I didn’t observe Browncoat day yesterday and here’s why:
Things like Browncoat day are the kinds of things that drive me up the wall about nerd culture. I love Joss Whedon. I love Firefly and Serenity. I’m all for having a random day designated throughout the year to talk about the crew of The Serenity, say everything is “shiny,” and wish that I way Kaylee Frye.
But that’s not what happens on Browncoat day for the most part. What generally happens is that everyone talks about the “injustice” of Firefly’s cancellation by Fox.
Injustice: violation of the rights of others; unjust or unfair action or treatment
It’s the same thing that bugged me while watching Salinger the other day. We didn’t have a right to more Firefly. There was no injustice here. Disappointment? Sure. Is it a bummer? Absolutely. But it wasn’t unjust, it just was. And, though Joss would hate this line of logic, due to it’s well, religiousness, clearly, there was a plan at work here.
Let’s say that in 2002, Firefly had been a massive hit. Maybe it didn’t run for seven years as Joss Whedon planned, but ran for like, four or five. I assume Wash still would have died.
I’m not saying that it wouldn’t have been great. But here’s what probably wouldn’t have happened.
Joss Whedon would never have directed his first movie and proved that he could balance a large ensemble cast and braid together a bunch of threads to create a unified story. He never would have shown that he could combine his whip smart mile a minute dialog with killer cinematic action sequences. (The difference between River killing those Reavers and the final sequence of Buffy is staggering.) In 2007, when the show had wrapped, he probably would have been taking a breather when the writers strike hit and wouldn’t have decided to change the way people consume their entertainment and make the world at large realize that Neil Patrick Harris is a musical treasure with Doctor Horrible’s Sing A Long Blog. Dollhouse would never have happened.
But here’s the big one. If Joss Whedon had been working on Firefly for all of that time, he wouldn’t have developed the reputation as the nerd genius. His legend would have been greatly diminished. And Marvel wouldn’t have given him The Avengers.
Think about that.
The Avengers without Whedon’s touches. Without his ability to juggle several balls, without his understanding of the need for the characters to drive the story rather than the action, without that Galaga reference (probably.) I joke about how the only thing that I didn’t like about The Avengers was how Whedon-y it was, but still, the thought of what the movie would have been without him worries me.
I mean I probably would have still loved it. But put RDJ in the Iron Man suit and I’d watch him do just about anything.
So that’s how I celebrated Browncoat day. Wishing I had Kaylee’s “Shindig” dress, and thinking about how if Firefly hadn’t been cancelled The Avengers probably would have sucked and Captain Hammer wouldn’t be a thing.
Hey look, we all cope with disappointment in our own way.