Friday, April 10, 2020

[Roll Your Own Life] The TV That Shaped Me (Part 8)

Firefly (2002)

On a list of Ten TV Shows that had a massive impact on my life, you knew it was only a matter of time before Firefly came up. Rather like when I was completely and utterly obsessed with The X-Files, I followed everything the writers/producers did - Harsh Realm, Millennium, Space: Above and Beyond, etc. Then I became completely obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so I checked out anything that Joss Whedon did. Dollhouse was awesome, Angel was obvious as it was a spinoff from Buffy, and then they announced this weird space-western and I had to give it a try...

Firefly is a weird one. In the UK at least it was aired in the right order! SyFy Channel in the UK aired it if I remember correctly, and actually started with the proper pilot - Serenity. It was good, felt like it had potential but we weren't completely blown away. It did a great job of introducing the characters, the verse, and the theme of the series - find a crew, find a job, keep flying.

We kept watching, and by the time Episode 4 aired, Shindig, we were kinda hooked. That episode was great - it had really hit its stride, and then... BAM, Episode 6 Our Mrs Reynolds... and we realised the work of genius that Firefly really is. And the series just gets better and better from there - Jaynestown is a work of comedy gold, Out of Gas is brilliant storytelling giving you the backstory of the crew and the ship, and...

Well, you don't need me to list the awesomeness that is Firefly.

We loved the series. Bought the DVD, and did like any good Browncoat did - we spread the word. "What do you mean you haven't watched Firefly?" and we loaned them the DVD.

This went on many, many times, bringing new converts to the series - that was until one of our new converts (thank you Derek!) liked the series so much he went to a convention and got our DVD cover signed by a lot of the cast.

After that, we had to buy the series on bluray and that became the "loaner" as we continued trying to spread the word.

Our DVD cover - signatures continue onto the back.
We have the whole cast on there except
Sean Maher (Simon Tam) - one day!!
Thanks to Maz for getting Adam Baldwin
and Gina Torres to sign it last year!
I remember when I worked at Ottakar's we managed to get a load of promotional material for the movie Serenity, and I plastered the SF section of the bookstore to promote the series and the forthcoming movie. We even had those little rubber wristbands with "You Can't Take The Sky From Me" written on them.

When Serenity came out, hoping to continue the series after its unfortunate and premature cancellation after just fourteen episodes, we were there at the first showing at the cinema. What an emotional ride that was! But, it remains the only time we've gone to the cinema, come out of the screen, and bought tickets to go straight back in again to rewatch it.

Serenity came out in 2005, the same year as Revenge of the Sith, which (for me) is my least favourite Star Wars movie - I'm going to get a lot of flak for saying that, but I struggle to sit through Revenge of the Sith and I love Star Wars. But for me there was no comparison. Serenity was awesome. It was basically season two of Firefly condensed and missing the horrible rapey storyline that was planned. (Jesus, Joss... what were you thinking? Seriously... about a lot of things...)

Firefly is still one of those series that I'll happily rewatch any time it's on TV, and is still fantastic. Part of me hopes for a continuation one day, if they can get the cast they need back together (and Nathan Fillion isn't too busy with the awesome TV series The Rookie - seriously, that's well worth watching), although part of me worries about ruining the memory of something so damn brilliant.

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