Saturday Hangovers

Feeling slightly better, good enough to spend the day writing/editing and things. Everyone who goes to see Firefly start saying what you think; I want to talk about it. (But I’m going to see it again before I post about it.) The only review I’ve read so far is Salon’s, which is right on target. If you read any other reviews worth taking a look at, drop a note in the comments.

9 Responses to “Saturday Hangovers”

  1. Jenny D

    Yes, that Pelevin “Werewolf Problem” collection is superb. I broke my rule of not reading short-story collections to read it when it came out some years ago, & fell completely in love with it. Pelevin is super-famous in Russia & generally well-known in Europe, not so much here. But he’s spectacularly good, at his best; my particular favorite (DO read it!) is OMON RA, an insane and heartbreaking satire on the Soviet-era space program & life under communism. I’m not so crazy about his most recent stuff, but he’s generally well worth checking out.

  2. CAAF

    Oh, Serenity! I’ve been monitoring its stats on Rotten Tomatoes all week.
    Two nice pieces: Manohla’s thumbs-up in NYT; and Seth Stevenson has a perceptive piece at Slate about why Joss Whedon is best as a serial storyteller (i.e., please to return to TV, swet bub master).
    We go tomorrow!

  3. gwenda

    I will definitely add Pelevin to the immediate TBR list, Jenny — thanks.
    CAAF — I have to say, I loved Serenity as movie way more than most of these critics seem to. (Maybe it’s because it’s been awhile since I watched the show; which I do think was better suited to the story, but them’s the breaks.) The Stevenson piece is great though, and right on target. (Go back to TV, Joss!) I thought Edelstein’s take at Slate was interesting too. The critics are all doing a superb job of not spoiling any of the movie’s surprises, which is kind of a shame for me because I want to read what other people have to say about how the movie plays out. Oh well. I’ll give it a few more days until more people have seen it and then post about the bits I’m still mulling/puzzling about.

  4. Kelly Link

    I love Pelevin — I think I have a spare copy of A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia if you want it. Will need to go read Omon Ra.
    And we’re biking over to the Cinemark today to see Serenity. Maybe we’ll give you a call afterwards.

  5. gwenda

    If you do, I’ll definitely call dibs. And yes, call — I want to know what you guys think about Serenity. Now we’re off to go see if we can get my car to start–it quit in Kroger parking lot last night–and to wait for a tow truck if we can’t. Which may mean no World Fantasy, depending on what is wrong and the $$ needed to fix it.
    (Also: The grape jelly is amazingly yummy!)

  6. Ted

    Of course we’d all love it if Joss Whedon went back to television. But when Seth Stevenson recommends that he pitch a new show to HBO, my thought is, “Easy for you to say.”
    I think BtVS was one of the great achievements of series television, but how many Emmy nominations did it get? (I believe the category it got the most noms in is “Outstanding Hairstyling.” I kid you not.) Joss’s series never appealed to mainstream audiences, and thus probably never gave him a whole lot of clout with network executives. Look at how Fox treated Firefly. Does anyone really believe HBO would give Joss a series?

  7. gwenda

    I don’t know — they might. They gave those Carnivale guys two seasons for a seriously genre show and they didn’t have anything like the pedigree of Whedon. HBO likes an auteur creator (Alan Ball, David Chase, David Simon). _IF_ Serenity does reasonably well, I think that would give JW the clout to have more power as an exec producer at a bigger net or cable outlet. Not to mention Lost’s recent Emmy win may change the perception of genre shows as non-award winners in general. (I’m not so sure the BtVS thing was purely genre; the Gilmore Girls doesn’t get nommed either.)
    Anyway, all this is if a new series is what Whedon wants. Which it doesn’t seem or sound like is true. I know in a couple of interviews he said something about any return of Firefly to television would be four to five years from now.
    ETA: Sounds like Serenity did okay, but not great. I guess only time will tell whether word of mouth helps it bring in enough $$ to be a resounding win for Whedon. (It’ll also be interesting to see whether how it does has any impact on Wonder Woman.)

  8. Ted

    My comment about the Emmys had more to do with their being an indicator of popularity than with their bias against supernatural/genre fare. (Although Lost is just barely a genre show; its fans aren’t going to be watching Firefly or Battlestar Galactica any time soon.) I think of both BtVS and Gilmore Girls as cult favorites; they attract a small, intensely loyal audience, rather than a wide audience. And that’s the sense in which I was using “mainstream”: the folks who tune into a show regularly, but won’t post to a fansite about it.
    And yes, it seems like Joss Whedon wants to do movies for a while. Here’s a brief interview with the NYT. The way I read it, there’s a clear implication that he’s not happy with TV right now.

  9. gwenda

    I get that, what you’re saying about cult shows and Emmys — there are exceptions (Arrested Development being the most recent that jumps to mind), but by and large it is the more popular shows that win awards.
    Of course, Whedon landed in TV because he was unhappy with how things turned out in features. Maybe it’s just that the Hollywood way of doing business sucks, except every now and then when it doesn’t.
    My guess is that if Serenity doesn’t do very well, he will start to be subject to all sorts of meddling in the Wonder Woman project (if that wasn’t already going to happen). It’s a tough ‘verse for someone who is really committed to a personal vision, and one that’s, yes, likely always going to be more suited to cult-level success. That’s why I think Stevenson’s point about HBO (or Showtime, for that matter) isn’t a bad idea — a decent audience for a cable network show isn’t at the same level as CSI or Lost.
    I dunno. I hate Hollywood. Just let Joss Whedon and Amy Sherman-Palladino do whatever the hell they want!

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