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Thread: Why Buffy is so pathetically weak in season 9?

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    Bronze Party-Goer 1701EarlGrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampire in Rug View Post
    I do agree that the writing around Buffy hasn't been especially great this season. Her latest plan for attacking Severin is especially dumb.

    However I completely disagree with your idea that drinking = bad. It's not Buffy's fault her drink was spiked. I completely disagree with your assessment that since Buffy has had bad experiences with alcohol, that she should swear of alcohol forever.

    She's had bad experiences with sex, should she also remain celibate for the rest of her life? She's also had bad experiences while celebrating her birthday, Halloween, Christmas and Thanksgiving, should she never celebrate those holidays again? Should she never study or work again either?

    Yeah, I agree that Buffy has made many stupid mistakes this season, but let's not go overboard and blame her for enjoying normal things, or blame her for things she couldn't have reasonably forseen.
    Well, it was pretty clear that authors want to say that too much drinking always leed to bad things. And I agree with them. It never ends well for her. I never was drunk in my life and I witnessed people doing many stupid and dangerous things when they were drunk so I don't think that she should drink, at least not too much. My problem with this story is that it's the same old cautionary tale that they told twice before, and Buffy look's stupid because of it. And about her having sex...well, knowing that her having sex almost destroyed the world... twice I would say that someone should give her chastity belt for Christmas:

    At least all the other things you mentioned - not her fault.
    Last edited by 1701EarlGrey; 05-03-13 at 12:35 AM.

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    Big Picture junkie dorotea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1701EarlGrey;
    knowing that her havin sex almost destroyed the world... twice I would say that someone should give her chastity belt for Christmas
    Playin with fire here , fearless one. Joking about this exact topic once got me banned from SlayAlive. Awkward jokes about Buffy's sex life is a borderline topic.
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    Bronze Party-Goer 1701EarlGrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorotea View Post
    Playin with fire here , fearless one. Joking about this exact topic once got me banned from SlayAlive. Awkward jokes about Buffy's sex life is a borderline topic.
    Thank you for complement but I'm not fearless, I always consider myself a coward... And I was banned because I said that I think that Andrew Chambliss can't or don't like to write woman characters. That's why I think Buffy - and some others - female characters are written so badly in season 9.

    But I'm glad that I was banned SlayAlive remind me too much of totalitarian country form novel "1984" This forum is actually fun by comparison.

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    Slayer shipperx's Avatar
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    I don't know whether or not its about liking. I have no idea whether or not he likes her. There are times when I wonder whether certain things are influenced by conscious or subconscious reinforcing of traditional gender roles frompregnancy plot to Barbie's Ikea dreamhouse to characters assuming that her mood is based on Dowling, to her taking a job being seen as a distraction from her 'calling', to the frankly bizarre 'let me go home with you' near instantaneous thing making her vulnerable to exploitation by the villain, to the drunk serority girl in the frat house cautionary tale-like routine in the first issue. It's just happening a lot to little point thus far.
    Last edited by shipperx; 06-03-13 at 06:00 AM.
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    Bronze Party-Goer 1701EarlGrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shipperx View Post
    I don't know whether or not its about liking. I have no idea whether or not he likes her. There are times when I wonder whether certain things are influenced by conscious or subconscious reinforcing of traditional gender roles fro pregnancy plot to Barbie's Iowa dreamhouse to characters assuming that her mood is based on Dowling, to her taking a job being seen as a distraction from her 'calling', to the frankly bizarre 'let me go home with you'd near instantaneous thing making her vulnerable to exploitation by the villain. It's just happening a lot to little point thus far.
    I don't think that it's only about Buffy. I think it's about females in general. We had Willow who was completely powerless, we have Illyria - one of the most powerful characters in Slayerverse - who got her ass kicked by manly man Severin, Dawn's biggest contribution is that she is unconscious and dying, and Buffy... well, you can replace her with crash test dummy and we would have this same kind of character - someone who gets beat up a lot. I honestly don't know why she is even there?

    Only reall strong woman characters are Simone, who is emotionally unstable villain and Kennedy, but they both were bearly in this book. And yes, there is now new Slayer, that chick with the glasses, Buffy's roommate but they introduced her way to late for me to care about her. Also I think that she is just Simone's agent, there is something fishy about her - so there is only few strong females in this book and almost all of them are evil

    Doesn't matter. I decided to read only one more issue and if Buffy will not show what she's worth - and I know that she wont - then I quit reading. I will read people's reviews and I will see if Buffy finally drop idiot ball that she is carrying around with her from beginning of the season. But I don't think that it's gonna happen - I think that either Billy or Xander will save the day in the end, and Buffy will be completely superfluous.
    Last edited by 1701EarlGrey; 05-03-13 at 05:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1701EarlGrey View Post
    I don't think that it's only about Buffy. I think it's about females in general. We had Willow who was completely powerless, we have Illyria - one of the most powerful characters in Slayerverse - who got her ass kicked by manly man Severin, Dawn's biggest contribution is that she is unconscious and dying, and Buffy... well, you can replace her with crash test dummy and we would have this same kind of character - someone who gets beat up a lot. I honestly don't know why she is even there?
    I agree about Buffy and Dawn. Illyria still seems strong. I don't make much fuss over the fact that she's been beaten by Severin in the two fights that they've had. Whatever. The story is establishing Severin's bona fides as a villain. That doesn't mean that Illyria isn't a bad ass. Buffy getting beaten by Adam multiple times didn't mean that Buffy wasn't a strong woman in S4. I put more value in the fact that Illyria seems to head up an magical council and seems to have acquired political power and have the agency to execute her agenda.

    I have my issues with Willow's story. First, It's very hard to put my finger on what she's thinking. Second, The writers set up something important with the fact that the First Slayer called her to her quest and dropped it. Third, I frequently feel like the writer holds Willow up to much harsher moral standards. Fourth, the story's inconsistency with magic and how it's used hurt Willow's story.

    However, the one critique that I'd never make of S9 Willow is that she's not strong. (Except, she played on that line with some of her obsequiousness to Faith and Angel towards the end of the Family Reunion arc.) Yes, she didn't have her magic in 9.01 to 9.04 and A&F 11 but she was still emotionally and mentally and pragmatically strong.
    Last edited by Dipstick; 05-03-13 at 07:41 PM.

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    Illyria, like Koh before her, is providing Severin with the Worf Effect. A shrewd observer of genre fiction should consider that actually a very legitimate, complimentary thing for a female character*. She is the 800 lb gorilla that you feed to the new villain to demonstrate how badass the new villain is. That's a typically male role in pop culture, being filled by a woman. Is the point for female characters to be treated like male characters as equals, or for bad things to never happen to female characters?

    *insofar as Illyria is even female in all but the most ephemeral, Amy-Acker-is-sexy way.

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    Bronze Party-Goer 1701EarlGrey's Avatar
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    Dipstick
    Buffy getting beaten by Adam multiple times didn't mean that Buffy wasn't a strong woman in S4.
    If she was only beaten by big bad, then I wouldn't have problem with that. But she is beaten practically by everyone. I don't want to repeat myself so read my opening statement, for now let's only look at her exploits in last arc "Welcome to the team": she got her ass kicked three times in a row by female zompire and then she is again defeated by Severin. And that's her fault because she didn't even thought of taking with her weapon that previously hurted Severin. Sorry, but she never was so stupid in TV series - where is her ingenuity and resourcefulness? That were one of her defining character traits! Great hero? Yeah, and pigs can fly...

    And you know what piss me off the most? That she always, always need rescue! I'm sick and tired of seeing Buffy being constantly rescued by other characters: saved by Severin, saved by Dowling, saved by Spike, saved by Kennedy, saved by Billy, now saved by Illyria... Mr. Chambliss you know that you are writing "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer", not "Buffy: Damsel in distress", right? Even her confrontations with Glory shown Buffy in better light: first time they meet Buffy saved monk and escaped with him from Glory without anyone's help. When Buffy fought Glory in hospital she needed help, but she still managed to save Dawn on her own - this was what she did, Willow and Tara just teleported Glory away. Fight in Glory's appartment: Buffy saved Willow from angry goddess... Can you show me anything that impressive in season 9? Of coruse you can't. And I think that is Chambliss's fault.
    Illyria still seems strong. I don't make much fuss over the fact that she's been beaten by Severin in the two fights that they've had. Whatever. The story is establishing Severin's bona fides as a villain. That doesn't mean that Illyria isn't a bad ass.
    My point is that powerful female character was brought into the story just to show how strong main villain is, and to give him her powers. She literary have no other purpose. So she is reduced to plot device. And that doesn't bother you
    ?

    Illyria seems to head up an magical council and seems to have acquired political power and have the agency to execute her agenda.
    Oh, I hope that she is not in charge of this council because if she is then she is pretty stupid. Council's solution to Severin's situation? Let's send three mystic warriors - including two guys who already been by Severin before - after guy who feed on mystic powers! Brilliant!
    However, the one critique that I'd never make of S9 Willow is that she's not strong
    I wasn't talking about Willow in "A&F" or about Willow in her own mini, I was talking about Willow portrayed in "Buffy" comic. And there she is pretty powerless - and Spike even remind her of this fact by saying that Willow's opinion no longer metters because redhead is just ordinary girl right now. And Willow agree with that - that's why she went on a quest: to restore magic and to regain powers.

    KingofCretins


    Illyria, like Koh before her, is providing Severin with the Worf Effect. A shrewd observer of genre fiction should consider that actually a very legitimate, complimentary thing for a female character*. She is the 800 lb gorilla that you feed to the new villain to demonstrate how badass the new villain is. That's a typically male role in pop culture, being filled by a woman. Is the point for female characters to be treated like male characters as equals, or for bad things to never happen to female characters?
    And that's the wrong thing! Illyria is reduced to mere plot device. That doesn't bother you?
    Last edited by 1701EarlGrey; 06-03-13 at 01:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1701EarlGrey View Post
    And that's the wrong thing! Illyria is reduced to mere plot device. That doesn't bother you?
    The Worf Effect doesn't "reduce a character to a mere plot device", that's unnecessary hyperbole. I mean, look at the trope examples. Superman, in his own book, has coughed up the Worf Effect to establish a new villain. "Reduced to a plot device"? Obviously not. Or, if you'd insist it did, than it would clearly mean that it isn't a particularly big deal.

    So, no, it doesn't bother me. If anything, it's an inherent obligation of being the "Big Guy" in a five man band or any general ensemble of characters, that eventually you're going to have to put over a villain to build the sense of threat that they provide.

    By the by, the character that most often is "Worfed" in the Buffyverse is... Buffy. Luke, the Master, the Judge, Sunday, Adam, Glory (big time, whipped like a rented mule by that one, more than once), Turok-han 1.0, Caleb. And I'm probably missing a few. Does that "reduce her to a mere plot device" or cry out the great injustice done to female characters in the series? It's an almost indispensible trope, and proof that Tropes Are Not Bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingofCretins View Post
    The Worf Effect doesn't "reduce a character to a mere plot device", that's unnecessary hyperbole. I mean, look at the trope examples. Superman, in his own book, has coughed up the Worf Effect to establish a new villain. "Reduced to a plot device"? Obviously not. Or, if you'd insist it did, than it would clearly mean that it isn't a particularly big deal.

    So, no, it doesn't bother me. If anything, it's an inherent obligation of being the "Big Guy" in a five man band or any general ensemble of characters, that eventually you're going to have to put over a villain to build the sense of threat that they provide.

    By the by, the character that most often is "Worfed" in the Buffyverse is... Buffy. Luke, the Master, the Judge, Sunday, Adam, Glory (big time, whipped like a rented mule by that one, more than once), Turok-han 1.0, Caleb. And I'm probably missing a few. Does that "reduce her to a mere plot device" or cry out the great injustice done to female characters in the series? It's an almost indispensible trope, and proof that Tropes Are Not Bad.
    Superman's exemple is not good since he was not brought into the story just to get his ass kicked and establish new villain. And let me guess, in the end he would defeat this new villain? I don't think that this could be said about Illyria or Buffy for that metter. And for me it is a big deal because they take interesting and powerful character and they reduce her to role of plot device. Sorry, but she deserves more.

    Villain to build the sense of threat that they provide? You can do it in some many other different ways, without humiliating well established character.

    Buffy "Worfed" against big bads? Yes, but in this same time she was doing something impressive, for exemple in season 5: in "Into the woods" she dusted 8 vampires in few seconds, killed invisible demon in "Familly", killed huge snake demon, killed extraterrestrial demon, saved Dawn from Harmony's gang and dusted all members of this gang, defeted bunch of Byzantine Knights, defeted Watcher who was armed with an axe, while she was blindfolded, defeted a big Troll etc. What she did in season 9? Nothing. What Illyria did? Also nothing. So you see it is injustice after all.
    Last edited by 1701EarlGrey; 06-03-13 at 02:08 AM.

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    I'm more upset by the fact that Buffy was shown to be pathetically stupid (alongside with Illyria, Koh and the rest of the Council, but I'm more concerned with the protagonist of the book), which marks the biggest difference between the this Buffy and the show Buffy in situation when she was Worfed. Buffy did not know that Luke was such an incredibly (and, as we're going to see, completely atypically) strong vampire; after she had learned that fact, she beat him the next time by outsmarting him. She didn't rush to fight the Judge and try to stake him before she knew she had a stronger weapon. She went to fight Caleb with a scythe. She and the Scoobies found a way to beat Adam by joining together to make the Super-Slayer. In some other cases, the villain was not more powerful than Buffy, but just used Buffy's emotional state - e.g. Sunday - and Buffy just needed to pull herself together. But when she learned that the enemy was really too powerful, she would normally go in the next time with better weaponry or some trick up her sleeve. Here she behaves as if she just wants to repeat the exact same circumstances and hopes for a better outcome this time - and it's also worse since it's not about being strong enough to beat Severin, it's about the fact that Severin drains superpowers from supernatural beings, so they were presenting him with a banquet when they appeared there ready to fight.

    I often get the impression that the current writers have a misconception about Buffy as a strong but dumb girl who only wins by hitting harder, which is very far from the truth as far as TV Buffy is concerned.
    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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