So, it's pretty common knowledge that up until now I have not watched Firefly or Serenity. This was recently remedied! I finally just bit the bullet and sat down with Netflix and cuddled up with Nathan Fillion and crew.
So, the downside to the series in my opinion was the pilot. It was super-tropey (which yes, I know most of today's tropes came from this, but retrospect, etc.) the acting wasn't great, the editing was shoddy and jumpy, and pretty much hit every pet peeve button that I have, and for two hours it was a groaner.
That being said, even episode two was amazing. It was almost like the cast and producers all got together and ramped up everything. The camerawork, editing, acting, scripting, and everything just clicked. The show itself's premise is still flaky, but a space western in space, with no aliens (in fact it's a plot point there is no aliens later) was kind of daunting to me (not a fan of westerns) but I seem to like the way that they handled it. I enjoyed the points in each episode, which successfully handled a plot-of-the-week crossed with the underlying constant plot.
I was constantly laughing during watching the episodes, up until the last one which felt like a giant middle finger to Fox, who cancelled the show in the middle of a season. It felt like it was a 21-22 episode season, but only had 14 episodes and a movie (two years later), and several graphic novels after the movie ended (which ended with a "WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A SEQUEL" moment) and a large amount of other media that is unofficial (don't stop the Serenity fandom signal).
Then came the movie, Serenity, which picked up directly after the last episode ended. The first thing I noticed was the very obvious camerawork upgrade. Not saying the show was bad looking, but two years of tech did a great deal to this series. The movie went WAY dark, while trying to shove the two major plot holes into the movie it attempted to keep the humour of the show. It almost held up the humor, but the drama slipped deep into a very ...unique... place in this, which almost felt like it counteracted the signature humor of the series. Before you get started YES I KNOW it was meant to be darker, because the River story needed to be dark, it needed to be brutal, but it took it to the top notch. Without going into the plot too much, because I am trying to remain as spoiler-free as possible (mainly because I think I am going to do a recording of that) I LOVED the villain of this movie, mainly because he was the kind of villain that you love to hate. Unwavering, unquestioning, daunting, vicious, and mostly without the tropes that hit most of the villains of the sci-fi theme.
That being said, I LOVED Firefly, and like Serenity a lot, and am currently making my way through the Joss "Whedonverse", starting with Dollhouse and working up to the 76 seasons of Buffy.
Because I like rating things: 8/10 for Firefly, 7.5/10 for Serenity
Don't stop the signal, browncoats; we aim to misbehave.