PDA

View Full Version : Post-BtVS S1, could Buffy/Xander have ever been popular?



MikeB
17-04-18, 12:37 PM
1) The Original Pilot had Buffy/Xander, but the actual Pilot has Buffy/Angel introduced and BtVS S1 was shot and re-shot before first airing.

2) Angel was made a regular in BtVS S2 off the strength of the popularity of Buffy/Angel and the popularity of Angel.

The above 2 are givens and baselines for this discussion.



BTVS S2

* Obviously, BtVS S2 Buffy/Angel would have needed to be written drastically different for Buffy/Xander to be possible much less become popular. Uncursed Angel somehow made Buffy/Angel even more popular.


* Spike/Dru and Spike gave BtVS a big ratings boost. Buffy/Spike is introduced in "School Hard" (B 2.03) and its popularity increased because of such episodes as "Halloween" (B 2.06), "Lie to Me" (B 2.07), and "Becoming Part II" (B 2.22). Many assumed Spike was going to be Buffy's new boyfriend in BtVS S3.

So, likely Spike/Dru, Spike, and Buffy/Spike in BtVS S2 would need to be written and acted drastically different in BtVS S2 for Buffy/Xander to be possible much less become popular.


* Xander’s dating Cordy and Buffy’s seeing Xander in a Speedo doesn’t get Buffy interested in Xander.


BTVS S3

* If BtVS S2 was as-is, I see no possible scenario for Buffy/Xander to be popular. For Buffy/Xander to merely happen, Angel would need to not return. Very likely also Spike would need to not return. Faith would likely need to be written and acted differently. Buffy/Angel 'shippers would hate Xander and Buffy/Xander. Buffy/Spike 'shippers would never like Buffy/Xander.


* Cordy tells Buffy that Cordy loves Xander. Faith has sex with Xander. Both don’t get Buffy interested in Xander.



BTVS S4

* If BtVS S3 was as-is, I see no possible scenario for Buffy/Xander to be popular. Buffy/Angel 'shippers would never like Buffy/Xander. Buffy/Spike 'shippers would never like Buffy/Xander.

In-'verse, Buffy/Xander only seems to have been possible in BtVS S4 because of the contrast of Buffy/Riley and Xander/Anya. Xander was rocking Anya's world and we see the sex scenes between Buffy/Riley.

For Buffy/Xander to happen, Buffy/Parker would likely need to never happen.

For Buffy/Xander to happen, Buffy/Riley would likely need to never happen. That would likely mean Riley would not be a regular character. And possibly Anya not be a regular character.

It'd be very difficult to have Buffy/Xander not be rebound for Buffy.

Regarding Spike, Harmony eventually is clearly a placeholder for Buffy. Buffy/Spike in BtVS S4 would need to be much different and possibly nonexistent. With Drusilla not being available until BtVS S5, that probably wasn't possible. Even Willow/Spike happening would likely simply increase Buffy’s interest in Spike.



BTVS S5

* If BtVS S4 was as-is, I see no possible scenario for Buffy/Xander to be popular. Buffy/Angel 'shippers would never like Buffy/Xander. Buffy/Spike 'shippers would never like Buffy/Xander.

The audience was expecting Buffy/Spike to happen in BtVS S5 and for Riley to leave the series.

I see no reasonable way Buffy and Riley could break up and then have Buffy get with Xander. In ways, even Robin Wood is a lesser version of Riley Finn.

Spike's trying to kill Buffy in "Out of My Mind" (B 5.04) and almost causing Riley's death, Spike's in "Fool For Love" (B 5.07) telling Buffy he's staying in Sunnydale for the opportunity to kill her, both those episodes brought Buffy closer to Spike. Spike's the reason Riley leaves Buffy.

Spike's the reason Dawn finds out she's the Key. That event brings Buffy closer to Spike.

"Crush" (B 5.14) has Buffy literally locking Spike out of her house, but his declaration is also the reason Buffy/Ben doesn't happen, "Intervention" (B 5.18) happens, BtVS S6 happens, etc.

So, Buffy/Riley and Buffy/Spike would both need to be drastically different in BtVS S5 for Buffy/Xander to even happen. Buffy/Ben would need to be different. Spike almost fed Buffy to Drusilla. Other than doing something Buffy considered dust worthy (a very high bar given Buffy's reactions to Spike's various actions in BtVS S2-BtVS S5), I don't see Buffy/Xander even being possible in BtVS S5 over Buffy/Spike and over Buffy/Ben.



BTVS S6

* If BtVS S5 was as-is, I see no possible scenario for Buffy/Xander to happen. 20th Century Fox Entertainment was able to demand such a premium price for BtVS because Buffy/Spike was finally going to happen. Even without that, even if Spike had left Sunnydale, he’d return immediately upon the news of Buffy’s resurrection and Buffy/Xander would be impossible.



BTVS S7

* If BtVS S6 was as-is, I see almost no possible scenario for Buffy/Xander to happen.

Buffy/Xander in "Lessons" (B 7.01) only seems possible because Buffy and Xander seem to play mother and father to Dawn. Buffy/Xander chances diminish greatly upon Buffy's meeting Principal Robin Wood and they go to zero upon Buffy's seeing Spike. Spike was gone for 3.5 to 7 months (given Tara’s tombstone, it was around 3.5 months.)

Joss Whedon in "Lessons" (B 7.01) has Buffy discussing Buffy/Angel and Buffy/Spike as equal. Spike's being ensouled and his forcing a Platonic relationship on Buffy are the reasons Buffy/Spike weren't having sex until post-"Get It Done" (B 7.15).

Among Buffy/Spike 'shippers, the Attempted Rape didn't diminish the popularity of Buffy/Spike. Almost all Buffy/Spike 'shippers were angered that the writers did that and it wasn't an impediment for Buffy/Spike in BtVS S7. I remember most of the interviews with SMG post-BtVS S6 asked her if Buffy/Spike was happening in BtVS S7 and that most interviews seemed focused on Buffy/Spike.

Except possibly Steven DeKnight, by BtVS S7, I remember all of the BtVS S7 writers ‘shipped Buffy/Spike. I remember none of the BtVS S7 writers ‘shipped Buffy/Xander. I don’t remember any BtVS writers ever ‘shipping Buffy/Xander (I remember they always preferred Buffy/Angel and/or Buffy/Spike).

James Marsters got huge compensation for BtVS S7 and he didn’t have to do “Spuffy” sex scenes with SMG. His return in BtVS S7 ended any chance of Buffy/Xander in BtVS S7. The AtS writers had no incentive to hurt Buffy/Angel given Angel/Cordy was never popular.


Even in AtS S5, “Buffy” was with the Immortal, not Xander. Even BtVS S8, didn't make anyone who 'shipped Buffy/Angel or Buffy/Spike prefer Buffy/Xander over that 'ship.

Sosa lola
17-04-18, 12:58 PM
I'm a Buffy/Xander fan, and my favorite season for them to get together is either in S7 or beyond, but I wouldn't mind having them any season except for S3. I don't know why but I just can't see them in S3 unless it was angry sex.

Priceless
17-04-18, 02:09 PM
If we are dealing with the show/characters as written, for Buffy and Xander to have gotten together it would have had to happen after Willow declared her love for Oz. Girls do not go out with the boys their best friends are in love with. It shouldn't happen, and if it does, I'm not sure she could be called a friend (especially at 16 years old) It would never have worked in a show that was meant to be 'feminist' in outlook.

Post S4 Xander was so deep in the friends zone, I don't know it even the BtVS writers could have pulled him out of it. Plus then you have the added extra of Xander having cheated on Cordy with Willow, and that would be difficult for Buffy to get over I think, and just make the whole thing highly incestuous and too soapy for my liking. The whole of S4 would have to be devoted to building up the Xander/Buffy relationship, which may have been interesting and helped to change Xander as a character, perhaps making him more mature earlier. Now S7 Xander is great, and if Spike were not on the scene, I can definitely see him and Buffy . . . late night, few glasses of red . . . who knows ;)

DeepBlueJoy
17-04-18, 11:37 PM
I don't see Xander and Buffy together. I can imagine Xander and Spike, Xander and Angel, Xander and Cordelia, Xander and Anya... but not Buffy. They just seem wrong for a love relationship. They seem more like brother and sister, right out of the box.

That said, there's two situations where they could work.

At the beginning of the series, but only if they'd written Xander as being much more confident. Buffy was a lot more of a popular girl/confident cheerleader earlier in the series, and Xander would have had to be more confident and sure of himself to get and keep her attention.

The other situation is right after Anya and Spike have both died at the end of season 7. Both are grieving, and for the first time, I think Xander could 'get' Spike as someone Buffy could love (and that would be an opening that was never there before, when Xander had a hate on for Spike) Buffy would of course, understand Xander's loss. I could see them get together in grief and mutual understanding, or in drunken grief and mutual understanding.
It's not clear to me if it would be possible for them to sustain something permanent.

Both of them have serious emotional wounds. I see them having more potential to pull them apart than draw them together.

On the pro side: Xander has no problem with Buffy being stronger than he is and he is totally loyal to her.
On the con side, Buffy really does need someone who won't judge her or put her on a pedestal. Xander is, also, just not as mature as all that, but consider Spike...

Oddly, Xander and Spike are lot alike. They wear their heart on their sleeves, and they're loyal to the point of stupid. The difference with them (other than super strength) is that Xander is rigid and black and white, and Spike is open minded and can roll with punches. Buffy's life, is, of course, nothing but punches.

Fool for Buffy
18-04-18, 08:57 PM
With the characters as written they never could have been together. Xander’s best qualities are all built around being the supportive friend. I think a relationship with him and the hero would have taken away from some of those key qualities. For instance, how could he have been the best friend to Willow if he was always focused on Buffy? How could he be a voice of reason when worrying about the death of his girlfriend? (Imagine his actions in Selfless for Anya but way worse) How could he use humor to lighten the mood if his girlfriend was extremely depressed and had the world on her shoulders? You could pretty much pick apart every part of Xander, good and bad, and say- That is why Xander and Buffy would never have worked.

ghoststar
18-04-18, 09:55 PM
I can easily see them becoming popular in S3– if Angel hadn’t been around. I know that Joss has said he didn’t plan a spinoff until he saw DB’s acting in “I Only Have Eyes for You,” and I’m not sure why he would’ve kept Angel in Sunnydale another year without that. Dusting Angel in the S2 finale would’ve both ended the possibility of a future with Angel and given Buffy closure (no worrying that he’s been sent, soul and all, for Hell). Cordy and Xander would probably have needed to stay broken up after “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered,” too. I don’t think that Buffy and Xander would’ve made sense as a couple right away, but I can imagine them bonding more over the course of the season and maybe getting their first kiss around “The Prom.”

bespangled
18-04-18, 10:01 PM
Now S7 Xander is great, and if Spike were not on the scene, I can definitely see him and Buffy . . . late night, few glasses of red . . . who knows

I have to tell you that my mind immediately went to Spander when you said this, and not Spuffy.

I don't see it organically - but I also think that endgame could not be happy Xander and Buffy and tearing them too far apart would hurt the show

TimeTravellingBunny
19-04-18, 12:18 AM
I can easily see them becoming popular in S3– if Angel hadn’t been around. I know that Joss has said he didn’t plan a spinoff until he saw DB’s acting in “I Only Have Eyes for You,” and I’m not sure why he would’ve kept Angel in Sunnydale another year without that. Dusting Angel in the S2 finale would’ve both ended the possibility of a future with Angel and given Buffy closure (no worrying that he’s been sent, soul and all, for Hell). Cordy and Xander would probably have needed to stay broken up after “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered,” too. I don’t think that Buffy and Xander would’ve made sense as a couple right away, but I can imagine them bonding more over the course of the season and maybe getting their first kiss around “The Prom.”

I've seen all the ideas here, and I have to tell you: they're all terrible. Xander and Buffy would have never worked as a couple, unless they had been written differently from the start.

Pretty much every idea here would end up producing a narrative that can be summed up with one or more of those:
- (season 1/early season 2) Buffy dates the guy her best friend is in love with :o but it's OK because we get the "male nerd gets the hot girl he's been pining for" trope (and the same trope does not apply to female nerds) :bleh:
- (season 2) Xander is the best friend Nice Guy who gets 'rewarded' for saving Buffy in the season 1 finale or just for sticking by her, especially after her boyfriend goes evil and she 'comes to her senses' :down:
- Buffy settles for her best friend after losing her boyfriend (whether in season 3 with Angel dead or post-season 7 with Spike dead) :eek:
- (season 7 or post-season 7) Buffy and Xander have ill-thought drunken sex out of grief/comfort (great idea how to mess up a friendship, guys!) :err:

There is no scenario in which I can see a good romantic relationship coming out of the setup these characters were put in - and having them be friends and Xander get over his romantic feelings for her over time was a much, much better story.

(For the record, I also hated Xander/Willow as a couple. I was so relieved when they all finally got over the romantic entanglements between each other.)

HardlyThere
19-04-18, 12:52 AM
I've seen all the ideas here, and I have to tell you: they're all terrible. Xander and Buffy would have never worked as a couple, unless they had been written differently from the start.

Pretty much every idea here would end up producing a narrative that can be summed up with one or more of those:
- (season 1/early season 2) Buffy dates the guy her best friend is in love with :o but it's OK because we get the "male nerd gets the hot girl he's been pining for" trope (and the same trope does not apply to female nerds) :bleh:
- (season 2) Xander is the best friend Nice Guy who gets 'rewarded' for saving Buffy in the season 1 finale or just for sticking by her, especially after her boyfriend goes evil and she 'comes to her senses' :down:
- Buffy settles for her best friend after losing her boyfriend (whether in season 3 with Angel dead or post-season 7 with Spike dead) :eek:
- (season 7 or post-season 7) Buffy and Xander have ill-thought drunken sex out of grief/comfort (great idea how to mess up a friendship, guys!) :err:

There is no scenario in which I can see a good romantic relationship coming out of the setup these characters were put in - and having them be friends and Xander get over his romantic feelings for her over time was a much, much better story.

(For the record, I also hated Xander/Willow as a couple. I was so relieved when they all finally got over the romantic entanglements between each other.)

Not doing B/X is the smartest thing Joss ever did. It's a horrible, disgusting trope. I'd like to think he realized it at some point.

ghoststar
19-04-18, 02:22 AM
I don't see anything innately "horrible" or "disgusting" about two platonic friends deciding to date. Personally, I'm glad they didn't, because it isn't one of my favorite tropes, but that's just a narrative-kink issue, not a value judgment.

As I said, I think it would have worked for a lot of people if Buffy had dusted Angel in the season 2 finale and the relationship hadn't turned romantic immediately, so my scenario has nothing to do with them dating in seasons 1, 2, or 7. Had the plan been to simply dust Angel in the season 2 finale:

Buffy would not have elected to bring a sword (and, apparently, only a sword) to a stake-fight ("Becoming, Part 2"), which she presumably did because she suspected, on some level that Willow would attempt the spell, and she wanted a weapon that could be used to incapacitate Angel without killing him unless the situation turned completely hopeless. Xander doesn't lie to Buffy about a spell that nobody plans or casts in the first place. Xander never tries to arrange Angel's murder in "Revelations," seeing as Angel has been dusted for months. Oz and Willow are presumably an official couple, seeing as they had already become one before the events of "Becoming." Xander comes across as far less controlling, and neither he nor Buffy is betraying anyone by pursuing the relationship.

Now, would it come across as Buffy settling? Maybe. But there are already shades of that with Riley in S4-5. If anything, playing out that dynamic within the core 4 would've made for a more dramatic story. Certainly, had Xander and Willow believed that Buffy was treating Xander as Mr. Rebound, it would've provided a much-needed reason for the Scoobies' season-4 collapse, which I find contrived in canon.

TimeTravellingBunny
19-04-18, 02:39 AM
I don't see anything innately "horrible" or "disgusting" about two platonic friends deciding to date. Personally, I'm glad they didn't, because it isn't one of my favorite tropes, but that's just a narrative-kink issue, not a value judgment.

As I said, I think it would have worked for a lot of people if Buffy had dusted Angel in the season 2 finale and the relationship hadn't turned romantic immediately, so my scenario has nothing to do with them dating in seasons 1, 2, or 7. Had the plan been to simply dust Angel in the season 2 finale:

Buffy would not have elected to bring a sword (and, apparently, only a sword) to a stake-fight ("Becoming, Part 2"), which she presumably did because she suspected, on some level that Willow would attempt the spell, and she wanted a weapon that could be used to incapacitate Angel without killing him unless the situation turned completely hopeless. Xander doesn't lie to Buffy about a spell that nobody plans or casts in the first place. Xander never tries to arrange Angel's murder in "Revelations," seeing as Angel has been dusted for months. Oz and Willow are presumably an official couple, seeing as they had already become one before the events of "Becoming." Xander comes across as far less controlling, and neither he nor Buffy is betraying anyone by pursuing the relationship.

Now, would it come across as Buffy settling? Maybe. But there are already shades of that with Riley in S4-5. If anything, playing out that dynamic within the core 4 would've made for a more dramatic story. Certainly, had Xander and Willow believed that Buffy was treating Xander as Mr. Rebound, it would've provided a much-needed reason for the Scoobies' season-4 collapse, which I find contrived in canon.

There was a really good reason not to dust Angel in Becoming pt 2 that wasn't about the possibility of Buffy getting him back: if he had already started the ritual - which, it turns out, he did - then the only thing that could close the portal and stop the world from being sucked into hell was to draw his blood again. Dusting him would not have done that - in fact, it would have prevented it. So, Angel is dust, and the world gets sucked into hell.

HardlyThere
19-04-18, 03:01 AM
I don't see anything innately "horrible" or "disgusting" about two platonic friends deciding to date. Personally, I'm glad they didn't, because it isn't one of my favorite tropes, but that's just a narrative-kink issue, not a value judgment.

That's not the trope that's horrible. It's just boring. The bad trope is the typical girl has to learn her lesson being burned by the bad men before seeing the real partner right in front of her who was right all along. It's entitled nonsense that is the source of why Buffy's archetype exists.


As I said, I think it would have worked for a lot of people if Buffy had dusted Angel in the season 2 finale and the relationship hadn't turned romantic immediately, so my scenario has nothing to do with them dating in seasons 1, 2, or 7. Had the plan been to simply dust Angel in the season 2 finale:

Buffy would not have elected to bring a sword (and, apparently, only a sword) to a stake-fight ("Becoming, Part 2"), which she presumably did because she suspected, on some level that Willow would attempt the spell, and she wanted a weapon that could be used to incapacitate Angel without killing him unless the situation turned completely hopeless. Xander doesn't lie to Buffy about a spell that nobody plans or casts in the first place. Xander never tries to arrange Angel's murder in "Revelations," seeing as Angel has been dusted for months. Oz and Willow are presumably an official couple, seeing as they had already become one before the events of "Becoming." Xander comes across as far less controlling, and neither he nor Buffy is betraying anyone by pursuing the relationship.

Now, would it come across as Buffy settling? Maybe. But there are already shades of that with Riley in S4-5. If anything, playing out that dynamic within the core 4 would've made for a more dramatic story. Certainly, had Xander and Willow believed that Buffy was treating Xander as Mr. Rebound, it would've provided a much-needed reason for the Scoobies' season-4 collapse, which I find contrived in canon.

Swords kill vampires just as well as stakes. They're just far more noticeable. Buffy takes the sword because it can close the portal, unlike a stake. If the spell hadn't worked and if the portal hadn't opened, she could have cut his head off, which she was about to do.

ghoststar
19-04-18, 03:42 AM
True, she needed to draw blood. But the sword is a really bad way of finishing him off, as shown by the fact that he survives being stabbed through the heart and is sucked, still un-alive, into Hell. AFAIK, only one move will "work" with a sword (decapitation), and a one-blow decapitation was a notoriously difficult feat for even professional executioners whose targets were kneeling on the block during the period when it was used. Further, it isn't her usual weapon, which puts her at a potential advantage against Angel, who may very well have used it for decades back in the day. (Is this the first time we see her fight with a sword? I can't recall even see her training with one before.) By contrast, she could've drawn blood by aiming a crossbow or wooden javelin/dart/stake at literally any part of his body but his heart (or, I guess, his hair), from a relatively-safe distance, and then had the advantage for the rest of the fight. If the first strike wounded him badly enough, she might even have been able to stay completely out of his weapons range for the duration. The sword, with no back-up weapon, is a terrible choice, at least from the perspective of "bleed him & kill him."

HardlyThere
19-04-18, 04:16 AM
She needed to draw blood in the event the portal opened. More than that, as Kendra explains, the sword is the blessed by the guy who killed him the first time. It's needed to close the portal.

We see Buffy train with staffs and a variety of weapons. A sword is a standard melee weapon. It's more unlikely she *wouldn't* be skilled at it.

Buffy has superpowers. We see her cleanly lop the head off a vampire in Lessons without breaking a sweat.

vampmogs
19-04-18, 10:27 AM
More than that, as Kendra explains, the sword is the blessed by the guy who killed him the first time. It's needed to close the portal.

Yep this. It's explicitly stated that the sword can close the portal to Acathla if Buffy impales Angel with it. It's why Buffy goes back to the crime scene in Becoming II to get the sword before confronting Angel. It wasn't a weapon of choice, it was a weapon of necessity.

As for Buffy training with a sword, we don't ever see her wielding the sword in training but we do see her fending off a swordsman when she trains with Giles in Reptile Boy. And there's really no reason to believe that Giles wouldn't have trained Buffy in swordsmanship given that she has swords in her arsenal and it's her weapon of choice in episodes such as Lessons and Selfless.

Andrew S.
19-04-18, 11:18 AM
I've seen all the ideas here, and I have to tell you: they're all terrible. Xander and Buffy would have never worked as a couple, unless they had been written differently from the start.

Pretty much every idea here would end up producing a narrative that can be summed up with one or more of those:
- (season 1/early season 2) Buffy dates the guy her best friend is in love with :o but it's OK because we get the "male nerd gets the hot girl he's been pining for" trope (and the same trope does not apply to female nerds) :bleh:
- (season 2) Xander is the best friend Nice Guy who gets 'rewarded' for saving Buffy in the season 1 finale or just for sticking by her, especially after her boyfriend goes evil and she 'comes to her senses' :down:
- Buffy settles for her best friend after losing her boyfriend (whether in season 3 with Angel dead or post-season 7 with Spike dead) :eek:
- (season 7 or post-season 7) Buffy and Xander have ill-thought drunken sex out of grief/comfort (great idea how to mess up a friendship, guys!) :err:

There is no scenario in which I can see a good romantic relationship coming out of the setup these characters were put in - and having them be friends and Xander get over his romantic feelings for her over time was a much, much better story.

(For the record, I also hated Xander/Willow as a couple. I was so relieved when they all finally got over the romantic entanglements between each other.)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you a Buffy/Spike shipper? How is Buffy falling in love with and ending up with her best friend any more "terrible" or "cliché" than her falling in love with her former stalker/attempted rapist?

Frankly, a lot of this this sounds like you projecting your own feelings onto the narrative. I don't see how Xander dating Buffy would be him getting "rewarded" for saving her life if she genuinely had feelings for him. In that case, do you also think Spike was "rewarded" with Buffy's love in Season 7? And how would Buffy be "settling" for Xander in either Season 3 or post-Season 7 by merely moving on after Angel or Spike's deaths? Should she be single forever then, according to you? Since we're using tropes to judge everything, do you also think Tara's death and Willow going evil was homophobia?

Don't get me wrong, I'm also glad that Buffy/Xander didn't happen because I think it would have been boring more than anything else and I like seeing such a strong platonic male-female friendship onscreen for a change. But let's not act like it's "feminist" storytelling or something for Buffy not to fall in love with Xander considering her reconciliation with Angel in Season 3 and the season-long Spuffy lovefest of Season 7.

KingofCretins
19-04-18, 01:01 PM
Not doing B/X is the smartest thing Joss ever did. It's a horrible, disgusting trope. I'd like to think he realized it at some point.

Does that make it a disgusting, horrible reality when it happens, I wonder? Those two heated emoji reactions TTB had, both represent things that do from time to time happen IRL. It didn't get invented as a cliche for fiction, it is a cliche drawn from life after all.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you a Buffy/Spike shipper? How is Buffy falling in love with and ending up with her best friend any more "terrible" or "cliché" than her falling in love with her former stalker/attempted rapist?

Excellent point -- surely this would be more maladaptive behavior by an order of magnitude or more. But hell, maybe Xander's torch counts as a form of stalking in the eye of the beholder too? If it is, I have no help to offer.

But certainly it's troubling to see it suggested that, entertainment value notwithstanding, that there would be something, like, morally upsetting about Buffy/Xander.

How popular a storyline ends up is always ultimately a function of how well written and performed it is, IMO. There were really only three times in the televised seasons they could have sent their horses in that relationship's direction without it being totally random, and it's basically the three times we already know it was tossed around by the actors and/or writing staff -- the back half of S2/start of S3, as a plotline of S4, or as a plotline of S7. The most "heat" this had vis a vis being a thing that it's clear might have actually ever happened was the first scenario, a "light and dark" love triangle. I am annoyingly bad at screenshot search fu, but I remember because they are awesome, a promotional photo shoot for Season 2 (think it was WB's own marketing, so Network was either getting this idea directly from Mutant Enemy or just picking it up subtextually) that poses SMG, DB, and NB crosswise as two "couples" with the other guy just on the "outside". The end of "Inca Mummy Girl" definitely felt written as ground work for the possibility of future feels to be dealt with, with their awkward we're-staring-into-each-others-eyes-too-long moment, and of course the DVD commentary for "Reptile Boy" has David Greenwalt all but explicitly saying that (this being recorded probably during the breaking of Season 3) that they would be playing with that relationship at some future point. So that's probably the farthest they ever got into planning to actually do it, subsequently still abandoned.

The best time overall they could have done this would have been Season 8, of course, when the narrative deck had been so shuffled, their roles in each other's lives so redefined, etc, and they certainly teased it but it was ultimately a red herring for the Xander/Dawn twist.

If someone wants to talk "troubling implications", explain the writers' bizarre obsession with making sure they paired their feminist superhero only with men who were of approximate strength to her and therefore able to represent physical danger to her. I mean, Riley could have just been a psych grad student, right? That's got some possibly disturbing relationship and gender role issues to unpack, no?

TimeTravellingBunny
19-04-18, 01:36 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you a Buffy/Spike shipper? How is Buffy falling in love with and ending up with her best friend any more "terrible" or "cliché" than her falling in love with her former stalker/attempted rapist?

Frankly, a lot of this this sounds like you projecting your own feelings onto the narrative. I don't see how Xander dating Buffy would be him getting "rewarded" for saving her life if she genuinely had feelings for Buffy. In that case, do you also think Spike was "rewarded" with Buffy's love in Season 7? And how would Buffy be "settling" for Xander in either Season 3 or post-Season 7 by merely moving on after Angel or Spike's deaths? Should she be single forever then, according to you? Since we're using tropes to judge everything, do you also think Tara's death and Willow going evil was homophobia?

Don't get me wrong, I'm also glad that Buffy/Xander didn't happen because I think it would have been boring more than anything else and I like seeing such a strong platonic male-female friendship onscreen for a change. But let's not act like it's "feminist" storytelling or something for Buffy not to fall in love with Xander considering her reconciliation with Angel in Season 3 and the season-long Spuffy lovefest of Season 7.

So, do you think BtVS is an anti-feminist show and that Bangel and Spuffy were horrible, sexist narratives? Or are you just trying to make your position sound stronger by claiming that?

You're free to tell me your vision of how Buffy/Xander would have worked with the characters and situations as written. I'm waiting.

(Now if I really wanted to start debating in that direction, I'd point out that Xander also tried to rape her. What's that? He was possessed by a hyena demon and can't be held responsible? Well, according to the Buffyverse lore, souled vampires also can't really be held responsible for what they did when they were soulless, which applies equally to Spike's attempted rape or Spike's previous murder attempts or anything that Angel did in season 2 without a soul.)

- - - Updated - - -




But certainly it's troubling to see it suggested that, entertainment value notwithstanding, that there would be something, like, morally upsetting about Buffy/Xander.

No, I never said there would be something morally upsetting. I said it would have been an annoying, cliche storytelling that would have made me puke, personally. We have seen that kind of storytelling before, there's nothing original or interesting about it.

- - - Updated - - -


I don't see anything innately "horrible" or "disgusting" about two platonic friends deciding to date. Personally, I'm glad they didn't, because it isn't one of my favorite tropes, but that's just a narrative-kink issue, not a value judgment.

As I said, I think it would have worked for a lot of people if Buffy had dusted Angel in the season 2 finale and the relationship hadn't turned romantic immediately, so my scenario has nothing to do with them dating in seasons 1, 2, or 7. Had the plan been to simply dust Angel in the season 2 finale:

Buffy would not have elected to bring a sword (and, apparently, only a sword) to a stake-fight ("Becoming, Part 2"), which she presumably did because she suspected, on some level that Willow would attempt the spell, and she wanted a weapon that could be used to incapacitate Angel without killing him unless the situation turned completely hopeless. Xander doesn't lie to Buffy about a spell that nobody plans or casts in the first place. Xander never tries to arrange Angel's murder in "Revelations," seeing as Angel has been dusted for months. Oz and Willow are presumably an official couple, seeing as they had already become one before the events of "Becoming." Xander comes across as far less controlling, and neither he nor Buffy is betraying anyone by pursuing the relationship.

Now, would it come across as Buffy settling? Maybe. But there are already shades of that with Riley in S4-5. If anything, playing out that dynamic within the core 4 would've made for a more dramatic story. Certainly, had Xander and Willow believed that Buffy was treating Xander as Mr. Rebound, it would've provided a much-needed reason for the Scoobies' season-4 collapse, which I find contrived in canon.

Why would Angel be proficient with a sword, more so than Buffy? As a son of an Irish merchant, I don't see him practicing fencing as sport the way aristocracy would. And as a vampire, what use would he have for it? He has his fangs. And if he wanted to kill a human quickly and efficiently, he could always use a gun, the way Darla tried to in 1.7. He was never into the fight itself, so I don't see why he'd particularly want to try out different weapons to fight.

KingofCretins
19-04-18, 01:49 PM
That was less for you and more for HardlyThere whom labelled the Buffy/Xander concept "horrible" and "disgusting", all of which is inexplicable to me.

Incidentally, I think had they committed to the storyline, I'm guessing we'd have ended up with the "wholesome but also scandalous" romance of the first half of Season 3 being Buffy/Xander, not Xander/Willow, and that "Revelations" would have maybe been a few episodes later, and included The Lie as impetus for a break-up and recriminations. Xander's ostracization and self-doubt would have been from Buffy, not Cordelia; "Graduation" and "Key Guy" probably how they reconcile. But yeah, Buffy/Xander would have been totes boring as a storyline ;)

Other than the show's willingness to hang a lantern on vampires preternatural martial arts skills explaining Angel as swordmaster, I'm going to put it down to "bored vampire down time" of the 20th century.

Sosa lola
19-04-18, 02:43 PM
I won't call Buffy/Xander getting together as horrible or disgusting, depending on how they get together. Getting together in S7 would be more of a "friends growing into something more" trope rather than Buffy being Xander's reward.


But yeah, Buffy/Xander would have been totes boring as a storyline ;)


I think the boring argument is as subjective as the one about chemistry for me. I personally don't see anything boring about a Buffy/Xander relationship considering how their journeys mirror each other and because their intense fights are absolutely enjoyable to watch and I expect they'd buttheads again while in a relationship.

S2 does have moments where there's spark between the two: end of Inca Mummy Girl and that scene in Phases after Xander saves and comforts Buffy.

If I remember correctly, in the commentary of I Was Made to Love You, Jane Espenson mentions something about giving the Buffy/Xander shippers some hope with the Bander close-friendship scenes in the episode.

Also, King, is this the shoot you're talking about?

https://78.media.tumblr.com/a2581f855226476e85fbd09bd7751e23/tumblr_owsisslPHo1qgux4ho8_400.jpg

ghoststar
19-04-18, 02:53 PM
Yep this. It's explicitly stated that the sword can close the portal to Acathla if Buffy impales Angel with it. It's why Buffy goes back to the crime scene in Becoming II to get the sword before confronting Angel. It wasn't a weapon of choice, it was a weapon of necessity.

Okay, I agree, this is a fair point.

HardlyThere
19-04-18, 04:54 PM
That was less for you and more for HardlyThere whom labelled the Buffy/Xander concept "horrible" and "disgusting", all of which is inexplicable to me.



We're not dealing with the real world, we're dealing in fiction where stories have motives. What I clarified in comment two is that I meant the entitlement trope and it is a horrible, disgusting one. Writer insert, the geekish/nerdy outsider type, creates a story in which hot girl he's smitten with and is rejected by is repeatedly burned/punished before seeing what she should have seen all along. It's something a comic geek still bitter over girls not liking him in high school would write.

It's typical revenge fantasy silliness. As I said in my second comment, it's not friends hooking up that's the terrible trope. It's the story progression of the second, which BTVS is sadly rife with.

a thing of evil
19-04-18, 05:41 PM
Writer insert, the geekish/nerdy outsider type, creates a story in which hot girl he's smitten with and is rejected by is repeatedly burned/punished before seeing what she should have seen all along.

So, like, Spike? :lol:

HardlyThere
19-04-18, 05:52 PM
So, like, Spike? :lol:

She doesn't end with Spike on the show, either.

And I agree. An argument could be made Joss just switched up his insert after Nick became unreliable. As I said in my comment, I'd like to think Joss was aware of this on some level, hence TGIQ.

Recent works and comments would suggest otherwise, of course.

TimeTravellingBunny
19-04-18, 06:17 PM
She doesn't end with Spike on the show, either.

And I agree. An argument could be made Joss just switched up his insert after Nick became unreliable. As I said in my comment, I'd like to think Joss was aware of this on some level, hence TGIQ.

Spike has never been portrayed as a "geekish/nerdy outsider type" at any point that Buffy knew him, or in general - other than in the flashbacks to his human self, which neither Buffy nor anyone else on the show got to see, other than Halfrek/Cecily. And he never hooked up with Halfrek/Cecily, so... nope, that's not that trope.

Buffy was also not "repeatedly burned/punished" by dating other dudes before "seeing what she should have all along". That makes zero sense to say with regard to her relationship with Spike. That's not even remotely what happened, at least not on the show. She saw exactly what was there, which was some potential and interesting qualities (which she saw in season 5 way before most other characters) but also, hello, a soulless vampire. If anything, they both got "burned/punished" - by their ill-thought and mutually abusive relationship with each other in season 6, not with anyone else. Buffy didn't get into that relationship because she was too blind to see the worth of whoever else, or because she was dreaming of redeeming Spike, she did it mostly because she was depressed and self-destructive. And Spike at some point realized he needed to fix himself on his own. In the end, in season 7, it wasn't really about "winning" her love - as Chosen shows.

In short, nice try (well, not really, but I'm being generous), but definitely no cigar.

HardlyThere
19-04-18, 06:40 PM
Spike has never been portrayed as a "geekish/nerdy outsider type" at any point that Buffy knew him, or in general - other than in the flashbacks to his human self, which neither Buffy nor anyone else on the show got to see, other than Halfrek/Cecily. And he never hooked up with Halfrek/Cecily, so... nope, that's not that trope.

Buffy was also not "repeatedly burned/punished" by dating other dudes before "seeing what she should have all along". That makes zero sense to say with regard to her relationship with Spike. That's not even remotely what happened, at least not on the show. She saw exactly what was there, which was some potential and interesting qualities (which she saw in season 5 way before most other characters) but also, hello, a soulless vampire. If anything, they both got "burned/punished" - by their ill-thought and mutually abusive relationship with each other in season 6, not with anyone else. Buffy didn't get into that relationship because she was too blind to see the worth of whoever else, or because she was dreaming of redeeming Spike, she did it mostly because she was depressed and self-destructive. And Spike at some point realized he needed to fix himself on his own. In the end, in season 7, it wasn't really about "winning" her love - as Chosen shows.

In short, nice try (well, not really, but I'm being generous), but definitely no cigar.

I said I agreed there are similarities and I said an argument could be made, not that I agreed with it in terms of the BTVS/AtS shows.

But to address a few points...

1.) We the viewer know Spike's badass persona covers the sensitive poet underneath. It doesn't matter what Buffy knows.
2.) at least not on the show That you felt the need to make that qualification is interesting and suggests you know that if you take the comics into consideration, there's some merit to the comparison. Speaking of the shows themselves, I don't agree with the comparison at all much at all.
3.) I agree about S7. And as we know, in terms of the shows, she ends up with none of them, despite the direct allegory of her being a trophy in AtS S5.

The biggest and most blatant difference in the shows is the over-the-top finger-wagging in S2 and S6, notably Seeing Red.

KingofCretins
19-04-18, 11:06 PM
We're not dealing with the real world, we're dealing in fiction where stories have motives. What I clarified in comment two is that I meant the entitlement trope and it is a horrible, disgusting one. Writer insert, the geekish/nerdy outsider type, creates a story in which hot girl he's smitten with and is rejected by is repeatedly burned/punished before seeing what she should have seen all along. It's something a comic geek still bitter over girls not liking him in high school would write.

It's typical revenge fantasy silliness. As I said in my second comment, it's not friends hooking up that's the terrible trope. It's the story progression of the second, which BTVS is sadly rife with.

Not sure it's a rational distinction to draw here -- because again, this does happen in real life, the reason that "Buffy" ever worked is because it dealt in emotional verisimilitude amidst its fantasy plot setting. So if it's gross entitlement or revenge in fiction it follows that so to it likely is in life.

Also, how is it not any less an entitlement trope of wish fulfillment for the dark and brooding outsider edgelord to get the shining bright-eyed pretty beauty queen to embrace him than it is for the awkward dork outsider? Or rather, how is that the "non-horrifying" trope of the two?

HardlyThere
19-04-18, 11:42 PM
Not sure it's a rational distinction to draw here -- because again, this does happen in real life, the reason that "Buffy" ever worked is because it dealt in emotional verisimilitude amidst its fantasy plot setting. So if it's gross entitlement or revenge in fiction it follows that so to it likely is in life.

I'm sure you don't get the rational distinction between real life and a story written by someone with the intent to send a feminist message. Real life doesn't have a message. It just happens. Stories, Buffy specifically, have motives and intentions.


Also, how is it not any less an entitlement trope of wish fulfillment for the dark and brooding outsider edgelord to get the shining bright-eyed pretty beauty queen to embrace him than it is for the awkward dork outsider? Or rather, how is that the "non-horrifying" trope of the two?

Not when the show is about the pretty beauty queen and one is depicted as bad for the expressed purpose of punishment and the other good. As is usually the case. Why do girls like those ******* badboys when the Good Ones are right there?

Buffy was unique at the time by giving that pretty blonde cheerleader a narrative instead of slaughtering her in an alley, punishment for her choices. It's counter intuitive to make her the prize in someone else's narrative after she's punished and learns her lesson.

Silver1
19-04-18, 11:54 PM
Why do girls like those ******* badboys when the Good Ones are right there?

Maybe because in fiction they can come across as right bloody boring. :roll:

TimeTravellingBunny
20-04-18, 12:10 AM
Also, how is it not any less an entitlement trope of wish fulfillment for the dark and brooding outsider edgelord to get the shining bright-eyed pretty beauty queen to embrace him than it is for the awkward dork outsider? Or rather, how is that the "non-horrifying" trope of the two?
The "shining bright-eyed pretty beauty queen" you're referring to was the main character, and the story as it was set up in season 1 wasn't about a dark brooding outside and an awkward dork outsider fighting for her attention. It was about her and her struggles with her destiny, and the romantic plots were set up as her being attracted to and falling for a dark and brooding mysterious outsider who had the same feelings for her, while her male friend - awkward dork outsider was pining after her (and getting jealous and angry that she was into the brooding mysterious outsider instead of him) and her female friend - awkward dork outsider was meanwhile pining after the above mentioned male awkward dork outsider.

It says a lot that one of the recent YouTube reactors thought after seeing season 1 and early season 2 that the Buffy and Xander were going to end up together, even though it's not something he wanted - he just thought things were set up that way from the start. Why? I actually asked that question, and why he thought it was going to be Buffy and Xander, rather than, say, Xander and Willow? It's the same trope of unrequited love from a friend ("friendzone", as people like to call it), only gender swapped. But I know why: because he, and a lot of other people who've watched a lot of movies and TV, know which way that trope usually goes and from whose perspective it's usually shown.

Now, if Buffy and Xander were written as two people from different backgrounds - "bright eyed beauty queen" and "awkward outsider dork" - meeting, getting to know each other, be friends and slowly falling for each other - that would not have been the same trope. Remove Angel as Buffy's serious love interest, remove Willow being in love with Xander, create some genuine mutual attraction and sexual tension between Buffy and Xander - that would have been completely different. It could have been like a modified version of Buffy/Pike from the original script/movie (only strike out 'awkward dork' and insert 'lower class punk outsider'). Like I said: it could have worked really well - if they had written both those characters, their relationship and their relationships with other people completely differently.

We actually did get a romantic relationship "shining bright eyed beauty queen" (only one who's also a Mean Girl and bit of a bully and a supporting character) and the "awkward dork outsider" in question in season 2 and 3, so it's not like the show was against that (and in fact, the beauty queen ended up having stronger feelings for the dork than the other way round), but that wasn't the same trope that smacks of Nice Guy-ism. It was a completely different trope of Meet Cute, sexual tension/love hate relationship. If people were specifically against 'awkward outsider dorks' hooking up with 'beauty queens', then everyone who dislikes the idea of Buffy/Xander would also hate Xander/Cordelia, and that's usually not the case.

KingofCretins
20-04-18, 01:20 AM
Um, both of you, hate to break it to you, but in neither condition is Buffy not the main character, so not sure why you think that's a meaningful distinction for why Suitor A is an entitlement trope and Suiter B is just, I don't know, serious and insightful story telling and in no wise an entitlement trope of a different sort of misanthrope. In either case, the Dream Girl is "won" by some sort of outcast. I think if we were to put the Whovian "one word" test to this, at the end there's only "taste".

HardlyThere
20-04-18, 01:39 AM
One is a lecture on the main character and the other isn't.

In one case, she isn't won at all because there is no contest. She loves him/he loves her. In the other, there is. He loves her/she loves someone else and must be taught a lesson that THAT guy is an jerk until she sees the light.

Andrew S.
20-04-18, 03:42 PM
So, do you think BtVS is an anti-feminist show and that Bangel and Spuffy were horrible, sexist narratives? Or are you just trying to make your position sound stronger by claiming that?

No, I don't think BtVS is anti-feminist or that Bangel and Spuffy were simply sexist narratives. You were the one who started bringing up tropes and trying to undermine people's ideas with the worst possible interpretations and over-the-top emojis to make your position sound stronger, I was simply playing tit for tat. My point was that Bangel and Spuffy both have some problematic implications (as does damn near every romance on this show), however I'm sure you would agree that there was a lot of good about those romances as well. Same thing with a hypothetical Buffy/Xander romance. Yeah, some things about it would have been cliché or problematic, but it could have also been very good (had the writers decided to go that route).


You're free to tell me your vision of how Buffy/Xander would have worked with the characters and situations as written. I'm waiting.

I don't really have a specific "vision" for Buffy/Xander because, as I said above, I don't support it either. I think it could have easily happened in the early seasons, but if it did, it would have definitely messed with Buffy and Willow's friendship (which is the relationship on the show that I care about most and my heart hurts for Willow just thinking about it) and, as someone else said, Xander was so deep in the friend zone post-Season 4 that I can't really imagine it taking place then, with the exception of Season 7.

But what I took issue with was your post insinuating that anyone who supports Buffy/Xander thinks that Xander is some Nice Guy who's entitled to Buffy or that Buffy is some bimbo who will just be with any guy around. And even though I don't ship Buffy/Xander, there are some moments, particularly in Season 2, where the two of them have some definite romantic chemistry. The end of "Inca Mummy Girl" and "Phases" come to mind in particular. Sosa lola and KingofCretins also cited the promo pic of Buffy between Xander and Angel, and Greenwalt's "Reptile Boy" DVD commentary (which was actually recorded sometime around Season 5; I recall Greenwalt explicitly saying they were in middle of shooting that season and he made references to Cordelia being on AtS) where he said that a Buffy/Xander romance was still on the writers' minds in some capacity. So if the writers had decided to go that direction (which they considered many times at several points in the series), it could have been completely believable.


(Now if I really wanted to start debating in that direction, I'd point out that Xander also tried to rape her. What's that? He was possessed by a hyena demon and can't be held responsible? Well, according to the Buffyverse lore, souled vampires also can't really be held responsible for what they did when they were soulless, which applies equally to Spike's attempted rape or Spike's previous murder attempts or anything that Angel did in season 2 without a soul.)

Fair enough on bringing up the hyena possession, but that was one episode and the show's narrative never took that incident seriously. The "Seeing Red" incident was supposed to be a huge deal in terms of the narrative and my point still stands that, while there was a lot of good about Spuffy, it's still kind of problematic for a show's heroine to fall in love with a guy who stalked her and tried to kill her and her friends for several years in a storyline that was essentially the main focus of the series' final season, soul or no soul, plot armor or no plot armor.


Pretty much every idea here would end up producing a narrative that can be summed up with one or more of those:
- (season 1/early season 2) Buffy dates the guy her best friend is in love with but it's OK because we get the "male nerd gets the hot girl he's been pining for" trope (and the same trope does not apply to female nerds)
- (season 2) Xander is the best friend Nice Guy who gets 'rewarded' for saving Buffy in the season 1 finale or just for sticking by her, especially after her boyfriend goes evil and she 'comes to her senses'

Buffy/Spike can also be summed up as "Good girl Buffy dates bad boy Spike, gets burned horribly, and bad boy Spike turns good and is 'rewarded' with her love", which is just as cliché as your summation of a hypothetical Buffy/Xander. Hell, the whole Buffy/Spike relationship is also a trope within itself. Ever heard of All Girls Want Bad Boys?


- Buffy settles for her best friend after losing her boyfriend (whether in season 3 with Angel dead or post-season 7 with Spike dead)

For the record you never answered my questions: how would Buffy be "settling" for Xander in Season 3 or post-Season 7 by simply moving on after Angel or Spike's deaths? Do you think she should stay single and grieve for them forever then? I'm waiting. :)

In short, I just think it's hypocritical of you to suggest that a Buffy/Xander ship would be problematic when you ship Buffy/Spike, one of the most controversial TV romances of all time.

TimeTravellingBunny
20-04-18, 04:51 PM
No, I don't think BtVS is anti-feminist or that Bangel and Spuffy were simply sexist narratives. You were the one who started bringing up tropes and trying to undermine people's ideas with the worst possible interpretations and over-the-top emojis to make your position sound stronger, I was simply playing tit for tat. My point was that Bangel and Spuffy both have some problematic implications (as does damn near every romance on this show), however I'm sure you would agree that there was a lot of good about those romances as well. Same thing with a hypothetical Buffy/Xander romance. Yeah, some things about it would have been cliché or problematic, but it could have also been very good (had the writers decided to go that route).

The difference is that this hypothetical Buffy/Xander romance never happened, so why exactly am I obliged, as a BtVS fan, to be in favor of something that the writers obviously decided not to do?



But what I took issue with was your post insinuating that anyone who supports Buffy/Xander thinks that Xander is some Nice Guy who's entitled to Buffy or that Buffy is some bimbo who will just be with any guy around. And even though I don't ship Buffy/Xander, there are some moments, particularly in Season 2, where the two of them have some definite romantic chemistry. The end of "Inca Mummy Girl" and "Phases" come to mind in particular. .
Or not. You don't know what it would have been like, you haven't offered any examples how it would have worked. It's not like anything that was ever on the show was great (Teacher's Pet is also a part of the show, it doesn't mean I can't think it sucks).

I wasn't "insinuating" anything, I straight up told you that I don't see any way how it could have worked in a way that I would have liked at all or found believable for those characters. What is your problem with that?

And people are free to ship Buffy/Xander and write fanfics about it. Maybe there are some that are good and make the relationship seem believable. I don't write fanfics so I don't know. You're free to link any that you think prove me wrong.
People ship all sorts of stuff - there are people who ship Buffy/Giles romantically, it doesn't mean I have to think that would have made sense in canon.


Sosa lola and KingofCretins also cited the promo pic of Buffy between Xander and Angel, and Greenwalt's "Reptile Boy" DVD commentary (which was actually recorded sometime around Season 5; I recall Greenwalt explicitly saying they were in middle of shooting that season and he made references to Cordelia being on AtS) where he said that a Buffy/Xander romance was still on the writers' minds in some capacity. So if the writers had decided to go that direction (which they considered many times at several points in the series), it could have been completely believable
The writers obviously decided not to do it and that it was not such a good idea, as seen in the fact that they never did it.

So, I'm afraid, if anyone is on the same page as the writers,, it's me, not you or King or Sosa Lola - which makes your attempts to invoke the authority of the writers pretty absurd.



Fair enough on bringing up the hyena possession, but that was one episode and the show's narrative never took that incident seriously. The "Seeing Red" incident was supposed to be a huge deal in terms of the narrative and my point still stands that, while there was a lot of good about Spuffy, it's still kind of problematic for a show's heroine to fall in love with a guy who stalked her and tried to kill her and her friends for several years in a storyline that was essentially the main focus of the series' final season, soul or no soul, plot armor or no plot armor.
So it's problematic if the show's narrative takes it seriously, and it's not problematic if the show's narrative doesn't take it seriously?



Buffy/Spike can also be summed up as "Good girl Buffy dates bad boy Spike, gets burned horribly, and bad boy Spike turns good and is 'rewarded' with her love", which is just as cliché as your summation of a hypothetical Buffy/Xander. Hell, the whole Buffy/Spike relationship is also a trope within itself. Ever heard of All Girls Want Bad Boys?

So what if it is? Everything is an example of some trope or other - or can be seen that way (even though well written storylines, such as Buffy/Spike on BtVS, are way more complex than that and deconstruct/play with tropes). There's nothing wrong about that. But we all have tropes that we like better or don't dislike that much, and tropes we detest. You have a problem with that?

BTW, funny how you are saying Buffy/Spike is a trope of All Girls Want Bad Boys, while another poster earlier was trying to convince us that Buffy/Spike is about a nerd wanting a popular girl , or whatever. (Ironically- because of the flashbacks that undermined the whole "All Girls Want Bad Boys" trope.) But never mind...



For the record you never answered my questions: how would Buffy be "settling" for Xander in Season 3 or post-Season 7 by simply moving on after Angel or Spike's deaths? Do you think she should stay single and grieve for them forever then? I'm waiting. :)
You don't have to wait, and I never realized that was something that wasn't already clear. Why would Buffy have to stay forever single if she doesn't hook up with Xander? What, is Xander her only romantic option in the world other than Angel and Spike?! :blink:
Buffy has never shown any romantic interest in Xander. Why would she suddenly do that just because Angel or Spike was dead? If she did, that would have most likely looked like the "settling for your best friend". Why wouldn't she date someone among the billions of other people in the world?


In short, I just think it's hypocritical of you to suggest that a Buffy/Xander ship would be problematic when you ship Buffy/Spike, one of the most controversial TV romances of all time.
No, it's not. People should really stop using "hypocritical" in nonsensical ways, which is what I see happening all the time now. Liking one storyline and disliking a completely different storyline (that never happened in canon anyway) doesn't remotely make one "hypocritical".

And nice Straw Man, BTW. I don't give a damn if it would be "problematic" and that's not what I ever said. Hello! Every relationship in Buffyverse is "problematic". So what? :rolleyes: I dislike all the ideas for Buffy/Xander because I don't find them remotely convincing for these characters and because I can only see them as an example of certain tropes that I completely despise. It has nothing to do with being "controversial".

Sorry if you have such a huge problem with the fact that I like Buffy/Spike as written on BtVS, and dislike the idea of Buffy/Xander, which the writers (wisely, IMO) decided not to do. But I guess you'll just have to learn to live with it.

DeepBlueJoy
20-04-18, 05:09 PM
Not doing B/X is the smartest thing Joss ever did. It's a horrible, disgusting trope. I'd like to think he realized it at some point.

I so very much agree. Whenever I've seen it done, it always devolves into a Xander-Aggrandizement-Vehicle and it always, always sucks rotten vomit.

It's a wet dream. Wet dreams are things to be had behind closed doors, laundry done quickly and showers taken before mom wakes up. Please, please, please don't write them down and visit them on others! What did we EVER do to you?

Sosa lola
20-04-18, 05:35 PM
I so very much agree. Whenever I've seen it done, it always devolves into a Xander-Aggrandizement-Vehicle and it always, always sucks rotten vomit.


Are you talking about the trope or Buffy/Xander fics? 'Cause all the ones I've read were pretty good and respectful of Buffy's character - then again, I've only read the Bander fics recommended to me, so perhaps I was saved from reading the bad ones.

DeepBlueJoy
20-04-18, 06:25 PM
I don't see anything innately "horrible" or "disgusting" about two platonic friends deciding to date. Personally, I'm glad they didn't, because it isn't one of my favorite tropes, but that's just a narrative-kink issue, not a value judgment.

As I said, I think it would have worked for a lot of people if Buffy had dusted Angel in the season 2 finale and the relationship hadn't turned romantic immediately, so my scenario has nothing to do with them dating in seasons 1, 2, or 7. Had the plan been to simply dust Angel in the season 2 finale:

Buffy would not have elected to bring a sword (and, apparently, only a sword) to a stake-fight ("Becoming, Part 2"), which she presumably did because she suspected, on some level that Willow would attempt the spell, and she wanted a weapon that could be used to incapacitate Angel without killing him unless the situation turned completely hopeless. Xander doesn't lie to Buffy about a spell that nobody plans or casts in the first place. Xander never tries to arrange Angel's murder in "Revelations," seeing as Angel has been dusted for months. Oz and Willow are presumably an official couple, seeing as they had already become one before the events of "Becoming." Xander comes across as far less controlling, and neither he nor Buffy is betraying anyone by pursuing the relationship.

Now, would it come across as Buffy settling? Maybe. But there are already shades of that with Riley in S4-5. If anything, playing out that dynamic within the core 4 would've made for a more dramatic story. Certainly, had Xander and Willow believed that Buffy was treating Xander as Mr. Rebound, it would've provided a much-needed reason for the Scoobies' season-4 collapse, which I find contrived in canon.

I need to clarify something from my last post, and this gives me a chance to do it. I am NOT disgusted by the idea of Xander and Buffy together, no matter that I think it is improbable and probably unrealistic in real life.

I am thoroughly disgusted by how it comes across in much of fanfic. It's wishfulfilment nonsense and invariably builds up Xander in what I think are unhealthy, unpleasant ways, and diminishes Buffy into a simpering fool, with a side of obedient dumb pet. THAT bothers me.

I don't think it would work in real life, because we see what happens in real life: the hot, smart, powerful chick pairs up with the hot, smart, powerful alpha male. It's not even always a good fit, but it IS reality.

Movie stars seldom marry ordinary people AFTER they become movie stars. Part of it is confidence/arrogance -- they know they are 'worth' something good. Part of is is that they have more in common with someone 'at their level'.

Reality: most people date and marry people of their same class, race, background, religion, education level and earning level.

Most hot women don't marry ugly men unless those ugly men are orders of magnitude richer than they are or could ever get.

Hot men NEVER marry women less attractive than they are, no matter what they earn. (They may remain married to them once they get fat, especially if they married young and/or had kids, but sadly, if a man stays attractive and his wife doesn't, it is more likely he'll stray than not). If he's rich and she isn't an equal earner, that marriage is likely toast.

Sad truth. (I'm in my fifties, and i've seen a lot of life) Humans are venal creatures. We all want to marry UP. We all want someone better, richer, smarter and prettier than we are... (and if we are truly smart, we want someone who treats us like we're made of spun gold). That's why we always bring our 'A' game in dates and don't want to date 'fat women' or 'guys without cars' in high school. It's a nasty trope, but it is REAL.


So... For a 'Buffy' to marry a 'Xander', Xander needs to be rich or he needs to be McGyver or Van Damme. It needs to be revealed that he can meet a need she has, as well as be seen as a 'good match'. Particularly, we see she has a type. Even her 'human' was someone smart and powerful. Riley was a) a soldier b) working on an advanced degree c) strong, fit and trained. d) came from a good family (reportedly) e) was hot.

Xander is not ugly, but he's progressively less attractive and has a weight problem, though it's not a big one, he is less educated than Buffy, he's broke, his family life is crap, he's less than confident, and though he's a strong lieutenant in charge of supply and equipment, (Sergeant Siler in Stargate) when she was looking for an X-O, she chose Spike.

Buffy is prom queen material AND she aced her SATs AND she's a kid of a rich man (though he's abandoned her, coming from upper classes can have benefits even after you're genteel and poor.) Oh, AND she saves the world. (which also means, she's hot and fit and kicks arse).

Final nail? After she sleeps with Spike? Buffy realizes that sexually, she really is much more peer to someone truly powerful. I'm not sure she's fated to be with a vampire after that, but it certainly is revelatory and she is addicted. They have sex the way they do because they can... a human wouldn't SURVIVE a house falling down around them during sex, much less actually be able to bring the house down. It's never stated, but other than the time Buffy and Riley were locked into the house of spirits and they have magic sex, they don't seem sexually intense. We never get the impression that Riley's Buffy's dream lover, and she has that distinct lack of enthusiasm that Riley uses to blame her for why he cheats.

And we know that part of why Xander likes Riley is that Riley is an 'avatar' of his... Xander's idealized 'better self' as it were. If Riley can't keep the girl...

cil_domney
20-04-18, 07:12 PM
If we are dealing with the show/characters as written, for Buffy and Xander to have gotten together it would have had to happen after Willow declared her love for Oz. Girls do not go out with the boys their best friends are in love with. It shouldn't happen, and if it does, I'm not sure she could be called a friend (especially at 16 years old) It would never have worked in a show that was meant to be 'feminist' in outlook.

Post S4 Xander was so deep in the friends zone, I don't know it even the BtVS writers could have pulled him out of it. Plus then you have the added extra of Xander having cheated on Cordy with Willow, and that would be difficult for Buffy to get over I think, and just make the whole thing highly incestuous and too soapy for my liking. The whole of S4 would have to be devoted to building up the Xander/Buffy relationship, which may have been interesting and helped to change Xander as a character, perhaps making him more mature earlier. Now S7 Xander is great, and if Spike were not on the scene, I can definitely see him and Buffy . . . late night, few glasses of red . . . who knows ;)

I think the corporate owners were still so totally committed to Buffy-Angel Love Story as the brand for the series that there was never going to be any long term replacement for B&A. The treatment from the start regarding the transformation of Buffy-Spike was always , far as I can see, that Spike was not a good and suitable life partner for Buffy and I suspect that it was primarily the power of Joss Whedon as the driving creative force and his wanting to tell a Spike Transformation story that was responsible for the B&S relationship.

Xander-Buffy - it had a similar effect on me as the Buffy-Riley relationship - it simply never had any interest for me plus one of the elements of the series was the deep friendships that developed for the original Scoobs. I don't think the series needed more romance between primary characters W-T, W-O, B-A and B-R were enough and Buffy-Spike was so totally different that it allowed for the greatest mature dramatic story, IMO, of the entire series.

But we all have our own individual loves for each character and relationships -

Regarding the use of swords - My opinion is that it was set-up with the Kendra story, gives her story more emphasis and importance as vital to the Acathla Arc and frankly the selection of Swords Fight, pretty much, MVHO, the battle of swords is so much associated with the historical Warrior/Heroes and it makes for much greater visuals battle than any of the other weapons. Their sword fight was excellent as part of the scene visuals and we would never have had the famous Buffy moment of her hands coming together and stopping the sword and the famous last lines -

Angelus: Now that's everything, huh? No weapons... No friends... No hope. Take all that away... and what's left?
BUFFY: Me.

DeepBlueJoy
20-04-18, 09:46 PM
Are you talking about the trope or Buffy/Xander fics? 'Cause all the ones I've read were pretty good and respectful of Buffy's character - then again, I've only read the Bander fics recommended to me, so perhaps I was saved from reading the bad ones.

I think you must have good curators. Because there is so much SICK Bander fic out there, it isn't funny.

No, i'm not upset at the idea of Buffy and Xander together. I write two characters primarily in my fic -- Buffy and Xander -- and i love them each and I love them both AS friends. I have spent a lot of time thinking about them and I don't see them having a healthy couple relationship together. That said, if someone were to do it well, then more power to them. And if a man like Xander can manage to get together with a women like Buffy and make her happy, that's a good thing. I'm good for happiness.

Frankly, I found happiness with a man who was a 'step down' in the eyes of a lot of my friends... and it was very, very good. BUT, we had commonalities that greatly outweighed our 'paper' differences. And I (though i was hotter, better off and better educated) had my own liabilities that I won't go into... my point? there were equalizers. Without those, you cannot have an equal, healthy relationship.

Since we know both Buffy and Xander so well, if we are to create a believably trajectory for them to become a couple that works, then that is a great thing, and I will read it. I can design in a minute a situation where they could have sex or go on a date - but I can't see too many situations where they make it work.


One more thing: someone else touched on something that I hadn't thought about, but love. I really love that they showed strong platonic love between a man and not one, but two women -- one that sustained for a decade -- that is my reality -- several of my best friends are guys and that is all we are... and people are suspicious and sometimes hostile about it -- because I think people really fail to understand how that could exist. So I love Buffy and Xander as friends. I love Buffy and Willow and I love Xander and Willow. And I love them as a trio of friends, something we also don't see enough, except as antagonistic. (Harry Potter is the other exception of this, trio friendship.)

I wish there's been permutations that included Jesse too. I liked that character. I like Eric Balfour. I wish he'd been on the series. But i'm an old softie who's seen way too much real death to think it's romantic literary fodder.

Sosa lola
20-04-18, 10:08 PM
I think you must have good curators. Because there is so much SICK Bander fic out there, it isn't funny.

Sadly, a lot of ships have those fics. I can't count the many Spuffy fics I've read where Buffy has to apologize for every little thing she said or did to Spike while he's written as some angel who did nothing wrong.

Don't even get me started on Slash fics either. My God, I've read so much Buffy-bashing in Spander and Xangel fics. Also, Spangel fics which my cousin who was a huge fan used to tell me about.




Frankly, I found happiness with a man who was a 'step down' in the eyes of a lot of my friends... and it was very, very good. BUT, we had commonalities that greatly outweighed our 'paper' differences. And I (though i was hotter, better off and better educated) had my own liabilities that I won't go into... my point? there were equalizers. Without those, you cannot have an equal, healthy relationship.

I see what you're saying, but if we're gonna talk Buffy and Xander from S7, for example, I'd say Xander is better than Buffy financially and professionally. He's a qualified boss of his own crew and he's only 21, owning a huge apartment, and more experienced dealing with RL matters like bills and insurance. I enjoy the fact that they were Dawn's parents in S7, as well as everybody's parents in that season. Xander is the responsible, loving dad who is there to fix and emotionally heal the wounds of those around him. Basically keep the house standing. Buffy was the kick ass mom, leader of the house, makes the tough choices, goes out there to save the family and keeps them alive. In a way, they complete each other.

S7 is when both Buffy and Xander's journeys which mirror each other are coming to an end when both of them finally accepted their roles within the group. I have written about their journey in length in AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/works/6736960) and Tumblr (http://luscious2.tumblr.com/post/163125683118/buffy-and-xander-parallels).





One more thing: someone else touched on something that I hadn't thought about, but love. I really love that they showed strong platonic love between a man and not one, but two women -- one that sustained for a decade -- that is my reality -- several of my best friends are guys and that is all we are... and people are suspicious and sometimes hostile about it -- because I think people really fail to understand how that could exist. So I love Buffy and Xander as friends. I love Buffy and Willow and I love Xander and Willow. And I love them as a trio of friends, something we also don't see enough, except as antagonistic.

I agree. I am actually glad the show didn't go for Buffy/Xander because I love their friendship so much and it's so great to see a strong friendship between a woman and a man. It's one of the reasons why I really disliked Angel/Cordelia.

DeepBlueJoy
21-04-18, 12:06 AM
Sadly, a lot of ships have those fics. I can't count the many Spuffy fics I've read where Buffy has to apologize for every little thing she said or did to Spike while he's written as some angel who did nothing wrong.

Don't even get me started on Slash fics either. My God, I've read so much Buffy-bashing in Spander and Xangel fics. Also, Spangel fics which my cousin who was a huge fan used to tell me about.



I'm gonna agree with you 300% there! IMO, 90% of slash is slush. I do enjoy slash, but bad slash fic can be badfic on an epic scale! I hate buffy bash fic no matter who is involved. Spangel... well, i believe that happened in canon, and it was no fun for Spike, given who Angelus was, so I don't really buy it.

Bash-fic is just juvenile junk. (and that's my polite indoor voice version of my opinion!)




I see what you're saying, but if we're gonna talk Buffy and Xander from S7, for example, I'd say Xander is better than Buffy financially and professionally. He's a qualified boss of his own crew and he's only 21, owning a huge apartment, and more experienced dealing with RL matters like bills and insurance. I enjoy the fact that they were Dawn's parents in S7, as well as everybody's parents in that season. Xander is the responsible, loving dad who is there to fix and emotionally heal the wounds of those around him. Basically keep the house standing. Buffy was the kick ass mom, leader of the house, makes the tough choices, goes out there to save the family and keeps them alive. In a way, they complete each other.

S7 is when both Buffy and Xander's journeys which mirror each other are coming to an end when both of them finally accepted their roles within the group.

I agree. this is why I believe that after season seven would be the best fit for Xander and Buffy together. They have been through a lot... a through thread of relationship that means they understand each other. They already love each other. They are both grieving a major loss. They are both people who are suited to do the rebuilding of the new and improved council (though with very different roles). I don't see attraction between them, personally, but anyone who wants to create it has the best chance of pulling the threads together that make it happen... particularly if they start by Xander standing beside her in the episode where they threw her out, and leaving with her, instead of staying.... or helping her stand her ground.

Because this is true: That episode, in real life? putting her out into dangerous hell? even if you say 'she left' -- they gave her no alternative, really -- that would have destroyed my trust in ALL the participants permanently. So, that scene... Xander couldn't join the mob, or there's NO future for them. IMO.




I agree. I am actually glad the show didn't go for Buffy/Xander because I love their friendship so much and it's so great to see a strong friendship between a woman and a man. It's one of the reasons why I really disliked Angel/Cordelia.

Interesting. I didn't hate them, but I would not have minded monk-Angel unless he went looking for a perma-soul. If he claimed to still love Buffy, he should have been looking all along. As for Cordelia, I liked Cordy and Groo. Or Cordelia and Wes after Wes grew up a bit.

ghoststar
21-04-18, 04:34 AM
And here I was thinking I was the only person in the fandom who was rooting for Cordy/Groo! I agree about it being weird that Angel isn’t trying to get a permanent soul through any means other than the Shanshu. Honestly, tho, that’s weird whether he wants Cordy or Buffy, given that Bangel is still hanging on at the end of BtVS S7. Like, why doesn’t THE relationship obstacle rate a mention when he tries to get Buffy back in “Chosen”?

- - - Updated - - -

I'd go so far as to say that all major ships (in the B-verse, at least; some fandoms produce less fic in general) have those fics. I think that Riley gets the worst of it, perhaps because both Bangel and Spuffy fans have reason to dislike him-- in most fic, he's not only unable to understand Buffy's sexual kinks, too deferential to authority figures, and prone to groupthink (which I think are reasonable interpretations of his character); he's also constantly trying to undermine Buffy, on purpose, when she's the gang's leader-- something that makes zero sense, even if you're bringing his flaws to the fore in your fic. Or he's abandoning established, obvious responsibilities, Hank-style... something which, again, which makes no sense for the guy who can't handle not being trusted with enough responsibilities as is. Angel and Spike each take it on the chin in fics written by the other's stans, obvs. Spuffies tend to run with the idea of Dru as a cheater and turn her into the cheater to end all cheaters, but at least that's just exaggerating a canon character trait, not creating one out of thin air. (And, unless you just really love Dru enough to look closely at blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments, it isn't necessarily a bad-faith interpretation, just, IMO, a shallow one.)

I haven't read that much Spander fic, but I must be lucky, because the handful I have read didn't so much bash Buffy as simply ignore her significance to the guys involved, which is kind of a requirement when the canon love interest is someone else. Same thing with Anya-- she's just forgotten. And, honestly, I don't have a problem with that: If your canon divergence means that Characters A and B are focused on each other, then it's not unreasonable to assume that they'd diverge from canon in their level of devotion to Character C.

Sosa lola
21-04-18, 05:18 AM
I'd go so far as to say that all major ships (in the B-verse, at least; some fandoms produce less fic in general) have those fics. I think that Riley gets the worst of it, perhaps because both Bangel and Spuffy fans have reason to dislike him-- in most fic, he's not only unable to understand Buffy's sexual kinks, too deferential to authority figures, and prone to groupthink (which I think are reasonable interpretations of his character); he's also constantly trying to undermine Buffy, on purpose, when she's the gang's leader-- something that makes zero sense, even if you're bringing his flaws to the fore in your fic. Or he's abandoning established, obvious responsibilities, Hank-style... something which, again, which makes no sense for the guy who can't handle not being trusted with enough responsibilities as is.

Riley bashing is found in almost all ships. Which is lazy as hell and annoying. Can't you be original and write him as he is on the show? Which is mostly a well-mannered guy. I'm sorry but Riley was never a creep, he'd always been respectful of Buffy's space when they first started dating. Riley's flaws were:

1) Looking at things in black and white, which has changed after he rescued Oz and later abandoned the Initiative because he believes that the Scoobies are right.
2) Feeling insecure about Buffy's feelings towards him, assuming it was because he didn't understand her dark side and tried to in the worst possible ways.

Thing is: Riley does respect Buffy as a leader and respects her decisions, which is canon. He believed her about Johnathan when no one did, and later agreed to whatever she decides about Spike's chip, and in As You Were, he gave a wonderful speech about her being a hell of a woman and didn't judge her at all when it was revealed that she sleeps with Spike.



I haven't read that much Spander fic, but I must be lucky, because the handful I have read didn't so much bash Buffy as simply ignore her significance to the guys involved, which is kind of a requirement when the canon love interest is someone else. Same thing with Anya-- she's just forgotten. And, honestly, I don't have a problem with that: If your canon divergence means that Characters A and B are focused on each other, then it's not unreasonable to assume that they'd diverge from canon in their level of devotion to Character C.

One thing I adore about most of Xander/Spike fics is that they literally revolve around them: they're the *******s who hurt each other, they're the flawed heroes who cause the misunderstanding, they're the ones putting obstacles in the way of their relationship, they're the ones who need to grow and develop.

It's rarely about the Scoobies or Angel or any outsider force being the controlling freaks who put those obstacles, it's usually Xander and Spike. And sometimes there are no obstacles at all, just a couple of men put in strange situations and adventures and then grow closer.

DeepBlueJoy
21-04-18, 05:33 AM
And here I was thinking I was the only person in the fandom who was rooting for Cordy/Groo! I agree about it being weird that Angel isn’t trying to get a permanent soul through any means other than the Shanshu. Honestly, tho, that’s weird whether he wants Cordy or Buffy, given that Bangel is still hanging on at the end of BtVS S7. Like, why doesn’t THE relationship obstacle rate a mention when he tries to get Buffy back in “Chosen”?

I really don't understand that plot hole. And the bangelites all seem to ignore it. Once it's proven Buffy cannot be with Angel, without the reappearance of Angelus, if you want Angel to work as a partner, he must become a) perma-souled or b) human. Either that, or you have to have a celibate relationship, and I don't see that as being practical, for some reason. :confused3:



I'd go so far as to say that all major ships (in the B-verse, at least; some fandoms produce less fic in general) have those fics. I think that Riley gets the worst of it, perhaps because both Bangel and Spuffy fans have reason to dislike him-- in most fic, he's not only unable to understand Buffy's sexual kinks, too deferential to authority figures, and prone to groupthink (which I think are reasonable interpretations of his character); he's also constantly trying to undermine Buffy, on purpose, when she's the gang's leader-- something that makes zero sense, even if you're bringing his flaws to the fore in your fic. Or he's abandoning established, obvious responsibilities, Hank-style... something which, again, which makes no sense for the guy who can't handle not being trusted with enough responsibilities as is. Angel and Spike each take it on the chin in fics written by the other's stans, obvs. Spuffies tend to run with the idea of Dru as a cheater and turn her into the cheater to end all cheaters, but at least that's just exaggerating a canon character trait, not creating one out of thin air. (And, unless you just really love Dru enough to look closely at blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments, it isn't necessarily a bad-faith interpretation, just, IMO, a shallow one.)

as a major fan of Dru (I write Buffy, Xander and Dru most centrally in my fics and I adore exploring her character). So, I'm not fond of dis-Dru fics. I do comprehend the Spike hurt of course, but Dru is a very complex and very broken character.

I think it's a failure of imagination that people have to demonize characters in order to make their 'pets' look good. Character bash fics are the extreme of this, but there are other, more subtle ways this happens, and creating cardboard versions of people that the author doesn't like is another way. Good fiction requires drawing real people and creating worlds and events that develop them and their relationships.

As for Riley, he's inadequate for someone like Buffy. He doesn't need to be downgraded. He did that to himself when he put the mission at risk by going to vamp whores... if he'd been turned, he could have caused the end of the world by turning pretty much any (maybe all) of them. (this is even without looking at what that did to his relationship with Buffy). Just write him clearly, and his flaws are sufficient.




I haven't read that much Spander fic, but I must be lucky, because the handful I have read didn't so much bash Buffy as simply ignore her significance to the guys involved, which is kind of a requirement when the canon love interest is someone else. Same thing with Anya-- she's just forgotten. And, honestly, I don't have a problem with that: If your canon divergence means that Characters A and B are focused on each other, then it's not unreasonable to assume that they'd diverge from canon in their level of devotion to Character C.

See, I have a problem with this too... ignoring Buffy. Occasionally, it's done well that a fic stops being a Buffy story, so it can celebrate Spander or Spangel, Xangel or some other ship that excites people... and in crossover fic, sometimes they steal a Buffy character and make the story about (usually Xander) and power him up in some way (usually ridiculous). Thing is, I don't get why these people are 'Buffy fans'. BC I don't really get liking 'Buffy' the fandom, if you hate Buffy the person, or want to ignore her story.

I mostly write fics where she is THE slayer, even if she's a minor side character in the story, she's NOT ever minor in the slaying. She doesn't get downgraded. If my focus is on other people's lives, they don't suddenly develop world saveage powers so I can excise Buffy from her own world. It IS possible to write a story about 'not god' without dismissing god. Not claiming Buffy is god, not even close, but just as she's not ever god, God is not denigrated b/c Buffy is The Slayer... imo, the best ever and I adore her... but that's just my little (Buffy adoration) prejudice coming out. ;)

So, write your fic about Xander, having him follow his bliss and grow as a person... but then, let him be better able to support and encourage and contribute to BUFFY's mission... don't make him the mega hero who steps on Buffy's head as he's leading the charge into the hellmouth, while she cringes in a corner with 'stupid ideas' waiting to do lovely things for him in bed (I'm trying not to be bitter or crude here). I don't have a problem with heroic Xander. I have a problem with sidelined, ignored or minimized cardboard Buffy. Their roles are critical to her without lording over Buffy. Buffy herself was never unwilling to take help from anyone... Xander saved the day in season 3, Spike in season 7. Everyone else helped at a bunch of different points... And without Xander, she wouldn't have made it past season 1... so symbiosis in all things.

I really DO believe you can write a story that focuses on any of the characters' lives... even completely, that doesn't denigrate Buffy or other characters that aren't central to your story. And yes, I've occasionally seen stories about Faith, Willow, Dawn or Xander that were set somewhere Buffy wasn't, and they were in character, and didn't focus on Buffy... heck, I've written stories quite a bit like that... But none of them feature a cardboard Buffy.

I really want to urge writers to remember the love the scoobies have for each other.

That CAN end, and it came very close to that when Buffy walked out of that house during the apocalypse b/c her friends joined the mutineers and became a mob of haters... but even then, they didn't think they hated her, though she may well have felt as though they did.

You can have core characters as villains... as long as you the writer don't make them villains 'because you hate them'. In fact, if you want to write a great villain... it's vital to make an effort to get inside him/her... b/c those are the villains that fascinate us as readers. And if you're going to use a core character as a villain? You need to SHOW YOUR WORK.

Andrew S.
21-04-18, 05:51 AM
The difference is that this hypothetical Buffy/Xander romance never happened, so why exactly am I obliged, as a BtVS fan, to be in favor of something that the writers obviously decided not to do?

Who said you were obliged to like it? I was merely questioning your reasoning behind it, which didn’t make much sense to me when I read your post. It seemed like you reducing the possibility of Buffy/Xander entirely to being an entitlement trope, which confused me because one could say the same thing about Buffy/Spike if they used the logic you were using. However, I never said you were obliged to like it. But nice straw man, BTW. ;)


Or not. You don't know what it would have been like, you haven't offered any examples how it would have worked. It's not like anything that was ever on the show was great (Teacher's Pet is also a part of the show, it doesn't mean I can't think it sucks).

Once again, I’m glad Buffy/Xander never hooked up either but since I’m being put on the spot and I just spent two posts arguing the possibility/believability of it, f*ck it. My reasons why Buffy/Xander could have been great:

1. Xander is a really lively person and he’s great at making Buffy laugh and cheering her up when she’s down (though more so in the early years than the later ones). I think Buffy is extremely hard on herself a lot of the time, so she could use a boyfriend who brings out her more light-hearted side, a guy she could have fun with, and who often reminds her how awesome she is, which Xander does pretty consistently. Do we ever really see Buffy have as much fun with any of her boyfriends as she does with Xander on a regular basis (again, at least in the early years)?

2. Xander is also the only main character on the show -- besides Dawn -- who never abandoned, betrayed or tried to kill Buffy at all during the seven seasons. Even during the times when he acted like a total ass to her (and granted, he did many times), he always came through for her in the end and was more loyal to her than anyone, I think. And I think it could have been a nice change of pace for Buffy to have a boyfriend who never gave her PTSD.

3. I think there was some good chemistry between Sarah and Nick Brendon of the sexual variety, particularly in Season 2. I think it kind of evaporated by the later seasons, but nevertheless, they were both good enough actors that they could have easily sold whatever romantic bits the writers gave them.

4. It’s worth noting that, yes, Xander often put Buffy on a pedestal and came down hard on her whenever she messed up. There’s no denying that. However, that’s just another thing that would have made the two of them together an interesting storyline. In addition to having enough strengths to make a compatible relationship between them believable, there would be enough weaknesses to cause interesting conflict between them. And Xander’s idolization of Buffy is no worse than Angel’s patronizing attitude towards her or Riley’s annoying insecurity about her strength or Spike’s manipulative bastard tendencies towards her (while soulless) near-constant kissing of her ass (while souled).

Yeah, I noted previously that I thought Buffy/Xander would have been boring, but that’s more because I think it would have gotten in the way of storylines/relationships I thought were more interesting. I can’t think of Buffy/Xander happening in S1-S3 without ruining Buffy and Willow’s friendship with one another -- which would have deprived the show of its most interesting character dynamic, IMO -- and if it did, we may not have gotten Xander/Cordelia or Xander/Anya -- two other relationships I love dearly.


The writers obviously decided not to do it and that it was not such a good idea, as seen in the fact that they never did it.

So, I'm afraid, if anyone is on the same page as the writers,, it's me, not you or King or Sosa Lola - which makes your attempts to invoke the authority of the writers pretty absurd.

Um, no. If anything, I’m probably more aligned with Whedon/the writers’ view than you are. Yeah, they didn’t go through with Buffy/Xander but that’s possibly because (like me) they thought there were other, more interesting storylines to pursue with those characters that a romance between them would have gotten in the way of. But they considered the possibility multiple times at several different points in the show’s run, which means it’s definitely something that they thought could be believable, which is completely different from you deeming it “terrible” and “unbelievable” flat-out.


So it's problematic if the show's narrative takes it seriously, and it's not problematic if the show's narrative doesn't take it seriously?

What? When did I say that? :confused: Lmao, and you call ME the straw man? :lol: The Buffy/Xander AR happened in a Monster-of-the-Week episode that was entirely forgotten about and, at the end of the day, had no lasting impact on either of the characters. The Buffy/Spike AR wasn’t forgotten and was a major incident for both characters. Whether or not the show did a good job at handling either of these instances is another debate entirely (one that I’m not going to get into), but you can’t compare them and treat them as if they are equivalent to one another because the show certainly didn’t.


You don't have to wait, and I never realized that was something that wasn't already clear. Why would Buffy have to stay forever single if she doesn't hook up with Xander? What, is Xander her only romantic option in the world other than Angel and Spike?! :blink:

Someone brought up the possibility of Buffy dating Xander in Season 3 or post-Season 7 and you reduced it to her merely “settling” for him. Which made me think you were implying that any relationship Buffy had after the death of Angel or Spike would have been her “settling”, which is why I questioned you on it.


Buffy has never shown any romantic interest in Xander. Why would she suddenly do that just because Angel or Spike was dead? If she did, that would have most likely looked like the "settling for your best friend". Why wouldn't she date someone among the billions of other people in the world?

Using that logic, Buffy never showed any romantic interest in Spike while she was dating Angel or Riley either. Do you think she was “settling” for Spike in Seasons 6-7 then just because Angel and Riley had left? Why didn’t she date someone else among the billions of other people in the world then? Because she developed feelings for him, right? Just as hypothetical-Buffy could have developed feelings for Xander in the scenarios described.


BTW, funny how you are saying Buffy/Spike is a trope of All Girls Want Bad Boys, while another poster earlier was trying to convince us that Buffy/Spike is about a nerd wanting a popular girl , or whatever. (Ironically- because of the flashbacks that undermined the whole "All Girls Want Bad Boys" trope.) But never mind...

What does what another poster said about Buffy/Spike have to do with me? Straw Man-ing again, are we?

But since you brought it up, Spike kind of *is* a nerd, in the sense that he lacks a lot of social skills and is an outcast from the Scooby social circle, of which Buffy is the leader (aka popular girl). So the other poster wasn't wrong. He’s also a Bad Boy too though. The two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.


No, it's not. People should really stop using "hypocritical" in nonsensical ways, which is what I see happening all the time now. Liking one storyline and disliking a completely different storyline (that never happened in canon anyway) doesn't remotely make one "hypocritical".

I didn't say liking a storyline and disliking another was hypocritical. Once again, it was you disliking the idea of Buffy/Xander and dismissing it as an entitlement trope while supporting Buffy/Spike, which could also be seen as an entitlement trope, that came off as hypocritical to me.


So what if it is? Everything is an example of some trope or other - or can be seen that way (even though well written storylines, such as Buffy/Spike on BtVS, are way more complex than that and deconstruct/play with tropes). There's nothing wrong about that.

That was the point of my reply to your previous post(s). That everything can be seen as an example of some trope or another, which is why I found it "absurd" of you to write off Buffy/Xander as such. If Buffy/Spike could be well-written and based off a cliché trope, why couldn't Buffy/Xander? I’m sure you would agree that Spike’s character is more complex than him just being a Bad Boy and that his relationship with Buffy was more complex than just a Bad Boy winning the Good Girl. Just as Xander’s character was more than just a Nice Guy (I actually don’t even think he was a Nice Guy, but anywho…) and a hypothetical relationship between him and Buffy could have -- and probably would have since the writers more often than not excelled at writing good romances on this show -- been more complex than just Nice Guy winning the heroine, which is why I found your attempt to reduce it to such kind of bizarre.


I dislike all the ideas for Buffy/Xander because I don't find them remotely convincing for these characters and because I can only see them as an example of certain tropes that I completely despise. It has nothing to do with being "controversial".

But I think I finally understand you. You think Buffy/Xander would have been terrible not because it’s a trope, but because it’s a trope you don’t like? Got you. You could have just said that in your first reply instead of making snarky responses and strawman arguments, but whatever. :rolleyes:


Sorry if you have such a huge problem with the fact that I like Buffy/Spike as written on BtVS, and dislike the idea of Buffy/Xander, which the writers (wisely, IMO) decided not to do. But I guess you'll just have to learn to live with it.

And sorry you took the thread discussion so personally. I actually enjoyed this disagreement and thought it was quite thought-provoking. Like I said before, your fictional romance preferences aren’t my problem, I was just stumped by your reasoning at first but I assure you I’m more than okay. Peachy with a side of keen, even. :)

TimeTravellingBunny
21-04-18, 11:58 AM
Um, no. If anything, I’m probably more aligned with Whedon/the writers’ view than you are. Yeah, they didn’t go through with Buffy/Xander but that’s possibly because (like me) they thought there were other, more interesting storylines to pursue with those characters that a romance between them would have gotten in the way of. But they considered the possibility multiple times at several different points in the show’s run, which means it’s definitely something that they thought could be believable, which is completely different from you deeming it “terrible” and “unbelievable” flat-out.
That's some pretty odd reasoning, seeing how it's an undeniable fact that the writers never went with Buffy/Xander; and seeing also that there are no serious indications anywhere in the show that this was a setup at any point, that no one associated with BtVS has ever expressed any regrets in interviews etc. about not having done Buffy/Xander (there's no "JK Rowling suddenly decides to tell the world she was wrong and should have written Harry/Hermione instead" situation), and the idea that the writers were so into doing B/X is here being only supported by things like an early promo image (because the promo department is the best source of information of the writers' intents, right?) or one random mention in a DVD commentary by a guy who didn't even work on BtVS post-season 3, and that no one here has even actually quoted, only paraphrased, so it's hard to even judge that properly.

Geez, that's really reaching.

What does "considered the possibility" even mean? Lots of stuff gets considered as a possibility - that doesn't mean there were ever any serious plans of doing it, and even if there were, that it wasn't decided that it wouldn't work.

But it's great that you're a mind-reader and that you can tell exactly why the writers didn't go for it, and that it was for reasons you think they didn't do it and not for reasons other people like me or HardlyThere have brought up.



What? When did I say that? :confused: Lmao, and you call ME the straw man? :lol: The Buffy/Xander AR happened in a Monster-of-the-Week episode that was entirely forgotten about and, at the end of the day, had no lasting impact on either of the characters. The Buffy/Spike AR wasn’t forgotten and was a major incident for both characters. Whether or not the show did a good job at handling either of these instances is another debate entirely (one that I’m not going to get into), but you can’t compare them and treat them as if they are equivalent to one another because the show certainly didn’t.
Um, you just said it again, in that same paragraph. :confused:




What does what another poster said about Buffy/Spike have to do with me? Straw Man-ing again, are we?

But since you brought it up, Spike kind of *is* a nerd, in the sense that he lacks a lot of social skills and is an outcast from the Scooby social circle, of which Buffy is the leader (aka popular girl). So the other poster wasn't wrong. He’s also a Bad Boy too though. The two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

I didn't say liking a storyline and disliking another was hypocritical. Once again, it was you disliking the idea of Buffy/Xander and dismissing it as an entitlement trope while supporting Buffy/Spike, which could also be seen as an entitlement trope, that came off as hypocritical to me.

If you're going to complain about me bringing up what another poster said and call it StrawMan-ing, then you probably shouldn't be shooting yourself in the foot immediately by embracing what the other poster said. Yep, it looks like it has something to do with you. I found it funny that posters here, in an effort to put down Buffy/Spike, will argue that Buffy/Spike is an example of two completely different tropes that are antithetical to each other - and not only does that poster do it, but you went on and did it, too.

No, it doesn't make any sense to argue that "Spike kind of *is* a nerd, in the sense that he lacks a lot of social skills and is an outcast from the Scooby social circle, of which Buffy is the leader (aka popular girl)". Maybe you've forgotten the meaning of the word "nerd", but Spike is not an "outcast from the Scooby social circle" because he's a "nerd", nor does anyone of the Scoobies view him as such. We all know the reasons why Buffy's circle had a problem with Spike, and it's certainly not any 'nerdom' or 'lack of social skills' (and boy, are you misrepresenting the Scoobies by even typing that). By the same logic, you could say Angel was also a "nerd" and it's Buffy/Angel that was an example of the trope of "nerd winning the popular girl", since Angel was definitely an outcast and was never that close to Buffy's social group, had poor social skills and no friends of his own. But that would be completely ridiculous.

But more importantly - it doesn't make any sense and is completely contradictory to simultaneously claim that Buffy/Spike, or any other relationship, is both an example the "All Girls Want Bad Boys" trope and the Nice Guy/entitlement trope, because those two tropes are antithetical to each other. (Sure, both trope would nowadays be labelled "problematic" in Tumblr speak, as would a bunch of other things, but that doesn't make them remotely the same. )

The fictional "Bad Boy" trope - the gender reverse of the 'femme fatale' trope - was never about male entitlement and did not originate as a male fantasy. It is an old (going back centuries in literature), classic female fantasy that has been propagated in countless romance novels written for and often by women. At the core, it is about the women's secret desire to break the social norms and sexually "misbehave". Since the trope originated at the time when female sexuality was heavily controlled, and women were brought up to think they would labeled as bad if they expressed sexual desire, female sexual desires and desires to break the rules were projected into and embodied into dangerous and seductive male figures.
Today, in countries like USA, the social climate may have changed enough for that trope to not carry the same connotations - but that trope did not originate from female writers or audience being into abusive relationships or whatever, contrary to what some may think.

Now, there's also another component to this - the idea that "women all love bad boys" is often mentioned by men complaining about this, and this brings me to:

The Nice Guy trope is a comparatively recent phenomenon that's all about male entitlement: it's guys complaining that "women love jerks" instead of seeing what's good for them and liking them, the Nice Guys, instead. Never mind if the the guys that those women date are actually "jerks" or it's just how the Nice Guy perceives them; and the Nice Guys are usually not really nice, they just think of themselves that way.

In popular fiction, a variation of this trope is the frequent story about a socially awkward nerd being ignored by a popular girl he's in love with, until she finally realizes, after some very bad experiences, that that guy she was into is bad for her, sees the light and learns to love the nerd who was the right guy all along. This is probably because many of the content creators are men who used to be, were seen, or see themselves as, socially awkward nerds in high school (and who think of themselves as good guys - because of course, people tend to think that of themselves*) and it's basically an embodiment of a common male fantasy. This trope is never from the POV of the woman who is the object of the protagonist's desire, just like the "Bad Boy" trope is never from the POV of the supposed "Bad Boy".
*There is also a tendency in pop culture to see "nerds" as intrinsically less threatening than the men who are seen as more action-oriented (as analyzed here in this very critical video about The Big Bang Theory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3-hOigoxHs)) - though BtVS notably subverted that idea in season 6 with the Trio.

Of course, real people and relationships are way more complicated than that, and it's silly to compartmentalize people into such narrow labels, but we're talking about fictional tropes. To claim that one relationship is simultaneously the Nice Guy trope and the Girls Want Bad Boys trope means you're pretty much saying it can't be narrowed down to any trope.

Andrew S.
21-04-18, 04:15 PM
That's some pretty odd reasoning, seeing how it's an undeniable fact that the writers never went with Buffy/Xander; and seeing also that there are no serious indications anywhere in the show that this was a setup at any point, that no one associated with BtVS has ever expressed any regrets in interviews etc. about not having done Buffy/Xander (there's no "JK Rowling suddenly decides to tell the world she was wrong and should have written Harry/Hermione instead" situation), and the idea that the writers were so into doing B/X is here being only supported by things like an early promo image (because the promo department is the best source of information of the writers' intents, right?) or one random mention in a DVD commentary by a guy who didn't even work on BtVS post-season 3, and that no one here has even actually quoted, only paraphrased, so it's hard to even judge that properly.

Don't tell me my odd reasoning is odd because "they never went with Buffy/Xander" when I addressed that fact in my previous post. Once again, the fact it seemed to be on their minds in some capacity at different points in the show's run suggests that they didn't think it was as "terrible" as you claimed. Yeah, you're right that no one's ever said they regretted not doing Buffy/Xander because, like I said, it would have gotten in the way of other, more interesting stories that they told with those characters.

Greenwalt was credited as a consulting producer during Seasons 4-6. I own the "Slayers & Vampires: The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Buffy & Angel" book and there are numerous quotes by Greenwalt talking about Whedon's intentions when making the show during those seasons. Specifically, he mentions being in the editing room while they were working on "The Body" and Whedon consulting him on "Once More, With Feeling", so yeah, he was involved on the show post-Season 3 (though in a more limited way). He worked alongside Whedon and many of the BtVS writers even when he did Angel, meaning he was still consistently interacting with many of them so I assume he knows what he's talking about when he mentions potential storylines they had on their mind. I don't have my DVDs on me at the moment so I can't directly quote said commentary. But it's also been said that Whedon considered the possibility of B/X in Season 7, presumably at Nick Brendon's encouragement.


What does "considered the possibility" even mean? Lots of stuff gets considered as a possibility - that doesn't mean there were ever any serious plans of doing it, and even if there were, that it wasn't decided that it wouldn't work.

"Considered the possibility" means exactly what it says on the tin: they CONSIDERED THE POSSIBILITY. I never said they outright planned it and I acknowledged they decided not to go through with it.


But it's great that you're a mind-reader and that you can tell exactly why the writers didn't go for it, and that it was for reasons you think they didn't do it and not for reasons other people like me or HardlyThere have brought up.

Who said that I was a mind-reader? LMAO, stop trying to be witty by putting words in my mouth. I simply *inferred* that the writers didn't go through with B/X because they had other stories they were more interested in telling. You're the one who said the writers were on the same page as you in thinking the ship would have been "terrible", which (again) is wrong because it was on their minds at some point. And what reasons did either of you bring up, besides calling it "terrible" and "disgusting" and an example of tropes you despise? Which is just YOUR opinions, not a reflection of the writers'.


Um, you just said it again, in that same paragraph. :confused:

No, I didn't. Perhaps you should work on your reading comprehension skills, Straw Man. I simply said that "The Pack" AR wasn't treated as a big deal in the show's narrative while the "Seeing Red" AR was. And that's a fact, considering "The Pack" AR was never brought up again and the "Seeing Red" AR was. Once again, I haven't given my opinion on whether I thought the way the show dealt with either of these instances were problematic or not. That's a whole other discussion.


If you're going to complain about me bringing up what another poster said and call it StrawMan-ing, then you probably shouldn't be shooting yourself in the foot immediately by embracing what the other poster said. Yep, it looks like it has something to do with you. I found it funny that posters here, in an effort to put down Buffy/Spike, will argue that Buffy/Spike is an example of two completely different tropes that are antithetical to each other - and not only does that poster do it, but you went on and did it, too.

I brought up what other posters said because it had to do with what I was talking about. Another poster saying Spike was a nerd had nothing to do with what I was talking about. Which I why I asked you why you brought it up and gave my opinion on it since you did. I never argued that Buffy/Spike was an example of two completely different tropes that are antithetical to each other, I simply acknowledged that I could see how one could perceive Spike as a "nerd" in some ways and as a "Bad Boy" in others.


No, it doesn't make any sense to argue that "Spike kind of *is* a nerd, in the sense that he lacks a lot of social skills and is an outcast from the Scooby social circle, of which Buffy is the leader (aka popular girl)". Maybe you've forgotten the meaning of the word "nerd", but Spike is not an "outcast from the Scooby social circle" because he's a "nerd", nor does anyone of the Scoobies view him as such. We all know the reasons why Buffy's circle had a problem with Spike, and it's certainly not any 'nerdom' or 'lack of social skills' (and boy, are you misrepresenting the Scoobies by even typing that). By the same logic, you could say Angel was also a "nerd" and it's Buffy/Angel that was an example of the trope of "nerd winning the popular girl", since Angel was definitely an outcast and was never that close to Buffy's social group, had poor social skills and no friends of his own. But that would be completely ridiculous.

A "nerd" is a person who lacks social skills or is an outcast. Spike definitely lacks some -- not all -- social skills ("You want credit for feeding off of bleeding disaster victims?"), which is one of the many reasons why he doesn't fit in with the Scoobies. And he is an outcast from them, more often than not. He has some "nerd" traits, so yes, I could see why some would perceive him as such. And I could see why others would perceive the Scoobies as a clique. I don't fully agree with the poster so much as I was acknowledging the validity of their argument, which you completely wrote off. But I guess if someone's opinion doesn't line up with yours, it's completely invalid, right? :lol: And the difference between Angel and Spike in terms of "nerdom" and being outcasted from Buffy's social groups is that Angel wasn't going out of his way to be a part of their group or to win Buffy's love/separate her from then. Spike was for a majority of S5, at least. In Angel's case, he didn't seem to care about being a part of the Scoobies one way or the other and Buffy pursued him more than the other way around. And nowhere in my post did I say the Scoobies ostracized him simply because he was a nerd so I'm not "misrepresenting the Scoobies". Once again, please stop putting words into my mouth.


But more importantly - it doesn't make any sense and is completely contradictory to simultaneously claim that Buffy/Spike, or any other relationship, is both an example the "All Girls Want Bad Boys" trope and the Nice Guy/entitlement trope, because those two tropes are antithetical to each other. (Sure, both trope would nowadays be labelled "problematic" in Tumblr speak, as would a bunch of other things, but that doesn't make them remotely the same. )

I didn't say Buffy/Spike was an example of the Nice Guy trope specifically. I said that it could also be seen as a relationship based on entitlement. Is Spike not "rewarded" with Buffy's love in Season 7 for getting a soul the same way you claimed that hypothetical-Xander would have been "rewarded" with Buffy's love?


The Nice Guy trope is a comparatively recent phenomenon that's all about male entitlement: it's guys complaining that "women love jerks" instead of seeing what's good for them and liking them, the Nice Guys, instead. Never mind if the the guys that those women date are actually "jerks" or it's just how the Nice Guy perceives them; and the Nice Guys are usually not really nice, they just think of themselves that way.

But Xander isn't a Nice Guy. He certainly has some of those tendencies, but he isn't. I also gave you a list of reasons why Buffy/Xander could work that had nothing to do with entitlement or Nice Guy tropes but you didn't respond, which is interesting because you spent two posts demanding it.

KingofCretins
21-04-18, 07:47 PM
Think broader point is that deeming B/X somehow appalling or unthinkable amidst the considerable evidence this had legs as a plotline for a hot minute has a sort of "we have always been at war with Eastasia" quality with regard to the truth of it. This might have been coin toss close to having been the last three seasons on TV, for all we know, and if it was it wasn't because the people doing the work thought it was absurd.

bespangled
21-04-18, 10:00 PM
The sad fact is that NB's drinking problem began in season 5. He was a beer drinker, and you can see as a season goes how he got more and more bloated.

I see an awful lot of suppositions turn into facts. One of the newer ones is that Joss told NB he had to stop working out and gain weight because he looked too good. I haven't run into this as a primary force. I do recall NB's announcement that he was going into rehab as soon as the show was over.
Even if the directors had toyed with the idea, there was no way the actor could have done the job. By the time he was bringing beer on the set and drinking, he was already past the danger zone.

KingofCretins
22-04-18, 01:24 AM
The sad fact is that NB's drinking problem began in season 5. He was a beer drinker, and you can see as a season goes how he got more and more bloated.

I see an awful lot of suppositions turn into facts. One of the newer ones is that Joss told NB he had to stop working out and gain weight because he looked too good. I haven't run into this as a primary force. I do recall NB's announcement that he was going into rehab as soon as the show was over.
Even if the directors had toyed with the idea, there was no way the actor could have done the job. By the time he was bringing beer on the set and drinking, he was already past the danger zone.

That's not "new" or invented, it's been widely circulated since the show was still on air. But one could drive themselves nuts trying to argue causation on stuff like that -- I'd argue that, sure, Nick may have felt kinda stuck in the middle of valuing his physical fitness vs. the steady work of being on the show, but it's an easy road to excuse-making.

It might also plausibly be the case that his emergent issues were the actual ultimate "why" it ultimately was shelved. Indeed, I don't think the writers spend much time on ideas that they think are open to the interpretation of horrible or disgusting, so it's probably a more likely reason than not.

bespangled
22-04-18, 04:37 AM
That's not "new" or invented, it's been widely circulated since the show was still on air. But one could drive themselves nuts trying to argue causation on stuff like that -- I'd argue that, sure, Nick may have felt kinda stuck in the middle of valuing his physical fitness vs. the steady work of being on the show, but it's an easy road to excuse-making.

It might also plausibly be the case that his emergent issues were the actual ultimate "why" it ultimately was shelved. Indeed, I don't think the writers spend much time on ideas that they think are open to the interpretation of horrible or disgusting, so it's probably a more likely reason than not.

Not questioning you, but I would love to see a source for that.

Silver1
22-04-18, 06:55 AM
Throw me into the camp that doesn't believe the 'stop training' bit too. I had heard Nick's drinking problem started even before season 5 to the point the WB wanted him off the show. I think I said all this on another thread, so I take anything that actor says with a pinch of salt. Imo he is a very troubled individual (even back then) and so not a reliable source imo.

In all the years I've been a fan I have never seen a source about this from anyone else except him.

MikeB
01-05-18, 12:26 AM
All caught up. All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.




* Buffy/Xander wasn’t a serious consideration after The Unaired Pilot. I don’t know where this idea comes from that Buffy/Xander was considered numerous times after the UP.

BtVS S1 to BtVS S3 was firmly Buffy/Angel. There was Buffy/Spike stuff in BtVS S2 and in BtVS S3. Buffy dated others. None were Xander. There is Buffy/Faith subtext/text.

Buffy/Xander didn’t exist from BtVS S1 through BtVS S7.

BtVS S4 was firmly Buffy/Parker Abrams, then Buffy/Riley Finn. More Buffy/Spike stuff. No Buffy/Xander.

BtVS S5 has Buffy/Riley breakup, more Buffy/Spike stuff. There’s some Buffy/Ben.

BtVS S6 and BtVS S7 is firmly Buffy/Spike. Some Buffy/Angel stuff is thrown in. There’s more Buffy/Faith stuff in BtVS S7 than there ever is Buffy/Xander stuff.

Outside of David Fury until sometime post-“Once More With Feeling” (B 6.07) and maybe Steven DeKnight, ALL of the BtVS writers in BtVS S4 through BtVS S7 were Buffy/Spike ‘shippers.

I don’t recall any BtVS writer being a Buffy/Xander ‘shipper after The Unaired Pilot.


* Sarah Michelle Gellar wanted James Marsters in BtVS S3, wanted him as her on-screen boyfriend after BtVS S3, and both SMG and James Marsters simply didn’t like how Buffy/Spike was done in BtVS S6.

It wasn’t known until relatively late that James Marsters was going to sign on as a regular for BtVS S7. It was during this time that SMG and Nicholas Brendan went to Joss Whedon about Buffy/Xander. Joss shot down the idea. SMG simply didn’t want another Marc Blucas/Riley Finn situation. She and James didn’t want Buffy/Spike like it was in BtVS S6. Both were relatively satisfied by how Buffy/Spike was done outside of “Chosen” (B 7.22) given for different reasons both were Buffy/Angel ‘shippers and didn’t want Buffy telling Spike, “I love you.”




Sosa lola

* The thread regards whether Buffy/Xander post-BtVS S1 could have ever been as popular as at least Willow/Oz.

Second to that is whether Buffy/Xander could have worked and made sense in-‘verse.

____________________________________

* Buffy and Xander’s journeys don’t “mirror each other”.


* Chemistry isn’t subjective outside a certain point. From all my live action television viewing, Blake Lively and Penn Badgley have the best screen kissing. That’s largely a result of it seeming they were actually making out. They were a couple and in love in real life and it showed on screen.

For general chemistry, James Marsters and Juliet Landau have the best of any on-screen couple (meaning couples who weren’t real life couples) that I remember and their chemistry is better than most real life couples’ on-screen chemistry.


* There is no Buffy/Xander in “Inca Mummy Girl” (B 2.04) and “Phases” (B 2.15) and “I Was Made to Love You” (B 5.15).

____________________________________

* Almost all disagree when I say Xander was likely a millionaire and perhaps multimillionaire in BtVS S7. If you disagree, Xander is not better off financially than Buffy is.

Buffy still has the Summers house and everything in it: likely worth at least around $800K and perhaps over $1MM. Buffy still is the daughter of Hank Summers and seems gets all her credit cards paid by him.

Professionally? Buffy gets a job that pays at least high 5-figures and likely low 6-figures given what goes on in Sunnydale. Buffy’s the school psychologist. She possibly gets paid around as much or even more than Principal Robin Wood. Plus, Buffy is the Slayer and in charge of Buffy and Co.

Anyway, Principal Robin Wood is the son of Nikki Wood, a fellow demon killer, says he grew up in Beverly Hills, and Buffy likely would have dated Wood if Spike hadn’t shown up in Sunnydale.

Outside of Dracula, Spike came from the most privileged background of any male Buffy’s met. Professionally, Spike’s led the Sunnydale Underground, he got the Gem of Amarra, he’s Buffy’s Number 2 in BtVS S7.


* Buffy and Xander were only playing Dawn’s parents sometime post-“Grave” (B 6.22) until the beginning of “Beneath You” (B 7.02). Xander is NEVER the ‘father’ of the Scooby Gang or any of the Potentials Slayer.


* Xander is mostly ‘just there’ in BtVS S7. He offers free labor for Buffy. Giles and Spike are both more ‘father figures’ to the Potentials Slayer than Xander was. Andrew Wells has more of a role than Xander does (which is why many Xander fans criticize Andrew’s role in BtVS S7).

____________________________________

* It’s canon Riley ‘judged’ Buffy’s being with Spike.



Priceless

* Buffy already in “The Witch” (B 1.03) told Xander, “You are completely one of the girls!” In “Never Kill a Boy on the First Date (B 1.05), Buffy is treating Xander as a ‘gay male friend’ having him give her fashion advice for her date. He’s literally there with Willow watching Buffy change. Buffy is “that comfy with [Xander]”.

I don’t know how much more ‘in the friend zone’ one can get.


* Much of BtVS S4 would have to change for Buffy/Xander to happen in BtVS S4.


* Regarding BtVS S7, if Spike ‘weren’t on the scene’, Buffy would probably be dating Robin Wood. If James Marsters didn’t return for the entire Season, it’s likely a bunch of money would be thrown at Eliza Dushku and Buffy/Faith would be more likely than Buffy/Xander.



DeepBlueJoy

* I gave the parameter of post-BtVS S1 because it was already shot and re-shot before it aired. If Buffy/Xander could have been better than Buffy/Angel in BtVS S1, Joss Whedon would have done that.


* Spike/Xander, and Angel/Xander were not more likely than Buffy/Xander.


* Buffy’s ego increased from BtVS S1 on. Xander’s being relatively poor was impediment enough for Neiman Marcus-shopping Buffy to date Xander.

We also cannot fundamentally change Xander’s character to make Buffy/Xander work in BtVS S1; if we do, we aren’t discussing whether Buffy/‘Xander’ could ever be as popular as at least Willow/Oz.


* It took the new school year for Buffy to ‘move on’ from Angel. And I’d consider Buffy/Faith and even Buffy/Robin Wood more likely than Buffy/Xander post-“Chosen” (B 7.22).

Xander already in “Intervention” (B 5.18) at-latest could understand why Buffy/Spike could happen.


* Xander isn’t “black and white”. See Anya, Willow, Angel, Faith, Spike, etc.



Oddly, Xander and Spike are lot alike. They wear their heart on their sleeves, and they're loyal to the point of stupid. Doesn’t “They wear their heart on their sleeves, and they're loyal to the point of stupid.” describe most of the opening credit casts of BtVS and AtS?

____________________________________

* The first time Buffy and Xander are platonic is after Xander rejects her in BtVS S8. The first time Xander and Willow are platonic is after Willow meets Tara.

By definition, a relationship cannot be platonic if one wants to ‘be with’ the other.

____________________________________

* I consider it debatable whether Buffy loves Xander. Anyway, it’s beneath her love for: Spike, Dawn, Joyce, Willow, Angel, and probably Hank.



Fool for Buffy

* Xander’s best contribution to the Scooby Gang aside from his helping save Buffy’s life is his relationship with Anya is what resulted in Anya’s being a Scooby.

So, (1) Xander’s being in love with Buffy and (2) Anya’s being a Scooby are Xander’s best qualities.


* Other than Willow’s being hurt by Buffy/Xander until Tara came along, I don’t see how Xander-Willow would fundamentally change.


* Since when is Xander the voice of reason? Those spots are occupied by Giles, Buffy, Angel, Willow, and Spike.


* Anya in “Selfless” (B 7.05) and Buffy aren’t comparable. Buffy’s evilest actions are her relationships with Angel, Dawn, and Spike. Buffy herself didn’t kill innocent people and wasn’t a mass murderer.


* I don’t recall Xander’s humor ever being beneficial in the fight against evil. It was a quirk of Xander, little more.



ghoststar

* All the Buffy/Angel ‘shippers wouldn’t like that Angel wasn’t around in BtVS S3 and wouldn’t switch to Buffy/Xander.

Buffy/Spike itself didn’t become more popular than Buffy/Angel until BtVS S5 (among BtVS viewers) and until BtVS S6 (overall). By then there was years of buildup and several Buffy/Spike scenes to whet the appetite.


* If Angel were actually dusted in “Becoming Part II (B 2.22), almost certainly Spike would be the one to dust Angel thus further entrenching Buffy/Spike.


* In-‘verse, Buffy starts dating Scott Hope around 3 months after Angel’s death. She starts dating Parker Abrams around 3 months after Angel leaves Sunnydale.

Why would Buffy continue to not only even kiss anyone until “The Prom” (B 3.20)?


* For ‘production reasoning”, if Angel stayed dead Spike would be brought back in BtVS S3. Even with Angel not dead, I remember Sarah Michelle Gellar wanted Spike in BtVS S3. SMG wouldn’t be happy Angel wouldn’t be in BtVS S3.

Xander’s popularity in BtVS S2 was below: Spike, Buffy, Willow, Angel, Drusilla, Giles, Oz, Cordelia. In BtVS S3 add in Faith (probably before Angel).

So, how could Buffy/Xander be more popular than Willow/Oz was?

____________________________________

* The Scoobies ‘collapse’ in BtVS S4 because Buffy is desperate to make a ‘normal’ relationship with a guy work. As-is, Buffy/Riley wouldn’t exist after “Pangs” (B 4.08) if Spike simply treated Buffy nicer in “Something Blue” (B 4.09).

____________________________________

* Buffy only wanted to kill Uncursed Angel as a last resort. Buffy could have dusted him in “Innocence” (B 2.14). By “Becoming Part II” (B 2.22), there’s a chance Willow could curse Angel; in addition, Buffy had Spike as an ally.



bespangled

* Giles’s leaving in BtVS S6 didn’t hurt the series. It better paved the way for Buffy/Spike. Xander could have left any time after BtVS S3 and it wouldn’t hurt the series much.

Andrew Wells in BtVS S7 is a ‘better’ version of Xander given Andrew has demon summoning abilities, Watcher potential, etc.

In BtVS S7, most of the audience would gladly take Xander say being killed in “Grave” (B 6.22) and have Eliza Dushku in all of BtVS S7. Willow killing Xander would be much better dramatically and her guilt in BtVS S7 would make much better sense than hers feeling bad about flaying and killing Warren Meers.



TimeTravellingBunny

* Joss Whedon in “Lessons” (B 7.01) has Buffy and Xander playing mother and father to Dawn. That could have reasonably led to Buffy/Xander. But it wouldn’t be more popular than Willow/Oz.

Joss Whedon also in “Lessons” and “Beneath You” (B 7.02) has Buffy considering her relationships with Angel and Spike as equal.

As-is, Buffy/Spike was the only ratings draw in BtVS S7 until Faith shows up.


* Xander/Willow were having ‘an affair’—they weren’t a couple. It was interesting and provided great drama.

____________________________________

* I always considered William and Cecily were having ‘an affair’ but that Cecily simply refused to marry him.

____________________________________

* Buffy’s been sexually attracted to Spike since “School Hard” (B 2.03) and the only reason she’s not with him after “Pangs” (B 4.08) is because of how Spike treats her in “Something Blue” (B 4.09).

____________________________________

* None of Xander’s relationships are popular. Probably Cordelia/Doyle is more popular than any of Xander’s relationships.

Friends who later date must first have been always at least somewhat physically attracted to each other. And, in real life, there’s always a valid reason they didn’t date to begin with (probably at least one was dating someone else, they were in the same classes or company and didn’t want to risk the breakup aftermath, etc.)

Buffy wasn’t attracted to Xander and she’s known since their first meeting that he wants her sexually.



HardlyThere

* The Unaired Pilot shows Buffy/Xander was Joss Whedon’s original idea. David Greenwalt created Angel.

Buffy/Angel and Buffy/Spike are largely the result of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s chemistry with David Boreanaz and James Marsters and hers liking those two and becoming good friends with those two. James said he auditioned for Spike largely to meet SMG because he wanted to date her. He got hired as Spike largely because Juliet Landau essentially chose him among the finalists.

____________________________________

* The flashbacks we see in “Fool For Love” (B 5.07) are what Spike tells Buffy.



KingofCretins

* Buffy Anne Summers likely wouldn’t be attracted to William Pratt even though William is a much better version of the combination of Owen Thurman (“Never Kill a Boy on the First Date” (B 1.05)) and Tom Warner (“Reptile Boy” (B 2.05)). And William dismissed Drusilla as a pickpocket and possible prostitute even though Dru appeared richer than Buffy even was before her parents’ divorce.

The ‘nice guy getting the girl’ didn’t happen in BtVS. Heck, Willow cheated on Oz. Xander is a huge jerk to Cordelia before they started dated and during their dating. Anya gets with Xander because of lack of options.


* “Innocence” (B 2.14) made Buffy/Angel even more popular and Buffy/Xander wouldn’t make any sense given Buffy and Angel were still focused on each other. And both’s second focus is Spike.

Buffy in “Anne” (B 3.01) is dreaming about Buffy/Angel. There is no Buffy/Xander.


* BtVS S2 was promoted with Spike, Spike/Drusilla, Buffy/Angel, and Drusilla/Angel/Buffy/Spike/Drusilla.

“School Hard” (B 2.03) has Buffy/Spike promotional photos. “Lie to Me” (B 2.07) has promotional photos of Buffy/Spike and Buffy’s maybe killing Drusilla (so Buffy/Spike can happen).


* David Greenwalt didn’t have much power over BtVS outside of his created Angel resulted in Buffy/Angel.

Marti Noxon was Joss Whedon’s de facto Number 2 since when she first arrived.


* It's somehow a problem for you that Buffy wanted to be with someone who is at least somewhat her equal?

If anything, one of the most problematic and disturbing “relationship and gender roles issues” is Xander’s and Anya’s trying to ‘set up’ Buffy with one of Xander’s employees. And Xander and Anya both seemed to assume Buffy would have sex with that guy—or at least do some sexual thing/s with him—right there and then at her birthday party.

The second most problematic and disturbing “relationship and gender roles issues” is Xander’s suggesting Buffy during the summer after “Becoming Part II” (B 2.22) was a prostitute.

A powerful woman dating powerful man is somehow problematic for you and you’d prefer a powerful woman to date a, what, loser?

Remember Buffy could have gone to such schools as Northwestern and Brown. It seems had she not had such previous terrible grades and had more extracurriculars she could have done even better than that. Xander somehow got an atrocious SAT score and couldn’t even get into UC Sunnydale.

____________________________________

* Compared to Buffy/Angel in BtVS S1 and BtVS S2, Buffy/Xander not only would be comparatively incredibly boring, it would have cancelled BtVS.

As-is, Buffy/Angel, Faith, and the furthering of Buffy/Spike are the ratings draw of BtVS S3 outside of the series now having better cameras and lighting.

____________________________________

* ‘In real life’, the only reason Buffy was in Sunnydale is because her parents divorced because of her behavior in school and Joyce’s relative mollycoddling prevented Buffy from probably being sent to a reform school.

Buffy was an upper middle to lower upper-class cheerleader and Pike is largely forgotten by “Welcome to the Hellmouth” (B 1.01) and is never even mentioned in the TV Buffyverse. And Buffy/Pike only happened because Buffy was the Slayer.

‘In real life’, Buffy would have continued dating the star athlete in school and other such types. She would have gone to an expensive private college and then likely either joined her father’s or mother’s business or done some similar high-paying high-status career. And she would have married a rich person.

In order words, Xander would have had around zero chance with Buffy.

Cordelia herself only dates Xander because his closeness to Buffy makes him cool.

____________________________________

* Xander unintentionally reminds Buffy in “Gone” (B 6.11) that Spike has two immortal exes of Spike’s who are still completely in love with Spike and both probably want Buffy dead.

Spike by BtVS S6 is a solid Scooby and is Buffy’s counterpart. He’d hardly be considered an outcast.

____________________________________

* All evidence is Buffy/Xander didn’t’ “have legs” after The Unaired Pilot. The best example is Xander’s Military knowledge is gone in BtVS S4 and Buffy/Riley happens instead of Buffy/Xander.

Unless you know nothing of the audience, the writers, the actors, the business, etc., it is only wishful thinking that can possibly explain why you could think Buffy/Xander had just as much of a chance as Buffy/Spike to be canon and exist from BtVS S4 through BtVS S7.



a thing of evil

* Buffy first officially rejected Spike in “Crush” (B 5.14) and by the end of “Intervention” (B 5.18) kisses Spike and Buffy/Spike start dating at-latest in “Life Serial” (B 6.05) and have sex in “Smashed” (B 6.09). Buffy didn’t actually date anyone else after “Crush” (B 5.14) (not even Satsu and Angel count).



Andrew S.

* How could “ have easily happened in the early seasons” given Buffy wasn’t attracted to Xander?


anyone who supports Buffy/Xander thinks that Xander is some Nice Guy who's entitled to Buffy Not everyone.


Sosa lola and KingofCretins also cited the promo pic of Buffy between Xander and Angel, and Greenwalt's "Reptile Boy" DVD commentary (which was actually recorded sometime around Season 5; I recall Greenwalt explicitly saying they were in middle of shooting that season and he made references to Cordelia being on AtS) where he said that a Buffy/Xander romance was still on the writers' minds in some capacity. So if the writers had decided to go that direction (which they considered many times at several points in the series), it could have been completely believable. Again, there were more promo pics of Buffy/Spike and of a quadrilateral between Drusilla/Angel/Buffy/Spike/Drusilla in BtVS S2 than there were of Buffy/Xander. Hardly anyone saw any Buffy/Xander promo pics.

ALL of the BtVS writers supported Buffy/Spike over Buffy/Xander. I don’t recall David Fury ever supporting Buffy/Xander and he and Steven DeKnight were the only anti-Buffy/Spike writers on BtVS after BtVS S3.

Xander/Cordelia wasn’t stopping Buffy being with Xander.


* Buffy was in love with Spike in BtVS S6 and is actually disappointed that Spike has a soul until perhaps in “Chosen” (B 7.22) when the Mystical Flaming Hands thing happens.


* By definition:


1.4settle for no object Accept or agree to (something that one considers to be less than satisfactory) https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/settle Xander settled for Cordelia and then Anya because he couldn’t be with Buffy.

Cordelia settled for Xander because she couldn’t be with Angel.

Robin Wood settled for Faith because he couldn’t be with Buffy.

Faith settled for Wood because she couldn’t be with Spike.

Buffy in “Afterlife” (B 6.03) most wanted to see Spike. In “Flooded” (B 6.04), she most wants to see Spike and Giles. She doesn’t seem to once think about Angel until the end of the episode when she’s informed Angel knows she’s back and wants to see her. BtVS S6, S7, S8, and S9 all show Buffy didn’t settle for Spike—Spike is the one person in the world she most wants to be with.

- The only reason we know the glow didn’t completely take over Buffy is because SuperBuffy tells AngelTwilight she wouldn’t have had sex with him had Spike been around and she shoos AngelTwilight away in favor of being with Spike.

____________________________________

* Though it was faux happiness given she actually wanted to be with either Angel or Spike (or both), Buffy was relatively very happy with Riley in BtVS S4. Buffy has fun during patrols with him.

Buffy in BtVS S6 has fun with Spike for 5 hours at a time. Spike gets Buffy to smile and laugh.

I don’t recall Buffy having fun with Xander in the early Seasons. If you are talking about them at the Bronze, Willow is also there. Same with they on school trips and whatnot.


* It is directly opposed to canon to say Xander and Dawn never abandoned and betrayed Buffy. See: “Empty Places” (B 7.19).

For Xander, add in The Big Lie. Add in “Revelations” (B 3.07).


* It’s complete nonsense to say Xander was more loyal to Buffy than Joyce and Willow was. Spike’s more loyal to Buffy in BtVS S5 on then Xander is.


* Sexual chemistry doesn’t evaporate; it’s there or it isn’t. In any case, SMG had better sexual chemistry with:

David Boreanaz
James Marsters
Eliza Dushku

Than with Nicholas Brendan.

And perhaps better with Tom Lenk and Nathan Fillion than with Nicholas Brendan. And add in the guy who played Dracula. And the guy who played Tom Warner. And the guy who played Parker Abrams.


* SMG couldn’t ‘sell’ Buffy/Riley.


* By definition, Buffy and Xander aren’t “compatible” regarding a romantic sexual relationship.


* Spike didn’t try to kill Angel and he didn’t try to kill Riley. Xander wanted Angel dusted so that Buffy/Xander was more possible. Xander slut shamed Buffy in “Entropy” (B 6.18) and went to dust Spike in “Entropy” because Spike had sex with Anya. Xander in “Seeing Red” (B 6.19) is further disgusting with Buffy and seemingly only ‘reconciles’ with her because he assumes Buffy/Spike is no longer possible.

Xander’s Big Lie is likely the main reason Buffy kept Buffy/Spike a secret in BtVS S6 and kept Spike’s being back in Sunnydale a secret.

Angel dusted Darla because she was a direct threat to Buffy. Angel helped Buffy in BtVS S1 through BtVS S3. Outside of Uncursed Angel and Season 8, I don’t see how Angel was worse to Buffy than Xander was.

Buffy/Spike in BtVS S6 were mutually sadomasochistic, but Xander’s Big Lie is likely the main reason Buffy wanted to keep Buffy/Spike a secret. Spike wasn’t the nicest to Buffy, but he didn’t cheat on her. Ahem Xander/Willow. There’s nothing wrong with Spike’s support of Buffy in BtVS S7. Spike actually believed in Buffy. Xander betrays her when Xander first gets a permanent injury.


* The only reason Hyena Xander attempting to rape Buffy and the AR are not comparable is because Buffy/Xander never happened.

The AR is important to the Buffy/Spike relationship because of what it and its aftermath told each about their relationship.

Hyena Xander attempted to rape Buffy because he considered she was into dangerous guys like Angel.

Spike attempted to rape Buffy into admitting she’s in love with him.


* Buffy/Spike happened. Buffy/Xander didn’t.


* In canon, Spike easily makes friends when he wants. In canon, Spike is a Scooby in BtVS S6, Willow invites him to the Buffy birthday party, and he’s such a Scooby that Clem is invited to the Xander/Anya wedding.


* Hmmm, which romances in the Buffyverse were well-written:

- Buffy/Angel
- Spike/Drusilla
- Angel/Drusilla
- Willow/Oz
- Willow/Tara
- Spike/Harmony
- Spike/Buffybot
- Buffy/Spike

Secondarily,
- Gunn/Fred
- Wesley/Lilah


Well-written then not mentioned ever again thus making its canon status suspect:
- Spike/Beck
- Spike/Spider
- Spike/Morgan


Not well written:

- Angel/Darla (clearly tried to retcon it into being more like Spike/Drusilla; post-“Angel” (B 1.07) is because of Jasmine)

- Angel/Cordy (only makes sense because of Jasmine)

- Xander/Cordelia (both are settling, somehow Xander becomes attracted to Willow before being attracted to Cordelia, Cordelia is only with Xander because his being around Buffy made him cool, and they never have sex)

- Wesley/Fred (Fred dated Gunn and Knox before Wesley. Spike/Fred made much more sense. Fred is quickly killed after this relationship begins)

- Cordelia/Connor (because of Jasmine)


* Given Buffy went for anyone ‘cooler’ than Xander, I’m not sure how Buffy/Xander could be well-written.

____________________________________

* David Greenwalt didn’t even have much power during BtVS S1 through BtVS S3. Marti Noxon was Joss Whedon’s de facto Number 2 from BtVS S2 on. David Greenwalt’s biggest contributions to the Buffyverse is creating Angel and sending Cordelia to AtS.

SMG had to tell Joss that she wanted Nicholas Brendan in BtVS S7.

Joss wanted to kill Xander off after BtVS S4 and came to Nic with the idea.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/nerd

* informal
• 1: A foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious.
‘one of those nerds who never asked a girl to dance’
1. 1.1: A single-minded expert in a particular technical field.
‘a computer nerd’

“Outcast” is not part of the definition of nerd. And Spike isn’t an outcast at any time that we know of except maybe in the hours after “Crush” (B 5.14) before Spike shows up in “I Was Made to Love You” (B 5.15) and gets sympathy from the female Scoobies and Dawn.


* Spike was closer to Buffy, the Scoobies, Joyce, and Dawn than Angel ever was.


* What did Xander do for Buffy that’s comparable to Spike’s getting his soul back? Spike doesn’t get rewarded with Buffy. He gets rewarded with Heaven.



[b] cil_domney

* Fox and the WB aren’t responsible for Buffy/Angel and Buffy/Spike. Joss Whedon is.