How About No: Why a Firefly Reboot Is Probably a Terrible Idea

There was a bit of a splash last week when it was revealed that Fox might, finally, be interested in revisiting the Firefly property. The word used was “reboot”, not revival or renewal, but the company’s apparent make-or-break factor was that they would only revisit it if Joss Whedon was interested in coming back to run the whole deal. Presumably, eternally optimistic Browncoats everywhere raised a cheer of joy, their hope renewed. But should Firefly come back to the airwaves?

Frankly, I think that’s a terrible idea.

Well, to be clearer, it’s a terrible idea unless they address the various and sundry deeply problematic problems that the original series had. The issue I’m coming up against is this: I suspect that eliminating all of these problems would make a show that barely resembles the beloved-by-many original. The show suffered from a variety of racisms with a strong sexist undercurrent, and these were not so much vague issues as they were built into the worldbuilding of the show, deep down in the foundations. Let’s get digging, shall we?

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Throwback Thursdays: Addams Family Values

Growing up, my favorite Thanksgiving movie was Addams Family Values, the 1993 sequel to the movie The Addams Family. You might think that’s because there are only a few Thanksgiving movies and the rare Thanksgiving episodes in various TV shows, but you would be wrong. Addams Family Values is my favorite Thanksgiving movie because the movie is very clear in its message that Thanksgiving is a bullshit imperialist holiday.

Wednesday Addams ThanksgivingNow, Addams Family Values is not strictly speaking a Thanksgiving movie, though it does incorporate and critique Thanksgiving more than any other holiday. Like the first Addams Family movie, the events of the movie take place over several months. I’m actually not even sure if the Thanksgiving play that is shown in the movie is performed on Thanksgiving—I’m pretty sure it’s not—but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about the movie overall first.

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Sleepy Hollow: “And the Abyss Gazes Back” Review

sleepy hollow season 2 bannerThis week on Sleepy Hollow, the town is once again under attack by another monster, Corbin’s son shows up for the first time, Ichabod learns the difference between Spider-man and Superman before picking up online gaming, and it doesn’t look as though we will ever have a wendigo actually played by a Native American, despite it being a Native American myth. So what did I think of this episode? Meh, it was all right. And it certainly could have been better.

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Theatre Thursdays: Peter and the Starcatcher

While the utter glut of them on the market is oftentimes exhausting, I’m always going to be a fan of fairy tale retellings, sequels, and origin stories. All I ask is that, in putting your own twist on the story, you actually give it a twist. Wicked makes the wicked witch the hero. Ash gives Cinderella a female love interest, and Once Upon A Time makes Little Red Riding Hood the Big Bad Wolf.

I unexpectedly had the chance to see the touring performance of Peter and the Starcatcher last week. Although I own the book the show is based on, I’ve never had a chance to read it, and so I went into the show knowing absolutely nothing about the premise save that it was a Peter Pan prequel. I actually didn’t even know that it wasn’t a musical; I assumed it was, as most of the touring shows that come through my city are. That said, it was one of the most fun shows I’ve seen in a long time, and I highly recommend it.

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Sleepy Hollow: “For the Triumph of Evil…” Review

Hi, all! It’s my first time doing a Sleepy Hollow review, and it feels good.

tumblr_mtz31lTwei1qm3cmho1_500This episode promised to feature Abbie’s awesome sister Jenny more prominently, and to delve into the reasons for their estrangement, along with a healthy serving of more creepy demon shit. Needless to say, it did not disappoint. I just wish that it had come with a few trigger warnings and a little more research. Beware spoilers ahead.

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Trailer Tuesdays: The Lone Ranger

Are you excited for this movie? I know I am. However, I’m a little torn on whether or not I’m actually willing to spend money to go see it. On the one hand, actually supporting this movie by seeing it might be irresponsible. On the other hand, seeing Johnny Depp’s oh-so-not-racist portrayal of a Native American might be too good an opportunity to pass up.

This is not a movie I have high expectations for. To be honest, I really don’t know that much about Native Americans, their cultures, their tribes, etc. Unfortunately, I have the distinct feeling that neither do the makers of this movie, with the possible exception of Johnny Depp himself.

Johnny Depp plays the character Tonto, an imaginary Native American. Okay, no big deal, right? Except, the design of Tonto in this movie is based off a painting from a white man’s interpretation of Tonto. This painting:

ku-xlargeOther than not being a Native American himself, Jack Sparrow does look pretty much like this inaccurate portrayal. In fact, he looks just like Jack Sparrow with face paint and a bird on his head. I’m guessing this isn’t going to do much for representation. Johnny Depp even said in an interview that he took this part to change how things are for Native Americans in movies, to show them that they’re “still warriors.” To be fair, however, Native Americans for the most part seem to be pretty excited for Depp’s portrayal, and Depp is a member of the Comanche tribe. I should mention, however, that Depp is not Comanche by blood, and he only was adopted into the tribe after filming the movie. He has said that he guesses he has some Cherokee in him, but until now, he hasn’t participated in that heritage. I want to assume that the Native Americans interviewed about Depp’s part know more about their culture than I do, but I don’t think anything here is leading up to a non-racist portrayal.

Depp might be part Cherokee. Good for him. I’m distantly related to some Cherokee people too, but that doesn’t mean I know anything about the culture. And it certainly doesn’t mean I can represent it in any manner. In the end, I really think that this movie should have just cast an actual Native American for the role.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I truly hope that this won’t be racist, outside the white-washing. Otherwise, this looks like it would be an interesting movie.