Fireflying by the Seat of Your Pants

Picture a good Star Trek episode. Replace the Federation crew with a ragtag group of smugglers and the Enterprise with a rust-bucket held together by sarcasm and Chinese swears. Swap the Borg for human space cannibals and the honorable captain for a rugged bad boy in tight pants. Add a preacher, an escort, a doctor, and a traumatized escapee from a mysterious government training program to the roster, and welcome aboard Serenity.

Like many other Firefly fans, I wish there were more seasons of the show. The first and only batch of episodes are pure uproarious fun with dark elements hinting at bigger issues down the road. The main cast of characters, to a man, are well-rounded and likable, and the believable environments and threatening circumstances bring out the best and worst in them. Within the first episode, the viewer is sucked into a world that is, on the surface, completely foreign; but, just beneath, frighteningly familiar.

To say that I recommend Firefly is an understatement. After I watched it, I was mad at myself for not discovering it sooner – or at least not listening to my college roommate who told me to watch it during sophomore year. Firefly isn’t groundbreaking in the sense that it makes you question your place in the universe; it doesn’t use its Steampunk sci fi aesthetic to talk about how incurably flawed humanity is. What Firefly has is Star Trek‘s optimism:  It’s a show that, ultimately, demonstrates that even the most mercenary, pessimistically practical people will, given a chance, do the right thing.

Available on Netflix (picture ransacked from


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