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Old November 11 2010, 03:59 AM   #1
Joe Washington
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If you wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

Going season by season, which parts of the show would you change? Which parts of the show would you leave the same?
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Old November 11 2010, 04:34 AM   #2
Mr Light
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Re: If you wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

Number One is keep Buffy the same cheerful funny character from S1-2.

Number Two, I'd keep the original plan, ending it at Season Five. Glory kills Tara creating Dark Willow, the finale is either Glory and/or Dark Willow and it ends with Buffy dying.
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Old November 11 2010, 05:07 AM   #3
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Re: If you wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

- I'd never broken up Xander/Anya the way they did.....at least one couple deserved some happiness.
- I'd not have made Willow exclusively gay. It's fine that she connected with Willow and perhaps she would have connected with other women in her life.....but it was completely dishonest to say she was just no longer attracted to men when even when she was with Tara, she was clearly still attracted to Oz.
- HATED Kennedy/Willow pairing.....stupid, forced and artificial.
- It would have been nice if they could have kept Buffy a more likable character in Seasons 6 and especially 7, but I suppose being dragged from heaven might make one a bit bitchy..........
- Giles should have never left
- Finally, I would have not made "magic = drugs" for Season 6. They still could have told a similar story and not subverted Seasons 1-5 and Season 7's take on magic just to shoehorn in the story they wanted to tell for one season.

As for what I'd leave........pretty much everything else.

By and large, Buffy was a massive victory for me, warts and all.

Also, I agree with Mr. Light......they should have ended with the arc we got in season 5 but with the Dark Willow storyline thrown in to boot. Whether the show went 5 seasons or 7 or more, I liked the final sacrifice arc, the dark willow stuff, the finality of the whole Buffy vs. a God thing.........really, it was about spot on perfect for a final season. Certainly better than the crap we got in Season 7.
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Old November 11 2010, 05:16 AM   #4
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Re: If you wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

I'd just have kept the show going longer - not much about it that I'd change.
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Old November 11 2010, 05:16 AM   #5
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Re: If you wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

I wouldn't really change anything. Sure, it's not perfect but you go meddling with things and it sort of alters the show's soul.

The exception of course is that fuckwad Riley. I hated every second that guy was on screen.
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Old November 11 2010, 06:11 AM   #6
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Re: If you wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

The comics have made Riley a bit of a bad ass in my opinion. I've already stated the changes I would have made in the Alternate Buffy thread.
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Old November 11 2010, 06:17 AM   #7
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Re: If you wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

DeafPoet wrote: View Post
I wouldn't really change anything. Sure, it's not perfect but you go meddling with things and it sort of alters the show's soul.

The exception of course is that fuckwad Riley. I hated every second that guy was on screen.
Replace 'fuckwad' with 'annoying skank' and 'Riley' with 'Glory' and I concur. I liked Riley, he was a cool guy with a good attitude and impressive skills. He was too good for Buffy.
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Old November 11 2010, 06:28 AM   #8
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Re: If you wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

All this hate for Glory. She was one of my favorite characters.
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Old November 11 2010, 06:51 AM   #9
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Re: If you wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

Riley was meant to be too good for Buffy...that was the entire point of his character and why Buffy ultimately rejected him. He wasn't her type
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Old November 11 2010, 07:26 AM   #10
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Re: If you wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

I would have written in more shower/undressing scenes.
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Old November 11 2010, 07:38 AM   #11
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Re: If you wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

^ This.
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Old November 11 2010, 08:30 AM   #12
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Re: If you wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

I'd leave it all exactly as it was. There are some bits I like more than others, and some bits that I don't like at all, but I wouldn't do it differently because, frankly, I'm not sure I could do better. Also, you know what it is with writing, it's like time travel and knitting: you change one little bit in one part and the whole thing starts to unravel.
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Old November 11 2010, 04:14 PM   #13
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Re: If you wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

I wouldn't have made "Him", I wouldn't have had Willow and Xander as a couple in season 3, I wouldn't have insisted that Willow was 100% lesbian in later seasons, I would have kept Maggie Walsh on the show longer (OK, that was really out of their hands), I would have Xander and Anya get back together in "Touched", I wouldn't have spent so much time in season 7 on Buffy's long-winded speeches, I would have removed the Angel fanservice in the finale, I would have thought a bit more about the implications of the decision to share power in "Chosen" (is it really about equality, or creating an army of superhuman girls, and do those girls have a choice what to do with their powers?)...

BTW, Glory was great. Not my favorite villain (that would be the Mayor, followed by Spike and Drusilla in S2, Faith, and the Trio), but still a very good one. What can be more evil than a vain, shallow, self-centered valley girl? And isn't that exactly what a god would probably be like, someone with unlimited power and surrounded by sycophants all the time...

Too Much Fun wrote: View Post
DeafPoet wrote: View Post
I wouldn't really change anything. Sure, it's not perfect but you go meddling with things and it sort of alters the show's soul.

The exception of course is that fuckwad Riley. I hated every second that guy was on screen.
Replace 'fuckwad' with 'annoying skank' and 'Riley' with 'Glory' and I concur. I liked Riley, he was a cool guy with a good attitude and impressive skills. He was too good for Buffy.
If by "good" you mean boring, conventional, hopelessly traditional, unable to deal with his girlfriend being stronger than him, and self-centered to the point of whining about not being the center of her universe while her mother was in hospital... And don't get me started on what he did with Sandy and the vampire prostitutes, and never said he was sorry. A guy picks up a woman for his own needs, has a 'suck' job, then kills her... hmmm... that doesn't really make him better than a vampire, does it? He was like a serial killer who thought he could get away with it because his victims were 'worthless'.

Buffy was very lucky to get away from that kind of "goodness".

... Actually, I don't hate Riley. On the contrary, I had quite a lot of sympathy for him. He was what Buffy needed at the time - an attempt at a so-called 'normal' relationship - but they were completely wrong for each other. Which is what makes the storyline so good. I'm one of the few people who appreciate that story. Marc Blucas and SMG had zero chemistry together, but maybe that was the point. I loved his storyline in season 5 that showed just how flawed and messed-up the "good normal jock guy" really was.

And he was still, overall, mostly a good guy... mostly. He showed it in in season 7 (even though it was off-screen) by providing help with Spike's chip and leaving the decision to Buffy - and you have to love the "assface" comment nice of him to help despite still being a bit jealous.
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Old November 11 2010, 05:08 PM   #14
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Re: If you wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
If by "good" you mean boring, conventional, hopelessly traditional, unable to deal with his girlfriend being stronger than him, and self-centered to the point of whining about not being the center of her universe while her mother was in hospital...
I think that's exaggerating a bit and definitely taking the devil's advocate position here. This was Buffy's argument when he told her his grievances and I didn't think it was fair when she made it either. It wasn't that he "wanted to be the center of her universe"...it was that he wanted her to take him seriously enough to depend on him a little for support when her mother was sick.

The point of how much she took him for granted was made very well before he even brought it up too. For example, when Joyce encourages her to go see him, Buffy says "I gave him the night off...besides I can see him anytime". Joyce astutely says something like, "I don't think he thinks of you as a job". As Xander said, she thought of him mostly as a convenience, not as an equal partner in a relationship. There are two sides of an argument being made in the break-up conversation in "Into the Woods"...clearly you're on Buffy's side and I'm on Riley's.

One thing I can't really defend is the vampire prostitutes thing. That was just unnecessary and did hurt his credibility. I felt like it was inserted into the show just to make their split and his arc more dramatic and both would have worked fine without that (this also would have left the character's integrity more intact). I still believe Riley's points were all valid, the vampire prostitutes thing just made him less sympathetic.

As Riley admitted, yes, her being stronger than him was hard sometimes, but the real issue was that he could never feel like she took him seriously enough and thought of him as more of a convenience. I thought her "I've given you everything, this is the package" speech was bullshit. Just because she had sex with him? Her heart just wasn't in it. This was evident both in her behaviour and what others said, like Dawn telling him that when Buffy dated Angel it was so intense it was like the end of the world every day, but she never got that worked up about Riley. I guess part of that was the whole teenage hormones/puppy love thing, but simple passion was part of it too. I know Riley was more "boring, conventional, and traditional" than 'sexy badass' Spike, but I still think he offered the healthier and better relationship.

And Glory was just the most insufferably annoying character on the show. They already did the smug valley girl thing with Cordelia, and while I was never a fan of that character either, at least she was funny sometimes. Glory just constantly whined and gloated and her schtick became old and boring really, really fast. Her minions were irritating too, although their Bob Barker line was cute.
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Old November 11 2010, 08:06 PM   #15
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Re: If you wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

Too Much Fun wrote: View Post
DevilEyes wrote: View Post
If by "good" you mean boring, conventional, hopelessly traditional, unable to deal with his girlfriend being stronger than him, and self-centered to the point of whining about not being the center of her universe while her mother was in hospital...
I think that's exaggerating a bit and definitely taking the devil's advocate position here. This was Buffy's argument when he told her his grievances and I didn't think it was fair when she made it either. It wasn't that he "wanted to be the center of her universe"...it was that he wanted her to take him seriously enough to depend on him a little for support when her mother was sick.

The point of how much she took him for granted was made very well before he even brought it up too. For example, when Joyce encourages her to go see him, Buffy says "I gave him the night off...besides I can see him anytime". Joyce astutely says something like, "I don't think he thinks of you as a job". As Xander said, she thought of him mostly as a convenience, not as an equal partner in a relationship. There are two sides of an argument being made in the break-up conversation in "Into the Woods"...clearly you're on Buffy's side and I'm on Riley's.

One thing I can't really defend is the vampire prostitutes thing. That was just unnecessary and did hurt his credibility. I felt like it was inserted into the show just to make their split and his arc more dramatic and both would have worked fine without that (this also would have left the character's integrity more intact). I still believe Riley's points were all valid, the vampire prostitutes thing just made him less sympathetic.

As Riley admitted, yes, her being stronger than him was hard sometimes, but the real issue was that he could never feel like she took him seriously enough and thought of him as more of a convenience. I thought her "I've given you everything, this is the package" speech was bullshit. Just because she had sex with him? Her heart just wasn't in it. This was evident both in her behaviour and what others said, like Dawn telling him that when Buffy dated Angel it was so intense it was like the end of the world every day, but she never got that worked up about Riley. I guess part of that was the whole teenage hormones/puppy love thing, but simple passion was part of it too.
Yes, I may have been intentionally overstating the case, but only to counterbalance your Riley adoration. I actually could understand and sympathize with Riley's frustration, and I think he was right to end the relationship - it's just the way he did it that was crappy, first with the vampire prostitutes and then giving Buffy the ultimatum. Like I said about Xander in my thread, it's not that I dislike the character, it's that I feel that he is too often given a pass for douchebag behavior just because he was introduced as a stereotypical "nice guy". I really like the storyline with the vampire prostitutes, it was psychologically interesting, and it showed just how messed up ordinary guys can be when they're frustrated. That's one of the things I love about Buffy, nobody is a stereotype, people aren't exactly what they seem, good guys have a hidden dark side, and bad boys have a hidden good side.

In Riley's case, one of the reasons for his frustration was the fact that Buffy didn't feel that strongly about him as he did about her, and that he felt that there were things about her he couldn't relate to, but another important reason was that he had been having an identity crisis, losing his job and powers that he had as an Initiative soldier. As long as he was the super-powered demon hunter soldier, things were still going OK for the most part. As his friend (whose name I forgot) said, he wasn't the "mission" anymore, just "mission's boyfriend"; he didn't have a job to dedicate himself to, his relationship with Buffy was all he had at the time, which made the unsatisfying relationship all the more frustrating for him. So he became obsessed with the idea that he was too ordinary and didn't have that "monster" part in him that Buffy was attracted to, and went looking to find that inner monster and try to understand Buffy... and well, that really turned out very wrong.

But ultimately the breakup was a good thing, since I never thought that they were right for each other. Buffy thought she was giving him all she could, but as you said, there was no passion on her part. Which was partly because she was getting more emotionally closed and guarded, as opposed to what she was like as a bubbly teenager, but it was also because Riley just wasn't someone she felt that strongly about... In fact, maybe the reason she went for a relationship for him was exactly because she didn't want to go through something intense and painful again. You could see at at the beginning of their relationship, in "Something Blue" when the only things she could find to say about him was that he had nice arms, that he was "solid", "like he wouldn't cause me pain" (kinda proved ironic as he eventually did, like every other man in her life) and she decided to give the relationship a try when she decided that she was "over the whole bad boy thing". I think that Buffy was more trying to like him because she thought that was the right thing to do, rather than because she was really drawn to him. While it was exactly the opposite with Spike. And her problems with being emotionally closed down would later be very obvious in her relationship with Spike, too - but with Spike she was always acting hot-and-cold, while with Riley she was always lukewarm.

What I object to is the idea that this was Buffy's fault (as if you can force yourself to feel passion for someone if you don't), and that it's somehow a sign that there's something wrong with her if she couldn't be really into such a great guy as Riley supposedly was... Which was pretty much Xander's argument in his speech that I really disliked. Riley at least treated the situation better than Xander in that respect - he didn't claim that Buffy should love him as intensely as he loved her, just that she didn't and that what she was giving him wasn't enough for him. He just should have talked to Buffy much earlier and told her what issues he had about their relationship, rather than bottle it up inside and vent his frustration behind her back.

I know Riley was more "boring, conventional, and traditional" than 'sexy badass' Spike, but I still think he offered the healthier and better relationship.
There is no doubt that it was healthier, but that's not really saying much, is it? I don't think anyone is going to deny that Buffy and Spike's relationship in season 6 was very unhealthy and destructive... But with those two, I could imagine them having a good and functional relationship under different circumstances, if each of them overcame their problems. They seemed to be slowly getting there in season 7... I don't think that Buffy and Riley ever had that much in common, and I don't think she could ever quite be herself with him - she thought that she had given him all, but that was because she was suppressing a lot of her own nature while she was with him.

There is a quote from an episode of Six Feet Under (one of my favorite shows) - "What is a soulmate?" "A person who makes you be the most you that you can possibly be. A person who forces your soul to grow the most." That was never going to happen for Buffy with Riley. The easiest way is not always the best, as the First Slayer said: "Risk the pain. Love. Give. Forgive."
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