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Watching TV with Your Kids Over the Holidays? Try Firefly.

Watching Firefly with my Daughter is a gift this season. Read More

Best show ever cancelled early

Hands down--this is my favorite TV show, although FOX unfortunately didn't stick with it. Firefly cast members are always a big hit at ComicCon, even a decade later. I have watched this series many times, and the 'family' aspect the develops is definitely prominent. The DVD 'extras' make it apparent that the cast/crew were extremely fond of one another and their relationships went far beyond the show. My friends and I still hope for Firefly to come back to TV/Cable once again. Nathan P--has stated many times he would love to do it, one can hope anyway.

I seem to remember Jayne--being double crossed by the alliance, and then helping to make the escape, not him choosing to change his mind, until he found out he wasn't going to be paid etc??

Anyway, all the best for 2012. Hopefully my daughter will get to appreciate this show as well when she's a bit older, although I better think of a good narrative to help with her understanding how "companions" are high class prostitutes that help give the Firefly 'credibility'. Did you tackle that one yet?

thanks for your comment

Did tackle that one (about the companion). She sorta shrugged and wanted to put off the particulars for a while. Truth be told, I'd rather have her thinking about that stuff than shows like "Say Yes to the Dress." At least there's historical precedence..

And yeah, you're right about Jayne. Still, I harbor a sweet spot for him ever since seeing the Mr. Baldwin as the big guy in "My Bodyguard." That tends to cloud my memory.

By the way, have you noticed that when you watch the show enough you start to talk like them. It has a certain poetical ring to it.

Have a great holiday!

Steve Schlozman

How old is your daughter? I

How old is your daughter? I have two, 8 & 10, and I am looking forward to introducing them to Buffy and Firefly. I had been thinking about starting with Buffy, but the more I think about it now, I think that Firefly would be much easier to start with. I can cope with discussing "companions" with my daughters, I think, better than I could deal with "why not to have sex with your boyfriend aside from the fact that he might turn evil" at this age. Our intro to Kaylee might be interesting, though....

Browncoat shout out from

Browncoat shout out from India! It's always nice to see something Firefly related pop up every now and again.
Loved reading this and it covers arguably the most important aspect of Firefly - its all about family, Mal's little crazy family. And I wonder if the Joss realised the prophetic nature of his words "there's no place I can be, since I found Serenity".
Glad you and your daughter found this to bond over and you are a lucky man to have a kid who is not like most today and is able to watch, connect and learn from something like this.
Happy Holidays, cheers.

Firefly also works when you watch it alone

I recently noticed that when my life gets complicated, I tend to rewatch Firefly. It is one of the very few shows that I can watch over and over again without getting tired of it (sadly, unlike Buffy, even though I do love it). There is something to the moral complexity that seems to help me work through real life situations in a way that no other media can.


It's like comfort food, without the calories. :)

NICE analysis!

Great article, Steve. I also wondered how old your daughter is. My son is 10.5 and really spends most of his time reading/watching non-fiction. That's great, but I also want him to learn to love fiction as well. Maybe I'll gently tear him away from Hawking and point him towards Whedon.

How old?

My older daughter is 11 and darn close to 12 (about a month). She's likes to tell me that content is only appropriate if she knows what it means (or doesn't know what it means, depending)

I'm delighted so many love this show. I often wonder why it was cancelled...wonder if it would have fared better on cable.

Course, having it only go so far allows us to celebrate it as a package with clearly demarcated beginning and end.

And I agree with the Buffy comment - Buffy's a great show but lacks the complexity of Firefly.

Thanks, everyone. Have a wonderful holiday

I am a paediatric nurse and

I am a paediatric nurse and for a long time I've believed that television and movies had the potential to be conversation-starters and a bridge to discussing real-life issues with children. I have not watched the full complement of 'Firefly' episodes, but have the series on dvd, awaiting my attention. As a Whedonite I have always appreciated Joss Whedon's ability to present complex situations, thoughts and emotions in an accessible manner.

I do agree that the majority of the 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' episodes have lost that accessibility and cultural relevance over time, but whenever I see the show in re-runs, there are a few key episodes that have stood the test of time. Therapeutically, the episode 'The Body', dealing with the death of Buffy's mother, has always seemed to me a perfect way to initiate discussion of death, dying and grief with an adolescent population. Specifically with this episode, the character of Anya verbalizes with heartbreaking accuracy how a child could react to the death of a friend or loved one. If you haven't seen this episode, or were never into the series, you will find it in the fifth season. I've watched that episode over a dozen times over the years and Anya's speech still manages to devastate me.

How old?

My older daughter is 11 and darn close to 12 (about a month). She's likes to tell me that content is only appropriate if she knows what it means (or doesn't know what it means, depending)

I'm delighted so many love this show. I often wonder why it was cancelled...wonder if it would have fared better on cable.

Course, having it only go so far allows us to celebrate it as a package with clearly demarcated beginning and end.

And I agree with the Buffy comment - Buffy's a great show but lacks the complexity of Firefly.

Thanks, everyone. Have a wonderful holiday

How old?

My older daughter is 11 and darn close to 12 (about a month). She's likes to tell me that content is only appropriate if she knows what it means (or doesn't know what it means, depending)

I'm delighted so many love this show. I often wonder why it was cancelled...wonder if it would have fared better on cable.

Course, having it only go so far allows us to celebrate it as a package with clearly demarcated beginning and end.

And I agree with the Buffy comment - Buffy's a great show but lacks the complexity of Firefly.

Thanks, everyone. Have a wonderful holiday

Firefly thanks

thank you for the recommendation, will definitely check it out. I'm in Australia and hadn't heard of it. I have a 12yo daughter whom I think would enjoy it.

Firefly and daughters

I hope by now (May 2012), you've managed to watch the series.

I only discovered it in January 2012, having seen Serenity in 2008; and I'm totally hooked. I don't normally rave over scifi shows (or any other actually), but this is so different.

I sat and watched it, first with my 12 year old daughter, and then, with a little editing, with my 10 year old daughter. She has, subsequently watched the whole thing herself on her iPod . . . many, many times.

The beauty of Firefly is that it stimulates questions. Questions about morality, religion, family values, trust, loyalty, sex and love; bringing to the forefront, the questions that will arise in other ways as they grow towards their teenage years. It gives me a wonderful opportunity to engage in real life values, and open discussion. After all, we're talking about the Serenitys crew aren't we? Or are we?

I only have a tiny DVD collection (12 DVDs). Firefly is one of them, and Serenity another.

Coincidentally, one of my other DVDs is a Japanese film called 'Grave of the Fireflies'. Although a cartoon (Studio Ghibli), this is one of the most emotive films I've ever watched, and again, is around the subject of family. It does, however, make me cry . . . every time. Recommended.

Firefly is indeed excellent;

Firefly is indeed excellent; my 2nd favorite show, in fact. My favorite is another 10 year old series, Babylon 5. Once you get used to the idea that you are watching a 5 season plotline, where a secondary plot from the third episode turns out to be a major turning point in the third season, it is great stuff, and presents a more realistic version of the future than Star Trek ever did.

If you have Netflix Streaming

I watched some of the series last weekend on SciFy and noticed it is on Netflix streaming so I will be watching (or trying to watch!) the whole series this weekend.

Zoe in absentia

Why did you choose a picture with only eight crew members? Where is Zoe? Does this say something about your unconscious fears?

And have you ever been with a warrior woman?

I think Buffy is a great role

I think Buffy is a great role model for young girls. Sure, you would have see and explain some messy stuff, but that's the growth that comes with life, the same journey that Buffy took.

I have a theory, talk to children like they are adults, they will absorb what is appropriate for themselves when they are ready.

In my theory, I should have

In my theory, I should have said that we should talk to children like adults, and give them responsibilities like adults. They will naturally handle what they can.

Read the Entertainment Weekly episode reviews

Found here -

When the Science Channel ran Firefly earlier this year, one of the TV writers at EW did post-showing reviews of the episodes as a way to apologize for being dismissive and inattentive to teh show when it originally aired. Reviews are very well written and insightful. Highly recommended. All episodes that FOX originally aired are reviewed; for some reasons, the ones that FOX did not air but were released on DVD didn't get the same treatment even though the SciChannel did air them.

<em>Firefly</em> as a gift

Like many fans of Firefly, I've given several copies of the series as gifts to friends and family members because it is so good. This started when I loaned my copy to my father, but he never watched it. I got it back from him, then GAVE him a copy for Christmas a couple of years ago. I said "Watch the first disc - if you don't love it, there's something wrong with you." He burned through the entire set in three days. He's since loaned his copy out to others for their enjoyment.

Give the gift of Firefly! Joss gave it to us, we really should spread it around.


I've never understood the adulation Firefly receives. The space-western motif is stupid, the idea that a guild of whores would be respectable in a colonial setting is laughable and their fight against the 'evil' empire is very unoriginal (lol, along with the uber combat chick). And don't get me started on how utterly unbelievable the space zombies are (murderously psychotic yet able to cooperate with each other and operate high tech equipment?). The only thing going for it is witty dialog and complicated characters and even there it has problems.

I realize compared to other sci-fi series it's sophisticated but that is low praise indeed.

But what do you really think?

Hey there...first, certainly the show isn't worth that kind of rancor. Reserve that for things like world hunger and war. Nevertheless, I'm delighted to hear a dissenting view. We can't all love the same stuff, and if this show doesn't work for you, for goodness sakes don't watch it! I do feel compelled, though, to say that space as a western frontier isn't that strange at all. It IS a frontier, and there are countless science fiction movies and stories painting it that way. And companions, or escots, or or whatever we want to call them, are all over literature from both high and low brow circles. The irony, I'd say, is that the desire to "speak your mind" is exactly what the folks on Firefly fought and continue to fight for. Of course it's outlandish-- it's science fiction and fantasy. Speculative fiction is always going to seem strange to some, and to say that comparing it to other sci-fi and fantasy is a low bar makes me think this kind of stuff isn't your cup of tea. So be it. Watch other things with your kids, read books with them, but as a shrink I'd say that if your kid likes something and you don't (and this isn't about your comment or even really about my being a shrink) make sure you give them the space to like it. You'll have other battles with your teenager. Don't go to the mat over something like firefly. You'll waste some valuable points with your kids that you're gonna need later.

Have a great New Years!

Steve Schlozman


I admire your restrained, reasoned response to 'Firefly'. >:)

One point of a psychological/philosophical nature:
Science Fiction has _zero_ overlap with fantasy, and
in a world flying into the future as fast as ours,
making that distinction has growing survival value.
Whedon's tech advisors followed the SF rule of only
making one 'impossible' assumption: FTL travel;
Everything else is scary close to being reality, as
opposed to fantasy, which attempts to avoid reality.

One question: When your daughter's daughter is 12,
and wants her mother's permission to immerse her-
self in a virtual reality version of Firefly,
what will be your advice ?

Read your book

Enjoyed your book, definitely a different spin from the 'cowboy-esque' survival zombie fiction. So I'm pondering how the hippocampus still functions properly without frontal lobes helping to focus attention, and if Zombie memories are nearly entirely visual given your descriptions in the book? Also, do zombies actually sleep and reconsolidate memories as well? ANSD is certainly an interesting take, definitely more of a classic take--not anything like the version of the virus presented in 28days/weeks, eh?

Fare thee well-

love the show

I had heard good comments about Firefly and borrowed the series on DVD from the library. Gave the series (on DVD) to my daughter for Christmas and the Serenity movie dvd to my son. We can't get enough of it and have watched it all several times.

This series reminds me of the Harry Potter books--our family has had some fabulous conversations about good/evil, right/wrong after reading HP. This series sparks other good conversations about responsibility, independence, the role of government.

As much as I love the character of Inara, I have to say that the concept of a "guild of whores" making prostitutes high class and respectable...the more I think about how Inara's occupation is presented, the more I think it is a sad male fantasy. "Yeah...whores that are always clean and disease-free...they get to pick their clients so obviously she would pick nasty pimps involved so I don't have to feel guilty about victimizing the women...and the whores are drop-dead gorgeous and they even have great sex with gorgeous women clients...I'll be in my bunk." But like you said, it has started some decent conversations about sex and how you choose to use your body...and what it means to rent it out. The fantasy aspect of it--so perfect! so guilt free! so CLEAN!--is part of our conversations.

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Who's the psychologist in the house?

My wife is a recently qualified counsellor/therapist. She's read the books and done the bookwork, but doesn't apply the knowledge at home.

Why is this relevant? Firefly.

I only discovered Firefly in January 2012, having seen Serenity in 2008. I never knew they were associated up to that point. Here in the UK, we never had Firefly on TV, so the awareness is very low.

For me, this is the finest TV series ever devised - in any genre.

As a point of 'principle', my wife refuses to watch it because I recommended it (issue eh?). However, two of my three daughters have watched it (many times), and we have so much fun because of it. Even my 7 year old (who hasn't seen it due to her age, 7), joins in the 'verse conversations over the dinner table, interjecting "I swallowed a bug", or "I can kill you with my brain" at totally inappropriate moments.

The older girls have written therir own stories, have created characters, and expanded on the "Notes on a fridge on a space ship" series created back in 2004. They sing Mal's Song (look on You Tube) in the car, and they all want Jaynes Cunning Hat for their birthdays in July and August (so do I). The oldest two want to sing Mal's Song on Britain's Got Talent next year (but can't get permission from the writers), and the two oldest ones have created posters for our local 'Can't Stop The Serenity' event in June.

Our postman, and a friend who's a policeman, have borrowed my DVDs and have recommended everyone they know, to watch it. They've also bought their own copies too.

The Firefly family issues allow me to discuss many aspects of day-to-day life, such as morality, loyalty, trust, love, and even sex. This definitely strengthens the bonds, and leads to open discussion on important subjects.

As for mum? I know her curiosity's been stimulated, but she flatly refuses to be involved. Our dinner table is like that on on Serenity, and it's lots of fun. Pity mum doesn't want to join in.

Her loss . . . and to a certan extent, ours too.

Comments on "Watching TV with Your Kids Over the Holidays? Try Firefly." | Psychology Today

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Steven Schlozman, M.D., is an Associate Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry for Harvard Medical School.


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