Boycotting Joss Whedon - I think. (Warning: Open Spoilers for Serenity)

I’m not 100% resolved to the course of action, but I think I may boycott Joss Whedon. Not, I suppose, in an attempt to change his ways - which would be futile - but rather in an attempt to spare myself the anger I feel when he continually ruins the good mood he builds with his sparkling dialogue.

The behavior that upsets me is typified by latter-day Buffy episodes - no one of his characters can be happy for five minutes without a major crisis. And I’m not talking about a realistic or even “dramatic” crisis, I’m talking about leaping into the abyss of melodrama just for the sake of throwing the audience for a loop.

Xander’s eye. “Let’s see, my audience seems to be enjoying my show - can’t have that, let’s maim the comic relief!” It was quick, pointless, and random - such a horribly exaggerated and melodramatic thing to have happen, and yet - because Xander was pretty marginalized in that season - the dramatic developments were pretty weak-tea.

And now, he’s gone even farther. Major spoilers for Serenity follow.

According to a review I read, he’s killed Wash and Book. Quickly. Relatively pointlessly. And Zoe barely even mourns.

So, yeah. I’m tired of Whedon being a buzzkill.

I saw the movie last night.

[spoiler]Book’s death was not pointless. It was a pivotal part of the plot, and also touched off some FANTASTIC character work by Nathan Fillion.

As for Wash, his death was pointless, and heart-wrenching. But there wasn’t much time immediately afterwords for anybody to be mourning. And anyone who thought Zoe wasn’t mourning at the funeral scene wasn’t paying attention to Gina Torres’ face.[/spoiler]

Then the review was a bit biased, I suppose. Nevertheless, the second incident was what was really ticking me off, and you seem to agree with its pointlessness.

Also, I feel I should say that Serenity is about an order of magnitude darker than Firefly was.

Yes, the snappy dialogue and the humor are still there, but the focus is on grimmer aspects of the story/universe.

So I’ve gathered.

I really hope the movie bombs and nothing is produced for the universe again.

Why? Well, because of my experience with the series, I feel drawn to see any continuations of it (part of my obsessive-compulsive nature) and at the same time, I don’t trust Whedon to continue the universe in a way that is palatable to me.

It’s just like George Lucas.

The pointlessness is the point.

[spoiler]It’s death. Death is pointless. It hurts. I would have felt like Joss wasn’t being true to the realities of his universe if there hadn’t been as many deaths as there were. Frankly, at one point I thought everone was going to die.

But yeah. It sucks about Wash. I loved his character. He was the funny everyman of the group and he was awesome. I cried. A lot.[/spoiler]

I don’t go to the movies to be reminded that the universe is pointless and cruel. I don’t go to the movies to have the writer-director tick me off.

I go for entertainment. And that doesn’t mean light fluffy bunnies and happy endings, that means not putting a total buzzkill in a movie just because “its realistic”.


I don’t see it the way you do. Dirfferent strokes and all that.
Though I would suggest that you actually see the movie before condemning it, because of one thinkg occuring that you don’t like.

No - one thing occurring that would completely rob the film of entertainment value for me. I’m tired of giving Whedon the chance to tick me off. I’m angry that he shifted tone so much from the series to the film. My current notion is to eventually get the movie on DVD from Netflix, just to watch it for closure, and then move on.

So I take it ya’ll would want him to write “Star Trek: Maquis” as a Firefly clone?

Star Trek : Maquis? News to me…

Umm… Star Trek? I might watch it if Joss wrote it, but I don’t have strong feelings about that franchise. (Except Deep Space 9, which I loved.)

Well, I haven’t seen Serentiy yet (Bastards!), so I can’t comment on that. (I’m not even looking at the spoilers, though DAMN I want to!). But as for Xander’s eye loss, and in fact the entire tone of the last couple of seasons of Buffy…

Wasn’t Joss off making *Angel *and then Firefly? My recollection is that he wrote very few of the eps himself, although he did write the outline for the last few seasons. So it was really up to the other writers to maintain the tone, not Joss.

'Sides, I’ve always seen Xander losing an eye as a very obvious Odin metaphor. He’s gained all this wisdom and manliness in the last two seasons, and he had to pay the price. It was talked about many times in Season 7, by Xander himself, that he’s the one who watches. He has no powers, no great skills, he’s not the hero - he’s the one who watches the powerful Slayer and Witch and Demon (and Werewolf and Vampire) do their thing. He’s there for house and heart repair in the aftermath. He’s the one who *sees *Dawn’s struggle with a similar role. Since they placed such emphasis on him seeing, it seemed the sacrifice of an eye was well foreshadowed and not quick, pointless or random.

Heck, Dawn even tells him “Seeing is your power”!:

Don’t be dissing the Lord and Master 'cause you weren’t paying attention! :wink:

His speech has nothing to do with the eye getting jabbed out, which is still pointless and stupid and a needless downer. What does it develop into, dramatically? A few throwaway lines indicating some doubt in Buffy’s ability to lead, and a handful of eye puns. Whoopee.

CandidGamera’s rules of entertainment, rule one : Do not maim the comic relief. It’s not funny. And you sabotage the comic relief’s ability to , y’know, relieve.

The key thing…

[spoiler]… about Wash dying is that it sets up something sort of unique for the entire last part of a movie like this - there is a very real feeling, both as you watch it and in the theatre as a whole, that EVERYONE could die before this is all over. It really adds an intensity to the last scenes that goes much farther than, say, Star Wars, where you know exactly where we’re going to be at the end and the question is how we get there, or any other ‘series-type’ movie where you know that whatever happens, things at the end will be in a situation where they’re going to move on in the series. Given the history of Firefly as a cancelled show, the type of situation that they’re in, and the fact that two of the nine have already died (and the “tenth” character is down for the count as well at that point), it’s extremely believable that we could be going out in a blaze of glory here.

It ends up giving the latter parts of the movie a much darker feel than the TV Firefly, but one that I find equally compelling. There are numerous people at the Browncoats and other boards that agree with you - a fairly small minority, but they’re there. You REALLY have to see the movie first, though. [/spoiler]

Rereading what I first said, I can see clarification is in order - sure, the talk of seeing foreshadows the loss of an eye. That doesn’t mean it’s not random. It means that at the writer’s table, plotting out the season, someone randomly said “Let’s gouge out Xander’s eye!” and then the others wrote a bunch of eye foreshadowing.

And the “seeing” stuff is accurate, describes Xander’s role, et cetera - but does the loss of one of his eyes in a gruesome fashion add to the theme? Well, let’s look at it a different way - what if Caleb had been foiled in the effort to gouge out the eye after making the comment about Xander being the one who sees? What would we have lost? A few cheap eye puns and a throwaway line or two. Which leads me to think the proper response to the idea in the writer’s room should’ve been : “So? He loses an eye, then what?”

Heck, I’d have been better-pleased if they’d mystically struck him completely blind. Then there’s the chance for reversal, and it’s not so stomach-turning on the screen. Still might’ve had no payoff, but at least I’d have been able to enjoy the final few episodes.

I, too, have seen the movie, and want to make a few points in regards to the spoilers mentioned above…

Wash’s death, as sudden and tragic as it was, was certainly not pointless. Book’s death earlier in the film was something I had expected going in to it…from a “real life” point of view, I knew that Ron Glass is busy and didn’t have the time to commit to sequals, etc., and that it was likely his character would be offed. From a storyline point of view, Book is unfortunately the least important character to the crew, so his death would not affect their dynamics too drastically.

Wash’s death, however, was numbing. Not only is he a core component of the crew (he was the ship’s pilot, for Og’s sake!), he was also one half of a key couple in the series. When he died, I literally was on the edge of my seat, because I knew that meant that any of them could die. The rest of the battle that follows made my wife so tense that she had a stomach ache…and it was that intense because of Wash’s death. When even a Big Damned Hero like Wash can die, anyone can…and I almost thought Joss was going to end the whole thing there, with all of them dying.

So, sad as it was, painful as it was, infuriating as it was…Wash’s death was anything but pointless.

Lastly, in regard to Joss changing the movie and making it darker than the series, it was very clear in the DVD commentaries that Joss had planned to make a darker show from the beginning…but FOX wanted a Buffy Clone and forced him to make it lighter than he intended. It only makes sense that the movie would follow his original vision.

Then his original vision sucks in my opinion. I’m not interested in it.

Kiros beat me to the point, damnit! :smiley:

Well, sorry. I guess you can’t please all of the people all of the time…but don’t go wishing that the movie bombs just because its something you don’t want to see. There are plenty of us out there that appreciate what was presented, understand that “sh!t happens” in a realistic world, and would love to see what else would happen in that universe. Having been forewarned, maybe you would be best pretending the movie doesn’t exist…like I do with the Star Wars prequals. :smiley: