Firefly: Browncoats Unite and Some Thoughts from a Firefly Noob

Before last week I knew of Firefly, but never watched the show. I might have caught a few minutes, but as I’ve stated before I’m not a Joss Whedon fan. That dislike of Whedon’s previous works and Fox’s habit of not supporting sci-fi lead to me to skip the whole Firefly phenomenon. 10 years passed and about a month ago, I found myself at the Firefly panel at New York Comic Con at the behest and nudging of my girlfriend. She wanted to see the panel and as that was the one thing she was REALLY excited about at the convention, who was I to not go and see her enjoyment as well as what this whole thing was about. I walked away from the panel with a smile. From the actors on stage to the fans packed into the hall, it was impossible to walk away from it all without getting a good vibe. And my interest in really seeing what it was all about grew.

This past week saw the 10th anniversary retrospective, Firefly: Browncoats Unite premiere on the Science Channel, which also seemed like a perfect opportunity to watch as much of the series as possible. So armed with Twitter, I decided to Tweet my thoughts as I watched episode after episode up to the special. Interest in watching it wasn’t isolated to me, 1.2 million unique viewers tuned in giving the network their second-highest rated telecast of 2012 among certain demographics and overall ir did a 0.7 rating.

The excitement extended to Twitter. The network’s “Flock to Unlock” campaign also proved to be popular, where fans had a chance to unlock deleted scenes and cutting room floor footage from the special. On Sunday, Firefly ranked tenth in Twitter TV Ratings in Cable with more than 25,000 tweets generating 26 million impressions.

I spent a day immersed in Firefly and the fandom around it. I walked away getting a good feel for it, but overall not completely won over. Of all the episodes I watched, only one really blew me away. The rest were entertaining, but the writing and direction didn’t really appeal to me. What’s weird is I like the characters and I like the plots and concept, it’s the execution isn’t a style I enjoy. There’s something about it that’s just not for me. But I really “get it” now.

At future conventions, when I see a panel, I’m more than likely to sit in line and wait to sit down and take part and watch. If there’s a future cartoon or another movie, I’m more likely to sit down and give it a shot. And if I ever see Nathan Fillion walking down the street, I’ll just look, nod, and say “captain.”

The show might not be my cup of tea, but for the fans, and the show and world they love, I have a new found respect.