rewatching Firefly

Firefly is one of my favourite TV shows ever. (I haven’t really watched much TV in the past decade, but even so.)

Recently I rewatched it, along with the film sequel, Serenity. For the past many many years, I have very rarely rewatched films, or reread books, and it is especially odd to rewatch a show. There is so much stuff out there, and in general I feel like I get most things pretty well first time. No particular reason to rewatch it, other than it just turned up in the flat, and a sort of influx of procrastination.

It is still really good. The core characters and performances are wonderful, with some spectacular guest turns. The story is open ended and dark and so full of potential. It really is a crime against television – what a weird concept, right there! – that this show was murdered by the studio.

The biggest difference on rewatching is the absence of tension. I know what is going on, who dies when, etc. This leads to much more innate deconstruction of the structure and hows of the thing. TV episodes can be a little thin, though they rocket by at the time; the dynamics of character tension demanded by the long format get a bit cyclic/repetitive, but then so does life.

Strait’s Kaylee is awesome. Summer Glau’s performance as River is actually fairly remarkable. Baldwin’s Jayne is funnier and dumber than I remember, and the dynamic of everyone dealing with a dumb but dangerous guy is fascinating. And the captain plays a little darker and more psychopathic than I remember; at least it is deeply gray, and foreshadows the moral vacuum Whedon explored in Dollhouse.

Seeing Serenity straight after the series, rather than after a gap of several years, was interesting. The look is so different (everyone is tanned!), as well as the feel. So much left unanswered.

The use of language is a real delight, and spills over into daily life. They just talk so damn cool. Why isn’t everyone talking like this? And I had forgotten where “shiny” entered my lexicon.

Hnmm. I suspect that rather than having anything much to say, I am typing this rather than doing something else.

But yeah. It holds up, and is well worth it if you have never had the pleasure.

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