BLUE SUN ROOM

Firefly River vs. Serenity River : fanfic portrayal

POSTED BY: EMPIREX
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 7, 2007 16:01
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 11830
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Friday, January 26, 2007 6:20 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by Romanceguru:
Well, at least you're open to the possibility that "any relationship is possible".

I don't think anyone here isn't open to that! Some may be saying they won't read River/Jayne, but that's a different thing! We're just opposed to the way the characters are soemtimes portrayed, because it seems to sell them short or run counter to what we saw of them in the series and movie.

Quote:

No, actually we are arguing if River should ever be “allowed” to enter into such arrangements in the first place. No relationship can be guaranteed to last.
Really - that's not the argument at all! It was your insistance that River's experience of torture and her ability to fly a spaceship make her an expert on people and relationships... this is what got me into the game!

I've repeatedly stated that she should have a relationship, and even that it could be with Jayne. But, if it's going to be a believable fanfic, the character should be River - the character Joss gave us, not some other version of her. Of course, the "River that Joss gave us" is not absolutely defined, and it's fun to talk about her and compare our different understandings of her. That's all that's happening here! It's a debate to bring out new insights.

Now - I must admit that I'm selfishly motivated here. As Asarian and I are in total agreement over, there is a fabric to Firefly that is so often ignored in fic. Almost always, in fact. I wish more writers took it into account, because I can't read much that blows it all off. So... if I can convince anyone to key in on a wider view of the 'verse, and present the characters with all this in mind, (as Joss obviously did) I'll have more that I like reading.

But that's just me.

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Friday, January 26, 2007 4:14 PM

ROMANCEGURU


Quote:

Really - that's not the argument at all! It was your insistance that River's experience of torture and her ability to fly a spaceship make her an expert on people and relationships... this is what got me into the game!


That is really unfair because that was one of my examples towards the main argument, not the basis of it. I never said it made her an expert, you are embellishing. Personally, I see that as just one example of her capabilities as a person, which many here paint River as completely damaged and unstable. Just because YOU many have jumped into the game at that point does not mean that was the central theme of the disagreement.

MANY have clearly stated they were not open to the possibility of Rayne, what do you think I have been arguing?

I agree fic’s are better when portrayed accurately (or as accurately as one can given personal interpretation for we are not Joss) and a lot of thought and exploration is done of the character through the story.

Of course, this is fanfiction and most of it is not going to be spot on, but we can try and at least do the 'verse justice. When you write non-canon that it going to be even more difficult. All I ask, and ask for other writers is to not be flamed and be categorized as pervey because we see different possible relationship dynamics.

For argument sake, even if some aren’t plausible, I’m still going to respect the creativity of the author for going against the norm and attempting to make it work.

“Hell is coming to breakfast.”

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Monday, January 29, 2007 9:22 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by Romanceguru:
I never said it made her an expert, you are embellishing. Personally, I see that as just one example of her capabilities as a person, which many here paint River as completely damaged and unstable. Just because YOU many have jumped into the game at that point does not mean that was the central theme of the disagreement.

Wow... did it just get a little tense in here?

*adjusts collar, clears throat, takes a big step back*

Ummm... OK... River's perceived maturity is central to the River/Jayne pedophilia question (don't flame me - I'm just paraphrasing the original post here!) and you clearly used her intelligence and abilities and her life experiences to back your argument about her level of maturity.

I disagree with that. But hey now... just because I don't agree with you and I'm willing to get into debate about it, doesn't mean I hate you and want to trash any bit of fanfic you like. We're all fans here, ok? Debate is fun! Getting mad isn't!

Quote:

MANY have clearly stated they were not open to the possibility of Rayne, what do you think I have been arguing?
You know, there's just things people don't like! And some may even say - "this should NEVER be written, grrr.." I very much hope I have not come off that way. I try to be clear that as strong as I feel about some fic stuff, it's all nothing but my opinion, and the only thing my opinion affects in the end is whether or not mal4prez reads a fic. (Which at least 99.9999% of the FFF 'verse doesn't give a hoot about.)

Quote:

All I ask, and ask for other writers is to not be flamed and be categorized as pervey because we see different possible relationship dynamics.
Do you think it's possible that a person can find the River/Jayne pairing pervy without judging the writer to be so? Maybe this is what you seem to find insulting, that you think one means the other?

So maybe think of it this way - I myself don't find the writers pervy, because I feel that many writers do a hey-presto change to River's character in order to make the pairing work in a non-creepy way. This change is what bothers me, and it's what I got into debating. If that was a tangent... well, I don't apologize because I thought it was a wicked fun tangent, and Asarian's posts certainly gave me some new insight into how I treat River in my own fics. Tangents make for good and interesting rides.

Quote:

For argument sake, even if some aren’t plausible, I’m still going to respect the creativity of the author for going against the norm and attempting to make it work.
That's fine, and you should read your River/Jayne and leave glowing feedback when you feel it's deserved, and good for ANY writers having the courage to post their work publicly!

But I don't have to read it, and I can certainly debate the merit behind certain treatments of the characters. And - I stress this again - just because some of us hate the idea of a certain pairing and like to sit around chewing little aspects of it, it doesn't mean we're out to personally insult you!

)))))))) ***vibes of love coming your way*** ))))))))))))))))))))))

BTW... and here I'm going to share an opinion you (and others) may not like... I don't think simply pairing any two characters is such a huge creative against-the-norm step. Seems that most of the fic in the BSR is based on romantic pairings, whether it be canon, or non-canon or slash or space incest or Jayne and the cows. (OK, I made that last one up.) Don't get me wrong - a lot of shipper fic is quite stunning, and any pairing can be handled in a novel way which is creative. But I'd love to see writers do fics that aren't all about romantic fantasties... now that's against the norm!!

Quote:

Originally posted by deepgirl187:
Maybe it's just my perception of the posts I've read, but it seems as if some are completely opposed to the idea of River ever have control over her life and the choices she makes.

I'm not opposed to it at all. I just don't think that's the state of things at any time during the series and movie. OK.. maybe not until the very last scene of the movie with River in the cockpit with Mal. Taking control of the ship has to be a metaphor for her finally being able to take control of her life, right? Yeah, but (arguably) there's a long road for her there.

As Asarian covered so well, River is helpless, and in need of care. That is absolutely necessary, because her need to be protected is what draws Mal in and it's central to the whole story of Firefly. Writing her this way is not a decision I make - it's what I take from Joss!

Am I opposed to her being more independent? Hell no! One of the bitter-making things about the series cancellation is that we don't get to see her develop into the super-smart, super-strong little half-pint carton of whoop-ass that I'm pretty sure Joss would have made of her. But she would have had a long road of learning to be a human being, including learning to be a lover.

I want to see that road, is all I'm saying. I want to see her struggles, not just a sudden *plop* and there she is in some harlequinn love affair with Jayne.

But - again - that's just me.


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Thursday, February 1, 2007 11:28 PM

BUGCHICKLV


"Seems that most of the fic in the BSR is based on romantic pairings, whether it be canon, or non-canon or slash or space incest or Jayne and the cows. (OK, I made that last one up.) Don't get me wrong - a lot of shipper fic is quite stunning, and any pairing can be handled in a novel way which is creative. But I'd love to see writers do fics that aren't all about romantic fantasties... now that's against the norm!!"

I'll admit it: I love reading River/Jayne. And I write it. But what I wrote 2 years ago is NOTHING like what I've written more recently. I just cannot write the Happily Ever After fics anymore (but I *DO* read them).

Now they tend to be more about pain and angst and hurt/comfort and connecting on a base level and everyone else is paired up and sharing common interests and learning new ones and exploring new sexuality and what it might be to love and a curious RIVER taking advantage of a MUCH less mature Jayne who's overwhelmed cause OMG she is a hottie so why not? And in some of them I've killed her and in others I've killed him.

I also tend to like READING the notsohappilyeverafter fics.

Also, there are those of us who more broadly define River/Jayne to include a murderous hatred, an antagonistic affair, genuine friendship, and sex for sex sake (which tends to take place once she's older cause WE HAVE NO IDEA OF WHAT JOSS HAD PLANNED. And it's not like he didn't do it before with Bangel and Spuffy.)

And honestly, it does feel like the majority of anti-Rayne comments say "Eww Rayne is written by Pervs for other Pervs." So we tend to take it personally.

(Also, for mentioning the cow thing--you are ev0l. I now want to write that.)

**********
"Do you know what the chain of command is here? It's the chain I go get and beat you with to show you who's in ruttin' command."

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Friday, February 2, 2007 1:39 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by bugchicklv:

And honestly, it does feel like the majority of anti-Rayne comments say "Eww Rayne is written by Pervs for other Pervs." So we tend to take it personally.




I can't speak for others, but I, personally, don't consider Rayne-writers perverts.

I just consider them to be writing an out-of-character fantasy version of River (and occasionally Jayne) that often completely disregards the depths of her mental problems, immaturity and trauma, for the sake of fulfilling a certain preferred scenario.

(I do think that of most River-pairings, with varying vehemence.)

Which is fine, writers have that right, I happily ignore their work and don't judge them.

But in a public discussion thread like this one, I think it's fair and allowed to discuss why and how I consider this to be OOC and not really justifiable in the context of the show and real life examples.

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Friday, February 2, 2007 1:43 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Can somebody point me in the direction of the Jayne/cow stories?

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." http://www.myspace.com/6ixstringjack

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Friday, February 2, 2007 4:31 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by bugchicklv:
I also tend to like READING the notsohappilyeverafter fics.

I do too, totally! Angst is lots of fun.

But I'm really talking about non-pairing, or stories where the lovey relationships come second. Really - how many fics out there deal with Kaylee as an individual, and not Kaylee as half of Kaylee/Simon or Kaylee/Jayne? (or K/River or K/Inara or whatever) Very, very few.

So how about a fic about River, about her dealing with her trauma, and any relationship she might have with Jayne is secondary to that? That might interest me, because it really respects the depths of this character and her experiences.

Quote:

And honestly, it does feel like the majority of anti-Rayne comments say "Eww Rayne is written by Pervs for other Pervs." So we tend to take it personally.


That's a shame, and I know some people do get a little vehement and say stuff like that. I'm with AR though - it's the characterizations generally involved with this pairing (or with any River pairing) that gets at me.

But really - don't confuse the comment "I find Jayne/River pervy" with "This writer is a perv for writing Jayne/River." It's two different things! One is a perception, one is a judgement.

Quote:

(Also, for mentioning the cow thing--you are ev0l. I now want to write that.)


Hey - go crazy! See, you have one reader already!

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I'm the president. I don't need to listen.

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Friday, February 2, 2007 5:18 AM

SPACEANJL


Gonna pop in here my own self. I write Firefic big time. 90,000+ words and counting. But I write in a framework I see growing out of the series/comic/movie.

And what I saw in the last scene of the BDM was interesting enough to spin part of my brain off down a very dark and twisty path.

Take one teenage girl. Put her in close proximity to a charming, funny, handsome, protective war hero. Throw in some heartache for him. So, we have brooding and slightly tortured, but covering it up with a charming grin.

River would be perfectly normal if she got a crush. And River wants to be normal...

Of course, we then have the reaction of said man. Which will be interesting. Especially if man is honourable. (And tortured. And lonely. And really, really freaked out by the whole thing. Including his response.)


I avoid Raynefic. Not my thing. I don't see Jayne as chasing children. (Besides, his wife would kill him.) But it's a big 'Verse - some people juggle geese. (Jayne and cows...?)

Writing the whole crew as an ensemble is not so easy. Seven people in a small space, all reliant upon each other. New relationships evolving (and this includes Zoe as a lone character, not part of a pair.) Maybe I'm not as twisted as Joss (or some folk) but I'm happy writing my own version of what I see evolving out of what Joss gave us. And I see River growing up, trying to be normal, but with a dark knowledge of her own limitations in that way - she was always smarter than other folks. Maybe she's even trying to be 'normal' according to some formula she's worked out.

But proximity or not...you put any woman with a pulse near Cap'n Tightpants, and tell me she's not going to look?

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Friday, February 2, 2007 8:14 AM

BUGCHICKLV


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
Take one teenage girl. Put her in close proximity to a charming, funny, handsome, protective war hero. Throw in some heartache for him. So, we have brooding and slightly tortured, but covering it up with a charming grin.

River would be perfectly normal if she got a crush. And River wants to be normal...

Of course, we then have the reaction of said man. Which will be interesting. Especially if man is honourable. (And tortured. And lonely. And really, really freaked out by the whole thing. Including his response.)



Totally agree (epecially on the crush thing); but change it to a less than honorable, creeped out, selfish, greedy, gun-slinging mercenary. EGADS! You have the same potential for all sorts of scenarios (as long as we don't foofify Jayne. Which I think I used to do--but avoid like the plague now).

MOST of these scenarios don't work out and some of the best writing/reading is when they realize the mistake.

And who HASN'T made a really bad decison, especially when it comes to sex/relationships? Me? I make 'em all the time--but nothing I wouldn't do again exactly the same. I'd rather regret the things I DID do than the things I didn't.

Quote:

I avoid Raynefic. Not my thing. I don't see Jayne as chasing children. (Besides, his wife would kill him.) But it's a big 'Verse - some people juggle geese. (Jayne and cows...?)


LOL! Just like I avoid Mal/River because it's too incesty IMHO (although I *DO* like some of the Crazy Space Incest. *shrug* I think it is because the VERY FEW writers I've chosen to read are INCREDIBLY good at it and make it not so icky).

18 yrs old is not considered a child in most cultures. Now, emotionally/behaviorally--that's another story. But then again, I happen to think Jayne was stunted somehow, someway around that time--jail?--so it puts them on a level playing field. And many of our writers do age her quite a bit.

FYI Mercedes McNab is only one year older than Summer and yet he was shown half-nekkid in bed with her in Angel. Wife didn't kill him then. And Jewel is a year YOUNGER than Summer. But those people who draw the line on Rayne SIMPLY BECAUSE of the age thing (and yet go nuts over Raylee) seem to forget that.

But you are right--there's room for everyone in this verse. That is the beauty (and the curse) of having so little to work with.

ARRRRGH! I am determined to write the cow/Jayne thing (but from the cows' perspective). Can't help it...I wrote about Binky reeeeeally liking the licky-thing, and Vera being jealous of Boo (sorta)--so this is 100% a natural evolution.

Yes, I know. Me=Bent.

Quote:

But proximity or not...you put any woman with a pulse near Cap'n Tightpants, and tell me she's not going to look?



I'd look, but when I realized it was my dad I'd start gagging and flailing about. Cause, IMHO, Mal is more of a father to her than her own ever was.

Plus, I happen to worship Adam while finding Nathan just ok. And for some people the degree of like we have for the actor can't help but filter into our preferences for fanfic (writing or reading). It's why I read A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G with Jayne in it: Mal/Jayne *rowr* Jayne/Simon *zomygawd* Jayne/Inara *fans self*...you get the point.

But I guess what I am saying here is who's to say what is Out Of Character? Especially for a fic that happens in the FUTURE or is AU? We have NO idea what Joss had planned. And Buffy season 6 is so completely different from Buffy season one, that if someone had written Spuffy back when she was in high school EVERYONE would have lambasted the writer for writing her out of character--even if it were under the exact same circumstances as Joss gave us 3 years later!

But time passes and circumstances change which means ANYTHING can happen. That is all most of us who like Rayne are saying.

**********
"Do you know what the chain of command is here? It's the chain I go get and beat you with to show you who's in ruttin' command."

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Friday, February 2, 2007 8:17 AM

BUGCHICKLV


Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
Can somebody point me in the direction of the Jayne/cow stories?



Working on it.

No, really.

**********
"Do you know what the chain of command is here? It's the chain I go get and beat you with to show you who's in ruttin' command."

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Friday, February 2, 2007 8:35 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by bugchicklv:
FYI Mercedes McNab is only one year older than Summer and yet he was shown half-nekkid in bed with her in Angel. Wife didn't kill him then. And Jewel is a year YOUNGER than Summer. But those people who draw the line on Rayne SIMPLY BECAUSE of the age thing (and yet go nuts over Raylee) seem to forget that.

I'm beating a dead issue here, but it's River's mental age that's the issue, not her years-old age.

Edit to add: the age of the actors is irrelevant. We're talking about the characters here!

Quote:

Plus, I happen to worship Adam while finding Nathan just ok.


*gasp* wipes eyes, looks again...

Just okay?

*minor cardiac arrest*

OK, I'm recovering... LOL!


Quote:

But I guess what I am saying here is who's to say what is Out Of Character?


Defining OOC five years down the road - sure, not possible. I don't think anyone's trying to do that! But OOC during the series and movie and within a short time after... that can certainly be argued. I mean, if Mal randomly started flitting around the ship in a tutu and pointe shoes right after the movie ends, that's OOC. It may be fun, and write it if you want, but it's certainly OOC.

The argument I have is with fics where - right after the movie - River attacks Jayne and they fall madly in love forever and ever and make lots of babies. Sure, fun porn and fantasy, go ahead and write it. But it's OOC. IMO.

Quote:

ARRRRGH! I am determined to write the cow/Jayne thing (but from the cows' perspective). Can't help it...I wrote about Binky reeeeeally liking the licky-thing, and Vera being jealous of Boo (sorta)--so this is 100% a natural evolution.
LOL! Good lord. Bring in on you crazy person!



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I'm the president. I don't need to listen.

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Friday, February 2, 2007 9:48 AM

BUGCHICKLV


Hey Mal, I know YOU are talking about the mental age thing, but the poster I was replying to mentioned Adam's wife having a cow (cow? ARRRGH! They're everywhere!!) and I just had to clear that up.

But I did say that I believe Jayne was emotionally stunted and I think he and River might be on a level playing field, though not when it comes to life experience. Both conditions I think could be cause for some interesting fic.

I tend to read fanfic on Livejournal and it's been a long while since I've seen a "Kill the reavers, fix the ship, OMG JAYNE IS HOT, lets have babies" fic.

Maybe that is different here and is what the hullabuloo is all about...

**********
"Do you know what the chain of command is here? It's the chain I go get and beat you with to show you who's in ruttin' command."

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Friday, February 2, 2007 11:45 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by bugchicklv:
I tend to read fanfic on Livejournal and it's been a long while since I've seen a "Kill the reavers, fix the ship, OMG JAYNE IS HOT, lets have babies" fic.

Maybe that is different here and is what the hullabuloo is all about...



Speaking for myself only: I have particular tastes, and it seems like there isn't a lot besides romantic type fics here lately. Even adventure stuff tends to be couple oriented... you know, a heavy dose of the lover worrying over the loved one and lots of making up after. That can be nice, but I'm a little burnt out with it.

I don't know my way around LiveJournal - I've tried but it seems hard. I'll find a fic I like but I can't manage to get a list of other fics by that author. I guess I'm just LiveJournal challenged LOL!

I figure whinging about what I'd like to read might help my cause... either that or make people really hate me.

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I'm the president. I don't need to listen.

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Friday, February 2, 2007 12:09 PM

BUGCHICKLV


If you like Gen/Action then you should try

http://community.livejournal.com/ff_fanfic/

or

http://community.livejournal.com/afterserenity/

But I find that keeping an eye out for the daily post at
http://community.livejournal.com/the_cortex/

is usually enough to find out what's being written. And the mods group things well, and always let us know when something is gen, het, slash etc.

I think there is also a community called the crack van that provides EXCELLENT referrals--you just have to wade through the 40thousand OTHER fandoms being recced every month.

http://community.livejournal.com/crack_van/

There's also a website/community for a virtual season 2 called "Freedom is What?"--with REALLY good episodes. Some of the writing is PHENOMENAL. And there usually ain't much by way of fluffy in them.

http://community.livejournal.com/freedom_is_what/

Just a few suggestions. These might not be what you're looking for, and if not just do an interest search or look for other communities.

There are soooooo many communities at LJ that are dedicated to Firefly so if you enter that in the search space, Good luck!!

**********
"Do you know what the chain of command is here? It's the chain I go get and beat you with to show you who's in ruttin' command."

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Friday, February 2, 2007 2:14 PM

YINYANG

You were busy trying to get yourself lit on fire. It happens.


Don't forget the folks with Virtual Firefly, either! Their writing just keeps improving, and it's the only fanfic I've read that feels very cannon (which is really, really, really saying a lot... really).

http://www.stillflying.net


Rules: http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=2&t=22892
Voting: http://www.wunschliste.de/index.pl?vote&r=09

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Friday, February 2, 2007 5:58 PM

PLATONIST


Thanks for posting the other fic sites bugchicklv.

more often than less, I find nothing here but lack of plot, poor characterizations, unfit dialogue, unbelievable sexual pairing (I need a mind trojan for some) fantasy OCs that I care nothing about, off beat tone and theme for this verse...I think you get the picture....but once in a while I stumble upon a fic from a young writer that has depth and passion and it makes up for all the shallow watered ones I've had to wade through...for any new writer, to this verse, I would suggest short plot driven stories with canon pairings, otherwise you stand the chance of losing your audience or narrowing it down to the few readers that want Jayne/Cow

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Friday, February 2, 2007 8:42 PM

ASARIAN



Been out of this thread for a spell. Like to walk it a while.

I believe AgentRouka said it best: certain fanfic is written out-of-character for the sake of fulfilling a certain preferred scenario.

There's something else I read:

"Take one teenage girl. Put her in close proximity to a charming, funny, handsome, protective war hero." Etc.

When I read this, my heart sank into my shoes. Not because of any perceived perviness or anything, but because of a realization I just had. One that brought me back to the fabric of Firefly.

Let's say, for the limited scope of this thread, that there are only two loves: Love, and the stuff surrounding making love. The part where my heart sank to my feet, is where it dawned upon me that the very fabric of Firefly is uprooted on a much more fundamental level even than I initially realized. In a nutshell (and somewhat over-generalized, to make the point): Firefly is about Love, vs. the majority of fanfic being about making love.

Why does having this sink in dishearten me so? Because, well, I think the magic which is Firefly is seated in being the opposite of pretty much everything else in Hollywood: it's about Love, and not the making love. The former is about having deep, tender, ineffable feelings of affection for people, and letting those feelings be real enough to do right by your teenage crew member, even if you don't figure the percentage. Or even if it costs you. The latter is about, well, Imponderables and Water Coolers. :)

They say in Hollywood there's really only 1 story: "The delayed frak" (slightly censored) as they call it. So, who could blame our fanfic writers for going that route? Not me. Don't mean I don't cringe at this schism between what may well be the one-and-only true Love story ever told, Firefly, and the predominant emotion of sex and romance near exclusively exploited in fanfic.

So I'd say, Take one teenage girl. Put her in close proximity to a charming, funny, handsome, protective war hero. And then... make it about Love, not making love. Like our genius man Joss did. I'll look forward to reading that. Don't expect to find me near the water cooler, though.


--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam

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Friday, February 2, 2007 8:53 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by bugchicklv:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
Can somebody point me in the direction of the Jayne/cow stories?



Working on it.

No, really.

**********
"Do you know what the chain of command is here? It's the chain I go get and beat you with to show you who's in ruttin' command."



GREAT!

Hey with a name like BUGCHICKLUV maybe you can hook a brother up with some Jayne/Chicken stories too?

"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." http://www.myspace.com/6ixstringjack

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Saturday, February 3, 2007 1:15 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by asarian:

So I'd say, Take one teenage girl. Put her in close proximity to a charming, funny, handsome, protective war hero. And then... make it about Love, not making love. Like our genius man Joss did. I'll look forward to reading that. Don't expect to find me near the water cooler, though.



That is beautifully said.

A lovely post entirely, in fact!

While I love fluff and sex as much as the next girl (and I have written lots of fluff), the stories that really move me are the ones where that is secondary to the actual, unsexual nature of love and how that allows people to be more than before. To let go and forgive and provide space and lend safety.


Exploring River and Mal and NOT adding in the "hot, nubile, bendy, barely legal teenaged girl" factor that no red-blooded man can supposedly resist - now that's refreshing, brave and original writing I would love to see.

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Saturday, February 3, 2007 4:06 AM

SPACEANJL


Well, that's partly what I am trying to do I'm three stories into my arc, and so far, Mal has just registered River is more than a killing machine/fabulous pilot. He got all snotty and over-protective when she expressed interest in a boy, but he's still convinced it's because he's the captain and in charge, blah blah.

I think the Serenity River was a condensed version of what the character evolution would have been, had the series continued. The sweet little girl we see in the first R Tam session is absolutely heart-breaking, when you see the fragmented, scared and confused nutjob we get later. But once River embraces that part of herself ('my turn') and begins to control it, instead of it controlling her...

Firefly is about a family. And I don't think any fic has to be purely about bed-hopping, space-spawn and a line drawn under the 'happy-ever-after'. All these people are recovering from something, be it war, bereveament, sanctioned torture or abandonment, adjusting to a life together.





BTW, the bit about the wife referred to Jayne's wife, and was a blatant self-promotion for my fic.

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Saturday, February 3, 2007 12:25 PM

STINKINGROSE


I'll add another blatant plug for your fics and raise you a mental visual.

Mal realizes what he's thinking and immediately starts looking around for a wire brush (to scrub out the inside of his head for having those thoughts).
"Wait..what am I THINKING??!!!"

Okay, what he does for amusement in his own head is one thing....what he does with his body needs to square with his code of ethics.

(... you could always put him through so much he starts crunching new code...)

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Sunday, February 4, 2007 2:52 AM

SPACEANJL


That's pretty much a large part of the next story arc right there. See, I think the best angst comes from the little everyday things.

Just watch that last scene in Serenity again. Or the last interaction between Mal and River in OiS. As has been pointed out, up until then, he's barely spoken directly to her (except the panicked endearments when he tries to get her to put the gun down at the beginning of the episode.) But there is a real connection forming there - and it is Love, the sense of family and belonging. And I'm sorry, but I never got any sense of a connection forming between Jayne and River at any point in the series or the BDM. (I've watched 'em a few times over, shall we say.)

I am going to have me so much fun...(evil Minear-like laughter)

And of course, Inara is going to have a cow (oops, there they are again...)

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Sunday, February 4, 2007 6:50 AM

PLATONIST


Leave the arcing to Joss!

Joss clearly states in the Director's comments that Mal is "teaching" River (an underage girl) a life lesson and uses the piloting metaphor to speak on the nature of love. Misinterpretation of this scene sullies its' beauty and Joss' words.
Justifiying using it as a springboard for a future romantic(sexual) relationship in fan created fiction is misguided because it compromises the growing trust between two of your main characters.


Please don't beg for comments. You already have mine.

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Sunday, February 4, 2007 12:13 PM

STINKINGROSE


Please go read her fics before assuming anything about what she's likely to do.

Hers is an evil laugh and a twisty mind that makes you think you're going one place only to find yourself somewhere else. You usually do not see it coming, but when you go back you can see where she laid the trap all subtle like.

She's more likely to beat up on Mal 'cause it's fun to Cap'n bash. I'm pretty sure River is sacrosanct (more or less) until she's feeling all better.

But I could be wrong..

I've got River going with a younger boy, though she did make a pass at Jayne just to see what would happen. He got to show a bit of moral fiber, and be terribly discomfited at the same time. Jayne turned down trim. No, really!

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Sunday, February 4, 2007 4:21 PM

PLATONIST


Actually, I've read some of the above mentioned writer's fic posts and enjoyed them and left comments.



Give me a chance to clarify. The relationshp between Mal and River is one that is dear to my heart (I'm a parent of a teenage daughter) and I love the direction Joss was going with them post movie (as I see it as a daddy/daughter relation, remember Lil' Albatross) as much as I love Inara's journey in to teaching. After my own heart... are ya Joss?

We all agree that they are "family". Saying as much, any implication that they are destine for a sexual encounter or relationship beyond a teenage crush loses its luster as anything I would be interested in reading.

Writers can write what ever they want, but if they want to be taken seriously by their intended audience (thinking breathing fans of Joss' verse) they need to challenge themselves to go beyond current standards of poorly confluented popular media writings that often include serial bedhopping. The Forty Year Old Virgin writers actually poked fun at these practices with great success.

Fiction is the hardest writing genre a writer attempts. It takes drawing from personal life experiences to create fleshed out characters within a well developed plot. We can only assume that a big part of River's character growth will be sexual (she has heightened awareness after all, LOL) but to portray every male character on and off the boat as lusting after her innocent virginity in the guise of jealousy for her affections is creepy and lecherous at best, especially for Mal because it is out of character. The Captain has a strange sense of nobility and after all he is in love with someone else regardless if it works in your AU.

As an English teacher, nothing burns me as much as young talented writers that portray every relationship between male and female characters as a potential pairing. It's the easy way out. The adolescent angsty soap opera. From an audience's viewpoint, it is far more interesting for characters to develop relationships not based on preconceived gender orientation, ie Mal and Zoe or Wash and Kaylee. It keeps us guessing!

There are numerous themes that writers can draw from in this verse. Choose from your heart and write with your soul. If you end up with a fairytale so what? We all love The Princess Bride. Like I tell my students, wait to put your name on your work until you are honestly satisfied -- a final copy-- something to be proud of. And certianly never ever put my name on it!


I will watch for her next posting with anticipation.







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Monday, February 5, 2007 3:44 AM

SPACEANJL


Why, thank you, kind sir.

I'm afraid I did go down the route of bed-hopping with Jayne, but that was because, he was, well, Jayne. And the character he has a relationship with, is a grown woman with life experiences and a full knowledge of what she's getting herself into. (Jayne's pants mainly, but, meh... ) Otherwise, the other relationships I have referred to are canon, inferred from series or BDM. And my idea of why Mal and Inara can't make a go of it, well, I've set them out so far. (Joss himself is a Frank Herbert fan, so the Bene Gesserit vibe spoke to me.)

All I'm saying, is that regardless of what he might do about it, Mal is a very likely candidate for a crush. And the responses to that situation will be interesting to write. Particularly as he is an honourable and decent man.

There is enough hinky pornfic out there without me adding to it. *adopts noble stance* I am after all attempting to create and visualise in the style of the master, a homage, if you will.

That, and I like blowing sh*t up.


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Monday, February 5, 2007 5:44 AM

MAL4PREZ


Ahhh! This is very frustrating. I have several chapters of fic that addresses all this in my own way, but I can't post it yet, and can't talk about it because I don't want to give things away.

Will you all just be ready to return to this topic when I finally get around to posting?

-----------------------------------------------
I'm the president. I don't need to listen.

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Monday, February 5, 2007 2:51 PM

STINKINGROSE


If you promise to make a new thread.. this one's getting long in the tooth.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007 2:45 AM

JETFLAIR


Quote:

Originally posted by asarian:
After all, what's not to love? He ain't weak, he's honorable, a hero, a protector (not to mention, quite a stud to boot). But see, all these glowing qualities in Mal should precisely prevent him from taking advantage of her! And, frankly, I don't think for a moment he would.
--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam



That was absolutely perfectly put. I recognize that everyone has the right to express themselves artistically in fanfic as they wish, but for me, as a reader and as a Mal fan, it bothers me profoundly to read Mal/River "romance."

Mal, whatever his faults, is a profoundly honorable man with a deep respect of women. Do I have a crush on him? Yes indeed :)

But the Mal I love, respect, and am attracted to, the Mal portrayed in Firefly, would not engage in a sexual relationship with River, for all the reasons already discussed in this thread. Not even if she is over eighteen, not even if she has a crush on him.

In my view, the Mal/River fics violate not only River, but Mal as well. And Mal ain't a character I enjoy seeing violated.



"Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you when she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home." .......We love you, captain.

"This is the captain. We may experience some slight turbulence and then.....explode"

www.serenityverse.com - Zoe necklace replicas, Serenity dogtags, jewelry, image gallery w/ custom DVD covers, other goodies!

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Sunday, February 11, 2007 3:01 AM

JETFLAIR


Quote:

Originally posted by asarian:
Let's say, for the limited scope of this thread, that there are only two loves: Love, and the stuff surrounding making love. The part where my heart sank to my feet, is where it dawned upon me that the very fabric of Firefly is uprooted on a much more fundamental level even than I initially realized. In a nutshell (and somewhat over-generalized, to make the point): Firefly is about Love, vs. the majority of fanfic being about making love.

Why does having this sink in dishearten me so? Because, well, I think the magic which is Firefly is seated in being the opposite of pretty much everything else in Hollywood: it's about Love, and not the making love. The former is about having deep, tender, ineffable feelings of affection for people, and letting those feelings be real enough to do right by your teenage crew member, even if you don't figure the percentage. Or even if it costs you.

So I'd say, Take one teenage girl. Put her in close proximity to a charming, funny, handsome, protective war hero. And then... make it about Love, not making love. Like our genius man Joss did. I'll look forward to reading that. Don't expect to find me near the water cooler, though.


--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam



Another wonderful and very thought-provoking point. You just made me realize what it is that is probably the most challenging in the writing of my own fanfic. That non-sexual, non-sentimental, genuine love is one of the most precious elements of Firefly, and the elusive element I'm trying to capture.

It's incredibly difficult, though, because written expressions of love tend to come across as either unrealistically sentimental for the 'verse, or as sexual. People are so accustomed to looking for the sexual element in everything that one has to be almost explicit in saying "that's not what I'm getting at!"

My story is a POW drama, and Mal and Wash are locked up together. Twice now I've told people the story outline and recoiled when they said "Oh, so it's slash?" NO! In the same story, Mal hugs Zoe in two seperate scenes, very tender, loving, and completely non-sexual scenes, and I had someone complain that I was writing Mal/Zoe fic.

So as a writer, it's very difficult to portray love that will not be construed as sexual in nature.

At its core, my story is about Mal recovering from a series of devastating events and being able to do so, being able to cope and to remain the relatively whole, caring person he is in the series, thanks in part to the unexpected love and caring of the people around him.

I think on the screen, that would be so much easier to portray without words, with the use of those little silent moments and looks and smiles. Because in the written word, with my limitations as a writer, the essense of that love captured by Firefly is the most elusive and precious quality I could imagine.



"Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you when she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home." .......We love you, captain.

"This is the captain. We may experience some slight turbulence and then.....explode"

www.serenityverse.com - Zoe necklace replicas, Serenity dogtags, jewelry, image gallery w/ custom DVD covers, other goodies!

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Sunday, February 11, 2007 5:57 PM

ASARIAN


Quote:

Originally posted by jetflair:

Quote:

Originally posted by asarian:

Let's say, for the limited scope of this thread, that there are only two loves: Love, and the stuff surrounding making love. The part where my heart sank to my feet, is where it dawned upon me that the very fabric of Firefly is uprooted on a much more fundamental level even than I initially realized. In a nutshell (and somewhat over-generalized, to make the point): Firefly is about Love, vs. the majority of fanfic being about making love.

Why does having this sink in dishearten me so? Because, well, I think the magic which is Firefly is seated in being the opposite of pretty much everything else in Hollywood: it's about Love, and not the making love. The former is about having deep, tender, ineffable feelings of affection for people, and letting those feelings be real enough to do right by your teenage crew member, even if you don't figure the percentage. Or even if it costs you.

So I'd say, Take one teenage girl. Put her in close proximity to a charming, funny, handsome, protective war hero. And then... make it about Love, not making love. Like our genius man Joss did. I'll look forward to reading that. Don't expect to find me near the water cooler, though.



Another wonderful and very thought-provoking point. You just made me realize what it is that is probably the most challenging in the writing of my own fanfic. That non-sexual, non-sentimental, genuine love is one of the most precious elements of Firefly, and the elusive element I'm trying to capture.

It's incredibly difficult, though, because written expressions of love tend to come across as either unrealistically sentimental for the 'verse, or as sexual. People are so accustomed to looking for the sexual element in everything that one has to be almost explicit in saying "that's not what I'm getting at!"

My story is a POW drama, and Mal and Wash are locked up together. Twice now I've told people the story outline and recoiled when they said "Oh, so it's slash?" NO! In the same story, Mal hugs Zoe in two seperate scenes, very tender, loving, and completely non-sexual scenes, and I had someone complain that I was writing Mal/Zoe fic.

So as a writer, it's very difficult to portray love that will not be construed as sexual in nature.

At its core, my story is about Mal recovering from a series of devastating events and being able to do so, being able to cope and to remain the relatively whole, caring person he is in the series, thanks in part to the unexpected love and caring of the people around him.

I think on the screen, that would be so much easier to portray without words, with the use of those little silent moments and looks and smiles. Because in the written word, with my limitations as a writer, the essense of that love captured by Firefly is the most elusive and precious quality I could imagine.



Jetflair!

You're so right: the Firefly Love is a most elusive and precious quality. So elusive even, I've argued on occasion, that it escapes many. :) Seriously. I've personally witnessed people be totally awestruck by Firefly, yet unable to express why. The essence of real Love, captured so brilliantly in Firefly, is so rare, that while it still resonates with the core of people's soul, of course, often, on a more conscious level, the why of their excitement eludes them. They just know they Love it. And want more.

So, I'd say, be gentle to yourself when you write fanfic. :) Because, really, it's extremely difficult to get it right. If it makes any difference, during the course of reading this thread, I had the idea of maybe writing my own fanfic then, and asked a good mutual friend of ours, FollowMal, who I could read first, to learn the trade, so to speak. She recommended yours as the creme-de-la-creme. Is that a commentary on you? Why yes, I think it is. :)

You know, in the other forum, I'd probably be unable to suppress the urge to call you Cap'n. I'd look silly doing that here, for certain. :) Don't mean I can't follow your lead, though. After all, respect is based on a person's honor, and the desire to uphold that, erm, honor. :) That's Mal. And that's you.


--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007 6:58 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
Leave the arcing to Joss!

Joss clearly states in the Director's comments that Mal is "teaching" River (an underage girl) a life lesson and uses the piloting metaphor to speak on the nature of love. Misinterpretation of this scene sullies its' beauty and Joss' words.
Justifiying using it as a springboard for a future romantic(sexual) relationship in fan created fiction is misguided because it compromises the growing trust between two of your main characters.


Please don't beg for comments. You already have mine.



May I just say that this was beautifully put and spot on. You've really captured the point of that scene here.

It always hurts to see it "dragged" into a sense of romance and sex because it takes away so much of the purely human beauty and profundity.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007 7:07 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
All I'm saying, is that regardless of what he might do about it, Mal is a very likely candidate for a crush. And the responses to that situation will be interesting to write. Particularly as he is an honourable and decent man.





The question that mostly concerns me in this scenario - and I'm not speaking about your fic in particular, as I haven't read it, but rather in general, and since you write Mal/River - is what in the 'verse would make Mal interested in River.

That River could develop as crush is no surprise, lots of girls start flirting with their father figures in a playful way, or develop crushes on authority figures or distant music/movie stars because it's safe, because they likely won't ever respond.

But Mal? What - beside a "hot young body" - would be the draw for Mal? He's so much older and more experienced and beyond so many things that River still has to go through.

I'm honestly curious why Mal would return a romantic and sexual attraction to someone whose father he could be.

It baffles me!

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007 10:51 PM

SPACEANJL


I can tell you haven't read my stuff, since I am not a M/R shipper per se. And my point was Mal's reaction to being crushed upon, with all variations of panic.

What ever attracts two people? All I've done is set out River's side. If you go through the BSR, there are all permutations of relationship, most of which are admittedly horrible. In concept, as well as execution.

I'm aware from previous comments of yours that you would never even consider reading my stuff. Post-BDM and canon though it is, it also contains an OC crew member, designed to be the voice of the 'normal' 'Verse, a la Wash. And - horrors! - she's married to Jayne. I'm exploring that as a valid relationship to throw the other relationships into relief; two people of roughly the same age with various life experiences behind them, as opposed to 'Young Love' (S/K) 'Thwarted Love' (M/I) or the beginnings of adult feelings (R). It was important to Joss that there was an example of a happy adult relationship on board, and after he kebabed Wash, I felt there should be a replacement. And there are excellent reasons why it wouldn't be M/I.

Mal is an emotional basket-case, bless the man. But that's a whole other thread. I can write you something convincing and honest, but you would have to bother to read it and the back-story to get the nuances.

And the argument you just sat out against M/R, is exactly the argument I find against Jaylee or Rayne, myself.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007 11:17 PM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
I can tell you haven't read my stuff, since I am not a M/R shipper per se. And my point was Mal's reaction to being crushed upon, with all variations of panic.



Oh, I'm sorry, I just assumed that you favored a mutual attraction, since you mentioned Mal in your story being jealous of some boy flirting with River in some other thread somewhere (or maybe even here). Anyway, I wasn't inquiring about your story, but rather the general idea, but I see was overly presumptive, sorry.

So you don't actually think he would return her feelings? I guess, I'll have to find someone else to ask some time. :)


Quote:

And the argument you just sat out against M/R, is exactly the argument I find against Jaylee or Rayne, myself.



So would I, incidentally. :)

Jaylee less vehemently than anything involving River, since Kaylee has five years on River, but.. yeah. :)

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007 11:41 PM

SPACEANJL


Well, hopefully when I write and post it up, it will all make sense.

River is bright and sweet and honest, and she's no longer a child. But yes, half his age and crew - is going to weird Mal out. I figure that in his time in service, he must have been the recipient of crushes before. But he isn't that old. The age gap is less than the Grissom/Sara one in CSI, for example. Or the very convincing Holmes/Russell relationship in the Laurie King books.

What happens when he meets somebody who loves the Black and Serenity as much as he does? Someone who can understand his pain? The fact it's wrapped up in a youthful package is the bad bit. But if Joss can do freaky mindjobs on our assumptions...

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007 11:54 PM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
But he isn't that old. The age gap is less than the Grissom/Sara one in CSI, for example. Or the very convincing Holmes/Russell relationship in the Laurie King books.




To me, it's more the age contrast inherent in that age gap that causes the disconnect. Say, 35 to 55 is far less monumental than 16 to 32, 17 to 33. The former are two mature adults, the latter are separated by a very distinct phase of maturation that one has gone through and the other not yet, and not for years to come.

When she comes onto the ship, River is pretty much exactly half Mal's age, and I just have a really hard time picturing a scenario where Mal could overcome that gap, that initial paternal attitude, without losing those qualities of honor, responsibility and maturity that I like in his character.

But to each their own. :)

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 12:14 AM

SPACEANJL


Well, I have to say...I regard that as a challenge.

Keep watching the skies. (Or the BSR)

I don't see that it has to be a happy-ever-after, line drawn under it and final scenario, anyway. And I liked the idea posited earlier in this thread that Mal's age makes his paternal mean old man stance a bit of a joke. I'm not sure how old you are, but I'm the same age as NF, so that colours my perceptions.


btw, age gap in the King books? They first meet when she is fifteen and he's fifty-four. And it works, since tha author takes time to show the character maturing over the next few years.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 12:57 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
And I liked the idea posited earlier in this thread that Mal's age makes his paternal mean old man stance a bit of a joke. I'm not sure how old you are, but I'm the same age as NF, so that colours my perceptions.



A paternal attitude is just that, a question of attitude, since Jayne, for example, doesn't have a streak of that in him and is at least Mal's age.
Mal leadership style is very personal, it's closely tied into this naturally paternal streak and displayed already in the first scene we meet him, his pep talk to soldiers his age or only a bit younger. It's not necessarily tied to the "mean old man" stance, but a real aspect of his character.

Plus, with the age gap and actual age-constellation of Mal and River, paternal feelings really are a more natural response and not a joke at all. It'd be a sign of immaturity in a thirty-something man if he felt more like a peer to an emotionally damaged teen half his age than an adult source of support.

So, I don't see a discrepancy there that would discredit Mal's paternal feelings as artificial.

Quote:

btw, age gap in the King books? They first meet when she is fifteen and he's fifty-four. And it works, since tha author takes time to show the character maturing over the next few years.



As you point out - it apparently can be done, in fiction and real life. I just don't, personally, see it in Mal or River, nor do I think it's the rule with relationships of that age constellation to be healthy.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 3:14 PM

PLATONIST


The problem that I have with M/R or M/OC is that the writer has the laborious task of deconstructing the relationship between Mal and Inara in a convincing manner. This is not an easy writing objective to meet. It is usually achieved by writing Inara (post BDM) as a calculating sinister character, in a contrived plot, breaking Mal's heart at every turn and task. I somewhat follow along objectively with great anticipation until I lose interest because I start to realize that the story ceases to feel like Firefly once the chemistry of M/I is gone and not regained.

In these fics, especially M/R, Mal tends to act like a fickle jilted 16 year old that has lost his intended prom date to his best friend. Last I looked Mal doesn't play jacks on the hull floor.

Then I start asking myself, with respect for the writer, would losing Inara, for whatever reason, send Mal flying into the arms of another, that just conveniently happens to be taking on all of the attributes of Inara, that Mal found so intriguing. Replacement Inara? Hasn't that been done already?

I'm not saying that I'm the biggest M/I shipper on this planet, but I do think they have the best romantic chemistry that the show has to offer. It was obviously important to Joss, the creator, he carried their "love's strength" theme soundly into the movie. I think if the show or trilogy would have continued they would have had a long and involved relationship (they've already shared so much). A tragic ending... perhaps, but one based on true mature love with them making all the sacrifices that they would deem necessary to sustain a beautiful and rare feeling.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 4:01 PM

EMPIREX


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
The problem that I have with M/R or M/OC is that the writer has the laborious task of deconstucting the relationship between Mal and Inara in a convincing manner. This is not an easy writing objective to meet. It is usually achieved by writing Inara (post BDM) as a calculating sinister character, in a contrived plot, breaking Mal's heart at every turn and task.

In these fics, especially M/R, Mal tends to act like a fickle jilted 16 year old that has lost his intended prom date to his best friend. Last I looked Mal doesn't play jacks on the hull floor.



LOL! I totally agree, Platonist. Now I don't object to Inara/Other (mainly because of her job - that's just something we have to accept as an audience) and I don't object to Mal/Other, either - but let's take a look at the show.

In both instances where Mal embarks on a sexual relationship (with Saffron and with Nandi), it is not about love. It's about lust and it's about comfort. On the show, Mal and Inara aren't "together", but it seems to me, it takes an awful lot of "persuasion" to get him in the sack. Saffron had to strip naked and pretty much ambush him and Nandi most definitely persued him, employing her fine rice wine and powers of seduction. Now why would two beautiful women have to go to such lengths to bed an unattached heterosexual man? Simple. IT'S BECAUSE HE'S IN LOVE WITH INARA. You can't just dismiss it. And you can't just turn Inara into a nasty little harpy or send her away as a means of "dealing with it". Doesn't matter if she's on the ship or not. She's on his mind and in his heart, as the movie makes perfectly clear. So I can see Mal sleeping with another woman, but falling in love out of the clear blue when he's carried such a torch for Inara for so long? Don't buy it.

And as for Mal/River, yeah. A lot of the Mal/River fic that I've attempted to read has Mal acting really immature, but then again, River usually acts like a child in them, so I guess that makes a kind of sense... But the only way for Mal/River to work is if Inara is dead or gone, River is cured of her craziness, and is portrayed like an adult. AN ADULT. That's the key. I'll say it again: not flitting around like a whimsical pixie giggling and meddling. Cuz Mal's not going to bed a crazy teenager. I don't care how awesome her powers of perception are or how hot and limber she is. Mal's better than that. He's a man of honor, which is why we all love him, right? ... Which was the entire point of my original post...which I realize has gotten WAY off topic! LOL

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