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March 21 2017

Does Firefly's appeal partly lie in its limited run? Den of Geek asks the question.

Certainly we'd all have loved to see more Firefly, but part of the appeal is just being able to dream about what other adventures these characters went on that we never saw. It doesn't hurt that it makes for an easy binge-view. I love Firefly and Buffy nearly equally, but it's not hard to pick which one I'm going to recommend a friend to watch...and it's not the 7 season show.
Started typing up a response but for brevity ...what @SuperScuba said
I watched the show since it first aired (out of order) on FOX and I loved it from the very first (actually the third?) episode. So the appeal for me was immediate. Now, my *continued* fervency about it might be due to how unfairly I believe the show was treated and the fact it ended too soon. But I recall liking Buffy just fine, but it definitely improved in later seasons. And I prefer Angel more, but probably wouldn't like it as much if it weren't for Buffy and all the backstory that came with it. Even still, that show also improved as it went on. So, if Firefly started off so well, IMO, when I started watching, of course I'm angry that I didn't get later seasons and what would probably have soared to even great heights. (Yes, that's a Serenity flying joke.) But using Sherlock as an example of what could have been doesn't work for me, because IMO, Steve Moffat has a track record of diminishing returns, especially with his female characters. He creates these fantastic characters and then steadily ruins them. It's his thing? As far as I can tell, this isn't a problem Joss has ever been accused of. And Ultron is a different animal and he was writing and directing someone else's story. A lot of it felt a bit created by committee with plots shoehorned in. (The same happened in Civil War, so the consistency of that is the universe, not the writers or directors...) Anyhow. I love Firefly. I want more. I have a feeling it would have gotten better, not worse based on other Joss shows, (Buffy, Angle, Dollhouse, even SHIELD), not based on someone else's.
I agree. Joss is one of the few creators whose shows reliably get better after the first season. Granted, none of the others came out the gate as finely tuned as Firefly, but there's no reason why he couldn't have sustained the quality for a few seasons.
I remember someone saying years ago that Firefly is as loved as it is because it was cancelled before it got a chance to suck. That half-season that we got, every episode was great and there were none that were really clunkers. We were lucky that we didn't even get an "average" episode, that series just really hit the ground running and didn't stop till they pulled the plug.
I'd say 'The Message' wasn't great, but it did feature Jayne's hat so it does have something going for it.

I agree with Bluelark that there's no reason to think that they couldn't have kept up with the quality: if the show would have gone on, Joss and his fellow writers would have likely gotten in several episodes of groundbreaking quality such as Buffy's 'Hush' and 'the Body' (and, you know, another musical maybe?). Joss is indeed known for slow built-ups, it might even have gotten better and better.

But what we got is great; the movie makes it a complete story; it can all be watched in a relatively short space of time which makes it easily accessible for newcomers.

Plus, I'm convinced that one single epsiode more would mean the end of either Simon or Kaylee (probably Simon), as they somehow managed to make it to the end of a Whedon series as a couple...
That spec script about Inara is so godawful. My hope is that even if the show had continued, that particular ep would have never seen the light. Also I've always felt that Serenity was basically Season 2, only a little too fast. Creeping through the Reaver fleet in disguise should have taken a full episode, not two minutes. Plus there weren't enough quiet character moments, few moments of feeling like "family."

So yes, I think there's some truth to both perspectives: cancelled before it started to suck, but also cancelled before it hit its greatness.

A potentially-unpopular opinion: perhaps the "cut down before its time" narrative allowed fans to overlook some gaping failings (no Asian characters, the somewhat dubious nature of Inara's empowerment, the fact that we're basically rooting for a post-US Civil War southerner). The romance of the unjustly-canceled show might have blinded some of us (me absolutely included!) to those problems, and those of us who did see them might have let them go by on the grounds that "Surely they would have been addressed later on."
My somewhat opposite perspective...We watched as the show aired; when it disappeared I googled to find out when it be back and was so disappointed to find out it had been cancelled.

Here is my thing: Buffy is still my favorite of the Joss shows. That may be partly due to the fact that it was the first...But I also think it has something to do with the fact that it lasted 7 seasons. I grew to know and love those characters, I was invested; I tend to think that if Firefly had lasted longer, I would have felt that same investment. I hated that Firefly was cancelled, but it was a whole different thing when Buffy came to an end and I felt like there suddenly something missing from my life.

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