At this point in time, I am an enormous fan of Joss Whedon's Firefly. After much thought, I've concluded that it is, in some ways, as good as if not better than my favorite television show of all time, LOST. Now, Firefly is a different breed of beast than LOST, for a variety of reasons, but what makes this 2002 sci-fi western so relentlessly entertaining isn't its special effects, its gunfights, or even Morena Baccarin. What lifts Firefly above standard television fare is its heart, and the loving attention given to the development of its host of characters.
I love LOST for these same reasons. But Firefly has a certain cheeky humor to it, a self-awareness that carries the narrative along while maintaining a predominant seriousness, and for a show with a scope as vast as this one, such a trait is necessary. Set 500 years in the future, Firefly chronicles the misadventures of a motley crew of space farers as they traverse the galaxy in search of jobs--honest and not so honest--aboard their reliable ship, Serenity, while evading the grasp of the Alliance, the powerful parliamentary government that is hot on their tail. I would love to delve into descriptions of the individual characters and the motive behind the Alliance's pursuit, but I feel that the less you know about the show going into it, the better. I had no idea what to expect when I started watching it on Netflix a few months back, save for a glowing recommendation by my 8th grade math teacher (thank you endlessly, Mr. McClain), and I was simply blown away.
Firefly was cancelled by Fox in 2002 after airing 11 of 14 total episodes, but has since attained a cult-hit status beyond that of any other show I can think of. Just recently at the San Diego ComicCon, Joss Whedon and the cast held a 10 year reunion panel that was absolutely packed with enthusiastic fans. It was an emotional 55 minutes, as Joss and the other writers answered fan questions while the cast reminisced on their experiences filming the show, and their appreciation for the fans that were "keeping the story alive." I'll admit I even teared up a bit.
Right now, you can find Firefly on Netflix or you can get it on DVD. I'm leaving for college in a few weeks and I think I'm going to buy the DVD set so as to have a hard copy in the event that Netflix fails me. But to anyone who wishes to enjoy a truly monumental television series that doesn't in the slightest insult the viewer's intelligence, I highly, highly recommend Firefly. There really isn't much more I can say. It is film entertainment at its finest.
Once you've finished the series, however, be sure to watch Serenity, Joss Whedon's film conclusion to the series that is so wonderful it deserves its own entry entirely. See, the fans loved Firefly so much that Joss was able to accrue enough money from Universal to make a movie, pulling together some loose ends and ultimately bring an end to a series that was unfairly swept away from us much too early.
I'm Still Flying. It's time for you to start.