I have a lot to thank Joss Whedon for: inspiring birthday party themes, giving us a beautiful adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, and transforming a vampire into a muppet in one of Angel’s more hallucinatory episodes. But most of all, Joss Whedon gave me Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I don’t have to put my love for this show into words often – squeaking sounds normally suffice – but I think the seven seasons he wrote and directed are the closest we’ll get to perfect television. BtVS is a world where women have power (and to assume otherwise means you may end up dead), high school is built on a Hellmouth, and no character, human or demon, is reduced to a stereotype – vampires can have souls just the same as the popular mean girl.
Joss Whedon was probably my first encounter with a male feminist. In an interview where he was asked why he writes strong female characters, he replied, “Because you’re still asking me that question.” My hero. While his fans around the world – myself included – probably think What Would Buffy Do when in a difficult situation, it might save many writers a lot of time by asking What Would Joss Whedon Do.