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Friday, September 5, 2014

Watching Firefly For The First Time: "Bushwacked" ...

What time is it, kids?

Yes, it's time once again to watch some Firefly.

Well, it's been a few weeks since I decided that my "having a life of my own" adventure should also include taking my first steps into the larger worlds of movies and tv shows that I've never bothered to watch, the first one being the two hour pilot of Joss Whedon's Firefly. I turned that first step into the world of the Browncoats into a pretty strong blog post that I really liked, then I saw the second episode and, technically, the second first pilot, and that was even better than the first one.

Good stuff.

Now it's time for the third episode, entitled "Bushwacked," a horrible title that reminds me of my childhood love of wrestling.

Seriously. WWF, man. Doesn't anybody remembers the Bushwackers anymore ...

Old school right there.

This is going to be a difficult one because, well, my almost three year old son just woke up early. So I'll be watching this third episode of Firefly with him. Now, Maxwell Edward is a great kid. He's freaking cool. But unless it's Super Why or a Godzilla movie, this boy isn't interested. So we'll see what happens with him and Firefly.

This should be interesting ...

Opening narration and ALREADY Maxwell is screaming and dancing and being loud. So, pause to put the closed captioning on. I love closed captioning! I do! I've been obsessed with it ever since I was in high school. And in my house, the closed captioning is almost ALWAYS on. My family has gotten used to it. In a house with loud little kids, closed captioning is a Wood-send, which is an Ed Wood-version of a godsend.

BTW, Maxwell is using his action figures to pretend that Spider-Man and Captain America are fighting, then kissing each other. Soooooo apparently I have a very progressive son.

Episode starts. What are they playing? Space ball? Is it Space ball? Can it be CALLED Space ball? It looks a bit silly. It looks like a game you invent when you're babysitting.

Anyway, there's a nice little scene between Simon and the high class spacewhore. I forget her name. I don't know whether I like or hate her. She's a good, well written character and she seems like a fairly good actress. It's just that the concept of the intelligent spacewhore with a heart of spacegold seems a bit space-trite to me, like it's been space-done be-space-fore. But hey. This is only episode three. Lets see where this goes.

They find an empty ship. Then a jump scare. Dialogue. Men in fake sweaty shirts. And here comes 16-year-old seeming Summer Glau with a spooky non-sequitur line, as always.

"Shall I remind you of the story of the Good Samaritan?" Gawd, what a cheesy line. Grade-A cheese. Mac 'n' cheese. Musician Richard Cheese, for Wood's sake. Facepalm.

So they're going into the ghost ship. Alrighty them. It's typically spooky in there. Like, seriously, the way the ship looks is EXACTLY how I would have described it in my head even before watching this episode. You know? It looks like a cross between a scene in Aliens and the Vogon Fleet from the early 80s BBC tv version of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy ...

They're going through the ship looking at stuff. Dark. Spooky. And the same exact piano keys keep playing over and over and over again. I want to say in my best Tom Servo voice "Get that cat off the piano."

Okay. Bodies found. Spooky guy. Shots fired. Good. That means things are happening. Good. Joss Whedon likes to write well written scenes of amazing dialogue. And I looooove his dialogue. But damn, how much dialogue is TOO MUCH dialogue? You gotta have a bit of action now and then, Mr. Whedon.

Sooooo. Reavers. More talk about Reavers. Great. The first episode, the original pilot, it had a lot of talk and discussion about these apparently scarrrrrry Reavers. It's episode three. Not like I actually want to SEE whatever the hell these mysterious bad guy macguffins are or anything, right?

Now they're being boarded. And there's another nice look at the inside of an Alliance ship. I like the Alliance. They're all dressed so nice. Their outfits are clean and pressed, like milk men in old television shows. Everyone who works for the Alliance seems to be sharp and clean cut and neat and professional, not like the unwashed masses in that junker Serenity. The Alliance is like the ROTC in high school, you know? Gooooooood people.

You know what? I just convinced myself. I'm rooting for the Alliance now. I hope they capture Captain Hammer now, that damn Han Solo wannabe.

I found it interesting that, given the current police state and the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, once the Alliance soldiers enter the ship, Wash puts up his hands up, as if to try and prove his innocence ...

... and seeing that really moves me because I couldn't help but be reminded of this ...

That's what I first thought of, right there, the riots.


Diiiiiiiid I just see a Godzilla figure tossed aside by an Alliance member while they're searching the ship? Did I? Because that would be prrrrrrrretty awesome.

Brother and sister hide outside. Guy goes nuts. Fake Han Solo to the rescue.

End of episode.

The thing is, seriously, this is a fine episode and all, but ... what happened?

Hardly anything, is the answer.

Lots of talking. Space ball. They find a ship. They find a survivor. They get boarded. Guy goes nuts. Aaaaaaaaand ... that's it. That's all that's happened. That's the whole frigging episode. So how the hell did Joss Whedon stretch that much nothing into an hour long episode? So much of nothing is happening. Hey, don't get me wrong, it's good nothing. It's damn good nothing. It is. But nothing is still nothing, you know?

Still, it's a good episode. I liked it. I liked the last episode I watched a lot more than this one, but hey, can't win them all.

So I guess I'll stick with this show. It's intriguing enough for me to want to stick around.

Thanks for putting up with my craziness.

Stay tuned for more first time Firefly!

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