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Burn the land and boil the sea.

21 March 2011

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?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Gwen permalink
    21 March 2011 0717

    I couldn’t tell you why the show appealed to me but it did. I was sad the day it got canceled.

    • 21 March 2011 0930

      I actually caught it after cancellation, so I knew there wasn’t much show to watch. About 10 minutes into “The Train Job,” though, I was already cursing the TV gods for canceling such a brilliant show.

  2. Gwen permalink
    21 March 2011 0934

    I received the entire show and movie for my last birthday. I watched with one of my adult daughters over a long weekend. She enjoyed it too. She initially didn’t believe me that it was good. I changed her mind. 🙂

  3. 21 March 2011 1911

    it was definitely the chemistry and ensemble cast that were so perfectly balanced and so obviously friends that made the show work. The writing, of course, helped…..but the fact that these people actually cared about each other is what made it, and many of my favorite shows, work for me.

    • 21 March 2011 1914

      And, of course, Nathan Fillon being generally awesome.

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