…and have been a whedonite for longer than I can remember!
Unless you’ve been living in a hole for the past couple of months you should have heard of Josh Whedon’s most recent project, the huge superhero movie hit ‘The Avengers’ that he wrote, directed and even did the impossible, he made a good Hulk!
suddenly I feel like the days of being mocked for Buffy being my fav programme growing up or having to hide the fact that I have Doctor Horrible’s sing-a-long Blog’s soundtrack on my iPhone as I walk to work (well maybe that is still a geeky step too far!?) are in the past! I always have quite proudly admitted my love and utter faith in my Geek God (Whedon) and now people are starting to see the light!
I thought I would do a quick write-up about Whedon and all that he’s done which I love… but it has now turned into a bit of an essay of amazingness and I keep getting distracted by youtube so I do apologise in advance but I hope you enjoy this and maybe discover something new to fall in love with!? (obviously these are only my opinions to each their own… but you’ll be a fool not to check them out!)
My first encounter with Whedon was Buffy the Vampire Slayer…
I think my Dad (the secret Sci Fi geek) introduced me to Buffy and it just blew my mind. I must have only been about 10/11 and Buffy was the first time I had seen strong female characters kicking arse and having these amazingly strong friendships on TV (AND be able to pull off leather trousers!?). I know many women my age who have become some of my closest friends, all through bonding over our LOVE of this show!
In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.
With a core cast of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan and Anthony Head and being joined by some amazing supporting cast members – David Boreanaz, James Marsters, Nathan Fillion, Eliza Dushku and even Seth Green (just to name a few!)
A couple of the stand out episodes for me…
Hush – Over the 44 mins of this episode only 17 of those had dialogue, yet it was one of the best episodes of the whole thing! (even had a Emmy nomination)
A group of fairy tale ghouls named “The Gentlemen” come to town and steal everyone’s voices, leaving them unable to scream when The Gentlemen cut out their hearts. Buffy and her friends must communicate with one another silently as they try to discover why no one can speak and find whoever is murdering the townspeople. – wiki
Once more with feelings – The musical episode…
“Once More, with Feeling” explores changes in the relationships of the main characters, using the plot device that a demon—credited as “Sweet” but unnamed in the episode—compels the people of Sunnydale to break into song at random moments to express hidden truths. The title of the episode comes from a line sung by Sweet; once the characters have revealed their truths and face the consequences of hearing each others’ secrets, he challenges them to “say you’re happy now, once more, with feeling”. – wiki
And obviously any episode that have Angel and/or Spike in
Buffy then lead to the spin-off show Angel where we follow Angel’s life after he leaves Buffy and moves to LA to fight the forces of darkness. This started off as just an extension of BTVS with Angel being a PI but after a couple of series it was definitely a fab series in its own right (and meant lots more of Boreanaz!)
Yes that’s right Angel is a puppet!
Whedon then followed this with his space western Firefly…
…which caused a massive outcry when FOX brutally cancelled this series after only 11 episodes – giving it a massive cult following and giving Whedon enough support to make a follow-up film Serenity. These fans call themselves BrownCoats…
“There are two kinds of Browncoats: Those within the fictional story of Firefly & those outside the story. We are the latter.” ~FLYHEAD
It’s really worth checking out and watching the T.V episodes and film. The cast and the whole idea is just so awesome! I came to this very late but one episode on SyFy and I was hooked!
“The series is set in the year 2517, after the arrival of humans in a new star system, and follows the adventures of the renegade crew of Serenity, a “Firefly-class” spaceship. The ensemble cast portrays the nine characters who live on Serenity. Whedon pitched the show as “nine people looking into the blackness of space and seeing nine different things”. The show explores the lives of some people who fought on the losing side of a civil war and others who now make a living on the outskirts of society, as part of the pioneer culture that exists on the fringes of their star system. In addition, it is a future where the only two surviving superpowers, the United States and China, fused to form the central federal government, called the Alliance, resulting in the fusion of the two cultures. According to Whedon’s vision, “nothing will change in the future: technology will advance, but we will still have the same political, moral, and ethical problems as today”. – wiki
Episode one with Alan Tudyk playing with his plastic toys just sets the tone for the entire series (and possibly a glimpse into Whedon’s mind!?)
In 2008 during the writer’s strike Whedon took inspiration from the online series ‘The Guild” (worth checking out!) and wrote/directed the online sensation (and award-winning) Doctor Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog
Quote taken from the original site…
1) Why, Joss? Why? Why now, why free, why us?
Once upon a time, all the writers in the forest got very mad with the Forest Kings and declared a work-stoppage. The forest creatures were all sad; the mushrooms did not dance, the elderberries gave no juice for the festival wines, and the Teamsters were kinda pissed. (They were very polite about it, though.) During this work-stoppage, many writers tried to form partnerships for outside funding to create new work that circumvented the Forest King system.
Frustrated with the lack of movement on that front, I finally decided to do something very ambitious, very exciting, very mid-life-crisisy. Aided only by everyone I had worked with, was related to or had ever met, I single-handedly created this unique little epic. A supervillain musical, of which, as we all know, there are far too few.
The idea was to make it on the fly, on the cheap – but to make it. To turn out a really thrilling, professionalish piece of entertainment specifically for the internet. To show how much could be done with very little. To show the world there is another way. To give the public (and in particular you guys) something for all your support and patience. And to make a lot of silly jokes. Actually, that sentence probably should have come first.
Staring Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion (Yay!) this is really worth watching!!! Its split into 3 acts with 2 parts each which makes it quite the youtube series. The songs are funny and will get stuck in your head – my fav is ‘A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do’ which I’ve embedded below! I’ve got to be so careful when this comes on in my playlist as I’ve caught myself singing along on the tube!
I really want a Captain Hammer t-shirt…!
Whedon’s most recent TV venture was Dollhouse (unfortunately another project that FOX melded with too much)
Staring one of his regular actresses… Eliza Dushku! I really got into this once they got past the 6/7 episode (FOX apparently wanted the first lot to be stand alone episodes…when will they learn to leave Whedon to do his thing!?!?)
The show revolves around a corporation running numerous underground establishments (known as “Dollhouses”) across the globe which program individuals referred to as Actives (or Dolls) with temporary personalities and skills. Wealthy clients hire Actives from Dollhouses at great expense for various purposes. The series primarily follows the Active known as Echo on her journey towards self-awareness. – wiki
I did find that this is one of those programs that you just have to trust that it will turn into a program you will love and if it wa anyone else behind it I probably would have given up… so glad I stuck it out though! There are only 2 series but well worth a boxset marathon!
In 2009 Whedon co-wrote and produced a very Whedonesk Horror film – Cabin in the Woods, with Drew Goddard (a former buffy/angel writer/director) unfortunately due to companies going bust we’ve had to wait until a few months ago to see the finished film… And it was worth the wait!
It’s very difficult to explain this film without spoilers but I will say that even if you love or hate horror films, this film will rock your world! So very Joss Whedon… makes me proud to be a whedonite! Youtube wont let me embed the trailer so check it out here…
And obviously we’ve just had the huge success of the superhero mash-up goodness – formally known as The Avengers
I don’t think I really need to explain this one as hopefully you all have gone to see it in all its amazingness!?
Tom Hiddleston has written a fab article in the Guardian arguing the superhero movies shouldn’t be scorned… you can read it here...
– sorry made me giggle had to put it in!
But tv/film isn’t all Whedon has rocked at. There has been many, many successful graphic novels either off the back of his old series (Buffy, Angel, doc horrible, serenity), re-vamps of old comic worlds (Weldon’s ultimate xmen is really worth a read!) or new exciting stories (fray) that he has put his hand too – but that’s another post
Whedon has been suddenly given the spotlight he has deserved for years (toy story – hello!) and has written the most wonderful open letter to all his fans which you can read in full here… (with questions and answers which are really worth reading!)
Well, it’s been quite a weekend. Someday, long from now, I will even have an emotional reaction to it, like a person would. I can’t wait! But before I become blinded by this “emotion” experience, there’s a few things I’d like to say. Well, type.
People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good — change is exciting. I think — not to jinx it — that I may finally be recognized at Comiccon. Imagine! Also, with my percentage of “the Avengers” gross, I can afford to buy… [gets call from agent. Weeps manfully. Resumes typing.] …a fine meal. But REALLY fine, with truffles and s#!+. And I can get a studio to finance my dream project, the reboot of “Air Bud” that we all feel is so long overdue. (He could play Jai Alai! Think of the emotional ramifications of JAI ALAI!!!!)
What doesn’t change is anything that matters. What doesn’t change is that I’ve had the smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of — I’m not even gonna say fans. I’m going with “peeps” — that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of. When almost no one was watching, when people probably should have STOPPED watching, I’ve had three constants: my family and friends, my collaborators (often the same), and y’all. A lot of stories have come out about my “dark years”, and how I’m “unrecognized”… I love these stories, because they make me seem super-important, but I have never felt the darkness (and I’m ALL about my darkness) that they described. Because I have so much. I have people, in my life, on this site, in places I’ve yet to discover, that always made me feel the truth of success: an artist and an audience communicating. Communicating to the point of collaborating. I’ve thought, “maybe I’m over; maybe I’ve said my piece”. But never with fear. Never with rancor. Because of y’all. Because you knew me when. If you think topping a box office record compares with someone telling you your work helped them through a rough time, you’re probably new here. (For the record, and despite my inhuman distance from the joy-joy of it: topping a box office record is super-dope. I’m an alien, not a robot.) So this is me, saying thank you. All of you. You’ve taken as much guff for loving my work as I have for over-writing it, and you deserve, in this our time of streaming into the main, to crow. To glow. To crow and go “I told you so”, to those Joe Blows not in the know. (LAST time I hire Dr. Seuss to punch my posts up. Yeesh!) Point being, you deserve some honor, AND you deserves some FAQs answered. So please welcome my old friend and certainly not-on-my-payroll reporter/flunky, Rutherford D. Actualperson!
All in all this man just rocks and hopefully by now you all agree with me!