Monday, January 21, 2013
Some Reasons Why My Friend Jody Needs to Finish Watching Firefly
There are certain things you cannot say to me without expecting a reaction. Things like, "I'm not sexist. I just think women should know their place" or "Take this pistol, wipe off all the fingerprints, and throw it in the lake. Quick! Before the cops come."
But I recently had a conversation with my friend Jody and found out that she watched 25 minutes of the first episode of Firefly and then got bored and quit. In the words of DeAndre Cole, "What's up with that?" Doesn't she know that Firefly is a contender for the best TV show of all time? Apparently not. And that's why I have to put aside everything else I want to post and tell her.
So, in no particular order, here are several reasons for Jody to finish watching Firefly.
1. Nathan Fillion. If you haven't seen Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, step away from this computer right now and go and watch it (or better yet, sit right there and watch it on streaming). Nathan Fillion as the scene-stealing Captain Hammer is one of the finest comedic musical performances of all time. The only thing greater is his performance as Mal Reynolds, the captain of Serenity. He's angry, he's scrappy, he's dreamy in that "I really want to comfort him" kind of way, he walks around naked during one amazing episode. I do not get celebrity crushes, but I have a crush on Nathan Fillion. He made a surprise appearance at NY Comic Con in October and got this reaction from co-star Jewel Staite (who also kicks ass).
I think most people would have that reaction around him. He even makes references to Firefly in his current role on Castle. If a man were ever born to play a role, it was Nathan Fillion in Firefly.
2. Kickass women in space. I could get into a big, long diatribe about gender roles, but there is already article, after article, after article about the high and low points of women in Firefly. I, personally, love the women of Firefly. I never get tired of watching Zoe get into a fight right alongside Mal. I adore the sweet and snuggly Kaylee, the ship's mechanic, and how she treats the ship like a beloved friend. Each time I watch the series, I wish there were more of River's slow evolution from troubled genius to troubled (and extremely dangerous) genius. And Inara, who is torn between her affection for Mal and her life as a companion, was left completely unfinished when the series came to an end. Almost any woman or girl can see herself among the women of Firefly. Which brings us to...
3. Christina Hendricks. She's totally in it, and although her character is is the worst, she's fun to watch.
4. Two by two, hands of blue. What is the deal with these guys? We never see it explained thoroughly by series end. But one thing we know for sure. They are scary, and they are dangerous. From the first time River utters, "Two by two, hands of blue," you are immediately filled with dread. It's like the first time Bluebeard says, "Just don't go into that room down there, and you'll be fine," and you have to know what's behind that door. I want to know what's up with these blue-gloved assholes, but it's the not knowing that makes them terrifying.
5. Wash's one-liners. And just Wash in general. When I recently re-watched this show, I remembered how much I love this scene:
I thought to myself, "Wash must have a bunch of sisters somewhere. And I bet they think he's the best." Among everyone aboard Serenity, I think it can be argued that Wash is its happiest member. He has the love of an incredible woman, and he's [mostly] okay with the fact that she can break him in half. He's good people, and there's a lot to be said for Alan Tudyk playing a guy who's just doing his job and not necessarily "dealing with demons" or getting into it with people. Many say that Kaylee is the heart of Serenity. But Wash is its anchor.
6. Unrequited love at its finest. Everyone loves a show where two people love each other but can't quite make it work: The Office, the not-as-good U.S. version of The Office, Buffy, Who's the Boss?... You know, every single show ever?
7. Requited love at its finest. But when it does happen, it's magic.
8. Reavers. "If they take the ship, they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh and sew our skins into their clothing. And if we're very very lucky, they'll do it in that order." If that line from Zoe doesn't fill you with dread, then I would question the credentials of your dentist. You never see them during the series, only as an inevitable threat just over the horizon. When you finally see them in Serenity, it's like AAAAAA!
9. Serenity. A really fantastic tie-up to a series that was cancelled way too soon. Because how often does that actually happen with shows you like? I actually watched Serenity before I knew anything at all about Firefly. It's such a solid ending where a lot of things get resolved and a lot of things don't. And that's fine.
10. It's Joss Whedon. I couldn't get into Buffy for the first two episodes. But I went back and tried again and two weeks later, I came out of my apartment wondering where time had gone. When Joss Whedon is good, he's really, really good. I would argue that this is his best.