Monday, September 8, 2008

TV shows you should own on DVD: Firefly

Firefly is the brilliant TV show by Joss Whedon that never got the chance it deserved. It was cancelled after it aired for only 11 episodes in 2002. They did shoot a total of 14 episodes that you should buy on DVD if you don’t own them already!

In case you’re not familiar with this series, let me briefly give you an idea what it’s about. It’s set in the future, in outer space. The show mixes science fiction with westerns, which sounds a lot stranger than it is. Like many of Whedon’s shows, the strength lies in the great characters and their bond with one another.
There’s some great dialogue, cool stories and the show manages to be both serious and humorous. Unfortunately the entire story of this series never got told, even though a good effort was made in the 2005 movie Serenity.

Only Joss Whedon makes a successful movie out of a cancelled TV series (or a successful TV series out of a crap movie, like he did with Buffy).

A little more about the back story of Firefly: The main character is Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a war veteran of the resistance against the Alliance, an organization that attempted to achieve the unification of all humankind under a single imperial government.

The resistance lost the war, and therefore, a central core of planetary systems have fallen under Alliance control, while settlers and refugees in the farther reaches of space enjoy relative freedom, but lack many of the amenities of a high-tech civilization.

Malcolm now owns a small Firefly-class star ship, after which the TV show was named, making cargo runs and performing various other tasks, both legal and illegal, in order to make a living for both for himself and his crew.

The crew consists of Zoe, a wartime friend of Malcolm and second in command; Wash, Zoe’s husband and pilot of the ship; Inara, a companion (which is basically a high-class hooker); Kaylee, the ship’s mechanic and a really sweet girl;

Jayne, a rather straight-forward and not too intelligent thug; Shepherd Book, a preacher who is not all what he seems to be; and Simon and River (played by Summer Glau), a brother and sister on the run from the Alliance.

The show's plot pits these characters against various criminals and schemers, Alliance security forces, the violently insane Reavers, and the mysterious men with hands of blue.

Even though all these enemies are very creepy, it was especially these so-called Reavers that freaked me out. It is not really explained whether they are human or not, but they are portrayed as wild men who like to hunt, kill, rape and eat people.

Read the entire review here.

I love this show, just like I love almost every single show Whedon has every worked on. Even though enjoyed this first season and the subsequent movie very much, I think it is a shame we never got to see more of these characters.

I would have loved to have seen a few more seasons of Firefly. Go get your own copy and let me know whether or not you agree.

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