You Can’t Take the Sky From Me

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Buffy and Angel fan. That said, I don’t really fall into that category of fan who thinks that Joss Whedon is the smartest and most talented man in the world. Yea, I love Buffy and Angel and I am one of the few people who don’t hate Alien: Resurrection, but whatever.

That said, I decided to pretend being a Whedon obsessee by purchasing his short-lived televsion show Firefly the other week.

It took me a while to get into the series — and I’m still about six or so episodes from finishing it — but now that I’ve had time to really get to know the characters and whatnot, I gotta say that it’s pretty damn good.

Specifically, the back-to-back (but unrelated) episodes “Out of Gas” and “Ariel” are some of the finest ever.

I loved how “Out of Gas” showed how Mal met all of the crew members… it’s always nice to see backstory, so I was a fan of seeing how people ended up on Serenity. I also loved the three narrative threads: one showing past (meeting the crew), one showing present (how the ship became damaged and why people left), and future (Mal attempting to fix Sereneity). It was both suspenseful and informational.

As for “Ariel,” I can’t really say why I loved it without giving much away — and I don’t want to give anything away. That said, let me just say that the ending (the last three minutes) really disappointed me. Oh well. I’m curious to see how the events of “Ariel” change things going forward.

5 thoughts on “You Can’t Take the Sky From Me”

  1. See, Vera? Dress yourself up nice, you get taken somewhere fun!

    I am a HUGE Firefly fan, Jason, HUGE. The cancellation of the series still ranks up there in my top ten pisser moments of television history, along with Century City and American Gothic. Daniel Baldwin’s guest appearances on Angel almost made up for it…almost.

    Anyway, I went to the screening of Serenity last week and nearly pissed myself…so fab.

  2. Re: Serenity

    It is possible that my enjoyment of the film was partially due to excitement and atmosphere–everyone there was cheering and applauding and totally into it in a My Fandom is a Brown Coat sort of way. However, I loved the screening. It is important to note that it was no where near the final version and I have no idea if the plot will be altered significantly between now and release. Many of the visual effects were incomplete and the film was not scored…at all. There were occasional music placeholders, as it were, but scores are really dramatic tools that can make a good film better.

    In reponse to your query, Jason, the film takes place about 6 months after the final episode of the series/first season and the plot stands alone…you don’t need to have seen the series to understand what’s going on, although, it does help…especially since two of the characters are basically no longer part of the crew…you understand who they *were* and why they matter.

    Hmm, what to say without ruining the movie. The main difference between the show and the movie is that in the show, they were petty criminals–in the film, they’re actually rebel fighters. I like that it fits in with the whole Whedon-verse mantra of doing what needs to be done reardless of the personal consequences. If you are emotionally invested in the characters, as I am, this movie will freakin’ kill you. There is a death. And it saddens me still.

    Simon and River’s storyline is the backbone of the plot–we find out exactly why the government is chasing River down with such deadly authority (and it’s a doozy). There are some tight fight sequences and a lot of that patented Joss Whedon funny.

    I would say some of the cast gets the short end of the stick–most noticably the Space Prostitute, the Preacher, the guy who drives the ship and Kaylee. Jayne, luckily, remains the funniest crank around and Captain Tight Pants still has wonderfully tight pants.

    Honestly, the best bit was the pre-recorded Joss Whedon speech at the beginning in which he basically thanked the fans for being responsible for the development of the show and the film. Of this, he said, “In an unprecedented way, it’s your movie…And if it sucks, it’s your fault.” Gotta love the Joss.

    Some bits that could have been improved: The Reavers…I kind of didn’t buy them. They really aren’t fully realized or completely logical. Also, the film kind of devolves in the last 10 minutes or so and gets way too Hollywood genre. Too much chasing and science ficition action.

  3. Awesome! Thanks for the review.

    Although, I do gotta say that my favorite characters are Inara (the space prostitute) and Kaylee, so that sucks… oh, and (unlike you) I kinda hate Jayne, but maybe I’ll change my mind.

    It looks like the movie isn’t due until September. Damn, a long wait.

    Now I just wish they’d do an Angel movie. Though I suppose with Wonder Woman, it’ll be a very low-prio for Joss.

  4. OMG…how do you hate Jayne? He is TEH coolest. Heh…well, considering that my own affinity for him is due, in part, to my own feelings on how he might look naked, perhaps I shouldn’t call your judgment into question.

    Yes, sadly, The Space Hooker (did anyone else see that episode of Newsradio?),whom I also enjoy greatly, wasn’t in the first half of the movie. Book (the Shepherd) kind of has a cameo, I swear… Kaylee and the Goddess Husband/Driver were really relegated to supporting roles. They have some good lines, but they don’t really further the plot or contribute anything substantial. I really like Kaylee as well, so that was tough for me. She’s adorable! But naughty!

    I’ve heard from more than one source (including the Joss!) that there will be no Angel movie, ev-ar. How sad…

  5. “Out of Gas’ is a great episode – one of my favorites (not that they all aren’t). I think the last three minutes of the episode is dead on, especially with Jayne’s last request. 😉

    If you haven’t found so already, I think you’ll find Jayne’s actions in “Out of Gas” come up at least a couple times in the remainder of the show. Obviously, unfortunate it only went 11 episodes.

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