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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"And working up a load of sexual tension and prancing away like a magnificent poof is truly thanks enough."
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January 16 2006

Firefly in Belgium. The show is airing on Kanaal 2 at 4.30pm every Sunday. In the print edition of the Belgium magazine 'Humo', it was dubbed "one to watch" and there's also a scathingly hilarious interview with Joss about the show and Fox (English translation provided).

Cheers to Inge for the heads up and for the translation from the original Belgian interview. Much appreciated.

Our condolences, Mr Whedon. Did you also believe that Firefly would be considered too difficult for TV?

Joss Whedon: Of course not, it is a little bit more complex than Buffy: Firefly is science fiction with a splash of Western added and on top of it is played by an 9-headed ensemble who all have completely different characters; it's not a simple melody but a complex nine-part symphony! There was also nothing left of the pop culture references that were so often used in Buffy. The fans loved it but honestly: it bored the thundering shit out of me.

You weren't too disappointed when the show was canceled?

Joss Whedon: : Disappointed? No, outraged would be closer to the mark. Foam still appears around my mouth when I think back. Well, it sort of was to be expected; Fox is a shameful network run by affiliates of that creepy George Bush. Whenever I travel to Europe I always have the urge to wear a T-shirt with a picture of George Bush and the words "I'm sorry" on it.

You've never hidden your criticism of Fox; why are you still under contract with them?

Joss Whedon: : Because they don't have any principles. Money is the only thing driving them. I'm in the same situation as Matt Groening (creator of the Simpsons, red): we make too much money for Fox, they can't fire us. Shit, we feel like two Jedi-knights who got a job on the fucking Death Star! No man, to be honest I'm a little bit done with TV.

What are you going to do if there are no more movie offers after Serenity?

Joss Whedon: : I'm going to make music. I already wrote a record for my wife, although she hasn't found the time yet to record it. "Sorry", she says, I just brought a baby into this world". Excuses, excuses...

Um.. is that the interview? Was Joss having a "let's be blunt" day or is it just the translation? Sounds somehow weird. Open, direct and nothing I wouldn't agree with, but quite undiplomatic. First time it doesn't feel like the business has some unwritten rule: "never say what you mean unless you pretend you're just kidding". But when did he start name calling and profanities? *confused*
I have found that he is a lot more candid in European interviews.
Cool interview. Is that true about him writing a record for Kai? I hadn't heard that before. Unless he's being sarcastic because we know he will be doing Goners and WonderWoman.

I was a little bit confused with the answer to the "why do you still have a contract with Fox?" question, I'm guessing something must have been lost in translation. It's a funny answer but why would Joss want to work for them because they don't have principles? I'll assume he's joking again.
I think he kinda took the question as "Why haven't they fired you?"
I also am confused and assume something got lost in translation maybe within the original interview by the magazine (I donít mean to be critical of the very nice lady who bothered to translate this piece for us). I also assume Jossí contract situations with various Fox entities are complicated, so who knows how all this works. In addition, it really isnít up to me to judge other peoples work situations.

I am saying all this, because based on this piece one would obviously immediately ask why he hasnít resigned rather than waiting to be fired.
Wow. Nice to hear what he really thinks. Trience, I imagine that profanity is part of any interview, just as it is in many conversations but in North America it gets left out when the interview is written up.
I assume that a contract is considered binding until it is over. If he quit or Fox fired him, a lot of money would have to change hands to compensate the one being left.
"to be honest I'm a little bit done with TV."

I just died a little, right there.
So, this is the back-translation of the Belgian (French? Flemish?) translation of an original interview, and we have no idea what the Belgian writer may have read into this in the first place?

I know Joss Whedon has a thing for all things Chinese, but I'm not sure how much he's into Chinese Whisper ...

[ edited by bschnell on 2006-01-16 15:43 ]
Yikes, that's a pretty revealing interview. I'm assuming something got lost in the translation as well (there's a double translation going on here, after all English - Dutch - English, so that's not much of a surprise). I'd like to read the original, but I assume it's print-edition only?
I'm with you, Willowy...

*suddenly feeling lost in translation*

[ edited by MySerenity on 2006-01-16 16:41 ]
I assume it's print-edition only?

Unfortunately that seems to be the case.
"My hovercraft is full of eels".

That's the level of translation we're dealing with here. The stuff about my wife's album is true, and the Bush T-shirt line, but there's stuff in here I definitely didn't say. I am more candid in European interviews, but I'm not a d&%#.

"Done with TV"?

"Pull down your pants Sir John, I cannot wait until lunchtime".

You know what I mean?

In the sense that my nipples explode with delight, yes.

And I do trust the person who sent me the translation, so god knows that the interviewer was going with.

And ummm hi :).
Please fondle my bum.
Thanks for clearing things up boss :) I was sadened by the "Done with tv" and did find it a bit strange since it was far from what you'd said in the past.
"My hovercraft is full of eels".

Is this a new deleted scene (e.g. from the mule chase) and if so will it be on the UK DVD ? Otherwise I may have to get the Belgian release after all.

Ah, great to have that cleared up at least. And I'm glad the "done with tv" line wasn't true.

In the sense that my nipples explode with delight, yes.

Please fondle my bum.

Who else is disturbed right now? ;-)

After all is said and done, though, I'd still like to see the unstranslated original of this. I'm sure Inge did a great job, but I'm wondering what it looked like. I mean, if she did an okay translation, then I'm wondering what Humo readers'll think when they read this (if I'm not mistaken, Humo is a pretty well-read magazine in Belgium).
*Whew*. Thanks for that, Joss. Seeing that line in print was just awful. A couple of seasons are about all I can take of Jossless tv. Here's hoping you'll be back soon. As in very.
Ok, I had to google, but the weirdness has now been explained! I thought that was some reference to tv execs and...well I'll leave it up to everyone's imagination, but the main thing is I was wrong!
And hi Joss!
I second Willowy's motion to have you back on tv asap.
Yes, some of this just did not sound like the Joss we are used to. Some of it was jarring enough to loosen my teeth! Glad to hear that those phrases were not Joss. If they were, well, that would mean that he had gone to that place where his brain was not connected to his vocal chords and any impulse of the moment can fly out. Though everyone goes there sometimes, it should not be in front of reporters or coworkers/bosses. Once that happens, I worry for the person.

Diplomacy: The necessary evil if you want to keep working...or keep a relationship.

Glad Joss is still in the corp. ;-)

I do hope Joss's wife makes that recording. I'm sure the babies would enjoy the music...
Ok, I had to google, but the weirdness has now been explained!

Heh, yeah, you've got to love the Python references.
As an interesting side-note, while looking for the original article about Firefly, I found ratings for Firefly on the website of Humo (look for "Kijkcijfers"), it was ranked 15th best watched show of the week on its channel (though it is not the most watched channel apparently), which I find amazingly good for a Sunday afternoon slot. (Of course, you can wonder how much these numbers are to be trusted, do they really think they can measure the amount of viewers up to 1 person?)

And am I the only one who is really interested in this record Joss has written? (Well apparently not)

[ edited by Celebithil on 2006-01-16 17:57 ]
"Xander: So where were you? Did you go to Belgium?

Buffy: Why would I go to Belgium?

Xander: I think the relevant question is why wouldn't you? Bel-gium!"
there's stuff in here I definitely didn't say.

You know? I'm starting to think that the next time I read an interview that sounds a little extreme, I'll need to remind myself, "Cuidado, cuidado, hay llamas."
Happy MLK Day, Mr. Whedon! ;-)
I got an email from Inge just there now about the translation.

To be fair, the interview was translated by Humo from English to Dutch and then back from Dutch to English by me. I translated exactly what it said, but of course things will get "lost in translation". Traduttore, Tradittore... Also, I have to admit, probably not my very best translation work.

On top of this, Humo is of course a left-wing magazine and is known for publishing crude interviews, so they might have exaggerated a tiny little bit when transcribing Joss's words.

Googled as well. Somehow everything makes sense again lol. I haven't had the good luck to actually see the MP scene, but I read the transcript, and of course it sounds hilarious.
Phew. I was trying to put a good spin on it but it was difficult. Thanks Joss for clearing up yet another translation problem. Does Nathan still smell of turnips?
I saw a scan of the original article on an lj page. Bizarrely, it bored the thundering shit out of me. was actually in English in that article. It really does not sound like Joss, but it actually made a Dutch friend of mine swear off watching Firefly, if Joss had so turned on the Buffyverse in its favour.
Just like to add clarification that I wasn't criticising Inge's translation at all, sometimes just little phrases, slang and such which might mean something sensible in one language and sound completely different in another. Thus when translated, even accurately, it makes less sense. However in this case it seems the original source decided to embellish the answers a little.

Hey, Joss. :) I was actually wondering when I posted my last message if you would perhaps weigh in on it. I guess if I say "Please have a long, happy and healthy life whilst continuing to create such fascinating and entertaining work" that will happen too. Kinda like Willow's "I wish I had a million dollars" in Triangle. Actually I wouldn't mind that either.
Gill, do you happen to have a link to that scan?
"A couple of seasons are about all I can take of Jossless tv"

Imagine living in Australia where the only viable alternative is Kath and Kim.



We can do nothing but cry ourselves to sleep at night after replaying Once More with Feeling for drunken, self-pitying sing alongs and hoping desperately that someone...someone OUT THERE will hear our anguish...and upload the latest episode of Veronica Mars.

Ours is a hard life.
So Jewel is doing an album?

( sorry I couldn`t resist!)
Things like this always make me shake my head .. we had quite a few wrong translations here in Germany, too.

edited because I canīt type! *sighs*

[ edited by Kessie on 2006-01-17 01:09 ]
Monty Python references! Is it possible to love our man Joss any more? (In a totally manly way, of course).

All these interviewers putting words in Joss' mouth are really irksome. While us "in the know" understand that isn't what he said, there are many who read anything printed as gospel. (I think this is more an issue for that EW article than an obscure Belgian translation). Where has journalistic integrity gone? Seems all interviewers want to do these days is stir up trouble.
Monty Python references! Is it possible to love our man Joss any more? (In a totally manly way, of course).

And the moment he starts making Eddie Izzard references is the moment I leave the cult of Cthulu for that of the almighty Whedon-God.
Inge sent me a scan of the article, so I've uploaded it onto my Flickr account.

If you have an account with Flickr, sign in and click on 'all sizes' to see the big version.

My knowledge of Dutch is extremely limited to say the least but it's obvious that Humo did put words into Joss' mouth.

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