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  • Fairytales in "Buffy"

    Okay, so it seems that a number of people here are not impressed with the fairytale elements in season 8. Why not?

    Have we forgotten the elements in:

    Season Three:
    • The Wish: Wishes are granted by request.
    • Gingerbread: A demon takes the form of modern day Hansel and Gretel.


    Season Four:
    • Hush: The Gentlemen are in Giles' fairytale book


    Season Five:
    • Triangle: A troll. With a troll hammer.
    • Spiral: The Knights of Byzantium.
    • The Gift: Dawn wears a medieval princess gown


    Season Six:
    • Once More, With Feeling: Buffy rescues a strapping, young lad by slaying his captors with a broad sword.
    • Once More, With Feeling: Sweet captures Dawn to be his Queen.


    Season Seven:
    • The Killer in Me: Kennedy breaks Amy's spell by kissing Willow.
    • End of Days: The Scythe in the Stone.
    Last edited by Weredog; 27-08-08, 05:44 AM.
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  • #2
    And while we're at it, let's not forget the very premise of the series: "zombies, werewolves, incubi, succubi, everything you've ever dreaded was under your bed, but told yourself couldn't be by the light of day. They're all real!..." etc, etc.
    "Occasionally, I'm callous and strange..." - Willow Rosenberg, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

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    • #3
      I think it's the abundance of fairy tale imagery this season that's making people more aware of it. But I think that's done for a very specific reason, something KingofCretins manages to articulate far better than I ever could;

      "The elements of fairytale in the Buffyverse in Season 8 are in pretty clear thematic alignment with the challenge the gang faces now -- their own enemy crafted of oppressive rationalism and crushing incredulity, Twilight, he who would destroy all the magic and unexplained from the Buffyverse. The point of it is to distinguish between the natural and supernatural world."

      A major theme of season 8 is the end of all magic, narratively it makes complete sense to make the magical presence well felt in a season where the looming threat is that it could be distinguished completely.

      The many elements fairytale images we have seen are actually within the confines of the Buffyverse not only in the broader sense demonstrated in the quote Rowan Hawthorn provided, "everything you've ever dreaded was under your bed, but told yourself couldn't be by the light of day. They're all real" but also in what we've actually seen on both 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel.' As for example, the latest imagery, the tree demons, are concepts already explored in ?Couplet' as I mentioned in the other thread. Such imagery as castles and dragons, also seen in ?Buffy VS Dracula' and ?The Gift'

      In my respects I think it's also important to look at the characters and their reactions to such monsters to gage what kind of reactions are suitable and what aren't. Buffy, Xander and Willow haven't been stunned by anything they've seen thus far, when in the past when someone is ?new' they've been more willing to comment on it. The fact the characters have been through so much and *seen* so much makes it appropriate that many of the things we've seen in season 8 aren't particularly bewildering to them, which makes me inquire why they are to some fans. In my honest opinion, and it is just that my *opinion* but the character's reactions seem more in tune and appropriate than some of the fan reaction.

      Generally though, I could be a tad biased. A part of this does come from what elements you enjoy and what you don't. I find myself enjoying the abundance of fairytale imagery over the very mundane and literal take of season six any day. Btvs is an epic show for me, it always has been and the supernatural elements are what originally got me interested in the first place. Hence, little problem I have with anything I've seen this season.

      But I do find it odd that after giant snake demons, dragons, portals to other worldsand characters like Lorne, tree demons or a centaur suddenly goes to far for people? I don't understand where the line has been drawn really, because they don't seem any more farfetched or "out of this world" when measured against everything else we've seen.

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      • #4
        Why not?
        Because it's just to silly for words?

        Seriously I know it must seem like double standards here, but all the examples you mention (borderline the Troll) above aren't as daft as the images we've so far seen in season 8.

        Maybe another case of an idea that wouldn't have got through in the real show because of the expense of the effects, which I think must have reined in some of the more outlandish ideas ever appearing in the show, but are given free rein in the comics.

        Another factor appears to be that Joss almost constantly throwing more and more fairytale images our way in each issue which can amount to a bad case of overkill.

        Yes, he's probaly trying to show magic in all it's diversity and to compare it against the dark bleak magicless world that Fray inhabits, but I think it could have been shown a tad more subtly myself.

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        • #5
          Well personally I think that magic was overused in the late seasons of Buffy. That is, magic as used by the characters of the show for their own purposes (think Charmed) as opposed to being part of the show's background, which was always the case from the beginning.

          The fairy tale elements of the comics per se aren't bothering me. I agree that they have the freedom to throw them into the comics that they didn't have in the series, due to the special effects limitations. I had a lot of fun with Dawn the Giant, those pictures of her fighting Mecha-Dawn in Tokyo were just too funny. Given how silly the giant demon-snake-mayor looked in "Graduation Day Pt. II" I kind of doubt Giant Dawn would work well on TV, at least without busting the special effects budget. But in the comics it was fine. But now that they've turned Dawn into a centaur, I do hope they are going somewhere with it all, and soon, instead of just playing Dawn for laughs.

          Buffy was a show with vampires, demons, witches, and yes fairy tales but all those elements aside it was a show about people, that's what made it special and it's what extended its appeal past its own genre. With the comics one can throw in all the special effects one wants at no extra cost and given the difficulty of creating fully fleshed out characters in the limited number of frames per issue it's just too easy to stuff it with sci-fi/fantasy/fairy tale elements and to forget what made the show what it was, and thereby turn the Buffyverse into just another - well comic series.

          For now I'm reserving judgment.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by sueworld View Post
            Because it's just to silly for words?

            Seriously I know it must seem like double standards here, but all the examples you mention (borderline the Troll) above aren't as daft as the images we've so far seen in season 8.
            How's a gigantic tree demon who uses chat rooms on the net by typing with his roots any less silly than warrior tree demons? How's a talking hamburger any less silly than a giant?

            And once again, I'd love to know how 'After the Fall' manages to get the free pass? Giant dragon who's fond of Angel, dinosaur demons, a T rex, massive tentacle demons, a "She Skip" and I haven't heard any complaints.
            Last edited by vampmogs; 23-08-08, 08:05 AM.

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            • #7
              I guess that the most people blame Hell for those 'demons'. I do the same, it's a bit over the top, but they aren't in their 'normal' world. Just like the weird things in Pylea. Their 'normal' world has to look like our world only with demons, witches and slayers.

              Also season 8 brings the weirdness to a complete other level, there is not one fairy tale thing, but many. Maybe that's why people notice it. I would like to know if there is a reason why they use so many things like that ...


              And I'm suprised that nobody talked about the most silly thing ever... Smile Time and the evil puppets ... incl. Angel puppet. I'm a big fan of the episode, it never fails to crack me up (props to the puppetmakers and masters ... but also David Boreanaz). But I don't want to think too long about it because it's really weird and it doesn't really fit in 'my' version of the 'verse world.
              Last edited by Nina; 23-08-08, 09:59 AM.

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              • #8
                and don't forget the usage of beauty and the beast--which is just rampant in btvs (most prominently, but not only in bangel). ditto with usage of the horror story imagery which has a very close relationship with the fairy tale genre (have you ever looked up grimm's fairy tales? most fairy tales are horrific cautionary tales!).

                dracula, frankenstein, the mummy, the creature from the black lagoon, night of the living dead (and not just zombies--the entire first scene of the show with darla is an homage to the famous "they're coming for you, barbra!" scene), etc...

                funny note... night of the living dead (which is out of copyright) is the movie that spike is watching on his telly in all the way--it's the scene with the zombies eating the flesh of the two teenagers that got barbecued in the car. the first scene of btvs was a near copy of that famous first scene, except with the blonde girl (darla) being the monster instead of the creepy, teasing sunnydale high alumnus... or the brother, johnny, later being the death of his hyperventilating blonde sister, barbra, later in the film. the dialog is similar right down to the guy coming off as a creep and the girl thinking it isn't funny.

                here's the movie (again, it's in public domain): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhgVHTVi_h4 (watch about 6 minutes in.)
                or here's the specific scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKcxnC5ZP_k
                the trailer shows the scene spike is watching in all the way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gUKvmOEGCU&NR=1

                all work very closely with the usage of beauty and the beast, h?nsel and gretel, sleeping beauty, romeo and juliet, othello and desdemona (mentioned by name), etc...

                mythology comes in frequently as well... orpheus (referenced), oedipus (also referenced), persephone and pluto (referenced in once more, with feeling), etc... you could even say angel's journey is not drastically different from odysseus--odysseus' mistake with the cyclopes angering poseidon is similar to angelus' mistake with the gypsy girl angering the gypsies--both poseidon and the gypsies make the anti-heroes suffer years of battles, temptations, etc... on their journey to redemption or back home to penelope.

                season 8 is just continuing the mash-up of stories to create more stories.
                Last edited by NileQT87; 23-08-08, 12:29 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."

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                • #9
                  How's a gigantic tree demon who uses chat rooms on the net by typing with his roots any less silly than warrior tree demons? How's a talking hamburger any less silly than a giant?

                  And once again, I'd love to know how 'After the Fall' manages to get the free pass? Giant dragon who's fond of Angel, dinosaur demons, a T rex, massive tentacle demons, a "She Skip" and I haven't heard any complaints.
                  Who said after the Fall did? But to be fair although some elements are borderline daft, all the above you cit isn't the same kind of daftness as a wee talking fairy. I suppose it's just unfair that fairies have a 'bad rap' when it comes to your stereotypical twee storybook images.

                  I also suppose this is another instance where the performances of real living breathing actors can 'sell you' a visually daft idea, wheres you don't have the benefit of that in a flat artwork.
                  Last edited by sueworld; 23-08-08, 11:20 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sueworld View Post
                    Who said after the Fall did?
                    Well I personally haven't seen yourself comment on it, though you have a number of times on the subject concerning season eight? Why more vocal about season 8 if you don't think 'After the Fall' gets a free pass?

                    But to be fair although some elements are borderline daft, all the above you cit isn't the same kind of daftness as a wee talking fairy. I suppose it's just unfair that fairies have a 'bad rap' when it comes to your stereotypical twee storybook images.
                    I honestly don't see how a *talking hamburger* is any less daft than a fairy? I mean honestly, how can that be? If you ask me, after 'Gingerbread' and 'Hush' I thought Btvs had done a fine job at showing how creepy and malicious fairy tales actually were?

                    I also suppose this is another instance where the performances of real living breathing actors can 'sell you' a visually daft idea, wheres you don't have the benefit of that in a flat artwork.
                    Perhaps but then that's a different issue entirely isn't it? It's not that it doesn't fit into the verse at all, it's just that in your opinion it could be without the actors, it's more noticeable. Again that comes back to the medium and not the story itself?

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                    • #11
                      [QUOTE]Well I personally haven't seen yourself comment on it, though you have a number of times on the subject concerning season eight? Why more vocal about season 8 if you don't think 'After the Fall' gets a free pass?[/QUOTE

                      Yes, I personally prefer AtF to season 8, but it isn't just that colouring my thoughts. I think that considering the main characters are stuck in the weird world of 'Hell A' that there is a more logical reason to find themselves surrounded by creatures that look like they've fallen out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting.

                      Season 8 doesn't really have that kind of excuse really. I know it may sound daft, but I can take a Tentacled demon seriously up to a point, but a creature that looks like Tinkerbell, not so much.

                      I honestly don't see how a *talking hamburger* is any less daft than a fairy? I mean honestly, how can that be? If you ask me, after 'Gingerbread' and 'Hush' I thought Btvs had done a fine job at showing how creepy and malicious fairy tales actually were?
                      I agree, it was daft, but it had the benefit of the wonderful acting talents of Alexis Denisof selling me the fact that it was indeed a power entity, that for a moment in time was inhabiting a plastic statue, rather then just a daft giant hamburger.

                      Perhaps but then that's a different issue entirely isn't it? It's not that it doesn't fit into the verse at all, it's just that in your opinion it could be without the actors, it's more noticeable. Again that comes back to the medium and not the story itself?
                      Yes, it's the problem of the medium. A writer can't get away with some concepts as easily in a static medium such as a comic then a script acted out by an actor.

                      Saying that there's been instances where it has worked in more adult graphic novels such as Watchmen, but as we know that isn't the kind of story/audience Joss is aiming at.
                      Last edited by sueworld; 23-08-08, 02:47 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sueworld View Post
                        Yes, I personally prefer AtF to season 8, but it isn't just that colouring my thoughts. I think that considering the main characters are stuck in the weird world of 'Hell A' that there is a more logical reason to find themselves surrounded by creatures that look like they've fallen out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting.

                        Season 8 doesn't really have that kind of excuse really. I know it may sound daft, but I can take a Tentacled demon seriously up to a point, but a creature that looks like Tinkerbell, not so much.
                        But what about the fairly reasonable suggestion it's because they're in a completely different area of the world? I mean Scotlands got far more mythic history, the whole Europenian region is where fairytales were born in the first place after all. It seems right that they'd encounter different kinds of creatures than the kind you'd find in Willies Bar of all places.

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                        • #13
                          But what about the fairly reasonable suggestion it's because they're in a completely different area of the world? I mean Scotlands got far more mythic history, the whole Europenian region is where fairytales were born in the first place after all. It seems right that they'd encounter different kinds of creatures than the kind you'd find in Willies Bar of all places.
                          Yes, you could reason it that way. Thing is (maybe unfairly) certain mythic figures will always be seen as sillier then others as I've already pointed out above.

                          Unfortunately classic look fairies and gnomes being top of the tree in that regard.
                          Last edited by sueworld; 23-08-08, 02:43 PM.

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                          • #14
                            The fairy tale imagary isn't "bothering" me so much as it's starting to make the Buffyverse less believable for me. Seasons one through seven might very well have been "our world" but with things lurking in the dark nobody would dare acknowlege.

                            Season 8 doesn't feel like our universe any more. I'm enjoying it, but I can't relate to it in the same manner as seasons one through seven. Much as it pains me to admit, I can kinda see where Sueworld is coming from and to an extent agree with her

                            And "After the Fall" should get a free pass when it comes to crazy stuff seeing as how it's set in Hell and all.

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                            • #15
                              Personally I like the fairytale element in Buffy. It might make it less realistic, but that exactly why I like it. The show shouldn't become a soap. Of course it shouldn't also make it daft. The trees is kind of worrisome in that way. It's all depending on how Joss is going to deal with this.

                              I find the preview not very well done. It's all avarage. I thought the Dawn joke, being ridden and put away wet, was too obvious and the scene was constructed for this joke. Like Joss didn't know what to write. It was also too much as we had the similar joke in the previous issue, where it also had been too obvious.

                              Buffy's emotions to her view of the future was okay. So was the Kennedy/Willow scene. Joss needs to show the situation of what is going on. But there's nothing that adds to it and to me it is kind of rushed and not really original.

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                              • #16
                                Angel is currently flying around Los Angeles, which has now been sucked into Hell, on a dragon. Compared to that; giants, fairies, and talking tree people are nothing.

                                As for the believability of it? Angel is currently flying around Los Angeles, which has now been sucked into Hell, on a dragon. I think we're long past believability.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Thomas View Post
                                  Angel is currently flying around Los Angeles, which has now been sucked into Hell, on a dragon. Compared to that; giants, fairies, and talking tree people are nothing.

                                  As for the believability of it? Angel is currently flying around Los Angeles, which has now been sucked into Hell, on a dragon. I think we're long past believability.
                                  Wait, I'm confused. Are you saying you thought the first seven seasons of "Buffy" were believable? Weren't there demons and vampires in every episode?
                                  Last edited by Weredog; 27-08-08, 07:18 AM.
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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Weredog View Post
                                    Wait, I'm confused. Are you saying you thought the first seven seasons of "Buffy" were believable? Weren't there demons and vampires in every episode?
                                    No, I was basically responding to "Vampire in Rug's" post were they said:
                                    The fairy tale imagary isn't "bothering" me so much as it's starting to make the Buffyverse less believable for me. Seasons one through seven might very well have been "our world" but with things lurking in the dark nobody would dare acknowlege.
                                    So, I was saying that on a scale of believability, I'd be more inclined to find talking trees more realistic than Angel riding around LA on a dragon, in the Buffyverse of course.

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                                    • #19
                                      The thing is though, I can buy the LA situation because the rules have been explicidly tured off. The place is in Hell. Why are the buildings all tentacled. Hell. Why is the sky red? Because it's not our sky, it's the sky of hell. Excessive otherworldly stuff becomes easier to swallow when it's happening in another world.

                                      As for the dragon, once again I think we're supposed to assume that W&H portaled it into the alley from some other dimension. I don't think we're expected to believe the dragon has just been hanging out in LA unnoticed this whole time like the talking Scotland trees apparently have.

                                      Like I said before, the fairytale imagary doesn't "bother" me per-se, but I can sympathise with those who find it a little hard to believe. A dragon from another world? Maybe. Talking trees from our world? Maybe not.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Vampire in Rug View Post
                                        As for the dragon, once again I think we're supposed to assume that W&H portaled it into the alley from some other dimension. I don't think we're expected to believe the dragon has just been hanging out in LA unnoticed this whole time like the talking Scotland trees apparently have.
                                        I've always believed it to be the dragon that came out of the portal in 'The Gift.' Regardles Angel has stated that he's seen a few "dungeons and dragons" in the past during Ats, implying they have been a part of our world before.

                                        Like I said before, the fairytale imagary doesn't "bother" me per-se, but I can sympathise with those who find it a little hard to believe. A dragon from another world? Maybe. Talking trees from our world? Maybe not.
                                        But we've already had a talking tree from our world? In Los Angeles during Ats s3.

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