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Superstar and Jonathan

AngelBuffy

Townie
Joined
Feb 18, 2019
Messages
54
Age
31
So what was with with this episode that many fans were lukewarm on?

I think the writers of this episode were hoping it will become a stand out and a classic but a lot of fans were not that keen or blown away by the episode.

I found the episode rather neat, for some weird reason i cannot call it a great or bad episode. just neat

Jonathan was irritating though. maybe this is what many fans could not stand in the episode. I think an episode like superstar would have been more fitting for Spike's character in season early 5 or 6
 

Priceless

Scooby
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
8,056
Location
UK
I love the idea of it and the production is stunning; the intro change, all the posters, books, movies etc. being about and starring Jonathan, all that was brilliant and fun.

For me it's not a classic episode because it's not a classic Buffy. She's not herself, she's weak but not through an emotionally impactful cause, as in Helpless. I don't feel scared or sad for her as I did in Helpless. There's also Jonathan. I know a lot of fans love him, but I don't have strong feelings for him. To me he's such a blah character I can't get excited as seeing him become powerful and his hubris doesn't really move me.

There's also Jonathan helping Buffy with her relationship with Riley, as thought he could have any insights that would help her. I find that difficult to swallow, especially when he's preaching forgiveness and understanding and I can't help feeling he's talking about himself and how he hopes Buffy will feel about him if the spell collapses. It's very self-seving in that way.
 

vampmogs

Potential
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
412
Age
31
I've always counted this as one of my least favourite episodes of S4 but I did rewatch it last week and enjoyed it more than I had remembered. Like Priceless I did really appreciate the effort they went to when creating the Jonathan memorabilia and intro etc. I particularly loved the shot of Buffy walking in front of all the Jonathan posters lined up along the wall. That was a great moment and was both surreal and creepy.

I do like the idea itself. It's a really interesting concept for an episode and it also introduces the idea of a sudden and unexplained shift in reality for both the characters and the audience which obviously will occur with Dawn in S5. I've always enjoyed the opening teaser and how for a perceptive viewer there's very subtle differences in how the characters are acting. Not only is Buffy seemingly more reliant on the Scoobies for help but when she stakes the vampire charging at her she doesn't look all that confident. Then, it's peculiar that she's so hesitant to attack a nest full of vampires. Both of these things could more or less be hand-waved if they occurred in a different episode (they're odd but not world-breaking odd) but upon reflection they're great giveaways that something is not right before Jonathan even appears.

And I do really like the scene of Buffy/Riley dancing at The Bronze. It's nicely acted and beautifully shot and I feel this is a really underrated moment for them as a couple.

But what will letdown the episode for me is that I just am not all that interested in Jonathan. I find Danny Strong's portrayal of him in this episode to be pretty grating at times and I'm apathetic to him as a character. I'm not sure if there'd have been another character I would have preferred as he does seem like the pretty obvious choice given the concept but there's a part of me that just asks "why?" I'm all for fun standalone episodes and S4 is particularly great at this but they usually relate to Buffy in some way whereas a random appearance from Jonathan seems very out of left field and irrelevant to Buffy's story. He helps patch up the Buffy/Riley relationship (but even that feels unearned as he's never even met Riley or even Faith for that matter) but everything Buffy learns about herself in this episode (trusting herself and her strength and instincts) weren't lessons she really needed if not for the spell.

I can actually still recall watching this episode when it first aired and I was SO letdown by it as a kid. Who Are You was amazing (and still one of my Top 10 episodes to this day) and I remember being so bummed out when I taped over it for Superstar. When you waited a week (or sometimes more) for a new episode and then you get an episode about Jonathan.... it was pretty underwhelming. I think this is one episode that works much better on rewatches when you have the whole series to watch whenever you please as opposed to excitedly waiting from week to week for new BtVS.
 

Btvs fan

Scooby
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
1,380
Age
39
I've always counted this as one of my least favourite episodes of S4 but I did rewatch it last week and enjoyed it more than I had remembered. Like Priceless I did really appreciate the effort they went to when creating the Jonathan memorabilia and intro etc. I particularly loved the shot of Buffy walking in front of all the Jonathan posters lined up along the wall. That was a great moment and was both surreal and creepy.

I do like the idea itself. It's a really interesting concept for an episode and it also introduces the idea of a sudden and unexplained shift in reality for both the characters and the audience which obviously will occur with Dawn in S5. I've always enjoyed the opening teaser and how for a perceptive viewer there's very subtle differences in how the characters are acting. Not only is Buffy seemingly more reliant on the Scoobies for help but when she stakes the vampire charging at her she doesn't look all that confident. Then, it's peculiar that she's so hesitant to attack a nest full of vampires. Both of these things could more or less be hand-waved if they occurred in a different episode (they're odd but not world-breaking odd) but upon reflection they're great giveaways that something is not right before Jonathan even appears.

And I do really like the scene of Buffy/Riley dancing at The Bronze. It's nicely acted and beautifully shot and I feel this is a really underrated moment for them as a couple.

But what will letdown the episode for me is that I just am not all that interested in Jonathan. I find Danny Strong's portrayal of him in this episode to be pretty grating at times and I'm apathetic to him as a character. I'm not sure if there'd have been another character I would have preferred as he does seem like the pretty obvious choice given the concept but there's a part of me that just asks "why?" I'm all for fun standalone episodes and S4 is particularly great at this but they usually relate to Buffy in some way whereas a random appearance from Jonathan seems very out of left field and irrelevant to Buffy's story. He helps patch up the Buffy/Riley relationship (but even that feels unearned as he's never even met Riley or even Faith for that matter) but everything Buffy learns about herself in this episode (trusting herself and her strength and instincts) weren't lessons she really needed if not for the spell.

I can actually still recall watching this episode when it first aired and I was SO letdown by it as a kid. Who Are You was amazing (and still one of my Top 10 episodes to this day) and I remember being so bummed out when I taped over it for Superstar. When you waited a week (or sometimes more) for a new episode and then you get an episode about Jonathan.... it was pretty underwhelming. I think this is one episode that works much better on rewatches when you have the whole series to watch whenever you please as opposed to excitedly waiting from week to week for new BtVS.
I agree with this. In fairness he also give the exposition in how to kill Adam but since he was a lack luster villain, that doesn't make it more interesting.
I was more disappointed that all Buffys Buffys issues were reduced down to just being worried that Riley is comparing her and Faith in bed. Also her getting over them isnt great for the Sanctuary Crossover.

The underplayed Twins and the concept of mind rape joke doesn't hold up well. Especially when the writers actually address that in Dead Things in S6

Still it's not as bad as the next episode WWTA. I remember that was airing followed by 5by5 and I was thinking what the hell has happened to Buffy, why are thet putting all the deep stories onto Angel.
 

white avenger

white avenger
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
16,036
Age
73
Location
rome, georgia
This episode holds s special place in my heart, mainly because Superstar Jonathan reminds me of the old pulp fiction superhero, Doc Savage, who was, whether intentionally or just by accident, the predecessor of such fictional luminaries as Derek Flint and Buckaroo Banzai, heroes who are masters in many diversified fields, from medicine to rock music, and who have sworn to devote their lives to the betterment of all mankind. Those men were the true superheroes, even though there wasn't a single cape or cowl among them.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

Scooby
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
1,826
Age
39
It's also worth remembering that Jonathan was little more than a mocked extra before, the highlight of his life being the time he felt up Cordelia during Graduation Day. This was Danny Strong's biggest role to date, so it was a nice throw to the actor. That D.S. is arguably now the most successful Buffy alum outside of Angel and Cousin Beth, just ignore that.
 
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