Let us now mourn the passing of ‘Firefly’…

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.

13 thoughts on “Let us now mourn the passing of ‘Firefly’…

  1. Len Weaver

    Hey Paul, speaking of TiVo – it is rumored that ‘Xbox Next’ will have tonnes of flash RAM instead of hard drives, and that we will be able to use the xbox as a set-top box, video game console and TiVo recorder. Have you heard anything to that effect?

  2. paulvick

    Len: Your guess is as good as mine. I don’t hear nothing about the XBox except what I read in the papers!

    David: I’d heard rumors of it. Let’s hope it happens and that it’s good!

  3. Steve Hiner

    If you think "Firefly is the finest damn science fiction show that I’ve seen in a very long time" it makes me wonder if you ever watch(ed) Stargate SG-1. Over the years I’ve grown rather fond of the show and I can certainly say it’s the best Sci-Fi on broadcast TV right now.

    I wasn’t particularly impressed with FireFly but from the comments I’ve seen on imdb since reading your post I think I should check out the DVDs. It sounds like the DVDs are far better than the broadcast version since they were originally broadcast in a different order so the storyline got all messed up.

  4. Andy

    I didn’t really watch Firefly when it was on, but I’ve considered renting the DVD. I think that I might just do that.

    I would also recommend that you check out Farscape. It, too, got canceled before its time (thank you oh so much SciFi channel), but it at least got 4 seasons in before ending. Plus, a mini-series was filmed late last year/early this year, to be shown late this year, so it looks like Farscape will get a decent ending, too.

    In any event, you should check out Farscape. I don’t know if SciFi is still showing reruns of it or not, but nearly the entire series (if not all of it, I’ve been slacking at picking up the DVDs as they have been released) should be out by now.

  5. paulvick

    Steve/Andy: Thanks for the suggestions! To be honest, I need to branch out a bit, and with all the extra space on TiVo, no downside to checking it all out!

  6. Curtis Swartzentruber

    Yes, the Serenity movie started principle photography this month and with Angel off the air, Josh Whedon should be devoted pretty much his full energy to it. And I believe all the original cast is involved. I believe it’s supposed to come out sometime next year.

  7. Chris

    Star Trek pumping out crap? You gotta be kidding! Last season’s season-long arc was some of the best SciFi on TV since Babylon 5 finished its run.

  8. gleek

    i’m just now watching firefly and loving it to death! what a great show! just about to write about it on my blog too.. and yes, serenity is coming out in september and i will definitely see that too.

    if you like good scifi like this, you should check out the battlestar galatica series on the scifi network. really excellent as well.

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