Saturday, December 09, 2006

Can't Stop The Signal

For those of you that haven't seen Firefly the series, or Serenity the movie, you're missing out, particularly if you're a SF fan. Snappy dialogue, clever direction and good plots in a 13-episode series that Fox most likely now badly regrets it cancelled back in 2002. I tried very hard to see every episode when it was broadcast, Fox didn't help by moving the series 3 times over the 11 episodes it actually aired.

Firefly did manage to assemble quite a fan base, though, and when it came out on DVD the fans performed an incredible viral marketing job, with somewhere around 600,000 series sets sold since it came out. This pile of change coming into the coffers did make people notice, and with the Internet an international fan base was created virtually instantly. With this interest, the feature movie Serenity was made and released in the fall of 2005. Box office wasn't superb for the movie, but the movie itself was great -- in my opinion on par with Episode IV of Star Wars and better than any of the Star Wars movies except The Empire Strikes Back. It's worth a watch, too.

What's so interesting about this show is that it's not just the fans, but the actors who seem to really love the show. Ron Glass, a veteran of Barney Miller, practically cries in the DVD extras when he talks about how much he enjoyed the series. Due to a misspelling somewhere along the Internet journey, fans of the series became known as "Flans", and there was supposed to be a "Flanvention" this past weekend with people coming in from all over the world, literally. The company that was putting together the Flanvention abruptly canceled the event, just a few days before the planned date.

With a bunch of fans in town for a canceled event, do the actors from Firefly shrug and stay home? No. They go to the hotel and an improptu party begins in the bar, with Nathan Fillion ("Captian Malcom Reynolds") passing out gifts, Alan Tudyk ("Wash", the hilarious pilot) and others posing for pictures. Most likely what began as a massive disappointment has become a huge 'high' for the Firefly/Serenity fans that showed up. That's impressive, and that's how you build fan loyalty.

Apparently, when Adam Baldwin ("Jayne") walked in, the crowd began singing a song from one of the episodes called "The Man Called Jayne", too funny. Christina Hendricks ("Saffron" from my favorite episode, "Our Mrs. Reynolds"), Mark Sheppard ("Badger") and at least two other actors showed up, apparently unpaid, just because some fans of their work were there. Now, you can argue that actors are attention-starved junkies desperate for adulation, and really, who wouldn't want to get to be a real hero to some supremely disappointed people? Nevertheless, I think it's really cool that they would take time out of their lives to make some people's day.

When I get off call, I think I'm going to watch Serenity again.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Plane Diverted Due to Flatulence

Story here. via Drudge Report.

Basically, a woman with "a medical condition" was worried her flatulence would offend others and so she lit matches to conceal the odor. When the lit-match smell was noted by the passengers, the plane was diverted and the "ninja of the nasty" kicked off.

It's a testiment to her personal brand of gas that she believed the terrifying smell of an in-flight fire would be preferred by other passengers to her own emissions, I guess she felt she was trying to do the right thing.

While it's a better strategy than opening a window at 35,000 feet, an even better strategy would be Beano and a high-protein, low-sulfur diet.

As this video shows, the enchilada platter plus the three-cheese omlette with broccoli is a bad choice before you get on a plane.