Sunday, April 08, 2007


Joss Whedon, the executive producer behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, reached for curious new heights in the fall of 2002 with the Fox series Firefly, and the fruits of his labor are collected in this four-disc set. Set 500 years in the future, Firefly falls in the category of sci-fi space adventure, yet its flavor is rooted in the Wild West. Earth is pretty much spent, and a totalitarian government known as the Alliance rules the planets where most of its earlier inhabitants have spread. Nathan Fillion stars as Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds, who fought for independence from the Alliance in a civil war, and now captains the Serenity, a ship of outcasts. His crew includes his second-in-command Zoe (Gina Tores), a pilot named Wash (Alan Tudyk), engineering maven Kaylee (Jewel Staite), and career soldier Jayne (Adam Baldwin). Also aboard are Inara (Morena Baccarin), a highly respected prostitute; a preacher known as Shepherd Book (Ron Glass of Barney Miller fame); and a mysterious pair of siblings -- Simon and River Tam -- portrayed by Sean Maher and Summer Glau, respectively. Although Whedon's Farscape- meets- Bonanza concept clicked straight away with many fans, the series failed to meet Fox's ratings needs, and crashed after 11 episodes, all collected here, in addition to a trio of unaired episodes. Fox could not permanently ground this crew, however; Serenity, a big-screen reunion movie directed by writer-producer Whedon, opened in theaters in September, 2005, drawing generally favorable reviews.

This one is extremely simple. If you like well written stories sprinkled with a variety of humor in multiple guises along with well filmed action and enough drama to 'keep it real,' than you've already watched this and I'm not going to be able to tell you anything you don't already know. On the flip side, if you have seen all the Firefly episodes but didn't like the show - you have my condolences and I recommend a complete psychological profile because you're obviously missing something. However, if you do happen to fall into the minority of people who have not seen Firefly and yet feel they have a good sense of humor and, on most occasions, choose not to take themselves (or anything else) too seriously, then please dash out and pick up a copy of this fun well written show that was definitely too short lived. I'm convinced there's a Browncoat in most of us.

This show is one of the few examples of movies/shows that, while I wish everyone who might enjoy it could have to opportunity to see it, I'm extremely jealous of those who haven't because of the simple fact that they get to have the fun and surprise of the 'first-time' experience that I remember so well from my first viewing but, unfortunately, rarely get to experience on any kind of regular basis.

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