I can't believe I'm just now doing this. It should have been months ago, when I first saw it. Firefly is a sci-fi adventure show created by Joss Whedon, creative mind behind the two hit series' "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel." Breaking away from modern, satirical horror (kinda), Whedon has moved into sci-fi, and follows in the footsteps of George Lucas in many ways...the good Lucas who made "The Empire Strikes Back," not the alien clone who dreamed up JarJar. The setting is 500 years into the future. China and America were the two major superpowers when Earth went into the great beyond, and after cross-culture colonization, human cultures are a fluid mixture of East and West, with a spattering of other dominant cultures (I saw a few burquas in the series). A few years ago, a war shook the very foundations of the known galaxy. The Alliance was emerging as the sole, dominant power and aimed for the unification of known space. Many planets did not support this movement, as they disagreed with much of the Alliance and feared they would be silenced and subjugated without an independant government. Thus formed the Independance. The war raged across many worlds and killed millions. However, at a place called Serenity Valley, the Independance fought longer and harder than any such men in history, yet the superior numbers of the Alliance finally wore them down and they took the valley. The Independence surrendered a week later, giving the Alliance total control of all but a few, unregulated border worlds. Flash forward to the setting of the series. Former Seargent Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), one of the biggest war heroes of the Independence and the man who held together the troops at Serenity Valley, has managed to scrape himself together a good living, despite Alliance control. He and his most trusted war buddy, Zoë (Gina Torres), the only other survivor from their original unit, have bought themselves a spaceship, named Serenity. It's a Firefly class space transport. It may be old and not look like much, but to them, it's freedom. On their crew they have a twitchy, yet very skilled pilot, Wash (Alan Tudyk), an adorable, genious mechanic, Kaylee (Jewel Staite), and the hired muscle, Jayne (Adam Baldwin...no, he's not related to Alec or Billy). They also rent out their second shuttle to Inara Serra, a registered "companion" (read "prostitute"). During their first adventure of the series, they pick up a few more interesting characters as passengers, but take them on permanently after a few close calls form attachments. First is a skilled surgeon named Simon Tam (Sean Maher), who is on the run from the law after rescuing his prodigy sister, River (Summer Glau), from a top secret government brain program that experimented on highly gifted teens. They also pick up a "shepard" (preacher) called Book (Ron Glass). Throughout the series, the crew takes on missions from smuggling to theft to even a few legit jobs, and each episode shows not only an independant plot of high adventure and daring heroics (criminal though they may be) as well as long term character development. Kaylee and Simon develop an awkward romance, Jayne and River finally reconcile with each other after Jayne keeps suggesting they "dump her." Malcolm and Book have their disagreements, as Malcolm gave up on God after Serenity. Much like any other Joss Whedon series, each episode has an exciting adventure with some slower, more dramatic character developments. The setting itself is quite impressive, as well. Whedon took a cue from Lucas by giving all non-government ships a vehicles a "lived in" look. Serenity is an old ship and it shows. Most craft you see are a bit grimy and have had a few makeshift repairs between ports. Even Inara's elegant shuttle is only elegant on the inside. Another unique twist Whedon took was to actually show inertia and eliminate sound in space. All space scenes have only the sound of the music playing. Yet another twist to the world is its old western look and feel. People say "ain't," carry revolvers, and even the wardrobe is similar. Yet, at the same time, there is much Chinese influence, in both the music and the look. Chinese as a language is primarily used to bypass censors, but is spattered in for "flavor" and really adds character to the world. Long story short, this show is the bomb, and it got cancelled by Fox halfway through the first season. The entire boxed set is only $40 and they tend to fly off shelves. What kind of world do we live in that Enterprise has endured so long, yet this show dies? [/rant] I have not yet met a person who actually dislikes the show. One final tip, though. Don't give up on it until you've gotten through the fourth episode. The first three move a little slow (oh, and I'm counting the two-parter first episode as 1 episode).