This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Dont freak. Dont react. Take control. Just step up."
11978 members | you are not logged in | 12 December 2018


July 04 2012

Is Juliet Starling this generation's Slayer? More than likely not, but the article tries to make a case for it.

I think this is something of a daft statement.
I feel the female characters as strongly as I do the male characters. I feel 100 percent female while writing them.
I'm pretty sure no male can feel 100 percent female when doing anything.
I'm pretty sure Buffy is this generation's Slayer.
damn straight
However flippant this sentence may have been, I couldn't take this article seriously when they described Buffy and felt the need to say "Buffy becomes more than a dream girlfriend". I'd even go as far as saying that the statement felt like an insult to the creators of 'Buffy' and its fans.

Also, the article seemed to use 'sexism' and 'misogyny' interchangeably.
People who didn't watch Buffy knew the name - it's iconic. I had to look up who Juliet Starling is. Apparently it's something to do with a video game.
I just keep thinking "Please tell me that girl wasn't so desperate for money she did go home with that creepy fan".

-EDIT I didnt watch the vid until now. I didn't know they were acting.

[ edited by Skytteflickan88 on 2012-07-05 13:09 ]
I like James Gunn's movies. And if you take out all the Buffy comparisons and gender discussion, the story sounds like it could be kind of interesting (if it is developed well). However, a lot of Gunn's statements in that article make him sound kind of ridiculous. And a lot of the article's statements (and the creepy commercials) make the game sound fairly demeaning. I think I'll just stick with Buffy as my slayer and skip this game.
I think most of the online "Buffy" fandom would prefer to eat lead paint than to validate the comparison to which "Lollipop Chainsaw" aspires. It is not this generation's "Buffy". It looks like a mirthful, albeit entirely soulless, diversion for a couple hours, depending on how much one enjoys zombie gore, but that's it.

I don't know if Buffy is this generation's Buffy, though, because... well, Season 7's 10th anniversary would start this fall. Perhaps if the comics weren't so often pilloried by the ostensible "Buffy" audience, or a vocal part of it, it would feel more present, but "this generation's 'Buffy'" will probably be whatever version of "Buffy" brings its existing audience into the moment while capturing a new audience. The DVD sets one person at a time aren't going to do that, and ultimately as (mostly) fond as I am of it, a few dozen thousand comics a month aren't going to, either.
She's voiced by Twilight Sparkle. I don't know how to feel about that.
Wow, just IMDb'd her. Timmy Turner from "Fairly Oddparents" and two voices in SWTOR. Things go another way, maybe she joins the "Buffy Animated" cast at some point in its mythical decade long run.
Sorry, but a video game representation of an idealized high school cheerleader in micro-skirt and bra top isn't aimed at female empowerment, but male fantasy. Just because she's wielding a chainsaw and fighting zombies doesn't make her comparable to Buffy, when the demographic this game aims for is clearly young men. The Polygon review linked in the interview seems pretty damning on the point.
I could probably name 10 video game characters off the top of my head who are a better comparison to Buffy. Then again, I could probably write a more convincing article on "Battleship" being this generation's "Abyss" (They both have water and aliens kinda!).

Big difference between making a well-rounded, complex character who happens to be beautiful and taking a walking one-dimensional male fantasy and trying to cram a personality in to keep from getting raked over the coals.
Welll...everyone's entitled to their opinion, so I salute the authors of the article for exercising their First Amendment rights and all that. Just kinda wish it wasn't one of those times where I was having to defend trite and brainless dross because of the right of free speech :S

[ edited by BlueEyedBrigadier on 2012-07-05 18:13 ]
The Metacritic score is a bit ho-hum so I doubt we'll be having this debate in the next couple of years.
We're not so much really having the debate now, either.
I know this may come as a shock, but not all writers "speak" with the kind of well thought out prose that their characters do. Especially when they are hit with questions they didn't expect (which is my take away from his reactions.) They sound like someone expounding because they're supposed to be talking about the question but haven't given it sufficient thought yet.

I will nitpick the 100% female while writing complaint though. I believe the point was poorly expressed, but essentially means what most writers would actually say which is "I completely understand my characters regardless of sex." And I'm not going to get hung up on it any more than the implication Whedon, Espenson, Ephron, or Brooks understand the people they write. That's what writers do. If they can't, they're usually not particularly successful.

In general, I'd prefer people didn't "compare" things until after a little bit of time. It's hard for something to be the next "Buffy" when a majority of the population is just aware of the advertising at this point.

[ edited by azzers on 2012-07-05 19:55 ]
I count as this generation, and my Buffy is most definitely Buffy.
We're not so much really having the debate now, either.

The games press did. There was a bit of the old deliberate "is this the new Buffy?" coming from the usual PR suspects to boost interest before the game shipped.
Felicia Day posted an article earlier today on "male gaze" in video games. The general gist was that sexiness was a necessary quality in female video game characters, somewhat undercutting its empowerment. I think its almost short-sighted to look at Buffy's empowerment by just looking at Buffy as a character and not looking at the show as a whole. I think that one of the strengths of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is that most of the female characters have strength beyond sex appeal. Willow and Tara come to mind first.

I'd be more willing to accept this "Juliet Starling" character as empowering as soon as I see a non-sexy female protagonist in a video game. Right now, I think sexiness is unfortunately a necessary quality for female video game characters to have.
Where's Feminist Frequency when you need her?

This article alone kind of made my uncomfortable. There's a huge difference between being a woman who is sexual/sexy and being a sex object. And this here video game character is a sex object. You can not claim to be a feminist and dress a woman that way, have her act that way and/or put that much emphasis on 'how sexy she is'.

And what is with the lollipop thing? Why is eating a lollipop suddenly inherently sexual. Good grief, I never thought I'd have to tell other people this, but get your head out of the gutter! When Buffy ate a lollipop, I hardly remember it being about anything more than eating candy.
When Angel watched Buffy eat a lollipop, I don't think it was about eating candy.
And yet, the general tendency toward making characters for video games hot is pretty genderless. It's not particularly surprising that fictional characters are usually... not unattractive, regardless of if they are male or female. And when they aren't, that's sort of their whole deal (i.e. hunchback, the phantom, etc).

Watching that commercial with the actors, I think people are skating past where the moral of the story is "horny, exploitative wankers will end up being chopped up with a chainsaw". It reminded me of PG Porn.

From what I've seen of this, I could actually accept the premise that -- as a blank state of mythological starting points -- Juliet Starling actually seems quite a bit of early Buffy; cavalier, exultant, and witty, a comedic juxtaposition of teenage banality with warrior prowess and mythic destiny. It's just that there is little chance that this game is going to push that character in anything like the thematic directions Buffy herself was pushed in.
I watched a preview of the game on G4's OnDemand. It's embarrassingly lame to me. It's just chainsawing zombie after zombie, and hearts and rainbows and unicorn farts popping out after certain kill moves.

The comments are supposed to be sarcastic and funny, but aren't. And Tara Strong's voice is grating after a few minutes.

There's nothing original or clever about the game; it is entirely designed for the male gaze. This looks more interesting, and the ratings on it are pretty low.

This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home