7 Awesome Productions That Make Us Say All Hail Joss Whedon ...

Among some of my favorite viewing experiences are Joss Whedon productions. I think he is one of the greatest talents working in film and television today, and I rarely find something from him that I don’t enjoy. I’m going to share some of my favorite Joss Whedon productions, some of which you will be very familiar with; others, maybe not so.

1. Avengers Assemble

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On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

If you have not seen this movie then it is time to crawl out from under your rock, get yourself a DVD player and watch it right now. Even without seeing the movies that run up to it you are still going to have a whale of a time. If Pacific Rim did not exist then this would be the best movie since the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. As soon as the movie came out they hired Joss Whedon to produce the next installment of the Avengers (Age of Ultron). Looks like the next big comic book come-together is going to be another one of those great Joss Whedon productions.

2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

This is a teen drama, or so it would seem. The budget is low, and at the time Sarah Michelle Geller was just another actress in her twenties waiting for obscurity. That is until she became a worshipped cult figure. It looks and feels like a tacky teen drama, but watch past the first season (when Joss was finding his feet) and you start to see some of the best character building that has ever been submitted to the TV screen. If you ever wondered where Joss grew his skills in order to meld characters in the way he did with the movies Cabin in the Woods and Avengers Assemble, then watch a few series of Buffy. If you do not cry at the end of season three (watch it and find out why) then you have never felt love in your life. Of all the Joss Whedon shows, the fact that this show turned nerd-culture cult in just two series says it all. The nerd culture is now the biggest money maker in Hollywood. If you were to have said 20 years ago that comic book movies and Lord of the Rings were to be the biggest money makers in Hollywood history, you would have been laughed at. And how cool is it that there is even a Buffy the Musical episode? Love it!

3. Cabin in the Woods

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On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

This was actually a surprise when it comes to Joss Whedon productions because it just appeared in public view and everybody loved it. Joss leant heavily on the Scooby Doo premise, even having the characters being eerily like the Scooby gang. Yet, what transpired in the movie was a slap in the face for modern horror movies. Did it inspire movie makers to start trying a little harder? Well, consider the amazing horror movies that were produced in 2013 and you have your answer: The Conjuring - truly scary; The Curse of Chucky - an unsung masterpiece; Evil Dead - the first sincere remake in years; and Mama - mind blowing of epic proportions.

4. Serenity

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On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

This was a Joss Whedon series (Firefly), but the movie was a lot better. Ho hum, they will never find a successful vehicle for Nathan Fillion, will they? He had a nice stint in Buffy, and had parts in the movies White Noise and Saving Private Ryan, as well as in Serenity (his other movies are not worth mentioning). Jewel Staite, who played the lonely engineer in the movie, was also in the genre snapping episode of the X-Files called Oubliette where Mulder (in an unprecedented move) shoots an unarmed man whilst saving a young girl from horrific sexual abuse. If you are going to star in the X-Files, then that is the episode to be in.

5. Angel

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On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

Angel is a spin off from Buffy. It didn’t do at all as well as Buffy, but it did appeal to a sizable female audience (thanks to the hunky and very buff David Boreanaz). It did have its moments, especially when they made the cast into Muppets and they even nailed Angel’s broody scowl--it was a work of pure genius. It was one of the programs by Joss Whedon where you wish he could go back and snip a few things and change a few things to make it perfect, such as not having a green guy, or having that episode where Buffy is there but ACTUALLY having Buffy in it instead of the back of a blonde girl’s head. I personally loved it, but I know many die-hard Buffy fans felt let down by it.

6. Much Ado about Nothing

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On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

If you’ve never seen this or heard of it, but the title sounds familiar, that’s because it is indeed a Shakespeare play. Yes. The Great Bard of Avon’s work has been subject to a Joss Whedon treatment. I always thought this was a so-so play until I saw the Kenneth Branagh production (which included Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves among its stars), which changed my mind, making it one of my favorites. Then along came the JW version. I urge you to watch it. It features a whole host of JW’s go-to stars including Nathan Fillion (Serenity), Alexis Denisof (Buffy/Angel) and Amy Acker (Angel/Dollhouse).

7. Toy Story

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On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

This is a movie that has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes reviews. It has 77 reviews and they are all positive. Joss Whedon was brought in to help build the characters and help to meld the group in to one lovable unit. It’s fair to say he succeeded. But the real reason of me telling you about Toy Story was to introduce the fact that Joss Whedon’s credits are probably much wider in scope and genre than you imagine. Seriously, Whedon really is so much greater than Buffy – the series that everyone associates him with. Did you know he worked on Waterworld, Twister, X-Men and Alien Resurrection? And he co-wrote Titan A.E. He even had a hand in Disney productions, being the co-author of a song (The Lullaby) from Lion King II: Simba’s Pride. We also must not forget Dollhouse, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog.

Okay, I’m now finished eulogizing about Joss Whedon. As you can see, I’m quite a fan. Do you have any favorite Joss Whedon shows?

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