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October 6, 2015

Happy Birthday, Joss Whedon! Our Favorite Whedon-y Moments

by Brad Trechak, posted Jun 23rd 2010 10:00PM
Joss WhedonAll hail the great and powerful Joss. All hail his mighty pen that doth slay vampires, galactic empires, super-villains and evil corporate conglomerates alike. Verily he is a most excellent wizard of the pen and camera.

Seriously, today is Joss Whedon's birthday (just don't ask his age. OK, he's 46) and to celebrate in a 'Buffy'-'Angel'-'Firefly'-'Dr. Horrible'-'Dollhouse' sort of way, there will be video of our favorite moments from each sample of the Whedon collection.

In the interest of being off-beat (which is as good a tribute to the maestro himself as anything), I will list the examples in reverse-chronological order from their initial debut. Also, since this is a television blog, I'm restricting the example to his television efforts. I'm also adding 'Dr. Horrible,' because it was so cool.

1. 'Dollhouse' - Sadly, this show seemed Whedon's weakest efforts. It took a little while to find itself and by then it never really built an audience. Without a doubt, the best moment of the series was unaired on television in the first season: the surprise "epitaphs" of each season. Each was a self-contained story that expanded the series to a logical extreme of its inherit dilemma. That is, in a world where people can be programmed, who is real? It made a person wonder if the series had continued, would there have been an Epitaph Three, Four or Five? I'd like to think so.

2. 'Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog' - Whedon and company really knew how to stick it to the Man during the Writer's Strike with this gem. He proved that creative folk don't need corporations. Granted, they have more resources but resources are only secondary to talent. It also helped that the crew cast the stellar ensemble of Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day for this web series. 'Dr. Horrible' even had a spot on the Emmys! And by the way, it's a musical! More on musicals later. Here's our favorite number from it.

3. 'Firefly' - Whedon's series of space cowboys got pretty much screwed over by the Fox network but got a second life in the form of the movie 'Serenity,' which at least brought a comforting conclusion to the series for fans. While the movie nor the show broke viewing records it made stars out of virtually everyone in the cast. It was tough for us to pick a favorite clip, but here's one of the top five.

4. 'Angel' - This 'Buffy' spin-off had a lot of great moments, particularly in the fifth season when Angel ran the evil law firm Wolfram and Hart and Spike joined the cast for a big brother/little brother vibe between the two vampires with souls. However, the perfect example of Joss' work is the following clip from the show which could be interpreted as the Whedon tribute to Jim Henson.

5. 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' - From a lukewarm movie to an excellent television series about the trials and tribulations of growing up as a woman, 'Buffy' hit a chord with a lot of people and was the breakout hit of it's creator, our Mr. Whedon. Speaking of "hitting a chord", the unanimous agreement of all involved was that the sixth season musical episode of 'Buffy' was the creative apex of the show. The musical, by the way, was entirely written (music and lyrics) and directed by the man himself. Happy Birthday, Joss Whedon! And many more!

What are you favorite Whedon-y moments?

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I just love the man. He creates such wonderful stories. He loves what he does and the fans he's acquired. Mostly I love his blatant feminism and his purposeful use of strong, well-rounded female characters in a genre that doesn't allow for actual female empowerment.

June 24 2010 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Claire's comment
BC McKinney

What planet do you live on? Break away from your idiot box and read some books--science fiction literature is replete with "empowered" female characters, especially after the 1960s. Some of them were not even created by female writers, although there are certainly some of the latter who have made this the mission of their entire ouevre. If we don't see them on TV and in movies, it is not the fault of the "genre", but the audience and what producers think is the audience.

June 24 2010 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

June 23rd is my Christmas...may Whedon bless and keep you all.

June 24 2010 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Also, Whedon "coincidentally" directed the episode of The Office with the bat where Jim leads Dwight to believe he is a vampire. Great episode.

June 24 2010 at 12:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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