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Top 5 poorly-handled things from the Buffyverse shows

TriBel

Scooby
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Jun 25, 2017
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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.
Depends whose Merlin you read (did you read that stuff I sent you about the Guardian? I actually make comparisons with the Arthur story in that). Giles lives in Westbury, which is less than 30 miles away from Glastonbury Tor (where the Grail was allegedly hidden) and the flatland around it was supposed to be Avalon (I think). Giles in that daft wizard's costume reminded me of the Disney Merlin. In addition, Disney's Merlin is T.H White's Merlin and he lives backwards - which kinda fits with Giles being made a kid with an adult's memory. The rest of White's trilogy is much darker than Sword in the Stone. Mary Stewart's Merlin (for example) lived on Cader Idris in Wales (I think).
 
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Priceless

Scooby
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Jan 25, 2016
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UK
Depends who's Merlin you read (did you read that stuff I sent you about the Guardian? I actually make comparisons with the Arthur story in that). Giles lives in Westbury, which is less than 30 miles away from Glastonbury Tor (where the Grail was allegedly hidden) and the flatland around it was supposed to be Avalon (I think). Giles in that daft wizard's costume reminded me of the Disney Merlin. In addition, Disney's Merlin is T.H White's Merlin and he lives backwards - which kinda fits with Giles being made a kid with an adult's memory. The rest of White's trilogy is much darker than Sword in the Stone. Mary Stewart's Merlin (for example) lived on Cader Idris in Wales (I think).
Hard for me to think of Giles as Merlin. I know the Council isn't mentioned till S3, but in my head that's who Giles is part of, not Merlin. Of course the Merlin in my head is quite benevolent and Disney-fied :)
 

TriBel

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Manchester
Hard for me to think of Giles as Merlin. I know the Council isn't mentioned till S3, but in my head that's who Giles is part of, not Merlin. Of course the Merlin in my head is quite benevolent and Disney-fied :)
Yeah...I think there's a possibility Giles performs a similar function. If I recall, in Stewart's books, Arthur does believe that Merlin's his father but he's a different Merlin to White's: it's historical fantasy set in 5th century Wales. It hadn't occurred to me to see him as a Merlin figure - even though I'd made the connection between where Giles lived and the scythe-in-stone.

The thing is, if you know Westbury and where it is, then when the scythe first appears it's possible to make the connection in retrospect. So - in a sense - the scythe is foreshadowed. The Westbury scene's a strange scene. For a start, it's shot in Farmborough not Westbury. Why call it Westbury? Why not call it "England" or "Somerset"? The only thing I know about Westbury is it's got a big white horse carved into the cliff - but they don't show it. If they wanted to pretend it was Westbury they could have sent a single cameraman ten miles down the road to film the white horse and used it as an establishing shot. It's as though they're hiding it.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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I didn't realize Giles has actual in story ties to Merlin beyond archetype, thank you.
 

Btvs fan

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Yeah...I think there's a possibility Giles performs a similar function. If I recall, in Stewart's books, Arthur does believe that Merlin's his father but he's a different Merlin to White's: it's historical fantasy set in 5th century Wales. It hadn't occurred to me to see him as a Merlin figure - even though I'd made the connection between where Giles lived and the scythe-in-stone.

The thing is, if you know Westbury and where it is, then when the scythe first appears it's possible to make the connection in retrospect. So - in a sense - the scythe is foreshadowed. The Westbury scene's a strange scene. For a start, it's shot in Farmborough not Westbury. Why call it Westbury? Why not call it "England" or "Somerset"? The only thing I know about Westbury is it's got a big white horse carved into the cliff - but they don't show it. If they wanted to pretend it was Westbury they could have sent a single cameraman ten miles down the road to film the white horse and used it as an establishing shot. It's as though they're hiding it.
The irony is that Arthur is a Welsh hero. He is a British Celt who resisted the Saxon invasions that occured after the Romans left. The Invasions pushed the Native Britons into Wales/Cornwall and Cumbria. While the Scotti invasions pushed the Picts into Aberdeen and renamed Pictland Scotland.
The actual term Welsh is Saxon for strangers . So in other words your ancestors stole my ancestors land 😥
 
TriBel
TriBel
And therein lies the problem with myth...even if it's not true it finds a place in the national psyche. If it helps, in the Mary Stewart books, Merlin is called Myrddin Emrys and he's the illegitimate son of a Welsh princess. :)

Btvs fan

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@TriBel Arthur did exist but we know next to nothing about him or even if he was called Arthur. All we know is that for a time Saxon Invasion and Settlement was checked for a generation after a victory at Mount Baddon and that the mythical Arthur led the Celt side and thats pretty much it. We don't know where he is from or if he was even called Arthur (though that might be true)

The real Merlin may well have been this guy

 

darkspook

Potential
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Dec 13, 2020
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36
1. AR. Poorly handled, badly done, brushed under the carpet and reduced a serious issue like that to mere plot device.
2. Xander. Pushed to the background and generally ignored by the writers. Chances for depth or storylines (roadtrip, family background) are wasted. Given very little to do.
3. Dawn. What was even the point of her after Season 5?
4. The core 4's friendship. Are these guys even friends by the end? They fight, argue, never listen to each other and have drifted apart.
5. Spuffy. In S6 he attempts to rape her but by S7 she is defending him to anyone who will listen.
 

thetopher

Member of the Church Of Faith
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
10,497
Location
The Moot, England
Sineya
1. The AR and the subsequent S7 (LACK OF) aftermath: It's been done to death on this thread so I won't bring it up again but this more than anything dates the show and makes parts of it unpleasant to watch. Has to be fixed with better, braver and more consistent writing. Don't bring up an issue only to downplay it in such a grotesque manner. Always bring it back to Buffy, its her show and that's why the majority are here.
2. Soul lore: Work out what 'not having a soul means' in human terms (like Billy or the kid psychopath in Angel s1 IGYUMS), in demon terms (do vengeance demons have souls? we find this out very late in the day and it has huge implications for Anya) and for vampires. Angel, Darla and most of all Spike have different reactions to various states of soul-ness that are widely inconsistant. In the end the writers seemed to shrug and claim that Spike was somehow 'special'. What a lazy cop-out that makes his character worse.
3. World Building In General: This would be much more of a problem if we didn't have the Angel spin-off which bolsters a lot of general demon lore, history and how the magic world works in the wider world outside the little town of Sunnydale, but its still really thin. This is the main problem with the Buffy comics which fail completely at world building in any coherent, narrative sense.
4. Slayers in particular: Clear up the lore, the shared slayer dreams, prophecy, the remembering of past lives/deaths, The slayer called before Buffy, potentials and their watchers. The storytelling possibilities are great and varied. Many universes have vampires, explore the thing that makes your world unique.
5. The various clunky plot devices: Acathla, The Initiative brain chip, Angel's gypsy curse, The Key, the cults surrounding the Key, etc. The writers tend to bring something up and then just...hand wave it away because they don't know what to do with it. Part of the writing process is dealing with the story elements you've put in place. It's annoying that they don't do more with or resolve these things.

Other issues:
The First Slayer being black: Question, would it be better if The First Slayer was a beautiful Aryan white woman, the progenitor of the entire line of superior warrior women? Probably not right. Sinaya being of African origin makes perfect sense given the 'since the dawn of time' angle.
As for the hair crack, context matters; you try and murder me and my friends, I get to make fun of your hair because that's what Buffy would do. People should stop playing the victim card all the time.
The Guardian being white: I have a problem with their mere existence never mind anything else (the story narrative always has more value than the meta-narrative), they're kind of a dumb idea to be springing on the audience so late in the game with a 'I'm the last of this secret mythic society' *snap* 'And now I'm dead and irrelevant bye' If they exist make them logically consistent with what has gone before; maybe Native American? that was a spiritual/mystic and somewhat Matriarchal society? how to get more diversity but also avoid various tropes. Hmn.
More black and Hispanic characters: Sure, after all this is California not Kansas. The show should make some effort to reflect actual reality as much as possible, it gives the show more verisimilitude for sure.
Cordelia's Character: Blame S3 Cangel. I really liked Cordelia's development over three seasons of Buffy and 2 of Angel that was crushed by the forced romance and soapy garbage that consumed much of Season 3's subplots. I didn't want Cordelia becoming a bland proto-Buffy and losing her spikey personality just to appeal to dork!Angel. No! *wags finger* No. The subsequent season not only had to undo it they had to explain it away.
Racial Stereotypes: Yeah, this can bug but it goes further than racial into national (Doyle the heavy-drinking Irishman, Wesley the prissy repressed brit) and then just actual stereotypes. The show uses stereotypes all the time as a kind of character shortcut, its not just a race thing so it bugs less only because its consistent.
 
K
katmobile
I wish I knew how to do your angry emotionicon icon in the bar below.

katmobile

Scooby
Joined
Jun 17, 2018
Messages
1,530
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49
1. The AR and the subsequent S7 (LACK OF) aftermath: It's been done to death on this thread so I won't bring it up again but this more than anything dates the show and makes parts of it unpleasant to watch. Has to be fixed with better, braver and more consistent writing. Don't bring up an issue only to downplay it in such a grotesque manner. Always bring it back to Buffy, its her show and that's why the majority are here.
2. Soul lore: Work out what 'not having a soul means' in human terms (like Billy or the kid psychopath in Angel s1 IGYUMS), in demon terms (do vengeance demons have souls? we find this out very late in the day and it has huge implications for Anya) and for vampires. Angel, Darla and most of all Spike have different reactions to various states of soul-ness that are widely inconsistant. In the end the writers seemed to shrug and claim that Spike was somehow 'special'. What a lazy cop-out that makes his character worse.
3. World Building In General: This would be much more of a problem if we didn't have the Angel spin-off which bolsters a lot of general demon lore, history and how the magic world works in the wider world outside the little town of Sunnydale, but its still really thin. This is the main problem with the Buffy comics which fail completely at world building in any coherent, narrative sense.
4. Slayers in particular: Clear up the lore, the shared slayer dreams, prophecy, the remembering of past lives/deaths, The slayer called before Buffy, potentials and their watchers. The storytelling possibilities are great and varied. Many universes have vampires, explore the thing that makes your world unique.
5. The various clunky plot devices: Acathla, The Initiative brain chip, Angel's gypsy curse, The Key, the cults surrounding the Key, etc. The writers tend to bring something up and then just...hand wave it away because they don't know what to do with it. Part of the writing process is dealing with the story elements you've put in place. It's annoying that they don't do more with or resolve these things.

Other issues:
The First Slayer being black: Question, would it be better if The First Slayer was a beautiful Aryan white woman, the progenitor of the entire line of superior warrior women? Probably not right. Sinaya being of African origin makes perfect sense given the 'since the dawn of time' angle.
As for the hair crack, context matters; you try and murder me and my friends, I get to make fun of your hair because that's what Buffy would do. People should stop playing the victim card all the time.
The Guardian being white: I have a problem with their mere existence never mind anything else (the story narrative always has more value than the meta-narrative), they're kind of a dumb idea to be springing on the audience so late in the game with a 'I'm the last of this secret mythic society' *snap* 'And now I'm dead and irrelevant bye' If they exist make them logically consistent with what has gone before; maybe Native American? that was a spiritual/mystic and somewhat Matriarchal society? how to get more diversity but also avoid various tropes. Hmn.
More black and Hispanic characters: Sure, after all this is California not Kansas. The show should make some effort to reflect actual reality as much as possible, it gives the show more verisimilitude for sure.
Cordelia's Character: Blame S3 Cangel. I really liked Cordelia's development over three seasons of Buffy and 2 of Angel that was crushed by the forced romance and soapy garbage that consumed much of Season 3's subplots. I didn't want Cordelia becoming a bland proto-Buffy and losing her spikey personality just to appeal to dork!Angel. No! *wags finger* No. The subsequent season not only had to undo it they had to explain it away.
Racial Stereotypes: Yeah, this can bug but it goes further than racial into national (Doyle the heavy-drinking Irishman, Wesley the prissy repressed brit) and then just actual stereotypes. The show uses stereotypes all the time as a kind of character shortcut, its not just a race thing so it bugs less only because its consistent.
If I was a petty person I could point out that you put an angry icon in the panel of my post when I made a lot of the same points about the racial diversity of the Buffyverse but hey ho.
 

nightshade

Your grandfather is a cat
Staff member
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Mar 13, 2009
Messages
10,921
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England
Black Thorn
If I was a petty person I could point out that you put an angry icon in the panel of my post when I made a lot of the same points about the racial diversity of the Buffyverse but hey ho.
This is a completely unnecessary post, if you continue to post posts like this then they will be deleted.
 

Ann

Nee chatwuann Bangel
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Messages
771
Location
Where I live, but really don't want to be.
1 Xander 's betray in Becoming : It had to wait until S7 to finally heard what Xander had done.
2 Spike's realisation of feelings for Buffy by having a sex dream in S5.
3 Anya : Xander is perceived as a hypocrite for being in couple with remorseless girlfriend who says to him how she killed some of her victims with irony.
4 AR
5 Buffy getting back together with Angel in S3 ; Buffy decided to get away from Angel because "what she wants from him she can never have". After S2, she seemed to have understood that with the soul cursed, their love is impossible and yet in Helpless she got back together with him without an explanation. I get that Angel was supposed to go in L.A for ATS and it finally didn't happened until the end of S3.
Now don't get me wrong, I love Bangel in S3 because it's less melodramatic and Bangel is like partners in this season.


HM : Cordelia forgetting all about her feeling betrayed by Angel in Disharmony in receiving clothes.
I relate to #1. That bothered me all through the seasons between becoming S2-S7. It was something Buffy could have brought up in Dead Man’s Party if she had known.
 
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