Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Firefly Revisited

My boyfriend recently asked me if I had heard of some cowboy space show by a guy named 'Josh Wheaton.'  I carefully, lovingly corrected him by whipping out my copy of Firefly on Blu-Ray and smacking him with it, then explaining that, yes, I did indeed have the property to which he so clumsily referred.  Then I planted him in front of the television so that he might become educated.  Unsurprisingly, I found myself watching it with him.

A few spoilers ahead for those who haven't yet been enlightened!

It's kind of funny.  I had no interest in Firefly when it came out and hadn't watched it right afterward, either, when there was so much buzz about how great it was.  I was pretty sure that space cowboys weren't really my speed. When Serenity came out, a couple of coworkers kind of twisted my arm to go see it.  I was riveted. I borrowed my coworker's Firefly DVD set and watched the whole thing over a weekend.  I loved it and was pissed off that there wasn't more.  This was clearly poetry and genius, so what the heck, Hollywood?

I was wondering what my boyfriend would think of the show.  He's Chinese - he was raised in Hong Kong, so he's the real deal - and I was wondering how the Chinese elements of Firefly would strike him.  I think it was Kaylee who used Chinese for the first time and his jaw hit the floor.  He said, "What the heck!  That was Chinese!" He had to rewind and verify. Then I had some 'splaining to do about the setting.  He found this idea fascinating.

I was equally curious how I'd feel about a rewatch of Firefly.  Would it still have the impact it did initially?  Would I still love every second of it?  Answers: Yes and yes.  In the first episode where Kaylee gets wounded, I jumped - even though I knew what was going to happen.  It just happened so fast!  And then she was hurt and I cried - even though I knew what was going to happen.  It was Kaylee!  She was crying!  (Seriously, if the sight of Jewel Staite in tears doesn't effect you, you have no soul.)

Without meaning to, I've sat through every episode with my boyfriend and part of the enjoyment of watching Firefly again is watching his reaction to it.  He loves Mal, Kaylee and Jayne.  He's not as sure of Shepherd Book, Wash, and Zoe, but he's coming around.  He outright dislikes the River and Simon story, which is an opinion I share.  He just watched Out of Gas and he didn't love it as much as I did.  My favorite episode is, hands down, Heart of Gold.  I'm not watching that one with him, because I bawl my stupid head off when Inara does.  He'll make fun of me forever if I do that in front of him.

I've decided that there are just enough episodes of Firefly to royally piss me off.  This show was good from the very first moment to the very last moment - and that doesn't mean a damn thing in Hollywood.  There was no, "Well, this first season is freakin' terrible but I'll give it until season 2 and see how it goes."  No, it was just good the entire time.  From the first time you see Nathan Fillion on the screen until the last time you Nathan Fillion on the screen - and every time in between - this show is quality.  Perfection?  No.  But it's damn good even when it's not firing on all cylinders.  I'm thrilled to know I still love it, sad that it's gone, and furious that quality is irrelevant in terms of what keeps a show on network television.

That 'Josh Wheaton' guy is one hell of an entertainer.
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  1. Did you know the Science channel is broadcasting Firefly on Sunday nights at 10pm? Get this after the viewing they have a discussion on the science behind the show and if it would actually work! :)

  2. Oh, wow, I didn't realize. I think that might be educational, because my boyfriend had a rant about how ships could never look like Serenity. They would always look like Battlestar Galactica. "A candy bar shape instead of a bug shape!" Like this is a truth of the universe. Like he's got a doctorate in starship design or something. I think that science discussion would be verrrrry interesting. (We had an argument about Inara being a respected business woman vs. Mal being a criminal the other night, as well, so there you have it.)

  3. Loved firefly.

    About the Battlestar Galactica shaped starship: I hadn't ever thought about the placement of the "deck" before I watched BG. Then in comments they were talking about how you would want the command center deep in the heart of the ship, and that made so much SENSE to me.

    I still think of ships looking like they do in Firefly and Star Trek, but if I had to build one, I think it would be more like BG.

    Hope this adds something to the discussion with your boyfriend. : )