Of all the San Diego Comic-Con 2012 coverage I read over the weekend, I think I love this most:
"When you come out of a great movie, you feel like you're in that world. You come out of 'Brazil', and suddenly everything is duct piping and everything's weird and too much. You come out of certain things, and the world has become that. when you're telling a story, you're trying to connect to people in a particular way ... The way in which you guys have inhabited this world, this universe, have made you part of it, part of the story. You are living in Firefly. When I see you guys, I don't think the show is off the air. I don't think there's a show. I think, that's what the world is like. I think there are spaceships, there are horses, and our story is alive."
Those are the words of Firefly creator Joss Whedon, getting emotional about how much he loves the fans of his most beloved show, at a Firefly: 10th Anniversary panel that took place at Comic-Con on Friday (I borrowed a piece of Alan Sepinwall's live-blog of the event, which is a good read if you have a few minutes) with guests Whedon, producer Tim Minear, writer Jose Molina, and actors Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Sean Maher, Summer Glau and Adam Baldwin.
I guess what I love most about this quote is the thought that a show means as much to those who make it as it does to those who love it.
The nature of the industry means that, whereas Firefly was devastatingly cancelled back in 2002, the folk involved in making it quickly moved on to other projects - Whedon hit it big this year directing The Avengers, Fillion has a hit on his hands with Castle, Adam Baldwin landed in Chuck, and so on.
It's easy to assume that creators, writers and stars might not give a second thought to some show they used to work on back in the day, in the same way that you and I may not look back fondly on a job we had a decade ago.
But making television isn't like any other job. My first job working on a petrol station forecourt isn't revisited and celebrated by the customers I served, nor is it the subject of a celebratory panel at a petrol company conference. Good television is an artistic creation to be given to the audience, and a shared experience for everyone who views it.
A beloved show such as Firefly lives on in the hearts of those who watched it and loved it - and who continue to love it. And Whedon's heartfelt ode to the fans shows that it isn't all one-way adoration. When we find ourselves in love with a show, we're not just pouring love into something that doesn't mean anything to those who conceived it.
One of the comments I get most often, not just here at the blog but in everyday life, is that it's just TV. If you haven't worked your way through every Battlestar Galactica episode in less than a month, if you haven't watched and analysed every episode of Lost, if you don't own Firefly on DVD and have a T-shirt featuring one of the classic lines from the pilot - if you're just not that interested in TV, then an obsession with all things television probably doesn't make any sense.
But as fans, when we get heavily invested in a show, we become an integral part of it. And among all the scheduling problems, programming delays and overpowering ad breaks, it's easy to lose sight of what it is that we love: we're a part of a show, but the show becomes a part of us too - and more than pure entertainment, great performances or engrossing stories, it's that sense of mutual belonging that we love.
It's nice to know we're not wasting our time.
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