Thursday, July 19, 2012

You Can't Take the Sky From Me

Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them.
After I finished watching Castle the same friends that had recommended it to me told me that I needed to watch Firefly next. I was slightly hesitant because I'm not a huge Sci-Fi fan but I decided to trust their judgement and give it a try. I'm sure none of you will be surprised to learn that I fell in love with this show. I devoured the 14 episodes and it's subsequent movie, Serenity in near record time. 

As I do whenever I discover a new obsession I've spent a lot of time scouring the internet for behind the scenes clips, blooper reels, interviews and Q&A panels along with occasionally re-watching an episode. As I've done this I've tried to put my finger on what it is that makes Firefly so special. It aired on Fox in 2002 and didn't get very good ratings so it was cancelled. Even before I decided to watch it I'd heard people talking about it so I was aware that even though it had been cancelled it still had a strong fan base. What can make a cancelled tv show that only lasted one season have such a following that 10 years after it aired? Here are a few of my random thoughts as to why it is worthy of all the praise:
  • Joss Whedon. That's all that really needs to be said about that, right? The man is a genius. 
  • Even though it's set in space it's not really science fiction. There are no aliens, no laser guns and no hyper-speed. (Don't get me wrong, I love an occasional Star Wars marathon but in general I'm not a huge fan of movies involving aliens.) Firefly is really a good old fashioned western, it just happens to take place in space. 
  • The characters- oh my goodness! The crew of Firefly are all so wonderful in their individual ways. I love that none of them are one dimensional. Even the characters I don't really love I have to like just because they are so well written. I could easily write an individual blog post about each of these characters but that might be a little too obsessive. 
  • The cast- Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres, Sean Maher, Jewel Staite, Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin, Morena Baccarin and Ron Glass are all stellar. Before I started watching I was familiar with two of the cast (Nathan and Alan) but now I'm a fan of all of them and stalk them all on Twitter
  • The emotions. I grew up with a father who loves westerns so I've watched quite a few in my lifetime. None of those shows and movies ever made me feel the way Firefly did. The combination of phenomenal writing and acting made me feel all the feelings possible while watching. I laughed, I cried (damn you, Joss Whedon!!!) I swore, and I swooned.
  • Fan interaction- I think one of the things that has kept this fandom so loyal is because the cast has been such an active part of keeping it alive. They go to conventions, they meet with fans, they tweet, they are very open about their love for the show. All of that encourages the fandom to remain loyal and to continue to spread the love. 
I know there are many,many more reasons to love Firefly. These are just the ones that I can name off the top of my head. If I go any further I may have to open up a Firefly fan page and there are already plenty of those. (I did start a Firefly board on Pinterest though.) I'm going to wrap up with a couple of my favorite clips from the show. 

Alan Tudyk is a genius. He's one of the few people who could make this funny-

There are a lot of moments with Malcolm Reynolds that I could post here. Nathan brings him to life brilliantly. This is one of my favorites because to me it's one of those moments that defines him and sets him apart as the captain of the ship.

I became a fan at just the right time. The Science Channel is airing a 10 year anniversary special in November. Here's the teaser for it. It contains one of my favorite clip from the series- 
Wash: That sounds like something out of science fiction.
Zoe: You live in a space ship, dear. 

Have YOU watched Firefly?!? If not you need to NOW! Then you can appreciate the painful truth of this picture. (Seriously, if you haven't watched it, do it. It's available to stream on Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, etc.)

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