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Firefly Complete Series

Stars: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Adam Baldwin; Release Date: October 19, 2004

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Something different, but not for the kids.

  • Dec 16, 2010
  • by

I very much enjoyed this series.  The basic premise is that of a dystopian Western in Space, where a totalitarian government has an iron grip on the most developed planets, and the less developed are left to fend for themselves.  These outer worlds are relatively undeveloped and most of the technology seems like a mix of 19th-20th century, and near future technology.  This is a series where horse-riding cowboys with assault rifles and space ships are found in close proximity.  One eventually gets a sense that the disparity of wealth is what's responsible for this.

On the outer fringes, however, you see the dreaded Reavers, insane former humans who mutilate themselves and feast on human flesh, chasing anything that runs from them.

So, caught between these forces is the crew from the Firefly, captained by a former resistance officer in a previous war against the totalitarian Alliance, and manned with a colorful bunch.  Several of the characters are enigmas slowly being unravelled.

The series of course takes some getting used to.   This is not like other great Sci-Fi series.  It's easy to see a couple of episodes and give up on the whole thing.  Moreover the level of sex and violence in the movie is much higher than it is in other series I typically watch (B5, etc), and the violence is often more brutal.  I would not recommend this for family viewing.

Unfortunately this series was cancelled after its first season, so the viewer is left with a sense that the author was just showing the pieces.  One wonders what would have been shown about River, Book, the "hands of blue" folks or the like.  This is really too bad.

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December 16, 2010
I've tried on multiple occasions to give this series a spin, but as I've found it impossible to debate the merits of strengths and weaknesses (yes, I said weaknesses) of it with the Browncoats, I won't even try any more.
December 16, 2010
Certainly there are some elements to the series that lead to its cancellation. However, it's also really hard to assess weaknesses of a series that was never given a chance. One can always point to the fact that the series was just in the opening phases, introducing the universe, so to speak. Consequently given the state of the series when it was cancelled, I am not even sure such a debate is meaningful. If the series had continued for a few years, I think such a debate would have been much more interesting.
December 16, 2010
Well, see, no, I disagree. I think you can discuss the weaknesses of a series that was never given a chance b/c the series WAS given a chance. It just didn't find an audience. Some shows are ahead of their time (think the original STAR TREK, for example), and they still managed to find an audience ... granted it took time. What I've argued positively to the Browncoats is just that ... give the show time and MAYBE it will find an audience and return in some fashion or another. It's great that it has such a huge cult following, but that doesn't automatically translate to being embraced by mainstream audiences. Whedon's shows have all, largely, been embraced by cult audiences, and I don't think there's ever anything wrong with debating the strengths and weaknesses of any program. That's where I differ with the Browncoats. Once you bring up the simple fact that the show didn't find an audience at the time, they start burying you under flame wars, and, consequently, I think they've turned probably as many folks off to exploring FIREFLY as they've turned on. That's just my two cents.
December 16, 2010
Ok. Let me rephrase then. To the extent that it is possible to comment on the weaknesses of a show in its first season, the comparisons end up being either rather restrained (comparing only to other first seasons) or rather strained (comparing to other series as a whole). It's not that this isn't possible but rather difficult to come up with more than criticisms regarding how you open a show. There are some clear issues here with Firefly-- the fact that this is clearly not family viewing material restricts the audience beyond what is probably sustainable. But beyond this you are left with debating, say, Babylon 5 based solely on the first season, which would clearly give one a misleading sense of the series as a whole.
December 16, 2010
(There are a couple other weaknesses in the show that bothered me but probably only me. The Chinese-language phrases seemed to be not tonal enough and I wonder if native Mandarin speakers would be able to understand them. Blending English and Chinese into the same sentence seems like a generally bad idea. Japanese or Mongolian would have been better choices.)
December 16, 2010
Well, I think I still tend to disagree, and I'll use BABYLON 5 as a baseline, b/c I still do think you can evaluate the art -- but certainly not the message or intent of the artist -- from the outset. With BAB5 -- which I've seriously started trying to watch 3 separate times but can't get past season 2 -- I just didn't feel any compelling reason to continue with these characters. The stories didn't do anything for me. I didn't much care about the folks personally. There were elements of the world created that I found entirely implausible, and there were elements I found neato-keen. When debating BAB5 with anyone, I've always stated the obvious -- that I've never been able to make it thru despite 3 separate attempts b/c I just didn't feel engaged -- as my jumping off point.  Certainly, this isn't an observation predicated on the whole of the work of BAB5, but I think it's a fair interpretation of the art as presented in its episodic nature.

I could make the same statement about FIREFLY.  It's a show I've tried twice to get into, and, while there are certain elements of it that I entirely dig (mostly b/c I'm a Western afficianado) there's larger parts that just seem hollow for me.  I can say that I felt much the same with BUFFY, I gave up on ANGEL after half a first season for the same reason, and I stuck it out with DOLLHOUSE even though I felt the same throughout its entire run.  If I'm not engaged as a viewer, then that's a fair criticism.  That isn't meant to interpret the entirety of the work; it's only a reflection on what I was able to view.

My experience with Browncoats is that, at this point, I'd be labeled a 'hater' or 'ignorant' or 'sub-human' b/c I didn't stick it out.  Why should I stick it out if it did nothing for me personally?  Why would anyone?  Just for the sake of being able to debate it?  That's a straw man argument, and it really gets Whedon and his supporters no where.

But, again, nothing I said is meant as an attack or a slam.  It's only an observation based on my method of interpreting art.
December 16, 2010
"It didn't work for me" seems fine and all (after all anyone who argues with your experience is.... well, I better not say). I am sure there are folks who say the same about Star Wars, Star Trek, or any other show.
December 16, 2010
I'd agree. Unfortunately, my experience with the Browncoats is that it's not an acceptable answer.
December 16, 2010
Well, as you can tell, I don't join fan clubs.
More Firefly - The Complete Series reviews
review by . February 27, 2011
posted in SF Signal
Up until about half a year ago or so, I'd managed to avoid Firefly.  Sure I'd heard lots of fans saying great things about it and I was certainly aware of all of the attention Joss Whedon was attracting (brilliant, down-trodden savior of all that is meaningful on TV), but I had this little problem believing any of it.  I'd been enticed into watching a couple of episodes of Buffy and wrote it and Whedon off as trash.  Funny, sometimes high-concept (over the top) trash, …
Quick Tip by . April 23, 2011
   Here is Firefly from before Star Trek, 1962      LOL
review by . May 21, 2010
I would reccommend this to any fans of science fiction as well as fans of Joss Whedon   Firefly is, in 3 words, cowboys in space. And in one word: awesome.   The characters are by far the best part of this series. They are well developed and incredibly rich. Even Jayne, who you love to hate, is always consistently Jayne. We begin to feel like we intimately know these characters and grow to love them. A wonderful series, well worth your time.        …
Quick Tip by . October 01, 2010
How did they manage to cross sci fi with westerns, and then do all the swearing in Chinese! Great series. Wish it had lasted longer.
review by . May 21, 2010
Firefly Frickin' Rocks the Roots of Steampunk
Firefly is quinessential steampunk. Even better, it's western steampunk combined with spacepunk: the wild west- in space!  Firefly presents an elaborate, brassy atmoshpere, packs a punchy script with dark, quirky humor, and pays its dues to classic westerns- shoot outs in the desert, bar fights and gambling. Plus, it's full of powerful female characters, who include an independent (and zen) sex worker, a drop-dead gorgeous leiutenant who can shoot a rifle while leaping sideways through the …
review by . May 09, 2010
I have not seen most of Firefly.  Most of what I saw didn't attract me.  The Western Sci-fi combo just didn't turn me on.      But one episode I encountered was really good, Objects In Space.  But it occurred entirely on the ship and the Western motif did not enter into it.      River is acting weird and they are wondering if she is a danger to the crew but a bounty hunter gets on board trying to kidnap River but her psychic powers make that …
Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
a great show that was cancelled too soon.
About the reviewer
Chris Travers ()
Ranked #117
   I live in a haunted house Beneath a tall and mighty tree   With my wife Mia and my sons Wilhelm and Conrad   Where I write software and carve runes   It is a … more
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About this movie


Joss Whedon follows up his hugely successful BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER series for Fox with FIREFLY, an action-packed fusion of the science-fiction and western genres. Set five hundred years in the future, FIREFLY depicts a troubled world after a massive universal civil war. The resulting power party, the Alliance, control everyone and everything, except for Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) and the crew of his spaceship, Serenity. As the Alliance continues to wreak havoc on the world, Malcolm does what he can to restore order to his surroundings.
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Release Date: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Premiere Date: September 20, 2002
Genre: Science Fiction
Original Air Date: September 20, 2002 - December 20, 2002
DVD Release Date: December 9, 2003
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"Objects in Space"
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