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Buffy... Praise her! Praise her!

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  • Buffy... Praise her! Praise her!

    Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer

    If I started ranting, I may never stop, so I'll try to be as brief as possible... assuming you're genuinely curious.
    Okay; should I take notes? :lol:

    Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
    There are a number of reasons why I so adore this show. Firstly there is the dialogue. As a script-writer myself, I can only sit back in stunned awe at the word-play that Joss Whedon has wrought, and marvel at the cast's ability to pass such obviously polished writing off as casual asides. Many writers have their own "style" of dialogue, but only rarely do they find suitable mouths for their characters' voices to come out of. John Waters only manages it with one or two cast members per film... Tarantino has a fair hit rate... but with Buffy, Whedon was truly blessed. Of course, there's no such thing as perfection, and many actors failed to rise to the challenge, but overall, in terms of craftsmanship, the show is quite an achievement.
    I understand what you are saying, and I believe it has a certain validity. The fundamental premise of the show irritates me slightly, as did the original movie on which it was loosely based. (With Donald Sutherland.) The TV shows are clearly superior in many respects to that very odd-ball movie, of course.

    The fight choreography is, at times, giggle-inducing, but that's a technical feature on which I'm sufficiently expert that I'm very hard to please. It's clearly designed as eye-candy, and it isn't really central to the show's success -- although it's a feature. Recently, I was preparing one of my TKD students, a Stanford graduate student, for her red belt test in TKD. Helping her with the technical aspects of a flashy 1-step defense, she executed a complex flurry of circular kicks to the head and said, "Wow, if they do a remake of Buffy, I'll be ready." I did a double-take, then I understood the reference. Clearly, you guys aren't alone in your admiration. It has become a sort of icon; my indifference is a purely subjective response.

    Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
    If you don't rate TV serial drama as a medium or (dare I say it?) "artform", then obviously that isn't going to impress you much, but for those of us who have had to sit in lecture rooms watching the bad stuff, we can't help praising the good stuff when we see it! Likewise, the plotting was often of the finest quality... with most episodes containing enough laugh-out-loud comedy, and tear-jerking tragedy to satisfy any student of drama... often the comedy and tragedy would come in a single scene, or even a single line. The show can consistently break your heart and tickle your ribs on a weekly basis, and that is nothing to be sniffed at.
    Well, I've got, shall we say, "doubts" about the ultimate value of TV drama, and a lot of movies, too, while we're on this subject. I perceive a lot of what is done as basically manipulative rather than artistic. If I find I can predict the course of the drama with some accuracy after 10 minutes of viewing, I'm put off. Buffy on this score is above par, but let's not go overboard.

    Don't take my reaction as typical or judgemental. I'm just saying most of this stuff is not for me. I stopped watching TV regularly in the late '70s. I've seen bits and pieces of things since, and even a few complete episodes of shows at times. I started getting uncomfortable with the medium when the fundamental passivity of the activity started to irk me, as well as the one-sided nature of the transaction -- it's more as if the film maker is trying to pull one's strings than engage in the two-way transactional process that is typical of good art. There are cinematic exceptions, but to enumerate them would be tedious as well as pointless. To each his own.

    Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
    Obviously the latter seasons got a little too self-referential, as the snake began to eat its own tail, but when the show was up to speed, it was (imho) the only game in town.

    If you're not familiar with the show, then you might not appreciate how it experimented with the "form", so there's no point going into all of that, but suffice to say that anyone who watches the episode where Buffy's mother dies, and still claims that the series is nothing more than dumb teen-angst fantasy really isn't paying attention.
    I don't think that's all there is to the series. Obviously, there are other things at work.

    Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
    At the end of the day, one man's meat is another man's poison, so there's no point going on about the more subjective elements of the show's appeal, but as far as pop-culture goes, Buffy is as deep as it gets. Obviously that won't be deep enough for those who prefer their culture without the "pop", but I'm quite happy to be tarred with any brush you choose to use if it means I can keep my Buffy tapes.
    You seem overly concerned about being "tarred with" a brush of some sort. I pass no judgement. I've already gone into a discussion on this cast of mind: I'm observing without judgement. No one wishes to take your tapes away. We'll defend your right to have your tapes, and it's no one's business what you watch.

    Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer

    PS. Angel on the other hand, I really can't defend. ;)
    I was wondering whether you were going to soft-pedal that one. :lol:

    LSN

  • #2
    Anyone who Like Joss Whedon should Pick Up The current run of Astonishing X-Men. Im a huge X-Men fan, so im picky about writers.Whedon has been writing it and its incredible.

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    • #3
      I really enjoy Smallville. I think it could do with a dose of Buffy humour. The reason I enjoy it, is because the writers do an above average job of creating situations for Clark that are genuinely difficult to overcome. The Jor-El arch stuff is lame. But the development of Lex Luthor is good stuff. His superpower is apparently invulnerability of the lucky sort. Meteor rocks are a good device too.

      I refuse to talk about Enterprise.
      The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

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      • #4
        Thanks for the X-Men tip McTalbayne.

        Berry - I'm going to have to try some Smallville next time it's being shown. Superman after all did kind of start the whole superhero ball rolling.

        Dee - my admiration for the Spiderman stuff is probably based more than a little on the duckling principle that Mike often mentions, as Spiderman was pretty much one of the first comic books I encountered as a youth. But you have to agree that some of the elements of Buffy are drawn from the Spiderman mould and Spiderman references crop up more than a few times during the series, comments about spider senses tingling etc. Your observation about a potential Spideman series being more difficult to write due to its own cult status makes sense. I guess they'd have to rewrite in a similar way that the films have done in order to give any potential writers scope to create, so long as they kept to the overall spirit of the original. I still hold out hope, but it will never happen so long as the film franchise is going so strongly.

        Firefly DVD set for آ£15 is a total bargain. I got mine for آ£29 and even that was a bargain. There are some filler episodes, but by and large its all good stuff.

        PS I just watched Buffy series 7 episodes 1 - 10 at one sitting.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
          I really enjoy Smallville. I think it could do with a dose of Buffy humour... But the development of Lex Luthor is good stuff.
          I did enjoy it, but I'm too impatient to see Lex turn totally evil. There was that episode where we saw a vision of his destiny as the sky turned blood red and the flowers turned to bleached skulls (or something equally apocalyptic), and I got a chill... but then the next week he was back to listening to Lana whine about her coffee shop. I'm just not a big enough fan of Superman to hang around waiting for the "villain" to really get on a roll... but the Luthors are fantastic. I've been a fan of that Lionel Luthor chap ... er... John Glover... ever since Gremlins 2.

          Originally posted by Grey Mouser
          But you have to agree that some of the elements of Buffy are drawn from the Spiderman mould and Spiderman references crop up more than a few times during the series, comments about spider senses tingling etc.
          Absolutely, and you're right that much of Buffy's "hero angst" is derivative of Spidey. I suppose I was just never a fan of the big name comic books, so I don't have the same attachment to these characters. Now, if they made a film about Guy Gardner (the one true Green Lantern of Earth) I'd be interested... it's unlikely that one would ever get the "green light" (ho ho) though.

          This morning I saw images from a mooted Buffy cartoon series. The designs look quite nice, but I'm not sure I really want to see them go back in time to the highschool years. One of the nice things about the series was that the characters were allowed to "mature"... also, I feel Kim Possible is rather like a children's cartoon version of Buffy, so I'm not sure there's much point (beyond the financial incentive). Oh, and if you thought the Buffy actresses were ridiculously skinny, just wait until you see their cartoon counterparts!
          "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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          • #6
            Guy Gardners' a joke. Hal Jordan all the way baby! :lol:

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            • #7
              I'm going to use this as an excuse to segue into a mention of Joss's far future comicbook series Fray (another Vampire slayer):

              http://www.greenmanreview.com/book/b...edon_fray.html

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              • #8
                Oh yes! Good move! There was a Fray story in the excellent Tales of the Slayers graphic novel, and I have an issue of the series which really did whet my appetite. Generally I don't buy the spin-offs unless they're written by the people who worked on the TV shows... which doesn't make sense from a logical point of view (favouring comics written by TV writers, rather than comics writers) but that book is great, and I must pick up Fray and Tales of the Vampires sometime... when I have money...
                "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                Comment


                • #9
                  I bought Frey today. Here's a snippet from the introduction by Joss:

                  ...The idea for Buffy the Vampire Slayer came from that same lack I had felt as a child. Where are the girls? Girls who can fight, who can stand up for themselves, who have opinions and fears and cute outfits? Buffy was designed to fill that void in movies - and then ultimately TV. And the whole Slayer thing kinda took off...
                  I'm a third of the way in and enjoying it so far. Almost reads like a high class storyboard for a miniseries. She's like a cross between Faith and Buffy, and different all at the same time. Oh, and she works for a fish.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Buffy... Praise her! Praise her!

                    Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                    PS. Angel on the other hand, I really can't defend. ;)
                    Good mindless fun though.
                    Arma virumque cano.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Angel is more hit and miss than Buffy but still a very watchable series. I liked the idea of having a corrupt multi-plannar institution as the big bad and principle antagonist.

                      I finished the Fray. Plenty of twists and modifications of the original 'mythos'

                      I recommend a book called Reading the Vampire Slayer, a collection of essays on aspects of the series by scholars and critics.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Grey Mouser
                        Angel is more hit and miss than Buffy but still a very watchable series. I liked the idea of having a corrupt multi-plannar institution as the big bad and principle antagonist.

                        I finished the Fray. Plenty of twists and modifications of the original 'mythos'

                        I recommend a book called Reading the Vampire Slayer, a collection of essays on aspects of the series by scholars and critics.
                        Sounds interesting Grey. I always have students who are interested in Buffy's academic merits. Who is the editor?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here it is on Amazon Doc, a collection of ten essays:

                          http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...478770-9934815

                          I'm not a very scholarly person but found it an absorbing read.

                          LSN might be interested in essay no. 8, which focuses on the fighting.

                          8. Dave West's "'Concentrate on the kicking movie': "Buffy" and East Asian Cinema" argues that "BtVS" draws thematically on the entire tradition of East Asian cinema while using those themes in a decidedly different context. However, surprisingly West draws more upon the films of Akira Kurosawa, most notably "Seven Samurai" and "Yojimbo," rather than the Hong Kong martial art films that seem an obvious reference point. The more you know Kurosawa, the more you will enjoy this essay.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Grey Mouser
                            Here it is on Amazon Doc, a collection of ten essays:

                            http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...478770-9934815

                            I'm not a very scholarly person but found it an absorbing read.

                            LSN might be interested in essay no. 8, which focuses on the fighting.

                            8. Dave West's "'Concentrate on the kicking movie': "Buffy" and East Asian Cinema" argues that "BtVS" draws thematically on the entire tradition of East Asian cinema while using those themes in a decidedly different context. However, surprisingly West draws more upon the films of Akira Kurosawa, most notably "Seven Samurai" and "Yojimbo," rather than the Hong Kong martial art films that seem an obvious reference point. The more you know Kurosawa, the more you will enjoy this essay.
                            As a professional I can tell that opinions are divergent on the subject. Basically they range from "Yeah they're trying to do the hong asian thing but it's pathetic and it looks like the West has no decent martial artists" (my position :lol: ) to "man that rocks it's a whole new horizon for us white stunties"... ahem, no material for an essay here...I might have to read the thing :lol:

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the link, Mouser!

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