Once in a while there is actually a TV series that is worth watching every episode of, and indeed watching them repeatedly. And wouldn't you know it, the network that aired it (FOX) canceled the show before it had even been on the air eight weeks. "Firefly" is a remarkably fun space western (the premise being that space is the final frontier, and it runs like life out on the old frontier) that is now available on DVD at a reasonable price, and due to the cult following of the show, it even managed to be made into a movie this fall, named after the spaceship itself--- Serenity.
Josh Whedon is the creator of this innovative drama and it is crammed full of interesting characters (a teen age psychic named River whose brain has been altered, or a macho gunman named Jayne!), and also interesting plot twists. One of the most interesting features of the series is that the crew of this ship includes a chaplain-- called Shepherd. He brings Bible ideas into the story, a storyline which already includes both pathos and humour as well as enough action to make it dramatic. One of the themes explored with some consistency is--- if the government of the universe is a renegade Alliance, then are fugitives and smugglers the real good guys here? The answer is in fact yes. Another theme explored is the role of women, particularly prostitutes in a frontier society. The soundtrack takes us back to the old west, but the old west was never as wild or wildly interesting as this show. Perhaps someday networks will recognize quality when they see it, and bother to put their p.r. behind quality programming. In the meantime we may be thankful that this show is available on DVD.