Cine-Men: Cult-classic ‘Firefly’ is stellar

Mitchell Baltosser, Staff Writer

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Here we have a Cine-Men first! This time we are not going to talk about a movie. What we watched can only be described in two words: Space Western. To many that raises a few eyebrows. But to few it means the short-lived T.V show that started a cult phenomenon, Firefly.

Firefly tells the story of a rag-tag group of outlaws aboard the “Firefly Class” spaceship named “Serenity.” It follows the group as they perform all sorts of space fairing smuggling jobs with hints of classic American Western banditry.

The background of this show is both interesting and melancholic. See, it has the normal struggles that every television show seems to face these days. The creator and the network (Fox in this case) butting heads over what should and should not be included.

But all this inner bickering fell by the way side when the initial reviews came it. The first rounds of reviews were mediocre at best, citing it as “offbeat” and “hard to follow.”

These reviews were very correct for one sole reason- the Fox network aired the episodes out of order on purpose. Why would Fox do this you ask? Well, no one really seems to know. It was simply a case of “The guys with bigger paychecks said so.”

This of course led to the only action seen as reasonable by the Fox network (and unreasonable to everyone else): cancelling it out right after only 11 out 14 episodes aired.

But after the show was ported to home video release, the reviews skyrocketed. Fans gathered together to do whatever they thought was necessary to bring back the show: they wrote post-cards en masse, they crowd funded an advertisement in Variety Magazine.

Sadly, no network would take the show. It wasn’t all for naught, though. They did manage to convince Universal Studios to make a movie titled “Serenity,” which sadly underperformed at the box-office, putting the final nail in the coffin for the series.

My Take:

When this title was voted up for viewing, the premise alone intrigued me. Understandably some see it as a bit of a ham-fisted arrangement merging the two genres together.

But I grew up watching “Star Wars” and too many Clint Eastwood movies, so I’m not complaining.  But to get to the point, the show (or I should say the small portion of the show we watched) was quite good.

It blended the classic western character archetypes with the space-faring world extremely well.

The actors and actresses were fantastic with these roles, and what character arcs we could see had me hooked. But we come back to the melancholic cancellation.

I’m sure many fans would agree with me when I say it was sad to see this one go. But you never know what might in this day and age, where reboots and surprise sequels abound. A media resurrection miracle might just happen for this star-filled 9/10 experience.

Be sure to join us in McCormick 3237 on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. for the next viewings!
 

 

“Firefly” introduced its cult-following audience to names like Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk and Morena Baccarin.