And if the sci-fi fans
couldn't wrap their minds around a concept that brought back the Old West on other worlds, then non-sci-fi viewers must've suffered a one-two punch: here was a Western show - already considered a 'dead' genre - but it had spaceships in it, too??
All the smart writing in the world isn't going to help when the viewer is suffering one of Sheldon Cooper's facial tic storms as he tries to figure that
I agree, and it's an odd thing that many science fiction fans seem to be such a conservative, unimaginative bunch, it seems a bit counterintuitive. I would modify that to mean consumers of science fiction visual media, mostly TV, film and computer/video games. Any serious fan of science fiction literature will find a FAR greater range of ideas and concepts on full display.
Battlestar Galactica ran into many of the same problems, bucking accepted conventions, and had the double whammy of pissing off many of the original fans, many of who buy these conventions whole hog.
But when there is life, there is hope. Joss says he has much more ideas for the 'verse, and we are still out here, still fans, though the ardor of some has cooled.
If Serenity were to fly again, it's darn tootin' we would be there to fly with her.