The Silver Lining… Alternate Titles For Firefly That Could Have Saved It (Maybe… Probably Not)

Does this title scream western sci-fi space romp or what?

Joss Whedon is about to hit the proverbial big-time very soon.  Fans that know him already love him and probably consider him “big-time”, but I’m talking about the next level shit here.

Much like how Jon Favreau was merely that guy who was in that cool indie Rat Pack-era inspired 90’s film (that he wrote) alongside Vince VaughnFavreau was not a name the masses knew until a little flick called Iron Man.

With The Avengers, the masses will now know Whedon.  And if they don’t, they should.

That having been said:

What the fuck was he thinking when he named his best television show to date Firefly?

If you don’t know the show, you should be ashamed of yourself.  It’s the one-season wonder that was so beloved, it got a theatrical follow-up, Serenity… which is also a sucky name.  Firefly is the class of ship and Serenity is its name.

This is tantamount to calling a Star Wars TV show, Corellian Freighter, and the movie based on it, Millenium Falcon.  (Okay, the movie title kind of works.)

If Firefly had a different show title, would it have lasted?  All I can say is it would have stood out more.  (When I originally heard of the show, I heard “from the creator of Buffy, comes Firefly“… needless to say, I didn’t watch it in its original run.)

Here are my alternate suggestions for Firefly/Serenity:

  • “Mal” – could have evoked Darth Maul, or malice… it’s better than using the lead character’s full name, “Mal Reynolds” (which is still better than John Carter), but it does not capture all the characters
  • “Browncoats” – this is what the rebels of the Alliance were called… we’re getting somewhere, but this still only covers two players
  • “OutRiders” – a play on the word that means forerunner or harbinger… evokes outsider and rider of horses/ships, perhaps… also sounds like it could be a show on Bravo
  • “Spacecoach”since this show is like Stagecoach In Space horrible idea
  • “The Last Frontier” – frontier = boring to me
  • Space Western” – it worked for That 70’s Show

So why did Whedon go with Firefly?

Whedon wanted to give the show a name that indicated movement and power, and felt that “Firefly” had both.  This powerful word’s relatively insignificant meaning, Whedon felt, added to its allure.  He eventually wound up creating the ship in the image of a firefly. (via)

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The Sh– To Just Sh–ty… Ranking Nerd TV Producers

Nerds love nerds.  Even the candy.

But nerds also hate nerds, and no one more nerdy than a nerd can properly slam another nerd.  You know the old nerd adage:

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.

There’s one exception to that:

Nerds’ words hurt nerds worst.

What I plan to examine here is a gaggle of famous nerd TV (and film) producers (and writers), and do what every nerd dares to do to others, but fears to have done to them — rank them as TV producers… from The Shit To Just Shitty.

THE SHIT (EXPECTED)

Joss Whedon

WHAT HE’S DONE: Firefly… plus DollhouseBuffy, and Angel if you’re into those as well

WHAT HE HASN’T DONE: Screwed over his fans.  Whedon is such a fanboy nerd, he took his box office failure of a movie, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and created two long-running shows from that; he also took a failed TV show, Firefly, and wrapped up its story in a movie (Serenity)!  BONUS: Fans have a lot of faith in his upcoming film, The Avengers, because of his previous writing credits in comics (The Astonishing X-Men) and earlier screenplay efforts (in whole or in part) for Toy Story, Speed, and one of my favorites, Waterworld.

THE SHIT (UNEXPECTED)

Bryan Fuller

WHAT HE’S DONE: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies

WHAT HE HASN’T DONE: Stayed with Heroes.  He wrote the series best episode, Company Man, which fleshed-out Horned Rim Glasses in a fantastic way that the show could never replicate, and in many ways, would even abandon.  Having characters that make sense?  Heroes would never stoop so low.

KINDA THE SHIT

Rob Thomas

WHAT HE’S DONE: Veronica Mars and Party Down

WHAT HE HASN’T DONE: Enough.  More please!

USED TO BE THE SHIT

You know who this is...

WHAT HE’S DONE: Amazing Stories, Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, ER, and later, Band of Brothers

WHAT HE HASN’T DONE: Lived up to producing anything up to the caliber those shows: Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid, Toonsylvania, Falling Skies, and Terra Nova?  Smash and The River sound no better…

JUST SHITTY

J.J. Abrams

WHAT HE’S DONE: Felicity, LOST, What About Brian, Six Degrees, Undercovers, Person of Interest, and the upcoming Alcatraz

WHAT HE HASN’T DONE: Shit on me.  LOST might not have been all his fault, but the supernatural element was his suggestion.  I didn’t include Alias or Fringe because I haven’t seen them… but if you read this blog regularly (I doubt it) or know me (know one I know reads this), click here to see how I feel about LOST