Firefly was, unfortunately, canceled after only one after one season, for reasons which will be discussed later, since then it has become a cult hit and hailed as one of the best in the sci-fi genre and rightfully so, because it is ruttin' awesome!
The show revolves around the exploits of the crew of a Firefly class spaceship named Serenity. While Captain Malcolm Reynolds is the main character, Firefly is more of a ensemble, revolving around the entire crew of the Serenity and giving each character roughly equal time and development. No one writes and directs characters better than Joss Whedon and Firefly is a shining example of his unmatched skill. Every character is perfectly cast and acted, delivering Whedon's superb dialogue flawlessly. Firefly has one of the best crew/team/group ever assembled, and because of this, the characters require a separate post their own, which I will hopefully post in the near future. It imperative, however, to emphasize that the series has some of the best and most well written ever created.
Another thing important to mention is how hilarious can be. Whedon's is often humorous and witty, making me laugh several times throughout most episode, yet it never felt out of place.
Firefly takes two of my favorite genres, sci-fi and western, and seamlessly blends them together into entirely unique experience. It is somewhat difficult to explain, but makes more sense after watching the series. At first the genre blending can be a bit jarring, after a few episodes however, it flows perfectly into a cohesive universe.
Although the series is amazing as a whole, the series starts a tad slow; it was not until after the first four or five episodes that I really started to love the show and get onboard with the characters. Also, as with everything Joss Whedon makes, the dialogue is pure awesomeness! Firefly's future world uses a lot unique words and slang that brings its universe to life. There is a distinct difference between how the Core worlds and outer rim talk, and the expressions they use. Most of the "swear" and slang words are made-up for the series like "gorram" and "rutting (or ruttin')" and the crew uses a variety of occasional Mandarin (Chinese)(not subtitled).
Now, as to the reason of the series' cancellation. From what I have read, the executives at Fox thought the series was far too expensive to make, so it was aired on Friday, a death sentence for TV shows. What really put the nail on the coffin is that the series was inexplicably aired out of order! When asked the Fox executor kind of avoided the question and never gave a real answer, other than "it would have failed regardless," which is probably bull.
Something else Firefly handled well was the romance. Usually television series get annoying with the romance it is so drawn out in a "will they, won't they" type junk, however never let the romantic tension overpower the story and it believably slow. Also there was already a married couple on the ship, Wash and Zoe, and married couples are rarely in fiction as they should be. They were believable and, it was fun to watch their banter.
The Good: Almost everything, Loveable characters, Fantastic theme song, Unique sci-fi universe, Often hilarious, Memorable quotes, Tons of excellent world building without unnecessary exposition, Great soundtrack, Original genre blending, Gets better as the series progresses, Comforting atmosphere, Perfect chemistry between the crew, Occasionally great action scenes, Joss Whedon made it, Endlessly quotable,
Setting: The series is set roughly 500 years in the future where everyone has left earth to colonize new worlds. Even though the series is set in the future, it is just as much a western as it is science fiction, because the newly colonized worlds often live in rudimentary houses, similar to those who first colonized the wild west in the 18th century. The Core worlds, on the other hand, live in technologically advanced cities.
Acting: 10/10- Every cast gave an excellent performance, there was not a single weak performance in the show, not even by minor characters. I will go into more detail is another a later post about the characters and actors who portrayed them.
Special effects: 8.4/10- Considering that the series is over ten years old, the effects are often better than what is on TV today. Nearly all of the sets were not computer generated and where actually real sets that looked fantastic.
Soundtrack: 10/10- The theme song written by Joss Whedon is positively brilliant, one of my favorite songs ever composed. It perfectly captured what the series is about and made me want to listen to it and not skip in every episode. As for the TV show's score, it too perfectly gives the show the right feeling that it needed. Many of the western themes worked so well, basically a perfect score for the series.
Comedy: 10/10- While not a comedy, Firefly has the some of the best and most perfectly placed humor ever, either for a TV series or film. All of the character's banter is often humorous, in Whedon's typical witty fashion. It is difficult to stress how well executed the humor is, because the writing and character mesh perfectly. There are so many times where I just burst out laughing!
Overall: 10/10- Overall Firefly is deserving of every bit of praise it receives, it is that amazing. While it is not my favorite TV, it certainly cracks the Top 3 and earns it spot among the greatest works of science fiction ever created. If it only had more season, it might have ended up the TV series of all-time. For those old enough, do yourself a favor and watch Firefly, it may start slow, but it is truly a classic that will be remembered for years to come.
Closing comments: Fox can cancel Firefly, but they "can never take the sky from me!"
In the next parts of this Firefly/Serenity review I will go into detail about each episode and character, along with my review of follow-up film Serenity.
Recommended for: Sci-Fi fans, Western fans, People how enjoy entertainment, Anyone old enough, Joss Whedon fans,
My only slight problem with the series is that there was necessary amount of sexual content in some episodes, particularly: "Heart of Gold", "War Stories", and a few of the earlier episodes. Normally I do not take note of this in my reviews, but I felt it necessary to recommend the series for more mature viewers, depending upon one's opinion.
Please check back tomorrow for an update to my Top 100 Movies list and the next lists that are coming to this blog.
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