TV - Joss Whedon: An Appreciation

Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon: An Appreciation By steven harris of Devon. Aged 50 and a little bit...

What’s not to appreciate about The Joss? He sings in bare feet and is Britain’s finest white soul singer in years. Oh hang on, that’s Joss Stone. Whedon is the filmy one, right?

What’s not to appreciate about the filmy Joss? He invented cinema for heaven’s sake. Calling himself Joss Lumiere, he and his brother made a film about a train pulling into a station which made Neanderthal audiences do some brown scared appreciation in their undergarments.

Cecil B De Whedon, as he then became known, created a whole new genre of movie: the eye-blindingly long epic. Who can forget that scene in Ben Hur when a feisty young woman kicks the living bejesus out of a gazillion centurions or something?

In the early thirties Whedon pretended to be German, a nice one, not one of the straight arm salute lot, and single-handedly popularised expressionist cinema. Who can forget that scene in Dr Moreau the Vampire Slayer when a feisty young woman kicks the living bejesus out of a gazillion lopsided buildings then shoves a stake through the heart of Hitler?

The forties and fifties were something of a down period for Whedon. Nobody wanted musicals centred on feisty young women kicking the living bejesus out of Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire so he had his face transformed into a Japanese face and reinvented himself as Akira Kurosawa. This allowed him to make more epic movies like The Seven Samurai in which seven feisty young women shave their hair off and kick the living bejesus out of some bad guys then plant bamboo shoots up the men’s anuses.

Without Whedon we’d never have had that scene in Mary Poppins when the feisty young nanny lops off Dick Van Dyke’s head with her umbrella because of his crimes against the London accent.

Without Whedon we’d never have seen the director’s cut of The Jungle Book in which Baloo the bear gets totally fed up with his annoying mancub companion and slices his stomach open before feasting on his entrails as he lies dying. Without Whedon the ending of Bonnie and Clyde would have been a rather tame scene in which a gazillion policemen shout “Surrender or we’ll gun you down in a hail of bullets” which makes Faye Dunaway and Ryan O’Neal come out with their hands up, meekly handing themselves over to the cops.

Whedon also invented all television that is any good. Apart from Star Trek which you can tell has nothing to do with him because Kirk kisses women all the time and none of them go all feisty or try to rip off his testicles. But Whedon did write I Love Lucy in which the eponymous heroine murders people with flour and slapstick schtick every week.

And he wrote Friends. Who can forget that scene in The One In Which Chandler, Ross and Joey Die when three feisty young women realise their male counterparts are idiotic, sexist bumfaces, tie them to stakes and set them on fire?

Of course it’s not all been success for Whedon. But even his failures are genius because they’re not failures. There was nothing wrong with Firefly, one of the most innovative sci-fi/western combos in years and which boasted some of his finest dialogue. The failure came when the Fox network dropped the show halfway through its first (and only) series. Which led to gazillions of feisty young women heading to Fox headquarters with laser blasters and brutally killing every single television executive they could find, even ones who worked on Family Guy because they were cancelly dumbarses too.

So, show your love for Whedon by being feisty, driving stakes into the hearts of anyone you dislike, replacing the word “cool” with the word “shiny” in every sentence, and thanking bejesus that apart from ten minutes or so when it went all Michael Bay and shit, Whedon even managed to turn Avengers Assemble into a decent film when it was an odds-on favourite to be stinker of the year. 

Joss Stone

I love Joss Whedon. More than I love Joss Stone. But I do not want to stalk or murder either of them. Unless they turn out to be Reavers.

Image - Wikipedia.