CliqueClack TV

Why we love Firefly

It's 'Firefly' week and as part of the celebration, the CliqueClack team explains what it is about the series that we all love so much. What do you love about the show?

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s Firefly week here at CliqueClack. Most of the writers here are big fans of Joss Whedon’s short lived project (and the movie that came later). I asked the team a general question as we headed into the week: Why do you love Firefly? Here are the responses.


I really loved the unique setting of Firefly. The universe was big and ambitious, with a really different flavor than anything else that I can remember on television. It was a space opera with a western mentality and it made for a really fun show. As with most Whedon projects, the universe was deep and well developed with a lot of interesting ideas and backstory to mine (if we had only had more time!). There were also some great details that really enriched everything. One that comes to mind first is the Chinese that was interspersed with the regular dialogue, as an interesting take on the evolution of our language over time.


One of the things I loved about Firefly was the complexity of the characters. The good guys weren’t actually good guys at all; that line was pretty fuzzy in Firefly (especially Jayne). Hearts of gold, a speckled past … kind of like a whole spaceship full of Han Solos, complete with his entertaining banter. The crew had a fierce love for one another and gave a whole new meaning to “I’ve got your back.” It was such a pleasure to watch this crazy variety of characters mix and mingle as well. A hooker, a doctor, a genius, a crook and a priest all traveling with space cowboys … now there’s a concept you don’t see every day.


I’m a convert to Firefly. I remember watching the pilot when Firefly first came out and hating it. The actors didn’t seem comfortable speaking Chinese yet, everyone seemed like a one-dimensional cut-out, Nathan Fillion hadn’t fully stepped into the role of the boy-captain (like he had with Castle), Adam Baldwin hadn’t found himself as an actor yet (as he had with Chuck), and I just didn’t get Wash and Zoe. Although my geeky friends tried to convince me to return to the fold, they never succeeded.

All the same, I remained abreast of Firefly issues and when the movie appeared looking kickass I knew I had to watch it. So, rather than start from the pilot and work my way forward (because every time I tried to re-watch Firefly I started and ended with the pilot), I skipped the pilot altogether and became a full-fledged addict. I laughed at “Captain Tightpants” and marveled as the characters, writing and acting improved with each new episode. When I saw Serenity, it did everything I thought the pilot should have done and more. However, I enjoyed and watched Firefly, not for the space cowboy rebellion theme,  but for the character interactions.


It’s hard to explain why I love Firefly in just a few sentences … which says a lot about the series. Strong, complex female characters, fantastic dialogue, a good mix of drama and comedy, not to mention some fantastic actors with tons of chemistry … it was just one of those shows had so much going for it.

So, readers, why do you love Firefly?

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Categories: | Clack | Features | Firefly | General | TV Shows |

2 Responses to “Why we love Firefly”

June 13, 2011 at 3:46 PM

That’s a tough question to answer, not because it’s hard to figure out why I love Firefly, but because there are so damned many things to love about it. Where to start?

Probably first and foremost were the characters and the best dialogue ever. I’d have to say credit goes in equal part to the writing and the actors playing the roles. Were the writing not so sharp and witty no amount of talent from the actors could’ve brought it to the level we saw, and the opposite is true. It was just the perfect storm of talent on both sides of the camera coming together to blow us away.

In a lot of space-based science fiction, conflicts are often resolved through some effects-laden space battle. Lasers, phasers, blasters, disruptors, missiles, photon torpedoes, rail guns, et al, just firing away until our protagonists and their ship emerge from the fray victorious. While the crew were armed, Serenity herself had no weapons so any conflicts between other ships had to be resolved with strategy and imagination. This was usually accomplished through some creative method of simply running away and/or hiding and was far more entertaining than watching one ship fire on another until it was blown to smithereens.

The idea of newly settled planets being much like the frontier west was an undeniably practical one. Most of the time a science fiction series/movie will show newly settled planets with all manner of electronic gadgetry, mechanical means of transportation and any number of inorganic whatsits to aid in life on the new world. Okay, fine, but what do you do when that thingamabob blows a gasket and you’re all out of gaskets? With horses, cattle and other livestock, the darned things are self-replicating. As an added bonus, if your favorite means of transportation broke down you at least got some food out of the deal. I’d like to see someone make a meal out of gears and tires!

This was a show that was about the story and people, not the effects. It felt real and engaging instead of being not much more than 40-something minutes of special effects. In one short run Firefly cemented itself into the hearts and minds of science fiction fans everywhere, becoming more prevalent and permanent in our consciousness than most shows can manage in 5 seasons.

Captain Mal once said, “We are just too pretty for God to let us die.” As that is an undeniable truth, television executives must be nothing short of Satan.

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