Serene as All Fucking Get Out

I love Television Without Pity. It’s how I keep up with the two shows I give a shit about (that’s Lost and Battlestar Galactica, though I’m starting to give a lot less shit about Lost considering that there really hasn’t been a worthwhile episode since Orientation) when I’m in TV-less Cleave-land.

And they recapped Serenity! W00t, right? Except they tasked a Browncoat to do it.

Sigh.

Never hire an arch-fan to recap the object of their fandom. They will never snark, they will never nitpick, they will never criticize. They will spooge with love all over the screen. Now, I’m not saying hire someone who hates it–I love Firefly deeply, I really do, but I can still see the flaws, and brother, are there flaws.

But do not give the job to someone who is so emotionally involved in the show that they literally cannot bear to type out the fact that Popular Character X dies. (Is there really anyone for whom this is a spoiler? On LJ you never know, man.) Seriously, he types out an ellipsis instead. Dude! That’s what a recap is for. If you had been somehow freakishly wounded in the eyeball in such a way that you were able to read recaps but not view the actual movie, you might actually think that Popular Character X had just slipped out for a smoke.

The thing is, Serenity is a good movie–not great by a long shot, but good–but there are problems with it. Massive problems that go far beyond the arch-irritating fact of there being no Asian people in it. Plot problems, motivation problems, continuity problems. And I’m used to my TWOP folks helping me out a little by making fun of that. There was pretty much no snark whatsoever in this recap. And Jacob (the recapper in question) loves BSG (though one might question his constant fapping over how he’s not an SF fan when these are his favorite shows), but he is still able to cry foul when that show fucks up, as it has in the last few weeks, and make a couple of well-turned cracks at their expense. But this recap–admirably, really–twists every problem with the movie into a deep, Jungian, deconstructionist positive. Some of that actually deepened my view of the film, like the idea of Mal and River as identical, animus and anima, self and shadow. Except I still have a problem with the woman once again being the shadow, the tool, the playground for two men to work out their identity issues. I was always horrified when people complained about this being River’s movie–it is Mal’s, and no one else’s. Even River’s great moment, her Patrocleia with the Reavers, is offscreen. And I still maintain that if anyone got to have a mano a mano, it should have been River and the Operative. River is the one sinned against, the one directly harmed by the Alliance. She should have been given the chance to get back her own. And it would have been a more interesting tussle. But god forbid anything get in the way of cock-measuring in a Western.

But Jacob can’t even make a single joke about this movie. For him, everything is as it should be, and Joss the great puppet-master with no kind of agenda or issues of his own. He’s so totally blown away by the awesomeness of the object of his affection, and that’s not why I visit the damn site. It’s Without Pity, people, not With Adoring Prostration.

This is the same site where when they deign–as an auction prize, no less–to recap Farscape, they tear it to little bits.

Is it too much to ask to view a movie, even one that I waited for too, one I saw on opening night, one that made me gasp if not cry, without the rosy glasses? I know Joss is the Risen Christ of the intarweb, but come on. Bring the snark or get off the pot.

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