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4.8 out of 5 stars
Firefly: The Complete Series
Format: DVD|Change
Price:$69.15+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

Joss Whedon who created this series planned for it to run for seven seasons and instead it only produced 14 and aired 11 before it was canceled (purportedly after the first episode was shown). When Fox ran “Firefly” in 2002/2003 I never heard of it, of course I was busy deploying to Iraq and elsewhere due to this little thing called the Global War on Terrorism (Mal and Zoe would understand). I did see the sequel movie “Serenity” on DVD years later but not having seen the series and lacking that context it didn’t do much for me at the time. Discovering “Firefly” now for the first time all I can say is count me among the “Browncoat” faithful. How did this show not get picked up and run for Whedon’s seven seasons as planned? Given the crud on television today it’s incredible; shows like “NCIS Los Angeles” just keep serving up the same stuff every week and get renewed season after tedious season. Full disclosure; I am not a hard-core Sci-Fi geek. Star Trek TOS, yes, but all the other incarnations of Trek (except JJ Abrams latest films) not so much; original three Star Wars films, yes, the others by Lucas, no way. Nor am I a Whedon disciple, never watched “Buffy” or “Angel” or any of his other TV outings but must say that “Firefly” is brilliant. Maybe if it was called “Young Han Solo” (which is what it’s like in some respects) it may have done better.

The series works on many levels; as a character study it excels. Our nine space travelers all have interesting stories and the charismatic cast gets the viewers buy-in almost from the first episode. Thirteen years later you’ve seen many of these actors in different shows. Nathan Fillion (“Castle”) as Capt Malcolm Reynolds is great as the former rebellion fighter who buys a decrepit cargo ship and travels space moving legal and illegal goods to the outer colonies. As he says “I may have fought on the losing side, but I’m not sure it was the wrong side.” Now there’s an Alliance governing the planets that’s not quite as malevolent as The Empire in Star Wars but you get the idea. Rounding out the crew: Gina Torres (too many shows to mention) is his number one, Zoe, a former corporal he’s fought with she’s his trusted right arm. Alan Tudyk (“Dodgeball”) is “Wash” the ship’s pilot and husband of Zoe and a frequent source of comic relief. Adam Baldwin (“Chuck”, “The Last Ship”) is amusing as mercenary Jayne Cobb. He’s the muscle for the crew but motivated primarily by money and frequently one step away from mutiny. Morena Baccarin (“Homeland”, “V”, “Deadpool”) plays Inara, a beautiful so-called companion (prostitute) where in the future the world’s oldest profession is held in high esteem. She rents one of the ship’s shuttles and plys her trade from the Serenity. Jewel Taite (Stargate, Atlantis) is the ship’s mechanic Kaylee Frye. She’s a girly-girl next door type who spreads her sunny optimism throughout the ship. If she sounds annoying, she’s not and you’ll want to give her a hug. Ron Glass (Barney Miller) is Shepherd Book a preacher with a mysterious past who signs on for transport and decides to stay with the crew. Sean Maher is Dr. Simon Tam who books passage on his ship with “cargo”. That cargo turns out to be his sister he’s rescued from the evil Alliance and their sinister experiments. River Tam is played by Sci-Fi star Summer Glau, she’s suffering the effects of the treatment she’s received by the Alliance and at first she’s withdrawn and barely communicative. As the season progresses she begins to stabilize and more is revealed about her and certain “abilities” she’s developed as a result of what’s happened to her. She and her brother have a bounty on their heads and are being pursued by the Alliance who desperately want her back. Well drawn, likeable characters that the audience can identify with well portrayed by superb actors make this world a place you’ll want to visit.

Kudos to the set designer in regards to the spaceship Firefly’s interior spaces. Having traveled on a number of military transports the Serenity’s insides look pretty legit to me. Like the rest of the show there’s nothing fancy, just a utilitarian vessel to haul goods and crew making it easy to believe in.

The space-western concept apparently was too much for the network execs to grasp but I thought it was fun. The clothing and speech of these space travelers is right off the set of “Bonanza” for the most part. Less engaging is the constant insertion of Mandarin Chinese colloquialisms, profanity, and slang in the dialog (without subtitles). In Whedon’s future world America and China are the only surviving superpowers so there’s a strong Asian influence throughout the show. Happily, Wikipedia has a page of “Firefly” script excerpts and translations of a number of the Chinese phrases that’s a helpful resource for the more interested viewer.

The stories are well done and the show has a great sense of humor with many one liners that had me chuckling. Of the 14 episodes there isn’t a bad one in the bunch. My two favorites are “Our Mrs. Reynolds” and “Jaynestown”. In the former Mal winds up allegedly married after a drunken party to none other than Christina Hendricks before “Mad Men” fame. Her character of Saffron is terrific and Mal’s discomfiture as well as the amusement of the crew was a laugh. Saffron also appears in a later episode too and is no less a delight. In “Jaynestown” the crew revisit a planet where Cobb got himself into a bit of trouble but on returning discovers he’s a hero to the locals. When the guy in the bar sings the ballad about Cobb it’s a laugh out loud moment.

When you reach the conclusion of the final episode, “Objects in Space” you’ll be left with an empty feeling knowing that there isn’t any more to watch (other than the 2005 movie “Serenity”). That this fine series never got a fighting chance is a real tragedy.
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on January 23, 2016
Came to see this series only recently. I am really blown away by the storylines, characters and settings. The visuals are not the reason to watch this series, just like the original Star Trek. Just like the original Star Trek, the stories, characters, and interactions were what make it such a compelling series. Just like Star Trek, it was hampered by a limited budget, and short sighted network executives which cut the series short. I also bought the BluRay version, and it is obviously of much better quality. The bonus features on the BluRay are a plus, but not a necessity. I watch the Amazon version on my tablet, when I need a break. Firefly is truly an outer space "western", sometimes down to the costumes, and the weapons that they use. It is interesting that Gene Rodenberry original pitched Star Trek to the network as a "western in space", and was originally slated to be called "Wagon Train to the Stars". Firefly is a grittier version of Star Trek, but with the same great stories. Wish there were more episodes.
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on December 12, 2014
Despite a low budget, despite terrible publicity, despite being canned way too early, this series -Firefly- will be a cult classic for decades. The inevitable culmination of the series post run popularity and the inspiration for the cult classic's brilliance...was because of the special chemistry of a group of dedicated and talented actors whom made this series rise far above and beyond all the things that were shooting it down. Now that it's all said and done, and there will be no second season, I am left feeling hurt. I Ioved the characters. I loved the Shepard, I loved Mal, Jayne, Kaley, Doc, wash and his wife the warrior and second in command played by Gina Torres, I loved Inara, and especially...River. God, Summer Glau played that part so very VERY well. There is no longer a place for a long drawn out, or proper review, so, I must suffice to say: this is my very favorite cult classic. And I will continue to watch it over and over again. All you Sci-fi heads out there, it is your duty to pass on the vintage ...well, "coolness" of this series. The younger ones need to know what is REALLY GOOD STUFF! Peace out my fellow Sci-fi brethren!
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on December 29, 2013
What can I say about this short-lived gem of a series that hasn't already been expressed with great frequency and eloquence by devoted fans? Absolutely nothing...but I feel compelled to chime in anyway :)

Unlike many, it took me a little longer to fall in love with Firefly and to truly 'get' what all the fuss was about. I'm mentioning that in case someone else reading this was relatively underwhelmed initially but willing to give the show a second chance. The series might just not be your cup of TV tea, of course...but you might, as I did, find that a second or even third viewing hooks you for the remainder of your TV-viewing life :)

The show is a space western, and generally combines traditional elements of both genres in creative, engaging ways. As always while viewing Whedon shows, there are a couple of characters who didn't quite resonate with me---but it ceased to matter, as other characters rose quickly to the very top of my personal "all-time favorites" list. The dialogue took a little bit of getting used to for me---after all, it's not every day that one hears a blend of Queen's English, Old West slang and the occasional Chinese phrase ;) (Rest assured that the inclusion of Chinese phrases makes perfect sense in the context of the show's background mythology, so it's not nearly as random as it sounds!) Once my ears and I got used to it, though, I became totally enamored with the dialogue and many of the clever, witty, hopeful and thought-provoking quotes that are now happily lodged in my memory.

Firefly is brimming over with humor, drama, action, mystery, and even a little romance. It's a true pleasure to look at and listen to. The thing that makes it unique for me is that it can be enjoyed as both a comedic, high energy thrill ride AND a more sneakily deep, intriguingly philosophical sci-fi drama. The cast seems to genuinely love the show, the fans and one another like none other I've come across.

As I'm typing this review, this set is on sale for a comparatively inexpensive $9.99. (I spent three times that amount...but still somehow feel it was worth it!) If you're on the fence, this may be the perfect time to hit that tempting orange 'buy' button. I can honestly say that these DVDs have---and will always---get more use than nearly any other in my collection! Happy holidays---and happy viewing :)
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on April 28, 2014
I had watched Serenity a few years ago and was told by all my friends Firefly is a must watch. They were correct. This may be the greatest combination of acting, writing and execution yet.

Firefly has the most compelling character development I have ever witnessed. The space-cowboy theme is excitingly different and well captured. The acting is phenomenal; each character has great depth and history. Relationships between the characters are masterfully expressed allowing a connection greater then any other film or series I have watched.

I am grateful for being able to experience the raw, tense, comical, mysterious, riveting, nail-biting, heart-breaking, heart-warming situations encountered throughout journeys with their space vessel, Firefly. Knowing that such incredibly captivating adventures will suddenly come to an end breaks my heart. I am two episodes from the end; yet cannot bring myself to watching these remaining episodes.

When I muster the will to continue and finish off Firefly there will be tears, and will definitely be watching Serenity immediately after. I cannot see this series suddenly sparking back to life considering Serenity's coverage of how the series was supposed to play out and the amount of time passed since the initial release. However I, and the rest of the world, do wish it so. There is much left to be explained and explored.

Be warned: This series is powerful, expertly crafted and I expect it to leave a massive emptiness once finished. A truly bittersweet experience; Firefly.
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Let me start out by saying I was a latecomer to this show. My wife and I watched it earlier this year from a streaming service. I must admit, I am now one of the many people who are angered by the moronic decision to cancel this series. Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion are brilliant, the chemistry between the actors in this show is amazing, the characters are believable, the concept is sound, and the stories are extremely entertaining. The CGI is actually quite good, you don't feel like you are watching a cheap made for cable movie.
I say buy it, watch it, love it, and tell Fox that they are stupid for cancelling it, and need to bring it back.
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on August 28, 2006
A friend of mine knew I liked TV shows which were different and he recommended "Firefly". It was a great show that ended too early. Every episode, I grew to like the characters more and more. The crew of the Serenity was a group of very unique personalities and you grew to accept them as part of your family. You not only like these people, you learn to care about who they are and how they came to be on Serenity.

Captain Reynolds kept you smiling with his laid back ways yet he had a heart of gold. His humor and compassion reminded me of a cross between Hans Solo and Indiana Jones.

I've described this show to others as a western science fiction show. It is set in space yet it is filled with scenes with horses, shoot-outs and bar room brawls. Everything about it makes it enjoyable and fun.

Even though humor is a part of "Firefly", there are moments of intense drama and darkness. You experience many things with the crew-sense of family, loss, loyalty, love, suspense and laughter.

"Firefly" was also made very well. The writing, acting and everything about each episode makes this show special. You will not be disappointed bringing the crew and their lives into your home.
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on October 9, 2015
Great scifi. Great cast. Should not have been cancelled so soon. Typical of Fox. Should have been picked up by SciFi channel but they were in a very dumb way at the time with dreams of wrestling and cheap reality shows on their mind
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on March 15, 2016
ABSOLUTELY ENTERTAINING.....This series, which I have watched more than once, is a refreshing SCI-FI with an "old west" feel. It is set in the future with a rag tag band of inter- spacial travelers who will do just about any job for a price. The characters include a "good guy tough captain, a spiritual Shepard, a pair of tough guy crew members , including a female ex-soldier who happens to be married the really nice guy space pilot, an on the lam Doc and his "special" intelect sister wanted by the "Alliance" , and a beautiful professional "companion". You may have to explain that to any younger members of the family..but in my opinion nothing is really that explicit. The characters are well developed and you will grow to look upon them as your traveling friends in the galaxy.. They do some space crime but nothing that makes you see them as criminals..This series is a real WINNER !
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on January 11, 2016
The Firefly show is very Josh Whedon. It is a mixture of scifi, cowboys, outerspace, drama and humor. There are some very adult themes going on. But there is also enough of a storyline to keep things interesting. What I really enjoy is all the characters are well rounded and well acted. Each individual has a unique character. The interactions between the crew are fun to watch. They unfold as you see them go on various misadventures. The only thing that I personally didn't like was the fact that there was a tad over amount of nudity. Some of it I think was unnecessary and weird. I think they were trying to mimic Japanese manga style humor. But, other than that for the most part, I think this show is a cult classic because of its quirky singularity. There really aren't any other shows out there quite like it. After you watch the entire season, I recommend you watch Serenity to see what happens to the crew. It would have been better if they had gotten a Season 2 of Firefly.
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