Plot Summary: Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them.
Stars: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk
Serious Jest: (Queue It) This show is one of the best science-fiction stories I have ever experienced. It’s got an overall entertaining background and interesting characters with compelling and varied individual sub-plots, taking place upon diverse and colorful settings, and told using different storytelling methods and unexpected plot twists, and even featuring a blending of English and Mandarin languages (Endarin or Mandarish?). Think of it as what the Han Solo Chronicles might be like, if that story was told (setting aside that I think that there are a bunch of Star Wars books out there that probably cover that subject).
It is definitely limited by an inadequate budget, amateur stuntwork, low-quality cameras and some hokiness, but the story is so good and the actors really commit so, after awhile, you almost embrace these limitations as campy. I do wonder how amazing this series could have been if HBO had grabbed it, though, instead of the CW-like production and wrangling of episode order that Fox put forth. I am looking forward to see what Joss Whedon, the show’s creator, was able to do with a feature-film budget in the follow-up movie, Serenity.
I was actually surprised to learn that Whedon is from New York, given the overarching plot involving the oppression of individual states by the evil federal system that beat them in a civil war and given the country theme song. Whedon’s yankeeness does make me feel a little more confident that I’m not being duped into cheering for the Confederate flag, though.
One final note: beware! This series was cancelled in its first season, and leaves a lot of masterfully posed questions unanswered. However, the ride is well worth the story blue balls that you will be left with when it’s done. It’s like getting an awesome BJ from Esperanza Gomez, but not to completion; I still wouldn’t turn it down. Really, though, you should have this show in your pop-culture tool belt.