Thursday, September 29, 2005

"Take my love, take my land...."

Firefly. Why was this show cancelled??? WHY???
Old Joss can't seem to get a break with TV these days. With this superb series not being given the recognition or support it deserved, and then having to cope with Angel getting canned, despite being the joint winner of the Saturn "Best Network TV Series" award alongside CSI, Mr. Whedon could have been forgiven for calling it a day. Thankfully though, he didn't - and now Firefly is destined to live on in the upcoming movie Serenity. The reason the movie got made? Fans of Firefly snapped up DVD boxsets to the tune of 200,000 units. So, think about this. The show is pulled because it had poor ratings (nice one, Fox). Why did it have poor ratings? Let's see.
1.) Fox played the series episodes out of order. Yes, they skipped over the 90 minute pilot which had the minor inconvenience of introducing the characters and there was that small matter of establishing a plot, and went straight to episode two about a train heist with little backstory. No wonder people didn't have a bloody clue what was going on. Fox's excuse for this absurdity? "There wasn't enough action in the pilot." Ahhh, of course. Who wants to have that pesky 'exposition' nonsense when you can dive straight into a series with NO CLUE AS TO WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON. Good one. Maybe that's why every single episode of 24 (that I can recall) has someone in it being shot or dying. It all becomes clear. Plot = bad. Death = good.
2.) Fox didn't advertise the show. This is a program by Joss Whedon. He is responsible for those minor TV shows Buffy and Angel. So of course, Firefly was destined to be insignificant too, I guess. Why these networks don't advertise new "cult" shows is beyond me. Warner Brothers scrapped Angel despite the most ridiculously huge fan appeal seen for a TV show on record. We're talking mobile billboards and sending cakes to the producers. Perhaps they're so busy making CSI spin-offs, they believe that something a bit more original than another cop show won't be of interest. Can't wait until CSI: Scunthorpe hits the screens. Fact: 200,000 DVD sales can't be wrong.
3.) Fox kept moving the timeslot. Hey, we've got a new show! What's the best way to attract viewers? Move the timeslot so they don't know when the F**K it's going to be on. Nice one. That'll establish a regular base of ... umm ... channel hoppers. I really despair sometimes.
Interesting isn't it. You sell 200k of boxsets, and suddenly people are interested in your show again. So interested in fact, that they're willing to give you $45 MILLION to make a film. A sum that could easily have made two more series. The figures don't add up. The reviews certainly do though - I've not seen an SF magazine/site that has given it less than a 5 star rating. Here's an example. And (thank the gods), it has a 15 rating so we can actually see more adult themes. I, for one, will be heading to the big screen to watch this. That's assuming the cinemas don't class it as a "cult" movie and portion it off to a one-week, one-screen showing, leaving independents to laud its efforts. Now, if only I can convince Gilly to come along. Well, I sat through Pride and Prejudice and was forced to look at Keira Knightley for 2 hours so I think she owes me. She may even be surprised and like the film, as I did with hers.
What else has been in the news recently? Well, it looks like Michelle "all chin, no talent" Rodriguez of SWAT and Resident Evil infamy will be a new recurring character on Lost. Why? WHY? (I ask that a lot these days). There are things in my fridge that could act better. I really hope she doesn't put me off the show - the first episode of the new season was stonking, and she hasn't appeared yet. Episode 3 is the one to watch out for apparently. Can't wait.
Also, I'm writing a sitcom with my good friend Wayne. Highly top secret and highly hilarious, it will take about likely 2 years to write the first episode, put together as it is via the medium of emails and ideas hastily written over every lunch break. More detail to follow. In about 6 months, probably.

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