Thursday, June 23, 2011
Today is June 23rd, a special day. Joss Whedon, the creator of a collection of unforgettable, iconic characters, heroes, and villains, celebrates his birthday today. And if you've ever met me, you know I love me some Joss.
Mmm-mmm.... that's some good Joss.
For those of you who don't know why Joss is the man, allow me to tell you.
For starters, if you're an avid reader of our lil' Penny Dreadful Diary, you may recall this year's Women In Horror month article where I wrote about the ONLY fictitious woman to make the list, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (If you missed it, catch up with my Buffy article HERE) I grew up one year behind Buffy, according to the time line of the show when it was in full swing, and that could mean only one thing. Yup, I wanted to be her. So, Joss is in part to blame for the woman I've become. He broke the stereotype that we were all getting used to. Buffy was his take on the typical horror movie victim; beautiful, slight, blond, unassuming, and seemingly helpless. Instead, Joss made Buffy Summers a girl who was strong, capable, confident, and the kind of girl we all wanted to be more like.
Now, anyone who's anyone should know that Joss is the genius behind Buffy. That's a given. It's like knowing vampires don't sparkle in the sunlight, they blow the fuck up.
Something you MAY not know about my hero? Joss started off writing for Roseanne. If you grew up in the 80's, this was probably a show you watched religiously. I always loved how it went from comedic to deadly seriously in a matter of seconds. Any time Dan (brilliantly portrayed by the genius actor, John Goodman) put his fist through the wall or grabbed his coat and keys and left the house angry? Whoa. You'd better believe you've gotta watch the fuck out.
He also breathed life into a show that is something of a guilty for me.
Yes, I said it. I watch Glee. At season one, I looked on with hope. It's a great concept, but its execution left something to be desired. So many plot holes, so much character in-continuity, it just makes the writer in me cringe. Being a fan of Nip/Tuck until the crazy took over fully (if you've seen the show, you'll understand what I mean), I felt that Glee desperately needed a fresh pair of eyes. Guest directors would be a Godsend for the show. Better yet, celebrity guest directors (who wouldn't tune in for the Tarantino episode?). My prayers were answered when it was announced that Joss would be stepping in for an episode.
Better yet, he brought not only his stylistic perception, his carefully planned and crafted story telling ability, witty dialogue, and incredible ability to have us laughing one moment and then tearing up in the next, he brought a powerhouse. When Joss came in, he brought Neil Patrick Awesome... er... Harris as a special guest star, a close personal friend of his and the star of his hilarious Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. And NPH is on a hit show on another network, so you can imagine that that in itself was no easy undertaking.
Something Joss is known for? Planning storylines far in advance for all his television series, allowing for remarkable long-term continuity. And that is exactly what Glee is lacking. His episode, DREAM ON, is easily one of the top three episodes they've ever done, if not the best.
Joss Whedon has given us tv series after tv series that quickly reached cult status with their unusual, unique, and downright lovable characters.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog
And where does a man who's already had such a profound affect on pop culture and television? To the movies, of course. Fellow comic nerds can rejoice knowing that the Avengers are in Joss' very capable hands. With his writing and directing, you know the heroes and villains many of us have grown up with will be paid the proper respects and will actually resemble the characters we love. You don't get enough "happily ever afters" like that.
In closing, as I must close or I fear I'll never shut up, I love you, Joss Whedon. Have a wonderful birthday.