First off, I have to thank Dave for bringing up the series Firefly just enough to make me curious. After he cleverly chummed with tidbits of information, he held off loaning me the DVDs just long enough for my scifi appetite to start raging. It was like shooting fish in a barrel when he handed them over – I was hooked. (I think I may have mixed my metaphors there a bit… but you get the idea.)
This space western is unlike the typical “Stagecoach on Rocket Fuel” – it really is a Western! Yeah, they have revolvers (albeit with laser doo-dads attached,) ride horses and even say “ain’t” in pert near every sentence. And unlike its predecessors, it does a good job of blending the two… the settings and stories actually come out plausible.
This is very much a character driven series as the band of uh, bandits contains strong and distinct character-types but manages to show enough complexity to keep each from becoming cardboard. How can you not love the walking Id of Jayne Cobb (Adam Baldwin) or the often frustrated, but always justified, Captain Malcolm ‘Mal’ Reynolds (Nathan Fillion)? I could go on and on about the cast… Gina Torres, Ron Glass, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher and Summer Glau… this is excellent stuff!
The bad news is that the show was cancelled. It was most likely lost in the haze of 500 channels – I know I barely heard about it before it was over. It still begs the question of what is wrong with television? Why do shows like Firefly get cancelled while shows like American Idol and Extreme Home Makeover do great? Perhaps its because you have to pay attention, you have to read the subtleties in the actors’ faces, you have to follow a plot line that lasts longer than 15 seconds.
The good news is that Dave tells me it is being made into a movie. Sure enough, Serenity (the name of the ship) is listed as being in post-production and is the first of a three-picture deal with Universal. Screw TV – we’ll take our show in the big screen!