Joss Whedon is one of my favorite writers of all time. Love him, hate him, or feel meh toward him, he adds a certain wit to most of his works. Before I detail my interest in the man’s work, let me clarify the above title. A “Whedonite” is essentially a fan of Joss Whedon’s projects. It could be one or many, but it’s been accepted that Whedonite is the pet name for Whedon fans.
My first foray into his work began with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” I fell in love with the show for its lead female character, being one of the first I’d seen kick some butt, its supernatural elements, and its humor and drama. “Buffy” is still my all-time favorite show, and it really got me started on the Whedon bandwagon.
From there, I checked out its spin-off show, “Angel.” This focused on a good vampire from “Buffy” moving to Los Angeles and starting up an agency dedicated to stopping evil forces. While it was cool and much darker, I never really got into it due to its late time slot on the channel I had. I will eventually get around to making amends for that, but there’s another show I still have to finish first.
That show is the short-lived sci-fi series, “Firefly.” The show was my introduction to Nathan Fillion and his glorious sardonic wit. Sadly, it was cancelled by Fox after 14 episodes, but continued on to a feature film to give closure to fans. I never saw it originally and have only since seen a few episodes, but it helped rekindle my interest in sci-fi in general. I owe a little to it for paving the way for me to get into shows like Doctor Who and Orphan Black.
From there, I caught the pilot episode (way after the fact) of Dollhouse, which has an interesting premise of humans acting as kind of as avatars. They can have their memories written and rewritten to blend into situations and keep the peace. I may revisit it eventually, but it didn’t quite capture me as the others did.
In the same vein, while he’s done little writing on it, I am following Marvel: Agents of SHIELD, which picks up after the Avengers movie with a now-alive Agent Coulson and a team of SHIELD agents. It’s picked up a bit of steam since the pilot, and I’m hoping it continues improving to keep my interest.
On that note, I absolutely loved Whedon’s work on the Avengers film (having made the effort to see all the Marvel movies preceding it) and, in the same year, “Cabin in the Woods,” which satires the horror genre as a whole. Both movies carry that Whedon humor and have moments of gravitas as well, though “Cabin’s” ending still irritates me even now (no spoilers of course). I’m super excited to check out Avengers 2 when it comes out.
And finally, in the face of the 2007 Writer’s Strike, which essentially crippled the industry for a while, he took it upon himself to gather some friends and create “Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.” This 45-minute musical brought Neil Patrick Harris into the Whedon “family” and was chock-full of humor, songs and drama. The fact that he made it on a little to no budget is a feat in itself and it’s still one of his greatest accomplishments in my opinion. I’m still hopeful to see a sequel, but even if that ship has sailed, it still stands great on its own.
With all these examples, I feel like the thing that keeps me coming back is his style of humor. Something about the sarcastic, biting wit he injects just entertains me every time. But when things do get serious, he pulls it off as well. Characters FEEL human, even when they’re not really human. I admit that I’m extremely biased and basically gushing at this point, but the man has a good idea of how to bring characters to life and put them in interesting situations.
When all is said and done, I take pride in being a Whedonite. I can only hope things continue to go up for him from here, and we get more great shows or movies by his hand.