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"I wanted to do a show about people who are not 'super,' just working-class people, the people history steps on. (Joss on Firefly)"
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August 06 2006

"Give them what they need, not what they want". SMRT-TV column includes Buffy/Angel in column discussing how much much more interesting it is when TV relationships go badly than when they end happily ever after.

"But the best television romances are the ones that end horribly, or that twist off into some previously unthought of direction. No show embodies this more than Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Column's dated 7/17, but I couldn't find it in Whedonesque July archives.

Yes - I'm in the 'agree' front on this one. Although I think they were a little overly harsh on Friends - Friends was fine if you ask me, it just ran too long.

It's what makes me sad about Firefly, really. Were it still on the air, we'd be about to start - what - season 5? 4? There's no way in hell Simon and Kaylee would still be together. Simon would have actually had something else to do. Mal and Inara? Hah. Zoe? Poor Zoe.
The fact that Joss always goes for the tragedy is too true, and a constant pain in my arse. Sometimes I just want my happy ending, okay?

I too think the writer was too hard on Friends, and I also think he was too soft on Sex and the City. That plotline became old very quickly.

It was a good read, but I think the piece was too short. It could do with a bit for substance.
Sometimes I just want my happy ending, okay?

Ah, you see, when you're in TV you are usually planning not for the ending, but for the continuation of the story. If the story is 'Blah Blah character is happy, and then they are happy, and then they eat cake and get happier!' people stop caring, or watching, or both.

Ultimately, if you are going to make TV which people go nuts about (which is the kind of TV I like), you need to get inside those characters, have them grow and change and learn something in the process.

However much people wanted Simon and Kaylee to get together, for example, I'm sure after 3 seasons of them being lovey dovey you'd have to ask the question 'Yeah, but what now?'. Actually, I'd be asking that after about 3 episodes.
Simon and Kaylee lusted after each other. This isn't the basis of a long term relationship. I think a lot of sturm und drang was inevitable there. And Mal and Inara were both too strong willed to ever have an easy go of it either.
No, I think a happy ending was not in the cards based just on the characters themselves as much as Joss' tendency to break our hearts.
It's what makes me sad about Firefly, really. Were it still on the air, we'd be about to start - what - season 5? 4? There's no way in hell Simon and Kaylee would still be together.

So Wash and Zoe would inevitably have split (or one of them died a horrible death, even without the film) had the series lasted a few seasons?
I don't think that Zoe and Wash would have necessarily split, but neither were they the focus of the show; they were the contrast. Mal and Inara were always front-and-center. And I don't think that a relationship between Simon and Kaylee would have gone any smoother than their courtship did.

As for BtVS, there was no mention of Spuffy. (Not that I'm a shipper or anything; personally I'm disappointed that Joss never managed to get Tara and Kennedy together.) If Buffy/Angel was a disaster that produced great drama, Buffy/Spike did as well, but in a very different way; their coupling ratcheted up the tension in a way that few television series have ever managed.

Back at the Slayage conference this year, one of the presenters was railing against Joss for not providing any positive sexual relationship models. This article, short as it was, really provides the answer: happy couples don't make for interesting stories. Or meaningful stories.
Shows get to you with the best romances that are on-and-off, not meant to be, a one-off that never should have happened, or yes, end tragically. Then you keep watching for the possibility that the pain you were just caused on behalf of the character will be mended somehow. Buffy and Angel was the huge overarching one, but when Oz left Willow, she was so broken by it that I wanted to scream and protect her somehow (I knew Buffy would soldier on). I don't know if that had to happen because Seth didn't want to do the show anymore (I don't go looking for scuttlebut) except for the episode where he returns to find Willow in a relationship with Tara, or Joss meant to write it that way. In either case, I did like Tara very much but always harbored a wish for that possibility. Which is what's delicious about being manipulated given what I need by Joss.
We don't know. Alan talks a bit about that in the Serenity Official Magazine that Titan did, and ultimately you just get the impression he wasn't as keen to be around 7 years - which isn't to say he didn't love the show, but he's also a professional character actor.

Regarding the actual relationship of the characters, you can only speculate, but I know Joss has also said he wanted to show an actual marital relationship in the two of them, as marriage can be a good thing.

But, yeah, I don't think it would have been happy happy Wash and Zoe every episode. I'd speculate NotHappyHappy Wash would actually make great drama, as what does Wash do when he's in emotional pain? What's he capable of? Is he more than 'the funny zanny guy'? We don't know entirely.

The closest character you can compare Wash to is Xander. And Xander walked out on Anya. And I entirely understand why Xander did that, and I thought it made for.. uhm.. great drama. Xander was no longer purely wacky/funny guy - he was wacky/funny guy who had layers of issues with commitment.
I think we never get a "lived happily ever after" ending from Joss because we never get one in real life, and Joss does "real," even in fantastic or sci-fi circumstances. He always goes for realism when it comes to the characterizations, emotions, consequences. And so, we see what we see. I really wouldn't want it any other way. It's what makes Joss, Joss. There are plenty of other things to watch when I'm looking for light entertainment, or escapism - for those times when I want my happy ending.

But everything is temporary, and in the dramatic, dangerous circumstances in which Joss characters are set, this is going to be a very obvious, inescapable truth. I always remember what Buffy said, at the end of Season 5 - something about how she couldn't live in this world, if it is the kind of world where everything just gets stripped away. But that's just the thing: It IS that kind of world.

That's why we get another, non-stop message from Joss: It's all about the journey.

His work is also really teeming with optimism about life and goodness in general - they always goes on, they always prevail, in the end. When you look at the big pic, we do get "happy endings" from Joss.

On Wash & Zoe: I'm guessing Wash would have died anyhow, somewhere along the line. Losing people close to you - it happens, especially in the kind of dangerous circumstances that prevailed in Firefly. No way, in reality, a group like Mal's would get through that endlessly unscathed. So I'm thinking we would have had losses - just as we did in Buffy & Angel.
I have to agree with the article. Things are always more interesting when things go badly. When just as things seem to be settling in, people lose their souls or get body-jacked by PTBs or are shot or get infected by a dead god or aren't sure they're ready for marriage or end up committing murder together or have to decapitate their possibly-soon-to-be-vampiric ex-lover.

That said, there is a problem with all the riveting sticking it to us. After a while, you see it coming. At some point, you realize that the point of the shows are not that people live happily ever after. Sooner or later, it dawns on you that Joss Whedon hates happiness. And so you know, when things seem great, when Cordy is finally back and not evil, or when Tara has come back, or when Fred and Wes finally get together, someone is about to die. Happiness becomes a warning light. Illyria wasn't nearly as big a surprise as it could be, because in Joss' twisted little world of toying with his fans emotions, happiness comes before the fall.
I wouldn't say Joss hates happiness. He's, uhm, a happy guy. (Except when they cancel his shows).

I will admit, however, I saw Illyria sign posted a million miles away. As soon as I saw Alexis dressed in black, I knew she was a goner. Of course, what this says about me I don't want to know.
As for happy endings, I think they get boring fast, so I would do one at the end of the whole series.

[ edited by Kessie on 2006-08-06 18:27 ]
Agree: Joss doesn't hate happiness. I mean, that's not how I'd put it. I'd say, he loves the world, the real world, exactly as it is. And his shows are all about how to best live in a world, embrace a world, that has some very high highs, and some very low lows, and mostly, everything in between.
Joss is also a very savy showrunner. He already knows that the unexpected is more interesting, and although he can overreach trying to achieve the perfect 'gotcha', (the Spike soul-getting controversy comes glaringly to mind) he's nailed it enough times to keep all of us still rivited even years after the end of the shows. I know it's taken me a while to finally come to terms with not getting what I wanted, but I have come to the realization that I wouldn't still be talking about 'what could have been' if I had.
Perhaps Wash and Zoe worked so well because tbey were already together when we met them. I love a good relationship strewn in amongst the bad, because it's realistic. Zoe's relationship with Wash let me see her as a multi-dimensional character. Without Wash, she would have been the tough warrior woman who stood by her friends no matter what.

Dashielle Hammet's Nick and Nora can't be beat, imo. Even though they were they were visually brought to life in a series of movies, as opposed to TV, I can't imagine they would have been more interesting if they'd spent their time breaking/making up. Once again, they were already a couple when we met them.

I think there are several things that make these relationships enjoyable. Their characters are all strong, interesting and self-reliant. Their relationships are important in the context of the story, but they're not the major focus of the story. We see them mid-relationship.

In real life, the beginning of a relationship is a heady thing. Falling in love, becoming sexually intimate, learning about each other- it's pretty overpowering stuff. Then you settle in for the long run and things unfold more quietly. The delight and appreciation are there, but the pace changes. I think that change is hard to portray onscreen without the audience feeling some letdown.
Well, I always thought joss has a great future behind him because he always kills our darlings.
I don't think Joss hates happiness either. He's just smarter than the average bear. Where it's true that a lot of other creators use the " never give them what they want" formula, Joss doesn't do that. He gives you what you want in spades, then finds a way to take it away again. What does this do? It allows those actors with amazing chemisty (David and Sarah) to get together for a bit and then be ripped apart because of outside forces. The longing for the union never disappears. In fact in some cases, as with Buffy and Angel, it reaches a fevered pitch and more than a decade later fans are still waiting for the "next" time these characters are allowed to get together and what master plan he has thought up to separate them again.
Nobody does it like Joss. The fact that this couple were separated three years into the seven year run of the series and are STILL talked about as THE couple, says it all. Joss did good.
Joss definitely likes to give people what they want and take it away.A couple of times he does it really fast,too.For Buffy and Angel,the episode,"I Will Remember You" comes to mind.

Can anybody forget,Willow/Tara with Tara being killed right when they get back together.Or Wesley/Fred.A two season build up with Fred dying in the very next episode,after they officially hook up.

Joss sure loves to bring on the pain.lol
I think long-term relationships can be interesting on TV (and I think Zoe and Wash's could have been had Wash lived) as long as the "getting together" isn't seen as the ending. Scrubs is a good example of this - Turk and Carla have been together for almost the entire run of the series (since the second or third episode), and it's not boring because we see them dealing with problems and issues in their lives and working through them. The relationship was treated like the beginning rather then the ending, I guess.
I completely agree any happy couple in Jossverse is one just waiting for the other shoe to drop on their heads and kill them.

Joss will give us what we want (for me it was Buffy finally telling Spike she loved him) but he will take it away (Spike's inability to actually believe Buffy loved him because of the soul he sought out so whe *would* love him). And that makes great TV drama.
Some couples stay happy and married for decades. Would you really want to see an ongoing show about that type of couple? I wouldn't. Show me the news blurb about their 50th wedding anniversary and how they've managed to stay together all this time... and then change the channel back to the fictional serialized hurt and struggle so I won't fall asleep in front of my TV!
I disagree. I would love to see Buffy and Angel happily ever after at the series finale. I watched for their happy moments, the drama was just bonus.
I love the fact that Joss showed us the complexity of human relationships. People change, grow up, change partners, move on. Some discover their true orientation others make mistakes. Hearts get broken. It all makes for great drama! Plus, even in the happy moments, the viewer has the uneasy feeling that the wheels are about to come off :).

Plus kudos for doing the best " I slept with my boyfriend and he didn't respect me in the morning" story ever.


The one which really broke my heart was Wes/Fred ... they had so little time!



It's true that it would have been nice to have at least one happy couple... but Angel/ Darla lasted two hundred and some years ( give or take the odd century of rat eating) and Spike/ Dru a hundred and forty or so Plus Spike/ Angel is still ongoing So we can't say that Joss didn't show us * some* lasting relationships :)
I can't think of a drama (or at least a good one) where there is a "happy ending" type of relationship. People have problems, so relationships have problems, period. Bad things happen to good people, period. When we see dramas (or even comedies) where our own problems and lives are reflected, instead of everything being all happy-happy, then it can be cathartic, which is "what we need." And if everything were happy-happy every week, or at least had a happy ending, well, you'd be watching 7th Heaven. ;-)

I agree that Simon and Kaylee probably wouldn't have had a long shelf-life -- they didn't have enough in common, and they weren't complementary the way Wash and Zoe were (in other words, Wash's strengths were Zoe's weaknesses and vice versa). I also agree that Wash would probably have been killed at some point -- and in Serenity, he died a hero, having done the impossible in bringing the ship through two enemy armies and an EMP to anything like a safe landing. Mal and Inara? In Firefly, it would never happen as anything other than a very bad mistake while under extreme circumstances (remember, Inara kissed Mal when he was unconscious and she thought he was poisoned or worse), but if Inara really didn't go back to companioning, as was possible at the end of Serenity -- well, that could change things. Who knows what Inara would be like if she weren't working as a companion? For that matter, who knows what the emotional changes of dealing with Wash's death would do to Zoe? Would she turn to one of the crew members for support/comfort/relationship? And why are we only talking about male/female possible relationships here? For example, Kaylee and Inara were always very close, and Kaylee certainly seemed, er, intrigued when she saw Inara with a female client. I'm just saying -- in the Jossverse, people are changed by their experiences, and that makes all kinds of new situations possible!

My point is, when people live "happily ever after," there's not a lot of change after that, but change is interesting, and why we get involved in watching a 'Verse. Yes, I definitely like it that Joss gives us what we need, not what we want. ;-)
I'm not sure one can really lump any Jossverse show into the same mix as Friends, Moonlighting, Gilmore Girls etc.(Much as many have tried) The fact is that in the Jossverse, relationships exist to explore both themes and the inner journey of the various characters. Strangely enough, relationships in the various verses are closer to reality than any of the very, very cliched will they/won't they relationships of other shows that become a 'who the heck cares' long before they actually decide to make them a couple. (Happy endings aren't the kiss of death, merely the sign that writers/directors aren't willing to explore their characters any further.I would bet that any of these other shows had fairly large drops in viewers long before the couple in question had their 'happy ending'....sometimes the absolutely banal question of the coupling(the treasured UST) becomes enough, more than enough for people who feel that a story is being played...rather than playing out.(Lost I'm looking at you...when a triangle usurps an interesting story? Nothing good can come of this)

And count me as one who didn't see either series stories playing out towards a happy Buffy and Angel ending. I thought it was very clear that Buffy's total abhorrance of 'ends justifies the means' followed up by Angel's embrace of the very same philosophy that she absolutely rejected had to have struck the ME staff as something they might want to be pointing out. Again with the themes and stuff, Buffy ends all powerful and happy(even entrenched in sorrow), Angel ends right back where he started...Spike asks for the plan and Angel rejects the leadership role. Angel's right back where he's started, he's alone in the alley. He has to be. And if he hasn't pulled on too much power,(There's a reason for the whole power corrupts theme in 5) he's smack dab in the power struggle against it. Angel ends gray, very, very gray. And whether or not Buffy would approve? I think one must turn to season 7.

And as a Buffy fan, I just can't disregard her ILY. I don't believe Spike knew everything.(That would make it Spike's show)I don't believe in happy endings, but I absolutely believe in endings that make sense. Feminist story where a spell changes everything? If the heroine says somethng at the very end? Believe her...it's about change.
I think Joss could keep Buffy and Angel just happy enough together without throwing out his working formula. He did it for several years.
Someone mentioned I will remember you....that episode was almost as brilliant as the trio of: Innocence, Surprise and Becoming.
I miss Joss in a big old Buffy way. Can't wait to see everything else he has lined up but here's to hoping he returns to the Buffy universe one day. Like in a big screen movie type way.

Cityof, I would love to see something like that but only if Joss had no interest in ever returning to the Universe. I like the idea of saving somethings for the Big screen movie that I believe lots of people deserve. SMG, DB, ASH, NB, AH, etc...and Joss obviously. Lastly us, the fans of his brilliant mind.
Well, I always thought joss has a great future behind him because he always kills our darlings.

I know I shouldn't laugh, but trust me, this post made me laugh. :o)
I didn't like IWRY not because I didn't like the Buffy/Angel romance ( I did and *Surprise/Innocence* and *Becoming* broke my heart and are still great for a good Sunday afternoon sobbing session) But because Buffy and Angel are supposed to be equals and Angel didn't include Buffy in this huge decision which affected both their lives. It just sat wrongly for me. As to be honest did *Forever* where we were asked to believe that Angel couldn't keep his desires under control for a few days so that he could stay and comfort Buffy . I think Angel is stronger than that and it bugged me.


But yeah Joss is a master at creating great epic romances and then making them all messy and messed up and sending them to hell in a hancart. It's a knack. When Buffy finally told Spike she loved him I wasn't at all surprised that he didn't believe her. It was a typical Joss * plot twist* If Joss * really* wanted to shock me all he'd have to do is give one of his character a happy ever after :) None of us would be expecting
*that*.

I'm not holding out any hopes of a big screen movie . Like David Boreanaz says "It's done" and to my mind it ended where it should have ended. In Sunnydale with the Hellmouth destroyed and Buffy free to have her own life and in L.A in an alley in the rain with the heroes fighting because that's what they do.

For everything else there's fanfic :)
Angel was part of Buffy's childhood. Letting go of him was essential to her growing up. Buffy growing up was what the show was all about.

Joss's shows just aren't about the 'ships. They're about the individuals.
I don't disreguard anything I saw on the show. I take everything at the face value it was shown. Buffy would not pass judgement on how Angel handled is issues in season 5 as she has done, did do and was still doing the same thing. Her whole choice of the slayer spell was an end justifies the means. She of all people would never pass judgment on that. Nor want to. Each situation and problem is always unique as are their conclusions. Angel was always grey. He saw the good and the bad and knew they could co-exsist in one body. Angel was also NOT alone in the alley at the end. He has his family like he started his mission with. Ones who joined him to fight. Different faces, same fight.

Buffy ended where she began with her family and friends. She ended starting the fight all over again and learning what it means to be a new slayer in the new world. Her story is far form over. Joss himself has said this new comic is about the new world Buffy unleashed, the good and bad. Buffy will always be sorry for those who gave their lives as she is everytime someone dieds. But she moves on and lives again. As is very clearly being shown in the comics and was shown through the glimpses we saw in season 5.

Buffy now is about being Buffy. She can be in love but that is not the only part of her story or who she is as a hero. Her love for a man or woman will not make her a better person or worse person. It is only one aspect of her entire character. Same with Spike who has been shown to have moved into a different place in his life. In some ways Buffy was like his sponser. Now she is not so neded, always cherished, but he can stand and love all on his own. The ILY was perfect as was the refusal and the acceptance in her eyes. It ended that part of the relationship and opened them both up for news ones.

As for if the shows will end with a happy ending with B/A? Who knows. It would not happen for sometime. But they will always be connected in their fight of the good fight, their friendship, their hope for a better tomorrow, and their families both alive and dead. They were never just first loves and have always been shown to be friends. Buffy will always be mortal. She will die. Angel may get humanity one day, he may not. Happy endings are in the eyes of the beholder. I believe they will be happy and find a way one day even if it is in their last minutes on earth.Hope is what happy endings is all about. And Joss deffinatly made sure that stayed alive.

I have hope for all the characters to have some sort of happy ending. They will all be different and suited to the individual characters needs. For Xander and Faith it might be for once accepting the love without fear of the past. For Willow understanding what it is to be both witch and human. For Giles to see his children happy and flurish. For Conner to marry and continue Angel's bloodline.

But hey I am still the person that after ALL these years still hold out hope that Gambit and Rogue will have their day and be finally happy. So hope is eternal.

I would love to see a big movie one day. DB has always, said it is the logically next step and his it's done was referring to seeing co-satrs, not the universe. Something we know he does still do. Many universe people are intrested, so we just need time and to watch WW show people how good a kick ass woman looks on the big screen.

Please remember these are opinions. Please don't attack try and tell me that they are invalid. We all love our ships. For me, true love and happy endings still start and begin with that perfect kiss and all the fun in between the next one.

[ edited by Donna Troy on 2006-08-07 00:07 ]
This line of discussion is upsetting me. You people are talking about Zoe and Wash breaking up and Simon and Kaylee not working out, and it's all very upsetting. I'd never thought that long term for them. The show ended so quickly, and the movie didn't offer enough. I'm sure if the show had survived, I would have prepared myself for the other shoe to fall, but as it is, I just wanted Simon and Kaylee to get together; I hadn't even prepared myself to imagine how they might end in tragedy.
I reckon gilraen gave an excellent example of how a long-term relationship on television can be great viewing without having to break them up.

Going back to Firefly, I reckon that Simon and Kaylee's realtionship would've been made to last over the long term. Think about it: if Wash had died in the series then it would've been Simon and Kaylee's relationship that contrasted Mal and Inara's. Simon and Kaylee have some similar problems to Mal and Inara; they come from vastly different backgrounds, and they quite frequently butted heads (most often when Simon put his foot in his mouth), but they're willing to give it a go (at least in the movies) and that's why I reckon Joss would've kept them together. There still would've been plenty of drama, and it would've made an excellent contrast that these two crazy kids can get it together while Mal and Inara, two logical adults, can't.

No? Ah well, that's my two cents.
I think there are two sides to every person here -- half wants the great ending, the happily ever after, because it may not be reality but because it's television, you just want that one little fantasy to come true. The other half is excited that Joss could do something so tragic because it makes for better TV.

I love that it mentioned Scrubs also -- I love Scrubs!
The fact that this couple were separated three years into the seven year run of the series and are STILL talked about as THE couple, says it all. Joss did good.

I agree! I love that once again, Buffy/Angel are mentioned. I think the article just reiterates the longing fans still have so many years later to finally get the happy ending for B/A (Perhaps a big screen movie one day, Joss?) after all the drama and angst they went through - both together and separately.

I disagree. I would love to see Buffy and Angel happily ever after at the series finale. I watched for their happy moments, the drama was just bonus.

I agree! But as Joss himself said, as this article also mentions, the hope for the future of B/A is still there. Joss wanted us to leave with that and I have not let it go personally.

And Ramses, I just have to mention that when you say Angel had an "ends justifies the means" attitude whereas Buffy did not, I'd have to disagree. I go with what Steve DeKnight himself said about this with regard to Buffy making all the potentials slayers...

."There was a lot of concern about whether Buffy was culpable for this and if it was her fault. My opinion,which was shared by other writers,was that she saved the world by doing this.Honestly,she wouldn't want anyone to be hurt, but if that happpened,I think she would consider it acceptable at that point.In saving the world,Anya and Spike died so there were people being sacrificed already."

Buffy, like Angel - accepts that risks have to be taken and people will die. They don't like it....but they do it because they have to.

[ edited by love4ba on 2006-08-07 00:27 ]
I think there is such a thing as good drama and then there is soap operas. The balance between is hard. But in real life people can be happy for long term. They can fall in love, fight and still remain true.

Yes, this is tv. But sometimes it is okay to be happy. It also does make for good tv. I remember the last JM ep of ER. Everyone was so worried that she was not going to get her happy ending. Yet the secret ending of her and Doug was one of the highest rated and most welcomed sights by the fans. It just goes to show that soemtimes at the end when everything is said and done, it is okay to sit back and be happy.

I think we all know that adults in life can creat their own drama sometimes without having to have it forced upon them by other means. But the real fun is watching people come together because of that drama.


Buffy has had the"end justify the means" attitude most season. Did she want to go down to the Master in Prophecy Girl and potential die? No. But she did it BECAUSE it was her duty and the end jutified the means. Did she want to send her true love to Hell? No she did it because the end jutified the means. When she went after Faith to FEED her to Angel, another human, she did it because the end jutified the means. Same with leaving Xander out of many fights, Throwing herself off the tower and threatening to kill ANY of her family if they touched Dawn.

She went to kill Anya because she believed she was evil. She taught Dawn to fight in graveyards, brought Spike while chipped and still dangerous into a house with potentials, and decided to change millions of girls lifes without their concent. ALL WERE DONE, with the end justifies the means and as a leader.

Same attitude with how Giles behaved when killing Ben, trying to kill Spike and I suspect with how they are treating Angel now. Xander and Willow also share those views. Xander decided rightly not to tell Buffy what Wills said. Willow decided to erase Tara's memories to bring them back and has done multiple spells not caring about now but only then end result. Even Dawn and her attempt at bring ing her mother back was in the same line.

Angel and his crew did nothing different.From Wes deciding Faith had to be sent to council for mistake to Everyone of the Angel crew deciding to join W&H.

[ edited by Donna Troy on 2006-08-07 00:39 ]
alpha, I wouldn't let opinion and conjecture upset you. What has already happened with these characters we grew to love has already happened and can't be taken back, no matter what our respective wishlists are comprised of. I do think people tend to read a little bit too much into what might have happened in the shows or may still come to be in other media or another film, but thoughts are free and you can buy into what people are saying or not.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2006-08-07 00:20 ]
Is this thread going to live happily ever after?
Of course! It's a great topic.
I vote that happily ever after means ALL the ice cream and/or chocolate you can eat whenever you want WITHOUT gaining a pound.=P
And Ramses, I just have to mention that when you say Angel had an "ends justifies the means" attitude whereas Buffy did not, I'd have to disagree. I go with what Steve DeKnight himself said about this with regard to Buffy making all the potentials slayers...

."There was a lot of concern about whether Buffy was culpable for this and if it was her fault. My opinion,which was shared by other writers,was that she saved the world by doing this.Honestly,she wouldn't want anyone to be hurt, but if that happpened,I think she would consider it acceptable at that point.In saving the world,Anya and Spike died so there were people being sacrificed already."

Buffy, like Angel - accepts that risks have to be taken and people will die. They don't like it....but they do it because they have to.
love4ba | August 07, 00:15 CET




I remember that.It was from an interview with DeKnight about,"Damage" in the Angel 2004 Yearbook.

Steve even admits there was some trepidation in taking the powerful and positive nature of Buffy's gift at the end of,"Chosen" and twisting it,in such a disturbing light."There was a lot of concern about whether Buffy was culpable for this and if it was her fault.My opinion,which was shared by other writers,was that she saved the world by doing this.Honestly,she wouldn't want anyone to be hurt,but if that happpened,I think she would consider it acceptable at that point.In saving the world,Anya and Spike died so there were people being sacrificed already."




He also mentioned that if the show had continued,they were talking about bringing Dana back in another season along with Buffy and the slayerettes.


As for Zoe and Wash,weren't there rumors that originally Wash was going to be killed on the show,perhaps in season 2 or 3 because Alan Tudyk didn't want to be tied to a series for five to seven years?And that Joss just transfered Wash's death to Serenity?

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2006-08-07 01:08 ]
To me, unrequited or not, this is one of the most moving love speeches ever written for a TV show (the writing is credited to Rebecca Rand Kirschner, but it is Joss's show):

SPIKE: "Hey, look at me. I'm not asking you for anything. When I say, 'I love you,' it's not because I want you or because I can't have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You're the one, Buffy." -- "Touched," #142, BUFFY

And here are some pertinent Joss-quotes on the subject, including the one that we love to use about our need vs. our want:

" In terms of not giving people what they want, I think it's a mandate: Don't give people what they want, give them what they need. What they want is for Sam and Diane to get together. [Whispers.] Don't give it to them. Trust me. [Normal voice.] You know? People want the easy path, a happy resolution, but in the end, they're more interested in... No one's going to go see the story of Othello going to get a peaceful divorce. People want the tragedy. They need things to go wrong, they need the tension. In my characters, there's a core of trust and love that I'm very committed to. These guys would die for each other, and it's very beautiful. But at the same time, you can't keep that safety. Things have to go wrong, bad things have to happen." -- Joss Whedon, Onion AV Club interview with Tasha Roninson, Sept., 2001

"We donít go through the Hell of existence - the pain, the drama, the meaninglessness and confusion because itís safe, or simple, or will end happily now or ever after. We do it because nobody ever come up with anything better." -- Joss Whedon's letter to Angel fans - Angel Complete Series DVD Box

"People love a happy ending. So every episode, I will explain once again that I donít like people. And then Mal will shoot someone. Someone we like. And their puppy." -- Joss Whedon whedonesque post , Feb., 2006


I agree -- not about the puppy part, that's just wrong -- but about the need for drama & conflict that propels the story arcs.
Donna Troy: "I vote that happily ever after means ALL the ice cream and/or chocolate you can eat whenever you want WITHOUT gaining a pound.=P

OOOH, yeah, Donna Troy, like in Defending Your Life. I seconds that, if you add truffles.
I don't think Buffy/Angel are the only couple that keeps being brought up years after the show ended. We have Spike/Buffy making TV GUIDE's top ten hottest couples (One example of many), Willow/Tara articles, even Angel/Spike made the top 12 slashiest couples.

I know SOME fans want Buffy/Angel to end up together happily ever after, but I personally think that it would help kill the verse. I think Joss was smart enough to realize that the "not knowing" the future is what keeps the fan fic/debate going. If you give definitive answers, you've stopped the speculation.

What did Joss say here in the article about Angel/Spike being a couple? (and I absolutely loved him for saying it)

his heroes bugger each other senseless .

[ edited by spikeylover on 2006-08-07 01:33 ]
If I have one request for this thread, it's not to have it turn into "my favourite couple can piss a greater distance than your favourite couple".
"Steve even admits there was some trepidation in taking the powerful and positive nature of Buffy's gift at the end of,"Chosen" and twisting it,in such a disturbing light."There was a lot of concern about whether Buffy was culpable for this and if it was her fault.My opinion,which was shared by other writers,was that she saved the world by doing this.Honestly,she wouldn't want anyone to be hurt,but if that happpened,I think she would consider it acceptable at that point.In saving the world,Anya and Spike died so there were people being sacrificed already."

I gotta say that quote ticks me off a little. How is it suddenly acceptable to save the world in a manner that hurts others, and then play that off as an acceptable consequence? For Buffy then, the ends truly do justify the means, and if you take that argument further, then she didnt empower the potentials so that she could share her power, it was nothing more than a tactical decision. And a heartless one at that! Thats analogous to throwing Dawn into the portal, to killing Ben, to sacrificing Willow in Choices, and to be being the general with a bunch of worthless pawns at your disposal. I cant get behind that, and I cant understand how that could be a good thing.

Sorry for the rant. Carry on...
Okay why is this once agin turning into B/A vs B/S? Can't anyone say the like something or point out why they like their couple without someone else trying to invalidate it or one up?

B/A are the leads of the two shows in the universe. Seperate or individual they are two highest profile out of the universe. The Actors/ess are the ones with the highest profile careers, aside for Aly(who gets mentioned all the time as a sidekick) after the show as well.They are also the best know,tortured couple. Ones that also launched a network and it's pivital heartbreak ep give it one of the best ratings it EVER got. The romance Joss would not let die(he insisted that the the B/A scenes be there) and the one he tortured more then every other. That is why for many reasons they get alot of press in the mainstream. That does not mean the others who are not mentioned or mentioned in other places are better or worse either.

Just because fans want one couple to end up togther does not mean they are wrong or should be ridiculed for that belief. Joss is the one who will decide. He wrote every part of Chosen. He left it open for the fans and he made Spike the hero for the fans. No fan will ever get everything they want. Spike fans might get hero Spike but not Spuffy. B/A fans might get them to be together and then one die. There is many MORE characters though then only these four and only the sexual/romatic relationships on these shows. Infact I would say they tend to be the more boring aspects sometimes. The friendship, mentor/mentee, brother/sister relationships are deffinatly much more challanging and rewarding. I would say sometimes I got more out of the Faith/Angel relationship then I got out of any other one on the show.

Joss also said he was joking inreguards to A/S. I myself, don't understand why everything always has to turn sexual. Why can't these two men with pasts be friends or family without having to also be in each other's pants? A/S was never anything more then a through away line on the show and something the actors and Joss even admitted made people uncomfortable.

As for the debate, it grows old and fractures more and more. It does this universe and the remaining fandom no good. Every descussion always ends up fighing about it, even when there are other things much more intresting to talk about. People flee those threads and eventually stop reading and visiting all together because of the endless and pointless no win arguments that have paralized the boards of many of this fandom for too long.

I deffinatly think if nothing else, Kevin Williamson had it right when he had Joey make a firm choice. It did not matter if we agreed or not it was done and then the fandom could move on the stories of other characters and their adventures could flurish.

[ edited by Donna Troy on 2006-08-07 02:07 ]
See Jerry, that is why I have always had problems with Buffy's choice at the end.

But Joss did say this comic would touch on the new world Buffy did create with her choice and both the good and bad that came from it.

I really do see a civil war in the future.

Hey, if it was all good the story and drama end right?
Well, despite my romantic opinions about the Buffy/Angelverse, the column may also be considered an excellent reason why Seeley Booth and Temperence Brennan should NOT hook up on "Bones". Some people may consider this a cool love scene waiting to happen, but would the show survive this? No way.
I so agree.

At first I was intrested in the Booth/Tempe romance. But towards the end of the season they worked so much better as friends. Maybe intimate friends. But still friends. In place even a lover can't go.

You can have those friends that are so cose to you, they know you inside and out, yet they are not ever sexual. Faith/Angel were that. So were Buffy/Xander. Infact Faith and Xander probably knew both Angel and Buffy better then any other person in their lives. They were each other kindred spirit.

I see Tempe and Booth more like that.
I think if the show is nearing cancellation, they could put Sealy/Temperance together, since they are the definite ones to root for at this stage. Later on, it might not be that way and some would want to see Boothe with another or with no one at all. In the Buffyverse after so many years, the possibilities are endless, and it keeps the fandom going strong years later. (and that was the point of my previous post)

As for happy happy/joy joy, I think it's great in real life but over-rated in fiction. All of HOLE IN THE WORLD was killer, as was the sword through Angel, Buffy's jump from the tower in THE GIFT, the flaming hands between Spike/Buffy in CHOSEN and the final scene in NFA.. These aren't happy shows/scenes, but they are ones that will stay with you.

[ edited by spikeylover on 2006-08-07 02:23 ]
Fiction and real life mirror all the time.

Scenes that stay with me are more about the human experience then the sometimes forced emotions of scenes that have no bearing but are neat to watch. While special effects are neat if they have no real meaning to the story, that is all they are.

There are many images that stay with me from B/A, but fun many of them are not the romatic as I found alot of that stuff forced. Scenes like Faith breaking in Angel's arms, Angel screaming Conner's name , him trying to smoother Wes ,Xander's speech, Giles speech to Buffy after Angel turned, Xander holding Wills after Tara, Doyle's goodbye tape, Buffy finding her mother and the finale scene with Buffy and her friends joking and happy are what this show was all about, IMO. Romance and break-ups happens all the time, it is the other things that are fun to watch.

I hope we have five very long good years of Booth/Tempe friendship.
"Steve even admits there was some trepidation in taking the powerful and positive nature of Buffy's gift at the end of,"Chosen" and twisting it,in such a disturbing light."There was a lot of concern about whether Buffy was culpable for this and if it was her fault.My opinion,which was shared by other writers,was that she saved the world by doing this.Honestly,she wouldn't want anyone to be hurt,but if that happpened,I think she would consider it acceptable at that point.In saving the world,Anya and Spike died so there were people being sacrificed already."

I gotta say that quote ticks me off a little. How is it suddenly acceptable to save the world in a manner that hurts others, and then play that off as an acceptable consequence? For Buffy then, the ends truly do justify the means, and if you take that argument further, then she didnt empower the potentials so that she could share her power, it was nothing more than a tactical decision. And a heartless one at that! Thats analogous to throwing Dawn into the portal, to killing Ben, to sacrificing Willow in Choices, and to be being the general with a bunch of worthless pawns at your disposal. I cant get behind that, and I cant understand how that could be a good thing.

Sorry for the rant. Carry on...
jerryst3161 | August 07, 01:37 CET


I don't think it's supposed to be seen as a 'good' thing by the time of,"Damage" but as a necessary one.I think that is one of the points of,"Damage."A couple episodes before,"Chosen" in LMPTM,we saw Buffy admit to Giles that she would sacrifice Dawn now if necessary for the greater good and as a last option I'm sure.We saw Buffy sacrifice Angel at the end of season 2.I think in a dire situation,when push comes to shove,she makes the hard decision.I think she would of sacrificed Dawn in,"The Gift" if it came down to it but she would of probably quit slaying.She indicated that at the beginning of,"The Gift" to Giles.

But if there is even a hint of another option or a hope,she will take that option first.With Willow in,"Choices" they still had more time to figure out what the Ascension was and stop The Mayor.In The Gift,there was another option and Buffy took it.Her blood could close the portal since Dawn was made from her.The other option was to sacrifice herself and she did,like a true hero.

I think that's why this played out on Angel.ATS was the darker more adult show and this was the darker side of activating the potentials and the negative repercussions.

The Fred situation in AHITW/Shells is a good more recent example for Angel.They had a way to save Fred but it would of killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

That's one way,Buffy and Angel are similar.I definitely understand DeKnight's and the other writers thinking about,"Chosen" and Buffy's decision and there worry over showing a negative consequence over Buffy activating the slayers.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2006-08-07 02:27 ]
I think the richest road-not-taken is the development in the love between Mal and Inara that would have taken place after the planned-but-never-executed plot twist that follows in invisible ink. For many reasons.
1. This kind of thing is all too common in life, but I have yet to see in television an exploration of the long-term consequences on relationships. As much as the world needs a female hero kick ass, it needs to see a female hero go through this experience and come out the other end.
2. I think Mal would rise to the occasion magnificently. He showed the potential in Our Mrs. Reynolds. It would force him to grow as much as Inara.
3. The question would stop being, will they get together, and beome, is there a good way for them to be together?
While I love the byplay between Mal and Inara in the series, I didn't respond emotionally much to the barrier keeping them apart. (Were they both too pretty?) I liked all the Inara scenes that Joss cut from the movie, but I could tell why he cut them.
4. The High Lama of the Nerdish Realm was born to write this story.
There are many images that stay with me from B/A, but fun many of them are not the romatic as I found alot of that stuff forced. Scenes like Faith breaking in Angel's arms, Angel screaming Conner's name , him trying to smoother Wes ,Xander's speech, Giles speech to Buffy after Angel turned, Xander holding Wills after Tara, Doyle's goodbye tape, Buffy finding her mother and the finale scene with Buffy and her friends joking and happy are what this show was all about, IMO. Romance and break-ups happens all the time, it is the other things that are fun to watch.

I don't disagree, but this article was about TV romances and pain and how Joss gives us what we need, not what we want.

Also, re: Pacey/Joey-- I was glad of that, but then again, I haven't given the show a second thought since then.

[ edited by spikeylover on 2006-08-07 03:29 ]
Romance is always in the eye of the beholder and has nothing to do with age.

As many shows come along, I am sure Buffy will to fade. Like BSG, after awhile you need fresh material to keep everything alive.

I loved what Joss gave us, both what we needed and wanted in the romance department. I am happy how Buffy ended and the hope that was renewed.
I disagree Spikeylover. Respectfully.
Joss from day one has given me what I need and what I came to want. He gave me a kick ass female hero. That is first and foremost in my mind. Her name is Buffy Anne Summers, played by the beautiful and talented Sarah Michelle Gellar.
This article was about Joss's ability to keep the longing for B/A alive by NOT making it a happily ever after affair. That doesn't mean that he didn't give fans of Buffy and Angel what they want. He did, he just always finds a way to separate them again and he does it in a fresh and believable way, everytime.

Donna troy is listing things that made an impact on her in the series and imo, that isn't much different than others stating an opinion in this thread on Buffy and Spike. The article referenced Buffy and Angel but surely it's o.k. to talk about the impact this series had on every level.
Donna Troy said:
loved what Joss gave us...and the hope that was renewed.

Me too.
*Hopes Spike & Angel bugger each other senseless right on top of the dead dragon that tops the pile of dead demons they left in the alley*
I never got into the slash aspect of the fandom myself but to each their own. I'm glad it wasn't something concrete in the series. Not in an Angel and Spike way. Angelus and Spike was hinted at but never shown and I for one am glad.

Now Willow and Tara rocked but then so did Willow and Oz. Willow is so sweet that she transcends gender barriers. IMO.
Cheryl said:
I'm glad it wasn't something concrete in the series. Not in an Angel and Spike way.

Maybe it's just me, but I thought the line "'cause Angel and me have never been intimate. Except that one..." from 'Power Play', was pretty concrete.
(And I thought the 'smoking fists' scene from 'Destiny' showed Angelus and Spike quite plainly) :D
Friends was a funny show. The Ross/Rachel stuff was annoying but the Monica/Chandler was brilliant. Although I actually stopped watching when Rachel started seeing Joey. Ugh.

The Dave and Maddie thing for me stopped working not when they got together but when Maddie married some stranger she just met without even trying to make it work with Dave. It made me dislike her.

And I believe that the reason these discussions often become uncomfortable is because of sweeping generalizations like:

"The longing for the union never disappears. In fact in some cases, as with Buffy and Angel, it reaches a fevered pitch and more than a decade later fans are still waiting for the "next" time these characters are allowed to get together and what master plan he has thought up to separate them again."

These words seem to imply that we all feel that way and must jump in and correct the assumption. [snipped]

And I think that Spangelus is pretty darn near canon, although I'm glad there is still some mystery for those who prefer to think that it isn't.

[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2006-08-07 07:37 ]
While I love the byplay between Mal and Inara in the series, I didn't respond emotionally much to the barrier keeping them apart. (Were they both too pretty?)

Pointy, total LMAO! I have to write this one down. Hi-larious! :-D
Yes, it is canon that something happened ONCE when they were unsouled and Between ANGELUS and Spike. Never Angel and Spike and not again. For me that is all it was and nothing more was ever shown or hinted at canon wise. Now I must say, that I saw ALOT more hints and winks to Faith/Buffy then I ever saw with Spike/Angel. [snipped]

[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2006-08-07 07:37 ]
Xane and Donna Troy, did you read Simon's cautionary words above at all? No more shipping competition here, please. Personal comments have been and will be deleted. Thanks.
I have to ask"smoking fists"? What is this referring to?

Apologies as well. I seem to have fallen in the same trap I was saying was so bad. Yikes!

[ edited by Donna Troy on 2006-08-07 07:50 ]
Apologies to Donna and all. It was meant to be tongue in cheek.
I am now personally gonna take 10cc of G-23 (paxilon hydrochlorate), and I recommend we all do likewise...
Donna Troy said:
Yes, it is canon that something happened ONCE when they were unsouled and Between ANGELUS and Spike. Never Angel and Spike

I believe I quoted correctly - "cause ANGEL and me have never been intimate. Except that one..." quote
BUT we know canon is that Angel and Spike did not see each other after he regained a soul. We also know on the show they have hated each other and have not had any contact except in season 2(Angelus) or the one time he tortured him on Angel, until season 5.

It was implied this happened a long time ago and when they were both unsouled demons. Alot of time people call him Angel but mean Angelus. Especially Spike.

So it would be Angelus and Spike, not Angel. Angel has never shown Spike anything more then contempt and kid brother annoyance.

[ edited by Donna Troy on 2006-08-07 09:15 ]
Watching Jossverse shows for any one ship is a bit like watching with blinkers on . There's so much more to these verses than that .

If there wasn't I doubt that we'd still be here all this time after the shows ended , still debating, still watching, still finding new stuff to talk about.

Donna I'll have to respectfully disagree with you on your views about Spike and Angel/us not in a shippy way but because the shared history of those two characters is so rich and complex that it underpins both shows and informs so much of what goes on . Destiny is a case in point, then there's that amazing scene at the end of Damage.
I believe the only thing we know by cannon is that Angel and Spike were intimate at least once.
When would that one time have happened if not it being unsouled? Certainly not in seaosn 2 or 3. The only time the connected in seaosn 2 was with evil unsouled bastardly Angelus. And before Buffy he was in the alleys and eating rats for many many years. Not anytime in season 1 , when he was trying to kill Angel. They never conected again physically till season 5 again.

So it would have been Angelus, he had whatever with. And we also have no clue what kind of intimacy that was. One on one, Foursome with darla and Dru. Him Dru and Spike or somethng much darker and more primal vampire.

So as the show goes it would have to be before Angel was souled and when Spike was much, much younger and also unsouled.

I too will have to disagree. There are many great scenes with them, but Angel always saw spike as the annoying younger brother. Something the writers even catagorized their relationship as in season 5.They may have had some moments of calm, but most times Spike was there to do nothing but ruffle Angel's feathers or try and one-up him. Something to me that got boring fast. I enjoyed more when they worked together then the endless, pointless bickering. I have no clue what you are talking about in reguards to Destiny.
Last time I looked, canon meant what was written in the script.
We know Spike called Angel, Angel weither he was Angelus or Angel. But we also know what was shown on the screen and the hatred they carried until season 5. When do you think this one time happened?

It does not tell us when it happened, but if you go back through the shows history, there are very clearly times it could NOT have happened.

Canon has always been what is is shown on screen, At least that is my interpertation.

Even Joss when he posted he said it was not clear what happened:

Honestly, what's most fascinating is that every post here tells me more about the poster than about the subject matter. That's what makes fiction grand. I will say a few things:

1)When I called James "the best ingenue Angel ever had" I merely meant that there was enormous acting chemistry between them. After throwing different actresses up against David (sometimes literally) it was gratifying to find someone who brought out passion in David's performance that I'd never seen. I mean, look at Caveman vs Astronauts, for god's sake! David is off the charts hilarious. I learned early on to film those two in one-ers instead of regular coverage because their energy just kept increasing. Others have misinterpreted that quote before.

2)What may or may not have happened is entirely up to the viewer, that's what makes it art. Having said that, I know EXACTLY what happened and it's funny that I'm never going to tell anyone. But did no one see the obvious smoldering passion between the Blue Hand guys? MAN, did you guys miss the boat.

3)In my world, heroes bugger each other senseless. Not all of them, but more than you'd think, and probably not who you're thinking. But seriously, Anybody here care to tell Apollo and the Midnighter how a hero should behave? To their faces?
joss | January 20, 19:00 CET

I have alwasy liked the bugger comment because it describes EVERY character and their many relationships on these shows. There is not character who did not "bugger" another one senseless. Such as Faith/Buffy, Buffy/Xander or Xander/Angel.
All I know is that Spangel was made canon and that's good enough for me.
anindoorkitty....I think number 2 from Joss allows both views to exist.

"What may or may not have happened is entirely up to the viewer, that's what makes it art. Having said that, I know EXACTLY what happened and it's funny that I'm never going to tell anyone. But did no one see the obvious smoldering passion between the Blue Hand guys? MAN, did you guys miss the boat."

Xane...I apologize for upsetting you. I thought it was appropriate to referece B/A and hope given for the future because the article was referencing B/A. I assumed the article meant that B/A was sought after since the premise was how to keep from mucking up a romance.
It would stand to reason that because the article lays claim to Joss doing it best that fans are infact still invested in Buffy and Angel rather than having killed the desire with a happily ever after theme. That was my interpretation.
IMO, B/A are just one of a long list of many success's Joss has full claim on. The article is also about how great Joss is, something I get behind 100% and something that appears to be getting lost in this debate.
Cheryl said:
The article is also about how great Joss is, something I get behind 100% and something that appears to be getting lost in this debate.

I thought the entire thread has been about how great Joss is. I mean we all have our favorite interpretations from the shows and passionately discuss them at the drop of a hat, even after the shows have all been off the air for years. I think that is probably the greatest praise that could be given for JW.
In agreement that Joss deserves all the praise in the world for his accomplishment. :)
I feel your ouch and raise it one damn and two kittens.
His comment sweeping generalization made me laugh, actually, because I know it isn't true, having read through quite a few threads. Heck, I didn't even understand the whole shipping thing until a few years ago, nor do I subscribe to any of it, but even if I did I wouldn't be writing about it here.

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