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"Firefly" Tv Series Blu-Ray - Monstersandcritics.com Review

Wednesday 17 December 2008, by Webmaster

Everyone loves an underdog, especially an underdog that goes on to great success and gains such an immense cult following that people clamor for more. Firefly the television series is such a phenomenon.

The original series’ episodes aired on Fox not only out of order but its new life was cut short, as Fox only aired eleven of the fourteen episodes shot and then canceled the show.

However, fans wanted more and stormed the symbolic castle, demanded more via the internet and postcards and paid-for ads, and when the DVD came out, sales were through the roof. The DVD set included all of the episodes, and now all the episodes come to Blu-ray!

I don’t know how to say ‘Yahoo!!! Whoopee!!!’ in Chinese but I wish I did! I admit I was not a fan in 2002 when the series first aired. My husband became a fan when it came out on DVD, and last year he convinced me to watch the entire series over a weekend (Firefly Marathon!).

With the opening song, I was hooked (it has got to have the best opening theme song ever!), and with the first glimpse Nathan Fillion’s mocking sardonic smile, I was a drooling ‘I love this show!’ fan. I even fell in love with a man named Jayne.

The basic idea of the show is shot with a Western premise, and creator and producer Joss Whedon’s original concept was based on the motifs of Western shows, but in a futuristic, interplanetary setting. It is sci-fi, yes, but there are no big headed aliens, no odd three armed aliens with prodding eyes. It is a unique world that combines two main cultures: American and Chinese, and successfully integrates the customs, traditions, music, languages of both countries. One of the funniest parts of the special features, I thought, was the bit on the actors having to learn Mandarin phrases as part of their lines.

Perhaps the most excellently casted TV show ever (in my humble opinion), Fillion plays Mal, an ex-army fighter who flies his ship Serenity (Firefly model) around space looking for work. The ship almost becomes a character in itself, as it is home to the nine characters and their source of work (they are not opposed to the occasional smuggling job as well as offering rides to paying passengers to earn a little money).

The wonderful cast is as follows: Zoe (Gina Torres), hired gun and also ex-army that worked with Mal in the war; Wash (Alan Tudyk), Zoe’s husband and pilot of Firefly; Inara (Morena Baccarin) who rents a shuttle of the ship Serenity and is the beautiful heart of the motley group; Kaylee (Jewel Staite) is Serenity’s mechanic and is the innocent soul; Simon (Sean Maher) is a traveler that pays for passage on Serenity and ends up a vital part to their story with his past and his medical degree; River (Summer Glau) is Simon’s sister and ends also on Serenity and becomes a major part of the story; Shepherd (Ron Glass) is the spiritual man of the group and also comes onto the ship as a passenger, and Jayne (Adam Baldwin) is the man called Jayne, and is hired muscle, and quite the conundrum (perhaps the most unique of this incredibly unique cast), and of course, Mal (Nathan Fillion), who owns Serenity and is the Captain that everyone looks to.

Also guest starring are memorable characters are Saffron (Christina Hendricks), who plays Mal’s con-artist ‘wife’ and whose real name is not known, Adelei Niska (Michael Fairman), a criminal kingpin that becomes a huge problem for the crew of Serenity as he is quite sadistic in his methods for compliance (think Nazi-like torture here and enjoyment of it).

If you are a fan of the series and, of course, the movie that came later (Serenity), you won’t want to miss this Blu-ray edition. The 1080p picture brings even more life to this incredibly rich series (I have a very healthy fear of Reavers and the enhanced picture did nothing to alleviate my horror and fear of them).

The sets and setting are even more enhanced, and the Blu-ray is a great excuse to watch the series again. Fans will not want to miss this.

The special features are basically the same of the DVD had to offer, with a round table interview added. There are featurettes on the making of, talking with creator Whedon and several of the actors, about all of the problems that they faced in production: pre, post, and during. The story behind the story is just as interesting as the actual series, and really gives you an appreciation for overcoming adversity and obstacles.

Everything just works in Firefly, even if you are not a sci-fi fan per say, it works. From the sets to the acting to the music, it is truly a once in a life time experience, and one that once you are hooked, you will want to have over and over again (Firefly Marathon!).

My husband was worried that when I sat down to write this review I would keep writing and not stop. He was calling it my ‘Firefly Manifesto’. I think I curbed my natural instincts toward a three thousand word praise and glory session pretty well. And I think this is the first review for a piece that I have absolutely no criticism of; only praise for perfection.