Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Serenity of Home

Over the last couple weeks I watched the fourteen episodes of the single season of the celebrated, nay heralded, series Firefly (2003) and followed it up promptly with the capstone film Serenity (2005). Joss Whedon of Buffy, Dr. Horrible and Avengers fame was at the helm of this space-western series.

Wuh duh ma huh tah
duh fong kwong duh wai shung!!!
At the risk of offending Firefly devotees everywhere, my honest opinion of the series overall is that it was decent....ohhhkayyy, let's upgrade that to pretty good and all in all worth watching. (methinks I may want to set my self apart from the ubergeekdom masses, alas that's probably self-deceptive on my part)

I would sum up the Firefly series as a mad scientist's mix between The A Team and Buck Rogers with a pinch of Gilligan's Island and Bonanza thrown in for good measure. The ragtag sci-fi-fantasy crew members of Serenity, a Firefly-class transport spacecraft, perform a series of crimes salted with sufficient compassion, humor and self-aware aplomb to make the over-the-top gratuitous violence palatable. And yes, there is substantial nuance brought to bear, which will permit the true fans (Browncoats) to cite the facets of this show and its characters to support their devotion.

Personally, I found the series worthy for a couple reasons in particular. Foremost, the characters in the series create an imperfect family that in spite of their imperfections, find a way to stay together and support each other through thick and thin. Throughout the fourteen episodes (available on Netflix) the strength of their connections grow, ultimately creating a solid backbone for the rest of the show (antics, tropes and conflict) to anchor upon. They make Serenity their home in spite of their internal differences and their external challenges, which is laudable.

My second reason for appreciating Firefly is indeed there are many layers at work, often with imperfect grittiness. Which is to say, there are a number of topics developed in the show that would bear further discussion with a fellow fan. For instance, in the culminating film, the idea that eliminating evil from society might lead to unexpected (and dire) consequences is highlighted. Any artistic work which foments the deeper discussion of moral issues and the real world rates high in my book.

So yes, I recommend you check out Firefly, if you haven't seen the series already. By all means, acknowledge the plot holes, the scientific inaccuracies and unnecessary Hollywood violence for what they are. I think you'll find the connection the characters have in context with their predicament will merit further discussion, and perhaps in doing so you'll find a bit of solace yourself within your own circle of nerdy friends.

Home is Serenity.

(still..... can someone please explain to me why the Alliance (after a sustained and costly effort through the entire story arc) wouldn't bother to capture the still very dangerous and secret laden River when she is surrounded at the end of the movie!!! <<groan>> )

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