Monday, September 5, 2011

The Psychology of Joss Whedon edited by Joy Davidson, PhD

Book Details 
The Psychology of Joss Whedon edited by Joy Davidson PhD
Paperback, 215 Pages
2007, Smart Pop
ISBN: 1933771259

Joss Whedon—creator of the wildly popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer, its spin-off Angel, the short-lived series Firefly, and the feature film it inspired, Serenity—takes a seat on the couch in this in-depth examination of the psychological gravity that has captivated his deeply devoted fan base. Whedon fans will enjoy a discussion of issues that are both funny and profound, from the significance of Angel’s mommy issues and the best way to conduct government experiments on vampires to what could drive a man to become a cannibalistic Reaver and the psychological impact of being one girl in all the world chosen to fight the forces of darkness.

Not gonna lie, I'm a Joss Whedon fangirl. I think he's a genius. On his worst day, his work is just fantastic as opposed to mindblowing. When The Psychology of Joss Whedon came across my radar, I was incredibly excited to read it. I have a large interest in psychology and the idea of delving into Joss's mind on that level, seeing what makes him tick, makes me more than a little giddy.

First, a warning: Do not read this book if you haven't watched Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Serenity. Spoilers galore. If you haven't seen Dollhouse or Dr. Horrible, get on that immediately, but don't worry about this book spoiling them as it was written before they came about.

As I mentioned above, I enjoy psychology. I've been known to read psychology textbooks for fun. And even I found the scientific details and explanations to be a bit too much in The Psychology of Joss Whedon. As a means to explore how Whedon creates creates characters, the information is interesting. Unfortunately, a number of essayists delved into way too much science and neglected to relate it to Joss or his characters in an entertaining way.

I'm a strong believer in educating someone by using their interests as examples. I think it helps a person process and retain information when it is presented in a context they are already familiar with. The Psychology of Joss Whedon does well here. Specific scenes fans know and love broken down by psychological analysis will help fans understand complicated psychology concepts while giving them a deeper appreciation of the series, characters and Joss himself.

The Psychology of Joss Whedon doles out a lot of great information, but it could have been a little lighter. Some essays were written with the intended audience in mind, while others are clearly more clinical in nature. Psychology of pop culture figures should be a little more fun than this and the seriousness of certain essays will definitely turn off readers who usually get their psychology from Dr. Phil and Dr. Drew.


No comments :

Post a Comment