So, just recently I finished the entire series of the legendary cult series, Firefly. My friends talk highly about this series, and I never got the chance to get around watching it. I remember I saw the commercials that were shown on Fox when it first came out, and it made it look like a rip off of Outlaw Star and Trigun, so the appeal just never came to me, despite the fact that it’s from Joss Whedon. I’ve always wanted to watch the movie, Serenity, but after hearing that it’s a direct sequel to the series from my friends, I listened to their recommendations to watch the series first. So, I finally sat down and started watching it, and I have to say, it was an ok series.
I started watching the first two episodes, and couldn’t really get into it. The series were shot like a basic low budget series that would’ve been shown on the Sci-Fi channel. It had basic character plot and development, and the uniqueness of the world that combines the Wild West and Chinese culture is interesting. However, I couldn’t really get into it because of Nathan Fillion’s acting. He was a robot on the set, just speeding through his lines, and not showing much emotion at all. This bothered me a ton since I know Fillion is a really good actor, and great even when he’s doing stuff with Whedon. His character is Captain Mal Reynolds of the ship, Serenety, which would make him the main character for the entire series, the one that the audience supposes to relate. So if I, as an audience member, can’t really relate to him, the whole series falls down. Another thing that bothered me was Summer Glau’s character, River, whose mystery just kept dragging on, and I just wanted to see her stop being a weird child. Also the random Chinese cursing just threw me off.
I told my friends about my opinion of the first couple episodes, they were quite upset, and I got in a heated discussion with one of them who likes to keep things “kosher” with his “fists of fury”. They convinced me to watch a couple more episodes with them, and I still couldn’t seem to get into it. They told me the series does get better, so I buckled down, and continued to watch. Fillion’s acting did get better as the series progressed, so it got more bearable, but it wasn’t until episode 10 that I thought the series was actually good. We get to see more dimensions from each character, seeing them do things that we wouldn’t think they would do, and seeing more human sides to them through their tragic pasts. However, that’s the main problem. It didn’t catch me from the beginning, and I have to wait until later to actually get into the series. The fact that the episodes are 45 minutes long didn’t help either. Normally this is a series that I would like, but I just couldn’t seem to get into it. Maybe the plot and direction seemed way too basic, maybe I cared more about that than the world it’s based, and maybe that’s why everyone liked it because of the world it’s based in. Maybe everyone overhyped it too much for me.
Watching the series I can see how much they based the idea off of the legendary Western movie, Stagecoach. For those of you who don’t know, Stagecoach is what made westerns very popular, and it was the premiere of legendary John Ford and John Wayne. It made B movies great and fun to watch since it has good characters, action scenes, and a very basic plot. I could write more on the movie, but I should make the comparison. The movies and the series have a group of travelers heading to some destination, and both involved a gun for hire, prostitute, doctor, preacher, and a stagecoach driver/pilot. Both involved similar character arcs and conflicts, so in some ways, Firefly is a fan made series that pays homage to Stagecoach. Some of the episodes’ plots also pay tribute to other western classics such as A Fistful of Dollars and Magnificent Seven. However, despite seeing all this, I still had a hard time to get into the series until the last few episodes of the first and only season.
Now, with a series that I just can’t seem to get into, I’d normally be done by episode five, despite what other people recommend me. For me, there’s no reason to continue since I gave the series five opportunities to grab me, but I kept watching for one guy, Jayne played by Adam Baldwin. Whenever this guy does something, whether it’s shooting someone or talking, I just laugh in enjoyment. I keep watching just to see him do something, despite the annoyance or dislike I keep having throughout the series. He brings a sort of balance for me when watching the entire series. I guess I relate more to Jayne than anyone else in the series, more so that I believe he should get his own spinoff called Jayne’s Adventures. It has a nice ring to it. For me, he’s the saving grace of the series, and he’s the reason I think the series is an ok series, not a good or great one. So right now, I’ll finally get to see Serenity, and hopefully I’ll like it more than the series.