7 January 2010

The Best TV Show Ever Made: Part 2

OK so the holidays are over and everyone is back to work I guess… braingunk included, so I thought I'd better finish off one of the "to be continued" blogs from 2009. We're going to return to something that is never going to be off my shit list... the cancellation of Firefly.

Firefly and the FOX TV network... yes indeed.   There are plenty of sites out there detailing the actual events leading up to Firefly being cancelled, so I’m not going to go over old territory here, have a hunt around and find that info for yourselves.  To be honest though I don't think anyone out there has ever explained it in a way that made any kind of sense.  

How could such a thing happen in the first place.  I find it incomprehensible that anyone involved in entertainment could not see Firefly for what it was, that being something destined to become a classic.  I assume that those people at Fox responsible for canning the show have had at least some experience within the industry?  I assume that they got into the positions where they have the authority to decided if a show should continue or be cancelled because they can tell the difference between something that's good and something that not?  But if these seemingly obvious assumptions are correct then how on earth could they have reached the decision to cancel Firefly?

Could it have been personal? An executive feud with the creator maybe.  Could it have been some kind of message from the studio to all the writer/producers out there? "Don’t get too big for your boots boys and girls, we’ll shut you down… just remember what we did to Firefly" 

Or could it have been just plain old stupidity?  Who knows.

There must have been a meeting (one would have thought) with several people present to decide the fate of the show, how could that group of experienced television people have ended  up with the result that they did?  It's baffling. 

OK the entertainment industry is driven by greed like most other mass market media industries, and the show was not at the time doing very good numbers apparently (the failure of Fox to air the show in the right way at the right time is to blame for this btw), but not doing good numbers in the first part of the first season is by no way a kiss of death… they said the same thing about the original series of Star Trek and that turned out to be a nice little money earner didn’t it?  I think you'll find Buffy The Vampire Slayer didn't post brilliant returns in the first half of its first season either… that worked out pretty good though too didn't it?

Yeah yeah and I know it's pointless braying about it now, no amount of ranting will bring Firefly back and I know Joss Whedon (the show’s creator) managed to get a "Firefly" movie made (Sernity) but it’s not the same.  The movie disappointed me on so many levels (sorry Joss).  The Firefly concept was perfect for the long format of a television series, so many secrets, so much background to the characters and the universe to discover.  How could he possibly hope cram it all into a single two hour movie… well he couldn't.  Serenity left me feeling more sad not less sad.  It reminded me all the more of the things that I wanted to learn about Firefly.  It didn't satisfy my hunger, it made me hunger for more. It didn't calm the flames of my incredulity, it stoked them.

Dear Fox,
When I discovered Firefly I fell in love with it.  When I discovered that you had cancelled the show I totally fell out of love with television and the stupid choices that you seem capable of making.  I found other shows that had been cancelled without good reason.  I stopped watching broadcast television completely three and a half years ago now. That's right Fox, you dumb ass, your infinitely retarded decision to cancel possibly the best TV show ever made, before it even got to the end of its first season, has enraged me, one of your customers, so much (and I dearly hope many others too) that I decided to completely stop playing by your rules and consuming your "product"… completely.  Well done, nice move, great business decision. 

Yours truly;
One Less Viewer

Like I said, I don't watch broadcast TV anymore, and it's true.  I've not seen a single TV advert, the fuel that runs the network's engines in the last three years or so (and I'm not missing them much I can tell you).

I'll watch a DVD or even download something if it sounds interesting, but nowadays if I'm watching TV I'm doing it on my terms.

And if you want my advice good people… you should do the same.

·    Dollhouse
·    Jericho
·    Las Vegas
·    Global Frequency
·    Threshold
·    Drive
·    And of course … Firefly