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  • Noxon & Sex

    Listening to Conversations With Dead People podcast (good podcast, would recommend) and they were reviewing OMWF. The presenter has never hidden his disdain for Marti Noxon and in this episode he argues that everything Noxon did on this show was about 'sex in general and often twisted, dangerous and unconventional . . . sex' and the significance of her musical number in this episode is about a woman trying to get out of a parking ticked by informing the officer that she's not wearing any underwear.

    I like Noxon's writings (I am a Spuffy fan after all) and I thought that underwear line was just a throwaway line because underwear rhymes with share/care. But am I not giving Whedon the credit he deserves and are any of his lines actually throwaway?

    Anyway, what are your thoughts on Noxon's writing and can she only write about sex, and if so, is that a bad thing?

  • #2
    How do they know she was behind the sex stuff? Most of what I've read suggests it was more Joss than her. The balcony scene was his idea. The invisisex was Fury's and Joss overruled Noxon who thought it was gross. Pretty sure the destroying the house thing was Joss's...

    There are plenty of throwaway lines in the show. Even in the musical, Willow literally says her line is filler.

    Sounds like sexist BS to me.

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    • #3
      No, it is absolutely absurd. Look at her writing credits. It is an insane claim.

      Marti somehow became the scapegoat for everything people don't like about BtVS. People blame her for Spuffy. She has never written a Spuffy episode.

      I'll be in my bunk, enjoying all the gratuitous sex in "Forever," "Living Conditions" and "New Moon Rising."

      Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
      Sounds like sexist BS to me.
      Yeah, there really is no other way to explain it. The guys get away with murder. Marti gets blamed for everything.

      Comment


      • #4
        All caught up.

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





        * Let's also not forget that it was Joss Whedon's idea to have Faith-Buffy bath in a bathtub and then do all the Faith-Buffy/Riley stuff.


        * Marti Noxon was one of the best writers in the TV Whedonverse. And let's not forget she did Sharp Objects and that UnReal is excellent in S1 and went downhill after Marti essentially 'left'.


        * Finally, Buffy/Spike 'Spuffy' scenes are actually less graphic than Buffy/Riley scenes, Angel/Darla scenes, and arguably even Buffy/Angel scenes.

        And the "Smashed" (B 6.09) scene was censored and the Under the Rug scene in "Dead Things" (B 6.13) was censored. Both probably would have been on air had they been between Buffy/Riley.


        EDIT: Marti Noxon was the 'showrunner' for the most successful TV Whedonverse Season: BtVS S7. It's actually sad and disheartening that those such as David Fury, Steven DeKnight, and even Jane Espenson had arguably more successful post-BtVS careers. Drew Goddard became a director so Marti-Drew isn't exactly a fair comparison.
        Last edited by MikeB; 16-01-20, 10:04 AM. Reason: added stuff

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        • #5
          They were cut for time, not "censored". You can rest assured there is way more to the B/R and B/A scenes, too, but no dailies surfaced of those.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
            They were cut for time, not "censored". You can rest assured there is way more to the B/R and B/A scenes, too, but no dailies surfaced of those.
            I would actually love to see the dailies from those scenes. I do wonder how different they were to the Buffy/Spike scenes. Can't believe they aren't out there, just waiting to be uploaded.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Priceless View Post
              I would actually love to see the dailies from those scenes. I do wonder how different they were to the Buffy/Spike scenes. Can't believe they aren't out there, just waiting to be uploaded.
              They might not be. The dailies are just unprinted scenes on VHS, that's why they are crappy quality. I believe the story is someone fished the ones we have out of the dumpster. They could very well still exist--I know the original Beneath You scene did--but odds are they were destroyed.

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              • #8
                All caught up

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




                * I never heard of any Buffy/Angel or Buffy/Riley sexy scene or sex scenes being censored.


                * The Dumpster scene in "DoubleMeat Palace" (B 6.12) was censored. The scene was redone during the filming of "As You Were" (B 6.15).

                The Under the Rug scene in "Dead Things" (B 6.13) was censored. The opening of "Dead Things" (B 6.13) was redone because of it.

                The "Smashed" (B 6.09) ending scene had a few seconds of Buffy's upright riding Spike. It was censored, not 'cut for time'.

                The only Buffy/Spike scene I recall that was possibly 'cut for time' is the ending scene of "Out of My Mind" (B 5.04). I remember for at least a few years offering $5,500 for the dailies for that scene because it was rumored to be an actual sex scene was hotter than any subsequent Buffy/Spike sex scene. The scene was also done at the height of certain rumors... and I wanted to see that.


                * The Alley Scene in "Dead Things" (B 6.13) was also censored. Buffy beat Spike's face to a pulp in around 6 blows. I'm glad it was censored because it implied that Buffy was perhaps stronger than Glory.


                EDIT: Most of the BtVS S6 dailies are 'Spuffy' episodes. Outside of the Attempted Rape dailies, I have all the dailies known to 'be out there'. I still haven't watched all of them--I've watched all the 'Spuffy' stuff.

                The dailies aren't much worse than DVD-quality. They simply aren't the 'Buffy in HD' quality.
                Last edited by MikeB; 16-01-20, 10:37 AM.

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                • #9
                  I like Noxon's writings (I am a Spuffy fan after all) and I thought that underwear line was just a throwaway line because underwear rhymes with share/care. But am I not giving Whedon the credit he deserves and are any of his lines actually throwaway?
                  Presume it isn't a throwaway line: what's it saying? That the woman's a "wanton hussy" OR she has no recourse to power except what patriarchal society permits/accords/deems her to have? Female sexuality is a battlefield.

                  Personally, I don't think there are that many "throwaway" lines in BtVS - particularly the later seasons. In fact, I think "asides" are probably more important than "speeches" - it fits with the idea that certain things are lost/will be lost to history (like the bloody scythe was, like The Guardians were).

                  I like Noxon. As Hardly There says, a lot of the criticism aimed at her is sexist BS.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MikeB View Post
                    All caught up

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




                    * I never heard of any Buffy/Angel or Buffy/Riley sexy scene or sex scenes being censored.


                    * The Dumpster scene in "DoubleMeat Palace" (B 6.12) was censored. The scene was redone during the filming of "As You Were" (B 6.15).

                    The Under the Rug scene in "Dead Things" (B 6.13) was censored. The opening of "Dead Things" (B 6.13) was redone because of it.

                    The "Smashed" (B 6.09) ending scene had a few seconds of Buffy's upright riding Spike. It was censored, not 'cut for time'.

                    The only Buffy/Spike scene I recall that was possibly 'cut for time' is the ending scene of "Out of My Mind" (B 5.04). I remember for at least a few years offering $5,500 for the dailies for that scene because it was rumored to be an actual sex scene was hotter than any subsequent Buffy/Spike sex scene. The scene was also done at the height of certain rumors... and I wanted to see that.


                    * The Alley Scene in "Dead Things" (B 6.13) was also censored. Buffy beat Spike's face to a pulp in around 6 blows. I'm glad it was censored because it implied that Buffy was perhaps stronger than Glory.


                    EDIT: Most of the BtVS S6 dailies are 'Spuffy' episodes. Outside of the Attempted Rape dailies, I have all the dailies known to 'be out there'. I still haven't watched all of them--I've watched all the 'Spuffy' stuff.

                    The dailies aren't much worse than DVD-quality. They simply aren't the 'Buffy in HD' quality.
                    No, they are VHS quality because that's what the avid output is for dailies that the producers can look at. Developing film costs money. Producers look at a scene on those outputs, choose which they want then that scene is printed from the film negative.

                    No, they were cut for time or irrelevance like 1000 other scenes and lines of dialogue cut throughout the show.

                    There were dozens of S6 dailies DVDs and a hell of a lot more than just the Spuffy scenes. Those are just the ones that sold and were put online because Spuffy fans paid for them, not the outtakes of Xander and Anya talking or the gang dancing at the Bronze.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The Marti Noxon hate mostly stemmed from misogynistic bullshit. She was mostly a scapegoat for things people disliked about BtVS which at the time they weren't willing to hold Whedon accountable for. Funnily enough, had BtVS taken place in 2020, I think people would be a lot more willing to hold Whedon to task and would probably be a lot more lenient on Noxon.

                      The fandom's opinion of Marti has always been really strange, to say the least. For a start, Noxon regularly gets credited for Spuffy (or blamed depending on what your persuasion is) despite not writing any significant Spuffy episodes at all. This is her official writing list;

                      What's My Line, Part One
                      What's My Line, Part Two
                      Bad Eggs
                      Surprise
                      Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
                      I Only Have Eyes for You
                      Dead Man's Party
                      Beauty and the Beasts
                      The Wish
                      Consequences
                      The Prom
                      Living Conditions
                      Wild at Heart
                      Doomed
                      Goodbye Iowa
                      New Moon Rising
                      Buffy vs. Dracula
                      Into the Woods" (writer/director)
                      Forever (writer/director)
                      Bargaining, Part One
                      Wrecked
                      Villains
                      Bring on the Night


                      Like, not a single Spuffy episode in sight. And none of these episodes have pretty memorable or remarkable Spuffy scenes either. On the other hand, she did write Surprise, I Only Have Eyes For You, Beauty and the Beasts and The Prom which are all pretty Bangel-centric episodes and Forever which has one of the only few Bangel scenes post-S3. After that she penned two of the most pivotal Willow/Oz episodes with Wild At Heart and New Moon Rising and some very Ruffy-centric episodes like Doomed, Goodbye Iowa and of course Into the Woods. Arguably, Spuffy is the one ship she had the least involvement with. So where she gets this reputation, either good or bad, as being a Spuffy writer I have no idea

                      As a writer I think she's mostly pretty great. Episodes like Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, I Only Have Eyes For You, The Wish, Prom and New Moon Rising are some my absolute favourites. I also really enjoy episodes like Surprise, Consequences, Wild At Heart, Living Conditions, Buffy VS Dracula and Bargaining Part One. Whedon also credited her with completely overhauling Halloween even though she's not credited and I adore that episode.

                      IMO, her only real clunkers are Doomed (the string scene is insulting), Wrecked (embarrassing in many ways) and Bring on the Night (where S7 goes downhill). However, Bad Eggs is really disliked (I personally have never really figured out why) as is Dead Man's Party and Beauty and the Beasts so I'd say she's written some objective failures as well. A lot of the fandom hate I've seen for her is also due to the fact that she wrote Into the Woods and people despise that episode and how it "blames" Buffy for the Buffy/Riley breakup.

                      I do think she's a better writer than a show runner, though. I've seen interviews by other writers (I'm struggling to remember who - possibly Fury or Petrie) who said that Noxon really struggled in S6 without Whedon's continuous presence on set and she seemed unsure as to what decisions to make often. I do think the quality dipped starting in S6 and then pretty rapidly in S7 and as captain of the ship (on a day to day basis anyway) she should reasonably be held accountable for that. However, I think there was outside factors contributing to that as well including the fact that the show was ageing and like the majority of the shows in their advancing years, they start to lose steam. And I'd also lay a lot of that blame on Whedon too seeing as how he's the guy who ran off to focus on Firefly whilst still being executive producer on BtVS.

                      But there's definitely a sexist edge to the criticisms against her. And it's easy to get roped in into blaming her for many of the faults of the series. I fell into that trap in my younger years because I'd seen it said so often I just assumed it to be true. She did a lot of really great work on the series and penned some amazing episodes. I'd argue she's absolutely one of the strongest writers after Whedon himself.

                      I can't say I love listening to her commentaries though. I assume she's just being self-deprecating and hard on herself but if you ever listen to her DVD commentary of Bargaining she pretty much just insults the episode and rips it to shreds. It's a little bizarre considering she both worked on the show and wrote the episode

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                      • #12
                        The problem with writing credits is they are only the writer that wrote the episode. All the scenes were created by the team, not that specific writer. A credited writer really only just writes the dialogue. There is more to it, of course, but they are following a strict outline created by the whole staff, not writing the whole thing themselves from scratch. Spuffy getting together in Smashed wasn't Greenberg's idea or choice, he just happened to be the writer of the ep it happened in.

                        I think MN gets blame because it was widely believed Joss walked away during S6 and it was a free-for-all for them to blame it all on her. Joss was still heavily involved with the writing decisions. Marti was showrunner, but she wasn't the storyline shotcaller. Joss still was. Marti was tasked with the handling day-to-day stuff. Making sure the day was made, checking dailies and all that. Basically the dirty work.

                        I do not think she was particularly good at it. There seemed to be a big communication breakdown between the set and writers room. But in MN's defense, that could be rooted in not being the one to make all the decisions. Her abilities seemed to improve when she had more oversight and decision-making power.

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                        • #13
                          I remember Drew Z Greenberg saying that Joss was present when they mixed the music for the Buffy/Spike scene in smashed, and we know he rewrote a few fairly small scenes, and that he was the one behind (no pun intended) the balcony scene in Dead Things. If he's aware and working on small scenes and details, I think it's fair to say he's pretty much in control. Again, it's a fandom thing where people arrange reality to fit their narrative; in this case, everything wrong about S6 (which, according to some people, was everything) is on Noxon, and everything great in on Whedon.
                          I think we underestimate the influence that Noxon has had on the show from pretty much S2 forward, even when she is not credited as a writer. Check out Joss's defense of her at the time, and you'll see she did a lot more than what she's credited for.
                          You don't like her writing/style/darker tone ? Fine. But so much of the criticism aimed at her is incredibly misogynistic in nature : people saying the Spike/Buffy arc was just an excuse to get JM naked, ranting about how she's a hysterical psycho working out her issues, wishing her death and other terrible things (including losing her baby when she was pregnant)... Ugh
                          What a challenge, honesty
                          What a struggle to learn to speak
                          Who would've thought that pretending was easier

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
                            The problem with writing credits is they are only the writer that wrote the episode. All the scenes were created by the team, not that specific writer. A credited writer really only just writes the dialogue. There is more to it, of course, but they are following a strict outline created by the whole staff, not writing the whole thing themselves from scratch. Spuffy getting together in Smashed wasn't Greenberg's idea or choice, he just happened to be the writer of the ep it happened in.

                            I think MN gets blame because it was widely believed Joss walked away during S6 and it was a free-for-all for them to blame it all on her. Joss was still heavily involved with the writing decisions. Marti was showrunner, but she wasn't the storyline shotcaller. Joss still was. Marti was tasked with the handling day-to-day stuff. Making sure the day was made, checking dailies and all that. Basically the dirty work.

                            I do not think she was particularly good at it. There seemed to be a big communication breakdown between the set and writers room. But in MN's defense, that could be rooted in not being the one to make all the decisions. Her abilities seemed to improve when she had more oversight and decision-making power.
                            Oh absolutely. This idea that whoever wrote an episode is to blame for whatever major plot points happens in it is always really naive and completely misunderstands how TV shows are written. As you say, the writers room gets together and breaks down the episodes together and then the writer scripts the dialogue. It's ridiculous to assume that, for instance, DeKnight decided Spike should try and rape Buffy and wrote that of his own accord or Noxon decided she wanted to breakup Buffy/Angel so she wrote The Prom that way. Critiques about plot points should be directed at Whedon, the writer's room in general, or a specific writer if it has been confirmed it was their idea (and even then Whedon had to sign off on it).

                            Critiques for individual writers should mostly come down to the dialogue and basic writing. For instance, I think Espenson is notorious for breaking character just to tell a joke. I think there's evidence of that throughout her episodes that is down to her own writing as opposed to major plot points in that episode that would've been decided by everyone.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Definitely agree about Espenson. I know fandom loves her, but she is not one of my favorite writers for that reason. All her episodes have a scene or two where someone throws out a world-breaking joke. But again, Joss does polish on every script, so that's his fault too. The writers all had their own talents so Jane got eps that were meant to be comedic most of the time and Marti got the break-up stuff because those were their perceived strengths.

                              I am pretty sure it was Marti that was in the editing bay with DZG. They were talking about the zipper sound, both shrugged and left it in. But Joss was definitely still working on the scripts in S6. Numerous scenes were his idea. He redid scenes in Hells Bells. This was all back during the Joss Is Infallible days. With him gone and even though he said he was still the boss and all that. TBH, it seemed to me during that time that from about TR onward people were actively wanting to dislike the show.

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