January 22, 2005
Are you sure this is a good idea?
"Yeah, Buffy. What are we gonna do now?"
Every character, episode, cast member, writer and director and every word of every show, in a searchable database.
12 years ago
. (just kidding, the site is great)
One of the finest online sources. But my swiss cheese brain has such trouble remembering the lines - I think I will just have to keep watching the episodes again and again :)
Would now be a good time to mention my newfound obsession with
? Watch it, it's really really good and worth getting the (now very
) DVD, all the more so if you are a general sci-fi/sociological fiction fan.
miss Joss Whedon.
now, due to be released next year :) (Go see it! Make him lots of money, and make Fox look so stupid for canceling the show! Also, Alan Tudyk should be a big star, because he is very talented.)
I'm a card-carrying member of the choir, jb. You don't have to convince me. Maybe of interest to Firefly fanatics:
, co-created by Tim Minear, Whedon's right hand on Firefly. Also killed by Fox, despite glowing reviews.
Now is the Time of the Outgeeking.
Does Buffy count as geeky? I mean, it's humourous and very witty/cynical, all of which are geeky, but not at all in a Star Trek/ Star Wars way. It's got a lot of self-awareness, and the fans tend to too. It also stars very pretty people with excellent fashion sense. However, it has become the subject of academic study, which either makes it a) literature or b) extra extra geeky.
I believe it is not in and of itself geeky, but that nonetheless it may be geeked at, hard. Certainly, that is what I have been doing for the past, uh, three-and-a-half hours. Have I mentioned that I now know someone who got nominated for the
Mr. Pointy award
It is a specific kind of geek because, at least in academia there are always people going on about how great Buffy is and writing papers about it. Personally, I don't get it. I find Buffy and Firefly to be incredibly unremarkable. Give me Xena and Farscape any day of the week (Xena had TWO musical episodes before Buffy did it, so stop talking about how great and original it is!)
I'm really looking forward to Serenity. The boxed set is great, but sad because it makes you want more episodes. (and yeah, I also own all the Buffy and Angel seasons)
Now is the Time of the Outgeeking.
at 02:49AM UTC on January 23
Does Buffy count as geeky? ... not at all in a Star Trek/ Star Wars way.
at 03:10AM UTC on January 23
It is a specific kind of geek ... people going on about how great Buffy is and writing papers about it.
at 05:27AM UTC on January 23
Now now now, I thought the Geek/Nerd wars had been settled a long time ago. Why, oh why, can't the engineers and english majors get along? Another mystery for the ages. ; )
Full Disclosure: I'm more an
guy, myself. Never quite got the Buffy Fever.
Y'all realise that "geeky" isn't limited to science and SF geekiness? Geekiness, really, applies to everything that a high school mentality finds over-intellectualized and thus philosophy and ironic literaryism qualify, too. Buffy is definitely geeky because if you look at the references that are integral to most of the one-liner jokes, they's dominated by pretty intellectual stuff. A minority are current pop culture, but a lot are pop culture going back two or three generations, a lot are historical references, most indicate someone well-read. Which is a minor problem some of my friends have with it: it breaks the suspension of disbelief when, for example, Buffy (who think the fable was about the little boy with his finger in the duck) also makes puns relying upon a knowledge of early twentieth century painting. Anyway, in some ways I'm an uber-geek, and I say Buffy is geeky, so you have to believe me. :) I'm a philosophy/literature/classics/film/science/math/computer geek. I have all the bases covered. I haven't looked at the Buffy db, yet. I'm curious if I will, as other have mentioned here, find that there's lots I don't remember or know. I dunno. I've watched every episode of the series at least once, 90% of it twice, probably 50% of it three times, and a smaller portion four times or more. I took the BBC Online test on Buffy trivia, and did quite well. I've been vivisting my mother and her husband for almost a month now over the holidays. We've watched the aired pilot, the final 11 episodes from season two, and (so far) the first 12 episodes of season three. I go home on Tuesday, so unless we have some insane marathon tomorrow, I regret we won't be able to watch the entirety of the season. Which sucks because it's the whole Buffy/Faith storyline which is my favorite. (Actually, I'm a sucker for the Faith and Mayor storyline. That that is such an enormously sympathetic [to the audience] and touching relationship between two villains is an example of why Buffy's so good just in pure narrative terms.) We will watch
tomorrow, though. My grandmother died in 2002 after a few years of bad Alzheimer's, and she died in the car while my aunt was driving her to a doctor's appointment. At the clinic she ran in to tell someone that she was pretty sure that her mother had died in the car, but for liability purposes they were unwilling to do anything and waited for the ERT people. She was declared DOA and then my aunt and her sister (who arrived independently) waited twenty minutes for the coroner's office people to arrive. Then they bagged my grandmother while my aunts watched. My mom is the third daughter and only other sibling; she wasn't there. (The two aunts involved were 44 and 58, respectively.) I have thought that perhaps the episode might be therapeutic, and so I watched it with the older aunt a couple of months ago (who has watched some episodes of Buffy). She was pretty moved and did think that it helped her sort through some of how she felt about that experience. (Which, to clue in any onlookers who don't watch Buffy, is very similar to what Buffy experiences when she comes home to find her mother dead of a brain embolism.) After, hmm, about 25 episodes watched over three weeks, my mom's (shortly to turn 59) become a bit of a Buffy nerd. And proudly so, too. (Oh, I've selected a few
episodes to watch:
Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been
I Will Remember You
I went to a conference on Buffy Studies.
Oh yeah, Buffy-related
. Warning, web design is total arse.
I've given a couple of Buffy papers at conferences. Big, big fun.
I agree with kmellis. Buffy (and Firefly) is absolutely geeky, although not just because of the one-liners. A lot of the ideas within it tend to go fairly deep into philosophy, psychology, etc. Existentialism, for example, runs right through the Angel episode "Epiphany" and especially the Firefly episode "Objects in Space." I'd argue, also, that the Angel episode "The Magic Bullet" is a metaphor for cognitive dissonance and its effects (I've wondered if it was meant as a veiled critique of Bush on Iraq). And these are just a few examples. So, yeah, depth.
is one of my favs also, an Emmy-worthy episode for sure. I just read the script and it still got me all choked up. Good stuff.
Huh. I got all choked up looking over
. It's sad that I actually know the names of some of the episodes. It's sadder that they don't make TV shows that are good anymore. Hence the choking. Xena's Groundhog Day episode was much better than Buffy's, I'll say that.
I got all chocked up when they made a sixth and seventh season. Some people have never heard about quitting on a high note...
I'm terrible - I don't even remember Buffy's groundhog day episode now. I don't remember the Xena one either, but I kept missing that (bad schedule in Toronto). I guess I was thinking geeky in that overly ambitious but kind of boring plot, takes itself too seriously, bad dialogue/acting way - like Star Trek (whatever incarnation) at its worst. Like something you would have action figures of, or tech manuals. Buffy is a very different mode of geeky, kind of a cool geeky. More like the Matrix than the Next Generation. Then again, while you would think that impeccably-dressed, beautiful people kicking demon/border-planet thug butt would draw the masses, none of Whedon's shows have been hits, though they have been critically acclaimed. But what is it that
appeal to the majority of viewers, who seem to prefer watching six different versions of CSI?
In other words - why was Firefly cancelled? Why? Other than Fox screwing up all the best scenes by airing the episodes out of order, of course. Way to kill an arc based show. Also - I
seasons 6 & 7, and I loved the way Whedon chose to end the series. However, Angel was stumbling in its fifth season - the arc wasn't going anywhere. But it did have just one of the most beautiful hours of television I have ever seen: the Puppet episode. It was so beautiful, I cried.
But what is it that doesn't appeal to the majority of viewers, who seem to prefer watching six different versions of CSI?
The name of the show. It's a bit unfair to compare them, though, because Buffy did very well -- especially in its third season -- for a show on the WB, which even trailed UPN at the time. Buffy and Dawson's Creek pretty much built that network.
I don't much care for season 6, although I don't think it was as poorly conceived as season 7. But I agree that season 5 of Angel was a bit weak, especially standing next to s4.
For me, as a fan, a writer, a git on the internet, whatever hat I'm wearing when talking about
, there are three things that lift it far above any other perfectly enjoyable show of its sort (anything from
[although nothing that does not begin with X]
) into something actually drizzled in genius: a)
Whedon writes really, really good funnies. Jane Espenson writes really, really good funnies (memo to
- get her back, now. You've never been as good as you were in episode 3.) And while the quality of writing in Buffy has never just been about the funnies -
is pure heartbreak,
Fool For Love
and a whole bunch of Angel stuff from season 2 come close - it's that whole all-referencin', all-quipping, inventively-with-language thing they've got going that keeps you coming back. b)
Monster of the Week = Metaphor of the Week!
I know every show does this
. X-Files did it more than a bit. But they don't do it with the regularity, subtlety, wit, or sheer storytelling invention that the Buffster does. The only contemporary comparison I can think of for talent at externalising internal states is Charlie Kaufman, but with him you
he's doing it. The Buffy team manage to sneak them up under your radar, and sometimes you end up slapping your forehead in public two days later and shouting "Oh,
why it was so great!" And then the people look at you. Again. 3)
It's a point often made, and it's a bit of an intangible, but Buffy is up there with the best for including the most normal signifiers of shark-jumping without the expected drop-off of in quality actually happening. Protagonist dies, gets resurrected (twice, and another one for Angel); allowing sexual-tension couple to get it on; good guy goes bad; well-loved characters kicked out; changed location; somebody went gay; introduced a new character who was supposed to have been around all this time; had a musical episode... They should all have been points where it went tits-up; most of them took it to new heights.
It did, of course, jump eventually, with season six's classic double-whammy of a painfully laboured drug-addiction metaphor and killing a lesbian. But hey - Joss was kind of busy that year, right?
Your third point is highly debatable, flashboy. I know plenty of harcore Buffy fans who think Season 7 was a steaming mound.
No, the point wasn't that it
jumped - I think it did, under Marti Noxon's stewardship in the second half of season six - but that before it actually jumped, it had already pulled just about every trick that on a lesser show would (should) have been a clear-cut example of Series Death. But on
, they were good.
Was Buffy a hit? I was never sure. It certainly got a lot of media attention, but I always thought that was because of its appeal to writers. (Like how "gorram" slipped into some recent big article, because the author was a Firefly fan - I prefer "shiny" myself.)
I can't find a link to a graph. These things appear to be
an old post over here
noted that Buffy peaked in season 2 at 4.9 (with "Phases") and hovered around 4.1 in its third season. The ratings went mostly downhill from there and dropped even lower with the jump to UPN. But in its prime Buffy had solid ratings, especially good for a show on the WB, which was hanging around 2.5 (IIRC) with most of its shows at the time, as well as very, very poor access compared to the majors. More importantly, Buffy had a lock on an appealing demographic, and, with Dawson's Creek, basically set the course for the WB as a network for 18-25 year-olds. I'm less sure of this one, but I believe Buffy was the second most profitable show for the WB, next to the godawful 7th Heaven.
I'm terrible - I don't even remember Buffy's groundhog day episode now. I don't remember the Xena one either
The Buffy episode is
The groundhog day plot is only part of the show - Act III in the transcript - and it was pretty cute, one of the better spots of Season 6 (and I'm a post-season-5 hater.) In the Xena episode she has to make it through a whole day without letting anyone in the town she's staying in get killed. Every day Joxer wakes her up and she gets hit on the head by a pail of manure or something, I don't remember. After about 4 tries, she's getting exasperated. So, the next time she's awakened, she's all "fuck it" and just directly kills Joxer with her chakram as soon as she wakes up. A moment later, Gabrielle's sincere offscreen howl: "You... KILLED... Joxer!!" Which was the funniest moment on Xena ever. The
groundhog day episode ever had to be the one on the X-Files. Gyaaahhhhd. * dies *
I remember the Xena groundhog day episode now! (just before I re-read furiousdork's answer). Frying pan, I think. And using Gabrielle's songs as toilet paper? But I think that is also the first episode that I remember the Xena/Gabrielle subtext becoming less subtext than just text-text. No, wait, that was
A Day in the Life
. That was such a slashy one, before the slash became canon.
I found Buffy silly and derivative. That tends to make me an outcest in my generation. Who's the geek NOW, huh?
Well I LOVE Buffy so I'm an inceswait hang on
Well, if that Icicle guy would install a preview button...
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I can feel the swelling!
Does it hurt when I do this?
Yes, thank you!
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