Sunday, June 29, 2008

Firefly Season 2?

I just noticed that Kevin at TSM has a link to "Firefly Season 2" in his sidebar, and it looks like someone is trying to drum up support for a on-demand version of a second season for the cancelled show. I quite liked Firefly, but something about it bothered me that I could not quite articulate at the time -- and I find, several months after first watching the episodes, that I am not returning to watch them the way I do with Star Trek. Last month Vox Day posted some thoughts on why the show failed, and I agree with at least two of his points: there needed to be more world-building and the forced characterizations did not work (the few that existed in Star Trek did not work, either, but the worst offender -- Tasha Yar in Next Gen -- quickly left the series).

My own opinion: another reason the show failed to catch on was the tone of its sexual content. Star Trek did not shy away from sexuality -- there were plenty of exotic and sensual characters, and Kirk and Riker must have each bedded a different woman every other week -- yet there was something sweetly goofy about the way sexuality was handled on Star Trek that made it all in good fun. But in Firefly it felt smutty, and while that may appeal to a particular demographic, it turns off others in droves. It turned me off, especially the "companion" character. Based on my extensive study of the matter (interviewing myself), I find that the typical geeky female sci-fi fan (me) cannot identify with an overly-feminine glorified prostitute. In fact, I found myself grinning with morbid glee when the brothel-tarts were getting blown-away in one episode, and the lesbian bit in another episode -- which seemed like a blatant appeal to a certain demographic -- made me go blecccchhhh. If a second season is forthcoming, I hope the smut-factor is dialed down. Way down.


Blogger Kevin said...

"I'll be in my bunk."

Possibly the funniest line ever uttered in a TV series.

6/29/2008 4:43 PM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

Like I said, a certain demographic.

6/29/2008 4:53 PM  
Blogger carnaby said...

Sorry Sis, but I'm with Kevin. I thought that it was interesting that the brothel tart held such high stature in "civilization." 'Twas a bit of commentary, methinks, on where things are going.

Funny that the show was part of the problem on which it was commenting. Is that ironic?

6/29/2008 6:45 PM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

I thought that it was interesting that the brothel tart held such high stature in "civilization." 'Twas a bit of commentary, methinks, on where things are going.

Not sure I follow. Explain?

6/29/2008 8:50 PM  
Anonymous jed said...

Heh. Well I guess I' part of that demographic as well. The lesbian thing was almost certainly done just for that line -- okay, and the other crew reactions. Even Book was funny there. (And BTW, wasn't Ron Glass a great pick for that role?)

OTOH, I pretty well retched at all of Riker's amorous adventures. But then the Riker character was wooden and unappealing from the start, and only improved to "real person" much later on. Maybe that was growth by both Jonathan Frakes as an actor, and on the part of the writers?

I wasn't all that impressed with the Inara character. Inara the person was too constrained by Inara the "companion". We saw the person come through too few times, and I think that made her a bit less likable than she otherwise would have been. Okay, "likable" isn't the right word. She was likable. Well played by Morena Baccarin as well, I think. Maybe she was just too distant to connect with. Maybe that was Joss Whedon's intention?

And, speaking of that demographic, I was talking about Firefly with some friends a while back -- all guys -- and of course we got on the subject of which Firefly female character we'd prefer to spend some bunk time with. After some discussion, everyone agreed on Kaylee as the #1 choice, with Inara last.

And "I'll be in my bunk" might well be the most remembered line from the series.

6/29/2008 10:39 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I believe the image of Kaylee biting into that strawberry in the 2-hr. pilot "Serenity" will be etched into my memory forever.

Another great exchange:

Wash: "You want a slinky dress? I can buy you a slinky dress! Captain, can I have some money to buy my wife a slinky dress?"

Jayne: "I'll chip in."

Zoe: "I can hurt you."

6/30/2008 7:00 AM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

...wasn't Ron Glass a great pick for that role?

Oh, he was. I was sad beyond belief when he was killed off in Serenity.

And I agree, jed, that Inara was a more appealing character when they focused on Inara the person rather than Inara the companion. I liked the chemistry between her and the captain. I quite liked Kaylee, but agree with Vox that it was a forced characterization. She would have been great as an apprentice or assistant.

I believe the image of Kaylee biting into that strawberry in the 2-hr. pilot "Serenity" will be etched into my memory forever.

I don't even remember this.

Another great exchange...

That was funny.

6/30/2008 9:07 AM  
Anonymous jed said...

I think Vox was overly harsh. Plus, he complains that the show wasn't fast-paced enough, but then wishes they'd spent more time on world-building, which is pretty slow, as plot lines go.

Kaylee as someone with a "knack" for space drives struck me as somewhat analogous to the "maker" type in Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker series. Yeah, a little stretch there, but then it is fiction, and I thought it was carried off well enough.

Of course you don't remember the strawberry scene. Not your demographic. :)

The cast deaths in the movie was the one thing that I found to be a huge glaring wart of an error. None of those mattered to the plot. Maybe Whedon was just being contrarian, or doing a "hey, it's a Western, and sometimes people get killed thing." I suppose the killing of Book did advance the plot point of how ruthless the Alliance/assassin could be. Otherwise I was just "huh?".

6/30/2008 6:27 PM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

I didn't agree with all of Vox's points.

OK, so the strawberry thing was another one of those scenes. Is it too much to ask for a few blatant appeals to my demographic? Like sweaty, muscular, shirtless men with guns?

Book's death seemed less frivolous to me than Wash's. That one was really upsetting, too.

6/30/2008 7:35 PM  
Anonymous jed said...

So I guess Jayne just didn't work for you, then? :)

I don't recall any scenes where he was shirtless, though. Uh, not my demographic, ya know.

6/30/2008 9:35 PM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

Jayne's not bad. But I prefer my men a little more on the intellectual, contemplative side.

7/01/2008 9:12 AM  

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