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Thread: The Guardian Says S4 is the Best Season

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    It's the same with Willow as well. Her relationship with Buffy and how they are moving past S6 plays its part in how Willow is responding to Buffy and Spike, on top of her history with Spike and Angel. There is so much past that comes into play in the current by the last season that I don't think they could or should need to have open conversations for a lot of this stuff any longer, but can leave it to the viewer to know the past and consider that against what they are seeing.
    What are you “seeing” though? You're inferring that you're seeing something and then inferring what that means but you don't actually see anything at all. You have to assume Willow is ok with Buffy/Spike because, well, there's no scene of her saying otherwise - but there's no scene of her showing she's ok with them either. There's nothing at all. Willow isn’t shown “responding” in any way to Buffy/Spike, which is my whole point. What you're doing is basing your interpretation off past seasons where the writers did bother to establish these things and then fanwanking them into an interpretation of S7 because the story itself completely fails to acknowledge it.

    I do think the relationship shifts in growing up matter a great deal and they would restrict how/when they would discuss these things. You just don't have the heartfelt conversations when you get older in my experience, pouring over ever angst and opening up all your feelings/insecurities out loud.
    Buffy is only 22 in S7. Leaving aside that I think plenty of 22 year olds do discuss their relationships with one another, the writer's didn't have to have Buffy/Willow gossiping like schoolgirls in order for them to establish how Willow feels about Buffy/Spike. Or what Xander's opinion of Kennedy is who has quite aggressively manoeuvred herself into not only his childhood friend's life but the gang as well. And, again, there's nothing heartfelt about addressing in the story what Xander and Willow's opinion is about Giles going behind Buffy's back to have one of their group members killed and now there's a huge chasm between Buffy and her father figure. There's nothing immature about addressing that - that's a hugely significant deal and it's not established at all if anyone else in the gang is even aware of it. That's not only shit writing from a character development standpoint but it's shit writing purely from a dramatic standpoint as well. Why wouldn't you address that and have it play out and actually give the characters something meaty to chew on?

    It would be interesting when we get to S7 in the rewatch to hear your thoughts on the different episodes as we go through the season to try and understand better where your issues are and if it is just a different pov and satisfaction in how the scoobie relationships and tone changed. I appreciate you might not want to rewatch, but brief episode specific thoughts would be interesting during if you have the time.
    It's not just the dynamics it's just the overall quality of the show. The dialogue loses a lot of it's wit and spark, there's a real lack of energy throughout the episodes, a lot of the actors seem to be phoning it in, in comparison to how vibrantly they used to play the characters (and I don't blame them given the quality of the scripts), the directing is really uninspired and basic, the cinematography and lighting is at times atrocious, and most importantly I think it just lacks heart. The first half of the season is much better but even then it's just trying to replicate the tone of the earlier seasons ("ah good times" - not as good as the first time around, sorry) but overall I think it's just very evident that everybody working on the series was burned out. And they've admitted as much so I don't really think I'm imagining it.
    "You've got ... a world of strength in your heart. I know you do. You just have to find it again. Believe in yourself."

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    What are you “seeing” though? You're inferring that you're seeing something and then inferring what that means but you don't actually see anything at all. You have to assume Willow is ok with Buffy/Spike because, well, there's no scene of her saying otherwise - but there's no scene of her showing she's ok with them either. There's nothing at all. Willow isn’t shown “responding” in any way to Buffy/Spike, which is my whole point. What you're doing is basing your interpretation off past seasons where the writers did bother to establish these things and then fanwanking them into an interpretation of S7 because the story itself completely fails to acknowledge it.
    When you have Dawn raising her concerns, Xander's uncertainty expressed when Buffy had Spike stay there, Robin and Giles outwardly anti and even plotting to kill him, Willow not saying or doing anything is a contrast which does speak of her acceptance of the situation. Yes, you don't hear her openly raise it with Buffy, but that doesn't stop it saying something when there are contrasts. I suppose I just think inferences that have a clear basis for existing aren't illegitimate.

    And I don't see why you can't legitimately use the current relationship development between Buffy/Willow to understand why there might be reticence from Willow to question Buffy over her relationship with Spike if she has no direct or immediate concerns. And using the past seasons developments to understand where she may be coming from too, her acceptance that Buffy will view him differently souled for example. These are developing characters, progressive stories and so understanding their histories constantly plays a part in analysing their current situations. We are given such great character depth because we know them and have watched them go through so much individually/together. With limited space/time I don't have any issues with the writing not having anything to say about Willow's reaction to Buffy/Spike and that being the indication that Willow is accepting of the situation. Assuming she has no concerns when she raises non, especially when others do, is just logical. The absence of something isn't absolutely nothing when there is contrast to view it against.

    So I understand there is no literal confirmation and I really do take your point that there isn't anything direct said with Willow. I don't remember the season well enough to know if there are scenes where we can see her response/reactions even if nothing is said, but I'll be looking out for it when I rewatch it next now. But basing an interpretation on contrasts given in the season, on the relationship dynamics of the season that are explored and on accepted truths of previous seasons is just employing all that we know about the characters. It gives an informed view, otherwise we'd never consider how Buffy's relationship with Angel affects her after he leaves unless it is raised, how the loss of Joyce does or how her death/resurrection are still affecting her in an ongoing sense, not unless they are raised again in the text. So yes, I get that without textual confirmation it is conjecture, but if it is based on established character history I don't think it is without merit. It is still using the text to inform your point of view.

    Buffy is only 22 in S7. Leaving aside that I think plenty of 22 year olds do discuss their relationships with one another, the writer's didn't have to have Buffy/Willow gossiping like schoolgirls in order for them to establish how Willow feels about Buffy/Spike. Or what Xander's opinion of Kennedy is who has quite aggressively manoeuvred herself into not only his childhood friend's life but the gang as well. And, again, there's nothing heartfelt about addressing in the story what Xander and Willow's opinion is about Giles going behind Buffy's back to have one of their group members killed and now there's a huge chasm between Buffy and her father figure. There's nothing immature about addressing that - that's a hugely significant deal and it's not established at all if anyone else in the gang is even aware of it. That's not only shit writing from a character development standpoint but it's shit writing purely from a dramatic standpoint as well. Why wouldn't you address that and have it play out and actually give the characters something meaty to chew on?
    Sorry, I wasn't trying to say that they wouldn't/won't discuss relationships any more because they are older (they do discuss them in the comics at points and of course it isn't weird that they do), but they aren't leaning on each other in the same way that they were when they were younger and this is particularly evident during S6/7. The balance of your romantic relationships taking greater prominence in your life over friendships is just something that I do see as a part of growing up. It doesn't happen for everyone of course and that isn't a sign of immaturity, it is completely dependant on whether you start to have more serious relationships which pull you away, how you choose to balance your life in where you invest your time and focus. Buffy and Willow, as the example in hand, are already going through a shift in the season after drawing apart a significant amount at the end of the previous season. They are somewhat uncertain around each other and this time of adjustment seems to go hand in hand with that kind of relationship/friendship development to me. It is just very relatable to me so perhaps I'm forgiving of things that others aren't.

    Again the lack of sight in how members of the group respond to other developments that occur, like Giles betrayal with Wood and Buffy's distancing from him, I see in a similar light to be honest and a natural fallout from the kind of distancing in friendships. It reflects in how you are then dealing with individual issues and seems natural to me. But I do appreciate that this does then lack a level of character exploration that would have been interesting to see and explore. My instinct is though that this is the kind of lack which plays into events getting more tense between the group members and contributes to a more serious schism as Buffy is pushed out and her leadership questioned.

    I do understand why the change between the scoobies and the shifting dynamics, the way they are seen to struggle connecting and how they aren't sharing their lives in the same way any longer bothers people who are fans of the core four. I also can understand why it was a disappointing direction for it to take for the final seasons of the show. To me it is all just logical and very relatable shifts and seeing the developments that are happening for them individually, knowing where they have come from in their recent experiences and relationships, explains it adequately. For many others it doesn't and they wanted those conversations. But those conversations would go against where I think they are currently at in their relationships and how they are developing and changing in those interpersonal balances. I just think it works really well as a continuation of them growing up and somewhat growing apart but in seeing how the underlying strength of the friendships has them muddle through it and manage to continue being friends. Even if there are rough patches. I don't need them to be talking about it specifically because we are watching the distance happen and what is drawing their attention/why. I feel that it is there, but I understand why it might not satisfy some people.

    It's not just the dynamics it's just the overall quality of the show. The dialogue loses a lot of it's wit and spark, there's a real lack of energy throughout the episodes, a lot of the actors seem to be phoning it in, in comparison to how vibrantly they used to play the characters (and I don't blame them given the quality of the scripts), the directing is really uninspired and basic, the cinematography and lighting is at times atrocious, and most importantly I think it just lacks heart. The first half of the season is much better but even then it's just trying to replicate the tone of the earlier seasons ("ah good times" - not as good as the first time around, sorry) but overall I think it's just very evident that everybody working on the series was burned out. And they've admitted as much so I don't really think I'm imagining it.
    And, to be honest, the quieter, flatter tone and 'burned out' vibe you're describing actually suits the changing tone of the characters and what they are facing. That they are affected by all the years they have been doing this, have gained experience of course but are perhaps having a harder time dealing with everything on their plates, increased responsibilities and pressures, or years of continuing pressure. Especially as they've drifted apart somewhat, the tonal shift just makes sense. It makes it all seem so much more real and genuine for me, again very relatable. I'd just have assumed it was deliberately a part of the direction and about the stage they are at in that continual greater journey of growing up.

    I am more than happy to concede that my focus being on Spike's arc may well mean that my view is coloured by not having ever watched the season looking as closely at the aspects that you will have. I'm very willing to reconsider my take on it as I have definitely gained every season of the rewatch by thinking about how others interpret the season/episodes/characters and I will specifically look and consider the other characters in S7, their interactions with each other and with Buffy when watching it next. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond and explain your point of view here. I do hope that you are able to find the time to join us in the rewatch but, if not, I'm sure we'll come together in similar circumstances to these on another thread in the future. When I've just rewatched and borne all that you've said in mind it's possible I may have a changed perspective on some of it then too.

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    There isn’t limited space or screen time. There’s the exact same amount of space and screen time the writers always had to create rich, complex, layered characters who actually interacted with one another, and had opinions, and who had significance to the story. They didn’t do that because, as Espenson admitted, a number of the writers had simply lost interest in characters – that’s the truth of it.

    In S4 I knew how Willow, Xander and Anya felt about the Initiative because the writers included a scene of them talking about the Initiative over a game of poker. I knew how Willow felt about Buffy/Riley because not only was there plentiful of scenes of Buffy and Willow discussing Riley, but there were actual scenes of Willow/Riley interacting completely independently from Buffy. I knew how Willow felt about Buffy’s involvement with Riley and the Initiative because the writers not only included scenes of Willow expressing her concerns to Buffy but also scenes of Willow discussing this with Tara and Giles or fretting over Buffy’s absence with Xander and Anya. This happened throughout a season where the characters were meant to be distanced from each other, by the way. Because back then the writers were still invested enough in all the characters to flesh them out regardless of whether they were interacting with Buffy or not. They were also still invested enough to make the distance between the characters an actual plot point of the story rather than something fans were meant to “infer” from the simple fact that the characters no longer really spoke or had any meaningful interactions with one another or, apparently, had any interest in what was happening in each other’s lives.

    I think you’re misunderstanding what the crux of my issues are. It’s not that the Scooby bond between the Core Four isn’t as prevalent as it once was. It’s that the characters are not given the individual depth and attention they once were and that the vast majority of the cast (including Dawn and Anya) no longer have meaningful interactions with one another or contributions to the story. In S1-S6 the writers bothered to develop relationships between the cast that had very little to do with Buffy at all (Willow/Anya’s contemptuous relationship, Xander/Angel’s mutual dislike, Dawn/Tara’s loving bond, Spike/Dawn’s friendship) but in S7 this is non-existent. The characters no longer feel real or three-dimensional. They exist solely to deliver exposition, or a snarky line, and then disappear back into the background until needed again. They don’t have their own storylines anymore, they don’t interact with one another like real people do, they’re not impacted by what’s happening in the group as people living under the same roof should be – arguably more than ever before. Scenes of the characters interacting and having their own storylines are replaced with scenes of speechifying, battle strategies and Potential Slayers with the show becoming more plot-driven than character-driven.

    And again, the writers admitted that they lost interest in most of the characters besides Buffy and Spike so I don’t see much point in defending the writing when they concede that a lot of the characters did get shafted

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    And, to be honest, the quieter, flatter tone and 'burned out' vibe you're describing actually suits the changing tone of the characters and what they are facing.
    It's not just the tone of the characters. It's the subpar dialogue, the unimaginative scripts filled with repetitious scenes of the characters standing around the Summers home, the lazy directing, the way the episodes just meander to their conclusion. Compare the endless string of S7 episodes where the characters do nothing but stand around the Summers house to the fantastic Wishverse, or the hellscape in Anne, or the epic Initiative set, and it’s clear how little effort was being put into the production values of the show. Think back to the abundance of sets in most seasons (S4 – the Initiative, Adam’s layer, Xander’s basement, UC Sunnydale’s lecture halls and diner, Giles’ apartment, Tara’s dorm room, Buffy and Willow’s dorm room, Riley’s bedroom, the fraternity house, Spike’s crypt, Harmony’s cave lair, the Summers house) and then how the characters barley shared a scene in S7 other than in the Summers house or Sunnydale High – it’s so lazy. Think about how Joss tested himself with epically long one-shots like the school scene in Anne, or the slow mo vampire sequence in Prophecy Girl, and then the boring by-the-numbers directing of S7’s latter episodes. Even Joss admitted how poor it was that they had Wood reveal his mother’s identify to Buffy over dinner and what a bland and lame storytelling decision that was. S7 is full of problems like that. I don’t think a watered down shell of what the show used to be really suits anything, to be honest. The first handful of episodes are better with some inspired cinematography and storylines but midway through (where the writers apparently started jumping ship) the creativity really noticeably wanes.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 05-02-18 at 02:01 AM.
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    I do think I get what you are saying but there are a lot of points you raise that are things that I don't tend to focus on or notice at all, particularly in relation to the sets/shots etc (this is why I need you to pop in to the rewatch when we get there ). I appreciate time/space isn't more limited than it has been, but they still are making choices and prioritising what they are doing. And, as I've said, I'm quite willing to accept that how strong Spike's arc across the season is may have greatly affected my perception of it as a whole. But there just are things about how Buffy and the others interact that I really connect to in the shifts and think are coherent progressions from what has come before. I just don't remember the season clearly enough to be convinced that it's lacking in all the ways that you are saying between the characters so much as that shift is part of what I think is so relatable. But I don't disagree that there was a definite reduction in the storylines for the other characters. I will definitely be considering all of this when I next rewatch the season.
    Last edited by Stoney; 05-02-18 at 05:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    The thing that makes BtVS such an outstanding series is that the hierarchical structure of greatness is pretty flat! So much of it is so very good. Even the weaker parts have some really strong merit within them.
    I definitely agree. Season 4 isn't one of the series' better seasons, but it's still an extremely good season of television. One of my favorite things about Buffy is how the show kind of reinvented itself with each season. Each season has its own "feel" or "tone" so that there's something for everyone to enjoy. If you watch the shows for the soap opera-esque but still sophisticated drama, there's Seasons 2 and 6. If you watch the show for the fun humor, there's Seasons 3 and 4. If you like epic, serialized storytelling, there's Season 5. And ALL of the seasons have those elements, some just emphasize it more than others. I'm sure you could make a reasonable argument for any season being the best one (except for 1 or 7). It really just depends on the viewer and their taste in television in terms of deciding which one is the best.

    Vampmogs, word to everything that you posted about the suckiness of Season 7, though. I agree 100%.

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    All caught up.

    All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.





    a thing of evil

    I can agree [that BtVS S4 is the best Seaosn of BtVS]. Season 4 is amazing. Look, it may not have the strongest main arc or the best big bad, it may not have "Innocence" or "Passion" or "The Body" ( it does have "Hush" and "Restless" though ) and it's not big on angst and drama either but what it does have is the sheer number of good™ episodes. Season 4 is front to back quality.
    I disagree that BtVS S4 “is front to back quality”. And all your arguments here point to your NOT agreeing that BtVS S4 is the best Season of BtVS.



    TimeTravellingBunny

    * BtVS S4 didn’t have “the weakest main storyline” of BtVS. I’d argue that was BtVS S1 in retrospect. Buffy had already dusted Lothos. Buffy already had her Watcher deferring to her and loving her. Buffy already had friends helping her in her Slayer duties. Buffy was already shown to want to remain popular but Slayer duties hindering that.

    BtVS S4 showed how desperate Buffy was to have a ‘normal’ boyfriend. It showed why the supernatural was needed to defeat the supernatural. It has Willow/Tara instead of Willow’s former unrequited love for Xander. And “Something Blue” (B 4.09) and “Who Are You?” (B 4.16) make more sense than “Angel” (B 1.07).

    and way too much comedy/light-heartedness even when it is out of place (especially obvious in S4's treatment of Spike).
    Meaning?



    Silver1

    * I wouldn’t say I love BtVS S4, but BtVS S4 is certainly better than most other Seasons of TV and even most other Seasons of ‘high-quality’ TV.

    _________________________________________

    Well I imagine you've hear the story that the actress who played Walsh wanted out of her contact early, and so the whole arc had to be hurriedly changed making Adam move forward as the main big bad.
    I haven’t heard of that.



    flow

    * Adam is a great Big Bad for BtVS S4 and is great in general and executed well. The problem is only that the ‘emotional connection’ is to Riley Finn.

    I’d argue Adam is a better Big Bad story-wise than both Wolfram & Hart and Jasmine.



    Stoney

    Four is certainly one of the weakest and has issues in structure and DB/SMG seriously lacking onscreen chemistry,
    Was that “DB” a typo or a Freudian slip?

    I don’t see any “issues in structure” in BtVS S4. Even the ‘separation’ of the Scoobies is well-structured.

    _________________________________________

    * Adam was harder to kill than Drusilla, Spike, and Angel (emotional attachment to the vampires aside), but Adam wasn’t actually more dangerous to humankind. Drusilla already in “I Only Have Eyes for You” (B 2.19) suggested that Angel eat a toddler. The Judge and Acathla were bigger threats than an ‘Adam army’.

    _________________________________________

    * Xander already in BtVS S4 in “Pangs” (B 4.08) is relatively more supportive of Spike than Xander is supportive of Angel. ALL the Scoobies supported Spike over Riley in “Goodbye Iowa” (B 4.14).


    * Willow’s been relatively supportive of Spike since either after “Lovers Walk” (B 3.08) or after “The Initiative” (B 4.07). I consider it telling that Willow in “First Date” (B 7.14) isn’t surprised that Buffy says Buffy was in love with Spike in BtVS S6.

    _________________________________________

    * The Buffy-Willow relationship is literally healed by the end of the “Same Time, Same Place” (B 7.03). If anything, the only problem in the relationship is Willow’s reluctance to do magic.



    Priceless

    * Maggie Walsh is a ‘normal’ human and Riley Finn was more loyal to Buffy than to Maggie. The idea of Walsh as Big Bad instead of Adam is sillier than the idea of Darla as Big Bad instead of the Master.

    I’ve always liked the idea of ‘if Sunday was a former Vampire Slayer’ and having Sunday as a Big Bad. But the Military vs. Magic is still more interesting. And we already knew Vampire Buffy was more powerful than Buffy.



    vampmogs

    * BtVS S7 was relatively boring when watching it originally on TV. When watching on DVD or ‘binging’, it’s much better and is a solid Season.

    The only bad things are no Buffy/Spike on-screen kissing and sex and Kennedy and Rona are annoying.


    * I count 7 great episodes of BtVS S7 and 6 great episodes of BtVS S4. And no BtVS S7 episode is as bad as “Beer Bad” (B 4.05) or “Where the Wild Things Are” (B 4.18).

    Only “Help” (B 7.04) and “Him” (B 7.06) are possibly ‘bad’ BtVS S7 episodes. BtVS S7 is more solid than BtVS S1, BtVS S2, and BtVS S4.


    * Willow and Xander are more pivotal in BtVS S7 than they are in BtVS S4. Arguably, so is Giles. Certainly Spike is.

    [In BtVS S4,] the show still had heart, the series was still pushing itself creatively, and the writers still had a lot to say [unlike in BtVS S7].
    There’s clearly a lot of ‘heart’ in BtVS S7, there’s “Conversations With Dead People” (B 7.07) and “Storyteller” (B 7.16)—both very ‘creative’ and the writers in BtVS S7 clearly “still had a lot to say”.

    S7 is just a pale imitation of what the show once was with uninspired scripts, painfully dull cinematography and direction,
    I don’t know what you mean about the cinematography and direction.


    * Buffy in BtVS S4 largely abandons her Scoobies in favor of Riley and the Initiative. And she exchanged Giles for Maggie Walsh as her mentor. Buffy in BtVS S7 never abandons her Scoobies.

    [In BtVS S7, there is] a myopic focus on just Buffy and Spike (and to a lesser extent Willow)
    You mean the 3 most popular characters in the Buffyverse? How is a focus on Buffy/Spike worse than a focus on Buffy/Riley? BtVS S4 essentially revolves around Buffy/Riley and the BtVS S4 Big Bad is connected to Riley, not anyone else. The BtVS S7 Big Bad is connected to literally all the characters in the Buffyverse.


    * BtVS S7 is the first time we get ANY flashbacks of Anya and is the first time she ‘gets an episode’. There is a lot of character focus on Spike, Willow, Andrew, Dawn, and even Xander. Arguably, there’s more “character focus” in BtVS S7 than there is in BtVS S4. Buffy’s focus throughout all the Seasons is her Slayer duties and romantic interests. And secondarily to that is always her career whether academic or jobs.


    * All “plot holes” in the TV Buffyverse are explainable.


    * Willow supports all of Buffy’s romantic choices. Xander supported Buffy/Spike sometime during or after “Him” (B 7.06). Xander comes up with the “Sleeper” theory regarding why Spike was killing. Xander clearly supports Buffy/Spike.


    * Buffy and Xander supported Willow/Kennedy. Xander’s never been enthusiastic about Willow’s romantic choices outside of Xander/Willow and Buffy only was excited about Willow/Oz.

    Did Xander and Willow even know that Giles betrayed Buffy in LMPTM and, if they did, what was their opinion about it?
    Pre-Season 10 (which I maintain cannot be canon), Willow and Xander aren’t shown being ‘close’ to Giles after “Lies My Parents Told Me” (B 7.17). Both would support Buffy and Buffy/Spike over Giles. If anything, both Willow and Xander after “LMPTM” are shown being closer to Spike than they are to Giles.

    What was Xander’s opinion of Robin Wood?
    After?

    Did Dawn change her opinion of Spike at all after threatening him in Beneath You?
    Dawn in “Get It Done” (B 7.15) went to see if Spike’s okay. And Dawn
    Spoiler:
    lost her virginity to someone who would likely remind her of Spike.



    * Dawn didn’t much like any of the Potentials Slayer.


    * The ‘group dynamic’ in BtVS S7 made sense because the power levels of the characters were so different than in prior Seasons.

    Imagine BtVS S3 if Angel had the power he did post-feeding on Buffy and if Willow had BtVS S7 Willow powers. And if the Scoobies had software and/or a website that provided all the information Giles used to regularly. And then add in that Buffy now has 2 dozen Potentials Slayer. Now add in that Buffy can have sex with Angel.

    Dawn is only useful because Buffy trained her in fighting skills and Dawn became a mini-Watcher.

    In S3 I could tell you exactly what Xander, Willow, Cordy, Oz, Giles and Joyce thought about Buffy/Angel. Heck, I could even tell you what Faith and The Mayor thought about Buffy/Angel.
    We’re comparing BtVS S4 to other Seasons. I don’t know many who consider BtVS S7 is certainly better than BtVS S3.

    But sans-Giles, the Scoobies showed MORE support of Buffy/Spike in BtVS S7 than they showed support of Buffy/Angel in BtVS S3.


    * Tara was never antagonistic toward Buffy and Tara never seemed to want to and try to take the leadership position from Buffy. And Willow was clearly more in love with Tara than Willow was with Kennedy. So, the Scoobies weren’t as invested with Kennedy as they were with Tara.


    * How exactly do the Scoobies feel about each other in BtVS S4?

    This post: http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/sh...l=1#post713807 doesn’t much detail or explain why you consider BtVS S4 is better than BtVS S7 other than somehow you consider “A New Moon Rising” and “Who Are You?” are each better than any BtVS S7 episode. I wonder if you even know the episode number of those 2 episodes.

    _________________________________________

    * BtVS S2 doesn’t largely revolve around Angel. Even Uncursed Angel revolves around Angel’s relationships with Buffy, Spike, Drusilla, and the various Scoobies.

    Back on the actual topic, BtVS S4 largely revolves around Riley Finn.

    It's not a coincidence that by in large, S7's only real defenders are Spike/Spuffy-centric fans and that's because overall they're the only fans that got something worthwhile out of the season.
    You know who is in BtVS S2? Spike and Drusilla. BtVS S3? Faith Lehane. BtVS S5? Spike.

    BtVS S7 made Buffy/Spike ‘above’ and superior to Buffy/Angel. BtVS S6 made Buffy/Spike ‘canon’, but BtVS S7 really started the ‘Spike is Buffy’s true love’ thing.

    Again, BtVS S2 has 10/22 great episodes and those all include Spike and Drusilla.

    Who defends BtVS S4? Not even really you in these posts, as you focus on your apparent dislike of BtVS S7.


    * What’s bad about the sets and acting in BtVS S7? You consider the sets and acting worse than the sets and acting in BtVS S1? All the actors got better as the Seasons went on.

    _________________________________________

    * Willow from “Same Time, Same Place” (B 7.03) on shows she supports Buffy/Spike in BtVS S7. The only time she possibly doesn’t is when Buffy is on her date with Principal Robin Wood.

    How is Willow in “The Killer in Me” (B 7.13) and in “Lies My Parents Told Me” (B 7.17) not “responding” to Buffy/Spike?


    * I wonder if you consider the acting and chemistry between Sarah Michelle Gellar and James Marsters in BtVS S7 is better than the acting and chemistry between SMG and Marc Blucas in BtVS S4.

    This post: http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/sh...l=1#post713856 doesn’t mention BtVS S4 once.

    _________________________________________

    * The Scoobies sans-Buffy were concerned about the Initiative. Buffy herself only supported the Initiative because of Buffy/Riley.

    And Riley Finn is a new character in BtVS S4.

    By BtVS S7, the Scoobies have interacted with Spike for around 5 years. They’ve known about Buffy/Spike for months to years depending.

    And, BTW, I’m not sure Giles ever really accepted Buffy/Riley. And Xander wasn’t buddies with Riley until BtVS S5. And Willow more supported Buffy/Spike than Willow supported Buffy/Riley and Willow much more supported Spike than Willow supported Riley. I don’t recall a single thing Willow did for Riley, risked for Riley, sacrificed for Riley, etc.


    * Dawn had much more “contribution to the story” in BtVS S7 than she did in BtVS S6. And so did Anya. Anya’s biggest contribution in BtVS S6 is having sex with Spike and what that led to.

    In S1-S6 the writers bothered to develop relationships between the cast that had very little to do with Buffy at all (Willow/Anya’s contemptuous relationship, Xander/Angel’s mutual dislike, Dawn/Tara’s loving bond, Spike/Dawn’s friendship)
    Anya only interacts with the Scoobies because of Buffy. Willow and Xander only even know the name “Angel” because of Buffy. The Key was made into Dawn because of Buffy. Willow only meets Tara because of Buffy. Willow-Anya, Xander-Angel, Dawn-Tara, and Spike-Dawn are all because of Buffy.


    * Drew Goddard clearly was interested in Faith. Jane Espenson was clearly interested in Andrew. There’s a lot of interest in Willow. And Dawn becomes a Scooby in BtVS S7.

    And one writer maybe saying something doesn’t equate to all “the writers”.


    * Finally, “time” is more limited in BtVS S7 than in the early Seasons given the runtimes of the episodes are shorter.



    Sosa lola

    * Xander hasn’t been relatively important to the Buffyverse since BtVS S3. His main importance was Anya’s joining the Scoobies.

    And Andrew Wells is more useful than Xander.

    In ways, if Dracula joined the Scoobies in BtVS S5, Xander could have been killed off and Anya would simply be with Dracula again.

    Xander fans should simply be happy that somehow Anthony Stewart Head was no longer a regular instead of Nicholas Brendan. Giles had fans and was a popular character.


    * Buffy/Spike post-AR and post-Spike’s re-ensoulment needed time and it was done well (outside of the no on-screen kissing and sex). Xander finally got a permanent injury. Other than how that affected Buffy and Willow, it wasn’t important.


    * The other characters in BtVS S7 had clear regards for Spike and Buffy/Spike. Relatively, the characters are more involved than they were with Uncursed Angel.

    _________________________________________

    * I’d argue that Dawn’s storyline in BtVS S7 allowed for Michelle Trachtenberg’s post-BtVS S7 career.

    Willow clearly got a lot of focus in BtVS S7.

    Buffy clearly got a lot of focus in BtVS S7.

    The only character who gets ‘short-changed’ is Giles. And BtVS S8 is the first time we get a good reason for Giles’s fervent anti-Buffy/Spike stance.

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    * Maggie Walsh is a ‘normal’ human and Riley Finn was more loyal to Buffy than to Maggie. The idea of Walsh as Big Bad instead of Adam is sillier than the idea of Darla as Big Bad instead of the Master.
    Maggie Walsh is a normal human, but she is the leader of a techno-military organisation. She is incredibly powerful with a lot of resources at her fingertips. She is the leader of a militia, which she runs as her own personal army. I would have loved to see Buffy and her go head to head.

    I don't see Darla being a Big Bad as funny at all. I think she was great on Angel and could have been just as good on BtvS, although her past is more suited to be on AtS.

    I’ve always liked the idea of ‘if Sunday was a former Vampire Slayer’ and having Sunday as a Big Bad. But the Military vs. Magic is still more interesting. And we already knew Vampire Buffy was more powerful than Buffy.
    A lot of people love Sunday and would have liked to see more of her. I'm not one of them. She's just a snarky vamp and the show has those already.

    I'm not sure what you mean by Vamp!Buffy being more powerful than Buffy. Have we ever seen a realistic Vamp!Buffy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeB View Post
    Was that “DB” a typo or a Freudian slip?
    A typo. I meant MB/SMG.

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    @vampmogs -Season 7 episode list:

    Lessons - Buffy, Xander & Dawn
    Beneath You - Buffy, Xander, Anya Spike
    Same Time, Same Place - Willow episode - Buffy, Willow, Xander
    Help - Buffy, Dawn
    Selfless - Anya episode
    Him - Buffy, Dawn
    Conversations with Dead People - Buffy, Dawn, Willow
    Sleeper - Spike, Buffy
    Never Leave Me - Andrew, Willow, Anya, Xander, Buffy, Spike
    Bring on the Night - Buffy, Xander, Anya, Giles, Willow, potentials
    Showtime - Buffy, Xander, Potentials, Anya, Giles, Spike
    Potential - Dawn, Amanda, Potentials, Xander
    The Killer in Me - Willow/Kennedy, Spike, Buffy
    First Date - Buffy, Robin, Xander
    Get It Done - Buffy, Wood, Anya, Giles, Willow
    Storyteller - Andrew episode - Buffy, Andrew
    Lies My Parents Told Me - Buffy, Giles, Spike, Wood
    Dirty Girls - Faith, Caleb, Buffy, Wood, Xander
    Empty Places - ensemble kicking out Buffy, Andrew, Spike
    Touched - Faith, Giles, Wood, Dawn, Spike, Buffy
    End of Days - Xander, Dawn, Buffy, Potentials
    Chosen - ensemble & Angel

    Check it out and you see that in at least half the episodes Spike's role is fairly minor. The season starts with a strong Buffy and Xander presence. Spike has one episode where he has a real role (Beneath You) and then he's a pretty minor character until Sleeper. Willow has a few episodes that focus on her - and her magic arc. Anya has a larger role this season. Andrew, Wood, Caleb and the potentials take up a lot of time.

    Xander's role is smaller because NB was having serious drinking issues. We can see from later events that he is not an agreeable drunk. The interesting thing with NB is he used to be a beer drinker, and you can see as each season progresses how bloated he becomes, and how his role gets smaller. He has talked of bringing 12 packs to the set and drinking them on his own in a day - and as soon as the show was over he announced he was going into rehab. That's why his role was so much smaller each season. At the beginning of season 7 it was Xander & Buffy. Then Willow was added to the mix. I wasn't until about 1/3 of the way through the season that Spike became much more than a small scene here and there, and you can see Xander's role getting smaller as the season goes on.

    I think there is a fandom complaint that season 7 is all Spike and Buffy but I seriously believe the real issue is how much time gets sucked up by the potentials, Andrew, Wood, and Caleb. Willow's arc is actually pretty strong, except for the universal loathing toward Kennedy.

    Season 4 starts out well, IMO. But then we get Veruca, Beer Bad, Adam, and Riley going downhill. The short Faith arc is great, and there are some excellent episodes but it is in now way the best. I put it slightly above season one. If Walsh had stayed it would be ranked higher but Adam was more of an annoyance than a villain.
    Bottom line is, even if you see them coming, you're not ready for the big moments...The big moments are gonna come, you can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bespangled View Post
    Check it out and you see that in at least half the episodes Spike's role is fairly minor. The season starts with a strong Buffy and Xander presence. Spike has one episode where he has a real role (Beneath You) and then he's a pretty minor character until Sleeper. Willow has a few episodes that focus on her - and her magic arc. Anya has a larger role this season. Andrew, Wood, Caleb and the potentials take up a lot of time.
    I think people mix up between screen time/lines and arcs. When a character has an arc, the character's presence is much more pronounced than a character who appears a lot on the screen just to say a few jokes or statements.

    Let's take Spike and Anya for example:

    Anya's arc is dealing with her growing sense of humanity and detachment from vengeance. We get a clear sense of that in Beneath You and Same Time, Same Place (She doesn't appear in Help), and then her big episode Selfless resolves this. Anya's arc is done with a minor hiccup that's not dealt with which is finding her place in life. She spends the rest of the season throwing snide remarks at Buffy, Xander and anyone who does not please her. Begs Spike for sex in a couple of scenes. Then suddenly in End of Days discovers she actually likes humans.

    Spike has several arcs this season:

    1) The soul.
    2) Rebuilding his relationship with Buffy.
    3) The trigger.
    4) His past with Nikki and Wood and his unresolved issues with his mother.

    Anya's arc:

    1) Abandoning vengeance for humanity.

    Spike is a huge part of three characters' arcs and without him, they lose so much of their story: Buffy, Wood and Giles.

    Anya isn't really a huge part of any character's arc except for minor relationship stuff with Xander, but if Anya died in Selfless, it won't really affect the rest of the season.

    But if Spike died in Selfless, so much of S7 would be different.

    Spike and Spuffy were the best thing that came out of S7, IMO. You can just tell how much care and love was given to Spike's story. I can't say the same about Willow. There was so much to tackle about Willow's character, but it was either mishandled or wasn't given enough attention and care. Basically after Get It Done, Willow fades into the background until Chosen. (I do like Xander's role in S7, even if his role was very quiet and passive, I like what I saw. Dawn's maturity was also something I enjoyed in S7)
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    Nitpick - CWDP had 4 main storylines. The focused on characters were - Buffy, Willow, Dawn, Andrew and Jonathan.
    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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    @Sosa lola - I think it's a bit disingenuous to compare Anya's arc to Spike's considering that Anya was never a major character. Her character has always been reactive rather than proactive. Sadly, the one character who could have filled the role of wise woman had long ago been reduced to orgasm jokes and much needed sarcasm.

    Willow going to LA to resoul Angel, then bringing back Faith is fairly major. If I didn't loathe Kennedy, I'd feel better about her finding someone to love, and her struggle to trust her own control of her power leads her from led her from being unable to control her Marcy syndrome to being able to channel the power of the scythe to empower all the potentials. Her arc affects everyone in the series -as you said it's not a matter of screen time and lines. I think what we miss from her is the Tillow time - which was tender and sweet. Tara - like Anya - was there for the purpose of humanizing Willow. Without her presence we lose a whole dimension of Willow, and Kennedy is not a replacement in any way. Overall Willow is as important as Buffy and/or Spike. There would be absolutely no reason for the entire potential arc without her.

    Buffy and Willow have the strongest arcs, I would say. Spike's arc is pretty much reactive - and it centers around Buffy. This is the only relationship arc left that started in earlier seasons so it does have a huge impact compared to Killow. The second tier of series regulars would be Giles who was only there for about half the episodes, Anya, Faith, and Xander. The fact is that both Robin Wood and Andrew have better story arcs than any of them - and we just don't have the emotional investment in either of those two.

    Overall the main thing that Spuffy has going for it is that it's the only arc with two characters that has roots in earlier seasons. The emotional investment is there - which makes the relationship story larger than the sum of it's parts. Spike's character exists - on a story level - mainly to give Buffy a source of unquestioned support even when the others turn against her. Everything he does - from getting a soul to wearing the amulet - is all based around Buffy's need.
    Bottom line is, even if you see them coming, you're not ready for the big moments...The big moments are gonna come, you can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bespangled View Post
    @Sosa lola - I think it's a bit disingenuous to compare Anya's arc to Spike's considering that Anya was never a major character. Her character has always been reactive rather than proactive. Sadly, the one character who could have filled the role of wise woman had long ago been reduced to orgasm jokes and much needed sarcasm.
    I will forever lament the wasted opportunity that is Anya Jenkins!

    Quote Originally Posted by bespangled View Post
    Willow going to LA to resoul Angel, then bringing back Faith is fairly major.
    But all the Willow goodness was on AtS. It wasn't in BtVS. So those who don't watch AtS will miss it. It's so sad that there was more of Willow's charm and charisma in one episode on another show.


    Quote Originally Posted by bespangled View Post
    If I didn't loathe Kennedy, I'd feel better about her finding someone to love, and her struggle to trust her own control of her power leads her from led her from being unable to control her Marcy syndrome to being able to channel the power of the scythe to empower all the potentials. Her arc affects everyone in the series -as you said it's not a matter of screen time and lines. I think what we miss from her is the Tillow time - which was tender and sweet. Tara - like Anya - was there for the purpose of humanizing Willow. Without her presence we lose a whole dimension of Willow, and Kennedy is not a replacement in any way. Overall Willow is as important as Buffy and/or Spike. There would be absolutely no reason for the entire potential arc without her.
    I don't think Willow needs a love interest, just more focus on her POV and where she's at. I would have liked if Dawn kept her uncertainty about Willow and her quick return to Sunnydale, and have Willow try to earn Dawn's trust back, and then have Dawn be the one there for Willow in The Killer in Me. I understand why Joss needed Willow to have a female love interest after the uproar fans made after killing the lesbian lover, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by bespangled View Post
    Buffy and Willow have the strongest arcs, I would say. Spike's arc is pretty much reactive - and it centers around Buffy.
    I guess we're agree to disagree about this. I didn't find Willow's arc strong in S7 at all. I also don't find Spike's arc reactive. The stuff with Wood/the trigger/his issues with his mother are all Spike. They had nothing to do with Buffy.
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    I also don't find Spike's arc reactive. The stuff with Wood/the trigger/his issues with his mother are all Spike. They had nothing to do with Buffy.
    And that a problem because?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver1 View Post
    And that a problem because?
    I didn't say it was a problem. I commented earlier that Spike's arc in S7 was the best thing about the season. I was just replying to bespangled's argument that Spike's arc centers around Buffy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sosa lola View Post
    I didn't find Willow's arc strong in S7 at all. I also don't find Spike's arc reactive. The stuff with Wood/the trigger/his issues with his mother are all Spike. They had nothing to do with Buffy.
    I think Willow's arc continuation was there in S7 but I struggled to connect with it/her somewhat, compared to her journey S1-6. I'm not sure how much of that was about Kennedy for me or just where/how she appeared. I like the idea of having used Dawn with her and really liked the Willow/Buffy in STSP, so it isn't an overall dislike on my part. I'd possibly agree with saying it wasn't strong, even though I didn't think it was absent. I'm going to closely consider how/where I think the Scoobies get time in S7 when we get to it in the rewatch, having heard criticisms about it quite a few times.

    I also totally agree with you about Spike. For me he has the strongest arc across the whole show, for him personally, and it is what I love most about the show/character. Yes it is greatly entwined with the progressive development of the relationship with Buffy and the Spuffy development is one of the strongest parts of S7, absolutely no doubt. But I adore how coherent Spike's whole arc through the series is from the backstory he was given in FFL, S2 through to his sacrifice in Chosen, so it's very much about 'him' for me too.
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    I will forever lament the wasted opportunity that is Anya Jenkins!
    Oh, Sosa speaketh serious wisdom!

    But all the Willow goodness was on AtS. It wasn't in BtVS. So those who don't watch AtS will miss it. It's so sad that there was more of Willow's charm and charisma in one episode on another show.
    I'd say a lot of it was on BTVS - it simply lacked emotional impact. She had the arc, the dialogue and scenes - but none of it mattered because there was no reason to care.


    I don't think Willow needs a love interest, just more focus on her POV and where she's at. I would have liked if Dawn kept her uncertainty about Willow and her quick return to Sunnydale, and have Willow try to earn Dawn's trust back, and then have Dawn be the one there for Willow in The Killer in Me. I understand why Joss needed Willow to have a female love interest after the uproar fans made after killing the lesbian lover, though.
    But a love interest of some sort is what humanizes a character and gives the viewer a reason to care. This doesn't have to be a romantic love interest. In fact, part of the reason that the Kennedy pairing doesn't work is Kennedy's flaws are kinda surface spoiled brat flaws. There's no vulnerability. A potential who really needed her help in some way would have given her the kind of story line that would make me care.

    I guess we're agree to disagree about this. I didn't find Willow's arc strong in S7 at all. I also don't find Spike's arc reactive. The stuff with Wood/the trigger/his issues with his mother are all Spike. They had nothing to do with Buffy.
    I think we're agreeing but I'm trying to figure out why. Willow's arc has everything a good season arc should have. The problem is that Spike and Buffy have each other to lose - which gives emotional vulnerability. Willow has less on the line. There's the big apocalypse (yawn) and...I just don't give a damn if Kennedy dies, and I don't buy that Willow is in love with her.

    Now - give Willow a Chloe instead of Kennedy, and have her fight to save her. It would make a huge difference in the threat level of the First. It would make for a vulnerable Willow with someone to lose - a callback to losing Tara.

    As for the Spike & Wood interaction, Buffy is actually at the center of that. Wood is actively siding with the First in order to betray Buffy.
    Bottom line is, even if you see them coming, you're not ready for the big moments...The big moments are gonna come, you can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are.

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    vampmogs:
    In S4 I knew how Willow, Xander and Anya felt about the Initiative because the writers included a scene of them talking about the Initiative over a game of poker. I knew how Willow felt about Buffy/Riley because not only was there plentiful of scenes of Buffy and Willow discussing Riley, but there were actual scenes of Willow/Riley interacting completely independently from Buffy. I knew how Willow felt about Buffy’s involvement with Riley and the Initiative because the writers not only included scenes of Willow expressing her concerns to Buffy but also scenes of Willow discussing this with Tara and Giles or fretting over Buffy’s absence with Xander and Anya. This happened throughout a season where the characters were meant to be distanced from each other, by the way. Because back then the writers were still invested enough in all the characters to flesh them out regardless of whether they were interacting with Buffy or not. They were also still invested enough to make the distance between the characters an actual plot point of the story rather than something fans were meant to “infer” from the simple fact that the characters no longer really spoke or had any meaningful interactions with one another or, apparently, had any interest in what was happening in each other’s lives.
    I don`t know, how Buffy feels about Anya having been a vengeance demon - and having hurt or killed people - for a thousand years, because she never expresses her feelings about that apart from being rather cold and distant towards Anya, which could also be due to the fact, she doesn`t like Anya`s haircut or her taste in music. Heck, I don`t even know, how Xander feels about that.

    I don`t know, how Joyce felt about the very matter-of-fact way Giles acted towards her after having had sex with her on a police car. They never interact again. They never talk to others about it.

    I know, how Willow and Xander feel about Buffy running away at the end of season 2 because they express their feelings loud and clearly. But I don`t know, how Buffy feels about the fact, that Willow tells her to kick Angel`s ass and then re-souls him behind Buffy`s back just before Buffy has to kill him. Mind you, that is not, what happened, because Willow had never said to kick his ass but had instead informed Buffy about a second attempt at the soul spell. We know that, because we saw it. But Buffy doesn`t know that. In her eyes she has been betrayed by Willow and it never gets adressed (well only very shortly in season 7)

    I don`t know, how Buffy feels about having been betrayed by Giles in Helpless. She never adresses this as well and he doesn`t either. They never talk about it. He is her father figure and he drugged her to be slaughtered by a vampire. And that happened within a week or so after she had been betrayed by her own mother, who set her up for a witch trial including the inevitable burning.

    I know, that Joyce was acting under a spell. I can understand that Buffy forgave her, because Joyce wasn`t responsible. But that doesn`t necessarily mean, it had no emotional impact whatsoever on Buffy. Am I meant to "infer" the emotional aftermath Buffy went through, because the writers weren`t interested enough in fleshing out the character?

    Your points regarding the flaws of season 7 are all valid. I am just saying, that we have had the same issued in earlier seasons as well. It`s nothing that happened in season 7 for the first time.


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