Considering last month was a huge time of appreciation for writer/director Joss Whedon with not one, but two hugely successful movies bearing his name being released -- blockbuster juggernaut "The Avengers" and his wickedly clever take on horror in "Cabin in the Woods" -- it's a good time to look back and celebrate Whedon's mastery of the tragic and some of the most subversive things he ever snuck into his writing.Many might believe death would dominate the list (and it does, to a large degree), so we toyed with the notion of combining those deaths into one entry. Unfortunately, that wouldn't have done justice to some of the individual scenes and storylines. Without further ado, here is the top ten list of cruelty across the spectrum of Joss Whedon's work.SPOILER ALERT: Major spoilers ahead! Only read this list if you are very much familiar with all things Joss Whedon!
9. Bennett Halverson gets shot: "Dollhouse" - "Getting Closer" It would be easy to make a "worst moments" list for "Buffy" or "Angel," but here's a shout out to the great unloved Whedon baby. "Dollhouse" had a very shaky start which almost lost me, but the man himself promised from the sixth episode on, there would an improvement. Sweet Fanciful Moses, did he deliver! The show took an upswing in quality which rarely faltered and while not his finest hour, it gradually insinuated itself into the affections of the Whedon loyal."Dollhouse" was always a tough sell; the premise ran the risk of becoming dreadfully formulaic and the characters were not the most likable, but this began to change in its second year. Topher, who was a generally obnoxious element, began to soften and slowly rose in estimation to be a fan-adored Whedon character. While the favoritism didn't begin during his painfully chaste romance with Bennett Halverson (played by Summer Glau), it certainly added to humanizing him. But in typical TV style, happy couples make for boring non-drama and in a haste -- perhaps borne of looming cancellation -- the beautiful Bennett was dispatched in a moment of shocking brutality just as the simmering attraction between herself and Topher had finally revealed itself. Fans should have gotten used to it, but it still shook me up on first viewing. Despite all the things "Dollhouse" didn't get right, it nailed that budding romance, as Topher tells himself describing Bennett, "Librarian energy through the roof!" Its very brevity only adds to the tragedy -- a metaphor for the show itself.
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