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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."
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November 25 2010

Joss Whedon talks Firefly, Dollhouse and leaving television. It's an extended interview from the latest issue of SciFi Now.

I was kinda scared when I saw the "leaving television" part. Obviously it's not what he said, but the thought of Joss not returning to television makes me scared.
He'll return to TV.
I suspect he will not return to broadcast TV, however.
My prediction is Joss will have a show on FX or HBO after he's tired of making big budget films.
Hopefully from now on, Joss will be able to find the right mix of big and small projects. The success of The Avengers should give him plenty of options. I'd like to see him come back to TV too, but only when the timing, the place and the idea are all right.
As much as I might be looking forward to The Avengers (which increased after seeing Iron Man a few weeks ago,) I still wish it had of gone the other way, into the self produced territory. After that, he could have done a new series on a cable channel.

Ah well, always time for that after he has a massive success.
Yeah, he's young yet. I'm excited about Avengers (in a low key way - it's two years away even assuming there're no problems) but the self-produced stuff would've been great too, I might narrowly have preferred it just because i've liked every world and set of characters El Dub Purpura has created and in two years, in the sleek and lean indie tradition of Doctor Horrible, I reckon we could've seen 4 or 5 different worlds (in whatever form) which seems like more bang for our time bucks (they're the currency of the future).

But if Avengers goes well it has to open doors which can't be bad news (particularly if he manages to enjoy making it as well) and with that cast and Joss writing/directing it's got the potential to be the best superhero team movie so far.
The thing I liked best about this interview? Hearing that Kai was really excited for him to work on some self-produced stuff. It seems to speak loads about where he was -- until the biggest thing ever came along. It's not a terrible response, really. :p
Poor Joss. Dollhouse did still flop genres every week which was fun, but I would have liked to see his true vision.
I really wanted Joss to be a champion in “the world of self-produced, internet, tiny stuff” — and to see him grow a Joss sized project that way.

But I was also a huge Avengers fan in the seventies — I read every back issue I could find and imagined myself an original fan. Five years ago I would never have believed that Marvel would establish a decent track record as a movie studio, and that an Avengers movie by Joss would be in the works. It’s a kind of miracle.

We still need some brilliant champions of the world of self-produced internet stuff. Now that Joss has the Avengers I don’t think the studios will let him go.
Hooray! Finally something to think about besides group navel gazing. It's getting a little cold here in parts of the Northern hemisphere for all these bare midriffs. (Plus, I'm tired. Is anyone else tired?)

I would have quite liked to see Joss have the opportunity to examine sexuality in a meaningful way. It's something that I don't feel like we've really gotten a chance to see from him--or anyone else out there for that matter. Maybe this is a subject that will linger in the back of his mind and he will eventually return to it. But if he doesn't, oh well, I'm sure it will be something equally as interesting. He's just good like that. And add my vote of confidence for Joss and his future independent projects.
The more I hear Joss describe his vision for Dollhouse, the more certain I am that it should never have been made for public broadcast. How could he think that much focus on sex would ever be allowed, and how could Fox have so little understanding of what he was hoping to create?
Yeah, I bet the "celebration of perversion" idea is something he's fleshed out in his mind afterwards because can you imagine the network if he pitched it like that ? They'd run a mile.

Still don't really get how it would've been different if Joss had free rein (would he get rid of the creepiness altogether because for me that was one of the worthwhile aspects of the show, that it put US on the spot too, asked the hard questions ? And which parts did he think were creepy and why ?) but it sounds interesting all the same.
I think what he means is that the show seemed creepy because it sometimes didn't seem to address the sexual exploitation in the show. I don't understand him as saying he'd have taken out the dark, twisted stuff but rather by emphasising it more the show would be less unintentionally creepy. I'm pretty sure he's said as much in other interviews.
Yeah that's the creepiness i'm talking about too, the sort that makes the viewer genuinely uncomfortable rather than the sort of cosy creepiness you get with e.g. most horror movies - it's scary but within well defined, comfortable borders.

I'd miss that creepiness is my point, it was an important part of the show for me, putting the viewer in the position of exploiter, it highlighted something significant in our culture IMO (guess what I really meant was, which specific creepy bits would Joss take out ?).
I don't think Joss would have taken out much of anything, if anything. I figure he would have only added more layers. He is a master of "And." You know, stuff like:

A scene that's funny and horrific
Action sequences that also reveal character
A bad guy who is also sympathetic
Heroes who fail
Love co-existing with exploitation

I think the very nature of sexuality would have prevented the "creepiness" from disappearing, despite what Joss said/thinks. It resists all boxes and all attempts to qualify it. It never plays by any rules.
I love Joss very much but I don't understand why he would think Fox would be supportive of sexual exploitation, let alone air it. On cable yes but Fox? I know this has been discussed before. I liked the creepy.
but I don't understand why he would think Fox would be supportive of sexual exploitation, let alone air it.

Perhaps Joss had watched Fox's reality shows.
Hah ;). +1 internet.
Whenever I hear the "different show each week" thing about Dollhouse, I honestly just think of Community. It's [probably] not what Joss had in his head, but it pulls the genre-spinning off damn well.
Some of the best TV I've seen came out of Joss and his cohorts. It's amazing what they accomplished given the continual interference from suited people. What Joss needs is a benevolent benefactor who realizes Joss is the "creative guy" and he makes the creative decisions, while the benefactor is the "money guy" and he makes money decisions only.

Maybe someday Joss will meet his perfect "money-guy" match. He just hasn't found that suit yet. :-)
Has Joss himself ever explained why he hasn't pitched an idea for HBO or even Showtime? There would be no interference with language, nudity or adult themes. All he would have to worry about is quality. If he could convince them of that, then he would be funded for an entire season to do do exactly what he wants to do. Then we find out if an audience can carry him to a 2nd or 3rd season without complaint/excuse/reason of network meddling.

And he can be as dark as he wants.
Has Joss himself ever explained why he hasn't pitched an idea for HBO or even Showtime?

I think he still has a production deal with 20th Century Fox who would tend to pitch shows to the primetime networks, in particular Fox, first.

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