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May 08 2004

Gellar 'felt degraded' after sex scenes. "The 27-year-old actress says the series left her bruised and tired."

So a Daily Star hack reads the Elle article, looks for the juicest quote they can find and prints it in their gossip column. Meanwhile Ananova (not the best UK news service around) reprints it. What they both neglect to mention is that in the Elle interview, she said that the end of Buffy still hasn't hit her and that "it'll probably hit me in, like three years. I'll be sitting in a restaurant one day and start sobbing". Of course that isn't as interesting for the Daily Star to mention.

And besides it's a well known fact that Sarah wasn't happy with the sex scenes in season 6 so this is merely rehashing old news.
I didn't know before that she wasn't happy with those scenes - but frankly I am not surprised.

With apologies to the Spike/Buffy 'shippers, I felt those scenes were among some of the saddest and worst of the entire series. They spoke volumes about how very little Buffy the character cared for herself after coming back, but I have always wished the writers had found another way to show it. I guess they thought the usual alternative "I don't care about myself or tomorrow" vices (drugs, alcohol, etc.) would not have worked at all.
I thought that was the point - for the sex to be degrading. Attempted rape isn't supposed to be romantic.
I had the odd experience of a friend who had never before seen Buffy. One night, during season six, he comes over and catches "Smashed" with me.

Needless to say, I had to pick his jaw off of the floor at the end. "This is network television?" he asked me. I'm guessing the slam-the-pillar, panty-ripping were a little over the top for him.

Other than that one, which seemed more passionate than desperate to me, the only other scene which seemed degrading was the Doublemeat Palace scene. Then again, I haven't had a be-socked James Marsters pressed up against me for a few hours, either, so I guess I can't speak to it.
Some of the Buffy-Spike interactions in Season 6 were so dark and twisted that I can't believe they got away with it on network tv. It wasn't what was shown that was necessarily shocking, although there were some steamy scenes. It was more what was suggested that took my breath away. Buffy went to some terribly dark places during that season and I can understand Gellar having felt bruised as a result. James Marsters also has gone on record to say that he hated playing the attempted rape scene in Buffy's bathroom. Serious, dark stuff -- I was both disturbed and impressed by it. When people talk about Angel being the much darker show, I think of Buffy Season 6 and shake my head.

Before Spuffy people get medieval on my ass, let it be known that I like Spike and I liked Buffy and Spike -- at least in some contexts.
The sex scenes were disturbing, but this is old hat, on both levels. Buffy's been over for a year, and we already knew all this information before.
There were a few Buffy/Riley sex scenes in Seasons 4 and 5 that were very steamy. How did she feel about those?
i'm sure she felt fine about those, i think it was more the context than the actual acts which felt degrading. she said in an interview once that the worst scene she ever had to film was the balcony one in "Dead Things." and in that one she didnt even really have to do anything except stand there with a strained look on her face. so yeah, i dont really think it's about the sex, per se.
Exactly Simon, what a horrible little article. This is the clearest example of tabloid bullsh!t I have seen in a while. There's no substance, no context, they just spew out a few comments she said somewhere-or-other and try to make them sound controversial. *Sigh*, yet another news service I'll gladly avoid.
There is, of course, a difference between "those scenes were really difficult and painful and took more than I thought they would out of me" and "I hated every minute of those scenes and I wish they'd never been written, they were so offensive." The sex scenes might not have been the most fun for Gellar or Marsters -- and it's easy to see why the attempted rape scene would be difficult for both of them -- but sometimes being an actor means you have to portray the less savory aspects of being human. It sometimes means you go into those dark places you'd much rather avoid.

Yeah, they went to a lot of dark places in Season 6. But that seems like pretty much the point of Season 6 to me.

[ edited by unreality on 2004-05-08 17:35 ]
I really liked Season 6 even though it wasn't always easy to watch. I admired the nuanced and at times shocking darkness. I think Gellar et al. did a great job with it. That said, there's nothing wrong with an actor saying he or she had a difficult time with certain scenes. The thing about SMG -- something even her detractors would probably agree with -- is that she's a consummate professional. She hated doing a lot of what she had to do in Season 6, but she did it. And did it well.

But as everyone agrees, this is old news.
I would have felt more sympathy for her if she hadn't done "Harvard Man" or I hadn't read that she laughed at Marsters for having to be the only one naked.

Still hoping for that E Hollywood story.
She signed on for Harvard Man fully knowing what is in the script

I see what she had to do in season 6 as different because she and James had no fore knowledge of a scrpt's contents and whether they liked it or not they were under contract to do what was in the script so I have no problem with them saying they didn't like aspects of the script
twiggy, I don't think this has to do with sex-scenes/naked etc. If you compare the balcony scene and the Riley-sex-scenes, which one was more about sex/nudity? The only thing she had to do in the balcone scene was stand there.

I don't think she had problems with the sex itself.
Season 6 was basically Days of our Slayer, or Sunnydale Place, it went completely into a soap opera standard, over the top sex, drug abuse (or magic if you were),broken relationships/friendships,Psychological problems with characters etc, Noxon even said she wanted it to be "Party of Five with Monsters",though Marti Noxon seemed to mention Party of Five a few times in interviews that I remember,some sort of fixation on that show maybe.

It might have been Gellar who recieved an award for best buttkicker on Nickelodian kids awards, realized that these same kids were watching her character of Buffy engaging in rough sex, public sex,and just all kinds of kinky sexual practices, different than when your in a R rated movie where kids under 17 shouldnt be at watching, and also maybe after so long playing the character of Buffy she though of her to be a role model/hero and season 6 really crashed and burned that pretty much, most strong females don't get involved in sex with guys who stalked them, tried to kill them,built obsessive shrines to them,made a sex doll of them,and stole their panties, makes her Buffy character look more like a Jerry Springer guest than a strong woman hero.

[ edited by Nuke on 2004-05-08 19:51 ]

[ edited by Nuke on 2004-05-08 19:55 ]
I understand what you are saying Nuke, but Gellar was all for Buffy/Unsouled Spike at the beginning of season six. There's even a recorded tape at the BBC site.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/buffy/interviews/gellar_clips/clip1.shtml

ETA: I am also going to say that I loved that messy complex relationship from season two to season seven. Of course, I'm not a child.

[ edited by twiggy on 2004-05-08 20:05 ]
Well Joss thought about ending the show after season five, he was glad season six and 7 happened, but with Joss Wheadon in two minds about it, says everything about season six and 7, season six was depressing, Joss said that as well, but he thought it was a interesting depressing, I think he got it wrong, Buffy's sense of fun is with her friends, at the end of the day, it's entertainment, the fact we are emotionally invested in these characters, made season six tough to watch in parts, it made Angel seem 10 times better show, so while I was watching Buffy, I just couldn't wait for Angel, because Buffy wasn't good in season six, the Spike/Buffy thing was all wrong, it's probabley the mistake of the series, or they could of handled it better.
twiggy, but she didn't knew the whole story :

The thing about Buffy and Spike is they understand each other on a level that nobody else understands her. They’ve both lived a hundred lives and I think there’s a connection there that we will see evolve over the next couple of years where she realizes that he really is someone that she can trust, someone that’s a companion to her and someone that really understands her unlike anybody else.

She wasn't against Buffy/Spike. She even told Joss in S4 that she would love Buffy and Spike.
I completely disagree with you Nuke. Sometimes strong people DO go to those kinds of dark places. That doesn't make them weak, it simply makes them human. We all make mistakes, and it took a hell of a lot of guts for Joss & Co. to show the darker side of human nature in season 6. It was definitely my favorite season of the series, and if it tarnished some people's views of Buffy as a character, so what? Just like with "real" people -- you either love them no matter what flaws they have and what mistakes they make, or you don't. Buffy was never a Nickelodeon friendly show, thank god.

I also agree that no one can blame Sarah for being uncomfortable with that arc or those scenes. But still, she showed up to work and did her job like a pro. That's what matters.
Mindpieces you said it better than I could. I loved Season five the best. Still I did enjoy season six because it explored the dark side of these characters. Buffy/Spike are often brought up but look at Willow and even Xander. I found these deep character studies fascinating. While human souled Willow was destroying the world because her girlfriend died, unsouled Spike was seeking his soul because he had hurt Buffy. For me, it was fascinating stuff.

I agree SMG didn't know what the Buffy/Spike story was, but she knew Buffy was getting involved with an unsouled vampire and she was fine with it.
[quote]I completely disagree with you Nuke. Sometimes strong people DO go to those kinds of dark places. That doesn't make them weak, it simply makes them human. [/quote]

I am not saying that strong people don't go to dark places, I am saying there is a real problem when someone gets sexually involved with a stalker/killer, anyone that heard of a woman doing this in real life would usually shake their heads and say "she needs help bigtime", they aren't any shape or form considered a role model or hero anymore, least not the kind of hero I would want my daughter to have anyway.

Though when all said and done this is a tv show, and what I said was my personal opinion only, I know there are some that loved this, and many that didn't, I didn't because of the young teen age girls who watched this show and somehow got the notion that this is a good relationship, even James Marsters at a Con I read told fans that "No guy should treat a woman like that" apparentaly shocked by some teen girls who really loved it, It might be that SMG feels the same way, that it was some were getting the totally wrong message, that it was not romantic, it was supposed to be portrayed as being un-healthy and bad
Yes, I've heard this before from SMG. It was in an article/interview where she said Joss told her that she didn't understand the dark places Buffy's life had taken her because SMG always had a pretty good life. And also where she said Buffy shouldn't *be* dark, she should just kill vamps and be quippy. That works for a couple of seasons, but character growth and change is what makes the show interesting.

Yes, season 6 WAS dark and edgy. It was SUPPOSED to be. Joss wanted the characters to have to deal with life when it turned dark/bad/uncertain/scary and they didn't have their father figure, Giles, to guide them.

Come on, Buffy DIED. Got yanked out of HEAVEN. Her friends did that, so she wasn't as close to them as she used to be. She felt depressed and Spike became a shoulder to lean on. Then when they started their physical relationship, he was a way for her to forget her crappy life. Yes, like drugs or booze or any other vice that takes you away. So it wasn't pretty. It wasn't healthy. Wasn't meant to be. But if I was an actress, I would jump at the chance to play such a complex character. I wouldn't just want to run around and be quippy.

And even James has said that he can tell SMG wasn't really crazy about the fight scenes. He said something to the effect of "She's a girl. She doesn't like fighting and getting dirty." Fine, whatever. *That* was something she signed on for. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Pretty much right there in the title. I'm sure she didn't think she'd just be throwing snappy jokes at them to kill them.

Bruised and tired? I'd believe it. Plenty of action and long shoots. Also things she signed on for. She has a right to complain, I suppose, but she shouldn't act like she didn't know that stuff going in. And she probably had at least 3 chances to quit, if her contracts were all 2 years long.

I know, this is a couple lines taken out of an interview, but like everyone's noticed, it's not the first time she's said this stuff. Is this the same gal who said she'd like to do something like Kill Bill? Let's see SMG with a chain wrapped around her neck, truly choking her, and see how long she'd last. If she can't handle some well-choreographed tv stunts, I don't think she'd last long in a real action movie, especially in this day and age when it's becoming more common for actors to do their own action shots and learn to fight and actually GIVE a little for the movie.
James Marsters at a Con I read told fans that "No guy should treat a woman like that"

Ok, I'm not clear on just what Spike did to Buffy that was so bad. Excluding the bogus attempted rape. Taking advantage of her depressed state? He was soulless! What can you expect?? The love of his life is giving him everything he wanted and you expect him to be noble and refuse it?

If you ask me, no WOMAN should ever treat a MAN like Buffy treated Spike. She used him to escape. She knew he loved her and used that love for her own ends. She's the Slayer, therefore stronger than him. So it kind of turns the tables, doesn't it? If you think about it, it's EXACTLY how some men treat women. Using their love against them to get what they want(usually sex). The women come crawling back everytime(just like Spike). And let's not forget the alley scene. To me, that's worse than the attempted rape scene. He was trying to help her, and she beats him while he doesn't try to defend himself. He knows it's what she needs, so he lets her beat him.

So for my money, Buffy was the disgusting one in the whole Spuffy saga. She was human, souled, "good", etc. But she became the abuser/monster in the relationship.
Rogue Slayer, I think James was disturbed to find out how many fans there were who thought that the Buffy/Spike relationship was romantic or were saying that Buffy did deserve to be raped etc.

[ edited by Kate on 2004-05-08 21:18 ]
Ok, and I just haven't had my fill yet:

She claims some of the scenes were like a bondage movie. "It became very S&M and I felt degraded as an actress,"

THIS I don't understand. I can sort of understand if she felt the character was degraded. But as an actress? How do you feel degraded as an actress? Ask James how he felt having to be naked all the time in front of 20 crew members, then we can MAYBE talk degraded.

And let's break it down here. Feel free to point out things I'm missing, it's been a while since I saw season Sex. Bondage: Spike in handcuffs in her dream/memory. The IMPLYING that Buffy was in handcuffs. And Katrina in handcuffs for her dream. Not really outrageous stuff there.
S&M: Um, the only thing I got here is their fight that turned into sex in Smashed. Not exactly Buffy stringing Spike up in leather and chains and whipping him while he cried "Yes, Mistress"(though I'd not put it past the characters!) Oh, and the implications of rough and rowdy sex, but again, I'd have to argue with SMG's definition of S&M.
After that, we pretty much only see Invisible sex, implied out in Buffy's yard sex, up against an alley wall sex, on the catwalk sex, and implied pre-handcuff/on Spike's floor sex. Not alot of S&M going on. Unless they shot some scenes that, dammit to hell, never made it to the extras on the dvd set!!! ;)

And also, SMG is basically telling anyone who enjoys a little bondage fun or even people into S&M that she thinks they're freaks and they should feel degraded. She must be a very meat and potatoes kind of gal in the sack. I just hope Freddie is the same way. After seeing the opening scene of Harvard Man, I really never thought SMG was this much of a prude.

Rogue Slayer, I think James was disturbed to find out how many fans there were who thought that the Buffy/Spike relationship was romantic or were saying that Buffy did deserve to be raped etc.


I can't imagine anyone would say Buffy deserved to be raped. And I think SPIKE had the potential to be romantic. I think women who watch the show think, "God, I'd love to have a man so devoted to me, who also happens to be extremely hot." They also think they'd act differently if they were Buffy, and then the relationship would be great. It's an easy transference to make, but Spuffy was not romantic.
I thought it was hot and passionate and firey. I also thought it was EXTREMELY romantic in season seven. Believe it I am a normal healthy person with a normal healthy family and I'm in now way disturbed. ;)
i agree on part Rogue slayer. i thought buffy was the monster most of the time in the relationship as well. spike may have been a killer (not his fault), but he didnt hurt buffy (not talking about the rape attempt) but was trying to be there. she was really good friends with him right up until she kissed him, then turned on him completely (just watch her relationship with him right up until OMWF). She abused him, manipulated him, and just treated him like crap (i hate the alley scene as well)

i still wouldnt hate buffy though, cuz she was in a bad place and things like this happen, and it fit with the season completely. i definately like season 6 because of all this dark stuff.
I don't remember that Buffy was hiding from Spike this little tidbit about using him.And that means it was his choice to let
her use him.
Well said Rogue Slayer. I totally agree!
Buffy was ripped out of heaven confused and disorientated. She couldn't confess to her friends how unhappy she was because they had done it to her. Spike was a shoulder to cry on and someone she could confide in. Spike totally took advantage of her state of being. She tried to stay away from him but he kept coming back for more. Many times she turned him down but he wouldn't leave her alone and she always gave in - until the attempted rape scene when she was mentally strong enough to stick to her guns. The only time she really went to him was when she was invisible. The scene on the balcony, the Doublemeat palace one and the tree outside the house were all instigated by Spike. She wasn't showing up at his door as he was trying to get over her and demanding sex. It was the other way around. She gently tried to let him down and showed him respect by referring to him by his given name, William. She was torn and confused and regretful about the whole thing and tried to tell him that but he wouldn't listen.

That first initial sex scene between them was spontaneous and unexpected. Neither of them knew that was going to happen. Neither of them for that scene, was taking advantage of the other. It was after that, that Spike wouldn't leave her alone, even though she repeatedly asked him to stay away from her. And when he wouldn't leave her alone, she'd give in. The intent of the writer's was to show how depressed and down on herself Buffy was but James came across as sympathetic to a lot of people and he himself has had problems with that, the perception of some in the public that Buffy was the bad guy in all this.

And that's why I so loved the relationship in season 7 that was building. What they had in six wasn't love at all - Spike wanted to possess her under the guise of "loving her". He caught a glimpse of that after he tried to rape her and realized what a monster he was. He saw himself as she saw him and that's what made him want to get his soul, to be a man that deserved her.

Season 7 was about them building trust between them and love was developing, and with a season 8, I think they would've been in love but to call anything that happened in season 6 love on either part is just wrong.
I can't imagine anyone would say Buffy deserved to be raped.

I've seen a lot of those comment on other forums.
It wasn't the literal sex that was disturbing. It was how miserable the characters felt and how miserably they treated each other at times. S&M is great for people who enjoy it. The Buffy and Spike characters variously enjoyed themselves and were miserable. It was a dysfunctional relationship -- at least at that point. I think that if the series had continued it is quite possible that Buffy and Spike would have gone to a whole new level. As it was, in season seven they really developed a sweet, lovely relationship. That scene in "Empty Places" where Spike holds Buffy in his arms all night was lovely beyond words.

However, season six? Buffy and Spike as characters were not very happy campers. If you've ever acted you know how emotionally draining it can be to put yourself into a character's mind and heart. Both Sarah and James struggled. Why not? It wasn't peaches and cream during that season.

I don't think SMG was only about being a bubbly, vapid slayer. She has said on numerous occasions that (1) she appreciates how brilliant Joss's vision is and how rich the characters and their development are, (2) she sure as heck didn't complain about the ep The Body. In the episode's commentary Joss raved about how fantastic Sarah was in the difficult scenes and how much of herself she repeatedly gave.

This is old stuff. It's been manipulated and clipped by a tabloid rag to put a zesty, controversial spin on what SMG said. I say this kind of tabloid crap should be ignored. What is it worth?
I've never seen anyone say Buffy 'deserved' to be raped. And people who do say that are morons. The trouble with the 'rape scene' was on several levels.

From the moment Spike starts to fall for Buffy, we saw the relationship from his POV which made us sympathise with him. From that moment on he tried to prove himself to her, loving her as much as a soulless man can. Throughout S6 Buffy is the one who treats Spike terribly. (Funny how everyone is still on about the rape scene but hardly a word is said on when she nearly beats him to death in the alley when all he wants is to protect her. Every bit as awful if you ask me but I don't recall her ever even saying sorry). Yet then out of nowhere we suddenly are supposed to accept Spike as the 'bad raping boyfriend' which, in light of everything since early S5 is ludicrous in terms of narrative. But then they STILL didn't quite want to go there and make it plain he hardly even knows what he's doing (Not to mention the fact she always said 'no' and they always fought and then had sex anyway. Either way you cut it, it doesn't work)

They made us look though Spike's eyes, they made him the victim for a year or two and they're surprised we don't instantly see him as nothing but a villain. One of the weaker points in the series.

As for James, it's a weak point of his to have to do scenes where he hurts women. He's always said that. It was practically traumatizing for him to do that scene. Therefore I also don't really put much worth in his comments on it, since he has his own emotional take on scenes like that in general. But then where it comes to characters I never really listen to actors. They change their tunes too often and the writers determine what the characters do and say anyway.

On this article, I can't believe SMG is still complaining about it all. Okay it's clear she doesn't have a naughty bone in her body so I can see she wouldn't enjoy doing those scenes. But please it's been 2 years. Get over yourself. And S&M? Those 2 moments where we briefly see cuffs?? To listen to her you'd think her and James spent half the season up in chains and rubber with dildos or something.

In Buffy S6 the characters went to a dark place. It had it's flaws but it was bold and daring and they did things most shows are too chicken to do. Not to turn good people evil, but to explore the darker side of people who are still inherently good.

Buffy has a kinky side. SMG doesn't. But really get over it, Sarah.
Is anyone interested in the whole ELLE article? Ananova seems to have had it's own interpretation on SMG's statements, as have we. Here is the link, it is on the fourth page of the scans: http://www.slayerverse.de/tanet/net_buffy_us/index.php?navi=news.php&id=7764
Thanks for that, Anne 5_by_5.
Okay, this whole good guy/bad guy debate between Buffy and Spike seems ridiculous. I don't think the intention of the relationship was for us to be pointing fingers and yelling "It's all Buffy's fault! She's the abuser!" or vice versa with Spike. They BOTH acted terribly, and to let either one of them off the hook is ridiculous. In my mind it was a relationship that was equal in it's abuse, which is what I believe the writers intended. From the alley scene to the attempted rape, and everything in between, they both acted terribly.

Nuke -- I agree with you that season 6 isn't the one to show the toddlers as a good example of Buffy being a role model. But I don't think that Joss was under any responsibility to show any of his characters as role models. I hope that, when the toddlers grow up, they can look at the character of Buffy and see her as an extremely strong, wonderful woman -- flaws and all. I know I do.

[ edited by MindPieces on 2004-05-08 22:10 ]
Well said, MindPieces!
Good point, Rouge Slayer.

"Rogue Slayer, I think James was disturbed to find out how many fans there were who thought that the Buffy/Spike relationship was romantic or were saying that Buffy did deserve to be raped etc."

No, that wasn't what James was talking about. In fact when he mentioned that, he never once said that. As a method actor, he internalises things and the attempted rape really got to him. It's his own emotional take on it, nothing he knows about the fans.
As for the "or were saying that Buffy deserved to be raped etc.", it looks like, to me, that is your own spin.

"I've seen a lot of those comment on other forums."
...And there it is.
I have never seen anybody say she deserved to be raped or attempted raped. I have only heard people say they saw Joe-Blow and his sidekick say it on so-and-so forum (like you) and then delight in using it.

blwessels, Buffy came to Spike as many (if not more) times as Spike went to her (remember "Smashed"? "Gone"?). And as a souless vampire, he DOES NOT have an understanding of what some things can do to a person, how it can make them feel/react, he only sees what it does ("Dead Things" with Katrina, he had no idea why Buffy would feel bad and asked her to "explain" it to him. He never understood the using and the reason for it untill "Never Leave Me"), much like a child.

Nuke, Buffy didn't get involved with a "stalker", she got involved with a souless vampire. That is what, imo, made the whole "lets have the souless vampire be the bad-boyfriend!" thing ridiculous. Almost as bad as crack/magic Willow.

As for SMG, this magazine didn't get it right, she was talking about one specific scene, which was the balcony one in DT. Regarding her feeling "degraded as an actress", I question if it is less about her as an actor and more about weaving things towards the audience about Buffy considering that she said this about her sex scenes in "Harvard Man" -"I don't think my fans will be too shocked. After all, it's not Buffy
having sex up against a tree. It's me, Sarah, the actress."

Also, she didn't seem to have a problem standing there in the cold with mittens, teasing Marsters all the time. Hell, she fully dressed all the time. Maybe she has a "better them than me" attitude about it.
In season 5 Spike chained Buffy to make her listen to him,how
it's possible to see him as a victim after that? All I've seen
is a psychotic stalker and that he'll do anything to get what he want.

Oh, and I've too seen posts about "Buffy deserving
to be raped".It was on Fanforum and WB message board.
I never visited those boards again since then.It was
a year ago,which means I don't have a proof. So,
you can call me a liar too.

[ edited by ilanit on 2004-05-08 22:30 ]

[ edited by ilanit on 2004-05-08 22:33 ]

[ edited by ilanit on 2004-05-08 22:34 ]

[ edited by ilanit on 2004-05-08 22:38 ]
I would greatly appreciate if people would cool down. And on a personal note I am getting fed up with this SMG debate that seems to rear its head here every so often.

And I don't want to see attacks on other posters here. Ever.
Oh, Simon, bless you and your voice of reason. One of the reasons that I love this site so much is that it is so well-moderated.

I, too, am getting fed up with the SMG debate. Very fed up.
James comments about SMG doing fight scenes because she is a girl was James own take on SMG doing fight scenes

Joss himself has comemented that sometimes Sarah did more parts of the fighting scenes then she needed to before letting the stunt woman take over
I am also sick of the SMG debate and have tried to stay out of the personal discussions of her lately and I avoided it this time too and only discussed the issues regarding the characters. But, my question to Simon is what should most people discuss if the whole subject of this particular post is kind of asking for people to comment on SMGs comments on feeling degraded. There was nothing else in that thread to comment on. If you read the actual Elle article that Anne 5_by_5 provided that would be a different story but this link only mentions just those comments.

I just kind of think this kind of thread is going to start up all those SMG debates again because of its content.

[ edited by blwessels on 2004-05-08 23:33 ]
Well that would be why I posted what I did at the start of this thread. It was a remark from an article that was seized upon by a British tabloid. Personally I was hoping it was going to be another "the British press looking for stories where they're aren't any" debate. But it was not to be. Did those scenes she was talking about, add anything to the context of season 6 or detract from it? That will a debate that will go on for years to come and I have no problem reading well written thoughts on the matter.

However, SMG as a person for what ever reason is an emotive topic, I'm just trying to make sure when ever she comes up in discussion, that it doesn't get out of hand. I don't know Sarah, I don't know James and I don't know Joss and I never will. So I can't begin to judge them as people.

If anyone wants to take this up in correspondence with me via email feel free. I don't want to use up board space on this topic.
I agree this has gotton out of hand, but I have to make a point...

ilanit, for goodnesake! Please don't play victim to me, I didn't call anybody a liar. I said that that James never said any of that and that it was the person's spin on what he said and that *I* never saw anybody say any of that, only heard them refer to seeing it. As for the WB Board, I stopped posting there, too, because that place is constantly spammed and out of controll, so I wouldn't put anything past what is there as the mods seemed to have had problems with posters. As for FF, I have lurked there for about 3 years now and have been part of it for 1 or 2 years and haven't seen it at all. So I can't say "hey, I remember that".
"However, SMG as a person for what ever reason is an emotive topic, I'm just trying to make sure when ever she comes up in discussion, that it doesn't get out of hand. I don't know Sarah, I don't know James and I don't know Joss and I never will. So I can't begin to judge them as people."

Totally agree with you there. Thanks for answering my question.
Thanks for the link to the full article Anee 5_by_5. It's really quite nice. I like this quote when asked if she's worried about being typecast: "Well, let's see. A strong, kick-butt, smart heroine. There's a lot worse things to be type-cast as."
I also enjoyed the full article. Thanks again Anne 5_by_5. I'm glad that she and her husband are the type that just like to sit home and play board games and not live the partying life like so many celebrities seem to enjoy today, especially the younger ones.
You're welcome, blwessel, et al. Just thought it was worthwhile reading the whole thing instead of an out of context except.

I was wondering about the pool table comment. I know it wasn't part of Dead Things, but could it have been in a draft copy of the script?

[ edited by Anne 5_by_5 on 2004-05-09 05:34 ]
I felt that the sex scenes in season 6 were overdone. You would think that since she was the star, Joss would ask before writing in these many sex scenes. It's weird that I haven't heard anything about it until now...
I was wondering about the pool table comment. I know it wasn't part of Dead Things, but could it have been in a draft copy of the script?


It could very well be the writer is referring to the balcony scene. I've read several articles where the interviewers don't actually watch the shows and don't know much of what they are talking about! Or maybe Sarah remembered it incorrectly. That happens to, with all the scenes they have to know.

What I found funny about the full article is that SMG goes on about how Freddie was dating someone, then broke up and all about his pre-her life, then says their relationship is 'just ours' and 'isn't on public display'. Hey, I respect that, but I find it odd when(not just SMG) actors tell certain things about their relationships, but then say, "But it's no one's business." I kind of prefer the actors who say, "Well, my personal relationships are just that, personal." I don't understand telling all about how you met, reconnected, got married, etc, but THEN saying the rest is off limits. Why isn't it all off limits? Did sparks fly? What kind of question is that, and what kind of answer would be off limits? Obviously sparks flew or they wouldn't be married. Maybe I just don't like the structure of this article. More conversational, where the writer can add their impressions(that may or may not be correct) wherever they want.

And I hope she remembers her line about not complaining about having the opportunity to make a lot of money, in the future. I've read a few articles before where she complained about her time on Buffy, so I was hoping she'd have grown up a little, but then actually STILL complaining in the article where she says she won't complain is a bit confounding. And I'm sure the paychecks she got from ME weren't degrading.

But I do feel for her. Poor gal, had to bump and grind up against a naked James Marsters for 12-16 hour days, weeks on end. It would have been a sacrifice, but I'm such a giving person, I'd have gladly taken her place in that torturous scenario.....
You would think that since she was the star, Joss would ask before writing in these many sex scenes.

Why would Joss(or any other writer) ask an actor about what he should write? He creates the characters, the actors are paid(very well) to bring them to life. I know this is a long debated topic too, but I feel that the writers are Buffy. The writers are Spike, Xander, Anya, etc. The writers give the characters motivation, words, feelings, etc. The actors are the vessels to convey these things. I think the actors should have minimal(if any) input in what the characters do. Because really, we wouldn't have enjoyed BtVS as much if SMG, James, Allyson, etc wrote these characters. These characters are beloved because of Joss, Marti, the Davids, Jane, Tim, etc made them so rich. It doesn't matter how good an actor James is or how pretty SMG is, if these were flatly written characters, we wouldn't watch. I use Charmed and Smallville for example. Both have pretty people but crappy writing, so many folks don't watch. And the guy who plays Lex is a great actor, but I still don't watch the show, because I can't stand the writing and plots.
And I also use the recently seen Van Helsing as an example. My hubby and I walked out after the movie and he said, "How much better would that have been if Joss had written it?" It had very pretty people, great effects, decent actors, but lousy writing and directing. And it showed and it sucked.

And if SMG had her way, I don't think Buffy would have gotten together with Spike in any way. And I think that was one of the best stories of the series. Not because it was a great romance, but because it was a powerful story. It pushed both actors to their depths and heights. It was magnificently written and acted. But I'm one of the few people who liked the darkness of season 6.

An actor having input on how the character should be is like having someone write a book and then the person who reads/records it for the audiobook version says, "Mmm, I'm not sure I like that this character does this. I think you should change it." No, the writer is the creator. The actor is the mouthpiece. I know a lot of people disagree, but this is something I'll never understand. Anyone(actor, director, grip, stuntman, mother, etc) can give input or advice if the writer asks, but it should always be up to the writer. No one has a better understanding of the character than those who created it.
I'm not saying that SMG should have gotten her way, I just thought she might have been consulted before the writers told her, "Alright in this scene we want u naked and on that bed with james, we want it good, we want it hard, so do it right!" Not that it would be said like that, but I mean you just don't impose sex upon someone. I think that she should have played Buffy, the way they wanted her to. I just thought someone might have asked her if she'd like to just go at it with another cast member in front of everybody. I'm not saying they should have!
Well, Gio, I'm sure they warned SMG that she might have some 'intimate' scenes with actors in this series. She got pretty steamy with Marc Blucas in seasons past. And very rarely did SMG have to get naked or anywhere near it. It was mostly James.
I'd imagine Joss told SMG about the direction season 6 would take and that there would be sex scenes. But really, as a writer, you can just impose sex on someone. Unless they have it explicitly in their contract that they won't do those scenes, they should expect it will pop up somewhere. And I'm sure if they asked her if she wanted to go at it with another cast member, she'd have said 'no.' But it's not really her call anyway. Just like if they'd asked James if he'd want to do the attempted rape scene, he would have most certainly said 'no.'

I guess maybe you mean someone asking her out of politeness if she was comfortable, but then what if she wasn't? "Oh well, do it anyway?" Nah, I think as a director/writer, you just have to tell the actors what they can expect and then just make them as comfortable as possible within the confines of what you expect. I mean, with most truly nudey scenes, they remove as much crew as possible, so the actors are comfortable. I think they're probably very conscious of that stuff on set.
Very good, Rogue Slayer. Excellent points.
There were quite a few who love/loved Spuffy and I don't like some of these posts on here insinuating...What???? Once Buffy started beating Spike unmercifully and he tried to rape her, none of us were very happy. NOBODY knew what was coming up, to push Spike to get his soul, not even Marsters, who had apparently begged Marti to change the AR scene. We all know the back story now. He didn't take parts or watch movies that involved rape and abuse of children. The fact that as a method actor, he had to play an attempted rapist was devestating for him.

Spike still remains my favorite character of the verse. James gives everything to his part and it shows. Yeah, and I'm a big old Spuffy fan. The whole relationship is deep and complicated and in the end heartbreaking and tragic. Then again, I like to watch stories that aren't simple or easy.

I just wanted to say that for some reason.
Rogue Slayer ,when Joss first told her that James would be coming on full time for season 4 Sarah is the one who said to Joss that they should get Buffy/Spike together and Joss is reported to have said "No more vampires for you,young lady"

She was saying in a BBC interview that Buffy/Spike would be a good story (or words to that effect) in a BBC interview at the start of season 6.

She only seems to have gone off Spuffy as does James because of the way it was written in the latter half of season 6
NirvanaPunk I specifically stated that I wanted people to cool down. You ignored that. You have been warned before and so now you're banned for the time being.
Rogue Slayer ,when Joss first told her that James would be coming on full time for season 4 Sarah is the one who said to Joss that they should get Buffy/Spike together and Joss is reported to have said "No more vampires for you,young lady"


Yes, I've heard that. I just meant, if she'd known how it would have gone, she probably would have opted to not have the relationship at all... I would have personally been thrilled to play the complexities of Buffy in season 6. It probably really helped her as an actress, whether she wants to admit it or not. And James being method, I think he learned that you really can't internalize everything about your character, because it'll just destroy you. I think season 6 was excellent on many levels, but I guess some people(actors included) can only see the darkness and degradation that the characters felt.
Well, I don't feel Buffy was not using Spike (not to say that Spike was not also using Buffy). Remember when Riley came back to town, what did she do but go running to Spike and say "Tell me you love me". She completely used him in that episode to console herself over Riley being married and over her.
Yes, Buffy did use Spike in that episode and she immediately realized she did that and that's when she ended the relationship with Spike. My argument mostly was that Spike definitely was not a victim and knew Buffy's state of mind, knew it wasn't a love connection, and took advantage of it. Also, I am not against the Spuffy relationship (nor the Bangel relationship) - I just don't think season 6 represented a loving relationship. There seemed to be something building between them at the beginning of the season and then the whole sexual relationship took over and ended any real emotional bonding that they had been doing. Season 7 is where the real relationship was starting to develop and I was enjoying where they were heading with it and would've loved to have seen it continue.

I have totally enjoyed the whole Spike storyline from beginning and up until the recent episodes of Angel. He is one of my all time favorite characters and my feelings of what season six meant has nothing to do with liking or disliking a character at all. Those are just my observations.
While I agree with blwessels in that Spike was reasonably aware of Buffy using him, I think he was completely incapable of saying "no" to the whole realtionship, whether he wanted to or not. His obsession with her (before Season 7, I saw Spike's infatuation as more of an obsession than love) was so strong he'd take her in any shape or form he could get. I don't think he really had a choice in the matter, or at least wasn't rational about his thinking when he played his part in the realtionship. IMO Buffy was the abuser in this case, and that that was what the writers had intended.
I agree, Kaivaal. But I'm not sure that, initially, the writers intended Buffy to be the 'abuser' necessarily. I think we were supposed to feel for her and her problems, but like has been said before, they wrote Spike too sympathetically. Then Spike was the victim and Buffy the abuser. And they addressed that in the show, how she admits she became the monster/user/abuser. HOWEVER, she still says, "Why did I let him do those things to me," AFTER she's beat him senseless in the alley. Yeah, poor her.
So,when Buffy's the one using Spike, she's the abuser because he's
incapable to say "no", even if he knows that she's using him.
But when Spike's the one using Buffy's mental state to get something from her
that in right state of mind she won't give him,when he's
using the fact that he can hit her to drive her farther into
depression and alienate from her friends, when he's using Buffy's
incapability to refuse him to push her to do what he want, like
this balcony scene, then he's not an abuser?He's still the victim?
Why? Because he doesn't have a soul?I can't feel sorry for Spike
since he did every thing he could to get Buffy.And if I'll excuse
his actions on the account of being powerless because of his obsession, then I'll have to excuse every other obsessed person who makes somebody's life miserable so he can get what
he want.

[ edited by ilanit on 2004-05-10 10:38 ]

[ edited by ilanit on 2004-05-10 10:39 ]
Well, technically I didn't say Spike wasn't an abuser, just that Buffy was in the case of Spike's infatuation. He did no doubt take advantage of her vulnerable state of mind to get part of what he wanted. But she never gave him what he was really looking for, which was some form of "love" in return (which never really was love). She kept giving in to him, so he kept coming back. It was a very mutually destructive relationship. Basically they were abusing each other. One of the most interesting in the Buffyverse methinks!

All in my humble opinion of course : ).
Why? Because he doesn't have a soul?

Well....yes! You can't expect as much from someone without a soul as you can from someone WITH a soul. I realize that the writers erred when they made soulless Spike so human and 'good'. So then it's harder to forgive his bad actions. But as we know soulled Spike now, or William of the past, I seriously doubt he would have taken advantage of Buffy the way he did.
So Spike had a few strikes against him already: He was emotionally frazzled from having to fight beside the Buffybot all summer long. Then Buffy comes back, a little more emotional frazzling. The she expects him to be her confidante, which is harder than it looks when you're in love with someone. Then she initiates sex with him. Dream come true! Of course Spike's not going to say no to that. I'd be surprised if most regular men WITH a soul would say no to that!

Buffy realized after the first time that she was disgusted with herself and shouldn't go back. But she did. And why WOULD Spike say no? His dream was just fulfilled, and he has little conscience or remorse. In his mind, Buffy having sex with him equals Buffy maybe loves him. And even though she SAYS no and SAYS it's wrong, she keeps coming back. Because she really loves him and wants him(in Spike's mind). Perfect!

No, Buffy is much more the abuser because she had a higher moral standard to hold herself to. Spike was already about as moral as a vamp without a soul can get, and we're shown that it's not as much as a human. Well, most humans.
I'm not sure the writers moralizing of Spike while he was a Vampire was a mistake as such, just another very interesting facet of his character; a (partially) reformed Vampire without a soul. The error on the writers part was more along the lines of having the audience sypathize with him too much. It's not like they dropped the idea after Season 6. In LMPTM, when he stakes his mother after siring her is clear cut portrayal of mercy, something ultimately unique in a vampire.
Regardless of who the abuser is and if having a soul makes a difference I find that Season 6 quite truthfully depicts things that we souled humans do - and of course the Buffy/Spike relationship was supposed to have been modeled after actual happenings in Marti's life.

All I can say is, when at the end of Tabula Rasa the camera scans through the Bronze and finally finds Buffy kissing Spike it makes me cry for I have SO been there and remember the desperation and lust and loneliness that Buffy must feel. Been a few years since I could be seen smooching at a club with the wrong person, but we remember what it was like, don't we?
You know, when Spike and Buffy kiss at the end of OMWF as well as Tabula, it makes me sad, but more for Spike. Because in his head, he's getting everything he's always wanted, but we know the truth-that she'll never really love him the way he wants to be loved. I see the desperation and lust on his part more.

When Buffy says, "This isn't real, but I just want to feel," it makes me realize that she knew from the start that she was using Spike. And Spike saying, "You can make me feel," is just so sad, because neither one is hearing what the other is saying, and they're only thinking about what they want individually.

I feel for both of them, but more for Spike because he was just clueless that Buffy could never love him.
I've saw so many interviews with Sarah, and she always said that the worst season for her was season 6, because the sex scens with Spike.
But in that interview she means to the scene from "Dead Things", it wasn't general, just from that ep.
In my opinion season 6 was kinda sad, because we saw Buffy so depressed and she wasn't the same Buffy that she usted to be. Also she will never love Spike, no like she did with Angel. Sarah always said that Angel was Buffy true love.
Rogue Slayer, you continue to give great points.

The fault falls on the writters, on one hand, for writting him sympathetic (and they did! Through season 5, they had him do things like protect Dawn, etc. And then in season 6, many scenes, particularly in the beginning. They even rewrote a scene in HB to remove the snark between Spike and Buffy) and then, on the other hand, to punish those who saw him as sympathetic by adding the bathroom scene (Marti Noxon said as much).

I also think it comes down to how you see vampires without souls. When I look at a vampire without a soul, I see something without a conscience, that has no understanding of non altruistic feelings people have for others (as demonstrated in DT), that has no moral compus. Otherwise, had I not, I wouldn't be able to hold down my lunch while watching Buffy stake them. And that said, Spike didn't have an understanding of what Buffy was going through beyond what he saw.

The fact remains: Spike was NOT a man, he had no soul. And given that fact, I do not at all see him the same way as I would see some obcessive stalker. If at all, only in a metaphorical way or as an analogy between the two He shouldn't be held to the same standard as somebody who was a man (and being that the message of that season was "the badboyfriend" or whatever, it kinda belittles the real issue/victims by using a literal monster, who people know better not to go near, in that place).

So, yes, as a human with a soul, Buffy is held to a higher standard. However, it likely varies from person to person.

[ edited by NirvanaPunk on 2004-05-11 02:14 ]
Yes, Buffy should be held to a higher standard.But the fact that
Buffy's guilty doesn't make Spike not guilty,at least not for
me.The fact that he's soulless don't change the effect that his abuse and manipulation had on Buffy.I just can't see him as
innocent victim of bad,mean Buffy. No do I see him as clueless,
especially not when he was exploiting the fact that he can hit her.I had no doubt that he knew exactly what he was doing to
her,too many times he was shown during the series to be very insightful for me to start suddenly see him as totally clueless.
"Yes, Buffy should be held to a higher standard.But the fact that
Buffy's guilty doesn't make Spike not guilty,at least not for
me."


Oh, absolutely. And me, either. Spike was guilty the moment I saw him kill somebody the first time.

"I had no doubt that he knew exactly what he was doing to
her,too many times he was shown during the series to be very insightful for me to start suddenly see him as totally clueless."


I disagree that Spike was shown to be very insightful, but just rather the teller of harsh truths (which often mirrored himself). When everybody would be beating around the issue to make themselves and eachother feel better, he would come out and say it, even if it wasn't pleasant. I don't think that is the same thing as being insightful (he did happen to know about slayers, but he killed them afterall). However, that is another reason why I think it was a bad idea to go in the direction they did.

I didn't see him "exploiting" the fact that he could hit her; he was a vampire, afterall. She hit him, too, because she was a slayer. He was only able to hit demons, then able to hit her after she came back from the dead, what else was there to think? I'm not going to expect a souless being to be tactful about it, or have an understanding of what it does, cause then there goes my understanding/belief of what a soul (and a monster) is altogether. That, again, is why the "bad relationship/boyfriend" thing was ridiculous to me.

We obviously have different ideas on what the soul represents and, frankly, what vampires are.

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