Movie:  Firefly (2002) and Serenity (2005)…  I have to admit, right up front, that before I saw Serenity last summer, and the first four episodes of Firefly a few weeks ago, I was not one of the Joss Whedonites.  For those of you like me, Whedon is the creator of Buffy and Angel.  I’ve never seen an episode of Buffy, and only a few of Angel…and that’s ‘cause it’s on TNT after Charmed early in the morning…TNT is one of the few TV stations I can count on when I’m on the road *g*.  Now, however, I just may have to become a convert.  I’d even rent a few seasons of Whedonverse if I didn’t think it would make my husband begin to bleed from his ears *G*. Okay, so I saw Serenity first and was totally enthralled with the space cowboy overlay, great music and videography and intriguing characters.  Then I saw the first episodes of Firefly and fell completely in love.  The cast of characters is well-rounded…Mal, the captain; Jayne, the militant crew member; to the husband and wife team of pilot and first officer (Hoban and Zoe); the spunky engineer Kaylee; and Inara, the courtesan who rents a pod for when they go planetside.  I won’t go into much detail on Simon Tamm and his sister River, just in case you haven’t seen it yet.  My personal favorite is Jayne, played flawlessly by Adam Baldwin (you’ve seen this guy before…the evil alien in the X-Files, the Major in charge of Area 51 in Independence Day, etc).  

This is a space western at its best…even better, IMO, than the original Star Trek series (of which I’m a rabid fan).  Star Trek was definitely the groundbreaker for series like this, but Firefly goes deeper into the intricacies of human nature.  It’s not too often that I can laugh AND be moved within a one-hour span, but this show does it for me. As a word of caution, tho, I understand that Fox didn’t air the original two-hour pilot first, and you absolutely MUST watch that first to understand what drives Mal and Zoe.  If I hadn’t had that groundwork laid, I would have probably been blah about the series as a whole.  Now, however, I’m happy to say I bought both the series and the movie, and given time, may actually talk my hubby into viewing and enjoying them.  Probably not while soccer is on tho! 

As with Dark Angel, Fox execs seriously misjudged their audience and the potential longevity of a series…Firefly was cancelled after this first season, and Dark Angel after only two.  Shades of Star Trek, anyone?