"Firefly" - when does it get good?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Gaith, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So I saw Serenity a few years back in my college theater, and found it decent, though I had a hard time relating to the characters.

    Now I'm finally giving Firefly a try. After a rough first half-hour (I was starting to contemplate giving up), the pilot suddenly got good, what with the appearance of River and the shoot-out. I was stoked.

    Now I'm four episodes in (just finished Shindig), and my patience is being sorely tested. After three (apparently) self-contained episodes, we haven't learned a single thing about anyone we didn't get from the pilot. Oh, wait - River can speak a mean Irish accent. Er, right. Even the early Enterprise episodes gave us more development than that.

    There's also been basically zero movement on the River plot. Lots of people thought HBO's Carnivàle moved too slowly, and there are certain stylistic parallels between it and Firefly, but even Carnivàle's slowest and worst episodes gave us some movement, either from the Brother Justin storyline, the Carnivàle/Ben storyline, or both. I don't think you can skip a single one and not notice something missing.

    So, my question is... when, if ever, do Firefly's episodes start mattering to their immediate successors? Because this whole train robbery/Alliance capture/duel stuff just feels like filler.
     
  2. Michael Chris

    Michael Chris Admiral Admiral

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    There's not too much arc focus during the few episodes that there were.
     
  3. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    Yea, Joss was hoping for a long run with the series. Revealing everything in the first half of the first season would not have been a great idea.

    I am guessing you don't like Lost either, considering that show has taken 4 years to explain most things. And there is still alot it hasn't!:)
     
  4. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Most of what people like about Firefly is the character focus, not the story per se. There's some of that, certainly, and what there is certainly entertains; but it never really had time to go anywhere story-wise.

    It did push the characters hard, though. You may not notice it now, but on second viewing you'll be surprised at just how much depth some of the early episodes have in that regard.

    There's a sentiment I've heard quite a bit regarding the show: That we'd watch these people eating dinner for a hour, because they're just that fun to hang out with.

    The next big push on the River story is in "Ariel".
     
  5. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, as I said, the characters are part of the problem. Given the show's setting, I just don't believe that Kaylee can be quite so perky, that Jayne can be quite so dumb, and I don't buy the attraction between the married couple (whose names the show hasn't bothered letting me remember), either. I thought the Enterprise senior staff was Trek's weakest, but they were still credible, and they started off with the potential to become layered and interesting. Here, it seems as though at least half the crew is stuck in simplistic caricatures.

    I like Mal, I think Book has potential, and I like the brother guy for protecting his sister. His interactions with Mal were the best thing about the pilot.

    But now that I've seen how the crew gets together, I'm considering fast-forwarding to the movie Serenity. Are there any other episodes (such as "Ariel", maybe) that I definitely should see before seeing the movie? I remember Book not living on board the ship during the movie's plot, but I'm assuming the show doesn't show him leaving. And I'm not much inclined to wait for the movie to see River bust out the kung fu.
     
  6. BigFoot

    BigFoot Admiral Admiral

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    Well, I think you should watch all the eps. But if you won't, you definitely need to watch Out of Gas, Ariel, War Stories, and Message in Space. Jaynestown and The Message are also awesome eps.
     
  7. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    You're really not patient enough to sit through 9 more episodes?
     
  8. Peter the Younger

    Peter the Younger Commodore Commodore

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    Well I recall not being really hooked until about the sixth episode, but then I loved the character interaction. Ariel and War Stories are particularly awesome.

    Uh, you may not actually like this show.
     
  9. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Eating with Jayne?

    Explaining the lost finger in later years as being the result of an argument with a red neck regarding the last garlic potato seems like the ultimate paradigm of a tea cup in a storm.
     
  10. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, I was hooked on the show from the opening scene (the true opening scene; I caught the show on DVD), so I don't really know what to tell you. I think every episode is worth watching.
     
  11. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    This is very possible.

    One thing I've noticed from Firefly naysayers is that they tend to be looking for something else. They go in with certain expectations (not about the quality of the show, but about the material). This is not "The River Show." This is a show about an ensemble cast and how they get by.

    Yes, Kaylee is perky, but she has her sad moments too.

    Jayne is certainly the dumb muscle of the crew, but you'll see him struggle things like loyalty.

    Sadly, the show never had the chance to explore as much as it could have. That said, as a huge fan of the show, even I didn't love it the first time around. There is a lot of subtlety that you don't pick up until the second viewing.
     
  12. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's not a question of patience. It's a question of having universes of riches lined up in my viewing queue, and not wanting to slog through nine more episodes of a kind with the last three in order to get back to a movie I didn't even love upon first viewing. ;)

    Thanks for the recs. Without spoiling anything, what makes these four eps necessary? New characters, significant character milestones, backstory that sets up the movie? Thanks in advance! :)

    Very possible. The fact that the story doesn't seem to be going anywhere troubles me. For all its faults, Voyager had a clear, fundamental purpose, and so did Enterprise, though to a lesser extent. I gave Smallville a try because we were promised a journey to Supermanhood, and Carnivàle set up a confrontation in its first episode that it built steadily towards with each passing ep. Firefly, on the other hand, has no discernible purpose. There's no vague mission of exploration and peace as in Trek; heck, dreams on the crew's part of making enough dough to retire in comfort would be an improvement over just treading water, if that's indeed the case.

    I dimly remember the evolutionary-plague Macguffin of Serenity, which seemed interesting enough. Does that get set up at all in the series?
     
  13. Hyperspace05

    Hyperspace05 Commodore Commodore

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    "Airel" and "Janyetown" (sp)? was when the show clicked for me, and I went from "meh it is decent" to "why oh why was it cancelled"...

    But the show (the little that there was of it) was more character based than plot based. If you don't like the characters, yeah the show would not have much appeal. :)

    No show fits everyones tastes. And Firefly has almost become its own worst enemy due to the rampant fanbase.
     
  14. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Yeah, there really isn't any fundamental purpose of the show. The characters aren't really striving towards a goal. It's basically a show about a dysfunctional family flying around in space trying to survive in a universe that doesn't really want them around.

    Whether it would have eventually had a more focused story arc is impossible to say at this point. I just know that I loved the characters and their relationships, and they were enough to keep me interested.
     
  15. mswood

    mswood Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually the poster was talking about character, not plot. On Lost even from their 2nd episode each story focuses on some character and the changes with that character. Now the plot, is a different story, but that isn't the problem the poster is complaining about.
     
  16. broberfett

    broberfett Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My girlfriend is friends with all these Firefly fanatics that call themselves Browncoats. I tried watching the show, starting with "The Train Job", which is the first one they showed. I watched other episodes, but never really got into the show. Serenity didn't really get me fired up over the whole thing. I just don't like the show. I'd ask the Browncoats when it starts to get good, but I would probably get stoned to death(not in the good way).
     
  17. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Some people like it and some people don't. Is it really worth a whole thread about how boring some people find it?
     
  18. Tulin

    Tulin Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually it's been worth several over the years.
     
  19. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    Talk sense woman, this is the internet anything and everything is worth a whole thread about how people don't like it. In fact, multiple threads.
     
  20. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Indeed.

    At least now most of the fans have calmed down and don't automatically condemn the people who dislike it.