I think Joss Whedon is one of the most talented, creative and, unfortunately, underrated writer-directors in Hollywood today.
He has recently gotten a lot of attention for directing The Avengers, which really is one of the greatest superhero movies ever. But Whedon has been creating fascinating, thought provoking stories for the screen since the ’90s. He is the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dollhouse.
While all of these shows are science fiction, fantasy and horror, Whedon managed to tell real and universal stories with all of his characters.
One of the things that Whedon does very well is character development. I hate shows where the characters are constantly the same season after season. Whedon’s characters evolve and grow over time just like real human beings.
By the last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy Summers, is no longer the shallow, selfish, teenage girl we meet at the beginning of the series. She has evolved into a strong, caring and determined woman who can deal with anything life throws at her.
Natural or unnatural. So did her friends, Xander and Willow, who went from being shy and meek to strong and authoritative individuals.
Whedon believes in grounding his characters’ lives and personalities in reality and making their actions realistic, even if the show is anything but. He wants the viewer to relate to the characters’ emotions and personalities, even though the viewers don’t live in their fantastical world.
His characters are strong, smart, pop-culture savvy and a reflection of not only their world, but ours as well.
Joss Whedon’s ability to make his characters feel like real people is a gift. A gift that only the greatest of storytellers possesses.
I love Joss Whedon’s work, and so should you.