I'm finishing up Firefly

Raziaar

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I am on the last episode right now. Haven't watched the movie yet.

I have a question though. Why is this show touted to be so great? I mean it's an alright show. It's a feel good show, but I feel that it lacks a certain depth and feel and quality of writing to be as truly great as people claim it to be.

I used to not even like the idea of Battlestar Galactica... but once I watched that show I really got into it and I enjoyed it immensely. I can't say that Firefly rates anywhere near BSG.

It feels quite campy, and more like a sitcom than like a well oiled masterpiece.

This isn't to rattle any cages or anything. I am want to know from people who really love it, why it is praised as one of the greatest shows on TV.
 

bobtheskull

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I am a definite Browncoat. I completely adore Firefly and would defend it to the hilt. The humour, and the delivery of that humour is what made it for me. My fav episode was 'Our Mrs Reynolds', where Mal got married. The tears were blinding me I was laughing so hard.
Like you said, it's not the deepest, plot/story wise... especially compared to the likes of BSG. Firefly is far more light-hearted and 'fun'. It's really the characters, and their likeability (for most of them) that makes it so good. Joss Whedon has a knack for writing dialogue tween multiple characters.
The overall story arc would have expanded and, I believe, got much better had it survived the curse of Fox. I read the graphic novel that covers the time tween Firefly and Serenity, which ties up some loose ends from the show before the movie. Serenity hints at what Firefly might have ended up becoming in a longer arc.
I'm incredibly biased on this subject, as I have very special memories connected to Firefly too, so i'll stop gushing now.
 

ríomhaire

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Maybe because it got cancelled early it got fans to hold it up as a martyr?
 

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I agree. I've watched Firefly a while back and while it was an enjoyable show, it was just OK, not fantastic.

As for BSG, the exact opposite to Raz happened to me. I first watched the miniseries was intrigued then proceed to watch the series, and the more I watched the more I hated it. Mainly because in the mini series I didn't realize what kind of show it really was supposed to be( a war drama in space). Whereas what I expected/wanted was an action packed sci-fi show like SG1.
 

bobtheskull

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Maybe because it got cancelled early it got fans to hold it up as a martyr?
That can be said for any show that gets cancelled before it's first season finishes.
Fox cancelled a number of shows without giving them a fair chance. With Firefly, they expected something akin to a Star Wars tv show. Cos they didn't get the direction Whedon had planned for it, rather than action heavy sci-fi, they canned it. Fox is well known for putting their own interests before those of the target audience (which, arguably, is alienating the very people who pay for or watch their shit), and unfortunately too many shows have never reached full potential.
This isn't me backing up Firefly, but any cancelled show in general.
Also, I think because of the cult status Firefly has gained over the years, those coming to it now feel cheated as they expect something much better, cos of fanboys like me :p
 

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I agree. It's a good show, but no where nearly as good as its fans claim. It's rated as the sixth best TV show on all time on IMDb, and that's just silly.
 
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I felt the same way first time I watched it. Then I watched it again later and my opinion changed. One of the best shows ever. Good continuity, humor, characters that are interesting, beautiful sets and costumes, great music, sci-fi that doesn't techno-babble. I love it.
 

Krynn72

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Firefly has a quality to it that I can't really describe. Its simply... infinitely re-watchable. I've watched it almost as many times as I've watched Futurama. Every time you watch it you pick up more and more of the subtleties. It doesn't have a bad episode to its name (admittedly, it doesn't have many episodes, but most shows in their first season are very hit or miss when regarded episode by episode). There's just not any other show like it. It also doesn't have aliens, which is a massive plus in my book when dealing with sci-fi that doesn't come off as inherently retarded. I can't watch BSG or Star Trek or anything else like that because the aliens are so ****ing dumb.

I wouldn't say its my favorite ever, but definitely top 10, possibly top 5.
 

bobtheskull

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Every time you watch it you pick up more and more of the subtleties. It doesn't have a bad episode to its name (admittedly, it doesn't have many episodes, but most shows in their first season are very hit or miss when regarded episode by episode).
This. How many shows have there been over the years where the cast gel as well as this one? You can see they all feel comfortable with each other, which in turn shows through their characters. Things like Star Trek TNG, or DS9, or Bab5 were all pretty dire and stiff for their first, and in some cases second seasons. It took time for the cast to reach a certain comfort level. In Firefly, they just seemed to fit together (in front and behind the cameras).
And I too have re-watched it a stupid amount of times.
 

Krynn72

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The gag reel shows that connection they had brilliantly.
 

Raziaar

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Firefly has a quality to it that I can't really describe. Its simply... infinitely re-watchable. I've watched it almost as many times as I've watched Futurama. Every time you watch it you pick up more and more of the subtleties. It doesn't have a bad episode to its name (admittedly, it doesn't have many episodes, but most shows in their first season are very hit or miss when regarded episode by episode). There's just not any other show like it. It also doesn't have aliens, which is a massive plus in my book when dealing with sci-fi that doesn't come off as inherently retarded. I can't watch BSG or Star Trek or anything else like that because the aliens are so ****ing dumb.

I wouldn't say its my favorite ever, but definitely top 10, possibly top 5.
Battlestar Galactica doesn't have any aliens either.

I don't know what show you've been watching.
 

Krynn72

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Battlestar Galactica doesn't have any aliens either.

I don't know what show you've been watching.
Well, I haven't been watching the show, thats the point. And there's definitely non humans of some sort, and thats enough for me.
 

Raziaar

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Well, I haven't been watching the show, thats the point. And there's definitely non humans of some sort, and thats enough for me.
Yes, there are the Cylons. I think they're done pretty well actually.
 

Bad^Hat

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Maybe you're just not into Joss Whedon's style, which is perfectly excusable. The way I tend to think about him is that he's the best goddamn fanfic writer in the business. His characters, dialog, and (to a lesser extent) plots are all impeccably tight, rich, and engaging, but he always wears that nerdy wouldn't-it-be-cool-if enthusiasm right the **** on his sleeve, so it can feel like he's giving delicate character developments or interactions a less subtle treatment than they might warrant sometimes. It becomes both his greatest stylistic strength and his biggest thematic weakness. For instance, his characters can be complex and have nuanced feelings and motivations, but this is usually made painfully obvious in the acting or dialog. If a character is bottling something up, you'll know about it long before it all comes gushing out in a huge, flamboyant musical number. If they're feeling angsty or repressed, you'll know about it before they turn evil for a few episodes and blow up the whole ****ing town. I'm generalising a little, and as I write this I'm realising it applies much more heavily to Buffy and Angel than to Firefly, but Firefly was a much more straight-forward episodic affair rather than a full-blown continuity. Granted it didn't have 7 seasons to lay the groundwork Buffy did, so maybe we would've seen more of Joss's signature bag of tricks pop up if the series had gotten some wings. (Oh no, River is suddenly and inexplicably evil for 1-3 episodes! Oh no, a beloved character died cruelly for no reason! Oh no, a female character is being horribly disempowered by a male character, possibly a protagonist!)

It might sound like I'm trying to say he's all style and no substance, but that's not really it. More I feel like his style informs his substance, and is in some cases limited by it; however it also gains his particular brand of enthusiasm and heart that you don't see in TV writing particularly often. There's a reason his characters are all so goddamn beloved and it's because he actually cares enough to make them interesting and engaging, even if the style of his dialog might sound a bit stilted in the hands of a less capable writer. In conclusion I love the shit out of Firefly but I can see why some people might not 'get' it. x2 for Buffy/Angel.
 

Raziaar

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Hmmm. I don't usually think about writers and/or directors unless they are ****ing things up, like George Lucas.

Usually who wrote and directed something doesn't ever play into things for me.

Some exceptions of course. Quentin Tarantino for one.
 

Shem

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What does thanks mean? Who are you saying it to?
 
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