Six months ago, my trusty TiVo starting developing a pretty bad stutter that signaled the death of it’s original hard drive. Filled with unearned confidence, I decided that instead of buying a new one, I’d just upgrade it with new, bigger hard drives. (We can rebuild him, stronger, faster than before…) So after buying two 160 gig hard drives and nearly killing myself prying the damn cover open (it was the first time I’ve ever seen an unshielded power supply), we had all the recording capacity we needed. As such, we no longer felt motivated to keep up with TV, knowing that the shows would all be there for us during the summer drought.
Then, a month or so ago, we came home from a long weekend to find the TiVo totally hung. Tried a reboot, hung. Finally determined that one of the new hard drives had gone kablooey, so sent it off to Maxtor for a replacement and restored the backup image that I made six months ago to the remaining good hard drive. As a result – all those saved shows were gone. What in the world are we going to watch instead?
Which is all a loooong way of getting to the fact that we’re finally getting around to watching the Firefly DVD set that I got for Christmas. Before I go any further – if you haven’t seen Firefly and/or haven’t bought the DVD, go back and click that link and buy it. Done it? OK, now we can continue. I’ll have to admit that I’ve never gotten into Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel, so when I heard that Joss Whedon was doing a wild-west sci-fi show, I thought “probably won’t be any good, but, hell, it can’t be any worse than the crap Star Trek is pumping out these days.” So I set TiVo to record it and figured I’d see what happened.
And you know what? I’d have to say that Firefly is the finest damn science fiction show that I’ve seen in a very long time, and what Fox did to it was just a (pardon my French) fucking travesty. It wasn’t a revelatory show in the sense that it blazed radical new ground in science fiction. Instead, it was just a really well put together show that combined a good cast with a lot of really fine, well thought out writing. In most ways, the science fiction aspect of the show is incidental to the emphasis on the human aspect, something that has been totally excised from the increasingly robotic (and paint-by-numbers) Star Trek franchise and it was just so… so… nice to actually watch a show where the characters actually had some depth and acted like real human beings. And I would have to say that the last two minutes of the ‘Ariel’ episode genuinely put me on the edge of my seat, something that hasn’t happened in a long time.
So now Andrea and I are working our way though the scant fourteen episodes that Fox made before pulling the plug. If it’s an indication, Andrea is about non-geeky as you can get (i.e. could not care less about Star Wars, Star Trek, etc.) but she’s loving the show too. It’s just sad that now we’ll probably never really know where it all was headed. At least there are the three unaired episodes that we’re going to reach pretty soon, so I’ll get a little something extra before having to say goodbye again.
Some shows pass too soon, some shows last well past their prime, I guess it’s the way of the world.