• Thank you for visiting Buffy-Boards. You obviously have exceptional taste. We just want you to know that:
    1. You really should register so you can chat with us!
    2. Twelve thousand people can't be wrong.
    3. Buffy-Boards loves you.
    4. See 1 through 3.
    Come on, register already!

Was Jasmine really a poor big bad?

slayer730

Potential
Joined
Dec 26, 2017
Messages
182
Age
40
I see one of the main complaints of season 4 end up being the Jasmine arc and how everyone think she ended up being a poor villain to close out the season. I think i'm in the minority when I say I actually enjoyed the arc even though it had its flaws , the main one being that so much information about her being stuffed in at the last minute

My main question is was Jasmine legitimately a poor choice for a big bad or was it moreso a poor choice to tie her in with the whirlwind of plots in season 4 that they essentially used to not only justify those events but basically everything in the Buffyverse?
 

Spanky

Scooby
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
22,198
Black Thorn
It's that part of the Jasmine storyline that I think most fans don't agree with, so to speak.
I like that part of the story (granted, I like the Jasmine part as well) but I wish they could have went Cordy is bad longer. I liked her working against the team covertly.
 

Fool for Buffy

I'm just being a big nerd again
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
2,358
Age
20
Sineya
I go back and forth with this, but I've come to the conclusion that Jasmine is definitely better than evil Cordy or The Beast. Perhaps the idea of her is better than the execution, but she gets a much worse reputation than she deserves. And I don't like Shiny Happy People and her intro at all, but I always forget how fantastic The Magic Bullet is.
 

white avenger

white avenger
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
15,945
Age
73
Location
rome, georgia
I have to say, I have mixed feelings on this question. We know that the character of Jasmine was pretty much written into the story line because of Charisma's pregnancy (does anyone know if the original plan was for Cordy to become good again after the birth of her evil baby, or was it just supposed to be Evil Cordy throughout the rest of the series, with no Jasmine at all?) but we don't know if Joss had originally intended something similar to "Buffy's" Season 2 Buffy/Angelus arc, or if it was going to be something else entirely. I can't see Joss actually killing off as popular a character as Cordy without planning to bring her back in a much better way that the one episode guest shot that she got in Season 5, but he's an evil little troll, so who knows for sure?

I was never as invested in this show as I was in "Buffy," so it never really moved me that much, one way or the other. I do believe, however, that, if Charisma's
character hadn't been in effect written out of the show in Season 4, the question of whether Cangel was actually valid would have had to actually be answered.

And, reading back over this, I can see where that doesn't really answer the original question, does it? I will just say, therefore, on the subject of how good a Big Bad Jasmine was, I think that she was pretty good under the circumstances, but Evil Cordy for the whole Season would have been much better.
 

GraceK

Grr Arrg
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
1,278
Age
33
As others have said, evilCordy was bad, Jasmine herself was very effective.

This may be unpopular, but I feel a lot of the negative reception to this whole arc has a lot to do with Charisma”s acting . She was terrible as an “evil puppet master”. This was the first time she was given a real opportunity to show off some acting chops and really break out of her character and she failed miserably. She couldn’t pull it off, it was over the top and really silly. She does best in my opinion with less serious material, it was a breath of fresh air when she returned to form in Your Welcome.

Gina Torres OTH I think did a much better job, she brought sympathy and ambiguity to the role.
 

slayer730

Potential
Joined
Dec 26, 2017
Messages
182
Age
40
(does anyone know if the original plan was for Cordy to become good again after the birth of her evil baby, or was it just supposed to be Evil Cordy throughout the rest of the series, with no Jasmine at all?) but we don't know if Joss had originally intended something similar to "Buffy's" Season 2 Buffy/Angelus arc, or if it was going to be something else entirely. I can't see Joss actually killing off as popular a character as Cordy without planning to bring her back in a much better way that the one episode guest shot that she got in Season 5, but he's an evil little troll, so who knows for sure?

I will just say, therefore, on the subject of how good a Big Bad Jasmine was, I think that she was pretty good under the circumstances, but Evil Cordy for the whole Season would have been much better.
I've seen rumors about if she weren't pregnant she'd be the big bad throughout the whole season and it'd end with a climactic showdown sword fight mirroring the one Buffy and Angel did in Becoming. Not too sure if Angel would end up killing her or if she'd be killed off at all. Theres literally no info about why she'd suddenly flip after making the noble sacrifice in season 3 to become a higher being to help people to then becoming evil.

This may be unpopular, but I feel a lot of the negative reception to this whole arc has a lot to do with Charisma”s acting . She was terrible as an “evil puppet master”. This was the first time she was given a real opportunity to show off some acting chops and really break out of her character and she failed miserably. She couldn’t pull it off, it was over the top and really silly.
I don't come down too hard on Charisma's performance because she's kind of shooting in the dark here. She's not only asked to act evil but act evil with hidden motivations that i'm not even sure the writers knew were. That might work a little better with a brand new character we never met like say Justine for example, but by that point viewers had known Cordy for six seasons and to have her suddenly change that drastically without any explanation would probably be jarring.
 

DeepBlueJoy

Lion Faced Kitteh
Joined
May 5, 2014
Messages
883
Location
East of Trouble
One of my favorite things about this arc is how Fred figures things out. She's supposedly the weakest link, but here, she really shines. I really hate the Cordy arc, and I think that part of why Charisma didn't do it well was because she knew there was NO coming back from sleeping with your lover's son, who you held in your arms as a baby. Ugly in every way. I don't think her heart was in selling it. Unlike Illyria, which was meant to showcase the actress, I believe that the whole Beastmaster was meant to punish the actress and I don't think her career ever recovered from that whole mess.

Essay: The Assassination of Cordelia Chase - Jennifer Crusie

No, Charisma isn't the actor that Amy Acker is, but she was asked to commit career suicide... fouling the bed of her primary fandom was a stomach turner for most of her fans. Once you lose that, you lose the people who follow you from series to series.

By the end of the series, we were actually rooting for Illyria.
By contrast, there were people who never wanted to see Cordelia again in any form.

When an actor plays a villain, that's one thing - you showcase your power as an actor when you go full on ugly... BUT if an actor becomes someone we love and then THAT character betrays everything she is... (and we don't know that there's something wrong) that changes the way the character is remembered, and by extension, particularly in fandoms ad rabid as ours, the way the actor is remembered.

If the showrunners had intended to redeem her, they could have let us in on the secret... Angel and co couldn't have known, but WE the viewers could have felt FOR her that she was being used... and we wouldn't have stopped loving her...

We would have been horrified FOR her, rather than BY her. Because OUR Cordy wasn't doing this... and we would be broken hearted that her body was being hijacked. then, afterward, the real Cordy would have been murderously furious and dismayed and horrified.

Given some of what we've learned about Joss in the last few months, I'm a lot more likely to believe ill of him and his motivation. Charisma can't say bad things about him and expect to work again, but there's evidence for hostilities.
 
GraceK
GraceK
That’s a perspective I haven’t considered. It’s a good point :)
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
Loved the article

DeepBlueJoy

Lion Faced Kitteh
Joined
May 5, 2014
Messages
883
Location
East of Trouble
I don't think it was career suicide at all. It wasn't even character suicide, as they could have rehabilitated the character. It's just that she turned into a moustache twirling villain and it was done poorly.
I hated the portrayal, I don't think she sold it, but I don't think she wanted to. You and I will have to agree to disagree. I know you like this arc. I think the idea of her playing a bad guy is an interesting one... but the way it was done? Not so much.

Having a beloved character murder people because they lost their marbles or their soul? That you can come back from.

Sleeping with your own kid? Nope. Sleeping with your lover's kid? Nope. That you don't come back from. People don't forgive sexual betrayal in a beloved character easily... No character even hints at 'pedophile' and survives it. Connor's age is never stated, but it doesn't matter... he's young, he's naive, she had him in her arms as a baby not long before this... and he's her MAN'S child.
 

Spanky

Scooby
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
22,198
Black Thorn
I don't think she sold it, but I don't think she wanted to.
Oh, I know she hated it, but I don't think she really could have sold it either. It wasn't just on her lack of talent either, the material wasn't that great - though they didn't have much time to work on it- just the idea, and the concept worked.

Sleeping with your lover's kid? Nope. That you don't come back from.
Yet they have in other shows. Granted it's usually been the male doing the sleeping so the role reversal might be an issue, but come on, they brought Angel back from Angelus, if properly motivated they could have redeemed Cordy. They just wanted to get rid of Charisma after her not disclosing the pregnancy.
 
GreyWalker1958
GreyWalker1958
And in turn for getting rid of her, the show gets axed less than two weeks after both "You're Welcome" and "Why We Fight"

DeepBlueJoy

Lion Faced Kitteh
Joined
May 5, 2014
Messages
883
Location
East of Trouble
They just wanted to get rid of Charisma after her not disclosing the pregnancy.
That is the why of the whole thing. And they did it, not by killing her, but by *destroying* her. It was vile. Women. Get. Pregnant. Whether she disclosed or not -- she kinda had a choice -- have her baby or abort it. I'm sorry, but aborting my child to make a show runner happy isn't in the cards. If she hid it, she may have felt she had no other choice.

What we do know is that they turned someone we loved and cheered for and respected into the lowest form of life most of us despise: they turned her into an incestuous near-pedophile, and a cheat and betrayer.

HEROES don't:

- sleep with children
- sleep with their own/adopted children even when they are adults. (and I'm not sure Connor qualified)
- cheat on the men they love

Yes, male heroes sometimes cheat on their women and come back from it (but even they are usually considered bad boys unless there's an extenuating circumstance).

By contrast, women seldom can cheat on their men and remain 'heroic'. A woman who cheats (or even one who has multiple partners) is usually one who is being painted as being a bit amoral by the writers.

Men who have sex with several partners (Bond, James Bond) are hot and manly, though even that is beginning to change a bit.

Women who have sex with several partners are... slutty, whorish... (there are actually dozens of names for 'loose' women. Note that there is no male equivalent manslut or manwhore. You never hear about a 'trashy' or loose man or a 'man of low morals' or a 'tramp' referring to a straight man. You hear 'womanizer' and there's no equivalent 'manizer'.

Women simply aren't judged by the same standards.


And of course, no attempt was made to redeem her, anyway.

The fact that they showed the events on screen, and left as little to the imagination as was practically allowable on a show aimed primarily at young adults tells us they wanted us never to forget what we saw.

The only network shows where I've seen an adult sleeping with a teen, the adult has been an unsub/criminal, and the teen has been the victim.

Usually when that unsub is a woman, she's also unbalanced and sociopathic.
 

Spanky

Scooby
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
22,198
Black Thorn
I think Cordelia could have been redeemed simply because in universe it was understood that she was possessed and her actions weren't her own.
That's the thing. It wasn't Cordy. Just as Angelus wasn't Angel. And AtS wasn't a 'reality' based show- it was a fantasy.
 

slayer730

Potential
Joined
Dec 26, 2017
Messages
182
Age
40
That's the thing. It wasn't Cordy. Just as Angelus wasn't Angel. And AtS wasn't a 'reality' based show- it was a fantasy.
My memory could be shaky about specific details as to how this is presented, but the way Angel/Angelus is shown varies from them being two separate entities but also one that he needs to take responsibility for because it is a part of him in some way.

Compared to a situation like a situation with Cordelia/Jasmine, Fred/Illyria and maybe even Ben/Glory to an extent is that their body has been hijacked by an entirely different entity that is not them but using them as a vessel and controlling them.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

Scooby
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
1,611
Age
39
By herself? No, she had a unique M.O. She was the perfect False God, and overall, was a good commentary on evil, God and free will. As the payoff for the season and four years of dangling plot threads, not to mention what was going on with Buffy 7? She was awful. But to be fair, I doubt anything could live up to audience expectations for that year.
 
Top Bottom