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Hearing f***ing voices: inner monologues and bad words

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  • Hearing f***ing voices: inner monologues and bad words

    This is sparked by a more general discussion of swearing in Buffy...but I was wondering what people thought of the use of occasional (starred out) swear words in the Buffy comics? But also, more generally, how you feel the voices translate into the medium, given that we're getting something we don't usually get on Buffy...inner monologue? Does the Buffy inside her head or the Faith inside her head voice match with their outer voice? Or, if there's a disjunction, is it one that gels with their character?

    I'm trying to think of instances when we've had inner monlogue before on Buffy. There was Angelus in Passion. Or was it Passions? Crap, it's been a long time since I've seen it. Anywhere else that we got inner monologue? Obviously Earshot.

    Having Buffy's inner monologue was strange in the first issue - it felt like an alien voice somehow because reflective Buffy is not something I'm used to. I think Faith's inner voice works the best - or at least, is the most interesting, because she's not a character who tends to say everything that's on her mind usually. With someone like Xander, I feel his inner and outer voices are quite similiar, because he's a very verbal person. But Faith, not so much. With Giles...well, he's repressed both inside AND out

    With the swearing, it does feel a bit of a jolt, even though the swears are starred out. Though actually, Dawn swearing feels pretty in character...she's older now, and I found my mouth got a lot fouler between the ages of about 16 and 20, when I was spending most of my waking hours with peers rather than parents


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  • #2
    You started a thread Wolfie! Well done! haha, I was too lazy, oh and you added even more stuff into it, I applaud you!

    Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
    But also, more generally, how you feel the voices translate into the medium, given that we're getting something we don't usually get on Buffy...inner monologue? Does the Buffy inside her head or the Faith inside her head voice match with their outer voice? Or, if there's a disjunction, is it one that gels with their character?
    Very interesting question. I remember it was brought up when 'The Long Way Home' first came out and I don't remember who or even if it was on this site, but someone mentioned that because of the medium and the inner monologue this was a chance to really delve into what characters like Buffy were thinking, and really a great opportunity to learn more about them. I agree with this a great deal. I think Buffy in particular (also Faith and even Angel) seem to be characters that the audience have a hard time understanding at some points in the series because they aren't very expressive of their feelings, they close themselves off instead. As for example, some people hate Buffy during s7 for acting like a cold bitch, but since we didn't get a scene such as 'Into the Woods' when we saw Buffy breakdown in private, we didn't really get an insight into why she was acting so cold. If we were gifted with an inner monologue then we would have heard first hand from the girl herself, why she was closing herself off and a lot more people would have been sympathetic towards her.

    I'm trying to think of instances when we've had inner monlogue before on Buffy. There was Angelus in Passion. Or was it Passions? Crap, it's been a long time since I've seen it. Anywhere else that we got inner monologue? Obviously Earshot.
    Hmm does Whilster count from 'Becoming' Guess not so much as inner monolouge?

    Having Buffy's inner monologue was strange in the first issue - it felt like an alien voice somehow because reflective Buffy is not something I'm used to. I think Faith's inner voice works the best - or at least, is the most interesting, because she's not a character who tends to say everything that's on her mind usually. With someone like Xander, I feel his inner and outer voices are quite similiar, because he's a very verbal person. But Faith, not so much. With Giles...well, he's repressed both inside AND out
    It was a little strange to hear the characters do it but as long as they don't do it all the time I like it. I think Faith's inner monologue was used a lot but it was good that they did. She was essentially playing a different character around Gigi the entire time, without her inner thoughts it would have been much harder to see what she was really thinking about everything.

    With the swearing, it does feel a bit of a jolt, even though the swears are starred out. Though actually, Dawn swearing feels pretty in character...she's older now, and I found my mouth got a lot fouler between the ages of about 16 and 20, when I was spending most of my waking hours with peers rather than parents
    This is the one thing I find jarring.

    I know in Btvs we've had people begin to swear but then get cut off.. such as VampWillow in 'Dopplegangland' and Buffy in 'Life Serial' but even if it is blocked off in season 8, characters are using it in conversations with eachother. Take for example in "Anywhere But Here" when Willow states "Warren fu..kn mears!" It just didn't sound right, because we've never heard the characters swear.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
      This is the one thing I find jarring.

      I know in Btvs we've had people begin to swear but then get cut off.. such as VampWillow in 'Dopplegangland' and Buffy in 'Life Serial' but even if it is blocked off in season 8, characters are using it in conversations with eachother. Take for example in "Anywhere But Here" when Willow states "Warren fu..kn mears!" It just didn't sound right, because we've never heard the characters swear.
      I haven't had much of a problem with the swearing. It's been used sparingly, and it's just one of the things I chalked up to them having less restrictions in the comic book medium. Faith swearing felt totally in character, Dawn swearing I didn't have an issue with, but I've got to say, Willow's line felt very out of character to me. I just couldn't see her saying that at all.

      For the most part, I'm cool with it, as long as it's in character and used in an appropriate situation.

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      • #4
        Well Willow has always apparently had a dirty mouth;

        BUFFY: (over the phone to Willow) Willow where did you learn that word! My god you kiss your mother with that mouth?

        I'm sure there was another time when there was a similair joke about Willow's swearing off screen but can't think of it right now We just never saw it, which is IMO the problem. But then I guess like you said, it feels very in-character for Faith to swear, even for Dawn, and in past seasons Willow has apparently swore as well. So Joss is writing them correctly, just without any restrictions where seeing different sides of them. Which I suppose isn't such a bad thing.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
          Well Willow has always apparently had a dirty mouth;

          BUFFY: (over the phone to Willow) Willow where did you learn that word! My god you kiss your mother with that mouth?
          Heh. I guess it is kind of in character then. I have a very hard time picturing Willow actually saying the line though.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by OkinawanSteel View Post
            Heh. I guess it is kind of in character then. I have a very hard time picturing Willow actually saying the line though.
            So do I, and by the looks of things so did Buffy Which I guess was the joke, you couldn't imagine this stuttering sweet girl suddenly cursing really bad. Got a chuckle out of me that's for sure, hee.

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            • #7
              I think the narrative voice is a fantastic bonus that the comic medium provides. It doesn't overrun the action, it always compliments it. It's something that voiceover just doesn't give you.

              The profanity makes plenty of sense -- look, they'd have been swearing on *all* of Joss' shows if they'd been allowed to. Buffy, the HBO series would have looked a lot different than Buffy, the WB and UPN series.
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              • #8
                The swearing is my biggest complaint about Season Eight, other than "The Chain" which was simply a huge complaint in itself. I don't mind the fact that the characters are cursing, what I mind is the fact that they're being %$#@ed out. I hate that. That is the EXACT same thing as if Joss wrote cursed on the show and they bleeped them out. It's so South Park. It takes away from the writing in a big way to see that there. If Joss can curse, then freaking curse for real. If you have to replace it with symbols, then don't do it in the first place.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                  I think the narrative voice is a fantastic bonus that the comic medium provides. It doesn't overrun the action, it always compliments it. It's something that voiceover just doesn't give you.

                  The profanity makes plenty of sense -- look, they'd have been swearing on *all* of Joss' shows if they'd been allowed to. Buffy, the HBO series would have looked a lot different than Buffy, the WB and UPN series.
                  I kind of enjoy the variation- in the sense of having a different medium, there are bonuses and disadvantages, and I kind of see this as being a bonus, I somehow enjoy that it's there when it couldn't be before. As for being starred over, well, I'm glad of that too. I know we have the discussion here in the misc thread, should we swear online, and it's my opinion that these are words which shouldn't be censored per se, but if using them is limiting ones dictionary, that's of the bad. Many of us speak differently than we would had we not watched Buffy- I know I'm not alone in adding '-y' to make adjectives!

                  As for Buffy on HBO- whoa! That's so true. Each network (evil though many may be) offers something to their shows. I'm okay that Buffy was as dark as it was on WB and UPN, but am happy that it wasn't as dark as something like Six Feet Under. Variety is the spice of life and all, and I don't want all my shows tarred with the same brush. Having said that, I LOVED that they could a) swear and b) openly bitch about the Bush presidency in 6ftUnder.

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                  • #10
                    I love the inner-monologues, especially Faith's in particular. It was really great to read her thoughts on The Mayor after being reformed. We had never seen her mention about him post-"Who Are You".

                    And I'm okay with the profanity. It's not necessarily something new since they've attempted to slip some in the series: Buffy in "Life Serial", Spike in "Wrecked" and "Gone", Glory in "Blood Ties" and Warren in "Seeing Red." Although they didn't censor it like the comics, they simply cut the scene before the remaining half of the word would come out. But the effect is still there nonetheless, like in the comics.
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                    • #11
                      I was always amused that the British characters on the show could swear all they liked - 'bloody', 'bollocks', 'wanker' etc - because the writers assumed that the US network censors wouldn't understand British swear words...

                      As for it being in character: I find it hard to believe that Faith doesn't use bad language often and enthusiastically. I can see it with Dawn because she's got this whole teen-rebellion thing going. As for Willow, well... she also gets a thrill out of breaking the rules, but I think she's also self-conscious to swear normally. But get her guard down, or find a subject that she feels really, really strongly about - such as Warren - and watch out!

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                      • #12
                        I have no problem with either. The cursing seems actually more appropriate to me (maybe that says something about me...) - as you say - has more to do with less restrictions I'm sure.

                        I like the inner monologues the best! That's the part of reading a story I like best. Really getting into the character's mind! You can't do that with movies and TV, it's something that only a writer can convey to his readers. It fleshes the character out more thoroughly. Gives them more personality and depth.
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                        • #13
                          Being of the age they are and what all they've seen, realistically, they would talk like a Kevin Smith movie. That said, I don't mind the bleep-outs -- tomorrow's Buffy fans are today's young children.
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                          • #14
                            I think the inner thoughts are interesting. Faith and Angel lend themselves easily to this and I suppose it's a natural narrative within comics - I mean, the genre isn't all talk, talk, talk.

                            I find it interesting that it's normally the characters that are saying the least in actual life that have the most to say internally. Mostly it's to do with the internal dialogue of self and seems to relate to the more problems/wounds/guilt you have, the more there seems to be an inner discussion.

                            I think that's why it feels odd with Buffy, as we are used to seeing her within the moment, experiencing the pain, rather than a stand-off inner voice.

                            I don't have a problem with the swearing, I mean, we all swear. I suppose the trick is to make sure it's humourous or apt. I'm not sure that I would want to see them swearing at anything (like I do sometimes), it would make them more bitter than we need them to be.
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