Have you checked out Syfy’s space bounty hunter drama Killjoys? Though the series’ pilot is a little clunky, the show is a lot of fun — and it’s doing a lot to fill the Firefly-shaped hole still festering away in my TV-loving heart.
Don’t get me wrong: Killjoys is not doing the exact same thing as Joss Whedon’s beloved cowboys-in-space drama, but it definitely lives in the same corner of the quirky sci-fi genre. Plus, given that there aren’t any Firefly reboots (that we know of) currently in the works, aren’t you willing to try anything to get your Firefly fix? Here are five ways Killjoys will ease your Firefly heartbreak. Or at least make you forget about it for a while.
The jokes are quirky and self-aware.
Killjoys hails from the creative mind of Michelle Lovretta, aka the creator of Lost Girl. If you’ve never checked out the Canadian succubus series, do yourself a favor and find it on Netflix now. Lovretta obviously has an ear for the snarky quip, as evidenced by the joke-a-minute pace of both Lost Girl and Killjoys.
And, like Whedon, Lovretta has an organic way of weaving real-world colloquialisms, space-age situations, and a pinch of meta that manages to make me laugh without draining the drama from the scene.
It’s all about family.
All of Whedon’s shows have family at the center — both of the biological and found varieties. Killjoys is no different. At its center, we have three characters: Dutch, John, and D’avin. Dutch and John have been working together forever, trust each other implicitly, and were there for one another when presumably no one else was. (Kind of like Mal and Zoe.) When John’s estranged brother, D’avin, comes into the picture in the Killjoys pilot, the show has another (no less valid) version of family to explore. (Kind of like River and Simon.)
How these three characters maneuver their relationships with one another and as a family is one of the most compelling aspects of Killjoys thus far.
Dutch has an Inara-like backstory.
Badass bounty hunter Dutch totally has an Inara thing going on. Though the characters are wildly different when it comes to the facade they present the world, they both hide deep and complex secrets concerning their pasts. Like Inara, Dutch was trained in some kind of fancy school — a legacy she seems desperate to distance herself from. Though we still don’t know much about Dutch’s training as a child assassin, the glimpses we have seen suggest an elite program where Dutch was trained to be both an effective killer and social chameleon — both vital skills to have in the ever-dangerous Quad.
There’s a shadowy, all-powerful corporation looming over our heroes.
Who doesn’t love a mundanely evil corporation to keep the stakes ominously high? In Killjoys, said villainous force is literally called “The Company,” and — though we don’t know much about it yet — we’re guessing they’re up to some shady dealings. Just like Firefly’s “The Alliance.” As with Firefly’s Serenity crew, our Killjoys gang more-or-less follows the rules of the corporate overlords, but is not loyal to them. This creates a narrative space to explore nuanced moral dilemmas and questions of allegiance.
It uses space to explore economic disparity.
One of the coolest comparisons between these two shows? How they both use a fictional system of planets to explore economic disparity. On Firefly, the further you get from the Central Planets, the harsher your life becomes. Citizens of these fringe planets sacrifice the prosperity, education, and opportunity of life on the Core worlds for relative freedom from Alliance control. The world of Killjoys is still taking shape, but it seems to have a similar set-up. There are those (mostly the rich and powerful) who believe in the rule of The Company and then there are those (the less fortunate) who see and rebel against the disparity of the current system. I can’t wait to explore more of this world.