Tuesday, April 12, 2011

You Can't Take the Sky From Me...

So, yeah. Firefly.

Like a lot of people, I somehow missed this show until the DVD release. I have a difficult time keeping up with TV as it airs anyway, and FOX screwed up on this one big time. We know this because damn near every geek with a keyboard has blogged about it before me. Episodes shown out of order, bad timeslot, long breaks in the middle of the run. The season of Firefly we did manage to get ran straight down the line of “How to Kill a TV show.” Textbook, even.

Big Damn Heroes.

The show really hooked me in with “The Train Job.” Science Fiction, western, colorful characters whose interactions and secrets can unfold slowly as the greater tale is told. All in all, classic Joss Whedon. There's a moment in that episode where Captain Malcolm Reynolds has subdued and captured Crow, the right hand thug of Adelai Niska and tries to return the money they were paid and negotiate “Let's just leave each other alone”. Crow stands, tells him to keep the money, because no matter how far they run, he'll hunt them down. Normally, this is where a major villain is set up. Mal simply says “Darn,” and kicks him into a nearby engine, and then deals with the next thug in line.

Mmmmm... YoSafBridge...
From right there, I knew I was watching something very different, and that a great crime had been committed by this show not making it. Years after the show's cancellation, one of the more rabid and persistent fanbases in the entire geek community continues to carry a torch. In an interview, Nathan Fillion (who played Mal Reynolds) quipped offhandedly in an interview that if he ever won the lottery, the first thing he'd do is to buy the rights to Firefly and start making it again. Immediately the Browncoats (as fans call themselves) put into motion the campaign to “Help Nathan Buy Firefly,” hoping against hope that the show could return.

The minor characters are likeable, too...
even the rotten ones.

The cold water of reality ended the fan campaign to revive the series, with Nathan Fillion now on Castle, and other stars getting regular work (most notably Christina Hendricks, who played femme fatale Saffron now on Mad Men.) The rights not properly being for sale and Joss Whedon having moved on to other projects really does mean it is over. I'm going to say something controversial here. Firefly being over might be a good thing.

I love the show a lot, but canceled so early in the run, before the show's potential was reached made this show a legend. I'm not saying for sure if we'd had the two, or five seasons of Firefly we all desperately wanted that it for sure would have gotten lame. What I am saying is that the potential show we all hold in our imaginations that didn't have the chance to exist is way better than any show could have lived up to. Don't believe me? Something else a little controversial here... look at Serenity.

Who am I kidding, you're looking at River.

I saw it opening night, and a few more times before it left the theater, and there were some things about the movie that I had a problem with. From the opening, which was awesome from an action standpoint but completely at odds with the character development of Dr. Simon Tam, to the death of a major character offscreen with his mysterious background unresolved, I fear that the weaker parts of Serenity foreshadow grim portents of what might have been. Further evidence is found in some of Joss' other shows. I'm a fan in general of all of them,  but Dollhouse (which partially gets a pass for being forced to wrap things up quickly) to Buffy (which doesn't get the same pass) both had some "issues" in their Final Acts. Joss always tells an incredible story in the middle, and gets around to a mostly satisfying final word, but we go through some weirdness in between.

I'm not happy Firefly is gone, but I can take some small comfort knowing it never got lame. Best Blogger Tips
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DerpFiles said...

I enjoyed it, but so many of the fans piss me off. Young, have only seen Firefly as far as sci fi goes, and think it's THE GREATEST THING EVER. I consider myself a nerd and I like nerdy things but Firefly fans grate on me because I feel like so many of them just don't know shit :l


Bard said...

Interesting point. It's true that there are *so* many shows that start with a roar but in the end just go out with a wimper. While I'm not a fanatic about Firefly, I really liked it and regretted its untimely demise. Now I might regret it just a little less (in a positive way).

A Beer for the Shower said...

I honestly have never seen Firefly or Serenity, even though everyone tells me to. I have nothing against it, either. I just never have seen them. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm very lazy.

Jay said...

indeed, unlike some other series that still continue well after their prime...

G said...

It's my all time favourite sci-fi series...it would have been nice to have a few seasons..but it stands as a great piece of television

Biff Tanner said...

Fly Me To The Moon.

Yeah it was a good one *sigh*

Noock said...

Looks pretty interesting, shame they dont air it in finland. About Serenity, I've had long time intentions to buy it as it seems pretty good movie

Matt said...

I had never heard of Firefly, but since I DVR all my TV and speed through the commercials, I have no room for new experiences. I do have to say, though, not surprised that FOX is screwing up the airing of a show. It sounds pretty interesting, though, so I'll have to see if I can catch a bit of it.

Moob said...

I've had a lot of friends try to get my into firefly but i've just never tried it

The Angry Lurker said...

You are right I suppose, finished before it got lame but I really enjoyed it and go back to it now and again, the movie was trying to condense it into one major hit but it's done and we need to get over it.

Glovey said...

Another great post! keep up the good blogging!

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge nerd, I read comic books, play video games, and love all kinds of scifi & fantasy books, tv shows and movies.

I say this to say, that though I've watched the entire series of Star Trek: Voyager twice, I've seen the entirety of Firefly and Serenity seven or ten times.

Each episode is different, but the characters are also so relatable. I'm not struggling to understand what 7 of 9 is going through, nor does it seem as far fetched as space magicians blowing up man-made moons.

Jayne is gruff, kind of dumb and really self serving, he's the perfect example of what you'd expect a one dimensional character to be. He grows as a human being before our eyes, in Jaynestown he shows guilt for the death of an innocent, though we're led to believe he's been responsible for the deaths of dozens if not hundreds of people. In the Message you really get attached to him as you realize he works to support his mother and she sends him a hat he immediately puts on and talks about.

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