Burn the land and boil the sea.
So, this weekend, I re-watched almost the entire run of Firefly while getting some work done. That, unfortunately, doesn’t take very long. But as I was watching those too-few episodes, I got to wondering why the show worked so well.
It wasn’t the mashup of Old West and Sci-Fi, though that was a cool concept. Unfortunately, sometimes that theme got in the way more than it helped (there was some set design and props department sloppiness that probably would have been much easier to notice in a futuristic space-type setting).
It wasn’t even the mashup of American and Chinese culture, though, again, very cool concept. The characters going off and swearing in mangled Chinese never failed to make me laugh.
The real reason this show was so awesome was the characterization. The team behind Firefly didn’t so much write characters as they let real people inhabit the script. Malcolm Reynolds had moods, imperfections, issues, weaknesses. So did the rest of his crew, though some were better at hiding them.
Who do you think has done the best job of making realistic characters in an unrealistic setting?