So guess whose birthday is tomorrow?… Of course it would be this guy! Yep, my birthday is tomorrow and in honor of it I thought I would take it a little easy this Tuesday and review one of my favorite all be it short-lived television shows of all time, Firefly. Yes, once again I let my nerd flag fly high and proud as I will freely admit to my extreme admiration for the 2001 Science Fiction show produced and written by a young Joss Whedon. The fourteen episode long cult classic had the misfortune of falling into the black pit of despair that is the Fox Line Up and has since found quite a cult following from fans that have led to many calling for a revival of the series and the creation of the feature-length movie Serenity.
Firefly is set in the distant future, after the Earth is used up humanity found and new solar system with a new system of planets. The central planets formed an organization called the Alliance and received some of the best technology available while the outer planets were left in destitution. The Alliance attempted to unify all the planets under their rule with several independents trying to remain free with the Alliance overall winning. The story is about the crew of a Firefly class ship Serenity captained by former independent Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion). He and his crew have a very simple philosophy, find work whether legal or not, stay free, and stay flying. The fourteen episode series follows them in there adventures and the crazy mishaps they get into.
The Human Society Separated Primarily into US and Chinese Cultures is an Interesting Take On World Super Powers
I like it that the fact that the United States and China are the two ‘dominant’ (I use that term loosely) forces in the world is not lost on them. The whole world that is created from humanity’s forced migration is a perfect blend of Chinese and American cultures with a few cultures interspersed. It is interesting to see a show that shows these blending of cultures so seamlessly and the idea that in the future our geopolitical guidelines will be a thing of the past in favor of the new solar system order that the show presents. Characters speak a mix of Mandarin and English and the mixing of the two different cultures creates a very interesting setting that is fun to explore again and again.
The Chemistry Between the Actors is Phenomenal
The cast is phenomenal and they work off each other so well. The core cast of the nine crew members of Serenity is like a well oiled acting machine. The way they play off of each other and deliver their lines and their comedy makes the fourteen episodes easy to watch again and again and again.
For a science fiction show like Firefly, it is very hard to set aside the concepts of space battles, epic explosions, and alien species. Thanks to Star Trek and Star Wars shows seem to keep following the same formula with few willing to deviate from that path. Firefly does that and does it very well. They keep the idea of space relatively scientifically accurate with the idea that there is a vacuum in space and because of this sound does not carry, hence no loud explosions. They also have zero alien species and even take the concept of alien life as a carney side-show attraction in one of the episodes.
All things considered, making a science fiction series like Firefly and eliminating all of these aspects is a pretty big risk and all things considered didn’t pay off in the short-term… But in the long-term gave the show a unique identity that sets itself apart from other shows in the genre.
Everyone Who Isn’t Part of Serenity Seems to Exist Just to Be Assholes
I guess I’m the kind of person who likes some balance when it comes to the realm of antagonists and Firefly definitely has a problem with portraying any character that isn’t a member of the crew of Serenity. Through the series, it feels like the characters are swimming in an endless sea of douchebags with no end in sight. The Alliance are the worst who are not portrayed with any sort of redeemable qualities other than complete assholes who impede the crews desires for freedom. The remainder of the characters (with a few exceptions) are typical western style villains. Ride into town and raise hell until the thieves with hearts of gold come in to save the day once again.
I do like how the crew is portrayed as the moral paragons of the world and blurring the lines of legality, but I would have liked to have seen some other similar minded individuals in the world of corruption and sin.
The show really is a classic. It is unique and has an identity to it that is all its own. A mix of western and science fiction in a very seamless, intelligent, and witty style. The cast is phenomenal and their chemistry is really what drives the series into the cult classic status that it has earned. The problems with the show are minor at best and even though it was short-lived, the fact that it is 14 episodes long really adds to the character of the show.
Final Score 4.5/5
Thank you for reading, as always if you enjoyed this review than please like and subscribe for more. Please return Thursday where I will have a new video posted, until then have a Happy Halloween.