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"The human mind is like Van Halen. If you just pull out one piece and keep replacing it, it just degenerates."
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December 07 2012

How Buffy refutes some of the tenets of modern "dark" television. Alyssa at ThinkProgress blogs about how Buffy managed moral complexity without overdoing the gore or plot turns.

I've often had thoughts along these lines: there's a certain mindset out there that grim and dark automatically equates to adult and grown up. That moral complexity and honest artistic intent can only be found in things that are "serious" (i.e. dark and painful and GRITTY).

It's a bogus and tedious mindset, imo.
I agree, dottikin. I add to that that dark or unlikeable equals ambiguous. What Joss pulled off in BtVS etc. is a tough trick to do well.
I know! Some of the greatest art out there is joyous (see: Shakespeare & one of his greatest plays, Midsummer, please!). Great art and entertainment can combine tragedy with farce or irony or glee or all those other non-gritty moods.

This is something BtVS often excelled at.

[ edited by dottikin on 2012-12-08 01:04 ]
In fact, what many forget is that by mixing the darkness and the light together, you intensify both of them, which BtVS also excelled at.
Ah, I could rant for days about the grim&dark=mature&deep fixation (which, among other sins, recently ruined my favorite game series). Don't worry, I won't.

BtVS gets it right: the right mix of dark and light, just as you said, ManEnoughToAdmitIt.
The idea that ''dark and gritty'' equals ''serious and meaningful'' seems to be especially common in sci-fi/fantasy circles nowadays, presumably as a reaction to the old prejudice that anything which features spaceships or magic must be inherently silly and juvenile. For me, their refusal to buy into such nonsense is one of the things that makes Whedon projects stand out.
I don't see how that first example is particularly different from the abortion storyline in Buffy, to be honest.

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