Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I realize I’m about six years late, but I finally started watching "Firefly," a short-lived series created by Joss Whedon. I’d seen “Serenity,” the movie based on the series, and kept meaning to watch the series at some point, but I’ve only just now gotten around to it.

"Firefly" is essentially a space western. The crew members of Serenity (a Firefly-class ship) take up odd jobs, including ones deemed illegal by the Alliance (the overall government). In addition to the captain, first-mate, pilot, mechanic and hired gun, Serenity adds four others to its roster: a pair of fugitives, a missionary and a prostitute. The cast is a great mix of characters, and I think it’s the characters that draw me back to the show more than anything else. Whedon is a master of characterization, and as a writer, I aspire to create such memorable characters in my own work.

Another great aspect of the show is the dialog and character interactions. Whenever I think I know where something might be going, the writers turn things around. For example, in an episode I watched last night, the captain, weak from torture, fights one of his tormentors. Some of his crew come onto the scene, and one aims his weapon towards the torturer. The first-mate pulls his arm down and says, “This is something the captain has to do for himself.” The captain immediately says, “No. No, it's not!”

Humorous and action-oriented, Firefly is a series I wish had stayed on the air longer. 14 episodes (only 11 were aired) isn’t enough for something this good. If you get the chance to borrow, rent or purchase the DVD’s of the series (it comes as a package of four discs), I doubt you’ll regret it later.

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