I am a huge Joss Whedon fan, he’s got a killer sense of humour and an imagination that makes me want to marry his brain. I was addicted to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (both the movie and series), Dollhouse and his masterpiece Firefly!
I actually stumbled onto the movie first. I walked into the DVD store one day, looking for something new to watch (which was kinda hard, as I’d pretty much seen everything back then), when the cover caught my eye. I asked the guy behind the desk if it was good and he told me he loved the series. I had no idea what he was talking about but I decided to give it a try… and the rest is history – of me watching the movie a million times!
I’m going to start with the TV series first because I highly recommend you watch it before the movie.
Five hundred years in the future, the world has changed, people live across the galaxy on terraformed planets or on spacecrafts floating through the vast emptiness of space. Firefly follows the journey of a wayward crew of renegades who make a living through thievery and helping people. The crew of the Serenity tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions, as well as authority agents out to get them.
What I Thought:
This really is one of my all time favourite series, I watch it all the time and even though there’s only one season, with only 14 episodes, it still has enough action, suspense and character building to keep you hooked.
The world Whedon creates is spectacular. It’s very basically described as a western in space, so it could fall under my favourite genre – Steampunk. The characters dress like cowboys, even their weapons look like old school guns. When they visit planets in the outer rims, they are cowboy like societies and the law is laid down like you would expect it to be done in a western. Only two languages have survived, English and Chinese, which are both spoken by everyone. The characters interchange between the languages very well and even though you might not understand the Chinese, you still understand what it is they are saying. I also love the way they speak, it’s all muddled and yet has more emotion behind it then the way we speak now.
But, like all Whedon’s work, the characters are what makes this show. Which is why you’ll notice that he tends to use the same actors in all his series. River Tam is one of the best heroines I’ve ever seen and I’ve had many an envious thought about her. I love that her character is undefined and we spend each episode learning a bit more about her. I also think Summer Glau embodied the character so very well. In fact, all the females (both the characters and actors) in this series are kick-ass and amazing. Zoey (Gina Torres) is the fighter, Kaylee (Jewel Staite) is the sweetheart mechanic and Inara (Morena Baccarin) is the ‘brains and beauty’ mix.
The men also kick-ass and keep you entertained. Mel is a true leader with too many secrets that you just want to suck out of him, and Nathan Fillion is the PERFECT person to play him. He manages to get Mel’s wittiness and strength spot on. I can’t imagine anyone else playing him. Wash is the one that keeps you laughing and personally I think Alan Tudyk is a genius! The man could act in anything and be incredible. Adam Baldwin plays Jayne, the trigger happy duchebag you love to hate. He’s surprisingly funny in this role, he’s got his own agenda and yet there’s a kinship that he shares with Mel. No matter how many times he threatens to leave, I really believe he never would. Shepard Book (Ron Glass) is one of those mysteries, he’s supposed to be a Shepard yet we know he was once more then that, he definitely has some ties to the Alliance. I could kidnap Whedon just so he’ll tell me what Book’s secrets are. Then there’s Simon Tam (Sean Maher) the big brother who gave up everything to rescue his sister… need I say more?
The story is so addictive and once you get sucked into this world you just want to stay there. I really enjoy the cleverness about this series, the mysteries to uncover, the countless laughs and the great action. In each episode we learn a bit more about the characters and see them doing what they do best – misbehaving.
Really? How can you not love a series where the most respectable person on the ship is the hooker?!
When the series was cancelled Whedon had some angry fans on his hands who wanted to know how the story ended. So two years later he came out with the movie, Serenity.
The whole cast came back to tell us what some of the big secrets were. The movie is just as phenomenal as the series and, coming in at almost two hours, is action packed with River getting to show off what she can do. There were some real shock moments in the movie with some key characters getting killed off, and in the end the movie had a good conclusion, but an open one.
The real amazing thing about this series and movie is that you really can watch them over and over, enjoying them every time.
I really look forward to what Whedon does next.