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September 22 2006

(SPOILER) Matt Roush discusses Joss. Matt discusses his hopes for future Joss on TV. This can be found about 2/3 down on the page. Contains spoilers for other shows.

As much as I loved Joss tv, I have found there is also alot of good things on tv these days as well. Such as BSG,Bones,L&O SVU, and Grey's Anatomy. I think Tv is doing okay without Joss. I miss Buffy/Angel, but that universe is over for this medium. He has trained many great writers, directors and actors so that tv is in very good hands now.

It is the movies that need him. To many quick releases and carbon copies to be of any intrest. Especially for the price of admission. Hopefully after he makes everyone stand up and take notice with WW, he will continue to change the big screen for the better, much like TV.

Please Fox, wake up and give TM the green light!
Maybe so, but there's still no TV like Joss TV.
I think tv from people who are actually Joss fans or from people who have similar or close sensibilities are also valid.
That makes great tv. But also... hmm... what pat32082 just said.
I would kill for new Joss, really hoping for Drive to come through at midseason for some Minear-y goodness. That said, I do have more tv this fall than in a long time. New Sorkin with Studio 60, returning shows like Earl, Veronica Mars, BSG, and Lost as well as lite watches like Project Runway and How I Met Your Mother. Add to that shows that I catch sometimes like Bones and House, and new shows that show potential like Heroes, Brothers & Sisters, and shows that are on break now like 4400, plus catching up on The Shield & Alias, plus checking out some shows suggested by folks here like The Wire, Deadwood, etc. and I have a lot of shows (and a very long run-on sentence).
Check out Weeds, zeitgeist. Torrent the pilot.
Yeah, its on my list of to-check-out :)
"I would kill for new Joss"

Pretty much sums it up for me too, zetigeist. However, thanks to this site I totally dig VM and have even discovered the one show I can watch over and over and will never bore me -- the new BSG. I don't enjoy it more than Joss tv, which is really more of an addiction than something I enjoy anyway. But I LOVE it with an intensity that comes close to Joss TV. Never felt that way about anything else. Except Fight Club.
Nice :) His name is Robert Paulson!

p.s. - Don't blame me, I voted for Roslin!
Ack! House will be off the air for post-season baseball and when it returns it'll be up against Veronica Mars! Matt needs to explain exactly how that is good news?
Except Fight Club.

Hey, you're not meant to talk about that ;).

I think movies will be better to Joss but personally i'd really rather have (at least) 22 hours of his stuff a year than 2 hours every 2-3 years. Add to that the way the serial story telling he does so well isn't really possible in films and the decision's basically made for me.

That said, something's better than nothing and i'd hate to see him crack up after one too many early cancellations so the current situation of multiple comics with films interspersed is livable withable.

(plus there are a lot of good scripted shows around at the moment to ease the pain including quite a few new ones like 'Studio 60', 'Heroes' or 'Jericho' - which I actually enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would - as well as returning nearly-old-enough-to qualify-as-classics like 'House', VM and BSG)
House, BSG, Greys Anatomy, Numb3rs, Prison Break, Heroes, Smith (awesome show!) and now Dexter. There is plenty of good television.
For me it cant compare to Joss. I know its been said so many, many times by so many many different posters and so perhaps because of that its become a generic thing to say

But I cant say it any differently

I cant become invested in characters as much in other shows; their life and their situations, loves and lows, rises and falls. I honestly wish I could, but there is something about the situations this guy creates that are just so amazing. I sound like such a fanboy and I dont mean to. And I know I'm saying things that have been said again and again. His television is different for me. It reaches me on a personal level. I care so much about these fictional people.

Everyone says Joss is amazing so many times. He is, and I truly believe that and no one else makes me go through the range of emotions like he does. I wish he'd come back.
You and me both Apocalypse. Like Saje, I want to have Joss all year round.
What Apocalypse said. *tear*
The only things that kept me going post Joss are 24 and Alias. Alias is now finished. So just 24. It's ashame with all these fans lingering around, there's nothing new. I would of paid like holiday money-500 pounds for a new season of Angel. If there was a dvd season boxset of Angel season six-I would pay easily 500 pounds for it, that's how badly I wanted it.

Angel for me had everything, and it could of offered more, like Apocalypse said above, these fictional characters get to you. I haven't seen a buffyverse episode for many months now, perhaps I was enjoying it more, knowing it would never stop, it deserves as many spin offs as possible until I am fufilled.


Also I can't get enough of Faith, Eliza hasn't done much since the cancelation of Tru Calling, I just wish she had chosen the Faith spin off. One season of Faith with Joss behind it is worth ten seasons of other shows. My anger in how the tv business is to sideline the creative talents of Mr Whedon continues. Bad enough Angel being canceled, I didn't think it mean the end of the verse, and I'm not one for comics, although I picked them up to see if they could dull the pain, but then I think of the live action tv possibilities and get back to being a bit angry about it.

I don't know about others, but for me, it's gets a little sad seeing some of the buffyverse actors/actresses in other roles, no disrespect to the actors, they need to work etC But most of them really come alive in the characters Joss created for them, and I don't see alot of them ever reaching the heights of what those characters did for me. Joss and his crew spoiled us silly, perhaps his only crime was being too damn good.

The Angel cancelation must of hit him hard as it did to me, why create excellent characters and situations if a stupid business decision can end it all.

[ edited by SeanValen on 2006-09-22 19:37 ]
Matt Roush has always been so supportive of everything Joss does, and personally I think Joss does his very best work on TV (although I do love the comics and 'Serenity', which I got to see again on the big screen last night in Oakland!). I do hope Joss will return to TV one of these days.
He posted my letter! Yay!

Ok, anyone who reads the BSG thread over on whedonesque.org knows how passionate I am about Battlestar Galactica, a show I can watch over and over and still get something new from it every time. It's the only show that's affected me similarly to the way Joss' shows affect me. For me it's like Shakespeare on TV. I didn't think I could ever feel this way about a show that wasn't made by Joss. But it happened. I won't say it's better than the Whedonverse. Nothing ever can be. But it's still really, really frakkin good.

But then after I watched the WB farewell night, I became aware of a feeling of emptiness I've been carrying since Angel was cancelled. No matter what good shows have come to TV since then (VM, BSG, Prison Break, Weeds), something still seems to be missing.

I was discussing this with a friend last night and she explained what it is. Joss gets to the heart of what people are: Heroes. He doesn't just tell us we're heroes, he creates long, epic stories about people we can relate to and puts them on a hero's journey. He tells stories in a way that gets to the soul of who we are, using metaphor and the backdrop of fantasy and/or sci-fi. And while we get involved in the struggles of these characters, we understand on a subconscious level that the stories are all about us.

The best way I can describe what Buffy is to me is this: finding Buffy was like discovering there is magic in the world, and all the wonder and amazement that comes with that discovery. Finding a show like VM or BSG was like discovering that magic still exists. There will never be another Buffy (or Angel, or Firefly), but there will be other great shows that I love... I just miss the kind of show that takes me on that hero's journey. And I miss the love and heart of a Joss show. TV is just not quite the same since he left it. Hey, it's pretty good right now, in my opinion, but not as good as it could be if a Joss show were on it.

And yay, Matt posted my letter! :)
Post Joss shows I watch and adore.

Doctor Who
Lost
Veronica Mars
Battlestar Galactica
Life on Mars


All superb shows but I'm not as emotionally as attached to them as I was to Buffy, Angel and Firefly.
My List

24
House
The Closer
Veronica Mars
Greys Anatomy
And Mine

Veronica Mars
House
Bones
Supernatural (Not really for the plot or writing, it's just... Jensen Ackles = So Very Pretty)
Minear Minear Minear!

I finally watched to the end of The Inside, all 13 episodes, what an amazing series! Whedon or Minear, I just wanna have some more good tv beyond BSG and VM (although those two are my special nights!). I'm getting a life these days, gimme some good tv to stop that!
Veronica Mars
House
South Park
Family Guy
The Office
I notice several list Veronica Mars and House -- they're going to share the same timeslot. Guess I'll have to invest in a DVR. I've been going old school with the VHS and it just doesn't cut it anymore.
Veronica Mars
House
Supernatural
Prison Break
Lost
Bones
Ghost Whisperer
Gray's Anatomy
esg, very well put. Congratulations on having your letter chosen - I wondered it that was you.

Next week marks two years since I started watching Buffy and I can't get enough of Joss's work. The passion and joy he brought back into my life are hard to describe but his work has definitely been life-changing for me, especially over the last year and a half. Joss reaches in and touches your heart. No matter what kind of fantastical situation the characters are in, you can relate to them and the decisions they have to make. Unlike many characters on TV, Joss's characters grow and change and that's what makes them so fascinating.

There are other shows on TV that I enjoy: Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, House, Bones, ER, Numb3rs, the new Studio 60 on Sunset Strip (or S4, as I call it) and I finally have watched the mini-series and S1 of BSG and it is everything people here have said about it. But I would drop them all in a minute if we could have more of Joss on TV. In the meantime, I'm enjoying his comics - and look forward to Buffy S8 - and we have Serenity on DVD and still coming back for charity showings, and Wonder Woman and Goners to look forward to. Whatever Joss does, I'm there. Would I prefer him on TV to movies? Of course, as Saje says, 22 hours a years versus 2-3 hours every couple of years. It's a no-brainer.

Saje, I was going to give Jericho and Heroes a look but there just seems to be so much going on right now, especially with all the new shows. Are you giving them a recommendation? Our tastes in TV shows seem to be similar - can't say the same for cats, however ;-).
Post-Joss shows:

Veronica Mars
House
The Inside (the only show out of these three that I'd place on a par with Buffy and Angel - those unaired eps were really good)

I watch others, but those are the top three.
SeanValen-

You will find if you go to Eliza's website she actually has four movies wrapped now. Two due to come out sometime this year and the others next. So she has been very busy. Just thought you would want to know.

For my two cents, I have to say I rather enjoy DB on Bones as Booth alot better then I enjoyed him in the latter seasons of Angel. It is showing his range of emotions and acting ability in a way I think the Angel character started to stiffle them.
Simon - Adore Life on Mars and a large portion of the new Who, though some of Tenant's run has felt kind of haphazard to me. The first few eps were BRILLIANT, however, and of course, Steve Moffat's ep was incredible. Maybe RTD is overextended with Doctor Who and Torchwood.
I really do miss Joss on TV - his shows always resonated so deeply with me.... the only one now that comes anywhere close to that is BSG, which I refuse to miss when it's on, much like BtVS and AtS when they were on.

My post-Joss list:
BSG
Bones
Grey's Anatomy
Nip/Tuck (yeah, yeah, the guilty pleasure)
Eureka (it's a cute show - and I like Colin Ferguson)
Matt Roush was my main man until he started championing "The Class." I *adore* Jason Ritter, so I watched the first ep... and I seriously have NEVER sat through a worse half hour of television in my many years on planet. It made "Four Kings" look like Shakespeare. Matt, Matt, where for art thou TASTE, Matt!??

My AW (After Whedon) shows:

Studio 60
Lost
My Name is Earl
The Office
Scrubs (if they ever bring it back! :-P)
Deal or No Deal (yes, they brainwashed me clearly...)

Going to give Heroes a big try, as well as 30 Rock and am also going to TRY to jump in on Grey's Anatomy. That's a lot of TV for a working mom, though, so I will certainly have to thin the herd... or sell a kid. ;-)
My post-Joss shows:

Veronica Mars
Big Love


And that's really it for 'must-see-TV'. Everything else is meh, and I probably wouldn't buy the DVDs.

And killinj, I know! Well, I don't watch House to begin with, nor do I really care for it (if I really want to see it I can go buy the DVDs at any time. I don't have to worry it's going to get cancelled like other less watched shows during the same time slot *cough* Veronica Mars *cough*). But I thought Friday Night Lights was on, well, Fridays.

OzLady I too am going to give Heroes a try as well. I was giving Vanished a shot as well, but I don't know how they're going to fit an entire seasons worth of episodes without getting dull, like Prison Break. Those two shows don't seem like they have to ability to create new stories after the season is up. Prison Break is boring already.

[ edited by Brisco on 2006-09-22 22:29 ]
It's been nearly 5 years since a TV show had me giddy with joy, surprise, and amazement. It was the night UPN broadcast "Once More With Feeling" for the first time. Nothing since then, not even the finishing seasons of Buffy and Angel, has been as powerful. Of course, I don't really expect TV to deliver THAT much entertainment voltage EVERY time I watch. (But it sure would be nice.)
My post Joss shows that I love:

Veronica Mars
Doctor Who
Eureka
The Office
BSG (despite its lack of humor)
Arrested Development (cancelled, dammit!)

Others like Gilmore Girls, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, and Desperate Housewives have great writing and ensemble casts, and obviously the producers are big fans of Joss (and Rob Thomas), All of them at some point have grabbed former ME writers and/or directors for their shows.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2006-09-23 14:46 ]
i must say...not since the TV days of Whedon have I been as into a show as LOST. i just consumed the first 2 seasons on DVD at a rapid pace...and cannot wait for season 3. Although I have no idea how they are going to bring all these threads together...

GREY's has its moments...but i just can't get into doctor shows.

the popularity of Desperate Housewives baffles me...

the office is worthy of the hype...

...and gilmore girls will never get old.

but i would certainly not turn down some new whedon.
More Whedon, More Often. Accept No Substitutes.

While I much enjoy VM, and House, and it looks like I'll be liking Studio 60, there ain't nothing like a Joss.

Though Joss movies will always be much enjoyed, I want my Joss-TV! I think Tim Minear said at a screenwriting panel something like TV was "feminine" because it liked to discuss things at length, and movies were "masculine" because they got the job done fast. Though I think that's a little too B&W, I think there's something to it, and I tend to prefer the long & in-depth "feminine" discussion to the short hops of movies when we're talking Whedon-World.
Oh and Extras. How could I forget that? Ricky Gervais is the Joss of sitcoms. I haven't seen the US version of The Office, but the British original is stellar. It's the Sistine Chapel of sitcoms.
Yay, the time-honored internet tradition of lists! I do love lists.

Post-Joss shows (or picked up around the time Joss' shows were still running/just ending/cancelled) I love that're still currently running...

-Deadwood (yeah, I know Season 3 was the last, but those two 2-hour finale movies have to happen like HBO assured)

-Big Love

-24 (I'm a season behind, be gentle with me...and oh yeah, I finished Season 4 a month ago and I didn't think it was as great overall as a lot of folks said it was. Certain aspects were very cool and performances were as strong as ever [and it had Mandy! who I missed not seeing in Season 3], but I didn't really care for some of the new additions to the cast. However, I love how carefully it seemed to plant the seeds of plotlines for the next year, and isn't Season 5 apparently better anyway?)

-Rescue Me (though I've only seen Season 1, when it aired a couple years ago)

-Nip/Tuck (same as above--a couple seasons to catch up with on DVD)

I enjoy Lost, but I don't often love it. It's addictive, but it suffers from too many in-between repeats. It's also on probation after Season 2, which I thought had a promising beginning, but a mostly dragging middle, that finished off with five or six gripping final episodes and I personally loved the season finale. ABC should air it the way Fox airs 24, or the way any premium cable network airs their shorter shows--every week starting in January, no repeats. I really don't mind having to wait from the end of May until January for new episodes if it means improving the flow. I could force that by waiting for the series on DVD, but I can't seem to wait that long for Lost, especially since it's the only network show I watch as it airs anymore.

And there's a bunch of already-concluded stuff on DVD that I'm slowly making my way through.

I'll agree with the sentiment of "there's no TV like Joss TV", but I don't think he made the undisputable best stuff on the tube. There're many shows that I've enjoyed just as much as his three, they're simply different is all. If I wanted to be real critical, I could say that there're some shows such as Six Feet Under (as one example) that've lived out a full run and stumbled less than Buffy, been overall better packages throughout their entire runs...but there are all kinds of details that get in the way and make it seem like you're comparing apples and oranges (SFU was only 5 seasons comprised of 12 to 13 episodes each, Buffy was 7 seasons of 22 episodes each with the exception of Season 1--therefor, Buffy had more chances to falter every now and then. The SFU creators had absolutely no restrictions as far as I know on HBO, Joss' shows probably had many due to being on traditional networks. Buffy took arguably more risks in terms of storytelling scope, almost as a necessity because of its multi-genre status and because Joss is crazy and brilliant, whereas Six Feet Under was strictly a drama with the odd dream or daydream fantasy sequence and there was no such thing as "filler" with SFU. As arguably groundbreaking as SFU was, it wasn't as risky a series, again arguably). I probably can't think of any other series fandom I followed more feverishly on the 'net than Buffy's or Firefly's. It all evens out, all my shows I've considered top quality are tied at the top for various reasons.

Oh my god ramble. Need fresh air.
SVU
Lost
CSI
Entourage
Weeds
Scrubs (whenever it comes back)
and my current favorite show on TV...the Office.

I plan on watching Traveler midseason, and I may give Dexter a chance, but we'll see. I was kind of hoping to not add any new shows at all, and just let the ones I currently watch slowly die off until I don't watch tv anymore. I'll see how that plays out though.
Heh, Dhoffryn I've tried that. TV-on-DVD caught me in its thrall soon after I decided on trying to quit the aired stuff though. Still, network-TV-wise all that has to finish for me is Lost (or it could maybe take such a dive that I even quit it, though I hate doing that with any series that I watched from the beginning that started out with so much potential). I don't think I'll ever be able to entirely give up on HBO, FX, and Showtime's offerings, since one or two of those seems to always have a thing or two going on that I love (okay forget the modesty--I love almost everything HBO's put out in the last six years and FX is hot on its heels...Showtime's constantly re-inventing themselves and their stuff only sticks occasionally). But it'd be nice to dump network-TV altogether and then maybe only try out acclaimed shows on DVD.

[ edited by Kris on 2006-09-23 00:06 ]
Oh, yeah, if we're talking stuff that's no longer on, the Brit Office is brill. And I really enjoyed the (6?) eps of Extras we had on HBO (we signed up for HBO just to see it), but I don't think new episodes have made their way over here yet.

The one night I watched TV on a London visit last spring I was stoked to see a Ricky Gervais comedy special -- using language that would've been bleeped in the U.S., and without commercial interruption! Yay British TV!
Hey, I find there is a lot of great tv shows on air right now, but like everyone else said none are as good as Joss's shows.
-Prison Break
-Smith <...WATCH IT
-HIMYM i watch whenver I can catch it.
-Standoff is decent, i've seen the 3 episodes, it's not the best though.
-Lost
-One Tree Hill
-Studio 60 had a decent pilot, I was kind of disappointed, but I will keep watching.
-Jericho had another decent pilot. It can't replace invasion though.
-Kidnapped again, i've only seen the pilot. Not sure if i'm going to watch it full season.
-SN AND SV
-Six Degrees amazing pilot.
-Hoping to watch Dexter when it comes on.
I don't do cable these days, so my points of reference tend to be regular network TV, primarily (though that DVD thingy has helped me clamber aboard the Six Feet Under and Weeds trains, and I'm looking forward to digging on some Deadwood soon).

Joss's shows are gleaming spires that tower and shimmer above everything else, the golden standards of genre at its most inspired and socially trenchant, and nothing else has come close to touching the degree of adoration and awe for storytelling brilliance I associate with all his team's works. There's nothing I would regard as their equal in total achievement out of what I'm currently watching, although some are indisputably damn excellent in their own right.
  • Studio 60
  • House
  • Veronica Mars
  • Bones
  • Lost
  • My Name is Earl
  • The Office
That's a lot of TV, yo; times is pretty good, considering. But I look forward to the day when Joss can do his natural thing on the tube again. He's the master of that domain, and anything else I watch is just eye-candy and dalliance compared to the soul-satisfying, full-brain immersion of a Buffy, Angel or Firefly. It's like the difference between craft and art. Craft embodies excellence, but art transcends craft to become (and evoke) truths.

[ edited by Wiseblood on 2006-09-23 05:52 ]
Deadwood is the only show I've watched post-Joss that has consistently delighted me with its smarts and laughs. (If SFU counts as "post-Joss" then that's close behind). The Office (both U.K. and U.S.) is terrific fun, but not quite as weighty. BSG is a little too weighty at times. Haven't had much time to get into anything else.
As of now, my favorite shows are:
Lost (the most original show after Joss)
24 (very entertaining, not much value beyond that)
Alias (I've been catching up with it on DVD- so far I've really enjoyed it but I've heard that the quality really declines and a lot of the mysteries aren't tied up well)
Battlestar Galactica (I've enjoyed what I've seen on DVD, but it hasn't addicted me the way the other shows on this list have)

Last season I fell in love with Invasion, but that's gone now. I've been watching Prison Break and Vanished but I think I'm going to abandon them now that a bunch of other good shows are premiering-neither of them have excellent acting or writing.

I haven't made a final verdict Six Degrees (might be too soapy for my tastes), Jericho (interesting premise but not superbly executed), Kidnapped (well executed but not a very original story), and Smith (I'll have to see where the story goes with this one). From what I hear I think I'm really going to like Heroes, The Nine, and Daybreak.

[ edited by vampire dan on 2006-09-23 02:50 ]
Post Joss shows.

Lost...love it but not obsessed with it. No desire to watch it everyday, start to finish, on FX and then start all over again.
SVU...fabulous show that I do find myself watching in reruns but I doubt I'll still be doing it for years to come like with Buffy.

Yep, short list. I will never outgrow my desire to see more Joss Whedon on my screen every week or the hope that someday we might actually see SMG reprise the role. Nobody does it like Joss.
samatwitch, since it's only two (ish) hours of your life I could be stealing i'd say yeah, give 'em a chance ;). Both shows have a lot of potential (especially the cheerleader character in 'Heroes' whose arc I can sort of see and who has a potentially really worthwhile journey in store). Some of the execution is a leetle dodgy though.

The only new show that I think really hit all its marks out of the gate (so far) is 'Studio 60'. How good was Matt Perry ? Bloody awesome, IMO.

Despite the less than stellar reception, I also think 'Standoff' (still a daft name) could do something worthwhile and was pretty impressed with the second episode (about the air traffic controller with Jonesy from 'Carnivale' guesting). After watching, it occurred to me that with that format, every episode could be a potential redemptive arc or plumb the depths of the most heinous evil. Each one could be a little microcosm of the human condition, if they get it right (and if they get the chance to do so). Plus, Gina ;).

Just from the pilot i'll also be following 'Dexter' keenly. Great setup for future plots and arcs, great central cast, great premise, black, black humour. What's not to love ? (OK, the occasional Nip/Tuckish gruesome bit but, as with Nip/Tuck, "watching" horrific TV is practically what cushions/hands were invented for ;). And you actually see less nastiness than you think you do.

Simon, I think until last night's episode I sort of didn't get 'Extras'. It seemed like any other gimmick sit-com (albeit a pretty funny example of the type) but I think Gervais is actually really trying (as with 'The Office') to do something different and capture a little bit of truth along the way. I'll be tuning in even more avidly in future.

(not seen the US Office but I may check it out owing to the pretty unanimous praise on here and elsewhere)

zeitgeist sort of have to agree about the Tennant episodes (even though it pains me slightly). Doctor Who S2/28 was a bit patchier though I think it took more risks and ended brilliantly and the best episodes were as good as the best episodes from 1/27 (and yep, Moffat came up trumps again - have I mentioned his Dad was my old headmaster ? More than 20 times I mean ? ;).

Chris Eccleston had a very credible cold anger (e.g. in 'The End of the World' - "Everything has its time. Everything ends") whereas Tennant just seems a bit shouty when angry, not all that threatening. Nobody does fire like the Celts and nobody does ice like the English but Tennant, as a Scot playing English, seems caught somewhere in between. I think the good stories have been carrying him a bit and when they're not so good it kinda shows but we'll have to wait and see what happens in 3/29 (and I still very much enjoyed most of the last season, despite the issues, and we know he's got the acting chops, it's just certain aspects of the characterisation that don't quite ring true).
If you want to talk post Joss that was almost as good as Joss, both Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls fell into that category. Alas, both are in cancellation heaven (or hell). :-(
I enjoy VM but I don't care what Joss Whedon says, it's not even in the same league as Buffy, Angel or Firefly. The two shows I've discovered that pulled me in the same way were Wonderfalls and Freaks and Geeks. Both murdered before their time.

I'm with those who would like to see Joss back on TV. I never would have thought I would think a television series would be better than a movie could be, but I'd never seen it done by a master before. I think Joss really is the Rembrandt of series television. He was able to realize its potential for great storytelling.

Actually I will go back on what I just said about never thinking a tv series would be better than a movie. MASH, the series was better than the movie (although the movie was quite good too) in the way that it showed the humanity of its characters. Like Buffy, and unlike most other shows before Buffy, the characters were allowed to grow, to change over time, to move on, even to die. I would have to put MASH in the top rank of series television.

Something I hope will come out on DVD that I would like to see again is the old Defenders series. I remember it from my childhood, and I was way too young to appreciate what it was about, but my adult understanding of what little memory of it I have suggests that it was a very humanistic series that dealt with serious issues and was years ahead of its time. I'd like to see if it lives up to my memory.
Hey, count me in the "would kill for Joss tv" list as well. I actually think TV is in an amazing creative renaissance right now, and there are several shows I love on the tube:

Veronica Mars
The Office
Entourage
House
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia


and there are shows in the past that I loved like anything: Arrested Development, Red Dwarf, The Tick (animated!) Black Adder, The Simpsons, Homicide, Sex and the City -- some of these shows I loved. Like, adored and have on DVD and make me smile nostalgically when I think of a random joke, and me and my sister are Simpsons-quoting fiends.

But no show, or movie, or book, nothing has ever touched me or meant as much to me as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Joss sometimes reached into my chest, ripped out my heart and showed it to me still beating in his bloody fist, and made me like it.
Totally not the place for this, but does anyone know if any of Shotime's shows appear on iTunes? I didn't think I saw any -- but then again, Six Feet Under (which also starred Michael C. Hall, who plays Dexter) and Dead Like Me were already off the air, I think. I ask because I don't get Shotime and can't afford to add it, but I would love to follow Dexter, because I think it might be one of my new favorite shows.
"Joss's shows are gleaming spires that tower and shimmer above everything else, the golden standards of genre at its most inspired and socially trenchant, and nothing else has come close to touching the degree of adoration and awe for storytelling brilliance I associate with all his team's works.... *snip*...anything else I watch is just eye-candy and dalliance compared to the soul-satisfying, full-brain immersion of a Buffy, Angel or Firefly. It's like the difference between craft and art. Craft embodies excellence, but art transcends craft to become (and evoke) truths."

Ye gawds, Wiseblood! Can't get any 'WORD'-er than that! Fucking great post.

Also must agree with SNT re: his Deadwood statement. Nothing is more spot-on in this context than that simple truth, for me (but I must also add high drama and those unexpected punches to the gut that we all know and love). Saje, I shall never forgive you if you let this show pass you by. Especially considering the mediocrity you are currently putting up with!

Argh. With a little Grr thrown in for good measure...
I'm currently part way through Deadwood season 2 Willowy and loving it. Al Swearengen will go down as one of the classic TV characters of all time, IMO (or should if there's any justice). To somehow squeeze what are basically Shakespearean soliloquies into a modern TV show and then somehow have them fit just like any other dialogue is such genius it borders on taking the piss ;).

Re: mediocrity, yeah, i'm kinda broad church when it comes to telly but sometimes you have to open a lot of oysters etc. ;). If a show's got an interesting premise and seems to have been made with some integrity rather than just as a sell-out or cash-in i'm liable to give it a good 5-10 episodes to impress me (i.e. more than is probably usual or, y'know, normal ;) and even then if I really like even one aspect of it, I may continue watching anyway.
Excellent. I knew you'd dig it.

Regarding your second paragraph, I get that. I've been suckered in once or twice, myself. ;) Sometimes it's just plain fun. Or yeah, normal. But I'm still always trolling for the excellence. It just doesn't seem to happen any more. Makes Joss's lightning in a bottle all that more special. And singular. Three shows, and its still just all about the one Whedon. Hmm.
Well, now I'm depressed.

As others have stated, yes, there's some good, quality television on right now...but still no Joss. As much as Lost fascinates me, Veronica Mars keeps me guessing, and Entourage makes me laugh...it's just not Joss.

As someone on here said a long time ago--and please forgive me for not remembering who--"I need my TV to kick my own ass."

And I've felt that very rarely since Joss left, most notably on Deadwood...which is now also gone. I need to be slapped across the face and played like a violin by a master composer and kicked in the groin, yet still respected as an intelligent viewer, and Joss is the only one who can do that for me.

There are plenty of TV shows I love and adore, but the Jossverse is in a different league entirely.
Agree with Willowy and SNT, no show has kept me quite as captivated as 'Deadwood' in this post Joss era (Yes Willowy, I've been crying in my beer since the close of that great series). I will truly miss Al, a SOB with a heart and mind.

Quite fond of BSG, like Joss, Ron takes a honest look into the 'grays' of the human element. Must admit, I was starting to wonder if he lost it during the latter half of season two. Then, the last three episodes told me otherwise. Brilliant work.

Back to topic, I yearn for the day Joss tells us a story. In truth, nothing has touch him in television since he left. Why, I've no idea. He has a way of pulling at your heartstrings at a very emotional level that defies how we live.
In truth, nothing has touch him in television since he left. Why, I've no idea.

He's just a really, really good writer. And story teller.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-09-23 14:43 ]
Thinking on shows like The Wire and Deadwood, seeing what Simon and to a lesser extent, Milch were able to do... I have to wonder, could Joss land a pilot on HBO or Showtime? Dude clearly has enough loyal fans that they'd see a spike in subscriptions if he got a series there, plus, I'd have to assume given the success of the other Joss shows on DVD... There's really a good chance for things to work out for both sides. Hell, HBO just renewed The Wire for a fifth season, while the fourth season premiere only drew 1,500,000 viewers. It did get a lot of "best show ever!" type reviews this year from a ton of papers, all well deserved, but still... Looking at it from the Joss perspective, he really wouldn't have to deal with as much network interference. He could tell a tight, serialized story over a 12-13 episode season with no restrictions on content and likely have a bigger budget than he had in the past for the other shows. It won't happen, just because it'd be awesome, but... It's interesting to think about.
Man I'd love to see the Buffy Universe continue. Nice example of how it could work, Dirk Lance.
I'd chop my right arm off (or possibly just look at it with a knife) to see Joss go to HBO. Seriously. I'm that selfish.

However, his writing contract is still with 20th Century Fox, and ultimately I've no idea if that is what JW wants to do with his career. And I think he should do whatever pleases him and his family most.
After Joss, the only thing on television I loved is the new Doctor Who series, (of wich I've just seen the first season finale), but I'm afraid it won't be the same without Eccleston. I also like Gilmore Girls and the Simpsons, Veronica Mars and How I Met Your Mother.

I thought the Studio 60 pilot showed a lot of potential, and I think Sorkin is the only television writer that might be able to outdo Joss, so it's good to have him back on television.

Joss himself back on the small screen would be greatest thing though.
gossi, please correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Joss terminate his contract with 20th Century Fox Productions a few years ago? Yes, they still hold the rights to his television series, however, I believe he's free to write and direct for other studios. Again, if I'm wrong, please correct me:)
I don't subscribe to any "premium" cable channels, though I know they're putting out excellent programming. Yes, I'm cheap. But I'll go on record right now to say that if Joss were to produce a show on any of them, I'd be upgrading so fast my credit card would be wearing skid marks.
gossi: "And I think he should do whatever pleases him and his family most."

Yeah, I hear that -- as much as I want JOSS-TV right now, (a whole 24-hour channel of it), I also keep thinking back to this:

"Because I need to take things at a different speed for a while." -- Joss, Aug./Sept. 2005 InFocus Interview with Jim Kozak.

When I think of how completely involving and time-consuming it is to do one TV show, and consider what it must have been like to have three at once, plus other stuff, his remark above seems like a complete understatement, and I feel guilty for increasing fan pressure on him.

And I think of people like John Lennon finally saying to his fans, "I don't intend to be a performing flea any more. I was the dreamweaver, but although I'll be around I don't intend to be running at 20,000 miles an hour trying to prove myself. I don't want to die at 40." And I think of Joni Mitchell saying, "Nobody ever said to Van Gogh, 'Paint a "Starry Night" again, man! Ö ' "

So, yeah, even though I want my Joss-TV, I want even more for him to have the life he wants to have. You know, in gratitude for what he's already done. However much that sucks for folks like us that want what nobody else right now seems capable of creating...

(And gossi, please don't chop off your arm -- you need one to hold the flashlight & infra-red goggles, one to hold the camera, and one more to update the Goners blog.)
Madhatter, it's on hold.. If he wants to return to TV, it has to be with Fox:

"Whedon had a little over a year left on his overall pact with 20th Century Fox TV. Under terms of his departure, the scribe canít work on TV projects anywhere else. And if Whedon decides to return to TV, 20th gets first dibs.

"It would be a lie to say that Iím not disappointed, because I will miss working with Joss," said 20th Century Fox TV prexy Dana Walden.

"Hopefully, sooner rather than later, heíll have an inspired TV idea that he canít help himself from doing. ... Weíre just glad that when he decides to do TV again, it will be with us."

Joss said; "My career has always gone through phases of swelling and shrinking," Whedon said. "Itís just a different phase, but this is hopefully not the end of my TV career. There are a lot of people I wonít be working with that I will miss."
"Hopefully, sooner rather than later, heíll have an inspired TV idea that he canít help himself from doing..."
20th Century Fox TV prexy Dana Walden.


So someone up there gets it. Amen to that.
My fantasy (du jour): Joss will one day teach a course on How To Write. He's half-teacher, you know, on his mother's side. It could be his way of raising the quality of the television he watches and the movies that he sees!

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-09-24 00:10 ]
"QUESTION: When you saw the completed Buffy movie, it wasn't the film you wanted to make, and several years later, you recreated it as a successful franchise. Do you ever have similar thoughts about Alien: Resurrection? Do you ever want to go back and 'fix' it?

JW: Oh, yes, I have. Ohhh, yes, the fantasies. I've never had a worse experience in my life, and I've often thought of doing a lecture series on how to make movies based on just showing that movie, because I think they literally did every single thing wrong."
-- Joss, Onion AV Club interview with Tasha Robinson, Sept., 2001

"I love teaching. I love going through the process." -- Joss, during an online chat in March, 2000

"QUESTION: Has your film degree come in handy, or did you walk out of school with a lot of useless abstract knowledge?

JW: I walked out with unbelievably essential knowledge. I happened to study under the people that I believe are the best film teachers ever. Film hasn't existed that long, so I say that with a certain amount of confidence. The teachers at Wesleyan were brilliant, the most brilliant people I've been around, and there is not a story that I tell that does not reflect something I either learned, or learned but already knew, from my professors... It was just an undergraduate degree, but I'm talking about an education, the most valuable thing I ever learned. Oddly enough, I never studied writing. I studied almost everything except writing."
-- Joss, Onion AV Club interview with Tasha Robinson, Sept., 2001
And I think of Joni Mitchell saying, "Nobody ever said to Van Gogh, 'Paint a "Starry Night" again, man!'"

Yeah, but they would have if he was a performing artist. Maybe slightly disingenuous of Ms Mitchell that one (though I get where she's coming from).

I dunno Pointy/QuoterGal, technique can be taught but what Joss (and the best of the rest of TV writerdom) does seems to be more than mere technical excellence. I think it might need a 'Boys from Brazil' approach to be really effective. Which, y'know, I could live with ;).
Yeah, I hear ya, Saje, I'm all for the Joss-cloning. But if genius can't be taught, I wonder if it can be cloned? Maybe, after all, it's nurture and nature?

Which means we have to re-create his upbringing, too...

Ah, screw that. Hell, let's go all Heinlein on him, and clone him, but this time as a gal -- just for the hell of it! C'mon, it'd be fun!
It's sad to even say the words what I watched "After Joss," but (and some of these I was already watching when Angel went off the air):

  • SFU
  • L&O: SVU
  • CSI: Vegas
  • Lost
  • Supernatural
  • Rome
  • Top Chef
  • Project Runway

    Veronica Mars is okay but I did not watch regularly enough to get caught up in it (despite the Enrico Colantoni love); same with BSG. Didn't watch it enough to keep up. I did catch the new Season opener of Boston Legal, which is just pervy, perverse, and funny enough to maybe make me watch regularly again. Still, Joss' shows were like living in The Emerald City of Oz and then forced to go live in Kansas again. Not that there's anything wrong that, just not, um, exciting.
  • but this time as a gal

    He's already got the curly red locks *coughVikingPrincess3cough*.

    Great thread, I've come along so late, though, I've got nothing to add apart from -- Joss TV good, Joss movies good, Joss teaching good, Joss rest and recharge his energy good -- in summation, Joss good. :-)

    Plus, not to be a kiss-a**, but I agree with Simon's 5 shows:

    Doctor Who
    Lost
    Veronica Mars
    Battlestar Galactica
    Life on Mars (just finished S1 on BBC America -- is there an S2)?

    and add to it
    Deadwood
    the late Six Feet Under
    My Name is Earl
    The Office
    Nip/Tuck (I needs my soft core, yo, plus the new storyline about having a child who is physically imperfect could be really good)
    HIMYM
    Project Runway (so guilty, but it's like "How Things Work" for clothes, and it's always fun to watch people misbehave)
    The Daily Show/The Colbert Report/Real Time with Bill Maher (it's kind of like one hour-long show, with an hour-long follow-up on HBO)
    Some of The Simpsons (not every ep shines anymore, oh well)
    Some of Adult Swim (Robot Chicken and Venture Brothers, yo!)

    I'll have to see more of Studio 60, Dexter, Heroes and Standoff (love Gina, but there's not much else on the show at the moment that's great) before I decide about those.
    Life on Mars (just finished S1 on BBC America -- is there an S2)?

    Series 2 (which has already started production) is due on the BBC next year billz, not sure when that means for BBC America.

    (apparently David E Kelley was also slated to be producing an American version though that may or may not still be going ahead)
    Ahh, thanks gossi.

    And I think of Joni Mitchell saying, "Nobody ever said to Van Gogh, 'Paint a "Starry Night" again, man!'"


    How does she know that for a fact? (Okay maybe not the "man" bit, but the general sentiment.)
    How does she know that for a fact? (Okay maybe not the "man" bit, but the general sentiment.)

    Because Van Goghs paintings didn't sell? I believe he had like 95% of his paintings unsaled by his death. I think he always had a lot of them to spare, and even painted over a lot of them. Not 100% sure though.
    Van Gough did do several Sunflower paintings though.

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