In the news: Joss Whedon on violence against women as entertainment
Joss Whedon rocks my world.
He fills it with characters that I watch and I care as they live, they grow, they falter and they rejoice. I identify with them and I want to hang out with them and I want to tell them to get a grip and smarten up. Most of all, I miss them when they're gone.
Joss Whedon has taken television to its most enamoring potential as a visual medium for the serial narrative. Like good literature, the product is not the sum of its chapters, but an entire experience of fictional lives. Even as individual episodes are stories on their own, as the stories unfold, a bigger story is told. Every action has its consequence, every emotion has its outcome, every fight is a learning experience for the girls who grow into women, boys who grow into men, undead creatures who grow into their destiny. As seasons progress, the characters do not simply entertain, they give us a fantasy to inhabit. The fantasy is much like life - with a beginning, an end, but also an overarching timelessness. His investment in the characters' lives gives them a humanness sustained over years of acquaintance.
Some writers create a protagonist to tell a story. The heart of Whedon's world, however, is how events enrich the characters. He starts writing in genre, then gives it depth, texture and fragrance. Most well known for the creation of Buffy, who is touted as a feminist icon - yet he marks her with an integral need for her community of friends, family and lovers. Similarly, Mal is painted in strokes of Han Solo, but he is much more than an arrogant mercenary. Angel, the hero who never gives up, is still one and the same as Angelus, the soulless demon. As each one deals with their personal quest, they have profound effects on the world around them and are touched deeply by one another. Even when men and women complement each other within their traditional roles, they are not bound by traditional expectations. And so they rise above stereotype. When they understand and respect each others' being, they create life. When they fight their nature, they are lonely. When they believe in themselves, they conquer. When they draw on their common humanity, they shine.
For now, I dream of Illyria.
Thoughts on the Whedonverse
Written by greyspacesATagnibirdDOTcom. Last edited Jan. 6th 2006