As KP so rightly points out to me, the end of the year always brings a slew of “Best of the Year : …” lists, and while I am a huge fan of making lists, I think I will write something a bit different. Since people mistakenly believe that 2009 is the last year of the decade (it isn’t, sorry folks), there have also been quite a few “Best of the ’00 : …” lists, but I am not writing one of those either. I have no great inclination to look back upon the last year of my life, and I have done a poor job of chronicling my last year in TV, so I will start off the first day of the new year by telling you about the man who has had the biggest (TV) influence over my last 10 years, laying the foundation of my love for TV.
I think I can say that Joss Whedon saved my life.
My father died when I was 12. Needless to say this did not go over well with me. An introverted kid thrown into ridiculous depression was kind of a recipe for disaster. But there wasn’t any disaster disaster, because I had an emotional outlet in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For one hour a week I was able to not only escape into entertainment, but was also able to imagine that no matter how bad my life was there was a future where I would have friends, fall in love, grow into a functional adult. And that is one of the things that art does for us; it presents us with an opportunity to conceive of that which we had not before. I cannot say that I was entirely self-aware about this at the time. I didn’t fully understand that the relationship between humor and tragedy isn’t only one of convenience, it is one of necessity. At a time when I could see nothing even remotely amusing about my existence there was a picture of reality where there was always light to balance the dark.
On the less pretentious-English-major side of things, watching Buffy, and subsequently Angel, gave me a common interest with my sister, who is 13 years older than me. Having siblings in such a different age bracket can lead to distant relationships, but mutual fandom bridged that gap for us. For my 6-years-younger brother and me it was Firefly. When I went to college I met two of my best friends to this day because of Joss Whedon’s shows. (Hi, Lauren and Mandy!) When I needed to understand complex literary devices I had a large pool of intricate plots and rich characters as examples from which to draw. There is an episode of one of Joss Whedon’s shows to fit whatever I am feeling or going through; he is much like The Beatles or John Donne in that way. The laptop I am writing this post on is named Mal, in honor of my favorite space cowboy.
While I have talked here about the very personal influence Joss Whedon has had on my life, let me point out just one aspect of his influence on TV. The casts of Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse, (plus Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog) span the TV landscape: How I Met Your Mother, Castle, Kitchen Confidential, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Chuck, Gossip Girl, Criminal Minds, Bones, Spaced, Supernatural, Alias, V, Dexter, Mad Men, Greek, Legend of the Seeker, Veronica Mars (which Joss also guest starred on), Battlestar Galactica, Leverage, Doctor Who, Torchwood, and many more I am sure I have forgotten. I think I will make a chart of all this.
So this is from where I step into the next year and (according to everyone else) the next decade.
The TV Girl
Making the world a better place, one show at a time.
- The TV Girl
- Washington, DC, United States
- I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.