Mark Watches ‘Firefly': Episode 1 – Serenity

In the first episode of Firefly, we are introduced to the world of Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds and his crew aboard the ship Serenity. Desperate to gain income while simultaneously maintaining a low profile, they pick up a set of passengers that changes the fate of their lives and the course of their ship. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Firefly.

The opening scene of Firefly is hard to ignore and I can’t recall a more action-packed opening to a show that I’ve ever seen.

Full disclosure: I realized about five minutes into this episode that, about a year ago, I watched this pilot with my friend Kat. I remembered pretty much nothing from it, though, except a few minor plot points. As with any Mark Reads entry, I’d like to ask you all to avoid spoiling me in any way. Don’t answer my rhetorical questions or hint towards the future. I know it’s hard. TRUST ME. But I would appreciate you not ruining the surprise from here on out.

The series cold opens on a battle scene, and one we don’t really seem to get much of an explanation for. Zoe Washburn, who is already becoming one of my favorite female characters I’ve seen on television, is there, serving under Mal. There, we get to see Mal’s sense of unwavering optimism (and realism) come into play. Facing a dire situation and the impending loss at the hands of (what I think is) The Alliance, Mal tries to reassure a fellow soldier that the odds are on their side.

“We’ve done the impossible, and that makes us mighty.”

But the mighty can’t factor in random chance, and I loved the amazing slo-mo camera pull away, the horror on our heroes’ faces as the ships come in and that soldier so afraid of dying is shot and falls away.

We cut to the present, six years later, and Mal runs the Serenity and, unsurprisingly, Zoe is still his second-in-command. What this show does brilliantly in one episode is introduce us to a very large and diverse cast in less than 90 minutes. It’s impressive how I feel like I already have a grasp on the nine major cast members without reducing them to stereotypes. (Which isn’t to say there aren’t a few tropes pleasant in this pilot either, and I’ll get to Inara’s characterization in a moment.)

Even though I had actually seen this before, I was surprised by how well the sci-fi and western themes melded together. Except…where did those horses come from? Does Patience live on Whitefall? I mean…they seemed to show up from nowhere. Which made me wonder where on earth they keep horses if they travel to other planets and then ride horses there.

Why am I thinking of these things

Mal, desperate to keep funds flowing to his ship and his staff, is taking any sort of job, legal or not. It’s on one of these jobs that they unknowingly pick up a cargo of Alliance immunization and nutrition bars, which would potentially bring them the exact sort of attention they don’t want. Unfortunately, Badger, the man who hired them for the job, doesn’t accept the cargo when they arrive on Persephone, presenting them with a complicated situation: How can they get rid of their cargo and secure enough money for the Serenity ship to continue on?

Even in this first episode, as they travel to multiple places with the passengers they pick up in Persephone, the sets used are dense enough to feel real, but aren’t complicated enough to get lost in. I love the use of open spaces for a great deal of the moments in the pilot, especially the Persephone marketplace, because it’s a wonderful way to add realism to the fantastical scenes of this show. I mean, we’re dealing with a world hundreds of years in the future and it still feels rooted in something real and tangible.

But the real credit here goes to the characters (and the dialogue) that Joss Whedon has created. I’ve heard from many credible friends of mine (AND I MEAN THEIR OPINIONS ARE CREDIBLE why does that sound like I rate my friends based on some bizarre criteria) that Whedon writes some of the best female characters on television and I’m starting to feel the same way. Kaylee, Zoe, and Inara are all fiercely independent in their own way without feeling like caricatures. I am always hesistant to see women in sex work portrayed in television or film because they’re largely based on damaging stereotypes and while I’m going to give Whedon credit that this story fleshes out more, I cringed when Mal called Inara a whore. I really don’t like that word at all, but I also understand it’s not Whedon calling sex workers whores either. I sense there’s a much more complicated backstory to the relationship between Mal and Inara and I’ll chalk the moment up to insulting anger on Mal’s part more than anything else. On the contrast, I loved how interested Kaylee was in Inara in a completely genuine way, not bothering to other her because she has a job different than hers.

I can’t say I know where this show is headed in the next thirteen episodes. I remember now being very surprised by the revelation of River Tam inside the cargo that Dr. Simon brought on board. Naturally, I’m intrigued as to what exactly is so special about her brain. But even as the main narrative thread that will most likely tie all these episodes together, River is still more than a one-dimensional character. In a sense, she doesn’t feel like a plot piece at all and I really appreciate that. I imagine we’ll learn more about her struggle with her identity as the episodes move on. It’s ok to admit that she is the catalyst for keeping Dr. Simon on the ship at the end of the episode, but I can already see how much detail has gone in to crafting believable characters.

Despite that I’ve said it many, many times, I love when writers take great risks with their characters. Even though Kaylee didn’t die, the threat of her death felt very real. Seeing Mal and Zoe get shot also proved that Whedon and the other writers aren’t afraid to cause pain. Actions have more realistic actions in this universe than most science fiction does. It makes the story all that more exciting.

Because I simply don’t know how to describe and talk about the 30 billion things that happened in this episode (and probably future ones), I’d like to end all of the ‘Mark Watches’ posts with a section that deals with extraneous thoughts and musings I have that didn’t fit in the main narrative.

Thoughts

  • OH GOD, THE REAVERS. What are they??? Why are they so brutal? That matter-of-fact moment when Zoe explains what they do is simply terrifying. NO. THANK. YOU.
  • I want that apple peeler that Badger has.
  • Shepherd Book’s crisis of faith is introduced very early into the series and I’m surprised there were so many scenes between himself and Inara. I want to see more.
  • I haven’t said anything about Wash yet, as I re-read this review, and this is a crime. Alan Tudyk is fantastic in general, and I think I might like his character more than anyone else. We’ll see.
  • I think I remember why I avoided this show for show long: Nathan Fillion was cast in that show Castle and his character was so irritating in just the previews that I avoided this show subconsciously. I swear I am getting much better at not doing this. I SWEAR.
  • I didn’t think Dobson would be killed (and certainly not by Mal) in the first episode. I expected Jayne.
  • Why was Jayne so sweaty before the Reavers were about to show up that first time? Are they really so bad that even Jayne is freaked out by them?
  • Prediction: We’ll see the day when Jayne is offered enough money.
  • Adam Baldwin should be in most things.

Also:

See??? Don’t you totally want one???

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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488 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Firefly': Episode 1 – Serenity

  1. Sauce. says:

    Personally, I liked how, despite the mixing of American and Chinese cultures, there are absolutely no major Asian characters in the pilot.

    Oh, wait, no, I meant the opposite of liked.

    • theieffect says:

      Agreed.
      I love Firefly, but this is the biggest flaw.

      • TB says:

        Speaking as an actual Chinese person, this didn’t bother me one bit. You cast for the actor who best fits your part, and there simply aren’t that many Asian American actors out there right now. Even fewer in 2002, when the pilot was shot. Remember, this was before Lost or even Harold and Kumar.

      • Meltha says:

        It's odd, but all of the characters are supposed to be of mixed race, which is why their names are almost entirely a Euro-Asian mix (the Tams, for example). We do have African-American and South American specifically represented, and this may sound odd, but I always thought Kaylee looked half-Asian at least. Still, I can't imagine anyone else playing the Firefly nine.

    • Ashley says:

      I'm pretty sure River and Simon are meant to have some sort of Asian ancestry, like way back there or something.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Wait, where is the Chinese culture in the pilot?

      • Whitney says:

        lol They speak Chinese at various points, Mark. xD It's how they got away with cursing on tv haha.

        That aside though, according to Joss, the history of this series is that the two biggest powers in the world were the US and China. They merged at some point and created The Alliance, resulting in a mulit-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-religious universe. Hence the various aspects of Chinese culture and most likely the lack of distinctly Asian characters (this is just an assumption on my part though).

    • Olivia says:

      Yeah, I think Kaylee was written as Asian, but they decided to cast Jewel Staite instead. But, yeah, there are very few Asian characters even in the recurring cast, which sucks.

      • bibliotrek says:

        And the Chinese is totally mangled — back in the day I was all excited that there was Chinese and tried to get my best friend (whose mom is Chinese and who grew up in Hong Kong) to watch the show, only to have her say "WHAT IS THAT, THAT ISN'T EVEN A WORD" every time anyone said something that was supposed to be Chinese.

        I love Firefly, but I am totally aware that for everything good about the show, it is awfully failtastic when it comes to race.

      • kellythered says:

        I'm torn because on the one hand, I really wish they'd stuck with the original idea for Kaylee to be Asian. On the other, Jewel Staite did such a good job that I have a hard time picturing anyone else.

        I think that it would have helped for them to have cast Asians as secondary or even background characters. Now that I think about it, almost all, if not actually all, the main secondary roles were filled by white actors.

    • petite-dreamer says:

      http://xkcd.com/561/
      Randall Munroe feels your pain.

    • echinodermata says:

      I can maybe forgive the main cast for not being Asian, though it's still sucky, but when there are so few Asian secondary characters or extras, it is definitely becomes super problematic.

      And while I don't speak that much Mandarin, I know enough to cringe like hell at the Chinese dialogue – it barely sounds like Chinese.

      • notemily says:

        I really think they just read the Chinese transliteration written down, and didn't actually hear it spoken by someone who speaks Chinese. Which is fail. (I don't actually know if this is true, that's just my speculation based on how crappily they apparently speak Chinese.)

        • Pseudonymph says:

          I heard (I think on the commentary for "Serenity" the movie) that the cast worked fairly extensively with language coaches in order to get the Chinese right – but even those language coaches were frustrated by how poorly the cast was speaking Chinese, even with all the help and training. I guess they did the best they could.

    • buyn says:

      My mother is half-japanese.

      She looks pretty Caucasian. I always figured, that with all the time on those planets, the intermingling made more middle looking people.

    • purplejilly says:

      Yes. I always thought it was hilarious that they can speak chinese, china took over mostly everything, yet there are no chinese on the ships? and practically none on the places they dock? WTF? They won then disappeared? LOL It's not like there is a shortage of talented asian actors in America.. LOL

  2. crazyravenclaw says:

    FUCK YEAH FIREFLY.

    …I really have nothing else to say. I love this show more than pretty much anything except Harry Potter. Maybe Buffy or Doctor Who beats it. Maybe. I'm not sure.

    • QueenWhedon says:

      BUFFY beats anything that has ever been, or ever will be, on T.V.
      But FIREFLY is Awesome!!!
      A Browncoat Forever!!!
      Shiny!

      • mmcgonagall says:

        There is no show that can ever compare to the awesome mix of comedy, horror, action, and soul-crushing sadness that was Buffy in its golden years, except maybe Doctor Who. I want Mark to watch them so much! Sigh, I miss Buffy.

  3. ramondestroys says:

    Badger looks like Robbie Williams in that screencap. But yes, I totally want that apple peeler.

  4. Hermione_Danger says:

    OMG OMG I LOVE THIS SHOW.

    Yeah, that moment with Zoe talking about the Reavers? Is probably the reason that they are one of the few fictional "scary things" that really honestly freak me the fuck out. I love Kaylee so much. SO MUCH, you guys. AH. So excite!

    • ldwy says:

      Yes, I am really freaked out about the Reavers. Are they somehow able to withstand the radiation their ship is emitting? Why? What are they, exactly?

      I haven't watched this show, although one of my best friends loveeeees it. So I'm going to watch on Hulu (yesss thank goodness it is there) so that I can follow Mark's reviews!

  5. Arania says:

    I agree with Sauce in the appropriation of an Asian culture without showing any Asian characters. I I love "Firefly" with the passion of a thousand suns, but still, that kinda thing makes me uncomfortable because it's obvious that none of the makers of the show even noticed the discrepancy.

    But WOW MARK YOU ARE A READING/WATCHING MACHINE. You are AWESOME and I love you for it!

  6. monkeybutter says:

    Zoe and Wash are the best. No contest. I like Kaylee, too, but I can't separate Jewel Staite from Flash Forward. Becca grew up and went into space.

    Adam Baldwin can be in more things as long as he keeps his ignorant ass opinions to himself.

  7. hpfish13 says:

    This show is amazing!!!! I watched it three or four times in the course of 4 months. Its funny how it never gets old. The pilot astounded me because of how Joss manages to get you to care so deeply for the characters in the course of such a short period of time.

  8. Maddi says:

    Wash with the dinosaurs is still one of my favorite moments from the whole series. Or in anything, really.

  9. LatiosTheDerp says:

    Isn't it such an amazing pilot <3

    I can't wait til you get to my favourite episode ever. Which I shall not say anything about. Just in case.

    WHY DOES FOX CANCEL EVERYTHING THAT IS GREAT D:

  10. Diana B. Hurlburt says:

    Oh lawdy this is killing me already. I love Firefly and can't wait to keep reading your reactions.

  11. hpfish13 says:

    I also agree that Adam Baldwin should be in most things. Apparently, at the show Chuck's first panel at Comic-Con, Zachary Levi (who plays Chuck) admitted that most of the people in the audience at that panel were there to see Adam Baldwin.

    • NB2000 says:

      Wasn't at the panel (oh god how much do I want to go to Comic-Con one day) but Adam Baldwin's why I started watching Chuck.

      • KMouse says:

        I dearly love seeing Jayne+brain(+conscience??? Both characters are very hard to gauge in terms of conscience-ness) on Chuck every week. Wish the Summer Glau cameo could have involved a little more Firefly-ishness. Ah well.

    • thiamalonee says:

      At one Con, someone in the audience asked when they were going to make Chuck action figures, and Adam goes "Yeah, I need another one!" Zachary Levi starts ripping on him for always showing off about being in Firefly, and then says that he needs a Chuck action figure so he can stage fights with Adam's. "Take that! Not so Shiny now, are you Jayne!"

      I <3 Adam

      Edit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfcOGPf1Umk Now you all can see how red Adam gets when they cheer for him.

  12. Asta says:

    And so it begins :D
    Anyway, here's a link to buy the apple peeler: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/apple-peeler/4070

    • EmilyAnne90 says:

      I have one and it is amazing. They actually work quite well.

    • Michelle says:

      I had an apple peeler when I was a child and it worked amazing well. Barely a speck of peel. Mine wasn't that cool, though. It was all boring white plastic.

  13. affableevil says:

    I love the whole cast deeply but Wash is my favorite character for sure – I love his sense of humor :p

  14. Itsaka says:

    http://www.lakeland.co.uk/apple-master/F/C/prepar

    I found the apple peeler for you. I think we had one when I was a kid

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      YES!!!!

      • Kare says:

        Those are Shaker apple peelers. A little longer in average than the ones I’ve seen. Brought to you by the people who gave us bisquik and the clothespin.

      • summeriris says:

        Lakeland has the best stuff. We have one on Union St, (Aberdeen's High St) and I have to stop myself from going into it as I spend a fortune. You should see the one in the Lake District. It is huge. I love Lakeland.

    • bibliotrek says:

      Ha, we did too! HOURS OF ENTERTAINMENT. Followed by apple pie.

  15. Kim says:

    I see you have some links already to cheaper apple peelers, but what he's actually using is the pampered chef one. You can get it here: http://www.pamperedchef.com/ordering/prod_details

    Wash is all things wonderful. Have fun with the rest of the show! (And don't forget the movie!)

  16. barnswallowkate says:

    I had a crush on him ever since his 10 minutes in that movie. I saw it in the theaters so I was about 13? Then there was Angel and Firefly and Chuck and I was so happy to see him whenever he showed up. Sadly the crush died last year thanks to his Twitter feed.

  17. grlgoddess says:

    Mark Shepperd should be in everything ever. And he's definitely getting there! My friend did not get why I squeed when I started watching this with her.

    "But it's *Sterling*! If you had told me he was in it, I would have tried to watch this sooner!"

    • DameDallas says:

      AGREED. Mark Sheppard is THE MAN. Every time I see him in something, I always think, "Why doesn't this man have his own television show or own the ENTIRE WORLD"?

      He is absolutely brilliant as Badger and EVERYTHING ELSE.
      <3

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  19. kytten says:

    I KNEW IT.
    I love this. The asian thing really annoys me- whya re there no asians in the pilot, Whedon, you're normally SO GOOD AT THIS, but I'm going to give him a pass because- well, in my unprofessional view this might actually be an almost perfect pilot.

    • Karen says:

      Eh. I actually think that Whedon isn't all that great when it comes to race. He's pretty great when it comes to women, but idk. I can only think of a handful of POC from his shows. (Although I haven't seen Dollhouse, so idk about that.)

      • saidthejoker says:

        I agree that Joss is better at handling female characters than race, but frankly, that's not saying much when you consider not only the dearth of POC, but also what he does with the few POC who do appear on his shows (particularly Buffy, though that's not up for discussion here). His feminism translated with varying degrees of success and failure as well, but people tend to laud him as the golden child of the feminist movement. I would never discount the importance of Joss's work and how much I love it, but I wish there would be more discussion about the -isms that recur throughout his shows (including Firefly). He shouldn't get a pass just for making good television.

        • bibliotrek says:

          I wish I could give this like 20 thumbs-ups!

        • Karen says:

          Yeah. I agree. Joss does have his own issues with female characters. I mean by and large I think he does a better job than most at creating nuanced and complex female characters, but he's not flawless. And maybe I'm a bit of a bitter Cordy/Angel shipper, but I really think Joss screwed up with his treatment of Charisma Carpenter as an actor and Cordelia as a character in season 4 of Angel.

          • Avery says:

            BITING MY TONGUE BECAUSE THIS IS SO OFF-TOPIC, SORRY MARK. But I'll just say WORD FOREVER. Half (okay, maybe 30%) of my "Joss as a problematic feminist" issues stem from what happened with Charisma on Angel. I just…..cannot.

            • tethysdust says:

              Yeah, I actually stopped watching the show at that point, after watching Buffy and Angel for years.

        • notemily says:

          All the black people on Buffy die! Or are evil! Or both! Also, don't smoke on Buffy or you'll die. Or be Spike, but he's already dead. ONE OF THESE MESSAGES IS A GOOD ONE

          Also everything that you just said

          • Avery says:

            Hahahaha I laugh because it's better than crying.

            Joss deserves credit for what he did right, and his shows are imprinted onto my DNA. That doesn't mean said shows are completely void of things that make me want to set his head on fire. If anything, he should know better in order to walk the walk he talks so much about.

      • lyvvie says:

        He does slightly better on Dollhouse with Asian characters with one regular and two recurring.

  20. Hootlord says:

    My mother has one of those apple peelers! It also cores the apple for you. You can find a whole bunch of brands on Amazon.

    this comment is 100% useful and relevant

    I hope you’ll enjoy Firefly as much as I did!

    • Meltha says:

      And this comment to your comment is useful: I own one as well. They actually work pretty well for potatoes, too.

  21. Starsea28 says:

    I am so excited for you, Mark. This is truly awesome.

    Isn't Wash ADORABLE? I have trouble picking a favourite Firefly character but he's definitely in my current top 3 (the others are Simon and Zoe but it changes). What do you think of Simon so far?

    I can't say more without being spoilery but I loved the drama in this episode, the introduction to the verse and how we already know the darkness and death is never that far away.

    "We've done the impossible and that makes us mighty." Oh Mal.

  22. Starsea28 says:

    I saw Firefly before I saw the last two seasons of Angel and seeing him in that was such a mindfuck for me. And then he was in Bones!

  23. luna says:

    You can buy apple peelers like that in real life! A friend of mine has one.

    Also, as a huge fan of Harry Potter *and* Firefly I can’t tell you how excited I was when I saw you were starting Firefly.

  24. Starsea28 says:

    OMG another Castle fan! I love that show! (Mainly for Beckett and Alexis but eh…)

  25. Karen says:

    Ugh. I hate that my Firefly DVDs are currently on the other side of the world. Ah well.

    Whedon is actually generally really good at writing female characters. I mean, Inara isn't my favorite character, but she's at least fully developed as a person. And Kaylee is the cutest thing ever. And Zoe is a BAMF. And you don't know much about River yet, but she seems intriguing at least.

  26. illusclaire says:

    I found the few episodes I saw of this show boring and annoying, but I TRUST YOU to make them interesting somehow.

    • Meltha says:

      If you saw them when they originally aired, you actually didn't see this episode. For some bizarre reason, Fox never aired the pilot.

  27. Ashley says:

    I fucking love this show. It is my favorite show of all time. Why isn't there more Firefly? Oh, God. It's been eight years and still with the mourning.

  28. Hypatia_ says:

    Me too! I started watching it entirely on the basis of "NATHAN FILLION HAS A NEW SHOW OMG YES!" and quickly came to love it. Castle does indeed act like a fourteen-year-old boy frequently, but he's a lot less irritating after the first episode, and over the last couple seasons his character has grown a lot.

    Plus, they keep throwing in Firefly references, which makes me love it even more.

  29. Hypatia_ says:

    Mark, I cannot possibly express how awesome it is that you're watching Firefly! I adore that show beyond all reason and am delighted to have an excuse (like I need one) to watch all the episodes again.

    I really can't pick a favorite character. If I had to pick least favorite it'd probably go to Simon or Inara, but I love them too, just somewhat less than I love the others. Zoe is a badass though, and I love her for it, and Kaylee is so incredibly adorable. And Wash…Wash and his dinosaurs. That is all.

    The only way you could do something more awesome is to review Doctor Who ::crosses fingers::. Also, I cannot possibly be the only person who wishes that somehow the streams would cross and the TARDIS would turn up on Serenity. The epicness of that might well cause the universe to implode. There's gotta be fanfic out there about that…

  30. DameDallas says:

    I fell in love with Inara the second I heard her speak. In her own way, she's a subtle bad-ass, and I love the way she is written.

    Josh Whedon wrote this episode perfectly because at first I was like, "Mhmm,mhmm, whatever," and then by the end, "Shit! This is awesome!"

    I'm also interested in the development of their language. The Chinese influence is there, of course, but also the old-fashioned, Western twang and dialect they use. It is very intriguing.

  31. Starsea28 says:

    YES! XD

    And it's never time to move on.

  32. Mary Sue says:

    I’m one of the few fans of the series who managed to watch every episode, in order, as they originally aired.

    This? Wasn’t the first episode aired. The next one is.

    (p.s. I had one of those apple peelers and it did not work very well. Sucktacular. Looks v. v. cool, though.)

    • RoseinBloom says:

      Well, except they didn't air in order.

      Sounds like Mark made the decision to watch them in order intended, rather than order Fox decided to air them. Which is a good thing, otherwise he wouldn't be able to watch several of the episodes at all.

      • Hermione_Danger says:

        And out of order, they make much less sense and the story gets jumbled and confusing.

        • Mary Sue says:

          Yes, that was the point I intended to make, but I was posting at work and must have gotten distracted.

          But I do prefer The Train Job over the original pilot. Not sure if that’s an aspect of not seeing the original pilot until after 10 episodes.

  33. Kendie2 says:

    I was also really put off by the previews for Castle. I thought, "Oh God, not another stupid cop show with an annoying, arrogant civilian tag along. No thank you." I promptly forgot about the show. About a year later, I fell in love with Firefly and my husband even developed a man-crush on Mal. So I went looking for what he did after Firefly ended, and came across Castle. I sucked it up and watched the first few episodes and I was hooked. I am a dedicated Castle fan now.

  34. midgi says:

    WE HAVE ONE OF THOSE APPLE PEELERS AT MY HOUSE. It's awesome. Also I must say that I JUST finished watching through Firefly for the first time myself, so I'm SUPER EXCITED that you chose it as your first thing to watch. :D

  35. kayla says:

    Yes I was going to say exactly this. I haven't been keeping up (because I'm /horrible/ at keeping up with TV shows) but Castle is awesome.

  36. newageamazon says:

    My love for this show cannot be expressed in mere words. It would require interpretive dance.

  37. ripchordgirl says:

    Guess who's been Whedonesqued? :D
    Expect an influx of comments (though they have been told to keep it spoiler-free).

  38. Hermione_Danger says:

    IKR? I loved that. The first time I watched, I was like, "Oooh, longterm villain! How cool!"

    Yeah, not so much. I also love that the ship looks like crap: it's not shiny and pretty and new, it's beatup and dirty.

    • Jenny_M says:

      I love the weird ivy painted on the walls of the dining room – you know Kaylee didn't think it was pretty enough and went in there with a can of paint one day, and Mal found it and pretended to be all ornery but really thought it was great.

    • cait0716 says:

      I always love when sci-fi is dirty and lived in. It's one of the best things about the original Star Wars movies. It seems like people actually live in the world, rather than just filming a move/tv show there.

  39. Jenny_M says:

    Someone on page one mentioned remembering Jewel Staite from Flash Forward, which she was great on. However, I first saw her on another show called Space Cases on Nickelodeon in the 90s which was about a group of misfit kids getting lost in outer space and OH GOD it was so good and I loved it and I have loved Jewel ever since. So, obviously, Catalina from Space Cases magically became Kaylee. Somehow.

    • kellythered says:

      YAY SOMEONE ELSE WHO WATCHED THAT SHOW AND REMEMBERED HER.

      Catalina was my favorite character on that show; I was not happy when they brought Suzee in. It's been ages since I've seen any episodes but from what I remember of the Suzee character, she seemed a bit like a Mary Sue.

      • Jenny_M says:

        OMG Suzee was the worst. THE WORST. I was at the age where I didn't understand things about actor contracts or people leaving or anything like that, and all I wanted in the world was for Catalina to come back.

        Also, I had a mad crush on Radu and definitely wrote the actor fanmail and he wrote back. Then, a few years ago, he was in Elf as an elf. This…I don't even know what this means, but it is amazing.

  40. Also, i want that apple peeler too! =D

    I`m re-watching it right now and i think it`s nice that, even tough Mal does call Inara a whore, he say she is the only one on the ship to make a honest living, and they all call her an ambassador… I really like her character, and it helps that she is a Brazilian actress (i`m Brazilian too =P)

  41. Hawkbat says:

    dude! I totally had that apple peeler when i was a kid!

  42. Hypatia_ says:

    Castle makes Firefly references (usually more subtle than that) fairly frequently. There's been four that I can think of, but the others are potentially spoilery. Well, not the most recent one:
    Castle: ::rattles off a sentence in Chinese::
    Beckett: Year abroad?
    Castle: No…this TV show I used to love.

  43. kytten says:

    Also, I have much lust for Mal.

    In fact, can I go so far as to say I would have sex with pretty much the entire main cast?

  44. mono_lisa says:

    I have watched the show at least 4 or 5 times now, but I've never noticed the apple peeler. Terrible, terrible oversight on my part. Now I want one too…

  45. elgarak says:

    Horses: Yes, I always understood it that Patience lives on Whitefall. They keep horses there to get around the moon or planet or whatever it is. Mal and co come to the meeting point by foot. After the shootout, they took some of Patience's horses, and left them there.

  46. Kaci says:

    Alan Tudyk, YES. ALWAYS. And Adam Baldwin. And Nathan FIllion. And okay, everyone from this show period.

    And I completely agree with you re: Joss gives great female characters. Zoe, Kaylee, Inara, Buffy, Willow, Tara, Cordelia…we could be here all day if I let myself get into that.

    Also, I helped write the press kit for the HPA's current campaign and I totally snagged "done the impossible" and quoted it in the press kit. Because that's how I roll, yo.

  47. keithpatrickdunn says:

    You are in for a TREAT, sir! It actually took me a couple episodes to clue-in to the vibe but when I did I was addicted. The shows are so well done that, although they are few in number, you can find new things in them over multiple viewings!

  48. Mill says:

    The only major complaint I have about Firefly (aside from the lack of Asian characters) is that it was too damn short. =| Damn you, Fox..!

  49. Samantha B. says:

    ZOE IS AMAZING AND WONDERFUL AND I WANT TO BE HER WHEN I GROW UP!!!!!1!ELEVENTY!!!!

    SHUT UP, I KNOW I'M 27.

  50. totiebinds says:

    "In the first episode of Firefly…"

    Let the mass applause and wolf whistles commence!

    "Zoe Washburn, who is already becoming one of my favorite female characters I’ve seen on television…"

    YES. Zoe is one of the best characters on TV PERIOD. But, you know, that's just me. :DDD She's so marvelous.

    "Which made me wonder where on earth they keep horses if they travel to other planets and then ride horses there."

    Actually…you probably should thinking of these things. The world of Firefly (or probably worlds considering they travel throughout many different planets. Universe, then) is so realistic and three dimensional there should be a million questions. I have a feeling a lot of the show's writers could answer the weirdest questions too since they put in the time and effort to flesh it all out.

    "Whedon writes some of the best female characters on television"

    YES YES YES YES YES! I'm a little shocked you aren't watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer first. Can I ask why you decided on Firefly?

    "Even though Kaylee didn’t die, the threat of her death felt very real."

    Damn, forgot about that. She's fantastic and Jewel Staite does a wonderful job portraying her. Definitely one of the few characters you can instantly feel an affection towards.

    "Adam Baldwin should be in most things."

    All of them should be in most things. Seriously. It's saddening this show didn't get at least another season.

  51. Wolfmane says:

    You cannot see me jumping up and down in my seat from excitement here, but I can assure you that I am. MARK, THIS IS THE GREATEST SCI-FI SHOW I HAVE EVER SEEN!

    And the intro for Wash is the best ever! "Curse you and your inevitable betrayal!"

    • Reonyea says:

      *cough* Curse youR SUDDEN BUT inevitable betrayal *cough*

      I'm pedantic, obsessive, and I would marry this show and have 75 geek!babies if I could. JSYK.

  52. Sarah says:

    JUST STOPPING BY TO SAY THAT I ACTUALLY DO HAVE THAT APPLE PEELER (well, technically my mom has it but whatever).

    It is just as awesome as you would expect it to be.

  53. KanedaX says:

    Connected to almost nothing, I was watching old X-Files episodes a few days ago, and Badger was the pyrokinetic in season one.

    Just saying.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      YES HE WAS.

      Also I swear everyone was once on The X-Files.

    • kellythered says:

      Jewel Staite was once on The X-Files! I had a minor freakout when I saw that episode. And the major villain of the next episode was too.

  54. D.J. says:

    I love that you love Zoe. She and Simon are my favorite characters in the show.

  55. jonni13 says:

    Hahaha! Glad you enjoyed it. I'm so excited to watch it all again. Oh, and those apple slinky thingies are pretty common here in Australia, my kids have been eating apples that way for years, ours needs sharpening though…

  56. Penquin47 says:

    God, I loved this show SO MUCH when it was aired!

    "We are so very, very pretty. We are just too pretty for God to let us die."

    "Mine is an evil laugh!" "Curse your sudden yet inevitable betrayal!" Wash wins ALL THE THINGS. I still use these lines in RPGs.

    Pranking Simon. So mean yet so hilarious.

    "I'm not saying this to brag. I'm saying this so that you understand what I mean when I say that next to River, I am an idiot child."

    Kaylee's such a sweetie. She and Simon were my favorites.

    Is it spoilery to say that shippers of a particular non-Zoe/Wash 'ship existed? Just curious. Firefly ships were never as SRS BSNS as Harry Potter ships were, but they do exist.

    • Hanah says:

      Pranking Simon. So mean yet so hilarious.

      IT WAS NOT HILARIOUS WHEN I WAS WATCHING IT OH GOD I THOUGHT SHE WAS DEAD. :(

      I can see the funny side now, however. :P

  57. rainbowsinside says:

    It's interesting that you say the opening is so action-packed. Wikipedia tells me that when this show first aired, Fox decided to air the episodes all out of order. They decided that the second episode would be a better pilot, I think because it's more action-packed. This episode was the 11th one aired. This ended up in people not being able to follow the storyline, which meant low ratings, and ultimately getting cancelled by Fox. Fuck those guys.

    On a lighter note, Wash and Zoe are the best couple in the history of ever.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      FOX ruins MOST THINGS.

    • cait0716 says:

      They didn't air the original pilot until after they had cancelled the show. They didn't air it originally because they thought the audience wouldn't be willing to sit through an hour and a half. This resulted in the rather condensed second episode. Then, after they pulled the remaining episodes, they aired the original pilot as a concession to the fans.

      I'm not saying this to defend Fox, or anything. But they did have their reasons, as silly and stupid as they were.

  58. bibliotrek says:

    Oh, the previews, so off-putting! And yet I am a huge fan of the show now, although I admit that is largely because Beckett is so kickass and Alexis is so adorable and Hermione-like. Hooray for kickass ladies! Also, most of the time the show doesn't really endorse Castle's occasional douchebaggery.

    • Hypatia_ says:

      Exactly, when Castle does something more dickish than usual, someone (usually Beckett) almost always calls him on it. Frequently with weapons drawn. And it is awesome.

  59. SorrowsSolace says:

    Oh this wins so hard! I am loving that you're watching these and flailing about the flobbity jillion questions that come out. Zoe's explanation about what Reaver's are always give me chills. The acting in this is great and I do enjoy the use of silent scenes and music, or voice overs.
    I do have to defend Castle; if you've only watched the previews all you're seeing is the gimmicky "Oh, look, he's a happy go lucky writer! She's a hard nosed cop! Oh the hilarity!" the show is more then that and it's witty, fun and does have a good amount of pathos.
    Anyway, Nathan Fillion is wonderful as Mal I love the character and it's great to see how everyone reacts. There are a few sight gags too if you know where too look. Keep watching Mark, I hope you enjoy each episode!

  60. lyvvie says:

    Yay! Your Joss Whedon adventure begins now!

    I love that you love Zoe already, she's awesome and my favourite character on the show.

  61. echinodermata says:

    Such a phenomenal cast, y/y? (I LOVE EVERYONE!)

  62. Gretchen says:

    You have no idea how happy I am you're watching this show. IT ONLY GETS BETTER.

    • Gretchen says:

      Also, Badger's character has a whole new level for me now that Mark Sheppard is Crowley in Supernatural. XD

  63. bibliotrek says:

    I love this series so much. It enrages me that Fox didn't let this episode air as the pilot — I think it's a fantastic first episode, full of action and wonderful character notes. And Zoe/Wash is one of my favorite OTPs of all time! I love how much they love each other and how clear it is from the very first episode.

    And it's all so QUOTABLE. Which I know is a Whedon thing, but it's especially true of Firefly. Wash's whole scene with the dinosaurs; "Jayne, your mouth is talking. You might wanna look to that."; "Ten percent of nothin' is… let me do the math here… nothin' and a nothin', carry the nothin'…"; "We may not have parted on the best of terms. I realize certain words were exchanged. Also certain… bullets."

    Also, this isn't about Firefly, but — Castle is actually pretty good! Anyone who likes Zoe would probably like Kate Beckett, the NYPD homicide detective who is the female lead, and anyone who likes Hermione would probably like Alexis, Castle's teenage daughter. Plus the relationships that Castle has with Alexis and with his mother are really sweet. And even if he is kind of a giant man-child, he is usually more man than child.

    • Amy says:

      Wash/Zoe = the best for ever and ever. I seriously can't think of a single thing sweeter or more awesome. They just made it work so damn hard! :D

  64. Stephanie says:

    Jayne is really, really terrified of the Reavers. I sympathise! Also, I watched Firefly (and Doctor Horrible) before Castle came out, so I tried really really hard to like it. But I couldn't. Nathan Fillion is an amazing actor, but that is a Bad Show.

  65. Amy says:

    Me too! I have a theory that even the best tv shows can be made to look horrible by the stupid people who do adds and such for it. Never judge a book by it's cover and never judge a tv show by it's previews. I started watching Castle because it was Nathan Fillion and I love it for the whole cast.

  66. bookling says:

    OMG YOU ARE WATCHING FIREFLY YAY.

    <img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_3lVOb8wvDlE/TKAmqQqb2gI/AAAAAAAAAR0/OKWbxVJHnGs/spn_excite.gif"&gt;

    I almost forgot to check Mark Watches because I was too excited about checking Mark Reads to see if you were doing a Hunger Games or Harry Potter post today.

    OMG ZOE IS THE BEST. Kaylee is probably my favorite character on the show, but I fucking love Zoe. She's so badass and amazing. And her relationship with Wash is adorable and loving and realistic. Also, your friends are correct, Joss Whedon really does write the best female characters. Every one of them is strong and smart and more than just a love interest or a sidekick or a mom.

    I'm also really glad you mentioned how much you hate the word "whore". I feel the same way, but don't worry: Joss Whedon doesn't use words like that lightly, it's always for a reason. There is definitely some history between Mal and Inara that you'll learn about. He also has main characters who do sex work in two series, Firefly and Dollhouse, and always has a really interesting perspective on it. (As in, the sex worker's perspective.) I think you're really going to enjoy Firefly, and I definitely hope you go on to watch Buffy and Dollhouse.

    • Karen says:

      Joss Whedon doesn't use words like that lightly, it's always for a reason.

      IA. And while I don't think that Joss is the patron saint of feminists or anything, he is usually fairly decent with these kinds of topics. (Heh. I'm actually thinking of the character that Nathan Fillion played in season 7 of Buffy- the psychotic woman hater- where words like "whore" are used a lot, but obviously it is being done to show Caleb's crazy.)

      • bookling says:

        Oooh, fucking Caleb. I hated him! But you're right about him using "whore" because he's a villain.

        Also: Joss may not be the patron saint of feminists, but he is a feminist, and I think that is notable in Hollywood. I'm reminded of this:

        Reporter: So, why do you write these strong female characters?
        Joss Whedon: Because you’re still asking me that question.

        His characters are definitely a breath of fresh air compared to the characters on many other TV shows.

        • Karen says:

          Oh I agree that Joss has good intentions, but his execution is a bit off sometimes. I think the way that he treated Charisma Carpenter (and Cordelia by extensions) throughout seasons 4 and 5 of Angel is really problematic. Joss talks a good talk, but sometimes I find myself giving him some major side eye.

          • bookling says:

            I've never seen Angel! Angel and Cordy were basically my least favorite characters on Buffy, so when they went off to their own show I didn't have any desire to watch. Plus, Angel is kind of Edward Cullen 1.0.

            • mmcgonagall says:

              Angel was much better on his own show than he was on Buffy. I grew to like him.

            • Karen says:

              I wasn't a big fan of Angel on Buffy either (even though I LOVED Angelus, lol), but he really grows as a character on his own show (…despite the fact that it isn't reflected in his subsequent Buffy cameos…). He becomes a good deal more complex, but at the same time, when he isn't being emo and troubled you actually get to see him loosen up a bit around Cordy. Andi thought that Cordy was amusing enough on Buffy, but she really grows into her own on Angel and yeah. I really adored her.

              The two thirds of season 1 are pretty weak and you can seee the show trying to find its footing, but once Faith turns up for a two parter, the show really comes into its own. Although I haven't actually watched most of season 4 or 5 because I'm butthurt over what Joss did to Cordy in season 4 because of he had a tantrum over Charisma's pregnancy and butchered her character.

              • mmcgonagall says:

                Yeah, whenever he crossed over to Buffy he reverted to his Buffy Season 3 characterization.

                Regarding Season 1 of Angel, the first third has one of my favorite characters in it, and I cried when he left, so I still love it. Plus, Spike shows up! And it's pretty much his last appearance as Original Spike… I'm trying not to spoil in case Mark ever gets around to watching it… so I'll just leave that part vague.

  67. QueenWhedon says:

    SHINY Review.

  68. QueenWhedon says:

    Oh yeah I forgot to say…
    Love Nathan Fillion BUT…Castle Sucks for so many reasons!

  69. thiamalonee says:

    One of the problems with doing Buffy is that there are 144 episodes (7 seasons) and 110 episodes (5 Seasons) of Angel (because you can't watch one without the other). It can be done, (I've watched them straight through maybe 3 times) but it takes a lot of time.

    • notemily says:

      There are a couple of good stopping points though, at least in Buffy. You can pretend nothing happened after Graduation/S3, and you can pretend nothing happened after The Gift/S5. Various people in the fandom would recommend for or against doing these things. ;)

    • hassibah says:

      Well Dr. Who has 5 seasons, which isn't that many more, and the 1st season is only half as long. By the time Mark is done Firefly he'll totally be jonesing for more Whedon, so I'm not worried about this point. Bufy will happen!

      • mmcgonagall says:

        Doctor Who has 13 episode seasons though, plus 8 or 9 specials. Which makes it a good show for Mark to watch, but a crime for me because it is so short!

  70. Elfy says:

    Nice review, Mark. I loved this show with a passion, so I’ll definitely be reading along. If you enjoy the show and would like to read something with a similar vibe try Chris Wooding’s Retribution Falls.

  71. SableFlag says:

    I can't give this more than one thumbs up, so this reply will just have to do. :P

  72. buyn says:

    *Has Adam Baldwin's sexy, sexy, sexy autograph*
    Oh, are we going to do a liveblog for Serenity? Cause that would be shiny.

  73. elusivebreath says:

    I had so much to say about this episode, but since I was at work all day, most of it has been said, lol.

    Well, here's a few thoughts anyway:

    I actually never noticed the lack of Chinese characters O_O but to be honest, I love the cast so much that it doesn't bother me at all.

    One thing about Whedon that I really like is they way he writes dialogue. I first fell in love with it on Buffy and it's carried over into all of his shows (btw, you should check out Dollhouse too, at least that one is only 2 season … and why does Joss keep going to Fox with his shows????).

    The other thing he does really well is characterization. Like you said, Mark, none of the characters feel stereotypical, even though in a way they kind of are (ie, the hard-boiled space captain, the hooker with a heart of gold, etc.).

    The Reavers. One word: terrifying!

    One of my absolute favorite scenes of this episode was when Wash was playing with dinosaurs, that was HILARIOUS! Oh, yeah, that's another thing Whedon does well: mix drama and comedy effortlessly. Can you tell I'm a fangirl?

    • amandajane5 says:

      He had to go to Fox because Eliza was under contract with them and he really wanted to use her. They were slightly less poopy after learning their lesson with Firefly, though, so at least they gave him some time to wrap it up.

  74. Emma says:

    Yes. Agreed. Adam Baldwin should be in waaay more things :)

  75. mmcgonagall says:

    I watch it occasionally, I love the Firefly references!

  76. phyrelight says:

    Here is the same kind of apple peeler. I don't think it is exact, but it does look similar enough:
    http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=1

  77. Marie_Goos says:

    I completely forgot you were starting Firefly today, I AM A BAD PERSON. And yeah, Zoe and Wash are hands down my favorite characters in the series. So many <3s. While I do enjoy the combination of old west and sci-fi aesthetics in the series, I crack up every time someone uses really cheesy cowboy talk. I think it's justified, though. And I love how this pilot delves straight into the action and we learn who the characters are through their actions WITHIN the plot. I would comment more, but things might get spoilery. :x

  78. Fuchsia says:

    I fell in love with Kaylee about 0.3 seconds after her character was introduced, so I was sooo worried for her when she got shot! I'm glad she made it.

  79. myeck waters says:

    The scene with Wash and the dinos was the scene they sent to Alan Tudyk to audition with. If you have the DVD set his audition tape should be among the extras.

  80. Nibor says:

    I’m so glad that Mark’s watching Firefly. It’s one of my favorite TV shows, this is going to be fun. I’ve already started using “shiny” in everyday conversation again, and I’m mad at Fox for canceling it all over again.

    The fact that I’ve already read/watched both of Mark’s current projects makes me feel like a huge dork.

  81. whatsername says:

    So looking forward to this! :D

  82. Ladyluck says:

    Oh I envy you watching (for the most part) Firefly for the first time. I assume you will watch them in the order that Joss would have liked them and not the stupid ass way that Fox aired them. I loved all the characters. Even Jayne, who's supposed to be the stereotypical "brawn" of the group, has many complexities to him. Buffy was my first Whedon love and will always hold a special place in my heart but Firefly is probably the better written series and one that I will always be bitter about.
    I am Asian, so it intrigued me that Joss melded 2 cultures. It didnt bother me that there were no major Asian characters because I considered Simon and River TAM to at least be of partial Asian descent. I can't wait to see you watch the rest of the series.

  83. forthejokes says:

    I think this is a good time for me to re-watch the series, I've almost completely forgotten what happens. And who some of the characters are. And I also just remembered how much I love Kaylee, but the construction of characters in this show is fantastci.

  84. Ella says:

    I love Firefly! And you can buy those apple peelers, my mom used to have one. Williams Sonoma, maybe? This show is so awesome.

  85. notemily says:

    I really like Castle. I love that he's a WRITER, and that's actually integrated into the show. He helps solve mysteries by thinking about how he would write them, and he says stuff like "whoever killed him also murdered… the English language." And the best part is that he PLAYS POKER WITH ACTUAL OTHER WRITERS. Seeing James Patterson and Michael Connelly or whoever always cracks me up. Even best-selling writers are total geeks. (I mean that in a good way.)

    And the family relationship between Martha, Castle and Alexis is amazing.

    • ProudWikiWhore says:

      Castle is love. I thought I coudn't get into a cop drama show, but OMG it sucked me right in. Beckett is pure love.

  86. notemily says:

    That would make me 100% more likely to see The Green Lantern.

  87. takashid says:

    Hello, first time ever posting.I found your reviews a while back, and started following mark reads back when you started Harry Potter though i never commented. Mark i have to say i always love your reviews! I actually just watched firefly because of you, i had heard good things about it before, but never bothered until i saw you were going to cover it and i was like " well time to watch!" So excited you have finally started! i still haven't seen the movie and just recently finished the series, so I'm as new to the series as you are. looking forward to your take on this excellent, tragically short lived (Damn you FOX!) masterpiece. I wont give any spoilers, but let me just say (though I'm sure you've been told already) that your in for a great time.

  88. notemily says:

    YAY OMG! I'm really behind on reading your Hunger Games recaps, but I can get in on this one! SO PREPARE FOR A LONG-ASS COMMENT

    So I take it you haven't seen the movie, Serenity? It is VERY IMPORTANT to avoid spoilers for the movie. I was spoiled for a major plot point and it SUCKED. (The spoiling, not the plot point.) And there are spoilers for the entire series in the movie.

    I LOVED this pilot the first, like, ten times I watched it, and I still do, but I find a lot more problems with it than I used to–probably because I've seen it so much. I don't think Joss is as great at creating feminist characters as he thinks he is. And it bugs me more and more, Mal's reaction to Inara's profession, every time I see it. But… Wash is amazing. Kaylee is amazing. In general everyone is amazing. <3 all of them. I HAVE ISSUES.

    I'll do the same thing with Buffy, btw–love it to pieces but also… criticize it to pieces? Heh. BECAUSE I love Joss shows so much, I want them to be as awesome as possible, and that means noticing when they have shortcomings. But I'd rather they exist than not, Joss, if you're reading this. :P

    Favorite bits from "Serenity":
    – How pretty it is. The whole thing is beautifully shot.
    – "Let's go help these people." Cracks me up EVERY. TIME. Whoever that bit actor is, he should get an award.
    – I'm surprised you didn't mention Mal's crisis of faith! In the opening scene he says something like "God won't let us die," and kisses his crucifix necklace for luck. After the war you can see that he no longer believes in a just God. ("Anyone mind if I say grace?" "Only if you say it out loud.") I think that's behind a lot of his bitterness.
    – The way Zoe and Wash's discussion/argument about Mal is shot from far away. I don't know why, I just love that. Makes you feel like an eavesdropper.
    – Badger! Badger badger badger badger. (Mushroom, etc.) Mark Sheppard is in EVERYTHING now, and I LOVE him every time. This was the first thing I saw him in.
    – Kaylee and how in love with the ship she is. Kaylee/Serenity OTP. <3
    – Simon and his cute John Lennon glasses. Simon's dreamy. Yes, I have a crush. Shut up.
    – Dude who plays Dobson has played a bad guy bit-part in like everything Joss Whedon has ever done, hasn't he? You see him and you're just like: EVIL.
    – Book buying his way onto the ship with strawberries. A great detail that shows what the world is like. The everyday reality of just eating "protein in all the colors of the rainbow," and how much of a treat fresh fruit must be.
    – "Can you move your feet?" "Are you asking me to dance?" <333333 KAYLEE
    – The reveal of River, and Simon's explanation, juxtaposed with shots of him trying to treat her.
    – "Okay, I can see you're not an idiot." "Wish I could say the same, Lawrence, but this is disappointing as hell."
    – The Reavers. SO CREEPEH.
    – Morena Baccarin. I found out later that Rebecca Gayheart was originally cast to play Inara, which is just WRONG. It's like imagining Stuart Townsend as Aragorn. DOES NOT COMPUTE.
    – Silence in space!
    – The juxtaposition of "we'll get through this" with the shot of Dobson "getting through" his bindings. Cheesy, I know, but I like it.
    – You know Dobson is an asshole because not only does he knock Book out, he hits him a couple more times just for the hell of it.
    – Zoe getting shot, and the immediate cut to Wash talking about worrying about her. There are a lot of cuts in this ep like that.
    – I must be a bad person, because I always crack up when Mal shoots the horse. I SWEAR I LOVE ANIMALS USUALLY. I just love the look on his face. He is like "FUCK THIS NOISE." Same thing when he shoots Dobson. He is sick of dealing with bullshit.
    – The way Wash calms down when everyone else is freaking out about the Reavers. He's just like "I am in my Zen-piloting happy place because if I weren't, I would be freaking the fuck out."
    – LOL THE MOMENT RIGHT AFTER THEY ESCAPE FROM THE REAVERS, Wash is holding on to nothing. His hand is in the right shape to be holding the controls, but it's just air. That's a widescreen thing, I think–when it was on TV the error wasn't visible because of the full-screen presentation, yes? If you watch it on your computer, or I guess on a widescreen TV, you can catch another error–when Wash is talking to Zoe right after they get off the ship on Persephone, you can see a hand pulling his go-cart or whatever out of the frame.

    [to be continued]

    • notemily says:

      [rest of comment]

      Least favorite bits:
      – No. Asian. Characters. The mix of Chinese into this show is a clever trick (and nice way of disguising swear words), but doesn't really make sense when you think about it. Although I did read somewhere that Simon and River were originally supposed to be Asian, or half-Asian. But no points for half-trying.
      – And isn't there a sign saying something about "dogs" as a food item when they're on Persephone? LOL ASIAN PEOPLE EAT DOGS LOL. Fail. D:
      – The Inara thing. If she's so respected as a Companion, then why does her client make a crack about her clock being rigged? We're supposed to think that Mal is the only one who disapproves of her profession and everyone else is fine with it, but it doesn't seem like her own clients respect her that much either. Oh, I don't know. Someone's probably written an essay about this.
      – Book. I don't think Ron Glass is that great of an actor in this. Something about the way he talks. He's supposed to have this great gravitas or whatever, but it doesn't come through for me. Maybe he gets better later–I don't remember. OMG I AM SO EXCITE TO WATCH THIS WITH YOU.

      /fangirl

  89. Sierra says:

    I have an apple peeler exactly like that, right down to the red handle. Nathan Fillion (Mal) is a smarmy MFer, but his cheese is a self-aware kind.

  90. takashid says:

    "Why was Jayne so sweaty before the Reavers were about to show up that first time? Are they really so bad that even Jayne is freaked out by them?"

    Yes. Yes they are.

  91. Jason Isaacs says:

    Badger's apple peeler was in my kitchen when I was a kid! Well, not that exact one, I'm sure, but one just like it, right down to the little red wooden handle.

  92. Miri1984 says:

    Reavers. Scariest. Thing. Ever. I mean EVER. I was terrified. Completely and utterly.

  93. Elaina says:

    I have one of those apple peelers. They really are as fabulous as they seem. Also, I LOVE WASH AND JAYNE. Alan Tudyk should be in all the things.

  94. Nikki says:

    Well, I just finished watching the first episode and.. I honestly wasn't all that impressed. Certainly not as impressed as everyone else seems to have been. It was alright, but I have a few issues with it. However, it was only a pilot and they don't always tend to give the best impressions for their shows.

  95. Naazneen says:

    Firefly is my all time favourite show – as in ever. I adore Joss Whedon and his writing, his thought processes and just everything about the creative teams he surrounds himself with are just such darned SMART and genius! Its like Damon Lindelof and the brains from Lost. All epicness for us to view. Looking forward to your reviews Mark!

  96. BeautifulThief says:

    I have an apple peeler like that. Or, my mother does. It's amazing. It is so much fun, we ate apples for DAYS just to use the peeler. It also cores them and slices them into swirls and NOW I WANT TO USE IT AGAIN

  97. Enigmaticrose4 says:

    I'm so glad you're reviewing this show! Don't worry, almost all of your questions will be answered eventually. Either in the show itself or in the movie.

    You have to watch Castle! Sirriusly it's amazing. They just don't know how to make ads for it correctly. I don't normally watch tv shows that are still being made, but that's an exception for me, it's delightful.

  98. andreamantis says:

    I loved that show. I think that might be why I like Kaylee…

Comments are closed.