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Potential doesn't equal excellence
I'm not going to say Firefly is a bad show, but I'm going to say it's a good show either. It simply wasn't long enough and didn't really finish anything to be really judged as a show. But if you were just going to look at what was there, then it fails to impress. The characters weren't that developed or characterized beyond their two word stereotypes and we've seen them before, the world was unexplained, the action wasn't great and the acting wasn't superb. It was funny, not comedy funny, but very funny for a non-comedy, the dialogue was alright, and there were clever ideas, just unexplored and unexplained.

The biggest blessing and largest annoyance is the cancellation of the show, there were so many interesting ideas and intriguing characters that if explored, I'm sure could be awesome, or Joss would drop the ball and ruin it, you don't know, and most people see the awesome future instead of the just as probable terrible one. I guess people are just hopeful.

The main point of this review isn't really to review the show, it wasn't finished so reviewing it seems pretty stupid, all these words come from what I saw, and it didn't blow me away, the main point is to raise the question, why is this worshiped the way it is? Why did this not so outstanding show get the support it does? What did you see, in the show, that made it so great? What about this show, that isn't that original, make it so fantastic and incredible?
If you're not reviewing the show, why are you writing a review here? This belongs on the discussion page.
comment #3376 74.168.26.130 13th Jul 10
This isn't really a discussion, I'm reviewing the show a little bit, but I'm mostly focusing on the phenomenon of Firefly, and that got the most review, if there was a Browncoat page I would've reviewed that, alas, there is not, so I'm stuck with the next best thing.
comment #3378 Phrederic 13th Jul 10
The show was never finished, but there is certainly enough there to decide whether or not you like the show. That is all you really need for a review. I think the review is fair: accepting the program was never finished and unable to show its full potential, but also examining the quality of what is available.
comment #3391 92.233.235.66 14th Jul 10
I largely agree with the review in the sense that it has legitimate (at least I agree with them) criticisms of the show. Personally, the characters were well-acted but poorly developed and generally not interesting enough to keep my attention. The show did have some memorable one-liners and those who enjoyed the show did/do so for legitimate reasons, but ultimately it was too slow and too invested in its own mysteries to really grab my attention.
comment #4415 182.52.81.95 14th Sep 10
I think this is a fair assessment. I really liked the series, but I definitely saw it for its flaws, and the reason I was able to watch all the episodes is because there were only 14 of them. I'm really not sure how long the series would have kept my interest beyond that.

I also disliked the fact that even though Whedon had some strong female characters, they all had those moments where they were stereotypically hormonal. It was kind of annoying. I think Firefly is fun as an experiment in Western Space Operas but yes I can see why anyone would see the show as overrated.
comment #4560 LaCapitana 25th Sep 10
Why did this not so outstanding show get the support it does? What did you see, in the show, that made it so great? What about this show, that isn't that original, make it so fantastic and incredible?

1) The dialogue might not have caught you, but Joss Whedon's dialogue is actually how me and a lot of my friends speak. I found the show late, but I had an immediate affinity and understanding in regards to the dialogue. It spoke to me.

2) As one of the people who does worship Firefly, I'm willing to admit that yes, the characters were built on unoriginal archetypes, that the setting is unexplored, and so are the plotlines, given that you acknowledge the show had potential, why are you complaining about it when there's nothing the creators could have really done different?

As for the characters. Most of the people who like the show will tell you it was because of the characters; partially because of the acting, partially because of the in-cast chemistry, but also because there were more than enough little twists and nuances for the characters, even in only fourteen episodes, to hook those of us who like it.

The captain was a farmboy (rancher) turned soldier turned lovable rogue/anti-hero thief? Omigoshyawn, it's like all the male main character tropes rolled into one! But for us, it wasn't. Some of us liked his moodiness (Woobie/Estrogen Brigade), some of us appreciated a less Hollywoodized take on Post-Traumatic Stress and soldiers after the war, some didn't like either and just chose to see him as a fun 1930s action adventure movie serial star, some liked all of the aspects. I could break down every character this way, point out aspects that fit together in unusual or contradicting ways, pull out alternate character interpretations, the whole kaboodle. I have to say, if you think the characters really were shallow or stereotyped, just because of their archetypes, then maybe you weren't looking close enough.

3) I hear so often this claim that Firefly and Outlaw Star/Cowboy Bebop are "the same" or that one isn't worthwhile because "it's been done before" or "the other later shows did it better."

The only similarity between them is the "Cowboys in Space", "Used Future", and "Perpetual Poverty" aspects of the respective crews, plus some "Earth that Was" (kinda). In other words, the SETTING.

The over-arching plot of Outlaw Star has a supernatural bent, the over-arching plot of Cowboy Bepop is about identity, and the over-arching plot of Firefly is about rebelling against corruption. They each have important themes they explore are each an important entry into the respective genre.

Enough already with dismissing one or two of them. They are NOT the same shows, even if they have some superficial similarities. And enough already with the claims of unoriginality; if they are set apart in their own genre of three, held up by their fans and fought over endlessly about which is better, then they must all three have their distinctive virtues, mustn't they?

comment #4900 168.178.40.53 25th Oct 10
Ah, I see that you were returning a volley that Dark Blade made on the Cowboy Bepop page. I'm sorry about that. I wish we all wouldn't harsh each other's good vibes. Still, I wish people wouldn't dismiss shows — or go over to the show's trope pages just to continue a negative review flame war.

Really, there's so much good about all three series, the similarities ought to be bringing us together.
comment #4903 168.178.40.53 25th Oct 10
I don't hate this show, I just don't get why it's worshiped the way it is. And the Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop reference was to the setting, Firefly had Outlaw Star's Empire vs. Rebel dynamic and Cowboy Bebop's low sci-fi setting and a mix of wild characters of different moral outlines. Firefly is a fine show, and it worked for what it was, but I don't love and never will.
comment #4912 Phrederic 25th Oct 10
And that's okay. Some people just love Firefly for what it is. The characters were funny and likable (On most days) and it was another serious attempt in American television in making a sci-fi epic. Just because you don't like it as much as other people doesn't mean you have to tear your hair out and ask them why their tastes are different than yours.

And I always explain Firefly to my friends in terms of Star Wars anyway. :P You see, Reynolds is a smuggler like Han Solo and...
comment #4931 LaCapitana 27th Oct 10
Does it get better the second time you watch it? I've only seen it once, and am curious if its one of those shows that gets better and better.
comment #4938 Phrederic 27th Oct 10
The show was a lot of fun and certainly had me hooked for all 14 episodes. Given Whedon's track record, there is good reason to have faith in a positive potential for the series, at least for a couple of full seasons.

As for why people worship any series, that should be left to the psychiatrists and sociologists. Who are probably fulla crap anyway.
comment #4944 tooncaster 27th Oct 10
I'm only familiar with the scenario where the show grabs you right away. But then, before Firefly, I didn't really circulate around much in the internet fandom worlds, so I never really got a case of hype aversion.

That could definitely have changed how I felt. I can see how the pilot episode might drag on and how the next two episodes might not impress someone if they were expecting more. And even fans could take or leave War Stories and Heart of Gold. The rest of the episodes are really solid I think, and Out of Gas and Objects in Space in particular are outstanding.

It's possible it could grow on you, because every time I watch an episode I notice something new, or I have a revelation into the nuances of one character or another. But it's also possible I spend entirely too much time thinking and talking about it with people on the internet.
comment #4947 168.178.40.53 28th Oct 10
I LOVE Firefly, and i think the main reason the show got such a fandom is because it had an ability to do everything it wanted wthout losing a beat and really when you see shows like buffy and angel and dollhouse, well... joss whedon always starts his shows in a weak way and then he grows the beard in season 2, holds it long enough until season 4, and then shave it and grow a stubble for season 5. the fans obviously think that with the quality of those 14 eps we could see whedon getting the show better. developing it's characters introducing more emembers to the cast (am i the only one who thought that Saffron would do a Heel Face Turn?)

as for what's in it there was subtle characterization like in jaynestown where jayne was obviuosly starting to see what it's like being more than a dirty deceiver, or wash in war stories where he believes that his wife and mal have better chemistry because of the obvious differences

all in all it was a great show enjoyable, smart and witty. and the praise it gests it's, i believe at least, well-deserved. it's not as perfect as people tend to believe. but it sure as hell it's enjoyable
comment #4957 juancarlos 29th Oct 10 (edited by: juancarlos)
Wait, actually, one of those first two episodes is Bushwhacked, which is actually a nice bit of psychological space horror. I was thinking more The Train Job, which is so-so, and the third episode Shindig, which is also good but probably only appreciated if you're a Mal fan or like regency romance literature.
comment #5002 168.178.40.53 2nd Nov 10
Part of the great love for Firefly comes from the fact that it got really Screwed By The Network, and didn't deserve it. Which I fully understand- it was smart, funny, self-aware and had fantastic dialogue- hallmarks of pretty much any Joss Whedon show by then. It may not be the most original concept in the world, but it's pretty damned well-executed, and Joss did a great job of constructing a multiverse.

Sure, it could have used another season, but honestly, I'm just happy we at least got the movie.
comment #5981 skylily 20th Jan 11
I'm literally never going to claim that Firefly isn't a good show. The thought has never crossed my mind, despite my grievances with pretty much everything else Whedon has ever done (which I won't get into here).

It's ridiculously overrated and nobody would care about it if Joss Whedon wasn't at the helm. Stupidly overrated. A show with one season in multiple bad timeslots and several unaired episodes? That's entirely too bad. The fact that people are still talking about it seven years later is nothing short of pathetic. That people complain about its poor treatment even after being thrown a freaking movie is nothing short of insane.

I just don't get the inability of some people to, you know, move on - especially after Dollhouse really broke the "HE IS LIKE UNTO A GOD" image Whedon has.
comment #5988 EponymousKid 21st Jan 11
I would care about it if Whedon hadn't been at the helm. I'd never even heard of the man before the show aired. I certainly don't worship him or wait with bated breath for anything he makes.

Stereotyping people you disagree with is tempting, but rarely useful.

I loved the show when it was on and I will forever want more. Hell, I think I'd want more even after 10 seasons if the show had lived up to its promise. It's not wrong to want more of something you love.

As to complaining about the poor treatment - how does getting a movie negate what was done in the past? Fox screwed up, not Universal Studios.
comment #5995 ccoa 21st Jan 11 (edited by: ccoa)
Eponymous Kid- people are still talking about it eight years later because they think it was that good. Since when has there been a time limit on appreciating good TV? If you have a problem with Joss Whedon, that's fine, but attacking people who like the show doesn't go any way towards making people listen to you.
comment #6042 59.93.220.218 25th Jan 11
The fact that people are still talking about it seven years later is nothing short of pathetic.

And people still talk about the original Star Trek series fifty years after it aired. Length of time after a show aired has nothing to do with its worth ot whether or not people should still talk about it.

That people complain about its poor treatment even after being thrown a freaking movie is nothing short of insane.

So one studio's poor treatment of a franchise is negated by a different studio's treatment of the franchise? That's like saying that getting kicked in the balls by one person and then getting treated to a meal by a different person negates the original kicking-of-balls.
comment #6147 Zaptech 28th Jan 11
A lot of shows have been screwed, would anybody still care about Firefly getting screwed it the show wasn't created by Whedon? I honestly don't think so. The show is popular because of his reputation.
comment #6148 Phrederic 28th Jan 11
What did ccoa say about stereotyping people who disagree with you? Because I said it's a good show and I can understand people liking it. If you can't tell from the fact that I haven't discussed any of the characters or the plot, I've never even seen the show myself (maybe because it aired for like three months and nobody watched it - where were the fans then?). I can't understand people continuing to obsess about it to this day as though no new TV shows have come out since it stopped airing.

And you don't get it - people continue to complain even though their complaining has been long since rewarded by the movie.
comment #6153 EponymousKid 28th Jan 11
@Phrederic: Wow, it's like I'm talking to myself. Are my posts invisible or something?

As to shows that were screwed that "nobody" cares about: What about Dead Like Me, which, even though handled better than Firefly, still died due to Executive Meddling? Fans complained about that, got a movie, and still want more. I don't see Whedon's name anywhere on that particular show.

Or what about the mother of all examples, Star Trek? Are you aware that the original series was Screwed By The Network in season two, and only the massive protests and complaints of fans after its cancellation got it the (now famous) line of movies nearly ten years later? I don't see Whedon's name on that project, either. Or any other big name, since Roddenberry was virtually unknown at the time.

@Kid: Pavlov would call that operant conditioning. Reward a behavior and that behavior will be repeated.

However, the complaining and the existence of the movie are completely uncorrelated. The movie exists because Whedon took it to an exec at Universal Studios, who accepted immediately after viewing the episodes.

I fail to see how that makes the complaining unjustified. If you don't like the complaining, it's easy enough for you to avoid (like, say, avoiding the review section of the series?). I never see it these days at all, myself.

As to where the fans were: I was watching when it aired. However, it wasn't well advertised, it was constantly preempted for baseball, and it was on the Friday Night Death Slot to start with. That's not even counting the fact that the reshot pilot did a poor job of hooking the audience and that Dark Angel's cancellation had alienated many scifi fans from Fox. It's not really a surprise that people weren't watching.
comment #6244 ccoa 4th Feb 11 (edited by: ccoa)
Firefly has gotten a lot more attention than Dead Like Me, does that mean Dead Like Me is a worse show? No, it's because Whedon is more popular. Star Trek was a very original show at the time, Firefly...is not. Star Trek was what, the first Sci Fi TV show on network television? Firefly is not, if Firefly was the only Sci Fi show on the air, I'm sure there would've been a massive protest to get it back on the air. Firefly's popularity was born out the massive and extensive Whedon fanbase and grew from there.
comment #6248 Phrederic 4th Feb 11
Kid- see, there are these incredibly clever things called "DV Ds" and "Netflix" and "iTunes" etc that allow people to get into a show years after it went off the air, even if they didn't catch it the first time around.

Another thing- by your own admission, you haven't even seen it. What exactly are you doing here "reviewing" it, then (besides complaining about people who, in your exalted, don't-need-to-watch-it opinion, are too into it and have the gall to continue complaining that Fox didn't treat it right?).
comment #6254 skylily 5th Feb 11 (edited by: skylily)
skylily: ...so you support people not supporting the show while it's on the air so that it can stay on the air? That's just special.

Wait, on second thought, I think this may be a simple misunderstanding: I wasn't in any way suggesting it's impossible to see a show after it gets canceled. I was simply asking where the sizable fanbase was when the show was on TV. Were they renting the nonexistent dvds off the then-obscure Netflix instead of watching it when it was on?

And I'm not on some high horse saying I don't need to watch the show to talk about it. I haven't been talking about the show, I've been talking about the fandom, which I do have first-hand experience with. I wasn't really aware of the show when it was on TV and I've never been curious enough to grab a DVD, but that doesn't erase the fact that the only thing I've said about the series itself is that I'm convinced it was very good.
comment #6259 EponymousKid 5th Feb 11
The sizable fanbase was watching it on DVR, which doesn't count for ratings.
comment #6262 Phrederic 5th Feb 11
Kid- no, you're the one who's special. By your logic, there shouldn't be any fans of any old/cancelled TV shows, ever, but the point of the technology I mentioned was that it often ends up introducing new people to the fandom- people who didn't get to see it when it was first on for any number of reasons (too young to remember it, didn't live in the US, weren't into sci-fi at the time but got into the genre later, etc etc). Do you also slag off fans of My So-Called Life for being into a one-season-long cancelled series from 1994, or would that show be beneath your notice?

Besides, quoting you "It's ridiculously overrated and nobody would care about it if Joss Whedon wasn't at the helm. Stupidly overrated." Since nothing in that sentence + two words indicates that the "it" referred to is anything other the show itself, I would say you did, in fact, offer up an opinion on it without bothering to watch it- whether you think it's good or bad is immaterial given that fact.
comment #6285 skylily 6th Feb 11
I see that the butthurt Firefly fanboys are here.
comment #6286 150.212.50.240 6th Feb 11
Phrederic, your review of the Firefly saga has proven very contentious. I regret that many fans, rather than defending their love of the series, have resorted to petty attacks on certain aspects of phrasing in your review. I would like to respond to question of what it is that I like about Firefly. What I like are the characters, the stories, the setting, and Serenity.

You pointed out that the characters are archetypes, but I think that most characters, as most people, are archetypes; the question of what makes them intriguing is what they do from their starting position as archetypes. In the case of Firefly's characters, I feel as though they developed and behaved organically with respect to their settings as well as one another. For example, one big question in the series concerns why Malcom Reynolds not only continues to board the Tams in spite of their statuses as fugitives, but also protects them. This isn't a question which is easily answered from the basis of archetypes.

I feel like the plot-lines of individual episodes, as well as the movie, are all a bit unexpected in their own self-encapsulated ways. Having that Fiery Redhead Saffron (if that is her name) reappear was an interesting turn. The whole plot of Serenity is really engaging, with its focus on River Tam. Frustratingly, I feel like the writing of this series was a lot better than the first couple seasons of Star Trek TNG, and yet the latter went on to seven seasons and four movies. I think a lot of fans agree that if the network had given Firefly a chance, it would have gone on to reap similar fame.

This was my first exposure to a "hard sci-fi" series, with no aliens and, as far as we can tell, no FTL travel. I think that River's ... talent ... is the sole aspect that demands a sharp willing suspension of disbelief. (I'm easily able to get over stuff like sub-FTL travel enabling star-system hopping, the vaguely defined procedure of rapid, artificial climate change labeled terraforming, etc., as are you too I'd assume.) The setting is very immersive, and it makes for a believable saga of men and women living on societal fringes. (Also, let me state that I have little-to-no exposure to other Joss Whedon material nor to anime, so if any of these aspects of setting are overused in fiction, they're all new to me.)

Finally, I really like Serenity. She has a large cargo bay, a rear engine room, crew quarters, less utilitarian guest quarters, a dining room, a bridge, two shuttle bays, and unnamed additional spaces. It had been conceived less like the somewhat abstract Enterprise D of TNG, with its turbo-lifts and 24-37 decks depending on who was writing that week, and more like the Helm's Deep setting of Peter Jackson's painstaking realist Lord of the Rings film trilogy. You'll notice that the ship is warm in the aft (colored reddish, Kaylee's area, where she keeps a hammock) and cold in the bow (the bridge, a steely midnight blue, where Mal wore a blanket during "Out of Gas", if I remember correctly.

Obviously I can't change your views of the show, but I wanted to provide a straight-forward account of why I like it. I have been a bit vague on certain points because I plan to write my own review of it sometime in the future. Thanks for your thoughtful comments on the series, and to answer a question you posed in the comments forum: Yes, it does somewhat enhance your enjoyment of the series to watch it again. (If you have the DV Ds, check out the commentaries, too.)
comment #6295 depaderico 7th Feb 11
I'm a bit of a space opera buff, so I see Firefly as riddled with cliches, Mal and River being the worst offenders, IMO. Mal is the dumber and friendlier Han Solo, and River is a higher functioning Lucy, and unfortunately saddled with the worst actors while getting the most screen time. The most interesting characters got the least detail, I would've loved to see another Jayne, Wash or Book episode, they were mysterious, their motivations and characters were fascinating to me, and they were concepts that haven't been done to death. Nine characters were ambitious, and the villains were frightfully underdeveloped, a weakness that usually isn't present in Whedon's work.

I dunno, all the things I think Whedon does well, characters and dialog, were weak or average and everything he does badly, world building, pacing and plot, were very much noticeable. I think it's Whedon's weakest work sans Dollhouse, which I haven't seen so I can't say anything about.
comment #6302 Phrederic 7th Feb 11
Against my better judgement, I'm engaging in a potential flame war over Firefly. This is me at my nerdiest. Personally I would view Han Solo as the dumber and friendlier Mal. I've never watched Elfen Lied (I hope to someday), so I can't comment on your characterization of River's ... characterization. However I fail to see why second-tier characters' intrigue is a negative to the show. Your basic contention is that the show failed to throw enough of the spotlight onto them in the existent 14-episode canon. But if anything, that's a positive, and even if you contend that they didn't get enough screen time in the on-screen canon (I qualify it that way because apparently there are various comic books which develop the backstories of some of those characters), then you would have to agree that, based on your very own comments, there was a potential for excellence in the development of those characters.

It seems like as far as the other stuff mentioned in your follow-up goes, we will pretty much just have to agree to disagree. Still, in case you're looking to derive some enjoyment out of the series, I'd recommend rewatching or listening to the commentaries.

EDIT: Also, some of the writing was "outsourced" to other writers, who worked under Whedon's supervision. Like I said, I haven't seen other Whedon works, so I don't know if that's normal. But to attribute all the writing to Whedon is a bit inaccurate. It could be that (not knowing that the series was going to tank) Whedon gave other writers a chance, and greenlighted their work even if it wasn't up to his normal standards.
comment #6304 depaderico 7th Feb 11 (edited by: depaderico)
Firefly has gotten a lot more attention than Dead Like Me, does that mean Dead Like Me is a worse show? No, it's because Whedon is more popular.

At the very least, you could acknowledge that what you are spouting is pure opinion. You have no evidence whatsoever for this view, but you keep repeating it as though it was a cold, hard fact.

Star Trek was a very original show at the time, Firefly...is not. Star Trek was what, the first Sci Fi TV show on network television?

Uh, what? Science fiction had been appearing on television since the late 1940s. There were even other sci fi shows showing concurrently to Star Trek (City Beneath the Sea, City of Fear, Doctor Who, Emerald Soup, Fireball XL 5, The Jetsons, The Man and the Challenge, Men into Space, etc, etc).

Star Trek wasn't particularly groundbreaking except in its casting choices. People continued to talk about it and lobby for it years after its cancellation because they liked it. Just like people like Firefly. It is possible for people to actually like a work for itself, regardless of any flaws.

Firefly is not, if Firefly was the only Sci Fi show on the air, I'm sure there would've been a massive protest to get it back on the air.

First, as I already stated, Star Trek was neither the first nor the only sci fi show airing at the time. This argument is completely illogical.

Firefly's popularity was born out the massive and extensive Whedon fanbase and grew from there.

Again, opinion stated as fact. Do you have any evidence that this is the only reason for it's popularity? Or even any evidence that it is the primary reason?

My understanding and experience was that a large number of Whedon fans were pissed at him and boycotting Firefly at the time it came out, due to a character death on his other show, Buffy. It would be hard to start a fanbase for a show when your existing fanbase is that angry with you, which leads me to be very skeptical of this claim.

How good any media is always subjective. You and others may not feel that Firefly is "good enough" to account for its fanbase size and persistence. But the people who love it for itself would disagree with you, and their opinion is equally valid.

After all, in retrospect Star Trek (the original series) was not a very good show. It frequently suffered from poor writing, thin characters, and plot holes. And yet people loved it enough to bring it back as a major franchise. That alone should tell you that a show's fanbase size (and their vocalness) is not necessarily either an indication of overall quality nor is it necessary for it to come from an external source such as the creator or writer.
comment #6308 ccoa 8th Feb 11 (edited by: ccoa)
Personally I would view Han Solo as the dumber and friendlier Mal. I've never watched Elfen Lied (I hope to someday), so I can't comment on your characterization of River's ... characterization. However I fail to see why second-tier characters' intrigue is a negative to the show. Your basic contention is that the show failed to throw enough of the spotlight onto them in the existent 14-episode canon. But if anything, that's a positive, and even if you contend that they didn't get enough screen time in the on-screen canon (I qualify it that way because apparently there are various comic books which develop the backstories of some of those characters), then you would have to agree that, based on your very own comments, there was a potential for excellence in the development of those characters.

Mal is smarter and meaner than Solo? Solo's an actual criminal, he shot first after all, and abandoned his friends (for a while, but still) Mal is also much less slick than Han, they're still pretty damn similar beyond that. And Lucy...homicidal mute psychic chick. River is creepier and higher functioning. And my problems with the focus of the show is simple. I think River and Mal, the two characters with the most screen time and character development, are the worst acted and least interesting, my problem with the focus is one of regret, I'm sure we could've gotten good episodes out of the side characters, I'm disappointed we never did.

Isn't it a given that everything I saw is an opinion, this isn't wikipedia people, these are my thoughts on why Firefly had the fanbase it did.

My understanding and experience was that a large number of Whedon fans were pissed at him and boycotting Firefly at the time it came out, due to a character death on his other show, Buffy. It would be hard to start a fanbase for a show when your existing fanbase is that angry with you, which leads me to be very skeptical of this claim.

I have never, ever heard that. For someone complaining about people saying opinions as the truth, you don't have a whole lot of evidence.

After all, in retrospect Star Trek (the original series) was not a very good show. It frequently suffered from poor writing, thin characters, and plot holes. And yet people loved it enough to bring it back as a major franchise. That alone should tell you that a show's fanbase size (and their vocalness) is not necessarily either an indication of overall quality nor is it necessary for it to come from an external source such as the creator or writer.

I never said Firefly was good because it had fans, I said that it's only remembered because of Whedon and his popularity. Hundreds of shows get canceled before their first season, do people normally care? Not really, the dedication of the Brownshirts came from the hope that Firefly would stay good which comes from their belief in Whedon's skill as a writer.
comment #6310 Phrederic 8th Feb 11
Mal is smarter [...] beyond that.

Here I think we're just getting into that greyish flame-war territory, so I won't attempt a rebuttal.

And Lucy...homicidal mute psychic chick. River is creepier and higher functioning. And my problems with the focus of the show is simple. I think River and Mal, the two characters with the most screen time and character development, are the worst acted and least interesting, my problem with the focus is one of regret, I'm sure we could've gotten good episodes out of the side characters, I'm disappointed we never did.

On the point about River and Mal, I sharply disagree with you, but we can let that go. But in saying "I'm sure we could've gotten good episodes out of the side characters" it seems like you are confessing that actually, yes, the show had substantial potential for excellence.

Isn't it a given that everything I saw is an opinion, this isn't wikipedia people, these are my thoughts on why Firefly had the fanbase it did.

Yes, of course. As I have said all along, this is just my personal opinion on the show. In your original review, you asked what it is about the show that fans like, and I am just trying to answer that question with specifics. At the same time, I'm pointing out aspects of your argument which appear (to me) to be self-contradictory.
comment #6315 depaderico 8th Feb 11
I have never, ever heard that. For someone complaining about people saying opinions as the truth, you don't have a whole lot of evidence.

Except I explicitly labeled it as personal experience, not as fact. Is English not your first language? Or are you just dodging addressing what I said?
comment #6329 ccoa 9th Feb 11 (edited by: ccoa)
@Phrederic Did you call Nathan Fillion one of the worst actors on the show? And Summer Glau another one?

Funny, that. Those two and Adam Baldwin are the only ones I know of that have had significant time doing and are known for other things. That seems to me to be the fairest way to decide who's the better actor.

Oh, and it's Browncoats, not brownshirts.

On the original topic:

Firefly is what's known as a Cult Classic. It doesn't have very many fans, but those fans are fanatical, and the fanbase only grows. Joss doesn't have all that much to do with it, though I admit he may have some. It doesn't have anything to do with how I came to it, and the same goes for at least some of my friends. (One of them didn't even know who Joss was until he was told.)

Personally, I'm a huge fan of Deadpan Snarkers, and Firefly/Serenity is full of them (so, so, so many quotes. "How bad is it?" "Oh god, oh god, we're all gonna die?), and the setting is marvelous. Fairly cliched, but marvelous. Actually, that goes for most aspects of the show, and many of my other favorites. (See Troperiffic. Both my favorite series of books (The Belgariad) and my favorite series of games (Mass Effect) are this, and that's fairly telling.) It's all about using the trope well.

I'm also a big fan of many of the particular actors. Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin, both of who have moved on to popular shows (Castle and Chuck, respectively), are both actors that I follow fairly closely. (Adam Baldwin was in Independence Day. True story. I didn't realize it was him until I saw it after watching Firefly, though...) I discovered Alan Tudyk is a fantastic actor when I saw Dollhouse - his character in that show was, to say the least, very different from Wash. (AxCrazy)
comment #6618 aldowyn 26th Feb 11 (edited by: aldowyn)
Did I call them brownshirts? Oops...I guess it's a bad idea to combine reading about nazis and talking about firefly...

And yes, I did call Nathan Fillion and Summer Glau the two worst actors in the show, simply because Nathan Fillion only plays Nathan Fillion, and Summer Glau only plays Summer Glau. Getting roles doesn't mean you're a great actor with a lot of depth cough cough.

I get this show is a cult classic, but I find it to be Whedon's weakest work, and it somewhat bothers me that this is the one that people get the most emotional about, even though that Angel was screwed over too.
comment #6627 Phrederic 27th Feb 11
I'd really like to blow up on you right now, but I'm going to be mature about this. Let me make a list for you.

A) The world is explained in the movie, which everyone who cared about the show saw. B) The plot is very original. Please tell me of any other show that did this better. C) The characters actually had a lot of development where they needed to. Again, some of this was explained in the movie, but a lot you could figure out from common sense. D) The acting and the dialogue was fine. I don't know where you got this one. Nothing about the acting or writing was at all wrong. In fact, the writing was terrific! E) This show was intentionally funny! A lot of the lines were Joss's ironic comedy working its magic. Sure the main point wasn't comedy, but that doesn't mean it has to be an entirely stiff show!

That's what I've got to say. And again, I'm really trying not to blow up on you.
comment #12146 InkNinja 1st Jan 12 (edited by: InkNinja)
^Not sure if serious or just a fanboy...

Why would you blow up on anybody over a TV show anyway? :P
comment #12148 kay4today 1st Jan 12
Oh my god this is so brilliant. Trolls verses fanboys.

In Honesty the only polaces I even hear about Firefly are Reddit and Tv Tropes, but then again it is the same demographic, Which I'm not. Different strokes for different folks.
comment #12150 System32 2nd Jan 12
The reason I could blow up on someone over a TV show is because I believe that he's very wrong about his views. And by the way, I'm not a "fan boy". I enjoy watching the show and I think Joss Wheden is a genius when it comes to TV shows.
comment #12151 InkNinja 2nd Jan 12
And by the way, I'm not a "fan boy". I enjoy watching the show and I think Joss Wheden is a genius when it comes to TV shows.

That sounds exactly like a fanboy.
comment #12153 eveil 2nd Jan 12
I'm just going to say you're all idiots and call it a day.
comment #12163 VeryMelon 2nd Jan 12 (edited by: VeryMelon)
@Ink Ninja

Well... basically your post said: "NO! Joss Whedon is awesome and you're totally wrong. Waaaaah." :P

You didn't say why the writing was awesome... and that's subjective anyway. And I still don't see why you're blowing up on someone only because they didn't like a TV show.

^That's not very nice. D:
comment #12165 kay4today 2nd Jan 12
"I'm just going to say you're all idiots and call it a day."

I'm actually ashamed I participated early on, even if it was before the whole thing took the turn it did. No one's coming up smelling like roses here.
comment #12485 fraxas 24th Jan 12
I am glad to see someone who also thinks this. I appreciated what Whedon was trying to do, but I just don't really love his style. It did things right, but I just couldn't like it.
comment #12486 Arashi999 24th Jan 12
I have bad news for you Phredric. You hate this show. You sound like you're trying to convince yourself that you like it. Just accept that you hate it and move on.

comment #18344 LitleWiggle 28th Feb 13
Without reading the many many responses, I am just going to respond to the original reviewer.

I honestly was hooked not on the characters, but on a nerdy (geeky?) fan of science fiction element that the show had going for it.

No Sound in Space.

After that, I got hooked on the setting, the characters, and the dialogue. It may not have been everyone's cup of tea, but I for one have always enjoyed the way Joss Whedon shows have been written. Even the "bad ones" (I am looking at you Dollhouse). Had it been given half a chance it might have worked, unfortunately all FOX wanted was another Buffy/Angel clone and when they were given a Space Western they balked without giving it the chance it deserved.

I will not rant on the many reasons the show got canceled, since in the end if it had been the greatest show since Star Trek, it would have been watched by more people and been picked up for continued seasons. As it is, we got what we got, and in the end... I kind of think it might have been better as a whole since there is so much potential there all wrapped up in a nice cozy 14 episodes and one movie that wrapped up the show in a nice (if a little untidy) bow.
comment #20485 casualobserver 6th Aug 13
Finally someone that understands what I'm talking about,...except I refuse to ever watch it again because of the fandom.
comment #20490 terlwyth 6th Aug 13
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