I’m currently watching the fifth and final season of Angel, and when I finish watching the series, I will have watched all of Whedon’s television series in full. Now, with just seven episodes left, I’ve been thinking back to how I first ventured into the vast and beautiful universe of Joss Whedon, lovingly dubbed the Whedonverse by his countless legions of fans.
It was back in college–2005–when I first discovered Whedon’s work. I was in my senior year and I saw a trailer on TV for Serenity. I thought it looked terrible, so terrible in fact that I later checked rottentomatoes.com just to see how bad everyone else thought it was. What I found blew me away. The reviews were incredibly positive, one even going so far as to compare it to The Empire Strikes Back, my favorite movie.
Needless to say, I grabbed a friend and went straight to the movie theater and, yeah, it was awesome. When I learned that it was based on a TV show, It was really excited, because that meant I got to see more of the stellar crew of the Serenity.
A short time later, I acquired the series on DVD and burned through Firefly it no time. Then I took a break from Whedon. At some point I discovered that the creator of both Firefly and Serenity was also responsible for Buffy and Angel, but I didn’t feel compelled to dive into those series. Buffy was a show that the “weird” kids in high school watched and I had no love for vampires. (Later, I would see the err of my ways.)
Then three years later, in 2008, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog came around and was a web sensation, going viral instantly. I watched it. It was amusing, but I wasn’t blown away. (Later, however, I wound find myself playing the audio regularly at work.)
So when I heard about Dollhouse, Whedon’s latest creation, a short time later, I was intrigued. The concept sounded pretty cool and I had loved Firefly and Serenity so much that I thought it would be worth checking out. I’m so glad that I did. No, Dollhouse, won’t go down as my favorite piece of the Whedonverse, but after watching the first season (which wasn’t even half as good as the second), I was intrigued enough by Whedon’s work to snag the first disc of season one of Buffy with my newly acquired Neflix account.
The rest is pretty much history. Since then, I’ve watched all seven seasons of Buffy and moved onto Angel. I’ve also watched all of Dollhouse and the second season, largely thanks to Whedon alum, Summer Glau, was fantastic.
Now, Dollhouse is over and I’m almost done with Angel. When I finish the series, I suspect it will only leave me looking for more. What am I going to do? Whedon’s work has pretty much been a staple in my life for like the last two years. The incredible writing, the drama, the humor, and, yeah, the action…I’m going to miss it.
Perhaps I’ll jump into the graphic novels. I think Buffy, Angel, and Firefly have all spurred graphic novels written by Joss and some of his family members. I’ve heard some of them are quite good in fact. I’ve never been a huge comic guy, but I might just have to make an exception.
Another thing that will keep me occupied for a little while is Supernatural. This show is fantastic and reminds me a lot of Whedon’s work. It has great dramatic themes and just the right amount of wit. Unfortunately, I’m pretty far along and it won’t keep me occupied for long.
Perhaps there is no substitute. Perhaps the only thing I can do is rewatch my favorite episodes of those amazing shows (like I’m doing with Firefly now). Whatever I do, I’m really glad that I made the journey through the Whedonverse. It was far more powerful, wonderful, and humorous than I ever would have guessed. Whedon’s work spoke to me in ways that no other show ever has.
Thank you Joss for making my life a little shinier. My hat’s off to you.