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Priceless
24-01-18, 04:05 PM
If you could change just 3 things in the verse, what would they be?

My changes would be;

1. AtS Season 4 is totally re-written and Cordelia does not get possessed, give birth, sleep with anyone but Angel, or die. She remains the same Cordy as in previous seasons.

2. Buffy does not chase after Riley Finn when he's leaving. She shrugs her shoulders, cries a little, then says his going is for the best.

3. Angel does not wipe Connor's mind. He spends the rest of his life trying to help Connor deal with his issues, sacrificing perhaps what he wants/needs for the needs of his son

flow
24-01-18, 06:35 PM
1. Oz gets a costume, in which he looks at least remotely similar to a werewolf.
2. We get to know three potentials (I`d prefer Vi, Amanda and Rona) and everyone else camps out in the garden or lives in one of the empty houses and is not in any way introduced to us.
3. We find out, that the demon egg incident was completely set up by Riley, who wanted to frame Spike.

flow

Stoney
25-01-18, 12:50 PM
I'm rubbish at these threads. I genuinely wouldn't want to change anything, especially anything major because it would always have ripples and I love the show as it is. So I'll pick silly things...

1. Molly would have been told to do a different accent or would have been coached better. Or she could have been mute, that would have worked too.

2. There would have been just something said to justify how easy it became to kill the Turok-Han. Have the first Buffy struggled to kill known to be enhanced somehow or something.

3. I'll vote too for Oz to have had a better werewolf costume, or at the very least a consistent one.

SpuffyGlitz
17-03-18, 10:36 PM
Buffyverse:

1. Buffy does not fall for Dawn's "guy" in Him. That episode was mostly silly.

AtS:

1. Spike, as soon as he gets corporeal again, takes off, but not immediately to Buffy, but to some other place where he keeps himself in hiding as he works up the courage to see Buffy.

2. Eventually, he goes to Rome, and he catches sight of Buffy (real Buffy, not a decoy) walking lost in thought and he chickens out. Seeing her makes it all the more difficult, he has no idea how she'll react or what he'll say (or she'll say), and he's still terrified things might go wrong, or he might get rejected. Kind of like Gatsby before seeing Daisy again.

Fool for Buffy
17-03-18, 10:51 PM
1) Dawn doesn’t lay in front of a train.
2) I’m gonna copy off Priceless with Buffy doesn’t chase after Riley.
3) Cordelia doesn’t ascend to a higher whatever.

vampmogs
18-03-18, 03:47 AM
I'm going to cheat and seperate this by series;

BtVS:

1) The Potentials. I like the idea in theory but not only were the vast majority of the Potentials either poorly acted or extremely aggravating but it was a mistake to feature them so prominently in the final season rather than focus on the characters fans had actually cared about for the past 7 years.
2) Maggie Walsh lived until the end of S4. I know that this isn't the fault of the writers as the actress asked to be let out of her contract early, but I would definitely keep Walsh around. The original plan was to have her as the Big Bad for S4 and with Adam as just her muscle. She was going to try and drive a wedge between Buffy and Riley and it would have been much more fascinating. In fact, a lot of S4 had to be changed due to behind the scenes drama. The Oz/Veruca storyline was meant to play out throughout the entire season too but Seth Green wanted to leave to focus on movies.
3) The 'magic is crack' storyline. It was a toss up between this or the Scoobies kicking Buffy out of her own house but since this was an arc that spanned an entire season I narrowly went with this instead. It was incredibly heavy-handed and it distracts from what Willow's real issues were. I feel like it's a copout and it's definitely one of the weaknesses of S6.

AtS:

1) No Angel/Cordy romance. They didn't have any romantic chemistry whatsoever, they had to change both characters to make it work, Charisma simply didn't have the acting chops to pull off the more dramatic scenes, and ultimately it was sort of just abandoned mid takeoff which was weird and uncomfortable.
2) No Connor. The character was extremely unpleasant with very little redeeming qualities and in hindsight he really brought very little to the show other than negativity or questionable storylines.
3) Cordy's entire story arc from mid S3 onwards. I'm just not a fan of any of it. Cangel, Saint Cordy, her ascension, the clothes and hair, sleeping with Connor, the terrible acting, being shuffled off into a coma and then dying and having nobody even mourn her or mention it - it was all pretty much a huge train wreck.
4) Darla stuck around until the season finale of S2. Ok, I'm cheating, I know this is 4, but I feel like my first 3 picks are all kind of related anyway. It's one of my biggest regrets of AtS S2 that Darla just took off midway through the season and didn't appear again until S3. I find it really unsatisfying and I believe it's because Julie Benz had other commitments which is really unfortunate. The Pylea arc is just such a strange conclusion to the season (even if I can see how they tried to relate it back to Angel's arc that season) and the season would have been perfect had it played out as intended. I also think it's such a major letdown how Dru just leaves as well.

MikeB
19-03-18, 11:23 AM
My changes are things that would make the Buffyverse make more sense.


1.) Angel is dusted after BtVS 8.39.

- Angel's remaining alive after BtVS 8.39 makes around zero sense as-is. But it also means there is almost no credible way to say any being can be non-hypocritically killed.

- Angel is simply not needed in the world. It was made worse after Season 8. And it ruined Faith's awesomeness from BtVS S8.

- Angel's remaining dead would also result in no Giles resurrection and the Super Giles nonsense.


2.) Willow keeps the Seedling inside her.

- I tend to consider it's more likely Willow was Buffy's actual backup plan in "Chosen" (B 7.22). Willow's becoming an actual god is better than having magical apocalypses able to happen again.

- Buffy post-"The Gift" (B 5.22) has never been very close to Dawn. Even in "Normal Again" (B 6.17), Dawn's placement in Buffy's level of love and priorities is behind Willow, Joyce, Hank, likely Spike, probably Xander.


3.) After BtVS S4,--meaning after the Initiative leave--Spike lives in a mansion in Sunnydale.

- "Once More With Feeling" (B 6.07) has Spike giving the excuse that he considers he's now dead. He probably means post-Drusilla breakup and maybe also post-chipped. There's also maybe the excuse that Spike didn't want to risk some humans trying to rob him and/or demons hiring humans to try to rob and/or kill Spike. But by BtVS S5, Spike is close enough to the Scooby Gang that he has some protection (and they give him some protection in BtVS S4). By the end of "Out of My Mind" (B 5.04), Spike owns to being in love with Buffy. Spike was very likely one of the around 2,000 wealthiest people in the United Kingdom during the Victorian Era.

Angel came from an upper middle class Irish family. Angel got a mansion (something he was very likely renting or owned during BtVS S3). Angel somehow was renting apartments and office space. Angel somehow rented and then was buying the Hyperion Hotel.

Spike tells us in "Lovers Walk" (B 3.08) that he gave Drusilla beautiful jewels and beautiful dresses. In "The Harsh Light of Day" (B 4.03), Spike literally finds treasure. Spike in BtVS S2 clearly had some money. He was mostly staying in the factory because it was the former headquarters of The Order of Aurelius and because Dru's illness and then his handicap resulted in his wanting to have some distance between potential dangers to them.

But Spike's living like a glorified homeless person in BtVS S4 results in future nonsense of Spike's not seeming to have any money and any assets. And his being poor is used as plot points even when it makes around zero sense that Spike could possibly still be poor. Lindsey MacDonald is Spike's benefactor. But then Spike got at least a few of Angel's cars. Then Spike is put on Wolfram & Hart's payroll. Yet somehow after AtS s5, Spike is poor again. BtVS S9 gives the reason Buffy won't be with Spike being Spike is poor. Which makes around zero sense. Spike could simply bring a few people into space or transport things to the International Space Station. It makes around zero sense that Spike wouldn't make millions to even billions of dollars with the bugship.

My personal canon since "Lies My Parents Told Me" (B 7.17) aired is that Spike uses his money to keep up his English country house. And maybe other properties. After reading the "Daddy Issues" arc in A&F S9, I expanded that to Spike gave Drusilla "divorce money". But all that would simply explain that Spike has money and assets.

When "Fool For Love" (B 5.07) aired, it destroyed the credibility of Spike's living like a homeless person. Early BtVS S7 shows Spike wearing designer clothing. AtF shows Spike living in the Playboy Mansion, which is perhaps the closest thing to a country estate that the (310) zip code has.

We also have Spike in AtS s1 calling people educated in Sunnydale uneducated. Spike in "Lessons" (B 7.01) calls Buffy stupid. Spike in BtVS S8 derides Buffy and Angel for not having higher education. Spike in BtVS S5 calls Xander a glorified bricklayer with no comeback from Xander.

BtVS S7 has the possible reason of Spike's appearing to be homeless as a way to literally get close to Buffy. Spike lives with Xander and then soon lives with Buffy. But it wasn't as if Spike was planning pre-BtVS S7 to have the First Evil making him crazy.

BtVS S6 doesn't even give Spike the excuse of being a paid member of the Scooby Gang. One could argue that Spike was feigning being poor because he didn't want the Scooby Gang trying to rob him. But by BtVS S6, Spike is close enough to the Scoobies that he's invited to Buffy's birthday party and was so much a member that he got Clem to be a guest at the Xander-Anya wedding. Clem is the ONLY non-Anya non-Scooby 'friend'--which only included D'Hoffryn and Halfrek--invited to the Xander-Anya wedding.

TriBel
19-03-18, 03:58 PM
Stoney
I'm rubbish at these threads. I genuinely wouldn't want to change anything, especially anything major because it would always have ripples and I love the show as it is. So I'll pick silly things...

Seconded:

1. No Sky Sex. Sky sex is stupid. Seeing Sky Sex is a traumatic experience. Sky Sex can't be unseen. Sky Sex probably resulted in an increase in celibacy. If the human race dies out it will be because of Sky Sex. On the other hand "Do you want to get lucky or not?" "Fair point. I'll set something on fire"...Sheer class! :hug:

2. I'll parrot Oz's werewolf costume.

3. No Angel in Chosen. NB. "Basking" - Heliotropism is not necessarily a positive concept in S7 (and look what happened to Icarus when he got too close to the sun). Spike had the cookies in S4. :)

debbicles
31-03-18, 03:17 PM
I'd go with cheating and choosing three things for both shows:

1. Definitely have Riley shown up as rigging the whole Doctor thing.
2. Yes, what TriBel said - no SkySex. I've now seen those panels and oh my eyes!!! To quote Xander - "can I be blind, too??" Nudey shenanigans, indeed.
3. More Dawn and Spike together in S7.

On AtS:

1. No Evil Cordy - such a disservice to her character
2. Showing how Fred and Spike could have got along even better
3. I'd like Spike to have talked the dragon down in NFA, rather than Angel killing it. I love dragons.

Sosa lola
31-03-18, 06:53 PM
BtVS:

1) Season 6: I was torn between a lot of the weak S6 storylines and character development: first of all, the drastic change in the Xander character from where we stopped in S5. From being so sure that he wants to marry Anya and that it had nothing to do with the world ending to everything Anya said in The Gift is true?? From forming a reluctant civil semi-friendship with Spike to outright loathing him??

It's not just Xander. Willow who demanded they should NOT hurt the horsies suddenly kills a deer and isn't apologetic about it. Tara who was against bringing Joyce back from the dead is now okay with bringing back Buffy. Spike who had a strong friendship with Dawn barely asks about her anymore.

I would have liked if the bringing Buffy back storyline showed Willow and the others in a more sympathetic light: like maybe Willow would be attacked by nightmares of Buffy being in hell, someone mentioning digging Buffy up first, and Willow saying something along the lines that Buffy must be underground for the spell to work or whatever (since the writers clearly wanna have Buffy digging herself out of her grave to SUFFER at the expense of the other characters of course.)

Another thing: Make Buffy suffer without dehumanizing the other characters. Please? Like Buffy's "broke" storyline. Willow and Tara should be working their asses off to make sure Buffy is living comfortably since they were the reason she was suffering. Xander should help out with the money issue as well (which could lead to a potential fight with Anya who tells him that they need that money for their wedding and the honeymoon and that her idea about Buffy charging her victims is legit.)

Buffy was never in an asylum. The demon's poison made her believe she was. Willow was never addicted to magic. She just craved power. Xander never summoned Sweet, he was covering up for Dawn. Spike was not The Doctor, and in the same episode they end up fighting the real Doctor. More emphasis on Xander turing into his father after he left Anya. Anya actually cursing Xander, Spike wishing Xander shuts up forever, and Xander loses his voice, until Grave where Giles begs Anya to give him back his voice and Xander saves the world with words.


2) Season 7: Again, way too many things to change: Kennedy having a crush on Buffy and not Willow, the potential slayers being just ten girls from different places around the world, Amanda being Dawn's new friend from Lessons and we see them hang out a lot before Potential, Dawn not trusting Willow throughout the season, but eventually being the one there for her in The Killer in Me, Spike trying to make amends with the other characters and not just Buffy, Xander and Spike actually bonding while Spike was living with him (make use of that storyline you unimaginative, lazy writers!!), no kicking Buffy out, no guardian, no Giles as The First, and maybe building up to the scythe and amulet.

3) More exposure to the characters' backgrounds and living situations. The parents of Xander, Willow, Cordelia and Oz for example. We should have met them all during the high school years. Like more emphasis is being made about Buffy's mother coming to parent/teacher night, but we don't see Xander's parents or Willow's or Cordeia's?? More big deal should have been made about Oz becoming a werewolf especially since his cousin is and his aunt knows and is okay with it! Since Xander's father is unemployed and his mother works at the drive-thru, shouldn't Xander have a part-time job? The whole Faith living in a motel room seems really weird, how does she exactly pay for rent? There should have been a storyline about Giles taking her in.


AtS:

1) No Angel/Cordy romance. We need more male/female character friendship representations! Also, if you're gonna change Cordelia's character to make her fit with Angel, then no!

2) Cordy's entire story arc from mid S3 onwards. I'm with @Vampmogs on this. It really sucks what they did to Cordelia. Also, she should have stayed a main character even in S5.

3) Xander in Buffy's apartment in Rome instead of Andrew. First, it makes more sense for Xander to be there. Second, a speech about moving on would have been more powerful coming from Xander who used to have feelings for Buffy and then got over her.

KingofCretins
31-03-18, 07:42 PM
Gonna add that that Xander in "The Girl in Question" thing would have been extra fun in hindsight when Buffy turned out not to have even been there and it was probably the Slayers (and therefore Xander) running Angel and Spike through hoops in the first place :) Of course, Xander in "Damage" for last scene would have been even more epic than anything, just would have required rewriting earlier scenes that rely on Andrew's Spike worship.

bespangled
01-04-18, 06:17 AM
I can see why people want to make everyone happy - but I love dramatic tension.

BTVS & ATS :

1) Send Spike to Angel after he gets the soul and have him return mid-season 7..

(Yes, I do love season 7 Spuffy - but there is a reason I am be-Spangled. The reason is I misspelled be-Spangeled. :s



BTVS

1) Keep Maggie Walsh or move up a notch higher in the tension. Adam does nothing but talk and kill a few red shirts. Focus on the realities of the demon world - is it ethical to kill, maim or torture demons that are not a threat? Spike could be the avatar of that. People keep asking why he wasn't staked - well, let's figure it out. This would ratchet up the tension, and have personal ethical depths to be plumbed.

2) Examine class issues in season 3. Look at Faith's background and the assumptions that are made about her. Examine the home life of all the characters. Let me see Xander get a phone call from Buffy while his parents are yelling, maybe the crash of a plate - then have him show up and make a lame joke. But don't conflate abuse with poverty. And can we find a non-sterotypical form of tension from Willow's parents because thus far they are perfect Jewish stereotypes; educated, rich, successful adults who neglect their child and demand perfection at the same time. The overwhelming theme would be family. After all, Faith, neglected and left to squat in a hotel and steal food by her new watcher, goes to the mayor for family.

3) Give those poor neglected Scoobie some freakin arcs in season 7. Willow dealt with her girlfriend an not being able to get away from the dark magics she opened herself to in bringing Buffy back in season 6. Then in season 7 Willow's deals with a new girlfriend and being afraid of doing magic. Deja vu much? Giles could be part of her arc. He's dealing with the death of his friends and the destruction of the one home he had. Now he has Willow needing him. Is he gonna repeat the mistake of leaving her on her own with the magics (as he always has, I might add)? Xander has no arc at all in season 7 - give him something to do other than repair windows. Giving him a drinking problem wouldn't be a bad idea - as long as it doesn't echo the magic addiction. Have them all see dead people - see the First trying to turn them against each other. Bring in Ethan Rayne - alive as an agent of the First. Then bring Spike in to ratchet up the tension. The ending can go the same way, really.

ATS:

1) Bring Spike in at the beginning of season 4 - bug shaggin, carrot top, sack of hammers and well past midnight on the crazy clock. Give him visions from the PTB to make him crazier. Have Angel deal with both his boy and Dru's boy, both of whom have daddy issues. Have Connor and Spike interact - explore the family connections. Let Cordelia have an actual non demonic pregnancy, but since she is now part demon have her child will be part demon. Have Fred come out as a lesbian and get a girlfriend because I can't stand the way she disappeared - let her use her brain. Keep the Lilah and Wesley exploration of gray areas. Let Gunn return to his team (family) and have them in on all the battles. Again - same villains, Angelus, and the Fath arc. Spike can leave because Angelus triggers him.

2) The Relevance of Spike - (https://stakeaclaim.livejournal.com/714.html) This is Spangel so you may not want to read it, but I love the basic idea. After Damage, Spike learns about the Black Thorn and that the BT will know if he reveals any info. He decides to go after members and promote his own candidacy. Angel realizes what is happening, and they play against each other to take down the Black Thorn but they can't even write a note to each other. I don't want to get into more details - excellent story.

3) Make Connor someone I can empathize with instead of an eminently slappable brat. Give me something to work with. Get an actor with more range. Show me vulnerability - or even likability. I know that Angel loves him but I can't for the life of me understand why. Make me care.

Sosa lola
01-04-18, 04:17 PM
Xander has no arc at all in season 7 - give him something to do other than repair windows. Giving him a drinking problem wouldn't be a bad idea - as long as it doesn't echo the magic addiction.

I would have loved this! Or maybe go with Xander's arc in the comics about him having anger problems which he discovers after his outrage in Entropy.

Silver1
02-04-18, 09:17 AM
Xander has no arc at all in season 7 - give him something to do other than repair windows.

Apart from the dreaded Potentials sucking screen time I suspect It was Nicks drinking problem that put pay to any big involvement in the show, as by then he'd become pretty unreliable, and thats why i think much of what his character would have done was handed over to Andrew.

bespangled
02-04-18, 09:50 AM
Apart from the dreaded Potentials sucking screen time I suspect It was Nicks drinking problem that put pay to any big involvement in the show, as by then he'd become pretty unreliable, and thats why i think much of what his character would have done was handed over to Andrew.

Yeah - that's what I understand. He was a beer drinker at that time, and you can see how much beer bloat he gets as the season goes on.

Silver1
02-04-18, 10:37 AM
Very sad because (If nothing else) the humor became more grating when coming out of Andrews mouth.

Nick had a lot of issues back then and so this was yet another case of real life influencing the show.

Dipstick
13-11-18, 07:22 PM
I'll also do 3 from BtVS and 3 from AtS. I'll start with BtVS. On some of these I'd prefer completely different stories but working within the confines of the stories we have, here's how I'd adjust them.

BtVS

1. Dark Willow: I'd drastically scale back the "Willow goes dark" story so it's in character and fits in the Real Life as the Big Bad Story. Willow resurrects Buffy as she did, with the same compromises that we see on the show. Then, Buffy learns that she's broke. It's addressed that Willow and Tara pay rent- Willow from her parents' allowance and Tara from her student loans stipend. However, it's not enough to cover expenses. Willow doesn't want her and Tara to drop out of college and they need their free hours to fight monsters. Willow also doesn't think Buffy should have to go get a job since Buffy already works so hard slaying and isn't done with her college education if she wanted to return to school. So, Willow has a storyline about stealing money from big banks/mega-corporations with her magical powers, rationalizing that Buffy and the Scoobies deserve to steal enough money to live on since they protect the world. (That's the stealing story for the season. Dawn is not klepto. Instead, a story is written about Dawn training to replace Giles as Buffy's Watcher instead of just surprising us with a new and improved Dawn.)

Willow tries lying for a bit as she hands Buffy the increased rent, saying that she had an unexpected windfall from her parents. However soon, Willow is exposed for stealing with magic. Buffy is incredibly disappointed and hurt and embarrassed that Willow is stealing for her and Dawn. Tara is angry at Willow and gives Willow an ultimatum that she'll leave if Willow mis-uses magic again.

Then Willow learns that Buffy was in Heaaaaven. Willow feels so guilty that she suggests to Tara that they mindwipe Buffy. Tara strongly objects and forbids Willow from doing such a thing. Willow thinks Tara doesn't understand so she tries mindwiping Buffy and Tara. The mindwipe fails and is revealed. Tara breaks up with Willow. After Tara broke up with Willow, Willow de-rats Amy and she asks Amy to help her do more magic on Buffy so Buffy recovers from her Heaaaven trauma. Maybe something different than a mindwipe- something like a spell that transfers Buffy back to her Heaaaaven momentarily while still seeing the problems on earth so Buffy can understand that Heaaaaven wasn't that perfect. That spell also fails to disastrous side-effect consequences (like Dawn breaking her arm in a car accident). These failures are enough to shock Willow without magic!Crack.

As a result, Willow finagles a way to get her powers removed from her because she doesn't think she can be trusted with them. It's never that her power take over. It's that Willow doesn't think she has the ethics to make good choices with her power. She has her powers stored in books in the Magic Box. The Scoobies have a better-written version of the Older and Far Away Anya v. Willow debate about the wisdom of Willow unilaterally removing her powers on the hellmouth. Willow proceeds without magic solving crimes with computer hacking and science as she does in Gone through Seeing Red. Amy tries to tempt Willow with getting her powers back by doing magic on her but there's no physical addictive element to the powers. It's just tempting and destablizing because Willow emotionally misses her powers and practically feels like she's selling her and the gang short by giving up her powers. Willow banishes Amy from interacting with her. Instead of being a cardboard drug-pusher villain, Amy makes some great points about how it's so convenient for Willow to destablize Amy's life by not de-rating her for years and then, surrender responsibility for the powers within her because Willow, unlike Amy, has a non-powered life to go back to. As opposed to Amy, who never graduated high school, doesn't have valid college acceptances, and whose mother is in a trophy in the blown-up carcass of a school.

Tara doesn't romantically get back with Willow but there's a longer arc about Tara regaining trust in Willow and trying to be friends with her. Willow is still hopelessly in love with Tara and tries to get their romance back. Tara and Willow head down to Buffy and Xander making up in Seeing Red. Warren shoots Buffy, misses and shoots Tara- but this time there's no bizarre magic bullet that defies logic. Buffy and Xander get to really react to seeing Tara shot dead. We see Willow pretend like she's part of the civilian group to get an ambulance for Buffy and a coroner for Buffy but AH emotes that she's seething and unwilling to settle for this non-powered way of dealing.

In the hubub, Willow goes back to the Magic Box and sucks back her power. Because it's her power, her hair and eyes do not change color. She wears her blood spattered white shirt for this whole vengeance arc. She goes to the hospital and saves Buffy. Then, she tries to get Buffy and Xander to come along to kill Warren as she does in Villains but they refuse. She knocks them out with magic so they sleep through her vengeance because they're going to hinder her. She kills Warren as she does and goes after Andrew and Jonathan. Willow gets to Jonathan and Andrew but then, Willow doesn't finish her vengeance against Jonathan/Andrew because she decides that she'd like to kill herself more than anything. Jonathan/Andrew escape.

Buffy and Xander wake up and find Willow. They both successfully talk her down the ledge from suicide. Buffy is given much better dialogue to convince the audience that she genuinely wants to live out a complete life span and that's a huge part in talking Willow down. Xander also talks Willow down with unconditional love. Because Willow isn't mwah-ha-ha evil, she also sincerely discusses her issues. It's the one season finale without an apocalypse- fitting for a Life is a Big Bad/No Metaphor season.

I'm the fence about the following:

(a) I could even scale down even more so that Willow doesn't suck back her powers in Villains but rather, she kills Warren and captures Jonathan/Andrew with non-magic means. Then, she's about to shoot herself with a gun. The fact that Willow would do these evil acts without magic pushes Willow later in S7 to go get her powers back to defeat the Big Bad because she's seen that she's capable of evil without her powers so she might as well do good with her powers. However, I see the virtue in Willow flinging around some magic in the last few eps of the series as this is a fantasy show. I also like Willow saving Buffy from Warren's bullet with magic.

(b) If ASH is coming back, there's some value to having Giles be part of the suicide intervention with Buffy and Xander. Make it a Core Four scene ala Primeval. However, I think there's a purity of keeping it among the Three Musketeers because Giles wasn't part of their S6 trials. However, titular lead Buffy should not be cut out of the emotional climax of the season, nor the actual gravamen of what's wrong with suicide.

2. The First: To me, there's no point in doing a The First story if you're not going to get ALL of the dead characters to come back. It's sole emotional power as a series-ending storyline is how it uses the dead characters. Other than that, it's just a bland hyped threat with no personality. So if they couldn't get most of the important departed actors, the writers should have just done something else. Warren, Drusilla, and Buffy were insufficient in creating emotional stakes.

I'm not so knowledgeable about the inside-baseball of this show. I know that Amber Benson wouldn't come back to play evil!Tara. That's a big shame and IMO, a big reason to do away with the First storyline all together. I'm not sure why Robia didn't come back because bringing back Jenny Calendar would have been integral to giving the First emotional impact as she did in Amends. I don't know why Kristine Sutherland only appeared to two eps. The mythology could have been stretched so Aud, the girl that died to make Anyanka, could come back and play First!Anya. EC could knock that out of the park and torture Xander. They should have gotten Bianca Lawson to play Kendra to torment Buffy. Mercedes McNabb could have brought some pathos to human!Harmony. I know it's a lot of work for DB along with carrying his own series but I'd rather see First!Angel tormenting the Scoobies than romantic triangle!Real!Angel any day. I'd stretch the mythology so that Coma!Cordelia counted for First purposes so Cordelia could appear on BtVS.

Moreover, these First characters would do a much better job of convincing the Scoobies that they're connected to the actual spirits of their loved ones. I'd scrap the Spike mind-control chip stuff all together. I don't think it added anything. Spike would be crazier longer from the pressures of getting his soul and First!Drusilla would be a more powerful manipulative force.

3. S3 Bangel: Hey to knock on the earlier seasons, I would lose S3 Bangel romance. Angel comes back from hell. Angel and Buffy discuss that they still love each other. However they stick to their original stance of not starting romantic things up again. Instead, Angel is an ally and friend to Buffy but with constant low-simmering UST and a wistfulness of what might have been. However, there's no dating or making out or pointless conversations about their romantic future. That time is instead directed to integrating Angel better with the rest of the cast and having him make amends for his run as Angelus. When Angel leaves at the end of S3, it's because he needs to leave for himself because he has an empty life in Sunnydale.

Puppet
13-11-18, 08:26 PM
I'm also gonna cheat (:P) and do 3 for each show - sorry, Pricey!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

1. Staying Single
Buffy should have stayed single throughout all of S4, perhaps dating occasionally but never for longer than one episode. After the disaster that was Parker, she'd be more cautious to put herself out there and fear getting hurt. Then, by next season, she could get a relationship (maybe even adding drama by making that boyfriend Ben).

2. Jesse McNally
There were so many ways they could have gone with this character that wouldn't have ended in the canon disaster. Acknowledgment of him in later episodes. Killing him later in the season, a bit like Doyle on AtS. Anything but what we got!

3. "Hello! Gay now."
I understand why it was done, but in retrospect, it makes little sense for Willow to be anything other than bisexual. It would also be nice to see some more personal representation on one of my favorite shows, though that part is more selfish :)

(I would've added ending the show after The Gift but that's more production than the universe itself)

Angel

1. Connor
At least try to challenge yourselves, writers, and keep him a baby. Find a way to write around him. Connor has quite possibly one of the worst storylines/arcs in the entire verse!

2. Relationships
Drop 'em. No Cangel. No Funn. No Fresley. No in-dating between the gang. Then you'll still have Weslah and you can pair Gwen with one of the guys, whatever. Just no, so-called, 'in-breeding'. Never works out.

3. Crossovers
More mixture of characters. I'd love to see Xander meet Gunn, another scene with Angel and Giles, maybe even Tara singing for Lorne. Just more!

a thing of evil
13-11-18, 09:03 PM
1. Angel doesn't come back in season 3 b-but AtS? Well, he can respawn in LA, no?

2. Buffy stakes Spike in Seeing Red Right there in the bathroom, she can tear his head off if there's no wood around.

3. Giles doesn't come back after Tabula Rasa He becomes obnoxious/useless and Willow doesn't go apocalyptic without his interference so that's a bonus.

HowiMetdaSlayer
13-11-18, 09:05 PM
Tara does not die!
No Dawn!
S6 rewritten as final season

Dipstick
13-11-18, 09:28 PM
Ok, my AtS picks. Again, I'm trying to stay in the confines of the general story idea but improve it.

1. The mindwipe: If AI had to be mindwiped, there should have been an episode in early S5 illustrating in broad strokes how the Connor-less years transpired. Have some episode where Angel is trapped in Veil's alternate universe where he ricochets from false event to false event. I think that would have made a great replacement to Soul Purpose which I did not care for and which did not provide truly new information about Angel and certainly his friends. Explain how Angel became leader of the group again without Wesley's kidnapping-related expulsion. Explain how Wesley became involved with Lilah or bought collapsible swords from Emile without the excommunication. Explain how Jasmine came about without Connor.

2. Angelus: S4 Angelus is actually scary once he gets out of the cage. At least, he matches the terror of those innocent, halcyon days of BtVS S2 when he was just a love interest instead of being a cartoon bore in the darkest season of his own show. We see him eat people in exciting ways like draining the street-walker and then, blowing out her cigarette smoke ala Innocence. He murders Lilah. He tortures a member of AI. Most of all, another member of AI or Faith kills the Beast, Angelus is not stupid enough to do the gang's job for them in killing the Beast and consequently, bringing back sunlight. Sheesh!

3. Spike: Spike leaves once he's corporealized or certainly, once it was revealed that Lindsay was double-crossing him and he doesn't have a seer to fight evil. It doesn't make sense why Spike stayed at Evil Inc. as Angel's side-kick. I sort of get why AI felt trapped into taking that baggage. However, Spike wasn't trapped once he was corporealized. He could go re-join the better evil-fighting team easy. I suppose another alternative would be to re-write S5 so that Spike continues being his own Champire even after Lindsay is exposed. Members of Angel's team leave W&H and go join Spike's team. Probably Fred and maybe Wes or Lorne. That way, Spike could go off and do his own thing and have other regular characters to play off on his own missions so that Spike isn't patrolling and like, talking to a volleyball in isolation for episodes upon episodes. Angel would have his missions at W&H with Gunn and maybe Lorne or Wes. However, I think I'd rather make a clean break with Spike than split up the cast and re-write everything in late S5. At least, for the purposes of this challenge where I'm trying to disturb as little as possible.

4. W&H: AI: Better articulate how AI was running W&H as a profit-making business. It was evident that AI still maintained the profit-seeking criminal defense attorney business where they represented demons and used their political connections and mystical know-how to hoodwink juries and judges. That was essential to keeping all of the expensive toys. So, the show should have honestly delved into that darkness instead of just mealy mouthing about how AI was dark but like....doing good. By attending to this story, Gunn could have had one of the best arcs in the 'verse instead of all of these great promises of an intense arc but mainly, Gunn spends the first half of S5 being obnoxious and then, he signs the wrong paper and his whole Faustian bargain is boiled down to Fred and Fred alone.

But yeah, if we're drastically changing stuff, then change everything about Cordelia from S3 on.

HardlyThere
13-11-18, 10:09 PM
BTVS
1.) I'll echo Angel re-spawning in LA.
2.) Buffy gets out more, goes on a date post-S5.
3.) Olaf's Hammer is seen again post-S5.

Angel
1.) Cordy doesn't turn into a pod person after S2.
2.) Fred who?
3.) More flashbacks to post-curse, pre-redemption Angel.

Vague that up for me
23-11-18, 05:25 AM
Well since everyone is doing both shows I will go ahead and do the same. Im trying to choose things that don't change the main story.

Btvs
1 I also wish Riley had been behind the demon eggs. Spike is impulsive not stupid. I don't have a problem with him being a criminal still but he would not be leaving evidence in his crypt when he and Buffy are actively having sex.

2 double meat place. Just throw the script out and re-write it. Same concept but more....buffy-like.

3 I would have gone for the metaphore in seeing red. This is purely selfish. Having Spike bite Buffy would have done the same thing for the plot and I wouldn't have to deal with the fact that it happened. I have no intention of trivializing the issue It is very serious but I wish it wasn't so blatantly a part of one of my favorite fictional characters.

Ats
1 Kate. Not sure exactly how to change her but I would.
2 Cordy's entire storyline starting with about the last five minutes of Spin the Bottle

3 Give Spike a better reason to stay once he becomes corporial. I find it very hard that Love's self proclaimed bitch would allow fear to keep him from going to where Buffy is at the very least.

SpuffyGlitz
23-11-18, 10:46 AM
I think I'm going to do this again :p

BtVS:

1. Giles is written to be more consistent in S6-7 - it's those 2 seasons where I find him the least sympathetic, despite the fact that I :heart: Giles.
2. I wish Giles didn't scold Willow (at least, not in such a black & white way) in Flooded, it seems to place all responsibility on her.
3. I wish Xander didn't have to lose his eye in S7.


AtS:

I can't come up with much for AtS because I still haven't watched all the seasons, so this will be pretty straightforward, but if there were 3 things I could change from S5:

1. Spike LEAVES once he's corporeal. Or, he remains chained to the amulet until the end of the season.
2. Spike does NOT visit the "Peppermint Stick"! Nor does he lament the loss of his Nikki Woods' coat in TGIQ. (Actually, the whole of TGIQ.)
3. His British accent remains intact throughout, instead of the slurred mess it becomes, and he does NOT jealously gush over Angel's fleet of cars. :bleh:

flow
23-11-18, 11:04 AM
SpuffyGlitz
3. I wish Xander didn't have to lose his eye in S7.

Really? I am surprised at that. I do think, that after seven years of fighting demons, vampires, monsters, hellgods and averting apocalypses it would be ridiculous if every single member of the core four comes out completely unscarred and unscathed. Therefore I think, Xander got away lucky with only loosing an eye and not getting killed. Which was, what had been planned for him.

flow

Sosa lola
23-11-18, 11:25 AM
I love Xander losing an eye. I just wish more focus was put on his loss and how it'll affect his life from now on. Perhaps if it happened earlier in the season there would have been more time to cover its consequences on his life.

SpuffyGlitz
23-11-18, 11:30 AM
@ flow: Oh, I absolutely understand the need for some sort of injury to show the gravity of the battle, and agree with you about that.

But I sometimes wish the gravity of the loss of his eye was focused on more.

But if they didn't have time to focus on it, and he HAD to be injured it should have been something like a toe. I don't know. Not something that permanently impaired his vision. I always felt very sad/ sick when I saw that happen to him, and then I felt it just...got glossed over. Like, he just started making jokes about it. I understand that he's being brave and he develops a new persona and actually makes it cool, but I still felt really bad for him about that.

Vague that up for me
26-11-18, 07:06 AM
@ flow: Oh, I absolutely understand the need for some sort of injury to show the gravity of the battle, and agree with you about that.

But I sometimes wish the gravity of the loss of his eye was focused on more.

But if they didn't have time to focus on it, and he HAD to be injured it should have been something like a toe. I don't know. Not something that permanently impaired his vision. I always felt very sad/ sick when I saw that happen to him, and then I felt it just...got glossed over. Like, he just started making jokes about it. I understand that he's being brave and he develops a new persona and actually makes it cool, but I still felt really bad for him about that.


I fully agree with that!!! Obviously they had a bunch of things to wrap up and only so much time to do things in but it would have been nice to get a scene with he and Dawn maybe where he gets to acknowledge that this was bound to happen to one of them and he is glad to be alive but he is angry or sad or some sort of realistic emotion.

Just one moment of him actually dealing with his new reality instead of just grinning and bearing it would have made a big difference.

DeepBlueJoy
26-11-18, 06:21 PM
BUFFY:


No soul-rapist, memory stealing friend, no friend betraying Willow
No dead Tara - she was one of the best human beings in either series. She made things better.
No betrayer Giles - no Giles abandons Buffy and returns as Travers junior who tries to kill Spike.


would also love:

No dead Joyce

____________

ANGEL:

No character assassinated/destroyed Cordelia/no dead Cordelia - which means no 'ascended' Cordelia. She was no saint. She should have smelled a rat and not gone with the lying demon.

No destroyed Fred/Gunn relationship - they are the best, most fun, most healing, most naturally loving relationship in the entire Buffyverse. They were only broken up to facilitate a relationship that never happened... one that was based in obsessional and manipulative behavior by Wesley and where we never saw more than friendship on Fred's part. I often wonder if race had anything to do with the engineering of that break up.

No Lorne murdering Lindsay. Lorne didn't need that. It was wrong to ask. Lindsay would never have survived the fight in the alley. Either Wes or Gunn might have survived his fight with his black thorn if they'd had help from someone like Lindsay.


also would have loved:

No dead Doyle, but I think the actor Glenn Quinn's meltdown kind of made that necessary. Still makes me sad.

Dipstick
26-11-18, 10:44 PM
No destroyed Fred/Gunn relationship - they are the best, most fun, most healing, most naturally loving relationship in the entire Buffyverse. They were only broken up to facilitate a relationship that never happened... one that was based in obsessional and manipulative behavior by Wesley and where we never saw more than friendship on Fred's part. I often wonder if race had anything to do with the engineering of that break up.

Mileage particularly varies on a thread like this. But I don't think Fred/Gunn was broken up to facilitate Fred/Wesley. As you said, Fred/Wesley never even really happened. Fresley had their "blink and you missed it" relationship right before Fred's death more than an entire season after Fred and Gunn broke up. Why would Fred and Gunn have to break up around Salvage if Fred and Wesley weren't going to get together for like over 25 eps? I think they mainly broke up to facilitate Gunn's arc to bring Gunn to a low enough place where he gave the series' villains an open invitation to do whatever the f*ck they wanted to his brain as long as he came out educated and refined. The die was pretty much cast that Fred would die and become Illyria and this would completely devastate Wesley because he always remained in love with Fred and couldn't ever get past those feelings. Getting Fred and Wesley together for five minutes before Fred died was a (clumsy) way of making this story even more painful for Wesley but the story could have happened without a Frunn breakup. Whether they were together or not, Wesley would have been devastated that Fred died and it would have tipped him towards insanity. You call it "obsessive." I sort of agree but mainly, I just think Wesley couldn't fall out of love with Fred.

Actually, I just watched Shells last night. As stated before, I don't think that Gunn would have gone for the lawyer-upgrades without the break-up with Fred. But I also don't think Gunn would have withheld information about how the sarcophagus came to enter W&H and his and Dr. Sparrow's role in the whole thing if he was still dating Fred. He made a choice to prioritize his reputation/image over exhausting all avenues to save Fred. I watched the episode this time around thinking that their breakup and their distance in S5 caused him to value Fred less and thus, not make the sacrifice of coming clean. So, the break-up served Gunn's S5 arc more than anything else. Whatever worth that has. I think Gunn's S5 arc is interesting and in-character but MAN, it's really very, very dark and could have used more character exploration of Gunn or scenes where he was wrestling with his lawyer knowledge or discomfort with how he was changed by the lawyer upgrades or IMO, him being the dissenting righteous voice to Angel's NFA plan because of the lessons he learned along the way to alleviate the heaviness of his actions. I think Gunn's S5 arc is a little like Willow's S6 arc where that kind of intense loser badness is not fun.

Again, mileage varies, because I dislike Fred/Gunn. I feel like their whole relationship was created primarily, to subvert expectations that Fred and Wesley would get together and to isolate Wesley for his larger arc and give him pressure to be more decisive right when he encountered the "Father will kill the son" prophecy. It was secondarily created to give Gunn and Fred something to do in S3 because neither of them really had an arc there. As a result, Gunn and Fred didn't really do much together other than eat in diners where Gunn admired how much food Fred could put away and fight over Wesley. Those were like 90 percent of their one-on-one conversations. Deep Down hints at a more interesting relationship when they were charged with raising Connor and managing AI but once they're back in the side-kick role, they lose the feeling of a more mature, multi-dimensional relationship. I found them incredibly boring and they were non-functional and kind of repulsive whenever they were faced with any adversity whether it was Gunn nearly dying or Wesley still being in love with Fred or Fred resenting how AI demanded that she acquire decades of Watcher-training in weeks or Fred discovering that Seidel sent her to Pylea. Anyway, Gunn and Fred were the longest good-guy relationship on the show. Buffyverse relationships all have an expiration date and Angelverse relationships tend to be even shorter. It would be unnatural if Gunn and Fred stayed together through S5.

I thought the racial aspect of Gunn's insecurity in his relationship with Fred were actually text.

HardlyThere
27-11-18, 11:32 AM
I fully agree with that!!! Obviously they had a bunch of things to wrap up and only so much time to do things in but it would have been nice to get a scene with he and Dawn maybe where he gets to acknowledge that this was bound to happen to one of them and he is glad to be alive but he is angry or sad or some sort of realistic emotion.

Just one moment of him actually dealing with his new reality instead of just grinning and bearing it would have made a big difference.

One of the many convos that could/should have happened in Chosen rather than spending time D&D and Faith/Wood squabbling. The hallway scene was a cute throwback, but it feels a tad empty when they all hardly talk each other in the finale.

I already did mine, but I'll add another set: The future/cookie dough talk is between Dawn and Buffy. Xander and Willow have a scene, perhaps about the eye thing. I never felt a need for a Giles/Scooby interaction, but it would have been cool to see him deal with one of the potentials like Chao-Ahn, listening instead of dictating.

Silver1
27-11-18, 12:39 PM
BUFFY:


No soul-rapist, memory stealing friend, no friend betraying Willow
No dead Tara - she was one of the best human beings in either series. She made things better.
No betrayer Giles - no Giles abandons Buffy and returns as Travers junior who tries to kill Spike.


would also love:

No dead Joyce

____________

ANGEL:

No character assassinated/destroyed Cordelia/no dead Cordelia - which means no 'ascended' Cordelia. She was no saint. She should have smelled a rat and not gone with the lying demon.

No destroyed Fred/Gunn relationship - they are the best, most fun, most healing, most naturally loving relationship in the entire Buffyverse. They were only broken up to facilitate a relationship that never happened... one that was based in obsessional and manipulative behavior by Wesley and where we never saw more than friendship on Fred's part. I often wonder if race had anything to do with the engineering of that break up.

No Lorne murdering Lindsay. Lorne didn't need that. It was wrong to ask. Lindsay would never have survived the fight in the alley. Either Wes or Gunn might have survived his fight with his black thorn if they'd had help from someone like Lindsay.


also would have loved:

No dead Doyle, but I think the actor Glenn Quinn's meltdown kind of made that necessary. Still makes me sad.

Blimey, there wouldn't be much conflict left in the shows after that. :lol:

vampmogs
27-11-18, 12:58 PM
I have picked my 3 as well but if I could pick another;

Buffy/Dawn does not replace Buffy/Willow as it did throughout Season 5-7. Seriously, I really miss Buffy/Willow in the later seasons. Conversations that would usually take place between Buffy/Willow are *totally* replaced by Buffy/Dawn. Season 5 isn't *quite* as bad but it's definitely where it starts (for instance, Buffy's conversation about Riley in Triangle would have definitely been between Buffy/Willow if it had happened in Season 1-4) and I resent that Buffy/Willow was replaced with Buffy/Dawn when the writers, literally, did nothing to earn the Buffy/Dawn relationship or establish the necessary groundwork for why we should suddenly be just as, if not more invested in their relationship than we were Buffy/Willow which had been solidly built-up over 4 seasons.

Don't get me wrong, luckily for the writers I think SMG and MT have really great chemistry and they totally made me buy into the Buffy/Dawn relationship. When Buffy strokes Dawn's hair as they talk about Joyce at the end of No Place Like Home I *totally* forget that we've known Dawn for a measly 4 episodes. But I hate how scenes that would have normally been reserved for Buffy/Willow are replaced with scenes of Buffy/Dawn instead.

The dynamic is just completely different which is something that I really noticed after rewatching Amends today. Buffy/Willow share that great talk in the library where Buffy offers Willow advice on her relationship with Oz ("Xander just has a part of you that Oz can't touch. Right now it's about showing Oz that he comes first") and it really stuck out to me how more mature and *reciprocal* the Buffy/Willow dynamic is in comparison to Buffy/Dawn. Buffy/Willow are both the same age and Buffy was actually able to talk with Willow as if she were an equal whenever they discussed their relationship issues etc (and vice versa). Whereas, Buffy/Dawn is mostly Dawn being really inquisitive or, well, pretty naive, with Buffy having to pretty much *talk down* to Dawn or *explain herself* to Dawn because Dawn always comes across as a well-meaning confused puppy/younger sis who is trying to understand her older sister but can't because of the obvious age gap. It's pretty unfulfilling on Buffy's end and I don't find the conversations anywhere near as interesting. I also never get the sense that Buffy herself, despite loving Dawn, really ever benefits from them. Whereas I often felt that the Buffy/Willow heart to hearts left both characters more satisfied after having them.

I don't hate Buffy/Dawn but I really wish the writers had bothered to maintain the Buffy/Willow conversations. Buffy/Dawn is the most blatant case of "tell don't show" (they literally just insert Dawn into the story and expect us to believe the relationship) and whilst it doesn't bother me overall it *does* bother me that it replaces dynamics such as Buffy/Willow which the writers actually *did* earn through the story and which I was invested in for 4 years. Especially when Dawn's simply too young to fill that Buffy/Willow hole.

ghoststar
28-11-18, 12:12 AM
1. A better introductory episode for Dawn.

There are plenty of ways to make Buffy understandably find Dawn a nuisance while not making Dawn grate on our nerves. How would we feel about Dawn if, in her introductory episode, we'd seen her taking care of all the things at home (cooking, cleaning, washing up Buffy's patrol laundry) that the Slayer and the single mom don't have time to think about, and then seen her flipping out and running outside in the dark? Buffy, having been gone, would still see the same thing ("a little idiot who's going to get us all killed!"), while we would see a lonely kid forced into the household's most thankless jobs by virtue of not being as special as her sister.

2. No double standard for sexual assault.

If we're going to use angles and lighting to make the AR in "Seeing Red" as terrifying as possible, and people are going to be angry and concerned that Spike is back in town, and Buffy is going to have dramatic flashbacks, then you have acknowledge sexual assaults on other people as significant as well. Buffy forcibly stimulating Spike's genitals in "Gone" needs to be a watershed in a moral collapse, instead of just one more moment in a bad day for her. The fact that Faith raped Riley means that he-- not just Buffy and Angel-- deserves some input in her punishment. The possibility that Xander can't deal with Faith's return to Sunnydale merits the same level of serious discussion as the impact of Spike's return on Buffy.

3. Limits on what vengeance demons can do.

As it is, there's literally nothing that goes wrong that they shouldn't suspect vengeance demons in, yet the Scoobies rarely do. Furthermore, you'd think they'd at least consider using Anya's connections in desperate circumstances. Dawn could wish that Glory's personality had remained submerged in Ben, the portal would never have opened, and Buffy (and Ben) would've never had to die.

HardlyThere
28-11-18, 12:36 AM
1. A better introductory episode for Dawn.

There are plenty of ways to make Buffy understandably find Dawn a nuisance while not making Dawn grate on our nerves. How would we feel about Dawn if, in her introductory episode, we'd seen her taking care of all the things at home (cooking, cleaning, washing up Buffy's patrol laundry) that the Slayer and the single mom don't have time to think about, and then seen her flipping out and running outside in the dark? Buffy, having been gone, would still see the same thing ("a little idiot who's going to get us all killed!"), while we would see a lonely kid forced into the household's most thankless jobs by virtue of not being as special as her sister.

2. No double standard for sexual assault.

If we're going to use angles and lighting to make the AR in "Seeing Red" as terrifying as possible, and people are going to be angry and concerned that Spike is back in town, and Buffy is going to have dramatic flashbacks, then you have acknowledge sexual assaults on other people as significant as well. Buffy forcibly stimulating Spike's genitals in "Gone" needs to be a watershed in a moral collapse, instead of just one more moment in a bad day for her. The fact that Faith raped Riley means that he-- not just Buffy and Angel-- deserves some input in her punishment. The possibility that Xander can't deal with Faith's return to Sunnydale merits the same level of serious discussion as the impact of Spike's return on Buffy.

3. Limits on what vengeance demons can do.

As it is, there's literally nothing that goes wrong that they shouldn't suspect vengeance demons in, yet the Scoobies rarely do. Furthermore, you'd think they'd at least consider using Anya's connections in desperate circumstances. Dawn could wish that Glory's personality had remained submerged in Ben, the portal would never have opened, and Buffy (and Ben) would've never had to die.

I wouldn't say there's a double standard. Xander's attack on Buffy is never dealt with and dismissed with jokes the same Faith's was on him. Spike spends all of S6 grabbing Buffy and it's literally described in the script as hot steamy goodness.

Dipstick
28-11-18, 01:15 AM
1. A better introductory episode for Dawn.

There are plenty of ways to make Buffy understandably find Dawn a nuisance while not making Dawn grate on our nerves. How would we feel about Dawn if, in her introductory episode, we'd seen her taking care of all the things at home (cooking, cleaning, washing up Buffy's patrol laundry) that the Slayer and the single mom don't have time to think about, and then seen her flipping out and running outside in the dark? Buffy, having been gone, would still see the same thing ("a little idiot who's going to get us all killed!"), while we would see a lonely kid forced into the household's most thankless jobs by virtue of not being as special as her sister.

Agreed on Dawn. Actually, vampmogs post made me also think about this. It's odd that Dawn is so self-contained about her impressiveness. She was watching Buffy fight so closely and with such rigor that she's a great sword fighter in Grave. She wasn't allowed to research in S5-6 but she knows rare languages in S7. Her development into a learned warrior in Grave/S7 is a complete surprise. But then, the odd thing is that she's actually NOT a particularly self-contained person in other ways. "Get out. Get Out. GET OUT" and all. I think that there's character-reasons for this. Dawn was fundamentally built as a Good Student/Good Girl by the Monks. She rebels against that determinism to give a big performance as a loud troublemaker klepto in S5-6 but she's fundamentally a studious person so she's been studying on the sly and then, become mature enough in S7 to own that part of herself.

But yeah, in practice, Dawn seems like a burden in S6 and parts of S5 and that felt very unpleasant to watch as well as cruelly manipulative to indicate that Buffy was better off dead than taking care of her family because her family SUX. It's also another reason why the Buffy/Dawn relationship is a poor substitute Buffy/Willow relationship. With Buffy and Willow, a big part of their dynamic is seeing them grow into women and warriors openly together. Buffy doing sit-ups while Willow practices floating pencils. I see the appeal of "What a surprise that Dawn is actually awesome" from Dawn's perspective (although I don't think the payoff was focused on enough in S7 to make up for S6) but it's emphatically not as thrilling from the standpoint of Buffy empowering Dawn in a continuous relationship as it was to see Buffy and Willow empower each other.

I also agreed with vampmogs above about the tenor of the Buffy/Dawn scenes- Mama!Buffy explains her life to Naive!Dawn. I agree that Buffy doesn't get a peer-sounding board that way. Dawn really isn't in a position to give advice, like Willow can. In addition, the lack of Buffy/Willow scenes in S5-7 was also problematic for Willow. Much like Dawn became Buffy's confidante, Tara became Willow's confidante. However, I think Tara was an even worse substitute for Buffy than Dawn was for Willow. Willow felt less authentic in a lot of her "confide in Tara" scenes compared to how I imagined she'd be with Buffy. I think that's part of the difference between romantic relationships and friendships for a lot of people. In romance, there is a pressure to make sure the person at the other end of the conversation is still attracted to you. Particularly to Willow, Tara is considerably more sanctimious and judgey than Buffy and Tara deliberately occupies a Mommy space to Willow while Buffy occupies a Best Friend space. All of that added up to less authentic and productive Willow/Tara conversations than Buffy/Willow conversations.


Limits on what vengeance demons can do. As it is, there's literally nothing that goes wrong that they shouldn't suspect vengeance demons in, yet the Scoobies rarely do. Furthermore, you'd think they'd at least consider using Anya's connections in desperate circumstances. Dawn could wish that Glory's personality had remained submerged in Ben, the portal would never have opened, and Buffy (and Ben) would've never had to die.


Oooh, that reminds me. If there HAD to be Dark Willow eps, I would have had Anya cheering Willow on or helping her. She's so fake in those final three eps. It's unfathomable to me that she became a vengeance demon and was willing to apply lethal punishments for cheating or leaving someone at the alter, but she draws the line at vengeance for murdering Tara and trying to murder Buffy. It's also so fake that she's a delicate, fragile human with limited powers in the final eps of S6 but she has super-strength and substantial powers elsewhere.


If we're going to use angles and lighting to make the AR in "Seeing Red" as terrifying as possible, and people are going to be angry and concerned that Spike is back in town, and Buffy is going to have dramatic flashbacks, then you have acknowledge sexual assaults on other people as significant as well. Buffy forcibly stimulating Spike's genitals in "Gone" needs to be a watershed in a moral collapse, instead of just one more moment in a bad day for her. The fact that Faith raped Riley means that he-- not just Buffy and Angel-- deserves some input in her punishment. The possibility that Xander can't deal with Faith's return to Sunnydale merits the same level of serious discussion as the impact of Spike's return on Buffy.

I agree that Xander's Faith-trauma should have been discussed in S7. I don't think Buffy was assaulting Spike in Gone. They were in an ongoing sexual relationship, as opposed to broken up. So, Buffy had more reason to assume that Spike was Down to F*ck. Spike didn't say "no" when Buffy initiated the sexual encounter. Spike made a little statement that he wanted Buffy to leave if he couldn't have all of her and she got down to blow him, but then he was all enthusiastically "that's cheating" indicating that he was enjoying the sexual maneuver and wanted it to continue. That's completely different from Buffy repeatedly screaming and pushing Spike to get off her in Seeing Red and him disregarding what she was saying.

HardlyThere
28-11-18, 01:29 AM
Agreed on Dawn. Actually, vampmogs post made me also think about this. It's odd that Dawn is so self-contained about her impressiveness. She was watching Buffy fight so closely and with such rigor that she's a great sword fighter in Grave. She wasn't allowed to research in S5-6 but she knows rare languages in S7. Her development into a learned warrior in Grave/S7 is a complete surprise. But then, the odd thing is that she's actually NOT a particularly self-contained person in other ways. "Get out. Get Out. GET OUT" and all. I think that there's character-reasons for this. Dawn was fundamentally built as a Good Student/Good Girl by the Monks. She rebels against that determinism to give a big performance as a loud troublemaker klepto in S5-6 but she's fundamentally a studious person so she's been studying on the sly and then, become mature enough in S7 to own that part of herself.

But yeah, in practice, Dawn seems like a burden in S6 and parts of S5 and that felt very unpleasant to watch as well as cruelly manipulative to indicate that Buffy was better off dead than taking care of her family because her family SUX. It's also another reason why the Buffy/Dawn relationship is a poor substitute Buffy/Willow relationship. With Buffy and Willow, a big part of their dynamic is seeing them grow into women and warriors openly together. Buffy doing sit-ups while Willow practices floating pencils. I see the appeal of "What a surprise that Dawn is actually awesome" from Dawn's perspective (although I don't think the payoff was focused on enough in S7 to make up for S6) but it's emphatically not as thrilling from the standpoint of Buffy empowering Dawn in a continuous relationship as it was to see Buffy and Willow empower each other.

I also agreed with vampmogs above about the tenor of the Buffy/Dawn scenes- Mama!Buffy explains her life to Naive!Dawn. I agree that Buffy doesn't get a peer-sounding board that way. Dawn really isn't in a position to give advice, like Willow can. In addition, the lack of Buffy/Willow scenes in S5-7 was also problematic for Willow. Much like Dawn became Buffy's confidante, Tara became Willow's confidante. However, I think Tara was an even worse substitute for Buffy than Dawn was for Willow. Willow felt less authentic in a lot of her "confide in Tara" scenes compared to how I imagined she'd be with Buffy. I think that's part of the difference between romantic relationships and friendships for a lot of people. In romance, there is a pressure to make sure the person at the other end of the conversation is still attracted to you. Particularly to Willow, Tara is considerably more sanctimious and judgey than Buffy and Tara deliberately occupies a Mommy space to Willow while Buffy occupies a Best Friend space. All of that added up to less authentic and productive Willow/Tara conversations than Buffy/Willow conversations.



Oooh, that reminds me. If there HAD to be Dark Willow eps, I would have had Anya cheering Willow on or helping her. She's so fake in those final three eps. It's unfathomable to me that she became a vengeance demon and was willing to apply lethal punishments for cheating or leaving someone at the alter, but she draws the line at vengeance for murdering Tara and trying to murder Buffy. It's also so fake that she's a delicate, fragile human with limited powers in the final eps of S6 but she has super-strength and substantial powers elsewhere.



I agree that Xander's Faith-trauma should have been discussed in S7. I don't think Buffy was assaulting Spike in Gone. They were in an ongoing sexual relationship, as opposed to broken up. So, Buffy had more reason to assume that Spike was Down to F*ck. Spike didn't say "no" when Buffy initiated the sexual encounter. Spike made a little statement that he wanted Buffy to leave if he couldn't have all of her and she got down to blow him, but then he was all enthusiastically "that's cheating" indicating that he was enjoying the sexual maneuver and wanted it to continue. That's completely different from Buffy repeatedly screaming and pushing Spike to get off her in Seeing Red and him disregarding what she was saying.

I think the degradation of Buffy/Willow could have been a natural thing had they took any steps to explain it or use it in the story. Friendships break down and a lot of times are not quite the same as they were. It's believable that could happen even to dear friends. But it's just poof, gone in S5. I guess in 6 and 7 they were desperate to give Dawn something to do, but it doesn't work, especially in S6. She's too young to be on Buffy's level.

Stoney
28-11-18, 10:32 AM
1. A better introductory episode for Dawn.

I genuinely love this episode more every time I watch it. I think one of the great things about it is the typical 'my life's worse than my sibling' aspect they thread through it and both Dawn and Buffy's one-sided view of how the other gets it easy/are a pain that has some truth but isn't the whole picture. The constant back/forth of it and dramatisation from them both works so well with them then sticking together at the end in front of Joyce. I think it's a lovely ep for playing up the sibling dynamic of being forced together but staying loyal to each other.


2. No double standard for sexual assault.

If we're going to use angles and lighting to make the AR in "Seeing Red" as terrifying as possible, and people are going to be angry and concerned that Spike is back in town, and Buffy is going to have dramatic flashbacks, then you have acknowledge sexual assaults on other people as significant as well. Buffy forcibly stimulating Spike's genitals in "Gone" needs to be a watershed in a moral collapse, instead of just one more moment in a bad day for her. The fact that Faith raped Riley means that he-- not just Buffy and Angel-- deserves some input in her punishment. The possibility that Xander can't deal with Faith's return to Sunnydale merits the same level of serious discussion as the impact of Spike's return on Buffy.

I don't think the many incidents of dubious consent between Buffy and Spike in S6 are the same as the AR but deliberately lead up to it. One of the reasons the attempted rape is different is because the previous times they both pushed the boundaries of consent and the other never truly drew the line and stopped it. That is except in Gone, when we do know that Spike threw Buffy out as she is complaining about it as she heads home. So in fact it is arguably being shown as a time when she pushed it, as they both do, but then he told her to leave and she did. So it's contrasting to the AR specifically, when Spike missed the boundary being drawn and wasn't listening.

I do however completely agree with you that Faith's assault on Xander (and Riley in fact) are treated too lightly.

ghoststar
28-11-18, 05:24 PM
I genuinely love this episode more every time I watch it. I think one of the great things about it is the typical 'my life's worse than my sibling' aspect they thread through it and both Dawn and Buffy's one-sided view of how the other gets it easy/are a pain that has some truth but isn't the whole picture. The constant back/forth of it and dramatisation from them both works so well with them then sticking together at the end in front of Joyce. I think it's a lovely ep for playing up the sibling dynamic of being forced together but staying loyal to each other.



I don't think the many incidents of dubious consent between Buffy and Spike in S6 are the same as the AR but deliberately lead up to it. One of the reasons the attempted rape is different is because the previous times they both pushed the boundaries of consent and the other never truly drew the line and stopped it. That is except in Gone, when we do know that Spike threw Buffy out as she is complaining about it as she heads home. So in fact it is arguably being shown as a time when she pushed it, as they both do, but then he told her to leave and she did. So it's contrasting to the AR specifically, when Spike missed the boundary being drawn and wasn't listening.

I do however completely agree with you that Faith's assault on Xander (and Riley in fact) are treated too lightly.

I find the "that's cheating" scene from "Gone" more similar to the AR in "Seeing Red" than it is to the other cases of ignored protests and/or unexpected groping. If you look at "Smashed" or "Doublemeat Palace" or "Dead Things," then either a) both partners were clearly into it or b) the partner who wasn't could've stopped it. That's why, when Buffy tells Spike to "stop" in "Dead Things," he says, "Make me," instead of something like "Or what?"-- he has no doubt that, in this situation, she could if she would. Likewise, Spike isn't expecting Buffy to jump him during the fight in "Smashed," but he kisses her back and makes no complaint about her undoing his pants; he could stop her (or at least show that he's attempting to) and he doesn't. These are consensual, if kinky, sexual encounters.

In "Gone," by contrast, Spike has left the bed, walked across the room, told Buffy to leave in a distraught voice, and started hitting the booze. We don't know how he would have responded if she'd approached him while visible or making a sound to let him know she was coming, but we'll never know, because she uses her invisibility to sneak up on him. Whether or not Spike would have consented, he doesn't get the chance. And, presumably, the reason that Buffy sneaked up on him is that she didn't know if he would've consented, either.

The fact that he successfully throws Buffy out does not, from a moral standpoint, mean more than that Buffy successfully throws him out in "Seeing Red." Recall that, in his conversation with Clem, Spike asks, "Why didn't I do it?" I agree that it's kind of stupid for Spike to assume, knowing what he knows about her strength, that he still could have raped her (which is a big part of why I find the rape storyline contrived), but he evidently does. In fact, by using her stealth, Buffy in "Gone" seems to have gotten farther along in the process than Spike will before being thrown out. (While it isn't clear if there's penetration, meaning rape, in the crypt scene, we know that she's at least performing manual stimulation.)

Now, do I think that it was inherently wrong to play the scene in the crypt for laughs? No. It's darkly funny, and I like it. IMO, it makes sense that Spike, being, well, Spike, would be less bothered by a sexual assault than he is by Buffy making fun of him in front of Xander. What I have a problem with is that, after playing the earlier scene for laughs, the show turns around and plays the bathroom scene 100% for drama, complete with Hollywood PTSD for Buffy and universal outrage on the part of her friends and family. I'd be OK with the idea that their whole relationship operates under demon rules that don't treat attempted rape as a major offense, and I'd be OK with the idea that anyone with a moral center who did it would go full-on "what have I done???" The writers are doing what Spike, in a different context, accuses Buffy of: "Playing by rules that you make up as you please."

Stoney
28-11-18, 05:56 PM
I find the "that's cheating" scene from "Gone" more similar to the AR in "Seeing Red" than it is to the other cases of ignored protests and/or unexpected groping. If you look at "Smashed" or "Doublemeat Palace" or "Dead Things," then either a) both partners were clearly into it or b) the partner who wasn't could've stopped it. That's why, when Buffy tells Spike to "stop" in "Dead Things," he says, "Make me," instead of something like "Or what?"-- he has no doubt that, in this situation, she could if she would. Likewise, Spike isn't expecting Buffy to jump him during the fight in "Smashed," but he kisses her back and makes no complaint about her undoing his pants; he could stop her (or at least show that he's attempting to) and he doesn't. These are consensual, if kinky, sexual encounters.

In "Gone," by contrast, Spike has left the bed, walked across the room, told Buffy to leave in a distraught voice, and started hitting the booze. We don't know how he would have responded if she'd approached him while visible or making a sound to let him know she was coming, but we'll never know, because she uses her invisibility to sneak up on him. Whether or not Spike would have consented, he doesn't get the chance. And, presumably, the reason that Buffy sneaked up on him is that she didn't know if he would've consented, either.

The fact that he successfully throws Buffy out does not, from a moral standpoint, mean more than that Buffy successfully throws him out in "Seeing Red." Recall that, in his conversation with Clem, Spike asks, "Why didn't I do it?" I agree that it's kind of stupid for Spike to assume, knowing what he knows about her strength, that he still could have raped her (which is a big part of why I find the rape storyline contrived), but he evidently does. In fact, by using her stealth, Buffy in "Gone" seems to have gotten farther along in the process than Spike will before being thrown out. (While it isn't clear if there's penetration, meaning rape, in the crypt scene, we know that she's at least performing manual stimulation.)

Now, do I think that it was inherently wrong to play the scene in the crypt for laughs? No. It's darkly funny, and I like it. IMO, it makes sense that Spike, being, well, Spike, would be less bothered by a sexual assault than he is by Buffy making fun of him in front of Xander. What I have a problem with is that, after playing the earlier scene for laughs, the show turns around and plays the bathroom scene 100% for drama, complete with Hollywood PTSD for Buffy and universal outrage on the part of her friends and family. I'd be OK with the idea that their whole relationship operates under demon rules that don't treat attempted rape as a major offense, and I'd be OK with the idea that anyone with a moral center who did it would go full-on "what have I done???" The writers are doing what Spike, in a different context, accuses Buffy of: "Playing by rules that you make up as you please."

I think they are played differently because they are responding differently. Yes Spike is unhappy with her and complaining but he isn't hurt, offended, desperately pushing her away in distress when she physically touches him prior to gaining his consent. Sure this could just be because he is less bothered by the way Buffy is behaving, but that doesn't take away her right to be bothered, if he isn't then it inherently isn't the same thing.

There's no reason to believe that Buffy tried to resist being 'thrown out' once she realised he was serious and it wasn't their usual play, that she tried to overpower him and it became violent to the same level as the AR, there's no indication of anything like that. Buffy's actions are questionable in that episode throughout, so I'm not saying I don't think she was pushing it and trying to get what she wanted despite his reluctance. But I don't think it classes beyond any of the other times simply because Spike isn't happy and what he wants to stop obviously does stop without it causing any specific/lasting distress or an ongoing issue in their relationship. If it was being shown as something more then we would have seen the ongoing dispute and him having to fight her off. Only that would make it the same and be Buffy changing the rules. It wasn't framed like the AR even though Buffy was trying to sway him, how it resolved was obviously not problematic to either of them beyond how they usually deal with each other. The AR is a significant step outside of what they have had in their relationship before and it is shown to us in full detail because it is and they want you to realise it isn't the same.

Because Spike is torn in wondering why he attacked her, why he didn't persist is us seeing his lack of moral boundaries and his internal dilemma, it's not there to give him credit for not persisting after a while of trying to violently physically force her. He promised he wouldn't hurt Buffy and he totally misgauged the moment between them and kept on until she threw him off. Buffy, we can assume as we aren't shown otherwise, realised Spike was serious and dropped it. We weren't shown there being violence to it or anything in the tone that touches the bathroom scene. I'm never going to disagree that there were issues in their relationship in how they treated each other at different points but the AR was distinct even though it in great part happened because of the more toxic elements in how they had been treating each other before. But a key difference in why that happened and why it was different in tone was Spike's inability in the moment to see outside of his own drives/wants to notice how serious/distressed Buffy was, to hear her pleading with him to stop, and it is his inability to walk the line successfully without his soul that made the difference. I just don't think you can compare Spike's response to Buffy trying to sway him with whatever sexual act she is performing with Spike trying to physically force Buffy to let him have sex with her to make her feel for him again. That they are shot differently is true, undeniable, but that's part of why they are different, the responses of the two people to what is happening is different, that's the whole point. So to expect them to be treated the same just doesn't make sense to me as the whole point is that they aren't the same within the relationship and the moments themselves. We're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. :)

HardlyThere
28-11-18, 06:33 PM
I find the "that's cheating" scene from "Gone" more similar to the AR in "Seeing Red" than it is to the other cases of ignored protests and/or unexpected groping. If you look at "Smashed" or "Doublemeat Palace" or "Dead Things," then either a) both partners were clearly into it or b) the partner who wasn't could've stopped it. That's why, when Buffy tells Spike to "stop" in "Dead Things," he says, "Make me," instead of something like "Or what?"-- he has no doubt that, in this situation, she could if she would. Likewise, Spike isn't expecting Buffy to jump him during the fight in "Smashed," but he kisses her back and makes no complaint about her undoing his pants; he could stop her (or at least show that he's attempting to) and he doesn't. These are consensual, if kinky, sexual encounters.

In "Gone," by contrast, Spike has left the bed, walked across the room, told Buffy to leave in a distraught voice, and started hitting the booze. We don't know how he would have responded if she'd approached him while visible or making a sound to let him know she was coming, but we'll never know, because she uses her invisibility to sneak up on him. Whether or not Spike would have consented, he doesn't get the chance. And, presumably, the reason that Buffy sneaked up on him is that she didn't know if he would've consented, either.

The fact that he successfully throws Buffy out does not, from a moral standpoint, mean more than that Buffy successfully throws him out in "Seeing Red." Recall that, in his conversation with Clem, Spike asks, "Why didn't I do it?" I agree that it's kind of stupid for Spike to assume, knowing what he knows about her strength, that he still could have raped her (which is a big part of why I find the rape storyline contrived), but he evidently does. In fact, by using her stealth, Buffy in "Gone" seems to have gotten farther along in the process than Spike will before being thrown out. (While it isn't clear if there's penetration, meaning rape, in the crypt scene, we know that she's at least performing manual stimulation.)

Now, do I think that it was inherently wrong to play the scene in the crypt for laughs? No. It's darkly funny, and I like it. IMO, it makes sense that Spike, being, well, Spike, would be less bothered by a sexual assault than he is by Buffy making fun of him in front of Xander. What I have a problem with is that, after playing the earlier scene for laughs, the show turns around and plays the bathroom scene 100% for drama, complete with Hollywood PTSD for Buffy and universal outrage on the part of her friends and family. I'd be OK with the idea that their whole relationship operates under demon rules that don't treat attempted rape as a major offense, and I'd be OK with the idea that anyone with a moral center who did it would go full-on "what have I done???" The writers are doing what Spike, in a different context, accuses Buffy of: "Playing by rules that you make up as you please."

How is Buffy "completely into it" when she's dressed, getting ready to leave and he grabs her, pulls her down into his lap and puts his hand up her skirt? How is she "completely into it" when he pushes her against the counter pulls a Donald Trump in Gone? These are the parallels to the scene in Gone if there are any, not Seeing Red. All you're saying is "she really wanted it deep down".

Seeing Red takes place after they've broken up and there is no question they've broken up, which Spike respects in Hells Bells, Normal Again and Entropy.

Sosa lola
29-11-18, 01:47 AM
I don't know if this falls under the category of changing three canon events, but I remember on the show Scrubs where the the main character JD narrates the show's events, the episodes are all named "My First Day" "My Mentor" "My Best Friend's Mistake".... but each season there's an episode with the title "His Story" or "Her Story" where the narration and POV shifts from JD to another character.

I wish some episodes of S2 that are S1 episodes in nature like "Bad Eggs" "Go Fish" "Some Assembly Required" and "Reptile Boy" were part of S1 to make room for a 4 POV episode, where the events of the four episodes happen in the same day except in each episode we follow one character.

Like the first episode would be a typical episode told from Buffy's POV, the second episode, we see the events unfold from Xander's POV and more clues are discovered that shed light on some of the mysteries in the first episode, the third from Willow's POV which also provides more clues we missed in the first and second episode, and the last would be from Giles' POV with more clues and suddenly everything makes sense and all the pieces fall into place making the puzzle complete.

It'd be awesome if each episode starts with the character in their bed waking up in the morning and we see their daily activities and struggles unfold before our eyes and then with each character going back home and then sleeping as the day is over.

ghoststar
29-11-18, 02:22 AM
I wish some episodes of S2 that are S1 episodes in nature like "Bad Eggs" "Go Fish" "Some Assembly Required" and "Reptile Boy" were part of S1 to make room for a 4 POV episode, where the events of the four episodes happen in the same day except in each episode we follow one character.

Like the first episode would be a typical episode told from Buffy's POV, the second episode, we see the events unfold from Xander's POV and more clues are discovered that shed light on some of the mysteries in the first episode, the third from Willow's POV which also provides more clues we missed in the first and second episode, and the last would be from Giles' POV with more clues and suddenly everything makes sense and all the pieces fall into place making the puzzle complete.

It'd be awesome if each episode starts with the character in their bed waking up in the morning and we see their daily activities and struggles unfold before our eyes and then with each character going back home and then sleeping as the day is over.

Really, I think that most TV shows with long seasons and complicated scenes should spread the work around an ensemble that doesn't have to be in the same place all the time. By all accounts, the entire cast, and especially SMG, had a brutal schedule. It's one thing to work 12-16 hours a day, 5 days a week, for a couple of weeks while squeezing in a rare bit of location shooting. It's kind of crazy to expect the cast to be functional after doing that for more than half the year, over and over. Small wonder that they were apparently acting a little nuts by the series' end. You don't have to go full-on LOST or BSG with the plot kudzu, you could just have two or three characters working on the same plot, or closely-related plots, separately. The show's occasional attempts at alternate-POV episodes tended to be quite good, like "The Zeppo" and "LMPTM," so it isn't as if the writers didn't know how to write them.