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lighthearted past vs. grim future, next try

Discussion in 'Inside Out' started by Puffy, Feb 19, 2017.

?

What do you think about that change?

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  1. Puffy

    Puffy Guest

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    At some point of the show (maybe somewhere around season 5) there was a shift from lighthearted to more grim and adult content.
     
  2. Guy

    Guy Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Definitely the right decision. Stories should always start relatively light-hearted, and then get darker. That's just the most logical progression, and it's what 'Buffy' did.
     
  3. Mr. Pole

    Mr. Pole Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    I dont think there was a content shift. Even the early episodes, the stories were always very grim. Though when the show stopped using metaphors (when Whedon became lost interest in Buffy before leaving the show) to tell the story it gave the appearance of it being 'darker' but when you look at the themes of the early episodes they are plenty dark, just told as parables which people often mistake as lighthearted.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
  4. Priceless

    Priceless You're my dog, y'know?

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    Season 6 is my favourite season, so I must like the darker content. I do think the show was pretty dark anyway, terrible things happen in seasons 1-4 but they are tempered by a humour and a sense of the strong centre that was Buffy. That centre began to give/change as the show matured and I think that is what allowed it to explore darker content in a more serious way.
     
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  5. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    The tone can and should vary from season to season reflecting on whatever themes the writers are striving for. Darker is neither inherently better or worse than lighter, just as long as the themes raised are dealt with maturely.
    They should also just try and keep the quality of the writing consistent throughout, and it wasn't in those last two seasons, not at all.
     
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  6. Mr. Pole

    Mr. Pole Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Season 1:
    Parents that force their kids into living the life they want no matter the consequences.
    Teachers that have statutory rape sessions with their students.
    Falling in love with someone that isnt who they appear and wants to control you.
    An abusive step-father.
    Child abuse.

    Those are not lighthearted themes. If the show were not a genre show it would be considered "serious drama"
     
  7. thrasherpix

    thrasherpix Scooby

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    For me, the Angelus arc is the darkest of the whole series. But then maybe because season 6 was a bit too heavyhanded and I couldn't relate to it, nor did it speak to my fears as season 2 did.

    Bangel lovers beware, I LOVE this vid...and I probably find it so compelling because I had to deal with a psychopathic stalker when I was 15 (though very different from the show other than he was an adult, and I never had sex with him, something he wanted to change) as well as a few other related incidents/stalkers that I just don't want to detail (I will say one of them was a major contribution to why I ended up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that was when I was 16)...and a lot of those depressing questions asked in the song are some of the darker questions I've asked myself at times, even over "ordinary life" (the questions most people can't or won't countenance as it's too terrible to think too long about).

     
  8. Slayerofslayers

    Slayerofslayers We're going to destroy the world. Want to come?

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    I think there have always been dark elements present in the show (Buffy not wanting to die in "Prophecy Girl" and Giles being tortured in season two and in season three betraying her to that vampire in season three are some examples that come to mind) but perhaps one of the reasons it seemed so much more grim in the later seasons is because Buffy and the others have had to go through so much pain and struggles that as time went on it became tougher and tougher to stay strong and keep it together. In the earlier seasons they were still young and learning things about life and growing up but after going through everything they go through year after year it takes its toll. When they were in high school still I think the writers mostly wanted to explore issues that would be more common when you are in high school and once they came into the adult world they changed the tone and direction of the show to be darker. I don't mind when stories go to a dark place but I think they should be presented in the right way. After all, the world can be a dark place and I think you recognize that more and more the older you get. And you don't want everything to be light-hearted all of the time because that isn't how life is and storytelling wise that can make the story stale. That being said, I do prefer the high school seasons to the later seasons (season five being the only season that comes close to being as good) but I didn't mind the change in direction the show went. I just wish that the season arcs of season six and seven and the execution of said arcs were written better and had some changes to plot ideas. But there is still a lot of good stuff in those seasons.
     
    DeadlyDuo: Pretty much agree with this.
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  9. RomanticSoul

    RomanticSoul I AM GROOT

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    Oh please, the show was dark since the first Season. The difference is they didn't used to make everything so damn literal like the later Seasons. If you are young enough a lot of the things go over your head in the early Seasons. That's why they used metaphors. What the earlier Seasons also have is balance. Life is not darkness 24/7 365 days a year. From S5 on it's just relentless how so much crap is happening to all the characters, especially Buffy. When isn't Buffy down/depressed/whiny/sad?

    What those early years also have is a Buffy willing to fight for a life outside the darkness. I prefer that to the Buffy who gave up in the last Seasons. Because the former is what made her a hero. Someone who just resigns themselves to their circumstances? That's what quitters do. It doesn't help that Buffy constantly chooses the path that will ensure she is miserable. Only then to whine about her life. You don't like your life? Change it. Otherwise shut up.
     
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  10. Puffy

    Puffy Guest

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    Ah, I see. My bad. I will choose my words more carefully next time...
     
  11. Bluebird

    Bluebird two by two, hands of blue

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    Black Thorn
    I don't think any season of Buffy is particularly lighthearted, just some are more/less literal in their telling and therefore more/less obvious. The themes and subjects were always 'dark' - which I take to mean realistic.
     
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  12. Puffy

    Puffy Guest

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    At some point of the show (maybe somewhere around season 5) there was a shift from lighthearted to more grim and adult fallout. Meaning, that the characters became spoilt / damaged (i.e. whole season 6 Buffy). The lighthearted (early seasons) attitude was more and more replaced by misery and regret. The weight of the world.

     
  13. Mr. Pole

    Mr. Pole Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    I dont think there was a shift. Even the early episodes, the stories were always very grim. The characters were always in distress/stressed; they always lamented their obligations and/or position. There was a lot of misery and regret in the opening seasons as well. However, the episodes were more standalone so it was not as noticeable as the last few seasons, where each episode built upon the previous one and the despair built upon itself.
     
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  14. Puffy

    Puffy Guest

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    And there was an overall lighthearted attitude and kind of happy endings (S1 and S3, S4). So I guess there must have been a shift. ;)
    Think about it, Buffy being sad "a whole!" season (6) and Willow becoming a cruel murderer.
     
  15. The Bronze

    The Bronze Rogue Demon Hunter

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    Black Thorn
    I know what you're getting at but I'm also struggling with how to phrase it. As others have pointed out there were plenty of dark themes early on. It's something that I've referred to in the past when people have claimed how much "darker" Angel is to Buffy.

    I think maybe what changed was a gradual erosion of optimism and fun. The build up of past battles and the realisation for Buffy, and the other to an extent, that they weren't likely to have happy normal lives took its tool on them. When the characters are less upbeat for longer the show naturally feels darker.
     
  16. Mr. Pole

    Mr. Pole Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Think about it, season long arcs, as I mentioned in the quote above, versus standalone episodes. ;)
     
  17. Puffy

    Puffy Guest

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    Sure, so Buffy must have been sad all standalone episodes of on season. I dont see that. ;)

    But what I see, is that overall lighthearted attitude when facing grim threats (early seasons).
    While at later seasons the characters are already "damaged" and no longer that lighthearted.
    But you disagree..?
    Also Joss Whedon and Marti Noxon were talking about that darker seasons (5+6).
    I hope you dont think they are lying to use ;)
     
  18. Puffy

    Puffy Guest

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    Joss Whedon and Marti Noxon talking about dark places (season 6)

    2:25

     
  19. Mr. Pole

    Mr. Pole Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Clearly you dont see it. That has been established in two different posts. ;)

    Lying to use what? ;)
    I honestly don't care what they say we are supposed to think and feel. Art is subjective. ;) That is why people consume art and media; they take it in and make their own impressions from it.
     
  20. Puffy

    Puffy Guest

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    Puh, so it doesnt shape reality. So it would also be totally fine to talk about Chewbacca when it comes to Buffy. ;)