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Buffy was aimed too much for a children's audience after Season 3

telperion66

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Look, I love rewatching seasons 1 and 2 BTVS. Season 3 I can handle as well. But seriously, what gets worse from Season 4 onwards is just how childish some of the episodes become, in terms of the way the cast are instructed to perform their roles and the overall vibe of the show and dialogue.

Willow practically becomes a little child after season 3, she has this "I'm talking and being like a little kid" thing down to a tee. Tara panders to her = nightmare.
Dawn already is a child = people have to pander to her conversation. Harsh, but it takes time out of the show.

There's a reason Spike is the only watchable character in the later seasons and that's because he's the only one that behaves like a genuine adult. You can feel how different his bearing is compared to the others who are acting like kids. Don't even get me started on Andrew etc, I barely even class him as a genuine character.

As I'm getting older now (32 years old) its getting harder and harder to slog my way through the teeth-grinding childlike banter of Anya and the others - all the stuff which Angel doesn't have (the TV show). What a pleasant change!

I used to re-watch Buffy all the time but now I watch Angel a lot more because it has none of the childlike elements that annoy me so much about the later seasons of BTVS.

Thoughts/opinions?
 

Spanky

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Black Thorn
I wouldn't say it was aimed at a children's audience S4 onward. Don't really see that at all. I'm not really even a fan of the series anymore- for some of the reasons you listed- but still wouldn't say it was aimed at a children's audience.
 

Btvs fan

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I wouldn't say it was aimed at a children's audience S4 onward. Don't really see that at all. I'm not really even a fan of the series anymore- for some of the reasons you listed- but still wouldn't say it was aimed at a children's audience.
I'd love to know your full reasons.
Also Is that for both BtVS and Ats or just BtVS ?
 

brinkster130

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Sineya
I don't think it was aimed at children at all. All the hate sex? Def not for kiddos.

I do think that the characters become more self centered as the show goes on and they clearly act immaturely at times. Although to be fair, graduating high school and turning 18 doesn't automatically mean one will act as an adult.
 

Btvs fan

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Look, I love rewatching seasons 1 and 2 BTVS. Season 3 I can handle as well. But seriously, what gets worse from Season 4 onwards is just how childish some of the episodes become, in terms of the way the cast are instructed to perform their roles and the overall vibe of the show and dialogue.

Willow practically becomes a little child after season 3, she has this "I'm talking and being like a little kid" thing down to a tee. Tara panders to her = nightmare.
Dawn already is a child = people have to pander to her conversation. Harsh, but it takes time out of the show.

There's a reason Spike is the only watchable character in the later seasons and that's because he's the only one that behaves like a genuine adult. You can feel how different his bearing is compared to the others who are acting like kids. Don't even get me started on Andrew etc, I barely even class him as a genuine character.

As I'm getting older now (32 years old) its getting harder and harder to slog my way through the teeth-grinding childlike banter of Anya and the others - all the stuff which Angel doesn't have (the TV show). What a pleasant change!

I used to re-watch Buffy all the time but now I watch Angel a lot more because it has none of the childlike elements that annoy me so much about the later seasons of BTVS.

Thoughts/opinions?
I see what your saying. Though I think it might be placement issues like the fact of Angel having episodes like 5by5/Reunion while Buffy is doing Wild At Heart/Into the Woods. When you've got Buffy doing eposides like Fool For Love/Dead Things you can see a difference.

Also on I think on rewatch I disagree with you too. The High school years have some real cliches with all the tropes (S3 B/A melodrama is even mocked by the writers writing it as one example) and for Ats S1 you have the whole broody stoic character in a long coat, saving the girl in the alley routine which is so cheesy and what WAS what BtVS was supposed to be against.
Angel himself was very 1 dimensional and it was only Tim Minear who changed that up making it about Angel and making him 3d. Credit with Joss for going with Tim's vision but it still doesn't change how cheesy the original Detective monster of the week thing was.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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God, is this really what it is like to turn 32?
 
GraceK
GraceK
Except with more existential dread and depression .
Mrs Gordo
Mrs Gordo
Once you hit 32 you prefer AtS over BtVS..... sorry!!! hahahah :P
The Bronze
The Bronze
Don't panic. I made it past 32 and it didn't get this bleak.
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Ha! I'm 33 and still love BTVS ;)
DeepBlueJoy
DeepBlueJoy
I'm in my fifties and so was well into adulthood when Buffy showed up. I still think it is one of the most real, most touching, most creative shows ever on TV. Do Shakespeare's characters always act like adults? Humans misbehave. Buffy still rocks!

Spanky

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Black Thorn
I'd love to know your full reasons.
Also Is that for both BtVS and Ats or just BtVS ?
The writing often contradicts itself. It's hurt by not having a show bible. The writing and characters tend to be too whimsical for my taste. There are too many episodes in a season which are throwaway. More a fan of season-long story arcs. The shows seem to focus more on melodrama than actual drama. I am not the biggest fan of the YA genre anymore in general.
 

Btvs fan

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The writing often contradicts itself. It's hurt by not having a show bible. The writing and characters tend to be too whimsical for my taste. There are too many episodes in a season which are throwaway. More a fan of season-long story arcs. The shows seem to focus more on melodrama than actual drama. I am not the biggest fan of the YA genre anymore in general.
Interesting thank you .

Ie the contradictory writing, I think that is Joss just wanting or concentrating on his moment at the expense of the plot. It's not just BTVS either. Take the Avengers movie which he gets (to) much praise for. He has Thor go to kill Captain America with his hammer for absolutely no reason other than liking the quippy line "you want me to put the hammer down" being in the movie.

I would argue the greater failing though was more him raising an (interesting) issue then dropping it or copping out of it. Classic case is Buffy stabbing/killing Faith another human being then nope, it's ok shes just in a coma. It's why personally I always prefer GDPT1 but am meh about Pt2

For the episodes, yeah 22 was to many. You could probably cut them down to 13 and they would work as seasons just as well.
 
Spanky
Spanky
I felt it was too easy to say I don't like Joss Whedon's writing anymore.

Taake

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Black Thorn
I agree that there was a tonal shift, but not so much about being aimed at kids. I think some characters’ specific characteristics were enhanced though, so like Anya is obviously not as complex as s3 hints she could be, but more or less reduced to a main quality (this changes somewhat by s7 I’d say)

Although seasons 5-7 did air as an after school thing around 15:30-16.00ish here. Heavily redacted however, both in terms of violence and sex. (Like they’d cut out staking... not a great way to view the show)

So I think I see where you’re coming from, but I don’t quite agree.

Angel is great though. Maybe you just need a bit of a Buffy break. Or maybe Angel is more your jam now
:)
 
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Awesome banner <3

WillowFromBuffy

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When you say that Spike is the only one who has the "bearing" of an adult, it leads me to believe that you are not really looking for maturity, but rather a certain adult-esque aesthetic—the type of rugged macho grittiness that Wesley displays in the later seasons.

Spike—with the possible exception of Andrew—is the most infantile character in the entire franchise. He is obsessed with gratifying himself with food, alcohol, violence, sex and romantic validation. His whole persona is just a disguise he hopes will give him the validation that Cecily would not give to William. Spike does not fit into any conception of adult-ness that I am able to understand.

Wesley is not that much better. He lets his petty jealousies and obsession with Fred snowball into a violent conflict that almost tears the Angel crew apart.

BtVS kept its stories grounded in relatable experiences. AtS was more about the melodrama and the high fantasy. Usually that worked well, but there were times when it got completely lost in its own whimsy. I am currently trying to rewatch AtS, and I am really struggling with S4. Perhaps it will make sense to me when I am 80, because I am not Benjamin Button.

BtVS offers a quirky but decidedly serious exploration of situation and issues that I recognise. I hope I never outgrow its appeal.
 
G
genghiskhan
I actually hate angel season 4, I barely had any clue what was actually happening.
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Great points, totally agree about Spike especially.

telperion66

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Angel is great though. Maybe you just need a bit of a Buffy break. Or maybe Angel is more your jam now
:)

I had had a break from Buffy that's the thing. I started again by trying to watch season 5 and just found the dialogue scenes embarrassing to watch from an adult's perspective, like I was watching grown adults pretending to be children.
 

genghiskhan

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I don't think it got more childish at all, with you know those weird sex scenes, but some of the character decisions did get a bit ridiculous. The fact that everyone just constantly lets Buffy down bugs me in the later seasons. But I can agree the childish banter does get annoying. With Angel, there's a different vibe, There is less drama between characters but they still do act childish to some extent, plus angel seemed to gain a personality in his own show.
I really wouldn't call Spike an adult in terms of behaviour but hes an entertaining on-screen presence who gives some comic relief ( I'm so glad he was in Angel season 5 because season 4 was making me lose the will to live because it didn't seem like there was anything funny anymore). He has a completely different personality to the other characters and he was built to be the 'cool' character even whilst being a villain.
Then again we will have different perspectives because you're literally twice my age.
 

Athene

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Yeah, I can’t deal with Anya and Willow’s bickering with each other- it wasn’t cute or funny (which Willow can sometimes pull off). Partly why I hate ‘Triangle’- it’s just dumb, it doesn’t belong on Buffy. I watch Buffy for the amazing character writing.
 
Mylie
Mylie
I feel the same way about Triangle.
B
Btvs fan
Was anyone else put off given that Olaf was Anyas victim and they didnt do a thing to try and help him
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Triangle sucks, agreed.

thrasherpix

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Thoughts/opinions?
I SORT OF see what you're saying...I just think you're looking for another word than "adult." But offhand, I can't think of what that word might be myself. Maybe the show felt as if it had been hijacked by fanfic writers, given the quality and subject matter after s3? As if the story should've been over but it was too profitable so it was continued for as long as they could drag it out? (Speaking of which, I recall reading an interview with a writer who said how exhausted they, the writers, were with Buffy in season 7, and eager for the show to be done.)

Still, I do understand about Willow's baby talk. I'd say the "magic is drugs" of season 6 came off as an afterschool special (I can't help but laugh at Willow's way of talking as she drags Dawn through dark alleys and then steals a car, all after a hit of magic crack--that was almost as bad and stereotypical as the mind boggling BS of anti-drug propaganda that a high school I went to like to make us watch).

That said, I laughed at your assertion of Spike being the only character acting like a genuine adult, and strongly disagree with you there (and pretty sure my dysfunctional alcoholic parents would also find him a caricature). I'd say Buffy was the only realistic adult character from season 5 on--at least she was trying to be, which is more than I can say for others (save Xander, who by season 7 is far more mature for his age than many real life people his age).
 
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white avenger

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what gets worse from Season 4 onwards is just how childish some of the episodes become, in terms of the way the cast are instructed to perform their roles and the overall vibe of the show and dialogue.
Well, there was a gay relationship, quite a few scenes concerning sex that were fairly graphic for the early evening TV schedule, an attempted rape, several violent deaths, one of which that could only be described as cold blooded murder. I don't see very much "childish" about any of that. 8 to 9 PM is designated as the "family friendly" time perion on network TV, and, given that constriction, I would say that BTVS was a pretty violent, adult show.
 

Btvs fan

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I SORT OF see what you're saying...I just think you're looking for another word than "adult." But offhand, I can't think of what that word might be myself. Maybe the show felt as if it had been hijacked by fanfic writers, given the quality and subject matter after s3? As if the story should've been over but it was too profitable so it was continued for as long as they could drag it out? (Speaking of which, I recall reading an interview with a writer who said how exhausted they, the writers, were with Buffy in season 7, and eager for the show to be done.)

Still, I do understand about Willow's baby talk. I'd say the "magic is drugs" of season 6 came off as an afterschool special (I can't help but laugh at Willow's way of talking as she drags Dawn through dark alleys and then steals a car, all after a hit of magic crack--that was almost as bad and stereotypical as the mind boggling BS of anti-drug propaganda that a high school I went to like to make us watch).
The magic is drugs metaphor is bad when you think they'd been doing magic as a lesbianism metaphor, the last 2 seasons before that.
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
That's what I actually dislike the most about that, the turning lesbian love and womyn's power into a drug (and controlled by a man at that).

Karin Schill

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You know over here they mistook it for a children's show. :rolleyes:So they broadcast it in the afternoons after kids got out of school and gave it the lame title "Buffy och vampyrerna" then they constantly had to warn the audience for the "violent content" in the show. So no, not a children's show after all! :p
 

GraceK

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I had had a break from Buffy that's the thing. I started again by trying to watch season 5 and just found the dialogue scenes embarrassing to watch from an adult's perspective, like I was watching grown adults pretending to be children.
I think your wrong. Usually I try to be diplomatic but in this case I have to say your actually wrong entirely. I myself have to agree with you on the level that I find Angel the Series easier to relate too more now than I did when I was younger. I watch it much more than I do Buffy, and I find it’s themes more relatable as an adult. Especially as a mother, especially during the arc when Angel loses his son. I certainly rewatch AtS more then I rewatch BtvS.

All that being said however, it’s a serious injustice and pretty inaccurate to say that BtvS was marketed for children after season 3. Buffy becomes sexually active, Willow experiments with “drugs”, Joyce dies, Buffy is almost raped, The trio attempts gang rape, mind control, Dawn is introduced to be sacrificed, Riley visits prostitutes, Buffy enters into a seriously dark, bdsm toxic relationship....I mean, things get very dark towards the end. Faith even rapes Riley , Professor Walsh watches Buffy and Riley have sex....a lot of questionable sexual issues and consent topics come up. Is Willow annoying? Yes. Is Anya annoying? Yes. But just because their banter is childish and dumb doesn’t negate the entire show. And by season 7, Xander is miles ahead of his friends in levels of maturity. He’s a catch. The only stinky element is Dawn in season 5, and she’s clearly meant to be childish and irritating. She also grows out of it.
 

thetopher

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Disagree I guess. I think you could argue that a few of the characters regressed in some ways after high school (I don't but S6 is a bit of a struggle character-wise), or perhaps its that many people find their foibles and mistakes less forgivable once they're supposed to be maturing into adults (I understand this a bit).

People are more forgiving of Willow or Buffy in S3 or 4 rather than in S6. Although weirdly I find many people are harsher on high school Xander than his grown-up self.

I think the themes of the later years were more 'adult' but maybe weren't handled quite as skillfully in writing terms as the early years. Having said that S2 and 3 can be plenty dark, its just that their juxtaposed with comedy better.

There's a reason Spike is the only watchable character in the later seasons and that's because he's the only one that behaves like a genuine adult.
Spike is the least mature person on the show, really (excluding Dawn in S5 or 6). Deeply self-centered and deluded for a lot of the run. He only grows up over on Angel.

Don't even get me started on Andrew etc, I barely even class him as a genuine character.
To be fair there are plenty of 'barely even a character' people present in S7. Andrew just gets more lines/jokes.
On the whole I agree but at least he serves a purpose of adding some levity.
 
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Great points, agreed
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