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

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
How about you listen to dissent before you accuse folks of chilling conversation.

As you are aware, I have to listen to you.... so there's that. So when you come in and accuse people of gatekeeping (when they aren't) and use pejorative and condescending language to them, do not be surprised if they don't want to engage with you any further.
 

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It’s the same even in squishier areas. You want to get in the Rock and Roll hall of Fame? Gotta wait 25 years after you release your first album. So it is pretty well established is most areas that you either need to be COMPLETE (retired) or at least BEEN AROUND SO LONG YOU CAN BE PROPERLY JUDGED (at least 25+ years) in order to be eligible for consideration as the best of something. As hall of fame worthy. As a true great.

I was onboard with what you were saying until you invoked the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which should not be emulated in any way in any context. While the 25 year waiting period is not the most obnoxious practice of theirs by far, it still seems unduly long (and given the lifestyle choices of many musicians encourages far too many postumous inductions). Sometimes it does take a quarter century or more for a group to be appreciated and recognized (2019 inductees the Zombies are a recent exemplar of a group that, while not exactly obscure in their own day, had minimal commercial and only marginally better critical success but then had their reputation rightfully grow over subsequent decades). But a 25 year requirement doesn't help acts that require later reevaluation, it is a restraint on inducting ones that at one point seem great but later prove otherwise, and I just don't know who the musical act is that at a more reasonable 15 years after their first release seemed Hall of Fame worthy but later in the following ten years produced music that not only was not great but also somehow proved that their previous music was not great and that they, as musicians, were, in fact, never great. It is certainly possible to have scandals come up in those additional years that lead to a moral/political re-evalution, but what role that should play in evaluating someone's Hall of Fame worthiness in any field of endeavor is a whole nother question.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
You made a specific point of defining "real" Science Fiction. I simply responded to that. Your original statement doesn't really support this response, in my estimation.

To be specific, I was answering the paragraph that I had before that (which stated that many people highly estimate it because it's a sci-fi show, and there weren't many sci-fi shows at the time).

I don't think that's accurate- first, because there were many SciFi shows. I have an incredibly broad definition of science fiction, and just because something has space ships doesn't mean it's the only sci fi around. Hence, the quote marks around real.

More importantly, I was segueing into the point, which is that the show wasn't about the science or ideas inasmuch as it was a western - a specific Lost Cause inspired western, but a western, that happened to be in space.

This is slightly different than Star Trek (TOS), which was pitched as a western, but quickly became an "idea-driven" science fiction show, with many prominent writers from the time.

That said, to ensure clarity I edited the original text.
 

Ryujin

Legend
To be specific, I was answering the paragraph that I had before that (which stated that many people highly estimate it because it's a sci-fi show, and there weren't many sci-fi shows at the time).

I don't think that's accurate- first, because there were many SciFi shows. I have an incredibly broad definition of science fiction, and just because something has space ships doesn't mean it's the only sci fi around. Hence, the quote marks around real.

More importantly, I was segueing into the point, which is that the show wasn't about the science or ideas inasmuch as it was a western - a specific Lost Cause inspired western, but a western, that happened to be in space.

This is slightly different than Star Trek (TOS), which was pitched as a western, but quickly became an "idea-driven" science fiction show, with many prominent writers from the time.

That said, to ensure clarity I edited the original text.
So, just to once again be pedantic about it, like "Star Wars" is a Western in space ;)
 

Moving to a serialized story instead of episodic allows for less filler and a better concentrated plot, al beit often at the expense of character development.

I strongly disagree with this statement. Serialized stories lead to some of the most boring filler-filled shows I have ever experienced.

When an episodic show like ST:TNG or X-Files had a "filler" episode, we got a monster-of-the-week or ship-in-a-bottle episode. But when you get right down to it, those episodes are what the core or those shows are really about. A nice, self contained problem, which a solution in the same episode. You might even get a second-run character getting a day in the limelight out of it, or some fun trivia or minor backstory to explore. It's like the rice/potato/carb to a hearty meal; it's not filler, it's the base.

When a serialized show like Walking Dead or The 100 has a filler episode, you literally get a bunch of characters sitting on a set, just talking about stuff we've already seen. No action, no new info. Just pure emptiness. It's like opening a bag of chips and finding out that the top 50% of the bag is air. And inevitably, someone on the internet will tell you that you just aren't appreciating the "character development". And I don't. Plot and characters taking action shows development; characters rehashing what we've already seen is clip review episode without the clips.

I have a suspicion that all Whedon shows age terribly. ...

That's my experience, at least, and I really really liked Dollhouse and Firefly at the time. ...

I tend to disagree with this as well. I think Buffy holds up just fine. Also Toy Story, Alien Resurrection, Dr. Horrible, etc.

OTOH, I also don't think all of his stuff was good the first time around. Things like Titan AE, Dollhouse, and the later seasons of Angel all flopped for me when they were new. And I don't think they've gotten any better with age (although I was thinking about giving Titan AE another chance some day).
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
I was onboard with what you were saying until you invoked the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which should not be emulated in any way in any context. While the 25 year waiting period is not the most obnoxious practice of theirs by far, it still seems unduly long (and given the lifestyle choices of many musicians encourages far too many postumous inductions). Sometimes it does take a quarter century or more for a group to be appreciated and recognized (2019 inductees the Zombies are a recent exemplar of a group that, while not exactly obscure in their own day, had minimal commercial and only marginally better critical success but then had their reputation rightfully grow over subsequent decades). But a 25 year requirement doesn't help acts that require later reevaluation, it is a restraint on inducting ones that at one point seem great but later prove otherwise, and I just don't know who the musical act is that at a more reasonable 15 years after their first release seemed Hall of Fame worthy but later in the following ten years produced music that not only was not great but also somehow proved that their previous music was not great and that they, as musicians, were, in fact, never great. It is certainly possible to have scandals come up in those additional years that lead to a moral/political re-evalution, but what role that should play in evaluating someone's Hall of Fame worthiness in any field of endeavor is a whole nother question.

You wouldn't want to emulate the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in any way? What about the ability to have Prince (RIP) solo on While My Guitar Gently Weeps while Tom Petty (RIP) can't believe it?

The R&R Hall of Fame has a lot of issues, but the 25 years isn't one of them. The Zombies' first release was in 1965- they've been eligible since 1990.

Kate Bush (for example) has been eligible since 2003.

But that's the issue, isn't it? It's not the time. Most musicians and bands release their first album before the age of 25, which means that, at worst, they are looking at induction before the age of 50. Which seems fine. The problem is that this Hall doesn't know what it's doing. They include older bands and younger bands, "rock" and "rap." Look at some of the nominees who didn't make it this year-
LL Cool J or Dionne Warwick?
Kate Bush or Rage Against the Machine?
Fela Kuti or Iron Maiden?

I love the diversity, but it's getting into apples/oranges comparisons. It's basically become, "All music."
 


CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
So now I'm asking myself, Was Firefly "real" science fiction? And I think my answer is, Real enough for me.

EDIT: I see the original post has been revised, and this comment is now moot. Nothing to see here.
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
I strongly disagree with this statement. Serialized stories lead to some of the most boring filler-filled shows I have ever experienced.

When an episodic show like ST:TNG or X-Files had a "filler" episode, we got a monster-of-the-week or ship-in-a-bottle episode. But when you get right down to it, those episodes are what the core or those shows are really about. A nice, self contained problem, which a solution in the same episode. You might even get a second-run character getting a day in the limelight out of it, or some fun trivia or minor backstory to explore. It's like the rice/potato/carb to a hearty meal; it's not filler, it's the base.

When a serialized show like Walking Dead or The 100 has a filler episode, you literally get a bunch of characters sitting on a set, just talking about stuff we've already seen. No action, no new info. Just pure emptiness. It's like opening a bag of chips and finding out that the top 50% of the bag is air. And inevitably, someone on the internet will tell you that you just aren't appreciating the "character development". And I don't. Plot and characters taking action shows development; characters rehashing what we've already seen is clip review episode without the clips.
Ugh, how many self contained problems and solutions can you take? I mean it just sucks that Dr House is so damn smart and good at his job that he cant be fired... It's like eating cheerios over and over again just hoping for a piece of fruit or something to make it less expected and predictable. Also, you did pick one of the worst examples in Walking Dead, which is a masters class in filler episodes. (This is what happens when ratings are too good, shows are not allowed to die...) HBO Watchmen or The Leftovers now those are some complete breakfasts that don't come in a box with a toy as a gimmick.
 

It's like eating cheerios over and over again just hoping for a piece of fruit or something to make it less expected and predictable.

I liked Cheerios as a kid, I like Cheerios now. I like Cheerios because they're Cheerios. If I didn't like Cheerios, I wouldn't be eating Cheerios. If you don't like Cheerios, that's fine, but let me enjoy my breakfast in peace. :p

Also, you did pick one of the worst examples in Walking Dead, which is a masters class in filler episodes.

That was on purpose. At one point, my wife and I took turns watching new episodes to inform the other if it was filler or not. And my example of people telling me I didn't appreciate the "character development" was from ENWorld itself.
 

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