Joss Whedon – Season 8

August 4th, 2007

The Onion’s AV Club section of  August 2, 2007 issue has Joss Whedon as its cover feature.

The intereview talks extensively about Buffy, Season 8, the probable Season 9 — and the very probable Angel – After the Fall, Brian Lynch doing the outline. 

Which, of course, explains why Angel was always b and c level when compared to Buffy, coz the guy just doesn’t have the imagination, the emotional penetration or sense of rhythm that Whedon’s got.  It would all be great — except there was Buffy … and they dragged all the secondaries in, and that showed why they were the secondaries on Buffy, and not the primary.

He also speaks about the Wonder Woman project, as to why it didn’t work out, and very graciously too.

I checked on The Onion’s website, but though other articles included in this “AV Club” section are there, this isn’t listed.  It is in the paper edition though.  Vaquero very kindly picked it up and brought it home because he thought I’d be interested.  Wasn’t that sweet?

Love, C.

7 Responses to “Joss Whedon – Season 8”

  1. Beth S.on 04 Aug 2007 at 6:05 pm

    So why didn’t Wonder Woman work out?

  2. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 05 Aug 2007 at 8:59 am

    Who knows?

    Regarding Buffy, even Buffy hadn’t hit her stride with her first season. Certainly not with all the episodes. The first episode I watched was “The Puppet Show”–hardly stellar. And while “Inca Mummy Girl” was doctored by Joss and had some of the best lines of any of the seasons, the plot itself was a wreck: As my friend Adie said while we were watching it, “Those are supposed to be guys clothes she’s wearing. Where in the hell did she get fitted jeans?”

    Angel was not designed from the start like Buffy; it more rather happened as the opportunity came up. Ergo, as Angel and Cordelia got their own show, Spike and Anya moved into the arc slots originally intended fro Angel and Cordelia on Buffy.

    Wesley was an excellent addition to Angel. Gunn… How do I say this without un-PC flamingness? Well, he was introduced at a the time the networks were getting rattled for more actors “of color,” with “of color” here meaning “African-American.” And while this made reasonable sense with the demographics of LA (though hispanic would have made more sense, frankly), the character was pretty meh and one-note, especially when compared to Fred and the rather excellent slate of long-term antagonists.

    Anyway, in defense of Angel, look at what was done with “Smile Time” especially compared with the earlier exploration of the same theme on Buffy with “The Puppet Show.” And the whole Pylea arc was excellent.

  3. Constance Ashon 05 Aug 2007 at 3:08 pm

    You know, the sense I kept getting throughout “Smile Time” was how much the writers enjoyed their sadism in making Angel’s character look as stupid as possible. I felt so sorry for the actor. The entire show just felt mean to me.

    Gunn was never what Trick was, or Principal Wood either.

    Upon the first two viewings of “Inca Mummy” I agreed with what you said. But this is funny — the more often I view the series, the more I see in the eps that initally one dismissed. Like “Beer Bad.” Generally these eps reveal and develop important traits of individual characters that perhaps we hadn’t noticed so much prior — and that will play much more significant roles in the plots and stories coming up the queue.

    Nevertheless, I’ve never seen any of the actors do anything impressive with characters played outside of Buffy. Alyson Hannigan and Charisma Carpenter, for instance, on Veronica Mars — both of them fall back on certain approaches they developed so effectively for the characters they played then, but outside of that contect, these no longer look like acting skills, but ticks.

    Indeed, Veronica Mars seemed itself to be nothing but a cynical aggregation of the ticks of the most successful shows of the last few years, from the Allie McBeal show to Sex in the City, tthe voice over address to the audience by the principal), for instance, as well a place where the Buffy and Angel orphaned actors all got a little bread and butter — shoot, even the actress who played Darla showed up on VM.

    But I couldn’t even get any of the kids straight — they all seemed the same. And VM herself — gads, give that woman something to eat! (I couldn’t for a second believe the actress — or any of them — were high school kids — the lighting was done so inexpertly on some episodes they all looked about 40). Nor could I ever care about their problems. Or figure out what they were … VM was soap opera, whereas Buffy — and Angel too — were not. But Angel just was not in the same class as Buffy on any level.

    But anyway, to get back to the thing –

    The rhythm of editing, the characters and the actors who fill those characters and how they understand them, are everything.

    Love, C.

  4. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 05 Aug 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Well, Seth Green did a very nice turn in Greg the Bunny, but I think that’s because every show you go to, Seth Green is pretty much playing Seth Green. I saw him at Comicon one year, on stage with David Boreanaz, Joss, Alyson, Charisma and others, and he still sounded like Seth Green.

    As for making fun of Angel and torturing him, that’s part of the fun of Spike.

    With Veronica Mars, I vastly enjoyed it, in great part due to the character arc shown with Logan, and the surprising bit of character development with Dick. The bit with the high school students not looking like high school students…I long ago suspended that bit of disbelief and left it for dead. There’ve never been any high school students on TV who looked much like high school students. It’s like trying to believe that Harry Potter is only fifteen in the last movie.

    As for reusing actors in different roles, it’s been particularly entertaining to note the stable of SF/fantasy/horror actors rotated in to roles on Ugly Betty, from her current squeeze Henry also being Jake 2.0 as well as the ghost of James from season 2 or 3 of Buffy (all played by Chrisopher Gorham) or Veronica’s occasional squeeze Deputy Leo is Betty’s semi-nemesis, Alexis’s new assistant. And Henry’s manipulative girlfriend was formerly Hiro’s sweet doomed girlfriend and before that the other girlfriend from My Super Ex-Girlfriend. (Of course the producer is Silvio Horta, formerly of Jake 2.0, so there’s no surprise in him asking for his favorite actors.)

    As for better or worse acting, Alyson and Charisma were both playing foils on Veronica Mars, not leads. I think they were reasonably cast as the older sister and the trophy wife.

  5. Constance Ashon 06 Aug 2007 at 1:14 pm

    One season of Veronica Mars, plus 4 of the second season was all I could tolerate.

    As for the center of Buffy — the only time I’ve ever seen her was in some eps of the pre-Buffy sex and sadism rich Southern California kids thing — title of which escapes entirely. And in an ep in Sex in the City, I think Season 3, in which she plays low person on the totem pole of a talent agency ‘taking a meeting / lunch’ with Carrie Bradshaw out in L.A. The two actresses in the same frame, one playing a vapid southern CA, LA Hollywood type, and the other aping what her character — who is also a vapid NYCity media type — thinks is vapid, blahblahblah, was mindboggling. Not saying this was good, mind you, but definitely jaw-dropping.

    What’s happened to SMG Big Breakout Movies? They never seem to get released — Southland Tales, for instance, and now The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing has gotten re-titled to the vapid Suburban Girl, and the release date is given as this month — and it’s in Australia. People who saw it back in April here at the Tribeca Film Festival says it’s bloody awful. A clothes catalog with the truly icky Alec Baldwin being a dirty old guy crawling on affectless SMG.

    Also, does anyone know why she doesn’t appear at all in any of the dvd features in the Buffy series? All the other actors do, and the less important their character, the more of them you seem to see ….

    Love, C.

  6. Muneravenon 06 Aug 2007 at 2:23 pm

    I actually thought Charisma Carpenter had the chops to do more on “Angel” but I thought she got written into the corner a lot.

    One problem with “Angel” for me was the bad guys. They were more interesting than the good guys. I actually LIKED the two lead evil lawyers and wanted to know more about them far more than I wanted to know more about “our heroes”.

    I always thought the Gunn character was the result of an aneurism.

    One last “Buffy” and “Angel” thought: Juliet Landeau as Drusilla was the best character ever wasted almost completely by a TV series. Tragic, complicated, and just…they did nothing with her. Still sad about that.

  7. Constance Ashon 06 Aug 2007 at 7:13 pm

    Agree with you so much, re Drusilla. She was a brilliant conception and Juliet Landeau did so much with her.

    I did quite like the Angel episode in which she and Darla rampage in tandem. I think that was it. I haven’t seen all of Angel, since too much of it was too silly for me. I tried to second guess which episodes I’d like — I especially went for those that had much of the past in them.

    Love, C.

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