Later, they found Augustus Gloop in the ship's communal toilet.

| 66 Comments

There is not a lot of point in another blogger reviewing Serenity at this stage of the game. Either you've seen it by now and you know what happens, or you haven't seen it and you Don't Want Any Spoilers (making any review either pointless or necessary to avoid). Or you just don't care, and you want everyone to shut up about it already.

Mostly, it comes down to the spoiler problem.

The film was screened extensively for fans, from rough cut to final edit, for the past several months in various English-language territories. An unusually devout Browncoat (or, failing that, a particularly keen fan of all things Joss Whedon) could possibly have traveled to see this film a multitude of times before the North American wide release. That release, alongside the Australian one, was last week. The London premiere was Wednesday, and it went wide across the UK Thursday.

Now, despite not having attended any of the screenings (not, I assure you, out of any lack of desire to attend), I've been spoiled for Serenity since about a day after the first workprint fan-preview. This was intentional. I have certain weird fragilities around given types of imagery in films and on TV, and I tend to take the sorts of tricks that Whedon routinely pulls with his characters quite badly as well.

(It started young. As a kid, I saw Star Trek III before Star Trek II. I knew what happened to Spock from books and Trek IV, wanted the reassurance that he'd be okay -- look, I was pubescent and crushed out on Leonard Nimoy -- and still spent hours pretty much shredded over seeing the death scene played out in flashback at the start of III. It depressed me for a week. You don't want to know what I was like for a month after seeing Tasha Yar take it in the face from an oil slick.)

There are enough unpleasant surprises in the real world that I'm not real big on them in my entertainment. Knowing what happens makes it easier for me to enjoy and/or appreciate how these things unfold, and the specifics are never anything like how I imagined them, anyway.

Now, I won't say that I had to look particularly hard to find spoilers. But, if I didn't already know where to look, I'd have been pretty much screwed going into Serenity.

I'm amazed at how effectively the no-spoiler pact has worked until now. I'm sure there's been a few nasty people, or that there've been some slipups by now, but I'm not aware of any particular backlash. You didn't have Browncoats needing to sign NDAs in order to attend screenings; Whedon just asked them, politely, not to be jerks. So, by and large, they weren't. Official PR didn't take the tone of, say, the Harry Potter series (and let's not get back into the tussle from a few months ago, okay?), whereby the publishers deem the Magical Sense of Wonder and Revelation to be such a matter of entitlement that potential leaks are generally addressed, not through politeness, but via legal sanction.

I'm particularly impressed that it's kept up into this week. This is the part where I harp on again about having grown up in Canada, and living in England now. Even in these days of near-simultaneous releases, we still end up waiting a week or two for films to come out here, and anywhere from two weeks to four months for television series to filter over. Let's not even start on certain types of book. It wasn't that long ago that we'd have to wait two to six months for a movie, sometimes longer, and up to a year for a TV show to make it across the ocean. Never mind the gap between British cable and terrestrial broadcasts. (Canada had the benefit of nearby American cable, but that didn't always work.) I am far too accustomed to waiting around for genre entertainment to come out, only to pop online and find a predominantly American fan base blithely discussing whatever, because, well, everyone's seen it by now, right? (Babylon 5 fans might recall a nasty period on USENET where some episodes ran in Britain first, and the spoiler rules only turned out to apply to when the shows first ran in the US for some reason.) I'm not suggesting that everyone who lives outside the US is as jaded -- or blunted -- as I am by now, but there's only so long you can spend either having to keep to isolated, regional online fora or just deal. Eventually, that kind of good will comes as a surprise.

I don't think it's revealing anything to suggest that, for many who've seen and enjoyed Firefly, Serenity has an impact not unlike that of Trek II or Empire Strikes Back. (I also don't think it's revealing anything to observe that, as good as the film is, much of it is probably wasted if you don't have the prior context as a result. I attended the movie with several friends, some of whom were prepared and some of whom were going in effectively cold; we pretty much saw two completely different movies.) I'm really impressed that it's possible to pull this off, now, across international markets, under circumstances which you'd think would completely kill that potential for most properties.

I don't think that this should be seen as something unique to Browncoats, either. I'm kinda hoping that other franchises can learn to trust their fanbases, and politely ask them not to be jerks, either.


Now, having said all that: while we don't normally take heroic anti-spoiler measures here at Websnark, we also very rarely have a situation like this one. Not just with regards to the Browncoat community trust agreement, either: I've seen a major American science-fiction film release before Eric's had the opportunity. Eric is still working through Firefly. Now, it's up to him whether or not he finishes the series off before he hits Serenity, but I've strongly recommended to him that he not go in without at least the series context.

He'd like the impact undiminished. And I'd like for him to see the movie I saw.

Comments to Websnark posts? Go to our mailboxes.

So, just this once, for now, I'm asking a favour of you guys. One that's out of character for me, and one I'm hewing to as well. (Even though I don't want to. Even though I'd really love to write something about River tonight.) Please: don't post Serenity spoilers in any comments thread here until one of us has sounded the all-clear, okay?

Thanks.

Y'all rock.

66 Comments

Never understood what people saw in Whedon's products. Buffy and Angel were like watching one of those live action roleplaying games at the best of times.

Haven't yet seen Firefly. Will wait, and watch a bit, before seeing Serenity, now that I've seen your post (thanks for the tip).

And the non-spoiler snark-pact, for the time being? Way cool.

I'm glad someone has finally cleared up the whole "Should I see Firefly before Serenity" issue. Most people have told me just to go see the movie, and that I won't need to see the series to apreciate it. I'm glad I haven't yet.

I did see Serenity without seeing Firefly - it is certainly two different movies.

Also, pretty much wherever I frequent on the Net there's either a standing rule to declare a topic to be contaning spoilers up-front, or to hide it using some white-coloured text or JavaScript trickery. Then again, I never got into the whole Usenet thing.

Having seen Serenity with a group of both Firefly watchers and complete newcomers, I was pleased to see that everyone loved it.

Now don't get me wrong, I think folk should probably see Firefly first, but I've been recommending that people just see the movie because I think it stands alone fairly well (and I can't get them to sit and watch the show).


Won't lie though. Some things just don't carry as much weight unless you've seen the series.

Or you just don't care, and you want everyone to shut up about it already.

Yes please.

This movie has earned a distinguished place on the "movies I am so sick of hearing about/being told I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO SEE OMG that I refuse to see them so long as I live out of spite" list. The only other movie on that list is Titanic.

Seriously. This whole "brownshirt" and Cult of Whedon thing is friggin' creepy. I'll take a Trekkie or Star Wars fan over that any day.

Yeah, see, white text or Javascript trickery don't work if the user has taken various measures to restrict chrome imposition, or they're using a text browser, or switch off Javascript entirely, or use a device which doesn't support it, or are on one of a number of early mobile devices which wouldn't gracefully handle such things, &c. &c. &c. ... too fallible.

I am aware of such standing rules, but not everyone is so polite, and spoiler tagging tends to fall down for non-Americans in the face of nonsimultaneous international releases. B5 USENET situation would have been the same on a web forum, IMO.

hands hurt, am terse.

above was for Merus.

Jin: Yeah, I dig. There's a reason why I'm not telling people OMG YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS, and that's because, if I hadn't already been a Firefly fan, I'd be right there with you. (Am this way over a lot of stuff. Will never read a bloody Iain Banks book, and gave up Pratchett, and ... yeah.) And, yes, creepy, concur -- choice of language there when self-identifying is deliberate.

Would it be wrong of me to just wait for the giant Firefly/Serenity boxed set? More Whedon than you can hold in one 3-Dimentionally limited container.

Snape kills Mal.

And then it turns out that Firefly was his sled! That was made out of people! From directions in To Serve Man!

And the Walrus was Keyser Soze.

On a less facetious note: Eric? I second Wednesday's recommendation of finishing the series before you watch the movie. There's stuff you'll appreciate more that way.

I have that same "movies I'm so sick of hearing how you've got to see it" feel for every Harry Potter movie. Already, I'm hearing about Potter Movie #4. Someone please shoot me.

Despite the fact that we couldn't get to Reading to see it with you, I did in fact see it last night - I used the trip to tempt the missus back to civilisation. We saw it at 7, so we were probably coming out as you went in. I was very tempted to send you a text message:

SPOILER: River is made out of chocolate.

What surprised me was that the adverts, which seemed to give it all away, in fact did not give some things away. Certain stereotypical scenes in the adverts become very different seen in context. That's quite clever.

Also, I threatened divorce or death to Mrs Kludge if she breathed a word of spoilage (she saw a preview about a fortnight ago), and to give her credit she was wonderfully good about it.

Plus - best thing about previews? No sodding adverts. I should see everything as a preview from now on.

I cried. But then, I cried at Transmetropolitan, so you probably want to take that with a pinch of salt.

Yeah, the lack of ads is nice. I now just wait the extra three or so months after new releases are out, so that I can see them in the campus theatre. Cheaper, no ads, and the curtains actually open and close. That little detail makes movies so much better... like every one has an appropriate ending.

Maybe I'm just lucky; I've never run into any evangelical Harry Potter fans. The hardcore Firefly/Serenity people seem to have an air of quiet, concentrated desperation that doesn't exist in other fanbases. Maybe it's because they know without their frothing support, there will be no TV show/movie. Maybe they believe when they gain enough converts, they gain entrance into Whedopia.

The world may never know.

I'd like to know why Australia has it already, but we (New Zealand) don't get it for 6 freaking weeks!

My best theory is that we don't get it until .au is done with some of the reels. Which means we get a second-hand movie, too.

On the plus side, it's giving me a chance to watch firefox (I would've bought the box set, but nobody local seems to stock it, so I'm cheating until I can find a copy). I don't consider this a pro worth the 6 week wait, however.

Er. Watch Firefox? I mean watch Firefly, of course. Working on sites means I have browsers on the brain, it seems.

FYI, it opens in Sweden on November 4.

Comment from: Phil Kahn [] posted at October 7, 2005 01:54 AM

Snape kills Mal.

Beat you to it, buddy.

See, I find the 6 month rule usually gets me past the fanatics. If I wait 6 months until after its release, then I don't have to see/hear the fanatics going on and on about something to the point where I hate it out of spite.

However, that time frame does get shifted about. I'm actually going to wait 12 months after the last Harry Potter book comes out to finally touch any of them, because the aggregate rantings have gotten me that annoyed.

The way I see it, there's enough really great entertainment out there that I haven't touched (like Shakespeare - I've only read/seen 5 or 6 of his plays) that I have plenty to keep me occupied until the hype dies down.

RIVER DIES ON PAGE 572!

Ahem. Anyway, it doesn't open in Norway until December 2nd. I'm surprised it's getting here at all, seeing as we never got the TV series.

I don't get what the big deal is, usually when someone tells me something is really great I make a note to experience it. If more people tell me to see it I bump it up my list of things to do.

It seems like if the more people tell you to go see something the less chance you have of seeing it then you're cutting off your nose to spite your face. Sure if you want to miss out on a great movie just because everyone thought it was too great to miss and told you so then go right ahead. No skin off my nose.

Also... Serenity is great. Go see it.

Horus: I've fallen into the "No! Too many recommendations! Lalalala!" pattern a couple of times myself (Titanic, Friends), and I _still_ don't understand it. I do feel a little bad if the enthusiasm of some Browncoats (not shirts, note) has turned anybody off of what I still think is one of the best tv shows cancelled in its first season, but hey, what are you going to do?

I'm a little mystified by the "Cult of Whedon" backlash. Maybe I'm just not hanging around on the right fora, or maybe the foam flecking my own beard prevents me from seeing the true depths of our depravity.

Oh, and River's _totally_ made out of chocolate.

Jin: I think it's just a simple, straightforward desire to ensure that more Firefly gets made, in whatever form. Whedon has ideas for two more movies, and if Serenity does well enough, they should get greenlit.

For the record, I'm up through Jaynestown right now.

I'm loving the series, but is it weird that I got specifically hooked by the theme song?

I attended the movie with several friends, some of whom were prepared and some of whom were going in effectively cold; we pretty much saw two completely different movies.

According to the blogs I read, the other one's damn good too. I wish I could see it.

I'm with you, Eric. I love the theme song. Went digging around the internet to find an MP3 of it after the first couple episodes.

Not at all, Eric; that's one of the better theme songs out there.

Me too, and [spoiler], dammit!

"Maybe I'm just lucky; I've never run into any evangelical Harry Potter fans. The hardcore Firefly/Serenity people seem to have an air of quiet, concentrated desperation that doesn't exist in other fanbases. Maybe it's because they know without their frothing support, there will be no TV show/movie. Maybe they believe when they gain enough converts, they gain entrance into Whedopia."

The difference is that Harry Potter (or Star Wars, or Star Trek) is that it has been embraced by the public (or at least the Hollywood marketing establishment for Star Trek) and been launched at us with a fervor of "please love this and buy stuff relating to it." Firefly was created by genre television's equivalent to Aaron Sorken, and yet the establishment didn't want it. They put it up at the worst possible time, out of order, and did a horrible job of promoting it. After it was cancelled, no one took it up, despite all the chatter it was getting on the nerd outlets. It genuinely feels that, in their incompetence, network television and the marketing powers that be were trying to keep something new, interesting and dynamic from us just so they could instead market another lame reality show. This is a test case in how to make fanatics: tell us we can't have something, and we'll chew your leg off to get it.

P.S. Can we talk about how the box office is doing? No one seems to be able to tell me if it is generating the numbers Joss needs to greenlight the rest of his FF ideas.


No, the theme song only *seems* good because the thing we had to compare it with at the time was the theme to "Enterprise".

Every time I hear theme tunes like that it makes me realise that the single ominous tone that accompanies the "Lost" logo is a truly wondrous modern accomplishment.

I just want to say that I totally crushed on Spock/Leonard Nimoy for about 3 years. This was before I differentiated characters from actors. Also - Luke Skywalker was dreamy.

Can we talk about how the box office is doing? No one seems to be able to tell me if it is generating the numbers Joss needs to greenlight the rest of his FF ideas.

Netscuttlebutt at the beginning of the week said that the weekend receipts were about 10 million, which was less than a quarter of production cost, and an even smaller fraction of publicity costs; and that no way is any studio going to do sequels of something that doesn't look like it's going to even pay for itself. Gossip suggests that when Joss saw the release date was postponed past summer busy season he gave up on the possibility of sequels and that's why he's now got like three other movie projects in the fire.

Now me, without contradicting any of that, I say: Remember that this movie came about because of the DVD sales of the series. And even if there are no more Firefly movies, Joss works in comics too.

Horus, here's my armchair psychiatrist view of the "popularity backlash":

Basically, there comes a certain point at which an average person becomes tired of a given stimulus. It's why most people couldn't bear to have the same dinner four nights in a row (of course, there are exceptions like people who eat the same dinner for years).

Now, with entertainment, overexposure is not merely a factor of how many times you've taken in a given piece of entertainment, but how much you've heard people go on about it. I've probably heard people rave about Serenity, in aggregate number of minutes, for longer than the movie actually lasts. It's like I sat through the movie (without spoilers), but without getting any enjoyment out of it whatsoever.

In other words, the well has been poisoned. I've already spent quite amount of my life dealing with Serenity (and Firefly in general) and have not particularly enjoyed any of it. Due to the fact that people won't shut up about it, I feel like it's wasted enough of my time and I don't need to waste any more. Now in a few months, when I forget about all the chatter, I'm likely to forget about it and be able to enjoy it.

Working back upwards:

Remember that this movie came about because of the DVD sales of the series.

Actually, Whedon has been saying in recent interviews that, while the DVD sales helped push everything through later on, the film was slated to happen before those numbers became a consideration. Which makes sense to me, given the timing.

It seems like if the more people tell you to go see something the less chance you have of seeing it then you're cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Not if those people are generally wrong where you're concerned, or they don't respect your wishes not to be overexposed before you've had a chance to actually develop your own desire to see it. It's a pretty natural human response to develop an aversion to something other people are inflicting on you. Think of it as a variant on, "does this bug you? I'm not touching you."

It's one thing to go off of a given property because the ad hype for it is so strong; it's quite another to do so because your friends are outright pressuring you. It can make the whole process feel more like a chore than an experience of entertainment or art.

When missionaries come to your door and earnestly try to get you to attend services held by their religious community, do you attend because they spoke so highly of it? Do you do this every time? Or do you feel kinda hassled and put-upon?

(For me, it's generally a combination of pressure and people being consistently wrong. "You're imaginative and clever! You'd like bla!" usually results in getting handed pompous shite.)

(...heh. Timing.)

I'm loving the series, but is it weird that I got specifically hooked by the theme song?

Uh, no, 'cause that's what did it for me.
US release of the TV soundtrack next month. Yay.

No, the theme song only *seems* good because the thing we had to compare it with at the time was the theme to "Enterprise".

But, unlike Enterprise, Firefly's theme improves when made instrumental-only.

"I'd like to know why Australia has it already, but we (New Zealand) don't get it for 6 freaking weeks!"

Because of all the Australian jokes.

As a kid, I wasn't even remotely susceptible to peer pressure. Although I've succumbed in recent years, I still hold onto a few insights from that era, and one of them is to hate the zealots, not their idol. I found the best way to tell posers (or psuedo-individuals) is to watch for the people that go against popular opinion even without having sampled the work in question. Those people aren't being individuals, doing what they want; they're conformists, except they're for whatever reason going against the grain in the belief that makes them special. While I can respect someone waiting for the series to finish before reading them because that's how they like to read series, I can't really respect someone for disliking something only because of the hype surrounding it. Serenity or whatever isn't changed by the hordes of fans going on and on about it - just put them out of mind and judge the thing on its own merits: does it tell a good story, did you like the characters, did it surprise you, etc, etc.

(And I know that paragraph is going to get me into trouble - things aren't clearcut, certainly, and there are often very good reasons why one can't, for instance, put fan reactions out of mind, like spoilers. There is a difference, though, between 'disliking' and 'dismissing' - Jin's dismissing Titanic, say, which was probably a very good movie but a young boy isn't exactly the target audience for the movie so I wouldn't know. If Jin had said, for instance, that Serenity must be crap because everyone likes it with such fervour then I'd be concerned. But still, the work is separate from its reaction.)

I mean, I'm a comp sci student. You can't beat geekery for bigoted zealotry. Any time a problem with an operating system comes up, some smartass always suggests using Linux; even mentioning emacs or vi starts a religious war; and most geeks tend to be fans of cult shows on top of that.

It's really very interesting - you'd think geeks would be the more tolerant of people.

just put them out of mind

This is kind of up there with "don't let the bullies get to you when they physically assault you at every available opportunity."

I've read about how Universal was viewing this as a test case in film marketing - harnessing a fandom and letting them know that evangelism = possible sequels. So results of the experiment are a) adjoining fandoms get preached at until they want to scream and b) the general public hears nothing? That sounds about right, in retrospect.

I do apologise for any pimping I may have done in, say, the Muppets thread. Didn't mean to contribute to the overload. Sorry.

I'm one of those who had mostly ignored the Firefly hype for some time (largely due to not watching any sort of tv these days). I saw Serenity, though, and was floored by it.

Enough to become a die-hard fan, like some of those that seem to spook folks? Nah, probably not. But certainly a fan of it, and certainly one interested in then going through to watch Firefly (which I've now watched through to Jaynestown, and also have found the opening music fantastic.)

I'll say this - I am 100% sure that the movie feels like a different movie to one who has seen the series. It made perfect sense and was a fantastic movie without any knowledge of Firefly, but there were obviously differences - I had much less awareness of character backgrounds (especially given that it focused on some more than others). I wouldn't have classified Serenity as a 'Space Western' by any means, though Firefly itself is profoundly just that. I also found that I anticipated a lot of elements of the movie more easily than my friends who had seen the series, and I'm not sure if that was just intuition, or if it was a distinct result of not coming in with certain expectations.

For now, I plan to finish the series and then watch Serenity again, and seeing if I can pin down even more the different feel between entering as an outsider, or as one of the 'enlightened'. ^_^

For the record, I'm up through Jaynestown right now.

I'm loving the series, but is it weird that I got specifically hooked by the theme song?

On the fourth disc of the set there is an extra where you hear Joss Whedon playing the theme song as the opening credits role. However if you have that option selected and then arrow to the left the cursor will go of screen. Push enter and you will see Adam Baldwin singing The Hero of Canton. Not sure why they made it an easter egg.
Netscuttlebutt at the beginning of the week said that the weekend receipts were about 10 million, which was less than a quarter of production cost, and an even smaller fraction of publicity costs; and that no way is any studio going to do sequels of something that doesn't look like it's going to even pay for itself. Gossip suggests that when Joss saw the release date was postponed past summer busy season he gave up on the possibility of sequels and that's why he's now got like three other movie projects in the fire.

Actually, my understanding was the 10.5 million was "as expected" by the company. They're on track to, with international box receipts and eventual DVD sales get the money they expected to from the movie.

It was not, however, the kind of numbers needed to greenlight another sequel. From what I have gathered.

10.5 million was just about dead-on predictions (which had low-to-mid teens as a best case scenario) for its opening weekend; however, it's worth noting that it made its predicted target on a weekend when everything else out there in wide release underperformed horribly. It had the second highest per-sceen take of the major pictures out there, trailing only A History of Violence (which was not yet in wide release at the time). The real key, I think, will be its second week take. These days, a movie which doesn't collapse utterly in its second week is what passes for "legs" in the movie biz; if Serenity can manage that, I think it'll be fine.

just put them out of mind
This is kind of up there with "don't let the bullies get to you when they physically assault you at every available opportunity."

Hm. I'm not so sure. I can see that, having been clobbered over the head with a certain spoiler HERE, of all places, recently (not that I have any obsession about the HP thing, really: I just find that spoilers kill the fun, sort of like reading the last page of a book first.. blech) that it can be hard to miss the slobbering fanboyz. But.. hey, I managed to surf the web every day, and only just discovered that they've made a Narnia film!

So it IS possible to be oblivious... you just have to be, well, daffy like me. okay. That might not work for people who, like, pay attention. hmmmmm. Point withdrawn.

I read the last page of any given book I'm handed straight off.

(1) Weds? For the "no spoilers, please" thing, you may have just become my favoritest person ever--not that I was the absolute first one to explode in flames when that came up in the past or anything. I was also gratified and fascinated to hear about your history with the spoiler concept, mostly because it all makes so very much sense and explains a lot about your reactions to things and why they're different for mine, which sort of thing tends to, you know, fascinate me unduly. For the record, I have found I *always* enjoy things more unspoiled, and fictional works are a significant enough portion of my life that avoiding spoilers becomes an actual sort of quality of life issue. I'm putting that badly, but basically, I am your opposite number! I generally have an easy time avoiding spoilers and I find it is always in my best interest to do so.

(2) I have a very contentious (is that the word I want?) position to post from--Hello, my name is Amy, and I'm an over-zealous Browncoat. I have actually had one of my friends say "Jesus Christ, just print up little cards asking people whether they've accepted Joss Whedon as their personal savior already." Which I thought sounded like a hilarious thing to do, but that's not the point. Here's the complication: while I'm (generally, I think) not responsible for any internet over-saturation (except when it's come up here and I go Whee Firefly! and of course last week when I couldn't manage to resist asking whether it'd been seen yet), I am absolutely one of those "need to convert (nice word, right?) people to Firefly to live!" folks. This is, as others have pointed out, because many people like me came to feel that the show's survival/resurrection/continuation in whatever form depended on us getting more fans.

Here is what complicates matters. From the (totally reasonable) reactions above, it would seem perfectly clearcut that I need to never engage in my Jehovah's Witnessing again, but there's one problem: not only has it consistently worked, but I've been thanked for it nearly every time (man, I sound sanctimonious, but I swear that's not hyperbole!). Yes, I pestered nearly every member of my friend circle to watch Firefly, but here's the thing--they all became fans. Several of the ones I had to wheedle hardest to even get to take a chance on it became insane, diehard fans, went to a convention to meet castmembers with me last year, etc. etc. This is largely dependent, of course, on the fact that I know my friends and felt really certain they would like it--that's why I've never tried it online, with strangers. But I got a kind of weird faith in the show (God, could the religious imagery in this post get any creepier?) as I went on--I showed the whole thing to my Dad, an absolute non-Joss-ite, strongly resistant to fanaticism about any media ever, certainly not your target genre-show audience, and he, well, willingly watched the entire thing with me because it was good. I showed my Mom, who can't remember the names of characters if there are more than three (the joke here is that Firefly had a main cast of 9), and... she adored it. All those friends I pestered? Went out last weekend and saw the movie. For me, the conversion urge developed into a very real way to experience my own pleasure in the show over again, and became endlessly enjoyable. I guess we're not talking about huge numbers, here, when I tried to do the math I really converted about 20 individuals directly, which makes me very proud but isn't exactly a ton. But of course, I was conscientious and didn't count the boy who went home and shared it with his girlfriend (she dressed up for the premiere last week), the two more distant friends who got it just because all our friends suddenly couldn't shut up about it, and all the others who have since experienced Firefly with the people I gave it to (and loved it in turn).

I know it sounds creepy, but you have to remember how incredibly fun it is. Being there with someone who comes to love something? Watching it happen just like it happened for you? Being in large part responsible for them having this awesome experience?
It's addictive. (Okay, that is hyperbole).

So, since I'm part of the problem, here, on balance, did I do more harm than good? I honestly don't know. My behavior has allowed me to get a thousand times more pleasure out of the series than I would've gotten as a solitary admirer, but did I help drive away others and somehow share culpability if Serenity/Firefly is never more than something the rest of the net makes fun of? I don't know.

And also... I'm given even weirder perspective here because... I remember looking down on Firefly fans. I used to explain it to people by joking, "Buffy fans look down on them." I know that, because I was one of them. My sordid confession: I saw the first aired ep of Firefly and was not grabbed. I was distracted, I didn't have time to keep up with the show, excuse excuse excuse, but the simple fact is it didn't grab me and I accepted the general Internet "actually it's kind of crappy" view. In fact, when I got the DVD set for Christmas from my Dad on the basis of being a Buffy fan, I was... non-plussed. It did not interest me, the thought of watching it did not excite me, etc. So when I watched it from the beginning (in the process ensuring that I would be an absolute Nazi about starting people with the real first episode) and fell utterly and entirely in love with it? How could I just forget that experience? I'd had an irrational bias against the show that stood in the way of what eventually became incredibly dear to me and a source of great joy. Can you see how that would make it difficult, in general, to accept people's disinterest and not bug them about it? Sure, they're not me, but there were almost certainly others like me, and, as I mentioned, I have had an insanely successful ratio of people I think will love it to people who do eventually love it--you know, 100%.

So given all that? What's the best way to act? Don't mention it, don't admit I love it? Keep participating in behavior (like calling myself a Browncoat) that drives others away? I just don't know!


Also, old habits die hard--yay! Jaynestown! The middle ep in the string of my three absolute favorites (although, as I've realized before, I claim they're all my favorites depending when you ask me). I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

I, uh... hated the theme song. My early enjoyment of the show was actually in spite of the theme song. Then, at some point, I realized I had come to absolutely love the theme song, so, you know, weird.
But, religiosity towards Joss notwithstanding? Boy can't sing, as that extra feature showed.

Oh my God I AM SO FULL OF WORDS. I'm sorry, everyone, I really am, but I just can't get the hang of that concision thing. I will earnestly try to do better.

Treat it the way you would any given BDSM, basically -- if you've negotiated with your friends to do evangelism topping with your preferred fan kink of choice, then do that to within the limits they've consented to. If the negotiations haven't taken place, broach the matter gently and find out if they'd be open or game. If they're not up for that sort of thing, leave it be.

I think that's just about the best analogy I can come up with, for people who don't understand the difference between getting sick of official publicity and being turned off by overenthusiastic friends or acquaintances. The former is, short of dissociating and disengaging from all pop media, virtually impossible; the latter is an avoidable social imposition.

::nod:: (also, AWESOMEST ANALOGY EVER)

Unfortunately, the internet occupies a strange middle-space, it seems, because, for example, when I asked last week if you'd seen it? I, figuratively speaking, made Jin Wicked's life suck just a little more, all bringing Serenity up in some totally unconnected place, making the permeation even worse than it had been and such (why do I talk like this when I don't even read Achewood?). But at the same time, I tried my damnedest to respect the fact that this was not a pre-negotiated fanwank space for me--I didn't post that EVERYBODY NEEDS TO GO SEE IT RIGHT NOW, I kept my own reactions out of it, etc. At some point the fans as a group and their internet presence become a second media, and our hype can be more overwhelming than official publicity (I think? I could SO be completely wrong here). So while your answer makes whole heaping tons of sense, I'm left with some gray areas and my central "do I hurt or help more" question intact in some ways.

Already, I'm hearing about Potter Movie #4. Someone please shoot me.

Yeah, you'd think they'd wait until a week or two before it released instead of a *whole month*.

I'd only seen about 1.5 episodes of Firefly before we went to see Serenity. Oddly enough, I was so-so about the show before going to the movie, and now I'm finding myself more wanting to go back and watch everything because of how well the movie played. Heck, I even popped for the Serenity comics this week at my local comic shop.

siwangmu, I loved your post.

Anyway, with me evangelicism depends on what they're pushing. Take, say, Silence of the Lambs. I'm easily grossed out and don't enjoy horror/scares the shit outta ya flicks. No matter how much you plug SotL at me and tell me how good it is, I'm sure as hell not going to be voluntarily seeing it.

But if you're a sci-fi fan, and I'm a sci-fi fan, and you know of this great show/movie that sounds like it'd be something I like, AND lots of people really like said show/movie, I may very well go see it. Is there anything wrong with the latter? No. Is there any point in harassing people regarding the former? No.

I tried plugging Serenity to my mom. She doesn't like sci-fi (the only sci-fi she's seen to my knowledge is the first four Trek films, and maybe that was my dad's movie selection and not hers for all I know), and completely didn't get it when I was quoting funny lines At All. I gave up on the idea of getting her to see the movie.

Now if anyone's still plugging personally in the face of someone who IS NOT INTERESTED- that's wrong. But as for links and chatting online, well, you can always scroll on by and click elsewhere.

And yes, we Browncoats WANT SEQUELS. That's why we've been hyping for so long- we have to get millions of others to watch the movie or else we can't. Sadly, we're probably not going to get them despite all of the hyping ANYWAY. Which is depressing and reminds me of the presidential election.

I don't know how to quote posts, but to the person that said if I refuse to see it because of other people, I'm just cutting off my nose to spite my face and I'm missing out — I already said I refuse to see it out of spite.

And it's a movie. Mindless entertainment. The only thing I'm missing out on by not seeing it is the opportunity to part ways with $20 and 2 hours of my life I can never have back. Even on the every-day scale of things, I can think of so much better to do than go see a movie that people have already pissed me off about before I ever even plopped my ass down in a seat. I can be angry and resentful for free just by watching fifteen minutes of CNN.

I guess it depends on what forums one happens to hang out in. I was "pretty enthusiastic fan, but not quite evangelical or taking on fandom-y nickname" up until about when they announced the movie was postponed until 10/05. Then I went into "put this nice thing aside for now and come back to it next year" mode. (I, of course, am always in "ridiculously long descriptive phrase inside quote marks" mode.)

I want it to succeed, but I'll be okay if it doesn't. I'm going to see it a third time this weekend, but that's because it's good, not because I'm convinced I can be part of the Super Browncoat Brigade that spends $39M on tickets all by itself.

(Waiting for the DVD would work--it'll have commentaries and stuff on it, anyway.)

(It had BETTER.)

"I can be angry and resentful for free just by watching fifteen minutes of CNN."

Hmm... I'm of two minds on this one, so please bear with me.
Firstly, fan enthusiasm can have a huge impact on studio response. I recall a mildly popular sci-fi show that was cancelled after two seasons, renewed only because a rabid group of fans knew it could be picked up for syndication only with three seasons in the can. Two seasons would make it a footnote. Although it was cancelled again after its third season, momentum grew through syndication and the rest is Star Trek history. More recently, Roswell fans tried a similar tactic in the hopes of repeating history. It, too, was cancelled after its third season, so maybe it'll eventually spawn a cartoon, four TV series, seven movies, and countless books and merchandise. ::shrug::
I also know a number of fans who know and care about the difference between a Trekker and a Trekkie, but I am not one of them. I thought it was a fun TV show as a kid, and when the first movie came out I saw it and was honestly disappointed. When I got home, 'City on the Edge of Forever' was on, and I enjoyed it much more that the film.
When Firefly came out, I had been watching and enjoying Joss Whedon's horror-as-a-metaphor high school show and its sequel. I was curious about his take on a space western (which is coincidentally how Gene Roddenberry initially pitched Star Trek). While I enjoyed the few episodes I saw, the series as a whole lacked the cohesiveness that Buffy and Angel posessed. When the series was released on DVD, I learned why... FOX had dropped the pilot, aired multiple episodes out of sequence, and had the gall to be surprised when it did poorly. When viewed in sequence and in its entirety, the show is rather more enjoyable.
On the DVD, one of the producers (Tim Minnear, I think) says his dream was that the DVD set would do well enough to spawn a movie and that the film would do well enough that someone would say "you know, this'd make a pretty good TV show."
That said, when I saw the Browncoats initial attempts to revive a show that had been cancelled after HALF A SEASON, I was skeptical at best. Easier to fly to the moon in a paper airplane than get this show made into a film, no matter how good I thought it was. But somebody at Universal remebered the Star Trek phenomenon and thought it'd be worth the risk. After all, they were already starting with an existing fanbase.
I've seen Joss Whedon quoted both as saying that DVD is the new box office and that as long as the movie makes back what it cost the door is open for a sequel.
And since I enjoyed both the series and the movie, I hope people will see it and like it. But I try to limit my preaching to the choir. Or at least to those who like the same kind of music.

I just finished watching Firefly and, well, I'm nearly at the point of looking for tickets to fly to Australia. I really, really, really want to see Serenity now. I'm also even more annoyed that we are the english speaking country mysteriously left out from worldwide release. Argh!

At this rate, I might end up downloading some crappy cam copy out of frustration, and that'll just ruin the cinema experience.

For those as would like to see the opening ten minutes of the movie, it's available for viewing online here:

http://video.vividas.com/CDN1/3929_Serenity/web/index.html

Those as don't want to see, avoid clicking the link. ;)

Or I guess, since it didn't get converted to a live link, it's "copy into your browser's address bar," or no.

In all honesty, if Jin doesn't want to see the movie - especially if this is due to spite - it probably is for the best at this point in time. Even if some enterprising fans decided to pay her way at the movies (and I wouldn't be surprised if some would be glad to do so in hopes of another convert)...

Watching a movie with a belly full of spite is hardly the best way to enjoy it. I can't imagine, entering with such feelings, that there will be an inherent taint to the entire thing.

I can understand and respect being turned off by excess, and in the fan community, fanaticism is far from a foreign thing. So its been rubbed in too much, and put aside - and maybe that is for the best.

And if, some time from now, friends might have the DVD and be commencing with some watching, and Jin happens to watch at no real cost to herself?

Well, maybe she'll like it regardless, and maybe it won't be her thing. It doesn't really matter, but it would be an honest experience at the least - while watching into the theater to see a movie that one is already pissed at (for reasons unrelated to the movie itself), would just be setting things up for a bad end.

The point of entertainment is to have fun. Experience enjoyment. If frustration and aggravation are entering the equation, parting ways until it settles down is the best bet, in my humble opinion.

I recently found out what happened on Serenity.

I lost any and all desire to watch the film. I even feel betrayed by Joss Whedon for what happens in this film.

To me... there is no Serenity. Only Firefly.

Oh well... at least there's still the new Battlestar Galactica...

Robert A. Howard, Tangents Webcomic Reviews
http://www.tangents.us

It's Joss Whedon. We all know that somewhere in there there's going to be a moment when we say "what the hell did you go and do THAT for?" The man has made a living out of giving his characters happy moments and then tromping the *shit* out of them. Still, it's a good ride.

I think the new Battlestar Galactica might be MY personal "sick of hearing fan hype" property, but that's probably because it absolutely bores me to tears every single time I try to watch it and understand what all the hype is about.

Yuji: You're not alone. I've found what I've seen of it incredibly boring, as does my housemate. We figured out that it can't possibly be nostalgia, 'cause I never saw the original back in the day.

Robert: It's your call, but I think you're overreacting horribly. Further, he did exactly the same sorts of things that webcomics artists frequently pull off to massive "tee hee evil cartoonist" feedback -- if you heard in advance of manipulative, gutpunchy moments in $COMIC, would you stop reading them?

I've had some difficulty getting into the new BSG as well. But I assumed that was just because it's smack in the middle of bedtime hour at my house. Shows that come on at that time.. well, they'd better be amazing if they're not going to get interrupted by bath, story, hug, tuck in, followed of course by the traditional "Mom, I'm thirsty/hungry/not tired (YAWN)/don't want to go to school tomorrow," and always "stay and scratch my back please." So I thought the BSG slow-ness was just me. huh.

I lost any and all desire to watch the film. I even feel betrayed by Joss Whedon for what happens in this film.

To me... there is no Serenity. Only Firefly.
It's Joss Whedon. We all know that somewhere in there there's going to be a moment when we say "what the hell did you go and do THAT for?"

It may be that people can be into Firefly for other than the whedonism. When I got hooked on M*A*S*H it wasn't because of the gelbartness, it was because I thought Henry Blake was the character in all fiction most like me. (Allowing for that I was fourteen. It was that he was well-meaning but confused by the world to the point of ineffectualness, not the boozing and the marital infidelity.)

Of course, when Henry Blake died I still stuck around and it was the gelbartness that kept me, but that's me.

Well, sure. I don't mean that, of course. But it is an awareness to hold. If you're watching an Aaron Sorkin production, you know you're going to get snappy dialogue and a well-orchestrated travel through many individual's lives, overlapping, through the day.

A Michael Bay picture will feature an explosion in there somewhere, if not lots of them. Kevin Smith's work is going to feature profanity, and may indeed feature a skinny little dude who inspires a thirst for violence in me that, until I saw "Clerks," I didn't know was there.

If you're watching a Joss Whedon show/film, you're going to get lots of fun stuff, snappy dialogue, and the occasional "WHAT JUST HAPPENED?" moment. It's just a mark of who he is.

And by the way... Henry Blake is one of my favorite characters, ever. I remember watching M*A*S*H with my dad as a young girl, and thinking that for all their grousing and grumping, these people went to work every day to put people back together, because they couldn't leave them to die, with bombs going off, etc. The nobility of M*A*S*H is part of why, even now, it's still beloved, when so many of its contemporaries have faded.

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