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Billy the Vampire Slayer

Discussion in 'Season 9' started by The Ferg, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. The Ferg

    The Ferg Mine is an evil laugh!

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    Hey guys, I just have a quick question. I just got done rereading BS9, and realized (once again) how much I disliked the Billy tVS storyline/character. He seems like the ultimate pandering tool, and the whole thing kind of spits in the face of the Slayer legacy/mythology.

    I don't really get much exposure to the wider fanbase, so I'm wondering what you guys thought of him. Awesome? Lame? Necessary?
     
  2. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Pretty much exactly this. I'm so glad he's sunk without a trace after the first couple of issues of S10.

    Slayers are female. And interesting. Billy was neither.
     
    The Ferg: Well said. :)
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  3. white avenger

    white avenger white avenger

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    Billy would have been a much better character if they had killed him not long after he was "called." Then his martyrdom could have served as an inspiration for all of the real Slayers for the rest of the Season. They could have even taken a page out of Doyle's book by dragging out a video of Billy every so often and having a good cry.
     
  4. Mr. Pole

    Mr. Pole Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    That's technically not accurate. You know I had to... Harth, for all intensive purposes was a Slayer, and he was a male. He just did not have the Slayer physical abilities.
     
  5. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Harth was basically half a slayer- he had the slayer memories/knowledge due to his unique, interesting condition.

    Billy was just....he was like a Saturday morning cartoon morality thing. His story was utterly dull on every conceivable level. I cannot believe that they wasted two whole issues on his shallow wish-forfillment tale.
     
    Mr. Pole: But then Fray would not really be considered a slayer either.. but still, half a slayer is more slayer than Billy the Afterschool Special.
  6. EVIL UU

    EVIL UU Scooby

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    Homophobic.

    As an outsider slayer-wannabe Billy ( with Devon ) kinda parallels season one Willow and Xander and that's the only remotely interesting thing about him. Other than that, Billy's lame and gay, he's an infantilized early 90s token gay character but that's OK, absolutely asinine writing obviously but whatever. The problems start when he stops being just a wannabe and actually receives a vision from the first slayer. Why? Because slayers represent female power and by extension femininity. By associating a gay dude with such entity the comic reinforces a homophobic stereotype according to which gay men are more feminine and less masculine than straight men. It's bullshit - they just like dudes.

    Of course, if you view slayers as a feminism metaphor then Billy is a lovely representation of an idiocy known as intersectionality but you know what, I think that Jane Espenson who's responsible for this rotten garbage is just a gross fujoshi.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
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  7. The Ferg

    The Ferg Mine is an evil laugh!

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    Wow, that was really fast. I didn't expect that many responses so quickly. I'm a little surprised that everyone feels the same way as me, but in more real way, I'm not at all surprised. Like thetopher said, Billy was like a Saturday-morning cartoon. No forethought went into that story, and I cannot believe Joss signed off on this.

    Exactly, I'm a bisexual man myself, and I was honestly kind of offended. Being a slayer means being a woman. It's been that way since episode 1.01 (or shit, even the movie). Making Billy a slayer, in any way, tacitly describes gay men as being somewhat female in nature. This is the same kind of thinking as people who say things like, "Who's the woman in the [gay] relationship?" Gay men are men. End of story.
    Also, what does fujoshi mean?

    I'm just marveling at the unimportance of this conversation.
     
  8. white avenger

    white avenger white avenger

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    (Slayers are female)

    I'm asking here, not asserting, but was it specifically said anywhere in Fray's miniseries that Harth's dreams were due to the Slayer heritage? Dru had pretty much the same thing, if I recall correctly, and she was never a Slayer. Maybe Harth's psychic abilities had nothing whatsoever to do with Fray being his twin. For that matter, do all Slayers have Slayer dreams? I can't recall Faith ever mentioning having any. Maybe Harth was just a psychic in his own right.
     
  9. The Ferg

    The Ferg Mine is an evil laugh!

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    1. All Slayers have slayer dreams; visions from previous slayers.

    2. Drusilla received visions from the Powers That Be (or so we're led to believe). Her visions were nothing like Slayer visions.

    3. Harth's dreams were Slayer dreams. He got the visions and innate slayer knowledge/history. Melaka got the strength/speed/etc.
     
  10. white avenger

    white avenger white avenger

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    Thanks. It's been a long time since I read Fray's story.
     
  11. Silverspike

    Silverspike Scooby

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    Christ I personally couldn't stand Fray, as I found it to be an utter bore from beginning to end. To this day I can't see what people saw in it.

    Billy, yes I get what the writers were trying to do, but it was so cack handed and Mary Sue like that it just put me off the character. That it undermines the message behind Buffy something rotten imo.
     
    EVIL UU: Agreed - Fray sucks! Its popularity baffles me.
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  12. The Bronze

    The Bronze Rogue Demon Hunter

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    Black Thorn
    It was a terrible story. The worst bit about it is the insistence of Billy and everyone else referring to him as a slayer. No one calls Gunn a slayer when he kills vampires, why call Billy one? That makes him irritating pretty much straight away and it never really gets any better. Then in Season 10 they try to legitimise the previous nonsense by giving him a slayer dream and saying he wished really hard so he got it, really poor.

    Aside from that they seemed to really push the fact that he was gay. He wasn't just Billy who happened to be gay. It was Billy the gay vampire slayer. It felt very stereotyped and below Buffyverse standards. There have been gay characters in the verse for years, we the audience don't need to be treated as if it's some kind of miracle.
     
  13. VisionBoy

    VisionBoy Scooby

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    Sineya
    That was one of my main issues with it.
    It read like a PSA: "It's okay to be gay, kay?"
    Which is a perfectly fine message, but we'd been watching Willow in same sex relationships for years, did they really think any of us needed telling?
    At this point in the series it should be a case of: "Oh he has a boyfriend? Cool. Whats for dinner?"

    Making such a stereotypical character and having his sexual orientation be his defining quality just seemed like a massive step backwards for the series.
     
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  14. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    This could be taken to mean that Billy only slays gay vampires....I guess that would be kinda unique. :p

    But I agree with a lot of your post- why isn't Gunn called a slayer since he's dusted plenty of vamps and can usually kill one in a one-on-one situation with ease?

    Billy was poorly introduced as some sort of anomoly- a 'I wished real hard and believed in myself' fantasy story, where the boy he has a huge crush on not only likes him back but also becomes his watcher. :rolleyes:
     
    The Bronze: Hmm it would certainly be a niche role. Would you have to hone once to sense a vampire and then again to sense it's sexual preference?
  15. EVIL UU

    EVIL UU Scooby

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    [​IMG]

    I'm glad I slew those vampires because one of them was gay! - Billy Lane, 2014.
     
    The Bronze: Hahaha fantastic
    thetopher: Wonderful! :)
  16. Buffy Summers

    Buffy Summers Yataro Staff Member

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    Sineya
    Two words: publicity stunt.

    Three words: Terrible publicity stunt.

    :)
     
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  17. AndrewCrossett

    AndrewCrossett Satsu Otaku

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    Sineya
    Sales of the Buffy comics are now at the point where the concept of a "publicity stunt" is kind of beside the point. They're not really getting any media attention anymore. I think Billy was a well-meaning attempt by Jane Espenson and Drew Greenberg to add a gay male character to the Buffyverse, and maybe kind of present him as an "It Gets Better" example. Though it seemed to me he was more of a metaphor for transgendered acceptance (I'm a Slayer even though I wasn't born with the Slayer powers.)

    I found the character to be awkwardly shoe-horned in, though, making him look like a "very special episode" character rather than a natural part of the story.

    Now that Andrew Wells has come out, we probably won't see much more of Billy.

    BTW, Billy did get a vision from the First Slayer, suggesting that his quest to become a Slayer through self-actualization alone might have been working to some degree. With the new Seed, who knows what the rules for Slayers are now?
     
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  18. SiegePerilous02

    SiegePerilous02 Potential

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    I recall immediately thinking of Gunn when Jane Espenson did that interview about Billy and saying he didn't have Slayer powers, and just did a "Batman" type thing. If anybody deserves that title, it's Gunn. Or Xander, or Wesley, or any other non-powered male whose been slaying vampire since the inception of the series.

    But Gunn didn't begin his fictional life on BtVS, so he doesn't count.
     
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  19. The Bronze

    The Bronze Rogue Demon Hunter

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    Black Thorn
    I think the big disappointment is that he could have been a decent character. At heart he's a good kid with heroics and other admirable qualities. It's just completely lost due to the things we're talking about which is a shame.
     
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  20. chasesummers

    chasesummers Cordy Lives

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    I honestly skipped Billy TVS part, i only read the beginning and end.
    I thought this was going to be a side story and I was surprised that he became a scooby just like that, I agree with the majority here, hes a failed character who turned out to be a little annoying with the whole slayer thing but of course kind and caring.