Friday, February 25, 2011

What Made Firefly So Awesome

After reading yesterday's post, I realized that I referred to "Firefly" as being "awesome" about 15 separate times.  You may be wondering why I think that about a show that was only on for a year.  You may be wondering why a whole bunch of people think that, and why they think it's so awesome that they would do something as silly as trying to raise money to buy the show from a studio that probably has 0 interest in selling the property (despite the fact that they will probably never do anything with it again). 

Here goes.  Things that made "Firefly" awesome.

1. Cowboys in Space-

I love me some sci-fi.  I love space epics, and alien monsters, and using theoretical technology as a way to comment on modern society.  I also love westerns.  I love shoot-outs, and outlaws, and heroes who fight for lost causes.  Mixing the chocolate of westerns with the peanut butter of science fiction was what Firefly was all about.

2. Mystery!

The show was mostly episodic in structure, but there was a larger story that took place within those episodes- the mystery of River Tam.  Who was River? Why did the government want her so much? Why does she know what she knows and why can she do what she does? Is there a connection to the space cannibals known as the Reavers? We found out alot of this in "Serenity", but still- it was this mystery that drove the long term story of the show.

3. Christina Hendricks!

Okay, so she was only on 2 episodes, but before she got super-famous as the scorching hot Joan Holloway on Mad Men, Christina Hendricks was on Firefly as a con artist.  See?

4. Joss Whedon is awesome-

Joss Whedon, creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", and "Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog", writer of "Astonishing X-Men", and all around nice guy also created "Firefly".  Joss Whedon's big thing was breaking storytelling conventions, and cliches.  This made his fantastical worlds feel more real and compelling, by making characters act how they might in real life.  Also, Joss really cared about the world(s) he created, and it showed.  "Firefly" wasn't just an opportunity to cash in on obsessive nerds, it was a love song to those nerds about all that they held dear.

5. Nathan Fillion is awesome-

Malcom Reynolds, the captain of the Serenity, war veteran, champion of lost causes, and overall awesome character, was played by Nathan Fillion.  Fillion poured real life into the character of Mal- he made us care about Mal.  We wanted to see Captain Mal win.

6. World Building-

The 'verse of "Firefly" is totally unlike any other science fiction universe.  Where so many sci-fi worlds feel derivative of earlier works in the genre, the world of "Firefly" felt unique.  Once again, think space cowboys, but also think space cowboys on whole planets that resemble China, or 19th century Europe, or 20th Century US of A.  Also, think space cannibals, genetically engineered space warriors, and space Russian mafioso.  Throw all of those things together and you start to get an inkling of just what the 'verse was like.

7.  It was funny-

Do you remember how on "Star Trek: tNG", Data would say something funny once every other episode or so? Well, "Firefly" was funny all of the goram time.  Alan Tudyk, who played Wash, was especially funny.

8. The fanbase-

"Firefly" fans, who mostly call themselves "Browncoats", are insane.  Totally, completely, wonderfully insane.  The show was on for 1 season, and then there was 1 movie.  The show ended 8 years ago.  And you know what? The fanbase is still there.  They (we) STILL buy "Firefly" merchandise, we (they) still talk to each other on message boards, and we (us) quietly (well, not so quietly) wait for the day when "Firefly" returns in some capacity or another- thus the huge reaction to the "Help Nathan Fillion Buy Firefly" campaign.

So there.  That's eight good reasons why "Firefly" was (is) awesome.  There are more.  Many more.  These were just to eight that sprang immediately to mind when I started to think about "Firefly".  


  1. By the way.. I don't if you do the video game thang (first time reading your blog) but the game Borderlands did a great job capturing the "desperados in space" vibe. Do you know that one?

  2. so true this tv series is the reason i exist!

  3. Show was beyond excellent. I'm about to watch Jaynestown right now.

  4. Have never seen the show and none of my friends have either. But i have heard about alot, and everbody was saying it is a must see if you call youself a sci-fi nerd. Well i got it yesterday And now 15 hours later (not sure about exakt time) I have seen all episodes including Serenity. And all i can say, here is a new fan!! Loved it! cant belive i missed it for so long! cant belive they only made one seson.