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Thread: Random Buffy Related Thoughts

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    Quote Originally Posted by flow View Post
    I was just reminded, when I read the review for As You Were on the BtVS rewatch thread that I always felt awkward when Riley (and later Spike in Touched) say to Buffy "You are a hell of a woman".

    i simply don`t like that idiom. It has a disrespectful ring to me. There is no exact translation into the German language and I don`t like the corresponding German idioms Google comes up with either.

    Can anyone explain to me, why this phrase is so wonderful it had actually to be used twice? Does anybody else not like it? What else could Riley and Spike have said that would have fit better?

    flow
    I don't think I have a problem with it. Do you feel like it's another "You're not like other girls" phrase?

    I do prefer Xander's "You're my hero" more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flow View Post
    I was just reminded, when I read the review for As You Were on the BtVS rewatch thread that I always felt awkward when Riley (and later Spike in Touched) say to Buffy "You are a hell of a woman".

    i simply don`t like that idiom. It has a disrespectful ring to me. There is no exact translation into the German language and I don`t like the corresponding German idioms Google comes up with either.

    Can anyone explain to me, why this phrase is so wonderful it had actually to be used twice? Does anybody else not like it? What else could Riley and Spike have said that would have fit better?

    flow
    'One hell of . . . ' is quite odd phrasing to describe someone who fights on the side of good. It's also quite ambiguous, as something really bad can be called 'one hell of . . . '. A more obvious phrasing would you 'You're an amazing woman'. Maybe that's what they were going for with Riley, although what he appears to be saying is something very positive, once you look closely, it could read as less positive and more ambiguous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by a thing of evil View Post
    I don't like it because, while it's portrayed as profound and deep, it's actually completely meaningless. It's like a pop song cliche. What does it even mean? What makes Buffy a hell of a woman? Couldn't you say that about most women on BtVS? Is Dawn not a hell of a woman? Anya? Willow? The phrase doesn't really say anything about Buffy.
    Personally, I think it's meant to be cliched - that's the point. The whole speech echoes what's been said before by other characters. If you look closely, there's a tape recorder on the chair next to Spike - referring us to to disembodied speech. All of Season 7 is about the limitations of language - the inadequacy and instability of the spoken word. That's why Touched is called Touched. It's about alternative ways of knowing and expressing, and using senses other than the ocular.

    It's interesting - on this occasion she's happy to hear an ambiguous metaphor but is aghast about this - which (as far as I'm aware) is a literal truth:

    Spike: "I've never been with such an animal". Buffy gives a little gasp, jerks her arm away. Spike looks surprised. "BUFFY: I'm not an animal".

    What does it even mean?
    Isn't that the question they ask in End of Days?

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    Buffy's reaction also bugs me because of the double standard. When vampires, demons and whatnot throw those ridiculous cliches at Buffy she always fires back with a funny, Buffy speak-y comeback. Modernist cliche meet postmodern irony, right? When Spike spews similar cliches she takes it at face value when she should be laughing him out of the crypt. It's really jarring, like Buffy's characterization is suspended when she interacts with Spike.

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    sosa Lola
    Do you feel like it's another "You're not like other girls" phrase?
    No, it actually sounds completely random and not special at all. A thing of evil has pretty much nailed why I felt awkward about it.

    In both scenes we see Buffy at a turning point in her life. Both times someone tells her something - well maybe not crazy important but at least something not not completely unimportant. Riley says, that life might squeeze you sometimes but you are still what you are. In Buffy`s case a hero. Spike says he love how she tries and that she should get her shit together and grab a scythe.

    And then both come up with this absolutely lame "hell of a woman"?

    Even "you are amazing" would have sounded weak compared to what was going on in both scenes but "hell of a woman" and Buffy just don`t work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sosa lola View Post
    I don't think I have a problem with it. Do you feel like it's another "You're not like other girls" phrase?

    I do prefer Xander's "You're my hero" more.
    I don't have problem with "a hell of a woman", too, I think I'm used to it; in Portuguese it has a complete different meaning though... a terrible, horrible woman.
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    Quote Originally Posted by a thing of evil View Post
    Buffy's reaction also bugs me because of the double standard. When vampires, demons and whatnot throw those ridiculous cliches at Buffy she always fires back with a funny, Buffy speak-y comeback. Modernist cliche meet postmodern irony, right? When Spike spews similar cliches she takes it at face value when she should be laughing him out of the crypt. It's really jarring, like Buffy's characterization is suspended when she interacts with Spike.
    She did same with Spike too when he was enemy or even unwilling ally. It's easy to ignore or ridicule people you don't care of. Now that she has feeling for him that's completely another story. It's not double standard, it's just a basic human nature. Only people you are close with could really hurt your feelings.

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    TriBel:
    Personally, I think it's meant to be cliched - that's the point. The whole speech echoes what's been said before by other characters. If you look closely, there's a tape recorder on the chair next to Spike - referring us to to disembodied speech. All of Season 7 is about the limitations of language - the inadequacy and instability of the spoken word. That's why Touched is called Touched. It's about alternative ways of knowing and expressing, and using senses other than the ocular.
    But why is he talking at all then?

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    Quote Originally Posted by flow View Post
    TriBel:

    But why is he talking at all then?

    flow
    Because he has to say something and if he started quoting Derrida (or any other post-structuralist) it would be really boring TV! Let's face it, a sentence like “Therefore we will not listen to the source itself in order to learn what it is or what it means, but rather to the turns of speech, the allegories, figures, metaphors, as you will, into which the source has deviated, in order to lose it or rediscover it" is hardly likely to instill in her the confidence to confront Caleb is it?

    Seriously, language might be flawed but it's still our main system of communication. However, this is a film - there's other signifying systems at work.

    That aside, a) Spuffy don't talk while they're on the bed but the other couples (Faith/Wood, Willow/Kennedy, Xander/Anya) do...in fact they only stop talking to have sex. Do I think this means something? Yes. Do I think there are meanings being conveyed outside of speech? Yes. Do I know what these meanings are? No* - but I'm in good company because neither do Buffy and Spike!

    *I can guess but I'd be as boring as Derrida.
    Last edited by TriBel; 09-08-18 at 01:24 PM.

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    I wouldn't have liked it if Spike had said something along the lines of "amazing", which is a bit more cliched in this context. What could he have said that would have been more fitting to a temporarily weakened Buffy? Like betta, I don't have a problem with "hell of a woman". (That it means "terrible" in Portuguese only furthers my point). There's something powerful/fierce about it - It's like saying she's a "storm" of a woman - the full spectrum of something that knocks you out and/or affects you powerfully. As opposed to a rainbows or flowers or the meaning of her surname, Summers, it's the opposite of the cliche: "You're like sunshine." (It does bother me that Riley's said it before though and it's the same words again - but the delivery does make a difference.)

    - - - Updated - - -

    eta: I agree with Priceless - the way it's first delivered by Riley sounds like it's meant to be a bland version of "you're amazing" in somewhat incongruence words, but in Touched I think it's meant to touch at something deeper (pun unintended.)
    Last edited by SpuffyGlitz; 10-08-18 at 06:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffyGlitz View Post
    I wouldn't have liked it if Spike had said something along the lines of "amazing", which is a bit more cliched in this context. What could he have said? Like betta, I don't have a problem with "hell of a woman". (That it means "terrible" in Portuguese only furthers my point). There's something powerful/fierce about it - It's like saying she's a "storm" of a woman - the full spectrum of something that knocks you out and/or affects you powerfully. As opposed to a rainbows or flowers or the meaning of her surname, Summers, it's the opposite of the cliche of something like: "You're like sunshine." (It does bother me that Riley's said it before though and it's the same words again.)
    It's also quite cliched, which is okay when Riley says it, because he isn't a wordsmith, he's a soldier and a man of action. But within Spike is the soul of a poet, and this is the best he can come up with? I understand he was presenting himself as the sort of 'man' he thought Buffy would want, so he echoes Riley's words. I wish Spike had said 'You're a storm, Buffy, your're a cyclone, a force of nature,' . . . but I guess whatever he says would be cliched. As TriBel says, Season 7 wasn't about language as such, but other forms of communication, so it wasn't about the words, but just about him being there in her most hopeless moments and offering what little comfort he could, which meant everything.

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    I just checked and it seems Rebecca Rand Kirshner wrote Touched, & also wrote Hell's Bells. Is it a coincidence the word 'hell' figures in the title of that earlier episode? LOL. Or maybe Joss wrote these scenes, who knows.
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    "Hell" means something different when Spike uses it because he's a demon and so - figuratively speaking - closer to it than heaven. "Hell" is his "space; heaven is hers. Look at what he says in After Life: SPIKE: "Well, I haven't been to a hell dimension just of late, but I do know a thing or two about torment". She then tells him she was in heaven. Touched is about dark. After Life is about light. In AL Buffy walks into the light and he can't follow. We then have a season consisting of Spike trying to persuade Buffy into the dark. Touched - I think - returns us to After Life* but - in a sense - inverts it. Look at the similarities and differences. In After Life she finds him outside in a place he shouldn't be. In Touched he finds her inside - in a place she shouldn't be. Both are driven to take refuge in that place by the Scoobies. In both scenes he goes to leave - in After Life she gives him permission to stay - in Touched she asks him to stay. At the end of each scene she leaves him on his own. In AL she forbids him to speak - in Touched, they don't speak and when they do try to speak (EoD) they can't say. In AL, she doesn't look at him; in Touched he not only directs her gaze but holds it. There's also a nice symmetry - AL is the third episode of S6 - Touched is the third from the end of S7. Could be coincidence but it's a really neat time fold.

    Look at her clothes in Touched - black vest, white transparent top, black/white pinstripe trousers. Look at the room - 6/7 light sources, none of them are lit. This is important because earlier in the episode light is equated with power and power with the bad guys. Unless my computer screen is really crap, the scene is lit with a key light on her. He's dressed in black - causing him to blend with the background - it looks as though he's drawing the darkness in. The room is lit to show the dark changing things (the objects on the bedside table take on different shapes). I'm suggesting the darkness is actually the "strength" he gives her. In the morning her black top looks darker (crap computer screen caveat may apply). He's a vampire - he's supposed to feed off her but - metaphorically speaking he's fed her. That's the mother's role - just as the unconditional love he gave her is the mother's love.

    What I'm trying to say (in a very roundabout way) is - I don't mind the use of the word hell because while it's a spoken cliche with negative associations, the visual changes the associations.

    Touched (IMO) sends feelers out (touches on) a number of episodes. For me, this is the episode that turns the whole of western philosophy on its head (which is why I sulked when it wasn't in the top three! ).
    Last edited by TriBel; 10-08-18 at 11:29 PM.

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    TriBel
    Touched is about dark. After Life is about light. In AL Buffy walks into the light and he can't follow. We then have a season consisting of Spike trying to persuade Buffy into the dark. Touched - I think - returns us to After Life* but - in a sense - inverts it. Look at the similarities and differences. In After Life she finds him outside in a place he shouldn't be. In Touched he finds her inside - in a place she shouldn't be. Both are driven to take refuge in that place by the Scoobies. In both scenes he goes to leave - in After Life she gives him permission to stay - in Touched she asks him to stay. At the end of each scene she leaves him on his own. In AL she forbids him to speak - in Touched, they don't speak and when they do try to speak (EoD) they can't say. In AL, she doesn't look at him; in Touched he not only directs her gaze but holds it. There's also a nice symmetry - AL is the third episode of S6 - Touched is the third from the end of S7. Could be coincidence but it's a really neat time fold.
    Look at her clothes in Touched - black vest, white transparent top, black/white pinstripe trousers. Look at the room - 6/7 light sources, none of them are lit. This is important because earlier in the episode light is equated with power and power with the bad guys. Unless my computer screen is really crap, the scene is lit with a key light on her. He's dressed in black - causing him to blend with the background - it looks as though he's drawing the darkness in. The room is lit to show the dark changing things (the objects on the bedside table take on different shapes). I'm suggesting the darkness is actually the "strength" he gives her. In the morning her black top looks darker (crap computer screen caveat may apply). He's a vampire - he's supposed to feed off her but - metaphorically speaking he's fed her. That's the mother's role - just as the unconditional love he gave her is the mother's love.
    What I'm trying to say (in a very roundabout way) is - I don't mind the use of the word hell because while it's a spoken cliche with negative associations, the visual changes the associations.
    Touched (IMO) sends feelers out (touches on) a number of episodes. For me, this is the episode that turns the whole of western philosophy on its head
    It won't let me give you reputation so I'll just state the obvious - what a spectacular reading of the scenes from AF and Touched!!! Whoa. This is just incredible.
    Last edited by SpuffyGlitz; 11-08-18 at 12:03 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffyGlitz View Post
    TriBel

    It won't let me give you reputation so I'll just state the obvious - what a spectacular reading of the scenes from AF and Touched!!! Whoa. This is just incredible.
    Too much time on my hands! The bit where he goes down on one knee...I actually spent a whole meeting drawing the dynamics figured by shot reverse shot and cuts in order to establish subject - object relations. In mitigation, it was a bloody boring meeting!

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    LOL! Totally worth doing though - because the symmetry you've shown is astounding. I'm crossing fingers you'll sign up at some point to do a review of Touched for a future S7 Rewatch
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffyGlitz View Post
    LOL! Totally worth doing though - because the symmetry you've shown is astounding. I'm crossing fingers you'll sign up at some point to do a review of Touched for a future S7 Rewatch
    My plan is to open up the sign up for the first pick of S7 reviews after the Seeing Red review has gone up, so probably back end of September. I'll put up notices on the rewatch thread before it happens so people can have a think about ones they might want to try to put themselves up for and be poised to try to grab. It's a first come first served basis. We start just choosing one each and then when that slows down opening up the option for a second choice. Repeat as needed to get them all filled up.

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    I personally like both "You're a hell of a woman", the one from Riley and the one from Spike. It did it job well and Buffy felt better about herself.
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    Had a lovely surprise today. A guy I work with knows I'm into the show, and he watched it back in the day, well he was clearing some stuff out of his house and presented me with a set of Buffy Top Trumps Cards! In a case! This made my day. He said he found them and instantly thought of me

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    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    Had a lovely surprise today. A guy I work with knows I'm into the show, and he watched it back in the day, well he was clearing some stuff out of his house and presented me with a set of Buffy Top Trumps Cards! In a case! This made my day. He said he found them and instantly thought of me
    Wow! That's awesome! The only thing I own from back in the day (and it isn't mine, it's my sister's) are posters of the cast from teen magazines. Though I do own the OMWF soundtrack and all the BtVS DVDs.
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