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January 28 2005

Preview Sarah Michelle Gellar's commentary from the upcoming DVD of "The Grudge". There are two clips, one where she talks about the house used during filming and another about the universal language of filmmaking.

Wow, I have to say I'm a little surprised and ever so slightly peeved by this news... no commentary/interviews on the Buffy DVD's but she'll do it for this movie. I wonder why? Personally, I'm always more interested in the writers & directors views than the actors but still...One little sit-down wouldn't have been too much to ask, would it?
It would be nice to hear a Buffy commentary from SMG. Well, maybe on the 10th anniversary commemorative edition?
I think the news that she would be providing a commentary track on The Grudge DVD release was reported here a few months, or possibly weeks, ago. In addition, since it's well-known she did one for Scooby-Doo, the concept of SMG + commentary track is not a new one.

The issue about whether SMG should or should not, or could or could not, have provided a commentary for BtVS has previously been discussed at great length on this board. Could people please keep their comments as close to the topic at hand, i.e. The Grudge commentary track, as possible please.
Grrr... I'm still a bit bugged out by her "no-show" on the DVDsets... But guess I might listen to it if I buy the The Grudge...

And about Buffy DVD set, who else here would buy a DVD set where they have recut all the episodes to include everything that was cut because of time? I would totally love that idea and even though I already have all the season already, I would still buy it again! :)
Sorry, SNT. I'm glad she's doing commentary on The Grudge DVD, which I intend to buy as soon as it hits the shelves. Sarah is an intelligent woman and I always enjoy hearing what she has to say for herself.
Djungelurban, I totally agree. And while they're at it, they could get Adam Baldwin to act out everything they didn't get a chance to shoot [insert easter egg of Adam in cunning hat here].
*shuffles feet and hangs head*
I finally saw the movie in Spain yesterday. I enjoyed it a lot, so i will buy the DVD.
I wonder if the DVD will include some deleted scenes (i always like that).
This version doesn't contain any deleted scenes but the commentary mentions that there will be an unrated version ,apparently the other version tested ,at least in R1 later this year
SoddingNancyTribe said: "Could people please keep their comments as close to the topic at hand, i.e. The Grudge commentary track, as possible please."

We don't know the behind the scenes crap involved, but it's entirely plausible that SMG offered to do commentary for the Buffy DVDs for a certain price, and the people behind the making of the DVD couldn't afford her price, or chose instead to go with the others who did because their demands were less expensive.

Again we don't know, but it's plausible that doing the DVD commentary for The Grudge was part of her contractual obligations, or that she offered the same price to them and they accepted. So from her perspective it's not a matter of dissing her Buffyesque fans over her fans of the silver screen. In fact she may think we're all one and the same and so there's no concern, but many of us feel stinted that she does less to participate in and now recall the memory of that wonderful series. Representing the namesake of BtVS, one would think she'd always be at the forefront. However, using the video games as an example, she was always the only voice that had to be substituted by another actress, while the others would make an appearance. My recollection of the animated series was that it would be similar - she would not return as mere voice over talent to reprise her role but the others would.

So it makes perfect sense that when she appears to go over and above the call of duty for her cinematic exploits post Buffy, that Buffy fans would take that as a slap in the face. It also makes perfect sense that SMG herself wouldn't see the logic in thinking twice about it. It's business, plain and simple.

As for "staying on topic" and not reiterating this old argument that questions SMGs loyalties to the Buffy legacy? Comparing SMGs actions in supporting The Grudge DVD to her inactions in supporting the Buffy DVDs IS staying on topic. So? *sticks out tongue*
"We don't know the behind the scenes crap involvoed"

So why the rest of your post then
Thank you for your reasoned but, as you admit, utterly unfounded speculation, ZM. Knew I could count on you to buck the system . . .

I think we all understand why I asked the comments about SMG and BtVS DVD commentary to be kept on the QT, because we've all seen before at tedious and exasperating length how quickly threads devolve into "SMG Bad"/"SMG Good." People who want to do that can find a suitable venue - Whedonesque is not that venue. Yeah, asking people to hold back opinions is a blunt tool, given that most people who post here are reasonable and thoughtful (including, I hasten to add, gingeriffic, looking, and ZachsMind); better to do that, however, than just stoke up the pointless and apparently bottomless discussion again. At least, that's my opinion, which I believe to be shared by the other moderators, and when it comes to discussion opinions, c.f. Buffy in Selfless: We are the Law. Thanks for your cooperation. :)
I am as bewildered as anyone concerning this topic of SMG and her noncommittal to doing postproduction work for DVD sets...Althought The Grudge was hailed as a box office success it nonetheless will not be the "critics' darling" this year...I can't imagine why a professional would chose to volunteer (or sell) their time to do extras for a project of obvious lesser quality when compared to BtVS...I do believe that this is something that should be welcomed to discussion...especially on a site concerning the collective work of Joss Whedon....And besides, Zachsmind has authored some of the most profound and thought provoking post on this site....Diversity of opinion is the spice of life!

[ edited by Simpleba on 2005-01-28 05:51 ]
Not to be a pain but I don't think these clips are a part of her 'commentary' per se. Those clips are from the DVD extras as per SMGfan.com. She did the commentary for the movie with about 6 other people in the room. I'm just mentioning this because the title is a bit misleading.

*ducks to avoid any flying objects*
Because no one knows what was behind her not doing commentaries for Buffy and whether or not it was in her contract to do them for the movies she's been in it seems pointless to point fingers at her or judge her.

I don't get why this is such an issue with people and why people care so much about it. I'm not buying the dvds because I want to hear SMGs views on an episode. I'm more interested in hearing what Joss and the writers have to say because it's their vision behind the episodes. I enjoyed The Grudge and am buying the dvd but I doubt I'll want to sit through the commentary for it. Now, when Serenity comes out on DVD and if Joss does a commentary for that, I'll be looking forward to listening to it.

[ edited by Firefly Flanatic on 2005-01-28 06:07 ]
For me the most depressing aspect of this is that 'SMG good/SMG bad' are apparently the only opinions possible. Guess this is becoming a bit like a religion, complete with holy icons.

Anyway.....being only allowed to talk specifically about the Grudge commentary I can only say that I'm looking forward to hearing it. Unless she's, ya know, really boring. Which she could be. No way of knowing really. Don't exactly have any experience in listening to her doing DVD commentaries.
OK, I guess I need to clarify. If you have thoughtful, reasonable (original?) comments about SMG not providing BtVS commentary, then please feel free to post them.

EdDantes, Simpleba, you're right: there are a multitude of opinions out there on all subjects; and ZachsMind seems to own most of them. But you must have both also noticed that this particular topic, and one or two others, isn't quite as good at generating those opinions, perhaps because this is less of a discussion about artistic choices (like which Angel episode is best? or what project should Joss work on next?) and more about SMG's character (*why* didn't she do those commentaries?) Since none of us - so far as I know - knows Sarah Michelle Gellar, the universe of possible comments is fairly limited. But, ya know, if you have an original and constructive one, post it. (This is known as "retreating with good grace" . . .)

How 'bout those Bears?
Hey! How about those Patriots!!!
Ah SNT, you're right. We've all been here before. And frankly it's not even that interesting. I would've liked to've seen her do more stuff like this for Buffy, and it mainly surprises me that she didn't or to see how much more she does for The Grudge. (Not even mentioning the Comicon thing) But all in all, who cares. Flanatic is right, I'd rather hear Joss talk anyway. Especially since Sarah has said things like "Buffy should just dust vamps and make quips" and "Xander and Buffy should've been a couple", which are things that make my skin crawl. So maybe it's better I don't hear her commentary on BtVS DVDs hehe;-)

In all honesty, the attitude of some people on the web of 'don't say anything bad about Holy Sarah' just bugs me and pushes my buttons a bit. And ya know how it goes, if you tell me I can't talk about something, I suddenly want to talk about nothing else in the whole wide world.

Now for less touchy subjects.....religion anyone? Politics?;-)
Eeeeeeeeeekkkk!
Buffy and Xander, that's just wrong!

I'll be getting The Grudge DVD, we already have the original, and plan to get the whole set!
I'm really happy she did the commentary on that, should be interesting to hear.
Buffy and Xander together was one of Joss' ideas. lol

[ edited by Anne 5_by_5 on 2005-01-28 11:09 ]
Just because I'm an absolutist:

Can we agree that not everyone agrees with every artistic choice made by every Whedonesque involved star ever?

Can we agree that random speculation about intentions is really derailing a thread?

Can we agree that Alyson Hannigan was totally the hottest thing on Whedon TV until the advent of Illyria?

Just askin'
I don't have any strong opinions about commentaries in general. If they're on there, great, If not, I don't feel I'm missing out on anything. I like a few of BtVS commentaries; the ones Joss did, in particular, and also Marti Noxon's commentary for 'What's My Line'. Others, on the other hand, I don't find especially interesting. Thatís just my own personal view.

I consider myself to be a fan of SMG, although I want to assure EdDantes that I haven't created a religious shrine to her in my house and I don't pray to her image every morning when I get up. I'm going to speculate that she's just a human being like everyone else, with her good points and her failings. I don't feel aggrieved by her absence on the commentaries front. To be honest, had she done a commentary I suspect we would now all be debating why she didn't do more and whether or not we actually agree with what she had to say.

I will definitely give the commentary on 'The Grudge' a listen, and I'm quite looking forward to it. However, if it doesn't turn out to be very interesting I won't feel any great sense of loss. I'm more interested in simply having the DVD so I can watch the film, and I'll be looking out with interest for more news about the release of Takashi Shimizu's original cut. Given a choice between that and a commentary, Iíll go with the Ďdirectorís cutí.
Dashboardprophet: I kinda agree - except for the 'objects in space' commentary. It's nice to hear the funny from folks that wuz there, but I think such things earn their keep by providing extended influences. I recall using the presence of Slaughterhouse 5 in a season 7 ep as an indicationn of literary responsibility to a disbeleiving flatmate. She worked in a bookstore, so KV wasn't suffiently hip.

But I digress
dbp, said it better than I can.

Being easy to please, I'm happy for the commentaries I get and not at all surprised that sometimes due to time, money etc. the extras we would like to have are missing.

EdDantes, "less touchy subject religion anyone?" on a website where Joss is the highest deity, isn't discussing "Holy Sarah" as close to a religious debate as we are going to come ? ( I hope )
After all she is either high up in the hierarchy of angels/ saints in this cult or a fallen angel no longer worthy of our prayers :).
This is kinda flogging a dead horse, but I would think (based on nothing but my own personal fantasy world) that JW had significant input into who does commentary for the DVDs and who doesn't. Far less actors do commentary for BtVS and AtS than with other shows; In fact, off the top of my head I can only think of Alexis Denisof and he is both a personal friend of JW and someone whose 'take' on the show seems to be fairly similar to JW. I'm fine with that; IMHO most commentaries that aren't by the MAN himself - and possibly Drew Greenberg - are eminently missable. I would be interested in SMG's commentary, but (a) I do worship at the shrine of St Sarah - and (b) I like hearing about all the technicalities behind the shoot and she is supposed to be very knowlegable about that. (That's one reason why I'm less appreciative of commentaries by people who are 'only' writers.)
Ok, I'm in pompously verbose mode today, so SNT if this needs to be edited or delted, go ahead.
"Buffy and Xander together was one of Joss' ideas. lol"

Well actually Joss played with the idea in the beginning, but never chose to do it. It was Sarah and Nick who, in S7 approached Joss to end the show with them as a couple and Joss pretty much said no.

"I consider myself to be a fan of SMG, although I want to assure EdDantes that I haven't created a religious shrine to her in my house and I don't pray to her image every morning when I get up. I'm going to speculate that she's just a human being like everyone else, with her good points and her failings."

Couldn't agree more. But just for saying that I've been dubbed an 'SMG-hater' or'-basher' more than a couple of times and that ticks me off far more than SMG's lack of participation in Buffy extra-curricular activities ever could.

"However, if it doesn't turn out to be very interesting I won't feel any great sense of loss."

Thing is, not everyone can do it. A couple of Buffy directors for example that have given commentary were as dull as sh*t, pardon my french. No one beats Joss when it comes to this. His background info, his anecdotes and his humor are all great and I'm never bored. Marti's good too. Doug Petrie's I liked. Jane's...but a few others are just boring.

And I'll tell you one thing, one of the biggest mistakes they made with commentaries is putting too many people together on one episode's. Then everyone is scared of being impolite and doesn't want to interrupt anyone else. (So moments of utter silence come and go) Or they turn into these back-slapping sessions that go like: "You were great. Such great acting'" - "No no, the writing was so great. It was all you." - "And don't forget the direction. Really great. Great job." etc etc. Which is nice and I'm sure all very heartfelt but oy, not extremely fascinating listening material.

And yeah often (in interviews as well) I've heard actors say things about eps or their characters that basically contradicted what the writers said about those things. So I'm always less interested in actor's commentary than in that of Joss or the rest of the scribes.

" I would be interested in SMG's commentary, but (a) I do worship at the shrine of St Sarah"

Sorry WWBD I didn't understand that. You would be interested *but* you worship her? Why is there a 'but' there? I don't see how those statements contradict each other. Wouldn't you be interested *because* you do the worshipping? Sorry if I'm stupid. It's early and my brain is not fully functional yet...
If SMG did do a commentary for BtVS I'd most likely want to listen to it, especially if she was sitting next to Joss or one with the key actors such as ASH, AH and NB. It would've been fun to hear their views of some of the earlier episodes when everything was new and fresh to them. But The Grudge, even though I liked it, didn't exactly have a lot of substance to it and I just can't imagine that being an interesting commentary to listen to. And I agree with Ed about some of the commentaries being rather boring or just too many people sitting there. Now, correct me if I'm wrong but isn't NB the only full time cast member who did a commentary on the BtVS dvds? I know Seth Green did one but he wasn't a full time character. I don't recall Aly or ASH doing one either so I don't know why it's such a big controversy that SMG hasn't done one.

And Ed, not trying to start another debate but I'm pretty sure that Joss commented in one of the commentaries (and it wasn't an early season) that he toyed with the idea of Buffy and Xander getting together. I don't remember what season it was. I'm sure there were many, many ideas that came up and were quickly dropped. And just trying to speculate a bit but maybe SMG and NB if they did go to Joss and ask about pairing the two characters up was a way for them to try and get more air time for NB. I know a lot of folks felt Xander wasn't used enough in the last couple of seasons and SMG has said a couple of times that she would've liked to have seen more on Xander in season 7. Now, I don't see that it would've been that farfetched to consider the possibility because, in my opinion, Xander has always had strong feelings for Buffy. He seemed more upset about Buffy sleeping with Spike than Anya. But, I never felt that Buffy had those feelings for Xander.
EdDantes: I think there's an implied ellipsis in WWBD's statement. I read it as: "I would be interested in SMG's commentary, but [that's because (or) you don't have to listen to me because] . . . I do worship at the shrine of St. Sarah". Unusual construction, but perfectly valid I think.

The number of people in the commentary booth doesn't matter to me, it's who they are and the dynamic between them. So Joss, Marti, and Seth were brilliant for Wild At Heart because the energy was very up. OTOH, I think Lies My Parents Told Me is an incredible disappointment because it's completely flat. And some of the single-person commentaries are quite dull too. But, hey, if they're offering it, I will come - it's a freebie, and I surely don't have to listen to it again if it sucks the dog.

gilesYIIMRN: absolutely on board with your first two statements. Categorically disagree with your third. :)
In fact, off the top of my head I can only think of Alexis Denisof

James Marsters, DB Woodside, Seth Green, Nick Brendan, Andy Hallett. There may be more, but those are the ones coming to mind. Seth Green is f-in' hilarious in his commentary, by the way!

But I have to agree, Joss' commentaries are the best, far and away.
"The Grudge, even though I liked it, didn't exactly have a lot of substance to it and I just can't imagine that being an interesting commentary to listen to"

It could still be interesting, but I know what you mean. It was basically a scare-fest without much depth. And that's not a put-down. I enjoyed it. But yeah not really deep. Perhaps she has good japan-anecdotes or something.

"I don't recall Aly or ASH doing one either so I don't know why it's such a big controversy that SMG hasn't done one."

Well the thing is, she is not the only one who hasn't done DVD commentary. She's also not the only one not to be at cons for fans. She's also not the only one not to do voice overs for the cartoon or games. Etc etc. All true.

She is however the only one to always be absent in all of those type of things, and that while she's the most important character in the show that made her a household name. Aly did her voice over work, went to the Comicon for Buffy, went to Joss' Kerry-thing. David has done several cons and gave his voice to the cartoon. Tony, James, Alexis, Nick, Seth, they've all done at least some of those things.

Sarah is the only one who basically hasn't done any of them. It just rubs some of us the wrong way a bit and that's amplified when we see that for the Grudge she's suddenly doing all of it. Hey, it's completely her choice how to spend her time. and I'm not trying to start something. I'm just trying to explain why some of us feel that way.

"I'm pretty sure that Joss commented in one of the commentaries (and it wasn't an early season) that he toyed with the idea of Buffy and Xander getting together"

Yes I know he toyed with it. I said that too. I only mentioned 'earlier' because that's the only time I knew for sure he mentioned it. But he never did it, and if it had been up to Sarah, they would've gotten together. That's just the difference I meant.

" know a lot of folks felt Xander wasn't used enough in the last couple of seasons and SMG has said a couple of times that she would've liked to have seen more on Xander in season 7. Now, I don't see that it would've been that farfetched to consider the possibility because, in my opinion, Xander has always had strong feelings for Buffy. He seemed more upset about Buffy sleeping with Spike than Anya. But, I never felt that Buffy had those feelings for Xander."

Xander still being into Buffy is not far fetched, no. But I never said it was. Just that the idea made my skin crawl. And yes, Buffy suddenly being romantically interested in Xander....that I would call far fetched too.

And maybe that was part of the reason, giving Xander more airtime, but I really think Sarah just liked the idea of them as a couple. And I just meant that shows a big contrast with how she sees things and how I see things. So maybe I would be rolling my eyes if I heard her commentary. I know she hated S6 too and I enjoyed it a lot, so... I just meant I may not have missed that much from not hearing her DVD commentaries.

"I think there's an implied ellipsis in WWBD's statement. I read it as: "I would be interested in SMG's commentary, but [that's because (or) you don't have to listen to me because] . . . I do worship at the shrine of St. Sarah". Unusual construction, but perfectly valid I think."

Well I never said it wasn't valid. Just that I didn't get it, and I already ascribed that to me not being awake enough yet. But yeah I see the point now.

"The number of people in the commentary booth doesn't matter to me, it's who they are and the dynamic between them. So Joss, Marti, and Seth were brilliant for Wild At Heart because the energy was very up."

True, but they may as well have left Marti out. I think she said about 6 lines. Which was another aspect of my point, that some people just get 'snowed under' a bit if there's too many. Joss and Seth were more than enough for that one.

And yeah LMPTM was one I meant too. I agree that one really didn't work out very well. Even though I was pleasantly surprised with DB Woodside. He really got it. The show I mean. He really got into his character and really got what they were doing. Wasn't expecting that. Not sure why, but... Anway, it would've been fine if that had just been DB and James or something. I really think you don't need to go higher than 2 people on these things.

Me, I still wish some key episodes like Prophecy Girl, Becoming or the Gift had Joss commentary.
EdD: As always, you make cogent and thoughtful points. But as far as your "just rubs some of us the wrong way" bit goes, I'll make just one more comment and observation. To me, it just doesn't matter. It didn't matter then (and G-d knows, as a big SMG fan, I'd have loved to have seen her, heard her commentaries, whatever, more than many others I'm sure), and it matters even less now.

Which I suppose brings me to my observation: fandom in general seems divided into 2 camps (no, not pro- and anti-SMG), but more fundamentally, into "I feel that actors/writers etc. have an obligation to the viewers/fans beyond appearing in the show" v. "the commitment and dedication that the actors/writers put into the show is all the payback I need. Anything else is bonus candy". From my wording, you can probably guess that I am firmly in the second camp. That's why none of this discussion really makes sense to me. When someone says, "I think [X actor] is dissing the fans by not appearing," I just can't see it that way.

This dichotomy has been discussed on whedonesque before, of course, but I'd be interested to hear others' thoughts on the topic (not purely about SMG, I hasten to add): is this a valid division (I mean, does it actually exist)? What support is there for either side (or is it purely a matter of taste, in which case, once again, there's not really much discussion to be had)? Is it something about so-called "genre" shows that creates it in particular?
Hey, how about Alyson Hannigan, Alexis Denisof, and Joss Whedon doing commentary on Orpheus. That would have been sweet. Then Alyson could have explained what that fft fft birdy thing was she was doing in the Season 4 gag reel.

I always love Joss' commentary. Before Buffy, I never was interested in commentary. Then I watched the Joss interviews on the seasons 1-3 sets, and was interested in what he had to say. On listen to Innocence and I was hooked. He's #1 with the commentary.

Next would be Doug Petrie because he's such a fanboy, and he talks about fun behind-the-scenes info. I also like Drew Goddard. My all time favorite commentary (after the Joss commentaries) probably is the Joss/Mart/Seth commentary on Wild at Heart. I also LOVE The Body commentary.

On Angel, Spin the Bottle is best, hands down. I also love Tim Minear's Loyalty.

And that's about all the listing I have time for today. But bottom line, Buffy commentary? Good. SMG? I don't really care if she has or hasn't done Buffy commentary. She probably didn't want to invest in the time and energy. She worked very hard on that show and I'm sure any free time she had was spent doing her own life.

I am grateful to Sarah for all the hard work she put into Buffy. But I don't worship her. I just accept she's got her reasons and give her the benefit of the doubt.

And that's ALL the energy I'm going to spend on this subject.

Now, on to the topic at hand. The Grudge was scary! I loved it. Very much a Japanese horror. I still liked the Ring better because it had a more complex story. I was more freaked out by The Ring.

I never see horror movies in the theater, and when I heard about the people who were laughing during the scary parts of The Grudge, I just assumed they were immature 18 year olds. But when I went, and this was in November, right before Thanksgiving, during the day on a saturday. There weren't that many people in the theater. This couple who were in their mid to late 20's kept laughing at all the freaky parts. they were sitting a row down from us, and about 8 seats over. It was so annoying. I think they were being punk or something.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2005-01-28 21:58 ]
I couldn't care less if she did or didn't do any commentaries. My deal was that she didn't want to even be interviewed for the BtVS dvds. Almost everyone else made little comments and gave snippets of interviews. Not the Buffy of Buffonia. I know its not huge in the scope of the 'verse, but it still bugged.

ANYWAY...
I'll respond to your question, SNT, if I may. What bothers me about SMG or anyone else's lack of particpation in the fan-driven side of things is that it seems to indicate either disinterest in the fans or disinterest in the show they are representing. I recognize that it's illogical to see their roles as anything other than doing their job (which doesn't include con's or DVD commentary, etc.)but I always like to believe that people in these roles love the shows as much as I do and their lack of participation seems to negate that belief. I don't feel personally betrayed by it, as some do, it's just disappointing not to be able to hear that actor's particular take on things.
And I'll tell you one thing, one of the biggest mistakes they made with commentaries is putting too many people together on one episode's...

I couldn't agree more more. Sometimes they work, but in general, as EdDantes points out, they tend to end up as a 'back-slapping' love fest with everyone trying to be very humourous. An example of this is 'Scooby Doo'. I admit this is hardly the ideal forum for a commentary giving an insightful look at the filmmaking process, but I've tried to listen to it twice and given up after about 20 minutes on both occasions. In general, I am happier when there is just one person, or two at at most. Also, as EdDantes says, some people are good at it and some people aren't.

Commentaries by actors tend not to be very insightful, even those done by actors one would expect to have some interesting things to say. At least, that has always been my experience. I don't have any problem with this, but a rarely feel the need to listen to them more than once.

Which I suppose brings me to my observation: fandom in general seems divided into 2 camps (no, not pro- and anti-SMG), but more fundamentally, into "I feel that actors/writers etc. have an obligation to the viewers/fans beyond appearing in the show" v. "the commitment and dedication that the actors/writers put into the show is all the payback I need. Anything else is bonus candy".

I agree with SNT on this one. I don't feel that I am owed anything because I am a fan of BtVS. I think it's fantastic that some of the actors and writers like to interact with the fans, but I just don't have a problem with those who don't want to do that, whatever their reasons.

Couldn't agree more. But just for saying that I've been dubbed an 'SMG-hater' or'-basher' more than a couple of times and that ticks me off far more than SMG's lack of participation in Buffy extra-curricular activities ever could.

EdDantes, I know exactly what you mean. It seems that everyone is automatically put into one of two camps, whereas there are plenty of people like yourself who don't fit in neatly into either. From all the messages of yours I've ever read it just seems to me that you tell it like you see it. If you think there is cause for criticism you say it, and if you think there is cause for praise you say it. I don't always agree with you, but I certainly respect what you have to say.
Some of the commentaries we've gotten have been great, some less so. But I keep comparing what we get with the commentaries on the "Freaks and Geeks" set. 18 episodes in that series, total. But they give you 29 commentaries, with the participation of every actor and nearly every director and writer on at least one and in many cases several of episodes. And it is hard not to think that this indicates something about the relation between the participants and the fans.

But, that being said, I think commentary & DVD participation is more a matter of orientation than a matter of level of interest - for some, the way you show dedication to the fans is to be dedicated to the work of art directly: be sure the fans get the best work you can do, and all this commentary stuff and convention stuff is secondary; for others, how you show dedication to the fans is to be dedicated to the fans directly, by showing up at conventions, doing commentaries, etc.

Which all boils down to me thinking that the episodes should speak for themselves, and then complaining about lack of participation anyway. Decisiveness and consistency are my watchwords.

But hey, at least we're doing better than "Homicide" - they get exactly one commentary per season, and it's quite often not by a major player, in front or behind the scenes.

(parenthetical note: on the Freaks and Geeks set, there is a commentary by the NBC suits explaining why they cancelled that series. I think Levin and his WB compadres should have done the same thing for Angel. Them and Joss in a room discussing the metaphors in Smile Time, perhaps...)
And I'll tell you one thing, one of the biggest mistakes they made with commentaries is putting too many people together on one episode's...


Not if it's done properly i.e. with a bottle of vodka. Which if you listen to the Love Actually commentary seems like they had drunk several bottles of vodka. To listen to Hugh Grant taking the piss out of Colin Firth is possibly one of the funniest things ever.

And regarding what fandom thinks of the actors and writers. I figure we owe them. Not the other way around.
""Buffy and Xander together was one of Joss' ideas. lol"

It was Sarah and Nick who, in S7 approached Joss to end the show with them as a couple and Joss pretty much said no."

Actually it was Nick backed by Sarah (in other words she had no objections)

"Aly...went to Joss' Kerry-thing."

So SMG doesn't want us to know her politics which I suspect going to an event like that just might have given us a small clue what way she would vote.

"David has done several cons"

As far as I recall only the last year or so

"My deal was that she didn't want to even be interviewed for the BtVS dvds."

She wasn't singling out the DVDs for special treatment though.

It was mentioned by one of the BBC Buffy Cult website staff writing in an article in a TV Zone special that SMG didn't do many interviews and he was told this by ME staff when he appllied to them to do an interview

IIRC the quote was "we will pass the request on to Sarah but don't be disappointed if she doesn't agree because she doesn't do many interviews " though in this case she did agree and he got his interview
And regarding what fandom thinks of the actors and writers. I figure we owe them. Not the other way around.

That's exactly my philosophy. Thanks for that, Simon.
Simon said it well.

I figure we owe them. Not the other way around.

EdDantes, as usual its all in the interpretation,
I just prefer to give the actors, actresses ( and writers ) the benefit of the doubt, seeing things in a positive light instead of negative ( in contrast to other things where I am mostly pessimistic :).

Things have changed a lot since the early days of Buffy, commentaries that used to be done for fun are now part of the promotion and marketing of DVD's, which is a huge part of the film and TV business.

When reading between the lines in SMG's interviews I get the impression that she still would prefer to limit her commentaries and con appeareances as much as possible but that it now is an official part of the job and that she does have less control now than she did while doing Buffy.
After all if she wants to headline movies she must be out there helping to make them successful.

Not everyone enjoys the (fandom) spotlight quite as much as JM seems to do.

YMMV

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