It’s hard to believe it’s been over ten years since Firefly’s debut on Fox. Ten years and Firefly’s still flying strong and extending its influence as one of the single best television shows in history.
I was introduced to Firefly the same way many others were. I heard of it online, from friends, and from pop culture in general, so one day, when I was home alone with nothing to do, I sat on my couch and watched the eighty-minute pilot episode.
What happened next would change the way I viewed television forever.
Firefly is, and always will be, the epitome of what a TV show can accomplish. I compare every new show to it, and has, in a way, spoiled me. It opened me eyes that there’s more to network television than procedurals, and its ambitiousness challenged all that came before and all that followed it.
The premise itself is worthy of much praise, as a sci-fi western mash up, on TV, was and is unheard of. Consistently unique, exciting, entertaining, hilarious, and exhilarating, Firefly is one of those shows that hooks you form the beginning and never lets go.
Every one of the show’s fourteen episodes is brilliant in its own right, and somehow thee never feel rushed or distracting. And after watching the first episode, I knew I had a new obsession. For the next week and a half I spent every available moment watching Firefly; even if it meant blowing off studying or the like.
Firefly has everything going for it; the characters are wondrous, the special effects are surprisingly good for a network TV show, the stories are unique, and the world and atmosphere represent the best premise TV has to offer.
The adventures of Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his rag tag team of misfits as they fly through space on the Serenity are worthy of many revisits, and never get lose their appeal. All of this is thanks to Joss Whedon, the now famed director and writer for The Avengers, and his knack for casting and imagination.
Although Whedon only just recently got his biggest success in The Avengers, he’s been beloved by ‘nerds’ everywhere for his brilliant TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly (of course), Dollhouse, and the genius web-series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog.Without him, Firefly wouldn’t be the juggernaut it is today.
Firefly also provided the associated actors a kind of jumping off point. Because of Firefly, actors like Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk and Summer Glau to name a few are not only very popular with the crowds, but have also found considerable success.
With so much going for it, you would think Firefly would’ve had a longer run wouldn’t you? Well, unfortunately, due to a major screw up on Fox’s part, Firefly was cancelled prematurely.
Maybe the show was just to expensive to make, or maybe because the episode were aired out of order, or maybe it was the fact that Fox kept switching its time slot; regardless, Firefly was cancelled way before it should’ve been.
However, due to the outrage of the fans, who lovingly refer to themselves as the Browncoats, Fox was convinced of their error (kind of), and a movie was green-lighted to tie up loose ends.
Yes, a miracle had happened. Fox agreed to let Whedon reunite the actors and producers one last time to create the movie Serenity, and the results were great. Serenity gave fans closure, and finished up most of the plot threads that had been left loose at the end of the show.
I’m not sure how they did it, but Serenity is not only a fitting ending to the show, but also a great starting point for new fans. There’s enough throwback to the show to please fans, but also enough newness to fill in new fans on the characters so as to not alienate them.
It’s really hard to believe it’s been ten whole years since Firefly debuted, and seven years since the release of Serenity. That’s a long time, and to think that the franchise is still going strong. It’s all a testament to how genuinely good the show is.
Although chances of a sequel or a continuation of the show is nearly non-existent outside of several comics and novelizations, the Browncoats won’t let the series die. I watch the series and subsequent film at least once a year, and it ends up occupying my thoughts for the rest of the month.
There’s no denying the impact Firefly and Serenity had and has on people, and it’s incredibly rare for me to talk to someone who has seen the show, and not fallen in love with it. And last Sunday’s Science Channel Firefly reunion Browncoat’s Unite just re-states how important the series is to not just the fans, but the people involved with it.
If you’ve read this whole post, then I’m sure you’re just as much a fan of Firefly as I am. If not, then you, my friend, are in for a treat. During the coming Thanksgiving holiday, take some time to relax and watch through the Firefly series in its entirety, and then watch Serenity on Netflix. I hope you have as much as I did with my first experience of the show.
Although the show is over, and there’s little chance of another movie, the spirit of Firefly lives on in fans everywhere.; and no one can take the sky from us.