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February 08 2013

Myths about Joss Whedon (that keep non-Whedonistas away). io9 refutes seven myths that may be keeping fans of The Avengers from checking out his other works.

Ouch. The reader comments are painful. Some real haters over there. And some really confused folks.

"Whedon can write a great episode or a great scene, but he fails at overall character development and season long/movie length plot arcs. Some of my favorite characters are Whedon creations (Jayne, Spike, Dr. Horrible) but that doesn't make up for his other flaws."

or

"He has really shallow character development in my opinion. You cant have a mildly non-important character who is one dimensional all of a sudden in a 3 episode story arc become a 'deep, expressive, emoting' character. See: Angel, Buffy, Firefly, et al [...] To paraphrase Clarence:
Oh there they go. There they go, every time I start talkin 'bout sci-fi, a white man got to pull Joss Whedon out their ass."

I think I'll just let them stew in their ignorance. I'm not particularly feeling the missionary zeal to bring Whedon to the seething masses today. Their loss.
This is why we prefer to talk articles at Whedonesque rather than the actual comments to the article. We actually have a rule about it.
I think it's more a matter of personal taste than of ignorance. One can be familiar with Whedon's work and still not dig it. I love, love, love Firefly. But Buffy? Meh. Not my cup of tea. And if I were to find myself on the receiving end of a Buffy fan's missionary zeal, calling me ignorant would hardly be the way to convince me to go back and watch it a third time.
I'm still FURIOUS about Angel's cancellation. FURIOUS.
Im not comparing for the better or the worse who is better or worse, thats not the point, but if people think Josses dialogue is constant witty banter, then i dont really know what they will think about poor old Bill Shakespeare... ;)
I just want to throw up what kept me away from Whedon for so long, it was Felicia Day, I don't like her, it's a thing and the whole oh Joss Whedon reuses the same actor all the time combined with Felicia Day being in a couple of things of his actually stopped me from trying a lot of the Whedon stuff for a while.
@Judedeath I suppose everyone experiences his body of work in their own time and order, but that must be quite the dislike you have, as I would consider her participation in her Joss' work, aside from playing Penny in Dr. Horrible, rather minimal (though memorable for those of us who do like her). Yes, recurring character on Buffy (albeit in the 7th season, far from what I would consider its popular heyday), and bit parts in two episodes of Dollhouse - from the outside it seems fairly minimal if you'd had any counterbalancing significant appreciation for any of the other starring cast members from his other works.

It's interesting and you've got me wondering what I'm steering clear of for similar reasons...

[ edited by counti8 on 2013-02-09 00:06 ]
False comparison to George RR Martin. Compared to someone else, Joss' death count is high and those he killed mattered and were not red shirts: Jennie, Joyce, Tara, Anya, Fred, Buffy (twice), Spike (once), Jessie, Wash, Book, and those from Dollhouse and Horrible. And Phil Coulson.
Two words: Steven DeKnight. Actually, three: Spartacus.

[ edited by gossi on 2013-02-09 00:35 ]
I dunno, Dana5140. Ned Stark's shocking death was right up there with Wash's shocking death. Khal Drogo's was pretty awful too.
Dana5140, I'd say a death doesn't count if the character is immediately brought back. So that cuts out both the Buffy deaths, the Spike death, and the Agent Coulson death.

Personally, I also wouldn't count characters who were killed in the episode they were introduced, either. So that would toss Jessie off the list.

Finally, I think the article has a fair point that last episodes shouldn't count, and I'd include the movie Serenity in that list. So that would eliminate Anya, Wash, and Book. Maybe not everyone feels this way, but I think we can all agree that even in non-Whedon shows, characters are more likely to die in the last episode. Look at 6 Feet Under.

So I'd say it's a fair point that Whedon's love of killing characters is a little overstated. Not completely overstated, but a little.
Not to deeply spoil George R.R. Martin for anybody, but I'm on book five of the "Game of Thrones" series (the last one published so far) and I think *Martin's* reputation for killing significant characters is overstated, unless you're counting the deaths of little-known or unknown characters in the wars that rage throughout the series. Yes, a number of significant, sympathetic characters die, but from the way everybody talked about this, I was expecting to have maybe one character remaining from Book One, and in fact, there are plenty of people still with us. I think Joss Whedon's reputation for this is even more overstated.
And the place it's mostly overstated at... is io9.
I for the most part do like io9, but recently there has been a lot of poorly written almost flamebait pieces. This felt like one of them.
BrewBunny, but for those who read the book, it was no surprise at all. And Martin does not kill like Joss does, see Shapenew.

Tropes become tropes because there is truth in them. Joss does kill characters that you care about- even lil' Motormouth bites the dust in Fray...
Yeah I disagree on the death count one, and the Firefly one is a bad note (and mega spoiler, lol) probably because the show wasn't given time to spread it's wings.
I loved that top image. On the rest of the article I'm with apollo11, definitely not my cup of tea.

A Song of Ice and Fire spoilers:
Groosalugg I really agree w/you, but what you wrote wasn't a spoiler, the spoiler is that the
Is there a significant sub group of Whedonites who are similarly obsessed with George RR Martin's work? Maybe somewhere there's a Venn diagram...
Annapurna, if there is then count Nathan Fillion in that group!
At this point, I think there's a subset of humanity similarly obsessed with George R.R. Martin's work, at least via the "Game of Thrones" TV series. Every time I'm out in public reading, someone walks up and gasps, "I *love* that show!" Now wondering who Nathan Fillion could *play* in "Game of Thrones," assuming he could get the time off and that they'll ever cast any North Americans besides Peter Dinklage (although if they only cast one, they made the single best choice out of the hundreds of millions we've got here).
I'm not obsessed with the Song of Ice and Fire series, but have a hearty enjoyment of it. There is definitely a role Nathan could play in the HBO series: Jon Connington, JC Wiki. I wouldn't read the Recent Events section of that site if you haven't read the most recent novel.

You could also visit the forum, A Forum of Ice and Fire created by Benioff and Weiss back before they started casting. They actually asked us, the fans of the books, for suggestions and listened. It's still quite active if someone wants to suggest Nathan; I might myself!
So, Groos and embers, are you saying that they myth about Joss isn't true? Or simply that GRR Martin has killed more people? Which you are offering to suggest the myth about Joss isn't true? Here's the thing, Joss kills plenty of people, and it has nothing to do with what GRR Martin does. In this case, this myth has been confirmed, not busted.
Writercon was originally a Whedon fanfic convention, but the last year it went in a number of fandom directions. Granted, this was before Game of Thrones, but there were a number of Doctor Who fans, Supernatural fans - but no one fandom that everyone enjoyed. I would think that's the case with Mr. Martin. I have no interest in the books, didn't care for the pilot - but I do love Wild Cards. :)
@Dana5140 I'm saying I disagree that (although it may not have been to you of course). It was to me and numerous others I know (in fact I don't think I can remember a non-shocked response among them).

I agree that quite a lot of characters die in Whedon's works. And of course the comparison with Martin isn't going to change anything about that. It does put the number of deaths into a different perspective though, making it one of their more successful 'refutations' in my opinion.

For me the deaths in Whedon's TV series (excluding the second half of Dollhouse, which I have not yet seen, perhaps) were a lot less pronounced (i.e. they put less of a stamp on my memory of them) than those in A Song of Ice and Fire, .

The deaths in Whedon's shorter works like Fray (Loo, as you pointed out above), Dr. Horrible, Serenity and The Avenger's felt a bit more pronounced to me than those in his TV series, but still less than those in A Song of Ice and Fire.

@embers yes, that was indeed going to be my spoiler :) .

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2013-02-11 01:02 ]
What kept me away from Buffy was the thought that this was some teen show with silly witches and vampires. I know others who think he just does genre fluff.
Aww, Dana, you forgot to include Darla and Cordelia in the count of those who passed away.

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