People of the Internet! I declare the final showdown. I give you the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
This is your one and only chance, ever, to convince me that Joss Whedon lives up to the hype.
I’ve long maintained that Whedon scripts dialogue beyond his actor’s capabilities, putting A-list screwball in the mouths of B-list actors. That his much vaunted “strong female roles” simply put a new gloss on the same girly stereotypes that we’ve seen in every sitcom for the last fifty years. That his cutesy moralizing is, well, cutesy and moralizing.
But I could be wrong! It’s happened before.
In order to give Joss Whedon the full benefit of the doubt, I will watch an entire season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I’ll watch every episode, beginning to end. I’ll even take notes.
So what do you, Whedonophiles of the Internet, have to do? Easy. Tell me which season to watch. Because I’m only going to watch one.
“Oh, but you really have to watch these episodes from Season X-1 in order to get Season X.” If that’s true, then Whedon fails as a writer and everything I’ve ever said about him is true. Network television is episodic – it uses a formula to fill a structure. A viewer should be able to pick up any episode of a good TV show and follow along. I might laugh a little more at recent episodes of (say) The Office if I knew that Dwight and Angela used to sleep together, but the episode should still work as a story if I don’t know that.
“Oh, but they’re all good.” Then pick the best one.
“Oh, but you should watch Firefly instead.” I’ve seen Firefly. Fun, but hardly amazing.
I’m a busy man and I’ve all but made up my mind on Whedon. But I’m holding out because of the incredible passion my friends have for him. So, in the interests of fairness – and because it’ll make good weblog fodder, if nothing else – I’ll give him a shot.
So, discuss with your Slayer friends which season I should watch, fill out the attached poll, and make me a believer!