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Why I loved FIREFLY (the series)

I recently got the entire series Firefly on DVDs. I had never seen any of it before. I watched it all within about 10 days; sad to say, it's only 4 discs, 14 episodes. All I can say is, wow! Well, that, and can we find the Fox executive who killed the show and get him/her fired?

The writing on all the episodes was excellent, and I liked the way the characters were building. But in addition, it had some things I really like but don't see often enough in TV science fiction:

1) Chinese language and cultural influences: Twenty percent of the earth's population is ethnically Chinese! That's got to have an impact on the future.

2) A woman soldier who looks and acts the part: Zoe really kicks ass in a convincing way, while staying very feminine. Hollywood sometimes insists on casting supermodel types as "warriors," and they never carry it off well. Zoe does not look like a Playboy bunny in khaki, but she's definitely female.

3) Accents: I hate when everyone in the future sounds the same! The frontier types sound different from the Core well-to-do folks.

4) The main characters all have facets. Kaylee is sweet but too timid some of the time. Jayne is overtly mercenary but not actively evil. He's a big on guns, but not afraid to wear the silly knit hat his mother sent him. Mal isn't too macho to run away from a fight, but he can also be selfless. Zoe is a soldier but she loves a guy who's not much use in a fight. And so on.

Now I have to get Serenity, the movie, on DVD and watch it, cursing Fox's name all the while!



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Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
bogwitch64
Jan. 31st, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC)
Firefly will go down in the history of TV as a "WTF were the exec's thinking???"

I have the episodes on DVD too, and Serenity. They're up next after I finish watching my Northern Exposure DVDs.
karen_w_newton
Feb. 1st, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)
That was another fun show, full of quirky characters and great dialog.
paulwoodlin
Feb. 1st, 2011 12:05 am (UTC)
I watched the "Firefly" DVDs four times, and my favorite episodes a couple times extra. I enjoy the little digs at "Star Trek," even being a fan of "Trek" myself.

When you consider that the worst (or should I say "least good") seasons of any Joss Whedon production tends to be the first, I can only imagine how could "Firefly" was going to become once it found it's feet.

Personally, what I think happened was that the SF fans want their Big Stories about the rise and fall of empires (be they Federation vs. Klingons or Rebels vs. Imperials) and the personal stories of a small group of smugglers just wasn't flying for them.

I agree about Zoe. I think in all of SF and Action Films only Linda Hamiliton in "Terminator II" did a better job of convincing me that she could kick my ass. And maybe a couple of the stunt women who worked on "Buffy" but we never see their faces because the fight scene between Buffy and Faith was so fast that their hair gets in the way.
birdhousefrog
Feb. 1st, 2011 12:10 am (UTC)
I had issues with the early episodes where the cast was feeling out their roles. But about episode #4, it just got good and stayed that way. "Serenity" may make you sad and angry. Did that to me.

Oh, and Summer Glau? I don't buy her as the ultimate weapon. Nope. Not one whit. She's that supermodel type. I did buy Zoe's character, but not hers.
karen_w_newton
Feb. 1st, 2011 12:18 am (UTC)
Summer is the ultimate weapon? No spoilers! No spoilers!
birdhousefrog
Feb. 1st, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
Not a spoiler...they were going that way in the series, making out that she was physically dangerous at times. Insane, yes, but physically dangerous? The Bounty Hunter episode was awesome, though "Our Mrs. [Whatshisname]" is perhaps my favorite episode.
karen_w_newton
Feb. 1st, 2011 12:43 am (UTC)
The bounty hunter episode was really original. And I liked The Message. I thought some of the episode names were pretty clever.
out_totheblack
Feb. 1st, 2011 03:48 am (UTC)
I think the biggest problem is the episodes were not shown in sequence. "Train Job," the second show was shown first. I was completely lost, but decided to stick it out. Much later, I saw the "first" episode. Fox shot themselves in the foot. The actual last episode never aired.
karen_w_newton
Feb. 1st, 2011 04:43 am (UTC)
I had heard that. It flowed fine on the DVDs.
ellyfanfic
Feb. 1st, 2011 12:44 am (UTC)
My daughter got this for Christmas and I watched it with her. I liked it a lot, though not as rabidly as she did. Serenity... eh, it was good, but some of the characterization was off, IMHO. I liked the series better and wish there had been more of it.

I also fell madly in love with Nathan Fillion, and am now most of the way through "Castle." Funny how one thing leads to another!
karen_w_newton
Feb. 1st, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)
Yeah, the only consolation to the series being cancelled was at least Nathan Fillion got another series. The one thing they have in common is humor, I think.
jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
Welcome to the Browncoats :)
karen_w_newton
Feb. 1st, 2011 02:31 am (UTC)
Thanks! Private Newton reporting for duty!
out_totheblack
Feb. 1st, 2011 03:58 am (UTC)
LOL, I've became a registered browncoat when everyone was gearing up for Serenity.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 1st, 2011 02:35 am (UTC)
Yup, pretty much what John said.

once you join the Browncoats, there's no going back. and you'll start recognizing all those Serenity t-shirts the dudes at the quickie mart wear.
karen_w_newton
Feb. 1st, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
Yeah, and I finally know why out_totheblack chose that user name!

Edited at 2011-02-01 02:40 am (UTC)
out_totheblack
Feb. 1st, 2011 03:59 am (UTC)
Take me out, to the black.
Tell them I'm not coming back.

It's the best show EVER!! There is a special hell for Fox executives.
karen_w_newton
Feb. 1st, 2011 04:24 am (UTC)
>There is a special hell for Fox executives.

Yeah, they can keep the Fox "news" folks company.
peadarog
Feb. 1st, 2011 11:48 am (UTC)
I loved the series too...

As for Zoe, she's absolutely gorgeous. I'd have been more impressed if they'd cast an ugly person in the role, but that's always my problem with TV and shouldn't be taken out on a brilliant program.
karen_w_newton
Feb. 1st, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC)
I don't mind that she's attractive, so long as she can carry off the role, which she does. Consider the old STAR TREK episode where Kirk and Spoke were on a planet where humans were forced into fighting to the death for the amusement of higher beings. The "woman warrior" in that looked like she was more afraid of breaking a nail than anything else.
peadarog
Feb. 1st, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
Hey, breaking a nail can hurt!
shoebrera
Feb. 2nd, 2011 04:11 am (UTC)
For a long time after the show was canceled they had conventions and picketing. To this day (probably) there's a website for the fanatics among us. No, I'm not a member. But close.

I loved Firefly from the first moment I saw it. When it aired. (No cracks on how long ago, please.) When I learned Josh had wanted to air Serenity first and then the shows, Fox turned him down, I didn't get why. But cowboys on horseback meeting guests from their spaceship? Old time trains mixed with one class of ship or another? Being able to comment (or swear) in two languages so they can actually SAY it on TV? What's not to love! And let's face it; it would probably be Chinese. Josh Whedan is a master.

Funny this post came up. I was thinking about how great it would be if they recast it and put it on the air today. Of course, they'd have to woo Josh, but wouldn't it be wonderful!? Ah, well, I can dream.

Zoe was everything you said. And Mal (Malcom Reynolds) was a tough job for that actor because he was nothing like the tormented character he portrayed. Did you like the one about the heist of the Lassiter? Hi-larry-yus. The doc was so... naive. It was just an amazing group of characters. Even Shepard Book had a few surprises for us, as evidenced when he needed medical care to live. I've wondered about what was on his "ident" for years.

Well, at least we have the DVDs, worth every penny. It's delightful to know a whole new generation is appreciating the quirks and specialness of that series.
rowanda380
Feb. 2nd, 2011 10:09 pm (UTC)
random commenter
oh man, when you watch the movie, and then you see where they were going with the show, it will make you cry you will be so mad that it didn't get to go on, it is all soooo good!ra
karen_w_newton
Feb. 2nd, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
Re: random commenter
Don't tell me that! I ordered the movie and can't wait to watch it!
rowanda380
Feb. 3rd, 2011 05:00 pm (UTC)
Re: random commenter
I think you will love it, personally I think it is even better than the show, which I loooove.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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