You can't take the sky from me.... Or the scifi show I like best.
It's now been ten years since the film Serenity came out. Before that, there was a tv series that lasted only 14 episodes. I got acquinted with Joss Whedon's Firefly sometime around 2008 when I was in the beginning of my university studies and in a relationship with a scifi geek. The series has remained in my life even after I left the university (I only wrote one paper on the series, too) and the geek to work as a full time teacher on the other side of the country. What appeals to me the most are the witty dialogue, the we're so bad we're good -attitude, the lovable characters and the whole 'Verse of culture created and portrayed by the short 14-episodes-and-a-film -series. I did love other scifi shows, mainly Stargate, before Firefly - and have loved others since then (especially Star Trek: The Next Generation), but this gritty, gruesome and realistic show has remained my favourite throughout the years.
Firefly follows the story of a firefly class starship called Serenity, captained by Malcom Reynolds and his crew of misfits: an ex-soldier Zoe, her husband and the miracle-kid pilot Wash, gun-ho Jayne, alluring Inara, cheerful Kaylee and the new crew members preacher Book and siblings Simon and River, who are on the run from the authorities. Their aim is to keep flying, keep living, and keep staying ahead of Alliance patrols, which has become the governor of the planets populated by people escaped from the Earth-that-Was. As traffickers of goods legal or otherwise the crew shows the audience a wide variety of life in the 'Verse, as they call it; from priviledged noblemen issuing challenges to sword fights to back-water villagers burning witches at stake.
In a recent documentary about the history of scifi, Firefly was brought up as a space exploration series that is really down to earth with its theme - depicting basically a bunch of cargo rafters trying to make their living in a hard world, with no flashy sciencey effects usually found in the science fiction genre. I think this is also for me one of the reasons why I like the show. It shows to the viewer how the common people of the space age might live their lives, struggling to live and to manage in a universe of extremes. The crew is poor, and the poverty is what makes them so relatable, as basically everyone has at sometime been in the same state. The quest for survival, for fuel, air and cargo, to be free, to be flying - that's what the show's made of. Not to mention the funny, the exciting, the crazy and all the stuff one can expect from a Joss Whedon show.
Later in my life I also watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and there're definitely things to like in both of the shows for those, who like the other - I'm reminded of the vampires and other monsters of Sunnydale in the form of reavers, men gone mad at the edge of space - and the more unsavoury human characters of Sunnydale are also to be found in Firefly in the forms of - for instance - Mark Sheppard's Badger (love Mark Sheppard!).
So, if you haven't watched this series yet, please do so. And if you have, join me in celebrating the tenth-anniversary of Serenity. Let's keep on flying, everyone.