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Morality problems and hypocrisy in Btvs

Nothing13

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I want to say my personal opinion in relation to some aspects and moral messages of the show and the writers of Btvs that I didn't/don't like (and also about Joss Whedon)

Sex
Buffy's relationships with Angel and Spike were used in order to transmit a subtle message relating sex to something bad.
For example, writers used the dysfunctional relationship of Buffy-Spike in terms of mutual respect in order to transmit a message that can be read as savage sex, daily sex, handjob, blowjob (like invisible Buffy do to Spike), etc.. are bad. It is not necessarily true.
Their relationship was intended to show some dark side with the kind of sex Buffy and Spike were doing when in reality it is not the dark side (at least for me).

Buffy-Spike's relationship partially condemned sex like Buffy-Angel's relationship (Angel turned Angelus after they did sex).
The writers consciously created an opposition between season 6 and season 7 in relation to Buffy-Spike's relationship:
  • Season 6: Sexual relationship between Buffy and Spike without emotional connection
  • Season 7: Emotional and chaste relationship between Buffy and Spike that get divinized in Chosen without nothing "carnal" (like sex and kiss)
Buffy-Spike's relationship partially is also the opposite of Buffy-Angel's relationship:
Buffy-Angel and Buffy-Spike are like Yin and Yang, as a matter of fact, these relationships are reversed but are both similar:
  • Buffy-Angel's relationship is more emotional and romantic; this relationship is related to the teen years of Buffy
  • Buffy-Spike's relationship is more sexual and passionate; this relationship is related to the mature years of Buffy
Seasons 1-3
  1. In season 1 Buffy died (Buffy-Angel relationship was at the beginning and there is also the first kiss between the 2 characters)
  2. Season 2 is the Bangel season, as a matter of fact, the Bangel relationship is the central theme of the season.
  3. Season 3 is another season with Bangel, but their relationship isn't at the center of the season
Seasons 5-7
  1. In season 5 Buffy died (Buffy-Spike relationship was at the beginning and there is also the first kiss between the 2 characters)
  2. Season 6 is another season with Spuffy, but their relationship isn't the center of the season.
  3. Season 7 is the Spuffy season, as a matter of fact, the Spuffy relationship is the central theme of the season
Buffy-Spike and Buffy-Angel are related at something bad in relation to sex:
  • In Season 2 Angel turned Angelus after sex with Buffy, he abused and stalked Buffy; she fought, beat, and killed him. After only a chaste relationship was possible and acceptable like in season 3.
  • In Season 6 Spike (without a soul) and Buffy abused each other during the sexual relationship, and Spike (without a soul) tried to rape Buffy. Only the chaste relationship of season 7 was good and that relationship and connection were divinized in Chosen.
I understand that the writer's main objective was to show girls the problem of sex with certain guys in some dysfunctional relationship even if the guy can look "cool" and likable:
  • Buffy and Angel's sex represent the first time a girl has sex with her boyfriend. After he changes and becomes an as-hole because he has obtained what he wanted (got in her pants).
  • Buffy and Spike's represent the sex (casual, continuous, and exploring it with you partner) that a more mature girl has with a "biker punk" (Spike) without a sense of responsibility and understanding of the relationship and she also falls into depression because of many problems related to the beginning of adulthood (the role of "mother" with Dawn, house's problems, find a job to sustain themselves, etc.).
However, writers used the dysfunctional relationship of Buffy and Spike in order to condemn "kinky sex" implicitly relating it to something "morally wrong". And it is not true.
One thing is to show the problem of a dysfunctional relationship another thing is to show that dysfunctional relationships are always related to sex or a kind of more libertine sex; implicitly "demonizing" sex and kinky sex

Bad Boys
Writers connected Buffy-Spike's relationship in relation to a "moral problem" (the lack of soul of Spike) when in reality it was a covering for them.
The real problem for them was "Spike/Bad Boy" and it isn't related to morality for writers in reality (despite writers wanted to put it in this way). The problem that writers have with Spike isn't completely related to the fact that he is/was a killer but that he is/was a "Bad Boy".

If writers really cared about the morality they were preaching condemning Spike because he was a killer, they should have been coherent also in relation to Anya and Angelus. Instead, they condemned only Spike continuously:
  1. Xander had a relationship and sex with Anya for years, who was arguably both worse and less remorseless than Spike. Xander himself didn't care about the jokes of Anya about her crimes and neither writers. Anya teamed up with vampires and tried to have Willow killed at The Bronze, she always talked nostalgically about all the men she gruesomely killed without ever feeling bad about, and then she reverted back to being a demon again and cursing people. The problems of comparing Buffy/Spike with Xander/Anya aren't only in relation to Anya but also for Xander:
    • How can Xander be so hypocritical and judgemental against Buffy (despite Soulless Spike's evident "moral problems") for stay with Spike because he is a killer when he also is in a relationship with Anya that was also a killer and she was even less justified to be it than Spike? Like you said she sometimes bragged about her killings in front of Xander
    • What Anya should be ashamed, according to Xander, to make sex with Soulless Spike when in terms of morality she can be even worse than him?
    • Is Xander a total idiot, false, hypocrite person? Is this the "moral superiority" of Xander (with a Soul)?
      • Writers didn't care about condemning and judging Xander for having a relationship and sex with Anya despite like already said, she was partially a remorseless killer. When Xander judged and accused morally Buffy in relation to Spike, the writers portrayed him as the "voice of conscience" instead of a hypocrite with "double standards" in relation to Anya/Spike.
  2. If Spike is evil, he is disgusting but if Angelus is evil, he is "cool". Soulless Spike was always a disgusting evil thing by default by show parameters instead Angelus was always the evilest/coolest vampire. Writers and the show always overhyped Angelus, he was always called "the evilest" in an overhyping way like this title was "a trophy". Season 4 of Angel was all about overhyping Angelus like Season 6 of Buffy was all about denigrating soulless Spike. Why? Because Angelus is a psychopath serial killer and Spike is a Bad-Boy. Writers in this context/metaphorical situation subtly cared more about condemning Bad-Boys than psychopaths.
The problem of writers was with "Bad Boys" and the fact that the audience liked them. Joss despised Spike's popularity, his tv show was a tv show based on outcasts/nerds, geeks, and his avatar was Xander.
The problem of the popularity of Spike was the same problem of the popularity of Damon of TVD. Both Joss Whedon and Kevin Williamson didn't like them.
TVD was based on Btvs as a matter of fact both these shows have symbolical connections (both inside and outside the shows) and TVD partially copied Btvs:
-Xander, a "nerd/geek" of High School with a problem with girls was based on Joss Whedon
-Dawson, a "sort of nerd/geek" of High School was based on Kevin Williamson
  • Buffy=Elena: The main character of the show, the "Good Girl"
  • Angel=Stefan: The Good vampire that turns Evil, the first love of Buffy/Elena
  • Spike=Damon: The Bad-Boy vampire that also falls in love with Buffy/Elena
Kevin Williamson has revealed that fans made one Damon Salvatore storyline "really hard". "The audience loved him no matter why"
Kevin Williamson despised Damon's popularity and his avatar was Dawson like Joss despised Spike's popularity and his avatar was Xander

Spike was always unworthy of Buffy according to writers even with a soul. The fact that he was soulless in season 6 was an excuse even with a soul in Season 7 he was unworthy of Buffy for writers
The same thing happened in Tvd where the writers continuously "demonized" Damon, he was always unworthy of Elena for writers.
-Spike was always unworthy of Buffy (even with a soul)
-Damon was always unworthy of Elena
However, in the end, they have reassigned to his popularity like the writers of BTVS with Spike because Spike was the most popular character of the series at the time so was Damon; in order to have the highest ratings and money. Not because of morality or "right thing"

According to these tv shows and writers, Bad Boys are always unworthy of the Good Girl.
-Why nobody in the series/writers told Anya that she was unworthy of Xander since she was/is a remorseless killer? Because she wasn't a Bad-Boy

For me, Joss Whedon despised "badass Spike" and masculinity for what he represented because of his personal problems not because he was a feminist, from this is behavior on work and with women despite preaching feminism.
All this feminism that Joss used was a public facade to hide his true intentions and personal problems. For me, the only thing he cared about was himself, his public image, money, and fame. His interest in feminism root in his personal problems (probably school problems that he translated into Xander)
-Joss was accused of running the set as a "high school mean girl"
Like his "cheated" ex-wife said:
-"Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals"
-"He used his relationship with me as a shield … so no one would question his relationships with other women or scrutinize his writing as anything other than feminist,"

or
-"He thought being mean was funny. Making female writers cry during a notes session was especially hysterical. He actually liked to boast about the time he made one writer cry twice in one meeting"

So, for me, Joss despised Spike and what he represented because he cared more about anti-masculinity for his personal problems than feminism (so I wasn't so surprised from his behavior).
What's are your thoughts?
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
I like the way you are approaching the issue

DeadlyDuo

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I think maybe you're overreaching a little bit.

Firstly the reason why Season 3 Bangel and Season 7 Spuffy is so "chaste" is because of what happened in Season 2 and 7 respectively. Angelus emotionally scarred Buffy, we see this in Season 4 with Parker and Riley. Her immediate reaction after discovering Parker wasn't there in the morning was to get dressed and quietly go home. When he came back, she was relieved. Unfortunately he gave her the impression that the relationship was more than it was hence why she was moping over him. He reopened old wounds. They even used the same colour sheets. I think Buffy even asked if all men were just going to leave her after sex. She was surprised, after having sex with Riley for the first time, that he was still there. In Season 3, Buffy and Angel had to try and rebuild some trust after Angelus. They were also worried about what would happen if they gave into their desires so both of them were hesitant to get too emotionally involved. They'd gotten burned once, they didn't want the same thing to happen again.

With Spuffy, the AR should've been the end of that relationship full stop. However the Spuffy shippers were a very vocal part of the fandom so the writers wanted to placate them. Unfortunately, they'd written themselves into a corner with the AR because even they had the sense to know that it would look awful to have their so called "strong" female hero jump back into bed with the guy who tried to rape her on the floor of her bathroom. Even Buffy's "I love you" in Chosen was offset with Spike's "no you don't but thanks for saying it". That way the writers could please the Spuffy shippers by having Buffy say it to Spike, however they could also argue that she only said it because Spike was dying and she was offering him comfort in his last moments which non-Spuffy shippers would accept.

Riley and Buffy had tons of sex, even outsexing a frat house in WTWTA so I don't think the show is trying for a sex=bad message. Anya and Xander are constantly going at it like rabbits.

I don't think the writers were trying to portray S&M sex as wrong, but it was the reasons behind the Spuffy sex (Buffy using Spike to try and feel something). It was an unhealthy relationship for both of them but not because of the type of sex they were having but why they were doing it. S&M is about trust. One partner hands 99% control to the other and the dominant partner controls the direction of the sex whilst the submissive partner obeys. However, the submissive partner still retains an element of control with a mutually agreed safe word. If the submissive partner says the safe word, the dominant partner immediately stops what they're doing. That's where the trust element is so important, because if the submissive partner doesn't trust the dominant partner then it becomes something else entirely and that's not good.

When Spike produced the handcuffs, he literally asked Buffy "do you trust me?". She responded that she didn't but did it anyway and that is a massive no in those kind of relationships. As kinky as things might get, there are always boundaries on what the dominant partner is allowed to do and what they aren't and there is trust that those boundaries will be respected. Spuffy had no such boundaries and, as unpopular as this may be, that was Buffy's fault. She'd tell Spike one thing eg she'll never sleep with him again, and then next moment totally contradict that with her actions eg seeking Spike out for sex. We see with the handcuffs that Spike introduces that element and basically asks Buffy's permission "do you trust me?", Buffy agrees hence why the handcuffs were used, yet in the scene with Tara she rubs her wrists in a way that suggests maybe she didn't fully enjoy it. Because there isn't set boundaries within the Spuffy relationship, it turns into something darker and unhealthy and that is not a good relationship for either participant.

I actually think Briley isn't a good relationship for Buffy, despite the writers trying to present it as something Buffy should want and calling Riley "the one who comes along once in a life time". I'd say it's actually worse than Spuffy. Spuffy is honest about how unhealthy it is and Buffy chooses to engage in that, knowing that it's not good for her or Spike. She's under no illusion of what it is. In contrast, Briley likes to masquerade as this perfect relationship but Riley shows a lot of red flags when it comes to Buffy. Season 6 emotionally vulnerable Buffy is Riley's perfect Buffy. Riley's ultimatum was designed to trap Buffy. It's basically "give me a reason to stay or it's your fault if I leave". Buffy reacted perfectly within reason to Riley's behaviour and not submitting, however Xander then made her doubt herself which is the worst thing that could've happened because she then went to try and stop Riley leaving. She was lucky to miss the helicopter because otherwise she'd feel like she "owed" Riley to make the relationship work, even if she wasn't happy, because she would've cost him the chance to re-join the military. Riley would constantly throw that fact in her face anytime they had an argument and Buffy would fall back into line because she'd feel a sense of guilt about what Riley gave up for her, therefore she'd just have to try harder to be a better girlfriend to him.
Riley's face in the helicopter at the end wasn't someone heartbroken, it was someone pissed that they didn't get their own way. Riley wanted Buffy to need him, to depend on him, and since he didn't speak to her after she refused to give in to his ultimatum, as far as he was concerned she'd told him to get lost.

Xander is the massive hypocrite in the series, and even though the writers try and use him as a mouthpiece eg the Riley is great speech, fans call him out on it a lot. He is probably the least liked of the scoobies and criticism against him has grown over the years. If any character carries the sex=bad message, then it's Cordelia over on Angel. She sleeps with a guy and gets impregnated with demon spawn. Next time she has sex on screen, she gets impregnated with Jasmine and ends up in a coma. Maybe that's just Joss getting revenge on CC through her character but he didn't have much to do with Angel until the last few seasons. Also CC wasn't as innocent as she likes to make out, that rosary tattoo she got on her arm was massive, Joss had every right to be pissed about it.

Joss' idea of feminism was half-assed and it shows in the big "feminist" moment of the series where only "special" women got to be "strong" and empowered whilst the ordinary women who weren't deemed "special" didn't. But what do you expect from a guy who forgot Sunnydale had docks because he wanted the town to fall into a crater in the desert.
 

thrasherpix

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I'm not sure how you're going on about Xander. He voiced reasonable concerns about Spike (I'd have been more so than him in season 6 on, save the axe scene), but even so, he was the ONLY one who backed (if grudgingly) Buffy's decision in season 7, even allowing Spike into his home despite knowing that he might be killing.

(I could point out the "no one is judging you" bit with Buffy saying "I'm not having sex with Spike, but I'm starting to think you might be" for the umpteenth time, but what's the point?)

The only time I remember him actually freaking out over Spuffy is when he went after Spike with an ax, and I took that as a crime of passion in progress who wanted to lash out while in a fit of rage against Buffy after being stopped, not Xander being Xander. If the writers meant to sermonize through that, then gods, that is beyond messed up...I just hope that wasn't the case (and seems strange Hollywood would put out such trite given what goes on behind closed, and sometimes open, doors there).

The only thing I like about the later seasons is that they feel less written by a Sunday School teacher just open minded enough to write for Buffy, but maybe I've given them too much credit.


Still, feminism in general seems to have gone from making women strong to portraying women as weak victims (so that "women and children" can be conflated) constantly being used and worse, for which the guys must show their moral value by stepping in, hopefully without being rewarded with the girl (and I do say girl rather than woman for how such characters tend to be portrayed, even when told that they're strong but shown as otherwise), but often as not that's the case, or she shows regret and/or admiration.

(And in many modern shows and movies, excessive fan service for male viewers while also sermonizing over the "male gaze" within the series without any seeming self-awareness of the irony/hypocrisy of it that winks at the audience).

It's really hard for me to tell the difference between feminism and Victorian-flavored paternalism over women at times.
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
Nice points!

Stake fodder

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Their relationship was intended to show some dark side with the kind of sex Buffy and Spike were doing when in reality it is not the dark side (at least for me).
I agree with @DeadlyDuo that the S&M non-boundary aspect is what should be viewed as bad. But I do think there is an undercurrent of judgmentalism about purely-sexual relationships. Buffy felt self-loathing about it, that's what made it bad. Also, both partners were unsatisfied with it, with Spike wanting more of an emotional connection, and Buffy wanting to stop it entirely. But that doesn't make such relationships bad by definition.

Buffy and Angel's sex represent the first time a girl has sex with her boyfriend. After he changes and becomes an as-hole because he has obtained what he wanted (got in her pants).
Again, there were legitimate plot reasons for this, but there's another undercurrent of old-fashioned judgmentalism that I think some young women would pick up on. This is bolstered by the frequent Hollywood message that sex for women leads to death or unwanted pregnancy.

The problem that writers have with Spike isn't completely related to the fact that he is/was a killer but that he is/was a "Bad Boy".
Excellent point.

How can Xander be so hypocritical and judgemental against Buffy (despite Soulless Spike's evident "moral problems") for stay with Spike because he is a killer when he also is in a relationship with Anya that was also a killer and she was even less justified to be it than Spike?
Another good point, though I would say the writers did not mean for Xander to seem hypocritical, because they never took Anya's crimes seriously. But Xander's and Buffy's situations were very similar.

If Spike is evil, he is disgusting but if Angelus is evil, he is "cool". Soulless Spike was always a disgusting evil thing by default by show parameters instead Angelus was always the evilest/coolest vampire. Writers and the show always overhyped Angelus, he was always called "the evilest" in an overhyping way like this title was "a trophy". Season 4 of Angel was all about overhyping Angelus like Season 6 of Buffy was all about denigrating soulless Spike. Why? Because Angelus is a psychopath serial killer and Spike is a Bad-Boy. Writers in this context/metaphorical situation subtly cared more about condemning Bad-Boys than psychopaths.
I would disagree with this. Buffy never slept with Angelus, and showed hate and disgust for him. She also tried to kill him, but of course, killed Angel instead. She showed hate and disgust for Spike, but being closer to him physically, we see it manifested more, and complicated by her own self-disgust. In other ways, I would say Spike was portrayed as more likeable than Angelus, who may have been witty, but not cool.

Joss despised Spike's popularity, his tv show was a tv show based on outcasts/nerds, geeks, and his avatar was Xander.
Totally agree. Joss is a brilliant writer, but he had a weird blind spot about understanding villains: if they are a main character, they have to be nuanced and complex. So by design, the audience becomes interested and maybe even sympathetic. Joss thought he could make vampires major characters, and yet continue to have the audience vilify them. We are no longer in the "black hat/white hat" days of Westerns, and all well-written villains have backstories and justifications (if only to themselves) nowadays.

For Spike, it's pure gaslighting. They wrote a character with nuance and some positive qualities, then were annoyed that the audience was interested in him and rooted for him to some extent. They interpreted this as the audience seeing it as a "healthy relationship," even while they continued to write him sympathetically and as desiring an emotional connection. I wasn't a fan during the show's airing, so I can only judge by what I've read here recently, and I don't see that people think their relationship was healthy as depicted, only that some (including me) think it had the possibility to become so, since Buffy's side was due mostly to self-loathing, and Spike was becoming a better person. The writers themselves chose to attempt that route, but only after they painted themselves into a corner with the attempted rape, when it was too late.

And Joss didn't really understand Spike, at least at first, that he was not the cool king-of-the-school type, but a man who feigned coolness to cover up a deep sense of insecurity. To some extent, he was Joss's true avatar.
 
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Nothing13

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The problem for me is also that Spike's evolution and growth wasn't evolution and growth, but a destruction of his character because Joss and other writers didn't expect his popularity, despise it and they didn't know what to do with him.
It is a known fact that writers wanted Spike dead in season 2 and they didn't like his popularity among fans. For this reason, Joss Whedon yelled against James Marsters for Spike's popularity. He didn't like this character and thought that he was ruining his show
Their tv show was about outcasts/nerds; Spike, in the beginning, represented the opposite: "badass cool hypermasculine guy". At the beginning of season 2 he was created as the Slayer of slayers, the "most cool" thing for a vampire.
Spike, originally conceived, in the heads of writers and Joss, should have been only this. Spike, as James Masters, said, was intended to be a brief villain, “dirty and evil, punk rock, and then dead". He was supposed to be the "ultimate cool" and he should have died in "What's my line part 2".

Because of Spike popularity, writers changed and instead of killing him they created the storyline of Spike as a handicapped in a wheelchair that "lost his coolness and masculinity" and was cheated by Dru
After they tried to destroy his "original persona/image" in order to make him unpleasant to viewers. From season 3-4 onward he became dumber and weaker. For example:
1) In Lovers walk he is a parody of himself
2) In season 4 he is an idiot abuser of his girlfriend Harmony
I think that the difference is obvious and realistically speaking it doesn't make sense.
Writers transformed the original Spike of season 2 from a"total badass, strong and brave knight with his girlfriend (Drusilla)" to "idiot, weaker and possessive abuser of his girlfriend (Harmony)"

Since the writers decided to make him a member of the cast, they changed him into an outcast (like the other main characters):
1) He became handicapped in a wheelchair
2) He got the Chip implanted
3) They created his backstory of shy and incompetent poet mocked and ridiculed by people and society and a "Mama-boy" in order to make him specular to the "loser" Liam with "Daddy issues"

You can understand the change of writers in relation to Angel and Spike with their dates of birth/vampirization:
1) At the beginning of Season 1-2 (the original Spike and Angel)
-Angel in "Halloween" 2x05 was 18 in 1775 and still human, Willow reading a book about Angel: "Angel was 18 and still human". In "Some Assembly Required" 2x02, Angel states that he was 241 years born in 1757 (+18=1775), the date of birth as human, not vampirization
-Spike in School Hard, 2x03 was "Barely 200" and in the transcript of the episode, Spike himself said he has a "couple of hundred years".


2) From mid-season 2 (Becoming Part 2) and so on (when the writers decided to don't kills Spike in "What's my line Part 2" and make Angelus the main villain of season 2), they recreated the new story with the new dates:
-Angel=Vampirized in 1753
-Spike in Fool for Love=Vampirized in 1880 (not 200 years old like in School Hard)
As a matter of fact, there was also a trope about this. It was called "Spikefication"


However, Joss and other writers didn't expect that also putting him as a "loser vulnerable" audience liked him anyway so they didn't know what to do with his character. Since his character became the most popular of the show, writers resigned by seasons 6-7 and used him for rating and money. As a matter of fact, Angel's season 5 existed principally because of Spike otherwise Angel would have been cancelled with season 4

Since they couldn't kill Spike because of ratings and money they created the Spuffy relationship in season 6 as a dysfunctional and unhealthy relationship where writers subtly criticized implicitly Bad-Boys, kinky sex and the audience that liked them (in this case Spike).
Joss and writers used Spike's popularity at their advantage:
  • Criticizing implicitly Bad Boys with the Spuffy relationship
  • Using audience that liked him to have the highest ratings and money
I agree with @DeadlyDuo that the S&M non-boundary aspect is what should be viewed as bad. But I do think there is an undercurrent of judgmentalism about purely-sexual relationships. Buffy felt self-loathing about it, that's what made it bad. Also, both partners were unsatisfied with it, with Spike wanting more of an emotional connection, and Buffy wanting to stop it entirely. But that doesn't make such relationships bad by definition.

The entire Spuffy relationship was badly done in order to vilify Spike and Bad-Boys symbolically. The lack of boundaries and mutual respect of the relationship between Buffy-Spike was also the context and the plot in order to show Buffy do things that are wrong for a "Good Girl"
I think that it was obvious that writers create the entire situation of Buffy-Spike in order to have a context to show kinky sex and at the same time put it as the dark side.
According to the messages of the show, Buffy was/should be also ashamed of the kind of sex she and Spike were doing because it isn't right for a "Good Girl"

For example; inverse logic:
-Do you think that have writers created a normal healthy relationship with kinky sex? For me obviously not; the only way for them to put kinky sex in a relationship in the show was through a dysfunctional relationship with many problems such as lack of mutual respect in order to put these things as dark-side
-Do you really think that writers would have created a serious relationship between Buffy ad Season 2 Spike (turned good)? Buffy, the Good Girl, with a normal relationship with a "Bad-Boy" boyfriend and kinky sex without preaching and hypocrites moralities? Obviously not, for me

The lack of soul, being a killer, the lack of mutual respect and boundaries were all excuses and the context/plot created for writers in order to "demonize" the relationship with a Bad Boy.
Writers used Buffy-Spike relationship Bad Boys are "toxic" because they are "toxic" according to them.

I actually think Briley isn't a good relationship for Buffy, despite the writers trying to present it as something Buffy should want and calling Riley "the one who comes along once in a life time". I'd say it's actually worse than Spuffy. Spuffy is honest about how unhealthy it is and Buffy chooses to engage in that, knowing that it's not good for her or Spike. She's under no illusion of what it is. In contrast, Briley likes to masquerade as this perfect relationship but Riley shows a lot of red flags when it comes to Buffy. Season 6 emotionally vulnerable Buffy is Riley's perfect Buffy. Riley's ultimatum was designed to trap Buffy. It's basically "give me a reason to stay or it's your fault if I leave". Buffy reacted perfectly within reason to Riley's behaviour and not submitting, however Xander then made her doubt herself which is the worst thing that could've happened because she then went to try and stop Riley leaving. She was lucky to miss the helicopter because otherwise she'd feel like she "owed" Riley to make the relationship work, even if she wasn't happy, because she would've cost him the chance to re-join the military. Riley would constantly throw that fact in her face anytime they had an argument and Buffy would fall back into line because she'd feel a sense of guilt about what Riley gave up for her, therefore she'd just have to try harder to be a better girlfriend to him.
Riley's face in the helicopter at the end wasn't someone heartbroken, it was someone pissed that they didn't get their own way. Riley wanted Buffy to need him, to depend on him, and since he didn't speak to her after she refused to give in to his ultimatum, as far as he was concerned she'd told him to get lost.
Briley was the opposite of Spuffy for writers, in the sense that:
  • Riley was the kind of guy that writers liked and wanted; as you said "the one who comes along once in a lifetime" according to them
  • Spike was the Bad-Boy that writers wanted to vilify (and they destroyed his original personality of season 2 in order to do it) and denigrate putting symbolically Bad-Boys in a bad light
However, the audience reacted differently and the writers didn't like it

How can Xander be so hypocritical and judgemental against Buffy (despite Soulless Spike's evident "moral problems") for stay with Spike because he is a killer when he also is in a relationship with Anya that was also a killer and she was even less justified to be it than Spike?
Another good point, though I would say the writers did not mean for Xander to seem hypocritical, because they never took Anya's crimes seriously. But Xander's and Buffy's situations were very similar.
Obviously, the writers did not mean for Xander to seem hypocritical because they were hypocrites like him.
The fact that they never took Anya's crimes seriously is something huge and serious because it shows that they in reality aren't interested in morality (being a killer) as they preached but they used it in order to "demonize" Spike (The Bad Boy)

According to writers Riley and Xander's faults are minimal or non-existent
The writers didn't like the fact that the audience didn't like Xander and Riley and liked Spike instead.
Writers logic were this:
  • Xander is the nerd/outcast, no matter his faults, hypocrisy and bad behaviours. The audience should like him and sympathize with him
  • Riley is "the good boy", no matter his faults. The audience should like him
  • Spike is the "Bad Boy"; no matter which qualities a Bad Boy can have, he will always be a Bad-Boy, "the worst kind of man", so we (writers) should make him be irresponsible, do many stupid things and be an idiot
This is a simplistic and elementary point of view, that for me hide the hypocrisy.
Writers wanted to link "toxic behaviour" related to men to "Bad Boys" and justifying every fault of "Good Boys" and "Nerds/Geeks"

They in reality didn't care about "toxic behaviour" otherwise they would have criticized Xander's behaviour and hypocrisy (and Riley) instead of putting him as the "voice of conscience".

So, summarizing it: writers didn't care about the moral problem of "toxic behaviour", what they cared was to create a simple division:
  • Good-Boys and Nerds: Always justified despite their faults. The audience must understand and sympathize with them
  • Bad-Boys: Always unworthy and "demonized". The audience must stop like them (However at the end they resign and use their popularity for the highest ratings and money)
Because of their personal problems and social hypocrisy not because of morality otherwise they would have been coherent and criticized "toxic behaviour" in general.

If Spike is evil, he is disgusting but if Angelus is evil, he is "cool". Soulless Spike was always a disgusting evil thing by default by show parameters instead Angelus was always the evilest/coolest vampire. Writers and the show always overhyped Angelus, he was always called "the evilest" in an overhyping way like this title was "a trophy". Season 4 of Angel was all about overhyping Angelus like Season 6 of Buffy was all about denigrating soulless Spike. Why? Because Angelus is a psychopath serial killer and Spike is a Bad-Boy. Writers in this context/metaphorical situation subtly cared more about condemning Bad-Boys than psychopaths.
I would disagree with this. Buffy never slept with Angelus, and showed hate and disgust for him. She also tried to kill him, but of course, killed Angel instead. She showed hate and disgust for Spike, but being closer to him physically, we see it manifested more, and complicated by her own self-disgust. In other ways, I would say Spike was portrayed as more likeable than Angelus, who may have been witty, but not cool.
The audience reacted to Spike finding him likeable, but writers didn't want that.
Instead, Angelus was presented as an artistic psychopath and for me, it was obvious that writers and the show always overhyped Angelus, he was always called "the evilest" in an overhyping way like this title was "a trophy". I weren't talking about Buffy but in relation to writers and how they imposed the narrative of the show
Don't you think that Angelus was overhyped in the show? And being the "evilest" was a title overhyped?

where only "special" women got to be "strong" and empowered whilst the ordinary women who weren't deemed "special" didn't.
Sincerely I don't understand what you mean by the difference between "special women" and "ordinary women" in reality.
What was your metaphorical interpretation of the empowering potentials?
 

Faded90

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Is there much evidence that Joss resented Spikes popularity though? I know James has said a few things but James has a tendency to be full of s*** particularly at cons. Things like how he smashed Sophia Crawford through a glass table only for Sophia to say of course that didn’t happen. Even David Fury has said you kind of have to take what he says with a pinch of salt

If Joss really hated Spike so much and particularly James’ popularity he simply wouldn’t have brought him back in S4. He wouldn’t have done so much to justify Spike’s presence on the show. Joss has said they were kind of struggling with this innS4 hence the creation of ‘Spike is in love with Buffy’, he created a huge storyline just to keep the character around. If he hated the character he would have cut Spike’s part right down to the bare minimum, which he didn’t. S7 particularly feels like the Spike story at times, group dynamics and characterisation is shattered to make Spike the sympathetic one - surely he would have just called Marti and told her to cut down on the Spike stuff but he clearly never did and he writes the end of the show to be SPIKES big heroic moment. It doesn’t really seem likely he hated the character so much

I DO think the writers were frustrated at the romanticising of a lot of Spike’s actions though and the tendency by some fans to make Spike the victim. We get fans calling Buffy a bitch for slapping him in Out of My Mind ignoring this is in response to Spike joking about Riley dying, or when Buffy tells Spike he’s beneath her ignoring its in response to him telling her he’ll be the one to kill her, or the end of Crush Buffy is apparently a bitch and it’s ‘poor Spike’ despite his awful actions this episode. You only have to look at the romanticising a lot of his S6 actions as ‘aww he loves her so much’, I can totally empathise with the writers having their heads in their hands thinking WTF? The AR isn’t even remotely OOC for S6 Spike, S6 Spike is awful for a good chunk of it and is the absolute epitome of a toxic abusive boyfriend and a lot of S6 led to the AR, the clues were there throughout the season. Buffy is also toxic in their relationship of course but her actions aren’t romanticised. I don’t think the AR is indicative of them trying to destroy Spike’s character. It’s whitewashed to a ridiculous degree in S7. Spike is the one that gets rewarded at the end of the season while all the other characters look like they’re barely keeping their heads above water and the only positive is that they’ve decided they no longer want to die

Also I’m not sure how you think that Angelus is regarded as cool but Spike isn’t. Spike is basically Fonzie in vampire form
 
T
thrasherpix
Given Joss's ego that essentially ended Angel early (among other things, and loving to hurt the audience) I agree he must've liked James...and James did once say Spuffy was Joss's idea that James himself was opposed to (grain of salt).
Skeletor Rigby
Skeletor Rigby
From what I've heard/read during a mtg James floated Spike falling in love with Buffy & Joss had already decided that was going to happen, but James had assumed it was going to be unrequited on Spike's end and Joss was like "weeeeell..."

DeadlyDuo

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Sincerely I don't understand what you mean by the difference between "special women" and "ordinary women" in reality.
What was your metaphorical interpretation of the empowering potentials?

If you want to go for a "female empowerment" motif then it needs to apply to all female characters, not selective ones. Also I didn't like the wording "are you ready to be strong?" as it implies a weakness that is about to be changed. When that "strength" is then only given to the "special" few aka the ones deemed worthy of that empowerment, it implies that the female characters not in that group don't get to be strong, and thus remain weak, because they're not worthy of that empowerment because they're not "special".

Put it this way: Kennedy is an entitled brat who gets to be "strong" and "empowered" because she's "special". Tara on the other hand, who found the courage and resolve to escape an abusive family situation, doesn't get to be "strong" because she's not "special" and thus doesn't get to be "empowered". The same holds true for every other female character on the show who isn't "special" aka a potential.
 
T
thrasherpix
To me it's like "join US or be nothing" or "Our great leader is your strength, not you." But arbitrary rules for one side (which apply when someone from another side defects to that side) are common in media, and (socially) real life.

Nothing13

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If Joss really hated Spike so much and particularly James’ popularity he simply wouldn’t have brought him back in S4. He wouldn’t have done so much to justify Spike’s presence on the show. Joss has said they were kind of struggling with this innS4 hence the creation of ‘Spike is in love with Buffy’, he created a huge storyline just to keep the character around. If he hated the character he would have cut Spike’s part right down to the bare minimum, which he didn’t. S7 particularly feels like the Spike story at times, group dynamics and characterisation is shattered to make Spike the sympathetic one - surely he would have just called Marti and told her to cut down on the Spike stuff but he clearly never did and he writes the end of the show to be SPIKES big heroic moment. It doesn’t really seem likely he hated the character so much
1) They brought him back in season 4 for 2 reasons:
-They needed someone to replace Cordelia
-They used his fans for ratings
They ruined and completely destroyed his original persona of season 2.
Don't you see the difference between his original personality in season 2 and season 4?
Writers transformed the original Spike of season 2 from a"total badass, strong and brave knight with his girlfriend (Drusilla)" to "idiot, weaker and possessive abuser of his girlfriend (Harmony)


2) Yes, season 7 was the Spike story/show because writers resigned to his popularity from season 6. In the end, Joss and the writers didn't care anymore, they care about ratings and money and used Spike's fans. As a matter of fact, writers bring Spike back in Angel's season 5 for rating and money because otherwise Angel would have been canceled with season 4.

Also, writers behaved in this way because since they resigned to Spike popularity they followed the same structure of symbolism of Buffy-Angel for Buffy-Spike:
  • In Season 3, Angel returns "crazy" to Sunnydale from a Hell dimension and Buffy must help him, but she doesn't know how to relate to him in relation to their story.
  • In Season 7 Spike returns "crazy" to Sunnydale because of the soul and Buffy must help him, but she doesn't know how to relate to him in relation to their story.
  1. Season 2 was the Bangel season and Season 7 is the Spuffy season
  2. The final moment Buffy-Spike in Chosen is the culmination of their relationship of Season 7, as the final moment, Buffy-Angel in Becoming Part 2 is the culmination of their relationship in Season 2. Both Angel and Spike dies in relation to Buffy, but in a reversed way:
    • Angel dies closing the Mouth of Achatla (the Mouth of Hell) and goes to Hell. Angel got Killed by Buffy
    • Spike dies closing the Hellmouth of Sunnydale and got divinized/sanctified. Spike died for Buffy

I DO think the writers were frustrated at the romanticising of a lot of Spike’s actions though and the tendency by some fans to make Spike the victim. We get fans calling Buffy a bitch for slapping him in Out of My Mind ignoring this is in response to Spike joking about Riley dying, or when Buffy tells Spike he’s beneath her ignoring its in response to him telling her he’ll be the one to kill her, or the end of Crush Buffy is apparently a bitch and it’s ‘poor Spike’ despite his awful actions this episode. You only have to look at the romanticising a lot of his S6 actions as ‘aww he loves her so much’, I can totally empathise with the writers having their heads in their hands thinking WTF? The AR isn’t even remotely OOC for S6 Spike, S6 Spike is awful for a good chunk of it and is the absolute epitome of a toxic abusive boyfriend and a lot of S6 led to the AR, the clues were there throughout the season. Buffy is also toxic in their relationship of course but her actions aren’t romanticised. I don’t think the AR is indicative of them trying to destroy Spike’s character. It’s whitewashed to a ridiculous degree in S7. Spike is the one that gets rewarded at the end of the season while all the other characters look like they’re barely keeping their heads above water and the only positive is that they’ve decided they no longer want to die
All these actions were put to Spike by writers because they wanted to demonize "Bad Boys".
I am not trying to justifying Spike behavior in seasons 5-6 because it is wrong, I am criticizing writers that made him always behave as an as-hole/idiot
  • Like some fans "romanticize" Spike's actions; writers tried to "demonize" Bad-Boys through Spike.
  • Like some fans like Spike, writers ignore Xander's hypocrisy because they like him and some fans don't care about applying the same logic of morality of Buffy/Spike with Xander/Anya (criticizing Spike that is a killer but not Anya)
Writers continuously make him do stupid things without sense purposely; for example, the entire plot of the Doctor in "As You were" was bullshit without sense entirely done to make Spike an idiot.
I didn't care about defending Spike's actions and I don't care about his character I am saying that writers made Spike an idiot abuser in order to demonize Bad Boys in general. Not all "Bad Boy" behave like abusers and idiots like writers want to show.

Also I’m not sure how you think that Angelus is regarded as cool but Spike isn’t. Spike is basically Fonzie in vampire form
1) Spike was Fonzie in vampire form in season 2, after he became someone that POSED AS Fonzie
The problem of Fonzie was the same as Spike however writers of Buffy and Happy days reacted differently:
Both Buffy and Happy's Days were tv shows about outcasts about the trite the morality of nerds/geeks that are recluses and outcast
Spike in season 2 was like Fonzie, the enemy. However, Spike and Fonzie "stole the show" because no one cares about geeks/outcasts (main characters)

Buffy

-"Losers/Nerds/Geeks" (main characters except Buffy that is the heroine of the outcast)
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-"Cool Guy"
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Happy Days
-"Losers" (main characters)
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-"Cool Guy"
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But in Happy Days Fonzie remained the "Cool Guy". Spike became the POSER as Fonzie changing his original role and meaning of season 2.
Since the writers decided to make him a member of the cast, they changed him into an outcast (like the other main characters):
1) He became handicapped in a wheelchair
2) He got the Chip implanted
3) They created his backstory of shy and incompetent poet mocked and ridiculed by people and society and a "Mama-boy" in order to make him specular to the "loser" Liam with "Daddy issues"

You can understand the change of writers in relation to Angel and Spike with their dates of birth/vampirization:
1) At the beginning of Season 1-2 (the original Spike and Angel)
-Angel in "Halloween" 2x05 was 18 in 1775 and still human, Willow reading a book about Angel: "Angel was 18 and still human". In "Some Assembly Required" 2x02, Angel states that he was 241 years born in 1757 (+18=1775), the date of birth as human, not vampirization
-Spike in School Hard, 2x03 was "Barely 200" and in the transcript of the episode, Spike himself said he has a "couple of hundred years".


2) From mid-season 2 (Becoming Part 2) and so on (when the writers decided to don't kills Spike in "What's my line Part 2" and make Angelus the main villain of season 2), they recreated the new story with the new dates:
-Angel=Vampirized in 1753
-Spike in Fool for Love=Vampirized in 1880 (not 200 years old like in School Hard)
As a matter of fact, there was also a trope about this. It was called "Spikefication"
2) Angelus is cool in the sense that writers overhyped him, and used the title of being the "evilest" as a trophy instead of something bad.
If you want to go for a "female empowerment" motif then it needs to apply to all female characters, not selective ones. Also, I didn't like the wording "are you ready to be strong?" as it implies a weakness that is about to be changed. When that "strength" is then only given to the "special" few aka the ones deemed worthy of that empowerment, it implies that the female characters not in that group don't get to be strong, and thus remain weak, because they're not worthy of that empowerment because they're not "special".

Put it this way: Kennedy is an entitled brat who gets to be "strong" and "empowered" because she's "special". Tara on the other hand, who found the courage and resolve to escape an abusive family situation, doesn't get to be "strong" because she's not "special" and thus doesn't get to be "empowered". The same holds true for every other female character on the show who isn't "special" aka a potential.
Yes, logically you are right. Personally, I think that the writers' intentions were to put the empowering of potentials as a metaphor for all women.
However, as the show put the situation and the context, your vision is also correct because "potentials" itself is a world related to a restricted group of people ("special women") of a general group (women) that are "chosen"

Also I didn't like the wording "are you ready to be strong?" as it implies a weakness that is about to be changed.
In my personal opinion, the phrase is related to the stereotypical passive/weaker role women have in society in order to empower them to have a proactive role in society.
 
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Dora

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I can not believe that Whedon resented Spikes popularity, was it not JM who by taking his guitar to whedons inspire whedon to write OMWF , I think it was not only Spikes popularity with the fans but to a great extent Marti Noxon apparent infatuation with JM and as the main Show runner in the last two seasons pushed Spikes case . I read many years ago the autobiography of the WB that they wanted a female for S5 of Angel and Levin's proposed Willow as she had done so well previously and to help balance the nearly all male cast , but it was Whedon who insisted that Spike came over from Buffy ,the article went on to say they very much regretted not having Angel for at least another season but it was Whedon who put them into a impossible situation before S5 ended,
I agree JM is full of Sxxx I have heard at least 3 different accounts of when Whedon pined him against a wall. Whedon made it quite plane when you were out of favour, both SMG and CC had the show used against them
Love the comparison between Fonzie and Spike as bad boys in leather jackets , where Fonzie was helpful etc you could see Spike bullying Xander the cool bad guy pushing nerds out of the way , but Buffy was a better show when it was about the core four
I have always believe that Whedons Buffy ended at the end of Season 5 he had finished his Buffy story with the gift, beyond that it has been little interest for him except as a cash cow and a stick to beat SMG with in S6
Never could get my head around the working in the fast foods industry and people working in it as demeaning and the lack people from other races / ethnic minority in the show generally , hated the way the show went concerning rape or attempted rape and how this was dealt with ,certainly in Buffy case in S7
 

Stake fodder

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-Do you think that have writers created a normal healthy relationship with kinky sex? For me obviously not; the only way for them to put kinky sex in a relationship in the show was through a dysfunctional relationship with many problems such as lack of mutual respect in order to put these things as dark-side
There were indications that Xander and Anya engaged in kink, though it was never shown, just hinted at. But otherwise, I agree that kinky sex was never shown in a positive light.

-Do you really think that writers would have created a serious relationship between Buffy ad Season 2 Spike (turned good)? Buffy, the Good Girl, with a normal relationship with a "Bad-Boy" boyfriend and kinky sex without preaching and hypocrites moralities? Obviously not, for me
I guess I need your definition of "bad boy." Because for me, S2 Spike turned good would no longer be a bad boy. Is a "bad boy" just someone who's rebellious, not following societal conventions, and maybe riding a motorcycle? My idea of a "bad boy" is someone who is indeed toxic: criminal, user of other people, abusive, and emotionally unavailable. In my mind, Spike was never a true "bad boy." He was originally a bad guy, killing people and stealing. But he was always good to Drusilla, so not a bad boy as a boyfriend. His behavior to Harmony would be a bad-boy boyfriend.
 

Nothing13

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There were indications that Xander and Anya engaged in kink, though it was never shown, just hinted at. But otherwise, I agree that kinky sex was never shown in a positive light.
Hinting something without showing it explicitly for me can be another form of hypocrisy. When writers had the possibility to show it explicitly in season 6 of Buffy they used it in a dysfunctional relationship, in order to put it as the "dark side" and after they created the chaste relationship of season 7.
However, symbolically Spike-Buffy relationship in seasons 6-7 is related to:
  • Sexual relationship of season 6: Hell (culminated in Rape or attempt Rape)
  • Emotional and chaste relationship of season 7: Heaven (Divinized in Chosen)
Buffy and Spike's sexual relationship of Season 6 was linked to something Satanic/Hell as Willow abuse of magic and turning into Dark Willow
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-In season 6 Spike/Buffy's relationship based on sex addiction is symbolically linked to Willow's addiction to magic. This addiction is bad for Buffy and Spike and also ruins Willow's persona and her relationship with Tara. The culmination of these problematic relationships is in the episode "Seeing Red" where Tara got killed and Willow turns Dark Willow because of her magic addiction, and Spike tries to rape Buffy.
Writers wanted to represent that Willow turning into Dark Willow is related to Satanism because she used books of "Black Magic"
The Temple of Proserpexa that Willow serched was a satanic temple in the show

-In season 7 Willow tries to restart his activity with magic but is afraid of it like Buffy and Spike are afraid of their relationship, however, all characters during the season overcome these problems and reach the next stage: the "divine level":
  • Willow in Chosen got "divinized" in her relationship with Magic
  • Spike in Chosen got "divinized" in his relationship with Buffy
  • hqdefault.jpg
  • Chosen-spike-22270935-400-249.jpg
From the worst in Seeing Red: Dark Willow and Spike's attempt rape (the kinky sexual relationship of season 6 related to "Hell") to the best in Chosen: the divinization of Willow and Spike in their relationships with Magic and Buffy (the emotional and chaste bond and relationship of season 7 related to Heaven)

Writers linked the kinky sexual relationship of Buffy-Spike to something "Satanic". I accept it as a symbolical representation of a singular case/situation but not as a real moral representation of "kinky sexual relationships in general" related to the "dark side" as writers wanted to put it.

I guess I need your definition of "bad boy." Because for me, S2 Spike turned good would no longer be a bad boy. Is a "bad boy" just someone who's rebellious, not following societal conventions, and maybe riding a motorcycle? My idea of a "bad boy" is someone who is indeed toxic: criminal, user of other people, abusive, and emotionally unavailable. In my mind, Spike was never a true "bad boy." He was originally a bad guy, killing people and stealing. But he was always good to Drusilla, so not a bad boy as a boyfriend. His behavior to Harmony would be a bad-boy boyfriend.
I am referring to the stereotypical representations of these shows.
For example Btvs and Tvd:
Stefan=Angel: Stereotypical representation of "Good-Boy" (if you eliminate their evil vampire part), more classically modern in their look, always considered and represented as more "moral"
Damon=Spike: Stereotypical representation of "Bad-Boy"
or
Angel=Louis and Spike=Lestat (that become a Rock-Star)

Writers linked it also to musical taste; for example
-Angel: Barry Manilow
-Spike: Sid Vicious

In these representations of tv shows, it is also linked only to exteriority and looks

For writers, there isn't a division Spike-Drusilla and Spike-Harmony. As a matter of fact, when Season 2 Spike became popular they tried to ruin his character putting him in a "bad light" with a toxic relationship with Harmony changing his core personality in order to link his stereotypical look (typical Bad-Boy look) to the abusive Bad-Boy

So according to these tv show's stereotypes: yes, "bad boy" is just someone who's rebellious, not following societal conventions, explicitly anti-religious, riding a motorcycle, punk hairs, punk/metal music fan, with a stud leather jacket; linked to drugs and lover of fights and violence (even if in a controlled and accettable way)
And according to these stereotypical representations these people always aren't smart and cultured (for example Fonzie, that abandoned High School or Faith, typical Bad Girl that also abandoned High School).
These stereotypes simplices reality and give wrong messages for me because these people (Bad-Boys) can also be cultured, smart, and not abusers.



Also, I didn't like the writer's comparison of vampires/Spike with Serial Killers (particularly in relation to Buffy's relationship): yes Spike was a "Bad guy" but he was also a vampire and it was its nature killing (i am not saying he (vampires in general) shouldn't be stopped but to understand the differences)
The soul is a religious "supernatural thing". In reality, there is no proof that humans have souls like said by religions. Basing on science or any scientific serious analysis there isn't any proof of the existence of the soul. Everyone can believe what they want, but it is necessary to separate science/reality from faith, ideologies, and beliefs.
Serial killers are people with personality disorders such as psychopathy or/and sociopathy and antisocial personality disorders. They behaved in that way in relation to their brain and mind that was/is and must be studied by psychology, psychiatry, neurology, and neuroscience. People can say what they want about them but their words mean nothing compared to psychiatrists, neuroscientists, and neurologists.

Realistically speaking comparing "supernatural vampires" to human serial killers make no sense because:
  • They are supernatural creatures and supernatural things haven't a coherent logic and it doesn't follow the scientific method
  • We cannot do a scientific analysis of vampires' brains and understand the reason for their behavior
  • In the supernatural context, for vampires is natural to be evil and their nature is to kill; the only thing similar in a pseudo-scientific way of thinking is a new species of predators that predate humans like we predate animals.
The idea that predators kill only for food is partially wrong: Lions, Tigers, Sharks, Crocodiles kill principally for food but not only for it but they also feel pleasure from the hunting, killing, the taste of blood (for example cats kills and torture lizards or other small animals because haunting is their nature), it is their nature but since their brain isn't evolved like humans they have limited capabilities of decisions and choices in good and in bad senses. Scientifically speaking, we don't know how an intelligent species of predators will behave.
We, humans, behave as we do also because we are primates/mammals (simplistically speaking like "monkeys" are not predators like "crocodiles") and we behave in the way we do not because we decided to behave in this way but also because this is our biology of mammals/primates.

Realistically speaking, a scientific species of predators similar to "supernatural vampires" can't be judged according to human morality. For these being would be normality hunt, predate and killing humans like we kill other animals.
Obviously, they will feel pleasure from the hunt, killing, and blood because they are predators, we humans don't feel it because we aren't predators like this (like comparing lions to monkeys), as a matter of fact, psychopaths are called predators intraspecies, and it is an "anomaly" for the typical human behavior considered a personality disorder

Obviously, our more developed brains can permit us to questions about things and create ethical and moral points of view and philosophies but we as a species don't have a predatory instinct because we are primates (instead for example of felines). However, the evolution of humans' brain produced also the so-called personality disorders (that include many "mental illnesses" and psychopathy is one of them)
So the comparison vampires=serial killers make sense only metaphorically speaking in the logic of this show, but according to science and coherent logic, it doesn’t make sense.
We cannot compare a human serial killer that behaves according to a personality disorder in relation to our typical “specie behavior” to another being that is a predator because of his own nature like a vampire. The theoretical “scientific vampire” that doesn't kill can be the anomaly with personality disorder according to his specie parameters


The show is pervaded by anthropocentrism, as a matter of fact, for example, phrases as "spark of humanity" and "human heart" are wrong because they link Humanity=Goodnes, goodness is not a prerogative ONLY of humanity as a species so it doesn't make sense
Humanity is related also to bad behaviors as selfishness (in good or bad), so according to this logic, I can decide that the metaphorical word humanity=selfishness instead of goodness. It is wrong, there isn't a behavioral characteristic that can affiliate to a specie in such a predominant way that the word that defines the specie (humanity) is also the word that defines determined behaviors (human behaviors not in the general scientific sense but in the common usage sense in term of goodness)
I understand that it is a way of speaking in relation to society (humanitarian organization) but coherently and scientifically it isn’t correct because it is influenced by our anthropocentric view of nature/universe/world

Anthropocentrism is a philosophical viewpoint arguing that humans are the central or most significant entities in the world. This is a basic belief embedded in many Western religions and philosophies. Anthropocentrism regards humans as separate from and superior to nature and holds that human life has intrinsic value while other entities (including animals, plants, mineral resources, and so on) are resources that may justifiably be exploited for the benefit of humankind.
However, scientific discoveries and the increase of environmental awareness about many problems of nature: pollution, global warming, ozone layer depletion, acid rain, natural resource depletion, overpopulation, waste disposal, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity challenged this viewpoint
This caused a shift from an anthropocentric view to an ecocentric view of life and the world/universe in our time (similar to the passage from geocentrism to heliocentrism) because from a scientific point of view humans are animals and part of the ecosystem and biomes of nature. As a matter of fact, Humans are apex predators that predate the environments (animals and plants included). Humans or early modern humans are taxonomically a sub-species of homo; the history of human evolution is a part of the history of primates that lead to the emergence of Homo Sapiens. As a matter of fact, humans are primates and more generally mammals. It is estimated that over 99.9% of all species that ever lived are extinct. The average lifespan of species is 1–10 million years. Scientifically, human extinction isn't really a problem from a planetary point of view, it can also be helpful to the planet and other species.
So, theoretically speaking:
  • if a new specie evolves, not from primate/mammals like humans? What happens? How must they behave in relation to humanity? Is their life less valuable than humans? If they are apex-predators that must predate humans, are they "evil"?
  • if an alien specie arrives on our planet (a new apex predator) and we become the prey and colonized? Why should they cooperate with us? Must they follow humans' ethics and morality? of our time: 21 century? (because in the evolution of human history morality and ethics changed with the changes of society and scientific discoveries etc.)
 
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Stake fodder

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Caught on a root
As a matter of fact, when Season 2 Spike became popular they tried to ruin his character putting him in a "bad light" with a toxic relationship with Harmony changing his core personality in order to link his stereotypical look (typical Bad-Boy look) to the abusive Bad-Boy

So according to these tv show's stereotypes: yes, "bad boy" is just someone who's rebellious, not following societal conventions, explicitly anti-religious, riding a motorcycle, punk hairs, punk/metal music fan, with a stud leather jacket; linked to drugs and lover of fights and violence (even if in a controlled and accettable way)
And according to these stereotypical representations these people always aren't smart and cultured (for example Fonzie, that abandoned High School or Faith, typical Bad Girl that also abandoned High School).
These stereotypes simplices reality and give wrong messages for me because these people (Bad-Boys) can also be cultured, smart, and not abusers.

Thanks for the explanation of what you mean by "bad boy." I think it is true that in a show that elevates nerd-dom that the such people are portrayed negatively, because they are perceived as cool, and as bullies of nerds. These things are true of Spike, but in his case, it is more of a facade that he constructs. Fonzie and Lestat, by comparison, were genuinely the cool bad boys. (I haven't watched TVD, so can't comment on its characters.)

I agree that the writers deliberately made his relationship with Harmony toxic, in an attempt to retool his character as unlikeable and cruel. But they couldn't sustain it, turning him into comic relief for a good chunk of S4.

I haven't sensed a strong theme in the show comparing to serial killers myself, but I think the comparison would be that they take a perverse pleasure in killing, often with a level of ritual, which is similar to Angelus. Spike's focus is more on sustenance than torture, but he loves "the rush and the crunch" and therefore also derives pleasure from killing. Still, he does not seem in pathology like a typical human serial killer, while to me, Angelus does.

As far as anthropocentrism, the show is written by and watched by humans, so of course we favor our species! Animals that prey on humans are not "evil," because they do so out of instinct. Vampires, like humans, have higher thought and therefore are held to a higher standard, even if soulless. But yes, it is perhaps hypocritical that I eat meat, yet object to being eaten myself by a vampire!
 
DeadlyDuo
DeadlyDuo
It's the whole cat and canary scenario. Humans are just used to being the cat. I actually think the Buffyverse vampires are cat demons because of how felinesque their behaviour is.

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@Nothing13 You might be onto something. It should be said in Ats S5 Destiny the first thing Spike does when Corporeal is force himself on Harmony which she then goes along with and they go off and have sex . On the DVD commentary David Fury says Joss put that in because he's a guy and he's gonna want to have sex !

BTW In the Dark is the last pre chip Spike episode and its amazing how many times he needs the obvious explained to him and how easily he gets beaten up by Angel (whose openly contemtpous of Spike in there confrontation) and whose then outsmarted by Cordy and Doyle and then Marcus..
 

Nothing13

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@Nothing13 You might be onto something. It should be said in Ats S5 Destiny the first thing Spike does when Corporeal is force himself on Harmony which she then goes along with and they go off and have sex . On the DVD commentary David Fury says Joss put that in because he's a guy and he's gonna want to have sex !
For me, writers (Joss included) projected their problems onto 2 characters: Xander and Spike
  • Xander=Outcast/Nerd
  • Spike=Bad Boy
1) Xander despite his evident hypocrisy, bad behavior, and the double standard of thinking and morality, was always put as the "voice of conscience" instead of a hypocrite. Writers sometimes talked through Xander in the show. Why? Because writers were hypocrites like him. As a matter of fact, Xander was the character that was based on Joss, a nerd.

2) Spike (the original Spike of season 2) was the typical "hypermasculine cool guy" that even if outcasts/nerds/geeks criticize his behavior, in reality, are jealous of him.
At the beginning of season 2 writers, ignorantly didn't think that such a guy (a romantic knight for his girlfriend and tough badass at the same time) could have become popular, they wanted to kill him in "What's my line part 2".
Since he became popular they decided to use him for rating and money destroying his core personality and making him behaving like an idiot, as-hole and abuser from season 3 onward.
Why Spike was an idiot abuser with Harmony in seasons 4-5 and Buffy in seasons 5-6 when in season 2 he wasn't an abuser with Drusilla? Because they changed his personality in order to demonize him and in general Bad-Boys (the lack of soul was an excuse)

The "Joss mess" with actors/actresses/writers was because of this reason; he was the Nerd that on work set abused his power in order to compensate his problems: The Nerd abused in school that becomes the abuser on work because of a power position. Not the Nerd that becomes a hero like in the fantasy tv show
He thought being mean was funny. Making female writers cry during a notes session was especially hysterical. He actually liked to boast about the time he made one writer cry twice in one meeting"


BTW In the Dark is the last pre chip Spike episode and its amazing how many times he needs the obvious explained to him and how easily he gets beaten up by Angel (whose openly contemtpous of Spike in there confrontation) and whose then outsmarted by Cordy and Doyle and then Marcus..
Writers wanted to make him a comic relief in order to destroy his original persona/appearance in season 2.
Was the Spike of "In the Dark" really the same Spike of School Hard, season 2? Obviously not; the difference of his personality is evident: From Strong Badass to Weak idiot
1) He became handicapped in a wheelchair
2) He got the Chip implanted
3) They changed also his age Spike in School Hard was "Barely 200" and in the transcript of the episode, Spike himself said he has a "couple of hundred years".
Not the shy incompetent poet of 1880 created in season 5
 
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There is an interview where JW saud it was hard to write Angel as he was the guy who beat him up at school.

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It should be said in Ats S5 Destiny the first thing Spike does when Corporeal is force himself on Harmony which she then goes along with and they go off and have sex .

Spike doesn't force himself on Harmony.

BTW In the Dark is the last pre chip Spike episode and its amazing how many times he needs the obvious explained to him and how easily he gets beaten up by Angel (whose openly contemtpous of Spike in there confrontation) and whose then outsmarted by Cordy and Doyle and then Marcus..

Spike outsmarts Angel by luring him into a trap which gets him captured. He outwits Cordy and Doyle by getting them to search for the ring and bring it to them which they did (which is why Marcus got a hold of it). It was Oz driving into the building which caused Spike to jump out of the way and thus gave Marcus the opportunity to get the ring. Had that not happened then Spike would've had the ring.
 

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Spike doesn't force himself on Harmony.



Spike outsmarts Angel by luring him into a trap which gets him captured. He outwits Cordy and Doyle by getting them to search for the ring and bring it to them which they did (which is why Marcus got a hold of it). It was Oz driving into the building which caused Spike to jump out of the way and thus gave Marcus the opportunity to get the ring. Had that not happened then Spike would've had the ring.

Yes he does. He immediately starts kissing her and dragging her off to have sex. She then stops and protests before he compliments her on her skirt to which she then goes along with it. Doesn't change the fact that is what he did.

After he'd attacked Angel with 2by4 and gotten the crap kicked out of him.
Oz was part of there plan, he didn't just happen along by accident
 

Nothing13

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There is an interview where JW saud it was hard to write Angel as he was the guy who beat him up at school.
I think that the metaphorical scheme/stereotypes are this:
-Xander=The Nerd (Joss Whedon), that wanted to be the boyfriend of the cheerleader (Buffy)
-Willow=The smart Nerd
-Angel=The Jock
-Spike=The Bad-Boy
-Cordelia and Harmony (a blonde and a brunette)=Popular "Mean girls" that became girlfriends of Angel and Spike (Dark Hair and Blonde) respectively
-Buffy=The Beautiful blonde cheerleader but also good girl
 

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I think that the metaphorical scheme/stereotypes are this:
-Xander=The Nerd (Joss Whedon), that wanted to be the boyfriend of the cheerleader (Buffy)
-Willow=The smart Nerd
-Angel=The Jock
-Spike=The Bad-Boy
-Cordelia and Harmony (a blonde and a brunette)=Popular "Mean girls" that became girlfriends of Angel and Spike (Dark Hair and Blonde) respectively
-Buffy=The Beautiful blonde cheerleader but also good girl

This is the video of the interview here

 

Nothing13

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He said "these were the guys that beat him up" talking about "masculine characteristics" that a hero like Angel should have.
He continuously links "masculine characteristics" with abusive behavior because of his personal problems, finding it difficult to write a "hero" with these "masculine characteristics".

As a matter of fact, in the show of Buffy there is this standard:
  • Bad Guys: cool and "hypermasculine" (principally in a pathological sense), after they are defeated
  • Good guys: uncool and "emasculated"
After the scandal and his behavior behind scenes with women, I think that his feminism is more related to his problems with masculinity and being a sort of "anti-masculine" more than feminist
 
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Btvs fan

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He said "these were the guys that beat him up" talking about "masculine characteristics" that a hero like Angel should have.
He continuously links "masculine characteristics" with abusive behavior because of his personal problems, finding it difficult to write a "hero" with these "masculine characteristics".

As a matter of fact, in the show of Buffy there is this standard:
  • Bad Guys: cool and "hypermasculine" (principally in a pathological sense), after they are defeated
  • Good guys: uncool and "emasculated"
After the scandal and his behavior behind scenes with women, I think that his feminism is more related to his problems with masculinity and being a sort of "anti-masculine" more than feminist

What's ironic there is that Nick Brendon (who Joss on the DVD commentary admits was to good looking for the role) who played Xander was pretty masculine. He was known for regularly going to the gym and working out. So much so apparently they even asked him to stop.

As for Joss issues with women. He thinks pregnant women are fat (literally makes fun if one in a job interview) and was trying to make SMG lose so much weight they had to stop it because the Stunt double couldn't lose anymore. That's pretty disturbing right there.
 
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