In today’s continuation of the A-Z Challenge, I give you:
J is for Joss Whedon
Despite what many folks think, Joss Whedon isn’t perfect–any more than any other writer, director, etc., but the man has a mad sort-of genius that continues to amaze me with each project he dives into. I could use to be his kind of imperfection!
The first anything I saw from Joss was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The movie, not the TV show. And I hated it.
At the time, I was 15 and my sarcasm meter was sadly broken. Most of the humor went straight over my head. Couple that with the fact that the movie studio butchered Joss’s idea completely, and it wasn’t my cup of tea.
Fast forward to the TV series.
I didn’t know it was Joss, but I loved the show. I watched each episode through college and then leapt into Angel.
I missed Firefly while it was on TV. Never even knew it existed until it was already cancelled and gone. (Fuck you, Fox.) My husband and I, were already fans of space westerns, being lovers of the Cowboy Bebop anime series. When we found out about Firefly, we purchased it outright–so sure we were that it would be as excellent as his previous series’. One episode in, we were excited. Two in, we were hooked. Before we knew it, it was 2 AM and we’d marathon-watched the whole damn series. Imagine our horror and finding the show had been cancelled and there was no more. Upon its release, we enjoyed the movie Serenity, but watching seasons crammed into a 2 hour film wasn’t the same.
Through all of his works, several things stood out to me:
- his use of wry and sarcastic humor to break up or accentuate tension
- his creation of strong characters, no matter what their gender identity, sexual preference, or religion
- his use of sound and silence in scenes
- the great musical scoring for his works
I’ve been told by many that my wry sense of humor is one of the elements that makes my characters so engaging. Another is my development of strong female characters without being at the expense of the male characters in my novels. I feel that I owe these strengths to almost two decades of Joss Whedon series and movies. He is a master in his field and a teacher worth listening to.
I can’t wait to see what he does next.
This post is part of the A-Z Challenge. Every day (except Sundays) in the month of May, I’ll be posting about people, places, books, games, and other things that influence me as a writer or add a certain magic to my life. Join me in April as we explore a Hodge-Podge of Influences & Wayward Treks through the Fantastical.