What’s Firefly, you ask? Only the greatest and shortest tv show that has ever existed! (Maybe that’s an overstatement, but I really love this show.) It was tragically canceled after 14 episodes, though they did make a movie, Serenity, to pacify the heartbroken and angry fans. This past weekend I watched Serenity and don’t feel pacified one bit. It was a huge disappointment.
Firefly is basically cowboys in space. It mixes sci-fi elements and spacey things with the rough-and-tumble feel of a western themed story. It sounds ridiculous, but it actually works out pretty well. The show follows the crew of the spaceship Serenity (and the type of ship is a firefly, which is how the show gets it’s name). The crew travels to different solar systems, galaxies, and planets in search of work. They smuggle, mostly, but sometimes they steal or cheat to get profit. Despite this, they are still honest people. The victims of the crew’s work are usually the Central Planets, or the Alliance (there was some war where one group tried to get everyone else to unite with them, the main characters were on the losing side of the war) so basically the crew cheats the government to give back to the poor people out on the edge of the galaxy. Like spacey Robin Hood cowboys.
The best part about Firefly is definitely the characters. They are all so likeable and perfect. I want to be able to write characters as real and genuine and perfect as these characters.
First there’s the captain, Malcom Reynolds, played by Nathan Fillion. He’s the main character of the show and the one who has to make all the hard decisions. He’s pretty great.
Then there’s Mal’s first mate, Zoe Washburne, played by Gina Torres. She fought with Mal in the war that takes place before the storyline of Firefly. She’s pretty tough, not really afraid of anything. She has many quick-witted lines and is quick to back up other characters’ snarky remarks. (Mostly Mal’s snarky remarks)
Next there’s Zoe’s husband, Hoban Washburne, aka Wash, played by Alan Tudyk. He’s the pilot of Serenity and the main comic relief. (One of my favorite characters.) One of the first times we see Wash he’s playing with plastic dinosaurs…. And that’s all you need to know about Wash.
The mechanic, Kaylee Frye, is my absolute most favoritest character. She’s just so cute and so innocent. She’s really smart, great with engineering and the ship, and also adorable. She gets shot in the very first episode, but that’s okay because she’s saved by my next favoritest character….
Simon Tam! He’s a doctor. He’s also the one that shot Kaylee, but that was before they fell in love. He was trying to bribe his way onto Serenity so that he and his little sister, River Tam, could escape from the scary goverment people that had been testing on her. She’s a bit of a weirdo. Both of them are technically on the run. Simon is a little awkward, especially around Kaylee, but it makes him even more lovable.
My brother’s favorite character is Jayne Cobb, basically the mercenary, or hired thug. He is not smart, at all, but very good with a gun. He says stupid things all the time and gets into arguments with Simon and River. River tried to kill him at one point. Towards the end of the show Jayne gets a really, really ugly hat from his mother and proudly wears it. That part was pretty funny.
Inara is what they call a “Companion,” which is basically a prostitute. She always wears gorgeous outfits, and her make-up is the definition of perfection, and she’s treated like a princess by almost everyone. Everyone except Mal, who disapproves of her profession and is trying to hide the fact that he secretly likes her. She’s good friends with Kaylee and is super kind to everyone on the ship.
The last member of the crew is Shephard Book, a missionary that somehow knows a lot about crime and smuggling. We never get to learn why. He’s just kind of a great addition to the team, but he is never focused on so I don’t know enough about him to like him as much as the others.
And that’s Firefly! I miss the show already. Someday I’ll rewatch it. (Probably sometime next week.) I wish more tv shows would put more effort into writing good characters like these. Firefly is an inspiration to sci-fi writers everywhere!
Sorry some of the pictures are weird. The wordpress app doesn’t like uploaading things.