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Firefly Reconsidered: Why Firefly Isn't "Hall of Fame" Great

payn

Hero
.... Game of Thrones and The Rains of Castamere? Just listing these names ... you know what I mean. What episode of Firefly ... what single episode of Firefly, is that type of all-time great?
There is only one episode I distinctly remember from firefly. That episode was Jaynestown. This episode was clever, funny, and has some hard hitting moments while being a basic ship in a bottle episode. I think it is as model television as you can get with Firefly.

The rest are hilarious moments like Mal kicking dude into engine or great characters like Saffron or Jubal Early. Though none of the episodes really reach that all time great like Jaynestown.
 

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Ryujin

Hero
Yes, I don't know as much even after watching it a second or third time. The problem with Rush's hallucinations compared to Baltar's is that one knew they were real/unreal with Baltar, where with Rush, they could be someone from the ship or his wife that died? Too much was confusing, and forget about asking in the fan groups because that was like stalingrad, with the opposing sides battling it out in the rubble of the franchise. The baby thing I knew was going to go bad, they always do bringing kids into shows, just to jerk you around by the heart strings. It was worse that Falling Skies was doing it at the same time.

Something about Fox and Firefly, it was not as big as a surprise, because they also did a similar cancellation of Space: Above and Beyond, which started out good, then turned into a sort of romance, soap.
Every time that someone mentioned "Falling Skies", which I haven't seen, my brain converts it to "Dark Skies", the late '90s SciFi alien invasion TV series.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Its Out of Gas for me. Part intense character drama, part origin story....just a really well put together episode. Great acting from Nathan on that one.
 


Stalker0

Legend
3. Was it groundbreaking/influential in any way?

4. Was it insanely popular?

5. Did it at least have a single episode that resonates throughout time?
I think these go back to the question others posed....how much does success have to do the quality of a show?

Some could argue that Firefly would have been more influential and in the "culture Zeitgeist" if it had been more popular. I mean certainly it has been hugely influential at dragoncon's and comic cons and the like.

So does a show have to be popular to be considered HoF status? Honestly I'm torn, I can see it both ways on that one.
 

payn

Hero
it's great in a way Heroes wasn't.

by getting cut down in it's prime, it never had a chance to fall in quality.
Heroes had a great and complete first season. It was cut down by the writers guild strike and just all around bad decisions. Firefly (at least shown from season 1) was a show that wasnt going to have great seasons, just a handful of great episodes each season at best.
 

payn

Hero
I think these go back to the question others posed....how much does success have to do the quality of a show?

Some could argue that Firefly would have been more influential and in the "culture Zeitgeist" if it had been more popular. I mean certainly it has been hugely influential at dragoncon's and comic cons and the like.

So does a show have to be popular to be considered HoF status? Honestly I'm torn, I can see it both ways on that one.
I was just thinking about this. Pitchers in the MLB dont get into the hall of fame for their batting. However, some players do get into the hall of fame for smashing the record in a one trick way. Others, get into the hall of fame by being above average in many categories. So I'd argue being popular isn't a requirement, but just one of many ways into the greatest discussion.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
So does a show have to be popular to be considered HoF status? Honestly I'm torn, I can see it both ways on that one.

It doesn't have to be popular. That's just one of the things I listed.

But it has to have something, right? What quality does Firefly have that would make it a HoF show? Other shows that are short-lived are, at least, massively influential or groundbreaking. And when I say "short-lived," the other shows that people talk about being "short-lived" are usually three seasons (Arrested Development).

The closest comparator I can think of to Firefly in terms of length for a "great" show in the Honeymooners, which was only one season, but it was a 39 episode season and widely considered one of the truly groundbreaking and influential sitcoms ever made.

Maybe ... the Prisoner? That was a run of 17 episodes, but it was fully realized (it had an ending) and it's widely considered one of the masterpieces of television.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So a brief note here.

The orginal premise of the thread was two-fold; first, that Firefly is overrated. I mean, I'm sure that's the kind of reasonable and unobjectionable opinion that is unlikely to get anyone all angered up under the collar.

Well, dangit, now you made it sound like a challenge.

What does it mean to be "overrated"? And how is that different from, "I personally, don't like it much"? Because, I think it should be reasonable to say in some cases that, if millions of people like it, and you don't, maybe it isn't really overrated. It is just not to your tastes.

Now, in some arenas, we can say a thing is really and truly and objectively overrated. Like... Apple computer products, which are often priced and hyped far above what is justified by their actual performance characteristics in practical use. But it is harder to say that with art/media given that there's little objective metric to turn to.
 
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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Well, dangit, now you made it sound like a challenge.

What does it mean to be "overrated"?


That's what I mean. Really? #1 Sci-Fi Series ... of all time?
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
But when someone (like me) is trying to put together different lists of "great" shows, or so-called HoF shows, you can't just put individualistic criteria as your guide. You need to start looking at something other than, "Firefly is awesome because I really really like it."
But who defines the criteria? Are your examples of criteria universally accepted standards, or are they your individualistic take on what should count as Hall of Fame-worthy?
 

Ryujin

Hero
It doesn't have to be popular. That's just one of the things I listed.

But it has to have something, right? What quality does Firefly have that would make it a HoF show? Other shows that are short-lived are, at least, massively influential or groundbreaking. And when I say "short-lived," the other shows that people talk about being "short-lived" are usually three seasons (Arrested Development).

The closest comparator I can think of to Firefly in terms of length for a "great" show in the Honeymooners, which was only one season, but it was a 39 episode season and widely considered one of the truly groundbreaking and influential sitcoms ever made.

Maybe ... the Prisoner? That was a run of 17 episodes, but it was fully realized (it had an ending) and it's widely considered one of the masterpieces of television.
There's also the fact of of fan engagement, after the run has been completed. Firefly gained a lot of fans after its cancellation, possibly because the series' got screwed around and berried by Fox so much, that those fans didn't know it existed until it was already gone.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
But who defines the criteria? Are your examples of criteria universally accepted standards, or are they your individualistic take on what should count as Hall of Fame-worthy?

Who shall guard the guards?

It's an interesting question, and it really gets into the whole issue of objective standards, subjective standards, and those things that are a mixture of both.

For example, when analyzing the pro football HOF, most people look at four categories for players:
The Position (QB > OL > K > Longsnapper) (this may be unfair, but it's true)
The Peak Performance (how good the player was during their absolute best)
The Length of Career
Average Value over Length

I picked a few things that I think are meaningful and that, IMO, most people would agree with assuming they were trying to come up with listings that were more impactful than "Things I like."
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Now, in some arenas, we can say a thing is really and truly and objectively overrated. Like... Apple computer products, which are often priced and hyped far above what is justified by their actual performance characteristics in practical use. But it is harder to say that with art/media given that there's little objective metric to turn to.

Really? You mean the same Apple Computer products that have their own in-house chips and run circles around the competition in terms of efficiency? Apple Computer products are objectively overrated?

See what I mean. You have your own cannolis, my friend. We all do.
 


dragoner

Dying in Chargen

That's what I mean. Really? #1 Sci-Fi Series ... of all time?
Wow that list is something else, cool to just see a lot of those shows listed somewhere.

Every time that someone mentioned "Falling Skies", which I haven't seen, my brain converts it to "Dark Skies", the late '90s SciFi alien invasion TV series.
Think post apocalypse alien invasion, started off good then went to eh. I only vaguely remember Dark Skies.
 


dragoner

Dying in Chargen
Yeah, I know! Have to admit, Eureka was surprising!
It wasn't bad, Warehouse 13 was there and pretty good too, I wouldn't put Bewitched from the 60's in sci-fi, but okay ... Also looking at it one can see various timelines of watching those shows, I know some I have seen more as re-runs on comet tv or something. SyFy gets a bad rap, it is good for low-budget sci-fi though.

As everything, opinion counts for a lot, I'm not surprised Firefly is #1 even if that would not be my vote. A lot of sci-fi exists over-represented in the meme-o-sphere, Firefly is up there, same as the Next Generation, it's great, though I know people today who have recently watched it and wondered why it is so highly rated. For memes, it is hugely popular.
 

Ryujin

Hero
It wasn't bad, Warehouse 13 was there and pretty good too, I wouldn't put Bewitched from the 60's in sci-fi, but okay ... Also looking at it one can see various timelines of watching those shows, I know some I have seen more as re-runs on comet tv or something. SyFy gets a bad rap, it is good for low-budget sci-fi though.

As everything, opinion counts for a lot, I'm not surprised Firefly is #1 even if that would not be my vote. A lot of sci-fi exists over-represented in the meme-o-sphere, Firefly is up there, same as the Next Generation, it's great, though I know people today who have recently watched it and wondered why it is so highly rated. For memes, it is hugely popular.
The Warehouse 13/Eureka tie-in shows were some of the very few such crossovers that I actually enjoyed.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
A lot of sci-fi exists over-represented in the meme-o-sphere, Firefly is up there, same as the Next Generation, it's great, though I know people today who have recently watched it and wondered why it is so highly rated. For memes, it is hugely popular.

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