Despite some post-Fourthy fun last weekend, it still seemed to be missing a certain ... something.
It took me until today to realize what it was : Whedon. I'd gotten spoiled by last month, when Seattle was chock-full of Whedoney goodness. That's right, we had not one but two Whedon Wheekends, where we able to attend our local "Can't Stop The Serenity" screening AND the Once More With Feeling Sing-a-long. What better way to get our geek on, yo!
As a way of making up for being Whedonless (and as a way of gloating to all of my friends who weren't able to attend 'cause I'm petty like that) I am now going to share Part I of the Top Things I Learned During My Whedon Wheekends.
Wheek One : A Big Damn Weekend
The first weekend brought us Can't Stop the Serenity, put together by the dedicated folks of our local Browncoats Chapter. Great job, guys. It was seriously shiny. (And a big old woo and hoo for raising $5,000 for Equality Now.)
Best Partner Ever™ (BPE™) and I pulled up outside the theatre in West Seattle to see a brigade of people queued on the sidewalk, about a quarter of whom seemed to be in costume : Kaylee's, Zoe's, Mal's, Inara's, General Browncoaty Types, even a Reaver (or maybe just someone having a really bad day. We weren't sure.) We felt a little bad, (like we always do) that we were costumeless. Again. 'Cuz we never get our sh*t together. Oh well, we'll do our best to blend. Maybe we can pretend we're dressed as Grips from the show or something. (I know! I'll be Bubba Scheffield and you can be Gregory Beard!)
Seriously though, it's funny that you would bring up the subject of costumes, as it leads to our first lesson!
1 : Even though they ask, nobody really wants to know.
So we're walking down the sidewalk, considering how the awesome Kaylee Cake Dress stands out from even a block away, when a woman stops us to ask about the crowd gathered outside the theatre.
"Excuse me," she says shyly, her husband and strollerbaby hanging back behind her.
BPE™ smiles encouragingly. "Yes?"
"We were just wondering - why are you all in costume?" The increasing distance of Hubby and strollerbaby gives the lie to her use of the word "we".
"Oh. Well," says BPE™, warming to the topic, "we're going to see this movie called Serenity created by Joss Whedon. Do you know the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer?"
The lady makes a Tabula Rasa face.
Then Spin The Bottle.
"Well, they're really famous. Anyway, he went on to make a science fiction series called Firefly. Even though the network canceled it prematurely, it turned out to be so popular with his fans that their support helped it get made into a feature film called Serenity."
Hmm. No response. BPE™ hurries it along.
"So - and this is why we're all here today - every year since then,
his fans have been independently staging these screenings around the
country called Can't Stop the Serenity and they donate all of
the money to Joss's favorite charity, Equality Now. Equality Now is
this international nonprofit devoted to helping women achieve equality
across the world and..."
The lady has now moved out of communicator range, joining Husband and strollerbaby on the Edge of the Black. "That's great," she says, smiling weakly. "Um, I just wanted to say that you all look SO cute."
We trade relieved nods and smiles and go our separate ways. It wasn't until we approach minimum safe distance from the Cake Dress event horizon that it dawns on us that she had included us as one of those wearing costumes. And we weren't. Not in any way. Just wearing what passes for weekend normal around our house.
We stop and look at each other for a moment, unsure of what to do with this.
"Well, I like your Dr. Seuss T-Shirt," BPE™ finally decides. "It matches your green crocs perfectly."
"Well, I love your long stripey skirt. It looks great with your Docs."
That decided, we confidently joined the crowd. Maybe we didn't have browncoats, flight suits or cake dresses...but we had the coolest costumes, as characters in our own 'verse, gorram it.
2 : Charlie's Brown Teacher is a Browncoat!
What? You're surprised? Don't you remember that great Firefly episode where Mal and the Serenity crew were hired to smuggle a xmas tree - and Kaylee chooses a really scraggly one? And then they have a pageant while Shepherd Book recites part of the Bible story?
Okay, well, I don't either. But it sounded like it sometimes at the screening. Our great local browncoats got a billion details right : a good theatre, great lootbags, great projector, great crowd. The only thing that refused to cooperate was the amplifier they used for their announcements. We were lucky that we could hear them for the most part without it, but it did lend a certain comic element :
BwaabwaabwaaWelcome BwaaBwaaSerenity BwaaBwaaFire BwaaBwaaRUN!
BwaaBwaaOHMYGOD BWAABWAA! RUN! BWAABWAA! REAVERS!
AAAH! BWAA! AAH!
How fun would it have been if the movie had been put through the same system...
"He killed me with a Bwaa, Mal. How Bwaa is that?
3 : Big Damn Movie.
Serenity is a regular at our house. It was one of the first movies we watched when we bought our stupidly expensive new TV. The extra inches made us feel like we were watching it with most of its zoom and boom glory intact. So while I went to this event for a lot of things (equality now, browncoaty goodness) I was not really anticipating the size of the movie screen to make a profound difference. Well, from the moment I saw the Operative step through the Simon/River holo...I felt like I was watching a new movie. Sure sure sure, we still have your complex characters, your great dialogue - it's all there, just as we would expect from Mr. W. But we also have a Big ... Damn ... Movie.
Big Damn Stuff Blows Up. Big Damn People Kick Big Damn Ass. Big Damn Guy in the Row in Front of Us Recites Every Big Damn Line of Dialogue Along with the Actors Onscreen.
4 : Shiny Happy People
One thing I didn't expect was how it would feel to watch it with a large group of fans. I'm not much of a joiner...always kind of on my lonesome, skirting the edges of things. I was really surprised to discover that something as simple as sitting there, with strangers who loved what I loved, somehow meant something to me. There in the dark, where browncoats blended with nocoats and faces faded to grey, I felt ... part of something. And it didn't matter that it was based on something as insubstantial as coming together to see a movie to benefit a cause - it still felt real in some way. It felt like something that might last past the credits, past our stumbling out into the waning afternoon. It even felt like something that might be able to surprise me by still being here, as I write these words more than two weeks later.
Stay tuned for our next exciting installment! Learn how many Jaynes it takes to change a lightbulb! What your friends think of your weird new boyfriend! And how to use a character's death scene to score with chicks! All in Whedon Wheekend, Part Dieux!