Huge Browncoat here. Loved the show from the moment Zoe threw dirt in the guy's face in "The Train Job." Watched all the episodes first run, and was devastated when the show was cancelled. The fandom was a great ride, and I have fond memories of the aftermath, all the art, fanfic, & filk, the announcement of and antipation for the movie, all the conventions & interactions with the stars, even the fans that got to be extras in the movie. It's a great memory I will always cherish.
I honestly don't know how the show would read to a new viewer without the fandom to buoy it up. I actually haven't watched the show in a long time - I think I overdosed a little bit.