Much Ado About Whedon
Joss Whedon and I don’t necessarily mix well. That isn’t to say I dislike the man or the various creations he has been part of over the years. It’s merely an observation that while I overall enjoy his work, there have been times where, for me, he’s missed more than he’s hit. Like any other human being on this planet, he makes mistakes. Also like any other human being on this planet, everyone has their own opinion about art.
That said, I’m a firm proponent of Firefly and all that the show entails. Nathan Fillion still has me watching Castle, though I generally loathe the way the show is paced. As someone who grew up with Toy Story, Whedon’s works have rarely been out of my life entirely, but I could never warm up to either Buffy or Angel. They never captured my rapt attention like they did for so many others, and there truly are so many others out there who loved it. There’s a certain section of people out there that praise everything Whedon and condemn all of those who dare question the simple fact that he is the best and has always been the best. To them, everything he touches is silver and gold. Maybe even platinum. There are also entire communities focused on following Whedon’s ripples in the world.
For those of us who don’t connect our identity with Buffy or the like, however, there’s a much more even-keeled approach.
Before digressing too far, let me first say this: Joss Whedon has a habit of punching over his weight level. That’s never unimpressive, considering his own weight level, but it also means that he risks and fails as much as he truly succeeds. Sometimes what the general public seems to like, the critical audience will trash. The other way around is typically true as well. Firefly is a testament to that.
Though it may seem like this is a demerit, a point against him, this kind of attitude actually has earned him my trust over the years. I may not like everything he puts out (Dollhouse Season 1 comes to mind), but I know deep down in the cockles of my heart that he’s only trying his best to create greatness given the situation he is in.
It’s genuinely difficult to fault someone for dreaming big.
And Whedon, perhaps, is the biggest dreamer out there these days. From the audacity of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog to the space Western backdrops of Firefly, nobody can fault the man for giving his all to a vision. Well, somebody surely could, but it won’t be me. So, when word comes down the pipeline that he’s done a whirlwind adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, my interest is immediately piqued.
It’s not because I necessarily love Shakespeare, though he certainly has his moments. It’s not even particularly due to Whedon himself, though he’s certainly the facilitator of what has caused my continued interest. It’s the whirlpool of people that Whedon continues to work with on project after project that has my faith more than the man himself. But then, he’s the one who knows how to pick actors and other co-conspirators.
Even so, piqued interest and all, I’m not positive about the end result. I don’t know if I’m going to care for the movie as a whole even with Whedon and his motley band of misfits. As I’ve said previously, sometimes he hits more than he misses with me. But I’m still going to support the dreamer as he dreams even if the end result isn’t something I can get behind; the dream itself is a worthy cause all on its own.