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When has this happened? I mean, it seems like the Magnificent Seven remake was the forgotten one... And if the original was forgotten, it's not because it was canceled. The logic seems to go li

Despite the existence of Katie Dippold's twitter page, Paul Feig and Ivan Reitman are still men. Who are they taking revenge against? Also, the Ghostbusters movie is about women in media. BLM is irrel

Some possible examples of gay-turned-straight are the movie Enigma and Noel Coward's play Present Laughter. They weren't remakes, but they took real-life gay people and turned them straight, Alan Turi

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16 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

To whYNOT's point about females beating men, maybe the clip below is a better example of both a female ridiculously beating up several men and also cultural parasitism.

The fight is silly (she clearly sucks on the wire). It's also highly derivative (her dialogue about how she's going to beat them imitates dialogue from some other movie that I can't remember exactly). And then you have the issue that this is a franchise reboot from the classic TV show, which, if I remember correctly didn't have dumb fight scenes like this and was one of Rand's favorites.

That's "re-purposing" of a movie, to my mind. Again, a variation of cultural parasitism. The borrowing from and reliance upon the original thematic concept to introduce a contemporary, politically-correct, moral culture.

"Bootleg romanticism" returns to mind; the original "Angels" were more serious, one could believe their conflict of good against evil, these could evoke a snigger.

Basically, it's long become uncool to take things seriously. If you're really hip, "importance" in art forms is an out-moded notion. Audiences go to movies to mock seriousness which means to laugh at themselves. Thanks to p-m deconstructionism.

The remake of old films benefits from modern production values, often much better direction, acting and always excellent camerawork and lighting. In gaining those, something essential is left behind. (Not always, I can't recall one right now, but occasionally the soul of the original is retained).

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15 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Because the situation and comedy is directed at standard "sexual tension" tropes. Guy likes girl. Guy pretends not to like girl. Humor ensues because guy is fighting with girl, but doesn't fight back hard since he is distracted by his attraction. Importantly, the fight didn't even finish. I would guess that most people see it this way. 

Where you see "women beating up men", I see "men distracted by sexual attraction". I don't think this is an example of moral cowardice, even though humor is sometimes used in that way. 

 

Violence with sexual attraction; violence with humor. These achieve what the script writer wants, that we second-guess and negate the ugliness of violence to find hidden motives. Instead of violent acts being the last recourse, when reason has failed, violence is - normal. Or sexy or funny. It's in fact the substitute for reason. Which is why there's hardly a film made now that hasn't a fight scene in it: Muscles over minds.

 In a distorted pursuit of the hero values people inchoately still need, the last man(woman) standing *must* be somewhat better, 'heroic', than their antagonists, by definition. And all he/she did was beat them in combat.

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6 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:
11 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

What is the identity of Mal?

The soldier who's still fighting a war he's already lost in any way he can find.  The person who can endure any manner of insult, except to be called an Alliance sympathizer, and looks out for his own best interests except when it comes to the Alliance or Inara.

But why is he still fighting the Alliance? Because his ideal is independence. And that independence comes from his strength as a man who protects his family. The whole show is about him rebuilding his family unit on Serenity. He is the father figure who heads out into the frontier looking for work and a family. Zoe is his loyal best friend from the past who accompanies him, but she represents the feminine frontier warrior to his masculine frontier warrior. You need male and female to form a family. Mal is a traditionalist in many ways, he is the male protector, and Zoe is the female nurturer. They go out into the unknown space, like Old West pioneers heading to California, seeking adventure and family. This theme is reinforced when he adopts brother and sister, Simon and River. They are the reflection of Mal and Zoe. You can't make Mal a female without changing Zoe into a male. And you can't make Mal gay because that doesn't fit with the theme of rebuilding family the traditional way, which by the way is probably one reason why there is such great chemistry and conflict between the sexes aboard Serenity. It's rooted in a natural family unit.  

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9 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

John Wick (which I have seen for myself) would be a much better example, though, since sex actually never comes up in it once.

Absolutely not true. John Wick is the ultra straight male. He cherished his wife who died from some illness. Her last gift to him was a dog named Daisy. He cherished the female dog. And then the whole first movie is about him going after the people who killed that precious dog, his last connection to his wife.

John Wick is the ideal, dominant force of nature who by the third installment is literally taking on the entire world of professional assassins. He is superman without the supernatural abilities. He is the greatest assassin, the greatest skill at killing and the greatest concentration of willpower.

He cannot be a woman. Nobody would believe that a woman could endure the physical trials that Wick survives. It's already unrealistic with him as a man, but that's okay because his character is a fantastical symbol for male strength and dominance. It's also a great political play about the individual versus the collective but that's not relevant to this discussion..

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14 hours ago, whYNOT said:

Basically, it's long become uncool to take things seriously. If you're really hip, "importance" in art forms is an out-moded notion.

I recall a moment in the '80s when it was hip to be square.

 

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15 hours ago, whYNOT said:

The remake of old films benefits from modern production values, often much better direction, acting and always excellent camerawork and lighting. In gaining those, something essential is left behind. (Not always, I can't recall one right now, but occasionally the soul of the original is retained).

If you haven't seen it you should watch the Coen brothers' version of True Grit. One of my favorites. It's based on a novel, and in my view it's better than the classic adaptation with John Wayne. Consider this scene where Mattie goes up against the man who killed her father.

 

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14 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Where are these statistics? The top ten strongest men in the world are all white.

You got me.  I would apologize for getting that one wrong and thank you for the correction if the statistical differences in muscle mass between the races was an issue that mattered even a little bit.  Like the new Ghostbusters reference it was purely a shorthand way of expressing my primary point, which was (ironically enough) that such statistical differences are totally devoid of meaning.

All ten of the strongest men on Earth are white.  Awesome.  Does that make me physically stronger than anyone who's ever bothered to visit a gym at least once?  Does it mean that all of the strongest people on Earth even really look like me, aside from the very approximate melanin levels of their epidermis (and what would that mean for my own life even if they did)?

I won't ask who cares about that since, unfortunately, far too many people in the world today actually do.  But who really should care about such a cartoonishly irrelevant factoid?

 

Maybe those with European ancestry statistically tend to be physically stronger than others.  That's neat.  What about it?

 

13 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Absolutely not true. John Wick is the ultra straight male. He cherished his wife who died from some illness. Her last gift to him was a dog named Daisy. He cherished the female dog. And then the whole first movie is about him going after the people who killed that precious dog, his last connection to his wife.

John Wick is the ideal, dominant force of nature who by the third installment is literally taking on the entire world of professional assassins. He is superman without the supernatural abilities. He is the greatest assassin, the greatest skill at killing and the greatest concentration of willpower.

He cannot be a woman. Nobody would believe that a woman could endure the physical trials that Wick survives. It's already unrealistic with him as a man, but that's okay because his character is a fantastical symbol for male strength and dominance. It's also a great political play about the individual versus the collective but that's not relevant to this discussion..

First of all, as you yourself just pointed out, the trials he goes through are unrealistic for anybody of either gender.  Perhaps it would be slightly less realistic to watch a woman fistfighting that mafia boss at the end, but only if you're framing it in statistical terms inside of your own head as you're watching it.  Accuracy to reality is not what movies are for.  I hope this doesn't come across as more combative than I mean for it to but why are you drawing your "suspension of disbelief line" (if you will) particularly at gender?  A seemingly immortal super-assassin and master of gun-fu would be alright as long as they're not a chick?

Second of all, I'm curious as to why you specified that it was a female dog.  Certainly, of all the characters in that film, the sex of the dog which dies almost immediately should be the least relevant to the plot by light-years.

Thirdly, the fact that his wife dies before the movie even begins is precisely what I meant when I said that sex does not enter into its plot at all.

John Wick does not seem to experience sexual attraction (or hunger or pain) and he doesn't have any complicated romances that might make his gender legitimately relevant to the plot.  All John Wick does is kill.  And any police officer in America could tell you that, although they may statistically tend to prefer different techniques from men, women are equally capable of ending human lives.

16 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

But why is he still fighting the Alliance? Because his ideal is independence.

Exactly!  Which is what I love so much about that show!

Quote

And that independence comes from his strength as a man who protects his family.

He doesn't have a family.  He never had one.  I'm sure he'd like to start one with Inara but the fact that both are such totally independent people makes that somewhat difficult.

I think that's one of the biggest things he loves about her: that she is so damned headstrong.  He's constantly mocking and belittling her profession, which sometimes prompts her to flaunt it ("since the boy's not long for this world I gave him a free thrust" and all) and maybe her refusal to give a single inch to such peer pressure makes him want her even more.  It probably reminds him of what he (and I) considers to be the best part of himself.

Quote

The whole show is about him rebuilding his family unit on Serenity.

It wouldn't be rebuilding since he never had one.  And until this moment I have never looked at it that way.

Quote

He is the father figure who heads out into the frontier looking for work and a family. Zoe is his loyal best friend from the past who accompanies him, but she represents the feminine frontier warrior to his masculine frontier warrior. You need male and female to form a family. Mal is a traditionalist in many ways, he is the male protector, and Zoe is the female nurturer. They go out into the unknown space, like Old West pioneers heading to California, seeking adventure and family.

I guess you could look at it that way, but wouldn't that make Zoe the proper mate for him?  Not only is he quite clearly into Inara but neither he nor Zoe feel that way about each other, at all; that was a huge part of what the torture episode was about.

"Take me, sir.  Take me hard." was a joke because it underscored that their dynamic is nothing like that; that it's so far removed from it that it's actually funny.

That - are you saying that was supposed to symbolize a traditional mother-father pairing?

16 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

This theme is reinforced when he adopts brother and sister, Simon and River. They are the reflection of Mal and Zoe.

He adopted Simon and River into his crew pretty much exclusively to spite the Alliance.  They're not very useful and he really doesn't like them, on any personal kind of level; all he knows is that by hiding them he is hurting the Alliance at least a little bit, in some way he doesn't understand.

Because he still thinks of himself as the valiant soldier who's looking for ways to continue fighting a war he's already lost.  It's the same reason he consistently gets into fistfights with Alliance sympathizers every single Unification Day - it's a holiday which he celebrates by beating up anyone who thinks it was right for him to be stripped of his freedom.

Zoe (a girl, I might point out, who's constantly bashing in the teeth of bad men) gets this.

16 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

You can't make Mal a female without changing Zoe into a male. And you can't make Mal gay because that doesn't fit with the theme of rebuilding family the traditional way, which by the way is probably one reason why there is such great chemistry and conflict between the sexes aboard Serenity. It's rooted in a natural family unit.  

And you've lost me.

 

I'm not gonna be the kind of dick about this that I said I would be, the other night.  I'm sorry that I briefly was.  But you are demonstrably wrong about Firefly, for starters.

Quote

Take my love

Take my land

Take me where I cannot stand

I don't care

I'm still free

You can't take the sky from me

There are a few bits about family scattered in it, certainly, but that's not the theme of the show.  Firefly is a show about freedom.  And like everything else in life that actually matters, freedom has no race or gender.

And now that I've got all that rattling around in my head I have to go rewatch some more of it.

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44 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

...why are you drawing your "suspension of disbelief line" (if you will) particularly at gender?  A seemingly immortal super-assassin and master of gun-fu would be alright as long as they're not a chick?

As I explained Wick is a symbol of masculinity and domination, like a lot of male badasses in movies. In addition to that, the Wick movies so far have stayed away from outright supernaturalism, so the context is still a sort of realism observing physical laws, which places a serious check on my suspension of disbelief. But I have no problem with female warriors like Wonder Woman, because she's supernatural, and in supernaturalism anything goes.

I'm sorry, I need to bail. I'll try to respond more in a day or two.

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14 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Maybe those with European ancestry statistically tend to be physically stronger than others.  That's neat.  What about it?

Yeah, I don't care about statistics much. I pointed out the demonstrated strongest men in the world identified through international competition. That's all. I could also easily prove that the top sprinters in the world are all or mostly black. What does it mean? It means that genes play a part in physical capabilities. They're not the be all, end all, but they're clearly a factor, especially in competitions based primarily on physical prowess.

14 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Second of all, I'm curious as to why you specified that it was a female dog.  Certainly, of all the characters in that film, the sex of the dog which dies almost immediately should be the least relevant to the plot by light-years.

Good writers don't randomly include characters in their stories. The dog is a symbol of the love Wick's wife had for him before she died. Even in death she's trying to nurture her husband and help him go on with life. To be a symbol of that femininity, it helps that the dog is female with a super-feminine name like Daisy. I haven't personally asked the writer why he made the dog female, but I'm fairly confident in my interpretation. And this is why the death of the dog impacts Wick so much. It's like the villains robbed him of the last piece of his wife. On top of that, they stole his muscle car, which has been a symbol of masculinity in movies since, I think, the late '50s. Take the wrong man's wife, dog, or car, and you're asking for trouble.

14 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

All John Wick does is kill.

Killing is a huge part of the story after the first act. But that's not all he does. In the first act he's remembering and missing his wife.

After that Wick isn't chasing women, because he's too busy getting revenge. And he's still not even over his wife's death.

14 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

And any police officer in America could tell you that, although they may statistically tend to prefer different techniques from men, women are equally capable of ending human lives.

You like that word "statistically."

14 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

[Mal] doesn't have a family. He never had one.

Mal never had a family? While it's not in the TV show, there was a Whedon-approved novel that told Mal's backstory. He did have a family and friends before the war. And during flashback scenes in the TV show he treats his fellow soldiers like family, rushing around to protect them and covering for them when they got shellshocked. Of course Zoe is like a sister to him. If you chew on it a bit, I think you'll agree that the whole show is about Mal forming a new family aboard Serenity and trying to protect them from all sorts of baddies and nasty situations.

14 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

I guess you could look at it that way, but wouldn't that make Zoe the proper mate for him?

Nope, precisely because she's too tomboyish for his supreme masculinity. He wants the ultra feminine Inara to go with his ultra masculinity. The yin and the yang. Why do you think they curse in Chinese? I'm telling you, Whedon is a genius writer and there are several depths to the show's meaning. Look at Zoe's pick for a mate, Wash is the only one on board who struggles with his manhood because his wife is a warrior and he is a pilot. (Again, yin and yang, opposites attract.) The episode where he and Mal get tortured is about him trying to prove that he's capable of being Mal's wingman in dangerous situations. But really he's not good at it.

14 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Firefly is a show about freedom.

Freedom for whom? First it's a show about the people on Serenity. The show is named after the class of the spaceship, which is literally a home. And what are homes for?

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On 3/27/2021 at 11:46 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Avoiding racism?

Avoiding the fact that they're (outdated) stereotypes of two nationalities.

On 3/27/2021 at 11:42 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

This is what I mean about making certain key assumptions about such drawings.  They clearly represent human faces (that is also self-evident) but you're assuming that they're supposed to represent ALL faces of a certain ethnic group.

I'm just going to say that stereotypes don't need to be verbally explicit and leave it at that. As a different example, this is clearly a stereotype of a group of people (it does not refer to an individual) :

merch-1.thumb.jpg.5275980be9c3295956f0ef91236c0bcb.jpg

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18 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

If you haven't seen it you should watch the Coen brothers' version of True Grit. One of my favorites. It's based on a novel, and in my view it's better than the classic adaptation with John Wayne. Consider this scene where Mattie goes up against the man who killed her father.

 

The Bros. are good alright, I liked that one too. Not a hint of parodying the original. Watched 'Fargo' last night once more, like here, a very believable, strong-minded female role.  

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With all the arguing about Firefly, I thought I'd look it up on Wikipedia.  I only read part of the article.  What I read cleared up for me what the Alliance was.  It also included "Firefly is an American space Western drama television series, created by writer and director Joss Whedon, " and "As Whedon states in an episode of a DVD commentary, every show he does is about creating a family.[12]"

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9 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

The dog is a symbol of the love Wick's wife had for him before she died. Even in death she's trying to nurture her husband and help him go on with life. To be a symbol of that femininity, it helps that the dog is female with a super-feminine name like Daisy.

But she isn't a symbol of femininity, even to John Wick.  She's a token of his dead wife's affection.  Since she is a dog she has none of the physical or behavioral characteristics usually associated with "femininity" and thusly cannot be said to symbolize it on any level.

And the gender of the dog has literally zero impact on the plot.  What matters about her, in terms of what moves the story forward, is that she was a present from his dead wife and that she dies.  That's all.  That's really the one and only plot point, followed by vast quantities of murder.  And although the dog is involved its genitalia most certainly are not.

9 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

It's like the villains robbed him of the last piece of his wife.

Precisely.  The dog has nothing to do with femininity; what matters is that his dead wife gave it to him.

 

9 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

You like that word "statistically."

In this conversation it is my third favorite, yes.

 

7 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

With all the arguing about Firefly, I thought I'd look it up on Wikipedia.  I only read part of the article.  What I read cleared up for me what the Alliance was.  It also included "Firefly is an American space Western drama television series, created by writer and director Joss Whedon, " and "As Whedon states in an episode of a DVD commentary, every show he does is about creating a family.[12]"

The Wikipedia article also says:

Quote

The show takes its name from the "Firefly-class" spaceship Serenity that the central characters call home.  ...  The ship was named after the Battle of Serenity Valley, where Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds and Corporal Zoe Alleyne were among the survivors on the losing side.

The Battle of Serenity was also a crippling defeat for the pro-freedom Browncoats and it basically cost them the war.  At one point one of the characters asks Mal how many of the soldiers under his command made it out of Serenity valley alive and he can't answer that question; he just glares back with his whole body clenched.

He also named his own starship (which he specifically bought "in order to live beyond Alliance control") after that same battle.

 

You actually cannot remove the Alliance from this story and still have it make any sense at all.  That's why most episodes begin with a brief summary of the Unification War, who fought it, why they were fighting and who won (before proceeding to where several of its losers are today).

 

9 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

While it's not in the TV show, there was a Whedon-approved novel that told Mal's backstory. He did have a family and friends before the war. And during flashback scenes in the TV show he treats his fellow soldiers like family, rushing around to protect them and covering for them when they got shellshocked. Of course Zoe is like a sister to him. If you chew on it a bit, I think you'll agree that the whole show is about Mal forming a new family aboard Serenity and trying to protect them from all sorts of baddies and nasty situations.

Well, unfortunately, I've never heard of it.  What's it called?  It sounds like something I really do need to read.

 

I know he thinks of his crew like his family.  That's true.  But let's continue keeping this concrete.

 

Zoe is more like a sister to him than a potential wife.  Alright; that makes sense.  And since you seem so enthusiastic to pick some symbols of "masculinity" and "femininity" Inara is a pretty good choice; you might be onto something there, as well.

So what does that make Wash?  Simon and River's uncle and Mal's brother-in-law?  How about Kaylee (the ship's engineer, for those who haven't seen it) who at several points mentions in uncomfortable detail her burning desire to have her adoptive brother Simon in her bed?  What about Jayne, who isn't very secretive about the fact that he'd sell everyone else out for a nickel and at one point attempts to do just that?

As I said before, there are a few bits about family in it: Simon's devotion to his actual sister River and the fact that Mal views his crew as something like his own children.  That's the extent of it, though, and even the second part breaks down from time to time.

 

When does his paternal sort of affection dissolve into something very different?  When someone (usually Jayne or Simon) says the wrong thing about the Alliance.  This happens in those specific moments because, although Mal does usually enjoy acting in the role of a father figure, he is ready to kill or to die for freedom.  As is perfectly befitting a self-respecting soldier.

And although he might like to think of himself as something like a father he literally is a soldier.  In one of the episodes (I can't recall which) but also in Serenity it's shown that he's listed as an enemy combatant in the Alliance database, alongside the word "volunteer".

 

That being said, I haven't read the canonical novel (I didn't know there were any) and maybe there'll be something in it which proves me wrong.  Perhaps we should table the Firefly discussion until I've read it.  But if we're just going by what's in the movie and the TV show you are still demonstrably wrong.

 

PS:

 

Just to be perfectly clear, you do see all the elements of Firefly that are about freedom and just disagree that it's the primary theme, right?  Or do you not even see that they exist?

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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9 hours ago, human_murda said:

I'm just going to say that stereotypes don't need to be verbally explicit and leave it at that. As a different example, this is clearly a stereotype of a group of people (it does not refer to an individual) :

merch-1.thumb.jpg.5275980be9c3295956f0ef91236c0bcb.jpg

I think I actually care more about Firefly and its meaning than I do about racism.  Sorry.

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On 3/28/2021 at 8:54 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

It's the same reason he consistently gets into fistfights with Alliance sympathizers every single Unification Day - it's a holiday which he celebrates by beating up anyone who thinks it was right for him to be stripped of his freedom.

Zoe (a girl, I might point out, who's constantly bashing in the teeth of bad men) gets this.

 

On 3/28/2021 at 8:54 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

He adopted Simon and River into his crew pretty much exclusively to spite the Alliance.  They're not very useful and he really doesn't like them, on any personal kind of level; all he knows is that by hiding them he is hurting the Alliance at least a little bit, in some way he doesn't understand.

Not only does that second one introduce all the main characters pretty seamlessly but there's a particularly illuminating but about Mal's relationship with Simon at the three minute mark.

2 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

What about Jayne, who isn't very secretive about the fact that he'd sell everyone else out for a nickel and at one point attempts to do just that?

 

2 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

How about Kaylee (the ship's engineer, for those who haven't seen it) who at several points mentions in uncomfortable detail her burning desire to have her adoptive brother Simon in her bed?

 

And speaking of the movie Serenity, what's with the origin of the Reavers?  Spoiler alert:

Spoiler

Miranda was a planet where the Alliance introduced mind-altering chemicals into the terraforming gases in order to "reduce aggression" in its inhabitants, most of whom laid down and simply allowed themselves to die.

I can tell you quite easily how such a backstory relates to freedom.  What does it have to do with family?

 

 

On 3/28/2021 at 8:54 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

There are a few bits about family scattered in it, certainly, but that's not the theme of the show.  Firefly is a show about freedom.

 

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8 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

With all the arguing about Firefly, I thought I'd look it up on Wikipedia.  I only read part of the article.  What I read cleared up for me what the Alliance was.  It also included "Firefly is an American space Western drama television series, created by writer and director Joss Whedon, " and "As Whedon states in an episode of a DVD commentary, every show he does is about creating a family.[12]"

Why don't you watch all the Firefly excerpts I just posted and then tell me if any of them changed your mind?

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3 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Just to be perfectly clear, you do see all the elements of Firefly that are about freedom and just disagree that it's the primary theme, right?

Yes, I like to think I see most of the themes including freedom. I've watched the series and movie multiple times, but it's the sort of show where I notice something new with each viewing. I hadn't read the Wikipedia article by the way. The family theme hit me when I realized the brother-sister symbolism of Simon/River and Mal/Zoe. Also, if you're into numerology (which normally I'm not), you might find it curious that Simon and River both have five letters in their names, Mal and Zoe have three. In Chinese numerology 5 is either good luck (Simon) or bad luck (River). The number 3 means life and growth. Of course Mal is a nickname but I think it counts.

3 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

What's [the Firefly book] called?

Big Damn Hero.

3 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

So what does that make Wash? 

I see Wash as Mal's brother-in-law. He's not much of an uncle figure.

3 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

How about Kaylee...

She's like the beloved housekeeper, keeping the ship's engine clean and running properly.

3 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

What about Jayne...

I see Jayne as that close associate who's not sure whether he wants to become part of the family or not. Kind of like Inara, who initially keeps her distance. Both of them take awhile to learn the value of family. Jayne ultimately takes on the tough but silly uncle role after his betrayal and repentence.

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3 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

That's the extent of it, though, and even the second part breaks down from time to time.

I thought it was fairly clear and direct that the whole theme about Firefly was chosen family, with freedom being very important to choosing one's family. 

As far as cultural parasitism, I think that's a consequence of bad writing, which is itself a consequence of focusing on selling movies to the lowest common denominator rather than focusing on making the movie. Television has seem to overcome that recently, even movies, but Hollywood movies not. Firefly is not parasitic in any sense, because there is attention to the craft without trying to take over what has already worked and has been done. But that's pretty much why no one bothered to let it live for another season. It's easy enough to see though that there are low effort derivative movies all over from Hollywood. Little risk taking for new IP. 

 

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11 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

And although he might like to think of himself as something like a father he literally is a soldier.

You asked if I could see the freedom theme. I'll ask: do you realize that Mal hasn't been a literal soldier for years by the time the show starts? He fights for his freedom on the frontier of space, but he's literally a smuggler now. He's not going to do the heavy fighting in his transport ship. His great win consists of fooling the Reavers into attacking the Alliance, while Serenity slips away from the battlefield. And he only got into that jam because he refused to give up River.

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12 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:
21 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

With all the arguing about Firefly, I thought I'd look it up on Wikipedia.  I only read part of the article.  What I read cleared up for me what the Alliance was.  It also included "Firefly is an American space Western drama television series, created by writer and director Joss Whedon, " and "As Whedon states in an episode of a DVD commentary, every show he does is about creating a family.[12]"

Why don't you watch all the Firefly excerpts I just posted and then tell me if any of them changed your mind?

I wasn't trying to make a statement so much as present a possibly relevant datum.  For now I think I'll leave Firefly on my back burner.

11 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Also, if you're into numerology (which normally I'm not), you might find it curious that Simon and River both have five letters in their names, Mal and Zoe have three. In Chinese numerology 5 is either good luck (Simon) or bad luck (River). The number 3 means life and growth.

Things which would be invalid in an attempt to understand the real world can be appropriate as literary devices.  The date September 2 comes up repeatedly in Atlas Shrugged.  In the real world such a coincidence of dates would not be worth considering, but it's legitimate as a literary device.

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9 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

You asked if I could see the freedom theme. I'll ask: do you realize that Mal hasn't been a literal soldier for years by the time the show starts? He fights for his freedom on the frontier of space, but he's literally a smuggler now. He's not going to do the heavy fighting in his transport ship. His great win consists of fooling the Reavers into attacking the Alliance, while Serenity slips away from the battlefield. And he only got into that jam because he refused to give up River.

I do.  You're right; at no point during the show is he literally a soldier (because, just as in John Wick, I don't think flashbacks should count).

17 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Yes, I like to think I see most of the themes including freedom. I've watched the series and movie multiple times, but it's the sort of show where I notice something new with each viewing.

Exactly.  As I was rewatching it this morning I recalled all the bits about money and self-interest (which I'd forgotten) which really should constitute another theme that I'd say is coequal with family and less important than freedom.

There's certainly a lot going on in that show, though.  I think that might be part of why it's so good and also what makes it a bit more difficult to dissect than, say, John Wick:

Thanks for letting me know about Big Damn Hero, though.  I probably won't be able to get it for another two weeks but it certainly sounds like one I simply have to read.

17 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I thought it was fairly clear and direct that the whole theme about Firefly was chosen family, with freedom being very important to choosing one's family. 

If the concept of "family" includes that one gets to choose it for oneself then yes, I'd say it's definitely one of the primary themes of the show.  And this may just be a personal quirk of my own conception of it but I've been thinking of "family" as something non-chosen.

Simon sacrifices his brilliant career in something that he deeply loves for the sake of his sister, but also cuts off all ties with his father over it.  None of the other characters really fit into the traditionally "familial" roles with each other (as I was just pointing out about Kaylee and Jayne) but it could be the main theme if we're playing a bit fast and loose with precisely what the term "family" really means.

17 hours ago, Eiuol said:

As far as cultural parasitism, I think that's a consequence of bad writing, which is itself a consequence of focusing on selling movies to the lowest common denominator rather than focusing on making the movie. Television has seem to overcome that recently, even movies, but Hollywood movies not. Firefly is not parasitic in any sense, because there is attention to the craft without trying to take over what has already worked and has been done. But that's pretty much why no one bothered to let it live for another season. It's easy enough to see though that there are low effort derivative movies all over from Hollywood. Little risk taking for new IP. 

Generally yes.

 

There have always been hack writers, even before there was a Hollywood.  What's different today is that a hack writer might still be able to pass something off as worthwhile by simply screaming "bigotry" at anyone who points out that they are, in fact, a hack.

And I also think Firefly is a great example of certain ideas about equality and liberty being perfectly demonstrated without any sloppiness or laziness whatsoever.  Zoe and River are both female warriors who're capable of besting entire squads of men single-handedly, and once you know a bit about their backstories this actually makes sense.  They don't seem to "fight fair" either, in the way one would stereotypically think of a fistfight between two men.  And I don't think the subject of race even comes up once in either the show or the movie.

I'm actually quite curious as to why it got cancelled, though.  I've heard a couple of contradictory stories and not one of them would rationally justify the cessation of something so great, to my mind, anyway.  I'd really love to see a reboot at some point - as long as it's not a soulless and minimal-effort cash grab.

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