I am on the verge of cancelling my cable – only the new Doctor Who is holding me back. The reason for my decision, when it comes, will be Firefly.
I am a Buffy fan, but towards the end of its run it became too empty, too painful; Joss Whedon was too cruel to his characters. When Firefly was announced, I figured I had had enough. Cowboys in space? I hate cowboys; I expected to hate it too.
It was brilliant. It promised to be the best television I had ever seen. But the ratings were good, they were not great. After three months of intermittent out-of-sequence broadcasts it was cancelled. That was in 2002. I have hardly watched TV since – a little Survivor, some newscasts, repeats of Buffy. I read blogs instead: the Internet is getting better; television is standing still (HDTV won’t make up for mismanagement and bad scripts).
I grew up addicted to television: The Polka Dot Door, Jeremy the Bear, Battle of the Planets, Transformers, Robotech, Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, G.B.H., Yes Minister, Red Dwarf, NYPD Blue, The X Files, Animaniacs, Ranma ½, Babylon 5, Aeon Flux, Boys from the Black Stuff, Reboot, News Radio, History Bites, Buffy, Angel, Survivor. Firefly.
I actually prefer good television to good film. It takes time to develop: the characters are deeper, the scripts are better, special effects don’t matter. Though most television is drek, I have faith in TV (confirmed by G.B.H, Buffy, Firefly) to be brilliant.
Why put in the effort when quality programs are fated to be cancelled? Why bother when there are more useful tasks in this world? Why pay a penny to the copyright parasites in Hollywood?
I can’t think of a reason.