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Saint Tara's, Writer Fiats and Glowing Cordelia's.

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  • Saint Tara's, Writer Fiats and Glowing Cordelia's.

    The most writers will create a character what is too perfect, glow over mistakes to make their characters look better or make a character too strong.

    I'm interested if you are bothered by this in the 'verse. The writers never created a real Mary Sue, but some characters came close.

    Oz, who was cool, sweet, smart and the best boyfriend ever. Tara who was way too perfect in season 6 (probably to make SR worse.), Cordelia who lost her flaws and became Saint Cordelia ... or Fred who was smart, sweet, every man liked her and she was also very brave. Connor will soon enter the danger zone if the writers won't stop with making him the most likable person of all. Just like with Spike in season 7, it's close to going too far.

    We also had major writer fiats in Season 7 to make Buffy look better.

    I posted this in the Buffy fan thread, and I wanted to know if I was alone on this.

    I still think that the major reason is that the writers never have the guts to punish Buffy. Angel did some really bad things, the same for Wesley ... but both characters had to deal with it. You can compare Angel's season 2 behavior with Buffy's season 7 behavior. Both were mean, cold and wrong. But Angel had to earn his place back, his friends were hard on him and he payed for his behavior. Buffy got kicked out, got a cheesy speech from Spike ... Faith has somehow no slayer intuition and made one mistake and she is a worse leader, Buffy's plan works somehow ... she returns and everybody is grateful that Buffy was big enough to return and they all forgot her awful behavior without any kind of excuse. Where other characters pay for their stupid and bad deeds, Buffy doesn't and that takes away a big part of the sympathy of a character. I think that if the writers treat her like they treat Angel, there will be more sympathy.
    I think that characters who are too likable, too perfect or the ones that won't pay for their stupid mistakes ... will be less likable. You start wanting that they make mistakes ... to fall, to be rejected or to be wrong. Just to make them more human again; nobody likes the perfect person.

    How do you react on those things?
    Nina
    and her haircut.
    Last edited by Nina; 01-09-08, 09:16 PM.


  • #2
    Like Groo?

    I just heard about this board today because vampmogs posted this over at the IDW board:

    There's a fan over on Buffyforums called Nina who agrees with you Hawkedup. She believes that the reason Buffy isn't very sympathetic to a lot of fans anymore is that they didn't show her being wrong in this situation but right, even with her attitude that year. She stated that when Angel makes a big mistake they don't cover it up and make it so he was right and this is why she finds it easier to forgive Angel. It's an interesting theory.
    Which, to be honest, is the reason I decided to come here and check this board out. Needless to say, I agree with you about Buffy. When I look at Buffy as a leader, I'm almost disgusted by how they handled that situation. Sophie said:

    Also, I didn't like the message that Buffy being right by accident implied: that one should follow and trust a leader, no matter how crazy their plans are. I get still believing in Buffy, and both sides should have backed down and taken some time to cool off, before Buffy got kicked out. But I don't think someone being a great leader means those following should just turn off their brains and always trust on blind faith.
    That's the feeling I got as a viewer. I didn't trust Buffy and I wouldn't have followed her even if she was right (on accident) most of the time. And she was too "pure". Meaning she was so righteous and lacked the ability to sacrifice for the greater good. In my eyes, her “sacrifice” in the Gift was one of the most selfish things she ever did—mainly because she would have let the whole world die just for Dawn.

    On the other hand, I would follow Angel to Hell--literally.
    "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill

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    • #3
      You are right. One of the reasons I'm not interested in Tara is how sweet and saint-y she is. I don't hate her, well, I don't hate any character, but I'm not interested in her. I like my characters flawed, with a hint of sarcasm, and are still good guys. Characters like Angel, Willow, Xander, Gunn, Dawn and Giles are always on the top for me. I also like Buffy, Spike and Wesley because they fit into my description of liked characters but the way some fans justify their bad deeds and make them appear like saints makes me feel less thrilled with them at times.

      I liked Cordelia better in BtVS and the first couple of AtS seasons. Then she changed into this strange, complete woman who doesn't need any further development. She wasn't fun anymore. It's different from Buffy, Xander and Willow who still maintained flaws and were still fun to watch by the later seasons yet it's notable that they matured a lot.
      Made by Trickyboxes
      Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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      • #4
        Groo is another thing, if he would be a serious character ... I would hate him. But I'm okay with the guy ... as long I don't have to take him serious.

        I agree with Sophie, the message that the followers should follow without questions makes me sad. I do trust Buffy as a person and leader, but she made too much mistakes to be followed without hesitation. I think that her mistakes are good, people make mistakes ... Buffy makes them. But season 7 had some really bad writing, if Buffy had to learn from her mistakes it would be so different ... it would be good to see her learn, to see her stand up again. The writers always catched her before she could fall, which was too much in season 7 (season 8 shows some hopeful signs, I think that they are ready to let her fall).

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        • #5
          *Very minld ATF spoilers*

          Well that was the beauty of Cordelia's story. She grew and became, probably, the only purest soul in both Angel and Buffy (and considering her origins, that is huge). Recently Wesley referred to Cody as "The greatest force of what we consider good..."

          That’s why her death was so brilliant. Because you are right—she didn’t have any character growth left to give. But now her fate is both beautiful and sad but also not so sad because she is still out there, watching...
          "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill

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          • #6
            I love what they (well ... Brian Lynch) did with Cordy, but she has to stay away to make it work. If she would return and save the day with her super duper godly powers ... the story and the character would become very annoying.

            And the lack of the old Cordy got me on my nerves in season 3, she was like Tara. I like both, but I hoped that they would make mistakes or being mean for once. Cordy's one episode in season 5 was beautiful ... but she was so perfect that I made up theories about her not being her.
            Nina
            and her haircut.
            Last edited by Nina; 01-09-08, 11:13 PM.

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            • #7
              To be fair to Tara she does have her odd moment of snark (I always think of "In your pants?") but yes the reason that i'm probably less interested in her and some of the other characters mentioned in this thread (I'd include Riley on the list too) is that they are just too nice and good and wholesome for most of the time and that on the whole is, well, boring.

              I'm not sure i would include Oz though. For me he doesn't suffer from the same saintliness as the others.
              JUST ENOUGH KILL

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              • #8
                I also think that a grounding (or "boring") character can be a good thing. Taken on a character-by-character basis, maybe they aren't as interesting, but from a creative standpoint, they provide an extra jolt to the other characters. Tara is a good example of this.
                "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill

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                • #9
                  Oz, while I think is cool and awesome, isn't really that much of a saint. He mocks Xander. A lot. He's has a good sense of wit but he never really comes out as mean. He had that big Veruca mistake, also losing his temper when he knew that Tara slept with Willow. He loses his cool sometimes when Willow is in danger. All moments that makes him less saint-y.
                  Made by Trickyboxes
                  Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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                  • #10
                    Oz, while I think is cool and awesome, isn't really that much of a saint. He mocks Xander. A lot. He's has a good sense of wit but he never really comes out as mean. He had that big Veruca mistake, also losing his temper when he knew that Tara slept with Willow. He loses his cool sometimes when Willow is in danger. All moments that makes him less saint-y.
                    Agreed. Plus, Oz is a total slacker who has no sense of direction in his life. Even with his music, Oz is content with mediocrity. Oz is definitely sweet and funny and smart and all around delightful, but he's flawed and human enough to be interesting.

                    Tara, on the other hand, is Mary Sue Numero Uno in the Buffyverse. I'm always infuriated how much of Tara's actions are white-washed in Family. Tara kept her supposed demon-hood a secret from Willow and the rest of the Scoobies- never owning up to the fact that she could potentially be dangerous and unable to check her actions- even when she's living in the same dorm with Willow. She does spells for her own amusement- sparkly lights, what have you- even though she's told that this constant use of magic will only make her demon side that much more potent when it finally emerges. But Tara's problems in Family are all reduced to one little spell gone wrong which is totally excusable since Tara's family are a bunch of dishonest, metaphorically homophobic rednecks. We're supposed to forget about the deeper issue for me- the year of mendacity and lifestyle of irresponsibility vis a vi this supposed demon side.

                    Cordelia is also a total Mary Sue in the later seasons of AtS- really S2 and S3. It was really convenient that Cordelia was out of the country when Wesley kidnapped Connor and then had nothing to say but strictly adhering loyalty to Angel. G-d forbid, Cordelia should have a textured, controversial opinion on her former best friend's actions that can be counted and judged.

                    I don't really count later season Buffy as a Mary Sue. She definitely benefits from Writer's Fiat and doesn't suffer consequences from her actions. But Writer's Fiat aside, there's a kind of mean-spiritedness to how the writers wrote Buffy in S5-7, that run directly contrary to Mary-Sue-ness. Blaming Riley's issues on Buffy. Putting her in ugly situations like dumpster sex or public anal sex with Spike. Using friggin' Andrew to make fun of how boring Buffy's speeches are and having Anya launch into a tirade about how lucky Buffy was- "Everybody Sucks But Me" speech included. I think that Buffy should have been accountable for her actions and the writers' shouldn't have character assassinated Buffy's friends to justify Buffy's alone, hates the world mien. However, I think Buffy the character definitely could have benefited from some *more* love in the writers' room.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dipstick View Post
                      Tara, on the other hand, is Mary Sue Numero Uno in the Buffyverse. I'm always infuriated how much of Tara's actions are white-washed in Family. Tara kept her supposed demon-hood a secret from Willow and the rest of the Scoobies- never owning up to the fact that she could potentially be dangerous and unable to check her actions- even when she's living in the same dorm with Willow. She does spells for her own amusement- sparkly lights, what have you- even though she's told that this constant use of magic will only make her demon side that much more potent when it finally emerges. But Tara's problems in Family are all reduced to one little spell gone wrong which is totally excusable since Tara's family are a bunch of dishonest, metaphorically homophobic rednecks. We're supposed to forget about the deeper issue for me- the year of mendacity and lifestyle of irresponsibility vis a vi this supposed demon side.
                      Hi, I was planning on satying out of this Thread but for the above.

                      First of all I don't see why a character has to make mistakes to be liked.
                      There is such a thing as reasoning things through and being wise about the decisions you make. You don't find Tara Oz Cordy etc as interesting because they are not stupid?

                      Anyway for this above situation with Tara first off.

                      1 Why should she tell them about her demon? It is extremely personal. And especially with the fact that her abusive parents had been going of at her about it her whole life. Does it not make you feel even slightly forgiving that she has nothing in her life NOTHING! Except for her "loving" family. She believes, and it's totally understandable so. That she will lose all that she has gained if she tells. What would you do? She grew up expecting rejection. Of course she will make the mistake.

                      2. Similar to Willow but to a much higher extreme. Her magic is the only thing in her life that is and was good. She is not going to stop and it would be silly to expect her too. And it is the only thing that she still has from her mother. C'mon

                      3. She dealt with the situation badly. However she didn't mean it. Was sorry and would not and did not do it again so what is the purpose of punishment. Also have you noticed but when the scoobies make their first mistake or a small one they are forgiven? That is reasonable and no double standards should be in place. "Her year of mendacity and lifestyle of irresponsibilty" was her first recognised mistake. And there were more pressing matters at hand anyway rather than any form of punishment. Besides she always forgave others. Of course they are going to do the same.

                      If anything her less than perfect moment would be in letting Willow go ahead with Resurrecting Buffy.
                      "I never learned from a man who agreed with me.'" Robert Heinlen

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                      • #12
                        I feel the need to protect Cordy's "interesting factor". They were building her up as being so pure because she (not a seperate character in Jasmine) was supposed to be the Big Bad in season 4 (which they did to a lesser degree after he got pregnant but something was lost in the translation, according to the show runners).

                        Also, I think it says something about Tara's character that she was able to stay so pure while characters like Xander, Willow, Dawn, Anya, and Buffy did absolutely stupid and illogical things just so the writers could give them something resembling a character arc in the latter seasons.
                        "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill

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                        • #13
                          First of all I don't see why a character has to make mistakes to be liked.
                          There is such a thing as reasoning things through and being wise about the decisions you make. You don't find Tara Oz Cordy etc as interesting because they are not stupid?
                          Stupid is a mite inflammatory. Wesley is one of the smartest characters in the Buffyverse- IMO a good deal smarter than Oz, Cordy, and Tara- but his story is very much about lapses in judgment. The smartest people in the Buffyverse- Giles, Welsey, Willow, Buffy, Lilah, Lindsey- make bad decisions.

                          As for "what a character needs to do to be liked", I do get that it's personal. Some fans really like character who never make mistakes and have no flaws, other than something as likable as not thinking highly enough of themselves. I respect that. But for me, I like a little color and feet of clay in my characters. Not the wrecks of the Scoobies circa BtVS S6-7, but a little unpredictability and controversy and flawed humanity in their actions. So I love the S1-5 versions of Willow, Giles, Xander, and Buffy. I love Angel, Faith, and Wesley and Cordelia for first four or five years on the Buffyverse. But Fred, Tara, and later Cordelia just don't turn me on or they outright annoy me. Besides, it seems a ridiculously easy for the writers. The writers could have just written every character except for the villains as Freds or Taras. People who never lose their temper when they shouldn't or make an controversial choice or just wrong choice *that's exposed as such.* Then, the writers can have entirely "likable" characters without the effort of creating dimensions, different flaws, or conflict between the heroes. As a result, you have a show that's just a pure version of the Good Perfect Heroes Fighting the Low Villains. It's just too easy and boring for me. Sorry, but I like my Revelations/Dead Man's Party rows. I like Slayers who blow off slaying to go to a frat party, just like I love Watchers who insensitively nudge their charges. I like when Buffy, Xander, Oz, and Cordelia skip class or openly cheat off of Willow. Or hell, when Willow completes Buffy's assignments so all she has to do is sign her name or sign-languages answers across the room. When people are rejected romantically, I enjoy Xander in Prophecy Girl or Willow in Innocence. I like when Cordelia gets super-excited about getting to charge people for saving their lives. And so on.

                          Why should she tell them about her demon? It is extremely personal. And especially with the fact that her abusive parents had been going of at her about it her whole life. Does it not make you feel even slightly forgiving that she has nothing in her life NOTHING! Except for her "loving" family. She believes, and it's totally understandable so. That she will lose all that she has gained if she tells. What would you do? She grew up expecting rejection. Of course she will make the mistake.
                          First, at this point in the series the Scooby gang is almost a Halfway House for Demons. You have Angel, Oz, and currently Spike and Anya. Plus, wouldn't Tara loses everything she has- re her relationship with the gang- if she reverts to the demon side and kills them when they're completely unprepared to deal with her? Tara as a wholly unchecked demon is a danger. Willow dated a werewolf for cryin' outloud and Tara was a personal witness/potential victim to the danger of assuming that Oz was entirely cured, even though everyone knew that Oz was a werewolf.

                          Ultimately, I think that people should have the right to know what species they're dating in the Buffyverse. Because when a person keeps her demonhood a secret all in the name of preserving her "normal" life, it can end badly. Just ask Xander at the end of Inca Mummy Girl.

                          Her magic is the only thing in her life that is and was good. She is not going to stop and it would be silly to expect her too. And it is the only thing that she still has from her mother. C'mon
                          I would hope that Tara values the safety of the people around her more than her magic. And it wouldn't be silly. I can say with complete confidence if I strongly believed that by making sparkly lights and playing with magic, I would be endangering a mess of people and making myself a more potent demon, I would stop it. I love chatting on message boards and chatting with my friends on line. If I was convinced that it was dangerous for me to do and I was endangering others, I would cut it out in a heartbeat. And I'm not nearly as nice as the writers claim Tara to be.

                          She dealt with the situation badly. However she didn't mean it. Was sorry and would not and did not do it again so what is the purpose of punishment. Also have you noticed but when the scoobies make their first mistake or a small one they are forgiven? That is reasonable and no double standards should be in place. "Her year of mendacity and lifestyle of irresponsibilty" was her first recognised mistake.
                          I wasn't even looking for punishment. Just for it to be acknowledged that the wrongness of Tara's actions extended further than one Blind Cadria spell. I wanted Willow to be unsettled that her girlfriend had the ability to keep that grave and dangerous a secret for so long. I wanted a sincere apology from Tara that she wouldn't keep any more secrets from the gang and a promise that she values their safety over protecting her own reputation with deception. Perhaps for her to own up to sabatoging the spell in Goodbye Iowa. I know that the Scoobies are a very forgiving group and the essence of Willow's character is unconditional, almost blind love to those she cares about. I wasn't looking for Tara to be burnt at the stake or anything. Just an honest representation of where she went wrong.
                          Dipstick
                          Hellmouth Tourist
                          Last edited by Dipstick; 02-09-08, 02:27 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dipstick View Post
                            Stupid is a mite inflammatory. Wesley is one of the smartest characters in the Buffyverse- IMO a good deal smarter than Oz, Cordy, and Tara- but his story is very much about lapses in judgment. The smartest people in the Buffyverse- Giles, Welsey, Willow, Buffy, Lilah, Lindsey- make bad decisions.

                            As for "what a character needs to do to be liked", I do get that it's personal. Some fans really like character who never make mistakes and have no flaws, other than something as likable as not thinking highly enough of themselves. I respect that. But for me, I like a little color and feet of clay in my characters. Not the wrecks of the Scoobies circa BtVS S6-7, but a little unpredictability and controversy and flawed humanity in their actions. So I love the S1-5 versions of Willow, Giles, Xander, and Buffy. I love Angel, Faith, and Wesley and Cordelia for first four or five years on the Buffyverse. But Fred, Tara, and later Cordelia just don't turn me on or they outright annoy me. Besides, it seems a ridiculously easy for the writers. The writers could have just written every character except for the villains as Freds or Taras. People who never lose their temper when they shouldn't or make an controversial choice or just wrong choice *that's exposed as such.* Then, the writers can have entirely "likable" characters without the effort of creating dimensions, different flaws, or conflict between the heroes. As a result, you have a show that's just a pure version of the Good Perfect Heroes Fighting the Low Villains. It's just too easy and boring for me. Sorry, but I like my Revelations/Dead Man's Party rows. I like Slayers who blow off slaying to go to a frat party, just like I love Watchers who insensitively nudge their charges. I like when Buffy, Xander, Oz, and Cordelia skip class or openly cheat off of Willow. Or hell, when Willow completes Buffy's assignments so all she has to do is sign her name or sign-languages answers across the room. When people are rejected romantically, I enjoy Xander in Prophecy Girl or Willow in Innocence. I like when Cordelia gets super-excited about getting to charge people for saving their lives. And so on.



                            First, at this point in the series the Scooby gang is almost a Halfway House for Demons. You have Angel, Oz, and currently Spike and Anya. Plus, wouldn't Tara loses everything she has- re her relationship with the gang- if she reverts to the demon side and kills them when they're completely unprepared to deal with her? Tara as a wholly unchecked demon is a danger. Willow dated a werewolf for cryin' outloud and Tara was a personal witness/potential victim to the danger of assuming that Oz was entirely cured, even though everyone knew that Oz was a werewolf.

                            Ultimately, I think that people should have the right to know what species they're dating in the Buffyverse. Because when a person keeps her demonhood a secret all in the name of preserving her "normal" life, it can end badly. Just ask Xander at the end of Inca Mummy Girl.



                            I would hope that Tara values the safety of the people around her more than her magic. And it wouldn't be silly. I can say with complete confidence if I strongly believed that by making sparkly lights and playing with magic, I would be endangering a mess of people and making myself a more potent demon, I would stop it. I love chatting on message boards and chatting with my friends on line. If I was convinced that it was dangerous for me to do and I was endangering others, I would cut it out in a heartbeat. And I'm not nearly as nice as the writers claim Tara to be.



                            I wasn't even looking for punishment. Just for it to be acknowledged that the wrongness of Tara's actions extended further than one Blind Cadria spell. I wanted Willow to be unsettled that her girlfriend had the ability to keep that grave and dangerous a secret for so long. I wanted a sincere apology from Tara that she wouldn't keep any more secrets from the gang and a promise that she values their safety over protecting her own reputation with deception. Perhaps for her to own up to sabatoging the spell in Goodbye Iowa. I know that the Scoobies are a very forgiving group and the essence of Willow's character is unconditional, almost blind love to those she cares about. I wasn't looking for Tara to be burnt at the stake or anything. Just an honest representation of where she went wrong.






                            I wasn't even looking for punishment. Just for it to be acknowledged that the wrongness of Tara's actions extended further than one Blind Cadria spell. I wanted Willow to be unsettled that her girlfriend had the ability to keep that grave and dangerous a secret for so long. I wanted a sincere apology from Tara that she wouldn't keep any more secrets from the gang and a promise that she values their safety over protecting her own reputation with deception. Perhaps for her to own up to sabatoging the spell in Goodbye Iowa. I know that the Scoobies are a very forgiving group and the essence of Willow's character is unconditional, almost blind love to those she cares about. I wasn't looking for Tara to be burnt at the stake or anything. Just an honest representation of where she went wrong.[/QUOTE]

                            There are 8 different kinds of intelligence. Rather than just one and it makes sense. For example a Professor is less intelligent in some areas when compared to a Athlete bad example but still (kinathestic intelligence can learn skillls involving the body remarkably quickly) or a musician or a priest etc.

                            Stupid is a bit much maybe but in some ways yes they are.

                            So yes in some ways Wesley is very intelligent (but still not the most IMO that goes to Fred, Tara or Willow) But not as wise. As Tara who is easily the most along with Giles maybe?

                            Tara had flaws I don't wish to point them out but they are there. Soem are her fault others not. One which I doubt is her fault is the one that you've pointed out. One of the instances where she erred. She has depth she just has remarkable self control.

                            You forget the point I made that she was raised by the family she was. She has lived with a family having a swing at her self esteem. etc for 17 years
                            it takes a long tim to get over something like that. Of course she has trust issues and of course she will believe that Willow will abandon her because it really by this stage is all she knows. After all she has been told by her family this for years. Yes she made a mistake but empathize absolutely anyone would have done the same thing. This is why the scoobies don't make a issue. Also because they know that that's her big secret.

                            Her magic is all that she has that is good in her life. Almost ever in fact apart from her mother. Who used magic as well. It's her last connection to her mother. She does not know that magic will make the demon worse. A good chance but not definately. Think about it like this. If someone was holding someone you love at gunpoint and says that they will shoot them if you don't put the gun down. It's obvious that they will put down the gun because although they don't believe the person and they are almost certain that he will kill them both anyway. You would put the gun down because any chance is better than no chance.

                            She probably had her doubts anyway and prefered to believe that the magic would not make it worse subconciously. People do this. And then forget they've done it. Because she can see that it helps. Who is she going to belive her Dad or her mother who is a witch?

                            The wrongness of her actions probably should have been pointed out but that's it she'd learnt her lesson. And would not do it again. That wa her big secret anyway. And it's unreasonable that she should have to tell all of her secrets anyhow. They are hers and unless they directly impact the gang. Which she was trying to avoid but failing. She still tried and nothing bad came out of it except that instance.

                            My point is that what she did was wrong. Yes, however you should empathise with her. Because it's clear why and she learnt her lesson and won't do it again. Why delve deeply into it? What does it achieve? Nothing really. Sort of fitting here is the expression "violence only creates violence, the only way to stop is with Peace"

                            The problem with a honest representation is that it's to deep a subject for this show. Which isn't really that deep. What we are doing is making it deep. Just assume that what you are saying did happen of screen. Just like I assume they mourned the death of scoobies of screen. It fills the gaping wholes that exist. On the show they can't go deep enough to fill these whole they don't have the time. They expect us to do that. And here we are
                            Revan
                            Hellmouth Tourist
                            Last edited by Revan; 02-09-08, 03:05 AM.
                            "I never learned from a man who agreed with me.'" Robert Heinlen

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                            • #15
                              There are 8 different kinds of intelligence. Rather than just one and it makes sense. For example a Professor is less intelligent in some areas when compared to a Athlete bad example but still (kinathestic intelligence can learn skillls involving the body remarkably quickly) or a musician or a priest etc.

                              Stupid is a bit much maybe but in some ways yes they are.
                              Eh, I still wouldn't use *stupidity* to describe Wesley's arc or Giles drugging up Buffy or Buffy running away at the end of S2. A smart person can screw-up and it can still not be attributed to any stupidity of any kind. Wesley's arc IMO is about his arrogance, his ends justifies the means philosophy, his loner personality- but stupidity is really very simplistic and kind of inaccurate.

                              So yes in some ways Wesley is very intelligent (but still not the most IMO that goes to Fred, Tara or Willow) But not as wise. As Tara who is easily the most along with Giles maybe?
                              I always thought the smartest were Willow, Fred, Giles, and Wesley with honorable mentions to Buffy and Angel. Of course, this all meshes with your mentioned "different types of intelligence". Giles and Wesley stand out because of their cultured way of speaking, elevated diction, and huge bases of knowledge. Buffy and Angel have top notch streets smarts and leadership capabilities. Fred and Willow are impressive in the sense that the only true "prodigy" is a math/science one. Plus, Willow is particularly impressive in that she's a truly self-made woman. She didn't get a full education at the Watcher's Council or a post-graduate education like Fred got, but she's still an academic heavy-weight. All the immense diversity of Willow's knowledge- computers, languages, science, magic- is due to Willow's raw intelligence and curiosity than a fancy education or any instruction at all. I daresay, they were trying to do the same with Dawn in S7 in less natural, delightful way.

                              You forget the point I made that she was raised by the family she was. She has lived with a family having a swing at her self esteem. etc for 17 years
                              it takes a long tim to get over something like that. Of course she has trust issues and of course she will believe that Willow will abandon her because it really by this stage is all she knows.
                              Yes, that should be taken into consideration to explore Tara's psyche and reason for making mistakes- but it shouldn't be treated like the kind of excuse that ends the discussion. Kind of like how Xander has a tendency to blow up and yell inappropriately because that's what he's watched his father do in Casa de Harris. But fans still hold Xander to task for his behavior when he's rude. Or Willow may have a reason for her neediness since her parents abandon her and are utterly cold. But Willow is openly called needy. It's a flaw, not a completely explained darling aspect.

                              Look at Ampata. Ampata had absolutely zero going for her coming out of the box. Unlike Tara who was embarking on a college education and had made a group of really great friends and had a possible girlfriend- depending on when Willow and Tara got...busy. That still doesn't excuse Ampata into fooling Buffy and Xander that she was an ordinary girl- life-sucking kisses aside.

                              Her magic is all that she has that is good in her life. Almost ever in fact apart from her mother. Who used magic as well. It's her last connection to her mother. She does not know that magic will make the demon worse. A good chance but not definately. T
                              Mr. Macalay: And letting yourself work all this magic is only going to make it worse. Where do you think that power comes from?
                              Tara: It ... it doesn't feel evil ... sir?

                              Her father tells her the magic makes the demon worse. Tara has no response other than a vague how magic feels.

                              The wrongness of her actions probably should have been pointed out but that's it she'd learnt her lesson. And would not do it again. That wa her big secret anyway. And it's unreasonable that she should have to tell all of her secrets anyhow. They are hers and unless they directly impact the gang. Which she was trying to avoid but failing. She still tried and nothing bad came out of it except that instance.
                              I believe that if Willow was dating a potentially evil demon inside a deceptively shy girl than that *would* affect Willow right there. Willow has the right to know if she's committing herself to a demon or not who may have the following priorities past 20.

                              I will pillage your lands and dwellings! I will burn your crops and make merry sport with your more attractive daughters!

                              ;-)

                              Because it's clear why and she learnt her lesson and won't do it again. Why delve deeply into it? What does it achieve? Nothing really.
                              Nothing was clear at the end of Family. The Scoobies didn't know if Tara had any other skeletons in her closet. The Scoobies didn't know if Tara was going to feel the need to mind-job them again. That would have been good- if Willow or Buffy asked Tara if she was hiding anything else. If only to show that they were on their toes about possible moles or dangers within the group. Strangely, Tara is completely untested and a total unknown within the gang (which makes her different from Something Blue!Willow, When She Was Bad!Buffy, or Helpless!Giles who have all built up relations and reservoirs of trust among the gang). But it's this evidence of mendacity and handling a bad situation awfully that leads the gang to want to be Bestest Completely Trusting Friends of Tara's and Willow to outright canonize Tara during the Floaty Dance.

                              I get that Tara doesn't make another mistake and the theme of Tallow from Family on was, "How Willow is an Awful No Good Person and Doesn't Deserve to Kiss Tara's Saintly Feet." But I'm looking at things from the window of Family and everything pre and it's a textbook example of whitewashing misdeeds. What Tara did was much worse than one spell gone wrong, but that doesn't seem to occur to the writers or the characters in the show.
                              Dipstick
                              Hellmouth Tourist
                              Last edited by Dipstick; 02-09-08, 03:56 AM.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Dipstick View Post
                                Eh, I still wouldn't use *stupidity* to describe Wesley's arc or Giles drugging up Buffy or Buffy running away at the end of S2. A smart person can screw-up and it can still not be attributed to any stupidity of any kind. Wesley's arc IMO is about his arrogance, his ends justifies the means philosophy, his loner personality- but stupidity is really very simplistic and kind of inaccurate.



                                I always thought the smartest were Willow, Fred, Giles, and Wesley with honorable mentions to Buffy and Angel. Of course, this all meshes with your mentioned "different types of intelligence". Giles and Wesley stand out because of their cultured way of speaking, elevated diction, and huge bases of knowledge. Buffy and Angel have top notch streets smarts and leadership capabilities. Fred and Willow are impressive in the sense that the only true "prodigy" is a math/science one. Plus, Willow is particularly impressive in that she's a truly self-made woman. She didn't get a full education at the Watcher's Council or a post-graduate education like Fred got, but she's still an academic heavy-weight. All the immense diversity of Willow's knowledge- computers, languages, science, magic- is due to Willow's raw intelligence and curiosity than a fancy education or any instruction at all. I daresay, they were trying to do the same with Dawn in S7 in less natural, delightful way.



                                Yes, that should be taken into consideration to explore Tara's psyche and reason for making mistakes- but it shouldn't be treated like the kind of excuse that ends the discussion. Kind of like how Xander has a tendency to blow up and yell inappropriately because that's what he's watched his father do in Casa de Harris. But fans still hold Xander to task for his behavior when he's rude. Or Willow may have a reason for her neediness since her parents abandon her and are utterly cold. But Willow is openly called needy. It's a flaw, not a completely explained darling aspect.

                                Look at Ampata. Ampata had absolutely zero going for her coming out of the box. Unlike Tara who was embarking on a college education and had made a group of really great friends and had a possible girlfriend- depending on when Willow and Tara got...busy. That still doesn't excuse Ampata into fooling Buffy and Xander that she was an ordinary girl- life-sucking kisses aside.



                                Mr. Macalay: And letting yourself work all this magic is only going to make it worse. Where do you think that power comes from?
                                Tara: It ... it doesn't feel evil ... sir?

                                Her father tells her the magic makes the demon worse. Tara has no response other than a vague how magic feels.



                                I believe that if Willow was dating a potentially evil demon inside a deceptively shy girl than that *would* affect Willow right there. Willow has the right to know if she's committing herself to a demon or not who may have the following priorities past 20.

                                I will pillage your lands and dwellings! I will burn your crops and make merry sport with your more attractive daughters!

                                ;-)



                                Nothing was clear at the end of Family. The Scoobies didn't know if Tara had any other skeletons in her closet. The Scoobies didn't know if Tara was going to feel the need to mind-job them again. That would have been good- if Willow or Buffy asked Tara if she was hiding anything else. If only to show that they were on their toes about possible moles or dangers within the group. Strangely, Tara is completely untested and a total unknown within the gang (which makes her different from Something Blue!Willow, When She Was Bad!Buffy, or Helpless!Giles who have all built up relations and reservoirs of trust among the gang). But it's this evidence of mendacity and handling a bad situation awfully that leads the gang to want to be Bestest Completely Trusting Friends of Tara's and Willow to outright canonize Tara during the Floaty Dance.

                                I get that Tara doesn't make another mistake and the theme of Tallow from Family on was, "How Willow is an Awful No Good Person and Doesn't Deserve to Kiss Tara's Saintly Feet." But I'm looking at things from the window of Family and everything pre and it's a textbook example of whitewashing misdeeds. What Tara did was much worse than one spell gone wrong, but that doesn't seem to occur to the writers or the characters in the show.
                                Depends on just how smart they are IMO. When I say stupid I don't mean stupid. More stupider. Sort of like comparing two beautiful women I might call one ugly. Because she's ugly next to the other.

                                Depends on how smart they are. One would have to be really smart but it's possible.

                                I think Tara is the smartest because. IQ wise she is smart. (she got a scholarship, witch etc) but more importantly. The most useful sort of intelligence to me. Is common sense, wise, perceptiveness etc call what you will. She is not lacking in any of the important areas IMO while everybody else is in at least one. Knowledge by the way does not in any way equal intellignece. It commonly goes side to side with it though. As intellignet people seek knowledge. And it helps them become more intelligent but does not directly translate.

                                I think Tara's past can be used quite a lot because by this stage there was not much else to her. And I think that her situation is much stronger than Willow or Xander's.

                                I think Tara by this stage had enough Brownie points. She had been on the scene quite a while.

                                Of course Tara had no response! She would not share with her Dad especially as she probably had. We just have to accept that she had a good reason until we know for sure Tara's Past and relationship with Parents.
                                "I never learned from a man who agreed with me.'" Robert Heinlen

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                                • #17
                                  the smartest characters are wesley, angel, giles, spike, fred, lilah, lindsey and holland. holtz was pretty smart. darla was incredibly good at playing emotions and the one who taught angelus. willow used to be book smart, but lets her emotions win over common sense. her hypocritical view of herself in the killer in me and controlling nature really rubs me the wrong way--she should know better and take responsibility for her bad actions--she prefers to hide her actions or cover them up (saying warren deserved it is removing the blame and guilt from herself). she was more useful for her intelligence when she was a computer nerd--her magic was largely emotionally-driven to cover up insecurities (though useful).

                                  angel is smarter than giles... even in book smarts. giles is more street smart than book smart. wesley and fred are mostly book smart and wesley picked up some street smarts later. angel has both book and street smarts (let's not forget who did most of the initial work defeating the master, the judge, faith and the mayor through investigative work, much less his own show's villains). giles and buffy would have been lost in every single one of those without angel's information gathering. heh, giles didn't even know sunnydale was on a hellmouth. angel, the investigator, started in sunnydale before buffy had even arrived.

                                  while fred and wesley are the only ones likely to understand physics (willow probably as well), fred was limited mainly to that special field. she was lost in wesley's demon language translations.

                                  spike's strength was in common sense, which buffy and the scoobies often lacked. angel and spike often were the second voices of giles and wesley herding the fumbling children.

                                  buffy's wins were all through friends or writer fiats of luck. angel's weren't--he was always an investigator and researcher. buffy rarely figures out the thing that wins the battles or makes the plans... usually it is someone else. angel, on the other hand, is usually the one who finds the information to win the battle or make the plan.
                                  NileQT87
                                  The Dark Avenger
                                  Last edited by NileQT87; 02-09-08, 04:32 PM.

                                  "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
                                  "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by NileQT87 View Post
                                    the smartest characters are wesley, angel, giles, spike, fred, lilah, lindsey and holland. holtz was pretty smart. willow used to be book smart, but is a bit of a hypocritical and insecure idiot.
                                    Interesting analysis. Not sure I agree with everything though.

                                    I think Willow is extremely intelligent, probably the highest IQ on either show. However, like a lot of very clever people, she's also lazy; she works out the shortcuts that nobody else can find, but then she uses them instead of doing the actual work. Eventually she relies on them too much, and blinds herself to the consequences of what she's doing. She gets too impressed by her own cleverness, and Season 6 is the result.

                                    I think Giles is probably almost as intelligent as Willow - it was his brain that the demon went after in 'The Puppet Show', not hers. But he also has a lot more book learning, and the wisdom and experience of 25 years more of life. He's also hard-working - there's a scene in one of the early seasons where Willow asks him how he knows so much, and he mentions he was up all night researching it... Giles might not get the flashes of inspiration due to sheer intelligence that Willow sometimes gets, but he can usually understand the consequences and put them into the big picture much better than she does.

                                    I don't get how you can say Giles doesn't have book learning: this is a man who can recognise a rare Paraguayan flower on sight and read Ancient Egyptian heiroglyphics without a dictionary... And as for defeating the Master, it's Giles who knows that the prophecies are written in the Pergamon Codex... to which Angel's reply is basically "Oh, the Codex. Yeah, I've known about that for years. You say there's something relevent in there?" *Thwacks Angel on the head*

                                    Angel's not stupid, and he knows a surprising amount of stuff, but he can also be really dumb sometimes...

                                    buffy rarely figures out the thing that wins the battles or makes the plans... usually it is someone else.
                                    I really disagree here. Maybe if you only watch the early seasons when Buffy is still a kid under Giles's instruction, but definitely not by Season 3 at the latest.

                                    Buffy is constantly figuring out the enemy's weak spots. Other people might do the research and gather the information, but it's Buffy who understands from that how to defeat the bad guy. And she listens to her friends' advice and suggestions, but she's the one making the plans and giving the orders.

                                    "And... you're in charge. You're, like, 'make the plan, execute the plan', no one giving you orders."
                                    "I'm a Slayer."
                                    "I like it."
                                    - Buffy and Riley, B4.12 'A New Man' (and say what you like about Riley, but he's a trained soldier and experienced commander of men in combat. He knows what he's talking about here.)

                                    She can make the plans, but she can also improvise on the spot when things go wrong. She's got an instinctive understanding of the tactical situation and her environment. She's a born leader and tactical genius.

                                    Not so hot on the book learning, of course, but even there I think her problem is distractions and lack of self-belief rather than basic intelligence. She got very hgh SAT scores, after all; she's just got more important things to think about than schoolwork.

                                    Plus I think she sometimes deliberately plays to the dumb blonde stereotype, like when she was teasing Willow and Tara about having watched the Disney movie of 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' instead of reading the actual novel for her university course...
                                    stormwreath
                                    Hellmouth Tourist
                                    Last edited by stormwreath; 02-09-08, 03:02 PM.

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                                    • #19
                                      pangs is a great example of emotion winning over logical thinking for willow and buffy. they became useless until they were put in the right frame of mind by giles and spike (and spike was the one that made them listen). willow's book-smarts were sometimes through her emotional filter or were taken over by it. wesley sacrificed his emotional ties to things for doing the purely logical, book-smart thing--even if it was at great pain to himself and others. he went where the information led. willow went often for her emotions. wesley's only cracking point was really with fred's death. angel's cracking point was connor--he usually went with logic over emotions as well.

                                      willow takes very little consequences or responsibility for her actions and usually gets away with everything with little repercussions. angel and wesley are usually the first to beat on themselves. anya is a good example of a hypocritical situation with the scoobies. willow was also given a lot of passes on being forced to feel guilt and she didn't like to take much responsibility--and even liked to 'fix' things magically. season 7 was a continuation of willow's repetition of hypocritical view of her own goodness, hiding her insecurities and continuing to 'rape' without consent (tara in tabula rasa, kennedy in get it done, the slayer spell).

                                      buffy's slayer spell did NADA in chosen. lindsey, eve, lilah, angel and spike were the only winners. recognize that the hellmouth fell because of lindsey and eve's scheme to capture spike to mess with angel's head. the fact that the amulet helped buffy was secondary to the real mission. another win was wolfram & hart getting rid of the first evil and preventing another beast/jasmine or illyria rival situation.

                                      buffy's thinking was a desperate, ambiguous last resort and not well-thought out. it was put under the guise of feminism when it was rape. she certainly forgot what the she had learned about what a slayer was and how she had felt about it and what it was doing to her for years. she got bailed out by people with ulterior motives.

                                      and i said angel's knowledge and solving was largely investigative. as for the pergamum codex... he said he knew where it was, not that he'd read it. he knows a lot of languages, but perhaps he hadn't read the pergamum codex (it's in greek) and thought it would be more useful to giles. he did, however, speak and read tons of languages (though wesley was the one who knew all the demon ones--spike also seemed more up on the languages of demon minions than basic human ones). giles wasn't half as good at either and made a lot more mistakes in his research than wesley did. wesley rarely made mistakes in research... and the mistakes he did make were put there specifically to lead him to the same place ("the father will kill the son") or actually weren't wrong and had more than one meaning (the shanshu).

                                      gwendolyn post and wesley both upped giles. giles had to spend hours researching things that wesley had memorized.

                                      giles had a more rough, rebellious street-smart background than wesley's book-learned past. wesley is way ahead of giles in book-smarts... and i'd argue that he became a much better fighter and marksman later on. wesley certainly involved himself in more brutal fights than giles did during the course of the stories we saw. giles largely stayed out of the action scenes and was more advisory.
                                      NileQT87
                                      The Dark Avenger
                                      Last edited by NileQT87; 02-09-08, 05:31 PM.

                                      "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
                                      "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Dipstick View Post

                                        Cordelia is also a total Mary Sue in the later seasons of AtS- really S2 and S3. It was really convenient that Cordelia was out of the country when Wesley kidnapped Connor and then had nothing to say but strictly adhering loyalty to Angel. G-d forbid, Cordelia should have a textured, controversial opinion on her former best friend's actions that can be counted and judged.
                                        SO TRUE. God how it annoys me that she had absolutely NOTHING to say about Wes stealing Connor and Connor going to a hell dimension. Something that Huge and all she cna muster is to sit next to Angel in a destroyed room. She didn't even show any sorrow that a child she was helping to raise had been banished to hell. Not a tear or regret.

                                        Cordelia became boring because she stopped having an opinion, she became self righteous and all everyone else could talk about in relation to Cordy was how much of a hero she had become. YAWN. Even in S4 when she was evil, it was largly to do with her being possessed or whatever, and so her character got away with a clean slate. And it seemed like such an easy transition from bitch to hero without a second thought which I found totally unbelievable.

                                        My problem is I can't relate to perfect characters. Cordy is fun when she's bitchy and mean and hey, she was still GOOD, she still helped the scoobies, she just did it with a bit of attitude. Superman has no interest to me because his only weakness is some stupid rock, where Wolverine has a whole list of character flaws. Same applies to Jossverse. Not interested in champion Cordy. Not interested in super-duper S8 magical Willow.

                                        I don't actually find Tara too perfect. She's a good sweet person, but she has absolutely no self esteem. Her whole song in OMWF is all about how she's special because of Willow... But maybe I find her interesting because for Willow Tara is a source of a lot of her problems. Tara is one of the first to point out Willows magic problem, the source of evilWillow etc.

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