This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"KKcht. Eagle one to German guys from 'Die Hard', what is your position? KKRrtch."
11981 members | you are not logged in | 22 May 2018


August 19 2005

Tonight's Firefly episode on SciFi - 'Shindig'. Penned by Jane Espenson. Tim Minear described it as a "fun, romantic episode".

Not my favourite Firefly episode but it has some very good moments.

And as ever, some more commentary from Whedon and Minear (from Cinefantastique).

“Shindig” was supposed to come along a little bit later than it did, because we sort of looked at it and thought, “All of a sudden we’re into hoop skirts, people might still be wondering about horses. Have we gone too far?” Any chance to feature Mal and Inara going at each other is very important to me. Those guys are just delightful together. The thing that blew me away the most in this was Jewel in her big old dress, which was just about the cutest thing I’d seen in a long time. The way she plays it, she is just so adorable. It’s happened with all of them, but it was a moment for me when I said, “Oh, okay, she’s a star, too.” And, hey, floating chandelier - what more could you ask for?

“Shindig” was the hilarious Jane Espenson. Vern Gillum directed, I think really well, I loved the dancing in that episode. Just a fun, romantic episode and it also gives you a lot of Inara/Mal banter. One of the fun things about Firefly is that we kind of got to go and do Gone With the Wind with the costumes and swordplay. And of course the return of Badger, the Cockney scoundrel from “Serenity.” It was fun to see him back. Overall, just a fun episode on a lot of levels.

I was not fond of this episode the first time I watched it, but now that I've seen it 15 times or so (that goes for all the eps'), it has grown on me. I love Kaylee talking shop with the rich guys, River's little talk with Badger and of course Mal...

Sure. It would be humiliating,
having to lie there while the better
man refuses to spill your blood.
Mercy is the mark of a great man.

Very quickly, offhandedly, MAL STABS Atherton!

MAL (cont'd)
Guess I'm just a good man.

He STABS him again!

MAL (cont'd)
Well, I'm all right.

I LOVE that scene! :)

[ edited by SpookyRiverFan on 2005-08-19 21:33 ]
Isn't this the one where Mal gets the name Capt'n Tightpants? I love that! :)
That's one of my favorite scenes in the ep too, SRF! :-) I love watching Mal be all NOT noble (as in the end of the Train Job, as well).
And I'm a fan of Kaylee in her dress. Still, this is definitely one of the weaker FF eps in my book....
I love the commentary, because it is essentially a look at the production side of things - Jane, Morena and Shawna (costumer) sitting around talking about the period influences on costumes, how the idea for the floating chandelier came about, etc. A lot of people call it the least entertaining of the commentaries, but I really enjoyed it.
I'm a big fan of Jane's commentaries!
For some reason, "A swhat?" will always stick with me. I think of nothing else but that when I think of this episode. And Jewel Staite in that dress of course. It's such an epic, meaningful shot and defines her character so perfectly in that one moment.

I love how Joss's comments so far always wrap up with how cool that floating thing was (the train in "Train Job," the chandelier, etc).
I love the shot of Kaylee in her bunk with the dress hung where she can look at it all the time.

I like the commentary too.
One comment from Shawna on the commentary has always bugged me continuity wise - she says that the thong Zoe wears around her neck is a symbol of her marriage bond to Wash - sweet. Except in Out of Gas when she first meets Wash, she's wearing it. Aw. Wish I didn't know :-(
SpookyRiverFan, that bit of dialogue by Mal is a tool I have used to recruit people into the Firefly ''s so far removed from traditional TV, and yet utterly believable. Just great writing.
Gingeriffic - yep, it bugs me too. Continuity error or did she just make it up? We will never know.
My favorite episode, and the commentary is hilarious. I only appreciate this episode more when I realize how much work went into it. This defines so much of the Firefly humor, from slapstick (Use of a swhat?) to silly (floating chandelier, some hot cheese) to mean (What did they have last year?). However, the real highlight of this episode is Kaylee being adorable. Am I the only one in love with this girl?

I mean honestly, the episode has features of each character doing what they do best, interacting with each other in different ways appropriate to who they are. And English River!!

Continuity error or did she just make it up? We will never know.

A little of both, I'd bet. Back when the show came out I made Sim skins of them, and for the longest time I couldn't figure out what was missing from Zoe. And then one day it hit me - she didn't have the tie. She really looks wrong without it.
I love this episode. It must be one of my favorites.
- There's Mal choppy sword fight skill, Inara trying to train him and how he defeated "Ath". The wine and the cows in the end, are priceless.
- I simply love Kaylee staring at the dress, then getting to wear it to the Shindig, and shaking those snob ladies hands, going to the buffet table, and then surrounded by all those men.
- This episode made fall in love with Zoe's and Wash' marriage.
- Then there's also Badger holding the rest of the crew "hostage" in Serenity. River appearing and doing that sort of trick, it was amazingly cool.
- The small and large touches with the Special Effects are just amazing, and all the scenes in the ballroom, are gourgeous.

I can't find something that I don't like about this episode.

Back when I first watched this episode. I was already in love with the series. Fox showed "Shindig" after "Out of Gas, which happens to be my favorite episode from the series. It was a great shift of mood, but didn't bother me at all.
"Out of Gas" is my fav too, but I'm a bit River biased. :)
"Out of Gas" is also my favorite, but I think this episode is hysterical.
OOG and OIS are my two favorites, yet Shindig is the one that I watch the most. The other two, while nearly perfect examples of stellar television, aren't exactly...upbeat. Shindig always makes me feel so good!
OOG and OIS are also my favorites, but it was Shindig that hooked me on the series as I watched the episodes sequentially on the DVDs for the first time (never saw the show on broadcast TV). To this point I liked Firefly, but I couldn't say that I loved it. But I appreciated the lighter humor in this episode, and I had come to love the characters, as well. I couldn't stop watching the DVDs after this episode -- and ended up doing a marathon viewing of the entire series.
OOG and OIS are also my favorites because they are perfect examples of the greatness of Firefly but Shindig has a lot going for it too, especially Kaylee in that dress surrounded by all the guys and the Mal and Inara scenes are smokin'! And River talking to Badger always cracks me up. Them all talking about needing a diversion and River coming in and giving them all just that but they are all so mesmerized by her they don't even notice it!
The "behind the scenes" looks show too much!!

There won't be any movie left in September.
I had forgotten the funny cut from Jayne asking, "Are we going to play cards or screw around?" to the scene of Zoe and Wash "screwing around."

So, for those who watched the film clip, was that the real music, then? The bits of that scene in the trailers, of course, had different music. I liked the way the music worked with the action.
"Yes sir, Cap'n Tightpants!" Love that.
Agh! I've seen the movie already, but it still bugs me that they are showing the whole friggin movie. I want to see it all together in September, not sparadic moments in the weeks before!
Ok, so again this week for those of us without cable: What was the clip this week? (You can be as vague as you want, because I've seen the movie, so just a hint will be enough for me to know.)
Agh! I've seen the movie already, but it still bugs me that they are showing the whole friggin movie. I want to see it all together in September, not sparadic moments in the weeks before!

I've seen it, too. Fortunately, I don't think this clip gave anything away that wasn't already at least in part in a trailer.

As for Shindig, the Kaylee scenes really drew me into this story. Also, English River and "Well, I'm OK" Mal were high points.
Ok, so again this week for those of us without cable: What was the clip this week?

A minute clip from

[ edited by WindTheFrog on 2005-08-20 05:12 ]
Shindig is definitely one of my favourites - but then I love everything JE wrote for Joss. Without wanting to declare war or anything but DMP is one of my favourite BtVS episodes!

The "great man - good man - all right" scene is so symbolic of everything about Mal on FF that it is just perfect.
I don't think the clips will spoil the movie for anyone. They are slightly longer clips from the trailer, and both I've seen (but I haven't watched every single week) come from the beginning of the movie. I don't think any real spoilers will be released through the clips. My boyfriend saw last night's clip and thinks every young girl out there should see it also. :)

And I love love love Kaylee in Shindig. That's my girl.
Just chiming in to declare I am one of those people who loves Shindig. I love it for all the reasons stated above but to me the best moment is Mal's "Great man, Good man" lines. This is the episode that made me fall in love with Firefly and I still enjoy Shindig everytime I watch it.
It's a Jane Espenson eppie. Enough said. :)
I really loved the interaction between Mal and Inara in this episode. It's just so complicated and interesting. They are both such decent, good people, yet their circumstances make it difficult for them to be together.

Obviously they both admire one another- they're both attractive, Mal is brave and headstrong, Inara is intelligent, elegant and caring, but they just can't admit their feelings for one another. Mal hates Inara being a companion, and it's difficult for companions to maintain relationships anyway.

It's just very interesting to see her being offered a more stable, comfortable life, but with a man who treats her like a possession, or to stay with the life she has, which is complicated and tumultuous, but with people that she truly respects and loves (well, perhaps that's not exactly true, but with the exception of Jayne, all of the Serenity passengers are trustworthy and likeable).

Of course there is also the delight of Kaylee's dress as well as River's Badger impression. I don't think it's the best episode, but it's very solid and delivers everything you could want.

This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home