This Joss Whedon guy is apparently highly praised, but from watching the complete series of "Firefly," I'm more inclined to see him as a nice guy with mediocre talent, who creates semi-ambitious projects and is lucky to find great actors to support his cult following.Yea, "Firefly" is his worst. All his other stuff is varying degrees of good to pure awesomeness.
About half-way through the first season, the series shifts from a space melodrama to a space comedy (and a not a very funny one, at that) and this shift is so very jarring. It's as if they had no idea what they were getting into with this series.
It's equal parts comedy and drama right from the start.
Nope. I think your memory might be a bit fuzzy. Sure, the characters of Wash and Jayne provide a few moments of laughter; however, the tonal shift of the series completely changes around episodes 5 and 6. The previous episodes were very serious and somewhat foreboding, emphasizing Mal Reynold's pragmatic/tough disposition and previous war history. Then it quickly turns into a show of one-liners and that River girl (by the way, putting in a character that is "shrouded in mystery" that constantly gyrates and moans always annoys the hell out of me!!) running away from the "shepherd" because his hair looked funny.
Seriously, it's as obvious as if they were to insert a laugh-track to the show...
I'm in the middle of watching/reviewing it as we speak, and being four episodes in it's very much equal parts comedy and drama from the start. The harshness of Mal is always on display, but so is his heart and so is his wisecracking nature. That can basically be said for every character, from day one they show dual sides of themselves, one side that is serious and faces the hardships of life with the same seriousness, but then they have their other side, that cracks jokes and laughs at what life decides to toss their way.