Firefly Review – “Shindig”

Did we really need to hear about how adept Jayne is with heavy sticks?

Cast

Nathan Fillion
as Malcolm Reynolds
Gina Torres as Zoe
Alan Tudyk as Wash
Morena
Baccarin
as Inara
Jewel Staite as Kaylee
Adam Baldwin as Jayne
Sean Maher as
Dr. Simon Tam
Summer Glau as
River Tam
Ron Glass as Shepherd

Crew

Written by Jane Espenson.
Directed by Vern
Gillum
.

The complete IMDB listings can be found here.
The official website can be found here.

Original Airdate


Shindig
originally aired on Friday,
November 1, 2002.

Premise

A combination of jealousy and employment opportunities brings Mal into
a high-class society he doesn’t understand.

High Point

“Is she mad or something?”

Low Point

Holographic pool balls. It didn’t seem like the kind of technology
that would be used when the rest of the place was so primitive. I
like the social stratification, but that just seemed inconsistent.

The Review

Once again, the premise of the episode is hardly original,
but was well suited to educating us about the various characters.
(Jayne doesn’t really understand anyone else, Kaylee isn’t entirely a
tomboy, Simon will get in on the action when he’s needed, etc.) I
give it 3 out of 6.

The effects were very few. Apart from the chandelier and
pool balls, they could have been entirely stock footage. Still, they
were very well done. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story was fairly well plotted, but it seemed to drag a
bit in the second half. This was really a three act story forced into
a four act structure. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting was fairly good. Morena Baccarin seems a little
too subdued, hardly showing emotion even when it is called for.
Nathan Fillion is getting good practice at acting like he’s taken a
sever beating. The rest of the cast was entirely convincing. I give
it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was not terribly
impressive. I give them credit for only putting one cast member in
any real danger, since the “save the entire crew” plotlines tend to
get a bit dry. I laughed often, but I never doubted the outcome. I
give it 4 out of 6.

The production was the Mutant Enemy high again. The set
design is one of the most difficult parts of the show, as there are so
many high and low tech elements to be mixed, and yet it’s always
extremely well done. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it was an entertaining episode. I doubt I’d look
for a rerun, but I’d watch one. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Shindig receives 30 out of 42.

12 replies on “Firefly Review – “Shindig””

  1. lost says:

    Don’t really have a good subject…
    I thought the high point was River’s little aristocratic act while everyone was held prisoner followed by the comment “Now that’s the sort of distraction we should have been using” (or however it went).

    All in all, this episode would probably have worked better as the third episode aired as the production number would indicate it should be.


    What I don’t understand is this obsession everyone has with every story needing to be original or have some fancy new twist and have perfect acting to be worth watching. I mean, really, they don’t have the time to do feature film quality production and endless retakes to get things right. Why can’t people just watch a show for entertainment’s sake any more?

    Okay, now that I have that out of my system, I now return you to your regularly scheduled, well, whatever it is that is regularly scheduled.

  2. OrangeCarrot says:

    Pool Balls
    How many times have you gone to a bar and tried to play pool only to find out that someone had stolen the 8 ball. How difficult and expensive would it be to get a (don’t laugh) new set of balls shipped out from wherever. I think the holographic pool balls is the perfect touch of technology in that scene, especitally since they are a little on the fritz. All the other stealable and breakable things in the bar; glasses, chairs, windows, alcohol etc… are probably locally available. But the pool table (which is not as breakable or stealable) and the especially the balls are most likely hard to come by.

    • fiziko says:

      Re: Pool Balls

      How many times have you gone to a bar and tried to play pool only to find out that someone had stolen the 8 ball.

      Never, but I haven’t played a lot of pool. Maybe it would make sense to people who do.

    • NSA says:

      Re: Pool Balls

      How difficult and expensive would it be to get a (don’t laugh) new set of balls shipped out from wherever…. the pool table (which is not as breakable or stealable) and the especially the balls are most likely hard to come by.

      A very good point. I don’t imagine the “holographic” pool balls would be a particularly high- or expensive tech in this particular future. Think cheap like the little consoles used for quiz games in bars now.

      I liked this episode. The characters’ actions and dialogue (both the stars and others) were believable, we got more depth added to the stars, and it looked good. Malcolm’s insensitivity to both Kaylee and Inara was perfectly in character, as was his tormenting Aristocratic Asshat (or whatever his name was) after the duel. He certainly wouldn’t kill him but a little humiliation was definitely in order (and besides there wasn’t an engine intake nearby). I thought Kaylee’s “rescue” from the snobby girls was pretty funny, though alas her tech talk seemed to only charm the older gentlemen, not any young hotties. Wash & Zoe’s bedroom scene didn’t really fit in anywhere, but I guess married people occasionally have sex, even in the future…

  3. Jackolantern says:

    And once more I totaly miss the show
    So it has been about 4 weeks now since I have been home and had access to a TV at the same time firefly is on. This got me to thinking about the dismal time slot that firefly is in. Now for this season I see little hope for a better time slot(well now that "girls club" has been canceled you could see some shifting around). Next season however I could see some interesting possibilities. Lets suppose that this is the last season of Buffy, that leaves a huge whole in the lives of those of us that watch Buffy on Tuesday’s. So what does fox do but move Firefly right into that time slot!

    I suppose that this is just wishful thinking on my part, but you have to have hope.

    -Jack

    • rickyjames says:

      Dude!

      So it has been about 4 weeks now since I have been home and had access to a TV at the same time firefly is on….

      Get a TiVo! You will NEVER regret it!

      • rusty0101 says:

        Re: Dude!

        So it has been about 4 weeks now since I have been home and had access to a TV at the same time firefly is on….

        Get a TiVo! You will NEVER regret it!

        I concure. At the very least set your VCR to record it, but then you will miss the fun of not having enough time to watch everything you chose to record.

        -Rusty

  4. mbourgon says:

    A nice, easygoing episode
    Nothing major, but I think I see where Joss is going with Firefly – lots of character development with a story attached. Not much action in this one, but a lot of fun with the characters. Definite kudos to Fox, though, for it looks like they’re going to show all of the initial 10-12 episodes. Does this mean they’ve finally realized they have to let some of the shows grow a fanbase, otherwise they’re soon going to have no shows whatsoever?

    High Point – Kaylee at the party. It’s almost like watching the character “Tank” from The Matrix – they both seem so gosh-darned HAPPY about things, they shine through. Someone called her the ingenue (sp!), and that’s pretty much accurate. There’s obviously to her than first appears (as evidenced by the scene on her getting her job), but the character’s 18 or so, and so it works quite well.

    Second high point – finding out what the “slaves” were. I didn’t expect that, and the way they kept talking, I wondered why the heck Mal was going along with it.

    Low Point – Psycho girl’s soliloquy. Makes more sense in the original order (esp. since this shows that there’s actually quite a bit going on in her head – she read the small crook quite well), but still seemed a little forced.

    Overall, a lot of fun. It just takes some getting used to – even the action scenes seem a bit slow/timely/langourous (sp), but very well done.

    • Daemonik says:

      Re: A nice, easygoing episode

      Definite kudos to Fox, though, for it looks like they’re going to show all of the initial 10-12 episodes. Does this mean they’ve finally realized they have to let some of the shows grow a fanbase, otherwise they’re soon going to have no shows whatsoever?

      It’s more probable that Joss used the muscle that Buffy and Angel have provided to force Fox to play the entire series.

      I’ll believe in Santa before I believe there’s a TV exec that sees farther ahead than next week’s Nielson’s.

  5. rickyjames says:

    Awww…The Perfect Date Ep…
    This ‘un twas cute. Sumthin’ fer the ladies and sumthin’ fer the gents. Who twern’t such gents atall – but shucks, who gave a durn?

    Boy, I could never write that dialogue. I’m glad Firefly has somebody that can. Again, this show is more than the sum of its parts, and a pleasure to watch it come together. Good fun people that have a solid moral core…well, except for Jayne, but he’s cool as is. Kaylee is cooler than cool. Is it sci-fi? Is it a western? Neither – it’s timeless. And yeah, this one was more spectacle than solid plot, because I can’t seem to find any focal point to grab onto to write about, so I’ll quit blabbing…

    BTW, the ratings for “Out of Gas” last week came up to 2.9 (up from 2.7 for Jaynestown) so Firefly has apparently halted its audience erosion and is starting a modest rebound…

    • OrangeCarrot says:

      Re: Awww…The Perfect Date Ep…

      BTW, the ratings for “Out of Gas” last week came up to 2.9 (up from 2.7 for Jaynestown) so Firefly has apparently halted its audience erosion and is starting a modest rebound…

      Yeah, that was me. I watched again. I’ve Been missing the show for weeks.

  6. doug101 says:

    wanted: all episodes if Firefly on tape
    Hey all:

    I am hopelessly addicted and kicking myself for not tapign the earlier episodes. I plan on tpaign them from here on out, but am interested in trying to get all the episodes on tape. Anyone by chance been recording all the others? if so, if I pay for the tape and shipping, can I get a copy?

    Thanks in advance.

    Doug

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