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What could have made The Potentials Better?

WillowsFaith

Townie
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
24
Age
28
Finished my Buffy Re-watched recently, and it’s well known the Potentials were a detriment to season 7. The concept sounds good on paper but The execution is the problem. The writers were trying to make Buffy too much of a serious leader. Also a bunch of “Powerless” girls complaining for half the season isn’t really the girl power show most fans grew to love. I get it they were mostly teens and scared of death, but the show has dealt with powerless kids overcoming that fear in season 1-3. Kennedy was focused on way to much and overshadowed the others.if they fleshed out 3 or 4 other potentials then I think Kennedy would get less hate. I also think time constraints on the show played a big part of thier storylines being rushed. My final solution would be to have each Scooby train a group of potentials each. Like Buffy & Faith trains the more physical ones. Willow teaches a few spells to the more timid ones. Xander & Giles teach the girls about thier experiences in the field. Also you could include spike imparting wisdom to the girls in a comical way. It would parallel the theme of The Heart,Hand, Mind, etc. concept of the scoobies being passed down to the next generation of slayers. What do you think could have been done to better the Potentials storylines, personality or impact to Season 7?
 

Stake fodder

Soulless
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
396
Location
Caught on a root
You have a good suggestion about dividing them among the Scoobies, but I don't think I would have wanted to see more time expended on them. I think it would have been better to have far fewer of them, maybe only 3 or 4, and keep the focus on the main characters training them, and use that to flesh out their characters, by showing how they react to the training.

And don't have Kennedy sexually harassing Willow and act like it's charming!
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
9,383
Age
30
Kill off Kennedy- Come on Team Gnarl!

Give Chao-ahn more of a role- Dawn teaching her English so she could communicate with the others would've been a nice touch. You could've even had her say something to Spike and him respond with "sorry, love. I don't speak Chinese" as a call back to the Chinese slayer.

Explain that the potentials going to Buffy's house are just the ones that have been identified and that there are still plenty of anonymous potentials out in the world and that the hope is their anonymity will protect them. It would also explain why Buffy wasn't identified until she became the actual slayer whereas Kendra was trained from a young age.

Kill off Rona- All she did was complain and whine.
 

Spanky

Scooby
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
23,611
Black Thorn
There were too many of them that served no purpose. Needed to have two or three tops so they could have focused more on Kennedy.
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
I was with you right up to that last word Kennedy, lol

Faded90

Scooby
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
704
Age
63
Agree with others. Lessen the numbers and focus on them as people. Like I find it impossible to side with them or even remotely empathise with them because I don’t know them in the slightest so why should I? They spend a lot of their screentime coming across like ungrateful brats rather than the traumatised teens they clearly are supposed to be.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

Scooby
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
1,976
Age
39
I agree. I would have shipped them off to safe houses after the Turok Han Chieftain was defeated. Then I would have kept five or so with Buffy, and techopaganbabbled up some sort of temporary empowerment spell. And yes, I would have found some way to put Giles in a blue tube and give Buffy a giant Mecha.
 

thetopher

Member of the Church Of Faith
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
10,541
Location
The Moot, England
Sineya
Give them one full episode to themselves to flesh them out properly. If we're going to invest in them on any thematic level then we need to get a better sense of their character. The potentials are mostly a mix of bland and irritating; they're there taking up screen-time away from the characters we actually care about. If you just write them out then whats the point of having them in the first place?
I would place the episode sometime after Potential but before Get It Done (maybe get rid of First Date?) and focus on the already established girls; Kennedy, Vi, Rona, Molly, Amanda and a couple of others; make them the main A-plot. Maybe the main characters are involved in a 'bigger' B-plot that never gets focused on, something like The Zeppo where we never actually see it. The episode should've made us empathize with the particular situation these powerless, targeted-for-death girls are all in; maybe quick flash cuts about how they found out about their potential, something about their respective backgrounds, maybe we see Kennedy see her Watcher die?

Again, if we don't know them we don't really have a reason to care about them. The writers had an idea but didn't have confidence in that idea so they half-arsed it and instead stuffed the last season with more unnecessary new characters, a dozen sub-plots for Spike, a menacing uber-Bad that does little but gas on about how evil it is and so on. The season could've been constructed smarter and given the next generation of slayers some fleshed out characterization.
 

Fuffy Baith

2017 (and 2016) Cutest BB member
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Messages
4,234
Age
33
Location
CA
Sineya
The potentials are a problem with season 7, first off there's too many. I also don't think we get a clear understanding of what potentials are and how they fit into the vampire slayer lore. What happens to them if they aren't chosen but were trained by a watcher? How are they found? There's a lot of questions that are just never answered. I'm not a fan of Kennedy, so yeah, just of her being a bossy, brat, hitting on Willow who was clearly not interested at first and still grieving the loss of her love. They also don't serve much of a purpose until the last episode where they become slayers.

My final solution would be to have each Scooby train a group of potentials each. Like Buffy & Faith trains the more physical ones. Willow teaches a few spells to the more timid ones. Xander & Giles teach the girls about their experiences in the field.
I think this is a great idea. Have each of the Scoobies training a group in a specialized area. We saw Anya and Andrew teaching them some stuff in the basement, and I think even Kennedy lead training over them at one point. Ugh.

Give Chao-ahn more of a role- Dawn teaching her English so she could communicate with the others would've been a nice touch. You could've even had her say something to Spike and him respond with "sorry, love. I don't speak Chinese" as a call back to the Chinese slayer.
That would be great, Dawn trying to teach her English and the call back to Spike could have been fun. Giles drawings of graphic pictures freaking her out, was kind of funny, but also a bit insensitive.


Give them one full episode to themselves to flesh them out properly. If we're going to invest in them on any thematic level then we need to get a better sense of their character.
Give them one episode. One.
Yeah, we should have had an episode from the potentials point of view of events. The ysort of do that a little bit in Bring on the Night and Showtime, but we needed an episode to understand what the potentials are going through and really care about a few of them. And maybe kill off some of them earlier to raise the stakes.
 
AlphaFoxtrot
AlphaFoxtrot
Mentoring the next generation, not bad.

Miss Muffet

"Can I trade in the children for more cash?"
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
93
Or on a more serious note, them being a bit kinder to Buffy, or at least the majority of them being nicer.
What is it with the main potentials we focus on being annoying? *cough*Kennedy!*cough*
 

NothingVentured

Potential
Joined
Jun 22, 2014
Messages
363
Nothing. Do all the things in the thread listed, people would make up new things to complain about. Give them an episode? People would complain about them stealing the screentime of the rest of the cast.

Much of it stems from not accepting their point in the plot. We're supposed to feel inundated by them because that's how the main cast feels. What happens when you are forced to protect of bunch of people and know you can't? What happens when you know you can't help? This doesn't work if everyone is best buddies.
 

Professor Walsh

Feminist slayerette
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
2,201
Location
Snow-in-May-land
Black Thorn
Posdibly make two seasons. One season "7A" having them arrive, train and figure out the nature of the First. A new season, "7B", giving us time to...
- See them working out a solution,
- Further training,
- Loosing a few Potentials we had had time to start caring about,
- Seeing the relationship between Kennedy and Willow develop in a natural way.
- Have Giles pop over from Bath now and then to support.

More time would have given the viewers time to know the potentials while also seeing the characters we know (and love?) getting the storylines they deserved. Then have a "Chosen" where the potentials who were there, and trained, could choose to accept the power.
 
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