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SmileSpike


So I've been bad and dropped into the Buffy forums now and then to check on what the heck is happening in the comics.

The new interview with Gage makes me want to rage, but fortunately I've mellowed out with this. I heavily do not agree with "I will say that I love the dynamic between Spike and Angel -- they're rivals, but they're also the only ones on Earth who really understand each other." While the dynamic between Spike and Angel is complex, to reduce it to this line indicates little understanding of both characters. They can understand each other where no one else can because they are both Vampires with a Soul ©, they understand each less when it comes to who they are deep down. This lends to complexities and insights to the other, which is illustrated in their dynamic. Angel has no clue who Spike is deep down, and while Spike might have insight to Angel, I don't think he understand how Angel ticks.

In fact, I don't think anyone really knows or understands Spike in the Buffyverse. Angel probably had Cordelia/Wesley that understood him best, but I don't think anyone else really knows Angel either. If anyone really knows Spike best, it would probably be Buffy, unfortunately she also doesn't know him that well either. Which makes me think Spike still has much story to tell. Which the comics people either ignore or are just too negligent with Spike's character to care. Or perhaps they just don't see it.

Also, this lovely line has me eye rolling a thousand times, "the mere fact of Buffy and Angel seeing each other for the first time since Twilight would be such a big thing that it would derail the storylines of both books." I think that's really cruel and very blatant Angel bias. Yes, it would be a big thing. But because Angel has yet to try to make things right with Buffy. He transgressed just as much, if not more than, Spike did in the AR. It would need to be handled with care. But at this point I'm sure they'll have them swoon at each other and Buffy automatically forgiving Angel (which brings me to my next point, but that later). It'll be a big thing, but wasn't Spike and Buffy seeing each other for the first time in years, their "reunion" a big thing too? Obviously not. Which I think is unfair. So any reunion between Buffy and Angel would be and should be, important to the story and to Buffy's story, but not be such big thing and yet have its proper course. Though I think they will make it be all about Angel. (And no, the show was not all about Spike as some may want to think. Spike had an arc, which was great, but the show was about Buffy and Spike's arc heavily affected Buffy.)

Which brings me to Buffy's forgiveness. Allie said something about Buffy completely understanding Angel and would forgive him or had already forgiven him and that also makes me want to rage. Simply put, Buffy doesn't hand out forgiveness like candy at an amusement park. She forgives, it's true, but when one transgresses deeply, they have to work at it, with Buffy watching, for her to give forgiveness. For Buffy to give Angel a pass is a writer's choice that is down right disgusting. For Buffy to easily forgive Andrew for the body swap, blatant enough as to be a demonstration of her forgiveness and example of how she will forgive Angel, is a gross misinterpretation of Buffy's character. Buffy only forgave Spike for the AR after getting a soul and dying to save the world. She forgave Andrew in season 7? Well, she didn't kill him, but gave him room to redeem himself and only in season 8 did it seem that Buffy forgave him to a degree.

But Andrew and Angel have done nothing to gain Buffy's forgiveness. Angel resurrecting Giles does not fix anything between them. Buffy forgiving Andrew so soon (what, issue 9, was it?) is a horrible example of Buffy's forgiveness and shows a real lack of understanding Buffy, which is one of the biggest pit falls of season 9. Buffy should still be mad at Angel and dismissive of him until he shows that he wants to make it up to her. So far, the only thing Angel is trying to do is make himself feel better. That's not being a hero and that is not the Angel I knew in the show.

I will say the clear Angel bias and complete lack of understanding of my two favorite characters is the reason I despise the DH Buffy comics. The characterization of almost all the characters has been a complete disaster in season 9. I can hardly recognize any of them. I do not trust Gage with Spike and will most certainly never read anything by Gage when it comes to the Buffyverse. He may know how to weave a plot, but for me the buffyverse is more character and theme than plot. And those are Gage's weakest points. (Snark: I think Allie and Gage get along well enough because of the Angel goggles.) To me, that isn't Buffyverse. This is an Angel's fan's fan fiction, with an official seal. Sorry, DH, not interested in your biases that make you careless about other characters.

And don't get me started on that Spike/Faith. They might have sexual chemistry on screen, but it's like watching the same person get with themselves. There is no story there and them having sex? That would be sex just for the sake of sex. But I doubt it'll be them. I roll my eyes, because to many Angel/Bangel fans Spike/Faith might be a dream come true. I can see them getting along well and flirt and tease, but I just can't see Spike and Faith bumping uglies. (And can Spike get a real love interest for once that isn't a carbon copy of himself? I would love for him to fall for another Slayer besides Buffy/Faith. Or at least not another biker chick demon. Or a demon period. Can't souled Spike fall for another human please?)

Brings me back to my rant about the Spike mini. I gotta say it was a waste of space. As much as I love Spike, the mini was pointless. He is where he was in season 8 more or less. I do not see how he is supposed to be "totally different" because Spike fans have seen him more or less independent since AtS5. It was a horrible decision that was obviously made for sales, for cowardice (don't want the spuffy fans wrath that Buffy is getting with Downling when Spike is near! Oh noes! *eyes rolls*), and because they wanted him in Angel & Faith. The Buffy book would have been stronger with him there working on the B plot as well as sorting through his feelings. It would have also let us get a better picture of where Buffy was at emotionally. Once things settled for her, she wants to date Downling. If Spike was in the picture, and if she somehow loves Spike, why go for Dowling. It would have let us know a bit more where Buffy's mind set was at (is it because he's a vampire, because of season 8, because he didn't call, because it's Spike? Or because she's still cookie dough? Is she strong enough to face her feelings for Spike now? What does that mean for Buffy? See how by showing us her feelings for Spike we get a feel of where Buffy would be at emotionally?). They didn't want to take that route. Instead we get what we got and it's pretty...well not pretty. They reduced their dynamic to a simple one. A boring one. Another clear indicator they have no idea what they are doing.

In the comics Spike should properly move on or make the decision to move on. I would personally like DH to never touch Spike's character ever again. I'd rather they end it by killing him again or putting him on a bus. I don't trust them, not after this season. I gave them another chance, I was ready to forgive. But no, they went to get a soul and chickened out. Came back anyway on all fours than stabbed me in the back when I wasn't looking. So thanks, but no thanks.

I think my biggest, more recent, disillusionment is that fact Dawn is dying and Spike is nowhere in the picture. Spike was closest to Dawn personally (to him) after Buffy and while things were rocky with them in season 7 I had hoped that something could have happened with them in season 9, especially with Dawn's crisis. Again, such a huge lack of understanding of these characters and their relationship dynamics is the biggest downfall of season 9. And the biggest reason why I am beginning to dismiss the comics completely. I am still partly invested, but my care is growing less with each day. And that makes me happy. The day I hear news of the comics and give zero fucks, is the day I am free to fully enjoy the TV show once again.

Though I have been wondering about something form the TV show. http://gryfndor-godess.livejournal.com/ mentions that she doesn't quite believe Buffy's "I love you" in Chosen because of the Buffy/Angel kiss. It's a completely valid interpretation and one that I am beginning to have with each passing day. Love doesn't automatically happen when holding hands that burst into flames as you see someone you care about die. Real love is gradual and careful. It's delicate and confusing. If Buffy was falling in love with Spike in season 7, I think the Buffy/Angel kiss would not have happened. Buffy would have went in for it, but it wouldn't have felt right and she would have hugged Angel instead (probably leaving him confused), given him her speech and gone to see Spike. That would have made it hard to deny that something was growing and would have fit with the Spuffy arc in season 7 better in my opinion. It would have made her declaration and realization all the more powerful and saddening.

But I feel, with taking the comics into consideration, that Buffy's "I love you" was not romantic love. It was a big feeling and she labelled it love, but it wasn't the type Spike had for her or that she had for Angel. And that was why Spike said "No you don't" because it was the truth. It also makes his failure to return to her in AtS5 make a thousand times more sense. He had fear that while his death meant a lot, it was not enough for her. That he would never be enough. So heroic entrance only. It makes the comics make sense too in terms of the spuffy. Because there was really nothing there to begin with, Spike earned Buffy' respect and importance, maybe fondness, but not her love. Buffy smiled at the end of Chosen, she was sad that he was gone, but not heartbroken. She was free to live her life.

However, I also think it's hogwash because season 7 had this huge build up of this beautiful romantic love, yet it fell so flat afterwards. It probably had to do with the AR blow back. Joss may have wanted to leave everything up to the viewer because he didn't want to make a definite call on what Buffy felt. I think that utterly weakens the spuffy arc and the writing of season 7. I think writers who go the route of "Choose your own adventure" in a strong story otherwise, completely hinders the message and just weakens it overall. I loved Harry Potter and would read it again and again, and there was no "choose your own adventure" in that. At times, leaving things ambiguous adds tension and suspense, but leaving the audience hanging permanently only annoys and turns people away. If Snape's true allegiance was never declared, how would you feel about the story then? Having balance and knowing when to stand your ground is where people are won over. Declare the truth, in text, with all complexities at hand, and I'll feel that the writer would have made a strong story/theme even stronger. It's the cowards way out when you continue to leave the question unanswered for fear of the fans.

For those saying that Buffy displayed signs of love throughout season 7 and that I'm missing something large and important, I have to say, that without any type of confirmation otherwise (what Joss says in interviews and what he does in text are two different things. Maybe Buffy loved Spike, but not in the way we think he meant. Spike is important to Buffy but he is not her guy) almost any interpretation is valid. Buffy's reliance on Spike could have more to do with her growing responsibilities and the fact she needed Spike and his support to continue on, than her falling in love with him. In fact, one could argue Spike and Buffy were simply using each other like Buffy was in season 6, but without the sex. However, Buffy wasn't sure what Spike wanted (did he have romantic intention or not) and he needed her and her support to continue on in his state. The codependence was needed at the time, for both their emotional needs. Once that situation was over, they both no longer needed to be in the others life. Which makes more sense for comics spuffy.

Finally taking it all into consideration, I have to say I'm now less inclined to believe in the beauty of the spuffy relationship in the show. Once I thought there was a powerful and amazing love story. Now I just see an interesting journey of two characters and the tragedy of a love that will never be. The real beauty of Spuffy lies in fan fiction. Where writers aren't afraid of letting Buffy love Spike and declare it, even if it's heartbreaking. It lies in believing Buffy at the end of Chosen, regardless of anything else.

All that being said, I feel better though I hate DH with a passion still. If anyone disagrees with the above, please let me know. I am open to change my mind if one has a compelling argument.

Also, I am sorry for being gone so long. I have no excuse. :(

Comments

( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
feel_the_joy
Feb. 15th, 2013 01:35 pm (UTC)
Hi, I don't have time to leave a full reply except to say I agree. I'll leave a better response later. Also, can I friend you?
tennyo_elf
Feb. 15th, 2013 05:19 pm (UTC)
I look forward to your response later! :3

And yes, of course. Please befriend me if you wish! I'm always happy to make new friends.
rahirah
Feb. 15th, 2013 05:19 pm (UTC)
Hey, that's the conclusion I came to way back when S7 first aired. And everyone said I was a pessimist.
tennyo_elf
Feb. 16th, 2013 07:23 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry I ever doubted you! At least you'll never have to eat weird food!

I don't think it's pessimistic, just realistic. Maybe Joss didn't intend for that be the case and wanted to create something beautiful, but the text reads like the text reads.

It's kind of depressing, but at least I'm maturing as a Buffy fan! ;D
rahirah
Feb. 16th, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC)
I would be very happy to be wrong and have to eat weird food, but I don't think it's going to happen. :D
tennyo_elf
Feb. 16th, 2013 10:04 pm (UTC)
Could always eat weird food to pretend! :D
thepuddinhead
Feb. 15th, 2013 10:11 pm (UTC)
To me the comic book has never been a part of the REAL Buffyverse. So when I see this crap go on, it has less validity than if a fellow fan said something. I don't care if Joss helmed it. It never felt right to me, even a little. It was like "Dollhouse" for me. Try as I might, I couldn't like it and it never fit. It, from the get-go, didn't mesh with the series so to my mind it doesn't matter. I give it zero energy. It's not legit Buffy. (Forget Twilight, forget how they view Spike - all I needed was how horribly Buffy treated whats-her-face, her experimental lesbian relationship.) As soon as I read that, I was --- gone.

So, yeah. The comics are off track? Preaching to the choir. Don't give it your energy.

And nice to see you back
tennyo_elf
Feb. 16th, 2013 07:25 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry you have to put up with me Puddin! Just ignore any additional rants like these in the future!

But I'm getting better! I dismiss the comics more with each day! It's just taking time.

I hope to stay back? I yo-yo too much.
feel_the_joy
Feb. 16th, 2013 01:30 am (UTC)
Okay, it's time for my reply. It could get a bit long, so bear with me.

Okay, first I'll start by saying I understand your disillusionment with the comics. While I wasn't eagerly looking forward to Season 9(the comics just never worked for me as a cannonical continuation of the show, and aren't fun or interesting besides)I still had hope that DH would have learned from their mistakes and gotten on the right track. It would be unrealistic to expect them to suddenly make a comic that was *amazing*, but you'd think they would know better than to continue with the lousy characterisations, shock value tactics, and goofy plot twists. I was even cautiously optimistic about Spuffy, vacillating between excitement and worry, although the feelings were fairly mild as my investment in the story was half-hearted. Even so, I became increasingly annoyed as the season unfolded, as I didn't expect them to be so awful. I finally gave up on them completely when they sent Spike away. I was really hurt by that for a couple weeks, it was like Spuffy had been invalidated. Really, the only reason I had any investment in the comics is because Joss sees it as canon, so to get over my comics angst I reminded myself that there was no way Joss would make the show like that. IMO he's just having fun making a comic book about his own characters, and having all sorts of crazy things happen that he thinks are cool, and he only calls it canon to validate it. I doubt he really sees the story continuing this way. Maybe if you keep thinking about it this way, it will help you move on from them too? I hope you can, because I'm much happier feeling "whatever" towards the comics, and I didn't have your level of emotional investment(it got mostly burned out in S8) to begin with.

So, on to your post. I said I agreed earlier, but really I *mostly* agree. Firstly, I agree about Spike and Angel. They understand the souled vampire aspect of each other, but that is hardly all there is to them. As *people* they are extremely different and so, really can't understand each other. Also, the person who understands Spike best would be Buffy, but they aren't interested in that relationship(and I don't just mean in a shippy way), probably because it's too heartfelt to appeal to the fanboys these comics are made for. That might be why they like writing Buffy as being either rude or unresponsive to Spike, and why I expect him to sleep with Faith(blergh) in A&F. It's more palatable to the target audience than what he and Buffy had in the show.

Sadly, I also have to agree about the Angel/Bangel bias and think Buffy will forgive him far too easily and they'll be back to being lovey-dovey in no time. To DH, killing Giles was the only bad thing Angel did as Twilight and the only thing she needs to forgive him for. I wouldn't be surprized if they have her initially being standoffish towards him, only to have him(or maybe another character(s) call her on how "childish" and "selfish" she is being for holding a grudge when he was nobly trying to save humanity and only killed Giles because he was possessed, causing her to "come to her senses" and forgive him completely, and Twilight will never be brought up again. I hope not, but I don't have faith in them. After all, Allie defended Angel as a better boyfriend for Buffy than Spike when he knew Angel was Twilight. Biased, indeed.

WORD to everything you said about Buffy's forgiveness, I've got nothing to add there. It's just one of the ways they've warped her character.

continued below
tennyo_elf
Feb. 16th, 2013 07:34 pm (UTC)
I still had hope that DH would have learned from their mistakes and gotten on the right track. It would be unrealistic to expect them to suddenly make a comic that was *amazing*, but you'd think they would know better than to continue with the lousy characterisations, shock value tactics, and goofy plot twists. I was even cautiously optimistic about Spuffy, vacillating between excitement and worry, although the feelings were fairly mild as my investment in the story was half-hearted

Yes! This is wonderfully put. These were my exact feelings as well. I had hope that having come from season 8, they'd be more knowledgeable about, well, everything. I didn't expect great comics off the bat, but a genuine effort. I do not see that in season 9. All I really see is carelessness and a quick effort to make Angel look good while dismissing his crimes in season 8 completely.

Really, the only reason I had any investment in the comics is because Joss sees it as canon, so to get over my comics angst I reminded myself that there was no way Joss would make the show like that. IMO he's just having fun making a comic book about his own characters, and having all sorts of crazy things happen that he thinks are cool, and he only calls it canon to validate it.

Oh, gosh, yes, yes! That was my hang up, but the more I thought about it the less it seemed to be real. As in the real follow up of season 7. Yeah, Joss was having fun and doing what he wanted, not actually thinking about anything serious. But the backlash probably made him realize that he was messing with something a lot of people held dear and it was no longer fun for him. It's a completely different team too. The comics, while we have some TV writers, it's mostly headed by different people besides Joss. That just makes it a whole different creature. I am beginning to see it as Joss fan fiction, taking place in an AU setting, with POD Buffy.

Thanks!

Edited at 2013-02-16 07:36 pm (UTC)
feel_the_joy
Feb. 16th, 2013 01:35 am (UTC)

Brings me back to my rant about the Spike mini. I gotta say it was a waste of space. As much as I love Spike, the mini was pointless. He is where he was in season 8 more or less. I do not see how he is supposed to be "totally different" because Spike fans have seen him more or less independent since AtS5.

Yeah, this. To the rest of that paragraph, too. In the comics Spike should properly move on or make the decision to move on. I would personally like DH to never touch Spike's character ever again. I'd rather they end it by killing him again or putting him on a bus.

It's very sad that the character would probably be better served by getting killed off now than to stay in the hands of these "professionals". That goes for Spuffy, too; it's been written so badly they made me root for Spike to move on. But that's just the comics, I still love them in the show and fanfic.

I didn't know Dawn was dying, though I doubt they'll really kill her off. Anyway, great rant, lots of general agreement from me. I may not care what happens in future issues beyond a bemused sense of "whatever", but I'm still miffed at what they've already done to the verse, especially Buffy's character and Spuffy. Way to fail, Dark Horse! Anyway, I'll comment again later tonight or tomorrow about the few things I disagreed with, if you don't mind(I didn't mean to get so wordy!)
tennyo_elf
Feb. 16th, 2013 07:45 pm (UTC)
It's very sad that the character would probably be better served by getting killed off now than to stay in the hands of these "professionals". That goes for Spuffy, too; it's been written so badly they made me root for Spike to move on. But that's just the comics, I still love them in the show and fanfic.

It is sad. And honestly, I don't see the DH people as "professionals". Doing a professional job means putting aside your bias and making sure to pay attention to all detail. They are "professionals" only because they get paid for their work, but it doesn't show in their quality.

I still support spuffy in the TV show! And definitely in fanfics. I think they'll always be my OTP. My perception of the relationship has changed now though. The comics were a spring board to re-evaluate the TV show. This time I can't come away from the show saying Buffy loved Spike based on what we saw on screen (the Bangel kiss in Chosen/End of Days seals it for me).

If I indulge, I'll go back and re-write that scene in my head so I can believe Buffy and then enjoy fanfic where she loves him.

I'd love to hear what you disagree about! I love wordy, so no worries!

But yes, way to fail DH! I think I could have been okay with spuffy taking a dump if only they stayed true to Buffy's characterization (which in turn would have improved the spuffy naturally, but yeah...).
sarian71
Feb. 16th, 2013 09:45 am (UTC)
Wonderful post! Well said! I share your every single sentiment about this, and I have to admit I envy your ability to articulate these issues so clearly.

"[Bangel reunion] will be a big thing, but wasn't Spike and Buffy seeing each other for the first time in years, their "reunion" a big thing too? Obviously not."

Grr argh!!! There's no words to describe how much this infuriates me. I will never get over the huge disappointment of the non-existent Spuffy reunion, and the 'crazy studly' knife to the gut. The mere thought about a Big Bangel Reunion Extravaganza pisses me off. And it will happen. Sadly there's no doubt about that.

"They didn't want to take that route. Instead we get what we got and it's pretty...well not pretty. They reduced their dynamic to a simple one. A boring one."

There's an abundance of interesting directions that the plot would've gone (I'm not talking just about Spuffy here). There's so many different types of interesting dynamics between characters that they could've explored. There's so many interesting ways that characters could've kept growing and continued their emotional journey. They could've chosen to tell a fascinating and captivating story. But no. It never seizes to amaze me, how out of all the possible options under the sun, they chose the most lame, boring, same old same old, nonsensical and gimmicky approach. And regressed the characters, and then proceeded to ignore all about the concept of character motivation. And don't get me started about the complete emotional opacity of their main character. Who is that girl, anyway? It's like they've made a list of all the things fans are interested in and expect from the story, and then went out of their way to NOT address any of them in any way. Instead, they are trying their damnest to ruin everything that made BtVS a great show. So much potential. So many great storytelling opportunities. All wasted. *sigh*

"I think writers who go the route of "Choose your own adventure" in a strong story otherwise, completely hinders the message and just weakens it overall."

Amen to that.

"Finally taking it all into consideration, I have to say I'm now less inclined to believe in the beauty of the spuffy relationship in the show. Once I thought there was a powerful and amazing love story. Now I just see an interesting journey of two characters and the tragedy of a love that will never be."

:( This makes me so sad. I hate it when these comics affect our enjoyment of what came before.

Edited at 2013-02-16 10:18 am (UTC)
tennyo_elf
Feb. 16th, 2013 07:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Honestly I hoped I was understandable, my writing has gone down hill lately, so I'm glad it came across okay.

I will never get over the huge disappointment of the non-existent Spuffy reunion, and the 'crazy studly' knife to the gut.

If this hadn't happened and they had a proper epic reunion I think I could have stomached a bangel reunion. Now? It just sickens me because all I see is bias, bias, bias.

There's an abundance of interesting directions that the plot would've gone (I'm not talking just about Spuffy here)...snip

Word, word, word to everything in this paragraph. They are either playing it so safe they made it boring by default or are completely clueless on how to deal with any character that isn't Angel...even then they Gary Sue Angel, which is horrible for the Angel character. They've reduced Angel's own complexities by making everything he does heroic, even killing Giles.

This makes me so sad. I hate it when these comics affect our enjoyment of what came before.

It's gotten better, believe me! Just the comics forced me to look at the show in a different light. Which I think is good because besides the things that affect me personally as Spike/Spuffy fan (I tend to narrow on those things even though I like the whole), I am beginning to see other writing problems I didn't see before. The honeymoon period is over. And if I can get passed the flaws of the show, then I hope I can appreciate the show even more! :)


Edited at 2013-02-16 07:56 pm (UTC)
eilowyn
Feb. 16th, 2013 11:33 am (UTC)
I've come to the conclusion that the comics are like the opposing party's national convention (if you're a Democrat, it's like the Republican National Convention, and vice versa). You don't agree with anything that's being said, keep up with it mostly for the train wreck, and know the guy they'll eventually nominate is a moron and everyone backing him is an idiot.

If they make a big fucking deal with the Bangel reunion, if they have Buffy forgive Angel, I'll finally send that letter on my hard drive where I call Allie an idiot. and present a paper on why the comics suck at a conference.

I still believe in the beauty of Spuffy in the show, though the comics have made it harder to do so.
tennyo_elf
Feb. 16th, 2013 08:04 pm (UTC)
I wish I could enjoy it like you do! I hurt when I see idiots, though I am aware that I can be an idiot at times too. The problems comes when there is no moderation or not having a person on the team telling you you are being an idiot and to stop. But working in the comics industry, I found out that everyone has egos the size of mountains and saying one word of criticism only makes them not listen to you even harder, shutting you down and not take any suggestion, no matter how good or sensible, in to consideration. (Which brings me to another rant, my crushed dreams of being a comic book writer and how my future plans have changed...that's for another day...)

I say turn in the paper anyway. It's not going to get better. If Allie and DH continue to have full power while Joss is in Marvel heaven (which I am happy for him) then it's only going to get worse and worse! Which is yay for us! We see this horrible train wreck, the sales going down the shitters and are completely able to hand wave away the comics without a second glance. And more people will chime in the same thoughts and eventually the comics will be shutdown forever. Or we can dream, can't we?

I still support spuffy, that ain't ever gonna change. I just see them differently now. But the comics are criminal for making it hard to enjoy something we once loved.

Edited at 2013-02-16 08:06 pm (UTC)
metanewsmods
Feb. 16th, 2013 10:12 pm (UTC)
Hey could we include this in next week's metanews?
tennyo_elf
Feb. 21st, 2013 06:21 am (UTC)
If it's not too late, of course! Sorry! I've been kind of busy and your message kind of passed me by!

Edited at 2013-02-25 03:03 am (UTC)
feel_the_joy
Feb. 16th, 2013 11:43 pm (UTC)
Hi, I'm back again :)

Okay, now for my disagreements. First, there's this:
it's like watching the same person get with themselves

I actually don't think Spike and Faith are like the same character. Most of their similarities are external; internally Spike is MUCH more like Buffy than Faith. The similarities between Spike and Buffy show in their external behavior, too; it's just not as immediately apparent as the Spike/Faith similarities. So I'm not opposed to ships where the characters have similar personalities, or I wouldn't ship Spuffy. What matters is the way those similarities come together:do they complement each other or do they blend too much and stagnate? With S/F, while they aren't as alike as they seem, they do *appear* the same. They may be alike more on the outside than the inside, but it's their outside behavior that affects our impression of them and how they interact. Even if the similarities are superficial, they *look* too similar, and that makes for a bland ship. I like them as friends, but I don't like shipping them because their behavior blends rather than complements. So, I didn't totally disagree with you there :)
feel_the_joy
Feb. 17th, 2013 12:10 am (UTC)
Now, about Chosen. I still fully believe Buffy really loved Spike(though I don't mind if you don't see it that way). She wouldn't have such a hard time getting the words out if it wasn't authentic, and what would be the point of flaming hands symbolism if she didn't mean it?

But the main reason I can't believe she didn't mean it is that it serves no narrative purpose. What's the Buffy of it? The show is all about her coming of age and the final episode has to wrap up her arc in a satisfactory way. If she did love Spike, then her emotional arc of becoming increasingly afraid of romantic love and hardening herself is resolved, as it would mean she had finally overcome her fear and allowed herself to love again. It's especially fitting that she does so with a vampire since the trauma Angel caused is what set her on this path, and it has been noted before how Spike getting a soul for Buffy because he loved her is the opposite of Angel losing his for the same reason. For her love Spike(and I don't think it's a coincidence that those are her last words on the show, for the reason just stated)wraps everything up nicely.

However, if she *doesn't* mean the ILU in Chosen, what is the point? How does it serve Buffy's arc? Nothing is resolved, she's still stuck exactly where she's been all this time, so why go that route? Why bother even developing Spuffy at all? She spent at least the last season getting closer to Spike for the sake of.....nothing? Why?

continued
feel_the_joy
Feb. 17th, 2013 12:44 am (UTC)
I know the comics portray her feelings for Spike very differently from the show, and for a while it caused me to look at Spuffy in the show differently, too. I no longer do, though, because of what I said earlier about seeing the comics as just a fun pet project for Joss rather than a true continuation given the same serious artistic attention he approached the show with. What I think happened is this: Joss really did intent for Spuffy to be the love story we thought we saw, he just didn't want to continue the story beyond S7. He doesn't want to write about Buffy being happy and in a healthy relationship; that bores him. So he fully meant for Buffy to love Spike, but that was supposed to be the last season. When he later decided to continue the story in comics, he had to backpedal and pretend S7 basically didn't happen so he didn't have to write about Spuffy in a way that was natural for where they left off. He doesn't have a problem reuniting Bangel because he never intended that ship to go anywhere in the first place, it's just a mechanism to create epic ANGST and DRAMA for Buffy(and the fans). The whole point of Bangel is that it's doomed, there's no chance of it becoming a happy,fulfilling relationship so it's "safe" for him to keep bringing it back as it won't change anything.

Finally, about that kiss. I don't think it means she didn't love Spike since you can love more than one person at the same time. Besides, it was just fanservice. Yes, hugging him would have made more sense, but it wouldn't have satisfied the Bangels so it would have been pointless from a Doyleist POV. The ONLY reason Angel appeared in the last two episodes was to make Bangels happy, so if he was going to be there it had to be a kiss or nothing. So I wouldn't take it too seriously. Hope that helps you feel better, and thanks for friending me :)
tennyo_elf
Feb. 21st, 2013 05:59 am (UTC)
Again, you make sense to me. It does sound like that may have happened. I just hate that we don't have anything to tell us what is what. I can see that Joss may have wanted to have the love story he intended in season 7 but his thoughtlessness in some of his decisions really, I believe, hurt it.

For season 8 to be canon to Joss (which the more I think about it the more I think it was just a fun romp for Joss and to get out ideas he wanted to do that just didn't feel right otherwise. Like he wanted to get bander "off his chest") you'd have to try to reconcile season 7. And it make-y no sense-y in any sort of natural way. But yeah, I can agree with lots in that first paragraph.

The thing is, even if it's fan service, he put it in. It derailed the spuffy arc for me. I think it was too thoughtless and too much because it served no narrative purpose unless it was to cast doubt on Buffy's feelings for Spike. This is one of the things I think Joss' brain skipped town on, because he thought on too superficial level without actually thinking of the repercussions of this choice for fan service. Same with Twilight, the AR, Xander summoning Sweets (it's a joke right?), etc. I have to take it serious because the show takes it serious. Maybe I'm thinking too deep into the meaning though.

oh, and you are very welcome! Thank you for wanting to be my friend! :3
feel_the_joy
Feb. 22nd, 2013 11:49 am (UTC)
Joss may have wanted to have the love story he intended in season 7 but his thoughtlessness in some of his decisions really, I believe, hurt it.

Yeah, I can see that. I just don't think he did any damage to it that is irrepairable *in the show*. It's just the comics that send everything to hell in a handbasket, and I don't see those as a true continuation.

The thing is, even if it's fan service, he put it in. It derailed the spuffy arc for me. I think it was too thoughtless and too much because it served no narrative purpose unless it was to cast doubt on Buffy's feelings for Spike

I really think that scene had no business being there and is,frankly,bad writing. You're right that it serves no narrative purpose. That was the point I was trying to make; I don't see it as casting doubt on her feelings because it's just empty fanservice that doesn't attempt to say anything about the story except that see still has feelings for Angel, and as I said above you can love more than one person at the same time. But I understand if you don't see it that way, this is just my subjective view.

ITA that Joss doesn't think a lot of things through, the Bangel kiss included. It boggles my mind how someone who can be such a talented writer can also be such a careless one.

oh, and you are very welcome! Thank you for wanting to be my friend! :3

:)
tennyo_elf
Feb. 25th, 2013 01:59 am (UTC)
I agree. It's not completely irreparable on the show. Unfortunately the show ended and didn't give us anything else that we can really go on. And of course I completely agree with you about the comics.

I agree with you in the fact that because we know that Bangel kiss scene was fan service and that because it really served no purpose that we should be able to dismiss it. But I have to wonder, if Joss is a great writer, shouldn't he have seen this coming? Or seen this angle? Or is he really this careless? He insisted on the AR, so maybe he is that careless, but the since the text is what we have to go on it's forever frustrating.

I saw it how you see it for a long time. That we can just dismiss it because it's fan service. Yet it's part of the show and as readers don't we have to make sense of it? If we had no outside knowledge of interviews and commentary, how can we make sense of that scene without having Buffy magically fall in love with Spike the second before he dies? Unless we say she didn't love Spike until that moment, which would be close to love at first sight mentality? She loved Spike in that moment only?

I get that people can love two people at the same time. But it's extremely unfair to both Angel and Spike. Buffy, in that scene, come off as she'll always love Angel and that anyone else in the mean time is just who she is going to kill time with. Buffy should move on from Angel and from Spike. The person who she'll end up spending her life with should have her full heart (or at least be her main priority), even if Angel and Spike will always be important to her.

I think what ticked me off with that scene (kissing Angel) is that the writers saw Buffy as being with Spike. Now, the viewers didn't see it that way. We knew there was a connection and they were growing close and that maybe they would be together if Spike didn't die...yet, we get this kissing scene.

If you love someone else other than the person you are supposedly with, it doesn't seem right to go kissing the exes. I've related to Buffy on numerous occasions and Buffy does seem to have very strong convictions. I've always admired that about her. And if she isn't ready for a relationship or love, that's okay too. In fact, I love the idea of her being her own woman and not needing a man. For her to kiss Angel if the writers saw her with Spike lends me to believe that they are not really writing the Buffy I know. Or thought I know. It felt more like the writers thought, "Well we screwed up with Spike and Buffy, let's go back to Buffy and Angel as the main love story."

Let's say she was with Riley at this point instead of Spike, and they were together. Buffy kissing Angel would be almost a betrayal, even if Buffy still loved Angel. I don't like painting Buffy in that light at all. And that revelation would have needed more time to develop.

So I guess we are back with really bad writing. And I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. However I do believe you make very valid points and have caused me to rethink it some more. Though thinking it bad writing also diminishes it just as much as thinking Buffy didn't love Spike.

I just wish I had a time machine and went back in time to tell Joss the dangers of careless writing and the impact it has overall.

I really appreciate this discussion by the way. Thank you.

ITA that Joss doesn't think a lot of things through, the Bangel kiss included. It boggles my mind how someone who can be such a talented writer can also be such a careless one.

Oh, gosh me too! It really amazes me how sometimes he can really just take your breath away and then the next leave you disgusted by the bad writing. I think, from what I've seen, is that Joss, while a great and innovate guy, is only as good as the team he is with. If he has a great team, Joss shines, if his team is lacking, on his own he loses his way. His re-writes on other peoples scripts are sometimes fantastic but sometimes his fully done scripts leave you feeling that something is lacking.

Edited at 2013-02-25 02:16 am (UTC)
feel_the_joy
Feb. 27th, 2013 01:27 am (UTC)
the show ended and didn't give us anything else that we can really go on

I think that's where we differ. I don't actually *need* anything post-show to go on to determine Buffy's feelings. I'm satisfied with the way I read the show. Though, I can see why other people would want more.



I agree with you in the fact that because we know that Bangel kiss scene was fan service and that because it really served no purpose that we should be able to dismiss it

Ah, I wasn't clear there. I actually don't dismiss the kiss. I don't think it's irrelevant, I think she does still have some feelings for Angel. What I was trying to say is that it doesn't mean he is her One True Love or anything like that, or that she doesn't love Spike.

But I have to wonder, if Joss is a great writer, shouldn't he have seen this coming? Or seen this angle? Or is he really this careless? He insisted on the AR, so maybe he is that careless, but the since the text is what we have to go on it's forever frustrating.

I think he's careless about a lot of things. I also think it's too simplistic to say he's a great writer; he's very hit-or-miss. Sometimes he's incredible, but other times he makes you headdesk. But yes, it's frustrating.

If we had no outside knowledge of interviews and commentary, how can we make sense of that scene without having Buffy magically fall in love with Spike the second before he dies?

The way I read it is that she had been falling in love for some time by then, but she also had some lingering feelings for Angel because she had never dealt with them. Bangel ended in such a way that she was never given the opportunity to resolve her feelings. Even so, she still chose to stop basking with Angel and went back to Spike.

I get that people can love two people at the same time. But it's extremely unfair to both Angel and Spike. Buffy, in that scene, come off as she'll always love Angel and that anyone else in the mean time is just who she is going to kill time with.

I agree that it's unfair. Although, I don't think she comes off as always loving Angel. I think she comes off as *idealizing* him. She might *think* she'll always love him *in that moment*, but that's just how she is. She lives and experiences her feelings completely in the present. She thinks that how she feels at any given moment is how she will always feel and doesn't look to the future.

tennyo_elf
Mar. 2nd, 2013 02:36 am (UTC)
Though, I can see why other people would want more.

Oh, I want to feel what you feel, trust me. It's just so hard now. It's that whole, once seen, cannot unsee thing. Now that I've read things in another POV, I just need some kind of affirmation that Buffy meant that ILU in a romantic, honest way.

I think he's careless about a lot of things. I also think it's too simplistic to say he's a great writer; he's very hit-or-miss. Sometimes he's incredible, but other times he makes you headdesk. But yes, it's frustrating.

Word! I agree 250%!

The way I read it is that she had been falling in love for some time by then, but she also had some lingering feelings for Angel because she had never dealt with them. Bangel ended in such a way that she was never given the opportunity to resolve her feelings. Even so, she still chose to stop basking with Angel and went back to Spike.

Thanks for the clarification! And if that is the case, she should really resolve her feelings for Angel. I get that a part of her will always love and care for Angel to a certain extent. That's fine. But she should move on from Angel and the basking. And she should resolve any feelings for Spike too if she has them. I just all of them should move on unless two of them make an active effort to be with each other.

She thinks that how she feels at any given moment is how she will always feel and doesn't look to the future.

I haven't actually gotten that from her too much. Maybe a little and only around Angel. I probably should do a re-watch of the series soon.
feel_the_joy
Feb. 27th, 2013 01:46 am (UTC)
I think what ticked me off with that scene (kissing Angel) is that the writers saw Buffy as being with Spike. Now, the viewers didn't see it that way. We knew there was a connection and they were growing close and that maybe they would be together if Spike didn't die...yet, we get this kissing scene.

Don't get me wrong, I hate that scene with a passion. It has no business being there. I just don't think it ruins Spuffy. But yeah, it's bad writing and ticks me off.

If you love someone else other than the person you are supposedly with, it doesn't seem right to go kissing the exes. I've related to Buffy on numerous occasions and Buffy does seem to have very strong convictions. I've always admired that about her. And if she isn't ready for a relationship or love, that's okay too. In fact, I love the idea of her being her own woman and not needing a man. For her to kiss Angel if the writers saw her with Spike lends me to believe that they are not really writing the Buffy I know. Or thought I know. It felt more like the writers thought, "Well we screwed up with Spike and Buffy, let's go back to Buffy and Angel as the main love story."Let's say she was with Riley at this point instead of Spike, and they were together. Buffy kissing Angel would be almost a betrayal, even if Buffy still loved Angel. I don't like painting Buffy in that light at all. And that revelation would have needed more time to develop.

I agree it isn't right to kiss your ex while in love with someone else, but while Buffy has strong convictions, she isn't perfect. The scene doesn't read to me as the writers trying to go back to Bangel, just throwing the shippers a bone. I do think you're right about it being almost a betrayal, but I can forgive her since she does feel bad about it. Just IMO.



So I guess we are back with really bad writing. And I guess we'll have to agree to disagree

It's ok to disagree :) And I do think it was really bad writing, just FYI.



I just wish I had a time machine and went back in time to tell Joss the dangers of careless writing and the impact it has overall.

I doubt he'd listen, unfortunately. But listening to the Chosen commentary, he sounds like he really didn't want that scene there. It leads me to suspect it was forced by the network.

Oh, gosh me too! It really amazes me how sometimes he can really just take your breath away and then the next leave you disgusted by the bad writing. I think, from what I've seen, is that Joss, while a great and innovate guy, is only as good as the team he is with. If he has a great team, Joss shines, if his team is lacking, on his own he loses his way. His re-writes on other peoples scripts are sometimes fantastic but sometimes his fully done scripts leave you feeling that something is lacking.

Heh, word :)

I really appreciate this discussion by the way. Thank you.

:)
tennyo_elf
Mar. 2nd, 2013 02:41 am (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, I hate that scene with a passion. It has no business being there. I just don't think it ruins Spuffy. But yeah, it's bad writing and ticks me off.



I can forgive her since she does feel bad about it. Just IMO.

Oh, I can forgive Buffy. I'm more upset at the writers.

I doubt he'd listen, unfortunately. But listening to the Chosen commentary, he sounds like he really didn't want that scene there. It leads me to suspect it was forced by the network.

That would be nice. I seriously wonder what's in Joss' brain sometimes, because while he says something, you get the feeling that sometimes he doesn't mean what he actually says.

\(^.^)/


Edited at 2013-03-02 02:44 am (UTC)
tennyo_elf
Feb. 21st, 2013 05:48 am (UTC)
Sorry for the bit of lateness! I'm trying to sell my car and my work schedule isn't helping.

I totally get you. For the longest time this is the exact same thing that I believed. It does make sense for me that the ILU served to have the narrative purpose of closing off Buffy's fear of romantic love (which I could say she utilized in season 8 with Xander?). Perhaps though maybe it wasn't fear of romantic love, but just fear of loving period. She could love Dawn and Giles, Willow and Xander, but those people were safe to love. Finally opening herself to other people may been closer to what type of love Buffy was afraid of.

With me coming to see the story a bit differently and because we don't have any real clarification, you could say that she wasn't afraid to finally love romantically again (though I would argue that she might have already loved Riley and that she wasn't just afraid of romantic love) and to finally say it, but there really wasn't actual feelings of love to back it up. Spike maybe opened her heart to the idea, but not towards him. To say that she meant it (and the Buffy lover part of me wants to scream that she did) would mean that moment would have to live in a vacuum in my opinion.

Also, I feel like this is all fan wank. Joss, while he can be brilliant, sometimes he just doesn't think things through. Maybe to him she meant it in that moment and the next she didn't, but in real life it doesn't work that way and many people wouldn't believe it.

Perhaps he didn't believe Buffy's arc was over either. Just on hold? I really don't know.

But all what you said is very true, though it's hard for me to see it that way again. I want to, but it is very hard. I do believe Buffy had powerful emotions towards Spike at that time, but...
feel_the_joy
Feb. 22nd, 2013 12:28 pm (UTC)
No worries about being late :)

Perhaps though maybe it wasn't fear of romantic love, but just fear of loving period. She could love Dawn and Giles, Willow and Xander, but those people were safe to love. Finally opening herself to other people may been closer to what type of love Buffy was afraid of.

Yeah, that's part of what I was trying to say but didn't clarify. It's definitely opening up to people that she fears, but she has this problem especially with romantic relationships because of her past experiences with them. She fears opening her heart to a lover more than she fears it with family/friends because those are the relationships that burned her(especially Angel), but I agree that Chosen is about learning to open herself to love in general, not just romantically.

you could say that she wasn't afraid to finally love romantically again (though I would argue that she might have already loved Riley and that she wasn't just afraid of romantic love) and to finally say it, but there really wasn't actual feelings of love to back it up

I do think she probably loved Riley, but I don't think she was able to really open up to him. Anyway, it doesn't make sense to me that Chosen would be about her overcoming her fear of love and *not* have her mean it. Saying ILU is meaningless if she doesn't love the person she's saying it to. There is no emotional risk there, so saying it in such a situation doesn't suggest that she has overcome her fear. If anything it would mean she *hasn't* done so, if she can only say she loves people when she doesn't really.

Also, I feel like this is all fan wank

Well, it is :P But so is the conclusion that she did *not* love Spike. Without text to make things crystal clear, *any* interpretation is fanwanking. What I said above is just the reading that makes the most sense to me. You don't have to agree with me,though. I understand people see things differently.

Perhaps he didn't believe Buffy's arc was over either. Just on hold? I really don't know.

I don't know, either. At any rate, it had to be a conclusion for her arc *in the show*, regardless of if he wanted to do the comics back then or not. So it had to wrap things up for viewers who hadn't read the comics that didn't exist at the time, many of whom wouldn't read them even if/when they were made.

But I sympathize with how you feel. I felt that way myself for a while. I hope the comics haven't ruined the show permanently for you. Just remember it doesn't work as canon, hopefully you'll feel better about things :)
tennyo_elf
Feb. 25th, 2013 02:13 am (UTC)
Shot, I didn't clarify very well. I meant, Buffy meant the ILU but not romantically. You're right, if she didn't mean it in some way than there wouldn't be any meaning to it. And no resolution.

Agree on Riley.

Fan wank can be fun and I admire people who have been fan wanking for years since the end of the show (10 years). I've only been doing it for 2 years and it's exhausting. The odd thing, as I've said before, I saw it your way after my first watch through back in 2010. It's only after time and re-watching and seeing what Joss did with the comics, and reading a lot of discussion on the matter that have changed my perception.

I wrote a huge post on Buffy loving Spike back before season 9 really got into it on Buffy forums. I was really adamant about it.

I've kinda of lost Buffy's arc I admit. Perhaps I need to re-watch the show.

No, I don't think it's permanent damage. I'm dismissing the comics more each day. And I still love Spuffy.

Thank you for your worry though! ;)
tennyo_elf
Feb. 21st, 2013 06:20 am (UTC)
Ah, you know, I actually agree completely with you on this and I think I didn't make myself clear.

I really agree that Spike and Buffy are the same deep down and that Spike and Faith are different deep down, but how they are on the outside is what I was referring to. So yes, S/F blend instead of complement each other.

Oh, I'd love Faith and Spike to be friends, they'd be cool. I'm just talking romantically. Actually, I'd like all the good guys to be friends with each other in perfect world. =p
feel_the_joy
Feb. 22nd, 2013 01:28 pm (UTC)
Hooray for agreement! :)

And I really wish DH would let Spike interact with characters from the show who aren't Buffy. I know there's the A&F issue coming up, but that's a one-shot and I want him to interact with the Scoobies. I don't care about him interacting with Angel, so that leaves Faith. Anyway, there's no reason they *couldn't* have had him interact with the Scoobs in S9, but outside of Buffy they seem to want to restrict him to OCs. Sigh.
tennyo_elf
Feb. 25th, 2013 02:24 am (UTC)
Yay! *High Five across the internet!

Oh gosh yes! I got to the point where I almost didn't care about the spuffy and wanted to see scenes with Dawn and Xander. Especially with Dawn.

I also don't care about seeing him interact with Angel. I have this sinking feeling they are going to use Spike to make Angel look good. And really, we've gone through season 5 of AtS with Angel and Spike. I'd like to see Spike interact with Faith too but I feel like it's going to be a disaster because I just know they'll over look the nuances of the dynamic between Faith and Spike. As I said before they're probably just going to play the sex angle most likely.

Please excuse my rudeness, but I can't help my eyes rolling into the back of my head.

/double Sigh and passing of the strong liqueur to make it all go away...
3hours
Feb. 22nd, 2013 10:58 am (UTC)
Hi! I saw you'd popped into the chat and mentioned wanting to write but losing your oomph quickly, so here:



:D
tennyo_elf
Feb. 25th, 2013 12:56 am (UTC)
Penguin! You gave me a penguin! I love him! Don't worry! I was only losing some oomph because I got tired! I'm getting back into things! :3

I hope you got some oomph too! ;)
heartsewnsleeve
Feb. 23rd, 2013 07:47 pm (UTC)
I haven't read the comics since July, and haven't been overly excited or enthralled by them since reading. I tried over and over again to see it as canon but it falls short every time. I kept getting small little reasons to have hope, but after seeing what Andrew did to Buffy, I just could not deal with it any longer.

I totally separate BtVS from the comics. It probably helps that the comic characters are nothing whatsoever like the characters we've grown to love, admire, adore and stan for years.

I do disagree that Buffy never loved Spike because of that Angel kiss. I can only talk about my experiences here so you can still disagree! :)

I had someone similar to Angel (from Buffy's POV). They were special, they were dear and he reminds me of when things were a lot easier. We weren't in a relationship but have always had a connection and used to rely on each other a whole lot. Eventually, I realized "Hey, this guy is a good friend but there's nothing there. It's just comfort!" and it hit me pretty flat in the face. The thing was that he had been there and for me during pivotal moments (like Angel was Buffy) so he became a comfort. Same with me with him.

We still talk here and there, but not so much anymore, but I can still think and talk fondly of him. I didn't have deep romantic feelings but I had a comfort in him, and I wanted that comfort so bad that I'd make myself believe he was the "cat's meow" and he was "everything". Looking back, it was ridiculous but that comfort he gave me was so important to me and needed that I just didn't care.

He was with me during pivotal moments and it attached me to him. Even though I never really loved him as more than a friend nor could that ever realistically work, it didn't matter because he gave me someone to lean on.

Buffy does the same thing with Angel. When she sees him, she remembers when she didn't face death every-day and she was still "innocent". S7 was dealing with mere girls being killed, recovering from an A/R, being a single parent, trying to manage that transition from teenager to adulthood, and most of all - to never let anyone know how much she was suffering internally.

It's just like in Season 5 after Joyce died. It didn't matter that she didn't have feelings for Angel at the moment, it's just that he was *Angel* and he was always her crutch. He was the first person she ever thought about in that fashion and she never wanted to let him go because it would officially mean that she couldn't pretend she was 16 and life was okay anymore.

She clung to Angel then and in Chosen because when she kisses or touches Angel, it's like forgetting reality and falling into a time trap. She wants that feeling of wholeness she had before losing so much and Angel gives it to her.

When she saw Angel, that kiss symbolized a crutch. She was leaning on him because in her mind Angel represented everything that she missed.

It's the same situation as if you're dating someone new, but your life starts cracking and you hook up with an ex-boyfriend. It's not because you have feelings for him; you just miss and want to experience the feeling of what you felt before. You want that crutch.

If you think of someone in your romantic life who played "an Angel role", I think it makes a lot more sense. Obviously there's going to be fan-baiting (BtVS writers and producers swear 99.9% fan base are Bangel shippers, I swear) with it and I realize it, but in retrospect that kiss symbolizes a crutch. It also speaks for the entire Bangel relationship. It's a crutch for both of them and always will.

Edited at 2013-02-23 07:56 pm (UTC)
tennyo_elf
Feb. 25th, 2013 02:52 am (UTC)
I totally separate BtVS from the comics. It probably helps that the comic characters are nothing whatsoever like the characters we've grown to love, admire, adore and stan for years.

It's becoming easier and easier to do that, separate BtVS from the comics.

Yeah, I get that POV. I think someone else refereed to it as a fantasy moment for Buffy. That she saw Angel and just wanted to go back to the time when things were a bit easier. Though coming from a season 1 re-watch, it's hard to say that things were ever easy for Buffy.

It's easy to combine that with the idea that Buffy loved them both at the same time and that is was only fan service/bad writing. Do that, and it's easy to dismiss it. I'm just trying to read the text without the interviews and the commentary and with very little "fan wanking". And it's really hard for me to see that she did mean it after all just going by what I see in the text.

I used to go by visual/sound clues. Buffy just told Spike that she got the scythe from his strength that he gave her last night. That weapon could mean her winning the war. First thing she does when she sees Angel? Throw the scythe on the ground hard. Then after the kiss she's kind of "oh, what was that?" in her facial expression. I used to use that to make me feel better. To say that she was just trying to fantasize about Angel and a better time. It was her trying to forget Spike and everything that has happened.

But by doing that, to me, that tells me she wants to forget Spike. And if she realized she fell in love with him only hours later, why would she want to forget Spike now? Maybe in season 6 or early season 7, but why now? So it doesn't really mesh for me. Because if she was falling for Spike slowly, then why she want to revert now? Just because of Angel or because Angel has that much power over her? Or that Angel is just that much of crutch to her? And then that means she wasn't ready to love Spike in Chosen. And that's okay, she doesn't have to love Spike and she doesn't have to love him at that moment.

Overall, I think that Kiss really really hurts the writing for Buffy's and Spuffy's season 7 arc. Or that kiss should have been done earlier to really get to the ramification of what that kiss should mean to Buffy and to the supposed spuffy arc in season 7.

It also speaks for the entire Bangel relationship. It's a crutch for both of them and always will.

True. ;)

BtVS writers and producers swear 99.9% fan base are Bangel shippers, I swear

I get that feeling too.

Edited at 2013-02-25 02:55 am (UTC)
heartsewnsleeve
Feb. 25th, 2013 09:09 am (UTC)
I was skeptical of the comics from the get-go. I didn't read S8 until S9 was being written because I had heard terrible things and the plot-lines made me skeptical then I read about the "Twilight issue". I was so disgusted... but I got the first 12 issues of Season 8 as a Christmas gift, so I read them. I read a general summary of S8 from that point then started S9 in a desperate feeling of hope because I heard how it was going to be like the show again.

Sigh.

It got to the point where I just couldn't deal with the comics anymore. I went into S9 shaky yet hopeful. I read what was going on in the Angel comics (they really made Gunn an evil vampire?). At this point, I had zero expectation and honestly, I am so glad that I had. I had faint glimpses of hope for it (not just Spuffy but for all of the characters) and it fell so flat. I decided to just stop wasting my money. Why pay $2.99 when I can read a fanfic that ACTUALLY understands the characters and has sensical plot-lines, you know?

I think a lot of these Spuffy issues stem from the A/R, IMHO. As much as Buffy watched Spike changed and cared for him in a sense, she could never trust him. She always had trust issues since S2 that were strengthened in S3, then reopened by Parker, and she overcame for Riley but they were reopened too after he left.

I think the problems with S7 Spuffy come from Seeing Red. It poorly executed in not only Spike's development but insulting. A/R and R is a serious subject, and if a show is going to do it, you better dedicate the proper attention to it. Personally, I prefer to acknowledge that it never happened and since I never read Season 6 fanfictions, I don't need to.

It always hindered my ability in enjoying Spuffy in the context of the show. The conclusion I came to, many months ago (even if I never shared it because I was too afraid of getting backlash or offending Spuffy shippers) is that Spuffy is far better in fanfiction. The writers were too afraid to ever develop them and only gave enough scenes to satisfy the fans.

I think the best Spuffy is S4 because it's natural, it's developing and it show that it doesn't have to be dark.

I do believe Buffy loved Spike. I don't necessarily believe it's the love that I see a lot of Spuffy fans compare to it to like deep passionate love because it wasn't. It was the closest thing to love that Buffy could feel. Maybe not love, but to love to *her* which is why Spike said no you don't. I think he knew that she never could really love anyone.

I think textually, we're meant to realize that Spike means something to Buffy, but mixed with the cookie dough speech, she's not in love with him because I don't think she understands how to give herself to someone. As much as I love BtVS, sometimes it really confuses me with how it treats Buffy's romances because I feel like there's some type of development missing

If they wanted to appeal the Bangel ones, they could've done a clip of Buffy holding someone Angel related, like the ring he gave her, and letting her cry then shaking her head. It also was not confusing in terms of her development, but Cordelia was in a coma.

Have you watched The Vampire Diaries before? I think you may really love it. You'll get wonderful chars and developed ships!! And there's no appealing to a particular ship which I find refreshing.

It really drives me insane. I actually don't know of many Buffy and Angel fans in real life. I know of more Buffy and Riley! Everyone who I know watched AtS said they stopped liking Buffy and Angel after seeing him with Cordelia. I don't know anyone IRL though who enjoys Spike and Buffy.

As much as I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer... boy does it give me a stress headache sometimes! ;) I wanted to continue on about this but I'm having issues articulating because so many feelings!
tennyo_elf
Mar. 2nd, 2013 02:22 am (UTC)
It got to the point where I just couldn't deal with the comics anymore. I went into S9 shaky yet hopeful.

I began to smell decay around issue 10 of season 9. At that time I was hopeful, but taking out Spike from the main title really got me thinking and it's been downhill since then. You have to think these comics don't matter at all to continue to enjoy the show and characters of the show. Thinking season 8 and 9 doesn't actually exist helps me actually like Angel (he's such a goof!).

But I was pretty much like you. The hope that things would get better in season 9 got me on board. But nope nope nope. Learned that lesson. I'm not even touching season 10. They can shout and parade around that it'll be this or that, I'm not believing them. They showed their lying colors and (un)ability to write the characters that mean so much to so many people. I ain't falling for it again.

I get you about the spuffy after the A/R. You don't offend me by thinking that. I actually think Buffy was able to trust Spike a good deal before the A/R. Because she trusted him so much was the reason the A/R was so shocking to her, IMO. I agree that the AR was just...wrong. It was just bad, careless writing. There are so many issues with it, how they made the attacker sympathetic, and the victim was an afterthought (honestly, I hate when Buffy is made to be a victim, because it's obvious from the get go that she is suppose to be the anti-thesis of victimhood. And that goes for season 8 too, because she became a victim big time in season 8, but the text is treating it like she betrayed herself). So yeah I get that.

I just, I like certain things in fiction when they explore the human condition. And while I could never support a couple like spuffy in real life, I love the metaphor and the meaning behind spuffy, even after the AR. Buffy used Spike horribly, Spike tried to rape Buffy, neither of them should be together just based on that. But if you think season 6 is getting to the root of your dark side and then over coming it, it's kind of neat. Buffy and Spike saw the very worst of each other yet still cared for each other very much. It would be nice to say they mutually fell in love, but it's hard to say that as a matter of fact now for me. And of course, there is the whole soul thing, which matters to me just as much as it matters to Buffy. So I think it could work in canon just fine, if written properly.

But fan fiction is just awesome. You can really just get to the meat of their relationship and it's a never ending fascination. And FF writers aren't afraid of the backlash.

I think textually, we're meant to realize that Spike means something to Buffy, but mixed with the cookie dough speech, she's not in love with him because I don't think she understands how to give herself to someone. As much as I love BtVS, sometimes it really confuses me with how it treats Buffy's romances because I feel like there's some type of development missing.

I get ya. That's why I think that KISS was just so wrongly placed. If Buffy was able to finally, fully love another person romantically, well, the bangel KISS derails that ARC IMO.

I have watched Vampire Dairies. But I got pretty bored with it. I loved watching it because Damon was so interesting, but I just couldn't watch the show just for him. I had to like the other characters (which I why I love Buffy, it's hard not to like all the characters). I sorta liked Caroline but it just wasn't enough. And the only other person, Alistair, was killed.

It's funny, for me, any time I meet a fellow Buffy fan, they are always, always Spike fans that love Spuffy. It's just so weird. Maybe it's just my area, but I have yet to meet one person who loves Bangel irl.

Oh Buffy stresses me out too, but before the comics, usually in a good way. The comics suck.
heartsewnsleeve
Mar. 6th, 2013 08:53 pm (UTC)
I'm always stunned when people are able to take them as canon. Once I read that Spike was leaving (one of the few things I enjoyed about S9) was leaving, I knew it was going downhill. I haven't read his mini-series either.

DId you ever read any of the novels to go along with the series? Apparently, there's a bunch of Spuffy centric ones, and have really good arcs and narratives. I have two at the moment and enjoyed them! I picked up a few. There's some Season 8 ones. I'm trying to hunt them down through used books and eBay. :)

This conversation made me do a rewatch of S5-S7. I realized where my frustrations come from. In Season 5, we started off with the transformation of Spike. In Season 4, we changed from seeing him as someone who was the "Big Bad" as someone who was starting to change for the good. Season 5, we watched it profusely. We started from a creepy Spike who chained Buffy and Dru to someone who would die for her. At the end of Season 5, Spike and Buffy we're equals.

"Come in, Spike" and "That was real". These lines symbolized it. Buffy saw good in Spike, she trusted Spike, and the relationship didn't teeter on sexual tension/dislike anymore, but a deep connection.

Early Season 6 reinforced this idea. Spike loved Buffy, he wanted to be good like her and for her and he cared for Dawn. Then all of a sudden, Spike was the most evil person ever. So my problem of the Spuffy relationship post early S6 is Spike fell from his character. Like, the narrative prior lead me to believe that he was good and Buffy believed this, but then he suddenly wasn't.

Which I think is what causes those little gaps that mess with the textual understanding of Buffy's development with Spike. I know Spike needed a soul and for Buffy to give herself to him completely, it was necessary, but it could have been done differently. Spike and Buffy could be together, relationship-wise, then she sees him feeding on a human.

I totally agree! I can tell you that there's relationships in the supernatural element that I love but would never want in real life. To me, Spuffy, is different. Strength-wise, Buffy is stronger than Spike. She's a Slayer and he's a vampire so the real world doesn't apply the same.

"But if you think season 6 is getting to the root of your dark side and then over coming it, it's kind of neat."

I do enjoy that part of S6! I just feel like later S6 Spike's development wasn't in line with the prior early S6 and important S5 development. But at the same time, I think it said a lot about Buffy. She's a Slayer. She's made of demon, and the whole S6 plot of darkness went along with her realization she's a hunter in S5 Episode 1 with Dracula.

"It would be nice to say they mutually fell in love, but it's hard to say that as a matter of fact now for me."

Now I'm going back and forth on this (stupid textual Spuffy!!) after S5 where Spike says, "I love you" and Buffy replies, "No, you don't" which parallels her "I love you". From that sense, it leads me to believe that Spike was nodding to that and didn't want Buffy to love him... and I think he already knew. For Buffy, to believe in someone, takes everything. To let someone in takes everything she has.

That Bangel kiss was just so wrong. It was offensive to Cordelia (who literally Angel said he was in love with and was now in a coma), to Spike, to Angel, and to Buffy. It derailed them all. And why would Angel get jealous? At the same time, after watching it again, she chose Spike. She put him above Angel when she went to him. It's just so confusing textually. I'll have to see what conclusion I come to when I get to it in my rewatch.

I was just thinking of that earlier! I've only met Spuffies IRL. The most popular ships I see IRL are Spuffy, Willara and Xanya, then in AtS, Cangel. Wait, I lied! I did meet two people who shipped Bangel who also were very big fans of Edward and Bella from Twilight. I think Bangel attracts a certain type of fan. I never cared for it when I first watched it, or any time I rewatch BtVS, so it kinda confuses me how it's supposed to be the great love of Buffy's life. First love isn't true love! ;)
tennyo_elf
Mar. 14th, 2013 02:41 am (UTC)
His mini-series seems to be rather pointless, so don't bother. I mean, it started out interesting but quickly went no where.

Some people will see them as canon because of Joss, others won't. Can't blame either view.

I have never heard of those novels! Send me linky? My curiously is peeked(? is that the term).

I just did a quick run through of seasons 5-7 myself and I find it so interesting how I come away with a different POV every time. I get your frustrations though and understand them. I'm still very sympathetic to both Spike and Buffy during the bad times and I think, if they toned down the badness just a bit and skipped the AR, I could have been very on board with all the badness. But I think they did go a bit far.

(On a side note, I can't stand the idea that people think Spike was a "nice" guy. maybe at times before crush, but not afterwards. he's a fool for love and would do anything for Buffy because he loved her, not because he was expecting something in return. This is evident in The Gift, "I know you'll never love me. I know that I'm a monster, but you treat me like a man...")

But it's totally okay not to like them in canon much. You like spuffy, but just in your own way. I'm cool with that. Sorry if you thought I was being defensive! I was just giving you my POV of things.

And yes, Bangel kiss in season 7 was the very worst. Yay, agreement! <3

I'm going to hang up my love/not love argument. I don't think she meant it anymore, but I do think she cared.

Oh! I'm confused! I thought you said you didn't meet nothing but bangels irl? I used to be bangel, you know that? Yes, I am that kind of fan (or used to be), because I used to like Bella/Edward too. Not anymore. I started to use logic! And I grew up! ;p

I think I understand bangel in early seasons, but I don't later on and I can't see Angel being the great love of Buffy's life. I would think the person she marries and spends 10+ years with and both the good and bad would be the love of her life, realistically speaking.

Nope, first love isn't true love. I rather have a realistic portrayal of love in Buffy because the idealistic one is kind of a dime a dozen now in media. It smashes the stereotype if so and going back to bangel just makes me feel like they are trying to be in with the "cool" crowd.
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