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"Deceleration of involvement" S5 or S6?

Synch

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Hi! I have a question and, well, it is a very rare and precise question but…

We all know that Marti Noxon became somewhat equal to Joss at the beginning of S6. Marti announced it in early may 2001 (her Exec Producer credit was announced earlier). But my question is about something she said in a Buffy panel talk around 2005:

At 22:34 Marti talks about when Joss came back after writing the musical (maybe sometime between August or September 2001) and she adds:


“…and you had been like I’m out of here, I’m gone, I getting my head in another game and we heard this refrain, and at one point Joss had a laminated graph (…) it was gonna be the graph of his deceleration of involvement and it he would show us the the crappy thing…”

Then Marti do a funny Joss impersonation saying “I am less involved now!” and about how, according to the graph, he was supposed to be at some point of the graph rather the point he actually was. It’s important that Joss rapidly remembers the graph (“yeees I did”) and the fact that Diego Gutierrez make it: Diego was Joss’s assistant in S5, not S6 (Brett Mathew was).

So, my question is: when Joss did this “deceleration of involvement” ? During S5? During S5 but only at the end? Or just after they wrapped S5 (after The Gift) and before he left to write the musical during 2001?

I dismiss the option that Marti was mixing memories with Joss involvement during S6 because Joss said Diego Gutierrez made the graph, not Brett Mathews.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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Joss was the showrunner during season five. So, head writer and head producer . In Season Six, writing a musical is complicated, so he took a vacation and let Maxi run things, while he wrote a musical, which again, is hard. He apparently intended to return after the musical, then Fox ordered Firefly, which drew his attention for the remainder of the year. At least that's what I am able to piece together.
 

Synch

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Joss was occupied with Firefly and envisioned it lasting a lot longer than it actually did., chances are he was putting the pieces into play during Season 5 for stepping back so he could focus on firefly.
It seems plausible he did this move around S5 (Marti as a new Exec Prod was announced around winter 2001, I believe) in order to prepare his "back seat" in next season (2001-2002). But I doubt Firefly was the main reason, at least until Buffy was in its six season: Fox ordered the pilot in December 2001 so his work on it was around Jan 02 through summer 02. Actually Tim Minear confirmed he and Joss started without writers room. At least, until Bushwacked (Firefly Official Companion, Book 1).

Joss was the showrunner during season five. So, head writer and head producer . In Season Six, writing a musical is complicated, so he took a vacation and let Maxi run things, while he wrote a musical, which again, is hard. He apparently intended to return after the musical, then Fox ordered Firefly, which drew his attention for the remainder of the year. At least that's what I am able to piece together.
Yeah, that's my guess!
 

Synch

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I collected some info about Joss involvement during S5 and everything seems to indicate that Joss had the usual involvement attributed to him during Buffy S4-5: still the main showrunner with, of course less on-set presence (although we have pics of him on it: 5x01 and 5x14, clues that he was on set during 5x07, 5x10 and maybe 5x13. And, of course, his 3 episodes) due to Angel and less rewritings due to, again, Angel and the now fully formed Buffy staff (Noxon, Espenson, Fury, Petrie…). Actually, the usual showrunner duties are normally more like Joss S4-5 than Joss S1-2-3.

Two clues that indicate everything fits the above idea:

Steven S. DeKnight said this in an interview with Roz Kaveney: ‘Hierarchy-wise it is definitely Joss who was running the show- this was season five before he pulled back a bit to work on Firefly and other projects. He was here every day, he was the guy in editing, he was the guy on the sets, he had a really close eye on the show’

Marti Noxon commented this about her directional debut in Into The Woods, 5x10: 'Well Joss was adamant that I do it. I wanted to do it and I have always dreamed of doing it but I was terrified, ready to bolt, but Joss was incredibly insistent because he knew that creatively I needed to understand that process better so that when he was less involved on the technical ends of things I would really understand every aspect of the show' So, at that point, Joss was NOT less involved.

More: Joss wrote a couple of post in The Bronze after The Gift (may 22) saying he was still working on Buffy and Drew Greenberg said that his interview with Joss and Marti was just after The Gift aired on TV.

More: during the making of OMWF (filmed by David Fury) Joss said he needed time to write a full musical score (4 months according to an interview with Tasha Robinson, 2007) and he never took more of two weeks of “during the first five years”

That ‘deceleration of involvement’ doesn’t make any sense during S5…. Joss wrote and directed 2 of the 7 last episodes (about 6-8 weeks combined work) and it was, of course, the most important moment of the whole series at that point: Buffy’s death. In an interview with he said that he’ll be very tired after the shooting o the last 4 episodes of the two shows.

And we have Marti and David Fury saying at Barganing commentary that that was the first time she was alone without Joss (although that info doesn’t contradict a possible deceleration in S5..).

My guess? This deceleration began at some point at the very end of S5, or after it, with Joss working as usual on the production of the very last S5 episodes but not so much on S6. He said he spend 4 months working on the musical so maybe he wrote it from April to August and that calendar fits a possible deceleration (April-May) until he left to Cape Cod.
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
Nice detective work. I'm persuaded

vampmogs

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My understanding was that Joss' day to day presence on the set ended at the beginning of S6. SMG has spoken about how she struggled with that as Whedon had previously been both very accessible and always on set and then she couldn't go to him in S6. This was due largely to Whedon writing OMWF but I also think the plan always was for Noxon to take over the daily tasks as show-runner to allow Joss the opportunity to branch out into different things (Firefly etc).
 

Btvs fan

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My understanding of this situation was Joss left to get involved in Firefly, and sort of left Buffy to everyone else. I believe he left at the beginning of S6.
While not running day to day on set, he still had final say with scripts and plots etc. He was the one not Deknight that put in the Balcony sex scene for example
 

TriBel

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"With season six, there was this announcement that I was running the show and Joss was going to take a back seat, but in reality, anybody who knows Joss knows that his idea of taking a back seat is not every single thing, you know? (original emphasis).

But I did have way more input over that season and some real muscular influence on the direction of that season in part because I was really vocal about wanting Buffy to make some bad mistakes."

 

Synch

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Now I'm not sure about S5. Something tells me Joss was still the showrunner (3 episodes written and directed including the 2 most important; pics of him on set in 5x01 and 5x14 and evidences of that in 5x07 and 5x10; the aforementioned DeKnight quote and Marti's own words about how Joss was adamant to Marti's directional debut in order to learn everything about Buffy's production) but I recently found a quote by Alyson around the end of 2000 saying Joss was trying to slowly remove himself from the show. And that match the "deceleration" quoted by Marti in my first post.

My guess is that Joss was burnt after Buffy S4/Angel S1 and anticipated his new back seat position for 2001/2002 introducing his deceleration. I also believe Joss, finally, couldn't do that the way he wanted. I mean: The Body and The Gift were written and produced between Jan/Feb '01 and March/April '01... Actually there is no other writer or produced that worked as much as Joss in those first months of the year!

I also asked this question directly to Tim Minear but he says he have no clue. He was on the other show.
 

Synch

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I need some help!!! English is not my first language (it's obvious 😄) and there is a bit of the Marti's words I can't understand. Exactly at 23:28, after the "I'm here and I supposed to be here", when she says something with a tiny voice (good graph??). Actually I can't understand either what Joss says just at the same time (something about the graph) (I feel the graph??).

Thank you!
 

Dora

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There is a lot about Joss being hands on on Buffy and Angel which by what is said in interviews shows , this was not so
Clarissa Carpenter says she never saw Joss on set after Spin the bottle
Marti Noxon says the day that Joss arrived on set and told her Buffy been gone to long was the same day SMG said she had completely lost the character
She also says she had way more influence in S6 and went to far with the bad choices Buffy made
SMG said that Joss was never in his office and if she did get to talk to him he just yelled at her
The balcony anal sex was something Joss had in his head for over a year
Its was a tragedy how Joss tried to bully the studio over angel, getting it cancelled early
I think it is very telling that SMG has no contact with either Joss or Marti and that DB thanked a list of people from Buffy/ Angel for starting his career but not Joss
I have always believe Joss Whedons Buffy died when she jumped off that tower and after that it has only been a cash cow for him
 

Synch

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The way I see it + all "evidences", I think Joss involvement in those years were:

Buffy S1-2-3: showrunner (writers room/rewrites + on set on a daily basis + production leader) with David Greenwalt as #2

Buffy S4/S5 showrunner (writers room/less rewrites due lack of time and the fully formed Buffy team + less on set presence but with a lot of evidences of that + production leader) with Marti Noxon as #2 and in charge of the show when Joss was busy (on set, writing or over at Angel).

Angel S1/S2 a sort of consulting showrunner (same duties as Buffy but with less time on it; and little presence on set) with David Greenwalt as primary showrunner and Tim Minear quickly becoming his #2.

Buffy S6 co-showrunning with Marti (writers room and rewrites when he can + less and less presence on set and Marti taking over production duties) (note: Marti's only hire was during S6: she hired Drew Goddard)

Angel S3 similar to S1 and S2 but less, and less

Buffy S7 co-showrunning with Marti (except the first few months with Marti absent due pregnancy and Joss doing some rewrites, scenes and work like pre S6)

Angel S4 similar to S3 but, maybe, even less. Jeff Bell took over as showrunner. Tim Minear work during the first and last episodes of the season.

Firefly co-showrunning (writers room, on set and production leader when he can) with Tim Minear (showrunner on a daily basis)

Angel S5 a sort of consulting showrunner with Jeff Bell as primary showrunner and David Fury as his #2.

(plus: there is my initial question about Joss deceleration during S5 but... anyone have info about that!)
 

vitriol

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Glad to hear that Marti admits that she ruined s6. s1-s5 of BtVS were just about perfect television. And then along came s6 & 7....
She didn't ruin anything. You can always stop watching with s5 and have perfect television.
 
HowiMetdaSlayer
HowiMetdaSlayer
no offense, but S1-5were hardly perfect
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
Except for me who bought all the seasons in advance after loving seasons 1-3 rather than having the chance to say "I'm done" or "I don't want to see anymore." It kept me from watching Angel for several years as I assumed it went downhill as well.
BuffyBot22
BuffyBot22
It's my opinion. And even Marti agrees she ruined it. You can love s6 & 7 as much as you may like, but I don't have to. And I don't rewatch s6 & 7 nearly as much as the previous seasons.

DeadlyDuo

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Season 5 would've been a poor way to end the show "Buffy sacrifices herself for a character that had been neither seen, heard or talked about before that very season yet is soooooooooooooo important to Buffy that she would risk the world for her". In that regard it was good that we had Season 6 and 7 so that Dawn wasn't just a plot device. Season 7 was very kind to Dawn.

However, Season 6 and 7 had some big problems and they come in the form of Spuffy and Kennedy respectively. I strongly dislike what Spuffy did to Spike's character, I dislike that he got a soul because it contradicts the narrative that we got with Angel's soul aka a soul is supposed to be a PUNISHMENT to a vampire designed to make them SUFFER, and I absolutely hate the nasty piece of work that is Kennedy.
 

vampmogs

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I strongly dislike what Spuffy did to Spike's character, I dislike that he got a soul because it contradicts the narrative that we got with Angel's soul aka a soul is supposed to be a PUNISHMENT to a vampire designed to make them SUFFER
The narrative was that it was meant as a punishment to Angelus to make Angelus suffer.

Angelus and Spike are completely different and happen upon their souls under completely different circumstances. Nevertheless, Spike admits in both Beneath You ("Angel.. he should have warned me") and Never Leave Me ("It's been so long since I had one") that he sought out his soul largely underestimating the impact it would have on him or what having a soul even meant. Having a soul did make Spike suffer.

Soulless Spike wanted a soul because he believed it's what was needed to make Buffy love him. He had completely underestimated the fundamental changes it would bring and the guilt and suffering it would cause for him. In early S7 it is somewhat had to parse how much of his mental decline is a result of The First and how much of it is the weight of the soul, but it's undoubtedly both. In the church he tells Buffy the weight of his atrocities are breaking him and that he couldn't have prepared for how painful it would be and that he underestimated the suffering it caused Angel ("he makes a good show of forgetting").

That aside, the soul was seen as a punishment for Angelus but that doesn't have to mean it's automatically a punishment for every other vampire. That was very specific to Angelus and cooked up by the gypsies. And it was a punishment and cause of suffering for a vampire like Angelus because it's the last thing Angelus would ever want and Angelus had committed horrendous crimes that would destroy him should his humanity and conscience ever be restored. If, for instance, a freshly risen vampire was re-ensouled before it'd even had the chance to kill anyone, why would it be a punishment? There'd be nothing to feel guilty or remorseful about? All it would do is give the vampire it's spark of humanity back.

Spike wanted his soul back. He underestimated what that would mean and the suffering it would cause but it was a choice he made as opposed to a punishment being forced upon him. And Spike's soul wasn't a curse so he doesn't have the restrictions placed upon him that Angel does which pretty much dictates that Angel must always remain in a certain state of perpetual unhappiness in order to keep his soul intact. I don't believe it's a contradiction at all as they're two entirely different circumstances.
 

Synch

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The problem with S6 and S7:

To go back to the feminism of Buffy today, does it hold up, you think?
I was so afraid that Buffy was going to be the height of my career and that I would never emerge fully as a creator myself, so it’s actually been weirdly painful to go back and watch it because I was working so wholly to try to meld into the voice of Joss and this genre that was a little bit foreign to me, because I was kind of a straight drama writer. I haven’t revisited it very much. I think parts of it hold up really well, and other parts are a little rickety! [Laughs.]

Joss didn't left anything to Marti, for better or worse, he delegated it to Marti (and Fury as her #2). She even said that she work thinking what Joss would do:

I just do basically everything that [Joss] would try to do while he was here, except with about three quarters of the genius. But, and I have said this before, I spend a lot of time just thinking, "What would Joss do?" There’s a story about Billy Wilder. His mentor was a director names Lubich and he had a sign up in his office which said "What would Lubich do?" So, in Joss’s absence, I basically have a sign up in my office which says, "What would Whedon do?" and I try to think like him and do like him.

(maybe a little MKT here due all the "Joss is God" but I doubt she lied)

Fury: Marti never really to my mind, got enough time to really mold into the role of show runner. As much Joss said he was turning the show over to her, it didn't happen sort of.

Greenwalt and Minear actually ran Angel with more freedom than Marti did in Buffy.

Joss Whedon: I'll watch an episode [of Angel] and go, "Is this the cheesiest thing in the world, that I’m watching my own stuff?" There's just stuff in here that I adore and honestly, a lot of it isn't my stuff. A lot of it is Tim Minear's or somebody else's, so it can still sort of surprise me in a way that Buffy can't, because I was overseeing Buffy much more strictly.
 
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