How to cope without Firefly?
June 8, 2010 8:18 PM   Subscribe

Okay, we finally watched Firefly and Serenity on Netflix. Now we're aching for more. What do we watch now?

Mr. Shoes keeps channel surfing and whimpering that he wants more Firefly. Movies are great, but we really want T.V. series that we can watch online.

We love action comedy, so we aren't looking for just Sci Fi. We really miss Keen Eddie too, so if you liked that and Firefly give us some recommendations.

Current TV series that we like are:

From Mr. Shoes:
The reason I liked Firefly is that it was different, it was funny, it had action/adventure, western, science fiction, and it was witty. And it had cleavage.
posted by TooFewShoes to Media & Arts (44 answers total) 97 users marked this as a favorite
Dr.Who or Torchwood both sorta fit the same bill for me. Captain Jack (head of the Torchwood team) is a bit of a space cowboy.

Have you seen Buffy? Because you'd probably enjoy it as it has the same feel since Joss created and wrote a lot of it, strong females, ensemble cast, nice portrayals of relationships.
posted by Saminal at 8:22 PM on June 8, 2010

What you are looking for is Farscape.
posted by jessamyn at 8:26 PM on June 8, 2010 [17 favorites]

Shows I've watched slavishly with friends: (not necessarily available online)

Doctor Who (maybe the spinoff Torchwood? Some say it's a bit weaker)
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Pushing Daisies
Buffy the Vampire slayer

If you're willing to branch off into anime (and if you liked Firefly/Serenity, I don't see why you wouldn't be) there are several similar series (arguably precursors in some details):

Cowboy Bebop
Outlaw Star

If you find that you are into the sci-fi anime thing, you might want to look at the Gundam universe, etc. from there. Just watch the first episode of Cowboy Bebop and you'll know if it's for you or not. I hope you can use these suggestions, even if you can't find them legally streaming online.
posted by Phyltre at 8:29 PM on June 8, 2010

I don't like much, but I liked me some Firefly and I also really liked Deadwood. Maybe you'll feel the same. Give it a go!
posted by mumkin at 8:29 PM on June 8, 2010 [4 favorites]

Veronica Mars was a surprisingly strong show, at least for the first 2 of its 3 seasons. Sharp, smart, well-plotted, good character relationships, etc.

Kristen Bell being cute also helps, but she's also very talented and the rest of the cast as a whole was strong.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:41 PM on June 8, 2010 [6 favorites]

Seconding Farscape, Torchwood, Cowboy Bebop and Dr. Who. I know BBC America has just started showing episodes with the new doctor so it's easier for someone, like me, who's never watched it to get started.
posted by Polgara at 8:44 PM on June 8, 2010

Angel, which spun off from Buffy, isn't exactly comedic, but it definitely has funny moments, as well as action.
posted by mogget at 8:58 PM on June 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

Leverage, in the Burn Notice mold. Funny as hell, great characters, doesn't take itself terribly seriously.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:06 PM on June 8, 2010 [3 favorites]

Torchwood is probably an easier transition than Dr. Who from Firefly, although both are good. I tried numerous times to get into Dr. Who, and couldn't until I'd watched Torchwood from end-to-end. I like both now.

If you do either, you should watch Torchwood from the beginning. Dr. Who can be watched from the current season (very good), or the beginning of the 2005 series (also very good, but very different, and a frequent sufferer of the mid-season "meh" episode). IMO, the chronology is not as important as it is in Torchwood, although you will end up spoiling a few things.

Watch the Battlestar Galactica miniseries. If you like it, go on and watch the whole series.

Dollhouse was great, if you can get past the sometimes-mediocre first season. Unlike Firefly, it got picked up for a second season and had a satisfying (read: awesome) conclusion. People seem to have a love-it-or-hate-it relationship with this show though (mostly because of that awful first season).
posted by schmod at 9:11 PM on June 8, 2010

I have very similar tastes. Some other shows I've really enjoyed:

Reaper (essentially a supernatural version of Chuck)
Dead Like Me
Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
Red Dwarf (at least, up through season 5)

And nthing the new Dr. Who, especially seasons 2-4 with David Tenant, though you need to watch season 1 for background. I went into Dr. Who thinking, "Oh well, I've watched everything else on Netflix,"... and was totally blown away. So I'd say watch that first. Torchwood is lacking, sadly.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:14 PM on June 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

God how I wish there was more Firefly. Sigh.

But anyway I highly recommend Green Wing (this is British and may be hard to find depending on *cough* how you get your TV but one of the stars was Julian Rhind-Tutt from Keen Eddie and one of my favorite shows EVER). It is neither western nor in space but hot damn is it different, funny and witty.

Also yes to Burn Notice! And if you like the particular Whedonesque language things in Firefly than give Buffy and/or Angel a go for sure. Yeah and Cowboy Bebop is probably as close as you'll get to the western in space parts.
posted by grapesaresour at 9:28 PM on June 8, 2010

I don't mean this in a "UR FAVRITE BAND SUCKS" way, or in any kind of UR BAD 4 LIKING IT. But just to say that things aren't unanimous:

I liked Firefly/Serenity a lot.

But I could never stand Farscape, and HATED HATED HATED David Tennant as Doctor Who (loved Ecclestone though), and could never really enjoy Torchwood very much.

Seconding Cowboy Bebop. Like Firefly, it's also short, but intentionally short.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:29 PM on June 8, 2010

Response by poster: We just watched the first show of Dr. Who (the 2005 one) and we liked it. Looks like we have our evenings planned for awhile. If the second season is even better then I'm really excited.

We'll keep this list and refer back as we finish each series. We like T.V. shows because they're something we can watch after the kids go to bed, but they're short enough that we don't have to stay up too late. (Mr. Shoes works early.) We don't have a DVR, so we're pretty much limited to what we can rent or stream from Netflix.

I don't want to mark any as best answer until we've seen them all, so everyone here should just consider themselves bested! I'll keep this open for more suggestions because eventually we will get through them all.

Thank you!
posted by TooFewShoes at 9:36 PM on June 8, 2010

We love Firefly and Castle as well.

Burn Notice is excellent. I like it every bit as well as Castle. We also like Lie To Me, but I don't know that it's really in the same category.

Did I mention Burn Notice has Bruce Campbell?

Surf the channel has links pointing to the whole thing.
posted by Netzapper at 9:55 PM on June 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Nthing Cowboy Bebop
posted by smoke at 9:59 PM on June 8, 2010

New recommendation: Life. It's an episodic detective show that also weaves a season (and ultimately entire run) length mystery into it. Witty, action/adventure, funny, interesting characters, and interesting mysteries.

Came in to recommend Pushing Daisies, but was too late. However, yes, definitely Pushing Daisies. Witty, colorful (literally), zany action/adventure, fantasy, pies, and cleavage (hello, Kristin Chenoweth).

Once I saw that Pushing Daisies had already been mentioned, I thought about suggesting Veronica Mars -- but oh, it's already been suggested, too. I introduced Veronica Mars to the friend who introduced me to Firefly, and she loved it -- but you at least have to get through the first disc. It took me almost a year to decide to rent the second disc because I didn't really think I liked it, but since then Veronica Mars has become one of my favorite shows -- one that I will happily rewatch whenever I get the urge.

So nthing Pushing Daisies and Veronica Mars.

Also nthing Leverage -- if you like heist flicks. Even if you don't, you need to watch it just for the characters. It's the same kind of character interaction that you would get with Firefly.

On preview: Dead Like Me is done by the same person who did Pushing Daisies (Bryan Fuller), so if you like Pushing Daisies but want something less colorful and uh... "happy"... then check it out. I liked Dead Like Me, but not to the extent that I did Pushing Daisies.

And I just assumed you'd seen Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog. Right? Because you have, haven't you? Haven't you? It gives a whole new meaning to Captain Tightpants, or, as I now prefer to call him, "Captain Hammerpants."

Oh, and while I can see Burn Notice as a good recommendation, I just couldn't get into it. I really wanted to. Bruce Campbell was (is -- it's still on, right?) great, though.

Since it seems we have similar taste in shows, I'm looking forward to the other recommendations.
posted by paisley sheep at 10:06 PM on June 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Bruce Campbell was (is -- it's still on, right?) great, though.

Just started a new season (4), and it's already been renewed for two more (5 and 6).

I don't see why. I cannot, for the life of me, understand how it could possibly garner more than cult appeal. I say this as someone who loves it.
posted by Netzapper at 10:14 PM on June 8, 2010

Burn Notice is the best heir to Keen Eddie I've found yet. Don't bother with Mark Valley's new show, though. (God, I miss Keen Eddie.)

nthing the suggestions for Veronic Mars and Dead Like Me. Angel also had some great comedic episodes, if you're willing to sit through season 1 where they take themselves far too seriously. You need to get to about the end of season 2 before they truly embrace the comedy.

This will definitely be a hit-or-miss suggestion, but you might want to check out the first episode of Archer. It's a comedy-action cartoon that aired on FX last year about secret agents. It's a much more crude brand of humor than anything that's been suggested here so far, but you'll know almost instantly whether it will appeal to you. It's already on Netflix streaming; we've already watched the whole season 3-4 times in the last two months.

Also, this has absolutely no "action," but it's heavy on the comedy: If you haven't checked out Better off Ted yet you are missing out. So funny.
posted by lilac girl at 10:34 PM on June 8, 2010

As a fellow Firefly/Chuck/Castle fan, I think you might enjoy Supernatural.

It's less campy than Doctor Who, but doesn't take itself terribly seriously. The first season is essentially monster-of-the-week fun, and then you get into a seriously wicked story arc for the next 4 seasons. Season 6 airs in the fall and I can hardly wait.

You may also like Invasion and The 4400, though they both take themselves far more seriously than Supernatural does.
posted by burntflowers at 10:41 PM on June 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

I can't entirely explain why the two are linked in my head, but I would recommend The West Wing. There's not much (physical) action, but the dialogue is superb. There's a wittiness and a flow and when the President curses God off in a church in Latin I want to stand up and cheer just the same.
posted by d. z. wang at 12:43 AM on June 9, 2010

Yes, cowboy bebop is the closest to the same genre. But Joss Whedon does great with all his projects and I would definitely recommend any of them.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 12:46 AM on June 9, 2010

If you like Bruce Campbell (and let's be honest, who doesn't?), then definitely check out Jack of All Trades. The opening credits sequence alone should give you an idea of where this show is coming from.

While we're on the subject of Bruce Campbell, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr?
posted by cali59 at 2:08 AM on June 9, 2010

I thought the humour on the (also short lived) Wonderfalls was reminiscent of Firefly.
posted by backwards guitar at 3:38 AM on June 9, 2010

As has been mentioned above ... cowboy bebop is good space western anime ... black lagoon is similar without the space bit. And the adventures of brisco county junior was also amusing.
posted by jannw at 4:32 AM on June 9, 2010


White Collar
The Good Guys (if it survives the summer)
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:52 AM on June 9, 2010

Throw me in as another vote for Doctor Who and Pushing Daisies. I really liked Wonderfalls too. It's completely unlike Firefly in theme or cast, but In Plain Sight (on USA) is a current favorite; smart characters with flaws and good stories.
posted by lemniskate at 6:13 AM on June 9, 2010

Another vote for Justified, a new show that's just wrapping up it's first season. I get serious Firefly deja vu everytime I watch it. It doesn't have the sci-fi, but it's a witty, sarcastic western and it's fantastic.

Also, seconding just about everything else here. God, MeFites have great taste in tv!
posted by evilbeck at 6:42 AM on June 9, 2010

I'm seconding the folks that mentioned Battlestar Galactica. I'm still amazed at how complete and rich a world they's a natural progression from Firefly which did a very similar thing. Six Feet Under and West Wing might be low on cleavage (sorry TooFewShoes' husband) but are A+ on witty dialogue and mixing humor and drama in spectacular ways.

On a side note, I'm going to go add Justified to my Netflix list...
posted by victoriab at 6:57 AM on June 9, 2010

Burn Notice is awesome, also Buffy and Angel if you've got the time to devote to watching them.
posted by InsanePenguin at 6:57 AM on June 9, 2010

I can't believe it took like a million answers for someone (InsanePenguin) to suggest Buffy. Awesome comic action, cleavage, great Joss Wheadon awkwardness...

All 7 seasons are on netflix instant, so you can watch them whenever.
posted by chicago2penn at 8:20 AM on June 9, 2010

Umpteenthing Farscape, though with the caveat that it's ok to bail on it once the show becomes too much of a screaming-paranoia fest. And it will.

Justified has turned out to be a very enjoyable watch. Not sci-fi, though.

We also enjoy Fringe quite a lot.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:35 AM on June 9, 2010

I can't believe how long it took until somebody mentioned Brisco County Jr. A way too short lived gem.

I'm probably going to be only nthing other recs at this point, but as Firefly is my favorite show of all time, I have to add my list:

Buffy and Angel. Takes a lot of commitment to get through all of it, but it's definitely worth it. Gets a bit rougher in terms of quality in the later seasons depending on taste.

Dollhouse started out rough but got much better (IMO) as it went.

Everything in the extended Whedonverse is worth checking out at least once. This includes shows by major collaborators of Joss's like David Greenwalt and Tim Minear. Profit and Wonderfalls especially deserve mention, though they couldn't be more different. Profit has Adrian Pasdar as a deliciously amoral corporate antihero who will do whatever it takes to get ahead including murder. Way way ahead of its time.

(New) Doctor Who and Torchwood. Can be uneven at times, infuriating at others, but still worth it overall.

Better Off Ted was a short lived but awesome sci-fi office sitcom. Absolutely hilarious.

Supernatural is a surprisingly strong horror mythos show. Especially recommended if you like classic rock and/or classic muscle cars.

Cowboy Bebop is a superb anime series with amazing music. In that same vein is Trigun, but Trigun can be stylistically offputting with seriously tragic moments followed by stereotypical chibi anime. YMMV.

Leverage definitely falls under the funny action series heading and is worth checking out.

And oh, a fun metagame to play: try to count how many of these shows Mark Sheppard is in. Badger is freakin' everywhere these days.
posted by kmz at 8:56 AM on June 9, 2010

Mutual of Omaha! I can't believe I forgot this one. And this might be my most emphatic recommendation of all (outside of Buffy/Angel): The Middleman was an absolute cracker of a show. Forget that it was on ABC Family. It deserved so much more than the almost full season it got. Chock full of geeky pop cultural humor, funny action, and characters you care about. And like Firefly you will be quoting lines from it for forever.

It's sheer elegance in its simplicity.
posted by kmz at 9:09 AM on June 9, 2010

I have to nth many of these as my roommate and I watch all the shows you mentioned PLUS:
- Leverage (in fact we are currently watching the first season for the THIRD time)
- Burn Notice
- Supernatural (has some really great comedic episodes as well as being downright scary from time to time)
- Wonderfalls (especially if you enjoy Dead Like Me)
- White Collar (apparently we spend a lot of time on USA)
- The Good Guys (only 2 episodes in but we are liking it so far)

And kmz, we totally play that game!! Although we call him Sterling because his time on Leverage is the most memorable for us.
posted by magnetsphere at 9:17 AM on June 9, 2010

Have you considered Merlin?
posted by siclik at 9:42 AM on June 9, 2010

Supernatural is a surprisingly strong horror mythos show. Especially recommended if you like classic rock and/or classic muscle cars.

Agreed. I had a hard time finding a show that the SO and I both like, and Supernatural finally did it (Dexter will be my next try). I don't think she's into classic rock, tho.
posted by coolguymichael at 11:59 AM on June 9, 2010

You'll love Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, also by Whedon and starring Firefly actors. It's short, unfortunately, but sweet. The British "Life on Mars" would probably be up your alley as well.
posted by xammerboy at 12:59 PM on June 9, 2010

With the caveat that I haven't gotten past episode 4*: Life on Mars (the BBC one), doesn't seem to have as much, it was instantly engaging in that same aching-when-it's-gone way.

*just don't try to start it in the middle of a very cold, and very, winter.
posted by mimi at 5:04 PM on June 9, 2010

2nding Brisco County. Same sort of campiness as Firefly, similar space western setting(expect here its in the old west with steampunk gadgets - think "Wild Wild West" sort of setting). And if you loved Nathan Fillon as Mal, you'll love Bruce Campbell as Brisco County Jr. Full disclosure - I haven't seen it since it aired 17 years ago, so I don't know how well it's aged.
posted by jpdoane at 5:08 PM on June 9, 2010

Nthing Buffy, White Collar, and lilac girl's tiny-text rec of Better off Ted. Also, noting that you like Psych, my friend who just started watching it says it reminds her a lot of Monk (which I haven't watched), so you may want to check that out.
posted by you zombitch at 9:40 PM on June 9, 2010

Nothing can ever compare to Firefly, but here's some sci-fi, comedy goodness nobody's mentioned yet:
Spaced (1999)
posted by jayne at 11:29 AM on June 10, 2010

Nothing can ever compare to Firefly, but here's some sci-fi, comedy goodness nobody's mentioned yet:
Spaced (1999)

Seconded. A unique and touching sitcom not easily imitated or duplicated.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:02 PM on June 10, 2010

I enjoy(ed) all of those and second Better Off Ted, though the scifi elements are extremely understated. Only the first season is on Netflix though. I think ABC only shows the last two episodes of this season. Nth'ing Leverage, and it's on Netflix, but note there's no scifi elements there at all. Pushing Daisies was wonderful. Profit was morbidly funny and rather improbable, but I could not stop watching when it was on.
posted by gentilknight at 4:26 AM on June 11, 2010

Response by poster: These answers have all been really helpful! I don't want to mark any as best until I've had a chance to actually watch the shows, so I'll just go ahead and mark this as resolved.

Thanks everybody!
posted by TooFewShoes at 1:16 PM on July 9, 2010

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