My current favorite Firefly line:
River: The human body can be drained of blood in 8.2 seconds with the proper vacuuming equipment.
Mal: See, now, morbid and creepifying I’ve got no problem with, but don’t let her scare the cattle.
And speaking of morbid and creepifying, how about last night’s Buffy?
Yeah, me too. Jeez, that was some of the creepiest stuff I’ve ever seen them do, and they had something eating Willow alive a few weeks ago.
Okay, onward: here’s a few quotes from Joss Whedon from a very recent interview:
Question: Which is more complicated to write, `Buffy’ or `Angel’?
Joss Whedon: Everything is equally hard to write. Writing is hard. They are hard for different reasons. `Buffy’ is hard because it is completely grounded in human experience. Every episode has to be about what, you know, what it feels like to go through a certain period in your life, in the rite of passage that is your life. We can never do an episode that is purely fantastical and exciting, because the show is about growing up.
‘Angel’ is not like that. It has become a noirish melodrama of action. We can tell stories in itself. We are not slavish to “What does it feel like to do that?” like on `Buffy.’ Although that is a limitation on `Buffy,’ it is more grounding. On `Angel,’ it is more difficult to find a story line that is truly compelling and feels true to the universe. So they are both hard. It is all hard. It’s work. I’m sorry, do they have a complaining font?
I included this because it summarizes the differences in the two shows really well, and also explains pretty clearly why I prefer Angel most of the time.
On Firefly’s language:
Question: In your last episode of `Firefly,’ the characters used a made-up language quite a bit. How did you create that language, and have you created a dictionary for it that you use?
Joss Whedon: We don’t have a dictionary, but certain phrases become common and used a lot. I try and introduce new ones to keep it fresh, so it is not the same thing all the time. The language comes from every source — some from Shakespeare and Elizabethan times, some from movies. Some comes from just how I feel like language might get corrupted in the future a little bit. Some of it, you know, I read a book about the Pennsylvania Dutch that was written at the turn of the century. They had some interesting phrasing. Some of them were Irish. You take everything. Add a little Chinese and stir.
No reason to include that except that I think it’s interesting. The Pennsylvania Dutch thing is really out of the blue for me. I’ll have to check that out.
Question: Wesley has evolved quite a bit, as this season has shown. At what point did you realize that character was going to be more complex than he was when he was first introduced on ‘Buffy’ as a sort of Giles Lite?
Joss Whedon: Well, you know, on `Buffy’ we had a great time just having him be as dorky as possible. There comes a point with every character where you say — where they say, can I be cool now? Alexis was like, how can I be dorkier? What can I do to be sillier? How can I fall down more? Let’s think this through.
Finally, the question that’s on MY mind, anyway…
Question: Is `Firefly’ changing time slots?
Joss Whedon: We should be Fridays at 8:00 for the foreseeable future, at least up until Christmas.
Pretty sad that the ‘forseeable future’ = ‘Christmas’, but there you go.
Anyway, I’ve got the whole thing in an email somewhere if people want to dig through it.