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July 27, 2014

Joss Whedon Directing 'Glee.' Which Other TV Writers Should, Too?

by Gary Susman, posted Oct 20th 2009 1:30PM
Joss Whedon Just in case you thought Fox's 'Glee' couldn't get any more geeky-yet-fabulous: Joss Whedon is directing an upcoming episode of the musical high school dramedy.

The 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Dollhouse' creator, who famously masterminded the all-singing 'Once More, With Feeling' episode of 'Buffy' and last year's online musical hit 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog,' confirmed the news (first broken at EW.com) Monday on his own blog. "I'm going to do my best not to gush like a fanboy for eight straight days on set," Whedon wrote.Joss Whedon Just in case you thought Fox's 'Glee' couldn't get any more geeky-yet-fabulous: Joss Whedon is directing an upcoming episode of the musical high school dramedy.

The 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Dollhouse' creator, who famously masterminded the all-singing 'Once More, With Feeling' episode of 'Buffy' and last year's online musical hit 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog,' confirmed the news (first broken at EW.com) Monday on his own blog. "I'm going to do my best not to gush like a fanboy for eight straight days on set," Whedon wrote.

Whedon also reassured fans of his ratings-challenged 'Dollhouse' that the 'Glee' gig doesn't necessarily mean there won't be any more episodes of his Eliza Dushku action series beyond the 13 Fox has ordered for the season. "Okay, we're not exactly saving all the good stuff for 14-22, but nobody's closed the door. If D'House suddenly busts wide, huzzah, we'll still bring it, and I'll still go and direct an episode of Glee," he wrote.


Watch 'Glee' Full Episodes at SlashControl.com


As for what a Whedon-directed episode of 'Glee' might look like, he wrote that, despite the high body count on his other shows, he's not planning to kill anyone off. (Well, maybe Principal Figgins, Whedon joked.) "A television director's job is, on some level, to be anonymous; to find the most compelling way to present a story without calling attention to himself," he wrote, noting that he directed an episode of 'The Office' without any bloodshed. "A guest director can bring a huge amount to the party (we've had CRAZY talent on Dollhouse), but the party isn't his. I just want to work with good people on a show that I like enough to have watched every episode several times."

Well, if Whedon won't animate 'Glee' with his signature touches, maybe there are other TV auteurs who would. Here's how an episode of 'Glee' might look if certain other well-known show runners sat in the director's chair:

Shonda Rhimes: Amber auditions for a lead vocal spot. She pleads to Mr. Schuester: "Pick me. Choose me. Choreograph me." Cut to the end of football practice and a gratuitous shower shot of Finn, Puck and their teammates. A bizarre accident involving a school bus, a trampoline, and a game of dodgeball leaves both Mr. Schue and Coach Tanaka in comas. It turns out both have a rare blood type, shared by Emma, but she can only give enough blood to save one of them. Which one will the lovelorn guidance counselor choose? Musical number: The Fray's 'How to Save a Life'

J.J. Abrams: A plane crashes into the school lunchroom, cracking open a rift in the space-time continuum. In the bizarro universe that's revealed, wheelchair-bound Artie discovers that he can dance, and Sue discovers that she's a hippie who drives a VW Microbus. Physics teacher Mr. Arzt (guest star: Greg Grunberg) tries to explain the phenomenon but hardly gets a chance before he's kidnapped by shadowy operatives from a mysterious corporation. Musical number: Cass Elliot's 'Make Your Own Kind of Music'

David Chase: The feud between Sue and Mr. Schue escalates to the point where she hires a thug (guest star: Tony Sirico) to have the music teacher whacked. Mr. Schue and the glee club escape to New Jersey, where there's a choir competition. (Kurt stays behind after his parents find out that he's gay and beat him with pool cues.) The club competes against a team whose music director (guest star: Frankie Valli) teaches only songs by Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi. The McKinley High kids stop for ice cream and onion rings at Holsten's, where they reprise their now-classic version of Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin',' but before the song finishes, the episode abruptly cuts to a black screen.

Larry David: Rachel starts believing that her classmates don't like her because she's Jewish. She bakes a batch of Christmas cookies but gets the whole glee club sick because of their peanut allergies. Sue comes out as a lesbian when she brings her life partner (guest star: Wanda Sykes) to chaperone the homecoming dance. Revelations of Terri and Quinn's pregnancy deceptions leave everybody furious, but no one can bring themselves to apologize for anything. Musical number: Elton John's 'Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word'

Now head to Lemondrop to see how Whedon may impact the show.

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