The first thing that popped into my mind was: Cowboy Bebop. That is an anime set in the future where two friends, Spike and Jet become bounty hunters after leaving behind a past that we discover over the run of 26 episodes.
I didn't. OK, I'm just kidding with you, I did like it very much!
So what got me hooked? People's problems aren't going to change anytime soon. Trust issues, marriage, love, secrets, all of it will very much stay alive and the series doesn't try to rewrite basic human nature. It isn't trying to send that one precise message that I HATE in every single movie that is set in the future - that men's end will come at the hand of men. (Think of In Time, read my review here! And all of these environmental bullshits and so on.) That is another reason why I love both Star Wars and Star Trek: The future doesn't have to be dark and gloomy and depressed! Yes, undoubtedly, when our sun stops to shine, we will have a few issues - but light is a basic source for humans - that will be surely the first thing we will try and repair.
Anyway, I want to dissect that last episode, as in number 14 "Objects is space". Our crew is followed by a bounty hunter who, let me tell you was the most ridiculous character I have ever seen on tape. That Michael Jackson Thriller outfit didn't do much justice to this hunter who we were supposed to fear - although the setup was great, you do shit your pants by the idea of someone unknown following you to where you thought you were alone. But then he starts talking and -- you totally lost me. That was a horrible casting choice! Just awful! And that isn't my problem either with the episode! We begin with pretty clear signs of River being psychic, but then she hallucinates and believes to have picked up a branch, which was actually a gun. I am not even going to question what the hell was that gun doing on the floor in the middle of the cargo bay - I am more curious to find out how she became completely lucid.
That said, watch the series, NOW! You have nothing to lose and only plenty to gain! These are lovable, down to earth characters, great stories and if you love sci-fi then you won't be disappointed.
That being said, let us talk about the much needed ending to the series. Three years later, based on the fan base and the DVD sells, creators realized that the reason why this series got cancelled wasn't because people didn't like it - actually, it was because the executives at FOX are major dickheads. So the idea of a movie came about, and after all the actors were on board, we received:
Oh, boy. I hated it. Do forgive me if I offend you or your opinion. I can clearly see why people love it and it was a great ending - I am not going to argue with that. Also, the fans deserved this movie very-very much so I am glad it got made, but for me, it just totally missed the target - OK, not completely, but the two things that just pissed me off ruined the whole movie for me. I actually didn't do much research into this entry, so I am sure that I will be tackling a couple of things that others have already discussed. Not to mention that the movie came out 8 years ago - there isn't much new I can say. Still, I want to say it.
The story is changed a bit - which of course is understandable - we have to take into consideration that there is a whole new audience and a 90 minute mark. Here, Simon rescues River during an experiment, so he knows that she has been trained to become an assassin by the Alliance. Also, Captain hasn't warmed up to them like he did in the series, so instead of thinking of them as part of the crew, he has apparently no problem with kicking them out. River is at one point triggered by a subliminal message 'Miranda' and she starts to fight a whole bar - and kicking everyone's ass.
Understanding that this was what the Alliance feared River knew, they go out of their way to transmit video footage of this to the public - giving them once again courage to rebel.
Instead we got a character who was just as annoying as the bounty hunter - yippy-di-do! Because I totally wanted more of him! My sister put it perfectly, we hate the kind of characters who don't ask questions. He says he does this because it is his job, end of story. HUMAN BEINGS DON'T WORK LIKE THAT! He calls himself a monster and then he tries to argue with Captain, saying he is weak because he has feelings - so his weapon against him is using his humanity - so he knows about it and understands it. Yet, he not once thought about stopping to ask - Erm sorry, why do we need to kill her again? That is why I liked the blue hand guys! They clearly looked like doctors/agents who have worked with River. Another thing that proved he is very smart was the fact that Cap didn't kill him. He knew that once he saw what secret the Alliance held, he would stop - and he did! How could this clever guy not slow down once? Who knows what secrets she holds and who knows what kind of a threat she is! Adding this new character was somewhat pointless. (In case you are wondering about the pattern - I am not racist. I like Chiwetel Ejiofor very much! My problem is with the script, not the actors!)
Avengers (click here to read my review) "Oh, I forgot that Whedon has to kill somebody." after the death of Agent Coulson. And you know what a death like this is? F*CKING POINTLESS!!! Look how much good killing Coulson did to you, you idiot, you had to revive him after less than a year! I ask again, WHAT WAS THE F*CKING POINT? Being a starter script writer I know that when I kill somebody, it is purely out of laziness. I don't know how to end the story, I have a surplus, I am in lack of ideas and that is the same thing I felt here. I didn't feel that he died a hero, I didn't feel that his death was in ANY way justified! What I felt is that you have a character like Zoë, who has (barely) survived a war and God knows how many adventures and just when she will finally get peace both in her heart and mind you took away the ONLY thing stable she had in her life - making her unhappy for unknown days to come. Screw you Whedon!
Watch the movie? Yes. Yes, because it did have the ending that the series would've and it was great to see it. Watch it also because I am 100% sure that if this series would've come out just 10 years later, then it would've run for at least three seasons, if not more. I also blame FOX for - literally everything. This didn't deserve to be cancelled, and even after ten years it is still as awesome and creative and fun and enthralling as it was the first time it came out.
Until the next item on my list!
Me, my sister and my brother have a sort of quarrel over which television creator/writer/director revolutionized television series. My sister, lover of Alias always goes with JJ Abrams. My brother strongly believes that it was Joss Whedon without a doubt. I personally think that is was the brains of Robert Cochran and Joel Surnow, creators of 24 who finally gave us something outstanding. Then again, these three series came out the same year - so I think we are all right in the matter. However, I am pretty sure that for FOX 24 was a stronger contender to beat ABC's Alias, instead of Firefly. In the end, they got the short end of the stick in every matter!