No Right Explanation

No Right Explanation: Sarah Connor Chronicles vs Firefly

Firefilm | 12 Jan 2012 21:00
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Last week the boys debated which series was most unfairly cancelled by Fox, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles or Firefly. But since the debates you see are only a small slice of the discussions and decisions that make up an entire episode. With that in mind, we're allowing Chris and Kyle and Dan the chance to bring a bit more context in a new follow-up feature, No Right Explanation

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Chris: To be honest, deciding what Kyle and Dan failed to say regarding Sarah Connor Chronicles and Firefly is difficult because- and here comes the blasphemy- I haven't seen either. I know Firefly fans, chastise me for that one, I probably deserve it what with Fillian's arguably best work just sitting unwatched in my Netflix instant queue for the better part of two years now, but I think that does tie in with a point Kyle didn't really get into: Firefly's fanbase is ravenous and will cut you for suggesting ill of the Serenity and its crew, whereas Terminator fans are few and far between.

This could actually turn into a strong point for either, depending on how they wanted to word things (as all good arguments work). On the one hand, Kyle essentially had a grenade ready to go off in Dan's face should he have pulled the Whedon pin and hucked the old "Hey look at Firefly's fans and how Fox pissed them off" argument that we've sort of heard again and again, an argument that's still as valid as water is wet.

However, the debate isn't "Which fans are most bothered by Fox's choices" (that would be Arrested Development fans by the way, though that's an argument for a different day); the debate is "Which TV Series Was Cut Down In Its Prime The Most." Regardless of Dan's questionable grasp of the English language when titling debates, with some simple finagling you have the fan argument squarely on Dan's side, as Sarah Connor Chronicles got cut down even before its fans could rise up and make a difference. Being in one's prime is so subjective that Dan could have nailed Kyle down with that if played correctly.

I think the biggest point that the debate was missing was the most crucial: Me. I am big when it comes to fan outrage, and, were I not recovering from an illness that would have killed most mortal men, I'd have stormed through and ravaged my opponents with such amazing arguments that they would have been stunned into submission. So perhaps that's what I felt was missing. Dan and Kyle, pull out the full reversal submission card next time, especially if it's grasping at straws.

Still, I think the debate would have been over with a simple, "Who really gives a crap about Terminator anyway?" For that, Kyle should have lost. He got lucky that Dan is a giggly Mary when on camera. He won't be as fortunate when I'm healthy and banging on all cylinders again.

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Kyle: I think Dan would have scored a point for mentioning the fantastic acting in Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles. While Firefly has some excellent work, it's harder to pull off the type of drama present in Terminator. Thomas Dekker played John Connor better than any other actor. Brian Austin Green was a laughable choice for a surrogate father figure to replace Kyle Reece, but he pulled it off with gusto and (spoilers! Spoilers! SPOILERS!) I felt so angry about his abrupt and brutal death. The real big acting moments came from Garret Dillahunt as John Henry, the machine learning morality. Check his comedy abilities on Raising Hope if you get the chance.

Another big point Dan missed out on (and I know Chris would have jumped right on this, because it would have pissed me off) is that "Firefly" borrowed so much from Star Wars and modern westerns. Yes, Captain Malcolm Reynolds is a Han Solo character. No, there's no coincidence that the charming rogue has sexual tension with the high-society lady who kicks ass. Of course the war that the brown-coats lost is merely a sci-fi analogue of the American Civil War. These points cannot be denied, and at least Terminator: SCC was willing to attach itself to an existing franchise before plucking themes and motifs from it.

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