Joss Whedon is an Entertainment God.
No, really, ask anyone who knows his contributions to the entertainment industry. He’s smart, and funny, and feminist, and inventive, and talented, and can recognize great talent in others, and did I mention he’s smart?
Joss Whedon is perhaps best well known as the creator of the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (not to be confused with the movie BtVS – don’t hold that against him). Many people will also know that he created the TV show Angel, which was a spinoff of Buffy. Less well known TV shows include Firefly (absolutely genius) and Dollhouse. He also wrote for Roseanne, and directed two episodes of The Office and an episode of Glee. He created Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, has written a slew of comic books, songs, and, oh yeah, he’s done a couple of movie scripts.
He is highly respected by the people he works with (with the notable exception of Fox – wankers). He will tell people he has a role he thinks they might be good in, and they are in before they even know what it is. He uses a lot of the same actors again and again, and his eye for talent is remarkable.
He spawned a new lexicon of slang. College courses are devoted to the sociology, psychology, and philosophy of Buffy. He has a huge “cult” following, people who will watch anything he does, simply because it’s HIM. What he has done has created an entire culture and form of communication, and deepened interpersonal communications.
As a Whedon fan (I could say Buffy fan, but it goes far beyond that), when I meet other people who are also fans, we instantly share a bond. The same thing happened with shows like Friends, The Brady Bunch, Seinfeld, and Cheers. “Do you remember the episode where…” It often goes far beyond that, when you don’t even have to mention the series (example: “No soup for you!”).
I could try to come up with some classic Whedon-verse lines, but there are too many to count. Besides, most of them were probably actually written by someone else, some equally talented writer that he will again work with over and over again: Marti Noxon, David Fury, David Greenwalt, Jane Espenson, Doug Petrie, and others.
He seeks out and surrounds himself with talent, which only underscores his own abilities.
He’s all about strong female characters, and he’s not afraid to kill off some of his most beloved characters. His TV shows repeatedly show that a group of friends, friends willing to do anything for each other, will save the day. Oh, and anyone who smokes is evil, or will soon die.
I got into Buffy a little late, around season 3, but I was instantly hooked by the humor of the show, and the internal struggle that people go through, represented by vampires and demons and the trials of school. See, that’s what a lot of people don’t get. It wasn’t a show about vampires, it was a show about life.
So, you’ve never watched Buffy, and you refuse to, but you’re intrigued. Watch Firefly. It’s 15 hours of your life. My favorite episodes is “Our Mrs. Reynolds” – infinitely quotable (“Whoa. Good book.” “It’s my very favorite gun.”). After you finish Firefly, watch the feature film Serenity. Possibly my favorite line: “Goin’ on a year now I ain’t had nothin’ twixt my nethers weren’t run on batteries.”
Because, really, it’s the language I love the most about Whedon’s work.