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Buffy and Her Mother

thrasherpix

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The more time passes, the more I realize Buffy is like her mother, in both the good and bad ways...which is actually kind of nice, even if she's well-meaning pushy at times, and, as Xander pointed out, the Summer's genetic trait to see jerks and worse as good guys (cf. Hank, Ted). If allowed to live a normal life, I could totally see Buffy becoming Joyce, and dying like her as well (which isn't a bad way to go, but expect at least one divorce along with other badness, Joyce's death no doubt saved her from another such misstep), and probably a stint of alcoholism in there somewhere.

That aside, Joyce wasn't so bad, she was helpful and wanted to do right, even if she was pushy about it. And, like Buffy, she wasn't afraid to use ultimatums, which I guess is what pushy becomes when overloaded with stress.

I think I like it because it makes her feel more real as a person.

Now if we only got to know the family of the rest of the cast better...
 

Stake fodder

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I see it both ways. Joyce has a firmness of character and is protective of her family, both traits that Buffy has as well. That firmness can cross into stubbornness for both of them, too.

However, I think Joyce had a gentler nature, though perhaps Buffy would have become more that way as she aged, and if she didn't have to be the Slayer. Joyce has an "everyone's mom" quality, that friend's mom that you feel you could go to with your problems, and she would listen sympathetically (and make you cocoa with marshmallows). I think Buffy doesn't have patience for whining or navel-gazing.

I also think Joyce continues to have a naivete or a sense of denial of Buffy's role, long after Buffy herself accepts it.

Still, I think you're right that Buffy would mature to be more like Joyce, even though her life circumstances are very different. I have been sorry that we got so few scenes with Joyce to round out her character more and her relationship with Buffy.
 

Taake

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I don't see Buffy ever becoming an alcoholic - her reaction to booze is entertainingly overwrought, so I don't see her ever starting in that direction.
Don’t we see Joyce drink once? Right after finding out Buffy is a Slayer, a pretty stressful situation. She is hardly an alcoholic.
 

Spanky

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Don’t we see Joyce drink once? Right after finding out Buffy is a Slayer, a pretty stressful situation. She is hardly an alcoholic.
But it was Buffy's reaction that made it seem like it was more than a drink once. Her saying just have another drink implied that Joyce would, at least, drink to combat stress.
 

Priceless

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I love Joyce and I think she raised two great kids, mostly alone, so kudos to her. I'd like to think that if she had Buffy's abilities she wouldn't have settled for Hank Summers. She and Buffy shared the same sense of loneliness I think, but both found joy in their sense of family.
 

Spanky

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I think she raised two great kids
I was baffled by this but then I realized you meant Dawn. I don't think I would consider Joyce as actually raising Dawn. She took care of her for a time, but I wouldn't go as far as to say she raised her- although she had memories of so doing.
 

Priceless

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I was baffled by this but then I realized you meant Dawn. I don't think I would consider Joyce as actually raising Dawn. She took care of her for a time, but I wouldn't go as far as to say she raised her- although she had memories of so doing.
They remember it, therefore I believe it happened for them. Any other memories they had were wiped. So what counts as reality for them?
 

Spanky

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They remember it, therefore I believe it happened for them. Any other memories they had were wiped. So what counts as reality for them?
But also she remembered not doing it. And Dawn not being real. So she knew she didn't raise her.
 

Priceless

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But also she remembered not doing it. And Dawn not being real. So she knew she didn't raise her.
They all know it wasn't real, but I don't believe that changes anything. The memories are still there, and Daws is Joyce's little pumpkin belly
 

Spanky

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They all know it wasn't real, but I don't believe that changes anything. The memories are still there, and Daws is Joyce's little pumpkin belly
I don't know. I think it would change everything. But I am one of the few that will die on the hill that Dawn was responsible for Joyce's death, so...
To me, the memories of raising Dawn, etc, are nothing more than dreams. And since dreams aren't real then remembering the dream doesn't make it real either.
 
Priceless
Priceless
Valid views, just not one I share

Taake

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But it was Buffy's reaction that made it seem like it was more than a drink once. Her saying just have another drink implied that Joyce would, at least, drink to combat stress.
I just see it as a comment in the moment because Joyce has had a few that night and they’re both upset and stressed already, nowhere else does the show even imply that Joyce is an alcoholic, so if that is all it is, people are reading a lot into a single line.
 

Spanky

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I just see it as a comment in the moment because Joyce has had a few that night and they’re both upset and stressed already, nowhere else does the show even imply that Joyce is an alcoholic, so if that is all it is, people are reading a lot into a single line.
It's more than a single line. There are a lot of hints and innuendos if you opt to see them that way. We've had a few threads about her either being an alcoholic or one in recovery.
 

Stake fodder

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But I am one of the few that will die on the hill that Dawn was responsible for Joyce's death, so...
Me too! I totally thought Joyce's brain tumor was the result of the retro-memories of Dawn being inserted. The first indication of the tumor was Joyce saying to Dawn, "Who are you?" So I thought if Dawn died or popped back out of existence, Joyce would pop back in. So I resented Dawn for that, among other things, in S6.

Anyway, I never picked up signs of Joyce being an alcoholic. But it does give context for Buffy's dislike of alcohol. I had a friend with a mother who was a recovering alcoholic, and my friend would never touch the stuff.
 
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Me too! I totally thought Joyce's brain tumor was the result of the retro-memories of Dawn being inserted. The first indication of the tumor was Joyce saying to Dawn, "Who are you?" So I thought if Dawn died or popped back out of existence, Joyce would pop back in. So I resented Dawn for that, among other things, in S6.

Anyway, I never picked up signs of Joyce being an alcoholic. But it does give context for Buffy's dislike of alcohol. I had a friend with a mother who was a recovering alcoholic, and my friend would never touch the stuff.

I always attributed the "Who are you?" line to the fact that Joyce's tumor is pressing on her brain in such a way that it's causing personality changes and even agressive outbursts later on. When she is in those moments she is technically 'out of her mind' and can then see Dawn as The Key/a ball of energy, in the same way that a person who's brains have been sucked by Glory can see Dawn.

Also since when does Buffy dislike alcohol? She doesn't drink a lot but there is never any mention of her disliking alcohol or specifically wanting to stay away from it.

If anything she does abuse alcohol several times to drown her sorrows:
Beer Bad (S4E05) is an obvious one. She asks for 'frosty nectar' in Dead Things (S6E13). She gets drunk once again in Life Serial (S6E05).

She also 'dates' (- lets not get into the semantics of Spuffy right now) someone who drinks A LOT and never mentions it to him or anyone else. I would think a person who is sensitive to alcohol would have something to say about that. Or at least be unhappy this is going on around her young sister.

In fact it's Dawn who says "only losers drink alcohol" in Family (S5E06) but Buffy never makes a similar claim.
 
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