Why Republicans Hate Firefly

Today we tackle a question of monumental importance to the Geek community:

Why was Buffy so popular but Firefly, a show about space pirate cowboys, was not? Is it a conspiracy?

-P. Boogie

The simple answer to your question, is yes there is a conspiracy.  If in doubt, there is usually a conspiracy.  People love getting together behind other people’s backs and concocting sinister plots for no purpose other than to make people cry; especially children, though clearly some people also love to make Geeks cry.


Buffy being all sassy with a knife.

Buffy began its epic ascent into pop culture history with the movie in 1992.  Some Buffy fans don’t have much love for the movie (including Joss himself for entirely valid reasons), but they obviously don’t fully appreciate Pee-Wee Herman as a vampire.  Joss wasn’t able to truly implement his vision of Buffy until the television series in 1997, which not only helped to solidify his career, but also helped put a brand new TV station on the map: The WB.

Most of us probably associate The WB with vomit-inducing teen dramas like Dawson’s Creek and 7th Heaven, but Buffy shared a lot with these shows, particularly their teenage audience.  As a result, Buffy and the The WB had both found their target demographic.  The show appealed not only to socially awkward Geek teens playing D&D in the basement, but also to anyone interested in a bunch of overly-dramatic teenage shenanigans (which pretty much covers every teenager).

Buffy never achieved true popularity according to the “Big 4” Network standards, hitting #120 on the ratings at its height of popularity, but this was more than enough for a blossoming network.  It could have been a complete flop, but it soldiered on and found its place in our hearts.  Buffy’s success then, can mainly be attributed to the fact that The WB as a new network had low standards, and was really good at taking advantage of teenagers.


Best TV show ever.

Firely on the other hand, was a show that should have been successful, but wasn’t.  And when I say it should have been, I don’t simply mean I wanted it to be, I mean that it could have lasted for a good many years if it wasn’t for its mismanagement at the hands of one of the worst broadcasting networks in the history of television.

Fox television is a complete travesity for a number of reasons, not least of which was ruining one of the greatest television shows ever created (yes, I love Firefly that much).  But really, I suppose you can’t expect much from a network that’s owned by a man that serves on the board of directors for a Libertarian organization.  Anyone that allows Ayn Rand to influence their ideological and politcal beliefs has deeper issues than simply being an incompetant CEO.

The problems began before the show even started, with Fox insisting that the intended Pilot episode be discarded, forcing Joss to air episodes out of order (and they continued to do this throughout the series life).  The group of geniuses that Fox is composed of decided that following the plot was less important than wowing their audience with action and explosions.  From the beginning, Fox was pushing for action and comedy, ignoring the fact that Joss was trying to create a more complex character-driven story.  On top of this they  frequently preempted it in favor of sports.

So, let’s review the problems:

1) You couldn’t actually follow the plot
2) They advertised and marketed for it terribly
3) You never knew when the damn show would actually be on

Sounds like a plan for success if I ever heard one!  But the real question is why?  Why would they do this?  Why would they sign on a show and then fuck it up?  What the hell was the point?

I think the answer to this questions makes itself readily apparent if we take a closer look at Joss Whedon.  Joss has expressed a number of personal views publicly, which have made him a target for Fox:

1) Joss is an atheist
2) Joss is a femenist
3) Joss is a humanist
4) Joss is an absurdist


A super cool guy.  How can you be mean to that face?

All of these things combined mean that Fox hates Joss.  All of his ideals are principles that oppose everything the network and its CEO stand for.  They support the Republican and Conservative politcal agendas, which adhere to ideals we can distill down to the following:

1) They think God is awesome
2) They hate women
3) They place more value on individual success rather than the success of humanity
4) They think they actually know things

When we break things down in this manner, it becomes clear that the cancellation of Firefly was nothing more than a conspiracy by the politcal right.  Their only goal is to make life miserable for everyone that isn’t a rich, white, Christian man.  Joss eptimozes everything they despise, and many of his philosphical ideals played out in his artistic endevours.  By taking on Firefly, Fox tried to ensure that it would never succeed.

What Fox didn’t take into account was the tenacity of Geeks.  We know what’s good.  We know what like, and not even Republicans can take it away from us.  In 2008 Firefly hit #1 on Amazon DVD sales.  Kiss Joss Whedons’ ass Fox.

Anarchistically Yours,
The Dungeon Master

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18 Responses to Why Republicans Hate Firefly

  1. Mark says:

    from a mere mortal in the Uk who really finds Firefly to be really enthralling as well as moving I am not really savvy to the left right agenda of the USA, well not until the recent election, but what do I know? I think that each character sums up a type, one gun toting conservative, one bruised leader, a strong fighting woman, a cold calculating survivalist, etc…… each character could sum up a human group or archetype. They all come together and the story is the resolution of their conflicts. I discovered the series on UK TV 5 years ago and when I am sad or despondent I watch it again and it gives me hope. Its not just an America story its a universal story, with a cowboy theme (I grew up with The Viirginian and Alias Smth and Jones). The table they all eat around is a place of unity. Its a good place where wounds are healed. I love `em. I sometimes wish it would get to come back but I sometimes think you should never get what you wish for but use what you have already. I wish there was a group in the UK….but I may be alone! Mark from London

  2. Wongstein says:

    Republicans probably love Firefly. They’ve already proven that they have terrible opinions with their politics, I don’t see any reason that that wouldn’t apply to their taste in television. I mean, Mal is a white male who is pissy about losing the Civil War, sounds like the Republican base to me.

    And if you like Ayn Rand you’ll probably love the fact that Firefly is quite obviously an ode to the right of the individual to abuse and take advantage of other individuals.

    If anything, Firefly failed simply because it is badly written, with artificial and unlikable characters and a dumb dumb dumb plot. Let’s not forget the fact that it’s clearly a Western with some scifi elements clumsily stapled on because Joss Whedon needed a gimmick for his show and uninspired genre mashups are kind of his signature.

  3. Don says:

    I think you see the smoking gun. Mindless military worshiping propaganda will air more than something good and real like Firefly. Power only wants to show a vision through a very narrow selection, sort of like the business class Democratic party or the business class Republican party. Republicans today are far right and Democrats are center right. Anything left like Democracy or pro public or human will be filtered like the New york times. All the news power thinks is important. Take a look at Whedon’s new Avengers – pure pro military worshiping. He is allowed his freedom as long as the public has their mind right. No Democracy. Fox is self regulating for this narrow vision no matter the ratings.

  4. Tom King says:

    Republicans and conservatives in general LOVE Firefly. Ask actual Republicans instead of making assumptions about the people who own Fox. Fox television (not Fox News) is full of card carrying liberals working throughout the network. It would have been easy for them to sabotage the series if they didn’t like the message. Say what you like about Whedon, in the series he was respectful of religion, women, capitalism (not national corporatism – two different things) and sent the kind of message Republicans respond to. You’re way off base, man. Unfortunately conservatives are officially in a minority. Apparently the majority of Americans are looking for government to provide food, clothing, health care and peace. To get it most would willingly swallow a little paxallon hydro-chlorate in their drinking water just so long as they didn’t have to do any actual work to get it.

    • I can only assume you didn’t read the article, or the concepts of satire and parody are lost on you. This blog is written by a person pretending to be a fictional character expressing views that don’t actually exist, but are probably really awesome anyway.

  5. Gabriel Gast says:

    The Browncoats were a quintessentially libertarian group, Whedon come up with the idea after reading about the lives and perspectives of ex-confederate soldiers after the civil war. The movie Serenity makes it super explicit that a wealthy society that uses statist methods to try and improve the lives of fringe groups just leads to unintended backlash like the reapers and death of 9 in 10 people on planet Miranda. That doesn’t mean the show wasn’t cancelled for not being Republican enough, after all Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, and the completely massive increase in Federal power, oppression, taxation, and murdering on his Executive orders has never been matched by any president ever. In essence Republicans are who Mal and the crew fought against and are running from. Sorry to bring up an old subject, enjoying your blog Matt!

  6. Pingback: Angry Birds, Swine and the Secret Cold War | Ask the Dungeon Master

  7. navid moghadam says:

    I’m not sure,because firefly episodes were full of conservative/republican point of views,somethings like independence of planets (as independence of states in civil war of us in conservatives view), meddle of alliance government ( federal acts of us government) and intention of government to spread the poverty equally ( how tea party people accuse democrats and liberals)

    • You could interpret those either way though. Independence is an issue of freedom, and much more general of theme, and can easily be applied to any sort of democratic political system. Meddling governments are the same sort of thing. It just depends on how they meddle. If they’re oppressing at all, complaining about it is going to happen by anyone, republican or not.

      • rorschach00 says:

        I believe Navid has it right. It was River Tam who said,
        People don’t like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think. Don’t run, don’t walk. We’re in their homes and in their heads and we haven’t the right. We’re meddlesome.”
        Republicans today argue from the Reagan position today that Government isn’t the solution to the problem; government IS the problem. When you have one party removing salt from the tables in NY because it’s bad for you, telling you how much cola you can have, what your children can and cannot have for their lunches, dictating for us what is morally right and wrong thru the lense of political correctness, it would seem that it’s fairly evident who the Browncoats are and who the Alliance is in this scenario. Dungeon Master stated in the article that republicans (actually, conservatives as a whole) value the individual’s success over humanity’s success. This couldn’t be more true. Because when you start talking about ‘humanity’s success’ you have to ask yourself who gets to decide the definition of humanity’s success? Yours? Or perhaps Hitlers? He too had a vision for humanity’s success, let’s not forget.

  8. I think that the Fox Network aka Republican homeland mostly didn’t like Firefox because it envisioned a future that was not America centric like Star Trek

    but rather a future that Earth was more multicultural and China/US were the dominant cultures.

    Firefly was cast out because of racist sentiment, even though there weren’t Chinese characters and the cast was what you’d expect for an America Earth future.

  9. Nice good old fashioned blogging. I watched Firefly WAY after its initial run, on Hulu, and the more episodes I got through the more my heart did break.

  10. ladyazure says:

    Ahaha so true.
    FOX hates all things good. Firefly, Dollhouse.. ; _ ; The list is endless.

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