By: Gabriel Worthington, Staff Writer
Runtime for series: 12.25 hours (includes Serenity)
When 2017 comes around, it will have been 15 years since Firefly, the hit show that ended too soon, was canceled. Even though it was only 14 episodes, Firefly will forever have a place in America’s nerd culture.
Set in 2517, Firefly follows Captain Mal, the leader of a small gang of former rebels and current thieves, as they fight to survive in the hostility of space. The Alliance, a merger of the US and China, dominates culturally, politically, and most important, militarily. This makes each world, be it a rough and tumble frontier world or an urbanized and beautiful central planet, a fun and unique setting. Mal and much of the crew fought against the Alliance in a prior civil war, adding further conflict.
From first glance, Firefly seems like a very odd combination. It’s hard to imagine how the western and sci-fi genres mixed with a bit of Robin Hood could work, yet Joss Whedon does it masterfully. Sadly, like all good things, Fox canceled it after 14 episodes. While the movie Serenity wrapped up all the loose threads, anyone who sees it in its entirety will agree Firefly was cut down in it’s prime.
The characters are one of the strongest points of the show. From Simon, a wealthy doctor, to Jane, the most rugged and violent, to Kaylee, the crew’s engineer and optimist, Firefly has all sorts of characters and personalities. However, they go a step beyond, and truly flesh out characters instead of having simple stereotypes. Jane is ruthless, but not an unlovable sociopath, Kaylee, though lovable, can be insecure, and Simon has a ship load of secrets. These are merely a handful of the excellent characters the show offers.
Despite the show being almost 15 years old, the special effects and set are beautiful even today. Though they have aged, they still remain a gold standard for other sci-fi shows and a staple of conventions even today. The plot of each episode takes unexpected turns, and any jokes made don’t fall flat.
When the next school holiday comes around, watching Firefly and the accompanying movie Serenity is an excellent use of time. Easy and quick to watch, you won’t notice how quickly the time goes by.