Author Topic: Firefly Marathon  (Read 22773 times)

Najemikon

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Firefly Marathon
« on: February 16, 2010, 11:07:50 PM »
Firefly



As way of a build up to Serenity, I wanted to run through the episodes of the greatest TV series to never be given a proper chance. What Fox did is just criminal.

Anyway, anyone else wishes to jump in on this, go for it.  :thumbup:
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 11:12:53 PM by Jon »

Najemikon

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Firefly: Episode 1 - Serenity
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 11:12:40 PM »
#EpisodeRating
01Serenity*****
02The Train Job****
03Bushwhacked****
04Shinding***
05Safe*****
06Our Mrs Reynolds*****
07Jaynestown***
08Out of Gas*****
09Ariel****
10War Stories***
11Trash***
12The Message****
13Heart Of Gold****
14Objects in Space*****
15Serenity: Those Left Behind (comic)***
16Serenity: Better Days (comic)****

Firefly: Episode 1 - Serenity
5 out of 5

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 abroad.

The opening pilot episode of Firefly (actually two together on the DVD) would set out clearly just how much potential the series would have. It is utterly sublime. Witty and playful, subverting a dark vein of irony, with superb characters spouting fantastic dialogue. It has an abstract sci-fi edge offset by a dependable Western theme, but with very human drama at its centre (witness the gorgeous Morena Baccarin as Inara "cleansing"). The direction is inventive, insightful and fluid, with several examples of why I suggested the eventual film would be an unsung influence (watch out for the casual zooms into focus and depth-of-field tricks) and indeed, seen as recently as Avatar ;). Somehow the sets seem ramshackle, but this plays to the storys strengths. We're at the arse end of the universe here.

The story cleverly sets up the multiple characters and their relationships without prevarication. A prologue battle scene serves as straightforward introduction to Captain Mal, as anti a hero as they come, and takes a few swipes at cliches of such scenes while establishing the fundamentals to see us through the next 13 or so episodes.

This is the perfect pilot then and is incredibly important to the structure of the show as a whole. So what possessed Fox to show it in the wrong order? Pilots, correct me if I'm wrong, normally get shown first? Or am I being picky?

I think not. Oh, and aren't Fox also responsible for shafting Joss Whedon over Alien 4? The guy is a bona fide genius, but should fire his agent!
« Last Edit: March 06, 2010, 05:27:50 PM by Jon »

Critter

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Re: Firefly Marathon
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 11:14:49 PM »
I would love to join this marathon but alas, I originally watched all of Firefly through downloaded episodes which I have since deleted, and I do not have it on DVD yet.

Offline goodguy

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Re: Firefly Marathon
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 11:31:43 PM »
Anyway, anyone else wishes to jump in on this, go for it.  :thumbup:

Bad timing as I'm currently watching TSCC S2.

Somehow the sets seem ramshackle, but this plays to the storys strengths. We're at the arse end of the universe here.

Actually, the main reason I like Firefly better than the movie Serenity are production design and costume design.
Matthias

snowcat

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Re: Firefly Marathon
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 11:46:12 PM »
:p Not taking part and not reading your reviews, nothing personal Jon ;) don't want you to taint my views.

Critter

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Re: Firefly Marathon
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 11:49:43 PM »
Quote
This is the perfect pilot then and is incredibly important to the structure of the show as a whole. So what possessed Fox to show it in the wrong order? Pilots, correct me if I'm wrong, normally get shown first? Or am I being picky?

When I heard about this I was furious, the only reason they didn't show it was becuase it was too long and didn't have enough 'action' for a pilot. FOX need to give people more credit, even in todays world we are able to sit through and enjoy a two hour length episode.

snowcat

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Re: Firefly Marathon
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 11:57:37 PM »
many a tv show has its pilot shown in the wrong order, especially a distributor doesn't think it will do well.... heck, sometimes even the final episodes are shown out of order.... when season 7 of Scrubs was released (which was suposed to have been the final season) it was aired 1-8 13 9-12.

...a 2 hour pilot is a bit long by any means, your casual tv viewer doesn't want to sit down for 2 hours to watch a pilot, sad but true.

...even if said series isn't aimed at your "casual" viewer.... they want to catch people on the off chance.


lyonsden5

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Re: Firefly Marathon
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2010, 11:58:50 PM »
I am watching it as well. As the credits for every episode I watch roll by I get mad at Fox for cancelling the show.  :redcard: A universe composed with everything from the lawlessness of the wild west to the strict, technologically advanced civilization the story possibilities were endless!

I think the future Whedon creates (aka the 'verse) here is about as believable as it gets. Seems more plausible than a Star Trek type future. I always enjoyed Star Trek but never bought into the human race becoming quite so enlightened and perfect. We're too petty and flawed as a race. Whedon on the other hand has people leaving a bar that had no electricity, jumping on a horse, and then unloading a spaceship! I think he also totally nailed it with the mix of the human race and the english / mandarin hybrid language they speak as well. Cracks me up when they start yelling at each other in Firefly speak

But for me the absolute best part about the show is the characters as well as the casting. Love them all. The Doctor and the Preacher could have been played by someone else but the rest of the crew is spot on.

I'm with Jon, the pilot sets up the show perfectly and quickly. I was hooked from the 1st time I watched.

I have the Blu-ray version and have to add the picture and sound are fantastic  :thumbup:

lyonsden5

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Re: Firefly Marathon
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2010, 12:04:18 AM »
...a 2 hour pilot is a bit long by any means, your casual tv viewer doesn't want to sit down for 2 hours to watch a pilot, sad but true.
I disagree. The casual viewer is sitting there for 3 or 4 hours every night (at least here they do). Had fox promoted it correctly it wouldn't have been an issue. A pilot like this one was meant for more than just to see if the network will greenlight the show, it was designed to set the stage for the show and get the viewers hooked.

lyonsden5

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Re: Firefly Marathon
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2010, 12:07:46 AM »
One more thing regarding the characters... Reavers.  :o What a great (but sick and twisted) way to introduce an outside force that is always in the minds of everyone. I'll discuss more as they pop up throughout the episodes  :whistle:

snowcat

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Re: Firefly Marathon
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2010, 12:10:04 AM »
 :2cents:

we did an experiment at college last year, we asked 50 people about there evening viewing.

we found that most of those people said they watched something on a weekly basis, around 20% watched atleast one program casually, but 80% preferred to watch programs that last 30minutes in length... we also found that most people watch television for 3 hours in the evening, and watch around 4-5 programs in those 3 hours...

I think I personally would loose interest in a 2 hour pilot, heck, I loose interest in some hour long episodes, let alone films that last 2 hours... I have to break them up.  :shrug: I duno.

Critter

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Re: Firefly Marathon
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2010, 12:12:18 AM »
...a 2 hour pilot is a bit long by any means, your casual tv viewer doesn't want to sit down for 2 hours to watch a pilot, sad but true.
I disagree. The casual viewer is sitting there for 3 or 4 hours every night (at least here they do). Had fox promoted it correctly it wouldn't have been an issue. A pilot like this one was meant for more than just to see if the network will greenlight the show, it was designed to set the stage for the show and get the viewers hooked.

I agree with you here Rick, that pilot was made to introduce everyone and it does, it does it well too. If FOX just advertised it properly as maybe a 'movie length opening' or something instead of jumping the gun to the second episode then maybe it would have had more viewers.

venomsinner

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Re: Firefly Marathon
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2010, 12:17:06 AM »
Lets be honest, the pilot of Firefly, should have been treated as a movie, 2 hours is film length, not tv show length.... Would it have such a cult following had it ended so quickly?

...and again, lets be honest.... what if another season had come out and been crap? then everyone would be all "it sucks"

...be thankful that you got a solid run of a the show, and no rubbish filler etc.

Najemikon

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Re: Firefly Marathon
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2010, 12:23:03 AM »
I don't want to pick on you, Emma, but that makes me sad. If your survey is correct, it means we're moving to purely commercial TV faster than I thought. Our TV as I have discussed many times before is invested in long dramas, such as crime thrillers or the Sharpe series, which are two hours per episode.

The problem with that sort of thinking is it doesn't treat the audience as intelligent. A lot of American shows when screened here start with a double-bill to get going, so I can't condone Fox's decision in anyway whatsoever. To expand on Rick's comments, each episode of course features the lovely low key theme. Every time I hear it, it sounds so poignant.

I have the Blu-ray version and have to add the picture and sound are fantastic  :thumbup:

 :redcard: I'll thank you to keep such thoughts to yourself, while I'm sat here with me DVDs! Or in other words, "you're still talking. Might want to look to that." ;)

Yes, the Reavers! How brilliant to get the series bogey men in the first episode, albeit largely unseen, but damn, they're definitely there.

Somehow the sets seem ramshackle, but this plays to the storys strengths. We're at the arse end of the universe here.

Actually, the main reason I like Firefly better than the movie Serenity are production design and costume design.

It's a great example of doing very well with very little and feeding into the story.

Sorry to have kicked this off now, Matthias, as I'd forgotten you were still Terminating. I just wanted to be on the same page when a few others mentioned they'd be watching Serenity.

On that subject though... Summer Glau. What a great performance! She's playing a freak, but there's an obvious cheeky wit under the surface.

Offline Tom

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Re: Firefly Marathon
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2010, 12:26:23 AM »
I have just finished doing my personal Firefly marathon, so I won't be participating here. You can read my thoughts on the series and the movie here.

Here my episode ratings:
#EpisodeRating
01Serenity
02The Train Job
03Bushwhacked
04Shinding
05Safe
06Our Mrs Reynolds
07Jaynestown
08Out of Gas
09Ariel
10War Stories
11Trash
12The Message
13Heart Of Gold
14Objects in Space