Everything I Need to Know in Life I Learned from Joss Whedon
Valerie Estelle Frankel
Joss Whedon has much to teach his fans, as he unfurls epics of sacrifice and heroism for superheroes and ordinary people. Firefly, like Alien: Resurrection, was his anti-authoritarian dystopia, while Buffy the Vampire Slayeremphasized girl power and individuality in a world of monsters. Dollhouse tackled identity, memory and the soul, reaching from fantasy into philosophy, just as The Cabin in the Woods satirized the nebulous "Greater Good." Now, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Avengers explore heroism, teamwork, and personal responsibility. Whedon has independent works too, all explored from the paranormal romance film In Your Eyes to his feminist skits for Equality Now. In comics, such as X-Men, Runaways,Sugarshock, and Buffy, he explores unconventional teams and chosen families. From Angel's quest for faith and redemption in a world of nihilism to the smaller stories of family and friendships in The Office, Glee, Parenthood, and Roseanne, not to mention Much Ado About Nothing, Whedon offers lessons to improve the world and our roles within it. This book compares themes, motifs, and archetypes across all his works, teasing out the common threads and the messages within.