Watch Wednesday

Watch Wednesday #4: Space Cowboy

Okay.  Let’s just lay it out:  How much of a Whedonite are you?  How many of Whedon’s work have you partaken of–Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, Avengers?  How about Toy Story?

Well, even if you’re not a Whedonite yourself, I know that you’ve seen his work.  And while Joss Whedon has some admittedly lesser works, we can’t deny that this guy knows how to write.

In my view, Joss Whedon’s highest marks in writing are for dialogue and character development.  Whedon’s worlds are full of characters who feel real.  Not in the teenager he’s-so-real sense, but in a way that gets you feeling all the feels when these people die or break-up (or, in Whedon’s case, both).

Their backstories, their motivations, their flaws, their development–it all flows in a smoothly welded and natural character arc.  These characters feel relatable, like people you know.  Or, heck, they feel like they could be you.  And then they’re placed in this freaking legit story-line and you’re just like, “Yeah, okay, I like this.”  That’s Whedon’s skill.

Space Cowboy

Firefly is a short-lived Fox series that lasted a meager 13-episodes before getting the boot.  With that short of a run, you usually expect the reason to be that the show was basically butt.  Binge watch it and you will see that is so not the case.

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Admittedly, the premise for Firefly is unique.  I’m not 100% sure how they even went about advertising for it, to be honest!  It’s a mash-up of genres, merging classic Western elements into a science fiction based space soap opera.  Which, okay, sounds terrible if you let me describe it.  Really, Joss Whedon sat down and said two words:  space cowboy.  Where he went from there is the true magic.

Nathan Fillion plays the lead, Mal, a former Sergeant of the losing side in a devastating civil war.  He, along with his crew, navigate space as pirate-like pioneers, making their living through less-than-civilized means (such as smuggling).

Mal is trying to make the best of his post-war existence when he runs into River Tam and her brother, Simon, both fugitives from the victors of the civil war–the Alliance.  Although Firefly was short-lived, the story it builds in its small run clearly builds something that was inevitably epic.

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Allow me to gush about the cast for a bit.  You probably seen a few familiar faces in this line-up, and all of them are so well cast that their familiarity doesn’t detract from their characters.  These people are legit professionals, and each brings a distinct characterization to their role.  So much life it brought to these fictional people through their skill, Firely is just a great example of fantastic casting.

Another thing that is so typically Whedon is fantastic humor.  No jabs for jabs, perfect comedic timing, and character interaction that brings about some of the funniest one liners ever uttered.

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If your new to Whedon’s TV shows, Firefly is a sick start.  While Whedon’s other great works are several seasons long (Buffy is eight seasons; Angel has four), Firefly gives you a taste of why Whedon’s television is, well, good television.  Almost like a bite-size taste that will send you running for something else to satiate that flavor.

Firefly‘s opening song is also dope.  In case that’s enough motivation for you.

What’s the weirdest genre mash-up you’ve seen?

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