Firefly (TV Series 2002–2003) Poster

(2002–2003)

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What was FOX thinking?!
zakal10 October 2003
FOX must have the greatest talent scouts in the world, but the worst executives. "Firefly" is the best example. It was simultaneously the best new show, the best western series in decades, and the best sci-fi show on TV (and coming from a die-hard Trekkie, placing them above "Enterprise" is saying something). They didn't have a single bad episode, and some were spectacular. The premise, the characters, the plots and the dialogue were all top-notch. And FOX cancelled it without even really giving it a chance.

Maybe the show couldn't stand in the end. Maybe I'm alone in this, and there aren't enough fans to justify what the show cost. But making that call after half a season, with half of the episodes pre-empted for baseball playoffs was a phenomenally stupid thing to do. That show should have been here to stay, and it got axed without a chance to prove itself. I only pray the movie works out. At least we'll have something.
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Excellent, unique DVD
attlcox1 February 2004
Never heard of Firefly? Get your hands on the DVD.

Saw some, weren't that impressed? Get your hands on the DVD.

Loved it? Well, you don't need convincing.

Fox did an incredible disservice to this show by showing the episodes out of order. They still made sense on a very low level, i.e., there weren't a lot of plot points that were part of the continuing arc that ended up being out of order in the order they were aired, but this show is so much better if you see it in the order intended. In the aired episodes, characters would sometimes do things that either seemed out of character or really weird, or sometimes even just boring, that make so much more sense on the DVDs, even though there's a grand total of one scene (and only about 3 lines of that scene) that's different between the DVD and the aired version.

That said, this show is the most innovative thing I've ever seen on TV, even despite its mistreatment. It has nine main characters, all of which are fairly well developed in the pilot episode, who then grow and change but remain true to their characters as originally conceived throughout the rest of the series. I could talk about the incredible attention to detail for the special effects, etc., but special effects are getting really good, so that doesn't really set this apart from a lot of movies out there. The concept seems odd at first, but is amazingly well done, with each world they go to having its own quirks, charms and dangers, but it always comes back to the characters and their relationships with each other.
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10/10
Beautifully crafted and enjoyable series
Rabit7 January 2004
This show blew me away. The beauty of the production, the detail in the sets, the well written characters, the intelligent stories and concepts, the fun, the drama, and the excitement all amazed me. I don't usually spend time watching TV, but I honestly hated having to wait until the next show! :)

The special effects are seamlessly integrated and beautifully detailed. The manner in which the show was presented - the hand-held cameras, the use of zooms, and the occasional off-focus effect - was very intriguing, giving it a look of a show that was real and gritty, something that really caught your attention but didn't distract you from what was being presented. It made you feel like you were really there, like it was believable.

While there was a Western attitude and flavor to some of the episodes, I always felt that it was more about the lack of authority, the fact that people were just dropped out on these planets without the kinds of support that you would expect. It's presented very well and makes sense to me, although I've heard others take a different approach to it.

If you have the opportunity to get the DVDs, I would highly suggest it. It is well worth the money!
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addicting
nchanter20 May 2004
I felt I had to comment on this show because of another persons negative opinion on it(target audience of 8 or 9 years). I find this show addicting and the characters far more interesting than many sci-fi shows that have gained far more publicity because of their special effects. Each character is very well developed and entices the audience to want to find out more about them. As a personal response as to why weapons haven't developed beyond the space western....several of the episodes show scenes of past and current technology far more advanced than the weapons used in the show on a regular basis.laser guns,magnetic grapplers,floating cities,multiple brain surgeries involving nerve manipulation,killer sonic tech,and much more. The show is set on the frontier of known space with characters that are not rich. A regular western gun is all that can be safely used on a spaceship. Another gun, whether laser or high caliber projectile weapon will pierce the hull and cause major problems for the crew..if not kill them outright.

The social intricacies of the companions and the "Houses" they come from, the military training of the "shepherd" preacher, the developing psionic powers of "the crazy sister-river" and all the others leads me to believe that Whedon put a lot of planning and thought into each character and the personal world they live in. They all seem to have a substantial, believable past. They all seem to have personal goals that are not necessarily tied to the show...as if they could leave at any time if their lives and beliefs take them that way. This comes across as very believable.

While others are entitled to their own opinion, all of this, in my opinion, makes me think this show is worth every penny spent to produce it. I also own it.
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10/10
Could have been great
littlemissknowitall30 May 2004
As with BtVS, the world is divided into people who get Firefly and people who don't. In this series Joss Whedon created one of the most realistic post-war visions of the future ever committed to tape, that at the same time spoke about yesterday and today. Maybe a little too much today for its own good.

The series is anti-corporate, anti-government and, while it takes the stand that some things are worth fighting for, it is largely anti-war. No wonder FOX did everything in its power to kill it off, including airing episodes out of order, skipping weeks after airing only three eps and, inevitably canceling the show without even airing episodes 12, 13 and 14 (out of 15). This was particularly damaging, as Firefly had a greater sense of ongoing plot than any other Whedon series in its first year. Viewers were left wondering, on more than one occasion, when a character would reference something we hadn't seen yet.

The backstage dramatics aside, Firefly is intelligent and, like Buffy, mythic - except this time Whedon is dealing with the myth of America: the Frontier, the Civil War, the rise of the Corporation, etc . . .

Firefly is a demanding show. It asks its audience to appreciate the shades of grey in its characters' moral scale. The villains are not comfortingly dressed as an alien race. In 500 years mankind will still be its own worst enemy. Technology will be in the hands of a privileged few, and others will in "The Black" - Whedon's frontier third world - where it is possible to exist without the interference (or benefit) of civilization and government. Things will be dirty, and used. Firefly creates a universe that almost totally opposes that of (that bastion of television sci-fi) Star Trek: its Federation-like central power (the Alliance) is interpreted as being oppressive and dystopic. We are on the side of those who resisted (like the Maqui) and lost.

The acting is strong, the writing as excellent, funny and moving as on any Whedon show, and the effects and sets create a consistent, believable world. It is a shame the series didn't have a more hospitable environment in which to grow and become all it could have been.
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Excellent Series
securis11 February 2004
This series is an excellent series. However, like other high quality shows, this one was cancelled prematurely. Science fiction often takes time for people to warm upto it, but in the end, the fanbase makes up for the time lost. (Stargate SG-1 was tossed around from HBO to Fox and now to SciFi where it is now the hottest scifi show on television) The magnitude of Star Trek: The Original Series was not realized until it was prematurely cancelled. Look at the money Paramount is making off of the franchise. This show is like many others who deserve recognition in science fiction. I recommend anyone who appreciates science fiction to watch this series, however, I must warn you that the ending is exceptionally disappointing. It is unfinished... an abrupt ending with so many lose ends, it may leave you with a feeling of grave disappointment when you realize there's no more episodes to watch... when everything that has been building up in suspense comes to nothing. Networks sure know how to get people to stop watching TV... cancel anything of any value.
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Strangely Intriguing
goddessh5 June 2004
I have to admit, I had serious doubts about this show. I hate westerns, and a sci-fi/western combination sounded like a really bad show concept--especially since the most recognizable actor in the show was a guy who had a minor part in Two Guys, A Girl, and A Pizza Place (itself a pretty forgettable show). But I found myself getting drawn into this series very quickly. It is very witty, as well as suspenseful. The characters are a lot of fun, too. It is definitely a little quirkier than most of the shows out there, but is that really a bad thing? I loved the banter, loved the acting, and was very disappointed to watch the last episode last night. This show deserved better than to be canceled in the middle of its first run. I'm guessing that the humor was too high-brow for most of the TV watchers of the world.
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10/10
The Man They Call Jayne
anubis113816 May 2004
Firefly was easily the best sci fi show Fox developed aside from the X-Files. It had science fiction staples spaceships, laser pistols, and tech, but also a nice retro quality of frontier western speech, horses, and guns. The humor alone made this one of the best shows on television. The Joss Whedon ability to spin a familiar plot convention/line in a surprising direction and the top notch cast of talented and charismatic actors help make this cancelled science fiction Fox casualty a cult favorite and upcoming movie. While the discussion about why it was cancelled and who was to blame is up for debate, no one can argue 200,000 in DVD secondary market sales to date. Clearly, Firefly was a show that deserved a chance to shine and with it's incarnation next year as a film, will allow this phoenix to rise again.
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You will either love it, or hate it - read why...
Darknessinthesky22 January 2004
There is one big premise that you have to swallow in order to like this show. If you can't cope with it, you won't like it, because it will smack you in the face in every episode.

It is like the James Bond movies, if you don't accept, as a premise, that Bond, James Bond, can do everything, fly, drive, shoot, use *every* piece of machinery on the planet, that he can shoot better than all his adversaries (who all miss, all the time) and gets *all* the babes, if you don't accept this, you have to hate James Bond movies, because they are ridiculous. We talk about suspense of disbelief.

The one thing you have to swallow, without thinking about it, is, that in this particular science fiction universe, the future looks like this:

You have core planets, which are like one would imagine future worlds: Big, beautiful buildings, hight tech gadgets, spaceships and shuttles, modern weapons (some that don't kill by using some kind of sonic boom), flat displays, a modern, digital credit system instead of localised currency, a totally diverse people influenced by every imaginable culture, heavily influenced by the chinese society, the only remaining superpower besides the USA and so forth.

But, and this is a capitalized BUT: There are also the outer rim planets. They don't have a developed infrastructure and such. Settlers are dumped on planets with next to nothing, exploited to recover raw materials, used as cheap labor, trying to survive. Still sounds reasonable, no? The catch is: all these outer rim worlds look like you have been thrown into a cheap spaghetti WESTERN movie.

They trade cows, they use old revolvers, drive horses and dress in western-style garments. You have little, old, dirty small villages with a saloon and stuff. These outer rim planets, out of reach of the civilised Alliance, are a no-mans-land, with superstitious, uneducated fools, where the strong fist rules - if you have the most men and guns behind you, you are the law. The poor grunt is like the cowboy in a typical western movie.

Hard to accept? Partially yes, of course. But there is logic in almost everything: there are future references everywhere! Real food (as opposed to synthesized proteins) is a rare commodity, the RICH guys have laser guns or state of the art display devices.

And - they stay true to this premise throughout the show, which is a rare thing in today's entertainment.

But apart from this (for some) hard to accept premise, this show is the most entertaining, clever, realistic(!), funny, imaginative, creative, thrilling piece of entertainment I had the pleasure of viewing (by downloading it from the internet) in years (don't get me wrong: I downloaded it because I live in Germany and the show was never aired here, and I asked my brother, who lives in the USA, to get me the DVD as a christmas present - and he did)

As for realism: Why do they still use guns to kill people, why not lasers like in Star Trek (which i am avid fan of)? I say: guns kill people, bullets are cheap. Guns get the killing done. (And there are modern (bullet) guns and lasers in the show, they exist, they are simply not widespread and only available to the rich.

No sound in space - a little thing with big impact. Not only is it realistic, but it adds to the atmosphere. Instead of ridiculous sound effects the scenes in space are underlaid with vivid music, only emphasising the vastness and nothingness of space.

The basics of the universe comply with our world. In the outer rim, where modern civilization hasn't gotten a foothold yet, things - which are to us - common, are valuable merchandise! Just imagine the third world... How much worth are medicine, guns, food there? There are (to us) barbaric customs in uncivilised areas of the world and all this is being portrayed in the show.

The Plots are great, not like in Enterprise where you seem to have seen everything somewhere before, these plots are unique, thrilling and exciting. I have seen episodes where I thought "ok, I get it" and then *wham* the story turns into a totally different direction. Surprises at every corner.

The show is so refreshingly politically incorrect, I don't want to give away plot details, but there are situations you know from your movie/series experience and think OMG there we go again (Hostage situations someone?) and then*boom* - the protagonist does EXACTLY what WE would wish to do but which every movie/series is afraid of doing because it is not PC.

The characters are three dimensional and so well laid out. This "family" on board a little spaceship, a confined space(!), with all their motivations, quirks and problems, trying to get along and achieve their goals, are so believable and make for a hell of a ride.

The creators of this show have, in the first 14 episodes, established plots, characters and atmosphere that other science fiction series have only managed to achieve - if ever - in the last seasons of their time on air.

Such a pity that most American viewers couldn't see behind a bold, unique, hilarious - if difficult to accept at first glance - premise... and see the beautiful gem of a show behind it.
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Counterpoint, apparently
Welsh_Corgie18 April 2004
Comparable in flavor to critically-acclaimed Cowboy Bebop. If you're one of the many people that enjoy a good, character-driven show, with a decent plotline and writing hand-crafted by some of the finest in the business, then this is the show for you. Apparently so for the Fox network, but only for a few weeks. Thankfully, the show was released in its entirety on DVD, in all of its glory. Also, as if the brilliant episodes weren't enough to satisfy, there are great, insightful commentaries on most episodes, by creator Joss Whedon and others, and lots of other extras. I can't say enough about this show. Everyone was sad to see this show go, especially the stars.

***** out of *****
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Another series canceled for lack of simple-minded stupidity
dysamoria26 January 2003
Series creator Joss Whedon took a somewhat familiar concept (science fiction as the new "wild west frontier") and freshened it up with a lively, chemistry-rich cast of characters, a richly detailed, plausible and interesting social setting, a dash of excitement, classic science fiction "find the better part of humanity" ideals, a goal to avoid or make light of most of the tired and worn-out genre cliches and a fantastic production team. The resulting product? An excellent piece of original artful entertainment that was a breath of fresh air in the stagnating science fiction scene on television (or anywhere else).

Today, where is Firefly? Canceled after airing about 11 episodes, out of order, of the mere 13 episodes contracted. Why? Fox executives considered the ratings to be "abysmal." Were they? This may be subjective. At the time, Fox was (and still is) pushing almost costless, content-free exploitative "reality television" (such as Joe Millionaire) and formula-reuse "genre simulation" eye candy (such as "John Doe"). In comparison, Firefly, with film quality special effects, a full cast, directors, writers, editors and so forth likely looked to be a much smaller payout. After all, television in the USA is not about art or entertainment; it is about making as much money from sponsors as possible.

Fox didn't think that the Firefly pilot was "exciting" enough. Joss Whedon made some changes to address their concerns. Then Fox didn't even bother to SHOW the pilot until the very last airdate of Firefly, prior to cancellation ("tonight's special: two hour celebration of the cancellation of Firefly!"). Promotion of Firefly was half-hearted at best. On a channel that tells its viewers "Hey, who needs drama?" is there any chance that the marketing people even know HOW to promote something other than sitcoms and exploitative reality shows? Fox is basically telling its own audience that it doesn't like its own programming, so why should people watch it??

As we face the homogenization of television content, Firefly was a brilliant spark of newness and excitement for those of us (the few) in the television audience that desire thought-provoking story-telling and entertainment that actually requires a viewer's mind to be active instead of blank. To some of us, the outcome was never really in question; how could something this good survive on networks (and with advertisers) that believe the lowest-common-denominator is their ideal target?

Knowing the likely outcome, the failure of Firefly hurts all the more because of just how good it actually was in such a short amount of time.

It wasn't about the space ships; it was about the life lived in and around them. It wasn't about the aliens (there weren't any); it was about the people. It wasn't about the struggle between the evil bad-guys and the super heros; it was about the daily struggle to BE a "good-guy" in a world filled with people who often didn't try very hard and the fact that sometimes the heros are just regular people afterall. It wasn't about the sex; it was about the attitudes people have about sex. It wasn't about the profits; it was about selling a good product and deserving the profits.

It is quite telling to see what kind of programming thrives in this economy and what kind of programming gets a sharp stick in the eye. If we are to believe the executives of Fox and other networks, the viewers of television in the USA are unintelligent, selfish and naive automatons that are only capable of being entertained by programs that exploit the failures, ignorance and stupidity of others.

What if they're right?

Luckily, we have the "hard-core" groups of fans to remind us that there are indeed a few active brains seeking stimulation out there. Not to say that all science fiction fans are the best of humanity, it is easy to see that they spend a little more time considering narrative and consequences of actions.

The fans of Firefly funded, organized and accomplished an advertisement in Variety magazine to support Firefly. Yes, that's right. The fans bought advertising for their favorite show.

Though it warmed the hearts of the Firefly production team, Fox wasn't impressed. Such groups of fandom are considered fringe and insignificant when compared to the mighty marketing numbers. Still, you have to admit, there must be something good about a show when the fans purchase advertising in major publications to support it.

The fans still hope that Joss Whedon gets another open-minded network to see that Firefly has great potential as a successful, revenue-generating series. Whedon's previous exploits, the highly successful "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" series and its spin-offs, started with a similar "abysmal outlook" but another network had the foresight to give it a healthy chance when Fox was too eager to give up after not seeing instant success and profit after a handful of out-of-order showings. They didn't even bother to show all 13 episodes completed. Maybe someone at Fox's accounting departments ought to make note that it's a waste of resources to pay for episodes and then do nothing with them.

The chance of recovery isn't good. People move on in search of more employment when the project they were on has been killed. The landscape of television business today has a tendency to portray intelligent programming as "unsuccessful" and "profit-less." Joss Whedon's past successes seem not to matter much to networks hell-bent on making huge profits on zero-product (much like the dot com explosion that ended spectacularly badly years back).

Networks say they are giving the audiences what they want. It may be more accurate to suggest that networks are limiting the audience's ability to choose anything other than what they're given. It's not likely that everyone will simply turn off the TV and go read a book in protest, is it?

Back to Firefly: If you like smart science fiction (or just smart fiction in general), well drawn characters and worlds, Firefly would have been a great show to escape into every Friday night as you relax from the daily rituals of work and responsibility. Too bad it never got much of a chance to entertain us.

With the failure of Firefly at the hands of businessmen and executives who do not even like to watch their own programming, it is clear that the "future Joss Whedons" of television will have a harder time selling their projects to the networks. The result? There's plenty more where "Joe Millionaire" came from; there are countless other profit-seeking formulas that are taking the place of intelligent programming everywhere, calling themselves "Entertainment."

Frightening.
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It grows on you
salome12117 January 2004
When I first saw it on Fox, I didn't really like it.

As a huge Buffy fan, I had to give it a chance, so I watched most of its original run. I grew to like it more and more, but I wasn't too upset that it was cancelled. I didn't allow myself to get hooked cause I knew it wouldn't last anyway. But, I must admit, when I finally saw the 2-hour pilot, "Serenity", I was really fond of the show and realized how badly it had been screwed by Fox.

I got the DVDs for Christmas. I started with "Serenity" and watched every single episode (a regrettably short 15 hours of television) in a couple of weeks. I finished today, and I started over again. When seen the way it was supposed to be seen, this show is fabulous! Damn! Now, I'm hooked and it's over. Great.

The cast is amazing. It doesn't hurt that Joss is behind the show. He has a real talent for dialog and established their characters beautifully for them.

And the camera work! It brings a realism you just don't expect from Science Fiction. More harsh, realistic lighting and camera angles that make you feel like a spy on the action. A totally different direction from shows like Farscape (brilliant in it's own direction for surrealistic and slick camera and lighting work), it shows the future as gritty and human, rather than the sterile, alien feel of most science fiction.

This show was a gem, something really brilliant, that was shafted by Fox (there's a shock. Fox has always been such a caring network. /sarcasm).

At least we have a theatrical movie to look forward. Go and see that when it comes out! Maybe then the series will find a new life.
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If you can't run, you crawl, and if you can't do that...
Andy (film-critic)17 January 2006
Firefly is like no other television program. Only lasting one year, with episodes randomly thrown on strange nights on FOX, this series boasted a classic combination of science fiction with a western flair. How could it go wrong? A humorous program that had fun, fought bad guys, and harbored extremely dark secrets. Why did it only last one season? Marketing. FOX, as we all can learn from my review of Outfoxed, is not quite the "fair and balanced" type of programming that it promotes, but instead attaches itself to the hottest trend and pushes it nearly to the point of sickness. For those that would disagree, I ask you to check out how many predictable seasons of American Idol we will have to endure until someone realizes that it lost its steam a many a moon ago. Or how about the disaster of a series called Wife Swap? Honestly, did FOX just ignore the idea of creativity and push directly for insulting "reality" television? From what I see on television today, I could only assume the answer to be "yes". Firefly was a bold, unique, and highly original series that gave us powerful characters, detailed stories, and that Lost itch in the back of your mind that keeps you asking that age old question, "why". Yet, in all of its power, it was canceled.

Firefly is perfection on a stick. The twang of the guitar, the stone-face stare of Mal, the goofiness of Jayne (is that a girls name?), the questionable past of Shepard Book, the humor of Wash, the power of Zoe, and the innocence of Kaylee is exactly why I fell in love with this show. This is honestly, one of the few series that I could go back from the beginning and watch again, loving every moment of it. Whedon created a masterpiece in my eyes, and a huge opportunity was missed by several major networks to keep this imagination alive.

While some will argue that Firefly was full of nothing more than C-rated actors who were "shallow cut-outs, and whose dialogue never rises above the level of a so-so sitcom", I thought that they brought so much personality and charisma to a smorgasbord of unoriginal programming. I wanted to know the truth behind River and the darkness behind the good Shepard. I continually waited for a snappy comeback from Mal, and was excited whenever he showed humility. Jayne was a big favorite of mine, always questioning authority, yet as loyal as the family dog. The love between Zoe and Wash brought a new layer of honesty to this sci-fi series. It wasn't just about paying for the ship, flying through unmapped terrain, or stealing, it was about humanity. That sense of humanity could be found in the opening episode for this series aptly titled "Serenity". In it, the crew takes upon some passengers with some rather unknown cargo. Inside one of those crates is a girl that will change their lives forever. For this series to work successfully, as it did, we needed human characters that bled, felt compassion, and demonstrated connectiveness to each of us. Mal's ship, Serenity, was a living example of how television could be done creatively and originally.

The characters could only be as strong as the words that were handed to them. Listening to the words that pass through Mal's mouth, the charm of Wash, or even the inconsistent ramblings of River, you could only wonder where Whedon could have gone with all of them. In each of these characters, Whedon had written secrets. While, sadly, we may never know what they all were, that is what made you itch for more episodes. You not only wanted to see the creative "western" adventures that Whedon was sending his crew, but you also wanted to learn more about these band of renegades. They were good, but possibly darkness reigned inside of them. The character most guilty of this (outside of River) was Shepard Book. I loved this character. Whedon drew him with so much passion and conviction, yet with every episode you learned more about this man than imaginable. He is an excellent example of what this series was like. He represented the smart words of Whedon, the humanity of his character, and the secrets that each of these shared. He was a "priest", yet he knew more about the Alliance than anyone aboard that ship. If anyone were to ask me to describe the series in two words, I would simply say, "Shepard Book".

George Lucas is credited with creating this detailed futuristic world that gives us glimpses of a possible future, or a galaxy far far away, Whedon succeeded in this series by giving us a plausible future in the not-too-distant future of 500 years. Prostitution in legal, in fact respected in the community, the Chinese and Americans have forged one super power called the Alliance, and our hero is a war veteran, still not shaken by the loss that his side took due to the Alliance control. While Lucas gives us far-fetched characters and situations, Whedon gives us a imaginative look at our future. I think that is why this series worked so well for me. I could imagine this future. I could see it past the characters. I wasn't bogged down by dopey looking aliens, but instead a plausible man vs. man situation. Firefly was simple, yet so complex.

I could honestly go on forever about how much I enjoyed this show. I have never watched a series where I found myself prepared to watch over and over again. Firefly blends a power mixture of comedy, western, and action all together … and the characters bleed. Villains die in this series. How often do you see that? If you have not watched this series, or have not spent the money to support it, DO IT RIGHT NOW!

Grade:(proudly) ***** out of *****
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10/10
It's an absolute disgrace that this was cancelled
crouton28 September 2003
First off I should say that I only watched this as I read it had replaced Dark Angel (which I kind of liked, first series anyway) and wanted to see if it was any good. Anyway, I've just finished watching the last episode of Firefly here in the UK, and I am thoroughly appalled that this series has been cancelled. The ONLY bad things I can say about it is that *occasionally* the western parts seemed a bit contrived, and that I never really got to identify with some characters much (Wash and Preacher mainly).

For the first point, it's not nearly as bad a mix of sci-fi and western as some people comment on. I suspect they haven't really watched it as it usually works very well. For the second point, I'm sure that I would have gotten to know the other characters better in the future as the story developed. The characters (and actors) in this series were fantastic as individuals and as a team. They are a real credit to Firefly and helped make it seem real, generate emotion, humour and occasionally despair. Nathan Fillion above all surprised me as I'd never seen him as an actor before (I've never watched Buffy much), and he's simply fantastic. Believable from the first episode and acts out Mal's great strengths and flaws of character perfectly. The rest of the cast support (and occasionally take the lead) very well.

As for the rest, the stories were very good and usually inventive despite staying in the supposedly cliched sci-fi and/or western domain, every episode has laughs, some have a few tears. The effects are generally not too bad (some bits really nice, others a bit ropey - nothing an improved budget wouldn't have fixed). Even the title music (by Whedon!) is fantastic. I watch most things recorded and normally fast forward past the titles (Babylon 5 excepted).

Bottom line is that above all it's a shame it was canned. It was a great series, had *real potential* to be a blockbuster (I doubt that many TV execs thought that a vampire hunting female would be so popular), and was easily the best debut series I've seen in the sci-fi/drama genre (even the mighty Babylon 5 took a while to get started). For it to have failed ratings means that people inside Fox need sacked for not doing their job properly, due to bad planning, bad promotion, and for being so stupid that they can't see a good show or even potential even if it is the best in the 'Verse.

The fact that Whedon thinks strongly enough of Firefly to do a film version (and can get the backing to do so) should be a wakeup call to the top level bosses that those under them aren't interested in quality or investing in potentially hit series, they are only reacting to immediate ratings despite the fact they influence them badly by getting their programming all wrong.

While I'm only too happy to see a film version, the production values of the series were so high that it's really just going to be a higher budget longer episode (albeit more polished), when all I (and many others) want to see is a new series. I really hope that the film springboards the series back, but I'm not holding my breath...
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Incredible
adam-exp1mar200424 January 2004
The best action adventure science fiction series I've ever seen. From Joss Whedon, the guy who did "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", this show is well paced rough and tumble action from start to finish.

"Star Trek" is too bright and squeaky clean. "Earth 2" is dull and slow. "Babylon 5" is the only other show which even comes close to matching the quality of "Firefly".
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WONDERFUL SHOW!
rdhdwldflwr-118 January 2004
What a wonderful show this was. Watching the DVDS made me miss it. I loved the concept of the the future but with things we were familiar with too. Loved the whole western idea and I thought the Chinese influence was very interesting. I like that when they needed to cuss, it was in Chinese and you could use your imagination as to what they were really saying. I like all the actors and thought each was terrific in their part. There are still plenty of questions unanswered and I really hope they make the movie but it would also be great if they had "made for tv" movies so we could have more. The ultimate would be to have it back on tv but it would have to be a cable station and not network. I could go on but I know the other reviewers have gone in depth better than I. The DVDS are great, loved the behind the scenes and commentary. I highly recommend buying it!
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10/10
Joss continues to amaze
Joe (minorchord03)6 January 2004
I became a fan of BtVS January 1, 2002. I realise that at this time I was slightly behind, as well as on Angel, but I managed to recap all the episodes I missed (from FX and computer downloads and the such) and I was amazed at how wonderfully crafted these two shows were. Everytime a new DVD comes out for Buffy or Angel, I HAVE to pick it up within the first week of its release date.

Then I heard of Firefly. I never watched it when it was airing on TV, which I guess was good, considering they screwed over 3 unaired episodes and aired them not in order, and literally screwed over this wonderful television show.

Then the DVD came out, and although I was interested, had never seen the show before in my life. So one day in my local Circuit City I decided to throw away 40 bucks and check out this new Joss creation. I bought it purely on trust and luck. It was worth it...

It is truly a sat feat that Firefly ended so quickly. For a cast of mostly unknowns, the acting was superb, and they all portrayed their characters to the tee. Each character had their own complex story, personality, and no one was a carbon copy of another character. The ship was beautiful, the special effects were beautiful, the plots were skillfully crafted, the twists fresh and exciting, it was really an exciting adventure to watch every episode.

I am very excited there is talk (and possibly already in the works) of a movie, because hopefully Fox will get it through their heads that this is a quality show, and maybe Universal will give rights back to Fox to make it a show again. That would be a true delight for the die-hards that love and adore the show.

It will not be forgotten.
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The following review contains moments of total jabbering incoherence. You have been warned.
Stuart Ian Burns29 August 2004
Firefly. Where do I begin. There are times, now and then, when something new arrives, be it music, painting, scientific discovery, film or TV which just makes me take a step back (metaphoric or otherwise) and go - 'Ooooh!' Something is so good, so in-tune, that it sucks me in and creates an indefinable something which is impossible to put into words without sounding like either a pretentious idiot or a yabbering nutcase. Without a doubt it is one of the best pieces of television ever created and the heartbreaking thing is no one but a few interested souls have seen it. This should have been as important a step in TV terms as The X-Files, or before that Hill Street Blues. Instead it was cancelled before anyone got a chance to see it.

Over the last couple of days I've tried to describe the series to people. It's a western set in the future with spaceships and horses. They swear all the way through it but in Chinese. One of the main characters is a Shepherd or holy man and another is a Companion or prostitute. It's about a group of interplanetary traders trying to make their way. And there are no aliens. No sound in space. And funny in a Douglas Adams / The Simpsons way and in places better than Star Wars. It sounds ridiculous and the blank faces I've been getting are heartbreaking.

Basically its impossible for me to review it. I feel like I'm too close, unable to express rational thought. I can't see its failings. No its only failing is that it strives to be utterly original in the face of overwhelming banality. At no point does it do anything if it can't be done interestingly. For example, the aforementioned Shepherd somehow has a genius knowledge of weapons and vehicles. Being a Companion is a legal and respectable trade. The comedy relief pilot is married to the amazonian second in command but he can be utterly serious when need be and she can be a laugh riot. And time after time you'll think an episode is about one thing and it'll be turned on its head and it'll actually be about something else even more extra-ordinary. That cack like Andromeda continues and this does explains why the world is still run by the children of morons.

It's not often I will recommend something unconditionally, but here I am. Just buy it. Its 25 pounds at Amazon on DVD, and Tesco have got it in store for 30. It's a bargain. If you like sci-fi - buy it. If you like Buffy or Angel buy it. If you like comedy adventure - buy it. If you simply want to take a chance to see something extra-ordinary - buy it. Think of it as an investment. Even though by the end you'll be a wreck because you won't understand why something so right could only last for so few episodes, and you want to know what happens next, you'll be heartened to know a film is coming next year, which hopefully answer some of the questions. So think of it as an investment, so that when all of your friends are talking about it you can smugly say you were there first. Or if you want to be a real friend invite them along now for the ride.
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10/10
I can't believe it only ran one season
jdonalds-55 October 2016
I've just watched the series for the third time in two years. This show is great. What an eclectic group of characters and an eclectic show. Space travel and cowboys. Wow. It is so fun.

Casting for this series was amazingly on target. The story lines and dialog were great. Cinematography was wonderful.

I don't know how some shows, truly bad ones, continue on for several seasons while great shows like this are cancelled.

The whole premise of the rebels vs the alliance creates a constant tension and fodder for some great episodes. This seems to be a mix of Star Trek, Star Wars, and Mad Max.
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Another Great Joss Whedon Creation!
laurel424 January 2004
This is a wonderful show. The fault lies completely with Fox in showing the episodes out of order and putting it in a really bad timeslot.

The ensemble cast is spectacular with good plots, some silly, some deep.

If you love Joss Whedon one-liners and Sci/Fi, this is not one to miss.
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10/10
Original, Unique and timeless
dubwize30 January 2018
Watching this 16 years after release I still get laughs and delightful amazement at the cinematography in certain scenes. They DO NOT make material like this anymore and FIREFLY will always remain a definitive classic.

Acting and casting is first rate, truly believable characters make this in many ways better than any Star Wars re-hash.

LONG awaiting the resurrection of the Brown Coats against the FOX-CORP galactic alliance.
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A-M-A-Z-I-N-G
Dominic-mifsud29 June 2003
What a great show! A sci-fi crossed with a western, ok a strange concept I know, but it really couldn't work any better. Its well written, well directed and well cast Led by Nathan Fillion as Captain Malcolm Reynolds, an ex-solider turn smuggler. Fillion also pops up in one of Joss Whedon's other creations, BUFFY as the evil Caleb. And Angels evil adversary Jasmine (Gina Torres) also co-stars. There's comedy muscle provided by Adam Baldwin and even Ron Glass as a religious shepherd.

I must confess that when I saw this show advertised I wasn't really very excited, I looked like another stuck on an old spaceship lost in deep space type of show, if it didn't have Joss Whedon name in front of it I'd never have watched it and discovered just how good it is. As it turns out its travelling around a solar system, finding smuggling jobs, hiding from the law and just trying to survive! along with a different story in each episode and one long running story line to connect them all.

Once again Whedon has proved his writing guineas there's Action, intrigue, comedy and Romance combined with excellent special effects and great stories. I'd recommend Firefly to anyone and everyone its one of the best Sci-fi shows to come out in a while.
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10/10
Networks can be very, very stupid!
sauron-1525 September 2006
I admit, that's quite a strong thing to say, but I have an example for you to illustrate what I mean. You see, I'm very fond of science fiction. I'm one of those folk who think that SF tells us a lot about who we are and why we are. On a deeper level SF productions (films, novels, series) tell us something about the time and civilisation we live in, e.g. what can "Aliens" in retrospect tell us about the eighties. Of course, a lot of rubbish has been produced over the last few years, Firefly not being one of those. Who…what…Firefly? Of course, you've probably never heard of Firefly. Well, that's just my point. You see, Firefly is that great series created by Josh Whedon, the man behind Buffy and Angel, the man who perfected the idea of telling stories about vampires whilst actually telling us about family, friendship, well, life actually. By telling stories about the dead, he upheld the living a mirror. Well, this man made a SF series about a crew on board the Firefly-class spaceship Serenity.

Captain Malcom Reynolds is a former galactic war veteran who is the captain of the Firefly class transport ship "Serenity". The other people on the crew list are: ensign Zoe Warren, Zoe's husband pilot Hoban Washburne, muscular former combat soldier Jayne Cobb (Buffy viewers may recognize him for being one of Whedon's favourite vampires), young engineer Kaylee Frye, former Alliance medical officer Simon Tamm, his teenage sister River, priest Shepard Book and companion Inara Serra. They all have their reasons for being on board Serenity, as the spaceship crew travels across the outskirts of outer space looking for food, money and anything to make a living on.

Main concern for the Serenity crew is to keep out of reach of the Alliance, an interplanetary organisation controlling the human inhabited part of space. The Alliance didn't get control until a bloody war was waged on the resistance, the latter consisting mainly of the so called brown coats, captain Malcolm Reynolds being one of them. It was at Serenity that a last stand of the rebels was crushed by the Alliance, leaving the rebels either dead or on the run.

Whedons universe is a melting pot of cultures, non of them being alien. It is a relief to watch a SF series without prosthetics. Indeed, Firefly is best subscribed as a western in space. It is the language that lets us know that we're not in the now; only a few factions have survived the struggles for power, China and America being the most dominant. As a result everybody speaks with a strong southern American accent mixed with Chinese. This Chinese can be pretty handy since it is a great way to avoid sensor ship. Now, "Gao yang jong duh goo yang" (Motherless goats of all motherless goats) is a curse no network will find offensive. Nor is "Ai ya, wo mun wan luh" (We're in big trouble!). However, the often used "gorram" is a good example; it can be used either as "goddamn" or "shit", like in the sentence "This here gorram ship ain't worth a dime", or "You keep talking that gorram in ma face will turn your skin blue!".

What makes Firefly really good though is the cast and characters. They're all very good actors, and the characters are developed very well. To establish this Whedon took his time in setting up the story line. It is because of this that the network got reserved. They wanted an easy action packed funny series where viewers could hook on to right from the first episode. Firefly is just that, but at the same time it brings a quality and originality that is unparalleled, and that may take some time to get used to. And that is what the network got really nervous about. So what did they do? Pull the plug. Just like that. Therefore Firefly didn't even make it one season. It's only 14 episodes, leaving the viewer with tantalizing questions like, why is that little girl River so dangerous, who is this priest, what's with the "hands of blue", how solid is the marriage between Zoe and Hoban? Of course, you don't have a clue as to what I'm talking about here. So please: watch the series and tell people about it. Let them know that networks can be very, very stupid.

PS: please don't copy the Firefly DVD's. Every DVD sold will prove Josh Whedon right!
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Fox are INSANE!
Hoochie-Turner6 February 2006
It's was insanity for Fox to cancel such a well written, produced and directed piece of televisual entertainment. The best Sci-Fi to hit any form of screen since 'that' movie Mr Lucas gave the world in 1977, in many ways it even surpasses 'that' movie - certainly scripting and 3 dimensional characters wise it wipes the floor with it. Oh and the subject of the cast, it was perfect, simply perfect. Bring it back people or we will send you all to the 'Special Hell'.

Thank God the people at Universal decided to take the helm and have now brought Firefly to the big screen in the form the feature film 'Serenity'. Just goes to prove that if something is written and visualised VERY well for the small screen it will work well on the big screen. The movie may paint a slightly darker side to the crew, especially Nathan Fillion as he has a lot less humour in his portrayal of Captain Malcolm Reynolds, but his character is actually better for this added darkness. He still has several funny moments though - "Dear Bhudda, I would like a pony and a plastic rocket!" This man is going to be BIG - wait and see, he is already being hailed as the new 'Han Solo' by some!

What more can I say, If you want original, witty and intelligent Sci-Fi with a hint of the Old West. Get the DVD's watch the series and then watch the flick - you will not be disappointed. Rumour has it that we will be seeing more of Serenity and her crew at a theatre near you soon!
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