There have been many shows that explored space. Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, etc. But perhaps none explored the facets of the human dilemma as well as Joss Whedon‘s Firefly. The 2003 series was taken from us far too soon, lasting only one season with episodes that were even out of order when they premiered on TV. On paper, Firefly shouldn’t have worked… a sci-fi TV series about a bunch of space pirates composed of a ragtag group of individuals racing across worlds doing legal and illegal gigs to survive, all the while fighting the evil Alliance and staying ahead of the feared Reavers. Doesn’t sound like much, so what made it work?
I guess first we should qualify the series: Firefly is terrific.
It’s one of the best shows ever created, and I say that with no hyperbole or facetiousness. Whedon is a master of storytelling, and his Mutant Enemy team are master scribes who know how to create a fantasy that enthralls, entices, and engages. One can look at the success of Buffy and Angel and see that their prowess in creating fascinating tales is top-tier. The main ingredient? Relationships. It’s what drives our societal structure, and it’s what drives Firefly. Just take a gander at all the social dynamics in play without adding plot.