Archive - Oct 4, 2005

Can't Stop The Dismal

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I thought it was done. I thought I'd pretty much said all I could say on the topic. But like a cancelled series making its triumphant, phoenix-like return on the big-screen, today I present the special "Serenity" edition of BE A BETTER NERD.

There are a lot of sad Browncoats out there today. I mean actually emotionally down, not just "sad" in the colloquial sense. "Serenity" did about ten million at the box office, coming in behind Jodie Foster's "a dingo ate my baby... on a plane" movie.

The common man has not, as yet, realized the genius of Joss Whedon and embraced him the way they have Peter Jackson, Michael Bay, and Joel Schumacher. Water-cooler conversations at workplaces where they make you wear a tie were not abuzz over the movie, with legions of accountants wishing they'd watched the series on Fox.

And that, to borrow two letters from Stuart Smalley, is OK.

You did your part when you bought the DVD's and the movie tickets. You succeeded once you'd been able to see what was actually a damn good movie. A movie so good it was worth sitting in a theater full of you people. But I know some of y'all had way too much personal investment into e-fan-gelizing this thing into a huge box-office shocker, and you are the folks who are grumpy or delusional right now. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Come on troops, fall in line. Lifting Serenity from number two to number one would surely justify a sequel. If we all get out there this next weekend and plan on seeing Serenity with as many friends as possible as many times as possible we could do it. I myself am currently planning my biggest shindig to date. There is no blockbuster coming out next week, that I know of, so lets show them our BDM has legs. We can do it, we're Browncoats!"

Um, no. The opening weekend audience consisted of many groups. Hardcore Browncoats, casual enjoyers of the series, casual enjoyers of science fiction, people who wandered in off the street, etc. Even if every single person who saw the movie this weekend saw it the same number of times next weekend, it'd still only do ten million. The system is simply too large for any small group to game. L. Ron Hubbard could boost his sales by having Scientologists buy the books over and over, but there are a lot more Scientologists than there are Browncoats, and all the faux-military talk in the world won't change that.

"Lot's of 'youths' went to MCI center Friday for Coldplay concert here in DC. Keep the faith, 'Wedding Crashers' kept gaining momentum. Word of mouth children, word of mouth!"

Oh, I see. That's the problem. All the youths at the Coldplay show haven't seen the movie yet! And now that they've seen Coldplay live, their brains will have puddled around their ankles, and they don't have the fine motor control required to buy movie tickets. DAMN YOU CHRIS MARTIN!

"Universal heard us and is hearing us loud and clear!" Yes, and you're scaring them a little. Universal likes you, but not in that way. More like a sister. A sister that it's thinking about taking a restraining order out on, but a sister nonetheless.

And, you know, I love a good nerd martyr complex as much as the next guy, but please, I beg you, stop with the war metaphors. You are a bunch of people planning to see a movie more times than is probably healthy. You are not actually on the losing side of a fictional battle in a fictional valley during a fictional space civil war. Because in a couple of years, you're going to stumble across your little bit of psychotic online role-playing, and you will wish with all your heart that Google didn't cache.

Or worse, you won't regret it at all, and will once again fail to BE A BETTER NERD.