General Open Thread – TV Shows

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  • #38239

    @purofilion

    Was she doing more in S7 than she had intended to take on?

    more seasons.

    #38240

    @purofilion

    Is this the ‘scene’ of some discussion? I really get the impression that the fan base (the wrong one) wanted some

    Yes, although that scene does matter – a lot – the point was that the reviewer completely ignored the main content of Selfless (best debut ever from Drew Goddard) and talked only of that scene – saw it as the point of the episode.

    A friend once saw Michelle Trachtenberg on the Tube in London. Apparently she really is that hot and perfect in real life.

    Him isn’t the best episode, but it is a fun tribute to early Buffy.

    The trigger leads to an absolutely critical development, but not in an obvious way. I will probably be itinerant by the time you get there so will, to coin a phrase see you on the other side.

    #38241
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — Yes, Michelle Trachtenberg does grate. But having said that if you think she’s bad, wait till you meet a certain character in future seasons of Angel and you may look fondly back on Dawn. And to be fair, I think it’s the part she’s given to a large extent. She had a brief role in a few episodes of Six Feet Under and I seem to recall her being pretty good (although she was playing a spoilt, bratty prima donna. Hmm, typecast much?)

    I really don’t have the love for s7 that others here seem to and I rank it as my second least favourite season after s4. It’s not that it’s bad as such — it has some great episodes and the rest are mostly at the higher end of decent but it also has some kind of crappy, stillborn concepts in it and an arc that is just repetitive and treads water for rather a lot of the time. But it does pull back to the core theme of the whole series and gets to do it justice.

    But to me it’s painfully clear as the season progresses that it just didn’t have another year in it. Not on TV anyway, as s8 is reinvigorated by being in the comic medium and using that to it’s full, erm, potential.

    But s7 is redolent with character arcs that are finished or about-to-be finished. Spike’s arc has one last great episode left to resolve it — and you can see the writers trying to drag it out as much as possible to please the Spuffers. Giles just has nothing at all left to do and his presence is largely embarrassingly superfluous, I think. After Selfless — an amazing Buffy debut by Goddard and it was so clear that that guy was going to be Big — Anya didn’t really have anywhere left to go either. There’s a great many once-pivotal characters who are just really hanging about until we get to the finale.

    I don’t mean to be too down on it though. Some of the early episodes are as good as anything the series produced — and there’s more to come. And the finale is a more or less fitting end to the series as a whole. I just get a whole slightly tired, ‘we’re running out of ideas’ vibe to the whole thing though.

    @pedant–

    Him isn’t the best episode, but it is a fun tribute to early Buffy.

    Agreed but I’m not sure it really works. It just doesn’t have the effortless funniness of early Buffy. It’s too arch and self-consciously ‘look at us. We’re doing a funny one’. Not that they can’t do funny anymore. There’s an episode coming up later where it’s done really well, but there’s just something clumsy and a teensy bit desperate about Him, I think.

    #38244
    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish @pedant

    After Boy Against Buffy hid the season for about 9o mins, I was a bit behind. I am however at the end…of Potential.

    Yes, I’m giving it a caning (my version) : I go from “this is great: to ” this is utter shit” -The greatness was the fact that at every end-of-episode there’s some ‘astonishing revelation’ which made me (forced me, really: all their fault) keep going. After Showtime, I got sick of it (though I had to watch one more on the suspicion that Giles wasn’t Giles at all but some ghosty). Still don’t know if Giles is quite real -he looked pretty beheaded to me (almost….).

    Anya is done really.  As you say.

    Spike appears for a few mins nearly every early episode and then promptly disappears. At some point, with this deranged bomb about to go off in his head -I expect he’ll sacrifice himself for the love of Buffy and humanity. Need I say more? I’m about 70% sure of that unless he gets on his motorbike and drives into sunset….THE END.

    But, then we have the Bleed Spike and Dru scenes for about 4 episodes. Again. One of the potentials appears to have gone to the same Drusilla Speak school: it’s all Noight, Spoike and Moight. Was there no director to say “sweetheart, how about we say Narrt instead of noight coz you could be Aristocratic English Girl rather than Peckam Girl” What do I know, I am Australian.

    Willow is now Warren and there’s more kissing and discovery. That will reverse itself.

    I suppose the first three to four episodes were very interesting – Anya as Demon again. Buffy as counsellor. And ‘Him’ was funny, sure: but, as you say, tiresome. Also, a little ‘ick’.

    Ah, the Principal: obviously holding a terrible secret but I suspect he’ll be The Good Guy.

    I did enjoy the Trigger episode (as per above useless banging on about The Song) because we weren’t sure Who The Real Spike Was.  Again…. But yes, I’m getting pretty tired.

    Series 8? A comic series. Gawd. I think it’s pretty comic already -going for angst and deep sadness just doesn’t work. I aint teary. I was in S5 for sure.

    The ‘I’m so useless and I have no Super Power’ annoys me with Dawn: her hair is the superpower. Slut dance was ‘cool’ but ..every time she’s in a snit, I Fast forward. Never a good sign.

    #38245
    Anonymous @

    That came across grumpy as hell. Lack of sleep.

    It really seemed to work until about Ep 8 then it’s a little down hill. I should have reversed my judgement.

    No:  ‘reserved’ my judgement.

    #38246
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — believe me, I share the s7 ambivalence but stick with it as there’s some really cool stuff in there too. And it is a worthy finale. One of the things that has irked me about s7 is the excessive speechifying that each episode tends to have. That and the Potentials. For me, the Potentials strike me as a good idea on paper but actually prove to be incredibly irritating in execution.

    It’s been interesting watching s6 and s7 in tandem with Angel s2-3 because by the end, for me it’s no longer the case that Angel is the lesser show, so to speak.

    And if you’re a fan of comics, Buffy s8 (and s9 actually) have all kinds of cool in them.

    #38247
    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish  I absolutely agree: I’ve enjoyed (though I didn’t expect to) The Killer in Me; first date (great) and Get it done (to a point).

    Now, I’m at The Storyteller -half way thru. Please tell me, should I really see Andrew doing his video thing? It’s awful! Some child is smashed up at Sunnydale High and Buffy has said “he should have had that foot rub”.

    However if the principal is indeed hatching an evil plan to kill Soulful Spike (now I even sound like Andrew), should I tune in ‘dear viewer’?

    Or press FF?

    I do get the point and I’m pretty sure Spike (unchipped? De-chipped?) will have to sacrifice his soul. I reckon it be the only way to save The Very Big Buff: “Ah, the Mirror told me I looked FAT!”

    #38248
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — well, personally, I quite like Storyteller. It’s the genuinely funny episode for me, compared to the trying-too-hard-ness of Him. Andrew is a spineless coward with zero moral-fibre but I find I can’t help but like him and think he’s quite good in this episode. Plus I love Anya’s ‘why can’t you just masturbate in there like everyone else?’ line

    And you should definitely tune into Robin Wood’s showdown with Spike (Lies My Mother Told Me). If for nothing else to see Spike’s arc approach (but not arrive at) its conclusion. And how could you resist a tale of the vam-py-res?

    I too enjoyed The Killer In Me — despite of the supremely irritating presence that is Kennedy. Amy continues to be great — conflicted, petty and definitely veering towards Evil. If you ask me, she should have been the Big Bad of this season. A Big Bad that the Scoobies have to take a lot of the blame for creating themselves.

    The arc in general picks up by miles by the time you get to Dirty Girls because of a couple of welcome and much-needed additions to the mix.

    #38251
    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish well, I stopped it for awhile -after the kids were yelling and mashing everything  up and went back to it. It DID get genuinely interesting. I could see the point -like the Musical, this particular episode did ‘move’ the story forward. Shame, that I didn’t trust it to do that -anymore. And I should have. Yes, Kennedy, that gal reminds me of the over-playing and at other times, too wooden Kristen Stewart!  Too many smoochy, pouty close-ups. Nothing like Tara. And quite butch which, in some ways, annoys me also.

    I’m a portion thru Lies my Mother Told Me -I suspect Robin will get to do the Big Bad to Spike now. Or Giles, now that he ‘randomly’ shows up, all arch with his ‘where’s the library? Huh?’ -ready to do Spike in with evil Giles eyes!

    #38252
    Anonymous @

    Oh righty: this is good. Poor Spike reciting poetry to his ill mama whilst she sings that song….

    After the slippery mini-worm popped out I can just hear Robin saying “I’m gonna stake you now you muthafucka.”

    Is that OK to say because really there are a lot of ‘up close’ shots of Robin looking quietly villainous?

    I like him though -I hope he doesn’t doom Spike to early death so Robin’s own role can expand somewhat -beyond the ‘I’m gonna stake you now, you mo….’!

    #38253
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — it’s the silly name that always gets me with Robin and I feel he’s just not quite as badass and driven enough. Avery Brooks would have brought more to the party, I think. But he’s still quite a cool character.

    I know old K-Stew (as I believe the young people call her) gets a lot of stick and she certainly ain’t Meryl Streep but again I can’t help but quite like her. And I thought she was alright in On The Road. Stake me now.

    #38255
    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish

    all I ever saw her in was Twilight (yes, your stake is a worthier stake, believe me. You win. Or lose. Depending on the point of view). I thought it was R Spaz -you know, Patterson and Stewart.

    Maybe not.

    It was a great episode. Goodness the mother of Spike -all of hellmouth in one woman!

    And no-one can say Wood isn’t focussed with his crosses and his little i-tunes song and his…well, wood.

    As to Giles, a little bit unBritish (is that a word?) to me. Stalling Buffy. Then the typical words of any American blonde tween:

    “I think you’ve taught me all you can”.

    Bam.

    I saw Streep yelling out as some Patricia woman won an award (Oscar?) going “yeah yeah, on ya.” Weird. Americans. It was all “listen to us, people with Parkinson’s need to be seen” and “we women, we  need to have equal rights”. Now, I agree with that more n’ anyone but when you’re wearing a 1.5 million dollar bracelet and shoes priced by the ounce it doesn’t ring so true.

    Though I suppose if anyone’s going to bring change it will be celebrities with their publicists, managers, their hedge funds and their ’causes’.

    All of them worthy.

    #38257
    Anonymous @

    I’ve missed a film about Kerouac? How is that possible? With Viggo Mortensen who first appeared in Witness. I’m fairly sure there’s a scene in Buffy where they play out the ‘ice cream on a Amish’? Maybe it’s a different show but it strikes me as pretty Whedon (look at me: ‘yeah I know Whedon now, I’ve studied all his major works.’ Duffer)

    Well, time for some sleepy eye considering the birds woke me at 2 am. There were birds but there was also Buffy. Creeps. I have only five episodes left. What am I gonna do??

    Angel. There’s plenty of Angel. And I’m liking Boreanaz much more in Angel -he knows how to underplay the humour and just keep things simmering gently. It’s all quite ‘august’ now, isn’t it? 🙂

    God I have the funnies tonight.

    #38258

    @purofilion

    It is worth reminding yourself at this stage whose name is in the title of the show. At the end 0f Lies… her judgement is totally shot to pieces. All that needed to happen was for a Potential to absent-mindedly tune to Hokey Ditties FM and it would have been slaughter.

    She may be a superb guerrilla/ insurgent, but a general she ain’t.

    (I will have much more to say when I can find a desk, but it is worth remembering that it isn’t Spike The Vampire’s show.)

    That is important.

    #38259
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @pedant–

    All that needed to happen was for a Potential to absent-mindedly tune to Hokey Ditties FM and it would have been slaughter

    It’s pretty clear at the end of Lies that the trigger was no longer effective. Spike had worked through his, erm, Oedipal issues and free of the First’s influence. Buffy makes many, many crappy decisions but not sure this is one of them. The Potentials would have been quite safe.

    My main problem at the moment is that Giles’s actions bear little relation to the Giles of the previous season. It’s hard-nosed and quite Watcher-ey of him — so maybe he’s learning to be a proper Watcher again after killing Ben in s5, but to me it feels more like Wesley than it does Giles.

    But yeah, Spike is definitely starting to dominate far too much. Fortunately for the coming episodes, I think the writers are starting to realise that and get him out of the way a bit more. The Spuffy arc was fun and interesting in s5-6 but after Beneath Me it was basically done. But it just continued to hang around like yesterday’s kippers and distract from everything else.

    #38260

    @jimthefish

    It’s pretty clear at the end of Lies that the trigger was no longer effective.

    To us. Buffy didn’t know that (and even at the end of the ep it is far from clear – Spike has immense willpower).

    Giles has pretty much been trying to be the entire Council single-handed (everything he was brought up to believe in was being systematically slaughtered and he had a close shave himself). And his Slayer seems more interested in protecting Spike than the Potentials and not too bothered about explaining. Not surprising that Robin could play him.

    But trigger on or off is moot – it served exactly the purpose it was meant for: it sowed fear, distrust and dissent in the ranks.

    #38261
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @pedant — to be quite honest, if I was stuck in a house with the Potentials, I’d be telling the First the best way to take the annoying little feckers out myself. Kennedy, in particular, is more than deserving of a painful and gruesome death.

    With Giles, I think he’s far more ambivalent about the Council than anything else — his priority was always with Buffy. I think The Gift might have represented a slight change in that attitude though. But I take your point. The guy’s got a lot on — and I don’t just mean that hideous corduroy jacket.

    As to fear, distrust and dissent … I think Buffy’s bringing a lot of that on herself, with or without Spike. I’m often struck when I watch this season how much Buffy actually reminds me of her Wish-universe version from s3. Whether she was being ditzy, misguided or just plain wrong in previous seasons, she was still someone to root for. I find in s7 I increasingly just don’t like her that much anymore.

    #38263
    Anonymous @

    @pedant

    “It is worth reminding yourself at this stage whose name is in the title of the show”

    I do get this. I’ve said that same thing repeatedly. I’ve spent many a paragraph bemoaning the use of Spike in the whole season -S6 too. My favourite Spike ‘show’ (as you seem to think I’m one of those ‘girls’) was in Series 2 and 3 -he played an interesting role up against Angel/Angelus and Drusilla; so he was there but not key.

    @jimthefish The Trigger seems done with?

    Also I might add that I don’t particularly like Buffy the ‘general’ too much either -the script has basically run out.

    The annoying potentials -I’d go with Jim and say ‘kill em off’. They shit me to tears.

    Giles isn’t the man he’s been before. When fired from the Watchers and he still managed to demonstrate a personality of his own. Those ‘evil eye’s and the glare at Buffy -a real problem for me. The basic character has altered a bit (quite a lot) and whilst he kept the secret of Buffy’s 18th birthday ‘test’ from her (thus demonstrating a parallel) I would think he’d recall the problems resulting from keeping valuable information from Buffy, remind Robin that Spike is a good warrior and has been under the influence of the First (as had numerous others) and did his absolute best to protect Dawn following Buffy’s death.

    The latter without a Soul.

    Now, I’d compare his general behaviour and quips to Angel -he has a soul, he tries to do the right thing and yet Spike gets a bit of the nasty. As if people, by saying “Spike is still bad, don’t you forget it” are trying to make up for the ridiculous Spuffy Love that, frankly, in this season, I haven’t seen -at all!

    My issue is that people are dying -the gal who hanged herself, the blonde potential who never left the hotel room and on and on. Yet we still have people with social lives: is Spike (as himself) creating attachments, going out for romantic dates, having sex with Anya in the basement and kissing Kennedy? Nope. He’s trying to do something and yet the trigger and its real potential alluded him but also Giles. For quite some time. Giles keeps ‘rushing’ in and then disappearing.

    Now, the problem is a script one for sure. I get the sense that eventually Spike will do something essential -sacrifice himself. Buffy can’t be with him and he can’t be with anyone else. But that needs to be put to the side. I’d like to know how they can find more about The First -how can Xander be useful? Can Willow use just enough Magic so it doesn’t control her?

    As for B, she’s not obsessed with Spike at all, she’s doing her best to gather the forces for good and yet everyone has something else on their mind. I’d argue she’s concerned that if her ‘one true love’ in Angel has a soul, how can she treat Spike so differently? When Angel’s soul vanished,  there was a lot of ‘we should forgive him, he doesn’t know what he’s doing’. Once the soul returned (for good) , I noticed no-one wanted to kill him off again.

    Pedantic, is it an issue of you protesting too much? 🙂

    Now, don’t yell too loudly -you have an occasional tendency to yell if ppl disagree. I can handle it though 🙂 So, you know, yell away: just remember I’m not a member of the Spuffy Club.

     

    #38264
    Anonymous @

    Yep, I’ll be ignored or yelled at.

    Anyway, as for distrust in the ranks? We have that all the time -with or without the bloody Trigger!

    Everyone is complaining all the time about Buffy and pretty much suspicious of everyone else.

    Now, I’ll write this and you can check out whether I believe it or not: “Oh, shouldn’t Buffy have a little bit of happiness? Doesn’t she deserve that? With Spikey?”

    Not teenage girl.

    #38265
    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish  @pedant

    “Fortunately for the coming episodes, I think the writers are starting to realise that and get him out of the way a bit more.”

    Oh No, Whatever will I Do

    Yeah, alright, I’ve had my spat.

    #38266

    @purofilion

    Ooooh! Little Miss Snippy.

    You completely missed the point, but quality rant anyway. I enjoy a good rant.

    LMPTM is a terrific episode with great stuff about Spike’s back story which gets to the root of his poetic delusion. But the important arc point is the The Chosen One, She Alone… yadayada is proving a bit shit at being Glorious Leader. Form the Pots PoV, they are dying while she protects a vamp; from Giles’s PoV he has seen the breadth of the war, has found dead Pots and saved many and brought them to what he thought of as the safest place on Earth, only to see her try to lead by diktat and for the dying to continue. They are 14 or 15.  Of course he was an easy mark for Robin, who has in own Mother Issues. In Showtime Buffy kicked the Turok Hahn’s arse, but it was Dawn in Potential who remembered the lessons from Lessons and showed Amanda how to use the environment in a fight. They think Buffy is a high functioning schizophrenic.

    Buffy has done nothing to reassure or train the potentials (Kennedy has done more – and who might notice that?). Instead they see her defending a vampire. The First has played them like a fiddle.

    And that will have consequences.

    It is just as well there is only one Chosen One….

    #38267
    Anonymous @

    @pedant

    Rant! Hah!

    OK, you mean ‘the title’ as in ‘every generation there is a chosen one’?

    Yes, but has this 16 yr old (I think she started just as she turned 16) have the potential to be a general? Was it a requirement? I presume Watcher and Council should be investing in her and teaching her the skills to kill things.

    Which to a great extent they did  -although the Council has always been gloomy and suspect, the watcher has stood for his warrior.

    So, this gets me thinking, at the battle in S3 Angel is Soulful and useful. He’s been around for 240 years and knows what he’s doing. Spike, as a person struck me as probably better than Angel -poetry and mama issues aside -Angel as non-vampire was pretty useless -drunk, wooing the bar gals etc…Anyway, what am I saying?

    That we’re placing Spike below Angel because he’s a vampire and below all the others (including the pots -that took me a second!) because, whilst he has a soul, he can’t be trusted. Still.

    I get that. To a point.

    What I’m not sure of is how well Buffy can be generalissimo anyway. Giles has come and gone (or coming and going). Anya is pretty redundant, Dawn is still snippy (like me) and Will is too terrified to try serious magic.

    So, what you’re saying is she’s too obsessed with keeping Spike -soulless or not? That this particular concern is preventing her from acting correctly. Thing is, has she ever really coped on her own? She isn’t the world’s smartest chick and whilst she understood the blood is family/family of blood thing in S5, I wonder if she has the capacity to be a leader. In all the other seasons, the work was accomplished  because they acted as a team. She’s right to say ‘no time for vendettas’ as she needs them to be of one mind. Stalling  her in a cemetery and lying is not the way to instil trust in anyone I would think. Robin was obsessed himself. As soon as he knew Spikey was a vampire he was intent on one thing -finding him out and finishing him. His little ‘talk’ with Giles annoyed me. Normally Giles would say “we’ve been doing this a long time. We trust the guy. Buffy does. I trust her”. But not knowing Robin at all, Giles still follows thru on this plan?

    It just doesn’t work entirely for me.

    And yes, you’re quite right: Buffy has not been training anyone. Only in 1 or 2 episodes did this occur. Instead she went out on a date! So can she lead?

    If she can’t, then can they not work together -the original quintet training the pots? If she trusts Spikey, then the pots will trust him.

    He’s the only strong super-powery being they have -other than Buffy and Will (when she’s not overdosing).

    Yeah, I know. I’m confused. I have watched these episodes only once and it’s lonely in my brain, really.

    #38268
    Anonymous @

    @pedant “Instead they see her defending a vampire. The First has played them like a fiddle.

    And that will have consequences.”

    Defending a vampire. I see. That is the point you mean? She shouldn’t be defending a vampire at all? This isn’t her metier/job description.

    So, then “his time is yet to come” will prove to be her undoing?

    In other words, she should have killed him an awful long time ago.

    OK. I also do remember the 13 or so people Spikey killed when the Trigger was in place. This isn’t to be missed or ignored. I get that. There are a lot of red shirts and it’s all ‘but he has  a soul’ as if (as when Xander says) ‘serial killers have a soul too’ (unless I made that up). Because I believe that’s a real problem and frankly the obsession with soul is something this program has delved into and stuffed up somewhat. People have souls and look at how they screw up …everything. Even Xander, leaving Anya at the bloody altar (OK, not the same as massive dead bodies)  and Willow willing to tear the world to pieces over Tara.

    BTW, I’m kind of dictating this to Boy Ilion (though he’s gone to get more Vicks as he’s ill) and he’s enjoying this discussion immensely. He always liked Spike -until S6 and then there was a full on “pull back pull back. Eject the seat”. He said that and I wasn’t gonna point out the word plays  🙂

    Hopefully, he’s spelled most everything right but I haven’t been very orderly -just throwing out words and feelings as I have them. Whilst ironing.

    There aren’t any spoilers but I can see that what you might be getting at is that Buffy will lose everything by defending ‘the one with Soul’. But I wonder if (Spikey being there or not) it’s her lack of ability to lead that’s the main problem?

    #38269
    Anonymous @

    @pedant

    He typed Spikey when I dictated Spike! Naughty Ilion: no icecream for you! No, I am not obsessed with Spike. How many times do I have to say this?

    #38270

    @purofilion

    He is, indeed, the only strong superpowers etc – but he had a trigger and rather than wait and let Giles do the mojo she declares it pointless and cuts him loose into a houseful of Not Actual Slayers, but traumatised teens (I can’t recall where, but I vaguely recall it being intimated that Kennedy is the oldest at 17).

    She is trying to fall back on her tried and trusted approach – but there is too much going on and all she has are increasingly tiresome speeches and is viewing the Pots as a nuisance, rather than a team that needs galvanising.

    It’s about power – and she has forgotten what she taught Dawn right at the outset. Who has the power?

    #38271
    Anonymous @

    between us, having just started Dirty Girls (and that ‘priest’ is a familiar actor to me) I think we can finish the lot by tonight -late tonight!

    #38272
    Anonymous @

    @pedant yes, that’s right. They always have the power.

    So soulful or not, he has the power and will he choose sides?

    Personally I think they’ll off him -the writers, soon…but we’ll soon see…

    So Angel, too, he basically is danger waiting to happen? Because that’s the problem. Can you ever really change? If Angel did and if Spike (noo, not Spikey) is attempting to, then, why can’t there be trust amongst them? It seemed to work very neatly in S3 and again in 5 so we seem to have this back and forth between the seasons: “he’s always guilty or sometimes innocent”.

    A decision needs to be made -actually I thought that the whole arc, from S3 on, was the hint that Spike was going to be a Good Man  -you know, helping out, an idiot but with no box.

    Obviously I’m not really comparing Spike with the Doctor. But the characters are not sticking to the rules: consistency above all else. Yes, there’s growth but the character stays similar. *People don’t really change.

    And that, *right there, has been staring me in the face.

    Mmm. Dunno.

    #38280
    Anonymous @

    @pedant @scaryb

    look I realise I’m not the smartest person in the room. As I watch this season fly by, I’m trying to work out the problem but there are a lot of misdirections -deliberate and others, as a result of a poor script -or me not watching the overall target. We have Caleb who is brilliant but we also have just about everybody disliking Buffy’s ‘rule’ – her idea that the plan to re-attack the vineyard is the only way forward -demand and diktat.

    Dissent in the ranks. We have that and that’s all Caleb needs to win -sow some seeds which, frankly, without the Trigger, would have happened as soon as S’dale was overrun with still more potentials ready (or not) to join this fight.

    How to lose the battle:

    Is it that the Buffy which returns from Sunnydale High (where she meets Caleb) is not the real Buffy but a phantom, telling the girls ‘it’s the vineyard of the highway’  or is it that she’s determined to stick to one idea and carry it out without real strategizing? I’m sure she was never like this before. All plans in the past were carefully hatched with each member carrying out a vital part. Is the addition of the pots a real hobble to the Scoobs?

    Is it that the Latin inscription suggesting:’ “only her can wield:…the something’ implying that Buffy must face her death alone (and thus leave the innocents behind) -which I’m betting she won’t (happened twice already) -it has to be someone else: Willow, possibly, or Spike or even Xander.

    @bluesqueakpip help: input please!

    #38282
    Anonymous @

    was it that Drew idiot (every time he does a script I wanna kill myself) who wrote Empty Places?

    Dawn, seriously, Dawn is telling Buffy “I need you to leave. This is my house too”. Will seems to agree and Xander is hollow-eyes (empty I mean and without opinion) whilst Spike is elegantly given a mission. Even the principal is going for Faith.

    It’s her tats you know. Tats and too- tight jeans.

    Yes, the move to the Vineyard was wrong. If so obviously wrong, wouldn’t Buffy be able to realise that? Therefore it’s a script problem. A way to fill out the 22 episodes?

    Grr. I’m not enjoying this so much anymore. These little pumped up potentials with their useless -no- knowledge thinking Faith is “so cool” for getting them drunk.

    God, sack ’em all.

    Though I like Faith’s new hair colour. It suits her.

    *Oh, shut up*.

    #38283
    ScaryB @scaryb

    @Purofilion

    I agreee that S7 isn’t as neat for a lot of it as previous series. But it’s about consequences and “destiny”

    The Scoobies are seriously weakened as a result of s6.  They no longer function as a tight unit. There’s suspicion and disillusion. Relationships they thought were for life have shattered, the certainties of adolescence exploded. Buffy for all of her adolescence and adult life to date has been told she has a destiny to fulfil as the Slayer. She didn’t chose it, and it’s making her very isolated.

    Like a child prodigy who has achieved a massive amount career-wise, by the time she’s 20ish, Buffy has to work out who she really is, in herself, and how she’s going to live the rest of her life. She’s hit rock bottom – with the death of her mother and the ill advised relationship with Spike – and she can’t connect with her former friends any more. She knows she has power but she doesn’t know how to use it effectively, to make things better for the people around her.  In the words of Yeats – “Things fall apart and the centre fails to hold”

    PS You’re doing great – most of us have had years to think through all of this. Boy Ilion too 😉

    #38284
    Anonymous @

    @scaryb thank you.

    No, I really don’t know what I’m watching. I was beholden to the pattern of the previous series and I suppose what I see now: a sister who tells her elder sister to leave; a watcher who is suspicious, is disheartening and I’m forever saying “no no stop!”

    I hoped that this series would have lighter tones to it -in fact the positivity of the opening gave me that hope. In life, though, such things rarely happen. Life falls apart and one is left to pick it up -or choose to run away.

    For the record, I’m not a prude, but I bloomin’ tired of all the sex. Cripes. On and on. I get the point and..well, maybe I don’t.

    Indeed, Yeats. A favourite.

    #38286
    Anonymous @

    @pedant @jimthefish @scaryb @cathannabel

    Honestly, that finale, if it did not actually exceed the power of The Gift in S5 then it came very close to it.

    It’s not the CGI vampires, nor Spike’s noble death (stop laughing Mr P -sorry @scaryb I’m borrowing that title) but the unbelievable and invigorating score -5 mins of marvellous stuff which I will attempt to source. Just for a bit of fun.

    Really, I was a mess: from the beginning of that episode, from first joke to last I was just laughing and then crying. Knowing it was the last of something truly magical that until November I hadn’t known existed at all. Many of the things we’ve loved about the entire show were brought back: the lighting, the original quartet of Scoobies, actual vampires, little phrases like “The earth is doomed” as well as the ‘on a pin’ change from tragedy to humour which appeared to be missing in quite a few of S7s episodes. But, as Jim kept saying, ‘keep on with it, it pays off’.

    So in the end, who was Spike’s bitch? Yep. Me. Lying all along and never knew it. You did, Mr P: “A vague disclaimer is nobody’s friend.”

    Seriously, it was interesting that Whedon spoke about the rape in S6 and despite Spike’s soulless quality he had done something truly terrible. As a person he could be redeemed. And that was important: “The fact Spike and Buffy sleep together but don’t make love is important. A fine line and a powerful message.” Not that all is forgiven but all is understood.

    Reminded me of my Buffy book of quotes which did diminish as the seasons progressed, but I remember something Giles said in S2: “forgiveness is done as an act of compassion not because they deserve it but because they need it.”

    Also from another fav show: The West Wing “listen up: our ground game isn’t working. We’re gonna throw the ball up in the air. If we’re going to walk into walls I prefer we run at them full speed.” And this time Buffy took the battle to them by opening the seal. Inspirational. Also, what I liked about Whedon’s vision was not shying away from the idea of empowerment for all girls who become women: and all ‘potentials’ as slayers. The fact he even mentions women bleeding together  -in a commentary – was quite a shock. But a good one.

    It may not be Spike the Vampire Show but he didn’t call it The Vampire Slayers either: so something did change and that was a terrific surprise.

    To quote another line from S2 “I’ve reached the feeble banter portion of this discussion” and now I’m drivelling. So, back to Angel or something that isn’t quite as gut wrenching as Buffy.

    *Mr P did you mention that there’s some fan ‘nonsense’ in the final act where Joss himself says that it’s important to let the viewer do some work and receive some payback? This where Cap’n Peroxide is on one side of the room and Buffy on the other? I didn’t notice that at all (through the snotty tears) but in the commentary, which I listened to immediately, he says “if viewers want to think they talked all night, fought all night or made love then that’s the viewer’s moment to imagine what might have happened.” Does that not sit well with you? 🙂  I like to think nothing happened at all -considering S6 and having an epiphany of my own (of sorts) about the Spuffy-verse.

    Kindest, puro.

     

    #38290
    ScaryB @scaryb

    Wow @Purofilion – you’ve watched all 7 series of Buffy since NOVEMBER!!

    What are you going to do now??

    (And glad you enjoyed the finale – it makes up for all the annoying Pots along the way. And then some 🙂  )

    PS I reckon they talked. A bit.

    #38294
    Anonymous @

    @scaryb It helped to have Christmas hols and then have some leave for a month.

    I will continue with Angel -woefully behind.

    Mr P would say “no spoilers don’t look at ANYTHING”

    I’m all over the internet -every panel all the time. What I didn’t realise was that the panels mentioned key people who return in S5 of Angel -still, I can cope, though being on the innernet/youtube is a bit pathetic.

    #38295
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion –Yes, it’s a bloody good finale, which really does justice to the whole show (although to be honest, I can think of season finales that I find slightly more satisfying). Lots of great moments though. I liked that it ended in the Hellmouth. It had to really though, didn’t it?

    Caleb was played by the mighty Nathan Fillion, a refugee from the implosion of Firefly, other cast members find their way onto Angel at around the same time. But I think he really helped give the end of the season a lift. If you haven’t seen Firefly — and I would heartily recommend it — you’ve probably seen him in Castle.

    Sounds like you’ve been slightly spoiled for Angel s5, so it won’t shock you to learn that a certain Buffiverse character joins the show in a way that kind of devalues his noble sacrifice in the finale. But also gives a nice, erm, soulful vibe to the season. Of all the seasons of Angel, s5 is the most Buffy-like I think. And it has a kick-ass finale, which I think I actually prefer over the Buffy one.

    Now, let’s talk Darla…. 😉

    #38298
    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish

    Castle -I though Boreanaz is in this? Or is that Bones? I don’t know these shows at all. I do recall Fillion in some TV movies a few years ago.  Do I need the boxed set? 🙂  But Firefly should be next….

    Caleb is outstanding! A great villain and a sad sad ending for him. 😉

    what I liked about the commentary  as I always do,  is that Whedon never stops talking and yet is never boring. It’s never “and here we have the………..”  but it’s always “this shot was a one-er, followed by a pan because I thought…… “. Now I know so little about this type of thing that the moment he starts chatting and explaining why he uses such shots and how long it took I’m thoroughly gripped. Should there be two Joss’ they should split that job so the commentaries aren’t dull-town.

    On the 6th ep of S2 Angel and Darla…well, Boy Ilion hides under the covers for those dream scenes (“gross, mum”) and yet he’s fine watching poor potentials get beaten. I hope it moves along a bit and I imagine that Warlock and Sons (Law Firm, sorry forgotten their name) want to put Angel to sleep for a long while, infiltrate his life during the day, thus turning him evil?

    But that’s my prediction and I’m often wrong.

    I actually liked Darla at the beginning. She was quite the frightened vamp at the outset in Buffy and yet the flashbacks show this confident yet not ‘ggrr’ vampire -I enjoyed that portrayal.

    Anyway how can Spike come back. He’s dead. He can’t be a ghost! That’s mad.

    #38299
    Anonymous @

    It’s important to note that I did not use the internet at all during Buffy. I’m proud of that. One time I did, I was warned off and I’m glad. Now, it’s hard to watch any show without all the “and now last week, but next week” stuff (I stay away from all Doctor spoilers). Big problem with the discs is that you know Faith is coming back because the first menu page shows a picture of her and yet she may not appear until the last episode on that disc! Annoying marketers having to make their money somehow.

    #38300
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion–

    Anyway how can Spike come back. He’s dead. He can’t be a ghost! That’s mad.

    And yet…

    Spoilers are tricky but will do our best for you to remain unspoiled as much as poss for the remainder of Angel. It’s made trickier because you’ll have heard hints, been able to deduce things, from the later seasons of Buffy. But I think of that as tantalisations rather than spoilers.

    You’ve probably realised by now that Darla is pivotal in Angel-lore. And in Buffy too for that matter. She is, after all, the very first vamp we see. And Julie Benz did audition for the part of Buffy. In another lifetime, it might have been her we’d have been following around Sunnydale for all these episodes. Kind of appropriate too when you consider the amount of comparing we’re asked to do here of Buffy to Darla.

    Yes, I thought Fillion was great as Caleb. It’s kind of a shock to the system though if you’ve first seen him in Firefly, where he’s all noble and heroic (and often very funny) to see him in Buffy where he’s all chilling and misogynistic and clearly channelling Robert Mitchum in Night of the Hunter. The whole series is only 13 episodes long – an unrivalled act of studio idiocy – but I’d say it ranks up there as one of the best things Joss has ever done. And it has the lightness of touch I think you felt might have been lacking from the later seasons of Buffiverse shows.

    In Angel, you must be on to Guise Will Be Guise. A real favourite of mine – in which Alexis Denisof really gets to show off his comedic muscles. Plus it has some great lines.

    #38302
    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish indeed I am. We were about to begin last evening but too knackered. Also, you know, dinner and washing. Also Mr Ilion has joined the parade.

    Yes, Darla: the first ever vamp. I re-watched that last week and enjoyed the feeling of “here we go, this poor frightened girl about to be eaten or raped by unholy fella”. Turns out she was the baddie and this pretty much summed up Buffy: the tipping of the scales and the debunking of stereotypes.

    I shall stay away from anything ‘Angelic’ on internet.

    I’m assuming that by Firefly, studios were less interested in giving things a go? So once F’fly was denounced, that was it? The same thing could easily have happened to Buffy. From what I read about 7th Heaven taking the rating seasons (?) Buffy aired much later but only as a ‘second spot’. And boy, in my opinion, was 7th Heaven American clap trap- awfully predictable and preachy. Angsty teenagers without any real angst.

    #38303
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — on Firefly. It probably holds the distinction of being the only show I’m aware of that had its pilot aired last — no, seriously. Studios didn’t like the first pilot — which is actually awesome and asked for a second one — hence when you watch you’ll get a weird feeling of deja vu in the second episode. There then follow another 10 episodes that are consistently great before the series got canned in the sweeps. It’s the most mismanaged by the suits show ever.

    That would have been that if it hadn’t been for the interwebs, massive fan reaction and enormous DVD sales which led to Joss getting to make a cinema-release finale — Serenity. Personally I think Serenity (also the title of the pilot btw) pales in comparison to the TV series but is still kinda fun. Just make sure you watch it after you’ve watched the series. Or confusion will ensue.

    #38306
    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish

    I will do. Doesn’t pay to get any more confused.

    Now, a favour. I’ve been reading a few bits and pieces and apparently there’s a commentary regarding the episode Seeing Red. This involves either Whedon or Marsters -but in fact, there don’t seem to be any. The inter-webs mentioned commentary rather than ‘panels’ or ‘later discussions’.

    Anyway, thought that be a commentary to watch -Marsters never stops talking generally which could be good and Whedon is the best commenter around -it being his show.

    Apparently there was some talk about the ‘rape scene’ almost ‘stopping his career’. Well, clearly not but that’s an interesting issue nonetheless. Do you have any idea where it might be?

    #38308
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — not aware of there being an actual commentary for Seeing Red — it’s not on my boxset anyway. It’s possible that it was a region 1-only feature, or it could be an Easter Egg, I suppose. Maybe Mr P might know.

    However, I have read a few interviews with Marsters where he’s talked about how difficult he found that scene and that he didn’t enjoy even seeing the snatches of it in the pre-episode re-caps. Pretty sure they’re on the interwebs. Certainly there’s snippets of said interviews on Marsters’s IMDB page.

    #38309
    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish

    yes, thank you. I will check that out. I’m watching what I thought would be a good commentary -for Never leave me (I think it’s that title whereby the Stone is inserted into Spike’s optic nerve and we see ‘Spilliam’ with his Mum) and it’s a very boring commentary; DB (boring), I think it was Goddard (who is OK) and Fury and Marsters. I think that too many people means that no-one wants to steals anyone else’s thunder so very little is actually said!

    I would have hoped that Fury could talk about the shots more -the arc camera use and so on. Very little is said at all about lighting and shots and foregrounding. Anyway.

    #38310
    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish

    Nope, sorry that was Lies my Parents Told Me -obviously.

    Actually it was interesting to hear Goddard say that of all the vampires, even though he has no soul, Spike has  a little ‘something left in there’ which makes him unique. In his relationship with his mama, with Dru and with Buffy. Also, was the fact that William’s  mum was named Ann -Buffy’s middle name. DB was plain awful, basically saying (all the time) “I did not know that. I really didn’t. Boy, did I get time to work as an actor here. Truly wonderrfull”.

    Shame Fury didn’t get a chance to speak up much. I would have enjoyed hearing more about the setting for various locations.

    #38331
    Anonymous @

    Holy crap, last night’s Cucumber has got to be the finest, albeit heart-wrenchingly tragic, story penned by RTD.
    I’m still quite shaken by the events depicted so here’s a few very brief thoughts.

    Hazel Tyler 🙂 🙁
    Daniel 😮
    Lance 😯 😥

    #38343

    Right, so, anyway, where was I?

    Oh that’s right @purofilion was in a right old grump ;). On the @jimthefish@bluesqueakpip axis I lie somewhat more towards bluey because, while nothing surpasses the sheer perfection of S5, S7 does an amazing job, under tricky circumstances (not least, not knowing until the show was on air whether this would be the swansong) and still drew a marvellously satisfying (and right) conclusion.

    In Lie My Parents Told Me Buffy’s leadership skills had been cruelly exposed by The First (who Had The Power) and all it needed was a new Slayer to rock up and she was in trouble. It didn’t matter if her instincts were right, she was unable to take her army with her and, when Xander was maimed after bigging her up so much, the Great Outchuck was inevitable.

    And also necessary. The shock to Buffy was, well traumatic, and Spike did something he could never have done without a soul: gave unconditional support (echoing Xander in The Freshman). Buffy picked herself up, found the Deus Ax Machina (stupidest Buffy debate: Ax or Scythe?) but most importantly realised that the Chosen One is a handy rule not unlike that which kept Tara’s mum in check.

    The Taunter was able to work because he knew the rules of the game and when Buffy grasped them she didn’t just break the rules but invented a whole new game. Can Stand Up; Will Stand Up. It was NOT an accident that the last bit of that montage was Trailer Girl grabbing Dad’s fist (that was last the last scene shot in the enitre series).

    The glance down the road after the bus stopped was, apparently, Tony Head’s idea.

    Assorted jottings:

    * Joss Whedon, bullshitter was on display after S7 aired. He claimed his original plan was to have Tara return (after noisy, obnoxious fan reaction to Kennedy). Problem: his original plan – still live until the fairly late shooting script that I have – was for Tara to appear to Willow in Conversations with Dead People, but Amber Benson declined on the grounds that it would be a betrayal of her fans. And also Kennedy was exactly the sort of forceful character that would bring Willow out of her shell. Disappointing that he didn’t have the courage of his convictions. Sometimes fans are idiots and need to be told that.

    * Also on Joss, his commentary over the Spike Sacrifice scene rather exposes that by this stage (and with his attention on Firefly), SMG and Marsters had better handles on the characters than he did.

    * And it is just as well that Joss’s lighting director saves him from his stupid “the fans can decide if they shagged to not” pandering. The scene is clearly lit as daybreak (compare with Buffy’s confrontation with First!Caleb).

    But this is quibbling:  the pay-off of relationship that began with “This isn’t real but I just  want to feel” and ended with “No you don’t, but thanks for saying it”  was sublime. I really though Joss was going to balls that up, but it was magnificent.

    * When Faith took the girls to The Bronze the band was Nerf Herder, of Buffy theme fame. “Some say they are a sign of the apocalypse”

    Before the “back 9” was picked up in S2, What’s My Line was a potential Series Finale. That ended with the Slayer no longer alone. Joss knew his story.

    So:

    Buffy TheVampire Slayer is not about Buffy, in the same way that The Lord of the Rings is not about Froda, Legolas and co and Harry Potter is not about Harry and Hermione. All of these stories have characters who are the point: Xander, Samwise and Neville, respectively. They have no special talents (at least relatively speaking, in Neville’s case) but possess unswerving loyalty and boundless courage. And they rise.

    This is the problem with Campbell’s Hero’s Journey – it misses the point: it isn’t about the hero, but the impact they have.

     

     

    #38344

    (their my be above average typos – unfamiliar keyboard and more booze in the last two hours that the previous two months…)

    #38350
    Anonymous @

    @pedant

    Welcome back A drinky to you: “here’s looking up your ancestors” (not my line, but funny. I think.)

    @jimthefish @scaryb @cathannabel

    Yea verily, Nerf Herder at Bronze

    So, not a fan of Kennedy? I felt there wasn’t that much chemistry between Will and Kenn despite Joss’ exposition to the contrary.

    I believe that parts of S7 were equal to anything I had seen in previous seasons. I loved 5 the most and 3 closely on its heels. Now that I’m watching some of Season 2 I can see just how well the show took root. It had the power to displace mountains.

    The finale to the Series was impressive and despite the wonderful CGI and panoramic feel, it was, as always, the characters which drew me and the score which held me. I loved the moment when the original Scoobs met in the corridor before going their separate ways…a nice outro. It was important, in a fight to the death battle, that some died: like Anya.

    As I watched the episode reveal itself, I didn’t realise the deus ex ‘moment’ (to coin those who believe The Moment in the Doctor was actually a deus ex (Funny story, I have a T-shirt with DEM on it and odd people look at me with fondly asking to which Church I belong).

    As for the Spike thing (I think I mentioned that issue about the two ‘stars’ standing on opposite sides of the room and Joss commented about the fans ‘imagining’.) I don’t think they did anything except talk. That’s my imagining anyway.

    I found some of the speeches excessive -gather ye platitudes while ye may type of thing – almost as if that was driving the story but metaphors did abound. I sensed that some characters struck a pose, saying “gotcha” (Giles)  and either acted timidly or with reflexive loyalty -I wasn’t opposed to that but it seemed a tad forced. There were lots of call backs to earlier series:

    At one point, Buffy comes down the stairs and says “honey, I’m home” to Spike -near the end which echoes Spike’s greeting to Dru in S2 (not a huge quotable quote, but still, points for pick-up and memory).

    Also in S2 we have Giles telling Buff a story after a rough day: “bad guys are noticeable for their pointy hats…no-one ever dies and  we all get to live happily ever after”.

    Indeed.

    Also on Joss, his commentary over the Spike Sacrifice scene rather exposes that by this stage

    which bit in the commentary? The part about the flamey hand signifying their relationship or the whole point of his sacrifice?

    They could never be together -in my opinion. Reflects the opinion of JM himself who correctly thinks that Angel would most likely be Buffy’s love in a number of interviews much later.

    Yes, Spike had a “place in her heart” True enough – but more than that? Not so sure. And I didn’t think Joss thought differently -but I might have misinterpreted some comments.

    So Spike was a man (ultimately) for veneration not emulation. Also, the relationship (yes they did, no they didn’t stuff) is secondary to the reason behind Spike’s sacrifice

    The issue of a soul remains a troubling one. I am a simple gal but there’s an element of atonement at work. I like to give people a chance (hang on, change the tape, that’s Lennon) but Angel had a soul for 100 years (would that be right Mr P?) whereas Spike returned with a soul and after a month or less it’s always  “but he has a soul!”

    He needed to prove himself -more than a few times. I liked the portion of his end where he declaims: “I can feel my soul”. Now, what could that mean beyond the simple words? That prior to that moment his ‘purity’ was questionable or that he didn’t recognise its quality?

    And what happened as he ‘burnt’?  A baptism of fire for a lengthy purgatory? I could swear he laughed as he was ‘swallowed up’. It didn’t have nobility so much as a flash of ‘remembrance’. But that’s my opinion -as always, these are questions that I’d appreciate help with -or perhaps I need a re-watch. But, I think this fits rather well:

    “what we obtain too cheap we esteem too lightly. ‘Tis dearness only which gives everything its value”. Spike’s soul needed to work within him for longer before the parts of his character and the quality of his burden balanced out.

    “In Lie My Parents Told Me Buffy’s leadership skills had been cruelly exposed by The First (who Had The Power) and all it needed was a new Slayer to rock up and she was in trouble. It didn’t matter if her instincts were right, she was unable to take her army with her and, when Xander was maimed after bigging her up so much, the Great Outchuck was inevitable.”

    Thank you for that explanation

    The question of The Power is an interesting one: who has it? They (the Other) possess it and have it always. They’re unflagging in their determination in what this power must mean. I see this also in Angel , S2. The demon within is a conduit to the blood without.

     

    #38351
    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @purofilion @jimthefish @pedant et al.  S7 would never be my favourite season.  I think 5 holds that place.  Though even just saying that makes me want to argue vigorously for 3, or even 6.  But there are things in 7 that are marvellous.  The whole premise of the show – at least as flagged in the title – is challenged, both by the Scooby/potential mutiny and by the chosen one becoming one of the chosen.  Spike’s story challenges – without resolving – so many questions about the nature of demons and the meaning of soul.  And that bit where the potentials become actuals – that beautiful sequence of young women taking that power on, without understanding it but knowing that its theirs, and standing up, literally or figuratively… Lord, that moves me so much, I can’t even speak about it without choking up.   Over the last, very tough, year,  it has played in my head at so many moments when I’ve felt powerless and defeated, and made me stand up straighter too.

     

    #38353
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @pedant–

    And also Kennedy was exactly the sort of forceful character that would bring Willow out of her shell. Disappointing that he didn’t have the courage of his convictions. Sometimes fans are idiots and need to be told that.

    Or they could, in fact, have a point. I agree that a forceful character was what was needed but Kennedy wasn’t it. Willow’s post-Tara lover is ultimately going to suffer a little from the Riley Effect and fan sensitivities should definitely have been put to one side — especially after the lessons learned in the handling of Riley but Kennedy just didn’t work.

    And largely down to the casting, I’d say. Iyari Limon’s Kennedy was brash and cocky, petulant and spoiled, without being remotely likeable. And when she was playing at being drill sergeant descended into risible. You only have to look at what Eliza Dushku did with Faith to see that you can play a part like this without coming across as a one-dimensional brat. Have to agree with @purofilion that the main problem was just an absolute lack of chemistry between Limon and Hannigan.

    This is the problem with Campbell’s Hero’s Journey – it misses the point: it isn’t about the hero, but the impact they have.

    I think it’s about both really. I’m not really sure you can divorce one from the other. I think Vogler’s reinterpretation of Campbell is much more useful in that context. I’m also not sure the extreme, stultifying linearity of Campbell’s Journey is all that applicable to TV, compared to cinema. Pam Douglas’s book on writing for TV is good on this, arguing that while film narratives progress exclusively on a horizontal axis (the traditional from inciting incident to climax and resolution model), TV narratives progress on a vertical axis too, from episode to episode and season to season. Buffy is pretty much the perfect example of that in action.

    @cathannabel

    that beautiful sequence of young women taking that power on, without understanding it but knowing that its theirs, and standing up, literally or figuratively… Lord, that moves me so much

    Agree. It’s not that s7 is a bad season. It’s just that the writers made some bad choices and I am always slightly aware of a vibe of ennui going through the whole thing. But the finale delivers big time. I’m not overly in love with the whole Lord of the Ringsey-ness of it but something epic was obviously needed — especially as the previous outpourings from the Hellmouth look a bit ropey to modern eyes. But what it did deliver on was it provided a resolution to the themes/questions raised right back in Welcome to the Hellmouth. It’s a spine-tingling moment that redeems whatever weaknesses the season overall had because it’s not just a powerful, affirming statement to make but because it’s also a moment of incredible narrative power. This is Buffy ultimately triumphing over the Watchers’ Council, Prophecy, the whole patriarchal edifice that has dictated her life since she was called as a Slayer.

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