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Unpopular Opinions 3.0

Discussion in 'Sunnydale Cemetery' started by vellavu, May 30, 2016.

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  1. thrasherpix

    thrasherpix Scooby

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    Personally, I'd have preferred Buffy ended at season 5 and Angel at say season 7...and as for a few epic episodes and plot arcs of Buffy season 6-7, maybe they could somehow work those into yet another spinoff, say featuring Willow & Tara (but that might come off as a bit too much like Charmed, though popular shows do tend to get imitated a lot), or (much better, IMO, just not sure how they'd pull it off) on Faith (fighting evil and avoiding the law at the same time, sounds right up Joss Whedon's alley).
     
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  2. Guy

    Guy Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    That's weird, I have the exact opposite experience - Buffy season 6 is amazing for me, but AtS seasons 1 & 2 leave me cold. I guess one can never love these two at the same time...

    Mr Trick:

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions of course, but in my opinion the idea that Buffy should have ended with 'The Gift' is just... Wrong. Not only because I love seasons 6 & 7, but also because Buffy's story was so INCOMPLETE at that point. She learned an important lesson in season 5 (how not to lose herself to cynicism), but she still had so much more to learn, and, well... Well, you just can't end this story with Buffy commiting suicide!

    [​IMG]

    Also, 'The Gift' is such a classic, typical ending. It's the Jesus christ ending - the hero sacrifices herself to save humanity. 'Harry Potter' did it too. Nothing wrong with that, of course, and it's an amazing episode, but Buffy deserves a more unique, complete ending - and that's what we got in 'Chosen'. Also, I just love how season 6 deconstructs the Jesus christ story...
     
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  3. DoktorRock

    DoktorRock Potential

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    Yes, it's subjective and depends on preferences. My priorities were the Scoobies (Willow, Buffy, Xander & Giles, individual, and as a group) way over Spike, Angel, Tara, Anya, Dawn, Riley, Oz, Faith, Cordelia, Spuffy, Bangel, Briley, Tillow, Xanya etc. etc. S1-5 had kept to that, IMO. S6/7 not at all.

    For me, there are boundaries of how much angsty, dark and depressive storytelling I can bear. If S07 had been more lighthearted, like S03 or S04, with the focus on repairing, or at least dealing with, the relationships S06 had destroyed, I'd me much more comfortable with S06, despite the many flaws and inconsistencies. That had supported the pro-life message S06 tried to convey with Buffy's arc, peaking in her speech to Dawn in "Grave". However, S07 was no less angsty, with the First, ruthless and jaded Buffy, frightened Willow, helpless Xander and cold-hearted Giles. In "Chosen", the Scoobies were even more apart than in "Grave". Buffy's smile, and the nostalgic Scoobie scene at the Highschool in "Chosen" left me cold and her speech to Dawn in "Grave" appears hollow retroactively. Too much unresolved issues were left open.

    I don't want to belittle your experiences and haven't made a similar one so don't take that offensive.:)

    I'm not sure if what you experienced can be described as a heavenly afterlife but rather the transition to said afterlife. There are theories, spiritual and medical, from "soul leaves body and floats away" to "retroactive hallucination due to lack of oxygen, influenced via the person's spiritual beliefs".

    However, I haven't made such an experience and can't relate to that. I only can use my limited logic and the given parameters of the Buffyverse. I get that Buffy's "heaven" was supposed to be the happily after for her and that her friends had torn her out of it, what traumatized her, alienated her from them and abetted her depression.

    First, it sounds unconvincing and like a big lie. Buffy said she knew that all her friends and family were happy and alright. We know for a fact the opposite was the case. It sounds dishonest, not like I would imagine the ultimately good place like "heaven". Buffy was isolated with no conscious thoughts. I'm more familiar with the concept of being back together with your deceased loved ones. Buffy never said she saw her mother or had been together with her. Or with the concept of watching over the people left on Earth. Why does she remember in the first place? What about Liam's and William's souls after they were turned into vampires? Both had flaws but haven't done anything that would deny them heaven. Why do they not remember anything at all of their afterlife? The heavy Christian note on it makes it particularly hard for atheists like me and confessions with other afterlife concepts to relate to Buffy. It's all over the place.

    Second, I think the heaven bit wasn't necessary for a believable depression. There are other, more plausible, possibilities. It's redundant and way exaggerated. Buffy had had all audience's sympathy already.

    Third, I'm Willow biased of course. It's unbelievable and outrageous how much guilt and burden S06 loaded on Willow's back. Way over the top. I'm all too happy to undermine and doubt the "Buffy was in heaven" issue.
     
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  4. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    Interesting idea:) Do you mean just have the Buffy characters come back for the final battle or would you use them more often than that?

    @cryptwarmer Thank-you very much for sharing that deeply personal and troubling experience with us. Has certainly given us food for thought:)
     
  5. Guy

    Guy Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    I don't think that season 6 took the core scoobies out of the spotlight at all. Quite the opposite - because season 6 had no traditional Big Bad, we spent more time than ever with the core scoobies. Season 7, yes, it sidelined Willow and Xander somewhat, and that's one of my problems with it.

    I personally love the dark, angsty episodes... But that's just me.

    Season 7 is about the scoobies "coming out into the world", and realizing that "it's not about me". That's why the season premiere has so much globe-trotting - Istanbul, England, Sunnydale... The point of the season is that you can't just care about your own loved ones and leave the rest of humanity out to dry. I... *Sigh*, it will take a LONG time to defend season 7, and I WILL do it one day, but not now. For now I'll just say - 'Chosen' isn't about the scoobies coming into their own as a group, it's about the scoobies coming into their own as part of humanity. They're not as close as they were in season 5, but they're more mature as human beings, and that's more important. It can create more lasting bonds.

    I'm an atheist too, and I absolutely LOVE Buffy's torn-out-of-"heaven" thing. Here's the thing:
    1. Buffy never says she was in heaven. She says she THINKS she was in heaven. That's a crucial distinction, because it means that the afterlife in the Buffyverse is still as un-know-able as before. It's not a christian message, AT ALL. It's just a philosophical attempt to think about death and the possibility of after-life (For the record - I don't believe in an after life. But the way season 6 deals with this issue is fascinating to me).
    2. In terms of world-building it fits perfectly - Buffy died by FALLING THROUGH A DIMENSIONAL PORTAL. It's much less likely that she reached a christian heaven, and much more likely that she just reached a heaven-like dimension, in which she felt complete, and felt that everyone she loved was safe, even if it was a lie. It has nothing to do with where the souls of Angel and Spike were, or where the souls of Tara and Joyce are, because Buffy didn't discover what happens to everyone after they die, she just had an experience that's unique to her. For all we know she just reached a place that no else reaches.

    I disagree that this was a bad move, for 2 reasons:

    1. This turn of events makes me want to hug Buffy, and any turn of events that makes me feel that is a good story, IMO. Like I said, I'm a sucker for the Buffy angst. YMMV.
    2. This will take a long time to explain... Here goes:

    Buffy's fall from "heaven" was necessary to the story because seasons 5-7 (and the entire series, really) are a deconstruction of (and an attack on) the classic Jesus-inspired hero's journey.
    90% of the heroic stories we read/see/hear are based on the Jesus story. One of the most central parts of the Jesus story is the part where he dies to save humanity, and is resurrected shortly after. This is an event that 'Harry Potter' replicated in its last book, and 'Captain America: The First Avenger' replicated with freezing instead of death, and 'The Avengers' replicated with Tony (replicated symbolically, at least - Tony doesn't REALLY die), and 'The Dark Knight Rises' replicated via fake-out, and many, many more. This story will always be powerful - seeing someone reach the point where he's willing to sacrifice himself for others is always inspiring, and seeing him come back to life is always reassuring and comforting. But the Jesus story has some possible disturbing implications too - it can encourage a pro-death message, and it can encourage what Spike would refer to as a "hero trip" (i.e. making people think that they are completely worthless and should just sacrifice themselves for others' sake). In seasons 5 and 6, 'Buffy' essentially replicates the Jesus story, but does it in a way that addresses all of its negative implications: At the end of season 5, Buffy dies like Jesus, but the desperation that such a sacrifice requires is made clear ("I don't know how to live in this world, if these are the choices. If everything just gets stripped away. I don't see the point"), and Buffy isn't immediately resurrected. Season 5 ends with Buffy just dead in a grave. It seems obvious, but it's a huge violation of the formula - Buffy isn't rewarded for her sacrifice, she's just dead. The story doesn't glorify death like the usual Jesus stories. Then, in season 6, we see that Buffy is resurrected (after 147 days - much longer than Jesus' 3 days), and unlike Jesus who came back all well and godly, Buffy returns more human than ever. It was an actual, real sacrifice for her. She still hates her life like she did at the end of season 5, and she is anything but godly. And over the course of season 6, she must rebuild her life, and recreate what she sacrificed at the end of season 5. 'Buffy' is unique among jesus stories in that it doesn't glorify death and doesn't ignore the negative realities of sacrifice. Of course, we then get season 7, in which Buffy is essentially put in front of the same level of challenge she met in season 5, but armed with the knowledge and experience she gained in season 6. She struggles just like in season 5, and at some points she loses hope like she did in season 5, but in the end she learns how to win - if the situation calls for one person to die for everyone, then the situation is messed up, and needs to be fixed. And the way to fix the situation is by EMPOWERING OTHERS. Hence - 'Chosen'.
    TL,DR - Buffy's fall-from-"heaven" storyline is necessary because it is part of the show's subversion of the classic-but-flawed Jesus story.

    You guys make me feel like a sadist... Isn't it normal to like stories that put your favorite heroes through hell? I mean, that's what makes them heroes...
     
  6. Carrie Hopewell

    Carrie Hopewell Scooby

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    Sineya
    I love dark, angsty episodes. It's why I love Angel's character, I hate when he smiles ;) I found season 6 boring and over the top. It crossed the line into soap opera territory. A lot. It also changed the tone of the show too drastically. I understand that the show changed networks and that it needed to renew itself, but you can't lose the essence of the show. Something that drags Buffy and Angel down for me is its inconstancy. You can keep the show interesting and be progressive without rewriting it completely. I know this is an opinion that a lot of people are tired of hearing but I love the first three seasons. One of the reasons I think they're great, regardless of the bad stand-alone episodes, is how the tone of the show is recognizable throughout and quintessentially Buffy.
    To give you an example of a great dark arc: The Darla arc in Angel S2 is my favorite. It's "dark" but it's dramatic enough without being tiresome. Story wise Angel and Darla's romance is everything Spuffy should have been and the writers managed to balance Angel's dark arc with the Cordy/Wesley/Gunn team's lighthearted moments. The attempts at humor in season 6 didn't work very well and a lot of the drama was contrived.

    The problem I have with Buffy's return from Heaven is how lame it was and how it was used.
    Firstly, she hides her experience from everyone for a long time, unnecessarily. The fact that she shares with Spike first and keeps the truth from her friends is understandable. Yet, after the first 4 episodes, it's too much. They used it to create tension and resentment between the Scoobies, to keep them apart and to bring Spike and Buffy together. It's an obvious plot device that makes little sense. In season 3, when Buffy didn't want to explain what happened with Angel, Giles found a way to get it out of her. In season 6, the situation is more complicated because they brought her from Heaven, but the fact they didn't really talk to her about Heaven? It's understandable at first, but quickly becomes pure melodrama. The "let's keep a major secret from the other characters until everything falls apart and that secret comes to bite you in the ass" routine has been done to death.
    Secondly, Buffy comes from Heaven and is immediately depressed just 'cause she was happy and now she's not. No one really explains how this works exactly. I always thought this line of thought (I was happy, now I'm unhappy because I'm no longer in Heaven period) was a cope-out. Depression is more than that, more then a singular moment that happens and makes you miserable. Depression is the result of an accumulation of experiences and then a tipping point that kick starts the depression. They could have easily gone with that. There's a lot of badness that happened to Buffy throughout the years (Angel, her mom, being a slayer) and having her reward taken away from her could precipitate her depression. Yet, the execution they went with was weak and lame in my opinion.

    Yeah, seeing heroes go through hell and comeback (sometimes literally :p) is interesting. Buffy getting her heart broken because of Angelus and facing Joyce's illness was saddening and interesting. Buffy repeating the same mistakes all season long in season 6 and acting like a mad woman in season 7 doesn't make for good TV in my opinion. It can, but in this case they didn't pull it off.
     
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  7. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    Well S6 was maybe the darkest Buffy season. Its just debatable whether the writing was good enough. Dark for the sake of dark is no better than light for the sake of light. The more I see it the more I think that season gets a raw deal.
     
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  8. DoktorRock

    DoktorRock Potential

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    Not the individuals but the relationships, especially Buffy/Willow and Buffy/Giles, were torn apart and then abandoned in S07.

    Since the comics are canon...

    "Return to Sunnydale" S10: Andrew wants to resurrect Tara. Willow prevents it.

    ANDREW:

    "Then help me! I mean, you've done it before. You brought Buffy back!

    WILLOW:

    "Yeah I did. I took her out of heaven-- A place where she was safe and happy and surrounded by the purest love. I pulled her back into this world of fear and doubt and pain."

    "And she was miserable. In so much agony, she almost destroyed herself"

    "That was after being in heaven a few weeks. Tara's been gone for years."

    "It's not hard for the person who's dead. It's hard for those of us left behind. Bringing her back now... it would be cruel. Selfish. Hurting the one I'm supposed to love."


    Okay, we don't know why Willow knows that for sure but that's the clearest answer we get. Tara is in the same place Buffy was.

    But, actually, I like your idea of a heaven-like dimension via Glory's portal. It supports my opinion that Willow's fears that Buffy had ended up in a hell-dimension were valid.

    I overall read from your text that the resurrection was the right decision and a good deed. I agree with that albeit for other reasons than the Jesus analogy.

    I didn't like the S07 theme (and not at all the execution) simply because it directly followed from S06, a likewise depressing season. Two and a half predominantly angsty seasons in tandem were too much for me. I need to catch some breath in between. If I want darker and darker and darker and yet, even darker on top of that... I can watch "Breaking Bad". If they had pulled off the First Evil and Potentials arc in S08, and had S07 dealing with the aftermath of S06, Buffy embracing life and let's say with a lesser big bad of doom in the category of Adam, Wilkins or the Master, S06's "message" would have been much more credible.

    I don't see the pro-life message S06/07 is supposed to convey. For one, everybody, including Willow, sees Buffy's resurrection as a horrible mistake. That's pro-death. In A&F S09 Willow doubts that Buffy is really happy with it. The subject is not even dealt with in a controversial manner. It's just bad and wrong. To make me believe that Buffy prefers her life over heaven, she needs to show that and confirm it. It's right that Chosen hinted at that, yet S08-10 Buffy is still predominately unhappy or lonely or other negative feelings about her life. Even in "Grave" she said she wanted to live for Dawn, hence not for herself. Has Buffy ever had a heart to heart with Willow about that? No, the subject is rather hushed up, from both sides, because it's bad and wasn't supposed to happen. It was wrong. A really strong pro-life message would be when Buffy would thank Willow for her life since she got back all the choices S05 had denied her.

    Yes of course, but there is a pain threshold that, admittedly, varies from person to person. And it has to be honest, without contriving OOC behaviour and manipulating the narrative to the characters' disadvantage. The other thing is that you have to be careful to not destroy or simplify the character in the progress by overdoing it to the point it becomes ridiculous. Willow had a five-seasons long very complex developement of her character which was not solely about turning to Dark!Willow. It was a part of it but not everything. Willow post S06 lost that complexity. It was predominantly about her S06 deeds, Tara's death, Dark Willow or no Dark Willow... wait, future Dark Willow, loosing magic, missing magic, bringing magic back... peaking in her journey in Wonderland that Willow is now just a selfish brat and had ever been. I wouldn't describe S1-5 Willow foremost as selfish. That was a part of her, IMO not stronger than Buffy's or Xander's own selfish traits. And she was never just a brat. Not more a brat than Buffy or Cordelia in their younger years. The writers should look up the definition. However, no word about her compassion, her selflessness (!), her intelligence, her heroic actions, her many other good traits and her development as a person as a whole. Nope, Willow is a brat but is now better because she doesn't hate Angel for Twilight. :confused: That was S09/Wonderlands conclusion.
     
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  9. Guy

    Guy Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    I understand that this is subjective, but I completely disagree with the very principle of this criticism. One of the big problems with most TV, in my opinion, is that it tends to become a repetitive, unchanging formula. One of my favorite things about 'Buffy' (and most of my fave TV shows) is that it broke this tendancy and managed to constantly evolve. Season 6 was very, very different, and that's a GOOD thing. Of course, whatever a show changes into also has to be good, and we can disagree about whether season 6 changed Buffy into something good, but I just disagree on the principle that changing is bad. Stories thrive on change. I don't need to see more copies of season 2, because I already have season 2. What I need is new stories.

    It constantly surprises me, how people seem to either like Angel's attempts at darkness or Buffy's attempts at darkness, but never both. Personally, Angel's "Dark" arc in season 2, with Darla, just doesn't really work for me. I mean, 'Reunion' and 'Reprise' are great episodes, but other than that, the dark angsty parts of that season rarely work for me, and certainly not nearly as well as Buffy season 6. I guess that's subjectivity...

    I think it makes perfect sense, from Buffy's perspective. Buffy doesn't tell her friends about her "heaven" thing because:
    1. She knows it will hurt them, and she doesn't want to hurt them. Don't forget, in the end of season 5, Buffy embraced a "no compromises" approach when it comes to morality. She refused to kill Ben, even though his life almost certainly meant the future death of others. In season 6 she refused to hurt her friends to help herself, for the same reasons.
    2. Buffy never likes to ask for help when she's in pain. When Angelus acted like a dick to her in 'Innocence' when she thought he was Angel, her reaction was to tell no one. When Angel came back from "hell" in season 3, she didn't tell anyone. It's a consistent character trait. Buffy just keeps her pain to herself.
    3. The scoobies couldn't help her. They were already very gentle with her because they thought she was in hell, so it's not like telling them could have made them more helpful to Buffy's struggle with depression. The very act of telling them might have been cathartic for Buffy, but she got that from Spike.

    Who ever said that Buffy's depression was JUST because of her "heaven" thing? Season 5 was a constant emotional journey toward depression for Buffy - Joyce's illness, Riley leaving, Joyce's death, Tara's brain-suck, the unbeatable threat of Glory, it was an endless barrage of misery. In 5x20 Buffy tells Dawn "It just keeps coming". In 5x21, Buffy goes catatonic from being so hopeless and miserable. In 5x22, Buffy was so beaten down that she SMILED before she jumped to her death. The "Heaven" thing was just "a tipping point that kick starts the depression", like you said.

    Making repeated mistakes when depressed and acting like a mad person when under extreme pressure? I completely relate to Buffy in this. But this is very subjective...

    DoktorRock:

    Buffy/Giles grew apart over the years, which I was perfectly fine with - That's just a good, natural part of a coming-of-age story, because he was her father-figure. I was always annoyed that the final Harry Potter book just portrayed Dumbledore's machiavellian actions as ultimately good, and never gave Harry an "I think you've taught me everything I need to know" moment.
    Buffy/Willow had tons and tons of development in season 6, so I disagree about that. I agree that we didn't get enough Buffy/Willow in season 7.

    Tara says in 6x08:

    "It's totally not stupid to wonder
    what it was like for Buffy. But it
    could have been any one of a zillion
    heavenly dimensions. All we know is
    that it was a good place and she was
    happy there."

    Like you said, Willow has no way of knowing if Buffy was in capital-H Heaven. We have no way of KNOWING if Buffy was actually in heaven, so this plot does not mess up the rules of the Buffyverse in any way. I'm glad if this helped you enjoy the show a little more :)

    Also, I love the comics, and I'd defend them too, but if I have to throw the comics under the bus to defend season 6, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

    As a story decision? Yes, the resurrection was a definite good decision. As an in-universe decision by Willow and Xander, it's more complicated:
    1. Willow was wrong to resurrect Buffy, because, like Giles said, the resurrection could have had countless dangerous after effects. And DID, as we see in season 7 (although it was never really made clear how the resurrection halped the First... Like I said, season 7 has problems).
    2. Once Buffy was alive, of course being alive was better than being in "heaven" for her. My attitude is exactly the same as Xander's here:

    WILLOW
    We didn't want to know. We were so
    selfish. I was so selfish.

    XANDER
    Maybe we were, but I feel weird
    feeling bad that my friend's not
    dead. It's too mind-boggling. So
    I've decided to simplify the whole
    thing: Me like Buffy. Buffy alive.
    So, me glad.

    I always loved the depressing 'Buffy' episodes... I fell in love with the show in episodes like 'Prophecy Girl' and 'Innocence' and 'Becoming', so seasons 6 & 7 were like 44 straight episodes of 'Becoming's. I was like a kid in a candy store. A very depressed kid in a very depressing candy store. :) Honestly, It's pretty simple math - I cry every time SMG and Alyson Hanningan cry, and in seasons 6 & 7 they cry a LOT, so I cry a lot. And I love it when a story makes me cry.

    But yeah, again, this is entirely subjective...

    1. NOT everyone sees Buffy's resurrection as a horrible mistake. I showed Xander's reaction above. Giles himself never had a problem with Buffy's resurrection, just with the risks of the ritual. The only person who ever said that Buffy was better off in "heaven" is Willow, and that was probably just because she felt most guilty for Buffy's depression at the time, as she was the person who did the most to resurrect her. And her opinion seemed to change over time - in season 9, Angel asks Willow if she regrets bringing Buffy back, and she replies "Not even for a second". She also says that she's not sure if Buffy agrees, but that was in season 9, after the horrible events of season 8. It doesn't necessarily mean that Buffy regretted being brought back before season 9.

    2. You said: "To make me believe that Buffy prefers her life over heaven, she needs to show that and confirm it"
    You also said: "Has Buffy ever had a heart to heart with Willow about that?"
    Well... At the end of 6x11, we get the following scene between Willow and Buffy:

    BUFFY: When I got Xander's message... you know, that I was... fading away... I actually got scared.
    WILLOW: Well, yeah. Who wouldn't?
    BUFFY: Me. I wouldn't. Not too long ago, I probably would have welcomed it. But I realised... I'm not saying that I'm doing backflips about my life, but... I didn't... I don't... wanna die. That's something, right?
    WILLOW: It's something.
    *pause*
    WILLOW: So I guess we both made good first steps.
    BUFFY: I guess.
    WILLOW: Yay for us.
    BUFFY: Yay.

    It's obviously a very self-decpracated statement about wanting to live, but that's because Buffy was just starting to get better. But that's where Buffy confirms that she stopped wanting to die. Right there in the text. And in a conversation with Willow! And she reaffirmed it in 'Grave' (see point 4).

    3. You said: "It's right that Chosen hinted at that, yet S08-10 Buffy is still predominately unhappy or lonely or other negative feelings about her life". That's easy - there's a difference between being clinically depressed and being unhappy, or lonely, or having other negative feelings. Buffy had many sad moments in seasons 8-10, because the story needs drama, but she never tried to kill herself again. She never wished she was dead in seasons 8-10.

    4. You said: "Even in "Grave" she said she wanted to live for Dawn, hence not for herself"

    From 'Grave':
    Cut to the cave. Buffy walks forward slowly, looking around. Dawn follows.
    DAWN: "I ... I think it's over, Buffy". (Buffy sitting down on a coffin) "The world's still here". Dawn gives a deep sigh of relief, then looks over at Buffy again. Buffy bursts into tears, not looking at Dawn. Dawn scowls.
    DAWN: (sarcastic) "Sorry to disappoint y-"
    She pauses, looks at Buffy again. Buffy continues sobbing.
    DAWN: "Wait, is ... is that happy crying?"
    BUFFY: (sniffles) "Yes, dummy". (looks at Dawn) "You think I wanted the world to end?"

    So there - Buffy was happy to be alive. She later said that she sees Dawn's future, which makes her happy, but that doesn't change anything, it was just a statement of optimism - Buffy wasn't sad to live and living just for Dawn's sake, she was simply happy to live. Buffy felt happy.

    5. You said: "A really strong pro-life message would be when Buffy would thank Willow for her life since she got back all the choices S05 had denied her". She actually did say that, in 6x03, but she didn't mean it then. She legit told Willow that she didn't want to die in 6x11, although she didn't say "thank you" literally. Buffy didn't really gain her will to live until 6x22, and at that point Willow wasn't exactly in a position to be thanked. So yeah, technically, Buffy never really, literally THANKED Willow for bringing her back... But I think that that was never really necessary. Willow had mixed motivations when she brought Buffy back, and she risked all kinds of disasters by resurrecting her, so I don't think a "thank you" was necessary. The only thing we needed was to see that Buffy was happy to live again, and we got that.

    That's a lot of different issues... One day, I'll write something big about Willow's arc in season 6...

    [​IMG][/QUOTE][/QUOTE][/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
     
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  10. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    I don't think that season 2 of Angel is good because of the darkness. I think its good for the same reason that seasons 2, 5 and even 6 of Buffy are because it redirects the characters into a new direction.
     
  11. Guy

    Guy Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Oh, I agree. I like season 2 of Angel. Quite a lot. But the Angel/Darla stuff always seemed too melodramatic for me, and that really hurts the main arc of the season. I still love a lot in it, but it isn't nearly as good as Buffy season 6, IMO.
     
  12. Carrie Hopewell

    Carrie Hopewell Scooby

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    Sineya
    I don't believe it's good because of the darkness, I believe it handles the darkness well. When defending Buffy S6 the argument that's usually used is that the season's mature, dark, complex, which implies that people who don't like maturity enough can't appreciate it. Ats S2 is an example of a "dark" season that, to me, proves that a season can be dark without being criticized for being too dark. The Angel writers did a wonderful job balancing everything that season (mostly), it didn't get boring and it had immense quality. It did take Angel and Darla's characters in a whole new direction which is one of the things I enjoy about their arc.
     
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  13. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    Think the melodrama makes sense in a way. For them both its an uncontrollable urge to be together which certainly Angel fights. The heightened intensty works for that reason IMO. I don't even mind the slow build up to the saga. It means more in the long term because of it. There are some missteps, like Darla trying to turn Angel by sleeping with him. Surely she would know that the moment of happiness needs to be with someone Angel loves, and even she doesn't we do. It underscores the fact that Angel isn't going to turn. Its a bit of a cheap way for Angel to have a change of heart about his actions too. But for the most part I think the arc is one of the highlights of the whole show.
     
  14. Guy

    Guy Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    I agree logically with everything you said, but emotionally it just didn't work for me... I was never a big fan of Darla or Angel to begin with. It's just my own personal problem with these characters, they never felt authentic to me. I think it's the acting that didn't sell the melodrama for me - it was hard for me to believe Julie Benz as an ancient badass vampire after seeing her in 'Dexter', and David Boreanaz just never really worked for me as a hero...
     
  15. Carrie Hopewell

    Carrie Hopewell Scooby

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    Sineya
    You misunderstood what I said. I don't want a repeat of season 2 or any other season. I believe S1, S2, S3 and even S4 are all different. Changing isn't bad, but the essence of the show should be consistent. Buffy as a whole feels like different directors, writers and producers decided to do certain seasons individually and then put them all together for the final product.

    You're right about that. Those are all valid points, but an entire season of this? The main point I was trying to make is that using a lack of communication as a means for drama all season long is tiresome and unoriginal. But I know we're going to have to agree too disagree.

    That's the point I'm trying to make. All the things you just mentioned that happened to Buffy all add up to reasonably explain her depression. The problem was that season 6 focused almost entirely on the thrown out of heaven bits.

    Again, I didn't imply that. I said, in this case, it made for bad television because they couldn't make it interesting. Also, Buffy has been through really challenging times without being the unreasonable person she was in the last season. Repeating the same mistakes is part of being depressed and part of life and you'll find a lot of movies/shows who get it right. It's also debatable how realistic her responses and actions were.
     
  16. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    There certain hints of Darla in Benz's performance as Rita though I think. Besides she is just such a wonderful actress than she could sell me the phone book. There are actors on either show that I rate much more than Boreanaz. Still I think he does an excellent job during most of his run on Angel. Besides there is just such good chemistry between the two IMO.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jul 17, 2016 ---
    I don't think the change just comes out of no where though. As a show I think Buffy had been getting darker season on season. With Buffy questioning her role as the Slayer in S5 and then the stuff she goes through with her Mum, Glory and Dawn it seems natural what follows in S6.
     
  17. Carrie Hopewell

    Carrie Hopewell Scooby

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    Sineya
    Personally, something I don't understand about Angel S2 is Angel himself for the most part. Understating him would imply, in a way, understanding what's like to have a sire you killed come back from the dead. The shows don't fully explain what a sire/child connection is like, so it's up to the viewer to make sense of Angel's behavior and explain it. In Ephiphany Angel explains that most of his desperation in trying to save Darla was because saving her, forgiving the person who taught him to be a monster, meant he was worth redemption too. Darla being human and living meant that he could shanshu and have the same. Some people believe Angel loved Darla or that, like you said, they couldn't resist each other, yet, the flashbacks we get in every season mostly show us a happy relationship between Angelus and Darla but not a deep one. Angel killed Darla for Buffy and he barely knew her, in Buffy S2 there was no mention of Darla by Angelus (didn't try to avenge her death) and so on. Suddenly in Ats S2, Angel seemed initially to almost be in love with Darla, Darla called them "soulmates" and he was obsessed with her. I don't find Angel's behavior completely believable tbh, though I enjoyed the Buffy/Darla parallel and exploring an almost evil Angel that wasn't Angelus. Mostly I think Angel could resist Darla and did so for a long while and his responses were more about what she meant than Darla herself. Sorry, I rambled again :p

    What I really wanted to say though is that Darla doesn't know what love is. She believed Buffy was "new" which is why Angel was perfectly happy with her. However Darla has more sexual experience and they have history, so she should be able to give him perfect happiness too. I don't think she knows all the details about the curse either. And Angel himself doesn't know what perfect happiness is for certain and, like everyone else, starts to associate that moment with sex. I agree that having sex with the enemy in your lowest moments doesn't give you perfect happiness. That's a no brainer, but in the show it's his desperation and the knowledge that the sex was the only thing that could make him feel less cold, that convinced him he could become Angelus like that.

    That's very true. Their chemistry is what made some unconvincing aspects of their relationship convincing and Julie brings out the best of David when it comes to acting.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jul 17, 2016 ---
    Yes, that is true. Perhaps I'm not explaining myself well. Season 3 is considerably darker than season 2 for example. It's like there's a dark cloud hovering above everyone and even the lighter moments come with a small side of angst. However, to me, there's this familiarity and feeling that I'm wacthing Buffy that I lost in the later seasons. Obviously, this is partly because of the different characters, storylines, etc but it's also because the show lost the balance it had and some of its charm.
     
  18. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    I was partly playing devil's advocate:D I agree that there are many flaws in S6. Then again it does seem to get better the more I watch it. And there are quite strong voices out there which consider it the best season. Gotta respect the load minority;)
     
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  19. thrasherpix

    thrasherpix Scooby

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    By "epic" I mean really good, as opposed to final battles with Big Bads. My understanding is that Dark Willow and the First Evil wouldn't have been an issue had Buffy not been brought back. (The Trio would still be an issue, and maybe they could get rid of Spike's plot device, er, chip, while they're at it, for him to become the Big Bad instead of Dark Willow, and maybe he then turns the Trio into vampires...)

    I'd think Once More With Feeling is one that should be saved, but could be adjusted with the cast dealing with the death of Buffy (hold off on it, and they can replace Buffy with Faith). This episode, like some others (Hush, and the one where Angel turns into a puppet) sounds dumb on paper to me, but it works out really well (at least for me), and I'd hate for that episode to get lost.

    The episode where Buffy is made invisible is a lot of fun to me, but could be adapted to other characters.

    I think they could go in some interested direction with Dawn discovering some of her powers as the Key, especially after Buffy's sacrifice making her an "actual person" rather than a complex glamor, something that seems to go along with how magic is said to work in the Buffyverse. (I understand the comics are finally getting around to Dawn's powers, but I consider the comics a different Buffyverse much the same way I consider the X-Men series, movies, and comics distinct from each other, no matter if they're arbitrarily declared canon despite how often they retcon the previous canon.)

    I'll get back to the rest of this thread later.
     
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  20. Guy

    Guy Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    I loved Julie Benz on 'Dexter' too. But as Darla, she just doesn't really work for me, like Boreanaz doesn't really work for me. It's my own subjective problem. :)

    Carrie Hopewell:

    I actually understood exactly that. I just disagree - I'm perfectly fine with the very essence of the show being changed. In season 5 of 'Angel', the very premise of the show was replaced by something new, and I though it was brilliant. In season 6, the very essence of 'Buffy' was changed significantly, and I loved it. It's perfectly fine if you think that season 6 was a change for the worse, but I don't think that the very fact that it changed could be a bad thing - even if it changed the very essence of the show.

    It's probably a subjective thing, yeah. But I do want to point out one thing: The secret wasn't a source of drama for AN ENTIRE SEASON, it was barely 5 episodes. Buffy decides to keep the secret at the end of ep 3, and she keeps it through eps 4, 5 and 6, and she reveals it in ep 7. It's actually almost the same amount of time as the amount of time Buffy kept Angel's return a secret in season 3.

    I don't think season 6 focused only on the "heaven" thing, at all. It mostly just showed Buffy struggling with everyday life. In the intro song of the musical, Buffy sings:

    Every single night, the same arrangement,
    I go out and fight the fight.
    Still I always feel this strange estrangement,
    Nothing here is real, nothing here is right.
    I've been making shows of trading blows,
    Just hoping no one knows,
    That I've been going through the motions,
    Walking though the part,
    Nothing seems to penetrate my heart.

    This isn't Buffy struggling with falling from "heaven", this is Buffy just struggling with the feeling of meaningless-ness of everyday life. It's entirely relatable to me, and it makes perfect sense even if you didn't WATCH the episodes about the fall from "heaven". And this is what the majority of the season is about - we don't get a gazillion speeches about "oh I'm so sad I'm not in heaven anymore", we get Buffy struggling with jobs, and struggling with taxes, and struggling with raising a teenager, and struggling with an unhealthy relationship, etc... The "heaven" bits were just a catalyst.
     
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