Ever since I found a copy of Felicia Day’s autobiography “You’re (Almost) Never Weird on the Internet” in Fully Booked, Ayala Center Cebu, I’ve been searching for similar geeky biographical goodness to read.
“Joss Whedon: The Biography” by Amy Pascale was one of the books I was able to special order through Fully Booked. I’ve been a casual fan of the Whedonverse for many years now mostly because I am a huge fan of “Serenity” and “Firefly.”
I saw the movie first then watched the series because I wanted to see River Tam (Summer Glau) beat the crap out of more reavers. Of course, the series never got to the part where she started kicking ass in that fashion, but that’s another story for another time.
I also watched “Angel” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the vampire more often than the slayer, on and off when it was showing on cable television. There is a kind of trend with me entering the Whedonverse a bit late then having to backtrack a little. It’s happened with other television shows too.
For example, I love watching “iZombie,” created by Rob Thomas. I was like ‘woah, the singer from Matchbox Twenty just created this amazing TV series.’ Reading “Joss Whedon: The Biography,” I learned that Rob Thomas the musician and Rob Thomas the TV show creator are actually different people. I also found out that Joss Whedon is a huge fan of Rob Thomas’s work on “Veronica Mars.”
“Veronica Mars” is a television show that aired during the 90’s that two of my writer mentor friends who I look up to a lot (and who share strong music and television series interests with me) really love. They were so excited when the “Veronica Mars” feature film was successfully funded on Kickstarter. Yet another old TV series to watch.
But enough backtracking and swerving. Here are my thoughts on the Joss Whedon biography written by Amy Pascale.
This book contains 400 pages of content on Joss’s work and life. I found most of the facts and anecdotes Pascale wrote about very entertaining and surprising.
For example, I enjoyed watching the movie Speed (1994) as a kid. I didn’t know Joss had a huge role in revising the movie’s screenplay. I was also surprised to learn that Joss had a hand in writing the script of Toy Story (1996).
I like how two of the writers Joss hired for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” previously wrote “The Adventures of Pete & Pete,” a television show I used to love watching on Nickelodeon. Joss was a huge fan of the show too, and that really blew my mind. It’s just so amazing, how we share this in common.
I loved reading stories about The Bronze, a web-based “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” forum where fans got together to talk about all things Buffy, and where Joss would often post personal reflections and insider information about the show. It’s amazing how a group of total strangers were able to organize a party so they could celebrate the show and meet in person. Plus, members of the Buffy cast and crew attended the event too.
“Dollhouse,” a short-lived TV series by Joss, seems to have a very interesting premise. I watched the pilot episode, and it seems interesting. Although I’m not sure audiences can relate to Echo (Eliza Dushku) well if her personality and memories keep changing every week.
It’s amazing how Joss loves Shakespeare and his works so much that he organizes Shakespeare readings in his house. These readings feature actors and writers from Joss’s TV shows and films. A number of the even included Neil Patrick Harris. I haven’t watched the musical episode of Buffy nor “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” but now I’m very excited.
I love how Joss sees his “Firefly” cast as a family, and how sad he was about the show being cancelled after just one season. I just re-watched “Firefefly” and still feel that the show was left hanging. It was just horrible how it ended like that. Good thing Joss was able to film “Serenity,” so he could give the story a much better conclusion.
Hopefully, Joss finds the time to support “Firefly” fans in launching a crowdfunding campaign. Who knows, maybe they can get funding for a whole season instead of just one feature film?
I admire Joss Whedon greatly for being a defender of the little people, those who are weak and cannot defend themselves. I love how his characters are seemingly weak and very flawed individuals who are able to succeed because of their determination, passion, and their friends.
Who would Buffy Summers be without her friends? Who would Malcolm Reynolds be without his crew? Buffy and Malcolm aren’t popular people who are friends with everyone.
They are people who are ostracized for being different, but they remain true to themselves and attract a small group of true friends—each of whom is an outcast in his or her on right, plays a unique and crucial role in the protagonist’s personality, the hero’s successes and failures.
These very real, very human characters are part of what makes Joss’s his stories in television, film, comics, musical theater, and other mediums so great.
And as reflections of Joss himself, his characters represent what an amazing person Joss is, despite the very public cancellations and other failures he continues to face even today. Despite the problems he faced directing “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” I’m very confident that he will come back better than ever.
“Joss Whedon: The Biography” is all sorts of amazing. If you’re a fan of Joss’s work. If you’re a fan of even one of Joss’s works—the old ones and the new ones—you’ll love reading this lovingly, excellently researched and written homage to Joss Whedon and the Whedonverse.
Coffee Bean and Tea Reads Rating:
5 Beans out of 5