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  • Initial Reactions to Dawn

    I was wondering what people initially thought when Dawn first appeared at the end of "Buffy Vs. Dracula" in season 5....were you completely confused and bewildered? Or had there been some kind of hint from Joss or in previews before that this would happen? Did he say that there's be some kind of explanation soon, or were you guys completely in the dark about it? I'm just curious b/c I wasn't in the fandom at the time it aired, but if I saw that not knowing about Dawn I imagine I'd be seriously wtf-ing...

    So anyway, can anyone who watched season 5 Buffy live say what the deal was then?
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  • #2
    I became a regular, real-time viewer starting with "I Was Made to Love You". So, while I'd seen episodes without Dawn, I didn't have a connection to the show, so my girlfriend at the time gave me the gist of her being the key and all, and I just went with it.

    That said, I have a very good 4th dimensional imagination. Joss very deliberately designed the early season to confuse and bewilder and perhaps even annoy the fans. Not only with her mysterious add-in at the end of "Buffy vs. Dracula", but then a Dawn-narrated episode, with Michelle Trachtenberg *in the credits*, as the second episode. I have to think, since in some ways it was similar to how they shoe-horned Jonathan in for the credits in "Superstar", that had to be really frustrating. Especially since *everybody was just okay with her being there*.

    Then comes the brilliant "No Place Like Home" -- brilliant in part because it's so clear that viewers must have been thinking "ah, that's what's going on, she's the evil, she's the Big Bad, right in Buffy's house! Look how threatening she is, saying she'll be with Buffy's mom!"

    And then DUN!, the reveal of Glory and the Key and the Monk putting an unspeakably unreasonable burden on Buffy.
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    • #3
      "What the hell?"

      I was not watching at the time Buffy aired, but I did not know what was going on with Dawn. I saw Season 7, not really paying attention to Dawn. Then, I went to Season 3 or something, then 4, and then five. I was wondering where Dawn was. And when she just showed up, I said, "What the hell?" I was SO confused. Where had she been for two years? No mention of her at all So, yeah...."What the hell?"

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      • #4
        The first episode of buffy I watched was "Witch" during season 1 and I followed it after that. When Dawn came in at the beginning of season 5, I was like "huh???". But I was also worried. It kinda seemed like a desperate move to make (adding a brand new integral character), as many TV shows do when they are on their last leg and will typically add a baby or some off the wall new character.

        I didn't really read much online about Buffy at the time so it was a total surprise to me, as was "The Gift." I understand that it gave Buffy totally new type of relationship to explore, and I could relate to some of the material as I have a younger sister who was the same age as Dawn at the time. Overall though, I got kinda bored with the Dawn relationship, and somewhat wish the show hadn't gone in that direction.
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        • #5
          "What the hell?"
          That pretty much sums it up. Dawn's arrival totally blindsided me, to the extent that i needed to know what was going on. I don't think the week between eps has ever seen so long as in those first five weeks of season 5. The fact that the big reveal of Glory was so long after the reveal of Dawn meant there were so many theories and speculatins going through my little old brain that it almost drove me mad.
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          • #6
            At first, Dawn seemed so annoying and selfish to me. Maybe Joss wanted us to think like that especially in the episode, Real Me. We could see how she annoyed Buffy with her behaviours. Also, when I watched No Place Like Home I thought she was evil just like Buffy did. It was also one of the things Joss wanted to make us to think. But then we can see her innocence...

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            • #7
              "Real Me" had a really great, subtle moment with Buffy complaining to Riley that 'lately' having Dawn around seemed to be bugging her so much more. It's half-meta for the fans but half-legitimate in the plot -- Buffy is more upset by Dawn 'recently' than she had been because she had not actually been dealing with her at all before.
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              • #8
                WTF??


                was my line of thinking. I remember actually being angry, because I thought the show was taking a really shitty turn by having something to ridiculous as a made-up sister and implanted memories happen.

                But it all turned out ok in the end.
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                • #9
                  My first episode I had ever seen was "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" in 1997 at the young tender age of 7. I became a hardcore fan after watching "Becoming, part 2" (do I need to say why?)

                  And I remember exactly when I first saw "Buffy VS. Dracula." My friend (who had started watching since The Freshman) called me literally 30 seconds later and went "Did Buffy always have a sister?!" I remember being so confused, I concluded that Joyce had just adopted Dawn from a foster care. I never thought "Ooh? Is she a demon? A superhero? A mystical ball of energy?" I asked those questions after episode 2.
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                  • #10
                    dawn *spoiler*

                    When i first saw dawn i thought " ok i didnt know buffy had a sister she must have lived with her dad" but then it turned out she was the key and it sort of made sense since dawn had never been mentioned and we had never seen or heard of her till the first episode of season 5

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                    • #11
                      lol, i cant remember! because ive re watched almost all the seasons in the past year and i have always just seen dawn there, but after watching season 4 then 5 and she how she came into the show i was like "wtf?" but i think it was done quite nicely!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Moviesnob View Post
                        WTF??


                        was my line of thinking. I remember actually being angry, because I thought the show was taking a really shitty turn by having something to ridiculous as a made-up sister and implanted memories happen.

                        But it all turned out ok in the end.
                        WTF!? Was also my reaction - angry at the arc - but I never warmed up to Dawn, never liked her - probably because I knew she wasn't real, just another crappy plot device.
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                        • #13
                          Ive never liked Dawn so much. First, I was like "why does she even exist??" then got used to her, but I wasn't also watching when Buffy first aired, I wasnt like a hardcore fan b/c I always heard it from my friend but never had to chance to watch, but still after I started watching I didnt know how was she going to come or when, so I was like "huh? what the hell??!"
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                          • #14
                            I was nine when i saw it so i was just like wtf? lol

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                            • #15
                              I remember thinking - What? Did I miss an episode? The show had moved and did the big "change" so I thought - great! There we go again I missed a whole episode! Now who is this chick?

                              I didn't like the whole "here's your sister" thing at first. But at that point I was completely watching the show for Spike and what seemed to be the start of some kind of "attraction" he had for the Slayer... The sister was an annoying plotline that I put up with so I could see Spike weekly.
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                              • #16
                                I was also like, whoa -- what did I miss? I was burning through DVDs pretty fast, so it wasn't long before the mystery got cleared up. Took me a long while to decide whether I liked the move. As they explicitly say over on AtS in Origins, people are changed when their memories are changed. So in season 5 it's not clear if these are really the same people we've watched over the first four seasons. But I finally decided this works, quite well. The memories weren't deep enough to actually change anybody in a real way. As King observes, Buffy does mention 'recently' hating her sister -- because Dawn really was a totally new thing to her, and Buffy's real self was having a real reaction. But this is all kinds of poignant for Dawn. She *hasn't* affected the people in her life. If they ran a "It's a Wonderful Life" experience for her, she'd find that everyone was pretty much the same as they were with her or without her. So no wonder she has major angst about not mattering.

                                Of course, over the next few years, she does come to matter, cause she is there and she does affect the people around her. I think it's cool how Dawn's character matched her situation so well.
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                                • #17
                                  I was surprised, thinking what the hell was going on but I knew Joss had something great for us. And even though surprised, I was even more amazed by how Dawn?s addition seemed so natural, so right. It felt like she belonged there all the time and I?m glad for her addition to the cast.

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                                  • #18
                                    I was a fan from day one when Buffy started airing here in Aus, but because of time differences and delays and such we always knew stuff that was going to happen before it did so i knew Dawn was coming and i was ANGRY hehe. I was pretty surprised how they actually did it though.

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                                    • #19
                                      I started watching the show late, and almost in reverse, from S7. So I didn't know until later that Buffy had ever not had a sister. At one point I was confused about whether Dawn had been there all along, and we just hadn't seen her, or what.

                                      Maybe that's the reason I warmed up to Dawn so easily. Yeah, she could be annoying, but little sisters always are. By the time I found out she was the result of rewriting history, the issue was moot to me anyway.
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                                      • #20
                                        I had already seen seasons 6 & 7 previously, so I knew of Dawn and the growth her character had undergone, but when she was there at the end of Buffy vs. Dracula and Joyce announced that she was Buffy's sister I was still shocked. I think this is mainly because I was anxious to see what the backstory to Dawn was and learn more about her character.
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