Firefly: "That Redneck Show"?
Thursday, January 27, 2005

I was thinking recently about image problems and then it occured to me that Firefly/Serenity might well have one. Not only that, it might be damaging to the chances of the movie succeeding too. Is Firefly seen as a show by rednecks, about rednecks, for rednecks?

Think about it. The "Southern" theme tune and musical motifs, the crew from the losing side of a civil war, a lot of the outfits and stylisation of the outworlds. Heck, even Jubal Early was a Confederate General.

You can see how those in just vague contact with the show might think it would be angled that way. Undoubtably some of you are thinking "So what if they do, what's wrong with it being Southern?" Well, I'm sure I'm not breaking this to you but for one, the US is fairly bitterly divided at the moment between the red and blue states so that's going to dramatically cut the available audience. For another, the world hates rednecks. Oh yes, we do, the one in the White House in particular. Granted, America is split 50/50 over Bush but the rest of the world is far more decisively against him.

Redneck is shorthand for thoughtless, violent, bigotted American, whether that is justified or not, and if Firefly/Serenity is seen as being "on their side", it's not going to attract much of an audience.

Now I think this is just an image problem. I don't think Firefly is thoughtless or bigotted but if we're going to attract the mass audience that it needs (remember, a $100m gross requires over 13m people to go see it) then we're going to need it to break out beyond the small circle it's currently sitting in.

Of course, this wouldn't have been an issue if Fox had let the show grow over a couple of seasons and spread the word beyond the obvious.


Saturday, January 29, 2005 1:49 AM


Er, no, you haven't. Unless your point was that I shouldn't suggest that people defined as racist as being, er, racists, you didn't have a point.

I was going to do a blog about all the commerations of Auschwitz (congratulations to Cheney for turning up as though he was going to plow his yard) but I don't fancy a dozen comments about how I'm bigoted against Nazis.

My point stands though: If Serenity is seen as a redneck movie, it will fail.

If you have any further comment, you can use private messaging.

Friday, January 28, 2005 6:28 PM


No thank you, I think I made my point.

Friday, January 28, 2005 3:38 PM


So everyone has a political opinion is a bigot? Wow, thats open minded. Or is only those with an opinion against Bush that are bigots?

I'm very tired and bored of this discussion, particularly on my own blog. If you really want to continue it, you can tell me I'm a bigot through private messaging.

Friday, January 28, 2005 3:11 PM


"the world hates rednecks. Oh yes, we do"


"the one in the White House in particular. Granted, America is split 50/50 over Bush but the rest of the world is far more decisively against him."

It sounds like you'r bigoted against people who voted for Bush, and who live in a "red state".

Friday, January 28, 2005 10:05 AM


>> Please explain or, you know, just call me a bigot again.

Yup, set myself right up for that one. But you still haven't said what I'm bigoted against? Rednecks? That is to say, people who are defined in the dictionary as racist, bigoted, xenophobes?

If I say that I'm against Islamic terrorists and all they stand for, does that make me a bigot?

Is there some new meaning to redneck that I haven't heard of? If so, I'm afraid you'll have to put it down to me being British and not up to your new fangled American lingo.

Friday, January 28, 2005 9:51 AM


Anonymous ( is me, sorry about that

Friday, January 28, 2005 9:38 AM


That was wrong of me to call you bigoted, I'm sorry!

It's quite clear you'r just....blindly and obstinately attached to some creed or opinion and intolerant toward others.


PS. I don't think Serenity will appeal any more, or less, to "Rednecks" then to anyone else.

Friday, January 28, 2005 9:12 AM


I'm sorry, what is your point exactly? You don't like me using the word redneck? You think that I'm elitist for wanting Serenity to appeal to a mainstream audience? You think that Serenity should only appeal to a redneck audience? What?

Please explain or, you know, just call me a bigot again.

Friday, January 28, 2005 8:54 AM



adj : blindly and obstinately attached to some creed or opinion and intolerant toward others; "a bigoted person"; "an outrageously bigoted point of view"

"who"'s bigoted!!!!!

Friday, January 28, 2005 7:27 AM


Redneck (according to

1. Used as a disparaging term for a member of the white rural laboring class, especially in the southern United States.

2. A white person regarded as having a provincial, conservative, often bigoted attitude.

Now we can talk for 100 years about how the term has changed and now Southerners own the word but trust me, if someone in Britain says "redneck", the above definition is what is meant.

And also the above definition proves I can't spell bigoted. Poopy.

Friday, January 28, 2005 7:22 AM


Well, just to deal with a few points, I'm a Brit myself (remember us, the Mini-Me to your Dr Evil?) so I know that the world doesn't take the simplistic redneck = bad, tree = pretty approach. I'm sure some people wear the badge redneck with pride but in general terms, it's an insult (you know, "My ma's my sister", etc, etc).

However my point was that Firefly isn't any of the stereotype connected with rednecks but it may have an image problem in that Joe Bloggs may think that this is the Dukes of Hazard in Space (okay, that show would rock but...)

We can't just preach to the converted. Everyone on this board and the Browncoat board will go see the movie. That's, what, 25,000 tickets. Heck, we'll all see it four times. Only 11,900,000 to go then. We have to push this as a mainstream movie, not in a "it's so mediocre, no-one will be offended" but in a "here's this really cool sci-fi flick coming out" expansion. And frankly, if the entirety of the NASCAR fans turned up on the first day, we'd have a huge problem with negative word of mouth. "There was no sound for the explosions!", "They spent ages talking", "There weren't any buses going really fast"...

I think Serenity is going to be a smart, fun, action packed movie. We need to get it pitched to that target audience and quick. No matter how great this movie is, I still want a sequel or seven and that's only going to happen if the mainstream gets to see it.

Friday, January 28, 2005 7:22 AM


"Redneck is shorthand for thoughtless, violent, bigotted American"

"who"'s bigotted?

Friday, January 28, 2005 3:37 AM


i am an australian, and i just want to say it doesn't matter what town, state or country you come from, it shouldn't matter. firefly is a great show.
and not all the world hates american rednecks, because not all of the world could tell a redneck from a liberal. i know i can't.
you all seem to be underestimating the power of the fan base in other countries. there are so many people in australia and britain that also love the show.
don't forget us!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2005 6:26 PM


I live in the biggest bluestate ever. California... Everybody (liberal or not) loves firefly... it's the feel the show gives off. If the movie is anything like the show it'll be fine.
With good old marketing, in places where there are "Rednecks" (fondly known as neckies or y'alls :P) they will advertise the whole western side... but where I'm from (home of the golden gate bridge)... oh yeah baby... sci fi all the way!

Thursday, January 27, 2005 12:03 PM


I might states aren't only in the south. There aren't a whole helluva lot of blue states.

I live in a very blue state and love FF..and so do all the folks that have been converted hehe.

Personally I hope it gets a big draw..and I wish those folks who are still reeling from the election get over it. Not everything is affected/influenced by our current political situation (Except maybe by the use of the almighty dollar)

Thursday, January 27, 2005 10:29 AM


I guess it depends on how the movie is marketed. If it's sold as more sci-fi than western themed, the "redneck" factor probably won't be an issue.

Thursday, January 27, 2005 5:17 AM


As a blue-stater, I can see your point - my good-ol'-boy friend from southern Ohio was a fan far before I was. But, I think you underestimate the redneck audience - if every NASCAR fan went to see this movie, it'd do pretty damn well.


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