FIREFLY EPISODE DISCUSSIONS

One chance - where should you start?

POSTED BY: KITTYKAT
UPDATED: Friday, March 25, 2005 04:35
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Wednesday, February 2, 2005 12:57 AM

KITTYKAT


Spreading the Firefly news is good and we all know that if we can just get people in front of that TV with the DVDs on, then they can't help but fall in love with it. It's getting them there that's the problem.

I have three housemates, one I managed to get onto Firefly because she was willing to do anything to avoid work. Of course, she loved it and quickly converted her boyfriend who is my second housemate - he didn't have a chance. My third housemate has been incredibly resistant and extremely dubious and finally managing to corner him last night into watching whe he was tired and his resistance low, I knew I only had one chance to get him addicted. So we put on 'Shindig'.

While I think Firefly's good from the beginning, I think it's excellent, must-see viewing from about 'Shindig' onwards. So my question is this, what episode would you start someone off on, knowing you've only got one chance?

- Kati

Pretties! http://funkydory.hostrocket.com/firefly.htm

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Wednesday, February 2, 2005 1:43 AM

GROUNDED


I hate not seeing stuff in order...but I'd say Our Mrs. Reynolds would be a better choice than Shindig.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2005 1:51 AM

SERGEANTX


I'm always tempted to say Out of Gas, but I think you almost need the weight of knowing the characters a bit to really appreciate it.

Our Mrs. Reynolds sounds like a really good choice. I remember that's when the series really starts to shine, and it just gets better from there. If they like it I'd still encourage them to go back and watch them all in order, but OMR will give them a good feel for what's great about Firefly. If they don't like it, they probably won't like the rest of the episodes.

SergeantX

"Dream a little dream or you can live a little dream. I'd rather live it, cause dreamers always chase but never get it." Aesop Rock

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Wednesday, February 2, 2005 11:20 AM

MRSKBORG


Normally I'd say go with OMR or Shindig, but oddly enough for one person it was OOG and then I didn't see my dvds for 3 weeks!

"This movie may be a beautiful butterfly, but I loved that damn caterpillar." Joss Whedon.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2005 11:37 AM

CONNORFLYNN


Out of Gas is by far my favorite episode..though I love them all.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2005 11:38 AM

MANIACNUMBERONE


I was shown War Stories first... and afterwards I was shown them out of chronological order, but it didn't eventually matter to me because I got to know all the episodes so well. I would say, if you think that these are the type of folks who would watch the series more than once, it's fine to try and hook them with a specific ep. I wish now though that I had been shown them in order.

-------------------------------------------
Inara: Who's winning?
Simon: I can't really tell, they don't seem to be playing by any civilized rules that I know.
-------------------------------------------

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Wednesday, February 2, 2005 11:52 AM

MINIME


still reckon the pilot is the way to go. it got me hooked. (of course that was after i had already bought the dvds, but still...)

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Wednesday, February 2, 2005 12:41 PM

MISGUIDED BY VOICES


Quote:

Originally posted by minime:
still reckon the pilot is the way to go. it got me hooked. (of course that was after i had already bought the dvds, but still...)



Totally agree. Begin at the beginning, its a very good place to start as Julie Andrews once trilled.

Serenity is designed to hook people - the later episodes are as well, but there is a certain art to the pilot episode - kind of screws up when you show it out of gorram order!

Looking at recent pilots (I've yet to see Lost), Firefly has one of the best examples I can think of as the perfect pilot/first episode.

"I threw up on your bed"

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Wednesday, February 2, 2005 4:13 PM

CLAUDIUS


Shindig got me hooked. The pilot would be good for chronology but I would be tempted to go with Ariel....But heck there all good. I'll bet you could convert someone with the second half of any of'em.

Book: I am a shepherd. Folks like a man of God.
Mal: No, they don't. Men of God make everyone feel guilty and judged.

Wash: Psychic, though? That sounds like something out of science fiction.
Zoe: We live in a space ship, dear.


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Thursday, February 3, 2005 1:18 AM

KITTYKAT


Mmm... Out of Gas is probably my favourite too, although Objects in Space comes close and I do consider myself lucky to have got to watch it from the beginning. I just don't think Serenity works well enough to make someone who's not overly keen to try it to begin with to make them want to keep watching.

The housemate said he enjoyed Shindig ("it's funnier than I thought it would be") and he did say he wanted to watch more. Mind you, I haven't seen him since so maybe he was just saying that so I wouldn't bludgeon him with the remote control.

- Kati

Pretties! http://funkydory.hostocket.com/firefly.htm

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Thursday, February 3, 2005 6:38 AM

MIKEYMO


I damn near posted this same question the other day, due to a similar experience. A good friend of mine was a bit hesitant to see the show, and seemed unimpressed with the pilot. I guess he thought it was a bit slow (dumbass). So, he kind of whined when I tried to get him to watch another episode. Figuring that Train Job or Bushwacked wouldn't really pull him in, I went with Our Mrs. Reynolds. He laughed hysterically almost the entire episode and is now borrowing the rest of the DVDs. Score!

I guess my advice on this depends on the person you're trying to initiate. If you have some kind of pull with this person at all, I'd suggest starting with the pilot. Some people (myself and most the rest of you included) immediately fall in love with the show. For those who don't, follow it up with OMR (especially for comedy lovers). My buddy seemed to appreciate the pilot retroactively.

No pull? I suppose the Train Job would be a good choice, especially for action-movie people.

"Be ashamed to die before you have scored some victory for humanity." -- Horace Mann

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Sunday, February 6, 2005 1:09 PM

P1NKISPUNK


I found the pilot difficult to love on first viewing - because it felt like I was missing something. Like something was being communicated but my Angel and Buffy addled brain wouldn't switch to Firefly - something completely different from anything I've ever seen.

However I was strangely hooked - even though somewhat bewildered about what I wasn't picking up on and it suddenly all came together on 'Our Mrs. Reynolds' - which though was a great comedy really seems to demonstrate what Firefly and it's people were about, without a very complicated B-Story to pick up on.

From then on I was no longer just fascinated or slightly outsmarted I was completely in love - and my twin brother felt exactly the same way.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2005 11:35 AM

THIEFJEHAT


I maintain that the pilot episode is best. I have converted several people now and all admitted that the pilot was the best way to draw them in. It's a work of art.

I have observed my converts as they watch and there is always confusion for the 1st time viewer when the Battle of Serenity Valley plays. But once the salvage mission is underway and Wash starts playing with his toys, their eyes are always glued. The engaging moments for a newbie are usually the salvage mission, the standoff with Badger, the "girl in the Box", the Reaver flyby, the shootout with Patience, and the flight from the reavers.

For the 1st time viewer you must be cautious about throwing too much dialogue around because the viewer isn't going to get it and may become bored. The Badger standoff is a good example of how to correctly insert plot dialogue into a desperate moment. When you add up all the other great engaging moments in the pilot it would be hard for any passing sci-fi viewer to not be hooked. It'd be like a hungry 7-year-old turning down McDonalds.(at least 7-year-olds I've seen)

Starting with any other episode can have merits of comedy or engaging dialogue or whatnot, but invariably a plot continuity issue will arise that can create confusion.

So I say...start at the beginning!

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Tuesday, February 8, 2005 1:27 PM

BELASERA


I recently bought this DVD for my cousin's husband, for his birthday. He and another cousin there had never heard of it, his wife had only heard of it from me, so after the party I talked everyone into watching it together. Of course, we started with the pilot.
It was the most horrifying, nerve wracking two hours ever...man, that pilot feels long when you're on pins and needles, and watching people's faces more than the screen.
There had been some guffaws at the opening credits, some exclemations of 'Horses? Six shooters?' and I knew my good taste was being doubted. But by the time that reaver attack rolled around, it had been dead silence for an hour, and these are not naturally silent people!
So yeah, the pilot did the job on my sci-fi lovin', chinese speakin' cousins, but it is still a very long time to wait to hear these words-
'I need to find this Joss Whedon....cause he made the best show ever!'
Whew!

"I'll be in my bunk."

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Tuesday, February 8, 2005 1:32 PM

BELASERA


Oh, and what I failed to mention is this....the last movie I made these cousins watch was 'Dr.Jeckyl and Mr.Hyde' starring Adam Baldwin. For those that don't know, this is a kung-fu version. Oh, it is soooo bad.
So I was comin' in with FIrefly after that, and of course upon sight of Jayne, my cousin exclaimed, 'Hey, It's that guy from Jeckyl and Hyde!'
That took some explaining...

"I'll be in my bunk."

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Wednesday, February 9, 2005 11:29 AM

THIEFJEHAT


I guess, honestly, the answer is "Show whatever it takes to get this person hooked" If you know them then you'll know what catches their eye. For most people I'll still show the pilot. But if I have...say...a highly philosophical friend..I might skip to OIS. If they're a fan of action, or a shadowrun player I'd show them Ariel. If they like dark horror ALA DOOM 3 or the movie Event Horizon I'd show them bushwacked. In the case of my wife who's a girly girl I'd show Shindig because of the dance ball and the dueling over honor.

The most important thing is to do whatever it takes to get them hooked! You'll know that you were a successful Joss Whedon missionary when the person you converted converts someone on their own. It's a great feeling! I always have a copy of firefly ready to hand out. Twice now I've given a personal copy away and just as quickly replaced it.


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Wednesday, February 9, 2005 12:02 PM

HEB


I can't remember who told me this formula (it might have been Zoid) (apoligies to whoever I'm not giving credit to) but it has worked so far.

1 Serenity (you'll never get that back if you don't watch it first cause the Simon/River and Kaylee not dying revelations will be lost)

2 Out of Gas (doesn't have spoilers for earlier episodes and doesn't require previous knowledge other than the pilot)

3a Our Mrs Reynolds if they're male

or 3b The message if they're female

Personally I tend towards Our Mrs Reynolds for anyone because it's one of my favourites and sets up Trash with the naked Mal if they're female anyway.

Then I'd fill in the gaps depending on your audience, probably starting with the Train job and a couple more of the early ones. Making sure Ariel was before Trash, War Stories was before Objects in Space, and preferably Ariel before War stories and Heart of Gold before OIS.


This formula is for if you have their attention for a limited time only, otherwise I'd show them in order.

...................
Well, my sister's a ship... we had a
complicated childhood
.................
I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2005 12:24 PM

XENOCIDE


Serenity. Unless the convert hates westerns...cause it's the most western of them all. Get them hooked on the characters, then ease them into the concept if they hate westerns.

-Eli

If voting mattered, they'd make it illegal.
http://www.bcpl.net/~wilsonr/farpoint.html

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Saturday, February 12, 2005 9:37 AM

YT

the movie is not the Series. Only the facts have been changed, to irritate the innocent; the names of the actors and characters remain the same


Quote:

Originally posted by KittyKat:
what episode would you start someone off on,


It seems that almost 2/3 of the preceding posters to this thread agree with FOX network programming execs, that the pilot is not good enough to start the series.

Keep the Shiny Side Up

Wutzon: Sarah McLachlan, "Building a Mystery", from "Surfacing"

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Sunday, February 13, 2005 11:33 PM

BARNEYT


My vote's for Serenity too. My favourite episodes are out of gas and was stories, but you need to know the characters to get the most out of those episodes.

Serenity has everything in it: Badger, the Alliance, the great face-off between Mal and Simon over Kaylee, Reavers...




---
"I think the right place to start is to say, fair is fair. This is who we are. These are our numbers." Mr Willis of Ohio - The West Wing

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Monday, February 14, 2005 6:31 AM

DACUTE1


If not the pilot I'd say Jaynestown- humor, action, and just plain fun. Not one of my favorites but I know a lot of people who really like it who will still say OoG and OiS are there favs.



Kaylee: Wash, tell me I'm pretty
Wash: Were I unwed I would take you in a manly fashion
Kaylee: 'Cause I'm pretty?
Wash: 'Cause you're pretty

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005 11:51 AM

RIVERGIRL


2/3 of the preceding posters to this thread agree with FOX network programming execs, that the pilot is not good enough to start the series.


serenity IS the pilot which was not good enough for Fox--they asked for Train Job==decent enough episode and I guess it got us to tune in the next week but SERENITY is soooooooooo good

Also, I can kill you with my brain.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005 12:25 AM

MAGICALTREVOR


I would start with Serenity, because then everything makes sense. However, it is an hour and a half long on the DVD and this makes stuff difficult. Train Job? Well it has some funny bits and Adam Baldwin sans beard (shallow? moi? ;) ) Ariel is good, but it would be confusifying on its own. War Stories? Lots of torture would put my delicate flatmate off. I would head for Our Mrs Reynolds, because it's funny and you don't need to know everything.

Trev.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005 7:46 AM

OLDFAN45


One chance not to be wasted...well, for older folks (say, 40 on up) start with "Serenity" and explain it's more like "Gunsmoke" than "Star Trek" since most of us in this age bracket think space=aliens=bad makeup and stupid prosthetics. My sister's mother-in-law is almost 80 and she's a convert with a vengeance. This Christmas she asked for the DVDs, and she goes online and reads the fanfic all the time! (Unusual old person, true, but hey.)

ANYBODY should love the show if they see "Our Mrs. Reynolds" and/or "Shindig."

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005 7:48 AM

MANOFSTEEL25


Yeah this is tough. Much like the harder what episode of Dr. Who to start someone off on question I tackled a few months back...

Well bottom line is Serenity is the best way to go. It's very solid and it got me hooked even though techncially my firest episode was Out of Gas. And it's very necessary for the set-up.

The only things against the pilot is really it's length- not a lot of people are willing to devote 90 minutes to trying a new show- they'd rather sample like 1 standard ep. And the overt Western stuff for the SciFi fans- I have yet to run into someone who loves westerns and can't wrap thier head around the space stuff.

If you had to go with a standard episode... I like a lot of what's been written on here...

But I'd have to say Out of Gas or Our Mrs. Reynolds are the standouts. I was also highly impressed with Ariel, War Stories, Objects in Space and well at least one scene (or more) in all the other episodes (the interrogation a the end of Bushwacked, Mal kicking the guy through the Engine in the Train Job, the 'training' and duel in Shindig, Inara's breakdown in Heart of Gold, Jayne's reaction in the teaser of The Message, Simon's flashbacks in Safe etc.)

However for everyone I converted I showed all of the Serenity first and in many cases they then proceeded to watch the next two or three in a row. For some other select stubborn people I simply bought them the DVD set sight unseen and would get gushing thank you e-mails a few weeks later. So I am doing my part.

So I've yet to really run into the 'skipping ahead' problem. Most people i kow appreciate good scifi and Serenity is indeed just that.

And while it seems there is an argument for not showing Serenity first- I'm sorry, but the FOX execs are still wrong. It has to go first.

The moment that usually tends to convert everyone for sure: Mal shooting the Fed holding River hostage without breaking stride. Gets 'em everytime!


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Wednesday, February 16, 2005 9:24 AM

YT

the movie is not the Series. Only the facts have been changed, to irritate the innocent; the names of the actors and characters remain the same


Quote:

Originally posted by rivergirl:
2/3 of the preceding posters to this thread agree with FOX network programming execs, that the pilot is not good enough to start the series.


Actually, that was originally posted by me.

Quote:

serenity IS the pilot which was not good enough for Fox-


I'm not sure of your point. Is it that 9 out of 14 is not 2/3? But my original post includes the word "almost" immediately in front of "2/3".

Interestingly, subsequent posts now bring it even. And in case the implication in my original post was too subtle, I think the pilot is the only good way to start the series.

Keep the Shiny Side Up

Wutzon: Dire Straits, "Romeo & Juliet"

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Thursday, March 24, 2005 4:31 AM

INTHEBLACK


Quote:

Originally posted by YT:
Quote:

2/3 of the preceding posters to this thread agree with FOX network programming execs, that the pilot is not good enough to start the series.



Interestingly, subsequent posts now bring it even. And in case the implication in my original post was too subtle, I think the pilot is the only good way to start the series.



Well them's two different things; kicking off the series, and a Hail Mary one-chance-only conversion attempt.

Of course Serenity should be screened first if you're showing the series - Fox execs must have dust bunnies in their heads to get that one wrong - but when you know you've got one shot or lose 'em forever... you bait the trap with whatever will appeal most to your prey.

What the Fox execs clearly didn't comprehend is that they don't get just one shot - people come into series late all the time. Every episode they get to try to convert people - maybe a few more on opening night, but then again maybe not. The trick is not to lose them once you've got them... by maybe showing it regularly?


Shiniest gorramn show in the 'verse!

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Thursday, March 24, 2005 5:17 AM

CONFEDERATE


To get my Brother in Law hooked into the show, I showed him Jaynestown first. After that he was hooked. And of course gave him his own shiny new DVD box set to convert others with.

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Thursday, March 24, 2005 7:44 AM

PERIDIDDLE


My first two two converts were both nabbed with Serenity. My sister is a huge fan of sci-fi and the like, so it didn't take much with her. For a good friend of mine, who was a Joss fan to begin with, I just had to give her the first DVD and let her decide.

But in any other situation, it would certainly depend on the person I was attempting to convert. I like watching thigns in orders, so some people might respond better to Serenity, though The Train Job works almost as well when there's less time. But every episode is great for it's own reasons. The only episodes I wouldn't use would be War Stories and Trash, just because they have important backstories in previous episodes. OOG seems like a good choice, because of how it travels into the characters they would get to meet later on.

"Bwaa...it's kind of a warrior...strikes fear into the hearts of..."

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Thursday, March 24, 2005 10:39 AM

DIETCOKE


Everyone that I've shown it to I started with the first episode and explain that it was a little slow but that have to watch all the episodes up to and including "Our Mrs. Reynolds" before they make up their mind.

I do it in one sitting with Pizza. Hooked them all!

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Thursday, March 24, 2005 1:20 PM

YT

the movie is not the Series. Only the facts have been changed, to irritate the innocent; the names of the actors and characters remain the same


Quote:

Originally posted by InTheBlack:
Quote:

Originally posted by YT:
And in case the implication in my original post was too subtle, I think the pilot is the only good way to start the series.


Well them's two different things; kicking off the series, and a Hail Mary one-chance-only conversion attempt.


Not really. If you convert someone, you've started them on the series. More importantly, this was the interpretation used by the person who started this thread.
Quote:

Originally posted by KittyKat:
what episode would you start someone off on,


. . .
Quote:

Originally posted by InTheBlack:
What the Fox execs clearly didn't comprehend is that they don't get just one shot - people come into series late all the time.


Now that is two different things. Coming to a series late is not the same as tuning in to the first ep, being unimpressed, but tuning in to the next one anyway. Do you do that? I wouldn't. I have done it for a DVD set highly recommended by folks I trust. But broadcast TV is one-chance-&-you're-out.

Quote:

The trick is not to lose them once you've got them... by maybe showing it regularly?


Yes, but when a broadcast network pays for the rights to a sporting playoff in prime-time, they're gonna show it live. FOX now realizes they cancelled a good & potentially popular series. They chose not to premiere any new series last fall 'til after the World Series ("World" in the American-sporting-event sense). It is small consolation, but Firefly may have changed the way broadcast TV is scheduled.

Btw, FOX is the network that broadcast, then cancelled, Firefly. 20th Century Fox is the studio where Joss made all three of his series (the other two broadcast by the WB), and left the Firefly sets up for six months, to allow Joss time to sell the series elsewhere.
To summarize: 20th Century Fox = the Good; FOX = the Bad; Fox = the Ambiguous

Keep the Shiny Side Up . . . (wutzon) Beanstalk, "Swamp Thing", from "Synergy"

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Thursday, March 24, 2005 1:42 PM

INTHEBLACK


Quote:

Originally posted by YT:
Quote:

Originally posted by InTheBlack:
Well them's two different things; kicking off the series, and a Hail Mary one-chance-only conversion attempt.


Not really. If you convert someone, you've started them on the series.



Yeah, but if the pilot isn't your prey's cup of tea, the only way to hook them may be to use different bait. Which is worse - starting someone in the wrong place, or not starting them at all?

Quote:

More importantly, this was the interpretation used by the person who started this thread.
Quote:

Originally posted by KittyKat:
what episode would you start someone off on,





Yeah, but finish the quote:
Quote:

So my question is this, what episode would you start someone off on, knowing you've only got one chance?


Quote:

Next point . . .
Quote:

Originally posted by InTheBlack:
What the Fox execs clearly didn't comprehend is that they don't get just one shot - people come into series late all the time.


Now that is two different things. Coming to a series late is not the same as tuning in to the first ep, being unimpressed, but tuning in to the next one anyway.



You have yourself a point there. Seems to me though, that that just reinforces the idea that the same episode ain't always going to be the right one to use to hook people - even if it is the best one to start with for most folk.

Quote:

When a broadcast network pays for the rights to a sporting playoff in prime-time, they're gonna show it live. [...] It is small consolation, but Firefly may have changed the way broadcast TV is scheduled.



Shiny. Just wish they could have learned their lesson on somebody else's gorramn show!

Quote:


To summarize: 20th Century Fox = the Good; FOX = the Bad; Fox = the Ambiguous



Good to know. Thanks.


Shiniest gorramn show in the 'verse!

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Thursday, March 24, 2005 2:59 PM

YT

the movie is not the Series. Only the facts have been changed, to irritate the innocent; the names of the actors and characters remain the same


Quote:

Originally posted by InTheBlack:
Just wish they could have learned their lesson on somebody else's gorramn show!


Then we'd all be eatin' steak.
Or, as Buffy said to the FOX programming group, "Eat stake!"

Keep the Shiny Side Up . . . (wutzon) Blind Faith, "Well All Right", eponymous

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Friday, March 25, 2005 4:35 AM

LITTLEKAYLEE


I was introduced to Firefly by my Buffyverse friends. since I am from Australia, where the dvds came out before it was shown on tv, I never had the chance to see it as i couldn't afford the dvds. So when going to a friends place as part of a weekly thing, I got to see my 1st Firefly ep and that was Our Mrs Reynolds. and I was hooked, even more so after seeing Jaynestown the week after. Our Mrs Reynolds is a good one to get into, but you don't get to learn much about the whole Simon/River thing who are barely in it. So I recommend that, OR Serenity. Shindig is a good one for that too, though one of my friends(who isn't obsessed with the buffyverse, but likes it) saw that ep as her 1st and she didn't understand it. So I guess Our Mrs Reynolds would be best...I have no idea...

*Carls*

"Yes sir..Captain Tightpants"

"Also, I can kill you with my brain"

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