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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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October 14 2002

Firefly on the chopping block? According to this article, Firefly is getting a "vote of no confidence" from the viewers.

I meant to watch this show because it's a Joss Whedon show, and honestly, I keep missing it because it's on Friday night. I've seen maybe 20 minutes of the 2nd episode, and that's it. For me it's because of the schedule. Friday is my first free night of the weekend and I hardly watch TV on Friday. Anyone who's watched it from the beginning have an opinion?
I recently watched the first (aired) episode. I was pleasantly surprised. The show was quite appealing. It takes some getting used to, I guess, but then again, so does almost any other new series. Too bad I can't contribute to the ratings, being in the Netherlands and all. I'd hate to see Firefly go so soon, as I really think it has potential.
Now's your chance, maybe. Firefly 1.1 "The Train Job" may be repeating tonight (Monday 10/14). Check local listings.
I've seen all episodes AND the unaired pilot. The unaired pilot, "Serenity" is excellent and so was "Our Mrs. Reynolds", the other two episodes didn't do much for me. I think this series needs to be given a little more time for people to get used to.
I'll check on the repeat tonight. These kinds of shows aren't like sitcoms. I can watch one half hour sitcom and decide whether it sucks or not. to me you don't need or want to get deeply involved in a sitcom, their just for laughs. Shows like Firefly should get you interested right away, but it still takes a few episodes to really get hooked, to get to know the main story line and characters. I guess since we don't have magic boxes on our TV's, our opinions don't count, I mean who can you even complain to?
I think lisi's first comment hits the nail on the head. Friday evenings are not a big night for television viewing for most people. Few Fox shows (I haven't looked into other networks) seem to do well in that time slot. X-Files and Dark Angel were both moved to other days and did better. Those that stayed usually died quick deaths. I've been talking about the show to everyone I know, trying to get them to watch, but no one I know is a Nielsen family.

Prolific, I'm glad to see you say that the unaired pilot is excellent. I read the linked article earlier in the day and saw that it said it was "was murky and boring," which would suprise me about written by Joss. I've learned that the article's author, Tim Goodman, seems to miss the mark quite a bit anyway, like he doesn't write about shows he has watched, but writes about things he's heard about those shows.

[ edited by tolkhan on 2002-10-14 21:22 ]
Tolkhan -- reading the article, I have no doubt that the reviewer has never seen the pilot episode, but is only repeating the reasons Fox gave for shelving it. I've seen the pilot (downloaded it from Kazaa), and I loved it. Absolutely loved it. I've watched it twice, in fact. "The Train Job" (1x01) left me with a big fat "Meh." The world was interesting, but the episode didn't fulfill its primary purpose: introducing us to the arc and the characters. I think it's clear that Joss hopes to air the original pilot some day, because "Train Job" doesn't attempt to cover any of the same ground; it simply takes place after the pilot.

Really, I can't stress how much the pilot rocks (and also much with the rolling, as Joss might say). I've never before been so immediately drawn in by a series.
Why didn't they air the pilot first? Rhetorical question, actually. I've been enjoying Firefly, but I have to tape it and watch it later---Friday nights are just too tough!
Fox didn't like the pilot, said it lacked action. Which is just bollocks.
Friday's the killer night for shows that suits don't want to put stock in. Firefly's probably more expensive than suits care to support. So they put it on Friday where people who would normally watch it are out having a life.

If memory serves, it was either Friday or Saturday night that NBC put Star Trek on the air in its first incarnation, back in the late sixties. They wanted it to die. The suits don't understand stuff like that and it doesn't help their bottom line. It's why most of television is a joke, because you can't get art when you're worrying about money. The two don't mesh.

This is also why conservatives put a stranglehold on the National Endowment for the Arts. It's why public radio and public television are hurting now for donations. There's not enough support for the arts across the board, and what Joss is doing is more art than most anywhere else on in prime time right now.

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