GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

The Substance of Things

POSTED BY: FEDORACCOON
UPDATED: Sunday, January 29, 2006 13:08
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VIEWED: 5154
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Friday, January 27, 2006 12:24 PM

FEDORACCOON


Hey all, this is my first time posting, but I've been a long time fan (sadly, only after the show was cancelled). It occurred to me today, that Hurley(Urley?) the bounty hunter's words that people don't appreciate the substance of things is more than true when it comes to Firefly. I think we can all agree that Firefly was made of something better than ordinary shows (though I have high hopes for Battlestar Galactica). I tried to think of a show with similar quality of "substance." I came up with Star Trek (though some will scorn the comparison). It then occurred to me that if Star Trek was released today it would probably suffer the same fate, which may account for the passing of the late Enterprise. Perhaps television as we know it has moved below and away from shows with real "substance?" Anyway, any thoughts from the wider community of firefly fans?


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Friday, January 27, 2006 12:43 PM

SAINTANDEOL


the sad fact is that shows with depth and
substance aren't what most TV watchers are
looking for. THey're looking for Friends, or Seinfeld, something where the appeal of the show
isn't about understanding a unique universe and
how different characters adapt and develope within
it.

Firefly's substance is the very thing that limits
it's audience. Not to be negative to non-Firefly fans (tho it's hard, it's THEIR fault it got cancelled, not mine!), but some people just want a simpler viewing experience when they watch TV.

I just feel sad that they can't have the love of the show that I do, but when you think about it, if there were a show of Firefly quality being broadcast in the 'verse, not all of our BDH would prolly watch it (especially Jayne), but we would still love them.

Aww, i made myself cry a little . . .

Clouds appear
and bring to men a chance to rest
from looking at the moon.
-Matsuo Basho

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Friday, January 27, 2006 12:45 PM

SAINTANDEOL


oh yeah, and I think his last name is Early. i could be wrong . . .

Clouds appear
and bring to men a chance to rest
from looking at the moon.
-Matsuo Basho

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Friday, January 27, 2006 12:55 PM

DONCOAT


Yes, his name is Jubal Early, a moniker he shares with a famous Civil War general who, in point of fact, is a remote relation to one Nathan Fillion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I don't disagree on any particular point.

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Friday, January 27, 2006 1:03 PM

GLUEMAN


I'll tell ya, this show sparks something inside of me other shows do not and I'm a big fan of Star Trek, Farscape, LotR, etc. I think about it every day. I think the same fate would come to Star Wars if it had opened this year also.


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Friday, January 27, 2006 1:03 PM

HAEKELDRACHE


It´s Jubal Early I think. (as said above, i´m way to slow ;) )

Yeah, the main Part of today´s TV was sent from outer Space to stupefy Mankind. Done well, i think ;)
At least here in Germany. Lets take a look at the TV-Guide.... okay. Talkshows... more Talkshows. Reality shows about People living in a container... did I mention the Talk Shows? Lifestyle Magazines... even the Kids Programm is not what it was ten Years ago. It´s all somehow... hollow. With no substance, nothing to cary with you, just "blabla" all the time.

*sigh* Well, i think that´s the way the world goes round... and round.... and round.

---

"Burn the land and boil the Sea, you can´t take the Sky from me..."

Haekeldrache is german for Crochetdragon

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Friday, January 27, 2006 1:52 PM

AKUKODOGO


Could this be why DVD sales are getting bigger all the time, why watch lousy tv when you can create your own viewing pleasure, when you want it too.

Burn the spam, boil the tea, Serenity's on DVD

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Friday, January 27, 2006 2:25 PM

THESOAPBOXER


One of my favorite quotes from Master Joss himself (there are so many) goes like:

"I'd rather make a movie that 100 people need to see, instead of a movie that 1,000 people want to see."

This pretty much defines a) why Joss and so many other great writers and filmmakers go underappreciated, misunderstood, and out right ignored, and b) why Joss is The Master.

"Stupid" movies are a universal product. Everyone can understand them with little to no brain commitment, so they are aimed toward a larger demographic (Keep in mind, I'm only using these semi-big words to appear like I know stuffs. Is it working?).

"Smart" films on the other hand, aren't as readily marketable (Ah, I'm not fooling anyone...), leaving them to independent or student filmmakers before being swept under rugs and other furniture.

Mmm, smell that bitterness.

But, seriously, if everything was perfect with film and music and what have you, there would be nothing for the next batch of writers, musicians, or what-have-you-ers to fix. Empires eventually collapse, new ones are set up. This principle is one of the foundations of hope.

Huzzah.

_____________________________________________
Could you please just make it stranger? Just stranger. Odder. Could be weirder. More bizarre. How about uncanny? ~Joss Whedon

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Friday, January 27, 2006 3:29 PM

JPSTARGAZER


I think with DVD nowadays that many TV shows now are made with the revenue of the eventual DVD release in mind. I mean shows like Seinfeld and Friends were created before the whole DVD revolution and are just coming out now as an afterthought. However more TV stations are taking the cue from HBO that every show is an eventual DVD release and will create more sales than just the initial run.

This only helps shows like Firefly that have an intense following that would buy DVD's (as the Amazon rank of the set shows). I know we've all read thread after thread about Firefly starting again in some medium, but I think with TV/DVD marketing coinciding so much now, it should be a serious consideration for Fox. Even if they don't want to air more TV seasons, they could always sell it to someone who will. And that's how I rationalize my hope for "Firefly 2: Fly Harder" or whatever a new season/movie will be called.

This is my first post by the way...if that's any indication of the quality.

"All I got is a red guitar, three chords, and the truth...the rest is up to you"
--Bono

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Friday, January 27, 2006 4:18 PM

GLUEMAN


VOD...Video on demand, Pod casting, and Direct to DVD are the big buzz words in the entertainment world right now. VOD in itself might save alot of good shows from early extinction. I rather pick from a menu of viewing options any time of day(I work alot of weekends and nights) then the slim pickins’ now.


"Have you looked at this scan carefully? At his face? It's love point of fact" Operative at the Institute Records Room

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Friday, January 27, 2006 4:31 PM

GRAYALBATROSS


I was looking for Joss interviews and one said something like: "I'm hoping for Serenity 2, 3, and 4, but maybe that's just a fantasy."

If Joss the Boss has hope, so do I.

Keep fly'in.

***
When in doubt, consult the hamster.

Also, I can kill you with my brain

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Friday, January 27, 2006 4:48 PM

MILFORD


People don't want smart shows and networks don't want to wait around for people to realize they're good. Cheers, for example, was a great show, that had some of the worst ratings in history when it debuted, as did Seinfeld. The difference was then networks gave shows time. Now, thanks to shows like Lost (which I love) and Desparate Housewives, that became overnight successes (though DH is learning that Teri Hatcher isn't enough), networks are looking for quick fixes instead of cornerstones. I suppose the ultimate person to blame for that is Mark Burnett, creator/theif (it was a popular show in another country a while back) of Survivor. That show ruined everything because it was cheap and people liked it.

Another reason smart shows don't make it, as I mentioned, was because people don't want them. Now they generally don't want them for one of two reasons. First, they're too tired to pay attention. Lots of people I know love Law and Order, CSI, and ER because they don't have to pay attention very hard. After a lot of junk during their week, most people just want to unplug and relax. So shows like Firefly that take a little more effort are tough. The other option is, quite frankly, some people are just plain dumb. Their minds aren't tired, just absent. Absolutely Lazy.

Anyhoo, that's my take. Sorry I'm so long winded.

Remember, that but for one trifling exception, the entire universe is made up of others.- Oliver Wendall Holmes

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Friday, January 27, 2006 4:51 PM

NUCLEARDAY


Yes, I'm holding out hope the impressive DVD sales as well. I mean look at Family Guy...

Myself, it was the DVDs that turned me from someone who was slightly annoyed at the cancellation into a browncoat.

There's always talk about how movie theatre revenues aren't quite as high as sometimes expected, which is why you're seeing the DVDs being released earlier and earlier. (Actually caught a little thing on NPR the other day about how they're trying something with another movie... can't remember the director... where they want to release the movie in theatres and on DVD simultaneosly.)

I'll take what I can get, and quite gladly at that... But I can somehow see Firefly doing rather well if they'd let it come back on a video-on-demand or straight-to-DVD sort of thing.

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Friday, January 27, 2006 5:11 PM

DC4BS


You know, come to think of it, VOD (if spread to every TV set) would THANKFULLY put Nielson out of buisness...

And then we would FINALY, TRULY see just what is being watched and what's not.

Probably upset a lot of applecarts in the buisness of advertising via TV comercials. EG: "What? you mean we've been spending millions on advertising on a show that only about 5000 people ever watched!!!" And, "Cool! Look at how far out 10k went on that 'unknown' show that millions watch faithfully every week!"

Consider, if that first 5000 were Nielson familys, we ALL get stuck with that crap forever cause it'd be the most highly rated show of all time and the 'unknown show would be cancelled ASAP...

An extrapolation of some secretive and mysterious "sample" that is claimed to represent everyone. And yet, noone I know ever thinks it represents what THEY watch or even would EVER BE CAUGHT DEAD watching?

Who knows? maybe most people do just mindlessly watch crap and really don't want anything more.

I, for sure, feel that I have NEVER been properly represented by any Nielson rating.

Perhaps we, in part, have only ourselves to blame.

Consider the fireflyseason2.com website. People are freaking out that someone is attempting to gather demographic information on us to try to push for a resumption of something we all want.

So what is our most notable reaction to date? We run screaming for everyone to hide! "Don't go near that! It might be EVIL!"

Well, JUST MAYBE if TV execs actualy HAD some REAL information on the TURTLE PEOPLEs prefrences, they might just realize that there are more of us out here than they think. If the only demographic info they can successfully gather is from "stupid" people, then is it any wonder that that is all they will cater to? For all they know, stupid is all that exists outside their boardrooms.

------------------------------------------
dc4bs

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Friday, January 27, 2006 5:14 PM

GLUEMAN


Is it me, but I find FF/S is viewable on several levels. From simple minded view to the complex layered story arcs.

Wash: "Little River just gets more colorful by the moment. What'll she do next?"

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Friday, January 27, 2006 5:23 PM

DC4BS


Quote:

Originally posted by milford:
Cheers, for example, was a great show, that had some of the worst ratings in history when it debuted, as did Seinfeld. The difference was then networks gave shows time.



BAD, BAD, BAD example.

The only reason Cheers wasn't cancelled was that the network couldn't afford to tear down the set and pay for a whole new show that season.

Much cheaper to simply let the failed show continue untill they could. They let it go only because they had no other choice.

Word of mouth between season one and two made it a sucess in season two. That was when they decide not to cancel it.

If they had had the funds, Cheers would not have made it to season 2.

------------------------------------------
dc4bs

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Friday, January 27, 2006 5:43 PM

GLUEMAN


"the network couldn't afford to tear down the set"

That's BS. I've worked on that end of the entertainment business and that's one of cheapest things to do. Besides the set is designed to break apart and store or cut up and thrown in a dumpster.

"pay for a whole new show"

That I agree with.

Wash: "Little River just gets more colorful by the moment. What'll she do next?"

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Friday, January 27, 2006 6:20 PM

BELOWZERO


ooh. I LOVE Basho. My favorite haiku are written by him. I looooved his death poem.



Clouds appear
and bring to men a chance to rest
from looking at the moon.
-Matsuo Basho



"Do not go gentle into that good night....
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. . .

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night. . ."
--Dylan Thomas

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Friday, January 27, 2006 6:22 PM

NOVASTARCLOUD


Re: the substance of things
I think Mr. Whedon was making a statement when Mr. Universe said something about the "somnambulate" population, "the puppet theatre", etc.
Yes, Fedoraccoon, I agree with most of what you said except on one point, that TV has not "moved below and away". I think (IMHO) that it has always been a cesspool of mediocrity. It's main objection is to sell, sell, sell shampoo and diet pills. It's bottom line is to do that as cheaply as possible.
But every now and then something of quality comes along and hooks us, makes us fall in love with it and then it's gone because it didn't sell enough deodorant.
I think that's why we feel so betrayed and hurt. I know I do. Anyway, just my humble opinion.

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Friday, January 27, 2006 6:23 PM

BELOWZERO


HEY! I happen to like CSI *because* I have to pay attention. I learned way, way, WAY too much about DNA and forensics by watching that show!

If I didn't want to think I'd watch this so-called reality TV crapola.

Come to think of it, there was a long time I didn't OWN a TV cuz nothing good was ever on it. May have to go back to that. Nothing wrong with a good book.

"Do not go gentle into that good night....
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. . .

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night. . ."
--Dylan Thomas

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Friday, January 27, 2006 8:53 PM

RHYIANAN


This is why I don't have a television in my dorm room...there's nothing intellectually stimulating. It's all stupid comedy, psychotic soap operas, reality shows, or murder mysteries. Trying to figure out who the killer is might be interesting the first few times, but after a while it just gets old.



Wash: Yeah, but psychic? That sounds like science fiction.
Zoe: You live on a spaceship, dear.

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Saturday, January 28, 2006 6:41 AM

CYBERSNARK


Quote:

Originally posted by jpstargazer:
"Firefly 2: Fly Harder"

*snicker*

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Saturday, January 28, 2006 8:50 AM

USUALLYCONTENT


A literary Earth that was! Yup, sounds about right. The dumbing down of everything seems to be marching us all to oblivion as surely as Lemmings go to the sea. A show where action had both cause and effect, right and wrong were often circumstantial and subjective, characterization and smart dialouge took actual attention and were central to the story rather than incidental to the next action sequence, seems unlikely to stand much chance due to when and where it aired. I Think BSG, and a few other exceptions, show that the climate may have changed. Smart, inticate, charecter driven, shows seem much more in demand now. Even those usally satisfied with the usual "short attention span theatre" offerings of "reality t.v." are finding more and more mindless. As major netwprks have to vie, more and more, with other venues and media (tivo, cable, podcasts, computer, etc. ) they seem both frantic and very unadventureous. The very things that made the media free are now the things that most find the least satisfactory. This would be the need to brodcast to the lowest common denominator and to sell airtime via commercials. I can put up with commercials but find it more and more difficult to try to sit through today's equivilant of "Car 54" and "Gilligan's Island". Given the climate today MASH, Hill Street Blues, and many more, would have short half-lives also. "Instant success" is usually the culmination of long, hard, work with dues well paid. It only appears instant to some. Fox's decision to discount (throw away) what appears to have been the next step in Mr. Wheadon's creative expression in favor of what they felt was more commercial (past efforts and/or more of the same including syndication which eliminated production costs and uppped profit). Their short sightedness points to the trend of the industry being wholly in the hands of bean counters vs anyone involved in any creative process.

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Saturday, January 28, 2006 4:08 PM

NOVASTARCLOUD


Quote:

....Fox's decision to discount (throw away) what appears to have been the next step in Mr. Wheadon's creative expression in favor of what they felt was more commercial (past efforts and/or more of the same including syndication which eliminated production costs and uppped profit). Their short sightedness points to the trend of the industry being wholly in the hands of bean counters vs anyone involved in any creative process.


UsuallyContent, I have suspected this also. They're cutting out prematurely, deliberately, and then selling to the DVD market. Their bottom line looks shiny and they move on to the next artist vision, to slice and dice, and move on.

Is that what you're saying? That even though they knew Firefly was good, they planned this from the start? Is this a new trend?


"I wish my managers would remember their place is in an office, NOT the arts..."--(Phantom of the Opera)

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Saturday, January 28, 2006 8:04 PM

USUALLYCONTENT


Novastarcloud,

I don't think it was/is planned. The result, from our perspective though, is the same. A huge loss in creativity and a lack of artistic endeavor. Writer's write, painter's paint, etc. I don't think a whole lot of "artists" (of any type) began with the idea (soley) of getting rich. An MBA, studio CEO, etc. however,(none that are here of course )may well have gone into that position with that in mind. This dicotomy has always been a symbiotic relationship locked in continual change. In the industry one had always needed the other and the give and take in the process helped both to flourish. The balance seems to have slid too far to the business end of things. The need for quick profit return seems to overshadow everything else. It seems that they took on the BDH to keep their primary product(s)comming. Once they had decided that the primary product no longer met their needs any commitment to Mr. Wheadon's new 'verse was probably seen as liability and a loss. He was now yesterday banquet and they wanted a new meal to nagh on. Also, they could now syndicate the primary product(s) in several markets making pure profit back for Fox. Is MASH still on in your area? It took 2-3 years to find it's audiance as I recall. Since the end of it's ten year run it is probably on somewhere every hour of the day. Had someone sharing that vision not waited for it to find it's audiance it too would have been lost way too soon. Only two American art forms (arguably) Jazz and Film. Both seem misunderstood by the PTB suits but loved by their fans. Ten years from now no one will remember survivor (except for the reminder when Mr. Hatch gets out of jail) etc. The fans of this 'verse will remember and still care!

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Saturday, January 28, 2006 11:24 PM

CAPTKAR


I believe the simple fact of the matter when it comes to TV shows is a matter of peoples attention spans (or lack thereof). People are looking for either action packed, constant suspense, never-ending humor, or reality TV.

So when you look at Firefly it didn't really stand a chance (No offnese). Firefly has action, some suspense, and some humor. But none of it is constant, there is more character development and so forth.

When you compare Firefly to other shows that are on and were on, while it was way better, you have shows nowadays like; 24 (alot of action and almost a constant curiosity factor), Fear Factor/Survivor/any other reality TV show, Friends/Seinfeld (Constant humor) Firefly didn't really have a chance for many reasons.

1) It didn't have near the same budget of the others
2) It didn't really have any one format going constantly
3) It wasn't given the ample chance for growth
4) And it wasn't advertised near the same way that any of the other shows had Ex: Survivors 2 million commercials daily

The older generations could easily like Firefly and i bet alot did, but lets face it they don't really go crazy when a great show gets cancelled. And the younger generations were watching it going "Come on blow something up already!!!!"

Putting Firefly up against these other heavy hitters which already had a reputation and a huge fanbase without proper advertising nor a long enough time to grow is like bringing back Leave It To Beaver and trying to put it up against CSI or Friends.

-Bravery is not the abscence of fear, this is a foolish notion. Bravery is the ability to work through fear toward a higher goal-

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Sunday, January 29, 2006 1:08 PM

GLUEMAN


How do change the paradigm so show of quality/substance can be produced?

Ideas anyone?


Mal: "Oh! That was bracing. They don't like it when you shoot at them. I worked that out myself."

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