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Author Topic: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon  (Read 33188 times)

BlueMark

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #50 on: 07 Mar 2011, 18:53 »

IMHO casting Grace Park is always a good idea. But it would be a shame to have lost Jewel.

I suspect that had the series lasted more than a half season, Joss would have explored beyond the backward (American) Outer Worlds and we'd have seen more of the Asian side of the Alliance. There are some rumors that Daniel Dae Kim, who had a recurring role on Whedon's Angel was considered for a recurring role on Firefly had the series continued.  
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Akima

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #51 on: 07 Mar 2011, 19:27 »

It really sounds like something broke in Firefly's creation, and if I ever do  see it, the racial makeup will certainly be in my thoughts, rather than just being a nagging feeling at the back of my mind that something's wrong.
Then my work here is done. :-) 
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snubnose

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #52 on: 08 Mar 2011, 01:41 »

Err, I am astonished that anyone would bash Firefly.

Also for all the wrong reasons.



[...] I can rarely resist an opportunity to slam Firefly for its ignorant and pointless ripping off of Chinese language and culture. And the fact that only one East Asian actor was given any lines. In one episode in the entire series. In a minor role. As a prostitute. Yes, I am prejudiced by Firefly's neo-colonialist (to put it generously) attitude that "stuff" from China, Japan etc. is cool (though not so much that they get it right of course), but the people are not. [...]
I never met anyone before who believed that Firefly, just because it contains some Mandarin dialogue, would be about China. The severe lack of asian actors is kind of a hint there. Also, if you just watch the series and have no idea how Mandarin sounds, you never get any clue the language is Mandarin, or rather is supposed to be Mandarin.

For according to sources in the internet, its spelling is so badly that real chinese people have a very hard time understanding it. But guess what, its the same for german dialogue spelled by american actors when I watch the english movies. For example, "True Blood" contains some "german" dialogues. Spoken by american actors who obviously really have no clue about german, only kind of repeat the sounds they learned. And yes, theres no germans in True Blood, either.

So do I complain that True Blood says germans arent cool ? Nope, that idea never crossed my mind. Granted, if you choose to include Mandarin or german or whatever in your movies, you might want to make sure the spelling is accurate. Simply for the coolness factor.

Again, you're saying that: if a movie contains anything chinese, it has to be about China. I dont follow this logic. I never viewed the spoken Mandarin in Firefly being anything else but fluff. In fact I didnt knew what it is before I read about it from secondary sources.

Also, you might want to watch the cinema movie. The main villain there is chinese (well, asian - its not like I would be able to tell the difference between a chinese, a japanese, or a person from, say, Taiwan), and I dont think he lacks anything in respect of coolness.



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snubnose

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #53 on: 08 Mar 2011, 01:45 »

Ouch.

Much written in this thread ...

... no time right now to read that all.
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #54 on: 08 Mar 2011, 02:39 »

Also, you might want to watch the cinema movie. The main villain there is chinese (well, asian - its not like I would be able to tell the difference between a chinese, a japanese, or a person from, say, Taiwan), and I dont think he lacks anything in respect of coolness.
Assuming you mean the Firefly-sequel movie Serenity, are you talking about the Operative?  The character played by Chiwetel Ejiofor?
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Odin

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #55 on: 08 Mar 2011, 02:59 »

Ouch.

Much written in this thread ...

... no time right now to read that all.

You might want to delete your other posts and RTFT, then. You're wrong on several points and the ones you aren't directly wrong on have already been covered.

The Operative in the Serenity movie, for one, is British. How can you fuck up and think that guy was asian?

Carl-E

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #56 on: 08 Mar 2011, 04:39 »

Oh Snubnose, you never disappoint!  Your lack of understanding about anyone not like yourself is like a shining jewel of obtuseness in a world of cultural sensitivity. 


Never change, dude. 



We need the target practice...
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #57 on: 08 Mar 2011, 08:54 »

It really sounds like something broke in Firefly's creation, and if I ever do  see it, the racial makeup will certainly be in my thoughts, rather than just being a nagging feeling at the back of my mind that something's wrong.
Then my work here is done. :-)  

See, this I do not agree with.

Watch something and then dissect the hell out of it if you want, but to watch something new and not be able to like/dislike it based on how it made you feel/think, is just bullshit in my book. The point of most tv shows/movies, aside from making money, is to entertain. Are we now to make a checklist of things to watch for before we sit down to see any new show? Check off any time we catch a hint of racism, nationalism, sexism, ageism, sizeism, whatever other ism we are told is wrong? And not just by your definition of them, but what someone else has defined them as? What would be the point of watching anything at all?


I'm not going to be hypocritical and act like I've never been bothered when someone in a movie or tv show is supposed to be speaking/writing in my native tongue and it's an ungrammatical mess or wondered why they couldn't just have cast someone who was a native speaker, but I don't think that necessarily negates any entertainment value that the movie or show may have. At least, it doesn't for me. I remember as a young child that the only people I generally saw who looked like me were all cleaning ladies, laborers, prostitutes, criminals, junkies and caricatures at best.


I'm giving the spellchecker a workout today. I'm running on 3 hours of sleep and my dyslexia is really working it today.
« Last Edit: 08 Mar 2011, 09:22 by maddness »
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Carl-E

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #58 on: 08 Mar 2011, 10:04 »

I think my point was missed...

Something would  nag at me, seeing non-asians in an asian-appropriated world using asian slang/curses.  I'd still watch for the entertainment value, and if it were well written, I'd appreciate that.  I'd also lambaste the hell out of any cheesy special effects, and fume over glaring errors in physics.  It's part of who I am, and what i bring to a viewing.  My kids knew full well about the controversial casting in Airbender, but as fans went to see it anyway, and were greatly entertained, cultural insensitivity notwithstanding (I should point out that my "kids" are full grown adults). 

This conversation has merely brought it out a little more, and made me aware of one of the shortcomings the series had.  It is, at best, a sidenote, a detail in the created "world" that may or may not help me suspend disbeleif.  A compelling enough story, well written, can easily overcome such shortcomings and provide escapism without the extra trappings, even though culturally correct casting would help build the believable atmosphere. 

What I'm saying is, there's no checklist.  Knowing this ahead of time won't decrease my ability to be taken away by a good story.  It's just a shame they couldn't have done it right
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shiroihikari

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #59 on: 08 Mar 2011, 11:57 »

Quote from: Maddness
The point of most tv shows/movies, aside from making money, is to entertain. Are we now to make a checklist of things to watch for before we sit down to see any new show? Check off any time we catch a hint of racism, nationalism, sexism, ageism, sizeism, whatever other ism we are told is wrong? And not just by your definition of them, but what someone else has defined them as? What would be the point of watching anything at all?

This is how I feel about it.  Lately, I feel like I can't talk about entertainment with anybody anymore without hearing complaints of how the show is a piece of shit due to some -ism or other.  I don't watch television and movies to combat social issues.  I watch television and movies to temporarily forget about how much life sucks, and to be entertained, and to have fun goddammit.  I care about social issues but I don't pretend for a minute that demanding my entertainment be completely free of every kind of -ism is actually going to change the world for the better.  Stories are typically about characters and characters are sometimes sexist, racist, and whatever other -ist, just like real people. 

Quote from: akronnick
I think the majority of Firefly's problems were due to the fact that they were trying to make a space opera for network television.

That rarely works, and the fact that the network in question was owned by Rupert Murdoch probably didn't help.

The show had many good ideas, including the Asian fusion design concept, which were not followed through with.

What resulted was a mediocre show with decent special effects and a better than average ensemble cast, but was never able to carry through with its potential due to not being able to live up to unreasonable network expectations.

If it had been done three years later and on a cable network, it could have been Battlestar Galactica.

Did we see the same show...?
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #60 on: 08 Mar 2011, 12:42 »

Is anyone arguing that it's not entertaining?
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Odin

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #61 on: 08 Mar 2011, 12:47 »

Firefly was fun to watch once, in the same way that Drive Angry was fun to watch. It was a train wreck.

Anyone that seriously argues "just turn your brain off and enjoy it, maaaan" should do the world a favor and shut their brain off, permanently. If it wasn't for that "self-important drivel" none of your favorite shows today would even exist.

Whedon's first job as a script writer was that he was on the team responsible for Roseanne, let that sink in for a fucking minute and realize how that reflects on the rest of his work since then.

Roseanne.  :psyduck:

Okay, this is just dumb:

No, because it is the single most entertaining thing in the world, you can't argue against that.

Sinfest comics are more entertaining than Firefly.
« Last Edit: 08 Mar 2011, 18:21 by Odin »
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shiroihikari

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #62 on: 08 Mar 2011, 12:50 »

Firefly was fun to watch once, in the same way that Drive Angry was fun to watch. It was a train wreck.

Anyone that seriously argues "just turn your brain off and enjoy it, maaaan" should turn their brain off with loaded pistol. If it wasn't for that "self-important drivel" none of your favorite shows today would even exist.

Whedon's first job as a script writer was that he was on the team responsible for Roseanne, let that sink in for a fucking minute and realize how that reflects on the rest of his work since then.

Roseanne.  :psyduck:

Okay, this is just dumb:

No, because it is the single most entertaining thing in the world, you can't argue against that.

Sinfest comics are more entertaining than Firefly.

So...what you're saying is Joss Whedon stole your girlfriend and then ran over your dog.  Am I right?
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Carl-E

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #63 on: 08 Mar 2011, 13:10 »

PS: I really have to stop reading things in comic discussion, it makes me stupid.

Are you sure what you read is the problem? 

Your three posts, taken together, are one of the biggest fan-based knee-jerk reactions to criticism I've ever seen.  I'm pretty sure you didn't actually read this thread at all, but if you did, it clearly happened while your brain wasn't engaged. 

Oh, and that's a really  bad use of Occam's razor.  The simplest  argument is the most likely to be true, not the most elegant (though simplicity and elegance often go hand in hand). 

The set designer was told  to incorporate Chinese elements.  The writers were told  to use Chinese for curses.  How much harder is it for a director to tell  the casting crew to at least get a mix of asian-looking actors?  Remember, ultimate responsibility for the final product falls to the director/producer.  You're assuming the simplest answer is that casting was done without  the same consideration for world building that went into the sets and dialogue, and dammit, that's just silly! 

What's much more likely is that the Chinese veneer was decided on after  casting was already done.  And that's just fucking sloppy and irresponsible, even for network TV. 
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Carl-E

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #64 on: 08 Mar 2011, 13:20 »

Oh, I see.  Not a fan. 








Just a gnome*, then. 


*  like a troll, only smaller and not as bright. 
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #65 on: 08 Mar 2011, 13:30 »



I personally really enjoy Firefly, and I see the Chinese elements to be like Yiddish in Jewish communities. Everyone knows it, can kinda read it, but it's not quite Hebrew and not quite Russian. We call our grandmas bubbes and the rest of you goyim.
It's evolved past what it is today and been butchered for centuries.
The Firefly universe has the Chinese culture in Ebonics and there's been so many generations to create no pure Asians anymore. Seeing a Ginger is super rare, he's a mutant.

I think you're forgetting when this was made, it was when FRIENDS was still winning Emmys. The Asian actors of the time were kinda limited to Lucy Liu and Jackie Chan in hollywood. This was before Sandra Oh moved from Canada, before Masi Oka quit visual effects, before Lost, Heroes, and the end of Will and Grace. Even though there are millions of Asian actors in Asia,  but in 2001 when they were casting, there's only 12 percent of Los Angelese population that identified as Asian. That's not Chinese though, that's Philipino, Japanese Korean, Loatian, Vietnamese among others. Now, considering how many people want their child to be actors, I'd say that reduces that number to single digit percentiles. You're looking for Chinese (preferred) actors in 2002 for a highly performance driven show?

I'm willing to live with Ben Kingsley as Gandhi, Yul Brenner as the King of Siam, and Firefly having the Asian traits be genetically recessive over centuries for good performances.
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brew

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #66 on: 08 Mar 2011, 14:26 »

As a final and somewhat less trollish response to this thread:
You're blowing this way out of proportion, it's not as if they represented Chinese culture as the bucktoothed goofball kind, or worse, like the Japanese in world war II, as "The yellow peril." I think we all know there was no racist/orientalist intent in firefly. So, while Akima's point is valid in one sense, is Firefly teaching us that the Chinese are of no consequence whatsoever? No, it's telling us that China, alongside America end up being the most important cultural influence in the world and beyond it. Surely that is empowering (I hate that word, but I'll use it here anyway) to Chinese people, even if, because of oversights, they don't appear in speaking roles all that often.

You're in Belgium; have you ever even met a Chinese person before?
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AlmostLiterally

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #67 on: 08 Mar 2011, 14:35 »

As a final and somewhat less trollish response to this thread:
You're blowing this way out of proportion, it's not as if they represented Chinese culture as the bucktoothed goofball kind, or worse, like the Japanese in world war II, as "The yellow peril." I think we all know there was no racist/orientalist intent in firefly. So, while Akima's point is valid in one sense, is Firefly teaching us that the Chinese are of no consequence whatsoever? No, it's telling us that China, alongside America end up being the most important cultural influence in the world and beyond it. Surely that is empowering (I hate that word, but I'll use it here anyway) to Chinese people, even if, because of oversights, they don't appear in speaking roles all that often.

I agree. China and America are two of the strongest nations in the world. In the Firefly 'Verse, they are the ones who had the biggest influence on the Alliance, and without the strong border lines of Earth, cultures became more mixed on the new plants, hence both Chinese and English being common languages.

I don't see the parallel between Reavers and Native Americans. I always thought of Reavers as space zombies. Mindless and savage. The Native Americans were not mindless or savage. So, I don't see it.

As for Confederate vs. Union...yeah, I do see that, but only in that attitudes and advantages of each side, not what they were fighting for. While there are similarities, the Independents are not Confederates, and the Alliance is not the Union.

To the pseudofeminism thing...well, I'm not going to look at Buffy, because I don't watch it. I'm not defending Whedon, I'm defending Firefly. I don't really see it. The article someone posted a on the first page argues that strong female characters who end up as Damsels in Distress anyway are bad characters. But that is not how Firefly is. I'd say all of the characters, minus Simon and Kaylee, are about equally tough (except for River). The women are not unrealistically strong or powerful (Again...River), nor do they end up as damsels in distress. Zoe is experienced from being a soldier, she ends up being a large part of fighting off the Reavers. Inara can handle herself with a sword or a crossbow because of Companion training. River, once again, is freaking River. Her strengths come with huge downsides.

Kaylee is...well, she's the one that gets slapped to get a reaction. But so is Simon on occasion.

I think a lot of the attacks on Firefly are because people who would have been simply neutral to the show get tired of hearing constant praise. And I can understand that, if that is the case. In all honesty, I don't think Firefly is THE BEST THING EVER. One or two of the episodes had some pretty mediocre writing ('Out of Gas' is the one I am thinking of in particular. The writing in it seemed very weak and strung together. But I find the rest of the writing good or fantastic with the exception of the villains in 'Heart of Gold', who I think the writers put too much effort in to making us hate). But the fact that it was canceled only fourteen episodes in makes it stand out a bit more, and makes me feel more defensive of it. And it really is a fantastic show. Entertaining, good acting, interesting concept. And really, it is more fun to be all "OHMAHGOSHBESTEVER" about it than to simply say "Yeah, it's a good show." As long as you aren't insulting others for not liking it or trying to force it on others, I don't see the harm in "fangirling".
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #68 on: 08 Mar 2011, 17:25 »

(moderator)Thin ice, people.(/moderator)
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Akima

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #69 on: 08 Mar 2011, 17:33 »

Chinese sets are cool, chinese cursing is cool (And necessary, as pointed out more than a few times) and chinese actors simply are not. I can't stand kung fu movies because of that incontrovertible fact.
And this pretty much sums up why I'm suspicious of Firefly fans. On the whole, they seem fully to buy into, and indeed explicitly support, the show's implicit attitude to Chinese people.

You're blowing this way out of proportion, it's not as if they represented Chinese culture as the bucktoothed goofball kind, or worse, like the Japanese in world war II, as "The yellow peril." I think we all know there was no racist/orientalist intent in firefly. So, while Akima's point is valid in one sense, is Firefly teaching us that the Chinese are of no consequence whatsoever? No, it's telling us that China, alongside America end up being the most important cultural influence in the world and beyond it. Surely that is empowering (I hate that word, but I'll use it here anyway) to Chinese people, even if, because of oversights, they don't appear in speaking roles all that often.
"All that often"? One East Asian actor appears in a minor speaking role in the entire series. I don't know what the intentions of Firefly's creators were. I judge what they put on the screen.

I actually am an ethnic Han, born in China, now living in Australia. I hope you will forgive me if I don't think I need advice on what I should find "empowering" about representations on television of Chinese language, culture and people. I certainly find nothing "empowering" about the attitude that Chinese stuff is cool, but Chinese people are not. That was the attitude of 19th century European collectors of Ming porcelain, Tang bronzes etc. who certainly admired Chinese "stuff" in their Orientalism, but would never have admitted Chinese people into their homes, except perhaps as servants.

The Firefly universe has the Chinese culture in Ebonics and there's been so many generations to create no pure Asians anymore.
The "interbreeding has removed obvious Asians (while mysteriously leaving European and African physiognomies essentially untouched)" argument doesn't hold water. There are plenty of obvious Asian faces on Firefly. As nameless extras doing stereotyped Asian-y things in the background. But Asian characters? Not so much.

Quote
I think you're forgetting when this was made, it was when FRIENDS was still winning Emmys.
The Green Hornet, Star Trek, and Hawaii Five-O included Asian actors in their main casts in the 1960s. Since then many TV shows have managed to include Asian actors in their main casts or in character roles. Firefly was launched in 2002. The "there are no Asian actors" excuse is pretty thin. It's a matter of priorities.
« Last Edit: 08 Mar 2011, 18:45 by Akima »
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #70 on: 08 Mar 2011, 18:12 »

The Firefly universe has the Chinese culture in Ebonics and there's been so many generations to create no pure Asians anymore.
The "interbreeding has removed obvious Asians (while mysteriously leaving European and African physiognomies essentially untouched)" argument doesn't hold water. There are plenty of obvious Asian faces on Firefly. As nameless extras doing stereotyped Asian-y things in the background. But Asian characters? Not so much.

Yeah, that statement bothered me, too.  Especially since the most notable ethnic asian featuress (coarse straight black hair and epicanthic folds) are dominant genetic traits.  They'd be everywhere, not nowhere. 

Which is why they're all over Asia! 
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #71 on: 08 Mar 2011, 18:21 »

So...what you're saying is Joss Whedon stole your girlfriend and then ran over your dog.  Am I right?

No, I'm saying Joss Whedon is a pathetic screen writer and not, in fact, the second coming of Christ that some of his fans on the internet make him out to be.

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #72 on: 08 Mar 2011, 19:47 »

Once again, I bring up my Yiddish theory.
It's in our traditions, in our jewelry, in our nicknames, and we know when to pay respect to somebody. But does it really effect how we live on a daily basis? Not really.
When they say America and China have blended together, I'm really thinking its leaning towards America's melting pot ideals and our eventual apathy for specific details.

As for the Asian dominated traits, hey, I threw it out there because it makes sense when I look at Asian mixes. I've known Brazilian/Koreans, Mexican/Koreans, Chinese/White, Japanese/White, and one or to Blasians, with everyone I personally met, the Asian traits were not as dominant, they were there definitely, but definitely blended. Even less so when one grandparent is Asian. The exceptions being with those with half white/ half Filipino (my nieces included).

In reality, I'm simply trying to ease the tension for you with a made up theory, because I DEEPLY hate it whenever people get touchy about race in media. I understand the frustration, but what then happens is Affirmative Action miscasting. To be perfectly honest, they probably thought Summer Glau was indistinguishable race-wise (yes, I know she's white) that she would be neutral.  I bring up Friends was on air because that is what comedy was and what people thought of America. That has got to be the whitest show ever. Firefly had not one, not two, but three well spoken main characters that weren't sassy that had a background that wasn't Western European was impressive at the time. The world of Film takes baby steps towards equality. It has one film every few years that throws racism in our face, and then takes its time easing the bigots into new accepting ways. It's not right, but that's how it works in LA.

FOR GOD SAKES,THAT WAS THE YEAR CHRISTINA AGUILERA WAS IN HER DIRRTY VIDEO AND ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.

I'm not saying it was right, but I'm not going to throw torches and cry that it was stupid due to the inability to find a suitable Chinese actor.  Just like I'm not going to be upset that a Russian played the King of Siam, or wiith Morgan Freeman playing what was supposed to be an Irishman's role because they were all damn good at it.

By the way, I'm actually quite "eh" about Joss Whedon, I'm more of a Bryan Fuller/Tim Minear fangirl.

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« Last Edit: 08 Mar 2011, 20:16 by hannahsaurusrex »
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #73 on: 08 Mar 2011, 20:55 »

I'm a huge fan of Joss Whedon's shows. I'm also a brown person. I've always thought he had a problem with race in his shows.

Seven seasons of Buffy. Six seasons of the only people of color being either murdered quickly (goodbye Kendra) or evil from the start (Hello Mr. Trick, Forrest, random vamps and demons). They weren't even cool enough kinds of evil to last more than an episode or three. And I noticed. And I was not amused. By the time they got to season seven with Robyn Wood, the writers were so aware of the problem they thought it would be funny to leave his character in limbo, so we didn't know if he was evil or not until three quarters of the way through the season. Because the assumption was, if the person was black, they were evil or they were gonna die. They were the red-shirts. Also Robyns only love interests were white women (not a huge problem but seriously, he couldn't be attracted to a sistah or an asian or a mexican? Oh waaaait, he couldn't because there weren't any women of color anywhere in the cast).

Also don't get me started on the excellent character Gunn, that he ruined on Angel. Who also only ever dated/hung out with white chicks. Why was the brotha the one who became stupid?

Yeah, it pisses me off. But it pissed me off in the same way that horror movies make me mad, because they cast minorities as cannon fodder. A quick death to rile everyone up and meet their race quotas. It pisses me off the way Avatar pissed me off because I'm tired of movies where white people rescue the poor savages from OTHER WHITE PEOPLE.

The state of race on television and in movies still COMPLETELY SUCKS.

That said, I was endlessly amused by Firefly and I liked Serenity an awful lot. It's Joss's dialogue I love. It's crisp and fast and reminds me of old movies and stage plays where everything was just so snappy.

You can fanwank it any way you like, but there WERE problems with the way race was portrayed on all of his shows. Mostly because there are problems with the way race is usually portrayed on television and in movies.

*That said, isn't it strange how limited our perceptions are? I found myself acutely aware of the problems on Buffy and Angel with regards to the lack of diversity but I really didn't think about the lack of Asians on Firefly which was based in a world where China and US were the dominating/melded cultures. Wow, hello ethnocentrism.  I feel like a jerk now.
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #74 on: 08 Mar 2011, 21:06 »

Actually, Hannersaurus' post got me to double check, and I was wrong about the epicanthic fold.  It appears to be genetically neutral, neither dominant not recessive, randomly showing to a varying degree when one parent has it. 

I think what's bothering me about this thread is not about the casting of Firefly, or anything else about the show - hell, like I said before, I've never seen it.  What's bothering me is the reaction of the Firefly supporters.  Rather than acknowledging a problem with the show and saying, "OK, but it was still really cool for this  reason", they choose to defend what appears to be the show's main weakness, a poor casting decision.  It's not exactly something that can be fixed at this point.  But it shouldn't be rationalized away either, nor should it be defended by calling the people who point it out names, or by claiming that they're calling names (at this juncture, I need to point out that the only people who actually used the terms racism and racist were the defenders of the show, not those who pointed out the problem). 

The mere fact that the problem has rationalizations is enough to support the fact that there is a problem, and that even the fans recognize that there's a problem.  After all, who needs an explanation for a problem that doesn't exist? 

Accept it and move on.  Tell us what was good  about the show, including the attempts to fuse the cultures.  Don't attack people who point out a weakness, that's just being offensively defensive.  Instead, tell us about the show's strengths!  Give me a reason to spend my precious time watching it.  Something a little more cogent than "firefly is the best thing ever". 

EDIT:  The post that was put up while i was typing is an excellent  start.  Thank you, innermoppet! 
« Last Edit: 08 Mar 2011, 21:10 by Carl-E »
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #75 on: 08 Mar 2011, 21:19 »

Subverted tropes ("this is something the Captain has to do for himself"), an apparently simple but actually enigmatic lead character ("I've seen so many versions of you"), snappy dialog, and Kaylee.
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #76 on: 08 Mar 2011, 22:54 »

Carl-E, I'm not going to tell you it's the best thing ever, but it is definitely worth watching.

I personally love dark sarcastic character shows with heart. Examples being Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Community, and Northern Exposure as some of my favorite programs of all time.

This show fits in nicely with those. They are ensemble shows, where everyone when given the chance to shine, does. (Except for Inara, I hated that character) I don't know if you want details about the deep bonds of love, honor, or shared trauma, if you want to know that this show is clever without becoming too smug, or that it really does have a feeling of no one is safe, even if everyone kinda is. But once again if you like the above shows, you'll probably like Firefly.
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #77 on: 09 Mar 2011, 00:30 »

In reality, I'm simply trying to ease the tension for you with a made up theory, because I DEEPLY hate it whenever people get touchy about race in media. I understand the frustration, but what then happens is Affirmative Action miscasting.
I don't think you do understand the frustration if you see the tension as the problem that needs to be "eased", rather than the issues with representation of ethnic minorities that provoke it. I don't accept for one moment that getting "touchy" inevitably leads to miscasting. I would suggest that getting "touchy" and speaking out are the only way to nudge things along. I see no reason why anyone should care what Hollywood's timetable is, or "how it works in LA". So I'm sorry it makes you uncomfortable (very sorry actually), but I and others are not going to stop getting "touchy" any time soon. I can't think of any legitimate reason why anyone would expect it.

That said, isn't it strange how limited our perceptions are? I found myself acutely aware of the problems on Buffy and Angel with regards to the lack of diversity but I really didn't think about the lack of Asians on Firefly which was based in a world where China and US were the dominating/melded cultures. Wow, hello ethnocentrism.  I feel like a jerk now.
Great post! And yeah, ethnocentrism... I'm sure I'm not surprising anyone by admitting that I'm particularly sensitive to issues related to the representation (and lack of it) in media of East Asians in general and Chinese people in particular. I am slower to pick up problems relating to other ethnic groups, and it makes me feel like a jerk too, but every foot-soldier only sees a small part of the battlefield.
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #78 on: 09 Mar 2011, 00:47 »

I know this may sound a bit like "Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?" but...

Other than the cultural issues, (which I totally see your point about, I just watched the first disc of the series and now that I'm looking for it, I can really see watch your saying) Akima, what did you think of Firefly.
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #79 on: 09 Mar 2011, 00:53 »

I'm Jewish, there's still terrible representations of my culture in media. I get frustrated when there hasn't been a bar/bat mitzvah accurately represented on screen, how the only thing ever mentioned about our traditions is Hannukah and that damn song, how everyone is ALWAYS HALF Jewish with their parents normally divorcing so they celebrate Christmas anyway. But I recognize that all the Judeo-Christian parts of Indiana Jones focused on the Christian parts, or that Old Testament stories are always lead up to Jesus when told on television and accept it.
Did I get mad that the only religion in Firefly is christian or atheist, a bit, but whatyagonnado?

It may not be a race but it's a culture, and I still get mad that people have to change their name
to get jobs.
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #80 on: 09 Mar 2011, 03:05 »

Half the time, TV shows can't even get American culture right, and you expect them all to exhaustively research everything about another culture before they refer to it?


America has no unique culture of it's own, though. We are the mutt country with bits and pieces of culture borrowed (or usually stolen) from everybody else.

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #81 on: 09 Mar 2011, 03:23 »

It may not be a race but it's a culture, and I still get mad that people have to change their name to get jobs.
Then I apologise. You do get it. I wouldn't notice what media get wrong about Jewish religion and culture, because I'm simply far too ignorant about them, but I will take your word. Please be as ready to accept my attitudes towards depiction of Chinese people and Chinese culture. Just imagine an alternative version of Firefly where the Chinese cultural references were all replaced with Jewish ones; where an entirely non-Jewish main cast cursed in badly-pronounced Hebrew; where badly-written "Hebrew" signs with upside-down, back-to-front, and just plain wrong letters were scattered around; where actual Jewish people were kept in the background as extras dressing and acting in a very stereotyped way, with the exception of one minor character part (a prostitute) in the entire series. If that would upset you, please accept that the real Firefly upsets me just as legitimately.

I know this may sound a bit like "Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?" but... Other than the cultural issues, (which I totally see your point about, I just watched the first disc of the series and now that I'm looking for it, I can really see watch your saying) Akima, what did you think of Firefly.
There are some scenes and acting in the show that are among the best things I think I've seen on TV. Some of the stories are very good, some are duds, but that's pretty standard. The dialogue is very Whedon; sometimes clever, more often way too cutesy to be credible. Above all, Firefly strikes me as the product of a brainstorming session where Whedon and his team threw together a bunch of cool ideas (Cowboys! Horses! Spaceships! Chinese stuff! Japanese stuff! Old-West fashions! Kimonos! Space geishas!) but never really thought them through or integrated them into a cohesive imaginary world. The casting certainly did not support the world-building either. No amount of clever writing (and the writing was not always clever) or great photography, or good acting, could fully paper over the structural flaws to the point I could really believe in it. I know Firefly was cancelled early, but I think the show was in trouble before the first episode was shot. Overall, I was disappointed by the massive squandered potential.
« Last Edit: 09 Mar 2011, 03:26 by Akima »
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #82 on: 09 Mar 2011, 03:28 »

Uh, for the record, I dont like chinese things too much, so nope, chinese things arent "cool by definition" to me.

To summarize that nations history in a few sentences:
- Believed themselves to be the "best" nation of the world.
- Therefore they cut themselves off from the rest of the world.
- After centuries of isolation, they came back and, surprise, they were now behind.
- Now they're coming back they apparently start to have the same "we're better than anyone else" arrogance as before.

Add to this:
- Dictatorship and a general disregard for human rights.
- More men than women because of one child per family and resulting systematic abortion of girls.

Really, I like India much more.
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #83 on: 09 Mar 2011, 03:32 »

And people accuse me of trolling.

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #84 on: 09 Mar 2011, 04:47 »

Odin:  Not lately, you actually explain yourself a lot more, it makes a huge difference. 

Snubnose:  I don't even know where to begin... but never, never, NEVER  preface your incredibly shortsighted and bigoted cultural opinions as "history"! 

It only shows everyone how little you really understand about the world around you. 

I need a smiley that's shaking it's head in dissapointment...
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Odin

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #85 on: 09 Mar 2011, 05:37 »

I can play that game, too, though:

Quote from: Some troll
Uh, for the record, I don't like American things too much, so nope, American things aren't "cool by definition" to me.

To summarize that nation's history in a few sentences:
- Believe themselves to be the "best" nation of the world.
- Therefore they pursue wars against other nations that possess resources they want for themselves.
- After two centuries of general enlightenment in the rest of the civilized world, they adopted moronic religious beliefs as the impetus for their political decisions and now, surprise, they're behind the rest of the world in every way that matters concerning the welfare of it's own citizenry.
- Now they're caught up in tons of in-fighting in their government where everyone is posturing with even more "we're better than anyone else" arrogance than before.

Add to this:
- A general disregard for human rights.
« Last Edit: 09 Mar 2011, 05:40 by Odin »
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #86 on: 09 Mar 2011, 06:31 »

Oh, but snubnose is German.  I'm sure you can come up with one for them as well, and you wouldn't even have to mention  Hitler...

 :angel:
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Odin

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #87 on: 09 Mar 2011, 07:33 »

True, but I'd have to try really hard at it to avoid all the bannable stuff by bringing up all the horrible incest and rape that Germans are notorious for.

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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #88 on: 09 Mar 2011, 12:46 »

Too many personal remarks, too many attacks on others's heritage.
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Re: Firefly and/or Joss Whedon
« Reply #89 on: 09 Mar 2011, 14:32 »

And this thread had been doing so well with keeping itself in order up till then...   ah well.
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