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The Old Firefly Thread


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#1

Meenbean

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Posted Dec 31, 2003 @ 7:36 PM

One more post on my brand new account before I leave to imbibe alcohol.

Thank you, Kispexi2, and likewise I'm sure.

Your Peter Pan theory is intriguing, though I had a slight guffaw imagining Zoe as Tinkerbell...If we're going for maximum amusement, I think Jayne should wear the Tinkerbell outfit, and Simon for maximum pretty!

Don't get me wrong, I like ALL of the Firefly cast, including beautiful Morena, and ADORE all the Firefly characters! In fact, it's a testament to how much I like the character of Inara that I see so much potential in her and want more character development and storyline.

One more geek-out before I go.

I think of Inara so far as more of a great concept and device rather than a fully fleshed-out character like Mal. Prostitutes of the future are not only not looked down on, but respected and influential? That's GREAT! And props to Joss for having the guts to put that on mainstream television! As a concept, I think it's liberating, empowering, and intriguing. I have some quibbles though, with the execution. It's interesting to me that though arguably, as a character, Inara may interest me the least, she's the one that makes me think the most about the Firefly futureverse society and how our heroes fit into it.

Aaack, I'm not doing a good job of explaining myself here.

Okay. I watched Firefly on the DVD's so I saw Serenity before I saw Train Job. And what's weird is that after watching the pilot, I got the idea that Inara was a prostitute, but I did not at all get the idea that she was respected, and was of higher 'rank' than the rest of the crew. In fact, from the way Mal treated her, and the way Book seemed to flinch from her, and, I'm not sure, something about Morena's body language and manner, elegant though it was (maybe she didn't have full grasp of the character yet either? this is all JMHO), and maybe just because I viewed it all from my own bound-by-the-conventions-of-my-time perspective, I got the impression that prostitution was just as looked down upon in the future as it is now. Also, the way she joked to Book later about being a 'lowly whore'. I came away from Serenity loving the show, of course, but thinking that Mal was a prudish hypocritical sexually repressed asshole for making fun of Inara's job, and that Inara, far from being the celebrated, respected, glamorous courtesan she's supposed to be, was just another variation on the cliche hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold character.

After seeing Train Job, which had that part at the end where she rescues Mal and Zoe from the police station, demonstrating her 'respectability' and status, I got more of a grasp of the idea, but I still kind of had to work at it. Shindig drove it home more, although I really wanted Inara to tell Mal more forcefully to stay out of her business arrangements, and jumped for joy when she told him in the hotel room that it was "her decision, not his." I thought, finally! the girl shows some spunk!

This is getting too long, so I'll try to wrap it up. Basically, I think the character of Inara and concept of Companion are great ideas that needed a little more time to cook. I think we needed to be shown more, and more forcefully, what a companion IS in that society. The Mal and Inara lovestory, I think, was meant to be a classic sort of 'Rugged Space Captain and Refined Space Princess' class-and-culture-clash sexual chemistry story with the added unconventional Joss twist: the princess in this future scenario is actually a courtesan, and she's just as respected and revered. It's actually a classic story embedded in our culture. I think it was too soon too fast though. In order for us to buy the star-crossed love story, we needed more of a handle on where these two were in relation to each other. The scene in Serenity makes more sense if I know that Inara can handle Mal's derogatory names because she is above him in class, and impervious to his worthless opinion. It's like populist Joe Schmo trying to bring Halle Berry down a peg by telling her she may have won an Oscar, but she's not all that different from or better than starlets starring in soft-core porn, selling her beauty to the masses for money. No offense to Halle Berry fans. Ehh, I've talked myself out and run out of steam.

Have a Happy New Year All Browncoats!!!!

#2

Zaphod B

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Posted Dec 31, 2003 @ 11:52 PM

I recently discovered that 3 of the vid files on my little site were, for lack of a better term, humped. I've got a temporary fix in place until I can suss out what's wrong with them. Next time I'll test the ever loving go-se out of them. Damn technology...

Oh, Happy New Year's, everybody!

#3

mollyann

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 12:35 AM

Basically, I think the character of Inara and concept of Companion are great ideas that needed a little more time to cook. I think we needed to be shown more, and more forcefully, what a companion IS in that society.


I agree with you completely. I think Joss came up with the idea for a Respected Futuristic Hooker with a Heart of Gold, was extremely impressed with said idea, and delved right into it without really taking the time to completely sketch out the character. It is not always necessary to do such a sketch, but in this case, in order for the character to feel like something more than a gimmick (which is how she often came off to me), it really was. Don't get me wrong--I grew to like Inara and have a total girlcrush on Morena. However, I'm not convinced Joss thought about the character beforehand as much as he should have.

#4

steffie

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 10:28 AM

I don't think Inara is an incomplete character. Inara is supposed to be mysterious. She's not a Kaylee who lays her intentions and affections on the table.

Inara wasn't my favorite, but she did grow on me. MB has a surprising talent for comedy, and the few times Inara was able to cut loose, she floored me. Best example: the "you stupid son of a ..." moment from OMR.

While a lot of the Mal/Inara stuff was generic UST, the last few moments of HoG were outstanding. NF and MB really showed that behind all their prickly protectiveness there was a depth of feeling for each other that went way beyond sexual tention.

#5

Kispexi2

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 11:25 AM

I did not at all get the idea that she was respected, and was of higher 'rank' than the rest of the crew... the way Mal treated her, and the way Book seemed to flinch from her


IMO, Meenbean, Mal and Book are much closer in their morality than either would like to think. (Although I suspect Book gives himself less of a hard time about it). Jayne too has a bit of an 'old-fashioned' attitude to Companioning (can I use Companion as a verb?). Because, I guess, these three are Old School men: Brave Protective Hero, Born Again Religious Guy and Man's Man.

I wonder what Zoe really thinks about Inara. I mean, they're cordial and all that, but there's never any bonding like between Inara and Kaylee and River. I think Zoe might share Mal's opinion, unsoftened by any UST.

Edited by Kispexi2, Jan 1, 2004 @ 11:26 AM.


#6

HawkMoth

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 12:15 PM

I wonder what Zoe really thinks about Inara. I mean, they're cordial and all that, but there's never any bonding like between Inara and Kaylee and River.


There was a very interesting bit of dialogue between Inara and Zoe in the script for "Trash" that did not make it to the screen, in which they discussed Companioning, men, and gave us a nifty Firefly-speak sex-slang word.

#7

Hegel88

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 12:34 PM

It always seemed to me that Book was flinching at Mal's behaviour toward Inara not what she was. I think the scene where he brings her dinner shows he is quite comfortable with her.

As for Mal I think he does feel like she "outranks" him and uses the insults to make himself feel more equal than he really believes he is.

As for Zoe doubt she even thinks about what Inara does for a living - "not my concern Captain."

#8

marlaas

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 1:52 PM

I'm on my way out the door to purchase the Firefly DVDs. Your insightful posts, stellar fanfic and extremely informative replies to my Buffy vs. Firefly questions have all inspired me to buy the DVD set of a show I've never even seen one episode of. (this is fairly daring for me, given that I usually only purchase DVDs of movies or TV shows I've already developed a deep love for!) I'll drop back by this thread to give my impressions of the episodes. Thanks for all of your help in deciding to spend my money on what I'm sure will be yet another Joss-helmed masterpiece!

#9

skripka2

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 2:24 PM

Yay marlaas! You so won't be sorry.

Okay, I think I found a continuity error in War Stories...need to have someone with a better TV to check it out for me.

When Wash and Mal are walking up the hill, and Wash is carrying the big box o' medicine, I think Mal is missing suspenders.

Yes, the suspenders seem to be missing! Help me out here, folks. It is entirely possible that I'm losing my mind.

#10

AliciaS

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 2:41 PM

Huh, Skripka. I hadn't noticed the suspenders but will check it out next time around!

I thought perhaps you were going to mention the major boo-boo I recently sighted in War Stories. Has this been mentioned yet? We absolutely know that it is Mal's left ear that was cut off. However, right before the henchman plugs the evil device into Mal's lovely chest for the first time, Mal's right ear is definitely gone and a gash is in its place. His right ear is there in one cut, gone in another, and back in the next cut.

Still, I LOVE, love, love my Firefly. We are up to Heart of Gold now and I can't seem to bring myself to watch it. We are too near the end. Sigh.

#11

Kathana

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 5:24 PM

I just finished watching my set I got for Christmas. I cried twice. Once watch the special features and seeing the cast and crew talk about how they loved working on the show and how they tried to make every episide special, because they knew it wasn't going to survive. The second time was watching Objects in Space (I watched them all in the DVD order), because it was done, there was no more left and it hurt to see the last of these characters.

I really hope Joss gets to make a movie of this. I can't believe I'm this attached to a canceled TV show.

#12

Zaphod B

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 5:38 PM

I took a really good look at the "ear switching" scene from War Stories. It looks like they flipped the print, reversing the scene. Dunno why. Mal also has a pretty distinctive blood smear on the right side of his face that ends up on the left.
Who knows, maybe the ME gang decided to have some fun with the continuity that day...

#13

kimmako

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 7:41 PM

Anyone find any easter eggs in the set?

#14

Zaphod B

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 7:51 PM

There's just the one of Adam Baldwin singing "The Man They Call Jayne".

#15

mollyann

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 8:00 PM

If you can't find it, kimmako, put your DVD, um, cursor up to the Joss Sings blurb and press Left + Enter. Adam is a sexy, sexy beast, even if his singing skills rival mine for Worst Ever in the History of the World (and even if he does make one teensy mistake with the lyrics).

#16

Kathana

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 8:53 PM

I loved seeing that. We had to watch it twice, because the first time we were laughing too hard.

#17

motteditor

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 9:57 PM

First post, so hopefully I won't mess this up too badly.

I had a vague affection for "Firefly" when it was on, though it wasn't my favorite, but I decided it was worth getting the DVDs, which I'm still working my way through. On the bright side, I'd missed at least two eps, so I get more than just three unseen hours. I kind of like that. It's also definitely coming across better than I remembered, though I still think "Our Mrs. Reynolds" has some serious flaws. I'm hoping they're fixed with the other Saffron ep(s?) that I saw mentioned as coming up.

Since someone mentioned a continuity error, I think I also noticed one in "Ariel," the last ep I've watched. Jayne is cuffed with his hands behind him, then thrown to the ground and kicked with his hands unbound, then has his hands bound again. Not that I really care about such things, but since I actually noticed for a change, I thought I'd mention it.

#18

Lud

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 10:02 PM

Be sure to report back through your tears, if necessary, Marlaas. Newbies to the FF 'verse give me hope. In one of his recents posts over at the OB Nathan requested Browncoats continue to post our "conversion" stories. Perhaps ammo for Universal or "crack" for the cast?

Meenbean, the synthesis Asian/Western culture Joss created is a perfect home to a Priestess/Companion concept. Some of the viewers had problems with the WildWest throwback ("where are the tractor beams?") but to me newly terraformed planets would be a veritable stew of pioneering or developing cultures. Nascent cultures used women as religious or cultural intermediaries. Inara fits the Vestal role to a "T" as they were highly born and highly trained women to lead community rituals which usually included sexual favors to insure the success of crops, etc.

Oh, and

Mal's cocky ass

is a nicely put turn of phrase.

#19

HawkMoth

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 11:50 PM

For you Mal/Inara shippers (and I know you're out there!), some Happy New Year fic:

"Sweet"

Rated "Hot" by maystone

#20

marlaas

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 12:17 AM

I just watched "Serenity", and, while I'm too tired to write anything too in-depth (or, for that matter, coherent!) I just had to tell you all that I'm already hooked on this show. First of all, it may be the most beautiful looking show I've seen in years---the effects, camera work, etc. are just outstanding.
As always, there's the stellar Joss-esque dialogue. ("Can we maybe vote on the whole 'murdering people' issue?" Hee!)
I'm already fascinated by Mal, like 'the Shephard', and, for some reason, developed an instant adoration for the pilot-(I believe his name is Wash?) There's actually no character I dislike, although obviously after one ep. I still feel there are many characters I know very little about.
Whenever I first watch a new series, I tend to get so caught up with remembering names and retaining basic plot information that I sometimes can't fully appreciate the episode, so I may like Serenity even better on second viewing. (This tends to be especially true with these types of shows, since there are so many subtle nuances that are easy to miss the first time around).
I can't tell you how excited I am to keep watching. After just one ep. you can consider me a very happy convert!

ETA: Am I the only one DID believe Kaylee was dead...?!

Edited by marlaas, Jan 2, 2004 @ 12:36 AM.


#21

Lady Agnew

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 2:11 AM

But then again, I can't think of any reason why the Alliance would want to spy on Malcolm.


If she is a spy, there's no reason she has to work for the Alliance. My personal theory is that the Companion order (temple, guild, society) is some sort of highly secretive and powerful organization with mysterious plans. All Companions are double agents: courtesans with access to power and influence, bedding their way into influence. I mean we've seen Inara at least twice pulling in favors from political figures.



First of all, it may be the most beautiful looking show I've seen in years---the effects, camera work, etc. are just outstanding


This didn't strike me until I saw the episodes on DVD. The show is gorgeous, isn't it? Widescreen, the various browns, blacks and grays are beautifully defined and textured, and the experimental techniques really make a visual impact: light flares in the camera, slightly off-key framing, CG effects used wittily to fake realism. I especially love the CG tricks--how they would animate a zoom into a computer generated scene, which is so not the normal, staid way of presenting CG effects in a perfect frame.

#22

Kris_AB

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 3:51 AM

marlaas, keep posting as you go through the DVDs, I like reading new viewers' reactions to the show (the Sci-fi UK boards were fun, if a little underpopulated). Word of advice though, in case you're not already doing this--don't read anymore of our posts until you finish the DVDs. I'd hate for something major to be spoiled for you and we're not using spoiler warnings or anything.

ETA: Am I the only one DID believe Kaylee was dead...?!


That's so awesome that you were able to enjoy that surprise. Nope, most of us here didn't (couldn't) believe Kaylee was dead in "Serenity". 'Cause Fox aired the pilot as the series finale, so we'd already seen the following episode in which she was alive.

#23

Nobody's

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 6:22 AM

Am I the only one DID believe Kaylee was dead...?!



No, I'm embarrased to say. Serenity was the first episode I saw, I'm glad to say, but I still knew Kaylee would stick. But somehow, I bought it. I was like "wuh, huh, how?". I totally bought it. I didn't think she'd be off the show, just that she was a little dead now. Worse off, I even believed it the second time I watched it. How sad is that? I just didn't remember!

I'm so lame.

#24

sf fan

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 6:34 AM

Not lame! Honest.

I'm part of the group that saw Serenity last, so I KNEW Kaylee survived and that scene was STILL full of tension for me.

Wooo marlaas. I'm so thrilled that you're loving it! Btw, watch out for Zoe if you're going to drool all over her hubby. Most of us are too afraid of her to admit to the Wash love.

#25

maystone

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 8:28 AM

I saw Serenity last, but I still thought that Kaylee had died. Since I knew that she didn't stay dead, I was really shocked by this scene. As Simon raced down to the infirmary, I'm thinking "he's got to do something extraordinary to bring her back or else Mal would have killed him." Heh. Never did I think that Joss would write something so wickedly funny :)

motteditor - I've seen Ariel quite a few times now (What?), and it looks to me as if the guard only gets one cuff on Jayne. His hands are behind his back, but he keeps moving around, trying to get more info on what's happening and consequently the guard can't get the other cuff on him.

It's a kick to see all the new people falling in love with Firefly.

Lady Agnew - you're seeing the Guild as something along the lines of the Bene Gesserit?

#26

kieyra

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 12:53 PM

Hey, folks, I am only an occasional visitor to this thread, but I did avail myself of the search function to try to make sure this news was fresh.

Though you all would like to see where Firefly ranks on Barnes & Noble's Top Ten Video List.

Edited by kieyra, Jan 2, 2004 @ 12:54 PM.


#27

Kispexi2

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 1:20 PM

Thanks, kierya. Number 5! Yay!

Am I the only one DID believe Kaylee was dead...?!


I saw "Serenity" first and was totally convinced she was dead. Mostly because it's a Joss Whedon show and he does things like that. And partly because of Mal's manner with Simon. When I realized she was OK, I was gobsmacked at Mal's cruelty. Didn't like the man at all.

Huh! Those were the days.

BTW ran into someone on the Buffy: Big Bads thread who says they can't abide either Nathan or Alan and will never watch anything with either of them in ever again. It's a strange old world....

#28

Lady Agnew

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 3:01 PM

you're seeing the Guild as something along the lines of the Bene Gesserit?



Yup. Only secret-er. It makes a cock-eyed sense, and I'm reminded of the way in which Inara rounds on Atherton and informs him that he's stricken off the Guild-list.

Also, look at the two ex-Companions we've seen. One, Saffron, is a murderous thief who uses all sorts of wiles (violent and seductive) to get what she wants. She seduces and she kills. How is that sort of training (as Inara noted) "Guild training?" I can see it part of the basic training to possess some sort of hand-to-hand combat, but Saffron came off more as a secret agent/spy turned bad than a former courtesan gone bad.

Nandi tells Mal in "Heart of Gold" that she had to leave the order because she couldn't stand the strict and constrained lifestyle. Does it make sense, giving up the privilege and wealth of being a Companion to whore herself out in a bordertown out in the middle of nowhere because she was sick of dulcimer lessons and tea pouring etiquette? The life of the common whore (which Nandi chose) is hard and despised and no fun at all. Because, you know, of the poverty and lack of respect. I can't imagine it was the strictly legit life of Companioning she found so distasteful. I postulate that it was the illicit spying and double-agenting that she couldn't stomach.

Also, we've seen Inara fight hand-to-hand, handle a sword, pilot a shuttle, influence the son of the magistrate in "Jaynestown" to let Serenity fly away against his father's orders.... she's awfully handy at lots of things that no real courtesan would have use for. She's a super-Companion! Able to handle all emergencies and contingencies.

I love the thought of Inara being some sort of Bene Gesserit because I loved that order in Dune. The Bene Gesserit are sooo cool.

And my admittedly far-ranging spec on what precisely was in the needle-not-a-suicide-kit is some super secret poison/biological weapon that's effective against the Reavers.

ran into someone on the Buffy: Big Bads thread who says they can't abide either Nathan or Alan and will never watch anything with either of them in ever again.


How strange. I can imagine someone watching the show and not liking it at all, but I can't serious contemplate someone seeing the show and loathing either Nathan or Alan. Even if the show's not to their taste, the both of them are really quite good in it. How strange.

#29

mollyann

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 3:07 PM

Because of FOX's general assiness, it didn't even cross my mind that Kaylee could be dead. When the episode first aired and Mal let her hand go limp, I was all, "Wow, I guess we're supposed to think she's dead. Too bad FOX is stupid."

#30

Bloody_Priceless

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 3:15 PM

OK, one more conversion story to share...maybe it'll go no further than this but come on, I have to believe that, online, someone can hear us scream.

So: I love Joss and all his works and so was eager to watch the show when it came on. The 'pilot' threw me but I stuck with although I wasn't completely infatuated, I'm ashamed to say. I was disappointed for Joss and his players when it ended but that was that.

So, Pére Noel brought me some lovely DVDs and we've spent some great snowed-in days (ok, two inches of snow but we're feeling lazy) watching them in English, French (humour? doesn't translate but the story works) and with all commentaries. I convinced M. Bloody P. to watch with and he turned to me about episode 3-4 and said: 'is this the first season?' so I had to give him the whole, 'only season, cancelled, bad ratings, f*&cked with by F$x' story. And he was sad. And said some bad words.

Here my tale ends, we're set to watch 'Objects in Space' and we're both sad. Sad. Sad. Sad. : (

P.S.: We're such a wicked demographic - DINKs who love TV and movies and buying any and all products that we see on our favourite shows. Oh ye mighty ratings whores, we look upon this work and despair.... Bring it back. In any form. You'll get some credits from us.

Edited by Bloody_Priceless, Jan 2, 2004 @ 3:18 PM.