To Whom It May Concern That Worked at Fox Network in 2002-2003:
I write this letter to you more than ten years after the fateful decision to cancel what has become a favorite TV show of mine, Firefly, written and directed by the very wonderful Joss Whedon and starring the likes of Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, etc. I do not write this with a heart of discontent or open rage, but a deep and abiding sadness that drips acidic tears that burn with the fire of the many suns of the Firefly universe.
It is with the lament only a Jeremiad can produce that I will never be able to see the many gritty adventures of the only sci-fi/western ever to exist. Talk about a distinct point of view, a western set in outer space! How in the world does that possibly strike you as anything but a golden formula for an awesome show that could have buoyed your network when shows like Vanished, Stacked, Head Cases, The Princes of Malibu, The Simple Life, and Til Death polluted your airwaves and insulted our collective viewing intelligence in the 2000s. Take all the wonderfulness of Star Trek, strip down all the super-techie stuff and alien races, combine it with the bleaker elements of Stagecoach and old west drama, throw in some cussing in Mandarin, and you have something so different, unique, and shiny that it begged to move beyond a mere 14 episodes. If Christopher Plummer slipped on the bathroom floor and invented time travel right now he would so go back in time and make sure this foolish decision was reversed immediately.
As a result of your complete muddling of this show, such as airing episodes out of order and changing some of the show’s grittier elements, you completely destroyed what the Boston Globe called, “[a] wonderful, imaginative mess brimming with possibility.” You created the mess and it STILL had possibility. The show was ahead of the up and coming generation that desired to see a space universe that wasn’t all obsessed with science and progress, but took an honest look at what would happen if humanity reached the farthest reaches of space and what would happen when an inter-galactic war ravages the lives of the losers, as well as the winners.
I digress from your poor decision making and continue to lament that I will never see Mal and Inara blossom into a relationship. Never will I find out why Shepherd Book lived in an abbey and knew so much about war, crime, and had such a sway with the alliance (granted, we found out some years later from comic books and Whedon himself, but it was never able to be fleshed out on the small screen). And Jubal Early! How many rad episodes could have been made when he miraculously returns from floating in space to torment the crew of Serenity and then eventually join up with their ranks! Oh the humanity! You have watched a possible TV zeppelin flame out in your very faces!
It is with saddest regards and with the burning ire of Jayne’s scowling expression that I end this letter before I kick your gorram posteriors and banish you the mud pits of of Canton and sing that catchy number inspired by the scowling Mr.Cobb himself!
Firefly fan and honorary Browncoat