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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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February 24 2003

Teen Rebels: 10 ways how BtVS plays with TV conventions. One of those great articles you should show to someone who has never watched Buffy.

"What is Buffy? An action comedy? A teen drama? A horror pastiche? A post-Valley Girl exercise in hip-speak using superhero-like powers as an extended metaphor for the trials of early adulthood? All this and more?"

My favourite line is this one about Dawn...

"Long-Lost Sibling - When news first started floating around that Buffy was going to get a sister, many felt a shark was about to be jumped. Instead, we got shark steak. (Or a staked shark, at least.)"
It goes back to my theory that Buffy is shark-jump-proof because it's very premise jumped the shark, and it's repeatedly incorporated into its very make-up things that make other shows jump. It's like Joss Whedon has scrutinized everything that has failed in television before, and purposefully faces such challenges head-on. The result is that the series seems less enjoyable to some when it's not doing extraordinary things. Part of what made season six "weak" in the eyes of some is that the bad guys were human, and the demons took a backseat for much of the season. I personally thought that was ingenious, because the writers had caught on to what their core audience had come to expect, and they purposefully turned even THAT on its ear, to great dramatic effect. Whedon & Mutant Enemy are constantly rewriting the rules to Buffy, because one of the unwritten rules about Buffy is that all conventions of writing style are made merely to be broken. This is what's kept the series fresh for seven years. The high school becomes commonplace and predictable, so they blow up the school. They spend three years away from the school and then just when the audience has gotten used to it not being around anymore, they go back to the beginning. This keeps the series daring and unpredictable, and leaves the viewer to expect the unexpected.

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