It's rather hard for me to put into words just how much I hero-worship Joss Whedon.
...there. That's the end of this entry. Not enough for you? All right, I'll keep going.
My passion for Joss Whedon started when I was in high school. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was in its first season on the WB (remember them?) and I was completely hooked. "Witch" was the first episode I ever saw, and from then on I was positively glued to my television every night the show was on. During the show's third season, I would have "Buffy Parties" at my house on Tuesday nights when the show would air. The only rule for these parties was no talking during the show. Commercials were reserved for answering questions about the plot and characters. Suffice to say, I was a Joss-Head. I followed Angel, too. I didn't like it as much, but it had the same Joss charm and wit that the original series had.
High school was also the time when my passions for filmmaking and Buffy reached an intersection. I hadn't heard of anyone "continuing the story" on their own at that point, so what my best friend and I decided to do was a completely original idea to me. We wrote our own Buffy (And The X-Files) movie. Mulder and Scully go to Sunnyvale to investigate Vampire Activity, and end up on a double date with Buffy and Angel. It was hilarious. We wrote, directed, stared in and edited an 88 minute, feature-length movie on the subject. (We did the same for X-Men, but sadly, that project was never completed. But I digress...)
I entered a period of estrangement from my Whedon-passion during college. (Even though I kept my collection of Buffy VHS tapes--every episode aired, thankyouverymuch--close to my heart, and would put them on whenever I felt down.) Buffy moved to UPN, where the station aired the Buffy Musical Episode. There was no greater feeling than to be watching my favorite television characters dancing and singing. I was such a huge fan I went onto the internet to start searching for more Buffy to fill my cravings. That's how I was introduced to the wonderful worlds of "fandom," "fanfiction," and "rp."--but more on those later.
Even though Joss and I disagree on a few things (Jean Grey, for one) I was thrilled to hear that he was going to start writing for Marvel Comics. I'd been an X-Men fanatic since I was a small girl, as is obvious to anyone who looks in my closet and sees my huge collection of comics and figurines. Jean's always been my favorite character, and, even though he killed her off (how does one kill off a phoenix for good?), I started collecting the comics he'd written for The X-Men.
In 2003, knowing of my passon for Mr. Whedon, my brother sent me this Joss quote from Wired Magazine:I think the Harry Potter Books are the finest of the century! J.K. Rowling is one of the three best storytellers in young-adult fiction, with C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl. Her characters are archetypes without being cutouts--we've definately known these guys, and at the same time, they're bigger than life. I'd like to see Harry kick it out a little, push against authority, including Dumbledore. But it's great that Harry actually gets older as the books go on. In the last one, they had kids making out for the first time--by Book Seven they'll be like, 'take that wand and shove it up your...'
Joss talking about Harry Potter was like two of my three worlds colliding in a wonderful and brilliant display of fireworks. By this time I'd hopped online and was very deeply involved with fanfiction and role-playing in three fandoms: Harry Potter, X-Men and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was also around this time that the television series Firefly was starting to gain a cult following. Because my attention was spread among three fandoms, it was growing harder and harder for me to follow Joss the way I knew I should. I never saw Firefly. Not one episode. Apparently, according to the rest of Joss Whedon's followers in the whole world, that was the biggest mistake I've ever made.
Suddenly people were coming out of the woodwork to sing Joss's praises to me. People who had never taken an interest in Buffy, people who thought me hosting "Harry Potter Parties" was a stupid thing, people who never understood spending $30, $40, even $50 a month on comics, were all coming to me and saying "Hey, have you heard of this Joss Whedon guy!? He's amazing!! This show is the best show ever made!! You HAVE to watch it!! Why aren't you watching it RIGHT NOW??"
Please excuse my immaturity for a moment. The response I had to bite back time and time again was, "Of course I know who Joss is! Haven't you heard me squealing about him for the last six years? Where the hell have you been?" So, I never watched Firefly. Not one episode. I avoided the movie Serenitylike the plague. I heard about scores of fans lining up like it was a new, well-written Star Wars movie, and I turned the other way.
Mostly, when Buffy ended, I found myself searching for something else to fill that big, gaping hole in my chest it'd occupied during its seven seasons on the air. The distraction I found was in Harry Potter. Again, it was a series, and running on a deadline, but the fanfiction and role-playing world appealed to me, whereas the Buffy one didn't. I moved on, and left my Joss obsession behind. It was a mistake I knew I was going to regret.
The regret came in the form of a three-part mini-series called "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," starring Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion. My Father-In-Law insisted we all watch the mini series, split into three fifteen minute segments. I must admit, after hearing the title, I had my reservations. I was soon to be proven completely wrong. Music, emotion, witty dialogue, beautifully directed comical sequences, interesting characters and an amazing ending all make Dr. Horrible shine like a brand new, copper penny. My faith has been restored.
There is no doubt in my mind, even after years of estrangement, that Joss Whedon is a God.
And, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go watch Firefly.