FIREFLY AND SERENITY
Ann and I decided to rent the entire first and only season of Firefly a couple of weeks ago. We watched it almost continuously until we'd finished it. We both thought it was one of the best SF series ever. The casting, the writing, the direction--all first-rate. I really enjoyed the economy of the writing--the way in which sometimes very complex emotions and exposition came through effortlessly. We were very sad after having watched the last episode. You mean there isn't any more?
So we watched Serenity, the movie, again, and really thought it was even better than the first time. In part because Joss W. does such a great job of making it a movie you can watch independent of the series or as part of the series. That's an amazing accomplishment. There's even more compression in the movie than I thought before seeing the series--compression of character motivation/relationship, narrative, etc. An economy that made me simultaneously envious of Joss W's abilities and wishing the movie could have been part of the series. Because there's so much rich material there that you could make a series out of the movie and expand the character interactions, etc. This would have a totally different feel from the movie, of course, but be equally effective.
Anyway, Ann and I were talking about Firefly/Serenity and then Battlestar Galactica, which has some similarities in the kind of hand-held approach to shooting and editing but is, of course, otherwise quite different.
I personally think the Firefly model is more flexible and human than the BG model and I had to just take one series to a desert island it would be Firefly. The thing is, a digression on Firefly tends to be a delightful and good thing. A digression on BG tends to seem like a static point in the plot. There's less ability to absorb digressions and make them dramatically potent. (In my opinion. Firefly is also, of course, a uniquely American experience, to my mind. It reflects those kinds of American values and American optimism that has been completely and utterly destroyed as a gestalt by commercialism, cynicism, selfishness, and laziness in this country.)
In the meantime, I've been playing Joss W's commentary on Serenity and studying his teleplays for Firefly. There is a lot to learn in all of this, even if some of it is only applicable in the combination of image and words.
Now, like thousands of other Firefly fans, I'd really like to see the series come back, or another movie. Although I realize this is not likely to happen. Anyway, bittersweet, this late discovery that cut off so abruptly. :(