Mar 25, 2010

[TV] Firefly Review

If there's one genre of music that I don't like, it's country. If there's one genre of movies and TV shows that I don't, then it has to be Westerns. If there's a connection between my musical dislikes versus my big / small screen dislikes, then I wouldn't be too surprised. But then there are always exceptions to every rule and it takes a unique enough slant to things to make anyone like something they'd typically not like. Go figure.

It's just both amusing and frustrating whenever I find myself admitting I like something that in general I don't. Like how there are actually George Clooney movies out there that I enjoy. Or reality shows that I find myself drawn to. Or campy, diva-ish gay anthems that I actually know the words to. Whatever it is, there will always be something out there that defies my little "rules" and preferences and I just find myself enjoying the ride that I happen to find myself on.

Ah the joys of living in a world filled with near infinite diversity.

Firefly was Joss Whedon's attempt at a science fiction TV show after his successful run with Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. The main twist to this show is the fact that Joss decided to style after the classic Westerns of old. It only ran for a single season.

The series follows the roundabout adventures of the crew of the Serenity, a Firefly-class starship. They tend to operate in the outlying worlds of civilization and thus find themselves engaging in less than legal activity. This isn't a major issue for them since many of them are fugitives in one way or another or just on-board by an odd coincidence of fate.

(From left to right, top to bottom) Adam Baldw...Image via Wikipedia
The crew includes Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) as the captain, Zoe Alleyne Washburne (Gina Torres) as his first officer and longtime friend from the civil war, Wash Washburne (Alan Tudyk) as the ship's skilled pilot and Zoe's husband, the Companion Inara Serra (Morena Baccarin), Jayne Cobb (Adam Baldwin) as their hired goon and all-around muscle, their gifted and resourceful mechanic Kaylee Frye (Jewel Staite), the holy man Shepherd Derrial Book (Ron Glass) and the odd brother and sister fugitives Dr. Simon Tam (Sean Maher) and River Tam (Summer Glau). The diverse nature of their characters all mixed together certainly made for an interesting collection of plot elements must waiting to be explored.

The show was highly creative in its approach and almost a completely new genre of TV show on its own. Naturally the uniquely different don't always do well when presented to the general public and something as rogue as this show was almost doomed to failure when scrutinized by network executives unless the show conquered all of prime time or something. It had a decent run and captured the hearts of a lot of fans but it still wasn't enough to keep the show alive.

Which is a shame since the series had a unique rhythm to its humor and a light, healthy banter to its writing. It had a lot of great stories, which I suppose is to be expected when Joss Whedon is involved and the diverse range of characters were pretty much rich plot threads all on their own just waiting to be further developed and explored. Of course it's too late to wish for that sort of thing and we can only focus on enjoying the rich run they had in the meantime plus the movie Serenity, which acted as a sequel to the show and a way for fans to feel some degree of fulfillment and resolution.

Firefly deserves 4 humorous ways for the crew to turn things around in their favor at the last minute out of a possible 5.

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