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"I watched 'Passions' with Spike. Let us never speak of it."
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September 03 2012

Whedon protestors at Dragon*Con. Down with this sort of thing.


"At least FOX never killed someone."

That's the funniest thing I've heard all week.
Someone spoke Latin around the books. Reductio ad absurdum.
Great idea. I love it.
So is this a tongue-in-cheek kind of thing or are they serious? I honestly can't tell.
D-e-f-: They are dressed as offed characters, so I'm pretty sure they are aiming for humor.
Clever and funny. Brings to mind the 'guns don't kill people, Joss Whedon kills people' recent poster...thingy..
Wash, Fred, Tara, Wesley?
I thought Agent Coulson was the last one, but I could be wrong. Actually, with the glasses it's probably Wesley.

This is a great idea. Wish I could be at Dragon*Con this year!
No love for poor dead Penny?
Is it Fred? It could be Penny but there does seem to be a Buffy/Angel slant to it.
Look at the scepter wound on the gentleman to the right. I'm going Coulson.
To be fair to Joss, that was Kevin Feige's idea not his.
My guess was Wash, Penny, Fred and Coulson. I say Fred for second from right b/c I can't think for the life of me who else would have pig tails in the Whedonverses (except for Buffy in "Triangle" in Season Five, where she had these doubled-over pigtail buns that irked me). And I'd say Coulson rather than Wesley just b/c Wesley's mortal wound was a stab to the gut, no? Rather than to the chest? Because of course these sorts of morbid and gruesome details are of the utmost importance : )

At any rate, I love this idea! And on a side note, this made me and my partner start an out-loud Fight Club riff: "His name was Agent Coulson! His name was Agent Coulson!"

[ edited by Mare on 2012-09-03 20:52 ]
I think I recall Joss being mildly annoyed with this sort of seemingly never-ending gag. Something about how he's unfairly been turned into the Jason Vorhees of pop culture...

Anyway, I think the frequency with which Joss kills people, and the selection of whom to kill, is usually about right for achieving maximum dramatic and narrative payoff, with some notable exceptions (see, e.g., Anya).
I actually don't like this. Because you can't tell that it's tongue in cheek or serious, some people might think they're serious. And I despise when people are mad when Joss kills characters. Life kills people, characters should die in a fictional work as well. So I don't find this incredibly funny, to be honest.
I'm mad that Joss kills people. But I hope you do not despise me. I think it has become rote.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to come off as spiteful as I did. I just think this whole stigma that Joss has is getting old.
Well it is always true that everybody dies, and it never gets any easier... so it makes perfect sense the Joss will go there... again and again. On the other hand George R.R. Martin appears to be planning to out do anything Joss has attempted in that regard, so I'm guessing that soon Joss won't been seen as the biggest killer of characters we love.

I was upset at fans who flipped out when 'Serenity' first came out (going around spoiling innocent people because they were mad at Joss). But this display is kind of funny and even kind of interesting. I could see fans haunting Joss by dressing up as our favorite dead characters (I've always longed for zombie Penny and/or zombie Wesley).
George R R Martin doesn't kill characters I love because I don't love any of them. It's hard to relate to them. That's why people freak when Joss' characters die because we care about them so much. To be honest, when Martin kills them off it makes me mad because it doesn't serve the narrative as fully as when Joss does it.
I'm pretty sure there are Thrones fans who are devastated when their favourite characters died, lisa.

My way of looking at that one - Spartacus (the show) killed more main characters in one 13 episode season than Joss did in his 298 episodes of television.
Fans complaining about characters getting killed off in service of a story is old and boring. Complainers need to come up with something new. What happened to the space fracking complaint? At least that was something new. Also ridiculous, but new.
Well, the protest is new. And it did tickle me.
The "protest" looks very tongue in cheek, anyway.
I took it to be Wash, Bennett (...Dollhouse), (someone from Buffy?) and Coulson. Granted maybe the Bennett could be Penny from Doctor Horrible, I don't exactly remember what outfits they wore when dying.

The menfolk have obvious wounds on them which indicates how their characters died but it's fuzzier with the women. (I also can't remember which arm was mangled re: possible Bennett.

If the pigtail girl were Tara it makes sense since both their shirts were blue but Tara didn't have any pattern (nor any blood splatters). Maybe Jenny Calendar?
I think perception of who kills how many characters has an enormous amount to do with how attached people are to those characters. I still remember being traumatized by "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" as a child because they killed off three main characters and then blew up the entire planet. (For some reason, this was rated G, even though the overall tone of the film is pretty serious.) I would really argue about George R.R. Martin's killings not serving the narrative - Ned Stark's death starts multiple *wars* that chart the course of almost everything that follows, except the Daenerys storyline, which is taking place on a different continent. And a lot of people were pretty upset about that. I don't think it's that Joss Whedon kills that many more characters than other writers, I think it's that he writes more characters that are more beloved, so when they die, it feels worse.

Dunno about the picket joke one way or the other.
It's interesting that there are no Dollhouse characters in this after all the deaths from the end of the second season.
Well, beloved, yes, but by whom? Do people outside of our fandom really care? (Clearly, I do, of course, but I just wonder about this.).
Why would anyone care about characters killed on shows/movies that they aren't fans of? Of course people care when characters in their favorite stories are killed. That's the point of killing them. The caring and how it moves the story. I don't care about characters killed in Harry Potter but I'm guessing fans of that franchise do.
Wash, Fred, Tara, and Agent Coulson.

And it tickled me a bit too.
Love it. Absolutely love it.
I really imagine that there would be no doubt about the tongue-in-cheek nature of this if you could actually talk to the "protesters." This is a fine example of a picture not quite being worth a thousand words: no context.

Re: death... I'd say we should be careful what we wish for. Joss may well start coming up with ways characters we love live horribly.

And I love this. I bet Joss would too, familiar with the picket line as he is.
Thanos would love this.
Irrational- I am making a larger point, though clearly not clearly. What I wonder is, do people outside of a fandom know the tropes and tactics the author takes with the story? Joss has enough street cred that this tactic- killing people- is well known. But that really is only inside the fandom. Outside, no one really cares; only those who invest (my fave concept in understanding fandom, shipping, etc.) end up arguing such points. I stopped watching GOT simply because I knew if I invested, those I care about would die (I know the story in advance due to my son telling me long ago).
People die, relationships end... I get that, I respect it as long as it happens in a believable way. I never get why people would get angry about a character dying or a relationship ending.

I never got the immense hate Riley/Marc Blucas had to endure, for instance. I didn't think he was right for Buffy, but the character was a good guy and therefore I saw no reason to hate him (well... maybe until the sucking thing). The amount of people cursing him JUST BECAUSE they can't get over the idea of Buffy and Angel is completely incomprehensible to me. Things change, deal with it. If you can't deal with that on a tv show, I can't imagine how you deal with change in your own life.

Not to mention the amount of complaining they'd be doing if the writers had kept the relationship going just because the fans liked it and it had gone stale.
Well, one of the things that I think that gets ignored, somewhat surprisingly, in the debate over how many characters get killed in Joss projects, is that they are always about people who live extremely dangerous lives. If Joss were writing shows about lawyers, for instance, I could see how people would find the deaths excessive. But he's writing about people fighting demons. Or living on the fringes of civilization while harboring high level fugitives from the government while simultaneously committing other criminal activities and dodging insane barbarians. Characters die in these circumstances. It's high stakes. It's not good old safe classic Trek, where the only characters at risk are the ones in the red shirts you've never seen before.
This is too funny, I love it!

And as for the whole discussion about Joss killing beloved characters, nobody ever seems to mention how many characters he allows to live! The glass is half full people!
Mitholas, I agree with you regarding Riley and Marc Blucas.

There are some fans out there who really, really like fanfiction universes that fuel this. I have nothing against fanfic, but I think sometimes it starts to replace reality for some people, or at least the reality of how they view Joss' fictional universe.
Still not clear what point you're trying to make, Dana. Not to me, anyway.
I'd suggest that if people want their fictions to be free of death, they spoil themselves via reviews to determine which fictions will be so free of it, and thereby remain forever happy with their choices.
I guess I learned early (from reading 'Little Women' and watching 'Bambi') that a lot of good entertainment contains death. It always seemed to me that even children can learn to accept that not everyone gets to live.
b!X, that is exactly what I do.

Back to my incredibly dense and poorly detailed point: People invest. That's why they care. And they invest because it meets a need, likely one that remains subconscious. In some cases, they project into a character or a relationship. When an author then ends it, it has an impact beyond just good story telling. It can hurt people emotionally, ergo witness Kittens, for example. So the idea that characters can die, are not safe, is nothing new, but the how makes the difference. You think things would have been quiet had Angel remained dead?
barboo, I agree that the number of deaths in Joss's work is proportional to the danger of the characters' jobs. One of the (several) issues I have with Stargate: Atlantis (among other shows) is the lack of death. Or, more specifically, the frequency with which characters come back to life. Angel's resurrection was effective and powerful. Carson Beckett's resurrection (as a clone of himself) (which is not the same as actually coming back to life) was pointless and terrible. /end rant

On the flip side, I believe that the number of deaths in some shows is far too high. Grey's Anatomy, for example, has lost an ridiculous number of doctors to plane crashes, bus crashes, shootings...unless Seattle is a very dangerous place, it seems excessive.
Like With Pie - I disagree with your assessment of Grey's Anatomy. Certainly overdramatic things happen to them, but lots of dramatic things happened on ER too. Only about 5 major characters (not all of them doctors, either) have died on Grey's Anatomy in 8 seasons.

Others who have died were either guest stars who played doctors, police officers, etc. or were patients, and death can be expected in a hospital show. I don't think the death count among the cast of Grey's Anatomy has been ridiculous. More doctors have left the show than have been killed off.

ETA: Seattle is definitely not a very dangerous place. But like ER, the show depicts a busy hospital in the city. Things happen. And it's TV, so they happen more frequently than in reality.

[ edited by the ninja report on 2012-09-05 01:15 ]
the ninja report, I suppose that's true. Excluding the medical related deaths, the death toll on Grey's Anatomy isn't that much higher than that of other shows. They deserve some poetic license on that front.

Besides, I have more important bones to pick (ha) with Grey's Anatomy than the death toll.
the ninja report : I know it has for me, and it's completely intentional. (Although whether I would have done that if I hadn't already, before S-6 was even half over, planning stories set in 2026, which I didn't care to abandon. So there are more factors involved then just the fact I was so very emotionally vulnerable in 2001-04. And, whether or not they admit it, aren't multiple factors usually in play for most people?))
Well, I don't watch a whole lot of television, but one of the reasons, the things that bugs me is how ridiculously over-dramatic they make ordinary life. I've worked in law firms and in hospitals, and they just aren't these hyper-dramatic places. Even ERs. "Six Feet Under" worked so well because the deaths were always about the clients. I started out loving NYPD Blues, but by the time it came around that every cop on the show had some kind of murder situation IN THEIR OWN FAMILY I couldn't buy it anymore. That's not believable to me. On the other hand, when someone's life is involved in fighting demons, or, they ARE the criminals on the run (in the good way of course), then it makes sense that there's constant danger and adventure and a certain amount of death.
barboo, I think there's always a need to suspend your disbelief for every TV show, no matter what. It's fiction, after all. I don't have a problem at all with some shows being hyper-dramatic. I only have a problem if the plotline is one that I don't think is feasible at all, like in your NYPD example. I've worked in hospitals, and they're not wall to wall action like they are on ER or Grey's Anatomy, but certainly that can happen.

Also, it's probably good to point out that Grey's Anatomy has this nighttime soap aspect to it, which means it can be even more dramatic than, say, ER.
I'm doing a Buffy re-watch and just got to the point in Season 3 where Joss led us to believe that Cordelia had died. We saw a funeral and everything!
He did the same thing in Firefly with Kaylee, but by then we had years of watching his work and could fully believe that he would kill off a "main" character that quickly.He does occasionally use this rep to his advantage.
I thought this was a cute and funny inside-joke for fellow Whedonites. I also took it as a jab at some of the ludicrous protesters who picket all sorts of things, from Dragon Con to funerals.

And I saw Wash, Bennett (although Fred/Penny is as good a guess,) Tara and Wesley, though it's probably Coulson.

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