Watched Firefly last night. I was the last one in the room to do so — Doyce having watched the tape twice, and Margie having caught most of it the night before during the broadcast.
I like it.
Sure, the "high concept" of "Exiled ex-Confederates wandering the Old West, righting wrongs and pulling bank heists, only we'll set it in Outer Space" sounds like it should be the worst dreck out there, and handled by anyone else besides Joss Whedon (or Joe Straczynski), it would be. But I found the premiere episode to be fresh, interesting, exciting, amusing, and certainly enough to get me coming back for more.
(Interestingly, this was evidently not the pilot episode, which was a two hour effort that will be shown later in the season. Nor was it the succeeding first episode, which was also shelved. Which is really funny, because this still felt like a pilot/first episode, though in a good way.)
In some ways, Firefly will be both an easier and a more difficult sell than the Buffyverse for Joss. Those who are interested in his work will find getting in on the ground floor that much easier. Those who have been turned off by the horror theme of Buffy and Angel will also likely to join in the fun. Those who are only looking for the same narrow franchise TV are likely to give a pass on Firefly, and so miss more of the wit, rich subplotting, and ever-unexpectedness of this latest Joss work.
I am still seriously torqued about Farscape, but if the SF gods are handing us Firefly instead for our Friday night viewing (or taping) pleasure, I can live with that. I guess.