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Archive for April, 2010

Firefly – Why Did Fox Screw This Up?

Posted by Caitie F on April 27, 2010

I know, you must be thinking – What? Firefly isn’t a book! It isn’t a movie based on a book either. Hell, it hasn’t even been on for, like, eight years! Why is she posting about this and why now?

I have this great new group of friends, and they are all a little obsessed with Firefly. Once i heard them talk about it, I decided I wanted to give it a try and was waiting for it to come up on Netflix. I was curious so I watched an episode on the Watch Instantly and absolutely loved it. A friend was nice enough to lend me his complete series, so I have been watching an episode every bus ride into and home from work. I am only about halfway through, but I understand why they loved it so much and why it has a cult following.

I am posting about it on here because a great TV show has to have so many of the same elements as a great book.

Characters

The characters in this show are really well-done. I keep trying to figure out who my favorite character is, but it changes with every episode…or sometimes five times within one episode. Mal is funny, smart, rugged, and caring. Kaylee is adorable, hopeful, and has a huge heart open to everyone. Shepard surprises me every episode. Wash probably has the best one liners of all of them. Zoe is a tough woman who kicks some major ass. Inara is beautiful, compassionate, feisty, and intelligent. Jayne is just scary and awesome and sometimes unpredictable. Simon adds a tenderness and courage unlike the others. And then there is River who I love learning more about.

All of these great characters are brought together masterfully. You can tell that the writing in the show is way above average because of how well the characters fit together…and how well they sometimes clash.

Dialogue

Writing great dialogue for any medium is difficult. It can easily feel forced and cheesy (I am looking at you Flash Forward). It seems to be especially difficult to write good dialogue for science fiction and westerns, the two genres that this show best fits. Somehow, the writers pull it off here though. I might have rolled my eyes at a line or two, but compare that to other shows where I do it all the time, and it isn’t bad. The dialogue is funny when you need a laugh, tough when people are in danger, and touching when bad things happen. I am very impressed (at least so far)

Story

There need to be a great story that ties the characters and the dialogue together, and this delivers on that account too. Like a lot of shows, there is a story of the week, but there is also an overarching story of the series. It could have easily not connected episodes for more viewers (since people like shows like CSI and Law and Order since they can miss episodes), but Joss Weadon is better than that.

Conclusion

This show rocks. I am on episode six or seven and am so disappointed that FOX didn’t show episodes in order and kept moving everything around. I just looked at imdb for the original air order…wow that is VERY different from the DVD and I understand why it didn’t work out so well. What I saw as episode 6 was aired as episode 3. There were references to episodes 3-5 from the DVD, so how could it be aired before them?  Why must Fox always screw good shows?

This show would have been treated much better on another channel, like SyFy or even USA and we would have gotten more of this great show. Jason watched it originally and didn’t like it, but tried it on the DVD and still didn’t like it. I think he is a little insane for thinking that.

I do think it is something that is wrong with TV networks in general though. They don’t give TV shows a chance anymore. If the first episode doesn’t do well, it gets canceled right then. I will almost always give a show three or four episodes to see if I like it because it takes some time. No one gets that time anymore, which is just sad. Think of all the great shows we might miss out on because of that.

Do you love Firefly? Why or why not? Do you love any other shows that got canceled too soon or a network screwed over? Do you watch shows that have been off the air on DVD? Isn’t it frustrating ot be excited about something everyone else is already over? Talk to me in the comments!

Please keep comments spoiler-free. Thanks!

Posted in Misc | Tagged: | 8 Comments »

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Posted by Caitie F on April 27, 2010

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Authors: John Green and David Levithan

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Hardcover: 304 pages

ISBN: 0525421580

Rating: +++++

Summary (from the brain lair):

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Review:

I love John Green. I have loved everything I have ever read by him, so I had very high expectations for this book.

It did not disappoint. I thought this was the best young adult book I have read all year…and the best John Green book that is published.

The two Will Graysons are very distinct. The first has two rules – don’t care too much and shut up. These tend to rule his life, but it turns out it isn’t very effective. His best friend is Tiny, a guy who is not very tiny at all. Tiny was probably my favorite character of the entire book. He has so much love for other people and you can tell it is genuine. He wants to share his love and compassion with the world, even if the world doesn’t appreciate or accept what he has to give.

The second Will Grayson suffers from depression and is a very lonely guy. He is also hiding his sexuality from his one friend and family. He finally lets himself feel for a guy he meets online, only to have it come crashing down one fateful night in Chicago…when the two Will Graysons meet and their lives change forever.

The great thing about this book is that it touches on so many issues that young people (and all people, really) face. Both Will Graysons are trying to figure out who they are and how they fit with the rest of the world. Tiny ditches Will #1 when he falls in love with Will #2, a sad truth that most of us have experienced. Tiny feels like no one appreciates all that he does to make other people happy, while ignoring his own happiness. These are all real issues with real emotions attached, and I felt those emotions while reading. When Will #2 was angry, I was angry. When Will # 1 was hurt, I felt like I was in his position and hurt also.

I have to mention that this book is many things, including hilarious. I was laughing out loud while on the bus. I don’t laugh out loud at many types of media; movies, TV, or books, so that is a big deal for me. There are so many great lines, I wish the copy I read was mine so I could have marked them to share with all of you (I guess you have to go find out for yourself!)

I won’t give up the ending, but it did make me cry. I thought it was a beautiful way to end the book and I was very pleased with it. The writing is phenomenal and I look forward to reading more of Levithans books. I thought it did an excellent job with two gay characters who were not stereotypes and were written so well. I am so proud to be a fan of authors who write characters like these.

If you have reviewed the book also, let me know and I will link to it!

Note: I borrowed this book from the agency that represented it.

Posted in Review | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

TSS: Break

Posted by Caitie F on April 18, 2010

I had a bunch of reviews planned for this week and a couple fun posts, but life has intervened and I will be out of town. I will start blogging more soon, I have a bunch of great books to review!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

Posted by Caitie F on April 13, 2010

Title: The Lonely Hearts Club

Author: Elizabeth Eulberg

Publisher: Point

Hardcover: 320 pages

ISBN: 0545140315

Rating: +++++

Summary (from Booklist):

After a devastating betrayal by the boy she thought she was destined to be with forever, Penny Lane Bloom (who fortunately inherited her parents’ love of the Beatles to go with her name) swears off guys and quietly starts the Lonely Hearts Club. To her surprise, many of her girlfriends are also sick of high-school guys and want to join—even Diane, Penny’s former best friend and one-half of the school’s power couple until a recent, amicable breakup. The club grows and becomes an influential social force as members meet every Saturday night, go to dances together, and support one another in their academic and extracurricular pursuits. But conflict arises when the school administration fears the group is getting too powerful and “making the boys feel bad,” and Penny finds herself torn between her no-boy pledge and the courteous advances of one of the nicest guys she knows—who happens to be Diane’s ex-boyfriend. This first novel will be a draw for readers looking for an upbeat take on friendship, empowerment, and finding romance without losing yourself. Grad

Review:

I won this book in a contest, and I entered all of the contests I could find to get it so I could have a copy. I thought the concept sounded fresh and empowering. I am so glad that it delivered.

First of all, I think every high school girl should read this book. Seriously, it needs to be on some required reading lists because it has amazing messages and is something they can almost all relate to in some way.

I loved the style of the writing in the book. It was fun, thoughtful, and felt very genuine. I remember being in high school and these girls (and guys) talked like my friends and I did. I loved how, even though guys being jerks started The Lonely Hearts Club, it turned into being there for your friends and supporting them in whatever it is that they want to do. How much time did we all waste those years worrying about boys that treated us badly? How many of us were ditched by a best friend for a guy, just like Penny was? Too much time was spent, and it happened to too many of us.

If there had been a Lonely Hearts Club at my school, I would have joined…which is ironic because most of my friends were guys. But that was the great thing about this book, they didn’t have to stop being friends with guys or anything like that, they just had to make time for each other, and themselves, also. It was about realizing that you don’t need a boyfriend and that you are your own person. Even though I am married now, it still resonated with me and reminded me to keep time for my girlfriends and myself.

I wish I knew more high school girls because I would give them this book to read. If you know any, go get it for them and see what they have to say about it. It is a great story, a fun and quick read, and all of the Beatles references are a lot of fun!

I have heard that Elizabeth has another book in the works, and I know I will be checking it out, she is really great!

Posted in Review | 4 Comments »