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Why do people try to retcon Buffy's love confession to Spike

katmobile

Scooby
Joined
Jun 17, 2018
Messages
1,346
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48
I don't know Joss seems to go back and forth on a lot of what he says.

For instance re Vampires. Joss back in the 90s used to go on about loving Vampires, ran through all the Vampire films and comics that he loved, but then in the 2010s went on about how much he has always hated Vampires, and they were just generic monsters to him.

According to James Marsters meanwhile he hated Anne Rice and was adamant about Vampires being ugly, bloodthirsty monsters and this is backed up by everything about his original script and the first season which portrays them that way. (Notice season 6 which is when he has the least to do with the show is when they are at their most romantic. Season 7 however when he comes back, we get the Uber Vampires, the best ugly, horrible, monstrous Vamps possibly of all time.) Now however Joss goes on about his love for Anne Rice.

Similarly Joss used to go on about how he liked Doctor Who, about how the Doctor is dope, how he respects RTD for bringing it back, but now he says he always hated it.

A part of me thinks he says what he wants people to hear, but others goes against the popular trend. For instance he said he loved Vampires when they were firmly creatures of horror in popular culture, but then in the 2010s when they became sappy, emo figures he said he hated them. With DW it was the same he said he liked it when it was more niche and respected by sci fi fans, but as soon as it became a hipster thing in the early 2010s he distances himself.

I think he likes to be seen as a proper, serious genre fan, but at the same time he will pander to what his most vocal fans like, re Spike. I'm not saying "Oh this makes Joss a coward" or anything. I understand when you have such a devoted fanbase it's difficult to know what to say.
I think that sometimes a character naturally goes a certain way or it's a combination of performance and how you use a character in a certain way. Also it makes sense that canon becomes more nuanced over time as it allows you to tell better stories and ultimately that's Joss's first priority. The vampires of the Buffyverse ARE still different to those of the Riceverse - the Rice vampires are degrees of humanity depending on how they want to be and there are grappling with ideas of how ethical they want to be in their consumption and existentialism as you'd expect with beings with human minds and souls who will live forever. The Buffyverse vampires are corrupted humans - they are the worst versions of the humans they once were with no universal compassion, some have compassion for individuals. Buffyverse vampires remain monsters, with one and eventually two exceptions, but they're more a comment on monstrous humanity than outright monsters. I think in a sense Spike was ensouled because it was the only way for Joss to preserve his worldview but not have to kill this fasinating character.
 

burrunjor

Potential
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
338
Age
29
I think that sometimes a character naturally goes a certain way or it's a combination of performance and how you use a character in a certain way. Also it makes sense that canon becomes more nuanced over time as it allows you to tell better stories and ultimately that's Joss's first priority. The vampires of the Buffyverse ARE still different to those of the Riceverse - the Rice vampires are degrees of humanity depending on how they want to be and there are grappling with ideas of how ethical they want to be in their consumption and existentialism as you'd expect with beings with human minds and souls who will live forever. The Buffyverse vampires are corrupted humans - they are the worst versions of the humans they once were with no universal compassion, some have compassion for individuals. Buffyverse vampires remain monsters, with one and eventually two exceptions, but they're more a comment on monstrous humanity than outright monsters. I think in a sense Spike was ensouled because it was the only way for Joss to preserve his worldview but not have to kill this fasinating character.
I agree for the most part that they got round Spike being in love with the fact that Vampires are evil reasonably well in S6 and 7.

As I have pointed out many times, Spike isn't really a "good" guy before he gets a soul. He does some good things, but there are many instances where you see if the chip wasn't working he'd go back to being a killer without a seconds thought and he'd probably try and be with Buffy by siring her instead. We also know that he can't feel true empathy for people other than himself, as the AR shows, hence why he gets a soul.

I was more just talking about Joss' opinions shifting somewhat. Also whilst the lore remained reasonably consistent, I think Buffy became famous for having romantic Vampires instead of evil ones because of Spike and Angel.

Most casual viewers will remember Buffy's two Vampire romances above all the ugly, evil Joss Vampires like the Master and the Turok Han which probably annoys Joss somewhat, as I think Joss hoped that in popular culture he'd be famous for subverting the Vampire romance by having his hero slay ugly, evil Vampires. He's a horror fan, and obviously wanted it to be empowering for women, and what's more empowering than killing the ultimate, evil, monsters.

Angel as we've been over went against that and drifted into more traditional romantic Vampire fiction, and according to James, Joss had to be seriously talked into doing Angel. (Most people see David Greenwalt as the characters creator.) Even then Angel was always made out to be a special Vampire like Blade, also during Bangel Vampires were the main villains so Joss could still more or less keep up his evil Vampire series.

When Spuffy came around however, Spike was more or less the only Vampire in the show, the focus had shifted to other monsters and villains, and so to the general public, Buffy became another romantic Vampire show. Now whether or not you prefer that is obviously just opinion, but I think that's why Joss maybe was a bit angry at his interpretation being changed and maybe came to resent Spike's popularity.

The truth of his opinion of Spike as a character overall probably lies somewhere in the middle in all honesty. After all Joss clearly didn't absolutely despise the character completely or else he would have just killed him off in season 2. He obviously saw potential in the character from the start thanks to James, but I'd agree with James Marsters that Joss at least had a somewhat love/hate relationship with Spike and probably Angel too as they got away from his original vision for the franchise.

It's one of the reasons I'd love to see Fray adapted as a live action series, as that might actually match what Joss wanted Re:Vampires more as there are no sexy, good guy Vamps in that.

As for which he prefers Spuffy or Bangel, well who knows, as from what we know he wasn't too keen on Angel to start with LOL, but I think he might nowadays lean more towards Spuffy because it's more popular and maybe he feels it is his most enduring romance as a result?
 
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