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Firefly

“Create a world that floats on a layer of metaphor, drench it in big ideas about the world, fill it with real people, and then absolutely demand intelligence of your viewers.  Welcome to Serenity.”
–Jane Espenson, writer for Firefly (among many other shows)

The cast of Firefly

In Firefly, Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) fought (and unfortunately lost) the battle of Serenity Valley.  He was part of an underdog rebel force fighting against the Alliance military for control of his world, his universe, and for the freedom of how to live his life.  His rebels were known as Browncoats, a name that fans of Firefly took as their own, to show their unity and devotion to the cause.  For some, the cause was simply support of the show.  For others, it became much more. And much like Mal, who continued to fight for what he believed throughout the course of the series, they still fight today, for the good of all.

The Browncoats portrayed on Firefly were rebels to the core, fighting against the status quo.  So too are the self-styled followers of the series, independents all.  These Browncoats fight not only to keep the memory of the series alive, but have been out there now going on six years to raise money for charity and spread the word.  They continue to tell to the world about both good causes and their beloved passion, Firefly.

Mal: “Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?”
Zoe: “Big damn heroes, sir.”
–from the episode Safe

This year's promotional logo

While there are many loosely organized groups (as is befitting a bunch of independents, many of whom discovered Firefly individually and came together later), there is an umbrella charity group called Can’t Stop the Serenity that deserves special notice.  Can’t Stop the Serenity co-ordinates charity showings of the 2005 Serenity feature film in various locations around the world (usually theatres, on a big screen as the film should be seen).  They also act as a clearing house for some of the license issues, and to help support the charity Equality Now, a favorite of Firefly creator Joss Whedon.  Other events also raise money to donate to a wide variety of charities in addition to Equality Now, and the shindigs have been known to feature auctions of Firefly-related merchandise, items signed by stars of the show, and related memorabilia (such as screenings of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which featured Firefly star Nathan Fillion and was written/produced/directed by Whedon).

The group has been going strong for the last five years, and as they enter their sixth, they’ve helped sponsor yearly gatherings everywhere from Lawrence, Kansas to Melbourne, Australia; from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Hamburg, Germany.  While events are held at various times during the year, most are organized around the last weekend in June (honoring Whedon’s birthday of June 26).  In 2010 alone, the group raised over $100,000 for Equality Now and a significant percentage more for other worthy organizations.  Fifty different sanctioned events were held around the world in 2010, and that’s just counting the events and donations affiliated with this particular Browncoats group.

“I write for fanboy moments.  I write to give myself strength.  I write to be the characters that I am not.  I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.  I write to do all the things the viewers want too.  So the intensity of the fan response is enormously gratifying.  It means I hit a nerve.”
— Joss Whedon

Other events were held in cities large and small, featuring more than just screenings of the show.  For example, an event called Firefly Forever was held last year for fans of the show in a venue that often features touring Broadway productions.  It had not only a screening of the Serenity movie and Dr. Horrible, but also trivia contests, costumed attendees, and a tribute band led by Megan Gogerty.  In addition to being an award-winning playwright and performer, Megan loves both Firefly and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer so much (both Whedon projects) she has created tribute albums for each.  Her music is fun, occasionally poignant, and shows how Firefly has stimulated her already creative energy in terrific ways.

Browncoats: Redemption cast, fans and filmmakers all

Fans weren’t happy with the fact that Firefly ended so quickly, even with the feature film Serenity to help tie up a few of the loose ends.  One group created their own feature-length production called Browncoats:  Redemption, and it is now being shown at various SF conventions and gatherings, including some Can’t Stop the Serenity events mentioned above.  Obviously a labor of love, what it lacks slightly in Hollywood budget it more than makes up for in enthusiasm and passion for a series gone but not forgotten… much like Mal and the original rebels shared their passion for a battle lost and still remembered, or Joss and his own passionate fight for Firefly against the television powers-that-be.  The makers of this fan film also support a number of charities, and their website notes not only Equality Now, but also Kids Need to Read, a charity Firefly star Nathan Fillion helped found a number of years ago to advocate assorted opportunities for youngsters and literacy.

“I’d rather make a show 100 people need to see, than a show that 1000 people want to see.”
— Joss Whedon

If the original Firefly was all about character, then the response of the fans was all about passion.  Passion in action is creativity, and Firefly fans are overwhelmingly both passionate and creative.  Welcome to the Blue Sun Room at FireflyFans.net.  Here there are a simply amazing amount of original fan fiction, filk songs (Megan’s not the only one singing the praises of Firefly!), various compilation videos, banners and wallpapers for computers and websites, and original artwork based on the series.  Some have even created jewelry, model weapons, and costumes based on character accessories seen on the show.  Firefly was inspirational to many, causing them to create based on their love for these characters and their dramatic situations.

“I’m very much of the ‘make it dark, make it grim, make it tough.’  But then, for the love of God, tell a joke.”
–Joss Whedon

Mal, perhaps the Captain of an animated Serenity?

Of course, dramatic situations don’t stop fans from having fun with their adopted creation.  There are many comical songs available, not to mention stories written which run the gamut from hauntingly beautiful and sad to downright hilarious.  Fans have done so many wonderful things it’s hard to describe the wide variations available.  One fan even went so far as to draw some of the characters as cartoons, perhaps in the hope of someday reviving the show as an animated series, but more likely as just another way to share his love of the show through his particular talents.  And maybe that’s when you can tell that a show has become much more than just a show to people… they take what they love and somehow are moved to make it part of themselves, part of their own identity.  That’s what passion really is, an expression of self.

“I refuse to give up.  I can’t.”
–Creator Joss Whedon, on bringing back Firefly

Even the cast and crew were caught up in the specialness of Firefly, so much so that it has been a part of their professional lives long after the cancellation of the original series.  Yes, the Serenity movie was a gift, a reunion experience that most short-lived television shows and their fans never get.  But even now, the ‘verse of Firefly remains a part of them all, and rather than resent being identified with a canceled show, they embrace the experience.

Space Cowboy, five years later

Nathan Fillion was seen in a Halloween episode of his current series Castle in his old Mal Reynolds costume, with a fun bit interacting with his onscreen “daughter” played by Molly Quinn.  Her line?  “That was like five years ago.”  Another Firefly joke landed in Castle this past season when his mother (talking about something else entirely) said “You have heard of Serenity, haven’t you?”  Fillion loves his association with the show, so much so that he recently sparked notions of a revival.  When asked about his experience on Firefly and he current feelings on the series, he responded that if he won the lottery, he’d take the $300 million, buy the rights to Firefly, and start making it again.  There was a Facebook page and a website dedicated to “Help Nathan buy Firefly” created by fans within days, and two former writers for the series, Jane Espenson and Jose Molina, immediately added their support to the idea….  Passion, my friends, passion.

Summer Glau in The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Other actors in the show have continued their careers in geek- and SF-related shows, likely sparked by their fanbase from Firefly.  Morena Baccarin (Irina) recently finished her second season as the lead in ABC’s revival of V, while Jewel Staite (Kaylee) was a featured regular on Stargate:  Atlantis.  Adam Baldwin (Jayne) has been a regular on NBC’s Chuck for a number of seasons, and Summer Glau (River) has been a fan favorite on a many genre shows, including The 4400, Terminator:  The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and The Cape.  Glau has also been a guest on The Big Bang Theory, a show which has featured some terrific references to the original Firefly.  (One character on Big Bang Theory is STILL angry at the cancellation, years later, so much so that it’s a running gag.  He’s not typical in his expressed anger, but he’s not the only one who is not happy with Fox, even now, for what happened.)

“…you’re going to burn in a very special level of hell.  A level they reserve for child molesters… and people who talk at the theater.”
–Shepherd Book, who unfortunately was NOT talking about the Fox executive who canceled Firefly

Obviously, there were a number of people who were very unhappy at the cancellation of Firefly… but the problem with that idea is, there really weren’t enough people watching it when it was originally on in the first place.  For some of the reasons (and for some of the blame on Fox), you can see last week’s article.  But partially because of the haphazard treatment of the network, Firefly never really gained a wide audience until AFTER its original airing, and the passion grew as more and more fans were turned on to the amazing characters and setting by OTHER fans along the way.

The feature film Serenity (released in 2005) came about because of Fox’s short-sightedness as well, and the obvious enthusiasm of the Browncoats.  Shortly after the cancellation, episodes were shown to the head of Universal (a Fox rival), who immediately snapped up the movie rights to the franchise.  Bigger, better sets were built, a script written by Joss Whedon (who also directed), and the entire cast and much of the crew were reunited, joyously, to once again play in their favorite ‘verse.  While the stakes were raised (and favorites lost), Serenity was still a way for the fans to get answers to some lingering questions about the characters, and for at least some form of resolution to be achieved.

But fans… Browncoats… wouldn’t settle for just that, either.  That’s why they’ve made Firefly their own.  That’s why they’ll never let it end.  It’s personal now.

There’s a reason the DVD sets were such big sellers, and that’s because very few people actually saw the original airing of the series… but thanks both to the Serenity film and the Browncoats spreading the word from person to person, Firefly has exploded in the viewing consciousness since.  If you wish to see something of what I’m talking about, episodes are available on Hulu, with different hours rotating in and out each week.

Firefly is unique, not just because of the characters or the setting, the ideas or the writing… it is unique because it’s a television show that became much more than what most television shows ever become:  it changed the lives and behavior of numerous viewers for the better.  Whether in their own creative endeavors, or their actions in supporting valuable charitable organizations, or even in just taking the ideals of the characters to heart, Firefly has become real.  Not in the fact of flying between planets and space cowboys, but in motivating people into cherishing their own natures, and becoming more than what they were before.

“Take my love, take my land.
Take me where I cannot stand.
I don’t care, I’m still free.
You can’t take the sky from me….”
–The opening theme song from Firefly

In these modern times, situations we face along the way can take so much from us, just in the everyday struggle to survive.  Be it work, family, home, health… we all have battles we’ve fought, and sometimes lost.  Compromises sometimes have to be made, and like I said about Mal in the previous article, so many individuals try to be good people… where good isn’t always an option.  But Firefly touched a nerve for many, and while it showed characters battling foes larger than themselves, it also showed how each of them could prosper individually, even with just small victories along the way.

The rebels and Browncoats identified with the crew of Serenity as their own, with likely someone on the crew being a personal draw to almost anyone who watched.  And the ultimate theme of the series was like a shining beacon to many:  No matter what happens, no matter what battles are won or lost, there are certain things that are intrinsically part of each of us, and those things can never be taken away, no matter how hard some may try.

You can’t take the sky from me….

I’ve been doing this for a year now.  Thanks for the journey so far.  Let’s keep flying.  –Tim R.

Comments and suggestions appreciated, as always.

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“Live like real people.  Small crew, them’s that feel the need to be free.  Take jobs as they come.  Ain’t never have to be under the heel of nobody ever again.  No matter how long the arm of the Alliance might get… we just get ourselves a little further.”
–Captain Mal Reynolds, his first time on board the Firefly-class ship Serenity

Unless you’ve been living in one of the more distant settlements on the farther reaches of colonized space, you’ve likely heard of Firefly.  It’s the poster child for short-lived TV series canceled far too soon, quite possibly the best, most remembered television show that never got the chance it deserved to succeed.  It has inspired incredible devotion in fans, amazing passion in actors and creative personnel, and maybe it’s done the one rare thing that television can sometimes achieve:  it’s made lives better.  And as the characters in Firefly said about cool, special, great things in their corner of the ‘verse:  it was “shiny”.

Not bad for a little show about a little spaceship that could….

Firefly debuted on Fox on September 20, 2002.  It was an odd combination of science fiction and western, portraying a universe that was almost wholly human, spread amongst the stars with frontier worlds more similar to cattle ranches and border towns instead of alien spaceports and advanced technology.  What this really meant was stories focused more on the characters instead of “high-concept” tech ideas, and it was through the characters that Firefly truly did shine.

Mal, Captain of Serenity

“I like a hard world, but I like a hard world that molds good people and people with a sense of humor about the world they’re in.”
–Joss Whedon, creator of Firefly

Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) is the Captain of that “little spaceship that could” known as Serenity, a Firefly-class ship carrying a variety of crew and passengers (plus what cargo they could hold, legal or illegal).  Reynolds is a man of dubious and selective honor, who thought nothing of taking jobs involving smuggling and outright theft.  He is a good man (despite his claims to the contrary at times), involved in situations where good isn’t always an available option.  Mal’s trying to eke out a living on the frontier of space, keep his precious ship flying, and (mostly) stay under the radar of those in charge.

“Those in charge” were the Alliance, who had defeated the rebels (and Reynolds, collectively known as the “Browncoats”) a few years earlier in a war to unite the various planets under their heavy-handed authority.  That authority may perhaps work for the more central planets, but those on the farther reaches have a much looser law.  Mal sought his freedom and livelihood there, and found whatever work (legal or otherwise) would keep his ship in the air.  Passengers, contraband, legitimate cargo runs, as long as the job paid, it was a job worth taking… most of the time, anyway.  And hey, if Mal could happen to tweak the nose of the Alliance a bit in the process, then that was well worth doing along the way.

“When I pitched the show, I said it was about nine people living in the blackness of space and seeing nine different things.   That’s what I’m fascinated by, how they all react.  They must make decisions that are horrific to people who aren’t fighting for their lives every day.  It’s about a group of people who are living hand-to-mouth, and are heroes, day-to-day.”
–Joss Whedon

Zoe, devoted to Mal and Wash

Mal’s second-in-command is Zoe (Gina Torres), who’d fought with him against the Alliance years earlier.  She’s devoted to Mal, although she’s also not afraid to question his actions or motives when necessary.  Zoe is a more-than-capable fighter and a crack shot with a gun, abilities that come in very handy out on the Rim worlds where technology takes a back seat to brute force and hard work.  Zoe is afraid of neither, but she also has a softer side, best shown with her beloved husband Wash (Alan Tyduk).

Wash, ready to fly

Wash is the pilot of Serenity, a man with a smile and ready quick wit, although not always the first to grasp exactly what is going on.  He’s deeply in love with his wife, and although he’s occasionally jealous of the devotion Zoe gives to her commander, he realizes there’s a difference between allegiance of the mind and allegiance of the heart, and Zoe’s heart is his alone.  A clever pilot and inventive tactician, Wash tries to be an optimist but isn’t always successful, as the situations the crew of the Serenity comes up against aren’t always the most conducive to optimism.  But that doesn’t stop Kaylee.

Eternally optimistic engineer Kaylee

Kaylee (Jewel Staite) is the always positive heart of the ship, both in character and job.  She’s eternally sweet, gentle, and almost always has a smile on her face.  Kaylee is most comfortable when she’s with her engines, as they give her a feeling of belonging and importance, more than anything else in the world.  She’s had no formal training as a mechanic, but engines seem to “speak” to her (she says), and there are few in the ‘verse who know their way around a propulsion unit like she does.  After living a quiet, uncultured life on a backwater planet, signing up for the crew of Serenity was the first time she’d ever been off her homeworld.  She sees the adventure of Serenity’s voyages with the wonder of new eyes and the joy of new experience, a welcome difference from some of the jaded views of her comrades.

“I don’t believe there’s a power in the ‘verse stop Kaylee from being cheerful.  Sometimes you just want to duct tape her mouth and dump her in the hold for a month.”
–a slightly sarcastic Mal, about Serenity’s Kaylee

"The Hero of Canton", the man they call Jayne

Jaded is where Jayne Cobb (Adam Baldwin) comes in.  He’s the muscle of the group, motivated by one thing only:  cash.  While he’s not the brightest person, he’s handy when heads need knocked together.  He joined up only because Mal made him a better offer than he was getting when his former team tried robbing Serenity, so he switched sides.  His allegiance is tested (and found wanting) in the series, but after he’s threatened with being dumped from the upper atmosphere, his loyalty to the rest of the crew now falls under “enlightened self-interest”.  Jayne has a tendency to end up in opposition to whatever situation is at hand, antagonizing the rest of the crew.  But while he can make the best situation turn into the worst with his mouth or his fists, he can also fall into shit and come up smelling like a rose.  He even became such a hero a song was written about him… too bad the people who wrote it didn’t know he was only trying to save his own skin, not become their champion… but he became that anyway.

Companion Inara

Adding a veneer of respectability to Serenity is Inara Serra (Morena Baccarin), a “Companion” who leases one of Serenity’s two shuttles.  In the world of Firefly, the business of “Companion” is a well thought of and regulated vocation, and Inara is not some common whore or prostitute.  She’s had significant training in both the physical and emotional aspects of her trade, and her profession is licensed and respected.  While used to the finer things in life, she sees her time on Serenity as helpful both as a symbol of manners to the crew, and to give her a base of operations to service the many worlds they visit.  Although she tolerates the crew’s slightly less-than-legal efforts during her transport to those worlds, she also has an unrequited romance with Mal, even if she’d likely never admit it to him.  She provides balance and a calming influence, as is proper for one in her profession.

“Preacher, don’t the bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?”
“Quite specific.  It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of… kneecaps.”

–Zoe and Shepherd Book, as the crew takes up arms to rescue Mal

Shepherd Book, a (mostly) peaceful man

During the 2-hour Firefly pilot episode Serenity, the crew takes on passengers.  These include a wandering Preacher (or Shepherd, in Firefly parlance) known as Book (Ron Glass).  A bit of a mystery, Shepherd Book is in search of something, although he is never quite cornered into admitting just what that quest might entail, spiritual or otherwise.  For a man of peace, he definitely knows his way around a weapon and a fight, and has a pragmatic way of looking at the universe without losing his principles.  He too knows the wayward methods of Mal and the crew aren’t always the most legal, but his calling is to a higher power.  His feelings about the Alliance don’t necessarily put the lawmakers on the side of right, and more often puts Serenity (and himself) there instead.

Doctor Simon Tam

Also boarding during the pilot episode (and not really having a destination in mind) is Dr. Simon Tam (Sean Maher).  Simon grew up in a privileged family on the more civilized (and decadent) central colonies, and was in the top 3% of his class at medical school.  He’s brilliant, if a bit unsure of himself socially and less than knowledgeable about the wilder side of life.  His abilities as a doctor make him invaluable on board Serenity, even though he really doesn’t fit in with the rest of the crew all that well.  He and Kaylee develop a mutual attraction, but his insistence on propriety clashes with Kaylee’s more earthy approach.  His main objective in joining Serenity is to get as far away from the Alliance as possible, because it turns out he’s not just bringing medical supplies with his belongings… he’s actually bringing his fugitive sister.

“I’m very smart.  ‘Gifted’ is the term.  So, when I tell you my little sister makes me look like an idiot child, I want you to understand my full meaning.”
–Simon, about his sister River

fragile, enigmatic River Tam

River Tam (Summer Glau) is a child prodigy even by prodigy standards.  She was sent to an Alliance facility a few years ago, but in her late teens Simon received odd messages from her which he finally determined were in code.  River was asking for help, to escape whatever it was the Alliance was doing to her and the others there.  Simon helped her escape, but she’s not really whole anymore… she is only occasionally lucid, living in her own world and experiencing emotions and thoughts very differently from the rest of the crew.  She’s still brilliant (which is why the Alliance wants her for some nefarious purpose), but her apparent randomness occasionally scares the rest of the crew.  Simon is trying to find out what exactly the blue-gloved minions of the Alliance authority have done to her, and barters his professional services with Mal in return for passage and access to the medical facilities on board to treat River.  The enigmatic River occasionally shows moments of amazing ability she really shouldn’t possess… but also has nightmares of the experimentation that took place at Alliance hands.

“It never goes smooth.  How come it never goes smooth?”
–Mal, just before a sudden but inevitable betrayal

Since most of the characters have some kind of conflict with the central powers of the Alliance (whether obvious or concealed), many of the storylines in Firefly concern not only that tension, but the efforts of Serenity to stay very far away from their notice.  Therefore, a number of the episode plotlines were situated on those backwater frontier worlds where “outer space” took on the look of more traditional westerns.  After all, there are certain technologies (like bullets and horses) that are much easier to use and maintain on the frontier than lasers and anti-gravity cars.  This gave Firefly an unusual hybrid feel, emphasized by common mixing of American and Chinese idioms (and after all, profanity in Chinese is easier to slip by the censors on an American television show).  This same blending occurred in all phases of production, be it casting, props, costumes, or the look of various sets.  Firefly was a unique show with a unique setting, and there’s been none like it before or since.

And television is poorer for the fact that it didn’t last.

Fox did the show no favors, in any way.  First, they insisted upon a “new” pilot, determining that the 2-hour pilot originally shot was “too slow” and not “action” oriented enough.  (Yes, well try introducing a new ‘verse, nine regular characters, the ship, and a couple of antagonists along the way for good measure, and see how much action can be shoehorned into an hour, let alone two!)  Once the series started, Fox also never ran Firefly more than two weeks in a row without a pre-emption, meaning large audiences never developed the “habit” of watching the show regularly.  Finally, the episodes were all shown “out-of-order”, meaning that certain references made along the way made no sense, as they were written and filmed to be seen in sequence, and then shown with effect before cause, so to speak.

So, in the fall of 2002, out of the thirteen hour episodes and the two-hour original pilot, Fox showed twelve jumbled hours (with the two-hour introductory pilot aired LAST).  Exactly three months to the day Firefly premiered, the network aired its final episode, just before the new year began.

Fox later found out how big that mistake was.  Although the show was originally produced by the network’s sister studio 20th Century Fox, the movie rights were snapped up by Universal, who still saw potential in the franchise.  The cast, along with creator/writer Joss Whedon, was reunited and the feature film Serenity was released in 2005.  Although critically well-received, the movie didn’t do all that well at the box office, which isn’t that surprising since it had to not only tell a “movie” story, but it also had to re-introduce all the characters and setting to any who didn’t catch it the first time around.

Mal: “Appears we got here just in the nick of time.  What does that make us?”
Zoe: “Big damn heroes, sir.”
–From the episode Safe

In the mid-2000’s, the market for DVD sets was starting to boom.  Figuring they’d make some money off of something they’d already paid for, Firefly was released approximately a year later… and became the biggest selling TV DVD set of all time.  (Amazingly, it’s still a best-seller today, even though the show has been gone now for almost a decade.)  The surprising popularity of the release (well, surprising to Fox anyway…) and the devoted following of the “Browncoats” (more about these active fans later) has led to not only a decent payday for Fox home video, but to numerous charity showings of the film at theatres around the world.  Firefly is remembered fondly enough that the Science Channel has brought the reruns back to cable television, currently airing the episodes in order (finally!) in the Spring of 2011 to the delight of Browncoats everywhere.

The Browncoats have become a fandom that is well-organized and fervent, and as such next week they get their own article (yes, it’s a two-parter… what else would you expect for a show this special?)  In the meantime, it’s best to appreciate those “big damn heroes” of Firefly, and to remember their experiences oh so fondly.

“Love.  You can know all the math in the ‘verse… if you take a boat in the air you don’t love, she’ll shake you up just as sure as a turn in the whirls.  Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down.  Tells you she’s hurtin’ before she keens.  Makes her a home.”
–Mal Reynolds’ First Rule of Flying, from the movie Serenity

Firefly was, first and foremost, about character.  Its crew each had their own point of view, separate from the others, giving any fan a point of identity.  Jayne was the strength, Simon the intelligence.  Zoe was the sense of purpose, Wash the humor.  River was the intuition, Shepherd Book the conscience.  Inara was grace, Kaylee was heart, and Mal was all about freedom and personal honor.  Together, they didn’t just fly in a ship called Serenity… they were serenity, or at the very least, they were on their journey towards that destination.  And they were going to get there together, in their own way.

At the end of the pilot, Simon is talking to Mal about they’ve been through, and even if Fox got it wrong by airing that particular two hours dead last in the series, maybe their conversation offers an unintended poignant ending for “the little ship that could”.  As we leave the crew of the Firefly-class ship, Simon asks Mal about just why he’s willing to put up with all the trouble that seems to come his way….

“You had the Alliance on you.  Criminals and savages… half the people on the ship have been shot or wounded, including yourself.  And you’re harboring known fugitives…”

“We’re still flying….”

“That’s not much.”

“It’s enough.”

Yes, Serenity is still flying… and it’s enough.

Vital Stats

12 aired episodes (10 hours and 1 two-hour pilot) — 3 unaired episodes (available on DVD)
Fox Network
First aired episode:  September 20, 2002
Last aired episode:  December 20, 2002
Aired at Friday 8/7 Central?  Of course it was.  One of the shows for which the “Friday Night Death Slot” is best known.  There’s a reason this is the poster child for the type of show featured on this site.

Comments and suggestions appreciated, as always.

–Tim R.

Come back next week for Part II….

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