Joss Weekend…and beyond!

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Hello, and welcome to the Whedonverse.

In honor of his brilliant work as a writer, director, and producer, The Science Channel is throwing down some mad Joss Whedon action this weekend. “Joss Weekend” kicks off at 6 am tomorrow morning with Firefly 10th Anniversary: Browncoats Unite–an interview/reunion session from last year’s Comic-Con. Following that are 18 dazzling hours of Dollhouse. At 3am on Sunday there’s a little break, just enough for a quick night of sleep. Then at 8am it’s back to it with 19 hours of Firefly, in which I’m assuming the entire series will be aired. Overall “Joss Weekend” comes to about 40 hours of excellent TV. I’m glad The Science Channel is doing this. I think it’s great…IF you don’t have access to a streaming service. If you do, then I have a better plan for you.

Netflix, HuluPlus, and Amazon Instant Video are teeming with Whedon titles. Most streamers know about The Avengers, and I’m guessing there’s a scary dose of Buffy followers too, but it doesn’t end there. Absolutely not. So I’m gonna break down ALL of Whedon’s works available to you on these three services, so that you may bask in the splendor of The Joss forevermore. I hope your couch is comfy.

1. Firefly (2002-2003)

I have to contain myself because Firefly gets me pretty riled up. The show follows the ragtag crew of a smuggling spaceship led by Captain Malcolm Reynolds in the 26th century. They inadvertently pick up some extremely dangerous cargo which thrusts them into a series of life-changing adventures. The story has been called a mix between science fiction and western, but since there is precious little science, I’d just call it a space western. The diverse characters offer constant entertainment ,the writing is incredibly witty, and the space sequences are breathtaking. Do yourself a favor and watch it. It’ll make your heart happy.

Available on Netflix, HuluPlus, and Amazon Instant Video

2. Serenity (2005)

After the untimely demise of the Firefly series at the hands of the bastards at FOX, the huge fan base erupted with outrage. Out of this cult following was born Serenity, a feature length film that essentially wrapped up the story of the crew. Much more grandiose than the show, Serenity featured slick storytelling, some epic space battles, and a big conclusion that mended the wounds of many fans, including myself.

Available on Netflix

3. Done the Impossible (2006)

If you loved Firefly and Serenity, this one is kind of a must watch. It’s the story behind the story, packed with cast interviews, fan testimonials, and the history of the fight to bring back Captain Mal and his crew.

Available on Netflix

4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)

This is the series that launched Whedon’s career. The story centers around Buffy Summers, who, alongside her good friends and a stodgy librarian named Giles, fight the forces of evil while braving the horrors of high school. Buffy at first comes off a little corny, but through 7 seasons it really buckled down and became a fantastic little adventure.

Available on Netflix, HuluPlus, and Amazon Instant Video

5. Angel (1999-2004)

Named after one of Buffy’s most popular (and hunky) characters, this spinoff follows Angel, the vampire with a soul. Not quite as original or inspired as it’s parent show, Angel nevertheless picks up some momentum of its own with its much darker treatment of the subject matter.

Available on Netflix, HuluPlus, and Amazon Instant Video

6. Dollhouse (2009-2010)

Based on the first few episodes you might think this show is just a random collection of action sequences and hot women, but give it some time. There’s some real moral meat to this story. There’s also some pretty good science. Dollhouse is the closest Whedon has ever gotten to true science fiction, exploring the possibilities of the mind and how we might be able to shape people’s beliefs, memories, and even actions through neurology. Ok so to some of you that might sound boring, but I promise there are plenty of thrills (and laughs) to go along with it.

Available on Netflix, HuluPlus, and Amazon Instant Video

7. The Cabin in The Woods (2012)

I really don’t know how Joss pulled this one off, but The Cabin in the Woods is pretty brilliant. I don’t want to give too much away (you’ll thank me if you watch it) but let’s just say this is a nearly perfect blend of humor and horror. I promise you haven’t seen anything quite like it before.

Available on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

8. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008)

A little ball of quirk was written during the 2007-2008 Writer’s Guild of America strike, and never actually appeared on TV. But it’s playful tone and silly songs quickly picked up a cult following on the web. Neil Patrick Harris stars as Dr. Horrible, an aspiring super villain blogger looking for love…and world domination. Nathan Fillion is superb as the douchey, macho “good guy” Captain Hammer. It’s only 40 minutes long so go for it.

Available on Netflix

9. Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope (2011)

If the nerd soul within you is in perpetual agony because you’ve never been to Comic-Con, do it a favor and watch this documentary. It might ease the pain. The writing and directing team behind the film, which includes Joss Whedon, have done an amazing job bringing you the event from all angles. It really is the next best thing to actually going.

Available on HuluPlus

10. Joss Whedon Animation Extravaganza

Whedon has been writing since the late 80s, and his name is on some projects that surprised me. Maybe the most impressive achievement on Whedon’s resume is the screenplay for Toy Story (1995). Unfortunately, that one is unavailable to stream at this time, but some other notable movies penned by Whedon are right there waiting for you. You can start with Disney’s under-appreciated Atlantis (2001), then maybe the big budget Titan AE (2000), and if you’re a superhero fan try out The Astonishing X-Men (2012).

Available on Netflix (X-Men also available on HuluPlus)

I know that’s a lot of material. But if your gut starts to swell or you experience muscle atrophy because you can’t pull yourself away from the couch, don’t blame me. Blame Joss.


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