Say what you want about Joss Whedon. The guy knows how to handle an ensemble cast. You either know him from his high “stakes” TV thriller Buffy the Vampire Slayer or more recently from directing Marvel’s Avengers film. But he also put together one of the greatest, but most short-lived sci-fi series ever told: Firefly.
Like the lightning bug itself, Whedon’s Firefly shone bright but was sadly too short lived, lasting only 14 episodes. Fans foamed at the mouth for more but the networks continually changed days and time slots on the show, eventually leading to its cancellation after just one season.
There was, however, enough fan support for Whedon and the crew to reunite one last time for a feature film (yes, in theaters!) called Serenity which helped wrap up a bit more of the story. And while those same fans are now begging and pleading with Netflix to bring the show back (Hey, it worked for Gilmore Girls!), there’s no signs of life for Firefly these days.
At least not new life.
But, you can catch the entire run of Firefly on Netflix right now! Starring Nathan Fillion as Captain Malcolm Reynolds, Firefly is set roughly 500 years in the future. Earth apparently got a bit too overcrowded and resources were eventually used up. Luckily we discovered an entire new solar system to colonize. In doing so, the central planets for The Alliance and forced everyone to follow their rule.
Not everyone did, which led to various insurrections (Captain Mal being the leader of one). The resistance lost and the Alliance ruled the day, with many former Browncoats high-tailing it out to the far corners of the new solar system to live their lives free of the new ruling body. That’s where Mal now commands his Firefly ship named Serenity, with a ragtag crew.
Each episode basically tells a single story of the team’s adventures in far-off space as they try to move or unload cargo to make enough money to get them by until the next job. But there’s an overarching storyline too of a renegade brother and his odd sister who’s tied up in some serious mind-altering sci-fi craziness that The Alliance is somehow behind.
Captain Mal is every bit a scoundrel as Han Solo was in Star Wars, but he’s got a lot more leadership qualities to him. He’s also loyal to a ridiculous fault. Both to his crew and to the love of his life, Serenity.
Just as Whedon took a large team of superheroes and gave each one enough time to breathe on screen, he follows suit with Serenity’s crew. Granted, he has more time thanks to it being on TV, but you really get to know each and every crew member from ship mechanic Kaylee to pilot Wash and his tough wife Zoe.
You just have to love a young Morena Baccarin as a professional Alliance Companion. (Or as Captain Mal likes to taunt her: a whore.) She adds a level of class and mystery to the ship, causing all sorts of schoolboy fluster in Captain Mal at times. Baccarin has to be a big comic book fan since she more recently has played parts in TV’s Gotham and as Deadpool’s girlfriend in the feature film of the same name.
If you love sci-fi, are a big Joss Whedon fan or simply enjoy a highly entertaining story, you owe it to yourself to give Firefly a shot. Still need some convincing? All righty, then. I can sum the series up in one super short quip: Firefly is cowboys in space! Yeehah!
What’s your favorite Joss Whedon property?