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Against All Odds, Is This The Most Successful 'Buffy' Alum?

By Joanna Robinson | Trade News | December 17, 2013 | Comments ()


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Let’s check in for a quick second with some of our favorite Buffy The Vampire Slayer alums, shall we? Joss Whedon is currently quite busy ruling the universe, thank you very much. This article doesn’t concern him. Let’s stick with the talent in front of the camera, shall we? Alyson Hannigan, as we know, is drinking her way through the final death march of How I Met Your Mother. Ditto David Boreanaz and Bones. I’m pretty sure Sarah Michelle Gellar has already started drinking heavily and she’s only on the first season of her cush, if unremarkable gig as Robin Williams’ straight woman on The Crazy Ones. Seth Green is officially Seth MacFarlane’s bitch. Anthony Head has just finished up a lucrative dance with dragons, Alexis Denisof is marking time on Grimm and, well, the less said about whatever it is Nicholas Brendon and James Marsters are up to, the better.

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That’s all very well and good. Both Boreanaz and Hannigan are pulling in buckets of money (each in the neighborhood of $200,000 per episode). But I gotta say, from where I’m sitting, everything’s coming up Jonathan.

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I know I’m not the only Buffy fan who threw her hands up in the air and screamed “JONATHAN!” when Danny Strong won not one but two Emmys this year for his work on HBO’s Sarah Palin film Game Change.Yes, our very own nerd king has carved out quite a healthy career for himself behind the camera as a writer. His strong work on TV (Recount, the aforementioned Game Change) has landed him some high profile, big screen writing gigs such as this year’s (not great) Lee Daniels’ The Butler, the upcoming Da Vinci Code sequel The Lost Symbol and the final two installments of the Hunger Games franchise. We’ll have to wait and see how well his obvious penchant for politics translates into riots in the Districts and revolution in The Capitol. Word broke today that Strong has been hired to pen the much anticipated (by me) Guys And Dolls remake. Rumor has it this remake will feature Channing Tatum and JGL in the lead roles. I know. Trust me, I know.

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Danny Strong played a very special role in Buffy’s seven seasons, progressing from background nobody to superstar to evildoer to sympathetic victim to harrowing ghost. Really, he was given one of the very best arcs in the entire series. While many of his other more telegenic co-stars may be enjoying higher profile careers, Strong’s gig as a Hollywood writer has only just begun. I hope his career continues on this upward trajectory and that he enjoys decades of success. I also hope he still finds time to do work in front of the camera. His recent acting stint on Mad Men was a reminder of what an utter delight he can be. The fact that his life is mirroring that Season 4 Buffy episode “Superstar” shouldn’t surprise us. So let’s celebrate Danny Strong with a healthy dose of Jonathan Levinson and a light sprinkling of Doyle McMaster. After all, he was with us from the very beginning.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • wojtek

    I squealed when I saw him nominated for an Emmy for writing and absolutely love the fact that JONATHAN pops up on big movie posters - as in: written by Danny Strong, because it's a selling point now - but the problem is "Game Change" really wasn't... very good. And at times the writing was quite laughably bad. So while I'm still tickled that Danny Strong is landing all these high profile jobs and want him to have all the success in the world, I'm not terribly excited about him being associated with things that I'm invested in (like The Hunger Games).

    Fingers crossed that I'm wrong though.

  • loo shag brolley

    I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that -- JONATHAN IS WRITING THE MOCKINGJAY MOVIES?!?!

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tum...

  • Three_nineteen

    I'm not sure why it's against all odds - everyone has to start somewhere. I mean, against all odds, Joss Whedon is the most successful person to have worked on Roseanne.

  • Greg!

    Who played Roseanne's husband? What happened to that guy?

  • Three_nineteen

    If you want to argue that the guy who played Roseanne's husband is more successful than Joss Whedon, go ahead. I would argue that the most successful actor from Roseanne would be George Clooney, but that's just me.

  • BWeaves

    Every time I spy Danny Strong in something, I scream, "JONATHAN!" I mean that as the highest compliment.

    He's proof that hobbits really are the most amazing creatures.

  • kdm

    A really good read about the Trio:

    http://www.vulture.com/2013/12...

  • kinoumenthe

    Aaaaaw, Jonathan.
    People who know what I'm talking about may scream in horror, but he always was my first choice to play Miles Vorkosigan.

    I'm sure he could do hyper-active save your ass on the fly fake it till you make it lunatic diminutive hero very well.

  • megaera

    I could see that, but his eyes are wrong to me. My vote now goes to Peter Dinklage, with the feeling that if they could make Elijah Wood a smidge shorter, they can movie-magic him a smidge taller.

  • BendinIntheWind

    No Roger Sterling dick-punch gif? Allow me:

    http://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/da...

    Jonathan FOREVER.

  • JoannaRobinson

    You're MOST kind.

  • JoannaRobinson

    Downvote? I WAS BEING SINCERE, DAMNIT.

  • Joseph Finn

    The dashiki really makes that scene.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Bless. That was the best moment in that entire season.

  • Sassy Pikachu

    That unicorn .gif is fantastic.

  • You just touched my magic bone.

    Vive le Jonathan!

  • Enrique del Castillo

    I liked him first on Clueless (I saw that before Buffy, don't judge, I was a kid and Clueless was on Nickelodeon!)

  • IngridToday

    What is going on in that picture of James Masters and Xander, holding/groping that woman?

  • Sirilicious

    I thought it was Joanna sharing a pic o f her at a con.

  • crackblind

    They're getting $40 each o take a picture, that's what.

  • DanD

    The woman had several roles in Dollhouse, I believe. Those three often show up at cons, and are lumped together as Whedon alums.

  • Joseph Finn

    Sure you're not thinking of Aisha Hinds, the FBI boss on Dollhouse? 'Cause I don't think that's her.

  • DanD

    I just double checked, and I mis-remembered the discussion panel I was thinking of, so no, not dollhouse (what can I say, it was a monday morning at Dragon Con. Coherence is not a big thing).

  • Berry

    He'll always be Doyle to me. Doyle and Paris were the bee's knees. Cat's pajamas, even.

  • Pat Sponaugle

    My wife and I are well into Season Two, showing our daughter Buffy for the first time. She's noticed that every time Jonathan appears (for even 30 seconds) we get super-excited.

    I'm crazy happy that he's doing so well.

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