Why I Love Joss

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As should be obvious by now, I am a huge fan of Joss Whedon. He has written or created my favorite television show (Angel), my favorite individual television episodes (Out of Gas, Restless, Epitaph One, Sleep Tight, etc.) my favorite film (Serenity), my favorite musical (Dr. Horrible), and I suppose what you would call my favorite comic book, seeing as it is the only one I have ever bought (Angel: After the Fall, and ok, I lied, I also bought one of the Serenity comics). Why? What is it about this guy’s work that I like so much?

Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m sure it’s a combination of things, not the least of which is that I just have a tendency to latch on to things and obsess over them. If I were to choose one single reason, though, I think it would be his characters. I am hard-pressed to name a character that he has created that is not 3-dimensional, well-developed, with an interesting and compelling character arc, a distinctive speech pattern, and perfectly cast. His characters are the heart and soul of his work, and they have a lot of heart and a lot of soul… even the soulless ones. Just think about Firefly: the concept of a space western could easily have fallen into a campy silly mess, but it didn’t. Why? Because the show wasn’t about outer space, it was about 9 distinctive people living together on a spaceship. It was about Mal being made whole via the people around him. It was about River and Mal being two sides of the same coin. It was about family. And all of this was done with such beautiful characterization that the silly idea of a western in space actually becomes quite powerful, because the setting is what has allowed these 9 people to interact. And, seriously, where but in a Joss Whedon show would you get Inara, Jayne, and Shepherd Book all in the same room?

There are a lot of things I don’t like about the guy (his sexual ethics make me squeamish, and I’m not too fond of Buffy the character– largely because of her questionable sexual ethics), but I do think his work is brilliant in a way that few others’ are.

Pop Matters is asking themselves the same question, as their spotlight feature is on Joss Whedon right now. They have an intro and one essay up about him, with more to come. I thought the essay was well-written, well-argued, and a good insight into Joss’ appeal. Check it out here.

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~ by ntertanedangel on March 5, 2011.

2 Responses to “Why I Love Joss”

  1. Could you expand on the sexual ethics you don’t like from Joss? Or if you don’t care to, could you post links to examples. I’m intrigued.

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