Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Sweet Short Burn of Firefly

Ok, so I realize I’m about three years behind the times here, but I just finished watching the complete season of Firefly on DVD this weekend, which I’ve been watching sporadically for the past few weeks. As I pointed out in a previous post I never saw the show when it was on the air, and haven’t had the occasion to park myself on my couch and watch it until now.

Well at last, those who know me and have been hounding me to see it for ages can gleefully point at me and yell, I told ya so! As they predicted I would, I fell in love with the show. But it wasn’t love at first sight. I found the pilot difficult to get through, and while I enjoyed the next couple episodes, it wasn’t until the fifth or sixth episode that I realized how much affection I had for Firefly and its characters. The show was not only conceptually unique, taking the fusion of the old west and the future to new heights, but hosted an eclectic mix of characters; it created a fascinating combination of people whose interactions were riveting. It’s the kind of show, where the plot is almost of secondary importance, because you're so enthralled with the characters, you’d be pleased to watch them eat corn flakes. Not to say, however, that there weren’t any good plots. The continuing storylines took some unexpected and exciting turns, and the episodic plots were always satisfying. The writing was never anything but smart, funny and astute, and at times nothing short of brilliant. The direction, the visual FX, the acting; all of Firefly’s elements were so strong that the show seemed to flow with the effortlessness and fluidity of Serenity itself. It is a rarity to find Television that has all of these different things going for it.

Though my adoration for Firefly was late in coming, my sadness at its past doom felt accelerated. A few minutes into the fourteenth and final episode, I couldn’t believe that it was actually the last new episode of Firefly I was ever going to have the pleasure of watching. There is a melancholy when shows are snatched away before their time, especially when there is such a promising future of unfulfilled adventures. Firefly burned short, but it burned bright. I do believe it has earned a place among the greatest science fiction TV shows of our time.

28 Comments:

Anonymous DoorFrame said...

I've got two more episodes to go, so you should be a little bit jealous of me.

I feel the same way about this as I felt about watching Wonderfalls last year. You get to the end and you know you're doomed never to see another episode. It makes me wonder why I start watching cancelled TV shows to begin with... it's a sadistic hobby.

I did the same thing with Sports Night, but that at least had two seasons of episodes to deal with.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I tear up every time I think of Freaks and Geeks and how there hasn't been a TV show since with the same quality of writing or character richness.

9:32 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Yes, I am jealous. And yes, watching cancelled TV does have a bit of sadism to it. On the one hand, ironically, its often better than stuff that's out there. But on the other, there is a sort of despair knowing its "gone forever".


Freaks and Geeks is absolutely incredible. I treasure my DVD box set of that as well.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous DoorFrame said...

Wait, I don't remember, have you seen Wonderfalls? If not, you need to get that DVD too.

7:47 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Haven't seen Wonderfalls. Read the description on BN.com though and it sounds very cool. I had never even heard of the show, did you watch it when it was on?

9:41 AM  
Anonymous DoorFrame said...

No, as far as I can tell nobody watched it when it was on (they only aired 4 of the 13 episodes and none in the right order). That playwrite that I used to live with introduced me to it. I highly, HIGHLY, recommend it.

If you're on a cancelled TV show kick, this should definately be your next purchase. It's only $20 at Amazon but $40 at bn.com, I don't know why.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous fathergeekfan said...

i like youre assesment of firefly, newyorkerinhollywood, but have u ever considered allowing anonymous to guest edit your blog for one week? i think he or she has interesting things to say...

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous wesleycrusherlover said...

well i do anonymous... you not only know movies but you seem to have a good sense of humor about the process... the world wide web could stand to have a voice such as your own...

12:27 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

'Anonymous', if you don't quite it I will

a) out your true identity

b) ban you from the forum

c) if you really want to host for a week you'll have to come up with a real name besides anonymous.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous DoorFrame said...

Yeah, something cool like WindowPane.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow newyorkerinhollywood... i think we can assume by doorframe's assertion of windowpane, that he/she is endorsing a guest editorial...

i really didn't even entertain the idea, but if it's the will of the people...

2:29 PM  
Anonymous DC Dionysian said...

Cancelled TV really is my favorite. I haven't been able to get into Arrested Development because they haven't cancelled it yet. Ther's too much of it. When they cancel it though... Watchout! I'll watch all three seasons in a weekend.

What's Wonderfalls about anyway?

For the Freaks and Geeks fans allow me to reccomend Undeclared. I actually watched this one while it was on. It's better seeing it after Freaks and Geeks Though. Judd Apatow apparently wasn't pissed enough after F&G. He went and let Fox screw him again. The results were sublime as well. Seth Rogan is a member of the cast, and all the regulars show up as guest stars. Cardellini's boyfriend shows up in a recurring role playing essentially the same role, except two years older and working in a copy shop. It's gold.

I'm for anonymous and New Yorker posting contemporaneously. The volume of writing would probably swallow up my evenings completely, but it would certainly be amusing.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous DoorFrame said...

DC Dionysian, you're probably in my new city.

Wonderfalls was a show about a somewhat recent graduate of Brown who returned home to Niagra Falls, lived in a trailer, and worked in a local crappy gift shop. She was kind of dropping out of society in a hip-20s way. Her life seemed to be going reasonably well until fake animals (starting with a smooshed-face plastic lion) started talking to her and giving her cryptic commands.

The question of the main charachter's sanity was a constant undercurrent (what with all the talking animals and all).

Think of it as a descendant of Quantum Leap where each episode the main charachter had a task to accomplish, but she never quite understood what the task was until after it had already been done.

It sounds kind of stupid, but it was really funny and smart.

Another good cancelled show was a cartoon called Downtown that MTV showed for one season which was very stylish and nerdy centering on a group of poor kids living in crappy New York apartments. Unfortunately, MTV doesn't seem to have any interest in selling DVDs of its shows and hasn't released it yet. If they ever do, take a look at it.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Daddy Background said...

You know, I had the same experience recently by watching episodes of "The Tick" on DVD (does that make me weird?). The last two shows on the disk are probably the best two and just when you're really warming up to it, BAM. It's gone forever.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous SHORTROUND said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous fathergeekfan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous SHORTROUND said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous SHORTROUND said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous wesleycrusherlover said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous DC Dionysian said...

Does anybody else think they saw Short Round on Lost a couple of weeks ago?

11:59 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

To Anonymous, Shortround, Father Geek, Wesley Crusher lover, whatever the hell your name is. As you can see, I've deleted your posts because you have been abusing the forum.

It's obvious you are all of these characters, and the only person you're amusing is yourself.

Please refrain from excessive and meaningless board posting in the future.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous DoorFrame said...

You've got some cool friends, New Yorker.

1:24 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Doorframe, do i detect a note of sarcasm in your voice?

2:09 PM  
Anonymous DoorFrame said...

I'm pretty sure my voice has never contained anything BUT sarcasm.

That being said, I finished Firefly today. The last episode was really good, it was nice that they were able to finish on a high note.

I'll check out the movie, when it comes out on DVD. Any chance of Sci-Fi picking up another season, or is it totally dead now?

12:02 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Yeah, that episode was really good. I dunno --sci fi channel is a good idea, but at this point there may not be to afford them, budget wise. I think that they thought if the movie did well, they would make more movies, but unfortunately, the movie is still like ten mill away from making its money back. :( So this might really be the end....

10:17 AM  
Anonymous DoorFrame said...

Someone should start a channel that exclusively picks up cancelled shows and puts out new seasons.

New Yorker, you're in Hollywood, get started on that.

Hey, and while you're out there, could you ask MTV why they don't release their cartoons on DVD (or any other format)? I ask because I want to be able to hand them money, and they make it impossible.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous nach said...

I concur with Undeclared. I have low-res but adequate copies of every episode of the series, if people want. Many of the actors in F&G are in Undeclared as well. Plus there's an episode that has the Internet girl in it.

Another great MTV cartoon was "Clone High." Absolute masterpiece.

11:02 AM  

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