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Old October 9 2012, 04:54 PM   #1
KalEl
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Firefly/Serenity

So, I just recently finished up Firefly and Serenity for the first time, my first thought is wow!

I'm sure most of you have seen this already, so this is an old discussion, but I want to talk about it anyway. I'll start by saying this; I remember this show being on in the early 00s, but I never payed it any attention. I was too busy watching Enterprise and Smallville and a hand full of other shows. At the time, I was weary of new scifi due to a few factors; one: the over saturation of Star Trek, two: Fox executives canceling really good shows, three: The X-Files last couple of seasons. I purposely avoided Firefly because I just simply wasn't willing to give it a chance. I completely regret that decision now. The same thing happened with nuBSG, I didn't watch BSG until the last half of the third season. Now, I wish I had given those shows a chance, I imagine there may have been more people out there like me at that time and possibly if those people would have tuned in, we could have gotten a good run of the show. I would totally trade the first thee and a half seasons of Enterprise and the last three or four seasons of Smallville to give Firefly a complete 7 seasons. This show deserved it.

My overall review of Firefly is this:

Firefly combined my two favorite genres, westerns and scifi/ space operas. The cast was amazing and from the get go, it really felt like these people really had a real history either together or separately. This is what Enterprise should have had. The mix of comedy and drama was spot on and really ahead of its time because now the shows on tv are all like that pretty much. The story was fantastic and very human. Watching the last couple of episodes as well as Serenity really brought up real emotion in me and I teared up a little when it was over. How does one season of a show do that? I didn't tear up when Clark finally wore the Superman suit for 30 seconds and I invested ten years of my life to that 30 seconds. I dead get emotional when Trip died, but that was anger and TATV, well, lets not even go there. The only other show that really hit me hard like this was BSG, when Adama is talking to Roselyn as she dies on Earth 2. This show was very real to me and even a week later, I'm still trying to take it all in.

I'm sure there's a reason for this, but the way it was filmed, especially the space scenes and ships as well as the realistic look of the show reminded me very much of BSG, very cool. The story line with River was extremely cool. I'm glad they gave us some closure on that. I would have liked to have known what was the deal with Shepard Book. The one and only complaint is in Serenity they killed off Wash. I also think the pilot could have moved along a little faster, other than that, this show was fantastic. I hope that now that Avengers has made a pile of money, hopefully we will see a sequel to Serenity, but from what I can tell, this is unlikely. Maybe Joss Whedon will get sick of being asked about it and finally just do it.

One more thing I want to add is I think the reason this show didn't last is because of reasons I mentioned before plus the unbelievably brain dead execs at Fox who have cancelled so many great shows numerous times and yet allow The Cleveland Show to still exist is probably this biggest factor of why this show wasn't even allowed a second season just to see if it had legs. Most shows need at least two or three seasons to gain popularity and I think they need people who can truly recognize good writing and good actors when it's in their face. Unfortunately, TV have been so so diminished in the past ten years that a show like Firefly probably wouldn't even air today.

Well, I just wanted to share my thoughts on this series since it now holds a really special place in my heart.

Thoughts?
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Old October 9 2012, 08:16 PM   #2
Set Harth
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Re: Firefly/Serenity

KalEl wrote:
Maybe Joss Whedon will get sick of being asked about it and finally just do it.
Maybe one day Whedon will have so much clout from his success with the Avengers franchise that he'll have the power to just make it happen.
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Old October 10 2012, 02:42 AM   #3
KalEl
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Re: Firefly/Serenity

Set Harth wrote: View Post
KalEl wrote:
Maybe Joss Whedon will get sick of being asked about it and finally just do it.
Maybe one day Whedon will have so much clout from his success with the Avengers franchise that he'll have the power to just make it happen.
That too, but that depends on if he wants to do it.
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Old October 10 2012, 03:00 AM   #4
Guy Gardener
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Re: Firefly/Serenity

Does he have any input into guardians of the galaxy? I mean if they could slip a firefly class ship into the Pilot of battlestar galactica why not fuck with us some more?
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Old October 10 2012, 03:20 AM   #5
Turtletrekker
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Re: Firefly/Serenity

Joss has input into all of the Phase 2 movies. It was part of the big deal he signed with Marvel Studios.
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Old October 10 2012, 04:34 AM   #6
FPAlpha
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Re: Firefly/Serenity

KalEl wrote: View Post
So, I just recently finished up Firefly and Serenity for the first time, my first thought is wow!
Welcome to 10 years ago!

Damn.. it's been 10 years now that one of the best shows ever aired and was cut down mercilessly

I remember sitting down to see the "pilot" (which was actually the 2nd episode in the chronological and originally intended order but Fox execs thought the pilot was too slow and lacked action so they had to scramble and come up with the more action oriented 2nd episode) and being all giddy to see Joss' new show (back then i had no clue who most of the actors were.. i barely recognized Ron Glass /Shepherd Book from earlier roles but i had seen Adam Baldwin previously).

It was cool as hell and funny up until the point where Mal has a change of heart, returns the stolen goods and then talks to the big goon, giving a Star Trek style morality speech and the goon responding in the typical cliche hard guy manner. I groaned because it was so bad.. and then it happened.

Mal kicked the guy into Serenity's engine and killed him! I nearly fell out of my chair.. totally surprised and speechless!

Right at this moment i knew i was watching greatness come to life and probably the best show Joss has ever started. Had i seen the original pilot i would have expected such an action.. Mal didn't have any problem killing a bad guy or protecting his crew by killing an armed man but since the true pilot hadn't aired i didn't know about this character trait.

Back then i came off Enterprise and Voyager and was a little bit sick of Star Trek with its shiny, clean stories and morality.. it just didn't feel real anymore and didn't engage and connect me to the show anymore.

Firefly was truly a fresh breath and i watched it religiously and spread the word.. i can claim to have gotten at least a dozen people to buy the DVD sets and none of them has ever regretted it.

I'm a huge Castle fan (any Nathan Fillion fan should check it out.. it's also a brilliant and funny show) but Nathan Fillion has repeatedly stated that Firefly holds a special place with him and is his favorite show he ever starred in (causing a bit of ruckuss over on the Castle board i frequent ) and i can't fault him.
All the outtakes, interviews, backstage films and such point to an amazing working environment that really welded the cast together and made them a family and that's rare in showbusiness.

There doesn't go by any month where i don't pull out the occasional episode and go back in time to relive one of the best shows ever.
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Old October 10 2012, 04:46 AM   #7
Kegg
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Re: Firefly/Serenity

KalEl wrote: View Post
One more thing I want to add is I think the reason this show didn't last is because of reasons I mentioned before plus the unbelievably brain dead execs at Fox who have cancelled so many great shows numerous times and yet allow The Cleveland Show to still exist is probably this biggest factor of why this show wasn't even allowed a second season just to see if it had legs.
Pretty sure Fox doesn't have the same executives anymore, and also Cleveland Show has got to be substantially cheaper to make.

But yeah Firefly is a good series, and while I did catch its premiere, I didn't stick with it back when it was on its first run (frankly didn't care for it). Revised my opinion since then, it's definitely one of tbe best space opera shows of the past couple of decades, however abrupt its lifespan.
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Old October 10 2012, 07:55 AM   #8
Gaith
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Re: Firefly/Serenity

KalEl wrote: View Post
The mix of comedy and drama was spot on and really ahead of its time because now the shows on tv are all like that pretty much.
Er... no. The West Wing, to take but one example, expertly melded comedy and drama starting in '99. But by Enterprise's/late-Smallville's (extremely low) standards, sure, it had some good dialogue.



KalEl wrote: View Post
Maybe Joss Whedon will get sick of being asked about it and finally just do it.
You're probably half-joking, but I find this attitude kinda creepy. It's Whedon's creation, and he doesn't owe anybody any more of it.



KalEl wrote: View Post
Unfortunately, TV have been so so diminished in the past ten years that a show like Firefly probably wouldn't even air today.
Actually, most critics think that TV has never offered more quality offerings.

Firefly hits a very specific stylistic sweet spot for a pretty small number of people (see Serenity's mediocre performance), and it's great that people enjoy it. But there are shows out there with much better writing, acting, and deeper maturity; those shows just don't tend to involve spaceships. At its core, Firefly, like Enterprise and Smallville, was a fluffy popcorn program, with a budget that was almost certainly never sustainable to begin with.
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Old October 10 2012, 08:08 AM   #9
teacake
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Re: Firefly/Serenity

If Firefly could get cancelled nothing is safe.

Sadly, that's the lesson I learned.
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Old October 10 2012, 08:24 AM   #10
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Re: Firefly/Serenity

Yeah, I liked it too. It's interesting how some series with low numbers are given more of a chance to make it (like a full season) and others are not. At the end of the day it's all marketing. If the right demos in the right numbers don't show up then there's no point to have the series on the network. It would have been nice if they could have made the move to cable. Too bad. Serenity did tie things up nicely, though.
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Old October 10 2012, 09:16 AM   #11
marksound
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Re: Firefly/Serenity

Firefly hits a very specific stylistic sweet spot for a pretty small number of people (see Serenity's mediocre performance), and it's great that people enjoy it. But there are shows out there with much better writing, acting, and deeper maturity; those shows just don't tend to involve spaceships. At its core, Firefly, like Enterprise and Smallville, was a fluffy popcorn program, with a budget that was almost certainly never sustainable to begin with.
I think Firefly had some of the best writing I've ever seen on tv. Not in a Shakespearean way, but smart. Clever. Funny in the right places.

Wash: That sounds like something out of science-fiction.
Zoë: We live in a spaceship, dear.

http://youtu.be/ch3X5WrhwGM
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Old October 10 2012, 01:24 PM   #12
lvsxy808
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Re: Firefly/Serenity

Fly-by with a tangent, just cause...

Carcazoid wrote: View Post

Wash: That sounds like something out of science-fiction.
Zoë: We live in a spaceship, dear.
That's not a funny line, to me. Or at least, not from Wash's point of view. He's perfectly correct to make the distinction - a spaceship is not science fiction to him. It's science fact. They live in it every day, it's a basic accepted part of their world. There's nothing fantastical about it, it's standard engineering, nuts and bolts that he can go and look at and play with and drive around.

Psychic teenage girls are not a basic part of their world, it's not anything that has a logical A-to-B comprehensibility, hence him seeing it as science fiction. I feel like people make fun of Wash for being stupid over that line, when it's actually perfectly sensible.

And that's how you get way too serious about what was supposed to be a comic line.

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Old October 10 2012, 01:31 PM   #13
Kegg
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Re: Firefly/Serenity

Gaith wrote: View Post
KalEl wrote: View Post
The mix of comedy and drama was spot on and really ahead of its time because now the shows on tv are all like that pretty much.
Er... no. The West Wing, to take but one example, expertly melded comedy and drama starting in '99.
More relevantly, drama-comedy had already been established as Whedon's shtick in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. In that sense Firefly was more of the same Whedon snark wrapped up in a space opera western format.

Firefly hits a very specific stylistic sweet spot for a pretty small number of people (see Serenity's mediocre performance),
There are very few space opera titles which have achieved really broad mainstream appeal in the nicely tangible sense of ratings and box office smashes. The Star Wars trilogy and Star Trek: The Next Generation would be two examples. Take any other space opera show popular in this subforum and you'll find a series plagued by low ratings and threats of cancellation (carried out in Farscape's case, barely avoided in Babylon 5's, Battlestar Galactica was always very underwatched, etc).

In other words Firefly really isn't very peculiar here.
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Old October 10 2012, 03:36 PM   #14
Sindatur
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Re: Firefly/Serenity

It was certainly his already established style to do drama with snarky comedy, but, he didn't invent it. M*A*S*H* was a Snarky sitcom with lots of Drama, and Blake's 7 (British 1970s SciFi show, that could be said to be an inspiration for Farscape or even Andromeda) was doing Whedonesque Snark long before Whedon even thought about, and that's just two examples off the top of my head, I'm sure there are many examples that could be pointed out.

I missed Firefly in it's initial run, I hadn't even heard of it, until it was almost completely aired. I did catch it later, and do own the box set and Serenity. I enjoy it quite a bit, and think it's a shame it was cut short, because it could've been something really special. I don't think there is enough of it to be referred to "The Best Evah" as some believe, but, it's certainly worth seeing and rewatching, especially since Serenity did tie it up nicely
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Old October 10 2012, 03:42 PM   #15
Kegg
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Re: Firefly/Serenity

Sindatur wrote: View Post
It was certainly his already established style to do drama with snarky comedy, but, he didn't invent it.
Well no, but my point is the kind of joke/drama blend that Whedon used in Firefly marked it as a Joss Whedon Production. So its approach was basically an expectation people had for the series going in (in the internet bubble where Buffy was really popular this show believe it or not had a lot of pre-release hype).
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