FIREFLY EPISODE DISCUSSIONS

Firefly characters you DON'T like

POSTED BY: BYTEMITE
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 19:55
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Thursday, January 31, 2013 9:08 AM

BYTEMITE


Hey all!

In my observation it seems to be Inara who gets the most hate, but then I thought I'd expand it to any character so people who don't like her don't feel picked on.

I was just curious about what characters you don't like and why.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 9:51 AM

THESOMNAMBULIST


I've never particularly liked River, though I have a feeling had things progressed I'd have found her interesting. But it was difficult to engage with her as a personality for the short duration of the show.

Thereafter I think Tracy always bugged me.

Inara though, I liked. Great counter point to Mal.



°...Well here I am.°

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 10:07 AM

BYTEMITE


I guess I could see that. River's condition makes her difficult and volatile, and when she's not struggling emotionally, she has a morbid-streak, and she does kind of a bratty kid sister thing, and sometimes she has an intellectual arrogance.

I've always kinda thought that, for me, the sympathy for her condition outweighs whatever other negative personality attributes she has. But I do think I can see where you're coming from.

I like the main characters as they're depicted in the show, though I might not get along with some of them so well if they were real. Show-Inara I like, but I might have trouble dealing with the reality, I have a tom-boy knee-jerk reaction about glamour stuff, and while I have nothing against her profession I have a prude reaction to the other stuff and wouldn't want to be part of those discussions. I also think that real-Mal would be harder to take than show-Mal, because he can be harsh and critical and obstinate, and sometimes a bit bullying. Jayne I also wouldn't like to know real life. Zoe would be cool, but also kind of scary, and sometimes Kaylee gets angry about some really unimportant things.

In the show, there's the villains, though Saffron's a character you love to hate, and Jubal Early is evil, but interesting and unique. Tracy is somehow both sincere and treacherous, yeah, he's not very likeable even though his situation is sympathetic.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 12:26 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


My favorites are River (because she is touched, and she's a really cool person who is unique, talented, brave and loyal), Simon (because he takes care of River and I would love to get together with someone like him, kind, caring, devoted, sweet), Book (because he's a Christian who kicks ass!) and Mal (because he's cool and handsome and brave and someone I can admire). I like all the other crewmembers too.

I used to dislike Inara because of her mask, I never knew whether Inara really felt a certain way or whether she was faking it and I don't like people like that, I don't feel like I can trust them. But I've gotten used to her over the years and I think I'm almost to a place where I can trust her.

As for side charactors, I guess Tracy lacks luster. I couldn't picture Nandy as anything more than she was, I couldn't see her as a fancy guild companion, but that has nothing to do with whether I liked the charactor, she was okay, though I'm a bit worried that some of the people in her bordello weren't of age, and that concerns me. But that wasn't really part of the story so I guess its neither here nor there.

Of all the villains, who's your favorite? I'd have to say Niska and Saffron. They were entertaining.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 12:35 PM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


Rance Burgess.

I also didn't like that Alliance soldier who foiled the Train Job and shot Jayne in the leg. Other than those two I can't think of anyone else I didn't like.




wo men ren ran zai fei xing.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 1:16 PM

MOOSE


Dobson.

Mainly because he shot Kaylee, but also because he was an idiot.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 1:24 PM

WISHIMAY

There will be fire and brimstone and Earth will be destroyed!... in several billion years!----------------------------------------- "Well, so long Earth. Thanks for the air... and what-not." -Philip J. Fry


I don't have a problem with Rivers character, per se, but her being yet another "98 pound girl who kicks butt." I'm so tired of the size four stereotype (a la Buffy) ...What's wrong with girls having some actual muscles??? Let alone that they be TALL?

I realize men can be dreadfully insecure about such things, but when are they NOT insecure about pretty much everything??
(YES< IT"S CALLED "PROJECTING", TRY NOT TA FAINT ) And yeah, he wouldn't have been able to work in all those fancy dancing scenes and the fragility of the character, but ick. (On that note too, they don't do the "big muscley people can be fragile too", but that would require people to actually think outside the box)

Is it theoretically possible a tiny lil genius thing could be trained to kick ass so well, and in what- two or three years- suuuure. Do I buy it even for a second even after 10 years? NOT....AT.....ALL. Willing suspension of disbelief, Spock... Yanno, the thing that lets you rationalize a whole planet going missin' for ten years. Although, my whole town could go missin' and I doubt anyone would notice, including the people who live here

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 2:43 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


Excellent points Wish! I know a lot of people who have a hard time taking Firefly seriously for just that reason. They can't suspend their disbelief enough regarding that issue. See also the King Arthur movie with Keira Knightly.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:16 PM

OREDRAVEN


One of the main reasons I like Joss's work is that he makes everyone do some pretty questionable things, given enough time (if he doesn't kill them first). That just makes them human & relatable, to me. So, I generally only end up disliking minor/obviously-totally-evil-and-meant-to-be-hated characters.

Only character I can think of that shows up for more than a short time without being horribly killed that bugs me is Saffron. Just can...not...stand...her. She's like every unpleasant trait of women rolled into one.


Quote:

Originally posted by Wishimay:
I don't have a problem with Rivers character, per se, but her being yet another "98 pound girl who kicks butt." I'm so tired of the size four stereotype (a la Buffy) ...What's wrong with girls having some actual muscles??? Let alone that they be TALL?
....
Is it theoretically possible a tiny lil genius thing could be trained to kick ass so well, and in what- two or three years- suuuure. Do I buy it even for a second even after 10 years? NOT....AT.....ALL. Willing suspension of disbelief, Spock... Yanno, the thing that lets you rationalize a whole planet going missin' for ten years. Although, my whole town could go missin' and I doubt anyone would notice, including the people who live here



Nothing wrong with girls being tall or having muscles. Also nothing wrong with them being short or skinny. The average American woman is 5'4", so having actresses/characters on the smaller side isn't totally bizarre. Yes, it's overly prevalent. Sometimes it's not terribly believable, unless there's some explanation for it. But as long as there is some reason, like training, I can suspend disbelief just fine, especially when I'm already suspending disbelief about all sorts of other things. Then again, consistency isn't required by law or anything. :)

Also, I just looked up the height/weight requirements to join the military & the time required to complete training... And I know plenty of real-life tiny women would could kill you with their pinkies, so... *shrug*
River is a but of a stretch, yeah... but by no means the most ridiculous thing I've seen along those lines.

(Funny thing, though: I have somewhat the opposite peeve, aside from a general lack of variety in size, race, etc. for strong female characters: Often they're just too "male" in certain ways, even when they're physically tiny delicate pretty things. When they make speeches they always have these naturally loud resounding low voices & such. They never act... well... "girly" when they have "downtime" (i.e. not fighting, etc.). I'm not an especially "girly" girl myself, but, sorry, I don't naturally bellow when I yell. I actually hate my voice being as high as it is, but so goes reality. (Thus one of my favorite female warrior being Eowyn in the Lord of the Rings movies because her war-cry sounds like mine would- enthusiastic but unimpressive :) I have certainly never gone all kerfluffy over a guy I couldn't have or anything, though. ;) )

So, I'd say film & tv in general don't do very well with balancing tough and feminine. I actually think, overall, Joss does it a heck of a lot better than most.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 5:23 PM

BYTEMITE


Zoe actually is shown enjoying girly things, according to the comics she likes bubbly baths and manicures.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 5:27 PM

BYTEMITE


Riona: I think people didn't realize that Celtic women actually DID fight, though there's disagreement over how much. But the Celtic society was fairly egalitarian for it's time.

Though that Arthur movie was pretty historically inaccurate in a lot of other ways.

I liked how Arwen was more active in the LotR movie. She doesn't really do much in the books, just kinda stands around and acts pretty, while Aragorn seems to turn down Eowyn because she's a fighter... Adds a little something more to that relationship I think, and removes some unfortunate implications.

Sorry, off-topic.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 6:31 PM

OREDRAVEN


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Zoe actually is shown enjoying girly things, according to the comics she likes bubbly baths and manicures.


Nothing wrong with getting nice-smelling & pretty since you have to get the blood off anyway. LoL. Haven't read the comics, but that's cool. :)


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Riona: I think people didn't realize that Celtic women actually DID fight, though there's disagreement over how much. But the Celtic society was fairly egalitarian for it's time.
...
Sorry, off-topic.


You are now my favorite person of the week for discussing Celtic history, LotR, & Firefly simultaneously. Seeing three of my huge interests in one post on my first day here has made me happy.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 7:17 PM

BYTEMITE


Not a problem! Welcome to the board. I'm surprised you liked the LotR thing, most people don't agree about movie Arwen.

As for Celtic... Me and Riona, well, she's pretty much Irish and I'm from a long line of Scots. It happens.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 7:30 PM

WISHIMAY

There will be fire and brimstone and Earth will be destroyed!... in several billion years!----------------------------------------- "Well, so long Earth. Thanks for the air... and what-not." -Philip J. Fry


Many good points, Oredraven. I'm sure all characters are relative. Christina sure did a good job on the whole "Character you love to strangle." I often wonder if he wouldv'e tried to humanize her eventually or no...Can't go perpetuating the notion some womenfolk can't be saved *gasp*

I wonder what the 'Merican Public would pick for characters if they could pick 'em...Oooh wait, it's called "Unreality Shows"....
Nevermind.

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Friday, February 1, 2013 2:30 AM

AGENTROUKA


There aren't really any characters I inherently dislike.

Most of the time I don't enjoy a character it has to do with the writing about and around them. Atherton and Rance Burgess are cardboard cutouts with no depth. (WHAT were they thinking?) Tracey's death lacks drama because it's written around a huge (and recurring) plothole: Mal refrains from making a simple verbal explanation about his plans.

II utterly understand why people find aspects of River dubious, and she IS certainly a Jossian trope of the highest order. But I love her character in spite of it because Summer Glau just sells the stunted 14-year-old girl inside her, as well as the pain involved in her struggle. Where I found Buffy to be a whiny annoyance, River's tragedy is very real and relatable.

There is no one on the crew I truly dislike, either. Book is the least interesting because he is kept deliberately opaque. If anything, issues I have arise only from writing and unaddressed hypocrisies.


This is refreshing. :) I like dumping on the mistakes of the show and not being able to come up with a truly unlikeable character is a nice reminder than Joss is just damn good at creating them.

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Friday, February 1, 2013 6:09 AM

BYTEMITE


I kind of hedge on Atherton - he's not a very original villain like Saffron or Jubal Early, but on the other hand I like that there's all these subtle hints that he's actually a sociopath. He has this charming facade that even manages to trick a companion with extensive training in psychology, but he's possessive, likes to control people, thinks of them as objects to further his social standing, and also clearly enjoys skewering his rivals in duels.

Atherton is kind of like a gigantic warning about what to be on the look-out for, but it's not done in a heavy-handed way. Which is a more realistic look at what a person like that would actually be like.

Rance on the other hand is the same exact character but without the superficial charm or subtlety.

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Friday, February 1, 2013 8:00 AM

AGENTROUKA


See, I would have adored subtle. But apart from the wave it's really more like a sledgehammer or misogyny and objectification, which is what bothered me. It makes Inara look incompetent, which can't be what they were going for.

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Friday, February 1, 2013 8:13 AM

SUASOR


One of the winning qualities was that even the villains were, if not likable, interesting and entertaining. I think Joss has always realized that quality baddies are important. Saffron, Badger, Niska and Jubal are all excellent examples.

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Friday, February 1, 2013 10:19 AM

FOLLOWMAL



I'm with ECGordon. Rance Burgess has to be my all time most hated character.
Even outside the Firefly verse. The same actor played a demon in Supernatural and I sure didn't like him much there either.

http://www.kidsneedtoread.org

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Friday, February 1, 2013 12:21 PM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by FollowMal:

I'm with ECGordon. Rance Burgess has to be my all time most hated character.
Even outside the Firefly verse. The same actor played a demon in Supernatural and I sure didn't like him much there either.

http://www.kidsneedtoread.org



THAT'S where I knew him from!!!!!

Thanks. I had been trying to figure out why I recognized old yellow eyes... (granted, I could have checked IMDB...)

And yeah, I suppose he'd get my vote as least favorite FF character, too.




Excuse me while I soak in all these sweet, sweet conservative tears.

"We will never have the elite, smart people on our side." -- Rick "Frothy" Santorum

"Goram it kid, let's frak this thing and go home! Engage!"

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Friday, February 1, 2013 5:57 PM

FOLLOWMAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:
Quote:

Originally posted by FollowMal:

I'm with ECGordon. Rance Burgess has to be my all time most hated character.
Even outside the Firefly verse. The same actor played a demon in Supernatural and I sure didn't like him much there either.

http://www.kidsneedtoread.org
]

THAT'S where I knew him from!!!!!

Thanks. I had been trying to figure out why I recognized old yellow eyes... (granted, I could have checked IMDB...)

And yeah, I suppose he'd get my vote as least favorite FF character, too.




Excuse me while I soak in all these sweet, sweet conservative tears.

"We will never have the elite, smart people on our side." -- Rick "Frothy" Santorum

"Goram it kid, let's frak this thing and go home! Engage!"



He does a lot of those evil characters and he's GOOD at it.
Yup, Ole Yellow Eyes, who started it all with Sammy.

*sigh* Sammy

Edited to add: Is there a Supernatural thread around here?

http://www.kidsneedtoread.org

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Friday, February 1, 2013 8:31 PM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
See, I would have adored subtle. But apart from the wave it's really more like a sledgehammer or misogyny and objectification, which is what bothered me. It makes Inara look incompetent, which can't be what they were going for.



Well, but I got the impression Inara has seen him maybe three times, and all those times the face she saw was charming wave Atherton. It took Mal for Atherton to drop the act.

Not everyone can pick out a subtle psychopath only after three dates. Even with her training.

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Saturday, February 2, 2013 1:42 AM

AGENTROUKA


We're already missing his charming side before Mal arrives, though. Inara is clearly put off by his blatantly sexual compliments ("All of them wish you were in their bed.") and attitude toward her work ("She blushes. Not many in your line of work do that.") or trying to tell her how to live her life ("You belong here, Inara, not on that flying piece of gos se.") and so on. You already know he's.. not a truly nice guy and has an arrogant, controlling side.

It's really very stark, the contrast to his wave.

I sort of like GillianRose's version in "The Misfortune" where the circumstances of their meeting are pretty dramatic and shrouded in an air of gratitude and distraction. That would justify to me why Inara never picked up on those things, so I incorporate it into my head canon.


I remain astonished that there are no characters I inherently hate, where I don't blame it on lazy writing. That's.. I'm baffled. It hinders my whining!

Hey, maybe we could do a thread where we talk about aspects of characters, especially the main cast, that we don't like? :)

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Saturday, February 2, 2013 8:19 AM

BYTEMITE


The question is, would Atherton's statements have really seemed so controlling and bad if you only saw up to before Mal shows up? Inara was starting to be hesitant, true, but compare Atherton's comments to something Kaylee might say to her.

Both Kaylee and Mal have commented that Inara's presence on Serenity is inexplicable, would probably comment if she blushed about something, and both Kaylee and Mal have talked about "her world" as something separate and better than Serenity.

It's Atherton's behaviour after Mal shows up that really shines a different light on everything, though there's a certain subtle vibe he has about it before then that hints at it that Inara starts to react to. So even though it seems obvious to us, I can see how it might not be obvious to Inara until right up to that party. So I do think it was pretty subtle.

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Saturday, February 2, 2013 9:04 AM

MOOSE


Quote:

Originally posted by FollowMal:


Edited to add: Is there a Supernatural thread around here?




One pops up every now and then in the Other SciFi Show forum. Great show, but I haven't kept up with it the past few seasons.

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Saturday, February 2, 2013 10:37 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
The question is, would Atherton's statements have really seemed so controlling and bad if you only saw up to before Mal shows up? Inara was starting to be hesitant, true, but compare Atherton's comments to something Kaylee might say to her.



They did strike me as that on first viewing. I distinctly remember rolling my eyes and going "He's evil. Meh." long before Mal showed up.

It's not only what he says but the way he says it, how he reacts to Inara and just the general vibe. Very different from Kaylee, where the fangirling is pretty obvious.

So for my own personal enjoyment it's necessary to think up an excuse for why Inara, who has met him before, never picked up on that trait of his. Obviously, my own opinion on this is the only correct one, so you must be wrong when you see it differently.

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Saturday, February 2, 2013 10:49 AM

BYTEMITE


I am actually bringing up the whole Atherton thing in my chapter I'm writing, but I was using the explanation I used. I have vested interest in trying to come up with a believable explanation for this, we should brainstorm.

Perhaps my problem is I'm coming from a direction where I've personally experienced emotional abuse from people I thought were nice and fun and charming for years, but they were manipulating me all along. And I like to think I'm not particularly dumb, so I like to think Inara had something similar going on with her and Atherton.

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Saturday, February 2, 2013 11:46 AM

AGENTROUKA


I see what you mean. I also think that Inara hasn't known Atherton for very long and he IS a client, albeit a charming one, so her own emotional investment should be pretty limited and her guard pretty high. Weeding the bad from the good is what she does, so the fail here - after at least one prior engagement - seems.. out of character. Even if his behavior was subtle, which I don't think it was, she's supposed to be High Priestess material, and they introduce us to her work by making her seem blind to his character after repeated exposure? Lazy writing to turn her into a damsel for Mal to defend.

I could buy that Inara IS aware of these tendencies and chose Ath for superficial reasons, and that she could reasonably manipulate him back outside of a dramatic influence like Mal. Which would play into the implication that she went ahead with their engagement after the duel challenge. She simply feels no personal threat from Ath, his attitude notwithstanding. This also jives with her telling Mal, "yes, you managed to push him into saying something" as well as "Because it's my decision, not yours."

That or GillianRose's scenario, where Inara was literally distracted when she met him. I like that scenario because there Inara's emotions blind her, not some inexplicable lack of perception.

Most curious about what your chapter will contain. :)

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Sunday, February 3, 2013 7:11 AM

EBFIDDLER


Characters I dislike:

Rance Burgess has very little in the way of redeeming qualities.

Tracey is a treacherous whiner, and stupid, too.

Atherton was never a good person, but he has been riding a wave of charm for a long time. Some people see through it (like Harrow, who dislikes Atherton immediately) but others are taken in. Charming people often get away with things, when someone whose manners were more blunt would be called on the carpet for exactly the same behavior. I think that Atherton is a fair representative of a certain kind of entitled-feeling person, a type who is not uncommon in Inara's world, and that's why he doesn't ring the alarm bells with her so much as he ought.

Having said that, I dislike Niska because he is just too over-the-top. I love Michael Fairman's performance of Niska, and I like the episodes that involve him, particularly War Stories, but the character smells too much of "supervillain" and is too comic-book-like for my taste. Evil insane crime boss with unlimited financial resources and evil henchmen who unfailingly do his evil bidding? Meh.

I love Saffron as a villain because her kind of evil is thoroughly life-like. I know people who are kinda like Saffron. She is the villain I love to hate.

Early, too, was a creepy and unique bad guy. Not a cardboard cut-out villain like Burgess or Officer Womack.

As far as main characters go, River-as-super-kick-ass-unstoppable-psychic-warrior-princess bugs me. River of the show is much more interesting to me than River of the movie. In my own fanfic, I tend to downplay the superhero tendencies they gave this character because it begets crap plots like "It's Never Easy." Now, if they'd write it so that her "super" powers were as much of a liability as an asset...I could go for that. But please don't give me "everyone else screws up and River saves the day with her super powers" for a plot. That I can only take in limited doses.

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Sunday, February 3, 2013 9:41 AM

BYTEMITE


Oooooh, I kind of like that it's hard for Inara to tell entitled rich guy from entitled rich sociopath until something challenges his dominance. Maybe?

Inara probably has to deal with her share of spoiled pampered adult brats in her job, but she probably sees that as harmless in limited doses, if a little shallow and superficial. Atherton might've seemed like more of the same, until he was provoked and the scary side came out.

Maybe her reaction when Atherton asked her to be her personal companion, or when he was making embarrassing inappropriate comments, maybe it wasn't fear or apprehension, but more of an inward "oh no, this again. *sigh*"

It would be in keeping with her response to Kaylee in the pilot episode after another spoiled rich kid fumbled some kind of proposal, and it would also explain why she was angry when Mal interrupted Atherton's creepy vibe - she thought it was more of the same, annoying, but not something from which she needed rescuing that might jeopardize her engagement.

Quote:

(like Harrow, who dislikes Atherton immediately)


Supposedly Harrow knew Atherton because they go to the same country club, but yeah, Harrow has been around Atherton enough and heard enough rumours that he has kind of a dislike for the guy, or maybe he saw some particularly bad behaviour from Atherton that made him think poorly of him. Atherton seems like the kind of guy if a waiter got his drink order wrong, he'd get nasty and throw the drink in their face and go on a long petty rant about it. And then probably refuse to tip or try to get the guy fired.

Quote:

I dislike Niska because he is just too over-the-top. I love Michael Fairman's performance of Niska, and I like the episodes that involve him, particularly War Stories, but the character smells too much of "supervillain" and is too comic-book-like for my taste.


Yes, I agree. Maybe not quite supervillain, there probably are guys like that in the criminal underworld, but I get what you're saying. With Niska, the way he was written became almost like a charicature.

Burgess was also a charicature, so also not very fond of him, but for some reason Burgess seemed more realistic than Niska.

Quote:

"It's Never Easy."


Yes. :( I think River is at her best writing when her powers are kind of scaring the bejesus out of everyone, and as such she's like a force of nature, you don't really know whether the backlash will be against the crew or their enemies. There should be concerns that River is almost as much as a liability as she is an advantage.

I really don't think River should ever be written as an easy "We win" button.

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Monday, February 4, 2013 5:58 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


I get a kick out of Niska, I think the comic book sadist super villain thing is fun and entertaining.

Eb's theory on Atherton is spot on. Inara is so used to snobby rich antics that she doesn't realize that this is something beyond the norm ... or is it.

I like it when River saves the day sometimes. But if she saves the day all the time it gets boring, I like it when everyone on the crew is doing interesting/helpful/story worthy things and all the attention isn't put on one person to the detriment of others. Plus stories that mainly focus on River are more likely to write her wrong eventually and make her stable/boring/cured/Mary Sue/they all mean the same thing to me, so I don't like those stories. But anyway a healthy dose of River saving the day sometimes is good but not too much please.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 4:55 AM

BYTEMITE


Bumped for more Firefly discussion. Also because this thread needs to fulfill it's ulterior purpose: that of helping me CONQUER THE WORLD- yeah not really.

But there are mad schemes at work here. Schemes about understanding various fan and fanfic phenomena that have been observed.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 6:33 PM

MANATEE

We're still flyin: 'Firefly' Lives!


Re: Inara & Atherton

It seems everyone thinks Inara does not see Wing for what he is. I think she does, especially after having been with him before, but goes with him because "It's the *only* party." and "*the* social event of the season"; a perfect opportunity to renew acquaintances and make new ones. I think she was willing to put up with a few days of Atherton's boorishness for the sake of "waving her flag" as it were. She probably sees Persephone as an oasis of refinement & civilzation compared to the border worlds where Serenity spends much of her time. Her occasional visits, with well-chosen stories and new songs from the frontier, could give her an added exotic attraction, too, drawing more-interesting clients her way.

Her title of "companion", like the ancient Greek "hetaira", implies much more than sex. Hetairai were well-educated, poets, philosophers, singers, teachers...and they chose their clients, as does Inara.

I enjoy the guild idea too, and the implication of the power it quietly wields. From the hints dropped in different episodes, you *really* do not want the companions' guild angry at you or your world.



-----
"Any sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."


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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 7:00 PM

EBFIDDLER


Manatee's got a great point, about Inara and Atherton and "the social event of the season." Inara's profession requires that she work her contacts, network, be seen in the right places. Have you ever been tempted to go on a date because of what the date was (tickets to [fill in interesting event here]) rather than who it was with? Inara complains to Mal often enough about NOT being seen in the right places (backwater moons without so much as a temple built), I imagine she'd recognize the professional value of appearing at this Persephone event, maybe enough to override any misgivings she had about Atherton.

Back on main topic of the thread: Characters you don't like.

I said before that I didn't like Tracey, because he's such a screw-up. I was telling my husband about this thread, and he said he liked Tracey, because he's a nuanced character. He is a screw-up, he's mixed up, he does a bad thing, but he's not 100% dislikable. He's also kinda sweet and charming, as well as making stupid mistakes.

Also, I could probably point out dislikable characteristics of each and every one of the main characters, even though I love them all so much. I think it's to the credit of Joss, the writers, and the actors that these characters came across as so complex and multi-layered. Despite this, I laughed (and sighed and shook my head) at Wish's comments about the 98-lb Wonder Woman trope. There are still stereotypes within Firefly. Just not as many as I've seen in other shows.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013 4:48 AM

MANATEE

We're still flyin: 'Firefly' Lives!


Reavers.

Don't care for them at all - too much of a random-bogeyman feel to them (but they have a great signature music when they first appear!). Their origin story doesn't work for me, and why wouldn't they have destroyed each other long ago? Is there a raving-psycho-cannibal code that says they can only attack victims who are not raving psycho cannibals? The idea of cooperation amongst them is hard to swallow. It's not as though they are simply pirates in space - that might be workable.

In the 'verse, travel between worlds conforms to basic Newtonian mechanics - no warp-drives here. Between any two worlds there is a set of "transfer orbits" that allow you to trade energy for time: if you take a low-energy, fuel-saving (read "cheap") orbit, it will take longer to get there than if you take a high-energy fast orbit. If you wanted to be a space pirate, you'd hang out near the slow orbits where bulk carriers would pass, much as our seafaring pirates haunted the sea-lanes of old.


-----
"Any sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."


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Thursday, February 21, 2013 2:46 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


I agree with you regarding their origin story being kind of anticlimatic, mainly because it only happened ten years ago and in order for Simon to have grown up hearing about them I reckon they'd be older than that, campfire stories during childhood etc. If it had happened 50 years ago that would have lent credibility. I also agree regarding the fact that it would probably be hard to get such rabid entities to cooperate. The only way that works is in an animalistic sort of way, like wolf packs etc. it might be possible if you look at it from that angle.

Where I disagree with you is in the idea that Reavers are a poor concept. I really enjoyed the concept of Reavers in the show and partly in the movie too, not seeing them though was way better, what you don't see is way scarier than what you do see in a context like that. having them be an off screen threat that is shadowy and little known and mysterious is better and scarier than actually seeing them.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Thursday, February 21, 2013 4:22 PM

EBFIDDLER


I'm with you in not liking Reavers. I don't mind having a vague, threatening, unseen menace that can come out of the Black and strike you when you're not expecting it -- that's a useful thing in a drama. But the Reavers themselves? Ick. I'd rather never see them. All kinds of unanswered questions about them, things that don't make sense, things that make me scratch my head, as a biologist, and say, oh really?

Also, I agree there'd be space-lanes, just like there were shipping lanes for seafarers. Not all parts of space are equally likely to contain spaceships!

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Thursday, February 21, 2013 5:15 PM

BYTEMITE


Joss wrote Miranda and Reavers as starting ten years ago to correspond with the start of the Unification War. If you squint, there's a suggestion there that the war was an attempt to cover up Miranda.

But yeah it does create continuity issues with Simon's comments. Unless Simon was being figurative and meant "campfire stories" in the same sense as "boogeymen."

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Friday, February 22, 2013 3:40 PM

MANATEE

We're still flyin: 'Firefly' Lives!


Sometimes I think better 'on paper'; what follows came from exploring the reavers as shown. (Haven't worked on the timing question.) My apologies if it rehashes old ground - I'm new to the 'verse, and know only the dvds & the BDM. Is there an official 'Firefly bible', that the writers would work from, available? I know some shows have had them, listing main characters, a little backstory, locales...be a handy thing to have, would it not?

Reavers, continued:
It's not the "not seeing them" that bothers me -- that just makes them scarier bad guys. If they were simply bad guys with a taste for plunder & human flesh, no problem. My difficulty is with the mindless frenzy they always are shown in.

If they decorate their ships with corpses as a matter of policy, it would fit. It's the equivalent of the Jolly Roger. If they are the ravening lunatics portrayed in the BDM, why waste all that food? Freeze-dried jerky, for hard times?

I have a hypothesis: Miranda--population 30 million; one-tenth of one percent goes hyper-aggressive from the pax in the air systems. There is a *range* of aggression induced within the 30,000 reavers-to-be. The worst-affected attack anything that moves, and are destroyed in self-defense by the reavers-that-are. The reavers-that-are only go full-on bats**t crazy when they have prey; otherwise they are sane enough (if you'll pardon the expression) to cooperate with each other. They are like the Norse berserkers who, in heat of battle-frenzy, could sustain and inflict unbelievable amounts of damage.

That would take care of my objections to the reavers; I was under the impression that they were in raving-lunatic mode all the time.



-----
"Any sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."


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Friday, February 22, 2013 5:16 PM

BYTEMITE


I could see that. I also kind of have the vibe from Reavers that they have a very tribalistic mentality - that they are humans after all, but they've turned too savage in just ten years for any of their actions to be anything but incomprehensibly violent to anyone else.

And that would also explain the putting victims on their ships, as certain cannibalistic tribes where known to use the bodies and bones of their enemies to construct both effigies, fetishes, and warnings.

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Thursday, February 28, 2013 5:30 AM

MANATEE

We're still flyin: 'Firefly' Lives!



What ifs--

This might need to be the start of a new thread, but it ties in with the reavers timeline discussion above:

What if 'Serenity' the BDM is just one of River's fever-dreams? --her mind attempting to integrate her knowledge of Miranda (and other things), her escape & reunion with Simon, and their new life on Serenity. That will explain the time problem regarding the reavers (dream time is notoriously unreliable); and does away with the conflicts with 'Serenity' the original pilot (which I regard as more-canonical than the BDM). It explains how an unarmed 90-pound girl could wipe out a room full of armed reavers (and be ready to start on a squad of armored heavily-armed Alliance troops). It also means Mr. Universe, Shepherd Book, and Wash are still alive, and gives the writers an opening for a revival of the show or another movie.

What if Shepherd Book is a member of the clandestine group that got River out of the clutches of Alliance mindbenders, into cryo, and delivered to Simon? That would explain some of the -- oddities -- in his knowledge and skill set.

-----
"Any sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."


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Thursday, February 28, 2013 6:40 AM

BYTEMITE


For that matter, what if Firefly is Mal's dying dream as he's laying in a ditch in Serenity Valley? He wakes up from a coma in a med-tent, Simon's the doctor, River's a tech specialist/assassin, Inara's a nurse, Wash is a pilot, Jayne's a mercenary, Kaylee's a mechanic, Book's a chaplain, and Zoe is still Zoe. It's a near thing but there's still a chance to win the war and expose Blue Sun for what they are.

All are fascinating ideas to explore, though I think if Joss tried to pull an "all a dream" on us for Firefly, the entire fandom might revolt. Unless it retconned the movie as a precognition River had, MIGHT be acceptable, though people might be slightly bothered that they paid to see a movie and spent two-ish hours watching something that never actually happened.

There's a fine line to walk.

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Thursday, February 28, 2013 7:14 AM

MANATEE

We're still flyin: 'Firefly' Lives!


That sounds like Ursula Leguin's "Left Hand of Darkness", done many years ago now.
Technically, all movies are "things that never happened", but I know what you mean. I wish the movie had been more consistent with the series.

-----
"Any sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."


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Thursday, February 28, 2013 7:44 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:

All are fascinating ideas to explore, though I think if Joss tried to pull an "all a dream" on us for Firefly, the entire fandom might revolt.



Maybe not. He pulled that with Buffy, essentially negating 6 years of storylines - and the fans just ignored it.




Excuse me while I soak in all these sweet, sweet conservative tears.

"We will never have the elite, smart people on our side." -- Rick "Frothy" Santorum

"Goram it kid, let's frak this thing and go home! Engage!"

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Thursday, February 28, 2013 8:00 AM

EBFIDDLER


Quote:

Originally posted by MANATEE:
Reavers, continued:
It's not the "not seeing them" that bothers me -- that just makes them scarier bad guys. If they were simply bad guys with a taste for plunder & human flesh, no problem. My difficulty is with the mindless frenzy they always are shown in.

/
I like Reavers better when they are an unseen menace. Seeing them in action makes them less scary, not more. When it's all in your head, what they COULD do...then they're truly scary.

Quote:

If they decorate their ships with corpses as a matter of policy, it would fit. It's the equivalent of the Jolly Roger. If they are the ravening lunatics portrayed in the BDM, why waste all that food? Freeze-dried jerky, for hard times?

Reavers use terror as a weapon, like Blackbeard, who just had to sail close to shore with the Jolly Roger flying and the townspeople would surrender their goods, just to avoid the fight, his reputation was so bad. Used terror as his first weapon, used violence only if the terror didn't work.

I have lots of other questions about Reavers, besides the freeze-dried jerky one!

Quote:

I have a hypothesis: Miranda--population 30 million; one-tenth of one percent goes hyper-aggressive from the pax in the air systems. There is a *range* of aggression induced within the 30,000 reavers-to-be. The worst-affected attack anything that moves, and are destroyed in self-defense by the reavers-that-are. The reavers-that-are only go full-on bats**t crazy when they have prey; otherwise they are sane enough (if you'll pardon the expression) to cooperate with each other. They are like the Norse berserkers who, in heat of battle-frenzy, could sustain and inflict unbelievable amounts of damage.


Here are some of the questions that bug me about Reavers, that I put into the mouth of one of the characters in my fanfic (apologies for the mix of headcanon with the questions relevant to this thread):

"They studied questions like, if Reavers fly without core containment, why don’t they all just die of radiation poisoning? Are there female Reavers?—there are, by the way—If there are female Reavers, are they perpetually raped? Or do the female Reavers also rape others? Can Reavers reproduce, or are their genes too severely damaged by the radiation for that to be possible? Since Reavers cut on themselves, why don’t they die of infections? Where do Reavers get fuel for their ships? What do they eat—strictly cannibals, or are they omnivores? Do they raid perpetually or just occasionally? How long do they live? Are there juveniles? Are Reavers enough different from other humans to be considered a separate species?”

Simon had never considered Reavers from a purely scientific standpoint—somehow, he’d been too busy worrying about the prospect of imminent death to consider them so abstractly—and his shock began to manifest itself in his expression.

Ip was continuing on in the same vein. “And since seeing the Miranda broadwave, I’m sure the researchers have added a few more questions, like, what triggers certain members of the population to turn Reaver and not others?”


And another question worth adding...Is Miranda really the only instance of Reaver-generation in the 'Verse? Because Simon talking about "campfire stories" when he was young indicates that they existed prior to 10 years earlier. And it doesn't make sense that Pax would be used on Miranda (30 million people) without a series of preliminary experiments to develop, refine, and (one would hope) test the safety and efficacy of the Pax compound. There should have been smaller-scale uses of Pax before Miranda. Perhaps some of those prior experiments failed as well? Then there would be Reavers, smaller waves of them, from previous instances of failed Pax experiments.



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Thursday, February 28, 2013 9:40 AM

MANATEE

We're still flyin: 'Firefly' Lives!


Not '--Firefly-- was all a dream.' but '*Serenity* (the BDM) was all a dream.' ---with a germ of truth in it.

Maybe an earlier test of pax used Shadow, Mal's homeworld. I don't remember anything in the series that says why it's no longer habitable.

Fun questions - my answers:
Radiation - not strong enough for major tissue damage, but cumulative exposure eventually shortens life.
Infections - radiation is strong enough to kill pathogens.
Raids - infrequent enough that the Alliance can get away with not acknowledging their existence; I suspect the Alliance uses fear of reavers to help keep outer rim worlds in line.
Fuel - from ships & settlements they take.
Separate species - no; see next
Reproduce - they *make* more reavers, as in "Bushwhacked". Juneniles are possible, any showing defects from radiation become snacks.
Eat - anything/anyone that cannot get away; usually cannibalism is a matter of culture & ritual, not a staple dietary practice; there have been exceptions: the Donner party, the Andes plane crash, the whaleship Essex,- all cases of the most extreme emergency.

-----
"Any sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."


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Thursday, February 28, 2013 9:40 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:
Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:

All are fascinating ideas to explore, though I think if Joss tried to pull an "all a dream" on us for Firefly, the entire fandom might revolt.



Maybe not. He pulled that with Buffy, essentially negating 6 years of storylines - and the fans just ignored it.







Point. Although he kind of ignored it too, for obvious reasons - interesting as the idea is that Buffy's just crazy and she's been in a hospital for six seasons, Joss isn't all that interested in writing stories about NORMAL crazy girls. He likes his supernatural elements and universe domination conspiracies.

Firefly has less of the supernatural element, and he'd have less to lose by doing a revert, but, I don't think he would, because I don't think most writers would. While doing that can open up new story potentials, you end up losing whatever effort you've put into the existing story by making it kind of irrelevant, you lose the emotional impact of the character deaths, you lose any character development... Anyway, there's just problems with it, and there's a reason why when it happens, the writers always have it happen at the end.

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Sunday, March 3, 2013 7:31 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


As someone who isn't a fan of the BDM I'd be perfectly happy with it being a dream. It could be anyone's dream though, it wouldn't necessarily have to be River's dream. I know whenever I have bad dreams (which is most of the time) I wake up and I feel sooooooooo relieved that it was just a dream, because during the dream I think its real, because I can't lucid dream, I've done it a couple of times but it never lasts for long, usually within the dream I lose the awareness I momentarily gained. But again that has only happened a handful of times, so I really think its all happening until I awaken and am so thankful it wasn't real.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Monday, March 4, 2013 4:49 AM

BYTEMITE


I could go either way with the "the movie was a dream," there's enough there that Joss could probably make it a plausible retcon if he started up the series again. And who said a series and it's movies always had to match up on the canonical relevance scale?

On the other hand, there's been character development in the comic books since that factor in the movie. And that would be lost if you retconned the movie.

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Monday, July 11, 2016 7:22 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


I really dislike the guys in the scrap station at the end of Our Mrs. Reynolds.
Nothing redeemable about them. They're going to destroy Serenity, turn it to scrap. And kill all the BDHs as well. Somehow, many people overlook Saffron's deviousness in this regard, but these guys can take the brunt of hatred.

Of the main characters, I always disliked Simon more than River. Partly because of how he treats Kaylee, but I think I just always liked River. She was the fragile innocent I wanted to be protected, from the Alliance and also from the Serenity crew.

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