I had a colleague stay with me for a week while he visited the Boston area to train some web engineers and get some much-needed R&R. Now I’m not saying I’m a bad host by any means. I’m just not the best choice when it comes to showing a guest a good time. I’m just not the “adventurous” or out-going type when it comes to exploring cities. My idea of fun is reading, writing, watching movies, or playing video games. When I’m bored with sitting around and improving my rapid typing speed, I try (really I do) to work out or at least get out of the house. Suffice it to say that when I agreed to have my office friend stay with me so the company could save some money, I hadn’t really put any thought as to how I would entertain my guest.
Luckily, he’s a gamer too so I made sure to have Madden 13 and CoD MW2 on hand. However, I needed to think of something else to “mix it up.” Try as I did to convince him that The IT Crowd is a brilliant piece of TV…brilliance… my house guest didn’t get the humor. It was during this tragic realization (of my fellow man not having the greatest taste) that I had an epiphany. Netflix has another TV series worth recommending above all. No one could not enjoy it. I couldn’t believe I failed to suggest this masterpiece in the first place. If you didn’t guess it, you should be ashamed–it’s in the damn title of this post after all. Yes, I’m talking about Joss Whedon’s ace-high, root’tootin’, bronco bustin’, space odyssey extravaganza: Firefly.
No spoiler alert here, but below is an official synopsis provide by Amazon.com:
Five hundred years in the future there’s a whole new frontier, and the crew of the Firefly-class spaceship Serenity is eager to stake a claim on the action. They’ll take any job, legal or illegal, to keep fuel in the tanks and food on the table. But things get a bit more complicated after they take on a passenger wanted by the new totalitarian Alliance regime. Now they find themselves on the run, desperate to steer clear of Alliance ships and the flesh-eating Reavers who live on the fringes of space.
Now, before you bash my taste in sci-fi, I know there are other more-sophisticated shows out there–shows that provoke our sense of where the future is going or what our world will eventually become. Yes, there are more action-packed, laser-slinging plot-lines out there–stories telling of human civilization teetering on the edge of extinction. Like all of these here (which aligns well with my own list). I concede the point.
The thing that makes Firefly so great is that a wide variety of viewers can enjoy this series without being into westerns or science fiction. Heck, my wife who’s a sucker for Downton Abbey and other English dramas considers Firefly one of her favorite modern TV shows. Surely, this must mean Firefly did something right.
I believe that Firefly‘s magic comes through the characters Whedon has created and how their relationships and roles in each episode continually evolve into everything that makes being human so wonderful. Emotion. Action. Conflict. Oh! be still pragmatic heart of mine! I have not encountered a more entertaining band of TV misfits since these guys.
Further, if character development isn’t really your thing, Firefly did win a 2003 Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects. By today’s standards the eye-candy is fairly paltry, but bear in mind that (a) television budgets only go so far and (b) it was freakin’ 2003 and the show aired on Fox, which didn’t really approve of Whedon’s against-the-mainstream story. Per a very-well written article by Ryan Levin, discussing the reasons behind Firefly‘s incredibly and disappointingly short-lived existence:
Firefly’s universe of strong female characters, morally complex and often dislikable males, and more time spent holding the ship together and fleeing danger than manfully facing it head on didn’t jive well with Fox’s programming philosophy.
If you haven’t watched Firefly yet and you’re becoming slowly (or quickly) disgusted by my gushing over this series as ultra fabulous–please stop reading now and do yourself a favor: get a free 30-day Netflix subscription and watch this series immediately. Stream it from somewhere–anywhere! For the love of that is good in the ‘Verse (click that link–no ads, it’s a clever interactive map of the universe found in Firefly) and for your status as geek, nerd, or sci-fi fan, watch this series now.
If you already know the series and love it as much as I do, purchase the whole series for under $20 at Amazon.com now (3/03/2013 @ 11:45pm EST). Trust me this is a good deal–I paid $40-ish when I purchased it a few months back. Link is below. We’d appreciate it if you used our link to make the purchase since all proceeds will be used to make TechCircuit as cool as possible.