Okay: Joss Whedon.
Joss Whedon is a huge source of my life's joy. In 1997, I came across a show called Buffy: the Vampire Slayer which no one wanted to watch because what the heck kind of name is that? Unfortunately, it's hard for people to know when a show is making fun of itself. I found the show at the end of Season 1 and made sure to catch the following episodes as they aired. I was in 7th grade and since then, I haven't stopped talking about that dang show.
Folks, this is back before hulu and DVRs. I had to show up at my television at 8:00 p.m. on a Tuesday and wiggle the bunny ears around. As I fell more and more in love with the show, I started recording it (on VHS!) so that I could watch episodes 8 times over before the next week. When it started to be released on DVD, I asked for them for Christmas. When I got them, I went out and bought a DVD player... I didn't even have one yet, but Buffy merited the purchase. I love that freaking show. I grew up with Buffy. She still hangs out with me a lot. I'm sure that I've seen each episode 15 times and some of them far more than that.
Joss Whedon was known for some television work and for script doctoring some fantastic movie scripts. Before Buffy, he was best know for his work on the Toy Story script.
Buffy became a wildly successful show and gave the WB its identity as a teen network, allowing them to expand on shows targeted toward that demographic and then, ya know, fail some number of years later (after Buffy left!). My favorite show went off the air (gracefully) after 7 seasons. Its spin-off series, Angel, lasted for 5 seasons, but ultimately couldn't stand on its own without a Buffy lead-in.
Firefly is known as one of FOX's biggest mistakes: they moved it around, skipped the first (2 part!) episode, and ultimately didn't give it a chance: after 12 episodes, Firefly was cancelled. If FOX had given the show its time, it undoubtedly would have been a huge hit. Firefly sold like hot cakes on DVD and there is a whole browncoat movement, which you know about if you live on the internet.
Dollhouse was a dang cool show that started out too slow (since networks want shows to do too many one-ers, which is not how television is anymore) and started airing on Friday nights. I don't know who thought that airing shows for young adults on Friday evenings was a good idea... Dollhouse got 2 seasons, but aside from being a highly watched show online, it didn't do too well on the television. Networks are still learning how to work with the INTERNET, but....
Joss Whedon took his shows to comic book form, and while fewer people buy comic books than watch television, they are some of the most popular comic books out, since they've expanded the "comic book" crowd. Joss also wrote a series of X-Men comics (long before), since Joss is a nerd.
So here comes 2012 and after series like Spider Man and Batman make huge sales at the box office and Star Trek is remade to be super cool, the whole "nerds are cool" thing is not just for Hot Topic T-shirts. Suddenly the cult tv shows that I've been trying to get people to watch for 15 years belong to the writer/director of the highest grossing film in history and everyone knows who Joss Whedon is.
It's funny how things work out. For 15 years, I've been trying to convince people to watch that show with the funny name and without fail, if I get them to actually sit down and watch it, they like it. In fact, almost all of them finish the series. And then watch all of Joss' other series.... because Joss Whedon is a genius and now that he wrote and directed the highest grossing film of all time, The Avengers, everyone knows it.
I'm going to skip past the reality that the Buffy website I made 10 years ago is still lingering on the internet and tell you that I recently made a Joss Whedon tumblr. If you've jumped on the Joss-loving bandwagon, perhaps you will enjoy seeing a few fan videos, reading some funny Buffy quotes, seeing what Joss and his people are up to these days, or watching Emma Caulfield dance around on a gif.
In any case: Josstastic