July 2003 posts

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Happy Anya's fake Birthday, everybody!!! :o) -- Rob, 15:24:55 07/04/03 Fri

[> Now there's something we can all celebrate! -- d'Herblay, 15:40:09 07/04/03 Fri

[> [> Re: Happy Birthday, Anya. Alas, like fireworks, you lit up the screen for too short a time -- Brian, 17:57:48 07/04/03 Fri

[> Anya was a Cancer?!! I thought she woulda been a Virgo. -- Astro the Dog, 20:08:15 07/04/03 Fri

::sob:: oh Anya, Anya

but maybe in this next life you get, you can be a really GREAT sun sign,

like ummm....

a LEO!!!

[> Well it was my real birthday but I was on a ship somewhere between Norway and Holland -- Dochawk, 07:44:48 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> Well, happy (belated) birthday, doc! Hope the cruising is going well. -- Random, 09:19:58 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> Did they used to call you "Our Little Patriot" back home, too, Doc? ;o) -- Rob, with more happy birthday wishes, 11:34:09 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> Sounds like a great place to have a birthday! Hope it was a happy one! -- ponygirl, 12:36:12 07/05/03 Sat

Who wants to form a support group for Angel S5? -- lunasea, 18:02:38 07/04/03 Fri

Not for those who can't get over BtVS being gone. You guys are hopeless :-)

I'm talking about those of us who don't want to know how a certain character is coming back next season or anything about next season at all. Stuff is starting to get out. Those big red spoiler warnings are all so tempting. We could have weekly meetings in chat and help each other through it. Or even do something on the board. After I get a list of who wants to do this, we can try and figure out a time or two so that we can all get the support we will need to do this.

Just think, Joss wants us to stay spoiler free. It is disrespectful of this genuis to whore ourselves out like that. It ruins the narrative flow and just remember how good it felt this season to stay pure.

we can even come up with a creative title for ourselves. So who's in? Either post here or email me.

[> Oh, pure-schmure. ;o) -- deeva, a trollop's trollop, 18:16:33 07/04/03 Fri

[> How will we support each other against spoilers? Cover each others eyes? -- NevahBeenSpoiledNevahWill, 19:57:19 07/04/03 Fri

[> I was a good girl when it came to season 7, but AtS casting has made me a fallen woman -- cougar, 20:53:20 07/04/03 Fri

[> [> I'm trying so hard to be good, but the cancellation of "Buffy" might push me over the brink. -- Rob, 22:05:42 07/04/03 Fri

Odd news from "Jump the Shark" -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:34:07 07/04/03 Fri

Recently, I've been looking at the website www.jumptheshark.com. It's a site dedicated to determining when TV shows jump the shark (a term created after Fonzie jumped a motorcycle over a shark on "Happy Days"; the term has come to refer to the moment when a TV show begins sinking down into oceans of crap). People who come to the site vote on whether or not a show has jumped the shark, and, if it has, what caused it to. As I was browsing, I inevitably got to their section on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". I won't lie: the results surprised me. On their list of moments when "Buffy" jumped the shark, here are the five that recieved the most votes:

1) Never Jumped - 718 votes

2) Death (Tara) - 589 votes

3) Singing (The Musical) - 331 votes

4) New Kid in Town (Dawn) - 214 votes

5) Graduation - 95

I knew Tara's death upset a lot of people, so seeing it as the number one reason why "Buffy" jumped the shark isn't surprising (though the large number of votes was a little startling). I also knew many people didn't like Dawn, so that was no surprise. And graduation did cause a vast change in the show which many people probably didn't like; again, no surprise. What I found just plain odd though was that the third highest category (and #2 reason for why it jumped the shark) was "Once More With Feeling". I mean, I personally loved that episode, and, as far as I can tell, almost everyone on this board seemed to, too. What's more, it's recieved more critical acclaim than any "Buffy" episode with the exceptions of "The Body" and "Hush". AND, I have never seen a single website besides "Jump the Shark" that has said anything bad about it. So, I must ask, has anyone here ever talked to anyone (online or offline) who even so much as thought OMWF was dumb, let alone the downward point of an entire series?

I'm beginning to think, after reading through a lot of the "Jump the Shark" website, that the people there aren't as concerned with actually figuring out when show's go downhill as pointing to familiar causes of show's going downhill. You can tell it by how often people comment "I thought they would jump after this, but they didn't". Rather, they seem to find occurances that typically mark a jump the shark moment (a character dying, a pregnancy, a previously unknown relative, an appearance by Ted McGinly) and prefer to look for those moments and don't even bother to see if they really hurt the show. From what I can gather, a lot of people were saying Dawn's appearance was a jump of the shark before it ever happened. And, in a lot of other shows, people say "It hasn't jumped, but I know it will as soon as (blank) happens". This might be why OMWF got so many votes: musical episodes have been spotted as often causing shows to jump the shark, so people felt it must be a shark jump, probably before they ever saw it.

Any thoughts?

[> Agreed. -- Rob, 22:03:18 07/04/03 Fri

Buffy basically laughs in the face of "jump the shark" moments. It has made a habit of intentionally using them and then subverting them by making them actually work. Just b/c things such as addition of younger cast member, musical ep, etc. hurt others shows did not make it so for "Buffy." In fact those two things alone are two of the greatest things that ever happened to the show!


[> [> To paraphrase someone on another board: -- HonorH, 23:13:29 07/04/03 Fri

Buffy doesn't jump the shark. She kills the shark, drains its blood, and feeds it to Spike.

Joss laughed in the face of the shark. A younger sibling no one's ever heard of? Usually a death knell for a show. Joss turned that on its head and created a wonderful, multi-dimensional new character in Dawn *and* used her to reveal more facets of Buffy. Characters dying? Joss blew past that one with Jenny's death in S2 and only made the show stronger. Changes in love interests and life circumstances? Joss stared them down.

Fact is, no matter what you think of a particular plot twist, you gotta admire Joss' guts. The man never met a rule he wouldn't break for his characters.

[> [> [> Except for one, though: -- Finn Mac Cool, 00:17:22 07/05/03 Sat

Joss will kill them, he'll turn them evil, he'll give them loads of sexual/emotional/psychological problems, he'll even have them be possessed by an alien presence for over a season, but, so far, he has never turned one into a vampire.

Doesn't anyone else find this odd? It's a show with the word "vampire" in the title, it thrives on torturing characters and bringing out their most angsty emotions, and it's proven itself willing to kill or permanently alter beloved characters. So why has ME never, ever, turned a character we've come to know and love as a human into a vampire? Sure, Angel losing his soul came close, but still, we've never really gotten a storyline involving someone being sired. And I can't believe no one at ME ever thought of doing its, so, the question is, why haven't they?

[> [> [> [> perhaps Harmony? -- MsGiles, 04:38:15 07/05/03 Sat

Although in a way that just proves your point, because Harmony, though known, wasn't exactly loved (or a main character). She did last longer than some though. We never really saw how she got sired, did we? She just turned up vamped, leading the vamp gang equivalent of the 3 stooges. And then went on to be Spike's skanky ho'

A good comedy character, Harmony. I laughed my socks off when she had to dress up as Buffy to get Spike's rocks off. Perhaps a rather strange use of the vamp motif, though, if she's the only one we know before and after (without flashbacks that is, in the realtime of the show), and she's played for laughs.

Harmony is seen as being so shallow, she doesn't really change much when she's vamped, just stays self-obsessed, but with fangs and a vague feeling she should be evil. I felt quite sorry for her by the end: she did seem fond of Spike, and stupid rather than evil. Very funny, though.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: perhaps Harmony? -- skpe, 06:37:14 07/05/03 Sat

What about vamp willow in the 'Wish' and "Dopplganger'?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: perhaps Harmony? -- Miss Edith, 10:21:31 07/05/03 Sat

But they weren't really our Willow and Xander that we saw changed. They were from an alternative dimension, we have our Willow being repulsed by the vampire from The Wishverse.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Having the cake... -- DickBD, 12:59:18 07/05/03 Sat

...and eating it, too. It would have killed me to have anything really happen to Willow, but it sure was great to see what kind of Vampire she would be. In fact, it is one of my favorite episodes. Joss pulled it off without actually having to do away with Willow. I'm sorry, but I must disagree here about the effect being lessened because it was a Willow from an alternate universe or reality.

[> [> [> [> [> Harmony's sire -- tomfool, 08:14:21 07/05/03 Sat

Although it's just a quick flash, we do see Harmony being bitten during the big fight at the end of Graduation Day. It's clear that they were setting up Vamp Harmony for S4, although it's kind of a stretch to imagine bitten Harmony and the random vamp attacker taking time to do the mutual blood exchange required for siring during the heat of battle.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Harmony's sire -- Arethusa, 09:12:36 07/05/03 Sat

Perhaps after she was bitten her sire (or maybe another vampire) became injured and bled on her, getting some blood in her mouth.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> As good a wank as any ;-) -- tomfool, 10:24:49 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I like Honor H's version -- lunasea, 14:29:03 07/05/03 Sat


Harmony slumped back into the chair again. "See? I'm, like, an outcast. It's not my fault, you know. It's not like I ever wanted to be a vampire. It just happened, you know. Like, when we were all fighting at graduation, this vamp caught me and bit me, and he was all drinking my blood, which I thought was really gross at the time, and I was trying to stop him, so I bit his hand, and he started bleeding, and I thought, hey, since he's getting all my blood, I should get his, and next thing you know, I'm digging my way out of my coffin, and it totally ruined my manicure and my best dress."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Heh. That's an old one. -- HonorH, 19:21:11 07/05/03 Sat

Also deeply Jossed, of course, but quite a few of my older pieces are. Thanks for the plug, though--I had fun writing that one.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> A superior wank -- tomfool, 23:17:13 07/05/03 Sat

I like it. And there's even some foreshadowing for this (if you wank really hard) when Cordelia bites the vamp's hand in Prophecy Girl during the library fight. After all, Harmony was a charter Cordette and always followed her lead.

From PG (from Rob's site): Cut to the library. Cordelia hits the vampire's hand and then bites it. The vampire screams and lets go.

Cordelia: See how *you* like it!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hey. great wank back-up! -- Rob, 11:26:57 07/06/03 Sun

And of course, the fact is had they shown us Harmony being sired, her showing up next season wouldn't have been as funny or surprising.


[> [> [> [> Vamping is too permanent -- lunasea, 07:15:49 07/05/03 Sat

We get Vamp Willow and Xander from the Wishverse and we get what might as well be a vamp with Willow at the end of season 6. It was just a temporary vamping. Joss could have had Willow so dispondent after Tara's death that she went out and got herself vamped, but instead he found another way, a temporary way, for this to happen. Jesse was sired as was Harmony. Unfortunately, her best vamp stuff was on AtS, but it is one universe. Also over on AtS we got the siring of Dru as well as more about Liam. There was also Gunn's sister.

Why didn't we get it? Because the story of nerd to hero would have been cut short. Each Scooby represented something that Joss wanted to take through that process. Why should he take a permanent detour on that journey? The temporary ones in "The Wish" and season 6 were great.

[> [> [> [> [> Tara, Joyce, and Jenny dying was pretty permanent, too -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:47:31 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> They had served their functions -- lunasea, 14:24:10 07/05/03 Sat

As Buffy became her own higher conscious, Tara had to be gotten rid of. Not only did this set off Willow, but her character was not necessary to the narrative any more. It would have been nice to Willow's story if Joss could have brought her back as Willow's true love, but Amber wasn't agreeable.

As Buffy grew up, she didn't need her Mommy any more than she needed her father when Giles assumed that role. Joyce wasn't necessary to the narrative any more.

Jenny was an interesting love interest for Giles, but once the curse has been unveiled, she too isn't necessary any more.

Time to cut the payroll to make room for other characters. Even their deaths served the narrative. Why keep them around, when their deaths served the story more?

[> [> [> [> I always hoped... -- dream, 09:35:55 07/07/03 Mon

That the final season would involve Xander getting vamped, and Willow, Giles and Buffy going on a quest to find a CURE for vampirism, or at least a way to ensoul all the vampire - rejoinign the soul with the bodies, even if the bodies remain vampiric, or just undoing the initial vamping altogether. I even had some hope of this when Spike got resouled - though maybe Buffy would find a way to use that demon. I retain hope that they'll do this in the movie.

[> [> [> [> [> There's going to be a movie now? -- O'Cailleagh, 16:22:32 07/07/03 Mon

Or is it set in the same part of Egypt as S8....?


[> [> [> [> [> [> Not in the works anytime soon, but Joss has said he would like to someday -- dream, who is keeping the faith, 06:16:51 07/08/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> Remember Jesse? -- amber, 17:27:54 07/07/03 Mon

> So why has ME never, ever, turned a character we've come >to know and love as a human into a vampire? Sure, Angel >losing his soul came close, but still, we've never really >gotten a storyline involving someone being sired. And I >can't believe no one at ME ever thought of doing its, so, >the question is, why haven't they?

Actually Joss slayed that shark in the pilot when he had Jesse killed, vamped and staked. From the outset it looks like Joss is setting up your typical teen drama clique; two guys (Xander and Jesse) and two girls (Willow and Buffy) with Cordelia on the outside as the "popular girl" antagonist, similar to other WB shows like Dawson's Creek and Smallville (which wasn't around when Buffy started I know...) Then suddenly one member of our clique is dead and a vampire.

On the "Welcome to the Hellmouth" commentary Joss even comments that he had wanted to put Jesse in the credits just for the pilot ep. but they didn't have the budget to do that. If he had it probably would have gone further in showing the fact that he was subverting the typical teen drama set-up.

Of course Jesse's vamping doesn't have as much emotional impact as having one of our core Scoobies vamped because we never really got to know Jesse or identify with him. It did have a good emotional impact on Xander and Willow though. At least in the pilot, they seem to forget about him pretty quickly after that...

[> [> Re: Agreed. -- CW, 07:34:54 07/05/03 Sat

Clearly anyone who thinks OMWF put Buffy on the skids, never saw it. Have to say that bringing Dawn in as a sister, as opposed to say a cousin under similar circumstances, wasn't worth the risk of it being perceived as a downturn in the show. Wish they'd done more with Dawn after season five. She sort of got shuffled off into a corner with Xander as the writers acknowledged last season.

The only eps I can think of that even got a whiff of the shark were Buffy vs Dracula, which wasn't bad at all, but was pretty campy for a BtVS tv ep (both Giles and Xander acting silly in the same ep), and DMP which wasn't very good farce and used one of the classic stupid comic book villains, the snakey-thing-under-the-hat/wig.

The botttom line is if what follows is still worth watching one bad ep is never jumping the shark!

[> Tentatively putting my hand up ;-) -- yabyumpan, 07:16:06 07/05/03 Sat

While I don't think OMWF caused BtVS to 'jumped the shark', (I don't actually think that a programe based on the fantastic and unbelievable can 'jump the shark'), I'm probably one of the few people on the planet who didn't enjoy it. Partly because I just don't like musicals, Opera I get, but people just randomly bursting into song I find irritating. I also found it a bit self-indulgent. I'm not a fan of JW's 'special' episodes, including WiTW & Spin the Bottle. I don't like him writing and directing on his own, I think he needs someone to 'rein him in' and curb his more self-indulgent tendencies. I'm thinking more of his AtS eps now, but it does seem to me like he gets a 'good idea' and then tries to fit it into the on going story and the characters.

Not really meaning to bash JW, I do admire a lot about him but I think he works better with other people.

[> [> Re: Tentatively putting my hand up ;-) -- CW, 08:20:43 07/05/03 Sat

Interesting. I can see that if musicals bug you, OMWF isn't going to make your day. I don't know many people who feel that way about musicals. I don't care for weak ones, but overall I like them a lot. Personally, I don't think people burst into song enough in real life. ;o)

I do think Joss has a problem with self-indulgence as you say, but he's talented enough he can get away with it most of the time. I see Firefly as an example of that kind of attitude getting him in trouble. As I discussed with someone a week or so ago. Joss' knowledge of westerns and sci-fi seemed to have more to do with direction techniques he's studied rather than with understanding the details of the writing of either genre. FOX made Firefly impossible, but I'm not sure if the audience Joss was looking for,fans of turgid soap opera in sci-fi/western trappings, is really out there.

[> [> [> "Personally, I don't think people burst into song enough in real life." ROFLMAO, agreed! -- Rob, 08:40:12 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> It works much better than cussing people out. Course, they'll think you're "eccentric". -- deeva, an eccentric ;o), 10:06:39 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> You don't know my friends. What we lack in talent, we make up in loudness. -- fresne - off key, what is this key of which you speak. Dawn?, 17:10:27 07/07/03 Mon

[> [> Heh, opera is basically people bursting into song, just in a different language... -- Random, 09:16:21 07/05/03 Sat

though neither operas nor musicals are in any way "random." Admittedly, grand opera (as opposed to light opera or opera comique) is entirely set to music (opera comique is pretty much a stylized musical of the OMWF type.) This doesn't reduce the inherent artificialities of the form -- grand opera is actually more artificial than generic musicals because it doesn't even allow for interludes for realistic, spoke dialogue to occur.

One of the things I found delightful about OMWF was the manner in which Joss twisted and subverted the traditional formula of the musical. Not only was it a self-aware musical, it actually formulated a rational cause for the musical aspect and, perhaps more impressively, a utility for that aspect, i.e. the bursting into dance and song wasn't merely a plot device, it actually served the purpose of furthering the plot and theme. As a metaphor for emotional expression, it serves its purpose in most musicals...as a metaphor extended into literalism, it was perfectly and brilliantly integrated.

[> [> [> Beautifully stated, Ran. -- Rob, 09:21:10 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> [> Re: Heh, opera is basically people bursting into song, just in a different language... -- yabyumpan, 12:15:04 07/05/03 Sat

grand opera is actually more artificial than generic musicals because it doesn't even allow for interludes for realistic, spoke dialogue to occur

Grand Opera's what I was refering to. With GO, you're stepping into a different 'all singing' world, like entering some sort of alternate reality. Musicals are like having your feet in two different realities, I find that jarring.
And as a totally off-centre thought - I wonder what Lorne would be like in 'Grand Opera' world. It would be like his heaven, what with all the singing, but also his hell, with the continuous reading of auras. He'd probably end up like Buffy in 'Earshot'.

[> [> Once more with FEELING -- lunasea, 17:39:49 07/05/03 Sat

hubby feels the same way, but he liked it because in the Buffyverse, people breaking into song didn't seem out of place.

Then again, when in real life do people change hair styles as often as they do in TV or clothes or the way lighting changes. Ever seen anyone enter or leave a room in slow motion before? We watch a show about vampires and the criticism is that people breaking into song is irritating?

Musicals are great. Music and lyrics can convey powerful emotion. Joss not only makes use of the genre, but comments on it as well. People weren't breaking out into song. They were sharing powerful feelings that they couldn't any other way. Those conversations that people wanted the characters to have were had. What is irritating about that?

If you didn't like it, that is a personal preference. One of my favorite musicals is My Fair Lady. My favorite song is called "Show Me." Eliza is tired of words and wants they guy who likes her to show her instead. It is a very powerful sentiment made even more powerful by the song. To just dismiss the genre as irritating misses the whole point of it, which is more than just entertainment. There is a reason that Joss is so attracted to it. He speaks feelings. No other genre is more about feelings than musicals.

Once More with FEELING.

[> Actually none of that surprises me -- s'kat, 08:49:57 07/05/03 Sat

I knew Tara's death upset a lot of people, so seeing it as the number one reason why "Buffy" jumped the shark isn't surprising (though the large number of votes was a little startling). I also knew many people didn't like Dawn, so that was no surprise. And graduation did cause a vast change in the show which many people probably didn't like; again, no surprise. What I found just plain odd though was that the third highest category (and #2 reason for why it jumped the shark) was "Once More With Feeling". I mean, I personally loved that episode, and, as far as I can tell, almost everyone on this board seemed to, too. What's more, it's recieved more critical acclaim than any "Buffy" episode with the exceptions of "The Body" and "Hush". AND, I have never seen a single website besides "Jump the Shark" that has said anything bad about it. So, I must ask, has anyone here ever talked to anyone (online or offline) who even so much as thought OMWF was dumb, let alone the downward point of an entire series?

While OMWF is what the majority of internet fans pick for best Btvs episode - there are many people who did not like it. Why? Several reasons. The biggest one? The one yabby mentions in her post above mine. Some people just don't like musicals. Crazy...but hey, I know people who can't even abide opera. And think anything where people burst out in song is insane. My Grandmother can't abide any show that seems unrealistic - which means that she'd hate Btvs. She's a fan of Law and Order and nature programs.

Several of my friends consider the idea of a tv series doing a musical the equivalent of it jumping the shark.
Two of my closest friends hated Xena's Bitter Suite - the
musical episode - they clock that as the moment Xena became unwatchable for them. (Now I happen to adore musicals and loved both the Xena one and the OMWF, heck I even watched the Drew Carey musical.) If you hate musicals - you would have hated OMWF.

The other reasons people disliked it?

1. Xander being responsible for conjuring/summoning Sweet
2. Buffy and Spike kissing
3. Willow and Tara scene
4. Giles' decision to leave
5. Dawn being damsel again

The fact that OMWF set off the W/T break-up (Tara found out about Willow's magic), the Spike/Buffy sex/romance, the
Giles' departure. So people who hated S6 - may consider
OMWF the harbringer of it.

PErsonally I liked S6 and loved OMWF...but hey, as I've said before we all have different tastes. The episode I hated was Storyteller (thought it was far more self-indulgent than anything anyone else has done) - and I'm clearly in the minority on that one. ;-)

Wouldn't make too much out of those votes though - OMWF had high sales for the CD and also high ratings. I also know of quite a few people who started watching the show or gave it another chance based on that episode, before OMWF they thought Btvs was just for teens or too juvenile (this includes friends of mine - who could not understand why I watched the show until they saw OMWF.)So I've seen both extreems.

I think the whole "jump the shark" bit is in the eye of the beholder just like most everything else. Popular taste...
I've given up trying to figure it out - I mean when the top shows in the ratings are American Idol and Joe Millionaire and Survivor - I know I'm beat. ;-)

There really is no accounting for taste.

[> [> Re: Actually none of that surprises me -- Rob, 09:19:37 07/05/03 Sat

Several of my friends consider the idea of a tv series doing a musical the equivalent of it jumping the shark.
Two of my closest friends hated Xena's Bitter Suite - the
musical episode - they clock that as the moment Xena became unwatchable for them. (Now I happen to adore musicals and loved both the Xena one and the OMWF, heck I even watched the Drew Carey musical.) If you hate musicals - you would have hated OMWF.

Loved Bitter Suite, too. In fact, it's the ep that made me realize what a brilliant, risk-taking show "Xena" could sometimes be. For all the silliness and campiness, the 2 lead characters in this show were amazing, fully 3-dimensional characters. By taking the worst psychological state either had ever been in...and then have them working out their problems through song was absolutely ingenious. Honestly, think about it. The episode before, Gabrielle's evil daughter, Hope, returns and kills Xena's son. Xena blames Gabrielle, who had lied to her when she said she'd killed Hope but actually set her adrift in a basket, to be rescued by Callisto. Xena vowed to kill Gabrielle. They both end that episode completely shattered. Adn the next episode...is a musical! And brilliantly done, the music mostly a mix of styles such as operetta, grand opera, and rock opera. It was almost as if the complex, raging emotions churning between the two of them could not have been expressed on screen in any way but through music. One of my favorite episodes of any television show. I adore OMWF more than Bitter Suite now but when Joss says that his is the first episode of a series that contains a full-blown musical, with original music and lyrics, that advances the story arc of the year, and is not just done to be campy, he is wrong. "Xena" did it first.

Speaking of which, in a writer interview for "Farscape," I read that they were planning on doing an original musical, too, in the 5th season. Now that is another show that would work perfectly set to music. Drat SciFi for cancelling it!


[> [> [> Re: Actually none of that surprises me -- Ace_of_Sevens, 00:38:26 07/06/03 Sun

To my knowledge, Joss never claimed Buffy was the first hour show to do a musical. What he said was he wanted to be first. As Xena did one when Buffy was in their second season, they didn't get the chance.

However, IMHO, OMWF blows the Bitter Suite out of the water. Mainly because the songs are much better. Xena wasn't helped by having a singing double for Gabrielle that sounded nothing like Renee O'Connor, though.

[> [> [> [> Actually I read an interview of his... -- Rob, 16:35:25 07/06/03 Sun

He concedes that Xena did one, but said that all they did was use already-written music. That was true of their sixth season musical, "Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire." He, however, showed no knowledge, in this interview (I believe it was in the Buffy magazine) that The Bitter Suite even existed. Also, I don't think it even comes close to blowing it out of the water. OMWF is better, but Bitter Suite was a fantastic, fascinating achievement, too, with some very well-written, stirring songs, jaw-dropping (by Xena standards) special effects and costuming, and an excellent story. These 2, however, as musicals are so very different that it's hard to compare them. One major difference is that Bitter Suite was about healing and mending a broken relationship; OMWF also wrestled with the problems characters were having with each other, but their relationships left the episode even more broken than they were before!


[> [> [> [> [> The Bitter Suite vs. OMWF: which WAS better? -- cjl, 19:16:59 07/06/03 Sun

I think I've done the comparison before, and on this board, but for some reason, it's vanished from the archives. Let's see, how did that go again?....

THE SONGS: Not even close. Joss wins by a full octave. He runs through a full range of musical styles, from the Astaire/Rodgers (Richard and Ginger) salute, "I'll Never Tell" to the Disney-fied "Going through the Motions" to the rockin' "Rest in Peace" to the breakaway pop hit, "Under Your Spell." After Ares' show-stopper, Tapert's songs fall into "Les Miz"-style '80s pop operetta the rest of the way, and you're pounded into submission rather than entertained. (Sorry, Rob.)

THE SINGERS: Okay, we'll call the female leads even. (Lawless and Gellar kick ass in every scene, while Hannigan and O'Connor are MIA.) I'll give Brendon the edge over Raimi for sheer foolhardy enthusiasm. I need to piss off Spike-lovers every once in a while to keep my "cred," so I'll say Kevin Smith (God rest his soul) trounces Marsters in seduction, style and for sheer vocal power. Unfortunately, the Xena crew has no answer for Benson, Caulfield, and especially Tony Head. Winner: OMWF.

DRAMA: The first ten minutes. Xena vs. Gabrielle--to the death (no joke). The scene with Joxer. Merciful Zeus. (Covers eyes with hands.) Can I look now? Is it over? Winner: Bitter Suite.

COSTUMES and SET DESIGN: I'll give the BtVS crew props (heh) for Sweet's lair and Hinton Battle's utterly cool demonic zoot suit, but the musical land of Illusia is Tapert and his hard-working New Zealanders' ultimate triumph. The set is literally another main character in the musical as the symbolism of the Tarot is literally embodied in the architecture. Sheer brilliance. Winner: Bitter Suite.

X-FACTORS: Xena got there first; the whole "Xander did it" ending, which--I'm sorry, folks--makes no freakin' sense whatsoever; the dancing sanitation workers (they make me laugh every time); the Amazons (sorry Will, Xena got there first again).

OVERALL WINNER: OMWF. But not by much. Main reason is, I remember the OMWF songs with crystal clarity, while the Bitter Suite tunes have generally faded from memory. However, the first ten, non-musical minutes of Bitter Suite are as intense as anything I've ever seen in a one-hour drama. Tapert and Co. can be proud. (And they did get there first.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> The 2 musicals duke it out once more... -- Rob, 08:49:38 07/07/03 Mon

I agree with you in just about every category. Actually, let's go one by one, and see if I actually do!

THE MUSIC: All the strum and drang of "The Bitter Suite" music does get a bit too heavy to listen to for enjoyment, particularly in the final third, and in a row. I do happen to like most of the songs in the latter third separately, though. But you're right that the tempo is definitely too slow and the melodies all too turgid and melodramatic to be called enjoyable. Or at least "Hearts Are Hurting," "Hate is the Star" (weakest song in the ep), and "Hearts Are Hurting II" are. Certainly can't say they skimped on letting emotion out there, though! I wouldn't begrudge them Xena's final number, though. Pop operically it is, but I just love hearing Lucy really use her diaphragm for all its worth, and this song highlights her the best, and is quite touching. And even when the music isn't up to snuff, the lyrics are quite clever throughout: "For what ails the panacea/Surely waits in Poteidaia..." I mean, c'mon, how brilliant a rhyme is that?!? Another great part: "Xena, be warned/Xena, beware/By closing your eyes, you can see what isn't there/Xena, be calm/Open your eyes/Lies may be truth/And truth may be lies./Fate is a wheel/It will reveal/All that you are/All that you feel/Destiny knows what has to be/You'll pay the price/Nothing is free/I'll be your guide/Take the hand of your muse/You just might lose your way in the land of Illusia!" Yes, you're right on songs. Definitely can't listen to "The Bitter Suite" in the car. OMWF you'll have to pry out of my car with the jaws of life to keep me from listening to it!

THE SINGERS: Gellar vs. Lawless. I'd say it's a draw, too. Lawless has a stronger, prettier voice, and sang from her diaphragm, whereas Gellar was all from the throat, but Gellar really sold her performance, great singer or not. I don't know if I've ever seen anyone seem that dedicated to completely nailing her part, and doing it with flying colors. I can't imagine anyone else singing her parts, or even wanting to hear anyone else singing her parts, since she seems so perfectly married to the material. Sidekicks? Xander wins, although Joxer is hilarious as usual. And yes, the great Kevin Smith does beat Spike for seductiveness (although Spike has a cooler song). And whereas Buffy and the Gang belt their ways through the whole musical, for the entire first half of the episode everyone but Xena and Gabrielle sing, and most of the singers are non-regulars. "Buffy" had a much richer ensemblÿ

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Dammit...there was a whole post here I spent a lot of time on that is now gone forever. -- Rob, 10:57:13 07/07/03 Mon

It used to go through every category like yours did, and I spent almost an hour on it. *sob* When will I ever learn to copy before I send?!?

[> [> I think you've put your finger on it... -- KdS, 09:40:15 07/05/03 Sat

The fact that OMWF set off the W/T break-up (Tara found out about Willow's magic), the Spike/Buffy sex/romance, the
Giles' departure. So people who hated S6 - may consider
OMWF the harbringer of it.

My understanding is that "jump the shark" may not necessarily mean "bad ep" but also "last good one". So the people who hated the Buffy/Spike stuff, Giles leaving, the Dark!Willow plot, Xander and Anya splitting up and all the repercussions of those in S7 may think of OMWF as the last good ep.

[> [> [> I think actually, it is usually the "last straw" ep. A show may have been bad before... -- Rob, 10:57:53 07/05/03 Sat

...but as far as I've heard, a jump-the-shark moment is a point of no return where the show can never be good again. Lots of bad things lead up to the Point Of No Return Moment. While that website claims that it happens to just about every show, I think it is actually much more rare than that. They don't seem to follow their own definition very well. Even in the book the Jump the Shark website owner wrote, he claimed "Buffy" jumped the shark, but then made concessions that there were good episodes after whatever point he claimed it jumped the shark. Which of course, by his own definition, means it didn't jump the shark. It's very rare that you can pinpoint one ep and claim that the show was never good again after that point.


[> [> [> [> Jump the shark is...when Fonzie Literally Jumped the Shark -- s'kat, 11:18:35 07/05/03 Sat

...but as far as I've heard, a jump-the-shark moment is a point of no return where the show can never be good again.

Yes this is true. The name Jump the Shark comes from the Happy Days episode where Fonzie in water-skis and his leather jacket literally jumped a shark. To many (not all) viewers Happy Days was horrible ever since.

So if you consider the B/S kiss the moment the show changed?
Than you may consider OMWF jumping the shark. Others consider the moment Buffy slept with Angel in Surprise - jumping the shark. There's a group who consider the moment Angel left the series jumping the shark. The term basically defines the moment the show turned a negative corner for you the viewer. The people who dislike DarkWillow would state the moment she flayed Warren. The people who dislike Tara/Willow may state that scene in Hush. It's a question of personal taste. I honestly wouldn't worry too much about it. The show succeeded with good critical reviews for seven seasons, it's ratings remained more or less the same and
it would have been renewed for an 8th season if SMG hadn't quit. So objectively speaking? It never jumped the shark.

[> [> [> or maybe you did -- anom, 23:09:21 07/05/03 Sat

"My understanding is that 'jump the shark' may not necessarily mean 'bad ep' but also 'last good one.'"

Some people may have thought that after OMWF, the show had nowhere to go but down. Which in a way is a good thing, making that ep the peak.

On the other hand, the actual shark jumping (in "Happy Days") was decidedly not a good ep.

[> [> But it seemed very different from musicals -- Finn Mac Cool, 11:09:30 07/05/03 Sat

I've seen quite a few musicals, and only a few have I really enjoyed, so I wouldn't really be a musical fan, but I still enjoyed OMWF. The songs in OMWF seemed to me to be of much higher quality than those in "My Fair Lady" or "Chicago". Of course, it might just be that there were so many different types of music (in most musicals I find the songs get repetitive after a while). Or it could be my general distaste for music from the 50's and 60's, when most musicals were made.

About the only musicals I've really enjoyed are:

"Singing in the Rain", "Okalahoma" (the first time I saw it; upon rewatching I couldn't stand it), "Hercules (Disney version)", and "The Lion King" (in my opinion, best musical ever; though, it is tied with "Silence of the Lambs" for my favorite movie, so that makes sense).

[> [> [> D'oh! Forgot the "Wizard of Oz" -- Finn Mac Cool, 11:10:46 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> [> Wouldn't agree on "Chicago," although I still love Joss. -- Rob, who can also be ironic ;o), 11:29:32 07/05/03 Sat

Kander and Ebb easily beat out him as best musical writers in my book. Joss' musical and lyrical sophistication were amazing for a first time out, but don't come close to Kander and Ebb. Maybe if Joss wrote a song that could equal or beat "Class," then we could talk. Until then, no. ;o) Oh, and actually, most musicals weren't written in the 50s and 60s. Most old-fashioned ones were. Most of my favorites are from 70s-present, actually, with a few exceptions.

A list of my favorite musicals would be huge at best. Not a huge fan of most classic musicals. Rodgers and Hammerstein for example usually are too sappy for me. Here, though, are some off the top of my head:

Les Miserables
Bat Boy the Musical
Into the Woods
Sweeney Todd
A Chorus Line
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Rocky Horror Show
The Lion King
The Producers
Moulin Rouge
Wizard of Oz
Fame (the movie version, not the stage version, for which a completely new score was written for some reason and almost none of the far superior songs from the movie were used, not even "I Sing the Body Electric," which was jettisoned for a much more standard generic graduation song. Because of that, I don't count the stage version.)


[> [> [> [> 'Who can also be ironic' actually shouldn't be there. Pasted it from an old post by accident! -- Rob, 11:32:51 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> Hmmm...favorite musicals. -- fresne, 12:58:23 07/07/03 Mon

I like my Disney.
I like my Fred Astaire, which boils down to liking Gershwin(s), Cole Porter, Irving Berlin. Night and Day, sigh and give me a cigarette. Yeah, I know I don't smoke, just give it here.
I like my Fosse, Fosse, Fosse.

I like big florid musicals. I like neat dry musicals.

Heck, I like Streets of Fire. Evita. Phantom. I'll even admit to Cats. Moulin Rouge. Wizard of Oz. Nightmare Before Christmas. Great Zeus, I've practically inhaled that movie. Singing in the Rain, but not the sequences you might think. Love's Labour's Lost, which was utterly brilliant. Shakespeare plus 1930s Broadway melodies, which also helped enable my collection of versions of "There May be Trouble Ahead." Actually, throw in Romeo + Juliet and Simply Ballroom. Watching dad put the flamenco slap down is just damn cool. This could go on a bit and I'm no where near as bad as my housemate.

As to Bitter Suite and OMwF. Well, I had OMwF on auto play in my head for weeks. It's incredibly insidious. I like them in completely different ways. The Art of War Tango is, I will admit, a favorite and an incredible dance melody. I just wish it were longer. I think it's only about two minutes and to get in the right mood a good six is useful, but hey, we're talking t.v.

I'd do a blow by blow breakdown, but sections aside I'd have to go with OMwF, since it's the one that ate my brain.

But really, it's all personal preference. When I went to see Miss Saigon, I left singing songs from Sweeny Todd, which was, shall we say, an odd feeling.

[> [> [> West Side Story beats OMWF into polite submission -- Tchaikovsky, 07:23:35 07/07/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> You know much more about music than I ever will, so -- Sophist, 08:36:33 07/07/03 Mon

maybe you can explain the attraction of West Side Story. I love musicals, but that one just does nothing for me. I think I'm pretty catholic in my tastes in musicals; I like Cabaret, Camelot, Man of La Mancha, Fiddler on the Roof, Jesus Christ Superstar, Molly Brown, Music Man, Sound of Music, even Paint Your Wagon. And many others.

The biggest problem I have with WSS is that I don't find the songs memorable. I know the words and tunes to dozens of songs from others, but the only melody in WSS that sticks is "Tonight". Am I being too simplistic in being hooked by the melodies? I'd really like to know why you mention it.

[> [> [> [> [> West Side Story's songs aren't memorable? -- cjl, 08:53:59 07/07/03 Mon

Somewhere (Tom Waits does an amazing cover of this song.)
Gee, Officer Krupke
Jet Song ("When you're a Jet, you're a jet all the way...")

The Bernstein/Sondheim score is one of the best, beginning to end, that I've ever heard. If you never saw the original Jerome Robbins choreography, or think the Romeo and Juliet rehash is a bit cheesy--OK, I can understand not being enthralled by the musical as a whole. But the songs? I can't agree with you there, Soph.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I'm with you, cjl. WSS inspires devotion because of the songs. -- dream, 10:36:46 07/07/03 Mon

Also, I think West Wide Story appeals to a lot of people who find the average musical a little too cute. It's sentimental in many ways, but has a tougher, urban aesthetic that sways a lot of people who are skeptical about musicals. Personally, I find Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, South Pacific, and The King and I unbearable. I have some tolerance for the teeny-bopper musicals (Bye Bye Birdie and its ilk), though I can't say I would ever want to see any of them again. I'm sentimentally inclined toward Camelot, because it was my first introduction to the Arthur legends, many, many years ago. I love the earlier, New York musicals - anything with Cole Porter songs, who cares about the rest of the show? I also admit to loving Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Sweeney Todd, though I feel some embarassment about these, not sure why. Hate Les Mis and Phantom and all that stuff - hate it passionately. My favorite musical by far is Singing in the Rain. Also love the Umbrellas of Cherbourg. And loved OMWF, though I definitely knew people who thought it was terrible because the singing and dancing weren't spectacular. I thought that was missing the point.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Well, I tend to have unsophisticated taste in melodies -- Sophist, 10:41:55 07/07/03 Mon

I think the actual enjoyment of melodies probably is a matter of taste to the same degree as flavors of ice cream. I'm sure the songs you mention are memorable to you, but I couldn't tell you the words or sing the tune to any of them (well, I can't sing the tune to any song, but let's assume for now that I can). In contrast, I could do that with virtually every song from the musicals I named and many more besides.

Because my musical "talent" is so limited -- I can't carry a tune to save my life, I can't dance, and I don't play any instrument -- I thought maybe I was missing some technical aspect of WSS.

[> [> [> [> [> A short appreciation of West Side Story -- Tchaikovsky, 03:22:49 07/08/03 Tue

It's interesting that Whedon compares himself to Sondheim not Bernstein- one of my thoughts about 'Once More, With Feeling' was how much musicals thrive on intelligent lyrics as much as melodies- something of which Whedon, with his servicable tunes and superb lyrics really took advantage.

But there's a lyrical dexterity in Sondheim which is rather wonderful- Whedon mentions in his commentary for'Once More, With Feeling' that he would never try to write something in the style of Sondheim because 'he forgot to be a genius'.

For me, what elevates 'West Side Story' is that beyond the excellent, tough yet emotional lyrics resides a genuinely talented, edgy, strange composer in Leonard Bernstein. I had to play a Bernstein clarinet piece for my Grade Eight- it took me a week to even understand where the phrasing was and a month to fully appreciate it as a good piece of music. He stood at the apex of a musical revolution- post-classical, with jazz exerting its influence on popular music, but just before the big bombastic show tunes started infiltrating the three minute pop song with its characteristic brand of simplistic chord sequence. Unfortunately in the pop song, the orchestral flourishes and florid counter-melodies of the show tune evaporate, leaving us with a lot of the anaemic rubbish that populates our Top 40 to even more of a degree than America's Billboard chart.

Bernstein then, was a mixing composer- the old shows, the new-ish jazz, and classical forms. And it shows. The choreography in the dancing is much complimented- it does look stunning- and that's largely because of the virtuoisic string parts Bernstein wrote. And then there's the graceful hemiola in 'America', remarkably catchy. And the 'shouldn't-work-as-a-melody-but-does' of 'Somewhere', with the minor seventh opening gaping dramatically, and the excellent swell towards the triumphant, bittersweet chorus that Whedon admits he doesn't quite capture in 'Walk Through The Fire'. While Whedon's annoyed that his music holds back, the intertwining of the slowly rising sequence of phrases towards the end of the verse of 'Somewhere' is an object lesson in how to do it.

What else? Yes, the carefully balanced, yearning Maria- and good old Tonight.

That's why it gets me. Knowing stuff about music doesn't make your opinion any more valid- in fact I'm often suspicious it makes a view ess valid because I'm gasping at the intricacy of, say, Radiohead, while ignoring whether it hits me emotionally. But for me West Side Story is how it should be done- a triumphant union.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks -- Sophist, 08:31:25 07/08/03 Tue

Odd thing is, I'm usually very sensitive to lyrics, probably because I'm so challenged musically. What I should do is go back and look more carefully at the lyrics.

The rest of your post is, as I was afraid it might be, well beyond my musical knowledge. I do play the radio quite well....

[> [> [> [> [> [> TCH, this reminds me... -- Rob, 09:25:49 07/08/03 Tue

...of possibly the most British experience I've ever had lol. 2 years ago, I visited The Globe Theater in London; unfortunately, it was off-season, so I could only take the tour, not see a play. In the group was a very pretty English woman with a little boy, maybe 6 or 7, who at some point while we were walking along said in the tiniest little voice, "Mummy, which came first? West Side Story or Romeo and Juliet?" I thought that was just the cutest thing in the world. Most American children at that age would have never heard of either of those 2 plays, and if they had probably wouldn't know they were connected in any way (not to brag, but I was one of the exceptions to that rule). And then the fact that he wanted to know which was written first, which again reminded me how young he was, not having an adult concept of time. But then again, I'm impressed that he knows the connection between the plays! It just made me smile!


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'd like to believe that's the rule not the exception, but in any case, awww -- TCH, 02:59:48 07/09/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Have to agree there, too. But even Joss couldn't be expected to beat Bernstein his first time out. -- Rob, 10:58:38 07/07/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> D'oh once more! Yeah, add "West Side Story" to the musicals I enjoyed list. -- Finn Mac Cool, 11:15:11 07/07/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> Me, too. Forgot it also off my list! -- Rob, 12:17:13 07/07/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Speaking of musicals, one of my favorites is Tovarich -- Brian, 15:39:29 07/07/03 Mon

[> Re: Odd news from "Jump the Shark" -- Miss Edith, 11:28:33 07/05/03 Sat

I've read all the comments in the Buffy section because, well I have nothing better to do. A lot of the votes for the musical were before it aired, just the idea of having a musical sickened some. Some comments admit to not having watched it, but "the previews were enough for me". And some people thought the musical stunk because not everyone had a terrific singing voice. I thought the point of the musical was not watching a top calibre production with stage trained voices, but actually seeing the scoobies sing and dance as themselves. Therefore it worked for me when Xander and Willow proved to not have the strongest voices, we weren't watching a musical, as much as it was primarily a Buffy episode. Therefore some would be good singers, some not. JMHO. I loved the musical, and I loved Xena's musical, but it did drive me batty that the actress playing Gabrielle was too vain to sing. I assume that was the reason anyway, but having Xena and Gabrielle singing their forgiveness to each other was ruined for me when it clearly was not Gabby even singing. Xena and Ares did have magnficant voices though. Anyway I felt Joss made the right decision insisting his cast all sing, therefore it wasn't so much a musical, as it was the Buffy characters singing as themselves. If they all had strong voices it would have come acroos as fake (I'm not sure how well I'm explaining myself here).

Anyway Dawn's arrival had a ton of votes before she had even appeared, the concept of a New Kid to appeal to younger viewers was off-putting to many. The site was founded for tv criticism, people will go there by and large to bash tv shows, and express their hate. You shouldn't expect to find balanced views. Some people get really nasty, slaming actors talents, and their physical appearance. There were a lot of comments about if Willow was going gay, why couldn't she find a pretty girlfriend, both Sarah and James Marsters receive their fair share of insults for being too thin. There are lots of prejudiced comments about W/T as well, honestly I wonder sometimes what the criteria is for accepting votes! When I read a nasty comment about W/T sinning against God, and Tara being a "cow-eyed freak" I would have thought such a view would not have even been added to the site.

[> [> Re: Odd news from "Jump the Shark" -- O'Cailleagh, 11:41:58 07/05/03 Sat

"When I read a nasty comment about W/T sinning against God..."
This really amuses me for some reason, probably that the person who originally wrote this (clearly a Christian) was more bothered by an expression of love between two characters, than the fact that these characters were Witches, just about the most non-Christian (from a Christian perspective at least) religion around!!


[> [> OT: Renee O'Connor in The Bitter Suite -- Ace_of_Sevens, 00:46:23 07/06/03 Sun

I don't think Renee O'Connor not doing her own singing in The Bitter Suite can really be called vanity. My understanding was she just can't sing. She was willing to give it a try, but the producers decided to dub her instead. I can't say I blame them. Listen to Gabrielle singing the song about herself 6 eps later in Fins, Femmes and Gems. Renee really did sing there. I don't think you'd want to hear that for a whole episode.

BTW, Callisto was also dubbed, but they got a good match for her and no one complained.

[> [> [> She also sang a bit in "Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire"... -- Rob, 09:25:23 07/06/03 Sun

...She just has an awful, awful voice and she herself has called herself tone-deaf. Imagine Alyson Hannigan having to belt out some huge, heartrending ballad, based on the little we've heard of her voice in OMWF, and you'd get the idea. Doing such operatic numbers as she has to do near the end, her voice would have just been distracting, especially during "Our Hearts are Hurting". The Callisto voice was a perfect match, which made it a lot easier to be fooled.

Everyone else sang with their own voices. Lucy Lawless has a particularly beautiful voice. She was classically trained long ago, in opera and musical theatre. I saw her on Broadway as Rizzo in "Grease," and she was just fantastic. Best version of "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" I've heard anybody sing. Unfortunately, since she didn't originate the role, it was never recorded on CD.


[> It all depends on how 'jump the shark' is defined -- RJA, 13:48:53 07/08/03 Tue

There is no strict definition, so votes will depend on what the indvidual voter considers it to mean and so vote on that basis. It could be the last good episode, the moment where the show goes for a plot point or idea that takes it too far, when the show lapses into self parody and so on.

One popular theory I've seen is that OMWF was the jump the shark moment because it marked the show's critical peak, that it was the last time the makers had true investment in the show. Everything was working up to that moment, and slow inevitable decline beckoned.

And I guess the most obvious reason is that it was a critical water mark in a season thats not too popular. People look for the big events rather than the small happenings that quote often tend to reflect a sea change in the way the story is told, or what the show is about.

Not that I have much truck with jump the shark moments - mainly becuase there is an element of all fandom that seems to be about anticipating the moment a show goes bad. The worst excesses of the Comic Store Guy.

I do think however, it can be seen that there are moments when a show changes in tone fundamentally. Certainly, I think that to a large extent there was such a shift in season five of Buffy, that changed the basic tone and way the show was defined. My money on that moment would be in the episodes No Place Like Home, Family and Fool For Love. These really do seem like the reformatting of the show, what with Joyce's illness, emphasis on drama rather than the supernatural and Spike being explicitly written as sympathetic. None of which is bad at all, since I love what happened subsequently. But I think thats a real transition point of the show, in the same way the episodes around mid season 2 were.

And I got the same feeling again in late season seven. I still liked the show at this point, but again the way the show was being written seemed to shift again. Storyteller (which I really enjoyed) was a pivotal moment, although it could stretches as far back as Normal Again. This was the moment when it really felt like the writers were invading the show, letting their presence be explicitly known. They were highlighting the contradictions of the show and laughing at them. Which is kinda cool if its done once or twice (see The Zeppo), but dangerous when it defines how the show is written. Even the best lines started to replicate or mirror previous classic lines of the show. Which is probbaly a good enough reason why the show needed to end at season seven.

Wow, long ramblings for my third ever post :-)

[> Taunting the Shark -- Ace_of_Sevens, 17:11:19 07/09/03 Wed

Of the 18 ways ways to jump the shark listed on the official website, Buffy and Angel have done at least 10 (maybe 12, depending how you count) and teased us with another.

1. Same Actor, Different Character
Wood's mother may or may not count here. She wasn't a major character

2. Birth

3. Death
Joyce, Doyle and Tara for sure. If you starting getting into supporting characters, Harmony, Snyder and Jenny Calendar. And if you count those that didn't stay dead, there's Buffy (twice) and if you count the finale, there's Spike and Anya.

4. Ted McGinley
The Patron saint of shark jumping has yet to be on a Mutant Enemy show.

5. Graduation
End of Buffy Season 3.

6. New Kid in Town
Dawn. Perhaps the most blatant Shark-taunting the show has done. Then, they took it in a completely different direction than new kid stories typically go.

7. Hair Care
Willow and Cordelia both had severe style changes. You may count Oz and Anya as well.

8. Exit, Stage Left
A whole bunch here. Oz, Riley, Giles and apparently Cordelia at least. You may count Angel and Cordelia leaving Buffy for a spin-off.

9. Moving
Angel's changes of offices and Buffy moving out of her mother's house may count, but as they stayed in the same city, maybe not.

10. Singing
Angel Season 2 and Once More, With Felling. Plus possibly Giles earlier in Buffy.

11. Color
The shows started in color, so not applicable.

12. A Very Special
Not consciously done, but She and Wrecked both came off this way. Since they weren't promoted as very special, I'd say this doesn't count.

13. Special Guest Star
John Ritter in Ted

14. They Did It
Spike and Buffy and Connor and Cordelia both definitely count. Angel and Buffy may as well.

15. I Do
Didn't go through with it, but we were teased with the possibility in Hell's Bells

16. Puberty
Connor. Maybe Dawn, but she was well into puberty when introduced, so I don't think she counts.

17. The Movie
Haven't done this yet, but you never know

18. Live
Won't really work for any ME shows as they're all single camera and require post-production effects.

[> [> And more -- Ace_of_Sevens, 17:24:16 07/09/03 Wed

I just realized you could put Angel and Darla in the "they did it" category as well.

[> [> another one for #13 -- anom, 18:31:36 07/09/03 Wed

"13. Special Guest Star
John Ritter in Ted"

I'd also count Joel Grey as Doc in The Gift (& the earlier ep whose title I can't remember). I'm on the fence about Michael Warren in Normal Again.

Any others? I don't think Hinton Battle in OMWF counts, only because he's not that well known as a TV/movie actor.

[> [> [> That kid from "Home Improvement" in "Help" might count -- Finn Mac Cool, 19:25:21 07/09/03 Wed

[> [> movie -- Ace_of_Sevens, 19:51:22 07/09/03 Wed

Actually, since Buffy started as a movie, you might count that. So that leaves 10 things they've done, four things debatable, 1 thing they teased us with and only 3 they've never touched. (Ted McGinley, live show, color). Two of those aren't even technically possible. I'm hoping Ted shows up on Angel next season.

[> [> Re: Taunting the Shark -- Miss Edith, 20:07:29 07/09/03 Wed

The singer from First Date playing the demon might count?

One-liners -- sloan, 02:00:03 07/05/03 Sat

I've been reading a lot of critical posts lately (I appreciate all the great ideas and discussion on this board) and I've noticed statements such as, "I wish ME had shown us a reason for Giles' emotional disconnection from the core Scoobies". Or that Xander and Anya's relationship seemed to be missing something. Or that the First's actual motivation and plan was confusing. Or that ME never addressed who carried the Slayer lineage, Faith or Buffy. (Doesn't matter now though, does it?)

And I realized that in some cases all it would take was one or two lines to clear some confusion over plot or characterization. Well, I know it'd clear up *my* confusion. For instance, posters have theorized that Giles' emotional distance this season was caused by the demise of the Watcher's Council. ME did not show this reason explicitly or any OTHER reason for his strange behavior--but it appears to be a valid explanation for his characterization. I think it would have been relatively easy to convey this with an extremely short scene of Giles dialing several 17 digit numbers and learning that they are all disconnected (the operator would have a British accent - of course). Then someone (Buffy preferably) could have walked in and asked what he was doing. This would interrupt his staring-off-into-the-distance and looking concerned-and-defeated. He could say "Nothing" and cross his arms over his chest and change the subject. End scene. Ok, maybe that wasn't so short a scene. But the point I'm trying to make here is that the audience (me) could have inferred that this was the reason for his distance and not that he was just being a jerk for the heck of it.

Has anyone else every thought this? Or if you haven't until just now, can you think of a few lines or a short scene to help explain plot or characterization that you feel you've had to infer (or make up) based on the text?

Admittedly, I don't read writer interviews except for what is reposted here (thanks) so I may be unaware of explanations that the 144 episodes (144 right?) did not show. Or it could be my bad memory. A lot of times it's my poor memory.

I realize this is a really simplistic spackle for a great show but I feel that in a few instances this could have worked. If anyone has any spackles or disagreements, please post them because I love to hear them. I'm one of those people who spends more time reading, thinking and talking about the show than actually watching it. I know that this board and ATPo are the reason I love BtVS so much. *End gushing*


[> Re: One-liners -- CW, 09:01:02 07/05/03 Sat

You're right. I think the big difference between the years when Joss was doing everything and, those years when Marti took over a lot of Joss' work on BtVS was that a lot of those one-liners went missing. Not that the last 3 seasons were anything close to average tv, but the standards Marti set for covering every angle over the season, weren't quite the same. Except for Buffy and Willow none of the characters had as much depth in the last three years as they did in the early ones, because that extra attention to minute detail is missing. The same can be said for the hints during the season that make the payoff at end of each season make logical sense, besides just being emotionally pleasing. Joss just seemed to care more about it, than Marti.

Quick self-involved prattle: Goodbye to tennager-ness -- Tchaikovsky, 03:53:14 07/05/03 Sat

It's OK, this will be archived soon. It's darned self-indulgent.

It's my birthday tomorrow. I'm 20. I'm not quite sure how to react. I think I would feel guilty in claiming I'm feeling old- I know others are older. But truthfully, I've always felt that it's OK because I don't have to be a grown-up yet, and this comes across as yet another reason that I should start to be one! Anyway, I'd like to thank everyone on the board who has helped me through my last year of teenager-ness, and wish Finn all the best of luck as sole Board Teen, (I think- of course if Graffiti would start posting...).

And thanks everyone for making me feel as if my voice is worth considering, at least sometimes, and that I might just be a grown up person like you all some day.

Oooh, and this is starting to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech, so I'll shut up and let Voynak do its worst.


[> On behalf of me, please accept this statuette, in recognition of birthdayness. Congratulations, TCH -- MsGiles, 04:10:52 07/05/03 Sat

[> Happy Birthday!! Have a great day tomorrow! -- ponygirl, 06:42:43 07/05/03 Sat

[> Welcome to your 20s, TCH!!! It's a fun decade. -- Rob, who arrived there 2 years ago, 07:34:56 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> Take that back! -- Tchaikovsky, 09:23:39 07/05/03 Sat

If you're two years older than me, how can you be my twin?!


[> [> [> Reminds me of an episode of "NewsRadio" -- d'Herblay, 10:23:29 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> yeah! question is, which one is *really* adopted? -- anom, 23:20:30 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> [> Didn't you know? You were just in gestation a bit...um...longer than I was. -- Rob, 10:46:19 07/05/03 Sat

And most people tell me I look at lot younger than my age, so that evens it out, too. ;o)


[> [> [> Happy Birthday. Had My Two-Oh twenty days ago, and the oddness still hasn't worn off -- AngelVSAngelus, 21:09:20 07/05/03 Sat

[> Happy birthday! BTW, there are always alternate number systems. -- OnM, 07:43:21 07/05/03 Sat

For example, you would be only 14 in hexadecimal. (Just wait 'til your 31 like me!)

Of course, if you want to feel older, good old octal would put you at 24! (I won't say how old I'd be in octal, octal is bad for the elderly among us).

(I won't do your age in binary because my head might explode and I would really hate that.)


[> [> That's Happy 10100th binary Birthday! -- CW, who is old enough to remember when people knew binary, 08:57:14 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> Ah, number systems- a subject close to my heart -- Tchaikovsky, 09:14:02 07/05/03 Sat

Well, as close as it can be anyway- I am a maths degree person and all. Thinking about it, in Base 5 I'd be 40 tomorrow, so I guess life begins now if I only use one hand. You mention hexidecimal, which makes me puzzle over the idea of being 1B years old, for example, which would just be surreal. I mean, what do you call that number anyway? 'Bee-teen'? That would make one a teenager between the Base 10 ages of 19 and 31, which would suit me fine.

You know with all the numbering systems at one's disposal, you really are only as old as you feel.

TCH- becoming a teenager tomorrow in Base 17

[> [> [> Now that you're 20, TCH, you're far too mature to read this infantile post -- d'Herblay, 10:38:35 07/05/03 Sat

Thinking about it, in Base 5 I'd be 40 tomorrow, so I guess life begins now if I only use one hand.

Strange: I was taught that only using one hand was the best way to prevent life beginning now.

Happy birthday, TCH! I only hope that one day I'll be as "grown-up" as you were at nineteen.

[> [> [> [> ROFLMAO!!! -- Rob the Impure, 10:49:14 07/05/03 Sat

Reminds me of something that happened in chat last night. Someone, I forget who, asked us to pardon his/her erratic spelling. 'Bit said that at least it wasn't erotic spelling. And I said that erotic spelling is often erratic b/c it's always done with only one hand.


[> [> [> [> Ditto! Happy Birthday...TCH -- s'kat, 11:10:46 07/05/03 Sat

And is anyone else having troubles believing that TCH is *ONLY* 20??? Honestly, you write better and with far more maturity than some 30 year olds I know. Just goes to show you, age means zip. Perhaps there's hope yet for the rest of us. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Ditto! Happy Birthday...TCH -- punkinpuss, 12:15:02 07/05/03 Sat

Delurking to say Happy Birthday and are you kidding me? Only 20??!! Hells bells, I had you pegged for twice that!

[> Re: Quick self-involved prattle: Goodbye to tennager-ness -- Alison, 08:52:57 07/05/03 Sat

As the other, non Finn Mac Cool teenager on the board, I can congratulate you in all sincerity- you survived! Happy Birthday!

[> [> Re: HB, T All the best -- Brian, 09:11:00 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> Thanks -- Tchaikovsky, 09:18:59 07/05/03 Sat

Glad to hear Finn won't be alone- I have to say I enjoyed my teens although I'm probably less a stereotype teenager than I could be- I've read Ulysees more times than I've been to Glastonbury.


[> Congradulations, TCH. Have a great birthday. -- Arethusa, 09:13:44 07/05/03 Sat

[> Many happy returns, TCH...you may be turning 20 in British years... -- Random, 09:18:24 07/05/03 Sat

...but you're only 14 in Hollywood years. So take heart.

[> Enjoy yourself! -- KdS, 09:47:35 07/05/03 Sat

[> Many felicitations! -- deeva, 10:11:44 07/05/03 Sat

[> Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you -- Sara, letting Graffiti do the singing, 10:41:03 07/05/03 Sat

Don't worry about feeling old, I've felt old at every age milestone, and yet somehow manage to also feel like I'm 9 years old, there's no making sense of that stuff! Enjoy your birthday, and enjoy your twenties! And hey, the thirties and forties, not so bad either.

- Sara, a fan of binary, octal, hex and redesigning our own realities...

[> Happy Birthday! (sings "Goodbye to You", hastly switching the appropriate words so it makes sense) -- LadyStarlight, 11:49:40 07/05/03 Sat

[> Happy Birthday, Kiddo! -- dub ;o), 12:05:00 07/05/03 Sat

Hey, I'm 50 and I still don't feel like a grownup...well, except for the aches and pains.

Hope you're having a great day.

dub ;o)

[> Have a great day.... -- yabyumpan, 12:29:18 07/05/03 Sat

..it's a shame the last lot of tapes hasn't got to you yet, (I assume they haven't). Normally they arrive much quicker.

and this is starting to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech

Ooooh, are we going to get blubbering and doe eyes and thanking your neighbour's sister's daughter for baby-sitting you when you were twelve and making you watch BtVS :-)

Looking forward to (hopefully) meeting up with you soon. ;o)

[> [> Tapes got to me this morning! -- Tchaikovsky, 15:25:58 07/05/03 Sat

I'm going to see England play cricket tomorrow, which I'm looking forward to immensely. Then will try to watch the final episodes of Buffy and Angel in the coming weeks! It was a lovely birthday present, so thanks yab!

And so yes, for any lurking Odyssey readers, it will re-appear sometime this week!

[> [> [> Well, finish your birthday cake, and start watching and writing already! ;o) -- Rob, impatient, because with the ADD ;o), 23:37:30 07/05/03 Sat

[> It's not the years in your life, but the life in your years -- lunasea, 14:00:18 07/05/03 Sat

Just glad to hear that you aren't crabby about the whole thing. :-)

(sorry couldn't resist. I open and close my own claws in your general direction to acknowledge the day to celebrate the Tch that we all love and still wait with baited breathe for you to continue the Odyssey)

[> Wow, thanks everyone. Your reaction is turning me Paltrow-y -- Tchaikovsky, 15:28:38 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> Re: Wow, thanks everyone. Your reaction is turning me Paltrow-y -- jane, 17:42:15 07/05/03 Sat

May I join the Happy Birthday parade? Hope you had lots of fun and cake today! Speaking as one of the elder citizens of the board, age is more about mind than body. As my very feisty 89 year old Mom says, you are as old (or young) as you think you are. Happy Birthday, TCH!

[> Happy (late) Birthday, Tch -- Vickie, 18:44:36 07/05/03 Sat

And welcome to the perpetual Peter Pan club (I refuse to grow up!) But in a good way.

BTW, I think SugarTherapy is still a teen. And MayaPapaya. Though they haven't been posting much lately.

[> Happy Birthday! -- Wizard (Still 19- with 6 months to go before the Big 2-0), 21:27:32 07/05/03 Sat

Let we ATPOBTVS teens take a moment as another of our number goes soaring off to the Big 2-0 in the sky.


Yup, takin' a moment.

(More silence)

And we're done.

It's birthday party for Tchaikovsky time!

(Wow, only 20? I had you pegged for much older- your posts are so mature and mine... usually aren't!)

[> [> Hmmm -- Tchaikovsky, 04:49:50 07/07/03 Mon

Just as the club is getting into full swing (Finn, Alison, Wizard), I leave it! Typical.

Remember to do lots of teenage stuff in the next six months- before you get all mature!!


[> Re: Just wait until next year, the big 21...it's even better, trust me ;) -- Purple Tulip (Who's been living the big 21 for 7 months now), 22:27:26 07/05/03 Sat

[> Happy Birthday! -- Haecceity, 23:06:51 07/05/03 Sat

For some reson it's all about the decades--I clearly remember the thrill of thinking I'd made it through two. Everyone makes a big deal out of 21, but I say the end of your teens is well worth significant celebration. I hope you have a wonderful day and find something fun and milestone-marking to do!


[> happy birthday, tch! & belated happy birthdays to dochawk & angelvsangelus! -- anom, 23:16:18 07/05/03 Sat

[> Hard to believe -- tomfool, 23:33:17 07/05/03 Sat

all of that analytical goodness is coming from such a youthful perpective. Have a happy!

[> Happy Birthday! I think your mind's been adult for awhile! -- mamcu, 16:32:39 07/06/03 Sun

[> Happy B-Day -- fresne, 21:43:49 07/06/03 Sun

[> Wait. You mean you're not a 47-year-old humanities professor at Oxford? -- cjl, 09:24:03 07/07/03 Mon

Could have fooled me.

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