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August 23 2013

Joss Whedon reveals his three all-time favourite episodes. He lists which titles from his body of work that he is most proud of.

Word. Although I think maybe joss got Minear'ed on Firefly and Angel. I'm looking at you, Out of Gas and Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been.
Out of Gas is a very good episode but I'm with the body of thought that believes that Objects in Space is a piece of art.
My guess before I look: Innocence, Objects in Space, A Hole in the World.

Edit: Darn, only one out of three. I should really have got The Body at least.

[ edited by insistondoubt on 2013-08-23 17:37 ]
"Objects in Space" is a solid episode, but it shouldn't really be billed as a season/series finale (at least in the traditional sense). It's just another day in the life of the Serenity crew, really.
It's funny that that is my least favourite Firefly episode (if one can have a least favourite).

It's the one I would rewatch the least.
I'm not sure Objects in Space IS is just another day in the life of our Big Damn Heroes, libradude...the episode wasn't a cliffhanger, sure, but the events and ideas explored within would have (I think) been seeds for the second half of Season One in relation to the Tams being accepted more and the building or continuation of lots of relationship that were not really there in the first 14 episodes. Plus, more myth building via escalation of the Academy (and the Alliance) using greater methods to capture River and exploring their reasons for going to so much trouble.

I mean, we have River's Academy skills getting officially revealed to the crew, insights into what River "sees/hears" due to her psychic abilities, Simon getting to show off his burgeoning action man skills, Kaylee's sunshine gets shadowed by Early's veiled threats of rape and torture if she tries to help out her shipmates, River gets to be the big hero of the episode by dispatching Early...OiS is very fertile ground that was let go to waste. Characters evolved and changed because of the revelations about River and trying to stop Early from making off with River, which is never nothing ;P

But, swinging back to the original article, it's interesting that Joss picked episodes from Buffy and Firefly (but excluded Angel and Dollhouse) as being transcendent...which I took to mean he's most proud of these three episodes due to how they went beyond the original "limitations" of being part of a bigger mythology within each show and the usual conceits of fighting monsters-representing-growing maturity and "Wild West hijinks in space."
ITA with these choices. I consider The Body the single greatest hour of TV ever broadcast from a TV show. It moves me like nothing I have ever seen, has power similar to the ending moments of Schindler's List, is emotionally resonant and universal. OMWF explodes the boundaries of TV shows in all sorts of ways. OIS is perhaps the greatest pop fiction explanation and depiction of existentialism I have ever seen. All superb.
Oh, great, The Body got mentioned, and there's even a clip! I'm off to cry forever, again.

(And I can never decide if OiS or the pilot is my favorite Firefly ep. The both put in so much wonderful character work.)
BlueEyedBrigadier, good points, and while I agree that it is one of the exceptional episodes of the short-lived series, personally I didn't view it as being THAT much more significant than previous episodes. It set up things and furthered the overarching story a bit, sure, but it hardly had the feel of what most audience members have come to expect as being a season finale (resolution, etc). Of course there were many reasons for that. Again, just my opinion though.
libradude, have you ever listened to Joss' commentary on Objects in Space? He shares there some of why this episode meant so much to him, which helps explain why it's on this list.
Bishop - Absolutely. I consider OiS not only one of his best episodes, but that commentary is also his most outstanding. If you really want insight into Joss' thinking, the OiS commentary takes you right into his mental process and philosophy of life. It's worth listening to several times.
I have seen/listened to it, and while I think it's a solid episode, I wouldn't personally consider "Objects in Space" as being one of his more 'transcendent' works. That said, the story above isn't about me- obviously Joss has a special connection to that particular episode along with many others.
Jubal Early: I don't think of myself as a lion. You might as well though, I have a mighty roar.
Simon: I said "Alliance."

I love everything about Objects in Space. Even this seemingly insignificant quote. The inner thoughts in the begining, the conference about River with River listening from below, and Jubal from above, all of Jubal's small observations (So is it still her room when it's empty? Does the room, the thing have purpose?) and River in the ship. (Also Sean Maher shirtless)

The Body and OMWF are obvious choices, certainly great, but I would have liked him to acknowledge Restless instead of OMWF.
I'd love to hear more about what non-Joss TV he loved. We've heard a lot about his movie preferences (in part, I imagine, since he was apparently much more in love with cinema than TV at the start of his career). But beyond Hill Street Blues and I think Quantum Leap, I haven't heard a lot about the TV that influenced him.
They would have been my picks as well with Restless coming in 4th. The commentary for Objects in Space is one of my favourite things ever.
Objects in Space is a damn fine piece of work, but feels a little patchy to me in places - Jubal Early struck me as a bit of a mustache twirler and I can't quite take him seriously in the scenes that should have the most tension.

Minor quibble. But the Buffy episodes he picked are practically perfect; I can't think of a five-second span in either one that wasn't completely powerful and/or enjoyable. So that gives them a little contrast to the Firefly choice, for me.
He does do terrific commentaries. I've heard directors basically just list off the crew that worked on each scene as it appeared without giving any insight into how it was made. Joss basically gives a screenwriting class. I very much appreciate the effort and thought he puts into his commentaries.
I can't even limit my pick to three favorite episodes per season or per show.
Three favorites overall? Boggles the mind. :)
Ha: those would be my picks exactly. Also for "best three episodes of TV ever."
The commentary for Objects in Space is one of my favourite things ever.

Yeah, the two together are more or less my first and second favorite episodes of Firefly.
How could he not pick "OMWF"? It is an episode I show to people, whether or not it gets them into "Buffy" (and more often than not, it does), simply because it is something amazing done for series TV.
Someone mentioned they wondered what non-Joss TV he watches. He has said he's missed out on a lot because he works so much and has never seen Lost, for example. I'm pretty sure that is the show he mentioned.

And I'm glad he said the three he mentioned were transcendent/most proud of and didn't really paint himself into a corner with favorites, which is a little different (like the polls which get posted here). When you're Dad the creator and your art is like your children, which ones are you going to choose? They're all your favorites.
It seems like Joss doesn't love the Angelverse as much as some of his other works (although I get the sense that he doesn't like Dollhouse at all. lol. He never mentions it). I know it was more Greenwalt's baby, but AtS had some of the best arcs and characters ever on TV. I wish it got the respect it deserves.

Although I can't disagree with The Body being in the list. Perfection. OMWF is great, but a little overrated, imo.
Ha: those would be my picks exactly. Also for "best three episodes of TV ever."


Exactly what I was going to say. If I had to choose three episodes of TV to be the only things I could watch forever, it would be those. Utterly brilliant, all of them.
sumogrip: I'd love to hear more about what non-Joss TV he loved. We've heard a lot about his movie preferences (in part, I imagine, since he was apparently much more in love with cinema than TV at the start of his career). But beyond Hill Street Blues and I think Quantum Leap, I haven't heard a lot about the TV that influenced him.

It focuses on some specific TV characters, sumograip, because it was a TV-character meme, but it's clear from this list he posted at Whedonesque that there are numerous non-Jossian TV shows he has liked very much (including Hill Street Blues.)

The list dates back to 2006, and we know there's additional or subsequent stuff he loved, like Battlestar Galactica (Ronald Moore's), and some other shows that escape me brain right now...

Joss' list is *close* to mine, except: though I quite like "Objects in Space" & Joss' commentary very much, it's not my absolute favorite, which is "Out of Gas" - followed by "Our Mrs. Reynolds", she hastens to add. ; ] Ya know, existentialism is prolly one of the threads that make up my world-view, but there are bits of OIS that seem brilliant to me - I think it's a great final episode - and then there are bits that don't work as well for me. Like Kairos, Early is writ a bit too large for me & I didn't feel reliably menaced throughout the whole.

Anyway, I can't do a top three list from Joss' TV oeuvre (ooh, Ms. Fancy-word!) - there are just too many. I also suck at the desert island book game, because of a similar Greed.

ETF: typo-esque

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2013-08-25 03:27 ]

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