Wednesday, September 07, 2005

23 days until ‘Serenity’

And I couldn’t be more excited.

For the uninitiated, Serenity is an upcoming sci-fi film based on the television show Firefly.

What is Firefly? Well, I’m glad you asked. Firefly is, in my opinion, one of the greatest shows ever to grace the airwaves. Created by Joss Whedon, (the mastermind behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, which were fantastic shows as well) Firefly takes place 500 years in the future, after the Earth has been “used up” and humankind has migrated to the outer reaches of the galaxy. The show, which aired on Fox from October to December, 2002, can best be described as a “space western”. I’m not really a huge fan of science-fiction or westerns, but Whedon was able to blend the two masterfully, making a show that was action-packed, suspenseful, dramatic and hilarious--often at the same time.

You may be thinking, “Sounds pretty good. Why have I never heard of it?”

Single-word answer: Fox.

Yes, the morons at Fox did everything they could to ensure that the show failed. First, they scheduled it on Friday nights, which is commonly referred to as the timeslot of death. Then, they aired the episodes out of order. It’s pretty hard to get into a story when you are forced to start at chapter three. As you can imagine, this did not help Firefly in the ratings game. Then, in a move that should not surprise any long-time Fox viewers, the network canceled the show after a mere 11 episodes.

Luckily for the fans, Fox released the series on DVD in December of 2003. The collection, which included three previously unaired episodes, sold (and continues to sell) extremely well. As a result, Whedon got a green light to make the feature film Serenity, which takes place after the end of the series. Fans of the show, who refer to themselves as Browncoats, have been using guerrilla marketing tactics to promote the film. Some of these tactics are simple, such as hosting Firefly viewing parties to “convert” new fans, or posting homemade movie ads next to Firefly DVD displays at local retailers. Other fans have taken more drastic measures. One group of Browncoats produces its own weekly podcast called The Signal, during which they promote the film and discuss the Firefly/Serenity universe. They must be doing something right, because The Signal is currently the #4-rated show at Podcast Alley. I think all of the fans (myself included) are hoping that if the film is a success, we will be rewarded with sequels or--dare to dream--a renewal of the show.

Here’s hopin’.


Post a Comment

<< Home