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vampmogs
27-08-07, 05:58 PM
Hey,

In the Nostalgic moments Thread Maria brought up a really interesting point about how our core scoobies have changed over time and I thought it would be a nice idea to have a thread about this and how you feel about the changes they made. I hope Maria doesnít mind me doing this as it was a lot of her own ideas but I just thought a thread devoted to it would be good instead of detracting to much from what the nostalgia Thread should be about.

The question I am asking is;

Do you believe that the changes that happened to the scoobies were a deterioration of their characters or was the growth positive and a welcome change for you?

There is a very noticeable difference in the way in which our characters are in s1 to how we find them at the end of s7, and in s8 for all the fans reading the comics. Our characters have experienced a lot in the course of the show, their lives got harder and more complicated and this did take a toll on them overtime. Characters like Buffy and Willow are noticeably more sombre than they were as kids, do you believe this is because as characters they have become worn down and tired or is this just a natural change one can expect in someone as they age? Maria used the word deteriorate to describe what happens to our characters, IMO this is a very cynical word to describe the changes they go through but I find myself agreeing with her 100% Everything became so complicated for them, it appeared they were worn down and tired, tired of their lives and the relationships that had with one another. Nothing was simple anymore, everything was complicated and I believe this was a result of the horrible things many of our characters had to endure.

We briefly mentioned Xander and how in some ways he has been the only one to retain some of his humour, some of his old self. However, what we once took at face value eventually became even more complicated and difficult in s6. Up until this point we kind of just accepted Xanderís jokes at face value, he was just the funny loveable guy. Then in s6 Anya accuses Xander of telling jokes to hide the fact that he is just a scared insecure little boy, suddenly something so simple became something so complex and even sinister.

So really what I am asking is, do you believe that our characters, as with us all, simply became worn down and began to deteriorate as life took its toll? Or were the changes eventually positive for their characters, did they grow into better people?

Vampmogs J

redrevo
27-08-07, 07:12 PM
So really what I am asking is, do you believe that our characters, as with us all, simply became worn down and began to deteriorate as life took its toll? Or were the changes eventually positive for their characters, did they grow into better people?

I, for one, enjoyed the changes. Buffy has never really been a simple show for me and I like how everyone has something to deal with at a given point in time. Willow was hilarious as the shy nerd, but at some point I stop laughing hysterically and start looking for something deeper. This is partially why I don't like season 1. There is no deeper message beyond the preachy monster-of-the-week and no one actually has character development until Prophecy Girl. I never really liked Buffy's cold-and-distant phase in the last two seasons but it was necessary for her to realize that she'd done it all wrong at the end. Everything's more complicated, and there's much more "scary life stuff," and it's harder to work through disagreements, but the Scoobs still make it through and that's what makes the whole thing worth it.

To me, every experience, positive or destructive, makes people more complex and gives them a richer understanding of the world. A final victory over the Big Bad doesn't mean much if you weren't defeated the first few times. So in my eyes, putting some somber characteristics in the characters makes the times that they do end up laughing much more meaningful. The "Final Walk" through Sunnydale High would not emotionally resonate with anyone if we didn't know that all three characters had been through tough times but in the end could still laugh and joke. Buffy's smile would be an incredibly shallow final shot if she hadn't been all-work-no-play throughout the season.

To me, adding some darkness to the characters is a welcome thing because it gives them new dimensions; and in the end, they will still keep fighting, and they will still laugh and joke and have touching Scooby moments, and they will never give up - but it will mean so much more than, say, Xander's constant jokes in the first season. It's not really a deterioration unless they somehow lose all ability to live and laugh in the comics (do they?)

For example: Say Buffy's death to save the world had been placed in season 1, episode... 9 or something. I would have watched it, gone "Oh, yeah, Buffy would die for her friends because she's selfless like that, okay - let's move on." However, at the end of season 5, this death was made all the more powerful because of everything she's gone through: being told throughout the season that it's her destiny to be pure destruction (and sometimes believing it), sacrificing a person she loved for the sake of the world and subsequently believing that she can't love properly, giving up for a single moment and hating herself for it, and a whole host of other things. Her character has been beaten to within an inch of death, literally and metaphorically, and she still loves her sister-who's-not-really-a-sister enough to reject destiny and die for her.

That streak of hope remains in all three of our heroes and that's why I don't mind them getting serious or bleak - it makes the hope and love that they still have shine even brighter.

basakbangel
27-08-07, 07:34 PM
I think, the changes that characters had (some of them) was because of the age stuff. Older age means; more problems, more things to endure and having more complicated, complex life. As being slayer and her scoobies, they have never had a simple life and they knew that they will never have. However, I do believe the fact about the "deteriorate" word. Changes effected badly and harmfully. I used harmful because as you said Vampmogs; they were tired of the hard lives and thier never-ending problemetic relationships. On the other hand, I think some of the changes were because of Joyce's death as a lot of burden was on Buffy and her friends so that's also a reason of their complicated changes.

I don't know, If there's a positive... Let me think, yes there is.. If those problems hadn't been around then I wouldn't have known how to live in this world, how to hold onto the things that they had faith in.

To sump it up, changes were expected but not this big and complicated. I believe that the changes influnced their life harmfully and they suffered very much, paid for all things.. but maybe It was needed because; then how will they know how to hold onto the things they believed, how to find something to live and how to live after all?

NileQT87
27-08-07, 07:46 PM
actually, there was character development all through season 1. every episode was setting up some character. buffy was focused on in wtth, th, tw, nkabotfd and pg. angel and darla got a ton of exposition in angel. willow's first appearance in a dress her mom picked out for her... that immediately connected me to her as having been that innocent nerd in the young clothes.

i, honestly, felt the format of the show was superior in the early years (and more than just because i adore angel). there was a mythic, gothic and fantastical rather than cynical and overly realistic. that was the fatal flaw of season 4--it was too normal, too human. it was always the non-human characters that brought more depth and epicness. spike was about the only thing the later seasons had going for it on the mythic front. anya wasn't used nearly as well as she could have been until the end of season 6 and selfless.

willow got super complacent for a long time that she was with tara. it was *too* happy. luckily, it got much better when her and tara split and both were able to come into their own without each other. and frankly she hit her second peak in the series when she was evil (i still loved her most as nerdy tights-wearing willow). but season 7 was just plain character assassination for her. the kennedy relationship was just painful to watch. tara had at least been sweet and oz was just so deadpan hilarious and cute. kennedy was a very loose girl that spent too much time trying to come on to willow. willow and tara was very subtle. i still liked her with oz and xander the most, however. she was at her best in the first 3 seasons. and the gay/bi thing? i got to say, i actually liked tara, but it was way out of left-field. the girl who had a lifelong crush on xander, had the hots for giles and was adorable with oz... and then it was suddenly... "gay, now." it didn't feel organic, despite just accepting it. it was probably the most poorly planned retcon in the series, though.

buffy was wonderful in the first 3 seasons. by the end, she was reduced to being as dull as cardboard. smg was noticeably unhappy.

also, i think what marti noxon did to james marsters was unprofessional and exploitative. there's a difference between doing something for the sake of character growth and just because you want to play out your fantasies. and i LIKED the spuffy relationship. but i also see why james is so outspokenly for bangel and sprusilla--he felt degraded, especially about the AR (and i empathize with spike there, which goes a long way to say just how unlikeable buffy had gotten).

xander, on the other hand, improved a TON in the later seasons. he was far more likeable in seasons 6 and 7 than he ever was in the early seasons. becoming pt. 2 and forever were not his shining moments, however. i actually liked him ( ::gasp:: ) in potential with dawn. anya also brought out a much better side to him.

it wasn't just about buffy growing up and maturing, but the fact that she actually retarded in her growth. she became less human. in seasons 1 and 2 she faced her battles selflessly. it was around season 3 she started to lose her selflessness. in season 1 she accepted and faced her fate. in season 2 she had her life torn apart and still sacrificed one of the last things she had left to lose. in season 5, you had hints about buffy wanting to die--"every slayer has a death wish". this was not the heroic buffy of seasons 1 and 2. angel brought the best out in buffy--she was at her most heroic and he always tried to keep her connected to her humanity, rather than become the first slayer--the inhuman primitive. it's very possible that the creation of dawn split buffy--dawn became a representation of the entirely human buffy and buffy was just left with the slayer that was left over. in the early seasons, buffy was a much more dimensional complete person--both a human girl and the slayer.

tangent
27-08-07, 08:27 PM
To me Character growth is pretty much always a good thing.

For Buffy herself i feel it would be completely abnormal for her not to become a little more serious as she grow to accept her calling and realise that her life will always be about fighting the evil. In the first 3 seasons Buffy constantly battles against the fact that she is different from others and will never have a normal life but eventually she accepts this and i think the weight of that resposibility is what make her less flippant and flighty.

The same could be said for the rest of the scoobies really all are involved in literally life or death struggles on a regular basis. Yes it is a path that they ahave cosen, unlike Buffy, but still the reality of this choice would make you more serious as you matured and realised more and more just how much darkness was out there.

As for character development throught seaso 1 i would have to disagree slightly. I think what we have here is character introduction. Season 1 and to a degree season 2 is where we get to know our protagonists. It isnt until we know them that we can know that they are changing.

I think that there are too many shows that show their protagonists overcoming their trials and then remaining pretty much the same on the other side. Buffy was braver than this it dared to take well loved characters and admit thatt he battles that they had face in life and the trials and trbulations that they had gone to had changed them as people. This adds a different dimesion to the show in my book and is one of the (many) reasons i keep comign back to it.

Seasons 1,2 & 3 are good season no doubt but would you really want to watch them again and again?

vampmogs
28-08-07, 04:00 AM
For Buffy herself i feel it would be completely abnormal for her not to become a little more serious as she grow to accept her calling and realise that her life will always be about fighting the evil. In the first 3 seasons Buffy constantly battles against the fact that she is different from others and will never have a normal life but eventually she accepts this and i think the weight of that resposibility is what make her less flippant and flighty.

Do you believe this acceptance is ultimately a good thing? I think to some extent it was good that Buffy accepted she was different from everyone else and this wasn't going to change, because Buffy needed to learn who she was and be comfortable with that. However, I always did kind of enjoy how she still fought to be a 'normal girl,' it was what grounded her, urged her on to keep connecting and living in the human world. This want to be normal led to her finding her friendships in the first place, her friends were in strength, but as she accepted she was a slayer more she slowly became more disconnected from them.


The same could be said for the rest of the scoobies really all are involved in literally life or death struggles on a regular basis. Yes it is a path that they ahave cosen, unlike Buffy, but still the reality of this choice would make you more serious as you matured and realised more and more just how much darkness was out there.

I agree most certainly with that. :) They see things and experience things on level most people never will. So do you think the way their characters become more serious, and sometimes less happy, is a realistic representation of what all teenagers go through as the ascend into adulthood? Or do you believe that most adults wouldn't be as cynical because in real life we wouldn't face as many things (although some people unfortunately do have horrible lifes)


As for character development throught seaso 1 i would have to disagree slightly. I think what we have here is character introduction. Season 1 and to a degree season 2 is where we get to know our protagonists. It isnt until we know them that we can know that they are changing.

Yup, can say I fully agree with you there tangent. I can see what both you and Nile are saying here but I tend to think that season one was about showing us who these characters were, IMO from 'Prophecy Girl' onwards we then began to watch them grow. We got to meet Xander, establish he doesn't like vampires (ok kinda growth since he didn't know they even existed but still), we got to meet Buffy and establish what her problem was, same with Giles and Willow. However, we didn't greatly expand on this in the way we did in the following seasons of the show.


I think that there are too many shows that show their protagonists overcoming their trials and then remaining pretty much the same on the other side. Buffy was braver than this it dared to take well loved characters and admit thatt he battles that they had face in life and the trials and trbulations that they had gone to had changed them as people. This adds a different dimesion to the show in my book and is one of the (many) reasons i keep comign back to it.

Do you like the changes though? Or do you prefer the characters how they were?


Seasons 1,2 & 3 are good season no doubt but would you really want to watch them again and again?

I watch them again and again all the time :roll: Season 3 is my fave! :D


actually, there was character development all through season 1. every episode was setting up some character. buffy was focused on in wtth, th, tw, nkabotfd and pg. angel and darla got a ton of exposition in angel. willow's first appearance in a dress her mom picked out for her... that immediately connected me to her as having been that innocent nerd in the young clothes.

Buffy did most certainly have some growth, in NKABOTFD she learnt a valuable lesson, in Nightmares we got an insight into what she dreams about, what she fears.


i, honestly, felt the format of the show was superior in the early years (and more than just because i adore angel). there was a mythic, gothic and fantastical rather than cynical and overly realistic. that was the fatal flaw of season 4--it was too normal, too human. it was always the non-human characters that brought more depth and epicness. spike was about the only thing the later seasons had going for it on the mythic front. anya wasn't used nearly as well as she could have been until the end of season 6 and selfless.

I too loved the gothic feeling in earlier seasons, I think it had a lot to do with the sets as well. Angel's mansion, the library- it was just a happy blend of the supernatural and human drama. I guess this is why I like Spike's crypt in the later seasons, because at least it reminds us that we are still in this world. As far as Spike being the only thing on the mythic front, to some extent I agree. However, I find in s6 that they try and make him to normal, sometimes they forget that he is a vampire and we might as well just watch a soap opera. This is why I like how they played Spike in s5 & s7 more because they still recognised that he was a vampire but added in the human emotion with this. It isn't just with Spike they had this problem though, IMO Buffy might as well have been just a normal girl in s6 because they barley acknowledged she was a slayer.


willow got super complacent for a long time that she was with tara. it was *too* happy. luckily, it got much better when her and tara split and both were able to come into their own without each other. and frankly she hit her second peak in the series when she was evil (i still loved her most as nerdy tights-wearing willow).

Willow's character has always been one of my favourites, I love her pretty much always but agree that nerdy-tights wearing Willow is still my favourite time for her, me and Basak were actually talking about that. And then I love her when she is evil, she is a great villain.


but season 7 was just plain character assassination for her. the kennedy relationship was just painful to watch. tara had at least been sweet and oz was just so deadpan hilarious and cute. kennedy was a very loose girl that spent too much time trying to come on to willow. willow and tara was very subtle. i still liked her with oz and xander the most, however. she was at her best in the first 3 seasons. and the gay/bi thing? i got to say, i actually liked tara, but it was way out of left-field. the girl who had a lifelong crush on xander, had the hots for giles and was adorable with oz... and then it was suddenly... "gay, now." it didn't feel organic, despite just accepting it. it was probably the most poorly planned retcon in the series, though.

I'm still not sure how I feel about Willow being gay. I know that Joss dropped little clues at us during the highschool years for both Xander and Willow because he still couldn't decide who would be gay, but I agree to some extent it still didn't feel very organic. I mean, having vamp Willow be gay was a clue that Willow could end up this way but it doesn't make it realistic, it still felt completely weird that VampWillow would be as gay as she was.


buffy was wonderful in the first 3 seasons. by the end, she was reduced to being as dull as cardboard. smg was noticeably unhappy.

I never found Buffy dull! :D I actually just felt more sorry for her character as the series went on, because she did appear unhappy- I think because of the script and probably because SMG didn't like what they were doing to her character.


also, i think what marti noxon did to james marsters was unprofessional and exploitative. there's a difference between doing something for the sake of character growth and just because you want to play out your fantasies. and i LIKED the spuffy relationship. but i also see why james is so outspokenly for bangel and sprusilla--he felt degraded, especially about the AR (and i empathize with spike there, which goes a long way to say just how unlikeable buffy had gotten).

Yeah hasn't he stated how he has never watched that scene again? It shows how very uncomfortable he was doing it, and no surprise there it would be very uncomfortable. I don't agree with you that Buffy was unlikeable and I don't sympathise with Spike on that level but I had never thought about his character, in terms out of out of the verse and how he was exploited and I have to agree that I feel sorry for him on that level. I totally get what you mean, instead of doing what was best for the story Marti just drove his character into the ground because she wanted to play with him. I don't think Spike is the only victim of this entirely, Xander was ignored not for the best of the story but because some of the writers didn't find him interesting, Buffy was made more darker and more depressed not always for the best of the story but because the writers liked seeing her in pain.

I think Jossí absence could be why this happened. I have faith that usually he does what was best for the story and puts his own personal feelings aside for the most part. I mean, I donít know if he liked Bangel but he broke them up because he didnít want it to become stale, for the story to become stale. Some writers wanted to give Xander powers but Joss said no because for the story that didnít make sense, Xanderís story was that he was normal and we needed that for the story.


xander, on the other hand, improved a TON in the later seasons. he was far more likeable in seasons 6 and 7 than he ever was in the early seasons. becoming pt. 2 and forever were not his shining moments, however. i actually liked him ( ::gasp:: ) in potential with dawn. anya also brought out a much better side to him.

Loved him and even Dawn in that scene! If there were more scenes like that in s7 it wouldn't have been as much of the disaster it was! I actually liked Xander throughout the series though, he did things that pissed me off, usually when it relates to Bangel because I do think at times he was out of line but I always liked him. Though I actually think at times Anya brought out the worst in Xander, I mean I don't fully agree but understand why people believe he was verbally abusive towards her at times.


it wasn't just about buffy growing up and maturing, but the fact that she actually retarded in her growth. she became less human. in seasons 1 and 2 she faced her battles selflessly. it was around season 3 she started to lose her selflessness. in season 1 she accepted and faced her fate. in season 2 she had her life torn apart and still sacrificed one of the last things she had left to lose. in season 5, you had hints about buffy wanting to die--"every slayer has a death wish". this was not the heroic buffy of seasons 1 and 2. angel brought the best out in buffy--she was at her most heroic and he always tried to keep her connected to her humanity, rather than become the first slayer--the inhuman primitive. it's very possible that the creation of dawn split buffy--dawn became a representation of the entirely human buffy and buffy was just left with the slayer that was left over. in the early seasons, buffy was a much more dimensional complete person--both a human girl and the slayer.

You've said what I've been trying to say, just much, much better :D I like characters growing, it is necessary for the show but I'm not sure how they grew made them or likeable or unlikeable.

ThePoet's<3
28-08-07, 04:36 AM
There are some who embrace change but for most we like our comfort zones even in TV Land.

But even in Buffy it was enevitable that our characters grow up and experience life - the good, bad and ugly. I for one liked the way the characters were changing - but am still a little unsure about the future (S8 Comics) as I was when Buffy (show)was moving through the various changes.

In a way, it's great to be in this familiar discomfort about S8 as I was about the show! I'm excited and scared in the same breath! What can possibly happen to our beloved characters?!? How will they change? I think about the Bander relationship setup... How will this affect Xander and Buffy if this happens and doesn't work out?? Or DOES work out?? Should be interesting times again...

vampmogs
28-08-07, 05:09 AM
There are some who embrace change but for most we like our comfort zones even in TV Land.

Great point. In life most people are scared of change, I hate change I am terrified of it. This ultimately would effect what we want in our TV shows, especially when we are so deeply invested in the characters.


But even in Buffy it was enevitable that our characters grow up and experience life - the good, bad and ugly. I for one liked the way the characters were changing - but am still a little unsure about the future (S8 Comics) as I was when Buffy (show)was moving through the various changes.

Is it the changes the characters are facing or just the change in medium that you aren't quite sure about?


In a way, it's great to be in this familiar discomfort about S8 as I was about the show! I'm excited and scared in the same breath! What can possibly happen to our beloved characters?!? How will they change? I think about the Bander relationship setup... How will this affect Xander and Buffy if this happens and doesn't work out?? Or DOES work out?? Should be interesting times again...

I hope it does work out. If it doesn't, well I'm not sure their relationship can bounce back from that. It'll be a huge risk the writers are taking by setting Bander up, but I can't wait for it to happen as I'm just so curious as to how it will be played out. I could end up loving or hating it, and that is very exciting as you have said.

ThePoet's<3
28-08-07, 05:19 AM
Is it the changes the characters are facing or just the change in medium that you aren't quite sure about?

It's the characters. Although with the comic medium there are so many more possibilities - endless scenarios and storylines - that are not encumbered by "how can we do that on TV with our budget" questions. So, yeah, the medium might be a bit scary too! Because there so many experiences that are possible in changing the characters!!

Good point! I hadn't thought about it really being the medium - but yes - the comic could REALLY change the characters!!

vampmogs
28-08-07, 05:31 AM
It's the characters. Although with the comic medium there are so many more possibilities - endless scenarios and storylines - that are not encumbered by "how can we do that on TV with our budget" questions. So, yeah, the medium might be a bit scary too! Because there so many experiences that are possible in changing the characters!!

Well I think Giant Dawn is a really big example of this :D Joss stated how he would have never done that on TV because of the budget but now in the comic we have it, this is probably the first major example of how a character's path is dramatically influenced by the medium in which it is explored in. I also think this could set us on a path where the character growth is something I really like and look foward to. I think giant Dawn will make her grow up, more so than any other season. I think it is going to be so in your face that Dawn can't escape her feelings of isolation and loneliness, and that her and Dawn are going to have to finally deal with the problems between them :)

I have a little feeling that the only way Dawn will be normal sized again is after dealing with her problems with Buffy and somehow having inner peace of the issue. Just a wild though, nothing really to support it but hopefully this happens.


Good point! I hadn't thought about it really being the medium - but yes - the comic could REALLY change the characters!!

Well neither had I till just now, you actually kind of made the point more than me :D

Anon
28-08-07, 08:50 AM
it wasn't just about buffy growing up and maturing, but the fact that she actually retarded in her growth. she became less human. in seasons 1 and 2 she faced her battles selflessly. it was around season 3 she started to lose her selflessness.I would disagree there. Simply staying alive instead of killing herself in season 6 was an incredibly selfless act. Buffy did make some selfish decisions, sometimes, but if she'd been any less selfish she'd have been a Mary Sue, and that's true pretty much throughout.


in season 1 she accepted and faced her fate. in season 2 she had her life torn apart and still sacrificed one of the last things she had left to lose. in season 5, you had hints about buffy wanting to die--"every slayer has a death wish".I'm not sure that Buffy actually wanted to die right up until the end in season 5. Except when she was falling apart in season 7, I don't think Buffy fitted Spike's image of slayers.


this was not the heroic buffy of seasons 1 and 2. angel brought the best out in buffy--she was at her most heroic and he always tried to keep her connected to her humanity, rather than become the first slayer--the inhuman primitive. it's very possible that the creation of dawn split buffy--dawn became a representation of the entirely human buffy and buffy was just left with the slayer that was left over. in the early seasons, buffy was a much more dimensional complete person--both a human girl and the slayer.I'm still not sure what you mean by 'less human'. She seemed to withdraw inside herself somewhat, but I think that was more being the slayer taking its tole. Everyone was relying on her to be strong enough to protect them, all the time, and she took this a little too far. She was still human though. There was always more to her than being the slayer. Her humanity was simply expressed in different ways. She still cared about Dawn and her friends, she still wanted to try and help people. She still had needs and desires other than simply the instinct to fight.

This might have been less true in season 6 than other seasons. Buffy was an emotional wreak for most of that and spent a great deal of the time trying to find some means to cope with her pain. However, after As You Were, Buffy seemed to have regained a great deal of her inner strength and willpower. She also seemed to start to regain her attachment to the world and the people around her.

Even in season 7 she never really stopped being human. She stopped showing it for a while, but in the later episodes that changes and in Chosen you are shown the reason why she did this. Saying that she 'stopped being human' is a very simplistic way of looking at it that never really goes beyond the surface of her character.

I will agree about Dawn splitting Buffy though. Dawn is the child that Buffy was forced to leave behind when she became the slayer.

tangent
28-08-07, 09:38 AM
So do you think the way their characters become more serious, and sometimes less happy, is a realistic representation of what all teenagers go through as the ascend into adulthood? Or do you believe that most adults wouldn't be as cynical because in real life we wouldn't face as many things (although some people unfortunately do have horrible lifes)

In every life your gonna go through some bad times, some times this is when your young, sometimes when your older. What the years under your belt (and yes old bloke speaking) is often a sense of perspective about lifes troubles. With buffy and the gang though life is a constant battering ram of constant struggles that show no sign of ever going away. To me it would be unatural if this didn't wear out potagaonists down and they didn't start to see the word in a starker way.


Do you like the changes though? Or do you prefer the characters how they were?

Both. I love the characters as they were but people don't stay exactly the same for 7 years in real life especially at the sort of ages that the scoobies are. The changes in their beliefs and characters is all part of the process of maturing as people, of finding out who you are and what you stand for.

Good character development to me will always involve hurting your protagonists, making them walk through the fire and seeing how that changes them.

vampmogs
28-08-07, 10:01 AM
In every life your gonna go through some bad times, some times this is when your young, sometimes when your older. What the years under your belt (and yes old bloke speaking) is often a sense of perspective about lifes troubles. With buffy and the gang though life is a constant battering ram of constant struggles that show no sign of ever going away. To me it would be unatural if this didn't wear out potagaonists down and they didn't start to see the word in a starker way.

Good point. The hopeful positive outlook many people in highschool does regrettably fade during time. we get knocked back, we get up and we get knocked back again. This is going to take a toll eventually, as Buffy tells Giles, "if everything just gets stripped away, I don't see the point." I tend to agree with her, but what I loved about the end of season seven was that it ended with that hopeful smile, that smile she needed to have on her face for so long.


Both. I love the characters as they were but people don't stay exactly the same for 7 years in real life especially at the sort of ages that the scoobies are. The changes in their beliefs and characters is all part of the process of maturing as people, of finding out who you are and what you stand for.

I'll always feel incredibly nostalgic for the way the characters were, but it really has a lot to do with the setting in which they were in and how much enthusiasm the writers had for the stories they could tell at the time. What I do like about season eight is that the characters already are more loveable again, even with that character growth. Sometimes I just felt that as they became more worn down they became more cynical and it isn't pretty to watch, but I guess that was the whole point. :)


Good character development to me will always involve hurting your protagonists, making them walk through the fire and seeing how that changes them.

Agreed.

kana
28-08-07, 01:55 PM
I kind of like what Lorne implied: that the wheel keeps turning. There will be phases that character go through that people don't like and in turn there will be times when they appear more admirable. To add to that they become people with whom different members of the audience will relate at different times. Some may dispise Buffy in Season 6 others may identfiy with her existential crisis etc. They stop becoming paradigms of virtue of a particulr ideology and start becoming, well people.

Maria
03-09-07, 07:41 PM
First of all, thank you vampmogs for giving me credit .:) You are also very perceptive in describing deterioration as cynical. Both deterioration and cynicism are conditions that develop gradually. They creep up on us even in our youth as we discover that, forget success, survival alone has a price.

Since I've already expressed my view that there was deterioration, I decided to make a list of what I think were major decisions made by our characters, just from S5-S7, in later years. This does not include the reasons why they acted or reacted the way they did because it is always about constant pressure as others here have already mentioned.

1. Buffy jumps from the tower and dies. She did not allow Dawn, who was willing enough, to do what she (Dawn) was meant to do.

2. Willow dives into the major leagues of magic with a blood spell to bring Buffy back to life.

3. Depressed Buffy uses Spike to feel again.

4. Xander leaves Anya at the altar.

5. Willow kills Warren, intends to kill Buffy, nearly killed Giles, and wants to end the world - all because Tara died.

6.Willow comes back to Sunnydale, repentant, but refuses to help big time because she was now afraid of her own powers.

7. Buffy was now willing to sacrifice Dawn to save millions of other lives. She also threatens anyone who would harm Spike her strongest warrior. Whatever it takes now..

8. Buffy refuses the "demon strength" that was being forced on her by the ancient council.

9. Willow, Giles and Xander abandon Buffy in " Empty Places."

10. Buffy and Willow collaborated in the mass production of slayers.

I then wrote down the consequences of these actions just to clear my head. I will not go into that. But did I still like them? Of course. From my list I can say they were not better people but they are good people. They deteriorated or became cynical but their courage is what matters. They're still standing and fighting. Together.

Buffy is not the only who has lost faith in herself and the world, and just ended it. Willow is not the only one who sought vengeance for the loss of a loved one. Michael Corleone (The Godfather Trilogy) did both the suicide and the vendetta. Well, isn't it also suicide to order the hit on five heads of mafia families? And fans still love and hate Michael to this day, including me.:D