Tag Archives: Firefly

Four on the Floor #15: TV’s Best Theme Songs

The Situation: We’re doing TV theme songs. The catchier, the better. Simple.

The Criteria: These might be the most arbitrary criteria I’ve ever cooked up for a Four on the Floor list. I’m looking at “theme songs” , that means music and lyrics. Sure, that means that I’ll have to ignore instrumental gems like MacGuyver, Magnum PI, and Simon and Simon; I’ll also be ignoring themes that only include narration–sorry Babylon 5, A-Team, Twilight Zone, and Star Trek (well, Enterprise had a theme song…but, really?). I’m also going to stick with non-animated shows. I could probably pick about ten really kick-ass cartoon theme songs ( “Ten on the Table” anyone?). Finally, I’m disqualifying certain “classic” theme songs, like Gilligan’s Island and The Addams Family. Saying you like the theme to Gilligan’s Island is like saying you like Bugs Bunny…duh!

1. The Greatest American Hero

A theme song so hip, so edgy that Jerry Seinfeld–the Nineties poster child for hip and edgy–stole it.

2. Jack of All Trades

If you don’t love the theme song to this show starring Bruce Campbell as a Jeffersonian secret agent, then you hate Jeffersonian America…and the French win.

3. Firefly

Hey look! A Joss Whedon show. I wonder whose blog this is….

4. Psych

What? Don’t you judge me! This song is as catchy, up-beat and harmlessly infectious as the show it introduces. You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?

Four on the Floor #10: Best Pilots on This, or Any, Planet

The Situation: I don’t really like to fly. Unlike most people with a similar distaste for air travel, this has nothing to do with a fear that the plane will crash. Actually, I have complete and total faith in the science of flight, believing that physics will get me where I’m going alive and well. I just don’t like being cooped up in a tiny space for three, four, five, or six hours at a time. But, if any of these four were at the controls, I might re-evaluate my misgivings.

The Criteria: There are a lot of pretty cool pilots floating around the annals of pop culture (stop giggling…I said “ANNALS”). And each and every one of them could have been on this list. But, I had to pick four. And, being the geek that I am, I had to pick these four. That doesn’t mean that I don’t respect what Maverick and Goose did in Top Gun, or that Ted Striker single-handedly landed that 707 in Airplane!, or the flying that Steven Hiller and Russel Casse did in Independence Day.

1. Hoban “Wash” Washburne

He might be a spastic, plastic-dinosaur-loving goofball most of the time, but put Wash behind the controls of Serenity (or anything, for that matter) and he really is “a leaf on the wind.” Wash is always ready to do the right thing, even if it means leaving the safety of the cockpit and shooting a tiny little handgun.  Plus, the fact that he’s married to an Amazon like Zoe gives hope to spastic, plastic-dinosaur-loving goofballs everywhere.

2. Han Solo

Everyone makes a big deal about Luke Skywalker blowing up the Death Star.  But, Han Solo’s flown through an asteroid field, played chicken with Imperial Star Destroyers, and made the Kessel Run in under twelve parsecs, all without the benefit of Luke’s reliance on “hokey religions.”  Given the choice, I’d rather trust my life to Han’s skill and experience than to Luke’s abilities with the Force.

3. H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock

Since most of the A-Team’s jobs didn’t take place more than a day or two’s drive from Los Angeles, it’s easy to forget that Murdock was a pilot.  In fact, on more than one occasion, Hannibal called him the best chopper pilot in ‘Nam.  Whether he was actually insane, or just really good at faking it, Murdock was an Ace in the air, and it didn’t matter if he was flying a chopper, a biplane, or a Cessna.

4. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace

Sure, she has commitment issues and, probably, a bit of a death wish, but Starbuck is a damned good Viper pilot, and she’s relentless in a dogfight.  Plus, I’m such a sucker for a dame who can out-fight, out-swear, and out-drink any man in the room.  The fact that this dame happens to be a stogie-chomping blonde is a bonus.

Just Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Some brilliant soul combined two of my favorite things on Earth–Green Day and Summer Glau.  Check it out:

“I am a leaf on the wind…”

You are Wash.

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Not only are you a great pilot, you are also the joker of the group. Your devotion to your wife is admirable, though you sometimes feel insecure. Thank god you shaved off your moustache.

Which Firefly character are you?

Welcome to the Gorram ‘Verse…

Check out graphic designer Geoffrey Mandel’s Firefly/Serenity-related work:

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He’s done a load of other TV and sci-fi related work, too. Apparently he wrote and illustrated the book of Star Trek star charts–which, sadly, I own. I wonder if we could convince him to give the same treatment to everyone’s favorite sci-fi western.

Four on the Floor #8: The Best Rides That Don’t Exist

The Situation: You need to get from Point A to Point B and, let’s face it, you want to do it in style. Sure, there are plenty of pretty sweet rides out there–personally, I’m partial to Dodge Chargers and Ford Mustangs–but, some of the most kick-ass ways to get around just don’t exist in the real world.

The Criteria: It’s pretty simple: a vehicle that doesn’t exist or an existing vehicle that’s been modified beyond the capabilities of current technology. Which means that, as awesome as the General Lee is, it was still just a regular old ’69 Charger. For my own purposes, I’m also disqualifying the TARDIS because I’ve always felt it was a tad bit more than a regular ship.

1. Doc Brown’s De Lorean (Back to the Future I, II, & III)

I’m too young to remember the original De Lorean, but just the right age to have been obsessed with the time machine that Emmett L. Brown built into one. A regular De Lorean might have been cool, but slap on a flux capacitor, grab some plutonium and get that puppy up to 88 mph and it’s about 85% cooler. It’s a car and a time machine…and it could fly!

2. K.I.T.T. (Knight Rider)

The idea of a talking sports car that fights crime could only have been born in the Eighties, a.k.a. The Era of the Most Awesome Storytelling Ever. As a kid, there was nothing better than the thought that there’s a car out there that could drive itself, Turbo Boost over bad guys, and help you do your math homework.

3. Serenity (Firefly & Serenity)

She might not look like much on the outside–in fact, Serenity kind of looks like a bigger version of the tinfoil ducks that fancy restaurants put your leftovers in–but there’s just something about her. She doesn’t have any weapons, but she’s got heart. And, as spaceships go, she’s the closest you’re going to get to a “home.” Plus, she has a damned cute mechanic.

4. The Millennium Falcon (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi)

Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve had a lifelong love affair with this ship. Not only did the Falcon make the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs, but she’ll make .5 past lightspeed. She’s the muscle car of sci-fi, with enough firepower and balls to go head-to-head against an entire squadron of TIE fighters or an Imperial Star Destroyer. The fact that the Falcon is held together with spit and good intentions and tends to break-down at the least opportune times just adds to her character.

Can’t Stop the Signal–My 10 Favorite Quotes from Firefly

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Okay, I have no idea why, but in the last few days I’ve gotten a severe case of Firefly on the brain.  So, just for the heck of it, I’ve put together a list of my 10 favorite quotes from Joss Whedon’s sci-fi western.  It wasn’t easy…as with Whedon’s other shows, I could probably have come up with 10 favorite quotes for each character (but hey, a guy’s gotta sleep and eat).  There are two rules: (1) the quotes had to come from Firefly and not Serenity, and (2) they had to be single quotes, not dialogue (okay, I cheated on this one, but only because #3 is something of an in-joke).

10. “Take me Captain.  Take me hard.” –Zoe, “War Stories”

When Mal and Wash are kidnapped and tortured, Wash insists that the only way he and Zoe can be happy as husband and wife is if Zoe sleeps with Mal. 

9. “I love my captain.” –Kaylee, “Serenity” (the pilot, not the movie)

Kaylee does love her captain…and because she loves Mal, so do we.

8. “To Jayne!  The box-dropping, man-ape-gone-wrong-thing.” –Simon, “Jaynestown”

Simon’s one of those characters that grew on me the more I watched the show.  His drunken toast to Jayne almost makes up for not making a move on Kaylee sooner (seriously, dude, what the hell?).

7. “I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you.” –Mal, “Our Mrs. Reynolds”

Just when you think seeing Mal and Jayne playing a married couple (with Mal as the missus, nonetheless) couldn’t be funnier, Mal swears by his “pretty floral bonnet.”

6. “Were there monkeys?  Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got lose?” –Mal, “The Train Job”

Monkeys (space or otherwise) are always hy-larious!

5. “If you take sexual advantage of her, you’re going to burn in a very special level of hell.  A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater.” –Shepherd Book, “Our Mrs. Reynolds”

This is the line that made me a fan of Book.

4. “Also, I can kill you with my brain.” –River, “Trash”

Maybe she can, maybe she can’t…but Jayne probably won’t be taking any chances (and even if River can’t kill us with her brain, she does a damned good job with a gun, an axe, and her bare feet).

3. “Wash, tell me I’m pretty.”

    “Were I unwed, I would take you in a manly fashion.”

    “‘Cause I’m pretty?”

    “‘Cause you’re pretty.” — Kaylee and Wash, “Heart of Gold”

The only exception to Rule #2.  Why?  Because it’s Wash and Kaylee.  ‘Nuff said.

2. “We gotta go to the crappy town where I’M a hero!” –Wash, “Jamestown”

I have no idea why I love this quote…I just do.

1. “I’ll be in my bunk.” –Jayne, “War Stories”

This quote sums up the character of Jayne Cobb better than anything else I can think of.  Plus, it’s useful in so many situations (and people who’ve never seen the show know exactly what you’re getting at).

I Love My Captain

Mal: Well, look at this!  Appears we got here just in the nick of time.  What does that make us?

Zoe: Big damn heroes, sir!

Mal: Ain’t we just?

The good folks over at Whedonesque posted a link to this video (most likely put together by a Browncoat) and I thought I’d help spread it a little further:

Marvel at how Joss Whedon always manages to get his leading men to take their shirts off…wonder how a cast can bleed so much and still survive…gaze at the glory of Jewel Staite and Summer Glau…stare in horror at Alan Tudyk’s porn-stache.