Joss Whedon TV shows (and a Dollhouse question)

I’ve just finished a Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel (re)watch. As there have been numerous threads already on the shows which captured mostly everything, I didn’t start a new thread about that.

Following that, I’ve started Dollhouse, which is very enjoyable once it got off the ground. I’m now at the beginning of s2, and have a question. Should I already watch the unaired s1 final Epitaph One, or should I wait with that until the end of s2 (before Epitaph Two). As I understand, Epitaph One plays in the future so ‘spoils’ some later developments, but possibly the writers of s2 intended that the viewer was aware of those. I read some conflicting recommendations.

Futhermore I wonder what people think about the other Whedon shows. I’m still not sure whether I’d really like Firefly, but I probably can’t avoid it. I tried the movie Serentiy some time ago but stopped after 15 minutes as I couldn’t get in the story. I’m even more hesitant about Agents of SHIELD. It seems too much super-hero action movie to me. Although I’ve enjoyed a few of the Marvel movies, after a while they tend to become shallow.

On the whole I do appreciate his approach to TV series story telling, as he seems to take the standard episodic format of 80s series (adventure of the week) as a starting point to treat more fundamental questions about hte universe of the shows premise. And he does so with witty dialogue that shows an awareness of the tension between unrealistic premises and real-life constraints.

Is there still a hard core of Whedonverse fans? Most of the threads seem to be older. I read that Whedon is starting a new show set in 19th century England. Didn’t hear much discussion about that yet.

If you don’t like Firefly you might want to check with your doctor as something is probably seriously wrong with you.

Firefly as broadcast had issues. Watching it on DVD solves those.

Still, for all it’s fanbase, the ratings werent good.

I watched the show live (as best as I could) when it came out. I suggest watching it in broadcast order, so right after Omega and before season 2.

I’m a big fan of Joss Whedon’s work (I’m still unsure about him as a person), and I’ve liked almost everything he has done. His ability to evoke both emotions and humor, sometimes in the same line, is very impressive. I’ve watched and enjoyed all of his television shows, loved the heck out of Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog and Cabin in the Woods, and was impressed with his handling of Much Ado About Nothing. I’ve not seen Justice League or In You Eyes, but I don’t feel like I’m missing much of anything. And I’m super-excited to give The Nevers a watch. Heck, I might even get HBOMax just for that.

The wife and I are currently working our way through the Agents of Shield. It’s not as “superhero-y” as you seem to fear, but there is a good chunk of action in it. But it’s generally well-shot, impressive action rather than just stuff blowing up.

And you really should give Serenity a better shot. It’s a damn good movie.

I will also add that now, 20+ years later, a good chunk of my vocabulary includes lines from Whedon’s work. From “just because you’re better than me doesn’t mean you can be all superior” to “I’ll be in my bunk” to “You can’t do that, it’s wrong!” to “I am a leaf on the wind…” I constantly and consistently use lines he’s written in my everyday life. To me, that’s a great testament to his writing.

Loved the show. Didn’t much like the movie. Try the show and see.

Although Joss developed Agents of SHIELD, I’m not sure how involved he was after the 1st season – I think it was mostly Jed and MaurissaTancharoen (I’m guessing Joss had SOME input) I could be wrong though.


Even in Season 1, it seemed clear to me he wasn’t all that heavily involved. There were definitely Whedonesque elements, but it wasn’t peak Whedon. Still, I thought it was really good, at least until the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier literally blew up the premise of the show. After that, I thought the Whedonesque elements, and not at all coincidentally the overall quality of the show, declined steadily.

@Tusculan, if you enjoyed Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, I strongly urge you to watch Firefly. I think it really was Whedon’s best TV series, the peak of his writing, dialogue, plotting, directing, and producing. It was a masterpiece. Dr. Evil’s Singalong Blog was necessarily limited by its circumstances (it was a micro-budget web series Whedon threw together while he couldn’t work during a writers’ strike), but it transcends those limits, and as time matches anything Whedon managed in his other work. Despite the caveat above that Whedon didn’t seem heavily involved, I’d still also recommend the first season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

My 2 grandkids are Zoe and Kaylee so - yeah - big Firefly fan family here,

Much of which had to do with the aforementioned broadcast issues. Hard for a show to have good ratings when the fans aren’t sure when the show is going to be on!

On Serenity - Watch the series first - in dvd order - then watch the movie - its much better that way.

Yes, that was part of it. Also, the non-fans didnt understand the show.

Allright, you guys convinced me. I just ordered Firefly, Serenity, Agents of Shield s1, and also Much Ado about Nothing to complete the set. Nice to see there is still such a fervent fanbase. I’m going to the threads posted at the time of airing, reading your discussions.

The thing which was holding me back on Firefly is that the premise sounds overly familiar. But then, I had the same objection to Dollhouse beforehand, until I saw what he did with the premise. It is the difference between the first few episodes, and what the series becomes after s1e6, when he really thinks through what consequences the gimmick of the show would really have.

I wonder how the younger generation feels about Joss Whedon, dunno whether his approach still resonates with them.

And the promos for it were terrible.

I thought it was going to be a cheesy campy sci-fi. I wasn’t all that interested in it from how they advertised it.

Just happened to catch the very end of Train Job, right before the last commercial break, and realized that this was going to be something a bit different. Fell in love immediately, “This is all the money that Niska gave us in advance…” :rofl:

I think that internet culture helped it, as far as a cult following, but not so much in the TV viewing department. I saw the pilot before it was ever aired, and that made the whole show fit together much better.

I also introduced quite a number of people to it halfway through its run, and then quite a number more after it was cancelled. Even had the four unreleased episodes before the DVD’s came out.

Fox really messed it up, and the entire reason for poor ratings is on them, not on the content or quality of the show.

The movie… well after 3 years of waiting, it was amazing to see Serenity fly again. There were tears in my eyes in the opening sequence the first time I saw it in theaters.

Unfortunately, it did rely on already knowing and caring about the characters to really enjoy, otherwise it was just another Sci-fi movie, though with what is IMHO the best written and choreographed space fight scene in movie history. “I’m a leaf on the wind.” :sob:

I would suggest watching the series, then waiting just a bit (you don’t need to wait 3 years, like I did, but a bit of time to digest the series, maybe watch them again) before watching the movie.

Despite my Eliza Dushku fandom, I couldn’t get into Dollhouse.

Dollhouse suffers from Network Executive Guddling Disorder for about the first six eps or so, then it hits its stride and by the end it’s a full on gallop. It’s pretty obvious the network wanted “mindless sex dolls get banged a lot” and were fussy when Whedon kept shoehorning an actual story in there.

Dollhouse had hints of brilliance in the first few episodes but it isn’t until you get to the sixth episode that it becomes really tangible. The rest of season one is decent and builds the intricacies of the plot. Once you get to season two, episode four is a standout and episode five and six is where the show really steps on the gas and never looks back.

Firefly is a show that you will know if you are going to like by the end of the first episode. I’m glad the OP gave up on the movie 15 minutes in, they missed some major spoilers that way. Bear in mind that both Serenity the episode and Serenity the movie are darker in tone than series. However, the lightened mood is probably the best thing meddling Fox execs ever did. The show was going to do some dark stuff. I’ll spoiler box it for those who are curious:

Remember Inara’s mystery needle from the first episode? One of the writers (I think it was Tim Minear, it wasn’t Joss) had planned an episode where the opening is Mal and Inara arguing and him calling her a whore. The crew ends up getting set upon by Reavers but Inara takes her mystery needle and it makes her deadly to anyone she comes into sexual contact with. The Reavers all die gang raping her and the crew is saved. At the end of the episode, Mal graciously decides Inara is a lady after all. :roll_eyes:

I think Whedon dodged a bullet not being able to have that in an episode. In this day and age I don’t think such an episode would have been remember with fondness.

My favourite Whedon show is “The Great Gildersleeve”.

Oh wait, you said Joss, not John.