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October 03 2005

Joss Posts about CHUD article. Joss is decidedly unhappy about the CHUD article (reg req). Devin responds to Joss at CHUD.

Under the header "Well, here I am" Joss has posted about his displeasure in regards to Devin's "I told you so" article on CHUD. Oh, and he's lost his Whedonesque password again, mods.

That's because the CHUD article is, to be frank, shit journalism. Except, you know, spelt right.

Chud is the *only* place I've seen this called a 'failure' - every single other B.O. analysis has called it a 'moderate' splash.

Y'all might think I'm being negative about Serenity. I'm not, I'm trying to be realistic. But the fact is I don't agree with that CHUD article in the slightest, and I'm being downbeat about things at the moment.
All i can do is smile!
Thanks, Joss. Not losing sleep over that article. We know better. And we'll be there next weekend, too.
There just seems to be a bit of hatin' towards Browncoats at the moment, particular from CHUD (check out their forums) and AICN. There will be an obnoxious 'taking it too far' few in any fanbase, but in my opinion Firefly suffers from this far less than most.

I honestly just think it's a case of people with too much on their hands, and a predisposition against Joss and his fans, creating a totally false image of the fans. Sure, Browncoats have been vocal online, because they/we love the 'verse, but I've never seen anybody cross any kind of line.

You know something ain't right when articles pop up saying the film is a failure and the fans are crazy, when the truth is it made back a quarter of its budget in one weekend - without a single 'big name' in sight. It opened second for crying out loud! The article at chud speaks as though it opened last. It opened slightly below expectations, but it's far from a disaster.

It definitely does all depend on next weekened. We'll see if the word of mouth really is as powerful as we hope. It'll either pull in another 10 million, or drop right off. Only then will comments such about the film 'failing' have any hint of credibility (but, even then, still not much).

Whatever happens, though, there is nothing that can lend weight to the way that Browncoats are portrayed in the article. Someone just has an axe to grind. Why, I do not know.

Best of luck, Joss! I know my fingers will be crossed all week.

p.s., if you read this... thanks for visiting Australia (and Melbourne). It meant a lot.

[ edited by gooball on 2005-10-03 17:19 ]
I like that he can come out, obviously not happy with what this guy has said, and remain civil, a lesser man would come and tell us to rally the troops in the biggest hate-mail campaign the internet has ever seen, perhaps even bigger than DeathToLevin'04.

Anyway, I'm feeling a lot better after reading this, and I hope next weekend pulls in the same numbers, if just all the browncoats get their friends together and go and see it again, that'd be a lot. I'm going to see this movie as many times as possible, both because it's an awesome film, and because every ticket sale counts.

Edit: Did anyone else see Harry's mention on AICN that he's stopped all talkback signups until "this browncoat thing blows over" (or words to that effect), that's just f*cking ridiculous, he's willing to let the people that populate that site bash the browncoats on there that are brave enough to speak up amongst all the people celebrating in light of the movie's less than stellar opening.

[ edited by Ghost Spike on 2005-10-03 17:23 ]
Its probably for the best. Arguing on AICN is like (insert funny, probably slightly off-colour bit here).

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2005-10-03 17:31 ]
What really winds me up is that as a Football fan I exhibit many if not ALL of the behaviour that I do as a Trekkie (or Trekker, does anyone know?) and Browncoat. I went to the Arsenal vs Birmingham game at Highbury and I sung the names of men I will never meet, I dressed up in a costume which was exactly the same as my heroes dressed in on the pitch and I cheered when we were successful and hugged a stranger next to me. And yet THIS kind of worship is more acceptable than being a Browncoat. Unfair stigma. Glad for Arsenal though (yay 1-0)

[ edited by Andy Dufresne on 2005-10-03 17:33 ]

[ edited by Andy Dufresne on 2005-10-03 17:33 ]
I think that there are legitimate points in Devin's article (for example: the title, like it or not, is a hindrance). But the closing bit about the fans' devotion being a drain on the box office seems like projection of his own problems with the fanbase onto far more people than cruise message boards, much less would care about that sort of thing.
Ahh, that whole CHUD article could've been subsituted with two lines:
1- "Told you so! Told you so!"
and
2- "I hate Browncoats! They're stupid!"

That's about it.

I am amazed though how several movie sites (the ones already mentioned above among others) that usually are under fire from outsiders for being 'Ubergeeks'. 'MovieNerds', etc etc themselves, are suddenly tripping OVER each other to call the Browncoats every type of name in the book. I know that there are some too fanatical BC's out there. But no different from any other big, loyal fan group or on every movie-, TV-, fan-, or even political board on the web.

Is it that some of these people like Devin are finally happy to have a group THEY feel they can now turn their noses up to? Is it that they're happy that they think they have an opportunity to say: "Hey, you thought WE were nerds?? Check out these guys. Yeah even *we* think they're bad!". Do they finally want to feel they're no longer on the receiving end?

Or is it just that now that there's something some of them are less into, that they're no better than the people who call them names and that they can't even tell they're falling into the same ugly behavior they always have to defend themselves against?

I like that he can come out, obviously not happy with what this guy has said, and remain civil

Exactly. And it's something those people could take a lesson from. I have to say I've been very disappointed a certain number of online writers, rumor-mongers and 'reviewers' (and I use that last term....loosely) and lost what little respect I had for them. As Joss, said, no one is obliged to like a movie, but this hideous name calling and gleeful 'Neener neener' to the fans is just contemptible.
A movie that opens #1 among new releases and #2 after a movie with a huge star like Jodie Foster is not a 'failure'. And I don't think most Browncoats have been obnoxious. I never "over-sell", and neither does any other Browncoat I know. This CHUD guy is a bit crazy and I am glad Joss responded in a civil manner. Good for him!

Someone at my office just told me Wallace & Gromit opens a bit early, Wednesday instead of Friday. Does anyone know if a.) this is true and b.) how it will affect box office returns? Do movies that open early like that get their weekday takes (Wed. and Thurs.) counted in their gross for the weekend?
Ha -- it's funny, it kinda reminds me of being a student at Stanford, where half the population seems to be tripping over each other to call other students nerds, and you kinda squint at the person talking to you and think, "Who are you trying to kid?!?"

I guess if you feel marginalized for being too obsessive, it's always nice to make fun if people who are even *more* obsessive.

Overall, I hope Browncoats take the high road on this. In a very real sense, we've already won -- the movie exists and got great reviews. More people need to see it, yeah, but I have no doubt that they will eventually. Any whining at this point will only confirm the haters' misconceptions.
I gotta say, it's pretty rich that the Browncoats are catching flak for being too fanboyish from guys whom I imagine are sitting at their computers all day wearing Akira t-shirts while surrounded by action figures of Ash from the Evil Dead. Not that there's anything wrong with any of that, mind you. I think EdDantes is right: these people finally have their chance to be the laugh-ers, rather than the laugh-ees.
RE: Wallace and Gromit -- don't worry -- even if a movie opens a day or two early (as Wallace and Gromit actually is -- 10/5), the weekend box office is always ranked according to box office made on the weekend only (Fri-Sun).
It is important to also look at a movie's "per screen average" each weekend and also how much it drops off in subsequent weekends in the box office it earns. I'm hoping that SERENITY does not have too much drop off and stays as close to the 10.1 million it earned opening weekend as possible.
There just seems to be a bit of hatin' towards Browncoats at the moment, particular from CHUD (check out their forums) and AICN.

I've seen this too, and frankly, it has something to do with the creator himself. There's just something that sets some ardent fanboys afire with hatred. I don't know why it is, but it's there. I've always had a sneaking suspicion that they hate him b/c he writes in traditionally geeky/male-oriented genres, but writes from a beautifully realized female point of view. They hate his tendency, as they call it, to melodrama and soap opera, and his sometimes fast and loose way with plotting consistency.

Of course, I think that's part of Joss' genius. He's made, with Buffy, perhaps the first female superhero for females to love. I'm not joking when I say this, but a girl I hardly knew through friends that I brought to Serenity told me in all seriousness that she lost her virginity when Buffy did, and when she saw how my eyes bugged out (TMI!), she told me it was metaphorical and how she cried when Buffy cried, her identification was so strong. Her passion was as evident as any geeky guy spazzing out over the next Spiderman or something.

Also, we came out of the theater and started singing Anya's bunny song from OMwF. It was fun.

This girl is not in anyway a traditional fangirl. But Joss' work tends to evoke this sort of fanaticism in people who aren't traditionally sci-fi or fantasy fans. Like me: I really like genre work, but I watch much of it without emotional commitment. My favorite show on TV right now is Arrested Development (which, OT, but seems to be on the verge of cancellation; this has not been a good weekend for me) and besides Joss, the only other genre artist I really love is Miyazaki. My favorite director working right now is probably Wong Kar Wai or David O. Russell. While people who are deeply immersed in traditional geek-pursuits have more varied response to Joss' work. (It's also why I think so many academics have fallen under his spell -- they're not traditional geeks, but they come from a tradition of reading deep in the text.) And this schism really really irritates some people.

I think the distaste for Browncoat fannishness is mostly limited to the 'net. I mean, I was teased by my friends for having seen the movie many times already, but mostly they had no idea about the show or the movement. Somehow, online, the absolute love that Jossfans tend to have for him offend people who don't really enjoy his work.

um -- my point with this is that Joss' post is sweet, and I'm bound and determined to make next weekend a success. Even if I have to cheat or worse to get it to happen. I'm a smallish woman on a mission, and hey, if more people see the movie, perhaps more will tell me I sorta resemble River. Which is a compliment, but strange because I am Asian and she. is. not.
Well I hope that someone gives Joss his pass word for Whedonesque!
Personally I think that most people could see that Chud had an axe to grind, the fact is that we did very good business per screen (ie taking into account how few screens Serenity was on) so none of the theaters will be kicking us out next week (I still hope we might get the BDM expanded into more theaters) and we'll get a second chance to bring in the general public. I hope that Universal will publicize the wonderful reviews we got, because I think that that will help convince people that this film is NOT just for the Firefly fans. I know that Roger Ebert never watched Firefly, and he really understood Serenity, and enjoyed it.

So I just really appreciate Joss worrying about our delicate feelings, but I want to assure him that none of us are so easily convinced to lie down and give up. Personally I still plan to see this movie several more times, particularly if it finally opens in the crappy little theater in my little town.
Totally agree with everything he just said.
I personally will be seeing it more times this weekend than I did the weekend before. Not just because I want a sequel, but because I have friends that are starting to become interested. They have heard the word of mouth and called to ask me what I thought of the film. We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty.
I can't get into the Brownshirts site. Can anyone give us a quote on what Whedon said?

Tbh, I really didn't think the CHUD article was all that bad (last paragraph aside) but I can see that feelings are running pretty high right now.
This "article" is an example of the worst of the web - a non-expert writes with arrogant seeming authority on a topic and his/her words are read (and probably believed) by thousands of people. What tripe. Others have pointed out the ways in which Devin reveals his ignorance of the economics of Hollywood so I won't bother. But really, folks, *this* constitutes journalism? God help us. I find it odd, unprofessional and downright embarrassing that someone would write such a negative piece built on a nonsensical argument. That Serenity came in second only to Flightplan and first among new releases in no way constitutes failure. Period.

As for Devin's Browncoats bashing, I don't quite know how to respond. I spend almost no time at AICN and CHUD and have no idea how obnoxious (or not) certain segments of the Browncoat population are. Whatever the reality, Devin does not help his case against putative obnoxious Browncoats by writing in such a snippish, bitchy, "I told you so" way. Again, I ask, *this* constitutes journalism?
I'm not going to comment on the article. I just read it, rolled my eyes and went to the next topic. However, this is something I really appreciate about Joss. The media can beat up on him all they want and he's cool with it. However, when unfair statements are made towards his cast, crew, or fans, the man will step in and speak his mind. And he does so as a gentleman, he just states the facts. Can anyone recall his comments when the WB belittled BtVS when the renewal negotiations went sour in the fifth season? They commented that they shouldn't have to pay so much for a such silly show and Joss read that as disrespectful towards the cast and crew. He made it clear that such comments were untrue and unfair towards the people whom worked so hard on the show. Class act.
Here it is, Unitas.
So I was flouncing (that's lurking but fancier) about WHEDONESQUE (for which I have forgotten my password yet again) and I couldn't help but see the little CHUD.com hate-bomb that Devin wrote. I don't mind that he doesn't love the film, but things like "It failed in a big way" and "It's over" are about as charming -- and journalistic -- as "I was right." I am being totally realistic when I say the weekend grosses did not meet expectations -- but those expectations were based on models that don't apply to this situation because, seriously, nothing does. The industry is not calling this a failure, just a slightly soft version of a normal opening in a generally weak weekend.

Now I did meet Devin, and he's not a dumb guy. But he seems to have a real animus against you Browncoats, and that's the thing I wanted to comment on, 'cause that doesn't sit well with me. He actually blames you guys for making sci-fi fans stay away from the movie. Says you should be ashamed for having adopted a name, that you will start finger-pointing and bickering now that you've 'caused' the 'failure' of your film. He blames other things as well -- the title, the ads -- but that's fine. If one --ONE -- of you guys reads that column and takes it to heart I'll not sleep. You guys did an amazing thing this weekend -- and the exit polls showed how much you guys were out there, and how much business you dragged in with you. Not to mention everything you did for the months - sorry, YEARS -- before it opened. I'm crazy proud of you. Yes, there is an exclusionary element to some fandom that is inevitable, but this group has fought that as well or better as any, and maybe I'm a nerd, but being compared to a Trekker (or even a TrekkIE) doesn't offend me a bit.

We all know this remains an uphill battle. We all know that next weekend is crucial -- and a lot of it will rest on us. A lot will rest on the studio reaching people we can't. And factors we can't see coming. But I don't especially appreciate people calling Time of Death while I'm still operating. I don't like smug defeatism. And nobody disses the 'coats without me wading in. That's all.

The question remains: Did Early die out there in space, or did some passing ship show up at the last second? There's no answer yet, but I sure as hell know how I'd write it.

-j.

Eh. I've been called worse things. It doesn't bother me.
There's just something that sets some ardent fanboys afire with hatred. I don't know why it is, but it's there. I've always had a sneaking suspicion that they hate him b/c he writes in traditionally geeky/male-oriented genres, but writes from a beautifully realized female point of view. They hate his tendency, as they call it, to melodrama and soap opera, and his sometimes fast and loose way with plotting consistency.

That's a very interesting notion. I'm not a 100% convinced how true it is, but it's definitely possible it's a factor in certain cases.

This girl is not in anyway a traditional fangirl. But Joss' work tends to evoke this sort of fanaticism in people who aren't traditionally sci-fi or fantasy fans.

That's definitely true and I think might be more of a reason than the other one. Many Joss fans are people who are very often generally not into fantasy or SF genres at all and maybe that's also what puts off some of those uber-genre fans. I'm into Fantasy and SF in movie/TV/Comic/novels, etc. Always have been. But my wife wasn't. Certainly was never into fantasy or SF, but she adores Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Serenity as much as I do.

But that's the thing, Joss writes about vampires and spaceships, and he loves those things, but his stories aren't ABOUT the fact that it's vampires and spaceships. Many genre fans are all about the spaceships and some of those are the ones that can't get past the fact that Mal 'doesn't even have a laser pistol'. Hey I grew up on Star Wars too but I would've loved Han Solo just as much if he'd had a gun with bullets.

I spend almost no time at AICN and CHUD and have no idea how obnoxious (or not) certain segments of the Browncoat population are.

Some were obnoxious yes, but practically *everyone* on those types of boards is obnoxious. And that's not even a diss. Many of those site owners LET their posters be obnoxious. I lurk here and there(less and less) and I remember the feuding between LotR fans and SW fans, or between OLD SW fans and NEW SW fans. They were all obnoxious to each other and everyone else, all over the web.

Most of those boards don't or barely moderate, which is why they've turned into these name-calling bashfests. It's really the sites' choice if they let people run amok on their threads. But it's odd that they're okay with it 99% of the time only to suddenly lash out when some more fanatical Browncoats get worked up
And I've been hated by better people than the CHUD guy.

ETA: Good grief, even when we're not in the same room, we post at the same time...

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2005-10-03 18:38 ]
Unitas, side note:

Brownshirt
Brown Shirt or brown∑shirt (brounshŻrt)
n.
1. A Nazi, especially a storm trooper.
2. A racist, especially a violent, right-wing one.


and

Browncoat
1) Slang for the defeated Independent Faction who oppose the Anglo-Sino Alliance, on the show Firefly.
2) A fan of the series Firefly.


A small, but important distinction.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2005-10-03 18:37 ]
Read the article again (twice). It is harsh. It's not meant for comfort. Still think it's a (mostly) honest attempt to look at why this film didn't open the way many of us hoped it would. Definite minority opinion on my part. Kinda wished I didn't post it but I guess someone would have done it if I didn't.
zeitgist, I am so embarassed.

Realised I posted my name. Just took it out.

Again, embaraased

[ edited by Unitas on 2005-10-03 19:39 ]
Unitas - s'okay :) Honest slip. I don't think Devin was being less than honest, but its a) too early to sound the death knell and b) not exactly well structured, argued, or stated. Cynically I can half-imagine that it was meant to drive traffic, which, hey, success on that front... In rereading it again it seems to me to be less harsh than I initially thought, almost to the point where I wondered if it had been edited after posting.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2005-10-03 18:49 ]
I agree with Joss and with most of the comments here. All I know is that it was simply uncalled for and obviously to produce some kind of fanwank from the most un-fanwankish fandom I have ever run across.

Smelled a little like trying to pick a fight to me. CHUD is now out of my 'Nerd Central' bookmarks - they have just been taken out of the daily rotation. I will go and read when I have been linked here - but thats the extent of it. All the wank they will get from me!
Sorry Joss got his feelings hurt. Maybe he can start to understand the huge hurt many fans are feeling at what he did to Firefly/Serenity.

Btw, CHUD may want to consider it's less people are being turned off by rabid fans, as turning away because the shell-shocked looks of fans coming out of the theater.

I know I wouldn't want to go near a movie that so affected someone, who I knew to be a major fan, to cry uncontrollably for hours.
Still think it's a (mostly) honest attempt to look at why this film didn't open the way many of us hoped it would.

Well that's where I disagree: I see nothing 'honest' in CHUD's article. I see it as self-aggrandising and deliberately gleeful.

There is also no secret to the reasons Serenity did decently but not great: the mainstream audience has not 'discovered' it. Maybe it will maybe it won't. The reasons it hasn't discovered it yet are:

-It's based on a canceled TV show which doesn't attract mainstream people.
-It has no big name actors which doesn't attract mainstream people
-Most people don't even really know about it or can't get a good sense of it through the trailers which also doesn't attract mainstream people.

All of those people don't even know what 'Browncoats' are and were therefore certainly not put off by them. And other genre fans generally decide for themselves if they want to watch something so CHUD's accusations are in my opinion laughable and quite frankly nothing but petty.

And as others pointed out, it is not a failure. That's not delusionary fan speak either. Box Office.com put it best: "It is neither a hit nor a flop". And those are the experts, not Mr Devin.
Steelbluerat... you are in the minority on feeling hurt about "what he did to Firefly/serenity." Most of us loved it to death.
Joss, Joss don't worry! As we say in French : "La bave du crapaud n'atteint pas la blanche colombe" (something about the white dove being out of reach of/flying above the toad's spit... We love us some animal imagery *grin*). Anyway, it's not like we're not used to intellectual dishonesty and cheap shots... As far as I'm concerned this article has not even phased me. I'm planning to see the movie several times this week and next week-end and bringing as many people as I can. I've seen it 6 times already and I can't get enough of it. Really. The opening credits still give me chills and I still cry and jump off my seat at all the right moments... After 6 times!! And we had such an fantastic time with our fellow Browncoats at the midnight screening at Metreon... I mean 800 people can't be wrong! ;-) I met people from so many different backgrounds and ages. It was mind-boggling... And such fun! All your fault, Sir!
I already started talking to colleagues about this "awesome movie I saw over the week-end." So get ready for the wave of lawyers and paralegals next week-end. *grin*
Joss, don't let idiots get to you... We surely don't!

Edited to add: EdDantes, I could not have put it better myself!

[ edited by Alanna_Wolff on 2005-10-03 20:13 ]
it's less people are being turned off by rabid fans, as turning away because the shell-shocked looks of fans coming out of the theater. I know I wouldn't want to go near a movie that so affected someone, who I knew to be a major fan, to cry uncontrollably for hours.

Hmm no, the only effect that sight would have on people would be that they walk around that person in a wide, wiiide circle and wonder if someone forgot to take his meds...

Edited to add: EdDantes, I could not have put it better myself!

Funny I was just about to say the same to you;-)

[ edited by EdDantes on 2005-10-03 19:06 ]
Wow, that is one nice post there. Gotta love the Joss. The way he sticks up for his fans is just impressive. And to do it in such an articulate way, well, more power to him.

As for the backlash against browncoats, I have the feeling that it may also have to do with the fact that people feel left out. With the new Star Wars movies, there was a very large non-fan segment who had seen the original material. So everyone could feel included if they wanted to. Serenity, for some people, just comes out from nowhere and the whole internet 'hype' makes them feel left out and as such all the repeated attention makes them slowly dislike the movie and its fans. At least, that is what I've heard people say on some dutch discussion groups. But I think it's probably just a minority that feels that way.

Dottikin: Great points. I had never thought about it that way before (mostly because I'm a male genre-fan myself), but you may just be right...
One of the mods may want to edit the subject line to add Devin's response to Joss's response. It can be found here:

http://www2.chud.com/index.php?type=news&id=4590
The only stunned looks on people's faces that I saw were from non-fans who were surprised that it really was that good.
I think it's amazing that the director of a movie would take time from his busy schedule to express his devotion to his fans and to make certain that said fans do not take such an article too seriously. As I think is evident by the responses in this and the other CHUD thread, Joss has little to worry about, as people saw this article for what it was. Nevertheless, the Joss-man never ceases to surprise and impress me.
I can't get access to Chud. What did Devin say? And btw I know that emotions are running high but I would rather we didn't comment on posters at other sites.
I'm skipping over a lot of comments because I need to get back to work, so forgive me if someone else has pointed this out already.

DVD/Video sales can and do often drive sequels after movies have lackluster releases, sometimes several sequels. One example: Austin Powers. As far as I'm concerned, a sequel remains highly probable. The question is, will Joss want to do at the budget the studio will offer...so I'm still hoping for a sleeper smash -- not impossible gauging from the critical reaction and the audience response I've noted. And, let's face it, this was always going to be a sleeper-type hit rather than your usual studio-marketing-dept-crafted fake "blockbuster" than too many people see but nobody actually likes (think "Van Helsing").

As for the anti-Browncoats, I think my fellow armchair shrinks have that one nailed. Geek bashing is a favorite activity among geeks. I know, because I'm as guilty as anyone. However, just met a bunch of browncoaty types from another board this weekend and what a great and diverse group of people, and not a weirdo in the bunch, with the possible exception of myself!
I'd gladly hand Joss his password if I knew how to contact him. Joss, dahlink, ring me ;-)

(Um, can anyone assist in this matter?)


Simon says it's been taken care of.
Joss, it's official. Ya just making me love ya when you come to our defence like that! If you were not wed I would take you in a manly fashion!

Which is a completely inappropriate thing to say and I take it back immediately! (hee)
The Chud guy could use a Riverkick (yes, one word) to the throat, but I'll play nice.

Honestly, something like that would not normaly get to people unless we didn't have some serious Post-Opening Day Depression happening, I tells ya!
It's the P.O.D.D people!!!

Truth be told, the silly fellow didn't get to us. He just showed his level of maturity.
I'd say this was one of Joss's best posts, in terms of how good it made me feel. I seriously love that man.

Heh...Early. Nice touch.
so I'm still hoping for a sleeper smash -- not impossible gauging from the critical reaction and the audience response I've noted.

That's what I'm hoping. One of those movies that doesn't flare up, but nonetheless lingers quietly for a loong time, and before you know it, hey, when they did that make so much money? It may not happen but it's quite within the realm of possibility.
Hey guys,

This was the response if you are having problems, I'm sure Devin won't mind me posting it as he is responding and wishing his side to be heard by both us and Joss:

I find myself in a weird position this morning. It seems that my editorial from last night about the box office take of Serenity (and I think itís important to stress here that itís an editorial, an opinion piece) has attracted the attention of no less a luminary than Joss Whedon himself. This is sort of a weird position because Iím actually a pretty big fan of Whedonís work Ė I have a ďOnce More With FeelingĒ poster framed in my living room and I made sure I got out to Los Angeles for the Serenity junket (Universal wouldnít pay my way) because the opportunity to meet and interview the man was too much to miss out on.

Now that Iíve established something of my geek bona fides in this matter, I want to address some of the brouhaha that has arisen from the piece, and the points that Joss makes (for the text of his remarks, visit this site, or check out this thread on our message board).

Iím not a box office expert, and Joss has access to Universalís best number crunchers and executives, but from where Iím sitting this thing looks like itís essentially over. Going by the standard situation, Serenity is in for a 40% drop next weekend (and thatís really generous, as films Ė especially genre films Ė have tended to drop more than that in the second weekend this past year or so), which means itíll likely take in 6-7 million. Joss is right in that this was a soft weekend Ė per screen averages were weak across the board, it seems Ė but I donít know if thatís due to some exterior force or just people didnít see anything they wanted to go to the movies for this weekend. The month of September certainly wasnít that soft a month, even with a couple of hurricanes being a major outside force that could have affected box office.

Again, Iím no expert, but it looks like 30 million is where this thing might come to a rest. If Iím right thatís too bad, as I said in the original editorial. The film deserves to be a success. I have nit-picky issues with it, but I gave it an 8 out of 10 in my review, and I stand by the fact that itís as good a sci-fi adventure film as weíve seen in a long while.

The thing that really stuck in Jossí craw, though, was my dismissal of the Browncoats. He doesnít cotton to me laying the blame for the filmís weak take at their feet. I wouldnít cotton to that either, if I had done that. I do wonder why the film couldnít bring out a genre core audience (the people who probably helped the just as hard to market Hellboy to a 23 million dollar opening weekend Ė now some of that may have been release date, to be fair. I am becoming a believer lately in the idea that the traditional ďtime of yearĒ ghettoes donít apply anymore Ė look at how strong January and February have suddenly become Ė but that doesnít mean that there isnít an aspect of that at play in Hellboyís modest success), and the thing I kept returning to in my head is that the ďBrowncoatsĒ are seen, by many other genre fans, as overzealous.

Thereís no way to quantify that. Itís a purely speculative thing on my part, based on talking to people and visiting other internet forums. And I base it partially on the fact that nobody likes an evangelizer. Nobody wants to invite the Jehovaís Witnesses in to bullshit when they come a-knockiní. You want those people off your doorstep, and ASAP.

And further, I can tell you as a passionate Buffy and Angel fan and defender that there is a sizeable portion of the fandom that just reacts incredibly negatively to Joss and his works. I have taken a tremendous amount of guff for my unabashed love of those two shows (including lots of homophobic emails, weirdly), and itís often from people who have never seen the programs. Hey, it happens, and fandomís a weird place at best.

Again, itís not the scientific method, but those are the factors that came into my opinion that the Browncoats kept the core genre audience from seeing the film this weekend. (And in fairness, someone asked me just how big that core genre audience is, and I have to admit I donít know. I do feel like itís bigger than 10 million dollars, though) That has nothing to do with the mainstreamís reception of the film, and thatís important to note. And itís important to note that I donít necessarily think there was some angry ďTo hell with the Browncoats!Ē revolt in the wider fandom. I think there may very well have just been a fatigue. After the preview screenings months ago, and the interim attention from those fans, Serenity felt like a movie that had already happened.

As for the idea that I donít like the very concept of the Browncoats Ė guilty as charged! I donít like any self-identifying pop-cultural group. I find it bizarre and troubling. Trekkies make me feel creeped out, and that was before seeing the excellent documentary about the phenomenon. I am a fan of Buffy and Angel, but I wouldnít include myself in a fan group. I love Lost and watch it religiously, but I wouldnít consider myself a Lostie. I donít like to categorize myself by my musical tastes or my reading material or the sneakers I wear. The desire to be included in a group, the desire to become part of a big pop cultural movement like that Ė I donít get it. And I sort of feel like itís something Mal Reynolds would look upon with a raised eyebrow as well, but then I didnít create the guy.

Finally, Joss worries that the Browncoats will take to heart the few sentences in my editorial that ask them to look into the mirror and ask if they helped or hurt this film in the genre audience. Do the Browncoats need this pat on the head? Weíre all grown ups, more or less Ė does the opinion of one guy (the poorly written and barely properly spelled opinion of one guy, no less) have the ability to wound that badly? Looking at my inbox, and reading over the replies at Whedonesque, and seeing Jossí response, I guess the answer is yes. My intention wasnít to wound but to call attention to how marginalizing rabid fanbases can be.

Joss, thanks for the concession that Iím not a dumb guy, and Iím sorry that the big damn movie didnít open to the numbers it deserved. You seem trapped in this place where your fans are loyal to the frightening extreme and the media loves you, but the mainstream hasnít figured it out quite yet. I do hope they wake up, and I do hope that next week Iím writing an editorial eating every single one of these words, as Serenityís word of mouth causes the film to buck all normal box office trends. I like a happy ending as much as the next guy, and I think this property and its creator deserve it


[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2005-10-03 20:15 ]
From steelbluerat: Quote: Btw, CHUD may want to consider it's less people are being turned off by rabid fans, as turning away because the shell-shocked looks of fans coming out of the theater. End Quote.

Personally, I'd be darned interested to know what could evoke such deep feelings in the movie goer and would be prompted to go see it.

I saw Serenity twice this past weekend and didn't see anyone looking shell-shocked. I loved hearing people in the theatre laughing and gasping- loved the baited silence during the suspenseful moments. People were discussing the movie outside the theatre. If I didn't know squat about Serenity and had never heard of Joss Whedon, I'd be moved, by the comments I heard after the movie, to check it out.

As far as what Joss did to Serenity/Firefly? To quote one of my favorite characters from Buffy: Do it again! Do it again!
Chud or the Browncoat site, neither one will open for me.

My head, my head!

To quote Simon: "This must be what going mad feels like."

[ edited by Caroline on 2005-10-03 19:52 ]
BTW, thanks to the mods for tidying up my messy post here. I'll do better next time I'm in a position to post a topic.
After reading Devin's reply, I am feeling a little redeemed.

Also, I am reminding myself why I don't get involved in these things any more.

Good night, Whedonesque
steelbluerat, we get that you are unhappy. Believe me, we get it.
It is a dead horse by now.
Joss, our feelings are not hurt, but it is nice of you to rush to our defence. Sort of like Veronica's Dad rushing to hers when Logan was around.
I got a link to a response by Devin in my whedonesque RSS feed, but its not longer on the site. Where did he post?
Just read Devin's response. So he's a fan who can't admit to himself that he's a fan and therefore dislikes groups of people who are proud to be fans.

Yawn.

Writing for a publication doesn't make one better than fans who express themselves in other ways.

I think blaming fans for putting off other fans is ludicrous when the real factor that decides whether the movie makes money is the people who really aren't 'fans': ordinary movie going punters. Who've never heard of CHUD.com and only go online to book a holiday. I think it's a really blinkered view of the world.
Reading Chud's message boards, it seems that when he's talking about overzealous fans, he means the ones who have relentlessly canvassed other SCI FI fan boards with posts about Serenity to the point where those fans became really annoyed. If I am correct, then I totally see their point and don't blame them one bit. However, Devin's point seems to lump all Browncoats as being overzealous and their behaviour impacting all people who love the genre, rather than just alienating those who populate online genre fan sites, which frankly only represents a small fraction of genre fans. All fan groups have their bad seeds, but I don't think that the "soft" box-office can be explained by giving the largest proportion of the responsibility to a small group of fanatics. Yes, I know Devin mentioned the title of the film and the marketing, but he seemed to reserve the greatest criticism at the feet of fans - all fans. I think that is unfair. He is, however, entitled to his opinion.
Again I make the sports comparison. I have never been frowned upon for being a "Gunner" (Arsenal fan) yet "Browncoat" is something Devin dislikes. Puzzling but if that's his opinion. I do like his site and am not going to go nuts over nothing.
I don't think he redeemed himself, if that in any way was his goal.
Caroline-"Yawn." LOL. I am so sick of people out there afraid to call themselves "geeks"---everyone is a "geek" about something in there life. Get over yourselves, it's okay to be a "geek". It's not a bad word people.:)

[ edited by nakedandarticulate on 2005-10-03 20:11 ]
Caroline - "Yawn."

Truth be told!

[ edited by SpookyRiverFan on 2005-10-03 20:09 ]
Sort of like Veronica's Dad rushing to hers when Logan was around.

Nanananana (ok that's the noise I make when I cover my ears) can't hear you! Am only on ep 5 and don't want any spoilers!

Other than that, nicely said Lioness.
Also, I may take back my Riverkick to the Chud guys throat, but I'll kind of hold it midair for a while and think about it some.
Well, I kinda like that Devin came back to the issue. It makes his point clearer. If this was what he was trying to say in the first place, then the tone of his first article was off. But I guess that happens to the best of us.

I still don't agree with the second article. I feel he's overestimating the negative side-effects of the fandom's love for all things Serenity and Joss, but I do agree that there's no way to quantify it - yet. If this movie has staying power (and I passionately hope it does), he'll be proven wrong. And I hope he will. But it seems he hopes he will as well.

I also don't agree about the pop-culture movement thing. Fandom can be a wonderfull experience, and for every bad effect, there are good ones as well. What's more, it's not like every Trekker/Trekkie/whatever behaves like some people in the 'Trekkies' documentary. Hell, most people are fans in a very normal and real way. And I think browncoats - on the whole - are perfectly reasonable people who just happen to like the same thing. It's not like something like being a browncoat defines your entire existence (although it might feel like that these past few days ;)), there's more sides to a person, after all. And if some people get over-obsessive, well, who cares. If you're doing something you love doing, and you're hurting no one in the process, then that's fine, right?

Anyway, I'm going slightly off-topic. I can sum up my feelings by saying that between Joss' reply and this second post, I feel somewhat better about the whole thing.
Its cool that Devin wrote up a new post explaining what he meant in more depth, but I still disagree with a lot of what he says. I don't think its over and I'm hoping to see that crow-eating editorial later on.
I just read Devin's response. I'm a someone who gets nervous when people start making groups and who is not an evangelical sort so Devin and I should be on the same side in this. I should be saying, "Yes, I'm with you." but I'm not. I feel extremely uncomfortable doing fannish things and never liked the name "Browncoats." Other people do, so what?

There is only one thing I have noticed that is different between Whedon/Firefly/Serenity fans and fans of sports, other movies, or other writers, they seem more inclusive. Devin calls that evangelical and I can understand and agree to some extent with the interpretation. I like it better though than the "WE have a secret and if They don't know the secret passwords, We will know They aren't really one of Us. Then We can look down on Them and feel superior." condesending mindset that I have seen so often not just in fandom but all sorts of things including rights organizations, political movements, and lake associations.

What I thought especially strange about this whole thing was how much animosity there has been against anything Whedon for as long as I have been following links to CHUD and AICN from this site, and yet it is the Browncoats who are picked out as being obnoxious. I was amazed at how obnoxious the posts generally were at the sites but figured they were okay with that so it was none of my business. I would not have paid attention to it still if all this stuff had not been posted by the people connected to the sites about Browncoats being obnoxious.

Anyway, I confess that I can not call myself a "Browncoat" because it is against my nature and gives me a funny feeling up my spine. That did not keep me from going to a preview and twice to the movie this past weekend taking everyone who would go with me...which isn't many because, you know, not a joiner. It also does not keep me from giving the folks that can call themselves Browncoats kudos for supporting Joss in his quest to make this movie.

Oh, and what killinj said.
This reminds me of the first time I heard a Trekkie insist on the word Trekker. It struck me as a self-loathing attitude. Trying to distance oneself from a negative image, and at the same time sort of justifying it. If you like Trek, and someone calls you a Trekkie, well dammit own the word! Say yes you are and get on with it.

We're Browncoats. I have no problem being a Browncoat, or being called one. And if someone wants to put a negative spin on being a Browncoat, well, that's their issue. We own the word, and all it implies.

And, am I the only one who thinks of that movie from the 80's about a robot dog everytime I see the name CHUD?
No, IMForman. Every time I link to the site, I ask myself again, just what was that 80s flick about? And I'll proudly call myself a Browncoat anytime.
Somebody commented in another post that he saw an ad in the Washington Post this morning WITHOUT quotes from the rave reviews Serenity's been getting. Same thing goes for the NY Times this weekend... This is VERY ALARMING. This is obviously missing an opportunity to greatly increase turnout for 2nd week. How can we get Universal to do this for their own sakes??
Did I mention I went shopping for groceries the other day and somehow came back with clothes and shoes? The clothes included a nice jacket. It took a while for me to realise that it was, in fact, a coat (though not very long), and that it was suede, and indeed very brown.

But since I have only 715 points on the official forum, I can hardly call myself a 'Browncoat'.
The trouble with the CHUD article and the storm that broke after it, is that at this moment it's overshadowing Serenity. If some one had told me on Friday what would be dominating the fandom today, I would have refused to have believed it.
From Devin's reply to Joss' post:

"I donít like any self-identifying pop-cultural group. I find it bizarre and troubling."

People identify themselves all the time. It's what we do. That I'm a Browncoat isn't a definition of my core being, just a statement of fact. I love Firefly & Serenity & think raising money for charity & participating in Browncoat events is gee-whiz fun. Comparing us to Jehovah's Witnesses pounding on someone's door? Huh? Just. Not. Getting. It.

My favorite book of all time is The Last of The Just. Now, if there were a group of LastJusters, I'd probably hang with them, too. It's fun to discuss what you love with other people. I make sure to tell people that it's a great book and that they should read it. In fact, just yesterday, I dressed up in my best duds and went door to door and did some fanatical evangelizing about it. Wait, no I didn't. But the point is- does my intense enjoyment and appreciation of something make me unpleasant and disturbing? Not usually.

The established wisdom of You Are What You Eat can be translated into something even more true: You Are What You Watch. Entertainment is important- it's what's in our heads. Personally I find it delightful when what's in our heads is also in our hearts.
Anyway, I confess that I can not call myself a "Browncoat" because it is against my nature and gives me a funny feeling up my spine.

I hear you. I never liked being forced into a group because of my tastes or likes and dislikes. Quite often, I don't want to be identified with a large group of fans, because I'm usually disappointed at some point by the behavior. There are some days I'm very proud to call myself a Browncoat, and one or two days I was very embarassed to be seen as one. Because people do tend to take the actions of a few and project that on the group as a whole.
Can't we just be a fan and not have to be lumped into a group unless we choose it? Yes, I do wish I didn't care as much what others think of me, but I do. If I didn't, I could just ignore the less than wonderful fans and call myself a Browncoat all the live-long day. But I'm not that self-actualized yet, sad to say.
Guess this is Good Morning after my sign off earlier.

Yes, it's definelty overshadowing Serenity at the moment but it's not all that surprising. A good deal of fandom had seen the movie months ago. Add in the disappointing (sorry but there is no way around that) box office results. Throw Joss's comment into the ring. And then off we go. It's too bad all in all.

Plus, Universal's marketing put a lot of responsibility on the fan bas to get the word out so that's gotta lay an extra dollop of disappointment on top of everything.

We will all be back to talking about the movie in a day or two I am willing to bet.
I had the flu on Friday...the full-blown, dizzy, fever, chills, runny nose, hacking cough, already-missed-two-days-of-work-and-it's-Monday-and-I'm-still-home-hacking flu. But I dosed myself up with twice as much medicine as I should have and hauled myself out to the theater on Friday night, because, dammit, I waited til the movie was done, I avoided spoilers like the plague (ok, so I'm not very good at avoiding plague, but I did better with the spoilers, I swear), I've been talking it up to everyone I know (and some people I don't) for MONTHS, and I was even gonna dress up (but had to settle for being able to get dressed)...so you understand that when I say I'm posting as a huge Jossaholic and a major browncoat, I mean it. And when I say that I feel a little, no, a LOT, betrayed, it's not because I want to tear anyone down or even any scores.

I have to tell you guys, we shell-shocked ones are NOT in the minority. If the reaction of the other browncoats in the theater was any indication, we are a very silent (at least, online) majority...there were maybe 50 people standing around talking after the credits finished, and they were all pretty much upset...and other people left looking, well, shell-shocked still fits...so, at best, we're still too numb to talk about it, or, at worst, we've just given up and walked away from the discourse altogether.

Me, I love Joss...I have a Joss-dependency problem...I love his big, squishy brain, I love his funny, I love the stories he tells, and, most of all, I love the characters he creates....but what he did, specifically, the second time he did it, it left me numb, and it ruined the rest of the movie by breaking that amazing narrative spell that makes his worlds as real as my own - maybe realer...I spent the rest of the film literally trying not to say "nononoNONO!!" out loud. Really loud. And, yes, trying not to cry...and (as noted above) I already had plenty of meds in my system, thank you very much.

I respect Joss's rights, as The Creator, to do whatever the gorram hell he wants with his stories and his characters. I don't know if Joss is going to read this. I'll probably get just get majorly flamified by the rest of the thread, but I have to say...Joss, I love your mind, I love your worlds, I love your characters. I thought Serenity was almost a great movie. I'm not walking away...but, dammit, I feel like you betrayed the story. I feel like you betrayed the crew...and, well, this time, you really hurt me...and I don't know how long it's going to take me to come to terms with that. I guess the worst part is that I'm definitely not going to be recommending Serenity to anyone, anytime soon...and for that, I'm truly sorry.

[ edited by middlefaith on 2005-10-03 21:45 ]

[ edited by middlefaith on 2005-10-03 21:58 ]
I consider myself a browncoat, I also consider myself a fairly large Buffyverse fan (although I have no idea what to call myself based on that.) I frequent websites often, and enjoy debating, or y'know arguing the merits and weaknesses of storyarcs characters etc.

I don't however identify myself purely as a browncoat, being a hardcore Joss fan is a small aspect of my life, and one that I enjoy quite a lot after the drudgery of classes etc.

So I don't get this ansst towards people who "identify themselves" as fans. It's a pretty close-minded view of fandom, one which doesn't seem too far off from someone stating all Trekkies are middleaged fatman who dress as klingons and have been building their living room into the Enterprise set. Most fans have imo been fairly good people with succesful lives who just found something that helps them connect with other fans, and which they enjoy discussing.

Browncoats have been more outspoken then most fanbases. But we are also devoted to a series, and in many cases a guy, who has largely been ignored by mainstream critics. When most people think Buffy the Vampire Slayer was just some campy show with bad prosthetics and lame quips, it's a job to spread the word that there is more to it than that. WIth the cancellation of Firefly so early in it's life, followed shortly by Angel's final season, it's l;eft to the fans to get the word out there, not only for a return, but so that people can recognise that this guy is doing interesting things.

Browncoats are what managed to keep Firefly, a short lived series which died an early death, from the grave. They got a film out of it, success or not. Yes, we do go out and spread the word as much as possible, but the fact is that the Whedonites are underdogs, and it's frustrating to be in that position when critics are praising, fans are recognising and all the mainstream people are just watching CSI and making Van Diesel movies big successes.
Looking, I hear you...and agree. So, you're saying I should read 'The Last of The Just' then? ;)
There’s no way to quantify that. It’s a purely speculative thing on my part...


Shame he didn't mention that in his original editiorial, instead of writing the whole thing like he'd been informed from on high.

As for the idea that I don’t like the very concept of the Browncoats – guilty as charged! I don’t like any self-identifying pop-cultural group. I find it bizarre and troubling. Trekkies make me feel creeped out, and that was before seeing the excellent documentary about the phenomenon. I am a fan of Buffy and Angel, but I wouldn’t include myself in a fan group. I love Lost and watch it religiously, but I wouldn’t consider myself a Lostie. I don’t like to categorize myself by my musical tastes or my reading material or the sneakers I wear. The desire to be included in a group, the desire to become part of a big pop cultural movement like that – I don’t get it.


There's so much I can say here, I don't even know where to start. Where did the Star Wars fandom hurt those movies? Trekkies creep him out? Why? This is insulting on a level I previously couldn't comprehend. And as for that Mal Reynolds crack about grouping yourselves together and naming yourselves(he'd "frown on it", would he?). Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Mal volunteer to join the... what were they called?... Browncoats, was it?

I don't consider Browncoats any more rabid than any other fandom, in fact I've always felt quite the opposite. It always seemed, at least to me, to be a (relatively speaking) small fandom. Large given the fact the show was axed, but still tiny compared to the Big Two: Trek and Star Wars. And we've always seemed like such a sensible bunch... But maybe being in the UK has only granted me a limited view of Browncoat activity. I'm sure in the States there's a Browncoat on every street corner, creeping people out like only a person in a brown-coloured coat can.

Oh, and for what it's worth, what Joss said in his post actually brought a tear to me eye (and trust me, that ain't easy), not because I needed the "pat on the head" (I swear that's one of the most condescending things that's ever been directed at me), but because you know it came from a place of real heart. There was a real affection behind Joss's words. But then again, maybe I'm too hopped up on the kool-aid to know real heart from unjustified bile.

[ edited by Outsider on 2005-10-03 21:23 ]
middlefaith I appreciate the time you took to write your feelings, but we do a review thread at Whedonesque.org where perhaps your sentiments would be more appropriate. That and I'm trying to keep threads like these spoiler free for our international posters.
The trouble with the CHUD article and the storm that broke after it, is that at this moment it's overshadowing Serenity. If some one had told me on Friday what would be dominating the fandom today, I would have refused to have believed it.

I'm not surprised. The article had a strong insulting as well as blaming tone about something people are really passionate about. Internet kerfluffles have started over a lot less than that.

People identify themselves all the time. It's what we do. That I'm a Browncoat isn't a definition of my core being, just a statement of fact. I love Firefly & Serenity & think raising money for charity & participating in Browncoat events is gee-whiz fun. Comparing us to Jehovah's Witnesses pounding on someone's door? Huh? Just. Not. Getting. It.

I know. Just say "I wouldn't do that". And that's fine. But hell, fans of anything have often take on a name for themselves. ('Deadheads', 'Trekkers', even the dubious honor of being a 'Dittohead' etc.) I can see it not being anybody's thing. I'm kind of neutral to it myself. I can see it as fun, but at the same type I have a strong natural resistance to 'group identity' and being branded a certain way (good or bad) just because a certain group 'generally' is that way. I'm more of an individualist I guess. Compared to most people I'm a Browncoat. Compared to some I'm probably not even close. It doesn't really matter. I love Joss' work and I support it.

Where did the Star Wars fandom hurt those movies?

Yeah and people see the fans dressed up as Stormtroopers or Jedis on the news! How did that ever hurt SW's box office?? Mainstream audiences don't even *know* about Browncoats. It's such a ridiculous notion that they 'hurt' the movie somehow.

And Devin is free to dislike the nature of a 'group-name' concept, and never call himself a Browncoat. But why on earth does it need to generate hostility when others do it? That's beyond me.
Sorry Simon - my original aim was to counter the "those shell-shocked folks are in the minority" comment...it sort of mushroomed into a more general plaint. I'll edit it down.

[ edited by middlefaith on 2005-10-03 21:56 ]
Wow, it actually became a bit damp in the eye there for a while. How many of the big names in show business would come to defend his fans out of the blue like that. I can't think of anyone right now. I mean, it's one thing saying it in interviews and such, and while that's very appreciated too, to do something like this... It's very moving, even though I'm just one guy out of the millions of fans outhere.
"Steelbluerat... you are in the minority on feeling hurt about "what he did to Firefly/serenity." Most of us loved it to death.
IMForeman | October 03, 18:58 CET"

But they are still entitled to post their feelings surely.

"steelbluerat, we get that you are unhappy. Believe me, we get it.
It is a dead horse by now.
Lioness | October 03, 19:55 CET"

I cannot believe how rude people are being to a fellow poster purely because they don't agree with the crowd. It's not a dead horse to post how much you love it, but the odd post saying that you have problems with it are trampled on.

This is the exact attitude that the article is refering to. Sorry but I come here to read and post about all things Whedon not just Firefly and Serenity and every time I post I'm made to feel like I don't have a right to my opinions or to speak my mind without fear of being jumped on.

So yeah, I agree with the article. I'm sorry it hurt JW's feelings, but surely he's big enough to take the odd knock. It's nice that he's offended on Serenity fans behalf. But it would have been nice to hear that he was offended even once when fans of his previous shows were being set upon.

Guess that really is all in the past. Shame.
I think blaming fans for putting off other fans is ludicrous when the real factor that decides whether the movie makes money is the people who really aren't 'fans': ordinary movie going punters. Who've never heard of CHUD.com and only go online to book a holiday. I think it's a really blinkered view of the world.


I totally agree. I sincerely doubt the fans are turning the masses of people off. The US has suffered some massive losses in a sizeable region of the country, where people have a lot more to worry about than a movie. Gas prices have skyrocketed suddenly, cutting significantly into people's budgets. Movies have been on the decline because the price for admission keeps rising, and people who are strapped for money are going to forego a lot of movies they might want to see. Most people I know don't even go to the movies anymore. They just wait till things come out on DVD and then they'll see them.

Star Wars has a 30 year following - we're talking about a following that's had two generations to build - which is why so many people paid to see a really bad movie this year. Serenity is just a fledgling with a very devout-but-small following that can't possibly compete with the forces of the Evil Empire.

Did I mention I went shopping for groceries the other day and somehow came back with clothes and shoes? The clothes included a nice jacket. It took a while for me to realise that it was, in fact, a coat (though not very long), and that it was suede, and indeed very brown.


I did the same thing. We are lame....
The problem, Lynnie isn't in SBR's opinion. It's just that several times, in a number of topics SBR has posted that "fans feel hurt and betrayed by what Joss did", and posted in a way that implies that all fans feel that way, and it is just not the case. With respect to Middlefaith, such fans do indeed seem to be the minority. The very large majority online, and for me In person as well, seems to have loved the hell out of our BDM. So, with respect to SBR, and Middlefaith, I disagree.

And since when is it rude to disagree with someone?
I have to tell you guys, we shell-shocked ones are NOT in the minority

I guess that is relative. Not in the minority of the theater you were at, maybe. Minority here at Whedonesque? Probably. Minority in the fandom as a whole? I'm gonna have to say yes, also.

Or I guess more appropriately, the ones who feel 'betrayed' by Joss are in the minority. I think you can probably be a bit shell-shocked, and still have enjoyed the movie and not want one thing changed. I guess it really depends on your definition. But I figure by the way people have responded here, it does seem the majority of people enjoyed the movie and didn't feel shell-shocked or betrayed.
While I am leery of being pigeonholed or square-pegged as it were (call it rabid individualism, call it my contrary nature), I am also protective of my friends here who do call themselves Browncoats. In my experience most Joss fans tend to be kind, intelligent, passionate... Sure, sometimes people can get overexcitable, but is enthusiasm something we should punish? I may be biased, though, as I've had some really illuminating discussions and learned some amazing things here not only about these shows that we all hold dear, but about my fellow travelers on this spinny blue ball. And really, what more can you ask of art than that? If it can help you understand yourself and your fellow human beings better, well... Plus there's that whole falling in love with this incredible woman who is beyond what I could've dreamed of thing... ;)
So AICN recently made Kevin Smith a guest talkbacker and he included this in a response:

You turncoat! Or wait - what's a worse insult on this site? You BROWNcoat!


I'm a little tired of being kicked around and made fun of. And it's not so much as being insulted as it is tarnishing the reputation of some good people. People who sent DVDs to troops and held coat donation drives. Find it kind of ironic that every piece prior to this weekend wanted to give credit to the fans for having a part in getting the movie made and now some of those same authors are turning around and trying to cut us down a peg. That's really what this is, it's about putting us in our place. It's about some ubergeeks telling us to get off their playground because we ain't got game. Don't let them get to you 'coats. They want us gone and if they can't kill us they'll accept us offing ourselves. We're not gonna die. We can't die,and you know why? Because we are so very pretty. They said Firefly was cancelled and we choked them with those words. With Serenity we've already done the impossible and that makes us mighty. We don't have to win this one we just have to hold. Hold the line!
(I love words)
GVH said: "Looking, I hear you...and agree. So, you're saying I should read 'The Last of The Just' then? ;)"

You betcha.

*pats self on head* My aggressive proselytizing paid off! Now then... on to bat some people on the head and make them watch Serenity.
The fact that Serenity can evoke such a variety of impassioned responses is the reason it's great. When someone creates characters, on film or on paper, that the public comes to love, that is talent. Instead of feeling betrayed, I feel thankful that I have been able to experience the 'verse. IMO, the art of it all is the ride itself... It feels (and is) real, whether you are soaring (like a...) or crashing into a tree. My deepest gratitude to Joss for allowing me the experience.
But then again, maybe I'm too hopped up on the kool-aid


The two people I took with me make me feel like this about my Whedon-love.

Unfortunately, both weren't terribly impressed with the film, citing that they were lost, and didn't get it. I am sad that they didn't like it, but Universal got their money, so I am happy. One is a Star Wars fanatic and they both enjoy other fandoms such as Harry Potter and such. I had high hopes that they would enjoy the film...
But why on earth does it need to generate hostility when others do it? That's beyond me.

I'm pretty sure the article was designed to generate traffic to the site, more than anything else. Only someone fully divorced with reality would believe that a relatively small group of zealous fans would have any adverse effect on the general population - a population who doesn't use the internet in the same way we big nerds do (as per Caroline - they only use it to book their holidays), and have never even heard of Serenity, Firefly, browncoats, etc.

Miko - I went with several newbs, who'd never seen Firefly, or even Buffy, and they followed along just fine, and totally loved every minute of the film. Thing is, even some of the nicest & smartest people have trouble following any plotline, so when I hear that people "didn't get it", I have to chalk it up to general goofiness - My best friend is an english professor with a cranium busting IQ, yet every movie we see together, I end up whispering plot explanations to her because she always gets lost :-D

[ edited by t r a c y on 2005-10-03 22:37 ]
Just a notice. Have you guys checked the web traffic for this site lately? It's gone through the roof this past week. Especially today. Today has seen the highest amount of hits ever on this site. And it's still climbing.
I thought Devin's first article was very shaky, but this one seems to be mostly on point. (Haven't read Joss's response.) Devin has some points. He did give the movie a positive review. He does think it deserves to succeed. He does like Joss. Certainly not something to get flamed up over.

And yet, I've read the responses of: someone who called this article "shit journalism"; someone who implied that Devin is in Geek Heaven because he has someone else to look down on; someone suggesting that this is a natural antipathy to Joss; a bit about the white dove being away from the toad's spit, and telling Joss not to worry about idiots; and someone suggesting that Devin get a "Riverkick" as punishment for his apparent crime of having an opinion. Among others. [EDIT: One of those others being t r a c y's assertion that Devin is "fully divorced with reality." That's my favorite yet.]

Then again, I shouldn't be surprised. I had problems myself last night--I said I wasn't happy about something in the movie, the same thing middlefaith and lynnie didn't like. Some people responded with polite disagreements, but some with outright mockery, leveling insults at my chosen words (EdDantes, I'm talking at you).

So, my opinion's in the minority and therefore is, as someone put it, "a dead horse." I wonder how everyone here felt when Firefly got cancelled--no, I don't need to guess. We were all outraged because it was such a quality show. How did you feel, realizing that as far as America was concerned, your opinion was in the minority and it didn't matter? And then you turn around and utter the same thing to us. We have to put up with your opinions, as middlefaith said, yet those never seem to get old...whereas ours becomes old and tired just because YOU don't want to hear it.

This actually hurts more than the show's cancellation did, at least to me, because it's an intra-fandom thing. I respect so many of the people on this site and yet feel slighted and ignored for my heretical belief--because, like Devin, I think Firefly is damn good but not perfect. Those of us who feel betrayed may have all got on that boat for different reasons, but we've all come to the same place.

I said last night that I would still promote the film, but the response to Devin and to my like-minded TBers has convinced me that maybe I should scale back those efforts, or stop altogether. I did enjoy Serenity...MOSTLY. But the words of many people on here, with their responses to Devin's article and the posts like mine, have convinced me that people like me aren't wanted in the fandom right now. God help us that we should find fault with it, right? Don't ANY of you get how much we wanted to LOVE this film?!

Whatever. I'll just stop posting on the boards for a few days, until all this dies down. It's pointless for a few Independents to fight a losing battle against the Alliance.

[ edited by BAFfler on 2005-10-03 22:33 ]
But you see BAFler, I don't for one moment believe that the article writer is divorced from reality.

Just a notice. Have you guys checked the web traffic for this site lately? It's gone through the roof this past week. Especially today. Today has seen the highest amount of hits ever on this site. And it's still climbing.

Bing. Goh.
I'm pretty sure the article was designed to generate traffic to the site, more than anything else.

I was just thinking that 10 minutes ago. (I'm slower than you...;-) All online fandoms are easily kerfluffled and he himself often commented on the passion of the Browncoats. So he knew very well beforehand that this would cause a little internet storm and subsequently generate a lot of buzz around CHUD. I'm not saying it's his sole motivation but you can't tell me the thought didn't cross his mind beforehand...

Devin has some points. He did give the movie a positive review. He does think it deserves to succeed. He does like Joss. Certainly not something to get flamed up over.

Certianly not. But then those are not the points that anyone got flamed up over. His dismissal of Serenity's opening weekend as if it was a complete bomb was one reason. (Since it's simply not true) and blaming and putting down Browncoats was another.

And yes the main point of his (first) article seems to be to proclaim how right he was all along, which is a poor reason to write anything at all. And his tone and claims were condescending and ugly and people on this board have their opinion on it. Not because he didn't like the movie, that's his good right. But because of his pettiness and rudeness.

Then again, I shouldn't be surprised. I had problems myself last night--I said I wasn't happy about something in the movie, the same thing middlefaith and lynnie didn't like. Some people responded with polite disagreements, but some with outright mockery, leveling insults at my chosen words (EdDantes, I'm talking at you).


Funny, to me it sounds like you're the one who yells "persecution" at the first hint of someone disagreeing with you. Where is it written that I am not allowed to have a different opinion than you? I don't agree with you. And on this opinion board, I post that opinion. Just like you post yours. Just because you feel cornered as a result of there being mostly people here that disagree with you is not my fault.

As for the 'leveling insults at your chosen words', I believe my terrible 'insult' was the word melodrama. Yes, I do apologise for my horrific language. I should be flogged. Although frankly, how you manage to call that 'levelling insults' once again sounds extremely melodramatic to me.

I said last night that I would still promote the film, but the response to Devin and to my like-minded TBers has convinced me that maybe I should scale back those efforts, or stop altogether.

Right. Because it's Joss and the cast's fault that you don't find enough fans to agree with your opinion. That's perfectly reasonable...

Whatever. I'll just stop posting on the boards for a few days, until all this dies down. It's pointless for a few Independents to fight a losing battle against the Alliance.

And you honestly don't understand why I consider your choice of words melodramatic?
It was so kind of Joss to post in response the CHUD article. It's one of the reasons why I like him so very much, outside of his creations.
I was (and still am) feeling a little upset by the article. I haven't done much online, but I had business cards printed (they were free except shipping) with a quote and the movie website to leave everywhere. Always, I'm wondering if that is a bad idea. What if it looks fanatical to people and actually turns them off of the movie? Or worse, what if it doesn't just LOOK fanatical - what if it IS?
The truth is that there doesn't seem to be much awareness about the film in my community, and I hoped to bring some - because it deserves it.
So after the less than stellar box office results, this article comes along confirming my fears.
Sorry for rambling. All I really intended to do was thank Joss for coming to the defense the fans who just wanted to help this movie along.
Re: the whole shellshocked issue (spoilers for Serenity coming up):

Sorry if that didn't belong here, but I felt the need to reply :)

Oh, and looking: check. I'll put it on my to-read list :)
GVH -- totally /agree with what you've said above.
Well, all right. Here's my beef. This is what Devin said in his response.

"My intention wasn't to wound but to call attention to how marginalizing rabid fanbases can be."

He's plain dead wrong. Someone in the world, would you please find me a larger, more rabid, more ubiquitous, more stupefying faction of the human population than the Harry Potter fandom?

I have a point. I say this as someone who's pretty freaking invested in HP, running one of the Web's largest web sites on the matter. And I say it with love, because I'm one of those people. We are rabid, we are ubiquitous, we are stupefying to those who haven't a clue what we're all about.

What crazy person is going to say that we keep other people away from the cinema when a Harry Potter movie comes out? That would be an entirely new phenomenon to me, and I hear a lot about that fandom.

I honestly think this is a marketing let-down. As a FIREFLY fan, I looked at the ads and knew. A nonfan probably would not. And marketing to the converted probably isn't going to help much. It needed, I feel, some mainstream advertising that explained to Joe Q NonBrowncoat what this was, what this was all about, and why they should see it. The trailers were helpful but I don't know if they got enough play. ANYWAY.

This isn't about being wounded at being poked for being a fan. Frankly, I could care less about that; being an intense fan has rewarded me so many times over that I can only feel bad for those who spurn it on principle.

But if Devin is correct, *only* the people who were ALREADY HP fans would get the new books, see the new movies. As we can see, this is crazytalk. Crrrreeeaaazytalk! Anyone check out the sales figures on the films (though admittedly they have gone down with each release, albeit this is more because of the general feeling about sequels and other-wordly publicity/hype for the first film), the DVDs, THE BOOKS?

Do we know people who won't read things, see things, because that thing has a rabid fan base? Of course. But if this was the rule, rather than the exception, Harry Potter would have stagnated long ago. And yet it's still breaking records.

It's all very well to Monday Morning Quarterback this baby, make up some reason and stick to it, sort of the way we Italians throw spaghetti against the wall to see if it sticks. Do we mention all those spaghettis that fell behind the oven to fester? No. One sticks and we shout, "DINNER'S READY!"

And now I'm hungry. The point is...wait, what's my point? Oh, right, spaghetti. The point is it's VERY EASY to pick something and point and says, "This is the reason, this is the reason!" You might even make a few strands of spaghetti stick. That doesn't mean they all will. It doesn't mean you're RIGHT.

As a browncoat (I've converted maaaany), I've never had someone back away from me when I start my spiel. Sometimes they'll say, "I just don't have time for another television show." Or they'll say, "You and your spaghetti can go elsewhere, I don't care." That's cool. But no one - NO ONE - with FIREFLY or HARRY POTTER or anything - has given me the weird eye, like I'm an alien space form for being so passionate about something I love. Most people have been passionate about something they love, and so most people have the capacity in them to understand when watching someone else geek out.

So, they usually listen to me rant, and two weeks later I get an email that reads something like, "FIRELFYOMG ETHSIS IS THE BEST EFVGVVAAAA WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME BEFORE!", or they simply say, "Look, I don't have time," and we both go on our merry ways.

It's about who you are as a person. If you're talking to someone who respects you, they're going to listen to whatever you say. If you are talking to someone who doesn't, they are going to dismiss you no matter what you say. I wish Devin would show a bit more respect.

Not knowing just what she said here,

[ edited by Caroline on 2005-10-03 23:52 ]

[ edited by MelissaAnelli on 2005-10-04 04:02 ]
consider if the strong reaction you had to this movie isn't a sign of quality and love for these characters and this world that Joss created.


Exactly.

[ edited by Simon on 2005-10-03 23:52 ]
Well spoke, Melissa. Very well spoke.
Actions speak louder than words, and I am not going to count any box office chickens until this film is off of the last screen of the dollar show in Padukah and every reel has come home to roost in Universal Studios.

This Saturday, I'm making a new convert out of someone who had never seen the show by gathering up at a friend's place at 7 a.m., peeling the plastic off of a shiny package of DVDs, watching every gorram episode of Firefly from start to finish, then going right to the theater for yet another dose.

It's not as fast as giving the guy an egg and having him sleep with it on his nightstand, but I figure I'll win someone else over.

This time, though, I might not try to get my friends to sing "Hero of Canton" at the movie house.
BAFfler, differing opinions have always been welcomed, nay, encouraged, here. Just read any comment thread for a selection of same. What is not welcome - and here I'm not pointing the finger at any one member - is hit n' run criticism designed to stir up controversy; abusive or intemperate language; or insults directed at other members or the authors of articles.

I have seen no belittling of opinions here. The "dead horse" comment referred specifically to one member's comments that had been posted, in almost identical language, on two threads, without further explanation or elaboration, not to the opinion of everyone who thought Serenity was less than perfect. It does happen to be the case that the majority of members who've posted about the movie loved it - unsurprising given the identity of this forum. That shouldn't make those who didn't feel like their opinions are being dismissed or ignored.
There is definitely some despondency at the moment and I think itís fair to say there has been a certain amount of finger wagging in various directions, but it seems to me it is somewhat premature to be having an autopsy just yet.

I believe MelissaAnelli is absolutely right to say that the ferocity of reaction is due to the high quality and profile of the film in question. Emotions are running high because itís something worth caring about. I cannot imagine that a similar inquest was held for 'House of Wax', a film with a $40 million budget that pulled in $12 million in it's opening weekend and went on to achieve $64.5 million worldwide. If 'Serenity' were to achieve anything near to that total I think it would be a fantastic result and one that would still mean a good chance of a sequel.

Personally, I think the reason the film didnít take more than it did is because it was never destined to. In fact, it seems to me that $10.8 million was a notable result. With a few exceptions (most obviously ĎStar Warsí), sci-fi films tend not to perform especially well at the cinema. For that to happen you need something; for example, a big-name director (Iím thinking of someone like Steven Spielberg).

Why didnít ĎSerenityí perform better in its first weekend? Maybe the title didnít appeal to the unconverted. Who knows? Maybe the promotion failed to give the film a focus that would pull in the casual audience. Maybe the constant references to ĎFireflyí and ďfailed TV showĒ in the otherwise excellent reviews was ultimately unhelpful. Maybe the well-intentioned and understandable passion of the browncoats was a turn-off for some people who happen to be active on-line. There are undoubtedly many different factors at work here and it probably would make very little difference even if we could be sure what they are.

The film is still only a few days old. It might not be the surprise box-office blockbuster that some fans had hoped for, but by all accounts itís a bloody brilliant film (I wonít get to see it until next weekend). Letís celebrate that and wait to see what the final outcome is in a few months time. We might then have a better idea what the future holds.
MelissaAnelli, I loved your post. I'm about that passionate too. And you are 100% right about fandom. If it turns someone off, that person probably is not destined to be a part of that fandom. Fandom tends to have the opposite effect, imho. It draws people in. They want to know what the big deal is. If Devin hadn't included that part about people being scared off due to fandom, I might have taken him seriously.
Another thing that may be keeping people from seeing Serenity is something I've heard a number of the unitiated say. "I want to watch Firefly first before I see the movie." A number of my daughter's friends want to see the movie. They are sci-fi geeks, but they feel like they'll miss something if they don't see the TV show first. That whole "it comes from a TV show" angle may have delayed people from seeing the movie this weekend. Unfortunately, they don't realize that if they wait too long, the movie won't be there when they're ready.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2005-10-04 01:01 ]
steelbluerat, please keep in mind that this is Joss Whedon's web-log. In case you weren't aware, he is a genius. His work, despite what you believe, is brilliant [deleted] I have no problem with you disliking Serenity, no problem what so ever. But you need to read everyone's comments too. Most fan do NOT feel "betrayed" and "hurt" by the movie. The Firefly characters belong to Joss and Tim, not you. [deleted] [R]eading "Joss needs to take into account how royally he screwed up" is not sailing in my sky. He is both an adult and a professional. Whatever it was that he "did" to Serenity that affected you, understand that he had every right. It his story, not yours. Again, I don't care if someone doesn't like the movie, I just don't appriciate the belittling of Joss and his choices on his own web-log. Mods, feel free to attack. You all know I don't normally go off like this, but I care too much to ignore those comments.

In other news, Joss we are doing everything we can (which you obviously understand). It makes me feel very proud to know that you are defending us the way we defend you. Most creators (of movies, not lives...) don't really care about the fans. You do. You didn't let Firefly die. We won't allow Serenity to either.

[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2005-10-04 03:00 ]
MySerenity While I agree that Tim and Joss created the characters and can do whatever they want, and also admire what was done in the film, the harshness is a bit much. Everyone has the right to their opinion, and this website should allow anyone to state them, negative or not. I think some of the things Joss and the writers chose to do during Buffy and Angel were weaker than others, praticularly the potentials in execution in season 7, and the evolution of Cordelia throughout season 3 and especially season 4 of Angel... While I may not blame Joss Whedon (or anyone) directly for it, I should be able to say it.

Also, not really sure this is Joss Whedon's weblog lol. I was under the impression it was just a very very well done fansite.
I'm glad he wrote that. The only part of Season 3 Cordelia I didn't like was her hair.
Rabid, no one is saying that people don't have the right to their opinion, it is just that expressing the same opinion over and over again, with basically the same wording, is redundent and boring. This is the kind of board where you should feel free to say what you really think, but don't expect others to be converted to your opinion.
Personally I felt that the harshness was just the right amount of much. I'm still moved every time I see the film (4 times so far) but I think that that is part of the reason I can't get enough of this movie.
I'm still moved every time I see the film (4 times so far) but I think that that is part of the reason I can't get enough of this movie.

This is exactly how I feel. I'm not really a person who can watch a movie over and over(even ones I really like), but this film is so different, so nuanced, so amazing, that I find new reasons to fall in love with it with each viewing. Granted, part of my enjoyment is that it's on a big screen. I'm not sure I'd watch it everyday if I had it on dvd, but it certainly does bear repeated viewing.

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2005-10-04 03:04 ]
It's great that "pop-culture" can move us so. Really. I am impressed by the passions raised on this site, and the way in which people have expressed themselves. On the whole. But MySerenity, your post, in part, kinda exemplified what isn't kosher here, hence the deletions. And, forgive me, but I (and I guess the other mods/admins) are not here to "attack," but to enable a thoughtful and sometimes delightful conversation to take place.

And, yeah, this isn't actually Joss's web-log, despite occasional outside impressions to the contrary . . .
After reading all the good, the bad, and the ugly at this site (mostly good) and many of the others (lots of bad and ugly), I thought a blog on matters was in order. One that I will cut and paste here, for the record, since it seems some of this stuff still needs said (or, in many cases, repeated). My blog...


I expect this to be my last post on "Serenity" for awhile. Things have gotten weird on that front. After a somewhat disappointing $10-million opening weekend, the fan community has gone haywire. Some folks have blamed the lackluster box office on hardcore Joss Whedon fans, saying they turned off a large portion of the normal sci-fi/fantasy loving crowd (those that made "Hellboy" a hit) with all the rabid pre-release hooting and hollering and hijacking of movie message boards.

There's no question, some Browncoats are a bit too fanatical, but I sure wouldn't call it the majority. Most of us merely enjoyed the well-told story that "Firefly" and "Serenity" had to offer, and if chance arose, passed along the tale to someone else. (In fact, I just got my "Firefly" DVDs back from a friend who was interested.) It's a shame we might be getting a bad rap thanks to a few overzealous fans who flamed a few hundred message boards or so in Joss' good name.

Even more are taking badly that soft $10-mil opening, pointing fingers and calling names. To me -- it is what it is. "Serenity" was a small genre film with no stars that opened in the dead of September. It appears the general public just couldn't care less about it. Then again, have you ever noticed some of the things that the general public does warm up to? Stuff like "Dancing With the Stars" ... Lindsay Lohan movies ... Jessica and Ashlee Simpson. Thanks but no thanks. I'll stick with the $10-million minority, thank you.

So "Serenity" didn't get the mass acceptance some people dreamed about. So what? Joss worked his ass off to give himself, his cast, and his fans the proper sendoff that the Firefly-class ship Serenity deserved, and he delivered mightily. Thanks to the movie, I feel something now that was sorely missing when Fox canceled the show -- closure. And for that, I'm thankful. Remember to put things in perspective; it's a small miracle this movie got made at all.

Plus, the flick is damn good! Seen it twice now and had a blast both times. Universal may not make a big enough profit to warrant sequels, but they'll recoup what they put in on DVD sales. Then "Serenity" can be free to go the way of "Time Bandits," "The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai" and slew of other entertaining-as-hell flicks that may not have set any movie-attendance records but are still remembered, purchased, and watched years and years later. That's not too bad a fate, if you ask me.

Don't cry for Joss. Trust me, when you're as smart a writer as that guy is, there's always another potential blockbuster right around the corner. I also think the cast comes out of this all shiny. Just because "Serenity" won't be Nathan Fillions' own personal "Star Wars" doesn't mean he can't reach Harrison Ford levels. His work in "Serenity," I think, proves he's on his way. The rest of the actors should also land more big parts thanks to their fine work in this film.

Even if there are no more stories told about Serenity and her crew, there is no way I'd call "Serenity" a failure. Nope. I'd call it a brilliant finale to a universe that was engaging, moving, and, in the end, complete.
Gotta give the thumbs up to bobtaylor here on a fantastic post. Ace, man :)
Great post, bobtaylor. I wish I felt it was complete, though! I want MORE. MORE MORE MORE. I'm selfish. But I want to know more about Blue Sun. I want to know about Book's history, still. I want to see that beautiful moment Mal and Inara resolve all that lovely unresolved sexual tension. I want to see the Alliance DIE, slow and painful. Ah well. I guess this is as complete as we're gon' get for awhile.
Thank you, zeitgeist and MelissaAnelli.
In Responce to BAFler's Comment:
someone suggesting that Devin get a "Riverkick" as punishment for his apparent crime of having an opinion

Ummmmm that was me, and it was a joke, which I later retracted for the most part, and it wasn't as punishment for his crime of 'having an opinion' I love differences of opinions; it was what I felt like doing (not in a literal sense and it was also implyed, not suggested.) when I read his intial post.
Which in fact was not an opinion but a denegration.

You may also note a Riverkick just stops someone from being able to speak for a short while!
I have noticed that many of the reviewers who give Serenity a thumbs down seem to be reviewing the fanbase instead of the movie. I think (generally) speaking, Browncoats are the sanest, most diverse, and mature group of fans for a form of media ever. I also think we are one of the most dedicated. I found "Firefly" at the age of 19. I had never been any kind of fan before, or really into sci fi or fantasy. This series and film changed me. I have become a "fan". I have never been a "fan" of anything before. And this stuff attracts people who don't even like television, much less science fiction or action adventures.

Like Joss suggested, don't take criticisms of the Browncoats to heart. I have pimped this film to everyone around, and nobody ever accused me of evangelizing.

I think Joss is wonderful, and his post did much to soothe any worries I might have had. As to the CHUD guy, his response to Joss seems to have toned down his initial complaints about the Browncoats, but he still seems to be a bit condescending toward the Serenity/Firefly fanbase... in a totally unnecessary way.
I wasn't implying that Joss created this web-log, but at the top it often says: WHEDONesque: Joss Whedon Web-Log. That's all I was getting at. The site is just as much about him as it is his work.
I know Joss didn't create it. But he does believe it to be 'his' website. Well it is all about him. Part of the convo when I met him was along the lines of him know me from here, and me telling him he was talking crap, then him saying "Yea, right...like I don't ever read my own website"
So, he knows he didn't create it, but he also believes correctly (imo) that it's 'his'

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