Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP

I found this interview though JA at My New Plaid Pants. I was originally just going to comment on it on his blog, but I figured my opinion on the subject is a little divergent from his, and I figured I'd take my bile on over here where it belongs.

Look. I love Joss Whedon as much as anyone whose post-adolescence was shaped by Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And Angel. I even liked Firefly. A lot. I enjoyed the online comraderie with fans, I think he has superb taste in TV shows, and he played Numfar and danced the dance of shame in those Pylea episodes. But...well, here's the excerpt from the interview with Wizard Entertainment:

What about TV? You recently guest directed an episode of NBC’s “The Office.” Would you like to go back to television?

I love TV, I absolutely want to go back to TV. You know, if I have a series I believe in and I have the people to make it and a place to put it, yes. I adore television but a lot of things have to come together and while I have these other obligations, I can’t really pursue those things. I also just don’t want to get trampled on. So I’m a little skittish…

What do you mean, “trampled on”?

“Trampled on” as in having someone cancelling out from under you two things in one year. When a story doesn’t get finished being told, or you’re the victim of wrong-headed business decisions that nobody even seems to be losing sleep over, you really don’t want to walk in that world anymore. So, I’m not interested in telling stories that nobody is going to see. I don’t feel like making a pilot and seeing if it goes. I feel like if I make something, it has to have a venue. Whether that is a low-budget movie, a DVD or TV with commitment to DVD, whatever it is, I can’t tell the stories nobody hears anymore. I’ve done that in my life.


Oh my GOD. Is he seriously -- seriously -- playing the wounded puppy because he's had a few projects fall apart? He doesn't "feel like" making a pilot unless he's guaranteed...what, a full season? Two? Seven? I mean, sure, after having created three TV series, each one cut shorter than the last, I suppose that kind of "I won't get out of bed for less than a full-season pickup" attitude is understandable, but maybe that's something you bitch about to your friends rather than to the public at large. And if this is STILL about that goddamn Firefly movie, I'm gonna hit someone. Does he realize how many people don't get their pilots picked up or their scripts filmed? Are we supposed to feel sorry for him because, after three TV series getting made, he's had a couple rejected? To the point where we're supposed to read this pouty "well maybe I just won't write any more TV shows" crap and be sympathetic? There's a lot of genius in Joss, but a hell of a lot of entitlement, too. And the fact that he doesn't feel the need to conceal that tells me he's got ego to spare besides.

9 comments:

JA said...

Joe, I'm actually kinda glad you said all this, cuz I'm just psychically incapable of doing so even whilst I totally get the truth in it. It needed to be said. I just... couldn't. So thanks! ;-)

Joe R. said...

That's what I'm here for. Heh.

NYOne said...

I guess my response to this is, well, Joss I hope you find other ways of expressing yourself, because this is simply not how TV works. You can never know if your show will last a year or five or more or not past the pilot and if you are that hell-bent on "telling stories that people will see" it's maybe time to switch to movies. Or BBC-style shows, where a series/season is 6-8 episodes. I suppose he'd have to go to HBO or Showtime for something like that, which probably wouldn't be a bad thing. I hear from Buffy fans that the comics are good, as well. It all amount to a large {shrug} for me.
Maybe all of my righteous indignation was used up on the Gillian Anderson interview in the Telegraph.

NATHANIEL R said...

i understand what you're saying but i think he has a right to be a bit more entitled than your average television creator. I mean he creates whole worlds basically. A lot of television types just have to string together some new characters in a setting that already has a template from decades of televison (hospitals, police, etc...)

i feel for him.

BUT i also hear you because not everyone who is talented can get three shows on the air. not everyone can get a beloved show to survive by transferring to another network and not everyone can get a film version of their tv show approved in order to continue the story.

so yeah. he's been rewarded quite a lot.

this wonder woman thing must have been crushing or something.

NATHANIEL R said...

oh and also i second the HBO notion.

i'm actually quite surprised that they haven't courted him given how they've been losing all their biggest hits and he has a huge built in obsessive fanbase who would PAY to watch his work without commercial interruption.

The Bloody Munchkin said...

Long time lurker chiming in here... I have to say I agree with Nathaniel. Yes, it totally smacks of wounded puppy, but I also think that if you're the series creator and you've poored your heart into the creation of a different world and you've invested so much into these characters, it'd be very painful not to see it to fruition. I could see being a little gunshy after pouring your heart into, say, something like Firefly and not getting to see it through.


But with both Buffy and Angel, I'm glad they both ended when they did. There comes a point with all tv shows where enough is enough, where if you keep saying more, you're just rehashing story lines and it becomes played. Buffy was already past that point by the time it wrapped and Angel was getting there. So I felt it was a quit while your ahead situation, but I guess Joss didn't feel that way...

Anyhoo, Just my two cents...

Marius said...

So, I noticed that you love Shear Genius. It is an awesome show. And let me just say that Tyson is going down. He is no match for Tabatha. I just love, love, love that woman. Dr. Boogie cracks me up; however, he can get a bit annoying at times. Oh, and how about that Theodore—the boy sure knows how to make an exit.

Anyway, enjoy the rest of the show.

Kamikaze Camel said...

But Nat, I think we all know that just because somebody creates one great project doesn't mean every one of their projects is great.

Maybe all these pilots that are being rejects are being rejected because they're not very good.

Still, I would prefer not very good Whedon to stuff like Two and a Half Men.

TWoP Fan said...

Plus, the guy created a show called 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and it lasted SEVEN SEASONS. Seriously, buddy, you won about 50 times over just getting someone to pick up a show with that TITLE. Yeah, it rocked and deserved it, but TV was different then and it's different now and you ought to be a little greatful to have even one project go as well as that did.