epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

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Firefly (2002) 1x04&1x05&1x09 + Madam Secretary 1x09 + Shades Of Blue 1x08 Reviewed

Mal insults Inara and Kaylee. There is bad acting and Kaylee manipulates Mal into buying her a ridiculous puffy dress. Simon wears a waistcoat and looks good. River lurks and rants. Mean girls sneer at Kaylee, one mean girl wears a lovely gold jacket. Mal picks a fight with Inara’s latest client and gets challenged to a duel, with swords. This has no sheer novelty or enthusiasm. Why is everyone dressing like it is the 19th century?

This has no smart narrative flip. Badger lurks. Mal has no truck with bourgeois aspirations. The arcane culture rules of this society make no sense. Edward Atterton and Larry Drake co-star. This was okish.

Best Lines:
“Terraforming crews got a prodigious death rate.”

“I cannot abide useless people.”

“An insult to the psychotic lowlife community.”

“Whore academy.”

“Are you in pain?”

11 years ago young River and young Simon (Zac Efron) were apparently loved by their father. WTF is a source-box? It is 3 weeks after 1x04 and the ship has had cows on board for that long. How did they feed and water them and clean up their poo? They’ve transported the cows to a new backward planet. Book is shot. Simon and River are abducted. There are hints at Book’s mysterious past. An Alliance ship treats Book. Some tech is waved that looks like a credit card scanner.

More flashbacks reveal that the Tam parents abandoned River and wrote her off. Simon got arrested looking for her and was disowned along with River. The Tam parents once had 2 genius children they apparently loved and now they have none. Didn’t they care at all? Simon’s relentless work ethic to save River cost him.

How did the hill folk know Simon was a doctor? Why does everyone dress and act like they live in America’s Wild West? Mal is an ass and I HATE whiny Kaylee. Why do Alliance spaceships look like skyscrapers? Simon broods and looks cute. River is called a witch. Where are her super-solider fighting skills when she faces being burned? There is bad acting and this was mediocre.

Best Lines:
“His whole conclusion is fallacious.”

“Someplace away.”

“The human body can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds given adequate vacuuming systems.”

“Long as she does it quiet-like.”

“Today we were kidnapped by hill folk, never to be seen again. It was the best day ever.”

“Daddy will come and take us home.”

“You were in a blackout zone.”

“I won’t come for you again.”

“Make everyone feel guilty and judged.”

“You were busy trying to get yourself lit on fire.”

Some of what happens here was contradicted by the appalling 2005 movie. Why isn’t it obvious to anyone that River was trained as a super-solider? Were the Tam parents in on it? Was Simon not a super-solider candidate? Book is not in this ep. Some could read this show as a pro-Confederate romanisation of the Civil War. Why do the Alliance do terrifying and vile things? River behaves irrationally. What was the Blue Sun Coperation? Mal and Jayne are each as odious a character that ever existed. If the show ever did Simon/Jayne I would have vomited. Simon lies, there is obvious sfx and River has a deadly purpose.

Jayne is vindictive. Simon (Sean Maher) has calculating intelligence. I detest Kaylee (Jewel Staite), Jayne (Adam Baldwin) and Mal. Zoë has no personality of her own. The theme song sucks. Morena Baccarin’s character of Inara is superfluous to the show. River (Summer Glau) babbles. Simon plans a heist. If the Alliance is a fusion of America and China 500 years in the future than where are all the Asians? Mal is angry that he has to live in the world of the victors. What makes him think that the Independents who started the civil war were the good guys?

Jayne betrays River and Simon. The Alliance busts the siblings and the colluding Jayne. This was not emotionally ferocious but was a quiet delight. Jayne says Simon has a pretty mouth, River is not pleasantly odd and this has a pleasing intensity and a sense of menace. The Alliance has non existent mercy. Mal is all too rote and worryingly detached. Simon can be particularly nasty when he wants to be. The Alliance has impenetrable politics.

Jayne does more conniving; he’s infuriating and not nuanced. His betrayal became a dark forgotten incident after Simon brought it up in ‘Trash’. An air of menace grows. It is a shame that the 2005 movie resulted in tedium. Jayne has aggression in response to commonplace frustrations. There are no utopian dreams here. I wish Zoë who has no hint of the gamine would stop calling Mal “Sir.”

There is a fight scene. This was joyous. Jayne is indecorous. There are strange plots and blue light. People wear ill-fitting clothes and the men with hands of blue show up. They kill people with a device that makes people bleed from various places including their fingernails. The ‘blood’ looks like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. There is dodgy acting and this was very good. Mal attacks Jayne but lets him away with his betrayal at the expense of the common good.

Best Lines:
“Smells like crotch.”

“No-one’s getting left.”

“Gets in a murdering mood.”

“If I wanted schooling, I’d have gone to school.”

“Everyone’s rich and happy here.”

“Your type doesn’t last long here.”

“I will shut you up.”

“I got pinched.”
“Which is what happens when you call the Feds.”

“I don’t have a keel to haul you on.”

So It Goes
Enthusiastic fools, inconsiderate bullies and self-obsessed weirdoes fill the cast. NASA show up. There are flashbacks to Elizabeth’s predecessor and then to Elizabeth’s days at the CIA. Elizabeth learns if the plane crash that killed her predecessor was deliberate. Elizabeth and co covertly discuss said plane crash. She gives no moral guidance and her clammy obsession is thoroughly baffling.

This episode had a vague and uncertain plot. Elizabeth’s kids aren’t even slightly interesting. This inspires no singular confidence and was flimsy nonsense. Elizabeth is manufactures tension and makes ruinous demands. Elizabeth heartily loathes the Chief Of Staff. Her impulsivity annoys; she is an eye-rolling cliché. There is fabulism and a mole. Elizabeth is much less respected than her predecessor. The White House staff have no peer acceptance. This was not significant with no dramatic journey and just was not classy.

Best Lines:
“No survivors.”

“You have to ask.”

“I think we have reminisced enough.”

“I cannot keep us in the air.”

“Sabotage a different part of the plane in order to put stress on the jackscrew.”

Good Cop Bad Cop
A cover of ‘The Sound Of Silence’ plays as it is clear that Sap is dead. Wozniak does not regret reacting so excessively. He continues his slight air of menace and melancholy. Stahl is an indefatigable source of wretchedness. What does Wozniak’s wife know? Christina’s boyfriend is beaten up. Wozniak climbs his moral mountain. Stahl is an ass.

Christina’s boyfriend is a tool. There is motivational toxicity. Tess is vile. Harlee faces coercive pressure. Sap refused to be saved. Stahl annoys. Christina is stupid. The DA is manipulated. Stahl is sufficiently confident in himself. There are evasions, misrepresentations and Harlee’s imperative is to protect herself.

Everything is inexorably linked. Nobody has reasonable goals, people make their point often forcibly, Harlee has incentive to lie and the fundamental themes of undeniably well-intentioned people doing bad things goes on. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“Take issue with that brand of justice.”

“He was murdered. Twice.”

“Nothing that deserved that response.”
Tags: review, shades of blue

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