So what’s on the menu today then folks? Well…how ’bout a dose of rambles, rants, thoughts and opinions on Joss Whedon and Whedonverse (well this one involves more or less the Buffyverse, yes it includes Angel as well, what with it being a spin-off of BtVS and all.) So as a fair warning, if you have no clue about Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel for that matter and don’t really care, I suggest you back away from this post right now and I dunno go read a book or watch a show. This post definitely isn’t for you as it goes on and on about my thoughts and opinions ’bout the B-verse and then some. Right, now that the warning has been served, lets get down to business shall we?
Now where do I begin ’bout my induction into the Whedon Universe and all things if not most things Whedon-tastic? My first exposure to JW’s world was Angel…I find it kinda funny that I watched Angel first, which in turn led the way to me watching BtVS…from what I’ve heard and read it’s the other way around 😛 considering how BtVS came out first and Angel branched off from the mothership after Season 3. Call me biased, but I personally preferred the first 3 seasons of BtVS as opposed to the last few seasons of Buffy. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE SMG and I love the reasons behind why Joss created the character, and I love Buffy too!! She was on quite the growth curve and then Seasons 5 through 7 happened where her character growth and development was kinda sorta spotty….there were some great story-lines there and there were some real crappy story-lines that had me going ‘Seriously, what the hell were they thinking?’ That whole Glory thing was annoying, so was Riley Finn and whatever the hell he was doing, then there was the evolution of Spike and things with Spike…yeah, I’m not a huge Spike fan…well I like him but there’s only limited doses of him that I can take. I think I appreciated his presence more on Angel than on BtVS…yeah it’s fun to hear that Cockney accent and all but like I said….limited doses dude. Hey don’t get me wrong, but seriously wtf was all that ’bout with Buffy for the longest time? Sometimes that seemed to be more or less the focus of an episode than the actual storyline and that really was a put off for me. But…in the same breath doesn’t mean that AtS wasn’t without it’s share of flaws…I mean what the hell was Season 4 all about? While most people might absolutely hate the 5th Season, I think the final season of Angel definitely was b8r than the last season of Buffy….there may be people screaming from the rooftops going I’m outta my mind, but hey opinions differ on the subject and this is mine. In fact that whole Season that involved Jasmine just sucked ass, I mean wat the hell people? I swear it was one of those moments when the writers had a massive brain fart moment and decided *Hey guys let’s come up with something absolutely ridiculously retarded ‘cuz the viewers will watch and accept just about anything and everything and don’t have minds of their own*. I actually enjoyed Season 5 of Angel, contrary to popular belief and thought ’bout this season in particular, the whole handling, infiltrating and dealing with Wolfram & Hart was pretty awesome. Honestly I thought Angel as a show was much darker than Buffy…well I guess it pretty much matched up to that whole dark, murky, mysterious nature of Angel. In addition there was this whole gritty, darkness (that includes humor as well) to the show too…well according to JW Angel is more Film Noir and Buffy is more or less a musical. Despite how much spunk Buffy lost, compared to it’s first 3 seasons, the one thing that needs to be applauded is the writing. Okay yeah sure the plot also deals with writing, but I’m talking ’bout the dialogue…especially when a life or death situation or an intensely dramatic situation comes up in the episode and you expect the most cliched line in the history of writing to appear…you’re completely caught off guard with something humorous and witty that breaks that momentary air of anticipation and anxiety.
Now JW is quite the master of creativity…I have my reasons. I mean he came up with this wicked cool idea of carrying his TV show over into the graphic novel arena…personally I’ve never heard of that happening before, I’ve read of things being adapted from graphic novels. The man is a genius, I mean if anything he gave life to the whole vampire, demons, things that go bump in the night concept on the boob tube. Well at least one of his ideas did, and then there was that other piece of brilliance titled “Firefly” that gave life to the whole idea of a space cowboy with a crew thing or rather a Sci-fi Western? if you may? Yeah sure if you think about it it might seem like a ridiculous idea…and if you haven’t watched it I strongly suggest and recommend that you watch it…it’s just bloody brilliant. But I digress, going back to the actual things that I want to talk ’bout in this Whedonous post…like I was saying, he’s one of the guys who has brought this whole concept of moving TV shows over to the graphic novel arena and why the hell not?! It’s still visual but the only difference b/w the shows and graphic novels is not hearing the stars acting the scenes out. Besides, in the graphic novels you can make those characters pull off the craziest action sequences and bring out the craziest demons ever without having to worry ’bout budgets for special effects and costumes and make up and all those fun things. It’s a wonderful platform for one’s imagination to run rampant and to wreak havoc in Imaginotopia…I liked how he decided to go on with his shows regardless of what the networks decided…now that’s dedication. He switched out the medium to broadcast the thoughts wandering in his imagination ‘cuz he wasn’t done yet. On that note though, bring yourselves back to Earth I’m not spending this entire post on commenting ’bout the awesomeness that is the mind of JW, more or less bringing about an awareness to those of you who have never heard of him, and bitching ’bout him to those of you who know ’bout him. Hopefully there aren’t too many people reading this post who don’t know who the hell Joss Whedon is, in which case Imma set that mummy from Mutant Enemy that shows up at the end of the credits on you people. I think what would be interesting is if Joss actually decided to go ahead and make BtVS Season 8 and Angel: After the Fall into animated movies with voice overs from the actors who played those characters…it would be the next best thing to get that set loyal fan base back to sum’n they’ve loved. Yeah I know easier said than done, and that it mostly depends on budgets and schedules and the willingness of the actors to want to do sum’n like that, and taking into consideration if all the moolah that goes into making it will be worth it or not. BtVS Season 8 took 4 years to complete and is about 40 issues long, I’m actually gonna dive into it when I get the chance to. Oh yeah I’ve stocked up on issues for both BtVS Season 8 and Angel: ATF….I remember when I used to read them religiously, but then life got in the way and I didn’t exactly have nor make time to keep up with it….I suddenly and randomly remembered ’bout them comeex while working out and sorting through some mental jetstreams of thought. That’s when I decided to do a quick catch up on the series before I set about getting a hold of the issues to read at some point in time. I have this habit of collecting, accumulating and waiting for an opportune moment to read ’em…oh and when the opportune moment arrives I’m pretty much a lost cause and can’t be pulled outta it until I’m done. It’s one of those things that I think is an integral part of the human condition, the part where you just have this need to feel like part of something you know? To be part of the human experience, and sometimes it’s what you dive headlong into in search of inspiration and motivation….believe me I’ve had quite a few episodes of needing inspiration these past few months. But that’s not the focus of this post, so going back to what I was talking about.
So I got the Cliff notes version of what was going on in the Buffyverse and I think when I was done I had a very hard time putting my jaw back together along with my eyeballs and I was going ‘Are you kidding me? What the hell? How the hell did I miss out on all of this?’ My reactions were as follows, shocked, surprised and infuriated I’m not gonna go into details about what exactly the storyline is all about or what exactly happened to or rather with the story ‘cuz there just ain’t enough space to dole on ’bout that. Besides if you really wanna find out go ahead and don your “Nancy Drew” and “Hardy Boys” hats on and detect on google, it’ll be a much more concise version compared to what I’d write up on here. It left me on this mad search about wat the hell Joss planned on doing with both series…well first things first, though this part of my googling efforts while on the quest for more info didn’t really evoke any sorta emotions haha probably because I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing for Angel to move from IDW to Dark Horse. I guess only time will tell….none the less, first off comic houses changed. I think the second thing that was mentioned was more involvement from JW as far as both series are concerned, apparently he wasn’t involved with the storylines and creative aspects of Angel at IDW than he was with Dark Horse and Buffy and all of that fun stuff…so I guess it’s definitely something to look forward to, just to see how IDW ties up the whole story arc they’ve been covering for the past few years with the Angel series and how it ties in with Dark Horse and their take on AtS.
Now if you haven’t noticed, I’m a hugggeee fan of Angel and I’m pretty much shocked with what happened with the character in BtVS Season 8….it makes me wonder if Joss hates the character of Angel or just loves the idea/character so much that he keeps throwing monkey wrenches into whatever Angel has done and accomplished so far. I feel the guy NEVER gets a break lol, it’s always been one hurdle after another, one campaign after another to not only prove himself but to flex his strength of character and his resolve in being that warrior/champion that he’s supposed to be. On the one hand I think the monkey wrenches make Angel not only a very compelling character, but every time he falls he gets up stronger and goes forth with a lotta grit and resolve. Though, I’m not sure how what’s happened to him this time around is going to make him stronger or more determined for that matter. So yes I’m very curious to see what happens to Angel in Season 9 and just how he deals with everything…trust me Season 8 ends with quite a bang, but then again what else do you expect from JW right? It wouldn’t be Whedon worthy if it didn’t end with a bang that had you going “WTF? WTF!!! Where the hell did that come from?!?!”…well in not so many words, a lot of exclaiming, squealing and mouth clamping occurs when you watch a Whedon finale.
From what I hear ’bout upcoming issues, I think there’s actually going to be an “Angel and Faith” series and you know what? I think that might actually be a very interesting series to pick up and read. Faith has definitely been a very interesting character and I think Eliza Dushku’s portrayal of the character has a lot to do with that. Heck all the actors on those shows respectively created the impact they did due to their portrayal of the characters…I can’t imagine anyone else other than David Boreanaz playing Angel, it’s one of those solidified images/set in stone things. None the less, like I was saying, Faith’s character has always been one of those that definitely piqued my curiosity w.r.t her origins and how she turned into that chick you first saw on BtVS and her constant evolution. Besides her manic tendencies and wild, violent fits of rage and everything else, there’s this child-like quality to her, especially when she’s manipulated by the Mayor. Yeah she’s not huge on the trust factor with anyone, but there’s this vulnerability about her, she wants people to see her as a badass who can take care of herself and doesn’t give jackshit ’bout anything or anyone around her ‘cuz she’s never had to depend on anyone her whole life…but in actuality she covets the normalcy that Buffy has…the family, the set of constant friends to keep her grounded and in check. I think Angel is the ideal mentor for her, and I back this up with episodes “5 by 5” and “Sanctuary” from Season 1 of Angel, well along with the episode “Orpheus”. She’s one of those characters who just believes everybody gives up on her anyway, so what’s the point in hoping or thinking anybody would care about her, and it definitely catches her off guard when of all people it’s Angel who steps up to the plate to be there for her, despite everything she did to him or both him and Buffy, as well as the gang. I’m definitely stoked about this series, you know I think if AtS were still a show, then they should have definitely thought of adding Faith to the Fang gang, I think it would’ve been an interesting addition. Yes that would make 2 champions trying to find their way through the fog of guilt and remorse and on the journey to redemption, and it would’ve added a different dynamic to the group I think. I guess one can only wait and see as to what the future holds, but yeah the “Angel & Faith” series is definitely gonna be a give and take one….actions, belief, trust and faith revisited and returned perhaps? That being said, I’m waiting to see what happens to Angel from here-on….and it should be interesting to see if Joss integrates the Fang gang with the Scooby gang….or perhaps I should adopt the no expectations policy and wait and see just what JW has to toss at us.
This brings me to the next point, and perhaps the concluding point for this post…the way JW treats his characters and the story-line. Usually when people rave about you know amazing characters or character chemistry the creators tend to take a backseat and go “Hmmm should we milk this cow for what it’s worth?” or in some cases they go “Let’s just stick to the original story plan”, it tends to be a case of the former than the latter most often. I think a writer/creator (of pretty much anything) he decides to stick to his/her creative guns and go with the original plan just exudes integrity and balls to go ahead with it. I think some of the best stories told are those where the unexpected happens, well maybe in some remote part of your imagination/mind you thought it would happen but not in your wildest dreams did you actually expect it to happen. A very popular and recent character, in my humble opinion, would be that of Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series I mean that’s what the magic and power of writing is all about….so as far as JW is concerned he’s sitting very comfortably in that Top 10 list of writers I admire amongst others. I think his shows have the highest number of pivotal character deaths and he makes no bones about it nor is he sorry ’bout it….yeah it’s bloody upsetting when he does that, but, it’s just something expected with him I guess. I guess without death there is no life and no appreciation for what you have in this life. On that note though, I sincerely hope he doesn’t have any immediate intentions of getting Angel killed just yet, yes that’s my primary concern haha :P, but oh well if it happens then I guess it happens… :|…maybe Angel just might Shanshu his way through it…who knows right? Another thing that I particularly like with JW’s characters is that they’re neither black nor white, they’re all very stark and sharp shades of gray. They aren’t perfect and they never will be perfect, they definitely have their dark, devious sides but at the same time they’re all in a constant state of evolution and progress…they’re people with principles and it’s their principles that define them, mould them and shape them through their trials and tribulations. JW paints excellent gray characters, and I think it’s quintessential ‘cuz that’s something everyone can identify with, nobody is perfect and honey if you think you are, snap outta it, perfection is a very very very high peak to climb up to. Lastly, I think JW finds some of the best actors to essay the roles of the characters he scripts out…think about it!…Nathan Fillion (currently of Castle fame)…nobody would’ve known of the guy had it not been for Caleb, if not the more popular Whedon avataar –> Captain Malcolm Reynolds, then there’s David Boreanaz who has both Angel and Booth as the major roles that changed his life, Alyson Hannigan, Morena Baccarin and so many others that I would mention, but if I did then that would be an entire list of itself, but you guys know who else, you don’t need me to repeat names on here. He definitely has tapped out quite a few very talented artists. Oooh, imagine a show starring both Nathan Fillion and David Boreanaz?! How awesome would that be? I know I’d tune in on a very regular basis to watch a show with those 2 in it.
Well on that note I must say that this concludes this part of some Whedonistic rambling, raving and ranting. I know I haven’t mentioned much ’bout Joss’s other shows like Firefly, Dollhouse, Dr Horrible’s singalong blog feature for that matter, but that’s all for another post. I just had to go nutso ’bout the way I felt ’bout the Buffyverse at the moment…well here’s to future issues from the Buffyverse, may it be strong, steady and consistent and in character if anything. Take care minions and I hope things are going well for all of ya’ll, if not hang in there, monkey wrenches are tossed into plans for a reason….or at least I hope they are, otherwise the Universe just has a sick and twisted sense of humor.
Oh yeah and one more thing, the pics below are in no way my creation, all courtesy Google images and wikipedia and what have you…I’m creative just not that artistically creative…yet..