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My wife showed me this Jinx T-shirt, which is almost worthy of purchasing. I had a good laugh.
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1. Joss Whedon. Just because he was behind a clever movie [BTVS], a generally awesome TV show [BTVS], two better-than-average TV shows [Angel and Firefly], an acceptable movie extension [Serenity] and an intermittently witty but mostly flaccid Web movie [Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog] does not mean that his latest outing, Dollhouse, is automatically wonderful.
  • In point of fact #1, his quality has been going downhill ever since BTVS.
  • In point of fact #2, Dollhouse so far is a silly TV show on par with Fringe in that both shows contain silly premises, unconvincing, murky universes and leads with all the acting ability of lukewarm tap water.
  • In point of fact #3, Dollhouse so far is actually worse than Fringe because it lacks the emotional warmth and accessibility that major players John Noble and Joshua Jackson bring to Fringe.
2. Alan Moore [and Zack Snyder]. V for Vendetta is overrated; for a comic book, it has art equivalent to the poorly mimeographed ads in the back of my childhood Archie serials that wanted me to send $1.25 to a PO box in New York so I could get a box of "hilarious" practical joke devices. Watchmen is overrated; for a story about a whole world on the brink of collapse, it conveniently disregards the female population, except insofar as they are defined by sexually abusive relationships with wankers. And both Alan Moore and Zack Snyder are overrated; both of them are too busy staring at the magnificence of their own egos to register the fact that the world contains individuals besides tragic, conflicted, chisel-jawed men.

The people who need to be notified of these not-God individuals -- namely, the Whedon wanks on Television Without Pity's Dollhouse forums parsing every moment of dialog looking for "Jossian greatness" and the Moore/Snyder posse who seriously believes that the Watchmen movie is on par with The Godfather trilogy [seriously?!] -- are not going to listen to me. However, if you happen to be of reasonable sanity and you wonder what all the spooge in a teacup is over these not-God individuals, rest assured that you are not missing anything in avoiding either Dollhouse or Watchmen. I'll keep you updated on the off chance that Dollhouse improves. Anyone associated with #2, however, is a lost cause.

To conclude, the following people are God.

1. David Bowie...or, more precisely, his Area. That is all.

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This fan-made BTVS/Angel vid, Origin Stories by  [personal profile] giandujakiss,  argues that the ID of Spike with the Black Leather Coat of Bad-Assness glosses over the fact that he stole it from Nikki the Slayer, one of his kills. The connection of Spike and the BLCB-A runs over the story of Nikki and her son, Robin, who saw her die and ends up helping Buffy and co. fight Uruk-Hai uber-vamps in season 7. Even when Spike dies out of BTVS and reincarnates in Angel, he still gets the damn BLCB-A, a deeply problematic privileging of the pouty Romantic WHITE monster anti-hero at the expense of the interesting and complex characters of color. [livejournal.com profile] untrue_accounts  writes in words what the video shows in pictures, for those of you who are more verbally oriented.

I find these complementary commentaries deeply incisive and deeply disturbing, especially as they portray the actions of a fan favorite character to be the worst form of appropriation. It's an especially bad form of appropriation because the show is constructed such that the audience is supposed to suck it up because a) Spike is so awesome!!; b) Buffy defends Spike, thus throwing her support behind his usurpations; c) did we mention that Spike is awesome?!!  We're not supposed to criticize the characters everyone likes, even if they are doing morally wretched things, because the popular characters are Good Guys, thus inured to criticism.

Why yes, I am late to the party. What else can you except from someone who just discovered Men Without Hats at the end of last year?

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I've always thought that, if there were any more than, say, 10 vampires in the world, that they would form some sort of para-society, parasitic to, but somewhat independent of, human society. Vamp society, in my mind, would include an organization of power and some set of rules. Let's look at some vamp societies in recent TV shows: Read more... )
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Available online as an E-book. Looks like published conference proceedings covering Carmilla to BTVS. Super-chouette!

EDIT: This collection of rather short essays is at its best when covering modern vampires, although Hyun-Jung Lee's analysis of LeFanu's Carmilla as a threat to the very foundation of subjectivity is particularly good. In the section on vampires of today, one especially interesting essay by Elizabeth McCarthy addresses the importance of bodily mutilation inflicted by people on vampires to modern conceptions of the vampire legend. In another unusual essay, Pete Remington takes a look at Anne Rice's vampires and their relation to the experience of the depressive self. Five essays treat BTVS and Angel, mostly the sexually problematic characters of Angel and Spike, who both embody and undermine tropes of magnetic, violent, brooding, Byronic heroism. This is a varied collection with essays of uniformly high quality, although I do wish most of the pieces were longer, with more in-depth analysis.

Also possibly of interest: Monsters: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil, edited by Paul Yoder and Peter Kreuter, in the same series.

Also possibly of interest: The Monstrous Identity of Humanity, edited by Marlin Bates, by the same press.

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So I just finished watching seasons 1 and 2 of the BTVS rip-off British supernatural soap opera Hex.Oh look...a plot summary.  )
Despite the fact that it's largely lush-looking drivel, there is something compelling about Hex. Like BTVS, Hex ends up focusing on a destined warrior. The character study of Ella is the most interesting thing about the show. Like Buffy, Ella comes from a long line of fighters. Like Buffy, Ella is also gifted with physical and magical strength, but her destiny and her powers separate her from her peers. Both Buffy and Ella are very lonely; they both yearn for friends, family and people to understand them. But Buffy differs from Ella because Buffy has a loyal cadre of friends -- Willow, Xander, Giles and various hangers-on -- and a family [Joyce and Dawn]. Buffy derives strength from her faith in her family and friends. They are her saving grace.

But Ella is different. She wants what Buffy has -- friendship, security and love -- but she hasn't found it. She has tried to satisfy her passion through killing various demonspawn, but that still leaves her unfulfilled. She tries to satisfy herself with Leon, but their love, based on tenderness and friendship, seems too dull and unexciting for her. She tries to satisfy her passion through sex, as represented by her crappy and wholly unconvincing fling with the block of wood named Malachi, but that also doesn't work. Only after she has tried and failed to fill the void in her heart does she realize that she actually really does appreciate the love she shares with Leon. Season 2 leaves her strengthened because Leon has literally cauterized the wound by her heart, a physical representation of the way that their love has helped her to stop dissipating her energy and desire.

Ella is different from Buffy because Ella doesn't run on strength; she runs on fear. She fears being alone; she fears not being like other people; she fears her magical destiny. Because she fears her core identity so much, Ella is easily manipulated...hence her relationship with the Block of Wood. Though a stalwart killer of demons, she's also incredibly needy, which makes her a social fuck-up as she blunders through her friendship with Thelma, her love for Leon and her crush on Malachi. She simultaneously exploits all three of them to try to force their approval, then hurts them, then abases herself trying to make it up to them. Her weakness is her neediness, her hopeless lack of love in her life. Because her desire for acceptance overwhelms even her destined path, her abject wishes for happiness always conflict with her duty, making her triumph as demon slayer always in doubt. Since she spends so much of season 2 either losing her shit or barely hanging onto it, one wonders whether she'll ever develop the internal strength that she needs to carry out her mission.

I don't like Ella that much. I wish she would stop whingeing, trembling and rolling her eyes and just buck up and start kicking ass. That said, when I view her as an intensely lonely character, flailing around in her attempt to find friendship, she becomes sympathetic, more sympathetic than Buffy, who always seemed impervious and uncorruptible to me.
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There was going to be a BTVS tarot once, but it, in the manner of all good things, got cancelled. Saddened at the abortion of a promising artistic project, I collected the highest quality images I could find of the cards that had been previewed. Please take the links to admire the files in their full glory. The existence of almost half the Major Arcana makes me think that the art for the entire deck was completed, and we will never see it, sob sob sob.
  • 0. Fool. Here is the first Slayer at the beginning of her kind's fateful journey.
  • 1. Magician. Buffy wields stupendous magic power in the first female interpretation of this card I've seen.
  • 2. High Priestess. Willow is the feminine magical principle.
  • 6. The Lovers. According to an interview with deck designer Rachel Pollack, this card shows Buffy and Angel.
  • 10. Wheel of Fortune. The Master rules the cycle of judgment, death, transformation and undeath.
  • 11. Justice. According to Pollack, this card shows Willow.
  • 13. Death. This looks like the ritual that created the first Slayer.
  • 14. Temperance. Angel in vamp mode represents a balance between all desires and duties.
  • 15. Devil. Buffy and Spike [in vamp mode] are tempted to sick carnal delights.
  • 16. Tower. This looks like Buffy sacrificing herself at the end of season 5.
  • 19. Sun. The death-dealing, life-saving power of the Slayer smites the evil vampire.
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This weekend, I returned to one of my guilty pleasures, the glamorous, cliched, convoluted and opaque BBC series Hex [2005-2007]. This gorgeous trash heap of magic + soft-core porn features fallen angels, lesbian ghosts, witch burning, time traveling, demons in the guise of priests, kinky nurse fairies, blah blah blah, all taking place on the isolated grounds of Medenham Hall, a boarding school populated by 6 sexy students, 2 or 3 teachers and gallons of moody mist.

Anyway, one of the tired plot devices trotted out by Hex is that of the fast-forward Jesus baby. As the result of a Divine Screw between a supernatural male and an ordinary female, the fast-forward Jesus baby develops alarmingly fast from conception to birth. Read more... )
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[Error: unknown template qotd]First of all, that should be "your favorite fictional character" with an "r" goddammit. My favorite fictional literary character is Willa Rahv from Early Disorder by Rebecca Josephs. Nominally about a 15-year-old's struggle with anorexia, Early Disorder is actually more of a slice of life for a young girl as she tries to find her place in her overbearing, perfectionist family, a fast-paced, overwhelming school and a city that teems with life that she would like to be a part of. Witty, pretentious, oversensitive and insecure, Willa embodies many of the strengths and fallacies common to young teenagers. However, her sarcastic, keen-eyed first-person perspective evinces a deft sense of humor and a maturity that she eventually grows into. I find the theme of coming into one's own eminently relatable, and I've always found Will a sympathetic protagonist over the decades during which I have cherished this book.

I'm also really keen on the eldest princess in A.S. Byatt's short story "The Story of the Eldest Princess" [available in The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye] because she's smart and assertive and reflective. She realizes she's in a skewed fairy tale and forms her own happy ending, which does not involve happy hetero marriage.

In TV or movies, my favorite characters are Jareth the Goblin King from Labyrinth [details at Jareth's Realm], Frank from The Rocky Horror Picture Show [details at The Frankenstein Place], Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer [details all over this blog] and Dean Winchester from Supernatural [details all over this blog].

In fiction that I have created, my favorite characters are Will and Anneka because they have pink hair and no fashion sense. I also really like Mark because he's such a  dweeb, Chow  because  he's  probably  the only wise character around and Viktor because his constant attempts to screw anything that moves are amusing.

In any medium, I dislike whiny characters who do not stand up for themselves. Three particularly egregious examples are Sarah from Labyrinth, Harry Potter from the seven books concerning him and Bella from the Twilight Saga. Make that EVERYONE in the Twilight Saga.

EDIT: BWAH HAHAHAH. I notice that Edward Cullen, abusive personality extraordinaire of the Twilight Saga, appears most frequently as a favorite character, clearly nominated by people without critical intelligence.
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[Error: unknown template qotd]Since Jareth the Goblin King from Labyrinth is not a TV character, I'm going to pass. If it helps, though, Rory Gilmore [The Gilmore Girls] + pre-magic-addiction Willow [BTVS] combined provide the best representation of my personality. Rory contains the overachieving, sarcastic, obedient intellectualism. Willow contains the progression from anxious, shy and doubtful to more open and confident, as well as the clueless sense of "style" and the flexible sexibility. [Yes, I made that up.] Wait...I don't think that helps or answers the question. Who cares? I just thought it was interesting.
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Some time ago, someone got the genius idea to do a BTVS Tarot deck and contracted an illustrator who can actually create likenesses of the characters, and the previews of the cards looked intriguing and attractive, and I was instantly ready to drop $30.00 for it, just for the pretty pictures, and then...

Then Dark Horse canceled it. How very disappointing.
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Ever since Hulu began coughing up Angel season 1, I've watching a bit here and there and rediscovered my other favorite Angel ep: I Will Remember You. Angel turns human again; Buffy pops up; they get it on, and nothing good can come of it. Status quo is restored at the end of the ep, in part because the status quo, i.e., Angel's suffering, motivates the entire show. 

Also it is a fact of TV shows and other media that "you can't always get what you want, but, if you try sometimes, you just might find you'll get what you need," in the immortal words of Mick Jagger. Or, in the immortal words of Geoffrey Chaucer, "Forbid us thing, and that desiren we," which means, "We want what we can't have." All of this is to say that we as humans are driven by our yearning for unobtainable states of being and, when we do obtain these states, we often discover that such states have undesirable consequences. Then we realize that we shouldn't have obtained what we wanted, but what we needed.

Anyway, I really like this ep because it takes the cliches of Forbidden Love, Angsty Suffering, Wish Come True, What-If Futures, Overrated Bliss and Return to the Trenches and really makes 'em work. I credit most of the success to Sarah Michelle Gellar's guest turn as Buffy and the comfortable chemistry she shares with David Boreanaz so that it's really believable that they want, but can't have, each other. Oh, all right, I guess I have to credit David Boreanaz' acting skillz for emanating pain and suffering out Angel's pores, despite the fact that the character is a dense, obtuse, uncommunicative BLOCK even on his good days. Incidentally, momentary humanity really becomes Angel, allowing David Boreanaz to act out moods other than "staring off into space" and "brooding;" Boreanaz' noted comic talent appears, for example, when Angel discovers the glories of non-blood-based food. Hah!

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I find Angel 1.3, In The Dark, incredibly amusing for the following soliloquy from Spike, who is watching Angel do good:

Spike in high voice:  “How can I thank you, you mysterious, black-clad hunk of a night thing? 

"(low voice) No need, little lady, your tears of gratitude are enough for me.  You see, I was once a badass vampire, but love and a pesky curse defanged me.  Now I’m just a big, fluffy puppy with bad teeth. (Rachel steps closer to Angel, and Angel steps back warding her off with his hands) No, not the hair!  Never the hair!  

"(high voice)  But there must be some way I can show my appreciation.  

"(low voice)  No, helping those in need’s my job, - and working up a load of sexual tension, and prancing away like a magnificent poof is truly thanks enough!  

"(high voice)  I understand.  I have a nephew who is gay, so… 

"(low voice)  Say no more.  Evil’s still afoot!  And I’m almost out of that Nancy-boy hair-gel that I like so much.  Quickly, to the Angel-mobile, away!” 

Transcript from Buffyworld. 
 
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I just watched [well, listened to] this ep, my first reacquaintance with BTVS in a long time. In the introduction of Spike and his inevitable confrontation and therefore contrast with Angel, the show creators prove how much they failed in portraying Angel as an interesting, desirable, attractive character.

Spike, as a more flamboyant, demonstrative character, is instantly engaging. Whereas Angel lurks in the shadows and interests the audience because he's a mystery, Spike from his debut evinces positive personality traits that get the viewers perked up.
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I just saw some Spike porn [photomanipulations], and they were done with such obvious wanking love for the character [yay!] and such amateurish pasting, scaling and PSP brush effects [boo!] that my gorge couldn't decide whether to rise or fall, so it's still bubbling up and down somewhere around my trachea. I am going to run far, far away from the site and play with my agreeably scaled, posed, pasted and lit dolls and models. For all that I talk about sex, think about sex and run my characters around the subject of sex, I much prefer suggestion, double entendre and innuendo than explicit depictions.
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My favorite icon in this set is "awake," in which Spike is saying, "Who lit the bloody fire under my arse?!"  Doo nah, doo nah, I love James Marsters, which probably explains why I now never watch BTVS -- because I love him so much.
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...Dollhouse, an upcoming Fox series created and produced by Joss Whedon, starring Eliza Dushku and somehow involving Tim Minear [who was involved with Angel, Firefly and the rockin' awesome Pushing Daisies], will go down in flames, despite a hyperactive cult following, only to be released on DVD in a year and a half with unaired episodes. I'm also not sure that the sexy but rather flat Eliza Dushku is the appropriate choice for a main character who is basically a Method actor bot. I don't think she has enough range. It is amusing to note, however, that, in the linked interview, she's very happy that the Red Sox Losers won the World Series.
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I really respect highly accomplished artists who fuse technical skills with passionate execution and attention to detail. I respect them even more when they are intelligent, analytical people who have insights into themselves, their craft and how their craft affects others. For example, Sarah Michelle Gellar is a highly accomplished actor, and I respect that, but I can't respect her as a person because she's not very thoughtful or reflective; plus she's really squandering her talent. 

James Marsters, on the other hand, ranks right up there with David Bowie for me. He's really talented AND really intelligent, not to mention jovial and humorous, as you can see in the latest Television Without Pity interview. After reading the transcript, I conclude that he seems to be a charismatic, extroverted person with the gift of making almost anyone feel relaxed and accepted.

Anyway, in case I need any more reason to have a crush on him, here he is saying intelligent things about the massive popularity of Spike in BTVS. Brains are such a turn-on. A cut from the TWoP interview:
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Whether you believe that the universe tends toward good, bad or mediocre, there's still the question of where to assign these capacities. Are people good, bad, good+bad, bad+mediocre, etc.?

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I like supernatural creatures. Partly I like them because they are a testament to human inventiveness in the face of the unknown and inexplicable. They're beautiful creations of folk logic ["Well, if it looks like the corpse's nails and hair are growing and it's in a pool of blood when we dig it up, that means it must be alive and feeding on blood!"], fear and wonder. That's why I will devour stories about them: because, as human creations, they are clever, rich and powerful, full of meaning... They've got a hold on us.

I also like supernatural creatures because they work as lovely metaphors, which partly explains their continuing fascination, even to people who do not believe in them.

LOLBuffy

Aug. 14th, 2007 10:03 am
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Sites like this push me that much closer to making a LOLbyrinth blog, which is pretty much what I do in my spare time anyway: make stupid captions for movie stills.
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Slayage, the online journal of Buffy studies, has a new URL. It can now be found here: http://www.slayageonline.com/

O frabjous day!
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Coming out on January 5, 2007, Happily N'Ever After contains an interesting premise -- a fairy tale rewrite in which Cinderella leads resistance against her evil stepmom who's trying to take over -- as well as two people we know to be talented actors, Sigourney Weaver and Sarah Michelle Gellar. But it will be horrible.

Do you know why it will be horrible? Well, first of all, the presence of both SMG and her husband Freddy Prinze Jr. tells you that it will tank. Despite possessing talent, the two have no business and career acumen, as evidenced by their previous collaborations Scooby Doo I and II. [In fact, SMG's entire movie career, like Tim Curry's, is pretty much a string of disappointments, and I think they both need really smart agents to get them in showcases for their special gifts, but I digress.]

Second of all, the producers of Shrek are behind this one. Now, for all that I laughed when I saw Shrek I [not II or III so much], I don't think that it was as attractive or subversive as people claim. The franchise tries too hard to be clever, but it just ends up reinforcing stupid gender and sexual stereotypes. I smell the same problem emanating from Happily N'Ever After, particularly in its problematic recycling of characters from Shrek. That purple cat thing in HNA looks like Donkey, while the blond prince in HNA looks like the blond prince in Shrek, and even Ella in HNA reminds me of Fiona. Such uncreative recycling cannot be saved even by the flamboyant evil genius of Sigourney Weaver and any acting talent SMG may happen to evince.

I feel sad for SMG. BTVS provided such a star vehicle and showcase for her, but her brainless career choices since then slide her further into disrepute. I respect her acting talent, but I can't respect her as a person because she's really not that smart. She strikes me as someone with talents who doesn't know how to use them, rather than an artist that has knowledge and craft of his or her art. She stands in opposition to David Bowie, who [besides having way more experience than she does] just emanates wit, intelligence, insight and a dry sense of humor in relation to his art. He would be a perfect example of an exemplary celebrity, except that he smokes.
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In further explication of my thoughts on season 5, I have to say that I started watching BTVS with season 6. The first part of 6, during which Buffy tries to deal with her resurrection, has always fascinated me for its nuanced depiction of her grief cycle. People tell me that The Body is the single best BTVS ep about grief. I wouldn't know; I haven't seen it [yet], but I have to say that all the mooding, brooding and grieving in the early part of 6 sound psychologically convincing and revealing notes. As we watch all the characters deal with Buffy's death, absence and rebirth, the specter of death, always a presence in a series about the undead, becomes real, substantive and irrevocable. For such a fantastical premise [dead one comes back], this story arc is the most realistic and compelling of all the BTVS arcs for me, which probably demonstrates more about me and my preoccupations with death, mourning, grief, maturation, cemeteries, memories, vampires, ghosts, epitaphs than it does about BTVS itself.

So, if 6 is the high point for me, I like 2, 3 and 4 next best, but I really dislike 1 and 7. 1, a short, experimental season, provides only glimmers of the juicy richness that the show would later develop into. Plus there's no Spike, so I ignore it. And I am currently refusing to watch 7. I don't want to see Buffy as a motivational speaker to the Potentials; I don't want to see Willow basically squashed, mousy and regressed after 6's drama; and I don't want to see Spike die. I don't care that he comes back in 5 of Angel. I don't want to see him die! I'm just pretending 6 is the end, okay? La la la, I'm not listening to you....

So, in answer to the comments, I like Spike too anyway, abbagirl, and the icon is hilarious. :p

LoreMistress, I recommend watching well past 4 and into 6, but avoiding 7. In other words, don't break off. In my opinion, some of the best eps are coming up.

RedCountess, having read tons of synopses and analyses, I agree that you have a point about the development of Buffy + Spike over time. I still maintain that Crush and Intervention crank up the schmoopiness at the expense of the characters' personalities. I have no problem with them having a relationship; I just wish that the portrayal in those two eps was true to the characters.

And a link to my favorite BTVS site, a critical journal of "Buffy studies" with an archive of meaty analyses of all things BTVS.
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I finally broke out the BTVS DVDs last night. Having watched bits of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6, but no 5 or 7, I delved into season 5. I wanted to investigate the beginnings of Buffy and Spike's twisted affection for each other, before it became the season 6 tango of revulsion. To that end, I checked out Crush, in which Spike has one on Buffy, and Intervention, in which the BuffyBot makes its first appearance to satisfy the lovelorn Spike.

Wow, those eps were flaccid! The repartee, linguistic inventiveness and deep emotional responses that I associate with BTVS just didn't exist in these eps, even though they were supposedly about lerve. The characters appeared brainwashed, with Spike saying, "I lerve you; I suffer for you," and Buffy saying, "Bleeecccch," like zombies of pop song lerve rather than consistent, multi-dimensional characters. It wasn't funny; it wasn't interesting; it wasn't in character. It was just really painful and boring to watch.

The only moment in which the true characters surfaced was at the end of Intervention, when Buffy acted like the willing BuffyBot because she was trying to determine if Spike, under torture, had told Glory that Dawn was the Key. So Buffy plays the willing sex slave until she gets the info [e.g., that Spike kept Dawn's secret]; then she switches back to herself and leaves him. Both Buffy and Spike seemed incredibly sad and regretful in this scene, Spike probably because his dedication got him pounded and plus his robot's gone, Buffy because she realized the depths of Spike's infatuation and then played along with it for a bit. Buffy's ambivalence toward Spike [heartless manipulation and reluctant gratitude] and his ambivalence toward her [slavish crush and violent, stupid frustration] are transmitted clearly without platitudes. The truth comes through: their relationship isn't pursuing guy vs. retreating girl, but squeamishly fascinated guy vs. squeamishly fascinated girl, a theme developed much better in season 6.

So, anyway, I've found the perfect application for the word schmoopy: season 5 Spike. Oh, how drab and disappointing. I'll take the characterologically consistent season 6 Spike instead. Stereotypically pining vampires make me want to vomit vomit vomit. If I ever write about them, someone please shoot them.

BTVS DVDs

Nov. 30th, 2006 03:00 pm
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...are on order [again]. Maybe they'll actually come this time, and I can hold them in my hands. I don't really want to watch them right now. I just want to have them in case I want to watch them [particularly the eps where Spike is tied up in Giles' basement or using the BuffyBot -- hilarious].
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Why oh why don't they make their 1:6 action figs look this good? WHY?! All the 1:6 versions of Spike look jowly and middle-aged. Finally, when there's a likeness that's accurate, it's $250.00, premium format and not articulated worth squat. Here's the 1:6 version:
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I am very annoyed because I paid ~$146.00 back in mid-July to get seasons 1 through 7 of BTVS on DVD...and they never showed. I also never received any information from the seller, despite E-mailing three times [once through personal mail, twice through My Ebay]. Besides the fact that I'm out ~$146.00, I feel especially irritated because I was really looking forward to enjoying my favorite characters and eps in a huge splurge of indulgent gratification. [Hm, that sounded obscene.] 

Of course, I'll get over it. It's only some DVDs, and I have put in a claim to PayPal that will hopefully get most of my money back. I just feel cross because my indulgence was thwarted.

Oh yeah, stay away from seller mclarke6666.
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I just got all 7 seasons of my favorite TV show [Buffy the Vampire Slayer] for $146.11 [each boxed separately], incl s/h. That's $20.87 per season, way less expensive than the set that boxes all seasons together [~$340.00 list price]. I'm going to sell seasons 1 and 7 because I don't like them. [In season 1, no one has really developed interestingly yet, and, in season 7, nothing happens and my favorite characters die.]

Hooray, that leaves me with seasons 2 through 6 to watch...particularly all those parts in season 6 where Buffy is trying to adjust to being alive...and any eps where James Marsters makes more faces than the bad-ass expression...and any eps with robots in them.
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http://www.sideshowtoy.com/behindtheshow/?page_id=1639&source=wp_news

Next BTVS/Angel character to be released in 12" is Cordelia. I smell doom, especially since the prototype looks reasonable accurate. The last time SST had an accurate prototype [regular Willow], the final draft just looked...warped. Please, Sideshow, just for once, could ya NOT mess something up?
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Like BTVS, only starring a guy and less compelling and individualized characters, Smallville follows a teen with superpowers and the archetypical struggle with adolescence, adulthood, identity and superpowers, all of which even out to be the same thing. Superpowers as metaphor for puberty is a concept that I find endlessly fascinating, probably because part of me still thinks I'm a cripplingly shy 15-year-old.

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