Time has proven to be the best friend of Firefly, which wasn’t exactly considered a hit show when it first aired ten years ago, but it’s obviously managed to attract a very strong cult following today.
So strong in fact that now Firefly is finally a big ratings winner a decade after the show went dark.
As Firefly fans know, on November 11, the Science Channel ran the special Firefly: Browncoats United, and they also played the series leading up to the special. As the Hollywood Reporter confirms, the special brought in 1.2 million viewers and was also the Science Channel’s most-watched Sunday night program among people ages 25-54.
The Huffington Post recently dubbed Firefly “easily one of the most successful failed shows of all time,” and the reviews for the special were very positive. As Collider wrote, “The real delight of the special is the fly-on-the-wall feeling of seeing a bunch of friends get back together and talk about the good 'ole days.”
As for why Firefly still holds up, Entertainment Weekly floated a few theories, such as the show features "a tomorrow that feels like today." Indeed, the key to creating great sci-fi may very well be to take some of today with you into the future - or at least keep the futuristic stuff minimal so it doesn’t look too dated in the future.
As Jeff Jensen writes, "the same qualities that made Firefly so high concept also make it feel timeless," and that the show "feels more relevant than ever before." Jensen also notes hat Firefly has "big damn heroes," much like in the Avengers, and Joss Whedon cast them very well. "With so many star-making turns from so many now-established names, it’s boggling in retrospect to believe this show bombed."
But again, time can be a work of art’s best friend, and the world finally came around to Firefly. As Nathan Fillion told Variety, "When Firefly was cancelled, I thought it would go the way of most all other canceled shows: nowhere. But it just won’t die."