TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2009
In every generation there are defining methods of storytelling which encompass the whole human experience. Some are episodic and show the event based nature of life, with each moment having their own designs, follies, and triumphs… generally accompanied by a laugh track. Others however dare to push the envelope of the audience to grasp the subtle nuances of storytelling, to engage the mind longer than the advent of the story on the screen, on paper, or in words. Joss Whedon is this generations most prolific story peddler and his most famous story is affectionately reffered to by fans as the Buffyverse. Why you might ask do i call it the Buffyverse rather than simply Buffy the vampire slayer? Because the story transcends the walls of one 45 minute teenage drama, but instead extends into a fluid media consciousness which includes the redefining Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show, but also Angel, its counterpart, and seasons of Angel and Buffy which continue contingently upon the pages of books and comicbook pages to create an extensive networked experience. The Buffyverse has fans which celebrate with Star Trekesqe vigor coming to fan conventions dressed and acting as if they exist in the Buffyverse proper. Yet at the same time, the show grabs the decidedly macabre underbelly of fandom with regular screenings of Buffy season 6’s musical “once more with feeling,” complete with gags to interact with the screen and guests as if Tim Curry himself had made an appearance in the episode. But perhaps the most endearing effect that the Buffyverse has had on the history of story telling is the endearing wordplay and pseudo philosophical jargon littered throughout the current landscape of Judd Apatow wannabees in hollywood. The frat boys seem unaware that their propensity to spout the ramblings of 80’s screen writers as allusions to complex neoplatonist thought was perfected for this generation by the same man who brought us Toy Story in the mid 90’s and Roseanne in the late 80’s. The rapid fire all encompassing and unapologetic dialogue of today would not exist with out the stamp of Joss Whedon upon the history of story telling. His ability to blend rhythm with rhyme created a standard, proven in the Buffyverse and being shown again in later works like Serenity and Dollhouse, that extend beyond the star, or the story. If you want to learn something about humanity, free up your time to watch the entire twelve seasons on DVD. The experience is seminal to understanding good storytelling in a world of copycats and hacks. Represent.