This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Strangely fitting in a grotesque fashion."
11970 members | you are not logged in | 28 January 2021


May 02 2012

Joss Whedon's best and worst projects. Rolling Stone's ranking of Joss Whedon projects contains a few surprises.

I stopped reading when they ranked Buffy Season One higher than Firefly/Serenity/Season 2 Angel. Huh?
The link takes you to the last slide so when you press next you move onto the next gallery (I was really confused)

This is the right link.
That was officially the worst list I've ever read in my life.
Well, the list itself clearly is no masterpiece. I love BtVS but come on, firefly that far from the top? Guess after all, some people just don't get how wonderful it really was.

[ edited by Snugels on 2012-05-02 19:37 ]
"The first season of this Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff takes some time to finds its footing, as early sidekick Doyle is jettisoned after actor Glenn Quinn's drug habit became too much for producers to handle..."

Actually, Joss stated that from the start it was planned for Doyle to be killed off and replaced by Wesley early in the season, but due to the character's popularity he was given several more episodes. It's sad to see Rolling Stone tarnish Glenn Quinn's memory by spreading this kind of nonsense.
This is a genius list, I don't think anyone could be happy with this. Also Angel Season 2 is my favourite Whedonverse tv season.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I don't agree with this list at all.

[ edited by Kesty on 2012-05-02 19:49 ]
When I reached Season 8 (starting from #1) and had yet to reach Firefly/Serenity, I thought "Woah, let me stop you right there."
That was such a terrible list. I love how Angel season 4 beat out Firefly. Really? And, I love the comics, but there's no was that the Buffy comics are better than more than half the seasons of the tv show.
I like Cabin quite a bit (have seen it twice so far) but isn't it a bit soon to put it 3rd of everything Joss has ever done? Angel S4 is better than Firefly? I think not.
It's a sign of insidious Viking influence, the way Sugarshock is never on these lists.
Or Hedgehog Man :(.
What is that!
I roughly agree with the order of the 'Buffy' seasons (the TV ones at least, I haven't quite decided where Season 8 goes in my ratings yet), although I would put Season 6 higher, and switch around 3 and 5 as the top two, as well as a couple of other changes. I also sort of agree with the order of the 'Angel' seasons; I would certainly have Season 5 as the best, but I think Season 4 would be much lower down. But the way in which Joss's other shows are organised seems quite random. In my opinion,'Dollhouse' Season 2 is much better than Season 1, and should be more than just one place higher than it, and clearly 'Firefly' and 'Serenity' should be much higher.
It's a difficult list, but this - "It's best to know very little about the plot going in not so much because the movie has a major twist, but because it's way more fun to not see some jokes coming and to appreciate the rapid escalation of the plot in its mind-blowing third act." I wish I had read a quote like that while I was waiting around detail free. I did kind of expect it to mean there was some twistyness, so I spent too much time during the first viewing thinking about what they twists could be.

It's a list with quirks for sure. Angel S4 and Buffy S8 kind of high, Angel S2, Dollhouse S2, and Firefly/Serenity kind of low... And I agree it's seems early to consider Cabin as #3, and Avengers as #5 (especially since it isn't even out yet in the US, should it really even be on the list yet? Seems like it would be similar logic to not having Buffy S9 and Angel&Faith on there yet... though where are Angel ATF and Fray?). I'm sure they'd be that high eventually but, they need more time to soak in I think...

It would be hard to make this list though, it's like ordering your children a little bit? I have a hard enough time ordering Buffy alone without ordering all of Whedonverse Ever.


[ edited by DreamRose311 on 2012-05-02 20:06 ]
The list is way off, but I really do love all of the Buffy/Buffy comics love.

Firefly and Serenity really should be higher, but ultimately, Buffy should be #1. I was thinking Season 5 though, not 3.
Well, this is freaky. I actually made a similar list just last night just to challenge myself. Though I didn't include the comics. Here's my list:

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2
2. Firefly season 1
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 3
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 4
5. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
6. Serenity
7. Angel season 3
8. Dollhouse season 2
9. Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 1
10. Angel season 5
11. Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 5
12. Dollhouse season 1
13. Angel season 4
14. Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 7
15. Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6
16. Angel season 2
17. The Avengers
18. Angel season 1
What? How? Why? What?
This list is really one of the worst I encountered. It's all wrong.
What is that!

He featured in one panel of the Joss' penned "Some Steves" story that featured in Stan Lee Meets The Amazing Spider-Man #1. Hedgehog Man has stunning presence.
Also my list would get quite different if I could split some seasons in half (Dollhouse S1, Buffy S2)
Was that list supposed to piss the fans off so we would link it thousands of times to correct it? Because that is what I'm tempted to do!
As per above, I think I will re-read Sugarshock today.
I can't express the amount of wrong this list contains.

Not even going to think about it.
embers, that's the point of "Top ###" lists -- everybody disagrees! It makes a blog post/magazine issue a guaranteed hit! :)
The actual writing itself, not the order, is actually quite fantastic. I didn't actually realise it's a countdown until I had a look what people were saying here.

And, ftr, I actually quite like the order. I would probably throw Dollhouse higher though.

[ edited by Jaymii on 2012-05-02 20:36 ]
Jaymii, they have their facts wrong. How is that good writing?
Ok, this is the rough draft of my list -

1. Buffy s3
2. Buffy s2 pt2
3. Buffy s5
4. Angel s2
5. Firefly/Serenity
6. Buffy s6
7. Dr Horrible
8. Angel s5
9. Dollhouse s2
10. Angel s4
11. Buffy s7
12. Angel s3
13. Buffy s4
14. Dollhouse s1 pt2
15. Buffy s8 (-though i'm still not finished)
16. Angel s1
17. Buffy s2 pt1
18. Buffy s1
19. Dollhouse s1 pt1
I'm a big cheaty cheater and did the splits I mentioned... Also don't ask me to decide the order of Firefly and Serenity, you can't make me! I know the S3 of Angel placement will confuse people, but this is just what I'm feeling at this moment.
I'm sorry.....but those rankings are pathetic. Nevermind that his assessments of Firefly and Serenity and low rankings are completely inaccurate. He ranked Buffy Season 4 and Angel season 3 over Buffy Seasons 1 and 7???? Buffy S4 is one of the most disliked in the Buffy verse (except for the ep 'Hush' which was a masterpiece.) And any season of Angel having to do with Angel's kid, Connor, or any romance with Cordy, were lackluster, and should rank far below Firefly and Serenity.
Wait...there's a worst?

[ edited by CaptainB on 2012-05-02 21:07 ]
Well we will all disagree, personally Buffy's season 4 is my very favorite BtVS (although OMWF is my favorite single episode)! And I cannot rank Avengers, since I haven't seen it yet (I hope it becomes my favorite thing EVER!). But I did work on my list:
2. Serenity
3. Doctor Horrible
4. Frey
5. Buffy S4
6. Buffy S2
7. Buffy S3
8. Buffy S6
9. Buffy S7
10. Sugarshock
11. Dollhouse
12. Cabin in the Woods
13. Angel S5
14. Buffy S8
15. Astonishing X men
16. Angels S 2 & 3
17. Buffy S5
18. Angel S1
19. Buffy S1
20. Angel S4

Of course your mileage WILL vary! LOL
A list like this is pretty much impossible and would never satisfy everybody. My personal list:
1. Buffy, season 3
2. Buffy, season 5
3. Angel, season 5
4. Serenity
5. Buffy, season 6
6. Angel, season 3
7. Firefly
8. Buffy, season 7
9. Buffy, season 2
10. Angel, season 2
11. Buffy, season 8
12. Angel, season 1
13. Buffy, season 4
14. Fray
15. Dr Horrible
16. Buffy, season 1
17. Angel, season 4
18. Dollhouse, season 2
19. Dollhouse, season 1
20. Buffy, the movie
I cannot rank Cabin and the Avengers because I haven't seen either. I was extremely disappointed in Dollhouse and the movie wasn't Joss.
All I know is Angel season 1 would be at the top of my list. Yes, I loved that season. Leave me alone.
I don't understand why the list is getting so many hostile reactions. Sure, as a fan there's a lot of stuff you can disagree on; that's what opinions are for. But the important thing is that the writer is clearly a fan of Joss Whedon's work, has a respect for what he does and did a relatively well written article honoring his created works.

You are actually both correct. The drug addiction was why Glenn Quinn had to leave the show, but Joss had always wanted to kill a "main" character off early in the run of one of his programmes (see the fairly limp attempt to do this in Buffy with Jessy.) The later of these was the publicly announced reason at the time, but the full story has come out since.

You can hear Tim Minear talk about it on episode 9 of RedemptionCast (, where he talks with fans and first time watchers about Hero. It comes very early on, but the full thing is worth a listen. You should also listen to the episode after it, which is a fantastic spoiler filled Q&A session with Tim about all of Angel.
My partner & I watched the entire BtVS series from Sept-March and rated every single episode, I created a pretty and gothic spreadsheet for it and have created several interesting geeky graphs and pie charts! (I know, so geeky hehe. SO much fun too). Here's how the seasons ranked in terms of average rating, in order of best-worst, and I challenge you all to do the same because you'll probably be surprised at the result:

3 & 6

Now, in actual fact , going by how I feel about them, I guess based on the arcs and the characters involved, I would rank them, favourite to least favourite:,, 2... oh i don't know!!
6 (1st half anyway)
7 last which is odd considering it's 2nd in my ratings list! I really, really don't like the Potentials, basically.
The Initiative and Riley spoils season 4 for me, although there is some good stuff in there too, and I love season 6's theme, Willow's arc, how Buffy's depression is dealt with, but the second half does dip considerably.
Season 3, what can I say, Faith, the Mayor, Angel...but season 2 - Spike & Dru, Angel/Angelus, need i say more? ohhhh i want to watch it all again already!! Season 1 is the weakest season but is so much light hearted fun.
No fray, sugarshock, or any of the serenity comic books. But the Buffy movie makes the list. Srsly?

[ edited by darknight814 on 2012-05-02 21:48 ]
I only agree with number one on the list. The Buffy movie should have been in the top 20 only because that's how the empire started.
Then again, I agree with darknight14 pointing out Fray and Sugarshock should have been on the lst along with the Serenity comic books. Then again, how about the Dollhouse ocmic books?
Thanks for the link, Vandelay.
Awful list. I disagree with pretty much all of it.
When considering his most recent projects, I liked Avengers more than Cabin.
There should be a Whedonverse March Nowish Madness Bracket to determine the One True List.
Fray is my favorite Whedon comic book.
I didn't agree with much of the order of this list. Also, Fray should probably have been mentioned.
There was no reason for me to read that except to get pissed off. So there was no reason for me to read that.
That is the Bizzaro World list. When it shows up on paper, I'm lining my birdcage with it.
Well, that's all very subjective, isn't it? Then again, I know Firefly fans who don't like Buffy or Angel.
The writer's avowed intention is to guide newcomers into Joss's body of work, not to please Joss fans.

Even if one disagrees with his choices and ordering, I think this list accomplishes that, because it includes a variety of media, lists projects that a non-fan would not have heard of, rates the TV shows season by season, and gives reasons for the writer's preferences.
It's hard dividing the shows up into seasons, especially because Firefly and Dollhouse are so short. What I mean is, Firefly season 1 encompasses all of Firefly, and each episode with in it carries over seven times the significance of an episode of Buffy. When comparing different seasons, it's almost like asking, do I like 100% of Firefly better than 14% of Buffy or 50% of Dollhouse?

Does this make sense? I'd rate Firefly higher than any single season of Buffy even though I like the shows about the same. The same holds true for Dollhouse.
Simon: This is a genius list, I don't think anyone could be happy with this.

Per-zackly. Plus, I agree w/ Sunfire that the absence of Sugarshock clearly indicates the work of powerful Viking enemies. (Full disclosure: I am a Viking.)

Also: probably Soulless Squirrels, as well. (Fuller disclosure: I may possibly be a Soulless Squirrel.)

I add my thanks to Vandelay for the spiffy link to RedemptionCast.
I think what actually upset me is that they don't seem to be put into any particular order at all. It's not that I disagree with his rankings, it's that I don't feel like he ranked anything except Buffy and Angel seasons. Serenity and Firefly, when taken separately, maybe through some twist of fate would end up next to each other on a list because they are close in enjoyment and quality and so intertwined. But everyone here knows that Dollhouse season 1 & 2 belong a few ranks apart from one another. S2 only has a few minor missteps due to lack of time, whereas the entire first half of season 1 is a mulligan due to Fox mandate. The fact that every related item that wasn't a Buffy or Angel season was right next to each other was fishy. I think he put them in the order he thought of them, knowing he was gonna piss us off no matter what.
I told myself I wasn't going to do this. I am, however. Though I cannot lump it all together. Almost impossible to decide if 22 episodes of Buffy are better than 25 issues of Astonishing X-Men.
Season 3> Season 5> Season 2> Season 4> Season 6> Season 7> Season 1
Season 3>Season 2>Season 5>Season 1>Season 4
As whole bigger "properties":
Buffy>Angel>Firefly>Serenity>Dr. Horrible>Dollhouse

PurpleSerenity, I agree with you on three things: Making those spreadsheets is geeky and so much fun, I love arcs of seasons I like least and vice-versa, and I want to rewatch now!

[ edited by CaptainB on 2012-05-03 02:45 ]
The sun will rise in the east, absolute zero is −273.15C and Rolling Stone is a terrible mag. These are indisputable facts of the universe that will never ever change.

'nuff said.
I really love the first two sentences they wrote for Buffy season 3. "The third season of Buffy is like Whedon's Sgt. Pepper. At this point, he's overflowing with ideas and basically changing the game for genre fiction on television in every other episode."
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. That being said, that writer should be lobotomized, unless he's already been?

I am surprised that he didn't include other random comics that Joss wrote, like the little bit in Superman/Batman #26, in order to, y'know, push 'Dollhouse' and 'Firefly' down a little lower.
With regards to Firefly & Serenity, their reasons are just a nonsense. "That said, it never really gets enough space to fully develop its characters or themes, which ultimately makes the series more of a frustrating dead end than a career highlight." WTF? Of course it doesn't get the space to fully develop, Fox f'ing cancelled it after 14 episodes!! This does not reduce the quality of the show, and is absolutely no reason to rank it down -doing so is just a punch in the guts for Firefly fans. (to overreact a little about a stupid article...)

I absolutely LOVE Firefly & Serenity to the point where my heart breaks and I well up every time I watch it. I watched the (real) pilot the other day and I cannot believe Fox made them write another. It's genius, it has everything. I've deleted a bit of a Browncoat rant here with much restraint...

I'm a huge Buffy fan too, I cannot choose between the two, but I suspect if Firefly had had 7 seasons too I would have chosen it as the better show. Trouble is, we will never know whether it would have jumped the shark or whether it would have been consistent and solid, do we? All I know is, there is not a weak episode among the first 14, whereas Buffy's Season 1 is its weakest, so who knows where we would have gone with it?!
I do agree with their ranking of Buffy seasons: seasons 3 and 5 are my favorites, followed by 2 6 and 4 in some order, with 1 and 7 coming last. I disagree with many other choices--including the ranking of Angel seasons*--but at least it's an interesting list with some thought put into the writing. Better than your average internet list, for sure.

*I am the one fan in the world who hates season 5.

This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home