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Buffy and the importance of Monsters of The Week

katmobile

Scooby
Joined
Jun 17, 2018
Messages
1,474
Age
49
Agreed. Look back at the earlier episodes and you have the group investigating in stand alone episodes that idea dried up in later years. My disapointment of season 7 stems from the belief that going into the last year I think it was suggested it was SMG's last year. Certainly halfway into the season it must have been confirmed that it was SMG's last year so the show was either going to change dramatically as in replace it's lead character or finish. While there is a need to wrap up all the story arcs I believe there is also a great sense of freedom as then one can do what one wants. The show is sold on 22 episodes which you must produce and because its the last year you don't need to pander to the network or ratings. The writers could have thrown any concept or idea on the screen but I never not in a million years get the feeling that the writers did that.

Compare Buffy season 7 to Angel season 5 (a season that was never meant to be its last but was) and the difference is staggering! For Angel's last year we are treated a brand new setting (Wolfram & Hart), a new character (Spike joins), a submarine episode, nods to the show's past (Lindsay uses the name Doyle, Cordelia returns and inspires Angel), an episode set in Italy, a major death of a character before the end of the season (Fred dying), a bonkers episode like the puppet episode and an even spread of character developement across the cast. Compare that to Buffy season 7 and the arc of the show gets in the way. Too many episodes are just filler with crumbs of knowledge given to the audience, too many episodes feature the First taunting the group but not doing anything and too many feature Buffy giving a speech.
I wouldn't include the Girl in Question in any advocacy for Angel season five and motw episodes as IMO the only parts that aren't hot garbage are the ones part of the arc i.e the Ilyria/Wes b plot.
 

darkspook

Potential
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
Messages
126
Age
36
I wouldn't include the Girl in Question in any advocacy for Angel season five and motw episodes as IMO the only parts that aren't hot garbage are the ones part of the arc i.e the Ilyria/Wes b plot.
Fair enough but my point is the ambition of trying to do an episode involving the love triangle while one of the major players is off screen is far more ambitious than much of season 7. Unless you found 'him' a balant retread of season 2's 'Bewitched' ambitious? Girl in Question might be hot garbage for you but I found it entertaining as it didn't take itself at seriously despite at all. Something that season 7's later episodes could have benefited from...
 

TriBel

Scooby
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
2,675
Location
Manchester
Some of the best Buffy episodes are standalones featuring monsters of the week. 'Hush', 'The Zeppo', 'Halloween', 'The Wish', 'Nightmares' are all strong episodes featuring great character work, action and good villains without a need for the viewer to be 100% on what is happening overall on the show. I honestly feel that later years S6 and particularly S7 became too arc heavy.
Yes and no...7's arc is heavy because it reaches back over 7 seasons. The Master's "we're going back to the beginning" isn't a throwaway line...he means it (IIRC, Whedon talked at length and pushed this in the pre-season promotional material). It's reinforced by the intertextual references to Run Lola Run and Slaughter House 5 and (less obviously) Eliot's 4 Quartets. Strictly speaking, the plot's moving forward while the plot discourse is moving back. It's probably the logic of Future Anterior...I haven't thought about it too much.

So...the standalone episodes no longer standalone (just as Buffy doesn't standalone at the end (form mirroring content): the idea is you incorporate your understanding (of Hush, the Wish for example) into S7. I wouldn't call it episodic as much as serial (as in Life Serial? Might be). What it shows (as much as it's able) is that little in life "stands-alone": as Willow tells us in Lessons - "everything's connected". It's very much a therapeutic journey.

The show is sold on 22 episodes which you must produce and because its the last year you don't need to pander to the network or ratings.
Possibly right. I don't know.
The writers could have thrown any concept or idea on the screen but I never not in a million years get the feeling that the writers did that.
I disagree. It might not be to everyone's taste and it might not make good TV but conceptually, it's very, very clever.
 
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