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Discussion of 5.06 "Family" - Aired 11/07/00 (WB-US)

Blair

Vamp Blair
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Sineya
Great role models there- drinking under aged :p
Do they not check ID much in America? In Australia the legal age for drinking is 18. If you look under 25 you get ID checked (I'm not far off being 27 and I get asked all the time...)
 

Mr Trick

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I'd say Family is definitely one of Joss Whedon's worst episodes. Just watched it and wasn't impressed. The episode is boring and doesn't make much sense. Tara's family is irritating, which is the point, but just makes the episode worse. The whole 'We're family' part was cliché and felt insincere. And they say Amends is sappy... I don't like Tillow a lot either. I used to, but Tara and Willow act like children around each other and now I'm just noticing all of its flaws.

Season 5 started out fine, but it's unexciting, Glory is tiresome, Briley is a mess, Buffy finding out her roots isn't very interesting so far, Spike 'falling' for Buffy is terrible... hopefully the season improves...

I don't think it makes the episode worse. Sure they could have been written with more depth, but the episode is not about Tara's Family, but about Tara finding her place in the Scoobies. For what its worth the actor playing Tara's Dad did a great job.

But what's wrong with sentiment as long as its true? This is one of the reasons why I prefer Buffy over Angel as a show, because I care about the characters more and because the drama honestly moves me. The point of film, television and art is to draw emotion from people. And Amends is sappy one bit. The end isn't sappy because the episode leading up to that point hasn't been sappy. It makes the episode more powerful. The same happens with Family in a different way. It builds to the big emotional ending, it doesn't signpost it all the way through.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Interesting. I never noticed that. I'm guessing that the people running the club are convinced that Buffy and Xander look about 21 so are happy to let it slide.

Didn't Xander have a fake ID that he used in season 4 "Beer Bad" so he could work as a bartender? Maybe he used that?
 
Mr Trick
Mr Trick
Could be yes.

HowiMetdaSlayer

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Great role models there- drinking under aged :p
Like that's ever stopped anyone. ;)
Do they not check ID much in America? In Australia the legal age for drinking is 18. If you look under 25 you get ID checked (I'm not far off being 27 and I get asked all the time...)
Well depends. I rarely get carded (or stamped). I think that being tall people just think that you're older. Which is just silly. :p Not that I really mind at the time. ;)
 

Blair

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Sineya
I never drank when I was under aged. I think my first drink was when I was 22. I had Dawn's attitude when I was younger "Alcohol is for losers"
 

PaulParmar1

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Sineya
I LOVE this episode so much!
Tara was so amazing and adorable this episode.
Watching all the Scoobies stand up for her and Buffy saying "we're family" if that doesn't pull on your heartstrings I don't know what does.
I was a huge fan of Tara long before this episode but this episode will forever be one of my favs for Tara.
Re watched it today and just love love love it.
Go Scooby Gang!
 

Sharky

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It was quite heavy handed and practically sign-posted when Tara's father said "we're her kin" that the "we're family" line was coming. Also aside from Willow, the scoobies never had the emotional attachment to Tara to be able to call her family so it felt kind of hollow. I get Buffy stepping in to protect Tara from being taken against her will, but to go from "the only thing we know about Tara is she's nice" to "we're family" is a bit of a leap.

Exactly. Main reason I don't like this episode, the climatic confrontation at the end doesn't feel earned at all.
Buffy goes from "I don't know Tara and she's kinda weird?" to being mad at her "she almost got us killed" and then seconds later she's all, "we're family." I love the concept, but the execution doesn't feel natural.

IMO an easy fix would be to have a empathetic look from Buffy as she sees how upset Willow is getting at the prospect of Tara leaving, making Buffy's actions seem more for Willow's sake. "We're family" would be true, but more in the sense that "Willow is my family, and if Willow loves Tara that makes her family."

Is it not insane to see Amy Adams in this episode?!

Definitely, Amy Adams is so big now it's hilarious to see her in such a minor role on Buffy :p
 

Out for a walk

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Ok episode, not my favorite..but I am not really a fan of Tara. She is just too quiet and boring to me.


My favorite quote of the episode is from Spike of course. It was after he revealed that the men of her family make up the demon part to keep them in line.



Spike to Tara's father: "Oh, you're a piece of work. I like you."
 

DeadlyDuo

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Anyone else notice how Riley is not part of the "we're family" scene (despite Dawn, Spike and Anya being included alongside the 4 core Scoobies) even though it's still a few episodes before he actually leaves?
 

Taake

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Black Thorn
Anyone else notice how Riley is not part of the "we're family" scene (despite Dawn, Spike and Anya being included alongside the 4 core Scoobies) even though it's still a few episodes before he actually leaves?

Never noticed that! Good foreshadowing on their part. Riley never really was quite part of the family, was he?
 

spikenbuffy

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The disgusted/hateful look of cousin Beth to Tara and Tara's smile after that before the Bronze scene is so satisfying!! :D
 

Oromous

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Sineya
This is one of the reasons why I prefer Buffy over Angel as a show, because I care about the characters more and because the drama honestly moves me.
I agree. I've been finding a hard time to talk about Angel season 2 (as opposed to the lengthy posts I wrote about Buffy season 5) because Buffy just has a lot more emotional moments that relate to my own life experiences; Angel, on the other hand, is a more intellectual study relating to philosophies and existentialism than the more down-to-earth empathic values of Buffy.

I'm usually not a fan of sappiness as well, and I do admit that Tara's family being misogynistic (even Amy Adam's character' subconscious justification of her family) feels a little heavy-handed. However, Buffy's brand of sappiness doesn't feel insincere or hollow. Tara's insecurity as an outsider rings true, and so are the recurring insecurities that have been present throughout this season thus far (Dawn, Buffy, Xander, and even Riley). There's an anxiety present in the characters here that they might not feel as important to their friends and family, and each time (except for Riley), this has been proven false, which is heartwarming and therapeutic for those of us going through similar struggles. Reality is cruel and can often differ from the selflessness of fiction (with people often losing their sense of connection the Scoobies find themselves having among each other), but perhaps this makes stories like Buffy even more significant to present us what could've been and what people could work towards, encouraging a more empathetic connection between one another.

I like how "Family" turned out, even the Riley bits. The theme for this season so far has been a lot more consistent, and therefore, a lot more powerful and thought-provoking. I think when it comes down to it, this season is going to explore having appreciation for your friends and peers and seeing the kind of connection you have with them, whether it's Buffy and Dawn's sisterly bond or Xander/Tara and the Scoobies. Considering what "The Gift" and "The Body" are about, this theme makes sense, to appreciate whom you have... before they're gone.

8/10
 

whatdBuffyDo

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Sineya
This episode too had me sobbing.💔🧡
Unconditional love is literal magic.

Also, I hope there are more Tara (or Tillow) episodes to come which are this good.

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Edit: I must add though, the gang didn't know Tara well because in fact they have never actively listened to her. Because she didn't have a chance to stand out and the gang is not used to notice someone when they are not actively participating in conversation. Riley and Anya were naturally extroverted people so one doesn't necessarily have to go make them comfortable so that they can talk, but some effort was necessary to be spent for Tara earlier. Also, since Willow kept Tara to herself for a long time, the "initiation" of Tara to the gang was delayed. I believe that I do understand Willow's drive and the big steps she went through in that regard, but the direct outcome of Willow's this specific choice was not the best for Tara. It's just that I feel a little disappointed but they are flawed human characters and it is okay.

Edit2: I may have taken this too seriously but this is a soft spot I guess hehe
 
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Mr Trick

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Anyone else notice how Riley is not part of the "we're family" scene (despite Dawn, Spike and Anya being included alongside the 4 core Scoobies) even though it's still a few episodes before he actually leaves?

Isn't this the episode when Riley first goes to the vamp prostitute? If so I think that's where he was during that scene,
 
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