Top 10 Reasons Why Joss Whedon Is The Best
#10 – He’s directing Marvel Avengers Assemble
Forget your Kenneth Branaghs and your Joe Johnstons, it’s all about Joss this year. Following a failed attempt to get a Wonder Woman film off the ground, Joss has finally been given the chance to flex his directy muscles all over a massive superhero movie. And when we say massive, we mean INCREDIBLE HULK-SIZED. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Hulk ALL in a film together? (Plus those other lame ones, we know). Seriously, if this film isn’t a runaway success, nerds everywhere are going to have to collectively commit suicide. Probably by impaling themselves on their mint condition bat’leths.
Luckily, this project is in very safe hands. You go, Joss! You cram that film full of obscure pop culture references and people adding “y” to the ends of nouns to make adjectives! Wooooooo!
#9 – During Avengers he casually directed a whole other film…in twelve days
So, you’re Joss Whedon. You’re in the middle of filming Marvel Avengers Assemble. You get a break. What do you do: A) Go to a day spa OR B) film a whole film version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at your LA home in twelve days? We think you know. Joss doesn’t seem like the type to take to spas.
Seriously, isn’t that crazy? It’s like being a lawyer on a really high-powered case and then coming home for the weekend and filming a whole film. But Joss has described these twelve days as “the best vacation” he has ever taken. Well, seeing as he got to hang out with his Whedonverse BFFs Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion and Fran Kranz for a fortnight, we can kinda understand why. Plus, Joss is known for regularly holding Shakespeare evenings (awwww), so we totally get where he’s coming from with this project.
But still. Buy some Grey’s Anatomy boxsets and chill for a few days like the rest of us, Joss. You’re making us feel (even more) inadequate.
#8 – He’s got a knack for finding amazing actors
You know when you watch an episode of a great TV show and there’s a guest star who’s TERRIBLE and they really drag the whole affair down? Well, it doesn’t have to be that way folks. Take, for instance, little known actor Jonathan M. Woodward (that guy up there). You’ve probably never heard of him before. Take a cursory glance at his IMDB page and you’ll find that he’s had bit parts in a few long-running TV shows and TV movies. Oh, yeah and he was in episodes of Buffy, Angel and Firefly. Now there’s a reason Joss re-used this guy three times: he’s an amazing actor, his finest hour being the guest star of Firefly episode “The Message”, playing morally ambiguous war vet Tracey. He’s brill! And sadly, because most people who make films and TV aren’t as cool as Joss, we probably won’t see much more of him.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, seeing as Joss also gave Summer Glau (River Tam in Firefly and Serenity) her very first role and she’s gone on to be Queen of the Nerds.
You hear that, budding Jonathan M. Woodwards/Summer Glaus of the world? DON’T LOSE HOPE. Much like Dennis Quaid in The Day After Tomorrow, JOSS WHEDON WILL COME FOR YOU.
#7 – He does comics as well
After season seven of Buffy ended, we all laid down and cried for days. No more Buffster! No more Gilesy! What were we going to do??? Luckily, our good friend Joss had a solution. Comics! Delicious comics! Season eight ran from 2007 to 2011 and won a buttload of weird comic awards, like one of these, followed by season nine which is still going on.
But of course, because he’s some kind of cybernetic half-human half-wizard dragon robot, Joss hasn’t only tried his hand at writing comics for Buffy. He’s also written for the special edition Marvel series Astonishing X-Men, most notably bringing back the previously dead X-Man Colossus (the big metal guy) because he’s Joss Whedon and he can do anything he likes.
#6 – He’s hilarious
Alongside creating some of the funniest episodes of television ever (watch “Our Mrs Reynolds” from Firefly if you don’t believe me) Joss Whedon himself is just plain funny. When asked what his thoughts were about the proposed film reboot of Buffy, Joss came back with the following:
“This is a sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths – just because they can’t think of an original idea of their own, like I did with my Avengers idea that I made up myself.”
And look, look at him making Eliza Dushku laugh. He’s obviously hilarious and wonderful.
#5 – Everybody wants to work with him
Joss is famed for having a loyal base of actors who always come back to work with him. The same also goes for writers Tim Minear (Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse) and Jane Espenson (Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse). BUT IT DOESN’T EVEN STOP THERE! A whole load of the crew (including the stunt coordinator, location manager and stand-in) who worked with Joss on Firefly were Buffy and Angel vets. Something tells us this means Joss is an absolute joy to work with.
Don’t believe us? Listen to what these guys have to say:
Chris Evans: “He’s an incredibly talented writer, you know. If something isn’t working for you as an actor within the words, he can walk away for ten minutes and come back with seven options that are all fantastic and clever and witty and it’s got a pace and a banter.”
Nathan Fillion: “Joss is a brilliant man. He’s one of those guys that is so very, very clever, he can leave you in the dust intellectually. But he’s one of those guys that keeps his feet on the ground and doesn’t ever make you feel stupid.”
And if you doubt that Nathan Fillion is a cool person to whom we should listen, then you should probably watch this clip:
#4 – He’s not afraid to kill people you love
Remember Wash? Lovely Wash from Firefly? Remember when he died in Serenity? Remember how much it hurt your heart? Much like George R. R. Martin, or some sort of crazed serial killer with a vendetta against you and your entire family, Joss Whedon has always been the sort for killing off one beloved person after another. It may hurt but goddamnit is it beautiful.
She may not have been top of everyone’s “Fave Character” list, but the death of Buffy’s Mom Joyce Summers was so beautifully executed that, to this day, season five episode “The Body” is still widely regarded as one of the greatest pieces of television EVER. Just check out the opening five minutes, where Buffy comes home to find Joyce looking not so lively on the sofa. Cut to the post-credits sequence and, what’s this? Everyone is alive and well, enjoying a huge Thanksgiving dinner! Phew!
And then you get to 03:27. OHHHH GODDDDD the tragedy. The exquisite tragedy.
#3 – He wrote music for “Once More With Feeling”/Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
So he’s a writer-director who’s well-versed in Shakespeare, and writes comics on the side. He also WRITES SONGS. You know, casual. Perhaps the most famous episode of Buffy is “Once More With Feeling”, in which a musically-inclined demon comes to Sunnydale to wreak havoc by forcing all the town’s inhabitants into performing impromptu musical routines (occasionally ending in death). This episode is notable for its extremely playful approach to the conventions of the musical – intense duets, random dance routines and songs crammed full of cheesy metaphors. If you haven’t seen it, get on that because it’s an utter joy.
Following on from “Once More With Feeling” came a 43-minute long (completely free to watch) online musical. Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog starred Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion and TOTALLY did the whole protagonist-who’s-a-supervillain thing way before Megamind and Despicable Me got there. It’s also great. Watch it. You’ll see. YOU’LL ALL SEE.
(He also wrote the theme song for Firefly FYI)
#2 – He’s a super feminist
Joss is famed for his butt-kicking women – Buffy, Faith, Echo, River Tam – and has never shied away from showing that even though we may appear small and weak, us Womanfolk actually have muscles/nerves/buns of STEEL.
All punching and kicking aside, though, Joss’s finest feminist achievement has been creating female characters who are intelligent, funny, complex and – shock horror – on a level-footing with the men in their lives. Long before the cast of Bridesmaids was proving that people with ovaries could be funny and interesting, Joss Whedon was writing lady characters who could more than hold their own against their male counterparts.
If that’s not enough proof for you, check out this tidbit of trivia, courtesy of IMDB: “Whedon, who has made his support of feminist causes well known and who has built much of his career writing films and TV shows about empowered teenage girls or young women, was a subscriber to Sassy, an American feminist magazine for teenage girls. Sassy was published between 1988-1994, which means that Whedon (who was born in 1964) would have been far into his late 20s or early 30s while receiving the publication.”
#1 – HE IS NUMFAR!
He is literally this guy Numfar.
So let’s all go and kill ourselves with our bat’leths now because Joss Whedon has, once and for all, proven that he is cornering the market on EVERYTHING. Selfish jerk.