Retro Review: Firefly

Recently I revisited the lone season of the Joss Whedon created space western drama, Firefly. The series aired on Fox in 2002 and 2003, lasting only 14 episodes.

I discovered Firefly via the 2005 movie Serenity, which I saw many years after release thanks to the Filmspotting podcast. Nathan Fillion’s captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds was the closest anyone had come to capturing the spirit of Han Solo from Star Wars, and since I pretty much grew up watching Star Wars on repeat for several years of my childhood, anything drawing on that for inspiration was worth checking out.

It took a few years, but I finally got around to Firefly, and I’m glad that I did. Is the “space western” a bit hard to swallow? Sure, but in the context of the show, where young “terraformed” planets resemble the Wild West both in a physical and cultural sense, it’s logical. What really makes Firefly works is Whedon’s snappy dialog and interaction between the characters.

At times, the show walked the line between fun and camp, especially in some of the action sequences which didn’t seem particularly well done, though that may have been due to the tv-sized budget, a problem that did not impact Serenity. Overall, the series and Whedon made me want to revisit this show, and I was disappointed I only had the 14 episodes to check out.

If Netflix can bring back Arrested Development, maybe they can do the same for Firefly. Dare to dream…

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