March 2004 posts

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A Theory about the Shanshu might be about both of them? -- reaper, 10:08:18 03/19/04 Fri

And if the beast shalt find thee, and touch thee, thou shall be wounded in thy soul, and thou shall know madness, and the beast shalt attack and cripple thee, and thou shalt know neither friend nor family. But thou shalt undo the beast, thou shalt find the sacred words of Anatole, and thou shalt be restored. The Beast is Wolfram and Hart so that his friends could be lost because of the mindwipe. Both Cordy his contact to the powers is gone and Conner is gone. The vamp with a soul could be meant as Angel could die/live and Spike die/live because of the shanshu means both.


[> Re: A Theory about the Shanshu might be about both of them? -- Confused, 15:29:17 03/21/04 Sun

Okay you didn't give any evidence that it could be both you just quoted sone dialogue from the first season. And you never gave evidence that it could be spike and the little you said about angel has been established. And the beast was Vochah. Feel free to challenge

[> [> Re: A Theory about the Shanshu might be about both of them? -- Sofdog, 20:38:12 03/21/04 Sun

The portion of the scroll that prophecies the "shanshu" of the "vampire with a soul" could certainly apply to both Spike and Angel. Ideally it could apply to any and all souled vampires. The inescapable logic of a prophecy allows infinite leeway as to how it plays out. Wesley's interpretation(s) are limited by his understanding of the originators of the Scroll's language. There could be myriad other expressions of those words.

It will all depend on the actions of each - if both Spike and Angel survive those apocalypses and plagues (the "coming darkness" seems to have been dealt with in Season 4) - just how the prophecy manifests. The Shanshu prophecy is rather similar to the Pergamum Codex prophecy that Buffy would die in "Prophecy Girl." We were treated to the full range of inescapable logic in that instance as we learn, from the Master, that the trick was that the Slayer was the one who faciliated the Master's rising ("If you hadn't come, I couldn't go. You're the one who sets me free."). We then see the other unspoken portion of the prophecy: the Slayer's resurrection and subsequent defeat of the Master.

Whatever the shape of the end result, it will appear to fulfill the prophecy.

BALCO & the Baseball Slayer -- dlgood, 14:58:16 03/19/04 Fri

Can the Baseball Slayer, in "Chosen" actually pursue Sport as her vocation? Should she?

I'm not sure. The writers, haven't made an explicit metaphor for Slayer as elite athlete, so I'll take it on it's face.

Most professional and olympic sports have a rigourous programme of testing for performance enhancing drugs. Baseball is currently embroiled in the BALCO scandal in which several players, most notably star Barry Bonds are under investigation for use of steroids.

Baseball Slayer, will become dominant overnight, thanks to Buffy. She now has supernatural powers almost no one else can access, and she'll uses them to dominate her sport. Nothing wrong with that. Except that she's going to spend her career under a tremendous cloud of suspicion, as no mere mortal should have her ability. Indeed - she is no mere mortal. She's a slayer.

And what does Baseball slayer say to her contemporary female star athletes like Serena Williams, Diana Taurasi, Marion Jones, or Michelle Wie - who became world class female athletes by dint of hard work and years of effort and practice - and without the benefit of superpowers.. Unlike everybody else, Baseball Slayer didn't even have to work for it. It was just magically given to her.

Are her baseball skills are a cheat and an unfair advantage, or is it simply good luck and better genetics? Think about the post-Sunnydale Olympics. Is this the amateur vs. professional debate of ten years ago, or should there be testing to weed out female athletes hopped up on SLAY-roids?

Setting aside the ethical question of whether a slayer should be playing fulltime professional sports rather than out fighting demons - is it fair or right for a slayer to be competing athletically alongside non-slayers? Should they be in different divisions or leagues?

The slayer is no ordinary mortal. Should she be handicapped?

Then again - Michael Jeffrey Jordan was no ordinary mortal, yet he played by the same rules as everybody else in the league. Thoughts?


[> It's time for a new Angel episode! -- Kansas, 15:43:27 03/19/04 Fri

Just kidding... seriously, I'd say that Baseball Slayer's baseball-playing days are over. As is (for most intents and purposes) her normal life. C'est la guerre...

[> Timely spring training post -- Matlack73, 04:41:07 03/20/04 Sat

When people were posting after "Damage", the baseball slayer came to mind. She could very well break Barry Bonds' single season homerun record with her strength and hand-eye coordination (combined with poor pitching, small stadiums, and juiced-up baseballs). The only thing standing in her way are pitchers who could then try to use magic to throw a truly wicked, demon-aided curveball. Some would say that a few pitchers already do.

As far as the suspicion around her, she would have no need to worry. She'd have the baseball players union on her side. The lawyers who run it could work for Wolfram & Hart any day. Maybe they already do.

If this was what she wanted to do, it would be hard to talk her out of it, although Giles would probably try. Let's face it, if the Yankees offered her 26 million a year (and they would!) she'd be hard-pressed not to take it. Although, if she truly wanted to be a hero, she would take less money and sign with another team (hint: the Mets, the Mets, the Mets) for the sake of competitive balance. She could also sign with the Red Sox to try to break the curse. The only problem is that the players union would try to talk her out of it because, you know, they're evil. Also, if she succeeded and the Red Sox won the World Series that might bring about an Apocalypse (one that might not jive with the Senior Partners' timetable).

DLgood, this is a great post during Spring Training!

[> But, can she pitch? -- CW, 16:57:51 03/20/04 Sat

I just spent a sizzling afternoon in the sun (90+ degrees) watching the Padres who train up the street from me, beat the real local team, the Diamondbacks, 11 to 8. It's easy to see the pitching was bad on both sides. Either the Padres or the Diamondbacks could use a Slayer arm this season if she could get it over the plate. ;o)

OT: The new Doctor Who -- Pip, 01:28:22 03/20/04 Sat

... has just been announced on BBC radio. It's Christopher Eccleston.

for his (excellent) tv and film credentials.

Looks like the new series is finally going to happen. See, old tv series never die, they just take decades to get renewed [evil grin].

UK Band Come Out in Support of Angel -- Kenton Hall, 06:29:45 03/20/04 Sat

Hey, I'm Kenton from the band ist, and I wanted to assure you that we are doing this because we want to help save Angel and this was what we have to give. I do understand your cynical, jaded approach, however. I'd feel the same way. But we certainly aren't making any money out of this. All the charity money is coming out of the band's earnings... which is why we decided to do it that way... to assure people that we weren't making off the back of Angel.

We're open to any suggestions as to what else we can do. The free concert sounds like a good idea... where's the rooftop nearest SkyNet?


Any questions or worries about what we're doing, email me direct at

P.S. I am the biggest Buffy/Angel fan imaginable. Quiz me if you don't believe me. Anyway, whatever works to get a sixth season of Angel, I'll do it.


[> Re: UK Band Come Out in Support of Angel -- Kenton Hall, 06:30:58 03/20/04 Sat


Continuing the overwhelming and unprecedented show of fan support for the show 'Angel', whose cancellation was announced by the WB network on the 13th February, the band 'ist', based in the United Kingdom have added their voices to the outcry over the network's decision.

The band, who formed three years ago, are all long-time fans of the Joss Whedon/David Greenwalt created show, as well as other Whedon projects such as 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Firefly' but, in their eyes, the issue is bigger than just the one show.

"Shows of the quality of 'Angel'," said Kenton Hall, one of the band's two singer/songwriters, "are few and far between. For it to be cancelled is a slap in the face of anyone who wishes for more quality programming and less of television's favourite arena: the lowest-common denominator. Joss Whedon and his team have their own vision and, for better or for worse, they stick to it. That should be rewarded, not punished."

Jack Bomb, lead guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, agrees: "People like Whedon and shows like 'Angel' should be an inspiration to every artist, in whatever field they work. Elvis Costello, for instance, or Tom Waits would be his musical equivalent. It's all about the work. And that kind of dedication breeds dedicated fans, as the Save Angel campaigns show."

"We aspire to producing music that provokes that level of response," Hall adds, "So it is only right that we stand up on the behalf of people who have already proved that art and popularity need not be mutually exclusive concepts."

Detroit Robbins is ist's bass player and, as a talented filmmaker in his own right, is set to direct the band's first video, for forthcoming single 'Similarly Inclined', co-written with Kenton Hall. He is full of praise for Joss Whedon.

"He knows how to push emotional buttons without leaving you feeling manipulated or cheated. That is an enormous skill. Angel is not a genre show. The supernatural element is simply backdrop. These are simply great stories, told with wit, humour and fantastic drama. We need shows like 'Angel' on TV or we might as well throw our sets away en masse."

Drummer Flash is more succinct: "I love Buffy and Angel. Great Television is thin on the ground. But then so is Great Music - at least how we define it, which is great songs, played with passion. Angel and ist are on the same path. We have to support each other."

'ist' have recently released their debut album Freudian Corduroy, described as "11 1/2 songs about sex, sadness and emotional subterfuge'.

As part of their drive to help save Angel, ist will donating $5.00 from every copy of Freudian Corduroy sold between March and August 2004 to a series of charities supported by key members of the Buffy and Angel casts and crews, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Stuttering Foundation and Camp Hale. They will also be donating proceeds from their 3rd anniversary gig (and 1st official SAVE ANGEL gig) being held at The Musician, Clyde Street, Leicester, UK.

For further information, please contact or

[> [> Re: UK Band Come Out in Support of Angel -- Cheryl, 07:14:20 03/20/04 Sat

"Shows of the quality of 'Angel'," said Kenton Hall, one of the band's two singer/songwriters, "are few and far between. For it to be cancelled is a slap in the face of anyone who wishes for more quality programming and less of television's favourite arena: the lowest-common denominator. Joss Whedon and his team have their own vision and, for better or for worse, they stick to it. That should be rewarded, not punished."

Well said! All of the quotes were wonderful. Can I use some of this for the postcards I'm sending out? Good luck and please keep us posted.

[> Re: UK Band Come Out in Support of Angel -- angel's nibblet, 15:01:33 03/21/04 Sun

Yay! That is fantastic! Any effort to help save our beloved show is appreciated :-D

Shall mosey over to your site if you don't mind...

The Wolf Ram and Hart -- David, 13:49:00 03/21/04 Sun

I just read the shells anaylsis which is really cool but what do you think the senior partners are. Illyia says that they were very weak and obvously grew while she was gone but do you think that there are only 3 senior partners or is The Wolf Ram and Hart a reference to a whole group of demons/higher beings.

And also are they demons or godlike beings?

P.S. sorry if this has been answered on the show but i'm in the UK so haven't seen it yet.



[> Re: The Wolf Ram and Hart -- Jean, 14:13:01 03/21/04 Sun

See thats not the only thing that has me confused Illyria also said they were barely above the vampire. But if she died, whatever the means considering she is an Old One, before the slayer was created she should not have known about the vampires in the first place because it was the last demon to be driven out that mixed its blood with the blood of a man or woman or whatever it was. Now for your question I think that the Senior partners are what Glory would have been like in her own dimension, they have everything at their fingertips. And since they're lawyers, or at least in our dimension they are, we've seen thier presence in at least one other dimension(Pylea), its not a strecth to say the run everything.

[> [> Re: The Wolf Ram and Hart -- Ames, 15:41:36 03/21/04 Sun

Perhaps the Old Ones don't perceive time in the strictly linear manner we mortals do, so Illyria's words about the relative relationships between vampires and the WR&H can't be literally interpreted.

Or perhaps the general technique of making a new part-demon being by mixing the blood of a lesser being with the blood of a true demon is well known to the Old Ones, and has been used before. Illyria may have used "vampire" in the generic sense of such a mixed-blood being, not necessarily the current line of human-demon bloodsuckers.

[> [> Re: The Wolf Ram and Hart -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:11:49 03/21/04 Sun

While the last pure demon made the first vampire, it was never mentioned WHEN it did this. Just because it was the last doesn't necessarily mean everything it did was just before demons left the earth. Also, we know that at one point a Slayer used the Scythe to kill this last pure demon; it's possible it wasn't the only one to have bit the dust in the early days of the Slayer, and Illyria may have been one of those.

As far as the Senior Partners go, here's all we know about them:

They don't reside in our dimension.

They're evil.

They don't seem able to coexist with humanity in their true form; when a Senior Partner came to earth, it had to take the form of a different, demon species; also, normal communication with the Partners seems to be done through a Conduit; it's implied none of the Wolfram & Hart employees talk directly to the Partners.

The Senior Partners also seem to exist in many dimensions, but with the Wolf, Ram, Hart name as a constant in at least two different worlds.

They have taken many different forms (on our world at least, they certainly weren't always a law firm).

They are very powerful (or at least control some very powerful beings), having rewritten reality for Connor and bringing Lilah back from the dead.

They aren't all powerful, otherwise they would have seen through Lindsay's mystical tatoos.

This isn't really a whole lot to go on, but I've always viewed the Senior Partners as sort of the anti-Powers That Be, working behind the scenes to encourage evil just as the PTB subtely influence the actions of Champions like Angel.

[> [> [> Re: The Wolf Ram and Hart -- Jean, 19:02:50 03/21/04 Sun

Giles: The books tell the last demon to leave this reality fed off a human, mixed their blood. (The Harvest)

Giles' books say otherwise and I know you can't really argue with his knowledge. If it was the last to leave this reality there is no way for Illyria, she could have very well been killed by the slayer, to have known about it.

GUARDIAN: Forged there, it was put to use right hereÖ to kill the last pure demon that walked upon the earth(End of Days)
The Sycthe was used to kill the last pure demon in our dimension, not the last demon to leave our reality(kinda hard to kill something thats in another world..hard but not impossible)

This being the case I think Ames' theory of Illyria seeing time in a different manner more likely.

[> [> [> [> Re: The Wolf Ram and Hart -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:00:45 03/21/04 Sun

Giles: The books tell the last demon to leave this reality fed off a human, mixed their blood. (The Harvest)

While the last pure demon to leave this reality created vampires, we don't know when it did it. For all we know, it created vampires a thousand years before it ever left.

Also, leaving this reality and death can be synonymous. According to many religions, that's just what someone's spirit does when they die: leave this reality.

[> [> [> [> Re: The Wolf Ram and Hart -- Laney, 03:58:23 03/22/04 Mon

Maybe there were Vampires in her days, pure demons, not the mixed ones.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The Wolf Ram and Hart -- Alistair, 05:37:10 03/22/04 Mon

I think that Giles's books may have been a bit cryptic, because if the vampire was created when the last pure demon left this reality, then the vampire is very special to the Old Ones. it is their last remnant. The vampire is usually abhorred as an impure mix of human and demon by most other demons. I think what happened was one of the pure vampire breed of demons (whatever led to the creation of the Turok han perhaps) bit a human and exchanged blood before leaving the Earth, as all the Old Ones were leaving. It could have happened at any time, but likely at least recently enough for the Slayer to be created.

We should remember that not all the Old Ones left the Earth, and some remained. My theory is that thr Scythe was used to destroy the body of the First Evil. The crab like creature it shows when angered may have been its form on Earth. A slayer then used the Scythe to kill it above the hellmouth, thus diembodying it from the Earthly plane. The First evil may have thus always presented itself as an Old One, while being much older then that.

The Wolf Ram and Hart were likely a minor group of demonic entities, of all different species, which bound together to bring order to the havoc left behind in the multiverse after the Old Ones were exiled from their places of power. They are responsible for creating the Demonic Congress, and running things from the back seat. Their goal is the domination and control of all things, not the ressurection of the old ones. The Old Ones are probably antagonistic to their plans. Never once has Wolfram and Hart seemed to be supportive of anything the Old Ones stood for. The Old Ones represent the primordial chaos out of which the world arose, and Wolfram and Hart represent order, but an order of evil.

Illyria, when she was murdered, must have known of this minor league which sought to overthrow the Old Ones, buit thought nothing of them. She may have also been aware of the Vampire or the Turok Han. An interesting phenomenon is that Illyria only knows English because Fred did, and her meanings must be the same as Fred's. Thus we cna sssume that when she says vampire, she means the demon human hybrid we have come to know and love (or not.)

[> [> Do we consider the Old Ones "pure demons" though? -- BrianWilly, 17:13:31 03/23/04 Tue

See, I don't think it's ever been stated clearly and definitely that the Old Ones, the race which Illyria belongs to, is the same type of creature as the original demons which were the predominant lifeform in the world's creation.

This has always been a confusing point for me, made slightly worse by the addition of gods(Glory), incorporeal powers(Powers That Be, Senior Partners, The First), and non-canon interpretations of the Old Ones(Buffy comics, novels, etc).

We know that the Mayor in his snake form is definitely an incarnation of the original, pure demons. That makes sense; he's a primal, beastly, powerful, near-invincible, almost dinosaur-like demonic thing which you'd expect to be hanging around in the times before humans came about.

Now Illyria...not so much. I know that we see her(for simplicity's sake I'll refer to it as "her") only in the sense that she looks like Fred at the moment, but to me she doesn't fit the categorization of "pure demon" that's been consistent through the Buffyverse. She's sophisticated enough to have built armies and kingdoms, and is considered a "warrior." She has strange powers, one of which is the localized control of time. She remembers humans, vampires, and lower-class demons such as the Wolf, Ram, and Hart in a manner which seems to suggest that in her time these species, although rare and insignificant, were nonetheless noticeable.

All of these traits suggest that Illyria as a species of creature is closer to something like Glorificus(attitude: ruler, tyrant, subjugator), as opposed to Snake Wilkins(attitude: crush, kill, destroy).

The slogan goes that "As long as there have been vampires, there has been the Slayer." Well, it doesn't say that the Slayer hasn't been there BEFORE the vampires, does it? I think that, long before the pure demons totally disappeared, the Slayer line has existed. So the timeline goes like this:

-Pure demons exist.

-Humans begin to exist. Demons prey on the humans who, making up for their lack of strength with extraordinary sneakiness, take the heart of a pure demon and transfer it into a girl, tainting and violating her so that she may protect them.

-Meanwhile, some pure demons even breed with humans, creating the half-breed demon lines of today. Having human ancestry, these creatures begin to build societies and communities all their own, or even within human societies and communities. They worship the Old Ones, who are very much like the pure demons but less primal and more abstract.

-Somewhere along the line, the pure demons begin to die out or leave the earthly plane. Maybe they fought each other into extinction. Maybe the Slayer even had something to do with it. Maybe they're even planning a return, and the Master/Mayor/Glory were attempts by the pure demons to break the dimensional barrier and return to earth. We know that the Slayer used the Scythe to excorcise/kill the last pure demon and seal the Hellmouth.

-Before this last pure demon left, however, it tainted a human being, mixed its blood with its own, creating this point we can assume that they're Turok-han. Ironically, this is not so different from the process which created the Slayer line.

-The Old Ones, now being the most powerful beings on the earth, fight amongst each other for supremecy. The result of the war is that most of the Old Ones are now "dead," that is, sealed and awaiting the right time for their return, like the pure demons. Taking Illyria for example: She expected rightly that by this time there would be no other Old Ones to challenge her power and reign. What she didn't expect, however, was that humans now rule the world and that her army and empire has died out as well with the passage of time.

-Humans are fruitful and multiply. The vampires and the half-breeds are still around, however the generations of Slayers are mostly able to hold back their numbers and keep the human population safe enough to become the dominant lifeform on the planet.

[> [> [> Disagreeing with some of your points -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:39:38 03/23/04 Tue

Namely, I don't think Mayor Wilkins was all "crush, kill, destroy". He definitely seemed to understand Buffy and remember Faith. He implied in his video message to Faith that he intended to bring order to Sunnydale, including museums built in his honor. Lastly, just before being blown up, he said, "Well, gosh!" This indicates to me that he wasn't just an animalistic beast. Of course, he was a human being before becoming a pure demon, so he's not really a great example.

Nevertheless, think of this: with regular demons, they vary in level of sentience. Some are clearly unitelligent beasts, while others are at least as intellectually sophisticated as human beings. If this is the case, then there's no reason the Old Ones couldn't be both.

[> [> [> [> Re: Disagreeing with some of your points -- BrianWilly, 05:37:59 03/24/04 Wed

But normally when demons vary so much in temperment, appearance, or capability, they're considered wholly different types/species of demons altogether. For example, vengeance demons are very different from, say, Ethros demons, and wouldn't be considered the same type of creature.

I do understand your reasoning though; if we take the term "Old Ones" simply to stand for any of the various races of uberpowerful demonic forces in the heyday of the world, then certainly the original pure demons count. My whole theory was just my trying to make sense, timescale-wise, of the ideas that

A) A Slayer killed the last pure demon, the one who created the vampire line

B) Illyria is counted as an Old One, yet was alive during a time when vampires were not only existent, but numerous enough to be counted as a separate race themselves and not just two or three oddities in the world.

In my mind the only way that this would make sense is if Illyria isn't counted as a pure demon.

Either that, or quite simply a goof in continuity on the part of the writers lol. It isn't out of the question...the Buffyverse has grown vast and detailed beyond most, and a mistake here and there is to be expected.

Especially when we're really dealing with TWO worlds now: Buffy's and Angel's. I know that the two shows are clearly meant to exist in the same world, but over time I feel that the mythology of the two really began to drift in separate directions. Buffy's origin myths and general construct of its world retained a sense of primal, chaotic, animalistic beings struggling for power and dominion and survival, portrayed through the First Slayer, the First Evil, the Shadowmen, the Guardians, the Turok-han. The most basic principles stood: love and fellowship and family and loyalty and compassion etc etc are the greatest virtues, and though evil is diverse and often hard to recognize, it generally represents anything which is against said virtues. Life is hell, but hell can be fought and beaten.

In later seasons of Angel, things got a bit complicated, almost as LA's big city vibes compared to Sunnydale's small town mentality. You've got a very Cthulhu methodology of the universe, with esoteric beings beyond the comprehension of mortals hurling everyone's destinies around like ping-pong balls ever since the fiery creation of the world, fighting against others(or even themselves?)for obscure, inexplicable reasons, and the most any human can do is to cower in our homes and hope to escape their omniscient attention. Suddenly good old-fashioned basic virtues weren't enough anymore. You have to deal with existence, you have to deal with identity, you have to deal with convictions, you have to deal with redemption, and all in a big wide world that couldn't care less about you, you measly little flea.

I've gone off on an extremely odd tangent, haven't I? Basically I wanted to muse about how distinct each show has become, and how maybe judging Illyria strictly Buffy's world and origin isn't enough anymore. It's interesting to me how almost all of the Big Bads on Buffy were interested in destruction in a physical sense, whereas when Angel finally got a Big Bad to contend with, she represented a totally different sort of destruction.

[> [> [> [> [> It depends how long it took before a Slayer killed that demon -- Finn Mac Cool, 09:01:41 03/24/04 Wed

We know that a Slayer killed the last pure demon, who created vampires. However, we don't know how long it took beofore that happened. Considering the First Slayer was African, but the last pure demon was killed in North America, there is good reason to suspect at least one Slayer bit the dust before this big Slaying occured. My basic theory is that the Old Ones/pure demons leaving this world was a process of many years, although still short when compared to the lifespan of these demons. Vampires were created somewhere near the end, about the same time as the Slayer, most likely. This could still have been when there were still a few Old Ones running about, and so Illyria would have known of their existence, but passed away before a Slayer took an axe to the mother of all vampires. Does this make chronological sense?

[> Wolfram and Mathematica and spoilers s5 -- Ann, 20:16:35 03/21/04 Sun and

From their site: Uses of Mathematica
"Handling complex symbolic calculations that often involve hundreds of thousands or millions of terms. Loading, analyzing, and visualizing data. Solving equations, differential equations, and minimization problems numerically or symbolically. Doing numerical modeling and simulations, ranging from simple control systems to galaxy collisions, financial derivatives, complex biological systems, chemical reactions, environmental impact studies, and magnetic fields in particle accelerators.

I don't know if Mathematica has been discussed before but interesting links to AtS. My husband has been reading the newest book from these guys and I am fascinated by the links to Illyria, Escher stylings ( and the general layout of W&H and AI. Ironic name to say the least. Reminds me of a potential PTB.

Oh and my unspoiled spec is that the PTB and the senior partners are one and the same. Different aspects of the greater, larger whole fighting among themselves using Angel as the pawn.

Kinda OT - Last week's Wonderfalls (only vague spoilers) -- Darby, 05:14:56 03/22/04 Mon

I don't feel that they've quite gotten the tone right yet...

The first episode was good, but a little too frenetic - Malcolm in the Middle pacing doesn't work as well in an hour that really isn't a sitcom - but they did try to slow the pace down in parts, and that made it less overwhelming.

The second episode, Tim Minear's, was, I thought, too frenetic - it was close to nonstop pop-pop-pop-pop-pop. He has a good dialogue ear, but there were almost no down-beats to let us get our breath!

Here's my opinion - let's see if anyone agrees. This is essentially screwball comedy - rapid-fire dialogue is definitely the featured approach. But good screwball comedies have a pace that isn't all rapid-fire - there's plot, things get done, there are serious moments, there are definite connections between the characters. The Wonderfalls pilot was in that genre, maybe updated for the quick-cut 21st Century. The second episode was almost Marx Brothers in dialogue pacing, but the internal beats were odd even there - and the Marx Brothers movies, for as much as we remember the schtick, also intercut with physical farce and plot. Not to mention the musical numbers. Marx Brothers movies were vaudeville shows, which were constructed to keep the audience engaged.

I don't think this should be a Northern Exposure, with its languid pace of slow reveals of quirkiness, but is anyone else finding the show as it is kind of...exhausting?

On a totally different note, are all of the major players in the inanimate talkers metaphors of some kind? The defective lion, the chameleon puppet, those were pretty obvious. Maybe the Thinker monkey. Could there be a method to every one? The coin? The bear? And how long before the Maid herself bellows something?


[> Re: Kinda OT - Last week's Wonderfalls (only vague spoilers) -- CW, 06:13:14 03/22/04 Mon

I had a slightly different impression while I was watching it. There was much less bounding around between scenes so at the time I thought it was a lot more relaxed. Now that you mention it, though, the story tension is pretty much on all the time. I don't know that it's bad for one show, but I'd hate to try to sit through whole evenings of it week after week.

I like the actress who plays Jaye, but the role is starting to get to me already. She's kind of a wound up, well educated, Homer Simpson. The story indicated Jaye's decided to cruise serenely through life, but that doesn't jibe with how tense the show is and how tense Jaye makes everyone else feel, never mind the excitement from trying to obey the wisdom of the souvenirs.

Again this second one felt a little more relaxed while I was watching it. If the pace starts slowing down, and Jaye isn't mugging for the camera all the time, I think I'll keep watching. But, if pace picks up again, I may decide to do something else on Fridays. (Anything has to be better than turning on the set and catching the last few minutes of that reality dreck that's been showing before Wonderfalls on FOX!)

[> [> Jaye--the anti-Buffy? (spoilers for Wonderfalls 1.2...and the cookie dough speech:) ) -- Kenny, 18:05:52 03/22/04 Mon

First off, I love Wonderfalls. I particularly love Jaye. I could easily see her as part of my group of friends. Heck, it's almost too bad that they have one of the "doing something" characters in grad school, as grad school has really proven itself to be slacker central. Don't really want to do anything after college? Go to grad school and get drunk alot. It only conveys the sense of doing something. Of course, for the sake of the story, retail is much more appropriate.

Anywho, the end of "Karma Chameleon" (Wonderfalls 1.2) really reminded me of the Cookie Dough Speech (CDS) from "Chosen". While a big part of the CDS does deal with Buffy's love life, it really does apply to her whole life. While she hasn't come up with the activation plan yet, she does seem to have a sense that her time as being "The One" is coming to and end. Faith is back, and she's met all of these girls who could be slayers. And perhaps the plan is percolating at the back of her mind. Whatever the case, she's spent the last few years being the important one. Everyone (who mattered, anyway), realized this way back when, and she's had to live up to it. Now she's getting to step back and take stock of things. She's learning to just let herself go with the flow of things, and that's good. She's calmer and more confident.

Jaye, on the other hand, slacks quite well. Thing is, just as living up to expectations takes its toll on Buffy, so does living down to them on Jaye. Just as Buffy lost herself in being "The One", so too has Jaye lost herself in being "The No One". Jaye doesn't live life the way she does simply because it's easy. As the end of the "Jen Why" article makes clear, it's not easy. But she doesn't know what else to do. Whereas Buffy has just realized that she's cookie dough, Jaye's known that all her life and struggles with what to do about it. Buffy was unique by birth. Jaye states that she has to try to create her uniqueness, and she's threatened when someone tries to take it away. Buffy finds a level of contentment in realizing that it's OK to just let herself be, as that's a way for her to find herself. Jaye finds comfort in writing an article that's become published in a major magazine. It doesn't matter whether anyone else knows. She did something active, she didn't just let herself be, and that accomplishment makes her realize that she will find her way, and that (slowly) doing things that will matter will help.

As I said, I love this show. Buffy did a great job of tapping into the high school vein. People obviously have different opinions on how well it handled young adulthood. I believe that Wonderfalls has the ability to shed light on the 20-something life just as well as Buffy did on the high school years. Everything seems so big in high school, and monsters are a great metaphor for that. You get to your mid-twenties, sometimes it seems that nothing is big anymore, and you need a kick in the pants to make you realize that some things do matter. For me, the tone of the show fits that age bracket perfectly. Screw Fox and the timeslot of death...I'll watch the show, I'll get involved with the characters (too late), and if I have to mourn an early cancellation, I'll do it.

[> [> [> Re: Jaye--the anti-Buffy? (spoilers for Wonderfalls 1.2...and the cookie dough speech:) ) -- Old One, 18:19:50 03/22/04 Mon

Nicely put.

I seem to remember it took me at least a couple of episodes of Buffy to accept the "mind-set" of the high school crowd, to relax and just go with it.

It's probably going to be the same for some of us with Jaye, although I loved her right from the outset. Without wishing to be insulting, it crossed my mind to mention to CW and Darb that we are, um...well...a little *old* to be the target audience that WF is written for. Bet the snappy cuts and jarring perspective shots aren't a problem for those raised in the era of the Sesame Street sound-bites.

Just a thought...


[> [> [> [> You have a point -- CW, 20:10:47 03/22/04 Mon

But the original idea of those snappy cuts was to keep normal six year-olds watching Sesame Street and scatter-brain teens watching MTV. Don't these folks ever grow up? ;o)

[> [> [> [> [> Sure -- Old One, 06:14:49 03/23/04 Tue

They turn into 20-something disaffected underachievers.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Oh! -- Old One, 06:20:20 03/23/04 Tue

That was your point, wasn't it? Oops.


[> [> [> Do you think... -- Old One, 08:28:14 03/23/04 Tue

That Jaye is who Buffy would have become, if she hadn't been "The Chosen One?" Buffy could be pretty snarky and sarcastic when she chose to be.


[> I got some of the same feeling -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:36:08 03/22/04 Mon

Quite frankly, I thought there were too many plot twists. The situation kept changing again and again and again. It all got to be a little much. Personally, I think this episode could have been served much better from being half an hour long, condensing the plot down to something a little less twisty. If not that, they should have at least added some subplots. Granted, I'd hate to see the first episode reduced to half an hour, but that was the pilot; pilots many times are longer than the average episode.

Andrew the Vampire? (small spoilers S5-7) -- Vegeta, 08:24:03 03/22/04 Mon

I was bored this weekend so I ended up watching most of Season 5 BtVS. While watching "Real Me", something bothered me about one of Harmony's "minions". The vampire who called himself Cyrus, the one who asked her "When are we going to do it?" had a very familiar voice. Sure enough when the credits came Cyrus was played by Tom Lenk! Also known as Andrew! It was difficult to recognize him with the vamp face the entire time, but the voice gave him away.
Not really an important thread, I just wonder if anyone else noticed this before?


[> Re: Andrew the Vampire? (small spoilers S3, 5-7, Ats S1) -- Evan, 09:35:49 03/22/04 Mon

I noticed. Andrew's a pretty hilarious vampyre.

On a slightly related note, did it bother anyone else A LOT that the actor from Anne (which took place in LA) who turned out to be a demon, also played a role in The Bachelor Party (which also took place in LA), acted exactly the same, and also turned out to be a demon, but WASN'T supposed to be the same guy?

[> [> Re: Andrew the Vampire? (small spoilers S3, 5-7, Ats S1) -- Vegeta, 10:02:37 03/22/04 Mon

Wasn't he like different colors/look a little different (horns ...ect.)

[> [> [> maybe they were brothers -- Ray, 10:30:41 03/22/04 Mon

[> [> Re: Andrew the Vampire? (small spoilers S3, 5-7, Ats S1) -- Gyrus, 10:32:10 03/22/04 Mon

On a slightly related note, did it bother anyone else A LOT that the actor from Anne (which took place in LA) who turned out to be a demon, also played a role in The Bachelor Party (which also took place in LA), acted exactly the same, and also turned out to be a demon, but WASN'T supposed to be the same guy?

Yeah, actually, that DID bother me. I don't mind if the same actor plays multiple guest roles that require different makeup (ex. Camden Toy playing a Gentleman, Gnarl, and a super-vamp), but when you can see the actor's face in both roles, you can't tell if it's supposed to be two different characters or the same character in a different guise.

[> [> [> Re: Andrew the Vampire? (small spoilers S3, 5-7, Ats S1) -- monsieurxander, 22:18:32 03/22/04 Mon

Remember, Ken's face was glued on. Not his real face. So, maybe he like the face of the guy from the Angel episode, and copied it... They *were* in the same city.

Also, the actor played the Mole (the passenger that turned out to be a "Fed," an Alliance guy) in the pilot episode of Firefly. Maybe Joss just likes this actor a lot. However, Firefly connections aren't as valid, since it's not in the same universe.... presumably.

[> [> [> [> Hmmm... (tiny, tiny spoiler for "Fray", if you are truly obsessive about spoiler-freeness) -- KdS, 09:40:12 03/23/04 Tue

In the first chapter of Fray, which is set in the future of the Buffyverse, a character gets arrested by the police, and the same odd "stand down" phraseology is used by the arresting officer as when people get arrested in Firefly. It's not entirely impossible that Firefly might be set in a future Buffyverse where the demons have been either expelled or forced further into hiding.

[> [> [> Re: Andrew the Vampire? (small spoilers S3, 5-7, Ats S1) -- Alix, 06:22:05 03/23/04 Tue

I did the same double take when I "re-viewed" Real Me with Tom Lenk as one of Harmony's minions, but it didn't bother me due to his being in game face the whole time, thus making it a case of one actor in 2 very different roles. I agree with the above comments about actors used in multiple roles in the Jossverse. They need to be kept separate. Have to admit that Holden and Knox being played by the same actor was a borderline case, seeing as the two character's looks and voices, if not personality, are about the same. But the strangest case in the entire Jossverse, IMHO, is the use of the same actress (Kali Rocha) as Cecily and Halfrek. It wouldn't have been such a bone of contention for me, were it not for the chance meeting between Halfrek and Spike in Older and Far Away, in which the two clearly recognised each other. This would seem to suggest that Cecily later became Halfrek, but S7 Selfless reveals in a conversation between Anya and Halfrek that they were up to their old antics during the Crimean War, which obviously predates Spike's prevamping party. I've read many explanations (e.g. that it was an in-joke re using same actress, that Cecily is pre-demonic Halfrek (ruled out, IMHO, by the Crimean War reference), that Halfrek was posing as Cecily during a vengeance stint in London, etc.), but guess I'm still just longing for some closure on that point. I bet Joss&co do this on purpose just to exacerbate the fanwanking.

Sorry, I didn't mean to get so far away from the original Andrew vamp post, but this has been a pet peeve since OAFA aired...

[> [> [> [> Cecily, taking it and running -- monsieurxander, 14:37:57 03/23/04 Tue

Perhaps Halfrek made the same mistake that Anyanka did: losing her power center. Thus, Halfrek was made a mere mortal human in Victorian London, for however long... until such time as though she redeemed herself or D'Hoffryn had time to cool down (a la "Hell's Bells"). This would certainly shed new light as to why Halle was the only demon sympathetic to Anya's queasiness at new demonhood. She could have very well felt the same, but since she didn't have the loving Zeppo that Anya did (or a Slayer to rise up and kick her ass when needed), she had a very different outcome.

Fanwanking RULES!

OT - Is "Tru Calling" worth watching? Starts in UK soon... -- Marie, 08:48:38 03/22/04 Mon

Also - hi, everyone! Keep up the good campaigning!



[> Re: OT - Is "Tru Calling" worth watching? Starts in UK soon... -- Vickie, 09:33:41 03/22/04 Mon

It depends on what you are looking for in entertainment. Tru Calling is fun, flashy, and there's eye candy for everyone (well, for lots of folks, anyway). But I find I need to keep my suspension of disbelief blinders firmly in place, and they often leak during the mid-show recap.

Eliza Dushku is doing good work, but they really haven't given her much to chew on yet. I have hopes for the show, but consider it a backup. Tape it and watch when you have time, or if you've got to shell peas or something.


[> Agree with Vickie... -- Rob, 10:44:42 03/22/04 Mon

Personally, I'm very "eh" on the show. I love Eliza, so I watch it when I'm home or in the mood, but don't sweat it if I miss an episode. Even if I miss 4 or 5.


[> "Tru Calling" is prototypical "talk down to the viewer" TV (slight spoiler for TC 1.13) -- cjl, 11:23:33 03/22/04 Mon

You know how Joss, even from the start of BtVS, assumed the teenagers watching the show had a modicum of intelligence and could follow the plot without too much prompting? How the action (even the supernatural material) seemed to flow from the daily lives of the characters, and how that natural flow made you love the characters even more? The witty dialogue and the legions of great supporting characters to back up the leads?

Well, Tru Calling doesn't have any of that stuff.

TC series creator Jon Harmon Feldman is trying to do what Joss did so well in BtVS and now in ANGEL S5: he's doing a standalone, mystery-of-the-week as an "A" plot, and building up the series mythology as the "B" plot. The problem with this approach is that the mystery-of-the-week follows the same formula every week: dead person, Tru receives post-mortem request for help, flash back to previous day, murder suspect (revealed as red herring), real killer emerges in last 15 minutes, Tru stops killer, end. It's so formulaic that when a murder suspect is introduced in the first 15 minutes, you KNOW that this person didn't do it.

Another problem is that (with one or two exceptions) the murder-of-the-week formula doesn't reflect on Tru's life in any way whatsoever. The killing and Tru's subsequent immersion into the would-be victim's life doesn't give us any better idea of what Tru is all about than at the start of the episode. In the latest episode, when Tru infiltrates a beauty pageant, it might have been nice to know what Tru thinks about her own body image and her attractiveness to men, and society's ideas about beauty. But anything that doesn't contribute to the murder mystery is eliminated from the script. Thus, Tru and her supporting players are still two-dimensional (even 14 episodes into Season 1).

I'm not automatically dismissing a murder-of-the-week format out of snobbery; I liked series like "Columbo" and "Murder, She Wrote" where the mystery was the thing and character was secondary. But with all the work Feldman is doing building a mythology, relegating character development to the background is self-destructive for the series. Besides, as I said before, the mysteries themselves are cliche-ridden and full of plot holes and just aren't worth the effort.

The major irritant of the series, though, is the insistence by the TV network/the producers/whoever to insert mini-flashbacks into the episode to remind of plot points we'd seen five minutes earlier. A blatant insult to our intelligence. Even worse, at the 27 minute mark, they summarize the ENTIRE EPISODE thus far so those coming in late can catch up. /sarcasm font/ Oh yeah, we'd be completely lost without those little summaries, Mr. Feldman. Couldn't possibly catch up without 'em. /close sarcasm font/

So what's good? Zack Galifianakis as Davis, Tru's boss and Giles-ish fount of wisdom. He's a stereotyped geek, but he's so fragile, awkward and unassuming that you root for him despite yourself. And I don't know if you're into that sort of thing Marie, but Eliza looks fantastic. If only she had something to do while on the screen.

[> Re: OT - Is "Tru Calling" worth watching? Starts in UK soon... -- Ames, 12:13:00 03/22/04 Mon

I didn't much care for the first few episodes, and I almost stopped watching it, but you know it's growing on me. The writing is still awful in spots, and maybe it's just that Angel is on hiatus, but it seems to be getting more interesting. By contrast Joan of Arcadia started off much better, but now it's getting less interesting as it gets stuck in a rut.

[> [> suspension of disbelief blinders leaking for Joan of Arcadia, too (spoilers) -- Vickie, 18:26:17 03/22/04 Mon

I'm afraid my blinders have been leaking around the edges while watching Joan as well, lately. Somehow, I can buy God talking to her in many forms, but not that she'll climb into a washing machine while loading it.

Strange little show.

[> [> [> Ya know, I repaired washing machines (and other major appliances) for over 16 years... -- OnM, 20:58:34 03/22/04 Mon

... and over that time, I occasionally met some really and I mean really dumb customers, but NO ONE ever did what Joan did. Sadly, Joan of Arcadia had a lot of promise, but this show is starting to remind me of another series (I believe by the same writer) that started out really well and then turned into a boring soap opera, which would be Judging Amy.

I'm hoping it won't be so with Joan, but... the signs are there.

( ~ sigh~ )

[> [> [> [> I'm with you all the way, folks. (JoA rant ahead) -- cjl, 21:44:00 03/22/04 Mon

Allow me to add my personal, hearty "WTF?!" to the washing machine plot-let and other disheartening trends in recent episodes of Joan of Arcadia:

1. The washing machine. Utterly inexplicable. What, in Joan, Kevin and Luke's collective lifetimes, the kids have NEVER seen Helen operate the washing machine? I don't care how much of a control freak Helen is when it comes to housework, the Gerardi kids just couldn't be that ignorant.

2. Trapped in the elevator with a pregnant lady. Omigod-- this hoary cliche? I'm surprised Mantegna didn't march into Barbara Hall's office and let go a string of Mamet-ian expletives. You want to keep Joe happy, Barbara--feed him a steady diet of crap and he might bolt on you.

3. Grace's Bat Mitzvah. Adam has known Grace her entire life, and he has no idea what a bat mitzvah is, OR that Grace has been actively defying her father on this matter for the past three years? No. Freaking. Way. I'm somewhat incredulous that Joan, elder daughter of a superbly educated family, didn't know about this rite of passage--but it's barely, remotely possible that Grace and the Polonskys are the first Jewish family she's known personally. (Still not buying it.)

4. Iris and Glynis. Caricatures. In a show centered around personal interaction, a show that demands well-rounded characters, their voices are like nails on a blackboard.

5. Wacky sitcom music. That irritating, distorted twangy guitar sound on the soundtrack whenever Joan mistakes a normal person for one of God's "avatars" or vice versa? It's driving me up the wall.

6. It's a show about one girl's interaction with God. GOD, the almighty and omnipotent. Cute is fine some of the time, but where's the awe?

7. General assessment: after a strong first half, Barbara Hall got her renewal, and now she's coasting. Fine tune those scripts, Barbara, otherwise some of us might not be back for S2.

[> [> [> Re: suspension of disbelief blinders leaking for Joan of Arcadia, too (spoilers) -- Night, 23:59:14 03/22/04 Mon

Oh, I don't know. I saw a girl do it just last week at air force Basic Training. She'd been in med hold for about six months, though, and was possibly a little crazy.


--friendly neighborhood lurker, glad to be back after six and a half weeks.

[> [> [> The problem with the washing machine -- skeeve, 12:12:12 03/23/04 Tue

was not that Joan was stupid beyond all recognition.
I just took that for humorous exageration.
The problem was that that particular assignment didn't have any value.
God was lacking in the usual foresight.

BTW had I been Joan, I would have been sorely tempted to tell that history teacher exactly why I'd taken and retaken that test.

Buffy and Angel entering everyday language... -- Ames, 07:02:37 03/23/04 Tue

From an amusing story in The Register about an IT guy trying to rescue his saved game from an old corporate computer at great expense:

"So you're saying that we have this huge system which consumes GOBS of power, 1.5 square metres of extremely valuable computer room floor space, and has a lower processor spec than my cellphone - all because you want to play a game?"

"Not 'a game', dungeon!"

"Which is a game.."

"No. Soltaire is 'a game' - Ureal Tournament is 'a game'.. Dungeon is.. an experience!"

"Yeah, yeah, I played Zork."

"Zork's a spinoff! It's the Angel to dungeon's Buffy!"


[> But did the IT guy succeed? -- Vickie, 13:45:31 03/23/04 Tue

Interview with David Boreanaz (no spoilers) -- Marie, 07:38:37 03/23/04 Tue

I just got next week's issue of the Satellite TV mag, and there is an interview inside with DB, which I found rather disappointing from the fan viewpoint.

There are no spoilers in it, but his hopes for what might happen in the last episode - anyone want me to transcribe it for them?



[> I would appreciate it. -- Lunasea, 17:23:14 03/23/04 Tue

I've been going through interview withdrawal since I decided that even actor and writer interviews are too spoilery for the next episode. Thanks

[> Re: Interview with David Boreanaz (no spoilers) -- punkinpuss, 20:55:58 03/23/04 Tue

Marie, no need to transcribe it! A scan of the article is up at this site:

Click on the pic link to get the readable scan of the article.

[> [> Phew! That saved me some time, thanks! So is the campaign a waste of time? -- Marie, 01:25:04 03/24/04 Wed

I hope not, but if the show is saved and DB decides to go anyway, do you think they would carry on with James Marsters leading the show?

If SMG agreed to do the final episode, they could give Angel his Shanshu and have him ride off to Europe with Buffy, leaving Spike to head the gang....

I'm not a shipper, by the way, but I would carry on watching a Spike-centric show.


[> [> [> Re: Phew! That saved me some time, thanks! So is the campaign a waste of time? -- s'kat, 07:51:25 03/24/04 Wed

So is the campaign a waste of time?

I wondered the same thing, until I thought about it for a while and remembered a few things. No where in the interview does DB say he wouldn't be willing to do another season or that he wouldn't continue playing the character.
This is *not* the same situation as last year where SMG made it clear she was *finished* playing Buffy and may or may not reprise the whole for Angel. All DB is saying is he's a happy actor, that he's not upset about being out of a job, and that he's looking forward to a very long vacation. If Angel got renewed for a S6? DB would probably be along for the ride at a slightly higer salary then he gets now - nothing in his interviews suggests otherwise.

[> [> [> [> In any case -- Pony, 08:04:32 03/24/04 Wed

Whatever the outcome of the campaigns the show of fan support will help Joss, and probably the actors, get any future projects off the ground. It's got to help when pitching a future series or casting a part to be able to say that AtS had such loyal and motivated fans. I see Saving Angel etc. as more about keeping ME on tv than anything else.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Agree, it won't be for naught -- punkinpuss, 08:52:49 03/24/04 Wed

It was the fan support that helped Joss get the Universal deal to do the Firefly movie. Any and all fan support for Angel will help Joss (and the actors) in the long run.

I've read somewhere that DB had already extended his contract or signed a new one for add'l seasons of Angel. If the show continued, DB would be contractually obligated to stay with the show. I can't see him trying to weasel out of something like that, even if he is relieved to have some time off from the grueling schedule of 1-hr action/drama.

Besides, he isn't in the position of a David Duchovny or Gillian Anderson, to negotiate a huge pay raise while only appearing on a recurring basis. He's lucky to have had such a good gig for so long, any actor is.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Exactly...That's what I read. -- Rob, 09:42:43 03/24/04 Wed

Whether he would be thrilled about it or not, DB is contractually obligated to continue "Angel," should it continue. And one thing he keeps repeating in all his interviews is that he feels most sorry for the fans in this situation, since we are losing something that is so important to us. So, if we actually were able to resurrect the series, there is no way I can see him refusing to return, or he would be letting down these same fans himself.


[> [> [> [> [> It is and it isn't -- Matlack73, 19:41:56 03/24/04 Wed

Pony, you're right that it is important that the ME writers continue to get the chance to tell their wonderful stories on television, but Angel is such a great show in its own right. I think if it gets a chance, it could step out of Buffy's shadow. I'd love to see a book of essays published about Angel one day. David does a great job getting us to care so much about a character who is not a witty teenager. All the actors on Angel do a great job. If Angel ends before its time, and another distantly-related Buffyverse series was to start a year or two later, I'd still be saddened that the journeys of Angel's characters were cut short.

[> [> [> How could ANGEL go on without Angel? -- Gyrus, 12:09:45 03/25/04 Thu

I hope not, but if the show is saved and DB decides to go anyway, do you think they would carry on with James Marsters leading the show?

A question that leads me to wonder -- has there ever been an American TV show that survived the departure of its title character? It occasionally works if the title is merely the character's title (ex. the series BEAUTY AND THE BEAST survived a change of beauties, at least for a season), but not if it's the character's actual name.

[> [> [> [> Not American, but... -- KdS, 12:57:18 03/25/04 Thu

Blake's Seven

Maybe it's a British thing.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Not American, but... -- Gyrus, 14:34:10 03/25/04 Thu

Exactly why I specified "American," because Brits seem to have a higher tolerance for actor substitution and all that sort of wackiness. (If DR. WHO had been made in the U.S., they probably would have cancelled the show after the first guy left.)

[> [> [> [> [> I was wondering when the good Doctor would get a mention... -- Majin Gojira, 15:43:10 03/25/04 Thu

[> [> [> [> Rhoda -- tomfool, 21:48:16 03/25/04 Thu

Showing my years here, but I seem to remember that the Rhoda Morganstern character played by Valerie Harper departed the self-titled show Rhoda. I think they renamed it Rhoda's Family and had Sandy Duncan in a lead role. Not a great example, but it has been done. I think the show lasted a year after the change, but can't say for sure because I didn't watch either.

[> [> [> [> [> "Valerie/The Hogan Family"; "Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" -- cjl, 11:43:53 03/26/04 Fri

tomfool almost has it right. In her first TV series after "Rhoda," Valerie Harper played the mother of the Hogan clan, with elder son Jason Bateman (now on Arrested Development) helping her cope with household stress while her airline pilot husband was flying all over the world.

Then, Harper and the producers got embroiled in a contract dispute; Harper walked out mid-way through S3 and Sandy Duncan was brought in as the kids' aunt to replace her. The show's title was changed from "Valerie" to "Valerie's Family" to "The Hogan Family." It lasted for two plus seasons after the changeover.

Similarly, John Ritter died about six episodes into the second season of "Eight Simple Rules..." The producers decided not to replace him. Even though the entire series was based on a father's reaction to his growing daughters' social lives, they retooled it around the mother (Katy Segal), and brought in James Garner and David Spade for additional male presence.

[Note: U.S. TV viewers tuned into "Eight Simple Rules" in huge numbers after Ritter's death, curious to see how the writers would deal with a unique situation--i.e., the death of the main character. When they found out that it was sitcom business as usual, the U.S. TV viewership tuned out again.]

As for ANGEL without Angel...

Well, we've got Spike. And Dana. And the Watcher's Council trying to reel in all those new slayers. Plenty of good spinoff material available.

Mayor Wilkins and theWishverse -- Joyce, 12:11:32 03/23/04 Tue

In BtVS's Season 3 episode, "The Wish", the alternate Sunnydale seemed to feature the town in control by the Master and his vampire minions. What I want to know is what happened to Mayor Wilkins in this alternate universe? Was he killed by the Master? Was the Master even able to kill him, considering that Angel wasn't able to, later in the season?


[> Re: Mayor Wilkins and theWishverse -- Mighty Mouse, 12:34:08 03/23/04 Tue

Well, keep in mind Mayor Wilkins didn't become invincible until the "100 days prior to Ascension" which was in Season Three (or Year Three of Buffy's stay in Sunnydale, if you will). The assumption is that since Buffy never came to Sunnydale in the first place no one was able to stop the Master's Vampires from slaughtering everyone at the Bronze in "The Harvest" (1x02), and thus releasing him. The Mayor, while immortal, was not invulnerable at the time, and thus could have possibly been killed. Or perhaps he was still alive, as the town seemed to still be running, and the Vampires hadn't seemed to have destroyed it completely. Mayor Wilkins, after all, founded Sunnydale as "payment" to the demons for his eventual ascension, and essentially covered up all the murders & bad stuff caused by the demons coming to the Hellmouth. So it's possible he was permitted to remain alive, but who knows.

[> [> Re: Mayor Wilkins and theWishverse -- Alistair, 14:16:16 03/23/04 Tue

The Wishverse was strange in that the Master's rise during the Harvest did not bring about the opening of the Hellmouth, or if it did, humanity seemed to adapt pretty well. I am guessing that what happened after his rise and failure to open the Hellmouth (perhaps someone else came to stop the opening of the hellmouth, but not his rise from his mystical prison) is that he chose not to hide anymore and urged all the vampires of the world to come out and stalk the humans by day.

The Mayor probably didn't like the Master raining in his parade, but just because vampires are everywhere doesn't mean that he can't achieve ascension when the time would come... odds are he made plans to ensure his safety.

OT - Amber Benson in "Latter Days" -- Tyreseus, 03:06:30 03/24/04 Wed

Hello all,

I've been away from the board for a couple weeks, so I apologize if this has already been mentioned elsewhere, but the film "Latter Days" just opened in Vegas and I was surprised to see Amber Benson playing a minor but loveable character. Actually, her character was a bitch (an aspiring actress/waitress), but I loved it because it was so un-Tara.

I'd be interested to hear what other ATPOers think of the movie. (cuz, you're all the smartest people I've never met)

The film strikes a deep chord with me as a former Mormon who came out of the closet about the same age as the lead character. I don't claim everyone will enjoy the movie - it's a bit clumsy in the writing, but solid performances from great actors - I still recccomend it to everyone. A word of warning, though - the first 55 minutes seem like one of the most cliche movie plots (star-crossed lovers building their courtship against all odds) but it take a dramtaic turn and gets (IMO) much better after that halfway point.

Having been raised Mormon (LDS) from birth, the movie has helped me come to grips with a lot of the anger I still feel from the aftermath of my break with the religion. It forced me to examine the path I walked since then and the person I've become - in good ways. I'm finally finding new ways to reconcile differences in belief with my family that have been a long-standing issue. Anyway, enough of the personal babble, the movie is just very inspiring to those of us who have had similar experiences.

Plus, you know, Amber Benson. Hooray! I hope she continues to pop into my life through movies and other acting work at the oddest of times.



[> Re: OT - Amber Benson in "Latter Days" -- kisstara, 16:12:43 03/24/04 Wed

I am a Lesbian who was once caught in a "christian cult." I can relate to the characters in the film. It was a good movie. Amber was bitchingly adorable. I recommend this movie to all.

Amber also did a great job on the Cold Case ep I saw recently. She is quite the actress.

[> Re: OT - Amber Benson in "Latter Days" -- phoenix, 13:51:30 03/25/04 Thu

I'd love to see that, I think it would strike a chord with me too. Any idea if it might be comming to UK cinemas, or are we going to have to wait for the video release?

[> [> Re: OT - Amber Benson in "Latter Days" -- Tyreseus, 17:53:54 03/25/04 Thu

No idea. Their website only lists American release dates. Sorry.

[> [> [> Re: OT - Thanks for the link. -- phoenix, 02:30:34 03/27/04 Sat

[> other "buffy" actors in other roles -- anom, 23:13:07 03/27/04 Sat

Sounds interesting, Ty--I'll have to keep an eye out for the movie here in NYC. I know a woman who was excommunicated by the Mormon church for writing a letter in support of Sonia Johnson (for those who don't go back that far, Johnson spoke out in, I think, the '70s against Mormon doctrines about/restrictions on women).

Meanwhile, Sarah Michelle Gellar is going to voice a character on "The Simpsons" Sunday night (8 EST, I think), according to the promo I saw on "MadTV." And at Lunacon last weekend, someone in the filkroom had been in London recently & seen not only Alyson Hannigan in "When Harry Met Sally" but also Anthony Stewart Head in "The Pirates of Penzance" as (heads up, fresne!) the Pirate King (hurrah!). Gee, this would've fit great in that "What's my motivation" thread...too bad it was archived before I could put it there.

Rob + Stephanie Romanov= ? -- Rob, 12:45:55 03/24/04 Wed

Creation sent me this very low-res image via e-mail. Once I get the photo in the mail, I'll post it. You may actually be able to see our faces then! ;-)



[> Re: Lilah? -- Vegeta, 14:59:44 03/24/04 Wed

I am honestly to lazy to remember, but Stephanie Romanov plays "Lilah" right? Hard to tell from the picture... and if so you are one lucky bastage!!!!

[> [> Yep, the Evil (and sexy) One herself. -- Rob, 17:14:03 03/24/04 Wed

[> Hey! -- Old One, 16:25:43 03/24/04 Wed

In that small pic, Stephanie Romanov looks just like fresne!!


[> [> Re: Hey! -- Masq, 17:08:35 03/24/04 Wed

Yeah Rob, how do you KNOW its Stephanie Romanov? It could just be fresne pretending to be Stephanie. You know how good fresne is with the costumes, and she goes to a lot of conventions herself....

; )

Masq, still *jealous*

[> [> [> Because... -- Rob, 16:53:34 03/26/04 Fri

...on stage, she did her patented "evil scowl" for the cameras.

Um, unless fresne has one too... ? ;-)

[> I'm telling Iyari -- Lunasea, 17:21:06 03/24/04 Wed

You photo slut you. You'll take your picture with any cute brunette, won't you?

I'm glad you had a wonderful birthday weekend with photographic evidence to prove it.

[> [> Heh, actually Iyari DID see me take the pic with Stephanie! ;-) -- Rob, 20:53:55 03/24/04 Wed

[> Screw Iyari. What about KERRY!? -- Rochefort, 18:36:32 03/24/04 Wed

[> [> Actually, Roche... -- Rob, 21:03:24 03/24/04 Wed

...if you squint, you'll notice I'm wearing a Little Shop of Horrors t-shirt. When Stephanie saw it, the first thing she said was, "I love your shirt! That's my favorite show!" So I've got Lilah on my side! ;-)


[> [> [> You evil master mind! -- Rochefort, 09:06:46 03/25/04 Thu

Damn you, you evil master mind!

Every direction I turn you're one step ahead of me and have me beat! I know a rational man would step aside, be a gentleman, and no longer stand in the way of passionate romance between you and Kerry. But love isn't rationality, kids, it's blood, screaming in your veins for it to work its will! I may be love's bitch, but I'm a lot of other things' bitch, too. I fight on!


OT - "Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed" on DVD April 13th -- Earl Allison, 09:49:07 03/25/04 Thu

I raved about the original "Ginger Snaps" a while back, and thought it would make a great BtVS episode from S1 or S2, what with the highschool setting, werewolves, and decent metaphors.

Well, I've recently seen a DVD screener of the sequel -- anyone who enjoyed the original should enjoy this newest film.

Unfortunately, the box-office take in Canada wasn't very good, so the prequel ("Ginger Snaps Back"), which takes place in the 19th century, sounds like it will be a direct-to-video release :(

I won't reveal anything yet, but the ending is really tragic. Worse, IMHO, than the original. I only hope that this and the prequel do so well in DVD and VHS sales that they revisit the franchise and follow up on "Unleashed."

And if people DO want to discuss the film, let me know. I'd be happy to post more, but don't want to spoil anyone.

Take it and run.


[> Re: OT - Loved the 1st one. Does the sequal have the same cast? -- Brian, 10:03:16 03/25/04 Thu

[> [> Some, not all. -- Earl Allison, 10:05:55 03/25/04 Thu

It has Emily Perkins as Brigitte and Katharine Isabelle as Ginger -- other than that, the entire cast is new characters, with no mention of the parents at all. Although one MIGHT be an old character from the first, it's hard to explain, and never made clear one way or the other.

Take it and run.

Spike as Buffy's soul mate -- Steph, 11:34:58 03/25/04 Thu

Anyone else agree that Spike is Buffy's soul mate? Here is a link to an essay detailing why Spike and Buffy should be together in the end. Let me know if you agree or disagree!


[> Re: Spike as Buffy's soul mate -- Allison, 12:53:35 03/25/04 Thu

Wow. Finally someone states the obvious; Spike is Buffy's soul mate. And your argument is clear and enthymemicly logical, very well written. You used excellent quotes to support your argument (it must have taken you quite a while to document the exact wording from all of those episodes), and you did an exceptional job addressing the opposition. Seriously, great work!

[> ::raises eyebrow:: -- Random, 15:24:35 03/25/04 Thu

I don't find this a particularly convincing essay. It smacks of a Freshman Comp "take a position and defend it" argumentary paper, both in style and approach. As much as I don't care to get into the silly shipping wars, the argumentation is worth analyzing. Major problems: it never really defines its terms -- presumably because that leaves the argument open to equal application to all aspects -- and makes excessive use of a priori without actually establishing the groundwork.

The most glaring problem here is that this essay tries to hit us with QED moments without ever having actually demonstrated a single thing. Not just post hoc ergo propter hoc, though there's plenty of that, but failure to actually make the case it claims to have made. It's manipulative, telling the reader that s/he has been convinced, so now s/he must accept the next proposition. Basically, it begs the question entirely. The author makes makes numerous assertions in this vein. A few:

Any soul worthy of Buffyís love needs to be capable of matching her in a fight challenging her in all regards, physical guile included. Otherwise, she will lose interest and risk disaster, having to defend him from the inevitable danger inflicted upon everyone in her life due to the nature of her job.

Since Angel has been previously eliminated as a possible soul mate for Buffy....

So, it has been shown that everyone but Spike can be eliminated as suitable for Buffy

and so on. She will lose interest? Huh. When an assertion, if invalidated, undermines your entire point, it's best to fortify it with evidence. Example: citing the point where Buffy told Riley that if he went to the doctor and lost his power, she'd damned well break up with him. Or the point where Angel became human and she mocked him and returned to Sunnydale. And so on. Angel previously eliminated? By whom? Cause this writer didn't manage. It has been shown that everyone but Spike is unsuitable? No, it was shown that every relationship has problems. And it was shown that a few people in Buffy's past were not absolutely perfect for her. There's quite a bit more to "everyone" than that. There are numerous fallacies here, and quite a few of them revolve around absolute affirmations and equally absolute negations.

One really wants to tap the writer on the shoulder and say, "No, my dear, you aren't demonstrating, you're asserting. There's a major difference" The writer makes absolute and all-compassing statements, often without using real logical examination of the issues. If itís completely evident that Spike and Buffy are a destined match, why do some fans argue that Buffyís soul mate is someone else? Completely evident implies that you have actually made a strong case. The writer seems completely oblivious to the fact that s/he has basically given us some arguments that Buffy and Spike have some sort of connection...a startling conclusion given that they actually connected at times on the show. As did Buffy and most male members of the cast. As such, the subtextual "those idiots have no clue, so I'm gonna set them aright" only works when the irony level is below a certain point.

What the writer does do is take several very carefully-tailored counterarguments that are by no means complete or comprehensive and attempts to debunk them. It's a weak approach, intellectually. The arguments concerning the difference between Angel and Spike with regards to chronology of souls and Buffy establishes merely that actual relationships have unpleasantness. It conveniently leaves out far too much crucial information to have much worth as an argument...information like the fact that Buffy and Spike didn't have a romantic relationship post-soul. Indeed, the course of S7 closely resembles...wait for it...Buffy/Angel in S3. You know, post-soul, full-of-regret? Even with the occasional slips of S3, the dominant theme of the B/A relationship was regret for the past and the gulf between the living Slayer and the redeemed vampire with whom an other-than-just-friends relationshjp was more than a little problematic. This point may not invalidate the arguments, but it certainly doesn't add credibility. They lead to irrelevant conclusions and therefore irrelevant arguments.

One of the basic formats seems to be assertion/anecdote/rewording of assertion. Repeatedly. The difficulty in taking the argument seriously lies in the writer's constant, nagging refusal to actually define hir terms in a way that one could make a solid case. Does the fact that he loves Buffy imply that they are soulmates? That precept was at the root of Hinckley shooting Reagan. Of course, Jodie might find that a little unsettling, if it's true. Or: is it okay to take a gun to someone if you really love them and would be willing to, you know, not shoot them given the proper circumstances? The answer to both of the questions in an argumentary essay is: maybe. And then you examine the issues more carefully. The major problem here is that the writer seems determined to interpret events in terms already set in stone. That's one of the most common weaknesses of argumentary essays -- your job isn't to simply prove your thesis, but to examine it rigorously and evenhandedly. Looking at all sides of the issue doesn't qualify as rigorous, merely comprehensive. Anyone can write comprehensively. The hard part is examining the topic without falling into the traps of rhetorical mendacity and fallacious logical structures. If you don't, one can puncture the arguments as easily as I did above by simply offering a counterpoint. It's a dirty trick, but one that is almost necessary when the argument makes such mistakes. Basically, the writer is saying, "This is the case. See, look, [if this is the case, then] one has to acknowledge that these events prove it." The section in brackets is unspoken, but implicit in the formulations. Buffy requires darkness, it is claimed. (Not unsurprisingly, that is the unverified claim of the very "soulmate" the writer is trying to promote.) Why? The writer proceeds without establishing this with any degree of certainty. Citing a single line from the show that was obviously meant in slight jest (she likes her men evil? why is it clear that it's not a tongue-slip jest rather than a statement that conventiently fits with the already-established thesis?) does not an argument make. Nor does quoting unreliable third-party narrators and establishing her own darkness...these are fallacies of the incidental, i.e. they do not make a direct argument for the premise, which is that she cannot be with a non-"dark" male. Interspersed with all of this are lots of unsubstantiated assumptions which ignore possible evidence to the contrary (I noted a couple above.) A proper name for this is the "fallacy of the excluded counterpoint." The fallacy of exclusion is a killer in an essay like this.

The essay could benefit by the proper use of modus ponens. The basic structure of the modus ponens argumentation is conditional statement, assertion, conclusion. Therefore, if Spike is A, then B. Spike is A. Ergo, B. Improperly used, it can prove anything. If Spike is Buffy's soulmate, he must be her physical equal. He is her physical equal. Therefore, he is her soulmate. The fallacy there is glaring. Restructure it, then. "If Spike understands Buffy, he is her soulmate. He understands her. Therefore, he is her soulmate." Hmmm.... "If Giles understands Buffy, he is her soulmate. He understands her. Therefore, he is her soulmate." The fallacy of the false dilemma is what undermines all of these. The choices given are supportive, not deductive or even inductive, and thus no logical conclusion can flow naturally out of them. Supportive evidence arbitrarily limits the choices (hence the "false dilemma") and fails rigorous testing. Is it an "either/or" case? The author appears to presuppose (s/he does a lot of presupposition) that it is, but never defines the underpinnings or terms of the argument sufficiently to convince the reader of that. The affirmation of the consequent leads one down treacherous logical donkey-trails. Merely citing true evidence doesn't make the conclusion valid. "If Spike is Buffy's soulmate, then we would see him behave in a certain way. Spike behaves in a certain way. Therefore, he's Buffy's soulmate." The fallacy lies the possibilities that A) one could make the same argument for any character; and 2) more importantly, that the second statement has no bearing on the first, i.e. if he acts a certain way, that doesn't necessarily mean it flows from him being a soulmate.

Then there's the old inductive fallacies, such as premature generalization (aka "hasty generalization") that assumes that the evidence given is extrapolatable to the entire relationships discussed. Or the writer's irritating habit of presupposing that Spike's observations are necessarily always credible. It smacks of ignoring the very real possibility of subverted support. The classic example would revolve around explaining that Spike and Buffy are meant for each other because of A., B and C, but offering in support the unreliable narrator who already presupposes that they are meant to be together. See how that could get circular real fast?

Ultimately, the gaping hole here is the fact that the writer make presuppositions without addressing their validity, for that would require a discussion of whether the basic argument itself was worth pursuing. By creating a Spike-shaped framework, s/he pretty much guarantees he'll fit. The problem here isn't the evidence per se...the essay is quite fine on that point. The problem is how the evidence is used and how the argument is presented.

(Oh, interesting sidenote: What better sign of the ultimate soul mate could there be than someone who loves you to the point of trusting you at a fundamental level that defies logic and provides you with the reassurance necessary to reach your ultimate potential?

You know, what better sign of the ultimate cult member could there be than....? This is a very odd way of arguing Spike's soulmate potential, and could be rather insulting to people who have a high opinion of Spike as a character rather than just in terms of his boyfriend qualities.)

Oh, and so my own position is known: I'm interested only in Clemdrew. Buffy, I think, has quite a bit of life to live before settling down. Preferably with Faith. Gotta have the hot Slayer/Slayer action.

[> [> Can I quote this? -- Maura, 23:33:52 03/25/04 Thu

Hi Random,

I teach freshman comp., and your analysis of this essay sums up a lot of the points I'm continually trying to get across to my students. I think your straighforward style (plus the pop culture content) would work really well as supplemental reading for my struggling writers. Can I quote this post for them? Can I post it on our class discussion board (a site not open to the public)?

[> [> [> Hey! You forgot the sexy big words......;):):):):) -- Rufus, 02:19:47 03/26/04 Fri

[> [> [> Sure... -- Random, 09:56:20 03/26/04 Fri

You're more than welcome to do so. I taught Freshman Comp myself and know the agony and the all-too-rare ecstasy of trying to impress the issues of effective argumentation on students. I could -- as I'm sure you could -- have written for days on the topic, but I was starting to have flashbacks to the hours I spent in individual tutoring trying to explain that "the fact that you know what you mean by this [sentence/idea/image/(il)logical transition] doesn't mean the rest of us have the slightest clue."

Though, heh, "straightforward" isn't an adjective that's often applied to my writing ;-) Blame it on grad school and the fact that literary critical theorists tend to just make up entire pidgin dialects of the language willy-nilly in order to avoid having to admit that it all comes down to a very basic idea: "Well, gee, texts are written by someone and sometimes read by someone else and sometimes writers say the darndest things and readers are gonna take it however the hell they want."

[> [> [> [> Thanks! in small, unsexy words:) -- Maura, 17:16:26 03/26/04 Fri

Thanks much! I found your critique "straightforward," but maybe that's because we share the same sort of grad school, comp.-teaching jargon:)

[> [> Argumentation, and a Proper Program Evaluation -- Dlgood, 08:01:20 03/26/04 Fri

This is just lovely. Really brings back lessons from Doc. Magnetti's Junior Seminar on Composition, Rhetoric, and Argumentation for Pre-Law students.

Disregarding content, it lacks the structure of a proper analysis. The premise is the conclusion, leaving no framework for proper argumentation. And there is no consideration of spuriousness...

Proper argumentation begins with a question or premise, a set of definition and terms for analysis, and then draws conclusions based upon analysis within those terms. As Random points out - this is essential an Opinion Editorial purporting to be analysis.

It can't really be examined or critiqued as an analysis, because it isn't one. There are no terms.

The problem here isn't the evidence per se...the essay is quite fine on that point. The problem is how the evidence is used and how the argument is presented.

Having gone through a few semesters of Program Evaluation (Government/Policy Programs) - that's a key point to make. Advocacy garners a lot of credibility with the sort of rigorous and evenhanded examination mentioned above. This particular piece has no such credibility.

[> [> *stands up and gives Ran a standing ovation* -- angel's nibblet, 21:56:18 03/26/04 Fri

YAY! Well done!!! I completely agree with you on every point. Tis also rather topical because we're just learning reasoning in my first year law course, so perhaps I even understand things better!

Buffy helping me with my edumakshun, heavens :-| !

Also: I'm pretty sure that no one on Buffy has ever discussed soul mates (feel free to prove me wrong with quotage etc), this does not seem to even be a concrete thing in the Buffyverse, so why do so many fans automatically assume that Buffy must have a soul mate?

Other matters like the existence of souls in the Buffyverse we can be sure of, because they have been stated time and time again, so the argument can start with the assumption that there are in fact souls and they affect a person's/demon's personality. The discussion would be about what relevance or effect they would have.

I'm not saying the whole argument is invalid, but I sometimes feel that it is a case of people imposing their own view points and their own beliefs on a show that has its own sort of theological structure, and then desperately trying to make it fit. This is the kind of situation that arises when my fellow Christians ask me why Angel just doesn't ask Jesus for forgiveness of his sins and be done with it, an argument follows which inevitably ends in me banging my on a table in frustration.

But enough of my woes :-S....

OK, so basically what I'm trying to say is this; believe in soul mates, or don't believe in soul mates. Believe that there is someone out there specifically made and designed for you, or don't. Just please don't apply this belief blindly to a show that clearly has its own belief or theories that may differ from your own.

Discussion, I am all in favour of, but not someone trying to whack me over the head with their own opinions, trying to tell me that mine are invalid just because they are different from their own.

OK, rant over now, can I go back to being nice, cheerful nibblet?

[> [> [> Re: *stands up and gives Ran a standing ovation* -- Dlgood, 22:04:33 03/26/04 Fri

I'm pretty sure that no one on Buffy has ever discussed soul mates (feel free to prove me wrong with quotage etc), this does not seem to even be a concrete thing in the Buffyverse, so why do so many fans automatically assume that Buffy must have a soul mate?

AFAIK, nobody's had that discussion, though were I prognosticating, I'd be more likely to believe this was something that Spike or Willow were more inclined to believe than anyone else.

Now, whether any of the characters believe in soulmates, or would project one partner or another as a soulmate - or "perfectly destined mate" - would certainly be something that could be analyzed.

my fellow Christians ask me why Angel just doesn't ask Jesus for forgiveness of his sins and be done with it

As a side note, I wouldn't be surprised if Angel hadn't tried this at some point, post souling. At which point, still being burned by the sun, crosses, and holy wated - even with a soul - probably lent him toward some conclusions on God's official position on the matter.

[> [> [> [> Re: *stands up and gives Ran a standing ovation* -- angel's nibblet, 22:46:23 03/26/04 Fri

AFAIK, nobody's had that discussion, though were I prognosticating, I'd be more likely to believe this was something that Spike or Willow were more inclined to believe than anyone else.

Now, whether any of the characters believe in soulmates, or would project one partner or another as a soulmate - or "perfectly destined mate" - would certainly be something that could be analyzed.

Exactl what I was trying to say. I'm not discounting the fact that soul mate's exist, or that none of the characters
believe in them, just that we've never had any real kind of evidence of this.

Sorry if my post came across as somewhat hostile, it's just kinda one of my pet peeves in fanfic and essays.

Yes, a discussion on what characters' opinions on soul mates might be would be quite interesting, I would definitely be there :-)

It could even make for an interesting fic, dare I suggest it?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: *stands up and gives Ran a standing ovation* -- Dlgood, 23:58:14 03/26/04 Fri

Didn't come off as all that hostile to me. It's a fair peeve to have.

To the extent that I contemplate the matter in real life, souls tend to be a rather ephemeral concept. For all we know, if souls are tangible objects in the Jossverse, then it's perhaps possible to magically verify soul-matey-ness if it indeed exists.

As a literary element, I've found it a bit of a short cut and cop out. Any questions regarding the merits of a ship can be swept under the rug, because the pair was stamped 'meant to be' because 'someone declared it so'. I

It probably does work more as a fic, because it's such a speculative exercise in projection. I'd beta it, but that's not something I could write.

[> [> [> [> [> Don't forget Plato's Symposium and the concept of soulmates... -- Random, 00:15:16 03/27/04 Sat

It adds a new twist. Or a very old one, depending on how you look at it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Don't forget Plato's Symposium and the concept of soulmates... -- Cleanthes, 06:56:21 03/31/04 Wed

It adds a new twist. Or a very old one, depending on how you look at it.

This is downright filthy! I love it; I've mentally twisted Spike & Buffy into the original, pubes obversed, forms...

As a matter of mathematical logic, the concept of soulmate set out in the 'Symposium' implies that 2/3 of women will have female soulmates and 2/3 of men will have male soul mates. I think this alone makes a stronger case for Faith being Buffy's soulmate than anything this essay "proves" with regard to Spike and Buffy.

[> [> [> Whedon mentioned soulmates, once I think -- Rahael, 04:18:53 03/27/04 Sat

It was round about the time I first got online, and it was much quoted and speculated about. Joss said Buffy had a soulmate and it wasn't Angel.

[> [> [> [> Re: Whedon mentioned soulmates, once I think -- Ann, 04:48:42 03/27/04 Sat

It's Joss!


[> [> [> [> What I did find that Whedon says -- Ann, 13:06:26 03/27/04 Sat

Google soul mate and you get 680,000 answers. The first page of these is almost all dating services or quizzes. Apparently few can define this word. Interestingly, other threads on this board right now are about evidence, knowing and proving.

Therefore, and because the canon is open to interpretation, I went to the horseís mouth (so to speak). On B/A, B/S, love, souls, soul mates, and loneliness Whedon has said thisî:

ìBuffy loves Angel. He loves her. And I love Ho Hos.î

"Even though she has a romance with Spike, the relationship with Angel was Buffy's first love. It's too important not to cap it. You can't put a final statement on it. I'm in the process of writing the script now. The show is about life, and the final statement on life is death. On this show, it's not even that. You want to pay homage to the fact that he's a big part of her heart, no matter what, without saying anything definite on what will happen for them in the future."

ìI could not get a date to save my life, but my last three years of high school were at a boys' school, so I wasn't actually looking that hard. I was not popular in school, and I was definitely not a ladies' man. And I had a very painful adolescence, because it was all very strange to me. It wasn't like I got beat up, but the humiliation and isolation, and the existential "God, I exist, and nobody cares" of being a teenager were extremely pronounced for me. I don't have horror stories. I mean, I have a few horror stories about attempting to court a girl, which would make people laugh, but it's not like I think I had it worse than other people. But that's sort of the point of Buffy, that I'm talking about the stuff everybody goes through. Nobody gets out of here without some trauma.î

ìBut the series, yeah, I just went in believing.î

ì I would love to give you a more in-depth coherent explanation of my view of the soul, and if I had one I would. The soul and my concept of it are as ephemeral as anybodyís, and possibly more so. And in terms of the show, it is something that exists to meet the needs of convenience; the truth is sometimes you can trap it in a jar; the truth is sometimes someone without one seems more interesting than someone with one. I donít think Clem has a soul, but heís certainly a sweet guy. Spike was definitely kind of a soulful character before he had a soul, but we made it clear that there was a level on which he could not operate. Although Spike could feel love, it was the possessive and selfish kind of love that most people feel. The concept of real altruism didnít exist for him. And although he did love Buffy and was moved by her emotionally, ultimately his desire to possess her led him to try and rape her because he couldnít make the connection ó- the difference between their dominance games and actual rape.î

ìWith a soul comes a more adult understanding. That is again, a little vague, butÖ can I say that I believe in the soul? I donít know that I can. Itís a beautiful concept, as is resurrection and a lot of other things we have on the show that Iím not really sure I can explain and I certainly donít believe in. It does fall prey to convenience, but at the same time it has consistently marked the real difference between somebody with a complex moral structure and someone who may be affable and even likable, but ultimately eats kittens.î

ìFor seven years Iíve been Buffy.î

ì I lived my life feeling alone. That's just the way of it. I always did. As soon as I was old enough to have a feeling about it, I felt like I was alone. No matter how much I loved my family ñ and I actually got along better with my family than I think most people do ñ but I just always felt separate from everybody, and was terribly lonely all the time. I wasn't living a life that was particularly different from anybody else's, a pariah ñ it wasn't like I didn't have friends, but I just... we all of us are alone in our own minds, and I was very much aware of that from the very beginning of my life. Loneliness and aloneness ñ which are different things ñ are very much, I would say, of the three main things I focus on in my work.î

ì And that's true. I did want to make a movie where a poor girl that kills would have to get her own back. Then, I started out with "Martha the Immortal Waitress." The idea of somebody that nobody would take account of, who just had more power than was imaginable. Which is such a pathetically obvious metaphor for what I wanted my life to be. Like, "I'm the guy that nobody paid attention to. What they didn't know was that I'm really important. I can save the world. So, you know, that's pretty cool, too."

"We're paying homage to the same thing: the storytelling. I wanted to create a fiction that would affect people's lives. And this has affected people's lives. It's affected my life. Without it my life is meaningless."

ìIt's an eternal love, don't get me wrong; I realize that, but there's only so much we can do.î

He comes to no conclusions regarding Buffyís potential soul mates but the point of his writing exercise is his journey. He is Buffy and is her soul mate. I think Spike, Angel, Riley, Parker and any of the others, are manifestations of Jossís honouring his journey.

[> [> [> [> [> Thanks for the quotage! -- Masq, 14:47:36 03/27/04 Sat

Will have to look a few of these up for potential website quotage.

[> [> [> [> [> Lordy - google search Buffy, Angel and Soulmate.... -- Rahael, 15:26:02 03/27/04 Sat

you have to wade through a whole lot of fanfic as well.

The timing of the quote may have been important. I got online while S5 was airing in America. I guess the dampner was being put on B/A cuz they were on two different shows.

I treat every quote that Joss makes about Buffy's relationships with a little cynicism - he keeps playing around with the shippers.

"Even though she has a romance with Spike, the relationship with Angel was Buffy's first love. It's too important not to cap it. You can't put a final statement on it. I'm in the process of writing the script now. The show is about life, and the final statement on life is death. On this show, it's not even that. You want to pay homage to the fact that he's a big part of her heart, no matter what, without saying anything definite on what will happen for them in the future."

I guess that's how we ended up with the cookie dough metaphor.

[> [> [> Of all people, Darla mentions "soul mates" on ATS s2 -- Rufus, 17:23:35 03/27/04 Sat

From the episode "Darla":

Lindsey: "He was a different person then."

Darla: "And so was I. - Now do you know what we've become?"

Lindsey: "Enemies."

Darla: "Oh no. - *Much* worse. - Now we're soul *mates*."

[> [> [> [> Re: Of all people, Darla mentions "soul mates" on ATS s2 -- dlgood, 20:35:19 03/27/04 Sat

Although, I think Darla speaks in a bitter and ironic manner. And does not really posit herself and Angel as 'soulmates' in a romantic context. IMHO, it's rather a comment on her own feelings about the awfulness of having a soul, rather than anything regarding a positive romantic connection with Angel.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Of all people, Darla mentions "soul mates" on ATS s2 -- Rufus, 15:16:22 03/28/04 Sun

I don't remember saying she said anything in a "romantic" context. Darla over all the women that Angel/Angelus has been with knows him in a way that even Buffy doesn't. But of course I find Angel fickle in matters of the heart and the cookie dough speech from Buffy could just as well have come from Angel. It can be easier to be a hero than to live as a human, which to me is more what his journey is about than the eventual mate he may or may not end up with.

[> [> Another Potential Mate -- Claudia, 13:03:14 03/29/04 Mon

In the book, "Seven Seasons of Buffy", one writer wrote an essay on a possible mate for Buffy. He (I don't recall his name) had dismissed both Angel and Spike. He also dismissed Giles, Xander and Riley Finn. Whom did he believe should be the perfect mate for Buffy?


Wesley Wyndham-Price.

[> [> [> *smacks self on forehead* I can't believe the things that get to print... -- angel's nibblet, 02:15:59 03/30/04 Tue

[> [> [> [> Re: *smacks self on forehead* I can't believe the things that get to print... -- Claudia, 15:31:27 03/30/04 Tue

I couldn't believe it, either. Frankly, I thought the guy must have been smoking something, to make such a suggestion. Buffy and Wes???

[> [> [> Personally, I'd have gone with Gerald Levert -- dlgood, 11:59:48 03/30/04 Tue

[> A shorter response -- Dariel, 20:42:20 03/25/04 Thu

Although I myself am rather fond of B/S, I didn't read your essay. I don't see how we can look at two people who are so young--Buffy actually and Spike in terms of his development--and decide that they are "meant" for each other, are soul mates. (Same goes for Buffy and Angel). These are people whose personalities are still forming, who're still trying to figure out their places in the world. People grow, they change, the things that matter to them change.

My grandparents were married for more than sixty years. They were still in love in their 80s, preferred each other's company to anyone else's (nearly all of the time), still made each other laugh. They were soul mates or something like it. They didn't start out that way, had some real problems early in the marriage, but grew into it through the life they shared.

[> Eva Marie Saint, er SMG's Buffy and JW's final Ship -- Midnight*Long*, 23:07:55 03/25/04 Thu

In the last episodes of Buffy, JW may have given the best clue to the ship of choice. Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest inspired, imho, JW to give a strong signal in honoring this film. Gary Grant was meeting Eva Maria Saint in the woods with the Man From Uncle's CEO, after Eva's character had *shot* Grant (fatal is suggested) in the Mt Rushmore's cafe.

When you get a chance watch Buffy raise her foot in approaching SPike in the basement before JW turned out the lights; then watch what Eva Marie Saint is directed to do for Gary Grant's character....

Sorta a signal, you think?????

[> [> Buffy doesn't deserve _anyone_ yet -- Liam, 02:06:27 03/26/04 Fri

My own opinion is that Buffy is in such a mess that she shouldn't be involved yet with _anyone_, whether it's Spike, Angel, or anyone else. I'm also looking at it from the point of view of the man concerned, as I wouldn't wish someone like the Buffy of season 7 on him as a girlfriend.

[> [> [> Re: Buffy doesn't deserve _anyone_ yet -- Drizzt, 12:25:53 03/26/04 Fri

Comparing Buffy's relationships with Angel, Riley, Spike; Angel is the best match in terms of personalities IMO. This compatibility ignores the complication of Angels curse, IE without the curse Angel would/or could have been Buffy's best match.

I am in love with Buffy
Me as her Soul Mate? Dunno; I am signifigantly different than anyone she has been with on the show, but my goal is to get to Sunnydayle and at least ask her out on a date...

[> [> [> Re: Buffy doesn't deserve _anyone_ yet -- nazlan, 19:22:54 03/26/04 Fri

I don't know about not deserving, but she certainly (as of Chosen) doesn't *need* to be with anyone. However strained and odd the whole cookie dough speech may have been, she was actually being fairly self-aware. (Even if that speech was more or less telling Angel "wait for me")

Personally, I hope she's hooked up with some cute but dumb bit of Italian arm candy, because I like both Angel and Spike better without her.

[> [> [> Re: Buffy doesn't deserve _anyone_ yet -- Dlgood, 19:35:41 03/26/04 Fri

I don't truck with the "deserve" thing - I'm not so certain that's really relevant. And I don't know how one could credibly judge or assess what exactly people deserve.

What does matter, though, is what people want and value out of life - and what brings them health, happiness, and emotional fulfillment. And given her past relationships and the external constraints upon Angel - I wouldn't argue that she should be pairing up with any of her previous paramours or love interests anytime soon. Not because she doesn't deserve it, but because it wouldn't bring her happiness and health.

Maybe she'll find that offscreen, with someone we have or haven't been introduced to. Don't really know. Onscreen, any of her previous relationships would require a whole ton of work, a change of metaphysical status, and probably a massive change in her feelings and values.

But the talk of "deserve" or "doesn't deserve", IMHO, is reductive and not particularly useful to an analysis of the character.

[> [> [> you must be a Bronzer -- radioreverie, 22:36:38 03/26/04 Fri

Now I remember why I don't read that board anymore...


She's not a real person and this sort of assessment of the show is shallow and reductionist.

[> [> [> [> Treating characters as real -- Pip, 17:15:22 03/27/04 Sat

If you're a student of English Literature, then to assess a character in a book as if they were real is considered a very simple, fannish style of analysis.

If, say, you were an actor, then assessing a character as if they were real can be an extremely powerful technique. How do they feel about other characters? How do they feel about themselves? Are they messed up? Oh, they were abused as a child? OK, let's research how that child abuse affects real adult survivors, and see if that can be incorporated into the performance.

Most recurring characters in the Buffyverse can be analysed in this way; since, like most recurring characters in current television, the performances given are generally naturalistic. Part of the fun of the Buffyverse (for me) is the co-existence of different performance styles. I doubt that, say, the actors who played the 'Gentlemen' in S4 Hush approached them as if they were real people with real feelings and a past history. I suspect they used a more stylised approach where (for example) you'd consider the emotion you were trying to evoke and then work on the body language that would get the right reaction from the audience.

But it is possible for the audience to react to some characters as if they were real, because the actors have frequently put rather a lot of work into making them appear real. Indeed, if the character is naturalistic, the actor aims to make the audience react as if the character is a real person.

Given that most of the continuing characters on Buffy and Angel were/are played naturalistically, you should be able to play the game of 'Buffy shouldn't have a relationship with XXXXX because...'. Or, 'Wesley is not a sociopath because ...' [grin]. You should be able to analyse them as if they were real. If you can't (and those two characters are performed naturalistically), then you're probably getting a signal that the plot or the metaphor has taken over the characterisation.

So assessing characters as if they were real doesn't have to be shallow. It's not simple - it requires some hard work on the part of the actors to make characters seem real and really quite sophisticated (if mostly subconscious) assessments of that work on the part of the audience. It's not even amateur - since it's a technique that professional actors apply all the time (amongst other techniques).

She isn't a real person? No, Buffy isn't. But if SMG has done her job (which she did), then Buffy should seem like a real person. Like someone you know, you should be able to guess (or endlessly argue over) which boyfriend might suit her.

If you can't then the actor has failed. But you can only work that out by trying to assess the character as if they were real.

[> [> [> Hmmmm... -- LittleBit, 23:39:54 03/26/04 Fri

"My own opinion is that Buffy is in such a mess that she shouldn't be involved yet with _anyone_, whether it's Spike, Angel, or anyone else."

This seems to beg the question "how much of a mess can someone be in and still 'deserve' to be involved with someone?" Does one have to have all of one's (as Clem says) 'issues' resolved before contemplating dating someone or can one have 'some issues' and still be deserving? If one must be free of issues before being involved with someone, then the person one becomes involved with must also be free of issues unless we are singling out one individual and saying that that person must be free of issues, but the reverse isn't required. Thus the person Buffy becomes involved with could be seriously messed up but if she had her act together she would deserve the chance to have that relationship. We cannot all wait until we have resolved all our problems before becoming involved with someone, nor is there a point at which a person becomes either deserving or undeserving of such a relationship.

Without going into the nature of the mess that you perceive Buffy to be (and our perceptions do differ), it's difficult to discuss whether or not Buffy is deserving of romantic involvement or not. ANd further, whether a new relationship might also be a catalyst for her dealing with her issues as well. A relationship that begins in friendship rather than physical attraction might just be what she needs. While you "wouldn't wish someone like the Buffy of season 7 on him as a girlfriend" I think the Buffy that began the season, and the one that ended it (as opposed to the Buffy who was given the responsibility of protecting and training girls who were uprooted and dropped on her, against the First Evil who is 'unbeatable' and the Turok-Han who are the vampire's vampire...someone with no time to consider a relationship) would be someone worth getting involved with.

Just my opinion. Your perception may vary. [Why yes, I am writing the Buffy character essay. Why do you ask? :-)]

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