Friday, March 9, 2012

Influential Much?

Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

My first thought upon hearing those four words together in that order was something along the line of “What the hell?”... immediately followed by, “Oh. Hell. Yes!”

Welcome to the Whedonverse – where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and the dialogue is above average.*

I have written before of my deep appreciation for the Fierce, Fearless Female, so it should be no surprise that I'm drawn to the heroines of Joss Whedon's works. There's the rogue psychic teenage assassin, the collegiate, computer savvy witch, the sexy rebel soldier turned space pirate, the sexy farmer's daughter turned spaceship mechanic, and the perky, blond cheerleader who kills vampires with pointy sticks... just to name a few. 

Intelligent, loving, strong, and brave, the male characters Whedon has created are just as heroic, skilled, flawed, and compelling as the women and girls. Whedon doesn't bolster his heroines by pitting them against one dimensional louts and losers, but by surrounding them with extraordinary, supportive men. They battle monsters, fly spaceships, cast magic spells, save and are in turn saved by the girl, then deliver soul-baring, emotion-choked monologues about love, family, and honor. In the Whedonverse, a man must be in touch with both his emotions and his judo skills.

Love is a recurring theme in the Whedonverse, but not only romantic love, though hetero- and homosexual relationships are central. Whedon's works also explore family love, that shared by parents and children, siblings, and even close friends. Honor/Duty is another, the willingness to sacrifice the self in service of something greater – Freedom, Truth, or Righteousness.

Though Whedon's characters often suffer greatly in body and spirit, he shows us the valor in their struggle. While the dialogue may be quirky and comical on the surface, it is substantive at the core, bringing discussions of Life, Death, and the Nature of Good and Evil to the high school hallway, midnight graveyard, and spaceship cockpit. The premises, the characters, and the plots may be wildly imaginative, but center around themes common to us all.

Writer, Director, Producer, Actor, Musician, Comic Book Nerd, and Internet Geek, The Yummish Council is proud to announce Joss Whedon as our next Yummish Saint.**

Today's lesson: Someone fell victim to all of the internet buzz about The Avengersand has been re-watching her Buffy discs.

Next: Still trying to pull together that “Yummish Origin” post. 

*With apologies to Garrison Keillor? Not until he apologizes to me for having to live with this piece of nonsense in my head since childhood: Powdermilk Biscuits

**Am I sucking up in the hope of scoring free tickets to a sneak preview of The Avengers? Probably. I'll let you know if it works.


  1. You left out sexy space whore with a heart of gold.

  2. Ahhh, yes, Inara... God, how I loved her wardrobe!