flummery: (hat 1)
So, I've been trying. Ever since the pilot, I've been trying. Really, really hard. 'Cause it's Joss, right? And I love Joss, and my friends love Joss, and most of my friends love Firefly.

And I don't get it.

This show is asinine.

Okay, they get points for finally, after several weeks, fixing the intro so it no longer says humanity "discovered a new solar system with hundreds of planets" -- all of which miraculously massed almost identically (so gravity was within an Earth-normal range), and had the precise mix of distance from and ozone protection from the local star to provide solar radiation within Earth norms. At least now they're tromping around a galaxy, not a single solar system.

But really, the number of points they lost in the first place for putting this show inside a single solar system was so huge that fixing it several weeks into the series can't make that much of a dent.

On top of that, so far I haven't noticed any consistency to the universe. Take Friday's ep (I think it's called "Ariel"). We get the intro: the Earth was used up (what does that *mean*?), so everyone had to go out and find other planets to live on. So what do they do, on all those other planets?

Why, they throw away perfectly good vehicles, in their entirety, in such good condition and surrounded by so many spare parts in good, yet thrown-out, condition, that it can be rebuilt into working flawlessly by two people working alone, in the space of a day. And a good part of that day was spent painting the exterior, by the look of it.

Right. Because people always throw away things in such good nick.

(They/we also, according to the opening, somehow managed to save all the horses -- and bonnets -- when we 'used up the Earth'. You'd think that people trying to survive on terraformed planets with no apparent water source would be bigger on things like chickens and cows and pigs and, oh, maybe plants than horses, no matter how pretty they look as they thunder around in their wild herdiness. Drinking up all the incredibly scarce water so they can keep looking pretty.)

The weapons also make me crazy. I'm supposed to believe that basic weapons tech hasn't advanced beyond present-day -- or rather, that it's regressed to the late 19th century, because god knows the weapons these future people are using are antiquated by today's standards. Even assuming that somehow it makes sense that people would carry projectile weapons onto ships where a hull breach can mean death -- why did everyone forget the laser scopes? You can get those today for under a hundred bucks, for rifles, shotguns, pistols, and crossbows. How is it that in five hundred years, our weapons-sighting capability has regressed from this point?

Yeah, fine, it's a frontier, I get it. But you know, part of what makes a frontier a frontier is isolation. How isolated are we supposed to believe these people really are? They're clearly tied into the communication nets of the central alliance; that's been clear since the pilot, when the local sherriff got a fast, triple-checked rundown on Inara's legitimacy. On the actual western frontier that this is supposed to be, there wasn't a whole lotta calling back East to find out if the greenhorn who just rode in on the stage was who he said he was. Really.

So, we've got sophisticated ships, and trains, and communications. But no electricity for lights (even inside the maglev train. You'd think it could spare a few volts, to keep the live flame out of the cars.). No laser sights on the weapons. No bolted-down furniture in the mess/kitchen on a spaceship -- that's gonna be fun when the gravity generators blow.

Beyond the universe, we've got the characters. I do not like a single one of the main characters. I probably could like Zoe and Wash; they seem the least offensive of the lot, and I like that they're a married couple who feel honest affection for and attraction toward each other. But while that makes their relationship way better than most on television, it doesn't tell me much about them. And without knowing a damn thing about them, I have no reason to like them.

On the other end of the scale, there's Jayne. I realize I am a lone voice, crying in the wilderness, but I cannot stand Jayne. He's intensely unattractive to me -- oh, I'm sure he has nice muscles or something somewhere in there, but how in god's name does anyone look past the fact that he's stupid, and a thug, and a *mean* thug, at that? There's nothing remotely redeeming about him. There's no clever wit, there's no snark, there's no good heart. There's no brain. He's incapable of thinking beyond, "Want money. Get money. What need do get money? Do! Get money! Money money!" Smart is sexy. Thick-headed thuggishness is revolting. I don't like River, either, but she moved way up in my estimation when she knifed Jayne in Friday's ep.

Jayne is not Han Solo, shooting Greedo first. Not by a long shot. He's who Han would be if Han turned Luke and Ben over to the Imperials. He's who Han would be if he'd tossed Chewie out an airlock on the Kessel spice run. Why does no one remember that Jayne is a self-confessed murderer of his partner? Fine, the guy lived a bit longer than Jayne originally thought, but Jayne tossed him out of their spaceship so Jayne could keep all the money, and firmly believed that the guy had died as a result.

But I have to admit, even stupider than Jayne is Mal, who knows that Jayne is ready, willing, and able to kill his shipmates at the first hint that there might be a quarter-credit in it, and who let him stay on board instead of tossing him out the airlock. And why? Because instead of thinking, "Hey, this guy readily admits that he's perfectly, unremorsefully happy to kill shipmates for profit, maybe he's a liability. I can always teach Kaylee to shoot," Mal goes all Messianic and rather pompously tells Jayne that he sinned against Mal by turning in River and Simon, and waits for Jayne to admit that yes, he did, Lord, and now he wants to be forgiven. What the fuck was that all about, anyway? Ego, much?

He deserves to be murdered in his sleep for that. Do the gene pool a favor. Instead, he'll be the direct cause of someone else dying, because stupid!Jayne will see profit and do whatever it takes to get it, no matter who gets in his way.

Hell, they're all presented as stupid, at one point or another. There is no way that these people fly and fix spaceships without at least a teeny tiny bit of education. Or, y'know, the ability to read a fucking manual. And yet, half the time, they're presented as practically illiterate. In Friday's episode -- one week after Zoe and Mal proved their battle-trained field-medic skills by keeping Book alive until they could get him to a hospital -- Zoe, Mal, and Jayne were all completely incompetent at learning a few simple lines of incredibly basic medical jargon. I mean, Mal -- the captain of the ship, whom I would hope would have a braincell or two, stumbled repeatedly over the word "dilated." This is not a hard word. It's not an unusual word. It's a basic, English word that just isn't all that hard to say. And yet.

Argh. Asinine, all the way down the line. I'm not even going to go near the space hooker who is inherently -- by virtue of her profession -- more respectable to general society than a clergyman -- by virtue of his profession.

I simply don't understand why people are watching, and liking, this show.

September 2015

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