Back Seat Producers Fanboy Smackdown Season 01 Shows

FBSD Episode 34: Serenity

Hi Sara, Elizabeth, Shane, Jon, and Ryu!We go through the weekend past, both time spent at ShowMeCon/Anime St. Louis and the weekend’s box office numbers. (

There is one bit of audio buzz at about the 27 minute mark… The Gods of THX hath smacked down my microphone. You’ll see why…

We review and then dig into Serenity. Why? Because mere hours before we recorded this show was the first time Tony #2 had seen it!

Promo: Donate to Ziggurat Con for the troops check out for the details.

Next week: Happy Anniversary!

Homework: North by Northwest and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

Don’t you love us anymore? – send an email – post a comment
206-339-FBSD(3273) – leave a voicemail – join the forum

0 replies on “FBSD Episode 34: Serenity”

Hey guys, another good show. I do have to say that your discussion of Serenity struck me as awfully safe and Browncoat PC.

I’ll admit, I’m not a Browncoat. I didn’t get into Firefly until it was on DVD the summer before Serenity came out. I enjoyed the series on DVD and looked forward to the movie.

Once the movie was over, I felt that I was ready to be done with this universe. Killing off Book was perhaps understandable. Killing off Wash, especially in the first movie, was simply gratuitous. At the end of the movie, I felt like this group that I had become connected to in the TV series had been broken. If Joss cared so little about them that he was willing to off them for cheap big screen thrills, there was no point in me caring about these characters anymore, either.

I must confess, your comments about why it was a good thing to kill these characters off (cast was too big, Kailey and Simon are the new couple, Summer is the spiritual character now) come across sounding like rationalizations and I don’t think they came across very strongly.

So, those are my thoughts. Overall, as usual, it was a good show. Though someone needs to tone down on their heavy breathing again 🙂

Sorry Ed I’m with the Tonys on this one. Wash’s death was absolutely essential to the structure of the movie. Without it, the ‘last stand’ at the end would fall flat. And if you’ve read any interviews with Joss about the writing of the movie you’ll know that

“Joss cared so little about them that he was willing to off them for cheap big screen thrills”

is quite a ridiculous suggestion! Don’t get me wrong, I was completely gutted after the movie, but I still maintain that scene is the very opposite of ‘cheap thrills’.

Having said that, I don’t think the whole couple-replacing-couple/spiritual-replacing-spiritual thing had much to do with it. You can certainly make that connection afterwards, but I doubt it influenced the writing in any way.


I admittedly don’t know a lot about the brown coat movement. I know that they were show die-hards that somehow got a failed television series made into a film, and where they have gone from there I have no clue. So, I don’t know whether I was safe or not–I’d like to know more about what you mean–I assume you must mean that because we didn’t come down hard on ending the universe that we were soft on them, but I’m not sure.

Personally, I could stand to see another movie. But if it never happens, it’s no big deal. I liked what they gave us.

Oh yeah, and PS, I’m the one that keeps breathing heavy. I don’t know why my mic picks all of that up–I’m just exhaling. I’ll try to figure that one out. I’m probably too close to the mic.


Tony #2

And of course, Drive has been cancelled- it’s a shame, it was a good show, but I’m not gonna badmouth Fox over this, they promoted the hell out of it and gave it lots and lots of exposure especially during American Idol… much like Firefly/Serenity, this series probably got the audience it was going to get and that audience just isn’t large enough to support it on a regular basis, no matter what the very vocal fan base likes to think…

As far as any future Firefly/Serenity projects… the best bet will probably be in comics…

As to my own thoughts on this… great series, great movie… I really do enjoy both, though I won’t get as gooey about it as their devoted fan base does… it doesn’t surprise me that something like Serenity replaces Star Wars on a list of favorite science fiction films amongst a group of fans today… but honestly, if that audience had a Battlestar Galactica movie now, that would probably replace Serenity as their favorite science fiction movie of all time– perspective isn’t something that’s necessarily big in a some of these fanbases today…

“And of course, Drive has been cancelled- it’s a shame, it was a good show, but I’m not gonna badmouth Fox over this, they promoted the hell out of it and gave it lots and lots of exposure”

So why promote a show and then kill it when it’s been on the air less than two weeks? No show could possibly be expected to build any kind of audience in such a short run (excluding shows that were guaranteed to be hits before they even premiered obviously *cough* Heroes *cough*).

And as for the comment about the fanbase – generalise much? 😉

Well, the fanbase certainly puts itself out there to generalise… don’t they? They certainly do from my point of view…

Well maybe no show could be expected to build an audience in such a short time… you’ve just got to have an audience in the first place to build on…

You kill it if it’s ratings are unbelievably low and in the toilet to the point that there’s no resusictation… their money was only committed to what, I think 5 episodes at that point (and the rumor has it that the other ones will be burned off on a Friday night)… and I believe Drive’s ratings were even lower than that of something like Studio 60’s or The Black Donnelly’s (we’re talkin’ low- and I believe their ratings went even lower from the first week to the second)… so as a business (and make no mistake, that’s what network television is) do you keep something out there that you’re spending millions on and getting no return or even no glimmers of a return, or do you cancel it and stop the bleeding?

Hey, don’t get me wrong, I liked Drive, but y’know some of these things just will not get the audience draw to be supported by a major network… and today, even though fanboys might all be a-buzz with how good a show is, they’re still not gonna be enough to save one… And let’s consider for a moment that they’re showing extensive advertising for the show during American Idol which is arguably the most watched show on network television right now… it’s not like people didn’t know about the show, is it?

“You kill it if it’s ratings are unbelievably low and in the toilet to the point that there’s no resusictation…”

As I understand it, the ratings weren’t great but they weren’t abysmal either, particularly given the timeslot and the time of year. But irrespective of what the ratings were, a meagre two weeks on the air can never, under any circumstances, be enough to gauge the likelihood of a show building an audience.

Yes Fox may have finally got the promotion right for a Tim Minear show but what does that matter if they do everything else wrong:

– They delayed the series until April, which is traditionally not a good time to premiere a new show.
– They required Tim to produce 3 episodes for a two-night premiere when they were already on a tight schedule.
– They cut the episode order before the show even aired. I can’t count the number of folks I’ve seen posting messages like ‘there’s no point tuning in because the show is doomed’ – talk about your self-fulfilling prophecies…
– They’ve held back the two remaining for the summer. Why? Why not air a two-hour premiere then at least take 4 weeks airing the remaining comissioned episodes to get a better idea of how things might pan out? (Not that a 5 week trial period would be a whole lot better, but it sure beats 1 and a half…)

I enjoyed hering you guys talk about the Big Damn Movie. I agree with the other Tony in that I would have liked to seen something more about the “hands of blue” guys. As far as Star wars is invloved, I would say Star Wars was a simple story told very well and Serenity is a more complex story told simplely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *