In betaing one of my forthcoming Firefly ficlets, Jade felt that it was too true to the show—the depressing, hopeless show. She didn’t mean that in a weeping-because-it’s-off-the-air way, but in a Buffy’s Law way. Buffy’s Law, if you don’t want to follow the link, was If anything can happen to make Buffy more miserable, it will.
I was going to post a whole entry on your-bitter-is-my-poignant, but then I actually watched “Heart of Gold.” Now I’m somewhat in the Jade camp. Back on Buffy, it was easier to dismiss the self-destructive behavior of the characters as general teen stupidity (or alternately, soulless fiend stupidity). That doesn’t really fly with Firefly, except possibly for Simon and Kaylee.
I find Inara in particular a very difficult character to understand (and therefore to write). She reminds me of Sam, whose feelings were also inscrutable, although from a technical perspective she’s probably closer to T’Pol in her inscrutable superiority. I had indifferent luck fanfixing Sam into a coherent character, and I’m not sure I can do any better with Inara.
On the bright side, the Sci-Fi channel is having an 11-hour Firefly marathon on Sunday. I thought that meant they’d skip the unaired episodes, but they’re skipping some from the middle of the series (such as it was, in the DVD order) instead. So if you, too, want to be depressed, you can see “Heart of Gold” at 5pm Eastern time.