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October 10 2005

"Out of Gas": Devin at CHUD offers one last piece about Serenity. Strap on your blood-pressure cuffs!

The combative Mr. Faraci writes: "Its been interesting, this past week, to watch the Browncoats go through all the stages of grieving as laid out by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross."

This is followed by a somewhat elementary (and slightly condescending, though not necessarily incorrect) analysis of "Serenity"'s long-term profitability and sequel chances.

Amended the title somewhat to make it a little less provocative. While Devin, as always, offers much food for thought, many of us may find it indigestible. Let's remember board rules about (a) addressing the article rather than the author; and (b) refraining from abusive language. Ta.

(ETA) I removed the Spoiler label because I just read the piece again, and I can't detect anything spoilery.
Please, please, please, let's not give this guy any more traffic for his site. Please. It's just not worth it. All that ever happens is it adds fuel to the fire. Really, it's not worth our time.

[ edited by TVsBrent on 2005-10-10 05:08 ]
I'm not going to bother reading this right now. There are some intriguing reports trickling in about Sunday, though.

I gotta say, I don't know how much of a "hate bomb" this really is, but the sort of smug, catty backseat-driving that glories in the conventional wisdom gathered over, say, the last three weeks really is often beyond schaudenfraude and there are days when it really disgusts me -- and I may not even particularly care for the movie in question.

In the words of Samuel Goldwyn, "Include me out, please."

[ edited by bobster on 2005-10-10 05:07 ]
The language he uses is purposefully incendiary (although he says it isn't) but that doesn't mean he's wrong. He raises a lot of interesting points and is probably dead on about a lot of them.

Which is too bad, because most of what he has to say is negative.
Meh. IMO this article, just like the others, totally missed the mark about why some of us were annoyed at the first one.

I did find his comments about the blurred lines between marketing and fandom interesting, but don't agree with his conclusion. No one was forced into doing anything they weren't willing to do. In fact, I think the studio followed the fans' lead more than the reverse.
The other part of my anger at this is that it tends to be self-fulfilling prophesy. Taste can be made as well as pandered to (did anyone in the U.S."heartland" want strong coffee before Starbucks came along), but the current thinking is all based on pandering.

In any case, the news is not looking nearly so bad tonight and I really don't think these guys know all that much -- and I say that as someone who's followed/been involved with show business most of my life, though I do have this weird, optimistic streak, I admit.

[ edited by bobster on 2005-10-10 05:11 ]
See this is why CHUD and AICN will never be anything more than glorified fanboy sites. He can try and dress up his writing as being genuine journalism, but he can never truly pull it off if he's intent on writing "I was right, and you were wrong, nya-nya-nya-nya-na" style articles. He even actually says the phrase "I was right." He did call the situation, I'll give him that, but no respectible person would ever make a point of crowing about it like that. It just makes him seem like a boasting 12 year old.

Oh, and on a personal note he says "The official Serenity Browncoats boards and sites like Whedonesque and FireflyFans were filled with people saying they felt like they were kicked in the chest, or were at the end of their tether."... both of those were me, most notably the last one. If he's going to be insulting me, could he at least not have made it clear he was pointing directly at me?
Bobster: about that weird optimistic streak...you can have that surgically removed if it becomes bothersome :)

Sorry, OT.
I think I fell asleep while reading that.

Firefly/Serenity has a dedicated fan base that will spend money on anything with the Serenity logo on it. So there is definitely a market for the name Serenity.

If it is borderline that a cinema release will make its money back then maybe, it can comeback as a series and make a nice little profit the Sci-Fi Channel or Universal could do a series of strait to DVD releases.

After all it was done with Starship Troopers, the movie bombed at the Cinema, then made its money back on DVD, so they did a computer animated series and then a strait to DVD sequel.

I find it hard to believe that Universal is going to walk away from this franchise as is on the verge of breaking out into a wider audience. The Firefly DVD set keeps selling well on Amazon, so more and more people keep discovering the series all the time.
Just another sorry attempt to get more traffic for his website.

I enjoyed the movie and was happy to get caught up in the excitement of it. And I will still have hope for a sequel. And I will buy the movie when it comes out on DVD. I bought both books and will keep buying stuff because I loved every second of the movie. Sounds like a success to me!
The fact that he reads up on all the Firefly/Sernity sites to gauge the fan reaction to his articles speaks volumes to me.

This kinda "I told you so" stuff is making me quite tired. Can it blow over now, please?

[ edited by dizzy on 2005-10-10 05:46 ]
I stopped reading after the third paragraph. I scrolled down and it was longer that I thought. I don't know if should even finish, uh, Should I? I probably know what's gonna be in there anyway. If he thought he's not attacking anyone he should have just stopped with last week's rant.
Firefly fans have been in denial from the moment Firefly was premiered on a Friday night in 2002 and we are still in denial now and will continue to be in denial all through its DVD release and we will probably be in denial when the third movie comes out and again when the Sci-Fi channel produces a spin-off series and all that time we will have to put up with people like this telling us that we should give up, because there is no way that this series will continue in any way shape or form.

Never underestimate the Browncoats.
First hi Devin. I think it's pretty clear from the Whedonesque mention and the direct to DVD reference that Devin is a regular reader here. It be nice if he joined the discussion instead of picking and choosing from emails what he wants to represent. Not very sporting like.

Well, I'm not surprised by the I told you so attitude. Again that's bad sportsmanship. What can I say I think he makes some keen observations regarding the stages of grief. If he had stuck to that he'd be fine.

I don't agree with the use of fans as a marketing tool. It's not like Universal had all this money earmarked for marketing and decided to pull it and use the fans instead. Whatever the fans did in terms of marketing would not have been there otherwise.

I think any prospects for a sequel whether it be theatrical or direct to DVD is premature. I think a strong argument can be made for either. This seems to be an odd month and I feel the percentages are there if the dollars aren't. It took 1500 more screens for W&G to get a $16 million dollar weekend. Percentage wise Serenity has gotten it's share of the total dollars spent. I'm pretty sure the story will continue even if it's in novelization or comic book form.

"The Browncoats are mostly self-identified, and the Browncoats Im talking about here are the sort of rabid fans who call it our movie, as if they made it)..." Joss has said on numerous occasions that it was the fan's movie. "The fans made it possible" has been the company line.

It's funny how he should talk about the bluring of lines between the studios and fans. Harry from AICN is producing movies now. No conflict of interest there. When these sites start accepting anything from the studios, even set visits, it automatically makes them less credible.
A 22 paragraph article that reads exactly the same as the last thing he wrote?

And we're the obsessive ones?

Ok.
An SNT post! I guess zeitgeist didn't mug you for your blueness. :-)

As for Devin's article, I didn't find it as "incendiary" as the last one. However, I did read through it rather quickly so maybe I missed something. Maybe some of his "predictions" will come true. Maybe not. However, my family and I will continue to see this movie many times. I guess we'll just have to be strange.

[ edited by dcubed on 2005-10-10 06:06 ]
[deleted]

[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2005-10-10 06:24 ]
SpikeBad, I deleted your comment because it fell foul of our policies as outlined above.

And to be absolutely fair to Devin, IMMORTAL, he doesn't have a membership here and, therefore, can't respond directly in the comments section.
I skimmed the article. I find him too condescending and that attitude bothers me. He's observed the Firefly/Serenity fandom and been put off by the obsession. Browncoats scare him. Fine. Let it be that way. But I doubt this is the last we've heard from him on this subject. I roll my eyes in his general direction and now I'm moving on.
I think I just went back to the anger stage.
Puts down copy of 'Art of War,' whistles innocently. I humbly suggest the Mods give Devin a Whedonesque membership and we treat him as a friend. :)
I actually predicted that the 'stages of grief' would come up in Devin's new article, so this amuses me. Only read the first few paras since it was all exactly as expected. Not worth getting worked up about, although I'm sure CHUD appreciates the extra ad impressions.
Didn't we decide last time 'round to not bother anymore? I'm not clicking the link. His marketing scheme is pretty good. Keep writing about browncoats and both the haters and the browncoats themselves'll flock to his site. And those two groups combined probably cover a pretty high percentage of online genre fandom. But I'm not joining in.

At the end of the day, whatever one person thinks (and we already know what he thinks) is rather pointless, after all.

ETA (slight spoilers for Serenity):

[ edited by GVH on 2005-10-10 07:23 ]
Okay. I was not entertained by Serenity. At all. I was mostly bored and wondering if I had maybe seen a different film. I do worry about the handfuls of fans I've seen on the net behaving as if they have somehow lost their homes, their life savings, and their dogs due to the flick not making a killing at the Box Office. I was worried when I saw the Variety ad thingy happening. In general, I dig fandom a whole lot, they're my people, and everyone who knows me knows I've gone way overboard on caring from time to time.

But there is a small cult of Browncoats bordering on an almost sort of religious fanaticism. It's creepy.

I do believe that Devin's continuing pieces are cries for attention, due to the baiting language. But I don't necessarily disagree with some of his points about fandom. There are some fans who can't hear, "This is your movie" without taking that as a decree that their very souls are at stake. It's not the great many, and here on the internets, their voices are louder than if we were hanging on the edge of fandom, as I think most fans do.

But Devin is baiting that particular group with these pieces, like poking a starving dog with a stick. There's something to be written about all of this, but I think Devin is the wrong writer for the task.
I'm choosing not to click on the article because I've given Chud enough hits. Ya know not being with the "obsessive" and all.
Certainly we all wanted Serenity to be a blockbuster. It didn't happen. Our expectations were off. We'll live. But let's not forget:

* Both Google and Yahoo have reported 'Serenity' and several of its cast members' names as top ten search criteria over the past few weeks.

* Whedonesque.com, FFF.net and even the the official site were inaccessible for large portions of these last two and a half weeks due to traffic volumes going off the charts.

* There is a TON of ink out there on the Firefly phenom as it morphed into the Serenity film. And, most importantly of all...

* The Firefly dvd set keeps selling at a brisk clip two YEARS after it debuted.

The interest in the franchise is definitely there. I think the newbies and casual sci fi fans simply need more time to watch the DVD set (it's 15 hours long afterall... and not everybody has the time for marathon viewing sessions!) and, if they're like me, read through the reviews and interviews out on the 'net. Some folks may even be waiting until they've watched the complete run of Firefly on the Sci Fi channel before they head to the theater. Someone's watching it over there (but not me and I'm a diehard fan!).

What all of this leads to, in my mind, is that Browncoat Wave 2 is being born as we speak.

Call them the Lite Browncoats.

If the powers that be leave Serenity in the theaters for a few extra weeks, I think the results may pleasantly surprise everybody. Especially now that we've all adjusted our expectations a bit.

[ edited by Hjermsted on 2005-10-10 07:32 ]
Hey Bobster, do you watch Boston Legal? "schaudenfraude" I was watching this past week's episode and James Spader did a very good speech about that.
Allyson: I guess I kinda know what you're saying. I have to say that, when I was not a part of it, the browncoat fandom kinda scared me as well. But I think that mostly it's just a way of talking that continues on from Firefly, fed by the fact that this is a fandom for a cancelled show, and compares the battle for the film with the browncoat battles in the show. It fits perfectly, and that whole package might make it seem fanatical.

Couple this to the fact that the 'relationship' with the actors (BDHs) to me seems much closer than it ever was in the Buffy/Angel fandom for instance, and there's a whole 'we're in this together' feel, which is continued by the language Joss and the actors use. It's very powerfull, really, and it's great to be a part of. There's a type of energy that flows from this fandom, and it's mostly very positive (yikes - I sound kinda 'new age'-y there).

There's bound to be some people who take this too far. Maybe among browncoats that risk is higher than in other fandoms, just because of the things I mentioned above, I don't know. But feeling like this movie is 'our' movie and feeling 'defeated' if the movie does badly is not taking it too far, it's just a natural reaction. At least from where I'm standing, it is.
The way I see it there are people in every fandom that sometimes take things too far, whether it be sports or media related. I think most people who call themselves "Browncoats", "Trekkers" (or are they Trekkies?", "Star Warsers" (sorry about that Star Wars fans - for the life of me I don't know what the heck you call yourselves!),"Whedonites", "Fillionaires", etc are just having a lot of fun with something they are passionate about.

I was never into Star Trek and Star Wars like a lot of people of my generation and to be able to get caught up in Firefly was a lot of fun.

[ edited by Firefly Flanatic on 2005-10-10 07:47 ]
Only read the first few paras since it was all exactly as expected.

Extremely true. I was somehow actually still expecting him to come up with SOMEthing new to say. But not so much. 'I told you so', 'Browncoats are nerds!', etc. And still the claims that it's not for publicity. That actually made me smile a little. He should go into politics. It takes a certain chutzpah to actually say such things and believe you sound credible anymore.

A particularly funny line I thought was about how people 'shouldn't' see a movie several times, apparently for no other reason than that he thinks they shouldn't. Oddly enough I think most of us still tend to make those decisions for ourselves. I don't recall Universal twisting my arm.

And to be absolutely fair to Devin, IMMORTAL, he doesn't have a membership here and, therefore, can't respond directly in the comments section.

And how interesting it would be if he did. Hey, it's fine he lurks here and on other boards, but how he quotes just those more extreme sounding lines to make sure he can paint every Serenity fan in just the 'right' light is more than a little petty. Some people really like this movie and want a sequel. Some still hope for that, possibly in vain. For some reason it seems Devin cannot stand these notions. I'm sure I'll never understand why.

GVH: Well said. I have to say that I don't get why many people are acting like this type of too-fanatical behaviour is a new phenomenon now that we see it in the fairly young fandom of Browncoats, while Trekkies, Star Wars fans etc. etc. have been showing such behaviour for decades. Every fandom has it's creepy core. I really dislike how that group inside the Browncoats is so vocal right now, but I wasn't expecting them to be the sole exception in fandom to this behavior.
But there is a small cult of Browncoats bordering on an almost sort of religious fanaticism. It's creepy.


I wonder if I've encountered this type of Browncoat, because I don't think I've ever seen that. Or... Oh, my god, maybe I'm the creepy one! ;)
GVH, it's just a movie. That's all. You aren't risking anything. There was a television show that bled millions, and a movie got made. Instead of feeling pretty good about that, there is, among some, a feeling of desperation and mourning.

Couple this to the fact that the 'relationship' with the actors (BDHs) to me seems much closer than it ever was in the Buffy/Angel fandom for instance

I know some Bronzers who would take issue with that.
And to be absolutely fair to Devin, IMMORTAL, he doesn't have a membership here and, therefore, can't respond directly in the comments section.


For all we know he could have an alias here but I would never expect him to post here anyway. He wants people to email him. He says he wants to create discussion but it has to be on his terms. He wants to be able to pick and choose what he responds to. Let's not give him anymore to write about. If he truly wants discussion he can create a membership here.

GVH, it's just a movie. That's all. You aren't risking anything. There was a television show that bled millions, and a movie got made. Instead of feeling pretty good about that, there is, among some, a feeling of desperation and mourning.


And Buffy was just a TV show with declining ratings that had 5 good years but people wouldn't let it go. Some went to enormous lengths to save it. People feel what they feel. They connect in different ways for different reasons.

[ edited by IMMORTAL on 2005-10-10 08:03 ]
Or... Oh, my god, maybe I'm the creepy one! ;)

You know what they say, if you gotta ask.... j/k :~P

Couple this to the fact that the 'relationship' with the actors (BDHs) to me seems much closer than it ever was in the Buffy/Angel fandom for instance,

I totally agree. I've never seen actors more concerned with connecting with the fans and making them feel like they're part of the process. And this was across the board with the BDH's. Countless conventions and screenings, posting on boards and forums. It was a thing of beauty. Still is, really. You get the feeling that it's more than a job to them, it's something important that they're passionate about. Now, of course maybe after 5 or 7 years of doing a Firefly show, the vibe would have been different. I think it was the whole 'grassroots', 'bootstraps', 'let's show 'em', type thing that really made it important for the actors to get out and connect with fans. Mutual respect and admiration on both sides. I never got the vibe of "Of course you're here to see us, we're stars" from them. It was always a feeling of "Wow, I can't believe you guys came out, and we really appreciate everything you do!" Makes a fan feel like more than just a dollar sign. I appreciate that more than they'll ever know.
I think you mean Angel, not Buffy, IMMORTAL.
Or maybe IMMORTAL really didn't like S6 and S7 :) Them's fightin' words!
Didn't read it.
For all we know he could have an alias here but I would never expect him to post here anyway. He wants people to email him. He says he wants to create discussion but it has to be on his terms. He wants to be able to pick and choose what he responds to. Let's not give him anymore to write about. If he truly wants discussion he can create a membership here.


In fairness to Devin, he is registered at the Browncoats forum and has been posting there today in response to comments about the article.
Are the boys in blue allowed to fuel flame wars? :)

Anyway, painting a group of people with a broad brush is a very old, and sure way to draw attention to your website, but it's not considered very honest. Lord knows I've made enough jokes about smelly open source hippies, but to post such a thing as though it were an observation of the entire community would be very wrong (and who wants all those smelly hippies protesting your house anyway?)
Can't read it. Chud have changed servers recently, so it's been a bit hit or miss accessing their site. Anyway, what I said last time round still stands. I do not want this turning into a pisssing contest between us and Devin (or anyone else for that matter). This has gone on for long enough.
Wasn't there some serious postcard sending to UPN when WB gave Buffy the boot? Buffy, Angel, Farscape look how hard those people fought. Heck people even fought to save Birds of Prey. Point is no one gets to say what you get to fight for or how hard you have to fight. The Browncoats aren't fighting to put any money in anyone's pockets. They aren't fighting to say "we're #1!" They know box office means more stories, more of what they love. IMO, this whole religious fanatism like analogy is an overeaction and an exaggeration. I really don't think there are people in every city standing outside of every theater handing out flyers. No doubt there are some hardcore 'coats but are they any worse than trekkies who have klingon wedding ceremonies? That kind of fan has always existed. There's some crazy statistic about forums and boards about the percentage of people who post versus the people who are registered. It's very low. We here are a vocal minority. The people who post or email, go to cons, who actively participate tends to be small. That's why you see the same names and the same faces. The true representation of any fandom are the people on the fringe.
Wasn't there some serious postcard sending to UPN when WB gave Buffy the boot? Buffy, Angel, Farscape look how hard those people fought. Heck people even fought to save Birds of Prey. Point is no one gets to say what you get to fight for or how hard you have to fight.

Exactly. I don't really think anyone is in any position to tell others how much they 'should' care about a show or a movie or a band or a book. That's a person's own business. Of course, how much they bother other people with it, and how they choose to vocalise things, that's a different matter, and unfortunately like with most fandoms, the extremely fanatical core is in the minority but often has the loudest voices.
Can't read it. Chud have changed servers recently, so it's been a bit hit or miss accessing their site. Anyway, what I said last time round still stands. I do not want this turning into a pisssing contest between us and Devin (or anyone else for that matter). This has gone on for long enough.


I hear you loud and clear.

In fairness to Devin, he is registered at the Browncoats forum and has been posting there today in response to comments about the article.


That takes some guts at least. Thanks, I have no problem taking it over there.
Wasn't there some serious postcard sending to UPN when WB gave Buffy the boot? Buffy, Angel, Farscape look how hard those people fought. Heck people even fought to save Birds of Prey. Point is no one gets to say what you get to fight for or how hard you have to fight.


Yep, agree 100% immortal. Very much how I feel about it.


Couple this to the fact that the 'relationship' with the actors (BDHs) to me seems much closer than it ever was in the Buffy/Angel fandom for instance

I know some Bronzers who would take issue with that.


I was a bronzer once, way back when. Used to post to the buffy.com bronze, went to a UK PBFP. Then I turned to usenet, started alt.buffy.europe, discussed the show there, founded the unofficial dutch Buffy and Angel fanclub, and even to this day my home has a display cabinet displaying Buffy/Angel merchandise etc. I'm saying that to point out that I love Buffy and Angel beyond comparison. They'll always remain my first love as far as tv shows go.

I know the actors of both shows show massive amounts of love for the audience. In interviews, at conventions, online (at the bronze), they've showed it countless times. It was, and still is, a great fandom for the way everyone treated each other.

But being a browncoat as well these days, I have to say that I feel it doesn't compare to the level and intensity of the fan 'relationship' with the Firefly actors.

It's just that the time and atmosphere was right for the interaction to be the way it is between browncoats and their BDHs. The show got cancelled, and they had to fight to come back. That makes bonding over that common interest just a tad easier. And it's that situation, ultimately, that led to the dynamic in the fandom being the way it is, I think. If 'Firefly' had run for seven seasons, I think it'd be comparable to what the Buffy and Angel fandoms are now.

I know that in the 'early days' (say, around the time S2 aired in the US) Buffy fandom felt comparable to Firefly fandom, or at least it did to me. But still I'd say the dynamic was diffrent, somewhat less intense. And that's what I meant by that statement. But feel free to disagree, it's all a matter of perspective anyway :-)

It was always a feeling of "Wow, I can't believe you guys came out, and we really appreciate everything you do!" Makes a fan feel like more than just a dollar sign. I appreciate that more than they'll ever know.


I agree 100%, Rogue Slayer. It truly is special.

[ edited by GVH on 2005-10-10 10:33 ]
I agree with most of what Devin says and I also agree that most of the things he has said in the past about the BDM have been taken out of context. However, I do think he is looking for attention and it is working wonderfully. In a sense, some of these articles remind me of all the political bickering we did last fall leading up to the U.S. elections. When people feel as passionately about something, as many Browncoats do about this movie, objectivity goes out the window. That tends to make things a little crazy around here at times and I have seen many posts the last few days that gave me laugh. However, I love it... without all of the passion we never would have got the BDM and I do agree with Devin that Hollywood will realize that Joss's fanbase will always allow his projects to profit in the long run. He compares the fanbase to that of Kevin Smith and that isn't a bad thing... I do think we are more passionate, but we are definitely fewer in number that Smith's fans. Smith can now do what he wants because the studio's know that they will make money, hopefully in a few years Joss will be able to as well.
Once again, the minority of creepy Browncoats scares someone in the media (if CHUD can be considered the media).

Devin's article was interesting, but more than just a teensy bit exaggerated and misinformed. It's two weeks out the gate, and people are already dashing any hopes that it has for a sequel? This seems all rather judgmental to me. But about his sweeping generalizations of the fans, well, that is even worse. People can go ahead and say what they will...but at least I was never genuinely terrified at a Serenity screening as I was at a midnight showing of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.

And this is not to generalize or insult Star Wars fans, as I loved the movie and had a good time at the showing, but let's face it...Browncoats are not as crazily obsessed most of the time...
I do not want this turning into a pisssing contest between us and Devin.


So what are you saying Devin is a bigger dick than us?

I am so terribly sorry! Zero impulse control. Please dont hit me. To quote Evelyn Waugh: I would just enjoy it.
zeitgeist, just wanted to give you a congrats on being the newest MOD. You've well earned it. You have proven to be a brain child in the room.
I think some of Devin's article is interesting and raises valid questions. The main point he misses is that there is a fight going on about getting quality shows onto TV and film and Joss is very much a focal point in that fight. We don't have many good ways of getting involved in that, apart from buying lots of DVD's. There may be issues about fan involvement with Universal marketing but I think they are secondary to the fact that they have done something good and do deserve support from anybody who cares about that.

I can answer one of his questions. I've been in various fandoms since the 70's and the Browncoats aren't rabid at all by comparison. Remember the discussion here about who was the best comics writer? Even on this board everyone pretty much agreed that, great as Joss' comics have been, he still wasn't up there with the giants of the field like Alan Moore. Sounds a lot like a sense of proportion to me.

I'm just as mad the 'The Inside' got cancelled. I'm just as mad that 'Global Frequency' didn't get picked up. It doesn't seem that there's much I can do about either. I'm fed up to the back teeth with much of the rubbish I'm being offered. 'Serenity' offers one area where I can stand up, back something good, and shout about this.

Unfortunately it isn't just about a sequel to 'Serenity'. It's about how good the movies and TV are going to be. I'll be sad if we don't get a sequel. I'll get over it if we get more good stuff from Joss and others (and if the cast get lots of good work) but I don't think I'll get over it if I there is nothing good in its place. Supporting 'Serenity' is about more than being a fan of just one movie.

...ok, rant over.
Writers are just looking for a story, and the buzz surrounding Serenity makes it an obvious place to look for one - but at the moment there really isn't much to tell (unfortunately). A great story would be: "The fans succeded in making a failed tv series into a #1 blockbuster"; a good one would be "Universal loses investment trying to make tv on the big screen". As it is, there isn't really much to say: UP took a chance, they'll easily get their money back but not that much more. Who wants to read about that! Then a good yarn about rabid fans is better.

I really don't think Firefly fans are creepy - at least if you don't think fandom in general is creepy.
I hope no one will mind a bit of a biting comment, but as I read over the 50 posts that came before this one, I am struck by how many of them, despite the mods stating not to attack the person, still do just that. Oh, they do it nicely, by stating that Devin is looking for attention or something similar, but the point is that you are still attacking the writer, not what he wrote. I found his commentary to the point; there were things in what he said that are germane- but at the same time, I think a counterpoint can be presented. Only no one is doing that here; instead, you are focusing upon the writer and the site upon which he writes. And some folk are commenting without actually having read what he said. If you don't read it, it has no reality?

I was taken by this comment: "See this is why CHUD and AICN will never be anything more than glorified fanboy sites" All the sites devoted to Joss/ME are "fanboy/girl" sites, and what is wrong with that? And CHUD and AICN are the same, and what is wrong with that? I spend way too much time on these sites, and as a 52-yr old doctor I should know better. I love Firefly, and Angel, and above everything ever Buffy, but I also have to deal with the fact that these worlds have ended. Maybe there will be a Spike movie, maybe an Ilyria one or a Willow one, but the likelihood diminishes day by day, and when I saw all the Buffy alumni working new programs, I realized that Buffy was for all intents and purposes over; there is no going back or even going forward. Serenity/Firefly never had as big an audience as Buffy did, though because it is more current it has more presence. But I do not think there will be a sequel, and as Joss has said, if the film did not do well and they did manage to produce a sequel, he would not have as much money to do it.

I ramble, I know. I rue the fact that film did not do well. I have my thoughts as to why, which I will not bore anyone with, save to say it combines excessive zeal in how it was marketed, with not enough people knowing back story to become emotionally invested in the characters and what happens to them.

As for Devin, let's address the substance of what he says, not his tone, or his attitude or anything else- you win by arguing the issues.
I read this article and the one before it. And at the risk of being hated here, I found that I agree with much of what Devin said. I loved the movie. Really, I did. I thought it was great fun and worth the wait. But I know many people who didn't even want to see it because of the fandom that was so hyped in the radio ads in NY... it all just turned them off the film completely.

Furthermore, I found Devin's points about blurring the lines between marketing and fandom extremely interesting and worth more thought. PR and marketing gurus are taking advantage of loyal and enthusiastic fans and that's just awful.

OK. That's it. My second post and I've definitely lost any hope of winning a "most liked" award here. Sorry, it's just one girl's opinion.
This is one of my favoritive episodes. And I can no longer spell. Guess I better sit this one out.
RevLina -
PR and marketing gurus are taking advantage of loyal and enthusiastic fans


I don't agree, the fans are backing the movie, they know what they are doing. Nobody is being taken advantage of.

Dana5140 -
As for Devin, let's address the substance of what he says, not his tone, or his attitude or anything else- you win by arguing the issues.


In this case I agree. This isn't (IMHO) the appropriate forum though. Does anyone have any suggestions about where we could do that.
As much as I would like to read his article and I'm sure that I would garnish much Monday mourning rage over it - I am not clicking on that link.
And we linked to this . . . why? He baited us the last time by saying he would have more this week. And we took the bait? Shame on us.

Didn't read it. Don't want to. Don't care if he has anything useful to say.
I loved 'Serenity', I hope it can still build an audience in the US, and I'm thrilled it is doing so well in the UK, but I didn't hate this article. I thought that Devin had some points which could be discussed. I thought his tone was actually more reasonable and even respectful than I'd heard before (I think he is afraid Joss might read it. LOL).
But I know many people who didn't even want to see it because of the fandom that was so hyped in the radio ads in NY... it all just turned them off the film completely.


Devin's point never seemed to be that the fandom existed or was hyped on the radio -- rather his point was that the fandom was creepy and disturbing and overzealous. He said it wasn't the marketing but the fan evangelism that was the problem.
Sorry guys, he's got good points. He might even be right on the money.
zeitgeist - you've gone blue! It must be the spirit of the times!

Hello, hello, is this thing switched on?

Anybody?
Wasn't there some serious postcard sending to UPN when WB gave Buffy the boot?

No. There wasn't. The WB and UPN had a bid war, UPN offered more money, so the show went to UPN.

I agree 100%, Rogue Slayer. It truly is special.

It strikes me that you're using the actors as the litmus test for love, but on Buffy and Angel it was the writers who were the heroes, at least at the Bronze. And they had personal relationships with fans and fandom that last to this day. Comparatively, I think it's the same.

But still I'd say the dynamic was diffrent, somewhat less intense.

This is what I am saying. The intensity could be turned down a notch or eight amongst some Browncoats.

It's the prosteletyzing that gets under my skin. Papering cars in parking lots with Serenity flyers, buying tickets for strangers at theatres strikes me as going a little too far over the edge into religion. Browncoats call new fans "converts" and have great difficulty accepting any criticism about the movie.

Travel on over to the Serenity board and read the posts. Going to a con and putting up a Serenity table is fandom, apologizing to Joss because you were unable to see the movie more than twice this weekend due to an illness in your family and begging forgiveness? That's something different.

I feel that a lot of Whedonesquers have a life outside and inside fandom. I read it in your posts that hint at jobs and family and relationships. I go to the Serenity site and see too many posts (and again, to be clear, I believe it to be a minority of fandom, vocal as they may be) by people whose lives seem to revolve around the movies and DVDs, as if they spend every waking moment thinking about the success of a film. I think it's this contigency Devin is discussing, and the nature of the internet amplifies this contingency.

If the success of Serenity isn't one of the top five priorities in your life (your health, your family, your career, paying your bills on time, your friends) I'm not talking about you. If Joss being proud of you bumps any of those priorities, then yes, you're completely nuts. In my opinion. Opinions may vary.
PR and marketing gurus are taking advantage of loyal and enthusiastic fans and that's just awful.

I'm sorry but no fan was taken advantage of. No one was tricked, or lied to or forced to do anything. Any Browncoat, from mellow and polite to overzelous and fanatical, that tried to help the movie in any way, did so out of free will. No one ever calls it 'taken advantage of' when people volunteer to help in the campaign of their political candidate of choice do they?

Devin's point never seemed to be that the fandom existed or was hyped on the radio -- rather his point was that the fandom was creepy and disturbing and overzealous. He said it wasn't the marketing but the fan evangelism that was the problem.

Yes and as many others pointed out during the many times Devin repeated that same point: that argument doesn't stand.

The only people that could've turned this into a hit are the mainstream audiences. The mainstream audiences barely know about Serenity. What they know often doesn't help. (No name actors, the words 'failed TV show' popping up, they think it's about a girl named 'Serenity, some think it's got aliens, some think it's a chick flic, etc.)

What the mainstream audience does not really know of however, is 'Browncoats'. And even if they did, if they were initially attracted to the movie, they'd still go. The mainstream audiences are completely aware about the fanatical Star Wars fans for example. They see them on the news, dressed up in the streets, sleeping on the sidewalk for weeks or even months before the movie opens. People laugh at them, find them creepy and nerdy and can't believe they are so weird! And then they still go to see the new Star Wars movie.

Serenity just didn't reach enough people in spite of everyone's best efforts. (Well apart from the piss-poor second week advertising).

It's the prosteletyzing that gets under my skin. Papering cars in parking lots with Serenity flyers, buying tickets for strangers at theatres strikes me as going a little too far over the edge into religion.

Why would that bother you? Some flyers like local restaurants make, and people freely spending their own money and other people happy to get some free tickets? What is wrong with that? I've seen some creepy Browncoat behavior myself, both online and in the flesh, but they were rude to people, or took over threads dedicated to other movies, or got insulting to non-Serenity fans. That's bad behaviour. What is wrong with giving some people free tickets? You won't see me doing it but I'd say that's a nice thing to do.

Browncoats call new fans "converts" and have great difficulty accepting any criticism about the movie.

Those things are just as true for overzealous Buffy fans. Or Angel fans. Or any fandom. How many posts have been seen on this board alone about how someone 'converted' a coworker to liking Buffy? I don't believe anyone ever took offense then. How many overzealous fans of any movie or TV show get defensive against criticism? Why are these things suddenly treated as something surprising and new simply because now it's overzealous Browncoats?

If Joss being proud of you bumps any of those priorities, then yes, you're completely nuts.

Absolutely. No argument. But that's nothing anyone here is debating. The issue in this article is the claim that those creepy fans are the reason the movie didn't hit it big. And I'd say it's nonsense because if you ask Joe Average going to the movies what a Browncoat is, I promise you 95% won't have a clue.
Yes and as many others pointed out during the many times Devin repeated that same point: that argument doesn't stand.


You'll get no disagreement from on this :)
You'll get no disagreement from on this :)

Well, that's why I pay you those bribes....;-)
I knew there was a reason... ;) It would be way better if it wasn't in the official currency of EdDantesLand, which my bank swears they have never heard of and thus far refuse to convert to USD...
Browncoats are having fun with Serenity. Some are even giving away free tickets to strangers. There's nothing wrong with that, it's called having fun. Serenity is more than "just a movie" to me and many fans. I will not be ashamed of being a Browncoat, not for one second. It's been a long, strange trip. Some fans are really, really into it. Let them, they are not hurting anybody. Whenever a group of people start having fun, there is always another group of people that say, "Stop having fun."

Well you can't take the sky from me!
A child of the 60's & early 70's, I have to fall back on an old saying I haven't thought of in quite awhile: If it doesn't hurt anybody and it feels good, do it.

Personally, I've never met any creepy Browncoats. All in all, the fandom has struck me as more intelligent and friendlier than most. Well, ammend that to, than many.
Y'know what gets me about comments regarding zealous fans who dress up in costumes and the like? They are often made by folks who think nothing of people who paint their faces to go to a sporting event, or always wear jerseys or hats of their favorite teams, or for that matter get very incensed or upset when their team loses. For some reason, these things are not only accepted, they are embraced. Considered not only normal but laudable. Yet when someone puts on Jedi robes to see a movie, or adopts some Vulcan ears to attend a con, or just wears a t-shirt with a joke comment about Joss Whedon being their master now... these things are crazy and extreme.

You want obnoxious, overzelous, damn-near religious fandom, look no furthen than pro sports as THE most massive contributor. THE most extreme fan behavior comes from that segment, yet society rarely looks down on them. Sci-Fi fandom, while it can get sad and scary in the most acute cases, holds nothing on the kind of rampantly rude and scary behavior of common sports enthusiasts.

When my local sporting team was doing well last year, my housemates were screaming at the top of their lungs about every last thing in the game, yet I never scream "YEAH! SG-1 BEAT THE GOULD!!!" or "KICK THOSE VAMPIRES, BUFFY!!!!" Yet I'm still the one looked down on here.

And the sad thing is that sporting events are essentially meaningless, trivial events. They serve no purpose but to distract and kill time. Whereas a story, in any genre, but in particular Sci-Fi, is meant to convey thought and ideas as well as entertain. These episodes and films and books will be around and appreciated for a long time, whereas any specific game you may see is only relevant while it's being played.
A child of the 60's & early 70's, I have to fall back on an old saying I haven't thought of in quite awhile: If it doesn't hurt anybody and it feels good, do it.


My father used to have a Jazz piece that had the artist talking in the middle, and he said something I've always taken to heart:

"If it feels good it's supposed to, and if it doesn't then you aint doing it right!"
Yay, Succatash. Nicely said! I've had fun, handed out leaflets, given my time and energy to UIP for BC usage, basically done a lot of what is considered as rabid.

Do you want to know what that got me?
A huge group of beautiful new friends, a lot of laughs and shindigs, plus many more to come, and the icing, hanging out with Joss a number of times while he was here in Oz, and filming him sending a message to his Cast.

Now tell me where my time was wasted? I love my new friends, and they love me and my girls.
We became a community. We became something over and above just a bunch of fans. The Sydney BC's actually look out for one another and spend a lot of time together now. For example today, one of the Sydney peeps Davej drove for over an hour to come to my place to fix my car. Who does that for a person they have only know for a few months? We do, because we care.
There were other BC's all over Sydney that I knew today who were spending the day together.

That's not creepy, that's a crew.
<<"And the sad thing is that sporting events are essentially meaningless, trivial events. They serve no purpose but to distract and kill time. Whereas a story, in any genre, but in particular Sci-Fi, is meant to convey thought and ideas as well as entertain. These episodes and films and books will be around and appreciated for a long time, whereas any specific game you may see is only relevant while it's being played.">>

Well, of course, this is sort of silly. On any given day, more people are invested in the results of how their team has done than Buffy, Angel and Firefly combined can ever hope to equal. If you want to be realistic, then be honest enough to say that sports is a commodity; it is something to be consumed by the public, and is used as a means to market other products via advertising. Which makes it no different than any television show, which does exactly the same thing, all the whedonverse tv included. What you appear to be doing is elevating your own interest (in this case, Firefly and Serenity) over the interests of others who do not share your interest. Yours are no better, nor worse, only different.

And to make sci fi purer than other forms of storytelling, you claim it convey thoughts and ideas, as well as entertain. SO does sports, of course. Once a game ends, a person who wants to can rewatch in on tivo or on DVD or whatever, just like they can do for Buffy. And there are stories in the sports, storylines such as beating your opponent whom you have a 80 year history with. You think there is no storyline coming our of Chicago with the White Sox heading toward the pennant? The tales are there, but you are not crediting them properly in your attempt to argue that sports fans are odder and more accepted than browncoats.

Listen, I wear, regularly, a Willow+Tara Forever t-shirt. I'm a middle aged man, so I am part of the story here. I am a fan, and a fanatic. But I do not expect everyone to be interested in what I am interested in; they have their own interests, which I honor. Whether it is sports, or music, or Buffy, cool. I do not make one higher than the others. But I don't hide my interest, and that is what we need to do here. Some browncoats went overboard, and that happens.

And I disagree that society smiles on those people who paint their faces green or whatever. There is a reason that Saturday Night Live parodies the superfans out of Chicago, and why the network cameras focus on the fools doing stupid things at football games, and it is not because they are interested in showing us beloved images; it is because it is showing us people acting like idiots.
EdDantes said:

Those things are just as true for overzealous Buffy fans. Or Angel fans. Or any fandom. How many posts have been seen on this board alone about how someone 'converted' a coworker to liking Buffy? I don't believe anyone ever took offense then. How many overzealous fans of any movie or TV show get defensive against criticism? Why are these things suddenly treated as something surprising and new simply because now it's overzealous Browncoats?


Yep, I completely agree. We used to call converting someone to the Buffy fandom 'siring' on most of the fora where I used to discuss the show. And we were just as vocal in 'converting' people as us browncoats are now.

Hell, 'converting' is a natural part of fandom to me. If I particularly like a movie, a book, a tv show, a comic, an album, or whatever, I want to get other people to watch/read/listen to it and like it, because it's an experience you want to share with others.

I listen to a lot of obscure singer/songwriters, for instance, and I often get my friends (of whom I know they might like it) to listen to their albums and get them to come to concerts with me. That's 'converting' too.

I do not see where it would suddenly be 'wrong' now that it's the browncoats doing the converting.
I think he seemed a little more reasonable than usual, but I have had a completely difference experience of the Browncoats than him. Perhaps that's because I'm a Browncoat, but I have never felt that any part of the fan support was inappropriate.

For the most part, Joss's fans are all very articulate and reasonable, and very passionate about what they do. People like to discuss his work, encourage their friends to watch it and try and support it in different ways. I think as long as it's in moderation, what's the problem? If people are trying to spread the signal without frightening anyone (like the people who threatened cinema managers), just by wearing t-shirts, or encouraging their friends to watch it, or by posting on message boards, what's the harm in it?

I am personally proud of our achievements. Of course the film is a product of Joss's genius, as well as of all those involved, the cast and crew, and also from the studio support, but we Browncoats have played a small part in encouraging them and making people aware of it. I think it's nice to see people forming an inviting community, just listening to The Dragoncon Special of The Signal.

I think Alan Tudyk said recently at a Serenity screening, of the Browncoats, "They're enthusiastic, without being creepy."

Just the way that Joss interacts with the fans could give me a slew of future editorial is the elimination of the wall between author and audience a good or bad thing? Should an artist heed the fans (and bicker with them, as Kevin Smith has embarrassingly done at Aint It Cool) or should he ignore them and follow his artistic vision?

I also think that this comment is very inaccurate. Joss has been periodically popping in to post messages here and on the official site, but it isn't an unusual amount of involvement. It's usually just to thank fans and let us know how he is getting on. And I firmly believe he has always stuck to his artistic vision and never been influenced by his fans.

Otherwise, would we have seen so many beloved characters die, or relationships broken up? I very much doubt it. As he's said before, "I give the audience what they need, not what they want." Joss does what he wants and I think that's one of his strengths. He could have easily made something completely different instead of Firefly, something set in modern times with a more conventional premise that would be much more likely of success, but he did't, he did something he was passionate about and found more interesting.
Dana5140 said:

Well, of course, this is sort of silly. On any given day, more people are invested in the results of how their team has done than Buffy, Angel and Firefly combined can ever hope to equal.


That was the original point. Because it is way more popular the fanbase as a whole is much more accepted. The face painting, extreme fans may not be be accepted by other sports fans, but in general if you are a sports fan and say that you like team A, and that you hope that team A wins, then you can still be considered normal. If you go to a football game, then you can retain your cool badge. If you attend a Con, then, well, you're just a dork.

If you want to be realistic, then be honest enough to say that sports is a commodity


I believe that's what the original author intended. IMForeman was talking about the fleeting memories of a particular game.

Commodities generally aren't known for being unique or particularly interesting on their own. They only stand out because of their great quantity and sameness. There may be rivalries between teams, and "storylines" but because of its commodity status, things are designed to be replacable.

[ edited by Caleb on 2005-10-10 20:46 ]
There is no doubting that there are stories and rivalries with sports teams, but I have to disagree with saying that a sporting event 'conveys thoughts and ideas' in the same way that sci-fi does.
I have to disagree with saying that a sporting event 'conveys thoughts and ideas' in the same way that sci-fi does.

But sports highlight the eternal struggle of man vs man and native americans vs some animals and some shade of socks vs some sea-faring folk, ya know??

And are you honestly saying that when men join together to spell words on their chests in paint, that they're not conveying an idea like say, "SWEEP" or "GO SOX!"??? :~P

......go Cards!
I knew there was a reason... ;) It would be way better if it wasn't in the official currency of EdDantesLand, which my bank swears they have never heard of and thus far refuse to convert to USD...

Sigh, I told you zeitgeist, ignore those fools at the bank. After I take over the world, ALL will be EdDantesland! (*ominous laughter*)

Whenever a group of people start having fun, there is always another group of people that say, "Stop having fun."

Word! Once a sportsteam (rowing I believe) in Holland was coached by the crown prince, and they won some big championship. They were so happy they jumped in the water. The crown prince joined them and plunged right in. Most felt it refreshing to see royalty so uninhibited and able to let his hair down. Some others of course, protested, saying the prince behaved 'inappropriately' and even demanded the team give back it's medal!

Now tell me where my time was wasted? I love my new friends, and they love me and my girls.
We became a community.

Now now, nixygirl what you really mean to say is of course that those evil Universal execs stood behind you with a gun to your head and forced you to do all that, right? Come on, you can tell us.;-)

As for the sporting events, I've been saying for years that someone who paints his face for a sporting event is no better or worse than a guy dressed up as a stormtrooper in line for a Star Wars movie. As the song says, everybody's got their something. (*visual of cute awkward Willow dancing*) I'm just not sure why only the stormtrooper is seen as a 'nerd' by general society and the sportsfan as a 'healthy enthusiastic young man'...

......go Cards!

...or youg woman. Whom I apaprently married. Now honey, tell me again: 'Cards', that's ice hockey, right?

I want to get other people to watch/read/listen to it and like it, because it's an experience you want to share with others.

Exactly GVH, and unlike religious zealots, we don't even demand that they stop reading or watching the things they already like! I don't think anyone ever said "You know, I think you would enjoy Buffy, but you must stop watching ER! Now! Stop it! It is blasphemy unto Her Holy Buffness!" But maybe I missed some threads;-)

[ edited by EdDantes on 2005-10-10 20:41 ]
zeitgeist, I'm just guessing you're not a big sports fan. I am a rather devoted NY Giants and NY Mets fan...sports may not convey "thoughts and ideas" the way literature and movies do (and not just sci-fi, of course), but it does create a certain and defined community, with shared memories and experiences...15 year ago I was in a north Arlington, Virginia mall, just after Christmas. There was a big Super Bowl display, with video monitors playing a11 24 or 25 championship games concurrently. I placed my nearly 6 year old son in front of the one showing the Giants victory over the Broncos...a fellow sporting a Giants parka saw me, wearing a Giants sweatshirt...we chatted for a while, and my wife joined us, she wearing a Giants sweatshirt, too. The guy was delighted; we swapped brief bios--where we were from, favorite memories of the team, and then I called my son over. He too was wearing Giants gear, and the guy gushed, "This is so great, a Giants family here in Washington, and you're raising your son with good Giants values!"

Similarly, a Hofstra professor named Dana Brand recently had an article appear in Newsday about the NY Mets--she and I are about the same age, grew up in the same media market, and have the same memories, mostly horrible, but a few glorious ones that she invoked, evoking in me and many other readers, a sense of shared sacrifice, sadness, and also, occasionally, utter ecstasy. I wrote her, and sent, somewhat gratuitiously, a scan of a magazine cover from October 1969. She responded graciously and gratefully, saying that the image I'd sent was now her wallpaper.

Sporting "storylines" are ongoing, continuously unfolding, as each season brings new chapters, new highs and lows, new legendary exploits, new ignominious defeats. The bond they create between fans (and I'm not talking about the kind who burn down their city when their team wins) is real, vital, and a source of great satisfaction.
Chris inVirginia-- appreciate you posting a much longer version of what I said above :) I was a baseball nut for a long time and well know the camaraderie of being a Cubs fan (feel sorry for me yet?) and currently follow the (mis?)adventures of the Vikings and the Eagles. My only argument was that the original poster said that sports convey thoughts and ideas in the same way that sci-fi does. They most certainly do not; they are different mediums/settings/etc. I never meant to imply that they didn't convey thoughts and ideas FULL STOP :)

EdDantes and Rogue Slayer -- Thanks for making me laugh out loud again :)
Chris inVirginia: I agree about the community thing. This isn't the first time I've thought of my fanship (I don't think that's a word, but I'm sticking to it) for Joss to be equitable with the devotion of a sports fan. People like to be with, and talk to others who share a common interest (which is unfortunate for me, since I have to go online to talk about most of my interests).

Do you think Joss would be scared if we painted J-O-S-S on our chests and went to a con that he was at?
No. There wasn't. The WB and UPN had a bid war, UPN offered more money, so the show went to UPN.


You'd know better than I. Save Angel is the better example anyway. The point still is the scary fan exists in every fandom. Do the words "slavish devotee" ring a bell? How about people stealing raffle items or sneaking onto locations they weren't supposed to be at? How about when fans reenact OMWF? Isn't that paying homage to "the master?" Is that some kind of religious ceremony in your eyes? Who gets to make the distinction?

It's the prosteletyzing that gets under my skin. Papering cars in parking lots with Serenity flyers, buying tickets for strangers at theatres strikes me as going a little too far over the edge into religion. Browncoats call new fans "converts" and have great difficulty accepting any criticism about the movie.


Then you qualify this by saying it's a small percentage of fans overall. Just as in the cases I mentioned above. 6 months from now when this all dies down and Browncoats come up this will be their image. Is that fair? I don't think it is. Is it my imagination or does it seem you'll defend Bronzers to the end but are more than willing to throw Browncoats under the bus?
Why, if I'm not mistaken, the Amazin' Mets and our fave film Serenity may share a common catchphrase: "Ya gotta believe!"

(Thanks for the blast from the past, Chris in Virginia.)
I can understand how some stubborne people out there could become turned off to something if other people obnoixiously wouldn't shut up about it.

That's what happened to me with Veronica Mars. My friends just kept telling me "You HAVE to see this!". I kept asking why, and honestly they never gave me an answer that was worthy of me having to keep up with another show. I only can commit to about 4 or so TV shows every week, since I have small children and you know, a life. I finally decided over the summer (and I must say Joss' comments compelled me more then the peer pressure) that I will watch it when the DVD comes out. But even after I get caught up and watch S1, I'm not sure I wouldn't be taping it. I am commited to watching LOST already, the timeslot is simply already taken.

My problem with this whole situation is that I think Devin has manipulated the situation and attention into a massive fan-wank. Using the reactions of a massive amount of people to up his sites hits and popularity. The problem is, that at the end of the day, whether he has a point or not on some things, the editorials in all are irresponsible in nature.

He doesn't like groups? That to me says he is antisocial and a little biased. He is saying that the fans HE has encountered wigged him out. Fair enough. I don't go hang out on the CHUD or AICN message boards either. So there may be a few very defensive very overzeolus fans out there driving people crazy to the point of disgust. I think we would all here agree that most of the Browncoats out there do not fall into that catogory.

BUT that still has absolutely nothing to do with how this film has succeeded financially. I agree with those who say that maybe the marketing was off by targeting the movie as what it actually was - a cultish hit. I personally found absolutely nothing wrong with the trailor. After sitting threw the trailors for DOOM and Aeon Flux I don't even care to see them when they come of cable! Talk about formulmatic and overdone...

My whole point is. If a small percentage was influenced, at these "uber-geeky" message boards or maybe you know in real life the offending obnoxious person. The simple fact is are we talking about 1000 or so people, maybe. There is no way to know. He has issued as fact that the fanbase hurt the movie. I don't hold to that.

[ edited by CinJudes on 2005-10-10 21:31 ]
(Deleted due to dreaded double postage.)

[ edited by Chris inVirginia on 2005-10-10 21:29 ]
Ah, zeitgeist, I seem to have misunderstood you--apologies.

Cubs? I was born in Chicago, but we moved east when I was a little kid, and I've been a Mets and Giants fan ever since. Drives my Chicago relatives, all but one Cubs fans, absolutely crazy.

m'cookies, ya gotta believe indeed! I'm still hopeful of this movie being very successful and am telling everybody I see to go to it. I'm not manic about it, and I don't dress up like any of the characters (well, some mornings I certainly do look somewhat Reaveresque, to be sure, and also some bourbon or martini-soaked evenings, too, as phlebottinin and the rest of our meetup crowd could attest to), but I take every appropriate opportunity to play up Serenity.

Note: "appropriate." Wasn't doing it after Mass yesterday, nor do I go up to people I don't know in the supermarket, nor do I have a banner hanging from my window. (Although the days the Giants play the Redskins, I do!)
Caleb, the Buffy/Angel/Firefly kinship is amazing. When Target was selling Buffy Season 7 DVD sets for $15 each the day after Thanksgiving a 2 years ago, I went to a store in the area (and was surprised to find it not terribly crowded), and the clerk found 3, saying "That's all there's left, man, I've sold a lot of Buffy today!" I greedily took all 3 (already owned 2) and started to the cash register, and felt a rush of shame, and put one back on the rack.

I wound up buying a radio (their loss leader strategy worked like a charm on me), and saw a young woman with the last set. I showed her my 2, and told her I was glad to see her with it, because I had nearly greedily taken them all. She was so happy that I hadn't, because she was buying it for a Christmas present for her best friend.

We spent the next 30 or 40 minutes just standing there in the store, talking about all things Whedonesque (I think I even mentioned this site to her, telling her if she wanted lively, intelligent, non-netscreech discussion about Buffy, this was the place), and we parted, both feeling very much part of a community that was real, vibrant, and fulfilling.
Chris -- nothing to apologize for, and great stories :)
Let us apply his way of thinking. He is a movie reviewer, right? We all know that there are some movie reviewers (not him, obviously) that are arrogant and snobery. Their reviews make many readers really annoyed and/or angry. As a result, people mistrust movie reviewers per se. Therefore, (well deserved) good reviews about Serenity are ignored and even have the opposite effect. The conclusion: the Serenity's poor box office performance is directly caused by movie reviewers as a group.

The same logic, isn't it? :))

[ edited by Lince on 2005-10-10 21:59 ]
My point RE: sports vs Firefly is that I do not think it fair to elevate one over the other; both draw fans and neither has any claim to being more full of ideas per se. Now, I trust you udnerstand I am not denigrating books, sci fi, or Buffy or saying that to me they are on the same level; I am instead applying cultural and media analysis to this situation. We can analyze sports phenomenon with as equally rigorous meythods as we do Buffy- in fact, Open Court's entire series does just that, in that there is a book called Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy and there is a book called Baseball and Philosophy, and there is a book called Woody Allen and Philosophy, Simpsons and Philosophy, Atkins Diet and Philosophy, Hip Hop and Philosophy, Matrix, The Passion, Sopranos, Seinfeld, etc. There is a lot of writing about fan bases available in the popular culture literature, including a lot of interesting writing over on slayage on this topic about the Buffy fanbase. I think what I am seeing here, zeitgest, is the privileging of our interests over others, and the offering of explanations as to why we justify how we privelege our interests over others. All I am saying is that everything has to be kept in perspective. And all of this started because no matter how you but it, Serentiy did not do as well at the BO as we all wanted.
OK, 2 hours later I've read everyone's comments. My only comment regarding the article is that it made me roll my eyes. The one comment that stood out after 2 hours is one that IMMORTAL said:

"Point is no one gets to say what you get to fight for or how hard you have to fight."

I personally think this is a beautiful quote. Maybe I'm fanatic, who knows. I've enjoyed talkin' up the film and handing out fliers. I'm pretty sure I haven't creeped anybody out.
Browncoats are having fun with Serenity. Some are even giving away free tickets to strangers. There's nothing wrong with that, it's called having fun. Serenity is more than "just a movie" to me and many fans. I will not be ashamed of being a Browncoat, not for one second. It's been a long, strange trip. Some fans are really, really into it. Let them, they are not hurting anybody. Whenever a group of people start having fun, there is always another group of people that say, "Stop having fun."

Well you can't take the sky from me!


Hear, hear! My sentiments exactly.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2005-10-10 23:43 ]
What bothers me about this article, and makes it very difficult not to talk about the author are two things. The first is the apparently purposeful misstatement of what Joss had previously objected to. I say that it is purposeful because he seemed to understand in his last article that Joss was objecting to the blaming of the fans for the less than blockbuster BO on the first weekend. In this article he implies that Joss was objecting to the author's take on the BO numbers. (Or that was my impression and I am not going back to read it again.) Second is the tone which is an integral part of any writing. I'm not sure how one can or should comment on a piece of writing with out taking tone into account.

I have been away for the last few days out in the woods communing with...well... rain, mostly. I did have an interesting discussion about art during which Joss Whedon amazingly enough, was mentioned. Though since I mentioned him, maybe it wasn't so amozing after all. ;-) Anyway, in this whole group of fannish type people, I was the only one I heard mention Serenity all weekend. When I did bring it up, the only response was from one teenager who said "Oh, is it good?" My impression from work and from my rather soggy weekend, is that most people have still not heard of Serenity much less Browncoats. This whole pointing fingers at the Browncoats is just silly.

Oh, and of course I answered "Yeah, it's great." to that teenager who asked.

Also, congratulations zeitgeist. Should I salute or something?
I saw Serenity and I thought it was great fun, "a rip-roaring yarn," as Ebert said, a good MOVIE. And I was surprised. Even as someone who liked Firefly, I was surprised. After all the angst that had gone into it, and the runmors of it being great art, the best movie ever, it turned out to be something better than that: fun. I understood then what one person who wouldn't go with me meant when she said, "I'm not in the mood for that kind of movie." I truely wasn't in the mood for the ponderousness I thought it was either. But I was wrong. Why didnt anybody remind me it was fun? that it was a lark? Everyone likes cleverly constructed fun. If you take it too seriously for too long, the fun goes away, and who wants to see a serious hard-to-get science fiction flick that only a few can understand and treasure? Just say, "Go see Serenity, it's fun." Then go on to the next good thing.
I've found myself engaged in a back-and-forth "discussion" now with Mr. Faraci for several e-mails. I had written to him earlier to express my concerns with the growing anti-Browncoat movement among online genre "journalists". I was deliberately non-aggressive, did not insult him or suggest that he recant his every word. I merely wanted to let him know that not all fans are rabid and irrational.

I told him that it is bothering me how the two biggest "used to be just a fansite but now it's 'legitimate'" genre news sites seem to be leading the charge when it comes to accusing Browncoats of being "scary" and immature.

Well, his most recent e-mail devolved into telling me how his site caters to a certain audience; educated, sarcastic and with diverse film interests. The implication there being that Browncoats are neither educated OR able to deal with sarcasm... and of course we can't have diverse tastes in film because we're just Joss fans apparently.

Truly, he's gotten ugly about it. I deliberately e-mailed him rather than post on their message boards because I imagined him to be an adult that might be able to discuss a difference of opinions without going all schoolyard.

My mistake. Good work Devin... I'm done with you AND your site.
Allyson: don't get scared now, but I agree with all your points.

Ever the critic, I think Serenity could have been better, tighter and less-talk-more-rock but whether that would have impacted the box office, I dunno. Heck, another genresque film I was sorely disappointed with-- Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy-- took $100 Mill worldwide, and only cost a smidgen more than Serenity. So I had high hopes. BoxOfficeMojo.com shows Serenity as well above-and-beyond "The Most Popular" film (with 18% "saturation") -- yet it's dropped to 8th in the weekend box standings. I think the experience is telling as to the perceptual divide between the online and the "real" world.
Is it my imagination or does it seem you'll defend Bronzers to the end but are more than willing to throw Browncoats under the bus?

I believe that's hyperbole. I am very careful to say some Browncoats and a small percentage of Browncoats, but your statement suggests I am lumping all Browncoats together. I have not.

And, if you recall, I was always much harsher to Bronzers who behaved like jackasses, right there on the boards, than I've ever been about Browncoats.

You actually do know my history within both fandoms, I've been involved to a great degree in both, and my love of fandom, I think, has been proven with actions over quite a few years, in both the Firefly and Buffy fandoms.

Craxy Buffy fans do not negate craxy Browncoats. Fans petitioning and writing hatemail about a perceived mistreatment of Cordelia are just as mental as fans petitioning and writing hatemail about a perceived mistreatment of Wash.

I wasn't offering any sort of defense that Bronzers were better, smarter, or had fewer insane people, as a whole, and I'm not quite sure why you decided to go there in the argument.

I responded to a post that read that the actors of Firefly are far more involved with the fans. I made a comparison that in the Bronze, the producers were just as involved with the fans and have had long-lasting relationships with them.

Which I think makes clear that I think comparing fandoms in terms of better or worse is foolish. But Devin's article specifically discusses Browncoats. He could have written the article about craxy Angel fans, or Buffy fans, and I would have found points in which I agree.

I agree that some Browncoats are in fact, bugfuck crazy. It'll happen in any microcosm of society, and given that the SF writer just wrote a piece called, "Joss Whedon's fans are scaring me," well, I think that's proof that the fringe wackaloons do get loud and can in fact, overshadow the positive aspects of fandom if no one says to the dude who earnestly believes and writes a letter to the press that we are all soldiers in Joss' army (no, not as a metaphor), "you, sir, are NUTS, you don't speak for me, and you're making us look like jackasses."
Hmmm. After all the hubbub, and reading through most of the comments on this thread, I finally read Devin's latest column. It's actually quite good, and not particularly imflammatory (IMO), and I agreed with a lot of it. I understand that others might not, but for me, at least, he had good points to make about both the postives and negatives of fandom. Now on to other things. Like work. And sleep.

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