On Saturday and Sunday of New York Comic Con, the stakes get higher and the lines get longer as big studios, like Marvel, WB, and 20th Century Fox, bring out their movie and TV stars to sign autographs and appear on panels about their upcoming blockbusters and fall TV hits. You can catch the pilot of Fox’s Lucifer and CBS’ Supergirl based on the DC Comics properties, or decided to kick old school with several reunions of shows and movies, including Clueless, All That, and two masterpieces of nerdy TV that made my list.
In this case, the strength of an episode like “Trash” lies not in its ingenuity, but in its parallel storytelling structure to that of “Ariel”. Whereas the latter episode dealt with heavy emotions and important character growth in the midst of its central heist, the former is much more comfortable leaving the heaviness of the last two episodes by the wayside and having a bit of fun. The audience has been here before with these characters though, organizing an important heist that carries a fair amount of danger, and as such the writing doesn’t have to put in as much legwork to make it work. Everyone is already familiar with Saffron, for better and for worse, and has experienced the set up and execution of a theft while the organizer recites the steps via voiceover.
For the majority of the first season, Firefly is content to steer clear of the more overtly futuristic qualities of the world it inhabits. The planets Serenity lands on to conduct business are in the outlying areas of the universe and even the more modern locations are still very behind the times due to their rural settings.
River Tam (Summer Glau) is the last character introduced in the Firefly pilot, but she is the first character who appears in “Objects in Space”. Up to this point (with the exception of gunning down three baddies with her eyes closed in), River has been comic relief and a human MacGuffin for plot purposes. If Simon hadn’t rescued her, he wouldn’t have joined Serenity, and there would be no overarching story for Firefly. However, “Objects in Space” shows how important River is to the crew of Serenity and the show as a whole.
Spending two hours in the world of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing inspires envy in his seemingly palatial abode, as well as delight at his effortless, carefree adaptation of an equally effortless and carefree Shakespearean comedy. There’s mistaken identity, slapstick, swooning romance, and giddy farce, as you would expect from any revival, modern or otherwise.