Netflix is Wrong About Firefly

Are there really FEWER Firefly fans today than there were in 2003?
Are there really FEWER Firefly fans today than there were in 2003?  Or has Netflix missing the spaceship on this one?

Krista and I were exploring Netflix last week and I noticed that ‘Firefly’ was one of the handful of things that were “Popular on Netflix.”  I asked my wife if she ever seen the show before and, to my surprise, she had not.  So, just like my sister forced me to watch the series and the resulting film Serenity in 2006, I hit play on Netflix and had Krista watch it, too.

Now I am by no means a “Browncoat;” which is a term used for the diehard fans of the show.  I loved the show, but not to the point where I go to conventions, search the internet for Firefly or Joss Whedon news, or done anything that you would expect of any diehard fan community… besides have my wife watch it.

Anyway, when we were done watching everything, Krista asked me about what happened after the movie.  I knew there were comic books made; but that was it.  When I searched online to better answer he question, we saw that there was an effort by the Browncoats to bring the show to Netflix.  Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, shot down the idea by saying the following:

“Let me give you one broad statement about these recovery shows. 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.”

... Clearly, Firefly was a show well before its time.
Clearly, Firefly is an intellectually sophisticated space-western that aired and was canceled way before its time.

It’s been 10 years since Firefly was yanked from the air, and not only are the DVD sales respectable, but the show still shows up in the “Popular on Netflix” category from time to time.  The number of people being exposed to the “cult” show Firefly keeps increasing and I’m yet to hear anyone say that they didn’t really enjoy the show.  I think it should go without saying that any attempt to bring Firefly back from the Grave of the Fireflies (incredibly touching film, by the way… you’ll cry) would be tremendously more successful than the original TV run in 2003; which was shown out-of-order and canceled prematurely.

Consider this, too.  Upon watching Firefly with Krista the past week, I realized how much the show was before it’s time.  In an era with the NSA, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google all spying on us for their own purposes, there is an increasing number of people who just want to be left alone.  Guess what?  That’s what Firefly is all about.  Bringing Firefly back now would resonate tremendously in today’s social-political context.

Now, that’s not to say that Firefly should be brought back.  Joss Wheldon is still tied down making films for Marvel’s The Avengers series.  Likewise, while the cast has all expressed interest in returning to the show, it may not even be possible for everyone to get back together with their current acting contracts and obligations.  If you can’t get the creator and the entire cast back, the show might just completely suck; which would do a great disservice to this great franchise.

By the way, if you have never seen Firefly, I highly recommend watching the first episode.  That’s all you need to get hooked.  And it won’t ruin your life because there are only 14 episodes and a movie.

GD Star Rating
Netflix is Wrong About Firefly, 5.0 out of 5 based on 7 ratings
Kevin Tracy is an Air Force veteran, terrorism/counterterrorism expert, and jack of all trades. KTracy's day job is designing electrical systems for new fossil power plants and environmental solutions. On the side, he keeps a blog, fundraises for political candidates and the St. Baldrick's Foundation, writes and illustrates comic books, and studies foreign affairs in depth.

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