This past summer, the same friend who recommended Battlestar Galactica to me, also suggested Firefly.(Thanks Mark) I won’t lie. I wasn’t sold on Firefly right away. I don’t like westerns and in general, BSG excluded, don’t like sci-fi. It took the two hour pilot and about four episodes before I was hooked. Now, I wish I could dress up as Zoe for Halloween and more than two people get it. I decided right then that I had to watch Buffy and Angel to get the full Whedon effect.
So obligatory spoiler warning. But seriously folks, I think there should be a 48 hour airing rule on spoiler warnings. If the series is off the air and you’re reading about it, viewer beware.
I love them in this order: Firefly, Angel, Buffy.
I just don’t think the world was ready for Captain Mal. And selling a show as a “sci-fi western” probably didn’t help either. The truth is, Firefly, is quite possibly the most brilliant work of TV ever to be immediately squashed, buried, bumped and bruised by its network. I still have hope that in the next five years as the ratings games and technology finally come to a middle ground, that the world will never be robbed like this again.
Joss began with a blonde chick named Buffy. The movie is terrible. Straight up ridiculous. Unless you are just a student of writing, entertainment or Whedon, you can skip it and be okay. The television series, on the other hand, is a cultural landmark. There are pages and pages on Wikipedia about these subjects so go there if you care.
At first, Buffy was only fascinating to me. Then it became gripping and heartwarming. Always hilarious. And then a tad boring. Something changed when Buffy went to college. Besides losing the AWESOME characters of Angel and Cordelia, Buffy herself was just kinda bland. There are theories abundant about this being acting…but I’ll leave that judgment to each person. The series remained gripping thanks to Willow, Xander and Anya. Mad, mad props to Alyson Hannigan. She’s brilliant. And watch How I Met Your Mother. Enough said.
I still have a bitter taste in my mouth over the Dawn years. I still think she should’ve died. Although, Buffy dying and then coming back made the next year exponentially better. In fact, that entire year with Spike being her confidant all led up to the perfect “One More, With Feeling”. I’m torn between recommending people see it but I don’t want to rob them of the build up to that episode. But if you find yourself suffering through the Dawn year, OMWF will redeem that. Almost. She still should’ve died.
So I started Angel a few months ago and it took me a while to get into it too. I get tired of fight scenes with monsters. I sookied through them. But I found myself enthralled with Cordelia. I loved how she changed, grew, and ultimately thrived. Gunn, Fred, and Lorne are all wonderful. Wes’s transformation was the best. From nerdy school boy, “New Watcher” in Buffy to hilariously awkward rogue demon hunter to full out hardcore, dark, broken fighter. I don’t want to talk about how watching Fred and Wes die in each other’s arms brought me to tears.
The Conner chapter is when I started slowly not liking Angel himself. He became whiny and uncertain about himself which led up to the last season. The last season was just off. And they felt the need to keep preaching why they took over the firm, but still. It would be a total wash for me except these four words which redeemed it all: Wee Little Puppet Man. Just like OMWF, Smile Time takes the line of ridiculous and then laps it, leaving you stunned in enjoyment.
One conclusion: Please Joss come back to TV.