Whedon Wednesday: Eulogy for Jenny Calendar

Whedon Wednesday is a tribute to the many Joss Whedon characters who have died over the years.  A combined effort with Laura, Megg, and Elspeth, Whedon Wednesday is a series of Eulogies morning the loss of these characters who died in fiction, but will never die in our hearts.  Archive.  Introduction.

I can hardly remember when I met Jenny.  But it wasn’t the meeting that has solidified her impact on me, but her attitude and legacy.  In a world dominated as much by high school horrors and tribulations as it was by monsters and demons, Jenny brought a different perspective to the fight against evil.  For a short while, she became a part of the Scooby Gang, and she has been missed.

Ms. Calendar taught us so much more than computers.  She introduced us to magic, showing everyone how ancient magic and modern technologies could work together — even if Giles would object.  She was a great example of how to handle oneself in a crisis and always quick with a comeback.

Jenny came to Sunnydale with a mission: be sure that Angelus’ soul did not return to him.  Make sure he remained miserable.  This mission led to Jenny coming at odds with the scooby gang near the end of her life.  It was this mission that lead to the circumstances of her death.  Angel himself has now paid the price for what he did, but it is the rest of us who have to live with the consequences.  Her mission is complete, but she gave up her life in the process.  As much as we may have resented her actions in life, we will miss her, her kindness and levelheadedness, dearly.

Jenny Calendar has been the first loss in what will grow to be a long list.  Everyone among us knows that our efforts against vampires and demons will result in casualties. It’s a part of what we sign up for when we join the gang.  We fight for good to permeate the world we live in.  Death reminds us of this fight, but we mustn’t let it pull us to the darkness.  We must use this to fuel our fight, and continue on.

Recipes and Wishes for Non-Existent Rainy Days

On the list of things I want to make goes: homemade tortillas and French vinaigrette.

How Campfire Chic does all the things.

Mentally prepare yourself for me talking way too much about Buffy the Vampire Slayer by checking out his list of 115 Reasons to Love Buffy.

Why breaks are necessary.

These ideas for rainy days make me want it to rain.  Unfortunately for me it’s been uncharacteristically sunny in San Francisco lately.

Become a morning person.  Sometimes I think that I am, but that’s really just an elaborate lie I tell myself.

Ask for things without being annoying.

Under the category of writing: Your character must make a decision, Pixar’s story rules (which reminds me to talk about Brave. later).

Useful? Maybe. Pretty? Absolutely.

As a part of my first foray into the world I hope to inhabit after leaving college, I realized once again (as this was something I knew before) that I needed to have business cards.  So I got some.  It was one of the first things I did when I got home was to sit down to design and order business cards.

I’m still nerdily excited about them because they make me seem all professional and official even though I don’t really feel like I am yet.  The only thing is that now that I’m not in LA on a set anymore I don’t have anyone to give them too.  Not that that makes a difference.  I still carry them around like a dope.  Don’t even care.  No shame, all that good stuff.

Whedon Wednesday: Kickoff

The pen is mightier than the sword.  A cliche that rings remarkably true when looking at the work of Joss Whedon.  For years characters in television, movies, and web series have feared their lives under the direction of Mr. Whedon.  The writer, producer, and director of various projects ranging from the cult favorites, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, to Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, and most recently to Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers.

Motives run the gambit from senseless killing of favorite characters to deaths necessary for the growth of other characters and plots.  The average death fits somewhere between the two reasons.  And with just over twenty characters on the list, there is certainly room for an average.

From now until mid-December, I will be contributing to a group effort to bring these characters the recognition they deserve.  My friend Laura, and her sister Megg, are carrying the bulk of the project, with contributions from myself and another friend, Elspeth.  Together we are writing a series of Eulogies for all the characters who have fallen victim to Mr. Whedon’s pen.  In keeping their memory alive we hope to share the love that we feel for these characters and the universe’s they are a part of.

Starting now, and continuing nearly to the end of the year, there will be a Whedon Wednesday Eulogy posted on one of our blogs each week.  Since we all have different styles and formats, they will be archived in different ways depending on the blogger.  I for one will be creating a page under the new tab of television where I will link up to the post of the day.  I will also be re-tweeting and linking up the week’s post on my Twitter page and in that day’s post respectively.

Even though I’ve only just finished Buffy, I am wildly excited about his project.  I can’t wait to share with everyone.  Next week I’ll kick of with the first post, and in the coming weeks I’ll be talking about my feelings on Buffy and some of my favorite casualties.  I’ll also be linking up to the other posts in the series in the months ahead.

High Brow/Low Brow

Here’s something that bothers me about how people think of television.  And I would go so far as to say that most people think this, but their actions are at odds with their thinking.  People think television isn’t an art form.  They think that because it’s on all the time and it’s available to everyone, it can’t possibly be art.

I realize that in stating this as a rule I immediately bring up all the exceptions to it.  Man Men, Aaron Sorkin’s shows, and really anything on HBO.  And yes.  Clearly those are art and are treated as such.  But what about all the shows that aren’t considered high brow television?  Why can’t they be art too?  The New Girl‘s, the Big Bang Theory‘s and the Once Upon A Time‘s?

In some ways the general public treats these shows as an art of sorts anyway.  “Did you see Psych last night? It was hysterical.” or “Wouldn’t it be great if Karen Gillian from Doctor Who really did appear on Community?” (answer: YES!)  But the media generally doesn’t.

When TV is covered in the newspaper it’s sort of shoved under the carpet.  Tucked back behind the Film section and barely a full page spread (unless you’re talking about Mad Men, Sorkin or HBO).  On Entertainment news the movie stars are given full bios, but television is reduced to spoilers for new episodes and maybe a short interview with [insert name here].

The problem for me with writing this post is that I don’t have the answer to fix it.  I think we need to change our thinking before we can change the media that surrounds it.  Newspaper and other forms of news are only reporting what there is a demand for, and we need to demand more television coverage.

Do you think there is a hierarchy in media?  What’s at the top?  The bottom?

The Adventure of Alone

Parts of last week and the majority of this coming week have me living alone in our house in San Francisco.  This involves getting myself up and getting things done without prompting.  In Chicago this is normal, but In San Francisco it is odd.

My mom keeps our fridge well stocked with food, but now I can’t even go to the grocery store because I don’t have a car (this was a conscious choice, so don’t feel too sorry for me).  The cupboards seem emptier than usual.  I have no idea what to do with the freshly laundered towels.  At night I have to go through the whole house to make sure lights get turned off.  Tonight I have to bring the trash cans to the front for collecting.

It’s not that any of these things are inherently bad.  It’s just that it’s just a sort of a new adventure.  An adventure of living alone when I’ve never done it before.  But there are other things that are much more clearly in the positive arena.

I get the TV to myself.  I can do chores on my own timeline without needing to worry about getting in other people’s way.  There’s no chance that the Oreo’s are going to disappear without me noticing (unless I have recently developed a habit of sleep eating or have a very selective robber).  I get the TV all to myself.

Do you live alone?  Do you love it or hate it?

Rambling List

It’s been too long since I did a links post, and those stars and bookmarks add up.  Here’s what I’ve been checking out lately.

Bookshops in Berlin?  I’m taking notes.

Well, after my post on Girls I found these.  I still like the Downton Abbey ones better.

I’m always a little scared that I’m playing it safe.  Glad that this list put my mostly out of my wonder.

I can’t help but wonder if my TV list sparked Laura’s.  At the moment her’s is more comprehensive though.

7 Tricks to Write More with Less Willpower

101 Ways to Find Inspiration

I kind of want to start a blogging journal.

Just in case I ever choose to become a professional climber, I’ll take my cues from this gal.

In other news I am quite nearly done with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I’m waiting for the imminent waterfall of emotions.  I will probably have a brain dump of my thoughts on the series in the coming weeks.  Also, my two best friends are graduating and coming home this weekend, so that’s exciting.

Have the Girls Gone Wild?

If you’re remotely interested in TV and I’ve seen you in the past month or so, I’ve probably asked you if you’ve seen Girls.  Yes, the hype has now died down a bit from the premiere, but I have been wavering on it for so long that only now am I properly coming up with my two cents.  Also, it’s been difficult to watch as I don’t have HBO.

Girls is a new show on HBO that’s basically the Lena Dunham hour.  She wrote it, created it, has directed some episodes, and is the star.  It’s about a group of girls living in New York, trying to figure out how to make a living and not screw up.  The focus is on Hannah (played by Dunham), who in the first episode is cut off from her parents who have been supporting her since she graduated college, and her roommates who don’t seem to be that much more put together than she is.  Given that it’s HBO she has been given free reign of content.  Anything is up fro grabs and they capitalize on it.  There is lot’s of sex, lots of “mature themes”, a generous helping of cursing, and a sprinkling of drugs.

To be honest, I’m still not sure how I feel about it.  On the one hand I feel as if I’m supporting the whitewashing of American media if I say anything in it’s support.  I’m saying that I’m okay with the amount of sex that’s there.  I’m saying that Hannah is right to have been so dependent on her parents for so long (or a bunch of other things she does).  And I’m not saying that.  I’m not okay with these things.  But on the other hand…

There is a truth to it.  Lena Durham is writing from her own experiences, and who are we to say that’s wrong?  Not to say that it’s awesome that her experiences don’t seem to include anyone outside of her ethnicity, but that’s sort of her problem.  What makes it good is the authenticity of it.  Because of it’s perspective, Girls has a sense of believability even amid some of the more are-you-freaking-kidding-me moments.

I think my biggest issue with it is that Hannah’s actions don’t seem to be at all logical. Take opium and then go ask her parents for money.  Proposition her boss!?  Going on a date with a guy from home while she has a sort of boyfriend.  These kind of things make me want to throw things at the TV (or more likely the computer).  Seriously!?!

Part of me wants to hate it.  Because there is no diversity what-so-ever.  Because I believe that amount of sex in one show is outlandish and unnecessary.  Because I would be unspeakably uncomfortable watching this with my parents.  But there are parts that I kind of like.  Not the sex or the whitewashedness of it, but other parts.  Like how the dialect seems to real.  Like the uncomfortable situations that I can on some level relate to.  And it’s those reasons that I seem to keep coming back to it.  I doubt that I will ever be more than a casual observer, but as many problems as it has, Girls also has it’s moments of brilliance.

Have you been watching Girls?  What do you think?

More TV related things