It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that Joss Whedon and his TV shows – Buffy the vampire slayer, angel, Firefly and Doll house – have shaped my life. I started to watch Buffy the vampire slayer at 10, and I never really stopped watching Whedon’s shows. Or movies. But I loved Whedon before he was cool, AKA before The Avengers came out of.
There is no real way to capture how much the Whedon shows have meant to me in the brief duration of this article or to mention everything I learned from watching them. So, for the purposes of this article, I’m going to highlight some of the life lessons that I consider most important for who I am today that you absolutely need to take note of.
” We are a family. “/” You are part of my crew. “
Families found, families found. I wasn’t quite sure how important found families were to me until recently, but nonetheless a lot of the TV shows I’ve watched have featured found families, obviously Whedon’s shows included.
Each of Whedon’s shows features a found family – Buffy has the Scooby Gang, angel to the Angel Investigations team, Firefly to the crew of Serenity and Doll house has the Active and those who want to fight against Rossum.
Blood family is still important on a Whedon show sometimes, as Buffy has her mother and Simon has her younger sister, but it is the families found that are important, the families that are united not by blood ties but by blood. love and loyalty to each other. .
An example of this importance of the family found is in Buffy‘s “Family”, when Tara’s blood ties bring her home. At the climax of the episode, Tara’s father, angry that the Scooby Gang won’t allow him to take Tara without her consent, asks: “We are her blood relatives!” Who the hell are you? “
Buffy simply replies, “We’re family.” And it is so important. It’s such an important message that family is what you make of it, especially for people who don’t have blood relatives or who don’t get along with them.
Firefly‘s “Safe” makes a similar point after Mal and the crew of Serenity help Simon and River escape the people who want to burn them at the stake. Simon asks Mal, “Why did you come back for us?” Mal replies: “You are part of my team. “
Despite Mal’s problems with Simon, he returns to find the doctor and his sister. It goes beyond blood ties and personal issues. It is loyalty, pure and simple.
“What’s left? Me.”
At the end of Buffy the vampire slayerIn season 2, Angelus and Buffy have one final showdown. Angelus manages to deprive Buffy of his sword. As he launches into the killing, he laughs, “Now that’s it, huh?” No weapons, no friends, no hope. Take it all away … and what’s left?
Buffy looks beaten up, but when Angelus moves to finish her off, she stops the sword inches from her face and responds, “Me.” She then goes on to win the fight, but that’s secondary to the main lesson here, which is to rely on yourself and believe in yourself. Obviously, friends are important – see above and below – but at the end of the day can you do what needs to be done? The answer is yes.
“You find someone to carry you.”
But as I’m sure we all know, sometimes you can’t do it yourself, and there’s a Whedon moment for that too. In Firefly“The Message,” one of Zoe and Mal’s war friends shows up on the ship, seeking help. Now the context of this quote becomes a bit uncertain depending on where it is in the episode, but the quote itself is still good: “When you can’t run you crawl, and when you crawl. can’t crawl – when you can don’t do that… you find someone to carry you.
Basically, it’s okay not to have everything under control and need help. You don’t have to go it alone. Buffy needed her friends, Angel needed his, Echo needed his, and Mal certainly needed his. You can “find someone to carry you”.
“Are you ready to be strong?
Whedon is widely known for the strong writing of his female characters. In fact, while female lead roles are more and more prevalent now, they are still not the norm on TV, but two of Whedon’s shows – Buffy and Doll house – have female main characters. angel and Firefly also feature a number of women in their ensembles.
But few things have more “girl power” than “Chosen”, the Buffy The finale of the series. In the finale, Willow and Buffy work together to unlock the Slayer power – I don’t think I’m too grandiose here – all of us, and Buffy gives the following speech:
So here is the part where you make a choice. What if you could have this power now? In each generation, a Slayer is born, as a group of men who died thousands of years ago created this rule. They were powerful men. This woman is more powerful than all of them put together. So I say we change the rule. I say my power should be our Power. Tomorrow Willow will use the essence of this scythe to change our destiny. From now on, every girl in the world who could be a Slayer will be a Slayer. Every girl who could have the power, will have the power. Can get up, will get up. Slayers, all of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?
It’s hard to explain how important this message is, not just in terms of the finale itself – unleashing the power of potentials is what helps them win the final battle – but in life. Women can be strong. Girls can be strong. We can all be strong no matter who tells us otherwise.
“They can never stop the signal.”
Astute Whedon fans will know that technically this quote is not from one of her shows. Instead, it comes from Serenity, the film based on Firefly. But this is directly linked to a lesson that the legacy of Firefly teaches itself: the power of fans.
Only 11 episodes of Firefly aired before its premature cancellation. Many shows are canceled each television season, many of which run for more than Firefly made. Despite this fact, the show did not erupt and died but managed to live on in the minds of fans, in the form of a movie, and in cultural consciousness.
Why are fans rallying behind their favorite shows, trying to get them to move to other networks? Why are most shows getting DVD boxes now, even though they’ve been canceled? Why Véronique Mars get a movie recently? Yes, the latter was largely due to Kickstarter fans, but Firefly and Serenity must also be seen as huge contributors.
They proved it was possible. That the fans can stand up and say, “We want more.” And that the studio executives were listening. It is power.
I could spend a lot more time talking about everything Whedon’s work has meant to me, but I think at this point I’d rather hear from you. Whedon and his shows have a very vocal fan group. So what are the most important lessons you’ve learned from shows like Buffy, angel, Firefly, and Doll house? Tell us in the comments below!
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