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October 16 2008

Is JJ Abrams the new Joss Whedon? Or could it be the other way around? Anyhow io9.com goes with the first option, others may disagree.

I posted this, more-or-less, on io9, but I'll add it here, too.

No disrespect to Abrams, but I think that JOSS is the new Joss. He has Dollhouse hitting the air in January, and Cabin in the Woods has been greenlit, so he's clearly gainfully employed. Dr. Horrible and The Serving Girl are just little projects he does because, I suspect, (a) he has more ideas than he can really work on at once and (b) he loves working with his friends. Plus, he's writing all those comics, so he's in no danger of fading away.
Bashing Joss to get traffic: It's the new fawning over Joss to get traffic.

It's all in one's belief structure about art, I suppose. One man's "Joss Whedon is reduced to making ballet and webshorts" is another more cosmopolitan man's "Joss Whedon is realizing that the studio system isn't everything".
I completely agree, skeeler.

Also, for JJ to be the new Joss, he would have to ascend to the same level of quality writing.

An idea man though he may be, I've never scene a JJ-penned film/show/or script that could even slightly hold a candle to Joss' writing.
The "webshorts" that Joss has "reduced to" had more heart than anything I've seen from JJ.
More popular, more mainstream, more successful in a financial sense doesn't mean something is "better." It doesn't mean's necessarily bad but if being popular and mainstream made something better than The Dark Knight that made filthy amounts of money should be above Shawshank Redemption on the IMDB top 250 list because that movie was a box office failure, except it isn't.
I would actually place RTD well ahead of JJ but before JW.
I might agree that JJ is up there with Joss, but in no way has he replaced him. Anyway I think Fringe has bumped him down a notch or two. I absolutely love every other show he's done, but Fringe just disappoints me. Especially some of the writing, because Abrams has total control over that (as opposed to the bad acting, which there's only so much he can do about).

When Dollhouse is holy crap fantastic Joss will have created 4 brilliant shows, not just 3 brilliant and one kinda lame show.
Did we order a new Joss Whedon? I can't find my receipt, and I haven't used the old one up yet, anyway.

That title must feel just as delightful for Joss to read as "I need a young Sarah Michelle Gellar" would feel to her. It contains some misrepresentations, as well. Joss ain't "reduced to making ballet and webshorts in order to get fulfill [sic] his muse the way he wants" - not with Dollhouse coming out and Cabin in the Sky going into production, as skeeler points out above. And as others have said, his webshort was a webhit, and if you love ballet, "The Serving Girl" can hardly be viewed as a comedown.

And I believe Joss is quite well-known as "playing well with others" - considering that most of his BtVS/AtVS/Serenifly writers, producers, etc. would follow him into the bowels of hell if he was leading.

Well, maybe I exaggerate, by you know what I mean. His ex-peeps love him, so unless the article rapidly jumped from "compare and contrast" to "and besides, we like this about JJ" that part was a big fail, too.

Yeah, web-traffic bait, I agree. BTW, and I can't stress this part enough, be sure not to read the majority of the article's comments on i09, if you value your bloodpressure.
be sure not to read the majority of the article's comments on i09

That's true every day.
Nope. I like some of the stuff JJ has done, but I've gathered from interviews and commentary that LOST--by far the best of anything he's been involved in--owes way, way, way more to Lindelof along with the entire writing staff than Abrams. FRINGE has been good so far, but not enough to put him over any other TV creators doing their thing at the moment. There have been really great episodes of FRINGE that followed nearly unwatchable episode of FRINGE. And ALIAS, I couldn't even muddle past the first episode of Season Two. I liked CLOVERFIELD a lot and will definitely see what he does with STAR TREK, but he is certainly no new Joss Whedon. So far, the only creators we've seen come close to that are Rob Thomas and Alan Ball, and recently, Eric Kripke.
theonetruebix, that's a rule I try to follow every day, everywhere on the internet. Comments are usually not worth the trouble.

Edit: Present company excluded, of course. =)

[ edited by kishi on 2008-10-16 20:55 ]
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
You gotta be kidding me!

Abrams is not very bad, but its definitely not great either! Come on: Mission Impossible 3? Alias and Lost get by, but they'll never be as good as Buffy, Angel or Firefly. His shows lack charm, lack heart, lack the intelligence of Joss's scripts.

The only flaw that Joss has is being a bit egocentric. I'm not saying the man is perfect, he is not, but he's very damn good.
Since JJ has never made anything I really liked, let alone LOVE, I think this article is wrong.

Whereas Joss is a great writer, JJ is really just a producer-director and a pretty hacky one at that.
Piffle. That notion is so ridiculous that i didn't even feel it was necessary to disagree on io9. I'll let Dollhouse speak volumes. JJ Abrams will never be at the same level as Joss, let alone replace him.

[ edited by almost cookies on 2008-10-16 21:51 ]
This is a silly article. Now, I like Abrams. The man has ideas but he's not as prolific a writer as Joss and can be a little hacky when it comes to running shows. The very idea that J.J. doesn't already have a huge fan following is just stupid though. As is the idea that Joss is dieing down or something. Really, all he's done is move past the freshmen year of making friends and now he's just experimenting in his sophomore or even junior year giving us low key, well thought out, and promoted (at least to us, his fans) works.

And I hardly consider Lost to be a product of Abrams. He wrote and directed a great pilot but then left it to the much, much more capable hands of Damon and Carlton. It's really their show, as well as the writers, and it's on near Joss levels of awesome. I'm always a little miffed when people credit Abrams for Lost. Damon had many of the same ideas for the show that J.J. did before the two of them even met.
Not even close.
Joss is Joss.
I agree with Simon, and think that JJ is at best, very overly overrated.
Just don't place J.J. is overrated and thus Lost is as well into a sentence. This is just stupid. And even though Lost may not be your style (I can understand this, it's vastly different from anything Joss has done in terms of style and tone) to just hate on it and call it amateurish with no amount of depth is just insanely daft. As I've said, J.J. and Lost are barely related. In fact, many Whedonverse writers are also writers on Lost.
Shoot, MattK said exactly what I wanted to, in three words. Abrams shows are just ridiculous. Dragged out mythologies that have no continuity, dumb writing with stupid characters (Kate, anyone?) and endless revisions. I loath his writing.
I adore Lost. Of all the shows in the post Buffy era, Lost and Doctor Who would be the ones that I would be addicted to the most. I get the brilliance of BSG but I would never rewatch an episode of it (apart from the epic pilot).
I've never gotten into anything Abrams has done. Granted, I haven't seen everything he's done, but what I have seen didn't grab me.

Besides, I thought he was more of an...overseer than an active writer with his projects. I might be wrong on that, but I always thought he came up with the idea of a show, but usually left it to others to realize the actual product. I know Joss did that, but I can't count the number of times the writers have said "that was Joss' idea" or "that came from Joss" when discussing their scripts. I dunno.

But I'm not going to bash Abrams here, even if I'm not a fan of his works. Because I saw him on that "Dinner for Five" show or whatever that Kevin Smith hosted, and he seemed like an alright guy. Sharp and savvy and all that.

I'm more irritated with the article for the "reduced to" thing. Comes off as saying "Look at sad, pathetic Joss, he has to play with tiny dancers and internuts things because he is no longer relevant," when it should really be more "This guy has enough of a fan base and pull that he can fulfill these little whims and ideas, and still have them be popular."

[ edited by Nolan on 2008-10-16 22:56 ]
He also reads Whedonesque as well (or at the very least is aware of it). So that makes him alright in my book.

So come with me gentle reader as we take a trip to the archives.

http://whedonesque.com/?comments=5684.
Oddly enough, as a relative late-comer to Buffy and things Whedon (early 2004), I decided to give Buffy a chance because I liked Alias and was looking for similar series. Of course Buffy quickly eclipsed Alias--and everything else, but I've always given a little credit to Abrams for helping me overcome my own stupid biases.

As for the article, meh.

[ edited by Biff Turkle on 2008-10-16 23:10 ]
In an era where Joss Whedon is reduced to making ballet and webshorts in order to get fulfill his muse the way he wants, we've come up with some reasons to consider Abrams' place as the new Joss.


This just...bothers me. "Reduced to" is how this writer describes a creative experiment to create a higher quality webseries, essentially helping to pioneer a new brand of entertainment online. Apparently innovation actually means you've been "reduced".

I actually like JJ Abrams and his projects - Alias, Lost, Fringe, even Felicity back in the day - but this whole comparison just seems geared to be insulting to Joss Whedon and to hitch a ride on his coattails of his highly creative reputation and successes. Why does JJ have to be the new Joss? Can't he just be JJ Abrams? Frankly, the man has his own famous reputation.

So when exactly did Joss give up his seat at the Hollywood table that Abrams needs to replace him?

I'm waiting for Dollhouse to come out in January. Then I'd like this writer to eat his keyboard (since I doubt he wrote this on paper at some point).
Lost has found its way again, now that they know when it will end. But it still has not, lived up to its first season, I feel. I'm enjoying Fringe, but only for the characters, not the plot which I find is one idea repeated over and over again.
I don't know how much Abrams has to do with any of these. I know how much Joss has to do with his shows. That is a difference right there.
If anyone is to be called the new Joss, then Rob Thomas should be.
I think JJ has great ideas and is a good writer, just not great follow-through so far. Also, I see no reason to make him or RDM or RTD or anyone else the 'new' Joss until the 'real' Joss retires -- we don't exactly need a replacement just yet.
JJA, RDM, and RTD all clearly have too many initials to be the next JW. And yeah, it does seem a bit tasteless to call soandsoandso the next soandso when soandso is still actively working. It just results in animosity amongst fans (and there's always more than enough of that to go around as is.)
I love Lost, but I attribute my love more to Darleton than to JJ. Couldn't get into Fringe.

I think JJ is the old JJ, just like Joss is the old Joss.
So far, the only creators we've seen come close to that are Rob Thomas and Alan Ball, and recently, Eric Kripke.


Not so sure about the two former, though they are awesome, but I do agree on Eric Kripke, patxshand. :D

Not that I think he has to be a new JW (he can just continue being Eric Kripke lol), because the other one is still good. XD

And I once was a huge fan of JJ and Alias, but oh, ouch, that show hurt in ses. 5. Seriously, oh so much. And I never got LOST, but from what I understand it's not like he is to thank for loads of that. :)

I don't think he's a new Joss Whedon. He seems to come up with good ideas and all, but somehow they seem to spiral into crazyness. Which is just kind of sad because it could be like great. :(
As a writer for a TV website, I'm sad I didn't think of this very easy way to get fans riled up. Pitting two groups of fans against one another is a cheap and easy way to garner page views.

As for the article itself, I'm a huge fan of both JJ and Joss. I do agree that JJ has had much more success, but I think nerddom has room for both of them. I keep rooting for Joss to reach a JJ-level of success, and I still think it could happen soon.
I kind of liked a previous article here about JJ Abrams being a PC, and Joss being a Mac. I'd post a link but I'm having trouble finding it.

(I had a lot better luck with Whedonesque's search tool before it started using Google. It used to be so easy to find stuff. And I'm not trying to rip on Google, even though what they did to iGoogle today is unforgivable.)

[ edited by Succatash on 2008-10-17 02:43 ]
I had a lot better luck with Whedonesque's search tool before it started using Google.

Technically, we had two searches here before -- one Google and one internal. The Google one is basically useless for the sorts of things I normally need the search here for, like looking for previously-posted items. The internal search was perfect for that.
I kind of liked a previous article here about JJ Abrams being a PC, and Joss being a Mac. I'd post a link but I'm having trouble finding it.

If that were true then J.J. would be the best and Joss would be an unusable hack of a machine. This is hardly the case.
Oy. People need better things to get worked up about than playground taunts over computers.
J.J. Abrams is more "popular" than Joss Whedon is/was; Joss Whedon is and was more talented than Abrams has shown himself to be. Abrams is more successful financially and in broad appeal; I think that Whedon is more successful artistically. I don't think equating the two is fair to either of them. It's obvious where my allegiances lie, but I also don't know if Whedon will ever produce a mega-hit like "Lost," which did indeed launch into the stratosphere of popularity because Abrams seems to have a knack for ideas that everyone will respond to, and put it in the pilot which was full of enough ideas to suggest the entire course of the first season.

I think that Abrams will probably always command more viewers, but I think Whedon's shows are the ones that will be most remembered, and remembered most fondly. There's room for both, though, isn't there?
How great is JJ Abrams? When I see Star Trek next summer I will find out.
I like JJ Abrams. I thought 'Alias' was a pretty good show, on the whole. I'm not sure how much he's actually involved with 'Lost', but with the possible exception of large parts of the second season, that show is absolute television gold. The end of the third season and its fourth season had me involved and excited like almost nothing has since the demise of Joss' last television project. Fringe, however, I don't care much for. It's not truly, over-the-top bad, it's just not that impressive on the whole.

With Joss, I've pretty much loved everything the man has done and there's no other television writer with that kind of track record (I was hoping my other favorite television writer, Aaron Sorkin, would be in that category, but then 'Studio 60' unfortunately failed to impress me much), so that there's no matching Joss Whedon for me.

As for RTD: while I like new "Who" (as breezy fun, most of the time), it always seemed to me like most of his episodes (with one or two exceptions, one of which was featured in the last season, although I forget the name) were the weakest in the series. I'm much, much more interested to see where Moffat takes the show. If there ever was a potential "new Joss" (which is a pretty silly concept in itself), I'd name him. Or possibly Brian K. Vaughan, even though he's never run a show.
Is JJ Abrams the new Joss Whedon?

No.

Joss loves his stories like we love his stories. Joss wants to get his stories to us.

I trust Joss to finish his stories. I trust Joss to fight for his stories.

I do not trust JJ Abrams to finish his stories. Or to even stay with one very long.
"Dragged out mythologies that have no continuity, dumb writing with stupid characters"

WELL SAID DANA. I will never understand how people thought Lost Season 1 was good. It was complete crap. I stopped watching about 15 episodes in... I couldnt handle any more bad writing.

If it has gotten any better since then, then Ill credit other writers... NOT JJ. But Im not going back to find out.

I remember reading something once that said JJ had 'no idea' of the 'secrets' of the island... and that he was just making it up as he went along. (What does the polar bear mean? Answer... No Idea! Thats FROM JJ!)Well to that I say NO THANKYOU. I could do that if I wanted... but that does NOT make me talented.

Joss is fantastic because of the depth in his work. JJ doesnt know the meaning of the word 'depth'.
Yeah, I'd say BKV is probably the best candidate right now; "Y - The Last Man" is probably in its totality about the equivalent of one short season of a TV series, but it's all him, so I'd take that as evidence he can run his own ship. As a writer working on other guys' material he's on similar ground to, say, Drew Goddard; I'd put both a bit below Jane Espenson (who's my favourite "lieutenant to genius" as she describes herself), but not too much.

The problem of creators and executive producers not necessarily being the best writers (as GVH suggested with RTD--though I myself haven't seen "Who") is fairly widespread actually. Season one of "Heroes" was fairly good, but Tim Kring's episodes were pretty much universally weak. To be perfectly honest, I feel that way a little bit about Greenwalt on "Angel"--there are some major classics, like "Sleep Tight," and I'm fond of "Dear Boy." But most of the premieres/finales he wrote seemed off somehow, and his standalones aren't very good ("Reptile Boy," anyone?). And Rob Thomas, to a degree, on VM seemed to suffer from it as well.

Creators/exec producers whose episodes tend to be the best, or close to the best, of the shows are Joss, Minear, Steve Moffat, and RDM...Larry David comes to mind. Obviously Gervais and Merchant write all their episodes, as does, with a few exceptions, Trey Parker.

J.J. Abrams, after creating a show, tends to have very little involvement--or at least such was the case with "Lost."
I've already said what I thought about J.J. Abram's series. That I wish I could have liked them much more than I did. Fringe is going the same way for me. I'm still watching, because I've been watching a lot of TV lately, but I never give it a moment's thought when it's off.
I'm with Simon... RTD is the closest that currently exists to the "next" Joss, but even he is not quite as creative in MY opinion. They both make the best shows, however.
Alias was a bad show, Mission: Impossible III was a bad movie, and I really hate Fringe, but I love Lost and Cloverfield (neither of which feature Abrams as the main creative force). The man is no Joss, nor do I think he will ever be.

I find it kind of galling that someone would think making web- and ballet films is somehow less than other forms. By that logic, comic books would be the gutter.

There's no need to find a new Joss, not when the real one is still operating in top form. Are there are other creators I love? Surely. But I feel safe in saying that they can stand on their own without having to become the new something-or-other.
Lost is good, Alias was great, and I also liked Felicity. But non of them can match Buffy or Firefly. And regarding Lost, that's not really JJ's product. He had the idea, wrote the pilot, but didn't do much for the show since then. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are running the show…
Most credit to Lost should be mostly to Team Darlton (Damon Lindelof + Carlton Cuse), rather than Abrams, who did work on it's creation, did write (did he direct?, can't remember) the really strong pilot episode, but rarely seems to be really involved in it's development afterward. That's why I think JJ is overrated in this sense, people tend to over credit him for Lost, while the latter are the two who are really hands-on and also interacting with the fans, working the writers room.

He's also over credited for Cloverfield, of course he's the staple name for a production featuring mostly unknown cast, but he was not the writer or director in it, which were respectively our very own Drew Goddard and Felicity's other Executive Producer Matt Reeves.

In other words what UnpluggedCrazy said.

He is overcredited, which helps people forget the big flops, anyone else remember "Six Degrees"? He was more hand on there, than he ever was on Lost.

Yes, Abrams have good ideas, but he's better at delegating the work to other more talented people, who sadly a lot of the times, like in the previous example, shadowed by having Abrams credit as a creator.

I went to an event yesterday, that helped me figure out, what's been bugging me on Fringe, and while I'll stick around, because I really want to see the episodes penned by Zach, I'm still not really engaged by the show.
Abrams and Whedon are both genuises. Abrams has managed to do something Joss has yet to crack, and that's make his genre bending character-driven stories, very large mainstream hits. Here's hoping Dollhouse changes that.
Sometimes Whedonesque boards sadden me. So quick to shoot down other writers when we should be celebrating a writer like Abrams. A man who has a bouindless enthusiasm for the kind of shows that shouldn't work. A man who spends so much time fostering talent, and a man who is probably the nicest in showbusiness.

nd anyone who dounts his talent should re-watch the pilots of Lost and Alias. Both pilots are utterly brilliant. On a par with anything that any other showrunner has produced.

Joss Whedon is my favourite writer in the world, and I have a hard time trying to figure out how anyone can love one and not the other.
I don't mind Abrams' stuff, it's more hit and miss for me than Joss' partly because there's less humour in it but he's a talented guy I reckon. Seems fair enough to dislike one or the other's stuff or like one or the other more but I also don't understand the "Joss is good therefore others are lesser" vibe. It's not like talent is a finite, zero-sum commodity that'll run out if Abrams takes too much - quite the reverse I reckon since talented people can inspire each other to create ever greater art.

Re: "newness", meet the New Joss, same as the Old Joss. Bloody hell, the guy's in his early 40s, maybe he doesn't exactly feel brand new when he wakes up in the mornings anymore but surely it's a bit early to be looking for the new Joss ?

Reminds me of an anecdote I saw Roger Moore tell on a chat show once. Referring to the stages of a screen career he (roughly paraphrasing) said "Stage 1, "Who's Roger Moore ?" Stage 2, "Let's take a chance on Roger Moore". Stage 3, 'Get me Roger Moore !' Stage 4, 'Get me a young Roger Moore'. Stage 5, 'Get me a Roger Moore type'. Stage 6, "Who's Roger Moore ?".

Not giving them a hit for this to be honest, I sense a faint under-the-bridge ambience.
Well, Andy Dufresne, on the whole most people here are saying they like Abrams, just not love his work, like we do Joss'. Which makes sense on a site devoted to the works of Joss Whedon :). It's not like they write the exact same type of fiction, so that loving one automatically equals loving the other. But I'll grant you that both the pilots for Alias and Lost were very strong. I also really liked Felicity, by the way. Fringe, though, has left me mostly 'meh'.
Yeah GVH, there just seems to be this clamour to dismiss any writer that's compared to Joss, that's all. Abrams is our kind of guy, and if he'd written an episode on a Joss show - and in doing so been subject to his own linkage at whedonesque, people would be a little more fair in judgement. Maybe even too far the other way.
Yeah...don't think so. JJ is not now,nor will he ever be, my master. I saw cloverfield and fringe and lost. and none of those can hold a candle to Dr Horrible.Joss' writing is not only good,it's consistent. JJ's shows are good for a year or two. (look at felicity,alias,lost) I do enjoy his works, for a limited time and I am certainly excited for the new Star Trek,but to me,he's basically just another writer. one to pay some attention to, but one who in no way could be a threat o competition to Joss.
I think Alias is the only one of his shows I've loved and been truly fanatical about. and I still think it jumped the shark on s2 and it never really got back on track.
Well, okelay, I'd have to disagree with you. I watched Alias seasons 1 - 3 in a few weeks time on DVD and while there was certainly a tonal shift in S3 (it got a bit darker), it wasn't bad in any way. In fact: I felt it was quite a good season. But I can see where, watching it on a weekly basis, the plot could've been dissapointing, overly complicated or straight out depressing at times. But jumping the shark? Not so much, as far as I'm concerned.

As for Lost, in which Abrams' involvement is marginal at best, I don't think saying the show lost it after two seasons is correct. If anything, the second season (and the first few episodes of the third season) formed the show's weak point, where it was hurting from a lack of focuss and direction. This is something that got solved during the third season and the final episodes there (the third season finale might've been one of the best executed cliffhangers ever) and the whole of season four have been nothing short of brilliant in my book. The storylines are engaging, the characters developing, the acting is consistently good as ever, and the writers are not scared of shaking up the status quo and letting major events unfold. They've very clearly figured out where they're going with the mystery of the island and have mapped out a 'route' to get there in the remaining seasons, so that there's a sense of forward motion and direction which was lacking before. Adding this to the ever present high standard production values etcetera, made 'Lost' one of the shows to watch, last season, in my opinion. I'm eagerly awaiting its return.

Andy Dufresne, I agree that Abrams would probably get the ME-writer effect here on the black if he'd worked with Joss and got his own main page links (we're nothing if not a bunch of dedicated fanboys/girls sometimes), but then again: he is a very different writer, as far as I'm concerned. He does the drama and set-up as well (and sometimes better) than any ME-writer, but his dialogue has never been as snappy or witty and his characters never as funny as Joss' creations (and, by extention, the creations of other ME writers). This dichotomy between funny/snappy/light and painfully emotional, is what has (partly) always drawn me to Joss' work. So while I would agree that Abrams deserves more credit for what his strengths are, I think what a lot of people find appealing in what Joss and other ME writers like Minear and Espenson do, is exactly what we see less of in his writing. That's not a value judgement, but basically just a matter of taste. Add that to the fact that there's people who very much dislike Lost (even though his involvement with that is little and the show itself - imho - is great) and the fact that his latest show, Fringe, isn't very convincing, and the result is a more 'meh' reception than you'd get in a group of more general 'genre fans' on the net.
okelay. Thank you for proving my point.

A "threat or competition to Joss"? What threat? What competition? You think because Abrams is so successful people will stop letting Joss write? You think people can't like both? If you want to worry about the threat or competion to Whedon work, you should train your barrells on reality TV and movies about Hollywood dogs. Successes like Lost actually help networks believe in shows like Dollhouse.
GVH

Fair points all.
Sometimes Whedonesque boards sadden me. So quick to shoot down other writers when we should be celebrating a writer like Abrams.

So quick? Sorry, but no. The posts here are in reaction to an article someone else wrote. None of the posters here started the discussion, going out of their way to shoot down another writer, but they are going to participate in the discussion that someone else started. And as pointed out, most of the people responding have said they like Abrams, just not as much. And I'm in that group as well. He has great ideas and then they have a tendency to fall apart. Why should I be celebrating someone that doesn't follow through on the potential of their own creations? Feel sad for this community blog all you want, but I don't.

ETA- because this isn't a board.

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2008-10-17 21:22 ]
I'm reminded of a scene from the Simpsons:

Lenny: If you ask me, Muhammad Ali in his prime, was much better than anti-lock brakes.
Carl: Yeah, but what about Johnny Mathis versus diet pepsi?
Moe: Oh, I cannot listen to this again!

[ edited by alexreager on 2008-10-17 15:37 ]
Johnny Mathis, obviously.
Is it regular diet pespi, or pespi max? 'Cause there's a difference, you know.
Either way, Pepsi's the choice of a new generation. Can Mathis say the same, huh, huh, can he ? Brand new morn my arse.
At least we can all agree that Sean Connory was a better Bond than Pepsi Max can ever be.
I would just like to point out that we are a community blog, not a board or a forum (despite what Joss thinks).
Return of the Son of the Bride of Weblog Argument ! ;)

I think Pepsi Max could give Lazenby a run for his money. And it kicks the shit out of Woody Allen. To even be in the same park as Connory you'd need to bring out the big hitter though - accept no substitute ;).
Yeah, that remains the only time I've seen our mods and Joss disagree. Classic times :).

Irn Bru... wow. I need to drink that at least once in my life now, Saje ;). But yeah, it's certainly a toss-up between Pepsi Max and Lazenby. I mean, Pepsi Max: bubbly and sweet. Lazenby: breathing, human male. It's a tough choice.
Mmmm... Irn-Bru - "made in Scotland, from girders!" GVH - it kind of tastes like a mild cross between orange and cream soda. But with a bacon buttie, you can't beat it. Btw - Lazenby would beat Pepsi Max by a mile. Not so sure about the classic Pepsi though
32 flavouring agents! Wow. That stuff must be good. :)
Help please - who is RTD?
I've been trying to wrap my head around the phrase "the new Joss". What is the writer shooting for here? Is this referring to Joss' heyday when he was Exec Producing BUFFY, ANGEL and FIREFLY in 02-03?

I suspect that Joss' absence from television since ANGEL was cancelled is where this idea of 'Joss has left his seat at the Hollywood table, would anyone else like to sit down?' comes from. This all seems moot considering that Dollhouse is about to premiere in 2 1/2 months (woohoo!).

I actually went back and re-read the article, moving beyond the insulting "reduced" line and examining the points in favor of JJ Abrams. All points being:

- He makes the mainsream understand.
- He made Simon Pegg cry.
- He plays well with others.
- Who else has had a better 2008?

Yet none of these reasons are why I'm such a huge fan of Joss Whedon (except for making Simon Pegg cry - Joss knows how to creatively name-call in multiple languages, so I hear). I don't follow his works because he's able to start a great concept than pass it along to greatly talented writers - I follow Joss because he commits himself devoutly to his creations and manages to gather incredibly talented writers and actors around him to bring that vision to life. And of those talented men and women he brings to his writer's room, Joss stands at the head of the pack for me in terms of sheer brilliance.

I *know* how talented and committed Joss is to his work. I'm not exactly sure how involved JJ Abrams is nor what creative successes I can attribute to him or to the other creative forces he surrounds himself with. Maybe JJ's greatest talent is surrounding himself with people who are more talented than him, surely a great quality to have for an Executive Producer. Whatever the case may be, I'm still not die-hare sure about where Abrams falls on the meter of sheer genius. So no, JJ is not my new master - but I like him well enough.
- who is RTD?


The British Joss. Russell T. Davies, creator of Queer as Folk and showrunner for the revived Doctor Who. His new book "The Writer's Tale" is highly recommended.
I think people are getting too worked up over this. Look, I'm not a huge JJ fan... I like Lost, but I've never even seen Felicity or Alias, I am not enjoying Fringe... all in all, I like JJ, but I don't love him like Joss.

But this isn't about that. Aside from the insulting comment about Joss being reduced to webshorts and ballet (which I really think was just a bad word choice by the author), this article seems to be complimenting *both* men.

By saying JJ is the new Joss, they're saying Joss is someone worth striving to be. I don't see why everybody's so upset over that. He's not saying JJ is better than Joss. And it's a compliment to JJ to be compared to somebody like Joss, which, considering JJ's track record, isn't entirely undeserved.

We can disagree. I, for one, do not think JJ's work is nearly on par with Joss's. But I certainly can understand why some people would. But come on, folks, the writer of this article paid a huge compliment to Joss, let's not hate him just because he also complimented somebody else.
jfhlbuffy - It was a backhanded compliment at best, basically implying Joss is a has-been "reduced to making ballet and webshorts in order to get fulfill his muse the way he wants". It's a sad potshot at Dr. Horrible and The Serving Girl.

A poster on Slayalive, Yam Sham, succinctly described the negative angle of this article: "[JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon] are two very distinct entities with a lot to offer genre TV, and desperately trying to compare them can only detract from their individual accomplishment."
Yes, but has Mr. Abrams ever created a musical episode?

Also, this is i09.com. The site ought to come with a warning label. You know, "illegal copyrighted material" or "designed to promote dissent". Or maybe it's just us and our rabic fandom.
Whilst I cannot pretend to like everything Joss Whedon has made, I think very few people, if any, can match him. At the moment, the only person I can bring to mind is Russell T Davies, who I hold in very high regard, not just as a showrunner, but also (more so, in fact) as a writer. I think he has produced a very impressive body of work over the last ten years.

I am not especially familiar with the work of J J Abrams, so it would be unfair to make any judgement of him. The first season of ‘Lost’ impressed me and annoyed me in equal measures, but it didn’t hold my interest enough to make me want to keep on watching it. I have watched the first two episodes of ‘Fringe’. I am not impressed so far, but I want to give it a chance before I give up altogether.

I had high hopes for Marti Noxon, and still do. I adore ‘Point Pleasant’, but the shows she has worked on since then have not really interested me (and I appreciate she is not a “showrunner” on these shows). I do like ‘Dead Like Me’, ‘Wonderfalls’ and ‘Pushing Daisies’, to varying degrees, but as much as I like Bryan Fuller’s work, there seems to be something extra that Joss Whedon brings with him, even when he is producing work I don’t like.

I am interested to find out what Barbara Black comes up with in the future.

As has already been said, we don’t need a new Joss Whedon, because the one we have is not broken. All of these people are clearly very talented. It seems to me there has been some fantastic stuff happening on television during the last decade or so – and some great talent emerging.
WTF??? I know we aren't supposed to bash other sites, but I'll never understand the general tone of "let's see how much dissent we can stir up".
Joss IMO is pretty much peerless and we certainly don't need a "new" one. So he's been "reduced to" .... um, being totally innovative with Dr. Horrible and having another creative idea (the ballet project with Summer) for something unlike anything that's been done before. Except that he's to busy to do it right now because of his new show and upcoming movie. Right, I guess that equals "reduced".
I'm not a JJ Abrams fan, (except for the first three seasons of Alias), but the "either or, can't have two creative talents at work without setting them against each other" thing, is just bullshit, it's not as if one person's talent diminishes another's.

IMO the only (production end) creative talents on U.S. TV who are in the same league with Joss are Ron Moore, Alan Ball, Brad Grey (The Sopranos) and David Simon (The Wire).
Also Alan Sorkin, if he never does anything other than The West Wing, that's enough to earn him a place in my personal TV producers Hall of Fame.
JJ doesn't kill of his popular characters because it "fits" the story.
Pumps, you don't like your characters to be killed off. We get it. Move on, or we'll move you on.

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