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If You Missed It: Firefly
I cannot claim that I was an original fan of Firefly. I wasn’t one of the few faithful fans who tuned in to watch Joss Wheedon’s post-apocalypic western show before it was cancelled by Fox after only one season. I recently found Firefly on Netflix, and was immediately hooked.
Firefly has one of the most interesting worlds I have ever seen. It displays a melting pot of American and Asian influences. The main language of the world of Firefly is Chinese, and many elements of Chinese culture are commonly seen in the show. The other important part of this show’s world is the western aspect; the main character, Malcolm Reynolds, can best be described as a cross between a cowboy and a smuggler, and is clearly inspired by Han Solo. Nathan Fillion plays Malcolm, or Mal, perfectly, and has great chemistry with the other superb characters.
Among the other great characters are Hoban “Wash” Washburn, the crack pilot of Mal’s ship Serenity, gruff bounty hunter Jayne Cobb, and cheerful mechanic Kaylee Frye. These actors obviously enjoyed working together, and it shows in their fantastic chemistry in every scene of the show.
Despite having only fourteen episodes, there are many very good ones to check out. While all of them are great, some specific episodes stand out to me as must-see television. Among these are “Ariel”, which depicts a thrilling Oceans Eleven-esque heist, and “Out of Gas”, which reveals the origins of most of the crew in an emotional and action-packed forty minutes.
Unfortunately, after one season of Firefly, Fox cancelled the show. The ratings were never good, and the concept of the show certainly was not mainstream. Luckily, remarkably like another show Fox cancelled around the same time (Arrested Development), Firefly benefitted from a cult following that translated into many DVD sales and many new fans such as myself who were introduced to the show through friends. This ultimately culminated in Serenity, a movie that continued the story of Firefly. Even now, ten years after Firefly aired, it still has a large following. Recently, the cast of Firefly had a tenth-anniversary reunion panel at Comic-Con, and were greeted by thousands of rabid fans. Unfortunately, after ten years, it seems very unlikely that the show will have a similar rebirth that Arrested Development is now enjoying (Netflix is releasing a fourth season this spring).
Even so, we can still enjoy this show for what it was, fantastic television that despite being ending prematurely, still concluded in a satisfying way. Even if you never watched the show, you are not alone. Firefly will probably not come back on the air, but if you missed it or have never heard about it, you will not regret checking it out. I am sure that thousands and thousands of fans who were once in the same position would agree with me wholeheartedly.