Monday, October 28, 2002

Okay, it turns out that my computer contracted some sort of virus, so expect few updates here over the next week or so until that gets fixed. I have a friend who will help me do so for free, but I'm at the mercy of her schedule.

In the meantime, anyone reading this who agrees with bunches of what I have to say might want to check out a new comic, Global Frequency, which just premiered this past week. Written by comics' bad boy Warren Ellis, this may be the best example to date of the post-9-11 comic book story. It features big comic-booky, sci-fi menaces like--in the first issue--a guy who can use his powers to blow up San Francisco, but these powerful threats are combatted by a group of ordinary people. The series is scheduled to run for twelve issues, with each issue a completely self-contained story drawn by a different, high-profile artist. Certainly worthy of attention.

And now that we're a month or so into the new TV season, I'm going to once again urge everyone reading to watch Firefly on Fox on Friday nights. Of all the new shows I'm watching, this is easily one of the best, and the most likely to die a premature death. Which is unfortunate, because this is a show that seems to get better and better with each episode. The characters are becoming more and more distinct from one another, and the show seems to be finding its own voice. However, it's not the voice of a science-fiction show at all, and therein may lie the problem. I know plenty of sci-fi fans for whom the surface trappings are the important bits. They want science fiction that explores and embraces all the weird things possible. I think the various Star Trek series are probably a good metaphor: most fans seem to prefer Star Trek: The Next Generation because it had the best science-fiction stories about the characters encountering weird aliens and space anomalies and whatnot. Me, I prefered Star Trek: Deep Space Nine because it focused on stuff I could relate to: interaction between characters, politics, religion, war... only all dressed up as a science fiction show. And, like I said last week, Firefly is a Western dressed up as a science fiction show. It's going to disappoint the people who want lasers, aliens, and plots based around discovering a hole in space. And it's going to repel people who are looking for a good, solid, character-based drama because they'll see the spaceships in the ads and assume it's about all that crap they don't care about, like lasers, aliens, and plots based around discovering a hole in space. Which is a shame, because it's a very good television program about people. So please, watch it while it's still here.