Addicted to Whedon & Pratchett

Discworld_Companion (by StarbuckGuy)

I’ve touched on this before — I’m addicted to the productions of writer, director, and producer, Joss Whedon. I own the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, all seven seasons of Buffy (TV series), the complete Angel series, and as of today, the complete Firefly series and the subsequent movie Serenity. They arrived in my latest order.

I’m on my second viewing of Angel and, as happened with Buffy, I’m enjoying it much more the second time around. Right now I’m in the very dark season two episodes where Darla has been turned (re-turned) into a vamp by Drusilla and the two are terrorizing LA. Wolfram & Hart are showing more and more of the depth of their evilness and Angel is driving away his friends, Cordelia, Wesley, and Gunn. In fact he just fired them. I’m midway through the season, before their dimensional adventure takes them on a subplot where they find ‘Fred’.

It’s not the plots, which are a bit monster-of-the-week or adventure-of-the-week. They’re enjoyable, if you like SF&F. It’s the writing. Joss Whedon’s originality and freshness has been passed along to all the co-writers of the various series and, as a result, the episodes have the unexpected, surprising twists of dialogue, undercutting humour, and powerful character development and story arcs that flow from Whedon’s own pen. I’ve never encountered writing like this before in pop culture media.

I wasn’t sure I was going to purchase Firefly and Serenity after watching a borrowed version, but I finally convinced Trevor to watch Serenity with me (we often share our fave movies as father/son buddy time) and after viewing it he said, “You’re going to buy these, aren’t you?” That’s his stamp of approval — he’s acquired a considerable video collection of his favourite movies. Well … certainly I couldn’t let him down.

I added a paperback to the latest Amazon order to bring the threshold to the ‘free shipping’ point: The New Discworld Companion, by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs. I’ve only dipped into it a little but it’s a delightful reader’s encyclopedia to the characters and elements of Discworld. Here’s the entry on Conina:

One of the daughters of Conan the Barbarian, and therefore genetically a barbarian heroine who, unfortunately, wants to be a hair dresser. A superb fighter, she carries a large number of concealed weapons, although absolutely anything she can get hold of — a hairgrip, a piece of paper, a hamster — is used as a deadly weapon.

Her hair is long and almost pure white, her skin tanned. She is a demure and surprisingly small figure. Although she inherits her looks from her mother, a temple dancer, she inherits from her father sinews you could moor a boat with, reflexes like a snake on hot tin, a terrible urge to steal things and a sensation that she should be throwing a knife at everyone she meets.

I see a strong connection between my addiction to Joss Whedon and my addiction to Terry Pratchett. Both, in my opinion, transcend the genres they write in, creating art.

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