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September 07 2009

Videos from Dragon*con Buffy Panels. You Tube videos from Buffy Panels with Kristy Swanson, Felicia Day, James Marsters, Charisma Carpenter, and Julie Benz. Friday panel. Saturday panel.

Edited to correct Kristy's name, not sure why I keep wanting to spell it with ie.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2009-09-08 03:18 ]

[ edited by RavenU on 2009-09-08 12:03 ]

I changed the main link to go directly to one of the videos and added links to the first video for each panel. That user's uploading a bunch of videos for various events.
It's nice to hear Charisma be so candid and open about what really happened between her and Joss during the fourth season. Answered a lot of questions and it's very good that they cleared the air. Charisma on Dollhouse please!
She really was candid. I had no idea that's how it went down.

What a very odd combination of panelists, but lots of funny.
What video does she talk about that hitnrun017? I can't find it anywhere!
That was interesting. Charisma not liking season 4, or the Connor situation. And she likes Nicholas Brendon the most of the relationships Cordy had and liked working with him the most? Or something like that. Some of the audio was hard to follow.
ghost, she was saying that she liked kissing nicholas brendon the most, and that she loved working with him. she did not, however, feel the same way towards her romantic scenes with vincent kartheiser :)

i too thought it was very poignant how charisma talked about her work on angel, as well as the tension and resolution of her relationship with joss.

the one thing i noticed was, at least on the panel w/ james, charisma, kristie and julie, that i felt really bad for kristie. on the 2nd panel (well the 2nd one i watched, the one w/ felicia day), a lot more questions were sent her way and she was more involved, but on the other panel, i think she maybe fielded two or three questions in that hour.

on the note of candor, i was amused (and a little surprised) at james' remarks about kelly a. manners. we get so used to thinking about producers like joss, david greenwalt, david fury, marti noxon, and outside of that, ronald d. moore, rob thomas, etc., that it's a little jarring back to reality about some dude who was apparently just a dick. i mean, he foots the bill for some of our beloved shows, but i never heard an actor be so forthright publicly about disliking someone.

(oh, and does anyone know who james was talking about that he pissed off and so will never be on a show? )
Just finished watching the Friday panel and loved it!
I actually laughed out loud lots of times during it.

I hadn't seen many panels/interviews with Charisma, so I don't know much about her, but she was quite funny in this, and I really liked some stuff she said, especially about Season 4 and 5.

Also, love the Charisma and Julie love. I <3 Julie. Sad there wasn't many questions for her though...

Felicia is Felicia and I just love her. Great seeing her laugh so much, looked like she had fun. =) Also, loved that bit with Charisma saying how Felicia was the chat subject and how she's awesome and stuff.

Kristie...heh.I don't care about her. And find it a bit annoying that she got so many questions. I mean, she was the original Buffy and that's important, I guess. But let's be honest, most of Buffy fans recognize the movie sucks, and her saying she's never seen the show is just annoying. I mean, she doesn't NEED to watch, but then imo, she doesn't need (read: shouldn't) to be in a panel like that.
I was annoyed that Julie got kind of ignored in the Friday panel when a lot of those questions were applicable to her as well. She was on both shows and she played a kickass character, why only ask the others? Not to mention the "Even Darla..." I loved that Charisma said she wanted to play Julie. "She is a real person!"
I watched the section where James, Charisma, and Julie discuss Sarah Michelle Gellar and what it was like to work with her. Kind of interesting, mostly James stories. Kefka, thanks, I had the audio up and I still couldn't hear everything clearly.
What video can you hear about season 4 of Angel with Charisma?
She talks about it in the 5th Friday clip.
She talks about it starting about halfway through this video.

And btw, it's Kristy, not Kristie.

[ edited by hacksaway on 2009-09-08 06:13 ]
She was very open and honest wasn't she? I think that's great. I think they [and by they I mean the writers/producers and especially Joss] handled the situation very poorly. She deserved to be treat better than that, especially when they agreed she wouldn't die then lied and did it anyway. Not the shiniest story I've ever heard.

At least all is forgiven now though.
Well, to be fair, she liked the story when they explained it to her. And she cited it as one of her two favorite episodes.

It's kind of funny how many times she brought up that she hated the Connor storyline during the two panels, which--who didn't? But the comment about giving birth to Gina Torres was hilarious. And Julie's aside about not approving of the relationship either (she's his mother!).
I think it's fantastic that she liked the story when it was explained to her but that's not really the point. If they agreed beforehand that she *would not die* to kill her off, after she's signed, is very unprofessional. They lied.

Yes the Gina Torrens stuff was great, she gave birth to a '6.2 african american woman!" I loved Julie adding that she was her grandmother hee! The stories sound so absurd when you talk about them out loud.
It's lying if they knew beforehand that they were going to do it. We don't know if they just came up with it afterward but would have backed off if she didn't like it. I agree that it doesn't make them look good, but we can't definitively say that they knowingly lied.

Kristy looked soo confused when they would talk about all the crazy storylines.
This is the best con panel I've ever watched. Charisma Carpenter is awesome. She needs to be on Dollhouse. I agree with her on her Season 4 performance, you can tell she was not diggin her character's storyline.

Though I disagree with her in that the season should be forgotten. I think for Wesley the season was great. As well as Fred and Faith.
Yeah I don't usually watch con panels but this one just kept me very entertained. I think the last one I could sit through was actually Paleyfest. They were all a very good laugh and I haven't seen much of Charisma or Julie talk about their characters so it was a treat for me.

I actually love s4 and it's probably my favourite season of Ats but I agree with her about the Connor storyline.
Yeah, great panel except for Kristy. She should have at least watched a few episodes of the tv show the night before being on a panel with the show cast. Was she even sure she saw the pilot years ago?

She was also just boring besides one or two buffyisms that were obvious fan service.

Of course had they given her her own panel she would have drawn less than 50 people, so I guess they had to get her an audience.
Honestly, I've wanted to hear what Charisma had to say about the whole affair for a long time. I never take anything at face value though, especially when two people have a period of falling out. I think both sides tend to get a bit of a distorted view. I still don't feel like I completely know what happened. But then, outside of Charisma and Joss I don't think anyone really does and it's not really my business other than that pesky curiosity thing.

Still, as a fan of resolution... kudos to Charisma for putting her cards on the table. I won't say much about season 4 (since I simply disliked it) but I will say that it wasn't the "ick" factor of Cordy/Conner that bugged me so much as it always felt the relationship felt thrown in. Maybe it was that Connor exhibited negative growth and Cordy wasn't really there anyway so what was the point? Maybe that was the point... but I wasn't a fan.

And no need to bag on Kristie. Many actors aren't going to slog through the work of other people so they can answer questions about other people's work. Yes it was a good show, but that is a LOT of time to invest on the off chance you can answer one question. If you had flipped that around and (I'm searching for a good analogy here) asked the television cast what their favorite scene from the movie was and why, I'll bet you might have gotten a similar blank expression from many of them.
I suppose my dislike for the Buffy movie (mainly because of her and the director) made anything Kristy had to say a little boring.

But honestly, why put her in the same panel as the others?

I did like the question James asked about what it was like working with Rutger Hauer, although her answer was once again uninteresting.
azzers wrote:

And no need to bag on Kristie.

I agree - if anyone is to blame, it's the people running the panel for not making sure that there were questions that related to the movie as well, such as favourite scenes instead of favourite episodes, favourite memories of the cast instead of favourite memories of each other.
I just finished Friday and loved it. Great panel, and I'm especially glad that Kristy was there. The input she gave on the movie was great.

They all had great chemistry up there, although I do with Julie could have spoken more.
I thought it was great that Kristy was there. It's a rare opportunity to hear her talk about the movie.

I did like in the Saturday #2 video, when Charisma was talking about not liking kissing Connor, it looked like Julie was trying to give Kristy a quick explanation of why that would be gross. The idea of trying to explain that whole thing in 10 seconds of whispering makes me laugh!
If they agreed beforehand that she *would not die* to kill her off, after she's signed, is very unprofessional. They lied.

Maybe Joss and the other producers changed they're minds, rather than lied. Because Charisma's acting in season4 was really bad.
What's unprofessional is an actor so obviously phoning it in, just because they don't like where the character is being taken.

For a perfect example of how to handle that kind of situation professionally, look at James Marsters in the AR scene in BtS season6.
He's said countless times how much he hated doing it, that he told Joss her didn't want to do it. But the decision wasn't his, it served the story. So he sucked it up and gave an incredible performance.

Charisma may be a nice person, but the way James handled it, is how a professional actor does it.
What's unprofessional is an actor so obviously phoning it in, just because they don't like where the character is being taken.

Phoning it in or so confused by the storyline she doesn't know what to make of it?

I'm sorry but I'm not going to criticise Charisma here. It sounded as if she was punished for basically getting pregnant, which is pretty bad as far as I'm concerned. Yes they had to change their plans but she does have a life outside of the show and is entitled to start a family. I don't think that's how you should treat women, especially a woman who's been part of the series since day one and apart of the verse since the beginning. Someone who’s worked hard for you for years deserves a little more ‘loyalty’ than that. Or at least deserves being told that she got fired from the show instead of hearing it from someone in the press.

I think the way the character was handled is a pretty awful, not only for Charisma but for all the fans who enjoyed Cordy. She was barley even mentioned after her death which is frustrating not only because it seemed very OOC for non of the characters to care but because we then spent the rest of the season mourning Fred's death. Cordy was dumped and forgotten and it (for me at least) really seems as if by s5 the writers wanted to just forget about a character who had been a huge part of the entire series for the past four years.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-09-08 12:23 ]
I liked when Kristy told the story of her cat licking off Luke Perry's soul patch and eating it. Then how interested Felicia was that Kristy had brought her cat to the set. I also liked how honest they all were about things. As for James commenting on a certain producer of Angel. At Monster Mania, 2 weeks before the subject of the same said person came up, and how James almost quit Angel because of him and his asst. director buddy. James was actually dialing Joss's number to quit, when Joss came in and told them Angel was canceled.
Very interesting panels.
Phoning it in or so confused by the storyline she doesn't know what to make of it?

"Confused by the storyline"? The storyline was very straight forward, she just didn't like it. (Neither did I and I think a majority of other fans.)
But the fact is, the writers had to scrap whatever they had planned, to work her pregnancy into it. They could have just written her out, for the most part (as with Gina Bellam in Leverage, this season).

It's just IMO but I still think the terrible acting was a really unprofessional move.
SMG hated a lot of BtS season6, but her performance didn't suffer from it. Where the writers take the character is not up to the actor.
I thought Charisma's performance was better than the material she was given.

Yes, also hate that season. Though it wasn't as bad re-watching as it was watching it week by week originally.

I did like Sean Astin's episode.
Loved them, it's funny I never notaced that all the girls of buffy (the tv show that is) are so funny. Charisma just cracked me up, she was so funny.
Great link, definitely worth the watch! Absolutely love the panel, I'm only at part 3, but it's been a lot of fun already. The atmosphere is is good and the panelist are terrifically funny.

So... on to the more controversial side of the thread...

I'm sadly on board with the Angel S4 hating. IMO it was an absolutely awful peace of television (especially considering the quality of all the other ME seasons). I watched all of Buffy & Angel on DVD in way, way too short a time, but I stranded for quite a while in S4. It was only after I skipped to watch a few eps of S5 before I decided to give the series another try again.

While I love Charisma I also have to agree that her acting was pretty bad in season 4. But I cannot believe it was a consious decision on Charisma's part to phone it in. I believe the material she was given just lied way outside of her acting range (which I'd argue still was quite surprisingly large for someone originally cast as a quite simple 1 dimensional figure), which is something the writers/producers should have released before giving it to her. Also agree with redeem147 that this material was pretty awful. And I think that season 5 could very well have been better if Cordy would have rejoined the regular cast, restored to a far more simple role.

I think the bit about this is coming up now... I'm very curious.

ETA: I think Charisma managed to be both honest yet gracious and humorous about the whole thing and really enjoy the loving way she speaks about Joss and the fans of the shows.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2009-09-08 14:23 ]
Heh. I remember watching Season four when it came out and thinking "are they trying to get Charisma to quit?" during that "give momma some sugar" scene with the beast- fresh on the heels of that Connor scene. Four was horrible. It took me years to re-watch it which I did recently and I struggled to get through it. Even Angelus was cheesy that season. Awful. I liked the general idea of Jasmine, having a cult figure that everyone worshipped but I thought even that was poorly executed.
Season 4 of Angel is actually my second favorite season of Angel behind season 2.
IMO, Angelus was better in S4 than he was during season 2 of Btvs. Season 4 was actually pretty damn good. The storylines for Wesley, Fred and Lilah were awesome. We got some wonderful special effects; Gwen, Faith and Willow, too.

I don't think what they did to Charisma was right and I think the character of Cordy was totally screwed over but yeah.....the Cordelia/Connor storyline was awful and so was Charisma's acting in S4. However, VK's performance was excellent: it's the only thing that makes those scenes watchable.
Season 4 was great!! it was constantly surprising and exciting. There was stupid character development mixed with Awesome character development all throughout Angel (Wesley= Awesome, Gun= Stagnant, Cordelia= worst arc ever, Angel= Great, Lorne= Pretty bad)... personally I think they ruined Cordelia's character in season 3 when they started making her the "wise champion" all of a sudden... Plus it made no sense to me that Angel and her fell in love, they should have just had a fling rather than trying to make her Angel's "new buffy"... plus the Higher power storyline was stupid.
Season 4 wasn't Cordelia's best work, granted--but I think the writing/plotting is mostly to blame for that. I think it's worth noting that Vincent Kartheiser has also said that he didn't really understand his character's storyline that season, and felt like Connor wasn't growing or changing. And (unlike menomegirl) I didn't find his acting very compelling that season. So you have a major subplot in which the two actors involved don't believe in the material.

So given that Charisma was acting opposite someone who was confused about what was going on with his character, and she was also confused about/didn't like what was going on with her character, and was dealing with things in her personal life and had a strained relationship with her boss at the time . . . I don't think we can say that she "phoned it in" or was unprofessional. There are just too many variables for us to know exactly what was going on.

[ edited by erendis on 2009-09-08 16:40 ]
I think Charisma's performance in s4 was a little harder to grasp not only because it seemed out of character or because she ended up with Connor, but also because of how secluded she was from the rest of the gang. The core of Angel Investigations was shattered at the end of s3 and the writers had their work cut out for them at the start of the new season. But in some ways they wrote themselves into corners with Connor and Cordelia specifically. They seemed paired up out of necessity for anything interesting for them to do.

I really believe David Greenwalt was Cordelia's champion and that when he left the series, so did much of her unique voice. You can tell by the way Charisma called him "Greenie" during the panel that there's a lot of admiration there.
I admit some confusion over what the heck the writers were thinking pairing off Cordy & Connor while Season 4 was airing (although I realized Evil-Cordy had an explanation and that she wouldn't just suddenly be bad, a reason was forthcoming), but after it was made pretty clear that Cordelia's body was hijacked from the time she came back down from the Higher Being realm (the third or fourth ep of Season 4?), I thought it worked (aside from Charisma not being very good at playing bad, but now we know she really wasn't into it). Yeah, it sucks that Cordelia herself missed out on a whole season of development, but then again, from Buffy Season 1 `til the end of Angel Season 3, that's a pretty major evolution--where the heck do they take this character after near-literal sainthood?

Too many fans, and even some of the actors, are still saying "Cordy+Connor=EWWW!", but it wasn't Cordelia and that's enough of an explanation for me (if astral-projection Cordy or whatever that was in "You're Welcome" remembered any of what had been done with her body during Season 4, I'm sure she was squicked out too--it was meant to be squicky, or at least we're free to take it that way, regardless of how it was framed in some of the episodes).

I can accept that the lack of Cordy in Season 4 and throwing her into a coma until Season 5's "You're Welcome" is simply part of the drawn out tragedy of Cordelia being abused and sacrificed and ultimately killed by Jasmine's actions/ambitions. Not all the characters get to have happy endings, or even happy seasons, and the fans don't always get what they want (actors either, though I sympathize with Charisma's difficulties toward the end there).

Season 4's one of my favorite Angel seasons, I thought the mega-arc was mostly well-executed and excitingly insane, and there was a lot going on for many of the other characters. For me, it was the most consistenly good all the way through (Season 1 was intermittent, a number of substandard one-offs, but pulled itself together nicely at the end, Season 2 was damn good until the Pylea arc and might've had some not-so-great one-offs at the beginning--but otherwise could easily have been the best season if not for the goofy three-ep ending, Season 3 has some issues, and Season 5 only got really good for me in its latter half).
I agree with you Kris. Season 4 was the most consistently entertaining season for me. Loved all of the Big bads (The Beast was great, as was Angeles and Jasmine)... much better than stupid Holtz.
Kelly A Manners is now on Dollhouse as producer, I wonder if anyone else is feeling what James felt.
I do think that repeat viewings of season 4 make it the strongest season-wide arc overall, because there is a lot going on with everyone, but the main reason Cordelia's death strikes a chord with me is that there are a lot of parallels between Cordelia's body being hijacked by Jasmine and Fred's body being hollowed out to make way for Illyria. Except for the way the aftermaths were handled.

Jasmine gave birth to herself, leaving Cordelia's body more or less in tact, and Illyria consumed Fred's soul in the process of taking over her form. But Amy Acker was still seen regularly, as a constant reminder of what had happened, and many characters went through various stages of grief. Whereas Charisma was off the radar until the 100th episode knocked it out of the park.

"You're Welcome" is one of my favorite Angel episodes, and I'm so glad they went that route instead of bringing in SMG for a one-off, but "Why We Fight" suffered from being so lackluster and from only vaguely addressing the epic events of its predecessor. I guess in a way, I hold season 4's Cordelia arc in a harsher light because the resolution of it felt so rushed.
i actually thoroughly enjoyed s4, except for the connor/cordelia part. i felt that with the exception of their booty scene, the show held together incredibly well up to and including "orpheus." i loved bad cordy, particularly with huge surprise of what happened with lilah. i suspect that had she not been pregnant, the character would've gone on to be a great big bad for the end of s4.

as for "you're welcome," i suspect that they likely did not want to kill her, but that when looking at the arc of the storyline, having her use her last breath to essentially save angel was a really lovely way of resolving her character. i thought it was really well done, but knowing how joss works (ie, he decided to change fred something like 8-9 episodes before it happened), he probably went "ok, we're bringing cordelia back, sounds great, looking forward to it." and then he went "ooo! i has an idea!" after she agreed to sign on.

i think we can probably credit jeff bell for making it work, as charisma described her initial reaction to her death, followed by hearing the plot and loving it.
Season 4 is actually my favourite, but I watched it on DVD first (season 5 was my first season on live TV) and I think that makes a big difference. I also never felt that the whole "Connor + Cordy" thing was such a huge part of the season, really. I mean, it's obviously significant, but I think it seems bigger because the squicky scene was included the previouslies for practically every subsequent episode. Like it wasn't already burned forever in viewers' minds!

I loved the Jasmine episodes and the Beast and Gwen and the Ra-Tet and the crazy what-the-hell-is-going-on continuity twists. So much happened that season that evil Cordy and Connor couldn't ruin it for me.
That was great to watch, thanks for the link.
I have to say I was really impressed by Charisma's honesty, she seemed really opened, and remained very funny at the same time.

There were a lot of great things, but it was nice to hear the lovely things they said about SMG, and how James fell in love with Buffy as a character.
I too really enjoyed James' account of how he found his love for Buffy. A truly interesting and honest insight into acting processes that is not unexpected from one of the more thoughtful actors in the Whedonverse.
Thanks for the link. :) I was at DragonCon but had to miss this panel so am glad to see it now. I really thought they were all honest and open and it was great to see them together.
on the note of candor, i was amused (and a little surprised) at james' remarks about kelly a. manners

Which video was that in?

Edit: Nevermind, found it. It's the Saturday #4 video, starting around the 40 second mark.

[ edited by dispatch on 2009-09-09 05:05 ]

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