I think it is safe to say that I am a Joss Whedon fangirl. He hooked me with Buffy back when I was a freshman in college and hasn’t taken his claws out since. Firefly. Dr. Horrible. Dollhouse. Titan A.E. (yes, I liked it; sue me) I’ve seen it all. Well except all of Angel, which I didn’t watch out of protest because damn it, he belonged to Buffy (though I grew to appreciate Spike when I watched the full thing through again with hubby a few years ago).
Whedon is the go-to guy for kick-ass heroines:
He is the master of snappy and memorable dialogue:
We Whedon fans are legion and we are rabid. There is much to love.
But for the love of Pete, what the hell does the man have against happily ever afters? He has screwed up the romantic end of EVERY SINGLE SHOW HE’S MADE! He sent Angel away and killed off Spike (or whatever the heck he did to Spike…I never understood that). He killed off Penny in Dr. Horrible. He killed off Paul in Dollhouse, and NO having his personality lodged in Echo’s brain does NOT qualify as a relationship, thank you very much. He killed off Wash in Serenity (I still haven’t forgiven him for that one). The only thing that had a happy ending out of the lot was Titan A.E. and that was because it was a kid’s movie and the money people probably wouldn’t let him kill the hero or heroine off.
Now I GET that a show must have stakes. I GET that Whedon works with an anything goes cast and that no one is safe. I get that he digs people making sacrifices and that this makes gut-wrenching TV. I GET that shows often tank after the hero and heroine get together. But if you KNOW your story is ending… If the couple were already together to begin with (Zoe and Wash)… WHY CAN’T SOMEBODY LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER? Seriously? WHY?
He’s obviously not against ROMANCE. God knows he’s great at building sexual tension and showing the growth of relationships. But he can’t seem to allow anybody to STAY in a relationship. He’s like the Nicholas Sparks of paranormal TV–except way wittier and cooler (I can’t think of any redeeming qualities to the actual Nicholas Sparks, whom I am convinced must’ve been burned BAD in youth such that no one ever lives to have an HEA in his books).
What’s up with that? Does he think love is a weakness? That his butt kickers can’t kick butt as well if they’re emotionally involved or if they aren’t on a “my lover is dead, so I’m gonna kill everything in sight” spree? I just don’t get it.
In MY world, Paul lived, even if he got downloaded into another body.
In MY world, it was Simon and/or Kaylee who die, not Wash. Simon was annoying anyway. And Mal and Inara actually DO SOMETHING about their attraction to each other.
In MY world, Spike came back and he and Buffy had more than just a “thing”.
In MY world, Xander died. Actually that has nothing to do with the relationship thing–I just think he’s the most annoying character Whedon ever wrote and don’t believe that he remotely qualifies as Watcher material.
What about you? Do you wish Joss would give his fans some HEAs? How would you have changed some of these anti-happy endings?