2002 November 23 Saturday
Attempt To Save Farscape With A TV Commercial

The SaveFarscape.com reports on a rather dramatic attempt to revive interest in the cancelled Farscape TV show:

I Am Farscape TV Commercial

What began as a simple idea posted by KimRB in the “Do It Yourself Media” thread, then morphed into a proof-of-concept video posted by Beowulf at http://homepage.mac.com/beowulf/farswitch/iMovieTheater30.html, is now a “Realized Reality” through the efforts of the entire Scaper community.

The “I Am Farscape” television commercial, http://homepage.mac.com/~beowulf/iamfarscape/, was completed by Beowulf in late October and duped onto beta sp tapes (a standard format in the TV industry), in early November by KimRB. Many of the tapes are already in the hands of cable TV companies across American, with the rest arriving soon.

Originally targeted at 15 US cities, the "Do It Yourself Media" team found that, after funding was approved by the FWA, they could afford 16 cities. Then Scapers Loco2, Akimbo, and Kithylara stepped up to sponsor airing the commercial in their respective cities, Lexington (KY), Cleveland (OH), and San Diego (CA), bringing the target city total to 19. Everyone was floored when Dominar of Action volunteered to add five more cities (Tampa, FL; Salt Lake City, UT; Detroit, MI; Pittsburgh, PA; Minneapolis, MN), upping the ante to 24 cities! The commercial will air in the following 24 cities the week of November 24:

Atlanta, GA
Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
Cleveland, OH
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
Hartford, CT
Houston, TX
Lexington, KY
Los Angeles, CA
Miami, FL
Minneapolis, MN
New York, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Pittsburgh, PA
Salt Lake City, UT
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Seattle, WA
St. Louis, MO
Tampa, FL
Washington DC

In many of those cities, the ad may air only once, and it may be in the middle of the night on an undisclosed channel. But that’s okay, because the goal of this project is to draw mainstream media attention to our cause. Toward that end, at the same time as the commercial tapes were being produced and shipped, Scapeartist and the FWA PR crew worked with the “Do It Yourself Media” folks to craft a killer press release to announce the airing of this first ever fan-produced, fan-funded television commercial.

On November 17, Scapers came together to stuff and address 200 packets containing the press release and a video CD of the commercial and all 22 of the individual web spots from http://homepage.mac.com/~beowulf/farswitch/. This packet is now on its way to the leading national television news organizations, and to local television news stations in the 24 target cities. And now, in the final stage of this epic effort, the Scaper community is once again coming together to mail the press release to print and radio media all across America.

So mark the week of November 24th on your calendar, and keep your eyes and ears peeled for stories about this effort which may appear in your local newscasts, newspapers, and on local radio. Have a blank video tape ready to capture stories that may appear on local newscasts in your area. And finally, keep checking back here for breaking news as Scapers write a new page in science fiction fan history!

DS

I really hope they succeed in this. Farscape is a better show than any science fiction show currently in production.

By Randall Parker    2002 November 23 09:56 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (6)
2002 November 22 Friday
Birds Of Prey Will Probably Be Cancelled

Rumours abound that Birds Of Prey will be cancelled.

After starting out at 7.6 million viewers its dropped down to 5 million viewers and Birds Of Prey is in fifth place in its time slot. At least it beats out The Twilight Zone.

The other big science fiction show on Wednesday night is Enterprise which is doing better with 4.5/7 vs 3.8/5 for Birds Of Prey. Birds Of Prey is more like a cartoon with a good looking heroine than it is science fiction. Enterpise is the future in the relatively benign and goody-two-shoes Star Trek universe. But at least it really is science fiction.

By Randall Parker    2002 November 22 04:14 PM   Entry Permalink
Firefly Ratings Continue To Drag

Firefly continues to be in fourth place in its time slot for the last few weeks. While the ax is definitely hanging above it the show has not yet been officially cancelled. Sounds like Fox is going to see how well it does in December before deciding on its fate. Here are the last few weeks of ratings:

Friday Nov 1, 2002: 2.8/5 and versus its third place competitor Firefly had less than half the ratings.

Friday, Nov. 8, 2002: 2.9/5.

Friday, Nov. 15, 2002: 2.9/5. John Doe comes after Firefly on Fox and John Doe is now in third place at 4.1/7 for its time slot.

Fox has ordered two more episodes of Firefly to bring the total to 15. So there may be 7 more episodes to come if they all end up getting shown. Joss Whedon is writing and directing some future episodes. Firefly will not air again until December 6, 2002.

Also see this interview with Mutant Enemy President Christopher Buchanan about the future of Firefly.

By Randall Parker    2002 November 22 02:35 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (11)
2002 November 10 Sunday
Daniel Jackson Returning To Stargate SG-1

First of all, Stargate SG-1 is being renewed by the SciFi channel for another season. Apparently its renewal for season 7 was in doubt until quite recently.

Also, in a surprising development Michael Shanks is returning as Daniel Jackson. Of course in season 5 Daniel Jackson supposedly died. So did somehow survive in captivity? Did he get underground and avoid the nuclear blast? Or will a supernatural element come into the equation to bring him back? Jackson already showed up in a supernatural form in the episode where Colonel Jack O'Neill was being held captive by the Goa'uld. I hope the way Jackson returns is not too cheesy.

Richard Dean Anderson and Amanda Tapping have already signed on the dotted line to return as well. Even thought Dr. Jackson is returning the Jonas Quinn character played by Corin Nemec is expected to return as well. Ditto for Teal'c as played by Christopher Judge. Richard Dean Anderson is still going to be the star but he's not going to show up in as many scenes.

I don't know what the creative disagreements were that led Michael Shanks to leave SG-1. But I hope the writers inject some elementes of the original movie Dr. Jackson into the returned Michael Shanks Dr. Jackson. The original Dr. Jackson from the movie version was a more mischievous and curious academic whose curiosity and willingness to interact with and get to know an alien culture were crucial elements of how the movie plot developed. The TV show Dr. Jackson was a less interesting figure and what he thought and did were less crucial to the plots of most episodes. Samantha Carter's hard science knowledge played a role in how episodes developed far more than Jackson's soft science and history knowledge did.

You can read the SciFi.com announcement and a couple of posts from gateworld.net here and here.

Update: There is also a Slashdot thread running on this topic here.

By Randall Parker    2002 November 10 11:08 AM   Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2002 November 09 Saturday
Firefly Review: "Jaynestown" Ep. 4

Jaynestown is the fourth episode of Joss Whedon's new TV series Firefly. Jayne is the name of the most mercenary and amoral (at least as he seems so far) member of the Firefly crew. On previous episodes he's been ready to abandon and betray others including Captain Mal Reynolds. He's not a likeable character.

You can find other reviews of Jaynestown on FireflyFans.net, TVTome, and SadGeezer.

This show is in 2517 AD. The only problem with it is that Firefly does not feel like its set far in humanity's future. As I've said previously (here and here) a lot will change in the next 500 years. Technology changes culture. In a good Firefly episode (and by that I mean good in comparison to the rest of the Firefly episodes) one can forgive the technological implausibilities. But Jaynestown is not a good episode.

What was good about this episode? We are supposed to be impressed that the mud workers made Jayne a hero because of something he inadvertently did the last time he was on the planet.

What Annoys Me Most About Firefly

Its not the future. Its stated that it is placed 500 years into the future. Why bother making that assertion when it does not look even remotely like what human civilization will be like even 100 years into the future? As far as I can tell the assertion is made because Joss Whedon wants to argue that humans will not change that much and so, presto, we'll say this is what humans will be like 500 years into the future. But even if one wants to argue that human nature will not change much (eg lets assume unrealistically that average personality type or intelligence level will not change) it boggles the mind to imagine that people will live like 19th century hicks and yet also trade with people who land in their midst in spaceships.

The only thing futuristic about it is that they can travel between planets. That's it. Even the medical care is unimpressive. We are supposed to ignore the implausible assumptions of each story so that some fairly dull points about human nature can be made.

It is not great human drama. What is especially interesting about these people? They are made to seem smaller than life in a bid to show them as creatures possessed of all the normal range of human character flaws and limitations. But neorealism of this sort is not particularly entertaining. The writers ought to be humble enough to admit that they aren't producing something interesting by exploring the lives of these people. Then they should either improve it as drama or at least take enough care with the stories that we don't see cheap implausibilities every which way we look. If they don't care enough to craft a good story and make all of a story's elements work then why should we take the time to watch it?

Jaynestown Demonstrates The Flaws Of Firefly At Its Worse

We have the initial departure of Inara in a separate scout ship and then the rest land in the Firefly and walk out of the main hold. That's the extent of the science fiction element until they try to leave at the end. Everything else about the episode could have taken place in a lousy 1950s Western TV show set in 19th century America.

The core of the story: some sorry ass poor working class indentured servants decide to treat some departed criminal as a proverbial Robin Hood. Wow, what an unoriginal idea. So could the unwinding of the story at least be interesting? Nah, apparently its enough to just show flawed human characters 500 years in the future flailing around incompetently. The character development apparently is supposed to be so intriguing that it obviates the need for a great plot. Well, the characters are developing and some of that is being handled moderately well. But that doesn't make up for the assorted weaknesses of the show.

Implausibility Alert: Why are the mud workers indentured servants btw? To pay their fares to get to this moon? But why? indentured servitude was used to pay ship fares for settlers way back when because people were too poor to afford passage to the thoroughly more promising New World. So why even throw in the idea that any of these people are indentured? Its a fast swipe of the plot brush but it wasn't really necessary to establish the sorry state of these mud workers and it was implausible at the same time.

On The Primitive Settler Planet

We open with Simon and Kaylee discussing how Simon is just too prim and proper in his language. Of course, Simon's lack of informal speaking skills haven't prevented Kaylee from pining for his body. So is she already complaining about him before they have hooked up?

Simon: I use swear words like everyone else.

Kaylee: Simon, the whole point of swearing is that it ain't appropriate.

Inara comes by ready to leave to go down to Higgin's Moon to see a client. Mal is there and acting unhappy about it.

Kaylee: Bye Now... have good sex.

Kaylee is unencumbered by feelings of guilt or unease about sex. Its a quick swish of the character brush that makes a point. The show is good that way.

Jayne Makes It Clear He's An Uncivilized Brute

Crashing noise in the infirmary.

Jayne tore apart the place to find some tape to tape a gun on his chest. This shows that Jayne is not too civilized. So we have this bit of character development for Jayne. Seems a bit over the top to me.

Jayne said he made some enemies and doesn't want to go in empty handed. They are headed for a planet where Jayne expects to encounter people who do not like him. So Jayne wants a pistol taped to his chest. Mal doesn't want him taping a gun to his chest. Jayne pretty much says there are people down there who may not like seeing him again and who might hold unfriendly intentions toward him.

Implausibility Alert: Wouldn't it be smarter to just not have Jayne go off the ship? If one's intention is to do undercover work to smuggle something off the planet then wouldn't it make sense not to bring along someone who will draw attention to himself? Of course, they have to bring him along because the whole point is to have Jayne be recognized and to be treated like a hero. But the initial disguise and gun and reluctance to go down makes having Mal not telling him to stay on the ship to be implausible. This could have been worked out in some other way.

Alternative Suggestion: They could have had Doc Simon make up Jayne in a really effective disguise. The disguise could have been good enough to fool anyone. That would have it more reasonable to bring Jayne along. Jayne even could have had some special role to play (at least according to the plan) for getting the stuff off they'd come to to the ship. Jayne could have volunteered some knowledge of the planet (re, okay, moon) that would have meant that Jayne would be the only one to recognize something or somebody who would be the place or guy needed for the meeting. The disguise could have come off at some later point (eg in a bar fight that Mal was dumb enough to start - therefore it would have been Mal's fault that things started going wrong) and that would have been what allowed the discovery of Jayne's identity.

Its Barely Science Fiction For A Brief Moment

Inara's ship separates from Firefly in the atmosphere on way down. Okay, that is the most science fiction part of this whole episode. You've just seen it. Try to savor that moment while the rest of the episode drags along in the mud. Except, on the bright side, us males get to oogle Inara in some scenes. That's an important consideration when everything else is muddy and dull.

On The Primitive Mud Digging Planet

Crewmember smelling planet: It stinks.

Is she presaging the episode? Oh wait, no, she's talking about the planet. Why would mud stink? Its not sewage after all. This is unimaginative. Is it sulfurous mud? Is sulfurous mud good for making pottery? Why aren't people making pottery by using nanotech assemblers 500 years in the future?

Kaylee goes with the guys onto the planet. The other 3 women stay with the ship. Kaylee wants Simon to go with them to the town for the clay trade. Mal agrees.

Implausibility Alert: They make clay on the planet. We are to believe that people come to a planet and buy clay and haul it to another planet. Clay moved between planets? Huh? Wet heavy cheap stuff won't get moved between planets in small general purpose spacecraft. Mud won't get moved between planets at all. This is just plain dumb.

Alternative Suggestion: The planet could have had a mine for some valuable gems that look good in jewelry. Instead of the mud flat there could have been an opening to a mine in the side of a hill. Mal could have told Simon to pose as a jewelry stone trader. Given Simon's more refined bearing this would have been more plausible. The work in the mine would still have been dangerous and dirty and the mine workers would still have been lower class manual laborers.

They have to invent a cover story on the spot. Management doesn't take kind to sight-seeers. So they are going in looking like traders? But do they already have something they know they are going to get? Yes, looks like they want to grab something from a contact and then smuggle it off planet.

Implausibility Alert: Simon as potential buyer. Okay, why not work this out in advance before they step onto the planet? What did they think they were going to say as they walked thru the area? Why wouldn't this have occurred to them? Are the Firefly crew not supposed to be that bright?

Simon: Yes, yes I'm looking to buy some mud.

Scottish accented foreman: Over 2000 workers, mostly indentured.

They move on to go looking for Kessler in town. They come across a statue of Jayne. Turns out his last name is Cobb.

Jayne Cobb. Yes, they do remember him. They have a statue of him.

Wash: Think they captured him though, captured his essence.

Kaylee: Looks pretty angry.

Wash: That's what I mean.

Jayne: I crossed the magistrate of this company town. You know what I mean?

Implausibility Alert: Yes, we do know what Jayne means. Which is exactly why this should have been explained on the ship and why Jayne never should have stepped off the ship. Either that or he shouldn't have been wearing such a retarded bozo disguise. Are Mal and Jayne stupid enough let Jayne walk out there with the stupid head gear? If they are that dumb then why make a TV show about them? Its not like the stupidity is justified by a good "Dumb and Dumber" comedy element. Its just dumb and unfunny.

Alternative Suggestion: Just because they are not superheroes on a mission from God does not mean they have to be incompetent oafs who are just stumbling along thru scenes. Have them show some intelligence and aforethought from time to time. Have at least some of them show that they are skilled at deceit. Have them demonstrate greater resourcefulness and planning skills.

Inara Meets Mr Higgins

Mr Higgins: I'm thinking it will take all of your arts to deal with this problem.

So we have this second thread of Inara's running thru the show.

River and Book On Serenity

River is integrating some mathematical theory into the Bible. She's doing some damage to Book's Bible in the process.

River: Noah's ark is a problem.

River: Its broken, it doesn't make sense.

River appears to have some sort of hyperanalytical bent in how she examines what she reads. Book tries to explain to River that the Bible is not supposed to make normal rational sense.

Book: Its about faith, River, it fixes you.

The third thread of the show involves River being weird in ways that are not particularly interesting but which hopefully are developing her character in ways that will be useful in future episodes. Plus, we have the soul man of faith in the still very agnostic secular future. Is Book supposed to be a relic to remind us of an earlier age? I doubt that even the writers know for sure.

The Gang In Mudland

Back in mudland in a bar.Simon is saying something.

Kaylee: Wow Simon, that was so historical.

Kaylee likes Simon. We are clear on that.

Some guy: I knew Kessler, They hacked off his hands and feet with a machete.

Okay, their contact is dead.

Problem with moving the merchandise across town.

Song about Jayne being sung in the bar. "A hero, a Kansan, a man they called Jayne."

Janye doesn't have an explanation for the song.

Jayne: No, this must be what going mad feels like.

Got hit by antiaircraft and had to dump 60,000 untraceable over the mud town in order to stay airborne.. He's a hero.

Back On Serenity

River is scared of Book's white hair sticking up. She runs off.

Back In The Bar Jayne's Identity Is Discovered

The kid in the bar recognized Jayne and went outside and told lots of people. They come out of the bar and all the guys recognize Jayne. Big crowd cheering him. He goes back in the bar. They recognize him. The bar tender knocks his liquor bottle out of his hand. Jayne is wondering why the hostilility. Then the bartender pulls out the best liquor in the house to hand to him.

Mal tells their new contact this is all part of their new plan. When Kaylee asks Mal tells Kaylee that he's not sure how its part of a plan.

River Weird On Religion

River is acting weird about religion back on the ship. So there's some character development here that hopefully is useful for later episodes.

Inara Tea Ceremony And Crude Mr Higgins

Inara is doing something like Japanese tea ceremony. I like it. This reinforces the idea of a Companion having understanding of cultural traditions and of having training that is similar to that of a Japanese Geisha.

Fess Higgins is the son of Mr Higgins and Mr Higgins apparently runs (owns?) the mud operation.

Mr Higgins: What's this? I brought you here to bed my son, not ??? him.

Inara says something about "Consecrate a union". Inara takes the high class call girl status very seriously and thinks sex is a sacred thing when practiced with a tea ceremony.

Inara gets Mr Higgins out of the room. She returns her attention to Fess.

Simon and Kaylee Getting Drunk

Drunk Simon: I reattached a girl's leg, a whole leg, she named her hamster after me.

Kaylee: You're pretty funny.

Drunk Simon: You're pretty ... pretty.

(my reaction: aw shucks)

Kaylee: What'd you say?

Drunk Simon: You're pretty.

Drunk Simon: Even when you're covered well with...

Mal comes over. Kaylee pulls Mal away to shoo him off.

Kaylee to Mal: Things are going well well

Kaylee is trying to get Mal to just leave her alone so she can go one-on-one with Simon.

Kaylee to Mal: I said things are going well!

Mal gets the point. Kaylee is trying to seduce Simon in spite of how weird it is getting with Jayne being a hero.

River Is Getting Weirder On Serenity

River is in the wall of the ship. She's hiding.

Zoe: River, why don't you come out?

River: No, can't, too much hair.

River is way freaked about Book..

Zoe: River honey he's putting the hair away.

River: Doesn't matter, it will still be there waiting to come out.

Inara and Fess

Fess: This whole thing, it is embarassing.

Inara: Your father isn't right Fess.

Inara: Really Fess, you're different from thim. The more you accept that, the stronger you'll will become.

Higgins Wants Jayne Dead

The details start to come clear about Jayne and why the people revere him. The locals got to keep the money he tossed out of his spaceship. They also had a riot in order to be able to keep his statue.

Foreman to Mr Higgins: There's a problem in the worker's town sir, Jayne Cobb's come back.

Higgins and his assistant open this box to let the guy out. Must be Jayne's old partner set free to kill him (turns out his name is Stitch)

Stitch to Higgins: You keep me in that box 4 years. You give me a loaded gun.

Stitch is wondering why he shouldn't just shoot Higgins. However, Stitch looks to be in too good a shape to have spent 4 years in such a small box.

Higgins: How high was that shuttle when he pushed you out? 30 feet?

Higgins is making it clear that Jayne is back and that Jayne is the guy that Stitch ought to be seeking revenge from.

Implausibility Alert: If Fess has told Inara that there is going to be a hearing about Jayne then why is Higgins sending Stitch to kill Jayne? The term "hearing" implies that Jayne would already be in custody at that point. The purpose of having Fess tell Inara was so that we could see her emotional reaction when she misunderstood and thought it was Mal who was going to be brought up on criminal charges.

Alternative Suggestion: Fess could have told Inara a different story that didn't involve a hearing. "My father wants me to attend a meeting to decide what to do about a criminal who has returned to the planet". Though the idea of the father wanting to have a meeting is questionable given that Higgins decides to send Stitch to kill Jayne. Its not the sort of thing one one would expect Higgins would want his son to know about.

In The Bar The Next Morning

Mal comes into the bar. It is next morning, Kaylee sleeping on Simon fully clothed on a bar bench.

Down come Jaynes from where he was sleeping with a woman.

Simon tries to explain to Mal that nothing happened with Kaylee and goes too far and says he'd never do anything with Kayle. Kaylee is mad that Simon said that he's never do it with Kaylee.

Inara Gives Fess Profound Wisdom In The Morning

Fess: Shouldn't I be a man now?

Inara: A man is just a boy who's old enough to ask that question.

Inara: But it doesn't make you a man, you do that yourself.

The Crew Discuss Whether To Use Jayne's Fame As A Distraction

Jayne: I don't know. You think we should be using my fame to hoodwink.

Is that Jayne, is that really him? Wash, pinch me. I must be dreaming.

You really think we can get his stuff across town without being noticed?

Inara Learns From Fess That Someone's In Trouble

Inara: A criminal hearing.

Fess: Yes, my father asked me to attend.

Fess tells Inara about this criminal man. Inara thinks its Mal. Inara starrts trying to speak in favor of this criminal who she thinks is Mal. Her affection for Mal just wells up. This is well done.

Inara: He just has this idiotic sensibility. .....

Fess: You mean you know Jayne?

Inara is surprised. She'd assumed wrongly. Oops.

Inara: Jayne Cobb?

Showdown Between Jayne And Stitch

Stitch starts beating on Simon.

Can I just get the check please?

Stitch: Heard tell you run with Jayne Cobb?

Simon: Excuse me?

Stitch: Just take me to that.

Simon: Sure look at me you pantywaist idiot.

Crowd shouting Jayne Jayne Jane Jayne

Jayne shows up in the nick of time to save Simon from losing an eye.

Speech....

Jayne: I'm no good with words. Don't use them much myself. But I want to thank you for all being there and thought so much for me.

Mal (or Wash?): Wow, That didn't sound half bad.

Jayne: I'm shocked my own self.

Jayne: Stitch Hessioan!

Stitch:Thought I'd make you watch while I butcher one of your boys.

Jayne: He ain't one of mine. Where you been hiding.

Kaylee to the banged up Simon: Oh Honey.

Then attention shifts toward Jayne and Stitch. Stitch is furious that Jayne abandoned him, Jayne became a hero, and Stitch suffered in the box for 4 years.

Jayne: I ain't a hero Stitch.

Stitch: Now why don't you let old Stitch speak his piece.

Stitch tells the crowd what really happened that day when Jayne and Stitch were trying to carry out a robbery and their ship got hit while trying to escape. The most salient line:

Stitch: He toseed me out first.

Then Stitch is ready to kill Jayne.

Stitch shoots at Jayne and this kid (late adolescent) who idolized Jayne guy jumps out and takes the bullet from the shotgun.

Implausibility Alert: So was it a single slug out the shot gun rather than a spread of pellets? Someone trying to stop a shotgun blast at such short range would suffer more damage than that and some of the pellets would probably make it thru.

Jayne throws a knife at the guy and hits him. Then he attacks and beats him. THen he moves over to the guy who took the gun blast for him. Jayne is none too happy that this kid died for him.

Jayne: Get up, Get you you stupid piece of ..

The kid's dead.

Jayne tries to pull himself down off the the altar that they've placed him on in their minds.

Jayne: All fo you? you think someone's just gonna drop money on you? Money you can use? Well there aint people like that. There's just people like me.

Jayne knocks over his own statue.

They make it back to the ship. But what about the delivery? Did they load the illicit shipment? It didn't seem like the distraction with Jayne lasted long enough. Also, we never got a clear view of the stuff. And when they went into the mud bog area to where they expected to find it why did they do that? Wouldn't it have been a little more plausible to have the stuff hid under some bushes with some trees around for camouflage?

Wash we're onl

The ship won't take off. Higgins has somehow locked the Firefly in place.

Implausibility Alert: How could the Firefly been held down with such a crude dirt landing spot? Port Control? How was that supposed to work?

Inara calls up to ask what is wrong. But since Inara came down separately in her scout ship has she flown in back to Serenity and flown it into Serenity already?

Inara: Hello Wash, is there a problem with take-off?

Suddenly the ship lifts off and he reports there isn't a problem. Did Inara contact Fess to ask him to let them go? Had she previously asked for his help? Its not clear from the dialogue and timing of the scenes whether that might have happened.

Higgins Confronts His Son Over Jayne's Escape

Higgins: You did what?

Fess: I sent an override to port control ...

Higgins: You did what?

Fess: You wanted to make a man out of me. I guess it worked.

Another Book And River Moment

River: Just keep watching preacher man.

Its hard to make sense of these River scenes.

Kaylee with Simon Patching It Up

Simon: I mean my way of being polite or whatever well its the only way I have a of showing you I like you.

Jayne Showing Remorse Maybe

Jayne seems to be showing some remorse that the kid who idolized him died to save him.

Jayne: don't make no sense. Why the hell'd that mother have to...

...

Mal: It aint about you Jayne, Its about what they need.

More Things Wrong With This Episode

Merchandise? What Merchandise? We never found out what the merchandise was. Its not clear whether the Firefly left with the merchandise either.

Jayne As A Distraction Wasn't Well Used. It would have been a bit more suspenseful if the speech and fight sequence had been interleaved with scenes of Crew members starting and stopping to move contraband while people were distracted. There could have been successive steps in the celebration and in the conflict with Stitch that could have provided distractions for a few successive moves of the contraband. It would have been neater if there were a few problems that needed to be solved to move the contraband. Maybe get at a key. Then open some door. Or maybe dig up contraband from more than one place.

What Was So Hard About Moving The Contraband? Couldn't they have just done it at night while everyone was asleep or partying? The show needed a better explanation about why it had to be done as it was done. It all seemed too contrived.

Alternative Suggestion: The contraband could have been a fairly large object hidden in the bar disguised as, say, a table. They'd need everyone out of the bar to get it moved.

Alternative Suggestion: The contraband could have been under a foreman's shack at the mud flats. In that case the Crew would have needed to get all the workers to go down to the Jaynes Day celebration. The workers and supervisors could have been shown leaving the mud flats to go attend. Then some of theCrew could have moved the shack to get at the contraband. They would have started moving it while the celebration was going on. There could have been a switch back and forth between the celebration and their attempts to extract the contraband and move it to the ship.

Some added layering of suspense could have been gotten out of the celebration/showdown sequence if it was somehow interleaved with the getting of the contraband.

By Randall Parker    2002 November 09 01:45 AM   Entry Permalink | Comments (9)
2002 November 07 Thursday
Firefly To Get More Action And Adventure

Firefly is not doing well in the ratings but Fox has ordered 3 more scripts to be written after the first 13. So it might continue to be made and the later scripts are going to have more adventure in them:

"Looks like," says Whedon. "We're hoping that we'll get some slow growth, which is what Sandy Grushow said before this season ever started. He said, 'Look, you're going to be hit with baseball. It's not an out-of-the-box thing, we don't expect it to be.' So there's something good on that side. They're letting us keep going, and it really feels like we're ready to hit our stride."

"The shows that we're working on now have the adventure and the excitement that FOX is looking for, along with all the character stuff, which is why I show up."

"I think we've found it," says Minear. "I do, I do."

By Randall Parker    2002 November 07 01:56 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2002 November 05 Tuesday
Another Reason I Like Sarah Michelle Gellar

There are some celebrities who come across in interviews as, well, ding bats. They have loony ideas. Their connection to reality seems tenuous. They figure that if millions of people want to hear what they have to say then they must be possessed of more wisdom and learning than they in fact possess. Its a sad spectacle to watch such people. However, any time I've ever seen Sarah Michelle Gellar interviewed she has always struck me as so normal and sensible. Well, I was just out looking for reviews of Joyce Lee Malcolm's book Guns and Violence: The English Experience and saw a picture of Ms. Gellar on a web page that mention's Malcolm's book. Clicking thru the picture link led to a page from June 1999 with this blurb:

Buffy Doesn't Blame Guns

Showing honesty and common sense that is far too rare among NRA's critics in Hollywood, actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, star of the hit TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer of the Warner Brothers Network, refused to blame firearms for the tragedy at Columbine High School in April of this year.

In an interview published in the October 1999 issue of Teen People, Ms. Gellar, whom the magazine described as "the WB's hottest star," admits she "grew up around guns." She also said that she was taught not to touch them as a child. At the same time, she admits that it is impossible to fully comprehend what can lead to this sort of tragedy.

By Randall Parker    2002 November 05 06:11 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (8)
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