4.10.05

Finding Serenity

So, I mentioned earlier that I saw Serenity on Sunday, and that I actually felt a little sadness after it was over. What it was was that about four hours later, I realized that it will be some time before I get to see more to this story, and, more importantly, before I get to see more of these characters. I had spent the week before preparing for the opening of the movie by watching the entire series,Firefly, in one week. I had never seen an entire episode of the show, but I had heard so much about it, and I was very much sucked into Joss Whedon's previous outings, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, that I felt pretty safe going out and dropping the money to buy the series on DVD.

I knew how Whedon tended to write, and that he had a knack for writing, even taking unbelievably stupid concepts (Come on, a teenage girl who fights the undead between English finals and dating. Are you high?) and taking them in unexpected directions. And, along the way, getting the viewer not only believe, but also care about the characters.

Firefly was no exception as far as the stupid concept goes (Space outlaws who ride horses? Joss, please, put down the dube). And when Fox aired the show, they did everything they could do to, short of burning the original tapes, to make sure the show didn't succeed. They aired the second episode first. Then preempted for baseball playoff games, so those that did enjoy the show was never sure when it was on. Then, they just decided to drop the show all together, before the entire season had a chance to air.

Then something happened.

Fox released the series (in the right order, with missing episodes) on DVD. The fans found it, and told their friends, and so on. And the DVD sales were, all of a sudden, phenomenal. Enough so that Universal decided to acquire the rights, and green light a movie.

Ya see, what I think happened, was that Whedon took everything he learned about character development from doing Buffy and Angel, and applied it to Firefly, and nailed it. Only speaking for myself, by the end of the second episode, I really wanted to know more about everyone of the characters. And, every episode, Whedon gave a little bit more. And more, and more. He had me more excited about this crew in thirteen episodes then I was about the Scooby's from Buffy.

And then the movie.

The movie played like an extended fourteenth episode. The cast picked up like they had never left the set. (Oh, yeah, in all of my Whedon fanboy-ism, I forgot to mention the actors. They all, every one, nailed Whedon's dialog.) The story picked right up (well, OK, there's a bit of a gap between the series and movie, explained in a three issue comic book series. Anyone know where I can get it?), and is furthered by the movie. By the time the movie ends, more becomes clear about this universe that Whedon has created. And when something horrible happens (I won't say what or when or how or who for those of you who haven't seen the movie) I don't think anyone in the theatre didn't react as if it had happend to their own friend.

So, now I have to wait for more from this storyline. And from all indications, it won't be another incarnation of the series (apparently, Fox's deal with Universal includes a clause saying that it can't be brought back as a series for ten years, and Whedon is against doing more TV for now). So, it'll probably be another movie. Which means a longer development period. More waiting.

But, take your time, Joss. We want it to be good, not quick. And, oh yeah. Let me light that for you.

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