Firefly: Season 1 (2002)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
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Overall Rating 83%
Overall Rating
Ranked #682
...out of 22,465 movies
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Connections: Firefly

Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them. --IMDb
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Review by Griffinheart
Added: June 14, 2008
Take Star Trek and Star Wars, mix thoroughly, rough it up, add a touch of realism, pour in a full bucket of charm, and you have the beauty that is Firefly. Irregardless of what genres you typically enjoy, you will almost certainly enjoy the wonderful plots and fall love with each and every character. Skip the rest of this review, and go pick up the first and only season for a mere $20 or so; you'll be glad you did.

"Firefly" is set roughly 500 years or so in the future. Earth-that-was has been abandoned for a new solar system absolutely packed with planets, some terraformed better than others to resemble mankind's mother planet. Though their names have long been forgotten, every item and person bears traces of China and the United States: the two superpowers that evidently dominated the space exploration. As a result, even the least intelligent person on the street speaks a good deal of both English and Chinese (all the better to swear in on American TV). The story starts a few years after the last remnants of the Independents were crushed in their battle for freedom against the Alliance.

Our story follows the exploits of a crew piloting a Firefly class transport named "Serenity." Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds leads his disparate crew on missions of dubious legality to earn just enough money to scrape by, though he wouldn't have it any other way. Making up the crew are 1) Zoë Washburne = 2nd-in-command and, along with Mal, one of the few Independent survivors of the battle of Serenity; 2) Hoban 'Wash' Washburne = excellent pilot and husband to Zoë; 3) Inara Serra = registered "Companion" (in short, legally licensed and professionally trained prostitute); 4) Jayne Cobb = as tough, and as smart, as a bullet; and 5) Kaylee Frye = an incredibly talented and sweet mechanic. Among other passengers joining the crew in the first episode are 6) Simon Tam = a brilliant doctor and 7) Shepherd Book = a wandering preacher.

It's revealed in the first episode that Simon is on the run from the authorities because his luggage contains an object of staggeringly immense value: a very naked, very disturbed, very cold girl named River...River Tam, Simon's sister. Simon explains that he himself is incredibly brilliant, near the top of his class at the finest schools in existence. His sister, on the other hand, is so smart that she makes him look like an idiot child. She went to a school that was little known but that had the hardest, most exciting curriculum. Then her letters home became odd, filled with strange references that contained a secret message: "They're hurting me." Simon used all of his money and sacrificed his promising medical career to help a group smuggle River out of the "school" in cryo-stasis. Now, Simon has to find some way to cure whatever the government did to her without actually knowing what their experiments were all while running from very determined authorities. Simon and his sister are allowed to stay on with the crew, adding to or expanding the target already on "Serenity."

Nuggets of each characters past drift into the story with each episode, and each one is delicious. Every character is lovable and intriguing:

Example #1 = Wash is playing with toy dinosaurs in the cockpit. Stegosaurus - "We shall call this land...this land." T. Rex - "I think we should call it your grave!" Stegosaurus - "Curse you and your sudden, but inevitable, betrayal!"

Example #2 = Jayne - "Do you understand what the chain of command is? That's the chain I go get and beat you with until you understand that I'm in command!"

Every character is well developed and has excellent, and often hilarious, lines. The hilarity, though, is mixed in with a perfect dose of drama, suspense, and action (Mal seems to get shot or stabbed in every other episode). The mix is so good that I have yet to meet someone who didn't like this show, though I'm sure they are out there somewhere. Friends that hate Star Wars, Star Trek, and other "weird" shows fell in love within five minutes of the first episode. After Kaylee got shot and my friends shouted, "NO!!!! She can't die! We like her!", I knew we'd be watching several more episodes that night.

Sadly, there are only 15 episodes of "Firefly" in existence (search around for discussion on how Fox screwed the pooch), but all are top-notch. Two episodes, "Heart of Gold" and "Objects in Space", I have some difficulty stomaching, but, like really spicy curry, I continue to enjoy regularly.

Watch this, love it, watch it again. "Firefly" ranks as among the best of Joss Whedon and the best of any other category of entertainment you can conceive.

I give it a 10/10.
Ginose #1: Ginose - added June 16, 2008 at 5:31pm
I certainly have a great admiration for Joss Whedon's writing... the man himself is an asshole, but I love his shows.
As much as I liked "Firefly" I really have to knock off points for originality. You'd think it'd be revolutionary, but I'm pretty sure Japanese cartoons had been doing these plots as T.V. shows for the last 20 years or so.
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added June 16, 2008 at 6:03pm
"Firefly" not original? That's news to me and the rest of the TV world. 10/10.
Tristan #3: Tristan - added June 16, 2008 at 6:21pm
10/10 from myself as well. Cowboys in space? How the hell could you not love it?
Ginose #4: Ginose - added June 17, 2008 at 12:01am
The rest of the TV world should watch more Japanese cartoons. I liked the show (mostly for dialouge) but there wasn't a truly original idea to be found.
bluemeanie #5: bluemeanie - added June 17, 2008 at 10:09am
Ummm...maybe not original...but a hell of a lot better than Japanese cartoons.
Ginose #6: Ginose - added June 17, 2008 at 5:14pm
Matter of opinion. I still rank "Outlaw Star" as one of the greatest television series of all time. Though, I'd agree it turned out better than alot of them, but I still fear that, if the show does pick up again (as so many fans are hoping) it will lose steam... fast.
This show wasn't like "Buffy", there are limits to how far you could have stretched the general plot. So, I feel like there could have been more to this series, but I'm glad it ended when it did.
bluemeanie #7: bluemeanie - added June 18, 2008 at 10:36am
I guess I am primarily bitter because all of my favorite shows (and, typically, the best shows) get canceled after one season and no one ever gets to see how much greater they could be. Thank God someone had faith in "Pushing Daisies" this season.
Griffinheart #8: Griffinheart - added June 23, 2008 at 1:08am
I agree with you Ginose. Firefly (kinda like Futurama) ended before it could have any truly bad episodes. I'm thankful for that, because it makes my memory of the show much happier.
Lucid Dreams #9: Lucid Dreams - added July 11, 2010 at 2:29am
I love you Ginose because I am a Outlaw Star fan myself. This was a great series and they could have had a couple more before they would have any bad episodes. 9/10
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