/ 23 November 2004

The last few days I’ve been at the AAR/SBL meetings in San Antonio. Lots of work, lots of networking, lots of listening and reading. But you know what I’ll likely remember the most? The hours I spent relaxing, late at night, watching the DVD of the series Firefly. This is an amazing television show that wasn’t even allowed to complete an entire season. Written by Joss Whedon (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame), it’s a show that’s part western, part sci fi, but mostly an exquisite character study of a group of people growing into a small but very real community.

The show is wonderful, and I am so sad that it ended almost before it began. It looks like there is a movie in the works, but in the meantime I'm simply going to have to watch the episodes all over again. It's the kind of series that repays repeated viewings -- interesting characters, gorgeous music, fascinating sets, and so on. It also helps me feel my way through questions like "what would it be to be a small minority of folk trying to live in the midst of worlds dominated by an autocratic government?" and "how interesting might the margins be in a world dominated by a central alliance?" and so on. Unlike so much of mainstream television the show has strong women, a diverse cast, a regular religious presence, and so on. Sigh. I wish that there was enough of an alternative distribution network available that we could convince a network to keep on producing episodes.