Reviews

Firefly

Blaine Kyllo

When the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired in May, viewers welcomed a return to the snappy wit that Joss Whedon, creator of the series, is famous for. Example: Buffy uses a cookie-baking metaphor to explain to first-love-long-lost Angel how she has come to decide not to rush into a long-term relationship: “When I’m ready for someone to eat m-m-m—” she stutters. Now that Buffy is over, Whedon has but one TV program to work on: Angel. Which is all the more sad because he had created the best thing to hit television in years: Firefly. That show starred Nathan Fillion (born in Edmonton) as Captain Malcolm Reynolds, and Jewel Staite (from White Rock) played another series lead. Firefly was the name of the cargo spaceship (think second—no, third-hand ocean freighter) populated by a ragtag ensemble of characters. The show was a refreshing genre-fuck, which is probably what killed it: ten episodes plus a two-hour pilot aired on Fox during fall 23. Maybe Fox executives didn’t know quite what to do with a program that was science fiction, family drama, sexual comedy and social satire all at the same time. How else can one explain their decision to air the two-hour pilot episode at the end of the show’s run, after the program had been officially cancelled? Or to air the episodes out of the sequence Whedon intended, or not to air three of the episodes that were shot and posted? Thankfully, Whedon is releasing Firefly on DVD later in 23, and has probably packed the DVD with the extras that made the show’s web site so much fun: interviews with the hilarious cast (Fillion is ultra-charming, in that Han Solo-ish scoundrel way), tours of the set, glimpses behind the scenes, and maybe even a copy of the blooper video that was created as a memento for the crew and that leaked onto the Internet (it ends with a Looney Tunes zoom-in on Fillion’s naked butt).

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