PDA

View Full Version : Buffy Article



Priceless
16-03-18, 05:54 PM
http://bloody-disgusting.com/editorials/3487866/21-reasons-buffy-vampire-slayer-still-slays-21-years-later/#respond

21 Reasons “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” Still Slays 21 Years Later!by Meagan Navarro March 15, 2018

Premiering 21 years ago on March 10, 1997, on a relatively new network, Buffy the Vampire Slayer went on to last 7 seasons over two networks, a spinoff, an ongoing series continuation in comic book form, and has endured as one of the most beloved TV series of all time even two decades later. First conceived and written as a feature film by Joss Whedon, the 1992 movie went full-blown comedy and none of the horror and female empowerment that Whedon envisioned. Years later, Whedon was approached to turn Buffy into a TV series, giving him the chance to redo the concept under his vision.

A revolutionary show that blended horror and comedy, with a fierce butt-kicking female lead before that was commonplace on the small screen, Buffy the Vampire Slayer continues to receive considerable attention for its cultural relevance and innovation. In celebration of its 21st anniversary, we look back at 21 reasons this show continues to slay:

Joss Whedon


There would be no Buffy, film or television, without its creator. Starting out as a staff writer for sitcoms like Roseanne, and a script doctor for films like Speed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is his first true baby; a film and series that would launch his trademark ability to gut his audience with shocking deaths and create badass heroines. Unafraid to craft morally grey lead characters with profound character arcs, Whedon paved the way for many series that would follow. He’s since moved from television to big Hollywood blockbusters, and looking back at his first series it’s no surprise why.

Buffy


Duh. What would the series be without Buffy? The wise-cracking valley girl type that just wanted to be normal but with a fate that demanded the weight of the world rest upon her shoulders meant a high school teen that dealt with a tremendous amount of pain and suffering both internally and externally. Sarah Michelle Gellar brought the right amount of vulnerability and sass that made Buffy an instant icon, even 21 years later. Throughout all of the major emotional moments in the series, and there are many, Gellar handled them with seemingly effortless ease. She saved the world. A lot.

The Scooby Gang


Buffy’s group of friends brought together to help her on her daunting quest to save the world weren’t just relegated to the sidelines while the heroine got all the glory, they actually became an integral part of the show that soon felt more ensemble than one woman show. Xander, Willow, Giles, and eventually Cordelia and Anya would all evolve into layered characters with their own evolved journeys. From Willow’s transformation from mousy girl to Big Bad to empowered witch, and a groundbreaking depiction of her sexuality, Willow became a pillar of the show. Cordelia’s growth from shallow mean girl to maturity, Anya’s stuggle with humanity, and Xander’s plucky sidekick turned emotional center, Buffy the Vampire Slayer wasn’t just her journey, but her chosen family’s journey as well.

The Big Bads


Very few shows could deliver Big Bads like Buffy. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that this series was the one responsible for coining the term in the first place. From season 1’s The Master to the final season’s First Evil, each major adversary was not only formidable, but had distinct personalities that made them memorable. The charismatic Hell god Glory to the quintessential polite Mayor Wilkins III, the Big Bads became just as memorable as the heroes we rooted for. Perhaps no other major adversary is as well regarded as anti-Buffy slayer Faith, a tragic take on what Buffy could have been without her friends and family.

The Monsters of the Week


It says a lot that even with the complex Big Bads, the week to week monsters that appeared could still hold their own. Some humorous, but mostly terrifying, the monsters that Buffy had to battle could be skin-crawling and creepy. John Ritter is downright sinister as the suitor of Buffy’s mom in season 2, and the Der Kindestod of season 2 seems like a chilling precursor to The Gentlemen. Ghosts, demons, man-eating substitute teachers, and every weird creature in between, the Hellmouth attracted every possible monster conceivable, with excellent creature designs behind them, which meant even if you didn’t care about the characters (you monster), you still wanted to tune in every week.

The Relationships


Sure, the love triangle between Buffy, good vampire Angel, and bad boy vampire Spike often stole the conversation, but the series offered so much more than that. The father-daughter bond between Buffy and her appointed watcher, Giles, was one of the most compelling relationships of the show, as he transcended beyond a dutiful watched and became emotionally invested in his slayer’s life. The show even managed to be convincing in its introduction to a brand new teen sister, Dawn, in season 5, giving a surprising emotional through line in Buffy’s determination to save her sister when she’d never even had one before. In other words, Buffy was a character more enriched by her relationships with her friends and family, instead of being shaped by her latest boyfriend.

The Impact on Horror TV

Though there were horror series before Buffy, the long-running success of the series proved to networks there was loyal audience for horror on the small screen. It also provided a modern template for genre series that followed. After Buffy concluded in 2003, The CW (formerly The WB of which Buffy played a major role in its success) continued to ensure genre-bending shows would feature in its line-up. Long-running shows like Supernatural or The Vampire Diaries that would in some way draw comparisons to Buffy, even paying homage on occasion.

Shocking Deaths


Whedon has a reputation for killing his darlings, and that started with Buffy. Whedon maniacally makes his audience emotionally invested in characters, causing their unexpected deaths to sting. When TV series that came before made us feel secure in the safety of important characters that sided in good, Whedon ripped the rug out from under us time and time again. Whedon didn’t wait long to set that tone, either, with season 2’s most brutal death of Giles’ love interest and peripheral Scooby member Jenny Calendar. That it was at the hands of Angelus? Ouch. The show didn’t stop there, either, tearing our hearts out again and again with shocking deaths of many important characters. Not even the leads were safe.

A Reminder of the Terrors of High School


High school and adolescence suck, and Sunnydale’s demonic Hellmouth meant cleverly conveying the horrors of high school with monster metaphors. Early season one episodes that featured creatures like man-eating Mantis monster Miss French that was a perfect symbol for the terrors of horny adolescence or the safe sex allegory of the Bezoar of season 2, but it was also the dynamics between the outsider Scooby gang and the mean popular kids like Cordelia that illustrated the frustrations of what actual high school life could be like.

The Cultural Impact


Buffy’s wise-cracking, butt-kicking sass became the blueprint of many heroines that would follow. Shows like Veronica Mars, Doctor Who, True Blood owe a debt of gratitude to the tough Valley Girl that came before. More than that, the series-long story arcs and monster of the week type episodes were mirrored in later series like Grimm, Sleepy Hollow, Fringe, and more. Its ability to mash genres is still emulated today. Beyond that, Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a social relevance that still holds hefty meaning today. The lessons learned in the show are timeless. As are the references.

The Music


Starting with an earworm catchy rock theme, the music and soundtrack became just as much of a subtextual character for the show as it was groundbreaking. It conveyed the attitude of the slayer, and the show itself, and launched a number of musical careers for the talent behind it. The best example, perhaps, of the relevance of music to the show was in the musical episode “Once More with Feeling,” one of the best episodes of the series that impressively nailed down a diverse range of music.

It’s Subversive


That the lead character is a female, not male, is subversive in its own right, but Whedon continued to challenge himself again and again in terms of narrative storytelling. After establishing a monster of the week type formula in season 1, he flipped that on its head and altered the series for something longer form. The entire trajectory of Whedon’s career is exemplified in this series, in that his only constant is the continuous defiance of expectations. The unexpected surprise that the slayer falls for a vampire, or that Buffy was in Heaven before her Scooby gang ripped her away, made for constant subversion of expectations.

The Sarcasm


The show had a wicked sense of humor and that applied to just about every single character, from the heroes to the villains. Buffy’s ability to wise-crack before, during, and after combat with the latest vampire or monster was utterly charming, but sometimes the wit and sarcasm was even used as a means of displaying just how terrifying the villains could be. Take season 7’s serial killing priest turned First Evil embodiment Caleb, who snapped a woman’s neck before snarking, ““I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that last part on account of her neck snappin’ and all. Did she say the end was near, or here?”

The Lingo


With a lead heroine that’s very rooted in a bubbly Valley girl stereotype, Buffy came with its own unique slang. So much so that not only did Gellar constantly have to ask what the words meant, but it eventually inspired its own book, Slayer Slang: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon by English professor Michael Adams. Words like slayage, sitch, wiggins, and phrases like “five by five” made the show, and Buffy, endearingly unique. It also could be credited as being the first to use “Google” as a verb, when Willow first uses it in the episode “Help.”

The Huge Risks


Following right in line with the consistent subversion of expectations, Whedon and the writers weren’t afraid of taking huge gambles with the series, even if they didn’t always pay off. The darkness that plagued Buffy in season 6 and her subsequent sort of rapey relationship with Spike were tough to handle before she finally dug her way out of it. Willow’s evolution into lesbian was not only somehow organic, but groundbreaking for television. And the choice to write in a sister, as aforementioned, 5 seasons in when Buffy was an only child prior could have easily failed in lesser hands. When the risks worked, they really worked.

Hush


With dialogue often considered the best part of the show by critics, Whedon decided to challenge himself to create an episode pretty much devoid of dialogue. The result is one of the spookiest hours of television, featuring creepy ghouls known as The Gentlemen that come to town to steal everyone’s voices so their screams go unheard when they cut out their hearts. It was the only episode to be nominated for an Emmy, and it’s easy to see why.

The Epic Speeches


It wasn’t all sarcasm and sass that made Buffy and her gang so loveable. They also had a penchant for delivering epic speeches that served both as rallying cries and moments of profound humanity. It reflected on life and the evolving depth of characters, and the best part is that they weren’t just reserved for the leading lady. Nearly every important character got to deliver a powerful monologue at some point in the show, from Xander’s speech about a crayon to save his best friend, or a broken Spike professing his love, to Buffy empowering new generations, no one gives good epic speech like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The Future Stars


While most of the cast was comprised of relative unknowns that launched careers for its main cast, the series also boasted a number of appearances by stars long before they became famous. From Amy Adams in episode 6 of season 5, Pedro Pascal pre-Game of Thrones in season 4, comedian Kal Penn, Oscar-nominated actor John Hawkes, singer Ashanti and countless others made early appearances before they became famous. Spotting these now-famous actors early in their career is yet another reason this series is so rewatchable.

“Close your eyes”


In a show that consistently gave you all of the feels, one of the most heartbreaking moments occurred in the season 2 finale, where Willow manages to restore Angel’s soul just as the awakened demon Acathla opened the vortex to hell. He’s confused and unaware of the 9 episode reign of terror, and Buffy tearfully embraces her former lover, telling him to close his eyes, before killing him. The series would be full of moments like this, where Buffy would painfully be forced to choose saving the world over her personal happiness, but it was the first moment that made you wonder if she’d ever get a happy ending at all.

The Body


In a series full of supernatural, where deaths come by way of vampires, demons, and monsters, Whedon delivered one of the biggest sucker punches in the shocking death of Buffy’s mother in season 5. It’s a heart-wrenching hour that begins with Buffy’s discovery of her mother, lying dead on the couch from natural causes. There’s no music, a staple of the series, just long takes of poignant grief. Nothing marked Buffy’s transition into full-blown adulthood like this harsh slap of reality.

The Vampires


Though typical vampire lore was used in creating the series vampires, Whedon made a huge change to the vamps from the film; he didn’t want them to look like people. He didn’t feel comfortable portraying a high school girl staking normal people on TV, so he leaned heavy into the fantastical, ensuring they looked like monsters when it counted. Turning to dust when killed also cleverly bypassed body cleanup duty.

TimeTravellingBunny
16-03-18, 10:55 PM
Overall this is a really good article, but some of the parts irked me a bit, so I wrote this comment:

Overall this is a really good article. However, the part about the supposed "love triangle between Buffy, good vampire Angel and bad boy vampire Spike" made me roll my eyes. This is the kind of thing that media makes people think happened in BtVS, but it's odd to read it in an article by someone who seems to have actually seen the show, going by the rest of the article. There was no love triangle between Buffy, Angel and Spike on the show - except for some 5 minutes in the last 2 episodes, due to Angel's appearance which felt like nothing more than an afterthought and fanservice (it was actually requested by Buffy/Angel shippers, who ran an add in the media). These two relationships happened at different times in the show and in Buffy's life - and there was even a third relationship in between, Buffy/Riley, which everyone tends to ignore because it was not popular. Angel was Buffy's love interest in seasons 1-3, then he ended theur relationship and went to LA and had his own show, where he fell in love and/or had relationships with a few other women, while Buffy had a serious relationship with Riley in seasons 4-5, and after that fell apart, had a very complicated relationship with Spike in seasons 6-7, the seeds of which were planted in season 5. There were as many ot more Buffy/Riley/Spike or Buffy/Riley/Angel love triangle moments than Buffy/Angel/Spike - but none of these was ever a full blown love triangle.

Calling Angel a "good vampire" and Spike a "bad boy vampire" is an oversimplification and very inaccurate. It relies on cliches and the way those characters were first introduced, without taking into account their overall arcs, and falls apart the moment people stop exclusively comparing souled Angel to soulless Spike. Both of these characters are far more complex. And if anything, Angel is the darker and more destructive character of the two - he is certainly more evil when soulless, and on his own show he also had phases when he was darker and more morally problematic with a soul than souled Spike ever was. (Granted, we only got 2 seasons of souled Spike over both shows.)

Then the author claims that Buffy was more shaped by friends and family than her latest boyfriend - I suppose because that's meant to sound cooler, or more feminist (why? Half of Buffy's friends were men, including her mentor/father figure), or because romance is icky, or something. But that's simply not true. Angel, Spike and even Riley had a huge importance for Buffy and the overall plot, which tended to focus on Buffy's boyfriends quite often, and Buffy's romantic relationships were in the focus of the main plot or Buffy's character arc that season in seasons 2, 4, 6 and 7, arguably in 3 as well, while the only season where she was notably more involved in her family was season 5, when her mom was terminally ill, and she had to take care of her little sister.

Also, the phrase "sort of rapey" is really weird.

Priceless
17-03-18, 12:47 PM
it was actually requested by Buffy/Angel shippers, who ran an add in the media).

I've never heard this before. Do you have any links to this add, I'd love to see it :D

TimeTravellingBunny
17-03-18, 04:08 PM
I've never heard this before. Do you have any links to this add, I'd love to see it :D

Unfortunately I don't, as I've only heard it mentioned a lot of times - I don't know if there is a link, since it was apparently in printed media - I don't remember where, was it Variety or EW or which mag.

Priceless
17-03-18, 04:15 PM
Unfortunately I don't, as I've only heard it mentioned a lot of times - I don't know if there is a link, since it was apparently in printed media - I don't remember where, was it Variety or EW or which mag.

Such a shame, I would have loved to have seen it. Good on them for doing it, that just shows what a strong fandom the show had.

vampmogs
18-03-18, 05:10 AM
Buffy/Angel fans did put an ad in the media but the writers have never stated that it's the only reason that they included Angel in Chosen. A part of it absolutely was about fan service and there's actually nothing wrong with that. There's no harm in trying to make a lot of fans happy when they have diligently supported your shows for 7 years. A lot of things about the show happened because fans wanted it such as Spike and Faith's arc being extended beyond what was initially planned and this is no different. However, it was also stated by the cast that Joss approached DB and that SMG, DB and Whedon were all in agreement that Angel "had to be there" for the finale, so he was.

Angel was a huge part of Buffy's life, Angel had been a huge part of the show, Angel was currently the star of the show's spinoff series, a big theme of S7 was about going "back to the beginning", and by this point the writers knew that Spike would be crossing over to AtS. Even one of these things would justify Angel's cameo in Chosen but when you take into consideration all of those things then, yeah, absolutely, it was justified that he was there.

TimeTravellingBunny
18-03-18, 05:16 AM
Buffy/Angel fans did put an ad in the media but the writers have never stated that it's the only reason that they included Angel in Chosen. A part of it absolutely was about fan service and, look, there's actually nothing wrong with that. There's no harm in trying to make a lot of fans happy when they have diligently supported your shows for 7 years. A lot of things about the show happened because fans wanted it such as Spike and Faith's arc being extended beyond what was initially planned. However, it was also stated by the cast that Joss approached DB and that SMG, DB and Whedon were all in agreement that Angel "had to be there" for the finale, so he was.

Angel was a huge part of Buffy's life. Angel had been a huge part of the show. Angel was currently the star of the show's spinoff series. A big theme of S7 was about going "back to the beginning." And by this point the writers knew that Spike would be crossing over to AtS. Even one of these things would justify Angel's cameo in Chosen but when you take into consideration all of those things then, yeah, absolutely, it was justified that he was there.
I never said it wasn't justified to include him in the finale (even though I don't think the execution was that good), but Angel appearing in the last 2 episodes and there being a love triangle between Angel, Buffy and Spike for some 5 to 10 minutes doesn't mean that the "love triangle" was a big thing that every Buffy article has to mention, as if BtVS was The Vampire Diaries. It's really annoying that they are always doing that. It's a really minor thing on the show.

vampmogs
18-03-18, 05:32 AM
I never said it wasn't justified to include him in the finale (even though I don't think the execution was that good), but Angel appearing in the last 2 episodes and there being a love triangle between Angel, Buffy and Spike for some 5 to 10 minutes doesn't mean that the "love triangle" was a big thing that every Buffy article has to mention, as if BtVS was The Vampire Diaries. It's really annoying that they are always doing that. It's a really minor thing on the show.

I agree. However, I actually think Angel's cameo in Chosen has little to do with the media constantly referring to the "love triangle" and that it has more to do with how pop culture has evolved since BtVS. With the popularity of franchises like Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, True Blood and to a lesser extent The Hunger Games, it became fashionable to have a Love Triangle and the media has tried to pigeonhole Buffy into this box because it's marketable and it gets sites hits. I also think it has to do with the prevalence of Bangel VS Spuffy shipping wars which used to consume fandom (and still do to an extent) which to the casual observer have made it seem like the triangle was a significant part of the show.

BtVS has definitely been rebranded and marketed differently now than to how it was back when it was on the air. You'll notice that whenever sites or merchandise feature the series now, more often than not it'll involve an image of Buffy being flanked by Angel and Spike. Yet, the vast majority of the original promotional images for the show featured either a solo Buffy or Buffy and the entire cast. There were a lot of Bangel promo shots back in the day but almost no Spuffy promo pics whatsoever and never any of the three characters together. Nowadays the Scooby Gang barley feature in images at all and the show is very much marketed about Buffy, the Slayer, and her two vampire love interests.

You can't just blame the media though. The writers, including Joss, have totally bought into this hype. During S8 we had the New Moon Twilight homage cover, the threesome panel, Buffy's Always Darkest dream sequence, and of course the shipper bickering throughout the final arc. The Bangel VS Spuffy dramas started to take shape in AtS S5 and have grown more prominent since then and it's now as if the series is cannibalising itself with it. The only thing I find promising is that throughout a lot of the 20th Anniversary celebrations I noticed that most sites/news articles were reverting back to using solo images of Buffy which, IMO, is at least more preferable than trying to market it as a show about Buffy and her boyfriends. That probably has something to do with the fact that the love triangle hype has really started to die down now that the vampire/Twilight hype has pretty much disappeared.

It was definitely bleak for a while there though. The franchise went through this really rough patch where instead of being a trailblazer as it had once been, it was instead trying to capitalise on the popularity of other (and mostly lesser) franchises to stay relevant. They started trying to change things such as the logo to appear more Twilight-ish (they briefly brought out those new novels with the horrible new design and even a DVD Boxset) and of course feature Twilight homages on the comics covers, and even the storylines within the comics seemed heavily influenced by whatever series was popular at the time. Twilight was popular so they played up the Buffy/Angel/Spike triangle, True Blood was popular so suddenly vampires became public in the Buffyverse, The Walking Dead was popular so suddenly we had Zompires etc. However, now there's been a real resurgence of sentimentality about TV Series/the 90's in particular and now that revivals/reboots are so in, along with the 20th anniversary celebrations which made people really nostalgic, the franchise seems to be reverting back to embracing what it was rather than trying to market itself to appear like something else.

HardlyThere
18-03-18, 05:23 PM
Buffy/Angel fans did put an ad in the media but the writers have never stated that it's the only reason that they included Angel in Chosen. A part of it absolutely was about fan service and there's actually nothing wrong with that. There's no harm in trying to make a lot of fans happy when they have diligently supported your shows for 7 years. A lot of things about the show happened because fans wanted it such as Spike and Faith's arc being extended beyond what was initially planned and this is no different. However, it was also stated by the cast that Joss approached DB and that SMG, DB and Whedon were all in agreement that Angel "had to be there" for the finale, so he was.

Angel was a huge part of Buffy's life, Angel had been a huge part of the show, Angel was currently the star of the show's spinoff series, a big theme of S7 was about going "back to the beginning", and by this point the writers knew that Spike would be crossing over to AtS. Even one of these things would justify Angel's cameo in Chosen but when you take into consideration all of those things then, yeah, absolutely, it was justified that he was there.

I have to disagree on there nothing being wrong with that in this instance. As Joss noted in the commentary, they had trouble rationalizing Buffy and Angel's exchange within her narrative. How do you get Buffy smooching Angel to being in bed with Spike a scene later without looking like Marti's quote "Slut Queen of Slutdonia"? This is a case where fan service overtook the story and that's a bad thing. If you're questioning why you're writing it, it's time to take a look at why you're writing it and if it's honest.

Personally, I take offense to Angel being in Buffy's finale, moreso after Joss's explanation of why Buffy shouldn't be in Angel's (which I agree with, but it's true of Buffy's as well). However, he could have been included without doing that and clearly setting up a triangle for AtS S5, though thankfully Sarah's appearances fell through. They could have included him while respecting both their arcs to that point instead they just chucked it all away and tried to get it back again. They went there with the triangle to try to get ratings for S5.

Aside from that, I'm against pandering to fans outside of easter eggs and nods. Why does one fanbase get a nod and not others? It's playing favorites. To me, just tell the story and keep it organic and true. All fans will get something out of it.

flow
18-03-18, 05:39 PM
How do you get Buffy smooching Angel to being in bed with Spike a scene later without looking like Marti's quote "Slut Queen of Slutdonia"? This is a case where fan service overtook the story and that's a bad thing.

That would have been a feminist approach though. Every woman is perfectly right and justified, to smooch one guy (or vampire) in one scene and land in bed with another in the next scene. And those, who call her slut for doing that, are nothing else but biased and bitter misogynists.

flow

Priceless
18-03-18, 05:42 PM
I think when a show does something you agree with, it's 'fan service' and it's a good thing. When it's something you don't like, it's 'pandering' and it's a betrayal of the show :D

HardlyThere
18-03-18, 06:01 PM
That would have been a feminist approach though. Every woman is perfectly right and justified, to smooch one guy (or vampire) in one scene and land in bed with another in the next scene. And those, who call her slut for doing that, are nothing else but biased and bitter misogynists.

flow

Their words, not mine. I don't read much into it outside of it being an admission that it was not an organic scene otherwise they would not have had issues squaring it.


Priceless

I think when a show does something you agree with, it's 'fan service' and it's a good thing. When it's something you don't like, it's 'pandering' and it's a betrayal of the show

You are right, but they're both the same thing.

TimeTravellingBunny
18-03-18, 06:27 PM
I agree. However, I actually think Angel's cameo in Chosen has little to do with the media constantly referring to the "love triangle" and that it has more to do with how pop culture has evolved since BtVS. With the popularity of franchises like Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, True Blood and to a lesser extent The Hunger Games, it became fashionable to have a Love Triangle and the media has tried to pigeonhole Buffy into this box because it's marketable and it gets sites hits. I also think it has to do with the prevalence of Bangel VS Spuffy shipping wars which used to consume fandom (and still do to an extent) which to the casual observer have made it seem like the triangle was a significant part of the show.

BtVS has definitely been rebranded and marketed differently now than to how it was back when it was on the air. You'll notice that whenever sites or merchandise feature the series now, more often than not it'll involve an image of Buffy being flanked by Angel and Spike. Yet, the vast majority of the original promotional images for the show featured either a solo Buffy or Buffy and the entire cast. There were a lot of Bangel promo shots back in the day but almost no Spuffy promo pics whatsoever and never any of the three characters together. Nowadays the Scooby Gang barley feature in images at all and the show is very much marketed about Buffy, the Slayer, and her two vampire love interests.

You can't just blame the media though. The writers, including Joss, have totally bought into this hype. During S8 we had the New Moon Twilight homage cover, the threesome panel, Buffy's Always Darkest dream sequence, and of course the shipper bickering throughout the final arc. The Bangel VS Spuffy dramas started to take shape in AtS S5 and have grown more prominent since then and it's now as if the series is cannibalising itself with it. The only thing I find promising is that throughout a lot of the 20th Anniversary celebrations I noticed that most sites/news articles were reverting back to using solo images of Buffy which, IMO, is at least more preferable than trying to market it as a show about Buffy and her boyfriends. That probably has something to do with the fact that the love triangle hype has really started to die down now that the vampire/Twilight hype has pretty much disappeared.

It was definitely bleak for a while there though. The franchise went through this really rough patch where instead of being a trailblazer as it had once been, it was instead trying to capitalise on the popularity of other (and mostly lesser) franchises to stay relevant. They started trying to change things such as the logo to appear more Twilight-ish (they briefly brought out those new novels with the horrible new design and even a DVD Boxset) and of course feature Twilight homages on the comics covers, and even the storylines within the comics seemed heavily influenced by whatever series was popular at the time. Twilight was popular so they played up the Buffy/Angel/Spike triangle, True Blood was popular so suddenly vampires became public in the Buffyverse, The Walking Dead was popular so suddenly we had Zompires etc. However, now there's been a real resurgence of sentimentality about TV Series/the 90's in particular and now that revivals/reboots are so in, along with the 20th anniversary celebrations which made people really nostalgic, the franchise seems to be reverting back to embracing what it was rather than trying to market itself to appear like something else.

I agree with all of that. I never said Angel's appearance is what gave rise to the popular idea of the triangle. Years of fandom shipper wars are what gave rise to it, combined with the media focus on vampire love triangles that you mentioned, which created this myth that BtVS was about that - which, sadly, BtVS creators also started accepting, as you note about the comics.

I was just pointing out in my comments on that article that these few scenes in the last 2 episodes of the show are the only time during the show when you can say that there is a an Angel/Buffy/Spike love triangle as an actual part of the plot/what we see on screen (and even that only came about as a result of fanservice). 99.99% of the screentime it was not there.

As for Angel's appearance in the finale, I don't have a problem with him appearing, but with how they wrote his appearance. I found him to be OOC, his interactions with Buffy didn't make sense for their characters either in the present or how they were in the early seasons, and the whole love triangle angle (heh) was completely unnecessary, IMO. They could have had Angel and Buffy instead behave as people who still cared about each other while acknowledging their relationship is history, and have a heart to heart talk about where they were as people currently. I think that would have been more respectful to both of them as characters and of their journeys and of their relationship - instead of having them smooch the moment they see each other (I didn't buy that at all) and then Angel acting childish and annoying and Buffy giving him vague hints about maybe-maybe not future together while sending him away. I really think those scenes were some of the worst written in the show. It's like they were from some other show and about some other characters.

Come to think of it, if the idea was to feature characters who had played a huge part in the show, they could have instead have Angel tell either Buffy, or everyone (having him see everyone instead of just Buffy would have also been a nice touch) about Cordelia, since Cordelia appearing was obviously not an option. If they didn't want to spoil AtS for people who may not be watching, they could have kept it vague, say, Angel says he has to tell them something about Cordelia and looks sad, and then they cut away to another scene.

betta
19-03-18, 02:03 AM
As for Angel's appearance in the finale, I don't have a problem with him appearing, but with how they wrote his appearance. I found him to be OOC, his interactions with Buffy didn't make sense for their characters either in the present or how they were in the early seasons,

We had an Angel who seemed... meh about everything he found out:


Buffy and Spike together? meh (No surprise, no shock over Buffy sleeping - or whatever Angel thought - with a soulless vampire?)
Spike having a soul? meh (It's like he already knew...)
He getting the brush off for Captain Peroxide? meh


:p

bespangled
19-03-18, 05:43 AM
That would have been a feminist approach though. Every woman is perfectly right and justified, to smooch one guy (or vampire) in one scene and land in bed with another in the next scene. And those, who call her slut for doing that, are nothing else but biased and bitter misogynists.

flow

That is true of today. But in the B-verse true love meant no sexy kissing outside the monogamy. I never had trouble with it.

I do have trouble figuring out what is going on in Angel's head. Had I gone through the day he had - taking over an evil company after killing my child in order to have him get a whole new life and memories while wiping the memories of my team...I might not be as perky and chipper. I really would have liked to see some indication that his life was having an impact on him, and I think showing that would have actually been true service to the Bangel fans. A moment of real communication. Instead we had Angel acting somewhere between a 12 year old and mr. cool guy.


I think when a show does something you agree with, it's 'fan service' and it's a good thing. When it's something you don't like, it's 'pandering' and it's a betrayal of the show :D

Such a cynic you are!

vampmogs
19-03-18, 08:52 AM
Aside from that, I'm against pandering to fans outside of easter eggs and nods. Why does one fanbase get a nod and not others? It's playing favorites. To me, just tell the story and keep it organic and true. All fans will get something out of it.

Then as I said, Spike should have been killed off in S2 and Faith's story should have ended after 6 episodes because the only reason both characters stuck around as long as they did was because they were popular with fans. The writers have admitted this repeatedly and conceded they had changed the story they had intended to tell to appease the fanbase. Angel was also only brought back alive because the WB wanted a spinoff (due to the character's popularity) and Spike was only brought onto AtS S5 because the WB demanded it (again due to the character's popularity). The show as we know it turned out the way it did because the writers or network caved and pandered to fans. Which really isn't surprising because without fans you don't have a show.

And the truth is that the writers would have probably had a lot more crossovers between Buffy/Angel had the shows not ended up on different networks.

Silver1
19-03-18, 09:04 AM
Hang on, the writers also 'pandered' to themselves. Remember them saying Spike was brought back permanently into the show because they'd seen how well his character worked with others in Lovers Walk. It's not all 'controlled' by fans, but Whedon and co. It's not like they were puppets or anything.

vampmogs
19-03-18, 09:26 AM
Hang on, the writers also 'pandered' to themselves. Remember them saying Spike was brought back permanently into the show because they'd seen how well his character worked with others in Lovers Walk. It's not all 'controlled' by fans, but Whedon and co. It's not like they were puppets or anything.

Sure, and they've also expressed how much they loved writing Faith and also expressed how they wanted Angel in the finale because he "had to be there." It doesn't change the fact that Angel, Spike and Faith's storylines were also heavily dictated by the fan response to those characters which the writers have also admitted. Faith was originally only signed on for a 6 episode arc but the writers admitted that due to her popularity they kept extending her contract. The writers had admitted that Spike was originally to be killed off in What's My Line but due to fan response they kept him around longer. They then intended to have Angelus dust him in Innocence but, again, due to popularity they kept him around longer. And they also admitted that Angel's cameo in Chosen was because a lot of people wanted to see him.

I'm not suggesting that the writer's hands were tied or that they grudgingly had to keep these characters around when they themselves didn't want them there. On the contrary, one of my original points was that there's plenty of reasons that justify Angel's cameo in Chosen besides just "fan pandering" and that Joss himself admitted that he felt he should be there. My point was simply that fans like to pick and choose when they want to criticise "pandering" as if the art should be above it when major decisions in the show (like keeping around significant characters such as Angel, Spike and Faith) were heavily influenced by what was popular in fandom and the writer's way of trying to appeal to their viewers. If Faith, Spike and Angel hadn't been popular amongst fans none of them would have lasted anywhere near as long as they ended up doing.

bespangled
19-03-18, 11:06 AM
It's kinda like taking over W&H. You have to do the job to keep your company afloat in order to be able to effect the change you want. Television is a product first. It won't exist without popularity. So keeping characters undusted, bringing them back from hell for a spinoff, or putting them in jail instead of killing them isn't pandering. There is no purer, better story that is not being told. Despite how we as fans might feel about it, the fact is that there is more than a single creative vision in damn near every form of art. An awareness of popularity is simply an awareness of what your reader, viewer or audience desires - without hooking them there is no vision to share.

Priceless
19-03-18, 01:44 PM
Then as I said, Spike should have been killed off in S2 and Faith's story should have ended after 6 episodes because the only reason both characters stuck around as long as they did was because they were popular with fans.

I don't think the fans were shouting for Spike's return post S2. That was the writers seeing an opportunity, liking the character and the actor, not about pandering to fans. I also think bringing Spike back in AtS S5 was partly pandering to fans but mostly it was a business decision. Spike's popularity made them money, and that's the bottom line for the producers.

HardlyThere
19-03-18, 02:52 PM
Then as I said, Spike should have been killed off in S2 and Faith's story should have ended after 6 episodes because the only reason both characters stuck around as long as they did was because they were popular with fans. The writers have admitted this repeatedly and conceded they had changed the story they had intended to tell to appease the fanbase. Angel was also only brought back alive because the WB wanted a spinoff (due to the character's popularity) and Spike was only brought onto AtS S5 because the WB demanded it (again due to the character's popularity). The show as we know it turned out the way it did because the writers or network caved and pandered to fans. Which really isn't surprising because without fans you don't have a show.

And the truth is that the writers would have probably had a lot more crossovers between Buffy/Angel had the shows not ended up on different networks.

The difference is that in the scene in question even Whedon cannot articulate the characters' motivations.

Keeping Angel or Spike or Faith around doesn't take anything from any other character. There is build-up and there is payoff. Their continuations are justified in the story. Chosen? Not so much.

TimeTravellingBunny
19-03-18, 04:00 PM
We had an Angel who seemed... meh about everything he found out:


Buffy and Spike together? meh (No surprise, no shock over Buffy sleeping - or whatever Angel thought - with a soulless vampire?)
Spike having a soul? meh (It's like he already knew...)
He getting the brush off for Captain Peroxide? meh


:p

He was so jokey and flippant about everything. As if Joss decided to write him not as Angel, but as David Boreanaz wearing Angel's clothes.

betta
19-03-18, 04:55 PM
The difference is that in the scene in question even Whedon cannot articulate the characters' motivations.

Keeping Angel or Spike or Faith around doesn't take anything from any other character. There is build-up and there is payoff. Their continuations are justified in the story. Chosen? Not so much.

Exactly - a show is art, but it's something in progress, not something finished. So, if a character or a ship become popular, or is working whithin the story (including Bangel, because as far as I know, Angel was a metaphor who should have been gone from the show), the original plot can/must change. This is not pandering.