Last watched 2014
The year is 2517 and human kind now lives on a variety of different planets because “earth-that-was” is no longer inhabitable. One of these humans is a captain named Mal who runs a Firefly type spacecraft called Serenity. Mal’s encumbered with any number of problems; a guns man with a mercenary’s loyalty, a general bias towards shadier deals, a love of someone he can never be with, PTSD from the war that he and the other brown coats lost and a strong sense of justice and morality that always gets him into sticky situations.
Firefly is by and far my favourite Joss Whedon TV show. It was described to me as ‘a spaghetti Western set in space’ and, at first, I baulked at the notion. But took the advice, watched it and loved it. The phrase is a perfect description of it but also doesn’t appropriately encapsulate how well written, shot and directed it is. It’s a bit of a triumph.
In the world there are courtesan-equivalents called Companions and their sex work is depicted as actually suuuuuper respectable which is cool / interesting. There’s also a plotline with sex workers who are not super high class like that, though, and they are referred to as wh*res (by the companion), which is awkward. The characters that are sex workers in that episode, though, are depicted as the underdogs and are still very fully fleshed out as far as I can tell, so it’s a mixed bag with whorephobia.
Pros: excellent woman of colour character, well rounded man of colour character, robust and loving interracial relationship, sex worker plots that are sex worker friendly.
Cons: Adam Balwin is in it. He is a real method actor, though, shown by the fact his character is a massive sack of shit. Also, there are no queers depicted!
Genre: spaghetti western, science fiction, speculative fiction
Approach carefully if: you have difficulty with depictions of war, the fallout of war, depictions of gore / violence, whorephobic language, abduction, medical / scientific abuse of bodies
Can be found: Netflix
Accessibility: closed captions available 🙂
If you liked, I recommend: Serenity (the follow-on movie), Cowboy Bebop, Deadwood