Firefly was an unexpectedly shortened series created by writer/director Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) that aired in the fall of 2002. The grassroots popularity of its limited run was able to spawn a highly enjoyable feature film shortly thereafter, Serenity. Though it all ended abruptly, there is much in the finished episodes to appreciate, and the complete series on DVD includes three excellent episodes that never aired.
The name of the series comes from the model of spaceship our protagonists travel in. It's an out-dated clunker full of problems but it's a comfortable mobile home that engineer Kaylee (Jewel Staite) affectionately maintains for a variety of passengers who fall in the enormous gap between government (a.k.a. Alliance) official and beggar on the fringe. Captained by Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion, Waitress), the crew flies from one smuggling or delivery job to the next, be they legal or not under Alliance rules, to maintain their independence. Their main objective is to keep food on the table, fuel in the tank, and to stay away from Reavers, hideous beings whose hunger for anything living is never satisfied. By staying on a planet too long they would end up on the Alliance's radar, or end up slaves to a system they don't wish to support, so purposeful vagabonds they are when we join them.
Continue reading: Firefly: The Complete Series Review