Nerdish Musings

Fictional Couples Are the Best

It’s Valentine’s Day. Siiiiiiggghhhhh….

This is the most annoying, divisive holiday on the planet. People who are in love (and aren’t too cynical) like it because it gives them an excuse to be romantic with their significant other. Florists, candy makers, and greeting card companies LOVE it because it gives them an excuse to market their products more aggressively than at any other time of year.

Everyone else hates it. I’m part of “everyone else,” so today tends to bring out my misanthropic side. However, I am trying very hard not to be cynical. Love is, after all, a thing worth celebrating, and, to a certain extent, so are chocolate hearts.

So, in an effort to bring a little bit of positivity to this day, here are a few happy couples that don’t nauseate me–largely because they’re not real, but still. Happy Valentine’s Day from:

1. Eowyn and Faramir

They’re both awesome characters separately, but together? Perfection.

 

2. Ten and Rose

“Don’t tell Amy and Rory or Eleven and River, but WE’RE the best couple on this show.”

 

3. Han and Leia

Princess + scruffy-looking nerf herder = the truest of true love.

 

4. Wash and Zoe

They were the most happily-married couple ever seen on telly. RIP, Wash.

 

5. Remus and Tonks

Lupin > Jacob. Tonks >>>> Bella. They weren’t in the movies enough.

 

6. Dean and Baby

Just kidding…kind of. She IS the most important woman in his life, though.

 

Here’s hoping all you readers find a valentine as wonderful as these characters did.

Namarie,
Aldy

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Curse Your Sudden but Inevitable Betrayal!

WARNING: this post contains a MAJOR spoiler for the movie Serenity, so if you haven’t seen it, don’t read this post. And go watch Serenity.

As I alluded to yesterday, I always get a little choked up after watching the magnificent finale to Firefly. Lots of sad things happen in the movie, but no more than you would expect in an average episode of the show, and there are enough funny moments to lighten the tension. But there’s one moment I will never get over emotionally as long as I live: the death of Wash.

Wash was my favourite character, okay? (Except, possibly, for River.) He was always ready with a witty line, even during the most dangerous moments. His love for Zoe was as heartwarming as it was hilarious, and he was one of the most peaceful crew members without being a coward. And just before this scene I’m talking about came his finest moment in the whole series. He piloted Serenity through a maze of exploding Reaver and Alliance ships, crash-landed safely on Mr. Universe’s planet, and saved everyone’s lives. What does he get in return? A Reaver harpoon through the chest.

It just kills me–every time.

I think it’s safe to say that most Whedonverse fans feel the same way. Today I found an article by one fan who even made a valiant effort to save Wash through science. He calculated whether that harpoon would really be able to penetrate Serenity’s windows with enough force to kill the pilot. Could it be that, in a just world of accurate physics, Wash really wouldn’t have died? See for yourself: Saving Lives in Serenity.

Of course, in a just world, Firefly wouldn’t have been cancelled, and Wash would have had at least eight seasons of adventures before he kicked the bucket. But since this is the world we live in, let’s just take a moment to appreciate that dinosaur-loving, semi-muscular man.

Namarie!

 

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Words of Wisdom from Serenity

One Firefly-related post wasn’t enough. Here’s the movie version:

“People don’t like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don’t run, don’t walk. We’re in their homes and in their heads, and we haven’t the right. We’re meddlesome.”

 

“Here is us, on the raggedy edge. Don’t push me, and I won’t push you.”

“You know what the definition of a hero is? Someone who gets other people killed.”

 

 

“Can’t stop the signal, Mal.”

“No more running. I aim to misbehave.”

“Shepherd once said to me, ‘If you can’t do something smart, do something right.'”

“I’m a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.”

[Operative] “Are you willing to die for your belief?”
[Mal] “I am.” (shoots him)
[Mal] “‘Course, that ain’t exactly plan A.”

“She’s torn up plenty, but she’ll fly true.”

“You know what the first rule of flying is?…Love. You can learn all the math in the ‘verse, but you take a boat in the air you don’t love, she’ll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you she’s hurtin’ ‘fore she keens. Makes her a home.”

 

Oh my gosh…this movie. It gets me every time.

 

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Words of Wisdom from Firefly

“We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty.”

“Jayne, your mouth is talking. Might wanna look to that.”

“I cannot abide useless people.”

“Mercy is the mark of a great man. Guess I’m just a good man.”

“They weren’t cows inside. They were waiting to be, but they forgot. Now they see sky, and they remember what they are.”

“Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill ’em right back!”

“Ain’t about you, Jayne. It’s about what they need.”

“You turn on any of my crew, you turn on me!”

“No power in the ‘verse can stop me.”

“I can kill you with my brain.”

“A man walks down the street in a hat like that, people know he’s not afraid of anything.”

“First rule of battle, little one: don’t ever let them know where you are. …. ‘Course, there are other schools of thought.”

[Tracey] “When you can’t walk, you crawl, and when you can’t crawl, when you can’t do that…”
[Zoe] “You find someone to carry you.”

“Nothing worse than a monster who thinks he’s right with God.”

“If wishes were horses, we’d all be eatin’ steak.”

 

You’re welcome. 🙂 Namarie!

 

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#3: Serenity

It could be argued that this movie doesn’t fit February’s theme, since Firefly, the show that leads up to it, does indeed have a fandom–and a very vocal one at that. But even though I am a proud member of that fandom, I didn’t think I would be able to fill a whole month with stuff about a show that lasted only one season. So consider this post Aldy’s tribute to the blaze of glory that was Firefly.

serenity

Serenity
Released: 2005
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres, Summer Glau…etc.

Plot Summary:
Well, it doesn’t make much sense if you haven’t seen Firefly, so I would strongly encourage newcomers to start with the show. But it basically goes like this – the smuggling ship Serenity is carrying two fugitives from the Alliance, a mentally traumatized child prodigy named River and her brother Simon. A determined assassin is stalking them, but after River has a breakdown and half-kills a whole bar full of men, Captain Mal and the rest of his crew have to decide if she’s worth protecting. As the pursuit heats up, some dark secrets from River’s past come out, and the band of misfits end up facing down the full might of the Alliance.

Memorable Quote:
There are too many to pick just one. The dialogue is the single best thing about this movie.

“We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence, and then explode.”
“Shiny. Let’s be bad guys.”
“Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony and a plastic rocket…”
“She is starting to damage my calm!”
“I aim to misbehave.”
“I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.”
“She’s torn up plenty, but she’ll fly true.”

serenity town

Why I Love It:
Cancelling Firefly after one season was a crime against art. The world of this story, and the characters who inhabit it, are more creative and well-written than 90 percent of what happens on TV, and if it had been allowed to continue, it could have become the best American sci-fi show since Star Trek. But at least Serenity managed to tie up some loose ends and provide a decent amount of closure to the story.

Like I said, my favourite thing about this movie is the dialogue. The wordplay, the Western dialects, the Chinese swearing–it’s all so much fun that I could be entertained by a Firefly episode even if the characters did nothing but talk.

But the dialogue is just a small part of the brilliant world created for this show (and movie). Serenity takes place about 3000 years in the future, after humans have all left Earth to colonize a faraway solar system. The wealthier planets, controlled by a hybrid Chinese-American government, form the Alliance, while the poorer Independents settle the outer planets with their own primitive resources. The result is a wonderful Wild West-meets-Star Wars, East-meets-West mashup. In one scene from Serenity, Mal and company rob a bank in what looks like a classic 1800s mining town, and then, after a high-speed chase on hovercrafts, get back on their ship and fly off into space. This is the only fictional universe I know of (outside of Doctor Who) where scenes like that can make perfect sense.

serenity crew

The characters are the other reason to watch this movie. They’re all well-rounded, relatable, and therefore very complex. This isn’t a straightforward “good guys vs. bad guys” movie, because the people we’re rooting for do a lot of bad things, and the villains aren’t totally evil (the most important villain in this movie is even humble and selfless). But we still root for the Serenity crew because they’re willing to stand up for the underdogs, and they’ll do anything to protect each other despite their many differences. Mal is the leader and arguably the hero of the story, but I also love Kaylee for her constant cheerfulness, Simon for his awkwardness, Jayne for being such a ridiculous macho man, River for being totally weird and freaky but still saving the day, and Wash for–well, everything. Wash is just the best.

The only problem I have with this movie is that it killed my favourite character. But in a way that’s probably a good thing, because it kept Serenity from being pure escapist fantasy. It wouldn’t be plausible if everyone came out of that last battle alive, and this story has no expendable characters. And it still had a pretty happy ending–or at least as close to one as Joss Whedon ever gets.

Whew – long post, sorry. Bottom line: Firefly is awesome, and Serenity was an awesome way to end it. If you haven’t experienced either yet, get on Netflix and prepare to have your mind blown. Namarie!

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