╬D Recommendation: Firefly / Serenity

Templar Digital is proud to recommend one of the BEST shows ever to hit the television unfortunately also one of the casualties of the FOX Network: Firefly is this week’s ╬D Recommendation

LOWDOWN:
“FIREFLY”was an American space western television series created by writer and director Joss Whedon, under his Mutant Enemy Productions label. Whedon served as an executive producer, along with Tim Minear.The series is set in the year 2517, after the arrival of humans in a new star system, and follows the adventures of the renegade crew of Serenity, a “Firefly-class” spaceship. The ensemble cast portrays the nine characters who live on Serenity. Whedon pitched the show as “nine people looking into the blackness of space and seeing nine different things”.The show explores the lives of some people who fought on the losing side of a civil war and others who now make a living on the outskirts of society, as part of the pioneer culture that exists on the fringes of their star system. In addition, it is a future where the only two surviving superpowers, the United States and China, fused to form the central federal government, called the Alliance, resulting in the fusion of the two cultures.

REVIEW:

Firefly is like no other television program. Only lasting one year, with episodes randomly thrown on strange nights on FOX, this series boasted a classic combination of science fiction with a western flair. How could it go wrong? A humorous program that had fun, fought bad guys, and harbored extremely dark secrets. Why did it only last one season? Marketing. FOX, as we all can learn from my review of Outfoxed, is not quite the “fair and balanced” type of programming that it promotes, but instead attaches itself to the hottest trend and pushes it nearly to the point of sickness.

Firefly is perfection on a stick. The twang of the guitar, the stone-face stare of Mal, the goofiness of Jayne (is that a girls name?), the questionable past of Shepard Book, the humor of Wash, the power of Zoe, and the innocence of Kaylee is exactly why I fell in love with this show. This is honestly, one of the few series that I could go back from the beginning and watch again, loving every moment of it. Whedon created a masterpiece in my eyes, and a huge opportunity was missed by several major networks to keep this imagination alive.While some will argue that Firefly was full of nothing more than C-rated actors who were “shallow cut-outs, and whose dialogue never rises above the level of a so-so sitcom”, I thought that they brought so much personality and charisma to a smorgasbord of unoriginal programming. I wanted to know the truth behind River and the darkness behind the good Shepard. I continually waited for a snappy comeback from Mal, and was excited whenever he showed humility. Jayne was a big favorite of mine, always questioning authority, yet as loyal as the family dog. The love between Zoe and Wash brought a new layer of honesty to this sci-fi series. It wasn’t just about paying for the ship, flying through unmapped terrain, or stealing, it was about humanity. That sense of humanity could be found in the opening episode for this series aptly titled “Serenity”. In it, the crew takes upon some passengers with some rather unknown cargo. Inside one of those crates is a girl that will change their lives forever. For this series to work successfully, as it did, we needed human characters that bled, felt compassion, and demonstrated connectiveness to each of us. Mal’s ship, Serenity, was a living example of how television could be done creatively and originally.

The characters could only be as strong as the words that were handed to them. Listening to the words that pass through Mal’s mouth, the charm of Wash, or even the inconsistent ramblings of River, you could only wonder where Whedon could have gone with all of them. In each of these characters, Whedon had written secrets. While, sadly, we may never know what they all were, that is what made you itch for more episodes. You not only wanted to see the creative “western” adventures that Whedon was sending his crew, but you also wanted to learn more about these band of renegades. They were good, but possibly darkness reigned inside of them. The character most guilty of this (outside of River) was Shepard Book. I loved this character. Whedon drew him with so much passion and conviction, yet with every episode you learned more about this man than imaginable. He is an excellent example of what this series was like. He represented the smart words of Whedon, the humanity of his character, and the secrets that each of these shared. He was a “priest”, yet he knew more about the Alliance than anyone aboard that ship. If anyone were to ask me to describe the series in two words, I would simply say, “Shepard Book”.
OVERALL:

Another example of the reality tv takeover, and the networks refusing to spend any money to support their own shows. They gave this show no chance, much like the excellent John Doe. Fox deserves to fail completely as a network, and I will laud their fall for choosing to air only reality shows and typical run of the mill fare rather than engrossing, script and acting driven gems like Firefly. Joss Whedon worked so hard, only to have everything thrown in his face.

 

Comparable in flavor to critically-acclaimed Cowboy Bebop. If you’re one of the many people that enjoy a good, character-driven show, with a decent plotline and writing hand-crafted by some of the finest in the business, then this is the show for you.

†††† 
5 templar crosses out of 5 

Must WATCH!!! and worth BUYING!!!

 
TRAILER:

 
TEMPLAR NOTE:
Firefly was one of television’s finest examples of an ensemble of characters driving a story one memorable moment at a time. Each second was packed with the love, loyalty, hilarity, and pain that one would assume is the life of a crew eking out a questionably honest living in space. This was all done in the show-don’t-tell style that is sorely missing from most stories littering the airwaves today.

It’s true that Fox screwed this show more than any other in memory, and it was with Firefly that the network cemented its reputation as a place where great ideas go to die an early death. The world has moved on since 2002, when Malcolm Reynolds and his misfit crew blazed a trail from Persephone to anywhere that paid enough to keep Serenity afloat. The series is astounding in that even the weakest episode has incredible story beats and moments that will live forever in the minds of those fortunate enough to have watched.

Life was cut short for the series, having only 14 episodes produced and the few that did air were shown out of order. It’s not too difficult to pick the greatest episode Firefly ever did, the problem is not picking every episode. You could easily choose “War Stories” for the perfect mix of Wash quips regarding his issues with the relationship between his wife and Mal, and the horror of what it means to be out doing the dirty jobs. The torture scene in this episode could stand as the example of what exactly people mean when they discuss Firefly’s brilliance, especially Zoe’s no hesitation response to Niska. There’s also the fan favorite “Jaynestown” to consider or my personal favorite “Heart of Gold”, but while that one is full of good moments it isn’t a perfect representation of the show, also check out “Ariel”, War Stories, and “Serenity” the pilot episode.

I could honestly go on forever about how much I enjoyed this show. I have never watched a series where I found myself prepared to watch over and over again. Firefly blends a power mixture of comedy, western, and action all together … and the characters bleed. Villains die in this series. How often do you see that? If you have not watched this series, or have not spent the money to support it, DO IT RIGHT NOW!

-Brian Lansangan

follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

Leave a Comment