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  • #61
    Originally posted by Nothing13 View Post
    Good point; I don't know much about comics of Buffy/Angel because I've never read them
    Imo you're better off that way.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Silver1 View Post
      Imo you're better off that way.
      Ach, I liked them. The execution wasn't always great but for an idea of the general direction they would/could see the different original canon characters take it was interesting.

      Comment


      • Priceless
        Priceless commented
        Editing a comment
        The comics were great, I really enjoyed them. Much better than the current Boom version

    • #63
      Originally posted by Nothing13 View Post
      I am not talking about my personal view of masculinity, I am talking in relation to the idea of masculinity that the show wants to represent (in order to "demonize" in an excessive way a certain kind of masculinity, change the social concept of women as the weak sex but also to make weak geeks like Xander as heroes.)
      Buffy, also, follows the infantile concepts of relationships of teenagers cool guys/geeks. The point is that I agree on the woman part (in order to empower them) but I don't agree on the geek/Xander part, which is related to stupid and infantile school problems that for me Joss translated about himself
      For me, Joss did this because he is sort of jealous of this kind of masculinity (he despised badass Spike for what he represents) because of his personal problems not because he is a feminist, from this is behavior on work and with women despite preaching feminism. As a matter of fact, Joss was accused of running the set as a "high school mean girl"

      I am talking about the show:

      Spike, like James Masters, said, was intended to be a brief villain, “dirty and evil, punk rock, and then dead. He was supposed to be the "ultimate cool", he should die in "What's my line part 2",
      You should consider evil Spike only until "What's my line Part 2". He was originally intended to die in that episode not get handicapped.

      When Spike arrives at School Hard, in the vampire nest he said: "Any of you want to test who's got the biggest wrinklies 'round here... step on up." that is symbolical "Who have biggest balls?"
      When he fights with Buffy, he says: "I just like them. They make me feel all manly"
      Spike, as Angelus, links masculinity to coolness, evilness, violence, and badassery.

      Spike, originally conceives, in the heads of writers and Joss, should be only this. Spike should die in "What's my line part 2", because of his popularity they changed, and since Angel turning Angelus becomes the main villain, the writers created this storyline where he becomes "a loser" handicapped and cheated by Dru, linking him to the good guys, as a matter of fact, he allies himself with Buffy
      In season 3 Spike said that Drusilla break with him because he became soft and was no "more demon enough" anymore (a metaphor for "no man enough"), they started the process to "emasculate" him and with the chip in season 4 it becomes evident

      The standard of Buffy is:
      Bad Guys: cool and hypermasculine, after they are defeated
      Good guys: uncool and "emasculated" (like Xander, Wesley in season 3 and season 1 of Angel), after they mature and compensate for their problems and become heroes (like Spike and Angel with a soul.)

      Angel turning Angelus becomes a badass more masculine that steals Spike' girl and Spike, becoming handicapped becomes a "loser emasculated" since he was now in the process to turn in into the good side (the phrase: "you don't have a backbone" and "you are spineless" in relation to him having his back broken) because writers decided to not kill him

      This is also in relation to the scene of "Innocence" (the writers represent the stereotype, that is also partially true, girls care more about emotions and sentiments instead man care more about sex)
      -Angelus hurts emotionally Buffy,
      -Buffy kick him very hard in the testicles

      Why? in order to destroy his hypermasculinity, now that Angel turned Angelus.
      Buffy vs Angelus

      The same thing:
      In season 6 Warren become strong because 2 spheres are a metaphor for testicles, Buffy break them and he returns the "emasculated/loser" he was, according to the show parameters
      In season 7 Caleb, a misogynist hypermasculine, Buffy slices him starting from his testicles. He was trying to say: "You don't have balls". When Buffy castrated him
      Buffy vs Warren
      Buffy vs Caleb

      Buffy represents this epitome of girl power, in order to empower women. She defeated and symbolically castrated (sometimes even literally) every hypermasculine villain. (Obviously, Angelus and Spike are beaten by Buffy, they represent the hypermasculine defeated by Buffy: girls power)


      -The Master, also represented the "patriarchal authority" defeated by Buffy
      -Spike and Angelus, 2 hypermasculine vampires defeated by Buffy
      -Watcher council, a patriarchal institution that used women as slayer for generations, destroyed and slayers are free

      Angelus and Spike, since are rivals, have both pros and cons in relation to this concept of masculinity (that they, also sometimes brag about their evil past):

      -Angelus inside is more insensitive, he thinks of a woman only in relation to sex; outside he is less of a fighter and sometimes a coward, more feminine
      -Spike, inside is more feminine, as a matter of fact, he thinks of sentimentality and love for a woman; outside is more masculine he is more fearless, a violent fighter, he fights and kills slayer (this is also why he calls Angel/Angelus a poofter)
      Angelus is more masculine than Spike for this reason Dru cheats Spike with Angelus because Angelus is older, is represented as the Alpha male of the group

      A union of Angelus+Spike will make the apotheosis of this concept of Masculinity that can be seen as "toxic masculinity": evil and emotionally insensitive as Angelus and badass fearless fighter as Spike

      This is why Spike and Angel always try to "outman"/be better each other (like in season 5) and why they have a different relationship with Buffy:
      Angel: an emotional relationship (the most romantic and emotional relationship of the show) with Buffy almost sexless
      Spike: a sexual relationship (the most sexual relationship of the show) with very little emotionality and romanticism.

      When they were evil they weren't complete, when they are good they still arent complete in relation to Buffy


      It is symbolic in relation to the meaning writers give to the character. It is not because Latin names are more masculine. Yes, as you said, Angel is a name that can be both for male and female principally male, as a matter of fact, Angel is a male.
      Buffy as a tv show reversed gender roles. In season 2 the main couples were:
      -Buffy and Angel
      -Spike and Drusilla.

      At the beginning of season 2,
      -Spike and Drusilla represent a typical standard of male-female: "Stong male Knight"-"Weak woman Princess" protected by the male.
      -Buffy and Angel have the reversed role instead of the man that saves the girl. There is the female (Buffy) that saves the male (Angel), Angel has a female role in his relationship with Buffy, like Drusilla with Spike. Angel/Drusilla always saved by Buffy/Spike in the first half of season 2

      When Spike gets handicapped, Drusilla regains strength and Angel turn Angelus the roles are reversed:
      -Angelus, now, has a "more male" role with Drusilla
      -Spike becomes in the weak "female role" like Drusilla was in the beginning

      The ending fights of season 2:
      1) Angelus vs Buffy: The main role
      2) Drusilla vs Spike

      Like Puckrobin said Angelus is more masculine solely in the sense that Latin has a gendered ending and English doesn't.

      In Chosen, Buffy and Spike represent the gender inversion with the Scythe (typical male weapon) and the Amulet (typical female object):
      -The Scythe related to man is given to Buffy, a female
      -The amulet is given to Spike (or Angel) because they have a female role in the relationship
      The objective of writers in the couples was to inverse gender position, so symbolically they created the opposition that when Angel is Angelus, he has a more masculine role.
      They give this name to him in relation to religion and in relation to the gendering of character roles in relationships. I am not talking about if this is a good or correct idea.
      The problem here is with the semantics.

      I think you mean "stereotypically feminine/masculine role" or "traditionally feminine/masculine role". Not "male role in the relationship" or "female role in the relationship". The latter would be impossible, unless all the people involved were to get a sex change, and/or Angel or Spike were able to get pregnant.

      And the first part of your post is not referring to masculinity, or even traditional masculinity, but to Toxic Masculinity.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxic_masculinity

      Angel is obviously more traditionally masculine as a hero saving the helpless (that is a tradtional masculine hero) than as a jerk compensating for his insecurities by abusing women or physically weaker people (Warren is a perfect embodiment of Toxic Masculinity, but I doubt anyone would see him as a masculine ideal, traditional or modern).

      Buffy saving Angel is a reversal of traditional roles, but it gives Angel a chance to be an object of desire and affection the way female characters are usually given a chance to, and it doesn't mean that he is "emasculated" (I doubt Buffy would be interested in a castrated Angel with no appealing masculine traits. Just sayin').

      Xander in season 7 (and in the season 6 finale with Willow) may be close to the ideal of modern masculinity.
      You may say something like that about souled Angel at his best and maybe souled Spike at his best.

      Arguably, souled versions of the vampires and maybe Giles may be coming close to the so-called Real/Deep Masculinity that was the ideal of the mythopoetic men's movement - the people who came up with the term Toxic Masculinity in the first place. (No, folks, feminists did not come up with that term.) But in season 5 of Angel, they're definitely both showing lots of Toxic Masculinity traits - competing with each other all the time over everything, including sex and sexuality and women.
      Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 19-06-21, 02:44 PM.
      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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      • #64
        Originally posted by Stoney View Post

        Ach, I liked them. The execution wasn't always great
        Now there's an understatement.....

        Comment


        • Stoney
          Stoney commented
          Editing a comment
          Well I enjoyed them & could see the character throughlines. Even if they weren't brilliant, I found it an interesting continuation to canon. But we can just agree to disagree & not keep the tangent bopping back and forth.

      • #65
        And the first part of your post is not referring to masculinity, or even traditional masculinity, but to Toxic Masculinity.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxic_masculinity

        Angel is obviously more traditionally masculine as a hero saving the helpless (that is a tradtional masculine hero) than as a jerk compensating for his insecurities by abusing women or physically weaker people (Warren is a perfect embodiment of Toxic Masculinity, but I doubt anyone would see him as a masculine ideal, traditional or modern).
        I agree that Angel in his show is more related to traditionally masculine as a hero, and Angelus is linked to "toxic masculinity"; but in the show, I had the impression that writers didnt condemn this.
        In my opinion, they showed the "Toxic Masculinity" of Angelus as "more masculine" than "the traditional masculinity" of Angel
        They always overhyped Angelus, (like they overhyped Spike and his badassery in season 2), differently from Warren and Caleb that are represented as misogynist or The Master as a traditional Patriarch of Toxic Masculinity.
        Why in the show no one has defined Angelus as a jerk compensating for his insecurities by abusing women or physically weaker people? Why Angelus was always overhyped? He was always called the "baddest of the bad" in an overhyping way. Season 4 of Angel was all about overhyping Angelus

        Angel said “The name’s Angelus” to sound macho in one episode of Angel. And writers did this to make him look more badass. So Angel himself in season 1 thinks that he is more "macho" as Angelus? Why?
        Are writers criticizing this toxic masculinity or are they trying to overhype it?


        Angelus - The Master
        Angelus here is represented as "the stallion" that defied patriarchal authority The Master for a woman (Darla).
        Like in season 2 "Baddas Evil Spike" rejected traditionalism of the Anointed One and other vampires of the cult of Aurelius
        Spike-The Anointed One

        Arguably, souled versions of the vampires and maybe Giles may be coming close to the so-called Real/Deep Masculinity that was the ideal of the mythopoetic men's movement - the people who came up with the term Toxic Masculinity in the first place. (No, folks, feminists did not come up with that term.) But in season 5 of Angel, they're definitely both showing lots of Toxic Masculinity traits - competing with each other all the time over everything, including sex and sexuality and women.
        I think that at the end of Season 7, the point of the show was to make Spike (from Touched to Chosen) an "ideal of man" from some kind of feminist point of view.
        The final battle was about empowering all the potentials as a metaphor for women, empowering all of them as Slayers (also free from the patriarchal system of Watcher Council).
        In the Hellmouth battle, with Turok-Hans there are only Buffy+Faith, all Potentials (now slayers) + Spike. Spike was the only man and died having the main role in it becoming a martyr saving them.

        In season 5 of Angel, however, they made Spike regress, and for me, his behavior in season 5 (the way he treated Harmony and talked about Buffy) was inconsistent with his personality of season 7

        MOD NOTE: This later point about Spike, in terms of his characterisation between BtVS 7 and AtS 5, has been taken into its own thread and I've moved the subsequent related posts about it there too.
        Last edited by Nothing13; 19-06-21, 07:08 PM.

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        • #66
          Originally posted by American Aurora View Post
          Stoney: This thread began in the thread discussing POTN's review of Into the Woods...



          The problem with a lot of men joining in on the whole “our society is terribly sexist” isn’t that they’re necessarily wrong that there’s been structural sexism built into everything for so long - women banned from certain college degrees, women unable to maintain their own bank accounts, women finding it almost impossible to get a job in certain fields - but that in response, they tend to ‘pedestal’ women into some kind of perfect, virtuous victim. Agree that it’s just another form of paternalistic sexism. Buffy can’t be a total a**hole because she’s a female beset by males - Buffy can’t have a ‘dark’ side or be into porn/sex or whatever activity drags her from that pedestal into the mud or it’s OOC.

          It’s frustrating because one doesn’t want to see some shallow sexist portrayal of Buffy where she’s just a bitch or a slut, but denying her the agency to have a dark side ends up creating a virgin/whore dynamic anyway that repels a lot of people when it comes to Season Six.
          HOW DARE THEY JUDGE HER!! It is a testimony to the sick sexual politics (edit, left it off before) of Americans and of men in particular who judge women for doing the same sexual behaviors they feel entitled to. Men in war go to whore houses for comfort. And it is often less benign than what Buffy did b/c not all those 'whores' choose to be... (most whores don't but in war, even less so)

          I actually hate seeing Buffy in pain in season six, but that's precisely why she's the most interesting version of the character that she is for the entire series, and it's far and away Gellar's best acting. Of course, sometimes I'm disgusted. The sex behind the dumpster is the most desperate and sickest... THAT I found degrading. It illustrated how much pain she was in. I don't judge her for it, however.

          I never found her the fact of her having sex with Spike the least bit shocking or bad, but then I don't think sex that two people who are adults want is dirty. When people hurt, they don't do the wisest things, and sleeping with him was definitely unwise, and their relationship was often violent and i thought THAT was toxic... but he also was the only person (with small exceptions of her talking to Tara) that she could talk to or that seemed inclined to listen, hear and care for her. She leaned on him because he let her, because he facilitated it.

          Rupert abandoned the closest thing he had to a daughter who'd dug herself out of her grave' ''to make her grow up'. Seriously? PTSD. Even if she had a million dollars and maid service, such a person should not have been left to fend for themselves.

          Frankly, her screwing a vampire was one of the sanest things she could have chosen to do. She chose someone she was an equal to and they had vigorous and mutually fulfilling sex. It was an adult thing to choose comfort, someone to touch and hold you and make your body feel good...

          I wasn't in that grave and still it put the final nail in that coffin for me about being buried. I never will be! I found that traumatic to watch and I try to avoid re-watching that, but it replays in my head anyway. And cannot help imagining the feeling. I cannot imagine waking up in the absolute dark, surrounded close on all sides, without much air, under 6 feet of earth, needing to breathe. Unlike the vampires, she has to breathe and breathe hard to fight her way out of the coffin.

          Then... ADD to that. She was sucked from heavenly PEACE. I think i would have shot myself on day one. Or jumped from that tower that same night. But she was probably in too much shock for that.

          And add to that the fact she was utterly broke AND responsible for caring for a heartbroken and fractured child with no help, no instruction, and oh yes, she's expected to save the world and patrol town every night after backbreaking work in order to keep vampires from EATING her neighbors.

          My biggest area of concern about her behavior in season six (other than that she was clearly breaking down and needed care and support over and above instead of abandonment and judgment by her so called friends.) is that she was abusive in extreme to Spike when she left him for dead in an alley. if a MALE protagonist had done that to a woman, we'd be howling for him to be locked up. Yet, she was stronger than any man and stronger than Spike. Of all the things in the entire series that sickened me (done by 'white hats' in particular) that rates at the top (or bottom if you like) or close to it. And the series does NOT address it. No one addresses it. But it could be explained as almost a psychotic break... a momentary break from reality... if she hadn't hit him so often when she was frustrated. It got to be a habit... a toxic way of coping and when she was in the most extreme moment and ready to give up (I think at that point SHE wanted to die) she erupts into violence. As a mark of how bad it was, we see Spike beaten up and bruised for days or maybe weeks afterward. She left him out in the open where he could have died if he couldn't move himself.

          That was one moment I didn't like her. Her getting giggity with Spike? That was sensible. That was not slightly disgusting... unless you think sex is bad and women who go after their own pleasure are somehow 'wrong'. I do not.

          But in the alley... it was bad. Spike didn't fight back. He just took it. That doesn't justify it. That doesn't make it OK. For me, it makes it worse. It's the whole I hate myself so i hit myself episode where Faith hits Buffy in her body, except she tries to erase Spike to ease her shame. Of all the moments in season six, that's probably the most disturbing. Not the saddest, but the most disturbing. It is one moment when she stops being a hero and becomes a villain. The only reason i think she deserves the forgiveness that Spike gives her in that moment is that HE sees what no one else in her life seems to, in spite of lacking human judgment -- that she's way past breaking point. She broke completely.

          It's only surprising she didn't break down earlier or stay broken.

          That 'cold dead thing' might lack human judgment, but at least he had compassion and acceptance... and the ability to do what her friends evidently could not: he could love her.

          In my opinion no one else but Buffy and Spike acted honorably in season six. Well, Dawn I don't include, b/c she's a child and she has no clue how to cope.
          • Hank was absent. His kids were without a mother and he didn't even look to see.
          • Buffy's friends resurrected her. That was a crime. It was vile thing to do. And none of them ever really said 'sorry'. Then they judged her. (other than Tara, who was really still an outsider, and Anya, who no one was treating with the respect she deserved, but S.O.s get treated abominably in season 6)
          • And Willow mind raped her own girlfriend, and then her friends... We are our memories. if you take them, we stop being us. We stop having agency and the ability to make informed choice. There's legal ramifications for people who are put in that position by others. We see our elders stop being the people we know when they don't remember.
          • Rupert left. (they should have found another way to write him out, such as illness, or the illness of one of his parents or something - it did create for me a version of Giles that I don't like much (and his dumping the posse of scared little girls on her lap then trying to murder the only adult capable of helping didn't improve my view, but that's season 7)
          So... when anyone offers judgement of Buffy in season 6? I wonder just what season they were watching. I wonder just how well they'd have done with any ONE of the trials she faced... not to mention of course, the final 'little' insult of being harassed by the murderous little incel brigade.

          Edit: I don't think of her sex with Spike as her dark side.
          I think of it as one good thing that also seriously beat the alternatives that broke people with severe PTSD and no help and nothing to live for tend to do: using drugs, getting drunk every night or putting a gun in her mouth or going on a shooting spree and killing a bunch of people. She did none of those things. She didn't abandon Dawn or her 'calling' (she's a slave to that until death, btw) No, she had great sex with a person of questionable character who took care of her and didn't treat her badly. I say we praise her.

          What was saddest about her affair with Spike was that she felt ashamed and that her friends made her ashamed.
          It wasn't the best therapy. Therapy would have been the best therapy, but she didn't need to feel shame for sleeping with him, though she was right to realize that it was wrong to use him and she did do that.
          Last edited by DeepBlueJoy; 19-06-21, 11:15 PM.

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          • #67
            well, I disagree about resurrecting Buffy, because their logic made sense to me plus the way they wrote the ending made it come across very suicide with a bonus side effect. It doesn't help that her description of heaven isn't very heavenly to me, plus heaven lied to her about her friends being safe

            the we are our memories is a bad argument in Buffy because it turns Dawn's existence into a massive violation

            I hated Giles for leaving emotionally, but it also made no sense storywise because in season 5 Buffy forced Giles to be reinstated as her Watcher. It was literally his job to be there for her

            in fact I felt season 6 made several past stories make no sense

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            • #68
              What in S6 do you find disjointed to the other seasons Garfan as honestly, I think S6 does a terrific job of following on from previously established insecurities for all the main characters. I must admit though, I found Giles' S6 path the hardest to see at first. But when Mogs talked in the rewatch about his sense of loss and failure after Buffy's death, and the drive to avoid that again, it started to make more sense for me. Giles' fear of failing as a watcher and how he'd be deeply affected in losing Buffy was first touched on right back in S1's Nightmares. That the actual experience of having lost her at the end of S5 resulted in him wanting to leave Sunnydale isn't so surprising, his purpose had gone. It fits alongside the other characters' responses to past experiences/trauma that the season explores too. That need for him to pull back somewhat comes from an inability to stay and cope with what Buffy has been through because it runs alongside that fear of failing to keep her safe again. It's a self destructive reaction, but, as I said, so are most of what the characters go through in S6 that stems from past trauma. This actually even moves onwards to his confused mix of pressing Buffy to take leadership and still wanting to command her in S7 too as he's not sure where his place is anymore, how he can help. Quite typical of a parental figure trying to be involved and also step back.

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              • #69
                Originally posted by Garfan View Post
                well, I disagree about resurrecting Buffy, because their logic made sense to me plus the way they wrote the ending made it come across very suicide with a bonus side effect. It doesn't help that her description of heaven isn't very heavenly to me, plus heaven lied to her about her friends being safe

                the we are our memories is a bad argument in Buffy because it turns Dawn's existence into a massive violation

                I hated Giles for leaving emotionally, but it also made no sense storywise because in season 5 Buffy forced Giles to be reinstated as her Watcher. It was literally his job to be there for her

                in fact I felt season 6 made several past stories make no sense
                They ADDED Dawn's memory. That is different from taking people's essence away. Also, remember Buffy's resentment and suspicion over Dawn? She DID feel violated and as if her reality had been stolen and her family life and status as 'the' daughter WAS taken by Dawn's presence AND the new memories.

                It might have been necessary to protect the key, but it was in no way benign or flowers and kitties!

                War. That was why it was decided. *Not* for selfish, capricious BS. You do remember how that season ended, right? Dawn arrived and the memory that was forced onto Buffy led her to DIE for Dawn. If she had simply been hiding a random girl, i seriously question her willinhness to offer herself as a sacrifice. (Much different from risking life for others, which she did always. Survival was always likely and a goal.) She JUMPED. I argue that those memories were instrumental.

                Memory is not trivial.

                Comment


                • #70
                  Stoney
                  I must admit though, I found Giles' S6 path the hardest to see at first. But when Mogs talked in the rewatch about his sense of loss and failure after Buffy's death, and the drive to avoid that again, it started to make more sense for me.
                  There is also the fact that practically the last thing Buffy said to Giles was that she would kill him if he comes near Dawn. Then Buffy died. Giles must have felt guilt. he must have felt shame. He might even have felt some sort of guilty and shameful relief because he did not have to face Buffy again after suggesting to kill the sister she literally died for. And then Buffy was back. It must have been a tangled web of emotions that would have been difficult to bear for everyone. Giles failed Buffy when he left in season 6 but humans fail. It's what they do.

                  Also ... vampmogs, I miss you.

                  flow
                  Last edited by flow; 30-07-21, 10:56 PM.

                  Banner by Brendan

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                • #71
                  Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                  What in S6 do you find disjointed to the other seasons Garfan as honestly, I think S6 does a terrific job of following on from previously established insecurities for all the main characters. I must admit though, I found Giles' S6 path the hardest to see at first. But when Mogs talked in the rewatch about his sense of loss and failure after Buffy's death, and the drive to avoid that again, it started to make more sense for me. Giles' fear of failing as a watcher and how he'd be deeply affected in losing Buffy was first touched on right back in S1's Nightmares. That the actual experience of having lost her at the end of S5 resulted in him wanting to leave Sunnydale isn't so surprising, his purpose had gone. It fits alongside the other characters' responses to past experiences/trauma that the season explores too. That need for him to pull back somewhat comes from an inability to stay and cope with what Buffy has been through because it runs alongside that fear of failing to keep her safe again. It's a self destructive reaction, but, as I said, so are most of what the characters go through in S6 that stems from past trauma. This actually even moves onwards to his confused mix of pressing Buffy to take leadership and still wanting to command her in S7 too as he's not sure where his place is anymore, how he can help. Quite typical of a parental figure trying to be involved and also step back.
                  Magic as addiction. Plus I don't see Willow as trusting with Rack casting spells on her as they make her. Also when did Amy meet him? It had to be season 3 or before because after that she was a rat. But she was turned into a rat during a literal witch hunt, why not try to go to him during that. Surely keeping some of his customers out of site is best for him? Plus I'm not sure how well drugged out magic users actually fit in Richard Wilkins' Sunnydale. Seems like they'd lack subtlety and be hard to ignore

                  D'Hoffryn had already refused to reinstate Anya's powers

                  The Scoobies were trying to create the illusion Buffy was still alive to everyone. Giles had been reinstated as her Watcher the previous year. He was professionally obligated to be there.

                  Tara's attitude towards magic may have been set up in late season 5 but it didn't jibe with season 4 and early season 5 Tara. I know she had a major change in her identity there, but that change led to a kind of hypocritical behavior and that doesn't get much sympathy from me.

                  Buffy's Heaven just didn't connect with me to the point my headcanon is she doesn't remember a second of the afterlife. That her heaven was her final thoughts as she fell through a portal that touched every dimension stretched over a void of months of being dead.

                  This may not have been what you were talking about but for me that kind of internal consistency gets to me before emotional stuff.



                  Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post

                  They ADDED Dawn's memory. That is different from taking people's essence away. Also, remember Buffy's resentment and suspicion over Dawn? She DID feel violated and as if her reality had been stolen and her family life and status as 'the' daughter WAS taken by Dawn's presence AND the new memories.

                  It might have been necessary to protect the key, but it was in no way benign or flowers and kitties!

                  War. That was why it was decided. *Not* for selfish, capricious BS. You do remember how that season ended, right? Dawn arrived and the memory that was forced onto Buffy led her to DIE for Dawn. If she had simply been hiding a random girl, i seriously question her willinhness to offer herself as a sacrifice. (Much different from risking life for others, which she did always. Survival was always likely and a goal.) She JUMPED. I argue that those memories were instrumental.

                  Memory is not trivial.
                  Who says her jumping was a good thing? With the way they'd written her that season I've often felt like she quit there and Dawn surviving was just a nice bonus

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                  • #72
                    Originally posted by Garfan View Post
                    Magic as addiction.
                    Well I think things can represent different ideas, so this isn't an issue from my perspective. Although I do have to say I think Willow's struggle in S6 works best if considered as difficulty in controlling her own power and the desire to control things. The magic use was a coping mechanism as Buffy's sexual relationship with Spike was. The issue as a power one couples well against her performance anxieties to desire greater control and the wish to keep fixing things too.

                    Plus I don't see Willow as trusting with Rack casting spells on her as they make her. Also when did Amy meet him? It had to be season 3 or before because after that she was a rat. But she was turned into a rat during a literal witch hunt, why not try to go to him during that. Surely keeping some of his customers out of site is best for him? Plus I'm not sure how well drugged out magic users actually fit in Richard Wilkins' Sunnydale. Seems like they'd lack subtlety and be hard to ignore.
                    At the point when Willow is wanting the 'high' and power hit she's dropping the barriers that would normally hold her back. There's an escapism aspect in handing herself over too that is somewhat contradictory but can be the opposite side of the same coin for someone who is so focused on control to relieve themselves of their own pressure sometimes.

                    My headcanon is that Amy met him when she was starting to abuse the use of magic in S3. Gingerbread shows that she is dabbling in using it irresponsibly and her own transformation into a rat is showing that she has been progressing her spells and doing some serious level magic without due care. So I don't think later finding out she'd been seeing someone like Rack is incompatible with what we see of the direction her initial explorations into magic are taking.

                    As we don't see the drugged out magic users, they obviously operated in the shadows well enough to suit the Mayor.

                    D'Hoffryn had already refused to reinstate Anya's powers
                    But D'Hoffryn was punishing Anya initially and then he may have missed her. He also may have felt returning her powers and ruining her chance of fixing the relationship, getting her to fixate on getting vengeance was in fact a vengeful response to her trying to carve a new life for herself. Changing motivations and intentions is a pretty normal thing over such a time shift.

                    The Scoobies were trying to create the illusion Buffy was still alive to everyone. Giles had been reinstated as her Watcher the previous year. He was professionally obligated to be there.
                    This is an interesting point. Why would The Council accept Giles returning to England? Buffy made it clear to them in S5 that The Council worked for her so I'm not sure that The Council would have questioned it greatly if they were told that Giles was returning to England to operate from there for a time but was keeping in touch with Sunnydale. I doubt they would have tried to force a different watcher on to Buffy. It's an interesting element though.

                    Tara's attitude towards magic may have been set up in late season 5 but it didn't jibe with season 4 and early season 5 Tara. I know she had a major change in her identity there, but that change led to a kind of hypocritical behavior and that doesn't get much sympathy from me.
                    I'm not sure that there is a problematic shift. Willow's increased use of magic and developing power can have just taken her aback and started to concern her.

                    Buffy's Heaven just didn't connect with me to the point my headcanon is she doesn't remember a second of the afterlife. That her heaven was her final thoughts as she fell through a portal that touched every dimension stretched over a void of months of being dead.
                    This is interesting too. They were of course pretty ambiguous and I think all that really mattered was that Buffy felt she had been in a restful place. That this was a jarring contrast to how returning felt. But what the truth of it was and whether she knew only a momentary peace that 'held' or a lasting sense of it, I don't think really matters.

                    This may not have been what you were talking about but for me that kind of internal consistency gets to me before emotional stuff.
                    I can see what you mean and appreciate you giving some examples, it was interesting to consider. But I suppose it does just probably depends on how readily/willingly you fill in the blanks for the internal consistency and if I can see some possible logic I'm fairly happy. The emotional ties through the character stories are probably where my focus goes.

                    Comment


                    • #73
                      Originally posted by Stoney View Post

                      Well I think things can represent different ideas, so this isn't an issue from my perspective. Although I do have to say I think Willow's struggle in S6 works best if considered as difficulty in controlling her own power and the desire to control things. The magic use was a coping mechanism as Buffy's sexual relationship with Spike was. The issue as a power one couples well against her performance anxieties to desire greater control and the wish to keep fixing things too.
                      People talk about this a lot. My big issue is I think that Willow's desire for control is very limited. To me, Willow wants to control herself. Her line to Buffy "Of the two of us, which one is the boss of me?" is one of the key lines in the show.

                      Otherwise, she's very nervous when put in positions of authority and control.

                      I've actually been able to justify a lot of Willow's season 6 storyline over the years thinking back, but it doesn't jive with what the show showed.

                      For example I think Willow probably justified erasing Tara's memory after their first big argument by thinking of it as taking back something she wished she hadn't said , because while it started with the dimension shifting spell it got explosive when Willow said that yes she would like it if Tara would just be quiet instead of arguing with her.

                      The addiction could have been a variation of the burnout she suffered in season 5 as another example



                      Originally posted by Stoney View Post

                      At the point when Willow is wanting the 'high' and power hit she's dropping the barriers that would normally hold her back. There's an escapism aspect in handing herself over too that is somewhat contradictory but can be the opposite side of the same coin for someone who is so focused on control to relieve themselves of their own pressure sometimes.

                      My headcanon is that Amy met him when she was starting to abuse the use of magic in S3. Gingerbread shows that she is dabbling in using it irresponsibly and her own transformation into a rat is showing that she has been progressing her spells and doing some serious level magic without due care. So I don't think later finding out she'd been seeing someone like Rack is incompatible with what we see of the direction her initial explorations into magic are taking.

                      As we don't see the drugged out magic users, they obviously operated in the shadows well enough to suit the Mayor.
                      That switches around a few things though. Betause Willow wasn't looking for a high until after she met Rack. She was showing off and wasting power but that was it. It's been a long time since I watched Season 6 and I don't plan yo ever again, but as I recall Amy's pitch of Rack was basically he knew a lot of spells that last a long time without losing a lot of power. She essentially promised Willow knowledge and fewer lows, not any highs.

                      Going to meet him is reasonable then. But seeing what his magic den was should have backed her off


                      Originally posted by Stoney View Post


                      I can see what you mean and appreciate you giving some examples, it was interesting to consider. But I suppose it does just probably depends on how readily/willingly you fill in the blanks for the internal consistency and if I can see some possible logic I'm fairly happy. The emotional ties through the character stories are probably where my focus goes.
                      Part of the issue for me with the emotional stuff is if you do it without internal consistency then the writers are free to mess with anything to trigger an emotional reaction.

                      Writer: oh, isn't this tragic

                      Me: yep, course one season ago it was literally impossible for this tragedy to happen

                      Comment


                      • #74
                        Originally posted by Garfan View Post
                        People talk about this a lot. My big issue is I think that Willow's desire for control is very limited. To me, Willow wants to control herself. Her line to Buffy "Of the two of us, which one is the boss of me?" is one of the key lines in the show.

                        Otherwise, she's very nervous when put in positions of authority and control.
                        Not sure I agree with this when you see how happy she was to take over Jenny's classes and how much she takes charge in Halloween and Bargaining as other examples. If she feels confident about the situation she is being put in like teaching and coordinating, she's happy enough. Her performance anxiety stems in a lot of ways from the fear of disappointing people and not making high achievements. When you consider how smart she is and the levels of academic achievement she managed and yet her parents seeming absence and lack of interest in her life, performing exceptionally well in areas she is skilled at becomes important. So her performance anxiety doesn't have to be about a lack of confidence, but often about the pressure to achieve and keep hitting high standards.

                        I've actually been able to justify a lot of Willow's season 6 storyline over the years thinking back, but it doesn't jive with what the show showed.
                        I can't disagree more. I love how well set up Willow's S6 is all the way back to the early seasons when we see the pressures of expectation on her . How this sits alongside her own need to achieve is a great build up to a fixation on power and control. Abusing that power then to try to keep making everything right, trying to fix any time when she seemingly lets someone down, steps then into trying to correct perceived mistakes. And yes, trying to take back something she wished she hadn't said is definitely part of Willow's motivation with Tara. Even if the way that she is trying to fix things is doing the very thing that the person is trying to stop her doing, if that's how she sees the most efficient and logical process to put it right, she'd still do it. This is someone who 'stumbled' across hacking into computer systems as a young teen. She's never been opposed to breaking the rules at points and doing what she wants.

                        This is what I mean when I say the emotional beats are where my focus tends to go. It's the character throughlines that are my main focus and I love that there are ties that you can see in the text all the way through for them to where they go. I'm happy to accept plausible explanations for potential internal inconsistencies, my main focus is always going to be the character journeys and this is where I think the show excels.

                        That switches around a few things though. Betause Willow wasn't looking for a high until after she met Rack. She was showing off and wasting power but that was it. It's been a long time since I watched Season 6 and I don't plan yo ever again, but as I recall Amy's pitch of Rack was basically he knew a lot of spells that last a long time without losing a lot of power. She essentially promised Willow knowledge and fewer lows, not any highs.

                        Going to meet him is reasonable then. But seeing what his magic den was should have backed her off
                        Showing off was a high, and the promise of knowledge and more capability is offering more of the same elements that feed that high. She is looking for these things before she meets him, which is why she's able to ignore the warnings of how dodgy he is. She doesn't back off because she wants what he is offering and what Amy is suggesting she can experience without getting the 'hangover'. She's already getting off on abusing her power pre Rack.

                        Part of the issue for me with the emotional stuff is if you do it without internal consistency then the writers are free to mess with anything to trigger an emotional reaction.

                        Writer: oh, isn't this tragic

                        Me: yep, course one season ago it was literally impossible for this tragedy to happen
                        It's this that I don't see. As I said, character throughlines are the most important aspect for me and what I love the most in the show. The examples of internal consistencies that you are listing seem just like elements that you can readily explain if you're happy to accept things weren't as you originally perceived or just look for why they might have changed or developed since. As there are logical paths from one to another (such as time simply changing how D'Hoffryn felt about things and building concerns for Tara) there aren't internal inconsistencies, just developing characters/stories. Barriers over something like what you would perceive the Mayor would or wouldn't have done, isn't an inconsistency in the writing either. The writers can continue a character story in any direction of course. What I think is excellent about the writing in BtVS is that they don't just spring these things out of nowhere. They tend to do this by building onto elements already shown to get those strong throughlines and character coherency.

                        Comment


                        • #75
                          Originally posted by Stoney View Post

                          Not sure I agree with this when you see how happy she was to take over Jenny's classes and how much she takes charge in Halloween and Bargaining as other examples. If she feels confident about the situation she is being put in like teaching and coordinating, she's happy enough. Her performance anxiety stems in a lot of ways from the fear of disappointing people and not making high achievements. When you consider how smart she is and the levels of academic achievement she managed and yet her parents seeming absence and lack of interest in her life, performing exceptionally well in areas she is skilled at becomes important. So her performance anxiety doesn't have to be about a lack of confidence, but often about the pressure to achieve and keep hitting high standards.



                          I can't disagree more. I love how well set up Willow's S6 is all the way back to the early seasons when we see the pressures of expectation on her . How this sits alongside her own need to achieve is a great build up to a fixation on power and control. Abusing that power then to try to keep making everything right, trying to fix any time when she seemingly lets someone down, steps then into trying to correct perceived mistakes. And yes, trying to take back something she wished she hadn't said is definitely part of Willow's motivation with Tara. Even if the way that she is trying to fix things is doing the very thing that the person is trying to stop her doing, if that's how she sees the most efficient and logical process to put it right, she'd still do it. This is someone who 'stumbled' across hacking into computer systems as a young teen. She's never been opposed to breaking the rules at points and doing what she wants.

                          This is what I mean when I say the emotional beats are where my focus tends to go. It's the character throughlines that are my main focus and I love that there are ties that you can see in the text all the way through for them to where they go. I'm happy to accept plausible explanations for potential internal inconsistencies, my main focus is always going to be the character journeys and this is where I think the show excels.
                          I always felt Bargaining shows how Willow dislikes having power. She is elected to the position rather than seeking it, she maintains secrets rather than use her power as leader to get her way and her goal with the power will remove her from the position of power. It's not quite performance anxiety. It's just not wanting responsibility over others.

                          Breaking rules and doing what she wants is ultimately about power over herself



                          Originally posted by Stoney View Post

                          Showing off was a high, and the promise of knowledge and more capability is offering more of the same elements that feed that high. She is looking for these things before she meets him, which is why she's able to ignore the warnings of how dodgy he is. She doesn't back off because she wants what he is offering and what Amy is suggesting she can experience without getting the 'hangover'. She's already getting off on abusing her power pre Rack.
                          well I don't agree with that so...

                          I'm honestly not willing to accept something that declares trying to learn new stuff and to make herself more powerful when her power helps save billions of lives a bad thing, even if she is playing with it part of the time. There was never a call to depower Buffy when she wasn't slaying even though she used her strength to back people down who were acting like *******s

                          the thing is I enjoy Buffy for it's characters, but I don't think it was especially well thought out. Joss love for metaphor leaves a lot of people acting like idiots when it's plot convenient and only then. I think a show that celebrates Buffy doing things different and celebrating going her own way spends to time punishing people for doing things different and going their own way. Buffy's special for having friends and they help her save the world. That's real nice except for the number of times it's her friend group that helps it nearly end.

                          What happens with Willow and Cordelia really undermines the whole figure out how to do things yourself, don't let those in power dictate your life thing the strong independent woman of Buffy had going when them doing so massively increased the suffering of others

                          Comment


                          • #76
                            Originally posted by Garfan View Post
                            I always felt Bargaining shows how Willow dislikes having power. She is elected to the position rather than seeking it, she maintains secrets rather than use her power as leader to get her way and her goal with the power will remove her from the position of power. It's not quite performance anxiety. It's just not wanting responsibility over others.

                            Breaking rules and doing what she wants is ultimately about power over herself
                            I can see this and I don't disagree that Willow doesn't want to stay in charge in S6, and you can see that through the desire to bring Buffy back and have things as they were. But I was raising that as one of the examples that contradicts your suggestion that she is nervous when put in positions of authority and control. I don't think that is the case. She might not want to hold a leadership position for itself, but when it is with something she enjoys (like the computer teaching), she's very comfortable with it. When it is something where she might not choose to be in charge, she's still more than capable and able to lead, rather than being nervous.

                            I think your point that Willow wants control over herself is true. But when this hits into her relationships with others her choices of how she is going to get what she wants for 'her' can directly impact those around her. She's repeatedly relied on to help out, feels the weight of expectations on her and she doesn't want to let people down. So these elements build into her taking control and abusing her power to assert her will. We see this in her emotional responses to wanting to stop her desire for Xander in S3 and in wanting to punish Oz/Veruca in S4. She turns to magic as a way to 'fix' things as she'd prefer them to be, and has done since she started dabbling. This is a well established mix of power/control for her, a lack of concern for the full consequences if it'll reach for what she wants and that mix of anxiety over performing but the felt pressure to achieve.

                            well I don't agree with that so...
                            But that is what happened. She goes out getting 'high' on misusing magic with Amy in Smashed before the suggestion of how to get more power to play with that will last longer and not have the same physical low is made that she then tries in Wrecked by going to Rack.

                            I'm honestly not willing to accept something that declares trying to learn new stuff and to make herself more powerful when her power helps save billions of lives a bad thing, even if she is playing with it part of the time. There was never a call to depower Buffy when she wasn't slaying even though she used her strength to back people down who were acting like *******s
                            Oh I don't think Willow learning new things and building up her power is a bad thing in and of itself. If it was, then the show would have had her stripped of her power and that is far from what happens. It is about responsible use of her power and not abusing it and taking choices away from others. Now you can argue I think that the empowerment spell in S7 is questionable in this way still. But going on Giles having told them that the remaining potentials were coming to Sunnydale and them speaking to them first, + the pressure of trying to save the world, I really don't think a negative reading was the intention at the end of S7. But the ambiguity of that aside, no, Willow isn't wrong for wanting to learn more about magic. It is the ill considered use of it that looks past wider ramifications that was something she had to move out from. The whole idea at the start of Lessons is her learning how connected everything is after all.

                            the thing is I enjoy Buffy for it's characters, but I don't think it was especially well thought out. Joss love for metaphor leaves a lot of people acting like idiots when it's plot convenient and only then. I think a show that celebrates Buffy doing things different and celebrating going her own way spends to time punishing people for doing things different and going their own way. Buffy's special for having friends and they help her save the world. That's real nice except for the number of times it's her friend group that helps it nearly end.
                            I think this is just what makes the characters relatable. In that they can strive to be the best versions of themselves, get it wrong, and still try and learn from what they went through. There are times that characters do things for plot reasons clearly, but overall I think the idea of seeing these characters developing and growing, making mistakes and moving on from them, is really well done. I'm in it for the characters too, but greatly about how they develop and grow, the journeys they all are on.

                            What happens with Willow and Cordelia really undermines the whole figure out how to do things yourself, don't let those in power dictate your life thing the strong independent woman of Buffy had going when them doing so massively increased the suffering of others
                            I'm not sure that the independence and personal strength needs isolation though. It was repeatedly shown that the characters were stronger when they came together and weakened when they closed themselves off. That doesn't mean they can't cope at all individually, but it emphasises a sense of friendship/family and social responsibility too which I think sits alongside the idea in the background of considering a 'greater good' beyond individual perspectives. Did their power and independence massively increase the suffering of others? I don't feel in the end that the message is that women who have power hurt other people. The show ends on a season that focuses so much on empowering and strengthening others.

                            Comment


                            • #77
                              Originally posted by Stoney View Post

                              I can see this and I don't disagree that Willow doesn't want to stay in charge in S6, and you can see that through the desire to bring Buffy back and have things as they were. But I was raising that as one of the examples that contradicts your suggestion that she is nervous when put in positions of authority and control. I don't think that is the case. She might not want to hold a leadership position for itself, but when it is with something she enjoys (like the computer teaching), she's very comfortable with it. When it is something where she might not choose to be in charge, she's still more than capable and able to lead, rather than being nervous.
                              I guess nervous is a bad way to put I just don't think she likes it because not something she would choose for herself. Which might be why it's upsetting "If I'm being put in charge of others that means something has gone very wrong."

                              Originally posted by Stoney View Post

                              I think your point that Willow wants control over herself is true. But when this hits into her relationships with others her choices of how she is going to get what she wants for 'her' can directly impact those around her. She's repeatedly relied on to help out, feels the weight of expectations on her and she doesn't want to let people down. So these elements build into her taking control and abusing her power to assert her will. We see this in her emotional responses to wanting to stop her desire for Xander in S3 and in wanting to punish Oz/Veruca in S4. She turns to magic as a way to 'fix' things as she'd prefer them to be, and has done since she started dabbling. This is a well established mix of power/control for her, a lack of concern for the full consequences if it'll reach for what she wants and that mix of anxiety over performing but the felt pressure to achieve.
                              of course then you get to the question of where does it count as "abusing." She stops herself short with Oz and Veruca. Her spell with Xander also never happens. People seem to go back and forth on how much wanting to do that needs to be mentioned. The show is very inconsistent on what sort of consequences there are or could be.

                              Originally posted by Stoney View Post

                              But that is what happened. She goes out getting 'high' on misusing magic with Amy in Smashed before the suggestion of how to get more power to play with that will last longer and not have the same physical low is made that she then tries in Wrecked by going to Rack.
                              I meant the literal high, not just the "high" of having a good time


                              Originally posted by Stoney View Post

                              Oh I don't think Willow learning new things and building up her power is a bad thing in and of itself. If it was, then the show would have had her stripped of her power and that is far from what happens. It is about responsible use of her power and not abusing it and taking choices away from others. Now you can argue I think that the empowerment spell in S7 is questionable in this way still. But going on Giles having told them that the remaining potentials were coming to Sunnydale and them speaking to them first, + the pressure of trying to save the world, I really don't think a negative reading was the intention at the end of S7. But the ambiguity of that aside, no, Willow isn't wrong for wanting to learn more about magic. It is the ill considered use of it that looks past wider ramifications that was something she had to move out from. The whole idea at the start of Lessons is her learning how connected everything is after all.



                              I think this is just what makes the characters relatable. In that they can strive to be the best versions of themselves, get it wrong, and still try and learn from what they went through. There are times that characters do things for plot reasons clearly, but overall I think the idea of seeing these characters developing and growing, making mistakes and moving on from them, is really well done. I'm in it for the characters too, but greatly about how they develop and grow, the journeys they all are on.



                              I'm not sure that the independence and personal strength needs isolation though. It was repeatedly shown that the characters were stronger when they came together and weakened when they closed themselves off. That doesn't mean they can't cope at all individually, but it emphasises a sense of friendship/family and social responsibility too which I think sits alongside the idea in the background of considering a 'greater good' beyond individual perspectives. Did their power and independence massively increase the suffering of others? I don't feel in the end that the message is that women who have power hurt other people. The show ends on a season that focuses so much on empowering and strengthening others.
                              I just feel they undermined it a lot. Season 1, Buffy survived because she has a friend to give her CPR. Except the reason(often overlooked) that she went down to fight the Master and needed CPR was because Angel had found the book with the prophecy for Giles. It really should have just been found in his normal course of research. It's perfectly reasonable to happen and then there is zero downside to the extended friend group

                              Season 2's apocalypse happens entirely because Buffy has a boyfriend

                              Season 3 is kind of back and forth but I think it's worth noting that the Scoobies had the Mayor stopped with the box of Gavrock acquired except Willow was caught by Faith a traitor to the group.

                              Season 4 Adam only came online after Buffy acquired a very difficult to capture/kill for them. Without that who knows if he even would have happened

                              Season 5 does this lesser than some others but it kicks in right at the end because Ben is Glory

                              Season 6 is obvious

                              I don't feel they did a message of women who have power hurt other people, the idea I'm talking about is I feel there's a bit to much of the idea of those who choose to challenge the status quo invite suffering. It's there enough that it screws with Buffy, who does a lot of what she's supposed and to while also doing some of her own thing

                              I'm in favor of the mass empowering spell. It just irritates me that Willow's big redemption thing is once again doing a spell someone else wants her to do. None of the major magic she wanted to do was ever a good thing. Changing the world is only okay with someone else's permission, even if the others asking her are just as small a group. Meanwhile Cordelia fighting to keep the visions is first self-destructive and she knows to survive she has to get rid of them, then dangerous to the world since it allows Jasmine to happen

                              I feel like they show is trying to appear more radical than it is on the empowering women front
                              Last edited by Garfan; 22-06-21, 06:00 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #78
                                Originally posted by Garfan View Post

                                I always felt Bargaining shows how Willow dislikes having power. She is elected to the position rather than seeking it, she maintains secrets rather than use her power as leader to get her way and her goal with the power will remove her from the position of power. It's not quite performance anxiety. It's just not wanting responsibility over others.

                                Breaking rules and doing what she wants is ultimately about power over herself





                                well I don't agree with that so...

                                I'm honestly not willing to accept something that declares trying to learn new stuff and to make herself more powerful when her power helps save billions of lives a bad thing, even if she is playing with it part of the time. There was never a call to depower Buffy when she wasn't slaying even though she used her strength to back people down who were acting like *******s

                                the thing is I enjoy Buffy for it's characters, but I don't think it was especially well thought out. Joss love for metaphor leaves a lot of people acting like idiots when it's plot convenient and only then. I think a show that celebrates Buffy doing things different and celebrating going her own way spends to time punishing people for doing things different and going their own way. Buffy's special for having friends and they help her save the world. That's real nice except for the number of times it's her friend group that helps it nearly end.

                                What happens with Willow and Cordelia really undermines the whole figure out how to do things yourself, don't let those in power dictate your life thing the strong independent woman of Buffy had going when them doing so massively increased the suffering of others
                                Firstly, Garfan, welcome to the forums!! I just noticed you've only a few posts.

                                We love to argue here, so please don't take it too personally.

                                So... I do believe that Willow does need power. She abuses power and she amasses magical power off the scale - not always by fair means. She TAKES power from Rack without permission and she takes power from GILES without his permission and she also (previous season) sucks the magic books dry even the dangerous ones because she's in a rage over Tara being hurt.

                                I think if you look at her whole arc from the beginning of the series, she lacks confidence and self esteem and she works to acquire skills and power to compensate for her inadequacies. As she excels at various things, these things validate her to herself and in the eyes of others. I do NOT thing she becomes more confident, however... She's still (in her own eyes) a nerd and anxious about relationships. I know a lot of people like this... they are really smart, but they lack true confidence. Most, thankfully, don't control and manipulate their friends and families, but some sadly do.

                                In a lot of fanfic, we see writers use the almost complete absence of her parents from the series to suggest that she feels neglected and abandoned by her parents. This abandonment isn't strictly shown in canon, but i think that fic writers see this as a good interpretation of the person they see on screen and that is why it keeps on showing up.

                                We see her in the office with the principal (season 3) and she's being bullied by him to teach the basketball player -- because she's bright but lacks the spine to simply say 'no'.

                                So, why do so many of us see her as power hungry or at least in need of control? Because she shows it in her choices. She lies and manipulates and actually changes reality for people, both those she loves and those she doesn't and she uses her magic in dangerous ways for selfish reasons.


                                HABITUAL MISUSE OF MAGIC:

                                -
                                + SEASON 4: she attempts to curse Oz when he cheats on her: “Let Oz and Veruca’s deceitful hearts be broken. […] Let them find no love or solace. Let them find no peace as well.” She does see sense and backs out, but the fact she considered such a spell is a sign of how her mind works. Anger --> do dangerous magic and hurt the cause of the anger.

                                + SEASON 4: She does the 'my will be done spell in season four over a romantic breakup . This is wrong on so many levels.


                                She wants to fix her feelings by erasing them with magic. That's not normal or right behavior... and she's so irresponsible, she creates a dangerous spell that could have inadvertently hurt a lot of people or even ended the world with a WORD from her... and it DID harm her friends. her reaction? Make cookies. That might not be power hunger, but she definitely had amassed it and she did have power over others...

                                A NORMAL person could have seen that this KIND OF SPELL was wrong, even if it was only limited to one person... even if it was just limited to herself. That is a dangerous spell. MY WILL BE DONE. That is taking the power of GOD or CREATOR. No human should consider exercising their will as the way to go.

                                This is why she got the attention of D'Hoffryn, lord of vengeance demons to her and he offered to elevate her to Vengeance Demon status. And we know they changed realities and it wasn't a good thing.
                                -
                                + Season 5: She encourages Dawn, a GRIEVING CHILD, to attempt a dangerous resurrection spell. Fortunately, Spike protects Dawn and Dawn is smart enough to end the spell even though she's a child and desperately wants mom back. Consider that for a moment. Dawn made the responsible choice. Willow did not or could not.




                                Season 6
                                + People who don't want to control others, do NOT mind-wipe their partners after fights (and from what Dawn said to Tara about their fights, it wasn't one time). We do NOT get to decide if our partners should stay angry at us.

                                + They don't mind-wipe their friends to 'fix' their lives. This is NOT normal behavior. They didn't ASK to be 'fixed'. It's not acceptable. If I drugged my husband every time we fought so that he would forget (and even worse, so that I could take him to bed when he was unwilling) And yes, roofies would make him forget our fight if given soon after b/c they affect the formation of short term memory) That would be wrong. They put people in prison for doing this sort of thing! Essentially, this is what Willow does. She justifies it too. She says 'she just wanted things to be ok'. BUT we do not decide what is OK for those we love. If they are adults, they get to make their own choices. (Even children should be allowed to gradually make more and more (age appropriate) choices, if they're being raised in a healthy way)

                                + When Willow decided to raise Buffy, she lied to her friends about the true nature of the spell (and its potential dangers). This was manipulation by omission... She got them to agree to something without the true information about what they were doing. She LIED so she could get what she wanted.

                                + When confronted by Giles about her spell to raise Buffy she THREATENED him. That's NOT a sign of good mental health or a responsible use of power. Normal people when confronted by possible abuse of power discuss it... and even if they don't agree, they do NOT threaten someone with their power.

                                + When Willow and Amy go dancing in the Bronze they CHANGE REALITY. They actually change people's genders and do a whole lot of dangerous and MALICIOUS things... they casually use powerful magics to get what they want without regard to the possible danger to an ENTIRE CLUB FULL OF PEOPLE. What if they couldn't change those people back? This was reckless, selfish behavior and it was an ABUSE OF HER POWER. She did something to people that they had no way of stopping and would not have wanted. Even if some of those people were obnoxious, they didn't deserve to have their lives and realities put at risk.

                                +She creates a 'playmate' in Amy so she can do magic with someone who will let her be willful and irresponsible. Amy had spent years as a rat. She wasn't a poster girl for sanity. Willow should have taken her HOME to dad and mental health care, not off to the magical mystery tour of the Hellmouth!

                                + When Willow took Dawn to Rack's, she put Dawn in danger, but she had the power and the desire to get her magic fix and that was more important to her than Dawn was. She actually drew a dangerous demon to this reality, and it went after her and Dawn and she caused an accident that could have killed them both or the demon could have killed them. This is a misuse of her power. This is a reckless and selfish set of actions that put someone else at risk.

                                + She may have been 'elected' 'in charge' but just because a person is elected doesn't mean they then have carte blanche to do whatever they want. That is called DICTATORSHIP. In the situation where she was elected informally to lead them, this does not give her permission to do ANYTHING or make ALL THE CHOICES including choices that are dangerous or immoral.


                                Finally, I do want to say this: we all wanted Buffy back. Like Spike, I was grateful to see my girl again, but also aware of the consequences. (Even Dawn realized that bringing back the dead was wrong, and she was a child) Yet, the entire season six AND seven shows the consequences of that one action. Of course, since Buffy is our hero we want her back, but the power over life and death does not naturally belong to humans. We are not Gods. Whether you believe in God or gods or not, humans aren't supposed to raise the dead. In this universe (the Buffy universe) there's heaven and other realms... A responsible choice would have Willow and the others checking to see where Buffy is and only trying to bring her back if they found she was in a hell dimension. They did not look. So she was sucked out of heavenly peace. (In Angel, Angel and company did this where Cordelia was concerned. She vanished. They didn't immediately decide to bring her back. They decided to FIND her first.... and even that didn't end well, but that's a different story. Maybe when people cross over they shouldn't come back?)


                                Raising Buffy had MAJOR consequences.
                                • Buffy comes back suicidal and remains miserable.
                                • Willow spends the entire season out of control and destructive, mostly of her friends.
                                • Dawn ends up being neglected and endangered. Even if Hank could not have been found, she could have gone to Joyce's family, but because they planned to raise Buffy, her friends hid her death and kept a grieving child from any kind of responsible adult care and she ended up depressed and stealing.
                                • Willow ends up so powerful that when Tara dies (not blaming her for this) she goes over the edge and kills at least 2 people (Warren and Rack - no major loss to the world, but killing a person in rage changes anyone, and it changed Willow and not for the better.)
                                • Willow's rampage ends up with her trying to destroy the planet. She becomes a big bad BECAUSE OF HER BEHAVIOR starting with her wilful perversion of the natural order of life and death and her habitual and wilful misuse of magic for years. You cannot get more wilful than TRYING TO END THE WORLD
                                • Buffy's return from the dead allows the First Evil a foothold to try and come back into the world and take over. [*=1]MANY PEOPLE DIED AS A DIRECT RESULT OF HER CHOICE TO BRING BUFFY BACK AND XANDER LOST HIS EYE.

                                Normal people do not (a) kill in rages - decide to be judge, jury and executioner - Warren) - or (b) kill to take the power of someone else - Rack - This is a complete abdication of human decency, selfish, irresponsible and EVIL behavior.

                                Is Willow power hungry?
                                The facts: She amasses great power, including taking it from others by force. She shows a need or desire to control others by her memory wipe spells and her reality alteration spell. You can decide what it all means.

                                I do know that AFTER all that, she doesn't apologize or recognize that she did wrong. No, she feels sorry for herself to such a degree that she vanishes when she comes back to Sunnydale. It's all about Willow.


                                Whatever her behavior means about her desiring of power, it is clear she:
                                a) amasses great power by fair means and foul
                                b) repeatedly misuses it
                                c) endangers herself, others and the world by doing so
                                Apparently, I'm not the only one with this idea:
                                https://25yearslatersite.com/2021/05...iles-journeys/

                                By the way, we have a halcyon example of the proper use of power through seven seasons of BUFFY. Buffy could have used her power to amass a lot of money and get more power. Instead, she is there day after day, even when she doesn't want to be and even after they bring her back and FORCE her back into a world that no longer feels like hers. She doesn't try to control ANYONE or make anyone do what she wants to. She protects the weak and saves people who never know she exists. She doesn't lord her power over anyone or hurt anyone (the one exception to the hurting others being her meltdown and beat down of Spike in the alley, but she was a colossal mess and it was never repeated) Do you really think someone with super strength could not abuse that kind of power? We saw Faith try. Someone less messed up than Faith could have used that kind of power to do a lot of evil or just to get rich.

                                Finally, when she gets the ultimate weapon, she SHARES her power - to save the world AGAIN. Buffy had two chances to be come the uber slayer in season seven. When the shadow men offered her more power. She REFUSED. When she got the scythe. She SHARED. Even when it didn't go perfectly, she wasn't doing it for BUFFY, she was doing it for the world to keep spinning.

                                That is what HONOR does. That is what HEROES do. Heroes serve others and protect others and live sacrificially. They NEVER grab power for themselves or its own sake, and they don't abuse it.



                                Anyway, this is my little 'book' on the subject.

                                Peace,

                                Blue

                                Last edited by DeepBlueJoy; 22-06-21, 06:23 PM.

                                Comment


                                • #79
                                  Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post

                                  Firstly, Garfan, welcome to the forums!! I just noticed you've only a few posts.

                                  We love to argue here, so please don't take it too personally.

                                  Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post

                                  So... I do believe that Willow does need power. She abuses power and she amasses magical power off the scale - not always by fair means. She TAKES power from Rack without permission and she takes power from GILES without his permission and she also (previous season) sucks the magic books dry even the dangerous ones because she's in a rage over Tara being hurt.
                                  Who decides what is fair when lives are on the line?

                                  And then there's the question of does a need mean she desires it when in fact it's others who need her to be more powerful, when THEY want her to use the power

                                  Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post

                                  I think if you look at her whole arc from the beginning of the series, she lacks confidence and self esteem and she works to acquire skills and power to compensate for her inadequacies. As she excels at various things, these things validate her to herself and in the eyes of others. I do NOT thing she becomes more confident, however... She's still (in her own eyes) a nerd and anxious about relationships. I know a lot of people like this... they are really smart, but they lack true confidence. Most, thankfully, don't control and manipulate their friends and families, but some sadly do.

                                  In a lot of fanfic, we see writers use the almost complete absence of her parents from the series to suggest that she feels neglected and abandoned by her parents. This abandonment isn't strictly shown in canon, but i think that fic writers see this as a good interpretation of the person they see on screen and that is why it keeps on showing up.

                                  We see her in the office with the principal (season 3) and she's being bullied by him to teach the basketball player -- because she's bright but lacks the spine to simply say 'no'.

                                  So, why do so many of us see her as power hungry or at least in need of control? Because she shows it in her choices. She lies and manipulates and actually changes reality for people, both those she loves and those she doesn't and she uses her magic in dangerous ways for selfish reasons.
                                  I consider part of the flaw as you're looking at her through real world standards, when the Buffyverse is not the real world

                                  Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post

                                  HABITUAL MISUSE OF MAGIC:

                                  -
                                  + SEASON 4: she attempts to curse Oz when he cheats on her: “Let Oz and Veruca’s deceitful hearts be broken. […] Let them find no love or solace. Let them find no peace as well.” She does see sense and backs out, but the fact she considered such a spell is a sign of how her mind works. Anger --> do dangerous magic and hurt the cause of the anger.


                                  An attempt would be completing the spell but failing. She considers an stops. How many people would like to lash out an ex who hurt them?

                                  Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post
                                  + SEASON 4: She does the 'my will be done spell in season four over a romantic breakup . This is wrong on so many levels.
                                  Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post


                                  She wants to fix her feelings by erasing them with magic. That's not normal or right behavior... and she's so irresponsible, she creates a dangerous spell that could have inadvertently hurt a lot of people or even ended the world with a WORD from her... and it DID harm her friends. her reaction? Make cookies. That might not be power hunger, but she definitely had amassed it and she did have power over others...

                                  A NORMAL person could have seen that this KIND OF SPELL was wrong, even if it was only limited to one person... even if it was just limited to herself. That is a dangerous spell. MY WILL BE DONE. That is taking the power of GOD or CREATOR. No human should consider exercising their will as the way to go.
                                  Erasing feelings with an outside source isn't normal? Why do people self medicate with alcohol when depressed then? I wouldn't be surprised if Willow looked at it as little like when a psychiatrist prescribed medications

                                  Willow's first spell was an ensouling spell. A spell first created and used by an entire clan of Roma(trying to be polite here), that were at worst presented as misguided. At the end of the season you're listing Willow will bind four souls into one body and it is the right thing to do.

                                  The beginning of the next season, a group of monks will create a human life and insert her into a family.

                                  The idea that there are certain things that are just the province of a a God or Creator in the Buffyverse is a non-starter for me in the Buffyverse

                                  The Buffyverse is a supernatural reality and in Angel and even the last season of Buffy the supernatural is shown as more prevalent than it initially seemed if you're in the know. A mainstream celebrity, Aimee Mann is shown complaining about playing "vampire towns"



                                  Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post


                                  Season 6[INDENT]+ People who don't want to control others, do NOT mind-wipe their partners after fights (and from what Dawn said to Tara about their fights, it wasn't one time). We do NOT get to decide if our partners should stay angry at us.
                                  See my posts to Stoney about why I consider Willow having done that. I also disagree that it was multiple times

                                  Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post

                                  + When Willow decided to raise Buffy, she lied to her friends about the true nature of the spell (and its potential dangers). This was manipulation by omission... She got them to agree to something without the true information about what they were doing. She LIED so she could get what she wanted.
                                  If lies by omission are considered some terrible thing, then the primary anti-magic voice in the season Tara gets her legs swept right out from under her based on her first year with Willow. Lying by omission to protect yourself vs lying by omission to bring back the world's greatest hero? All Tara's moral authority is gone

                                  Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post
                                  + When confronted by Giles about her spell to raise Buffy she THREATENED him. That's NOT a sign of good mental health or a responsible use of power. Normal people when confronted by possible abuse of power discuss it... and even if they don't agree, they do NOT threaten someone with their power.

                                  sorry, when Giles opened his mouth in that scene I thought he needed a frying pan to the face so we're not going to agree

                                  Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post


                                  Finally, I do want to say this: we all wanted Buffy back. Like Spike, I was grateful to see my girl again, but also aware of the consequences. (Even Dawn realized that bringing back the dead was wrong, and she was a child) Yet, the entire season six AND seven shows the consequences of that one action. Of course, since Buffy is our hero we want her back, but the power over life and death does not naturally belong to humans. We are not Gods. Whether you believe in God or gods or not, humans aren't supposed to raise the dead. In this universe (the Buffy universe) there's heaven and other realms... A responsible choice would have Willow and the others checking to see where Buffy is and only trying to bring her back if they found she was in a hell dimension. They did not look. So she was sucked out of heavenly peace. (In Angel, Angel and company did this where Cordelia was concerned. She vanished. They didn't immediately decide to bring her back. They decided to FIND her first.... and even that didn't end well, but that's a different story. Maybe when people cross over they shouldn't come back?)
                                  Angel's soul crossed over it came back and he helped save the world

                                  You can't put the actions of the First Evil on Willow. If you try I'm gonna put it back on other heroes, just to show why you can't


                                  Raising Buffy had MAJOR consequences.
                                  • Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post
                                  • Buffy comes back suicidal and remains miserable.
                                  Buffy's final action in life was to commit suicide, so can you really say that was on Willow

                                  Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post
                                • Dawn ends up being neglected and endangered. Even if Hank could not have been found, she could have gone to Joyce's family, but because they planned to raise Buffy, her friends hid her death and kept a grieving child from any kind of responsible adult care and she ended up depressed and stealing.

                                They hid Buffy's death so demons didn't know about the Slayer being absent.

                                Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post
                              • Willow's rampage ends up with her trying to destroy the planet. She becomes a big bad BECAUSE OF HER BEHAVIOR starting with her wilful perversion of the natural order of life and death and her habitual and wilful misuse of magic for years. You cannot get more wilful than TRYING TO END THE WORLD
                              • Willow's rampage goes to end the world levels because Giles comes back and connects her to the world's pain. We've seen that kind of thing cause insanity in the Buffyverse before

                                Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post
                              • Buffy's return from the dead allows the First Evil a foothold to try and come back into the world and take over. [*=1]MANY PEOPLE DIED AS A DIRECT RESULT OF HER CHOICE TO BRING BUFFY BACK AND XANDER LOST HIS EYE.
                              • Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post
                                [INDENT]
                                [B]Normal people do not (a) kill in rages - decide to be judge, jury and executioner - Warren) - or (b) kill to take the power of someone else - Rack - This is a complete abdication of human decency, selfish, irresponsible and EVIL behavior.
                                Both Giles and Buffy have both attempted to kill in a rage. Willow was just better at it.

                                Again you cannot blame Willow for the First's actions.

                                If Buffy had not died for Dawn then none of this could have happened. If Dawn had jumped before Buffy got there it wouldn't have happened. If the monks hadn't created Dawn(who's entire existence is a violation of the natural order you seem so concerned about) it wouldn't have happened. If Xander hadn't given Buffy CPR it wouldn't have happened.

                                Hell going beyond just good guys, if Richard Wilkins hadn't founded Sunnydale it wouldn't happened





                                Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post
                                I do know that AFTER all that, she doesn't apologize or recognize that she did wrong. No, she feels sorry for herself to such a degree that she vanishes when she comes back to Sunnydale. It's all about Willow.
                                If she didn't recognize what she did was wrong then she wouldn't have felt sorry for herself



                                Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post
                                a) amasses great power by fair means and foul
                                b) repeatedly misuses it
                                c) endangers herself, others and the world by doing so
                                [INDENT]Apparently, I'm not the only one with this idea:
                                https://25yearslatersite.com/2021/05...iles-journeys/
                                By the way, we have a halcyon example of the proper use of power through seven seasons of BUFFY. Buffy could have used her power to amass a lot of money and get more power. Instead, she is there day after day, even when she doesn't want to be and even after they bring her back and FORCE her back into a world that no longer feels like hers. She doesn't try to control ANYONE or make anyone do what she wants to. She protects the weak and saves people who never know she exists. She doesn't lord her power over anyone or hurt anyone (the one exception to the hurting others being her meltdown and beat down of Spike in the alley, but she was a colossal mess and it was never repeated) Do you really think someone with super strength could not abuse that kind of power? We saw Faith try. Someone less messed up than Faith could have used that kind of power to do a lot of evil or just to get rich.

                                Finally, when she gets the ultimate weapon, she SHARES her power - to save the world AGAIN. Buffy had two chances to be come the uber slayer in season seven. When the shadow men offered her more power. She REFUSED. When she got the scythe. She SHARED. Even when it didn't go perfectly, she wasn't doing it for BUFFY, she was doing it for the world to keep spinning.

                                That is what HONOR does. That is what HEROES do. Heroes serve others and protect others and live sacrificially. They NEVER grab power for themselves or its own sake, and they don't abuse it.

                                Look, I mostly agree with this, but the thing is, the way they wrote season 5 I never bought that Buffy did what she did completely for Dawn. I think she quit on the world. Maybe after what she suffered she deserved to be done. That doesn't make it completely right.

                                You're in a war zone and one of your group goes out on a suicide run that saves everyone lives. Totally heroic right? What if someone else could have done it, he had PTSD and he was also the only one of your group with medical training? Not so heroic now right?

                                I think Buffy's rejection of the Shadowmen's offer is at least partly of her trauma over the "death is your gift" thing

                                Buffy did on occasion use her strength to benefit herself. Willow's magical power is just that much greater.

                                Also, Buffy was only able to share her power because of Willow, and Willow wouldn't have been where she was without her past


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                              • #80
                                Originally posted by Garfan View Post
                                I guess nervous is a bad way to put I just don't think she likes it because not something she would choose for herself. Which might be why it's upsetting "If I'm being put in charge of others that means something has gone very wrong."
                                I think it flares the performance anxiety and worries of underperforming. But she was quite eager when she was doing the computer teaching, even was disappointed when her prepared for lesson plans weren't needed, as I remember it because she was proud at how it was going. I honestly think if it is something that she's very confident in and enjoys, she can get pretty comfortable (like with academic work). But if it is something she'd rather not be doing she is still able and capable, but it flares the anxieties more. So it wouldn't necessarily be something she'd choose or wouldn't on balance find stressful.

                                As Willow became more able with magic it offered her another way to look to meet expectations and succeed, to help. When pressure and expectation is difficult to deal with, not using something that can alleviate that I think was just very hard for her.

                                of course then you get to the question of where does it count as "abusing." She stops herself short with Oz and Veruca. Her spell with Xander also never happens. People seem to go back and forth on how much wanting to do that needs to be mentioned. The show is very inconsistent on what sort of consequences there are or could be.
                                There was a lack of support and guidance on using magic for Willow and I think this is touched on with Giles' criticism of Willow after they have resurrected Buffy and her anger with him. Giles' absence and withdrawal then to protect his own issues could be related to his denial about his own background with magic in the early seasons and lack of proper guidance for Willow and yet a tendency to start to lean on her to get involved. This really stands out when she is being criticised for not helping with the spell in Something Blue and yet at the same time uses magic irresponsibly in her grief that could have had dire consequences. This is what makes the difference I think, that lack of thought about the consequences for others if things go wrong or if they wouldn't want to be bespelled (like the attempt to get Xander involved in the spell to delust them without asking him to participate). Making decisions for people and ones that command them is morally questionable.

                                I meant the literal high, not just the "high" of having a good time
                                It's possible of course that we just don't see the character journeys the same and will have to agree to disagree, as that was a literal high I think. She was revelling in the power she had, and careless in exercising it. That was why she had a minor crash the next day. When Amy is asking her what they can do to top last night Willow says, "Yeah, I don't know if I can. I felt awful today, and I couldn't do magic. Took me all day to get my powers back. I think we should just take it easy." Amy then suggests going to Rack and comments that, "he knows spells that last for days. And the burnout factor is like, nothing." When Willow asks if it is dangerous, Amy asks her if that would stop her. Clearly the answer to that is no. The spells themselves are the fix. It isn't doing something different, it is finding someone that can increase the intensity of what they were already doing. They are already talking in terms of further highs, and managing the fallout of the come down of the next day.

                                I just feel they undermined it a lot. Season 1, Buffy survived because she has a friend to give her CPR. Except the reason(often overlooked) that she went down to fight the Master and needed CPR was because Angel had found the book with the prophecy for Giles. It really should have just been found in his normal course of research. It's perfectly reasonable to happen and then there is zero downside to the extended friend group
                                The connections that Buffy has helps to give her purpose and something to fight for. Her family and friends also fight alongside her and have helped her to win time and again. That living the lives they do brings in difficulties and makes them targets, doesn't eradicate that they are overall fighting to help others and learning how to become stronger individuals too.

                                I don't feel they did a message of women who have power hurt other people, the idea I'm talking about is I feel there's a bit to much of the idea of those who choose to challenge the status quo invite suffering. It's there enough that it screws with Buffy, who does a lot of what she's supposed and to while also doing some of her own thing
                                I think it is quite simply that challenging the status quo isn't easy or others would have done it more readily. That doesn't mean that it shouldn't be done and that the group haven't ended up stronger together by getting through the difficult times. They definitely show that it is tough though, but for me, seeing them still trying gives weight to what you're trying to achieve and their belief in the worth of it I think.

                                I'm in favor of the mass empowering spell. It just irritates me that Willow's big redemption thing is once again doing a spell someone else wants her to do. None of the major magic she wanted to do was ever a good thing. Changing the world is only okay with someone else's permission, even if the others asking her are just as small a group. Meanwhile Cordelia fighting to keep the visions is first self-destructive and she knows to survive she has to get rid of them, then dangerous to the world since it allows Jasmine to happen
                                I think Willow's redemption comes in using big spells at the point when it is needed and having faith in herself that she can limit the use and trust herself more, without it getting out of control. The support is part of what brings her confidence in herself. They are all empowering each other and she plays a huge part of that.

                                As for Cordelia, her story is tragic. There is some hubris in her belief that she became so special to ascend, but when she agreed to become part demon to be able to take on the weight of the visions it was one of her most heroic moments. Whatever personal weaknesses played into her being used as she was, she really did look to become a better version of herself and for a greater good other than her own benefit. It isn't her fault that she was targeted and used by the bad guys, it doesn't eradicate who she was.

                                I feel like they show is trying to appear more radical than it is on the empowering women front.
                                I think a key feature of the show though is that life isn't easy and you have to find your way through, it's a fundamental part of the show and the sense of growing up and personal development. So struggles are an inherent part.

                                I'd love to hear elements that you loved in the show. There's a new thread I put up today asking a bunch of questions about your personal highlights of S1. I still need to do it, but would be really interested to hear what you enjoyed most when the show was just starting.

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