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September 30 2005

(SPOILER) Should Joss Whedon stick to television? Slate.com thinks so. (Contains Spoilers for Serenity)

the most gifted serial storyteller alive


True, and that's why, if forced to make the choice, I'd rather see him pitch a series to HBO as well.

I really don't know if I can look at Serenity objectively anymore after seeing it three times, so I have no idea how a non-fan will react to "the character who dies." But as a fan, I have to say that this work:

Had Firefly lived on as a TV series, Whedon would have invested the character with foibles and hidden strengths. Our bond with the character would have had ample time to develop as we watched countless informal, telling moments...this loss would be certain to stomp the heart of any die-hard viewer.


was done in Firefly, so I'm confused as to what the complaint is.

Anyway, I'm very interested to see what Joss does with a (relatively) clean slate in Wonder Woman, when this fan vs. fon-fan debate is less of an issue.
It's actually not a bad article, I agree with many of the points. But, gosh-darnit, I don't care where I get my Joss-fix, as long as I get it!
Good article. I can't help but agree that television is the best medium for Joss' talents (so that I can enjoy them every week). Doesn't mean he can't be successful at film, though.
If I had my druthers, Joss would still be doing television. I'm very happy/proud/excited about Serenity, but I'd trade it in a second for 13 more episodes. I think Stevenson's point, that what Joss does best works better in a longer format, rings true.
Wow! This reviewer did his homework and actually understood the Joss-verse. I liked this article.
Man when I read the headline I was already to get a head full of steam but this is indeed a very good article. (Nice bit with summing up several Whedonisms of lingo in basic form) and he may have a point. I have no doubt Joss will make great movies as he indeed was writing scripts before he ever became the creator of TV shows, but the kind of long-lasting character arcs that he so excels at are impossible to do within the fram of any movie.

And there IS that element of having Joss characters and stories on a weekly basis rather than once a year......hm.
This is probably the finest opinion piece I've ever read about Joss' work. I also agree with just about every single point the author makes. Bravo.
Wow, what a pleasant surprise that article was. I was expecting, "Grr, argg, SERENITY IS NOT FIREFLY! I WANT FIREFLY BACK! *sobbing into pillow*"

Instead, it's an educated, informative, quite well-written piece. I loved it.

However, I'm kind of 50/50 on the whole, "Get Joss back to TV!" issue. Buffy, Angel, and Firefly are the three greatest TV shows ever made...but there's a certain kind of extreme excitement I get from watching Joss' material come to life on the big screen and begin to infiltrate the minds of the mainstreamers that doesn't come with TV.

But I do agree about getting much out of that characters' death does depend on how well you know Firefly.

Such a tough decision...

Grr. Argh.
Playing the armchair psychologist, it seems to me that he knows he can do TV, and just wants to see what he can do with bigger bucks, a bigger screen, and more time. But I also think Joss is nimble enough to do both, and that we'll be seeing him back on TV as soon as he gets an idea that (1) he thinks will work better in that medium, and (2) excites him enough to want to go through that grind again.
Ultimately, I would prefer Joss to stay in film, but making original films. That's why I'm so excited for Goners. Don't get me wrong, I loved Serenity, but trying to serve both the TV audience and the uninitiated created a few awkward moments for me. I watch a ton of TV, but film is my first love, and part of the reason I got into Buffy was because it felt like a great movie. I remember watching the moment in "Anne," where everyone has to say "I"m no one," and Buffy finally regains her identity and says her name, and thinking "that's a better badass action beat than most action films of the last ten years." Serenity kind of proved this, as it has about 20 of these moments - I don't know how to define them, exactly, usually just moments that make an audience cheer with their sheer awesomeness. I'm thinking that shot of River (you know the one), or the Reavers and the ion cloud, or the "I'm unarmed," "good!," etc. Sooo...basically, bring on Goners!
I would rather see Joss working on his own characters and situations rather than writing for inferior corporate characters like the X-Men and Wonder Woman. Sure, those characters are beloved by many, but what he can do with them is insanely limited compared to his own characters. For instance, none of them can die with any meaning because we know that Marvel and DC corporate will be bringing them back to life in a matter of months if not weeks.

Also, while I just got back from Serenity and liked it, I felt it was inferior to the man's TV work because we did not get to see the results of the broadcast (we're left with a single line of dialogue telling us that the bad guys were hurt by it, but it's not shown in any way), or get very meaningful emotional reactions to the deaths of the characters who died (in comparison to the in-depth way death has been treated on dis guy's TV shows).

Whoops, then again, that's assuming it's a choice. Buffy and Angel weren't treated that great by the networks at the end... Movies were probably the only way out of a depressing situation there for awhile.

[ edited by Serapion on 2005-10-01 00:07 ]

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