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Buffy the Vampire Slayer


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After re-watching (the much-maligned) 4, I actually enjoy it far more now. Spike’s chip’s a terrible plot device to be able to have the swoony fan-favourite around without him getting dusted, and the Adam make-up’s terrible. Worst of all is early Riley, though, who’s a dumb mook who’s totally out of place. The Initiative is under-used until the last few eps and they have to create some horrendous plot elements to keep Buffy and Adam apart (not as bad as with Glory, but I’ll come to that…)

great post.

I think Season 4 is a great...'what if' - it could have been very different. First of course was Oz leaving - This wasn't planned at all, I know Joss was pretty hurt that Seth left (breaking contract, I think), and he did say that Oz had some big storylines coming up that presumably had to be scrapped - and of course, if Oz hadn't left we wouldn't have got Tara.

Then there was the return of Spike. If it seems odd that Spike got back with Dru in season 3 then immediately broke up with her again, that's because she was originally meant to return with Spike, but presumably the actress couldn't commit. Now Spike with Dru would again have completely changed the season (and series) - perhaps no chip? And almost certainly no Spike joining scooby gang.

And then there was the actress who played the creator of Adam leaving. She - and the initiative - were originally meant to be a much bigger part of the arc.

So I'm guessing there must have been pretty much constant rewrites throughout that season. Given all that, it's surprising that they ended up with such a coherent finale - but for good or bad, the direction of the series completely changed with presumably a few frenzied late night rewrites.

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great post.

I think Season 4 is a great...'what if' - it could have been very different. First of course was Oz leaving - This wasn't planned at all, I know Joss was pretty hurt that Seth left (breaking contract, I think), and he did say that Oz had some big storylines coming up that presumably had to be scrapped - and of course, if Oz hadn't left we wouldn't have got Tara.

Then there was the return of Spike. If it seems odd that Spike got back with Dru in season 3 then immediately broke up with her again, that's because she was originally meant to return with Spike, but presumably the actress couldn't commit. Now Spike with Dru would again have completely changed the season (and series) - perhaps no chip? And almost certainly no Spike joining scooby gang.

And then there was the actress who played the creator of Adam leaving. She - and the initiative - were originally meant to be a much bigger part of the arc.

So I'm guessing there must have been pretty much constant rewrites throughout that season. Given all that, it's surprising that they ended up with such a coherent finale - but for good or bad, the direction of the series entirely completely changed with presumably a few frenzied late night rewrites.

Wow, some interesting stuff there; didn't realise Green broke contract (any more info on that?), nor the problems with other cast members. Certainly does seem like it was a pretty turbulent season, all things considered.

It was interesting to read that Tara and Willow were only made a couple because of their initial chemistry; another what-if there (supposing that hadn't happened you have to wonder about Tara's place in the scheme of things).

The Initiative in and of itself wasn't the worst plot-arc I don't think - but (I guess because of the other troubles) does seem rather marginalised and despite Adam it never feels there is that much focus on their activities.

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Caleb was so badly cast, though. Fillion is super-awesome and shit, but I felt he was slung in the role as a 'sorry' for Firefly going under.

Especially considering Gina Torres was doing exactly the same thing at the same time on Angel. It was like they'd both been given a consolation gig. They were both great though.

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Wow, some interesting stuff there; didn't realise Green broke contract (any more info on that?), nor the problems with other cast members. Certainly does seem like it was a pretty turbulent season, all things considered.

Hmm, all that is from ten year old bronze postings, I doubt there'll be much online...

This is from an AV club interview with Seth:

There was a point at which I approached Joss and just said I was really… I felt like we hadn't done anything that we had talked about. I felt like the character's potential vs. what we actually were doing were in drastic opposition. And I was getting other opportunities, so I asked to be let out, because I spent an entire season as a regular on the show, not doing or saying anything. They'd bound me to a series-regular contract, yet the character didn't really necessitate being in every episode and every scene, so I found myself forced into scenes contractually that I really had no place or role in. So I'd spend five days a week, 12 to 14 hours a day, to be in a scene with nine other people, and hopefully get to say "I think Buffy's right!" I was like, "This isn't what we talked about." And I had another opportunity to do a movie, so I requested being let out for six episodes to do it, and it was just… As much as the character was peripheral, to get me off for six episodes apparently would've caused too much turmoil, so they just found a way to make me exit gracefully.

http://www.avclub.com/articles/seth-green,2034/

I deffinetly remember Joss being less understanding.

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That's a shame... Oz was pretty underused, but the worst part was how they ruined his character. He was (temperamentally) an Angel replacement: stoical, rational, inclined to good without being pushed towards it by responsibility or away from it by hormones.

Having him boink a she-wolf, then come back much later with uncontrollable rage issues was wasteful. Like you say, we did get Tara though, who blossomed into a fantastic character with a very shocking and saddening death.

So Tara and Oz go on the 'ace' pile, but two more for the shit list: Andrew and Kennedy. Grrr :angry:

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You should stop after 5. Do yourself a favour and go watch Angel instead ;)

I think I was alone in really not liking "The Body". I got what it was trying to do. I got why it did it. And I got why it did it well. I just didn't enjoy it.

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I'm sorry. I had to downvote you. That's just...wrong. And evil.

:hug:

I can see why people might like 7 (although I thought it was quite weak), but I really struggle to think of any real redemning features of 6 (other than OMWF).

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Ah. "Into the Woods" I liked that quite a bit actually.

I was one of the few that quite liked Riley. He was completely wrong for Buffy/the show, but generally seemed OK. It wss partly how Buffy treated him that started her turn to "uber-bitch" IMO.

I wish they'd done the whole "he found someone who needed him" better than by being vamp-food though.

Love the music at the end though

:wub:

Not sure which I'd rate above - 4 or 5. Probably 5 as an overall package, but 4 did have some of the better individual episodes.

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Absolutely everyone misses the point of season 6.

The bad guys are rubbish. They're nothing more than an annoyance. Until the end, obviously.

The 'big bad' of season 6 is real life. Responsibilities, messy strained friendships, bad relationships, grown up adult troubles. The monsters and gribblies and magic and whatnot are all very much in the background.

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Absolutely everyone misses the point of season 6.

The bad guys are rubbish. They're nothing more than an annoyance. Until the end, obviously.

The 'big bad' of season 6 is real life. Responsibilities, messy strained friendships, bad relationships, grown up adult troubles. The monsters and gribblies and magic and whatnot are all very much in the background.

But that's the antithesis of Buffy. Pretty much the mission statement of Buffy was real life issues explored through the medium of fighting monsters.

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Yeah, but then they turned that on its head in order to explore the difficulties of full blown adulthoood - no more kiddy problems, real life comes a knockin'. That's the whole point, the grown-up problems they encounter are really much more difficult and devastating than anything any pesky monsters can offer. Which is what happens when you get older - all your old problems seem tiny in comparison to the big horrible mess your life becomes. It just so happened that they explored their old problems via the metaphor of monster bashing. But still, their old Sunnydale days seem pleasant compared to all the nasty shit real life can dish out. I think many people just didn't get this or didn't like it, but I did.

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I quite liked the second half of season six, even the whole dark Willow thing. Although the last two seasons did seem to drift a little, especially without the school / college setting to tie them down. Real shame they never go to go ahead with the animated series, a whole bunch of new episodes set during the school seasons would have been great. And the promo they made for it was pretty good too.

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Yes - its rather weird and occasionally wonderful but is a million miles from what I would associate with prime period Buffy (basically seasons 2 and 3 for me).

Have to agree with Hexx that season 6 would be best struck from history but I have a real soft spot for season 5 - the Dawn plot is an incredibly clever conceipt if you have never had any of it spoilered.

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Absolutely everyone misses the point of season 6.

The bad guys are rubbish. They're nothing more than an annoyance. Until the end, obviously.

The 'big bad' of season 6 is real life. Responsibilities, messy strained friendships, bad relationships, grown up adult troubles. The monsters and gribblies and magic and whatnot are all very much in the background.

I agree that that't the theme, and the nerd trio are the juxtaposition as children who refuse to deal with the responsibilities of adult life.

The trouble is that everyone screws up their life at once, and it makes the season too gruelling. Buffy spends the season being suicidally depressed and using someone she hates for rough sex ("Fuck me hard!" "I hate you, you're a disgusting thing!" "Fuck me hard!"). Xander is a loser who is too afraid to commit to marriage and jilts his bride at the alter. Willow becomes a junkie. Dawn is Dawn. Spike gets so confused about being used for sex that he attempts rape. Giles is absent and unaware that his surrogate children are fucking up so badly. The only character who is successfully maturing into an adult is Tara, and she gets ungraciously killed so that her girlfriend can become so crazy with grief that she tries to destroy the world (oh yeah, Willow has another thing wrong with her: her love for Tara is actually creepy and clingy and filled with self-loathing and desperation to be loved).

It's all too much.

Has anyone read season 8?

Yes. I don't know why I bother keeping up with it. It's epic stuff that takes place in a completely changed world, and almost every issue ends with a big reveal of someone from the TV series... SHOCK, it's HIM! Only the artwork is sometimes not good enough to convey the likeness.

It's just too far removed from the TV show. Lately we've had

Buffy and Angel literally flying into orbit while they fuck. (and yes that's also skinned Warren... everyone comes back. It's like bad fanfic, but sometimes written by Joss).

buffyi.jpg

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What are the extras like on the DVD boxsets worth getting it for?

If you're totally immersed in the Buffy universe then you'll get a lot out of those extras, simply because you'll like hearing the writers and directors talk about making the shows on the commentaries (of course Whedon's are the best ones), and while some of the featurettes can be quite thin - especially early on - there are some quite meaty ones. Behind the scenes makeup and design ones are pretty interesting too. But like I said, probably not fodder for a casual fan.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finished all seven seasons it was tough though as season seven was a real low point and very hard to get through what with hardly anything redeeming.

I would rate the seasons

2

3

1

5

4

6

7

I'd probably switch 2/3 and 6/7 but other than that, agreed.

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  • 2 years later...

I've been doing a rewatch of this, too (well, having it on in the background, really). It's amazing how much Thomas Wanker's atrocious music impacts on seasons 5 & 6. Everything has a stupid jingle-jangle in the background, like something you'd imagine in a fucking Harry Potter magical-children movie.

Though, really, they were generally terrible seasons regardless.

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