Ponderings from a Procrastinating Prognosticator

Posts Tagged ‘Joss Whedon’

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 »

GIVING THANKS

Posted by samatwitch on November 23, 2011

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US and most of my online friends are getting ready to celebrate with family, friends, food, football or some combination.

In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving in October (second Monday) and it seems to me to be much more low-key, although I’ve always loved it.  The smell of turkey roasting, friends gathered around the table mentioning those things for which they are grateful, and turkey and vegetable leftovers for the next week brings many good thoughts and memories.  Turkey soup, too, if I’m energetic enough.

This year I went to friends for the annual dinner – although they gave me a plate of leftovers so it wasn’t a completely turkey-free week.  We had a lovely dinner as usual and wonderful company and although I missed my usual dinner, it was very nice not to have to cook, especially since some of my regular friends wouldn’t have been there anyway.

I didn’t really take the time  then to list things for which I am grateful, so I’m going to take this opportunity to do so.

  • I’m grateful for old friends who have known me since I was born that I still spend time with
  • I’m grateful for new friends that I’ve met online – many of whom I have now met and spent time with in person
  • I’m grateful that I was born in a country of which I am (usually) quite proud
  • I’m grateful that my mother was a very strong woman who brought my sister and me up to be anything we wanted and gave us opportunities and experiences far beyond her limited financial resources
  • I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to pay that back in some little measure at the end of her life
  • I’m grateful that, after being a widow for almost 16 years, she fell in love and married one of the finest men anyone could ever meet and so very grateful that I acquired not just a “DAD” but a whole other family, thanks to my sister-in-law and her generosity in sharing her family
  • I’m grateful that my sister and I are much closer now and forever grateful that she kept me in the forefront of my nephews’ lives even though we lived miles apart
  • I’m grateful that I have a job, a place to live and a furry companion – not necessarily in that order 😀
  • I’m grateful for the friends who help me out with things that are more difficult for me to do, so that I can continue to entertain friends and family in my home
  • Most of all, I am grateful to Joss Whedon, from whom has come pretty much everything good that’s happened in the last nine years, starting with the freedom to feel, to fall in love, to continue meeting new friends and having new and exciting adventures.  Who knew that, not only would I be comfortable standing in front of 200 people at our local CSTS event which I organise, but look forward to it – and raise money each year!  Life is good.

So I raise a glass (in my case water) to Joss Whedon and all those whom I have met because of him, whether in person or online (or both),  who are celebrating Thanksgiving this week.  May your day – and rest of the year – be filled with love, friendship, joy and laughter.

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

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’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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