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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy

Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

View Poll Results: Least favorite Firefly character?
Mal 3 3.33%
Zoe 23 25.56%
Wash 3 3.33%
Inara 12 13.33%
Jayne 6 6.67%
Kaylee 0 0%
Simon 19 21.11%
River 14 15.56%
Book 10 11.11%
Voters: 90. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 4 2009, 05:19 AM   #46
Hyperspace05
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Re: Least favorite Firefly character

I am not Spock wrote: View Post
I'd kill (well, maybe not kill) to have characters on a Trek show as well-developed and nuanced as those on any Joss Whedon show.
Indeed!!! Gaith, I think you are seriously need to examine your view of the Enterprise characters. I didn't think a single one of them was exciting... And I stuck with the show until the end. Phlox was the only one with a pulse. (and sometimes Tucker)

You are also making the mistake of comparing 88 episodes of character development with 13 episode (plus a movie).
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Old December 4 2009, 05:58 AM   #47
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Re: Least favorite Firefly character

I didn't really have a dislike to any of the characters, some I liked more then others, sure but I found something to like in each character. Simon is touching, in that he sacrificed everything to rescue his sister, or at the very least to get her out of where she was, with no plan as to how else he could protect her. In other words, even if it came to their deaths, he was willing to do it, so long as she died outside of that horrible place. As someone who does not get along with his sister, and often sees a sibling rivalry on TV, this was a nice, refreshing chance and said loads of what kind of person Simon is from the get go.

I liked River, because she was rather odd, something about her just sat with me. Odd characters are interesting to me sometimes, and the fact that one minute shes sane and then the next shes babbling non nonsensical words and facts no one else needed just sold it for me. I think the core problem with her character was, her storyline wasn't supposed to kick off until the end of season one/throughout season two and as we all know...we didn't even get a full season one.

Jayne was great, because at first glance, he's a bonehead, who cares for money and kicking ass but a closer look shows he cares for his shipmates, even if he's at odds with them. These types of characters are usually flat and dumb, and thats it, they are often fodder or if not the ones to totally frak things up.

Book is similar to River, his storyline was to take off, and be explored in depth later on into the series, but we never got a later on in the series. This makes the character extremely questionable and not very developed, which is a shame.

Kaylee...what can I say? Definitely one of my favorites why? She didn't talk in a large amount of technobabble, and she was a chick who knew her way around an engine room. Kaylee also had a sort of playful attitude and tried to find something good in everyone and took pride in her ship in a way that makes me think of Montgomery Scott. This in my eyes, sets the path for a great character, and her fears and weaknesses are oftne shown to the front, depending on the situation. She's not a solider and in combat situations (of any sort) this is made clear when she's obviously not certain of herself. A great change in the oftne seen "lets kill everyone and not blink an eye!" type of characters.

Inara...hmmm...I suppose, I could say she was the least, because she just wasn't seen alot, and seemed to go out of her way to be mean to people at times. There were several moments in the series, where I applauded Mal's responses to her, as she needed to be put in her place, but on the other hand she brought a sense of family into the crew, she felt something for everyone whether she said it or not. While she would complain about a lack of...business oppertunities, I often found that this meant she wanted to be a part of the crew, not a stranger who rented one of the shuttles. I think my owly beef with this character, was the episode...'shindig' I think it was, I would have found it much more powerful if she had been forced out of her...organization, as it were, as the guy who threatened so, did have the kind of connections to see to it her life took a downward spiral.

Zoe...hmm...to me, she had the face of someone who saw to much death, and was now numb to the universe around her, save for two people Mal, and Wash. Other then that, she felt nothing, and saw nothing (not to say she actually hated the crew, she was warm to them for sure). Zoe seems to me, to be someone who lost it all, and isn't dealing with it to well.

Wash I like, because he has a playful attitude, and I just love the characters introduction, playing with dinosaurs as he awaits the crew to come back to the ship. I think Wash is someone else who definitly suffers from the series being axed, which is a shame, really. Wash to be, is someone who didn't sacrifice as much (in terms of the series, anyways), just had some bad luck in his life (possibly), and was looking for adventure and excitment in a boring life.

Now we have Mal, Mal...is Mal. I think he's one of the greats, becuase he lost all he had to lose, and found a way to keep going. All he cares about is staying out of the Alliances' way and just getting by. He will protect a member of the crew, simply because they are as such, nothing more, nothing less. One of my favorite moments is between him and Simon after Simon and River were rescued, Simon asked why they came back and Mal's answer, was simply, "you are part of my crew" (more or less). I was also fond of the father/bother like figure he had towards Kayless and genuinely felt bad about the blunders he had towards her (the most prominent that I can think of, is when he insulted her on her wishes to own that dress). Mal had an interesting sense of morality, and a way of dealing with people like Book while at the same time he hated the idea of religion (fans of the series will have an idea why). I don't know, I can't really describe in words of this guy, like I can with others. Mal...is Mal.
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Old December 4 2009, 06:09 AM   #48
Gaith
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Re: Least favorite Firefly character

Hyperspace05 wrote: View Post
You are also making the mistake of comparing 88 episodes of character development with 13 episode (plus a movie).
Nope, I'm going off the charisma of the performances, as in a gut reaction to seeing a few minutes of the actors at work. Just as one sometimes meets people and decides in under five minutes whether or not they're likely to prove interesting, I just don't find anything particularly compelling about Zoe, Wash, Jayne and Kaylee.
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Old December 4 2009, 06:17 AM   #49
Lindley
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Re: Least favorite Firefly character

Gaith wrote: View Post
Archer, while admittedly not Kirk, was a solid leader figure.
Archer came across as a boy playing with daddy's toys. If that had been the intent it would have been an interesting if unusual choice; but the writers kept on trying to tell us how great a captain he was without much evidence to support the assertion. It grated very quickly.

Phlox was especially interesting. I liked the irony of a reserved tactical chief in Reed who gets extra points for being British.
Fair enough.

Hoshi wasn't too interesting, but was much more so than Zoe.
Perhaps slightly, by virtue of increased exposure. Nothing inherent to the character or the way she was used was particularly noteworthy.

T'Pol was a rehash of Spock/Tuvok and 7 of 9, but those were all interesting characters, and thus she was also,
Eh. T'Pol had a few moments but as you say, she brought little to the table that we hadn't seen before.

far more so than Kaylee,
Whereas it's fair to say that I had never seen a character quite like Kaylee before. Oh, I might have compared her to Willow, but I hadn't seen Buffy at the time, so that doesn't count.

And yeah, Trip was pretty darn cool.
Agreed.

Again, I'll grant that Mayweather was dull, but not more so than Wash.
There isn't even a comparison. For all that Wash was under-developed, at least he had a character. Mayweather was a glorified extra for all the development he got. Travis got maybe half an episode per year; Wash got a leading part in "War Stories", and a healthy presence in many of the other episodes.

Can you recall a single line Travis ever said? I can't. (Partially because there are only seven lines to choose from.) But I can recall plenty of Wash lines. Aside from the infamous "betrayal" bit, there were a bunch of other great ones:

"Hey, I've been in a firefight before! .....Well, I was in a fire. ....Actually, I was fired. From a fry-cook opportunity."

"Some people juggle geese!"

"Were I unwed, I would take you in a manly fashion."
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Old December 4 2009, 06:29 AM   #50
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Re: Least favorite Firefly character

Lindley wrote: View Post
Can you recall a single line Travis ever said? I can't. (Partially because there are only seven lines to choose from.) But I can recall plenty of Wash lines. Aside from the infamous "betrayal" bit, there were a bunch of other great ones:

"Hey, I've been in a firefight before! .....Well, I was in a fire. ....Actually, I was fired. From a fry-cook opportunity."

"Some people juggle geese!"

"Were I unwed, I would take you in a manly fashion."
That right there, that's what made Wash great, there was development with the character, a sense of history from day one, whereas Mayweather got...onscreen appearances (as much as I like the ENT characters).
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Old December 4 2009, 03:20 PM   #51
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Re: Least favorite Firefly character

I'm still disappointed that Kaylee got no votes. Even Jayne got three, and he was one of the more likeable characters on the show - but then, I'm not a big fan of romanticising thievery, am I?

I'd have taken a show about Jayne rather more interestedly than this show about beautiful conflicted drifters who do gosh darn it the right thing at the end of the day, but hey, one varies there. Battles without honour and humanity, I say! Now there's a show.*

As far as the ENT-Firefly debate goes, Firefly simply had an ensemble who were conceived and written better. While ENT had some solid actors - Billingsley in particular - the whole cast was sort of ramroded by the mediocre writing. The best season was the one where the characters took a back seat to the fanwankery, and that is saying a lot.

It is interesting that both shows put a lot of stock in their southern, 'simple' characters, though of the two Mal was more of a prick but also more entertaining to watch.

*Very special brownie points to anyone who knows whatever the heck it is I mean.
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Old December 5 2009, 03:48 AM   #52
I am not Spock
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Re: Least favorite Firefly character

Hyperspace05 wrote: View Post
I am not Spock wrote: View Post
I'd kill (well, maybe not kill) to have characters on a Trek show as well-developed and nuanced as those on any Joss Whedon show.
Indeed!!! Gaith, I think you are seriously need to examine your view of the Enterprise characters. I didn't think a single one of them was exciting... And I stuck with the show until the end. Phlox was the only one with a pulse. (and sometimes Tucker)

You are also making the mistake of comparing 88 episodes of character development with 13 episode (plus a movie).
In all of ENT, the only characters who did anything exciting, the only ones who felt human, were Phlox and Trip.

Firefly is the anti-Trek. Characters who behave like people, not cyphers for the purpose of moving the story along.
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Old December 5 2009, 06:16 AM   #53
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Re: Least favorite Firefly character

While I'm confident River, Zoe, Book, and Inara would have been developed eventually, they're all pretty close to cyphers whose purpose is to move the story along. Especially in the movie.

But if I had to pick the two best characters on ENT, it definitely would be Phlox and Trip.
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Old December 5 2009, 06:25 AM   #54
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Least favorite Firefly character

Archer came across as a boy playing with daddy's toys. If that had been the intent it would have been an interesting if unusual choice; but the writers kept on trying to tell us how great a captain he was without much evidence to support the assertion. It grated very quickly.
Yes. There are few things in writing more annoying than writers who appear oblivious to how their characters are being perceived by the audience.

There isn't even a comparison. For all that Wash was under-developed, at least he had a character. Mayweather was a glorified extra for all the development he got.
In that comparison, I'd say it's the actor who made the difference. Alan Tudyk's talent was obvious regardless of his underwritten/unimportant character. The guy who played Mayweather? Pffft.
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Old December 5 2009, 06:33 AM   #55
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Re: Least favorite Firefly character

The actors on Firefly definitely were what made the difference. The way they immediately had amazing chemisty with each other was unlike many (Any?) television series I've had the chance to see. It helped soften up how shallow some of their characters were at times.
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Old December 5 2009, 01:36 PM   #56
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Re: Least favorite Firefly character

I'd go so far to say that Wash got enough development in the episode he decides he's jealous of Mal and has to spend time with him. I had been thinking while watching the series, 'well, what does he feel about the strong relationship his wife has with this other guy?' and that more or less answered that question. It also showcased how he could be more than a trifle obnoxious with his wounded pride but, predictably, put him in a spot and he both rises to the moment and wisecracks about it (would any Whedon character do different?)

Beyond that Wash didn't need anything else - he was an affable, quick-witted character who wasn't exactly the most badass guy in the crew. We don't need his life story or his estranged parents or his elder brother he idolised or what have you; the snapshot we got I thought worked.

By contrast, we got Travis' life story. And he's still a cipher.

Book, however, would be a character I more liked as an idea but who wasn't that well developed or written (and often got some choicely bad lines, like the one about the special hell - when that episode first aired there were pages and pages on this forum dedicated to people arguing about that line, good times.)

It was hopelessly vague, also, as to what sorta Christian denomination he was in. It's one that has celibacy for its 'shepherds' but in all other respects seems a loose form of Protestantism, which smells a little like the writers just mixing and matching whatever works. That character was definitely elevated by Ron Glass.
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Old December 5 2009, 11:09 PM   #57
Michael Chris
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Re: Least favorite Firefly character

I don't think its necessary to name Books denominarion. The churches I belong to havent even been around for a hundred years.

Someone said that Kaylee sounded like a strippers name. All I have to say is huh?
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Old December 5 2009, 11:12 PM   #58
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Re: Least favorite Firefly character

Michael Chris wrote: View Post
I don't think its necessary to name Books denominarion. The churches I belong to havent even been around for a hundred years.
But they're probably related to traditions that have been there a while (and there are, of course, churches which have been around for hundreds of years.)

Even still, Shepherd Book's Christianity just struck me as conveinently vague. It meant whatever the hell Whedon and co. wanted it to mean.
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Old December 5 2009, 11:17 PM   #59
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Re: Least favorite Firefly character

I picked Jayne by accident, but I actually meant River.
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Old December 5 2009, 11:18 PM   #60
Michael Chris
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Re: Least favorite Firefly character

Kegg wrote: View Post
Michael Chris wrote: View Post
I don't think its necessary to name Books denominarion. The churches I belong to havent even been around for a hundred years.
But they're probably related to traditions that have been there a while (and there are, of course, churches which have been around for hundreds of years.)

Even still, Shepherd Book's Christianity just struck me as conveinently vague. It meant whatever the hell Whedon and co. wanted it to mean.
To some degree they rely on traditions. In many other ways not so much. But in many ways ALL my pastors are far less traditional than how Book was portrayed. That said yeah it was vague, but not very.
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