Well, now that I've ticked off every Firefly fan ever, let's begin! Now, I'm a late convert to the Browncoats, having just watched the show over the Holidays. I was blown away, honestly. Nathan Fillion as always was just superb, and Joss Whedon had created such an incredible, realistic sci-fi universe. The mesh of Western and Space was perfect, and the Chinese influence made everything unique. There was a ruthless bounty hunter, a cold empire, and a legendary and monstrous alien race. And after 15 episodes, it was done. Nothing was there to explain River's amazing gifts, or explore Kaylee and Simon's budding relationship. No more backstory into Mal's, sorry, Captain Mal's life. No more pillaging, no more shoot-outs. Everyone cries.
Fans over the last decade have been fighting for a return to that universe. There was the movie Serenity in 2005, which brought some closure to the show, but the fans are still seeking more of the show. Personally, I would love to see more of it. I would consider myself a true fan. But, no. Firefly should not come back. Now let me explain why:
A show goes through a cycle, much like life. A person is born, then grows up, reaches a peak of maturity, then eventually fades into oblivion. A show has a pilot, then has a first season to grow up, and then usually has a few seasons where it is the most incredible thing on television. Then, if it lasts more than five or six seasons, it begins to fade. It still may have some taste of its former glory, and may still be memorable to fans, but, it's lost a lot of its original savor. I have a couple of examples of this.
Doctor Who[Doctor Who](series:200668)(1963-1989) was an incredible show in its conception. A time-travelling alien who could change his face (and actor) every few seasons? Fantastic! By the six Doctor, however, the show was beginning to fade. Granted, it had been a decade or two since the show had started, and the seasons were different lengths, but, it was beginning to wear out. Only the most devoted of fans would watch, and they weren't too happy with how the show was going. In a last-ditch effort to save the show, and introduce it to American audiences on a wide-scale, they did the TV movie with Paul McGann (one of the best to play the role, in my opinion). It failed, and the show died until 2005. The classic show ran too long, and got too stale.
The X-Files (1993-2002) was another show that nearly burnt out due to length. Nine seasons, nearly twenty episodes a season, and nine years of paranormality (did I just invent that?) leaves a body in need of a media detox. Again, it was an amazing concept, and each episode left you on edge. The story lines were ridiculously convoluted, and kept your interest. But, it was so long! Fortunately, the inclusion of Dogget and Reyes added some new blood into the show. So, in a way, the disaster of a worn-out show was averted here.
My point to all this? Shows shouldn't run so long. Rarely, if ever, are they successful at that length, and eventually, they just die. So, in a roundabout way, this applies to Firefly. Now, like I said, the movie had some closure, but not nearly enough. Let's imagine for a second that Fox had never cancelled the show, and that we would have seen Cap'n Reynolds and his crew for years. At some point, it would've worn out. People would've lost interest. Such is the way with television shows.
The question I propose is this: as a fan of Firefly, would you rather have watched the show spiral downward as it was milked past its time, or enjoy the one season that we did get, where it was still amazing and fresh? Firefly went out on top. Granted, it was only one season, but, it was already in peak condition, even then. The characters had been well established, the story and world was detailed and full. I know that another season or two would've been nice, but, would it have stopped at that, or would we have wanted it to stop then? While it is sad that Firefly ended after such a short time, it still remains one of the best science fictions in film, and will always be remembered as amazing. It will never have the reputation for being too long, or drawn-out, or for growing stale. It will always remain what it has been for the past 12ish years: an amazing, beautiful, and yes, shiny show.
Thoughts, comments? As long as there are no virtual tomatoes, I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading!