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October 16 2004

Actress shrugging off TV confines with 'Grudge'. "Your options are limited on a television show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer," she says, "when you're Buffy."

"a lot of writer changes"? That comment is odd to me. I mean, every year on Buffy there were writer changes.

Unless she just means Marti becoming executive producer.
Yeah probably, narky. Since as far as I can remember, there were no new writers added to Buffy season 6.
Hmm...I'm not sure if the writer of this article put quotes around "jumped the shark" because Gellar actually said those words or not. I would be very surprised if she did because dissing your own show like that is not very professional. If she didn't say those words than this article's writer did her a disservice by making it appear that she did.

And again, it's very surprising that she would consider Season 6 degrading when she has no problems with that recent controversial photo shoot which I found a lot more disturbing.
SMG has specifically said in other recent interviews that the show went out on a high and had not lived past its expiration date. So make of this "jumped the shark" what you will. I doubt those are her words. They sound like an extrapolation made by the reporter. Journalism is tricky that way. Lots of shoddy examples of it around.
Right, in the ToyFare interview, posted here a few days ago, she literally said, I donít think we jumped the shark, we didnít go on too long.

In fact, in her recent appearances and interviews, she's always come off as very proud of her time on Buffy, and the show in general, Whereas this reporter tries to make it sound like she couldn't wait to get out. Sheesh.
Was it just me that focused on the visual of her in the "cold" shower?

Just me then...
I think the reporter put "jump the shark" in quotation marks since its a very odd phrase and might not be easy to figure out(what it means).
Yeah, I saw this article yesterday and felt that it didn't ring quite true with other comments she's made in recent interviews. She has been praising her time on Buffy like crazy in all her interviews and to suddenly say the show "jumped the shark" just doesn't make sense. I highly doubt with a new movie coming out that she'd make these types of comments that could upset her fan base - she's a smart girl and even if she felt this way in real life she'd never make these types of comments.
eddy, that's what I believe as well. But he should not have put it in quotes unless Gellar actually said those words.
It looked like a quote to me.
SMG has said before in interviews she wasn't pleased with season 6, the Entertainment Weekly interview when she announced she was leaving, and from other interviews I read she basically said the same thing.

A lot of people, me included felt the sex was way over the top in season 6, and that Buffy was written as a depressed sex starved maniac that loved being hit and abused, not exactly a vision of a role model or superhero, I can believe she felt the character was being degraded,since she played the character as a strong willed fighter of evil for 5 seasons, and the have the character turn into a Jerry Springer guest who loves rough sex and being used.

Basically it's like if the writers of Smallville told Tom Welling, ok this season your going to be doing drugs, and chloe will be dressed up in leather and spanking you and Clark will love it, most people would and I am sure the actor would go "HUH? that isn't Superman, that isn't a hero" the actor would do it(paid to do it), but probably not like it, and be worried about fan reaction to this, but yet like SMG play a role totally different from that character that does do that and be fine with it.

When SMG accepted the "Best Butt Kicker" award from Nick during season 6 I wonder if that had to bother her, knowing all these kids were watching the Buffy character, the hero, doing these rough sex scenes, having sex in front of her friends,against a dumpster etc, not exactly the role model you want your daughter to imitate.

When BTVS left the WB and went to UPN it was like a whole new show, the characters were opposite what most fans watched for 5 seasons, and all the life lessons that Buffy and the rest of the characters learned from those 5 seasons were totally thrown out the window, it was SunnyDale Place, it went from drama/horror/comedy to prime time teen soap,with lots of sex, metaphor drug use, jilted lovers and everything else that comes with a soap opera,maybe that is what she meant about the writing, because it wasn't the same as previous seasons.
...that loved being hit and abused...

I thought it was the other way around.
Wow, this is disappointing. She's the only actor off that show that seems to be getting film work and... Whatever.

It must be the republican in her that has so much trouble with season 6's emotional complexity. I guess it can't all be Scooby Doo.
She's a Republican? =O

Well...that explains...some things.
I'm pretty sure she's never come out as a Republican. Her husband is an ardent Republican, though.

However, Republican or not, I distinctly remember SMG saying in an interview from several years ago that she had long hesitated over the institution of marriage because her gay friends couldn't get married, which she felt was terribly unfair. I swear I remember her saying this. Anyone know the interview? That statement doesn't tally with majority Republican views, at any rate.
Hey, Emma Caulfield is a repub too. So is Adam Baldwin. And I think they rock, don't put them all down.
I'm an ardent non-repub, but I agree with eddy that Whedonesque threads should try to stay away from political bashing.

Emma Caulfield and Adam Baldwin are on record as repubs. (And they do rock. The Whedonverse is richer for their hilarious and often affecting performances.) I don't think Sarah is on record as anything. Best not to feed rumors that she's one thing or another unless there really is some statement out there she's made.
SMG's pretty liberal...at least on the homosexuality issues.

As to the article, just reading the context, it looks like it was cut and pasted together by the reporter afterwards.

Yes, season 6 was dark, and I can understand her dislike of it, but I don't think that SMG did an overnight 180 on her viewpoint of Buffy going out well.
Officially the only writer changes to season 6 was the addition of Drew Greenberg (DeKnight went from free lance to full time as well). Also Season 6 is the only season of Buffy or Angel where every single writer remained from the previous season.

I would say she was prolly talking about Joss's decreased involvment, or Marti's increased responsibility. Or its possible she doesnt have a clue on who all the writers are, and has jsut assumed there was changes because of the difference in quality and/or style.
The 'jumping the shark' comment seems unlikely to be a direct quote made by Gellar. She has said many times in the past that it was important to her that the show come to an end before this happened. As bovik rightly pointed out, she said in the recent ToyFare intereview that she didn't think the show jumped the shark.

It has always been well known that Gellar was not especially happy at the time of S6. She is not saying anything new here that she hasn't said before. I am very fond of S6 and I don't agree with her views about it, but they are her opinions and she is certainly not alone in thinking that there were problems with this particular season.

As for her political beliefs, I was always under the impression that she is a democrate. However, I cannot recall ever having seen an interview in which she has talked about politics, and in any case, I'm not sure that it's really relevant.
Personally, I think the writer picked 'jumped the shark' out of the air in regards to Sarah talking about season six.

And seeing as Sarah didn't state she was a Democrat or Republican in this interview why are we actually discussing her political beliefs in this thread?
I can see why SMG felt uncomfortable with S6 in some ways. If you take it at face value then yes, it does look like Buffy was enjoying being degraded and some less mature audiences might take it that way. However, I always felt it was more of a statement about the what people do when they are depressed about their life but haven't quite hit bottom yet. People will do all sorts of self abusive behaviours because they either don't like themselves and want others to reinforce that notion or they are so numb they just need to feel something even if it is bad. No one applaudes Buffy's actions, it was just demonstrating the emotional pain she was in.

I'm surprised that SMG doesn't talk about that side of it. However, she maybe making the statements about not being happy with S6 in order to be more politically correct with conservative American audiences.
Agree with you, cookie_dough

She said that about feeling degraded not about she, she`s talking about Buffy character.

I understand she, but i love the whole season 6 arc.
They`re the same characters, but they grown up, something in WB couldn`t did (the way they want. All Scoobies evolve in every season)

Sorry for the OffTopic, but i found this pic in my PC:
http://img98.exs.cx/img98/1455/SarahconlosClinton2.jpg

[ edited by Angel TheVampire on 2004-10-16 20:52 ]
And also we've discussed Sarah's comments about season 6 to death at Whedonesque, I think enough is enough. Let's move on.
Actually earlier this year, Simon, an article mention SMG attending the Republician National Convention, the article was trying to show the Hollywood actors who are supporters of Bush, funny enough SMG was mentioned in the article but Freddie was not.

SMG was also one of the Republican Babe of the week.

Emma Caulfield also made it as Rebublican Babe of the Week

[ edited by RavenU on 2004-10-16 21:53 ]
RavenU I appreciate you are trying to be helpful and I know most of the Buffyverse stars' political beliefs but Sarah being a Republican or Democrat has nothing do with the interview in question. And therefore should not be brought up.

If anyone has problems with this feel free to email me, just don't discuss it in this thread.
I remember seeing earlier this year an aricle that mentioned freddie being a Republican but it made no mention of sarah

sorry Simon was posting as you posted

[ edited by garda39 on 2004-10-16 22:05 ]
Ah no worries.

The Grudge opens next Friday yes? I was thinking we could have a discussion thread about the movie here at Whedonesque for those who have seen it.
"I think enough is enough. Let's move on."

*Zach looks at the dead horse*

Let's move on. That's just it though isn't it? We're not. Moving on, I mean.

*Zach picks up a baseball bat and resumes beating the dead horse*

Gellar's politics are not relevant. Frankly I'd be surprised if she votes at all. She doesn't seem the sort of person to think it matters in a big picture kinda way. But that's the problem isn't it? We really don't know these people. We think we do, but all we can do is look for clues. Read articles written by people we hope are honest and objective.

Journalistically speaking, the above link is to a poorly written article. In the context of the phrase "jumping the shark," the way that particular sentence is structured, it may or may not be a direct quote from Gellar and it may or may not be referring to Buffy. Syntax-wise, she could be referring to "The Grudge" for all we know. It's just horribly written.

Season six is my favorite season, but it's not cuz of the Buffy being not dead storyline. It was despite that. I could have done without the scenes of Buffy and Spike having rough sex or not having rough sex and glowering over it. I enjoyed all the stuff happening around Buffy, but wasn't very into Buffy herself. Willow & Tara. Xander & Anya. Giles & his own demons. Dawn trying to fit in. The Triad losers. It had truly become an ensemble show in a way it almost would in previous seasons. I also appreciated how the metaphor became reality for us, how the layers peeled away and we learned that the real fears weren't in the monsters but in one another. Getting a job is scary. Living on your own is scary. Being responsible for others is scary. The demon fighting became the vacation away from fears. I enjoyed what they were saying in season six. All the different approaches to their own mythos. It was just a wild, dark, unpredictable ride. I mean, did YOU see Warren's skinning coming? If memory serves, I was spoiled, and it STILL freaked me out that sweet little Willow had gone so far away from us. What a ride.

When Gellar says there were writer changes, she's probably not talking about a changing of the guard so much as erratic attempts to shift gears from one network to another and keep the series fresh after the lead got killed. Where do you go after the heroine sacrifices herself to save the world, then comes back? How do you do that without dismissing her sacrifice? Without feeling the weight of it? There was a weight to everything in season six. There had to be. By season seven they realized when you have exhausted the climax of your heroic epic, "you go back to the beginning" but it took them too long to figure that out.

I enjoyed season six because the writers were being more daring, reckless, and were trying to take the series places it had not gone before, because they had just got a reprieve after almost getting cancelled, had no idea how much longer their brief time with these characters would be, and they wanted to do everything they could while they still had the chance. There were also external and extraneous factors that could not be easily predicted. I had typed a paragraph of attempts to describe them here, but I wasn't on that set. I honestly don't know what they all were and I can only imagine.

There's so many factors you and I will never know for certain. Why were so many stories told in the Summers' house in season six? Probably cuz budgetary concerns required a couple 'bottle episodes' where they only used sets that had already been paid for. Or maybe they just liked the Summers' set. I dunno.

Why couldn't they just let Xander & Anya be married? They didn't go anywhere with that after Xander left her jilted at the altar. What was the point of that? Was there a storyline that later became abandoned? Why? I dunno.

My point is, we can read a thousand Gellar interviews, magazine articles, or online Q&As from people supposedly in the know. We'll never get in her head. We'll never know how she REALLY felt when she was filming the first pilot. We'll never know the full extent of her conversations with Whedon when it looked like Buffy was going to get brought back to life on UPN. Very few people can honestly say they know without question Gellar's opinion of their efforts when she wrapped on "Chosen" and only those in the wrap party know the rumors that were going on as to where everyone was going to go and why. You don't know. I don't know.

Gellar may honestly hate the UPN portion of the series, wish she walked away when WB did. She may honestly be proud of all of it. Some days she may feel one way and other days she wakes up and feels the other. We will honestly never know for sure. Even if she walked up and knocked on your door and told you personally, well, maybe she'd be lying to you. We'll just never know.

Maybe we're all jumping at each latest interview from Gellar searching for some clue that'll clinch the future possibility of a Buffy tv movie or motion picture or some other vehicle for Gellar to hold the stake once again. Personally I don't want a reunion show. That's what happens to shows like Growing Pains and Gilligan's Island. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was different.

Gellar's moved on. We should too. Not from Buffy necessarily, but from Gellar. I mean enjoy any new stuff she does, but let's stop trying to figure out how she feels about Buffy. Or anything really. She's an actress. Her opinions about what she does are about as relevant as her opinions about politics. Be thankful for her stint as Buffy. Accept that she doesn't wanna be Buffy anymore. Let's move on.

As for jumping the shark. HA! BtVS jumped the shark from Day One. It then continued doing so periodically throughout its run. That's what made it so wonderful. It defied the laws of television physics and yet was fresh and entertaining and fun and deep and all kindsa things despite all indications to the contrary that it shouldn't. I can think of only two other tv series in the history of television to have also jumped the shark multiple times and still kept a large loyal following from start to finish: MASH and All In The Family.
Wow. Heh. Meant it as an off-hand comment. Didn't mean to start a whole debate. Heh
And here I was thinking the "jump the shark" comment was about 'Tabula Rasa'. :)

Man Zach when you make a comeback - you make a comeback. :)

Sorry Simon - I only wanted to put the link to the babe of the week thing - cause I thought it was funny. Republican and babe are not normally in the same sentence.

[ edited by RavenU on 2004-10-17 03:20 ]
I think James Marsters and even Joss Whedon have commented they thought the whole Buffy Spike scenes went a little over the top.
I didn't think there was anything that emotionally complex about season 6. Not quite sure what that has to do with political views...
I always found it curious how Sarah complains about all the sex in Buffy S6, .... after seeing her scenes in Harvard Man anyway. S6 was chaste compared to that.

To me, S6 was daring. It showed dark sides of good characters. The notion that Buffy should never be explored in that sense is ridiculous to me and always has. The show always broke boundaries and always continued to do so and to grow. And Buffy enjoying getting hit? Did we watch the same season? She did the hitting.

They took Buffy and Willow and showed sides to them no other show ever would've dared to do to their main characters. 'Oohhhh Buffy can't like kinky sex, Buffy is PURE and GOOD'. Right. Well in real life, nice and pure-looking folks have dark sides too. And they can like kinky sex. And they can get addicted. And they can get crappy jobs to support themselves. And they can get depressed and work their way out of it. Aspects of life that BtVS hadn't shown yet.

As to her political views, they're her business. I've never heard anything come out of her mouth that didn't sound liberal to me, but it's not for me to know. I'm certain I'd personally rather have dinner and a good conversation with Alyson, James, Tony or Joss than with Emma or Adam, but I'm not having dinner with any of them, am I? I simply enjoyed all of their work and continue to do so.

"As for jumping the shark. HA! BtVS jumped the shark from Day One. It then continued doing so periodically throughout its run. That's what made it so wonderful. It defied the laws of television physics and yet was fresh and entertaining and fun and deep and all kindsa things despite all indications to the contrary that it shouldn't"

Well, but breaking the laws of TV and being original is not what 'jumping the shark' means. 'Jumping the shark' is when a show is over the hill, creatively and in the ratings, and out of sheer desperation the creators do something completely over the top and outrageous that actually doesn't even fit in the style of what the show is about, for no other reason whatsoever than to attract attention and hopefully get some more viewers. That is the definition. On the net people use 'jump the shark' every time something surprising happens in a show, or just something they didn't like. It's not what it means.

Buffy has never jumped the shark.

And really, I doubt Sarah ever said the words.
Agreed, Ed. She's donned the leather jacket, but never strapped on the skis... ;)

I also like the turns in season 6. As the show went along it not only got darker, but realer (I know, not a word). And I thought it was great. So innovative, and if the word is overused, so be it, but it was damn daring. Joss trusted that we loved and cared about these characters that we would follow them through these tough journeys, wrong choices, and self destructive behavior, to see them changed and grown in the end.

And we did. I'm not one bit surprised. Us Scoobies-by-proxy ate it all up. We cried with them, were titillated with them, and our guts were wrenched when theirs were.

Challenging, yes. But nary a shark was jumped. No Fonzie here, folks.
"Agreed, Ed. She's donned the leather jacket, but never strapped on the skis... ;)"

Heheh, now that's the best line I've read all day. Fully agree with the rest too;-)
EdD: I completely agree with your's and Willowy's analysis and love of S6 too.

But I feel obliged to observe again that the comments SMG has made about the darkness and sex in that season are to do with the *character* Buffy, and not with the actress's willingness or unwillingness to play dark, sexual, kinky, or what-have-you, roles. SMG inhabited the character for many years; in her view, some of the things that happened were not true to *Buffy*, hence her oft-quoted comment that she felt she was "losing" the character in the darkness.

So her comments about Season 6 have, it seems to me, nothing to do with *Sarah* doing a sex scene in "Harvard Man", or gory photo shoots in "Entertainment Weekly", or whatever else she decides to do in her career. Anyone who's listened to her Stern interviews can guess that she personally is not a prude. It's *Buffy*'s character that she feels shouldn't have gotten so dark.

I also happily sign on to nearly everything ZachsMind so eloquently said above. Yup yup.
SoddingNancyTribe, Gellar told Elle magazine "It became very S&M, and I felt degraded as an actress" in regards to the season 6 sex scenes.
" SMG inhabited the character for many years; in her view, some of the things that happened were not true to *Buffy*, hence her oft-quoted comment that she felt she was "losing" the character in the darkness."

Good point, but, well I just don't really understand it. I respect her opinion but the idea that Buffy shouldn't have a dark side is just odd to me. And the line concerning S6 she said in another interview ("Buffy should just dust vamps and make quips") I've always found particularly simplistic and grating. What she saw as 'losing' Buffy I saw as getting to know Buffy better than ever. Like Spike said in S7, by that time we'd seen the best and the worst of her and we were all still there.

"Gellar told Elle magazine "It became very S&M, and I felt degraded as an actress" in regards to the season 6 sex scenes."

Oh yeah, thanks prufrock, I'd forgotten that quote. Well....I guess that renews my lack of understanding considering 'Harvard Man'. And really, concerning 'all the S&M', I think that someone who never saw S6 but read her interviews on it, by now envisions nothing but rubber, whips and chains throughout the season. There was one scene with cuffs and even that we only saw as a flash/memory in Buffy's dream. And it was Spike who had them on. That's it. Everything else was just wild sex with someone she felt she shouldn't be having sex with. Hardly all 'S&M'.
I think we should all keep in mind, regardless of how she felt about season six, she still did everything that was asked of her and did a fantastic job with the role. She may not have liked where they brought the character but she gave it her all. Charisma Carpenter didn't like where they went with Cordy and it really showed she wasn't into it at all. Sarah may not have liked it but she gave it her all. To me, she seems like just another fan of the show voicing her feelings on the darkness of season six and she didn't like it. And I think she truly loved the character of Buffy and to go through Buffy's depression must have been depressing for her as well being so close to it. I'm glad though she could still give us a great performance and that is a true testament to what a great actress she is. Some of her best acting on BtVS was during season six. That scene with her confessing to Tara about her and Spike still breaks my heart.
Christ, enough already. She didn't like S6, she felt degraded, etc, etc. It's not new, just try to get over it already.
Hunh - will you look at that - if you click on the (X new) tag you get straight to the new posts without scrolling past all the other ones! Clever - it has only taken me a month to work that out! I liked S6 - SMG didn't and others do (and don't). WTYW. END.
I still can't imagine why anyone who has seen 'Harvard Man' would compare the sex scenes in the film to Buffy and Spike's in S6. Until I saw the film this summer, every offhand reference I had repeatedly seen here at Whedonesque made me believe that there must be some pretty kinky goings-on in the film.

The film's sex scenes are presented as very casual and though they're not typical Hollywood representations of sex, they're nothing to speak of. The sex is almost an afterthought in the scenes; like it was just thrown in secondary to the conversations and the web of manipulation SMG's character was spinning.

Whereas S6's scenes (which I loved, thank you very much) were quite the opposite -- very intense and raw; the focus was on the sex itself.

I'm not attacking her opinions. On the contrary, I'm questioning why 'Harvard Man' is now used here as a Kink-O-Meter as to which SMG's sex scenes are held.

Oh, and I must say -- acting is a hell of a lot different than posing for a photoshoot.
Right there with you, evemac. If anyone has seen the dailies for the balcony scene or several of the other sex scenes that season, they were incredibly intense and much more graphic than what was shown on TV.

And how anyone can compare a character that has come to *define* you, which Buffy obviously has for SMG, to a flash in the pan film like "Harvard Man"... It's an entirely different breed. As were the sex scenes. I sincerely doubt it was the position that she was objecting to ;)

[ edited by syd on 2004-10-17 09:13 ]
" think we should all keep in mind, regardless of how she felt about season six, she still did everything that was asked of her and did a fantastic job with the role. She may not have liked where they brought the character but she gave it her all. Charisma Carpenter didn't like where they went with Cordy and it really showed she wasn't into it at all. Sarah may not have liked it but she gave it her all. "

Oh absolutely. That's never in question.

"Christ, enough already. She didn't like S6, she felt degraded, etc, etc. It's not new, just try to get over it already."

Yeah cuz I always respond really well to people who swear at me and then tell me what to do...

And I never said Harvard Man was pure porn, but no, the scenes in S6 weren't more 'graphic' than that. The way Sarah sits on the guy in the woods grinding away on top of him or the openings scene where she gets done from behind while having pot are far more graphic than anything seen in S6. Because you pretty much see the whole thing top to bottom clearly. Seeing the genitals ais pretty much the only thing missing.

The sex in S6 is *suggestive* and goes deeper on a psychological level but you never see it anywhere near as open and clear as in Harvard Man. And just because those characters act more casual about a shag in the woods does not make it visually less graphic.
And just because those characters act more casual about a shag in the woods does not make it visually less graphic.

And you think she was speaking "visually"? Um, yeah, I'm sure that's what bothered her. How it *looked* and nothing to do with the psychological effect. After all, degradation can only have one level.

Like i said, entirely different breed.

[ edited by syd on 2004-10-17 09:46 ]
Maybe I dreamt that I said that we had discussed Sarah's remarks about Season 6 to death here at Whedonesque.

No more comments about this. Seriously.
"No more comments about this. Seriously."

Sorry Simon. Always get a little revved up when people start cussing at me. Also I hadn't seen your earlier post or I wouldn't have continued discussing it. I'll stop.
And syd, I would seriously suggest cooling it down in your posts and being less inflammatory.
So if we are not able to discuss the past of BtVS what are we supposed to discuss...Why not let the discussion be free?

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