Joss Whedon’s FIREFLY almost never got a fair shot. When FOX ordered a new first episode and shelved the vastly over-budget two hour pilot, word leaked out about problems on the set. I don’t know whether they were real or not, but early word on the series didn’t say many good things.

Then, of course, FOX sticks it in the Death Slot of Friday night at 8 p.m., home of other long-term successes as MANTIS, BRISCO COUNTY, VR.5, SPACE: ABOVE AND BEYOND, and several others I’ve already forgotten. (It seems that only X-FILES has survived Friday nights on FOX.) Follow that up with a delayed start thank to the baseball playoffs and World Series, and it’s amazing the show ever got off the ground.

The good news is that the show has gotten better and better over the weeks it’s aired. Characters are taking shape, and the writers are comfortable in mixing up the types of stories the show uses. There’s a backstory present that never threatens to take over the current plot, which is a current downfall of too many shows which rely on teasing us with potential bits of backstory and clogging up the works in the meantime. “Look how smart,” they say. Sadly, most people get bored and change channels to a show which gives them a real story.

FIREFLY has none of that, plus it’s a really cool mix of western (most notably in style of dress and manner of speech) and science fiction. There are no aliens, and there’s very little technobabble. The sense of humor is always present in the sharp dialogue exchanges, and the threats feel real and not rigged up. It’s too early in the show to take anything for granted.

FOX just ordered two additional episodes. While the show took last week off for a friggin’ Adam Sandler movie and this week for the Thanksgiving holiday, it’ll be back next week and throughout December. This might be the show’s final chance to get better ratings and survive. I wish they’d just sign up for the whole season right now and give the show a real shot, but I’ll take any little baby step I can get at this point. Joss Whedon has an excellent show with a sharp ensemble cast. I want to see it survive. So, please, give the show a chance when it airs next month. Forget any negative things you may have heard about in the past months. Give it a chance. I want to see it last.


Besides, there are already two western series in development for next season on different networks. I’d hate to see FIREFLY get cancelled because it was a season ahead of its time.

Official message board is here, and the official site for the show is here, with a “Save Firefly” web page here and fan web pages here and here.


2 Responses to “Firefly”

  1. Kyle
    24. November 2002 at 18:44

    Amen about Firefly. That show makes me so happy sometimes. My only hope is that Fox learned something from the X-Files — that cult shows can be successful.

    I’d think new eps in December will attract more viewers, since all other shows will be in re-runs.

  2. James Dracoules
    25. November 2002 at 15:03

    You forgot to mention Fox’s running the post-pilot episodes out of order and only buying 1 TV Guide ad as the season was starting…