A supercut to celebrate Firefly's 10 Year Anniversary, warming up for the big reunion at Comic-Con this Friday. First featured on Pajiba.com
What the heck is Firefly??
The show blended elements from the space opera and Western genres, depicting humanity's future in a manner different from most contemporary science fiction programs in that there are no large space battles. Firefly takes place in a multi-cultural future, primarily a fusion of Occidental and Chinese cultures, where there is a significant division between the rich and poor. As a result of the Sino-American Alliance, Mandarin Chinese is a common second language; it is used in advertisements, and characters in the show frequently use Chinese words as curses. According to the DVD commentary on the episode "Serenity", this was explained as being the result of China and the United States being the two superpowers that expanded into space.
The show also features slang not used in contemporary culture, such as adaptations of modern words, or new words altogether. For example, "shiny" is frequently used in a similar manner as the real world slang "cool". Written and spoken Chinese as well as Old West dialect are also employed. As one reviewer noted: "The dialogue tended to be a bizarre purée of wisecracks, old-timey Western-paperback patois, and snatches of Chinese".
Tim Minear and Joss Whedon pointed out two scenes that, they believed, articulated the mood of the show exceptionally clearly. One scene is in the original pilot "Serenity", when Mal is eating with chopsticks and a Western tin cup is by his plate; the other is in "The Train Job" pilot, when Mal is thrown out of a holographic bar window. The DVD set's "making-of" documentary explains the series' distinctive frontispiece (wherein Serenity soars over a herd of horses) as Whedon's attempt to capture "everything you need to understand about the series in five seconds".
One of the struggles that Whedon had with Fox was the tone of the show, especially with the main character Malcolm Reynolds. Fox pressured Whedon to make Mal more "jolly", as they feared he was too dark in the original pilot, epitomized by the moment he suggests he might "space" Simon and River, throwing them out of the airlock to die. In addition, Fox was not happy that the show involved the "nobodies" who "get squished by policy" instead of the actual policy makers.