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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I'm so evil, and skanky. And I think I'm kind of gay."
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November 11 2008

Cable Girl misses Buffy. "Because five years after it ceased production, there is still nothing comparable to its glory days".

Gossip Girl? Ok, I've never seen it, so I cannot comment on its quality, but come on! Hasn't she ever heard of Pushing Daisies?
You've never seen Gossip Girl but you're writing it off, Radaar? I think that's the biggest problem Buffy had.
How is "cannot comment on its quality" writing it off? Surely Radaar's just putting forward Pushing Daisies as an alternative and one which I whole-heartedly agree with. Most inventive show on TV at the moment. And definitely the prettiest.

(By the way, apparently latest mutterings on that show is that S2 will be 13 eps and then it will return for S3 in May. No idea how, if at all official that is though.)
Oh, I think I misunderstood you Radaar - sorry.
I do agree that while there are some rather great shows out there right now (Dexter, for one), there are few that can compare in depth to our Buffy.

And Gossip Girl. Blech. Intolerable. Maybe some people can get into rich people being cruel to each other week after week. I just can't. (And yes, I watched a few episodes before I formed my opinion.)
I for one agree with Gossip Girl - but that's the beauty of the DVD! I'm watching Buffy all over again - just finished Season 1 finale and she's just as tasty and fresh as ever. Mmmmm.....
I have to agree with every word said. Maybe if Wonderfalls or Freaks and Geeks had survived more than a single truncated season, they would have scaled the heights of Buffydonia. And there is surely hope for a new series shortly to come on-line on Fox. But for the moment, nothing else that good.

(Although I will say, that I liked Buffy more in its mayor days than its glory days.)
I object to the notion to Buffy being compared to Gossip Girl, even with just by the "target audience". Buffy was never a chick-series.

And Barboo, I agree about Freaks and Geeks, but I'm not so sure about Wonderfalls. The season 1 was wonderful, but it did not seem to have a goal, a point to reach to. It had a great idea, cast and execution, but I fear it might have turned repetitive with further seasons. Though, there is always the 'what if it would have been as good, or even better', so I'd have preferred to see another season(s)...
Beautifully written prose!

Honestly, I can't think of one show on television right now that appeals to the same demographic as Buffy or is in its same league. Gossip Girl appeals to young girls, even empowered women, and Pushing Daisies appeals to eclectic people. But neither embraces an allegory in which the experiences of the characters--shown through fantastical plot devices--symbolically represent the experiences, struggles, trials and tribulations of an entire class of people--teenagers/young adults. There have been a few episodes of Heroes and TSCC that tried to achieve Buffy's perfection. They tried but couldn't come close. Buffy is in a league of its own. I have seen nothing on network TV that's close to the brilliance that was (and still is on DVD) Buffy. Here's hoping that Dollhouse can achieve the same glory!

P.S. I'm not a writer, so don't critique me too harshly...please.
Heh, I read Lucy's Mangan's column in the Saturday Guardian almost every week. It's one of the many things I love to hate, and I never suspected that she has good taste in telly.
Throwing out the notion of demographics, the only show to come close to being as intelligent and enthralling as Buffy has been Dexter. The show still has a long way to go, but it's certainly on the right track.
There are some very good shows right now, I really enjoy Sarah Connor (last night's episode totally rocked and left me on the edge of my seat), House remains excellent, Dexter is wonderful and so is Bones. I own the DVD's of all these...better than any recent movies that I've seen. Having said that, Buffy remains the "gold standard"!
I actually enjoy Gossip Girl. It is in NO WAY comparable to Buffy IMO - but it's trashy fun.

Probably the only show I've seen in the last several years that was as good as Buffy and had the same kind of feel to it was Veronica Mars.
The only things that's been close to Buffy quality and addictiveness for me have been Lost and Doctor Who.
ricetxpeaches said:

But neither embraces an allegory in which the experiences of the characters--shown through fantastical plot devices--symbolically represent the experiences, struggles, trials and tribulations of an entire class of people--teenagers/young adults.

I thought that was very well-phrased, and I completely agree.

I enjoy Gossip Girl, mostly because I watch it as a satire (and because Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass are flat-out fabulous characters). I like to comfort myself with the fact that none of the people in my life are that selfish and cruel. Unlike the Scoobies, the cast of characters are not the kinds of people I would want to spend time with.

And while I love shows like Pushing Daisies and Battlestar Galactica, I don't think they can touch Buffy. Because Buffy does everything. It's hilarious in one scene and can break your heart in the next. It can be lighthearted fluff (of the very best kind) or incredibly dark. It works as sheer entertainment when viewed on a literal level and as food for thought when viewed on a symbolic one. It has its own internal mythology that was always developing, but relatable, flawed characters you wanted to spend time with. It was both epic and intimate. I can't think of another show that does all of that. (Possibly Doctor Who. But only possibly.)
In an odd way, I'd say a show that actually does do the "hilarious one moment and breaks your heart the next" well is The Office; it's more mundane, whereas Buffy is life writ large, but the creation of emotional resonance through comedy is something that the show has gotten good at. (My favourite Office is still the British one though.) Veronica Mars was pretty good at it too, at least in seasons one and two, but it's defunct. Obviously Angel and Firefly were comparable, but, whoops!

But no, I wouldn't put it up there with Buffy. Of shows that I watch, Battlestar is the best genre show out there, The Office the best comedy and Dexter the best overall (and South Park still miraculously the most daring); but, no, none of them are Buffy.
I reckon 'Dexter' is also quite allegorical with big existential questions about "souls" being rendered through the lens of a "soul"less (or so he'd rather believe) serial killer (as well as the more overt moral questions that the show's raised from episode 1). We've also had "performance anxiety", fear of fatherhood/commitment and all kinds of other issues explored, all using this overarching device of a character that might be missing pieces.

I'd say that it does it about as well as Buffy did albeit in a much more understated way, it's just that the issues are maybe less universally applicable (since it's not as overtly about growing up, only a rites of passage tale in a loose sense, as Dexter journeys towards one day - maybe - becoming a "real boy").

But yeah, in general BtVS might be a once in 20 years sort of show (not regards quality - which a few shows can match IMO - but more regards qualities i.e. the particular mix that BtVS had).
There have been shows that have lasted one or two seasons that I was hooked on for their short life span and continue to believe deserved a better fate than the one that befell them – but who is to say I would have maintained this level of interest had they continued on for another five or six seasons? As much as I adore ‘Point Pleasant’ and will continue to argue the case for it until I am blue in the face, I am happy enough with what I got. I am not sure how much further ‘Dead Like Me’ could have gone, although I do prefer the second season to the first. I would have liked to see a third season of ‘Joan of Arcadia’, which I think was getting better and better all the time, and it would have been interesting to see where ‘Invasion’ was headed, had it survived past its sole season.

I think the only show that has stretched to multi-seasons since ‘Buffy’ that has genuinely held my interest is ‘Doctor Who’. There is ‘Medium’, but that is really just a show I enjoy, rather than seek deeper meaning in its story, and I have found the fourth season a little bit stale.

‘Buffy’ was an exceptional piece of television and I think it will be very hard to ever match it. I know some fans will argue that ‘Angel’ did just that, but not for me. The same goes for ‘Firefly’, which I have still never quite managed to get to grips with.
The best Buffy shows get my vote for 'This Generation's Shakespeare'. Humour, anger, love, tragedy - it has all the emotions, witty jokes, sexual innuendos, huge sweeping epics, all on the tiny stage of not-widescreen. And maybe Mr. Whedon doesn't write sonnets, but he writes songs! That's close enough, isn't it?
Plus dead people and witches. Also subjects Shakespeare worked with. (Hamlet is a ghost story after all).
Comparing Buffy with Gossip Girl is almost like comparing a fine wine with grape soda served in a dirty ashtray.
Lol. After all those years of apples with oranges (which actually are very much alike) a comparison between two things that are actually quite different.

I'd say that it does it about as well as Buffy did albeit in a much more understated way, it's just that the issues are maybe less universally applicable (since it's not as overtly about growing up, only a rites of passage tale in a loose sense, as Dexter journeys towards one day - maybe - becoming a "real boy").

I'd argue that both Buffy and Dexter are for an (important) part applicable for and about outsiders.

The Office (US) kind of felt very Buffy-like to me too, during it's second and third season, not quite sure why anymore. I also think Arrested Development is somehow comeparable with Buffy, mostly because of the innovative/funny aspects. Though the main reason why it's like Buffy to me is just that it's damn good. Reading this thread, with comparisons to Buffy all over the place, kind of makes me feel that more or less counts for most of us. A show is like Buffy, when we love it, and totally incomparable when we don't like it.
For all I know, Dr. Joss does write sonnets, and maybe some former members of His Bunche do too. (Note: those aren't typoes.)
Darn. I was gonna link here.
There have been some truly excellent shows on since BtS began and ended, most on cable. But Buffy has a unique, eccentric, very special magic that has never quite been matched.
I just liked the jokes.
There has been NOTHING that you could compare to Buffy. Wonderfalls perhaps comes closest, but ended to soon.

I tried and couldn't watch Dexter, too grotesque.
Veronica Mars wasn't funny.
I love The Office but it's nothing like Buffy.

Not trying to diss other people's loves but I'm just mourning a little.
I was having a discussion with a group of friends only a few weeks ago about our various tastes in television shows leading me to realise that the majority of my "real life rather than online" friends are a lot more mainstream than I ever knew. Shows like the various CSI series, soap operas, reality television and various comedy panel quiz shows seemed to be the viewing of choice for the most part. Apparently, with the exception of Buzzcocks and Q.I., it appears that my viewing tastes are very different to those of my local friends.

As much as I adore Buffy, Angel and Firefly I'd have to say that I have a good few television shows on my must-watch list that are equally important to me and that I enjoy just as much. Obviously Highlander is my first love when it comes to television and movie fantasy. Then there's Doctor Who/Torchwood, Lost, Supernatural, Dexter, Battlestar Galactica, Farscape and 24. Not to mention a few new shows that I'm starting to love. Chuck, Fringe and, to a lesser extent, Terminator are all current favourites.

Don't get me wrong. Whedon shows are very special to me and in many ways they are extremely difficult to compare with any of the other series I enjoy but I'd be lying if I claimed that I hadn't found other shows to be just as brilliant in their own way. All depends on what I'm feeling like watching at a given time, I guess.
I have to say that there are several quality shows that I'm watching at the moment. Are any of them Buffy? No. Nothing else will *ever* be.

I would argue (not for Gossip Girl ;)) that quality and apples and oranges do not have to go hand in hand. I know that Battlestar Galactica will remain as one of my all-time favorites, along with Buffy and Firefly. Each brings something different to me. They can be of the same quality level without being exactly the same--in fact, they shouldn't be the same! Would benefit would we reap from that?

I would also agree that Dexter pushes the boundaries and asks us to double check morality--it is a ground-breaking show that is beautifully done.

Just because it isn't the same as Buffy doesn't mean it can't be listed alongside of it in the "shows that will cause an impact and remain with us."

I often liken my favorite media to classic literature--there are shows that will stand the test of time. And, aren't we lucky to have witnessed it?

**I've agreed with most everyone on the board, so, just tossing in my own thoughts with the rest of you**

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