Which to watch first - Firefly or Serenity?


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rbernie
February 14, 2006, 10:26 PM
For Valentine's Day, my bride gave me both the Serenity DVD as well as the DVD four-disk collection for Firefly. I've not seen either, so now the question is - which to watch first?

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KriegHund
February 14, 2006, 10:29 PM
Firefly. Ive seen 5 or 6 episodes and watched serenity 3 times.

It helps flesh with the characters if you watch the series first. And the series is real good, too.

When you watch serenity, make sure you can really enjoy it. its worth watching not just seeing.

Bruce333
February 14, 2006, 10:32 PM
I agree, watch Firefly first. Get to know the verse they live in, and the personalities of the crew, before you watch Serenity.

bdutton
February 14, 2006, 10:37 PM
For Valentine's Day, my bride gave me both the Serenity DVD as well as the DVD four-disk collection for Firefly. I've not seen either, so now the question is - which to watch first?

Wow... if I had a chance to beon on 'wife swap' I would pick yours. :)

Watch the series (in the order that it was intended). Then the movie. Might as well since it will preserve the timeline of events. Gives a good background on the characters. It will leave you yearning for more Saffron also!

http://www.sadgeezer.com/firefly/episodes/episode1-05-images/Pdvd_051.jpg
http://merry-lover1.tripod.com/saffron2.jpg

scubie02
February 14, 2006, 11:02 PM
yep firefly

Dave R
February 14, 2006, 11:11 PM
Serenity is the SEQUEL to the series of Firefly. It continues where the series ended. For maximum viewing pleasure, see the series first.

The movie will stand on its own, but it is greatly enhanced by the series.

Lobotomy Boy
February 14, 2006, 11:32 PM
Also, give the series a chance. It starts out a bit wooden, but really gets good as the episodes progress. By about a quarter of the way in, it is a fantastic series.

torpid
February 14, 2006, 11:54 PM
As a testament to how good the whole package truly is, it happened that I saw Serenity first and I went into the theater cold with no knowledge of anything about it whatsoever.

I thought it was fantastic in its own right, and became a fan who wanted more!
(Lucky for me there were 13 more episodes waiting on DVD for me to get my fix.) :D

I then thoroughly enjoyed watching the series as a "prequel" to the feature film (and the series is just terrific).

So even if someone sees Serenity first, it doesn't ruin it for them.

:)

Zen21Tao
February 14, 2006, 11:58 PM
Definitely watch ALL of Firefly first. Not only does the plotline of Serenity take place temporially after events in Firefly but watching Firefly first will give you a deep appreciation for the characters which REALLY makes Serenity that much better of a movie. You'll find yourself caring much more about about certain events in Serenity based on the feeling you have towards the characters.

Silver Bullet
February 15, 2006, 12:07 AM
Watch Firefly first.

If you watch Serenity first, you'll think "Wow; that was fantastic!"

If you watch Serenity after watching Firefly, you'll think "Wow, wow, wow; that was very, very fantastic!!!"

I envy you, getting to watch all that for the first time.

There are some enthusiastic reviews of both the movie and the series on this site:

http://www.filmfocus.co.uk/specials/serenity.asp

I agree about 98% with the reviewers' evaluations of the Firefly episodes ("Firefly Pt. 1, 2, 3"). Out of Gas is my favorite, and Objects in Space is my second favorite.

Headless Thompson Gunner
February 15, 2006, 12:26 AM
Watch the series, end to end, before you watch the movie. The movie can stand on its own, but some parts of the movie will have a lot more impact if you've seen the series first.

"Some people juggle geese." :p

Zen21Tao
February 15, 2006, 12:56 AM
If you watch Serenity first your destined for "The Special Hell" :D

Chupacabra
February 15, 2006, 01:11 AM
So I watched Serenity the other day and I got the Fruity Oaty Bar song stuck in my head. I think I need help.

:uhoh:

:D

BTW...Does Jayne use Vera at all in Serenity? I can't remember seeing it or not.

grimjaw
February 15, 2006, 01:17 AM
Firefly first, Serenity second. Pay close attention to the episode mentioning 'special hell.' :p

jmm

SiG Lady
February 15, 2006, 01:22 AM
Definitely the series on DVD first... There are also episodes on that set that were not aired the FIRST time it aired on TV... plus the lengthy interviews and other tidbits.:cool:

Silver Bullet
February 15, 2006, 10:38 AM
Also, give the series a chance. It starts out a bit wooden, but really gets good as the episodes progress. By about a quarter of the way in, it is a fantastic series.
I agree with give the series a chance. However, I felt the quality of the disks for the four-disk set were, strongest to weakest, Disk 3, Disk 1, Disk 4, Disk 2.

I felt “Out of Gas”, “Ariel”, “War Stories”, and “Trash” (all on Disk 3) were all very good to excellent.

The Disk 2 stories (“Shindig”, “Safe”, “Jaynestown”, “Our Mrs. Reynolds”) were for me the least compelling stories of the set. They were fun, but not gripping the way most of the other stories were. “Shindig” remains one of my two least favorite episodes (the duel seems ridiculous; for one thing, the person challenged is supposed to have choice of weapons), but even in the weakest episode there is lots to like. I enjoyed the exchange between Mal and Badger where Badger is talking about getting his hands on two “invites”. :D I enjoyed Kaylee becoming the center of attention at the ball talking about spacecraft mechanics.

It’s all good.

1911user
February 15, 2006, 12:02 PM
It's hard to make a mistake, but, watch the series first. Serenity takes place 6 months after the end of the series and they had some challenges during that gap. The movie is good, but the series is even better.

If you really get into it, there is a 3 or 4 volume comic set that takes place in the 6 month gap. They are now collector items, but have been reprinted into 1 volume and released recently.

Biker
February 15, 2006, 01:11 PM
Is this a TV series?
Biker

bdutton
February 15, 2006, 02:02 PM
Is this a TV series?
Biker

It "WAS" a series. It was canceled after 11 episodes were aired. Fox execs were stupid and put the show in a bad timeslot and rarely advertised it. It was critcally aclaimed and had a loyal (if not obsessed) fan base. The partial first season was released on DVD and the sales took off. That fueled interest in making a movie. The movie barely broke even in theaters but the DVD sales are doing very well. The firefly and serenity dvd sales are still in the top 20 sellers (20,17 respectively on amazon).

I am a fan of lots of scifi series on TV and I NEVER heard of the show until Serenity came out.

Lobotomy Boy
February 15, 2006, 02:21 PM
The reason why we are discussing it here is that guns were a major focus of the series.

Talk about obsessed fans--when I went to see Serenity in the theater, there were a bunch of people wearing brown coats. I've thought about the whole rebellion thing on that show a lot since Bush declared himself above the law regarding warrantless wiretaps.

Headless Thompson Gunner
February 15, 2006, 02:41 PM
It "WAS" a series. It was canceled after 11 episodes were aired. Fox execs were stupid and put the show in a bad timeslot and rarely advertised it.Some folks have speculated that Fox sabatoged the show on purpose. The show has strong pro-freedom / anti-government and pro-individual / anti-collectivist themes. I suppose it depends on how much tin foil you like to wear. Intentional or not, Fox did everything a network possibly can do to make sure their new show never caught on.

But it was such a good show that it caught on anyway. It's been nearly 5 years since the series was first aired (and cancelled) and it's still selling like crazy.

If you haven't seen any of it,you should. Rent the first disc of the series and give it a try. There are worse ways to spend an evening...


"Isn't that what governments are for, to get in a man's way?" - Mal

Biker
February 15, 2006, 02:47 PM
I'll have to check it out. I haven't watched TV in years, but I enjoy a movie from time to time. Thanks Folks.
Biker

carnaby
February 15, 2006, 07:06 PM
Watch Firefly first. My wife and I borrowed the DVD's from a buddy and were instantly hooked. We have yet to watch Serenity.

Now that I'm addicted to Firefly, I'm totally pissed at Fox for cancelling the show, Argh! :fire:

I think we should sue to force them to put out a few more seaons.

wingnutx
February 15, 2006, 07:27 PM
Watch all of Firefly first.

tellner
February 15, 2006, 07:45 PM
The people who've seen the series say "See the series first. You won't really be able to get into it otherwise." Those of us who went to the movie without having seen the TV show had no problem understanding the plot, the people or the universe. It really doesn't matter.

IndianaDean
February 15, 2006, 08:27 PM
If you have both though, watch the series first. I thought the series took right off. I did not think it starts off "wooden". It's the best television series of any type that was ever broadcast as far as I'm concerned.

Silver Bullet
February 15, 2006, 09:14 PM
The people who've seen the series say "See the series first. You won't really be able to get into it otherwise." Those of us who went to the movie without having seen the TV show had no problem understanding the plot, the people or the universe. It really doesn't matter.
It's not just "the people who've seen the series" that are saying see the series first. It's the people who have seen both who are saying see the series first.

Zen21Tao
February 16, 2006, 03:40 AM
The people who've seen the series say "See the series first. You won't really be able to get into it otherwise." Those of us who went to the movie without having seen the TV show had no problem understanding the plot, the people or the universe. It really doesn't matter.

Its not about not being able to understand or follow the plotline it is about really caring about the characters and the things that they experience. If you don't really become a diehard Firefly and Serenity fan then yes it might not matter which you watch first. But, most people that do become huge fans of the show really love the characters. The point that many of us are making is that by watching Firefly first a person that does become a fan of the show will develop feeling towards the characters that really make watching Serenity that much more enjoyable and moving.

tellner
February 16, 2006, 06:58 AM
I saw the movie first, then the series. Honestly, it really wasn't a big deal. The movie stood on its own, and if it were all I'd seen that would have been enough. The series was very good (although I can't understand why people go on like it was the Sacred Ichor of Cthulhu), and I'm glad I bought it.

No_Brakes23
February 16, 2006, 02:59 PM
For Valentine's Day, my bride gave me both the Serenity DVD as well as the DVD four-disk collection for Firefly. I've not seen either, so now the question is - which to watch first?

I just got done netflixing the entire first season and the movie. Watch the series first then the movie. I hadn't seen any of it either, andthat way went pretty quick and made sense.

I have to say, I thought it was going to suck. I haven't liked anything else Joss Whedon has done. The gunplay is horrible, (multiple cocking for emphasis, firing from the hip, etc,) Whedon can't write relationships to save his life, and he can't figure out what he wants certain characters to be, but overall the series great. Some of the best TV in the last 5 years.

No_Brakes23
February 16, 2006, 03:04 PM
It will leave you yearning for more Saffron also! While Saffron was certainly hot, I thought she was one of the weakest parts of the series. Whedon definitely went back into lame-ass Buffy land for this character. The episode where she was introduced is also probably the worst writing of any of the episodes. As for being a looker, the show already has plenty of eye-candy, so one more piece doesn't really add anything.

Saffron is Whedon's Jar Jar Binks, (Although much better looking obviously.)

torpid
February 16, 2006, 03:20 PM
Can somebody please build me the bridge that links this:
I have to say, I thought it was going to suck. I haven't liked anything else Joss Whedon has done. The gunplay is horrible, (multiple cocking for emphasis, firing from the hip, etc,) Whedon can't write relationships to save his life, and he can't figure out what he wants certain characters to be...

To this:
...but overall the series great. Some of the best TV in the last 5 years.

:confused:
;)

rocky
February 16, 2006, 03:27 PM
I would watch the series first as well. It gives alot of background into the characters , but either way, enjoy.

Carl N. Brown
February 16, 2006, 03:40 PM
On Firefly DVD extras, Wheedon sings the Firefly theme song, left arrow
and you get to watch Jayne Cobb in his cunning cap sing the
Ballad of Jayne. Just watch the Jaynestown episode first.

It says a lot about firefly and serenity that folks who saw the
movie Serenity first "got it" and enjoyed seeing the series Firefly
leading up to the movie as a really special pre-quel.

Dang, how many threads we gonna have on Firefly/Serenity?
We need a thread on why THRers like F/S I guess.

Strings
February 16, 2006, 03:42 PM
>Whedon can't write relationships to save his life, and he can't figure out what he wants certain characters to be...<

And you're basing this on WHICH characters? I always felt that his characters (for the most part) fit with reality (as much as they can)

heypete
February 16, 2006, 03:46 PM
Definitely see the series first. You get a much more rich feeling for the characters and many of the existing subplots and conflicts are fleshed out and developed in the series.

Great show, I should definitely get a FireflyFest going on here. I've already given the Firefly series as a gift to some friends in Arizona who granted me hospitality at their place for a week while I was travelling.

Stupendous series...I just wish they didn't cancel it.

Zen21Tao
February 16, 2006, 04:35 PM
Here is one example of how watching the series first makes the movie experience better (without giving too much of the story away). It's damn near impossible to appreciate the Shepperd Book character in Serenity without having watched the series. For example, If I watched Serenity first I would wonder "what was up with that black fellow the crew stayed with? What was Mal's (and the rest on the crews') relationship to him?"

Daniel T
February 16, 2006, 05:46 PM
Some folks have speculated that Fox sabatoged the show on purpose. The show has strong pro-freedom / anti-government and pro-individual / anti-collectivist themes. I suppose it depends on how much tin foil you like to wear. Intentional or not, Fox did everything a network possibly can do to make sure their new show never caught on.

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by
stupidity."

After witnessing Fox do the exact same thing to Futurama and, to a lesser extent, Family Guy, I absolutely believe that they are just plain stupid.

Herself
February 16, 2006, 05:56 PM
Not to mention "Dark Angel," "Space: Above and Beyond," and a few others. Was "God, the Devil and Bob" on Fox? (James Garner as God -- pretty good casting!)

"Firefly" and "Dark Angel" were both pretty subversive. It can't have won either show a lot of support among the high-level executives.

--H

No_Brakes23
February 16, 2006, 08:02 PM
Can somebody please build me the bridge that links this:


To this:


:confused:
;)

Perhaps, I should have said, in spite of his shortcomings as a writer, it was good. The relationship stuff didn't bug me enough to stop watching it, because it is not primarily a romance, it is a western. And the stories are still good stories, they just needed a military/tech advisor who didn't have his head firmly ensconced within his nether regions, and less inconsisntent characters.

>Whedon can't write relationships to save his life, and he can't figure out what he wants certain characters to be...<

And you're basing this on WHICH characters? I always felt that his characters (for the most part) fit with reality (as much as they can)

His males aren't too bad, although he can't decide if the ship's pilot is a borderline hoplophobe or a crack shot, (He is both depending on the episode.) He can't decide if Kaylee is a whore that's good with a wrench or a naive little farmgirl. He can't decide if she is pragmatic or passive agressive. In fact all of his females are irrationally angry. In the Saffron episode the girls are inexplicably angry at Saffron and at the males for showing her any sort of compassion at all. So Whedon is either writing poorly, or trying to convey that these women are catty, petty or somehow prescient, all of which are offensive and indicative of clumsy scriptwriting. Now lots of folks will point out that that is not an uncommon opinion of many men, but Whedon's women are inconsistent beyond what I have seen outside of Jerry Springer. Regardless of whether he can't write decent gals or just hates women, it was distracting from the storyline and broke my suspension of disbelief, (Which is especially necessary in Sci-Fi.)

Now, compared to Buffy/Angel, (Whedon's previous effort,) this show was outstanding. Very little of Whedon's previous trademark silly forced cleverness, (though it is still there.) But judged on it's own, Firefly is not without its shortcomings.

I must stress that it is still very worth watching.

Can'thavenuthingood
February 16, 2006, 08:17 PM
heh, heh, he said "nether regions"


Vick

Lobotomy Boy
February 16, 2006, 08:21 PM
So Whedon is either writing poorly, or trying to convey that these women are catty, petty or somehow prescient, all of which are offensive and indicative of clumsy scriptwriting.

It sounds indicative of my wife having PMS.

modifiedbrowning
February 16, 2006, 09:57 PM
Well, I watched Serenity first and really liked it so I bought the Firefly series. IMO you should watch Firefly first and then Serenity.

heypete
February 16, 2006, 10:10 PM
Well, I watched Serenity first and really liked it so I bought the Firefly series. IMO you should watch Firefly first and then Serenity.

I had an interesting introduction to it. I've heard about the show here and there, but never got to actually watch it.

One day, someone mentioned it to me, so I downloaded a legally-dubious copy of Serentiy from the internet. I was so blown away that I askd my sister, who was looking to find a good christmas present for me, if she would get the DVD for me. Fortunately, she did! :)

Immediately after Christmas, I went out and bought the Firefly DVD series. I then bought a second copy to give to a friend of mine for her hospitality. Hopefully that all made up for downloading the video in the first place. I sure hope so. :scrutiny:

As someone who was Serenity first (and was hugely impressed), I'd really recommend (and I know I said it already) seeing Firefly first. Things just make more sense that way. :)

Silver Bullet
February 16, 2006, 11:06 PM
Ultimately ... it doesn't going to make any difference which you watch first because, if you're like me, you're going to watch both the series and the movie over and over again anyway.

Zen21Tao
February 17, 2006, 12:19 AM
Ultimately ... it doesn't going to make any difference which you watch first because, if you're like me, you're going to watch both the series and the movie over and over again anyway.

True real fans will watch the series and the movie over and over but there is an initial emotional reaction many (if not most) fans have to the events that occur in their first viewing of the movie based on the feelings they develop toward the characters from watching the series. When someone watches the movie first this emotional reaction is lost.

Cosmoline
February 17, 2006, 12:38 AM
I really like his approach to TV series, though some folks absolutely hate it. He favors long story arcs and quirky characters. A depressed vampire who looks like a hunk but prefers to sit in his room and read, for example. Or a demon who runs a karaoke bar. You can't go in expecting a realistic drama. Nor can you expect Whedon to follow the established "rules" of a genre. He even commits the greatest sin of genre television--he kills off main characters on a regular basis. This has earned him the ire of many fans over the years.

I think "Serenity" is flawed, but has great potential. Whedon had never worked on the big screen before, and he's far to busy with the camera. He lacks the maturity to simply leave the camera in a good spot and let the actors do their thing. He insists on multiple lens changes for each shot, and is *CONSTANTLY* moving. It's hard to watch on the big screen, though the action sequences are much easier to take in on the DVD. That said, there are some absolutely FANTASTIC shots in the film, including a very nice one of the hovercraft "mule" flying off the ship and several nice integrations of CGI with live action. I liked the ship battles much better than anything Lucasfilm has come out with in the past decade, in spite of "Serenity's" obvious low budget.

Zen21Tao
February 17, 2006, 01:06 AM
I really like his approach to TV series, though some folks absolutely hate it. He favors long story arcs and quirky characters. A depressed vampire who looks like a hunk but prefers to sit in his room and read, for example. Or a demon who runs a karaoke bar. You can't go in expecting a realistic drama. Nor can you expect Whedon to follow the established "rules" of a genre. He even commits the greatest sin of genre television--he kills off main characters on a regular basis. This has earned him the ire of many fans over the years.

I think "Serenity" is flawed, but has great potential. Whedon had never worked on the big screen before, and he's far to busy with the camera. He lacks the maturity to simply leave the camera in a good spot and let the actors do their thing. He insists on multiple lens changes for each shot, and is *CONSTANTLY* moving. It's hard to watch on the big screen, though the action sequences are much easier to take in on the DVD. That said, there are some absolutely FANTASTIC shots in the film, including a very nice one of the hovercraft "mule" flying off the ship and several nice integrations of CGI with live action. I liked the ship battles much better than anything Lucasfilm has come out with in the past decade, in spite of "Serenity's" obvious low budget.

+1 great review. I agree with your analysis 100%.

flatdog
February 17, 2006, 01:46 AM
On the advice of some here I bought Serenity and will hold off watching until I can get Firefly. I'm a huge fan of Babylon 5. I came to it during Season Three and while it was good. I struggled to make sense of it at first. It too has more than one story arch, with the main one over arching the entire five year span of the series.

Was Firefly intended to a accomplish a similar goal? Where should I go to learn about the story of this series.

Thanks muchly.

MedGrl
February 17, 2006, 02:09 AM
Most definetly watch the seiries first...you will get so many more of the jokes if you do...and you'll know the charactors.

Lobotomy Boy
February 17, 2006, 09:29 AM
I told my wife about this thread and she said those of you who say it doesn't matter are crazy--you should watch the series first. And she knows everything. Just ask her.

Silver Bullet
February 17, 2006, 09:31 AM
True real fans will watch the series and the movie over and over but there is an initial emotional reaction many (if not most) fans have to the events that occur in their first viewing of the movie based on the feelings they develop toward the characters from watching the series. When someone watches the movie first this emotional reaction is lost.
You are correct; initially one should see the series first.

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