Monday, January 11, 2010
Seven Stories Concerning Joss Whedon - or - The Road to Damascus

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's come to my attention that some of you out there might not know about Joss Whedon. This worries me.

Even more troubling is the thought that some of you might know of Whedon, but still haven't taken him into your heart or witnessed his glorious work.

I used to be like you. I used to live in darkness. Let me share my story with the hope that you might come to know him as I do....

* * *

It's 1999. Home from college, I go to a New Year's party with some old friends. Halfway through the evening, someone mentions Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

"Never seen it," I say.

Suddenly they're all bleating like sheep about how much they love the show. Everyone feels compelled to tell me their favorite line. Their favorite part. The time this character did this thing in this place.

"Yes yes," I said. "I've heard it all before. Honestly, it sounds pretty dumb to me."

Things get heated. It turns out I'm the only person there not actively following the show. They can't believe how ignorant I am. How can I not be watching it?

Finally I've had enough. I hold up a hand to get everyone's attention. "Listen," I say. "I'm a huge geek. I've written a fantasy trilogy that will never be published. I once dressed up as Pan for Halloween. I have LARPed." I looked at them all seriously. "And you people embarrass me. I am ashamed to be standing close to you right now. Kindly shut up about your stupid vampire cheerleader show."

It's 2002. I'm in grad school, covered in a thick, greasy layer of drudgery and helpless rage. I'm fighting as hard as I can, only to realize that academia is a tarbaby made out of bullshit and willful ignorance.

One of my friends buys the first season of Buffy on DVD and leaves it in my house. That's it. No sales pitch. I just come home from class and it's sitting on my coffee table.

And that's where it stays. I've made my feelings clear. I'm getting my Masters in English Literature. I'll be god-damned if I watch a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

But, eventually, there's nothing else to watch in the house, so I plug it one evening while I eat my dinner.

And it's exactly what I expected. It's trash. It's heavy handed. The plot is predictable.

Worse of all, there's a showdown between the plucky blond eye-candy and the bad guy at the end of the first episode.

Buffy: Well you forgot about one thing!
Vampire: Whats that?
Buffy: Sunrise!

She breaks a window behind the vampire and rich amber light pours in, making the vampire howl in fear.

I roll my eyes. I've seen this cliche a dozen times before. I'd be bored if I wasn't so insulted. I reach for the remote.

But it isn't sunlight pouring through the window. It's just a lightbulb in the alleyway. The vampire looks out the window, confused.

Buffy: Its not for another 9 hours, moron.

I start to laugh, realizing whoever wrote this knows exactly what he's doing. This isn't cliche. This is whatever the opposite of cliche is.

I watch the second episode.

It's 2003. I'm out of grad school and teaching my own classes for the very first time.

I've made contact with a big-name New York literary agent. He's read my book and thinks it has potential. He says I'm a good writer, but my book has structural problems. There are plot issues. Am I willing to revise?

I am. But I have no idea where to start. I read a book called Writing the Blockbuster Novel and it makes no sense at all to me. I re-read my novel and realize I don't have the slightest fucking idea what I'm doing.

Fall semester ends, and the university tells me enrollment is down. Quick as that I'm unemployed.

So I go out and buy my very first home theater system. Bose speakers. Subwoofer. I fill up the credit card, figuring that if I'm going to be unemployed, I might as well enjoy my free time. Besides, it's not like I'm going to be able to get any writing done....

The first thing I watch is the second season Buffy.

It opens a window in my head. It changes the way I think about stories.

It's 2004. Despite the fact that I'm not really interested in space cowboys or whatever, I buy a copy of Firefly.

It's 6:00 AM when I sit down to watch it. After half an hour, one of my roommates wanders blearily into the living room.

"Wassis?" he asks.

"Firefly," I say. "First episode. I can start it over if you want..."

He lays down on the other couch and we re-start the episode.

Ten minutes later he looks at me. "They canceled this?" he asks.


He looks at the screen, then back at me. "I'm so fucking pissed!"

I nod.

Six years later I'm still pissed. I'll probably be pissed about Firefly until the day I die.

It's 2006, and I'm attending one of my first conventions. I've sold my book, so now my job is to make friends in the fan community. Mingle. Rub elbows. Network.

I get invited to a party. I drink a drink. I end up talking with a beautiful young woman in a tight red dress.

"I don't know what all the fuss is about," she says. "I watched some Buffy, couldn't get into it. Firefly was boring. I just don't get what I'm supposed to be missing."

"Well..." I said thoughtfully. "Have you ever considered the fact that you might not actually have a soul?"

It's 2008. Dr. Horrible goes online. I'm giddy as a schoolgirl. I write a blog about it. I bring my friends over to watch. I leave it playing on my computer while I do work around the house, while I check my e-mail, while I eat lunch.

This continues for weeks.

Then one day while I'm singing "A Man's gotta Do..." in the shower, I have an idea for a short story. This is a rarity. I don't do short stories. Better yet, it's a short graphic novel.

So I sit down and start to write it out. It's fun. I've never written a script for a graphic novel, and it's tricky thinking in terms of page layouts, paneling, and dialogue placement. I break out my copy of Understanding Comics and start making notes for a friend who could do the illustrations.

Two hours later I realize I'm writing Dr. Horrible fanfiction.

Four hours later I'm still writing it.

It's 2009. While playing Guest of Honor at a convention, I end up on a panel about Joss Whedon.

Much to my surprise, I hear people nitpicking. They say, "Buffy was great until season four." "I got bored with Dollhouse after two episodes." "Angel was too dark." "Buffy got weird in season five...."

Finally I've had enough. I hold up a hand to get everyone's attention.

"Listen," I say unto them. "You're all a bunch of whiny little titbabies. Joss Whedon is a storyteller and you're upset because he isn't acting like a music box, playing you your favorite song again and again.

"Joss Whedon made me care about the X-men, even Cyclops. He sold me on space cowboys. He made me sing in the shower and write fanfiction for the first time in my life. He told me a subtle story with Dollhouse and gave me the best character arc I've ever seen with Wesley Wyndam-Pryce."

"Why don't you marry him?" someone shouts from the audience.

"Because of Proposition 8," I shot back. "And because he never returns my calls."

* * *

So that's the story of my conversion to Whedonism. I've pulled a Saul of Tarsus and these days I'm a full-blown missionary. In fact, Sarah has informed me my man-crush is about to step from being cute to creepy, so I'm trying to reign myself in a little bit here.

For example, I'm not going to post up any of my Whedon-tribute macaroni art. Neither will I trouble you with any of the sonnets I've composed.

Instead, I'll add some Whedon stuff to the Worldbuilders lottery. That means if you donate money to Heifer International before January 15th, you have a chance of winning this stuff in addition to all the other cool prizes.

  • All seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the five seasons of Angel, and the first five graphic novels composing "Season Eight"of Buffy.

About a year ago, I went to talk to a bunch of high-schoolers as part of a book festival.

As per usual, I read a bit, then did some Q&A.

One of the kids asked a question about character building. I thought of the perfect example that would answer his question and said, "Have you seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer?"

I meant it to be a rhetorical question. I mean, everyone's seen Buffy, right?

He hadn't. I was a little surprised. So I asked the whole auditorium, "Who here has watched Buffy?"

Only about three hands went up.

I shouldn't have been surprised, I suppose. But I was. What's more, I was actually mad. I turned to the teacher that had arranged for me to come out and talk to the kids and demanded, "What the hell are you teaching these kids?"

  • Both hardcover volumes of the Astonishing X-Men, containing the entire story arc written by Joss Whedon.

Even if you don't read comics, you will enjoy this. Even if you don't care about the X-Men, you will like this story. It's wonderfully self-contained, so you don't need to know the last 40 years of x-history to follow what's going on.

  • The complete series of Firefly and the sequel movie Serenity.

If I ever get to teach a creative writing class, I'm assigning Firefly as a textbook. Everything you need to know about storytelling is right there in the pilot episode.

Side note: if you watch the movie before watching the series, I will magically appear and choke you.

  • The first season of Dollhouse.

Some people I normally respect are all snarky about Dollhouse.

Fie, I say unto them. If you can't handle a subtle story, feel free to go watch MTV cribs. The rest of us will be right here, enjoying the awesome.

It's a different sort of story. That means, of necessity, it has a different tone. But it's still Whedon, and that's all that matters.

  • Two copies of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

For concentrated cool, it's hard to beat this disk. Not only is DR. Horrible like a primer on how to create a realistic villain, but the commentary track is a musical too. I'm not even kidding.

God. Just looking at the cover makes me want to listen to it again....

That's all for now folks. Remember that the fundraiser is over on January 15th. So if you want to get in on the action, you better do so soon.

Money raised by Worldbuilders goes to Heifer International, which helps people all over the world raise themselves out of poverty and starvation. If you'd like to donate directly you can head over to my page at Team Heifer and I'll match your donation by 50%. Trust me. You'll feel great afterward.

Or, if you want more information about the Worldbuilders fundraiser itself, you can head to the main page HERE.

With thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.

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posted by Pat at


Blogger Rebecca said...

The 2009 bit about you saying unto them and snarking about marriage&Prop8 is sheer awesome.
I watched some of Buffy one day and thought it did indeed seem a little cliche. Now I feel like I need to go back and look at it as a writer rather than a viewer.
I'm going to Google Dr.Horrible now. Anything that has musical commentary must be awesome.

January 11, 2010 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed on Firefly!

January 11, 2010 12:32 PM  
Blogger Wysen said...

I got the Ultimate Buffy collection for my Christmas/birthday present from my wife because she is the most wonderful woman in the entire world.

You don't have to sell me on how wonderful Whedon is.

Of all the television universe, Angel is my favorite show of all time. Yes, Firefly might have eventually taken it's place as #1, but alas we never got that chance. I'll still keep my 5 seasons of Angel under my pillow as my favorite of all time.

January 11, 2010 12:36 PM  
Blogger Brandy said...

Dear Pat the Missionary,

Thank you for your sermon on the greatness that is Whedon. Though I am already a convert, I admit I was unsure about Dollhouse; I let myself be misled by the unfaithful. No more. I shall go forth and let the spirit of Dollhouse into my heart. Thank you for your guidance.

January 11, 2010 12:43 PM  
Blogger Marcus said...

Oh look a link to this has appeared on Whedonesque.

January 11, 2010 12:45 PM  
Blogger K. L. Howard said...

I have to agree with you on Dollhouse. The characters are fairly amazing. Don't rat me out at this comment, but I have a feeling the development is going a twinge too fast at the moment. That could also very well be just me. Even so, I still can't wait for the next episode.

January 11, 2010 12:46 PM  
OpenID malthol said...

My fiancee told me a while back that I have a man-crush on you, Patrick. She's pretty ok with that though because of your man-crush on Joss Whedon, whom (should I ever die in a horrible accident) she plans to invite to my funeral and then out for coffee.

January 11, 2010 12:51 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

One hundred percent agree on Firefly.

My husband called me into his Man Pod and said, "Pull up a chair. You're not going to believe this show." It was the re-broadcast of the first seven episodes of Firefly on SciFi. We sat riveted, canceled our plans that night and when it was over, I actually shed a tear.

The next day the HusbandUnit went out and bought the series.

January 11, 2010 12:51 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

I just recently got into Firefly and I'm livid pissed that it got canceled. It had everything! Action, adventure, mystery, humor, even sex!

Serenity was a really good movie too. It felt like it was the best way to answer questions that I had without more to the series. The only downside is now there's no possible chance of a revival of the show haha.

January 11, 2010 12:53 PM  
Blogger Man without fear said...

I'm not all that surprised the kids in school now-a-days haven't seen Buffy, it's over a decade old. Kids are more into what's current.

As for myself watched it whilst it was on the air

And i too am pissed about Firefly, and (now) Dollhouse. It is a totally different type of show when compared to Buffy/Angel/Firefly. But it's still brilliant and damn funny!

January 11, 2010 12:53 PM  
Blogger Hex said...

I have never seen anything remotely related to Buffy. Maybe I will though... Maybe. Don't have much of a thing for vampires though.

BUT... Firefly was beyond one of the most amazing series ever. Seriously. I borrowed it from a friend who demanded that I watch it. It sat on my shelf for several months while I watched through every episode of Law & Order: SVU. And then I was bored one day so I popped in the first disc of Firefly, assuming that it was horrible and I just had to tell me friend I tried to watch it and couldn't. Several... many hours later, I was still sitting on the couch, laptop in hand trying to figure out who made this series, what else he's done and why the hell it was canceled. Brilliant.

Although, I do believe I like Nathan Fillion more than Joss Whedon. Love me some Cap't Mal!

January 11, 2010 12:58 PM  
Blogger Tobaldo said...

Hey Pat! As you might remember I am a Whedonist too: do you recall when I quoted Angel's episode "The girl in question" when you came to Rome?

Well, we certainly have a mission and convert all the unbelievers (but I still have to watch Dollhouse... shame on me)!


January 11, 2010 1:01 PM  
Anonymous greg said...

i'm glad i did the whole "watch serenity before firefly" thing two years back before Rothfuss's Fatwa on magically choking those who do so.. Great Series... i might convert my wife one day.

January 11, 2010 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Kazrith said...

If only I wasn't a starving student... Oh, and I share your views on all things Joss Whedon! Why cancel Firefly?! It makes me angry. Fox is just... Okay, I won't rant about Fox here.
The only Whedon i haven't seen/read is the X-Men, but that is because i can't find it!

Oh, and if ya ever need a legal marriage there is always Canada. We can get married here!

Anyways, good luck in your fundraiser! and get that next book on the shelves... you don't want to be the next Kristin Britian. 5 years between books is just WAY too long for a series.

January 11, 2010 1:10 PM  
Blogger Vulpes Fulva said...

It appears that I'm going to have to complete my journey to Nerddom, or Dorkdom... maybe it's one of those county/state municipalities.. like Nerdmont-Dorkton. Yeah.
Anyway. I have Serenity queued up in Netflix, and I'll have to see if it's got Firefly and Buffy too. I have seen Dr Horrible, however.. so I am not without hope.

January 11, 2010 1:38 PM  
Blogger beckiwithani said...

Joss is the reason I read comics (I have a subscription to Buffy Season 8), after never reading them before (except for Fray a few years back.) He's awesome beyond words...

January 11, 2010 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Darb07 said...

Pat, there are reasons your my favorie author. For one, your realistic about your writting, your life, and your fans. Two, your book blew my mind on levels I don't know will ever happen again until I read the rest of your series (Which I'd wait til I was on my deathbed for the next, not with patience, but with understanding for the delay). Three the only other author that I'm as even remotely geeky about (jim Butcher) you give kudos to with actual professional sinceriety. But four, it's your love for Joss Whedon. I'm not much of a geek, matter of fact I get made fun of my my geek friends cuz I'm not geeky enough. But Joss makes me one. And because of you, jim butcher, and joss whedon I've met some of the best people in my life, and have been introduced to a whole new community / way of life that graciously excepts anyone with a passion for great entertainment. And trust me, your hate for the cancellation of fire fly / firey burning passion to due anything to bring back firefly is not felt alone. (I daydream of becoming rich just to finaince the series for joss to show over the internet so there is no influence by a network on what he can put in the show and what direction to go with it.) Sorry to get gushy, but you, and joss, equal levels man. atleast in my book.

p.s. due whatever you can to get him in on your movie deal. THAT, would be amazing.

January 11, 2010 1:45 PM  
Blogger James said...

I guess I broke your "Firefly before Serenity" cardinal rule. I'd never heard of Firefly and only *accidentally* stumbled across Serenity on cable while surfing. I had missed the first 10 minutes, but sat glued to the TV to watch the rest. I scanned the cable box and recorded the show the next time it was available. It stayed on the DVR for over a year before my wife accidentally (yeah, right) deleted it to make room for something exciting like.....Golf!

In searching for the DVD of the movie, I found out about Firefly and ordered the series also. I can think of several very painful things that should be done to the execs that decided to cancel Firefly, but it wouldn't be bad enough.

January 11, 2010 1:48 PM  
Anonymous andrew said...

You always make me laugh Thanks!!!!!!!Agreed with almost all of it still can't get into Dollhouse, but great come back on he will not return my phone calls lol lol lol lol again Thanks for always making me laugh

January 11, 2010 1:48 PM  
Blogger Dan Gibson said...

Joss Whedon is a God, and I am terribly mad about Firefly being cancelled aswel a Dollhouse, i mean Dollhouse started as subtle but it needed that to uild up to the more explosive episodes we're seeing now, why does no-one have patience for a good story nowadays

January 11, 2010 1:50 PM  
Blogger Annette said...

I'm a recent Whedon-phile, having only discovered Firefly/Serenity in the last couple years, Dr Horrible in the last six months and have yet to start the Buffy marathon. Thankfully, I started Dollhouse right!

Today's post finally got my donation made, though :) I'm hoping some Joss-inspired tickets will be the winners in your amazing giveaway!

January 11, 2010 2:22 PM  
Blogger logankstewart said...

Man I loved Buffy. I never watched Angel, though, but I sure did love Buffy. My wife worked with a lady that said Buffy is what got her through her divorce.

I've finally started watching Firefly, and I'm already disappointed knowing that there's only going to be this one season. But it's all new and exciting and I'll treasure each episode like a Reaver(sp?) treasures human flesh...

These are awesome lotto things, by the way. And thanks for putting "A Man's Gotta Do..." in my head again. Luckily I can covertly watch Dr. Horrible on my iPod at work.

January 11, 2010 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Love You.

January 11, 2010 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Elicius said...

Reading you write with so much passion about something I love makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I think that if Rothfuss and Whedon were to pair up, my heart would literally explode.

And I would die happy.

January 11, 2010 3:37 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

Hey, Pat, quick question for you:
Since there are limited options on your team Heifer page, does it matter if I split my donation into separate transactions as far as the lottery is concerned?

E.g., I might opt for 3 flocks of chicks instead of a pig or trees.

Also, do you know where the blank donation box funds go? Completing shares for animals? Or?


January 11, 2010 4:03 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

I was smitten with Firefly. And I adored Dr. Horrible, and still find myself singing snatches of the songs at completely random and usually inappropriate times. (With my freeze ray I will Stop. The world). And yet I have never seen any Buffy. My attitude mirrors yours at the party in 1999. I am aware of it. Yeah yeah leave me alone. Does this make me a willful fool?

The hammer is my penis.

January 11, 2010 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will the raffle winners be announced?

January 11, 2010 4:37 PM  
Blogger Ellira said...

Ah I've been a Whedoholic since the second episode of Buffy aired in the UK. Everything I learned about character torture came from him. And GRRM, but that's only recent.

I was just wondering what I needed to boost my creative juices. I now have my answer. *Fetches Buffy DVDs*

January 11, 2010 4:41 PM  
Blogger Zafri Mollon said...

I love firefly to death and think that that watching the first and only season over and over is probably the third best way to learn creative writing besides reading and actually writing.

I am a thousand times more angry that Firefly was cancelled than that Russell didn't win survivor (and I was inhumanly, illogically, furious at that turn of events).

Dr Horrible is amazing too.
I've still never watched Buffy (alas, none of my friends left season 1 at my house...and... I was an English major).

Sorry, I tried to watch dollhouse all the way through, but I just couldn't. I love Joss whedon, the episode he wrote for The Office was one of the funniest ever, but I couldn't stick it out. Don't kill me.

Also, I think I could read your ranting for hours. If you wrote a novel-length rant, with side plots and quotes, I'd buy it. Maybe I should have got in on that college survival guide action...

January 11, 2010 4:49 PM  
Blogger Mireyah Wolfe said...

This was the best blog I've read ALL YEAR. <--and will probably continue to be for the rest of the year.

Joss Whedon is a Character GOD. *worships*

January 11, 2010 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

I love Joss Whedon more than is normal or rational. I should say thank you to you, Pat, because I never would have known about Dr. Horrible if I hadn't read your blog.

I love everything he has every done. And I don't care what anyone says, Dollhouse is fantastic. I liked the first episode, LOVED the second episode, and by the end of the first season, I was absolutely hooked.

Whedon is a God. And you, Sir, are awesome. =)

January 11, 2010 4:59 PM  
Blogger Summer said...

I owe you thanks.

See, until you made that post about Dr. Horrible a while back, I'd never really heard of Joss Whedon. I knew of and adored Firefly, thanks to a series of serendipitous events, but I didn't think of it as 'that awesome show that Joss Whedon wrote', I just thought of it as 'that awesome show'. And then you made me realise that there was actually a real person who made all this coolness. And that he is awesome.

So thanks for Whedon, thanks for Dr. Horrible, and thanks for the Buffy recommendation. I've never watched it, but ... I think I might just go and remedy that.

January 11, 2010 5:11 PM  
Blogger DMBeucler said...

I wasn't sold on Buffy till I saw "Once More with Feeling" air (It didn't help that I would catch episodes randomly during the time it was on. Eventually I got to see it in order. Then I saw Firefly. And by the end of that I wanted to have Joss's literary lovechildren. My husband is surprisingly ok with this.
I love his way of twisting language around in new ways; if I could have half his pith.... But you are not alone in your Joss zombie love (only loving him for his brain, and maybe some healthy beard rivalry.) ;-)

January 11, 2010 6:34 PM  
OpenID educatedpony said...

fantastic blog!

i the tale of how you first reacted to buffy the vampire slayer is hilariously familiar.

i was in high school when it came out and this girl in choir kept telling me how much i'd like it. and even though i thought she was pretty cool, the mere combination of the words "buffy the vampire slayer" gave me embarrassed goose bumps. plus i was like "you mean it's a tv show of that movie with kristy swanson and luke perry? you're kidding me right now."

then my mom randomly turned it on one school night while sitting around with her two mopey teenage girls after dinner. we watched a whole episode. and from then on no matter how crazy it got in a house of two teenage girls, how mad we all were at each other, we could agree on one thing: buffy the vampire slayer f*ing ruled. and we would always put aside fighting and b.s to sit down and watch it. we STILL talk about it.

so yes, i love joss wheaton too.

and yes, i still imagine all the amazing things that would have happened on firefly if it hadn't been i can't think about it before bed or i get angry and can't sleep.

thanks for sharing this and for all the good work you're doing.

January 11, 2010 6:35 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

My dad is a clinical psychologist. He used to assign watching Buffy as homework for his psych assistants who would be working with teenagers in order to study how teens really think and act.

January 11, 2010 6:54 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

"academia is a tarbaby made out of bullshit and willful ignorance."

Sentences like this are the reason you are amassing your own zombie horde roughly equal to Whedon's.

Soon, there will be Rothfussesque!

Also: WORD. I discovered Buffy when I was hating my life and everything it touched. The Whedonverse helped me survive one of the shittiest periods of my life.

January 11, 2010 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Ashley said...

This post made me laugh out loud, and it also made me jump up and down and scream YES YES YES.

I, too, thought Buffy sounded like a ridiculous idea for a television show and refused to watch it until I was blackmailed into it. I agreed to watch season one if a friend of mine would watch The X-Files, and thus my life was changed forever. And that isn't a joke. It's funny that you say it changed the way you think about stories because I feel exactly the same way. Basically my TV watching-life is broken up into two sections, before Buffy and after Buffy.

The people in my life who still haven't watched it are sick of hearing about it, and I find myself constantly asking new people whether they have or not. I've even taught Dr. Horrible, Firefly, Buffy, and Serenity in my English 101 and 102 classes at university. I become incensed when someone insults it. I am crazy.

So it's nice to see it in words every now and again that someone else is just as crazy as I am.

(Except I'm pretty pissed about a spoiler regarding the Twilight reveal that I accidentally came across. If it's true, me and Joss Whedon are about to get into our very first fight.

January 11, 2010 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Leni said...

LOL @ "Kindly shut up about your stupid cheerleader vampire show".

I was the same way about Buffy. All snobby and content with my ignorance. When a friend finally forced me to watch it, I was pretty much hooked from day one. I discovered Firefly one boring Friday night and was in love with Joss by the following week.

For those of you who haven't watched Buffy or Angel, let me make two humble recommendations:

Buffy- Season 7, Episode 16 (I think) "Storyteller".

Angel- Season 4, Episode 6, "Spin the Bottle"

You'll be jumping in and won't have all the back story, but I think they can be enjoyed as stand alone episodes just the same. Both are very funny, with that classic Joss-y dark edge. It's true what they say- the man won't let you stay happy for long.


Can you imagine if Joss did a TV series or movie that Pat wrote? Or something? Anything? I'd fucking die of happiness and never get to see it. I just know it.

So Pat, if this ever happens... don't tell us. I don't want to die. Until after I see it, anyway...

January 11, 2010 7:02 PM  
Anonymous Essjay said...

Hey Pat,
Just tried to donate to Heifer and it wont let me use a debit card.. is there anyway around this? I don't have a credit card and I REALLY want to donate :(
Thanks :) and you should come back to the UK sometime, I missed you before!
Sam :) x

PS Haha, WV: unblopso

January 11, 2010 7:04 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Personally, I thought Firefly was the best work Whedon has ever done. I enjoyed everything else, some things more than others. Did not care for the way Marti Noxon handled Buffy when she had control. I actually didn't initially like Dollhouse. I wasn't going to bother watching season 2, but I'm SO glad I did. It has just blown me away. I'm sorry I doubted.

January 11, 2010 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Buffy, but Angel was even better. Sometimes I just got tired of Buffy's whining. Firefly was great as well.

The story arc in Angel where he gets tired of always playing the nice guy and gets rid of all of his friends and turns really dark is one of the heaviest things I've ever seen. And you are absolutely right about Wesley as well. It was realistic look at how someone could so drastically change after making such huge mistakes and having the consequences nearly destroy them.

As for Dollhouse. . . I watched two episodes and thought it completely sucked. Every character was unlikeable and the show did not have the wit and humor like Buffy and Angel did. But since you say it's so great maybe I'll try it again, even though it's getting canceled. lol

January 11, 2010 7:08 PM  
Blogger Jacob said...

"Some people I normally respect are all snarky about Dollhouse.

Fie, I say unto them. If you can't handle a subtle story, feel free to go watch MTV cribs. The rest of us will be right here, enjoying the awesome."

I don't quite know how to respond to this. Everything in that Penny-Arcade comic rings completely true to me. The first episodes of Dollhouse were dreadful. And I only did keep watching it out of a sense of twisted loyalty to Joss Whedon. Good thing I kept watching to episode 6, were it really gets kicked up a notch. Episode 6 is also a great place to rejump in for people who watched a few episodes of Dollhouse and hated it.

@Leni, "Storyteller" is one of my favourite episodes but its way too spoilery. Granted, I used the Faith fights a Vulcan scene to get my wayward friend to watch Buffy – but he said it cast a bit of a pale on his enjoyment of season 3.

When I watched Buffy I had picked up a certain amount of spoilers from the culture. Now that Buffy's an older show, newcomers may actually be able to start fresh.

January 11, 2010 7:40 PM  
Blogger Jessica Capelle said...

I would love to just bask in the awesomeness that is Joss. I watched Buffy and Angel from the beginning and truly annoy friends by insisting they watch. I even own a bunch of the Buffy books! I never watched Firefly or Serenity- both came along at bad times in my life. I should have known I needed to turn to Joss in my difficult times :-) I am putting them in my Netflix queue immediately.

Love Dr. Horrible. Dollhouse, I didn't get into, but watched last Friday's ep in the background while I read blogs, and it was fantastic! Now I will go back and give Dollhouse another try.

Thanks for a great article- heading to donate now. Would love to win the Whedon loot!

January 11, 2010 8:05 PM  
Anonymous Leni said...

Jacob is totally right about Storyteller and spoilers, that's a good point that I should have mentioned.

So if you take my advice be warned: spoilery.

Tabula Rasa is maybe less spoilery and almost as funny ;)


Now that I think if it, though- the Riley story arc in Buffy was annoying. I really hated that putz.

January 11, 2010 8:07 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Leni, I couldn't stand Riley either. The character just seemed so self-centered, and he blamed every hurtful thing he did to Buffy on her.

January 11, 2010 8:10 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Claire: They put the money where it will do the most good, so you can donate it however makes you happiest. It's all the same as far as the lottery's concerned....

January 11, 2010 9:03 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

"Have you considered the fact that you might not actually have a soul" made me laugh out loud. Thank you.

Congratulations on being 99% on the way to your fund-raising goal! That is nice to see. I'm poor as shit, but I put my little bit in, knowing that others are poorer in shit than I am.

All the best,
~Jonathan from Ottawa

January 11, 2010 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...


I have to say that I agree with you about Firefly, but completely disagree with you about Buffy. Even with the moderately clever takes on cliched material, I found it sophomoric. I like some Whedon's work, but your writing blows his away. If you wrote for TV, the same would hold true.

By the way, I bought "The Name of the Wind" the day it came out. It blew me away. I thought it was the best fantasy novel since Martin's Ice & Fire series. I recently turned both my 13 year old nephew and his dad onto it. We are all waiting with baited breath for # 2.



January 11, 2010 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Tess said...

Oh wow! You had me at Neil Gaiman. AND Stephen King... and Joss Whedon... and Clive Barker... and METEORITES! I think I love you. (Says she after clicking through all the links in the main raffle page.)

I found out about your blog through Whedonesque. And I almost cried when I read this page. My Joss story is similar to yours, in that I scoffed at the very idea of ever watching a show about a blond cheerleader called BUFFY, of all names. And I wasted so many years without bothering to bask in the awesomeness that is Joss. Until very recently (it's embarrassing to say how recently, really), when I decided to go on a Whedon binge. And now I'm almost done with watching everything the man has ever done.

And while I confess I didn't know you, I feel now compelled to read your blog religiously. Also, to start reading your books. :)

So, I guess this is my way of saying THANKS!!! for the coolest raffle I've ever had the pleasure of entering.

January 11, 2010 10:22 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

Thanks for the info, Pat!

I held a minute fundraiser at home this afternoon and got funds to triple my donation. Rock on!

And all hail Whedon! :)

January 11, 2010 11:13 PM  
Blogger teri123 said...

Mr. Rothfuss
I work in a Barnes and Noble and handsell your book to every fool who hasn't read it yet. I absolutely adore it (although it is extremely difficult to sum up in 20 words or less) but I hadn't realized exactly why you amazed so until I found that you too are a Whedonite! Brilliance abounds!!

January 11, 2010 11:19 PM  
Blogger Katrina said...

Yes, exactly! To everything you said.

As for the "what are you teaching these kids," I actually taught an college analytical writing class with Buffy as its theme, and one MA in Lit to another, anything Whedon is an amazing conference paper waiting to happen or published article.

No joke. Slayage is filled with brilliant, insightful articles.

January 12, 2010 12:14 AM  
Anonymous Erika said...

Thank you for my favorite blog place to get food for thought, great entertainment suggestions and consistent laughter. i'm always excited to find a new post- every one makes me chuckle :) Firefly is still possibly my favorite show ever and I'll have to give Buffy a try. thanks for giving me another smile

January 12, 2010 12:52 AM  
Blogger JenMo said...

Sign me up for the "will always be pissed about Firefly" newsletter. Though I am happy to see the actors from Firefly popping up on tv more frequently.

January 12, 2010 2:24 AM  
Blogger GregM said...

Just donated $20. You're less than a thousand away from your goal.

I actually was hip to Buffy's high quality early on--thanks to a rave review on avoided it for five seasons. Still not sure why.
And now I am a Whedonite.

I don't know if there's an episode that will automatically convince anyone, but I started watching before TV-on-DVD was common, and it was the Buffy-Angel arc on a set of three VHS tapes, leading up to "Becoming Part 1," and "Becoming, Part 2," which I hold is one of the greatest hours of TV. Certainly one of the very few to move me close to tears.

January 12, 2010 2:27 AM  
Blogger Vincent said...

Your blog brought me into contact with Dr.Horrible Sing-Along-Blog. (via proposition 8, I think)

And I am utterly grateful!

January 12, 2010 2:37 AM  
Blogger Jordan said...

Is it wrong to be inordinately disappointed that you weren't fascinated by the concept of Space Cowboys? But then I guess not everyone has seen Cowboy Bebop either.

January 12, 2010 3:10 AM  
Blogger Zelda Zap said...

I love it when you gush about Joss Whedon. It makes me feel better about the numerous blog posts I have written about you, and your novel.

Or about the time I called my friend Hadley while reading your blog just to say you signed off "later space cowboys" while wearing a Serenity shirt!

I'm one of the 15 or so people who watched Firefly when it it was on TV. I was a Buffy fan from the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer film, which I understand Mr. Whedon was not entirely pleased with. He is pretty god damn amazing. Dr. Horrible takes the cake.

January 12, 2010 5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm right there with you - Joss is simply a genius. Many, many thanks for spreading news of his amazing work. I too am shocked when I meet people who haven't heard of "The God" of television, and pretty much storytelling overall. Of course, I ask those ignorant and deprived people if they have ever watched "one little bit of decent television before?" and then force them to start watching all of Joss' work.

My story is similar to yours. A couple of years ago I stumbled upon Firefly- became a Browncoat and A Joss Whedon fan, and have hence watched and read everything of his since - several times... and still he remains to be the shiniest gorram writer, director and storyteller in all the 'verse.

January 12, 2010 6:01 AM  
Blogger gms said...

Great post!

I found Joss by way of a DVD of Firefly myself, and I suspect that your anger at its cancellation, like mine, stems from the fact that a beautiful thing came to life and then was killed off, and at the time we didn't know and didn't care. I can't be the only one who thought at the time, "Firefly? That's a dumb title. Ooh! CSI is in Miami now!"

And like other commenters, I'm right there with you on your initial reaction to Buffy. 'Cept I remember the movie coming out when I was in high school. Nothing could convince me to see it then, not even the sound of my hormones raging in unison at the sight of Kristy Swanson in a mini skirt. Why would I want to watch a low-budget TV version of a terrible movie?

Which led me to realize: it's the titles. The titles of all of his shows are just too... soft. Buffy. Angel. Firefly. Serenity. Dollhouse. Let's call Firefly what it really was: The Adventures of Han Solo in the Millennium Falcon. A lot more people would have tuned in, especially the dummies like me who didn't know any better.

I wish Joss would give his next project an ultra-macho, kick-ass title that's totally FOX-proof. He wouldn't have to change anything else about the way he writes. Give us an incredibly rich, multi-layered story full of humor and tragedy, throw in a young woman with super powers, since he can't seem to resist. Then call it Explosion. Ratings gold.

January 12, 2010 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"that academia is a tarbaby made out of bullshit and willful ignorance" - Yep, this is the funniest thing I've ever read. Well done, sir.

January 12, 2010 7:03 AM  
Blogger marky said...

Dollhouse is Mr Whedon’s best work in my opinion.

The final episode in the first series blew me away. It threw open all kinds of doors in terms of where the story could go.

Topher, is one of my favorite characters in the series. The one liners, and his constant struggle with his conscience makes for great viewing. And, let’s not forget that Eliza is smoking hot too….And a great wee actress. But mostly hot.

We only had a couple of episodes of the second series here, and then it stopped. I think it’s back again this year at some point, and I think BBC2 might have picked it up which will bring it to a bigger UK audience than just the SKY TV viewers.

I’ve always been pissed about the fact they canceled Firefly too. One of the best TV moments of all time, was when Mal kicked Crow into Serenity's engine intake. I did not see that one coming, and it led to a massive ‘OOOFFF’ moment for me.

A great blog entry Pat, and might I just add that this year the quality of prizes for winning have surpassed last years epic amount. It’s been a fantastic response by quality authors. Good times.

Thank you.

January 12, 2010 7:10 AM  
Anonymous Theo said...

That was an entertaining blog, Thoroughly amusing. Whedon would be "or is" proud.

January 12, 2010 7:54 AM  
Blogger wirelessrobin said...

Woot! I just bought some honeybees! YAY!!!!

January 12, 2010 9:24 AM  
Blogger Fernanda said...

I'm a fan of yours from Brazil and I am, in fact, reading your blog for the first time(what kind of fan is that? Never mind).
I guess I don't have to mention how much I enjoyed it. And you're probably going to see my comments from now on.
You made me notice that I have to watch Buffy again(or maybe another Whedon's work that I haven't?)
Anyway, thanks for your funny story, I'll make donations when I get a chance. Sorry if my english was not that good.
I'm cheering you here from my country, keep with the good work!

January 12, 2010 9:38 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Well you just became evener cooler and my new hero.

I wish we weren't so friggin broke so I could donate even a small amount of money to your very awesome fundraiser, but that is the life of having a spouse doing his PHD and having a 15 month old and my hours cut back at work due to the economy.

In the mean time I continue to follow your blog and wait patiently for book two.

And take notes on the writing process since I have finally achieved a novel and now have to begin the scary task of revising it. Interestingly enough your current post on Whedon was helpful.



January 12, 2010 10:42 AM  
Blogger sparkly said...

Loved Buffy and Angel, but really loved Firefly/Serenity--still pissed it got canceled.

Fave line:

"Did you see us arguing?"

I had not heard of Dollhouse, but will hie thee immediately to amazon.


January 12, 2010 1:11 PM  
Blogger sparkly said...

In 2001, while I was studying English at USC, Professor Cynthia Young had a whole class on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was full within five minutes the first day of reg. I didn't get to take it to my eternal sadness.


January 12, 2010 1:15 PM  
Blogger Toronto Can't Stop The Serenity said...

I've been checking and checking, waiting to see what Whedony thing was going to come up. It exceeded my expectations!
Since the point of this all is charity after all, may I put in a plug for this year's Can't Stop The Serenity fund raising for Joss's favourite charity, Equality Now? We are just getting started but keep an eye on for details.

January 12, 2010 1:21 PM  
Blogger Maria Stahl said...

Dear Patrick,

I just love you.

FAVE HORRIBLE LINE: This world is a mess and I just need to rule it!

January 12, 2010 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think tar baby may be considered a racist term.

From the wikipedia article: "In recent years, several politicians who have publicly used the term have encountered some controversy, mocking, and censure from African-American civil rights leaders, members of the popular daily media, and other politicians.
In an interview, Toni Morrison said the following of its use in her book: "Tar Baby is also a name, like 'n****r,' that white people call black children, black girls, as I recall..."

January 12, 2010 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you spoke from my heart there ^.^


January 12, 2010 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Isaac said...

It's a testament to Joss Whedon's megalomania (or rampant narcissism?) that his name is nearly twice the size of the X-men logo on those books.

January 12, 2010 2:24 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

Somewhat off topic, yes... But I've been reeding som of your older blog posts.

What happened to the book dedicated "To Hell"?

January 12, 2010 2:33 PM  
Blogger Xenaclone said...

Thank-you :-). I loved 'The name of the wind' and now you're a Joss fan.


If you have the time in your busy schedule, try 'Chuck'. For a start it has TMTCJ, aka Adam Baldwin. Next, it has a lot of a Joss SOH about it. Third it's for geeks and nerds. Fourthly, Yvonne Strahovski. Go, Google. If you're straight, you'll wibble!

The 'verse is continuing - Browncoats:Redemption, this fall.

January 12, 2010 3:49 PM  
Anonymous elena said...

I watched Firefly on SciFi when they ran the whole series the weekend before the movie. I watched it, then went to see Serenity, and was epically confused why a cancelled show I had caught in a marathon on a weekday was a big, blockbuster movie..
But I got into Buffy way, way, way, WAY late. I loved Alyson Hannigan on How I Met Your Mother, and rented the Buffy DVDs from the library...and opened the floodgates. A kajillion dollars in DVD sales later, I'm a total Whedon fan and loving Dollhouse, even on its bad days.
Whedon's a storytelling master. I'm in awe of how he takes cliched TV storylines that have been redone to death (mother's death, abusive-ish boyfriend, annoying little sister, brooding bad boy the protagonist can't help but love, lesbian college experiences, dorky sidekicks, wise british guy), and makes them new. and fresh. and utterly addictive. It's amazing.

January 12, 2010 4:04 PM  
Blogger Valerie said...

I just want to put this out there: Buffy season 3 is one of the best seasons of television I have ever seen.

Also, the season 2 finale IS THE BEST season finale of any TV show I have ever seen, EVER.

I will also be irrationally (no, that's not the right word, my ire is totally rational...maybe "excessively") angry about Firefly being canceled until the day I die. A pox on those idiot TV execs forever!

January 12, 2010 4:10 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

I am an aunt (I'm also typing this with one hand due to the lovey-dovey kitten occupying the other arm, so forgive typos, please). My nieces (9 and 14) constantly ask to watch Buffy, although now I'm required to acquire all David Tennant-Dr. Who episodes (yeah, they SO twist my arm). We used 'Hush' as a game one day to minimize the tribal skreetching of the nieces and nephews. Can't think of a better role model for a young girl than Buffy, who makes mistakes and is human, but a hero. And my 75 year old dad will watch Firefly and Serenity, mostly because he thinks Morena Baccarin is hot. And he takes note of when Dollhouse is on.

Joss is fun for the whole family!

January 12, 2010 4:14 PM  
Blogger Zafri Mollon said...

While I like chuck, I like Castle more. The show really isn't all that special, but it has Nathan Fillion. Thanks to firefly, I have an unusual affinity for that man (Dr. Horrible's sing along blog didn't help much either).
The Halloween episode is awesome.

January 12, 2010 4:19 PM  
Blogger Danica said...

This is wonderful. You are wonderful.

January 12, 2010 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, before I read your book and blog, I didn't know about Joss Whedon. I didn't care for Buffy and never heard of Proposition 8. (Here in Germany not alot people know about it.)

But you've started me on a lot of bad habits. Yes, they're bad. They consume much more time than I actually have. If my dogs knew it was your fault that they had to wait for their walk, because I was busy watching the guild, they'd probably hate you. Lucky for you, they don't have a clue.

Because of you I watched 'Legend of Neil' and started on Firefly. I watched Dr. Horrible about 12 times and bought the DVD just so I could force others to watch it, too. (My piano teacher now wants to do some of the songs with me. Needless to say, he loved it.)

I took a look at those baby books you recomended, even though I don't plan on having one in the next ten years.
Ok, make that six years.

Theres a lot more of stuff you brought to my attention. I'm just to lazy to write a complete list.

The point is:
Thank you for broading my horizon and lenghening my to-do reading list to never known dimensions. I had hours of fun.

Yours, Jolene

January 12, 2010 4:32 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

I've never actually heard of you but after catching a like to your blog on Whedonesque I'm going to have to check out your books. Your blog was amazing and totally captures why I love me some Joss Whedon.

I've been a fan since the episode "Angel" in the first season of Buffy. I hadn't planned on watching the show. I thought the movies was cute but I thought making it into a show was a dumb idea.

Boy was I wrong. The show had me hooked as soon as I started watching - which was completely buy accident. I happened to be flipping through the channels and it caught my eye.

When I heard the premise for Firefly I wasn't so sure about it but since I loved Buffy and Angel so much I gave it a shot and totally loved it. Especially after I got it on DVD and saw the show in it's intended order instead of the order FOX thought was best. Then I was really pissed at FOX for canceling the show.

Dr. Horrible was so very awesome and Dollhouse gets more and more amazing each week. I'm so sad it's canceled.

So, thanks to your well written blog about Joss Whedon I am now going to have to check out your books. Anyone who loves Joss has got to be great. :)

January 12, 2010 5:30 PM  
Blogger btown-babysitters said...

You said it all so well. I feel confident I can call my self a brown coat and not have people think I'm nuts. Long live Joss and his amazing imagination. yours ain't so bad either.

January 12, 2010 9:02 PM  
OpenID Qeith said...

OK, ready to be choked here.

I bought that wonderful Nick Cage movie "Family Man" and inside was a coupon for a free movie! One of my options for this freebie was "Serenity", which I chose because: a) the pretty colors on the package, and b) it was free. I watched it twice in a row, then watched the extra stuff, which featured "Firefly". My response after watching all of those in about a day and a half was the same as your roommate's. So now, to keep Whedon going I read/promote/give away as much of his merch as I can.

My neck is available on weekends and evenings after 6, but remember, I am an advocate, so please be gentle.

January 12, 2010 10:19 PM  
Anonymous William said...

I'm pretty sure my man-crush on Patrick was just increased by his man-crush on Joss Whedon. It's like some kind of man-crush virus. Which would be a cool name for a band, or a biowarfare lab.

January 12, 2010 10:43 PM  
OpenID alwaysoptimistc said...

A great, great story, thanks very much for sharing.

I especially identify with your post as I was quite adamant about not watching Buffy too.

My tale begins back when I was in High School working for barely more than minimum wage at the video store. One of the few perks was that I got free rentals, and while watching far more movies than is healthy, I saw the Kristy Swanson Buffy movie. There were elements in it that were mildly endearing, it had a certain camp charm, but overall I didn't find it very good.

Later, when I heard that they were adapting it to TV, then my initial reaction was shock that "they were ripping off that movie to make a cheap tv show". I mean, TV adaptations are pretty much always worse than the originals, right? So I immediately wrote the show off.

Except that I kept hearing from unlikely sources that it was actually good. I was having none of that though. So I gave a lot of vague promises to those who encouraged me to check it out. "Sure, sure, I'm just SO busy, but I'll watch it when I can, I promise". Eventually my excuses began to run out and I had increasingly heard good things about the show. So one night, when I had literally nothing else going on, I decided to watch the new episode. It was called "The Body". Any episode can be someone's first and it just so happened that that was mine. I stared at the show in amazement. This was nothing like the Kristy Swanson movie. I didn't know what was going on, but people enjoyed watching that sort of thing every week? All I could think was "Wow, this is some seriously fracked up s&%t". I then vowed to never watch Buffy again.

A bit of time went by and I was checking out the Fall Preview Edition of TV Guide (back when TV Guide was decent and it had reviewers whose opinion I at least somewhat respected). One of them kept going on about this new show called Firefly on Fox. He made it seem darn appealing and I saw that it starred Nathan Fillion, who I recalled favorably from some earlier shows. I was put off by the mention of Whedon and also that it was on Fox, who had canceled several of my favorite shows (R.I.P. Adventures of Brisco County Jr.). But I decided to give it a shot. I can't say that I immediately found Firefly quite as brilliant as I would later, aired in the correct order and without pre-emptions or commercials, but I still very much enjoyed it. As usual, Fox canceled it soon after. I saw the Serenity movie when it was released and later on, Dr. Horrible and Astonishing X-men too.

I held out for many years with Buffy though. But as I visited Internet forums and listened to people who loved all the shows then my previously steely resolve began to weaken. And then I saw it. The Complete 7 Season Chosen Collection for $70. That was a darn good deal and I like bargains. I hemmed and hawed all day but finally gave in and bought the thing. It arrived and we eyed each other wearily, one of us had to blink first and it just so happened that it was me. The first episodes were not perfect, but many shows that start out take a while to find their footing. And I knew that it would become more serious later. I wound up enjoying it very much, not that there weren't flaws, but it did a lot of things right. Then came Angel and then Dollhouse started soon after. I've watched all of Dollhouse from the beginning. It has it's flaws too, but there's a lot to recommend about it as well.

So that's my story and how I came to find Joss and his works. :)

January 13, 2010 12:40 AM  
Anonymous Sam said...

Dollhouse had such potential, but it got lost somewhere in fairly-uninteresting filler episodes. When the show is on, it's incredible. Whe it's not, it's... really pretty boring. Joss always does that though. :/ His good episodes are incredible. His incredible episodes are beyond incredible. And his 'eeehh' episodes aren't really very interesting. Dollhouse Season One should've ended where season two stopped for Christmas.

January 13, 2010 12:52 AM  
Anonymous bluesun89 said...

I love you so fucking much. This whole story makes me fall in love with my beloved Joss all over again. I have a friend who watched Serenity before Firefly. I've yet to forgive her. And I shall always, always, ALWAYS be pissed about Firefly.

January 13, 2010 2:52 AM  
Blogger Christopher Feyrer said...

Not creepy at all. We named our son after Joss, because of the influence his writing has had on how we view the world and each other.

Joss Whedon understands emotions, their convolutions and rawness. A lot of people don't get it because they have become used to being spoon fed a story instead of told what they need to hear.

January 13, 2010 3:25 AM  
Blogger Justin B. said...

*Apologies for long post, the topic of Joss Whedon struck a chord and encouraged me to write my melodramatic account of events leading to my current Joss Whedon obsessions.*

Nearly every writer has approximately one fervid fan who claims their creation saved their life in many more ways than one. Joss Whedon, within this case persuaded me to no longer be a Twilight fan, inspired my writing greatly, and kept me alive through one of the most difficult times within my life.

Perhaps watching Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse during the entirety of 2009 was divinely influenced. Prior to 2009, I had only attended college for about a semester before leaving early due to being within a deep depression. If I wanted to describe this depression's deepness, I would say that I was so detached from reality that the advent of Christmas could not shrug me from my catatonic state, late 2008.

Instead another show worked as my beacon of light and inspirited my faltering self esteem. My aunt had loaned me the entire Buffy collection due to being a Twilight fan during my senior year of high school. Little did she know that my Twilight fandom dissipated after having to read the worst book in existence, Breaking Dawn.

Admittedly, I had my doubts about Buffy since I tended to mistrust television series that appeared to be mindless fighting shows. For that reason, the season sat in my door room for most of the semester.

One fated day appeared when my mind awakened from my catatonic state. It was probably one of those days where the idea of watching Buffy was absurd since most of my thoughts were focused on the overwhelming need to kill myself.

But some sane part of my mind, I'm eternally grateful towards. One sole neuron pulsed and override the intent of those other morose neurons. It propelled me to watch Buffy and persuaded me to continue watching even when Season one appeared cliche.

By the end of the season, I was hooked to the show and continued watching the subsequent seasons for the next two weeks. At this time, around the beginning of 2009, I remained within my home, due to agoraphobia. Therefore, I had an endless amount of time to watch Buffy and was able to finish all five seasons before my birthday a week a half later.

In that small week, I regained some hold within my life; resuscitated some faith within a future. As with Buffy, though the challenges seemed insurmountable, I was able to depend on the faith within my unique abilities and in a promising future. Those five seasons were followed after by two more, received on my birthday, two days after completion. My birthday was another divine event, occurring only two days after finishing the first five seasons.

I'll never forget madly tearing open my gifts with a surprising amount of energy. I will always remember my mother's teary eyes because she was seeing a different boy, one who seemed to be convalescing due to external forces of well written, poignant nature.

Though my depression continued till up around August of 2009, I was able to finally awaken my soul and see the world around me with refreshed eyes. Slowly the sensation of emotions returned to me due to watching Buffy, Angel, Firefly entirely for about four weeks of my life. And then, I watched Buffy and Angel again for another four weeks. Up around April, I discovered Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog and then the first season of Dollhouse.

Without any of Joss Whedon's creations, I would not be alive. To some that may appear to be a hyperbole. But without Joss Whedon, I would never have returned to college and received proper treatment for my OCD. More importantly, without Joss Whedon, I would never have begun work on a science fiction novel with a psychological bent. Moreover, his characters, primarily Angel, allowed me strive for beneficiary action rather than brooding endlessly about the poor state of our world.

January 13, 2010 7:11 AM  
Blogger Justin B. said...

Meeting Joss Whedon would possibly be the only encounter within my life that would involve an embarrassing spillage of tears. More than likely, I would be unable to completely depict the profound way Joss Whedon invigorated my passion for writing and most notably, my love for the present state of things in my life.

Even now, through this highly convoluted post, I am crying thinking of the first smile formed after two months of apathy and solemnity. A year ago, to this day, I watched Buffy which was the impetus towards my eventual recovery. Never in my life have I written college entrance essays about a television series, studied scripts of any show or movie till Buffy appeared within my life.

Though I may never meet Joss Whedon and be able to describe in full how he saved my life. How he single-handedly forced me back to the world of academia even while suffering some remain of my agoraphobia and the material of the outside world. As Dr. Horrible reclaims "A Man's Gotta Do What a Man's Gotta Do," sometimes we must pivot ourselves towards the hope of a promising future and clutch our true selves tightly. While there may be detractors to our cause, at least one of ourselves remains to be the biggest supporter.

Thanks Patrick Rothfuss for also influencing and reshaping my life!! I happened to read your book after watching all Joss Whedon's shows and you aided in my recovery as well. To others who are wary about watching Buffy or any of Joss Whedon's shows, I implore you to watch them. Believe me, afterwords, you will be forever indebted me for showing you the way to nerd nirvana.

January 13, 2010 7:11 AM  
Blogger Justin B. said...

*I meant "exclaimed," instead of reclaimed when mentioning the lyrics from Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog Sadly blogger does not allow one to revise their posts. So hopefully everyone knows that the multiple grammar mistakes are due to the speed I typed this.*

January 13, 2010 7:21 AM  
Anonymous Tobias said...

Hi man! Really good work with this huge world builders project of yours!
No more news on the wise man's fear?
I know you're probably tired of people asking, but i can't help myself take the risk of awakening your wrath, that though i figure it will not reach me all the way here to the northern part of Sweden:) Anyway loved "name of the wind"! The protagonist feels very unique not because he’s a red head,(that Rand al Thor is too) but the very complexity and variety of his characteristics!// Tobias

January 13, 2010 7:59 AM  
Blogger Shaun Hutchinson said...

I think I just cried a little.

Also, I'm with you on Dollhouse. I've loved it since the first episode. I even loved the episode where she was a pop star's bodyguard. I'm a little ashamed of the people who are only now watching and going, "This is the best show ever."

January 13, 2010 9:57 AM  
Blogger Lex said...

I found you through a friend of mine and i have to say i probably would have been one of those people giving you shit about Buffy when it was on tv! lol I am now introducing my 16 year old sister to it and she is in love! I started her on firefly this weekend and she is already pissed it's canceled but happy there is a movie!! :) When Buffy and Firefly are done, we will move on to Angel and then Dollhouse.
Like an above poster said, come to Canada... lol

January 13, 2010 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Eric said...


Proposition 8 can be damned for all I care. Damned I say.

Although you still don't return my phone calls so I know exactly how you feel.

On a serious note, Wheadon is a genius. I think we should all fling poop at the fox network. Yes, like monkeys but I can't figure out a constructive way to get my point across.

Sincerly (well not really),

January 13, 2010 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't understand why being a buffy fan means being shat on when trying to point out valid problems with the show. i own the set. i've been watching the entire thing about five times a year for the past four. there are times i feel so shitty that season 3 is the only thing that gets me through the day.

this is the best show ever made - with the exception of battlestar. all true. but joss whedon, even though he's exceptionally good at gender, sucks at race. there are moments in buffy that scream of orientalism and as a hardcore buffy buff i wish i could block it out but i can't. i'm disturbed at joss' portrayals of the first slayer; the tribal, backwards african men in season 7 and the little blond girl's defiant taking on of the black patriarchy; picking up bits of other cultures and languages for no apparent reason - swahili, turkish etc.; and of course, exotic black kendra from faraway lands who talks about how her 'people' take slayers away from their families when they're babies and deposit them at their watchers' doorsteps leaving them unable to go to school, have friends, talk to boys etc -- a stark contrast to the little blonde sunny white californian slayer. oh and then there's the part where she imitates kendra's accent which makes me wince a little everytime i see it.

so yeah, this shit is pissing off, as is the fact that criticizing the dude makes you a whiney titbaby. joss can do gender, but when it comes to race and culture, he is a very ordinary white man. and this makes me a bit sad.

~ Flukes

January 13, 2010 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Jodith said...

You're going to force me to go back and take another stab at Buffy, aren't you? I watched a couple of episodes because everyone thought it was so wonderful, but I didn't like teenagers when I was one. Maybe I'll go back and try again.

Firefly, on the other hand, is awesomeness piled upon awesomeness. I've been known to stroll around singing "The Man Called Jayne", and it's my wish in life to be buried in a hat just like his.

Seriously, though, Firefly was one of the most original shows I've seen in a long, long time. Like you, I'll die angry at NBC for canceling it (that and Star Trek, which I'm still mad about 40 years later).

This is the first I've heard of Dollhouse. It must go on my Netflix list.

And after the comment of "What the hell are you teaching these kids" and the "He never returns my calls", I think I'm now an official Patrick Rothfuss groupy (don't get excited, though, because I'm fat, frumpy, and middle-aged *laughs*), even more so than when I read your book and then learned you sponsored the feminist group at your school.

January 16, 2010 10:09 PM  
Blogger R. said...

Hi Patrick,
first of all I hope that you have a great new year and thank you for "give" me Dr Horrible to know. It's amazing
Anyway, I just finish to read your book. You're just brillian! Here the book only (don't know how to say) get out (?) september last year and I just knew that it exist because of a friend. The first thing (ok, not the first but near) that have my attention in the book is your Joss Whedon's shirt. it's like "ohh great! I'll love this book" xD
Probably I'll could just read the book 2 next christmas or in 2011 but it worths the waitting time.
I'm sorry my English I'm kinda rusty.

A huge hug from a Portuguese fan,

January 18, 2010 2:44 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Firefly made me a Nathan Fillion fan for LIFE. L I F E. I've since become enthralled with Castle, which I purchased the first season of and have seen every following episode. As well, I've not missed a minute of Dollhouse; I made the mistake of watching the unreleased 'end episode' and fear I know how the series will conclude, and worse yet, that fear looks to become a reality sooner than expected.

Quote: "Side note: if you watch the movie before watching the series, I will magically appear and choke you."

That comment arose in me an exuberant guffaw. I couldn't define it any other way. My roommate, recently awakened by my outburst of laughter, does not share my current mood. Oh well.

January 19, 2010 10:13 AM  
Blogger thelifeandtimesofnicholasjoseph said...

In my opinion, Angel was the best thing JW has created. Love the dark vampire theme. thats how a vampire story should go on and not sparkly or teeny. still keeping reservation about dollhouse though. i havent go through firefly and buffy doesnt really bite my attention, yes blame my country for not picking it up. now how about Mr.JW write for a game. if he can do this, he'll be forever enshrined in a corner of my house.

January 20, 2010 12:18 AM  
Blogger thelifeandtimesofnicholasjoseph said...

Quote: "Side note: if you watch the movie before watching the series, I will magically appear and choke you."

am going to do it now. if your face is going to be the last thing i see before i die then i'll be the happiest person in the whole world.

January 20, 2010 12:26 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Entwisle said...

I'm very happy to say that i recently discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer, i had never really watched it before because it tended to be on the wrong chanels at the wrong times (im sure it was on sky 1 in England). I have to say that i quickly got addicted to it (not a brilliant thing to happen in exam season) and will probably end up watching Joss Whedon's other contributions to the world. I'm glad a "serious adult" such as yourself also enjoys his TV shows, now I can throw that in the face of the people who mocked me. Ha ha ha haa.

Go Pat and Joss

January 20, 2010 12:47 PM  
Blogger Dinah Saur said...

You, sir, are one of my new favorite people. I am of quite a similar opinion regarding Joss Whedon as yourself and am so glad to find someone defending Dollhouse with me, etc.

Wonderful testimony!

January 20, 2010 2:16 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

My journey traveled a similar path as yours, sans using my English degree to teach. The Whedonverse is my chose alternate reality any day. I even go so far to get my fix with such inane musical musings as these:

Long live Joss!

January 20, 2010 7:39 PM  
Blogger Pierce Monroe said...


I'll take Abrams over Whedon any day. *hides*

January 23, 2010 10:00 AM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

No wonder I like your book.... Your a Whendon freak!

If I was a woman I would ask you to make babies with me.

January 25, 2010 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're a pretty damn talented author, however I'd love for a skilled writer like you to explain:-

a) Why the Council waited until Faith awoke before doing anything about it?

b) Why Faith didn't split town when she found out about Buffy's Cruicatmen.

c) Where the motivation was for the Scoobies not to kill Spike when he was chipped? US. military tech never malfunctions? Throw in XANDER, the show's great vampire hater, tamely allowing Buffy to move Spike in.

d) What would possess Angel to hire Harmony as his secretary when she had already betrayed him once?

e) How Lindsey powered himself up, got hold of Spike's amulet, and managed to manouver himself into Eve's bed in NINETEEN days between the end of Buffy and the start of Angel Season 5?

f) How ONE uber can nearly kill the bestest Slayer of all time while in the show finale, newly Called Slayers can slaughter dozens?

g) WHY in 'Get It Done' (I think), the Calling of the FIRST Slayer is = to rape (rightly), while what Buffy does to unknowning girls across the world is empowerment?

h) Giles completely ignoring pre-evil Faith because the plot demands she has no links with anyone, never mind how Giles treats all the other Scoobies.

i) Giles leaving in Season 6. Yeah ASH wanted time off. But the best reason the genius can come up with is Buffy needs to grow up without him? This guy who stayed after her lover killed his lover? Really? Why not have Giles going to deal with Council in-fighting? Or have him called home by the Devon Coven? Etc, etc.

And that's off the top of my head and having not watched the show since it aired.

Whedon's glib dialouge fails to hide the fact his world-building is sloppy and his plot contrivances are many.

Watch Babylon 5, The 4400, & Supernatural if you want good, intelligent genre TV.

January 30, 2010 4:42 AM  
Blogger Blitz Squirrel said...

Pat, I have to say I think there's a line. And that line is crossed when you're treating FANS of Whedon with derision because they're not "big enough" fans.

Douglas Adams is still, despite the whole "death" thing, among my favorite authors. That doesn't mean I can't honestly say "I though 'Life, the Universe, and Everything' was a bit of a mess and not as good as the other 4 books in that series."

Being critical does not devalue liking the work in the first place. Buffy "getting weird" in Season 5 doesn't make the first 4 any less good, and it both surprises and kind of disturbs me that you would, intentionally or no, seek to shut down people's critical thinking and personal response to art simply because they disagree with you.

Keep writin' the good fight.

January 31, 2010 8:23 PM  
Blogger Zaphod said...

"Pissed until the day I die"... that would make a good tattoo.

For those that have wandered away from Dollhouse after a few episodes, skip ahead to the season 1 finale. It jumps forward in the timeline so you can see where the story is heading. Once you know where it's headed, the individual episodes are much more gripping.

February 4, 2010 11:43 PM  
OpenID Bryan said...

I LOVE FIREFLY. I totally agree with you as far as being pissed forever and ever about it being canceled. When the DVD's came out I forced all of my friends to watch, in some cases going as far as threatening to end the friendship if they didn't comply. I have actually convinced some of these same friends to read you book based on the fact that you are wearing a Joss Whedon t-shirt. Everyone is making a big deal about JJ Abrahms and he is good I will give him that but in humble opinion he is a more watered down consumer oriented version of Joss. God! didnt Fox realize that Firefly had the potential to be the Star Trek for this generation??? Hopefully someday some how it will live again just like Star Trek! Long LIve J W!

February 5, 2010 7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an English teacher, and when I teach Beowulf, I also show "Fear Itself." The students then take a test comparing the heroes and villains. I also show Dr. Horrible at the end of the heroes unit and ask students how heroes and villains have changed over the years. If I could, I would teach all Whedon all the time. It's pretty much everything they need to know about the world. Period.

February 7, 2010 7:40 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Clearly you are a person of great taste and discernment. I will go look into your books now.

February 12, 2010 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Fergus said...

Marry me.

March 2, 2010 4:29 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I'm addicted to your blog. Which is good, but it's bad, because I need to be at school in 8 minutes and I'm sitting here, hair a mess, in my PJ's, staring at the screen. Laughing harder than I've laughed in ages.

I was converted to Whedonism in January. I must admit, I'm not quite as bad as you yet. I'm on the fifth season of Buffy. =) But I'm getting there.

If you ever have free time, I've got another good one for you. If you love Whedon, you'll love it. Ever heard of Supernatural, created by Eric Kripke? Best. Show. Since. Buffy.

And the fanboy crush is cute. =)

March 25, 2010 8:23 AM  

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