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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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October 11 2009

The Strange, Twisted, And Destructive Love Stories of Joss Whedon. io9's Stephen Goldmeier takes on Joss's propensity for presenting "messed-up" relationships.

In real life, that's usually how relationships are, in some sense or another.
I don't think I'll ever get tired of that pic at the top of the article.
I have no idea how I missed that whole Inara is dying part. But it certainly lends an overly more tragic tone to the story. I'm halfway through watching the series again (about to go onto "Jaynestown") and this is certainly going to make me see the series in a new light.
Sure, tragic love stories, but it doesn't change the fact that in Wash and Zoe, Joss has presented one of my favorite depictions of a married couple on television.
MattK beat me too it. And my favourite Joss picture I think.
I didn't know either, Apocalypse! I never saw that panel. Crazy.
Ahaha, I love how the last category is "Pretty Much Everyone On Dollhouse".

Whedon even has other tragic and messed up romantic moments not mentioned in the article, too. Wash dying and Zoe beating the crap out of Reavers hand-to-hand when she runs out of ammo, anybody? That scene between Topher and Dr. Saunders in "Vows"?

But yeah, mostly what MattK said. It's true. Real relationships are never perfect and often twisted. Joss just takes that and runs with it to extremes that are fascinating and wonderfully heart-wrenching to behold.
I've been married for 32 years, and have yet to run him through with a sword or lose him to reavers.

Real relationships can also be rather dull, but nice. Not that our marriage would make for good TV.
Wish they would've touched upon Angel/Cordy and Willow/Tara.
What about Wesley/Lyla/Gunn/Fred... awesomely twisted heart wrenching stuff
Interesting perspective, although I have to agree with one of the commenters that the sudden tragic end to a relationship has become almost too typically Whedon. I love a good tragic relationship - it's my favourite kind in a story - but that has become too predictable.

That said, the relationship arcs are strong enough that it doesn't bother me that much. It's not the violent death, etc, that are the point -- it's the effects, and those are portrayed in ways that are quite revealing. Tara and Willow are lovely when they're happy together, but are they really interesting? It's Willow's betrayal of Tara and her reaction to Tara's murder and Tara finding her own strength. It's the contrast between Willow/Tara and Xander/Anya or Buffy/Riley. That's the real strength I think - playing relationships off one another and juxtaposing them in ways that say something beyond the dynamics of two individuals.
That has to be the most bizarre promo pic ever. Buffy wouldn't be caught dead in that costume--especially with Angel and Spike around!

And, in the impossible event that she was wearing it, Angel and Spike would both be staring at her bemusedly, not looking calmly at the camera.
The image is clearly fan-made. I'm guessing io9 acquired it from a FanPop gallery.
Bravo! That was a most insightful take on the tragic relationships in the jossverse. And succinct, on a subject about which you could write an entire book.

Loved this about Dollhouse: "The show asks what would happen when the shadows start to linger in the empty room".
Great stuff.

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