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Was the robot part of the robortion arc a cop out?

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  • Was the robot part of the robortion arc a cop out?

    Season 9 and the robortion arc - do you think the writers took an easy way out of a difficult situation with the robot part of the robortion arc? Had Buffy not suddenly and unexpectly turned out to be a (not pregnant) robot, the writers would have had to make a difficult decision. Buffy would either have had a baby or an abortion.

    We know that abortion is an often heatedly debated topic. Do you think the writers were afraid of that controversy?

    And if they would have gone through with a pregnancy, what do you think would have happened? Would Buffy have become a single mom? Or would she have carried the baby full term and then signed it up for an adoption? Or would she have had the abortion she was telling Spike about?

    What would you want her to do and what do you think would have been most in character for her?

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    I think Buffy would have had the baby and become a slaying single mom
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    I think Buffy would have had the baby and given it up for adoption
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    I think Buffy would have had an abortion
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    I think Buffy would have done something else (please explain in your post)
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    ................................ Banner by buffylover

  • #2
    I dont think it was a cop out because Buffy did decide to have the abortion but didn't have to follow through because she was a robot. But the intent was there. And I loved her going to Spike and how supportive he was .
    ā€œ

    I like who I am when Iā€™m with him. I like who we are together.ā€

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    • #3
      I agree that it wasn't a cop out because they had her make a decision. Sure she could have changed her mind and until it actually happened that was always a possibility, but leaving it as they did it concludes on her choice to abort. I think the robot aspect unfortunately derailed what they had done when really it was a junction where another story diverged from it. But the ludicrous nature of it sadly overshadowed what had gone before to an extent.

      As for what Buffy would have done if not for the robot thang, I'd just have to assume she would have kept with her decision. It's a very individual/personal choice, whether people agree with the varying options themselves or not and we did get to see Buffy face a lot of that indecision and thinking process.

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      • #4
        Exactly what GoSpuffy said. Buffy had made her decision, she spoke to Robin and really thought deeply about it, this wasn't a knee jerk reaction.

        I like the roboabortion idea because Buffy can do all the planning and we see what she would do, but like in Ted, we don't have to spend weeks/months sifting through the aftermath, we just get the emotional heart of the story. It's pretty perfect actually and one of my favourite story lines from the comics. It felt mature and real, grounded in the real world.

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        • #5
          GoSpuffy:
          Buffy did decide to have the abortion but didn't have to follow through because she was a robot
          Yes but that's why the impact of her decision never really hits. There never was a pregnancy after all. There never was an abortion. They kinda took that back in a way similar to how they took back Willow killing Warren (by having Amy save him) or Angel killing Giles (by having Angel resurrect him).

          flow
          ................................ Banner by buffylover

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          • #6
            Originally posted by flow View Post
            GoSpuffy: Yes but that's why the impact of her decision never really hits. There never was a pregnancy after all. There never was an abortion. They kinda took that back in a way similar to how they took back Willow killing Warren (by having Amy save him) or Angel killing Giles (by having Angel resurrect him).

            flow
            I don' think that's quite the same. We do see Willow killing Warren and we have months of Willow trying to get over that (years even) Same with Angel killing Giles. The whole following year is about Angel and Faith trying to reincarnate Giles.

            I personally enjoyed A&F S9, but I don't want to see Buffy discussing her abortion with Dawn and Willow, or worse keeping it secret, then going to the clinic and going through the process. People may hate the roboabortion story, but having to spend the next few months with Buffy wouldn't have been fun. And if she had shown no emotion afterwards, the backlash for that would have been astounding. Nope, I really enjoy what we got, it was enough.

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            • #7
              All caught up.

              All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.




              * The Buffy-Buffybot was used as the reason Spike leaves Buffy so that a Spike miniseries can happen and so that Spike's Special Guest Starring in A&F S9 can happen. Is was very bad storytelling given what had to happen for Buffy to become a Buffy-Buffybot. Spike leaves Buffy topless in her unlocked bedroom while her apartment is full of drunk strangers. And then nothing bad happens to Andrew Wells after the whole thing.

              And it never made sense that Buffy would ever consider having a baby when she doesn't know who the father is and it didn't make sense that Spike would want to raise such a child with her.

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              • #8
                I agree with flow that the robot thing robbed Buffy's decision of any real emotional weight.

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                • #9
                  I don't think they were afraid of anything. The storyline was already written and drawn before it hit the shelves. The scripts are written months in advance. The whole thing was a publicity stunt, much like ol' Buffy-Satsu and spacefrakking.

                  I'm not sure any of this is better than a cop-out. But a cop-out suggests to me they thought they were caught and backed off. I don't think that's the case. It was planned to be dumb.

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                  • #10
                    S9 is where everything went wrong for me so I generally don't find myself defending it but, IMO, the robot storyline was very clearly a metaphor for women's rights/autonomy over their own bodies and the debate around abortion. I don't think it was just about taking the piss and I wouldn't have even minded the idea if it had been executed better.

                    However, I remember being really letdown that the reveal ended with Buffy saying "I'm a f**king robot!?" It seemed like such a dumb, juvenile way to end a cliffhanger on and I remember thinking that they really did themselves a disservice if they were intending to treat this storyline seriously because to say that landed flat was an understatement. Not to mention that whenever the characters swore in the comics it tended to take me out of the story a little because I simply wasn't used to ever hearing them speak that way. That was obviously due to the network television standards of the time but it did mean that the characters each had a distinct "voice" and those voices didn't include cursing, so for them to suddenly be doing it through the comics sounded odd and unlike them. The occasional episode did tease it (Buffy's "What the fu-" in Life Serial etc) but it still never sounded right to me.
                    - "The earth is doomed" -

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                    • #11
                      I couldn't answer it 'cos...well 'cos I dunno. Buffy has deep-seated hangups about Joyce - about Joyce not knowing how much she loved her; fears about Joyce not loving her (because she was the slayer); envy of Dawn's (Little Pumpkin Belly's) relationship with Joyce. She says these things in text so I'm not inferring. They're all understandable and this isn't a criticism of her. The mother/child relationship was important. However, Joyce/Buffy as a Mother/Daughter relationship is a vehicle for something other than character and plot. It's a really good representation of the psycho-social dynamics that perpetuate female oppression. The line "It's always you" to Baby Joyce in S12 is telling.

                      Buffy having an abortion is a positive statement in terms of Women's Rights (I thought the build-up to it was very good) - less so in terms of what Buffy/Joyce symbolises in BtVS. Female lineage is problematic - fragmented when it needn't be (not least because on marriage women tend to lose part of their history by taking the husband's surname. We know Hank's surname - do we know Joyce's?). There's 50% chance the baby would be female and because of the symbolic value, I suspect that if she'd gone through with it, she'd have been made to experience a lot of guilt and trauma. This is a true representation of what some RL women feel but not of the response of others. It's difficult to portray the impact realistically without offending/irritating/annoying someone. There's a possibility they were avoiding a backlash (which I presume is what is meant by "cop-out"). It's a bit of a no-win situation.

                      That said, I thought the resolution was interesting. I find the transhuman/posthumanism threads intriguing and not just Ted and the Buffy Bot. There's the whole of S11. In S11 she can't kill Rudy (even though he asks). In S12 Andrew has the letters R B T next to the Scrabble board - just waiting for the letter O (or 0 - nothing - to be added). You know my views on S12...I can' see this as anything other than negative - I think it quite feasible it's alluding to a future where women are (still) controlled by men/patriarchy/paternalism and don't realise it.

                      MikeB "And it never made sense that Buffy would ever consider having a baby when she doesn't know who the father is and it didn't make sense that Spike would want to raise such a child with her".

                      Sorry Mike but why? It makes sense to me. It's first and foremost HER "baby", irrespective of who the father is. Some single women use sperm banks to have a child. She raised Dawn knowing she wasn't her sister. Spike also protected Dawn. The whole ethos of the programme was non-traditional family.

                      "And then nothing bad happens to Andrew Wells after the whole thing". Nothing bad happens to Andrew at all. In fact, he's in a position of power at the end of S12. He probably wields more influence than Buffy. Perhaps we need to ask why?

                      vampmogs - I understand your point (and to a certain extent agree even though I'm far too free with the word). It seems incongruous but perhaps the profanity has another level of meaning. Despite Spike's objections, the Buffy Bot could be referred to as a "f.....g robot" but robots aren't produced by f.....g. There's a certain irony to it.
                      Last edited by TriBel; 14-02-20, 11:19 AM.
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                      • #12
                        I don't think it matters who the father is. There are many many people in this world believing someone is their father, who is biologically not. Father's don't really feature in Buffy, unless it's Giles who is certainly not Buffy's biological father, so that fits.

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                        • #13
                          If you were around during the fallout of S8, it's pretty clear the whole abortion thing was just a straight-laced version of space-frak/seed-breaking which itself was an abortion metaphor.

                          See, at the end of the S8, much poo was being flung at the writers for things like dumbness, character assassination and the "r" word was being thrown around because #34 was quite rapey going by the text. Joss, Allie and Dark Horse were taken aback by it and subsequently deflected criticism (as he always does), claiming that people were blaming her for breaking the seed rather than banging the season big bad in the middle of a battle. But no one blamed her for breaking the seed. Thus we get S9 where Buffy was roofied at a party and decides to get an abortion.

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                          • #14
                            In a way it's definitely a cop out. A fact that Buffy had decided to abort means nothing if there are no consequences for that. It's like one of my relatives who did get pregnant when she was seventeen, decided to do abortion because she was young, single and unemployed, but was refused for medical reasons. Now she's about fifty and that girl she gave birth to is her only child (not by choice). If her decision to do an abortion then has no impact on her life now, why would anyone care about that? Nobody does. Same with Buffy. It was stupid storyline that had absolutely no meaning. I'm not saying that they should make abortion story real, as I think it was completely unnecessary in the first place, but I also think that you should either go all the way and do meaningful choice, or not to go there at all.

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