Originally Posted by tighr
I don't think a theme song has ever been reason I didn't watch a show. It's a theme song.
The thing is, I watched it despite the theme.
The problem is, there are plenty of viewers that might not. Those are the people that can kill a show.
Look, some shows have it all: a great show with a great opening theme and credit sequence. The problem is, that opening credit sequence can often grab or lose a viewer in the roughly 1 minute it runs for, just like the cold open scene that comes before it.
If that opening scene doesn't cause someone to be all in on a potentially great show, a credit sequence that doesn't work for them might be enough to lose them.
I think the problem is, for some, the opening theme re-enforced their potential skepticism about the concept:
"Wait, are these cowboys? Why do they have space ships? Is there time travel involved? If this is in the future, why did they choose cowboy fashions that haven't been in fashion since the 1800's? Further, why did every single person on the fringe worlds choose that one style? Why do the towns look like old western towns? Why do they have 6 shooters and rifles?"
At least with "Cowboys vs Aliens", we have an advanced alien race visiting a historical time period on earth. It makes sense everyone is wearing garb from the old West because it is the old West. To have the entire working class society choose one particular era to emulate is silly, considering all the fashions we see now that have ties to various eras in fashion. Some people dress like it's still the 60's, while we have things like "wide leg jeans" and tall boots from the 70's appearing here and there. Further, people from various ethnic groups dress far differently than we do.
I can buy in the idea of the Star Trek tunic that everyone seems to wear on starships and space stations because 1) it looks futuristic 2) most of the people we see wearing them are part of Starfleet and those that aren't often have worn different clothing or at least modified versions of the tunic and 3) if you work in space, you want to wear something that can easily allow you to hop into an evac suit if there's an emergency, just like the flight suits our astronauts wear.
With Firefly, there seemed to be no practical reason to dress like a cowboy and have the buildings seem like old West towns. Things like durable coveralls, jeans and shirts than can hold up to heavy wear make sense - and that includes stuff than can be manufactured on outpost planets. That doesn't mean it can't use the latest materials and reflect styling preferences of the day, though. With the fact that guys who do mining or drill for fuel currently normally wear reflective safety colored gear, it makes little sense that in the future there would be fewer requirements for that sort of thing.
Buildings on outpost planets made from the ships that carried the people there, augmented with local materials make sense. While guns don't have to shoot lasers, certainly guns that have more plastic or carbon fiber parts with built in laser sights make more sense than pearl handled six shooters.
I bring all that up because, for some people, it seems subconsciously wrong to mix the old West with space travel. Sure, the rich folks on the wealthy worlds wore various drapes and other futuristic styles, but even those seemed to all feel like everyone shops at the same store. Plus, we don't even see those societies in the earliest episodes.
So, what happens is, you have those early cold open scenes, followed by a theme with lyrics like "take my life...take my land" sung in a country sort of way and you can't expect there won't be a lot of people saying "what the Hell is this?"