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  • #21
    Well not really as I've demonstrated in what I said about it already, in that I don't think that scene introduces anything we haven't seen before or that Smashed doesn't bring generally. He's mixing violence and romance. He's preparing to try to stun her and make her listen like Crush but romance her too. And they undercut making it seem really dark by adding the comedic moment of him going to call her and realising he forgot change and having to go back again. So they make him look ridiculous too. It's all just the same and cutting it for time makes sense to me.

    They did put in elements throughout S6 to underline that Spike was still demonic and limited. Right from the beginning when they showed his delight in watching the biker demons and the 'fun' they were having. But they did also show positives and so potential too. Yes they wanted people to accept that he was limited and felt they had to push it strongly in the end and it still wasn't enough for some. But they didn't want to make him lack any potential and his relationship with Buffy be only negative. There were things there to build on once he wasn't soulless. So I'd definitely agree that they hadn't expected the degree to which some people would look past the issues, but that doesn't eradicate that they constantly write it with elements that went beyond the negative and abuse as well. You can argue that the sledgehammer to those who called every instance rape and abuse was then him fighting for his soul and them working beyond the limitation the AR showed with what else was between them.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Stoney View Post
      Well not really as I've demonstrated in what I said about it already, in that I don't think that scene introduces anything we haven't seen before or that Smashed doesn't bring generally. He's mixing violence and romance. He's preparing to try to stun her and make her listen like Crush but romance her too. And they undercut making it seem really dark by adding the comedic moment of him going to call her and realising he forgot change and having to go back again. So they make him look ridiculous too. It's all just the same and cutting it for time makes sense to me.

      They did put in elements throughout S6 to underline that Spike was still demonic and limited. Right from the beginning when they showed his delight in watching the biker demons and the 'fun' they were having. But they did also show positives and so potential too. Yes they wanted people to accept that he was limited and felt they had to push it strongly in the end and it still wasn't enough for some. But they didn't want to make him lack any potential and his relationship with Buffy be only negative. There were things there to build on once he wasn't soulless. So I'd definitely agree that they hadn't expected the degree to which some people would look past the issues, but that doesn't eradicate that they constantly write it with elements that went beyond the negative and abuse as well. You can argue that the sledgehammer to those who called every instance rape and abuse was then him fighting for his soul and them working beyond the limitation the AR showed with what else was between them.
      I agree. I think the writers probably thought his attack on the woman, followed by him saying he hadn't planned on hurting her much conveyed what they intended. I'd disagree his intent was to make her listen, though.

      But we're not talking about you, me or Cheese Slices. We're talking about the fans that were actively arguing with the writers while they were writing it that Spike was a hapless victim.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post

        Each follows the other, does it not? Fans were saying Spike was redeemed. Marti says no, it's not that simple.
        If we predicate that all of their interactions were with extreme Spike fans, then I guess you're right, but I'm just not sure it's as simple as that.
        We can only talk about the ones writers interacted with. If you don't think Xander lecturing Buffy about her stupidity, followed immediately by her being assaulted in her bathroom, then later Xander once again lecturing Dawn about Spike isn't proving the writers' point (to quote Marti), then what was it? This all follows an episode where Riley shows up and reminds the audience Spike is evil in a ridiculous plot.

        There's no grey area when fans dismiss the storyline to see what they want. That was the problem. That is likely why they felt that HAD to show the AR the way they did. I don't think they were playing a grey area. I think they simply overestimated the audience or rather underestimated the audiences willingness to sympathize with Spike. By audience, I mean vocal fans they interacted with. I think that was the core of the problem. They put too much stock into online rumblings and forgot the bulk of the viewership.
        I agree to an extent but I also think there are several mitigating factors which are that 1) there are still scenes that are written as sympathetic to Spike in both episodes (Spike's rant and the breakup scene for AYW, and the Dawn convo/pre AR convo and post AR convo in SR). Hell, regardless of how one feels about it, Buffy even affirms that Spike wouldn't hurt Dawn even if he could in the next episode. 2) the AR was inspired by one of the female writers (which we're pretty sure is MN) experience in which she was the aggressor, and since I doubt that they would see her as irredeemably evil, it lends credence to the idea that push-back against the fans' love for Spike was not the sole reason for it.
        Is the decision to have the AR hammering home the idea that Spike is not a suitable partner for Buffy so long as he's soulless ? Yes. Is it as black and white as some people make it to be ? I don't think so.
        You bring up multiple instances of it. The alley beating. What led up to it? Spike following her, blocking her way and throwing her across the alley twice. That doesn't make her actions acceptable, but it's certainly not as simple as described. Spike consistently calls himself a victim and sex slave, yet he's shown as the pursuer more oft than not in the show. Spike is an unreliable narrator, yet fans say he's a truthteller.

        Yeah, there were certainly Spike and Spuffy haters calling every instance of anything rape and abuse and all this. But who exactly did the writers take the sledgehammer to?

        IMO, they definitely should have let the scene from Smashed in. It was cut for time, but it would have saved a lot of problems for them.
        Do we know it was cut for time though ? I don't recall that from Greenberg's interview at the succubus club, but it's been a while since I listened to it.
        That aside, they did take the sledgehammer to that particular group imo because they felt that things got away from them and might have been afraid of being accused of writing immoral stories and what, but that actually reinforces the point I've made regarding the writers mostly writing within a grey area, just like you say when you address the alley scene (also I don't know that he's shown as the pursuer most of the time, but that's not the point of the discussion anyway).
        Basically I don't think it's mutually exclusive that the writers were fed-up with fans only seeing one side of things instead of the whole picture and thus tried to "over correct" their perspective, all the while maintaining a certain amount of greyness in their writing.

        What a challenge, honesty
        What a struggle to learn to speak
        Who would've thought that pretending was easier

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        • #24
          Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
          I agree. I think the writers probably thought his attack on the woman, followed by him saying he hadn't planned on hurting her much conveyed what they intended. I'd disagree his intent was to make her listen, though.
          Well not listen in the same way he tried in Crush exactly, that's true. He's not restricted in not being able to be the one to taser/restrain her any more and he wanted to prove more than just try to get her to hear about his feelings more, having found out he wasn't neutered any longer when it came to her. But I don't think he was intentionally setting up to rape her in the cut scene (something I've heard suggested in the past). The idea of torturing her, pushing her, is still wrapped up with his romantic intentions and so yeah, not more intentionally dark than what we got. As you say, saying he hadn't planned on hurting her much, but he's definitely trying to prove something. The whole approach we see when they do fight and he revels in punching her and expecting her to finally admit she wants him is greatly about releasing his frustration and anger and enjoying feeling 'equal' again. But it is also about still wanting her to give in to him. There's a lot of violence wrapped in that as it's an acceptable element of a relationship to him, how you express yourself.

          But we're not talking about you, me or Cheese Slices. We're talking about the fans that were actively arguing with the writers while they were writing it that Spike was a hapless victim.
          Yes I appreciate that. But it's not just them, the break between writers and fandom is also with the people that wanted to argue that Buffy was a victim all the way through the relationship too. Which I think was what triggered this discussion from the PotN review speculations. Both fans who don't want to see Buffy as having any darkness in her and people that don't want to accept Spike as being limited soulless are going to have issues with S6 canon.

          It often seems to me that an unwillingness to reconsider expectations and views of characters because of where the writing chooses to take them is the biggest block people have. So even though there are repeated elements that are written in to show Spike lacks moral boundaries needed for a healthy relationship, the writers felt they needed to press the point. I think they found a great way to tie that to him getting a believable catalyst to wanting to change, as they did also write in the elements for potential too. But for those that dislike the canon on the element of his limitations, I don't think the inclusion of the cut scene would have fixed anything if they couldn't see the problem with Spike soulless already from everything that has already been worked in through the season. The scene can just be viewed as more melodramatic, but still having that mix of violence and romance. If anything in fact the overtly romantic set up alongside the violence may have even seemed less blunt and brutal than what Smashed depicted him opting for without that scene added. If we're looking at it from the perspective of people that aren't wanting to see the negatives.

          Similarly, those who really don't want to see the draw of the darkness and violence for Buffy needed to see her initiate the sex between them amidst the fighting. The cut scene could perhaps have given greater emphasis to the fact that it was actually Buffy that took that step. But I think again the way they shot the fight scene put plenty of emphasis to that, especially with the final moment having her literally on top. So I still think it doesn't add anything for either element.

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          • #25
            All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.

            What’s said in this post/comment is what I remember, my opinions, etc.


            AtS = Angel.

            A&F = Angel & Faith

            AtF = After the Fall





            What has happened to this Board? A thread about 'What if Spike was killed off in BtVS S5 or wasn't in BtVS S6' and now one about the BtVS S6 Writers vs. the viewers?

            David Fury in BtVS S6 was the only BtVS S6 writer aside from maybe Steven S. DeKnight who was against Buffy/Spike. All the rest of the BtVS writers were Buffy/Spike 'shippers. And David Fury became a Buffy/Spike 'shipper during "Once More With Feeling" (B 6.07) and remained a Buffy/Spike 'shipper after. So, only Steven S. DeKnight was left.

            The pre-BtVS S6 viewers didn't like that Buffy/Spike wasn't like how it was foreshadowed to be in pre-BtVS S6. But BtVS S6 garnered a huge female audience and the demographics for BtVS S6 are by far the best in BtVS and AtS.

            The viewers wanted Buffy/Spike to continue in BtVS S7. And the viewers of BtVS were more pro-Buffy/Spike than Buffy/Angel. The combined viewership of BtVS and AtS were around 50/50 Buffy/Spike vs. Buffy/Angel and the crossover audience was only around 20% and the vast majority of AtS viewers were Buffy/Angel 'shippers.

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            • Stoney
              Stoney commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm not sure what you're asking about, they're just discussions. I find considering all elements of the verse interesting regardless of my character & season preferences. As a board we should welcome discussion & a variety of points of view.

          • #26
            Originally posted by Cheese Slices View Post

            I agree to an extent but I also think there are several mitigating factors which are that 1) there are still scenes that are written as sympathetic to Spike in both episodes (Spike's rant and the breakup scene for AYW, and the Dawn convo/pre AR convo and post AR convo in SR). Hell, regardless of how one feels about it, Buffy even affirms that Spike wouldn't hurt Dawn even if he could in the next episode. 2) the AR was inspired by one of the female writers (which we're pretty sure is MN) experience in which she was the aggressor, and since I doubt that they would see her as irredeemably evil, it lends credence to the idea that push-back against the fans' love for Spike was not the sole reason for it.
            Is the decision to have the AR hammering home the idea that Spike is not a suitable partner for Buffy so long as he's soulless ? Yes. Is it as black and white as some people make it to be ? I don't think so.
            ...you really think you're supposed to be sympathetic with Spike in As You Were and Seeing Red? Buffy affirmed Spike wouldn't hurt her in Entropy. Then came Seeing Red. As I said, the season is about Buffy being stupid and making terrible choices, as Greenberg said in the interview mentioned. As I said in the topic I created about S6 and Spuffy (I don't see what the big problem was), I don't agree with the writers views about it. I don't agree with the writers views about more than one thing in S6 and the show as a whole. But whether you or I agree with them or not, they've stated more than once what the goals were.

            We have no idea what scenario the AR was originated in. The conversation started with the worst day of their lives and Marti suggested the idea of trying to revive a relationship. Nowhere was it ever suggested anyone tried to rape anyone akin to the bathroom scene. If I had to guess, it was probably more close to Willow trying to seduce Oz. The rationale that they could move forward for the scene was not Marti but Luke and Laura. It wasn't about them not acknowledging gender differences.


            Do we know it was cut for time though ? I don't recall that from Greenberg's interview at the succubus club, but it's been a while since I listened to it.
            It was shot. You don't spend thousands of dollars filming if you don't intend to have it on screen. They were probably fine with cropping it because they felt the previous scenes were enough to do what they wanted, but... And it's entirely possible Stoney is correct in saying the people who were a problem would have just dismissed it as OOC or rationalized it that it wouldn't have been Crush's "unconscious" line had Spike thought of it back then.

            That aside, they did take the sledgehammer to that particular group imo because they felt that things got away from them and might have been afraid of being accused of writing immoral stories and what, but that actually reinforces the point I've made regarding the writers mostly writing within a grey area, just like you say when you address the alley scene (also I don't know that he's shown as the pursuer most of the time, but that's not the point of the discussion anyway).
            Basically I don't think it's mutually exclusive that the writers were fed-up with fans only seeing one side of things instead of the whole picture and thus tried to "over correct" their perspective, all the while maintaining a certain amount of greyness in their writing.
            The season is only a grey area if you ignore most of it, as some fans perfectly willing to do. Everything that made it 'grey' was dismissed as bad OOC writing. I think 'vague' is probably a better term to describe the S6 writing than 'grey', honestly. It leaves a whole lot up to the viewer, perhaps too much. And yes, the train did get away from them, which is why they got increasingly less vague as the season went on, culminating with Seeing Red. One of the biggest complaints about that scene is how central and explicit it was. Going back to the other post in this thread, vocal fans argued and argued until they thought they had to unquestionably prove a point.

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            • #27
              Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
              It was shot. You don't spend thousands of dollars filming if you don't intend to have it on screen. They were probably fine with cropping it because they felt the previous scenes were enough to do what they wanted, but... And it's entirely possible Stoney is correct in saying the people who were a problem would have just dismissed it as OOC or rationalized it that it wouldn't have been Crush's "unconscious" line had Spike thought of it back then.
              I don't think I said people would have dismissed is as OOC as I think it was just the violence/romance mix we constantly see from him. He wanted acknowledgement and to be seen and respected, so I don't think Buffy being unconscious would have actually been a main goal (as per the Crush line). Unless you're meaning the point about people not wanting to change their perspectives.

              I didn't know it had definitely been shot. Do they always shoot everything that is in the original shooting script? Genuine question, I don't know how these things work.

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              • #28
                Originally posted by Stoney View Post

                I don't think I said people would have dismissed is as OOC as I think it was just the violence/romance mix we constantly see from him. He wanted acknowledgement and to be seen and respected, so I don't think Buffy being unconscious would have actually been a main goal (as per the Crush line). Unless you're meaning the point about people not wanting to change their perspectives.
                He warms up a stun gun in the scene. Maybe HE thought it was romance, but therein lies the point, I think.

                I didn't know it had definitely been shot. Do they always shoot everything that is in the original shooting script? Genuine question, I don't know how these things work.
                The final ones, usually, but not always. It's hard to estimate just how long a shot episode will run. In the USA, on non-premium networks, episodes have to be a very specific time, down to the second and sometimes the frame. This causes a whole lot of logistical problems in the editing room because each episode is essentially 5 episodes in one; the teaser, act1, act2, act3 and act4. Each portion has to end at a specific time on a specific beat. They break stories around it, with something pivotal happening at the end of act2 in order to keep people from changing channels. They probably could not make it fit in act 3.

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                • Stoney
                  Stoney commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The stun gun/ropes/chains would be the violent/posturing part, the music/candles/bouquet/rose petals the romance. But all about being 'seen'. Thanks for the info on episode breakdown and timing, that makes sense.

              • #29
                Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post

                ...you really think you're supposed to be sympathetic with Spike in As You Were and Seeing Red? Buffy affirmed Spike wouldn't hurt her in Entropy. Then came Seeing Red. As I said, the season is about Buffy being stupid and making terrible choices, as Greenberg said in the interview mentioned. As I said in the topic I created about S6 and Spuffy (I don't see what the big problem was), I don't agree with the writers views about it. I don't agree with the writers views about more than one thing in S6 and the show as a whole. But whether you or I agree with them or not, they've stated more than once what the goals were.
                Yes, I do. A character doing something bad does not signify that the character becomes a moustache twirling villain with no internal life and no sympathetic qualities or capacity for redemption. It's kind of one of the main themes of the show. The breakup scene is AYW is definitely sympathetic towards Spike as it is towards Buffy, and his rant after Buffy punches him earlier is definitely meant to be read as part of what leads Buffy to break up with him as she's being fair to neither him nor herself.
                In SR, we're also meant to empathize, if not sympathize, with him. We're meant to understand his side of things as well as Buffy's. It is not antithetical to making it very clear that his act is horrendous and that it is a direct consequence to his need to romanticize his own story.
                As for what the writers have said as opposed to what they've written, again I'd say it's not the whole picture. I've read interviews from the various writers with a much more nuanced take, including from Deknight, who wrote SR. I agree with you that some of the takes were very much simplistic in nature, but not all of them, and they're not terribly reflected in the text.
                And again, the writers weren't a monolith : when you have Espenson and Fury making pretty much opposite statements, with everyone else kind of in the middle, it's hard to argue that the whole arc was geared towards one end of the spectrum only, unless you think that Fury had final decision on everything, which I think we know was still Whedon's prerogative.

                We have no idea what scenario the AR was originated in. The conversation started with the worst day of their lives and Marti suggested the idea of trying to revive a relationship. Nowhere was it ever suggested anyone tried to rape anyone akin to the bathroom scene. If I had to guess, it was probably more close to Willow trying to seduce Oz. The rationale that they could move forward for the scene was not Marti but Luke and Laura. It wasn't about them not acknowledging gender differences.
                Every time this story came up it was always described as the writer literally throwing herself at her boyfriend and him having to physically push her off, so I disagree that it's anywhere near similar to the Willow/Oz scene. It really wouldn't make any sense if it were.


                The season is only a grey area if you ignore most of it, as some fans perfectly willing to do. Everything that made it 'grey' was dismissed as bad OOC writing. I think 'vague' is probably a better term to describe the S6 writing than 'grey', honestly. It leaves a whole lot up to the viewer, perhaps too much. And yes, the train did get away from them, which is why they got increasingly less vague as the season went on, culminating with Seeing Red. One of the biggest complaints about that scene is how central and explicit it was. Going back to the other post in this thread, vocal fans argued and argued until they thought they had to unquestionably prove a point.
                Isn't the bolded contradictory though ? And I disagree, I came up with plenty of examples that show that the writers were balancing out the characterization, more or less elegantly and more or less purposefully, but it's there. If their point was that Spike was bad and little else, they wouldn't have written in scenes of him showing genuine concern for Buffy's (and Dawn's, and Willow's, and Anya's) well-being and happiness, or him feeling hurt over being called "an evil soulless thing".
                I don't think the writers handled everything as gracefully as they could, but I also think that fans are more responsible in making things black and white by ignoring a lot of the actual text.
                What a challenge, honesty
                What a struggle to learn to speak
                Who would've thought that pretending was easier

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                • #30

                  Cheese Slices
                  If their point was that Spike was bad and little else, they wouldn't have written in scenes of him showing genuine concern for Buffy's (and Dawn's, and Willow's, and Anya's) well-being and happiness, or him feeling hurt over being called "an evil soulless thing".
                  Agreed. If their point was Spike was bad and little else why did they not have him rub his hands and evilly grinning while hatching a plan at how, when, and where to rape Buffy most effectively?

                  He has felt bad ever since the breakup but he only goes to Buffy after Dawn has told him Buffy also feels bad. The fact that he does not only enter her house but also her bathroom could make me think he was bad and little else if Xander would not do the exact thing only five minutes later and we are supposed to see him as a hero. The AR is bad, it's awful and it's inexcusable but if it was their point that Spike was the same they utterly failed because we have seen other characters do the same and still be forgiven (which Spike basically is also later on).

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                  • #31
                    Originally posted by Cheese Slices View Post

                    Yes, I do. A character doing something bad does not signify that the character becomes a moustache twirling villain with no internal life and no sympathetic qualities or capacity for redemption. It's kind of one of the main themes of the show. The breakup scene is AYW is definitely sympathetic towards Spike as it is towards Buffy, and his rant after Buffy punches him earlier is definitely meant to be read as part of what leads Buffy to break up with him as she's being fair to neither him nor herself.
                    In SR, we're also meant to empathize, if not sympathize, with him. We're meant to understand his side of things as well as Buffy's. It is not antithetical to making it very clear that his act is horrendous and that it is a direct consequence to his need to romanticize his own story.
                    As for what the writers have said as opposed to what they've written, again I'd say it's not the whole picture. I've read interviews from the various writers with a much more nuanced take, including from Deknight, who wrote SR. I agree with you that some of the takes were very much simplistic in nature, but not all of them, and they're not terribly reflected in the text.
                    And again, the writers weren't a monolith : when you have Espenson and Fury making pretty much opposite statements, with everyone else kind of in the middle, it's hard to argue that the whole arc was geared towards one end of the spectrum only, unless you think that Fury had final decision on everything, which I think we know was still Whedon's prerogative.
                    And there you have what is ultimately the problem. You can't write genuine characters. If a character is NOT an over-the-top villain, people will automatically sympathize with him. Spike does romanticize his own story. That's what everyone, especially bad guys do. Bad guys do not think they are bad guys. And fans bought into it wholesale. Spike says he's a victim, so he's a victim. The guy who spent his time building a demon egg ring and hiding it in his basement accuses her of playing games, so she's the one playing games. Spend a whole episode rhapsodizing about murdering two women and people still sympathize with him.

                    Greenberg did not give his opinion. He stated what they, the writers, were intending with the season. That's a different thing than Espenson fawning over Spike and Fury railing against him. Those are opinions.

                    Another example would be Joss saying he intended S7 Spuffy to be romantic as opposed to misogynist. We can argue back and forth as to whether or not it was, but we can't really argue with the stated intent.

                    Every time this story came up it was always described as the writer literally throwing herself at her boyfriend and him having to physically push her off, so I disagree that it's anywhere near similar to the Willow/Oz scene. It really wouldn't make any sense if it were.
                    Instances.

                    Isn't the bolded contradictory though ? And I disagree, I came up with plenty of examples that show that the writers were balancing out the characterization, more or less elegantly and more or less purposefully, but it's there. If their point was that Spike was bad and little else, they wouldn't have written in scenes of him showing genuine concern for Buffy's (and Dawn's, and Willow's, and Anya's) well-being and happiness, or him feeling hurt over being called "an evil soulless thing".
                    I don't think the writers handled everything as gracefully as they could, but I also think that fans are more responsible in making things black and white by ignoring a lot of the actual text.
                    No. Because as I said, they underestimated the fanbases' willingness to side with Spike. They left it vague, thinking fans would automatically fill in the blanks. And they did, but with the wrong things. So somewhere along the way, they had to prove their point.

                    Who knows. Maybe they thought one of the most explicit sexual assault scenes on OTA television placed right smack on the biggest act break on the show was just good entertainment and they had no agenda with it at all. It does not matter, really, because it didn't work. Much like demon eggs, body-dumping and vag-grabbing, fans pretended it never happened because it was bad writing and Spike wouldn't do that.

                    I don't think the writers handled everything as gracefully as they could, but I also think that fans are more responsible in making things black and white by ignoring a lot of the actual text.
                    That's the underlying point of the whole discussion. Fans ARE responsible. For whatever reason, they felt the need to take a hammer to the vocal minority. Fans are dumb and should be ignored. No good comes from fan interactions with writers in on-going works. None.

                    For the sake of argument, let's go with the 'grey' wording for the writing. In your experience, what are the most focused-upon aspects of S6 B/S in Spuffy fandom, excluding the AR?
                    Last edited by HardlyThere; 15-06-21, 01:23 AM.

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                    • #32
                      Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post

                      That's the underlying point of the whole discussion. Fans ARE responsible. For whatever reason, they felt the need to take a hammer to the vocal minority. Fans are dumb and should be ignored. No good comes from fan interactions with writers in on-going works. None.

                      For the sake of argument, let's go with the 'grey' wording for the writing. In your experience, what are the most focused-upon aspects of S6 B/S in Spuffy fandom, excluding the AR?
                      generally I'm in favor of letting the writers tell their story, but considering they were headed by a guy who has said he wants to tell the story the fans need not the one they want I'n glad they undermined them

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                      • flow
                        flow commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Welcome to the forum!

                    • #33
                      Originally posted by Garfan View Post

                      generally I'm in favor of letting the writers tell their story, but considering they were headed by a guy who has said he wants to tell the story the fans need not the one they want I'n glad they undermined them
                      I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at. You're glad ME cooked up plotlines like As You Were to try to swing things? Writers have to be aware of where the viewership is, of course, or the bigger plot elements don't work. You end up with a Riley in Into the Woods situation where it's supposed to be a big dramatic and tragic moment, but most of the audience was like "Good riddance" if you don't keep up with how fans feel about things.

                      B/S in S6 is something a little different because there was never a big moment planned really. It was originally conceived as a bit of a flash-in-the-pan affair. The discrepancy between the writers and fans is more along the lines of they wanted fans to think it was a terrible thing, and a lot of fans were more in line with CC's comment during the reunion. She had sex on a balcony? That's hot.

                      I'm only musing now, but I cant help but think simple sexism wasn't involved in it. You compare it to Wes and Lilah on Angel. They are not dissimilar circumstances. The Fang Gang expresses distaste for the affair, but the writers for some reason did not feel the need to dramatically show us THIS IS BAD, M'KAY. Meanwhile on Buffy, we got what we got.

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                      • #34
                        Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
                        And there you have what is ultimately the problem. You can't write genuine characters. If a character is NOT an over-the-top villain, people will automatically sympathize with him. Spike does romanticize his own story. That's what everyone, especially bad guys do. Bad guys do not think they are bad guys. And fans bought into it wholesale. Spike says he's a victim, so he's a victim. The guy who spent his time building a demon egg ring and hiding it in his basement accuses her of playing games, so she's the one playing games. Spend a whole episode rhapsodizing about murdering two women and people still sympathize with him.
                        But they didn't just write him as a one note bad guy. They also gave a lot of backstory so that you come to understand the layers of the character and find him interesting. He isn't supposed to just be a villainous character with no greys. And Buffy was being abusive too, even remarks on it as a factor of what the relationship is doing to her. Which doesn't mitigate Spike's own abusive actions and the way that he looked at points to build on her sense of separation from the others. There was an opportunistic element in there which worked around her depression. But he did also at points try to push her out of it too. Because he's complicated and can be inconsistent in his own actions, and feel torn by mixed motivations, as the more interesting characters often tend to be. Buffy's draw to him is layered too. But the elements of that which mean that she does feel something, don't mean he could be a good boyfriend choice as a soulless vampire. He couldn't. He didn't mind the destructive/abusive elements and it fell to Buffy who had moral boundaries to end it and draw a line. And that's the point I feel the writers didn't understand why his unsuitability as a boyfriend was being looked past by a section of the audience. Not because they'd only written him to be a bad guy, but because the limitations were underlined at multiple points.

                        There are extremes at both ends of the scale in what they weren't going for. Which is why I said earlier that those that felt Spike should just be dusted and could see no potential in him as a character to move beyond his limitations also would have felt the quest for his soul and ongoing S7 path was a sledgehammer from the writers (to use the same phraseology you did about the AR). The writers definitely didn't want people to think he was a suitable boyfriend without a soul. The reasons were repeatedly included as he failed to see moral boundaries again and again. But they didn't want people to not be behind the character in any way whatsoever and not care at all about what he did. Some people just don't like him. Just subjective response of course, which is fair enough. But in thinking about the writers' aims and intent, I don't think when he got his soul they were hoping everyone would be despairing he wasn't killed, and would boo and hiss. There are factors written in too beyond the repeated emphasis of why Spike wouldn't be a good boyfriend soulless that show the potential he has individually and odd moments between him and Buffy that suggested some level of connection that wasn't just negative. I'd imagine the writers were instead probably hoping the soul was an exciting twist and people would be eager to see what changes it would bring, where Spike would go from there, how he'd deal with his past and whether he'd be able to return after what had happened, soul or not. And all those hints of who he could be and information of who he was layer in to those expectations and speculation.

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                        • #35
                          Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
                          I'm only musing now, but I cant help but think simple sexism wasn't involved in it. You compare it to Wes and Lilah on Angel. They are not dissimilar circumstances. The Fang Gang expresses distaste for the affair, but the writers for some reason did not feel the need to dramatically show us THIS IS BAD, M'KAY. Meanwhile on Buffy, we got what we got.
                          But we didn't get anything like the same exploration with Lilah and she stays more unashamedly bad as a deliberate choice (rather than a failed capacity to be able to get it right). She does leak some information to Wes and is obviously emotionally invested in him, but she still works for Wolfram and Hart. Spike was on the outskirts of the gang, often more directly helping in whatever they were facing. We saw that Lilah was in part at W&H to support her mum, but there wasn't much softening of the character around the edges. There are similarities in the situations but they aren't identical and they are different characters.

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                          • #36
                            Originally posted by Stoney View Post

                            But they didn't just write him as a one note bad guy. They also gave a lot of backstory so that you come to understand the layers of the character and find him interesting. He isn't supposed to just be a villainous character with no greys. And Buffy was being abusive too, even remarks on it as a factor of what the relationship is doing to her. Which doesn't mitigate Spike's own abusive actions and the way that he looked at points to build on her sense of separation from the others. There was an opportunistic element in there which worked around her depression. But he did also at points try to push her out of it too. Because he's complicated and can be inconsistent in his own actions, and feel torn by mixed motivations, as the more interesting characters often tend to be. Buffy's draw to him is layered too. But the elements of that which mean that she does feel something, don't mean he could be a good boyfriend choice as a soulless vampire. He couldn't. He didn't mind the destructive/abusive elements and it fell to Buffy who had moral boundaries to end it and draw a line. And that's the point I feel the writers didn't understand why his unsuitability as a boyfriend was being looked past by a section of the audience. Not because they'd only written him to be a bad guy, but because the limitations were underlined at multiple points.
                            Those aren't things talked about. That's why I asked the question of what the most discussed things are about Spuffy in S6 excluding the AR. Things only were complicated when each faction is backed up to a wall.

                            As I said in my other topic, I don't think they thought that at all and that's where they ran into problems. They couldn't really come up with a valid reason why sleeping with Spike was bad AND keep him around.

                            There are extremes at both ends of the scale in what they weren't going for. Which is why I said earlier that those that felt Spike should just be dusted and could see no potential in him as a character to move beyond his limitations also would have felt the quest for his soul and ongoing S7 path was a sledgehammer from the writers (to use the same phraseology you did about the AR). The writers definitely didn't want people to think he was a suitable boyfriend without a soul. The reasons were repeatedly included as he failed to see moral boundaries again and again. But they didn't want people to not be behind the character in any way whatsoever and not care at all about what he did. Some people just don't like him. Just subjective response of course, which is fair enough. But in thinking about the writers' aims and intent, I don't think when he got his soul they were hoping everyone would be despairing he wasn't killed, and would boo and hiss. There are factors written in too beyond the repeated emphasis of why Spike wouldn't be a good boyfriend soulless that show the potential he has individually and odd moments between him and Buffy that suggested some level of connection that wasn't just negative. I'd imagine the writers were instead probably hoping the soul was an exciting twist and people would be eager to see what changes it would bring, where Spike would go from there, how he'd deal with his past and whether he'd be able to return after what had happened, soul or not. And all those hints of who he could be and information of who he was layer in to those expectations and speculation.
                            They didn't do anything with Spike and his soul until S5 of AtS. Throughout Buffy they only question whether or not a soul makes a difference.

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                            • #37
                              For Lies My Parents they deliberately had Spike's mother called Anne, Buffys middle name and made sure the mother looked like Buffy. Thats definitely giving an creepy vibe to Spuffy. If it wasn't why would they do it ?

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                              • flow
                                flow commented
                                Editing a comment
                                My first boyfriend who is also the father of my eldest has the same Christian name my father had. They are both blond. If it was meant to be creepy I fail to see how and why.

                            • #38
                              Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
                              Those aren't things talked about. That's why I asked the question of what the most discussed things are about Spuffy in S6 excluding the AR. Things only were complicated when each faction is backed up to a wall.

                              As I said in my other topic, I don't think they thought that at all and that's where they ran into problems. They couldn't really come up with a valid reason why sleeping with Spike was bad AND keep him around.

                              They didn't do anything with Spike and his soul until S5 of AtS. Throughout Buffy they only question whether or not a soul makes a difference.
                              Aren't talked about by whom? When? I'm talking about elements in the text that are included, have done before and would again. That's just in terms of character discussion and relationship exploration, not just because of the AR. Reducing the scope of the conversation doesn't prove it was/is limited. Just that people sometimes can limit it or reduce it.

                              The extreme ends of the arguments around the AR/S6 Spuffy in those who felt Spike was fine soulless and Buffy was mistreating him, or those who thought Spike was pure evil and Buffy was being trashed in the writing by acting as she did are vocal opposites. But they aren't the entirety of fandom. For me the writing works in how it explores both characters. Why it was problematic for Buffy to sleep with Spike is illustrated in terms of his moral limitations and yes, they ended up really pushing that point. For me that just works. He is soulless and he is limited, shown repeatedly. How they wrote the AR for him to realise he can't walk the line himself and still have character continuity for why he'd go for his soul, I think is great. It builds on all that we know about him coherently that they also chose to add for breadth of character exploration/understanding.

                              The only thing I've always raised an eyebrow at is some of the ways Buffy's choices in and of themselves (Spike aside) are labelled as dark. The handcuffs, the outdoor sexcapades. These elements seem to run with a societal expectation on what it is/isn't acceptable for women to want to do and still be 'good'. That's the element of Spuffy that I think is an actual issue in the writing of S6. To pair some of those things with 'the bad relationship'. And that's something that I've seen discussed on this board before too, whether or not wider fandom regularly debates it or not. The AR is discussed so much because people have varying responses to the use of it within the season and within both characters' paths. As it is such an emotive topic it understandably gets a lot of heightened reactions, so yes, it is discussed repeatedly. Things are always complicated. It is the attempt to simplify them as one thing or the other that reduces what the text gives from what I can see. And that is still working within the writing intent to show Spike as limited and the bad boyfriend overall.

                              As for what they did with Spike's soul in S7, yes it was greatly about whether or not a soul makes a difference. It is logical that would be the initial focus after he first becomes souled. He starts to consider whether he can make a positive difference and what path he might walk more in AtS 5, but that does start in S7.

                              EDIT: The last point, has served to remind me that I have an overdue review that I really should be focussing on. So, I'm going to go and do that. Plus, I think we're starting to circle a bit now and I'm beginning to feel like I'm just repeating my pov on the AR/S6 Spuffy and how others takes seem to me, rather than adding anything.

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                              • #39
                                Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post

                                They have to be diplomatic in interviews. However, there were plenty of leaks and notes back when S6 aired. They were very confused at the level of romanticizing of Spike and Spuffy. They shouldn't have been but it is what it is. It was basically:

                                Fans: This is what you are writing.
                                Writers: No.
                                Fans: Yes.
                                Writers: No.
                                Fans: Well, if it's not, you should not leave things open to interpretation.
                                Writers: INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE - UPSTAIRS BATHROOM - NIGHT
                                Which writers?

                                They all knew the dynamic was unhealthy, for sure. But it was only Fury who was frothing at the mouth and ranting.

                                I listened to the interviews they gave during S6. Espenson was always relatively positive about the relationship. DeKnight always tried to stay neutral.
                                And Noxon has that quote (I don't know exactly what the source was)) about how the relationship is more interesting than Bangel because it feels like real people with real problems, people screwing up, and that you have to just root for the 'crazy kids' to make it on some level.
                                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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                                • #40
                                  Originally posted by Stoney View Post

                                  Aren't talked about by whom? When? I'm talking about elements in the text that are included, have done before and would again. That's just in terms of character discussion and relationship exploration, not just because of the AR. Reducing the scope of the conversation doesn't prove it was/is limited. Just that people sometimes can limit it or reduce it.
                                  We aren't talking about the text. We're talking about fan reaction to it and the writer's reaction to that reaction. Just off the top of your head, in your experience, what are the most discussed scenes in S6?

                                  The extreme ends of the arguments around the AR/S6 Spuffy in those who felt Spike was fine soulless and Buffy was mistreating him, or those who thought Spike was pure evil and Buffy was being trashed in the writing by acting as she did are vocal opposites. But they aren't the entirety of fandom. For me the writing works in how it explores both characters. Why it was problematic for Buffy to sleep with Spike is illustrated in terms of his moral limitations and yes, they ended up really pushing that point. For me that just works. He is soulless and he is limited, shown repeatedly. How they wrote the AR for him to realise he can't walk the line himself and still have character continuity for why he'd go for his soul, I think is great. It builds on all that we know about him coherently that they also chose to add for breadth of character exploration/understanding.
                                  No, they aren't the entirety. They are merely the loudest of a small portion of the audience. Fandom as whole only makes up a tiny fraction of overall viewership and fanbase. That's why I think they should be ignored. Just tell the best story you can. You'll lose fans and you'll gain some. When you start beating your audience over the head, you're not only losing fans, but also integrity.

                                  He's only limited in terms of a relationship, not in terms of a partner. The AR is not even a singular problem for me, in all honesty. What bothered me more is the lecture before it and after it. It's what crosses the line between drama that inevitably happens in any TV show and a public service announcement. These things like the demon eggs aren't really organic to the characters, they're directed at those fans. Riley might as well be looking at the camera.

                                  The only thing I've always raised an eyebrow at is some of the ways Buffy's choices in and of themselves (Spike aside) are labelled as dark. The handcuffs, the outdoor sexcapades. These elements seem to run with a societal expectation on what it is/isn't acceptable for women to want to do and still be 'good'. That's the element of Spuffy that I think is an actual issue in the writing of S6. To pair some of those things with 'the bad relationship'. And that's something that I've seen discussed on this board before too, whether or not wider fandom regularly debates it or not. The AR is discussed so much because people have varying responses to the use of it within the season and within both characters' paths. As it is such an emotive topic it understandably gets a lot of heightened reactions, so yes, it is discussed repeatedly. Things are always complicated. It is the attempt to simplify them as one thing or the other that reduces what the text gives from what I can see. And that is still working within the writing intent to show Spike as limited and the bad boyfriend overall.
                                  Oh, I agree. I don't see their relationship as particularly dark. But again, for some reason it was supposed to be. I merely saw it as a highly-dysfunctional but totally consensual sexually charged relationship between two adults that get off on violence. Yet apparently misogyny is in there somewhere and I don't really see it aside from maybe the writings' condemnation of it, as opposed to Wes/Lilah as I mentioned.

                                  The AR is a cumulative response to the previous storylines, proving the point they felt they failed to make before.

                                  As for what they did with Spike's soul in S7, yes it was greatly about whether or not a soul makes a difference. It is logical that would be the initial focus after he first becomes souled. He starts to consider whether he can make a positive difference and what path he might walk more in AtS 5, but that does start in S7.
                                  Not especially considering even up until 7.17 they were suggesting it didn't matter all that much and Spike was still trouble.

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