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Top 5 poorly-handled things from the Buffyverse shows

katmobile

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Yep i don't think Joss was as progressive as he likes to pretend he is now. I even wonder if the Buffy reboot with a black actress is as much about guilt (money aside) for how he was in the original as much as anything 🤔
I prefer to frame it as redressing the balance but kinda yeah.
 

Cheese Slices

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What you say maybe correct but Buffy didn't know that right away. All she knew was that it confirmed why she could never trust him. She literally says that out loud to him. Now straight after that she is giving her teen sister to be looked after by that souless demon that had just attempted to rape her. I'm sorry but that just does not wash. No way would Buffy do that. It was crappy writing no other way to describe it.
I think that part of her, despite her better judgement did trust him to some extent still. And it seems she would know right away, since his reaction is pretty much obviously distress and shock at his own deed. I don't know, I understand your point, but I can see how she could see it as a completely separate issue, as it's not like he was exactly twirling his evil moustache after the fact. Again, I understand your view on this, but I don't think it was a fault in writing per se.

As for the First Slayer depiction, what is the consensus (if there is one) on what should've been done ? I've never heard about it too much save for the hair comment, so I'm curious.
 

Btvs fan

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I think that part of her, despite her better judgement did trust him to some extent still. And it seems she would know right away, since his reaction is pretty much obviously distress and shock at his own deed. I don't know, I understand your point, but I can see how she could see it as a completely separate issue, as it's not like he was exactly twirling his evil moustache after the fact. Again, I understand your view on this, but I don't think it was a fault in writing per se.

As for the First Slayer depiction, what is the consensus (if there is one) on what should've been done ? I've never heard about it too much save for the hair comment, so I'm curious.
How can Buffy see it as a separate issue. The demon who she says she does not trust and tried to rape her, she is now giving her sister to him. Whether he is twirling a moustache or not. You don't do that. But apparently the writers did 🤷‍♂️

Its not just the First Slayer (though maybe not have Tara speak for her or Buffy quip about hair in the workplace) but how people of colour had been treated on this show and its spin off overall. I mean seriously until Gunn came along there seemed to be very few people of colour in LA 😳🤷‍♂️ All these are easily fixable but it was the classic Whedon esq passive aggressive gas lighting. Because he is not being explicit it's ok and fans give him a pass. Same thing with the whole feminism thing even though he was starving his actresses (there is a scene in Selfless in which both MT/AH and SMG are all together and look so skinny that its unhealthy. I also watched Ats Spin the bottle and AA had that same look 😞) he was still really progressive 🤷‍♂️
 

katmobile

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How can Buffy see it as a separate issue. The demon who she says she does not trust and tried to rape her, she is now giving her sister to him. Whether he is twirling a moustache or not. You don't do that. But apparently the writers did 🤷‍♂️

Its not just the First Slayer (though maybe not have Tara speak for her or Buffy quip about hair in the workplace) but how people of colour had been treated on this show and its spin off overall. I mean seriously until Gunn came along there seemed to be very few people of colour in LA 😳🤷‍♂️ All these are easily fixable but it was the classic Whedon esq passive aggressive gas lighting. Because he is not being explicit it's ok and fans give him a pass. Same thing with the whole feminism thing even though he was starving his actresses (there is a scene in Selfless in which both MT/AH and SMG are all together and look so skinny that its unhealthy. I also watched Ats Spin the bottle and AA had that same look 😞) he was still really progressive 🤷‍♂️
I think it's a lack of awareness and being protective of your work. I've had some knee jerk as a fan to critisism so it must be worse if you're the creator it takes practice to go ok I don't like you're attacking something I'm proud but you've got a point and I'll take it on board. I think he wasn't able to change what he'd done post. The First Slayer when she came back was more sympathetic and so despite his faults was Robin and I think Rona was meant to be - the last part ...didn't work.
 

Cheese Slices

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How can Buffy see it as a separate issue. The demon who she says she does not trust and tried to rape her, she is now giving her sister to him. Whether he is twirling a moustache or not. You don't do that. But apparently the writers did 🤷‍♂️
I don't think there is one unique way to react to this sort of things irl, let alone in fiction, so I'm not sure why the writers couldn't make decision based on the character's previous reaction to this sort of things (see Angel, Faith, Giles, etc..).
ts not just the First Slayer (though maybe not have Tara speak for her or Buffy quip about hair in the workplace) but how people of colour had been treated on this show and its spin off overall. I mean seriously until Gunn came along there seemed to be very few people of colour in LA 😳🤷‍♂️ All these are easily fixable but it was the classic Whedon esq passive aggressive gas lighting. Because he is not being explicit it's ok and fans give him a pass. Same thing with the whole feminism thing even though he was starving his actresses (there is a scene in Selfless in which both MT/AH and SMG are all together and look so skinny that its unhealthy. I also watched Ats Spin the bottle and AA had that same look 😞) he was still really progressive
No I get the general lack of diversity and what follows, I was just wondering specifically about the First Slayer.

As for the actresses being thin, I really doubt it has anything to do with Joss. I remember watching the Paley Fest thingy, and Sarah was even skinnier than she's ever been on Buffy, and it was 5 years after the show ended. Alyson seem pretty naturally skinny and Michelle was super young, ie the time in your life where it's pretty hard to get fat.
I don't think Joss is the second coming, but I don't think he is this horrible monster who starves his actors and doesn't see them as human beings.
Same thing re. the race issue, imo it was ignorance and maybe reluctance to address issues he wasn't comfortable with, but I don't see anything malicious in it.
 

DeadlyDuo

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As for the actresses being thin, I really doubt it has anything to do with Joss. I remember watching the Paley Fest thingy, and Sarah was even skinnier than she's ever been on Buffy, and it was 5 years after the show ended. Alyson seem pretty naturally skinny and Michelle was super young, ie the time in your life where it's pretty hard to get fat.
I don't think Joss is the second coming, but I don't think he is this horrible monster who starves his actors and doesn't see them as human beings.
Same thing re. the race issue, imo it was ignorance and maybe reluctance to address issues he wasn't comfortable with, but I don't see anything malicious in it.
Joss initially didn't want AB as Tara because he wanted a "skinny waif" and she wasn't one. It's actually Marti Noxon who convinced him to have AB. Thing is, AB isn't exactly "curvy". It's not just the actresses who looked unhealthily thin in the later seasons, JM also looked too skinny in Season 6. I think it was mentioned somewhere that he stopped working out in the hope he wouldn't have to do so many naked scenes (which is probably why he looked a little healthier in Season 7). It is known though that Joss made SMG lose weight (which is why she is so skinny in Season 7) and the only reason she wasn't made to go even lower was because her stunt double said she wouldn't be able to do the stunts safely if she went any lower.
 

GreyWalker1958

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How can Buffy see it as a separate issue. The demon who she says she does not trust and tried to rape her, she is now giving her sister to him. Whether he is twirling a moustache or not. You don't do that. But apparently the writers did 🤷‍♂️

Its not just the First Slayer (though maybe not have Tara speak for her or Buffy quip about hair in the workplace) but how people of colour had been treated on this show and its spin off overall. I mean seriously until Gunn came along there seemed to be very few people of colour in LA 😳🤷‍♂️ All these are easily fixable but it was the classic Whedon esq passive aggressive gas lighting. Because he is not being explicit it's ok and fans give him a pass. Same thing with the whole feminism thing even though he was starving his actresses (there is a scene in Selfless in which both MT/AH and SMG are all together and look so skinny that its unhealthy. I also watched Ats Spin the bottle and AA had that same look 😞) he was still really progressive 🤷‍♂️
Something that has to stop.
 

Taake

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Joss initially didn't want AB as Tara because he wanted a "skinny waif" and she wasn't one. It's actually Marti Noxon who convinced him to have AB. Thing is, AB isn't exactly "curvy". It's not just the actresses who looked unhealthily thin in the later seasons, JM also looked too skinny in Season 6. I think it was mentioned somewhere that he stopped working out in the hope he wouldn't have to do so many naked scenes (which is probably why he looked a little healthier in Season 7). It is known though that Joss made SMG lose weight (which is why she is so skinny in Season 7) and the only reason she wasn't made to go even lower was because her stunt double said she wouldn't be able to do the stunts safely if she went any lower.
Peoole always say these things as If they’re 100% absolute fact though. But the fact that JW pictured Tara as a waif (kind of fits with her dreamy, timid character) doesn’t mean he forbids all his actresses from eating. I don’t like the guy, but you’re taking one thing and reading his intentions into it. He also made Jewel Staite gain weight for Firefly because If how he pictured the character. 🤷‍♀️Seems he has a clear image in his mind what he wants to a character to look like before casting.

I’ve also seen Sarah say she got skinny because all the nightshoots were wearing her down and that she was just really stressed in season 7. I guess you could say she is ”covering” for Joss, but why? She quit and hasn’t worked with him since, why would she protect him? Because she is nice?

When you say ”it is known” I’ll gladly be corrected on this, but If it is just fan-rumors and interpretations then I won’t crucify Joss just yet.

As for James he said, to my knowledge that the naked scenes was what drove him to work out so much (guys get body issues too) and that he knew he was too skinny but basically felt pressure to look good for the camera. Again, If Joss forced him to lose weight, ok, I’ll gladly stand corrected on this too, but most of this seems like actor-life and common pressures and struggling with self-image and balance, not Joss Whedon the evil puppet master stealing everyone’s food from them.
 

Blaze

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1. The AR
2. The bury your gays trope
3. Racial stereotypes
4. Abuse
5. Parental figures (this one was hit and miss)
 

vampmogs

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Peoole always say these things as If they’re 100% absolute fact though. But the fact that JW pictured Tara as a waif (kind of fits with her dreamy, timid character) doesn’t mean he forbids all his actresses from eating.
What is often left out of the "Joss wanted someone skinny to play Tara" story is that he wanted someone skinny because he specifically wanted them to resemble S1 Willow. His idea was that Tara would be reminiscent of who Willow was prior to her development over the 4 seasons (skinny, meek, timid, unconfident etc) and thus he imagined them resembling Alyson physically as well. Noxon specifically stated that at the time but it always gets omitted from her anecdote and instead "Joss hates fat people!" is people's only takeaway from her comment.

This is hardly unusual and casting calls will often refer to specific physical features for characters. And whilst this was originally what Whedon had envisioned he obviously wasn't so beholden to the idea or so "anti" curvaceous women otherwise he'd simply have refused to hire Amber. He was the boss, after all.

I've also NEVER heard that Whedon forced SMG to lose weight. I'd love to see a quote on that too. And as for James Marsters, he has actually stated that HE went to Joss and politely asked him to give James plenty of notice if they intended to do Spike shirtless/sex scenes so that he'd have enough time to hit the gym and prepare. He's never said anything about Whedon demanding that he lose weight or putting pressure on him in any way.
 
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Bluebird

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Season 7 for me. I get why people don't like the trajectory of Spike's story and how it overtakes a lot of the core four's interaction or development. But tbh I don't so much have a problem with Spike in this season, more so with the lack of follow through from season 6 with all of the main cast. To me it felt there was little consequence to what happened in season 6, that season 7 didn't really deal with much of the issues or resentments that would have arisen from it. It feels hollow, like a comic book based on a generalised idea of who these characters are/were. There was some great moments but they were few and far between.
What I enjoyed about previous seasons was that we delved into the consequences of the previous seasons or at least the finale, and how it affected the characters and their relationship to each other. I didn't feel that much at all by the last season. The beginning of season 7 seems like a quick rush around to get the characters all back together physically, not emotionally, before the Potential storyline kicks in and Joss could build towards one central metaphor, rather than continuing the process of exploring the characters. You can do both. It was done before "previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer"...
 

Cheese Slices

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the lack of follow through from season 6 with all of the main cast. To me it felt there was little consequence to what happened in season 6, that season 7 didn't really deal with much of the issues or resentments that would have arisen from it.
I agree. While I don't think it wasn't dealt with at all (episodes 1 through 10 were pretty much about the aftermath of season 6, picking up the debris of the characters' sense of self and relationship and see what could be salvaged), I believe there was a lot of wasted potential on that account, and I can't help but feel the writers were still reeling from the incredibly negative reaction to S6 and didn't want to alienate the fans for the last season, so basically shrugged and dropped some interesting stuff.
It's like they wanted to tell this very complex and dark story, but had to check themselves constantly so as not to upset the fans, so we end up with a mix of old school and later season Buffy .
 

katmobile

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I agree with your assessments but I still like season seven. However I do think Anya was badly developed and too much of Willow's development was tied to Kennedy. Although actually I liked the idea of Any turning Willow's subconscious on herself - Amy also needed more explanation. I do think season seven suffered from overcrowding in terms of characters but I think part of it was being the last season. Then again I like the characters they did focus on (apart from Kennedy who I've learnt to dislike along with everyone else and Rona who I never liked) so that's ok with me. I can appreciate others feel differently.
I disagree that the legacy of season six wasn't explored - Willow's season long reluctance to use magic, Xander and Anya's ambivalence about whether or not to restart their relationship and Spike working through having a soul plus Buffy trying to work through what this meant he meant to her as a result were all legacies of season six.
 
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Cheese Slices

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I agree with your assessments but I still like season seven. However I do think Anya was badly developed and too much of Willow's development was tied to Kennedy. Although actually I liked the idea of Any turning Willow's subconscious on herself - Amy also needed more explanation. I do think season seven suffered from overcrowding in terms of characters but I think part of it was being the last season. Then again I like the characters they did focus on (apart from Kennedy who I've learnt to dislike along with everyone else and Rona who I never liked) so that's ok with me. I can appreciate others feel differently.
I disagree that the legacy of season six wasn't explored - Willow's season long reluctance to use magic, Xander and Anya's ambivalence about whether or not to restart their relationship and Spike working through having a soul plus Buffy trying to work through what this meant he meant to her as a result were all legacies of season six.
Not sure you were talking to me but I agree with you as well. Don't get me wrong, I love S7 ; I'd say it's actually my third favorite, and there is a ton to love and a lot of the issues I cared about in S6 (and prior) were dealt with quite well (basically all that you mentioned). It's just sometimes I can feel there could've been even more, but that there was a reluctance to explore things further. Imo, it could've been the best season of the show but some of the bts stuff + the writers getting cold feet, prevented it.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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Yeah, the Guardians and the Axe. If you wanted them in the show, they should have been foreshadowed back in the Shadow men episode. Or Buffy could have had a dream about them at some point. So much of Season 7 is filler, and then an entire season worth of lore gets dropped in each of the last five episodes.

Re: Watchers: The series basically wants to exploit your knowledge of Merlin, the half-demon wizard who trained King Arthur in the virtues of being a good king. I would argue, you are supposed to assume that they have a moral purpose, like any parent, of providing an indoctrination, upbringing and security during the formative years, and then slowly backing away the child reaches maturity, but with conflict that defines us as individuals. This is complicated by two things 1. Joss's parents basically abandoned him as a teenager, so he sees any parental involvement after age 13 as sinister and 2. We never directly see the Council do anything useful or even moral.

Re: Race: Okay, here's the thing. Black hair is a very sensitive topic, now more than it was 20 years ago. But white people don't understand that. So, Buffy or Joss was making a joke about a topic he couldn't understand the full implications of. He probably thought it was more like showing up to an job with an unpressed shirt. However, I could see a Black teenage girl of the type Buffy would have hung out with in LA, that is, played by Stacy Dash and with the personality of Cordelia, bully another Black Girl (Black Willow?) by telling her that her hair was un-presentable. Because that is how black girls bully each other. And Buffy just picked up on it. I don't think it means Joss is a racist, or Buffy is one, just that they were using a taunt that would have been unremarkable if said by an American person with west African hair, but hateful if said by a person with European or Asiatic hair. Because I want to stress, this is about hair texture, not skin color.
 

Priceless

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Re: Watchers: The series basically wants to exploit your knowledge of Merlin, the half-demon wizard who trained King Arthur in the virtues of being a good king. I would argue, you are supposed to assume that they have a moral purpose, like any parent, of providing an indoctrination, upbringing and security during the formative years, and then slowly backing away the child reaches maturity, but with conflict that defines us as individuals. This is complicated by two things 1. Joss's parents basically abandoned him as a teenager, so he sees any parental involvement after age 13 as sinister and 2. We never directly see the Council do anything useful or even moral.
I don't know what Merlin has to do with the watchers or their council. The Watchers are a symbol for the patriarchy. They are meant to teach the slayers an care about them in a patriarchal sense. They treat the slayers as children and assume (hope) they don't survive into adulthood. I believe King Arthur was male, so his relationship with Merlin is something completely different. I don't really know much about the story but I'd assume it's one man showing another what it means to be a man.
 

Btvs fan

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I don't know what Merlin has to do with the watchers or their council. The Watchers are a symbol for the patriarchy. They are meant to teach the slayers an care about them in a patriarchal sense. They treat the slayers as children and assume (hope) they don't survive into adulthood. I believe King Arthur was male, so his relationship with Merlin is something completely different. I don't really know much about the story but I'd assume it's one man showing another what it means to be a man.
This might help

 

AlphaFoxtrot

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Re: Merlin; Go back to the First Movie. Merrick is not a member of any council, but some sort of reincarnated homeless man with a nice car, who is directed to find and train the Slayer. That's Giles in the first and second season as well. Find and train the Slayer. And that's Merlin's purpose and trope. The Hero always has an advisor and mentor who reveals his inheritance, and trains him at first. That, is at first, is what Buffy is subverting. The Watcher's Council as a sinister metaphor for patriarchy and fatherhood is a Season 3 innovation. Which makes sense, as Buffy is a high school senior on the cusp of adulthood, not a teenage girl who needs a father. In season 3, anyways. The Watcher predates the council.
 
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