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1. Started A Dance of Dragons by GRR Martin finally. I got bored of my trashy novels and decided to read something a bit denser for a change of pace. I reviewed the last trashy novel I read on Amazon, won't do it here. It was erotica, true, but damn the sex scenes were bad. The story was interesting, but not enough of it, and the erotica was just repetitive and silly. I've come to the conclusion that sex scenes are rather hard to write without coming across as rather silly. One person online, years ago, said that a lot of people who wrote sex scenes obviously had never had sex. And I thought, no, you idiot, they like you just don't understand or have a grasp of human anatomy. Take a life drawing class sometime...it's quite informative. Because I hate to break this to you - you suck at it too. Because no one can do a back bend and have sex at the same time unless they are working for cirque du soleil - very funny episode of Big Bang Theory addressed that.

This brings me to the book meme from hell. Which explains why no one but frenchani is doing it on my flist, wise people.

Occurred to me on the way to work this morning that if no one wrote another book for the next 20 or 30 years - I still would have enough to read to last until I died. Seriously there are one too many books at there - it's enough to give one permanent writer's block. I tell stories in my head now, frak writing them down.

Day 08 – Most overrated book

I don't know there are so many to choose from. Eeny meany miney...how about Atlas Shrugged? It's the only I can think of that won't piss anyone off, unless there's a few closet Ayn Rand fans lurking out there. If so...just scroll on by.

I'd say Lord of the Rings, but I rather liked that series. Or Dune, ditto. Then of course there's the usual suspects, Jeffrey Eugendies The Marriage Plot, Gillian Flynn over-hyped and over-marketed Gone Girl, and anything by Jonathan Franzen or Cormac McCarthy. I've read both and admittedly like their shorter works. Haven't read Gone Girl - because I can't stand the author and refuse to give her any more money as a matter of principle. I have a short list of authors I refuse to read on principle - they include Gillian Flynn, Bill O'Reilly,
Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Hilter, and that insane preacher guy with all the self-help books that my landlord kept giving me for Xmas. There's also, least we forget, the literary tomes that many people think - why are you torturing me by making me read this thing? Ulysses by James Joyce (which I actually loved and was obsessed with - but I like stream of consciousness generally speaking), Marcel Proust (who put me to sleep - maybe it's better in French?), Moby Dick...which I managed to avoid completely, don't ask me how - apparently none of my English Lit teachers felt the need to order me to read it? And of course anything by the trio from repressed Victorian heck: Henry James, Nathanial Hawthorn, and Edith Wharton. Wharton wasn't bad - I liked Wharton. I avoided James and Hawthorn however, except in short story format. I was lucky I went to a Western Liberal Arts College not a Northeastern one.

I have, however read a lot of Ayn Rand. Don't particularly like her philosophy - it's rather myopic in scope. I read her.. mainly because I understand where she's coming from - Stalinist Russia. She escaped from Stalin's version of communism. If I escaped from Stalinist Russia, I too might have a rather myopic view of the world. Her followers/devoted readers are another matter entirely. They did not escape from Stalinist Russia, so don't have an excuse.

That said, I think her book Atlas Shrugged often quoted as the best book ever by many conservatives (it's basically their porn), is overly long, poorly researched, and badly written. The book's about a woman who is fed up with running a government regulated and union run railroad. She can't get a good price on steel to save her life. And the unions are driving her bonkers. She discovers a group of like-minded CEO's who have banded behind a top dog individualist/libertarian named John Gault who has decided to go on strike. They all go on strike, with the view that their companies can't function without their foresight and vision. Which of course happens, society falls apart in their absence. While they set up their own little utopia. It's basically "the 50 Shades of Grey" for the libertarian/conservative set, except lacks a sense of humor. Ayn Rand took her philosophy far too seriously and lacked wit. When someone tells me that this is the best book they've read...I wonder about them. Seriously dude - you do realize that 90% of the book is Rand preaching? You can get the same sermon at a much cheaper price and in far more condensed form in Rand's first novel Anthem.

Also as an aside, the book is also loosely about railroad management. Now that I actually work for a railroad, I can say with absolute certainity that Rand knows even less about railroads then she knows about architecture, which is actually saying something.

Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 10 – Favorite classic book
Day 11 – A book you hated
Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore
Day 13 – Your favorite writer
Day 14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer
Day 15 – Favorite male character
Day 16 – Favorite female character
Day 17 – Favorite quote from your favorite book
Day 18 – A book that disappointed you
Day 19 – Favorite book turned into a movie
Day 20 – Favorite romance book
Day 21 – Favorite book from your childhood
Day 22 – Favorite book you own
Day 23 – A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t
Day 24 – A book that you wish more people have read
Day 25 – A character who you can relate to the most
Day 26 – A book that changed your opinion about something
Day 27 – The most surprising plot twist or ending
Day 28 – Favorite title
Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked
Day 30 – Your favorite book of all time

2. Day 11 - A show that disappointed you

The somewhat easier TV Meme. Although this is a hard one, because what do I pick? You can't watch a lot of tv and not be disappointed. Sort of goes with the territory. The writers never quite do it the way you wish. And the more obsessed you are with a tv series the more likely you will be gravely disappointed with it. Which is why it really should come as no surprise that the tv series and writer that disappointed me the most was...

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Joss Whedon.

Damn writer left me hanging. He left so many plot threads unresolved. And when he had an opportunity to revisit them he still didn't resolve them, instead he appeared to forget about them or consider them unimportant. Which made me wonder about the writer and whether I'd been giving him a wee bit too much credit.

The problem with becoming overly invested or emotionally invested in a tv series is that your expectations are often raised a bit too high and you start to put the writer and the series on a bit of a pedestal. You overlook the flaws. You fanwank. You give the benefit of the doubt. Certain they will give you what you want eventually. Eh. No. Save yourselves the time and energy - not going to happen. It's impossible. The writer is not in your head.
The show they are writing isn't the show that you are seeing. Strange I know but there it is.

That caveat aside...Whedon pissed me off royally when he did not resolve his plot holes, left things hanging, gaps in storylines, focused on silly mucmuffin's or treasures, and forgot previous plot points.

Granted he may not have seen them as plot holes - which is a different argument which I will restrain myself from entering into at the moment.

There were four major things that disappointed me about Buffy:

1. The hanging plot threads: Example - How would Buffy react to Spike being still alive and did she really love him? If Whedon had left Spike dead and showed her mourning him, as she mourned Angel and to an extent Riley, oddly enough...I'd have been fine with that. Or not shown it, and just ended it with Chosen...that would have been okay. But no, Spike returned from the dead in Angel. And we got the comics. And we still got no closure for either character. It would have been one thing if he hadn't built up the stupid romance, and done that great "I love you" /"no you don't" love scene at the end...but he did. The writer wanted his cake and eat it too..eh no, you left a plot-thread hanging. I want that plot thread resolved. The only one who bothered to try and resolve it was Brian Lynch and various fans. The problem I had with the Buffy romances - was Whedon left the audience hanging. He only resolved three of them - Buffy/Xander, Buffy/Parker, and Buffy/Riley. The big romances Angel/Buffy and Spike/Buffy - he left hanging. And he also had huge gaps in them - so you didn't quite know what the status was. I was tired of trying to interpret it.

I also had issues with how Willow's plot line was resolved and how it played out. The magic as crack bit...felt a bit too cliche in places and wink=wink, nod-nod. I wanted Willow to turn evil - because I was bored by addicted by magic Willow. Why Willow and Spike had any more scenes together made no sense. Nor did it make sense that Dawn and Spike didn't. They had quite a few scenes up until Buffy returned. Nor was Willow's relationships with Dawn, Xander, Buffy and Anya clearly resolved. She jumps into a relationship with Kennedy rather quickly and the relationship feels awkward. I felt as if the writers were forcing characters together and avoiding writing other characters together for fear of how the audience would relate to them. Instead of writing the story, they were paying far too much attention to their viewers and what was happening online. I felt at certain point they began to lose the thread of their story as a result of this. But I didn't want to see it. I wanted the show to be better than it was.

2. The stupid scythe...came out of nowhere and was never clearly explained or built up.
This was an on-going issue I had with the series. Plot twists dropped in out of the sky. The demon eggs in S6, the whole Willow going evil plot which was filled was stupid red-herrings.
And often were never resolved or brought up again. As if the writers either forgot about them or just came up with it. How can you write a brilliant episode like OMWF, The Body,
Hush, or Restless - and be that clumsy with your plot? How? Lazy writing.

3. Inconsistencies in world-building. Torturing Spike by water-boarding him in Bring on the Night. Okay...so Spike can't breath under water but Angel can? Another bit that makes no sense? Spike can't see in the dark - he needs a flashlight or a lighter? And his reflection pops up on windows? Lazy editing.

4. Dawn as the key. This is dropped after S5. It doesn't appear to matter any longer. She's just Buffy's bratty kid sister. You've made her this mystical key that can open portals if bled and you never again do anything with it? Alrighty then.

This was a tv show that had so much potential - it could have been amazing, and it was in places, but more often than not it failed. And I was so disappointed by the last four episodes of S7 and S6, I wanted those episodes to be brilliant, instead they reminded me of cheesy X-men comics that I'd read in the 1990s. You'd have this brilliant episode at the start of the season - like say Once More with Feeling or Beneath You or Conversations with Dead People and end with a half-assed cluttered episode like End of Days, Two to Go, Grave and Chosen. It's almost as if the writers didn't know what they were doing and hadn't plotted this out ahead of time...wait, they hadn't. We have evidence of this in interviews - where it is revealed that Espenson pitched Robin Wood as Nikki's son literally the night before she wrote the episode First Date, where it is revealed. It dropped in out of the sky.
Or the fact that Whedon hadn't figured out what to do with Spike until the end of S4.
Granted some of it worked out anyhow due to the actors and others involved. But if the writing had been better, plotting more on target...think how great this series would have been? It may have even gotten an emmy.

I think in retrospect, I would have been less disappointed if I hadn't become a fan. Becoming a fan, interacting with other like-minded fans, if anything underlined the flaws in the series. Also watching the series one too many times. It was almost as if...I thought, if I watch this enough - I can figure out what is bugging me, or I'll find that missing bit and be satisfied. But no matter how often I watched...I'd get to the end and I'd always feel that weird nagging dissatisfaction, as if something crucial were missing, but I could not figure out what it was. Felt somewhat the same way about Angel - that something was missing, one vital piece of the puzzle. I think that's why I read so much fanfic after both series ended and why I read the comics. Brian Lynch came the closest to resolving those issues but because he wasn't one of the main writers/creators - I saw his resolution as fanfic. Unfortunately it was more satisfying and better fanfic than what Whedon was doing on the Buffy comics. And this disappointed me. I wanted Whedon to address the issues Lynch had, but instead Whedon was obsessed with politics and a storyline that had nothing to do with Buffy and jarred with the universe he created. The writer had moved on ages ago and was trying to get back to his original creation, but had clearly lost it. He was no longer invested in these characters stories, just external themes. And as a result, I never got the closure or the satisfaction that I craved and I never will. Which sort of in retrospect makes it really difficult to continue to be a fan of the writers work or to follow him. Because I know I'll always be disappointed in whatever he writes. He'll lead me on...get me all excited and thrilled, then scamper off.

That my friends is in a nutshell why I refuse to get too invested in another tv show series or fandom. The writer will always disappoint you. It's inevitable. Particularly tv writers.
There are a few that don't - Farscape oddly didn't. Nor did the Wire. But I watched both long after they had been cancelled and saw them on DVD. So there is that. Maybe there is a difference between watching a series on DVD or tape, and watching it live, speculating on what will happen next, and waiting ages for the next installment? I think there is. I think you are less prone to build it up in your head...and get disappointed when it doesn't turn out the way you wished, even if you have no idea what that is. (I don't. I still no idea how I wanted Whedon to resolve the Buffy series, just that it wasn't in a way that worked for me.)

Day 12 - An episode you've watched more than 5 times
Day 13 - Favorite childhood show
Day 14 - Favorite male character
Day 15 - Favorite female character
Day 16 - Your guilty pleasure show
Day 17 - Favorite mini series
Day 18 - Favorite title sequence
Day 19 - Best TV show cast
Day 20 - Favorite kiss
Day 21 - Favorite ship
Day 22 - Favorite series finale
Day 23 - Most annoying character
Day 24 - Best quote
Day 25 - A show you plan on watching (old or new)
Day 26 - OMG WTF? Season finale
Day 27 - Best pilot episode
Day 28 - First TV show obsession
Day 29 - Current TV show obsession
Day 30 - Saddest character death.

Sigh, I've read this damn thing through three times now, corrected it, and no matter what I do...I still have weird typos and gaps here and there. Perfection and the writing on the internet are unmixy things.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 20th, 2013 04:32 am (UTC)
Oh, my. Your statement about the disappointing side of Buffy is what I spent the last few seasons of the show trying to tell people. It was so close to being a classic of a new form of literature, and it was royally messed up by carelessness.

I keep wanting to blame Marti Noxon for not giving a damn. But it's not exactly fair. Joss wasn't interested enough any more to get things close to right. I have to say that nonsense like suddenly declaring that Olaf the Troll was a god in "The Gift" wouldn't have happened if Joss was still running things day-to-day, like the writers kept pretending throughout the run of the show. Heck we all knew he was off concentrating on other things. Like the Scythe, Olaf's hammer was a stupid and unnecessary weapon/impliment version of a deus ex machina. In both cases ME accidentally painted themselves into a corner and there was no other way out, but to cheat. The one that always bothered me the most was Buffy's unsupported assertion that Dawn was created from her blood. Without that being solidly established the resolution of "The Gift" story is just crap. Was it that Joss never told Marti what they needed to make all the pieces of those seasons fit together or that Marti just wasn't paying any attention? They'll never tell us, I'm sure.
Feb. 20th, 2013 11:48 am (UTC)
The one that always bothered me the most was Buffy's unsupported assertion that Dawn was created from her blood. Without that being solidly established the resolution of "The Gift" story is just crap.

Over the years since BtVS and my obsession with it, I have come to the conclusion that if one is to enjoy TV, films, books, whathaveyou, it is usually best not to overanalyze them. For example, I posted a while back poking some fun at (R)evolution, the NBC show about the world after electricity. Is the basic concept ridiculous? Yes. Do I nevertheless find the show entertaining and reasonably involving, and so watch it regularly? Also yes. I just decide to "let it go".

As to your comment about the 'Dawn's blood' gaffe, I never really saw it as one, so it doesn't bother me at all. One of the few ways in which I was able to correctly predict what Whedon was thinking about his Buffy character is that he saw her a some manner of proto-god, and so had latent abilities of which she was unaware. As the first season of the comics showed, this was exactly correct (and I also correctly guessed that if offered effective godhood, Buffy would reject it).

In Buffy's mind, Dawn was more her real sister than some mystical "Key", so all that was necessary was for her to believe she could take Dawn's place and close the portal, and reality bends accordingly. (There are numerous examples in previos eps of the series to support the proto-god, reality-bending ability, and I recall detailing them once back in the ATPo board days.)

Anyway, just thought I'd mention it. Now, Olaf suddenly and conveniently becoming a god-- nahhh, totally bogus. That's one that I "just let go".

Edited at 2013-02-20 11:50 am (UTC)
Feb. 20th, 2013 02:39 pm (UTC)
You, OnM, beyond many others are aware of my obsession with details. In some sense I've always had it. But it was brought to the forefront when I went to grad school and my previous ways of working, just wouldn't cut it any more. I learned the difference between doing things that were good enough and doing things that were really worthwhile. It wasn't exactly a pleasant lesson to learn.

As a little kid, I never cared whether the old Superman show had problems even though as a five or six year old I could see them. I still watched the popular show Manix as a teenager, though the silly flaws (Manix always having to get beat up to find any sort of clue; cars going over cliffs and blowning up long before they hit bottom) were etched in stone as the way the show operated. I don't have a lot of problem with the Arrow show now though there are glaring flaws in it, too.

The point is Buffy was something different. As silly as some of the comedy was, as silly as some of the monsters were, it was a show that a lot of thought went into. It was one of those rare shows that was worth watching even if you had no interest in the subject matter. There were serious universal themes in there. It was no accident, no overblown fad, that college courses on Buffy popped up in a lot of places. Once you get that good, people are going to be looking at what you are doing a lot harder. Heck, if Buffy wasn't worth looking at that closely, why did we all gravitate to Masq's site, which was based on her putting every ep through the ringer?

Yes, we could all enjoy most of Buffy on a superficial level just as we enjoy pretty much everything else on TV. And we're certainly not all going to have problems with the same details. But in my eyes Buffy was a chance to go that extra step to take TV to an entirely different level, and the disappointment Shadowkat expresses shows I was far from the only one who was unhappy that extra step wasn't taken.
Feb. 21st, 2013 02:17 am (UTC)
Well stated and not the only one by a long shot.

I wanted it to be more than a Revolution or a Lost or
a Arrow or Smallville - which are also chaotic messes but lacked the spots of brilliance that Buffy depicted.

Buffy could have been a tv show on the same level as The Wire or even Breaking Bad - the closest I've seen to pitch perfect television. But the writer was undisciplined and a bit lazy. So am I, as a writer, so I can identify, but I'm not making millions as a professional tv writer - so I expect more from people who are.

It would be one thing if there weren't episodes such as Innocence, Once More with Feeling, Dopplegangland, The Wish, Fool for Love, Conversations with Dead People, Beneath You (at least the last part),
The Body, Becoming Part II, Normal Again, Lies My Parents Told Me...but there were.

So how do you write episodes like that and excuse episodes such as Bad Eggs, As You Were, Seeing Red, Grave, Chosen, The Gift, Weight of the World, Blood Ties, Into the Woods, Gone, Wrecked, Doublemeat Palace, Older and Far Away, Hells Bells?

How do you reconcile inconsistences such as money never really being an issue and suddenly out of the blue it is? Or having someone like Giles being paid to take care of and watch over the slayer's needs, and suddenly scamper off to his estate in England, without giving her much money at all and feeling like he's what giving hand-outs to his kid? If you pay such close attention to detail that you can write a song for every character that fits that character, that you know each actor's strengths - how do you miss the other details?

Sure if this was the writer of the lackluster Revolution, I'd shrug and let it go. I don't bother analyzing Revolution - you don't want to.
And I certainly was careful about over-analyzing Lost, because come on the science was literally out there. But Buffy...had those spots of brilliance, it threatened to pull the genre up to the next level.
I was disappointed the writer failed to do it.
Feb. 20th, 2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
Nicely stated. This is my view too.
Feb. 21st, 2013 03:20 am (UTC)
Was it that Joss never told Marti what they needed to make all the pieces of those seasons fit together or that Marti just wasn't paying any attention?

Joss. He actually did tell people on whedonesque. When a poster was slamming Marti - Whedon popped out of the blue and said all the decisions on Buffy were his and to lay off Noxon. It was rather amusing actually.

After reading the comics, and in particular his letter at the end of the S8 comics to the readers - as well as Brad Meltzer's interviews on the same - I can say with absolute certainty that Whedon has a tendency to not clue his writers in on everything that is going on inside his head. He's also ridiculously afraid of spoilers or spoiling the audience and goes to extremes to avoid it. For the comics - he didn't tell anyone who the Big Bad was (aka Twilight) except Meltzer, but didn't tell Meltzer any of the rest of the plot. People were writing crucial bits of the plot arc without any idea where the plot was going. So the writers didn't know the arc, or the plot. Have you ever tried to plot a story and not know what the main story arc was or the motivations of the characters or how it ended?

They often made up the plot as they went along. There's proof in the commentary - Spike was supposed to be killed by Angelus in S2, they changed their mind in mid-stream (which I'm personally thankful for).
The plot constantly changed. And the writers also changed and mixed metaphors half way through. The soul canon was incredibly confusing and inconsistent - but boy did we have a lot of fun debating it. To this day, I'm not sure Whedon knew where he was going with it. Sometimes gaps in narratives make the narrative more interesting and entertaining.

Admittedly Olaf's Hammer and Dawn's blood didn't bother me all that much.

I was more bothered by other inconsistencies in the narrative...such as the money issue, which seemed to only pop up whenever the writers ran out of storyline or didn't know what to write and needed an external conflict. But this had the unfortunate side-effect of making certain key characters unlikable (such as Giles, Dawn, Willow, and Xander). I mean here is Buffy struggling to be the slayer, with Willow, Tara, and Dawn living with her and under her roof. Constantly saving Xander and Anya's asses. And when she's dead they spend all her money. When she comes back - none of them lift a finger to help out with the expenses? WTF??? Then of course this problem magically disappears mid-season, because apparently Burger King complained about Doublemeat Palace? LOL! When Anya makes the huge faux pas of mentioning that Buffy should get paid for saving people (Flooded) - everyone acts like she's an idiot - yet isn't that exactly what Angel and his crew are doing over on Angel the Series? Did the writer's forget? Also didn't Buffy insist Giles get back pay from the Watcher Council for doing exactly that??? (S5)

I wondered sometimes if the writers watched their own series or even each other's episodes? The only one who appeared to was Drew Goddard. That was my biggest problem with the series - it felt at times as if the writers had forgotten their own story. The fans knew the story better than Whedon did - which is a problem.

Most sci-fi tv shows have character bibles or story bibles - Battlestar Galatica did as did Star Trek, Buffy didn't. That was a problem. Whedon is very good at experimental stand-a-lone emotional character arc pieces such as The Body, Once More With Feeling, Restless - which are part of the arc, but also sort of stand apart from it. But a 22 episode long arc with episodic monster of the week bits in between seems to cause him problems - it requires more attention to detail and discipline than I think Whedon is capable of.I noticed it with Dollhouse and Firefly...as well as the comics.

He's not a disciplined writer. Which is frustrating. I think he is a writer who is in need of a very good editor. To be fair most writers require that...and I think that may in part have been the problem.

Edited at 2013-02-21 03:31 am (UTC)
Feb. 21st, 2013 06:25 pm (UTC)
For the comics - he didn't tell anyone who the Big Bad was (aka Twilight) except Meltzer, but didn't tell Meltzer any of the rest of the plot.

Sorry, have to disagree with this one 100%. Firstly, at least Allie, Sierra Hahn and a couple of more folks @DH knew who Twilight was besides Meltzer all the time. Allie coordinated the whole thing and he knew about Twilight from S8 issue #1 - I heard this from him in person as well as saw him mention this in a few interview/s. Secondly, Meltzer knew enough of the rest of the plot to put a lot of hints of things to come in issue #35. Look up his characters clothes interview. At the very least he had to know about death of Giles in the Last Gleaming arc ( mourning robes on Buffy, and pregnancy plot of S9 - Nikki Wood clothes on Buffy.) And by the look of the rest of character clothes designs thhree wristwatches on Buffy - he knew a bit more of the overall series direction and time-loops.


Heck, Jeanty - the most uninformed of the crew - knew about outline of S9 after issue 37 was out - I had a chance to talk to him at NYCC in 2010 and he basically spoiled me to the major plot of A&F.
Feb. 21st, 2013 10:34 pm (UTC)
You're clearly a fan of the comics, I'm REALLY not. If you feel insanely inclined you can hunt down my take on them.

My point was none of the writers knew. (ie. Drew Goddard, Jane Espenson, Stephen DeKnight, etc...who were working on them.) I don't remember mentioning Allie by name anywhere in the post. Sorry if you misunderstood.

Not a fan of the comics. Haven't bothered with them since issue 35. Life is too short to waste it on things that you don't like. ;-)
Feb. 21st, 2013 10:54 pm (UTC)
Firstly, my apologies for barging in on your journal. The only reason I did is because this post was linked in SH. I was simply explaining - to the best of my knowledge the side of the story I think you've missed - ie the writers knowledge. I also think, btw that Jane and Drew knew who Twilight was - because there were plenty of hints all through S8. At least enough for ,me to guess correctly 8 months before the Twilightgate...Secondly, I don't feel insanely inclined to hunt you or haunt you at all. LOL. So, lets let this little conversation go. I won't bother you. Apologies - once again for interfering with your private discussions.
Feb. 21st, 2013 11:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks. No worries.

Eh...I just interpreted the writer's interviews differently, is all.
Feb. 20th, 2013 10:27 am (UTC)
I just want to go through this saying yes, yes, yes.

The writer wanted his cake and eat it too

It became screamingly obvious in S7 that he was never going to give a definitive answer to the Angel or Spike question and I'm sure it was to appease the fans.

Instead of writing the story, they were paying far too much attention to their viewers and what was happening online.

This is a pernicious consequence of the internet. I think it happens less with British shows which are still less geared up to online interaction, which is, in my view, a good thing. Showrunners should make the show they want to make not the one their viewers want them to.

Which sort of in retrospect makes it really difficult to continue to be a fan of the writers work or to follow him.

This makes me particularly sad because I used to love Joss's work but a combination of the comics and Dollhouse killed the love for me.

Closed canon TV shows are so much more relaxing!
Feb. 20th, 2013 11:05 am (UTC)
I'm personally disappointed only by the comics and the Bangel VS Spuffy thing. The comics are really boring and there are too many inconsistencies and lack of good characterization (Buffy seems to be an 14 years old girl, both because of the writing and Jeanty's art) I'm annoyed by the Bangel/Spuffy thing always on topic, always the problem. I was kinda satisfied by the series ending "ship who you want" but now it's becoming really annoying and redundant. Joss, make a damn choice!
Feb. 21st, 2013 06:37 am (UTC)
2. The stupid scythe...came out of nowhere and was never clearly explained or built up.

I for one do think this was set up rather well over the seasons, as the ultimate form of the fire ax that Buffy and many of her friends were imperfectly wielding in all the seasons before. As far as I can tell, the Buffy Ax saga begins with Joyce in "School Hard", wielding the rescuer's ax against Spike. It continues to reappear in many more episodes and arcs, with many characters wielding to various crossed purposes along the way (i.e. Xander's emergency tool in "The Zeppo", Willow's agency-less murder weapon in "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", Angel's useless axing of Mayor Wilkins in Graduation Day, Spike's reconnoitered Revello Drive arsenal in "The Gift", Rupert's and Tara's axings in "Bargaining", Buffy's intentional killing of Winnebago Man in "Spiral", Warren's useless Woodsman-blow against Willow in the woods of "Villains", etc.). There was a lot of conflicting meta in the show regarding the meaning of this "axe" weapon, which is finally resolved in the seventh season, once Buffy realizes that it isn't a "weapon" at all, because she isn't actually a "killer." The Scythe is the replacement of the stake, because Buffy is replacing her necessary intimacy (and therefore, her continual identification) to monsters with a symbolic weapon that is more akin to her *real* calling - saving people.

Like the "Slayer" herself, the weapon seemed poorly named. The word "Scythe" connotes the Grim Reaper, the prosopopoeia of death. But it doesn't actually look like a scythe; something which even the characters themselves seem to recognize (“that axe thing”; “cool axe thingee”, etc). In fact, its color scheme seems to reference a different tool altogether: a fireman's axe. This role is something that is directly foreshadowed in Buffy's "Restless" dream, when she says, "I'll be a fireman when the floods roll back."

Edited at 2013-02-21 06:44 am (UTC)
Feb. 21st, 2013 06:44 pm (UTC)
As for the rest of the inconsistencies - I think the comics have it all covered. Feel free to reject this opinion if you reject comics as canon , btw!

1. How would Buffy react to Spike being still alive ?

We got the answer in the comics in issue 35 to be precise. It was solidly consistent. She knew all along, Buffy was glad he lived... and she decided that running the army was more important. Buffy also mentions Spike burning - sadly - in her conversation with Satsu in the Beautiful Sunset - in the context with all other 'leavings'.

2. And we still got no closure for either character.

Well, I kind of think that major reason behind 'no closure' is fandom actively rejecting the closure. The amount of Whedon personally - inserted jokes about the 'ship' that brings Spike back in the comics, his chasing after the 'vagina monster' in the end of S8, and Buffy telling Angel 'but... but he has the ship' - from her own mouth, sort of make is obvious that the closure is not an option for the fans - therefore writers let is just hang there.

3. The stupid scythe...came out of nowhere and was never clearly explained or built up.

Ah, but you have to read Willow mini to get the Scythe myth properly. If there is one thing I truly enjoy about the comics - it is how consistently the Scythe is woven in as a key item to the Slayer mythology. Once again - you need to re-read TOYL and Wonderland to start getting it, but I do understand that readings the minis might be bothersome to Buffy only fans.

4. Dawn as the key.

Well, it looks like they are trying to use Dawn's Keyness this season. Cannot be sure if the story will make much sense - but they are trying.
Feb. 21st, 2013 10:38 pm (UTC)
Despised the comics, so I stopped reading them. ;-) The post wasn't about the comics, it was about a "TV SHOW" that disappointed me.
Feb. 22nd, 2013 12:09 pm (UTC)
I also kept waiting for them to do something with Dawn being the key and they never did :/ I think that would have been a much more interesting way of involving her in the main plots (similar to the way they did in season 5), instead of just writing her as the little sister with not much point in a lot of seasons 6 and 7 episodes. Anything would have been better than the boring shoplifting storyline!

And it didn't make any sense why the monks didn't destroy the key as the knights quite sensibly wanted to do to prevent Glory getting her hands on it and having all dimensions bleeding into one another. The monks supposedly believed they could harness the key for the forces of light or something like that, but then the writers never did anything with it. I've nothing against Dawn, but creating her in human form should hardly have taken precedent over the safety of the entire world. Killing her after she had been made an innocent human is one thing, but they could easily have gone along with the knights plans to safely destroy the key before it ever got that far, and it never made sense why they believe the creation of Dawn was so important. Well other than the obvious that Joss wanted a little sister character for Buffy one way or the other
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