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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Superpowers, a scintillating wit, and the best body money can buy... and I still rate below a corpse."
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April 23 2008

Joss Whedon's 10 finest moments. Den of Geek! picks Joss' best work from television, comic books and film.

Joss Whedon's 10 finest moments?
Sheesh, here goes. Justification is at the bottom. (So you can skip!)

1. Buffy- 'Surprise/ Innocence'.
2. Buffy- 'Once More with Feeling'.
3. Angel- 'Waiting in the Wings'.
4. Firefly – 'Out of Gas'.
5. The Office – 'Business School'.
6. 'Fray'.
7. Buffy The Vampire Slayer 'Season 8' and Angel 'Season 6'.
8. 'Toy Story'.
9. 'Serenity'.
10. 'Dollhouse'.

1. 1.'Surprise/ Innocence'.
The Buffy episode that REALLY made me sit up and take notice. My heart has never recovered.
2. 'Once More with Feeling'.
How do you go from being totally non-musical to writing this gem- over the summer? Not just a 'novelty' episode, OMWF advanced the story, and then some.
3. Angel- 'Waiting in the Wings'. This was just gorgeously realized. Again, the novelty of being in a different setting made not one iota of difference to expanding the story at large. Plus, Summer Glau.
4. Firefly – Out of Gas
Not everyone's favorite epi, but for me, this was where I really began to see the characters gel as a family unit. Something just 'clicked' for me. By then, the series was gone and this was what made me weep over what could have been.
5. The Office – 'Business School'.
It was so great to see Joss playing outside of his own playground. For so long, I'd worried that I had more of an investment in Joss's characters than in his writing. This proved me wrong.
6. Fray- The series that got me hooked on comics. My credit card company loves you, but I say, damn you!
7. Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 and Angel Season 6. Proves that I'll take these tales in any way I can. Buffy's experimenting with gayness? Angel's human? Well on the plus side, there's always Betta George!
8. Toy Story- Because many, many years before I even heard the name 'Whedon', I thought this was genius.
9. Serenity- Because I thought us Whedon fans had finally beat the big guys. I was young then...
10. Dollhouse. I haven't seen a single minute of film. Never read a script. But somehow, I know I love it already.
Which may be Joss Whedon's ultimate legacy.
I'd include his Equality Now speech and the "Let's kick a girl to death" post.
Thanks Simon for the link and for making me think beyond the obvious.

11. Posting to Whedonesque about the fate of Du'a Kahlil, and getting thousands of people motivated enough to raise money for Equality Now.
12. Giving someone with a mental illness the chance to not just appreciate, but feature in, his comic.
13. Offering to meet his supporters at a bar in Sydney, and buying us drinks. Legendary.

[ edited by missb on 2008-04-23 13:37 ]
Simon, thanks for this -- it's serious fun. I'd rank "Out of Gas" as the best Firefly episode, in fact one of the all-time-best TV scripts ever written (with its clever and moving flashbacks against a powerful and scary front story) and I'd add "Restless" to the Buffy best-list: utterly unexpected and oblique but right, with Armin Shimerman's great Brando/Kurtz takeoff. Nice to see "Fray" up there in lights too. But there's so much Joss to remember and revisit -- makes me want to bag the day and go straight for the DVD player.
Any episode where Joss has an opportunity to be an auteur (doesn't that sound wonderfully pretentious?), he just produces pure art. Hush, The Body, OMWF, Waiting in the Wings... The contrast between those episodes and, well, everything else on TV is just incredible. When I rewatch one of them, and then go back to watching some other show, I always feel a little let down that most TV never even comes close.

missb, I seem to remember Out of Gas wasn't a Joss episode. Still brilliant though.
best joss-whedon moment: car-rental guy on Veronica Mars

[ edited by bookworm on 2008-04-23 13:49 ]
1. Creating shows that allowed AlexReager to become close with his niece and nephew.

(Probably wont find that one on other people's lists but its tops on mine. Thanks Joss!)
I'm totally suprised he didn't mention the Smile Time episode...
1. Knocking "Star Trek" off as my favorite show of all time. That was a pretty good feat to accomplish considering my fandom for Trek had a 37 year head start.
This is obviously a list of "The best things from 10 different Joss Whedon projects" rather than 10 best Joss moments.

Downright interesting choices. If I had to pick one episode each from Buffy, Angel, and Firefly, they probably wouldn't be those three, but the choice of WitW made me think a bit. I agree with the previous posters about OMWF and Out of Gas, and ditto the Equality Now speech and Dua Khalil post. Unlike certain other celebrities (i.e., most of them) Joss' work and his political activism are completely congruent--hard to explain unless you buy the premise, but I believe he has more authenticity and corresponding moral authority because of it.
Matt K You're right- 'Out of Gas' WAS a Tim Minear episode, but no less brilliant a part of the Jossverse for being so. I love the characters that Joss created in 'Firefly' and feel that the 'one-for-all' theme in this epi is what makes it so special. Funny, most people I encounter peg 'Jaynestown', 'Mrs Reynolds' or 'Objects in Space' as their favorite 'Firefly' episode, but OIS is head and shoulders above all else in my book.
And I'm really sorry Whedonesquers to be so verbose lately- I am on vacation and am SO bored! I REALLY don't handle downtime well...
Numfar, by far the best Hitchcockian moment ever. :)

[ edited by RavenU on 2008-04-23 15:27 ]
The Body- not just Joss's best, but the best hour of TV ever braodcast.
missb, I agree with all the 'Out of Gas' love but I do think that belongs on Tim Minear's finest moments, not Joss'.

While I love all of Joss' work, I think his finest moments are mostly concentrated on Buffy. I don't see leaving out:
  The Body
  The Gift
Also, I would narrow down Astonishing X-Men to the one where Colossus shows up (also one of John Cassaday's finest moments). I like the whole series, it's just more of a "moment" than, y'know, the whole thing. =)
I remember just being absolutely distraught during Becoming 1 and 2, so that is definitely one of the finer moments in the Buffyverse. It was such a culmination of tragedy that there was just so much emotion to it.

I have no doubt that 'Dollhouse' will be a wonderful piece of television, but I can't include that on any list until I've seen it.
That's like asking me to pick my 10 favorite Sinatra songs or albums...not enough!

But, if you have to have ten and no more, Once More With Feeling just has to be on that list. For my money, the finest hour of television in history.
I'm with with Dana, for me, "The Body" is tv's finest 45. There may be better full length features or complete serials or series but that 45 minutes is just incredible.
Why even choose? In Joss we trust.
I always have a hard time with these "ranking" things. I generally account "Restless" as my favorite ep of Buffy or anything else, but just because it's my favorite doesn't mean it's the best. Innocence, Hush, the Body, and of course OMWF have to be on there, but it's just so hard to choose...

Usually I wind up by just picking the best season-by-season, and then throwing in a ton of runners-up and honorable mentions, and basically before long I've got everything except Beer Bad and the middle of season seven on there.
What I find striking reading this list and what others have posted is that sheer amount of quality work Joss has done. And while there are a lot of "best" moments, the stuff in between was pretty amazing too. There are episodes of the X-Files that I consider some of the best TV ever aired, yet I consider the show itself rather mediocre. I could watch OMWF, The Body, CWDP, Restless, Hush over and over. But I can also say that about Lie to Me, The Zeppo, A New Man... almost any BUFFY episode. What's remarkable isn’t just that there are so many best moments, it’s that the rest of Joss’ work lives up to and supports those best moments.
Well, it was forced choice of only one moment from each main body of work.

And Ia gree, "Hush" over "OMWF" because, while lousy musicale episodes are many, several good oens existed before it. "hush" was a rare silent masterpiece.
Hush was amazing.
OMWF was genious, not just the lyrics and song, but the way Joss progressed the entire season in that one episode... genious.
I would put my hat with the 'Body' vote. Perhaps Joss' most powerful writing and directing. SMG is great, but Joss had her on a whole different playing field in that episode. Look out Jimmy Stewart!!!

I think it's fun to throw out our favorites, but I am with korkster's last comment.

My name is Nick...and I am a Joss-a-holic.
Nobody noticed the mistake in his blurb about Fray?
If it is indeed a "written by Joss" list, it's hard to argue with Hush, unless you could make it a three way tie (with OMWF and Restless).

I've grown to love Waiting The The Wings over time, although I wasn't that impressed with it at first.I'm not quite as certain how many eps of AtS were actually written by Joss but I'd have to put Spin The Bottle in the running. I also have an extreme fondness for Convictions (some of the best dialog ever) but I'm probably in a very small minority.

I'd have a hard time choosing between Objects in Space and Our Mrs. Reynolds.

I have minus zero interest in comics and not a big fan of The Office, but I appreciate the mention of the Equality Now speech and the Du'a Kalil post.
And on the opposite end of the spectrum .... Numfar, yes!

Kinda talented, this Joss guy. ;-)
What mistake, NickSeng? Not that it makes a difference, really. Just this week we've had competition with the infamous, praised our new god Josh, and have gotten our sweet mitts on the newly released covers from Dark Horse as their new correspondant.

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