GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Firefly is Awesome Because of Fox

POSTED BY: MICJWELCH
UPDATED: Monday, January 24, 2011 10:34
SHORT URL: http://goo.gl/3aKo6
VIEWED: 2350
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Thursday, January 20, 2011 10:43 AM

MICJWELCH


Yeah, it's a sensationalist title, but I have a theory. Please read the whole thing before you hate on me.

Firefly fans have been bashing on Fox a lot lately, including myself, but we owe Fox a thank you. Obviously for green lighting the show in the first place (they put a lot of money into Firefly), but there's more to it than that. Fox's pressure on Firefly was part of the reason it was so good. Joss and Co. didn't hold anything back, because they were worried that they might not get a chance to tell their story if they didn't do it right away.

Also, if the show hadn't been canceled, we wouldn't have the movie. (No, we don't have to thank Fox for this part, because that was definitely not their intention.) We never would have had such big budget, off the hook sci-fi action if we didn't have a movie. Yes, the effects in the show were spectacular, but the movie took the visuals to a whole new level. (The show was better than the movie in other ways, but that's another discussion entirely.)

Most of us wouldn't be here if not for the show being canceled. It's the underdog story, and we love it. The story of the show mirrors the story in the show, and we love that. We feel bad for the show, and for the characters, and so we join together.

Finally, while they haven't done as much as we would like, the show has continued in some forms. We have comic books, memorabilia, all kinds of stuff. Heck, they didn't even have to give us the dvds.

Maybe I'm just sick of the hating. Maybe I'm just sick of doing the hating. And maybe with a little less hate, we'd get places a little easier.

There's my two cents. Feel free to argue with me.

"Always be yourself. Unless You suck." - Joss Whedon

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 10:49 AM

MINCINGBEAST


Interesting.

I have long nurtured a similar theory. Fox killed Firefly at the heigth of its glory--this is one of the reasons it is remembered so fondly.

It is the John Lennon effect. Had Lennon been shot when he was old, flabby and senile, he would not be remembered as fondly.

I fear that if Joss had additional seasons of the show, he would've used them to alienate the show's fans.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 10:56 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


... or, like he did with Buffy and Angel (so I've been told) if Joss had more time the show... might have gotten even better. The greatest show of all time, even greaterer.

Scifi movie music + Firefly dialogue clips, 24 hours a day - http://www.scifiradio.com

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 11:00 AM

STORYMARK


I agree that we owe Fox thanks for making the show at all. And I think the vitriol spewed at them is a bit over-the-top. As much as we love the show, it didn't appeal to everyone, was expensive, and the ratings sucked. they are a business, and they made a call. A bad one in the long run, probably - but that's hindsight.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 11:19 AM

BYTEMITE


Yeah, Fox isn't so bad (within reason, they're a television network), but they haven't handled the rights well since the canceling.

Since they don't seem to know how to manage the franchise, I'll be glad when their rights to it expire. In the very least Universal can finally go forward with that Firefly MMORPG they were trying to make. That means more stuff for us.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 11:25 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

I fear that if Joss had additional seasons of the show, he would've used them to alienate the show's fans.


And how!

lol, but it's actually kind of awesome when Joss pisses people off though. Myself included. It's like an epic prank that he's the only one in on.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 11:34 AM

BRONSONBB


Fox is awesome for what they did to Firefly in the same way that virus's are awesome for what they do for my immune system.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 11:52 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
Yeah, Fox isn't so bad (within reason, they're a television network), but they haven't handled the rights well since the canceling.



If you're referring to shutting down sites, they didn't do anything any other network/multi-media company wouldn't.

And they let the feature rights go so Serenity could happen, so I'd say they did fine by them. Only thing they could have done better would be reviving the show.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 11:55 AM

WHOZIT


FOX has been good to "BONES", (my fav) for example tonight it follows "American Idol". FOX is handing the show alot of viewers.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 12:03 PM

STORYMARK


Because it built an audience on it's own first. Bones also had one of Fox's highest rated debuts ever, getting a 6.7 share, which consistently climbed. Firfly debuted with a 4.1 share, and dropped.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 12:06 PM

JONGSSTRAW

We carry in our hearts the true country, and that cannot be stolen.


I've said before that Firefly is even more special because of its' short history. That's what gives it that *extra* charm factor. If in a parallel universe the show had taken off and become very popular, chances are I would have found reasons to abandon it. I like almost nothing that's "popular" in this world.

Bold post Micj, well done!








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Thursday, January 20, 2011 12:07 PM

ZEEK


I don't know. It's not like Fox did any of that based on some great decisions they made. More like they tripped and managed to fall over and make some people laugh.

I'm not convinced that Fox was the only network who would ever buy Firefly. Joss was getting a hot name at the time. That's why Fox jumped into bed with him without asking why there were going to be horses in a scifi. Then they sat down to watch what they purchased and had a bit of a freak out. What I'm more interested in is what Firefly would have been if they hadn't given Joss notes and had him lighten up Mal etc. I mean we all love Mal right? Well the Mal we love isn't the Mal Joss planned on giving us. So, did Fox really fix some things or would Mal have been even better?

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 12:22 PM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:



If you're referring to shutting down sites, they didn't do anything any other network/multi-media company wouldn't.



Nah, I meant the merchandising. They almost didn't put out on DVD, they haven't made any fangear despite demand for it, and they fought that video game instead of getting a cut and capitalizing.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 12:31 PM

THESOMNAMBULIST


Yeah not sure I'd give them much credit for anything.

I don't hate fox but neither do I feel compelled to pat them on the back just for doing their job.


Cartoons - http://cirqusartsandmusic.blogspot.com

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 12:43 PM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Zeek:

I'm not convinced that Fox was the only network who would ever buy Firefly.



Fox is almost the only network that greenlights big sci-fi... at all.

When was the last time we saw a space-based show on another network?

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 1:26 PM

ZEEK


I didn't watch Caprica but I figured that was one.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 1:34 PM

STORYMARK


Not really. Pretty much all planet-side. But that's not what I meant. Syfy is a cable channel, not a "network" on the scale of Fox, NBC, ABC or CBS. ABC has V, and I think NBC ran a pilot movie for a space show last year, but didn't pick it up. That's about all I can think of in recent years.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Saturday, January 22, 2011 8:05 AM

ZZETTA13


To HELL with F*>
I think the F*>< leadership at the time was out-of-control with power (still do) and was out to doom FF from the start! Sure they gave the go-head to Joss to start the show……but, imo, there came a message down the pipe soon after to see to it’s ruin. Why? If I knew the answer to that I would have posted it years ago.

In my opinion somewhere along the line it was presented by upper management that they didn’t want what Joss whedon was making. I think they were as interested in Firefly as much as I am about an arbitrary African wildebeest being taken down by a hungry lioness on the Serengeti. Actually, they are likely less caring individuals than that.

Really….I see “THAT” network’s upper managing echelon as being somewhat like the CEO Tom Cruise played in the movie Tropic Thunder, and that’s being nice. Those folk don’t give a rats ass about what you think, what I think, or what may register as something having entertaining value.

If people would tune in and stare at a pile of shit on that television station all day then heaven knows there’d be cow patties on that wide screen channel.

Firefly has made that network a ton of money and they know it. I could even forgive them this if they admitted that they were in error for Firefly’s cancellation. But people like that never admit to being wrong about anything, and they never will. That’s where I take issue.

I have been a fan of Firefly for a long time now. I may not have been there from the beginning, and I am sorry for that , but I have been a fan since late 2005, which means I have a six year investment. Six years of holding the line. Wallowing in the red, bloody dirt of Serenity Valley along with Nathan, Gina, Morena, Jewel, Summer, Sean, Alan, Ron and Adam.

I may have not been a fan of those folk at the beginning time of FF and I apologize, but due to the above par execution of their craft ( and the love of the show they are all willing to admit to) I have become a huge fan of these actors, and anyone who contributed to the making of Firefly.

I give the F*>< network credit for almost nothing. Even some of their YES men (executive SHIRTS) should have stood up and made some attempt at showing them the value of keeping such a fine show.

I could go on but I’ll stop here. I’ll resign to say ( nay hope) that some network in the near future has seen through all the crap that the browncoats know F*>< is famous for. A mini series would be nice. Even a made for tv 1-shot movie. My loyalty remains, and I hold with the rest of my brother & sister browncoats here.

WE HOLD, BPZ

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Saturday, January 22, 2011 9:48 AM

PENNAUSAMIKE


Three things are at work here that get muddied in the cancellation.

First, FOX Studios loved Firefly.
Everybody who worked on making Firefly did everything they could to turn out a quality show.
Firefly is awesome because of FOX Studios.

Second, the suits that ran FOX had Joss tone down the bitter, dark Mal; and by extension to lighten the whole tone of the show.
The BDM Serenity is much closer to Joss' vision of the 'verse, and I have PERSONALLY never met a Browncoat who PREFERS the movie to the show.
Firefly is awesome because of the commercially motivated lightening of the show's "vibe".

Third, the folks who deserve the anger and disappointment from the fans are the suits who decided to give Firefly a poor timeslot, to air the episodes out of order and to have the show pop on-and-off the schedule, prempted by sports.
Firefly was DOOMED by such foolish handling of a costly, valuable property.

Those three elements, two home runs and a strike out, define FOX's relationship with Firefly.
Too bad the strike-out was a game ender.

FOX's handling of the marketing of the show has also been very poor.
They didn't really sell a license for Firefly goods (QMx) until the number of Browncoat fans had fallen to a hardcore few.

Mike

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Monday, January 24, 2011 4:11 AM

BORIS


If Fox hadn't killed Firefly....we'd have been treated to at least a few more seasons.

Rose S

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Monday, January 24, 2011 4:53 AM

ZEEK


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:
Not really. Pretty much all planet-side. But that's not what I meant. Syfy is a cable channel, not a "network" on the scale of Fox, NBC, ABC or CBS. ABC has V, and I think NBC ran a pilot movie for a space show last year, but didn't pick it up. That's about all I can think of in recent years.


Why would that have anything to do with whether or not Firefly would have been picked up without Fox? Sure it was expensive but it was for a public broadcast network. So, of course they're going to go all out. I'm sure Buffy and Angel would have had much better special effects if it wasn't on the WB. It still existed without being on a public broadcast network. I'm betting Firefly would have existed without Fox too.

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Monday, January 24, 2011 5:01 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

The BDM Serenity is much closer to Joss' vision of the 'verse, and I have PERSONALLY never met a Browncoat who PREFERS the movie to the show.


I think that's less so much the more bitter, darker Mal and rather what then happens in the course of the movie.

Besides, it's not like most of the time in the series when he's acting "jollier" he's really all that happy. It's about subtext. The only time I remember him genuinely happy are his moments of quiet content at the dinner table, or when they've all survived another job. The rest of the time, he's just keeping up appearances while struggling under the chains of command (and not the one Jayne beats you with).

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Monday, January 24, 2011 8:05 AM

PENNAUSAMIKE


Not "jollier", just, lighter.
Mal in the series is warmer towards the crew.
Think of how he treats Kaylee in the series versus the, "she crashes, you crashed her!" in the BDM.
Many examples if you watch with an eye towards that.

And Joss said in an interview that he took money allocated for the second pilot "Train Job" to address FOX's concerns with the original pilot, "Serenity".
The changed opening, which went from mud and guts to Mal telling Bendis, "We're too pretty to die".
And so on...

I'm not saying its an in-your-face thing, but there is a subtle lightening of mood that I believe made Firefly more enjoyable to watch than the BDM, "Serenity".

To your point, yes, the headlong rush to tell the story contributes to the preference for Firefly over the BDM, but I feel that among many Browncoats, (I would argue most), the darker tone works against the movie.

Not "jollier"; lighter, warmer.

Mike

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Monday, January 24, 2011 8:19 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Zeek:

Why would that have anything to do with whether or not Firefly would have been picked up without Fox? Sure it was expensive but it was for a public broadcast network. So, of course they're going to go all out. I'm sure Buffy and Angel would have had much better special effects if it wasn't on the WB. It still existed without being on a public broadcast network. I'm betting Firefly would have existed without Fox too.



Uh.... okay....I don't get what you're saying, as it doesn't seem to relate to what I wrote....

I was never talking about special effects. I said Fox is the only Network (not cable channel) who greenilghts big scifi, with very few exceptions. Nothing you said relates to that....

You can be as sure as you like that someone else would have picked it up - but you're merely guessing. Maybe you're right - but my whole point was, judging on the track records of the other networks, and what they choose to run, there is little to back that notion.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Monday, January 24, 2011 8:58 AM

BYTEMITE


Well, that's more subtext again, really. If you're just comparing how he treats Kaylee in the series and the movie, arguably his make nice is more with River, while Kaylee is being pulled between her captain and her crush (who doesn't like River going on jobs) and is upset with the situation. Towards the end Kaylee finally gets her wish and gets to be with Simon, so we don't need to see her reconciliation with Mal with a big layer cake dress, it's implied by proxy.

It's also really an issue of time compression. The focus wasn't on all nine characters like in the series, so we didn't get as much of the heartwarming and or funny one on one interaction as we did before.

I used "jolly" because that's what Joss said the Fox execs told him. "Make it jollier." But as I see it all Joss did was put a varnish on.

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Monday, January 24, 2011 9:37 AM

ZEEK


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:
Uh.... okay....I don't get what you're saying, as it doesn't seem to relate to what I wrote....

I was never talking about special effects. I said Fox is the only Network (not cable channel) who greenilghts big scifi, with very few exceptions. Nothing you said relates to that....

You can be as sure as you like that someone else would have picked it up - but you're merely guessing. Maybe you're right - but my whole point was, judging on the track records of the other networks, and what they choose to run, there is little to back that notion.


The confusion is the word "network" you assume public broadcast network. I mean any network. Cable networks are just fine with me. So, I was trying to think of reasons why a big public broadcast network would matter. Special effects budget is about all I would care about. Maybe some people would like the added exposure to create a larger fanbase. Bigger advertising budget? I don't know. I don't care. I just want to watch the show.

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Monday, January 24, 2011 10:34 AM

STORYMARK


Well, the term "Network" does mean the broadcast networks. Cable channels are not actually networks (as they do not have the network of affiliates from which the term derives) even if some of them use the term. And in industry parlance, "network" does have a specific meaning, and is not applicable to just any station that plays programming.

But even then, I doubt Firefly would have been able to start up on one of the cable channels. For one thing, most have specific genres they work in. TNT, FX, USA and the like would be ruled out by that.

That leaves SyFy, which gives very small budgets to most shows. Their new, untested shows (setting aside stuff like Stargate spin-offs, which have built-in audiences) are on a shoestring. Firefly was not a shoestring show. And it's not so much the FX - digital FX are cheaper and cheaper. It's the location work and sets and cast that drive the cost up.

Now, at the time, Joss was dead-set against shooting outside of California. Syfy does almost all their shows in Canada for the tax incentives.

A show like that, especially when starting off, really needs network money behind it.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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