on Whedonism and other geek stuff…

Since most of my blog posts lately have all been about mountains and outreach programs, I feel it’s time to delve into some more mundane stuff this time around. And before my string of mountain hikes, you’ll find that I’d be more than willing to devote time and energy discussing American Idol and the misuse of irony. But I still understand why you’d think I’m all that benevolent with all the outreach programs I’ve been joining and you’re right (wahaha) but I still am a flawed human being. A human being that gets caught up in the most senseless of things like nerding out about a certain writer/director which I will be doing here. 😀

Enough of that crappy buildup, time to go to nerd-mode. Now, I’m a self confessed nerd. Not too extreme though. But not as superficial either. While I don’t necessarily obsess over Star Wars nor know how to speak Klingon, I’m far from ignorant about the geek/pop culture in different media. I’m not one of those people that just because they like an anime, have seen Ironman or watch The Big Bang Theory are able to claim nerdism because it’s “fun” or “cute”. You’ve seen a much touted high budget flick, give me a break. I’m one of those people ranting in the background because of origin departures and I know the names and codenames of the original New Mutants lineup. I’m a whovian. That sort of thing. 😀

So believe me when I tell you that I’m a Whedonite by heart. 😀 And for non-nerds out there, it means being a fan of Joss Whedon. I haven’t seen all of his works yet and some I’ve been retroactively discovering some but all the same, it’s not a far cry to say that I’m a huge fan. He may have hit the big time in mainstream cinema because of the success of The Avengers but for nerds like us, he’s already hailed as a cult god. His creations have all become cult classics and it’s because of him that I still look at Lily as Willow, Booth as Angel and Castle as Capt. Mal. 😀

You may be wondering what brought this on. I actually have no idea meself! I guess it was when I saw this video on youtube where most of the cast of Firefly were interviewed as part of a 10 year anniversary panel in San Diego Comic Con. 10 years after they went off air. That’s just unbelievable. And given the fact that the show was cancelled after only one season. But the overwhelming fan support for that show gave way to the possibility of concluding the series in a feature film, the first and last (to date) for its genre.

the cast of Firefly/Serenity (L-R) River, Sheperd Book, Zoe, Jayne, Kaylee, Capt. Mal, Wash!, Simon Tam, Inara

the cast of Firefly/Serenity (L-R) River, Sheperd Book, Zoe, Jayne, Kaylee, Capt. Mal, Wash!, Simon Tam, Inara

The cancellation of Firefly was actually quite defining for Joss Whedon and it caused a rift between him and Fox (which was somewhat lessened when Dollhouse came out). He fought tooth and nail to have it stay on air but to no avail. Check out a Big Bang theory reference to that infamous moment here. It was clear that he really really loved that brainchild of his as well as his cast and it’s actually quite sweet to watch him talk about his experience with Firefly. He even choked up in remembering the ‘what could have beens’ awwww….Here’s a link to the 10th Anniversary panel (by the way, Summer Glau, for all her amazingness, could have been a water bottle in this panel with how often she talked…which was like 2 times haha)

Watching the panel made me miss the amazing cast so I had no choice but to watch the whole series again (naturally!) I actually discovered the series after I was introduced to the film (which was released in 2005). So, I fell in love with the story and the characters all over again, right from the pilot episode up to River’s tearful speech from Objects in Space. Knowing the cast dynamics behind the scenes made watching Firefly all the more exciting too. Despite its cancellation, Firely was still responsible for launching the careers of Nathan Fillion (Castle) and of course the sci-fi geek goddess Summer Glau. River still ranks as one of the most interesting sci-fi characters to grace the screen and I have to agree with Joss, Summer Glau is so magnetic on screen. Check out the River Tam Sessions which were released as a lead-up to the Serenity movie.

Joss Whedon made many milestones in the sci-fi community and the movie – Serenity was but one of them. Before vampires were the subject of much polarized views in both TV and cinema, there was Whedon’s Buffy. I used to watch this all the time when I was in high school. Especially during its last 3 seasons. I would hurry home from school and catch Studio 23’s airing of the recent season every Thursday without fail. I think the series finale was aired during my college freshman year. Buffy was, of course, responsible for making Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alyson Hannigan household names in the geek community. And even though it has been nearly a decade since the show ended, Lily Aldrin will still be Willow Rosenberg for me and I still find it weird that SMG does not kick ass in Ringer. 😉

The cast of Buffy with Joss Whedon. This was Season 5 I think, before Tara died and Riley went away.

The cast of Buffy with Joss Whedon. This was Season 5 I think, before Tara died and Riley went away.

Besides being the forefather of shows like True Blood or The Vampire Diaries, BTVS was also somewhat the pioneer of musicals like Glee. When all shows were about law and order and other crime procedural watchamacalits, Joss Whedon had the genius to come up with a musical episode of Buffy that remains epic in the geek community up until today. Ask a fan and they’ll surely remember “Once More with Feeling”. I think I know all the lyrics to that album by heart!

I have a theory...it could be bunnies!

I have a theory…it could be bunnies!

Of course, there was also the spinoff Angel which starred David Boreanaz. He is famous for being Seeley Booth nowadays but still, he started his career being the first vampire with a soul. I didn’t watch the show as much as I did Buffy actually, probably the last 2 seasons only. It was mainly when Spike crossed over after Buffy ended and the whole business with Ilyria. Despite this, Angel still introduced me to one of my favorite sci-fi actresses along with Glau: Amy Acker. She’s actually been making rounds among current sci-fi/fairy tale shows that are on the air today with appearances on Grimm as well as Once Upon a Time.

the cast of the final season of Angel

the cast of the final season of Angel

Then there was Dollhouse. I actually just saw this about 2 weeks ago. I knew about it since forever but I never really got into the show because admittedly, I wasn’t that big of a fan of Eliza Dushku. But then I found out that several Buffy, Angel and Firefly alumni (Amy Acker, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, Alexis Denisof, Felicia Day) were cast into some roles (which is something Joss Whedon, like Tim Burton, has a penchant of doing) so I decided to give it a shot. Eliza Dushku eventually grew on me and I have to say, Dollhouse had the most relevantly sick and twisted story ever. It was absofreakinlutely amazing! The implications and possibilities of the show’s premise are so strong that we could be facing such circumstances in the not so distant future. The girl who played Sierra couldn’t act if her life depended on it but other that that, the cast was awesome. Tammoh Penniket and Alan Tudyk’s (Alpha! Wash! :D) characters were particular standouts. Oh and Felicia Day in the Epitaph episodes? Unreal 😀 And the ending… 😦

Dollhouse cast: Priya (Sierra), Topher, Tony (Victor), Adele, Echo/Caroline, Big Bad Ballard and Boyd

Dollhouse cast: Priya (Sierra), Topher, Tony (Victor), Adele, Echo/Caroline, Big Bad Ballard and Boyd

Lastly, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. Joss Whedon. Nathan Fillion. Neil Patrick Harris. Felicia Day. Need I say more? Look it up, you won’t be disappointed.

Dr. Horrible and Capt. Hammer!!!

Dr. Horrible and Capt. Hammer!!!

I read that Joss Whedon was officially signed to take on Avengers 2 and develop some Marvel themed superhero TV show so it seems that he’d be returning to the small screen soon. I hope he has more success though, DC always fared better when it comes to TV shows. For the meantime though, I’d be perfectly content looking out for Whedon actors and references popping up all over the place and geeking out about it. Classic example? Rick Castle’s browncoats Halloween costume:

Oh Captain Mal, don’t ever “move on” from it. 😀


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