You know what was really fun? The American Civil War. A country divided, brother against brother, half of the country burnt to the ground. Good times. That’s essentially what Firefly was. “Joss Whedon + Space + The Civil War – Slavery” equals a fourteen episode show that’s too hyped-up for its own good.
Original Run: 2002-2003
No. of Episodes: 14 + A Movie
Premise: A renegade group aboard a “Firefly-class” ship called Serenity travel around space, trying to outrun the central government and make a living as thieves/mercenaries.
A lot of people, by which I mean the internet, really love Firefly. It’s a cult show whose legend is only enhanced by its premature death. The fan base was so strong, that Universal Studios actually caved in and produced a theatrical feature film. How many other cancelled television shows can you say that about? Where is my Heroes: The Movie, My Name is Earl: The Movie, or Arrested Development: The Movie!?
Well, scratch that last one. Maybe instead of trying to revive Firefly, fans should just be thankful for what they got. Firefly’s biggest draw is its fusion of western and outer space genres. This show is literally a space western. The Serenity houses “brown coats,” a preacher, a big city doctor, and a professional escort. The show, by design, has a very cool cowboy vibe.
Ignoring the fact that the show essentially has Confederate Soldiers as the protagonists, Firefly’s biggest flaw was its lack of a central plot. There was no Big Bad, no overarching story. Most of the episodes were just character portraits of the Serenity crew. These weren’t bad, but they weren’t enough of a reason to tune-in every week. I should also note that anyone planning on watching Firefly will also need to watch the movie Serenity in order to get the full story.
Firefly was not the greatest television show in history. But it was a really good one that got cancelled before its time. Luckily, this also means that you can watch the whole “saga” in a few sittings. I say that one positive outweighs all the negatives. P.S. No matter what anyone says, Firefly had an amazing theme song.