It’s been eight and a half years since “Firefly” got unceremoniously canceled for the gall of having lousy ratings in the Friday night death slot, Fox’s dumping ground for science fiction ever since “The X-Files” managed to claw its way out in the early nineties. In some cultures, eight and a half years is the traditional amount of time that it takes after death for a reincarnated soul to journey through the undying lands to a new body. I assume this is true because everything is traditional somewhere. According to my calculations then, that means that the spirit of “Firefly” is about to reenter the television cosmos, hopefully through a pleasant orifice.
That’s why Nathan Fillion’s offhand remark a couple of weeks ago was so exciting. He told Entertainment Weekly that if he “got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to Firefly, make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet.” You may remember that day as the day that the internet crashed as a hundred thousand geeks simultaneously started googling for variations on “how to hack the lottery.”
One fan site took the natural step of setting up a website (Help Nathan Buy Firefly) to collect donations to do exactly that. A couple of the writers from Firefly even got on board the bandwagon. Well, the ride’s over because someone at Mutant Enemy realized that having a website that they didn’t control collecting money ostensibly for them was not a particularly liability friendly venture. That is, they tweeted themselves that they in no way were supporting the project. Then they got flustered and tweeted that it’s not that they were against the project, it’s just that they weren’t supporting it. And that my friends, is how you get things like bridges built to nowhere.
The website has now been taken down since they don’t see much point in trying if they’re not going to get the big guns behind them. I assume that they’re giving the money back, or at least using it to buy Nathan Fillion inappropriate gifts.
But this is something that doesn’t make sense to me. All the rich geeks we’ve got in this country, and they’ve all got better things to do with their money than cut a check for $25 million to get another season of a show like this? Come on Gates, I know malaria is bad, but can’t we get a little browncoat love too?
Oh, and just to depress you more: “Firefly” got canceled with an average rating of 4.48 million viewers while this season of “Fringe” has averaged 4.75 million since moving to that same time slot. Why Fox? Why? You hurt me over and over again, but then you flash some spooky music and mystery, and draw me back in. I wish I knew how to quit you.
But the least I can do is leave you with this, now that any hopes you had of a bit more “Firefly” have been dashed. This is “She Don’t Like Firefly,” truly an anthem for a generation.