Monday, February 20, 2006

Review – Finding Serenity

I was hoping that Finding Serenity, which is comprised of essays about Firefly, would be as good as the Pop Culture and Philosophy series. Alas, it is not.

Many essays seem to have been written by fanboys (and girls), so we have a way-too-long section of the book that is comprise of people who whine about the series being cancelled. Granted, the book came out post-cancellation and pre-movie, but still. Move on, people.

Another really annoying thing about the books is that there are way too many essays about feminism and the female mystique. Granted, this is a Joss Whedon show we are discussing, but there is little insight in the essays.

Also annoying are the comparisons to other shows (Star Trek, The Tick). While fans of those shows might find the essays amusing, for me the essays were dull and pointless.

The main problem with Finding Serenity is that the authors seem to be randomly chosen (even though the are not), whereas the Pop Culture and Philosophy books are written by, yep, people with backgrounds in philosophy. The Pop Culture and Philosophy essays make you think and reflect; Finding Serenity Essays don’t necessarily. Take, for example, Jewel Staite’s essay on her top 5 favorite memories of the show. While it is interesting to read, ultimately it just helps the book to look even more fanboy-ish. Perhaps that is what editor Jane Espenson intended, and I am wanting too much out of this book. But compared to the Pop Culture and Philosophy books, this collection of essays leaves much to be desired.

To be fair, there are good and perceptive essays in this book. Even some of the essays in the sections I wrote about above have interesting and amusing parts to them. I would recommend getting this book at you library, or reading it at B&N, rather than spending $17.95.

No Blasters rating: 2 out of 5 stars


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