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The Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel Appreciation Thread
Oh yeah I would certainly give it a shot. It was announced around the same time that Whedon's wife wrote that letter.
“I call upon you to stop this musical now,” she said to the board. “You tear a community apart if you don’t.” -Prachi Ruina                                                            
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Now that I think of it everybody expected 'something bad' to come out when Whedon left The Nevers but we saw nothing. Maybe he really was exhausted (or the show is a mess and will be crucified).
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Ehh don't worry Ray Fisher has this covered.
“I call upon you to stop this musical now,” she said to the board. “You tear a community apart if you don’t.” -Prachi Ruina                                                            
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At any rate he's got nothing better to do.
"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth."--Steve McQueen
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I'll still watch The Nevers. Has to be better than Orlando Bloom in Fairytown.
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Yeah, I'm still intrigued by The Nevers.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

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(01-17-2021, 04:02 PM)kyle reese 2 Wrote: I'll still watch The Nevers. Has to be better than Orlando Bloom in Fairytown.

That was not good?
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It was alright.
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I haven't actually seen it. I'm assuming based on the ads I saw. Most opinions I heard said it was sit-throughable but not essential.
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That's about right.
“I call upon you to stop this musical now,” she said to the board. “You tear a community apart if you don’t.” -Prachi Ruina                                                            
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Entering season seven now.

Goddamn is the Buffyverse great.

Hell's Bells might be my least favorite episode of the show. Skipping it on any later rewatch.

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Anya was annoying me by that point, so I'm fine with Xander tanking the wedding like that, lol.

We get to see Xander's drunk dad in action, so it's a key episode for the Buffy mythology.
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Speaking of which do we ever see either one of Willow's parents? I can't remember a single instance.
“I call upon you to stop this musical now,” she said to the board. “You tear a community apart if you don’t.” -Prachi Ruina                                                            
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(01-18-2021, 07:11 PM)waaaaaaaalt Wrote: Speaking of which do we ever see either one of Willow's parents? I can't remember a single instance.

Yes.

Willow's mother shows up in an episode and tries to burn Buffy and Willow at the stake (the Hansel and Gretel one, Gingerbread is the title, I think).

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As bad as "Hells Bells" is, it does serve as set up to "Selfless" a season 7 Anya episode that is one of my favorites. We get ancient pre-demon Anya and a bonus song from the musical.
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(01-18-2021, 07:38 PM)Overlord Wrote:
(01-18-2021, 07:11 PM)waaaaaaaalt Wrote: Speaking of which do we ever see either one of Willow's parents? I can't remember a single instance.

Yes.

Willow's mother shows up in an episode and tries to burn Buffy and Willow at the stake (the Hansel and Gretel one, Gingerbread is the title, I think).

Oh that's right! I remember that now.
“I call upon you to stop this musical now,” she said to the board. “You tear a community apart if you don’t.” -Prachi Ruina                                                            
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(01-18-2021, 08:37 AM)Overlord Wrote: Entering season seven now.

Goddamn is the Buffyverse great.

Hell's Bells might be my least favorite episode of the show.  Skipping it on any later rewatch.

 Xander was a fool to leave Anya at the altar!
I've got good news and I've got bad news. The bad news is I've lost my way. The good news is I'm way ahead of schedule!
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This is the fifth or sixth of these I've done (I think). Kids and I are loving the show. We just finished season 6 and are now well into season seven.

Collection of random thoughts:

--My recollection of season six is that it was my least or second least favorite season. It's now solidly my least favorite, which is truly amazing considering that it contains two episodes that are in my top five (one of which may be the top slot) in OMWF and Tabula Rasa. I also think the two part opening, bargaining is fantastic. So what went wrong?

--The first half of season six is buoyed by two fucking amazing hooks: Buffy's return and Spike's obsessive love for her. Somewhere around the halfway point, maybe even a bit earlier (but definitely after Tabula Rasa) those two hooks begin to peter out. Buffy feeling detached and "wrong" is expected (would feel unnatural otherwise), but it goes on a looooong time. Similarly, the status quo with Spike becomes stale a good 3-4 episodes before he FINALLY heads off to Africa to get his soul back. Waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much wheel-spinning.

--The two arcs, above, are fairly static ... we don't see much movement through the course of season six. That gets wearisome fairly fast, so they try to bridge the content gap with Willow's shenanigans with exploring dark magic, the Trio's inept fumbling, and the rise and fall of Anya and Xander's romance. All of these fail for various reasons, IMHO.

--I actually recollect Willow's arc being more compelling than it was. I think there are two huge problems: first, it's structured incredibly poorly. It starts, it falls, it starts up again, then we have an over-the-top three episode sequence with full on dark Willow. If I took a chart and drew the structure of that plot strand it would look like a series of peaks and valleys. That may work for ancillary side stories, but it sure as heck doesn't work for a main character arc. Her turning dark should have been in the last episode, and it should be a moment, not a rampage of destruction. The "end of the world" channeling bit felt like pure fucking nonsense. We didn't need to raise the stakes, losing Willow to dark magic was bad enough. It was a lousy, lazy feeling tack-on. Also, dare I say it, but Hanigan was better suited to vampy goth Willow than she was to uber-witch Willow. Her behavior often came across as cruel and callous, not grief-stricken and angry. I don't think Alyson really had a handle on what tone she wanted to channel. For example, Willow's behavior in Wrecked, which is the tenth episode, is not that far off from her behavior after she goes full Dark Phoenix. This indicates to me that the actress has perhaps lost her connection with the tone of the writing.

--The Trio doesn't really work, either. Even though Warren Mears has become one of the most creepily prescient villains in the history of television, they just don't work as the main antagonists. For one thing season six is so jam-packed with soap opera beats that never end they don't literally have enough screentime. Because they don't have enough screentime the evolution from inept pranksters to scary incel monsters feels haphazard and jumpy.

--Anya and Xander ... hoo boy. Hell's Bells is so, so, so bad of an episode. Xander got his fucking brain fried by demonic hallucinations and nobody seems to give a shit? OF COURSE YOU CALL OFF THE WEDDING, AT LEAST TEMPORARILY. What, all these people with umpteen experience with magic don't know he's completely fucked up and lost? ANYA DOESN'T REALIZE IT?!?!? "You don't want to marry me?!?!?!?" Uhhh, he was just tormented with horrible demonic visions Brendon gives a lousy performance and the writing of his character is fucking terrible and not true to Xander.

--Hell's Bells comes across as even worse considering it happens right near Normal Again. For some reason in Normal Again all of the characters realize that Buffy is hallucinating horrible shit and are supportive, understanding, and let her shut down for a while. Meanwhile, with Xander, they expect him to put his tux back on and recover from being tormented with hellscape visions of his future. WHAT?!?!?

--In re: "Normal Again," listen ... I know it's a TV show. I know that debating whether a story represents a "fiction within a fiction" is kind of pointless since the whole thing is fiction. But setting aside the inherent silliness, I have a real problem with this episode. There is no framing device that allows the viewer to conclude which of the two narratives, within the fiction of the Buffyverse, are real. You can say that if it wasn't "real" then Buffy wouldn't see or experience third party characters, but that rings pretty damned hollow. I don't like this episode. It plays games with viewer expectations. It's creepy, but I just don't think the final five minutes belongs in the Buffyverse.

--Speaking of viewer expectations, a lot of S6 I believe breaks some of the fundamental expectations that a viewer could reasonably have about this show. Gun usage, honoring prior characterization patterns, Buffy as part of a larger organization (Watchers), explicit sexual content that goes waaaaaaaaaaay beyond innuendo and cutaways. What happened?

--I don't think the name "Giles" is spoken aloud from the moment he leaves until the moment he returns. This is lousy. Nobody even suggests they may want to give him a phone call? They didn't invite him to the wedding? Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

--I honestly have no idea what the doublemeat palace arc was supposed to be about other than to fill time. The fact that Buffy can't find a better job makes every character in the show look like a moron.

--Riley's return was hysterical.

--Seeing Red should have been the penultimate episode. One episode of a more narrowly focused Dark Willow would have been plenty.

--At the end of S6 when Buffy says "things have not been okay, but they're going to get better" I loved it. Cause I felt like they were talking about S6. After the first eight episodes, I can't really say I enjoyed too many of major story arcs (though there was some great standalone fun).

--Older and Far Away feels like an episode that was written by someone who wasn't aware that Dawn was supposed to be 15 instead of 8. It's a TON of fun if you ignore that problem, but c'mon. I've warmed to Dawn while watching Buffy as a parent (seriously, it gives me an entirely new perspective and makes my impression of Dawn on my initial viewing of the show seem a touch juvenile), but that episode was a bit much.

--Willow has murdered two people, one of whom as far as I can tell did nothing except peddle recreational magics to folks, and Giles and Buffy retreat to a back room to laugh with each other? What. The. Fuck.

--I have long defended season 7 as the most underrated season of the entire Buffyverse, and while I'm only three episodes I really don't think that's going to change. First, it looks fantastic. Second, it is often legitimately creepy (that skin eating demon was horrifying). Third, it builds upon the stakes and developments of the prior seasons and feels like a natural progression. Buffy returning to the high school with Dawn feels sooooooooo natural and true to the Buffyverse in a way that the Doublemeat Palace, stalking about Spike's crypt, and Dark Willow's over-the-top reign of terror don't. Season seven is just great (even "bad" Buffy is still a great show, but you know what I mean).

---I think I've already laughed more in the first three episodes than I did the entire back half of S6. Thank fucking Cthulhu Buffy's moping, Anya and Xander's wedding, Dark Willow, and Giles's absence are in the rearview mirror.

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If I recall correctly, plans for the Doublemeat Palace  to figure more prominently were voted down by the show's sponsors. One can easily imagine a version of the show where the 24-hour restaurant became the Scoobies' new hangout/base of operations.

As for Dark Willow, I agree that Hannigan seems out of her comfort zone. She excels at portraying intense emotion, but DW's nihilist lack of emotion or empathy requires a different skill set-- compare this performance to Amy Acker's heartbreakingly hollowed-out Illyria.
"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth."--Steve McQueen
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Good comparison.

Acker managed the tonal shift well, Hanigan did not. I feel like she was disconnected from the material, whether due to acting limitations or just not vibing with the writing.

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Caleb is grossly underrated as Buffy bad guys go. 



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