Avril Brown Presents:
Joss Whedon is evil incarnate.
Fellow CWR columnist Elliott Serrano told me he once saw someone wearing a t-shirt that said ‘Joss Whedon is God,’ and it made him want to create a different shirt; one which declared to the world his true nature (see above), complete with proof in the form of two lists of character’s names on the back: one of his victims, and one of those left behind; the broken, grieving loved ones.
Because when it comes down to it, Joss Whedon truly is evil incarnate.
For those of you who live under a rock, Mr. Whedon is the creative mind behind such wildly famous cult television hits as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly. He also is the author of ‘Fray,’ one of the greatest comics of all time, and he wrote many incredible issues for ‘Astonishing X-Men’ and ‘Runaways.’ For his next trick, Dollhouse is hitting the Fox airways sometime in the winter (hopefully) and will be featuring memory tampering, Bond-like missions and a hot chick with skills.
But the most recent project from the twisted mind of Mr. Whedon has gums flapping and nerds scampering over their laptops. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is a brief movie starring Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible, an aspiring young scientist hell-bent on becoming a member of the Evil League of Evil. Naturally an evil genius must have a nemesis, and Dr. Horrible’s is Captain Hammer, played by Nathan Fillion (better known as Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly), who is an over-sexed narcissist. And what is a story of good and evil without a love interest? Felicia Day stars as Penny, the apple of both men’s eyes, who is pure of heart and helps the homeless.
Dr. Horrible manages to encompass a bit of everything which makes Joss Whedon both brilliant and bastardly, all in under forty-five minutes. Joss rolls sharp comedy, well-written musical scores and heart-breaking tragedy into this unique and entertaining online film. What begins (and continues) as an absolutely hilarious tongue-in-cheek musical, eventually turns tragic, leaving viewers feeling like a kicked puppy.
Whedon gets you laughing until there are tears, and makes you care about the characters within the first five minutes of opening a comic or watching a show. And he who giveth absolutely loves to taketh away. With a snap of his witty fingers, Joss makes you fall for his characters, and just when you are lured into thinking everything will be ok, he kills someone. Usually, that someone is one half of a happy couple.
Like I said, evil.
And we, his devoted fans, are complete masochists.
We know what he’s like, we know what he’ll do to our emotions, yet we return, time and time again because he’s that good. We can’t resist his colorful worlds filled with the prefect blend of humor, drama, reality and fantasy. We know he’s going to put us through the ringer, and we’re going to love and hate every second of it.
If you need more evidence as to Joss’s card-carrying status of Satan-hood, here are a few examples, in no particular order, of the painful depths to which Mr. Whedon will sink, and where we fans will follow:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 finale
Any Buffy fan knows this scene, arguably one of the most poignant in the show’s seven season run. Buffy Summers fell in love with the vampire Angel, cursed with a soul to suffer for the horror he inflicted upon humanity, and when they consummated their relationship Angel was so deliriously happy it broke the curse, setting his psychotic, bloody-thirsty counterpart Angelus loose upon the world. After months of battling with the demon bearing the face of the man she loved, their final confrontation comes when Angelus opens a portal to a hell dimension, which if left open would destroy the world. Just as Buffy is about to deliver the blow to send the vampire to hell and close the portal, his soul is returned to him. He doesn’t remember what had happened, he doesn’t know or understand anything except his love standing before him, but by this point Buffy has no choice. They exchange whispers of love and kisses, and then she promptly stabs him in the gut and sends him off to hell in a swirly, engulfing hand basket. The last thing she sees is his face, contorted with pain, love and confusion. Now I’m a die-hard Spuffy fan (that’s Spike/Buffy, as in Spike and Buffy are the perfect couple and totally meant to be, for those of you not down with the fan fic lingo), but even I cry every time I see that episode.
Angel Season 5 episodes ‘A Hole in the World’ and ‘Shells’
Joss really outdid himself on this one, not even giving Fred/Wesley fans one whole episode to rejoice in their new relationship before ripping them apart. Fred (short for Winifred) Burkle and Wesley Wyndam-Pryce are two of Angel’s team and had been dancing around a romance for a couple of seasons before finally getting together the episode right before these two in Angel’s final season. Fred, who happens to be a super-genius and easily the most lovable member of Angel’s gang, breathes in some dust from an ancient sarcophagus. Turns out the ‘dust’ was Illyria, a super bad-ass demi-god, who takes root in Fred’s body and proceeds to destroy her from the inside out, keeping her ‘shell’ and general outward appearance but replacing Fred’s conscientious with Illyria’s own. Wesley refuses to leave her side during this process and is thus forced to watch and feel the woman of his dreams die in his arms. As if that isn’t bad enough, Wesley, nor anyone else who loved Fred, is fully able to process and mourn the loss while Illyria is walking around looking just like Fred, only with patches of blue skin and draped in tight leather. Whenever I need a good cry (it’s a girl thing, don’t ask), I have a glass or two of wine and pop in these episodes. The scenario may bear absolutely no semblance to reality, but it still features the heart-wrenching pain of a love just found, and lost. Plus, in addition to the emotional torture, there are many enjoyable scenes where Illyria kicks some serious ass.
She may only appear in a handful of panels throughout the book, but Loo is a character both easy to love and hard to let go. Little five-year-old Loo is a friend of Melaka Fray, a vampire Slayer living in the future hundreds of years from now. With only one working eye, three whole limbs, the blind loyalty of youth and the ability to chat like a kid on caffeine, Loo is instantly endearing. And Melaka is the one to find her little body under some rubble in her apartment with her neck broken and her face frozen not in horror, but in shock, as if she expected to be safe and was truly surprised to find out she wasn’t. The look is explained when Melaka discovers it was her mentor Urkonn who killed Loo as incentive for fighting a war with the vampires. In the end Melaka evens the score, but it doesn’t fill the void left by the motor-mouthed little Loo, a character who truly captures the heart.
I’m a happy-ending kind of girl. There’s enough depressive shit going on in reality now and days to make Stalin cry. Therefore when I escape to my fantasy realms, I usually like them to be cheerier than the crap I just left behind. So why the hell am I a Joss Whedon fan? The fact is, I just can’t help myself. He is too engaging to ignore, and too talented to despise completely. Watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and you’ll begin to understand what I mean. Shortly thereafter, you’ll be calling Elliott to order a t-shirt.
Joss Whedon, you’re evil incarnate…
…but will you marry me?
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