BY ARIANA POTICHNYJ
It has come to my attention that not everyone in the world loves Joss Whedon. Granted, there are times when the man makes me incredibly angry or upset, but Joss is sort of like a plague–you know that you are going to be tormented until you beg for death, because death will be a sweet release in comparison to what you are being put through. But for now, let’s count five reasons why we love Joss, and why we keep coming back when we know it will only end in pain.
For all the pain and suffering we deal with, sometimes Joss bestows upon us brief moments of happiness. And sometimes, these moments of happiness come in the form of musical numbers! Season six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer gave us “Once More With Feeling,” an episode anyone would be hard-pressed to dislike. Years later, Joss would persuade Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion to be in the Internet musical Dr. Horrible’s Song-Along Blog (and its sister musical Commentary! The Musical). Just try getting any of the Whedon songs out of your head. I dare you. You’ll end up listening to the whole soundtrack for the rest of the day.
4) The Casts
Joss loves using his favourite actors for his shows and projects over and over again. The actors seem to have become a family that has been brought together through mutual suffering and fun. It’s easy to pick out familiar faces in a Whedon project, or anything that Whedon’s been associated with (except for maybe Toy Story). The casts are always filled with a lot of talent and a lot of eye candy, and what is better than watching ridiculously good-looking people be talented? Nothing.
Here are some cowboys in space. Here is a teenage girl fighting the undead. Here are a bunch of superheroes in New York City. While staying within the science fiction genre, Joss provides great versatility and originality in his plots and characterizations. Although Joss is not without his tropes, fans of his will often search for the tropes, as they often reference different works of his. The same man who wrote the character of Alpha in Dollhouse also wrote Xander in Buffy. He allows for a range of people to live in an even larger range of worlds, and you’ve gotta give the man props for that.
2) Risky Ventures
Like him or not, Joss takes risks with the projects he pushes. This is a man who, on a whim, decided to adapt a Shakespearean play in the comfort of his own home. Just because he thought it would be fun. This is also a man who said poo to the Writer’s Strike and created an online musical at a time when everyone was hesitant to create any sort of original content. He often features strong female leads, which some will argue shouldn’t be risky in this day and age, but if you look at the backlash that some of his female characters have been given, you’ll notice that it’s still a ballsy move to make a show centered around a strong young woman. Joss pushes boundaries and is vocal about his appreciation of people, and that’s a huge reason why we appreciate him.
1) The Tears
Whedon fans around the world will admit to being in some sort of weird Stockholmy relationship with Joss. It’s almost as though we don’t care how often he makes us cry, just as long as the cry is as cathartic as possible. We’ve all wept for sarcastically funny pilots, or moms or almost-girlfriends. We’ve laughed so hard we’ve cried, we’ve cried so hard we’ve puked and, at the end of the day, we keep coming back because there’s an emotional intensity in Whedon’s work. That emotional intensity is what will keep loyal fans hooked and what will bring new fans into the cult.