Any new TV/movies for Whedonites in withdrawal?
March 10, 2011 1:57 PM   Subscribe

Any fairly new TV or movie recommendations for some Whedon fans in withdrawal? We've just finished Dollhouse on Netflix, and are feeling a loss for kick-ass female characters and really good and witty (if occasionally cheesy) dialogue. I recognize this question has been asked before, hence my request for fairly new recommendations. (Older shows are fine, but I don't want to waste anyone's time.)

We've watched Firefly, Serenity, Dollhouse, and Buffy (didn't much care for Angel).

Stuff recommended for Whedon fans that we've watched and were so-so about (ranked in order of what we liked best-least):

As an aside, Firefly fans who haven't seen this video might get a laugh:
"She Don't Like Firefly"

posted by brackish.line to Media & Arts (51 answers total) 56 users marked this as a favorite
Veronica Mars?
posted by RichardP at 2:00 PM on March 10, 2011 [9 favorites]

Oops. Poor reading comprehension on my part. If you've already perused old threads, you've undoubtedly already seen that suggestion. Sorry.
posted by RichardP at 2:02 PM on March 10, 2011

Seasons 2, 3 and 4 of THE WEST WING. No actual ass-kicking going on, but superbly witty, smart dialog, and the women give just as good as the men. Especially Allison Janney. And Mary Louise Parker. And Stockard Channing.

Probably not what you were looking for, but it scratches the same niche for me, and I'm a huge Joss fan.
posted by musofire at 2:02 PM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]

Yes, yes, yes to Veronica Mars.
posted by something something at 2:04 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:09 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

The first season of Angel (much like the first couple seasons of Buffy) is completely lame, but please give it a chance! It gets so, so good, maybe better than Buffy.

Not a series but have you seen Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog? I linked the first act, there are two more and it is funnnyyyyy, written and directed by Joss.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 2:11 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]

posted by elsietheeel at 2:12 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

I agree 100% with what tatiana wishbone said: "The first season of Angel (much like the first couple seasons of Buffy) is completely lame, but please give it a chance! It gets so, so good, maybe better than Buffy."
posted by methroach at 2:13 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

Nikita is new and is high on the kick ass, but sadly not so high on the witty - might be worth a try though.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 2:13 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

2nding Leverage. Bones. Psych. Maybe In Plain Sight? (it's a little drama-llama, but has some clever writing).
posted by specialagentwebb at 2:14 PM on March 10, 2011

Party Down was created by Veronica Mars's Rob Thomas. Netflix has it streaming if you're in the US.
posted by davextreme at 2:14 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]

You might also like some of the earlier (not S6; there's been a regrettable trend towards getting rid of the kick-ass women, with one notable exception) seasons of Criminal Minds. For a serial-killer-of-the-week procedural, it has a wry sense of humor and a lot of compassion for the victims (and sometimes for the perpetrators, too). Definitely not a "you're not socially normative? DIE" show like the CSIs.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:16 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]

oh and Nicholas Brendon is in Criminal Minds for a bit in the middle seasons and he's great
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:17 PM on March 10, 2011

Battlestar Galactica. Accept no substitutions.
posted by therewolf at 2:20 PM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]

kick-ass female characters and really good and witty (if occasionally cheesy) dialogue.

Kill Bill

Death Proof

Planet Terror
posted by Superfrankenstein at 2:25 PM on March 10, 2011

Wonderfalls is awesome. Another show that suffered the same fate as firefly, and i believe the person responsible is a Whedon acolyte that worked on buffy and firefly. It is available on DVD.
posted by bartonlong at 2:26 PM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]

Summer Glau is in The Cape.... FYI. I didn't know that until a couple weeks ago, so I missed most of the season, but I intend to catch up on it for that reason alone.
posted by wondermouse at 2:32 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

I prefer Buffy to Angel, but I'd say the first 2/3 or so of Season 4 of Angel is probably better than any span of Buffy episodes of the same length.

Ditto Wonderfalls and seasons 1-4 of West Wing (I threw in Season 1, too.) And, of course, Dr. Horrible if you haven't seen it.

I've been enjoying the heck out of Burn Notice, which has ass-kicking and smart dialogue, but isn't overwhelmingly Buffy-ish.
posted by Zed at 2:37 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by Thorzdad at 2:39 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

posted by linettasky at 2:39 PM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]

I watched Doctor Who (the new 5 seasons) just recently, and I'd never seen any of it before. I ended up really loving it an honestly I think it's a lot like Buffy in many ways, only with aliens instead of demons. Even though the main character (the Doctor) is male, his companions -- inevitably female and usually quite young and attractive -- have their kickass Buffy moments. Might be worth a shot. I think they're also on Netflix.
posted by olinerd at 2:39 PM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]

Dead Like Me

The Middleman
posted by plokent at 2:41 PM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]

I'd start with Angel Season Three, go through to Four, and then in five maybe skip to when
Illyria hits the scene. It's good from then on .
posted by angrycat at 2:41 PM on March 10, 2011

Wonderfalls is a hidden gem if you can find it.

Aliens 4 is kinda the first draft of Firefly. Just turn it off when the creature stuff starts.

Fringe is a lot like Buffy with no campy bits. Strong female characters, a Giles who has/is the cause of serious problems.

Brun Notice has a real scooby vibe and a lot of humour. Plus, hey, Bruce Campbell.
posted by bonehead at 2:44 PM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you don't mind animation you might enjoy Avatar: The Last Airbender.
posted by fearthehat at 2:46 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding Castle! I had my doubts before I watched it, but Nathan Fillion's just great in it and Beckett, the female lead, is proving to be full of surprises.
posted by mochapickle at 2:46 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

linettasky: Castle!

Castle is good, definitely with a strong female (and hey, it's Nathan Fillian!). Along this line, how about Bones or The Closer? Neither have anyone so much like the Fillian character in Castle, but they both feature kick-ass female leads, and good writing. And continuing down this criminal drama tangent, Harry's Law is fun. More light-hearted than the prior suggestions, Kathy Bates is great, and Christopher McDonald is a good "wacky" character without being over-the-top.

Survivors (the new one) is a good program. I'm pretty sure this is streaming on Netflix, and if not, it's worth finding elsewhere. Warning: it's only 12 episodes, and leaves you with a nasty cliff-hanger. Maybe the old one is good, too, but I still haven't seen it.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:55 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

The best part about Castle is that Nathan Fillion occasionally makes references to Firefly (I've caught 3 so far)!
posted by Safiya at 3:04 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles. This is how the Terminator series should have gone.

Also seconding Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me, Castle, Bones, Fringe.

Tim Minear (co-creator and writer for a bunch of Firefly, Buffy and Angel) also did a show in addition to Wonderfalls called The Inside. Sadly, I think the only way you can get a hold of it is through a torrent because it's not available on DVD but it was brilliant.
posted by teleri025 at 3:05 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

The UK series Misfits is well paced, funny and has some kick ass girls who deal with some dark stuff.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:15 PM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]

Incredibly left-field suggestion that is highly hit or miss:
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
posted by Mizu at 3:24 PM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]

In no particular order:

Avatar: The Last Airbender
Better Off Ted
Nikita is decent
The Vampire Diaries is surprisingly good
How I Met Your Mother
Terminator: SCC

And unfortunately, I have to anti-recommend The Cape. It has Summer, but the rest of it is just... so so bad. At least for the few eps I watched before I couldn't take it anymore.
posted by kmz at 3:24 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

Was Alias mentioned in the old thread? Because Sidney is a badass (dialog only occasionally witty, but still a fun show, especially if you like cool outfits, exotic haircolor and club scenes).

For movies, Mystique (Rebecca Romijn) in all the XMen films, playing off of Ian McKellan's Magneto. But then, I'd watch Ian McKellan in anything. And there's a new XMen movie due out this year, First Class.

Seconding The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and I'm getting into Castle now, too.
posted by misha at 3:46 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm a Joss fan, and these are the shows I like right now:

How I Met Your Mother
White Collar

And Wonderfalls and Veronica Mars are great, too!
posted by firei at 3:51 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding giving Angel another shot. It takes him about half a season to get an actual personality.

Also seconding: Bones, Avatar, Castle. (Not so much on the strong female characters for Castle.)

I've been watching Veronica Mars and while it starts off pretty strong it gets really... soap opera-y really quickly. Like, with a really dramatic new development in... pretty much every episode.

I also recommend Community and Parks and Recreation, because they do a similarly good job of an ensemble cast as most Whedon shows. Community you can pick up at any point, but I recommend starting P&R from Season 2 (1 is pretty weak).
posted by NoraReed at 3:56 PM on March 10, 2011

I love In Plain Sight; it's got a kick ass female, and definitely witty dialogue, interesting, flawed characters, and the first two seasons are out on dvd :D
posted by lemniskate at 4:15 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

This is kind of out of left field, but my husband and I are huge Whedon fans, and we loved, loved, LOVED the British miniseries Downton Abbey. It has clever dialogue, complicated characters, a brilliant ensemble cast, strong and kick-ass female leads, and some excellent corsets. Of course, it's an Edwardian costume drama, so the corsetage doesn't really play as cleverly anachronistic, but still! Recommended.
posted by Spinneret at 4:17 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

Also, my Buffy-lovin' boyfriend and I love Justified on FX. It is lacking in the strong female lead department, but otherwise it is terrific. Great characters and dialogue.
posted by wondermouse at 5:22 PM on March 10, 2011

Certainly this will be heresy to deeply-invested fans of the British original, but I'm really enjoying the American remake of "Being Human." It airs on the Syfy Channel every Monday night, and we're only about seven (eight?) episodes into the first season. Give it a try, I think you'd like it!

Also agree on Castle and Archer. And if you're into animated shows, Venture Bros.
posted by ErikaB at 6:57 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

This is not sci-fi, but you might enjoy Sports Night. Very witty, great female cast and an all-around fun show. Also, if you can find it, the Canadian series Being Erica is really good (I watched it on Netflix, but I am in Canada so I am not sure if Netflix USA has it). It has a vaguely paranormal-ish aspect to it (she time travels) and some really neat characters. Oh, and Joan of Arcadia!And Gilmore Girls! Not sci-fi, but good fun and great female characters.

On the 'maybe' list, I'll throw in plugs for Charmed and Bones.
posted by JoannaC at 7:22 PM on March 10, 2011

Having seen Wonderfalls and Dead Like Me suggested, I would be remiss if I did not add Pushing Daisies to the pile.
posted by D.Billy at 7:41 PM on March 10, 2011

Nikita is full of badassery and I love how the women interact on this show. Every episodes passes the Bechdel test. The first few episodes are a little slow, but it cranks into high gear pretty fast. Also, you get a dose of snark every now and then, Nikita's especially fun in that department. I might also have a fannish recruitment manual.

Agree with Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Leverage.

Community. I've become surprisingly fond of Britta considering how much she annoyed me at first. The first few episodes of Season 1 are iffy, skip to Modern Warfare to see it at its best.

Ones others haven't mentioned:

Damages. No so much on the witty, but you do not want to cross Patty Hewes.

I really liked Amber Tamblyn in The Unusuals. The Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner is in it also. All 10 episodes are available on Hulu.
posted by jyorraku at 7:43 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Dark Angel: Not that new, but I think it deserves a mention. Stars Jessica Alba as a genetically-enchanced bike courier tracking down her past.
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 9:50 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Gotta throw in another vote for Sarah Connor Chronicles. That show was insanely under-rated.
posted by stratastar at 10:02 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you all so much! What a fantastic list. :)

Summary (so far):
Veronica Mars
West Wing
Angel - give it another try, especially after S01
Doctor Horrible's Singalong Blog
In Plain Sight
Party Down
Criminal Minds (before S06)
Kill Bill
Death Proof
Planet Terror
The Cape
Burn Notice
Dr Who
Dead Like Me
The Middleman
Aliens 4
Avatar (esp. after the first 2-3 episodes)
The Closer
Harry's Law
Sarah Conner Chronicles (Loved this too, by the way.)
The Inside
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Better Off Ted
How I Met Your Mother
White Collar
Downtown Abbey
Being Human (American version)
Sports Night
The Unusuals
Dark Angel
Parks & Recreation (Probably my favorite show currently airing.)
posted by brackish.line at 8:10 AM on March 11, 2011 [4 favorites]

Just wanted to add Stargate: SG-1 to the list. Its pretty witty, pokes fun at the Scifi genre, and has most of what you are looking for. The character of Samantha Carter is is both smart and ass-kicking--seriously, she once blew up a star.
posted by buttercup at 12:59 PM on March 11, 2011 [4 favorites]

I felt that Huge really carried on the Buffy spirit at times, though it only had 10 episodes and as such didn't really get to blossom.
posted by milkweed at 5:42 PM on March 11, 2011

Covert Affairs, maybe
posted by juv3nal at 2:53 PM on March 14, 2011

For a huge shift of genre, but with the same kind of badassery and women-not-to-screw-with, you might like Sons of Anarchy. It's also got some fantastic writing and what seem to be really well planned long-term plot lines. If you really need scifi, you can always pretend the motorcycles are spaceships.
posted by Morydd at 11:33 AM on March 15, 2011

You may be looking for something lighter, but I've always thought Mad Men is very Whedony show because of its morally ambiguous characters and strong female roles. It also helps that Marti Noxon is consultant producer / writer and a number of Whedon alums (Saffron, Connor, and Danny Strong) have been on the show.
posted by marco_nj at 4:19 PM on March 15, 2011

If you like Veronica Mars, give Terriers a try too. Also about private investigation without the teenage drama. Great continuity and acting but sadly only lasted a season.
posted by lucia_engel at 11:53 AM on March 20, 2011

« Older Indigenous resistance on behalf of the land   |   Help me publish a medical article in a law journal... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.