Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In which I wish I could finish Buffy, but my romantic sensibilities cry NOOOOO.

First off, if you're a fan of Buffy, please don't be offended by the following!

Secondly, Joss Whedon is snarkier than you, more imaginative than you, and on a bad day he conducts himself with more class than an 70-year-old New York Victorian socialite.

What I mean, of course, is he's good. Firefly is my favorite serialized TV show of all time. ALL TIME, guys. I don't even watch TV. Firefly dances circles around LOST, punches Dexter out in the eye, and sends True Blood back to whatever filthy coffin it crawled out of. The reason Firefly conquers all? It has something these kinds of shows rarely do - heart.

Yeah, okay, fire wind water earth WE ARE CAPTAIN PLANET aside, Firefly is never cold. It has a warm familiarity about it, whether that's brought on by the witty dialogue or relatively seamless chemistry between the actors, I'll never know. When I watch Firefly, I'm right there with the crew. There is no AUDIENCE-ACTOR division.

Which is why I even gave Buffy a try.

Buffy and Twilight share creepy similarities. Not in the way you think! TO ME, they are disturbingly familiar in one aspect - when Buffy gets together with Angel after episodes, I instantly got turned off. Same thing in good ol' Twilight. Bella and Sir Disgusts-a-lot Edward get together after...two chapters (?). I instantly knew something was wrong - this book and this series were not for me.

Maybe it's my background of writing stories where the MC and her Love Interest are enemies/oblivious to each other/can't be together due to circumstances for the entire story. If they ever get together, be assured that the end of the story is nigh. To me, the instant the two get together, all tension is lost. All character-building struggles of pull-push fly out the window. Develop them each on their own, in their own way, the muse says, and then put them together when they feel ready.

Non-descript Love interests also irk me. Angel and Sir Disgusts-a-lot are the same in this regard, with caveats; Angel has a much more interesting past, which is supposed to 'define' him. But both are tasteless, substance-less, and essentially have no defining characteristics of their own. They're what I like to call 'Dummies', in the literal sense of the word - they are models for the reader/viewer to build upon their own fantasy. Instead of liking them for who they are, they like them for who they could be.

And that's not what a character is supposed to be. Characters have character. If anything, I write character-driven books. World-building is a little hard for me, but I'm trying and learning, and plots come naturally due to the characters.

So, SO! Warning bells always go off in my head when I read/watch a work where the MC and his/her love interest get together quick. I don't know why, but I lose interest quicker than a wet sock loses interest in smelling good.

Which is why I can't finish Buffy.I got to the point where Angel comes back from the demon world, and seriously, I'm done. I just stared at the screen and went; "I'M DONE NOW." And shut the TV off. I dislike when characters get together too quick, but I dislike it even more when they exist solely to produce unproductive angst in the show. So I doodled on their faces.

For the record, I like Spike a lot better (angry, british, borderline psychotic, looks like a kitty, what's there not to like?). I know Buffy gets with HIM, later, and that Angel takes off to LA or something, but I'm physically incapable of suffering through another season of Buffangst just to see that happen. There's a fine line between angst and well-done angst, and I'm a purveyor of the latter. I write the latter. I will not stand for cheap imitations of the latter.

(Also, when Buffy Nice Boat'd Angel (as in drive a sword through his heart before kicking him into the demon portal), I cheered. I know, I'm a terrible person.)

Let it be said I like Buffy. She's a strong, womanly character. All the characters have character (save for Angel). Joss never failed me on the character aspect, or plot. (Though it got a little repetitive.) He failed me on the romantic interaction that slowly devolved to senseless overall angst!

Sorry Joss. Love ya, but not this time.


  1. I agree. I was surprised to watch Buffy after coming from Firefly.

    Nice pic by the way. (;

  2. Daaaaamnnn girl! You are so eloquent it blows my mind. Have I told you lately how much I love you? Oh, god, I so did not mean for that to come out all Lionel Richie and shit. Ha. I never watched Buffy? Is that weird?

    Anyway, you would hate my out of the trunk novel then. hahaha. I mean, it's called TwinSouls and it's a rather quick hookup, but then again, it takes place in college with characters that live on campus, so I think it could work? Ha. anywhoo. loves ya. great post. you rock chica.

    Oh and I would so pay to see you run over a nerd with your tricked out scooter. bwahahahahaha...

  3. Buffy was my escape as a teen. I never liked Angel though, was much more into Spike. Angel just seemed to be there to give Buffy a love intrest that I didn't feel she needed that early on. And as you said, his lack of character added nothing to the show.
    Guess you'll just have to get out there and show Joss how to do love angst properly :)

  4. Nindogs - Yeah! It was frickin' WEIRD going from Firefly to Buffy...I feel like I shoulda gone from Buffy to Firefly, maybe I would have appreciated it better then.

    Thanks! I'm not much of an artist (you are! Have I mentioned I do like your works on your blog?! They are rad.)

    Mel - Thanks! It's totally not weird that you haven't seen Buffy, you had to be a special generation to get into it. I missed it by being born three years too late, heh. It's almost like a 'you-had-to-be-there' thing.

    My scooter is gettin' new metallic streamers on the handlebars, but it'll be back soon. ;) Thanks again!!

    Anon - I KNOW YOU LIKE BUFFY I AM SO SORRY. I gave it a try! I really do like Joss, and his plots are fantastic. I just didn't like how Buffy was crippled by the angst! The show itself is solid and pretty awesome.

    F.I.C - Yeah! I can see how it was a pretty awesome escape, and I understand why so many people fell in love with it. Exactly. If they put Angel in there later, I would've gone for it.

    I'll get out there right now and show Joss how it's done! XD; Man, if I could meet him just once in real life...or even sit down and talk to him over coffee or something -! My life would be complete!

  5. I totally agree that Spike was a stronger character than Angel--though I don't think you'd like the dark place the writers took their relationship to in Season 6--but I still enjoyed Buffy and Angel. Of course, it was a LONG time ago, so I don't know how I'd feel now, but I really got sucked into all the Redemption! First love! Losing your soul! angst that surrounded them.

    Then again, I tend to watch/read things more for entertainment value than to analyze, and also-when you're read romance novels for as long as I have, none of this type of thing carries much of an impact anymore. :)

    I probably would have watched the entire series even if I hadn't been sucked in by Bangel. Anguffy? Hmmm. I love the Buffyverse and all the amazing dialogue that comes with it too much to pass it up.

  6. I've never watched Buffy.
    Or Firefly . . .
    *covers head to avoid being pelted with rotten tomatoes and the remains of Gaga's meat costume*

    Now, I have a feeling I'll check out both shows as this is an excellent post. :D