Tag Archives: firefly

New York Comic Con 2015!

15 Oct

As you may or may not be aware, this past weekend was NEW YORK COMIC CON! This was my 6th year attending the convention and it was, as always, an absolute blast. I saw quite a few TV-related things during the weekend and thought I’d share some thoughts on those panels and screenings.

The Expanse

In case I haven’t made it painfully obvious in my three-ish years of blogging, I love me a good space opera. There’s not enough of them in the world. So when I was presented with the opportunity for a preview screening of Syfy’s latest attempt at the genre, The Expanse, I jumped on it.

The verdict? I really liked it, but couldn’t summarize the plot for you if my life depended on it. I don’t know if it was the echo-y sound in the room causing me to miss dialogue periodically, my own exhaustion after a long first day of NYCC, the pilot really being that confusing, or all of the above, but I felt like I missed an intro somewhere. The show is slick and has exactly the feel I want from a space opera, but I’m hoping it’ll start making a little more sense going forward.

The panel discussion following the screening of The Expanse

The panel discussion after the screening of The Expanse

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What I Watched – March 28

28 Mar
© AMC

© AMC

It’s been a while! If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been having some health issues that have kept me from updating and vlog-making. I still haven’t gotten any answers, but I have started feeling better, so I should be back to something vaguely resembling a regular schedule (as regular as it ever is, since I am the worst) going forward!

 

Episode of the Week

Better Call Saul – “RICO”
Another week, another amazing episode of Better Call Saul. Vince Gilligan and friends are just killing it right now, you guys.

One of the things the show is doing really well that I think is a terrific storytelling device is the little pre-credits flashbacks every week. They are telling so much story in so little time, and this week’s was no different. Before he was a lawyer, Jimmy worked in the mailroom at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill – and he went to school at night, without anybody (besides Kim) knowing about it to get his law degree. Once he passed the bar, he went to Chuck to ask if he could join the practice. Chuck deferred to Howard, who turned Jimmy down in a terrifically filmed, dialogue free sequence where the only sound was a copy machine. This small bit of information added so many layers to our ongoing story – it certainly explained even further why Jimmy hates Howard so much, and gives us a sense of how hard Jimmy has worked to get, up to this point, basically nowhere in the law field.

That made it all the more satisfying to see Jimmy hit on an actual case this week. We’ve seen him succeeding with elder law the past few weeks – wandering from nursing home to nursing home to help people with wills and the like. This week, he realized one of his clients was getting way overcharged, did some digging (literally, in a dumpster, which was one of the more entertaining sequences of the episode), and landed on a pretty big fraud case.

To make things even better, Jimmy brought Chuck in on things and we got to see the two brothers working together on the case. For most of the show so far, Chuck has been relegated to the outskirts, hiding at home while Jimmy pops in and out to bring him supplies and what not. We’ve been told he used to be a terrific lawyer, but have never really seen him in action. Once he realized what Jimmy had stumbled into this week, it was like the old Chuck finally woke up. He was digging through paperwork, spitting out case names to investigate, and bantering with Jimmy – it was really fun to watch.

And then, to end the episode, Chuck wandered outside without even thinking about it to get supplies from Jimmy’s car. No space blanket, no shakes and pain – just walked right out the front door, grabbed the keys out of the mailbox, and started shuffling through Jimmy’s trunk. It wasn’t until Jimmy walked outside to see what was going on that Chuck realized, looked shocked, and dropped everything. It will be fascinating to see what his response is next week. Did working the case with Jimmy snap him out of whatever mental issue he’d been having long enough to shake the worst of his electromagnetism fears? Or will that brief lapse cause everything to get worse all over again?

While all of this was going on, there was also a fairly significant, if brief, development in the life of Mike Ehrmantraut. After babysitting for Kaylee and finding out about his daughter-in-law’s money issues, we see him visit the vet from a few weeks back (the one that patched the gun shot wound in his shoulder) – and offer his services. This is an enormous step towards the Mike we know from Breaking Bad.

Only two more episodes to go this season – can’t wait to see where the show is headed before the finale!

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Vlog!

15 Jun

Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I’ll have a longer post sometime in the next week or so explaining where I’ve been and what’s been going on in my life, and I should hopefully be posting more regularly again as well.

In the meantime, I started a vlog! I’m submitting it in the hopes of becoming part of the Geek and Sundry Vlog network, but even if that doesn’t work out, I plan on continuing to make video content for this site. I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

UPDATE: The Geek and Sundry voting is LIVE! My video page is here. You can vote once a day. Please vote for me!

 

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Top 5 Favorite TV Episodes

31 Aug

To the outside observer, it probably looked like I’ve been a huge slacker about posting anything but my weekly roundup posts lately. That’s only partially true. The reality is, I got so caught up in making this list of my favorite episodes of TV, EVER, that I agonized over choosing the right episodes for way way longer than I should have, considering even as I’m writing this I’m actively trying not to change my mind. In any case, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the TV episodes that have stuck with me over the years, the ones that I find to be a cut above everything else out there. I’ve made no effort to hide my Whedon fandom around here – I mean, this blog’s title is a Firefly reference – so it should come as no surprise to you that this list is fairly Whedonverse-heavy. 😛

As usual, in no particular order:

Firefly – “Out of Gas”

This episode was the easiest selection on the list, as I consider it my favorite episode of anything, ever. To me, this is about as close to perfect as an episode of TV gets. Not only is the main story great, but the use of flashbacks to finally show us a glimpse of the beginnings of the crew of the Serenity ties the whole thing together beautifully. I’ve always thought of this episode as basically being the audience’s glimpse at just how much Mal cares for the ship and his crew – and it reads like a love letter by the end of the episode.

This episode aired (or at least, was intended to air) as the 8th in the series unfortunately short run of 14 episodes. By this point, we’ve gotten fairly invested in Malcolm Reynolds and his crew of misfits aboard Serenity. So when the episode begins with a look at the ship floating in space with no power, apparently abandoned except for an injured Mal, it hooks you in right away – you just have to know what happened to the ship and her crew. I know I’ve complained about this framing device recently, but when it’s done well – as it is here – it can be an extremely effective storytelling tool.

And so we find our heroes trapped on a ship with a busted port compression coil – and no working engines or life support as a result. Zoe, in an attempt to save Kaylee from the explosion, has been left badly injured. As time runs out on their remaining air, Mal ships everyone off on the shuttles and decides to stay in case someone answers their distress call. As he’s left to himself, he begins to reminisce about meeting each of his crew members. Part of what makes the flashbacks so effective is that they lighten up the episode – things are looking pretty bleak – and the moments of levity provided  are a perfectly timed reprieve from the growing tension aboard Serenity. I mean, what better way to lighten the mood than to watch Mal outsmart Jayne and trick him into joining his crew? Or finding out that Zoe didn’t like Wash when they first met him? In addition to providing some laughs, these glimpses of the past also raise the stakes of the current situation, making the idea of the ship and crew being lost more real and painful to consider.

In my opinion, this episode showcases Nathan Fillion at his finest as well. He did a lot of great work as Mal, getting the opportunity to show off both his dramatic and comedic chops, but this episode is a particularly great episode for him. We see all sides of Mal – his protective side, his stubbornness, his determination to save his ship, and a bit of his wit as well via flashbacks. But my favorite scene comes at the end of the episode, after the crew has returned to save Mal’s life – thanks to Zoe’s insistence that Wash go back for him. Groggy from the drugs, Mal starts to fall asleep, only to jerk awake again. “You’re all gonna be here when I wake up?” he asks with concern. The crew assures him they will be, and Mal smiles, saying “Good, that’s good” as he falls asleep. It’s perhaps the only moment we see Mal as vulnerable in the whole run of the series, but it speaks volumes to how much these people mean to him.

I could ramble about this episode forever. It’s just that good. If you haven’t watched it or Firefly yet (and seriously, what are you waiting for if you haven’t?!) I highly recommend checking it out.

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My Favorite TV Characters

11 Jul

I’m not at San Diego Comic-Con right now, as is probably pretty obvious since I’m blogging and not out having fun. I’m bummed about it. But I’ll have my own convention-going fun to report on in October (New York Comic Con, woohoo!), so in the meantime, I’m distracting myself by bringing you the first in what I’m planning on making a summer-ish series of lists of some of my favorite (and not-so-favorite) TV-related things. Today’s list: my favorite characters. This was hard. There are a lot of honorable mentions because I cheat. I probably could have listed at least 5 more people, but I didn’t. You should be proud of me. 😉

Malcolm Reynolds, Firefly

I could easily have just listed pretty much the entire crew of Serenity, but I decided that would be a boring list. So of course, my Firefly love fell to the captain, Malcolm Reynolds. You’ll notice a trend in this list – that I like somewhat flawed characters – and Mal is no different. He’s got a past that haunts him and can’t stay out of his own way a lot of the time (he does basically commit crimes for a living). But he’s fiercely loyal to his crew, and he loves his ship. I love the layers of his character – he comes off rough at first, but once you’re on his crew, you are on his crew, and he’ll do anything for you. Watching him struggle to protect those his cares about (and avoid those out to do him harm) is a fascinating journey.

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