Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mary's Rants - Discussion on Firefly Part I

Welcome Stanalei Fletcher, Doree Anderson, and Megan Smith to Mysteries and Margarita’s. Everyone grab a cuppa coffee, beverage of your choice or a glass of your favorite wine and relax. I’ve got the cheese and crackers out, help yourself.

This is a little different than usual, I’m not doing a one-on-one interview. I’m sure you’ve guessed by my guest list. Picture us gathered around a table or in someone’s living room having a discussion and the topic is Joss Whedon’s Firefly.

I heard about Firefly from Stanalei. I love Castle who had Nathan Fillion, Stanalei said ‘you have to watch Firefly.’ What the heck was that? So she let me borrow her DVD set of 4 and the movie Serenity. I watch each or so I thought, then one day—when my grandson was watching them--I realized that each DVD had 3 or 4 episodes. Actually he told me and I emailed Stanalei to verify. I only watched the first one of each. What can I say? I’m a dork. Needless to say I watched the rest.

In case, you are unfamiliar with Joss Whedon and particularly Firefly:
Release Date: September 20, 2002
Blurb: Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small, spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them.

Captain Malcom 'Mal' Reynolds is a former galactic war veteran who is the captain of the transport ship "Serenity". Mal his crew of hired transporters, Mal's ensign Zoe Warren, Zoe's husband, pilot Hoban 'Wash' Washburne, muscular former combat soldier Jayne Cobb, young engineer Kaylee Frye, former Alliance medical officer Simon Tamm, his teenage sister River (Both on-the-run from the Interplanetary government "The Alliance") the beautiful "companion" Inara Serra and religious man Shepard Book, do legal or illegal jobs (smuggling, protecting, guns-for-hire, robberies). As the Serenity crew travels across the outskirts of Outer Space for food, money, anything to make a living on, as The Serenity crew tries to stay under the radar of The Alliance and pulls dangerous jobs in the Alliance controlled star systems. 

And if you’re truly a fan: Everything you would ever want!

Mary: Can each of you tell us a bit about yourself, and what you do?

Stanalei: Thanks for the invitation, Mary. This is a great little gathering and wonderful refreshments.  Well, to start with, I’m an aspiring romance writer with a day job in computer software support. I love sci-fi stuff but don’t consider myself a hard core fan of all things sci-fi, (DUNE is still a bit beyond me), but if reruns of Stargate, Star Trek, Star Wars, and The Abyss are on TV, I’m there. I also recently picked an old series by the BBC called UFO. It’s sort of campy to watch now, but back in the day it was pretty hot stuff.

Doree: I’m giving writing the good ole American try.

Megan: I am a senior at Utah Valley University, majoring in Motion Picture Production.

Mary: Stanalei, I’m glad you like the refreshments, that’s the favorite part of any gathering for me. Megan, tell us a bit more than that about yourself. What do you like to read? Why did you go into Motion Picture Production? Doree, is that all you do? Come on guys facts! LOL

Megan: I like to read ‘good’ books. Anything that can keep me involved and put me in the protagonists shoes.  I didn’t like reading as a kid and started reading more in High School with the Harry Potter Series and The Princess Bride the Novel. I love classic books, such as Peter Pan and anything by Jane Austen, or things like that. I will admit to being a Twilight Fan but that is because of the BOOKS not the movies. (Stephanie Meyer proved that she can write when she wrote ‘The Host’ in my opinion.) And last but CERTAINLY not least…. I have just gotten into a new Author named Cassandra Claire, she writes sci-fi but very relatable, and deliciously sarcastic! If you are looking for a new series to get into I highly suggest “The Mortal Instruments.”
I got into Motion Picture Production in High School. I was in a video making club and continued on to college. I love this industry because it’s all about good writing if you have the prettiest movie in creation or the best sound or the best graphics or whatever you still have NOTHING unless you have a good script, and most good scripts come from good books. As a kid (as you will remember Mary not to date anyone or anything) I was very dramatic and I wanted to become an actress. Growing up and knowing the chances of that I looked into behind the scenes and I have found that I love it. Everything that goes on a movie or TV screen is made three times. Once on the page, once on the set, and once in the editing bay. I love seeing a project go from just a thought to a realization!

Doree: You’re right. Life would be too easy if I just wrote. I, like all of us do, maintain a household. But, I spend a lot of time tending my grandkids and husband. Grandkids turn out to be easier.

Mary: Megan, I seem to remember you as a drama queen, just kidding. Doree, grandkid watching is very important!

How did you first hear about Joss Whedon?

Stanalei: Doree you and Mary are the best grandparents. And Megan, that’s a fascinating insight into the movie making.  Actually I didn’t clue into Joss Whedon until after I started watching Firefly on Fox TV. (YES! I actually got to see the original series as it aired each week before they canceled it.) It wasn’t until after it was canceled and I found the DVD series that I learned Mr. Whedon was the creator of Buffy-The Vampire Slayer. I rather liked those early shows too, but never really got into the later seasons with Spike. Since then, I’ve kept an eye on what he’s been up to. Loved Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog that was an Internet sensation- even bought the DVD when it was released.

Doree: When we were up in Park City for the retreat; you, Stanalei and Lisa were talking about, my not so secret love, Nathan Fillian and how you all felt that he did a wonderful job in Firefly.

Megan: You guys missed years of enjoyment then. I was first introduced to Joss Whedon with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Series. It became sort of a ritual in our house for me and my sisters to make Tuesday nights the most important. I watched all of that Series and All of Angel faithfully!

I feel so out of it, I clued in a bit before Doree! What else have you seen on screen from Joss Whedon?

Stanalei: The above mentioned, Buffy and Dr. Horrible, but also, last season Fox aired another of his shows, Dollhouse. It was a fun premise, but was once again canceled. Only this time the network seemed to let them wrap up the story line.  I didn’t much care for how the ending seemed rushed, though. Also, did you know that Mr. Whedon wrote the final installment of the Alien series- ALIEN: RESURRECTION? I was watching the series recently and there he was on the credits.

Mary: Stanalei, why do you think Joss has such bad luck with his shows being canceled?

Stanalei: I really don’t know. Buffy had a great run, but like all things, it ran its course.  And look at the genre it inspired in today’s market. If you throw a wooden stake in a bookstore, you’re going to hit a vampire novel. I wonder if he’s just enough ahead of the curve from the rest of us that he’s leading the way for great things to come. I love Mr. Whedon’s imagination and maybe it’s just something that has grown on the masses.

Doree: I wish I could’ve been more up to date on Fantasy. Unfortunately, Firefly is my first venture into the world of Joss Whedon.

Doree, you’ve never seen Dr. Horrible or any of the other things?

Doree:  Dr. Horrible. Oh, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing that when the actors went on the special strike. Neil Patrick Harris is a hoot. He and Fillion were well matched. If Joss Whedon is responsible for that, he is a walking god.

Megan: Toy Story (you can tell where the demented toys come from as soon as you know that he worked on the screenplay), Buffy, Angel, Dr Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog, Dollhouse. He is also going to write the new “Avengers” movie and direct and I hear that Nathan Fillion is going to be in that too Doree!
Mary: Okay putting Avengers on my list to watch for! Megan you’re the one studying in that industry, do you have any thoughts on the cancellations?

Megan: Only that I cry myself to sleep every time I think about it. (insert sniffle here)  Like Stanalei, I watched Firefly when it was first on FOX out of love for Joss because I had been watching Buffy for years so I felt an obligation and anticipation for a new Joss Whedon show. The reason that show was canceled, in my person opinion is because FOX screwed Joss over! If you have/rent/Netflix/buy/watch the series now you will see that the Pilot of the series is called “Serenity” and that the second episode is “The Train Job.” I didn’t even know that “Serenity” (the pilot episode) existed before the DVD’s came out. Fox showed “The Train Job” first, while “Serenity” is the total character building of the entire series, wasn’t shown until after FOX announced the cancellation. That pilot episode makes you care about those characters. I remember watching “The Train Job” being so confused and eventually stopped watching because I didn’t care about them. FOX did an injustice by cutting this series short.

To be continued tomorrow, August 27th…


Kari Lee Townsend said...

what a fascinating discussion. Now I have some shows to watch on Netflix. I never did see Buffy or Firefly, but you make me want to now. Thanks!

Carole said...

Serenity and Firefly are at the least yearly watched in our house and sometimes more. Loved the writing. We also like Dr. Horrible and Castle. I am not sure we love Fillion or Joss but we love, love, loved the series.

Taryn Kincaid said...

I adore Rick Castle, but I've only seen bits and pieces of Serenity. Must watch it from beginning to end one of these days. So sorry I missed the Firefly series.

Mary Martinez said...

Firefly is a must if you're going to watch Serenity.

Carole, I love Fillion but only because of Firefly. LOL.

Kari you do need to get the series, even my husband loved it.

Mary Martinez said...

Firefly/Serenity fans, what is your favorite line?

What is your favorite scene?

My favorite scene is Kaylee and the strawberry.

Carole said...

"Doesn't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?"

Book: "Yes, it's quite specific, but it's a little fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps."

Mary Martinez said...

Carole! Great one. Thanks. Now who else wants to step up?

Lindsay said...

I love watching Serenity/Firefly. Whenever it comes on TV I make a point of watching the show. Castle is a really big favorite of mine. Of course, Becket aka Nicky Heat isn't hard on the eyes.

Liz Lipperman said...

First off, thanks to all of you for a wonderful discussion. I have to admit to not being a sci-fi advocate and haven't seen any of the shows you've mentioned. I do love Castle, though, as that is more mystery -whodunnit.

That's not to say I won't watch one of these episodes if I ever see it as a rerun. You girls have tickled my curiosity.

Megs said...

"If you take sexual advantage of her, you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater." — Shepherd Book

I always think that people are going to the special hell when they are talking during a movie!

stanalei said...

Thanks for having us over, Mary. Love the comments. Shiny!
And I'm not sure how to put this because it seems counter to what everyone thinks... But Firefly isn't about sci-fi---I promise. It's about people.
Find the DVDs or rent them. Worth the effort.
Will try to check back later.

Mary Martinez said...

Megs, that's one of my favorites too. When I read your comment I pictured Shepherd as said that.

Stanalei you're so right Whedon makes you care about his characters. That's what I want to learn to do with mine.

Alice Trego said...

I really liked reading this interview, Mary, and the three-way discussion about Firefly was fun and fantastic!

I learned something new and 'met' some great people!

Thanks for sharing, gals!