Friday Favorite – Firefly

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I blame Jess Barnes. My current obsession with Joss Whedon’s Firefly is all her fault. Oh, and it might be the incredible stories, actors, and the fact that it’s a western set in space.

That’s right. I said it’s A WESTERN SET IN SPACE!!!

I know what you’re thinking. How could that be? For your consideration, I present the opening credits of this fabulous show.

This cult favorite aired on Fox back in 2002 and was on air for only 11 episodes (or something like that–the dvd set has several unaired episodes). Set in the future as earth can no longer hold the number of humans, people have begun settling the planets and moons of a new solar system. But just like the old west, settling these new territories is savage and uncertain.

Enter Captain Malcom Reynolds (played by a delightful Nathan Fillion) and the crew of his ship Serenity, a Firefly transport ship. These smugglers fight the rules of the Alliance, which they fought in the war years before. His crew includes Jayne (played by Chuck’s Adam Baldwin), a gun-loving guy with a penchant for getting in trouble and wearing terrible hats. Kaylee is the wide-eyed mechanic. Zoe, the first mate and an old friend of Mal’s from the war, and her husband Wash, the pilot, add both humor and depth. And of course, there’s Inara, a registered companion, who brings respectibility to the ship. Oh. Right. A companion is in fact a high end escort.

It’s such a strange world that Joss Whedon has created, but it’s thrilling and unique and oh-so entertaining. They get around swearing by speaking in Chinese and have some of the best one-liners in any TV series. Smart and funny and filled with characters you can’t help but love. Mal is worth watching the entire show. Wash, his Hawaiian shirts, and the rest are just the icing on the cake.

When the show was cancelled half way through its first season, Joss sought to wrap up the story lines in Serenity, a widely released feature film that was much more violent and lacked so much of the heart that I loved in Firefly. But it still had to be watched because you have to find out what happens.  Right?

Jess, this is all your fault. Yours and Joss’s. So maybe you’re both in good company.

Wishing I was in Mal’s company until next time. -LJ

Friday Favorite – Castle

While I am a fan of castles in general, this is not a blog all about old-school housing structures. Nope this is about one of my other favorites: Castle, the TV show starring Nathan Fillion.

I think ABC is trying to redeem itself in my eyes after cancelling Pushing Daisies. Of course, nothing really compares to the Pie Maker, Chuck, and Olive on PD, and Castle isn’t exactly a similar show. But it is quite amazing!

Castle, which first aired in March of this year, follows Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion, who is one handsome man, if I do say so), a best-selling mystery author who has just killed off his main character. In the pilot he is called in by the police chief to investigate two murders that copycat killings in his books. He’s paired up with Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), who quite obviously can’t stand having him around. But by the end of the pilot, Castle has sweet-talked the chief into letting him tag along with Beckett, who he is basing his next character on.

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While the relationship between Castle and Beckett is amusing and so obviously going to turn romantic at some point, the really amazing part of the show is Castle’s relationship with his mother–an immature partier, who spanned the globe looking for a bad review of her son’s book just to make sure he stayed humble–and his daughter Alexis–a non-angsty teenager, who really has her life together, despite a weathly father, absent mother, and crazy grandmother. Castle and Alexis together are the most fun to watch. I loved the episode about nannies in which Alexis asks her dad why he never hired a nanny for her. He tells her he was her nanny and the episode ends with him looking at a picture of them at the park when she was young. But they’re not always sentimental moments. There’s laugh out loud ones like the laser tag game they shared in episode 5.

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Jess B. asked me if I wanted to watch this with her when the first episode aired. After all, we already get together every Monday night to write. Now we write from 8-9 and watch Castle from 9-10. It’s become a tradition rather quickly. One I don’t want to end, even for the summer hiatus.

If you haven’t given this show a watch, I recommend you do! ABC on Monday nights. If you miss it now, don’t worry. It’s scheduled to arrive on dvd in September.

Of course, as a mystery writer, I have to love watching a show about another writer. But even if I didn’t have to love it, I probably would anyway.

Thinking that there will probably be more Friday Favorites about Nathan Fillion until next time. -LJ