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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Very sweet she was, like clover and honey."
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March 05 2003

Bye Bye, Buffy says it's wise to end the show on top, but still tough on the fans.

Another sad article reminding us that the end is near....

"better to wrap it up before everyone gets tired, all the stories have been told, and all the characters overstay their welcome"

For me that's already happened. If they were going to end the show while it was on top, they should have ended it after season three.
If you really believe what you just wrote, why are you even at this sight? Shouldn't you be over at a 'Smallville' board?
fiveironalex: Granted, Season 3 was probably the most consistent season overall, but I think that "Buffy" has gotten smarter, darker, and more ambitious in the years since. If "Buffy" had ended at Season 3, we wouldn't have gotten "Hush," "Restless," "The Body," "The Gift," OR "Once More, With Feeling"! (And that's just highlighting the cream of the cream of the crop.)
Congrats bobothebrave for penning a far kinder & open-minded reply than mine to fiveironalex.
unitas, I still think your point stands. And this is not directed at fiveironalex specifically, but at the whole phenomenon; I don't get why people who don't like the show anymore still watch it. If you don't like it, stop watching, stop griping, everybody wins. It's clear that no conclusion the show arrives at will satisfy those who've turned against it, so what are they hanging around for?
If you like the show a lot, are you allowed to gripe then? Because I love "Buffy", but it's less than perfect and it's fun to pick on.
I personally love the show and can find the good in even the weakest of episodes. I often wonder why people who think it never topped season 3 (a ridiculous statement in my opinion) still watch it. Why bother? Get a hobby or do something else for that hour a week. Watch Gilmore Girls on the WB. Just stop with the whining already.
I'm not saying that Buffy was instantly terrible after season 3. That was just the peak of when it was consistantly good. There have been quite a few stellar episodes since then, which is why I continue to watch the show. There have more than enough bad episodes though. Recently, certain characters, such as Xander, have been neglected. Also, they've begun to run out of ideas, as "Him" was a rehash of "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered." My point was simply that it's too late for Buffy to end while it's perfect. Even so, it's still possible for the show to end on a better note than The X-Files did.
I think everyone is allowed to gripe if they choose, that often seems to be the whole function of the net. I was just trying to say that with the end so near that dwelling on the negative in site dedicated to it's love of the program seems negative & a little hostile. I don't believe the show is 'perfect' as nothing ever is but as someone who grows bored with most TV very quickly, I cannot think of any show that has still continued to move & enthrall me after nearly seven years.
Gah! I so tire of hearing how "Him" was a rehash. The writers KNEW it. They did that on PURPOSE! It was one of many ways in which they've shown that things were "going back to the beginning." This is examined again in a more recent episode where a girl started disappearing at school (Out of mind out of sight), another kid blew up, and eventually the whole student body went hysterical. What was happening in season one is becoming more prominent in season seven. Magic powers are focusing more intently. The Hellmouth is reopening. Coincidences and literal manifestations of figurative concepts are happening more and more. At first very much like season one, but now to even more extremes, so that what happened in season one is to look like a picnic in comparison.

It's not that they're running out of ideas. They're using old ideas to compare and contrast to the new situation. It's not that a show like Buffy or X-Files runs out of ideas. The people behind it run out of steam and quit pushing it forward. X-Files died when Duchovny left. Buffy would probably die when Buffy leaves. So they're going out at the perfect time, when the leader of the pack is ready to lay down her stake.

This doesn't mean the show's weaker or stronger or better or worse now than any other time. It's the roll of the dice.
Well, given that this is a Joss Whedon weblog in general, I can understand someone being here if they're a fan of Joss' other shows, but not of Buffy. Isn't that sort of the way our webmaster herself, Mme. Prolific, feels? Or is it just that she has no particular affinity for the character of Buffy?

The reality of former fans continuing to watch the show solely (apparently) for the purpose of bitching about it in its present incarnation has always been simultaneously fascinating and annoying to me. Then again, it may be the same reason behind my once-every-so-often return to the Television Without Pity forums to see what the disgruntled former fans are bilious about now. Call it morbid curiosity.
I didn't think there was such a thing as Joss Whedon fans who weren't fans of Buffy. Do they come here because they loved his work on Alien: Resurrection? (Just kidding, of course) Everyone is entitled to their opinion of the show, and while it's not perfect, I've enjoyed later seasons much more than the high school years. Possibly because they reflect my life more.

And a big thanks to ZachsMind, for taking time to praise a hilarious episode that I feel gets unfairly picked upon. I thought it was obvious that the writers knew it was an homage to BB&B (they even flashed back to it for pete's sake), and I for one found it funnier than it's predecessor.
grrarrgh00 said: "Isn't that sort of the way our webmaster herself, Mme. Prolific, feels? Or is it just that she has no particular affinity for the character of Buffy?"

I love BtVS. I don't care much for the character of Buffy. Can't identify with her at all.

I know there are AtS fans that don't watch BtVS and vice versa. I gather there must be lots of Firefly fans (THOUGH NOT ENOUGH) who wouldn't watch either BtVS or AtS.
I too want to compliment Zachsind for his insight into 'Him.' I though the homeage to 'BB&B' quite obvious as well but I guess some did not. In additon, It's important to note perspective here as 'BB&B' is told from the point of view of the caster of a love spell while 'Him' is told from the point of view of the victims of such a spell. This is a signifcant adjustment in how you tell the story and is one of the other reasons the episodes run as terrific reflections of each other.
"It's important to note perspective here... ...a signifcant adjustment in how you tell the story..."

This writing approach also coincides with the difference between Spike & Angel. People think they rehashed the Angel/Buffy relationship by giving Spike a soul. I think it's evident now that though one plot element is similar, how it's been handled this second time is unique and has dramatically different effects to Angel's soul. Angel already had the soul when he met Buffy. Spike got the soul BECAUSE of Buffy. Similar plot elements. Dramatically different approach to telling the story. It's what makes this show work. They take things familiar to the audience and consistently twist them. (Thanks gang for the kind words. =)

As for whether or not someone can be a fan of Whedon's work without liking Buffy, I love Buffy the series but I've often felt the show could last without Buffy herself. I chose not to see the show for its first five years because of "Buffy the vampire slayer" but when friends convinced me to give it a try, I found her supporting players so colorful and intriguing I couldn't turn away, but I still think Buffy herself isn't all that intriguing. It's all a matter of opinion. Some like some characters and not others. One can like a show without liking its lead.

One can like Whedon's work without appreciating his flagship.

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