I’m very aware that my not-so-wanna-be hipster self is going to come out in this article… but it needs to be said: I loved Joss Whedon before he was cool.
Just recently as I was perusing through my soon to be very outdated stack of piled up magazines (Thank you United Airways miles), I saw my directing hero, Joss Whedon, gracing the cover of Entertainment Weekly. And all I can say is – It’s about time.
Long before The Avengers became a huge box office hit, this brilliant man gave us the one, the only, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy has been my favorite television show since I was in 5th grade. I can still remember the weird looks I got when I would tell my friends that it was my show of choice – instead of their versions of early 2000 classics such as The OC or The Real World. But Buffy never got the recognition it deserved. When I was in high school, you’d be hard pressed to find any article referencing this cult hit, let alone find it as a top choice on Netflix. So why is Buffy all of a sudden getting this (well deserved) attention? Most likely due to our society’s new found infatuation with clever, fast-talking superheroes (i.e. Iron Man)… of which Buffy is one of the first.
I first discovered this series when my cousin was visiting from out of town. We were both in middle school, pre- cell phones/iPads age, meaning we actually talked. And she told me all about this show her family had started watching about a cheerleader who killed vampires.
Woah. Stop right there. I hate scary things. I literally haven’t watched a horror movie since I was at a 4th grade sleepover. So as soon as she said the words “vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness”, I pretty much checked out. Nevertheless, my cousin knows me too well. She got me hooked with three words: Buffy the Musical.
Before I knew it, I was quoting lines from the Scooby Gang like it was my job. I worked buffyisms into casual conversation, and naturally thought myself quite clever.
I covered my walls with cut-up calendar pictures of the cast and spent hours looking at Buffy fan sites – I even made a name for myself on the imdb chat board. Yes. I was that nerd. Of course, I truly believed that David Boreanaz was the hottest man on earth (Wait… I still do).
And to this day, I can sing every word to “Once More With Feeling”. Buffy embedded itself into my young adult life, opening me up to an entirely different type of television. Its wildly innovative plot lines combined with the undeniable chemistry between characters made the show a staple part of my growing up. Not only was it engaging enough to relate to viewers that span generations, it was so complex that to fully grasp it, you literally had to do your research. I learned to appreciate television in an entirely different way. And this was all thanks to Joss.
10 years after the series finale, Whedon finally finds himself on top. I wrote this article in honor of his new TV show “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” which premiered last night. Although I will never deny the achievements of his latest hits, let’s take a moment to commemorate one of the most influential comedy/dramas that our generation will ever see, and the creator that envisioned it all. There are literally thousands of papers and articles written on the complexity of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They speak volumes of the effort that went into putting this masterpiece (yes, that’s what I called it) together. And in case it wasn’t obvious… I think it would be a shame for anyone to not give the Chosen One, or at least Joss Whedon, the chance to prove it.
Cheers to you, Joss.