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May 23 2006

Losing the Plot - When TV dramas get too popular. Buffy, Alias, and Veronica Mars mentions.

A discussion of the declining quality of dramas as they age.

Oh G-d, is this another jumping the shark discussion under a clever disguise? Disagree with both the premise and the conclusion as it relates to BtVS - and that's all I'm saying on the subject.
The writer has ties with Television Without Pity. Let me just say I'm not surprised about the comments made about BtVS, although I'm so tired of people belittling the later seasons, which had so much brilliance in them. :(

[ edited by mikejer on 2006-05-24 05:02 ]
My absolute favorite season was season 6, so of course I don't agree at all with that particular viewpoint.
I will never understand what is "fun" about television without pity. They rip apart and belittle shows that they claim to "love". They never have anything positive to say, ever. I understand that is what the whole website is about, and that is why i choose never to go there. I hate those "fans" who only complain about everything, always.

That article did nothing but complain about various shows, which is so irratating because if you look for things to criticize you WILL find them. There is no show that is perfect but some people don't seem to get that.

I disagree heartily with their Alias comments also. I liked S5 a lot. I thought they dealt with the pregnancy very effectively, especially considering they had no choice. Alias isn't a sitcom where Jennifer Garner could just hold big pillows in front of her stomach. I thought they really did a good job considering they thought they were getting 22 eps and only got 17, which most definitely mucked up some plans.

People complain too much.
With Alias’s fifth season, though, the series started to unravel.

Well, I don't feel bad discounting this writer's opinion. Alias was clearly already off the rails in the third season.
J.J. Abrams’s has said in various interviews he never meant for Alias to go beyond a few seasons. (BTW there's also been some comparison that virtually every significant event in MI:3 was done first on Alias). After the third season Alias started boring me with concepts being repeated. They never did explain that time loss she had between S1 and S2 to my satisfaction.

LOST is about to down the tubes next year too as I think most people have figured it out and it will be hard to continue the soap opera on that intense level.
I know this isn't the most popular of opinions, but I agree with the article somewhat. There were episodes in seasons 6 and 7 that I absolutely loved, don't get me wrong, but there were a lot of choices made plot-wise and character-wise that I didn't like at all, and I felt more than once that maybe they should have just ended it after season 5. I guess I'm just one of those people who would rather see something end earlier and have a more satisfying ending than have it go on longer, but not feel as good about the show by the time it does go off the air. I'm sure not everyone feels that way (obviously, by the replies so far), but that's just how I felt.

They rip apart and belittle shows that they claim to "love". They never have anything positive to say, ever. I understand that is what the whole website is about, and that is why i choose never to go there. I hate those "fans" who only complain about everything, always.

I have to disagree with that statement. I've been visiting TwoP for a few years, and while there are certain shows that have very negative recaps every week, there are quite a few others which the recappers clearly love, and have many good things to say about. I don't think being critical is the same thing as complaining, it's just that some people choose to pick at things a little more, and some choose to let things go. I mean, I can see why some people might be annoyed by the type of commentary that goes on there, but I don't think it's so terrible to talk about what you don't like.
The Gift was a perfect ending. Yes, there were some episodes in Season 6 and 7 that I liked. But I would've rather the show ended on a great note then on the flat ending that I believe Chosen is.

So why couldn't it have just ended with Once More, with Feeling?
I agree about Desperate Housewives (and I never watched Alias), but I have recently been rewatching Buffy’s Seasons 6 & 7 and I’ve been struck again by how brilliant they both are. Personally I think that the perception that those seasons were weak was based solely on lower ratings from the show switching to a weaker TV network.
I am very excited about seeing what they will do on Veronica Mars next year!
Hey kids... let's leave TWoP and Tara alone. After all, if not for all their snarking, where would bitchy fans turn for sarcasm? I'd much rather see all the venom spewed on one site and its forums, rather than the show fansites.
And the recappers aren't all snotty and mean... just sayin'.
I love the recaps of TWOP but I didn't start reading them until after Buffy was over. I suppose that might have changed my perspective.

But the ones I read now really are very funny, and while they are definitely mean sometimes they are often more fun than watching the actual show.

They'll hate a contestant on some reality show sometimes but if that contestant does or says something great they are not afraid to change their stance. I appreciate that.

But the thing that really won me over is that the reviewer refers to James' character on Smallville as Professor SoFine. He shares my love.
Do shows that are dying from too much popularity have fans who feel the need to hire an airplane and banner to ask the network for a third season? What's Veronica Mars doing here?
There is clear love for "Veronica Mars" in the TWoP recaps...
You know if Buffy had ended after 5 seasons, we'd be constantly reading and linking to articles about TV shows that ended to0 soon and which criticised Joss, Mutant Enemy etc for not carrying on with the show.

Anyhow TWOP discussion here is some what irrelevant to the topic, here at Whedonesque we don't go in for criticising other sites.
You know if Buffy had ended after 5 seasons, we'd be constantly reading and linking to articles about TV shows that ended too soon and which criticised Joss, Mutant Enemy etc for not carrying on with the show.

I seem to recall that when the show moved into its fourth season there were complaints that it should have ended after season three because it was no longer any good now that it had been taken out of it original high school setting, but I'm sure most of the same people would have been horrified had that actually happened.

I'm just glad we got what we got. Let's face it, in the climate of American network television at the moment the show would have been lucky to survive a single season. I like the final two seasons as much as the first five and while 'The Gift' is a fantastic season finale, I much prefer the message offered to us by 'Chosen' as a series finale. Everyone has their own preferences about these things.

I didn't think the article had a great deal to say, or at least not that I found particularly interesting or illuminating. Maybe I'm just too easily pleased, but I think it's a shame that people seem to like to always dwell on the negative.
"The writer has ties with Television Without Pity. Let me just say I'm not surprised about the comments made about BtVS, although I'm so tired of people belittling the later seasons, which had so much brilliance in them. :("

Alot of people dont believe that Mike. Im one of them. But hey differing opinions are great.

I seriously hope this isnt another jump the shark article (and I vagely believe it isnt--how do you vaguely believe something? Try writing 25 pages of philosophy thats how LOL--). People will always disagree on those final seasons but I think the thing we can agree on is that BTVS was always better than 95% of television out there. Just throwing my two cents in the ring...and now im gonna pass out...its better that way.
I agree with dashboard. The Gift would have been a powerful ending to Buffy, but I want to live where Buffy's alive. I mean, we wouldn't have had Once More With Feeling, and I can't live in a world without that either. Buffy went to some dark places in later seasons that we really needed for the end victory to have the strong impact that it did.

What comes across to you as focusing on the negative might for someone else be a form of appreciation. It's one thing if someone comes here and posts that "Buffy sux"...fine, that's focusing on the negative. But to criticize certain aspects of Buffy in contrast to others--in this case, to say that later seasons were inferior--is actually a compliment, because the implication is that the show is being held to a high standard in the first place. I doubt anyone is ever going to complain that The Simple Life lost its genius in later seasons. Those of us who are saddened by later Buffy feel the way we do precisely because we loved earlier Buffy so much, and were so invested in it. I understand that many people feel that the quality remained the same, and that's fine; I am only trying to explain that it is possible to value something and still have negative feelings about certain aspects of it.
I think the article was spot on with Alias. The first season of that show is immense and it was sad to see the decline.

Season 6 of Buffy is still great I feel but 7 was too muddled. Great finale though. "Chosen" was immense.
Ilana, I fully appreciate the point you are making and just to clarify, I am not saying people should not criticise, but only that I believe there is sometimes a tendency to dwell on the negative. Perhaps I am wrong. I might just be overly-sensitive to these things.

A year or so back I was told that I am not a "true fan" of 'Buffy' precisely because there is nothing about the show that I really don't like (admittedly, this came from someone who then criticised all seven seasons in some detail in an effort to prove to me that she was a "true fan", her actual words). I do understand that some fans felt very let down by the later seasons, or other aspects of the show, but just maybe sometimes it can get a little bit out of hand.
but just maybe sometimes it can get a little bit out of hand.

Which is probably the understatement of the year. We're such a broad church that schisms do happen from time to time. But I'd like to think the fandom has matured enough so we can all accept diverse opinions.

I can only think of a few shows which inspire such fervoured debate amongst its fandom and Joey Buffy is one of them. If that's not a testament to Joss, the cast and crew then I don't know what is. And if it wasn't Buffy I probably wouldn't even be posting online or met my wife come to think of it.
When I started trying to find sites about Buffy early last year, I was floored by the huge amount of debate there is on these shows. It's a rare thing for a television show to accomplish.

I get pretty tired of these sorts of articles. I'll never be able to understand the negative responses to the last two seasons of Buffy. I just can't see the huge slip in quality people talk about. Some of the criticims I've read, particularly of S6 take it way too far, in terms of attacking the writers and actors. Arguments about the quality of the latter season is usually pretty amusing though, as they inevitably lead nowhere.

Personally, I pretty much love every season for different reasons and to be honest, while there are definately episodes that have problems, there aren't really any that I can admit to strongly disliking.
A year or so back I was told that I am not a "true fan" of 'Buffy' precisely because there is nothing about the show that I really don't like

(rolls eyes) Oh brother.

And don't get me started on the "true fan" stuff...
Also, true Buffy fans hate "Doublemeat Palace." It's a scientific fact.

I joke.
Also, no true Buffy fan likes Marmite. This is an axiomatic truth. Probably.

I think the article has a point in its general gist though I disagree on quite a lot of the specifics.

'Lost' is an absolutely key example for me. As I watched it at first it was a fantastic mystery which also had great character episodes. Now, after producers etc. have started talking about it dragging continuing on for eight seasons it seems less like a clearly defined mystery and more like 'we don't really have a plan but we're willing to milk it, oh, and here's some character stuff'.

IMO, they should have the belief in their own creative powers to just finish it naturally after 2 or 3 seasons at most and develop something else (I realise that the network probably wouldn't love this idea though and I also still hold out a slim hope that they actually intend to do this but are deliberately letting us all think otherwise to make the ending a surprise).

Pretty much the same applies to the X-Files. After years of being told the truth was out there it became pretty clear in the later seasons that it might be but Chris Carter had absolutely no idea what it was and never had (though I disagree with Mulder being described as 'credulous' since within the context of the show, he was right and Scully, who started as a true sceptic, soon became dogmatic about her world-view in the face of overwhelming evidence in support of his). When the Samantha thread was resolved (crap though I thought the 'she's in the starlight' resolution was) either the show should've had the courage to totally change its approach or it should have ended (i.e. when Mulder's motivation to pursue the mystery was gone).

I don't, however, agree that Buffy overstayed its welcome. 'Graduation Day 2' and 'The Gift' would both have been natural places to end but so, IMO, was 'Chosen' and though they're not my favourites in toto both season 6 and 7 have some of my favourite episodes (OMWF, 'Tabula Rasa', 'Dead Things', CWDP, 'Lies My Parents...', 'Chosen' etc.). As i've said before, Buffy needed a 'happy' ending just because of what the show was about (growing up) and beautiful as 'The Gift' was, it was hardly happy.
I would have hated to see Buffy end after season fact, I hated to see it end after season 7. To a die hard fan of the show, I'm not sure there is a "natural" place to end the series.

Imo, if I had to pick between The Gift and Chosen....I pick Chosen. The ending that left Buffy alive and ready to fight another day. Unless ATS would have given fans "the return of Buffy"....I'd say ending it with The Gift would have sucked.

The writer to this article must not have seen the T-Shirts.....Buffy lives.
Well, Chosen wasn't overflowing with 'happy' either ;-).

But, yes, I do see the writer's point. But not with Buffy. Buffy S6 and S7 are not my favorites either (like I've stated before, I had trouble with the way they lost the metaphore in S6 and the way the storyline lost focus in S7), but they were hardly so bad they had no right to exist. Heck, there's some undeniably fine stuff in the latter seasons. Plus, Buffy is a show that can survive a reinterpetation. While I'm not a big fan of S4 (mostly because the initiative storyline fell kind of flat for me), it was certainly worth while taking Buffy out of high school (plus, S5 is among my favorites), and the same thing goes for the structure change in S6.

As for Alias, I've never quite gotten why people dislike S3 so much. I watched the show in a short timespan (s1-3) and kinda lost interest with S4, where it felt like they were rehashing old storylines. (I'm still going to finish watching it, though).

But, yes, a prime example of this particular 'going on beyond your prime' theory is The X-Files. Though I think they had some very strong MotW episodes in the latter seasons (and I felt the new lead actors did a great job), the arc had become muddled and confusing and they were never going to tie up all the loose ends. (And also: I'm with Saje on disliking the 'she's in the starlight' nonsense). Still, X-Files remains one of my favorite shows.

As for current television, Lost is a big contender, I agree. It's still doing well enough (I've been loving the latter part of S2), but there's a high risk of going on too long, especially since I'm slowly losing faith in the ability of the writing staff to wrap things up nicely. Another show that has the same problem is 'Prison Break', which is going into its second season now..given the premise, even that may already prove too long (but I'm holding out hope for a big format change in S2).

So I'm thinking it depends on the type of show (like the author said), how long it can remain fresh and worthwhile. Shows with a very restrictive premise (like 'Prison Break') or one central mystery that gets stretched out too long (like 'X-Files' or 'Lost') are likely to overstay their welcome. Something like Buffy, which still had fresh ideas in its last season, is obviously not.
I'm not quite sure why certain people find this article so offensive. I think the aging of shows is a perfectly reasonable topic to discuss, and I think most people would agree that shows whose final season represents their creative peak are exceedingly hard to come by.

And the author makes an interesting point about the quality of Alias picking up once the axe had fallen. I think a lot of shows would benefit from serious forward planning and a pre-selected number of seasons. The creators of Lost have said that they have a plan and an endgame - I just hope they're allowed to reach it before they need another plane crash to replenish the cast...
I also am surprised by the amount of heat this article has generated. But, much as I hate to say this, virtually any time some article criticizes Buffy for any reason there is an immediate knee jerk defense of the show. Folks, we don't need to do this. Buffy was the best show ever put on TV, but it was not perfect, and once you get outside the area of people who really really love the show (like me), I think (and this is my opinion based on hanging around a lot with the Buffyology and slayerlit people plus a lot of in-the-know TV folk) that they find a lot wrong and less interesting with S6 and S7, so you see these kinds of comments made. Certainly, in my case as a serious Willow/Tara lover, I found S6 horrid, and without Tara S7 lost its resonance for me- which is not to say I found it uninteresting, but I was not nearly as invested in the show as a result of losing the character I identified with and with the introduction of a whole lot of characters I did not identify with and perhaps could have actually really identify. I am seeing a lot of discussion about William Peterson cutting back in S7 of CSI, and should the show lose him or Jorja Fox (Sara Sidle), I will still watch but the show will no longer resonate. These are the characters I care for most.

As for Lost, I was way on board in S1 until they completely screwed the audience with the finale, and this season the introduction of the Michelle Rodriguez character was such a turn off that I turned off- and the fact they cannot resolve anything at all makes the show no longer worth investing my time in. Sure, there is a finale tonight, but anyone want to bet they will resolve much of anything at all- in fact, can anyone tell me what the season arc mystery even is? Buffy never made that mistake. And Buffy never treated its fans with contempt the way that the Lost writers do.
We had quite a discussion about Lost some time ago and the author here pinpointed for me what my dis-satisfaction is. They have a limited number of mysteries and so they are doling out the answers in ever smaller bits -frustrating some of us immeasurably.
Saying that Buffy should have ended at Season 5 is recognizing how wonderful The Gift was. It was a great ending for a TV show.
So I understand why some feel it should have been the end. I'm just not one of them.
If BTVS ended with season five then Buffy would be dead.

I really get tired of reading the same thing over and over again. To quote Dark Willow in season six... Bored now.
You know if Buffy had ended after 5 seasons, we'd be constantly reading and linking to articles about TV shows that ended to0 soon and which criticised Joss, Mutant Enemy etc for not carrying on with the show.

That might well be true, but just for the sake of argument, I haven't seen much criticism about Angel eding too soon if you take us - the more or less hard core fans - out of the equation.

Not Fade Away was, in my opinion, a perfect ending for a series that got really entertaining during its last few seasons. I would love to see more, but I don't think the series could end in a better manner. The same goes for Buffy: I liked seasons six and seven but I reckon The Gift would have been a better final episode than Chosen was.
Another vote for the Gift as the Final episode of Buffy. In a way for me the Gift was the last episode, season 6-7 are alternative realities for me, which offer a bonus, it was good to see Faith back in season seven, but I thought season five would of been a strong way to end the show. Buffy sacificing herself would of been a noble way to go out. Just like Angel and co did in Not Fade Away.

If Joss wasn't so busy with Firefly/Angel/Buffy all at once for season seven of Buffy, perhaps it would of been different, but you get the sense he had done his work by the end of season five. It's easier to live with Buffy's 7 seasons, as they leave you fufifilled, where as Angel leaves you hungary for more after Not Fade Away, which made seeing it go when it did harder, but down the line I think I appreciate the creative strength of it finishing the way it did.

[ edited by SeanValen on 2006-05-24 16:02 ]
I loved every season of Buffy, and 6 the most, so I disagree there with the article on that point. Conversely, Alias, which I adored, never really got it together after season 3...except for the last few episodes of season 5. They were pretty compelling. Then again, the Buffy themes were flying about thick. THICK!

Oh...and it's right on the money about X-Files.
That might well be true, but just for the sake of argument, I haven't seen much criticism about Angel eding too soon if you take us - the more or less hard core fans - out of the equation.

This is true but then I always felt that Buffy got far more media attention than Angel anyhow. So it could still be hypothesised that there would be somewhat numerous "why did Buffy end so early?" articles.
The Gift was a fantastic episode but it still left the Slayer fated to a short brutal life. Buffy would have died without discovering any answers to who and what the slayer was, her fears and self doubts would have still been very much in place as she defied the number 1 rule of a slayer's miserable existance....that the mission had to come before anything, as her last and final act. In a season that started with the Slayer anxious to learn more about herself and afraid that the process might lead to a discovery of darkness, it would have ended in ignorance.Her gift of love is given to her sister, and with that she's emotionally drained. Not exactly a satisfying ending.

Chosen (and season 7) picks up from The Gift and delves deeper into the mythology. If 5 ended with Buffy defying what it meant to be a Slayer, 7 ended with Buffy, accepting what she was, realizing that love is always enough and with that acceptance frees the entire slayer line and makes certain that being chosen is a gift rather than a curse. If 5 ends with Buffy choosing to put her sister above the mission, 7 ends with Buffy choosing to put all her 'sisters' about the mission.

As for 6 and 7 losing the metaphor, think of it like the play Into The Woods, where the first half is the fairy tale representing real life and the second half shows the real life underpinning the fairy tale. From season 1-5 we had the metaphor, the Slayer helps us understand Buffy's journey. 6 & 7 showed us Buffy's harsh 'reality' which in turn became a metaphor for the slayer's harsh 'reality'.IMO, I thought 6 and 7 were absolutely brillant. Painful? Sometimes. Dark, sure. Problematic? I'm not entirely thrilled that the end statement to a feminist show was that empowered women share. That's a message society seems to shovel to girls all while maintaining that boys should dream of leading. Comparing the manly NFA to Chosen makes me grit my teeth at times. But losing the plot? Hardly. Everything in Chosen was in The Gift and was there in season 1.
Ramses2- and there are other, less positive, ways to read S7 and the decision to activate the slayers. In an era that speaks of female choice and empowerment, what happens when Willow casts her spell is that choice is actually removed from all the activated slayers. This is hardly a feminist notion, of removing choice. The result might be a good one, but the means is questionable. I have read such analyses in some of the feminist buffy scholarship. Interesting stuff, not saying I agree, but I do recognize the argument. And also, we have Buffy as fearless leader general Buffy, dictating measures to her forces rather than engaging them in a discussion- let us not get military here and discuss this in terms of what the military does, but rather place this in the context of a show theat spent 7 years fighting for female empowerment and female problem solving, if you will.

Had Buffy ended with The Gift, I think we would be sitting here discussing how great an ending it was and how the show went out on a true creative high- there would be no debate about whether or not S6 was good or bad, as we so often have. We would consider the show a perfect whole. IMHO. :-)
We would consider the show a perfect whole/

Eh I dunno. I think some of us would have been left waiting more. There were plot arcs in season 5 that didn't get wrapped up.
Well, yeah Dana5140 but 'General Buffy' was very clearly (to me) presented as the wrong way to do things since Buffy is rejected by her friends and defeated until she is forced to stop being a dictator and play to her strengths. If anything it was a statement against that sort of autocratic, traditionally male style of leadership (and maybe that absolute power corrupts unless you're reeeaaallly careful ;).

I remember the choice aspect of Buffy et al's solution in 'Chosen' coming up previously and I think there were pretty convincing arguments made that it did remove choices from the Slayers-in-Waiting but that it opened up far more opportunities for them so on balance was empowering (though I can certainly sympathise with it as a line of argument).

Also, Ramses 2, I kind of feel the other way around in that I think that 'Chosen' saw Buffy subvert Slayerdom completely, not accepting herself as a Slayer (as we had come to know it - 'One Girl in all the world...' etc.) but changing what being a Slayer meant. In contrast, 'The Gift' was much more in keeping with the whole live fast, die young - and alone - Slayer ethos.

I agree though that Seasons 6 and 7 were about starting to make adult decisions with adult responsibilities and think the 'harsh reality' idea is a good way of looking at it.

I also agree that NFA was, inherently, a more 'male' ending than 'Chosen' but not entirely because of the sharing idea. NFA, whatever Angel's reasons, was what in the past we might have called a glorious death, full of honour but in a sense, it was kind of futile (don't get me wrong I love NFA and think it's a totally fitting end to Angel the Series). It was a beau geste, a way of sticking it to the partners to show that the fight is an end in itself, that the fang-gang mattered, that they hadn't lost the mission but, ultimately, it was also a great way to lose the war.

Buffy wasn't a soldier in the same sense Angel et al were, she wasn't happy to go down fighting, she didn't mind about honour or glory, she wanted to win the whole damn shooting match (and she kinda did). To me, this is actually a more mature, reasoned approach (and I think it's being presented as a good model for males and females, not as yet another way of saying to young women 'Hey, you guys stick to the touchy feely stuff while we rule the world').
But when it comes to long-running drama series, most of the time, what we see is not so much an evolution as a downhill slide.

Yikes. That is definitely code for "jump the shark" talk. To borrow a line from The Girl in Question, "We shall speak of it no more."

Regarding the seasons of resurrected Buffy, the article says nothing new here. It's the usual dismissal of the last two seasons as subpar. And while I think that S6 and S7 do not consistently reach the heights of, say, S2 and S3, they should not be dismissed. After all, Joss and the writers ended up filling 144 episodes of television screen time. Only a handful of those are, for my money, nearly flawless: OMWF, Hush, The Body, Passion, and Innocence. Most of the rest are good or great, and even the few unloved episodes (e.g., Beer Bad, Go Fish, Doublemeat Palace) give us something to savor. I'm thinking, for example, of some of the Xander comedy in Beer Bad and Go Fish, and the neat little send-up of service-industry drudgery in DP.
Dana, I don't think we were to ever see General Buffy as a good thing. For most of 7, Buffy, Willow and Spike are teetering on the edge, trying to find themselves but afraid to discover what 'themselves' really are. General Buffy is everything the council wanted in a slayer, but we also learn that something is happening that is causing the line to die off. The Shamans(Council) offer more strength(along with more chains) but the First Slayer warns it's not enough. In retrospect, Buffy's misteps...the listening to her instincts, turn out to be the very thing that saves and restores the line. Buffy telling Giles that she could now sacrifice Dawn? In reality that's Buffy's lowest point and her turnaround. Throughout 6 and 7 Buffy's refusal to communicate is actually an indication that something dire is happening with the Slayer. And make no mistake, Buffy isn't supposed to be seen as okay for most of season 7. The First wears her face for a very good reason.

I also think Buffy's speech to the sits regarding choosing the power share completely rebuts your argument that Willow's spell removed choice from the empowerment. The whole montage of sits around the world feeling the calling and looking stronger and well, empowered kinda clearly anviled something good was happening. Then too we had the almost orgasmic gasps when the spell took effect and Buffy's own teary eyes and enflamed hands as she got her fire back. I don't think we can see any shades of gray here, Buffy and the Sits go from girls(and dirty girls at that) to strong empowered women who exult in their strength and love.

It may not have been 'my' ideal feminist tale but the story was heading for Chosen's power share right from season 1, episode 1. The plot never is lost, the young chosen one doomed to a male guided life and early death, breaks free and learns to be proud of her own strength. She learns that the dark mystery of what she is is actually something magnificant, she doesn't need to be 'guided' to her strength, she just needs to accept, love, forgive and embrace what she is....because that's always been the secret to the slayer.
Had Buffy ended with The Gift, I think we would be sitting here discussing how great an ending it was and how the show went out on a true creative high- there would be no debate about whether or not S6 was good or bad, as we so often have. We would consider the show a perfect whole.

No, I think we would have sat around plotting ways to "get back at Fox" for cancelling the show. We would have mounted an enourmous fan campaign to get the show re-instated and if that had worked, or even if it hadn't, we would still be having this bl**dy discussion!!! Aaaarghhh!!!!

It's a loop. Like the Mummy's Hand.
Its better to leave them wanting more rather than to leave them wishing you would take it back.
There were plot arcs in season 5 that didn't get wrapped up.

What didn't get wrapped up and did S6 and S7 do the trick? Just curious.
"Had Buffy ended with The Gift, I think we would be sitting here discussing how great an ending it was and how the show went out on a true creative high- there would be no debate about whether or not S6 was good or bad, as we so often have. We would consider the show a perfect whole. IMHO. :-)
Dana5140 | May 24, 17:12 CET"

Actually, though I am sure there would be people here discussing what a great ending it was, (or how to get more) I doubt I would be one of them. In fact I think there would be a number of others missing as well. I say that not as a spoil sport, but simply because it was S6 that made me take a hard enough look at BtVS to go to the internet and find places like this. I saw episodes of earlier seasons and respected the show, but it was S6 that made me say, "Wait a minute! I have to know more about the people who made this." Then I went back and saw how the earlier seasons led up to S6 and was even more impressed. So, yeah, I for one would not be here to discuss any of this. I would not even know these discussions existed.

As for the premise of the article, I think BtVS fits into this even less than the jump the shark articles. As I recall this is supposed to be about shows that stretched their premise beyond believability, or something. (I can't go back and reread now. No time.) Whether you loved, liked, hated or did not care about S6 & S7 they are a valid continuation of the premise of the show. You may not have liked where Buffy's life went or the decisions she made. You may not have liked the potentials or the First or any of the others. Not liking the direction the show went does not make the writer's choices unbelievable within the premise of the show.

In trying to come up with a silly example of what we could all agree on being a totally invalid plotline for the show just made me go to places similar to the "We are gods." segment. This is not something I can think about at work just now...but it is kind of fun. I know it involves a lot of very happy people. You guys can fill in the rest. ;-)
Saje, I definitely think Joss would agree that Buffy's approach at the end of BTVS was the correct heroic model and not Angel's. It always struck me that he had Buffy clearly reject any 'end justifies the means' argument and yet had Angel completely embrace such a philosophy. Funny then that so many people negatively saw Buffy as rejecting being the slayer and that Angel went out a shining hero. IMO, Buffy's end was no shades of gray heroic, but that Angel went out as simply a man struggling to do right in the face of his own dark past.
Sort of agree here. I tend to believe the show, in terms of writing, began a steady decline during Season 4 (the Initiative, Riley, marginalization of Xander... All bad) right through to the finale. Are there some great episodes in there? Sure, but... On a whole, Season 6 and 7 were pretty average. Giles and Xander were totally assassinated, character wise, by the end of Season 7. Can't really attack the show that much though. Most shows, at best, can probably get five quality seasons out there. After that...

Season 6 bothers me the most, the whole magic becoming addictive/crack and such. Even the writers knew that didn't work, what with the whole retconning of it at the beginning of Season 7. Plus, a dark/depressing tone is tough to pull off without quality writing. It just didn't work there. The character arcs of minor characters like Wallace or Prez in The Wire are infinitely more depressing than Season 6 was. Just good writing against not so good writing, there. Though, not many shows are going to hold up against The Wire.
Actually, though I am sure there would be people here discussing what a great ending it was, (or how to get more) I doubt I would be one of them. In fact I think there would be a number of others missing as well. I say that not as a spoil sport, but simply because it was S6 that made me take a hard enough look at BtVS to go to the internet and find places like this. I saw episodes of earlier seasons and respected the show, but it was S6 that made me say, "Wait a minute! I have to know more about the people who made this." Then I went back and saw how the earlier seasons led up to S6 and was even more impressed. So, yeah, I for one would not be here to discuss any of this. I would not even know these discussions existed.

Yes, and YES. I don't think you are alone here. I actually tried watching early BTVS and I didn't get what the deal was, even though many of my friends were pimping it. INTERVENTION and THE GIFT moved me, but it was season six that had me searching the internet... now I am what I laughed at-- a (gulp) fangirl.

[ edited by spikeylover on 2006-05-24 19:08 ]
Its actually strange that I think the show should've ended with The Gift since I wasn't a fan at the time. I like to assume that even if Season 6 hadn't had happened, I would've still gotten into the show through the Fox weekend reruns(episode that sealed the deal? Graduation Day part 1)
I am not trying to argue whether or not S5 or 6 or 7 was good, bad or otherwise. We all have opinions on that and they are all over the map. S6 did not work for me and I truly hated the loss of Tara; S7 was a pale shadow of seasons like 4 and 5. To me. I don't think we get anywhere discussing which was better, but I do enjoy reading the WHY of why we think they are good, bad or otherwise. So when we assess the merits of the argument made by the original article that we are commenting upon, we are each in our own way taking into account our perceptions about seasons 6 and 7, since those are the ones specifically cited by the author. Given that I find those seasons less compelling, I tend to agree with her point. She never said "jump the shark" and I do not think this is what she was trying to say, so I also think arguments based upon defending Buffy against "jumping the shark" are off point and shift the debate away from the actual point, which was that she felt the program may have overstayed its logical exit point. I also think it is sort of silly, and I apologize Ramses, to argue what Joss might or not think or agree about a given matter, since we do not know- unless he tells us.
I can only speak for myself but I loved the last two seasons as much as any of the others and I'm very happy BtVS didn't end after five seasons.

I know some fans feel the events of 6 and 7 came out of the blue and the characters were OOC, but imo, everything that happened was based on how the Scoobs and others had behaved in previous years and makes total sense.

Over time, the characters evolved in a very believable way.
Did I really not enjoy the seasons that came after 3/4? Yes.

Do I think the show should've stopped? No.

Maybe the quality did decline, but I feel like we were blessed with the opportunity to spend a few more years with the world we had come to love. When it turned to crap, after all, they had to live with it, and so did we. And even through all that, there were still shining moments that made it all worth it.
Err, I'm not sure I ever mentioned jumping the shark. I think I was arguing(rather calmly) that BTVS didn't 'lose the plot'. From season 1 to season 7, the show was always about a young girl's journey to adulthood. Buffy standing in the light, poignantly smiling at the iconic image of her past was a far better ending IMO than dead Buffy. And since we know that Joss was pretty proud of Chosen, and called it a happy ending, I think we can be allowed the assumption that Joss would not agree with any reading of the text as Buffy and Willow taking away the sits choice. While we don't have Joss hanging out telling us exactly what he was doing, there are such things as text, subtext and other uncomplicated literary/theatrical devices that we should be able to employ to help understand what an author is saying. Swelling music, musical montages of strong women, gasps, white Willow, fiery hands....all these exist so we don't need Joss to tell us personally that Chosen was meant to be seen as a powerful empowering message.
It used to annoy me, but now it just amuses me to see Wing Chun (Tara Ariano), Sars et al endlessly repeating the "Seasons 6-7 of Buffy sucked" meme. Who are they trying to convince?
I am heartily glad for all seven seasons of Buffy. And I know the topic of whether it jumped the shark or declined in quality had been done to death, so I'll try to be succinct. In a way, I do agree that "The Gift" was the perfect ending, because it was Buffy doing something incredibly heroic to save the world, which was a perfect statement for who she was and the show in general. The other characters had also grown considerably and it would have been a natural place to end the show.

However, doing that would have discounted so many excellent episodes. And we saw many interesting plotlines that would never have existed. To me, Buffy post season five feels like moving officially into the "adult" world, and almost like Buffy is joining AtS in that sense. Joyce's death was really the first extremely personal, life changing death Buffy had experienced, although Jenny Calendar's was also important but more supernatural than natural.

I remember someone here observing recently that Buffy is about experiencing everything for the first time, whereas with AtS, it's about being older and having experienced it before, and still having to find the strength to keep going. I think Buffy started that journey in season six, when she's struggling to find a place in the world and recover an urge to live. The breakdown of the relationship between Xander and Anya is destructive and painful, on a level that the relatively short and immature relationship between Xander and Cordy in high school just wasn't.

Willow's struggle also became much more important, and something that really hadn't been explored before. Willow remains pretty much the only one of core Scoobies on Buffy to ever go evil, and not because of a spell or being vamped or being impregnated with a goddess. Faith going bad was important, and a comment on what Buffy's life could have been like, but it wasn't quite the same as taking one of our most trusted and loveable characters, tearing their heart out and watching as they chose to exact bloody venegance upon their enemies.

I agree that perhaps BtVS was different after season five, but no less brilliant. We still have the beautiful sacrifice and season finale of "The Gift", even if it isn't the final statement of the show. And I certainly wouldn't give up amazing episodes like "Once More With Feeling", "Tabula Rasa", "Dead Things", "Normal Again", "Selfless", "Conversations With Dead People", "Storyteller" and "Chosen". And those are just some of my favourite episodes from the last two seasons, which I feel were pretty consistent. Okay, there may have been a couple of sub-par episodes, but the same is true of every season.

Also, you have to remember that people are constantly arguing about when the show should have ended. Some people felt season three should have been the end, because that was when they left high school and the show couldn't make use of the integral "High school is Hell" metaphor. Others think it was after season five with the shift to UPN and the drastic change in tone. I'm sure some people probably didn't like season seven although they liked season six, and others probably wish it had ended after the first season.

The fact that the show is able to provoke such debate is a testament to the fact that almost anyone can find at least some seasons of the show to enjoy, and there is no general consensus on when it should have ended. I am glad for all seven seasons, although I do think the time was right for the show to end its current format at the end of season seven, and for everyone to take a break. But I hope that it will see the light of day some time in the future.

On a similar note, I thought it was interesting that this reviewer felt the quality of Alias declined in season five, when the general consensus is that it was season three that "jumped the shark" (and may I add that this phrase really annoys me?). Again I feel that what people didn't enjoy was change, and that a show can't stay the same forever. I think it's brave to change things and often pays off in the long run. Both season three of Alias and season six of Buffy were very different from previous years, but as time goes by I have begun to enjoy Buffy season six even more. I hope the same will be said when I have seen Alias season three multiple times.

And okay, I totally lied when I said that was going to be succinct.

[ edited by Razor on 2006-05-24 20:22 ]
From the article:
Too often, a hit show, pressured by its network to continue producing episodes, sacrifices quality for longevity. So that a show can be sold into syndication, a story that could have been told over 60-odd instalments is stretched to a hundred. Meanwhile, audiences end up feeling cheated by a show that’s only about two-thirds as good as it could have been.

Hmmm. I'm not so sure about this. To get a gig writing series-length network TV, wouldn't you have to be thinking bigger than 60 episodes? Your story has to be open-ended and flexible enough to expand indefinitely--or stop at any time--and accommodate inevitable changes. It would be self-defeating to, at the outset, box your story in to a finite set of episodes. Remember, we're talking about serial television here, not TV movies or miniseries. The story concept for Buffy was very much open-ended and flexible, which is why any one of the season finales (with the possible exception of Restless, which alone seems to imply more story to tell) could have worked as a series finale. And which is why we'll be seeing Season 8--hooray!--in comic-book form this fall.
I find the first half of Alias Season 3 is very engaging and just as good as the 1st season. Its only when the plot shifts from "the missing years" to Lauren and Sark's sexcapades that I start to get bored. Things got too simple and less mysterious at that point in the season(It also didn't help that they sidelined EVERY character in favor of Sydney, Vaughn, Lauren, and Sark during that time.) and I don't feel it fully rebounded until the 2nd half of Season 4(The Index episode). Alias is always better when its keeping you on your toes guessing instead of being straight forward Good Vs Evil.

When I look at Alias, I feel its great in the first 2 1/2 seasons. Meh for about 20 episodes(although I did love some of those episodes during that time, like Hourglass when Sydney has to stop Sloane's execution. Or Welcome to Liberty Village which is a pisstake on Desperate Housewives.) And then finds its footing again and goes out with style.
It used to be a show had to go for 100 episodes to be sold into syndication but I think that's not the case anymore.

It used to annoy me, but now it just amuses me to see Wing Chun (Tara Ariano), Sars et al endlessly repeating the "Seasons 6-7 of Buffy sucked" meme. Who are they trying to convince?

Play the ball, not the man.
I think they got rid of the 100 episode rule around the time Angel started showing reruns on local affiliates. Since then we've had shows like Smallville, Gilmore Girls, Alias, Farscape, and 24 air in syndication without 100 episodes completed. It seems more like, you only need 4 seasons worth of show now(and even then I'm not so sure since some HBO shows and now The Shield are sold into syndication)
You don't like Buffy Seasons 6 and 7, forget about them and just buy the dvds for the seasons you like. Some of us loved either or both of them (season 6 is my favorite overall) and we'll keep watching them.
I'm so tired of those articles saying Season 5 was the natural end for Buffy. A death does not make it an end instantaneously. If you pay attention, Buffy's grown journey ends in Season 7 (well, at least for me). This is applicable to the rest of characters.

And Off Topic, but I'm REALLY tired of those saying Lost will follow the same X-Files curse. Come one! We're just in season 2, wait and see first! I'm starting to think that people's fears will doom the show.
Since my first full watching of the series, in my mind I’ve divided BtVS into three parts. 1-3, Surviving High School, 4 & 5 Growing up, 6 & 7 Being an adult. On reading all these posts and thinking more about the metaphor that some people are saying was gone in S6 and S7, I realized that for me, Buffy’s dive at the end of The Gift was the metaphorical death of her childhood. It is not a 1 to 1 metaphor but for me she made the sacrifice to save Dawn from having to give up her childhood and then had to deal with the reality of what that meant. She came out of childhood, a time that often is remembered as heaven by adults, and is plunged into a cold harsh adult world that manages to strip away some of the emotional hyperbole that is inherent in the way children relate to life.

I still see plenty of metaphor in S6 and S7, but it is of a different kind. Some things that were heavy handed on one level had very subtle complexities going on at the same time. The fact that things were laid out, but not discussed or resolved is considered a fault by many but a strength by others. S7 is not my favorite, however every time I see Buffy reject the extra power that is offered to her by the ancients but that might make her less human, I wonder how much reevaluating she does of her demand that Willow be willing to use magic and Spike reconnect to the demon inside him. Does she realize that she demanded they risk becoming less human when she was not willing to herself? Is that understanding what causes Willow to trust her less and side with the crowd when they throw Buffy out? Is it good, bad, both or neither that Spike is willing to so totally trust Buffy’s judgment and try to do what she asks no matter what the cost? All those questions are based on metaphor and are just the obvious "tip of the iceberg" type questions. Can a show really fit into the premise of this article when it has people (okay, maybe only me) thinking about such things 3 years after the season they mention is over?

So yes, it could have ended after S3 or S5, but I’m really glad it did not. Now, even though I am not a comic book lover, it does not even have to totally end after S7. I am sure it will be a new chapter of her life, told in a different style and some people will hate it. Others will probably think that it was the best because the comics do not have the constraints that TV does.

Yea, Joss.
I love all the seasons, but seasons 5-7 made me really addicted and it saddened me that TWOP crowd hated the show. I am very thankful to PTB that show didn't end after 5 seasons.
I'm still sitting here thinking it wasn't enough. Season 7 left unanswered questions just like season 5 would have, had that been the end.

Questions such as....Did Buffy and the Scoobies manage to overcome their obvious issues of distrust towards one another?

Were there "other" loose canons or repercussions from Buffy activating millions of girls into slayers...girls who were unstable like Dana? Did the spell to share her power create more of a nightmare for Buffy than she had originally thought?
Is she out there now with a couple thousand Faith's on her hands?

This related to Angel's ending more than Buffy's but touches on the scope of my questions as a fan....Was Buffy and her army of Slayers there, in that alley, backing Angel in NFA? If not, how did Angel survive?

What was really up with Andrew in TGIQ? Were they in an alternate dimension as hinted at? Did he fall and hit his head, forgetting he is in love with Spike? Were we REALLY supposed to believe that he morphed into a slick ladies man?

Until Joss brings the characters back in a Star Trek, big screen fashion, and shows us more...I have a thousand questions floating in my mind from where it left off in season 7 of Buffy and 5 of ATS.
I have this theory, apart from bunnies, that no matter what the show there will always be fans of said show who only liked the first few seasons, after that it almost becomes a badge of honor to say the formerly beloved show has gone totally off track. From the much vaunted Happy Days to Alias to Buffy to Stargate, you'll find a solid group of fans who long for the good old days.

ETA: Cheryl, I must have missed it, there was a hint that ATS 5 TGIQ was set in another dimension?

[ edited by ramses 2 on 2006-05-24 23:18 ]
no matter what the show there will always be fans of said show who only liked the first few seasons, after that it almost becomes a badge of honor to say the formerly beloved show has gone totally off track.

Maybe so, but there will also be fans who prefer the earlier seasons purely because they believe those seasons had better writing. I prefer the earlier years of Buffy, but I don't claim this as any kind of 'badge of honour'. In fact, I'd much rather be in the opposite position in which I could happily sing the praises of each and every season. Doesn't always work out that way though :(
Can a show really fit into the premise of this article when it has people (okay, maybe only me) thinking about such things 3 years after the season they mention is over?

Well, we're all thinking about them now newcj, you've infected us ;).

I think that's insightful about 'The Gift' and the death of childhood. As a viewer I definitely got the feeling that they were all becoming more grown-up in season 6 and 7 but I didn't think of Buffy's death in that context. For the Scoobs it was possibly the first time they'd had to deal with the death of a loved one (almost certainly of a contemporary that they loved) which is often a very big step on the road to adulthood and things definitely felt 'flatter' after 'The Gift'. Less sturm und drang-y, more contained.

I'd also like to have seen some of the points you mention about Season 7 addressed more overtly. Willow and the others could have been a little accusatory about Buffy's choice not to super-size the demon essence inside her (showing the flip-side of having choice i.e. you won't always like the ones made) or Buffy could have had a couple of lines about how she knew what she was asking Willow/Spike to do (maybe even felt a little hypocritical) since I think Season 7 would have benefited from the extra depth (though I still enjoyed it a great deal for the 'message writ large' subversion of male action roles and the exploration of what can go wrong with power that we were shown).

BTW, cheryl, I personally would have been quite annoyed if the Slayer army was in the alley with the (remaining) Fang-gang. Firstly it would denigrate Angel and the rest's abilities (that they need to be saved, ironic considering the pains taken to ensure we don't think that of Buffy in 'End of Days') and secondly it would involve the Slayers in the ambiguity of the means/ends solution that Angel came up with which isn't really (to me) what BtVS is about. Leave them with the first flush of youthful idealism and optimism for a while, they'll be fully immersed in the adult world soon enough (where they'll have that ground out of them. Bitter, moi ? ;-).
there was a hint that ATS 5 TGIQ was set in another dimension?

I vaguely recall some sort of fanwanking about Angel seasons 4 or 5 wactually happening in an AU but no actual proof on screen from what I can remember.

I personally would have been quite annoyed if the Slayer army was in the alley with the (remaining) Fang-gang.

Totally agree. But on the other hand, 1456 fanfic writers (I counted, it really wasn't fun) used the Slayers saving the day in their post NFA stories.

("Look Spike" said Angel. "Buffy and Faith leaping down from the rooftops coming to save us!") to the power of fanfic infinity.
Grounded, I was actually thinking of Stargate when I wrote what I did. Though the Jack years are splendid and some people feel the show has really seriously declined, I actually think it's taken a very interesting compelling course as it explores the Ori(spelling?). It's suddenly become must see TV. As for BTVS, I'm really not sure one could argue that the early seasons had better writers. FFL, OMWF, TR, Selfless and many more episodes were far too ambitious to argue that writing flagged in the later seasons.
Is it just me, or does that picture of Jennifer Garner at the top look like she's wearing one of Kaylee's jumpsuits?

As a Sopranos fan I can happily say that this last season has been better than ever. And I think season 5 of Angel was a vast improvement over season 4. I hope this proves that I'm not some kind of idiot who arbitrarily dislikes later seasons of favorite shows.

The "Into the Woods" comparison is brilliant, though. I can agree with you in theory, that the THEMES of seasons 6 & 7 were appropriate to tackle in that stage of the characters' development. My issue is not with the themes and far more with what seemed to me to be lazy plotting and writing, and a devolving rather than evolving of the characters. In my fantasy world, "Buffy" ended after the musical episode...
Well let me embarrass myself by saying that Dead Things and Seeing Red were IMO major efforts in propelling the evolution of the characters and storyline. I didn't see anything lazy about them, rather I saw a shove on the writers part to recognize that real life was now the metaphor for myth, that Buffy was not going to be able to seek refuge in a quip again,and that the writers were more than serious in their intent to follow the plot. Spike went from messed up conflicted vampire to agape worthy hero, Buffy went from cookie dough to making sure no other slayer had to sacrifice love for mission, and Willow went from shy, conflicted dabbler in 'magic' to realizing that the magic was lways a part of her, who she was,and that who she was, was strong, true and just as marvelous as the slayer. As unhappy as I was at times, I can't see a deevolution of characters...they actually all moved forward to where you might have expected they'd end up.
Well said, ramses 2. I was going to say something similar, but much less eloquently. You saved me the trouble. :)
I was trying to think of why this argument was on my last nerve. The opinions on both sides are well stated. I think it's memory of this same argument made in the past with less honorable participants. Then there were a handful of people who had a hidden agenda, ant-Spuffy and anti-Spike folks who never stated their true agenda and simply used the argument that the show was better before Spuffy and Spike. The romance wars were terrible in their relentless fury and I had no great tolerance for them. As to my feelings on the seasons, I think that the show was excellent through season five, but that it got more textured and interesting in seasons six and seven. I also fully realize that an argument doesn't have to end because it gives me a rash.
Let's not bring hidden agendas and shipping conflicts into the discussion. Thanks.
Conversation between Xander, Dawn,
is bigger then Bowie.
It's a sledgehammer of talk. Great.
Never would've wanted for that not to exist.
Unless I'm wrong and that takes place in season two.
That would be awkward. (sp, somewher, I'm sure)
Kus are you talking about the Potential speech? Absolutely one of the very best BTVS moments.
Going back to the issue at hand, I just watched the finale of Lost and I am as angry as I was last year during the finale. I know, I know, why watch if it upsets me, but I keep holding out hope that they will begin to treat the audience with respect, not contempt. But a final episode that features a character who has never factored into anything? Who has barely been seen? And who holds the key to most answers? And which answers nearly nothing? And which leaves everything hanging without explanation? Given this is JJ Abrams, you would think he'd have learned from last night's Alias final finale, which was the lowest rated network show of its time period- with just 6 million viewers, people simply no longer cared- and now he is repeating the same mistakes with Lost. And what does this have to do with Buffy? Well, I did not like S6 and S7, but I still think the writing there was sharper than anything I saw today, and I still think that even though the loss of Tara was a huge mistake, Joss never took his audience and its intelligence for granted or dumbed anything down for them. NOt like the idiocy that Lost has become, with no resolution ever. Buffy could have ended at S5 or at S&, and we can make intelligent arguments for either, but we do agree that it had logical end points and did resolve most of its issues- yes, we know a few threads were left hanging in S7, but that was more a factor of trying to write it all toward its finish.
Am I really the only one who saw hints at an alternate reality from TGIQ? Wow!
What else could it have been with Andrews change of heart? He went from watcher to ladies man in a few eps....if not AR, very strange to say the least.
Didn't that Rome WR&H lady make a point in telling the boys that she could create another dimension for them? Something like that? Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly?

ETA...Saje, do you believe Angel's return for Buffy's end, bringing the winning amulet, reduced or lessened what her show was about? IMO, had Buffy shown up to help, not save the day, they would have been even. They were after all fighting for the same cause.

Joss did want SMG as Buffy involved in his ending, maybe one day we'll learn the details of what he had in mind. Whatever it was, I would have loved to see Buffy appear again.

[ edited by cheryl on 2006-05-25 06:48 ]
Andrew didn't go from watcher to ladies man.(They aren't mutually exclusive....just ask any female with a heart beat about Giles) He just grew up Andrew style. Andrew was employed as a truthteller in ATS 5, think along the lines of Storyteller. He tells us in ATS 5 that the outside world finds the fang gang disreputable and untrustworthy at a time when we and the gang need to realize they are no longer firmly on good guy soil. This was something Angel needed to hear. To think Andrew is lying here is to maybe miss a huge part of the season's impact.

Later Andrew is used to tell us the Immortal is with Buffy but not as great as everyone else would have us believe. He then tells our heroes that they have to move on with their 'life' if they ever stand a chance with the woman who loves them. This then sets up the rest of the season with both vamps making some serious changes.

I don't believe seeing ATS 5 as AU is helpful in understanding Angel's story. I can't imagine why ME would choose to do an entire last season as what would amount to a 'fake out'.

We saw Andrew in BTVS as unformed and very open to influence, one of his big character moments is discussing Bond. In ATS 5, he is actually living very Bondlike. I see no reason to think we should think it's indicitive of evil or AU....Andrew was just being Andrew.
Just wanted to agree that S5 Angel Andrew is being Andrew. He has always been theatrical and tried to take on the persona of whoever he considered the coolest male figure. Anyone remember Andrew dressed as Spike?

In the first episode he appeared in in Ats S5, he was being Super-Watcher. Was he being the Immortal in TGIQ? Maybe. He may have said that the Immortal wasn't as great as everybody said, but he usually tried to hide his hero worship. (Hero worship is not cool.)

...and for those who think Andrew going out on the town with two glamorous women on his arm is suddenly supposed to make him doesn't. In fact it does not make him a ladies man either. A presentable gay man who wants to go out on the town and have fun often has no problem finding women to go out and have fun with him. Take it from a women who spent quite a bit of time in her youth having fun out on the town with gay men. ;-)

OT advice for straight men: Learn to dance. The women will come to you.
Oops, Sorry for the double post. I just remembered that I wanted to apologize to Saje. I did not mean to infect anyone.

Actually after I wrote that earlier post it occurred to me that the Buffybot in S6 was like that cheery persona that people put on when everything is going to hell. It has nothing to do with them, who they are, or what is happening inside them. It is a shell to show the world while you fake knowing what is going on and pretend you know what you are supposed to be doing. When the real overwhelmed, frightened, depressed you starts emerging the fasade ends up shattered, never to be regained.

Gee, is it any wonder I got A's in BS 101 straight up through graduate level. ;-)
I was a latecomer to Buffy, although a Firefly fan from day one. (I had had no interest in a show about teenagers in high school and vampires were not the least bit atractive to me - boy, was I wrong!) I therefore had the pleasure of watching all seven seasons in about two and a half months. I was hooked from the beginning and I enjoyed the Buffy and Angel romance in the first three seasons, but it's the later seasons, when Buffy and the Scoobies start to become adults and have to make adult decisions. that really captured me and led me to Whedonesque and to a life-changing last year and a half. Seasons 6 and 7 are my favourites for many of the reasons already stated, but mostly because it was while watching Season 6 that Joss reached into the cave I'd been living in for many years and yanked me out into the light, plunging me in at the deep end (and totally mixing my metaphors!) Seasons 6 and 7 touched me in a way no other show or movie or even very many books have ever done and for that I will always be grateful to Joss and to the PTB that there is a Season 6 and Season 7 to enjoy.
After reading all these posts and thinking I have to say that I am another one who is really glad Buffy didn't end with The Gift.

It was a great episode, a great Season Finale but it would have been horrible if the series ended that way.

Buffy chooses death not so much to save the world in my mind but to save Dawn. Who at that point in the series was still really a McGuffin to me. She really wasn't Buffy's sister, I didn't care about her yet, and I fully expected her to die at the end of the episode. That was the logical choice to me.

Buffy was shell-shocked, depressed, and basically gave up. What a difference between that and her grabbing Angelus' sword and saying "me" when he asks her what she has left in Becoming.

Don't get me wrong, I love The Gift especially for its emotional impact. But if that was the way the series ended, I don't think I would have watched the re-runs or bought the DVDs, books, comics, etc. etc.

It was an unhappy ending. Not empowered, a sacrifice yes, but not from a place of strength and conviction but a place of hoplessness and despair. It was still moving and beautiful but depressing.

And I am another person who didn't get involved in online fandom until Season six. So everything was a shock to me pre-internet spoiler.

Season six really brought it to another level for me. Season Seven, well....there were issues. But still, I pulled out and re-watched Conversations With Dead People and Sleeper last week and have a new appreciation for them. There was some great stuff.
Dana, I loved the season finale of Lost. And thankfully I didn't read your post that you posted before it even started on the west coast! I like to be challenged. I like the questions. I like the mystery. Just like I adored seasons 6 and 7 of Buffy more than all the other seasons put together and thought this final season of Alias was the best ever.

Different strokes I guess. Being a critical thinker about art is not all about being critical in my view. Sometimes the brilliant minds doing the writing would like you to just go along for the ride. I'll play!
Cheryl, the difference with Angel's appearance in the Buffy finale is that he was a significant part of the show for the first three years so it kind of made sense for him to show up. Buffy would have been completely out of place in the a finale of a show that she really had no impact on. It just wouldn't have made sense. An appearance in The Girl in Question I would have been fine with, but otherwise I don't think it would have sat right.

[ edited by fryrish on 2006-05-25 10:29 ]
As for the Alias finale, in this shortened season, the writers didn't have enough time to wrap up the complicated Rambaldi arc. They did what they could, in a heart-stopping finale with many twists and turns, some predictable, some not so much. All the main characters got to shine in this episode.

I regret that Rambaldi didn't have the grand finish he deserved, but I guess I'm ok with that. I'm glad Sydney Vaughn and her family.
Yeah, cheryl, except Buffy and the Slayer army couldn't have shown up just 'to help' since Angel and his crew thought they were going to their deaths. Her arrival would very likely have been a delivery from that, saving the day in pretty much every way (and as myself and others have said, IMO, Buffy and the Slayers just plain don't belong in Angel's world - which was shown when they don't stand with him in S5 thinking he's gone dark by joining Wolfram & Hart, the ambiguity still a bit beyond them).

Angel, however, genuinely did just help Buffy since she already had a winning plan (I think they would have won without the amulet eventually, those girls were kicking some serious arse) that didn't involve everyone dying (they're the best kind I reckon ;). And she then told him to leave since she needed a second front showing that she's still the boss on her own show. I think her arrival on Angel would be like saying 'See, just a spin-off after all. Don't worry, Mommy will fix everything' not to mention less satisfying as an ending. YMMV though ;).

ETA: And thinking about it, how would Buffy know about the alley ? Angel's plan was restricted to the core gang and, possibly, Connor (though I doubt even he knew about meeting up afterwards) which would mean Angel would've had to ask for her help, reducing his position as initiator and leader even more (and, since he thought it was a fight to the death, questioning his regard for Buffy's safety).

[ edited by Saje on 2006-05-25 11:58 ]
Joss did want SMG as Buffy involved in his ending

Somewhat true, Joss wanted her for her to appear originally in 'You're Welcome' and then later on guest in 'The Girl in Question'. But as rumours and interviews suggested, Sarah wanted to be in the Angel finale but Joss didn't want that (something to do with Buffy's reappearance overshadowing the events and message of Not Fade Away). But at the end of the day, Sarah couldn't guest in THIQ due to a tragic family event.
Simon, she was also shooting The Grudge, which was a conflict. By the time she was available, TGiQ had already been filmed and it didn't make sense for her to come back after the "Spike and Angel move on from Buffy" episode. And the writers didn't want the Angel finale to be all about Buffy, and neither did SMG.
To follow-up on what ESG has written, at least one reason why Gellar pulled out of talks to appear in 'You're Welcome' is because a member of her family (an aunt) died and she decided that her family priorites came first. As to 'TGiQ', as ESG says, Gellar was in Tokyo at the time. She then offered to appear in the finale but it was not deemed to be appropriate to the storyline (which she mentioned in interviews shortly afterwards, saying she agreed fully that it was the right decision - careful professional courtesy on her part, admittedly).
"ETA: And thinking about it, how would Buffy know about the alley ? Angel's plan was restricted to the core gang and, possibly, Connor (though I doubt even he knew about meeting up afterwards)"

The same way Giles knew about Dark Willow and showed up at the Magic Box at the end of S6, the Seerers? (sp)

I agree that Buffy and the Slayers have no place in NFA. I'm not sure about after credits rolled however. I just have not thought about it. I found it a very satisfying ending to keep me happy until, I don't know, how about THE SPIKE MOVIE. ;-)
Tamara: Sorry, we obviously look at things different. Cool. But I am not backing down on Lost- when you have main actors from the show suggesting that the ending will upset the fans, you have a problem (think: Tara). Here is what I know for sure about any show on TV- if you upset the fans, you lose your audience. Lost is down 20% from mid-season. And the buzz on the show is getting more and more negative. I am not willing to go along for the ride just because I should trust writers who don't seem to think that providing any answers is the best way to go. But if you want to, cool. Me, I am off to CSI, which I am liking more and more. :-) Just call me GSR...
Damn, forgot about those guys newcj (i'm not going to try spelling it ;). And, thinking about it, Buffy sometimes had precognitive dreams as well so I think that point's null (stand by the rest of it though).
I'm with those that thinks that the writers of Lost are doing things absolutely perfectly. I'm in absolutely no hurry for any of the big questions to be answered. Quite the opposite, in fact. Revealing the mysteries of a show like Lost is akin to having the two central characters of a series get married. Ratings suicide.

The 20% dropoff in the ratings is hardly an issue, considering the amount of people that have been watching. It was inevitable that a fair number of the Lost bandwagon jumpers would get bored of the show sooner or later. I know too many people who only watch television series because they are the latest big thing to talk about at work. No matter how enjoyable a series is, there will always be those that just can't be bothered to keep up with it.

Ultimately, Lost is what it is and it will hold the interest of those, like myself, who want longterm, complex mysteries whilst those that want the quick fix will quickly find themselves getting fed up with having the answer carrot dangled in front of them, only to have it whipped away at the last minute.

Me? Like TamaraC, I enjoy the wait and, more importantly, I love the Lost characters enough to want that show to stick around for as long as possible. I'd hate to see it have anything less than a five season run. It easily has the potential for that.

People are getting way too quick to give up on television shows these days. Invasion was cancelled because people wanted all the answers in the first few episodes and wouldn't stick with it long enough for it to tell the story the writers wanted to tell, despite the fact it turned out to be one hell of a good tale. It's a shame that Lost is getting the same reaction. If people would stop worrying about the answers so much and just enjoy the ride then they might get a lot more out of the show. It's not as if the networks bless us with all that much quality drama, especially in the science fiction or fantasy genre. Surely you should be willing to stick with the little that you get, even if they don't make everything clear in the first season.

Quite honestly, even if every other show was to be cancelled tomorrow, you still wouldn't catch me choosing to tune in to any of the CSI shows and the like. Even the dullest episode of Lost is still one hundred times the quality of anything as boring as procedural type shows.

[ edited by Grunge on 2006-05-25 14:47 ]
Even the dullest episode of Lost is still one hundred times the quality of anything as boring as procedural type shows.

Oh I've been impressed by the quality of season 2 NCIS episodes, the characterisation and dialogue was actually better than some of the very dullzzz parts of first season Lost.
To be honest, Simon, although I've caught a few moments of NCIS on FX here and there, I've never sat and watched an episode of that particular show all the way through, so it would be unfair of me to lump that in with the likes of CSI, Law and Order or Bones, all of which I have endured many an episode and so can truthfully say that they have all bored me to tears.

I can't say that what I have seen of NCIS has ever led me to believe that it would be any more interesting to me but I'll take your word on it's quality. Might have to try catch a full episode to see if it does break the usual by-the-numbers procedural mould.
From what I understand,the whole plot line of TGIQ was conceived after it was clear SMG was not going to be able to do episode 20 or 21.SMG was never going to be in TGIQ at any stage.They created TGIQ after they knew she was not going to be on the show.From the way it sounded from some of his interviews,Joss had something different planned if she had been available.

As for NFA,I would have had no problem if Buffy and the slayer army appeared at the very end as the screen went black or if they had shown up to resolve the cliffhanger in a season 6 premiere or movie whether on screen or implied.

They're are plenty of ways Buffy and the others could of found out about the battle without Angel telling her.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2006-05-25 15:03 ]

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2006-05-25 15:05 ]
"(I think they would have won without the amulet eventually, those girls were kicking some serious arse)"

Oh, and have to disagree here. I'd say they needed the amulet...or a large bulldozer, a bunch of mirrors and a sunny day. Yeah, that could have done it too. ;-)
This is from the Lost bitterness thread on TWOP:
Demon & Curse if both AtS and BtVS could explain a lot of the stuff that happened - plausibly (most of the time) why the HELL can't you??

My advice would be to sit down with Joss Whedon & Co and get some tips!>>>

Anyway, Grunge, you come close to accusing me of a variety of things that are not true. Be careful there. I dislike Lost because I believe that it treats its audience with contempt. I have no problem with complex stories that extend out over long periods of time. This has nothing to do with me dumping the latest cool thing, being too slow to follow complex stories or anything else or "wanting a quick fix." And Lost is losing viewers to the idiocy of Idol, which is even worse. But Lost is trying to create a brand for itself- in order to really follow the show it will not be enough to watch it on TV; you will need to buy the novels, log onto the Hanso site, get the downloads, buy the DVD sets with the extras, and so on, just to really know what is happening. It is simply not that important to me, not must see TV. CSI might be a procedural, but it has arcs that extend out over years, as given by the recent GSR, which had been hinted at for quite a long time, and with smart writers you do not get a Moonlighting kind of drop of viewers. I am going to guarantee you that Lost will not have the same audience level next year, just like Desperate Housewives did not this year. I don't think it jumped the shark... well, yes, I do; it jumped the shark with the Dharma sign on its body.
I guess I can understand why some people would have wanted Buffy to rescue Angel in NFA, perhaps they saw IWRY as a promise that Buffy would be side by side with Angel in the Apocalypse. If they couldn't be together way back then, then shouldn't she be there fighting, champion helping champion?

The problem with that however, is that we see that Angel had to move away from the whole champion guise, he had to upset the gameboard completely. When we see him in that alley, he's come full circle in his unlife. Spike looks to him for what's next, but Angel isn't leading anymore....the last we see him is as a man struggling against evil to do what's right. NFA may have had an epic feel but it's actually intensely personal and internal for each of the various characters, non more so that Angel.

Buffy showing up couldn't 'save' Angel. That's the whole point, at the end of the day we are all alone with whatever actions we own. Angel's story isn't about happy endings. It's about the triumph in the struggle itself.
Dana5140, I actually went out of my way to not accuse you personally, or anyone else in this thread for that matter, of anything at all. Largely because my comments, whilst maybe inspired by reading your post, were directed towards the attitude in general, rather than anything you had personally stated. If you took it personally then I apologise but in actuality you were the one who pointed a specific accusation at me, so perhaps we should both be more careful in how we come across, wouldn't you say?

Regarding the content of my post, I have absolutely no idea how you make your mind up regarding the quality of Lost (as I said, I was not directing my comment at you personally) but nevertheless what I have said is true for a great number of people. You made the point about Lost losing viewers to American Idol, which pretty much proves my own point. Many people watch whatever everyone else is watching, just so that they can say they watched it as well. As Idol becomes more discussed towards the end of the season and Lost starts to lose the word of mouth, the more fickle viewers will jump ship to the "in thing".

All that said, I would hate to see the creators of Lost try to keep those same fickle viewers by pandering to their need for immediate revelations. Better to lose the 20% of viewers that have gone now than to lose a much larger number by abandoning the basic concept of what Lost is all about. Mystery.

I'm really not sure where you are getting the idea that the writers are treating the viewers with contempt in any way. I don't get that impression at all. They are telling the story they want to tell, in the way that they think works best, and I'm more than happy to let them do that.

Yep, newcj, as much belief as I had in the abilities of Buffy, Faith and the rest of the newly powered up slayers, no way were they walking out of that Hellmouth without the help of the amulet. Just wasn't gonna happen, hehe.
I tend to agree with Grunge on Lost. I've enjoyed the second season of Lost so far (we're up to episode 14 here)and it hasn't frustrated me anywhere near the extent that it has others. I'm not entirely sure I understand why people think it treats it's audience with contempt. With Lost if you care about the characters it's easy to get wrapped up in, otherwise I can see where people would lose interest. I like the pace and it's actually one of my favourite things about the show. I'd like to see the mystery unfold at this rate and I'm willing to wait and see where the writers take it, it seems like a lot of viewers aren't.

Dana, why do I have to buy the novels and download stuff to understand the show? I think the show stands on it's own. You lose me when you start equating smart writing to viewer numbers.

I've heard from a few different places that the Lost writers should take tips from Whedon and co. The point is Lost isn't a Joss Whedon show and I wouldn't want it to be. If I want to watch a Whedon I'd stick the DVDs in. It's attempting to do something very different.

[ edited by fryrish on 2006-05-25 16:24 ]

[ edited by fryrish on 2006-05-25 16:26 ]
"The point is Lost isn't a Joss Whedon show and I wouldn't want it to be. If I want to watch a Whedon I'd stick the DVDs in."

(loud wailing)...But I've seen all the DVD's. I want some new Whedon. If Joss wants to take over any show on TV, LET HIM. (wimpering) I just don't think that is going to happen. (more wimpering) Darn ownership laws.
Yeah I haven't read any of the novels or done any of the games and I understand(as much as you can understand Lost) the show perfectly clear. Thats one thing I like about Lost. They're adding this extra stuff for fans who can't get enough, but not restricting tv-only fans out of the story(the Widmores for instance)
Well, I think you're all terrible cynics about the Buffster, she could too have won *pouts* (besides I think the potentials wore shiny belt buckles as backup so that if necessary they could form a buckle brigade - ahem - and reflect the light onto the Ubers). If necessary ;).

(slightly more seriously, don't you think it's very deus ex-ish if the world is saved by the amulet they wouldn't have had if Angel hadn't shown up ? So they were doomed without outside intervention ? Also, not very girl-powery and given the way the music roused and the tide of battle turned when Buffy 'stood', I think we're meant to assume they would've kicked undead booty. YMMV though ;)
"(slightly more seriously, don't you think it's very deus ex-ish if the world is saved by the amulet they wouldn't have had if Angel hadn't shown up ? So they were doomed without outside intervention ? Also, not very girl-powery and given the way the music roused and the tide of battle turned when Buffy 'stood', I think we're meant to assume they would've kicked undead booty. YMMV though ;)"

Um...well...hmmmm...Oh! I got it! That is... It obviously means that fighting evil is an inclusive job that requires all of us working equally. "Girl power" is great, and women can take the lead, but help from the other half of humanity as well as taking advantage of anything offered from forces beyond humanity is really what it takes to make the whole thing come together.

Yea Joss!

(Did I get it? Did I get it?)
At the end of it all, it was Buffy that took all the assets she had at her disposal (the scoobies, the potentials, the scythe, the amulet, etc) and used them together in a plan that she devised to defeat the First. So ultimately (and mainly because it will allow Saje to sleep tonight, heh) Buffy was the one who was responsible for saving the world. How she did it and what help she might have got is beside the point.

That work for you, Saje? ;)
*mutters, grumbles* Welll, okay then. I think I can kind of meet you guys half way. So, just to be clear, we all agree that Buffy and the potentials would've totally won, big style, hands down, with or without the amulet but possibly with a slight tweak to Buffy's otherwise flawless plan ?

Whaddya mean that's not what either of you said ?


(shiny belt buckles, i'm tellin ya)
Uh huh. It is okay Saje. I'm sure she had a really, really, big bulldozer stashed right near Xander and Dawn's position so that once the Hellmouth was open, if the amulet had not done the job, Xander and Dawn, representing non-slayer humanity, could have cleared the school off the top of the Hellmouth so that Buffy and the new slayers (no longer potentials) could have used their shiny belt buckles to devistate the Armies of Hell. No trouble at all.

Shiny axes could have worked too.
I stopped watching Lost when it was switched to the same time as Veronica Mars, not American Idol - it's not about being afraid of complex plots for all of us.

Why'd I stop? I don't mind not getting answers to questions if I'm absorbed in the journey, but for Lost, I wasn't. Simple as that. The characters I was interested in never seemed to be the focus, and the characters I wasn't spent a lot of time front and center, and ultimately it just wasn't worth it for me anymore. I don't think it has anything to do with my intelligence level (or, necessarily, with the show's quality) just with the fact that the choices they chose to make aren't going to appeal to everyone.
Afraid of complex plots? What? Lost really isn't that complex. Veronica Mars is complex (or convoluted might be a better word for season 2). Deadwood is complex. Lost? Really not that much. Once you've figured out the lust triangle and the basic concepts (Others=bad. Island=stuck on it) you're pretty much set.

Pet peeve: when people make generalizations about the people who don't like something that they themselves adore. Classic example: anyone who didn't like later Buffy obviously can't handle "adult" themes or "dark" plots. It doesn't matter how often one may elucidate the REASONS that one has for not liking it, in the end it comes down to: "You just don't get it because it was so ADULT." Oh, whatever.
"Pet peeve: when people make generalizations about the people who don't like something that they themselves adore. Classic example: anyone who didn't like later Buffy obviously can't handle "adult" themes or "dark" plots. It doesn't matter how often one may elucidate the REASONS that one has for not liking it, in the end it comes down to: "You just don't get it because it was so ADULT." Oh, whatever.
Ilana | May 25, 20:00 CET"

Well that is coming dangerously close to being as dismissive and condescending a generalization about the people who have been giving reasoned arguments in favor of the later seasons as you accuse them of being towards you. That is especially true since I do not remember anyone on this thread being dismissive of anyone’s opinions of different BtVS seasons, though I could have missed something. In fact I thought people were being rather restrained considering that the idea that it would be better if the later seasons, that many of us love, did not exist was put forward early in the thread.

So if we make reasoned arguments in favor of the later seasons, are you dismissing those arguments as just a way for us to say that you don’t appreciate adult themes? I hope not. Instead, I would hope you are talking about experiences you have had elsewhere at other times and that you simply were not being clear.

I'm sorry if I was not clear. I'm not referring to any experience on this thread, nor to people who have put forth reasoned arguments. I'm referring specifically to people who have explicitly stated that anyone who dislikes the later seasons just doesn't understand adult content, or can't handle darkness, etc.
Fair enough on playing the ball and not the man, Simon. But to continue your football analogy: If everyone on a given side makes the same play repeatedly, in every game and every conceivable situation, I think it's reasonable to ask why that is.

I look at it this way: Gather a group of BtVS viewers at random, and you're almost certainly going to find a range of opinions about the last two seasons. Some people hated it, some people loved it; for most their assessment will fall somewhere in the middle. This thread is evidence of that.

But this isn't the case with the TWoP recappers/mods. They have no diversity of opinion... every one of them says exactly the same thing, and they repeat it at every opportunity ("I went bowling with my buds last week and BTW, when only some of the pins were left standing it reminded me of the last scene in 'Chosen', which SUCKED"). This seems less like thoughtful criticism and more like propaganda, don't you think?

Glad to hear it. Thanks for the clarification.
Grunge- noted. I am sorry I did not initially read it that way. I shall take care.

I hate to fall back on the "writers write what they must write and we have to accept it argument." I honestly feel that the writers for Lost are writing too much on the fly, cannot handle keeping 40 people's story straight (and thereby lose people who favorite characters disappear from the story for weeks on end) and then add a host of new characters for S2 only to kill a bunch of them off before that season ends (And does anyone really believe that Michelle Rodriguez always said from the get go she wanted only one year, and that her drunk driving convition had nothing to do with the decision to kill her character, no matter what we are told publicly? Just asking.). I find little emotional resonance in Lost- characters don't so much grow as undergo seismic shifts in how they presented on a nearly weekly basis- Sawyer good, Sawyer bad, nope Sawyer good, nope bad. One of the great things about Buffy is that it kept the core group small and always focused the tale on them- Lost is way more diffuse and therefore less resonant. One reason we watch is that we invest ouselves in the characters- this is where Joss excelled better than anyone in TV ever has. There will never again be a character like Willow; in fact, most shows won't ever have enough time to develop a character like Willow. With CSI, I experience the show through Sara Sidle, like I did Buffy with Willow- I care about these folks, but on Lost there is no one to care about, since they are all sort of bad in their own way, and their redeeming features are rarely on display or spotlighted. Okay, so some may like this, or may feel that a mysterios mystery makes the lack of character development less problematic- and it is not character development to give us little back stories that show that Jack had daddy problems and Kate had daddy problems and Sawyer had daddy problems and Locke had daddy problems and and Walt had daddy problems (I may be on to something here) and Mike had wife problems and Hurley had momma problems. This is boilerplate. Cliche. Cliche was never an issue on Buffy, except to subvert it. In all of JJ Abrams programs, he starts out strong and cannot sustain the initial creativity. Lost risks this problem, and when I tell you the bitterness thread on TWOp is as large as the positive thread, that tells you that (1) a heck of a lot of people complain- but apprently watch, and (2) a heck of a lot of people complain. And sure, you can watch the show alone and understand what is happening, but if you really want to have the details, it is to the books, websites, DVDs and so on you have to go.

Now, having said all this, I really don't have problems with anyone who loves the show- we all have our likes, and where I work everyone looks at me a bit oddly when I try to talk about Buffy or relate something to a Buffy scene. I love that show so much. But my kids don't. I failed them. :-( To each their own, of course. :-)
Dana5140, forget all about it. I'll admit that I was a little offended that you appeared to have misrepresented what I was trying to say as being a personal dig at you. We all know that it is so very easy to misinterpret something read in a forum such as this one. As long as you are now aware that I really had no intention of directing that initial post towards you and meant no offence then let's leave it at that.

And just in case anyone else reading that my first post in this thread isn't clear, what I said was in no way meant as an insult to anyone choosing to not watch Lost. I was not suggesting that Lost is too complex for certain people or that anyone not enjoying it had limited intelligence.

What I was saying was that some people simply do not enjoy the long, drawn out style of storytelling that is favoured by the Lost writers. Some people prefer a series that has no real continuity whatsoever outside of the main cast. Others still like to find a happy medium. That isn't to say that they are wrong, simply that they have no interest in a show that gives you more questions than answers, such as Lost. Others, like myself, are more inclined towards that exact type of series because they thrive on the questions, even more so than getting the answers.

It's a similar argument to how the stories of certain comic book characters are told. Look at Wolverine, as an example. Since he was first introduced for every answer that was offered regarding his mysterious history, another ten questions and memory implants were just around the corner, to the point where you simply did not know what was fact and what was fiction. Personally I loved the enigma that was Logan's past but there are many more that are a lot happier now that he has regained his memory and his true past is slowly being revealed. Different strokes and all that ...

I'll be honest here. I have absolutely no interest in trying to influence anyone else into watching Lost, or any other show for that matter, and I certainly don't look down on anyone for not sharing my taste in television. Obviously I hope that Lost retains high enough ratings to stay on air for as long as the writers want to tell the story but if you don't want to watch it then don't. I won't be trying to change your mind. Just please remember that just because you are losing interest in a television series doesn't mean that the writers of that show are messing up. You may hate it but there are always going to be others that are getting even more invested in that exact same show exactly because of the way it is unfolding.
What Grunge said.
If everyone on a given side makes the same play repeatedly, in every game and every conceivable situation, I think it's reasonable to ask why that is.

They're Manchester Utd. ? ;).

I love that show so much. But my kids don't. I failed them

Bad Dad Dana5140, bad ! ;-)

[ edited by Saje on 2006-05-25 23:01 ]
"They're Manchester Utd. ? ;)"

If it ain't broke, ya don't fix it! :P
I am, I really am, Saje. IN fact, my older kids, 26 yo twins don't actually watch TV at all- too busy (high school teachers, and athletic coaches- track and xc). Where did I go wrong?

Grunge- I know, I know. I am not trying to influence, either. I really was drawn into Lost when it first came on; I found it intriguing, but as time went on and nothing seemed to matter and so much was lost (sorry!), I just lost (sorry ditto!!) interest. I mean, didn't Walt have powers of some sort that The Others needed- and now he is gone (and I am betting he is gone, as the actor is growing up), and Lostzilla disappeared and, y'know, the blush came off the rose. Enjoy, please. :-)

I hope there comes a time when I do get drawn in to a show like I did with Buffy. I like CSI a great deal, since I am a scientist by occupation, so the story lines intrigue me on a scientific basis while the personal stories affect me on an emotional basis. This is, for me, a good mix. But it still ain't Buffy....
I'm not a scientist myself, but I pretend to be one at dinner parties for the amusement of my friends. I highly recommend it.

Saje and Grunge, I'm sort of an Arsenal fan by marriage, and should recuse myself from that discussion...
"Oh I've been impressed by the quality of season 2 NCIS episodes, the characterisation and dialogue was actually better than some of the very dullzzz parts of first season Lost."

Can I just say word? Season 3 is even better, and though I never thought id be interested in a procedural crime drama, what makes NCIS is characterization. I only watch three shows on tv (NCIS, scrubs, and Family Guy--no american dad, bad bad creator...), but NCIS is one of my favorites.

This may make me a leper around here (sorry?) but I love TWOP. Criticism is good. I criticize even my favorite show of all time (the west wing--dont get me started on season 5...) I dont think the recappers have an agenda, they just didnt like it. Good on them, I guess. Ive heard the arguments concerning my reasons for disliking seasons 6 and 7, and though some do say that its because I dont "get" it, most of the fans Ive met know that its not about ships or whatever, its just that I didnt like them. Same goes at TWOP, the reason I love it is because no one is off limits, they will criticize everything (including The Gift, which I tend to believe is the greatest episode of television in history--seriously). And though I may disagree with some it, Im cool with listening to opposing views. We dont always have to look for intent, I think the argument is what matters. I wish politicians would notice that too...
I missed the boat on this discussion, so let me add by two cents and then I'll be done.

The Gift is a fantastic episode--completely one of a kind and yeah, it could work as the series finale. It really glamorizes the concept of what it means to be a hero and make the ultimate sacrifice. But Buffy was always about being a young woman first and the slayer second. By going on to season 6, we see what happens when everything falls apart and the young woman who had lots of people there for her like Giles and Joyce not there anymore. We saw her struggle A LOT and she pretty much lost herself for a while. By 7 (but really by CHOSEN) I think she finally found the compromise with being a mature woman as well as being the slayer. This is why I think the additional seasons were necessary.
I've heard the arguments concerning my reasons for disliking seasons 6 and 7, and though some do say that it's because I don't "get" it, most of the fans I've met know that its not about ships or whatever, it's just that I didn't like them.

Just to add a comment to the "get it" / "don't get it" discussion, it quickly became apparent to me when 'Serenity' was in the cinemas that the reason I wasn't particularly a fan of the film was not because I simply didn't like it as much as I'd hoped but because I was "Average Joe", a rather stupid person who didn't "get it". In fact, on the second occasion I went to see it this was made more than clear to me by a bunch of lads sitting a few rows behind me after I had failed to "laugh at the right parts."

I have noticed elsewhere in these last few days that some people are claiming the critics who didn't like 'Southland Tales' didn't "get it". I admit some of the reviews seemed somewhat unduly hostile and I would dispute the validity of one or two of the comments made in these reviews without even having seen the film. In the end, though, they didn't like it because they thought it was an over-ambitious, over-long sprawling mess (which actually sounds pretty good to me, but that's beside the point). I guess the whole "didn't get it" knee-jerk reaction is simply an emotional response to try to explain away why something you love (or expect to love) is being criticised.

When someone doesn't like something there can be all sorts of factors involved, but in the end the simple fact is that they don't like it. Having said that, I still do think there is a tendency to dwell on the negative, but I fully appreciate the arguments to the contrary.
Jumping into the "Lost" topic late but I am really enjoying it....still. It isn't a show like Buffy, where I can watch certain seasons or episodes over and over and over without ever becoming bored with it but I would venture to bet that for me, there will never be another "BTVS".

Even though Lost isn't exactly "Buffy" it's still very good, imo.

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