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April 09 2010

(SPOILER) Behind Buffy Season 8: "The Sex Issue". CBR continues with its on-going series of taking a look behind-the-scenes of Buffy Season 8.

Can't wait for the "philosophy issue" he says is coming next. Of course, that's only because I'm a philosophy student...I hate the stupid plot and as of right now, it ain't my canon. Unless it turns out that Twilight is a good thing, and a bunch of people have to die. That would be awesome. Might actually redeem the rest of it.
"And Joss said, "Why do we have to cheat it? Why can't we just show it?" It was one of those moments where I went, "Okay. Are you sure?" But that's bravery. It's to try what we haven't tried, and I love the fact that he's willing to take the risk and say, "You know what, Brad? Try it.""

This is not bravery. Porn is everywhere today; free all over the net, so pushing this "boundary" in the comic is hardly an act of bravery; it is just titillation, and it sells books, which was the first point made in this article.
Love these Behind Buffys that CBR is doing each month.
Dana, you've proven Joss' point. It's brave because they don't want it to be porn, but know that there will be reactions like yours thinking that's what they're doing. The bravery lies in facing such criticism to realize their artistic vision.

And yes, depicting sex can be art and not porn.
Some people are pissed. I judge it as brave. If you're making something and you aren't doing something which you question, you're doing it wrong.

[ edited by gossi on 2010-04-09 23:42 ]
and it sells books, which was the first point made in this article.


And if it sells books then all the companies would be doing it.
Gossi...you really hit the nail on the head!! That was perfectly put!
the sex in this wasn't porn...not that i'm little miss knows anything about porn...but it never came across as crass. I'm glad he included Joss's quote on how far to go, but also intrigued as to how far they did go on the scrapped panels...hmmm?
I thought it was a pretty decent, balanced article. In particular this has me squeeing in excitement:

When the news of Angel hit, that was one of the first questions asked: "What about Spike?" But we know now that all of the pieces are on the board for Joss, and he will use them as he likes.

"And listen, I think people forget that the things that they like best are sometimes, shockingly, also the things that we like best as writers. The thing I appreciate the most about this season as a whole and it's true over every season of "Buffy" by the time you got to the end, all the big pieces were on the board. I'm never going to say how soon "Soon" is or how far "Soon" is, but "Soon" is a pretty damn good way to say it."

And I love seeing that shot again of Buffy/Spike in kick ass mode. :D

Again, the sex stuff really didnt bother me as much as it did some, it was much tamer than I expected it to be from all the hype. *shrugs*

The speculation for the Twilight conclusion & lead on into Season 9 continues....
"But when it came back to tying things back to the universe, those Indian Ocean fish are in the script asked to be and I don't know if anyone will ever get this but they should bare some resemblance to a certain fishy character in Buffy's future, future, future. And that's where it came from. We wanted this all to actually make sense."
Um...woah. Woah! Am I the only one who thinks this is sorta, possibly major?
I was confused by that, trunk. Who was Meltzer referring to?
I'm pretty sure Meltzer is referring to .

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2010-04-10 00:26 ]
I think he was referring to the "mer-sleaze" aka .
Thanks for the reminder. On reflection, I don't think it matters at all - just a neat little reference designed to entertain people following closely.
Yea, it's definitely a reference to Gunther but if he's citing it, and it was so deeply intentional, I can't imagine it's throwaway. Maybe this is the reason why beings like him exist in the first place.
The sex wasn't supposed to be funny?
Two things could happen that would absolutely make me bonkers.
1) Buffy and Angel were completely taken over by the PTB, say like Cordy in Season 4 of Angel.
2) Again like in S4 of Angel Buffy will give birth to a mystical being.
3) And this is the worst, that mystical being will be - at some point- a teenager. Please God there can't be any more mystical teenagers. Because we could all - Get Out! Get Out! Get Out!- losse any mind we have left. We could go around muttering "No more taking over the human will," "no more tennagers of any kind," "No mystical births," "No more instant evolution." No. no. no.
Who's to say whats funny or not Xane?

And I'm getting tired of people saying every move they make on this comic is just to drive up sales. Really, as long a Joss Whedon fan most of us are, do you really see him doing that?

And just to show I'm not a completely blind S8 'shipper, here's a lil rant:
I think one of the big problems with this comic as opposed to the show is all the unanswered/unanswerable questions. There were always questions of course, but personally, I never watched the show for the mystery. And some of the big mysteries the show brought up (eg. 'lolwut Dawn?') were answered in a few weeks. With the comics we have been waiting years and years with no answers. Maybe in hindsight once it's all done we'll go back and notice things, but remember how they were saying they're gonna deal with the whole 'no slayers for 200 years' thing in TOYL? Or how Scott Allie was saying how Retreat was his favourite arc so far because it explained so much? Not a single thing has been explained.
I watched the show for the character interactions. And the best issue's of S8 have included those moments, like the B/X scene in #31. I don't think there's been a single page of Buffy and Willow being normal friends. Those are the moment's I think the disgruntled fans are missing the most. They keep saying they don't have enough pages to put in smaller scenes like that. But why the hell not? This book is huge, and if you wanna put all these massif events in, then you should find room for the quieter moments to touch base. You know, Joss got inspired one day and wrote probably the best issue of S8 with 'The Chain', and they managed to find room for that. We shouldn't have to have a Riley one-shot when all that was needed was maybe six pages spread across the dozen issues made since he was introduced.

I do love the OTT of the comics, and I think they're intentionally OTT, but for anyone who hadn't watched the show these comic do not portray the foundational friendship/family elements that grounded the show so well. They can get away with it because only the show's fans, who know their histories and how important these people are to each other, would have interest in the story. That doesn't bother me too much because I know the history, so like when the Giles/Buffy rift from NFFY gets totally whitewashed I can deal 'cause I know that in the grand scheme of their relationship, it was a pretty minor thing.

I'm viewing this book as the S4 equivalent: where all the stories and characters are scattered after leaving high school and, like S5, Season 9 will bring it all back 'home'.

End rant. Apologies.
Well I don't think it's 'porn' but nor do I think it's 'Art' (with a capital A) and I don't think it's especially 'brave' either - it's just some drawings of some naked people. Some of the picures were nice, some of the pictures were funny *shrugs*. It probably went too far only in the fact that, for me, it got in the way of the explanations - I would have liked a few less panels of coitus and a few more featuring more detailed explanations and scooby interaction.
kaan wrote:

I watched the show for the character interactions. And the best issue's of S8 have included those moments, like the B/X scene in #31. I don't think there's been a single page of Buffy and Willow being normal friends. Those are the moment's I think the disgruntled fans are missing the most.


YES!!!! This was the reason I watched the show! My favorite seasons were 3-5 because of the scoobies. The Big Bad was always interesting but I miss the friendships (even more so than the romantic relationships). The comics are OK, not thrilled that they are canon but whatever I still say the show ended when Sunnydale became an iny.

[ edited by luv4whedon on 2010-04-10 05:13 ]
I don't think there's been a single page of Buffy and Willow being normal friends.

What about "Anywhere But Here"? Esprit d'escalier.
Yeah point to you WilliamTheB. But I felt like the main reason those pages were made was to highlight their friendship because of how the issue ends. When I say the quiet moments I mean those type of scenes where they're sitting around the library talking about boys when they should be in research mode; or Buffy and Xander talking about Tara's birthday; or the Scoobs hanging out at the Bronz, (hell they even did that a couple of times in S6&7.) They weren't big scenes and you usually forget most of them in favour of the key moments in each episode, but they were important scenes and did convey the dynamics of not just plot points but character points as well. With S8 most every panel is all about the plot, the action. With S8 the Big Bad's plot is driving the characters, in the show most of the time the character's relationships drove the character's. Right now and throughout most of S8 you couldn't have a scene like Buffy and Dawn walking down a street talking about what stuff Dawn stole from each store without the dialogue and actions returning to 'omg Twilight is doing this to us now. Baaawwww.'

B/X scene in #31 worked so well because, for those brief pages, it had nothing to do with outside conflict or influence. It had (seemingly) no bearing on the Twilight plot. It was pure character stuff.

And it's not like the comics are completely devoid of these elements, it's just that they feel really lacking (at least to me).

But I am hooked on the story and having a blast going alone with whatever crazy ride Joss is taking us on.
I've always wondered what the introduction of hundreds of slayers would do to the dynamic.

The TV show was set in small town (yes, it had a Hellmouth) and the relationships were ones we could relate to: best friends, mother and daughter, mentor, enemy, lover. The trials were ones we could probablly all relate to: Highschool, money worries, death, responsibility, jobs, future choices.

I think where season 8 might also be lacking is in the relatability aspects and I can sorta see that you could have gone one of two ways after Chosen, but Buffy's smile seemed so full of promise to me of a life of more of her own choices, whereas were we went to was a life of being in charge again.

I've never been in charge of an army, never lived with all of my best friends (male and female) and family under one roof where I worked. I almost miss the assumption that Buffy and Dawn are in Italy.

Now only do we have to wait to see the character interactions that we love, but I also miss the setting of (sorta) normality.
OMG they're really are serious about this, aren't they? *is boggled*
Meltzer is serious, but the guys at CBR didn't believed him.

See their review
I think it's more accurate to state that the reviewer didn't buy it. Doubt that reflects on the entire CBR staff.
I've been reading the comments from the other issue 34 forum for the past few days and, to the people who have a problem with how revealing they were with the sex in this issue:...
In Chosen, what did you think Buffy was afraid of saying when she was making her cookie dough speech and started to say "eat me..."?
In Gone, what did you think was happening when Spike looked down and said "Hey, that's cheating."
In OMWF, what did you think was happening when Tara was floating off the bed?
In Hush, what exactly did you think that hand gesture Anya made was referring to?
In Lie to Me, what was all that embarassment about Buffy sitting around listening to "that Divinyl's song 'I Touch Myself'"?

Or how about all the sex scenes in Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, or the fact that "I'll be in my bunk" from Firefly is one of the most quoted lines from that show?

Maybe it's because I don't usually make the distinction between sexual innuendo and OMG*GASP*HIDETHECHILDREN actual sex, but I think all this crying of "there was just too much/it went to far/my eyes were burning/i didn't need to see that" sounds just so OTT and a tad bit hypocritical. Whedon's works were never "innocent/pure" whatever you want to call it, and its NOT as gigantic a leap from all the innuendo that these shows are filled with to BAM! two characters being depicted doing the deed, albeit with pannels cut and angled to save our precious eyes. That alot of the fandom (or at least a very vocal part) is suddenly getting chaste rings horribly false.

Listen, I'm a fierce Spuffy shipper, but that does not mean that if Buffy and Angel having sex (super-hot super-powered, earth-shattering sex) is part of the storyline, that I'm going to knock it. I mean, so much of the drama about their relationship was that they wanted to have sex but could not, and the one time that they did (IWRY not-withstanding), everything went to hell. And it's not like this, AGAIN, is without it's consequences. I mean, you just heard that 206 Slayers have been killed, and that the universe is ending BECAUSE of the sex; can we, as a fandom, get our priorities in check and be freaking out over THAT instead of going "Oh noes! I almost saw Buffy's boobie!"???
People have different sensibilities, Carpe Noctem -- and it's not just a yes/no switch. It's a continuum. There was a lot of sexual innuendo on the show. But the one time we got pretty explicit (for TV) about what was going where and how and when in lots of different ways, it was in the context of a relationship that was meant to be seen as sordid and degrading, part of Buffy's depression.

For some of us, the combination of total nudity; very graphic representations of the various positions being used; and the sheer extensiveness of it, with the sexploits going on and on and on crossed the line from erotica to something less appealing. It's emphatically not about the who. I have no problem at all with the sex scenes between Buffy and Angel that we had on the show. It's about the how and the how long. I flipped through the comic while standing in line to buy it and I was embarrassed. Not in a good way. I'm not the sort who would want to read the kama sutra in public even if the all-mighty penis is not explicitly drawn. As it was, we did get enough revelation of Buffy's body to know she shaves.

Anyway, it's subjective. Of course some people see it as erotica or maybe even as porn, but they like it. Others don't. But I do get my back up when the pro-sexfest people seem to be unwilling to let those of us who were bothered feel what we feel. I love sex and think it's a great part of being human. I just think it's an activity meant to be shared by the people involved, which is why most people close the door. I don't think Buffy would want lots of people voyeuristically getting off by watching her sexcapades. I love the character and seeing her exhibited that way makes me queasy. That's how I feel. Deal with it.

ETA: And I think it goes without saying that the fact that it's taking place in the midst of such horrific tragedies adds to the problem. I'm guessing that the juxtaposition is the point. But the images of the slayers butchered in the fields in #32 was disturbing and was meant to be disturbing. The graphic images of the Bangel Sutra was disturbing, but apparently not meant to be disturbing. Putting them together? I'm pretty sure that is meant to be disturbing, though a shocking number of fans see it as happy and sexy, so what do I know.

[ edited by Maggie on 2010-04-10 20:55 ]

[ edited by Maggie on 2010-04-10 20:56 ]
@Maggie: I think the "pro-sexfest" people are also defensive because a lot of the comments flying about either say, or insinuate that those who weren't bothered, or even found it hot are perverts. I agree with you that different people have different sensibilities, and this is a sensitive topic, so it'd probably help if people didn't make judgments like "prude" or "pervert". Not saying that you were calling people "pervert".

Personally, I wasn't bothered by the sex. I did find it kinda hot in some places, but I was also fully aware of the world crashing down around the Scoobies as the sex got wilder and wilder. And that's why I liked it. Because the issue, to me, struck a nice narrative balance of showing me what was happening, the cause of the global catastrophes, as well as having Giles give me the rundown on the pertinent mythology. It was a little sexy, a little funny, a little disturbing, a little alarming, and a little scary, all rolled into one. And that's why it worked for me... to me, it felt like a distilled shot of what made the show the cultural phenomenon that it was, and to an extent, still is.

Did I find the mythology particularly riveting? No. Did it fall short of the usual fare on the TV show? No. The mythology by itself has never been that deep in the show, since the writers tended to play fast and loose with it so much that it was usually kept as open-ended as possible. So I appreciated the fact that we didn't have to read an entire discourse on the metaphysics of the Buffyverse. The richness of the Buffyverse mythology is the product of years and years of building on it. The rules were never laid out right from the beginning. There were some basic tenets, and they ran with it. So really, what's happening here isn't all that different, IMO.

PS: This last part wasn't directed directly at you, but was rather my opinion on the criticism of the new mythology twist.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-04-10 21:56 ]
Actually, I think "epic sex drives the engine of destroying reality" is a few steps outside the mythological tone of the televised seasons. To say it mildly, even. And this is coming from somebody who thought Dawn's shapeshifting would be exactly what they'd have done with the budget. On TV, sex could drive someone to literally lose their soul, or could be manipulated by vengeful apparitions into a power source, but that's not this. Or are we to take from this the idea that your standard MOTW or arc plot would have actually had Buffy and Riley's marathon opening a hole in limbo that would have been sucking Sunnydale into it if they had no budget restrictions?

And 8.34 does go in a radical direction for the Buffyverse by anthropomorphizing the universe itself, and making it an active participant in events. For years, we had settled into a basically Gnostic/Manichean brew that still managed to stay non-commital on the existence of anything like a bona fide creator-sovereign deity like the God of the Bible, for instance. And it made sense, since Joss -- so fond of throwing around "sky-bully" when discussing the very premise -- really isn't the sort. Yet out of the clear blue sky we've got the "Universe" having actual logos, up to and including overriding free will.

Seriously, guys -- even Bruce Almighty drew a clear line in front of free will, but, if Willow is to be believed, the Buffyverse's "Universe" sovereign/deity concept does not.

Contrast all of this, I ask, with what Joss said on the commentary to "Welcome to the Hellmouth", about quickly establishing that rules exist in the Buffyverse -- specifically citing as an example of fiction that ignores even its own rules by having Stephen Dorff show up in sunscreen (Blade). When the Buffyverse has given us rules, that's been the parameter to those rules. So what can we do when we have "the Universe" now being given credit for the existence of the Slayer, for instance? What about the Shadowmen? What about all the patriarchal oppression symbolized in them having been the creators of this horrible system? Didn't that all just... completely evaporate?
Ancient Hindu temples included images of sex that conveyed the celebration of life. Sex in art is nothing new and can be beautiful if done tastefully. Showing boobies for the sake of boobies, which I think a show like Spartacus does sometimes, is rather baseless. If the Buffy comic is marketing to teenagers and pre-teens, I can understand the concern some might have for the sex scenes. Otherwise, vampires have always been erotic figures (except for Nosferatu because he was just eww) and Buffy never shyed away from the subject in its seven seasons, so I don't see how the "sex issue" should be shocking. This does bring me to a question: what do readers think of the adult turn Bangel has taken from the formerly idealized romance of earlier seasons? Are you concerned that their relationship is being subverted? Is anyone reminded of the episode "Smashed" in the current issue? Could Angel and Buffy's relationship carry the weight of mature themes that Spuffy did? If so, what are our expectations of Angel and Buffy's relationship for the rest of Season 8?

If this post is too shippy, apologies. But the article is hailed as "the sex issue."
Actually, I think "epic sex drives the engine of destroying reality" is a few steps outside the mythological tone of the televised seasons.


Buffy season 2? Wolfram and Hart bringing back Darla to seduce Angel thus ensuring their plans for the apocalypse? Admittedly the epic sex in #34 is a heck of a step up from that, but the groundwork had been laid in the television shows.
Or one might say, the bounds of credibility had been achieved on television.

EDIT: Sex altering individuals ("Innocence") or having some kind of ambient influence on even other people's behavior ("Where the Wild Things Are", and I think one could verify real life phenomenon like people getting friskier or nuttier when people start hooking up at parties) actually both still fit comfortably in the realm of "monsters are a metaphor for high school" kind of parallels. Sex literally being cause-in-fact of unmaking reality is a recognizable metaphor for... ?

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-04-10 22:29 ]

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-04-10 22:30 ]
Or one might say that the network rules and regulations stifled creativity but we'll never know.
@KoC: Or the sex is the making of a new reality. The end of the old is merely a by-product of the process.
As for your argument about free will, well, the next issue is supposed to be a philosophical discourse of sorts (according to the linked article), so perhaps you're rather quick to the draw in your current criticism? The TV show has always posed the whole destiny/fate thing, built it up to some grand thing, only to have Buffy scoff at it and say, "Well, screw that. We'll do it my way instead". What makes you think that's not what we're in for?

As for the anthropomorphication of the "Universe", we've always made do with things like PTB and God. And as I've said before, I don't see the role of the Shadowmen disappearing here. The Universe governs the laws of nature. When some demons cheated their fate and infected people, thus leaving some of their essence behind, the balance was shifted. The Shadowmen, being the elders of the new and inferior race were driven by nature to find a way to survive. They created the Slayer. It was a horrible act of self-preservation, but in doing so, the universe was in balance again. There would now be a force to oppose the vampires, and whatever else. Yes, the math would always be skewed... but there it is.
And as with all acts, good or bad, there are consequences. In creating the Slayer, the Shadowmen opened up a new can of metaphysical worms, in that the Slayer could potentially ascend the metaphysical ladder, and in doing so, end them all. It's ironic. Which strikes me as largely familiar.

And btw, I find it amusing that while some may claim that these ideas are completely out there, the very kernel of the explanation was already guessed upon in the discussion of the last issue. By fans who are self-professed experts on the Buffyverse, in a collective sense. So really, if we were already guessing at this before, just based on a few cryptic remarks made by Giles and Angel, and given our familiarity with the 'verse, I'd say that this really doesn't fly in the face of all that's come before. If nothing else, perhaps it's being a little predictable. Hence my claim that the mythology is nothing especially riveting.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-04-10 23:26 ]
Very nice wenxina! I like your analysis of the current storyline and how it CAN work with the Buffyverse. I have not been a fan of Season 8 til now. Finally, we seem to have SOME reason for what's been going on. I might not completely understand these reasons or like them but I trust Joss to create a well-rounded arc. In all my criticisms of the show his ability to tell a cohesive story was never one of them. Joss is a great story teller.
Isn't it telling, though, how the ground in defense of Season 8 -- and let's be clear, I've been as vocal, if not more, in defense of this season than anyone and I may still -- has slipped from insisting how the storyline DOES work to how the storyline merely CAN work? Which is to say, whether consciously or not, very few people are defending the storyline over the past two issues as presented as being good without a lot of qualification.
I'm not saying that the storyline "can" work. I'm saying that it does work within the framework of what's been given before. I thought I made that much clear. At least if we're still talking about the whole deal with meshing the Slayer creation myth from "Get It Done" with the latest developments. When a story merely "can" work is when you have to bend over backwards, touch your middle toe to your pinky with your arms crisscrossing your chest in order for it to work. All #34 does is introduce some new elements, but these elements don't run counter to previously established concepts, contrary to your claim a couple of posts up. Nothing has "evaporated". The Shadowmen still have their place in the creation of the Slayer. What's added to it now is a deeper sense of irony that what was created to protect them always had the potential to destroy them all, and at the moment, that seems to be coming to pass.
That's not what this issue says, though. This issue speaks of the universe creating Slayers as a balance for vampires, where prior to 8.34, it was a bunch of men that made the Slayer. 8.34 speaks of the universe designing the apparent futility of the Slayer's life, where years of tacit acknowledgment both in and out of story had been that it was a way to keep patriarchal control over the Slayer.

What if the Shadowmen had, confronted with the potential annihilation of the species, just decided not to do anything? Is 8.34 now here to tell us that the Slayer would have spontaneously sprung up out of the ether, into every generation one is chosen? Heh, in "Chosen" Buffy snarks that it was "a bunch of men that made up that rule". Here, 8.34 says that, no, a bunch of men did *not* make up that rule, instead, it is the natural balance of Slayer and vampire created by the universe itself.
The universe dictates that a balance be kept. The bunch of men, pressured by possible annihilation were pressed into doing what they needed to do to survive. They made the Slayer. Just as the First had agents, the Shadowmen essentially acted as agents. The Universe is an abstraction. It's personified, but like the First, it really doesn't do much on its own. It's essentially a new name for the PTB, who can manipulate things into happening, but not on their own. It requires the actions of people to bring about the fruits of its labor. The futility of the Slayer's life comes from the fact that she was doomed to lose the battle (one against legion seems like pretty unfair odds) each time. The "Into every generation..." slogan was coined by men. So went their little game, until Buffy became the gamechanger, at least a couple of times in the history of the Slayer. Two Slayers in existence at the same time was unprecedented. In fact, if you went by the "rules", it was an anomaly. Which indicates that the "rules" were not set in stone, and that the version bandied about for millennia was one borne out of practical knowledge, and probably patriarchal dogma, rather than what was really there.

If the Shadowmen had not created the Slayer, something else would have arisen, is the point. Not necessarily the Slayer. We're not being told that the Slayer would have arisen randomly. We're told that the Slayer did rise, created by the Shadowmen. This is a history lesson. Giles, and Willow are merely stating what happened in the Slayer history books. The story is being told by Giles, to the Scoobies. They all know the involvement of the Shadowmen. We, the audience know about them, and their symbolic rape of a girl. So that part isn't important to stick into the story here. What's important is the introduction of the universe as a governing entity, one that pushes pieces into place. The Shadowmen, always the followers of fate, made the Slayer. Buffy on the other hand, has defied fate more than a couple of times. A prophecy predicted her death. But she came back. Then she died again. And came back again. The dogma was that a Slayer was a lone wolf, as all traditional heroes are. Buffy defied that too. A Slayer was supposed to obey her Watcher. Buffy defied Giles whenever it suited her. A Slayer was supposed to follow the rules, not change them. But Buffy changed them. And in doing so, she became that Slayer. The one that was whispered about. The one who broke away from the patriarchal "rule", and thus freed herself from their leash, and thus earned her right to ascend the metaphysical ladder.

So, I don't see the major reorganization of dogma here. I see embellishment, just as it has always been done in the past.

And btw, the matter with the odds, actually does fall quite nicely into what we've seen in the Buffyverse so far. That good is far more powerful than evil. Hence, the constant theme of redemption, instead of condemnation. In light of that, having just one agent of good balances the bad.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-04-11 07:00 ]
Giles, and Willow are merely stating what happened in the Slayer history books.
History is written by the victors and those books were written by the watchers, who might naturally frame their predecessors actions more in terms of following Natural law than doing what was best for them. Willow has already been revealed as a less than 100% reliable interpreter of events and Giles states at the beginning that what he's telling them is a Watcher myth. Nothing either of them say gives a good explanation for why Angel got the powers before Buffy, or what he meant by saying he had to push her or who he meant when he said 'they' said "it (Twilight) didn't exist." Finally we've already had an example in the text of an Earth=Gaia-Moon-woo-woo version of reality turning out to something rather more person-like ie the Tibetan goddesses. I don't think we've been told the whole story yet.
So, I don't see the major reorganization of dogma here.


Don't you? I do I'm afraid. Also Joss seems to have a very odd idea as to how evolution works to say nothing of how this whole idea is walking dangerously close to undermining some of the feminist subtext that used to be prevalent in the original show. I mean basically it seems to be saying that women take control of their own lives/power and the Universe doesn't like it?

I see embellishment, just as it has always been done in the past.


Really? Imo that's an awful lot of embellishing going on there, and to say I'm surprised at this imo incredibly silly turn of events is an understatement.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-04-11 08:46 ]
I mean basically it seems to be saying that women take control of their own lives/power and the Universe doesn't like it?


If the universe chose Buffy to be the Slayer without her consent and she subsequently rebelled then in that context yes the universe doesn't like it. I would suspect by the end of the season that we'll see Buffy's customary reaction to situations like this.
Yes, but with the universe being so smart, it'll have thought of and planned for that. ;)
"I do get my back up when the pro-sexfest people seem to be unwilling to let those of us who were bothered feel what we feel. I love sex and think it's a great part of being human. I just think it's an activity meant to be shared by the people involved, which is why most people close the door. I don't think Buffy would want lots of people voyeuristically getting off by watching her sexcapades. I love the character and seeing her exhibited that way makes me queasy. That's how I feel. Deal with it."

Seconded.
NotaViking That's the Universe for ya! "Slippery as a greased weasel." *g*
Sex is part of life. Why shouldn't it be part of art?

On the whole, how can it be not?

[ edited by cleveland on 2010-04-11 11:06 ]
Depends on how it's being depicted I suppose.
Porn vs Art is not the issue. Neither is Prudes vs Perverts. I'm sure a lot of people enjoyed seeing James Marsters' without a shirt on, or SMG being a hot little blond girl. And other's couldn't give a fig what they looked like.

It is about integrity. The integrity of Joss, Brad and Georges, and what they want do do with their story. You can love the sex, hate it, or(like me) be kinda bored with it. It doesn't matter, unless you feel that what the creators are doing is not genuine to the story. That, everyone has to answer for themselves.

And, might I add, not all porn is inherently bad. Take Alan Moore's Lost Girls for instance. That is porn, but it's exactly the book Moore set out to make, and so the integrity of the piece is still there.

As for the whole "Universe" thing, I'm pretty sure we'll have a character saying: "Yeah, I never got that" la Anya in Potential.

[ edited by Kaan on 2010-04-11 13:56 ]
maggie said:

I love the character and seeing her exhibited that way makes me queasy.


my stomach tied itself in knots while i read this article.

poor buffy.
@sueworld2003: I don't think the universe really cares about feminist doctrine. All it cares about is righting itself. Demons took control of their lives, and the universe didn't like it. I doubt the demon was female, if all pure demons even have sex and gender the way we define it. However, Buffy, on the other hand, is the feminist figure. She's the one who has always charted her own path, and I've a feeling that she will do the same here again. So the current turn of events doesn't undermine the feminist message any more than the Slayers being ruled by a patriarchal system. I think I've said this time and again, that the Slayer isn't the feminist icon. Buffy is. The Slayer was a weapon created. Buffy was the weapon that turned on her masters and seized her own fate.
And seized her fate here very well indeed, by F@*$ing the guy who offed (or caused to be dead) 200+ of her 'sisters' and brutally attacked (or caused to be attacked) several of her closest friends. But, what other way might a feminist icon treat her former high-school sweetheart that she never really knew as an adult? Makes perfect sense to me.
Buffy isn't a feminist icon. She is a character. Her actions in the past have been viewed by people as pro-feminist so they raise her in their minds into an icon. That does not mean Joss has to reinforce this pro-feminist ideal into every storyline. Just because Joss is a stated feminist, and Buffy has expressed certain ideal's in the past, does not mean that she has to in the future.

ETA: And not to say that Joss wont continue to make Buffy a feminist character, all I'm saying is that there is no law to say that he has to.

[ edited by Kaan on 2010-04-11 16:12 ]
@baxter: For the moment, touche. But I'm under the impression that Buffy is being fate's bitch at the moment. However, at the end of #34, when she starts asking questions, it sounds like she's coming to. This isn't the first time that Buffy is succumbing to fate, and I guess what would seem to be futility (yay, Absurdist theory). What would make her Buffy, and I guess, reinforce the feminist message of the show would be shaking it off, and triumphing, as she always does.
"sueworld2003: I don't think the universe really cares about feminist doctrine."

No, and for me this story doesn't seem like the writers care very much about it either. But hopefully Whedon will retcon her arse outta this, because at the moment the whole thing reads as being extremely dodgy on so many levels.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-04-11 16:11 ]
Long post is so very long. For sex-discussion, upper half; for metaphysical disussion, lower half; for goats, press 1 or say 'goats'.
---
@Maggie: I think wexina has and continues to express most of my opinions rather succinctly, but I argue that the more "explicit" scenes occurred many times on the show, not just once and not just within Buffy and Spike's relationship. I definitely understand that different people have different sensibilities about nudity and sex, but my question then becomes that if someone is so uncomfortable with this particular issue of the comics to deem it distateful, beyond-erotic, pornography, etc., that how did that person actually get to Season 8 having been through the entire television series? Particularily season 6 but there are scenes/plotlines in other seasons that spring to mind. And again, I'm aware that it's a continuum, but the framing of the panel or the position of other objects or the character's bodies themselves actually keep us from seeing their naughty bits, just like it happened several times on the show. Unlike the show however, instead of actual people undulating and doing a dynamic simulation of the act, we have pink cartoons immobilized on a page with solid black outlines, and of all the whooshing through the air they do, I didn't see any "whooshing" of their pelvic regions. I mean it's hilariously implied, but never "explicitly" shown. Most importantly, and here's where I really don't get many of the "anti-sexfest" reactions, is that it's all in the title. You got exactly what you paid for; namely, them f@#%ing and the history of the universe. This is unlike several episodes where the explicit scenes come out of left field (it may not seem like that now, as we all know when they're coming<--hehe).

Maggie, I do like the point you made that you care about Buffy and her character wouldn't want such a private act shown to the world. However, we have also learned from "Storyteller" that she vehemently does not want strangers seeing her slaying vampires or saving the world, which the show itself is nothing if not that. For people in real life, I think it's a fair sentiment to say that "their business is none of ours," but we make it a point of television to make those character's lives our business. And Buffy's sex life has been our business for the majority of the show. And I don't think it's degrading in the least to show Buffy enjoying something wonderful.

People are going to have negative reactions to seeing something that they do not want to see. I understand a negative reaction to violence, to death, to drug use and abuse, to witnessing others in pain, to hypocrisy of our leaders or mismanagement in our system. What I don't understand is how often I see decidedly more negative reactions to sex, which is not a negative thing. And if someone isn't turned off by it or offended by it, it does not mean that they find it titilating either. I'm not saying you can't feel what you feel; of course you have that right. I just think people would be suffering less from such negative reactions to sex if after the initial, admittedly jarring "ok wow", they allowed a bit of rational thinking about how sex and nudity is not a bad thing and, in the case of this issue, has been established to be integral to stories in the Buffyverse several times before.

----
As for the discussions over the "sentient" universe; the universe has certain laws, and things that have happened in the buffyverse have happened within the confines of those laws. Willow said in "Get it Done" that all magic is based off of physics (to which Anya incorrectly responded that "No. you need a catalyst"; catalysts lie very strongly within the realm of physics). The phrase "evolution acts on" gets confused by many to mean that evolution is an active process, as in evolution is a thing when it is merely a set of laws that result from many factors acting on or responding to random chance. When one says "gravity acts on an object," I doubt anyone gets the image in their head that gravity too is sentient, but it's the same principle. This comic is a stretch of the evolutionary metaphor because once mankind's actions get involved, natural evolution is more or less replaced by artificial evolution; however, vampires existing COULD have meant the end of the human race, but the shadowmen existed, having evolved with human knowledge and abilities, and provided something to stabilize the equilibrium. It's not a balanced equilibrium, but equilibriums are rarely equal and most often skewed to one side, hence the "not fair." What equilibrium IS is stability; and by changing the number of slayers from 1 to ~2000, you have drastically disrupted the stability of the equation and hence, the universe. The universe itself is chaos, but equations need stability, and so if you push the equilibrium hard on one side, physics dictate that something needs to compensate to push the equation back to equilibrium in order to achieve that stability. To do that you can either a) remove the initial disrupter (i.e. get rid of all the slayers except one (or two)), or b) the opposing side has to grow in order to meet the proportional growth of the disrupted size.

Quickly: n(~many forces of darkness) = n(1 slayer). Before Prophecy Girl, n = 1; throughout the series, n = 2; after Chosen, n = ~2000. It's not immediate like math, though; it takes time for the other side of the equation to compensate, and when it does, it may over-comepensate, then leading the first side to compensate back.

As we see in this issue, this means that big bads get bigger and badder, and the dimensional walls, that have probably been aching to break down but could not because stability dictates that they stay up, can now begin to become dimensional rifts. However, this is adding too much on the opposing (evil) side of the equation, and an army of slayers, no matter how powerful, cannot balance this. So in order to get the equation back to stability, we get someone who can actually stand a chance against the step up the metaphysical ladder. See, it's a push and pull of both sides of the equation (namely good versus evil). I mean, it's still magic, and there is obviously something guiding the granting of Buffy these powers to be the balance against the upcoming reality shift, but we haven't had a problem with PTB giving people powers before, why start now?

As for Angel, a vampire, having these powers too...all I can say is he has forever been deemed integral to the apocolypse and being more than a mere vampire. Also, if we have the REAL demons flooding back to this reality, we know real demons respect vampires and all the other demons with mixed human blood as little as they do humans themselves, so who's to say in this new reality, humans and human-demon hybrids are on opposing sides?

[ edited by CarpeNoctem on 2010-04-11 16:55 ]
No, and for me this story doesn't seem like the writers care very much about it either. But hopefully Whedon will retcon her arse outta this, because at the moment the whole thing reads as being extremely dodgy on so many levels.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-04-11 16:11 ]
sueworld2003 | April 11, 16:10 CET


Erm... you know, the universe, the PTB, or whatever never really embraced a feminist stand before this either. The Slayer was created out of metaphysical rape. If the universe really cared about human ethics and philosophical stands, it would have done something about it. Sent a holy cougar or whatever to save the day.
But I'm talking about the writers love. :)
To be honest, people have accused Joss of being anti-feminist, anti-gay etc for a long time. It's kinda ridiculous if you've ever met the guy.
The writers wrote that storyline of metaphysical rape. The writers wrote the whole sordid affair of S6's Buffy/Spike relationship. Many people thought that it undermined the feminist message of the show to A. have the Slayer be created through such demeaning means, and B. that Buffy would stoop to that point of merely using another person, just to "feel" something.
And both times, Buffy recovered, and the pro-feminist flag flew again.
All I'm saying is that this new turn of events is no different from before. Fate intervenes, Buffy beats it. Usually. We'll see if this happens this time too.
But as I said before, I'm sure Joss will retcon he way outta this somehow. Whether the explanation will work for everyone is another matter entirely.

But then I've never thought Joss's original idea of the whole 'yay share the power' idea actually worked in Chosen either.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-04-11 18:26 ]
When I say it CAN work I misused the word when I really meant it COULD work. I don't know yet if this additional mythos regarding a sentient world and its being responsible for slayer creation can work. But given our experience with the fluid nature of Joss's world I am not opposed to this new idea. Rules get changed all the time, what matters is whether or not they can be explained in an interesting and character true way (season 4 Angel not withstanding).
Sorry, just needed to clear that up I know my post was ions ago and no one will probably read this anyway but it makes me feel better. Blah blah it must be Tuesday.
I love how people are getting their panties in a bunch about the "Universe" thing. No one in #34 ever says, "The Universe is a living and sentient being that had a direct hand in the creation of the Slayer." I'm seeing lots of people take this suggestion and going off in like twenty directions at once, ranging from complaints about loss of a feminist tone to themes of fate/choice, etc.

What is explained in #34 is that the Universe "knows" when things aren't right. I don't think Joss/the writers are suggesting that the Universe is alive; rather, that the Universe is composed of living things. It's a delicate web, and when something goes wrong, it can be felt. I agree with the notion that the Shadowmen acted as "agents" of the Universe without even realizing it. This does not detract from any of the themes and messages erstwhile established in the Buffy series.

Season 8 is adding some very interesting layers to what we already know about the Buffyverse. It's fascinating and especially with the comment about the fish in the Indian Ocean relating to Buffy's future, it feels like the production team is really trying hard to integrate the remaining dangling aspects of the Buffyverse.

Oh, and the sex was hot.
If the universe chose Buffy to be the Slayer without her consent and she subsequently rebelled then in that context yes the universe doesn't like it. I would suspect by the end of the season that we'll see Buffy's customary reaction to situations like this.


Simon, doesn't this perfectly encapsulate why taking the comics the way they did is a *bad* thing? Your comment, and several before and after it, all rightly point out that there is a customary and predictable response from Buffy to dictates of fate: research team finds a prophecy or scroll that portends bad things, Buffy tries to fight it, initially fails and/or sort of gives in, and then recovers and emerges victorious (okay, once dead, but still victorious).

Now I'm all for Joss being on Team Free Will, but isn't a repeat of this move so old hat? Buffy fans have seen this all before that we aren't having much trouble seeing how this plot would play out - Buffy starts to realizes that she and Angel are being crazy, Spike shows up to help her along by being the "voice of reason," and then the gang reunites (with the possible exception of Angel) by the end to kick destiny's (or at least some demon stand-in's) ass. I think, frankly, that's kind of boring.

Much more interesting if, for once, Giles is wrong. One of the coolest twists in Angel Season Three was the "father kills the son" prophecy turning out to be complete and utter bull. Destiny can still be wrong here, but namely because destiny wouldn't be at play at all. What Giles read was an accident, and Buffy and Angel becoming all godlike didn't open up the door to the demons, but actually was a necessary step to fight their incursion, which happened for other reasons. There are plenty of different ways to fill this in, but it can eliminate a lot of the really irritating crap, and can make the show's moral universe far more interesting by making Angel's actions not "ZOMGZ THE BAD GUY" but instead necessary sacrifices to create a much worse fate.

I wrote this real fast, and it might not make sense. Just wanted to throw it out there.

[ edited by goingtowork on 2010-04-11 22:04 ]
goingtowork, I like your theory/hope that Buffy's reaction of all this will be different than the usual, that she doesn't just shrug off all the prophecy/destiny stuff and beat it predictably. I know we've had a lot of un-fixable deaths and painful events in the Buffyverse to date and it's already a fairly dark place, but I don't think it would be out of place for whatever forces are at work to crush Buffy and company under their inevitability (that doesn't mean I wanna see the entire gang utterly fail/die/be taken over, just that...they can't score an overall win all the time. It might be interesting if that's what's playing out here, them losing. Season 9 could be the regrouping and kicking ass year).

Re: Angel's choices/actions being for the "greater good" and all that
They'll still need to explain why he went about things so cruelly (and what was up with his sometimes-grandiose dialogue while still disguised as Twilight), why he seemed to relish in it at some points, and how he came to this decision/came by his powers first/got this all started/decided on that ridiculous costume in the first place.

Also, and this has no bearing on the potential quality of the potential development, whether it was a good idea by the writers or anything, but it's already easy to predict from the many reactions on here that tons of readers will be unsatisfied and/or severely pissed off if it's shown that Angel (even if, with a heavy heart) went with this plan and was, in the end, okay (or felt he had to be okay) with the body count and inflicted-on-scoobies heartbreak required to accomplish his goals. I'm not sure how I'll feel about it. Angel's made some sketchy-but-seemingly-necessary decisions in the past (okay, Season 2 leaving-lawyers-to-die was more a result of depressed/apathetic Angel), so as usual, convince me, writers.

Brad Meltzer said:
"We show murder in every single issue and violence and all these horrible things, yet when we take something beautiful we all turn into Puritans...but that's too easy a riff to jump on, so I don't want to jump on all that."

Fine, I'll jump on it then.

None of the "this-was-too-much-sex"/"I-feel-creeped-out-watching-Buffy-and-Angel-do-it" (although note that most have pointed out they were uncomfortable with voyeuristically watching Buffy having sex, little to no mention of Angel) commentators touched on Brad's argument at all, that we're okay with seeing thousands of depictions of violence across the Buffyverse (not desensitized, because deaths and acts of violence have provoked hurt and impassioned viewer response). It is very screwed up, IMO. And it's no one's fault, to be fair. Violence and death and many other human acts of being shitty to one another are in our faces, all the time, not censored, whereas human sexuality is not. Some have opined that they don't want sexuality to become as commonplace, that our society has already become too crass in this regard, but...why not ? Sex is one of the most normal acts on the planet, we wouldn't be here without it, millions of animals and other people (also animals) are doing it right now (some, not the humans mostly, are doing it out in the open, unashamedly, not giving a damn if anyone sees), what exactly is the problem ?

If you're worried that the emotional component of it will be cheapened by it being more commonly displayed/exploited for commercial uses (wayyy too late for that), you're overreacting IMO, this comic does not do that. Moreover, the overall societal benefit of having people see and talk more openly about sex will far outweigh the risk of making it so commonplace that it would somehow "cheapen" its value (geez, food is all over the place and open for discussion, but I still value food and its benefits hugely). Aand let's not kid ourselves, just because it's all over TV and the internet would lead us to belive that everyone's an oversharing liberal on the matter, the reality seems to be that many are still fearful of discussing and asserting their right to not be ashamed of talking about sex/having sex/freedom from having their relatives or religion impress upon them what they should be thinking about sex.

I don't want less sex in my entertainment. I hope it shows up in more works like Buffy that previously were required to be coy about it due to network or publisher restrictions. Surprise people with it who would not normally seek it out and maybe it'll bring a few people out of their shells, or at least get them talking (oh hey, look, mission accomplished for Buffy Season 8 in that regard).

Let's just admit that our aversion to sex (however much we may like to dress it up as "ohhh, it wasn't artfully done in this case/there was no point to it/so crass/it was purely a sales-marketing move/naked bodies can't just be naked bodies, it has to carry some super-deep meaning to be allowed onto the page/the screen") is due to the puritans being the ones who founded most of original-North-American-society, that set the tone/built the base of what our society would become, and that the "norms" impressed on us by the Judeo-Christian mentality--even if many of us are neither Jewish, nor Christian [anymore]--just royally fucked up our priorities and comfort level with sexuality. Yeah, that's going all wannabe-psychologist on us, but it doesn't seem too far off the mark. And you can see potential evidence of this unfortunate, tired historical pattern in folks (like myself, like so many here), who as children/early teens started out all awkward and shy about the matter (thank-you not-willing-to-discuss-it-parents and shitty Catholic school sex education), but emerged with a healthy, adult/non-puritan attitude toward it. Life is better this way, it's one less thing to be curmudgeonly/commonly-complaining about (another plus, 'cause there're way more important things to complain about, way more legitimate societal ills to focus our displeasure/rage on).

[ edited by Kris on 2010-04-11 22:27 ]
big round of applause to you Kris! It's often very difficult to point out that fear or shame about sex is so based on our cultural history, shaped by religion and who knows how many other oppressive institutions that still function today.
I don't see this as any push to open people's mind to the comic-book depiction of sex or make them face their deep seated issues over sex (because clearly everyone who has expressed distaste is just terribly hung up on out-dated cultural mores concerning the issue), I see it as an attempt to sell more comic-books just as it was when we had the whole storm-in-a-teacup over Buffy sleeping with a woman.

I'm also reminded of a very old episode of the show where Xander remarks to Willow that if she isn't able to say the word she probably shouldn't be doing it. Yet here we have lots of very clear sex but are unable to actually print the word fuck. Seems a bit silly.
Thanks Cazador, but it should probably be pointed out that it might not be "fear or shame" that factor into some folks' preference that it not be shown in fiction (or at least that's what they'll claim...whether they've reflected on the matter to the point where they can point out why they feel the way they do, I dunno, I can't read minds. And it's seen as rude/inappropriate to broach the subject because "sex is a personal thing", so that kinda shuts down further discussion in the same way that "I have faith/have felt God's presence" often ends a discussion about religion by default, a cop-out that can't really be argued out of). Discomfort/preferring it not be seen though/preferring it only be seen within certain contexts, fear/shame could be at the root of that, deep down (being "squicked out" by something can sometimes have to do with fear/shame as well, though sometimes it can be perfectly justified to be squicked out by something we find gross, long as you're upfront about why you feel the way you do).

helcat, I wasn't suggesting that the Season 8 writers set out to open minds, just that I think it might be useful for that in a few [dozens? hundreds?]people's cases, or that it might be a fortunate byproduct of the issue's publication (wishful thinking, maybe?).

Agree that it's stupid that Dark Horse is still writing "fuck" as "f#c%" in Buffy (I think there have been uncensored Dark Horse comics, so it's not a company-wide policy, it's a book-by-book judgement call). Especially after this issue. If they can show it, they should be able to say it. And there's no way this is a "oh no, then Borders won't carry it" worry, because Watchmen and tons of adult comics are regularly seen & stocked in mainstream book stores, so...I'm not sure. Folks'll complain about the "salty language" in fiction sometimes just as readily as they will the sex (folks who couldn't get through Deadwood because of the liberal use of the term "cocksucker"), so maybe the "language barrier" is the last frontier for the Buffyverse not being aimed at sheltered children.

[ edited by Kris on 2010-04-12 00:31 ]
"I see it as an attempt to sell more comic-books just as it was when we had the whole storm-in-a-teacup over Buffy sleeping with a woman."

Yup, what I said way up at the beginning.

[ comment copied over from someone's LJ removed by Sunfire on 2010-04-12 01:01 -- please don't post other people's comments from elsewhere here]

[ edited by Sunfire on 2010-04-12 01:02 ]
Is it significant that when I just looked, there were sixty-nine comments?
it's funny, I'm watching HBO and it's a rerun of Season 2 of True Blood..... an episode full of magically compelled orgy time. reminded me of all of the Buffy stuff yet again! Sex under mystical compulsion is all over this vampire genre I guess.
I'm sorry if I offend anyone by saying this but I tend to think it's an American sensibility to feel uncomfortable with sex. Sex ed gets banned from schools all the time because heaven forbid we have candid and real conversations about our bodies. Abstinence is encouraged rather than safe sex and then uninformed teens get pregnant. Don't get me started on same-sex couples and how they are "deviant." I am American and I wish we were more accepting of sex and sexuality. Obviously I cannot speak for other countries but I definitely think the US could loosen up a little.
In response to luv4whedon: it really depends on where you're from in the USA. In 2008, I graduated from a high school in New York, and our sex ed focused on safe sex as opposed to abstinence.

redeem147 very much made me LOL.

It's indeed silly that they choose not to print the word "fuck," but I don't really see it as something very important.
luv4whedon, I wouldn't say it's restricted to the U.S., which is why I write "North American" when discussing sexuality/taboos (obviously we're a lot more, erm, progressive than say, the vast majority of Iraq's attitudes toward sexuality, but I guess we're largely talking only Western societies here). 'Cause Canada should be included in there too, to a lesser degree. It's not just the States and yeah, as Waterkeeper points it, it varies from state to state/province to province, and person to person/school/family. Be careful not to paint all the "I-didn't-like-the-sex-scenes-in-issue-#34" commenters with the same brush, it definitely shouldn't be inferred that those who were on the side of "hated it/didn't see the use for it" are also into abstinence-only education programs and are possibly homophobic (Dana5140 definitely isn't homophobic, for example, and I'd venture to guess that most others here aren't either, if they continued watching after Buffy Season 4).

Waterkeeper, it's not that important, I mean we can clearly tell what the characters are meant to be saying when they say "I don't f#c%!ng know!", so that's...fine. It just looks kinda lame/ridiculous/childish, especially after what Dark Horse allowed to be shown in Buffy #34 and, oh I dunno, all the violence in the rest of the series (yes, I know they were under The WB/UPN networks and the networks answer to the censorship boards/special interests groups--who spend their time complaining about a Janet Jackson's nipple). People (not just vamps and monsters) can die, on screen, with us seeing the violence done to them, in all sorts of horrifying ways, for 12 seasons of television and a couple seasons' worth of comics, but the characters witnessing this violence, perpetrating it, or defending against it, can't say "shit" ? Whaaa ? In comics, especially, which are beholden to no one except maybe their shareholders, this can go the way of the dinosaurs already (except in the case of all-ages books. Buffy ain't an all-ages book/franchise, definitely not intended for the little ones).

[ edited by Kris on 2010-04-12 03:07 ]
I am in no way saying that everyone who dislikes the sex in #34 is an abstinence advocating. Like many of you said each person brings their own life experiences to the table when forming an opinion. I just think that when looking at western societies America comes out kind of prudish. And yes I agree it can also be regional. I grew up in a small town in a progressive state. So while I did have sex ed in high school each year there were a league of parents who advocated against it and pulled their children out of that class.
And yes redeem147, it's a sign of things to come.
@ sueworld2003:

"Depends on how it's being depicted I suppose."

How sex is depicted in art may be a question of taste (or rather, of esthetics), but, imho, it can never be a question of morals! Who should make those moral decisions whether a depiction of sex should or shouldn't be allowed? That notion in social history always led to censorship and in the end was all about suppression.
LOL woooow. I'm seriously scratching my head over the insinuation that Buffy having sex with the enemy somehow ruins the pro-feminist message of the series. I don't see how that has anything to do with anything. If Buffy were male and had sex with the enemy, what message would that be ruining exactly?

Anyway, currently agreeing with whoever said the sex was hot.

The sex. was hot.
@Kyotoyoshi: in either case, the character is thinking with her/his crotch. Either as the sexual aggressor (I don't care that you've injured/killed my friends, you are hot and I want to jump your bones and maybe think about the consequences later) or as the dewy-eyed submissive (ooo - I'm so in lurve that I can't help but follow you into cosmic [or comic] sex and maybe think about the consequences later). Neither is particularly appealing in a hero.
In reference to the whole American continent being pro abstinence and european's being okay with sex...don't forget little old Ireland; we're riddled with sexual hang ups and catholic guilt and repression.
For the record, I'm okay with the sex, same as being okay with Buffy's foray into lesbianism. I mean the girl's been deprived of alot of things in her term as slayer, perhaps having more slayer's out there fighting the good fight, she just decided to let loose on Satsu.
Now the 'sleeping with the enemy' bit, okay there's an issue there, but we don't know how much Buffy knows, knowing that she has a connection to Angel through the magic(k), especially when she said she knew he was telling the truth. This might mean that she knows exactly what happened and why it all happened...WHO KNOWS?!?!?!(maybe the writers? I'm not sure)

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