Saturday, June 6, 2009

Firefly and I part 1

As promised, I have begun to watch Joss Whedon's Firefly series. For those of you who are not familiar with this series, don't feel bad. It was only on for one season and even then it didn't get a full run of taped episodes.

However, since it was aired in in 2002, it has spawned a major motion picture called Serenity, a couple of comic books and a role playing game. Oh, and here are some awards it has received:

* Emmy Award: Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series, 2003
* Visual Effects Society: Best visual effects in a television series, 2003 (episode "Serenity")
* Saturn Award: Cinescape Genre Face of the Future Award, Male, 2003 (Nathan Fillion)
* Saturn Award: Saturn Award for Best DVD Release (television), 2004
* SyFy Genre Awards: Best Actor/Television Nathan Fillion, 2006[73]
* SyFy Genre Awards: Best Supporting Actor/Television Adam Baldwin, 2006
* SyFy Genre Awards: Best Special Guest/Television Christina Hendricks for "Trash", 2006
* SyFy Genre Awards: Best Episode/Television "Trash", 2006
* SyFy Genre Awards: Best Series/Television, 2006

Since I was given the challenge to watch all of them in order, I wanted to track my progress and thoughts here for you readers. If you haven't seen it, this will give you some insight into the show I had no interest in watching. If you have seen it, it will give you some insight into why I haven't watched it up to this point in it's entirety.

Serenity part 1 and 2 (Pilot Episodes)

What I'm not going to do is break down plot points and story lines. What I am going to do is give my thoughts on it.

Overall, the pilot was engaging. I will say that I had attempted to watch the pilot before on SyFy channel, but it was the first hour of two. It did not grab me then.

This time, I was able to feel the character development and the emotional interest within each character. Overall, there are too many characters on board this show and if anything could kill it, that is one thing I would put my money on. Why? because I still dont recall all the names of the characters after 4 episodes. If I dont have a vested interest in anyone they could put an ongoing storyline on, why do I care over all?

However, having said that, I do LIKE all the characters on this show. Each is interesting and all have their moments. Except Summer Glau's character. I should point out at this point I have seen the movie Serenity, and I STILL don't care about her character.

My recommendation is to watch the pilot. If you find there is interest in these people for you, then the next couple will be watchable. If not, then don't bother. Character development for all of them doesn't come in the next two episodes as much as needed and you wont care enough after the next two to move forward.

This is of interest because 'The Train Job' which is episode 2, was made to BE the Pilot by FOX stating the original pilot was not suitable.

THE TRAIN JOB (episode 2)
The Firefly gang gets rustled up into stealing - for some never disclosed reason - medical supplies from a mining community from a speed train for a Russian mafioso and they feel bad about it when the discover what they've done and make it right. I'm sure this is how TV Guide read when they talked about what this episode is about. This is a straight out of history OLD WESTERN story. Where in the bad guy is established to be the bad guy but we never see him again in the story.

IF THIS WAS THE FIRST EPISODE, I WOULDN'T WATCH A SECOND. This is because I don't enjoy cowboys, six shooters, and train robbery stories. I just do not care.

I presume this is a 'gonna get back to the bad guy later' kinda thing which brings me to a point about Joss Whedon. His style is great for mini-series and novels. See, in a mini-series, you have to show them in order or they just don't make sense.

In a TV Series, one should be able to watch them in a general way and still find them enjoyable. The complaint 'they didn't show them in order' means a couple of things:

1. If the series needed to be shown in order then me catching in at episode 6 would leave me (as it did when I tried to watch in on SyFy) confused and with no emotional investment.

2. Knowing how Network TV treats it's series, doomed to be disappointed.

And I bet money people watched this back in 2002 and went 'what?' A space western. thanks. but no thanks.

Finally, we come to the Bushwhacked (episode 3).

I saw this, it was the opening of Star Wars episode 4 ('Where are the plans - they must be aboard this ship.') following a space version of 'Das Boot.'

Where the episode starts out and how it finishes seems to me like 2 different stories. Glau's annoying character hears the screams of the dead... Maybe. Or maybe they were the thoughts in the Crazy Man's head. IDK. in the end, I didn't care.

This could have been a first episode as each of the crew members are interrogated by the Darth Va- Alliance officer. This gave us some insight as to how each character fits into the whole Serenity crew.

OVERALL - So far, I would say the Pilot was pretty good. Episodes 2 and 3 not so much really. It's not BAD television, for sure. It's just not AWESOME OMG GOTTA WATCH EVERY WEEK TALK ABOUT IT EVERY DAY TIL THEN television.

Maybe tomorrow, if I have time to watch them, I will post about the next 4 episodes.

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