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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"The king of cups expects a picnic, but this is not his birthday."
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November 27 2011

Prestige Television, Joss Whedon and the End of History. In which the author argues that Buffy and Firefly aren't just feminist shows but also "are a comment on the times and speak to my generation's struggle to find meaning in an end-of-history context".

Much as I love Buffy, it is certainly not the originator of "prestige television,' which under other names is known as "quality television.' Even wikipedia has a good discussion of this subject, noting that an early progenitor of quality TV was "The Fugitive,' for its subject, long arcs, etc. See:
I don't think Buffy is the (or even an) originator of quality/prestige TV, but do I think it played a fairly integral role in the development of our current age of television, which as far as I'm concerned pretty much does begin with Buffy. I mean, obviously it depends how you're defining the current age--The Sopranos would certainly be another major contender for the title, as well, and I suppose it can be one without NOT being the other.

Anyway, my point is just, I think the so-called 'Golden Age' of TV is thanks in large part to Buffy, if only from looking at the list of current TV writers who cite Buffy as a major influence on their own writing.

ETA: In fact, Joss mentioned just another progenitor the other day: Hill Street Blues, which I've been meaning to watch for a while...

[ edited by Jobo on 2011-11-27 18:34 ]
"Buffy" is certainly not a progenitor of good television (I can't really decipher what the difference between a TV show being "prestige television" and just being... better than other shows actually is). But that's actually the most mildly incomprehensible thing I read there, so it's not too bad. I think what Fukuyama meant (albeit ridiculous in hindsight) about the "end of history" is completely missed in the context of all that TV discussion. And, if nothing else, I'll be chuckling all day at how Malcolm Reynolds represents an explicit rejection of capitalism.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2011-11-28 14:24 ]
Captain Mal would laugh his tight pants off at all the analysis of his rejection of capitalism while taking aim at Saffron's head.
And isn't it time to shed Fukuyama? Or possibly long past time?
History goes in fits and starts; just take a long look at it.

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