Saturday, December 8, 2007

Fox has broken my heart

Stupid Fox network. Stupid, stupid, stupid. They cancelled the show Firefly after only airing ten episodes (14 were shot). Yeah, this all happened in 2002, so I'm a little behind the curve. Tracy and I recently borrowed the boxed set of the series , after hearing positive things about it from so many friends.

I was unimpressed by the two-hour pilot. It seemed like Joss Whedon was taking himself way too seriously, and the whole space western thing seemed like an awkward beast to me. But by the second or third episode I was totally hooked. The plots were definitely meant for grown-ups, with some fun but complicated relationships between the characters, which I liked, and a good mix of humor and seriousness. The writing was sharp and the chemistry between the actors sparkled. I've read that Whedon intended the series to run for seven years, and even in the first half of a season, you can see seeds being planted. I was actually surprised at how fast we got to know the characters, which made the sudden end of the series feel all the more jarring.

Most TV series that vanish do so for good reason, but every once in a while, you can't help but think the network executives passed up something really cool. Firefly is one of those times, one of those things I see, and say, I wish I could have worked on that. Damn shame. Watch it if you get the chance.


Novel said...

I worship Firefly. Much more than Angel or Buffy. I was there being broken hearted in real time. It's a really perfect story plus Whedonesque dialogue. Have you seen Serenity?

patrick said...

I loved the Buffy series, but I think I liked Firefly even more. I'm fascinated by this long-form dramatic narrative that's been created by some of these television shows. (I was a big fan of Six Feet Under, too.)

We watched the Serenity movie last night. I think it was a nice film for fans of Firefly--it answers a lot of questions and lets us see the characters one more time.

However, for Whedon to have a chance to make more Firefly episodes, he really needed to create a film that hit a complete home run as a stand-alone film, and I don't think he did that. It was on the level of quality as some of the Star Trek movies, but it was going to need to really be something special, as a film. The movie seemed to strongly show that Whedon is at his best at television, where his dramatic skills can play out over many episodes.

I'm curious to see what he does next.

DAM* Writer said...

Love the Firefly. I am legion.

And while I'm completely bummed that the series was canceled, and pleased that the movie Serenity was made, I don't want to see any more episodes created, even if Whedon and crew get the chance. It's grown too much in my own head to ever live up to the (internal) billing I've given it.