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I just want to defend what I think to be one of the most under rated shows that graced the small screen. Joss Whedon does an excellent job of combining the past with the future to give the viewer a unique look at how things could be in our distant future. The viewer quickly develops a closeness to the cast and wants to become involved in their quirky plots. My only problem with this show is that it had such a short life span and I am not able to continue watching characters that I genuinely care about. Oh well, I guess I will just have to wait to see them on the big screen.
Not sure why it didn't make it (yes, I read all the articles...but it still doesn't make sense). Hope the movie gets off the ground. I'd pay to see it a couple of times.
FIREFLY is one of the best television series' to appear in a long time. Sadly it appeared on FOX where only mediocrity will do. To have a series that is well acted, well written and brilliantly filmed is anathema to network television. FIREFLY deserved so much more, as did its fans who will never get to see the series go to the wondrous and vibrant worlds that the series would have explored had it not been shot down during its ascent. We'll never know what the real deal with River was, what Book's mysterious background was, who the Reavers truly were nor even the story behind the Blue Sun. Alas poor FIREFLY, we hardly knew ye...
Like so many other favorite TV shows of mine, "Firefly" was not given a
decent chance. If the FOX executives were to take a look at the comments
here alone, they might (though I'm not sure they'd have the intelligence
understanding to) realize that this show should not have been cancelled so
Everything about "Firefly" was well-done and caught the attention of fans right from the start. Joss Whedon is a creative genius who deserves all his present success -- and much more in the future. His writing is sharp, witty and intelligent; he casts his characters well; and he manages to keep a high level of energy and interest throughout his projects when they're given a decent run. With his track record, Joss was sure to have kept up the fine quality of "Firefly" for some time to come, and the fact that he was not given the opportunity is a great crime. Thankfully, fans have the DVDs to enjoy, as well as the upcoming feature film.
Keep up the great work, Joss...and we can only hope you can use your button to recall the crew when your miracle arrives!
Joss Whedon's work thrives on tweaking expectations and this show did that
to joyful excess. That may have been its downfall, but the cruel irony is
that this was the best television I've seen in years. Sharp intelligent
dialog, compelling character development, stories with real situations,
moral dilemmas and not one rubber suited alien in the whole 'verse. This
a story about real people and the things they have to do to get by 'out in
Modeled after the post-civil war US west, this is the story of the passengers of 'Serenity', a Firefly class transport ship, struggling to survive on the fringes of civilization. They aren't galactic heroes saving the universe from the dark side. They don't fly the biggest baddest starship in the imperial fleet, and they're not rich enough to afford lasers. Its no wonder the 'live long and prosper', buck rogers crowd couldn't relate. Its mature drama and sophisticated humor that explores themes about people and life, not about futuristic technobabble. Check it out, you'll be glad you did.
This series has been advertised as being from the creator of Buffy the
Vampire Slayer (Joss Whedon), but it bears little resemblance at all to
of his other series.
The series takes place some time in the future, after Earth has been abandoned; there has been a sort of civil war between the colonies, with the Alliance winning, and the Independents taking to the outskirts of society. The captain and his crew are some of these Independents, taking a variety of jobs (usually illegal) in order to get by. They also carry four passengers, several of whom desire to avoid "the Feds;" among these are a Companion (legalized prostitute), a Shepherd (a priest), and a Medic and his sister who was rescued from the Feds' Academy.
I liked the pilot quite a bit, and hope that the series continues the sort of theme running through it thus far. There is a definite Western feel to this show, from the costuming to the props to the sets to the plots. Star Trek has always been billed as "Wagon Train in Space," and this show -- not part of the ST franchise, of course -- really seems to play on that comparison. To the point of the first "job" we see the crew pull off is a train heist. The metaphor of "space, the final frontier" which the show seems to be heavily playing on definitely isn't new, but this is a unique -- and enjoyable -- way of doing it, and I compliment Whedon highly on it.
As for the cast, they do a very good job as well, despite being mostly unknowns and not-quite-knowns. The only two people I recognized were Adam Baldwin (as Jayne, the muscle of the crew) and Ron Glass (as the Shepherd), but there seemed to be a definite chemistry between the characters who were supposed to have them. Nathan Fillion does a reasonably convincing job as a Captain just trying to get by; Gina Torres and Alan Tudyk are his first in command and pilot, respectively, and also extremely believable (at least thus far) as a married couple, as well (and kudos for the casting of an interracial couple). Baldwin does a wonderful job as a sort of comic relief (not that the character intends it, but I'm sure the writers do), and Jewel Staite rounds out the crew as a somewhat flaky mechanic; its hard to imagine her as a mechanic (she doesn't strike me nearly as tomboyish enough) but it's early, yet. Of the passengers, Glass' Shepherd is not very intrusive (sort of akin to Father Mulcahy in MASH), and Simon Maher and Summer Glau do fairly good jobs as the Medic and his rather disturbed (and disturbing) sister, of having a sort of chemistry between them. Finally, Morena Baccarin is very striking as the Companion, who has her own shuttle, and oddly enough is the only person on the entire ship who wouldn't be arrested on the spot (though the exact crimes of the Shepherd haven't been covered, as of yet). All in all, a very mixed crew, all of whom have shown talent to one degree or another, thus far.
I won't spend any time here discussing the horrible way this show was
marketed and broadcast--resulting in an early cancellation--except to
say that I was one of the original viewers and I felt betrayed.
"Firefly" is my favorite television show of all time.
The basic premise bears some resemblance to "Star Wars", but FF does it better. The music is great, the production values are great, the set of the ship is fantastic. The cast is terrific. But what really makes this show is the writing.
The characters are truly developed and nuanced, far from one-dimensional. The plots are intriguing and different. The universe of FF expands throughout the first season.
The guest stars deserve special mention. There were many portrayals worthy of Emmy nods (hello, Christina Hendricks!).
Joss Whedon had created such a wonderful first season, if the show had continued, there were so many story lines to build on. I think FF would have been an Emmy factory.
an open letter to the fox network - and all those who like this show and
want to see that long lost PILOT!
How cruel to launch a show as good as this without the pilot to introduce it to it's audience. The fact that there are many folks out there who love it should tell you something about the writing - it's fun, it's got lots of action, and it's cool! But to neglect to "start" it where it began, is not much short of sabotage guys. There are things we want - make that need- to know. Why is the Shepherd on the ship? Is he going somewhere? or leaving somewhere? And there's that mystery girl River..... So how did these folks find Serenity? Does Mal take out advertisements or what? It sure would be nice to start a nationwide email campaign to get that pilot shown...anybody interested?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I listen to a weekly podcast called Slice Of Sci-Fi - among others. A
few months back (I think it was around July, 2005) Summer, one of the
presenters, was raving about a preview she'd gone to. It was for a
movie called Serenity (due for US release 30th September, 2005 and NZ
release in December, 2005) which itself is based on a t.v. show called
Last weekend I was in a bookstore and happened to find a box set of Firefly DVD's. I had NZ$80 burning a hole in my pocket and thought "What the heck. I can give these disks a good home." I felt I had to watch this program if I wanted to enjoy the Serenity movie.
It took me two days to plow through all the episodes and - WOW - what an awesome show! I don't think they've screened the series on New Zealand t.v. and that's a terrible shame. Not that it matters now I have the DVD's. Yay me.
The characters are engaging, the dialog is superb and the stories are very well conceived. I love the special effects - in space, no-one can hear you screaming around the galaxy - and the Serenity ship is totally gorgeous. There are themes - story, not music - that I've barely glimpsed on my first run through these episodes (I kept getting distracted by the plots). That's alright, though. I can do a deeper analysis at a later date now I have the DVD's. Yay me.
Human nature hasn't changed in the last 500 years. Why would it change in the next 500 years? Star Trek promotes the idea of a Utopian society where humans are 'shiny' examples of morality and decency. It could happen, I guess - even if history is littered with contradictory evidence and sadly lacking in supporting proof. The Firefly 'verse, on the other hand, feels more likely because The Black is full of danger, uncertainty and ambiguity (even the Good Guys ain't so good). It's going to be fun making comparisons between Star Trek and Firefly now I have the DVD's. Yay me. (*Sigh* I think the DVD joke has truly run it's course.)
There is one final note I'd like to make concerning the DVD's. Stay away from the episode commentaries for as long as you can if you want to preserve the magic. Once the actors, writers and directors start pointing out the various mistakes it becomes nearly impossible to suspend your disbelief.
Science fiction puts ordinary people into extra-ordinary situations. Star Wars may have spaceships and robots but falls into the category of epic fantasy - character growth as a result of the journey. It has more in common with The Lord Of The Rings rather than 2001: A Space Odyssey. Let's see if Firefly qualifies IMHO as Sci-Fi.
THAR' BE SPOILERS YONDER - BE WARNED YE LAN' LUBBERS!
Firefly is a western in space. It's set on a Firefly-class spaceship called Serenity. The crew consists of Mal (the captain), Zoe (the first mate), Wash (the pilot), Kaylee (the engineer) and Jayne (public relations). They're just ordinary people trying to get by in a very indifferent universe - something we can all relate to. Mal rents a shuttle to Inara, a Companion, but most of their income is made from shipping cargo - quickly, quietly, and sometimes illegally. They're not adverse to occasional theft, either. Especially if said theft is at the expense of the Alliance.
In the pilot episode, which like the upcoming movie is also called Serenity, our intrepid crew visit a planet called Persephone. They try to conduct a little business and also take on some passengers - Dobson, Shepard Book and Dr. Simon Tam. Unknown to the rest of the crew, Simon has also brought on board some very dangerous cargo. It turns out to be his younger sister, River. As it stands, River is the exceptional situation that completes the science fiction formula. (Firefly is still a western in space, though, complete with horses, bar brawls and flying bullets.)
River is a genius. Everyone thinks she's at a school for the exceptionally gifted but instead has been the subject of mind-altering Alliance experiments. Simon decodes her cryptic letters home, letters that contain a secret plea - they're hurting us, get me out! What's a brother to do? Well, that's obvious. He moves heaven and Earth-That-Was to rescue his sister and together they run, probably for their lives. Ah, but the Alliance isn't going to let their star pupil escape so easily. Two by two, hands of blue.
Oh, and it's very funny when Dobson gets shot. Watching someone take a bullet in the head shouldn't be funny but Joss Whedon set it up so the audience believes he deserved what he got. Even so, it's disturbing when you find yourself applauding a cop killer - even if the cop is a bully who works for a totalitarian regime.
SPOILERS END - ARRRH
All in all, I'm very pleased with the show. Great acting, nice sets, love the music - especially the theme song. Too bad Fox dropped the program. Oh, well. At least Universal has come to the party. And they're bringing a huge-as gorilla to do the catering, too.
Like Rick says: "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful franchise." Or something.
OK, just to make this clear: I hate Science Fiction. The genre is notoriously stilted and cheesy, with wooden characters and weak style. Firefly is completely the opposite. My brother made me sit down and watch the hour-long introduction, which I was prepared to hate. The first few minutes- the war scene- is typical gritty space hero SciFi. The difference is that Joss Whedon took it beyond that. He created believable characters, multifaceted and intriguing. One of the most appealing qualities to the series is that not everything is fully explained. Whedon will drop a hint about a character or event, and then leave you wondering. I can see how this would frustrate Sci-Fi loving audiences just looking for a cookie-cutter story of laser guns and aliens. But for an audience prepared to go deeper into the characters and not so much into the blazing guns (there's plenty of that, too), I recommend Firefly. After that first episode, I was hooked. I have never seen any of Whedon's other work, but I am interested now that I have seen the depths he can take classic SciFi to.
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