:56 AM on July 16, 2012



And considering the current Nick Fury character was created specifically with SLJ in mind, it is only a matter of time before they all fly off on a helicarrier.

That was the strangest damn thing, opening up The Ultimates in 2002, saying, "Hey, did Bryan Hitch mean to do that?" and then learning thatyes, yes he did.
posted by sobell at 11:57 AM on July 16, 2012


Less on-topic, but more SDCC fun: Who needs a sonic screwdriver when you have an omnitool?
posted by kmz at 11:57 AM on July 16, 2012


Firefly with Eureka's home and budget would have been a wonderful, wonderful thing...

Much as I love Firefly, I think that its early death was in some ways good. Like Jimi Hendrix or Bruce Lee, it went out unexpectedly, at the top of its game, and with few mistakes to answer for. As it is, it's a nice little gem. Another three seasons... how many "Spock's Brain"s would there have been?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:57 AM on July 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


And ok, just what exactly are Nathan Fillion and Joel McHale doing to Liam McIntyre's ass?

wonderful things. surely.
posted by elizardbits at 11:58 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


From the comics and the movie I think they had enough material for at least one more great season.

(I have diagrams)
posted by Artw at 11:59 AM on July 16, 2012


Seems like the right thread to me.
In the good version of this universe, Mal fell through the ceiling and blasted you right at the first part of 'mmmme.'
posted by samofidelis at 12:00 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just don't get the Firefly love. The whole Western-in-space shtick firefly had going was extremely tiresome and made very little sense. And Joss Whedon didn't seem to have a firm grasp on the difference between a solar system and a galaxy. Yeah, the banter was good in a Whedonesque way and the cast was almost uniformly excellent and so on but, really, the show Had Problems.

For the love of Pete. You don't like the show, that's fine, not everything is for everyone but the western in space thing was tiresome (to who? You? Uh, ok?) and didn't make sense (made sense to me) and other than that, well, good banter, excellent cast and so forth but your problems with the cosmological details of the fictional universe in which the story takes place, that I guess you surmised from about 10 seconds of screen time, really sunk the show for you.

OK, I'm sorry to hear it but glad you let us know.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:00 PM on July 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


How many butts actually sat in the theater to see it.
Butt-counting is actually the usual method for assessing film performance in some European countries, at least for public consumption. I guess that some cultures balk at unashamedly using profit as the only measure of artistic success. Of course admissions are highly correlated with revenue in a given timeframe so this preference is largely symbolic.
posted by elgilito at 12:01 PM on July 16, 2012


Why unique butts?

Because then you can start talking about "percentage of the population that saw the movie" and "percentage of films seen by cinema-goers" (in other words, if someone went to any movies at all that year, how likely was it that they saw this one?). These are better gauges of cultural impact, I think, than revenue and even total ticket sales.
posted by jedicus at 12:08 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Butt-counting is actually the usual method for assessing film performance

ScarJo, Hulkems, il Cap, I guess ArrowBro, Thorium210, and lotsa people think Tone Loco but I don't get it but whatever.

So, 5, 5.5? I count 5.5 butts.
posted by samofidelis at 12:09 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The whole Western-in-space shtick firefly had going was extremely tiresome and made very little sense.

I'm going to give this objection at least this much credit. Among many things Fox has to answer for is broadcasting The Train Job first. I watched it and said "You gotta be fucking kidding me," and didn't give the series another chance until it was too late and I discovered it in its afterlife along with so many other people. The "post-apocalyptic western" as it is informally termed in the linked video, needs to be presented pretty carefully, and Fox fucked up by starting with that one which made the conceit seem lamer than it actually was.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:11 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


whew, 100 comments and no complaints about the theme song, this is a record.
posted by The Whelk at 12:12 PM on July 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


As is right and proper, because the theme song is FUCKING GREAT!
posted by kmz at 12:14 PM on July 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


The theme song has banjo, FUCK THE HATERS
posted by nicebookrack at 12:15 PM on July 16, 2012 [10 favorites]


To my mind, a movie should be considered for the "all-time biggest" list solely on the basis of number of tickets purchased. How many butts actually sat in the theater to see it.

I am trying desperately to come up with a "LOL Butts" joke in the vein of "Hicks Nix Sticks Pix." Someone cleverer than me get on that, OK?
posted by Rock Steady at 12:16 PM on July 16, 2012


Dudes that song is a Kenny Chesbortion.
posted by samofidelis at 12:17 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


As is right and proper, because the theme song is FUCKING GREAT!

To me it instantly recalled the theme from Dark Star -- a country and western theme with Science Fiction lyrics. Wonderful.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:19 PM on July 16, 2012


Now look, I'm not saying the world requires a Firefly/Avengers crossover under Joss's helm. But let's face it, time-traveling with spaceships is not the weirdest thing we've caught the Avengers doing.

(Loki vs River Tam, two brains enter, NO ONE LEAVES)
posted by nicebookrack at 12:20 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


whew, 100 comments and no complaints about the theme song, this is a record.

"It's been a long time..."
posted by Artw at 12:23 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]




Now look, I'm not saying the world requires a Firefly/Avengers crossover under Joss's helm. But let's face it, time-traveling with spaceships is not the weirdest thing we've caught the Avengers doing.


NO ONE LET THE FANDOMS TOUCH EACH OTHER.

HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM.
posted by The Whelk at 12:23 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


kmz: "I smell crossover! (As if that fic hasn't already been written a thousand times.)"

Without question written best here, however.
posted by WCityMike at 12:27 PM on July 16, 2012


I just don't get the Firefly love. The whole Western-in-space shtick firefly had going was extremely tiresome and made very little sense. And Joss Whedon didn't seem to have a firm grasp on the difference between a solar system and a galaxy. Yeah, the banter was good in a Whedonesque way and the cast was almost uniformly excellent and so on but, really, the show Had Problems.

I think there's a few things going on with the Firefly Phenomenon. Obviously the whole martyrdom thing kickstarted it, especially because it was treated pretty shabbily even by the standards of Fox in that era.

Beyond that, I think that part of the reason for Firefly turning into a Thing is the context. What other sci-fi shows were even on in 2002? Smallville, Star Trek: Enterprise, Futurama, and that's pretty much it. It was kind of a low point for sci-fi on TV, and about the only bright, interesting thing between the sad, interminable end of the X-Files and Battlestar Galactica was probably Firefly. It certainly stands out in comparison to, say, Enterprise.

Compounding that, the whole medium of television was in a pretty bad place around then. It was just before the renewed interest in making TV shows good and thoughtful. The lineups from the early 00s are pretty grim reading. Just look at them. The Wire was just starting on HBO, and I don't think any of the other cable networks had anything approaching the sort of programming that you get now out of AMC/Showtime/etc. TV has really blown up in the last decade, and Firefly just barely missed getting in on that. Worse and less popular shows than it have now been saved by networks greedy for niche content with loyal fans, but that wasn't an idea that really existed yet.

The big thing it had going for it other than context is that it's really a lot of fun, thanks largely to the excellent cast that you mention. If it had been equally good but serious and heavy instead of light and fun, I don't think it would have anything approaching the posthumous popularity it has now. Sure, the show had some problems, but it also had a lot going for it.
posted by Copronymus at 12:27 PM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Every time someone mentions butts at the Avengers I get confused because of the large amount of shots Joss had of its leading actors' buttocks.
posted by Ber at 12:28 PM on July 16, 2012


Among many things Fox has to answer for is broadcasting The Train Job first. I watched it and said "You gotta be fucking kidding me," and didn't give the series another chance until it was too late and I discovered it in its afterlife along with so many other people. The "post-apocalyptic western" as it is informally termedin thelinked video,needsto bepresented prettycarefully, and Fox fucked up by starting with that one which made the conceit seem lamer than it actually was.

Wait what? Every Firefly fanfriend I have insists on showing me that episode because they claim that it is quote awesome unquote and every time I think it's a corny schlockball with few redeeming qualities. Are you saying my friends are idiots and maybe Firefly isn't actually a total fanservicing wreck of a show? That maybe I was just poorly introduced? Please tell me how Firefly ought to be watched. I've seen that train episode and fifteen minutes of the pilot, but maybe there's a better way to do this?

I'm still not sure if I can bring myself to enjoy Whedon, though. I like his snappiness but hate the genre-ness, and usually don't feel like he elevates the material beyond corniness. I ended up hating The Avengers after liking the first two thirds, because the action bits were so dumb as to be almost insulting. My friends have said Whedon is good at writing strong characters within genres, but between the Whedon they've made me see - the Buffy pilot and the Firefly episode - I haven't seen proof of that. Are there any easy routes into seeing Whedon's strong character work without going through lame unnecessary action sequences, or are the two hopelessly inextricable? Please do let me know. I prefer loving things to hating them, and the Josslove is remarkably powerful.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:33 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I get confused because of the large amount of shots Joss had of its leading actors' buttocks.

I get irritated because people always insist that it was only the female characters subject to this butt glorification, when it is plainly obvious in the eyes of all people with eyes that ALL the characters had long, loving close-ups of their perky butts.
posted by elizardbits at 12:37 PM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Every Firefly fanfriend I have insists on showing me that episode because they claim that it is quote awesome unquote and every time I think it's a corny schlockball with few redeeming qualities. Are you saying my friends are idiots and maybe Firefly isn't actually a total fanservicing wreck of a show?

Yes, they're idiots. You don't start with the Train Job, you start with the pilot that Joss intended to start it: Serenity.

In regards to Buffy, start at Season two. That's when the awesome begins.
posted by Ber at 12:44 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rory:

1) Yes
2) Twelve
3) Only with prior consent of the dachshund's owner
j. None of the above
VII. for all X, Y ⊆ R, if for all x ∈ X and y ∈ Y, x < y, then there exists a z such that for all x ∈ X and y ∈ Y, x ≤ z and z ≤ y.

HTH.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:44 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rory Marinich: "My friends have said Whedon is good at writing strong characters within genres, but between the Whedon they've made me see - the Buffy pilot and the Firefly episode - I haven't seen proof of that."

Please at least sit through the Firefly pilot. Pretend you never saw The Train Job, if you can. The pilot REALLY sets the stage for who these people are, and why they do the things they are. Then if you watch The Train Job after that, you'll pick up on these little character quirks that Whedon introduced in the pilot.

For added fun, keep in mind that according to Whedon, Jayne thinks he's the hero of the story. That knowledge, plus a certain scene in the pilot (you'll know it when you see it), turn the "simple-minded musclehead" character into someone who's real.
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:45 PM on July 16, 2012


Every Firefly fanfriend I have insists on showing me that episode because they claim that it is quote awesome unquote and every time I think it's a corny schlockball with few redeeming qualities.

Wait, what? I actually like The Train Job more than most people, I think, but that's never the ep to show somebody new. Of the myriad complaints about how Fox treated the show, making Joss and Tim write a harried new pilot (TTJ) in 48 hours instead of showing the real pilot is high on that list. Are you sure your friends aren't anti-Whedon trolling you?

As for good Joss intro episodes... gosh, most of them sort of depend a lot on continuity. "Objects in Space" is my favorite Firefly ep but it doesn't make much sense without an understanding of River and Simon and Mal. The real pilot "Serenity" is a great introduction but some people claim it's a little slow. "Out of Gas" is also a great ep and can serve as a pilot of sorts, but it's actually written by Tim Minear.

As for Buffy, everything builds upon everything and the first season is rather uneven, but I think some standout episodes that can make sense without having seen everything before include "Hush" and "The Body".
posted by kmz at 12:49 PM on July 16, 2012


Justinian: I just don't get the Firefly love. The whole Western-in-space shtick firefly had going was extremely tiresome and made very little sense.

See, people say that all the time, but I don't think they're really thinking their way through it when they do. It makes a LOT of sense if you analyze it some.

Consider the world you live in today, right now. Sitting where you are, you're probably in a climate-controlled environment, with clean water, good roads, decent infrastructure, and craploads of incredibly cheap energy. All the energy you can afford, in fact. You can typically pull twenty to thirty thousand watts of power in most houses, and you can keep that power draw up for as long as you can pay the bill. (obviously, your sustained usage will normally be far lower, but your peak draw can be incredibly high.)

Now, on the exact same planet, go visit Africa or many remaining places in Asia. What will you see there? Something that looks a lot like an Asian- or African-themed Western, with tons of rural farmers, and loads of animal power. They have electricity, but usually just with portable generators, and only in small amounts. The thought of being able to pull thirty thousand watts over a 300-amp breaker into their climate-controlled house is absolute lunacy, from their perspective.

In these areas, domesticated animals are incredibly useful, turning free chemical energy (grasses, typically) into muscular power. They run for long periods, and they make more of themselves. If you want to get a lot of work done without being able to depend on a massive industrial infrastructure, you want horses and livestock. Depending on the environment, that can be goats, or pigs, or water buffalo, or simply cows if you're in a really pristine environment with lots of grass. Take care of them, let them eat, and you have a ton of power and food you don't otherwise have to pay for.

So, look at that real world, and lay it onto the Firefly universe. Where you're sitting is the Central Worlds, built-up and expensive, full of marvelous, high-tech gadgets and luxuries.... hovercraft, laser pistols, intricate computer networks. Then look at the frontier worlds, and what you're seeing there is Africa. It's the exact same thing we have here, only spread across more space. When you can't bring an entire working economy with you to a new planet, and when shipping goods across interstellar distances is going to be very expensive, and you need to build a life from scratch, what's the first thing you reach for? The horse.

I would argue that, if we ever actually did colonize a bunch of Earthlike worlds, the Firefly vision would be much closer to reality than any other we've seen in SF. Maybe they wouldn't wear actual cowboy hats and bandannas, but maybe they would. Remember, the original settlers in real life wore that gear because it was cheap to make, and worked really well to deal with typical frontier lifestyles. Maybe we'd do better with modern fashion senses, but maybe not.

You could look at the actual Western clothing, perhaps, as being an affectation. But the technologies of animal power and basic firearms would absolutely be used in that kind of environment. They are, in fact, still fairly dominant in many areas of Earth, in 2012.
posted by Malor at 12:50 PM on July 16, 2012 [27 favorites]


For added fun, keep in mind that according to Whedon, Jayne thinks he's the hero of the story.

Everybody thinks she or he is the hero of his or her story -- or at least some kind of axis around which the story must hinge, if they can't see themselves as a 'good' character. I don't think this is quite so brilliant a screenwriter gem as Joss thinks it is.
posted by samofidelis at 12:58 PM on July 16, 2012


Well if we're just making up awesome things that won't happen: Joss Whedon Strontium Dog movie - comics, space, westerns, mutants ALL COMBINED.
posted by Artw at 12:59 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


When Firefly first came out, I dismissed it because I wasn't into Westerns, space-themed or otherwise. The Star Wars prequels and LOTR madness and Harry Potter had burned me out on fandom in general.

Ten years later, I spent one of the most enjoyable birthdays I've ever had, doing nothing more than snuggling with a lady friend in her tiny apartment, watching episodes of the show on an old tube TV hooked up to a PS2 as a DVD player.

Oh yeah, and the series and movie were some of the first Blu-Ray movies I bought after going "full HD" at home - after War Games, Buckaroo Banzai, and Real Genius, that is.
posted by mrbill at 1:00 PM on July 16, 2012


And it has to be a Max Bubba storyline. Hell, that one has one of Whedon's quirks built right in...
posted by Artw at 1:01 PM on July 16, 2012


I just don't get the Firefly love. The whole Western-in-space shtick firefly had going was extremely tiresome and made very little sense.

I swear by my pretty flowered bonnet, I will end you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:04 PM on July 16, 2012 [19 favorites]


I will say this - the more overtly "Western" bits were all the worst bits.
posted by Artw at 1:06 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Floral!
posted by kmz at 1:06 PM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Holy crap, another panel: Joss at NerdHQ. (Which is a Zach Levi non-SDCC side project thingy.)

Joss watches Archer! But hasn't watched The Wire yet (but keeps meaning to). And man, his voice sounds shot.
posted by kmz at 1:11 PM on July 16, 2012


Somewhere, somehow, even if it's just a webisode like Dr. Horrible, Joss Whedon has got to write some kind of coda/backstory for Shepherd Book. Maybe we're never supposed to know who he really was (and there's something to be said for leaving it to the individual viewer's imagination), but I need more closure on him than that, dammit!
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:17 PM on July 16, 2012


Joss watches Archer!

"I'm sorry Cap but we don't acknowledge your authority here at .....Fort Kickass"
posted by The Whelk at 1:17 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, why weren't there any Asians in Firefly?
posted by schmod at 1:19 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Somewhere, somehow, even if it's just a webisode like Dr. Horrible, Joss Whedon has got to write some kind of coda/backstory for Shepherd Book.

Rejoice! There's a backstory in one of the comic books.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:20 PM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Somewhere, somehow, even if it's just a webisode like Dr. Horrible, Joss Whedon has got to write some kind of coda/backstory for Shepherd Book. Maybe we're never supposed to know who he really was (and there's something to be said for leaving it to the individual viewer's imagination), but I need more closure on him than that, dammit!

That's already been done, as a comic book. Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale. Which, huh, looks like it's out of print? How did that happen?

I actually really liked the story, but it doesn't quite jibe with the canon of the TV show, though you can fanwank that away.
posted by kmz at 1:22 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Going on a year now I ain't had nothin' twixt my nethers weren't run on batteries!" still makes me crack up.
posted by mrbill at 1:25 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I loved Firefly as soon as I noticed there was no sound in space.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:29 PM on July 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


See, people say that all the time, but I don't think they're really thinking their way through it when they do. It makes a LOT of sense if you analyze it some....

posted by Malor at 3:50 PM on July 16


Thank you, Malor, you posted what I was pretty much going to say. Even rural areas of the US frequently rely on the sort of system you described, as well as loads of places worldwide.
posted by magstheaxe at 1:29 PM on July 16, 2012


My days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle still brings a smile to my face as well.
posted by Ber at 1:32 PM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I loved Firefly as soon as I noticed there was no sound in space.

I loved Firefly as soon as I realized regular guns make more physical sense than energy weapons.
posted by Edison Carter at 1:35 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


and yet, the regular guns make energy weapon sound effects! heh.

Anyway, any news on the guest star that got the canadian treatment?
posted by rebent at 2:01 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have now spent a joyful couple of hours watching the OP video, as well as several others linked in the comments, and, although I have loved Firefly since the first time I watched it, I have to say I never knew how incredibly cool Tim Minear was until now. It is time for me to search out his current and past work, and develop into the slavering fangirl that I know I can become.
posted by blurker at 2:34 PM on July 16, 2012


Wonderfalls is kind of amazing.

"I'm a crazy person."
posted by The Whelk at 2:42 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hell, I've always wanted to run a con at Comic-con.

Write it as a graphic novel, and call it "The Comic-Con Con Comic."
posted by LEGO Damashii at 2:43 PM on July 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


So according to the Nerdist Writers Panel (I think maybe this one?) Jose Molina wrote the episode Aeriel with the note from the network to make it more SF. It actually ends up being one of the best episodes.

I mention it because it has sonic guns... Molina seems to have a bit of a thing for those.

(I love the bit where they turn out to be crap on door locks)
posted by Artw at 2:45 PM on July 16, 2012


For the love of Pete. You don't like the show, that's fine, not everything is for everyone but the western in space thing was tiresome (to who? You? Uh, ok?) and didn't make sense (made sense to me) and other than that, well, good banter, excellent cast and so forth but your problems with the cosmological details of the fictional universe in which the story takes place, that I guess you surmised from about 10 seconds of screen time, really sunk the show for you.

OK, I'm sorry to hear it but glad you let us know.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:00 AM on July 16 [2 favorites +] [!]


The Badass Digest did a good, skeptical retrospective for people who aren't sure what the fuss is about.

I personally liked it way better than they did (and I'm befuddled at people who hate on the movie - it's not like we're drowning in exciting, funny sci-fi pics, y'know) but there's a good astringent quality to the critique if you're sick of all the nerd-fluffing.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:47 PM on July 16, 2012


There was also an antique laser pistol named The Lassiter as a McGuffin, which was a rather nice injoke.
posted by Artw at 2:49 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


and in other comic-con someone is going to eventually have to tell RDJ he's not actually Tony Stark but I don't want to be the one who does it

Damnit, I thought this was going to be about Aphex Twin.
posted by afx114 at 2:53 PM on July 16, 2012


Yes, forget the Train Job. It's the episode Fox made them air as the pilot, apparently because the actual pilot was deemed too cerebral and insufficiently action-laden. And my experience was very similar to many: I watched the aired pilot - Train Job - and thought, huh, well that's a dud, despite already being a big Buffy and Angel fan. Then I borrowed the DVDs and watched the episodes in the right order.

The second scene of the pilot is what did it for me: the way Nathan Fillion says "Yeah, we win" right before the cut to the theme and title credits. I saw that and knew I was hooked, good and proper. I don't know how anyone watches those three or four seconds and then fails to recognize how groundbreaking a bit of sci-fi television the show sets itself up to be.
posted by hank_14 at 3:19 PM on July 16, 2012


Yeah I watched the show post-cancelation on DVD, so the fact that The Train Job is the aired pilot is absolutely baffling to me. I actually had no idea that was the case until right this second. I'm kind of horrified.
posted by aclevername at 3:25 PM on July 16, 2012


I had the exact same reaction watching the original unaired Dollhouse pilot vs the new, made-at-the-network's-demand one.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:32 PM on July 16, 2012


>The theme song has banjo, FUCK THE HATERS<>cowbell.
posted by twidget at 4:36 PM on July 16, 2012


... the fact that The Train Job is the aired pilot is absolutely baffling to me. I actually had no idea that was the case until right this second. I'm kind of horrified.

The story with that, I believe, is something like this: Joss showed the real pilot (Serenity) to Fox execs on a Friday. The response was "Yeah, we'll do this show, but we're never airing that. We need a script for a different first episode from you by Monday morning." Joss, just terribly excited to be getting the project off the ground, agreed, and then he and Tim Minear spent 48 straight hours hashing out The Train Job.
posted by IAmUnaware at 4:38 PM on July 16, 2012


I just don't get the Firefly love. The whole Western-in-space shtick firefly had going was extremely tiresome and made very little sense. And Joss Whedon didn't seem to have a firm grasp on the difference between a solar system and a galaxy. Yeah, the banter was good in a Whedonesque way and the cast was almost uniformly excellent and so on but, really, the show Had Problems.

I'm a big Story Guy and I actually sort of agree with you, but I'm still a big fan of the show. It was indeed an awkward mash-up, but then as per the terminology you cite and other aspects, clearly slotted itself within Space Fantasy as a genre rather than Hard SF. It had a lot of comic-book elements that I enjoyed, as well. It didn't help that the actor I least warmed up to was Fillion -- lovable lunk, sure, but he didn't manage to pull off the Harrison Ford effect as his looks and ship suggested. But the cast, chemistry, and dialog often made up for what were imperfect plots full of asteroid-sized holes. Somehow, somehow, I ended up loving these characters as much as many better projects, Wade and Shepherd and Kaylee most of all. And hell, the whole thing was just fun in a way that often seems forgotten in contemporary sf (I get this out of Farscape as well, which I'm rewatching on Netflix). In short, this was a project that was definitely more than the sum of its parts.

if I were Nathan Fillion, I might be a little disturbed that a show I'd done for like 5 years had nowhere near the rabid fanbase of something I did for a few weeks 10 years ago.

You know, the relationship that the cast and crew have with a project can be entirely orthogonal to any relationship the fans have with it. You may enjoy or be enlightened by watching The Captains, where Shatner goes around interviewing all the other actors who've played Star Trek ship captains. A key observation I had was that while each of them had played a ramrod square-jawed military commander, in real life they were quite unsurprisingly all theatre people. Whatever love they had for the characters they played was simply expressed as part of a career and to varying degrees that experience they had all those years ago was, well, not much more than work.
posted by dhartung at 4:39 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll go to bat for the first two seasons of Castle being genuinely better-than-average tv. Not, you know, Mad Men or Breaking Bad, but a solid and frequently really great take on a type of show that mostly had its heyday in the 1980s. They always seemed to have a moment here and there when I went, "Hey, that was a different way to play that stereotype/cliche" and the chemistry between the two leads was off the charts. It's still a good show, but it's much more like everything else out there. And there are still moments that are really potent - there's a confrontation in the finale this season that let NF dig a little deeper.
posted by PussKillian at 6:32 PM on July 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


restless_nomad: "*checks profile*

Wait, WHAT?
"

¿Que?
posted by schmod at 6:34 PM on July 16, 2012


Which team are you implying she's on?
posted by restless_nomad at 6:36 PM on July 16, 2012


TEAM YOUR DRESS LOOKS LIKE IT WAS BOUGHT IN A STORE
posted by The Whelk at 6:40 PM on July 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


Joss Whedon now has license to do whatever he wants for his next movie. That's....amazing.

I'll believe that when they let him make a non-genre blockbuster and not cast Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead. Nobody has that power. Nobody.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:52 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]




jedicus: "It's actually number 26 if you adjust for inflation, which is pretty important when comparing box office numbers."

A) So far.

B) That's still pretty damn impressive.
posted by Bonzai at 8:47 PM on July 16, 2012


Yes, forget the Train Job. It's the episode Fox made them air as the pilot, apparently because the actual pilot was deemed too cerebral and insufficiently action-laden.

I had the exact same reaction watching the original unaired Dollhouse pilot vs the new, made-at-the-network's-demand one.

I think there was an article in The Onion with the sentence:
FOX announced today that it will be airing a random selection of previews from Joss Whedon's upcoming DVD box set.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 9:42 PM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


oh man Dollhouse there was a great 12-episode series stuck inside a 24 episode one.
posted by The Whelk at 9:49 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]




Fillion got Shatnered for his trouble.

cancelling Firefly: Yet another reason to hate Fox channels.
posted by mule98J at 10:38 PM on July 16, 2012


Two by two, threads of blue.
posted by ersatz at 5:57 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


homunculus: "Hollywood Acts Warily at Comics Convention"

Form the link:
“I didn’t want to repeat the Cinema-Con experience,” Mr. Jackson explained. At that convention, held in April for movie theater owners, his high-speed presentation of “Unexpected Journey” footage received a sharply mixed reaction. “Hall H is not the place” where he wanted fans to experience it, he said.
Having a friend that owns a small chain of theaters I for one am shocked that theater owner aren't getting excited about spending money(again) on new projector technology.
posted by the_artificer at 7:02 AM on July 17, 2012


So, why weren't there any Asians in Firefly?

I'm pretty sure there were, extras and the like.
I'm remembering at least one scene from Out of Gas, and I suspect there was a hooker in Heart of Gold.

If there was an in-story reason, I have no idea.
It is possible we just saw none.
Joss, being Joss, would have fixed that issue at some point.
posted by Mezentian at 3:22 AM on July 18, 2012


So, why weren't there any Asians in Firefly?

My own explanation was that Westerners and Asians mostly settled in different planets and didn't care to mix that often. Like how you won't see that many Asians if you are in the US or Europe. Maybe the crew of Serenity only knew basic Chinese because it was a requirement in school, like French class in Canada. This is how I rationalize a pretty glaring omission on Whedon's part. Westerns in the '50s and '60s did a better friggin' job of hiring Chinese actors.
posted by riruro at 10:13 AM on July 18, 2012


Hollywood Acts Warily at Comics Convention

Ugh, that photoset. Leave it to the NYT to make Comic-Con look like the most tedious and pedestrian thing possible.
posted by elizardbits at 10:44 AM on July 18, 2012


> So, why weren't there any Asians in Firefly?

What, swearing in Chinese wasn't enough for you?
posted by Burhanistan at 10:47 AM on July 18, 2012


schmod: "So, why weren't there any Asians in Firefly?"

Same reason there weren't any Mexicans or Africans or Chileans. Those distinctions disappeared when humanity fled Earth That Was.
posted by Plutor at 10:50 AM on July 18, 2012


And introducing: Joss Whedon, in the premiere episode of "Written By A Kid".
posted by kmz at 1:10 PM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]




Hey, wait, I just had a thought that satisfactorily answers the "where are the Chinese characters" question (meaning: I fanwanked it).

In this projected future, the United States and China were the two superpowers who ended up going into space, yes? So - maybe China was the richer superpower, and ended up in the upper classes, and the U.S. were the runners-up. And the racial disparity we see now would get flipped.

And so since Firefly dealt with a group of people who were basically lower-class edge-of-the-law mercenaries, it sort of....makes sense that it would be the caucasians would be over-represented, while if Joss had been making a show about the political leaders of this society then you'd see all the Chinese characters (just like everyone on The West Wing was also overwhelmingly white).

....Or do I need a nap?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:35 AM on July 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's pretty much been my assumption, FWIW.
posted by Artw at 9:37 AM on July 19, 2012


It's still not an ideal state that fans have to consciously assume that kind of thing, but at least it provides an in-universe standard that can let you get over that hump.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:45 AM on July 19, 2012


/Shrug.

I suspect The real answer is "standard issue TV casting".
posted by Artw at 10:07 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


My friends have said Whedon is good at writing strong characters within genres, but between the Whedon they've made me see - the Buffy pilot and the Firefly episode - I haven't seen proof of that.

The Buffy pilot is pretty bad, but the first regular episode ("Witch", episode #3, since the pilot is a two-parter) is a decent story, and imo an excellent example of the show's characteristic merging of realism and fantasy.

The main gimmick of the first three seasons of the show — the time that Buffy and her friends are in high school — is to take some aspect of typical American high school experience and explore how it plays out in the fantastical setting. "Witch" is about parents pushing their children to do what the parents wish they had done, or wish they could still do, disregarding the kid's interests.

Conversely, the show takes the standard genre trope of a teenager being the destined inheritor of mystical powers to fight evil, and explores how it plays out in a realistic setting. How a real person can handle that power, and that obligation, while still trying to realize her more conventional aspirations for her life — which, for Buffy, at this stage in her life, are things like being a cheerleader and having a boyfriend, etc. — is Buffy's main challenge as a character, and it drives her development through the entire run of the show. It surfaces very explicitly in "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date" (episode #5), but she's already meeting it in "Witch", e.g., in her decision to try out for the cheerleading squad.

(Also, "Witch" introduces Amy, who eventually gets turned into a rat.) (She gets better.)

Anyway, if I were introducing a friend to Buffy, I'd skip the pilot and start with "Witch". If you don't like the pilot, well, that might just be because, I don't know, you like things to be well enough lit that you can see the scene or something. If you don't like "Witch", though, that probably means you don't like the show.
posted by stebulus at 11:57 PM on July 19, 2012


Damn it, now you've got me seriously considering another re-watch of Buffy.
posted by stebulus at 12:07 AM on July 20, 2012


For almost any TV show ever, the first "good" episode is probably going to be #3, or maybe #4 if it had a two-part pilot/multiple pilots, or maybe #2 if it's an unusually good show (HBO series tend to have pretty good second episodes in my opinion, probably because they don't typically go through the long gap and heavy crew turnover between pilot and shooting the first season).

Pilots almost universally suck. Never judge a long running critically acclaimed show by its pilot.

Second episodes area also almost always weak, because of the way TV shows are produced. The pilot episode is developed more like a film, and has lots of time and money lavished on it. Then, months later, you get picked up, often with copious notes and changes from the studio. And suddenly the writers are forced to start churning out episode after episode at a punishing pace, throwing stuff at the wall and seeing if it sticks. And half the crew has moved on to other projects, which means episode two is a fresh crew who are all just getting to know each other and finding their rhythm.

You can't go wrong by starting somewhere around episode three. You can always go back and catch up on the few episodes you missed, and it'll give you a better sense of what the show actually is.
posted by Sara C. at 7:37 AM on July 20, 2012


You can't go wrong by starting somewhere around episode three.

Except for, you know, Firefly, where the pilot is excellent and Episode 2 ("The Train Job") is weak. Episode 3 ("Bushwacked") is okay, but nowhere near as good as the pilot. I would always start a new viewer of Firefly on the pilot -- same for Farscape, or else you don't know who people are.

I'm at the point though where if someone watches an episode of something I think is great, and they are all like "enh", I just assume that their taste is completely divergent from my own. I can't stand a lot television, even supposedly good shows, so it makes sense that what I like might not have wide appeal.
posted by jb at 7:50 AM on July 20, 2012


I'm by no means saying that episode three is the BEST POSSIBLE EPISODE (it's usually relatively weak in comparison to episodes later in the first season, and the whole first season will usually pale in comparison to, say, season 4).

But it's usually better than the pilot, better than any sort of ridiculous network MAKE A NEW FIRST EPISODE TOMORROW bullshit, and better than the second episode. If you're going to start watching a new TV show, somewhere around episode three is probably where the show is going to start approaching its potential and working out the kinks and bugs and rookie mistakes.

Personally I find the Firefly pilot to be... OK. Better than the mandated do-over. About on par with other aired pilots for network TV shows. Certainly nothing to hold up as THE BEST HOUR OF TELEVISION OF ALL TIME.

Now, the West Wing pilot? That's a fantastic fucking pilot.
posted by Sara C. at 8:01 AM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


THE BEST HOUR OF TELEVISION OF ALL TIME.

Well, that's just a hard choice - it's either "Out of Gas" (Firefly), or maybe the Buffy Musical, or (for the hardcore Muppet fans) the Angel-turns-into-a-puppet episode (man, I love puppets. Everything is better with puppets).

But the best 5-6 minutes in television? That's definitely the fifth timeline from "Remedial Chaos Theory" (Community), aka "Mirror Universe Timeline". My SO and I nearly fell off the couch laughing.
posted by jb at 8:59 AM on July 20, 2012


So, later on during Comic-Con....

Zachary Levi hosts a panel to raise money for charity at each Comic-Con, and this time his guests were Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin. However, apparently Levi also offered a little extra for charity - he would offer a kiss on the cheek to anyone who donated $100 to the charity in question. One fan donated $1000, and Levi said he'd have to do "a little more" and swept her into a dip and planted one on her. ....And then Nathan and Adam wanted to play too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:26 PM on July 20, 2012


Levi also voices one of my favorite video game characters in memory so, Complex Feelings!
posted by The Whelk at 5:28 PM on July 20, 2012


I think those would be the same feelings I had when David Tennant kissed John Barrowman at the 2009 Comic-Con.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:59 PM on July 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


They raised $140,000 for Operation Smile? That's amazing and wonderful!
posted by homunculus at 9:37 PM on July 20, 2012


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