eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
[personal profile] eruthros
Comment on a bit of a article about Buffy (not the anti-Spike one, but Bye-bye, Buffy! It's an interesting article in many ways.

The notoriously possessive Buffy fan base is consistent in that it invariably dislikes the current season. They hated it when Buffy's best friend Willow (Alyson Hannigan) abandoned her lifelong crush on fellow Scooby gang member Xander (Nicholas Brendon) for a relationship with Oz (Seth Green) -- though they later developed a passionate attachment to Willow's new boyfriend. They hated it when Angel (David Boreanaz) left Sunnydale for Los Angeles (and his own series). They hated it when the Scooby gang left high school, and then they hated it when Buffy left college for the tedium of the working world in order to support her sister Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) after their mother's death. They hated it when Buffy came back from the dead after the climactic self-sacrifice that ended Season 5 and was understandably addled and depressed as a result. And since she's gotten over that, they don't like the fact that in Season 7 she's become, in the words of one devotee I know, "a total bitch."

If I may: I didn't hate most of that. I watched in real-time, from season one, and I know the name of pretty much every episode.I remember Buffy's cool walk-in-white-prom-dress that closed season one, and I remember watching Buffy kill Angel, and I remember being shocked at the wonderful sword-grabbing. So I think I count as a fan.

I liked Oz. I was glad Willow had gotten over her unreturned crush and was dating someone who appreciated her. I was so incredibly stoked when Angel left it's hard to describe now. I liked the Scoobies in college in 4th season. I didn't hate that Buffy left college for the working world; I hated it that she had such a ridiculously stupid job for a high-school graduate in a town with massive attrition, and that we spent so many godawful hours there. It wasn't interesting. I didn't mind the addled and depressed Buffy, but I thought it went on too long.

Mostly, I get tetchy about moments that I feel are too contrived. See "Tara dies to give Willow an excuse to go evil," for example. I mean, Willow has a perfectly legitimate reason to go evil: she's power hungry and lacks confidence. You could build on that and it would actually look like character development. Also, as this journalist notes "The creators of imaginary worlds know that they have to stick to their own invented rules." So I get tetchy when they don't -- what does magic stand for? What's the slayer-power deal again? And I get tetchy when the plot doesn't make sense or people don't follow up on it (which is why the X-files eventually started to drive me bonkers).

But I remember watching the second season finale and thinking "wow, how could they top this?" And then they did, in season three -- Faith! The mayor! An invulnerable enemy! Mr. Trick! Dopelgangland! Band Candy! Whee!

But then season five? Well, Dawn was bratty. Without being interesting. She's since gotten better, but dude, there are plenty of people like that in Real Life. At least Cordelia was bitchy in an entertaining way. And when will Joss Whedon find out that having people on the show make fun of character flaws doesn't mean we want to see the flaws? Like, say, Kennedy's "I'm a brat" or Andrew's "Buffy's doing a boring speech, let's cut away." It doesn't help us suffer through the rest of the boring speeches or the bitchiness.

So, dude, stop claiming that people who have problems with a show are unreasonable. There are bigger plot holes in season seven, I think, than there were in season three or four. There are bigger continuity problems (um, yes. the open Initiative, for example.). I'm not an idiot; I'm watching the show with an eye towards narrative flow. And I see bigger problems. Like, actual problems, not just "oh, she's being another one of those stupid fans who hates every current season." So I wish people who Adore Every Moment of the show (and that's cool; they're welcome to; people have different viewing styles) would stop hassling us less-adulating fans as "only liking the old stuff" and "being unreasonable."


Date: 2003-05-27 04:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't think that you're being unreasonable. It's just that sometimes I feel (and this may sound odd, or sad) like my opinions are very fragile. For all that I'm really good at asserting myself and all, and even though I have faith in myself and my own opinions and all, if someone is saying "no, this was lame/not-so-good because _____", it throws me, and makes it harder for me to stay in my happy place where I like everything. Does that make any sense? See, fortunately I understand that, for you, taking that clinical, analytical look at things is part of the enjoyment, but for me, it's the overall experience, and the details can either add to that experience, or be dismissed. Things that detract are too dangerous, so I get twitchy when faced with them. Something has to be quite glaring for me to be willing to cop to it. I have no idea if that's why other people don't react to the technicalities - I'm sure that some people just don't notice, and others just don't care. I'm just (once again) being oddly oversensitive. Plus, you know, the special attachment to BtVS specifically for it's escapism and coping mechanism properties. But on other shows (Smallville, etc.) the snarkiness or attention to detail is lots of fun, and part of why I watch it.
Anyhoo, I can't find it, but somewhere I remember you posting something (unless it was someone else and I'm crazy) about a concern with the Buffy finale. Something about the potential slayers (one: if all of the potentials were rounded up already, how were there others who got power in the finale? and two: doesn't that create kind of a super-race in some ways, and isn't that scary/creepy/wrong?). Valid points (again, things I prefer to overlook until I can justify them away); therefore, I give you:
A quote from a recent interview with Eliza Dushku -
"And I was so impressed with the whole idea of sharing the strength and making every woman a slayer and making every woman strong and fearless. Not fearless, but empowered and I thought it was really beautiful and I loved seeing the show and I thought everyone gave it their all in the finale."
So really, they *had* rounded up all of the Potentials; they were just saying that *all* women are potentials (notice the P/p thing I'm using here?); therefore, women will now just dominate (and is this going to show up at all on Angel, I wonder? - No, wait, don't answer that!). Of course, domination is still scary (being something of an egalitarian myself), but it's better to empower all women than just a few, right?


eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)

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