It’s been suggested many times to me that I should watch the classic Science Fiction TV Show: Firefly from 2002/2003. I confess, the artwork and concept didn’t particularly appeal to me, but while working through my Netflix list-of-things-to-watch, Firefly’s time came. Why did I wait so long?
I’m not a big fan of older television, unless its been paired with memories from the time it aired. For example, I wouldn’t say that I find Frasier particularly hilarious – but I love it because it reminds me of morning TV before I went to school. But Firefly, perhaps looking older than it should, had an instant appeal even 12+ years on. I’d actually seen the follow-up film Serenity but it had made little sense to me. Now, having watched them all in order – I am sold on both the show and the film. Personal favourite character Jayne Cobb. I now totally get the hat thing. Browncoats are the name given to fans of the show, which after a bit of Googling appear to be in the hundreds of thousands. This is paritcualry spectacular considering Fox’s dismissal and ultimate cancelation of Firefly after only airing 11 of the 14 episodes…
This brings me to the main point of this post, how can television networks begin to gauge the appeal of a TV show using only ratings from less than half a proper season of episodes? They put the show on at the time that they think would work, they take sample polls from people that they select and finish off the conclusion with statistics that barely get a chance to form a pattern. Questionable these methods would have been in 2003, it’s even more the case now. With the increase in online watching (I watched Firefly through Netflix – case and point) – the TV networks are loosing their power to air real (good) TV shows. They instead lean towards phone in trash like America’s Next Idol X Factor Top Bachelor Survivor Brother. TV that makes even Piers Morgan seem interesting.
TV networks loosing their power over the television that is aired would have been catastrophic a few years back, but now we have a way out. And that is Netflix. I know, Amazon have their thing too – but they aren’t doing so well. Netflix’s original series’ are starting to shape the way entertainment is provided. They bring back the cancelled shows and introduce a new way to show TV Network’s who’s boss.
Deep down every Browncoat (Firefly fan) would love to see a bit more of Cobb’s hat or Wash’s Dashboard dinosaurs (assuming series 2 is set before Serenity)? So let’s watch Firefly on Netflix a few hundred times more… because, who knows? Maybe that will be the next TV revival that they will fund. Come on Netflix – we believe in you.