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March 06 2013

Spend the Night Alone: Notes on "Conversations With Dead People". A thorough and excellent look at the season seven episode from The Exploding Kinetoscope.

Insightful article! I'm glad they mentioned the fact that ghost-Joyce is never distinctly identified as The First, though that's the obvious assumption. I *never* saw a Dawn moment in the remainder of Season 7 that indicated any success on The First's part of this fear-installation effort.

Likewise, the attempt to get Willow to commit suicide was sloppy at best, and I understand Amber Benson refused to represent The First as Tara, but *THAT* would have been The First's best shot. It would have made sense, and would have rattled us as much as Willow - which is the only direct power The First can wield on its enemies.

In other words, the great evil had a weak gameplan. Warren was the only successful embodiment, because Andrew's weaknesses were easier to exploit.

Also, the term "Trachtenberg Screaming Show" is made of win.
Some great points about the structure of the show and the season(s) in here.
The show made perfectly good sense to me. I completely lost it when Buffy was prep back on that gravestone telling her life's miseries. Hee, hee!
Well said. Well said.
WhatsAstevedore: I tend to agree with you, but lots of other fans have made a good point that telling Willow she's no longer worthy to speak to Tara actually hurt her more and gave The First a bigger edge.

I like to explain it "in the 'verse" (ie. in a dimension where Amber Benson's job choices don't affect Willow's life) as that Tara was still active as a good spirit and was able to block THe First from assuming her form specifically.
I would like to think the First not being able to be Tara means she is still not fully dead...
An interesting article, even if I think that some points are too picky, like the implausibility of it all happening in real-time. But then that's not the sort of thing that would bother me.

WhatsAStevedore, I know it's never explicitly stated, but when Dawn refuses to stand up for Buffy in Empty Places, couldn't that be because of what the First said?
Wait! People don't like Season 7? Why?

Edit: "Amber Benson refused to represent The First as Tara" - Really? Why? That's not very nice of her...

[ edited by Ricardo Leal on 2013-03-06 17:03 ]
Wow! Chris Stangl is an excellent writer (and friendly online acquaintance) and has written quite a few bits about the Whedonverse over the years, including an analysis of most of the episodes of Dollhouse (all on this very blog)! So happy to see him linked here!
I am also a regular follower of Chris Stangl's blog and am happy to see it linked.

@Jordo: if you're "Jordan," I think we've talked over there -- I usually sign as William B thereabouts.... Hi!
Yep! Hi!

I advise everyone to check out Stangl's wonderful tribute to Lorne/Andy Hallett, and he has also written interesting pieces about the original Buffy movie and the first trade of season 8.
Ricardo, there's a story about that, which I can't tell very well. Not an expert on behind-the-scenes stuff. Sounds to me like there were miscommunications. Benson didn't want to play the the First-as-Tara but Joss may have been offering just Tara, straight up.

As for Season 7... I think it works a lot better on DVD than it did on the air. I watched the whole thing in about 48 hours, and many episodes that probably seemed really tedious on the air flew past and worked okay. There are also some character-development issues. But then Faith comes back and stuff gets good again.
This is very intelligent , but jumbled in the wrong places. Amber's reasons for not doing FirstTara were concern for certain groups among her fans (?celebrity fanmothering?); the comments about the artistic/literary implications of seeing Tara again were in a different context. And Marauding Spike was S-2, not S-3.

But overall a valuable addition to the corpus of Buffyverse criticism and fanwriting.

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