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  • #46
    I agree about Anya’s speech. Not only did she witness death as part of her daily job (the cause of it in fact) but I have a hard time believing she wouldn’t have experienced death as Aud given life expectancy etc. It’s a well-written moment when taken on it’s own, and a great moment for EC, but it doesn’t actually make much sense.

    I guess my other unpopular opinion about The Body is that I don’t find it tough to watch at all and I’ve never cried watching it. I think it’s a great episode but it doesn’t pack the same punch for me emotionally as Passion or Forever. I tend not to watch it often because, honestly, I find it a bit of a slog to get through (the tedium/banality that Joss intended as per his commentary) but it has nothing to do with finding it too upsetting.

    Some others;

    - Bad Eggs really isn’t that bad of an episode and far from the show’s worst. It’s a really weird mismatch of ideas (the Gorch’s and the eggs) but the ‘body snatchers’ egg plot is actually really well done for the most part. I genuinely love the B-Horror scene of Buffy slaying the hatchling in her bedroom.

    - The snake demon in Reptile Boy looks great. This is one of the few demons that genuinely creeps me out (probably in part due to my fear of snakes) and I thought he looked great. I’m not sure why it’s hated so much.

    - I like Doublemeat Palace. In fact, I like it a hell of a lot more than the likes of Tabula Rasa, Life Serial, All the Way or Flooded. I like it’s surreal tone and it reminds me of classic MoTW episodes which I have a real fondness for. The scene of Buffy and Willow killing the monster together is fun and refreshing.

    - With that said, the Buffy/Spike scene in Doublemeat Palace when he tells Buffy “you’ve got to get out of here. This place will do things to you. It’ll kill you” is so overblown and ridiculously dramatic. She’s working in a fast food restaurant for heaven’s sake. There’s far, far worse jobs out there and, honestly, it’s kind of insulting to anyone who actually works in one (and all the poor people making ends meet in far worse professions). I always cringe there ‘cause it’s just so silly.

    - Anthony Steward Head was the best actor in the show (no idea of this is unpopular or not). His performances were always subtle, understated and nuanced.

    - Grave is easily the weakest season finale of the show and it’s very obvious that it wasn’t written by Whedon. Buffy is more or less sidelined, the pacing is all off and the staging and effects look silly (Willow shooting blobs out of her boobs). It’s nowhere near as tight as other season finales.

    - Enemies doesn’t cheat and in hindsight the plot makes sense. Granted, they could’ve probably tossed in an extra line to make things more obvious but overall I never had any issues with it and it’s honestly one of my favourite twists. To me it’s clear what happened - Buffy noticed that Faith knew exactly where the light switch was in the apartment > Buffy goes and sees Angel just as Willow suggests > Angel tells Buffy that Faith had blood on her hands and came onto him > in interim the demon Shaman comes to Giles and tells him about The Mayor’s plan > Giles tells Buffy and the 3 of them connect the dots and Giles enlists the Shaman to do his “impressive light show.”

    - Angel did nothing wrong by Buffy in IWRY. If this episode had taken place on BtVS and Buffy, as the protagonist, had made a decision to reverse time I say with great confidence that nobody would even batt an eyelid. I also completely disagree when people who sum up his entire motivation as “not being able to handle not having super powers.”

    - I don’t hate the snake effects in Graduation Day? They do look really horrible when the camera up close (when the Mayor snacks on the students) but from far away and covered in shadows, I actually think it looks ok. It certainly never bothers me in the least when watching the episode.

    - Ted isn’t ruined by the robot reveal. In fact, I find the whole concept really cool and my only regret is there wasn’t enough time to flesh it out more.

    - The season premieres aren’t weak (even Joss says they are). To be honest, I thoroughly enjoy all of them and with the exception of Buffy Vs Dracula (which I still enjoy) they’re some of my favourite episodes of their respective seasons and, IMO, some of the strongest too.

    ~ Banner by Nina ~

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    • TimeTravellingBunny
      TimeTravellingBunny commented
      Editing a comment
      The whole "life expectancy was super short" is one of the many myths about the Middle Ages. Low average life expectancy was because of high infant mortality. If you survived childhood, the life expectancy wasn't that short.

  • #47
    HardlyThere re
    Another unpopular opinion is I wasn't moved by her speech in The Body, either. While Emma does a good job, the whole thing feels contrived and forced. Anya spent 1000 years killing people, so it's not all that believable to me she wouldn't have a concept of the finality of death.
    Whenever The Body is mentioned everyone jumps to that speech. And I agree, it's not even that remarkable. And also it's by Anya who had literally nothing to do with Joyce. I am not sure we ever saw them interacting. If you are looking for a speech, there is Willow, who doesn't know which outfit to pick which is really more touching than talking about fruit punch. If you are looking for an emotional scene there is Buffy sitting alone on her mother's bed and there is also Dawn reaching out to touch her mother's body in the morgue. If you are looking for something shocking there is Joyce coming back to life in the ambulance only for us to find out we've been misled. But Anya's speech? Hell no. Anya mainly is devastated because Xander is crying.


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

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    • #48
      Originally posted by flow View Post
      HardlyThere re Whenever The Body is mentioned everyone jumps to that speech. And I agree, it's not even that remarkable. And also it's by Anya who had literally nothing to do with Joyce. I am not sure we ever saw them interacting. If you are looking for a speech, there is Willow, who doesn't know which outfit to pick which is really more touching than talking about fruit punch. If you are looking for an emotional scene there is Buffy sitting alone on her mother's bed and there is also Dawn reaching out to touch her mother's body in the morgue. If you are looking for something shocking there is Joyce coming back to life in the ambulance only for us to find out we've been misled. But Anya's speech? Hell no. Anya mainly is devastated because Xander is crying.


      flow
      Yep you're correct. There is not 1 scene between Anna and Joyce before the Body that's why it feels flat to me to.

      vampmogs that about ASH being the best actor isn't an unpopular opinion. JM has regularly admitted he (and AD) are better actors than him while the writers regularly praise ASH while openly admitting they give him the worst material (exposition) to work with.

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      • #49
        Originally posted by flow View Post
        HardlyThere re Whenever The Body is mentioned everyone jumps to that speech. And I agree, it's not even that remarkable. And also it's by Anya who had literally nothing to do with Joyce. I am not sure we ever saw them interacting. If you are looking for a speech, there is Willow, who doesn't know which outfit to pick which is really more touching than talking about fruit punch. If you are looking for an emotional scene there is Buffy sitting alone on her mother's bed and there is also Dawn reaching out to touch her mother's body in the morgue. If you are looking for something shocking there is Joyce coming back to life in the ambulance only for us to find out we've been misled. But Anya's speech? Hell no. Anya mainly is devastated because Xander is crying.


        flow
        That's one of the aspects of The Body that jaded me to the ep. Most of the Scooby drama doesn't feel all that earned. I don't think Anya and Joyce ever even speak.

        Also unpopular, referencing a post on SMG's IG: I didn't mind the baby bangs in Amends. Buffy's worst hair was in Zeppo and the curly-perm thing in S4.

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        • #50
          The scythe is actually a Halberd - a Bardiche halberd in fact. Dummying that down and calling it a scythe is unusual for the show. It is also so bright and shiny I assumed it was made by Mattel, and not an ancient order that protected the slayer...not sure from what. The scythe may have been a good idea, but it was fumbled on so many levels.

          Glory was a horrible villain. She is loud, shrill, and annoying as all shite. I fast forward through her scenes when I can. I don't know if it's Claire Kramer or how the role was written but she is the least threatening and most irritating villain in the series.

          Season seven would have been much improved by getting rid of Caleb, or at least minimizing the amount of time first!Buffy and Caleb spent monologuing at each other. Aside from beating on Buffy a few times, and a bit of shock violence Caleb added nothing to the season.

          Nikki's drinking problem increasing affected the show, because it affected what we saw of Xander. It's sad to see him acquire more beer bloat and a smaller role as each season went on.

          Giles ousted Buffy from her leadership role in Empty Places because he realized she wasn't going to forgive him, or listen to him. Instead of calming people down, and suggesting they rest and talk later, he poured oil on the flames by twisting Buffy's words. However, he did this in part because having seen the devastation of the council and lost multiple friends he truly believed he was the only one who understood the real threat.

          Buffy did a great job in season 7, and a bunch of proto-slayers should not have been in on deciding how to move against the enemy given that they were inexperienced and terrified. To blame Buffy because potentials were killed is ridiculous, and Faith earned that punch in the face.
          Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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          • #51
            The Scythe is neither bardiche or a halberd or a combination of the two. Bardiche have a massive concave blade so long it has to fastened back to the shaft. A halberd is typically a thin blade that has a spike on the top of the shaft or the top of the blade extending so far past the top that it could be used as a spear.

            The show weapon doesn't neatly fit into any of the pole arm categories for many reasons, not least of which because it's not strictly a pole arm. It's also a hand weapon. It's part axe, part war scythe, part horn knife, part half-staff, part wooden spear. There isn't any name you could give it that would adequately name it, but Scythe--which is just the name Buffy decides to call it in canon--isn't an abomination. It's a symbolic name associated with death.

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            • #52
              I always thought it was a Lochaber axe.

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

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              • #53
                Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post

                That's one of the aspects of The Body that jaded me to the ep. Most of the Scooby drama doesn't feel all that earned. I don't think Anya and Joyce ever even speak.

                Also unpopular, referencing a post on SMG's IG: I didn't mind the baby bangs in Amends. Buffy's worst hair was in Zeppo and the curly-perm thing in S4.
                I disagree with all of you.

                Anya isn't grieving Joyce. That's one of the reasons Willow (and probably everyone) expects her to say something insensitive.
                She's just forced to consider mortality - because

                1) she is mortal again, after living as in immortal for a thousand years, and she knows she'll grow old (something she worries about in S6) and die,
                2) she is dealing with the fact that someone she knew died and is surrounded by grieving people - and no, that's not the same as killing people. Do all soldiers who go out and kill people in war think a lot about mortality and the deaths of these people? Some do, but I'm pretty sure most don't, Do assassins/hitmen get overwhelmed by thoughts about death while do their job? I doubt it. I don't think that's how it works. People get desensitized, and not thinking about the humanity of your victims is probably a prerequisite for that kind of job. Anya did not feel bad about killing or otherwise punishing people when she was a vengeance demon. And her only friends were other immortal demons, like Halfrek,
                3) Anya's human life was a thousand years ago and was much shorter than her demon life - she's far removed from that. And we don't know that she experienced a death of anyone particularly close to her. "Life expectancy in that period" is a bad argument based on one of the many myths about the Middle Ages. Life expectancy was low because of high infant mortality. It's not like people were dying left and right and no one lived to the age of 60 or 70 - lots of people did. And she lived a few centuries before the plague outbreak. We haven't heard anything about Anya having kids - if she had a child who died, that would've been something she would have probably remembered, but there's no mention of it.
                You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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                • #54
                  Some more:

                  BTVS did redemption better than AtS.

                  Spike and Dawn weren't best friends.

                  S5 had high highs but a good part of the season is forgettable.

                  S4 of Angel isn't really that bad. In many ways I think Home is a stronger close-out for the show than NFA.

                  S6 is a lot funnier than it gets credit for and it's the most Post-Modern season of the show.

                  Anya was right in OaFA. That might not be unpopular.

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                  • flow
                    flow commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Right about what?

                  • TimeTravellingBunny
                    TimeTravellingBunny commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Home is my favorite season finale of Angel, but most of season 4 is garbage.

                  • Stoney
                    Stoney commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Aw, S3 and 4 are my favourite, I love Wes arc and Connor.

                • #55
                  You've made me think of a few others;

                  - Joyce's 'friendship' with Spike is really over-exaggerated. She called him "pretty twisted" and was really worried he could become dangerous in Crush so how friendly could they really have been? I think people mistake Joyce's overall kindness and general hospitality as some genuine friendship on her behalf.

                  - Season 5 is too serialised. It's a great season but it's missing some solid standalones to break up the Glory/Key arc.

                  - I seriously love the Christmas snow in Amends. It's honestly one of my most feel good episodes in the entire series and the snow is a big part of that.

                  - Tara did have judgments about Spuffy. In Intervention she calls Buffy "nuts", when she first realises what is going on in Dead Things she uncomfortably looks at the ground and goes "Oh... oh... really.. hmm" and Buffy picks up on this and looks down feeling ashamed, and she **** blocks Spike throughout all of Older and Far Away. Having judgements is different from making Buffy feel bad.

                  - I don't hold it against Xander for not coming clean about remembering the Hyena possession. He was violated and the whole experience would have been terrifying as well as traumatising to relive everything that happened. He didn't owe anyone an apology whilst possessed against his will.



                  ~ Banner by Nina ~

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                  • Stoney
                    Stoney commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Can't agree on the snow though, it was a disappointing end to an incredible character exploration. Not sure about S5 either, but I'll look for that when watching next.

                  • flow
                    flow commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Are you talking about the snow as a plot twist or the snow as the greatest hour of fake snow in filming history? I won't support you on the first but I will fight you on the second...the fake snow was an abomination.

                • #56
                  Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
                  Spike and Dawn weren't best friends.
                  I don't think I've ever heard anyone suggest Spike and Dawn were best friends, although I must admit I do love a good Spike & Dawn friendship inclusion in a fanfic. There was a certain camaraderie as outsiders when Dawn was first finding out about her origins and struggling in S5. And of course because he was part of her structured support after Buffy died it puts emphasis on him choosing to play a role in that. I do think Spike cared about Dawn, liked her brassy attitude, but it was still very much as an extension of Buffy. As always when soulless, there were definitely limits. As there was some affection and care shown towards her, I don't find it implausible to see that built up in a fic or for how it developed in the canon comics. Dawn obviously felt very betrayed by the AR and it put a barrier up on their relationship strengthening for a while even though Spike was souled. The eventual reconnection that happened in the canon comics I think does work though and suggests that there was at least a little something genuinely there to recover and build on once Spike was souled. But best friends in the show they were not.

                  I definitely agree that the Spike and Joyce dynamic gets exaggerated by some fans. Joyce was still trying to come to terms with Buffy's calling and in great part in S3 was just being polite with someone who had come around with Buffy once and clearly was working with her before. She definitely was concerned when it became clear Spike was romantically interesting in her daughter.

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                  • #57
                    Originally posted by Stoney View Post

                    I don't think I've ever heard anyone suggest Spike and Dawn were best friends, although I must admit I do love a good Spike & Dawn friendship inclusion in a fanfic. There was a certain camaraderie as outsiders when Dawn was first finding out about her origins and struggling in S5. And of course because he was part of her structured support after Buffy died it puts emphasis on him choosing to play a role in that. I do think Spike cared about Dawn, liked her brassy attitude, but it was still very much as an extension of Buffy. As always when soulless, there were definitely limits. As there was some affection and care shown towards her, I don't find it implausible to see that built up in a fic or for how it developed in the canon comics. Dawn obviously felt very betrayed by the AR and it put a barrier up on their relationship strengthening for a while even though Spike was souled. The eventual reconnection that happened in the canon comics I think does work though and suggests that there was at least a little something genuinely there to recover and build on once Spike was souled. But best friends in the show they were not.

                    I definitely agree that the Spike and Joyce dynamic gets exaggerated by some fans. Joyce was still trying to come to terms with Buffy's calling and in great part in S3 was just being polite with someone who had come around with Buffy once and clearly was working with her before. She definitely was concerned when it became clear Spike was romantically interesting in her daughter.
                    I've seen plenty of posts about how the show abandoned their friendship in S6 and how there should have been a reunion of it in S7. Dawn/Spike is a lot like Joyce/Spike. Yeah, they were OK with each other, but no moreso than Spike and Willow, just to use an example. The show didn't abandon their friendship. They never really had one. That's not trying to say he didn't care or anything like that, but if Dawn were shipped off to live with Hank, would Spike follow? No. If Spike were to pack up and leave, would Dawn be tore up about it? I don't think so.

                    Regarding OaFA, Anya's point was they were all trapped and in danger. Richard was dying. Yet Tara was all about protecting Willow's sobriety.

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                    • #58
                      I'm not sure I always felt like this, but I certainly now think that the way in which the Spike & Dawn relationship is abandoned in S6 when Buffy returns is contextually understandable and believable. As is Dawn's anger at him hurting Buffy and how that put up barriers between them in S7 onwards. And I do think she felt personally betrayed too because he had stayed with them after Buffy's death, helped look after her and had done so much on the basis of loving Buffy. But the relationship was always going to be limited whilst Spike was soulless and it does develop further in later seasons.

                      If Dawn had been shipped off to Hank after S5, yes Spike might have followed because he was defining himself by sticking by Dawn at that point, in reflection of his feelings for Buffy. If Spike had left then too Dawn might have felt like another person had abandoned her and been bothered by it. She wouldn't have to be seriously torn up for it to have had an impact. They might not have had a genuine friendship as such when Spike was soulless, but they weren't distant.

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                      • #59
                        Well, obviously I'm referring to S6-S7. Say for example, going by the previous UO about Anya and Tara in OaFA. If Richard died in the house and Dawn was taken away by social services, Spike would not follow. Similarly, I don't think Spike leaving would bother Dawn. Spike isn't included in Dawn's issues in OaFA. As a matter of fact, she shows no emotion when he does leave after SR, before Xander tells her about the AR.

                        Anyway, I agree. It was natural. Speaking of leaving,

                        I also think Giles leaving was totally in-character and believable for him. The conversation with Buffybot in Bargaining reiterates his ambivalence about his role as Watcher to her. That's something that goes all the way back to S1 with Nightmares. Furthermore, I think S7 continues on with that theme. Giles saw himself as a failed watcher and father-figure that didn't instill the proper (in his mind) ideals into Buffy.

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                        • #60
                          Well yes, Spike wouldn't have followed Dawn and left Buffy. That's not really a sign of whether they had any degree of friendship though so much as his prioritising of Buffy which wasn't under dispute. As for Dawn's lack of reaction to Spike having left before she knows about the AR, she may well have just not thought that it was likely to be long term, going by his previous behaviour. And Buffy was back by that point. Her sense of abandonment wasn't as raw, obviously.

                          I agree Giles leaving was in character and believable. vampmogs (I'm pretty sure it was) put forward suggestions during the rewatch that Giles' processing of Buffy's death and the experience of having had his slayer die, being part of the system that sent her out, could have made him want to withdraw from Sunnydale and also made it hard for him to visualise returning when Buffy did and risk seeing it happen again. So a similar take, although a little less distanced but more emotionally traumatised. Which, let's face it, is a pretty common theme.

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