Firefly: The Complete Series
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As the 2005 theatrical release of Serenity made clear, Firely was a science fiction concept that deserved a second chance. Devoted fans (or "Browncoats") knew it all along, and with this well-packaged DVD set, those who missed the show's original broadcasts can see what they missed. Creator Joss Whedon's ambitious science-fiction Western (Whedon's third series after Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) was canceled after only 11 of these 14 episodes had aired on the Fox network, but history has proven that its demise was woefully premature. Whedon's generic hybrid got off to a shaky start when network executives demanded an action-packed one-hour premiere ("The Train Job"); in hindsight the intended two-hour pilot (also titled "Serenity," and oddly enough, the final episode aired) provides a better introduction to the show's concept and splendid ensemble cast. Obsessive fans can debate the quirky logic of combining spaceships with direct parallels to frontier America (it's 500 years in the future, and embattled humankind has expanded into the galaxy, where undeveloped "outer rim" planets struggle with the equivalent of Old West accommodations), but Whedon and his gifted co-writers and directors make it work, at least well enough to fashion a credible context from the incongruous culture-clashing of past, present, and future technologies, along with a polyglot language (the result of two dominant superpowers) that combines English with an abundance of Chinese slang.
What makes it work is Whedon's delightfully well-chosen cast and their nine well-developed characters--a typically Whedon-esque extended family--each providing a unique perspective on their adventures aboard Serenity, the junky but beloved "Firefly-class" starship they call home. As a veteran of the disadvantaged Independent faction's war against the all-powerful planetary Alliance (think of it as Underdogs vs. Overlords), Serenity captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) leads his compact crew on a quest for survival. They're renegades with an amoral agenda, taking any job that pays well, but Firefly's complex tapestry of right and wrong (and peace vs. violence) is richer and deeper than it first appears. Tantalizing clues about Blue Sun (an insidious mega-corporation with a mysteriously evil agenda), its ties to the Alliance, and the traumatizing use of Serenity's resident stowaway (Summer Glau) as a guinea pig in the development of advanced warfare were clear indications Firefly was heading for exciting revelations that were precluded by the series' cancellation. Fortunately, the big-screen Serenity (which can be enjoyed independently of the series) ensured that Whedon's wild extraterrestrial west had not seen its final sunset. Its very existence confirms that these 14 episodes (and enjoyable bonus features) will endure as irrefutable proof Fox made a glaring mistake in canceling the series. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
It’s a real shame that Firefly never stood a chance due to the network’s meddling and total lack of faith in the project from before it even made it to air. Thankfully the show developed a quick and loyal cult following of fans that fought valiantly to save their beloved series. In the end their passionate efforts did not resurrect the series, but instead rewarded us with Serenity, a motion picture I also highly recommend.
Regardless of if you’re a fan of the science fiction genre or not, I recommend the series to everyone. This Blu-ray is a must have for old and new fans alike and should find a place in everyone’s collections as it provides a solid upgrade from the previous DVD release of the show. The set also boasts an array of extras, including a partial cast reunion segment and an additional episode commentary exclusive to the Blu-ray release. You won't regret picking this one up. Highly Recommended!
The Fox network employed a novel strategy to introduce Firefly to audiences in the fall of 2002-- sidelining its brilliant two-hour premiere in favor of a dumbed-down and hastily-written successor, airing the series out of order (with all its least compelling episodes up front), and frequently pre-empting the show in favor of the world series. Fox then proceeded to throw up its hands in feigned amazement when the series tanked in the ratings. While fans of writer/producer/creator Joss Whedon do tend toward fanaticism, in this case it's more a testament to the quality and intelligence of "Firefly" that the series has enjoyed eye-popping pre-orders on DVD and new life as a feature film.
Standout episodes include "Serenity," the series' haunting, dryly funny pilot; "Our Mrs. Reynolds," a sly mix of screwball comedy and crime caper; and "Objects In Space," a nail-biting, beautifully shot game of cat and mouse between the series' most mysterious heroine and one of the more memorably whacked-out villains in recent TV memory.
The series failed for a number of reasons; the main one being that the episodes were not shown in the correct order, which was a stupid decision because the feature-length opening episode introduces all of the characters.
So why do I like it?
Episodes often show the crew taking on a task of some kind to earn their living. These assignments are often illegal, but can also become somewhat noble. If you are a fan of Whedon, you'll know that he uses humor regularly, and it's often present in Firefly. It can be pretty campy at times, but the writing is strong and it never comes across as stupid. Jaynestown is probably the funniest episode, and you'll understand why if you watch the episodes in the correct sequence.
I would have to say that I like every character, and that's rare for me with a cast of this size. The biggest mystery in the series surrounds River (Summer Glau), who plays the sister of the ship's doctor, Simon (Sean Maher). Their relationship is arguably the strongest within the group, and there's always a sense that River's story drives the entire series.
The Blu-ray includes all of the episodes, and the picture quality is good for the most part. Some of the darker images have lower quality, but the series is so good that you won't sit there criticizing the image. The special features include plenty of commentaries, as well as a making of feature, deleted scenes, and other assorted goodies.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
It's such a shame that this was a limited series. I loved it with a pre-Castle Nathan Fillion, And Alex Baldwin makes a great tough guy with the marshmellow centre. Read morePublished 13 days ago by BMCBookBabe
Love Firefly and love that I got this set at an amazing price. Came quickly and in great condition.Published 1 month ago by Jon Russell
The show is fine, but the disc itself is a pain to work with. It won't pause for any length of time and when I do want to continue, it starts from the very beginning of the disc... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michel H. Cartier
This is a classic series for those that love sci-fi! An interesting sort of take on cowboy/western themes in space. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Matthew
LOVE THIS SERIES. WISH THEY HAD NOT CANCELLED IT. LOVE NATHAN AND THE REST OF THE CAST.Published 3 months ago by SCOTTY