Firefly

Firefly Nathan Filion

 

You finish watching the fourteenth episode of the series “Firefly” with the comment, “That was a nice episode, let’s see what awaits me next… strange… there’s no fifteenth episode, what’s going on here… Ah, I get it, this is the end of the first season, kind of lame, it wasn’t that intense an episode for a season finale. Let’s see, second season… …. … … I don’t understand, am I missing something, I can’t find… I’ll just Google it, how stupid must it be for there not to be a second season, let’s see…”

The next thing heard within a three-kilometer radius is “WHAT THE F*beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!!!!”

 

Year 2002-2003.

“FOX” building.

Floor 138, Conference Room A0. A room accessible only to those with a golden encrypted card, namely members of the board and directors of “FOX”, whose bank accounts start with 1, and for the zeros after the one you need the fingers of both hands and at least one foot (except for them, only the cleaner Judy has access to this office, but only because she has been employed at FOX for 40 years, so they assumed she MIGHT be loyal to the company).

Tonight is the standard Friday evening gathering of the corpulent directors and board members. They drink whiskey you won’t see in zour local store, and cigars are rolled by Mrs. Juana Carlota de Garsia, 70 years old, specially brought from Cuba, a three-time world champion in cigar rolling, with a certificate A+. Dirty jokes are shared, and poker is played. They are one director short.

Soon that director arrives, accompanied by a haughty young man. “Well, folks, time to introduce my successor and pride, John Alex Eleonor Summer Davis Junior. Gotta love this kid, smart like me, handsome like me, damn fu*k, even well-mannered like me.”

The other directors and board members contentedly grunt and toast.

“As I mentioned last time, it’s time to slowly introduce him to the business. He’s almost finished with his studies, only 17 exams left, and he already has a doctorate written for him by a doctor following his instructions, and we plan to enroll him in some master’s program, maybe that NBA master or whatever…”

The other directors and board members continue to grunt and toast contentedly.

“Well, in line with this, I think it’s time for him to go through his initiation into our circles! You agree?”

The other directors and board members now rhythmically bang their hands on the table with a thunderous “Cancel, cancel, cancel, cancel…”

“Give John Alex Eleonor Summer Davis Junior the list! There you go! My dear son, this ritual implies that you are capable and understand the business. This ritual is simple. You must decide which of these series, as they haven’t achieved great viewership and revenue, we will cancel.”

The arrogant and haughty little brat Johnny Junior reviews the list of series, and after a few minutes, with a confident smile, addresses everyone, “Dear dad and future wealthy colleagues. It’s quite obvious that the series “Firefly” should be canceled. The very idea of a sci-fi western with an unusual storyline and specific characters – smugglers with a war past and big secrets, in a universe where there exists a mysterious race of violent aliens/humans – is absolutely stupid. This Whedon is probably an idiot and just got lucky with “Buffy”! I guarantee you that no one will hear about this series, nor will anyone remember it, and this Whedon won’t achieve anything great in life.”

The other directors and board members continue to grunt and toast contentedly.

Proud dad: “Bravo, son. We absolutely agree with your decision, you’re clearly a visionary and an artist at heart. With such smart young blood, our future is bright. CANCEL THE SERIES!”

At that moment, cleaner Judy approaches John Davis Senior, nervously crumpling a cloth. “Uh, Mr. Davis. I know it’s not my place to interfere. But you know… my daughter Maria, you know her, she makes coffee for your acting deputy assistant coordinator of marketing. You know, she’s young, hardworking, studying art and business studies while working here. You know, I’m not really educated in this film art, but you know, you know, she told me that “Firefly” has the potential to be a big hit and maybe a cult series if given a chance, and that these actors will become famous. You know, so, you know…”

Then John Davis Senior gently places his hand on cleaner Judy’s shoulder, while the other directors and board members laugh. “My dear Judy, I know, you have the best intentions. Let your Maria study hard, and God willing, we’ll officially employ her one day! But, she can’t know these things, she’s young, she doesn’t understand this world of business. Imagine she came before these men and said “Firefly” will be a cult series!? Imagine the embarrassment for such a young girl! Just slowly, she still has to make lots of coffee to learn what business is…”

 

Firefly Nathan Filion
God, I sincerely hope this is just my wild imagination and that something like this didn’t really happen…

 

This is probably the place where I would now write “This probably didn’t happen.”

But, if you’ve watched the series, I’m pretty sure the first scenario like with me happened (where you were shocked to learn that there is no second season, and you loudly cursed). And this second scenario is, in my opinion, the only logical explanation of what really happened! 🤣 Because I don’t know who in their right mind would cancel this great series!

“Firefly” is a sci-fi western drama, set in the year 2517, when humans have successfully colonized a new star system. In that period, the only remaining two superpowers, the USA and China, have united (you didn’t expect this, admit it) into one superpower, now called the “Alliance,” and wanted to impose complete authoritative control over all (colonized) planets. However, many planet-states wanted to retain their autonomy, so they united in the “Independent Faction” (known as the “Browncoats“). After years of fighting, the Alliance won, the Browncoats surrendered, and some kind of authoritarian peace ruled the star systems. Roughly like the conflict between the “Empire” and the “Resistance” in “Star Wars,” only the “Resistance” actually surrendered.

The plot follows the crew of the small spaceship “Serenity” as they wander through space, transport passengers, smuggle goods between planets, occasionally do a little theft. In short, they survive.

The crew is very interesting:

  • Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds – captain, star of the series, and owner of the “Serenity” ship. A former volunteer in the war (on the side of the Browncoats), he went through hell and back in the war. Cynical, sarcastic, embittered, but also very witty and charming. Values loyalty and is very devoted to his crew, and because of that, they love and respect him. Although he is more practical than spiritual or intellectual, he occasionally surprises his crew with words of wisdom. Hates the “Alliance” and tries to have as little to do with them as possible.
  • Zoe Washburn – first crew member and main authority on the ship. Zoe and Mal are old acquaintances and war buddies (she served under him in the war, they had each other’s backs and survived many horrors of war together) and shares his beliefs about the war and the “Alliance”. She has boundless trust in Mal’s decisions (but knows how to rebel and disobey them when they are illogical). As an experienced, cool-headed soldier, she is first in the battle lines and excellent with firearms, but also knows how to break noses with fists. Married to pilot Wash and, despite the dangerous life in space, has a happy marriage.

 

Firefly Nathan Filion

 

  • Hoban “Wash” Washburn – witty (and often sarcastic) pilot of the “Serenity” ship. Presumably, he was a pilot during the war and began to build a reputation as an excellent pilot after its end. He accepted Mal’s offer, met Zoe there, and soon married her (even though it’s hilarious how opposite they are, yet somehow they function together). Although Wash is aware that Mal and Zoe are just friends and war comrades, he occasionally grumbles and gets jealous of his wife for being so obedient to the captain.
  • Inara Serra – a rather interesting (and very beautiful) person. Inara is something of an elite. She is a companion by profession. Somehow, the closest description would be that she is a combination of a courtesan, geisha, and business escort, but only for the highest and most powerful elite. Not every girl can become a companion, and they go through rigorous training from a young age. Not just the perverse aspect (you just thought that, admit it 😁), this training includes etiquette, academic education, knowledge of various rituals (such as tea ceremonies, some dances), psychology, body language, self-defense, etc. Interestingly, a companion chooses their clients, usually the elite, so it’s considered a great honor to be in their presence. Her relationship with Mal is quite unusual (especially because she rents a small spacecraft from him, which also serves as her quarters where she lives and occasionally receives clients).
  • Jayne Cobb – the main “muscle” and heavy artillery of the crew, Jayne is a former mercenary who met Mal and Zoe under interesting circumstances (as we find out in one exciting episode). Quite vulgar and perverse, he sometimes seems pretty dull and goofy, although the series occasionally reveals that he has a complex and caring side to his personality (which is hard to express, as he is, after all, a bit of a jerk). The only two currencies in his life are money and sex. He hides various firearms in his bed (literally, not metaphorically). His favorite weapon is named “Vera”. He’s a hilarious character.
  • Kaylee Frye – the sweet and amiable mechanic on the ship. Although she had no formal education as a mechanic, she always had a natural talent for “feeling” what’s wrong with mechanisms (she often said the ship “talks” to her). While she might seem a bit kooky at first glance, she is actually a kind and silly girl, who sees the ship’s crew as her family. She always tries to see the positive side of everything and cheer up the crew when their morale is low. She admires Inara and her sensual personality. She has a crush on a doctor on the ship.
  • Simon Tam – a brilliant doctor from a wealthy family. He graduated in the top 3% of his class and soon became a surgeon. For some mysterious reason (soon revealed), he left all that behind and now travels with his younger sister who has some “issues” and is hiding from the “Alliance”. Quite uptight and overly polite, he gradually relaxes, especially around Kaylee.
  • River Tam – Simon’s younger sister, who suffers from some kind of mental issues. She is actually a genius from a young age (Simon himself says he is like a small child compared to her intellectually), so she was sent to the Alliance’s “Academy”. However, terrible things were done to her there, forcing her brother to rescue her. She is mentally unstable and appears to possess some supernatural abilities.
  • Derrial Book – a pastor/priest who first joins the crew as a passenger but later decides to stay on the ship. Gentle, kind, patient, wise, this pastor mysteriously has extensive knowledge of military tactics, firearms, and “Alliance” technology, and makes it clear that he has a mysterious past, which he may one day reveal to the rest of the crew.

As you can see, the crew is quite interesting, and as the episodes unfold, we discover more details about their past and the war period.

The plot revolves around their mercenary-smuggling tasks, as well as confrontations with various villains (who are, again, a story in themselves as to how hilarious they are).

And here, roughly, I would stop with the details about the series “Firefly”.

 

Firefly Nathan Filion

 

What is it that makes this series interesting?

  • Atmosphere – the surfaces of planets and settlements often remind of the Wild West era. Desert areas, wooden shacks, revolvers, horses, country music… yet, you also have cities that are more modern and look like from the Victorian period (ballrooms and some villas), as well as some modern futuristic locations, with spaceships and laser guns. Similar to “Star Wars”, but with a greater emphasis on the Wild West. Where have you seen this last? 😀 You will often hear the crew cursing in Chinese (which sounds and looks hilarious by itself), but it fits perfectly into the comic or dangerous scenes our heroes fall into (and it confirms the fact that the USA and China are the only world powers). The spaceship “Firefly” itself has its soul (although its hardware often falls apart 😅), as it is also the home for our crew, and they spend most of their time in space, so each room has its vibe.
  • Plot – each crew member has a dark past. There’s a lot we don’t know about them. Why do they behave the way they do? What happened to them before the war? What is the crew’s relationship with the “Alliance”? And who are the mysterious race of human-nomad-barbarian-monsters Reavers, and why is it better to kill yourself immediately if you happen to encounter their ship? Each episode is more or less an independent adventure and follows a task the crew needs to complete to get paid.
  • Characters – the main characters of the crew are brilliant, but the secondary ones are no less impressive. The villains are hillarious. 😀
  • Audio-visual aspect – for those years and the budget, it was quite well and appealingly done. Just read the “Atmosphere” section again.

 

Firefly Nathan Filion

 

The acting is top-notch. All these actors have been (later) seen in many popular series and films. Malcolm Reynolds is the goofy (and one of my favorite actor-comedians) Nathan Fillion (one of my favorite series is “Castle”, and he also appears in “Modern Family”, “The Rookie”, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”, and if someone follows animated DC movies, he lends his voice to Green Lantern), Zoe is the charming Gina Torres (you’ve probably seen her in the excellent legal series “Suits”), there’s also the brilliant Alan Tudyk (I’ve mentioned him here before), then one of the most beautiful actresses to me, Morena Baccarin (“Deadpool”, “Homeland”, “Gotham”, “V”). Let’s not forget Adam Baldwin (“Independence Day”, “Full Metal Jacket”), sweet Jewel Staite (“Blindspot”, “The Killing”), Sean Maher (I was astonished when I realized he has been lending that cool voice to Nightwing all these years), the unusual Summer Glau (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”, “Serenity”, “Arrow”) and the late Ron Glass (“Barney Miller”). In short, this series was a springboard for many of these actors’ careers.

The creator of the series is Joss Whedon (I think there’s no need to explain this man, just click on the link and everything will be clear when you see the movies and series he’s behind 😀).

 

Firefly Nathan Filion

 

The downside of the series… is that someone decided to cancel it and that nothing would come of this series… except that it became a cult series. The series gained so much popularity that two years later a movie had to appear, trying to wrap up the whole story (whose review is coming soon 😉). However, that wasn’t enough for the fans, so a comic series, board games appeared, and even a group of fans self-financed and filmed a feature-length film “Browncoats: Redemption”… if this isn’t proof of fan love, I don’t know what is…

I don’t know what more to tell you, except to watch the series yourself, I think everything will be clear to you. If you liked the series “The Mandalorian” and its version of the Wild West, this series will fit you like a glove.

 

Firefly Nathan Filion

 

And finally, a few interesting articles that I highly recommend you read: the former president of FOX explains why the series had to be canceled, 20 facts you may not have known about the series “Firefly”, “15 reasons to be thankful the series was canceled” (actually, these are all good things in favor of the series 😀) and perhaps the most interesting news that FOX is interested in reviving the series… I mean, I’m the first advocate of the maxim “better late than never”, but brother, it took them more than 15 years to realize that (“Dude, what kind of review is this, what happened to that objective and unbiased vision of reviews here…”- note from the subconscious).

Good ratings on IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic say a lot about the “Firefly” series, don’t they?

 

And you, dear reader, why haven’t you watched this series yet? 🙂

 

Firefly Nathan Filion
I asked something, dear reader… WHY HAVEN’T YOU WATCHED THIS SERIES YET???!!!

 

(Originally reviewed: 15/02/2020)

 

 

Trailer

Format: Series

Release Date: 2002

Number of Seasons: 1 (14 episodes)

Average Episode Duration: 45 minutes

 

Author: admin

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