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September 22 2005

Part 2 of CHUD's interview with Joss Whedon. Big focus on the Buffyverse in this article. The Spike TV movie, Buffy seasons 6 and 7, Angel, Fray (another series?), why Xander didn't get killed off and the big Buffy DVD boxset all get discussed. It's a great read with some candid remarks from Joss.

I can't wait to see the roundtable discussion. It'll be great to see Nick and Charisma in the same room again. I always enjoyed their characters' relationship. I hope that one of my local video stores will put that extra disc out so it can be rented. I already have all the seasons on DVD.
Great Interview, but now I'm really curious as to how Eliza Dushku sounds like singing.

<Wishful Thinking>Maybe a Buffy Musical Special? </Wishful Thinking>

And I hope they plan to sell the extra disc separately, since I don't plan on buying 39 disc I already own. Or maybe if they make it so that's downloadable? The round-table thing sounds really interesting.
Ooooh, that whole question & answer about the demons & magic being banished thing excites me.
Ooooh, that whole question & answer about the demons & magic being banished thing excites me.

Me, too. That's the big missing part of the canon. I'm also excited about the roundtable discussion, and I hope they didn't cut too much out of it. I don't mind "off-topic and rude"!
Hmm.. the roundtable thing sounds great - I'd especially like to see what the relationship is like between Joss & Charisma - people at place like strangerthings.net are still not over that and I'd like to get some proper closure
And I hope they plan to sell the extra disc separately, since I don't plan on buying 39 disc I already own. Or maybe if they make it so that's downloadable? The round-table thing sounds really interesting.


Me too - I'm not going to buy the whole thing again, but I'd love to see the extras.
I really love the Fray stuff and that possibly tying into the Spike movie stuff, but this has been weighing on my mind for a while. I'm not trying to be ornery but I have to say HELLO!!!??? The core four and Dawn being alive was a "happy ending" for us all? My favorite characters were Spike and Anya. I don't think I'm alone here.

Also, Willow had a soul and frankly, she got off pretty easy. Her girlfriend died and she tried to kill everyone in the world. Sounds like a Vengeance demon to me---um...Like Anya. Why does she "deserve" to live more than Anya or Spike who were with us for many years? (and both had souls) Also, I don't think Xander and Buffy disliked Spike or Anya, (obviously) so why would we consider this is a happy ending for them?

I'm a huge Whedon fan, but I never did like that statement coming from Joss. I'd love for him to answer that someday.
It's a happy ending from the perspective of the series taken as a whole. Spike and Anya may have been in the series for a long time, but neither of them were truly core characters. Imagine if it had ended with Xander and Willow dead instead of Spike and Anya. Do you think that would have been happier?
spikeylover - I'm sorry, but you could kill off Spike and Anya any day. I liked the core characters, not so much with the Fonz love.
Because it's Xander and Willow, her bestest closest friends she started down the whole "slayer" path in Sunnydale seven years earlier. And she (and we) knew that Spike died because he wanted to, because he wanted to save the world and be the hero, so that made it easier to accept.

And Anya, she may have not disliked her, but I don't think she liked her much either. Despite what she said about not wanting her friends to be alone when she asked Anya to the house in "Him," they weren't friends. She was doing the right thing, but they never had a meaningful conversation or talked for any length of time. Buffy tried to kill her that year, and then later, Anya joined the lynch mob. I liked her and all, but *shrug*.

And frankly, I don't get why people get so up in arms about character deaths. It's supposed to hurt, and I say let it for a while, but they're just fictional creations. So...yeah.
I see that Grounded, but why call it a "Happy ending" at all? The bus scene annoys because we have Willow giddily gabbing away (and frankly, if it had been Kennedy dead in that hellmouth, would she be trying to kill everyone in the world again?) I agree with you Grounded, if Joss had just mentioned he needed to end with the core four alive, but he did include Dawn, so...

Anyway, like I said, that statement annoys me more than anything he ever has said. I know that I'm speaking for a LOT of people when I bring this up.

[ edited by spikeylover on 2005-09-22 13:48 ]
And Anya's story ended with her finally having some grasp of human beings and fighting and dying as one, instead of running away like she did last time. So you could say that she completed the journey from demon to human, and that was the end of her arc. The sword was like the period at the end of a sentence. Err, moving on.

Oh, and without Willow, they all would have died before Spike's amulet went off, and the world would've been the First's playground. I think she deserves brownie points for that, at least,
Because Dawn is Buffy's sister....and is there any way I can edit already made posts? Cause I'm not seeing how.
spikeylover - Sorry, but I have trouble with the 'joss has said something outrageous!' 'I speak for a LOT of people' thing here. That sounds a little bit crazy. Joss considers the original core cast the core. You don't. I don't think it really matters.
Gossi, last I checked, I don't think I'm crazy. (Well, Maybe a little) He is talking quite a bit about a Spike movie, so obviously, Joss feels the guy has enough fans, is interesting and is not just a throw away.

Pat and Grounded, I appreciate your respectful replies.
Oh god I don't think I could stand it if they Joss turned a possible Spike/Illyria movie idea into a way to cram Fray into it. Yes, I know it's his 'baby' but dear god no!

Despite what a few of you seem to think here Spike is a very popular 'core character' (as so was Anya), and to say that was a 'happy ending' is just sureal.

My take on it is that in the very early days of Buffy the stories centered around the whole idea of the Scoobies being the 'outsiders' and we as an audience were meant to identify with them because of that. But as the years went on the emphasis shifted somewhat as other characters were added to the group 'Spike' anya and Tara' and who slowly became just as popular as the 'core four' to some fans.

Also very slowly the Scoobies became the face of the 'establishment' and the demons became the 'outsiders' who a lot more fans began to identify with then the writers realized.

So I have to say not everybody went ''yay what a happy ending'' at the end of Chosen!

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2005-09-22 14:03 ]
I think everyone has their own thoughts and ideas about the way they would have liked to see the show develop over the years and finally end. Some storylines are very popular with some fans and not with others. The same goes for some of the characters and for individual episodes. I think what is clear is that everyone involved in making this show constantly did a tremendous job in bringing us what I consider to be the greatest TV show of all time. Personally, there really isn't anything about the show that I don't like, which I guess makes me lucky. I just want to be able to celebrate it.
You're welcome. :-) See, this is why I like Whedonesque. Generally civil discussions. Oh, and re: Spike, remember, it's not like he stayed dead. He did go to Angel. But if Joss does do a Spike movie, as much as I like the character, I don't know what else there is to do with him. Since I'm not Joss though, it's not job to figure that out, thank Jeebus. lol.

And you just *know* there's gonna be a section of fans going, "You better explain how he lived through the alley! Or else!"
It was as happy as it could be, so you didn't think Buffy was gonna go slit her wrists as a result of severe depression. Joss has never defined "happy ending" in the traditional way.
Spikeylover...I am right there with you on the 'happy ending' stuff. I don't want to get into a brawl here because everyone derserves to expresss their feelings, but I for one was not totally happy about Chosen.

I realize that Spike and Anya had noble deaths. I was so proud of Spike and his sacrifice and courage, but it left me hollow and VERY sad. I felt that neither were mourned, and really, only Buffy, in her very last words was the one to acknowledge Spike.

Xander was sad for Anya in his own way, but it in no way, seemed enough to me.

The 'mall talk' was disturbing. The 'core group' had just lost valiant comrades in arms, and they stood around joking and wondering what they would do tommorrow. Sorry....NO HAPPY ENDING for me. I would have felt better if they all had at least cried or even said something 'kind' about the 'demons' who just gave their lives to save their asses...but that didn't happen.
Even though I knew Spike was going to Angel, I was still devastated for him and it seemed that everything the guy had done to change and redeem himself never really mattered.
So IMHO it is very easy for me to understand why a lot of fans are still dissapointed in Joss's idea of Chosen's happy ending.


So now to pursue the other cryptic subject....how would the Fray stuff figure into a Spike movie? I don't know anything about Fray so I am curious. If all demons are gone how would Joss be able to have Spike and Illyria still exist?
spikeylover - I'm not trying to be disrespectful to you, so apologies if it comes across like that, just try to bear in mind that Joss apparently feels the core characters are Buffy, Xander, Willow and.. you get the rest. And he defined that as his idea of a happy ending. Saying that's 'more offensive than anything he's said before' and that you speak 'for a LOT of people'... I do find that a little odd. It's Joss' opinion. Nobody is ever going to agree on anything in a fictional universe, but it doesn't make his opinion offensive because he sees things a little different to you.

Myself, I think they should put Spike through a lot of hard core emotional pain, and then kill him off properly. Because I feel that's where the character should go. I'm sure that'll upset people, but that's my take on what'd make a more interesting arc for the character. Spike never resonated with me as a character as I don't think he resembled any of the core messages of BTVS - except that maybe boyfriends can be bastards and rapists (not sure that'd make the ideal spin off TV movie).
Kaythylovesike maybe they travel forward in time via Illyria's powers.

Dear god I hope not though. Sorry Joss, not a great fan of old Fray.
Okay, to get controversial again--I'm going to bring up the season six discussion. Can I say that I agree with the person who did the interview? It was one of my favorite seasons. I think instead of outside demons, the real enemy came from the inside, which was fascinating to watch.. A gun killed Tara, not some supernatural force. Although things got ugly and it was painful to watch at times, loving and caring, (Not destroying) was what won out in the end. Really, a nice message when all was said and done.

Gossi, I didn't say he was offensive, I said that it was the statement I disagree about most coming from Joss. I just didn't get a "Happy ending" there. Watching Spike burn to death, thinking the woman he loved didn't love him at all, while Anya was sliced in two was not a happy thing for me. Seeing them standing there joking at the crater was rather..upsetting, to say the least. It was like WTF?

I can positively say with my whole heart that I speak for a lot of people, and I'm not exaggerating-- Offline and online..

Nope, not a happy ending.

[ edited by spikeylover on 2005-09-23 21:14 ]
I think Spike is an awesome character and very well played by James, but I (unlike many others) didn't like his arcline in the last two seasons and especially not in S7.

I have no problem with his heroic death, even though it felt a bit meant for kids (sorry, it was too silly for my taste). I do have a problem that his death was nothing more then a transfer to Angel's show. It was to get him out of Buffy's franchise and put him in Angel's show. And the last four episodes of the BtVS as for this goal only, instead of making the show for, you know, Buffy (and based on this interview also her friends).

I understand Joss' reasons for not having killed off his core cast, and in particular Xander. But it is a kind of weird that he spares Xander's, Willow's and Giles' lifes while all of Angel's core supporting cast died.

Anyway, I think there is still alot to do with Spike, but the second half of AS5 I strongly got the feeling they were going down the Xander-lane and I am definitely not sure if that is good thing to do. It's like they like the character but don't have any definited particular path for him to go but still want to have him involved. I almost would say bring back the old Spike.
Because it's Xander and Willow, her bestest closest friends she started down the whole "slayer" path in Sunnydale seven years earlier.

They are both killers, Willow directly and Xander with the summoning of Sweet and I have a hard time to accept that unrepentant killers have more right to stand besides the heroine of the show than other characters, who tried to redeem themselves and in the end exactly that.
And Dawn? A green blob made into a human being, make her sacrifice herself, erase the memory of her from the scoobies and we would have a real happy ending.

The thought that people deserve a happy ending because they are part of a specific clique is disturbing. So they knew her for seven years? Spike knew her for six years. Yeah, he tried to kill her and her friends, and what did Willow? And why? Was she possessed by a demon?

And yes, they are only fictional characters and maybe it would be better for the fans to get over it, but that is rather difficult when you are told over and over again that your beloved character wasn't worthy of a happy ending, or at least worthy enough to stand with the others in the end.
I'd agree with that, spikeylover. I like the concept that innocence got lost, and real life took it's toll on them. Some people prefer 'fantasy fantasy fantasy', but I like my fantasy to have the odd bit of reality thrown in. Put characters through pain and find out who they really are - Willow can be a monster, Dawn can steal, Buffy can sleep with the enemy and be an emotionally detached monster, Spike can be an emotional monster and a brute... You learned a lot about the characters that year. Not everybody wanted to see that, though.
Okay, last thing I'm gonna say, and then I need a nap. My opinion on the 'mall talk' is this: A lot of conflicting things were happening at that point. The town they'd lived in was a huge crater, they were in the middle of nowhere now, this exhausting draining war had just happened, and they won. They were victorious against the Evil that gave birth to all other evils, they survived, and there was a kind of euphoria also.

They hadn't processed anything yet, and they didn't exactly know what to say, so they fell back on something familiar. No one was laughing out loud or anything. That was the time before the grieving, where they were taking it all in. And there's no way they weren't thinking about the people who made sacrifices and appreciating them.

But the full on grieving would come later. We just didn't see that part. Maybe we should have, but there were no more minutes left, and we're back to that old thing of, "It should've been two hours!" Except it wasn't, so there we are.
One more thing then......Willow didn't try to redeem herself with the whole spell thing at the end? And Xander a killer? C'mon. And Spike and Anya weren't killers for many many many years?
And yet again...I'd argue that Willow was irresponsible with magick, and it possessed her fully, to where she wasn't in her right mind. Remember, "Willow doesn't live here anymore"? As far as when she tried to kill her friends, anyway. She did want to kill Warren, and though that was murder, well...he just needed to die.

But later, it wasn't just Xander's words that stopped her, it was her unknowingly absorbing positive magick from Giles to counteract the bad.

Really done now.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2005-09-22 14:44 ]
I get how he thinks that the four characters who were in it since the first episode should survive. But to call it a "happy ending" is to dismiss not only the feelings of the viewers who were invested in the characters who didn't survive, but also the work by himself, all the writers and the actors. If he'd said it was a full circle deal I could accept that more readily. But "happy ending" leaves a bad taste in my mouth I'm afraid.

JMO.

I would have been upset if Xander had died, but due to the (imo) mishandling of Willow in S7 I don't think I would have been to upset. And this coming from someone who loved Willow so much. It was a very disappointing season for me with regard to her character.

The power sharing would never have worked alone anyway. Spike and the amulet saved the day. It he hadn't been there they all would have died as they were just simply too outnumbered. And why, oh why (okay I know why, for the fight scene), but why didn't they do the spelt before going into the Hellmouth. Then there wouldn't have been any panic of whether or not the spell would work in time.

I'm not buying what I already have just to get a few more extras. But I would like to see the table discussion. CC is a class act and I don't think that the rumours about the friction between her and JW can be all that true as she came back for the 100th episode.

I know about the core four and all that. But given that characters, like Spike for example, turned up pretty early in the series' run, in his case the 15th episode of a 144 episode series, why do people still insist on calling him a Johnny come lately?

"Spike never resonated with me as a character as I don't think he resembled any of the core messages of BTVS - except that maybe boyfriends can be bastards and rapists (not sure that'd make the ideal spin off TV movie). "

gossi - He didn't and that's the point. His character challenged the status quo and that's what makes him for many, although clearly not all, a breakout character.

Also, he wasn't a rapist. Attempted is the word missing there. I know you meant to be correct so I thought I'd help out there. :0)
Pat, there should be an edit function next to your name at the bottom of the posting.
I like the thought that the full fledged,finally out of shock grieving would come later because I did have a big problem with Xander's response. This makes it more understandable to me. Thanks!
Yes, the edit function mysteriously showed up a minute ago. Heh.
pat32082 you should be able to edit your comments now.

Way I see it, Joss gave a terrific shoutout to fans of the Scoobies. They'd been there from the start and I have a feeling he owed the fans that. I thought it was a lovely tribue. He also gave a shoutout to Spike fans by having him save the day. I though his redemption was achieved by him nobly sacrificing himself.

Anyhow the show's over, we can debate till we are blue in the face but Chosen happened. Some people liked it, others didn't and by now people aren't going to change their opinions of it.
One more thing then......Willow didn't try to redeem herself with the whole spell thing at the end? And Xander a killer? C'mon. And Spike and Anya weren't killers for many many many years?

I may be old fashioned but I think doing a spell isn't hardly redeeming yourself for "murder". Willow took the life of one, maybe two human beings, how can chanting a few words make up for it? Xander isn't a killer like Willow, but he summoned Sweet who was responsible for the deaths of an unknown amount of humans, and all Xander could say was 'oops'.
Yes, Spike was a killer and much worse than Willow or Xander, much much worse, but he was also soulless at the time, souled Spike didn't try to destroy the world because his great love was shot or just had an 'oops' for the victims he killed under the influence of the First.
Many thanks, Simon.

Nerys: it helps that the spell saved lives and gave the army the strength to fight off the horde so Spike could do his part. It's not like she could go to jail for killing a person who no longer existed, and if she told the cops, they'd just think she was nutty.

She did the only thing available to her. She went to a Coven in the hopes of controlling the magick and getting on the right path again, because she hated what she became. Then when she came back she was wary of it, and didn't want to use it for the very reason that she was scared of hurting or killing anybody else. Until Buffy really needed her, then she came through big time.

And when you care about someone as much as Buffy does Willow and Xander, no matter what they do, logic and "what's right" tend to fall by the wayside. She had the same attitude with Angel, and eventually Spike.

But I'll concede the Xander thing to you. I just can't shut up today. lol.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2005-09-22 15:01 ]

[ edited by pat32082 on 2005-09-22 15:02 ]

[ edited by pat32082 on 2005-09-22 15:05 ]
And yes, they are only fictional characters and maybe it would be better for the fans to get over it, but that is rather difficult when you are told over and over again that your beloved character wasn't worthy of a happy ending, or at least worthy enough to stand with the others in the end.

This isn't what Joss is saying at all, nor do I think anyone here is trying to say that. When he says 'happy ending' I think you should take that as being inside inverted commas. 'Happy endings' in the Buffyverse are always bitter sweet.

Honestly, don't you think it would have been absurd to have every single member of the main cast walk away from the final battle?
Grounded, no, but it would have been nice if the survivors had emoted a bit more, and not come across as a souless bunch of so and so's at the very end.
Pipe down people. This is why shows are not run by commitee. The Buffy finale was the perfect end. It fulfilled the arcs of many of the characters (yes, Anya)and it was a beautiful.
And of course we are all entitled to our own opinion on it.....
Honestly, don't you think it would have been absurd to have every single member of the main cast walk away from the final battle?

Agreed, but wouldn't killing one of the core members make more sense then?

it helps that the spell saved lives and gave the army the strength to fight off the horde so Spike could do his part.

There were how many Łbervamps waiting? Even with all the new slayers from all over the world in tow, I doubt Buffy could have do anything against them, they would have simply been overrun by the vamps. So I don't think the spell did anything to really help the gang.

She did the only thing available to her. She went to a Coven in the hopes of controlling the magick and getting on the right path again, because she hated what she became. ....

She was still a loaded gun, unpredictable and dangerous. And a killer.

While I can see how her friends standing beside her make for a happy ending for Buffy, I still resent the message that it doesn't matter what you do or if you feel remorse as long as you belong to a certain group. And that's what I take away from it.
Grounded, no, but it would have been nice if the survivors had emoted a bit more, and not come across as a souless bunch of so and so's at the very end.

Soulless is a bit harsh, no? I think events were just too stunningly large for them to process in anything but the surreal way they did.
While I can see how her friends standing beside her make for a happy ending for Buffy, I still resent the message that it doesn't matter what you do or if you feel remorse as long as you belong to a certain group.

But hadn't it already been demonstrated that Willow felt remorse? I don't think at any point she's absolved purely because she's part of a group. Having said that, I don't think that particular storyline got the necessary screen time to adequately deal with it.
Pipe down people.


Andy, the only people who say that here are the ones with gold or blue names. Ah to think I read a comment somewhere else which said "two years after Buffy finished, no one would be talking about it or remembering it".

Perhaps we could move onto another subject matter raised in the interview (note this is me politely saying drop the subject of Chosen, it's running out of steam rapidly).
All I said was that the spell gave the girls the strength to be able to hold off the vamps long enough so they all didn't die before Spike got to do his part. Because if the girls didn't have the power, they would've been mowed down instantly, everyone, and they would have lost.

And I also didn't say that she wasn't a killer. But you said she was unrepentant, which she wasn't. And again I say, to Buffy it didn't matter what she'd done, because Buffy cared about her. The world isn't always as simple as right and wrong.

Simon: Thank you. I'm exhausted.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2005-09-22 15:31 ]
Grounded, well that's one way of looking at it.

I on the other hand I had adored the likes of Xander and Willow, who in the past had worn their hearts on their sleaves, and so was rather taken aback by their collective responses at the end.

It didn't sit right with me, or seem correct for the characters. Yes, it's probably due to the show running too long or something, but the end it left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2005-09-22 15:33 ]
I think because Joss brought this up in this interview, (and has mentioned it before) it invites people to discuss it.

As for show endings, the ending of the ATS series felt "right" to me. Spike barely knew Wesley, but he seemed far more saddened by his death than Willow or Giles did over Anya in CHOSEN. (Feels sad when I think of the way Anya worried and fretted over Giles in GRAVE and his non-reaction/joking after her death in CHOSEN)

Also, to bring up another thing in the interview, Spike/Buffy were very healthy at the end and he truly knew the REAL Buffy, good and bad. I don't think that would be a relationship to be taken lightly, at all.

ETA: Simon, it is dropped.

Um..I'm thrilled about the Spike movie talk..

[ edited by spikeylover on 2005-09-23 03:54 ]
Okay, I'll conceed something here - Spike's relationship with Buffy resonated with me. It struck me as, I don't know... realistic? Angel and Buffy never did that for me - star crossed lovers blah blah. I think Spike actually 'loved' Buffy in the end, but she couldn't love Spike in the way he needed. I get that.

Attempted rapist, rapist... it's a close call. The thing I see a lot of people forget in Spike is that he's a monster half the time. He's a real brute of a character - and that is the thing that defines him for me. I worry some people can't get past the scenary chewing aspect, and I know this is something James himself brings up time and time again. I think there's a lot of depth to the character that could be found through story, and for that I think it's a perfect reason for a Spike movie. And that makes it a perfect project for Tim.

Spike is often played as drunken sarcastic English bloke - Season 7 is a classic example of this in places - but I'd believe (and hope) there's something special inside all of it, even if he is a bit of a prick.

Ooooh, uhuh, I am now actually interested in a Spike movie.
Hey, me too, gossi. That actually sounds compelling. Whaddaya know?
Maybe somebody here is interested to talk about something else from the interview, besides Spike and Spuffy?Like,say, this bit about Fray or Joss' mention of Entertainment Weekly incident?
Yes, I think we've done Spike to death.

I haven't read any Fray. Anybody able to summarize the concept in under 30 words?
First slayer called since the twenty-first century. Also a thief. In the future. Vamps, magick have been gone. Vamps making a comeback, when story starts.

Did I do it?
This is what I wrote about it here one time.
It's really worth checking out gossi, I can't recommend it enough. Joss+sci-fi+vamps(lurks)+slayer = genius.

ETA: You missed off the word "bitch" pat ;)

[ edited by Paul_Rocks on 2005-09-22 16:13 ]
Huh Gossi????

" Spike is often played as drunken sarcastic English bloke - Season 7 is a classic example of this in places - but I'd believe (and hope) there's something special inside all of it, even if he is a bit of a prick."

I really don't think Spike was much of a drunk or a prick in S7, but then I never considered him a prick in any season.

I DO agree though that there is definitely SOMETHING SPECIAL about him. and always was. I do hope any movie would bring this to light and move his story forward.
Paul_Rocks: Heh. Heh. Heh.
Attempting to rape Buffy doesn't qualify as making somebody a prick? I'd of conjured it does.
Gossi, I would seriously suggest you drop that topic.
I only read about half of the comments, so if I retread old ground here I appologise. First of all, this is a rocking interview. I love that the interviewer obviously knows his work rather well, and I enjoyed reading his comments on Fray, Astonishing X-men and the later seasons of Buffy.

In terms of the later seasons of Buffy, I don't neccesairly think they were Joss best work, but I think that the quality didn't really sink as much as some people say. Season 6 was imo one of the best seasons (right behind season 2 in terms of an arc, and season 3 in terms of it's episode to episode strength.) I actually loved watching the characters sink to the dark side, but I also think that the fans ignore that, while it was dark, it still retained it's comedy etc. IT went in a different direction than I initially expected, but I loved it nonetheless (with the exception of a couple of meh episodes.)

Now on to the finale. I actually agree with Joss that it was a HAPPY ending, at the very least it was one of Joss happier endings. While Anya and Spike did die (and I have to state here that Anya was probably my favorite character on Buffy, and that I have a deep love for Spike,) the thematic message which was sent was a message of hope. Spike did die, but he died a hero, having completed his heroes journey, and become a champion. His burning up may have been the death of a beloved character, but it was also a character having completed travelled full circle, and become a true hero. Look in Buffy's eyes as she tells Spike she loves her, if there was truth in that or not, it doesn't matter, it's a look of sadness, but also compassion, understanding and respect.

On the other hand, Anya's death was a character death for, well, a character death. Someone needed to die, and as much as I loved Anya I actually agree with Joss that she was the only other character one could kill and still say it was a hopeful happy ending.

So why is it a happy ending? Because Buffy's destiny, her baggage which we have been watching for seven years has been lifted. The woman is allowed the ability to live a normal life, to become cookies so to speak. She doesn't have to fear the inevitable and painful death her abilities would have eventually given her. By ending the show with the characters that started together, one is given a sense that the story continues as it began, but in a different direction.

On Dawn, considering the direction of season 5, does anyone really think Buffy could have half-smiled if her sister, her only remaining family member was killed?

The mall talk. Joss has often stated that one of the things he loves to do the most is subvert the obvious. Here he removes the sense of epicness, of a final battle by having a relatively cheerful conversation. It's not only a talk of hope that they will get through this, it is also a way to calm themselves, as well as for the series to show us that the gang is still as it was at the end of the first season.

Finally, when Spike died, did anyone really NOT know that he was going to be on Angel Season 5.

This is all imo, feel free to disagree if you want.
I only read about half of the comments


Unfortunately it would be better had you read all the comments. But nice post all the same. Anyway back to Fray and squaring the circle that is the banishment of all demons (bar vampires).
They are both killers, Willow directly and Xander with the summoning of Sweet

Willow is a killer, yes, but there's no difference between Warren and Caleb in their morality or anything else. And Warren was at least as dangerous as Caleb was. Trying to destroy the whole world is of course a whole different matter. There no real excuse for that. Xander never intentionally wanted to kill anyone when he summoned sweet and IMO he redeemed himself when he immediately offered to take Dawn's place to go to Hell instead and that is a lot more than oops. That said, canon has never proved nor disproved that he has summoned sweet.


The thought that people deserve a happy ending because they are part of a specific clique is disturbing.


Agreed. But I find it also disturbing that Xander can't end up with Buffy because he is her best friend and she cares for him.

Yeah, he tried to kill her and her friends, and what did Willow? And why? Was she possessed by a demon?

Spike wasn't possessed by a demon, he was a demon. The character that was built up until S7 started was the character that did those crimes and he was called Spike. More importantly it sounds like positive discrimination to me. If you talk like this, what or who someone is doesn't matter at all, all that matters are his or her actions. Soul or no soul is then also not an excuse. I agree with you though that Willow didn't really redeem herself by the spell, but how can she redeem herself? She can't get herself a soul somewhere. Again unfair. She can only redeem herself by showing some remorse. And she very much showed remorse, except maybe for having murdered Warren.

that your beloved character wasn't worthy of a happy ending, or at least worthy enough to stand with the others in the end

Agreed. And apparently mine favorite character wasn't even worth dying to get a decent arcline because he had to live because he's Buffy's best friend.

'Happy endings' in the Buffyverse are always bitter sweet.

That is exactly the way I see it. I never had the feeling that they had a happy ending at all. They survived and that is pretty much it. Okay, I can see that it was a happy ending for Buffy. Doesn't mean it is a happy ending for Willow, Xander or Giles.

[ edited by Koos on 2005-09-22 19:57 ]
Remember, "Willow doesn't live here anymore"? As far as when she tried to kill her friends, anyway. She did want to kill Warren, and though that was murder, well...he just needed to die.

But later, it wasn't just Xander's words that stopped her, it was her unknowingly absorbing positive magick from Giles to counteract the bad


You are forgetting that Willow tried to destroy the world *after* she stole Giles green magic. It was her own pain that made her want to stop the world.
Great interview! I too, loved season six of Buffy. I think by "happy ending" Joss didn't mean the kind you see on other shows where everything is perfect and wonderful, just that they beat the bad guys and all the original members of the group survived. This is JOSS, he doesn't do "and they all lived happily ever after" he does "and most of them lived to see another day." And, no ... I didn't kow Spike was going to be on AtS until I saw the previews for that season after BtVS had already ended. I wasn't a part of the online fandom then, so I wasn't spoiled. As for Spike, his character resonated with me and I think there's a lot more stories about him to tell.

[ edited by killinj on 2005-09-22 17:44 ]
Sorry Simon, I missed you asking everyone to drop Chosen :( Well on to Fray then, maybe a older Buffy closes the seal that destroys all the demons, and her actions at making all the potentials slayers is what stops the line (up until Fray...)
Finally, when Spike died, did anyone really NOT know that he was going to be on Angel Season 5.

*raises hand*

I didn't.

Can you imagine my surprise when I heard he was moving on to Angel. :)
If you weren't "in the fandom" and hadn't seen The WB's sneaky early Spike promos, you probably wouldn't have known about Spike in ATS I suspect.

[ edited by Caroline on 2005-09-22 17:43 ]
Dropping it means dropping it, gossi. You do not need to have the last word.
The biggest message I received from the series, overall, was that nobody gets away clean. I think I started to get that when Giles did his little thing with Ben at the end of "The Gift."

Only the more minor characters do not have blood on their hands (direct or metaphorical), at least attempted murder on their conscience, or doubts about how they might have changed things had they just acted differently. There was a sense that every sleepover means that there might be a vamp getting away. Sure, they want to save the world, but a lot of these characters are also running on guilt - heck, that's the whole reason for Angel the Series.

Doing the right thing under circumstances like these comes with a heavy helping of self-recrimination, and with doing the right thing, they stumbled, all of them. It made Buffy feel "hard," Willow scared of her own darkness, Giles uncertain of his own decisions, and Xander feel useless. That tarnish made the characters more real and grow beyond a simple black and white morality of "human good, demon bad." While some of them are on bigger redemptive arcs than others, they are all struggling.
I hesitated before posting this and still don't know if this post is appropriate. Please, remove it if you feel it doesn't belong here.

Still - my belated thoughts on Chosen, season 6 etc.

I think that JW is unable to write a decent happy ending. He just haven't it in him. His worldview is dark and tragic. So - when he has to write a happy ending, he hides behind tried-and-true samples. Funny banter. Talks about shopping.

It's understandable. A writer can't write a convincing scene if he doesn't believe in it. And, judging by the whole body of Joss works he doesn't believe in happy endings.

Re Core Four. Funnily, when Joss granted them "death immunity" based on their core four status, my attitude to them changed. For me, it became harder to sympathise with them after Joss declared them un-killable. I still like them all, but something's lost. Maybe it's just me.

Re season 6 - love it enormously. The most tragic, compelling, addictive season. But, IMHO, after that season *any* happy ending would look forced and false.

I wonder why Joss decided to keep all humans alive. Was it an order from UPN suits? I doubt it. Nobody can dictate Joss waht to do.

Was he unsure of his ability to pull off great tragic ending? Again, I doubt it - the AtS ending proves that he's always in top form.

Then why? Any ideas?
Moscow Watcher, on Buffy the 'humans' lived and the 'demons' died. It was the other way around on Angel more or less. But Buffy was about humanity. The bad, the good, the tragic of living.

I think of the time before Fray as what probably would happen when there are hundreds of Slayers. Itís logically demons would soon become extinct. Itís also reasonable that the last demon dying would end the slayer magic.
Excuse me, but Anya was a human when she died. So were the many potentials who died too.

To answer your question. Because, you know, maybe the show was *about* Buffy and her friends growing up. Killing one of them off wouldn't work in that respect. Furthermore, I don't see why it would lose your sympathy for them. It was a writer's decision, nothing more and nothing less.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't like it either. But, I do know that a lot of fans wouldn't have liked it if one of the core four would have died.

[ edited by Koos on 2005-09-22 20:14 ]
*double checks page*
Yes I am at Whedonesque. Oh new people! Hello new people.
That was a very nice interview with Joss. I'll be very interested in seeing what he does with the future of the Buffy Verse. I'm starting to have hope again for something new in that. I'd love to see Fray come to life. I haven't read the comic but it sounds like a nice way to start it all again.
I do doubt that'll happen tho.

Personally, Josie and The Pussycats in Outer Space sounds like a winner for me.
With Eliza playing Josie, that would be hell kool!
This might be more fanwank, but in Fray you have that bit where you touch on what happened to all the magic and demons and that didnít happen at the end of Buffy, which I sort of expected. Is that the kind of thing we should just forget about?

Whedon: No, thatís actually something I hope to deal with, either in the Spike format or in another series of Fray.


Hmmm, perhaps what Angel unleashed in NFA was the beginning of the end? (and the Spike movie gets into that)
Does anyone know where I can read the old Entertainment Weekly article (on-line, of course)? It sounds interesting and I totally missed it at the time.

Thanks!
You can read it on SMGfan.com.

Because, you know, maybe the show was *about* Buffy and her friends growing up. Killing one of them off wouldn't work in that respect.


He planned to kill them all in season 5 finale. I wonder what has changed. Could it be Joss' reaction to 9/11? Did he want to give people hope? Considering AtS season 5 - hardly. Then what?

Furthermore, I don't see why it would lose your sympathy for them. It was a writer's decision, nothing more and nothing less.


I can't explain it rationally. I certainly don't hate them or dislike them - I just find it hard to care. A sarcastic inner voice always tells me - they're Core Four, they're undestructible no matter what they do.

I do know that a lot of fans wouldn't have liked it if one of the core four would have died.


I know it too. But this fact alone is (or, at least, was in the past) reason enough for Joss to go for it.
all in season 5 finale

You mean AS5 finale? I ask this because one of the possible arclines for the BS5 finale was Xander dying. I was also confused by you saying Chosen as the end of S6, which was the end of S7 (in your post before this one).

I know it too. But this fact alone is (or, at least, was in the past) reason enough for Joss to go for it.

Few reasons. He still wanted to sell the Buffy Animated is one of them.
Lets view the characters separately:

Buffy dead wouldn't make sense. She already died twice.
Willow dead. Could be, but for some undefined reason I can't see much sense in that either. One reason is that she is a superpowerfull witch who just changed the shape of the earth. Kind of silly to have her killed off by a little vamp.
Xander dead. He already lost his eye. It wouldn't make much sense to kill him off in Chosen while they had a much better moment in Dirty Girls. I also see him kind of the character that needed to be saved in many different ways. And let's face it his death in Dirty Girl's would be compared with Tara's death and him coming back as The First would be compared to Willow's evilness in S6. That wouldn't be very original. and I think in retrospect that this is also why Willow's death wouldn't make much sense.
Giles. Would be fitting to be honest. It would give him some closure, and a decent ending to a deeply troubled character. On the other hand the Watcher's Council needed rebuilding, leadership, and who better than Giles would fit this role.

Other reasons are of course: spin-offs. Ripper spin-off, Willow's spin-off. Guest stars for possible Spike spin-off or any other future material. BtVS may be over, but the francise isn't.
I would not have liked it if any or the core four were killed because I just don't like the idea of people winding up being punished for being in the good fight. It's a karma thing.

I also would have hated it if Dawn was forgotton. Horrible. She was real. Sure real annoying at times but a real person who should not just never have existed. Weird but yeah.

I hated that Spike died, feeling unloved, barely tolerated by anyone but Buffy, but it was definitely tempered by the knowledge that he would be back on Angel.

But the thing that I objected to most was the mall talk, Buffy smile ending. There should have been mourning. Real mourning.
Instead we got that stupid Wood/Faith suprise scene. Did anyone care about that?

When Buffy died in the Gift it was heart wrenchingly sad and every character showed it. That was what made it so sad. The mall talk detracted from the ending and the deaths. It made them almost meaningless.
You mean AS5 finale? I ask this because one of the possible arclines for the BS5 finale was Xander dying.


AFAIK, Joss planned to kill off everybody but Giles in BtVS season 5 if it would have been the last season of the show. He originally planned to make Xander Glory's human host. His plan A for finale - Glory kills Tara, Willow goes all dark, Buffy kills Willow and Giles chokes Xander. And Spike falls from the tower on a wooden chard.

(at least that's what I heard)

He still wanted to sell the Buffy Animated is one of them.


I think Buffy Animated was planned as Buffy's high-school adventures - so anybody's death was irrelevant to the project.

Buffy dead wouldn't make sense. She already died twice.


Agree. But Buffy standing there alone (or with Dawn) would be neat contrast to season 5 finale.

Willow dead. Could be, but for some undefined reason I can't see much sense in that either. One reason is that she is a superpowerfull witch who just changed the shape of the earth. Kind of silly to have her killed off by a little vamp.


No silly vamp. Think Joss: Xander goes evil, Willow tries to save him, she almost succeeds, but...

Xander dead. He already lost his eye. It wouldn't make much sense to kill him off in Chosen while they had a much better moment in Dirty Girls. I also see him kind of the character that needed to be saved in many different ways. And let's face it his death in Dirty Girl's would be compared with Tara's death and him coming back as The First would be compared to Willow's evilness in S6. That wouldn't be very original.


In Dirty Girls he'd be just a casualty and a member of Core Four couldn't end up as casualty. Joss would turn any Scooby death into an event of epic proportions.
Again, think Joss: Xander finally gets his "GloryBen arc" and becomes The First's human host instead of Caleb. So Willow destroys him and herself. Or Willow fails so Buffy had to "slice and dice" him. Very Jossian. He always goes for the maximum pain.

Giles. Would be fitting to be honest. It would give him some closure, and a decent ending to a deeply troubled character. On the other hand the Watcher's Council needed rebuilding, leadership, and who better than Giles would fit this role.


Agree. I know it would be fitting to finish his journey: mentor dies, his pupils go on... But everything inside me protests against Giles' death.

BtVS may be over, but the francise isn't.


Amen.
I got Fray in the graphic novel format and I'm so glad I did...I'm not a comic book reader at all but I've been trying to get whatever Joss has written in comic form, and Fray is worth it.

I would so love to see it continued, either in comic form or on any sized screen...who could play her convincingly, though?
But the thing that I objected to most was the mall talk, Buffy smile ending. There should have been mourning. Real mourning.


The way I see it, Buffy had her closure with Spike. I'm sure she did mourn him more later, but at the moment, it's probably overwhelming that you, your family, and your best friends have all survived something like that. Relief is what I saw for her. She got to tell Spike what she wanted, and she knew he died nobly.
Other than that, who would she mourn? She barely knew the SITs and she didn't like Anya. I would personally mourn the loss of my town and home and belongings as well, but that's just me. I'm pretty materialistic. I didn't see any real evidence they were upset about Sunnydale not existing anymore, though.

I kind of think two of the least liked 'main' characters(by the other characters, mind you, not by fans!) died, so there is more to be happy about than to mourn at that point in time(again, for the characters). Spike and Anya were always outsiders, and I think that was pretty palpable throughout the show. It's just my opinion though.
In Dirty Girls he'd be just a casualty and a member of Core Four couldn't end up as casualty. Joss would turn any Scooby death into an event of epic proportions.
Again, think Joss: Xander finally gets his "GloryBen arc" and becomes The First's human host instead of Caleb. So Willow destroys him and herself. Or Willow fails so Buffy had to "slice and dice" him. Very Jossian. He always goes for the maximum pain


I totally agree. It would be totally awesome. I can completely imagine the impact it would have. But I can see that Joss doesn't want this as I have explained.

I think Buffy Animated was planned as Buffy's high-school adventures - so anybody's death was irrelevant to the project.

It was high-school based. But it is harder to sell to a network when the audience already knows that one of those scoobies is going to die in the original show. Say, if Xander would die in Chosen. I mean it's the same feeling you have for the Scoobies being undestructible no matter what they do. It doesn't matter how many times Buffy saves Xander or how many times he knows to evade death, he's still gonna die in the original show.
I think the core alive was the right thing. If you look at it this way. Watch Welcome to the Hellmouth and the Harvest and watch Chosen right after. You already know what happened in between. All the events, the betrayels, let downs, relationships. The last 3 minutes of the harvest before Giles says' The earth is doomed.' That little clip just really makes you not want these characters dead. Yea willow killed warren, there was an entire episode that dealt with her inner demon and she was off magic for a while. As for the mouring? She just finished ending the First Evils attempt on this reality...the balance restored....that big stuff. I'm pretty sure she is mouring after that smile. God thats prolly what led her to date the Immortal (as mentioned on Angel)...The scoobs arent dead but they are separated on different continents and all. Its not at all completely happy.

The result of makin all potentials into slayers has forced them to spend their time searching for them before they become a whole bunch of Season 3 Faiths'.

Thats my take on it all. Spike had a great closure and story arc on Buffy and Anya as well. I think her death was really well done.
And I personally would love to see Spike be involved in the reason magics and demons cease to exist. It'd be cool to have Fray thrown in there, probably in very quick glimpses of the future....but i dunno.

Fray was great stuff, I realllly liked it. That scythe is just too cool, wish it was on Buffy a bit earlier than it was.
But the thing that I objected to most was the mall talk, Buffy smile ending. There should have been mourning. Real mourning.

The mall talk came abruptly and I agree that I was not interested in Faith/Wood at all, especially considering it took away valueble screentime to the mourning of those who really died. However, that we don't see the mourning visibly doesn't mean they aren't in pain.
Also, the 'mall talk' was before the battle so Anya and Spike were still alive then. It seems strange that people who think that Spike in one year of soulful heroic acts can make up for decades of murder, torture, rape..., but that Willow who committed a few grief-stricken murders (of a murderer and an evil magic dealer) in the space of a week is not allowed any penance or forgiveness. It seems like loyalty to characters defines how we interpret the message. I love all the characters (not equally, but hey), but I trust in Joss.

As far as Fray goes, I'm not a comic kinda gal, never read a single one and never wanted to. But then I wasn't a spaceship kinda gal before Firefly. Reckon non comic types would get into it? Really, though.
Actually Lone Fashionable wolf, the Mall talk I am referring to is the gang giggling about what they are going to do tommorrow since the mall is gone, which takes place in front of the bus after Sunnydale has collapsed.

Especially distasteful from Xander, who just lost Anya, his lover of many years, ex-fiance, and recent f-buddy. Just wrong, out of character, and jarring.
Xander's pained, "Anya?!" as they're forced to leave the crumbling school (and town) was enough for me. Sure it didn't register as much on his face in the end, at least not in any obvious, heavyhanded way, but unfortunately they just didn't have time for it. A lot of people have a lot of angst about what they wanted to get out of "Chosen", but I don't have any specific complaints--I just wish it'd been two hours instead of one.

Different tangent: I don't understand the following line of thinking, I'll explain why...

Nerys said:
Dawn? A green blob made into a human being, make her sacrifice herself, erase the memory of her from the scoobies and we would have a real happy ending.

Think about how humans are created and then read back over what you just said. Blobs of cells grow into human beings every day. They're born and people bond with them and have memories of them as they themselves age and accumulate their own experiences. Dawn had been alive technically for almost three years by the end of Season 7 and as far as the gang's brains were concerned, she'd always existed. Even when they found out that she'd been created supernaturally, it didn't matter, didn't lessen how much they cared for her. They're not gonna try to force themselves into thinking, "Well, she only came from a bunch of magic energy, nevermind that she thinks and feels and that we care about her as much as any of our friends and family. We'll just put aside all those natural human emotional attachments and throw her to the dogs, she's not worth the effort to protect." It would've been inhuman of them to do so, and would've felt false if the writers scripted her demise and their reactions that way.
I like VERY MUCH what he said about things becoming literal and banal in season 6 and of course (though he wouldn't follow me to this conclusion) that was part of the reason it was so bad.

Agree with those who have complaints about the ending of season 7, although I'd take it further and say that just as the first 5 seasons of Buffy are some of the best TV ever, the last year is some of the worst...
Oh, and by the time the show ended, I would not have cared if Willow had been killed. Ugh.
Yeah, I can't get behind the notion of, "Well, as bad as Buffy Season 7 was, it was still better than everything else (or most of it) that was on TV that year". Nope, I was watching far better shows that year. Angel Season 4 and Firefly were two of them, but I also saw Six Feet Under Seasons 1-3, whatever Sopranos DVDs were out that year, Oz, Scrubs, 24, Futurama, The Shield.

There was lots of better TV to find on the air during that last season of Buffy. I was sad, but also somewhat relieved, when it was finally laid to rest.
...because basically they wanted more of the soap opera [in ASTONISHING X-MEN].

Which I'm grateful for, because they're about to get a shitload of it."


Ahhhhh! A happy camper, I!
oh, Xane, I get that - my mistake. Still, for me that was more bittersweet than happy happy joy joy, but I can understand where you're coming from.
Kris - while I agree with what you say in that just because something is the best of a bad bunch doesn't mean it's truly great, at the end of the day 'better' will always be a subjective opinion and I guess that's what makes it fun to be here!
Plus, you might have got those great shows, but those of us outside the US with our shoddy analogue tv got a fraction of them, and shown late, at difficult times, etc. Me? Not bitter, no sir.
Koos
I can completely imagine the impact it would have. But I can see that Joss doesn't want this as I have explained.


I agree with your explanations, basically. But they're "outside" explanations - spin-off prospects, fans reaction etc. I'm more fascinated with Joss' creative urges. Why in 2001 he was ready to kill off all his cast and two years later he was unable to do it? Did he change his mind because he had already mentally killed them and couldn't do it the second time? Did he spare them because his worldview changed after 911?

lone fashionable wolf
Also, the 'mall talk' was before the battle so Anya and Spike were still alive then.


Actually, it was before *and* after.

It seems strange that people who think that Spike in one year of soulful heroic acts can make up for decades of murder, torture, rape..., but that Willow who committed a few grief-stricken murders (of a murderer and an evil magic dealer) in the space of a week is not allowed any penance or forgiveness.


Judging by Faith arc in season 3 Joss doesn't equate the amount of evil to the number of commited murders. I think that for him every human life is invaluable.
There was a mall talk after the deaths. It was in the last scene.
Oh, and by the time the show ended, I would not have cared if Willow had been killed. Ugh.


Really.

Is that a fact, Ilana? Care to elaborate?
Wow, maybe I read things totally wrong but I always felt that Willow was taken over by the dark magics when she absorbed everything from those books hence her comment that "Willow doesn't live here anymore". To me, that was kind of like she was possessed by the dark magics and is why Giles gave her a dose of the good magic so she had a fighting chance to come back. Yes, it took her awhile and with the help of Xander she came back from it and didn't destroy the world. She was then fearful of using magic because she was scared that it would take her over again because some of that darkness was still there. That's why she freaked out the first time she tried to help with fighting the First and the First came through her. And that's why she wasn't able to use magic (except for when she went off to LA - which made no sense) for the rest of the season until she did for the finale. She knew she was risking something bad happening and that's why Kennedy was there "just in case" things didn't go as planned.

And I think it was as happy an ending as it could be under the circumstances. This group of people were fighting this fight that they didn't think they could win. They all thought they were going to die and for any of them to survive was something worth celebrating and being happy for. No one was high fiving and jumping for joy. We got some happy chit chat near the end about the future and a small smile from Buffy. And people will often put up a front while with other people and then grieve in private. To me, their reactions were normal for people who had survived something like that. Humans are creatures that want to survive and will be happy to survive a tragedy - but later usually have feelings of guilt for surviving when others didn't. We just didn't get to see the later.
Okay. I'm all befuddled because I saw Simon's comment, but then everyone steamrolled ahead anyway, and I'm squirming around in my seat over one thing I hear a lot, that I disagree with, that FF touched on. I can't contain myself. Don't hurt me, Simon.

I've just never understood the criticisms regarding the mood of the survivors. I did not see glib, self absorbed people failing to recognize their losses. This was *immediately* after an end- of-the-world battle. Throughout history, in war, soldiers cheer/are happy/bathe in the light of their victory immediately following it. It is natural to take a moment and acknowledge what you've won. Buffy acknowledges Spike's role to the others, and they are all silent, hearing her, and taking in the enormity of what they have done. Xander asks of Anya, and puts his pain aside to take part in their well-deserved moment of relief for having come out victorious at all. They will grieve. All will grieve. If there were an S8, that picked up immediately after the finale, we would have seen the tears and grief for those lost. But if you can't take a moment to stand up and smile after a battle of that size before delving into the painful reality of the price of that battle, why even fight it to begin with?
I can try to elaborate, Willowy, though I don't think you or too many people will like my answer, so please bear in mind that I am expressing it as my personal opinion. To me, Willow's character was completely destroyed in season 6, was briefly resurrected at the beginning of season 7 only to be destroyed again with the advent of the horrid Kennedy (and the equally horrid "Killer in Me" episode). She went from being a bright, sweet and conscience-driven character to a self-involved, self-pitying and shallow character. Not for me.

I was also disappointed in her earlier transition from cute oddball to boringly stereotypical lesbian Wiccan, think the "gay now!" insistence was silly (she can't be...complex?) but I still liked her until season 6.
You know, it was an excruciatingly sad ending to the Tara/Willow relationship, but I personally felt Tara deserved MUCH better than Willow and magical mind manipulation she suffered everytime she got angry in season six.
I totally can't agree that Season 6 was awful or bad or wtv. I thought it was very different, and yes more literal. To me however, that seemed a part of growing up, the fantasy leaving and being left to deal with day to day. Season 6 was one of my fave seasons all around.

Season 7 wasn't great, but I thought it was decent (especially if you watch it in a marathon session.) There was a lot to like in there, even if a fair number of ideas didn't work perfectally for me.

The only season I really dislike is season 1. I didn't enjoy most of the stories,m the bubblegum feel or the production values (I rarely notice production values.)

[ edited by rabid on 2005-09-23 03:19 ]
First, I really felt that the end of Chosen just sounded "off." It didn't sound as if they were in shock and it didn't sound like people on the edge of a hole holding the only home they'd ever known, the graves of loved ones, childhood memories, their records - and for some of them, their friends.
Secondly, as someone above came close to saying, I find the term "core-four," squicky. I'm clique allergic and the thought that some are better because they're together? I'm for the outsiders every time.
The "core four" idea is a classic archetype, and the idea is that the characters *together* constitute the true "hero" of the story. The Whedon team must have had this archetype clearly in mind by the time they came to the end of season 4, when each character represents a different attribute that complements the rest in order to defeat Adam.

So I don't think Joss was talking of an exclusive clique of people, but of larger themes within the show. If Xander and Giles hadn't become such nonentities by that point, the preservation of the core four characters would have automatically made sense to everyone without Joss's having to justify it.
Imo, Buffy, Willow, Xander and Spike all behaved equally badly in season 6. I love both the B/S and W/T relationships but admit both were very unhealthy in season 6. I understand that Joss had to have Willow and Tara reunite for story purposes near the end of 6 but Willow's mindrape of Tara was every bit as bad as Buffy's beating the crap out of Spike in that alley or Spike's attempted rape of Buffy. And frankly Xander's constant putdowns of Anya bothered me more than any of the mistakes Buffy, Spike and Willow made when it came to the people they loved.

That's why I love season 6. Everybody screwed up but in the end (in season 7) all the characters learned from their mistakes and eventually grew up.
How many of the those complaining about the core four came into the show late? For me the original Scoobies were the reason I watched the show and stayed watching the show through ups and downs. They were a symbolic family not a clique.
cough***Chosen was beautiful***cough

Great interview. I sooooo want the DVD series now. Oh, to be a fly at that round table discussion. Can't wait to find out how all the demons went away in Fray. I would love to see this touched on in the possible Spike movie. We could have lot o' movies (Giles, Faith, and Willow too). These could all be tranzitions to the Fray world for a TV series. A Fray series with Illyria...OK, I'm coming back down from my reality world. A Spike movie would be great...
I watched from the very beginning, (shhhh...I even liked the movie) and I was very attached to the "Core four" characters right all the way through. I liked Dawn as well. But I must admit it was Spike who turned me from a casual fan to an internet, FX, DVD addicted junkie.

I didn't want to see anyone die, but by the same token Buffy's death at the end of season 5 really moved me. Perhaps the saddest thing about death is the sorrow of the people left behind. The gift showed that beautifully. Chosen did not.

Angela I liked your comparison to the victory cheer of soldiers in battle. That makes sense to me but I didn't see it. Maybe I'll watch again and try.
I'm always coming into the end of these things. I just want to add some random thoughts that have been dying to get out as I read though this thread.

Random Thought 1.
Ok. So I'm with Angela on the reactions. I would even say that the mall dialog was the only truly wooden, forced-sounding dialog I heard from those actors in the entire 7 seasons. I never thought that was an accident. I always thought it was the shock, relief and discomfort of survivors just realizing that the threat was over, that they were still alive and that some of the people they loved were still alive when they expected everyone to die.

Random Thought 2.
On another (related) subject, I have always been confused by the assertion that good and bad things happening to characters in BTVS was directly related to their perceived worthiness by Joss. Everything I have read, which is not everything, gives me the impression that he was trying to say truthful things about life and humanity. That was what really hooked me, that good people did bad things, bad people did good things, some people paid for their mistakes in large ways, others in small ways, some did not seem to pay for them at all, sometimes it just made the character see things just a little differently, and sometimes it would not have repercussions until much later. I never had the feeling that because someone was not confronted or punished in some way on screen, their actions were being condoned. Just because the Scoobies did it, did not make it right whether someone shook a finger at them or not.

Random Thought 3.
In drama, dying in the end is considered a good, great or even the best ending for a character. It carries weight. IMHO Joss doesn't kill characters to make a statement about who deserves to die, or who is not worthy of happiness, but to serve the story he is telling. Usually those are the characters that whose deaths will resonate most with the audience. If anything, in a funny way, killing a major character is a tribute to the character.

Way back in the Stone Age, when M.A.S.H. was fairly new, an actor playing a beloved character decided to leave. They gave the character a huge episode-long send off apparently ending as he got in a helicopter to go home. In a button at the end, they had the corporal come into the operating room to say that his plane had been shot down and he had died. No one could stop what they were doing, but they were totally devastated.

On the other hand, another actor who actually had a larger role left soon after with no notice over summer break. I remember him on a talk show joking about what they were going to do to his character since they had killed the other character, and they had not even been angry with the actor playing him. Well, they did about the worst thing they could have done to him. They made the second character simply disappear. The next show focused on the lead character finding out that this friend of his had been shipped home so suddenly he was not even able to say good bye. It was all about the other characters, that character they just let fade away. Who do you think is most remembered? You guessed it. The clip where the first character is going home and then you hear about his death, is still played when talking about classic and ground-breaking television moments.

My point is, although a character on a series dying is tough on the audience because we don't get to see someone we care about every week anymore, a character dying in drama is not an insult to the character. It is more often a compliment. (I know, forget the compliments, give me all the characters back. ;-) )

Random Thought 4.
As folks said "happy ending" can have many different meanings. "In contrast to what?" is usually my first thought. Some of Shakespeare's happy endings give me the willies. Measure for Measure anyone?
I think Joss was going for with "happy ending" is a since of survival. The four from the beginning survived the up and downs of what Joss/life threw at them. None of them came out whole. In fact even though they were repeating the words for the beginning they were different characters saying them but still with enough of the originalness that it was the 4 core.

Joss killed the two regular cast members who live the most years on earth. But also they were the characters attached to Buffy and Xander while Willow's new love lived. Remember how Willow/Tara fans freaked because Buffy and Xander's lovers weren't killed and Willow's lesbian lover was? It was kind of reversed in season 7.
OK... this is just too much of a good thing. Verse movies, Serenity, Goners and now talk of.... MORE FRAY?!? Good God,it's like all the good holidays and my birthday and my anniversary and dying and going to some happy beyond world, all in one day. Plus- Eliza can sing!

I loved the comments on season 6. " Things became very literal and they lost some of their loveliness." Exactly.

"A sense of closure with a sense of openture is the way I do this stuff." LMFAO- Joss is a Marvel boy in more ways than one.

Thank you, Joss, for not killing Xander. And damn you for the heart-shattering death of Anya. Well, not damn you, more like- great job on the heart rippage.

Fun interview. Now then, if I wake up and read Angel and Spike are going to meet up with the Serenity crew on some distant planet, I'll know I'm in paradise.

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