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Thread: Joss Whedon Interview

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    Stoney, she’s asking “variations of the same questions” and then never learning from it, never progressing. The story has simply reset itself at the start of every season, with the same mission statement, same questions, and nothing changes. I’m every season of the TV series Buffy evolved - both as a person and within her life (the show started with her as a young 16 year old girl and ended with as a 22 year old single parent. She went through high school, college, bad jobs, good jobs, her first love, her rebound, a bad relationship, depression etc) but from Season 9-12 nothing has changed. They always put her back to where she started with the same inane conversations. It’s so similar that people actually thought the characters must be stuck in some kind of time loop because the dialogue and conversations really were so repetitive.

    Every season of the show was so distinct and had its own themes and mission statements. It’s partially why they are so polarising because no season is the same. You wouldn’t be able to tell Season 9-12 apart if it had been televised. I was actually willing to give them the benefit of the doubt at the start of Season 9 when they first said it was about being in your mid-twenties and finally figuring out what you’re going to do with your life. People called them out for how similar it sounded to what Whedon said about Season 6 but if I squinted hard I could see a difference and thought it might be worth exploring. But they’ve said the same thing over and over again now. It’s obvious they simply either don’t know where to take her or have no interest in having her progress past this point.
    - "The earth is doomed" -


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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    What I found most interesting was that the four issues doesn't seem to have been his choice. So why four issues. Is it just what could be fitted in before some legal shifts start or some such??
    It's probably because of how much time they had before FOX took the rights back.They probably only had enough time for four issues before Dark Horse lost the rights.That news came so suddenly to Joss that he only had these four issues to scrape together an end game story.

    Remember back in a Q/A with Scott Allie in October of 2012(middle of season 9),Scott said he had begun discussing with Joss about a end to Buffy's story

    http://slayalive.com/showthread.php/...fy-Season-9-14

    12. Bamph: The second question I wanted to ask is something that I've been thinking about lately with you guys now starting to develop Season 10. It's more related to general storytelling than Buffyverse comics in particular, but it is also a matter of finding a compromise between the serialized media and what's best for the story. Basically my question is, is it even feasible to ever expect any ending to Buffy's story as a character - i.e. as a young woman once destined to fight vampires and forces of darkness who is now in her twenties stumbling around trying to find her place in the brave new world of zompires and the loss of magic? An ending that might be semi-happy, glorious or tragic but an ending nonetheless. For example, Hellboy has an end point planned. And I don't necessarly mean the entire universe since there is always stuff like Fray, Tales and other potential things to branch off to in the Buffyverse. I mean for the character of Buffy herself. Do you think it is even plausible with Buffy or do you think that once transferred to comics Buffy has become more of a symbol like traditional epic superhero figures such as Superman, Batman or Spider-Man that will continue into Seasons 11, 12 and beyond of comics, eternally steadfast and eternally nursing that pouty heart of hers?

    Scott: I like stories that end, so I'm in favor of someday ending it. As you mention, we know how Hellboy ends, though it's still a ways off. We don't know how Buffy's story ends, but Joss and I have talked very loosely about the merit of letting it one day end. I don't know where she needs to be for that to happen, and I don't think Joss does either. But it's out there.


    Joss probably had developed a loose idea that he would be dealing with the Fray factor and what was teased there as part of Buffy's endpoint but again,this Dark Horse situation with them having their rights pulled by FOX has forced him to tell this story now in a very rushed way unfortuantly.

    That's why I really wish in retrospect,they would of had more notice and had done this story for season 11 instead of the season 11 we got.Season 11 was twelve issues,which would of been much more fitting then the four this is getting now.I wish we could of used those twelve issues for this.Even though I liked season 11 of Buffy apart from the spuffy(and hated Angel season 11),I think those stories aren't as important as this season 12 story and would sacrifice those in order for the end game story to have gotten the proper time and length.
    Last edited by BAF; 16-08-18 at 03:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BAF View Post

    That's why I really wish in retrospect,they would of had more notice and had done this story for season 11 instead of the season 11 we got.Season 11 was twelve issues,which would of been much more fitting then the four this is getting now.I wish we could of used those twelve issues for this.Even though I liked season 11 of Buffy apart from the spuffy(and hated Angel season 11),I think those stories aren't as important as this season 12 story and would sacrifice those in order for the end game story to have gotten the proper time and length.
    If they had had 12 issues, they'd have wasted them. All they have is 4 in S12 and they're wasting time with explaining jokes and meaningless fight scenes. I'm all for more story if they have something to fill it with it, but time and time again they've shown they don't or more accurately have no interest in doing that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffyGlitz View Post
    Argh. Nothing in that interview sounds promising. Maybe that's deliberate...He's really not saying much ...he's either really sadistic/ playing games or he has some misguided ideas. Either way, every panel of S12 clearly is meant to be read as containing more meaning than on the surface.

    What do people make of this passage:
    "Yeah, that is the question*. That’s the eternal question with her. Where does she fit into this world? Is she ever going to follow a pattern as most people do, or is she going to live a life that doesn’t really pan out for someone into middle age? We’re not looking to answer the question, but we are looking to say “Here’s where she is now.” It will be the conclusion she’s come to that can give her some kind of understanding to say “I know who I am now.”
    That’s the eternal question with her. Where does she fit into this world?
    But I'd suggest it's the eternal question for most people - unless they're white, straight, middle-class, middle-aged men with the power to create the world in their own image.

    We’re not looking to answer the question
    And that's because he/they can't. I honestly believe that Whedon had an over-simplistic notion of feminism at the beginning of BtVS (which is why I read the "hot-chicks with super-powers" as a tragic/comedy remark). I think that as the seasons progressed his ideas became more complex (this is why we have S6/7). Freud couldn't answer it - "The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is 'What does a woman want?'"...I don't anticipate Whedon doing so.

    I found this on Psychology today (it's not how I'd have framed it but it's less boring):

    "At the end of the day, the accumulating evidence appears to reveal a paradoxical element at the core of female desire, a tension between two conflicting motives. On the one hand is the desire for stability, intimacy, and security—picture the flame on the burner of a gas stove: controlled, utilitarian, domesticated, and good for making dinner. On the other hand is the need to feel totally, uncontrollably desired, the object of raw, primal lust—a house on fire". I thought the closest we got to this was S11.

    I'd actually go along with this - it's not much different than Whedon's "Is she ever going to follow a pattern as most people do, or is she going to live a life that doesn’t really pan out for someone into middle age?" I think he's stuck in a paradox that can't be reconciled. How do you say what a woman could be in the future without diminishing what she is now and in the past?

    we are looking to say “Here’s where she is now.”
    So still ON the journey then? The journey that wasn't continuing?

    It will be the conclusion she’s come to that can give her some kind of understanding to say “I know who I am now.”
    Colour me stupid but surely "knowing" requires more than "some" understanding?

    *Is he deliberately quoting Hamlet? If so, I think the odds of him delivering something that please everyone stands as much chance as this:


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    Quote Originally Posted by TriBel View Post
    But I'd suggest it's the eternal question for most people - unless they're white, straight, middle-class, middle-aged men with the power to create the world in their own image.



    And that's because he/they can't. I honestly believe that Whedon had an over-simplistic notion of feminism at the beginning of BtVS (which is why I read the "hot-chicks with super-powers" as a tragic/comedy remark). I think that as the seasons progressed his ideas became more complex (this is why we have S6/7). Freud couldn't answer it - "The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is 'What does a woman want?'"...I don't anticipate Whedon doing so.

    I found this on Psychology today (it's not how I'd have framed it but it's less boring):

    "At the end of the day, the accumulating evidence appears to reveal a paradoxical element at the core of female desire, a tension between two conflicting motives. On the one hand is the desire for stability, intimacy, and security—picture the flame on the burner of a gas stove: controlled, utilitarian, domesticated, and good for making dinner. On the other hand is the need to feel totally, uncontrollably desired, the object of raw, primal lust—a house on fire". I thought the closest we got to this was S11.

    I'd actually go along with this - it's not much different than Whedon's "Is she ever going to follow a pattern as most people do, or is she going to live a life that doesn’t really pan out for someone into middle age?" I think he's stuck in a paradox that can't be reconciled. How do you say what a woman could be in the future without diminishing what she is now and in the past?

    So still ON the journey then? The journey that wasn't continuing?

    Colour me stupid but surely "knowing" requires more than "some" understanding?

    *Is he deliberately quoting Hamlet? If so, I think the odds of him delivering something that please everyone stands as much chance as this:

    You do it by stopping talk about WOMEN and starting talking about A woman. What does Buffy Summers want? Write about characters first and worry about metaphors later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HardlyThere View Post
    You do it by stopping talk about WOMEN and starting talking about A woman. What does Buffy Summers want? Write about characters first and worry about metaphors later.
    I don't disagree - if you're not dealing with a superhero but how do you do that when you've built up the myth of her as a female icon? I think he's painted himself into a corner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriBel View Post
    I don't disagree - if you're not dealing with a superhero but how do you do that when you've built up the myth of her as a female icon? I think he's painted himself into a corner.
    He has but only with his ego. Someone can only be who they are. There is no such thing as a universal icon. Some are not going to identify with Buffy Summers. Some are going to. So you write each character as who they are and what they want and the people who can get with that will (as they did on the show, no matter the trials) and those that can't, won't. Creating a universal figure, it's impossible. Everyone is different. Whether it's a feminist icon, or Willow or Tara as gay icons or whatever.

    I'd say it's his inability to see characters anymore has been the road to ruin not just of BTVS but his work in general. Somewhere along the line he seems to have lost his ability to see beyond metaphor and archetype.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HardlyThere View Post
    Variations? No. It's the same question with the same options.

    Day 1: Do I want to be a cop or vampire slayer? Well, I don't like being a cop, so vampire slayer.
    Day 2: Same question. Same answer.
    Day 3: Same question. Same answer.
    Day 4: Same question. Same answer.

    Around day 3, you start looking like a moron. This is the same damned arc they did in S9 when joined and quit Kennedy's outfit. She's doing the same thing in S12 with the same manufactured normal BS.
    In S9 it was working for someone else and using her strengths for a pay cheque. S10 she opted to be the slayer but work on a consultancy basis for the police. She's managing a balance in a new way that focusses on one but uses the natural link and possible benefits of forging a working relationship elsewhere too. In S11 she chose to step outside of society entirely to stand with the supernatural which revealed a stronger connection to that side of her life than she has leant towards before, even if they have been walking the greys in alliances for a while. We'll see what happens with what she concludes but just because a lot of the same factors are raised and at play doesn't mean that it isn't looking at it from different angles and so more widely each time. I do think you can spin for a period of time and stop moving forward in significant steps like you did through your younger years and eventually just get to know yourself better during that time. But, when thinking specifically about roles, in reaching similar conclusions you gain more surety of where you are coming from over things. Alternatively, approaching the same things a myriad of ways can be what it takes for you to finally look to make a meaningful choice and a more drastic change later.

    I don't need to see Buffy consider different things to feel belief that she is reconsidering her life yet again and find it believable. She might learn more about herself but not change her fundamental choices or reach a conclusion that she wants a meaningful change this time. I don't think S8-11 have all been repetitious and have lacked character development just because we haven't seen her dip her toe in a mass of different things. I have concerns about what they are doing with S12 and especially with the very limited number of issues to do it in. But I'm just not set to damn it when we haven't even seen where it has gone and what they've tried to achieve yet.

    vampmogs I think how they have shown how Buffy views the supernatural world around her has had development to it. I think that has been shown through both her different considered roles, the balance, and through her relationship development with Spike. Why she has felt that she is back to where she was at the start of S11, which they have said was a very deliberate/specific reuse of dialogue so I'm not going to criticise them for that (yet), isn't clear. It might become so by the season end, it might not. I don't think the character has stagnated or the story lacked for considering real life issues in what people face with work/family/romance. I just don't think there are life hurdles in adulthood that are as conveniently distinct as they are through the stages of growing up and I've found how they have shown her mulling over her life choices for a few years quite relatable and realistic. There have certainly been things I've not liked in the last four seasons but overall I think the characters have developed within questioning themselves/life and getting on with it. I'm most interested now by why Buffy has felt this sense of regression (or reemergence of dissatisfaction) and where it leads her to. Sure I may come out of S12 unsatisfied. I'm just waiting to see what the conclusion is first. But then I haven't been unhappy with what they've done and the broad strokes of where they've taken it overall in the comic seasons and clearly that's just something we vary on and it simply means we are coming at this season/conclusion from very different starting points.
    Last edited by Stoney; 16-08-18 at 06:43 PM.

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    All caught up

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






    HardlyThere

    * BtVS S7 had Dawn as a Sophomore in high school and Buffy and Willow would have been in their 3rd year in college.



    BAF

    * TV BtVS had been fully “safe” from cancellation since BtVS S3. BtVS 5.22 wasn’t going to be the series finale unless Sarah Michelle Gellar decided to leave the series for whatever reason and Eliza Dushku and James Marsters both decided to not continue in the TV Buffyverse.

    I never heard of this: “That almost was the ending of season 5 when that was conceived as a series finale. If memory serves, Tara died, killed by Glory, Willow went evil and was killed and Buffy was going to die via being sucked into the Hellmouth with the town of Sunnydale.”



    vampmogs

    * Buffy by “Lessons” (B 7.01) at-latest regarded her relationships with Spike and Angel as at least around equal. Her therapy session in “Conversations With Dead People” (B 7.07) almost entirely revolved around Buffy/Spike.

    Buffy chose Spike over Angel in “Chosen” (B 7.22). And even if BtVS S8 and Season 9 is eventually dismissed as canon, Buffy never ‘moves on’ from Spike. Andrew Wells makes it clear that she’s simply ‘having fun’ with the Immortal, and that was around 9 months after Spike’s death.

    Yet despite all the above, you list the entire Buffy/Spike relationship in BtVS S5 through BtVS S7 as “a bad relationship”.


    * Season 9 never directly opposed previously established canon. This: “from Season 9-12 nothing has changed” is directly opposed to reality.



    TriBel

    I honestly believe that Whedon had an over-simplistic notion of feminism at the beginning of BtVS (which is why I read the "hot-chicks with super-powers" as a tragic/comedy remark).
    The “hot chicks with superpowers” remark by Faith Lehane in “Empty Places” (B 7.21) is very apt, especially given how Buffy felt in “Touched” (B 7.20).

    I found this on Psychology today (it's not how I'd have framed it but it's less boring):

    "At the end of the day, the accumulating evidence appears to reveal a paradoxical element at the core of female desire, a tension between two conflicting motives. On the one hand is the desire for stability, intimacy, and security—picture the flame on the burner of a gas stove: controlled, utilitarian, domesticated, and good for making dinner. On the other hand is the need to feel totally, uncontrollably desired, the object of raw, primal lust—a house on fire". I thought the closest we got to this was S11.
    BtVS S9 is the closest we’ve had to that. Buffy wanted domestic and financial security and she wanted Spike to still love her and want her sexually.

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