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.
Episodes: -Serenity-part 1 & 2 -- Air date 12/20/02 The crew of Serenity is eager to rid themselves of an easily traceable cargo they salvaged from a vessel adrift in space, totally unaware that a passenger has brought an even more dangerous cargo aboard. -The Train Job -- Air date 09/20/02 Mal has second thoughts after discovering that two boxes of Alliance goods his crew has been hired to steal are full of badly needed medical supplies headed for the mining town of Paradiso. -Bushwhacked -- Air date 09/27/02 After encountering a booby-trapped spacecraft carrying the lone crewmember of a horrific Reaver attack, Serenity is boarded by an Alliance Commander looking for Simon and River. -Shindig -- Air date 11/01/02 In order to secure a job transporting cargo off-planet for a client, Mal attends a social event where a dance with Inara leads him being challenged to a swordfight in defense of her honor. -Safe -- Air date 11/08/02 When Simon is kidnapped by a group of villagers in need of a doctor, Serenity is forced to make contact with an Alliance ship in order to seek medical help for the critically wounded Book. -Our Mrs. Reynolds -- Air date 10/04/02 After a celebration in which the crew is honored for ridding a planet of a group of bandits, they return to Serenity to find a woman named Saffron who claims that Mal married her during the festivities. -Jaynestown -- Air date 10/18/02 When the crew returns to a planet where Jayne participated in a heist gone bad, they're shocked to discover that Jayne's past actions have turned him into a local hero of Robin Hood-like mythic proportions. -Out of Gas -- Air date 10/25/02 After an explosion leaves Serenity crippled, Mal orders everyone to abandon ship while he stays behind in an attempt to make repairs - and reminisces how he found the ship and picked its crew. -Ariel-- Air date 11/15/02 Simon offers to crew a proposition: if they help him sneak River into a hospital so he can run-tests on her, he'll tell them where to find medical supplies that will fetch an enormous price on the black market. -War Stories -- Air date 12/06/02 Wash regrets insisting he be allowed to accompany Mal on a mission after the two men are captured by Adelai Niska - the client who previously hired Mal to steal the medicine bound for Paradiso. -Trash-- Air date (NEVER AIRED) Mal is shocked to discover his old friend's new bride is Saffron who, although furious after Mal blows her cover, offers to cut Mal in on what she calls the perfect, big-time scam. -The Message-- Air date (NEVER AIRED) While Jayne opens a mail package from his mother that contains a wool cap with ear flaps and a pom-pom, Mal and Zoe open their package to discover the body of their old war buddy, Tracey. -Heart of Gold -- Air date (NEVER AIRED) The crew comes to the aid of a bordello when its madam, an old acquaintance of Inara's, asks for help after a gunslinger claims a prostitute's baby is his and he's taking it because his wife is barren. -Objects In Space -- Air date 12/13/02 The crew is caught off-gaurd when a bounty hunter, eager to claim the enormous reward on River's head, sneaks aboard Serenity and methodically begins taking the crew prisoner one by one.