Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  Bad Username on Wed May 16, 2012 11:35 pm

I just watched 'Empty Places' again, and I don't know why I do it to myself, the episode makes me so mad. As Buffy points out, and as Xander pointed out in the previous episode, she's kept them safe for 7 years. Anya's 'you didn't earn it' bit about being the Slayer is especially annoying; yes, Buffy was Chosen, but she well and truly accepted the responsibility and earned the right to be in charge. I could write a full page rant on everything that makes me angry about that last scene.

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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  queenofdenile on Thu May 17, 2012 10:16 am

The problem with Buffy's argument that she's kept them safe for seven years is that it doesn't apply to the potentials, who make up the majority of the people in the room and who, aside from Faith and Buffy herself, are going to be doing most of the fighting.

As a viewer, I sympathize largely with Buffy, but from the perspective of the potential slayers, this is the general who is suggesting that they go back to the same place where several of them were killed, and not only won't hear suggestions for other plans, but expects them to be excited about this idea.

Of course, she turned out to be right that there was something in the vineyard worth taking, but the impression I got from her in that scene was that she didn't have a concrete plan over "let's go back and try again!"

I can't be mad at the potentials, who are all shaken by the deaths of several people in their ranks and scared shitless. I also can't get mad at Xander, who lost his eye, or Faith, for simply calling it like she sees it, or Willow, who only said that she was worried about Buffy's judgment (which I think is fair). I save my anger for Giles, since he clearly only wants Buffy to act like a hardened general when she's doing things he agrees with, and Wood, for existing, and Anya, for being completely off-base, and Dawn, for telling Buffy to leave in the first place (GRRR).

Ultimately, I think the fight in "Empty Places" was really just an example of everyone (or at least most people) having a good point, but everyone's too angry and tense and worried to really listen to each other. At that point they all really needed a break from each other, and Buffy needed a nap and a pep talk (and snuggles) from Spike.
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  Bad Username on Thu May 17, 2012 9:37 pm

queenofdenile wrote:I can't be mad at the potentials, who are all shaken by the deaths of several people in their ranks and scared shitless. I also can't get mad at Xander, who lost his eye, or Faith, for simply calling it like she sees it, or Willow, who only said that she was worried about Buffy's judgment (which I think is fair). I save my anger for Giles, since he clearly only wants Buffy to act like a hardened general when she's doing things he agrees with, and Wood, for existing, and Anya, for being completely off-base, and Dawn, for telling Buffy to leave in the first place (GRRR).

Like my sister says, "Uh, Dawn, do you pay the bills?". You make a good point here, and it's helped me look at it differently. I think one of the things that bugs me the most is that yes, Faith is also a Slayer, but Buffy has spent years perfecting the art of being a Slayer, while Faith has been mostly in jail. When it comes to planning and tactics Buffy's the go-to Slayer, even if she had tunnel vision in this instance. Faith's arc is good to watch though.


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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  queenofdenile on Thu May 17, 2012 9:47 pm

I understand why the potentials would prefer Faith, though. I bet a lot of them still remembered Buffy calling Chloe, a girl so scared of the First that she killed herself, an idiot. Why Xander/Willow/Giles/Dawn would be cool with her leading, though, I don't understand, and that's my biggest problem with that episode, because I simply don't find it in character that they would trust Faith over Buffy, even a Buffy they thought was at the end of her rope.
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  Carrie Ann on Thu May 17, 2012 10:12 pm

I sympathized with Buffy's exasperation and lack of patience with the Potentials (uh... not just because I hated them), because they seemingly had the luxury of saying "no," which she never had and I think she resented it. I mean, yes, eventually she stood up to the Watchers Council. But even then, there was no avoiding a fight. There was no one else to do the fighting, so at the end of the day, if she had to bust into some building with no real plan, that's what she'd do. I think, especially after being dragged back from heaven to continue to do her duty, she just can't see another way and has stopped even trying.

So yeah, maybe not a super fun person to be around, but Buffy never lost my sympathy throughout the series. And I always leaned her way in conflicts with the other characters (except with Giles in the earlier seasons, but he betrayed us all by leaving in S6, so...).
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  queenofdenile on Thu May 17, 2012 10:34 pm

I never lost sympathy for her either, and in fact I feel for her more than any other character in that scene, I'm just saying I understand their point of view, even though I didn't particularly like any of them.
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  Carrie Ann on Thu May 17, 2012 11:30 pm

No, you're right. It is the kind of scene where everyone's points make sense. It just ends up feeling like, "Well, haven't we all piled on Buffy enough here? Does every individual really need to chime in?"
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  queenofdenile on Fri May 18, 2012 9:45 am

It also really hurts to watch because we all know that Buffy ENTIRELY blames herself for what happened to Xander and the dead potentials, but the only way she can deal with it is to become a complete hardass. And of course the potentials don't see that because they don't know her like the audience does.

(Actually I should say that I feel for Xander just as much in that scene because I love him and he's the one who lost his eye.)
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  biakbiak on Sat May 19, 2012 9:46 am

I am making my boyfriend do a tip to tail watch of the show and we just have arrived at the prom episode and well even though I know the joy and the pain to come if they had ended the entire series after Buffy had gotten her umbrella and Giles had declared that he didn't realize that "children en masse could be gracious," plus them both looking hot as hell, I would have been happy. Seriously SMG from the moment she changes into a prom dress to the end when she and Angel are dancing it is so pitch perfect that I forget that Graduation Day 1 and 2 are coming to equally rock my world.

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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  RiverThames on Sat May 19, 2012 1:45 pm

Carrie Ann wrote:I sympathized with Buffy's exasperation and lack of patience with the Potentials (uh... not just because I hated them), because they seemingly had the luxury of saying "no," which she never had and I think she resented it.

I would argue that a bunch of teenage girls who all got pursued by eyeless demons with knives and ran from their homes to congregate in a not-so-safe "safe" place far from the normal lives they used to have hardly had the luxury of saying "no".
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  ulkis on Sat May 19, 2012 3:47 pm

biakbiak wrote:I am making my boyfriend do a tip to tail watch of the show and we just have arrived at the prom episode and well even though I know the joy and the pain to come if they had ended the entire series after Buffy had gotten her umbrella and Giles had declared that he didn't realize that "children en masse could be gracious," plus them both looking hot as hell, I would have been happy. Seriously SMG from the moment she changes into a prom dress to the end when she and Angel are dancing it is so pitch perfect that I forget that Graduation Day 1 and 2 are coming to equally rock my world.

Fire Bad. Tree Pretty!

Not quite at the Prom, but one of the reasons that the later seasons don't taint the earlier ones for me (yeah I'm a later seasons hater) is Graduation Day part 2 is such a great end, it's easy to seperate them for me. Season 3, Buffy and Angel get bittersweet ending (and as much as I liked Angel the series I kinda like the image of Angel disappearing into places unknown) and Buffy in theory gets a happy ending. She survived high school, and she's still the slayer, so those who want to imagine some tragic ending where she dies a slayer's death can do that (if someone would want to do that I guess) but if not you can just imagine Buffy got free of it somehow.

Not that I hate everything about the later seasons. It only started a chore for me to watch in season 5 and even that had some episodes I really liked (Fool for Love being the foremost) but season 4 for me was when it started to go off the rails a bit (not that the first three seasons were perfect either . . . if Buffy had never gotten renewed for season 2 I can't imagine the first 12 episodes of season 1 would have been very well regarded. Maybe as a fun cheese fest but not as the beloved genre hit it is now.)

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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  Carrie Ann on Sun May 20, 2012 2:59 pm

RiverThames wrote:
Carrie Ann wrote:I sympathized with Buffy's exasperation and lack of patience with the Potentials (uh... not just because I hated them), because they seemingly had the luxury of saying "no," which she never had and I think she resented it.

I would argue that a bunch of teenage girls who all got pursued by eyeless demons with knives and ran from their homes to congregate in a not-so-safe "safe" place far from the normal lives they used to have hardly had the luxury of saying "no".
I guess I'm saying that as individuals they have some wiggle-room that Buffy never had, because there is a diffusion of responsibility. None of them are the Chosen One. The fate of the world doesn't come down to any one of them, as individuals, and it never has.
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  queenofdenile on Sun May 20, 2012 3:31 pm

I used to hate The Prom (except for the bittersweet Xander/Cordelia moments) because I want to shout, "ANGEL YOU CONDESCENDING FUCKER!" all throughout the episode. But now, I really really love that even despite Angel dumping her (IN A SEWER, no less), Buffy STILL got her one perfect high school moment, and that the perfect high school moment was NOT about a guy, but about her school acknowledging her with praise and gratitude about what she had done for them. I would've liked it better had Angel not shown up at the very end, but what are you going to do.

I recently rewatched season five and yikes, that season is just a mess. I think it's technically worse than season four (even if S4 is my least favorite). The plot makes no sense, Glory is only slightly more entertaining than Adam but is in twice as many episodes, and even though I JUST watched it, I'd be hard-pressed to tell you what happens in the individual episodes. They all bleed together in this incomprehensible mush where it's Key Key Key Key Key and sometimes sick Joyce and douche Riley and lovesick Spike.

The only reason I still prefer it to S4 is because Buffy herself has an actual character arc that makes me really get her in a way that I didn't in the earlier seasons. In S1-S4 her main conflict was "How do I have a normal life?!" but in S5 her question changes to, "How do I fight the dark forces when I have darkness inside of me, and how do I retain my humanity?" which I find so much more moving and poignant and adult.

I also watched the first five episodes of S6 and I really forgot how much humor there is in the first bunch of episodes, even aside from all the depression. The nerds totally make me laugh, I love the vampire in the Hanson T-shirt, and a group of demons playing kitten poker (because kittens are delicious).

Surprisingly, I also think Xander has more of a strong presence and purpose in early S6 than he had since mid-S3. He's funny ("You're her sweet-cookie face." "I go by many names."), he's the first one to challenge Willow about her use of magic, and he has that great angry moment where he's the first one to realize that Buffy had to crawl out of her own grave. Somewhere in the middle of S3, Xander went from the guy who made the jokes to the guy who WAS the joke, the pathetic comic relief at the periphery of the Scoobies, but in the first few episodes of S6, he really seems active and an integral member of the group, the closest he was to S1-2 Xander.

Willow, on the other hand, is an asshole, and I'm looking forward to seeing Tara dump her ass.
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  Carrie Ann on Sun May 20, 2012 3:52 pm

queenofdenile wrote:I recently rewatched season five and yikes, that season is just a mess. I think it's technically worse than season four (even if S4 is my least favorite). The plot makes no sense, Glory is only slightly more entertaining than Adam but is in twice as many episodes, and even though I JUST watched it, I'd be hard-pressed to tell you what happens in the individual episodes. They all bleed together in this incomprehensible mush where it's Key Key Key Key Key and sometimes sick Joyce and douche Riley and lovesick Spike.
Yes, this is exactly how I feel about 5. When I rewatch, I find it less offensively bad than 7 (maybe because the characters are still acting like the versions of themselves that I like), but there are more memorable individual episodes in 7. Other than The Body and The Gift, I really couldn't pick out a single episode as being memorable in and of itself.

Mark at MarkReads is on 5 right now, and just totally loves it, which is interesting. I imagine my feelings might have been different if I hadn't watched from the beginning and had so much more time to get comfy with the characters and develop strong preferences. My immediate distaste for Dawn, and resentment at the time spent on her, plus growing irritation at Riley led to me just losing patience with the season. And there was nothing compelling enough to pull me back in. Season 6 was not perfect by any means, but it was certainly more compelling than 5.
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  queenofdenile on Sun May 20, 2012 3:58 pm

I will say that I found Dawn surprisingly more tolerable this time around. I still don't think MT is very good, but I kind of admire the gutsiness of the writers to introduce this new character, pretending she's been there the whole time, and not explaining her presence until several episodes later. And I find Buffy's attachment to her rather poignant - this is the season where she first starts to question the source of her power and agonize over it, where the burden of being the Slayer is stronger than ever, and I think she's protective of Dawn because she relates to having no control over her position in life.

But god, I love "Fool for Love" so much, moreso every time. That moment with Buffy and Spike on the back porch just kills me.

The biggest shocker for me with Mark in S5 is his reaction to Xander in "Into the Woods," because he hasn't really liked Xander until this season and he said he thought Xander was being such a great friend to Buffy in his speech. Whereas Xander's always been my favorite, but his speech in ItW makes me want to smack the shit out of him.
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  Gilraen on Sun May 20, 2012 5:54 pm

Season 5 was the last season I watched (because I started watching with Season 6 then went back once it was all over), and it's actually one of my favorites. I agree that the individual episodes aren't always particularly memorable for me, but to me, they nailed the arc in a way they only otherwise did in seasons 2 and 3. In that way, it's like the inverse of Season 4 for me, which had plenty of strong individual episodes but left me me cold when they were all put together. I can't necessarily offer a logical defense, but neither Glory nor dawn annoyed me, and as a whole, I felt like Buffy's journey took her to some really interesting places.

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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  RiverThames on Sun May 20, 2012 6:06 pm

I won't defend Riley in ITW, but I can see what's going on with Xander's speech, and it makes sense to me. Because Buffy did pretty much have her head up her ass regarding what her relationship with Riley was. I'm not saying she didn't have good reasons for said head-up-ass, but it was clear to me how disconnected from him she was. Were Riley's expectations of what a relationship should be kind of fucked up? Yeah, probably. But I think hers were as well. I saw, for her, Riley was the guy to call when she wanted to casually hang out, and didn't want to bring him into the heavy stuff. And thus when his heavy stuff imploded in her lap, she didn't want to deal.

(Again, does she have to? No, not at all. It's totally her right to not want to and let things fall.)

But what I saw Xander was saying (and half saying to himself) was, "Hey, if you actually want a relationship to be a real, serious relationship where you both take each other seriously-- the heavy stuff is part of the package. You give him yours and you take on his. Or don't, and let him go."

That was my read of it, at least.
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  queenofdenile on Sun May 20, 2012 6:28 pm

I have mixed feelings about the level of disconnect Buffy actually had from Riley, though. No, she didn't call him immediately when Joyce had to go to the hospital for a CAT scan, but it's not like she shared that with Xander or Willow, either. She didn't even tell Giles, who, at that point in the series, was the first person Buffy confided in about things that worried her. Spike only knew because he was there right after Buffy got the news.

Riley takes this as a huge sign that Buffy doesn't want to let him in, but if he's taking SPIKE'S word on that topic, then I think he's made up his mind about her long ago. He thinks it's a bad thing that she doesn't get "worked up" over him like she did with Angel. He thinks she doesn't really confide in him because she can't cry in front of him, when the very fact that she TELLS him she can't cry in front of people is, in fact, her way of confiding in him.

I never saw Buffy not be able to handle Riley's "heavy stuff," when she was there for him throughout ALL his "heavy stuff" in season four and leaped through hoops to try to get him to see a doctor in "Out of My Mind." What I saw was Riley not being able to handle the fact that Buffy wouldn't let him be there for HER in the same way she was for him, and not realizing that Buffy has a hard time opening up to people, period, and it's not necessarily a reflection on their relationship.

All in all, it's very hard for me to see Buffy taking the blame for the collapse of their relationship when she was there for Riley during all of his problems in S4 and he couldn't talk to her about her mother's illness without making it all about him, and I hate seeing Xander lay on that blame. He doesn't condemn ANY of Riley's actions in his speech and only talks about what BUFFY did wrong. Of course he's really talking more about himself and Anya than Buffy and Riley, which is why his perspective is so skewed, but it hurts to watch.

That's not to say Buffy did love Riley, because I don't think she did, not in the way she loved Angel or Spike, but I don't see her just wanting a casual relationship with him. I think she really wanted to want a deep relationship with him because he was the safe, normal guy she was supposed to love.
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  RiverThames on Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:34 pm

This is as good a place as any to post this.

So, Emma Caulfield has made this short film (NSFW). And when I say "made", she stars, and she apparently wrote and executive produced it as well. So this is all her. And other than "world's strangest battery commercial", I can't figure it out.

Plus Emma has been posting these video blogs.

So that's what Emma's been doing since Buffy.
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  katesti on Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:40 pm

Wait...what?

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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  Kiran on Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:16 am

....huh.
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  year of the cat on Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:51 pm

I heard that in Oz's voice. "Huh."
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  Kiran on Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:54 pm

That was the tone yes.
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  Eris Rising on Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:53 pm

That was below the quality of what my old theater group did when they first started making student films. Interesting choice for a debut nude scene, though.
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Post  RiverThames on Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:11 pm

Yeah. The only thing I can think of (other than "Emma Caulfield is slowly going crazy" or "Anya wasn't so much performance as turning the camera on Emma") is she was considering a job where nudity actually mattered, but wasn't sure if she could do it (like Halle Berry in "Monster's Ball"), so she did a job where it was low-stakes and disposable to test herself (like Halle Berry in "Swordfish"). But, in this case, made it as low-stakes as humanly possible.
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Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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