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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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buffy minimarathon, very short, grumpy with giles
children of dune - leto 1
So, marathoned Buffy up to the episode Lies My Parents Told Me

Conversations With Dead People scared the shit out of me, as I've said before. I started today wtih Sleeper, ep 8, and went, hmm.

For the first time, I'm getting why people went WTF over the Spike characterization. I'm sure that the entire existentialness is just going over my head or something with this one, because it took me a *long* time to cop to the idea that the Joss concept of a soul has very little to do with the person who lives in the skin, and the I'm just catching--adn this is a hit-or-miss depending on my headache level--why teh soul that wasn't there at the time of the killings is *responsible* for the killings. Though I liked that free will speech thing she gave to Andrew. I'm just--so what the hell was Spike during season six? I mean, that was some serious something if it wasn't free will. Hell, what were any of the big vamps--Darla, Drusilla, Spike, etc?

Andrew - I do not like him. I don't care how funny he is. I watched him slaughter his best friend and he got around to repenting it way too many episodes later. I know part of it is that he's just weak. Very, very weak. I just don't buy that as a good reason to, you know, stab your friend. Faint in terror. That's fine. Run like crazy. Yes. Premeditate cold blooded murder and lure him to a place to carry it out for ritualized evil magic with a sharp, pointy object? Nope.

Also, I have a soft spot for Jonathan from way back. I liked him a lot. That's right there enough to put me off him for life.

Kennedy -- I don't know if I like her. The brash, sassy, take charge thing is fun, but it gets grating. I have no idea if I buy Willow and Kennedy, but then again, they haven't had a lot of time to develop, either.

Giles -- wow, I am at a place where I look upon Giles in Lies My Parents Told Me and it's not a good looking. It's not that I don't understand his arguments, for the most part. It's that--hmm. I don't like them. I mean, above and beyond. My nation is Buffy, not Spike, so it's not like I'm defending him here. I don't like Giles' idea of her generalship comes with pre-approved conditions. You are the general if you belive what I do. And if you don't, well by God, we'll just do it anyway and *then* you can lead.

I think what's made me most frustrated with Giles is the chip thing. It didn't work. It *didn't* work. So using that as an excuse to kill Spike just pised me off. I came out of it with the strong impression this was all about Giles not wanting Buffy to have her feelings involved in this war. Or he just didnt' like her fucking another vampire. Or something.


I could be wrong. But at this point in her slayage--adn this is me--if Buffy says, I want to fuck all the vamps in town to keep from going off the deep end after clawing my way out of my own grave a year ago, then I say, line 'em up. If she's relatively happy and stable with Spike, more power to him. Anyone, and Willow and Andrew (and even Wesley, to a lesser extent) have emphasized this, can go bad. And have. And do. Spike with a soul is as likely as anyone to go postal at a moment's notice, unlike before, where it was actually his choice--and now I'm getting a headache again with the free will speech she said, dammit. *rubs temples* Um, I was somewhere less meta with the vampires things. Right. *Anyone* can go bad. So really, cut it out. Sending Spike off for ambush and cold blooded premediated murder--again, not happy with that. Very not happy with this. Very unhappy because it wasn't about The Mission, it was about Robin and Giles getting their revenge thing on and wrapping it up in nobility. Oh *please*. Cop to your vendetta. Then get the fuck over it.

I'm most unhappy that Giles broke her trust with him. *That* bothered me. I mean, above everything else, that kind of freaked me out. Cause that is officially *everyone* that has either fucked her over, betrayed her, or manipulated/lied to her. Though men seem to be the ones most likely to do the manipulation thing. Girls tend, ironically, to be more straightforward. The men are the ones that go the underhanded route. Huh.

And anyway, at this point, where the hell was he when she was having her season six meltdown? At this late point, no judging allowed.

Buffy's--confusing me. I don't know how I feel about some of the characterizations of her this season at all. It's not that she's harder, though there's that, or that she's colder, though she really is. It's that I can't figure out where these things came from. Season six did not build to the new and chiller Buffy. If anything, she was spending way too much time having long conversations with her emotions, not cut off from them, in season six. Even early season seven didn't explain it, just showed it happening over the show.

I need to watch the rest of the season, don't I?

*breathes* Next ep, Faith. Next weekend. See howit all ends. Depress self wiht realization I will never, ever see another new ep after that.

I need to arm myself with chocolate.

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Giles -- wow, I am at a place where I look upon Giles in Lies My Parents Told Me and it's not a good looking.

Word. And I love Giles. Man, I love Giles with a deep and somewhat scary passion. And yet... I watch that episode and think, "Uh, no." And then I retreat back several seasons where Giles wore tweed and things made sense.

It just doens't make *sense* in context of the season to me, either. That really bothers me, that it kind of came out of nowhere. Or more, that it jumped him straight out of the season finale of season five, when he killed Ben, and then took it up a notch or something--no. Even that doesnt' make sense.

I keep thinking, Robin *hypnotized* him. It makes me feel better.

For me, it's not so much "um, hypnosis?" as it is "God, Joss has some ISSUES." Which is pretty much what made me throw up my hands at "Lies My Parents Told Me". Not to say that Giles would never, ever feel that Buffy should divorce herself from her feelings in order to be the general -- because I think he would feel that way. But to betray her in such a manner? To undermine her very nature and her heart, when he has always loved her best and been in awe of her because of that caring nature? I don't think so.

Er. I have Season 7 issues. Big ones. Overall I accept what Joss was trying to do, and find it pretty uplifting and empowering. I just don't think he was very good at executing his ideas. YMMV, of course.

I'm wary aboutthe rest of the season now. I mean, I like it, but it's not resonating like season six did up until the last ep--I *hated* the last ep so much. I'm desperately hoping the remainder pulls it all together again.

But. Yeah. That with Giles did not work. It makes me wonder about waht I know about the rest of the eps, and how they view Buffy. It's--surreal.

Hmm. makes me want to skip work a day and watch the rest of them.

I am restraining my (apparently somewhat unreasonable and irrational *cough*) Spike rage long enough to tacklehug you for your Andrew feelings.

Everyone adores Andrew. Because... what? He's a geek? Dude, I'm a geek and I didn't sacrifice my best friend to the First Evil. Love me instead.

I hated him season six and I hate him season seven. Jonathan, lucky him, got grandfathered for how much I liked him in earlier seasons. But Andrew? No. No no no.

Andrew - I do not like him. I don't care how funny he is. I watched him slaughter his best friend and he got around to repenting it way too many episodes later. I know part of it is that he's just weak. Very, very weak. I just don't buy that as a good reason to, you know, stab your friend...

Thank you. I loathe Andrew. I tried to like him and then just gave up. Everybody seemed to be all 'Awww, Andrew really regrets it and he's funny!' Umm, whatever. He killed his best friend. Screw funny.

After this you should watch Firefly, if you haven't already.

Thank you. I loathe Andrew. I tried to like him and then just gave up. Everybody seemed to be all 'Awww, Andrew really regrets it and he's funny!' Umm, whatever. He killed his best friend. Screw funny.

To be honest, I liked Jonothan from way back, and liked both him and Andrew in the Troika. And where the hell I picked up that nickname for the Trio is beyond me.)

Then he killed Jonothan, and I hated Andrew muchly. Then he repented, and I liked him again. Not because he's a geek or weak, but because he's so... average.

I mean, Xander used to be the everyman, the one that was always just a little behind the rest of the group, the almost useless one. then he got into construction, and got some self-esteem, and grew up (thank the heavens). i wouldn't want Xander to stay the way he was in the high school years, but the show lost the outside perspective.

Andrew did deliver that. Certainly not in a reliable way. he's one of the least reliable narrators ever, but he did offer a perspective that didn't come with years of backstory attached, a view of what the Scoobies look like to those who haven't lived through the trauma and heartache.

I like andrew because he was influenced and scared, because he used stories and fandom as a way to avoid and escape from real life. i like andrew because he's so very ordinary, and he provides a great contrast to the high drama of being the world's savior.

Plus, yeah. The funny. The later seasons of BtVS make me miss the funny.

Warning: ramble ahead.

I'm... not sure that watching the rest of S7 will actually make you feel much better. I am one of the most devoted BtVS fans imaginable, yet many times during seasons 6 and 7 I kept finding myself thinking, they should have just left it at 'The Gift'.

Six redeemed itself in some ways; 'Tabula Rasa' was an hilarious episode, and I really liked the musical, but most of the time I felt the way I did when I was reading HP/Order of the Phoenix... Dear God, make the angst end! Buffy angsts over having been torn out of heaven; Spike angsts over Buffy; Willow angsts over magic, guilt, and Tara; Tara angsts over Willow; Xander angsts over Anya; Anya angsts over Xander; and Giles angsts so freakin' much he's pretty much useless as a paternal figure.

The thing that used to be so excellent about BtVS is that each season had its own little arc thing going on. There was excellent continuity, of course, but in the course of each season you felt like you were getting somewhere. (Lie to me and say you didn't love S3.) But all S6 did was screw around with people (Willow?! Xander?! Spike?!), and S7 didn't seem to do much to rectify that. I felt like they wasted both Robin and Faith as characters that could have been really interesting, and after a while I was almost able to recite the weekly morality speech along with whomever gave it.

Let me know if you start liking Kennedy more... I never did. The tongue ring (::cough::) is cool and all, but I can't help feeling like that's all she's got going for her. If Joss wanted that badly to finally hook Willow up with someone interesting, he should have hooked her up with Faith.

I dunno. After BtVS finally ended I was kind of glad, and I took the opportunity to watch my DVDs of S1 - S4, back when men were men, women were women, and demons were demons, and Buffy and Willow and Xander actually acted like the best friends they supposedly were. Watch the rest of S7 and tell me if you see any of that there. I really miss the old school BtVS, and I've ended up doing my very very best not to let the last two seasons interfere overmuch with the way I see the characters, because those last two seasons didn't exactly ring true for me.

But hey. We've always got fanfiction, eh?

About the vampires - I think it's not so much that they could have stopped killing people when they didn't have their soul as they feel really guilty about it once they do because they can remember everyone they offed and whatnot. What I've always found confusing about the souls is the difference in how Spike deals with getting his and how Angel dealt with it. I've decided it can only be explained by differences in original character, but it makes it hard to figure out exactly what having the soul does to somebody. I mean, I'm a Spike fan, but I spent so much time during that season being utterly confused as to what Joss intended us to understand about it that sometimes it got to be too much.

I pretty firmly believe that the lack of the adult secondary characters really hurt the last two seasons. I mean, Giles is around some, but not really that much, and he doesn't play the same sort of role as he did in the earlier seasons. What really got me was something he does in a later episode, or rather something he (and Dawn) goes along with. There are some moments when Giles has put the mission above Buffy in the past, but this was just way over the line. It was like Joss needed a way to make Buffy feel extra isolated or hurt, and so he bent around all the other characters until he could get what he wanted. And the entire show just seems so much more weighted down than before; one of the reasons I like the show so much is that the angsting is balanced by action and humor, but the 7th season got so overangsted that it's hard to take. There are small bits and pieces I like here and there, but it's definitely my least favorite of the 7 seasons.

Warning: S7 rant ahead.

Maybe I shouldn't comment before you see the rest of the season, but don't get your hopes up.

Sadly, Season 7 was a very botched job. Several MAJOR plot threads dropped, Spike's character all over the place, almost no personal development of long standing characters, and way, way, WAY too much time wasted on new characters.

I loved Season 6 because there was so much personal development of all of the main characters, and this led to big hopes for S7. Now I just try to pretend S7 never happened.

Joss had too much going on with three shows, and that probably explains it, but I'll never forgive him for letting S7 Buffy self destruct. No way could Firefly and Angel have been more important than doing justice to the final season of Buffy.

By the last season I was pretty much on the way out of the Buffy fandom and only watching through to the ending out of respect. (I may even have missed some eps -- I *know* I missed lots of the final season of Angel and think I even missed its finale. I certainly can't recall some of the incidents to which you refer above.) I've got the first two seasons on DVD and have the third on the list of box sets to eventually pick up -- but that's it. Everything past the third season was pretty hit-or-miss -- some fantastic individual episodes but the show was too much about high school to translate well to college.

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