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February 15 2008

TV people like Buffy. This article in Entertainment Weekly's Popwatch blog holds up Buffy as an example of good television.

If you follow the link to EW's story "26 true (fictional) lovers" in the lower left, Buffy and Angel come in at #6.
I would certainly think so.
So, so true. I'm a TV gal, but not until Buffy.
The article describes people as movie hounds or tv fanatics. I think most people don't fit those cathegories, without a real reason most just stay in the middle (or leaning to movies, because of the media buzz). With all the media coverage (and often worth it) the movies tend to get the most of the active croud behind them. I know I was in the middle-ground before Buffy, afterwards not so much.

Since the Buffy addiction I've noticed there are good movies and bad movies, and GREAT tv series and the bad ones. But nothing stirs up the imagination / feelings like a really good tv series, movies 2 hours just doesn't cut it. And todays tendency of prolonging movies to 3+ hours doesn't help at all...

Anyway, I feel it really needs something amazing to tip the scales, and Buffy is one of those things: series that shines brighter than Godfather, Star Wars (4-6) or really anything that movies can provide.
Anyway, I feel it really needs something amazing to tip the scales, and Buffy is one of those things: series that shines brighter than Godfather, Star Wars (4-6) or really anything that movies can provide.


I agree and I'd add Angel and Farscape to the list of amazing tv shows.
I spend a lot of time defending TV to folks, seems like the old perceptions of TV as the "vast wasteland" still persist, but about every month or so I convince someone to sit down and watch Buffy from the beginning and another convert is won! I can't name but a handful of movie stars anymore but can recite nearly every actor from the Whedonverse along with Xena and Forever Knight (yep, that comprises my 5 favorite TV shows)...nothing on the big screen can compare to those shows in my opinion, and I'll take Sarah over any Hollywood movie star!
Sweet. TV can be wonderful for the longevity if it's good.
I don't find myself falling in love with a series very often, but when I do it is so much more fullfilling than a two hour movie.
It is rare for me to meet the television show that can have me weeping in just an hour or two, and I could name several many movies that have done that to me. Weepy or touching moments on television only get to me because of the sheer amount of time I have invested, even when watching episodes that speak to me on a really visceral, really personal level (The Body, for instance).

I have not gotten more from a television series than I have from some movies that I really connect to. I think part of it might be that I am SUCH an aural creature, and on the whole, music written for television is not of the same quality as music written for film. And please, Whedonesque friends, don't crucify me on this one, I know that there are indeed some very fine composers working for television, but there are more of them working for film.

Golly. Maybe I am one of those "film people."
The music on BtVS was a little uneven, yes. First season's scores sounded... strange after listening to Christophe Beck for a while. And season seven's music wasn't bad, but it did take a slight turn.
I really think I like 'em both about equally, just for different reasons (maybe because my favourite medium of all is books so i'm more neutral ?).

I reckon films tend to have more inventive directing and better photography in general (because they have more time per shot and, usually, more money too), TV tends to have deeper characterisation and a more fully realised fictional universe because they have more time per character. Films are usually more intense experiences - TV's often a slower burn - but for me, they both burn about as hot.

And regards production values and general look and feel, the positive side of the double edged sword of rising TV budgets is that many (US) shows now look like miniature movies every single week.

(all of that is referring only to the best of what both have to offer BTW, obviously there's plenty of crap in both mediums, and is also only true on average - plenty of TV shows are beautifully shot and many films take extra pains to develop characters more)

Re: scores, Beck's music was excellent but I also thought Rob Duncan's stuff in season 7 was great, especially the 'Chosen' theme itself - loved the way that was riffed on throughout the season, it really lent things an air of cohesion. And you can't talk Whedonverse scores without mentioning Greg Edmonson - he helped make 'Firefly' what it is just as surely as Joss or Tim or the cast or Zoic or whomever IMO.

(TV scores probably aren't quite up to the standard of the best film scores but then i'd like to see John Williams produce the 'Superman' score in 6-8 days ;)
Always a movie and theater freak, it took renting Buffy videos on a whim to make me realize how good contemporary television could be. Since then I've fallen for Angel and Firefly of course, Wonderfalls, Freaks and Geeks, Six Feet Under, Veronica Mars 1st season, BSG, and there are others in the netflix queue drawn largely from series mentioned on this board.

It's certainly changed how I look at movies, but my feeling is that movies and television series are two different animals, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. A movie can give you a full story, with a real sense of resolution and completion, but as Saje points out, doesn't have the room for building stories and characters. A series has that, but all too often can go on endlessly dragging things out or throwing in weak and unconvincing conflicts, because if there's no conflict there's no story, long past the point where a resolution is called for (I'd say VM and Enterprise were both guilty of the latter).

As far as music in Buffy, I'm maybe not as aware of it as others, but I agree about the effect of the "Chosen" theme, and also have to comment on the "Buffy and Angel" theme, which I thought was extremely instrumental in creating the intensity of emotion surrounding that doomed relationship.
Do you think EW has discovered if you write about Buffy you'll get linked on Whedonesque and get tons of traffic?
I think EW does fine on its own without getting linked to by us.

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