Firefly and Western Literature
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Archive for August 2008

I Swear By My Pretty Floral Bonnet

August 31, 2008

At first glance, the episode “Our Mrs. Reynolds” only nods toward western motifs, with the teaser containing the only explicitly western elements. A gang of desperadoes on horseback surrounds a wagon (or, in this case, barge) pulled by a team of horses as it crosses a stream—a familiar enough western moment. The couple on the […]

Firefly as Postwestern

August 29, 2008

From Neil Campbell: In so many ways the postings and comments generated around the points made about Fireflyhelp me to further explore what I mean when I refer to the show as an example of the postwestern. People watching it cannot help but refer to the intertextual fabric of Whedon’s work – the manner through […]

Gunfight at a Makeshift Corral

August 26, 2008

If westerns themes and conventions were submerged or treated metaphorically (as more general meditations on the relationship between civilization and savagery) in some of the earlier episodes of Firefly, the episode “Safe” returns western conventions to the forefront, as the plot involves cattle rustling, posses, outlaws, a shootout, and a just in the nick-of-time rescue […]

The Good, the Bad, and Melinda Clarke

August 21, 2008

Picking up on a comment that Neil made earlier about the presence of actress Melinda Clarke in both Firefly and CSI: Crime Scene Investigations (which he describes as being, like Firefly, a postwestern), I took a look back at one of the episodes of CSI in which Clarke plays Lady Heather, “The Good, The Bad […]


August 4, 2008

In an article recently published in the Great Plains Quarterly’s special issue on the HBO series Deadwood, Anne Helen Petersen suggests that part of Deadwood’s revisionist approach to the western genre is revealed through its portrayal of the female characters. In the Western, Petersen argues, the prostitute is one of the dominant female character types, […]