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General thoughts on BtVS S9 as a whole.

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  • General thoughts on BtVS S9 as a whole.

    Edit: In the most general sense; aside from Joss Whedon wanting to do the abortion storyline, post-BtVS S8 seemed to be about:

    * Bringing magic back.

    * Trying to break up and 'end' Buffy/Spike and this includes Angel thinking Buffy/Spike has ended -- and these things seem to be something 'Dark Horse' wants, not something Joss wants.

    * Trying to 'redeem' Angel so that he thinks he can be with Buffy again and trying to redeem him in the readers' eyes -- for those who even think he needed to be redeemed after BtVS S8 -- so that Buffy/Angel can happen again.

    * Having about all the Slayers no longer work with Buffy and have Spider and Co., Beck, Groo, Gwen, etc. not even mentioned so that Angel still seems important -- and therefore undustable -- given he's a supernatural demon killer.

    And this seems to be why comparatively little happens in BtVS S9.

    It's essentially about 'getting past' what happened in BtVS S8 and having Spike be standoffish with Buffy and act like she doesn't love him or want to be with him. End of edit

    This is my response to this thread from post #522 and after.

    * Billy wasn’t calling himself a Slayer because of gender issues. The problem with Billy is something akin to say if BtVS S7 Andrew Wells called himself Captain America and thought he actually has Captain America’s abilities. And then in the fight in “Chosen” (7.22) is killing Turok-han better and more easily than actual Slayers were.

    Joss Whedon is not responsible for the marketing of the comics. Dark Horse, Jane Espenson, and Drew Z. Greenberg were ‘trumpeting’ a “Male Slayer” which turned into a “gay male character on BtVS who’s a Slayer”, etc.

    Joss already in BtVS S2 had a gay male character. He made the ‘bully jock’ a gay male and then had some fun with Xander-Larry interactions. After Seth Green decided to leave the show, Joss eventually decided Willow was gay, Tara soon joined the show, and Willow/Tara was done so well it became more popular than the Willow/Oz relationship and Willow/Tara is one of the most popular relationships in the Buffyverse.

    Vampire in Rug

    * In AtS, Illyria was jumping through time (and then brought Angel along with her). She wasn’t going to ‘possible timelines’. Thus, she was actually going through time in the ‘timeslips’ in AtF.

    None of the timeslips contradicted each other.

    Anyway, it seems those are being ignored in the Dark Horse comics.

    * I still haven’t even read the Dark Horse Presents stuff regarding Billy.


    When [Joss] first wrote the Fray series, he was sure that it would never cross over with BtVS.
    That’s not true given Fray is the Buffyverse 200 years into the future. He had the Scythe in BtVS S7. In Tales of the Slayers – which came out in Nov. 2001 – Fray is reading up on Buffy and other past Slayers. In Fray , the Scythe isn’t even featured until Issue 6 of 8 and it came out in Mar. 2002. Fray 8 of 8 came out in Jul. 2003.


    * There’s no general “ism” against Billy and it makes no sense Joss Whedon or Jane Espenson would think that. Willow/Tara is more popular than Willow/Oz. Tara is a popular character. Willow’s popularity didn’t decrease after Joss decided she’s a lesbian.


    * The A Song of Fire and Ice books by George RR Martin and the Buffyverse isn’t comparable. Those books are essentially about noble families vying and positioning for power. I’ve only watched Game of Thrones , but the ‘verse is essentially ‘actual history’ mixed in with magical elements.

    It was much more difficult to make say Spike’s, Willow’s, and Wesley’s journeys believable than it was for GRR Martin to make Tyrion and Jaime Lannister likeable.


    * Joss completely owns Fray . He has no incentive to change that future. In ways, his making a Fray movie or TV show is more plausible than his making a BtVS movie or TV show.


    * Unwarranted blame was put on Buffy in BtVS S9. Willow blames Buffy for breaking the Seed. Xander blames her for breaking the Seed and having sex with Angel. Kennedy blames her for Giles’s death. Spike blames her for being a robot and then blames her for not leaving San Francisco with him. Willow abandons her. Spike abandons her. Willow only comes back when Willow’s full of magic. Spike only comes back because Dawn’s in danger.


    To be perfectly blunt, I don't give a rat's patootie about Fray, so ultimately it does not matter to me if they 'set it up.'

    I didn't read Fray. Didn't want to read Fray. Was not interested in Fray. Still not interested in Fray.
    Did you also not read Tales of the Slayers and Tales of the Vampires ?

    Fray is like a well-written big budget movie. It’s great. And frankly it’s more likely to remain canon than BtVS S8 and after is.


    There was a huge blowback over Joss having killed Tara that was connected to her having been a minority character.
    No, there wasn’t. Some complained that he killed a gay character. But no one complained when he killed Larry. The blowback and decrease in ratings is because Willow/Tara was popular and those who were watching the show for Willow/Tara stopped watching after Tara was killed off. It wasn’t much different from the decrease in ratings after BtVS S4 because Angel and Cordelia were no longer on the show.


    Buffy front and centre telling us Billy belongs. Jeanty should have drawn hypno eyes on her to lull us to the desired 'yes Buffy, Billy belongs'. Awful.
    That’s unfair and inaccurate. Buffy had Dowling and Billy as her ‘new Scoobies’ because her ‘old Scoobies’ had abandoned her, no Slayers – to her knowledge – are working with her, and Spike left her again.


    * The world-building in Fray and in Firefly is excellent.

    Either way, Fray is a vastly inferior work to BtVS
    It’s not and it’s unfair to compare an 8-Issue graphic novel to a 144 episode hour-long drama.


    * Kennedy hate is real. Her popularity (pre-BtVS S8) was on the level of Riley and Dawn.


    * The audience was given plenty of in-‘verse reason to dislike Kennedy. Kennedy only started to become likable in the comics because Willow was cheating on her, Willow dumped her, Kennedy talked some sense into Satsu about Buffy not being gay, and Kennedy got Slayers lucrative employment.


    I had always hypothesized that Tara was the most Mary Sue, preachy, Teflon Scooby evah
    Tara sabotaged a spell that was supposed to find demons. Tara later made the Scoobies not be able to see demons and that resulted in their lives being in grave danger. If Buffy hadn’t been there, some of them probably would have been killed. If Spike hadn’t been there, Buffy would have been in more danger. And Tara assumed she was about to turn into an evil being herself. Later on, Tara is the most supportive of the ‘Bring Buffy Back’ plan and essentially tells Xander that Willow is not doing anything remotely dangerous. Willow ‘brainwashes’ Tara, tries to ‘brainwash’ Buffy, and Tara has to move out of the Summers’ residence – even though she’s essentially Dawn’s mother now – and has to go find another place to live. Then Tara later on crawls back to Willow and is soon accidentally shot and killed.

    * Billy isn’t Xander given Xander was never made into a soldier much less a ‘Slayer’.

    one of the most common BtVS fandom memes about Willow is, "Why isn't Willow forced to eat more dirt/shunned/etc. for XYZ reason?"
    No, it’s not. Willow was the third most popular character in the Buffyverse. If the sales figures of Willow: Wonderland are an indication – which they may not be given how important that miniseries was to the Buffyverse (was magic going to come back?) – Willow is still a popular character. Willow’s obsession with magic put the world at risk in BtVS S8 and in BtVS S9 and some commented on that.


    * For BtVS S7, Buffy/Spike never resulted in the ‘destruction’ of the ‘Scooby’ friendships. Buffy was fighting a war. Xander and Anya were mostly useless for that (other than Anya going to see the Beloxius Eye), and Willow for most of the Season was afraid to use magic. Giles was simply against Buffy being with Spike (perhaps because of the SuperSlayer and SuperVampire Prophecy).

    * Xander’s ‘type’ is a hot chick who is supernatural. Cordelia herself he mostly only went for because she was a member of the Scooby Gang and he couldn’t have Buffy. Reneee and Dawn are his ‘type’.

    I think it's practically canon that Willow crushed on Buffy
    Faith was ‘taking over’ as Buffy’s best friend and Willow was jealous of that. It’s possible there is lesbian subtext in Willow’s jealousy, but it’s merely a possibility.

    Local Maximum

    Even season one, which played up the Willow/Xander/Buffy triangle.
    There was never a Willow/Xander/Buffy triangle.

    With Angel/Riley/late Spike, it's hard to evaluate how much role they had outside being Buffy's love interest
    Angel was pretty much only Buffy’s love interest until AtS. Riley in BtVS S4 had the Initiative and in BtVS S5 is simply a soon-to-be done away obstacle to the ‘start’ of Buffy/Spike. In BtVS S6, Spike only became Buffy’s love interest. In BtVS S7, he also had his connection to the First Evil.


    * Riley and Billy have about nothing in common.

    during [BtVS S4], and quite a while after it, any talk by the writers from Joss on down focused exclusively on the B/A vs. B/R 'shipping conflict as if that was the only substance to criticism of Riley.
    I don’t remember that given there’s weren’t B/R ‘shippers to any significant extent. The conflict was already B/A vs. B/S and Riley was simply in the way.

    What the writers did say is that a lot of B/A fans would be against any new relationship for Buffy. Some B/A fans wanted Buffy and Angel together even though Angel was on another network. They had “I Will Remember You” (A 1.08).

    now criticism of Billy is apparently being interpreted by the writers as stemming exclusively from homophobia.
    I don’t recall Joss speaking out on the criticism of Billy. Nor do I recall Jane Espenson, Drew Z. Greenberg, or Andrew Chambliss saying anything.

    * Douglas Petrie seemed to generally like Riley. I don’t recall any of the other writers liking Riley. Most of the love in BtVS S4 from the writers went to Spike (whom Douglas Petrie liked more than he liked Riley).


    I wouldn't have minded if Willow stayed single during season 7, or even if they got her back together with a guy. Not that I have anything against her being gay, I mean, it was great and all... But I always considered Willow a character that was beyond tags. She could be gay if she wanted, and stop being gay if she preferred to. Or she could be gay and still fall for a man (specially one she already loved, like Xander or Oz), or not.
    That’s not how it works. One cannot “stop” being gay. Joss could have made Willow bisexual, but he decided she was gay and that meant all future relationships Willow has would be with women.


    the fact that Buffy has rivalry issues with Dawn over Xander
    Buffy’s not into Xander; therefore, there is no rivalry.

    * Buffy’s “moments” in BtVS S9 were her realizing she wants a domestic middle class lifestyle, she may want children, and she defines herself as being The Slayer and is willing to give up lucrative job opportunities in order to continue as The Slayer.

    Buffy has a lot more story than Xander had. Xnader’s story is mostly a less sympathetic rehash of “Selfless” (7.05) given Buffy has more right/authority over what to do with Dawn than Xander does and given Xander actions in “Selfless” didn’t threaten the entire world or Buffy and Willow’s lives.


    I've been proud of how restrained Spike fans have been about his complete irrelevance to the season.
    Buffy still wants to be with him but she doesn’t want to be poor. Would Eyghon have been killed if Spike weren’t there? Would Dawn have ‘held on’ as well if Spike hadn’t been there? Plus, Spike met someone who can beat him up and who can fly. That someone may well be useful in BtVS S10.
    Last edited by MikeB; 16-11-13, 02:05 PM. Reason: added the edit portion.

  • #2
    * Bringing magic back.
    I have mixed feelings how this 'bringing back magic' was done, as it all seemed to centre on Willow and her trip to Wonderland. I liked how it was done in practicality, with Severin and the seed within the Deeper Well, but all the Willow soul searching didn't work for me and I felt it slowed the season down. I also really hated that Willow didn't miss any opportunity to blame Buffy for the end of magic and took it as a personal attack on herself.

    * Billy wasn’t calling himself a Slayer because of gender issues. The problem with Billy is something akin to say if BtVS S7 Andrew Wells called himself Captain America and thought he actually has Captain America’s abilities. And then in the fight in “Chosen” (7.22) is killing Turok-han better and more easily than actual Slayers were.
    I don't like Billy, I think he undermines everything the first 8 seasons of the show stood for. But I understand he was written to be inclusive and that isn't a bad thing. I do wish that if they had wanted a gay male character, why they didn't give Andrew more to do and write him as a more positive character and allow him to explore his sexuality. By the end of the season, Billy is having Slayer dreams and I wonder if this can be seen as 'foreshadowing' or reflecting Harth Fray.

    * Unwarranted blame was put on Buffy in BtVS S9. Willow blames Buffy for breaking the Seed. Xander blames her for breaking the Seed and having sex with Angel. Kennedy blames her for Giles’s death. Spike blames her for being a robot and then blames her for not leaving San Francisco with him. Willow abandons her. Spike abandons her. Willow only comes back when Willow’s full of magic. Spike only comes back because Dawn’s in danger.
    I have to agree with this. It may not be what the writers were going for, but the more you read S9 the more you see how everyone blames Buffy for virtually everything she does. She can't do right for doing wrong in the eyes of virtually everyone around her. It's amazing Buffy stays as strong as she does, having to cope you all the anger and mistrust others throw at her. As a huge fan of Buffy the character, it really hurts to see everyone against her like this, and especially Xander's betrayal, because they had grown so close in Season 8.

    Of course there isn't enough Spike in the season. It's strange how a major character like Spike has been missing from Buffy's side in seasons 8 and 9. When people say Buffy is always about the men in her life, these two seasons prove that's just not true, because she's absolutely single for these seasons. As a spuffy fan, if I were reading these seasons one issue at a time at release, I would be losing heart that anything was ever going to happen between Buffy and Spike ever again.