She should have died hereafter
So I have finally gotten around to watching Firefly (but not Serenity, yet, so no spoilers!) and I have to agree with so many of my friends that it is a wonderful show. And I’m also very sad that it had such a short life.
Which sort of got me to thinking about my feelings on TV shows vs. movies (or books) generally. TV shows have the advantage of letting you revisit favorite characters and places repeatedly; their episodic nature gives you a chance to form lasting "relationships" with them. Movies are more about a certain monumental event in the lives of the characters. TV shows are just about living from week to week.
I rarely watch TV anymore. I don’t own one, and I don’t bother to watch the public ones in my building. And I have to say that I don’t really miss it. I had been slowly weaning myself off it during my last few years of college, anyway. Oddly enough, my cutting back was more because I found myself too involved in the shows I watched rather than out of some anti-bourgeois entertainment sentiment. I would be heartbroken for days if a character got killed off, let alone if the entire show was cancelled. I had to be very careful about the shows I chose to watch, trying to find ones that would that would be robust enough to last a while.
This is one advantage to movies and books: they don’t get cut short. They don’t have characters replaced or change writers mid-storyline. When you pick one up, you can be pretty sure that it ends the way the author wanted it to, without outside pressures from directors, producers, networks or stars.
On the other hand, I think it’s almost worse to have a show drag on past its prime. A show that is prematurely cancelled is like the untimely death of a teenager. A show that goes downhill is like a good friend with dementia: their very familiarity of form makes it even more painful that they are now behaving in such odd and unpredictable ways.
So maybe it’s better that the show ended before I ever heard of it. Instead of lasting long enough to molder into a shadow of itself, we are left with fourteen perfect episodes, like pearls on a string.
Requiescat in pace, sweet Firefly.