Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Saddest Story Never Told: Firefly

If you are reading this, odds are you are to some small degree a nerd.

It might be a little thing. Maybe you like the odd fantasy book. Maybe you're fond of videogames, maybe you read comic books. Maybe it's all three. Maybe it's as simple as, you watched Star Wars once and liked it. It does not matter to what degree one is a nerd: it only matters that one is, and in that instance, know that It is coming.

If It has already happened to you, you know to which I refer--probably because of the blog title--but if it hasn't, I regret to inform you that the single-most blended moment of love, horror, delight, fury, and utter confusion has not yet happened to you. Perhaps you think that that one time that chick broke up with you was worse, and she was really the one, you know?

Well, you're wrong.

Of all the experiences nerds share--that first time you watched Star Wars IV (and if you haven't, seriously, what the hell), when you finished reading Lord of the Rings--most are fairly unique to the individual experiencing them. It may be some comfort that It is something that we all experience, in more or less the same way. Because there is no greater pain for a nerd, dork, geek, or general pop culture afficianado. No greater pain.

It is Firefly. It is coming. You cannot stop it. You will not stop it. If It has already happened to you, you know the story. The beginnings are similar. Your friends insist that Firefly is the single-greatest thing to happen to television, that you need to watch it, that Joss Whedon is God, etc., until a point where you hate the very mention of Firefly or Whedon in such an elemental way that to hear their mere mention is enough to send you into an eye-rolling gut-curling fit of grumbling upset. One day, however, you stumble upon one of those friends in the midst of a Firefly marathon, though you might not yet realize it is Firefly. It seems very interesting. There are cowboys, and spaceships.


You ask if your friend has gotten very far into the series. Typically, as though by happy coincidence of the universe, they have not, and they restart. You decide to watch the first episode with them, for kicks.

By the time it closes, you realize there is nothing on this earth that could tear you from that screen. You careen through the entire series, and possibly the film Serenity. Either way, in the rough span of a day, you reach the end.

And then it hits you like a sack of bricks concentrated on your groin. This was cancelled. You look at your friend in disbelief. They sigh and pat your shoulder and say "I know." They have not come to terms with it, either. They never will, nor will you. It is all any of us can do to continue on with that terrible, burning conviction that such a horrifyingly regrettable mistake has been made, that you and yours have somehow been wronged, forever, by the cancelling of this show.

It will never leave you. And every now and again, when your guard is down, when you least expect it, it will occur to you in an instant of sheer rage and disbelief, and you'll be reduced to that first instant of horrible realization that quite possibly Joss Whedon's best series was killed before it grew to the greatness it could have reached.

"Buffy's first season blew," you think to yourself. "Imagine what Firefly could've been."

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