Monday, July 02, 2007

You Maniacs! You Blew it Up! Damn You! FSM Damn You All to Hell!

"Mr. Nimoy, I came as soon as I heard what happened hundreds of years ago! I can't believe your show was banned!" -Phillip J. Fry
Well, thanks to JackalMage, I've been able to watch Firefly. I never watched any of it before, and I only vaguely recall a poster for Serenity, the movie continuation, so I didn't have any preconceptions beyond the fact that a lot of people liked it, and it was supposedly unjustly canceled. If you don't want even the tiniest hint of spoilers, don't click. But if you're okay with just a tiny hint, don't worry: Nothing really meaningful below.

Well, I've quickly grown to agree with the assessment of the cancellation. I wish I could have caught some of the advertising (was there any?) for the show, in which case I may have been involved in some massive effort to protest the canceling or something. Seems that Fox was REALLY determined to cancel everything I liked or would have liked.

I need to see about getting The Tick on DVD. Only saw parts of a couple episodes and I enjoyed that.

Anyway, back to Firefly itself: I never caught a whiff of the western flavor thrown in before I watched the show, and I've got to say I think they did a decent job. Think it matches pretty well, given the flavor of frontier planets and moons and my thoughts on the future. As much as I liked Star Trek, I don't think technology will magic away all our problems. In Firefly, everything stays the same, except they have spaceships, now.

The little things: I like how standard (though probably enhanced in a few ways) guns are still a staple weapon in Firefly. One thing that annoyed me in Star Trek was the occasional "energy weapons don't work" field that left the crew with nothing to fall back on. Just need oxygen to fire a good ol' revolver. And if you're smart, you can include an oxidizer with the explosive. I kind of enjoyed seeing them work their way around that limitation in one episode with "Vera," which leads me to another thing I'd like to see more often in sci-fi: Space scenes are silent. One of the things I've often said in meatspace is that "white space attracts my attention." I'm so used to being overstimulated that I notice a lack of stimuli more than a change in stimuli. If Firefly had space battles, I'd probably want sound, but given the lack of niceties like energy shields, decompression-preventing force fields, I think the lack of space battles and sound is a very good thing: The silence of space is deadly.

I need to see about getting my hands on a Serenity DVD, now.


Berlzebub said...

I've got the Serenity DVD, and now I want the Firefly DVD set. After watching the movie, my wife is now more interested in the series.

I only watched the series for a couple of episodes, but I enjoyed it. Like you said, FOX cancels every show I like, though. Well, except for House, M.D. and Bones.

TheBrummell said...

My friend loaned me the Firefly DVD set a few months ago; like you, I'd never seen the series, but I had seen the movie (it's still a good flick even if you've never seen the TV series).

My ONLY problem with the series was the guns-in-space thing with "Vera".
a) The propellant of a firearm, going back to black powder, does not rely on oxygen in the air to burn and explode. ALL gunpowders contain their own oxidizers; they have too in order to work.
b) The show is inconsistent in that scene. A cop-out argument that Vera needs to be immersed in a fluid medium for cooling purposes could have been made, but Jayne fired Vera twice. That second shot was made in hard vacuum.

Having said that, yes, Fox seems to be running a conspiracy to annoy nerds, by briefly running then cancelling great shows.

TheBrummell said...

me spell gud. Sorry, that's what I get for not previewing.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the fold Bronze Dog!

In my, if you listen to the woos not too humble opinion, Firefly is the best sci-fi show that has been made.

Star Trek the lame 80s and 90s shows were often too nice and clean and almost magical (in the way science made us all happier, nicer and more noble).

Star Trek original was more of a hit with me, but a little too much 'Show me this earth thing called kissing.'

Never got into Farscape, loved Babylon 5 but never saw Crusades, didn't like Lexx, not a huge fan of the original Battlestar Galactica, love the new version.

I know I have missed a LOT of shows, but that is what I can think of off the top of my head (and I haven't mentioned British ones like Blakes 7).

Like you though, Firefly gels a lot more with my vision of the future. Really, humans are still a bit shit. It is not that far removed from now. Civilisation breaks down the further you get from earth, there are no green aliens.

Call me Paul said...

For me the best thing about Firefly was the dialogue. "My days of not taking you seriously are definitely coming to a middle." Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Minor spoilers below.

My favorite line (having only seen maybe 5 episodes): "Whatchy'all order a dead guy for?" (or something along those lines.)

I can't remember if it was in Firefly or Serenity, but at one point a ship explodes, IIRC, and... there was no sound. My jaw nearly hit the floor. Beautiful!

Unknown said...

watch the movie as soon as you can. It is beyond excellent.

Joss Whedon is a fantastic writer, and he outdid himself on this series. The secret of Whedon's unrelenting awesomeness is his dialogue, and his penchant for setting up a cliche and then going in the opposite direction. He never fails to amaze, surprise, and entertain. Bless you, Joss, you're a big damn hero.