Firefly

God, I love Joss Whedon. “If they take the ship, they’ll rape us to death, eat our flesh and sew our skins into their clothing and if we’re very very lucky, they’ll do it in that order.””…Brought you some supper, but if you’d prefer a lecture, I’ve a few very catchy ones prepped.
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God, I love Joss.

“If they take the ship, they’ll rape us to death, eat our flesh and sew our skins into their clothing and if we’re very very lucky, they’ll do it in that order.”

“…Brought you some supper, but if you’d prefer a lecture, I’ve a few very catchy ones prepped. Sin and hellfire… one has lepers.”

“And I’d like to be king of all Londinum and wear a shiny hat.”

“Sweetie, we’re crooks. If everything were right, we’d be in jail.”

“We’re not gonna die. We can’t die, Bendis. You know why? Because we are so very pretty. We are just too pretty for God to let us die.”

The above quotes are all from the first episode of Firefly; the one that was meant to be first anyway, which is not the one that aired first. Fuck me if I know why, but I’m sure that’s been talked to death.

[made with ecto]


For those who don’t know, Firefly is a sci-fi series by Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy and Angel. It didn’t run long, it was shown out of order, and has all the earmarks of a series killed off pre-maturely by an ignorant network.

People (Gregg, Doxy, etc) have been telling me for a long time that needed to see it. And when people like these tell me I need to watch something, they’re just never wrong.

I finally got around to renting the DVDs from Netflix, and put one on just meaning to watch a few minutes of it; yeah, right. I had a hard time stopping at one.

It’s hard to describe this show. It’s like someone mixed Farscape (One of the best sci-fi series ever) with The Magnificent Seven or Outlaw Josey Wales or some classic western. I keep wanting to draw a Deadwood connection, but that’s really only because both shows have such brilliant dialog (and there’s some soundtrack similarity).

Now, the western has always been part of space opera – the Outland/High Noon connection is a perfect example. Look at Han Solo and the cantina scene from Star Wars. But this is different.

The thing with Firefly is that the western isn’t a sub-text, it’s not a subtle thing under the surface. It’s an overlay. We’ve got a classic Star Trek sort of story, the brave captain, the loyal crew, roaming from world to word and doing – whatever. You can compare it to a lot of sci-fi archetypes. But the thing that’s so bizarre is that they’re all dressed like fucking cowboys. They all talk like cowboys. The people in the rough-and-tumble space ports are wearing fucking cowboy hats. They captain carries a sci-fi looking version of this gun.

They’re not firing lasers or blasters. They’re shooting shotguns. They’re not in landspeeders when they land; they’re on goddamned horses. There’s a cowboy coffee pot in the ship’s galley, and they’re drinking out of the same blue enameled metal coffee cups you can see Al Swearingen drinking out of when he surveys the town of Deadwood from his balcony.

Why does this work? It works because it’s Joss Whedon, one of the best pop script writers working in TV today. Joss combines absolutely brilliant imagination, great story-telling, and fantastic dialog; he’s got a gift for taking something as classic as vampire stories and finding a new way to spin them. Buffy at it’s best was fresh and new, with horror, humor and classic drama woven effortlessly together.

The dialog is what drives Whedon’s shows. The dialog in Firefly just sings.

I’ve only watched one episode so far. I wanted to get my impression down before I went on with the season. I’ve been told it gets better from the pilot on, which is the hope; some series start brilliant and then hit a wall soon after. I’m looking forward to seeing how this does for it’s full run.

When’s the movie come out? Damn, I hope it’s soon.

4 thoughts on “Firefly”

  1. I can understand why they didn’t show the pilot first. The second ep grabbed you and pulled you in; you didn’t understand what was going on, but you knew you needed more and so, kept watching. Thank the heavens SciFi picked up the series; great things are destined for the crew of the Serenity.

    I guarantee that by the end of your first viewing of the entire series, you’ll be calling things shiny. By the second viewing, you’ll be cursing in futuristic space cowboy and buying a brown leather coat.

  2. Karl: Movie’s out September 30th. And one of hte things I loved about the show is just how uch sense it makes for them to be dressed in frontiersman/cowboy style stuff. After all, they *are* on the frontier, and most of the settlements that aren’t big spacey places bear more of a resemblance to mining towns and the like — actually quite sensible. It’s a really clever connection of the two genres that actually makes a lot of sense given the setting.

    Merrick, re: “SciFi picked up the series”: Umm, what? SciFi Network picked up Firefly/Serenity for a series? When I saw the sneak of Serenitya couple of months back the cast embers (Nathan Fillion and Ron Glass) both said that ther was no way Whedon or they would sign for a TV series, but additional films were possible. I’m terribly confused….

    And the cursing is in Chinese, for what it’s worth.

    Now, I want to go for drinks with Jayne and get all sweaty with Kaylee. And Inara. And Zoe. And River. Jayne can watch, if he likes.

  3. MAkes perfect sense to me. One of my favorites of the Disney animations is Treasure planet. It makes no sense that the space ships are galleons from the 1800’s, and it makes perfect sense at the same time. I can well imagine Firefly would play like that. And I just set my DVR to record it. =]

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