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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I will eat your dripping hearts!"
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April 16 2008

Bad Fandom: Worn Out By Whedonites. Katey Rich at laments having Joss Whedon fans for friends.

", my beloved Joss Whedon fans, are kind of like that aunt who asks you every Thanksgiving why you aren't married yet, or the friend who tells you you'd be so pretty if you just knew what to do with your hair. You know, the person in your life who you love, but also, well, hate for being a know-it-all?

"Yes, you're know-it-alls. You are convinced that if I just watch one more episode of Buffy, or get through that pilot episode of Firefly that is two goddamn hours long, I will finally see the light and see the error of my vampire-shunning ways. But you can't make me!"

Can't wait to see what this starts up. Tee hee. The author is ballsy and I found it funny. To each their own, I say. Bring on the feisty!
You know, I think she'd mellow out if she watched some.... oh, yeah, sorry.

I try to throttle my fandom when around normal people. Makes me glad I have friends and family who are fans though.

[ edited by Caleb on 2008-04-16 13:56 ]
Saying Alyson Hannigan can't act completely destroys any credibility her opinion might have had.

[ edited by Derf on 2008-04-16 13:58 ]
I really like this article, made me chuckle!

The amount of people I have got to watch firefly, let me tell you! Generally it isn't forced though... I think...
"They're bad actors."

Right. Perhaps in a world where pink dolphins fly around in a sky with clouds made of Easter bunny tail puff, but in the real world, not so much. Talk about the craziness of the fans all you want, because we are pretty crazy, but as far as the talent of the cast, that's really not up for debate as far as I'm concerned.
C'mon.. you read the replies and wanted to correct the spelling too.
I think it's popular opinion (among non-Buffy watchers, anyway) that SMG isn't much of an actress, and I shared that until I finally, seriously, watch BtvS. I have much more respect for her now, and she's one of the best on the show, imo. She is the best crier I've ever seen. Seens like when her father blamed her for the divorce, when Angel said he was leaving, or when she found out Giles was poisoning her were heart-wrenching because of her acting. She shows such vunerability in those scenes.
Trouble with this and its kind is, if you treat it seriously or respond in anything other than good natured agreement then you're tarred with the "bad sport/no sense of humour" brush or cries of "See what I mean ? I rest my frikkin' case !" ;). But here goes ...

It starts out fine with the author making the perfectly valid point that it's all down to individual preference (and that some Whedon fans ODed on Kool-Aid long ago) but she then goes on to make categorical statements about things which are clearly also a matter of opinion (the relative acting talents of the cast). So, of all the things you can get away with as "just my opinion" (and they're legion, and rightly so) this commits the one "sin" an opinion can't and still be valid - it's internally inconsistent.

Or in other words, one reason the author isn't married yet could be because she wants a huge wedding with hundreds of guests and a small intimate affair for close friends and family only ;-).
Dear Author: I prefer not to be lumped in with every person who's ever done this to you. It's not the fandom as a whole. And why yes, it is 6:21 a.m. here and not appreciating that read. Thanks very much.
Lads we've been rumbled.

Whedonesque will close for good tomorrow.

Also I have never seen anyone use the term "Jossus".

P.s. Do remember to play the ball rather than the man.
Yawn. If she tried and didn't get into Buffy/Angel/Firefly, who cares? She tried it and that's cool. She has the good taste to appreciate Six Feet Under :) (though it is BRUTAL). The only thing cooler than being a Joss fan these days is ripping on them. Actually, all the cool kids were ripping on Whedon fans three years ago ;)

ETA - Jossus? When I find one of you who has ever used that term, I will slap you with a trout ;) Also - Joss has a blog?
Jossus? Really? I've never heard anyone call him that. Huh.
He's complaining that the pilot is two hours long? Is that so abnormal? Is it's shorter than the average length of a movie.

I get the point I; overly obcessive fans can be troublesome. All geekdom have those fans that go a bit too far and make the rest of us roll our eyes at them. I don't think we Whedonites have a larger percentage of them than other geek/fan sub cultures.
I get like this sometimes - cranky because I don't see the value others place in something. It's like a cheese plate. Good spread before, many different kinds all laid out, and sitting next to tray of delicious might be an erudite cheese philosopher who'll try and tell me smoked Gouda is better than aged, super sharp, white cheddar (impossible!). Talk really turns cheesy if this ECP tries to point out why the cheddar is the less desirable cheese.

This article was cheese.
Also I have never seen anyone use the term "Jossus".

I was wondering where on earth she got that from as well. I searched google and I only found two references to Joss using the term Jossus, both in the comments to articles at Defamer and Digg.
I'm more likely to try to get people to watch Vertigo or other James Stewart/Hitchcock films, in a mild sort of way, than Joss's shows. I understand that they are an acquired taste for many. Some of my friends and I revisit the "who was the best actor from the Golden Age of Hollywood" question every so often and we always talk about Stewart v. Cooper v. Grant v. Tracy et al, and usually agree. That's why I was so taken with part of the Paley Center video where Sarah finds out she was called "Jimmy Stewart."

[ edited by Tonya J on 2008-04-16 16:11 ]
Didn't much like the writer's take either, but back in the day I went otaku on lots of skeptical friends and it took me a few years (slow learner) to see that gentle pressure over time works better than an all-out assault of manic enthusiasm.

I don't see much excuse, though, for a critic not getting Buffy.
To be fair, Alyson Hannigan doesn't... um... come into her own as an actress until Season 3. She's dandy after that.
Yeah, I'm fine with the sentiment she expressed and even the way she expressed it...up until the bit about how all of the actors on the show are bad actors. Right.

Although I don't think I've done anything more than cheerfully suggested someone watch any show, isn't this the general nature of fandom? Loving something so much that you don't understand why anyone else wouldn't? Sure, some of us can be a bit overbearing sometimes (though, I would argue, not as often as she seems to think), but I don't really think it's just a "Whedonite" thing.

[ edited by Lirazel on 2008-04-16 15:24 ]
How can the writer say that Firefly deserved to be canceled when she hasn't even watched the pilot episode? High school vampires? I don't think that she's even watched an episode of Btvs either. Looks like another article by a close-minded *insert favorite expletive noun* that has to put down whedonites because she doesn't get it. It's very obvious that she hasn't even tried to understand or take the shows seriously. It's not that we're know-it-alls... it's that she feels inferior.. [SNIP]

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2008-04-16 15:40 ]
She doesn't like the shows. It's hard to believe that, because she's obviously never even seen one full episode of Buffy. If she had, she'd at least know who Xander is. Maybe if she watched an episode, she'd change her mind. And if her mind doesn't change, well, I can live with that. The people I share fandom with already are pretty cool people.
Hard to take this author serious with her vast generalisations!
It's cool to hate cool. Nature of the universe. One of the writers over on TVSquad is doing the very same thing with Battlestar Galactica right now.
spoolyapplesauce - you might refer to Simon's post above. Now, after you've read it come back and tell me whether you would like to edit your post yourself or whether you would like me to do it or you.
haha..that was pretty funny.
When you say Six Feet Under is too depressing, fine.

Friends I introduced Buffy to gave us Season 1 of Six Feet Under. We gave it a try, but it just didn't click. Writing was clunky, the exposition was leaden, and the dialogue never rang true. THAT'S why we stopped watching after a several episodes.

And, "high school vampires?" Huh? I can think of only a couple of Sunnydale HS students who were turned, starting with Jesse...there was the girl in School Hard, and the guys in All the Way in Season 7...trying, but can't off the top of my head think of any others. Maybe Angel's incin-ogram in Season 2...?

Did this writer really even watch any episodes?

I can (barely) understand that a person wouldn't fall in love with this show, but there's a difference between not loving something and traducing it (and its fans) with ill-informed, if not completely ignorant opinions. That's not criticism. I don't know what it is, but it's not criticism.

I was profoundly skeptical about the show for years. But I would never have presumed to dismiss it as bad without having given it a reasonable chance.
I am going to write a response letter. I'll be sure to generalize across all authors of such anti-Whedonfan letters for maximum irony. It does feel like a regular kind of internet essay nowadays. I can almost predict the closing lines.
I chuckled reading this. I'm fairly sure it is meant to be a lighthearted bit of humour. The only bit that rankled was the line "Yeah, I love Allyson Hannigan on How I Met Your Mother, but she can't act." Now, firstly, call me old-fashioned but, if you are going to criticise someone, I think it is probably good form to spell their name correctly. And if she likes Alyson on HIMYM, but claims that Alyson can't act, what is she implying? That she is herself a fan of bad acting? Didn't get her point there, especially since Alyson is amazingly talented anyway. She didn't get to be a regular on TV for nearly eleven years straight (and counting) by being bad. It was a fun read, though. Nice link.
Yeah, I've seriously never, ever seen the term "Jossus" used.

I was feeling fairly understanding until she said Alyson and SMG can't act. Grumble grumble.
CinemaBlend are doing a series of bad fandom articles which are primarily designed to

1) To increase their hits. "OMG look everyone. Someone said something nasty about us".
2) see above
3) err that's it.*

To be honest I've read far better Whedonite hate articles on LJ and IMDB and other places. And if this was actually an LJ entry , I wouldn't even bother linking to it. I enjoy reading well written critiques of my fandom (oh certain lurkers in particular take pride in what you write, you're completely wrong but you articulate well) but this wasn't one of them.

*Which will hurt them in the long run. Why should we read their Dollhouse articles and interviews if all they can do is bite the hand that feeds them.
I have come across a certain kind of anti-Joss sentiment from some people who actually are just put off by (their perception of) the fandom, and I do find that kind of closed-mindedness annoying.

Of course everyone has different tastes and is entitled to their own opinion. And if a certain series or film isn't to someone's taste, they are under no obligation to even try it (although for a critic who has a degree in film studies, not to watch even enough to engage with the opinions of the fans of such an influential body of work seems just stubborn). But when someone is anti-Joss and chooses to sneer at his work simply because of a perception of overly-devoted fans, I find that irritating. But there is a "Catch-22" element, in that if you point out that they might be cutting off their nose to spite their face, you just get the "rabid Whedonite" response.

I also agree that the linked article is having its cake and eating it, by saying "each to their own" in one breath, and making categorical statements about poor acting and there only being one good bit (misquoted, of course - probably deliberately, to further wind us up) in another.

I usually try not to rise to the bait when I see this sort of thing, but I feel it's safe to here :)

ETA: And Jossus? Never heard it before. Jossir, yes. But not Jossus.

[ edited by Kiddo on 2008-04-16 16:05 ]
I think the writer has a point, You "Buffy" people are hard to deal with. I can't remember how many times I have tried to explain that there is a large amount of people who only see "Buffy" as a bunch of kids, playing with vampires and not everyone gets into the Vampire thing.

I disagree with the opinion that "Firefly" deserved to be canceled, but I understand that it isn't for everyone, no matter how much I love it.

BTW, both Nathan and Summer are getting very good press, especially Summer, who is considered a rising star in the business.

[ edited by Obsidian Mon on 2008-04-16 16:25 ]
I think the article would be halfway reasonable if it were simply a matter of opinion, but the various misspellings, the sweeping generalizations, all contribute to my thinking that it's just poorly written and poorly reasoned. Saying Alyson Hannigan can't act is fine, since it's an opinion - but praising her for her work in HIMYM contradicts doesn't work, because you have to give credit where credit is due.

I know fandom can get obsessive...on more than one (or a thousand) occasions I've found myself asking "have you seen Firefly?" sort of like Buffy's "Would you like a copy of The Watchtower?" greeting in "Welcome to the Hellmouth." It's just that overall, most of my friends have either a) seen firefly and LOVE it b) not seen firefly. And then I buy it for them when it's on sale, and then they get their families into it. Really. I bought a set for a friend for Christmas and now her whole family watches it.

It's amazing how it spreads that way, and all it really took was the right questions and really good descriptions of the show. If you say, "it's a space western" some people will freak out, but if you tell them, "it's a space western, but it's more about a man who fought in this war and lost, and what happens to the people on the losing side, and how they survive on the edges of the frontier, like a western. And it's really funny." Always tag that on there.

My friend had commented that she didn't realize just how funny it was - I sold her on Firefly without mentioning the amount of humor, but Nathan Fillion helped as well.

And most of the people I do the same with on Buffy say they haven't, or never got into it...which I understand because it's a much, much more niche audience than Firefly was, I think. Buffy involved high school, and demons, and fairly young characters, which a lot of people just can't relate to. I was starting high school when Buffy started, it was refreshing. But my fiancee, he can't get into it because he says there's something about the humor, something that doesn't sit well with him on the writing style and dialogue style...BUT he also doesn't quite get yet that I talk like that! I use these words in my vocabulary, I add "y" after things as a description. I still say "creepy cereal box of death" when I encounter something (cereal box or no) that has presented a particular challenge. He'll come around.

[ edited by CaffeinatedSquint on 2008-04-16 16:19 ]
I can't resist, please forgive me:

ETA - Jossus? When I find one of you who has ever used that term, I will slap you with a trout ;)

I smell a new catchphrase: I am Spartacus JOSSUS!
No, I'm Jossus !
I thought it was pretty funny. After all, it was supposed to be a rant, judging by the tenor of the piece and the "Bad Fandom" series," so parsing it isn't really the point. And there was some equal-opportunity hating for everyone. We're fans, so we do get a little awe-y about everything, and I've seen the same emotions in the faces of people I've tried (a little too hard) to get to watch Buffy or Firefly. I just pick myself up, brush myself off, and whistle a jaunty tune. :-)
I with the folks who were fine with the critism of the fans until she started dismissing the shows and actors. (It is supposed to be an essay about the fans, right?) She apparently knows some Whedon fans, so it makes sense for her to talk about them but she also apparently knows as much about the Whedon shows as I do about Lost. I stopped watching Lost after a couple episodes because it did not hold my interest. Because of that, I feel I have no right to comment about the acting skills of the actors or the quality of the show. The best I can say is, I didn't care for what I saw of it. It sounds like that is what she is qualified to say about the actual shows as well. Too bad she did not stick to her subject.
I thought it was funny and snide until the comment about the level of acting, then it became moronic. I regret giving them a hit.
It was all good until she started slapping the actors around. If you don't know who Xander is then you have no idea whether Alyson Hannigan can act or not. It's a shame she doesn't understand that you're supposed to stick to your topic when you write an essay.
Erm she likes How I Met Your Mother- therefore I don't care what she thinks, though she's right, I do force Buffy on my friends (and teachers) and one day they will watch it and they will love it! She acts like we're Scientologists or something.

I think the writer has a point, You "Buffy" people are hard to deal with. I can't remember how many times I have tried to explain that there is a large amount of people who only see "Buffy" as a bunch of kids, playing with vampires and not everyone gets into the Vampire thing.

'Buffy' people? I think you'll find without Buffy and the success it brought Joss there would be no 'firefly' you.

[ edited by mark on 2008-04-16 17:04 ]
"Jossus?" The wha? Huh?
Okay, if this becomes a Buffy vs. Firefly rumble, it's going to get very messy here. Not to mention confusing-- do I insult myself? And then do I become offended by me? Let's just not go there. Please. Or I am going to need strange advice.
A Buffy vs Firefly rumble would be funs! I'm pretty sure I know who would win hehe
You "Buffy" people are hard to deal with.

I think you'll find without Buffy and the success it brought Joss there would be no 'firefly' you.

Please try not to have a go at other posters. It's really not worth it and it always seems to end up in tears.
I feel all Mary Poppins-y right now. Perhaps I should proselytize my non-Joss watching friends. Am I not a Whedonite? Do I not bleed and suffer for the cause? Why, I'll have huge posters on my cube walls at work, on the outside of my apartment door, change my outgoing voicemail: Just a teaspoon of Firefly/Angel/Buffy, helps the medicine go down, the medicine go down, the medicine go do--own...

[ edited by Tonya J on 2008-04-16 17:25 ]
[Buffy' people? I think you'll find without Buffy and the success it brought Joss there would be no 'firefly' you.]

That is no excuse for the perceived elitist and pompous attitudes of some "Buffy" people.

Buffy had moderate success on TV. Firefly had no success on TV. The majority of the television watching public either didn't know or didn't care to watch those shows.

The writer says that the fandoms can be overwhelming and annoying and I agree with that, but the Firefly fandom doesn't come across the same as the Buffy People, who swears that there is some deep meaning to the show and seem to imply that there is something wrong with anyone who doesn't get it.

Not all Buffy fans are like this, but enough of them are to warrant this article.
Obsidian Mon you obviously didn't read a word I said so time out for you.
I'm baffled by the fact that the author knows about the Mustard Song, yet doesn't know who Xander is. I suppose maybe she's only seen that one episode or something, but part of me thinks that she's dumbing her knowledge on the show down to make it seem like she's completely detatched from the show.

In any case, I'm fairly amused by the whole article. Maybe because I'm a relatively new fan to the Whedonverse, and I checked out every single show on my own, with no prompting from anyone else. I don't know any other fans of the shows, and certainly didn't beforehand. So I've never really been on the receiving end of a rabid fan telling me I had to watch.

In any case, this just sort of falls into the "generalizations are fun!" category. Generalizing a fandom is rather odd, but I suppose just as fair as generalizing something like a hip-hop fan or something. I know I've reccomended the shows to friends and people who I thought might enjoy them, but I'm not rabid about it.

Although for funsies to bother my friends who like to poke fun at my Firefly obsession I tell them that there are only two types of people in the world, those who are fans of Firefly and those who haven't seen it.
Ummm...didnt the article reference both Buffy *and* Firefly?

Also Angel wasn't we must be the best fans in the world:)
The Bad Fandom series is a brilliant move by that site. They know full well the fans will come and look at the articles, and supply them with Google ratings as a result, and so advertising revenue.

It's basically trolling. Funny trolling, though.
I know you're joking angeliclestat, but in light of the preceding posts, perhaps now is not the time to jest.
"There is nothing that Buffy does that has not been done better elsewhere"

She needs to watch more Buffy.
The Bad Fandom series is a brilliant move by that site. They know full well the fans will come and look at the articles, and supply them with Google ratings as a result, and so advertising revenue.

It seems to me like this is becoming more common lately. People who have been on fan websites since the earlier days-- have you noticed an upswing?
Well, the author isn't wrong about 90% of that article. AH is not a bad actor. The rest seems spot on in most ways. Whedon fans have a pretty bad reputation on the proselytizing thing. A well-earned reputation.
Ooops....backtracks and runs away:)

For my part, I wouldn't take the article seriously- they have two other 'Bad fandom' rants;against French film 'snobs' and Anime enthusiasts. Whedon just happened to push that particular writers buttons.

If we let it p*ss us off, then we are going to get infighting (which I wasnt trying to provoke!), which will only ruin things for us fans. So best to laugh it off and return to our usual Whedonverse loving.
I think the use of the word "Jossus"was a set up. I think she knew everyone would focus on that, and in some later post she'll bring it up and mention how everyone made such an issue about it. Just saying. :-)

For myself, I have been partially successful in spreading the Buffy love- my step-daugher and her husband have become fans, as has my step-son and his wife- I got each of them the full series. However, I have failed miserably with my own kids, who simply will not watch. But then, two of the three actually do not watch TV at all, no kidding. Something about training for marathons, apparently, and having to go to work in the rest of the time....
For my part, I wouldn't take the article seriously- they have two other 'Bad fandom' rants;against French film 'snobs' and Anime enthusiasts. Whedon just happened to push that particular writers buttons.

What does she have against anime?

Please try not to have a go at other posters. It's really not worth it and it always seems to end up in tears.

and he started it ^_^
I didnt read the others Mark- I couldn't be bothered to be honest. I'm presuming that different writers on the site just write their pet peeves regarding fandom, so each one is done by a different person, though I could be wrong.
I didnt read the others Mark- I couldn't be bothered to be honest. I'm presuming that different writers on the site just write their pet peeves regarding fandom, so each one is done by a different person, though I could be wrong.

I found it. Yeah and I don't think they're written by the same people. The Buffy one was readable, the anime article is slightly racist and pretty stupid,
I've been Buffyvangelizing for years, and only 2 persons haven't gotten on board, my wife's aunt (total mystery why not) and a guy in a google group I belong to.

My cousin and his wife--vehement doubters--have thanked me endlessly for persevering, as have many, many others.

Having lunch tomorrow with a friend and former college classmate. I lent her Season 1 a few years ago. Her entire family (and then some) are all hooked now, as is a former girlfriend who's gotten at least a dozen more people on board.

My 24 year old son, when 18, was embarrassed for me. One day he said, "Dad, I have a confession...Buffy is AWESOME."

He's right.

I guess my point is that these shows are, to me, a kind of precious gift, one I feel obligated to share. I realize that not everybody will partake, but those who have thus far are extremely grateful to me.
Well, at least she didn't say we dressed funny.
I've converted over a dozen people to Jossism, but many of them have actually asked ME for my loaner set of Firefly. I rarely have to offer it to them. Get the right people involved and the word spreads and then you don't even have to do anything.
Well I wish I could say that I have no idea what she's talking about, but sadly, I've seen this very thing happen. I'm a private person. I may be doodling "Buffy and Angel 4ever" on my school notebooks, but if my friends ask "Whatcha doing?" I say "nothing." I'll mention that I'm a fan, but it's only in the presence of those that I know are card-carrying scooby gang members do I really let it all hang out, and produce my Buffy chupachups, DVD box sets, and hand-made "Vampires Suck" tank top and sing all the songs from "Once More With Feeling" at the top of my lungs in the living room. Since my best friend was the one who got me into the show in the first place (a solid ten years ago now), and my sister is just as bad (recently the whedon-fever has gotten a little worse for her), this rarely presents a problem. And if I ever need to geek out even a little bit more, well that's what the internet is for. And, uh, conventions. That's right, I went there.

But my sister. She is totally the Jehovah's Witness of Whedon fans. Whedon's Witness? Anyway she is determined to convert every single one of her casual friends to our ranks and there can be no half way with her. My best friend can be this way too. I always feel SO uncomfortable when we have Buffy nights with strangers, because ultimately this poor soul is going to start talking about something unrelated, or texting on their phone, under the delusion that all we're doing is watching some TV. And then my sister and/or friend are frantically rewinding the DVDs and saying "Wait! You missed this!" and then spending the entire episode staring expectantly into their faces for the money shot when a particular joke or scene sinks in until the guest inevitably beats a hasty and paranoid retreat, after which they never want to see any of us again, let alone an episode of Buffy.

All I can say is it's a sickness.

She and that radfem chick on lj should get together.

Perhaps between the two of them, they might come up with a cogent argument.

Beyond that, I shall only say (half-)jokingly that there is indeed a segment of Whedon fans that is not unlike original Star Trek fans Back in the Day.

Except, you know, with the Internet.
I can totally understand the bad fandom complaint--has anyone ever been on a forum with Jericho fans? Or Journeyman? It does wear on you.

But like many of you, there's lots to complain about in this article. Do I love these shows? Sure, but I don't proselytize (I was waiting for this word to pop up in the discussions). I don't think she's really complaining about people constantly trying to get her to like Whedon shows.

I think her real beef is the reaction she gets when she tells Whedon fans she doesn't like the shows. What?!? You don't like them! Well, you haven't tried hard enough! You're an idiot! And I can easily imagine getting tired of that.

But my favourite part was the reference to her 'Film Studies' degree. Pretentious much? I don't think a degree of any kind entitles you to a shield against criticism.
Well, the author certainly has a point about people pushing their fandom on other people too hard. But, as others have pointed out, there's a lot of over-generalizing here.

From what I gathered reading this, it seems like the Buffy fans in her life weren't doing the show justice, and showed the author a handful of their favorite episodes and maybe the pilot episode rather than explaining it's a show that is character-based and needs build-up. Telling someone OMWF is amazing and then showing it to them out of the blue is, in general, disastrous. Nearly every single thing that is brilliant about the episode will be indecipherable to people who haven't seen everything leading up to. Why do so many fans thing that showing their neophyte friends all their favorite episodes is a good way of getting them into the show? With the exception of "Hush," none of the heavy-hitters are good 'fire starters.' This has always been a pet-peeve of mine, and it looks like it may have been the cause here in creating someone who belittles the show.

I always tell everyone I want to watch the show that if they go through most of S2 (some episodes can be skipped) and don't want to watch more by the end of the season, I'll never bug them about it again. Funnily, every person (so far ~14 of them now) I've got to make that committment has ended up watching and loving the entire series.
That essay has no purpose other than to prompt responses on messageboards like this one. It's shallow hackwork. Let's talk about something else, for god's sake.
Heck, I'm in administration where I work, and my office has all sorts of Buffybilia in it- a Dark Willow figurine, Willow and Tara figurines, posters, calendars, signed Amber Benson photo, etc. If you can't have fun at work, where can you? :-)
OK, THAT was funny too, ailiel. ;)

No, really, I felt bad for the poor generic guy in your story, and for you to feel a bit ashamed by these expressions of "Whedon's Witness", but I nevertheless laughed while reading your story.

And, by the way, I also laughed at the article which began this thread. I don't know if I am still (or if I ever were, considering the integrism of some) a Whedon's fan, and anyway I don't fit into the type described in the article, so maybe that's why I found it funny.

That, or I am not wired the correct way.
ailiel: Your "Buffy nights w/ strangers" paragraph is hilarious--much funnier than the original article.
It was sort of funny until she started being super judgy. If she doesn't want people to do it to her, then she should follow the same guidelines. Stupid clever bloggists!
Now the saying has to be don't talk about religion, politics OR Joss Whedon.
I always find it funny when Cinema Blend gets linked anywhere. I used to write for the site when it was still called Film Hobbit -- most of their early DVD reviews are mine (although please, if you know my real name, please don't go searching. I wrote 'em six years ago when I was 19 and they reflect that).

(oh all right, it's Nate Yapp, but don't say I didn't warn you)

I used to get into it with some of the folks on the boards about Buffy. Quite a few fans there, but also many who were determined to denigrate it as nothing more than a "guilty pleasure" a la Charmed. Being younger and dumber, I took the bait. Ah well. Regrets, I've had a few.

Still, I'm quite friendly with some of the people over there still, even if the site itself has grown in a direction that I'm not particularly keen on. They're good people and all enthusiastic members of other fandoms.
I always tell everyone I want to watch the show that if they go through most of S2 (some episodes can be skipped) and don't want to watch more by the end of the season, I'll never bug them about it again.

My technique is to ask them to budget 84 or so minutes and watch Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest back to back and if they're not intrigued enough to continue, oh well, then.

Worked every time except 2, probably at least 25 or so individuals (which ripples out to 100 or more with friends and family.)
It's unfair to lump Buffy fans in with OMGBROWNCOATS.
Its funny Chris in Virginia - I kinda avoid season 1 if I am showing them to people, and start on Season2 with the Angelus arc. But then again there is the argument from watching from the beginning to get the emotional resonance...but it hasnt aged well lol

I myself was shown 'Buffy v Dracula' and Angel's 'Are you now or have you ever been' by a friend who had tried to convert me for a while. Totally fell in love with them both, although Angel appealed to me more. I started watching religously after that and have been hooked ever since (although more with Angel and Firefly than Buffy).

That was January 2001, and here I am still. Ironically that fan has fallen by the wayside (not because he fell out of love with the verse, just after the show finished he wanted to move on...and grieve in peace:))
Huh - I read this article and the first thing I thought was "flame bait."

My people have a saying, which has been passed down through the generations. I'm not sure if it can translate properly into English, so I offer it here in the original Spanish Italian Franglais Vikingese:

"Meh. Caro Notto."

We're very philosophical that way.
I'm just gonna sit back and wait for the article on her blog that shows up in three years reacanting this article...
1. I just assumed that though the underlying sentiment to the article was probably true, the author was indulging in a bit of hyperbole in order to gain some attention--and judging from the number of current posts...that plan came off without a hitch.

2.Jossus...IMO she was making a play off of Jesus. I've seen us referred to elsewhere as the "Church of Whedon."
Fandom crops up in unforeseen places. I just picked up a book at the library, Many Happy Returns. It's an anthology (that came out last Sept) edited by Charlaine Harris, featuring stories by Jim Butcher, Tanya Huff, Kelley Armstrong, etc.

Its' dedication says this:
"This is dedicated to Joss Whedon, who may never read it, and his enthusiastic fans who will."

I almost fell off my chair. Cool, eh?
Is it me or did anyone else see the title of the essay and pictured the writer with a rolled up newspaper swiping it at a dog, with a cute little "Joss Whedon is my Master" shirt, saying "Bad Fandom"?

flicks microphone

Is this thing on?

Crickets chirp

Ok, it's just me then.
Chris, I find that the two starting episodes often turn off a lot of people, especially "The Harvest" which has too much cheesiness in it. After I saw S1 for the first time, I was extremely hesitant to watch more. Luckily it was a very slow summer and I'd read online the show got substancially better in S2, so I took a risk and kept on watching. I'm obviously glad I did. :)

I find that sticking mostly with the arc episodes of S2 gives people a quick way "in" on the series. They get the major character-building episodes and don't have to be burderned by episodes that lessen the pace to the finish. Once they've been blown away by "Becoming Pt. 2" (and all of them have been so far), I instruct them to watch every episode (no skipping) from that point on. Everyone always ends up going back and rewatching the ones they skipped after they finish the entire series though.

To date, the S2 method has proven fool proof for me, while starting the with S1 (with someone who wasn't intent on necessarily starting from the beginning) has caused me my only failure so far.

But the method you choose *really* depends on the person. Although I don't think it's *ever* a good idea to show someone a random sampling of the best episodes out of nowhere. The backstory and context is largely what makes these episodes what they are.
Whedon's Witness
You are all aware that the appropriate nomenclature is "Josshovah's Witness," right?
ailiel - sis, is that you? ;) It's not something I'm proud heck, I don't care. I have told people not to text/read/surf the web while watching Buffy/Angel/Firefly, I do sometimes gaze at them when a big reveal is happening (though you gotta be careful to not give away the surprise!) and despite their protests I pause when they go to the toilet but I do most of those things when watching anything, not just a Whedon show. I love to watch something and really get into it, laughing, crying etc and I find it strange when other people don't (especially if I'm sniffling at a sad moment and get mocked by them for 'taking it too seriously').

Speaking of converting people - I have a 15 min presentation to give (haven't decided which Whedon show yet) in class and I am desperate to sell whichever show it is, but to do that in 1 or 2 clips is a challenge! The start of 'City Of..' or 'The Gift', or something from 'Hush' or an OMWF number. Hmm.
I though Jossus meant the evil, psychotic version of Joss, like Angelus.

Which then leads me to the question of what would cause Joss perfect happiness that makes him lose his soul?

[ edited by crazygolfa on 2008-04-16 20:38 ]
The evil psychotic version of Joss is his evil twin Ross - we worked that out over at Goners when our Queen Wiggs (of Wiggtopia) dreamt about him choking her.

It's a whole big thing.
Leaf--personally , I like scenes such as the bridging scene in "The Initiative" between Act3 and Act4 where Spike shows up at Willow and Buffy's dorm and tries to bite Willow. It has a bit of horror, awesome dialog, and changes mood in an instant--all hallmarks of the style. It's not so specialized that someone completely unfamiliar would be lost either as to what is occurring.
Actually, I think Joss is the evil, psychotic version of Ross. It's a yin-yang thingy going on. Maybe the reason why Joss likes to put his characters in situations that cause pain, misery and heartache is because he's evil and psychotic. :) That explains it, Ross lost his soul sometime in 1996. That puts a whole new perspective on the Angelus storyline. Where are those gypsies when you need them?
dingoes8: Or, you know, OMGWHEDONFANS. Just to be all Big Tent about it.

Wouldn't want to go excludin' anybody. Cos' that'd be rude.


[ edited by BetNoir on 2008-04-16 23:16 ]
Thanks BreathesStory, I am mostly worried because I've watched each series into double figures and it's hard to pick out clips that have horror, comedy & emotion as well as being easy for someone who has never seen the show/s to understand. That is a good clip and one I'd not thought of before.

More on topic, when telling people the shows I was going to do I found that either they went 'oh I love Buffy/Angel/Firefly' or 'that is so overrated' but I've worked on not going into spasms when the latter is said as I (sadly) hear it so often now. ;)
I read that whole article three or four times and I don't understand it ;)
I was away and am not fully caught up on the thread but I need to respond to Saje's "No, I'm Jossus !" with a Life of Brian quote.

"No, I'M Jossus.... and so's my wife!" and oddly this thread also sort of ties into this past weeks 2nd ep of Season four of Doctor Who - "I am Spartacus" "So am I".


messageboards like this one

So, just the ones that are blogs rather than messageboards, then? is a messageboard.
Nolan: There are definitely two kinds of people, those wHo say there are two kinds of people and ....

Caroline; I *think* angeliclestat was teasing the columnist for not mentioning all three shows and still claiming to be OH-SO knowledgeable.

Reminds me of my best friend in college. Not only did he refuse to read the stories because of 1-the book jackets 2-his younger brother liked them, he even made assumptions about the topics of the stories which were way off.

You do know that the vocies saying "I'm Spartacus" weren't the voices of the people mouthing on screen, right?
So something kind of good comes out of this topic and my aberrant cranky first post up there someplace, and since this tangentially has to do with vampires and someone who played a famous one, and since we are a great fandom (and how many times can I use since in a paragraph) and we love to help people in need, take a trip over to and look in the Film Topic if you have time. I posted something in there earlier today.
DaddyCatALSO :Ya I was-but I can understand the reason for Caroline mentioning it, considering the posts that had gone before.Bad timing on my part:)
Jossus!? Really, that's a new one. I've never seen or heard that one anywhere. I posted the other day wondering what our standard fandom name is/should be, apparently Whedonite has won out. At least something good came out of that read. And ailiel, that sounded a little too familiar. :)

What. Ever.



That's a new one. Kinda like it.
I found this very entertaining to read.
And Katey raises an interesting point... Why haven't any of Joss' alumni moved on to anything else of great importance?
It seems like if you appeared in Buffy, then you end up starring in a "not very good" horror movie. Sarah Michelle Gellar appeared in I Know What You Did Last Summer, Nicholas Brendon appeared in Demon Island, David Boreanaz appeared in Valentine, James Marsters appeared in House on Haunted Hill, Marc Blucas appeared in They, Emma Caulfield appeared in Darkness Falls, and Michelle Trachtenberg appeared in Black Christmas.
Bones is doing pretty well for itself, xerox, but I don't know how you are defining "great importance." Nobel Prize? Starring in a show that is going into its 4th season? Both DB and AH get the second one.
I tend to refer to myself as an "Ambassador to the Whedonverse," which, actually means not being pushy at all, but, appropriately sharing my enthusiam, DVDs, etc. to anyone outside the 'verse. I figure, if you call people "stupid" or "uncultured," well, that ain't going to help the cause of "winning" fans. I'm going to be a representative of the fandom that, well, isn't going to turn people running and screaming the other way. Mostly, like others have said, it's more about sharing a "gift" with someone else. For some people, it's not a gift they'll appreciate, so, you save it for someone who will.
Do you know there's no Nobel Prize for acting because Alfred Nobel's wife slept with an actor ? Fact !

... Or is it mathematics ? And come to think of it, is that actually an urban myth ? I can never remember.

Which then leads me to the question of what would cause Joss perfect happiness that makes him lose his soul?

Two Taras dying ? ;-)

(zeitgeist I seriously almost put that in brackets after it - ever since I saw 'Brian' the two just go hand in hand ;). And yep, I liked Donna and The Doctor both being Spartacus, liked the ep quite a lot in general)
Agree, k8crea8, about being respectful.

I'm eager, kind of crazy eager at times, but I try to explain that I want this person to try Buffy precisely because he or she is smart, perceptive, and appreciative of great art.

Yes, I went there. About 6 or 7 years ago, and I'm not going back. One line I use is "Buffy is some of the great literature of this era, and literature that will endure well beyond this era."
Did anyone get as far in the Comments to read the Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham rip-off? If not, DO go back and check it out! (Not great as poetry, as neither meter nor rhyme, uh, meter or rhyme exactly, but still a hoot.)

Uh, I hope this isn't a no-no, but I don't get this stuff about needing to be a teen when first watching, or a vamp-lover to watch.

I do not "do" horror; never been into it, never wanted to get into it. I'm now 50, and certainly wasn't Buff's contemporary when I started watching.

It's NOT for those two groups of people. And, yes, it IS about life, and yes, in a deep way.

I just don't get the whole "thing about teen vamps" thing. Whenever anyone says that, I just wanna say, "Ya ever WATCH any of it? Was the SOUND on at the time?"

In other news: "Do you now, or have you ever said 'Jossus'?" Where DID that come from?

One's Jossusity shudders to think!

I mean, 'Jossorooni' maybe; 'Jossinski' sure; but 'Jossus'? Whoever started that, just stop it right this instant!

Oh, and I don't do Cons, either. (But then, much as I enjoyed Trek: Next Gen, I've never learned Klingon, so I guess I'm just a failure at being a fan.)
Man, agreeing this article is so very flamebait (*gasp* Fans want people to watch the shows they like?! Sometimes they're overly insistent?! <random uninformed comments because you're so disinterested?!>), but I still can't get over the wtf-ness of "omg it's two whole hours long how can you expect me to watch something that is two hours?" Jeez. How many pilots are out there that are at least two hours? It's a hefty number.

[ edited by seasleepy on 2008-04-17 00:41 ]
Well, all I have to say is "harrumph!"
xerox;SMG is moving beyond horror films and film success isn't supposed to happen in one fell swoop. Nathan's exploding all over. Aly has a network TV gig, so does David, and James is a recurring, and Julie has one on cable. Michelle has been cast in a network part, Nicky seems clsoe to one, AMber is doing her own thing which is what she's always basically wanted, and Adam B. has his band. There's no curse here.
Fans of Joss Whedon can be very zealous in their appreciation of his work. Fans of 'Buffy', but not specifically JW, can also be very fervent about "spreading the word", when they are not discussing and debating amongst themselves about what is "good" and what is "bad" about the show.

I guess if someone doesn’t want something continuously crammed down their throat but it keeps on happening anyway it will eventually reach a breaking point. I have to admit there was a time I was growing rather tired of hearing how utterly brilliant ‘Firefly’ and ‘Serenity’ are when I didn’t really take to either. ‘Buffy’ is an exceptional show, but ‘Firefly’ did not grab me in the same way. Eventually, it occurred to me that if I am going to frequent places where Joss Whedon’s work is discussed I have to accept this. Equally, I have no problem with anyone who has no interest in ‘Buffy’ and I don’t feel any compulsion to try to persuade them otherwise or to force it on them.

The article/blog entry does, I think, take the argument further and pushes it into murky waters by specifically making statements that are surely designed to cause a negative reaction. Is it true that neither Alyson Hannigan nor Sarah Michelle Gellar can act? It is not the first time I have come across that argument. I would disagree. Is it true that no one involved in the show has done anything of merit since it ended? Once again, I would disagree, but there are plenty of ‘Buffy’ and Joss Whedon fans who are less than impressed by SMG’s work away from her signature role and have been very vocal about it. I would argue her career has been successful to date and has included some decent work, but that is just one opinion. I would also claim the same for many of the other actors - again, just one opinion.

Fandom does seem to produce tribalism – “my fandom is better than your fandom.” There is no reason why the writer should like ‘Buffy’ or any of Joss Whedon’s work in general. There is no reason why she should watch the pilot episode of ‘Firefly’. I think that is a given and the article does make a valid point, but she is very damning of something she presumably has not watched or has seen very little of. The article perhaps could have been given a slightly “tongue-in-cheek” slant and it would probably have been more successful in making its point.

Each to their own - which I think is the point she is making.
This was very funny. I giggled. Had to agree with some of the points, too.
This article and the subsequent discussion here makes me wonder if Whedonites are really "worse" in their converting ways than people in other fandoms. I have no experience, only being a Whedon-fan, with the inner workings of other Big Fandoms (like Star Wars or Star Trek or somesuch), but doesn't everybody get friends to watch things they like or think is good?

If I discover a great little known artist, for instance, I bring along their album(s) to let my friends who like music (and who share my tastes somewhat) know about them. I'm someone who burns people compilation cd's with "Good Music[tm]" if they like that sort of thing. And if I see a great movie, I tell people and maybe sit down with them for a nice "dinner and a good movie" if I don't mind seeing it twice. If I read a great book, I'll recommend it or hand it out as a loaner after I've finished. And then there's Buffy, Angel and Firefly (and Serenity), which mean just a bit more to me than the avarage tv-show or movie, so I recommend it to people who I know share my tastes in fiction at least somewhat and maybe sit them down for a(n) (few) episode(s) (I even had a girlfriend once who, on our first date(!) - staying in to watch a movie - said: "we could also watch Buffy. I know I'll have to in the future, so we might as well watch it now" <-- there's a reason that worked out, for a time at least). That's not "out of the norm" for me. And I have friends who do the same thing with me (if - again - we tend to like the same things). Which works out fine for everyone.

So, getting back to my original point: is our collective fandom truly worse than others in this respect? I, for one, highly doubt it. But let's say for a moment it is, because that raises some interesting questions:

Are "we" worse because:

- Joss' shows tend to attract people who like to 'convert' others (I know I am one of those people)?

- we - more than other fandoms - think what Joss Whedon does is Very Good[tm] and Deserving of Critical Praise[tm] (which I feel is true) and don't get that others don't see what we see - being Very Good Television[tm]? And if so: do other fandoms think the object of their fandom is fun, but not perse good?

- Joss' shows, more than others, are shows that get "misjudged" the first time around? 'Buffy' has a wacky title and mixes serious drama with teens slaying vampires, 'Angel' mixes serious drama with a main character who's also a vampire-playing-detective (and is also a spin-off of that "weird buffy show") and 'Firefly' is a fricking space western. And then there's the whole "mixing of genres (horror, drama, comedy, etcetera) thing" which might very well be confusing to the casual viewer. And, with these shows being misjudged, do we find - more than other fans from other fandoms - that people who dismiss the shows beforehand actually end up really liking these shows after some gentle prodding?

Or is it something else completely?[1]

[1]I realise, of course, that these are questions which are completely unawnserable without - I don't know - doing a thesis in on behaviour in different fandoms, but still :-p.
I usually think "to each his/her own," but I just can't abide with the insulting tone that this article takes. Sure, not everyone likes Joss' stuff. Hell, half of my own family is anti-Joss.
I think I'm most bitter about the comments about the actors...who are all incredible, no matter what anyone says to the contrary.
I was actually vindicated when I read the poorly spelled, grammatical bollocks that the comments were. I think if anyone wants to insult us, they should at intelligent.
This is what I meant, when I said "moved on to anything else of great importance"...
I meant, big budget hollywood movies, starring roles, major critical acclaim, and so on... I'm not saying that most of the movies they've done are horrible pieces of garbage so please don't think that. DB and AH are successful in television and they're doing a great job but they don't seem to get good big screen roles... Its seems like Sarah's high point was Scooby-Doo and The Grudge, and then things went "down hill" from there.
I think they could all get to the top and stay there but for some reason they just aren't... :(
Its weird though that a lot of them have ended up in "not so great" horror movies.

I really love all of them and I want to see them succeed. :)
I didn't start watching Buffy until the 7th season. Prior to that I used to give people "That Look" when they asked me if I watched Buffy. I know all about "That Look" because I still get "That Look" when I ask people if they watch the show.

I even got "That Look" from my mom until I finally convinced her to watch an episode. Now I've got her hooked on Buffy, Angel, Firefly and now Dr. Who. She's in her 60s and proudly wears a t-shirt advertising Caritas.

A lot of people have a perception that Buffy is a crappy show without having seen an episode. The title alone is enough to make them give you "That Look" and feel haughty and superior. We fans may get a little feverish in trying to make a few conversions because we know that just watching one episode can change that perception.
Does anyone else think that there is a possibility that she mis-heard the word "Jossverse", mistaking it for "Jossus"? That scenario would fit with her mis-quoting "They got the mustard out!" Perhaps she feels that an opinion piece doesn't require fact-checking.
My Reply to Katey-

I don't believe this comes under the topic of 'Bad Fandom'. Rather, it's 'Pick-on-a-Fandom Day', and the dart happened to fall upon Whedon.

Katey, you have stated that your friends have tried to push their fandom onto you (And I'm guessing that after they've read this, you'll have quite a few less contacts to have to deal with.) I can appreciate that you don't 'get' the show. Horses for courses.

But through your criticism, you display your ignorance. You claim not to know one of the MAIN characters, which demonstrates you have not, in fact, bothered to watch the shows. So how can you therefore make a valid judgment?

You haven't even researched enough to KNOW what former actors are doing now, being curiously quiet about David Boreanaz (Bones), James Marsters (Smallville/Torchwood), Seth Green (Family Guy/Robot Chicken) Summer Glau (Sarah Connor) and Nathan Fillion (Waitress/Desperate Housewives). Plus, more.
It was the Whedonverse that 'discovered' them as unknown actors. Not a fluke.

You obviously know nothing of the 'How Buffy changed my Life' contest run by Dark Horse Comics, which received thousands of entries. People wrote about how the show helped them cope with mental illness, come out as gay, inspired them to battle bullies and just helped them get through difficult moments in life. I'm sad for you that you never had a show that did that. I'm also sad that you feel the need to belittle these fans genuine belief in the power of the show, to further your own agenda.

I can tell you that Whedon fans were encouraged to push their fandom through viral marketing of the 'Firefly' movie. That was a bad move by the studio- the fans came across looking crazy, and the film didn't do well at the box office. You live, you learn.

However, the fans are NOT the ones responsible for placing most of the Whedon shows on the 'Best Of' lists that regularly come out of mainstream media. We can't help it that, a decade later, people still find themes to examine, points to debate and character development to dissect. People want more. Sign of a good show or two, no?

See, I have a degree in Media Studies, too. I even wrote a thesis on 'Buffy'. I don't harangue, harrass or otherwise preach to my friends and family. I stick to my corner of the interwebs, where I like to converse with other intelligent, like-minded people. Sometimes, we talk Whedon. Other times, Twinkies.

You're not the first, and certainly won't be the last to denigrate the fandom. But trying to win 'points' by ranting on a subject that you have patently failed to research is simply biased, ignorant journalism. Which anyone with a 'Film Studies' degree would know, is just not on.

Word, missb. I couldn't have said it better myself.
Plus, the grammatical awesomeness makes the heart glad.

ps...I'm doing my thesis on Buffy. The fam's not impressed; the professors think it's awesome.
Haha she sounds like 98% of my friends
I respect everyones right to be wrong...but still damn funny.
Nice, Missb. I wish I had her problems. I've only met one other person on a job that was a Buffy fan, and he was going out of a deployment, while I was going in. Gone in three weeks.
You know, the only reason I became a Buffy fan at all was because one of those 'pushy Whedonites' forced me to watch the first episode of Firefly...

Pushy fandom can occasionally be a good thing.
Joss' shows are catered to a niche of people. Although they are of the mainstream, they really aren't for the mainstream. Buffy was built in response to the established archetypes of Hollywood, so it's understandable that not everybody would like it. What makes it that much more inflamed is when the folks who do like (or even love it in most of our cases) start to get a bit too preachy about his series. I haven't really noticed this as much with Buffy as I have with Firefly.

Joss is a great creative writer though, and he attracts a very loyal following. I know I'm pretty much a fan for life.
mikejer, I introduced a friend of mine to "Buffy" via "Once More, With Feeling." She subsequently went back and watched all the episodes. Although I must admit, I was so blown away with OMWF that I got a lot of friends of mine to watch it, not so they'd become "Buffy" fans, but just because I thought it was incredibly cool as an episode of series TV. I didn't expect most of them to subsequently get into "Buffy," because they're simply not fannish, period -- I'd be surprised if they "got into" *anything*. As for teens, I was in my thirties when "Buffy" started (and I started watching with the original airing of "Welcome to the Hellmouth").

Simon, have you considered starting a new website called "Trout Slap"? Somehow that whole image made me smile bigger than anything else on this thread -- it gave me a picture of someone bent over their laptop by a stream, making an offending post, and someone else scooping a live trout out of the stream, having the fish slap the poster, and then putting the fish back into the stream to swim away, its job completed ... :)
Jossus? Well, that settles that then. I'm out. Seeing as how I don't do religion, I will clearly have find something else to do. :-)

I also thought the article started out in a "It's fun to overgeneralize!" sort of way, as someone, whose name I forget (Sorry.), said earlier in this thread. Until I got to the part where she started in on the actors, at which point imagine me making Cordelia's face from "You're Welcome". Pleeease. DaddyCat, that was a great comment you left over there. Had some of the same thoughts myself. That having been said, I once made the mistake of deriding someone else's fandom, saw the crushed look on their face, and vowed never to do it again. So that part I get.

I think of Buffy and Angel as literature on TV, and I sometimes wonder if they didn't have these same discussion back in the day before Shakespeare became so big. Sort of like:

Person 1: Ooh. Did you catch that new play?
Person 2: What play?
P1: You know. Shakespeare's new play. That tragedy where eveyone ends up dead or demoralized? He really writes heroes well.
P2: Is that still running?
P!: Yeah, it's great. You should go. He's really good. Someday he'll have his own theatre company, you know.
P2: What? That hack?
And so on...

She can think what she wants. I use Buffy and Angel to teach literature and writing to high school students. It's great stuff. Watching Buffy cured me of a fear of vampires that kept me from falling asleep as a child. I guess since my children are also fans, they've also been spared that fear, too.

Saje, (off topic) I had a math prof who said the reason there's no prize for math was because his wife slept with a mathemetician. So either the guy was both, or she was really busy. Gossip. Pft..

[ edited by MysticSlug on 2008-04-17 11:40 ]
You'll be amazed to hear I was actually being facetious MysticSlug (it's something I do every other word now and again ;).

It's actually a well known urban myth ;). Nobel was never even married.
Yeah, I knew that. :) I guess if you had seen how offended my prof was about it, you would have thought it as funny as I did.
MysticSlug, I was just going to say, I wonder if Dickens' fans were subjected to this sort of thing? ;-)
Well, I got picked on a lot in shcool because I got all geek-like excited about his syntactic creativity. So, I'm gonna have to go with yes to that question.

(Are we off topic again? We seem to do that a lot.:-))
The last "convert" I made, I loaned him a sampling of episodes from each season (up through Season Six. Season Seven hadn't aired yet,) about evenly divided between my "Favorites" and "Best of Buffy" lists. I gave up on my brother, though - he won't sit through a single episode (but he thinks Smallville is "pretty good." Which just reinforces my opinion that he has abso-friggin-lutely no taste in entertainment...)

MysticSlug, "topic"? We don' need no steenkin' "topic"...
Y'know, I often wish one could discuss the shows objectively on here, but it seems to be a problem with forums in general that you can either be for or against something. There isn't much room for debate.

Much as I adore the shows, there is some shocking acting in them. No names. Much as I'd love to.

On the other hand you've got Amy Acker, who's one of the best actors I think I've ever seen!
And ASH of course.
And Alexis.
My brother thinks 'Columbo' is a much better show than Buffy. In fairness, I also love 'Columbo' so I can dig that. 'Smallville' would take slightly more mental gymnastics to see at the same level as BtVS though (and I actually watch 'Smallville' ;).

I don't think the comparison to Shakespeare or Dickens is particularly illuminating because both of them were hugely popular in their own time - there was absolutely nothing cult about their fandoms so in that sense, I strongly suspect that the fans would be secure enough that they didn't feel the need to be strident.

If you're in the vast majority then it's much easier just to say "You don't like it ? OK, many do, so i'm fine with that". Being a smaller, more cultish, marginalised fandom breeds vehemence IMO.
Giggle. I don't think this has been said yet. Whedonesque is an awfully fun place to hang out! Bad fandom, my ...

Many of you have made me laugh lots today!

ETA: I have a student from Germany who tells me Buffy was huge there.

[ edited by MysticSlug on 2008-04-17 12:31 ]
I am going off track a little bit here, but I would not simply judge the success of actors associated with ‘Buffy’ and other Joss Whedon-related shows by box office returns and column inches in the celebrity press. Of course, as soon as we start to consider “work of merit” and acting ability we are headed into subjective waters and bias plays a big part in our opinions.

Seth Green has a successful career and I don’t think that can be disputed. Marc Blucas continues to make films (at least a dozen since he left ‘Buffy’, I do believe), including interesting choices like ‘I Capture The Castle’ and ‘The Jane Austen Book Club’. As has already been mentioned, both David Boreanaz and Alyson Hannigan have leading roles in popular television shows.

Tony Head had a successful career before ‘Buffy’ and that has continued since the show ended; the fact that he is not a Hugh Grant or Clive Owen on the celebrity success-o-metre is of no relevance. We don’t see quite as much of Nicholas Brendon or Charisma Carpenter, but they have continued to find regular work. I think Carpenter is an excellent comedienne – her recurring role in ‘Miss Match’ was a highlight of that short-lived show. Emma Caulfield seems to have had a love/hate relationship with acting, but her career has certainly not been stagnant in recent years. Amber Benson has chosen a particular route and, it seems to me, is doing very well. James Marsters has not just been sitting around waiting in vain for the phone to ring.

Michelle Trachtenberg has found regular work in films and television. ‘Black Christmas’ might not have been the best film in world, but ‘Mysterious Skin’ was an interesting choice – and it isn’t the only one she has made.

As things stand, the nearest thing to a “star” at the moment is probably Sarah Michelle Gellar – which is not meant in any way to be a derogatory assessment of the others, or the likes of Nathan Fillion and Summer Glau, both of whom are making sizeable waves. Gellar is the one who receives the most paparazzi attention (with the possible exception of Trachtenberg), something that counts for a lot in these celebrity gossip obsessed times. We know ‘Scooby Doo 2’ and ‘The Grudge’ both raked in big money. We also know the films since then, all small budget semi-independent productions, have not troubled the box office. I am in a minority I suspect, but I think ‘The Return’, ‘Southland Tales’ and ‘The Air I Breathe’ are good films. They have merit. ‘Suburban Girl’ has its faults, but it is not a complete disaster by means.

The likes of George Clooney and Alan Alda are few and far between. The ‘Buffy’ cast are still out there, still working, still doing interesting work. I think they’ve all done bloody brilliantly.
I don't think you're off track, alien lines. I think you're right on the money. Yours is a far more objective and informed assessment.

[ edited by MysticSlug on 2008-04-17 12:56 ]
The thing with TV is, it's rare to top your biggest success. How big was Alan Alda after MASH ? Or Ted Danson after 'Cheers' ? What's Kelsey Grammer up to right now ? Or the stars of 'Friends' ? These guys all had huge success at that point in their careers, it's not surprising if what comes afterwards seems less. They're mostly all still producing good work, it's just not necessarily the same huge hit.

(i.e. I agree with alien lanes, seems to me it's actually the norm not to go on to huge film super-stardom after a big TV success, and so is very far from evidence of a "curse")

ETA: I have a student from Germany who tells me Buffy was huge there.

Then it'd be interesting to find out if German fans are less strident in their "recommendations" MysticSlug.

(though, there's huge and there's huge - Buffy was a pretty decent hit for BBC2 but it still only had 3-4 million viewers. Is it, like, Hasselhoff huge in Germany ?)

[ edited by Saje on 2008-04-17 12:44 ]
Oh my god! She's so right... We have such a superiority complex... Not to say it's unsubstantiated... We might be a little bit better than the random cretins. Just don't tell them I said that...

But all we expect from the cretins is to give the show a serious chance. A set few number of episodes. I'm sure most Whedon fans would be able to do the same. And for arguments sake, I'm a fan of Lost and I'm totally willing to give Six Feet Under a shot, I've always felt it looked kinda interesting. Heck, I even committed to watch a couple of Sex and the City episodes last time I tried to convert someone. Horrific... But I did it cause that is what you do, you give and take. And also, conversion succeeded.

We really do sound like a religious cult, don't we... :P
I do not mean to be argumentive, but I don't think I would describe someone as a cretin for not taking an interest in Joss Whedon's work.

I watched half of an episode of 'Battlestar Gallactica' and decided I did not want to watch any more. I have never returned to that show, even though I have read reams of very enthusiastic and positive commentary about it - and had it recommended to me by friends whose judgement I have a great deal of respect for. I am not saying the show is bad - I am just saying I have decided I don't want to watch it. It's an "uninformed" informed choice, but I don't think it makes me a cretin - although the 'BG' fanbase might argue otherwise.
Saje, my point is, there's always discussion. Take Helen Fielding and Bridget Jones, for instance. It was hugely popular, even to the point of prompting an article in the Economist about the real generation of Bridgets in London. Following her books, we've seen a increase in diary-type literture and they sell really well.

I also know people who can't stand Bridget Jones' Diary. They think they are the most poorly written books they've ever read. I've also had discussions with people who think Dickens' use of charicature was overblown or that his writing was too complicated to be good. But that's really the heart of discussing literature. What makes literature good? What makes it cannon?

I just think it will be intersting to see where TV as a genre ends up in regards to a more modern appraoch to "literature". We've already started to include film analysis as a regular part of our curriculum. Expanding that to TV seems reasonable and at that point, there can be all kinds of camparisons.

ETA: Moved this because the discussion was getting messy.

[ edited by MysticSlug on 2008-04-17 12:55 ]

[ edited by MysticSlug on 2008-04-17 13:02 ]
I'm an "accidental" Whedonist: Only after a carpool buddy confessed that he was "now officially addicted to Buffy" did I stop down and watch 10 minutes of an episode from Season 2.
I was enthralled, and said to myself the same thing my friends do when I show them 10 minutes of Firefly: "How did I not know about this?"
Lots of great things in this world go unnoticed by a majority of the populace; there seems to be a neural block, a firewall, a "Somebody Else's Problem Field" around them.
Sometimes all it takes is 10 minutes of exposure to break that barrier down.
But many people will start to go into seizures if you try to expose them...
"NO! I'm not gonna watch THAT!"
"Why not?"
"Just... BECAUSE! Can't you just accept that?"
We've already started to include film analysis as a regular part of our curriculum. Expanding that to TV seems reasonable and at that point, there can be all kinds of camparisons.

Well there're already lots of degrees (here at least) that focus on TV criticism/cultural studies so i'd say that already happens.

You were specifically wondering upthread (with Shey) whether Shakespeare and Dickens' fans got this treatment, my point in response was that whatever the relative merits of their work, those guys were hugely popular. Buffy isn't (with the possible exception of Germany ;) and so the way their fans would be treated would be different as a result (and also, most likely, the fans' attitude IMO). Anything popular is going to come in for less flack from fewer people than something with "only" cult appeal, that kinda comes with the "popular" sickle IMO ;).

Can a TV show be literature ? Strictly, no (it's not written) but if you bend the definition even very slightly (or consider TV scripts) then I don't see why not (no less so than film anyway). Most people mean "written works of a literary standard" when they say "literature" and I think you could make a case that Buffy, with its complex characterisation, allusions and rich metaphorical subtext is "of a literary standard".
You're not bending the definition, Saje. That's exactly it.

It occurs to me though that, through all these online discussions, we are part of actually documenting opinion in a way that is easily accessible. No one is widely popular until they are widely popular, and not everyone likes everything. Dickens' social commentary wasn't appreciated by everyone, and it would be interesting to know if any letters were written to the editor when the installments were first published, and if any of them got snarky. It would make for an intersting thesis on the development of fandom.

So the question is, 100 years from now, what will the profs be saying about TV scripts as literature and what was immediately "popular", or even good? As a friend of mine, who teaches history, is fond of saying, "Time blurs things." Are we making things less blurry?
Dickens' social commentary wasn't appreciated by everyone, and it would be interesting to know if any letters were written to the editor when the installments were first published, and if any of them got snarky.

MysticSlug, that's pretty much what I was thinking when I posted my comment, but the inclusion of "Dickens" and "snarky" in the same sentence, made me laugh out loud. ;-)
Oh sure, there would've been contemporary critics (and defenders, here's some of the sort of thing you may be looking for - snark aplenty back then, they didn't pull their punches, even when being sort of nice as in this bit by Mark Twain wherein he says "His pictures are hardly handsome, and he, like everybody else, is less handsome than his pictures." ;) but that's not the same as one person complaining about Dickens' fans pushing them into trying his stuff (which is what I thought was meant).

Are we making things less blurry?

Yeah, that's an interesting point. We must be I guess, what we think of Joss is (literally ;) there in black and white for all to see. Of course, that's assuming that large portions of the net haven't been lost in a hundred years time, in exactly the same way that paper records have been previously.

(the internet would be pretty tough to backup in its entirety ;)

Also, from a historians perspective, it's a pretty dodgy source - most of the time whether a page has been edited, who by and for what reason is pretty hard to ascertain. So while making things less blurry in one sense, we're also just introducing other points of uncertainty.
saje, I think the term you are looking for is "quality television." This has a specific meaning in media studies, and I think Buffy is an exemplar of it. Other examples are really hard to find, but include shows such as The Sopranos, The Wire (modern times), All in the Family, etc. What characterizes Buffy more than most other shows is not simply that it has an active and vocal fandom, but it was one of the first to really develop its fandom via the internet, so that as time went on, it grew in numbers and in influence. It is not just here that erudite discussion (about, oh, reader response v. authorial intent, just saying for example :-)) takes place, but also on buffyology, slayerlit, ATPOBVS, etc. Here I am, 55, an associate professor soon (next week!) to become Senior Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning in my institution, and I include Buffy clips in my presentations, to make points. And people love it, they know this about me, I let my students know, and I talk to people. Just looking to share the pleasure, you know?

And while I think that in some ways the work that Buffy actors have done since leaving Buffy is not equal to their work on Buffy, they are still working. If Aly Hannigan overemotes too much on HIMYM, she is still working and making people happy. That's cool by me. I don't get the same pleasure in her current work, but so what? This is not her responsibility. Though I am waiting to see how Bones and Brennan make out, in both senses of the term.... :-)
On the careers of those who do great work in a long-running TV series, this is a serious and even poignant issue for talented actors everywhere, not just in the Jossverse. SMG may not get a role as sweet as Buffy, but she's working hard and Southland Tales was interesting. The cast of The Sopranos are all aware that, at least to the general public, they may never be as well remembered for future roles. Their boatload of Emmys is some consolation, but maybe not enough.

Xerox, alien lanes, Saje and all, thanks for a great ride on this thread.
Indeed. And for others; think Mark Hamill.
My omnivorous barnyard-dwelling quadruped (more simply known as goat) tends to be obtained (bad omnivorous barnyard-dwelling quadruped, stop following those strangers!) by people who, because they *personally* don't pay attention to genres they don't care about, assume that if *they* haven't noticed an actor/writer/director/whatever's work once the actor/writer/director/whatever has left that person's field of awareness, the actor/writer/director/whatever isn't doing anything, or at least not anything "important" or "good." Virtually *all* of the "Buffy" main cast (to say nothing of guest stars -- for example, Amy Adams, who was Tara's cousin, has been nominated for two Oscars) have been consistently employed since the end of the series. David Boreanaz is now one of the producers as well as the stars of "Bones," going into its fourth season. Many people here have cited examples. And for the record, Alan Alda post-MASH? Starring in, writing, directing movies, writing books, appearing on Broadway. Kelsey Grammer post-"Cheers"/"Frasier"? Exec-producing "Medium," starring in the Fox sitcom "Back to You" and making movies. Really, they're all doing fine :)
I'm an "accidental" Whedonist: Only after a carpool buddy confessed that he was "now officially addicted to Buffy" did I stop down and watch 10 minutes of an episode from Season 2.

cljohnston108, what 10 minutes of BtVS did you watch?

Congratulations, Dana5140!

Indeed. And for others; think Mark Hamill.

And of course take into consideration that many actors do not have the same definition of success that the public or other actors do. I recently read an interview with Mark Hamill in which he said that acting was not his first choice of careers and that he is now doing what he always wanted to do.

Some actors want to be stars and some want to be working actors doing challenging roles. Some people measure success by how much money they make, and others by whether they are able to make a living doing a job they love doing. Everything is relative.

Actually, most people connected with the Whedonverse seem to be doing pretty well, work-wise. We don't see most as much as we would like, but, with a few exceptions, most of them seem to be working steadily and seem to be building their careers. It is going to be interesting to see how Dragonball affects James Marster's career.
I'm too busy thinking AMY ACKER IN DOLLHOUSE!!!!

I'm going to admit quietly over here that I saw the Twitter comment first, I had a very brief suspicion that the post was a joke. Then I immediately realized this is Whedonesque, not the rest of the internet-- we love casting rumors, but the deliberate starting of them would be so out of character.

I believe nothing you say about Morgan Freeman, however. One of these days he will actually guest star in something and that'll come back to bite me.
Thanks, newcj.
Wait. What? Amy in Dollhouse? Holy cow! This is great!
Shey, I kinda think Dickens would have appreciated it too. :)

Sunfire, I had no idea what you were talking about until I went over there and saw - well, just the best news all day, and now I'm going to spend the rest of the evening dancing around the house, singing very loud, happy songs.

[ edited by MysticSlug on 2008-04-17 17:42 ]
Some actors want to be stars and some want to be working actors doing challenging roles. Some people measure success by how much money they make, and others by whether they are able to make a living doing a job they love doing. Everything is relative.

Exactly - as a working (part-time) musician who has in some years played more shows than big-name, full-time stars, I often hear people say, "You can't make a living playing music." To which I reply: "Well, of course you can, because lots of people do. It depends on your definition of "making a living." If that definition includes twenty multi-platinum albums, six Grammies, sold-out crowds to your 250,000-person audiences, a $100-million+ mansion with full staff, a full-time chauffeur driving your Rolls-Royce, a summer place on the Riviera, etc, etc, then, yeah, you're probably gonna be in for a disappointing career, because not very many people get to that point...
Shey, it appears there may well have been a real possibility for some snark, at least on the American side of the Atlantic. Go here. You have to read down a bit, but he wasn't all that popular the first time he visited, or so this webpage says. I'm sure there were some great discussions over the afternoon tea and whatnot.
The beginning (and primary point) of the article seems to have been forgotten, though: the "Shame You Aren't Married" Aunt. That is, the fans who bring it up Every Time. This IS inherently annoying.

The problem was then ragging on the thing, without a clue about it. (Marriage per se isn't what's wrong with the SYAM Aunt; it's the harping.) The differences being marriage requiring some sort of spouse, often, another person, TV, not; marriage being something one expects to last a bit longer than, say, a pilot that's a bit less than two hours.

The other thing I wanted to add, here where no one will see it, is, again, I see "Whedon writes for a niche audience" -- ???? He DOES? That's not how I see it. What niche is that?

I'm not saying that those who don't love BAF aren't human; but the only "niche" it's written for is covered only by that word. What sub-group among humans are people thinking the shows are for? Cause I really think you're wrong. Although many of the writers say they thought of the audience as being only teens (for Buffy -- according to what they say in commentaries), clearly Joss had no sub-group in mind, but intended to speak to any human willing to lend him an ear. (Ugh! NOT a good expression to use in this context; sorry for the nightmarey visual there.)

About the name Buffy, the Slayer of the Vampyres -- yes, it's silly, in a way; but doesn't putting juxtaposition in the title also say, "Here's someone NOT afraid of complexity"? What with juxtaposition being inherently complex and all. (When first hearing it, I laughed; but it also made me want to check it out.)
Niches are where you put little ornamental objects that get dusted. Given the diversity of the membership, we are not a niche audience, nor ornamental.

I had the exact same thought about the title when I first saw it, too.

[ edited by MysticSlug on 2008-04-17 18:36 ]
I can sort of see where they're coming from... I like Buffy but not Firefly and sometimes (esp. on the Internet) Joss Whedon fans can be obnoxious... or at least incredibly overzealous, for example, none of us have seen Dollhouse but a lot of people already are making fan websites, devoting lots of time to it... not that that's *bad,* just to somebody who doesn't "get" it, it probably doesn't make sense.
cljohnston108, what 10 minutes of BtVS did you watch?

Oh! It was the last few minutes of "Surprise", where The Judge has just incinerated another vamp, and Drusilla gets all manner of excited, stamping her feet and shouting, "Do i' again! Do i' again!"
There was no escape after that!
Niches are where you put little ornamental objects that get dusted. Given the diversity of the membership, we are not a niche audience, nor ornamental.

Speak for yourself. Though I am not a member of the niche audience that they expect for BtVS, I am most certainly ornamental. ;-)
Xerox, alien lanes, Saje and all, thanks for a great ride on this thread.
doghouse | April 17, 15:31 CET

As well as a whole slew of exceptionally articulate newbies with lots of cool stuff to say.
Not that I'm exactly a veteran around here, having just recently (I think) passed the "one year" mark. But it's felt like home from day one, so .... just sayin', lots of good stuff lately. ;-)

ETA my computer is so wonky, most likely on it's last legs :( I have to come back later to even follow any of the links I'm dying to check out.
I hope the Amy Acker in Dollhouse thing is real, that would be amazing.

[ edited by Shey on 2008-04-18 01:04 ]
Edited again for mis-spelling

[ edited by Shey on 2008-04-18 01:06 ]
Nah, Joss' shows are for niche audiences. He's done individual stories in the past that have done great in the mainstream, mainly his movies he's written scripts for (not Serenity), but his TV shows have never come close to the popularity of any of the big network shows. I'm sure that Joss and Mutant Enemy didn't set out with the goal in mind of, "We're writing these shows ONLY for geeks and nobody else!"

A group being diverse has nothing at all to do with whether the group is niche, but make no mistake, we are all part of a niche audience. These shows are not accessible for everyone, and I don't think they should be because they'd lose their charm. Joss' shows are very daring and fly in the face of the standard crime drama/reality TV snoozer that makes up 90% of the mainstream. There is no shame in being part of a niche.
The article is funny, and I understand where she is coming from. My friends feel the same way. But seriously, who is calling Joss "Jossus"??? That's just tacky and makes you sound totally weird...
And besides, Jossovah wouldn't like it.

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