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March 02 2007

Buffy March Madness. (How has no one thought of that link title yet?!). Anyway, here's a Wizard interview with Joss and co.

What great interviews. I would be surprised at how much they are in agreement except that I agree as well. Season Two, favourite; Adam, least fav, etc. It was hard waiting week to week. How will we ever be able to do it month to month?
That was a great interview.Nice to get their opinions on different aspects of the show.
Funny how there's a lot of agreement on the stronger and weaker points even as tastes on other issues vary. I was glad someone mentioned that wonderful Giles hat moment. I always loved it too.

There were times I enjoyed “Angel” more than I enjoyed “Buffy.” That may just be a male thing; sometimes Joss’ feminist manifesto would get to me, whereas “Angel” was just a big rollicking detective show with great characters.

That's a very interesting statement. I wonder how often that's the reason people didn't watch one show or the other.
Nice interviews all. I think Brian Vaughan has nailed one of the great draws of the show - high school is hell when you're in it, but when you look back, when else are you so completely surrounded by the people who matter to you?
Although I 'get' the whole high school nostalgia thing, I'm completely the opposite. I hated high school (all apsects of it), and now that I'm done with university (which was painful too, although much less so) and working I still look back with seething hatred for school. Work rocks (although I admittedly have a great job)! Weekends are actually free (no homework and no stupid exams)! zomg!

As for the rest of the interviews, great stuff! Personally, S1 is clearly the weakest with S4 coming in as second weakest (although still way better than S1 -- S4 had some great stuff in it). Cool, interesting stuff.

I completely agree with Angelus as best villain too. I wildly love the final three seasons, but as far as villains are concerned, nothing tops Angelus as portrayed in S2. "Surprise" to "Becoming" probably represents my favorite 'arc' of the entire series, although S2 is not my favorite season as a whole (it's one of them though).
i thought Glory was great. Buffy sorta passed its prime after Season 5. It was great ending, and Season 6, aside from a few episodes like the musical and the Dark Willow saga just weren't that great. I've read in the past that ideas for Season 5 were saved and used for Season Seven, i.e. Scythe activating Slayers, destruction of Sunnydale, Anya's death... it would've been great to have kept those ideas in Season 5, and have ended it with all the Slayers getting activated, Glory defeated, and Buffy sacrificing her life.
I'm with mikejer. Twenty plus years after high school I still look back with hate and fury. There was no good in high school.
Ugh, I totally managed to forget that there was an animated series we never got to watch. -_-; Now that's reminding me about that BBC Giles thing, and those DTsomething movies that aren't likely to happen either...

In any case though, it's interesting. I didn't lose interest in Buffy ever because of a feminist manifesto, but since-- okay, now that I think about it that period of season seven episodes after the first seven-ish did lose my interest just as demon imbuing was used as a metaphor for rape. However, I still think of it more as a lost opportunity like in vein of Wood's slayer mother or Adam. Angel at the same time was on the ball and hugely epic, despite how they were both going for separate apocolypse stories.
There were far weaker elements of Season 7 than the way in which Wood revealed his Slayer heritage (completely off topic--he's no Dennis Haysbert, but I really enjoy D.B. Woodside's work on 24. Wasn't his biggest fan when he was introduced in Season 3, though he never bothered me on Buffy. Warmed up to him in Season 5 and this year I think he's doing a nice job). Obviously, everyone's entitled to their opinion, but maybe Joss just didn't wanna rag on something that was more the fault of one of the other Mutant Enemy writers ?

"’Cause Buffy clearly is gonna end up with… [Simulating static] I’m sorry, you’re breaking up. [Simulating static]"

Hah! Fucking with the 'shippers never gets old.

I get the high-school-through-rose-colored-glasses sentiment, but it's way oversold by writers. Brian K. Vaughan must've had a half-decent experience and been surrounded by quality friends. I get annoyed though when they come off like they're speaking for everyone, that it's expected everyone will one day look back fondly at highschool. My experience wasn't awful, just exceedingly mediocre. I did my thing and kept a low profile, got good grades for the most part (for all the good it did--now I'm a directionless bartender/electronics salesperson/bank-teller-in-training and while it's nice to make money none of these things are jobs I'd care to do for very long). The friends I had were...well, I guess I can't complain, I've kept in touch with one girl from highschool and she's one of my best friends. Everyone else was just a casual aquaintance, having more friends in my neighborhood and on the internet while in highschool. But there were really never any of those "Buffy" moments where we're sitting on the front steps of the school, in the cafeteria, or in the library and the moment's just crystallized in my mind as the golden years of my life. Nothing like that every happened at school, though occasionally outside and far away from it.

[ edited by Kris on 2007-03-03 00:26 ]
I remember a high school teacher telling me "This is the best time of your life" and thinking "Should I kill myself now or wait, just in case he's full of it". Thankfully, he was. Wish I'd had Buffy to watch back then in the dark ages...
It's been over 10 years that high school is over; I'll never the notion of looking back on it fondly. Never going to happen. But I do like the idea of Buffy & Xander reminiscing at the end. That would be touching.

Really great interview. It's cool that across the board there was a lot of praise for Season 2 and Angelus. I always thought he was one of the best big bads of BtVS.
Joss was, as always, a good read, and both of these writers were very cool people and so devoted to the characters. Joss really attracts (& maintains relationships with) the best folks. Loved hearing their best and worst o' Buffy. Sorry to hear, though, that Joss's "feminist manifesto" would sometimes get to Jeph Loeb...

I'm over fifty, and I haven't yet hit that mythical point where I look back on high school as "paradise." There were high points, and good folks, and the occasional great teacher - but I too was given that "these are the best years of your life" speech and inside I was thinking, "No f**king way! Seriously. If that's true, kill me now."

Thanks gods it wasn't true.

My experience was much more in the Freaks and Geeks mode, being a hybrid of both groups, and I never would have survived it without an older sister, and the development of a mouth that effectively short-circuited the average taunting of the "popular" kids, guaranteed to be your lot if you were in the "smart" classes...
High school nostalgia--nobody remembers Jonathan recalling his "friends" fondly in "Conversations with Dead People"? Few people had a lousier highschool experience than Jonathan--although he did, at least, survive:

JONATHAN: No, I'm serious. I really miss it. Time goes by, and everything drops away. All the cruelty, all the pain, all that humiliation. It all washes away. I miss my friends. I miss my enemies. I miss the people I talked to every day. I miss the people who never knew I existed. I miss 'em all. I want to talk to them, you know. I want to find out how they're doing. I want to know what's going on in their lives.
ANDREW: You know what? They don't wanna talk to you--all those people you just mentioned. Not one of them is sitting around going, "I wonder what Jonathan's up to right now." Not one of them cares about you.
JONATHAN: Well, I still care about them. That's why I'm here.

And then...well, we all remember what happens then.

My h-s experience, superficially, was not that bad, but parts of it felt agonizing. Things got much worse later--maybe why I'm such a fan of season 6!

[ edited by Maeve on 2007-03-03 12:52 ]

[ edited by Maeve on 2007-03-03 12:52 ]
Sorry to hear, though, that Joss's "feminist manifesto" would sometimes get to Jeph Loeb...

I winced when I read that.
Oh. Interview love! Just the way everyone had such original takes on the best/worst moments - a great little read.

And I'm so glad Joss said that about Adam, who was so sadly anti-climactic, and Dawn, whose whining always bothered me and stopped me from properly embracing a character I wanted *so* badly to love.

And hurrah for Wizard!Giles, who has a fond place in my heart alongside FestiveHaloween!Giles.

And since we're all chiming in - I loved high school. Weird.

This interview made me a little nostalgic for Buffy, truth be told. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but sometimes I just have to take stock and go, wow, that show was really something.
Joss is a class act as usual. I enjoyed this. The Jeph Loeb comment didn't bother me because we are all different and enjoy different things. That is why there is BtVS *and* Ats. ;-)

I really think S4 was better than people give it credit for and Adam is the problem. OK, Adam and zombie Maggie Walsh. ...Adam, zombie Maggie Walsh, and Riley not being able to move and then cutting himself open and pulling out the chip. But all that was a minor part of the season and in just a couple episodes.

As far as getting nostalgic for High School, count me out. My toughest thing is to try to keep from passing on my hatred of grades 1 - 12 to my son. It can be really hard work.

Just the other day I was confiding to a friend who works at the sister corporation to mine that now that everyone in our department knows we are going to be laid-off, (Jeez that never sounded dirty before. I am going to blame hanging out with all the Brits here. ;-) ) I feel a little like I did at High School graduation. Everyone else was all teary and I was trying not to let my glee at finally being out of that horrible place show. Admittedly, in my current situation there is quite a bit of terror mitigating the glee, but like others here I have been out of High School for more than 30 years and still remember it as a prison I had to endure for 4 years with the previous 8 years being no better. Things were often tough in later years as well, but until these last years, I always felt I was at least more in charge of my life once I was out of high school.

I think my reaction back then to "these are the best years of your life" was the same as whenever people have made that assumption throughout my life: "Not if I can help it! I'm just getting started." I always felt they were selling me short. Joss's comment about not having many 4 years left is true but in things other than the movie business you can do quite a bit in 4 years.
I hated high school, but the way Brian K Vaughan describes that nostalgia between Buffy and Xander works perfectly! If only I'd had friends like that in high school, the monsters and vampires and hellmouth would have been much more bearable.

I feel sorry for anyone whose high school years were their best years - because it's really such a small part of your life. Sure, you've got less responsibility but you also don't appreciate it.

I'm out of high school 15 years this year... (after passing out and then picking myself up) ...I still hate it. But, admittedly, it did make me partly what I am today.

No wonder I love Buffy.

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