The language: "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." Chinese influence abounds in design, swear words, food and other cultural clutter. You can find translations for the Chinese words online.
I find the pilot is at it's best after you watch the whole series, the opening battle scenes are tightly woven into things to come.
Inara is an interesting character and I'm convinced (from subtle things to come) that her story is a sad one and she's doing the best she can. I always assume she is faking it as far as the sex goes. One thing I notice in Serenity the pilot is that when her customer asks after her world she is gripping her fingers in tension:
Being a highly trained professional it seems this lapse, though unseen by the doofus she is in bed with, is rather telling.
I think it's a great pilot because it introduces so many elements to what is to come as well as showcasing each character rather well.
My favorite bit is where Simon is holding the agent at gunpoint but utterly freaked and Mal just rides up and shoots the dude
Firefly's grease is all attitude, that's pretty much in every scene. It grows on you.