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March 2003

Unraveling the Buffyverse -- lunasea, 13:17:05 02/28/03 Fri

Time for the Buffyverse to unwind and as a loyal fan, time for me to see how it is doing this. Back to the Beginning. That is what Joss told us he was doing. What was that beginning? Where has he taken us since then? What have we been watching and dissecting for the last 7 years?

From the first image that flickered across our TV sets, we were shown exactly what Joss was doing. "In Every Generation" how many of us can recite this by heart? Then, we get to see one of the most important vampires in the Buffyverse, Darla. In that opening scene we learn that things aren't going to be what they seem, that BtVS is a horror show and that chicks bite, too.

Or is it? Then we go to the opening credits with that amazing music. It starts with organ music that evokes classic horror movies and the resultant fear. That fits everything we have seen and heard up to this point. Then after only a few bars, it changes. Instead of the fear, it now evokes energy and empowerment. Thing is even with this amazing music, what we are seeing is mainly images of horror.

The show has been on the air for 7years and could go on pretty much indefinately because of the interplay between horror/supernatural and just growing up stuff/natural. Party of Five with Monsters. We have gotten sucked into how the monsters are metaphors for the regular stuff in our lives. Where the real genuis of Joss lies isn't in creating monster metaphors for regular stuff, but how he mixes these things. It would be one thing to write Party of Five and then put the demons on top of that for entertainment, but Buffy isn't just about growing up.

It is about that interplay of the supernatual and the natural. The supernatural is much more than a metaphor for whatever the issue of the week or even season is. We can take the show episode by episode or season by season, but then we miss the forest for the trees. The supernatural gave Buffy a phenomenal conflict and was the cause of her transformation from what we saw Called in "Becoming Part 1" to what we have gotten to see for 7 years.

If we are really going back to the beginning that is where we have to go, back to that girl on the high school steps that believes she is "destiny-free." The only way to do this is to remove her conflict. Kendra didn't have this conflict. She had no problem giving up the natural. That is the first other slayer that we see.

The supernatural and natural can co-exist on the show because of denial. It is a powerful theme on the show. They start it with "The Harvest." Those weren't vampires, they were guys in need of a facial or had rabies. Tricks of light. Gas leaks. Sewer back-ups. Gangs on PCP. How many ridiculous excuses have been used and accepted readily by the general population? The supernatural is what causes conflict in the Buffyverse. The general population can avoid this conflict through denial.

Buffy couldn't. That is what makes the Scoobies so special, they don't deny what they see. Oz was the best example of this. "Actually it explains, a lot." Even when Buffy lost her powers in "Helpless" she still had to try. When she was incredibly sick in "Killed By Death," she had to try, both by going on patrol against Angelus and by fighting the demon in the hospital.

How could Joss take Buffy back to the beginning? He would have to remove her conflict, the conflict that is caused and represented by the supernatural. We have been watching Buffy for 7 seasons. We have used the supernatural as metaphors for our own struggles. Through these metaphors, we have related the Buffyverse to our own reality. Remove the metaphors and we come back to our own reality.

We call it the Buffyverse, but how different is it really from our reality? We aren't talking a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. We are talking about California with the same level of technology and understanding we have today. It operates under the same social structures we have. All the Buffyverse does is place a supernatural layer around our own reality. Take that layer away and we get back our reality.

I can see Joss wanting to take the characters that have developed because of the Buffyverse and exploring how they would adapt to our reality. He did an episode without speech, why not a world without demons to fall back on. He pretty much has been doing that this season. The demons are just other characters at this point. How to get back to the beginning? Do you abruptly just unravel everything in a quick 5 episode arc? That is one way to go, but looking back on season 7 so far, we can see how the Buffyverse has been being dismantled slowly. From episode 7.01 the show has been about that conflict the supernatural and natural and how that is dealt with.

Seasons 1-5 the supernatural is dealt with mainly by Buffy pounding it. Spells are broken by other spells. Season 6 that changes. The world is saved not by Buffy's violence or even some spell. It is saved by Xander's love for Willow. In season 2, love couldn't save Angel. In season 5, love couldn't save Buffy and Dawn. Season 6 starts the unraveling of the Buffyverse. We are seeing natural things, like love, able to handle things, even better than supernatural forces.

[> Act I (Spoilers to CwDP) -- lunasea, 13:20:57 02/28/03 Fri

Season 7 continues this from the season premier. In "Lessons," there is a conflict between the natural and the supernatural, as there has always been in Buffy's life. The show begins with Buffy showing Dawn why she cannot slay vampires. She is showing her why the natural doesn't mix with the supernatural. This season Premier is different from any other because Buffy doesn't reassert or reclaim her identity as Slayer. She has accepted her role as Slayer, but for the first time it proves ineffective. In "Lessons" Buffy's Slayer Powers cannot save the day. Everyman Xander is what triumphs over the supernatural (just like he did season six). Buffy's part of the show ends with her getting a natural job that allows her to help (unlike last season where she had an unimportant natural job).

In "Beneath You," we get a great exchange with Dawn and Buffy being driven to school by Xander highlighting the conflict between the natural and the supernatural. Buffy starts her natural job. Willow leaves the coven and has to return back to her friends. The supernatural cannot help Willow any more. She needs to face her friends and trust herself. We have more supernatural conflict stuff in Anyanka's embellishing being much more than natural Nancy wanted to happen. In the end, Anyanka turns Ronnie back to a human. Supernatural gives in to reality.

A very interesting thing happens in Beneath You, Spike appeals to God. We had Dru in a confessional before wanting to be good and pure in His sight and the vamps Adam sent into the church, but now we have an actual arc of redemption factoring that in. We have the Buffyverse intersecting more with what its audience believes is reality. This is echoed in CwDP when Holden asks about God. The Buffyverse is unraveling.

In "STSP" a couple of things happen. Willow does a spell to locate Buffy and Xander. That spell says that they don't exist. Her locator spell for the demon burns Anya's carpet. Anya can't teleport any more. Anya really isn't into vengeance like she used to be. Dawn talks about making a demon database (Cordy should tell her there is one. It is called "Demons, Demons, Demons). One thing that stood out in this episode is how natural the supernatural has become to the Scoobies. Nothing really phased anyone, UNTIL they saw Willow hurt. The Gnarl isn't affected by magic and Willow gets paralyzed. Anya is even feeling "benevolent."

The end is the best part of this episode. We get Willow and Buffy really connecting. We get Willow drawing on Buffy's strength to help her cure herself. We also get Buffy feeling conflicted because of her responsibilities due to the supernatural. She just wants to be a friend to Willow, but she can't. Willow understand this. Buffy still feels bad about it, though. Buffy's line will be what saves this season '" have so much strength, I'm giving it away." Not power, strength. There is a difference. Power in the Buffyverse is supernatural. Strength is not. Strength is what the Spirit Guide was talking about.

In "Help" we get a sense of how overwhelming everything is for Buffy. We open with how overwhelming the supernatural is, but we end with how helpless she feels in general, even about the natural. Her Slayer powers couldn't save Cassie from something as natural as a bad heart. It evoked the same feelings she had when she talked to Angel about probably in "Forever." We get a great montage of how much pain there is out there, similar to what she learned in "Earshot." Mixed in all that is Willow's grief about Tara. Cassie tells Buffy "And you will" make a difference. Buffy made a difference in Cassie's life, even if she couldn't save her life. Buffy needs to discover that she can make a difference outside of being Slayer.

In "Selfless" more supernatural responsibility causing conflict with friendship. We get the demon/human line that Buffy has rigidly drawn. For those who haven't been watching for 7 years, we got a recap of the conflict between Buffy's love life and the supernatural. We get Buffy's feelings about her responsibility and the supernatural. It was a well done scene. The episode ends with Anya being made fully human again and having to deal with human issues of self-esteem. She really isn't going through the guilt of our souled vampires. Just natural stuff.

In "Him" we get a powerful love spell. It was a funny stand alone episode. We get Spike out of the basement. Most importantly we have the scene with Dawn on the railroad tracks where Buffy's love for her sister is greater than the spell. The jacket wasn't some metaphor that is linked to the real story. It was just a device for a love spell, something that previously had been shown to be very powerful and very dangerous (and shown in flashbacks for those who didn't watch season 2) Another thing about the jacket is it was handed down from his brother and father, just like this plot came from earlier seasons (though without Dru it doesn't nearly compare). Willow has a great line about it not being about physical presense, but about heart. That sets up the funny work around the penis idea, but it is one of the main themes this year. It isn't about power or physical presense or the supernatural. It is about the heart and caring, something that isn't supernatural, but natural. It is also why Angel and Buffy don't fit in the world. It isn't their supernatural powers that make them freaks. It is their abnormally large hearts that do. Easier to get along in the world if your fire isn't so blinding. How does the spell get dealt with? A simple fire (watch where fire is used on the show).

In "CwDP" Buffy's problems are psychological, not mystical like being ripped from heaven. This episode is so important that it is date stamped. We still haven't returned to that. This episode marks the end of Act 1. Dawn serves a very important role on the series. She is Buffy, but without having to be Slayer. Just as Cordelia showed us what Buffy might have been like if she wasn't Chosen, Dawn reminds us what Buffy was like. How many times did Buffy come home to an empty house? We have to set this up before we can get into Buffy's issues. Dawn's comment when she spills pizza sauce on Buffy's shirt sums Buffy up pretty well "she'll think it is blood." Buffy sees the supernatural everywhere (since it is everywhere in the Buffyverse).

This episode was another great recap of where Buffy has been for those who haven't been watching the show (though I'm not sure how well those who haven't been watching could follow that episode). It also reminded those who have what was important in the Buffy-saga. The exchange with Holden starts with the supernatural, even a reference to Angel (though they use his name on BtVS about as much as hers gets used on AtS). Then we get to Buffy's issues, which are pretty natural. It is interesting how the supernatural intrudes on this conversation. She talks about the supernatural as it if was the natural. The conversation was a carefully orchestrated dance between the supernatural and the natural. In it the supernatural wins out, with Buffy finding out that Spike is feeding again. Thus we go to Act 2.

[> [> Re: Act I (Spoilers to CwDP) Buffy's shirt -- Mystery, 15:29:04 02/28/03 Fri

"She'll think it's blood."

Hey, does anyone know if that's the same shirt Anya's trying to clean for Buffy in "First Date"???

[> Act II, III and Conclusion (spoilers to Storyteller) -- lunasea, 13:22:40 02/28/03 Fri

In "Sleeper," time to clean up after CwDP. Up 'till then people were actually getting a chance to deal with their natural issues. Buffy was starting to think about Spike. Willow was starting college and the grieving process over Tara. Dawn was starting high school. Xander had a big job with constructing the high school. Now the Supernatural has screwed all that up. Buffy now has to worry not about her feelings for Spike, but him feeding. Willow has major concerns about magic now. Dawn is worried about the message from "Joyce." Xander doesn't go to work for a while. The First doesn't possess Spike. It controls him like the mundane army makes sleeper agents. It even uses a children's song for the trigger. Not very mystical at all.

In "Never Leave Me," we get a non-mystical reason that Jonathan's blood didn't work. Also Xander knows military stuff not because of "Halloween" but because of all those movies he has watched. ME isn't rushing to the mystical for explanations any more. Spike's lines about Buffy needing pain and hate and to be the Slayer reminded me of what she said to Kendra. At this point, Buffy doesn't have time for her mundane job at the high school and has Dawn cover for her. In Act 2 we have a shift back to the supernatural and that has a negative effect on Buffy.

In "Bring on the Night," things get really screwed. Willow's simple locator spell backfires. We get a major demon to battle and Buffy gives into the supernatural. It kicks her butt. The Potentials are interesting. They are regular, natural people with the potential to be supernatural. Buffy takes these people into her house. Dawn and Willow find them places to sleep and stuff to eat (something rather natural). When Buffy arms these girls, she takes a big step away from them as girls and natural and towards them as potentials and supernatural. She doesn't see them as something to be protected, but as an army. Another important change happens. She goes from talking about the strength she gives to Willow in STSP to being more powerful than evil.

In "Showtime," we get some supernatural stuff with the Beljoxa's Eye. We find out the reason the First is here is because the mystical forces around the Slayer line have been altered. The cause of this: the Slayer. Thing is what is the Slayer? We have been told all along that the Slayer isn't a job, but who Buffy is. We have also been told that Buffy's nature is to love, give and forgive. Then in "Get it Done" we learn a bit more about the Slayer. What the Spirit Guide says in "Intervention" doesn't match up with what we learn in "Get it Done."

Over on AtS, the arc involves Angel's dissociation. On BtVS it is quite possible that the opposite is going on. If we look at Buffy as this cohesive whole, we are missing who/what she is. She is missing who/what she is. There isn't a name for what she has become. What she has become, because of her epiphanies in "Grave" is in conflict with the Slayer. If she sees herself as one thing, she can't understand this conflict. Love, give, forgive. That is her nature. She was told this by a pretty reliable source. She didn't listen very well. What is causing problems, the Slayer. The part that doesn't listen to this. The guide tolds her the Slayer forges strength from pain. That pain doesn't come from the Slayer. It comes from Buffy Anne Summers. Perhaps that is why she was Chosen (I hope we get to find this out).

Why can the First wreak havoc? Because Buffy's pain is so great that she pulls away from it. That isn't what the Slayer does.When she pulls away (like she did S3 with Angel), the First can be a problem. The Slayer does more than pummel demons. Those mystical forces are pretty important. What will be done with those mystical forces? Stay tune for "Killer in Me."

The First isn't that upset when the Turok-han is killed. Why? It served its purpose. The Slayer gets her strength from pain. Kendra had no pain and lasted less than a year. She didn't have the strength to last. Spike, as usual was wrong, when he said that Buffy needed to hate in order to be Slayer. She needs to love in order to be Slayer. She gets her strength from the pain this generates. Faith has lots of pain, but not for the same reason. She had a hard knock life and because of this tries for something better. Because the source of her pain isn't pure like Buffy's, she goes to the dark side. The First is getting Buffy to shut down. Look at all those speeches. That will take away from the pain she can draw on to find strength.

In "Potential," we get how involved Buffy is with the Potentials and how Dawn is basically ignored. The supernatural is taking priority over the natural. Willow does another locator spell, which technically works, but also messes things up. Magic isn't doing well this season. It isn't just Willow doing magic, but magic itself. The editing of this episode was great. The comparisons between Dawn and Buffy are wonderfully done. Xander's "Extraordinary " speech at the end was great. It really did underscore the problems the natural has in the Buffyverse. Should Buffy loose those powers she would be in the same position, if the supernatural remained. Dawn is Buffy.

In "Killer in Me," we get lots of magic stuff. We get the metaphors that we are used to. It is a very traditional BtVS episode, something we haven't really had in Act 2. That is something that makes Act 2 really stand out. The interpersonal stuff that we love so much had pretty much been on the back burner and not center stage. The Blessed-wannabees of season 4 have become actual witches, even though they can't help Willow. The episode ends with Kennedy making the realization that a kiss is what started everything and a kiss could fix them, just like in fairy tales (though in fairy tales, the kiss isn't what causes things).

Cheesy plot device. When the writers result to really cheesy plot devices, they tend to be rather important. ME has created this tale for us and the way to undo it is the way it began, with the idea of "Chosen." If the supernatural is what is causing the conflict, then the way to undo the conflict is with the supernatural. The mystical forces that are allowing the First to manifest are the same ones that will undo It, thus taking the supernatural with It.

In "First Date" we finally get back to normal life, sort of. Buffy's date is with the son of a Slayer and Xander's is with a demon (I can't wait for him to find out Cordy is evil). We get the reason for Giles' escape. Where the show would have resorted to some supernatural explanation in previous seasons, we get a completely natural one. The First tries to get Andrew to do evil and Andrew instead turns to the Scoobies. The Supernatural lost its hold over him. Wood manages to get to Xander before the Ubervamp vending machine opens up again.One more strike against the supernatural. Buffy isn't the one to get Xander down.

Finally they bring up Buffy's abandonment issues, though they don't do anything with them. CwDP mined some good stuff. It really turned Buffy's problems into natural things and not just about her being Slayer. They haven't gotten back to that yet. They are saving it for Act 3.

In "Get it Done," we finally find out the origins of the Slayer, or at least the First Slayer. It opens with a dream. In it the First Slayer tells Buffy "It's not enough." What isn't? We have had several statements this season where questions were answered without being asked. They are asked by what the questioner is thinking about. In this case, Buffy sees Chloe crying. What would Buffy be thinking at this moment? Perhaps more importantly, what would Buffy be feeling? SMG showed us.

It's not enough. An episode about the origins of the Slayer would lead the viewer to think that meant Buffy's slayer power. ME is good at doing this. We are used to turning to the supernatural to solve things. However, that hasn't been what is happening this season. In this episode, Buffy turns down more supernatural power. She will not give up her natural humanity. If that dream was about power, why wasn't the box in it? What isn't enough? We are deconstructing the Buffyverse, but leaving the characters intact. What should Buffy be doing?

In "Storytellers," we are in Act 3 now. How does this open, with the storytellers talking to us. The closing scene tells us where the writers/Andrew are going to take us. Now we just have to see what happens now.

What genre is the show? A drama. It uses elements of other genres to heighten that drama and tell its story, but it is a drama. Without all those elements, the story is still there. The interplay of supernatural and natural are to show us the hearts of the characters, especially Buffy. JM has said that the finale is going to make us love more. Hasn't the show been doing that all along?

Love is the cause of conflict in Buffy. What makes a vampire evil? S/he doesn't care. What does Buffy tell everyone who will listen when she doesn't want to be Slayer? She doesn't care. Thing is, she does. That is why she has to fight the demons and the forces of darkness. Faith doesn't care. She doesn't have to fight. She can do whatever she wants, until she does care.

We can continue that story without having to rely so much on the metaphors and the supernatural. What a challenge to write that story. AtS is going for a whole new paradigm next season. I want to see Angel as a human having to deal with reality. I want to see the story continue without the supernatural to fall back on. Joss did a show without speech and one without music. Lets see a year without demons. BtVS this season will set that up. Strip away all the metaphors and we are left with the message. Where they go from that will be beautiful to watch.

[> [> Re: Act II, III and Conclusion (spoilers to Storyteller) small spoiler for ep 17 -- Rufus, 13:42:48 02/28/03 Fri

The song used as a trigger for Spike (by the First) will be explained in ep 17.

[> [> [> Interesting (spoilers Sleeper and Soulless) small spoiler for ep 17 -- lunasea, 13:48:18 02/28/03 Fri

That was fast. I wonder if it is linked to the one Angelus was singing in Soulless. Talk about spine tinglies. That was one of my kid's favorite books. I even found it in the car the other day, with it's pretty pictures of Teddy Bears having their picnic. Reading it gave me the hibbie-jibbies.

Question for the Board (Spoilers through "Help"): -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:43:14 02/28/03 Fri

Near the beginning of Season 7, several posters mentioned a joke that was used in both "Same Time, Same Place" and "Help". In STSP, when Dawn is almost totally paralyzed, she says "shhhhhhhhhh" in response to someone. And, in "Help", Buffy realizes something bad and says "shh. . ." and then realizes there's a kid sitting in front of her and stops herself in mid-swear. In both cases, the characters almost said the word "shit", but didn't, which many took as ME working around network censors. However, just about and hour ago, I was watching "No Place Like Home" on FX and noticed that Anya said about conjuring powder:

"I can hook you up with a demon that shits the stuff".

I just found it curious due to remembering posts talking about how the writers worked their way around saying "shit", due to network forbiddance. Yet, in Season 5, they were allowed to say "shit" without cutting off the "it". This I found odd, since, if anything, "Buffy" has been allowed to get more explicit since it moved to UPN.

I just found hearing Anya say "shit(s)" in Season 5 when the posts I mentioned were recalled, and figured this is probably the only place in the world where this might be found even the tiniest bit interesting.

[> According to psyche, Anya said "sheds." -- Arethusa, 18:16:18 02/28/03 Fri

[> It's unquestionably "Sheds" -- Rook, 18:47:15 02/28/03 Fri

[> [> Well, the way I heard it was funnier :) -- Finn Mac Cool, 05:20:48 03/01/03 Sat

[> Glory also gets pretty close to the full word in 'Blood Ties' -- Tchaikovsky, 04:32:56 03/01/03 Sat

[> Re: whether it was "shreds" or not ... -- Robert, 08:28:30 03/01/03 Sat

>>> ... and figured this is probably the only place in the world where this might be found even the tiniest bit interesting.

different network, different rules.

[> Another Anya almost-curse: -- Rob, 09:07:55 03/01/03 Sat

In "Doppelgangland," EVERY time I hear Anya say, 'I'm 1000 years old, now give me a FREAKING drink" I think that she's saying "fucking drink." Every time!


[> my favorite almost curse (spoilers Dopplegangerland) -- Vickie, 16:07:31 03/01/03 Sat

At the end of Dopplegangerland, EvilWillow returns to her own dimension at the exact moment she left it--just as alterOz grabs her and rushes her towards a big splinter of wood protruding from the wall.

As she explodes into dust, her ghostly face clearly attempts to say "Aw, f***!"

Love it every time.

[> The prude -- Tchaikovsky, 16:16:07 03/01/03 Sat

While we're, (somewhat strangely) on the subject of 'bad language', I was a little surprised to read in the shooting script for 'Get It Done' that Dawn said: 'The Sumerian's a bitch to translate'. Not earth-shattering, but I can't imagine Willow or Buffy saying anything quite like that when they were 16 in Season One. It seems more like a Spike line really. Not sure if claiming anti-women implications is stretching- it probably is.


[> [> Spike is the older, bad seed. Young girls like Dawn (according to society) are sweet and virginal. -- Finn Mac Cool, 18:26:13 03/01/03 Sat

Spikes role -- Tamara, 18:39:08 02/28/03 Fri

In an interview with Ixpose magazine Marti says the writers left Spike in the basement because they hadn't decided what to do with him. They hadn't planned his character arc they just thought may be its time to get him out the basement. Torture Spike and kick the spike was all because ME didnt know how else to use his character with a soul. That is why the story with the soul was dropped without Giles even questioning it. Because ME hadn't thought about how to handle it.
ME also lied to James about his storyline in season 6 when he got his soul. Even thought they knew he was a method actor who needs to understand his character and believe in what he is doing.
Does anyone know if Joss is returning to the show? He was good at planning out season arcs and things like the 730 reference. Fan fiction seems better planned than buffy these days. All that time they wasted with Spike in the basement not moving the story forward and it wasn't even part of an intentional plan. I am disapointed. I thought there was deeper meaning in the show but if the producer is admitting she doesn't know what she is doing I guess not. In the interview posted below from SFX Marti admits she didn't know where Buffy and Spike were going in Dead Things and they should have thought through Older and Far Away. She admits her mistakes and lack of planning but then she does nothing to change that.
David Fury has yet again insulted the Spike fans in an interview from Cult Times saying he doesn't understand why there is sympathy for this "animal who tried to rape her" and it must be because the women are willing to overlook his evil because they find him cute. He says Spuffy fans have a skewed view of the relationship and totally talks down to us. He also says he thinks B/S is copying the Angel relationship and he is disapointed. Seems strange to resent the fans for liking a character thart the writers created. Do the writers just not respect Spike or his fans is what I'm wondering.

[> Re: Spikes role -- Corwin of Amber, 19:11:24 02/28/03 Fri

>Seems strange to resent the fans for liking a character thart the writers created. Do the writers just not respect Spike or his fans is what I'm wondering.

Spike is one of those characters that people will either empathize with or not. Personally, I think he's a great creation as a character...but that doesn't mean I like him. The Spuffy storyline was like nails on chalkboard for me. You shouldn't take things like that personally, everyone has a right to their opinion.

[> [> Re: Spikes role -- Tamara, 19:40:58 02/28/03 Fri

David Fury has a right to his opinion sure. I guess as a Spike fan I do take it personally though when he talks as if we are all teenage bimbos who only like a character because he is cute. He was ranting in the interview about how fans shouldn't have supported Spike in season 6 and women will overlook anything if an actor is good looking. I find that disrespecful to James's acting as well.

[> [> [> Re: Spikes role -- Corwin of Amber, 21:30:40 02/28/03 Fri

Well, i guess what i'm trying to say is that everyones past experiences color their perceptions of the characters. Offhand, I'd guess that Fury, like me, has run into somebody in their past that actually reminds them of Spike. And JM has gotten the James Dean, rebel without a cause, leather jacket wearing punk atuitude down to a T - and it usually grates on "good guy" types to no end. In other words, I'd be willing to bet that men who empathize with Xander look on Spike with antipathy.

And actually, all of this has to do with James Marsters masterful portrayal. If Spike doesn't move over to Angel after this, I hope JM finds some more good roles to play.

[> Re: Spikes role -- Caroline, 21:26:46 02/28/03 Fri

Okay, I'm having real problems with your post. Here they are.

1. I think perhaps you are allowing your bias for a particular character to see every action of lack thereof by a writer as an insult to a particular character. I'm sure there are people out there who are Xander fans who really hate his lack of story/screen time etc this year (I know that is something I have been wondering about).

2. I'm okay with the writers not plotting every single thing out and letting the story grow organically. We know that they have an arc for the whole season but not necessarily all the little steps to getting there. Sometimes a little inspiration on the part of a writer is far more serendipitous than persperation. Not having every act of the season plotted out before filming the first ep does not mean that there is less 'meaning' in the show.

3. Joss never left the show. His name is still up there as Exec. Producer. According to all writer interviews I've read, even though Joss is heavily involved in Ats and Firefly, he was still in every BtVS writer's meeting breaking stories with everyone else and he certainly seems to be exercising his final rewrite power.

4. I disagree that Spike's time in the basement was wasted. Getting a soul had a HUGE impact on him - we couldn't expect him to come to terms with it instantly. It took Angel 100 years and it's taken Spike 15 episodes. What the time in the basement gave us was a gradual shift from initially realizing Spike's insanity to a realization that he was being played like a violin by the BB of the season. After discovering this, I went back to review the earlier episodes with some highlight and really appreciated the brilliance of the buildup.

5. I tend to be forgiving of continuity mistakes - like Buffy and Spike being all friendly in OAFA after the beating up in DT. I also think that MN in her interviews is far too self-deprecating - she goes on and on about the mistakes but seems to take little credit for the wonderful things that they do.

6. David Fury has a right to his opinions. I personally wanted to see Spike be good without a soul but I do understand that the soul is the manifestation of the metaphor, so I'm cool with that (thanks to Rufus for this). I can understand how he would take the more black and white view of soulless=evil etc. That's cool.

7. I do understand the attraction of many fans to the character Spike. I am also drawn to the character (I'm a sucker for transformation) but I don't share the drooling over his looks 'cos he reminds me of Vanilla Ice and that is not a good thing. But the character is compelling. But he's not the center of the show - he occupies an important space due to his connection with Buffy, but he's not he center.

8. The writers wanted a certain type of performance from Spike at the end of S6 - thus the misdirection to him about the soul. Well, he did that so well that the writer's misdirection had all of us going huh? It would have been better for the writers to shut up at this point but they didn't, they made the problems worse.

9. We don't own these characters. If we wanted certain plots that we see come up in fanfic etc, then the show would no longer be surprising or unexpected and we would rapidly get bored. I want the writers to surprise me and anger me and break my heart. And everytime I get impatient with a particular story, they do something that totally shows me that they've been thinking about this issue all along, putting in bits of dialogue and some foreshadowing and I have just haven't been big-picture enough to put it all together. The example I gave above about Spike in early S7 is a good one. Since they've only let me down in little ways and not big ways, I'm willing to wait it out and see how they get themselves out of it in a way that rips me apart. But I'll hurt gladly.

[> Re: Spikes role -- Quentin Collins, 02:15:00 03/01/03 Sat

I don't have much of a gripe with Noxon regarding Spike. It seems to me that she has the knack of making things that are not properly planned somehow fall into place and seem like they were tightly plotted.

Fury has always bothered me a bit. He has claimed that he likes to shake things up and stir debates with the things that he says in interviews, but I would think that a writer would let his writing speak for itself. I have also never seen a need for any artist to say anything in interviews that is insulting or condescending to his audience. I have no problem with him having his own view of things, but saying disparaging things about fans that don't share his view on Spike strikes me as a bit immature and unprofessional.

Haiku of Season Six (with spoilers for that season) -- Brian, 19:37:22 02/28/03 Fri

1.Bargaining Part 1

Willow's spell casting;
Red flash of bad bargaining;
Buffy's reborning.

2.Bargaining Part 2

Demon gangs make strife;
Sinner and saint use a knife;
Buffy gags on life.


Life seems now a bore.
While Another slips the door.
Heaven is no more!


Pipes about to burst;
Buffy now needs money first;
Demon dies from thirst.

5.Life Serial

Time is on the run;
Evil Trio makes bad fun;
Buffy's day is done.

6.All the Way

Vamp's kiss newly found;
Dawnie's strength finds a new ground;
Ashes all around.

7.Once More With Feeling

Words with music flow;
Bad secrets rise with each blow
Now their pain they know.

8.Tabula Rasa

Scoobie slates wiped clean;
Why, how, what does it all mean?
And new truths they glean.


Is Buffy back wrong?
Fight with Spike, a siren song;
Make love all night long.


Willow's on a roll:
A magic high for her soul;
Sweet Dawn pays the toll.


Sexual hi-jinks;
Where's Buff gone, everyone thinks
She rejects her kinks.

12.Double Meat Palace

Buffy flips burgers
She and Spike make dull mergers
Willow slices sluggers.

13.Dead Things

The Trio does wrong
Buffy's confused, she's not strong.
Defies Spike's dark song.

14.Older and Far Away

Bound inside a house
Sword demon makes like a mouse
Dawn gets answered grouse.

15.As You Were

Riley, agent cool,
Returns, married, he's no fool.
Buff rejects Spike's tool.

16.Hell's Bells

Marriage rings that bell.
Xander's future goes to hell.
Anya hears the knell.

17.Normal Again

Buffy thinks she's mad
All Sunnydale must be bad
She returns so sad.


Anya goes to town.
Old friendships are running down.
All wear a sad frown.

19.Seeing Red

Warren makes his bed
Power ripples to his head
Tara ends up dead


Warren runs away
Willow treats him to a flay
Ends as burnt filet.

21.Two to Go

Evil Willow gives flack.
Talk and fight and slash and hack
Giles'surprise attack.

22.The Grave

Willow's evil surges.
Xander's love finally purges.
Light song, not dirges.

[> What a cool idea! -- Sara, counting her syllables, 19:44:54 02/28/03 Fri

The end is coming
posters start to feel despair
what can we discuss?

[> [> Re: Keeping the thread alive -- Adam, 20:08:40 02/28/03 Fri

[> [> Re: What a cool idea! -- Celebaelin, 00:19:46 03/02/03 Sun

Wow, that's hard.


Fight your inner demons
With emotion and reason
Summer's lifes' season


Though words begin it
Magic lies in your spirit
Know your limit

I'm trying for serenity and I seem to be finding only conflict, hmmm

Take flight brave swallow
Peace and salvation await
Sleep now on the wind

[> [> [> Oops, Please insert 'own' as 3rd word in third line of 2nd Hokku -- Celebaelin, 01:45:39 03/02/03 Sun

[> Brian does it again. Nice job. -- CW, 20:04:19 02/28/03 Fri

Is there a special term for haiku that rhymes? In English haiku that doesn't is almost unsporting. ;o)

[> [> Re: 5 by 5, no, make that 5 by 7 by 5 -- Desperado, 20:58:38 02/28/03 Fri

[> [> [> Re:kicking the muse -- aliassmith, 05:37:15 03/01/03 Sat

nice stuff. i really liked 7 and 18.

[> [> Re: Brian does it again. Nice job. -- Celebaelin, 23:55:11 03/01/03 Sat

Yes, it's called a Hokku.

Celebaelin the know-nothing linguist strikes again!

[> Very enjoyable -- Arethusa, 06:21:47 03/01/03 Sat

Brian's witty poems
Amuse demanding posters.
Many thanks for this.

[> Nicely done! -- LadyStarlight, 11:55:10 03/01/03 Sat

[> How about some limericks? -- Sara, and Darby, and Graffiti, 12:16:27 03/01/03 Sat

There once was a Slayer named Buffy
Who, when things got bad became huffy
She would lecture and yell
And make speeches as well
Until her friends said "that's quite enoughy."


There once was a Slayer named Buffy
Who about certain vamps could be stuffy
But her skirts she did hike
For a vampire named Spike
But about that she now is quite huffy.


There once was a wicca named Willow
And when mad her power would billow
She got really mad
At a nerd who was bad
And ripped the skin off the poor fellow.


There once was a Watcher named Giles
Who traveled a few thousand miles
But when he got there
His charge got into his hair
And put him through a great many trials.

[> [> Re: Limericks are a mystery to me -- Brian, 13:06:15 03/01/03 Sat

Haiku I can do
Other forms are my boo hoo
So I salute you.

In other words, I've never been able to write limericks so my hat's off to you.

[> [> Yeah limericks! I'll play. -- Cactus Watcher, 18:01:12 03/01/03 Sat

There once was a goddess named Glory
Whose battles with Buffy were gory.
But, Ben, with no wiles,
Got strangled by Giles,
And that was the end of her story!

[> [> [> More more more. -- CW, 19:30:01 03/01/03 Sat

There once was a trio of nerdlings
Who planned out a lot of absurd things
Like robbing a park
A bit after dark
with jet packs to fly without bird wings.

Rook beat me to the first line of this one:

There once was a Sunnydale Mayor
Who thought himself quite the big player
Though Snyder he ate,
He swallowed the bate
And fried from a trick by the Slayer.

There once was a slayer who suited
The counsil in England, so rooted.
Dear Kendra was bold
And a little bit cold.
Old Spike would not stop her, so Dru did.

[> [> Mmm limericks -- Rook, 18:54:11 03/01/03 Sat

There once was a Sunnydale Mayor
Who decided to mess with the Slayer
With Faith at his side
Her calling denied
Come Graduation they hadn't a prayer

[> [> Here's mine -- GreatRewards, 21:37:23 03/01/03 Sat

I know a young man they call Xander
Who seems such a helpless bystander.
When Vampires attack,
He usually stands back,
'Cause Buffy's the "Goose" to his "Gander"!

[> [> Re: How about some (slightly off colour) limericks? -- Celebaelin, 22:31:20 03/01/03 Sat

Sorry, but it's the right form and everything

Whilst working the Doublemeat Palace
The Slayer got inclings of malice
Sleuthing one night
She was shocked by the sight
Of a giant, brown, demon-stroke-phallus

Twice bitten Buffy was reeling
On her back looking up at the ceiling
Only just crawling
When Willow came calling
And shrieked when she saw the proceedings

Buffy might have been done well and truly
The demon-stroke-phallus was drooly
No-one would find her
Dined-on in the diner
But Willow was playing it cooly

Buffy could well have come quite a cropper
But Willow stepped up with a chopper
She put the shaft just beside her
In a handy meat-grinder
Now it's served in BK as a Whopper

[> [> Yay! Limericks! (spoilers for Storyteller) -- pellenaka, 04:25:35 03/02/03 Sun

My very first limericks ever.

There once was small guy named Jonathan
Who could never really make a good plan
Couldn't kill himself
But did a "cool" spell
Buffy always stopped this poor man

There once was this guy who was violent
Against women who didn't keep silent
But when he got a gun
And Tara outdone
He died when Willow's compassion was absent

There once was an episode called Storyteller
Which's climax was in the school cellar
Andrew got his own show
A "Superstar" with woe
Tom Lenk just went interstellar.

[> [> Any excuse to reproduce this one... -- Tchaikovsky, 06:09:22 03/02/03 Sun

Strictly OT, and definitely not mine; but it still makes me laugh, because, like Joss, it works by subversion:

There was a young bard from Japan
Whose verses would never quite scan
When his friends told him so
He replied 'Yes, I know-
But I always try to fit as many syllables into the last line as I possibly can.'

TCH- chuckling happily to himself

[> [> [> Love it! -- Sara, 08:57:15 03/02/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> Re: Trying the form -- Brian, 09:58:03 03/02/03 Sun

There once was a young lady from Sunnydale
Whose job it was to vampires impale
She dusted with such relish
The town became so hellish
She causes all sorts of demons to bail.

[> [> [> [> [> Good job on the first try! -- Sara, 10:41:42 03/02/03 Sun

Buffy & Spike .... are they kissing cousins? (Spoilers S5-now) -- WickedBuffy O:>, 20:13:03 02/28/03 Fri

"She's been dead for months. Buffy herself then, is ever so slightly closer to vampire. She's even been fed on numerous times. The only thing missing is her feeding on something. "

I really liked your (just deleted as I submitted this) post,Clen! That one part was intriguing - and maybe Buffy is even more than slightly closer to vamps, though? She's already got some demon in her, due to her Slayer heritage, so perhaps she doesn't necessarily have to feed on the vamps blood to be closer. Her deaths and coming back - and especially how her last wake-up paralleled a vampires in some ways. (Some, not all.)

Waking up in buried, in a a coffin, having to claw and scratch her way out - hands raw and bleeding. Dazed at being back in the world. Spike noticed her hands right away and realized what had happened, since the same had happened to him.

Not saying she *is* a vampire, but how about kin? Might explain her attraction to some of them, too. ;>

[> Re: Buffy & Spike .... are they kissing cousins? (Spoilers S5-now) -- Corwin of Amber, 21:38:45 02/28/03 Fri

Well...except for the fact that she still breathes, her heart still beats and she doesn't burn away to ash in sunlight. When she dies (again!) she'll turn to dust at the natural rate.

I'm not saying that Spike/Angel and Buffy don't have things in common, but there are still a lot of differences. Being undead must have a real effect on the psyche after all...as does being a living being.

Buffy's situation more closely parallels that of Connor's, really. Both are living beings with an infusion of demon essence.

[> [> I dunno, I don't see Connor ever dating a vamp. (Spoilish - now) -- WickedBuffy, 22:20:00 02/28/03 Fri

I still see Buffy closer to Angel/Spike than Connor ( they all have demon infusions). Angels heart beats occasionally and we don't know for sure what will happen to Buffy when she dies. (Spiked vamps turn to dust at the end of their existence, also.)

But I was wondering why else does Buffy's situation more closely parallels that of Connor's to you?

(I love hearing other perspectives) :>

[> [> [> Re: I dunno, I don't see Connor ever dating a vamp. (Spoilish - now) -- Corwin of Amber, 08:57:30 03/01/03 Sat

In a lot of ways, Connor is a gender-switched version of a slayer. Supernatural strength and speed and incredible regeneration ability. The only thing Connor doesn't seem to have so far is psychic abilities. But he does seem to have a vampires senses (superhearing, supersmell and probably vision too).

1. We've covered the demon infusion thing. In Connor's case, he gets it directly from two vamps in some sort of metaphysical genetic exchange. Come to of it, thats exactly how Buffy gets it too, just not from vampires.

2. Prophecies abound with the two of them. I don't need to list all the prophecies Buffy has run smack into. And Connor is still prophesied to kill Sahjan...which will be a great case of poetic justice and a self-fulfilling prophecy at the same time.

3. Both have a love/hate relationship with male authority figures.

4. Both have "tasted forbidden fruit". Connor slept with a mother figure for him, Buffy slept with a vampire.

As for Connor dating a vampire...maybe not. But he has slept with a demon (Cordy.) And if Darla comes back again he could do the Oedipal thing for real. :)

Current board | March 2003