This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I want this thing off my lawn."
11945 members | you are not logged in | 23 November 2014




Tweet







July 07 2006

"Buffy" Jumped the Shark at the End of Season Five? How many things can you find wrong with this article? He's not even questioning, just stating a 'fact'! On the plus side, there's also an ad for "Serenity" playing on Movie Central (Canadian channel) tonight.

From the article: "I can't imagine how frustrated early fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer must have been when, at the last minute, the network told Joss Whedon, "Okay, why don't you do a sixth season of this thing?""

I think it's implicit that those are the opinions of the author.

There was a monster 'jump the shark' debate not long ago when SFX asked for fans opinions for an article about Buffy - I don't think we need go there again so soon.
I think Blaine Kyllo just jumped the shark :)
Buffy jumped the shark after Teacher's Pet. I watched for six more seasons waiting for massive praying mantis sex, and didn't get anything. Blah.
Blah blah blah blah Season 6 and 7 were dire. Blah blah blah no seasons 6 and 7 were the best. Blah blah blah. I could recite the arguments off by heart. Nothing new ever gets said.

I say we forget the old schisms in the Buffy fandom (it's time to let them go) and go nobly forward to the next bitter infighting which will happen early next year.

The Canon Wars.
According to the author, early fans of BtVS were frustrated when they found out there would be a sixth season. I seriously doubt there is anyone on Earth who fits this description.
No ,I liked there was going to be sixth season. I just was freaked out by the eyes poster!
Oh Gawd , do we * really* have to go through this tired old debate again? Bored now!
People jumping sharks will they never learn, these days it's all about juggling geese and nailing puppies to --(wait no that was Angelus.) none are good pass times.
Can a hairstyle lead to shark jumping?
Thanks for the giggle, The Dark Shape!
No, Buffy jumped the *tower* at the end of Season 5. Duh.
Heh, I was going to do a story about Serenity playing in HD tonight at 9 p.m. EST, because there were both seperate threads for the Cinemax HD and SkyBox HD premiers. Oh well.

I wasn't upset that Buffy got a sixth season. It meant Buffy would come back to life, and wouldn't be wasting away in a box.
Simon: Nothing new ever gets said.

Asyndetic.

There. I'll bet that was never said.
According to the author, early fans of BtVS were frustrated when they found out there would be a sixth season. I seriously doubt there is anyone on Earth who fits this description.


witchlover, that was actually my point in posting this. As several people have pointed out, we can endlessly debate whether we like S6 and/or S7 (I happen to) and we can debate when or if BtVS ever "jumped the shark" (there are hundreds of pages on the Jump the Shark website about that), but for the author to state categorically that fans of the show were frustrated at having a Season 6 and 7, seems to be an erroneus assumption. If you were/are a fan of the show, how could you possibly be frustrated that there were going to be further episodes? A point amply demonstrated on this site by the enthusiastic response to the "Season 8" comics.
Maybe when the portals came open, a shark came out and...no wait, nevermind...
The author really contradicts himself. The very definition (even stated in the article) is all ideas exhausted. Clearly there were some brilliant moments in Season 6 and Season 7. Not to mention that when most shows jump the shark, ratings are almost non-existant. Which again, doesn't fit the show.

Seems like the author needed to do his homework a little better with shows that have jumped the shark before throwing Buffy in that category.
... at the last minute, the network told Joss Whedon, "Okay, why don't you do a sixth season of this thing?"

Is that really true? What network? I had the impression that Joss always planned to go forward with the series after S5 and not, as the article suggests, that the network (who? UPN?) somehow had to persuade him to continue.
While originally the plan was for 5 seasons, I think by the time they got there they always intended to do more, the only time it was in any doubt was when the WB didn't want to pay a higher price for it, so UPN stepped in and payed for 2 seasons.

Another one of these bloody debates, the whole "jump the shark" thing is really starting to annoy me, as I believe has been said before "jumping the shark" debates, have jumped the shark.
From the article: That's not to say there wasn't the occasional flash of brilliance from the team, but overall, Buffy should have ended at with season five, with the Slayer making the ultimate sacrifice. That was, after all, what the show was all about.

No Season 6 or 7 means no musical episode, no Spike making love to an invisible Buffy (gloriously sexy), no great ultimate showdown, and hey! Buffy's not done cooking yet, 'member? No Season 7 would have meant no series of Season 8 comics from Joss. You can call those Seasons imperfect like the writer's grammar above (at with [sic]) but they happened for a reason and I'm glad they did.
Spike making love to an invisible Buffy

You call that a high point???
It was definitely memorable.
I think the problem is that there was no shark for Buffy to jump. I suppose Joss wanted one in season 6, but there wasn't enough money in the budget for a shark.
Jumping the shark means loosing the serie's core subject/theme. BtVS' theme was always about dealing with personal problems - like growing up - while having to save the world (more or less). S6 did not in anyway diverge from that theme, but it was a darker problem: depression, lack of goal in life. What was a bit different, IMO, is that the theme was also put on Willow and Xander, making it even darker.

S7 kind of reversed the theme a bit, making the personal "quest" a deep questioning on the Slayer's role and place in the world, which is fitting for a planned finale season. This theme has also been passed to Dawn in the episode where she believes she's a potential. Xander's speech to Dawn at the end of the episode is a couterpoint on that theme: "where do we, slayer's followers, stand in all this". It was an incredible speech, IMO. Almost got me to tears.

I do remember a shark demon in S6 (the kitten shylock, if memory serves well). Don't remember if he got jumped, though.
If BTVS had ever jumped the shark, would (deluded) writers like Blaine still be harping on about the show years after it finished? I think not.
Blaine Kyllo is dangerous and has got to be stopped!
I think it was more that Buffy jumped the Spike. There's no bad in that (except that it was bad!!!) Sometimes there was even singing!

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2006-07-07 22:45 ]
Ok, this hasn't anything to do with whether Buffy 'jumped the shark' or not. But I didn't read any further than his explanation of how the phrase came into being...

He's WRONG! This may be way too much info for the less trivia minded but...Yes, it happened on Happy Days, and Yes Fonzie jumped a shark. But he did it not to save Arnold's and there wasn't a shark tank in the parking lot. It happened on a trip to CA and Fonzie was responding to a dare. Sheesh, I hate it when people get their facts wrong.

So if he can't even get that correct, why should I read his criticism? Flawed from the get go...
Blah Blah Blah.
You know what's good about those last two seasons. Are they the best or the worst seasons from the series, doesn't seem so important. The fact that as old as the good / bad discussion seems go, it seems never get old at the same time.

Every two or three weeks there's someone still essaying about it. And we're always coming back. That's the most interesting fact about this.
I loved Spike and invisible Buffy - pure slapstick, which I interpret as a manifestation of Buffy's relief/desire to disappear - no responsibilities, no tangible connection with the world, having her cake and eating it too. And Buffy's imminent "meltiness" as a metaphor of her need to become solid again and take things seriously once more.
OK...unless the shark was either a vampire or tachycardic, Buffy wasn't jumping anything. I won't rehash the same arguments, although the shark mobster in tabula rasa was my second favorite bad guy of the series (because you can't beat baby-eating trolls). I think the article is pretty unresearched, and I think if you're going to criticize the series, you won't get anywhere looking for one moment when it all went downhill. Mistakes and bad episodes can be found in every season (the praying mantis episode, the ridiculous snake monster in season 5, the riley returns episode in season 6...Dawn), and no one will ever agree on anything. In my mind, "juping the shark" seems to suggest a point after which the show categorically sucked. No one can really make that argument with Buffy, the only Whedon show to come to a successful conclusion. So here's looking to the comics, which if they're as unimpressive as the Serenity trade or Whedon's pages in Superman/Batman were, may wind up being the Buffyverse's jump the shark moment.
I haven't read the article, but I do agree that the show wasn't very good after season 5. I also don't think it was ever a great show again after season 3. :shrug: Just my two cents.

In retrospect, I would've been happy with season 5 ending the show. I probably would've been upset at the time, though. All of my favorite shows outstay their welcome, unless they're only on for 3 seasons like Arrested Development.

[ edited by themayor on 2006-07-07 23:27 ]

[ edited by themayor on 2006-07-07 23:28 ]
I think it was more that Buffy jumped the Spike

She may also have jumped the shark while invisible. There's really no way to be sure.

And we're always coming back. That's the most interesting fact about this.

To the extent Numfar PTB that i'm actually reluctant to click on some of the links just in case we're being trolled. Trouble is there's then the risk of missing out on some interesting and valid points. Except this time where's it more the risk of severe brain dribblage after meeting that pesky brick wall for the thousandth time. I mean really,

but overall, Buffy should have ended at with season five, with the Slayer making the ultimate sacrifice. That was, after all, what the show was all about.

that's not even wrong, y'know ?

(my emphasis)
Spike making love to an invisible Buffy

You call that a high point???


That was freakin' HOT! A definite high point in my book. I mean, not character-wise, cuz that whole bit was kind of sad for both of them, but visually...I could watch Spike do 'pushups' all day long and not get tired of it!
I could watch Spike do 'pushups' all day long and not get tired of it!


I've been thinking the same thing. LOVED that scene! One of the high points in season 6!
"Until you do, I'm tellin' you,
Stop visiting my grave,
and let me rest in peace."

Some nice connections in the ahem, "Spike doing pushups" scene/Invisible Buffy episode and the musical episode. Buffy being invisible gives her license to be as naughty as she wants (at least at that point) with Spike and have no repercussions: "Can't tell the ones you love, know they couldn't deal." So tied to duty before at her own personal expense, now she gets to play, but as mentioned above, yes it is kind of sad.
No Season 5 or 6? Then no nerd trio, no Once More With Feeling, no Evil Willow, lots less Spike! It gives me the heebies just thinking about it. If the show jumped the shark, then why am I on an endless quest to find another show even as remotely as fantastic as Buffy?
Oops! i mean season 6 or 7! sorry
Shark-jumping discussions are silly, although I agree with themayor about the slide in quality. The show should have ended after s5. By the time it got to s7, it was downright bad. Anyway.

If the show jumped the shark, then why am I on an endless quest to find another show even as remotely as fantastic as Buffy?

*watches newest Deadwood ep*
Okay. Gotta weigh in on this. I know it's been tossed around ad nauseum, but Buffy never did jump the shark. Neither did Angel. And as for Firefly!!!

And I'm one of those who think Season 6 is the favorite/best. Spike's "push-ups" were so . . . so . . . *Drifts away. Again.*. Uh, 'scuse me. Where was I?

Oh, yeah. Season 6, the best. Season 7, not so much, but it sure ended well--except for the part about Spike dying. But I always liked the fact that the last word Buffy says in the series is "Spike." Perfect.

As for the article, I thought at one point it was supposed to be satire, but I guess not. And anything that badly written and badly researched simply can't be taken seriously. My tuppence worth. . . .
Yeah, although I am really starting to hate the jump the shark thing, I am starting to really dislike the way people seem to always state their negative opinion of S6 as that of the majority of fans even more. I don't know who agrees with that assessment of S6 or disagrees but it is almost always stated as an obvious no brainer accepted fact agreed to by most/all the fans. It gets on my nerves.
High point of season 6 imo was Buffy coming back to life in the beginning, Normal Again and Giles return in Two to go.
I'd be one of those fans who believe the quality of season 6 lacked its earlier finess but I'm glad we still had her longer than 5 seasons and thrilled that we are getting her back in the season eight comics. (Buffy)
"That was freakin' HOT! A definite high point in my book. I mean, not character-wise, cuz that whole bit was kind of sad for both of them, but visually...I could watch Spike do 'pushups' all day long and not get tired of it!"

Rogue, do you like it because its a great story or just because James Marsters as Spike is hot? Im not trying to be confrontational, but I wonder if the high point of any season can be someone with his shirt off doing push-ups...
Rogue, do you like it because its a great story or just because James Marsters as Spike is hot?

Both! Good story + Hot Spike = high point!

I wonder if the high point of any season can be someone with his shirt off doing push-ups...

Well wonder no more! Um, depending on the shirtless person doing the push-ups, of course! And I didn't say it was *the* high point, I said it was *a* high point. Can't name just one, to be honest. But anytime Spike was shirtless, I was glued to the tube. Yeah, I like hot guys. So sue me. :-D
"Well wonder no more! Um, depending on the shirtless person doing the push-ups, of course! And I didn't say it was *the* high point, I said it was *a* high point. Can't name just one, to be honest. But anytime Spike was shirtless, I was glued to the tube. Yeah, I like hot guys. So sue me. :-D"

LOL, I wouldnt sue you for that. Hell, Who Are You is a great episode but it really is great when SMG is in a tub or crawling across a bed..damn that was hot.

I guess my real question is this: was it a good story because Spike was hot?

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2006-07-08 09:37 ]
jerryst3161 said
but I wonder if the high point of any season can be someone with his shirt off doing push-ups... I guess my real question is this: was it a good story because Spike was hot?

It's a TV show, not real life. Of course shirtless push-ups can be the high point, especially shirtless Spike doing push-ups. I'm not sure if Spike being hot made it a good story, but I certainly think it made it a better story ;)
This month's SFX Magazine has a piece that says that it Jumped and them jumped back again towards the end of Season 7. I'd agree with that assessment. I mean 'Doublemeat Palace'. What was that about?
The Jossverse was always full of beautiful, HOT people. SMG, ASH, ED, JL, DB, MM, JB, NB, AH, AB, MT and the list goes on and on. JM certainly wasn't the first HOT presence on the series, nor was he the last.

IMO, the story has to drive the attraction or we might as well sit and watch "Baywatch". No offense to the Baywatch fans out there. So Jerry, I know what you are saying.
Tongue in cheek questions sometimes elicit serious answers...especially when someone is feeling grumpy:

"I mean 'Doublemeat Palace'. What was that about?"

...the American Nightmare (instead of the American Dream). Xander was living it in S3, Buffy even more so in S6. Not my favorite episode, to say the least, but I understood what they were going for.

"I guess my real question is this: was it a good story because Spike was hot?"

Personally, sex appeal does not make a good story, but a good story can help somebody be hot...which makes watching a good story much more pleasant. ;-) Though invisible Buffy was a good story, (again not my favorite) IMO that was not that specific piece of the story that made shirtless Spike hot. His overall story combined with the actor playing him is what gets things sizzling just like it did for so many Whedonverse characters. Without the story, or with a different story, shirtless Spike could be just plain silly or pathetic. (...to many of us. I'm sure there would still be those who would turn the sound off and go to their own place. )

Apart from that, the layers in the relationships and the exploration of what makes people do the things they do, make a good story and S6 has tons of it. It is different from earlier seasons, but to me it is simply because they are following the natural progression of life and dealing with more adult situations. I have never understood how that fits into this whole jumping the shark business.

Blah blah blah what Simon said at the beginning.

[ edited by newcj on 2006-07-08 17:20 ]
The Canon Wars.

I just got this. LOL
Ohmyfrickingod, not another lame, research-free Buffy-jumped- the-Shark article? Maybe I'm just cynical, but these always seem to be transparent attempts to bring hits to their website by winding up Buffy fans.
"Apart from that, the layers in the relationships and the exploration of what makes people do the things they do, make a good story and S6 has tons of it. It is different from earlier seasons, but to me it is simply because they are following the natural progression of life and dealing with more adult situations. I have never understood how that fits into this whole jumping the shark business."

I dont know, Ive always thought that seasons 2 and 3 dealt with adult situations, dark storylines, and the natural progression of life. But thats another argument isnt it...

No, Ive always wondered if the reason I didnt like the final two seasons was because Buffy suffered from what I call "Britney Spears Syndrome": very hot on the outside but once you delve past the surface you realize that her videos on mute may be her only redeeming quality. LOL, is that me being a cynic? Of course, but im allowed...

Thats why I asked if the story was good simply because Spike was hot, and though I dont think thats necessarily a bad thing (I dont think its a bad thing that Britney Spears has--or had, does anyone still like her?--fans, she just isnt my cup of tea), I think that when you look at the final two seasons, the problems outweigh the story itself. And I cant help but wonder if Spike=Britney Spears and that that may be one of the reasons for the problems those two seasons faced.

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2006-07-08 23:01 ]
I've never felt the need to defend Joss' shows or my love of them. It reminds me of some very smart dialogue in the film Adaptation between the two brothers Charles and Donald (both played by Nicolas Cage):

Charlie: I admire you Donald, y'know? I spend my whole life paralyzed worrying what people think of me and you - you're just oblivious.

Donald: I'm not oblivious.

Charlie: ... There was this time in high school. I was watching you out the library window. You were talking to Sarah Marsh.

Donald: Oh, God. I was so in love with her.

Charlie: I know. And you were flirting with her. And she was really sweet to you.

Donald: I remember that.

Charlie: Then when you walked away, she started making fun of you with Kim Canetti. It was like they were making fun of me. You didn't know at all. You seemed so happy.

Donald: I knew. I heard them.

Charlie: How come you looked so happy?

Donald: I loved Sarah, Charles. It was mine, that love. I owned it. Even Sarah didn't have the right to take it away. I can love whoever I want.

Charlie: But she thought you were pathetic.

Donald: That was her business, not mine. You are what you love, not what loves you. That's what I decided a long time ago.
---------------------------

There have been people on the 'net I've come into contact with over the years who thought anyone who liked Buffy or Angel were infantile, juvenile and all the other criticism you can think of. Smart people who could write well but were quick to judge. It's why I feel no need to respond to the woman writer in another topic who believes Joss didn't do enough to promote racial equality in his shows. I don't believe that's any artists' responsibility; that in and of itself would be forcing the issue. I do think Joss did the best he could with the resources at hand, and I'll leave it at that. Getting back to extreme negative naysayers, I just smile and get all warm inside like I have the best secret in the world. I'm a fan of Joss Whedon's work and no one can take that away from me.
There's a moment in Angel when he asks the Oracles to bring Doyle back to life. They retort:"and render his sacrifice meaningless?" There's that.
And there's also - for some of us the thought that Buffy was about women empowerment - not only in having superpowers and kicking ass but more significantly in having self-respect in one's relationships - with men (and/or vampires?). Depressed Buffy let us down.
"I dont know, Ive always thought that seasons 2 and 3 dealt with adult situations, dark storylines, and the natural progression of life. "

My point was that S1 through S7 *all* dealt with the natural progression of life. S2 and S3 are wonderful and at times heart wrenching and painful. Rather than adult issues though, S2 & S3, dealt with very significant teenage issues of first love, first sexual encounter, first romantic betrayal, deciding what your moral compass is and what kind of person you want to develop into. The misunderstanding may come in assuming that when I say that S6 dealt with more adult issues, that I am also saying that adult issues are better or intrinsically more important than teenage issues. Quite the contrary they are just different, though related and occur in different places in that natural progression of life.

"No, Ive always wondered if the reason I didnt like the final two seasons was because Buffy suffered from what I call "Britney Spears Syndrome": very hot on the outside but once you delve past the surface you realize that her videos on mute may be her only redeeming quality. "

"...And I cant help but wonder if Spike=Britney Spears and that that may be one of the reasons for the problems those two seasons faced."


I've never watched a Britney Spears video, so I'll take your word for her abilities and go from there. In response I say a resounding "no". Neither Spike nor Buffy's journey are shallow and meaningless excuses to put pretty people on screen. They are complex layered stories of dealing with life's realities and the consequences of your own and others actions. They deal with how people can hurt others by giving them what they think they want and how selfishness can come in many guises. They explore depression, obsession and the addictive nature of relationships. They ask complicated and sometimes painful questions for which there are not easy answers.

"There's a moment in Angel when he asks the Oracles to bring Doyle back to life. They retort:"and render his sacrifice meaningless?" There's that."

If Angel was offering up his own life for Doyle's (I don't know Ats that well and can't remember) then that would make his sacrifice meaningless because that is what Doyle died for, but living again by itself does not make anything meaningless. When Buffy came back it did not nullify what she had done in any practical way. Personally I am not a proponent of sacrifice for its own sake and encouraging a romantic view of it hardly jibes with the idea of female empowerment.

"for some of us the thought that Buffy was about women empowerment - not only in having superpowers and kicking ass but more significantly in having self-respect in one's relationships - with men (and/or vampires?). Depressed Buffy let us down."

...An attitude that scares many women who have felt the need to be super woman while fearing their ability to succeed at it. BtVS always was about the truth of having the power to fight back and win. She went through all the teenage travails without fans feeling betrayed, but getting caught up in depression and a bad relationship was not something that should be dealt with or forgiven. Why? A huge number of women deal with depression. Being expected to be able to take care of everybody's problems as well as their own, keep a house running as well as June Cleaver while working 40 hours a week while appearing bright, cheery and empowered puts an enormous burden on women and can lead to all kinds of behavior. BtVS dealing with some of that did not let me down, it made me sit up, take notice and cheer.
"Rather than adult issues though, S2 & S3, dealt with very significant teenage issues of first love, first sexual encounter, first romantic betrayal, deciding what your moral compass is and what kind of person you want to develop into."

Again though, murder, death, sex, violence, war, and morality are all central issues to seasons 2 and 3, and I dont see those as purely teenage issues. I also dont think that season 6 is any darker than Buffy killing Angel, Faith attempting to rape Xander, Xander attempting to rape Buffy, or anything like that. Season 6 dealt with life, depression, and the like but so did the end of season 2. Simply because Buffy and the gang were in high school doesnt mean that they didnt deal with adult issues that in my estimation seemed much darker than anything season 6 threw at me.

"They are complex layered stories of dealing with life's realities and the consequences of your own and others actions. They deal with how people can hurt others by giving them what they think they want and how selfishness can come in many guises. They explore depression, obsession and the addictive nature of relationships. They ask complicated and sometimes painful questions for which there are not easy answers."

Id have to throw out a resounding no to the idea that season 6 was complex. Buffy was depressed, hated herself, and slept with Spike (yeah there were layers, but when metaphor becomes real--the house falling down couldnt be anymore obvious--its easy to pick up on story, and in that sense, season 6 broke a cardinal rule--show, dont tell)...as Marti Noxon once said, its Party of Five with monsters, and Party of Five is clearly not that complicated (no offense to any of you POF's out there). Whats funny is that I can name two people who went through something exactly like what season 6 told (three if you count Marti), and the story of a depressed person who sleeps with someone they shouldnt is about as new as the jump the shark moniker. In that sense, season 6 is no more original, complex, or layered than pound cake. MMMMMMM...pound cake...

What I really meant by that comparison wasnt the notion that there wasnt something there, its that the show surrounded what was there with pretty packaging without caring what was inside. In that sense, you look at the execution of the story, you look at the characters themselves, and you look at the consequences of the story to the very foundation of the show, and you begin to realize that no matter how large your bust is, no matter how well you dance, and no matter how well you can truly sing, what is really there is all style and no substance. In other words, some people will hide the problems of seasons 6 and 7 under the guise that style = substance, but here is the thing, no matter what kind of story you have, no matter how dark the story seems, and no matter how many shirtless pushups Spike does, if you fail to tell that story in a witty and well thought out way, to some no amount of style is going to save it. Some people will like that other stuff, but when I watch Buffy, I watch it for the substance. Something that the show brought more than 99% of other television shows in its first five seasons.

ETA: Let me throw this in there to kinda make the point a little more clear. Whats the difference between seasons 2 and 6? The execution of the story, hands down. In season 2, the story is witty and well told, and in that sense, we dont focus on the darkness of the story nor the style in which its told. In season 6, its exactly the opposite--we focus on the darkness of the story and the style in which it is told. But instead of telling a story that made sense, IMO, it was hidden behind things like killer Buffy and Spike sex and shirtless pushups. Just like Britney hides behind the way she dances and the way she looks...who cares about the lyrics when she looks like that! They dont call it bubble gum pop for nothing...

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2006-07-09 06:14 ]
"Some people will like that other stuff, but when I watch Buffy, I watch it for the substance."

So do I, which is one of the reasons I enjoy the latter seasons as much as the early ones. I see no problem with people explaining why they prefer one season to another but do we really have to imply that people who disagree are merely impressed by the eye candy and don't care about anything else? BtVS always cast pretty people, and also took every opportunity to have it's male cast especially in states of semi-nudity. I recall Seth Greene saying he'd never been as naked as often on a show as he was on BtVS. So did Oz nudity, or the scenes in which Angel or Riley were shirtless for no story reason whatsoever diminish the earlier seasons?

I guess I'm really not seeing how Brittany Spears fits in here at all.
Interestingly, I agree that S6 was no darker than any other season. It is usually the people who do not like S6 that complain of its darkness.

And yes, S2 dealt with depression and S3 with murder, but the underpinnings were still first love etc. It is not because they were in high school that I feel they are dealing with teenage issues and growing up, it is because of the issues themselves. I do not understand why that would be upsetting or considered bad or less in some way. I love S2. It is wonderful, I just do not think it is dealing with the same issues in the same context as S6.

As far as the rest, we simply disagree. There is much more there than a depressed person sleeps with someone they shouldn't, just as there was more in S2 than teenage girl sleeps with boyfriend and he turns mean. Yes, each of those has been done plenty of times, but it is how they are done that makes them different.

jerryst3161, it is unfortunate that you are so dismissive not only of the season but of the possibility that other people really are seeing much more than a pretty facade. Just because you do not see it, does not mean it is not there.

I'll bow out of the conversation now.
"for some of us the thought that Buffy was about women empowerment - not only in having superpowers and kicking ass but more significantly in having self-respect in one's relationships - with men (and/or vampires?). Depressed Buffy let us down."

Buffy was meant to step in the mud puddles of life. But before she died, she managed to get out of them. I don’t think that depressed Buffy let us down. I think that victim Buffy did that. Not by her stupid, self-destructive, and regretted affair, but because she never recovered. It was one thing to accept responsibility for her own unlovely behavior, but victim Buffy accepted all blame for the vicious abuse meted out to her, to the last. Victim Buffy was afraid to disentangle herself from her demon because ‘he was the only one who could … whatever’. How changed is that from the girl who went down to face the Master alone? At the end of her own story, she accounted herself cold for having pushed away an obsessive, possessive abuser. And resurrected Buffy remained the kind of person who would put others at needless risk to avoid feeling uncomfortable. She’d have had to stop being a victim to do otherwise.

I would say, based on the conversation with Angel in EOD/Chosen, she was still able to have self-respect in that relationship – because he respected her. It would have been nice if she could manage that in other relationships, but she still seemed half-baked by repute a year later.
"jerryst3161, it is unfortunate that you are so dismissive not only of the season but of the possibility that other people really are seeing much more than a pretty facade. Just because you do not see it, does not mean it is not there."

Oh no, I certainly believe that there are people who see it much deeper than I analyzed above. Thats why I asked Rogue what I did, to see whether that was the only reason or if she did see more. Some people do certainly see something deeper, and its not that I dont see it, its that I just dont buy it or think its really there. In that sense, we do disagree newcj, but its much more respectful than that. Right on mate...
I have quibbles about seasons and certain episodes but I wouldn't trade any for each other. The biggest discrepancy I still think about from time to time, for me anyway, is the end of Season 6, Villains, which finds Spike in Africa visiting a certain demon to get the chip out of his head; "Bitch is gonna see a change" and then cut to Beneath You Season 7, Episode 2, the ending scene in the chapel between Spike and Buffy. James Marsters delivers the dialogue so beautifully, his suffering dreadful; it's heartfelt and chilling at the same time. But his tune has changed to having done it all for her, so he can be the man she wanted, like Angel. I never did get the skinny on why that happened, it was irritating, but it didn't really lessen my enjoyment of the chapel scene.
"In matters of opinion are adversaries are insane."-Mark Twain. Always good to keep in my mind in "jump the shark" threads. (Says someone who thinks Season 1 was the weakest BTVS season.)
Sorry-that should have read "OUR adversaries." Late, tired, etc.
"I never did get the skinny on why that happened, it was irritating, but it didn't really lessen my enjoyment of the chapel scene."

According to Joss Spike was going for his soul all along and they just wrote it ambiguously so the audience would be surprised. I thought they were being so obvious by avoiding having Spike say out right what he was going for that it was all going towards a 'gotcha' but in retrospect it seems they just confused a large portion of the audience as to what they intended.
Yeah, Joss shouldn't have to explain the story in interviews for people to understand it. Spike's quest for his soul was badly written, IMO.
visiting a certain demon to get the chip out of his head; "Bitch is gonna see a change"

He said something like "Make me the way I was before so I can give Buffy what she deserves" which was ambiguous enough for viewers to assume he wanted to be chipless, souless, Spike. He never said he was there to get the chip removed. Actually I was OK with the way Spike's search for a soul was written, I liked the mislead and felt it worked.
jerryst3161, I really like what you wrote. I think this messageboard can be a little too unified sometimes in its opinions.
She went through all the teenage travails without fans feeling betrayed, but getting caught up in depression and a bad relationship was not something that should be dealt with or forgiven. Why? A huge number of women deal with depression. Being expected to be able to take care of everybody's problems as well as their own, keep a house running as well as June Cleaver while working 40 hours a week while appearing bright, cheery and empowered puts an enormous burden on women and can lead to all kinds of behavior.



I didn't say I was scared, or that it was a subject BTVS shouldn't have dealt with. Having had conquered similar demons, I know the outcome CAN realistically be brighter and more inspiring (i.e: it's possible for the heroine to return to her own self/self respect and make the appropriate changes in her life).Instead, once she falls trough the rabbit hole, we never find out what's up and what's down. Reality remains skewed, as viewed through depression lenses - Buffy settles for it rather than overcoming. What's to cheer about that?
I like the way the author makes it sound as if "the network" convinced or forced Joss to make season six because it doesn't seem as if they have an idea of what actually took place around that time.

As we all know, Buffy was on The WB but Joss decided to move to UPN because they would allow him a bigger budget and even more creative freedom. Maybe Joss had originally intended for Buffy's death to be the completion of the show's main arc, and a fitting end it would have been, but wasn't it already decided that they would be moving to UPN for the sixth season?

I honestly have to say that like Simon I am totally tired of these arguments. Who was Buffy's true love? Did Buffy jump the shark with season four, or by continuing beyond season five? Was "Not Fade Away" a fitting end for Angel?

Honestly I've heard so many opinions and thoughts that have really challenged my ideas on Buffy. And I can undoubtedly say that I love every single season. Yes, they are different, and sometimes it's hard to say exactly why, but I don't think the show every deteriorated in quality apart from perhaps the odd weak episode. And I think everyone should just reconcile themselves with their opinion. If you didn't like seasons six and seven, don't buy the DVDs and don't watch them. If you did, do buy and watch them.

There are just so many things that I have heard so many opinions on, from reading books like "Seven Seasons Of Buffy", or reading reviews or analysis on the Internet, or merely talking among ourselves here. There are just so many different views that you can't agree with all of them and you just have to come to your own decision.

Some people were completely against the Buffy and Spike relationship, myself included, to begin with, but now I do think it was very realistic that these two characters would fall for each other at that point in time. Some people loved Dark Willow whilst others felt she was a terrible, cheesy, clichéd villain.

As for the magick addiction storyline, I agree it had great potential but the way that some of the writers chose to interpret it wasn't as satisfying as it could have been. The idea that Willow was merely hooked on a drug, which was made very explicit in Wrecked (one of the reasons many people hated that episode) was much less convincing and powerful than the idea that she was hooked on the power and control that magick gave her.

However I think it can still be very much interpreted by the viewer that way because it was obvious from early seasons that magick was a natural resource of Willow's increasing intellect and a tool which she could use to help, and to assert her own power rather than feeling weak and defenceless. And we saw with seasons five and six that Willow was beginning to become too dependant on magick to solve her problems and allow her to control her life and those around her. And we saw the devastating consequences of that, yet her continued persistance to use magick. Not as some sort of addictive drug but as something to soothe her insecurities.

Of course I think that at certain points in the story arc there were misfires where they attempted to metaphorically equate magick with drug addiction, such as Wrecked and Willow's subsequent attempts to give up magick, but I was generally satified with the arc because the more potent and believable reasons behind it were addressed, and there were some fantastic scenes, from Willow and Giles' confrontation in Flooded, Willow's acknowledgement of her insecurity at the end of Wrecked, her attempts to abstain and finally Dark Willow explicitly stating that Willow's magick addiction stemmed from her weakness and power issues, and that it was Tara's tragic death that drove her to kill Warren.

Maybe season six and seven may not have been quite as consistent as previous seasons, but there are so many wonderful moments and episodes that I wouldn't take them back for anything. And as Joss has noted before, with every new season fans seemed to be complaining about it being inferior to previous seasons, and then later the same fans, judging maybe season seven to be terrible, suddenly appreciate season four which they may have violently maligned a few years before.

I feel all sevens seasons were part of a journey and a brilliant one at that. Sure there may have been an occasional weak episode, but those are scattered throughout every season and not just in the latter ones. I may not have liked some of the developments in seasons six and seven, such as Xander leaving Anya at the altar, the apparent deterioration of Buffy and Giles' relationship in season seven, or the deaths of Tara and Anya, but they are really no different to the enjoyably tragic and upsetting events from earlier scenes such as Angelus murdering Jenny, or Joyce dying, or Oz leaving.

[ edited by Razor on 2006-07-09 16:18 ]
I think this messageboard can be a little too unified sometimes in its opinions.


I think it is at its most unified in the support and admiration for Joss Whedon's work, which is hardly surprising, but I've always found the views expressed about 'Buffy' have shown a wide diversity of opinion, especially when it comes to the final two seasons.

I might be guilty of misinterpretaion here, but the suggestion, intended or otherwise, that anyone who likes S6 (and presumably S7) only does so because of the "hotness of Spike" is, I think, ludicrous and possibly even verging on being offensive.
"I might be guilty of misinterpretaion here, but the suggestion, intended or otherwise, that anyone who likes S6 (and presumably S7) only does so because of the "hotness of Spike" is, I think, ludicrous and possibly even verging on being offensive."

I wouldnt say anyone because that implies that all people do it, and I dont think thats the case. But you cant tell me that there arent some people who like season 6 because Spike is hot, and again, thats why I asked Rogue what I did. I do wonder sometimes about the Britney Spears syndrome stuff, but hey thats for another day. When I said that season 6 was no more complex or layered than pound cake, that wasnt about anything other than season 6, and while some may see layers, I disagree and I sought to show why I disagree. Good on me.

"jerryst3161, I really like what you wrote. I think this messageboard can be a little too unified sometimes in its opinions."

Thanks themayor! Cheers mate...
I agree that your comments were interesting, jerryst3161.

Personally I just think that season six and seven were different in that the style and tone were different. The issues dealt with in previous seasons were just as important and just as harrowing but the only noticeable difference was the way in which they were told. Season six in particular was very dark, unrelentingly so, and I think previous seasons maybe were able to balance this drama a little more with wit or humour but that isn't to say that the later seasons were inferior.

It's like when people say that Angel was more mature or darker than Buffy, when I feel they have always ranked alongside one another. In terms of violence and tragedy they are pretty much even and both employ a similar kind of viewpoint, one of heroicism and often employ a light comedic touch in the face of whatever drama is unfolding. But they do have a slightly different focus with Buffy initially focusing on teenage issues and then looking at issues faced by young adults, whilst Angel was always about adulthood, but that does not diminish that both shows can be equally as dark and mature in content.
I did not care for S6 and S7, and I hated the death of Tara- still do. But jump the shark? Never. Bad Buffy is better than 99% of anything on TV ever.
It might be way too easy to suggest that for every viewer that thought Spike was the only reason to watch BTVS 4-7 you could find a viewer who only watched early seasons 1-3 for hot Angel(hangs head and admits it, sucker for dark and broody vampire here). In a show that was about a very young girl grasping her way towards adulthood, one might expect that any type of shipping was expressly used towards illuminating her growth rather than any growth of couple.

If up to season 5 was about Buffy the girl coming of age, it's fairly easy to see that 6 and 7 was all about the Slayer coming to 'age' and breaking free of constraints. Whereas the Slayer had been the metaphor for the girl's journey, the girl's journey became the very representation for what the Slayer was going through.Buffy went from being unclear about who she was, when she sacrificed herself in 5 to only being able to save the world because she knew who she was in 7.

Spike may have suggested she stay in the dark with him in 6, but by season 7 both their character growth showed that Spike was more than willing to help her live completely in the light. I always thought jumping the shark was about a show spinning it's wheels. BTVS never, ever did that. It's heroine went on a complex journey where she fought bravely but feared what she was, to fighting bravely because of who she was. In the end Buffy was absolutely the Vampire Slayer, no questions remaining. You just couldn't say that in season 5.
I would only add that Buffy was absolutely the vampire slayer from the beginning. Whether it be offering her life in Prophecy Girl or killing Angel in Becoming, it was all Buffy the vampire slayer. IMO, this wasn't ever an area that needed explored.
Buffy the girl, sure. Buffy the hero? Never.

Buffy didn't fight against what she was, she fought against the notion of who certain people thought she was. The First Slayer, Dracula, Spike, etc.. That is, imo, a big difference.
Buffy feared that the bads were right about what she was but like so many times before, (Season 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) she showed them what was left with no weapons, no hope and no friends.
But Cheryl don't you think the First was an exploration of Buffy dealing with her own internal issues? The First Slayer, Drac, Spike were only used to help show what Buffy was dealing with in coming to terms with her own idenity as Slayer.(Your examples are only of the first seasons, IMO, Joss and ME continued the exploration) In the end it wasn't about what they thought but about her fears about what they thought.It was all about Buffy herself.

The fact that 7(and 6) showed Buffy the hero grappling with the very definition of hero shows that Buffy the Vampire Slayer most definitely needed exploring, Buffy the Hero needed a deeper examination.(She after all questions what the Slayer is every season starting in season 1) By journey's end the slayer went from a girl called in ignorance to a woman who refashioned the line with her own pluck and ingenuity.

The thing in 7 is that the BB's questioning her are very personal. One might think the struggle is internal. Spike, the First, the First Slayer, the Watchers, Joyce...every manifestion leads to Buffy standing up and declaring, 'get out of my face'. Everything is leading to Buffy knowing who and what she is, standing on the crater as baked as any other young woman. In the end, it was all about the journey. That includes all seven seasons.
No, I guess not ramses. The first 5 seasons were all about constructing the Slayer/Girl...the last two were a lesson in deconstruction. I guess in certain situations, there really is only one way to go....up. It was quite a steep and severe fall. It wouldn't have been as profound had we not been previously introduced to " I'm Buffy, the vampire slayer, and you are?"
Where you saw something magical and significant happening in season 7, I witnessed the same transformation way back in season 1 Prophecy Girl. Joss gave us one hell of a woman right from the start.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home