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August 08 2008

If you like Buffy you'll like... UGO.com gives its "top 11 recommendations for the Buffy fan". Some of the choices are obvious. Firefly and Runaways. Some are inspired. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion?

So what are your recommendations?

My recommendation: Teen Titans

It has all the goofy humor, large character arcs, action, and drama (sort of) that Buffy has... but it's animated...
If you like Joss, then you also might like.... Joss!

I don't know if I can think of anything that's up to the same quality as Joss which isn't a work by him. The only recommendation non-Whedon related that made sense to me on that list (aside from the few things I haven't read/played) was Supernatural. Because while it's not up to par with Buffy, you can get your vampire/supernatural needs met with that show (and if you're like me, you like that kind of genre and generally miss Buffy/Angel still.)
I would recommend:

Ultimate Spider-Man
Babylon 5
Doctor Who
Weird as it's going to sound, I'd totally recommend Friday Night Lights to a Buffy fan. Like Buffy and Angel (and Firefly), it's a show not at all about football/demons/spaceships, but the people. And it's just lovely. I imagine most people come to Joss for the characters, so this fits in rather nicely with his work, I think.
Lost
Veronica Mars
Dexter
Carnivale
The Sopranos
While I count ‘Buffy’ as my all-time favourite TV show, I must admit I am not wildly interested in any of the “top 11 recommendations”. On that basis, anything I might suggest would probably be wildly off the mark for others. However, I will make one perhaps rather too obvious suggestion – ‘Spaced’.
Ahhh Elder Scrolls Oblivion IV . . . the 70+ hours (and counting) of my life I've spent addicted to that game. And I am VERY excited about the Buffy game for the DS. Yes, I do spend a wee bit too much of my time addicted to the video games. But hey - it does not get in the way of my redicuously long DVR list. I mean, a girl's got her priorities.
Battlestar Galactica and Farscape are the only shows that come close to the level of brilliance of the Jossverse for me. They have engaging characters that actually develop along the way, some humour, and well thought out story arcs. But Dead Like Me and Veronica Mars are also quite shiny.
And they left out BSG? Dead Like Me? Wonderfalls? Spaced? Veronica Mars? It's more like a list of anything vampire that isn't totally lame. Apart from the Joss choices, it's really kind of a pitiful effort. And this is from one with a weakness for genre stuff.
So pretty much "If you like Buffy you'll like ..." ... "... stuff by the same creator. And Elder Scrolls IV" ? ;)

We're a pretty varied bunch so i'm not really sure about my recommendations.

New 'Doctor Who', especially the Moffat ones to start you off, probably (but Who is also radically different to BtVS, very much a thing you like or really don't IMO).

'Dexter', dark and serial (not just the killing. Boooom boooom ;). 'Carnivale', same (but sadly unfinished too).

Definitely 'Farscape', that actually has the same quality of "don't look at the Muppets, look at the characters" that BtVS - with its sometimes slightly dodgy effects - also had (I laughed out loud when I first saw Rygel but totally saw him as a character after about 2 episodes).

Anything by Pegg et al (so 'Spaced' especially, 'Shaun of the Dead' if you don't mind gore, 'Hot Fuzz' if you really don't mind gore ;), hell, even Nick Frost's mostly excellent sketch series 'Man Stroke Woman' and Pegg's early 'Big Train' - YouTube 'em to get a feel).

Definitely 'Farscape', that actually has the same quality of "don't look at the Muppets, look at the characters" that BtVS - with its sometimes slightly dodgy effects - also had (I laughed out loud when I first saw Rygel but totally saw him as a character after about 2 episodes).


Heheh, yeah I snorted at the ridiculousness of Rygel at first too. The dodgy effects and muppets is why I have so much trouble getting my friends to watch it. But once you get past all that its really quite good! Alas they refuse to beleive me.
I agree with what some of you have said. I thought the list was a sad attempt at listing recommendations. It literally was "If you like Buffy you'll like....other works by Joss." Y: The Last Man is the only non-Joss work that I thought deserved to be recommended. A very entertaining piece of work.

I also agree with many of the recommendations posted above. I would also suggest Veronica Mars, same type of feel as the Buffy series. However I didn't like the lack of development for the supporting characters. It really was the Veronica Mars show, where Buffy the Vampire Slayer was hardly just about Buffy.

Heroes of course...it's a good show even if the mythology of the show is already out there (X-Men). And Claire is almost a direct duplicate of Buffy.

I really enjoyed the first season of Chuck. Has good humour and action like Buffy...not nearly as dark though.

If you liked the darkness in Buffy definitely check out Dexter. Plus that commonality that we find in all humans is again projected in the character of Dexter. Like Buffy, Dexter struggles to not necessarily find his place in the world (as he's done quite well with that) but his struggle to find a balance. That's definitely similar to what Buffy (characters) has and is going through.
EX, I agree with your take on Veronica Mars. I just watched the series about 3-4 months ago, and I don't think I ever got past how they gave Mac this interesting backstory with being switched at birth, gave a touching episode about it, but then it was never mentioned again. Maybe Joss has spoiled me, but I expected/wanted more. Veronica was still fun to watch, and besides, she was such a cutie in season 3.
Supernatural isn't really all that Buffylike. Veronica Mars was the best show for the recovering Buffy addict, period.
Sandman (Comic)
Strangers in Paradise (comic)
Babylon 5 (TV show)
Bone (Comic)
World War Z (book)
The Name of the Wind (book)

And most of what people have already said

Not sure if every Joss fan would like them but I do and I'm a Joss fan :)
I'll join the group of people vouching for "Dexter". It's a really well-written show that will you keep you on the edge of your seat. I'm surprised no one recommended "The Sarah Conner Chronicles". I'll admit the writing isn't quite up to Joss level- some scenes get drawn out a bit too long- but it's got great characters, lots of action, and focuses on the theme of 'family' that Joss fans love.
Am I the only person who doesn't understand why 'Veronica Mars' is so widely considered to be the natural successor to 'Buffy'? I watched a couple of episodes, but it failed to leave much impression and after that it just seemed to bypass me completely.
Am I the only person who doesn't understand why 'Veronica Mars' is so widely considered to be the natural successor to 'Buffy'?


At the time we were desperately looking for something to fill the post-Buffy vacuum. VM seemed to tick all the right boxes (well first season wise).
EvilFire: I'm watching the Terminator movies right now so I have some background to get into the show. To be honest, the main reason I'm going to start watching 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles' is because of Summer Glau.
Y the Last Man most definitely. Great read.

I don't know how anyone can seriously recommend 'The Lost Boys: The Tribe' for any reason. It's terrible. Horrible. Not worth the name 'The Lost Boys'. It's a sad day for a movie when Feldman is the only decent actor. Stay away from this.

Why didn't Veronica Mars, Chuck, or Reaper make the list? They're sort of in the same style of small ensemble, lead solving problems, and unusual plots.
I'm gonna step out a bit here and say the movie The Descent. Try to watch the original version (main difference is the ending) if you get the chance.

I also love Farscape very much and encourage Buffy fans to watch it. You might find the first few episodes slow, but it gets SO GOOD by the end. Plus, the creator is taking Joss' lead and continuing the series in comics.
Birds of Prey (comic)
Slither (movie)
Night of the Comet (movie)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (comic)

I would also recommend Heathers. I found the last scene of the movie to be very similar to the Angel/Kate dialogue at the end of "Epiphany".

[ edited by windmillchaser on 2008-08-08 16:55 ]
Well, this is a much harder question than it would appear at face value. Because why do we like Buffy? Simply because it's great fiction? Then any other good fiction would do. Or are there more specific elements that need to be there in order to warrent this type of statement. I'd go with the second, immediately disqualifying admittedly great shows like BSG, Dexter, Carnivale, The Sopranos or Babylon 5, all because they are so very different in tone and style as to be incomparible in this case.

I was very happy with the choice of Y: The Last Man in the linked article. Brian K. Vaughan has a very Jossian writing voice. His characters are articulate and funny. The story even deals with gender issues in a light and entertaining way, which means it has at least one theme in common. It can also switch from laugh-out-loud comedy to lump-in-your-throat drama like Joss' work. Same goes for Runaways, which was also rightly mentioned and has the whole group of friends dependent on each other ("adopted family"), learning as they grow up theme in common.

My other suggestions would be:

1. Veronica Mars. Like any series (even Buffy), it has its faults, but Veronica Mars is the closest thing we ever came to a "new Buffy". It had a smart, self-aware main character. It switched effortlessly from comedy, to drama, to action. It shared its early highschool setting, sunny outdoor daytime shots and nighttime investigations. Veronica even had her own "scooby gang" of sorts. Truly a show any Buffy fan should watch.

2. The West Wing. A less obvious choice, because the politics on offer are vastly different and are something you have to be into to enjoy the series to its fullest. Given that, though, The West Wing is an extremely intelligently written show. It is one of the only non-whedon shows I know of, which pays as much attention to dialogue as our favorite shows do. There's a certain rhythm to the lines said and every character has a subtly unique voice, making the show a pleasure just to hear. What's more, The West Wing mixes serious drama, emotional storylines and laugh-out-loud silly bits (which, like in Buffy, stem mostly from spoken jokes and are funnier because we know who's saying it). And, finally, it features a strong ensemble cast which has a very interesting group-dynamic (an "adopted family" again). I'd happily recommend it to any Buffy fan.

3. New Doctor Who. Unlike both previously mentioned shows, I actually don't think new Who is that good. Apart from the scripts by Moffat and the occasional inspired episode, new Who is mostly just a lot of fun without actually being quality fiction. The scripts are riddled with plot-holes, deus ex-machina's (ex-machinae?), etcetera, but in the end, that doesn't matter, because it'll put a smile on your face almost every single time. Look no further for a witty show-with-a-wink that combines genres and styles and can be both silly and serious without one degrading the other. But like Saje said, it's definately a love-it-or-hate-it affair. I for one love it.

4. How I Met Your Mother. A sitcom? Really? Yes, really. Sure, it's silly fun. But the writers love Joss and it shows in a shared sense of humor. What's more, they - like sitcoms such as Friends before them - focuss on the characters and are not affraid to end episodes on a dramatic moment and make the audience actually care about the characters instead of just using them as joke-machines. I'd be the first to admit that the same goes for other sitcoms as well (such as the aforementioned Friends, or something like Newsradio), but the whole slew of stars and guest stars from Whedonia, make this appear on the list. If only just.

Other great shows like My So-Called life or Friday Night Lights (which really is great), would only have one or two elements in common (well-written drama and high school setting) as would other things I've been trying to come up with, so I'll stick with this list. For now :).

ETA: there was a random "and" in there left-over from rearanging my comment. I've now rescued it, put it in a safe home, and will be sure to re-use it in a future comment once the original shock wears off.

[ edited by GVH on 2008-08-08 14:56 ]
Hence "And, they all lived happily ever after" ;).
Deep Space Nine.
Supernatural, surely?
A show that surprised me how much I loved it when my daughters insisted I watch is 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'. It's a cartoon that was on Nickelodean and just finished it's final episode to wrap up it's three season arc. It had a great story, a lot of humor and a reluctant, young hero. It reminded me very much of Buffy at times. It's available on dvd and the last season will be coming out soon I believe.

And I also loved Farscape! Great show, great acting and lots of fun to watch. And I can't understand why BSG wasn't on that list. Considering how much Joss loves the show!

Edited to add that Babylon 5 is fantastic! We are watching it through a second time (first time for my husband) and the character development and story arc are so amazingly well done. My husband can't get enough of it and he's not easily impressed!

[ edited by Firefly Flanatic on 2008-08-08 16:00 ]
I honestly believe that How I Met Your Mother will be one of the best sitcoms ever, and is right now hands down my person favourite. The writing combined with the genius acting (especially NPH) is just incredible. And as the above poster already said, they MAKE you care about the characters.
Bl, I agree with you on Avatar. I watched it a couple of times with Tristan and we both commented on the similarities to BtVS. I never got hooked on it, but what I saw was really powerful and well-written.

I'll wager you all can guess what my recommendation is.

Deadwood. For the win.
A list like this just has to have Veronica Mars and Battlestar Galactica.

And I second the Teen Titans recommendation. It's a bit goofy at times, but has some surprisingly deep character stuff. I actually remember thinking "If Whedon wrote a saturday morning cartoon, it would be almost exactly like this."
I think we should edit the Headline to be What I Watched to Get My "Fix" When There Was No More Joss.

Here's mine (non-Joss, since I've watched them all again & again. & again.):

1) Veronica Mars- Because Purple Dude recommended it himself. Ended up loving it.
2) Dexter- Love this twisted show!
3) Bones- Because David Boreanaz has really polished up his acting skills and I love the chemistry between him & Emily D(?). Bones & Booth rock! Plus, the squints, which touch the special death nerd place in me. :)
4) Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chornicles- Yeah, it had a rocky start (due to Writers' Strike), but once they brought in Brian Austin Green, the team had plunged a new depth that I can't wait to see again. Season 2 is going to be good!
5) Tru Calling- Yeah, I know some won't agree with this, but it reminded me of Early Edition, which I enjoyed as a kid. But Season 2 started to shine when it was yanked. :( Now I'll never know how it ends...
6) TWIN PEAKS- Only saw the first season back in NY, and it was wonderfully addicting! I can't wait until all the seasons are available from Netflix! If you get a chance to watch them all, do so now. I blew my chance and have been regretting it for 4 years. :(

For those of you who don't know Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, please allow me to offer *props* to it. Let me just say that I'm not a new-age gamer. I was a Nintendo child, and was left in the dust when the new controllers came out. I hate those things, and I hate killing things, blowing stuff up, and racing around town with NO POINT. Well, Oblivion is totally different. It's a character game, with a story, and goals and interests and twists and bends that all take different routes to the end. You might even call it a role-playing game? The computer-characters interact with you and every decision you make alters their view upon you. It's fantastic, and very addicting. Highly recommended.

Alright! :)

ETA: Missed an "m", and put one in. But I'm not going to tell you where! *cackles*

[ edited by korkster on 2008-08-08 16:28 ]
It's a hard question. I've tried, and didn't especially care for, Veronica Mars, Farscape, or Carnivale, so the overlap is not as great as one might think. I'm looking for a certain combination of imagination, verve, humor, great characters, and some depth beneath the surface flash. Or at least, in the case of Pegg, *really great* surface flash.

In comics I'd urge everyone to try Y: The Last Man; Gaiman's Sandman; Alan Moore's Promethea and, one that doesn't get a lot of mention, Top 10 (hilarious super-powered "Hill Street Blues"); and Busiek's Astro City. I don't watch a lot of TV, but: BSG and Spaced (of course), and, yes, Avatar, which is quality in its design, humor, and creativity. Plus you get your Buffy-fix of whirling and spinning kicks and all. HIMYM is terrific - definitely has the quirky feel of shows like Spaced and (UK) Coupling. (Hugely love Deadwood, but I don't know that the average Buffy fan would feel the same way about that one, so I hesitate to recommend on that basis).
If you liked Oblivion, try its predecessor Morrowind. In some respects, it's actually better.

And I'm going to add the 30 Days of Night tpb to my list. It was my first "fix" after Buffy ended.
Well, I just finished praising it on another thread, but I'd say again "Freaks and Geeks." It's not genre, but it's the closest I think to Whedon's sensibility in terms of getting what it felt like to be on the brink of adulthood, the humor and the heartbreak.

Next up for me would be "Wonderfalls."

And may I suggest: "Hamlet", "MacBeth", "The Tempest" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream". All stories of the supernatural - witchcraft, ghosts, love spells going awry, people controlling spirits. Great action, and fight sequences. Like Whedon, this fellow Bill liked to mix in comedy with tragedy. Like Whedon, he uses language in unfamiliar ways - it's a little tricky, especially at first, but if you can understand Melaka Frey, you should be able to follow these. Most significantly, lots of character depth - good and evil in the same individual, how basically decent people can make the bad choice that leads inexorably to hell.
This too often devolves into what other stuff do people like rather than what actually might fill the Buffy-sized hole left in our lives. I do admit to loving most of the shows mentioned in the thread, though. They all do vary in one or more substantial ways. I adore Spaced for its pop culture savvy and surreal vision of twenty-something life, but I know it doesn't strike a chord with everyone, for example. I enjoyed Veronica Mars, though the quality kinda trended downhill and it wasn't to Buffyesque levels to begin with. I do own every season, so I say that with love. Friday Night Lights I adore but I know Buffy fans who hate it (and by it, I mean the state of Texas and anything set there - see how I call you out? ;)).

BSG is very dramatic and lovely (and probably my favorite show still airing), but cuts in many different ways than the Buffster. The humor is all gallows, for one thing with little punny to show. Deep Space Nine has a great mix of drama and humor and strangely may be closer than a lot of these shows to capturing a Whedonesque feeling, especically in later seasons. You have arc-y storytelling with sometimes silly, sometimes ironic, sometimes wry and dry humor, you have incredible dramatic episodes as metaphors (like the CLASSIC "Far Beyond the Stars")... its good stuff and I need to re-watch. Anyway, its a hard thing to pin down. I do adore Oblivion, but the controls are something that bog it down a bit. I adore Coupling for its structural experiments and humor, though it borders too much on farce for some peoples tastes and again its a sitcom with many of the things that that entails (sidenote, I just caught the first ep of "Not Going Out" which seems like a lot of fun so far - anyone else watched that? I know its got 2 series in its homeland ;)).

Sandman and Y are top shelf, but I don't know that they would appeal to everyone, even most Buffy fans.
I think "might like" would have been a better title, since there's something on that list I don't much care for and something I don't like at all.

[ edited by Craig Oxbrow on 2008-08-08 16:55 ]
*sigh* I still haven't found anything that can successfully replace the Buffyverse for me personally...:(
I was very sceptical, and for good reason, about Supernatural when it started. It wasn't very good. It's still not much like Buffy, but it's become good, really interesting. Take advantage of the summer reruns that are left if you haven't checked it out, is my advice. I'm on pins and needles to find out what happens to Dean after he went to hell, when it resumes.
"Hugely love Deadwood, but I don't know that the average Buffy fan would feel the same way about that one, so I hesitate to recommend on that basis."

I see your point. Strictly judging quality, it fits. Just for the Buffy fan, not so much.

Kim Possible is really cool, and Buffy-esque, but doesn't have the gravitas of Avatar. I'm just now checking out Saving Grace (Grace is a pistol, and brings to mind how Buffy might be in her 40s - minus the smoking and drinking), and it's pretty good (can't count the ways I adore Holly Hunter) though not stellar. Leon Rippy is wonderful as her last-chance angel. It's worth a look.
Funny, the first time I heard of Veronica Mars was a promo proclaiming it the "next Buffy." The moment I heard that I went "psshhyeah whatever" and didn't watch it. Until a couple episodes down the line, a friend (and Buffy fan) told me to watch. So I did and got hooked. It's not as good as Buffy, and Rob Thomas is no Joss Whedon; but I did really love that show.

If we're talking games, gotta bring up The Longest Journey/Dreamfall. A reluctant girl thrust into an adventure in a new world, being a hero against all odds? Great stuff.
Well, in the also from Joss list, Fray should definitely be on there. For me, it's as close to Buffy without actually being Buffy that you can get.

And I would also recommend Avatar: The Last Airbender to everyone who loves Buffy as well. (For anyone who's interested in Avatar, this: http://tiny.cc/Z1N3z should take you to a write-up that explains some of the similarities. Sorry I don't know how to make that a live link.)

[ edited by jls730 on 2008-08-08 17:28 ]
dreamlogic, shouldn't you avoid spoilers for a show you're recommending people catch up on? =)

Supernatural may not be consistently Buffy funny, but the ones written by Ben Edlund (Angel, Firefly) are crazy funny (funniest eps on TV right now, imho).
This too often devolves into what other stuff do people like rather than what actually might fill the Buffy-sized hole left in our lives.

To be honest, I reckon all we can do (even though it's not the brief ;) is think "I like Buffy and I like X, maybe so will other Buffy fans" because as noted, people even like Buffy for different reasons, never mind other shows. To me, the humour was a huge part of the appeal so 'Spaced' with its linguistic playfulness and hip, ironic humour (in amongst the fart gags ;) is a good fit. And 'Man Stroke Woman' similarly, though way darker/more "adult" than 'Spaced'.

But I don't like what i've seen of HIMYM, like at all really, despite many other BtVS fans digging it.

Similarly, Sandman has the sort of unexpected (to some) literary quality that Buffy had and Y has sort of hip, funny dialogue and looks at gender politics (probably even more directly than Buffy did) but if that wasn't what attracted you to BtVS then, apart from being quality storytelling, they don't have a huge amount in common.

('Farscape' i'd say because of the darkness and the group dynamic and because Crichton has an almost Wesley-esque character arc IMO but apart from that the plots were often fairly standard sci-fi tropes just put through the 'Farscape' wringer and i've noticed a lot of Buffy fans aren't necessarily "traditional" sci-fi fans. That's true - more surprisingly maybe - of 'Firefly' too IMO)

[ edited by Saje on 2008-08-08 17:57 ]
To be honest, I reckon all we can do (even though it's not the brief ;) is think "I like Buffy and I like X, maybe so will other Buffy fans" because as noted, people even like Buffy for different reasons, never mind other shows.


See, that is totally correct, but there is a difference between the two. Slim though that difference may end up being in practice. You can love things that have NOTHING to do with with Buffy. Just hoping people will pause and think, what is Buffy-esque about X before recommending it as a Buffy substitute.

i started watching HIMYM for Jason Segel and Allyson Hannigan, but I'm watching it now for NPH and Colbie Smulders. It amuses me, but thats all there is to it, really. If you insist, I'll try Farscape, but the last time I looked at it I couldn't get past all the muppets ;).
Some of Farscape's puppetry performance is pretty awesome. There's an episode about Pilot that nearly has me weeping every time I see it.
Also Angel as well. There are Buffy fans out there who have never watched it. And vice versa.
I was mostly pulling the collective leg of the Farscape lovers, there, I just never got into it and didn't have time to catch up. I'm always a tad perplexed at the "Buffy, no Angel" and "Angel, no Buffy" crowds...
"Veronica Mars" is the closest you can get to "Buffy" and "Angel" quality. While the highs aren't as high some of the time, the quality is actually way more consistent than "Buffy," and Rob Thomas completely pwns at characters and long season arcs. It's better than even "Firefly" and lays the smack down on every entry on this list. Can't believe it isn't on there!
For those who loved Buffy for the humor, Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. Tough female characters (Granny Weatherwax anyone?) and wordplay such as a character called Cohen the Barbarian (aka Ghenghiz Cohen).
I'm always a tad perplexed at the "Buffy, no Angel" and "Angel, no Buffy" crowds...


Well there were fans who never got into the character and there's those who watched Angel first and never felt the need to watch Buffy. Just of one those things I love about my fandom.
dreamlogic, shouldn't you avoid spoilers for a show you're recommending people catch up on? =)

Um. Good point. But part of what's become awesome about the show is that they're taking the premise, originally so vaguely realized, to where it actually goes. I have no idea what they're going to do next, but I want to see.
I'm probably a strange sort in that I watched Firefly first, and said to myself "The guy who thought this up is a genius, I should go see if his other shows are as good," and started watching Buffy, which I quickly saw was just as genius. I wasn't a big fan of the character Angel on the show (except in "Enemies" with the 'Second best' part. That was a Crowning Moment of Awesome for me), but watched Angel after I finished Buffy anyway because, well, I still thought Joss was a genius. Now I love all three shows, and pretty much every character that has ever showed up on any of them.

Anyway, I watch a lot of the shows that seem to get love from the fandom, HIMYM, Veronica Mars, Dexter, etc etc. I can't really think of any others that I can justify...maybe Freaks and Geeks to get the hyper-realistic image of high school as opposed to the more metaphorical image provided in Buffy (and to see a young Sarah Hagen, also known as Potential Amanda). Also maybe Pushing Daisies for the quirky supernaturalness and forbidden love vibes.
I was surprised that Battlestar Galactica didn't get a mention, considering this show makes even Joss go fanboy and to be honest, I can see why. Although I am grateful that finally Veronica Mars didn't get lumped together with Buffy again; hopefully people will stop making that comparison someday.
I'm not going to recommend shows to watch if you're missing Buffy just because they're quality shows. If you like Buffy you'll like...Dexter? Er...not quite. The shows are nothing alike. While I think Dexter is the best show on TV, I'm not going to recommend it to a Buffy fan on the criteria of it being similar to Buffy.

I'd recommend Veronica Mars and Supernatural. VM has the strong, savvy female protagonist, the high school, the witty dialogue. SPN has the demons and the hunting of them, and the mythology. I can't really think of anything else TV-wise that I'd recommend on that basis, except maybe the first season of Roswell. It's got a group of high school outcasts with special powers, and it's got lots of soap-opera-y drama. But after the first season it gets incoherent.

Don't get me wrong, there are tons of shows I'd recommend to people who like high-quality programs. But they wouldn't go at the end of a sentence that begins, "If you like Buffy you'll like..."

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2008-08-08 18:51 ]
I love Buffy. Torchpoo'd makes me soil myself in disgust.
Exactly, ESG. Lots of great TV out there, not necesarily Whedone-esque TV. I was about to say I doubt that Torchwood reco will go uncommented for long. I like later Torchwood well enough (I vomited when Cuberwoman aired... and then stopped watching for weeks), but I can't say as I'd recommend it to Buffy fans on a general basis.
b!X, I thought you changed your mind about Torchwood.
There are only a few tv shows that get me as involved and enthusiastic as I was with Buffy and they're Firefly, BSG and Twin Peaks. Aside from that I think I have to turn to books to get my fix. Reading sci-fi/fantasy is the only thing that will absorb me to the same extent (or maybe more so).
I think I'd say Middleman, really.
I thought I had changed my mind, too. It turned out they had merely faked me out and really did want to be poo.
Well, on the positive side, Chibnall is going away next year *cough*, ahem. I just don't like his eps mroe often than not and I think that he was the wrong guy to run the show.
Supernatural is what would happen to television if actors were replaced by models.
Well, b!X, I didn't think the second season was very good at all. Most of it was just laughable. But then again, I have a really hard time getting into Doctor Who. I think the writing is lazy, and the parts I do like (long story arcs) they tend not to focus on. Then again, maybe that's my complaint about Torchwood too.
Supernatural is what would happen to television if actors were replaced by models.


Really? Do you even watch the show? Jensen Ackles does quite a layered performance, and I think Jared Padelecki is more than competent.
Yeah, if you're referring to the first season, wilbueche, I forgive you, but it's not like that anymore. Also, there is the the important Whedon-y connection of the possibly demonically talented Ben Edlund (of Angel).
I forgot to mention upthread that I made it through only the first episode of Saving Grace. I know many who love it, but I can't get past the poor handling of the supernatural elements. It comes off as a tad too precious for me. I did quite enjoy the character of Grace, however, she was something :)

ETA - Wherever Ben Edlund goes, hilarity inevitably follows. Tick fans, unite!
It's a pretty lame article,I must say. Joss' other works plus some vamp stuff.

I have to agree with the recs for BSG and Veronica Mars, as well as The West Wing and The Middleman.
TWW is fun,interesting,witty,fast-paced, with truly amazing writing. Aaron Sorkin is my favourite after Jossir himself.
MM is pretty new, but so much fun. packed with pop culture references and exotic problems,its a pretty geeky show with witty dialogue.
HIMYM is also really fun.I didn't expect it to be, I heard a lot about it but dismissed it. until I started watching.
I have to rec works by Brian Fuller as well, Wonderfalls,Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies.
I don't know if Doctor Who and Buffy have that much in common, but their creators follow similar patterns, so the fans might like them.
then again, it all depends on why you watched buffy
Simon's recommendation of Ultimate Spider-Man is spot-on. I've been a lifelong webhead, and I've got to say, Brian Michael Bendis' take is possibly the definitive look at the wallcrawler. I've often described as, "If Joss Whedon wrote Spider-Man..." Please. Buy it. It is amazing. Spectacular, even. Quite possibly sensational. (The comics readers will get that. ;-) )

Also:

Y: The Last Man, Harry Potter, Veronica Mars, and maybe Lost. Plus everything else I like.
What, no love for Eureka where one of the main computer nerds (Fargo) frequently references Buffy and SMG? (To the point that the house computer is named "SARAH".)

And Lost Boys 2: The Tribe? It's the exact opposite of BtVS: trite, boring and shallow. Joel Schumacher was right on that score. Even the silly The Covenant was closer, and that was a weak attempt to do The Craft for boys.
Tick fans, unite!

Spoon ! And that was the comic Spoon ! BTW, kickin' it old skool, yo !

(to this day the thought of the Ninja hedge never fails to bring a smile)

Please. Buy it. It is amazing. Spectacular, even. Quite possibly sensational.

Heh, was it Civil War where one of the characters (maybe Iron-man ?) actually said that as they watched him be, well, amazing, spectacular, even sensational ? ;) Lovely moment, it shouldn't have worked but it just did.

Well, b!X, I didn't think the second season was very good at all. Most of it was just laughable.

Heh, apart from 'Random Shoes' the second series was much more watchable IMO (though it lost it from about 9-10 ish and then kinda brought it back at the end) with some episodes i'd even call good, bordering on great TV. Series one was mainly pants though, with 'Cyberwoman' being the nadir (probably not just of TV but of everything, ever ;).

'Torchwood' is one show I wouldn't recommend to anyone, not necessarily because it's bad (though series one, on balance, was IMO), just because I find it utterly impossible to predict how people are gonna respond to it.
Did anyone notice on this list titled "If you like Buffy you'll like..." has Firefly, Serenity, & Dollhouse... but no Angel???

I mean, come on! I know they're in the same 'verse, but they are two different shows. It would seem the logical step would be to include Angel because of its ties to Buffy.

I'm probably just being an ass, but I thought that was funny.

*red-headed step-child cries in corner*
'Cyberwoman' being the nadir (probably not just of TV but of everything, ever ;).

Ooh, new vocab I just learned from freerice.com! I feel all educated and stuff.
I'd recommend Gargoyles (excluding the last season where they had fired the creator the messed up the show - he's continuing it in comic book form - and did I mention he likes Joss Whedon?) Creative storylines, great characters with depth and development and amazing dialogue (the graphics are cool too ;)
*nods in agreement about Gargoyles*
Sweet merciful Zeus, not Torchwood.
Wormwood (Ben Templesmith comic)
Veronica Mars
Wonderfalls
Mad Men, Mad Men, Mad Men!
The episode of Supernatural I saw had a model guy trapped in a room with a model girl, who was herself trapped within a pentagram (because she was a demon), but not vanquished. They read script lines at eachother for awhile. No hint of acting talent from either of them. If things have improved since then, good to know.
Since I believe Wonderfalls and Dead Like Me have already been mentioned, and I KNOW Veronica Mars has, I have to put in a vote for Popular. It was a cute teenage show, perhaps not as deep as Buffy, but it was something you may not try based on its title but that had a lot more going for it. It definitely failed because most people wouldn't get the jokes unless they were older gay men (as the creator was) but it was a very cute and quirky teen dramedy, with enough ridiculousness thrown in to keep you interested. Also, Buffy's own Owen played the hot brother of one character, and I'm sure there were a few other cameos I'm forgetting.
Sweet merciful Zeus, not Torchwood

I haven't seen Torchwood, but think the reference to Zeus may be helpful. In re: Athena popping out of his head full grown. That's how Joss's stuff tends to come to us. Already in progress and already awesome. Doesn't mean we should despise what has to come through the diaper and spit-up stages, but turns out good.
Wizards & Warriors. ;)
The first three Silent Hill games. Also we don't talk about the fourth one. Ever.
Did a quick search through the comments, and was surprised that no one mentioned "Six Feet Under." Does it have to qualify as being totally post-2003? I didn't discover the series until my girlfriend got me season one in February. I was completely engrossed and bought up and watched the entire series by May. As a huge Whedon fan (and comic book fan for most of my 23 years), I hate it when people assume my likes will have to be rooted in sci-fi. No, just good writing. And "6'u" had just that--great character arcs, hugely memorable plots, humor and pain. Should sound right up our collective alley. Also possibly the best series finale ever. Well, after "Not Fade Away" and "Chosen," of course.

Still, about the proposed list; I usually skip those things, but since the void is empty once again, I thought I'd browse to see a good recommendation. Well, I obviously thought of most of the stuff on there already. But thanks to the 'nesquers who had alternate suggestions. I always wanted to check out "Mad Men," "Carnivale," and "the Wire." My only other "will-buy-on-DVD-series-obsession" is "WeeDS." Probably not for the typical fan of Joss' work, but I just love it.
I was wondering why this thread had gotten so long, and I see why now. I know very well why I love BtVS:
1. comedy (even at it's darkest Joss would find the funny
2. interesting stories with surprise twists
3. complicated characters with even more complicated relationships

With those as my criteria I can say that I found Veronica Mars, Dead Like Me, Dexter, Deep Space 9, Chuck, Pushing Daisies, and many other shows mentioned above to be really wonderful, even worth buying the DVDs and rewatching. But so far no one has mentioned my current favorite:

Burn Notice: it is the anti-24! With a dry wit, amazing plot twists, and a paranoid loner hero with his psycho/violent girl friend it has everything I enjoy in prime time TV (plus some BSG alum come on as guest stars). I recommend it a lot!
CaptainB - Love SFU as well as Mad Men and I adore Weeds.
embers, I just rented that from the library.

I think I may eschew more Saving Grace in favor of Burn Notice. I've been zinging halfway through 1st seasons all summer. The Tudors (now THIS I watched all the way through), Torchwood (not large with the love), Rome (again), Profit (again, again), the above-mentioned Grace, and now starting Jericho too.

Phew!
There's been some talk about Six Feet Under before. I've expressed my ambivalence about it.

(BTW, are we in some other language's spellcheck? I'm getting a lot of false negatives)

I didn't like Saving Grace at first, but it's been growing on me. It's not really necessary to choose between it and Burn Notice, even if you don't have a working VCR (I don't). TNT/USA replay their original series almost too much.
I'm also still fond of Joan of Arcadia, primarily because I think they were amongst the best written teen characters in television history.
My mind went so quickly to Veronica Mars that I posted an immediate blurb on the original site about that show. Now that I quickly scanned the above, I'm shocked and disappointed at myself for not acknowledging Chuck. At its best, a fun, funny mix of action and humor. Plus Adam Baldwin. Let's hope it evolves. And, if it wasn't mentioned here already, surely My So-called Life is one of Buffy's leading precursors, and, Buffy aside, arguably the best show of all mentioned.
Joss has referred to Party of Five, which I never saw. If I remember right, he talked about it in his commentary on Innocence. Not enough rocket launchers. That's enough to put me off it.
Most of what I can think of has been mentioned already, but I will add in Pushing Daisies. It's not exactly Buffy-esque, but the first thought I had after watching it was that it was the first us show since Buffy to completely engross me in its world. People with darker tastes might be put off by the cuteness of Chuck and Ned, but it's well worth the watch (especially for the moments when it goes all musical like, and Kristin Chenoweth starts singing :)).

I'll also throw in Life On Mars which, while having little (if anything) to do with Buffy, might interest some for the rampant pop culture references (though you'll probably have to be British to recognize many of them). Characters are big in this show as well, with a healthy dose of existentialism.
Party of five was soooo treacly and cryface-y. Gawd I'd want to open a vein after watching. I'm surprised Neve Campbell and Jen.L Hewitt's tears didn't cause permanent rivulets down their respective cheeks.
Life on Mars was brilliant and the refs I didn't get I could Google :).
It must have had something if he liked it. Still, adding what you've said to the lack of high explosives, will definitely avoid DVDs.
As always, hours late to the party! What the list creators didn't do, that GVH did so well in his(?) post, was consider "why" we like Buffy. What it was about the show that drew us and kept us. Fine writing to be sure, but beyond that what?

This is the "non-book" equivalent to what librarians call "readers advisory". Generally peoples preferences fall into one of four appeal groups, plot, character, setting, writing.

Really good work might hit on all the appeals, but if it doesn't, we like what appeals to us. So, if I have my choice between two well-written shows, I'm personally going to be the one that favors story over character exploration. Give me a mystery over a drama any day.
Sure I could pimp out BSG and Wonderfalls and Veronica Mars... But in all honesty it does feel a bit redundant because everyone already loves those shows... Therefore I'll spend my energy on what could be a less obvious sell:
Greek
Sure the characters are characters in the true sense of the word but it still maintains a strong sense of reality. It's genuinely funny and what's even more impressive is that it actually manages to stay away from drama for the sake of drama but actually have the story develop in a more organic and believable way (unlike pretty much every teen show ever, I'm especially looking at you The O.C.)... The show never sugar coats things and some times even let's characters get away with "murder" just because sometimes people do... There are plenty of strong women (for example you might hate Rebecca, most people do, but you can never call her weak) and if I had to describe the show in one concept it would be "the exploration of life's "gray scale" and learning the disambiguity of things". Everyone always has a standpoint that's perfectly legit, even though you might not like it. All in all I think that most Buffy fans would appreciate this show.
So it sounds like I didn't give Supernatural enough of a chance - (I watched only the first episode of the series.) Hmmm, not being into boyish eye-candy, I let it slide. You're saying it's watchable after all? *makes note*
::Takes another cry for the red-headed step-child of the Jossverse.::

Grr. Argh.

I woobie poor, wittle AtS: the little series that could.
CaptainB, Six Feet Under is amazing.
The only show that even came close to me, was Wonderfalls. Loved it.

I tried most of the others, they just didn't have the humor that Buffy excelled in.

I am enjoying Chuck though.
So it sounds like I didn't give Supernatural enough of a chance - (I watched only the first episode of the series.

Most of the whole first season sucked. But then it started gathering an impressive cadre of writers. And then it turned out that Jenson Ackles wasn't just a pretty face, it was just that his character was badly written. With Ben Edlund (that was when I first noticed, at least) writing him, he was suddenly all brilliant. And now the impressive writers have taken the show down the darkest road I've maybe ever seen, in a TV show. Surely worth checking out.
Bollywood movies. Okay, not much like Buffy, but it IS my new fandom. (They are?)
You gotta love the Bollywood (even Buffy, Xander, & Willow considered that to be 'must see TV'), my favorite is "Bride or Prejudice".
I looked it up. It's Bride & Prejudice.
Bride and Prejudice was good but Monsoon Wedding was funny, romantic, and heartbreaking and thus much more Whedon-y. ;)
It's Bride & Prejudice, not Bride and Prejudice.
The Dresden Files, the books, not the TV Show. The best way I can describe it is as if Harry Potter grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and was raised by Voldermort, became a private eye and was written by Joss Whedon. The books are in turn hilarious and touching. Plus Butcher has a handle on a certain blonde tiny bad assed cop who might be chosen for something more.

That, and James Marsters reads the audiobooks.
To be technical, B&P isn't Bollywood, it's a film in that style by a British director (of South Asian heritage). Moonsoon Wedding is a film shot in India by Mira Nair, but that doesn't make it Bollywood either. Bollywood specifically refers to the Mumbai film industry, and films that have a masala mix - action, melodrama, comedy and lots of music and dancing though has come to mean anything shot in India to the West.

Did I mention I really want Shahrukh Khan and James Marsters to make a buddy film together? Not gonna happen, but a girl can dream.
The Dresden Files, the books, not the TV Show. The best way I can describe it is as if Harry Potter grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and was raised by Voldermort, became a private eye and was written by Joss Whedon. The books are in turn hilarious and touching. Plus Butcher has a handle on a certain blonde tiny bad assed cop who might be chosen for something more.


And I call myself a fan. I completely forgot about Dresden. ;)

I'll add in though, that even though the series takes some serious departures from the book, TV show Bob is worth a watch. Terrence Mann's interpretation is much different than that of the books, but is still true to the character.
Seems like a nice dream, redeem147, though I admit I don't know who the other guy is. JM being buddies with anybody tends to be hot, though.
OK, first I want to say thanks to all you guys for the long thread and great discussion. I always check out religiously every recommendation here, because we in Germany are really starved for quality entertainment in series. Not that I own a TV... but anyway. Since most titles are hard to get too, it helps to have some idea where to look at least.
Now I've got a whole new bunch of titles to check out.

Following GVH's neat example I'll list what I liked in buffy and where else I found it (and where not)

1.) Unexpected plot twists (24 is the anti-theme to that: terrible, I could always tell, what would happen)
2.) Strong woman characters (24 is the bad example, AGAIN)
3.) Humour (not to be found in 24)
4.) language, language,language. This is actually the most important for me. It may have plotholes, but if the dialogue is not stilted and/or portentious I probably love it anyway.

Now we come to the stuff, that I checked out, based on the recommendations here:

Farscape: hilarious, love John chrichton.
Veronica Mars: Fell flat for me, can't tell you why.
Babylon 5: Wonderful, but the offspin Crusade has a lot more humour. I preferred it.
BSG: Left me cold, didn't like the dialogue
Doctor Who: Always cheers me up. Love especially the random silliness.
Torchwood: Meh, but got better in 2nd season.
Supernatural: The same. It now is getting really really really good
Pushing Daisies: Just saw one episode: It's fantastic, so far. Random strangeness mixed with profound stuff and great dialogue.
Six feet under: Jeez, disturbed much? didn't like the characters at all.
Carnivale: Wonderful, but too dark for me.
Tru Calling: Loved it. A shame that it ended just when it got really going with the mythology.
Wonderfalls: Just saw the one episode. Left me cold, because I had trouble liking the main character.
Dead like me: The same.
Lost: huh. didn't like the story structure. Dialogue, meh. humour the same
Heroes: Loved the story arc, had trouble with the brothers Petrelli as characters and Claire is, well, stupid. Hiro made it all watchable, but just barely.
The Sarah Connor Chronicle: Just saw the pilot: didn't really make me want to buy the DVDs. Shame. I love the premise. But it seems they forgot to focus on, well, Sarah Connor.... And I had such high hopes.
Roswell: Just the first season was any good. the rest was unwatchable, even though I tried.
Dresden: The TV-series was soooooooo terrible.


Other stuff not recommended here, I fell in love with:
The Closer
Monk
Bones
Medium
All quirky and humorous enough to satisfy me. But of course not comparable to Buffy qualitywise.

As you can see, folks, you kept me busy. Now I've got to try: Dexter, Chuck, Reaper, Deadwood, Spaced, Eureka, Hot Fuzz, Freek & Geeks, Greek, Life on Mars and Burn Notice. *oopphh* Did I forget anything?

And oh, books?

Dresden
Pratchett
Gaimon
and Artemis Fowl are just what this Buffy fan needs, when I need to rest my eyes from all that TV series watching....

[ edited by Harpy on 2008-08-10 00:32 ]
Well you can't go wrong with reading Dresden by Butcher, Discworld by Pratchett, and anything by Gaimon (although he, unlike the others, can be VERY dark). I have to confess that I'm not familiar w/Artemis Fowl and I'll have to correct that oversight.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. It's a kids book (like Harry Potter is)
I suppose, like Simon says, it all comes down to what it is that makes you dig Buffy! I can track how I got there, Scooby Doo, Nancy Drew, E.T., Terminator, Alien, Spaced, Tomb Raider, The Fifth Element. I read English at University, so I suppose you could then mix everything I've ever read into it as well.

So, for me, that's mystery, strong female presence, overcoming adversity, comedy, and competition. Buffy took all that I liked of the above and then mixed in social commentary. It asked you to enjoy and then think. Also, it's the only story that I've actually become totally emotionally envolved with.

Hence my choices of filling the Buffy void would be Veronica Mars (for the mystery-solving and the personal drama)and Wonderfalls (for the comedy and dissolutionment with life). But I have to say, that I've never really become totally smitten with anything since. It's like other shows have elements of what Buffy has, but none have everything, like Buddy had imo.
Glad this has fallen off the front, because I'm here to defend Torchwood, one of my three favorite non-Joss SciFi/fantasy shows ever (along with BSG, B5 and Carnivale) and my rant will probably piss off a lot of people. Because it goes hand in hand with how I loath Dr. Who.
I can't comprehend where the defenders of what has to be the cheesiest and just plain most awful in every imaginable way show in the history of Scifi on both sides of the Atlantic, can find the nerve to call Torchwood (basically) a piece of shit.

TW has 100% more in common with BtS than Dr. Who, starting with quality and moving through wit (as opposed to slapstick, OT comedy) on through great character development ( minus points for killing off my favorite, Owen).

Now they're going to ruin it by bringing on the terminally perky Martha (I would so love to see Buffy smack that phony, inappropriately-timed smile off her face) and the terminally bland and boring Micky, to no doubt turn TW into a more "family friendly" (read:kiddish) show, like Dr. Who, when the very thing that made it the biggest hit ever on BBCA was the fact that it was an adult show.
So for everyone who bashes Torchwood with a fervor I've not seen on this board directed toward any other show, just FYI, there are a whole lot of people who love TW and feel that Dr. Who is one of the worst Scifi shows ever.

And to save people's energy, I'm certainly not referring to anyone on this forum, but to every single person I know personally in R/L, who's into the genre.
End of rant.
*shrugs*. It's just a difference of opinion, simple as that. TV shows are like that, there's no objective metric for quality, much as we might want one, especially for the shows we enjoy - it's just what you like and what you don't.

That's what I mean about not recommending it BTW, people just seem to have such strong feelings either way - i've rarely heard anyone say "It's OK", it's either the best thing since sliced bread OR it's still sliced bread but, y'know, post digestion ;). The strange thing about the show is, one person can find it witty while another person can't even see where it's trying to be witty, I really never have come across its like before (OK, now with the possible exception of, yep, 'Doctor Who' ;).

And there've been strong rumours that Martha's no longer in 'Torchwood' series 3 BTW, Freema Agyeman is reportedly joining the UK version of 'Law and Order' instead.
I imagine they have the nerve to bag on Torchwood because they watched the early part of Season One, which (and I say this as someone who quite enjoys TW) reeked. Who requires a certain willingness to tolerate techno-babble answers, a juvenile streak, and a healthy helping of cheese to get to the good stuff. As an aside re: character development, there has been a fair bit of it in recent Who and the only time characters actually develop on TW is just in time to be killed. Just when Tosh and Owen got interesting it was time for them to die. On the plus side, Chibnall is off the show so it may improve even more!

As far as bashing with a fervor, have you ever seen me talk about True Blood ;) ? A few quibbles with the kiddy show-adult show axis; there are writers who treat Who in too much of a kiddy way. There is a balance to be struck there where you can make it fun and entertaining for the kids and still allow it to be touching and thought provoking enough for older audiences. Luckily one of the deities of this balancing act is taking over as EP/show-runner. Over on Torchwood, Chris Chibnall remained mostly convinced that adult meant that everyone shags everyone senseless constantly and that as mentioned above, character development should be saved for the episode that someone is offed in.

P.S. - to several folks above, his name is Neil Gaiman, if you please.
Over on Torchwood, Chris Chibnall remained mostly convinced that adult meant that everyone shags everyone senseless constantly and that as mentioned above, character development should be saved for the episode that someone is offed in. zeitgeist | August 11, 16:17 CET


OK, I absolutely didn't see it that way. I can name a dozen shows that had more overt sex in any given thirteen eps than TW did in either season. Granted, most of it is exclusively heterosexual, which I still believe is the underlying basis for judging TW differently from such sex-drenched shows as Nip/Tuck and Rescue Me (disclaimer for not having kept up with Rescue Me due to getting sick of the testosterone overload).
For that matter, you could take twenty six episodes of BSG (the # of TW eps aired), pick out the ones with the most sexual content, and find as much sex per ep. as in Torchwood.

As an aside re: character development, there has been a fair bit of it in recent Who and the only time characters actually develop on TW is just in time to be killed. Just when Tosh and Owen got interesting it was time for them to die.

Again, I totally disagree. I've seen steady character development in every TW character, from the very beginning. Especially with Jack, from the two-dimensional cartoonish swashbuckler from Dr. Who, to genuine depth and complexity (see "Adam", as the best example).

.There is a balance to be struck there where you can make it fun and entertaining for the kids and still allow it to be touching and thought provoking enough for older audiences.

I have to admit that the assumption that every show on TV should be judged by this "kid friendly" standard, just irritates the hell out of me. Granted, it's possible to strike this balance, but some of us want a choice of exclusively adult shows available, as well. And not just re. sexual content (Dexter comes to mind). Not every show needs to be kid friendly, just put it on a little later with a "content" warning and leave it to parents to take some personal responsibility, from there.

As for bashing, I'd forgotten True Blood (where the bashing has been pretty much confined to .org, I think) but with that exception, I stand by my statement that Torchwood has gotten more really rude bashing than any other show I've seen discussed on this board, ever, and in the crudest terms.
Which is why I'm defending it and backing off my heretofore attempt to tone down my criticism of Dr. Who.
Just sayin' .... if they turn TW into a Dr. Who clone, especially with the kid-friendly aspect, which does not have to apply universally to every show on TV, BBCA will lose me as a viewer. Not that they'll give a flying frak, but for what it's worth, I'm just disgusted by everything I've read about the "new" direction they have in mind for Torchwood.
I think the complaint about TW series one wasn't that it had overt sex (of whatever stripe) but more that it substituted shagging and swearing for actual adult content. Shagging and swearing are seen as adult when you're 13. The business of living, mortality, loneliness etc. are much more adult concepts ('A Day in the Death ...' from series 2 was, IMO, much more adult than pretty much all of series 1 combined and managed to do it (IIRC) without sex or swearing. Or Doctor Who's 'Blink' with its slightly melancholy tone about opportunities lost and time running through your fingers).

If you include sex and swears in a realistic way then no-one's going to complain IMO (or rather, they might complain but they should actually just change the channel ;) but to some here the swears and sex in series one had the feeling of kids playing with a new toy - just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.

Feel free to wax ranty against 'Doctor Who' as much as you like BTW Shey, it's OK for you to dislike it (quite intensely by the sounds of things ;), just as it's OK for me and others to dislike TW series 1 - me saying series one was (basically ;) shit isn't the same as it being shit, just as with your claims about 'Doctor Who' (or rather, it's true for me and you respectively).
I think the complaint about TW series one wasn't that it had overt sex (of whatever stripe) but more that it substituted shagging and swearing for actual adult content. Shagging and swearing are seen as adult when you're 13.


Obviously, I disagree. Along with virtually every American TV critic who praised TW for among other things, a refreshingly matter-of-fact take on sex and specifically, not confining sexuality to the heterosexual model.
You don't have to have a thirteen year old mentality to believe that sex and adult language are indeed part of "the business of living". So the point is, why should these aspects of adult life not be represented in a specifically adult show?
These things aren't just "seen as adult when you're thirteen", (and yeah, if your getting the impression that I found that personally offensive .... well, passive aggressive much?)
This stuff is an integral part of everyday adult life, so why should it be left out, when other themes that are part of adult life are allowed? Plus a whole lot more violence than any adult is likely to encounter in a lifetime.
So obviously, I don't believe the sex and language were "substituted" for anything, but rather woven into a fabric of storytelling that included your oddly arbitrary definitions of adult "concepts", as well as the shagging and swearing and a number of other themes that fall into the "adult" category.

I don't really need to "wax ranty" against Dr. Who, although I do indeed dislike it intensely. Which was kind of my point about bringing up my feelings (about Dr. Who) only because I got sick of the really rude tone of the TW bashing. Not from you BTW, you only offended me with the "when you're thirteen" remark.
Different strokes, yadayadayada.
I think the problem for some of us, Shey, was that we felt that TW itself treated sex as if it was being written from the mentality of a thirteen year old. (That was only one of my own problems with the show. I also found every single character on it fairly revolting as human beings.)
I think the problem for some of us, Shey, was that we felt that TW itself treated sex as if it was being written from the mentality of a thirteen year old. (That was only one of my own problems with the show. I also found every single character on it fairly revolting as human beings.)
theonetruebix | August 11, 19:28 CET

Wait .... are you saying that you don't like Torchwood?? ;-)

Well that's OK, there are also some of us who feel that Dr. Who's "nudge/wink/suggest but never say/show anything overt", represents the thirteen year old mentality.

I do find what someone said up-thread really interesting, about the intense "either love it or hate it, no middle ground" thing, because it seems to be quite accurate. "Finding every single character fairly revolting" is definitely a pretty extreme reaction. And totally incomprehensible to someone who loves every single character (well, the ones that are left) :-(
Before I even read the rest of the replies, I wanna jump on this straight away:

I have to admit that the assumption that every show on TV should be judged by this "kid friendly" standard, just irritates the hell out of me.


It irritates the hell out of me and that's not at all what this is about. It has always been the case that Doctor Who has been on that balancing beam. TW and zillions of other shows are not held to that in any way. I'm usually the sole poor bastard defending TW around these parts. Just to be clear, the balance with kid friendly was referring to DW ONLY.

BBCA


Ah ha, the BBCA edits of TW are a different animal to the BBC airings. This explains some things...

You don't have to have a thirteen year old mentality to believe that sex and adult language are indeed part of "the business of living". So the point is, why should these aspects of adult life not be represented in a specifically adult show?


Part of is the key in that sentence; as in "rather than substituted entirely in place of" ;) The criticism of this aspect of the show wasn't that it was there, but that it took the place of every other adult thing that could happen. As an aside, I don't think there are many folks familiar with RTD's work who are going to tune in to a show of his and not expect sexual themes and especially homosexual themes (heck he and Moffatt managed to bring us the pan-sexual Captain Jack in the middle of that series you loathe :)). I say that re: knowledgable watchers like those of us here, its possible that people elsewhere may've had issue with homosexuality as presented in TW, though I have to admit that from what I've seen that criticism seems to make up a remarkably small percentage.

The "thirteen year old" stuff is specifically referring to how Torchwood seemed to treat sex in S1, and for my part at least wasn't meant to make any suggestion as far as anything about a person watching or indeed enjoying TW. I quite enjoyed the back half of S1 of TW and found S2 to be even better and, perhaps as importantly - more consistent.

(well, the ones that are left) :-(


I hear ya... I want Tosh and Owen not to have died. I overstated things above because hyberpbole is awesome, but while there was character development pre-death for them, there was a ton more crammed into the episodes leading into their deaths than ever before. Owen had a great run once he was "walking dead".

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2008-08-11 20:32 ]
This explains some things...

But not my things, since I've seen the original BBC versions. ;)
No one can explain your things, b!X. Wait, what were we talking about ;)?
It always comes back to people's things (OK, now who's 13 ? ;).

Well that's OK, there are also some of us who feel that Dr. Who's "nudge/wink/suggest but never say/show anything overt", represents the thirteen year old mentality.

I'd say it's aiming a bit lower than 13, more like about 8 ;). I.e. 'Doctor Who' isn't an adult show and has never claimed to be an adult show, it's quite specifically family entertainment, very deliberately written to allow kids and adults to watch together and is broadcast on arguably the UK's most mainstream TV channel at 7 pm (ish) on a Saturday evening - the suggestions are there in the same way they're there in e.g. 'Shrek' i.e. they're designed for adults to "get" but to sail straight past kids. But (new) Who also doesn't hide sexuality either in that Jack is clearly bi-sexual, even on Who (he kisses The Doctor for instance and alludes to a fellow soldier/airman having a nice bum). The thing is, The Doctor himself is largely asexual as a character and Russell Davies has done a great job IMO of walking the fine line between accommodating old and new fans by having him not act on it as The Doctor.

These things aren't just "seen as adult when you're thirteen", (and yeah, if your getting the impression that I found that personally offensive .... well, passive aggressive much?)

Passive aggressive ? Err, what ? I wasn't being, though possibly that means nothing to you because you've also decided i'm a liar. I thought (as zeitgeist understood) it was fairly clear that I meant that to teenagers, shagging and swearing (and also drinking come to think of it) are the things adults do and so you can "wear" them, in an obvious way, like a "badge" of adulthood. Then you (and by 'you' I mean you, me, all of we adults) realise as an adult that actually, they're just things you do as an adult, not what makes you one.

And why do I have to be insulting you Shey ? Did you write 'Torchwood' series one ? You'll have noted that it was me that said it's just a difference of opinion, that it doesn't mean anything about either of us as people. Or was I somehow being malicious then too ?

I make a specific effort in all my posts to avoid personal insults and stick to what I can show to be the case (or very clearly state - probably overstate - when i'm merely expressing an opinion, though I admit, this one time I missed off an 'IMO'). Please don't assume you know what i'm thinking better than I do, you don't. Please don't assume you understand what I mean better than I do, you don't. Please don't assume that i'm some kind of passive aggressive prick just because I disagree with you, i'm not (though I guess I would say that, right ? ;). Instead, please take my (serious) remarks at face value and try to avoid reading malice where there is none. You can usually tell when i'm not being serious because I also overuse emoticons (as well as commas and parentheses but that's probably not germane ;).

I do find what someone said up-thread really interesting, about the intense "either love it or hate it, no middle ground" thing, because it seems to be quite accurate.

Yeah, that was me. Perhaps now you can find a way to interpret it as an insult.
This is the part where I get home from work to find everyone's gone to bed to have grown-up sex? and thus can safely ask people to be a bit nicer to one another, to not assume that other members intend to be deliberately insulting, to not take insults directed at one's own favorite show too personally, and also to remember that we all have marvelously different tastes in this big old wide world of ours - so if you're gonna rag on a show (band/writer/haircare product), do it with style, taste, and a happy emoticon whenever possible. I personally try to avoid threads where people are being mean about my own cherished things - except that one time with that comment about the Dixie Chicks. That was just wrong. :-)
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This explains some things...

But not my things, since I've seen the original BBC versions. ;)
theonetruebix | August 11, 20:23 CET

Well I have season1 on DVD so I assume I have the "original, uncut BBC version". I was actually surprised at how little difference there is, as I also have all the BBCA airings recorded.
The stuff that was cut from the BBCA versions was virtually all language. As well as some stuff that was obviously cut for no reason other than time constraints, to accommodate commercials. None of the sexual content was cut, that I noticed. Which didn't really surprise me, since some shows on U.S. cable/satellite have pushed that envelope much more vigorously than TW.

Passive aggressive ? Err, what ? I wasn't being, though possibly that means nothing to you because you've also decided i'm a liar.

Really want to clear that up, sage. I have never suggested that you're a liar. I'm really not sure where that's coming from but I want to state unequivocally that I didn't say it, don't think it and don't even know what I said that you interpreted that way.
As for the rest, we could debate the wording of the first paragraph of your post up-thread forever and probably not come to an understanding. I suppose there are ways to interpret "Shagging and swearing are seen as adult when you're 13." in some way other than, you're in a back-handed way saying that if I appreciated the treatment of sexual content on TW as part of the whole and didn't perceive it as gratuitous, I (or anyone who shared my take on it) must have the mentality of a thirteen year old.
I just can't really see a different way to interpret it.

And why do I have to be insulting you Shey ? Did you write 'Torchwood' series one ?

Well, that would be because your post was a direct response to my post defending TW. Also maybe a bit of me being paranoid, since I'd spent the afternoon with my mom, which makes me crazy under the best of circumstances. ;)

As for my counter insult :) about being passive-aggressive, I probably should have just gone with something like, I felt you were "insinuating". But I'm part of a family of Shrinks, and the language becomes a part of how you communicate.

I'd say it's aiming a bit lower than 13, more like about 8 ;). I.e. 'Doctor Who' isn't an adult show and has never claimed to be an adult show, it's quite specifically family entertainment, very deliberately written to allow kids and adults to watch together

Well then I've learned something. I didn't realize that you guys on that side of the pond actually knew it was basically a kid's show. ;-)
Maybe it's a difference in the way we use language, because over here, you wouldn't describe something aimed at eight year olds as "family entertainment", but just as a "kid's show", something the adults suffer through so they can spend family time with the kiddies.
And that's probably even a matter of interpretation here in the U.S. Since I made the choice to not have kids, I've always gravitated toward a mainly adult (and radical) social setting. So who knows, I may now be insulting some of my fellow Americans. :-(
But it does explain a lot to me personally, about Dr. Who. I'm just one of those adults who don't "get" the appeal of kid-centric or even "young adult" entertainment, for adults. You would have to tie me up and gag me, to get me to sit through most anything animated. And try as I have, I only watch the Harry Potter movies because some of my favorite actors on the planet are in them. So call me strange, you wouldn't be the first.

I'm not "assuming that I understand what you mean, better than you do", sage. I'm interpreting what I "hear" in the way I interpret things, and my mind is no doubt a very different place than yours.
I'm aware that you make an effort in your posts to avoid insulting anyone. I do the same, and much to my surprise, sometimes wind up doing so anyhow, to the ear of the perceived insultee. So we do have something in common. ;) Other than the over-use of emoticons and parentheses when making an effort to lighten it up. (My emoticon doth mean no malicious intent)??

OK, we have more than one thing in common. Also a tendency to over-explain. So enough.

Ummm ..... I definitely see the Buffy/Six Feet Under connection, if that one wasn't mentioned, it should have been, :D

(Emoticons anonymous, anyone?)
I have never suggested that you're a liar. I'm really not sure where that's coming from but I want to state unequivocally that I didn't say it, don't think it and don't even know what I said that you interpreted that way.

I said "possibly ... you've also decided" the point being, you have as much reason from my post to assume i'm lying as you do to assume i'm being passive-aggressive. Passive-aggressive behaviour is also one of those things, like lying, that it's obviously nigh impossible for the "accused" to disprove themselves. You only have my word, if that's not good enough, there's not much more I can do.

Again, maybe because you feel a bit embattled (sorry ;) and so are keen to see 'Torchwood' as, in some way, objectively good, you're still missing the "I think the complaint ..." part that started the whole 13 year old thing off i.e. the people that didn't like 'Torchwood' series one (myself included, apart from a few episodes) see it that way, we see it as simplistic over-use of a new toy. You don't ? Great (sincerely). We're both right and we're both wrong, y'see ? That's how opinions about art work, what works for you works for you, what doesn't, doesn't. You thinking animation is just for kids (or, presumably, those with a child-like mentality ;) doesn't make it so, me thinking TW series one was shit doesn't make it so except for ourselves. It's not a truth about the world (regardless of what "virtually all American TV critics" think - though, since you brought that up, it does make me curious as to what they think of 'Doctor Who' ;) - it's a truth about each of us as individuals.

Fair enough, I didn't include an explicit "IMO" but we're talking about the relative merits of a TV show, the fact that it's all just opinion kinda comes with the sickle. Or does for me anyway, i'm now genuinely wondering if perhaps you don't see it that way Shey, maybe you think there's some absolute metric of quality that's "out there", in the world ? That's a viewpoint I don't agree with (I wish I did, then I could rigorously prove to people that Buffy's brilliant TV, they'd have to agree ;) but it'd at least make the extent to which other people's opinions apparently offend you understandable.

Do I think that means you have the mentality of a 13 year old ? No, I think it means you see TW series one differently to me (personally I don't have a clue what redeeming features you see in an episode like 'Cyberwoman' - OK, apart from Gwen's perfectly timed, perfectly delivered 'Shit' ;) - but why would you lie about something like that ? You must see them, even if I don't). So long as we can both still accept that that by itself doesn't make the other person an idiot, it's all good.

Also, small thing but isn't saying someone (who isn't 13 ;) has the mentality of a 13 year old actually just aggressive-aggressive ? Isn't passive-aggressive saying something totally innocuous but in a way/context that suggests the original poster is wrong/being heavy-handed/etc. ?

Maybe it's a difference in the way we use language, because over here, you wouldn't describe something aimed at eight year olds as "family entertainment", but just as a "kid's show", something the adults suffer through so they can spend family time with the kiddies.

Maybe so, we're separated by it after all ;). But to go back to my 'Shrek' example I googled 'shrek "family film"' (no outer quotes) and got 139,000 hits and i'm gonna go right ahead and assume at least some of those pages/references were made by Americans so it seems like "family" in that sense isn't just a UK concept.

If a show is something that adults have to suffer through i.e. it has no adult appeal then, yep, we call that a "kid's show" too. 'Doctor Who' obviously doesn't fall into that category though (because many adults also enjoy it). The Harry Potter novels are children's books for instance (in that they're primarily aimed at kids) but many adults also like those, the "His Dark Materials" trilogy is similar. If you've tried them and not liked them that doesn't make you strange, that just means you don't like them. If you're judging them without having tried them then that's obviously a different story (and judging isn't the same as thinking "That doesn't appeal to me", we all do that with incomplete information, by 'judging' I mean assuming they're childish or of poor quality).
Definitely 'Farscape', that actually has the same quality of "don't look at the Muppets, look at the characters" that BtVS - with its sometimes slightly dodgy effects - also had (I laughed out loud when I first saw Rygel but totally saw him as a character after about 2 episodes).

I loved that show. Well, until it got so twisted not even I could follow anymore. But for a long time it was great. I also really liked the earlier seasons of the X-Files and a really short series that was on Nickelodeon when I was a kid called The Tomorrow People. It was a British show-- maybe it ran longer there? The Powerpuff Girls and the first Sailor Moon series also have some common themes.

Yep. Cartoons.
It was quite long by UK standards, getting on for 70 episodes according to Wikipedia (it certainly felt like a show that was on for a while at the time). All I can remember about it is a) teleporting is very cool, flares, not so much and b) 20 pence isn't enough money to make a sci-fi TV show with ;).

They remade it in the 90s but I didn't see any of those.

ETA: unless you meant the 90s remake of course (only 25 episodes again, AtW), I can't remember what (if anything) you've said about your age in the past Sunfire ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2008-08-12 16:24 ]
It was the 90s remake. Which is cool, I didn't know there was an earlier series in the 70s.
Late addition, and it should have occurred to me before: The Innkeeper's Song.
Wow, people are still writing on this thread? Seesh!

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