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View Full Version : Was Buffy/Riley ever meant to actually challege Buffy/Angel and/or Buffy/Spike?



MikeB
06-02-18, 12:46 PM
I got the idea from this thread from this thread: http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?20551-Joss-s-ex-wife-spills-the-beans/page6 and the discussions there regarding Marc Blucas's casting.



* I reason it was obvious that Buffy/Riley was simply meant to delay Buffy/Spike and thus prolong the run of BtVS. I reason it was obvious that Buffy/Spike was being set up and was eventually going to happen.


* There was such strong set up for Buffy/Spike in BtVS S2 that with the news of David Boreanaz getting a spin-off series and Angel's dying in "Becoming Part II" (B 2.22), many assumed, considered, and reasoned that Buffy/Spike was going to happen in BtVS S3. As-is, Angel is quickly brought back.

"Lovers Walk" (B 3.08) has essentially Buffy and Spike flirting with each other, Buffy wears a black long-sleeve shirt with a huge Union Jack on it in "Enemies" (B 3.17), Buffy wears a Spike-like black duster in "Choices" (B 3.19).

I remember SMG wanted James Marsters in BtVS S3. I remember she wanted James as Buffy's post-Angel boyfriend.

I remember James Marsters turned stuff down post-BtVS S2 because he wanted to be a regular on BtVS. Not making him a regular in BtVS S4 would have seriously risked James's deciding to do another TV series.


* The audience wanted Buffy with Angel and/or Spike. It was going to be very difficult to get the audience to prefer Buffy/someone else. Buffy already in "Something Blue" (B 4.09) was considering dating Spike-that's the whole point of the opening scene. The "Something Blue" (B 4.09) spell as-is is mostly used as the reason Buffy/Spike isn't happening in BtVS S4. Buffy decides she doesn't like how Spike treated and regarded her during the spell.

The writing made the idea of The Initiative mostly a bad thing. As-is, it was simply a plot device for world-building, it making sense why Spike could be a quasi-Scooby (the chip), and why Buffy would distance herself from the Scoobies and Spike.

Could Fox have demanded such a premium for BtVS if Buffy/Riley were still together at the end of BtVS S5 and were going to be together in BtVS S6? How long would Spike put up with not being with Buffy? The only way Riley could have lasted in the series longer than he did is if Buffy/Riley became more popular than Buffy/Spike and if Riley became more popular than Spike.

As-is, James Marsters was cast in BtVS S4 and paid just below Alyson Hannigan for BtVS S4. Per-hours worked, he was very likely paid the best among the cast. I remember the non-SMG O4 grumbled and complained that James barely had to do much work and he got paid about as well as the other O4. Marc Blucas I remember was paid the least among the series regulars until perhaps Michelle Trachtenberg came along.


* I consider Buffy/Riley much like Spike/Harmony. The relationships were never meant to seriously challenge Buffy/Angel, Buffy/Spike, and Spike/Drusilla.



EDIT:


KingofCretins http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/editpost.php?do=updatepost&p=713987


I actually think Blucas did a fair job with the role; the part itself was limited by a writing team to him an earnest Iowa farmboy turned volunteer soldier is slightly more alien than Valentine Michael Smith, and was drawn only in the broadest of aw-shucks strokes until they decided to go random edgelord with him in Season 5. Utter nonsense. Buffy/Angel fundamentally worked because of the chemistry between Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz and because they liked each other and became friends. We'd seen since "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date" (B 1.05) that Buffy would prefer to date a normal male whom she goes to school with. The writing for Riley was there. "Lie to Me" (B 2.07) showed Buffy would even more prefer to be with a 'normal' male whom she goes to school with who also knows about hers being the Slayer and who could help her in her Slaying. Riley is revealed to be an Initiative soldier.

Then "Pangs" (B 4.08) happens and SMG clearly has more chemistry with James Marsters than she does with Marc Blucas. "I Will Remember You" (A 1.08)-for those BtVS viewers who saw it when aired-reminds the audience of Buffy/Angel. "Something Blue" (B 4.09) the day it aired made (1) James Marsters's name known to the wider public and (2) James Marsters a sex symbol.

In addition, SMG and James Marsters liked each other than from BtVS S4 on they were best friends among the cast of BtVS.

SMG has less chemistry with Marc Blucas than she had with her one-episode love interests and even less chemistry than she had with Tom Lenk.

Nicholas Brendan played a better soldier than Marc Blucas did.

Marc Blucas's performance not only made the audience wonder why Buffy/Spike wasn't happening, they wondered why Xander couldn't have simply kept his military knowledge and why Buffy/Xander wasn't happening instead of Buffy/Riley.

TimeTravellingBunny
06-02-18, 03:38 PM
If you mean, was Riley intended to be Buffy's long-term love interest and did the writers want the audience to root for Buffy/Riley (Biley?) as a couple, yes, I'm sure it was and they did - initially. It's obvious from the season 4 setup and the way their interactions were written, and the way the relationship was written in S4.

But initially, I think it was obvious that they really wanted people to root for B/R - he wasn't written as just as a temporary distraction, like Scott Hope, Owen, Parker or Wood. In fact, Parker was a temporary distraction meant to ease to way for the audience to accept Riley as Buffy's new love interest. Riley was central to the season arc - the Initiative - the same way Angel was central to S2 or Spike to S7. He was given his POV and they were doing their best to make him likable (even if those writing attempts were very awkward - see: The Initiative). I can see what Joss was going for - he was going for a Kitty Pryde/Colossus kind of pairing (Kitty is his favorite comic book character and one of the inspirations for Buffy). But it just didn't work, both because of the writing for Riley and because Blucas had so little chemistry with SMG. In fact, we know that the casting director thought that Blucas was the wrong choice for Buffy's next serious love interest, and her instincts were clearly better than Whedon's, and we also know that the writing staff stopped writing Willow/Riley interactions because they realized Blucas had more chemistry with Hannigan than with Gellar.

I think that it was between seasons 4 and 5 that the writing staff realized that Buffy/Riley wasn't really working, and decided to make their lack of chemistry a feature rather than a bug, writing Riley's dissatisfaction and insecurities and their break-up.

I don't think it the ship meant to "challenge" anything, as Angel was moving to his spin-off show, so Bangel was obviously not going to be an option - except in terms of occasional mentions of their importance to each other - and I don't think the writers had yet decided to go with Spuffy as an option, at least not at the beginning of S4. (At least not most of the writers. Jane Espenson was clearly already shipping them - and it's obvious from The Harsh Light of Day.) They were throwing ship teases and maybe testing their chemistry in Something Blue, but I think it was only between season 4 and 5 that Joss decided to really make Spuffy canon.

Priceless
06-02-18, 06:46 PM
I don't think any relationship can 'challenge' any other because they are all different. Angel was Buffy's first love so will always be special, but not the most important.

I do wonder what the long term plan was for Spike when they bought him back for S4, if he was not to be Buffy's love interest. It seems short sighted of the writers just to use him as a foil for the scoobies and nothing more. I think Something Blue was a test, to see how the audience would react to a Spike/Buffy romance, so it would seem that even very early in the Briley relationship, Spuffy was being considered.

Riley was a likeable if uninteresting character. I am sure the producers had hoped the relationship would become popular, and early on it did seem possible that would happen. But SMG and Blucas lacked chemistry, and this was made even more evident when compared with the obvious chemistry between SMG and Marsters. Once the producers saw that, they would have been foolish to stick with Briley.

GoSpuffy
06-02-18, 10:38 PM
I don't think Spike and Buffy were thought of as a potential couple until S4. I remember a interview with JW saying that when Spike came back for Lovers Walk that was when he decided he wanted James back. I remember another interview where JW said he didn't realize Spike had a thing for Buffy until this year's girl. I think that is when he started thinking ahead to using Spike as a boyfriend.

I'm not aware of a lot of things in the original post, like JM and SMG being best friends. I'm sure I've heard SMG and NB wanted to be love interests for each other in S7 but other than that I've never heard any other comments. And how do we know how much people got paid anyway? Isn't a lot of that speculation?

KingofCretins
06-02-18, 10:50 PM
Well, once upon a time, the writers probably thought that their audience was willing to follow a well-told story in almost any direction vis a vis romances for or between their main characters. GoSpuffy mentions the occasionally lobbying by the actors for some B/X time, David Fury alludes, future tense, to such plans on a commentary for a Season 2 episode. So yeah, they probably thought Buffy/Riley could be just as popular as Buffy/Angel was or that if they had done Buffy/Xander it might have been, and that Buffy/Ben would have suitable curb appeal to set up the Glory bait and switch, etc.

NARRATOR: The audience wouldn't, in fact, follow a well-told story and wanted only Buffy to be in a familiar trope of vampire-heroine romance no matter what.

It amuses me quite a bit in hindsight how much Buffy's vampire-preferential love life was ripping off the prior-written but after-adapted "Vampire Diaries". Might not have even been conscious. But there Bufflena is with her Stefangel and her Spikemon.

MikeB
17-04-18, 10:57 AM
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS


Marc Blucas got hired as Buffy’s post-Angel boyfriend and he was hired to be her “long-term love interest”, but BtVS S4 wasn’t exactly written as if the audience would root for Buffy/Riley.

* BtVS 4.07 “The Initiative” (B 4.07) is the first time Riley shows any interest in Buffy—and his friends had to tell him he was interested in her. Buffy at the end of the episode bizarrely is already dating him even though she’d shown around zero interest in him previously.

Compare that to Buffy/Angel. Angel already in “Welcome to the Hellmouth” (B 1.01) is interested in Buffy and Buffy at-latest at the end of “The Witch” (B 1.03) is clearly very interested in Angel. In-‘verse, her interest in Owen Thurman seems to largely stem from Angel’s not being around much and his only coming to Buffy regarding Slayer matters.


* BtVS 4.2 “Living Conditions”: Buffy meets Parker Abrams, they date for around 2 months, and have sex with each other in BtVS 4.03 “The Harsh Light of Day”. Buffy’s still “mooning over” Parker until the end of “Beer Bad” (B 4.05). Again, her interest in Riley seems to come out of nowhere (as is Riley’s interest in her).

Compare that to Buffy/Angel. Buffy never had sex with anyone before Angel and after until Parker. And Buffy wasn’t “mooning over” any of those breakups beyond the episode of the breakup.


* BtVS 4.08 “Pangs”: Buffy/Spike is introduced again. Buffy/Angel is introduced again.


* AtS 1.08 “I Will Remember You”: Riley who? Even though I consider the parts Angel remembers and Buffy doesn’t didn’t actually happen—that they were a dream or whatever the Powers That Be or even Jasmine gave Angel—, it’s obvious that if Buffy could be with Angel she’d dump Riley in a microsecond.


* BtVS 4.09 “Something Blue”: Buffy/Spike is introduced again. Buffy in the beginning of the episode is considering Buffy/Spike, there’s so much flirting and sexual tension between Buffy/Spike that Willow makes a The English Patient reference and Giles is annoyed and flustered by Buffy/Spike, and Willow’s merely asking if Spike is so important to Buffy that why doesn’t Buffy simply marry Spike results in Buffy/Spike’s engagement.

“Something Blue” is used as the reason Buffy/Spike doesn’t happen in BtVS S4—Buffy didn’t like how Spike treated her during the spell.

The audience wanted either Buffy/Angel or Buffy/Spike (or both).

Buffy kissed Owen Thurman (“Never Kill a Boy on the First Date” (B 1.05)) before kissing Angel (“Angel” (B 1.07)), but Owen was an afterthought at-best after “Angel” (B 1.07). Buffy/Angel continues for Buffy even in BtVS S8. Buffy/Spike builds further after “Something Blue” (B 4.09).


* BtVS 4.13 “The I in Team”: the end has a little exchange between Buffy/Spike that shows Spike knows Buffy had sex with Riley and Buffy to Spike is guilty and anxious. Its shown on the DVDs in the Spike featurette.


* BtVS 4.14 “Goodbye Iowa”: all of the Scoobies support Spike over Riley.


* BtVS 4.16 “Who Are You”: the Faith-as-Buffy/Spike scene wouldn’t have made any sense if it wasn’t fully believable that Buffy could flirt with Spike that way.


* BtVS 4.17 “Superstar”: Spike runs his finger down Buffy’s chest in front of Jonathan Levinson. Buffy maybe remember this.


* BtVS 4.21 “Primeval”: Buffy isn’t relatively much bothered by Spike’s betrayal. By “Buffy vs. Dracula” (B 5.01), it’s clear Buffy/Riley is going to be over in BtVS S5.


In conclusion, if Buffy/Riley was ever meant to challenge Buffy/Angel, why do a “I Will Remember You” (A 1.08) episode? Why have Buffy/Angel ‘make up’ in “The Yoko Factor” (B 4.20)?

I remember Joss Whedon said the Body Switch was primarily done to have a Buffy/Spike scene. Beyond that, Harmony Kendall eventually becomes very clear is a Buffy substitute for Spike. Buffy doesn’t rid of the “Something Blue” (B 4.09) memories, supports Spike over Riley in “Goodbye Iowa” (B 4.14), perhaps remembers Spike’s “flirtation” in “Superstar” (B 4.17), and has zero problems with Spike in “Restless” (B 4.22). Buffy/Spike escalates in BtVS S5.




TimeTravellingBunny

* Marc Blucas’s not having as much chemistry with Sarah Michelle Gellar as David Boreanaz and James Marsters did/do shows Riley wasn’t ever meant to actually challenge Buffy/Angel and Buffy/Spike.


* Douglas Petrie is one writer. I don’t know of any other Buffyverse writers who thought the audience would root for Willow/Riley. Alyson Hannigan and James Marsters clearly had better chemistry than Alyson and Marc Blucas.


* The audience wanted Buffy/Angel, Buffy/Spike, or both. BtVS S5 is when Juliet Landau was available again and I remember James Marsters was heavily lobbying for her to be in BtVS S5 instead of AtS s2. The writers decided to use Drusilla to try to prop up AtS’s ratings and the writers decided to ramp up Buffy/Spike in BtVS S5.

Before BtVS S5 began, it was widely considered Buffy/Spike was finally going to happen and the audience knew Riley was going to leave the series.


* Riley’s insecurities regarding Buffy/Riley were already present at-latest in “The Yoko Factor” (B 4.20).


* The audience knew Sarah Michelle Gellar wanted James Marsters/Spike as Buffy’s post-Angel boyfriend. Buffy/Spike has been present since “School Hard” (B 2.03).

I remember that Douglas Petrie is the only Buffy writer who liked Buffy/Riley, which is why he was chosen to write “As You Were” (B 6.15).

- Sidenote: I remember David Fury liked Spike/Drusilla over Buffy/Spike and still liked Spike/Drusilla after BtVS S6 and BtVS S7. David Fury wrote “Crush” (B 5.14), “Lies My Parents Told Me” (B 7.17), and “Destiny” (A 5.08).

From BtVS S4 on, the only two BtVS writers I remember being ever against Buffy/Spike are David Fury and Steve DeKnight.



Priceless

* I’m referring to was Buffy/Riley ever meant to actually challenge Buffy/Angel and/or Buffy/Spike for the audience.

Obviously, the curse prevented Buffy/Angel. But the audience wanted either Buffy/Angel and/or Buffy/Spike.


* Ratings is the main reason Spike was brought back in BtVS S4. I remember initially the writers wanted Eliza Dushku to return but she opted to continue her movie career. I remember Sarah Michelle Gellar wanted Spike in BtVS S3 and publicly proclaimed she wanted Spike as Buffy’s post-Angel boyfriend. I remember James Marsters was turning stuff down during BtVS S3 because he wanted to be a regular on BtVS.

If James wasn’t brought back in BtVS S4, he likely would have gone to another television series instead and BtVS would lose the viewership he would have brought. Joss Whedon would not only need to create another very popular character but also a character who could actually challenge Buffy/Angel.


* After the AtS spinoff announcement and especially after “Becoming Part II” (B 2.22) many of the viewership assumed Buffy/Spike was going to happen in BtVS S3. Angel was dead, Spike to Joyce is introduced as Buffy’s new boyfriend, Spike is invited into the Summers’s home, and either Angel was going to remain dead until the spinoff or Buffy/Angel were going to break up in BtVS S3.

“Lovers Walk” (B 3.08) essentially has Buffy/Spike flirting throughout, Buffy wears a black long-sleeve with a huge Union Jack in “Enemies” (B 3.17), she wears a long black duster in “Choices” (B 3.19), and SMG wanted Spike as Buffy’s post-Angel boyfriend

“Something Blue” (B 4.09) wasn’t a test for Buffy/Spike, it was used to tell the audience Buffy/Spike wasn’t happening in BtVS S4.


* Buffy/Riley was never popular, and it never seemed possible it would be popular. The audience would prefer Buffy/Faith over Buffy/Riley.



GoSpuffy

* I remember Joss Whedon said he decided to end BtVS in S7. There’s a reason it seems almost the entire viewership blames Sarah Michelle Gellar for ending BtVS.

James Marsters and Sarah Michelle Gellar are the two main reasons Spike is a regular in BtVS S4. Especially with Eliza Dusku focusing on her movie career, and with Angel and Cordelia gone, BtVS needed Spike’s popularity.

Spike’s interest in Buffy has been clear since “School Hard” (B 2.03). He’s looking at Buffy Porn in “Halloween” (B 2.06). Buffy’s interest in Spike has been clear since “School Hard”.


* There are interviews and articles.

Regarding Sarah Michelle Gellars’s wanting Buffy/Xander for BtVS S7, I remember that was at a time when it wasn’t known whether James Marsters was going to be in all of BtVS S7. I remember SMG didn’t want another Marc Blucas/Riley situation. I remember the scripts for BtVS S7 were leaked online and people were reading them, but it was still a surprise when aired that Spike showed up in “Lessons” (B 7.01).

I remember SMG didn’t want Buffy/Spike as it was in BtVS S6. I remember SMG was fine and relatively happy with Buffy/Spike in BtVS S7. I remember both SMG and James didn’t want Buffy’s saying, “I love you.” in “Chosen” (B 7.22) and I remember Joss Whedon had to kinda force them to ‘play the love’ in that scene. For their own reasons, I remember both preferred Buffy/Angel.



KingofCretins

* Angel was created to be Buffy’s love interest. And until Spike, no one challenged Buffy/Angel.

BtVS S4 was the first time Buffy/Xander was possible in-‘verse, but it wasn’t actually possible as the audience didn’t want it and in ways it’d make less sense than Buffy/Riley happening.

None of Xander’s relationships are popular. Some wanted Xander/Willow, but is was relatively easy for Joss Whedon to get the audience to root for Willow/Oz. Among the audience, I remember Willow/Spike—since “The Initiative” (B 4.07)—was more popular than Xander/Willow had ever been.

In BtVS S6 and BtVS S7, I remember James Marsters was 1A to Sarah Michelle Gellar’s 1.

Buffy/Xander was possible in-‘verse in BtVS S7 if James Marsters wasn’t a regular in BtVS S7. But, as-is, the ratings for BtVS S7 tanked so much because Buffy/Spike had no on-screen kissing and no on-screen sex scenes and the Season was relatively boring when watching as it aired. And there was a boycott among many Willow/Tara fans. Buffy/Xander would have tanked the ratings much further. Buffy/Spike was pretty much the only ratings draw in BtVS S7.


* Pre-BtVS S7 is the only time I remember SMG’s lobbying for Buffy/Xander and that was simply because James Marsters was possibly leaving BtVS.


David Fury alludes, future tense, to such plans on a commentary for a Season 2 episode. Huh? Buffy/Xander was NEVER a serious consideration outside of when it wasn’t known whether James Marsters would return for BtVS S7.


So yeah, they probably thought Buffy/Riley could be just as popular as Buffy/Angel was or that if they had done Buffy/Xander it might have been That’s beyond laughable. The ratings would have tanked if Buffy/Xander happened. If Buffy/Xander could have been as popular as Buffy/Angel, it would have been done.

Buffy/Spike itself, which became more popular than Buffy/Angel and by BtVS S6 was the preferred relationship among BtVS viewers—the audience was only half-in-half when including AtS viewers (almost all of which ‘shipped Buffy/Angel)—had been set up since “School Hard” (B 2.03) and the audience suffered through Buffy/Riley and Buffy/Spike not happening even after “Intervention” (B 5.18).

Outside of wishful thinking, I don’t know how anyone can think Buffy/Xander could have been as popular as Buffy/Angel or even popular at all.

I remember Joss Whedon wanted to kill Xander off after BtVS S4 and even went to Nicholas Brendan to talk to him about it. I remember SMG’s wanting Nicholas Brendan in BtVS S7 is a main reason Nic was in BtVS S7.


* It’s doubtful Joss Whedon or any of the writers read or maybe even was aware of The Vampire Diaries novels. As-is, if anything, BtVS—in my opinion—‘rips off’ The Vampire Chronicles and even Bram Stoker’s Dracula .

Priceless
17-04-18, 11:06 AM
“Something Blue” (B 4.09) wasn’t a test for Buffy/Spike, it was used to tell the audience Buffy/Spike wasn’t happening in BtVS S4.

In what way? Although Buffy and Spike might not want it, I think most of the audience saw the chemistry and even if they didn't even think of it before hand, once they saw it, a lot of us wanted it :)

I pretty much agree that Buffy/Riley was written so as not to be very interesting and had so many obstacles put in it's way that I'm not convinced the writers wanted it to work. It didn't help that Marc Blucas and SMG had very little chemistry.

KingofCretins
17-04-18, 12:39 PM
Nobody "challenged" Buffy/Angel by intention or accident since the writers do not do these things on the expectation they are creating civic institutions around which an ordered society must organize if it is to survive. It's the wrong conception of the creative process. They write a story and expect that the story will pull the audience along because their expectation is that their story is good. That is why I rightly note that they would have expected any story they'd written for Buffy romantically to be one that would pull the audience into it (/Riley, /Spike, /Xander, /Anya, /Pike, ad infinitum), because if they didn't, they wouldn't be writing it. See how that works?

I'll take Fury's word for what their intentions once were about Buffy/Xander over yours for want of qualification.

Also, false premise in thread title -- the only relationship that Buffy/Riley could need to have contended with from conception in the affection of the audience is Buffy/Angel because there weren't no such thing as Buffy/Spike when they were breaking Season 4.

TimeTravellingBunny
17-04-18, 12:55 PM
Well, once upon a time, the writers probably thought that their audience was willing to follow a well-told story in almost any direction vis a vis romances for or between their main characters. GoSpuffy mentions the occasionally lobbying by the actors for some B/X time, David Fury alludes, future tense, to such plans on a commentary for a Season 2 episode. So yeah, they probably thought Buffy/Riley could be just as popular as Buffy/Angel was or that if they had done Buffy/Xander it might have been, and that Buffy/Ben would have suitable curb appeal to set up the Glory bait and switch, etc.

NARRATOR: The audience wouldn't, in fact, follow a well-told story and wanted only Buffy to be in a familiar trope of vampire-heroine romance no matter what.

It amuses me quite a bit in hindsight how much Buffy's vampire-preferential love life was ripping off the prior-written but after-adapted "Vampire Diaries". Might not have even been conscious. But there Bufflena is with her Stefangel and her Spikemon.
NARRATOR: The audience could have probably followed a well-told story about Buffy and her human boyfriend, if there had been one. This, however, is not what happened. We will never know what could have been if Riley had been written as a more dynamic and interesting character and played by an actor who had chemistry with the show's lead, Sarah Michelle Gellar.

HardlyThere
17-04-18, 02:04 PM
Nobody "challenged" Buffy/Angel by intention or accident since the writers do not do these things on the expectation they are creating civic institutions around which an ordered society must organize if it is to survive. It's the wrong conception of the creative process. They write a story and expect that the story will pull the audience along because their expectation is that their story is good. That is why I rightly note that they would have expected any story they'd written for Buffy romantically to be one that would pull the audience into it (/Riley, /Spike, /Xander, /Anya, /Pike, ad infinitum), because if they didn't, they wouldn't be writing it. See how that works?

I'll take Fury's word for what their intentions once were about Buffy/Xander over yours for want of qualification.

Also, false premise in thread title -- the only relationship that Buffy/Riley could need to have contended with from conception in the affection of the audience is Buffy/Angel because there weren't no such thing as Buffy/Spike when they were breaking Season 4.

Fury didn't do any S2 commentaries.

The question at the core of the OP is what point did they fully give up on B/R. Was it SB or later.

Rebcake
17-04-18, 08:11 PM
I had a long talk with Jane Espenson a few years ago, and she said that the writing staff/producers had warned Mark Blucas ahead of airing to not go online (to the chatty rooms) because they knew he was going to be excoriated by the fans, as he was a "bridge" relationship for Buffy, and nobody ever likes those. Alas, I did not follow up on just where the bridge was initially supposed to lead. From this conversation, I gathered that Riley was always meant to be temporary. But I think that if there had been a lot of enthusiasm for the character or the pairing, the writers would have found a narrative that kept him around, much as they did back in Season 2, when they failed to kill Spike in a fire as originally planned.

It's interesting to think that the plan post-S2, or even post-Something Blue, was to match Buffy with Spike, but I don't think that the writers/producers had that much of a solid plan from season to season. There were certain things that Joss wanted to do, but wanted to wait until the time was right — Joyce's death, Xander being split into two bodies — and other things that just came together when planning out each season or when writing/shooting a specific episode. The character of Clem, for instance, went from no-name poker demon to birthday party guest and Spike's fast friend/Dawn's baby sitter without a ton of foreshadowing. I'm guessing that the actor/character just charmed everybody, and they wanted him around more.

It doesn't seem that anybody was too sorry to see Riley go, except maybe Xander and Doug Petrie. ;)

HardlyThere
17-04-18, 08:35 PM
I don't think they had much of a plan, either. My thinking is by bridge, they meant Dawn and that Riley would have been gone in S5 no matter how he was received. S5 was meant to be about chipping away her foundations. I'm sure they would have loved to have him become more accepted so his departure would have been sad like Oz as opposed to 'don't let the door hit you'.

As for the B/S stuff, I don't think they ever planned on it becoming what it did. For one, they were still in S5 being it when they plotted the beginning of S4. For another, from my memory of sides and spoilers from BAPS, S6 Spuffy was meant to be much, much shorter than it was.

DeepBlueJoy
17-04-18, 09:11 PM
No idea if it was intentional or not, but Riley was that 'first adult relationship' people have in university... they put lots of hopes and dreams into it, but most of the time, they outgrow it, b/c one or both of the couple slowly become the adults they're going to be, and once they lose that need to be each other's 'ideal romantic lead', they realize they don't have much in common.

Riley needed a woman who would reflect his 'manly glory' -- he was fundamentally insecure in his manhood, and he was extra challenged by the idea of a woman who was orders of magnitude stronger and probably smarter than he was.

Buffy, by contrast, needed someone who she didn't have to 'be strong' with... but that didn't mean she wanted to be weak or pretend she was weak, but she needed to be HONEST in who she was -- to be vulnerable about the burden of being strong all the time, and the strain of "being the hero". Riley simply couldn't bear that much honestly... Someone who had pain about being much, much, much stronger and more vital to the planet simply wasn't something he was built to handle.

Marc Blucas only makes it more difficult b/c Marc is just barely adequate as an actor. I've seen him in other roles, and he's really just not that colorful as an actor. I think an actor with potential was Bailey Chase who played Graham. Apart from anything else, he's simply a more dynamic personality and someone who could hold attention on the screen with Buffy. In spite of his weaknesses as an actor (he basically plays himself), Nick Brendon never had trouble holding our attention onscreen. Marc, by contrast, really is very colorless. Not sure what would have transpired with Graham Miller as Buffy's partner (or if Bailey had played Riley), but I think it might have been possible to integrate him into the show permanently. Neither Riley, the character, nor Marc, the actor were long term material.

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I do not think Spike was 'the plan'. I think Spike and Buffy just worked and it became obvious. They had amazing chemistry. James is charismatic -- he earned his way into the series as a regular, and he earned his way... made a Spike shaped hole in the series that only he could fill.

Eventually, Spike and Buffy became the two that were the two... inevitable.

TimeTravellingBunny
19-04-18, 12:05 AM
No idea if it was intentional or not, but Riley was that 'first adult relationship' people have in university... they put lots of hopes and dreams into it, but most of the time, they outgrow it, b/c one or both of the couple slowly become the adults they're going to be, and once they lose that need to be each other's 'ideal romantic lead', they realize they don't have much in common.

Riley needed a woman who would reflect his 'manly glory' -- he was fundamentally insecure in his manhood, and he was extra challenged by the idea of a woman who was orders of magnitude stronger and probably smarter than he was.

Buffy, by contrast, needed someone who she didn't have to 'be strong' with... but that didn't mean she wanted to be weak or pretend she was weak, but she needed to be HONEST in who she was -- to be vulnerable about the burden of being strong all the time, and the strain of "being the hero". Riley simply couldn't bear that much honestly... Someone who had pain about being much, much, much stronger and more vital to the planet simply wasn't something he was built to handle.

Marc Blucas only makes it more difficult b/c Marc is just barely adequate as an actor. I've seen him in other roles, and he's really just not that colorful as an actor. I think an actor with potential was Bailey Chase who played Graham. Apart from anything else, he's simply a more dynamic personality and someone who could hold attention on the screen with Buffy. In spite of his weaknesses as an actor (he basically plays himself), Nick Brendon never had trouble holding our attention onscreen. Marc, by contrast, really is very colorless. Not sure what would have transpired with Graham Miller as Buffy's partner (or if Bailey had played Riley), but I think it might have been possible to integrate him into the show permanently. Neither Riley, the character, nor Marc, the actor were long term material.

- - - Updated - - -

I do not think Spike was 'the plan'. I think Spike and Buffy just worked and it became obvious. They had amazing chemistry. James is charismatic -- he earned his way into the series as a regular, and he earned his way... made a Spike shaped hole in the series that only he could fill.

Eventually, Spike and Buffy became the two that were the two... inevitable.
Bailey Chase is good-looking, but I've never seen anything in his performance that was memorable or interesting. I've only seen Blucas as Riley and in his guest starring role on Castle, and he is OK in playing a particular type of character, but doesn't have much range. Of the Initiative trio, Leonard Roberts seemed the most dynamic (and he's the only one who went on to have success post-Buffy, at least in another popular show that I'm aware of).

For me it's far more interesting to think what it would have been like if Christian Kane had been cast as Riley (he auditioned for the role).

KingofCretins
19-04-18, 01:09 PM
Fury didn't do any S2 commentaries.

The question at the core of the OP is what point did they fully give up on B/R. Was it SB or later.

Greenwalt, I'm sorry. No way he'd be well-placed enough to know what they had in mind, right? ;)

HardlyThere
19-04-18, 05:00 PM
Greenwalt, I'm sorry. No way he'd be well-placed enough to know what they had in mind, right? ;)

After 1999? No.

KingofCretins
20-04-18, 02:58 AM
After 1999? No.

Any particular factual basis you have to argue that he was completely misinformed or out of touch on the subject? This isn't some small, ancillary, or transitory figure at Mutant Enemy. He showrunner for first three season of "Angel", or at least as much showrunner as one gets when Joss isn't doing it himself, a la Noxon in S6-S7. That has him as arguably #2 guy in the production house up to the end of S3 of "Angel" in early 2002, do you really suppose that in the relatively small family that was ME's writers room(s) that he would just be wildly wrong about that as of the time he said it?

What I can't find any indication of is when the commentary was actually recorded -- first retail release of S2 sets was May 2001, but they probably started recording those pretty shortly after they did S1 and S1 sold in 2000. So sometime in there his best good faith information was that this was a plan.

HardlyThere
20-04-18, 11:59 AM
Because he worked on Angel. His BTVS information only exists in the form of crossovers. Buffy writers went to Angel. Angel writers did not work on Buffy, even when strapped for talent. The lone exception was Fury, who was primarily an Angel writer by the end of S7, but came back to help with LMPTM. He has said he wasn't up to date on the storylines.

But no, they were totally going to. Screw what the people actually writing it have said, some guy who left in 1999 says otherwise.

More seriously, S2 was released in May 2001. This would suggest it was done very late in S5 since SMG has said the commentaries were done while filming.

Do you really believe they were going to do B/X in S6, man? Really? How? When?

Sosa lola
20-04-18, 09:13 PM
It doesn't seem that anybody was too sorry to see Riley go, except maybe Xander and Doug Petrie. ;)

I'd add Buffy and Dawn to the list. Riley was loved. :D




Do you really believe they were going to do B/X in S6, man? Really? How? When?

I have read a Buffy/Xander fic set in S6 once. I personally loved it. I don't see it working though unless Anya dies in The Gift - which could be a possible setting seeing as concrete and metal collapsed on her.

HardlyThere
21-04-18, 01:19 AM
I have read a Buffy/Xander fic set in S6 once. I personally loved it. I don't see it working though unless Anya dies in The Gift - which could be a possible setting seeing as concrete and metal collapsed on her.

Except B/S was always the plan for S6. Joss has said as much when someone asked if they'd have done it if it stayed on the WB. The question is not what could be done in fic--anything can be done in fic--but what Joss and Co. intended. I think the only time they had intentions of it was during S2 during the brief period of time that Angel was supposed to stay dead. Perhaps this is what DG meant in the comm, speaking in the context of S2. At the same time, Joss was considering Xander or Will being gay, so who knows if it was even there then.

I also think fans put too much stock into comments. Writers pitch and kick around thousands of ideas, some we hear about and but most we don't. There is a wide gap between something they were bouncing off each other in the writer's room and a story point they actually tried working out to get on screen.

MikeB
25-04-18, 01:27 PM
All caught up.



Priceless

* James Marsters in recent years—from what I remember—says his first on-screen kisses with Sarah Michelle Gellar happened when she was playing Faith.

Unless that happened before “Something Blue” (B 4.09) was filmed, he may simply be confused over the timeline and Faith-as-Buffy had kissing scenes with James before “Something Blue” was filmed.

I guess it’s possible the writers wanted to know how Sarah and James would screen kiss. And “Something Blue” (B 4.09) resulted in more Buffy/Spike ‘shippers.



KingofCretins


Nobody "challenged" Buffy/Angel by intention or accident That directly goes against what the writers say.


That is why I rightly note that they would have expected any story they'd written for Buffy romantically to be one that would pull the audience into it (/Riley, /Spike, /Xander, /Anya, /Pike, ad infinitum), That is beyond laughable. Buffy/Anya? Buffy/Pike? Buffy/Xander?

Buffy/Angel was like Superman and Lois Lane and like Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz had perfect chemistry for what Buffy/Angel was and they were good friends.


I'll take Fury's word for what their intentions once were about Buffy/Xander over yours for want of qualification. You seem to ignore that Buffy/Xander never happened.


* Buffy/Spike has had ‘shippers since “School Hard” (B 2.03) and the ‘ship increasingly grew from then on. I remember you were told that SMG wanted Spike as Buffy’s post-Angel boyfriend.

____________________________________

* How’d you confuse David Fury with David Greenwalt? Anyway, Marti Noxon was Joss Whedon’s de facto Number 2 among the Buffyverse writers. She was the only non-Joss Whedon showrunner of any Season of: BtVS, AtS, and Firefly . She was the showrunner of BtVS S6.

David Greenwalt created Angel and its silly to think he’d want Buffy/Xander instead of Buffy/Angel.

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* AtS only existed because of BtVS and 20th Century Fox Entertainment wanting to keep Joss Whedon happy. David Greenwalt was not more important for Mutant Enemy than Joss Whedon, Marti Noxon, and soon the main other BtVS writers.

Same as Buffy, Spike, and Willow since BtVS S4 were each more important than all the AtS characters combined.


What I can't find any indication of is when the commentary was actually recorded -- first retail release of S2 sets was May 2001, but they probably started recording those pretty shortly after they did S1 and S1 sold in 2000. Um, the DVDs FIRST came out during the airing of BtVS S5 and its clear the commentaries and interviews and Special Features were all done years after BtVS S2 aired.

Buffy/Angel is likely the main reason BtVS S2 exists. Buffy/Angel was even more popular in BtVS S2 than it was in BtVS S1. The “Angelus arc” somehow made Buffy/Angel even more popular. It was even more popular in BtVS S3.

BtVS S2 got its ratings from Buffy/Angel and until the Angelus arc the increase in ratings largely came from Spike and Spike/Dru.

BtVS S3 had better cameras and lighting, the audience wondering when and how Buffy/Angel would breakup, and it had Faith.

BtVS S4 was really the first time Buffy/Xander could have happened but the audience knew SMG wanted Buffy/Spike and the audience wanted Buffy/Angel and/or Buffy/Spike. From what I remember, by BtVS S4, except for David Fury, all the BtVS writers ‘shipped Buffy/Spike. Even Douglas Petrie who—from what I remember—was the only BtVS writer who supported Buffy/Riley.



TimeTravellingBunny

* In-‘verse, the only reason Buffy/Riley continued after “Pangs” (B 2.08) is because Buffy didn’t like how Spike treated her during the My Will Be Done spell. By BtVS S3, not even the new Owen Thurman aka Scott Hope could fully keep Buffy’s attention. “I Will Remember You” (A 1.08) happened. Then “Something Blue” (B 4.09) happened.

Buffy/Riley for what it was is written well.



HardlyThere

* From what I remember, the only reason “Spuffy”—i.e. BtVS S6 Buffy/Spike kissing and sex scenes—stopped as soon as they did is because—from what I remember—James Marsters was threatening to leave the series because of “Spuffy”. I remember “As You Were” (B 6.15) exists because of that.

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* If Angel stayed dead after BtVS S2 (meaning until the spinoff), Buffy/Spike would have happened. Buffy/Xander was never a serious consideration after the Unaired Pilot.



DeepBlueJoy

* If anything Bailey Chase—who plays Graham Miller (Riley’s white best friend)—might have less chemistry with Sarah Michelle Gellar than Marc Blucas did.

Of the Buffyverse actors we see, I consider only Nathan Fillon could possibly have been a better Riley Finn than Marc Blucas was.


* The chemistry between Sarah Michelle Gellar and James Marsters has been apparent since “School Hard” (B 2.03).

What became “Lovers Walk” (B 3.08) was originally supposed to include Drusilla, but Juliet Landau’s being unavailable resulted in a major script rewrite and the episode focused on Spike/Dru’s breakup and had Buffy/Spike flirting throughout.

“The Harsh Light of Day” (B 4.03) has Spike focusing on Buffy’s sleeping with someone. “In the Dark” (A 1.03) gives Angel strong implication that Spike is into Buffy. “Pangs” (B 4.08) and “Something Blue” (B 4.09) wouldn’t have been done as they were if Buffy/Spike was ‘never in the cards’.

I remember Joss Whedon created Kendra simply to have the lines, “Two Slayers.” “No waiting”.

I remember Joss Whedon did the Body Switch mainly to have a ‘Buffy’/Spike scene.

There was a lot of setup to Buffy/Spike.



TimeTravellingBunny

* Christian Kane isn’t imposing. I don’t see him playing a higher version of a Navy Seal.



Sosa lola

* Xander/Anya wasn’t the impediment to Buffy/Xander.

Buffy’s never being into Xander is the impediment to Buffy/Xander. Season 8 spells that out enough.