#BuffyWatch Part Five

Eeeep! It’s been almost two months since my last #BuffyWatch post. I know. That’s way too long. But I was finishing Time of Ruin and going through the edits and cover art consultations and all the other crap that goes into book production. I did finish Season 6 though and Brian’s only through Season 5 of Supernatural, so I’m still winning.

And, to be honest, I’m afraid Brian will wuss out and quit if I totally trounce him.

If you’d like to see his latest post, check it here.

If you need to catch up with my saga here are the links:

Post One

Post Two

Post Three

Post Four

I’ve put this post off for too long, so I’m gonna hit major points because memory.

When I last wrote I said if they could bring Buffy back in a believable way I would be down with her swan dive of death.

And you know what? They totally pulled it off.

Unfortunately it was at further cost to my original favorite character: Willow. Something happened over the course of Willow’s story that bummed me out. I get that they were paralleling her magic use with drug use and how a person will start to change in every way, but I wasn’t happy to see it happen. Willow just kept breaking my heart. I’ve seen people spiral out of control on drugs and not see/care what they’re doing to friends and family, so they did a great job with that, I just, well… I liked Willow so of course I don’t want to see this happen to her.

Once More With Feeling. Everyone was waiting with bated breath for me to watch this episode.

I was a little nervous, to be honest with you. I do not like musicals for the most part. I love theater and Broadway shows and I could probably watch Singing in the Rain for the rest of my life, but musicals usually aren’t like Broadway. I cannot tell you how relieved I was that this episode was written more like a Broadway show. I actually enjoyed it and I thought it was a great way for Buffy to explain to the gang, and Willow specifically, that no, bringing brought back from Heaven wasn’t awesome.

Buffy and Spike romance. Hmmm. I’ve made no bones about my feelings about Buffy in romantic relationships. She’s not very good at them and she doesn’t pick the right guys. I like this show so much more when she’s not in a romantic relationship. I liked the idea that Buffy was a strong enough woman to have a sexual relationship with a guy without having to give her whole life to him. But it was strange that Spike couldn’t deal with that – I mean, I know he still has that chip, but he doesn’t have a soul, this should’ve worked for him. Instead he went all love-spell-gone-horribly wrong.

But this is probably why I took so long to get through season six. I was warned that something was coming. Something we’ve all been talking about a lot. Sexual violence against women in fiction. It’s rampant and rage inducing. Even in shows where it shouldn’t happen, like Downton Abbey, we have to see it. I kept putting off watching because I didn’t want to see this AGAIN. I wasn’t sure who was going to be the victim, but I was 50/50 on it being Buffy.

I thought it COULDN’T be her because she’s the Slayer with Slayer strength, who’s gonna be able to do this to her?

But the other half said it was going to be her because it shouldn’t be and fuck writers who do this to characters who should be safe from this. I am glad, as glad as one could be, that they didn’t fully go through with it. That they realized she is the muther  fucking Slayer and has the physical strength to stop it.  But for fucks sake. Let’s stop this bullshit.

But after that episode, I can’t stand Spike. Every time he shows up on screen I find myself glowering or yelling, “I DON’T CARE SPIKE!”

Xander and Anya. Oh man. I was so sad after Willow and Oz, I didn’t know there was something else that could make me so sad. I’m still not okay with what they did here. I dunno, maybe they wanted Anya to be a vengeance demon again and couldn’t think of a way to make it happen if she was happy with Xander, but I really thought Xander’s arc and maturity were spot on for him to go through with the wedding. I never thought he’d stand her up. I hated that choice. I love Anya as a demon, but I hate that it came at the expense of Xander’s character growth.

The Evil Trio. Jesus Christ I hate these guys. Every episode they showed up, I was waiting for someone to kill them. I know, I know, “We don’t kill humans.” BUT C’MON! Especially the insane asylum episode. Even I had a minute of, “wait. Maybe she is crazy.” And I felt horrible for Willow’s loss and what she went through, but I was happy to see her flay that asshole. He totally deserved it.

 

And now Spike has his soul back. I’ve started the first couple of episodes of Season 7. I’m actually kind of surprised the show was only 7 seasons. Season Six was some of the strongest writing of the show, I would’ve thought, after that, they would’ve had a few more seasons in the bag, not just one.

 

We shall see how it ends.

 

#BuffyWatch Part 2

(If you haven’t watched, beware of spoilers ahead)

As of this writing, I am currently at season 2 episode 20, which means I just have 3 more episodes to go to finish season 2. Still trouncing Brian! (ETA: I am onto Season three now. Brian. It’s gonna be a blood bath.)

And I’m still not loving the show.

Well, more accurately, I am still not loving Buffy and Angel. I go back and forth on who I dislike the most. Sometimes I think it’s just the acting. I watched the episode “I Only Have Eyes For You” where two ghosts are haunting the school, possessing people to force them to reenact their deaths over and over again until the end of the episode where the ghosts latch on to Buffy and Angel. I have to say, that was the best few minutes of acting either of them accomplished thus far. It looked real. It sounded real. It worked. I dunno why, because they’re crying and hollering, which they do a lot of and I hate, but in that scene it was much better.

I find I am still watching the show for the other characters. When Oz and Willow finally got together, I cheered. When Cordelia realized admitting to liking Xander was worth the scorn of her loser cronies, I was happy. When Angel cornered Ms. Calendar and ended her storyline, I actually gasped out loud (though part of that gasp was due to me being surprised they actually killed her). When Giles gets all British awkward, I laugh.

But when Buffy mopes around, acts petulant, has a major mood swing, is bitchy, is whiny, WHATEVER, my eyes drift to my book, or twitter, or something.

You know, when Willow finally catches Xander and Cordelia making out and you hear her heart break, she runs off to have her embarrassing cry, but then, when she faces Xander, you realize why she’s so awesome. They’re dealing with some life threatening thing and Willow says it’s more important that her heartbreak, there are bigger things going on and she has to deal. I love that.

When Buffy gets her heart broken she takes every chance to remind people how crappy her love life is. She holds grudges. She mopes. Just. Gah. Okay? Geeze!

That’s my main problem with the show, the MCs. I’m just glad there’s a good supporting cast around her.

I wanted to talk about how angry the episode of “NED” made me, but I went off on a little tangent there. So, suffice it to say, I did not like what they did with Buffy’s mom in that episode. I’m not talking about while she’s drugged on the food, I’m talking hours later when the creep isn’t around. If your kid tells you a guy threatened to hit them, you freak the fuck out at the guy, not your kid. That episode alone, as cheesy as it was to find out he’s a robot from the 50’s, almost made me refuse to keep watching. It’s bad enough her mom lets the new principle talk to her the way he does, but the guy you’re dating? No. Not believable, not with the kind of mom she’s supposed to be.

(ETA: Thoughts after finishing season 2 and starting season 3 – a goddamn miracle is going to have to happen for me to even like her mom at this point. I don’t empathize with Buffy, but when it comes to her mom, I want to punch my screen. The writers went too far with her, IMHO.)

Anyway. I’m sticking with it. Even my mom promises me it gets better. At least Buffy doesn’t make creepy sex noises when fighting anymore, now she sounds like she’s actually fighting. But you if you made a drinking game of how often that four note piano music comes on to show us Buffy moping around and feeling all angsty for herself, you’d pass the eff out.

I know I’m leaving out a lot, but it’s still early in the show.

(DISCLAIMER: And let me be clear: I do not HATE the show. To be honest, I thought I would. I really expected that I would end up hate watching it just to win the bet. I do not hate it. I’m just not a fan of Sarah Michelle Gellar, so that’s working against it, and I’m not a fan of her Buffy. The sugary-cute pouts, the big eyes when she’s sad, the dramatics. That’s what I dislike. Also. I’ve never found David Boreanaz attractive so he doesn’t work for me as the main hotness lead.)

A Wager Between Friends

Many of you know that I participate in an online RPG called #MageTech. It’s pretty awesome and often quite silly. Over Halloween our illustrious DM, Kristin McFarland, mapped out a one-off special episode that deviated from our normal play. It was so much fun and successful, she’s decided we could try to do these more often. But one of the cool things is that there are many RPGs based on beloved TV shows and movies.

So we were all deciding what RPGs we’d like to do and of course the standards came up, D&D spinoffs, Supernatural, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. At that last, a few of our gammers went on a happy little tangent about the show and characters, while I just sat there, smiling awkwardly.

Why was this my reaction? Because, gentle viewers, I have never watched BtVS. That’s right, now you know my big secret. Yes, get it out…

Feel better? Anyway. I had a lot of reasons not to watch the show growing up. I won’t get into all of them, but it has finally come back to haunt me. So, of course, everyone screamed that I had to watch the show, least I be shamed throughout the game.

BUT WAIT!!! I said. Someone else in our little group deserves just as much shame! Our dear Brian O’Conor, epic fantasy writer, has never watched an episode of Supernatural.

Yes. You read that right.

Listen, BtVS came out in ’96 when I was a mere fourteen years old, but Supernatural came out in 2005! C’mon! How could you not watch?

Anyway. Because of our mutual freak out, Brian and I have a wager. For every episode of BtVS I watch, he must watch one of Supernatural. I don’t know how fair this is really, because EVERYONE said, “Just get through season one and you’ll be okay. Season one is super campy, BUT IT GETS BETTER, WE SWEARS IT! WE SWEARS ON THE PRECIOUS!”

That is not a glowing endorsement for me. This might’ve been one of the big reasons I didn’t watch when I was a kid. A campy first season isn’t going to get me to commit.

As of this writing I am eight episodes in and yes, it is INCREDIBLY campy. But I’m getting through. The thing is, it doesn’t need to be so campy. If someone had slashed some of the cheesy slang that doesn’t sound natural (anyone wiggin’ out?!), it wouldn’t be so bad. But what has bugged me the most is the girly “sexy” gasps and grunts that Buffy makes when fighting. I’m sorry, she’s a teenager, do we need to sexualize her like this? It’s creepy. Also, girls DON’T MAKE SEX NOISES WHEN THEY FIGHT. Have you ever seen a real life girl fight? That shit is serious and scary.

Speaking of, all the “mean kids” on the show is so weird to me. I didn’t go to a school where kids just randomly walked up to people and insulted them, while the meek person they are picking on just snivels and tries to hide. If someone came up to you in my HS to say something to you, it was usually followed by a punch, which lead to a bloody fight and the armed campus police arresting people. So this doesn’t speak to me in a familiar way. But, hell, I like Mean Girls, I can get past the fantasy that high school is like this in real life.

I do already love Xander. He’s adorbs and hilarious. So he’s keeping me watching. And I’ve been promised new characters as soon as S2. So we shall see.

I did tell Brian that the Leviathan season of Supernatural will balance us out with BtVS’s S1 (though by the time you get to the dreaded Leviathans, you already love the show and chars, I’m asked to deal with the worst season right off the bat, not fair if you ask me).

Anyway. I’m getting through  a bad season. Brian has a bad season to look forward to, but we’ve made the damn bet.

Stay tuned to watch me get through the rest of the show and TAKE BRIAN DOWN!

Also, Emmie has promised cookies to whoever finishes their task.

ETA: Last night I finished Season One of BtVS. Brian? You. Are. Going. Down. Sucka.