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Author Topic:   Humour VI
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1583 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 539 of 553 (647753)
01-11-2012 7:39 AM
Reply to: Message 538 by Dogmafood
01-11-2012 7:33 AM


Re: firefly
What a great series that was.
Everybody says that, and I always wonder what they're smoking. From the hackneyed premise, to the incredibly lazy writing, to the just-plain awkward weirdness of the final episode (I was seriously embarrassed to watch it) Firefly was just a plainly terrible show. I think that's objectively borne out by its incredibly low ratings and box office take for the spin-off movie.
A western in space? That can really work. See "Bebop, Cowboy." But it has to be more than just lazily dubbing laser sounds over gunfights with Peacemakers. As a fan of both space opera and Westerns I was more than just a little bit insulted by how Firefly stomped so brutally over both.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 538 by Dogmafood, posted 01-11-2012 7:33 AM Dogmafood has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 541 by Dogmafood, posted 01-11-2012 8:01 AM crashfrog has replied

crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1583 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 542 of 553 (647767)
01-11-2012 8:33 AM
Reply to: Message 541 by Dogmafood
01-11-2012 8:01 AM


I hate Firefly
What was wrong with the premise?
I have no beef with the premise, only with the execution. Cowboys in space? I'm down with that.
Cows in space? That makes no sense. A society with space-travel and genetic engineering technology doesn't hire a spaceship to transport a herd of heifers, it sends an email with the Bos taurus genome and ships some kind of "animal-maker" the size of, say, a refrigerator.
Why would future guns look like 19th-century revolvers but sound like rayguns? That makes no sense. Why would you write a script where one guy asks the assassin if he's from the Alliance and the assassin asks "am I a lion?" before meditating on his various leonine qualities? That shouldn't have even made it to shooting. What the fuck? I was embarassed on their behalf, and on behalf of all the Whedonites who retconned that as some kind of seminal work in the art of honest dialogue.
Why would you have an episode with the hoariest of all Western tropes, the hooker with a heart of gold, only its an entire brothel of heart of gold hookers called the Heart of Gold, and then call the episode "Heart of Gold" just in case there was one retarded person in the audience who didn't pick up on the trope by the first 30 seconds of the episode? And how would you do that much lampshading and not do anything at all to subvert the trope?
Lazy, lazy, lazy. I've become a Joss Whedon fan, but I almost didn't just because Firefly was how I lost my Whedon virginity, and the whole thing was so phoned in. Swearing in Chinese is stupid - people always swear in their native language. And why would a show about how the Chinese settled a distant planet (solar system? galaxy? universe? They never actually say because Joss Whedon never actually decided) not star any Asians? At all?
Even in the 20th century, firearm propellants are self-oxidizing (and therefore work in a vacuum as well as underwater), but in the distant future you have to put a gun in a spacesuit to fire it?
I expect something more from my science-fiction than Mad Libs worldbuilding. I expect that if you're going to do funny physics tricks like have a gun fire through a spacesuit, you're going to actually do some research about the physics and chemistry of firearms - or actually make a decision about the technology of future guns, and stick with it.
Space opera settings are highly dependent on technology. The Old West is a setting highly dependent on specific sociogeographic, technological, and political realities. Firefly gives no evidence that the writers thought about any of that at all.

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Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1583 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 545 of 553 (647783)
01-11-2012 10:02 AM
Reply to: Message 543 by caffeine
01-11-2012 9:50 AM


Re: I hate Firefly
Well that's simply not true at all.
No, I'm pretty sure it's true. I should clarify - people frequently use second-language profanity in an attempt to Bowdlerize their own speech to avoid social transgressivity, or as an affectation. But for real swearing - when emotionality or surprise or pain override one's social filters and genuine expression pours forth - people swear in their native language. There's just not time to do anything else. Swearing in a second language is something you can only do with reflection.
What's more, if you look at countries heavily saturated with English-speaking media (the ones that don't dub, that is), you'll often find that people use 'fuck', 'shit' and the like quite a lot.
Well, right. But they're doing the same thing Firefly tried to do, or other TV shows have done with words like "frack" or "frell" - to connote the impact and culture of swearing while conforming to broadcast speech codes. I assure you that when a Dutchman bangs his thumb with a hammer, he swears in Dutch, not in English.

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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1583 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 547 of 553 (647792)
01-11-2012 10:26 AM
Reply to: Message 546 by frako
01-11-2012 10:22 AM


Re: I hate Firefly
How old were you when you learned Serbo-Croatian? If everybody swears in it, I would suggest that it's not so much that they're swearing in another language, it's that Slovenian has simply imported Serbo-Croatian vocab to meet a language need.
If I go into McDonald's and order a hamburger, I'm hardly speaking German.

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 Message 546 by frako, posted 01-11-2012 10:22 AM frako has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 548 by caffeine, posted 01-11-2012 10:47 AM crashfrog has replied
 Message 550 by frako, posted 01-11-2012 11:20 AM crashfrog has replied

crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1583 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 549 of 553 (647796)
01-11-2012 10:51 AM
Reply to: Message 548 by caffeine
01-11-2012 10:47 AM


Re: I hate Firefly
Without having watched Firefly, form your description isn't the idea that the Chinese became some sort of dominant culture
But the only evidence of its dominance is the swearing? Like I've been saying - it's just not thought-through.

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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1583 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 551 of 553 (647809)
01-11-2012 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 550 by frako
01-11-2012 11:20 AM


Re: I hate Firefly
The same could have happened 500 years in the future english could have been purged of swear words because of some religius crusade, and after a while they imported chinese swear words.
Maybe, but that's not what they say happened. And the setting doesn't support Chinese cultural supremacy, or give even a single example of it except for the convenient "we swear in Chinese now" dialogue, which allows the characters to curse - in swear words that aren't actually authentic Chinese profanity, it's just "ching chong ching" Chinese babble - but evade rules against profanity in TV shows.
It's lazy worldbuilding. It's like having a fantasy world where you can have anyone learn magic by attending a university, and everybody knows you can learn magic by attending a university, but everybody in the background continues to live like they're in medieval Europe. It's about not thinking through the sociological consequences of what you've posited about your society.

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 Message 550 by frako, posted 01-11-2012 11:20 AM frako has replied

Replies to this message:
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