Just finished another whirlwind tour of a TV series, which seems to be the thing to do these days. The show is called Firefly and it aired for just one season in 2002. I’ve just now discovered on IMDb that it was (is) actually pretty popular according to the user voting scale: a 9.5 out of 10.0 at this writing. That’s unheard of! Most of the time I consider any movie rating over a “7″ to be probably worth watching.
Watching Firefly has cushioned the blow of catching up to this season’s Battlestar Galactica (another much-loved show that ranks above “9″ on IMDb). I hate catching up to shows I’ve been watching on DVD. I know I’ve said this before, but the feeling is so apt that it bears repeating. I feel like I’m on a moving sidewalk and I’ve suddenly hit the end. You’re gliding along and suddenly the world slows painfully down. The waiting from week to week to watch a new episode diminishes the pleasure of watching a series for me – I like them in big breathless gulpfuls.
Firefly was originally recommended to me by George Bures Miller, one of the artists I wrote my master’s thesis about – at the time, he said that if I loved Deadwood that I would love Firefly – that it was about cowboys in space.
I watched the first episode and was completely turned off by the opening cheesy futuristic war scene. Plus I thought the main character, Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds had a weak face: not quite a Michael J. Fox or a Jason Bateman. That was almost two years ago. Somewhere along the way though, Chad found the time to watch the entire series and even the climatic movie, Serenity (8.0/10.0 IMDb), based on the series; and trusty filter that he is – he sat me down and we started the series again from the beginning.
In retrospect I would put Rome and Deadwood in the same category before Firefly and Deadwood. And even though Firefly mostly takes place on a spaceship 500 years from now with a renegade captain, it’s not really in the same category as Battlestar. There is the same emphasis on character – but the feeling of the show is much lighter and more humorous. Firefly isn’t a sitcom, but I might say it falls somewhere between the silliness of the British space com, Red Dwarf (ran in Britain from 1988-1999, IMDb 9.1/10.0), and the epic seriousness of Battlestar. Definitely worth a watch if you’re in the market for a new screen addiction.
(The title is a quote by Mal in the movie Serenity, which we polished off tonight. The screenwriters do an interesting thing with antiquating the language to make it seem futuristic.)