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"Firefly" Tv Series in Top Cult Shows on Real TV Addict

Sunday 8 November 2009, by Webmaster

The best part about writing for a website like Real TV Addict is having an excuse to watch my favorite shows again. In the past, if I pulled out the Firefly discs for a marathon, my wife would look at me and say “what the heck are you doing?” ”I’m a Browncoat baby, accept it.” This would result in my doing the laundry for the next month, but now, look out!! ”Sorry honey, it’s for work.” I wonder if I can slip in a new Blu-ray copy without her getting angry?

Firefly is legendary. Born in the fertile playground of a mind that is Joss Whedon’s (Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse), this show is a mixture of space cowboys, opera, adventure, and the impending Chinese language take over of the universe. It is fast, action packed, cerebral, and utterly hilarious. Firefly crosses all genres with a nimble grace absent from 95% of today’s television landscape.

The pitch: a ragtag crew assembles aboard a Firefly class starship dubbed “Serenity” (named after a famous battle both its captain and first officer were involved with a lifetime ago) and take up odds and ends jobs of the legally questionable variety in order to make a living and avoid detection by the powers that be. They’re like pirates. Nice, friendly pirates with a professional call girl inhabiting their shuttle!

The Serenity

What makes a show like Firefly so special is the magical intersection of storytelling and ensemble. Whedon is relentless in sculpting a complete and intricate world for his characters to inhabit, one that is so deep, you, as a viewer, often feel like you’ll never find the bottom. Then, he goes ahead and assembles one of the finest casts ever broadcast into you eye sockets.

Malcolm Reynolds is the leader. A handsome, confident man with an intricate past to make the girls swoon. Nathan Fillion (currently seen in ABC’s Castle) nails the role with an easy mix of humor and classic serialized hero of yesteryear. The man is just plain charming.

Serenity’s crew fills out from there with Wash the goofy pilot, Zoe the first mate and Wash’s wife, Kaylee the too cute mechanic, Simon the doctor and his sister the mysterious River, the super mysterious past of preacher Book, and the easy on the eyes concubine Inara (Morena Baccarin of the newly relaunched V on ABC). It is a stunning group of talent and I gotta say that these actors have become some of my favorite working in the industry today. Jayne’s Hat

Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb

And let’s not forget Jayne. We could sing songs about Jayne, ballads if you will, but I won’t spoil that episode for you! It has become a right of passage for nerds everywhere to knit their own Jayne hat as seen in the episode “The Message.” Played to grizzly perfection by Adam Baldwin (Chuck), Jayne is the macho mercenary who asks the questions no one else wants to. He shoots it straight and plays for himself first. Although you have no doubt he’d take a couple dozen rounds for any one of his ship mates by the time the show ends. Not that Jayne would ever allow himself to be shot.

Keen eyes will also spot the recurring character Saffron as Mad Men’s busty head secretary Christina Hendricks. Her episodes are amongst my favorites, including “Trash” which features a fun heist of the first ever laser pistol, now a valuable collector’s item. She has terrific chemistry with Mal and a classic streak of evil beneath her fiery red hair.

One of the most memorable aspects of the show revolves around its use of language. Everyone in the future seamlessly blends English and Chinese and Whedon uses it as a brilliant device to pass off cussing on network TV. We don’t exactly know what he’s saying, but we do! This crosses over into all the signs and books and writing amongst the worlds as well, creating a lush landscape of familiar and exotic tones. But it doesn’t stop with just Chinese, the dialog turns new phrases out of everyday words faster than a middle schooler texting their BFF. ”Shiny” is synonymous with good or great. Farmers on one planet drink “mudder’s milk” and the term “gorram” is a popular curse with fans everywhere. The language of Firefly is a terrific Tower of Babel; elegant with nods to the old west, steam punk, and cyber punk culture.

Firefly Art

Firefly also blazed new ground thanks to a devoted following. Much like Fox’s Family Guy which resurrected itself back onto network TV after cancellation by generating brisk DVD sales, the folks at Universal gave Firefly new life on the big screen courtesy of huge home video response. That following, or Browncoats as they call themselves, continues to be vibrant and healthy, appearing at cons and organizing viewing parties to raise money for charities etc. This show was a cult hit before the end of the first episode.

If you haven’t seen Firefly, it is not the kind of show you rent, it is the kind of show you buy. I’ve shown it to fans of science fiction, westerns, romance, comedy, drama, it doesn’t matter, they’ve all loved it. Unlike a lot of my DVD shelf, Firefly gets played over and over again. It is universal and a must own for anyone who is a fan of good story telling.

We don’t even have time to get into Blue Sun! One of the most nefarious and clandestine organizations ever conceived for television. Beware the hands of blue my friends!

Not just your average single camera hour-long, Firefly grabbed its audience by the throat and burned bright for far too short a time. Buried on Friday nights, Fox hardly gave it a chance, but you can’t stop the signal. With its “big damn movie”, comic books, t-shirts etc., Browncoats young and old continue to celebrate Firefly. No power in the ‘verse can stop them!