Winter is coming

Man, they did an awesome job with Game of Thrones. Seriously well done.

First off, the title sequence was epic. I’ve never watched the opening of a show with more interest. I know it’s a relatively thing to praise, but their attention to detail shows through there, I think.

The casting is spot-on. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister, is every bit as smarmy as he is in the books. I seem to recall Cersei being a bit better looking in the book, but I think this actress is going to pull it off well. Sansa is well portrayed as the prissy little girl that she is, so that works well. I understand they had to make Daenerys older for a number of reasons (somehow taking a 13-year-old from behind would put HBO in dangerous territory, I guess), but GRRM said in an interview that portraying her as older makes sense in the context of adulthood, so that’s fine. Everyone else is fine too, I think.

But beyond that, everything else just feels right. The very opening was true to the book, as was the last scene in the first episode – even down to the dialogue. They did a great job explaining the story without getting into too much detail. And the stage has most certainly been set for what’s to come. For me, the hardest part is that I know what’s going to happen, so seeing everyone all nice and happy is a bit jarring when I think of their fates. For those who don’t know, some truly fucked up shit is going to go down.

So yeah, great start. Hopefully it keeps up and they get the chance to tell the whole story (whenever GRRM finishes the last two books, anyway). And who knows, maybe it’ll be good enough that they think about adapting other series, like The First Law or Wheel of Time. Actually, the former would be badass, though incredibly graphic; the latter would go on for three hundred episodes and nothing would happen.

April 17th, 2011 - Posted in tv |

Putting down the stick on Firefly

Update: here’s more on the bottom.

There’s been a slight buzz going around the Internet stemming from something Nathan Fillion said. In particular, he said, “If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to ‘Firefly,’ make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet.” Naturally, the fans jumped on this and have created a site titled Help Nathan Buy Firefly, with the purpose of doing exactly that.

My first problem with this is that it’s an entirely unrealistic goal. There is no way a bunch of people on the Internet are going to raise enough cash for something like that. Prior to the Stewart/Colbert rally in October 2010, there was a movement on Reddit to raise a bunch of money in Colbert’s name. It took them quite a few months, but they successfully raised $500,000, and Colbert did an AMA on Reddit. Now on the Help Nathan site, someone estimated that it would take $40 million to get the rights. That’s eighty times as much money as the Redditors gathered – and there are not nearly as many Firefly fans as one thinks. Aside from taking a ridiculously long time, it’s likely that they wouldn’t even be able to gather that much money.

But let’s suppose somehow the money was raised – either by fans, or by Nathan Fillion saving up enough of the $100,000 he makes for each episode of Castle – and Fillion was able to secure the rights to the Firefly franchise. Would it even really be a good idea to make more episodes?

Before I go on, I should state this up front: I consider myself to be a Firefly fan. I’ve got issues with its use of Chinese and some of the logistics (a bunch of people colonize a planet using interplanetary ships, and then use horses and trains on the planet itself?) but the show as a whole was extremely interesting and engaging. The show clearly had enough of an impact on people such that it’s still being referenced years after it was released.

However, I’m of the opinion that it’s time to let it go. It’s been nearly nine years since the show aired, and digging it up to have another go would just not be the same. Look at what happened to Futurama. It was given a future after its initial run, and quite honestly, it’s just not as good as it was. The initial momentum was lost, and I think that new episodes of Firefly would suffer the same hit in quality.

Even beyond that, the story has been told. Let’s not forget how the film ended (with several fewer characters), so where’s to pick up from there? Who would want to see the show without the whole cast? I suppose you could tell more stories between the end of the show and the movie, but that seems to be cheating a bit. And how would you explain that all of the characters somehow look at least nine years older than they did before?

b!X, a guy who posts on Whedonesque, wrote a post about this as well. In particular he wrote that the fans are “dangerously close here to fetishizing both the show and the medium of television”. I think that’s an extremely accurate statement, and one that points out the utter folly of this latest movement. It is most certainly not the case that any episodes of Firefly would be better than no episodes altogether, and holding the show as the apex of all television ever is really shortsighted.

He also implies in the post that smaller forms of storytelling would be a better way to continue the universe. In particular he suggests a radio play, but we’ve already seen a bunch of Firefly comic books. And this isn’t the only Whedon universe to be continued in comics; hell, Buffy had a whole eighth season in comic form. So why not write more comic books? Why not do some little one-off shorts online? The Internet opens up all sorts of possibilities here – in particular, ones that don’t require $40,000,000.

Anyway, I really do think it’s time for people to stop throwing themselves at every new sliver of a chance to bring back Firefly. Remember the show for what it was, but don’t tarnish its legacy by trying to bring it back and potentially damage the franchise – or, as one poster on Whedonesque said, “dig it up and put a pretty hat on its rotted corpse.”

Update: Nathan Fillion wrote on his Twitter, “It’s beautiful to dream of more Firefly, but PLEASE DON’T SEND ANY MONEY. Just keep being great Browncoats, which you are!” I think that says all that needs to be said.

February 24th, 2011 - Posted in tv |

Pet ads

There’s an ad I pass when running errands that just bums me out every time I see it. It’s on the side of a bus stop, and it’s a three-panel comic depicting a person taking a new job in another country and being forced to give up their cat for adoption. The last panel is the cat behind bars (presumably in an adoption facility).

I can’t find a version of it online, but I wouldn’t really want to link to it, as it’s the saddest thing of all time.

Maybe it’s me, but I can’t imagine being in a position where I would give up my pets for a job – or for anything else, really. Just tossing your pets aside seems incredibly callous and cruel. All they want is to eat and be loved, and putting them up for adoption because they don’t exactly fit into your lifestyle is pretty mean. I would much rather turn down a job if it meant I had to give up my cats.

And just as a tangent, I really hate ads like that. Yes, they’re meant to pull at your heartstrings and get you to adopt, but it’s almost too much. If either my girlfriend or I are watching TV and one of those commercials with that Sarah McLachlan song comes on, the channel gets changed immediately.

Anyway.. yeah. Maybe I’ll make an actual post soon.

January 31st, 2011 - Posted in essays, tv |

White Elephant

So we had our company dinner tonight, and they held a white elephant gift exchange. You can read about it on Wiki if you like, but the gift of the year was most certainly the Shake Weight. Actually, it was so popular that three of them showed up from different people. Of the three, the best one was most definitely the one that came packaged with creme fraiche. So congratulations to the dude who brought that for winning this year’s unofficial best gift.

January 13th, 2011 - Posted in meta, tv |

Double rainbow over Castle

+2 to Nathan Fillion for referencing “double rainbows” in an episode of Castle. I bet he was proud of that one…

Update: Yes, he was proud of it. The episode is up on Hulu now. And hey, apparently I can just embed it right here.

September 27th, 2010 - Posted in tv |




The last show I saw was Mythos at 92nd St Y - New York, NY on Oct 6, 2014.
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Hey there. I'm a web developer who works and lives in New York City.