on October 10, 2012
There have been few science fiction series in past memory that are as warm and memorable as Firefly. A perfectly cast crew of loveable characters (that you actually care about), well-written stories, beautiful sets, music, wardrobe and special FX blend into an intoxicatingly brilliant series. It’s a wildly fun-filled tale with wit, action, adventure and humor.
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!
on October 14, 2003
If you're not a science fiction fan, you may be looking at the endless string of rapturous reviews for "Firefly" and rolling your eyes. While "Firefly" certainly doesn't lack in geek appeal, its sharp writing, excellent cast and often-striking visual style elevate it into the ranks of Just Plain Great Television. After a somewhat bumpy start, this series found its groove with remarkable speed, and began cranking out hour after hour of compelling drama as if it had been on the air for years.
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.
I spent most of this week watching the 14 episodes of Firefly for the second time in my life, and I think I appreciated it even more this time around. The TV show was cancelled before all of the Season 1 episodes were shown, although they ultimately aired on The Science Channel.
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.
If you do become hooked on the series, you'll need to watch Serenity (2005), which was a two-hour movie wrapping up the main story. That's a fantastic science fiction movie, but you'll appreciate it more if you know the characters well. Firefly runs for almost 11 hours, and you'll end up wishing for more. The movie gives the show a proper ending, and won't leave you hanging.
At the time of writing, it's available on Amazon.ca for just $12.49. Buy it if you like Whedon, science fiction, or well-written characters. Incidentally, the set is housed in a regular Blu-ray case with room for the three discs, so it won't look out of place on your shelf.
Firefly is a mix of action, drama, romance, and adventure. Although it's science fiction, the characters often talk like cowboys. Josh Whedon (Buffy, The Avengers) created the series, as well as directing three episodes and being involved as a writer.
The characters have real depth, but the development isn't rushed. The origin of the relationships and character traits are explained gradually as the series progresses. Many of the characters are mysterious, and will make you question their true motivations. But, through it all, each character always seems real. You'll meet a married couple, war veterans, a preacher, a doctor, a psychologically damaged girl, a genius engineer, an apparently dumb mercenary, and a high-class prostitute. It's fascinating to see the existing bonds between some of the characters, and the development of new bonds.
I am not a television watcher, and so it took me over 3 years after cancellation to discover this incredible television science fiction series. Yes, the episodes are 43 minutes, and thus you know that resolution is drawing near as the time winds down with each episode. But this is science fiction for television as I had never imagined it. Firefly is classic science fiction story-telling first, and television second. What sticks with me? When River steps barefoot onto the metal deck connecting two ships in space, I received a sensory impression of life in space as it might someday be lived. Warm give-and-take discussion over the plain wooden table in the ship's galley is only one more of perhaps hundreds of subtle touches that evoke the possibility of life in this imagined future world (set arbitrarily 500 years away). Clearly the fiction outweighs the science (quantum gravity has clearly been solved in the "Out of Gas" episode). And there is plenty of action for those who nod off at cognitive content. But this is a creditable contribution to dramatized science fiction. The movie sequel Serenity has just been identified in a BBC poll as the best science fiction movie overall, and - at least for our era - that is certainly the case. Move over Star Wars. This is better than even the original Star Wars episodes. I am not a connoisseur of televised science fiction, but it is hard to imagine how this program could be topped. (More on this topic on my blog: [...]
on January 8, 2007
"Firefly"... What does that word bring to mind? For some, nothing, or maybe at most some kind of bug with a beautiful name... For a few, like me and maybe you, "Firefly" is a great though somewhat weird show that was untimely cancelled by Fox. We were robbed of the opportunity of watching that show, but at least we enjoyed it while it was on air, so I think that we were the lucky ones...
Fortunately, this dvd allows everybody to be a winner, in the sense that if you lost the opportunity of watching the series, you can do it now, and if you already watched and loved the series, you can watch it again as many times as you want.
Should I tell you something about the series, in case you are completely clueless regarding "Firefly"? Well, "Firefly" is a sci-fi Western produced by Joss Whedon, the person behind "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel". The series is set in the future, and it tells the story of a group of rebels that oppose the Alliance, a dictatorial government. These rebels live in a ship, the "Serenity", and their leader is Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), a former officer in a war against the Alliance that his side lost. We also have Zoe (Mal's second officer, played by Gina Torres) and her husband 'Wash' Washburne (a pilot, played by Alan Tudyk). We cannot forget the utterly unlikable Jayne (Adam Baldwin), Kaylee(a mechanic and an eternal optimist, played by Jewel Staite), Shepherd Book (Ron Glass), Inara (Morena Baccarin), Simon Tam (a doctor, played by Sean Maher) and his sister River (Summer Glau), a psychic on whom the Alliance experimented before she managed to escape.
In a nutshell, this series is pure, unadulterated fun that was cut short for thousands due to the fact that it was cancelled when merely 11 of the 14 episodes this dvd contains had been aired. I suppose that the fact that Fox is behind the release of dvd could be seen as some kind of atonement for the cancellation of the show, I don't know. In any case, I am pretty sure that more people will become fans of "Firefly" after watching this dvd, and that won't hurt the chances that the show has of returning to the small screen.
Finally, I would like to highlight the fact that the bonus features that "Firefly" offers are great, but what really completes this dvd is another one, "Serenity". "Serenity", now available in dvd format, is an excellent film directed by Joss Whedon and based on the "Firefly" series, that provides it with an interesting ending. If you can, purchase both "Firefly" and "Serenity" at the same time. You won't regret it, and you will save some time :)
on August 15, 2006
This has to be the best sci-fi series I've seen in ages. It's probably at the top of my list, (maybe even above Starhunter 2300). I first heard about this show on the Starhunter forums. Never got to see it while it was actually being shown on televsion. A space western? I was skeptical. I was never a fan of Wild Wild West of anything like that, so I didn't really know what to expect. Never a Buffy fan either.
Finally got the DVD set last year. I put on the first episode and couldn't stop watching. This series has everything! It's a well thought out sci-fi adventure, with very realistic FX. It's thankfully free of the usual phony science jargon and cheezy looking bumpy-headed alien-suits. What it does have is an intricate ongoing plot through the series (and continuing in the movie, 'Serenity'), plus great episode plots that are entertaining as hell. Blending sci-fi with an old-west kind of frontier setting along with Chinese and Russian influences throughout this future society, the whole thing is facsinating and could be expanded upon for dozens of episodes (if some dummy at a certain 'un-named tv network' hadn't cancelled the series).
The characters are just great. A group of anti-heroes, just barely coping with the harsh future that they live in, and barely tolerating eachother. You can almost feel what it would be like to be cooped up in a spaceship for months on end. They survive mostly as criminals, taking any job that comes to them. They get into scrapes with all kinds of folk, government agents, local authorities, crimelords, bounty hunters, you name it. The plots range from nail-biting suspenseful, to emotionally gripping, to dark and depressing to absolutely hilarious. I can't believe how much was accomplished in such a short run of a series.
If you haven't seen Serenity yet, watch this series first! It keeps things in order and lets you get to know the characters. Even if you have seen Serenity, you owe it to yourself to see this series as well, if you haven't already. One viewing of Firefly and I was an instant 'Browncoat'. Chances are, you will be as well.
on April 28, 2006
The cancellation of this series has to go down as one of the biggest boardroom blunders in the history of tv broadcasting. What were the execs at Fox thinking when they pulled the plug on this brilliant piece of television?!?
This series had everything. Science-fiction/western/action/mystery/social commentary/romance/comedy. Firefly was so hard to just pin down to one genre, that it is almost impossible to describe to somebody who hasn't watched it. I had only seen bits of episodes when the show was originally aired and had to wait for this DVD release to see the whole thing.
I was skeptical when I first started watching it, noting similarities to Starhunter and other shows, but by the time I was a few episodes in, I was totally hooked. OK, I'll say it, I'm a 'browncoat' now.
Enough of the other reviews should give you a decent synopsis of Firefly, but what I think, is that Joss Whedon and company have accomplished, is a complete re-invention of the space-opera genre. There's none of the ridiculous pseudo-science-techno-babble that series in the Star Trek vein (and others) seem to suffer from. The universe of Firefly is far-flung, but beleivable. The technology looks far-future, but well-used. I liked the blending of space-colonization and frontier-towns. It works really well. And I like the fact that there are no tacky bumpy-headed-alien costumes to be seen, anywhere in Firefly. It's a future where humanity has colonized and terraformed dozens of worlds in the galaxy, but still human nature has remained unchanged. All the greed, corruption and the basic need for survival are active driving forces in the show. Firefly is like a bittersweet satire of our world as it is now. It also doesn't have the problem of taking itself too seriously all the time (though there is a lot of drama). There are situations and dialogue from the characters that had me rolling on the floor with laughter. I was even surprised at what I found myself laughing at sometimes.
The cast are brilliant! Each and every one of them. The characters are wonderfully flawed, and also endearing. They are each very gradually fleshed out as the series unfolds. You only find out bits of information at a time. There is a mystery to each member of Serenity's crew (and, no doubt, mysteries about Serenity herself).
While viewing the entire series, I did not see a single episode that I didn't thoroughly enjoy. I don't just mean that none of the episodes sucked (that's a rare enough accomplishment in itself), but that almost every episode made me feel like I was watching something exceptional.
I'm going to purchase the Serenity DVD next (haven't seen it yet). And now I'm hoping that somehow, they will be able to make more in this series. Firefly has become one of my all-time favorites.
on May 18, 2006
Firefly, a sci-fi western as weird as that sounds, works really well. I didn't expect much about a show literally involving cowboys in space, but the idea behind the series was original and unique. Plus Joss Whedon and his crack team of writers really know how to create exciting and entertaining plotlines, character developement and witty witty laugh-out-loud dialogue. It is not at all hard to get into the rhythm of the show, in fact it becomes addictive, so much so that it's even more painful when you end up watching the last episode. And the fact that only fourteen episodes were made makes it worse. Good thing there is still the movie Serenity, which neatly ties everything together. And if you liked the movie and own that, then it makes perfect sense to get this too.
on May 28, 2006
There's not nearly enough of it, but this box set is excellent. Lots of fun characters and absurdism. The fact that it's in a sci-fi world is an afterthought, which I really like; too many sci-fi shows use the setting as a crutch for dialogue and events. Firefly uses it as a backdrop and nothing more. It's a shame it ended as soon as it did, but there isn't a single bad episode in this set. Would it have eventually jumped the shark? Probably. Most shows do. So the result of the shows mis-management by Fox TV is a show that was always at it's peak
I watched serenity about 20 times before finally breaking down and watching the complete Firefly series (14 episodes, 2002-2003). You can see my Serenity review for more details on the movie.
This series has all my favorite characters from the movie. The series was of course made before the movie. The series has most of the same characters and loosely the same base story. I can see where the series closed down too soon.
Some space ship, some cowboy, and a lot of people to people situation interaction. Each episode brings in a new problem and we see how our characters are to solve the problem or at least leave us with the thought of what we would do if we were there.
I saw the complete series on Blu-ray DVD as I wanted more control over the display and repeated viewing without having to subscribe to a service. The extras were disanointing and there was no voiceover commentary. Some of the scenes ware a tad grainy; however this does not distract from the presentation.