Wednesday 22 May 2013

Bringing Back Firefly

I am a huge Firefly fan and thus have been following the rumours that the series might be returned to TV with new episodes.

The more I look into it, the more it looks like one of those hopeful rumours without a lot of basis in fact. 

Netflixs has been reviving prematurely cancelled shows, which has everyone clamouring to add their favourites to the list.  Their CCO was lukewarm on the idea of reviving Firefly:

"In almost every case the cult around the show gets more intense and smaller as time goes by. Arrested Development was the rarest of birds in that the audience of the show grew larger than the original broadcast audience because people came to discover it years after it was cancelled. The Firefly fan is still the Firefly fan from when it was on TV and there’s fewer of them and they’re more passionate every year. Whereas with Arrested Development we’re going to be serving a multiple of the original audience. Any of the other shows we could bring back would be a fraction of the original audience."

This has been making those smaller-in-number-yet-more-passionate fans outraged.

And yet, I can kind of see their point. 

Firefly has become a cult.  It's been off-air for over a decade.  Which means every single one of those fans has had 10 years to marinate over what they thought the series what about, where they thought the characters were going and obsess over tiny little details to "prove" their points of view.  Those views are now wildly divergent which means whatever a series decided, it would almost certainly piss off a majority of the fans.  Even if you got Joss Whedon and the entire original cast on board.

Even I'm guilty of it.  I've watched each of the shows and the movie dozens of times.  I've read the novelization and the comic books.  And I have my own opinions on the daring questions of where to go:  Do you resurrect Wash or Shepherd Book?  Do Inara and the Captain get together?  Is River still crazy?

I would love to know where everyone went but at the same time, the more it becomes codified, the less room my imagination has to play in. 

In my opinion, this is the reason why the Star Wars prequels failed as spectacularly as they did.  It wasn't just the crappy writing, it was the fact that it conflicted with over twenty-five years of speculation and fan-fiction which the fans had happily accepted as canon.  If Mr. Abrams isn't careful, the sequels will fail just as spectacularly.

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