Ponderings from a Procrastinating Prognosticator

Archive for the ‘Joss Whedon’ Category

WHAT MAKES ME A BROWNCOAT?

Posted by samatwitch on March 12, 2012

I wrote this for a challenge on the Serenity Board in September 2005, before the movie Serenity came out, but lived up to my name as the Primary Procrastinating Prognosticator of our crew and left it about 1/2 hour too late, so I posted on my blog at the time.

What makes me a Browncoat? To me a Browncoat isn’t just a fan of the television series Firefly. A Browncoat embodies certain strengths and values, such as those portrayed by Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his first mate, Zoë. Strengths and values such as fighting with everything you have when you believe in a cause, never leaving anyone behind, and protecting the innocent and downtrodden. This was portrayed very well by Mal in “The Train Job”, which was the first episode shown on TV. When Mal discovers that what they were hired to steal were medications for a town suffering from a chronic illness, he and Zoë return the stolen goods. In what was for me the defining moment of the episode, the sheriff suggests that Mal had a choice as to whether to keep the goods or return them, and Mal says he didn’t. That scene was what made me a fan of the series.

 I started watching Firefly because I read about it in “TV Guide” and thought the premise sounded interesting, I liked Nathan Fillion, Jewel Staite and of course Ron Glass in other roles, and I am interested in different types of science fiction TV. Most of all, I am interested in watching TV shows – and reading books – about people. I don’t really care what the setting is if the characters are interesting, well-developed and true to themselves. This means you need a good writer who knows and loves his/her characters and is willing, even eager, for them to grow and change, as well as allow them to have flaws. Nobody in real life is perfect, so why would we want to watch characters who are? It isn’t even so much the decisions they make, as it is how and why they reach that decision, and what effect it will have on their lives.

Joss Whedon’s Firefly universe is unique, yet believable. It is certainly within the realm of possibility that China and the United States will be the two major powers from Earth and that they will work together to create a powerful controlling entity. And it is certainly conceivable, some may say inevitable, that we will one day have to leave Earth to find a new home, due to our mismanagement. I don’t have any problems with a science fiction world that does not have aliens in it – the Reavers are terrifying as is the Alliance is a different way. And one of the details I really appreciate in the series is that there is no sound in space. I work in a space science facility and that fact alone made some fans of our staff.

Firefly is an easy series to which to convert fans, especially if they are able to start at the beginning with the original pilot. I have three lending copies of the DVDs, as well as one copy I keep for me, and sometimes all three are out at once. I believe that most intelligent people, and people who are interested in science fiction, become hooked on this series because of the excellent writing, the stories and the wonderful characters that inhabit the Firefly world. Once again, Joss has written about a diverse group of people who come together as a family. It turns out this is one of his recurring themes. (I was a late comer to Buffy and Angel – becoming a fan only after I watched Firefly.) Characters who come together to back each other up, even if they fight among themselves, are characters we want to see more of, to stand up and cheer for, and to wish we could be a part of their universe.

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Posted in Joss Whedon, Personal | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

My Application to the Evil League of Evil

Posted by samatwitch on November 11, 2008

I just realised that I hadn’t posted a link to my (rather lame) application to the ELE.  Since I did not have a webcam or a video camera, I did the application in PowerPoint and then someone shot it for me so that I could put it on YouTube.  That’s right, I actually have something up on YouTube – and it was ridiculously easy once it was filmed!

Here’s the link.  There is sound on the other short videos I have up that I took on my camera.

I am under no illusions that the application will be one of the finalists – the Dr. Horrible gang are picking 10 out of 700+ applications to go on the DVD – but I had fun doing it.  There’s no music and the visual quality isn’t the best because it was filmed from a computer screen, but my friends like it.

I didn’t even get the application in by the deadline, which was midnight.  I had thought I couldn’t apply since YouTube doesn’t accept PowerPoint, but one of our BC Browncoats offered to video it for me.  Unfortunately, my e-mail went into her spam and she didn’t get it until the next day.  I posted it to YouTube and then sent the following letter to the ELE.

Dear Mr. Bad Horse, Sir, and esteemed Members of the Evil League of Evil,

As manager of The Great Radish and Little Rutabaga, I most humbly apologise for the lateness of this application and fully understand if it cannot be included (since you have 500 others to view), but GR and LR are fearsome in their anger and evilness and I dare not tell them that due to lack of a video camera, webcam or other technology, I could not convert their PowerPoint application into a format for YouTube.

However, I did submit the application yesterday to the secretary of The League, EvilWorldofHiglet, who offered to videotape it for me.  Alas, technology – usually my friend – failed me once again – and the file landed in her spam folder from which she recovered it only this morning.  Please protect me from the wrath of The Great Radish and Little Rutabaga, who will surely wreak evil upon me for this (hopefully not fatal to me) transgression.

Here is the link should you be so inclined to watch the application.

Yours with great respect and deference,

Samatwitch
Manager of The Great Radish and Little Rutabaga

And here is the letter of support the ‘secretary’ sent on my behalf.

Dear Bad Horse,

I can confirm that the manager of The Great Radish and Little Rutabaga did send her PowerPoint to be converted yesterday (in time for consideration for the competition) but it went into the Spam box so I didn’t notice it until today. I trust that this will not invalidate her entry to the ELE.

Regards,

WorldofHiglet


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Dr. Horrible – Act II and III

Posted by samatwitch on August 23, 2008

I have a lot to catch up on for this blog – my whole trip to San Diego for one – but I wanted to talk about the rest of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog first.

Joss did it again!  He lured us in with a likeable villain, a sweet girl with inner strength and a smarmy ‘hero’, all of whom can sing beautiful songs, and then he tore our hearts out.  Again.  How does he do that in only 42 minutes?  How can he (and his brothers and Maurissa) give more depth to his characters in under an hour than some people do in several seasons of TV.

And one of the best parts of the whole thing, seeing “Mutant Enemy presents” at the beginning and the Grrr Arrgh monster with the Mutant Enemy logo at the end.

I’m thinking particularly of Charmed right now, because I’ve been whipping through all eight seasons, partly because I wanted to know why I enjoyed it while it was on the air, and partly because I never got to see the last season, as it changed networks.  I liked the magic, I liked the relationship between the sisters, especially Piper and Phoebe, and between Piper and Leo – plus I liked the kids.  I find that I really can’t stand Rose McGowan as Paige.  I do not get any kind of emotion from her at all.  (Apparently she had a strange upbringing so maybe that accounts for it.)  Whatever, I find myself impatient with them a lot of the time.  And I keep trying not to compare it to Buffy, because it just doesn’t measure up in any way whatsoever.  Frankly, I think it should have ended at the end of season 7.

However, Dr. Horrible is a totally different kettle of fish, so to speak.  Yes, the supervillain is laughable at times – as is the ‘hero’ – but even over the course of three short acts, these people change.  We laugh with and at them and end up crying, and with our hearts, if not broken, at least somewhat bent.

On top of that, the songs stick in my head constantly, even though I haven’t been able to watch it for the past three weeks, since Hulu is back on US-only viewing! 😦  I’m waiting for the soundtrack, which I’m hoping will be available on CD, even if it’s also on iTunes download, and for the DVD with its commentary and Commentary: The Musical and all the extras, including the 10 favourite applications to the Evil League of Evil.  I’m working on one myself – actually two and I better hurry up because lots of people have dones theirs already.

If Joss can do with Dollhouse what he has done with DHSAB – as I have no doubt that he can – it should be a wild ride come January.  I don’t expect Dollhouse to be similar in tone to Dr. Horrible; as a matter of fact, I think it will be a lot different – much darker, for one thing.  But Joss Whedon is known for drawing characters that get to us from the first few scenes and I expect no less from Dollhouse.  In the meantime, I’m going to try again to download Dr. Horrible from iTunes because I need to see it again – and again – and again – and yet again.

Posted in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Dr. Horrible a Huge Success Already!

Posted by samatwitch on July 16, 2008

It turns out I did have to wait. I had stayed at work to watch it there, but when I clicked on the site at 9:01. what I got was a message from Hulu saying they were sorry but their video library was not accessible outside the US at the moment. Frak! I was very disappointed. I’d been looking forward to this for months and now I was told I couldn’t see it because I didn’t live in the US??

Of course, I immediately went to Whedonesque and became the third or fourth person to post – and say they couldn’t see it because we were ‘furriners’. 😉 I decided to come home. By the time I got home, there were well over 100 posts in the thread, about half complaining because they couldn’t see it and the other half raving about Act 1. Luckily I’m on Twitter and Dr. Horrible posted that ‘he’ was working on the problem. According to a post that Joss made a bit later, they (“well, mostly Jed”) were working hard to make it available to everyone.

Then people kept mentioning ways of getting around Hulu. When Dr. Horrible twittered about a download program which would help, I finally gave in and loaded it. I was able to watch Act 1 – twice – although it was very jerky and therefore hard to grasp the continuity of the music, but I loved it from the beginning. And seeing “Mutant Enemy Productions” on the screen made my day before I saw one bit of the acting/singing.

I removed the downloaded program right after since it allowed annoying popups. Then the Dr. Horrible site was crashed this morning, followed by Whedonesque crashing so badly they are havingto move it to another server, which they expect could take two days! Luckily, Dr. Horrible was fixed for international visitors and so I watched it during my short lunch break, then after the Board retreat was over, I watched it again – came home and rewatched it!! I can’t wait for Part 2 tomorrow night.

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Dr. Horrible’s Starting Time Confirmed

Posted by samatwitch on July 14, 2008

According to Dr. Horrible’s Twitter feed, the 12:01 pm is Eastern time, therefore those of us on the West Coast will see it at 9:01 pm tonight, roughly four hours from now!  I can hardly wait!

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Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

Posted by samatwitch on July 10, 2008

Be sure to check this out. I can’t wait.

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