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Hooked March 6, 2009

Posted by gordonwatts in TV.

I’m a science fiction fan. You? I used to read books both bad and good all the time. Once I found a good author I’d buy most of their books. There was always something very satisfying about picking up a new book from a known author – I could relax; I would be “safe” in his hands. But this post isn’t about books. It is about TV.

Ok – so who remembers Buffy, the Vampire Slayer? The show, I mean? That was around 1997 or so, and went off the air in 2003. I was in grad school and then a post-doc at the time. I didn’t watch a lot of TV – certainly never saw it while it was on. And I’m positive if you’d told me about it I would have decided I wasn’t interested in watching. Further more, having now seen the movie and the pilot of the series, I’m also pretty sure I would have said no.

Whedon, however, got me.


After Buffy he went on to create a number of series, but one in particular seems to be a pretty common entry point into Whedon’s shows: Firefly. A TV series on FOX, it lasted only a year, but has a dedicated cult following now. It is a western, set in a frontier town. No, sorry, that is wrong. It is a western, set in outer space, on the fringes of known civilization. An ensemble cast, the story is mostly about society and the characters relationships with each other. I highly recommend it if you like science fiction and haven’t seen it yet. A movie came out of it – Serenity. The film is very good – but watch the show first; it makes the film a whole lot better.

Once I was hooked I started looking back to see what else he had done – there was Buffy. Which is, I suppose, his most famous show. I took me a while (there are 7 years of episodes!), but I finally managed to watch it. Lots of it is very good and worth the watch!

Now he has started a new series – Dollhouse. He has set himself an impossible task. The lead character’s personality keeps getting erased – so how can any of us viewers ever grow to like her? Or how will he make interpersonal relationships grow? I was thinking about this the other day when I realized… hey! Not my problem! Whedon is a master story teller, so he has something figured out … So that is about half the reason I am trying to watch this show right now – because I don’t see how he is going to pull it off! But that is the beauty of sitting down with a good, known, author…

I just hope that FOX gives him a year or two to build a real story, considering how bad thing are right now on network TV.



1. Gordon Stangler - March 6, 2009

Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Oh, hells yea!

I watched Buffy while in Elementary School-Jr. High, then bought some of the DVD box sets. Those were the days…

I have not seen Firefly, but I have heard nothing but good things about it. And Mr. Whedon’s new series, Dollhouse.

2. Laura - March 6, 2009

You’ve watched all of Buffy, but has Paula watched all of Firefly?

3. gordonwatts - March 6, 2009

Laura — what do you think!? 🙂

Gordon – I’d definately recommend firefly. And watch the movie after the series.

4. Laura - March 7, 2009

I guess I gave Buffy as much of a chance as Paula gave Firefly. I watched the first disc of the former, and was put off by the sub-Firefly dialogue. I should check out later seasons, though.

5. Gordon Watts - March 7, 2009

Yeah — my impression from folks is that it took a year to get going. I can’t tell – I just liked it. But there are 7 years (!!). So it must have become godo enough for some fraction of the population to like it!

6. James - March 8, 2009

As far as anything good he has done recently, you might try giving Dr. Horrible a shot. I believe it can still be watched for free on Hulu, too. It’s not really science fiction (though it does involve ‘mad scientists’), but it is one of the funniest things Whedon’s done since Firefly. It’s only 60 minutes too, so it’s a lot less imposing a task than watching all of Buffy.

7. Gordon Watts - March 8, 2009

I agree – Dr. Horrible is fantastic. Definately watch it – I think Netflix has it now too.

8. Laura - March 9, 2009

Thanks, I’ll ziplist Horrible if it’s out on DVD.

9. Gordon Stangler - March 10, 2009

RE: Buffy. It does take a year to get going, but after the initial issues, Buffy really shines.

I’ll check out Dr. Horrible and Firefly, thanks for the info.

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