Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me...

If you're a total Joss Whedon nerd (like me!), you probably recognize today's blog title as lyrics from the theme song to "Firefly".  For the uninitiated, "Firefly" was a space-western that ran for one season, much to the lament of its diehard core audience.  Eventually, to appease the nerd masses, a major motion picture was released to tie up the loose ends, and was titled "Serenity".  (To explain the titles, the ship is a model "Firefly", but her name is "Serenity".)

To many fans, "Firefly" had the potential to be the greatest Joss Whedon series ever.  All the other people not watching it were too busy trying to figure out what a "space-western" was, and why the name Joss Whedon sounded familiar.  ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Angel", and the worst "Aliens" movie.  You know, the one with Winona Ryder.)

Anyway, last night my husband was cooking dinner, and I had to find something for my son to watch to keep him distracted.  (We don't let him watch much t.v., but we find it helpful to keep him occupied while he awaits food.)  I simply could not take another episode of Spongebob (there's only about 6 different ones available online), and Hulu offers little options.

Then I saw that they had every episode of "Firefly".  It was time for my son's nerd initiation to begin.

I started with the pilot episode, of course, since you can't watch it out of order.  As each character was introduced, I told my son their name and explained who they were.  I taught him which side was the "good guys" (the people following the guy resembling Han Solo) and the "bad guys" (everyone in a uniform).

He liked Walsh, the goofy pilot, right away because he is first shown playing with dinosaurs on the bridge.  Kailey, the pretty mechanic, was also a hit.

His favorite character, of course, was Serenity herself.  "Spaceship!" he'd yell, every time she took off.  "5-4-3-2-1 blast-off!"

There were also lots of other things to keep a little boy amused.  Since it is a space-western, whenever they're on solid ground, they travel via horseback.  Also, the shootouts are more fun than scary, since they use cheesy-looking futuristic guns that go "pew-pew".  (My son spent a good portion of the show running around pointing a crayon at things, and yelling "pew-pew".)

Of course, there are certain things that, mercifully, went right over my son's head.  Like Inara's profession.  (Hint:  On the show they refer to her as a "companion".)

Other than some mild innuendo, it's a pretty clean show.  No gore, no real profanity to speak of.  (Since it's futuristic, they curse mostly in Chinese.)

Rockets, spaceships, horses, shootouts, good guys and bad guys.  And way less painful for Mommy than sitting through more Spongebob.

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