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February 10 2015

The power and pitfalls of shipping on television. Buffy is mentioned in this piece that looks at shipping as a trope and the impact in can have on both fandoms and a show itself.

Ooooh, shipping, fandom & fanfic. Some of my favorite subjects. The comment section is also a good read; it's actually a civil conversation about shipping. Funny too. Loved the comment about the CW being the shipping network-made me LMAO. :)

Thanks for the link!

[ edited by menomegirl on 2015-02-10 19:30 ]
Are they referring to Spuffy? I wasn't around when the show was on, but did that relationship was actually a response to the fandom?
Possibly, but I wasn't around either so I don't know for certain. I know the vast majority of the audience wanted Riley gone. And IWRY was pretty well received so people were pissed after Buffy only saw Angel for "5 minutes" and went back to starting something with Riley pretty quick.

Kennedy isn't exactly popular either but she only got with Willow in the back half of the final season so their wouldn't have been much time to adjust her character even if they wanted too, and Joss wanted to make it clear that Willow wasn't going back to guys after Tara died.

Nobody liked Cordelia/Connor for obvious reasons, but I don't know much about initial reaction to Angel/Cordelia in the 3rd season.
I honestly thought this article would be about sailing shipping, and how the plot device of Angel needing to travel by ship for months to get rid of the evil body parts in Season 2 propelled the plot forward on BTVS, etc. Lol, what a dork.
Pretty sure Joss doesn't pander to fans in terms of his writing. I don't say that as a bad thing. He tells the stories that he wants to tell.
There is a line though. Showrunners need to have a thick enough skin to tell what they want to tell but completely sticking to your guns can backfire and ruin a show (HIMYM). I think Joss will stand by what he does but they had to know what reception to Riley was when he left. A more recent example would be the retooling of Skye's character. She went through a pretty big (positive) shift through the seasons and Joss had a hand it that somewhere.

The Buffyverse comics still haven't fully recovered from the Twilight plot which was a huge shipper firestorm. But the triangle is still technically in place as they've chose to avoid giving us any insight on what Buffy thinks about Angel now and so far kept their stories totally separate. With the comics Buffy/Spike/Angel might be one of the longest running love triangles in pop culture history.

The best smashing of the love triangle trope has to be Green Lantern/Hawkgirl/Vixen from JLU.
I doubt Riley was ever meant to stick around. Even if he had somehow been a popular character, I'm pretty sure he still would have been written off the show around the same time. Joss has written off and/or killed popular characters without batting an eye in the past.

And I think it's good that they've has never put a TON of focus on the Buffy/Spike/Angel triangle. It keeps the focus on Buffy as a heroine- not her romance life (basically the opposite of the Twilight series).
I think they problems with the Twilight comic story went way beyond shipping (though disclosure, I'm not fond of Buffy/Angel, as people may already know.). Angel killing Giles for example, and Buffy being cosmically roofied. Angel being a big ol' bad guy. Angel having the same name as very bad vampire books.
Had Riley been well liked I doubt he'd have left the show even when/if they did break up.

Joss has final say but not even he can control everything. Willow/Tara happened at least partially because Seth Green wanted to leave the show. Same with their being less crossovers in the final two seasons because of the split between The WB and UPN.

Buffy, Spike and Angel are all strong enough characters to stand on their own but they still keep the triangle in play enough. If you want to be cynical you could argue that's one of the main benefits for them for keeping the shows/comics mostly separate so they can avoid resolving it.

reedeem147-Oh I know. The Twilight story (and most of the latter half of S8 really) had a lot of problems. They managed to seriously anger Angel fans and Angel haters at the same time. They've mostly walked the comics back from it. As of now, none of the creative team behind those plots are regularly contributing to the comics anymore.

Of course some of them got busy with other projects and such but it does say something about how they want to get away from the firestorm and have consistent writers for each book now. But until Buffy/Angel restore civil contact with each other or agree to get out of each other's lives (which we know won't happen), then the comics can't fully recover from the Twilight plot.
We'll have to respectfully disagree about Riley I guess. I don't think he was ever meant to be more than college boyfriend (even if he had been a popular character). He was the guy Buffy needed at the time in her life, and that's it. I'm sure many of us had relationships like that.
His role of boyfriend may have only been temporary. My respectful disagreement is that I think he'd have probably stayed on the show had fans liked him more.
Personally, I think he was written off the show more for story reasons rather than fan reactions. He was a pretty stiff character whose main story arc was tied to the events of Season 4. The only thing keeping him in Sunnydale in Season 5 was Buffy, so when that went south, an exit from the show made sense.

But who knows. We're really just speculating at this point.
Riley kind of played himself out partially because of how they chose to tie him to his first season. Making him some sort of secret military guy always sort of set up some sort set up the need for him to be actively doing something which didn't work after that season.

If they'd chosen to just go with "some guy" and managed to really deal with the aspects of a non-superpowered character that isn't a warrior dealing with that relationship, you might have had a better story.

I actually didn't dislike the Riley arc that much as it just always came across as a relationship that didn't work. Nothing wrong with those.
I honestly thought this article would be about sailing shipping

From now on I'm going to treat all shipping discussions like it's jargon for how to tie the best knot and hoist the best sail.
Holy heck, I'm old. I genuinely thought "shipping" was a reference to the Sunnydale docks ... (Where exactly were those docks located anyway? Next to the desert?!)
Sunnydale had docks?
BTW, I'm liking the love FarScape got in the comments.
NYPinTA, yes! Buffy took Angel down to the docks in one episode - he was going to stow away and take part of the Judge with him.
I'm not sure what this article really said, if anything at all. Shipping exists, it may or may not drive or inspire narrative. It may or may not be detrimental.

Well - gee whiz, I never knew all that.

I agree -- better article would have been about sailing the seas.

And yes, Sunnydale had docks on occasion.
What an unusually interesting and well-written article! I think Joss has frequently made the point that he gives the audience what “they need, not what they want.” He’s a pretty tough cookie! Oddly, perhaps, I didn’t hate Riley.

About HIMYM, after I watched the finale (later, on DVD), I read articles about the fan reactions, and learned that statistically the fans were fine with the ending. The haters were actually just a very vocal minority. I liked it myself, in that it was thought provoking. Watching the alternate ending was nice, but felt hollow after the “real” one. (And just how perfect was the mother!)

Nice that Castle got some love!
I find that most fandoms suffer negatively because of the vocal minority you mentioned, Jocelyn.

It's easier to say you like something and move on as opposed to dissecting every little thing that's wrong about something you don't like.
The Sunnydale docks led me to wonder why this line wasn't in the finale - "Where did the ocean go?"
I'm finding that the one thing most vocal minorities have in common is thinking that because they make the most noise that they are in fact the majority. Some show runners (or other PTB) might make that mistake as well, but usually not for long. The thing about relationships on shows is that no matter which direction it is taken there will be speculation that the audience had something to do with it. But rarely does anyone ever confirm when they do.

Maybe the docks were on a river?
Jocelyn and edcsLover9: I completely agree. That vocal minority that thinks they're the majority is the main reason I rarely ever take part in the fandom any longer.
Here's a related video: It mentions Agent Carter but I don't think that's enough to get it on the front page. But it is well thought-out about fanfic, shipping, LGBT representation in media etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3uDwOQPLKU#t=559

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