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TV Show Review: Firefly (2002)

Just about on the same level as Arrested Development and the better seasons of The Wire.

FireflyTime and time again, I’ll complain about Arrested Development being canceled way too early. But, Firefly is a show that really got screwed over by Fox — it only got one season, and even then there were three episodes that never aired (but thankfully are on DVD). Fox probably should’ve realized that airing the episodes completely out of order didn’t help ratings much..but Fox is run by morons, so of course that thought probably never crossed their minds.

Enough ranting. For those who aren’t familiar with Firefly, it’s an odd mix of Sci-Fi, Western, and Comedy. It sounds like a tough mix to pull off, but it WORKS. If anyone out there has seen Cowboy Bebop, Firefly reminded me a lot of a live-action version of that — only Firefly is a lot better (and this is coming from someone who thinks Cowboy Bebop is the only good anime that exists).

There also seems to be a pretty heavy Star Wars influence for Firefly. For example, both Star Wars and Firefly have an evil government-type empire/alliance in them. And the main character of Firefly, Mal, is like a much better version of Han Solo (and I thought Han Solo was a great character).

When I said earlier that Firefly is part comedy, I meant it. I don’t mean that it just has one or two characters for “comic relief” — every TV series has that. I mean that there will be multiple times every single episode where you will laugh out loud. This show is funnier than most sitcoms on TV. The writing is just really sharp and witty; it makes every character really funny and more likable.

That said, it doesn’t go over-the-top with the comedy to the point where everything is ridiculous. This isn’t Blazing Saddles or Spaceballs, it’s more like Star Wars with a lot of humor added into the dialogue. The storylines are serious ones that you would see in a traditional sci-fi TV show or movie…though there are many elements to Firefly that makes it a lot more mature-themed than most. While Star Wars is pretty kid-friendly, Firefly is a show that is definitely not for kids.

It’s possible that this show kinda benefited from the fact that it only had one season — it never had enough time to jump the shark. But, I really don’t think that’s the case here. As long as they had the later seasons play out in a similar style to the episodes in this season, I don’t know how this would’ve ever gotten old.

Score = 10/10

PS – Just an FYI. The first episode of the show is an hour and 20-minute long episode. This episode is pretty slow and serves only to get you to know the characters and find out how some of them got on Serenity. After watching that episode, I thought “well, that was alright…I’m probably going to like this, but I don’t get the hype”. Obviously, now I completely get the hype.

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