Firefly – Why Did Fox Screw This Up?
Posted by Caitie F on April 27, 2010
I have this great new group of friends, and they are all a little obsessed with Firefly. Once i heard them talk about it, I decided I wanted to give it a try and was waiting for it to come up on Netflix. I was curious so I watched an episode on the Watch Instantly and absolutely loved it. A friend was nice enough to lend me his complete series, so I have been watching an episode every bus ride into and home from work. I am only about halfway through, but I understand why they loved it so much and why it has a cult following.
I am posting about it on here because a great TV show has to have so many of the same elements as a great book.
The characters in this show are really well-done. I keep trying to figure out who my favorite character is, but it changes with every episode…or sometimes five times within one episode. Mal is funny, smart, rugged, and caring. Kaylee is adorable, hopeful, and has a huge heart open to everyone. Shepard surprises me every episode. Wash probably has the best one liners of all of them. Zoe is a tough woman who kicks some major ass. Inara is beautiful, compassionate, feisty, and intelligent. Jayne is just scary and awesome and sometimes unpredictable. Simon adds a tenderness and courage unlike the others. And then there is River who I love learning more about.
All of these great characters are brought together masterfully. You can tell that the writing in the show is way above average because of how well the characters fit together…and how well they sometimes clash.
Writing great dialogue for any medium is difficult. It can easily feel forced and cheesy (I am looking at you Flash Forward). It seems to be especially difficult to write good dialogue for science fiction and westerns, the two genres that this show best fits. Somehow, the writers pull it off here though. I might have rolled my eyes at a line or two, but compare that to other shows where I do it all the time, and it isn’t bad. The dialogue is funny when you need a laugh, tough when people are in danger, and touching when bad things happen. I am very impressed (at least so far)
There need to be a great story that ties the characters and the dialogue together, and this delivers on that account too. Like a lot of shows, there is a story of the week, but there is also an overarching story of the series. It could have easily not connected episodes for more viewers (since people like shows like CSI and Law and Order since they can miss episodes), but Joss Weadon is better than that.
This show rocks. I am on episode six or seven and am so disappointed that FOX didn’t show episodes in order and kept moving everything around. I just looked at imdb for the original air order…wow that is VERY different from the DVD and I understand why it didn’t work out so well. What I saw as episode 6 was aired as episode 3. There were references to episodes 3-5 from the DVD, so how could it be aired before them? Why must Fox always screw good shows?
This show would have been treated much better on another channel, like SyFy or even USA and we would have gotten more of this great show. Jason watched it originally and didn’t like it, but tried it on the DVD and still didn’t like it. I think he is a little insane for thinking that.
I do think it is something that is wrong with TV networks in general though. They don’t give TV shows a chance anymore. If the first episode doesn’t do well, it gets canceled right then. I will almost always give a show three or four episodes to see if I like it because it takes some time. No one gets that time anymore, which is just sad. Think of all the great shows we might miss out on because of that.
Do you love Firefly? Why or why not? Do you love any other shows that got canceled too soon or a network screwed over? Do you watch shows that have been off the air on DVD? Isn’t it frustrating ot be excited about something everyone else is already over? Talk to me in the comments!
Please keep comments spoiler-free. Thanks!