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Old EW interview with Joss Whedon

Btvs fan

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From the S5 period. Looking back on it I Just wondered what people thought of it. He basically admits Hank Summers was retconned out of plot convenience

 
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WillowFromBuffy

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He doesn't say that. He says he wanted to keep things simple and bringing him back would complicate things ergo plot convenience
It is convenient, sure, but it doesn't conflict with anything we know. In S1, Buffy has a nightmare about him abandoning her, then in S2, he buys her some shoes, then he abandons her. It checks out.
 

TriBel

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There was nothing to stop him writing him Hank in if he wanted him there. He obviously didn't have a role for him except as a significant absence so I think it's just plot. "We see him as being increasingly far away and awful" suggests he's simply building on what went before. It seems a remarkably sane interview for a Whedon interview....less hyperbole than usual and with a slight dig (?) at SMG at the end.
 

Taake

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Black Thorn
The particular portion of the article being discussed, so everyone can follow along.

Why didn’t Buffy’s father come back for the funeral? He seems pretty heartless.
We see him as being increasingly far away and awful mainly because I wanted to keep things simple. Buffy’s father figure is Giles (Anthony Stuart Head). That’s not to say the father might not appear again, but it complicates things enormously.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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slight dig (?) at SMG at the end.
I think he answered it with as much respect to SMG as he could have. He can't have been happy when he read that Sarah had gone out publicly and given him an ultimatum.
 
Cheese Slices
Cheese Slices
it was such a weird statement for her to make
TriBel
TriBel
Yeah, I agree - hence the (?). I actually thought it was quite a restrained interview for JW. Usually, they're so full of asides and (defensive?) sarcasm that I'm never quite sure what he's talking about.

Btvs fan

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There was nothing to stop him writing him Hank in if he wanted him there. He obviously didn't have a role for him except as a significant absence so I think it's just plot. "We see him as being increasingly far away and awful" suggests he's simply building on what went before. It seems a remarkably sane interview for a Whedon interview....less hyperbole than usual and with a slight dig (?) at SMG at the end.
At the time SMG publically said she didnt think they should move to UPN and was even prepared to leave the show. Problem for SMG was she was on a contract so she weren't going anywhere.
 

Priceless

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Joss makes perfect sense here, and I don't think the character of Hank is retconned at all. Giles does become Buffy's father figure.

I think this often happens in divorced families. The absent parent will visit and keep in contact early on in the split, but as time moves on and the child grows up and the parent makes their own lives away from previous family, contact becomes less and less. You have to make time and put in effort to keep in touch, and Buffy has Giles and too much on her plate to schedule monthly trips to wherever Hank is hanging out.
 
Puppet
Puppet
Can't wait for pfeifferpack to finish Eye of Eleos so you can read it - you'd love her Hank :P

Spanky

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Considering Whedon originally did not want parents to be part of the show at all, I never had an issue or questioned why Hank wasn't around.
 

Bluebird

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It makes sense to me that Hank was in it less and less, it doesn't feel contrived to me. Giles was being referred in paternal terms from the early seasons and the relationship between Watcher and Slayer was less than the usual formalities of that relationship. Passion has the great scene at the end where Buffy is comforting a traumatised Giles (by punching) and telling him she needs him and he can't leave her. I don't think that would have the same emotional weight if that was a standard teacher relationship between them.

I mean, would people have really preferred to have Hank Summers in the show just so it matches with their idea of consistency? Like what would he do, what are the stories around that that actually matter?
 

spikenbuffy

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Well, Hank will always be Buffy 's father, it surely matters to her to continue to have a relationship with her father.
 

Priceless

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Buffy and Hank's relationship is shown in the comics. From what I remember, Hank is to remarry and invites Dawn to the wedding, but not Buffy. He says something like 'trouble follows you wherever you go and I don't want that at my wedding'. Of course Buffy is hurt, but Dawn tells Hank where to stick his wedding. I don't think they have any contact with him after that. I assume Joss wanted an end to the relationship, to tie up old threads.
 
TriBel
TriBel
Yeah...I was going to mention that scene. :)

Athene

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Yeah I wish Hank had been brought back if they want to make him a deadbeat that's okay but that should be a storyline not one comment from Buffy about him living in Spain with his secretary (I'm not even sure if she's joking or not). Buffy clearly loved and wanted a relationship with her father so I wish we had explored that more on the show.
 

Cheese Slices

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I think it was a rather naturalistic portrayal of what a lot of fathers do (most of them are fathers) when they get divorced and their kids get older. It came on rather progressively, with his not being here for Buffy's birthday in Helpless and then moving farther away (iirc ?). I've seen my share of it irl, unfortunately.
Maybe having him effectively cut off all contact was a step too far, but I don't find it especially jarring either.
 

Priceless

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Good for him. He ain't exactly wrong.
Bit harsh though. They could have just sat her at the back of the church and near the kitchen at the reception
 
TriBel
TriBel
Big hat, sunglasses...no-one would know she was there. Although, having a vampire sitting next to her might blow her cover.

Spanky

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Yeah you're right. Buffy's so selfish, wanting to go to that wedding. Back off Buffy!
She was. She was making it all about her and what she wanted rather than respecting her father and his wishes. That's why he bailed on Joyce and Buffy turned out to be just like Joyce.
 
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