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    I heard an interview with Joss Whedon in which he says that he never saw any lesbian subtext between Faith and Buffy before reading a fan's post about it. Now, I have seen both series (BTVS and Angel) in which Faith appears with Buffy and never once saw lesbian subtext. I am obviously not seeing with this fan saw...and was wondering if anyone here has any idea where to find the post he's talking about? If not, are there any other places in which this is discussed?

    Caveat: I'm not a perv or anything, I'm just really interested in a point of view I really hadn't considered here.

  • #2
    I don't know of that specific post, but I do know that since that season aired fans online started to see the subtext in their relationship, and started to use it for their own slashfics.

    I myself can easily see where folks are getting their ideas from though.

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    • #3
      I've not seen or heard of that interview with Joss either. But here's what Doug Petrie had to say in late 2000 or so regarding the episode 'Bad Girls':


      [On the scene where Buffy and Faith discuss Wesley, Slaying, and "again with the grunting":]

      And here we get to play with a lot of thematic stuff, which is always fun for me, and I think just fascinating. And Faith is a great character to explore this thing about "what is a Slayer?" Because really, Buffy's job is killing things. And here she is, this beautiful, vivacious California high school student... who kills things. And they're evil things; but she kills them, all the same. And Faith really digs that about their jobs. Faith is much angrier, or maybe much more in touch with her anger.

      And here we've got the growing lesbian subtext between these two, which was always fun to play with. And Eliza was always kind of pushing the sexuality, and no-one remembered to stop her from doing that. Which we're all very happy about.



      [On the scene where Faith draws a love-heart on the classroom window and quirks an eyebrow at Buffy, inviting her to come and have some hot sweaty fun with her:]

      And here she comes. I love this. And there's the heart. Again, lesbian subtext. But the heart with the stake through it, because stakes and vampires in the heart. And yet it's this kind of romantic image at the same time. Because it's almost a seduction, you know? Faith is very sexy and she's saying "Come play with me!" And she couldn't care less about Willow or school, and Willow is Buffy's best friend, and Faith is testing that.


      Plus there are a million and one vids playing with the subtext between them. I'm going to9 mention my own, 'cause I can: I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.

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      • #4
        Yeah the subtext is quite apparent if you look for it.

        You've got the two scenes that Stormwreath mentions, but you also have 'Enemies' as well where Faith kisses Buffy on the forehead. Originally in the script (and I believe they may have shot it) Faith was supposed to kiss Buffy on the lips. In 'This Years Girl' you've also got that scene of Faith in the bath, checking out her new Buffy body.

        Buffy/Faith probably have the most blatant subtext out of anyone else in the show. It certainly got the most hints, most likely due to the fact Eliza was actually pushing for it and acting sexy on purpose.

        ~ Banner by Nina ~

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        • #5
          ...and the classic bit in Graduation Day II when Buffy wakes from her (or Faith's) dream in hospital, walks over to her bed, and kisses her quite tenderly on the forehead. Not to mention Faith's invitation to "give us a kiss" just prior to their fight in the preceding ep.

          I don't actually see an overt lesbian subtext with this and the above posts, even if it is apparant to others, instead I see more of a sister-like bond between them because they are both Slayers who have a simultaneous calling, and this brings them closer.
          Last edited by Speedie; 13-04-09, 10:12 AM.

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          • #6
            Yeah the subtext is quite apparent if you look for it.
            Well, I've watched the series again since I heard the interview (thus revealing that I am a huge dork) and still, I don't interpret the Buffy/Faith relationship as anything more than a platonic love/hate relationship. Hence, of course, leading me to seek out the original essay that provided specific interpretations of specific events. You know, like citing the text and stuff.

            Shrug.

            http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=100601869

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            • #7
              You can interpret it as a platonic love/hate relationship, that's why the lesbian stuff is subtext. It's under the surface, it can be analysed that way if it wants. But fat chance of it ever becoming anything more than that in the series. I doubt they'll be hooking up anytime soon.

              Speedie good catch with the "give us a kiss" line, that was a great one. I think Buffy/Faith works on multiple levels, including the sisterly level that you mention.

              ~ Banner by Nina ~

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              • #8
                Thanks Vampmogs!

                Further to this theme it occured to me whilst watching Earshot the other day that whilst the class were studying Othello and discussing the subtext therein that Iago is Othello's darker side, could it not be argued that Faith is Buffy's darker side? This could be true on a subtextual level, but to me it is made all the more explicit when we see this extract from their English Lit class. Any views..?

                (Apologies if this has already been covered elsewhere in this forum).

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                • #9
                  I think that's pretty much been the understanding from the beginning. Faith was Buffy without the benefits of Buffy's ethical standards or the advantages of her friends and family. "Buffy without brakes", so to speak.
                  "Occasionally, I'm callous and strange..." - Willow Rosenberg, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

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                  • #10
                    Yes, it would be too simple to say that Faith fancied Buffy, or vice versa. Yet their relationship was emotionally complicated from the start--much more so than was the relationship between Buffy and Willow. Note how aggressive, in fact combative, Buffy was the first time she met Faith in "Faith,Hope, and Trick." Did she experience an attraction that disturbed her? This kind of thing is much more common among "normal" people than is generally acknowledged.

                    Stormwreath reminds us of a scene which quite plainly had an erotic dimension, when Faith lured Buffy out of the classroom. The appeal of the wild side--which was Faith's appeal to Buffy--always contains an erotic factor. Buffy, in those days, would have firmly repressed any overtly sexual curiosity.

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                    • #11
                      I just realised another scene in 'Revelations;'

                      Buffy: (arrives behind them) Tell you what?

                      Willow: About your new boyfriend, who we made up. Unless we didn't? (gives her an inquiring look)

                      Buffy: (raises her eyebrows) This was a topic of discussion?

                      Oz: Well, raised, but never discussed.

                      Cordelia: So, are you dating somebody or not?

                      Buffy angles her eyes up and sways around a bit, considering what she should say.

                      Buffy: I wouldn't use the word 'dating', (looks at them) but I am going out with somebody. Tonight, as a matter of fact.

                      Willow: Really? Who?

                      Faith puts her hand on Xander's shoulder and pulls him aside a little so she can squeeze in.

                      Faith: Yo, what's up? (nudges Buffy's shoulder) Hey, time to motorvate.

                      Buffy: (puts her arm around Faith) Really, we're just good friends.




                      Faith definitely worked as Faith's darker half. If you're interested in talking about Faith or the Buffy/Faith relationship there's been interesting discussions in the Faith Club. It could always used a good bump.

                      ~ Banner by Nina ~

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                      • #12
                        Hmm...I like to think of Faith as a completely independent entity, certainly not half of anything. Buffy already has a dark side. She's almost a sociopath. To me, all of Buffy's self-pitying diatribes are centered on the fact that she can't feel empathy for anyone and only feels pain when something interferes with what she wants to do. Consider that she constantly laments her power knowing that without that power, the world would have ended, killing her mother, father, friends, etc. Still, it's a'booin' and a'hooin' all the live long day.

                        Faith, on the other hand, does not strike me as particularly dark. She has simply adapted to the dark circumstances of her childhood. That's what people do to survive. I think she's got a lot of depth actually. She could have run around killing people forever but she chose to seek redemption. That's the opposite of good old fashioned broodtastic darkness.

                        Still not getting the girl-on-girl vibe though. I think that any attraction that might be between them is the sincere desire to NOT be who they are.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wriffic View Post
                          Hmm...I like to think of Faith as a completely independent entity, certainly not half of anything. Buffy already has a dark side. She's almost a sociopath. To me, all of Buffy's self-pitying diatribes are centered on the fact that she can't feel empathy for anyone and only feels pain when something interferes with what she wants to do. Consider that she constantly laments her power knowing that without that power, the world would have ended, killing her mother, father, friends, etc. Still, it's a'booin' and a'hooin' all the live long day.
                          Buffy cares about people when it doesn't effect her. Just look at how moved she was by Cassie in 'Help' and how she did everything in her power to help her. She could have just left it at reporting it to the authorities like Wood said she should, but she didn't. Or what about Lilly in ?Anne'? She felt compelled to help even when she tried to resist it.

                          Faith, on the other hand, does not strike me as particularly dark. She has simply adapted to the dark circumstances of her childhood. That's what people do to survive. I think she's got a lot of depth actually. She could have run around killing people forever but she chose to seek redemption. That's the opposite of good old fashioned broodtastic darkness.
                          Doesn't mean she wasn't dark though. She tried to sadistically torture her friend out of petty jealousy. She murdered the innocent professor, she was about to carve up Willow's face, she tried to murder Angel ect. Angel's a character who does a lot of good and works towards redemption as well, but I'd still call him dark.

                          ~ Banner by Nina ~

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wriffic View Post
                            Hmm...I like to think of Faith as a completely independent entity, certainly not half of anything. Buffy already has a dark side. She's almost a sociopath. To me, all of Buffy's self-pitying diatribes are centred on the fact that she can't feel empathy for anyone and only feels pain when something interferes with what she wants to do. Consider that she constantly laments her power knowing that without that power, the world would have ended, killing her mother, father, friends, etc. Still, it's a'booin' and a'hooin' all the live long day.
                            To add to vampmog's examples, there's also how she reacted to Ford when she heard he was dying, and the fact that she kept going out slaying every night despite lamenting the price that she paid for doing so. Also, while Buffy has a whiny streak, complaining is a long way from being all she does.

                            Faith, on the other hand, does not strike me as particularly dark. She has simply adapted to the dark circumstances of her childhood. That's what people do to survive. I think she's got a lot of depth actually. She could have run around killing people forever but she chose to seek redemption. That's the opposite of good old fashioned broodtastic darkness.
                            You said Buffy is almost a sociopath, but you don't think Faith has a dark side? When we first see Faith, she really doesn't seem to care about anyone much except, possibly, Buffy.

                            She deliberately isolated herself from everyone else as much as possible, and then when things go wrong, she claimed that no one appreciated her. She definitely did seem to resent it whenever someone tried to stop her from doing whatever the hell she wanted, even if all they really wanted to do was help her.

                            Faith did 'choose' to seek redemption, eventually, when she became tired of running from the consequences of her actions, but she tried to get Angel to kill her first. Oh, and on the 'girl on girl subtext' bit, I'm fairly sure that Buffy was a big part of the reason she chose to hand herself in.

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                            • #15
                              Yeah - there's a subtext going on. Not a text, not an actual, but the way I view it is that the action and the tensions what we see played out can make the brain easily go down a different path.

                              Much like when we see Spike's obsession turn from "hatred" to "love". From subtext to text. We don't actually see this happen, so it just remains subtext.

                              Faith inho, is when we first see her, Buffy's shadow-self, but then, so is Spike. Where am I going with this? Hum...not sure. But what the fan's pespective showed Joss is that intention can morph onscreen. Eliza plays Faith as aggresive and reckless emotionally and sexually, with the link she feels with Buffy, some of the sexual stuff rubs off (okay, BAD sentence).
                              A Bear! You made a Bear! Undo IT!!!

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