The Genius of Joss Whedon

Earlier this week, my wife and I were finally able to get through the last few episodes of the final season of _Angel_. I’ve been a big fan of _Buffy, the Vampire Slayer_ for years now and have been systematically collecting each season on DVD. I was never able to catch the shows on their original air dates, so I forbade anyone from spoiling any details of seasons I hadn’t seen yet. Fortunately, I was able to get my wife hooked on the shows, as well, so together we’ve gone through all seven seasons of _Buffy_ and all five seasons of _Angel_.

I’ve always loved Joss’s conceptions of the Buffyverse. The shows were dark and forbidding, but Joss could always take you from this end-of-the-world moment of doom and gloom and slip something funny in that would take viewers completely by surprise. It was interesting to me the way he built the world of vampires and demons, of witches, warlocks, and metaphysical beings. He had with him an incredible staff of writers, all with a great sense of wit and humor. It was a lot of fun to watch through the shows and see what would happen next to these characters that viewers have so come to love.

I was incredibly happy with the way _Buffy_ ended. It couldn’t have been a more poetic ending that opened up a world of possibilities to her. I knew _Angel_ would have a less than satisfactory ending. After all, the show _did_ get canceled before Joss was ready for it to do so. I can respect Joss’s choice of endings, though – I might have done much the same, leaving things open-ended in the event that a return could be made to this universe.

One thing about _Angel_ that I found interesting, though, was the philosophy behind it. In the end, the team of Angel Investigations determined that evil would never be vanquished, that it would always be around, even long after humanity ceased to exist on the earth. The conclusion, then, was that the only thing to do was to continue to fight the good fight, because even if it only caused evil a minute pause in their wicked plans, then it was surely worth it. A very bleak and depressing outcome, if you ask me, and had it been one that I had come to, I’m not sure that it would ever have been enough to keep me going. In the end, there must be the promise that good _will_ triumph, that all the pain and suffering now will ultimately come to a good end. But I suppose that the philosophy in this show is at least somewhat representative of the world, because I see that same philosophy mirrored in the worldview of many of the people around me.

I’m not quite a Joss Whedon fanboy, but any projects that he has his hands in have my immediate attention. I’m a huge fan of _Firefly_ and _Serenity_ and am mildly bitter with Fox for canceling that show after such a short run. They obviously didn’t know what they had when they had it. I doubt we’ll ever see that universe expanded by Joss himself; I heard rumor that he’s sworn never to work with Fox again. But I _will_ continue to enjoy his work and hope that he will be able to land another TV series soon. There is a wealth of creativity and inspiration trapped in that mind of his, and I look forward to seeing what else he can produce.

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