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October 07 2005

A Buffy/Alias comparison in Ask Matt column. In the third paragraph, a reader compares J.J. Abrams to Joss Whedon, and Matt Roush compares watching the final season of Alias to watching the final season of Buffy.

From Mike T: "I watched the premiere, I laughed, I cried, I jumped out of my seat and screamed twice as loud as I did the last 15 seconds of last season. We all know the 'shippers are going to jump, and that's a mistake. Whether or not this is the last year, I just want to know: At what point are J.J. Abrams fans going to trust him as much as they do Joss Whedon? Has he not proven that he can spin a great story and knock you on your rear only to pull you back up again? People who are going to jump ship on this show because of Vaughn's death had better not come crying back mid-season if there are more shockers ahead. That's the nature of J.J. Abrams' storytelling! We've all known it for four years now... and I for one am staying put on Thursday nights." Yes, this is a very good reason for staying tuned. It reminded me of how, despite the presence of those infernal Slayerettes in Buffy's final season, I wouldn't have dreamed of bailing before it was over.

Even though I'd been reading that it was going to happen all Summer, I still didn't think that Vaughn would actually die, mostly because I'd been reading loads of stuff in the run-up to season 4 that he was going to die and that turned out to be false.

I'm definitely sticking with the show though, while I do miss the cliffhanger endings, it's still great TV. I hope that if this does turn out to be the final season, that all the characters get suitable send offs, and that we get to see both Irina and Sark at some point during the season.

And c'mon, who actually believes that we've seen the last of Vaughn.
I've been wanting to make a chart that draws plot parallels between the two shows. Buffy dying and being resurected, Sydney "dying" and turning up 2 years later in Hong Kong. Both getting sisters, both being "The Chosen One". There's a lot more that I can't think of right now.
Well, finally someone wrote at least something slightly positive about S7...I for one loved it...
Maybe this is a controversial opinion among Alias fans, but I totally loved this season premiere. This is coming from someone who came to enjoy the 3rd year only with the DVDs, and who found the premiere of the fourth year horrid. I thought they killed Vaughn in a way that opened a good story oppurtunity, I embrace the energy of three new cast members, and I love the return of both cliffhangers and... gasp.... a feeling that Sydney has character development.

Add some great Jack scenes, Dixon having something to do and even more loveable Marshall, and I can deal with the loss of Weiss and Vaughn (Nadia I didn't really care about.)

So yah, not seeing the badness, I guess mainly it's just outraged fans, but I think they played Vaughn/Sydney for a bit too long anyways (other than a rare moment it felt forced pretty much since season 3.)

[ edited by rabid on 2005-10-08 04:01 ]
Agree, Rabid, with pretty much everything. I didn't expect much going in, so it was a pleasant surprise and a HUGE improvement from the season opener last year. There are definitely parallels between BTVS and Alias storywise, and hopefully Goddard and Bell writing for it will continue to improve it. I do not trust JAbrams as much (as a storyteller) as I do Joss Whedonesque, but then the only storyteller I trust completely is Aaron Spelling.
I trust Joss completely, he's not perfect, but even the rare idea I don't agree with tends to be at the very least conceptually interesting. J.J. Abrams though, I don't quite trust. I think the man has a lot of inspiration, and is a interesting storyteller, but he doesn't plan things out very well.

Since the second season, I've felt like the Alias writers make it up as they go along, and as much as I enjoy Lost, I feel the same way about that show. There is nothing specificly wrong about that type of storytelling, but it sometimes results in some confusion, loose ends and erratic character development. Alias manages to survive it's low periods because of it's top-notch cast though.
Alias... the world where everyone you know is a spy, even at the guy working the counter at the local McDonald's. I don't get to watch primetime TV because of work and I don't have TIVO, I own all of the Alias DVDs as well as Lost. While J.J. Abrams is good, he is not Joss Whedon and Sydney Bristow is not Buffy Summers.

[ edited by rockchalkwatcher on 2005-10-08 17:32 ]
I lost interest in Alias during season 3. After the whole SD-6 thing ended i just couldn't seem to stay interested in the storyline for some reason. I tried to get into it again at the start of season 4 but after about three episodes i gave up.

Lost is a totally different kettle of fish however. Much more interesting and well worth my time on a Wednesday evening. Having said that i was addicted to Alias during it's first season so hopefully history won't repeat itself as Lost goes on. As others have said, Abrams is extremely good at what he does but when it comes to maintaining consistency in a series for any length of time he still hasn't proven himself to be Joss' equal.
I'm SO glad that Buffy Summers and Sydney Bristow are very different. SMG, after a few seasons, made my skin crawl, and I could only bring myself to watch BtVS for my love of the rest of the cast. (AH and ED are goddesses and SG is awesome, not to mention ASH and JM)

Sydney and the Alias people have no ill effects to my skin, and have yet to make it crawl in a bad way. (only in good, jumping out of it ways)

I'm pretty much in agreement with what the guy said on, that I've been in this from the start and will see it through. I don't give an opinion about the season, until its over. I remember HATING S4 of BtVS w/a firey passion when it was on, and now, looking back, I *loved* some of it (Fear, Itself stands out.. Pangs could be my favorite episode. I know, I'm sick) I can't bring myself to look down on Alias, because I know where it can be and you never know... one second you HATE it and then, ohmygod its _____! or _____ happened, and I never saw that coming!

Besides, I loathe Smallville, and James can not save it. I trust in Joss and JAbrams, till the end.

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