TV [The following review contains moments of total jabbering incoherence. You have been warned.]

Firefly. Where do I begin. There are times, now and then, when something new arrives, be it music, painting, scientific discovery, film or tv which just makes me take a step back (metaphoric or otherwise) and go - 'Ooooh!' Something is so good, so in-tune, that it sucks me in and creates an indefinable something which is impossible to put into words without sounding like either a pretentious idiot or a yabbering nutcase. Without a doubt it is one of the best pieces of television ever created and the heartbreaking thing is no one but a few interested souls have seen it. This should have been as important a step in tv terms as The X-Files, or before that Hill Street Blues. Instead it was cancelled before anyone got a chance to see it.

Over the last couple of days I've tried to describe the series to people. It's a western set in the future with spaceships and horses. They swear all the way through it but in Chinese. One of the main characters is a Shepherd or holy man and another is a Companion or prostitute. It's about a group of interplanetary traders trying to make their way. And there are no aliens. No sound in space. And funny in a Douglas Adams / The Simpsons way and in places better than Star Wars. It sounds ridiculous and the blank faces I've been getting are heartbreaking.

Basically its impossible for me to review it. I feel like I'm too close, unable to express rational thought. I can't see its failings. No its only failing is that it strives to be utterly original in the face of overwhelming banality. At no point does it do anything if it can't be done interestingly. For example, the afformentioned Shepherd somehow has a genius knowledge of weapons and vehicles. Being a Companion is a legal and respectable trade. The comedy relief pilot is married to the amazonian second in command but he can be utterly serious when need be and she can be a laugh riot. And time after time you'll think an episode is about one thing and it'll be turned on its head and it'll actually be about something else even more extra-ordinary. That cack like Andromeda continues and this does explains why the world is still run by the children of morons.

It's not often I will recommend something unconditionally, but here I am. Just buy it. Its 25 pounds at Amazon on DVD, and Tesco have got it in store for 30. It's a bargain. If you like sci-fi - buy it. If you like Buffy or Angel buy it. If you like comedy adventure - buy it. If you simply want to take a chance to see something extra-ordinary - buy it. Think of it as an investment. Even though by the end you'll be a wreck because you won't understand why something so right could only last for so few episodes, and you want to know what happens next, you'll be heartened to know a film is coming next year, which hopefully answer some of the questions. So think of it as an investment, so that when all of your friends are talking about it you can smugly say you were there first. Or if you want to be a real friend invite them along now for the ride.

[For a more studied and coherent review look here. The conclusion says everything I have in a neater fashion:
"The fact that Firefly was made at all is a cause for celebration. The fact that the show was cancelled is something to mourn, a tragic waste of an excellent cast, sharp writing and fascinating possibilities. At least we have these disks to remember the show by, complemented by extras that demonstrate the passion and commitment that went into the show. Buy, fall in love, but beware that, come the end of the last episode, your heart will be broken.
As the Mutant Enemy logo monster says: "Grr arrg"]

No comments:

Post a Comment