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March 18 2011

Still Flying: an interview with Tim Minear. It's the first part of the highly anticipated PopMatters interview.

Oh, lovely. :) Can't wait for the rest! And lovely that I've got a reminder to go read the rest of the new Whedonage on PopMatters, I always forget.
As always, a great interview with Tim. Can't wait for the second part. I especially enjoyed his little anecdote. Is it strange that I can actually imagine the two of them braiding each others hair?
Nice interview.
Good stuff. Now i'm even more highly anticipating the second part.
Heh. I did wonder at the time about that speech of Buffy's at the end of Bring on the Night. I wasn't the only one from what I recall.
[GW]Buffy:
BUFFY
(resolute) I'm really tired... of evil. I'm more than...i'm like after scared. Yeah, we're gonna go after scared and git it. I'm...We're standing on the mouth of hell...of a helluva fight and it is gonna swallow us whole. And it'll choke on us. Like a big pretzel. We're not ready? Yes we are ready ! We're always ready to stop... freedom... to stop the fight... freedom can never be stopped ! They're not ready either. They think we're gonna wait for the end to come, like we always do. I'm done waiting, we did not fight and die to wait...to wait... for freedom. They want an apolacypse? Oh, we'll give 'em one, we'll give 'em the biggest apolacypse ever. And then we'll take it... to them... right back to them ! Anyone else who wants to run, do it now cos running is for Al Keeda and his cronies setting over there in Iraqistan. 'Cause we just became an army. A big pretzel army. Hell pretzels, that's what we are. We just declared war. From now on, we won't just... we won't face our worst fears, we will turn on... our backs... we'll turn our backs on them so that they can't... uhh... see our faces. We will find them, even though we're facin' the wrong way... and subject to congressional oversight, cut out their hearts one by one, until The First shows itself for what it really is, an enemy of freedom and a friend of Al Keeda. And I'll kill it myself, using ma army. There is only one thing on this earth more evil than us... only one thing... there is only one thing more powerful than evil and that's us pretzels. In short, Mission Accomplished !*press secretary steps in* Ms Summers will not be taking questions at this time.


(to me that speech is there as a sincere, well intentioned - and incredibly rousing - first paving stone on Buffy's road to autocratic Hell. If Joss sees it in the GWB context then I wonder if it's intended as balance, as if to say even the best of intentions and purest of motives can lead us astray if we misuse power ?)
Don't want to misquote anybody but I think - gets out the QuoterGal signal - that speech was a response to the invasion of Iraq, or current events, or something along those lines. I'm sure it got commented on in an interview by joss.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-03-18 16:57 ]
Thing is, Buffy's actually right, right ? The First is an actual threat to the world. So I don't think she's being set up as a direct Bush stand-in, more as a way of saying there're ways and ways to respond to situations.
The speech freaked me out the first time I watched it because she sounded exactly like the national rhetoric justifying war. I assumed it was deliberate since it was such a clear match. It's hard hearing a character who's fought terrible monsters for years but been willing to see the humanity in some of them give that speech.
I dunno, maybe it's just because I absolutely LOVE that speech (and SMG's delivery) or because GWB's rhetoric of the time was less immediate this side of the pond but I just don't see it quite in those terms. It's definitely warlike and uncompromising but then she's in a war and for maybe the first time, in a position where she really needs to inspire people to do things they don't want to do, where their belief has been shaken and needs to be reaffirmed. Plus, she's been badly hurt, a certain lack of moderation seems understandable.

Don't get me wrong, I see the parallels, I just think the mapping from one to the other is less direct (as I say, Buffy really is in the fight of her life, The First really is a threat to everything etc. It doesn't necessarily seem disproportionate to me is what i'm getting at - whereas invading Iraq ? Kinda does ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2011-03-18 16:24 ]
Let me just be very clear -- my recollection is that Joss was not trying to make a political statement. He was taking the story where it needed to go and quipped about the GWB thing concerned that it might come across in a way he didn't intend. As always, Joss did what was right for the story. And this is another reason I love him so. Plus, he smells like cake.
Battenburg ? Dunno why I just get a marzipan vibe.

Cheers Tim Minear, that clears that up (seems he was right to be concerned too ;).
I didn't mean I thought it was a bad writing choice. I did assume the rhetorical echo was deliberate but not that it was there to make a statement. I actually like seeing Buffy navigate the darker choices of leadership. In Seasons 7 and 8 she's less one girl defending the world and more a leader in a war. I don't think it's possible to have an honest exploration of that territory and with such high stakes without making me uncomfortable. Everything she's saying in the speech makes total sense in her context. It wouldn't have freaked me out if it didn't.
The speech made perfect sense for both the character and the story. When is war justifiable?
Ooh, I know this one, is it when there's going to be great video of "dots" being "de-emphasised" ? Or when (re)construction companies need to make some money ?

Everything she's saying in the speech makes total sense in her context. It wouldn't have freaked me out if it didn't.

Ah I get you Sunfire, I thought it freaked you out cos it sounded like GWB's rhetoric (which didn't make sense in context - or not to me anyway). My bad.
I always love it when Tim Minear comes on here to clear up something he said in an interview. :)
Ah I get you Sunfire, I thought it freaked you out cos it sounded like GWB's rhetoric

Well, yes. Rhetoric echoing what I've been hearing for years in a situation where it's being said by a heroic figure who is literally declaring war on Hell. It's both the echo and sense-making together that make the freak out.
As an FYI, as editor of the Popmatters event, I was happy to have Tanya Cochran, who is well known for her work on Firefly and Serenity, take on the interview. Believe it or not, but this was her first interview ever. She prepared by reading every interview she could find that Tim had given and then came up with questions she couldn't find that anyone else has asked (except for the inevitable Inara question).

I'm too much of a coward to do interviews myself (not scared to talk to anyone - my fear is that I will somehow bungle the recording program and have nothing to transcribe), but sometimes you don't have full confidence in someone you have assigned an interview to. If I ever oversee another event similar to this one, and if have any interviews, I am going to do a beeline to Tanya and see if she'll take it on.

I've always loved Tim's interview. He is, for lack of a strong enough word, forthcoming. He is always thoughtful and articulate. But I still learned a lot in this one. And it made me want to see STRANGE WORLD, which is a show I don't know.

If I remember my word count correctly, the second half of the interview is actually a bit longer than the first. In total it was about 7,000 words, which is way too long for a single internet interview. So we split it.
And let me add . . .

I'm loving THE CHICAGO CODE. As a Chicagoan (Popmatters is, in a way, a Chicago site; I believe the offical mailing address is in Evanston) I'm having an incredible amount of fun watching my city on TV. I'd like the show anyway, but seeing places that don't always make it into movies or TV shows is fun. Though like anyone in Chicago I'm still a little bugged by the scene on "Harlem" when anyone in the city knows that the location was miles from Harlem. But they filmed a scene at the Quincy EL stop, which is where I frequently board the EL.

Hopefully this one is going to be on the air for a while.
What's the early prognosis on 'The Chicago Code' BTW, are people watching ?

It's both the echo and sense-making together that make the freak out.

OK, maybe I didn't get you before but now I think I actually do (you can kind of brush it off when it doesn't make sense but when it's the same thing but it does make sense it sort of demands to be taken seriously ? Am I even close ? ;).
Ratings aren't that great. Around a 2.0 in the demo. If it was on a struggling network like NBC then it would be solid, but being on FOX it seems pretty weak. There are some reports suggesting the only way it's gonna survive is if Fringe gets cancelled and they move TCC to Fridays. Of course these are internet "reports", so make of them what you will.

As for the shows quality I have to say it's all been a solid meh so far. It kinda feels like the premise has these huge ambitions but then the episodes are pretty standard cop-show fare. The best part of it is the credit sequence, but I feel the actual show doesn't live up to the feelings/mood it encapsulates.
Mmmm I want cake.
Cheers Kaan. Fingers crossed the show gets a chance to find its feet then ('Terriers' didn't immediately grab me but once it did - by maybe ep 4 or 5 ? - it didn't let go).
FWIW, the point about TCC vs. Fringe is that by some accounts there is only one one-hour slot left in FOX's schedule, but TCC and Fringe are, well, two shows not one. So the argument is FOX can't bring them both back. Of course, there are 52 weeks in a year; FOX has lots of room to play if it makes sense/they feel like it.
♥ Tim Minear ♥

LOL Mountaineer man and "the angriest man [Joss] ever met and canít bear to be in the same room with [him]". All ending in becoming "Ďbestiesí and sat around French-braiding each otherís hair and knitting booties."

Tim should do all the interviews. And Joss. And Jane. And everyone. Am I the only one who enjoys the behind-the-scenes narrative play? Fun fun fun.
I want to be Tim Minear when I grow up (more.)
Thank you, Tim, Tanya, and Njal for the thought-opening and the mind-provoking!
Tim says, Plus, he smells like cake.

All that talent, the cuteness, AND he smells like cake? {{{kicks the dirt}}} Life is so random and unfair! :=)

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