Ain’t It Cool: Firefly ‘The Train Job’ Review

Herc Gives FIREFLY 1.3 Four Stars

The last year has convinced me that I’m not a fan of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” I’m a fan of “Buffy” creator Joss Whedon, and whatever project captures his attetion is the project that captures mine. Sorry if that sounds kinda gay. But I’m a 14-year-old girl, remember?

A mammoth fan of the original two-hour “Firefly” pilot (which does not air tonight), I pity the fools who do not get to witness until December that pilot’s all-too-brief dinosaur fight; it only lasts about 20 seconds, but assures viewers they’re in good hands.

A few quick details about tonight’s highly enjoyable outing.

  • We learn the show is set in 2517
  • Despite some rumblings to the contrary, it looks like Fox sensibly decided to broadcast at least tonight’s installment in letterbox/

  • The Alliance infantrymen wear helmets that look suspiciously like the ones worn in “Starship Troopers.”

  • Joss Whedon not only co-wrote and directed tonight’s episode, he wrote the music and lyrics for the fiddle-drenched opening theme.

  • All the female regulars are beautiful, and the Adam Baldwin character gets a lot of the best lines.

  • The prologue, spoken by series regular Ron Glass, is unclear about whether faster-than-light travel is being utilized 500 years from now. The very first words we hear are: “After the earth was used up we found a new solar syste and hundreds of new earths were terraformed and colonized. The central planets formed the alliance and decided all the planets had to join under their rule.” So this all takes place in one solar system with hundreds of planets? Neato?

  • The “blue hands” business is cool and creepy. Herc can’t wait to see what Team Whedon has in mind for the crazy psychic genius girl.

*The captain’s final confrontation with his boss’ henchmen is even funnier on film than on paper.

Herc’s rating for “Firefly” 1.3?

The Hercules T. Strong Rating System

  • ***** better than we deserve
  • **** better than most motion pictures
  • *** actually worth your valuable time
  • ** as horrible as most stuff on TV
  • * makes you quietly pray for bulletins

8:00 p.m. Friday. Fox.

TV Guide says:

Negative buzz attached itself to Firefly after Fox asked Whedon to film a new first episode. But from what little we’ve seen, Firefly looks ambitous, provocative and original. Underestimate the gifted Whedon at your own peril.

Variety says:

Cheeky and charming, Joss Whedon’s attempt to fuse oaters with “Star Trek” is just silly enough to work but there’s plenty of B-movie attraction here to win over young Friday night viewers who have little else to choose from at 8:00… “Firefly’s” wide spectrum of characters is its greatest asset, since any of its ensemble could take center stage from week to week. Mal and Book seem to be the leaders, but that every personality trait is represented, from pouty to dangerous to intellectual, is a perfect way to hide some of its flaws (most notably a reliance on cartoon violence and ridiculously staged stunts that could have given way to more creative methods of larceny). … Whedon, who directed and co-write the debut, has also take a page from “The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.” a years-old, short-lived series that likewise brought sarcasm and impudence to a genre that until then was strictly serious. “Firefly” has a lot of wink-wink dialogue, breezy acting and sexual chemistry that’s never appeared in the science-fiction TV realm, and it’s all executed by some very likable people.

The Hollywood Reporter says:

In a new season largely bereft of innovative ideas or daring concepts, “Firefly” stands out like a supermodel at a bus stop. In this, the first series by “Buffy” creator Joss Whedon under his development deal with Fox, he combines the sci-fi and Western formats, peppers them with wit and action and comes up with something truly original and highly watchable. …You might think it would be impossible to find an interesction between the high-tech world of sci-fi and the low-tech world of Westerns, but Whedon pulls it off. Mostly, he does this by avoiding the gaudier elements of sci-fi and creating a universe with a mixture of technologies, barren landscapes and an Asian influence.

Original article at Ain’t it Cool

Author: Cider

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