Thursday, 10 December 2009

Joss Mythology

WARNING - MORE EXTREME JOSS LOVE AHEAD. FANS OF TRUE BLOOD, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, TWILIGHT BEWARE!

Here's an interesting article about the mythology of Joss Whedon's 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and its impact on not only on the vampire world but also television storytelling as a whole.
The real peak happened when a girl not only fell in love with a vampire, but also when she began slaying them. That girl's name is Buffy Summers, and her series is perhaps the greatest mythology show of all time.
No surprise here - we Whedonites will fight to the death when defending 'Buffy'. And when fighting for 'Firefly', we'll come back from the dead to argue!!!
Show-runner Joss Whedon developed a structure wherein each season is a self-contained story, and each story ties into each other story creating a seven intertwined story run. As I said before, each season features a Big Bad, many of whom contribute to the show's over-arching mythos. Beyond the structural blueprint, unlike most show-runners of the time, and many still, Whedon had no problems upsetting the status quo. Characters evolve, relationships change, and consequences of a character's action in one season remain relevant for many seasons to come.
Joss is famous for his extensive planning. In season 3 there are references to the exact date Buffy dies in season 5!
Buffy is more like a novel for television. All of the episodes contribute to a big picture, a picture the viewer may not see at first, but will become clear as the story reveals itself. Now this is a lofty goal for television, a commerce-based art form, which, at least at the time, relied on viewers for profitability. Problem is, the complexity of the narrative, the ever-evolving status quo had the potential to alienate casual viewers. As much as the show had a passionate following of fans who would never dare miss an episode, it also left many confused or afraid that they'd never be able to catch up.
There's a trend nowadays to have episodes with a very stong theme. But that theme is often forgotten about at the endof the episode and promptly contradicted in the very next episode. As mentioned above, the problem with serial TV is that it's hard to join mid-point. Would you attempt to start watching 'The Wire' at episode 7? Or '24'? Or 'Dexter'?
As TV continues to splinter, the door will continue to open to the possibilities of television as a medium for quality storytelling.
There was a time when the 'best' writers would be found creating amazing scripts for thought-provoking movies. But I'm adament that the finest writers today are working on television. If I gave a list of my top 10 screenwriters, only two of them would be known as a 'movie writer.' The first is David Goyer, who coincidently heads TV's 'FlashForward' now. And the other would be James Cameron, who created 'Dark Angel' for TV all that time ago.

You can read the whole article here and feel free to get debating. I agree with 99% of the article but there must be someone out there bold enough to suggest Joss Whedon isn't the closest thing to a god we'll ever get!

2 comments:

Russel said...

I have been visiting various blogs for my term papers writing research. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with valuable information... Regards

Reverendo √Člber Gudo said...

Generic Viagra