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February 26 2009

Crave Online interviews Joss Whedon. It's mostly about Dollhouse, but he gives a new answer to "Why do you write such strong female characters?"

“Are you kidding?”

That may be the best answer yet. :)
Wow, I didn't expect that answer. It makes a lot of sense to me. Buffy is my avatar, but I'm also not a man, so I don't know how different that is for him.
I'm obviously a mix of Giles and Spike
"Why my identification figure is female, I'm not exactly sure but she is."

That's ok Joss, all my identification figures are male.
Haha, I think I could say the same, Caroline.

Quite an interview; very interesting. Nice to hear new, honest, weird answers. Cool beans!
Well, I always try to identify with Buffy, because, you know, she's such a..strong female character.. But in the end I always relate mostly to Spike, despite me being most definitely a girl.. Does that really matters? You relate to a character that deals with the same issues, the same "demons" you deal with in your life, not necessarily to a character that looks like you, right?
I think it's very cool for Joss to finally admit he is a superhero..
Funny that he says that he says this is a fairly new revelation when he was saying at least as far back as that classic Onion interview that Buffy Summers was a poorly veiled version of what he would like to be: the person who nobody takes seriously but turns out to have amazing powers
Great interview, even if a few of the questions were repeats. I love that Joss identifies with female characters more than males - it's something I can empathize with, and hearing it from someone like him makes me feel a little less weird about it.
Getting lost in the mix .... Joss explaining how his creative process works is the ultimate argument for why he shouldn't give up on TV series', no matter what happens with Dollhouse (may it live long and prosper) ;)

Not that this is anything new, but something that seemed to get lost for a while in all the enthusiasm for Dr. Horrible and then when things were looking shaky for Dollhouse, in all the talk about how he should let everything else go and create new forms of storytelling online.

Certainly something he could do in his spare time and something he's obviously interested in and good at, but it would be a total tragedy, IMO, for Joss to do nothing but "short form" stuff like Dr. Horrible, no matter how innovative.
His deepest creative instincts obviously require a long form. Big brain needs big canvas. :)
Joss definitely = Buffy. Especially late season seven Buffy, spreading the power around.
There have been so many Joss interviews lately. That was a particularly good one- much more interesting than most.Kudos for some questions which were good, without being gimicky or show-offy on the part of the interviewer.
I'm pretty sure Marti Noxon pointed out that Joss = Buffy years ago (they share The Burden of Being Exceptional, I think she said), so I wonder if the reason it finally dawned on him is because the other writers realized it first and kept pointing it out. :)
no matter what happens with Dollhouse (may it live long and prosper)

So say we all.
So say we all! Just for the sake that I'll be able to rest easy one day. With BSG ending, Terminator on the run, Bones being a little weird, and my happiness/anxiety over Dollhouse, I haven't been sleeping well.

This watching the shows while they're live on TV is tough work. How come no one ever said it was this hard??

I actually feel like Joss & Eliza right now- Dollhouse may be the last "for a little while". I just need to re-charge my fan batteries. Does anyone remember when there was nothing on television? It seems so long ago...
Sometimes I wonder where did the term "inferiority complex about your superiority complex" come from. Joss has this interesting combo of continuous brilliance smattered with an occasional humbleness. Does he relate to the complex mentioned above?
Interesting point, caring hands. Joss did say that the season 7 idea of Buffy as general came largely from him thinking it's so hard to run a show and having to be a little dictatorial.
I love that answer- that he relates to Buffy the most- even if he crafts the Xander character after himself. It always annoyed me when I read criticisms of Buffy as a icon for feminism because of certain things, like that she wants to look pretty or that she is self destructive at times. I always thought the great thing about her is that she isn't really an archtype of anything on purpose- Joss was creating a character- a real person who can be everyone's hero by kicking the patriarchy on its a**, saving lives, making a difference- but still her own worst enemy from time to time. That's so real. Nobody's really perfect at being anything, even themselves. It makes a lot of sense- he writes her flawed because he feels flawed. Like me. And really, what teenage girl doesn't want to be pretty?
Joss did say that the season 7 idea of Buffy as general came largely from him thinking it's so hard to run a show and having to be a little dictatorial.

Let Down: do you have a reference for that interview, by any chance? That could seriously change my thinking about S7.
marymary, love your observation. :)
Let Down: do you have a reference for that interview, by any chance? That could seriously change my thinking about S7.

I can't remember what interview it was now I'm afraid but I'll have a bit of a look and see if I can find it. It must have been a recorded interview because I can hear his voice saying it in my head.

Does anyone else know?
Even though she is not my favorite character, I also relate most with Buffy. I'm not much with the super strength, but I am more challenged by the interior than the exterior demon struggle.
Thanks Ronald_SF :)

I read that criticism of Buffy being a "bad" icon for feminism, and it has been something I have been thinking about for years. Why can't she just be human? (Of course that she isn't REALLY human, she's a character, but the fact that I still see her as human means the character is working for me, yes?) And I guess as a fictional character, taking on the mantle of "feminist hero" that is a lot of responsibility- whew. (kind of like being a slayer, I imagine.)

I imagine Joss is weighed down by being everyone's "hero" too- always feeling like he is never quite living up. In this world, there are no heros, really- just people who do great things who are turned into "gods" by the poetry of time. Our heroes are really just humans. But that is what makes Joss' work so special to me. Being able to relate to a hero makes me feel like there are times in my life that I can be one. Like Angel's epiphany that if there is nothing after "all this" (shanshu) it is only what we do that matters. We may never really feel like a hero because of our inherent humanity that makes us bad, lazy and cruel (sometimes) so we are always searching for redemption for that. That's called being a human. Always trying. Hopefully.

[ edited by marymary on 2009-02-28 00:39 ]

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