Unabashed Fangirl Praises Joss Whedon on the Radio

While listening to NPR last weekend, I discovered that Joss Whedon finally won an Emmy — for “Dr. Horrible,” his delightful web-only musical. So, unabashed Joss Whedon fangirl that I am, I wrote a letter to Weekend Edition Sunday observing that it explains everything about what’s wrong with television when the best producer/director/writer in the industry today wins his first Emmy for a web program, not one of his superb series.

I’d forgotten all about it until I heard Liane Hanson say “Nancy Jane Moore from Austin, Texas” and read my letter.

You can listen to it here: Weekend Edition Letters.

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If you’d rather read fiction than listen to fangirl rants, check out The Nancy Jane Moore Bookshelf.

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About Nancy Jane Moore

Nancy Jane Moore's science fiction novel, The Weave, is now available in print and ebook versions from Aqueduct Press. Some of her short stories are now appearing as reprints on Curious Fictions. She is a founding member of Book View Cafe. Her BVC ebooks can be found here. She also has short stories and essays in most of the BVC anthologies. In addition to writing fiction, Nancy Jane, who has a fourth degree black belt in Aikido, teaches empowerment self defense. She is at work on a self defense book that emphasizes non-fighting skills.

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Unabashed Fangirl Praises Joss Whedon on the Radio — 7 Comments

  1. Nancy, how extremely cool.

    Early on in the run of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I started telling people that Joss Whedon is a genius and BtVS was the best-written series on tv. Mostly they laughed at me, but if I could get them to watch one episode, they would agree. And become fans of the show.

    Unfortunately it was covered with sf/f cooties, so of course Emmies could not be bestowed on it.

    Vonda

  2. At one point I knew a whole slew of Buffy fans, all of them over 40, including a federal judge and a Methodist minister with a doctorate involving study of Greek and Latin.

    I wish more people in television understood how to work with the series format the way Joss does. His series always have a series-length story arc, plus a season-length story arc, plus good individual episodes. His shows work best watched in order, but the individual episodes are gems even while advancing the overall plot.

  3. I’ve always wondered what a Joe Straczinski-Joss Whedon Big Damned Series would be like.

    Joe does the world building and continuity. Joss handles casting, and character arcs. Joe writes episode synopses, and says which episodes various plot ‘bangs’ happen in. Joss runs the writer’s room and makes sure that the character ‘bangs’ come at the right points. Joe does the deliberate foreshadowing, Joss does the dialog.

    Both have gotten so used to running things their way that this will never happen, But boy, wouldn’t it be fun. (Joe is very good at some things. Joss is very good at some things. The areas where each is good is where the other is somewhat weak.)

    I used to try to find a way to wedge Ron Moore into this mythical television series production house. The season finales of the last two seasons of Battlestar killed that.

  4. What is it about science fiction on tv that makes it so likely to go woo-woo on us?

    I tried watching Defying Gravity. It never engaged my interest much but I stuck with it in some misguided attempt to support our side. It almost immediately went woo-woo, and then in the last episode they broadcast I expected Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta to enter stage left and whip out their guns and yell “What the fuck are you fuckers doing with our fucking glowy-light-thingie?!”

    Vonda

    PS Firefly (which grew on me, even as I wondered if maybe Whedon really wanted to make a Western) never went woo-woo, bless its heart.

  5. Nancy, yes, you’re right — I think Whedon does a great job of individual stories under a larger story arc. When Masterpiece Theater first came out lo these many years ago, I wished somebody would do SF that way, but it took a couple decades before anybody did. I wrote STARFARERS to be a similar sort of TV series, but never could get anybody to pick it up.

    Vonda

  6. What do you think of Dollhouse, by the way? I have some problems with the setup; but I was willing to go with it until I just tried to watch the 2nd season premiere, and it’s got the worst case of Jumpy-Cam that I’ve had inflicted on me since the fake-documentary style took hold of broadcast tv. It’s physically unwatchable. I’m not susceptible to motion sickness or seasickness… but I just can’t watch this fashionable technique.

    Vonda

  7. I like Dollhouse, though I’m not as passionate about it as I am about Buffy or Firefly. Upon reflection, I’ve decided that the problem is partly that it’s hard to identify with characters who are ciphers — you find yourself rooting for Echo, and then realize she’s not really the person you’re rooting for.

    But I recently went through season 1 again (I don’t have a TV these days, so I watch DVDs of TV shows from Netflix) and decided that Dollhouse is potentially brilliant science fiction. You’ve got a complicated technology that isn’t as fail safe as it’s touted to be and pressures coming from all sides, providing the potential of unpredictable plot twists more complex than evil corporation and corrupt government.

    I must be getting tolerant of the jumpy cam stuff, because it didn’t bother me, though I found the storytelling a little jumpy. I saw a lot of setup going on in the new episode for interesting potential down the road, If I have a complaint, it’s all the sex. I know that’s implicit in the set up, and I suspect it’s a selling point for getting the show on Fox, but I get really tired of watching people who don’t know they’re hookers having sex with everybody. It’s creepy, and while some of that creepiness is needed for the story, I’m not sure all of it is. But of course, the first thing we do as a society with any new technology is figure out how to use it for sex.