A Firefly — or a bug with a Torch would also be called — is the name of a class of spaceship, and it is this spaceship that takes characters from all over the galaxy on a desperate mission to, well, survive. It is concentrated Joss Whedon, and it is awesome.
Favorite character: Jayne Cobb (played by Adam Baldwin). Although everyone on the ship is supposed to be a criminal, he’s the only who actually acts like it sometimes — and then you get to the planet where he’s their greatest hero. Occasionally plays comedic relief, but that’s not his main function on the show.
Favorite secondary character: This is a hard choice, since you have the regular cast, and then you have every one else, who have at most two episodes. My favorite one episode character will be revealed below, but I have to give props here to Christina Hendricks, who plays “Saffron”, Mal’s almost wife. This series gave her her first start, and without her, Mad Men wouldn’t have become such a runaway hit.
Favorite moment: Objects in Space. My absolute favorite character in the entire series is Jubal Early (Richard Brooks). He works so well with the rest of the cast that it’s a damned shame we don’t see him again. Also, +1000 points for using the name of a Civil War general and making him a black guy.
Why it’s here: It is concentrated Whedon.
Why it isn’t higher: It is concentrated Whedon. It’s too short. It is wrapped up okay with the movie, but there still should have been more. The “on-the-run-from-the-government” angle is, surprisingly, weak. I rarely felt the crew was in genuine danger (until Serenity); compare this to Farscape, which does this particular plot much better.