Well I think most nerdy people are aware of Firefly. If they haven’t seen it, they’ve at least heard about it. I never watched Firefly till my sophomore year of college. It was one of those things I just never really got around to. In fact I watched the movie Serenity before I watched Firefly. Celebrating the end of fall semester a group got together, ate Chinese takeout, and watched Serenity. That got me to finally watch it over winter break that year.
Firefly is really a great show. I mean the idea alone is solid. I always want to compare it to Star Wars. There are many reasons why that comparison doesn’t work, but in my mind it Firefly could be happening at the same time. That and I feel like people who enjoy Star Wars will probably like Firefly.
Anyways, Firefly is basically a western in space. Sort of. Set in the future we leave Earth and terraform (fancy term) planets and settle on them. Some nasty political power play stuff happens in the back story as well and we finally end up where the show is. A small crew onboard a space ship. They take up random jobs, usually smuggling and not quite so legal. The show just follows them. Simple enough.
Joss Whedon, again a name for nerds, does a good job with adding depth to the show. You can watch the show for the action bits and whatnot or you can actually look into the deeper meaning behind what goes on in the show, because it’s there. Especially the last episode. There isn’t necessarily one overarching storyline and there’s a mix between how much the episodes flow together. By that I mean there are episodes that pretty much standalone. You don’t miss a lot by watching some out-of-order. Others however do have a continuing story line and overall there’s larger development. It’s actually a good mix. It means you aren’t waiting every week for some conflict to be resolved, while at the same time it’s not like everything is disconnected and isolated.
And now it’s about time I got to the cast. The initial “official crew” consists of Mal (Nathan Fillion), Zoe (Gina Torres), Wash (Alan Tudyk), Kaylee (Jewel Staite), and Jayne (Adam Baldwin). In the first episode Shepherd (Ron Glass), Simon (Sean Maher), and River (Summer Glau) all join up and Inara (Morena Baccrin) shows up early on as well. On the whole the whole cast is great. They all do wonderfully with their characters and it is hard to see someone else replacing anyone of them. Still, some are better than others.
Nathan Fillion does a good job. He handles the various sides of Mal pretty well. Gina Torres is also pretty good. Morena Baccrin handles Inara pretty well, though I feel like she got the short end of the stick on character development compared to others.
Alan Tudyk is great however. I’m a fan of his work outside of Firefly. He’s a really good comedic actor and isn’t half bad in the few serious roles/moments I’ve seen him in. Summer Glau is great as well. These two are probably my favorite in the show. Unfortunately I’m always disappointed by the lack that Summer always seems to get screwed over with roles. It’s usually about the time her character is getting deep into the development that the show gets cut or whatever. It’s a shame because she is a really good actress and River was an unfortunate role in my opinion. The show being cut off in season one sort of prevented us from seeing more of River, which was where the show started going. And for the complaints against her range: take another look at Firefly alone. River’s pretty complex in emotions. That and Summer’s other role similarly have good depth.
Adam Baldwin was always good and it was nice when Whedon threw in some things that made his character less of a minor character. He get’s his moments and they’re nice. Ron Glass is another one who kinda gets put tot he side at time, but does a great job when given some time. His character is another one like River, who has a back story slowly unraveling, but it gets cut short due to the shows end. That and there are a couple fo episodes where he is pretty nonexistent.
I guess now where at my two least favorite characters. Kaylee and Simon. It’s not that they’re bad, but compared to the rest I never cared that much about them. Simon just gets shit on so much that I feel like it’s hard to like him at all. And Kaylee just get’s annoying. Her and Simon’s relationship bugged me. It was pretty weak and repetitive and did nothing to change my impression of either character. I do like the pairing though. I just wish it had been fleshed out a bit more.
Which is kinda the shows biggest problem. There’s maybe a bit too much to it. I feel like there are times where stuff just gets lost in the mix or cut out so it could air on tv. To me I can see why some people wouldn’t stick with the show. I’ve always felt that it’s slow developing, even though if you look at the first and only season, a lot of shit happens. It’s just not all done in two episodes and if you’re not hooked than you miss out on a lot. That and I don’t see sci-fi or fantasy shows on tv much. At least not on the network channels. Firefly is a show that might have done better on a cable channel like AMC now that things are getting mixed up a bit more with cable channels getting looked at differently.
Firefly has its flaws, but for a show with one season of 14 episodes it’s pretty damned good. Defiantly something any nerdy person needs to watch and more so if you’re into sci-fi. Even if you aren’t I think it is capable of a broad appeal if you don’t shrug it off after one or two episodes. You always need to watch like three episodes of a show to adequately judge whether to stick with it or not.