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Good vampire/werewolf movies? -- Corwin of Amber, 21:54:33 09/17/03 Wed

Since I'm actually planning on seeing an apparantly bad vampire/werewolf movie on Friday (underworld), I wanted to ask the board for their recomendations on good vampire or werewolf movies.

The last good vampire movie i saw was a 2001 BBC miniseries called 'Ultraviolet' rebroadcast on the sci-fi channel before it went insane and canceled Farscape. Ultraviolet was about an elite 'death squad' of vampire hunters and used scientific explanations for vampires. I don't want to spoil anything, if you get a chance to watch it, I really recommend it.

One interesting thing about Ultraviolet was that the vampires were truly immortal. Dusting them (the squad used carbon-carbon bullets, the equivalent of a stake to the heart) didn't mean they couldn't come back, under certain conditions.


[> Good is in the eye of the beholder -- Isabel, 08:37:14 09/20/03 Sat

I like comedies and fluff. Not that horror and gore and angst aren't good. I'm just saying this so you know where I'm coming from.

I haven't seen "Fright Night" mentioned. That's a good one.

Has anybody but me seen "My Best Friend is a Vampire"? Total fluff. David Warner and Rene Aubergenois are fanatic vampire hunters.

I have a friend that loves "Once Bitten" with a young Jim Carrey. More fluff.

I actually liked "Dracula: Dead and Loving it." (Of course I have a soft spot for Peter MacNichol, but still)

And I actually preferred "American Werewolf in Paris" to "American Werewolf in London."

[> Vampire and Werewolf movie lists -- s'kat, 23:01:36 09/17/03 Wed

Not many...that I know of. And this is all purely subjective. No particular order - I'm just listing as I remember them.

Vampire Movies I'd recommend

1. Interview With A Vampire, the movie based on the Anne Rice novel of the same name with Tom Cruise/Brad Pitt/Kristin Dunst/Antonia Bandera/Stephen Rae as vampires.
Directed by Neil Jordan.

2. Queen of the Damned (you either love it or hate it, I loved it, I know people who hate it. Very surreal in places, not overly plotty) Stuart Townsend/Lena Olin/Ailayaha

3. The Lair of the White Worm by Ken Russel (cool flick, comedic with Hugh Grant oddly enough...the vampire is a woman)

4. The Hunger (Catherine Deneveuve/Susan Sarandon/David Bowie - never saw this but people rank it high)

5. Dracula (with Frank Langella, much better than the Gary Oldman version in my humble opinion)

6. Dracula with Bela Lugosi

7. Nofertu by Werner HErzo, starring Klaus Kinski and Isabelle Adjani (sp?) Black and White - the movie that JW got the idea for the Gentleman from. (The most frightening of the bunch) Oh - see Shadow of The Vampire with William Defoe/John Malkivoch after this for a laugh.

8. The Lost Boys (another one that informed Whedon) Stars: Keifer Sutherland/Jason Patrick as vampires. Edward Herman is the vamp king. Very fun.

9. Love at First Bite (George Hamilton parody of vampire movies, not bad)

10. Near Dark - Kathryn Bigelow's vampire gang film. (Very dark, very noir, very gory) stars Adrian Pasdar, Lance Henrikson, Bill Paxton, and Jenny Wright.

11. John Carpenter's Vampires starring Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee, James Woods - notable for two scenes which Whedon and Company clearly stole for Two to Go. (hint: Truck driving Mama)

12. Blade (Wesely Snipes plays half- human/half vampire, vampire hunter)

13. Vampire Hunter D (anime flick from Japan)

Werewolf movies:

1. The Wolf Man (the classic)

2. The Howling (they did a series, but this is the best of the bunch)

3. American Werewolf in London with David Naughton (comedy/horror)

4. Teen Wolf (Michael J Fox) and I Was A Teenage Wolf (Michael Landon) for pure cheese factor

5. The Company of Wolves - surreal delight. Watch it with The Hunger. Or Cat People back to back. Stars Craig T. Nelson as the sheriff/hunter.

That's all I can think of, off hand.

[> [> Can I just add - I HATED 'Blade II'! -- Marie, 03:31:22 09/18/03 Thu

But glad to see you included AW in London - I love that film, and I'm waiting until the DVD is cheaper so I can buy it.

I also enjoyed 'From Dusk 'til Dawn' - what can I say... George....


[> [> [> Another vote for American Werewolf in London - adding Shadow of the Vampire -- Darby, 06:25:29 09/18/03 Thu

[> [> [> Yes, you can add that about Blade II (Spoilers for Blade II) -- VR, 06:30:38 09/18/03 Thu

I've never liked vamp or were stories where the source of them have been purely genetic or a virus. It always took the fun out them for me.

But, I didn't like either Blade movie, virus source aside. A lot of action, not enough substance for me.

However, the reapers looked visually cool. So much better than normal, Blade vamps. That mouth coming out to the sides and their tongue ruled. Now, that's a real parasitic organism.

I remember American Werewolf in London growing up and I liked it a lot, even if the wolf form looked kinda dorky to me. That slow motion transformation rocked. Visually, I liked the wolf form in American Werewolf in Paris. That was a cool looking wolf.

I've seen the Howling movies and the writing didn't sit well with me, though viscious werewolves were kinda cool.

[> [> [> [> A few more -- Celebaelin, 06:43:34 09/18/03 Thu


Salems Lot - Made for TV 2 parter with David Soul. I was about 14 when I first saw it and some of the scenes scared the living piss out of me. Always a good thing in a horror film. I will never forget that scene when ..

The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) - Directed by, and starring, Roman Polanski, the one with the Jewish vampire immune to crosses.

Vampira (1974) - Starring David Niven. Known in the US as 'Old Dracula' and 'Old Drac', catchy titles guys, but arguably no less than it deserves. I've actually seen this one and enjoyed it, a long time ago though (Dracula's assistant to his master: 'I cross my fingers, sir" - Dracula's response: "I'd rather you didn't").

Also, for what looks like a pretty full list


Wolfen (1981) - Starring Albert Finney, interesting slant, which I won't spoil.

An American Werewolf in Paris (1997) - Better effects than AAWIL but nothing like the heart.

[> [> [> [> [> And a few more as well -- Wolfhowl3, 07:03:13 09/18/03 Thu


High noon: with David Caradin and Bruce Cambell. A Vampire Western. Very funny.

Embrace of the Vampire: with Allis Malino. Horid movie, but a good excuse to see Allis Malino Naked. Avoid!

Dracula 2000: Cute, and had the most brilunt way to capture a vampire that I have ever seen.


Full Eclupis: a Swat team is given injections that are making them more and more Wolfish as time went by.


[> [> [> [> [> [> And yet still more... -- Eric, 09:16:01 09/20/03 Sat

OK, this is sooo obvious: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the film) starring Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland and Rutger Hauer. Yes, its pretty pathetic next to the series and hasn't aged well. Plus its played pretty much for laughs. But you can clearly hear Whedon's touch with the dialogue and a hint of what will blosom in the series.

Fright Night starring Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall, Amanda Bearse, and William Ragsdale. Its a simple story of a teenage boy who loves horror movies, his girlfriend (Amanda Bearse from "Married With Children" when she was young and HOT) and the Vampire that moves in next door. In desperation, the teens consult the only local authority on vampires, a two bit horror flick star who hosts the local TV horror show. It spawned a sequel, which was OK but nothing special.

The Company of Wolves with Angela Lansbury and Sarah Patterson,directed by Neil Jordan (who did Interview with a Vampire). Its well made and rich with gothic atmosphere and sexual symbolism on the perils of men and wolves.

[> [> [> [> [> Oh you reminded me of one I forgot and... -- s'kat, 10:15:47 09/18/03 Thu

Wolf - starring Jack Nicholoson, Christopher Plummer, Michelle Pfeffier, James Spader. The werewolf as burnt out book editor. Directed by Mike Nichols. Really cool special effects.

Salem's Lot is being re-done by the way. New cast and everything for TNT. Rutger Hauer plays the vampire.
Forgot who they got for David Soul's part but it's someone we'd recognize.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Tenuous but could quality -- lurker at work, 10:22:38 09/18/03 Thu

"Ravenous" is an interesting take on vampirism with an unexpected cast - Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, David Arquette, John Spencer.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oh, Ravenous is superb! -- KdS, 10:45:57 09/18/03 Thu

Strips the basic vampire concept of all the European mystical trappings, even undeadness, and puts it in a truly horrific Western. Robert Carlyle is absolutely terrifying.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Oh you reminded me of one I forgot and... -- I hated Wolf :(, 10:57:52 09/18/03 Thu

And it was another one of those movies that I really wanted it to be cool, and I was so eager for it to come out... Such a great cast, too.


I think it's easier to make a good vamp flick than a wolf flick, because wolves are hairy and 'ew!' whereas vamps are generally more sexy/cool. ...Except Gary Oldman in the opening of Dracula. :) yikes!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Wolf.... -- Rufus, 03:13:21 09/19/03 Fri

That movie put a new twist to the term "piss off"...loved it.

You already mentioned some of the films I have on DVD which include Vampires (the book is better, and I'm not fond of James Woods but he had good chemistry with the guy who played the padre), From Dusk til Dawn, Lost Boys, Near Dark, Bram Stokers Dracula, Salem's Lot (not that crappy cut version), Blade 1 and 2 (I liked 2 shoot me).

[> [> [> Oh I only meant Blade I (since I've never seen Blade II) ;-) -- s'kat, 10:10:18 09/18/03 Thu

I never bothered to see Blade II or the American Werewolf in Paris, b/c both got horrendous reviews.

Blade I is actually not bad. Interesting bad guy and the good guy is conflicted. Some nice moments. Not brillant but worth a look-see when it shows up on TV or on rental.

Also - didn't include everything, just one's I've seen or discussed. Left off:

The Fearless Vampire Hunters (Polanski)
Blade II
and American Werewolf in Paris amongst others.

[> [> Ginger Snaps -- Ponygirl, 07:35:45 09/18/03 Thu

Ok the SFX are crap but it's one of those movies where I spent a great deal of time wishing I had thought of the idea and then the rest of the time caught up in the story. Basically it's the only werewolf movie I've heard of that uses the werewolf as a metaphor for female transformation and sexuality rather than male. It's well-written, disturbing, and would have worked as a BtVS episode so I can think of no higher praise.

[> [> [> Re: Ginger Snaps (spoilers for film) -- KdS, 08:12:36 09/18/03 Thu

I liked the film, but I was a little disturbed by the characters' final fates (the obnoxious jock gets cured but Ginger and Sam the drug dealer/herbalist die, and Brigitte is left devastated). I felt that it returned to a rather conservative and sexist judgement of merit that clashed with the revisionism of the rest of the film.

[> [> [> [> Re: Ginger Snaps (spoilers for film) -- Ponygirl, 08:42:08 09/18/03 Thu

It's been a while since I've seen the movie, so I'm foggy on the details (I'd forgotten about the jock) but it seemed to me that the film was about Brigitte's journey, part of which required her to move past her sister. Ginger wasn't so much a separate character but Brigitte's fear of what she herself was becoming. Plus the filmmakers seemed determined to keep their horror movie label at all costs so things went a bit gory and cliched at the end.

[> [> [> [> NOT the final fates! -- Earl Allison, 10:20:34 09/18/03 Thu

Rejoice! There is both a sequel and a prequel in the works. In the sequel, Brigitte is using shots of Monkshood to ward off full-blown transformation. Ginger appears to her only in dreams. I will say no more to ruin this for anyone when/if they become available.

The prequel is set over a hundred years in the past. The two sisters (not technically the same girls, but don't know their names) happen across a frontier fort under siege by lycanthropes. There may also be an enemy in their midst.

Love this film immensely, and used it in a Buffy RPG setting (during S2), making sure Ginger lived (yes, I am bad, I admit it).

Great, great film.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> [> [> Kewl!! Such a great film, can't wait to see the rest of the series! -- Rob, 10:56:04 09/18/03 Thu

[> [> [> YES! Awesome movie, thank you! -- Earl Allison, 10:19:25 09/18/03 Thu

I brought this up quite a while ago. I LOVE this film, especially Emily Perkins as Brigitte Fitzgerald, the younger sister.

Seek out the Canadian Special Edition DVD, you won't be disappointed.

Another great werewolf film is "Dog Soldiers," about a squad of British soldiers against Scottish werewolves. A great romp, part Aliens, part Evil Dead, and part Night of the Living Dead rolled into one.

Take it and run.

[> [> vampire flicks -- Miyu tVP, 10:11:33 09/18/03 Thu


Interview with a Vampire totally missed the mark.

Queen of the Damned, ravaged by Anne Rice fans bc it devates madly from the book, is actually pretty good. gorgeous mood/tone. Definitely mood over plot.
Surreal knowing that this was Aaliyah's last film before her death (she had just been cast for the Matrix as well - such a pity!!!)

And, by way of explaining my screen anme, I highly recommend the anime (both TV series and OAV) Miyu the Vampire Princess. Breathtaking animation, dark and moody. It sort of turns the vampire premise on it's head in that Miyu *is* the vampire, but in fact she is the one who spends eternity "slaying" demons. At times it is eerily similar to Buffy. The lead appears to be an adorable, vulnerable teenage girl, but in fact she can kick anyone's ass. She feels the weight of her desitny that she cannot escape. She shares an intimate bond with a former demon (like Angel) who helps in her fight against the forces of evil... well I could write a dissertaion here.. :) but suffice to say if you like Buffy and are even remotely inclined towards anime, you'll love it.

Like the first Blade, hated the 2nd. Lost Boys was cool. Soooooo wanted Underworld to be awesome, but sounds like it isn't at all. :(

[> [> [> Agreed -- s'kat, 10:33:18 09/18/03 Thu

Have to say I preferred Queen of The Damned to Interview as well. Interview is a bit dull on re-watching and underplayed a lot of Rice's atmospheric touches. Queen did a better job even if it deviated more from the plot. (Sort of had to, though, since the book has approximately 50 characters and is part of a triology.) Did you know btw that Elton John and another lyricist are planning to do a musical based on the middle book? Lestate?

Haven't seen the Miyu movies. Woefully behind on my anime.
Which I love, but if you don't have DVD? Harder and harder to get a hold of. (Reason number 26 in a long list for buying a DVD player when and if I get the chance.)

[> [> [> [> the musical!!!!!! -- Miyu tVP, 10:42:29 09/18/03 Thu

OMIGOD!!! I forgot about the musical!!!! How fun is that! You can't ask for better subject matter, and music is already integral to the story.

Has anyone seen Wicked? LOVED IT! I haven't read the book yet, which I need to, but the show was amazing! It previewed here in SF, and I think it's now moving to Broadway. It's all about the Wicked Witch of the West, except she's a "good" witch struggling in an oppressive society.

[> [> [> [> [> Wicked is opening on Broadway this fall. -- s'kat, 10:50:26 09/18/03 Thu

Haven't seen it yet. But has a very good cast.
Kristen Chenelworth (who was the school teacher in MAthew Broderick's The Music Man) is Glinda, Joel Grey is The Wizard of OZ. Don't know the woman playing Wicked Witch of the West.

It's slatted to open in October I believe.

Not sure when Lestate will. But you're right - it is tailor made for a musical since the book is broken into sections with Lestates musical numbers. For those who don't know it, Lestate decides to become a vampire rock star and tells his secrets and history through his hard rock lyrics.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I already have a ticket! -- Rob, 11:03:05 09/18/03 Thu

Loved the book, can't wait to see the show. The witch is being played by Idina Menzel, who originated the role of Maureen in "Rent."


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I already have a ticket! -- Miyu tVP, 11:10:10 09/18/03 Thu

Your going to love it!!!

I saw Idina in the SF prodution - she brought the house down.

I have GOT to read the book soon.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Cool! Can't wait! -- Rob, 11:22:22 09/18/03 Thu

Oh, and you must must must read the book. I read it about 4 years ago, and loved it so much I started it again and immediately reread it after finishing. Really brilliant, dark, funny, absorbing. I was so excited when I first saw the advertisement that it had been turned into a musical a few weeks back that I ordered tickets immediately.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: My 2 choices for vamp movies -- Brian, 14:55:04 09/18/03 Thu

Blood and Donuts - an independant Canadian movie about a reluctant vampire.

The Vampire Journals - Over the top acting, along with lots of sex and gore, but the settings are amazing, creating a niffty atmosphere.

[> Ladyhawk! -- Miyu tVP, 10:16:45 09/18/03 Thu

Hey - would Ladyhawk count as sort of a werewolf movie??? I haven't seen it in ages but I LOVED it when it came out. Talk about star-crossed lovers. Plus Matthew Broderick.

Probably doesn't really qualify, but great flick.

[> [> More fantasy I think than horror -- s'kat, 10:37:08 09/18/03 Thu

I considered including LadyHawk but it doesn't quite hit me as being within the same category, not really horror so much as a fantasy fable about a man who becomes a wolf and lady who becomes a hawk - in order to keep the two forever separate. The cursed fable so to speak.

Of course one could argue that Underworld is in reality a fantasy or gothic fantasy as are Queen of the Damned.
But Lady Hawk seems outside the gothic horror motif somehow while the others don't. Possibly because the Wolf in Ladyhawk is not shown eating or harming humans?

[> [> [> A Suggestion . . . -- Claudia, 11:44:18 09/18/03 Thu

Has anyone ever seen "Shadow of the Vampire" with Willem Dafoe and John Malkovich?

[> [> [> [> Yup, in my collection. -- Rufus, 03:17:10 09/19/03 Fri

That movie took all the sex appeal out of the was great.

[> [> Re: Ladyhawk! -- Bronson, 15:12:35 09/19/03 Fri

Isn't so much a horror film, but worth watching for the cast and the story -- though the writing is kind of crappy and it has the Dumbest 80s Soundtrack Ever. (The music seems so inappropriate I wonder if there's a rider in Rutger Hauer's contract about a minimum number of synthesizers in the score.)

[> Hopefully, these haven't already been mentioned: -- fresne, 12:25:51 09/18/03 Thu

Near Dark - White Trash Vampires, won the something, something award at Cannes. Lance Henricksen, Jenette Goldstein, Bill Paxton (it's like Aliens only less game over and more vamps), Adrian Pasdar. They steal RVs and roam the backroads being all white trashy and killin' people and bein' bored and stuff.

Gotta agree on the Frank Langella Dracula. Tres with the white shirt sexy.

But let's not forget the campiness of the Hammer Dracula movies with Christopher Lee being all tall and dangerous and stuff. For an amusing light night watch, check out the 1970s Hammer Dracula movies. Disco era Dracula, except they weren't playing it for comedy, so it's even worse/funnier. Damn Disco-Satanists.

Innocent Blood - funny little vampire/mob movie.

The problem is that I've seen many vampire movies, but most of them, kind of, well, like, totally sucked.

Watch Night of the Lepidus. Giant bunnies ravage the earth. Anya would be horrified.

[> [> Night of the Lepus, with the late DeForrest Kelly :( -- Earl Allison, 12:47:28 09/18/03 Thu

An awful, awful film I wish MST3K had gotten their mitts on.

Watching the horde of giant rabbits eating people was alternately hilarious or silly.

Take it and run.

[> [> Innocent Blood......don't play with the food....snerk....;) -- Rufus, 03:16:02 09/19/03 Fri

[> [> [> but it's fine to be a sloppy eater... -- anom, 23:18:17 09/20/03 Sat of the funniest things about this movie. Plus, Robert Loggia--always good.

[> Old, silent, classic -- sdev, 13:00:27 09/18/03 Thu

Nosferatu, a Symphonie of Horrors, 1922, Murnau. German. Silent. The original Dracula movie which purloined the story, without permission and lost the infringement lawsuit, from Stoker's Dracula. A cinemaphiles must see both for the quality of the terror and the history. On DVD

[> Five vampire movies everybody else missed (and not without reason) -- cjl, 14:48:10 09/18/03 Thu

OK, here's a few from way out of left field, including two "vampire movies that aren't really vampire movies"...

1. Vampire's Kiss - starring Nicolas Cage as a sleazy literary agent who falls in with a mysterious woman (Jennifer Beals!) and becomes convinced she's turned him into a vampire. Is he or isn't he? Doesn't matter much, as Cage flings himself into one of his patented over-the-top performances as his character slips off the deep end. Off-beat, to say the least.

2. Rabid - written and directed by David Cronenberg (Dead Ringers, the Dead Zone, The Fly). Porn queen Marilyn Chambers develops what can only be described as a "vampiric phallus" underneath her armpit. Wackiness ensues. As usual with Cronenberg, not for the squeamish.

3. Blacula - I'm stunned no-one mentioned this one earlier. A blaxploitation classic: the late, great William Marshall as an African prince turned by the Dark Master (bator) himself. Marshall brought an astounding amount of dignity to the role. Sequels ("Scream, Blacula, Scream") didn't do so well with the dignity.

4. The Vampire Lovers/Countess Dracula (1970 & 1972). Soft-core Hammer horror, starring the delicious Ingrid Pitt. Much blood and heaving bosoms. Mmmm...cheese.

5. Billy the Kid versus Dracula (1965). Featuring John Carradine as the Count. Has to be seen to be believed--but I wouldn't blame you if you decide to take my word for it and skipped the movie.

[> [> Re: Billy the Kid versus Dracula - One of the Classics! Not to be Missed! -- Brian, 14:58:38 09/18/03 Thu

[> [> Re: Five vampire movies everybody else missed (and not without reason) -- BuffyJunkie, 15:34:31 09/18/03 Thu

Here's an interesting variant on the vampire mythology, if the standard western interpretation of the handsome and seductive vampire is getting somewhat dull.

Just saw it last night, movie called Vampire Hunters, Hong Kong horror. Unfortunately the movie fails to transcend certain cultural barriers; for example, vampires are rotting undead things who fly and use martial arts, and their zombie servants hop everywhere - in chinese mythology apparently that's what zombies do. Which of course, if you aren't used to that sort of thing, is probably the funniest thing you'll see in a while.

Not the greatest movie ever, in fact if you aren't a fan of hong kong horror it will probably suck, but like i said its a different perspective on the somewhat overdone western vampire mythology.

[> Quickly -- Celebaelin, 16:51:00 09/18/03 Thu

Currently showing, as I type in fact, on Sky Movies Max 2 in the UK 'Wes Craven's Dracula' (2000) with Nathan Fillion (Caleb) in the role of - Father David!

The web entry I found gives the title as Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000 but who's agruing. Back to the film for me, interesting so far - in more ways than one.


[> Re: Good vampire/werewolf movies? -- Amkath, 19:20:23 09/18/03 Thu

I recommend a series of movies (made for TV, I think) called Kindred, The Embraced. (There are 8 episodes on a two disk DVD produced by Artisan.)

The vampires belong to clans, with each clan having distinctly different characteristics and attitudes. It's well written with plenty of twists and turns, intrigue, and political infighting between the clans.

(As a side note - one of the main characters, Cash, had a small role on Buffy in "The Zeppo".)

[> Vampire in Brooklyn....well, I liked it.... -- ahira, 22:10:06 09/18/03 Thu

[> may I add . . . -- purplegrrl, 14:13:15 09/19/03 Fri

"Love Bites" starring Adam Ant

It's sillier than "Love at First Bite" but fun. Ant plays a vampire who wants to become human again.

"Vampires" co-starring Jon Bon Jovi

Have't seen it yet - unfortunately for all the hype it got when it was being made, I think it went straight to video.

[> one I liked -- tost, 21:45:12 09/21/03 Sun

"Nightlife" with Maryam D'Abo is a vampire movie I liked a lot. It leans toward the lighter side but D'Abo is lovely, Ben Cross is scary, and you get to see Keith Scz... Skc... (the guy who played Holtz on Angel) as a rare good guy hero.

[> [> That's a good one. -- Arethusa, 07:32:45 09/22/03 Mon

And funny. Didn't D'Abo say something like, "I used to be a monster. Now I just have a disease!"

[> "dracula's daughter" (& similar films?) -- anom, 08:32:01 09/22/03 Mon

I remembered the title as "Daughter of Dracula," & it may be available under that title as well. I saw it a very long time ago, & my memory of it is vague, so I checked IMDb & found this description: "Prof. Van Helsing is in danger of prosecution for the murder of Dracula...until a hypnotic woman steals the Count's body and cremates it. Bloodless corpses start appearing in London again, and Hungarian countess Marya Zaleska seeks the aid of Jeffrey Garth, psychiatrist, in freeing herself of a mysterious evil influence. The scene changes from foggy London back to that eerie road to the Borgo Pass [in Transylvania]..." I remember it as very atmospheric & taking rather a sad, maybe even sympathetic attitude toward the title character's situation. And it seems to me this was one of a small subgenre of "sequels" to "Dracula."

It was made in 1936 w/a cast that included Otto Kruger as Dr. Garth, Gloria Holden as the Countess, & Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing. If anyone can expand on this film & others like it, please do.

[> [> The Wolfman, 1941? -- MsGiles, 08:59:09 09/23/03 Tue

released by Universal, dir George Waggner, writing Curt Siodmak. Cast include Claude Rains, Lon Chaney jr as the man who gets furry.

Full of 40's atmosphere - those studio sets make everything seem so surreal and claustrophobic. This isn't a bad film, in spite of the tacky posters (no, no, not you guys, don't hit me, I mean the ones with the furry fellow and the fainting girl). To some extent it's of historical interest, but if you can get over (or like, even) the melodramatic atmosphere there's a thoughtful and engaging level to it. If you like James Whale's Frankenstein, I'd recommend this.

I haven't seen the 'sequels' 'House of Frankenstein' (1944) and 'House of Dracula' (1947) which combine Universal's three top monsters, but they sound a hoot. As Jeremy Lund says on the IMDB of HoF:

After escaping from an asylum the mad Dr. Niemann (Boris Karloff) and his hunch back assistant (J. Carrol Naish) revive Count Dracula (John Carradine), the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney Jr.) and the Frankenstein monster (Glenn Strange) in order to extract revenge upon their many enemies.

[> [> [> i can't believe nobody mentioned that yet! & i can't believe... -- anom, 11:23:12 09/23/03 Tue brought it up & didn't mention Maria Ouspeskaya in the cast, as a gypsy who reveals to poor, tormented Lawrence Talbot the fate to which her son Bela's (yup, & played by Bela Lugosi) bite has consigned him--& pronounces the last word on both of them: "De pat' you valked vass t'orny/t'rough no fault of your awn...." Don't think I'll ever forget that.

[> [> [> [> Re: And of course, the original Dracula: Ah, the children of the night. What music they make! -- Brian, 04:28:40 09/24/03 Wed

[> Did anyone mention The Addiction? -- Ponygirl, 14:18:33 09/22/03 Mon

Abel Ferrara-directed vampire movie starring Lili Taylor. I remember it as being a bit slow but I think it would be appropriate for the board - Taylor is philosophy student who becomes a vampire just as she has to defend her dissertation on the nature of evil.

[> [> but does she become an existentialist? -- MsGiles, 09:02:31 09/23/03 Tue

[> [> Re: Did anyone mention The Addiction? -- Malandanza, 10:17:52 09/23/03 Tue

I saw The Addiction and it was interesting -- another I saw about the same time was Nadia, also on the Independent Film Channel. An interesting movie whose title character was a little deranged. It's been a while since I've seen it, but I think Dennis Hopper played the vampire hunter.

Not a werewolf story, but the original Cat People was very good. Spooky without being gory.

[> [> [> You just reminded me of 'Martin' -- MsGiles, 02:57:04 09/24/03 Wed

Ah - another one just came back - 'Martin'. This incredibly bleak, but still dryly funny film made a big impression on me when I saw it uncountable years ago. On looking it up, I find it was made by the illustrious George A Romero, and I include Richard Shcheib's comments, much better than my half-rememberings:

But in 1976 came Martin which attempted what is the most potent cinematic deconstruction of the myth conducted to date. Martin is a remarkable film. It dismisses all the mythological elements of vampirism. The vampire in the film has no supernatural powers. It is able to go out in daytime. It lacks the raw animal magnetism of its cinematic forebears - it even gets an amusing speech bemoaning its lack of mind control abilities or any of the seductive powers of its cinematic counterparts. Martin, the vampire, appears as a weak, slightly autistic teenager - he is a rather pitiable creature who owes its ancestry more, if anything, to Norman Bates rather than Bela Lugosi. Any sense of him being evil exists only in the minds of the vampire hunters. And on the opposing side the requisite Van Helsing type is played as a close-minded religious extremist. A Catholic priest turns up but he is more interested in social services than spiritual issues, in fact appears somewhat perplexed when the vampire hunter raises the topic of metaphysics, although does at least offer an appreciation of The Exorcist (1973).

In fact the whole question of whether Martin actually is a vampire or not is left as an ambiguous one. Like the unjustly neglected Incense for the Damned/Bloodsuckers (1969), Martin makes the point that a vampire could just as easily be a sexually dysfunctional individual with a blood fixation. Or equally that Martin could simply believe he is a vampire because of the family's oppressive religious fixations. And the film never does confirm for us whether Martin really is a vampire or is just mentally ill, which makes it surely the first existential vampire movie.

(Richard Scheib 1996 on

[> and retro Hong Kong.. -- MsGiles, 03:24:15 09/23/03 Tue

Great lists, I've added loads to my wannasee collection
Couple more come to mind:

*Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires* (1974)
One of my all time camp Hammer favourites, only sadly missing Christopher Lee. Has Cushing though. An early kung fu/Dracula classic

* Mr Vampire* (1985)
Not crossover this time: hysterical Chinese hopping vampire comedy rivalling The Fearless Vampire Killers for speed and lunacy

more recently:

*Blood - the last vampire*
vampire schoolgirl demon killer anime with WW2 ambience, nicely paced and styled, seems like it needs further eps to develop

I liked Blade2 btw, so make of my taste what you will!

Attention Rob and other Xena-philes: Callisto on Angel? -- cjl, 09:29:44 09/18/03 Thu

Catching Up With Xena's Callisto
by Ben Katner

We thought we'd heard everything here at TV Guide Online. But then we rang up Hudson Leick, and dang if the former Xena: Warrior Princess villainess didn't prove us wrong in nothing flat. "I quit acting for about two years," the 34-year-old knockout tells us. Why on Earth? If ever a performer was born ready for her close-up, we'd have bet that it had to be her. So, what possessed her?!

"'What possessed you?!'" she repeats dramatically, then bursts into laughter. "I just wasn't crazy about the business. When you work, you're so lucky - I mean, only [a small percentage] of the Screen Actors Guild actually makes enough money to support themselves. I just didn't think that was what I wanted to do.

"But," she adds, "I was wrong."

We could've told Leick that. Whether the veteran of Melrose Place and Touched by an Angel is throwing herself into another of what she calls the "slutty, bitchy bimbo" roles on which she's built her golden rep, or revealing unimagined fragility in a less aggressive part, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more compelling screen presence.

Nonetheless, before getting back into the swing of things, the Ohio native set in motion Plan B: a new career as a yoga instructor. "I'm certified three times over," she says proudly. "It doesn't pay the bills quite the same [as acting], but it's very, very cool." On the rare occasions when she's recognized, she feigns ignorance. "People will be like, 'You look just like that girl on that show. Shoot... what was her name?' And I say, 'Really? What show?'"

If Leick's wish (and, for that matter, ours) is granted, soon all the world will know what show she's on. Although she comes back to the fore this fall, guest-starring in the series premiere of Fox's Tru Calling, with Eliza Dushku, she's already got her eye on an even bigger prize: a gig on Angel, Dushku's sometimes stomping ground. "The same casting agency that hired me for Tru Calling [handles] Angel, and I really want to play a vampire," she teases. "So anything is possible."


[> My fingers are crossed so hard, they're turning blue. -- Rob, 09:51:06 09/18/03 Thu

Callisto on Angel? May be too much for me to handle!!!

I actually met Hudson at a Xena convention a few years back. She's gorgeous in person, and very funny. One guy brought a road sign that said "Caution! Falling Rocks!" for her to autograph ("Xena" fans will of course get that joke). At the time, she was very excited about the possibility of her career taking off in an at (the time) upcoming film, Chill Factor with Cuba Gooding, Jr. *sigh*

Looking forward very much to seeing her on Tru...and she would make a FANTASTIC vampire! ME, take note!


[> She may have been born in Ohio... -- Sofdog, 19:19:54 09/19/03 Fri

...but she grew up in my hometown: Rochester, NY. And we claim her proudly!

I'm glad to see Hudson back in anything. That'll make her and Adrienne Wilkinson doing "Angel."

I wasn't going to bother with "Tarzan" till I heard Lucy Lawless will be a regular.

Ya wanna send a message? Try Western Union. -- shambleau, 12:11:51 09/18/03 Thu

I noticed in a thread below that KdS didn't like the ending of Ginger Snaps because the ending sent a conservative and sexist message. That got me to thinking that I've noticed that many times on this board and elsewhere. Some particular action of a Scoob sends the wrong message, such as Spike the attempted rapist being rehabilitated, or Buffy being interested in having a boyfriend, or Tara being killed. Not attacking KdS or anyone else for thinking the message being sent is important socially. But for me personally, I don't like messages. I like characters. They have to be real to me, that's all. The more complicated, rich and layered you make the characters, the less one single message applies and that's fine by me.

I like Morocco, for example. It's an old film with Marlene Dietrich (sp?). She's an independent woman who ends up following Foreign Legionnaire Gary Cooper into the desert and becoming a camp follower for him. I love that movie and the ending is fine with me because those two had to end up together. I buy that that character would do that. But, the message is one I disagree with. Doesn't matter. Artistic quality trumps my politics.

I doubt if everybody here agrees. Comments?


[> not mutually exclusive -- Miyu tVP, 13:16:05 09/18/03 Thu

no reason you can't have both. message and character. I would think a passionate, capable writer would have no trouble entwining both. The great weakness is to put message BEFORE character, because then no one cares/believes what's going on.

Plus, even Joss rather clearly wants Buffy to have a feminist message. It's part of the package.

However, it does get silly sometimes with the political correctness. Going back to Joss again, he seemed very miffed at the thought that he *couldn't* kill Tara because it wasn't "right." And it gets even more silly trying to apply anachronistic standards to movies made or set in the past.

Although-- my husband is a James Bond fan, and we were watching one of the older ones, and Bond is interrogating this woman, and slaps her upside the head, which made my knucles go white. And then 2 seconds later they start making out, which required every fiber of restraint in my being not to throw the TV out the window. But there again, the characters a utterly vapid, so maybe it supports your original point. That I can get past Spike's AR, but am nauseated by Bond's slap.

[> [> Re: not mutually exclusive -- shambleau, 19:17:27 09/18/03 Thu

Yeah, agree about the Bond (and Spike). A film that I'm perfectly fine with that's similar to the Bond is The Quiet American . I think that's it's title. John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in Ireland. He drags her around by the hair as part of their courtship, IIRC, and acts the perfect patriarchal pig after they're married. She's thrilled by it. and I believe that she would be.He's acting the way a man should act, in her eyes. So, no prob, even though the message I disagree with.

[> [> [> Re: not mutually exclusive -- Bronson, 14:58:52 09/19/03 Fri

You're thinking of The Quiet Man. The Quiet American stars Brendan Fraser and Michael Caine and also has slightly uncomfortable but realistic gender politics.

People get a bit more worried about TV than movies because of TV's intimate place in our homes and our culture. I think BtVS as a whole has a very positive message, made more interesting and real because not every character makes the "right" decision every time.

[> Ginger Snaps -- KdS, 15:03:03 09/18/03 Thu

The only reason I commented was because the rest of the film, and the publicity surrounding it, hyped its credentials as a portrait of female adolescence. Hence when it seemed to revert to older traditions in the last ten minutes it seemed a little off to me. I wouldn't have drawn attention to it if it hadn't seemed at odds with most of the film.

Drusilla's Accent -- Claudia, 15:19:00 09/18/03 Thu

Why does Drusilla have a Cockney accent, when it was established in "Becoming, Part 1" that she came from a mining community?


[> Re: Drusilla's Accent -- KdS, 15:30:15 09/18/03 Thu

Was just about to reply to your previous topic when it got archived. Broadly speaking, anything about history or geography in BtVS or AtS has to be taken very broadly. Yes, the screen subtitle said "London". No, there aren't any mines in 19th-century commuting distance from London. Yes, Dru's costume when Darla points her out to Angel in Darla is much too ornate for her social class established in Becoming I. Yes, that is a really lousy attempt at a Cockney accent by JL. Don't get too worried about these things, you'll only drive yourself mad.

[> [> Re: Drusilla's Accent -- Claudia, 15:45:38 09/18/03 Thu

Oh. Okay. Like taking DB's Irish accent into account. Or the fact that Galway looked more like a quaint Irish village.

[> [> [> It's a TV show-- -- MaeveRigan, 08:37:58 09/20/03 Sat

Sometimes you just have to go with what you're given. They show you some cobblestone streets with a label on it saying "Galway, 1753"--that's what it is.

If they had the budget to recreate a convincing 18th century Galway, or to give David Boreanaz Irish elocution lessons until he sounded like an Irish version of Eliza Doolittle saying "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain," they would have done it, but they only had 6-8 days to write & film each episode, so there's not much point in agonizing over these things.

Liam was Irish. He came from Galway. Eventually Angel lost the accent--fanwank it any number of ways--the upshot is that we're all relieved! :-)

[> [> [> . . .is possibly a conscious choice -- Bronson, 14:29:35 09/19/03 Fri

Personally, I think JL just couldn't hold an accent very well. (So far as I can tell it's not a Cockney accent, just the American Actor's Generalized Working-Class British Accent.)

BUT it would be entirely in character that, having become a vampire, she would adopt a lower-class accent to fit in with an underworld (and probably more working-class) crowd -- a la Mick Jagger, who really comes from too much money to talk like he does. Now that I think of it, so does Spike.

Of course, this excuse falls apart if pre-vamp Dru sounds like she comes from Manchester. I can't remember if she does.

[> It's not Cockney -- Susan, 18:30:40 09/19/03 Fri

Drucilla's accent is a Northern English accent, as though she were from the countryside up near Essex.

Doesn't explain why she's in London, of course, but it's a fairly upper- middle-class accent, so it works with the clothes.

Didn't Juliet Landau study acting in London? Obviously she'd do her homework.

Top 5 most underrated episodes -- Nino, 17:23:57 09/18/03 Thu

Pretty self-explanatory...these are the eps I feel either get a lot of crap and don't deserve it, or eps that people like but kinda get ignored in the grand scheme of chronological order...

1.)"Lie to Me" This is such an awesome Joss ep, I don't see why we don't hear more about it. I think it is the first sign that "Buffy" is going to be getting a lot darker in season 2 (a prelude to "Innocence" and "Passion"). It is far better then "When She Was Bad" and "Anne" and yet we hear far more about these other 2 eps (possibly because they are openers).

2.)"Choices" SAY you like "Choices"...but is it on your top 20 list? (ok, maybe its not on mine either...but I might find a way to work it in). Willow is just fabulous in this ep. The Willow/Faith stuff is gold, and it displays the "Buffy" philosophy that the ends do not justify the means...that valuing one human life is as important as protecting many. Plus...Oz knocking over Wesley's vase thing...priceless. Also...I love the Willow/Buffy scene at the end when Willow decided she wants in the good fight..thats why I love her :) One more also...the Mayor's assesment of B/A...right on, man.

3.)"Beer Bad" I know its the most hated ep of Buffy ever, but I have to defend this, and Tracy Forbes. It's funny! Lighten up! So it's kinda obvious...ok....I still laughed! And I cannot get over how fabulous Willow is in it...her Parker scenes and her "I don't think this is entirly on the up-and-up"...great stuff! Giles...funny...Buffy's club...funny...hehe

4.)"Pangs" Here's another funny one that I hear people speak badly about. I honestly, cannot watch this ep without laughing. Spike is awesome...and AGAIN, Willow's awesomeness makes it great. Just a fun ep. Yeah, the Angel stuff was dumb, and distracting...but Buffy trying to cook and Anya being a new it!

5.)"Normal Again" People didn't like some inconsistencies in this ep...thought it was too dark...I was floored when I first saw it. I had taped it for my sister and dad and watched it right after my first viewing...I thought it was some of the most powerful stuff of the season, and the show.

Honorable Mention: "Triangle", "Buffy vs. Dracula", "Primeval", "Older and Far Away"

What I've found as I've been re-watching my season 4 DVD...its good shit! I don't see why everyone hates on season 4...I've been thouroughly entertained thus far...


[> The love for Season 4 -- faithforeverfan, 17:39:14 09/18/03 Thu

I will totally agree w/you on this, there are a TON of great stuff in this season. I mean the whole faith/buffy switch. Hush, Fear itself. You are right alot of people give this a bad rap but I think it's pretty good stuff. I think it's because of the character of Riley, who actually I like. I'm not afraid to admit it. He is what Buffy wanted for so long, but couldn't really afford in her life because it wouldn't fit. The clean-cut boyfriend. Anyways it just has alot of good stuff and sharp writting in it.

[> [> Verily, Season 4 rocks -- Gyrus, 06:24:05 09/19/03 Fri

Season 4 was when BTVS really began to develop its artistic side, with "Hush" and "Restless".

Also, sending Buffy to college was an act of courage on ME's part. Other shows would have found a way to keep Buffy in high school forever (a la FAME) for fear of ruining the basic premise of the show. Instead, the writers embraced the new setting completely and wrung a lot of character development from it.

Further, although a lot of folks didn't like the Initiative plot, it was, in a way, inevitable. Surely, if there were real vampires and demons, the government would be very anxious to find ways to exploit them. I was glad to see BTVS deal with that, and I liked the whole rationalism-versus-mysticism theme that developed from it.

Finally, S4 has the least angst of any season of BTVS. No major characters die; Buffy has fully accepted the role of Slayer but hasn't yet grown tired of it; and above all, there is very little Angel-related heartbreak.

In conclusion, Season 4 rocks. Any questions?

[> [> The good and bad of season 4: it's not Riley -- dmw, 07:34:23 09/19/03 Fri

I like Riley in s4 and there are some great episodes, including three of my top 10 (Hush, Who are you?, NMR.) However, I look for a season arc first, great episodes second, and season 4's arc isn't as strong as its predecessors or its immediator successor's arcs. It's not just that the arc doesn't flow well, but also the lack of a great villain, which is especially disappointing in a season with so many excellent minor villains from Sunday to the Gentlemen to Maggie Walsh.

[> [> [> Re: The good and bad of season 4: it's not Riley -- Sofdog, 19:31:39 09/19/03 Fri

What irked me about S4 was that it could have kept the same basic premise as the high school years if it had worked more on the college themes. Even with The Initiative as the BB, it could have done better by its one-offs.

We had the initial culture-shock (The Freshman), the bad roommate (Living Conditions) and the meat-market guy (Parker). Even though there was a frat episode in the early years, they could have done something interesting with the girls Rushing. Couldn't there have been some late night term paper madness? Some horribly drugged No-Doz? There was so much more that could have been done to explore college.

Of course, TYG/WAY was a star. It had a Slayer battle. Hush was awesome. And frankly, I still love Primeval. There started to be a smooth transition into college and then it just went off the chart.

I wish Goodbye, Iowa had never happened. Ugh. And of course, WTWTA.

[> [> Re: The love for Season 4 -- leslie, 12:15:24 09/19/03 Fri

For me, the stretch from The Initiative to Hush is the best continuous chunk of BtVS ever.

The Initiative is the episode that brought me back to BtVS after having zoned out of Season 3--in retrospect, I like Faith, but initially I really couldn't stand her, and there was a bit too much teenagey angst between Buffy and Angel for my taste. Spike's "rape" of Willow was just brilliant--hilairous, disturbing, scary, all at once. Willow's mopey assistance to Riley's courtship was also lovely.

I, too, love Pangs, probably because I am equally obsessed with cooking a proper Thanksgiving dinner (those who do not use my mother's stuffing recipe are simply barbarians, and indeed, if I go somewhere else for Thanksgiving on the day, I usually cook myself a meal with all the proper recipes and ingredients later that weekend--that's how obsessed I am). And you gotta admire how active Spike can be while tied to a chair. There's also one shot, during the fight scene, where you can see James Marsters visibly trying to prevent himself from cracking up, which cracks me up.

Something Blue proves that, contra the adage that history repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, in the Buffyverse, history repeats itself, first as farce and then as tragedy. And the scene where Riley finds Buffy mooning over wedding dresses is the one scene where he gets to be truly funny. Plus I love Sarah's delivery of the line, "You'll really like him. Well, no-one really likes him, but...."

Hush, well, what can you say? Another one that touches my folklorist's heart. Man, these guys can make up convincing folklore!

[> Agree about season 4... -- Alison, 18:04:54 09/18/03 Thu

It's striking how much better it seems when one owns the DVDs. The season is funny, each character is dealt with well. None are forgotten, or lack development, and the arc, however entertaining it was or wasn't, is very well planned out. The entire season does a wonderful job of subtly exploring Buffy's primal roots (well, its subtle up until Restless)...and when veiwed in one sitting, the Initiative arc comes off better. So I'm with you on the Season 4 love. And I adore Beer Bad. I will be it's eternal champion...'cmon people, admit your Beer Bad love. It doesn't exaclty rival OMWF or anything, but its hilarious and important to Buffy's character.

[> [> Dare I say...season 4 is BETTER then seasons 6 and 7? -- Nino, 18:49:05 09/18/03 Thu

My ranking of seasons (although it sometimes changes) is as follows:


But as I rewatch season 4 I cannot speak enough about how great the character development is...I really do like it...what are some arguments for and against rearranging 4,6, and 7? These 3 seem to take people's bottom spots...why is that, and what makes them better/worse than each other?

[> [> [> adding to the season 4 love -- Corwin of Amber, 19:50:49 09/18/03 Thu

Season 4 ends with Restless, after all...

[> [> [> Say it. It's true -- Masq, 20:12:10 09/18/03 Thu

Can't say I fond of Season 4 at the time, but watching the DVDs now, I like it much better.

And much better than 6 and 7.

Beer Bad: frat boys as cave men!
Wild at Heart: classic episode. Werewolves! Sex! Moral Ambiguity! Pain and sorrow!
Hush: One of the truly scary Buffy episodes. One that I show non-Buffy fans to show off Joss' genius
This Year's Girl/Who Are You: Faith. 'Nuf said
New Moon Rising: Willow and Tara. Yeah, baby.
The Yoko Factor: Riley and Angel cat-fight. Meooow.
Restless: Enough metaphorical material to chew on long after Buffy is over.

[> [> [> Re: Dare I say...season 4 is BETTER then seasons 6 and 7? -- celticross, 21:13:32 09/18/03 Thu

Definitely. Up until things started getting unpleasantly messy with Season 6, I thought Season 4 was the bottom of the barrel. I'm still no fan of the Buffy/Riley ship, and doubt I ever will be, but after Seasons 6 and 7, Season 4 just keeps looking better.

My own rankings:
1 / 4 (because I honestly can't choose)

[> [> [> [> I must say...I still like season 6 alot...and I'm 7 hater either...i just love em all! -- Nino, 22:37:20 09/18/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> *not a 7 hater :) -- Nino, 22:40:42 09/18/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> Have to agree, with you Nino :) -- jane, 00:18:37 09/19/03 Fri

I really can't pick a favourite season. There are episodes in every season I like better than others,of course, but there isn't one season I don't love. I know a lot of people found season 6 dark and depressing, but I actually think season 5 is equally dark. But the darkness is such an important part of Buffy's story; it's the struggle to get through the darkness to the light at the end of Chosen that makes her such a compelling figure to me.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> The relative darkness of S5 vs S6 -- Gyrus, 07:15:49 09/19/03 Fri

I know a lot of people found season 6 dark and depressing, but I actually think season 5 is equally dark.

I absolutely agree. Season 5 is where Buffy's Slayer Death Wish (TM) really comes to the fore. S5 also brought us the death of Buffy's mom and the introduction of Dawn, who was a source of angst on several levels. Not only was she angsty herself, and not only did she provoke similar levels of angst in Buffy (including guilt-induced catatonia), but she created a split between Buffy and her friends that never completely healed. "Primeval" had all the Scoobs getting together in a big way at the end of S4; "The Gift" had Buffy threatening her friends with death (if they got near Dawn) at the end of S5. I found that as depressing as anything I've seen on BTVS.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm weird. I prefer the dark seasons. My top five underrated. -- s'kat, 08:24:34 09/19/03 Fri

The seasons of BTVS that were the most compelling to me were in interchangable order depending on mood: 5/2/6.
I found the arcs in these seasons the most ambitious, the most compelling, the least predictable, and the most risky.

3/4/7/1 arcs didn't do much for me. I loved the stand-alones in those seasons though. (Several of which were very dark).

I didn't hate any of them, or I wouldn't have them on tape.
Shows I hate, I don't watch - why waste time on a tv show you hate? Life is too short.

Same with ATS. My favorite episodes and seasons on ATS are the dark ones. S4 is my favorite season, then comes the Darla arc in S2, Wes/Holtz/Justine arc in S3 and Faith arc in S1.

Top 5 underrated episodes? Hmmmm. This changes depending on mood.

1. Never Kill A Boy on The First Date (lots of people seem to hate this episode for some reason - but it establishes how impossible it is for Buffy to date and it also is the first episode to give us background on Giles.)

2. Teacher's Pet (also hated - but it introduces the idea that Buffy could be good at school, Xander's crush on Buffy has more to do with Xander than Buffy and Xander's desires for validation - a desire he pays for, and the whole male fear of being swallowed by the goddess mythos...cliche? maybe. But hardly as bad as people think.)

3. Wrecked (so many people hate this episode. Yet it does really good job of showing the darker sides of both Buffy and Willow. The fact neither of these girls want to deal with the responsibilities of their lives and both crave escape. The last scene where Willow admits to a desire to be "super-girl" instead of ordinary Willow - while Buffy oddly enough seems to want the opposite is worth a re-watch.
So are: the scene with Willow and the empty dress (symbolising how Willow depended on Tara and why that relationship was a far cry from anything remotely close to healthy), or the scene in the crypt where it becomes apparent that no matter how much she wants to deny it, Buffy depends on Spike for more than just the sex/abuse and by entering into that relationship - she may be damaging the better one (the friendship and assistance one). And the beginning sequence with the metaphor of the building falling down and how Buffy's war with her own destructive desires is metaphorically symbolized by the tug/pull with Spike.) People hate the episode for "magic as crack" yet they miss out on some of the cool metaphors.

4. Where The Wild Things Are (so many people despise this, yet, like the equally underrated Goodbye Iowa and The I in Team - it does push the characters in some interesting directions. It's the first time we have the two demons chat and it's an interesting chat - they are discussing how they can't maim and kill, how much they miss it, yet when they do find a way in which they could both still do it? They back off. Spike also considers helping the Scoobs instead of increasing their difficulties. We also get a bit of Giles' internal angst.)

5. Doomed (the hatred for this episode reminds me of S3's Bad Eggs, people hate the plot, yet the plot in Doomed is the least important part of the episode. The plot doesn't matter. It's not a "plot driven" episode. The plot is secondary in this episode to the characters, which is an interesting risk. In this episode - they explore the internal securities of three characters: Spike, Xander, Willow. The side-kicks. Willow first through the finding of the body at the party and the feeling of not fitting in.
Xander through his odd jobs and roommate status with Spike, Spike through his inability to defend himself which makes him suicidal.)

Honorable mention: Him, this episode does a great job of metaphorically describing all of Buffy's love relationships and why the girl is unbaked cookie dough. It also does a good job of exploring the Dawn/Buffy relationship from another angle - Dawn's envy/jealousy of Buffy and her mixed feelings regarding Spike and Xander and Anya and Willow.
The episode in my humble opinion is actually one of the better ones in S7, yet most people hate it.

My rankings of the seasons are:

5, 2, 6, 4/3 (tied), 7, 1 BTVS

4, 3, 2, 1 (ATS)

And I'm one of those crazy people who actually liked:
Buffy vs. Dracula, Triangle (hilarous), Him (also hilarous in places),Family, and Pangs. Loved all of them.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Fabulous! Much agreement for "Him" and "Wrecked" -- Nino, 08:40:52 09/19/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Very interesting list -- shambleau, 11:11:54 09/19/03 Fri

I agree on almost all of your picks, although I don't think NKABOTFD and Teacher's Pet rise above mediocrity (in Buffyverse terms- good in tv terms though). Still, not worthy of hate.

As for Doomed, I have really mixed emotions. After Hush, anything was going to suffer in comparison, so some of the initial negative reaction was from that. In addition to the plot, though, the Buffy/Riley romance fizzled out here. Buffy's sudden about-turn after giving a lot of good reasons why things were inevitably not going to work seemed unmotivated given the lack of chemistry so abundantly on display here and in such contrast to the real sparks in Hush. People felt that an unreal relationship was being jammed down their throats.

On the other hand, the ending of Hush, where they couldn't talk and their lack of chemistry in Doomed now look prescient. Doomed is exactly what they were, from the beginning. So, it's looking better to me.

Agree on all the other eps. A lot.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The relative darkness of S5 vs S6 -- dmw, 10:30:37 09/19/03 Fri

I agree that s5 is at least as dark as s6. Season 2 is at least that dark as well, and seasons 2 and 5 are two of my favorites. The problems with s6 were other than its darkness.

[> [> Cave Buffy Good! -- shambleau, 18:52:19 09/18/03 Thu

Mmm, Cave Buffy... Okay, back now.

Nobody mentions how hot Cave Buffy was. I can't be the only one who thought so. This has moved from one of my most-hated eps to one of the ones I enjoy most. My problem with it at first was the whole 100,000 BC Raquel Welch and Ringo Starr (I think they were both in that movie) aura. I don't think people back then went "Where girl go?" or dragged people by their hair and acted like monkeys. Now I just pass it off as the bartender's shaman relative's idea of a joke. Or maybe his idea of what cavemen would be like based on some crappy movie. Once you do that, it's a lot of fun. They're metaphorically supposed to represent the id, not be an accurate portrait of Neanderthals anyway.

I agree on Pangs too. I like it better than Something Blue to tell the truth. Buffy seems totally in character there. In Something Blue, she's in full-on sorority girl mode once Spike proposes, while Spike is still Spike. I just don't believe that she would react like that, so it lessens my enjoyment of the ep. When she's taunting Spike with her neck earlier in the ep, though, it's another of her sexiest moments and in character all the way.

[> [> [> yay for season 4 love! -- Nino, 19:11:01 09/18/03 Thu

[> [> Season 4 is...foamy! -- Valheru, 02:33:59 09/19/03 Fri

The Initiative arc sucked. Season 4 was not the Initiative arc.

The first part of Season 3 had to live in the shadow of Season 2, but was able to come into its own with stellar standalones and the compelling Faith arc. Season 4, however, had to live in the shadow of the previous three years. Not an easy task.

I think many people had gotten so used to strong seasonal arcs that when the Initiative arc fell apart, the season was written off as bad. But in retrospect, Season 4 wasn't really about the arc anyway. It was the standalones where the true greatness lay (lie? I can never remember).

We had Hush, of course, and the meditative meanderings of Restless. But there was also Fear, Itself, a haunted funhouse of multicolored terror and Stephen King-ian comeraderie. Following it, perhaps unfairly, was the two-faced drunk Beer Bad, an episode that when it was bad, it was really bad, but when it was beer, it was mighty foamy. And then came Wild at Heart, an uncomfortable tingle of regret and sorrow, the show that ripped Oz away with all the thank-God-it-was-quick pain of a leg wax (or so I'm told).

Before Family put itself in words, Pangs revealed it to us in fact. It was a family we tuned in to see each week, be they immediate, or distant relatives in L.A., or adopted ragamuffins just looking for a little stray blood--and yes, they invited Anya too. And let us give thanks, to family, to friends, to funny syphilis, to not being evil, to condensed milk and frozen peas, to telephones in a siege and bicycle rescues (and again, to not being evil), to conquering nations, to undoing bears, to the recollection of old times, and finally, to little Pilgrim dolls with Shumash arrows in them.

Something Blue. I never have quite gotten the hang of Something Blue. Funny? Yes. But beyond the five minutes of Willowage, I don't see much of a point (same reason I'm not ecstatic about Tabula Rasa). But oh, that funny...give me a spin-off with the Man Who Saw Too Little, the Demon Magnet, and Mr. and Mrs. Pile-of-dust, and I'll tune in as many times a week as my heart can take it.

Post-Hush, we had Doomed, which if nothing else, brings up the plural of "apocalypse" and the end of the world...again. And A New Man, Giles' wacky mid-life crisis, chock-full of Ethan Rayne, Fyarl translations, and Spike's idea of a getaway.

Faith, Faith, Faith...and the thing no one else would ever believe after seeing This Year's Girl and Who Are You? for the first time? That her next two appearances on AtS are even better. If ever there was a reason to wish someone to lose their job, it's Faith the Vampire Slayer.

It is beyond mortal understanding how I was somehow unimpressed with Superstar upon first viewing. I remember taping it on FX a couple of years ago, thinking, "Well, I gotta tape this one, just so I have all the episodes." Afterwards, I was practically in shock. "You fool! How could you not think Superstar was great?" Clearly, I must have been in some alternate dimension where Superstar was the story of some mouth-breather named Jonathan. I can't imagine anything more horrible (except shrimp, or maybe no shrimp). No, the world needs JONATHAN! JONATHAN! the superhero, JONATHAN! the movie-star, JONATHAN! the athlete, JONATHAN! the flame-thrower (but please, no Latin in front of the books). Oh, and all those Scooby people too.

Season 4 won't top my favorite seasons list (it's fourth, behind 2, 3, and 5). But so many of its episodes will rise to the top of my favorite episodes list. Strange logic, yes, but I think it reflects that of many others. It's not a bad season, it's a great season surpassed by seasons that were brilliant. It's not an 'F', it's an 'A', only humbled by the unexpected A+, A++, and A+++ seasons. So be loud! Be proud! Be Season 4!

**The preceeding was a message from the "Elect Season 4 for Governor of California" campaign. To make contributions, call 1-888-SEASON-4. Season 4 is a legal resident of California, despite having its hometown swallowed by a Hellmouth (it was Gray Davis's fault!). Thank you, and Jasmine Bless California.**

[> [> [> Great post, matey! -- Dead (and, perforce, speaking like a skeletal pirate) Soul, 01:53:13 09/20/03 Sat

[> Season four has been my favorite for years -- Cactus Watcher, 18:50:10 09/18/03 Thu

I like all of your 5 picks. I'm not crazy about "Buffy versus Dracula," It's pretty bad for a season opener, but I wouldn't call it a bottom ten episode either.

I have no idea why some people don't like Triangle. It would be in my top 20.

Re Pangs: I like the Angel stuff. I think the Willow bits were seriously annoying, but properly so. They're perfectly accurate in showing a know-it-all Freshman who has just discovered political correctness, and has just noticed her old heroes don't necessarily buy into it.

[> Another S4 vote: The importance of "Primeval" -- BMF, 21:40:41 09/18/03 Thu

My first real introduction to Buffy came in seeing a few bits of S4, so I kinda liked it all along. Enough to get me seriously watching in S5, anyways.
What fascinates me most, now that the series is over, is the parallel between "Primeval" and "Chosen": both are predicated on sharing power, both involve over-the-top final battles,and both involve a crucial, wowing spell. In fact, look at the scene right after the spell ends. When the camera pans around to Willow, she says, "That was...", and looks ready to fall over in ecstacy...and then the door opens and the demons barge in. If that isn't presaging the the "Chosen" spell, where Will finally gets to finish the line, then I don't know what it is.
That's my two cents.

[> [> oh--i thought you were gonna say... -- anom, 22:24:24 09/18/03 Thu

...Buffy's falling down when the joining spell ended in Primeval was like Willow's falling over after the Scythe spell in Chosen. But yeah...that too! Nice one!

[> I love season 4 ( and 5) -- luvthistle1, 04:38:41 09/19/03 Fri

i do not know how anyone can hate a season that gave us "something Blue" and "hush" and Angel -vs- Riley fight! ( ok Adam was kinda a lame big bad, but they made up for it)

* question: when was the first time someone mention "the things fall apart speech? and who?

I think the most underrated episode are:
1. "Him"- one of the best episode of season 7 and one of the funniest.

2. "The yoko factor" season 4- Great scoobie moments. plus the Riley vs Angel fight. and of course, Spike trying to be evil.

3. "Tough Love" season 5- MT/Dawn was great. she brought life to the character of Dawn

4. "Foreve"r season 5- MT and JM worked together. In season 7, it hint at "Why" spike felt compelled to help Dawn.

5. "All the way", and "Smash" season 6- Dawn first date/spike and Buffy first , well, you know.

All of them was great episode that I feel was underrated. actually season 6 was way underrated as a whole. but if you watch it a second time. it makes a lot of sense.

Answer: Riley gives the things fall apart speech to Buffy, in season 4 "doom". it was later echo by Tara to Willow in "entropy"

[> Choices -- dmw, 07:29:15 09/19/03 Fri

Actually, Choices is in my top 20, top 10 even.

1. Hush
2. Becoming
3. Dopplegangland
4. The Wish
5. The Body
6. Choices
7. Innocence
8. New Moon Rising
9. Passion
10. Who Are You?
11. Prophecy Girl
12. Graduation Day

See, it's right there at number 6.

What, you say there's 12 episodes plus some double-eps in my Top 10? Well, you're right. What can I say? I really like the show... (-;

[> Top 5 underrated episodes -- cjl, 07:32:06 09/19/03 Fri

5. Go Fish - Yes, the steroid steam and the evil coach are borderline X-files material, but there is so much going on with Xander in this episode that you can almost ignore the cheesiness of the MotW. Dedicated is the word: As has been mentioned before, we see Xander's dedication to the Mission in full bloom, a prime set-up for Becoming II. We get Cordelia's wonderful poolside "dedicated to the fish I love" speech. And we have the immortal Speedo Xander scene--a testament to Nic Brendon dedication to comedy.

4. Triangle - How can people not like this episode? It has Abraham Benrubi as Olaf, and he's hilarious. Anya and Willow are squabbling over Xander, the Magic Shop, and the lint collecting in the Summers washer dryer, and THEY'RE hilarious. Anya's "peer pressure" speech is one of my favorites in the entire series.

3. Living Conditions - For some reason, this episode has slipped through the cracks. I don't sense a lot of hate, but nobody's exactly giving it any love either. Didn't anybody out there have roommate problems in college (or afterward)? Once and for all, SMG proves she's one of the best comediennes on TV. If only her movies could be that funny...

2. I Robot, You Jane - This episode crackles with ideas, but the main hook is the blossoming relationship between Giles and Jenny and the doomed love lives of our main three Scoobs. The final scene still resonates.

1. Doublemeat Palace - the only episode to draw the wrath of Buffy's advertisers. In other words, Espenson did TOO GOOD a job describing the desperate, depressing, dead-end world of fast food. Could there be any higher praise?

[> [> Excellent choices, especially DP and IRYJ. -- dmw, 07:35:49 09/19/03 Fri

[> [> IRYJ...yeah, the final scene is an example of how every ep has a quality redeeming aspect! -- Nino, 08:51:19 09/19/03 Fri

[> [> DP is loved overseas -- shambleau, 11:31:44 09/19/03 Fri

I've seen it rated highly on French boards and on British ones. They dig the critique of Fast Food Nation.

Espenson's also trying something really daring here in tone. A comedy based on queasiness and depression, with everybody deadened by their jobs and speaking in monotones. It has a color scheme that is purposefully irksome, jokes about cannibalism and a lesbian cutting off the dick of a dickhead. Add in stuff on meat processing that makes it genuinely revolting, Buffy's sordid sex in the alley and it's all in a COMEDY. This is bold, original stuff, people. I think it's more admirable than enjoyable, but this is not the crapfest it's said to be by it's detractors.

[> [> [> Hey that's no dick, it's a Lamprey....<g>....;):):):):):) -- Rufus, 17:48:51 09/20/03 Sat

I love DMP, even Mr Rufus loves DMP. Anyone in a job they hate can identify to an extent with the monotony of Buffy's life in that episode. To be doing something that seems to take over your life enough that you have the smell that you hope but know everyone can smell was a great way to show just how much Buffy's new life sucked. Even sex with Spike had become the same monotony that working at the Doublemeat Palace had become. And talk about your job taking over your life....this one almost got Buffy that *Lamprey*.

[> [> [> Exactly. I've always called it a "photonegative" BtVS" episode.... -- cjl, 11:54:59 09/19/03 Fri

...mainly because Espenson reverses all of the standard BtVS gimmicks. Usually, the Scoobies' everyday life is contrasted with the moonlit environment and heightened reality of the graveyard. In Doublemeat Palace, it's the dull, work-a-day, indoor environment that looks surreal, with the fluorescent lighting, the zombie-like employees, and the accumulation of bizarre details (i.e., ear grease). The MotW, on the other hand, is the most stupefyingly banal creature in BtVS history--Wig Lady. The real villain, of course, is the Dead End Job, and this most terrifying of villains has our Slayer whipped by the end of the episode.

[> [> [> And how can you not love... -- Gyrus, 12:23:04 09/19/03 Fri

...the delightful creepiness of Philip the Lifer's little speech:

BUFFY: So, I guess we're gonna get kinda greasy, huh?

PHILIP: Mm. Skin ... hair ... eyelashes ... nostrils ... inside your ears... (looks at Buffy) You wanna look inside my ears?

I still think of that and laugh. And then shudder.

[> [> [> That's exactly why I liked it -- Masq, 12:27:59 09/19/03 Fri

The surreal, depressing tone and graphic images were deliberate. They were meant to invoke a particular response in the viewer. Some viewers might not have liked feeling that response, but that was the whole point.

When viewed with a larger eye, "Double Meat Palace" is a keen observation of what it's like to experience depression and what it's like to have a dead-end job.

[> [> [> Great episode, wrong show -- Valheru, 13:59:44 09/19/03 Fri

Doublemeat Palace is an excellent examination of real-world monotony. If I were an Emmy voter, I'd strongly consider giving it some attention. But as a BtVS fan, it doesn't seem to work very well in the context of the show. It's an episode that acts lost, as if it were expecting to appear on The X-Files and wound up on BtVS instead.

Judging it on its own merits, however, it is a gem. Espenson and the director (wasn't it Marck?) aim for the same numbing minimalism of Joss' The Body and hit very close to the mark. The uncomfortableness vibrates throughout, like an off-key song that you can't help but enjoy. Humor comes hesitantly--you're not sure whether to laugh or cry. Every scene is dulled brightness ("photonegative" is perfect, cjl), a matte picture that refuses to shine when you want it to. It's an episode that tastes sour, goes down sweet, and makes you want to vomit as soon as it's done.

[> [> Living Conditions -- Masq, 14:34:30 09/19/03 Fri

Gotta say I agree with you that IRYJ and Go Fish are underrated. One reason I like the "bad" episodes of seasons 1-3 better than the "bad" episodes of seasons 4-7 is because of everything that was going on in the story besides the dorky monster of the week. Xander's issues in Go Fish, the larger issue of love lives on the Hellmouth in IRYJ.

But "Living Conditions" was the reason for this post. You have the by-now classic "Buffy" scenario: Buffy versus the demon. Punching, kicking, Buffy snarking and punning. Bodies flying across the room.

And then we pull away from all the racket and mayhem to hear a boy say,

"Do you mind? People are trying to study! "

It's Buffy fighting her college roommate in their dorm room.

I defy anyone who has ever lived in a dormitory not to laugh out loud!

BtVS at the top of its allegorical game.

[> Parker, yet again -- skeeve, 07:59:28 09/19/03 Fri

Parker and Buffy did not have a one night stand.
Most criticism of Parker seems to assume that they did.
If true, Parker would not have deserved most of the criticism he got.

Sex with Parker had severe consequences that Buffy could not have known about and had no reason to suspect.
Parker knew about them and didn't tell Buffy.
Parker had sex with Buffy.
Parker is evil.
That the consequences were part of Parker's plan only made it worse.

After a mere one night stand, being abandoned by one's one time sex partner is not a severe consequence. It's also not a great surprise. The analysis above would not have applied.

[> Who hates "Family"? -- KdS, 08:57:34 09/19/03 Fri

It came up in this topic and the last one as an example of an under-rated or unjustly hated ep, but I've never seen anyone denouncing it. Wouldn't consider it a top twenty contender, but it isn't bad (as well as being the last ep with a wholly feel-good ending for absolutely ages).

[> [> Re: Who hates "Family"? -- s'kat, 09:54:46 09/19/03 Fri

I may have seen it denounced more on other boards, but in most lists, people put it in the 20 worst. And more often then not list it as one of Whedon's foul-ups.

Most of the complaints I've seen about it are regarding
Tara's redneck family which many posters view as cliche.
Also it's the beginning of Riley and vamp trulls arc which several people disliked.

Personally? I loved Riley and the vamp trulls arc. Was disappointed when they ended it with Riley leaving town.
I also liked the exploration of Tara. But I've noted several fans found the whole "witchcraft is evil" and "Tara is a demon b/c she's a witch" to be irritating. They may have also been disappointed that Joss did not make Tara some sort of demon as promised the previous season. (Another thing I actually liked about the episode.)

BTW - Tara was originally supposed to be a wood sprite, but they changed their minds.

[> [> [> Re: Who hates "Family"? -- shambleau, 10:46:44 09/19/03 Fri

I agree that it's been savaged a lot on other boards. In addition to the criticisms s'kat mentions, the floating at the end in particular was seen as cheesy by many. I didn't like the floating myself the first time, mostly because it looked like they were hanging on a wire, not floating. Others thought the sudden acceptance of Tara at the end by the Scoobies was plot-directed. All of a sudden, they're all lovey-dovey and a family. Again, it smacked of sentimentality to some and brought on the cheesiness complaints. I see it now as Buffy's alpha female being brought out by Tara's dad's attacks and perfectly in character.

I've noticed that these complaints are almost always when the characters receive some moment of grace, a respite from the vale of tears that is the Buffyverse. Amends got it especially, but I've seen the odd attack on The Prom too. In addition to the dislike of Kennedy, I think some of the negative comments on The Killer In Me might originate in that dislike of "sentimentality". When Willow morphs back from Warren after Kennedy kisses her, wasn't that criticised by some as cheesy? I'm too lazy to go back and find out.

I think Family is wonderful now, by the way, but I remember posting a "THIS is a Joss Whedon ep?!" attack on it at the time. Oh, the shame.

[> [> [> Re: Actually, I always thought Tara was a Wood Nymph -- Brian, 14:34:55 09/19/03 Fri

Tara seemed to be bursting with that all woman, part of the earth vibe, and

Didn't they do a Willow/Tara comic book about their encounter with wood nymphs?

[> [> The ultimate Scooby episode -- Valheru, 15:03:33 09/19/03 Fri

I don't get the Family hate, either. Sure, the Maclays aren't the most entertaining of clans, but I don't see them as very important to the episode. In fact, while Tara is the protagonist, I don't even think she is that important. No, the real story is in the title: Family.

For a good portion of the episode, Joss shows us the Scoobies as we have always seen them, interacting in commonplace ways. He even inserts the usual familial parallels (Xander as brother, Giles as father, etc.), intending us to see them as nothing more than parallels. "Nothing to see here," Joss seems to say, "Just the Scoobies being Scoobies."

Then Joss uses Tara and the Maclays as decoys. We see them in all their overpatriarchal ways, a family at its core like many others. Sure, they're a strange collection of cliches, perhaps too backwater as individuals for some tastes. But I think that's the point. Joss isn't just trying to say, "Here's the typical family. Look how horrible it is." He's saying, "Here's a family that isn't completely typical. It's got some oddity, some color, some flavor that makes it other than stale. And still, look how horrible it is." Joss is trying to give us as uncommon a common family as possible.

And while we, the audience, mumble to ourselves, "Families suck. I'd rather just have a bunch of friends like the the Scoobies," Joss reveals his truth. The Scoobies are a family. They have evolved beyond high school pals, beyond the thin familial parallels, beyond the bonds of friendship. They are connected beyond blood, by need, history, commonality, and love.

And Joss laughs at us as we smack ourselves in the forehead for not seeing it sooner. Over there, you have the Maclays: they share blood but not love, a strange group too common to realize what they lack, they are nothing more than relatives. But the Scoobies, a group even stranger, found connections the Maclays could not. They shared no blood, but everything else, and isn't that what makes a family?

Tara's party at the Bronze isn't any different than the other Scooby scenes in the episode. The Scoobies are pretty much the same people they were when the episode began. But we see them--as they must feel--differently now, as if they had learned something others may never know--as if everyone else was stuck on the ground, while they danced happily in the air.

So yeah, I think it's underrated. ;D

[> Awkwardness of Crossovers (thread highjacking) -- Robert, 12:11:24 09/19/03 Fri

Nino, this is a wonderful discussion thread. It ought to be raised a few times, as two or three days just isn't long enough to give it justice.

>>> ...these are the eps I feel either get a lot of crap and don't deserve it, or eps that people like but kinda get ignored in the grand scheme of things...

Lie to Me
, Choices, Bad Beer, Pangs and Normal Again were wonderful episodes. They each added something new to the mythology of BtVS. Of the five, my personal least favorite would be Pangs, mostly because the inclusion of Angel was terribly awkward. This leads to a point I would like to raise, and I may raise it again if it doesn't evoke sufficient discussion before the thread vaporizes.

I am, in general, not in favor of crossover episodes. In specific I may, or may not, like a particular episode. For instance, Fool for Love worked quite well and I enjoyed it a lot. In nearly every other case, the crossover event led to an awkward episode. By awkward I mean that something was forced by the story line, rather than natually flowing. I think the reason for this is because the crossover naturally leads to "a very special episode." The crossover event is a special gimick, even if the creaters (ie. Joss) did not necessarily intend that way. The broadcaster marketing types will certainly consider it so.

For all the similarities between BtVS and AtS, they are very different shows. Even the most minor crossovers tend to highlight these differences with a glaring spotlight. Take for instance Orpheus from last season of AtS. The flowing story line required Willow to be a different character than the story line of BtVS, or least a different stage in her development. Most of season 7 BtVS had Willow so unsure of her abilities to control her power as to paralyze her use of it. On the other hand, she waltzes into Orpheus, engages in major battle with whatever Cordelia became and restores Angel's soul. This may not rank with the resurrection of Buffy, but it was still a major use of her power. And yet, the story line in AtS required this of Willow just as the story line of BtVS required Willow to be something different. Then, of course, there was the disastrous scheduling between the WB and UPN networks, which was beyond the control of Mutant Enemy.

Returning to Pangs, we have the awkward situation of attempting to fit Angel into a story that clearly did not have a place for him. The story line is moving Buffy away from reliance upon and for Angel. The writers knew this, so they write Angel into the episode without having him interact with Buffy. But then, what was the point? The grandeur of season 2 came from the wonderful "chemistry" and interaction between Buffy and Angel. Bringing Angel back for one episode of non-interaction seemed to lack any purpose. The episode did not move either character to a new place.

Though it isn't technically a crossover episode, New Moon Rising has some of the same characteristics of a crossover episode. We have an old character return for one episode only. On the other hand, Oz wasn't an active character on another show, pushing his development into a different direction. New Moon Rising was a nice episode because it allowed Willow to finally move beyond Oz and consumate a relationship with Tara. It didn't do much for Oz's character, but then again we won't be seeing him again.

I could look at each individual crossover episode here, but I would rather others to post their thoughts within this discussion.

[> [> I would LOVE to see a thread with analysis of all B/A crossovers and their imact/quality! -- Nino, 12:44:40 09/19/03 Fri

[> Restless -- Robert, 12:30:09 09/19/03 Fri

This is the episode I find to be greviously under rated. I view Restless as a complex tone poem. Every time I rewatch it, there is more to see. In the context of seasons five, six and seven, many of the details in Restless take on new meaning and understanding. Restless also was the only season ender that did not serve to resolve the seasonal story arc. Primeval did that. This was a bold effort on Joss' part, even if it seems few viewers appreciated it.

[> [> I dunno...I think "Restless" gets sufficient love...its in my top 5 eps -- Nino, 12:46:11 09/19/03 Fri

[> [> Just in case I haven't said it enough -- Tchaikovsky, 15:09:28 09/19/03 Fri

Restless is the greatest of all Buffy episodes, and is the greatest episode ever on any Joss Whedon show, and will, I imagine, not be surpassed by anything on Season Five of Angel. And I'm looking forward to Season Five of Angel.


[> [> [> Hmmmm... -- Masq, 16:48:53 09/19/03 Fri

Restless goes on my list of "over-rated" episodes. I liked it well enough, but I guess I'm just not someone who is overly impressed by symbolism.

I'm one of those people who ponders the meaning of her own dreams for a minute or two, and then says, "and maybe it didn't mean anything. Maybe it's just the daily filing in the mixed-up filing cabinet that is my brain."

I like episodes that may have very plain meanings but are charged with emotional energy--Innocence, Passion, Consequences, Graduation Day II, Wild at Heart, Blood Ties, The Body, Dead Things.

[> [> [> [> Symbolism isn't just misspelt percussion playing -- Tchaikovsky, 17:02:03 09/19/03 Fri

I hope that title wasn't too adversarial. I don't seek to disagree with your opinions. De gustibus and all.

I'm a massive fan of all the episodes you've mentioned though.

One of the loveliest things about Buffy is that it's a broad enough church to cater for these straight ahead, aching emotional power episodes, and then provide bounty hunters like me with 'Nightmares', 'Fear', Itself', 'Graduation Day, One', 'This Year's Girl' and 'The Weight of the World', (OK, that last one's just to make the list longer- I was going to put 'Awakening' and then realised it was the wrong show).

Of course, one of your mentioned episodes, 'Consequences' begins with one of the most beguiling dream images of the entire canon, Buffy's drowning, being pulled down by Allan Finch.

It's the mix they did so well. Darn, I think I just realised Buffy's finished. Excuse me while I go and cry real and symbolic tears.


[> [> [> [> [> Yeah, I'm mostly having attitude -- Masq, 17:14:00 09/19/03 Fri

like I would if I were sitting amongst a bunch of cocky frat-boys in a pub arguing about St Thomas Aquinas and drinking beer.

I just get this feeling that a lot people say, "Oooh, I like Restless" because they think they're supposed to. Saying you like "the dream episode" with all its symbolism is supposed to be a mark of intelligence, when in fact a great many of the people who say this are actually gibbering Cro-mags when it comes to IQ points.

It's a pretentiousness thing.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Restless... -- Random, 20:19:15 09/19/03 Fri

...was not merely symbolic, but haunting. I have probably re-watched that one more than any other episode except, maybe, WSWB. Everything about it transcends mere symbolism to create an almost-pure integration of symbolic imagery and fascinating narrative.

I can understand why people don't like it. Okay, that's not true...I can't comprehend how people don't love this episode, but I grok their reasons.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Grokking -- Valheru, 21:34:20 09/19/03 Fri

I have nothing against people who dislike certain episodes. In this life, you're free--hell, it's your purpose--to like what you want and hate what you don't. You don't like Fear, Itself or Pangs? That's fine. More power and all that. I certainly don't like LMPTM and Tabula Rasa, and I appreciate it when people respect that.

Yet there are episodes, Restless chief among them, that I believe it extremely disappointing when people don't like them. No offense meant personally to those of you who aren't ecstatic about it, but if you don't get something profound out of Restless, then you've missed out on an experience in which the rest of us revel.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I never said I didn't like it -- Masq, 04:59:43 09/20/03 Sat

I like it just fine. It's interesting. I just called it "over rated". Some people, I think, rate it highly because they think they're supposed to.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hang in there Masq. I'm with you on this one. And I agree on your list above and the reason for it. -- Sophist, 09:27:04 09/20/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks! -- Masq, 09:57:37 09/20/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm ageeing with Masq on this one -- Doug, 15:49:23 09/20/03 Sat

[> Re: Top 5 most underrated episodes -- Valheru, 23:25:51 09/19/03 Fri

Took me a while, but I think I've finally decided on my list. The order is unparticular, but my comments, hopefully, are not.

1. The Weight of the World - Wedged smack in the middle of the fireworks of the Glory arc, this meditative piece is often overlooked. What could have been (and in many places, still is) a vapid filler of plot exposition is instead a powerful examination of grief and regret. The starkly disturbing images in Buffy's mind delicately paint her emotional scars, strokes that waft and dab with true artistic touch. It's Buffy's personal Restless, and an episode that touches me every time I watch it.

2. Family - What is it? How do you get it? How do you know you don't have it? What is the essence of family? After socking our knocks off in Hush and Restless, Joss takes a step back from high art and returns to the world of normal life, examining that which keeps the Scoobies together. Stripped away of castastrophe and supernature, we are reminded that the Scoobies are real people (figuratively), with all the joys, concerns, and responsibilities of any twentysomethings, shared with one another through an amazing bond. And while it is told through the eyes of a stranger, the Scoobies return the gaze and see a sister. "We are family," Buffy proudly announces. Of course they are. How could we ever have thought of them as anything but?

3. Amends - Joss' forgotten masterpiece is often dismissed for being too manipulative and cheesy. Then consider me manipulativated and cheesed. Amends is a fairy tale at heart, a Christmas (or Hannukah) fable about caring, forgiveness, and faith. It's about the strength of the human soul to put aside grievances and do the right thing. "Am I a thing worth saving? Huh? Am I a righteous man?" Angel cries. It's a question every character seems to be asking of themselves. And if any answer can be divined from the falling snow, I think it is this: we're all worth saving. In the larger picture, don't we all have Barry working for us? And right or wrong, it's a message that helps me sleep at night.

4. Real Me - Lost amidst the shock and horror of Dawn's unexpected introduction, one can find a rare exemplary episode from David Fury. He portrays Dawn not as a caricature of annoying youth, but as a fully-realized example of second children. And it is no small feat that Michelle Trachtenberg pulls it off. Is Dawn annoying? Yes, but in the way she should be. Yet past all the whining, the milk-snatching, the Harmony invite, and getting into trouble, we find a girl not unlike her sister, just a little softer around the edges. By the end of the episode, she is as real to the audience as any character. And unfortunately for Spike, so is Harmony.

5. Hush - I'm looking at you, Emmy voters!

[> [> Nice choices -- tomfool, 07:25:49 09/20/03 Sat

Agree all down the line and like your eloquent defenses.

I would somehow have to find room on my list for Lie To Me for all the reasons described above and The Harsh Light of Day. I see that one on both 20 Best and 20 Worst lists. Some see it as the start of a cringesome story line with Buffy moping about Parker. I think it's actually one of the most romantic BtVS eps ever. I pretty much bought Parker's bs, same as Buff. It was nice to see her so happy and allowing herself some hope and a little slice of normal life. Then the gut punch. I thought it was the perfect transition away from Angel. Also, check out the editing, direction and production values - this is BtVS at its peak. Integration of musical guest Biff Naked as a frat party band is also brilliant. Add in a little sizzling Spike/Harmony dialog, 'please remove your clothing now', Willow cuteness, a great fight scene and what's not to love.

[> [> [> Re: My favorite Buffy is Amends as I am a sucker for nearly anything Christmas -- Brian, 14:53:42 09/20/03 Sat

Plus the confrontation scene between Angel and Buffy is an emotional ripper!

A writer's question -- Cactus Watcher, 06:46:25 09/19/03 Fri

I'm gathering ideas for a novel, the hero of which is a woman with a somewhat grating personality. I am concerned that readers may simply hate her guts and reject the story all together. What I would like to know is if there are some definable criteria why people passionately dislike characters like Kennedy and Sam, or if it's an undefinable combination of traits that rub the wrong way. Personally I find both Kennedy and Sam intriguing, but I'm not out to defend either today. Any help would be appreciated.


[> Re: A writer's question -- Darby, 07:35:26 09/19/03 Fri

If you're worried about the Kennedy / Sam effect, don't set up a core of likeable characters first and then toss your heroine into the mix after several chapters - but that would be difficult in a novel, wouldn't it?

I suppose I should say that I virtually never read novels, or haven't in years - I've got about 2 meters of various magazines to catch up on, so a novel is just too much elsetime (except for Coraline and The Screwtape Letters, which were quick reads). My replies are going to be more in tv terms, but some of the rules apply both places, and I do remember how novels work. I think.

I'm trying to think of examples of "unlikeable" heroines, and all I can think of is guys - Tony Soprano, Mackey on The Shield, - who don't really count, because their personalities are attractive but their actions are reprehensible. We follow them because we like them, and feel a bit guilty about it - a very neat trick for a writer to pull off.

Does Buffy of Season 6 & 7 count? Dunno, but she turned distant, so it probably doesn't just based on that.

I guess part of it comes down to what you want your novel to do - what role does the heroine play, and is it important to like her as long as the reader cares about what's going on? An attractive lead is an obvious narrative draw, but I don't think a novel can be successful (and for me, that would actually amount just to having folks who start to read it keep reading through to the end) without a powerful narrative draw. You could make a case for Season 7 having lost much of its draw - both the arc plot and the characters largely floundered, and I found myself coasting along on inertia and a hope for recovery. Maybe tossed into a powerful narrative, Sam and Kennedy would have been less irritating. Personally, I found Sam and Kennedy more device than character (I honestly believe that Kennedy was cast as a possible spin-off lead, and if they had built the character more carefully with that in mind it could have worked), more distracting than engaging, but I really didn't dislike either one of them.

Without a character to care about to draw you along (and how likeable was Sherlock Holmes, really?), you have to dip into some other story element. Plot, peripheral characters, even background detail or a great villain can keep a reader on the trolley. If there is negativity in the lead character, you need to worry about it alienating the reader beyond caring.

Funny can help, too. A lot.

Was that any use at all?

[> [> Re: A writer's question -- CW, 09:51:57 09/19/03 Fri

I have to agree that some of it seems to be a group dynamic that these character upset. Cordy is hateful and hated by the characters at times, but generally accepted by the audience, because she's part of the scenery when Buffy moves in. Faith never really becomes part of the group until season 7/4 when all her dirty laundry is well known to the audience. Anya starts as something of a marginal character attached to Xander, and Tara one attached to Willow. They ease into the whole group through their relationships to those indiviuals. Sam, however, springs full blown onto the scene, and seems to take a leading role in the group she hasn't "earned" through our familiarity with her weaknesses and strengths. Similarly with Kennedy, she's a newbie, who people expect to take a secondary role until she proves her self. But, almost immediately she fits in more with the Scoobies than with the rest of the SIT's. Again people seem to be saying that we don't know Kennedy well enough for her to be in that position.

[> Re: A writer's question -- Gyrus, 07:35:57 09/19/03 Fri

This is an excellent question.

I don't really have an opinion on Sam, but I dislike Kennedy because she never seems to think about anyone but herself and her lover. Every time the group gets into an argument, Kennedy mindlessly takes Willow's side, regardless of the big picture. I also have the distinct impression that Kennedy considers herself better than the other SITs -- skipping out on the trip to the desert (apparently, she thought she didn't need a potentially life-changing spiritual experience as much as the others did), taking over the training session in which she called another SIT a maggot, etc.

Abrasive characters can still be likeable if their abrasiveness serves a higher purpose. Cordelia (in S1-3), Spike, and Anya are also ridiculously self-centered (or, like Kennedy, mindlessly devoted to a significant other), but they often speak truths or have insights that other, more diplomatic characters would not. In other words, their obnoxiousness is constructive, at least some of the time.

[> [> My memory of season 7 continuity is hazy . . . -- d'Herblay, 10:15:51 09/19/03 Fri

. . . but didn't she skip the desert trip specifically because she thought she did need a potentially life-changing, spiritual experience? If I recall correctly, she needed it real bad.

[> [> [> At the time Kennedy didn't put too much faith in magic -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:58:26 09/19/03 Fri

She told Willow as much, that she considered it "fairy tale stuff". So, when told about going into the desert for some ritual, she probably figured it wouldn't have any practical results (think along the lines of the members of Willow's Wicca group in college). It wasn't until the end of "Killer in Me" that she began to see magic in a more respect worthy light.

[> [> [> [> There are other forms of *magic* -- d'Herblay, 22:07:02 09/19/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> Now when you say *magic* you're talkin' spells and stuff, right? -- Ponygirl, blinking innocently, 08:55:22 09/20/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> "Magic." Hmm. Sounds a bit rude... -- dub ;o), 19:54:40 09/20/03 Sat

[> A difficult question -- s'kat, 08:43:04 09/19/03 Fri

An unlikable character can actually work pretty well in a novel - as either an anti-hero or even a heroine. The trick is to have something in that character that the reader can identify with and grab a hold of.

Example: Faith was certainly not designed as likable. She was full of attitude and became a villian. Same with Cordelia - who had a grating personality, was Queen Bitch. Yet fans loved these characters - why? They had depth.
Beneath the grate - was a vulnerability we could see and identify with. Buffy herself wasn't always that likable.
Very grating at times. Very self-absorbed. (See Get it Done,
When she Was Bad...numerous episodes...yet, we root for her.)

The trouble with Kennedy and Sam - is we don't get to know them. They are both introduced a bit like a "MAry Sue".
Sam actually isn't rude or grating at all. She's just too frigging perfect.

1. She can do anything Riley does, possibly better
2. She gives Willow advice on magic and is her instant best friend
3. Gives Xander advice on marriage
4. Gives Buffy romantic advice and is completely understanding
5. Can fight demons and was a member of Peace Corps so not into killing

The frigging woman had no faults. And the actress played her very one-dimensional. The Buffybot had more personality. So did Aprilbot. Sam wasn't grating so much as just blank.

Kennedy - well, I didn't mind Kennedy as much as everyone else. Actually I sort of liked her, so this is more difficult. Again from reading the boards? I think it's a case of MAry Sue syndrom. This character did everything.

1. She got to be second-in-command with Buffy training the potentials.
2. She's Willow's girlfriend
3. She's a slayer in training
4. She calls Buffy on stuff

Remember Tara was just Willow's girlfriend - she wasn't also a slayer in training, rich, etc...and she felt like an outsider. Kennedy is confident, so not an outsider, rich,
pretty, and perfect. And we never get below the surface.
We don't find out what makes her tick or why. She's undeveloped.

And it's not like they couldn't have developed her - look at Gwen on ATS who got developed in the space of three episodes. And we barely saw her. KEnnedy is in at least ten and we get very little. You need to give the reader something to latch onto - a reason to care. If the reader doesn't care at all about the character - they won't read.
Something I've discovered with my own writing.

John Steinbeck is actually pretty good at this - reading East of Eden right now and the lead character, Adam Trask, is a pious self-absorbed nit, yet I'm speeding through the novel that is over 500 pages in a week. (rare for me). Why?
Because it's not just about Trask and the writer punishes Trask for his weaknesses, the writer also gives him strengths that I can grasp hold of. I think that's the trick - give the reader something to bite into, something more than just an intriguing plot or plot twist and you'll have him or her in the palm of your hand.

[> [> Question... -- imp, 16:06:15 09/19/03 Fri

I've read a number of posts/responses regarding POV--many of them by you. Would you say that much of AYW, especially any Buffy/Riley and/or Buffy/Sam interaction was from Buffy's point of view?

If your answer is yes, could it not be possible that maybe Sam is not a Mary Sue character. Even in group scenes, whose point-of-view are we in, if anyone's?

And please, don't get me wrong... AYW is not one of my favorite eps by any stretch. But since Sam was a one-shot character, would you consider it bold, or stupid, on the part of a writer to have a main character's POV (Buffy's) regarding another character skewed such that the viewing audience gets the (false) impression that a character is a Mary Sue?

[> [> Kennedy -- Claudia, 13:48:48 09/22/03 Mon

I liked Kennedy . . . a lot. Unlike Sam Finn, she didn't come off as a one-dimensional character to me. I think the real reason many didn't like her, was due to the fact that she and Willow became a couple at least a good six or seven months, following Tara's death. Too soon, as far as many were concerned. Two, Kennedy has an abrasive personality that is the complete opposite of Tara's. And not many fans cared for that, as well.

This is why I liked Kennedy. She is so imperfect. At one hand, she is capable of love and compassion, as shown in "The Killer in Me", when she tried to help Willow. On the other hand, she is an aggressive, and sometimes abrasive personality who likes a little touch of power. What made her enduring to me is that despite some of the negative aspect of her character, she was capable of coming to the realization that she can be "a brat".

[> I am not a writer but an avid reader -- Mackenzie, 08:55:53 09/19/03 Fri

so here is my opinion. I have been thinking back to books (and shows) that I have read or watched and thought about characters I didn't like. I feel like just because I didn't LIKE them doesn't mean that I didn't care about them or want to hear their stories. The other side of the coin are the characters I didn't give a crap about, like Kennedy. Sure, she annoyed me but the core of the problem is when she was on screen I was, for lack of a better word, bored. She could have imploded and blown away for all I cared. When she was around I didn't feel like she added, or took anything away from the core characters. She was into Willow and got her rocks off but that was about it in my eyes. She didn't "touch" anybody else. I felt that if I saw Buffy or Xander on the street and asked how Kennedy was they would say, who? Tara started off that way a very little bit but Joss quickly made her touch everyone around her.
So lets take a character that I hate, Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter for example. I hate him, I loathe him, I wish painful boils to cover his body every day of his life, but I don't wish him to go away. I want to know what happens to him, I want to know where his character will go next. He touches everyone around him.
I think it is perfectly fine, and maybe perversely good for your readers to hate or dislike one or more of your character, even the lead. But the kiss of death is when your characters don't matter. When they are too superficial, or as the above post stated, to self involved. Main, core, story building characters need to "touch" each other.
Because I am not a writer, or even as smart as others on this board, I hope that explanation helps and doesn't sound to dumb.

[> Vulnerability -- Masq, 09:49:09 09/19/03 Fri

I am writing a novel, and my main character is a bit tough to swallow, also. She's obnoxious, angry, acting out, manipulative, vain. Readers don't much like her in chapter one.

But people who have read my story say they come to like her, or at least have sympathy towards her, when she reveals her vulnerabilities, even if it's just to the reader and not to another character. People like to know a character's human and has feelings under all that annoyingness. And they like to know why a person acts the way they do, and that it can be traced back to their all-too-human vulnerabilities.

I don't think we saw enough of Kennedy, et al's vulnerabilities, all we saw was their obnoxious behavior. This was due to too many characters and time constraints, but you shouldn't face that with a main character in a novel.

[> [> Re: Vulnerability -- CW, 09:59:50 09/19/03 Fri

I hope you're right, that the main character shouldn't face the same kind of problems. My quandry is that the woman's sometime personality flaws are the big part of her vulnerability. She's not hateful in any sense, but after awhile I do expect the reader to mutter, "Uh oh, there she goes again," when she's misbehaving.

Thanks to everyone who has responded. All of it has been a big help!

[> [> Re: Vulnerability - Huh? -- Claudia, 13:51:49 09/22/03 Mon

[I don't think we saw enough of Kennedy, et al's vulnerabilities,]

I suggest you check out "The Killer in Me", "Get It Done", "End of Days" and "Chosen".

[> A think the crucial thing is... -- Doug, 12:05:56 09/19/03 Fri

...that you as a writer recognize these traits as flaws, and treat them accordinly. The thing about Kenedy is that you can tell from Joss's interviews is that the things that the fans hate her for are things Joss views as strengths. He talks about her being confidet and empowered while most of the fans are quite capable of seeing her as arrogant, officious, and not particularly bright.

I'm not a writer myself but here's a little lesson I've learned from years consuming works of fiction: Do not allow yourself to become too much a fan of one of your own characters. You have to enjoy the characters enough to keep writing for them, but objectivity is important. Doug Petrie is a major fa of the whole James Bond style aget stuff, so he really loved Riley and turned him into a Mary Sue. It started with "can I sleep with Riley to?", moved through him killing a vamp who gave Buffy trouble single-handedly and then destroying an entire nest all by himself in FfL, and ended with AYW and Sam Finn. Now I think you'll agree that Riley was more likeable than Kennedy, but the problems that plagued AYW and the portrayal of the Finn's are IMHO linked to the problems wiuth Kennedy.

Now there is nothing wrong with a character who has negative character traits, as long as those traits can be recognized and explored. Their actually are real Kennedy'sm in the world; I personally have had the misfortune of meeting one such young woman. But if you're writing the character you'll be fine as long as you can stay dispassionate enough.

Just my opinions

[> [> Riley -- LLOYD, 07:38:05 09/21/03 Sun

I felt that with the distruction of the Iniative, Riley lost his identity. It was who he was and without it, he was lost.

[> Re: A writer's question -- purplegrrl, 13:58:40 09/19/03 Fri

The advice I've heard on unlikable/evil characters is that nobody is completely evil. Everyone has some likable/redeeming quality -- they like puppies or read the comics first in the newspaper or collect bottle caps, etc. -- or they have some interesting characteristic that readers will find intriguing or some vulnerability (they take care of their sweet, old mother) that makes them less than a monster. For example: Spike, who was really evil when he was first introduced into the Buffyverse but doted on Drusilla -- despite all his evil posturing you knew he could care for someone/something.

[> Re: A writer's question -- Rendyl, 14:36:06 09/19/03 Fri

Sam who? (she says, snug and warm in her denial-based S6 where Sam does not exist.) But that likely sums up the problem. Sam needed a flaw.

Is your character grating, or almost impossible to stand? There is a lot of room in between those.

For a look at a char who is just not a nice guy you might pick up one of the Mike Hammer novels. He is a rough, rude guy who drinks too much, smokes too much, beats up people too much (grin) treats women badly and takes crap off no one. He is almost impossible to like. But I still read him.

From 'One Lonely Night' -

--- I buried my face in my hands until everything straightened itself out again, wondering what the judge would say if he could see me now. Maybe he'd laugh because I was supposed to be so damn tough, and here I was with hands that wouldn't stand still and an empty feeling inside my chest. ---

(Mike's version of an identity crisis - grin)

Ren -okay, okay, I wouldn't date him..but I would hire him if I needed a PI-

[> Re: A writer's question -- dub;o), 19:27:06 09/19/03 Fri

I am concerned that readers may simply hate her guts...

Good grief! Trust me, this is never gonna happen!!


[> [> It's not you-know-who! -- CW, 20:26:35 09/19/03 Fri

I did say it was a woman. ;o)

And everybody else is wondering what the heck we're talking about.

[> [> [> LOL! Okay... -- dub ;o), 21:29:44 09/19/03 Fri

I just, y'know, lost it there for a minute. I'm okay now!


[> Re: A writer's question -- Gomez, 02:56:21 09/20/03 Sat

I haven't checked through everyone's answers, but the ones that I did read were quite intrigueing. Remember Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets? Quite possibly the most aggravating personality you're ever going to meet. You would hate to be stuck in a room with him. But that made it all the more enjoyable for the audience (then again, the audience already liked Jack Nicholson, and not necessarily the character).

He was vicious, much like Cordy. But it was more provoked than a general 'I hate everyone' attitude. People interupted his work, and he abused them. He wasn't looking for a fight. Plus, there were redeeming qualities established very quickly. He was obsessive compulsive. There was also a cute little dog that would get the better of him. For some reason, throwing him down a garbage chute was fine. But if he ever hit the dog, the audience would hate him. And, as soon as Cuba Gooding Jr stood up to him, Jack backed down and we knew that he wasn't invincible.

I think the best thing for your character is to never let the audience get bored with her. And let her fail occasionally. Every one needs a good wake-up call now and then. And get her a pet. How many cat/dog loving persona's have you despised on tv or in a movie?

And if all else fails, find as many examples as you can of a leading character who isn't very likeable, and dissect them.

[> Seeing it through their eyes -- mamcu, 11:30:30 09/22/03 Mon

I think we might have liked Kennedy and Sam if we'd seen the stories through their eyes--known what motivated them, care about what happened to them. We were looking at the stories from Buffy's and maybe some others' views--so we saw Sam and Kennedy as smug, self-satisfied, without inner conflict. In both cases, they had a partner we had seen earlier with a character we did empathize with, and that made K&S even more obnoxious.

Look at Perfume for an example of a writer's making us interested in, even sympathetic for, a monster. Scarlett O'Hara would be very unpleasant to know, but a lot of people like reading about her. It's the inner life that gets us involved.

Lost Trailer -- Hauptman, 09:04:07 09/19/03 Fri

Is this for real? I have never heard of this before and I thought I was in the Know. I'm dying to see it. I really find it hard to believe that I missed this all these years.


[> Is it on the DVD? -- Mackenzie, 09:20:54 09/19/03 Fri

I am not a fan of DVD extras so I haven't looked but I thought the original trailers were on there. If it isn't maybe it is not realy or a truely "lost trailer"

[> Yes -- CW, 09:32:54 09/19/03 Fri

The first showing of Welcome to the Hellmouth did indeed have a prologue, much like Buffy's dream of past slayers in the movie. As far as I know it was never shown again in the US, and it is not on the DVD's. I suspect it was put together from footage filmed during the shooting of episodes 1-12 (remember they were all filmed and completed before any were shown) for a scene that didn't matieralize in any episode that year.

The Best of AtS -- celticross, 10:30:42 09/19/03 Fri

All right, ladies and gents, we've hashed out favorite and least favorite Buffy episodes and seasons, let's do the same for That Other Joss Show

It's difficult for me to put the seasons of AtS in any kind of order, because I've liked and disliked parts of each equally, but if forced, I think it would come out something like this:

As for my top 5 AtS episodes, we have (in no particular order, 'cause I just can't):
To Shanshu in L.A.
Deep Down

It's difficult to pick favorite individual episodes because of the arc structure AtS has had for the last three seasons (Season 1 was much more episodic, expect for the Faith 2 parter). You have the Darla, Beige Angel, and Pylea arcs of Season 2, the Baby Connor and Wes's Dilemma arcs of Season 3, then Season 4's Teen Connor, The Beast, Angelus, and Jasmine arcs. Makes it hard to choose when so much of an episode's quality depends on the episodes before and after it.

No such problem for picking least favorites, though. And mine are:
Happy Anniversary
Double or Nothing
The House Always Wins

What do all you AtS-watching worthies think?


[> The Best (and Worst) of AtS -- cjl, 11:05:29 09/19/03 Fri

No problem here. So many Buffy best-of/worst-ofs, and so little attention given to ANGEL. (That'll change starting Oct. 1.)



S2 had the second-best sustained arc, best guest-stars, and sharpest characterization. S4 had an arc that put "24" to shame, but the Cordelia situation sticks in my craw too much to put S4 on top. S3 had some powerhouse emotional moments, but there was too much romantic goopiness, and the bad eps were REALLY bad. (See PolgaraIreland's ANGEL S3 review, now up on the Angel's Soul board.) S1? They were still finding their sea legs. Doyle's death threw them off. Once they got Wes fully integrated, things picked up nicely.


1. Reprise
2. Loyalty
3. Five By Five/Sanctuary
4. Lullaby
5. Darla


5. I Fall to Pieces
4. Waiting in the Wings
3. Hero
2. She
1. Double or Nothing

[> Re: The Best of AtS -- shambleau, 11:46:07 09/19/03 Fri

The latter half of S1 up to the Pylea arc is, for me, the finest sustained period of excellence in Buffyverse history, even though BtVS's highpoints were, well, higher. After that, I barely hung on through Pylea, the wholly unbelievable love triangles and gurgling Daddy episodes and gradual ruination of Cordelia's character. S4 kept me watching and gradually pulled me back in, but I'm still bitter. We'll see what happens in S5.

[> Re: The Best of AtS -- Seven, 12:53:58 09/19/03 Fri

favorite seasons?

Hard question. I need to see the eps more. I have seen season 1 a million times because i have the dvds. I now have season 2 buti haven't got through it yet....and i've only seen the season 3 and eps once.

but if i had to...


favorite eps? (no order)

Inside out
To Shanshu in L.A.
The Ring
Peace out
Are you now or have you ever been?

Least favorite? (no order)

Bachelor Party
I Fall to Pieces (this is probably my number one hated ep)

Now a lot of these , actually all of them, are season one, but i like season one a lot. i like the feel of it and i like the other episodes a lot more than i like the ok eps of season two. It's not that i dislike season 2, i just don't particularly enjoy it as much as other seasons.


[> Re: The Best of AtS -- CW, 15:20:59 09/19/03 Fri


Best eps
I Will Remember You (The series needed a serious shot in the arm at that point, and got it)

Eternity (What being a vampire would be all about.)

5x5 (Angel is best when it's dark and this one is the darkest of the dark.)

Sanctuary (Proved Angel didn't need SMG's visits any more to keep it going.)

Reunion (Another one of the darkest episodes. Darla and Dru were first class together).

Shiny Happy People (Without Jasmine at the end of season 4 there is no season 5)

[> Re: The Best of AtS -- KdS, 15:34:52 09/19/03 Fri

Top Ten

I've Got You Under My Skin
5 By 5/Sanctuary
Loyalty/Sleep Tight/Forgiveness

May change tomorrow/next hour/next five minutes, except that AYNOHYEB, Billy and Orpheus will always be in there.

Bottom Five:

I Fall To Pieces
I Will Remember You
Double Or Nothing
The House Always Wins

And that will probably not change - they're the only five eps I truly dislike.

And sorry to TCH about Disharmony and CW about I Will Remember You.

[> [> I'll survive -- Tchaikovsky, 15:43:55 09/19/03 Fri

It's a relatively lonesome road being a Disharmony hater. And I agree with pretty much all your other fourteen.


[> [> [> This sudden image of, well -- fresne, 16:31:41 09/19/03 Fri

Tchaikovsky walking down a lonely deserted road, hands in pockets, autumn leaves whirl drifting across asphalt, 'I will survive." playing in the background. And somehow, there's a disco ball.

It must be Friday.

[> [> [> [> I think that's Lorne's version of "I will survive" playing in the background -- Masq, 16:39:27 09/19/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> There's a spark -- Tchaikovsky, 16:52:49 09/19/03 Fri

Shoulders drooped
Hair flopped
Uncomfortably to the side
Of the droning throbbing head.

One two many Sea Breezes
For Caritas' diseased
Emodiment of bad taste.
Shouldn't have messed
With the monster
Waiting round the corner
Eyes sharp, teeth aglow
Body set for an all-out row.

The sound is
Bade his action
His intent
While no longer contrite
He fought
The Fury.

Green foam of envy
Round the Fury's curvy
Mouth. One too many
Mornings surmounting twisty
Whedon genius -'y's
Too many evenings hurt
At Espenson's latest report
Or the Nox
knocking the socks
Off his effort.

Lonely and depraved
Cavernous jokes littering stage,
They fought to the lonesone drum
Of a random heart-thump.
Distance reducing fast
One defeated at the unctuous last.
Sweat, liquid redemption dripping from one brow
While the other opponenet now
Dies in dank pools
Of everlasting ignominy.

To be saved only
By unpopular Voyeurs
Who tread the road Tchaikovsky
Had found to his hurt.

Come on guys, someone hate Disharmony with me. I'm dying here. Literally.

[> [> [> [> [> I don't know about *hate*... -- celticross, 18:24:49 09/19/03 Fri

But I feel an aggressive apathy. Does that help?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Dunno ;-) -- Tchaikovsky, 10:38:52 09/20/03 Sat

Current board | More September 2003