On shows created by Joss Whedon

More Than Entertainment

By Stephanie R. deLusé, Ph.D.

When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.


It’s been tough to write this essay. Many a word has already been written about Joss Whedon and his creations. Many, many a word. A bit of research would convince anyone that there is little left that is new to say, as Joss has inspired rabid fans in and outside academia such that, it seems, every laudatory and critical thing that can be said or theorized about him has been said or theorized (except as he unfolds new projects for us to consider). I had a potentially fresh idea or two, especially about Firefly/Serenity, but this is an essay for The Psychology of Joss Whedon so my preference was to somehow write about him and his impact rather than about a specific show or character or how some theory could be tied to yet another aspect of his work. So I labored in the quarry of my mind, throwing the hammer of my pen to crack open this bit of ground, then that bit, to see if I’d hit a rich vein. I moved several mental rocks and then I had to push particularly hard against an old stone that, I learned, was weighty with more than thoughts-there was emotion there. I finally craned it up to see moist earth, wet with tears and sweat, and a mess of worms and bugs. Out of respect for squirmy life that likes to  …

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