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March 09 2017

Joss Whedon looks back at Buffy. This is a great Joss penned overview of the show from start to finish.

Freaking love this week. It's such a trip seeing so much coverage. I actually just started rewatching the show for the first time in seven years. Everything feels like a celebration.

My head is full of so many memories and this feeling of nostalgia that's hard to describe but I'm sure fans understand. Like I went over to my parent's house yesterday and in their basement are a few boxes full of dozens of Buffy novels, comics, action figures, magazines and more... and I started getting a little choked up going through them. Remembering times like dragging my mom to the bookstore so I could get the new Buffy book and then go on fan forums to discuss.

This show really did have a monumental impact on my life growing up.
Interesting comment there: "How lost did we get? Well, we made Willow the Big Bad."
The thing that is so right on is how emotionally intense those high school years (and early college I would say) are. From what I understand that period in life is when your core self is really formed - you're long-term values, your politics, your musical tastes (I still listen to Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins, and don't have a clue who is popular today). But it just seems looking back, that nothing has ever seemed to matter so intensely since then.
@barboo: That comment by Joss is so true. That's exactly what being an adolescent is like, because of your emotional state during that time. Everything feels so intense and dramatic and emotional.
I wouldn't say that nothing matters so intensely afterwards. But as an adolescent, even the little things hit you really hard, things you'd be chill about just a few years later as an adult.

@Dana5140: He thinks that was a bad thing? It was awesome.

Is it the author of the article who used the words "most nihilistic" to describe season 6? Clearly that word is another one people use without paying attention to what it actually means. Season 6 was not nihilistic - in fact, BtVS was never nihilistic, period. I wish more people would learn that "dark" is not the same as "nihilistic", just like I wish they'd learn that "psychopath" and "sociopath" are not synonyms for "a really bad person who kills people".
I wish people would stop saying "the movie sucked" like it's objective truth. I re-watched it a couple years ago and realized that it's really pretty entertaining. I compared it to Joss's original script and was surprised by how much of it was still in there. Apart from Donald Sutherland's clueless ad-libbing, there's not much about it I hate.
@AndrewCrossett: Obviously, when people say that any movie, show, song or book sucks, they mean that it's their opinion. Art is not exact science.

That said, the movie really, really sucked, and I found it to be drastically different (for the worse) from Joss' script, and mostly not due to Donald Sutherland.
I wish to blazes I wasn't busy this weekend. I'd love to kick back with my DVDs and have an all-out Buffy Geek-fest. Alas, it is not to be...

Re: Dark Willow, am I wrong, or did I read somewhere once that it was planned early on in the series for Willow to go bad?

Either way, I saw the movie not long after it was first released, and thought it wasn't terrible, but the execution was just, "Meh..." It didn't catch me enough for me to even try the series until shortly into Season 2, and only then because I caught a TV Guide episode summary and thought, "Who the heck is Willow?" Then I noticed she was played by Alyson Hannigan, whom I'd seen in her earlier show "Free Spirit", decided to check it out since there wasn't anything else on interesting, and was like, "WHY THE HECK DIDN'T THEY DO THE MOVIE THIS WAY?!"

*ahem* Yeah, anyway... Happy Anniversary, Joss and Buffy.
I recall Joss saying he first knew he was going to make Willow turn bad when they were filming Becoming.

As for his "we got so lost comment" I don't think he meant that in the sense of the writers losing their way but rather that the characters got so lost. That's how it read to me. He often speaks like that and it usually gets misinterpreted.
I agree Joss was talking as vampmogs says, that the characters got so lost. He actually said "How lost did we get? Well, our villain turned out to be Willow." which I think places emphasis on the reveal of where the season ended up going rather than the writing choice to go there, if you see what I mean.

Having come to fandom waaay after the show finished it is ace to get to read so many 'real time' interviews. This week is great. :D

[ edited by Stoney on 2017-03-10 00:24 ]
@Stoney: A few years ago, I actually accidentally dug out a blog (for a podcast.radio devoted to Buffy) with a lot of old audio interviews with the writing staff of Buffy that they were giving during season 6 and 7. It was super interesting.

I don't know if I can still find the blog or if it's even still there, but I think I still have those mp3s somewhere on one of my hard drives of my now defunct desktop computer. I should look for them when I fin the time.

Some of the surprising things I found out: Jane Espenson was super serious in interviews, while Steven S. De Knight was very funny. Tim Minear has a dark irreverent sense of humor. De Knight jokingly admitted "I'm a big fat liar" in the interview he gave right after Seeing Red aired (because he had been asked earlier in the season if Tara would die and said 'no'). And it was funny listening to Espenson and Fury during season 6, giving completely opposite views of Spuffy (that was before Fury's total U-turn after season 7).
Didn't know if this deserved its own post, but speaking of looking back: ET has a write-up and video of some interviews they did with Joss and the cast between seasons 1 and 2. Pretty standard stuff as far as ideas go (what if high school was actually monsters, etc.) but Joss looking young as heck, which is fun.

Here's that interview.
Thanks for sharing that @sumogrip. They also have a video from back when they interviewed the cast whilst shooting Prom

Wow SMG and DB were close huh? Well, they still are it seems, but you don't see too many actors holding hands during interviews like that lol
Ah ha, I skipped right over that second vid, vampmogs! "You're steppin' on my train!"

Whole cast seems super close--Alyson and Seth very sweet in their dual interview in that second video, too.
@TimeTravellingBunny - are you by chance referring to the Succubus Club? They had a lot of great interviews with the writers. I found a bunch of them up here if anyone's interested.

@AndrewCossett - I'm actually with you about the movie. It's not a great movie and not at all on the same level as the TV series, but I don't think it's as bad as people tend to make it out to be. I think it's actually quite enjoyable, and you're right that it actually maintains more of Whedon's script than it has a reputation for.
That being said, the things that are different between his script and the final movie are major changes, including the nonsensical stuff Merrick says about 'when the music stops,' which is unfortunately part of the climax of the movie.
But even then, even with the nonsense about the music, I think they nail the timing and feel of that moment, when Buffy wakes up from Lotho's ~spell~ as it were. I'd go so far as to say the movie handles that moment better than the very similar moment on the TV show, with Buffy's 'you have fruit punch mouth' to the Master.)
Well, as far as the movie is concerned, I've had this dream TV Buffy saw the movie and riffed it to Kingdom Come...while a guy and two robots were in the audience with her. I wrote it down on a blog, and will send a Twitter link Friday. That's how I feel about it.
@forcorreo: Yes, that's it! I didn't know they had put them on Youtube. That's cool.
It is interesting to read that piece and try to decide which was Joss's favourite season.He seems very fond of Season Two for instance.
The end of Season Five was wonderful and dramatic but I prefer the end of Season 5 and the end of Angel as well, where our heroes are still alive and capable of fighting for us.
@Lioness: That was a typo obviously, so which season ending did you mean?
Basking in all the BtVS love on the interwebs! Wish I could just bask and not work today. Thank you to Joss, Mutant Enemy, everyone involved in the making of BtVS, and Whedonesque for this civilized fandom safe haven.
I think everyone here has their story of how Buffy affected them in some deep, personal way. The story of what Buffy meant to another person that really struck me was on NPR (National Public Radio) a few years ago. They were doing a series on their own reporters' favorite fictional characters and why those characters were important to them. For Jamie Taraby, a female reporter who spent two years embedded in Iraq during the war it was Buffy.

"TARABAY: That pressure was something I could understand. Buffy took a deep breath before going into what was often the fight of her life. Every time I got into our bulletproof car to drive around Baghdad, so did I. And on days I was stuck in the bureau, I'd sit in my room and put on another DVD. I'd watch Buffy grow up and try to figure things out. To me it was more than therapy. When she asks Giles, her Watcher and mentor, for answers about life's most vexing questions, it was almost like she was asking them for me."

The whole interview is here. Listening to it still makes me cry.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90584068
Happy anniversary. Even after 20 years I still wholeheartedly love this show. I am still amazed how many different angles and depth I find in it. Looking forward to the 30th birthday, since I will definitely re watch it than.

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