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June 14 2005

Giles and the Supernatural. "From Buffy to True Horror, Anthony Head has a thing for the spirit world" - ASH talks a little about Giles, and a lovely ghost that lives in his house.

Don't know about it being 'not exactly Shakespeare'. Buffy tackled the big issues - death, love, loss, responsibility to others, family, fate, change....I could go on. They didn't all speak in iambic pentameter, but who's perfect?
Fascinating to think about Giles being looking for something but not sure what, or how to get it...I've never thought about Giles that way. I would love to see him take that journey.
I agree...the "not exactly Shakespeare" quote seems all too British! Frankly, given the choice between Willie and Joss, I'd go with Joss every time! I would like to see a "Ripper" spin-off though (along with a Spike, a Willow and a Faith spin off...).
Glad to see I wasn’t the only one annoyed by the “not exactly Shakespeare” comment, I always think of Joss as a sort of modern day Shakespeare and I agree with you Calledon Joss vs. willie….Joss every time! I always cringed at the thought of the BBC ever funding something Joss-made (<- like homemade but better) I always figured they wouldn’t have the budget…but after seeing what they did with doctor who I have all confidence in the BBC! especially when they are paired with someone with creative vision and talent like Joss. So I’d be all for something Rupert centric!
Frankly, given the choice between Willie and Joss, I'd go with Joss every time! I'm not at all sure Joss Himself would agree with you there, Calledon! Remember all the Shakespeare-redaing sessions he hosted at his house? I don't think ASH was denigrating Buffy, though - it sounds like a response to a question to me, not a spontaneously-offered criticism.
Frankly, it sounds to me like the reporter sort of tricked ASH into agreeing with something that sounds unflattering but really isn't.

"Joss is an incredible writer!" says ASH

"Yes, but you've got to admit he's no Shakespeare" says reporter.

"Well, who is?"

"But, you you've got to admit that he doesn't write blank verse and his stuff doesn't take three hours to perform on stage."

"Well, when you put it that I'd be the first admit that 'Buffy' isn't exactly Shakespeare."

[ edited by bobster on 2005-06-15 00:07 ]
Well ignoring the Shakespeare comment (which is no doubt taken out of context), I'm fascintated by Tony's description of how Joss saw Giles.

Joss didn't want it to become an hour-long show that would go down the route of Angel. He wanted to get into the psyche of Giles, which fascinated him. Giles is this strange lonely man that never finds what he's looking for.

I think that's one of most descriptive comments we've ever had about Ripper. And actually quite insightful in the character of Giles. I would love to see that happen on the television in what ever shape or fashion.
One point on the Joss vs. Shakespeare discussion - however timeless Shakespeare's stuff may be at the core, it still comes (usually) wrapped in a package of language and thought patterns that we just don't use as much anymore. That makes it a lot harder to get into than Joss's work which feels instantly real.

I don't know that either of them's necessarily better - but Joss has the advantages of the modern world and writing for his audience so a lot of the time, he'll be more memorable.

Maybe we'll see which one holds up better in another four hundred years ;p
AH's comment screams "out of context" to me too. After all, none of his other words are even in in the paragraph if I remember correctly. That's pretty much the definition of "out of context."

Funny though, when a friend of mine said he was worried about me when I first found Joss's work and he thought I seemed too enthusiastic about it, (God forbid someone should have passion about anything in life...but I'm not bitter. ;-) ) I pointed out that I have been passionate about many writers over the years. I used Shakespeare as an example. He said I didn't talk as much about Shakespeare as I do about Joss Whedon. I told him he just didn't know me well enough in High School. Back then I had Shakespeare's birthday written in my address book. (I don't remember why, but I wasn't going to tell him that.) Yeah, big time theater nerd here. Love Shakespeare. Love Joss. Both in a purely platonic way, of course...especially Shakespeare.

I see influences all the time though. Whenever I read how upset people are at Joss for killing favorite characters. I keep thinking, but isn't his favorite play "Hamlet?" I mean, what do you expect. He likes beautiful and complex tragedy and he does it well.
ASH's comment clearly came off as more dismissive than he intended, either because it was taken out of context, (and I can buy bobster's reenactment of that exchange), or because he was being witty and English and the humour didn't translate so well.

But, despite the comment's overly dismissive edge, it wasn't terribly incorrect to say that BtVS isn't Shakespeare. It isn't. It's an entirely different medium in an entirely different age. There are some similarities, as others have noted, but it's hardly an indictment of Joss to suggest that he probably aspires to writing Othello, or King Lear, or The Tempest, and hasn't done so yet.
*cough* I think he may have written one of those plays, SNT, in writing SERENITY. That's all I'll say now. ;)

Anyway, I just love using Joss and Shakespeare in the same sentence. It really pisses off the culture snobs and the conservatives. :)
I love the way ASH talks about Giles as though he is still out there somewhere, being strange and lonely and still looking. It's the way I feel about those characters.
"Ripper the Movie is what Constantine should have been, but wasn't, owing to actual acting"

-Empire Magazine, 2008

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