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April 22 2009

(SPOILER) Peeking into Dollhouse's future through Buffy's past. A blogger looks back at Buffy, what makes Joss Whedon great and tries to answer why, despite such greatness, his shows tend to struggle, critical acclaim notwithstanding. Part 1 of a series.

This is, so far, a very interesting read.

I know that there are a lot of people who disagree with the notion of comparing Dollhouse to Whedon's previous material (you can't compare apples to oranges, really), which I understand to an extent, but aside from storytelling and the advantages or disadvantages one had over the other ratings-wise, the few similarities that Buffy and Dollhouse have to one another are very interesting to look at.

Both shows started at mid-season and were both challenged and thought to be dead in the water from the very beginning. Buffy also (in my opinion), like Dollhouse (also in my opinion), started out very slow and took a little while for the investment to pay off. Hopefully, if we're really lucky, Dollhouse will go the same route as Buffy and miraculously receive a second season, really hit its stride next year, and turn into yet another Whedon cultural phenomenon. I think it definitely has the potential to do exactly that if FOX simply lets it.

This comment turned out to be a lot longer than I anticipated, I apologize. I'm very eager to read the second part of this story though.
Of course you can compare them, as all his shows so far has explored the same themes more or less. Power, family, gender and the moral grey areas that connects them.

The blog gives an ok summary of the show I think, but ads nothing new to me. He forgets though, that the show that seriously introduced long term arcs and planning to US television was Babylon 5.

What strikes me every time I read about Dollhouse, whether it is in media or online, is that almost everyone is suffering from the FOX disease. That is, everything must hurry. If the first episode isnít SUPER the show must suck, if the show isnít SUPER after a few episodes it surly sucks and isnít worth the watch.

What if we had judged Buffy by those criteriaís? We all know how the first season is viewed even by rabid Buffy fans. No, as far as I see it, the whole first season is the pilot. A show must be given time to slowly expand the world and the characters. After the first season I'll start thinking about if the show is good or not.
I love season 1. I fell for Buffy with the very first scene I saw and think season 1 has all the qualities that I love the show for: the strong characterzation, witty dialogue, outsider point of view, a lot of humor, a playfull attitude to conventions, intelligence, etc.. You just feel that it somehow is meant to be taken serious, that it's meant to be loved rather than liked, that there's some thought put into everything.
Groosalugg you've really articulated the intangible when it comes to Buffy s1...I loved it!

Is it as amazing a story arch as the following season? Not quite. Is the dialogue somewhat cringe worthy at times? Teacher's Pet is all I can say. But does it carry with it the dignity, strength and self confidence that no other show, then or now could even dream of? HELL YES!!!
Spoilery Guest star mention? Or is that now so out in the open that everyone knows?

And to be fair to Doctor Who, no matter how much they were influenced by Buffy as RTD has admitted, they were doing multiple episode arcs and season long arcs thirty years ago! It wasn't until the New Who that they had any self contained episodes, DW has actually gone backwards in this respect.

[ edited by zz9 on 2009-04-22 13:26 ]
I'd like to chime in and say I whole-heartedly agree with the Groosalugg. I've seen it repeated here so many times that season one of BtVS was bad, or that it took a long time to get going, that it seems almost as if it is taken as a given. I honestly have to wonder just how many here really feel that way, or whether it is just a vocal few who do, or even whether some people are actually trying to convince themselves of that to make themselves feel better about not loving Dollhouse from the get-go.
I think its just not as good as later seasons, so people take the shortcut and say its "bad". I think that it shows a ton of potential and was good enough to keep me watching, but looking back on it, if the other seasons generally make it seem "bad" by comparison, its only by comparison.
Reading that makes feel like starting at the beginning again, just because it gets me thinking about it. I havenít watched any but the occasional OMWF in a few years...

I was not an early adopter of Buffy Ė I started with the fifth season while the sixth was on the air. I went back to the catch up on the first four seasons before watching the final seasons live.

While the show is clearly finding its footing, the first season is hardly weak. Itís just that the show became so good once it hit its stride. The second or third time through I keep finding so much of what is special about the show was already there in the beginning. "I Robot..." gets more watchable with repeated viewing yet I was embarrassed for it the first time.

When the first miniseries of the new BSG aired I was not sold. Without benefit of seeing where the show was going I still imagined the worst.

I hope the business can evolve so that once a Joss Whedon or a Ronald Moore shows what they can do that they will always get the opportunity to keep going as long as the stories are coming and the talent is eager to show up on set. Iíd pay in advance if I could, and Iíd happily pay directly to the TV producers and leave the networks out of it.
I agree with what you all are saying! I also love Buffy S1. I think Angel turning bad in S2 was a turning point in the show, where it suddenly began to realize it's full, dark potential, and I think it wasn't until seasons 3 and 4 that the writers clicked to the fact that a large portion of their audience was adult, not teen, but everything that made the show and the characters so deeply loveable was there from the very beginning, IMO.
I think the overall villain was too "typical" in season 1 For me. I often find that the strength or weakness of a show is in it's villains... The Master was a cut out copy of a typical "evil guy", whereas Dru and Spike were much more interesting and multifaceted and scary.
I agree that Season 1 gets an unfairly bad rap. It did not have all of the qualities of later Buffy, but it had enough of them, and I actually really liked the "monsters as metaphors for high school problems" structure. In fact, the episode that absolutely hooked me: The Pack.
When Buffy first aired, I saw some of S1 and didn't care for it at all. Never really bothered with it until I got addicted to Firefly. My girlfriend was a big fan, so she convinced me to give it another shot. On second viewing, I still didn't really LIKE much of the first season, but saw a lot of the things that I did like about Firefly in it, so I kept watching. By the end of the second season, I was absolutely hooked.

Since then I've grown to really enjoy the first season. I watch it, enjoy it and laugh without irony. I don't think any of the rest of the show would be the same without it.

As far as Dollhouse is concerned, however, I loved it from the beginning. I don't think there has been an episode that I didn't like so far, though certainly some are better than others. I'd take Dollhouse at its worst over most other TV shows at their best. And if it grows the way Buffy or Angel did, all the better for it.

That's my biggest disappointment over Firefly...that we didn't get to see what it could grow into.
I'd disagree with the notion that S1 of Buffy is bad, like everyone else. In fact, I even think saying it's bad "by comparison" is not truly fair. The first season had to build up the world, the conventions, the characters, etcetera. It's the foundation which the rest of the show builds on. It makes sense that something like Surprise/Innocence, which many - then, maybe even now - viewed as a 'turning point' for the series, where things started to get more layered and serious, didn't happen right away.

But even in the first season, we can see flashes of the briliance to come. The pilot (WTTH/The Harvest) was really very good and engaging and set the scene for the rest of the show. 'Angel' was a turning point episode, gave the show some history and context and was very involving. 'Nightmares' was wonderfull stuff and had some truly emotional moments and 'Prophecy girl' was the first episode that showed what Buffy could do and mean as a show. Who didn't tear up the first time they heard Buffy say "I'm 16 years old, I don't want to die"? Sure, there's the 'marching to its own theme music' scŤne too, but other than that? Television gold.

I remember being impressed by the show when the first season aired. It was - compared to many things being aired then - ahead of its time and it sure as hell didn't deliver what one would expect from a show with its title. Obviously, there were some clunkers ('I Robot, You Jane', I'm looking at you), but even the most ridiculous MotW episodes had something to offer: mostly witty dialogue and tremendous character work which formed the foundations for the show we fell in love with (in fact, I'd already fallen in love with it back then). And for every bad-ish MotW episode, we also got a few that were completely worthwhile ('The Pack', I'm looking at you).

In all honesty, I'd say it isn't fair to compare that first season - out of the context of its time - to the first season of Dollhouse. Television has evolved, in part because of Buffy, which was in turn shaped by that first season. So it really is apples and oranges as far as quality goes (one can of course have a great time comparing themes and the like). Right now, we're measuring Dollhouse against its time, when television, on the whole, has become different (and I'd say better). We're also measuring it against Joss' body of work (which is quite good) and what's more, with Firefly, we have an example of a Joss show which started firing on all cylinders from day one, so we know it can be done.

So either saying 'Joss always needs time to make things work - just look at Buffy' or saying 'Fans also don't particularly like season one of Buffy' when commenting on people not liking Dollhouse now (Buffy was a fresh fandom and as such - as one would expect - I only remember people who came in during the sixth or seventh season or otherwise looking at the first season in hindsight, not liking it) seems unfair. Even saying 'look, Buffy, a show that everyone loves now, had its share of clunkers in its first season' isn't - while accurate - entirely fair.

(Obviously this isn't meant to say that Dollhouse is at fault for a rocky start, because: just take a look at how impressive the show is now. So I'm agreeing on the point that shows deserve some time to get their footing, especially with a creator all of us like. I'm just saying I disagree with the pointing towards Buffy S1 as some kind of benchmark for comparison).

ETA: some more sense

(and also: jeez, at least I never write loooong comments ;))

[ edited by GVH on 2009-04-22 15:20 ]
Buffy S1 (for its time) was an amazing season! Keep in mind its production values, its cast members being thrown into this pre-conceived world (bear in mind the BtVS movie) and the fact that it was the FIRST season of a completely new series. In comparison to other seasons, it might have been sonsidered poorer, but later seasons had the increased fanbase, so increased support and funding, established characters with writers going all out for it, with the fact that these characters had a relatable past (some of my favourite lines in later seasons are references to the first ans second. Think: Willow's comments to Xander being a "demon-magnet. And in later seasons, Xander's comments on "pack-mentality". Even in season 5 of Angel, 'The Girl in Question', Spike and Angel discussing who's saved the world the most, referrring to Buffy stabbing Angel).
There were any number of long-term arc series on before Buffy- X-Files, West Wing, NYPD Blue, ER, etc.
First eps and first seasons are certainly unique and I'm all for giving them leeway for judging them as such. I really do find that S2 was where the hooks were really embedded, and I agree that it all builds on what S1 set up. When rewatching I was surprised at how different some things seem. I was really struck by how qitty even S1 is, when I had so often said that S2 was so great that it diminished S1 in unfair ways in my brain. I mean, yeah, "I Robot...", 'nuff said, but I don't want any of my comparing/contrasting to make anyone think that I don't have big love for S1. Without it, there could be no other seasons.
Dana5140 - The West Wing which started September 22nd of '99 vs Buffy which started in March 10th '97? Newer series with a fantasy or sci-fi bent do owe a debt to Buffy as well as X-Files.
The article mentions that season four had a bait and switch villain; the it was really the First Slayer and not Adam that Buffy was fighting. Was there any buildup at all to the First Slayer being the big bad that I'm just not remembering? 'Cause from where I'm sitting, you take out restless and I never would have called the First Slayer season 4's big bad.
Yep, Dana. In fact, I'd say that something like Lost probably owes more to 'X-Files' or 'Babylon 5', than it does to 'Buffy'.

Having said that, I think Buffy did popularize some concepts and ways of working, although I have no actual data to back that up. I think it had a big impact on the way television was made despite its modest ratings - especially since it was a huge hit online (maybe ours was the first really big internet fandom) and with critics. What's more, we know it's quite popular with a few current showrunners.

But I'd say introducing story arcs isn't one of the accomplishments of Buffy. Maybe it did help - along with others - in further popularising it and I'd say it certainly helped in making the concept of evolving characters arcs popular (although it didn't pioneer that either). I'd also say it had a fairly large impact on teen television like 'Dawson's Creek' or 'Felicity'. But even there, a show like 'My So-Called Life' got there first.
It was season 2 that did the trick and got me hooked for life. I to like season 1 a lot, but it realy got me when I looked back at it after watching the first run of the entire show and seing that it is actually quite different from the rest. The grittiness, like zeitgeist mentioned for example, or the horrormovie staples that Joss throws in and turns on their head, the realitve innocence and the seeds of the things to come.

But does someone agree with me that its hard to judge what Buffy was to become from season 1 alone, or Welcome to the Hellmouth alone?
Well, obviously it's hard to judge what a show will become with just one episode ;-). But, sure, it would also be hard to say after the first season. Or the second, for that matter. In fact, I'd dare anyone to be able to tell what Buffy would be like in its sixth and seventh season after the first three, for instance, because the show did change course quite a few times. But I'd say it's fair to assume that Buffy would be a good show after just the first season or possibly even the pilot (although one can always be proven wrong). I know I assumed just that - and many other fans with me in the developing fandom back then.
Just chiming in with the S1 love.

Whenever the question is asked what episode would you show your friends to get them hooked on Buffy? - I always answer "Welcome to the Hellmouth" since it worked for me.

the Groosalugg wrote: "You just feel that it somehow is meant to be taken serious, that it's meant to be loved rather than liked, that there's some thought put into everything." which says it perfectly for me.
I think The Puppet Show is one of the best Buffy episodes ever.
I liked season 1 and watched every episode when it originally aired. But it wasn't necessarily a must-see for me. The show was still trying to find itself. There were enough interesting things to keep me coming back and I liked the characters but I didn't become hooked till season 2. Season 1 is certainly not bad but it is weaker than the following seasons. I liked it more when I watched it again on DVD though.
Season 1 was okay... it feels really weird going back and watching it, sometimes, with the different music and Buffy's frighteningly short skirts, but it had some good stuff. If nothing else it laid the groundwork. I doubt we'd ever have seen Angel go bad without "The Pack" starting off the motif of "one of our heroes is now the villain." The brilliance of "Earshot" is prefigured very well in "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" (with Cordelia's quick rant translating nicely to Buffy's later speech). And even "I Robot..." has the beginning of Buffy's best tactics against villains stronger than herself: use their strength against them. Her fight with Caleb at the end is conceptually an outgrowth of getting Moloch to punch the wall... And massive praise for Sarah's acting in "Prophecy Girl" -- it's still possibly her best acting I've yet seen, not that she's ever off her game.

All that said, "Lie to Me" is probably the first true mind-blower episode. That one's so amazingly tightly written. It's got Spike as straight-up bad guy, it's got Willow and Angel (and the brilliant tweak of Angel's wardrobe), it's got another villain we kinda like/can sympathize with, and it's got that last scene with Buffy and Giles...
I have to say, I've watched through all 7 seasons of Buffy several times, but I find it difficult to force myself to watch many of the first season episodes. I had first started watching it live in season 4, then got all the DVDs after the end of the series, but I honestly don't know if I would have continued watching had I been introduced to it through season 1.

That said, I've enjoyed Dollhouse's first season 100x more and can't wait to see what is in store for the rest of the eps and (fingers crossed) next season.
Thanks to all for these interesting comments. The first Buffy episode I ever saw was the live broadcast of the Season 2 finale. Without knowing a thing about the show or its characters, I watched in shock and awe -- and when Buffy, in grade-school-girl overalls, boards the bus and rides out of town to that sad music, I thought, "What the hell was that?" It was more than 2 years later, during syndication re-runs, that I was finally able to see the events of Season 1 and the first part of Season 2. By then I'd gone over the falls into obsession, so I don't know whether Season 1 would have caught my interest right away.

On Dollhouse, I'm still pondering; the first season hasn't been a knockout for me (as was "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles") but I hope they get another season to explore the premise further. And Eliza is terrific.
I'm a late-comer who watched the whole series on DVD, on the strength of a friend's persistant raving enthusiasm for it. I really didn't get her passion for the show until the middle of season 2. Not that I thought it was *bad*. It was just not something I'd have gotten very invested in. After you see where it's going, there's a lot more resonance to that early work, and it's fun to go back. But if all we had was season one, there wouldn't be this huge fandom and all this passionate investment in the thing.

Heck, even Firefly, which is a more fun first season than BtVS, hasn't launched a consuming passion in me -- because we never get to see the layers that presumably would have unfolded if the show had been given time. (Major tragedy because that start was quite promising).

For me, Joss's greatness is his epic story telling. But he needs a big canvass. And no first season does justice to what the whole story is going to be.
*Not looking. Not looking.*

How spoilery is it and what exactly is it a spoiler for?

Please... Anyone? Anyone?
two of the actors cast in ep 13 are mentioned
That's it? Minor spoilers about casting?
I consider one of the casting IDs to be a big spoiler. I can't figure out how to warn people off it without telling them what it is, so:

Only read the invisibled text below if you're ok with connecting info tidbit A here with info tidbit B in the link to form one whole spoiler.

If you read W'esque often you may recall that has been a big topic of speculation and spoilers.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2009-04-22 20:37 ]
mortimer: The Master was a cut out copy of a typical "evil guy"

Ehh... The Master may have been cast in a traditional mold, but Mutant Enemy still broke the mold. Enjoyable dry, dark wit ("You've got something in your eye"), and they did make him a credible threat to Buffy (only one to have killed her directly, and twice). What helped was that the character was self-aware; he knew he was a traditional bad guy, but his reactions to that knowledge made him different. ("Oh good, the feeble banter part of the fight.")

The season 1 finale and season 2 intro made it must see for me. When Buffy found out about the prophecy, she didn't merely get frightened, she had a full-blown "I'm going to die" emotional breakdown. And her trauma carrying over to the next season showed that actions had lasting consequences. Most "things will never be the same" turn out to be exactly the same, but not on this show.

I think that is the distinguishing characteristic of Whedon/ME scripts: self-aware characters, rather than plot-pushed puppets. The situations may start as cliche, but the personalities move the action away from traditional routes. (The mediocre episodes are where this doesn't happen.)

I did enjoy that this author, instead of saying that Xander knew first aid, said that he was a Baywatch fan. Completely in character, and adds personality to the statement.
Hmmm. Damn. To spoil or not to spoil? That is the never ending question...

Thanks rocknjosie & Sunfire.
I think season one is unfairly neglected too. I enjoy watching it as much as any other season. Obviously later seasons in any show have an advantage when people compare them because the storylines can become more complex, the characters can develop and become more interesting and the show develops a history which can be exploited to enrich the current story. I think the first season did a great job at laying all this groundwork for the rest of the series, in a witty and likeable way introducing us to the main characters and the world they live in. Joss wouldn't have had the luxury of creating episodes like Hush, Supertstar, The Body and Once More With Feeling in the first season.

Obviously it will look more dated in terms of visual quality, special effects, music and general budget, and the cast weren't challenged as much as they were over the rest of the series, but I think the quality of the show in terms of dialogue, humour and inventiveness was astounding from the start. And I don't think it would have made any sense for the first season to dive straight into lengthy, complex angsty storylines. Yes, a couple of the episodes perhaps tread slightly over the line of "tongue-in-cheek monster movie", but I think it is correct to say a lot of people compare the first season unfairly with later seasons, as if it's slightly embarrassing or weak in comparison with the later seasons. I would say instead that it is very different, by its very nature.
I agree with OneTeV about the importance of how the characters react to things, and that being a striking trait of BtVS. Except I think The Master was a pretty lame villain of the cheesy variety. For me he was like their practice Big Bad. His characterization reached outside the stupid villainy box a few times but he still lived in it. He was only scary because he was the one prophesied to kill Buffy, and she was clearly terrified.

Buffy got real around the same time, too. She was interesting before she died, but she got that new edge right after. I love when she tells Angel that stalking isn't a turn-on.

ETA: Also! Right after The Master's killed for good, in walks Spike, who's the epitome of twisting whatever lame plot point into something interesting with his own quirks.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2009-04-22 21:17 ]
The article mentions that season four had a bait and switch villain; the it was really the First Slayer and not Adam that Buffy was fighting. Was there any buildup at all to the First Slayer being the big bad that I'm just not remembering? 'Cause from where I'm sitting, you take out restless and I never would have called the First Slayer season 4's big bad.

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. Restless is more a coda for Season 4. I've never seen The First Slayer as the Big Bad of S4, if anything it's more set-up for the issues of Season 5 and Buffy's struggles to balance her Slayer self and her personal side coming to a head as she tries to better understand what being a Slayer means.

Anyone else think the First Slayer was the Big Bad of Season 4? I've never seen this said before.
In season 1s defence I must say that even the worst episodes of season 1 is still much better than the majority of whats on tv these days.
I always thought The Initiative was the big bad of season four.
Calling the First Slayer the big bad of season 4 is a big stretch, agreed, but I was willing to accept it for duration of the article.
The bait-and-switch for season 4 was probably Initiative to Adam. (The agency was bad, just not the Big Bad.) Or it could have been Adam to toothless-but-not-harmless Spike, considering how much (emotional) damage he did for fun.
I don't agree with the entire "pattern" as described here since I think it ignores real differences to make everything fit into neat categories. I think of Adam as just an outcome of the Initiative. Fighting him was still fighting them. I don't think there was a bait and switch at all there, and I don't think the First Slayer was the Big Bad in that season. The emotional thing going on there was the growing pains and discord among the Scoobies, which was important but not as massive in the end as The Initiative. The First Slayer wasn't part of the main arc at all.

And thinking over the idea of physical versus emotional monsters more, I think there's always been both as the main baddies of the season. The Master's not just The Master, he's Buffy's death. Angel is betrayal, and so on. It's just that two of the emotional ones (Angelus and Willow) had a mislead at first and then emerged surprisingly as the primary villain who was emotionally shocking and way more evil than the mislead. It's only happened twice.
I thought the big bad of Season Four was the Initiative, as it exemplified the arrogance and self righteousness of institutional authority and power, personified by Adam, it's creation and victim. Although Professor Walsh was a baddy, there was no real individual villain- just a lot of self-deceived people who failed to question authority and wanted to be aligned with power.
Anyone else think the First Slayer was the Big Bad of Season 4?

Thatís an interesting question and I think I do, in a way.

Even though every season is, in some sense, about Buffy struggling with mainly herself, this is the first one where she really admits this. Or perhaps better stated, this is the first time she recognizes that she can be her own worst enemy.

Adam, as I see him, is a manifestation Ė or perversion Ė of science and learning. He is the fear Buffy has about her inability to acquire a higher education. And even though she seemingly overcomes and triumphs over her fear this time, as we later learn, she never gets to finish that education.

Deep down there is a more fundamental issue with Buffy and I think the First Slayer represents that.

Then again, without Restless I donít think I would view it quite like that. Not the part about Buffy recognizing her own worst enemy anyway.
Really great article! I look forward to reading the rest. I think I'll go watch some Buffy now. :D
I still don't see the First Slayer as the Big Bad of Season 4. It's weird how the article just threw that out there, like it was obvious when it couldn't be more not.
In season 1s defence I must say that even the worst episodes of season 1 is still much better than the majority of whats on tv these days.

Agreed. And I tell people that the first 11 episodes are teriffic, even those I hold to be substandard (for Buffy), i.e., Now You See Her and I Robot, You Jane (too "after school specially" for my taste), but even so, worth watching.

But: I always say that Prophesy Girl is where it shoots through the roof, and Season 2 goes through the stratosphere, and the show just stays there.

My wife has gotten thoroughly hooked on Dollhouse and last night said, "He's slow...he's wonderfully, fantastically slow...he HAS to get another season or more to pull all these things together...he just HAS to!"

Like how the author notes that Willow's problems with magic began way early on...I'm always irked when people dismiss season 6 because Willow's addiction is too trite, too contrived, and too sudden.
As far as archs go I'm okay with accepting that BTVS wasn't a ground breaker...but just listen to the way we all speak now! Not just the pop culture, that was DC aswell, but the phrasing of sentences is directly linked to the Jossverse, eg. Emmie above this!! Thanks for that Emmie!!
Haven't read the article, being a No-Spoil Magee, but surely S6 was the leader in big-bad-switchiness. We start off thinking it was the evil trio, and it ended up being Marti Noxon ->rimshot<-

I kid - I love Marti and S6
Emmie, yeah, no. Itís really not that obvious at all, and fair point calling that out. In isolation the question kind of tickles me though.
I'd like to clarify my comment from up there at the top by saying that I don't at all find the first season of Buffy (or Dollhouse, for that matter) to be "bad" television. In fact, I've very much enjoyed Dollhouse thoroughly thus far and the first season of Buffy was no different. I'm just of the mindset that I think it took a little while for things to really kick in and get rolling.
I agree with Sunfire. The bad of season 4 is the Initiative as a metaphor for bad authority in all its manifestations (Prof. Walsh, Adam and enforced "normalness"). The seasons other main theme is the growing apart of the Scoobies. But the First Slayer? She's no Big Bad, she's a consequence of the Scoobies actions, and the Slayer past.
Season 1 was okay... it feels really weird going back and watching it, sometimes, with the different music and Buffy's frighteningly short skirts, but it had some good stuff.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that Buffy's short skirts were the best thing about season 1 (followed by the witty dialogue)
And, I must say that Joss whedon has really bad taste in music, if the bands he had playing at the Bronze throughout Buffy's run are anything to go by... However, (oddly enough) I think the songs he writes are, by and large, pretty great.

[ edited by mortimer on 2009-04-23 09:29 ]
Heh, well, there was some pretty nice music in The Bronze through the years. Heck, even K's Choice played there (their 'virgin state of mind' is a great song and they're pretty much a terrific band all around. I love their concerts. A lot. Really).
Intresting article so far, looking forward to the other parts.
I bought a Cibo Matto CD because of Buffy. Then again, the Buffy seduction dance during "Sugar Water" probably helped.
I LOVED the music of Buffy. It's one of the very best things about the show. I've bought tons of CDs after hearing the bands on the show or on the soundtracks.

And I really enjoyed Buffy Season one. Even I Robot. It's an excellent show even Season one. It's not my favorite, due to lack of Spike, but I enjoyed it very much.
Haha, yeah dude, I remember when the BBC started showing trailers for season 2 and used Buffy's seduction dance as part of it. I was absolutely wetting myself.

What jiggfly says here:

"Hopefully, if we're really lucky, Dollhouse will go the same route as Buffy and miraculously receive a second season, really hit its stride next year, and turn into yet another Whedon cultural phenomenon. I think it definitely has the potential to do exactly that if FOX simply lets it."

This is where I hope its heading and what I hope the article will talk about in the end because I'm really excited about the issues that Dollhouse deals with in terms of power, motivation, and consent/free will. I'm a massive feminist and for me this is the first tv show I've watched that has looked at the subtleties of these issues, ok not tying them directly to patriarcy and gender, but addressing them in a way that makes you think and highlights the greyness and ambiguity surrounding them.

And yeah, I wish I was more articulate.
And they had Darling Violetta :)
I could be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that ManEnoughToAdmitIt was talking about the score to season one, not the Bronze acts - which is different, and arguably weaker, than the great work we'd soon get from Christophe Beck, and his successors.

I also agree with ManEnoughetc (great name, btw) about Buffy's early outfits - I definitely have found some of them "Wtf?"-inducing, and am glad for SMG that she got more input into her wardrobe as the series went on. (Assuming a correlation between her direct influence and the disappearance of the minis-and-boots look, rather than a coincidence; can't remember if I've actually heard this line of thought confirmed.)
Sure, LKW, re: Christophe Beck, but I think most of us were replying to mortimer's post there, about the bands in the Bronze *points upthread* ;)
Cibo Matto was a nice surprise but I didn't hear much else that I liked.

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