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Buffy Season Five


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#1

Swift Shy Guy

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 1:16 AM

I thought Glory was ok. I loved all the names her minions would come up with. That kept me amused for most of her scenes.

I still hate Glory, but I really do like her minions (even more now that I've realized one is played by Kevin Weisman, hee!). I guess their ranting helps ease the pain of Glory for me.

One thing that strikes me about s5 now is how well the arc works compared to s4. I think s4 has better standalone episodes, but s5 really feels to me like it runs together pretty well, whereas s4 felt kind of stilted and awkward when I watched it again.

Also, it turns out that I hate Marti Noxon by s5. It turns out I don't like Into the Woods at all. Riley getting... sucked off by those vamp chicks is pretty much a "wtf" moment for me even after he explains it.

Besides that, I really dislike Xander's whole "run after Riley!" speech. Even though they already made Willow gay, they seriously could have done the same to Xander after his endless praise of Saint Riley, and I seriously don't know what was with him laying that all on Buffy when she'd just gotten all of Riley's pent up unhappiness dumped on her lap like 10 minutes ago. And then the overblown music when Buffy's running after Riley. Bleh. And I like Riley. A lot, actually. But I just really hate how he leaves.

And while we're on the topic of weirdness from Xander, the declaration of his love for Anya doesn't really work for me. I think it's just because about the only interaction we've seen from them up to this point is sex talk and Xander being embarassed for her, so this overblown soap opera speech just kind of came out of nowhere for me. Besides, I don't think Buffy was really wrong in her estimation of their relationship. I mean, as a viewer, I like watching Anya, but if I actually lived in the Buffyverse, I'd probably think she was a huge bitch and I can't imagine really wanting to spend that much time with her. Given the circumstances, I think it's reasonable to assume that her eagerness to have sex with him is a big part of Xander's relationship with her.

And then in Triangle, Xander and Anya are lamenting the fact that Buffy's relationships are all seemingly doomed. What the fuck? She has like two exes! And she's a sophomore in college! Sound the alarms! And also? Nick Brendon has really ugly hair all season. I swear that sometimes his sideburns aren't even ... even.

And on that note, how old are the Scoobs? In (I think) Family, Dawn makes a comment about how only losers drink alchohol or something, and all the Scoobs look into their cups. Willow doesn't strike me as someone who'd be 21 and going into her second year of college, and I don't think Buffy would want underage drinking in front of Dawn. And dear god, could I nitpick or rant anymore?

#2

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 8:30 AM

Besides that, I really dislike Xander's whole "run after Riley!" speech. Even though they already made Willow gay, they seriously could have done the same to Xander after his endless praise of Saint Riley, and I seriously don't know what was with him laying that all on Buffy when she'd just gotten all of Riley's pent up unhappiness dumped on her lap like 10 minutes ago.


My dislike comes not from implied Xander/Riley-love. Dramatically, it had to be him. This I know; Willow isn't confrontational like that, Giles never comments on Buffy's love life, except when it conflicts with her Slaying, and Anya and Tara would never. None of them would have been in the alley. Xander, being the sidekick, would've. So, to have it play like it did, following the growing of extra arms, it would've had to have been Xander.

The thing is, that isn't a Xander-Buffy conversation. That's a best friend conversation. It should've been a Willow-Buffy conversation. Willow wouldn't have said exactly those things or kicked her butt to move. It would've ended up with them crying over coffee or something instead of the running toward the helicopter, which brought up the point of the ep, which is Riley's gone and Buffy didn't get over him. I still don't like the yelling.

#3

Smerdyakov

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 1:41 AM

The Buffy/Xander conversation seemed pretty typical to me. He gives speeches quite a bit...second only to Buffy, I think. I'm thinking of The Freshman, and that talk about seeing things with Dawn in season seven. There are others.

I know people don't really like this scene in Into the Woods, but I think it's okay. Any time Xander, Buffy or Willow show interest in each other is fine with me.

#4

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 2:34 AM

It's not like I don't think these characters don't care about each other, but I do think it's off. As Autodidact mentioned, I do think it should have been a Willow-Buffy conversation. However, as mentioned, I think that would have meant no Buffy running after the helicopter, and I think some things were sacrificed in order to get that image.

It is a Xander-Buffy conversation, IMHO I do think it adds a layer to the Xander/Riley thing - not so much that Xander has a man-crush on Riley. Mostly to the possible interpretation that Xander wants Buffy to be with Riley, not so much because he thinks Buffy is really in love with him or truly wants him - but because Xander sees Riley as the idealized version of Xander himself. Or simply as perfect guy for her, regardless of whether she's actually in love with him or not. Which ought to have been something Xander must have been doubting since The Replacement. I don't know how much of that I believe in, but I think it's an angle.

But of course, if Buffy has really been treating Riley like the rebound guy it might well be because he actually is the rebound guy. In which case she should let him go and shouldn't be running after him - even if she should feel bad for treating him that way. Which, to be honest, is likely what a Buffy-Willow best-friend conversation might well have been. (though this is really pure spec as such a convo never took place, AFAIK)

Which again, would have meant no running after the Helicopter - which I think was a required point in the eppy.

Edited by DaBigDave, Jan 3, 2004 @ 2:36 AM.


#5

Autodidact

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 4:58 AM

The Buffy/Xander conversation seemed pretty typical to me. He gives speeches quite a bit


Smerdyakov , he gives speeches sometimes, but he brings up Buffy's love life in one of two ways, normally. Either it's pointing out how the love of her life is about to cause the death of them all, or making snide remarks at the expense of the guy. The relationship talk had always been Buffy/Willow before then. Like the relationship conversation before the demon-beheading in "Revelations", this is something that Buffy would normally discuss with Willow.

It is a Xander-Buffy conversation, IMHO I do think it adds a layer to the Xander/Riley thing - not so much that Xander has a man-crush on Riley. Mostly to the possible interpretation that Xander wants Buffy to be with Riley, not so much because he thinks Buffy is really in love with him or truly wants him - but because Xander sees Riley as the idealized version of Xander himself. Or simply as perfect guy for her, regardless of whether she's actually in love with him or not. Which ought to have been something Xander must have been doubting since The Replacement. I don't know how much of that I believe in, but I think it's an angle.


I don't know about that, Dave. I see Xander as always acting in Buffy's best interest, his own feelings be damned. I could see Xander thinking in "Prophecy Girl" something like "So you don't think of me like that? Fine. Just go and get yourself killed. See if I care." But, instead he goes out, shames the vampire she loves into guiding him to the Master's lair, and saves Buffy. That model is born out again and again. He truly believes, I think, that Riley is good for Buffy, or would be if she let him. I see no need to go deeper.

Riley doesn't fit in with the Scooby gang. Coming from a military background, he would've wanted strong intelligence to base his planning on; we know how unreliable Giles and his books can be, with prophecies coming to pass based on obsolete calendar systems and demonology resources that need to be translated into a more contemporary language ("Actual Size", anyone). He would've wanted strong, reliable, well-trained backup; beyond Buffy, they treat it like a part-time job. We see in "OOMM" and "FFL" how his way of working differs entirely from the established Scooby setup, but he stayed because he loved her. Of course, the writing was on the wall in the dreck that was "Family". In the wide shot that accompanies Buffy saying "We're her family", you have Spike, fresh from having slugged Tara, but Riley's off getting a suck job in the alley behind Willy's. Beyond Marti and/or Joss wanting to obliterate all trace of the Initiative from BtVS, you have a character who, despite of a broken heart, did the best thing he ever did for himself when he stepped onto that helicopter.

But that doesn't touch the issue of the Xander and Buffy discussion, does it?

But of course, if Buffy has really been treating Riley like the rebound guy it might well be because he actually is the rebound guy. In which case she should let him go and shouldn't be running after him - even if she should feel bad for treating him that way. Which, to be honest, is likely what a Buffy-Willow best-friend conversation might well have been. (though this is really pure spec as such a convo never took place, AFAIK)


Well, the Buffy/Riley relationship started with Willow saying "She likes cheese", so it's hard to say what Willow would say about Riley. To my memory, she really has nothing to say about any relationship (besides occasionally sniping at Anya) once W/T starts up, sometimes to the harm of her friends. (It is the job of the Best Man to make sure the Groom doesn't back out at the last moment, isn't it? But that's next season.) Because she's loving her rebound relationship and the power inequality inherent in it, she could never see the Buffy/Riley relationship through the lenses of the Willow/Oz or Willow/Tara relationships, and thus she would have nothing to say about it.

Sorry. Watch out for the grapes. They're really quite sour.

Which again, would have meant no running after the Helicopter - which I think was a required point in the eppy.


Well, that gets to "The Gift". She's lost her Mom. She's lost her boyfriend. She has her sister, and her friends and mentors are suggesting that her sister should die to save the world. Beyond [s]sabotaging[/s] writing out Riley, there's separating the Slayer from everything, leaving only her gift. Which leaves us with a show about feminism ending (until UPN) with a strong pro-suicide message, doesn't it?

But, in context of that message, the Xander speech may be the prelude to the end of Buffy/Riley, but it also kills Buffy/Xander, with that discussion leading him to say the L-word to Anya, which means that, to whatever extent she's been stringing him along (if you accept that she has been), he's committed to Anya and is no longer strung.

#6

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 5:30 AM

I see Xander as always acting in Buffy's best interest, his own feelings be damned...  He truly believes, I think, that Riley is good for Buffy, or would be if she let him.

And there's never any subtext there to look at. He acts in what he believes is Buffy's best interest. He doesn't question whether he's actually right. If Buffy won't "let Riley" be good for Buffy, it might well speak to a larger issue about the merits of that relationship and which requires some thought.

Beyond which, I think it's more than a little possible that Xander still thinks he'd be good for Buffy too, if only she would let him. She wouldn't in Prophecy Girl - it's not beyond the realm of possibility that he's seeing Riley as his proxy, if nothing else on a subconscious level. Riley's life is like the perfect version of Xander's.

But, in context of that message, the Xander speech may be the prelude to the end of Buffy/Riley, but it also kills Buffy/Xander, with that discussion leading him to say the L-word to Anya, which means that, to whatever extent she's been stringing him along, he's committed to Anya and is no longer strung.

Huh? And here I was thinking that it was about Xander no longer stringing Anya along. If there were stringing along with Buffy/Xander, it seemed mostly to be Xander stringing himself, so I'd say good for him.

#7

Sars

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 2:21 PM

This is straying into Xander-thread territory, y'all.

#8

HexLover

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 2:33 PM

I love season 5 because it gives us Glory, Dawn, and the Buffybot.

#9

marlaas

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 2:40 PM

I love season 5 because it gives us Glory, Dawn, and the Buffybot.


How sad that of these three important additions to the season, the Buffybot is the only one I can tolerate?! Actually, I don't loathe Dawn as much by S6 and S7, but her continual whining throughout S5 grated on my last nerve. Yes, she's been through a lot, but, no, the fallout from her trauma did not necessarily make for an appealing, likeable character! In other words, I could understand her insecure neediness, but that doesn't mean I enjoyed seeing it played out on my TV screen over and over. (again, I do think her general annoyingness was reigned in by S6 or S7...or did I just grow immune to it?!)

#10

HexLover

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 2:47 PM

I wish that Glory and the Buffybot had had a chance to have a conversation while she still had her original programing because the dialogue would have rocked.

And I too thought that Dawn was really whiney in S5 but that can't stop my love.

#11

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 3:34 PM

I don't think that Xander had a man-crush on Riley or that he sees him as an idealized version of himself. I think that Xander and Giles both want something normal for Buffy is all, and Xander felt that was Riley. The others in their little group weren't exactly large with normality themselves, so I get why it was more a priority for Xander than say, Willow.

I actually liked Dawn a bit in Season 5. I was confused as hell by her and hadn't a clue where she came from (I'd missed Dracula, which confused me even more). I didn't really dislike her until Season 6.

#12

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 5:35 PM

I think one of the reasons that I cut S5 Dawn a lot of slack is because I saw season 6 first then the series restarted and I was saying, "Where the hell is Dawn?" and then there she was!

#13

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 6:28 PM

(again, I do think her general annoyingness was reigned in by S6 or S7...or did I just grow immune to it?!)

maybe you were too distracted by the implosion of the show in S6-7 to notice.

OK, she was better after S5, but I still hate her because Dawn's introduction is the beginning of the end... a painful, downward spiral of a brilliant show, and to borrow Angelus' words...that's not the kind of thing you just forgive. YMMV.

Edited by jerry, Jan 3, 2004 @ 6:44 PM.


#14

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 8:13 PM

And there's never any subtext there to look at. He acts in what he believes is Buffy's best interest. He doesn't question whether he's actually right. If Buffy won't "let Riley" be good for Buffy, it might well speak to a larger issue about the merits of that relationship and which requires some thought.


But, Xander doesn't tell her to be with Riley regardless of how she feels or to make herself love him. He tells her that if she thinks Riley is (or could be) the one she should go after him and do anything to get him to stay, and if she knows he's not the one, she should go and break things off with him and make it a clean break. In short, he tells her not to leave things hanging with Riley.

#15

HexLover

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 8:44 PM

And the sad thing is that he never knows that she tried to stop him from leaving because the idiot wasn't looking! What kinda of a person goes through everything that Riley went through then doesn't give the place a final glance on the way out? She was yelling his name and jumping up and down waving her arms and he didn't notice!

#16

Brahmsian

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 1:54 PM

A guy who's trying to minimize the emotional pain, perhaps?

#17

QueenAnne

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 2:34 PM

OK, she was better after S5, but I still hate her because Dawn's introduction is the beginning of the end... a painful, downward spiral of a brilliant show,


Oh, word to the infinity. I'm just now starting after the holidays to watch my S5 DVDs, and I already wanted to kill Dawn after 15 minutes of "Real Me". Especially when Buffy says, "It's not like she didn't grow up in this house and doesn't know all the rules." It's then that I remember the "mindrape" that was performed on all the characters and I begin to hate anew. Of course, I'm not entirely sure who JW thought this new dynamic was to please, considering that I have a sister who is ten years younger, and I loathed her for at least the first sixteen years of her life (my mother insisting that the sullen fourteen-year-old and her friends babysit the four-year-old when they're supposed to be socializing, and letting her bang random blotches of notes on the end of the piano whenever I attempted to practice my actual lessons, didn't particularly help my love along - nor did it do much for my piano skills), and am cheering for someone to kill Dawn by accident. And in general, for me, I don't think that introducing a new character who's entire function is to drive your main character batty, is going to do anything other than make you hate the new character and throw all your support behind the main character. (Yes, I am aware I bring my own baggage to this.)

On a lighter note, "The Replacement" has given me my new candidate for Worst Outfit Ever. It comes where Buffy is in her bedroom with Riley, perhaps 15 minutes in. It can barely be described. Check it out for yourselves if you have copies. It offends every fashion principle - none of the colors look good together, the top and pants don't match, and it also mixes genres, giving us a top you'd wear to a nightclub - it sparkles - stuck under a cotton hoodie. (Especially watch for Buffy's jewelry when she's got her hand stuck on the camera side of Riley's face. The bracelet has a "gem" easily the size of a boutonniere, and the ring is of a similar ridiculous vintage.)

ETA: Keep watching. In a subsequent scene, the realtor who gives Xander his apartment is wearing a lovely, sensible brown business-y tailored dress - accessorized with an obi. Seriously. Of orange and shiny GOLD.

Edited by QueenAnne, Jan 4, 2004 @ 2:43 PM.


#18

HexLover

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 3:06 PM

Am I the only one who hasn't gone through the "I hate Dawn" phase?

#19

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 3:29 PM

I didn't hate Dawn. I've always been ambivalent about her character. I really liked Michelle as an actress and think that she did pretty well with the material she was given. What I didn't like was the writing & execution behind the character IMO. It was a good idea but the execution blew chunks. Dawn I think suffered from being written in the preteen age group where she's still somewhat a child and still maturing. I think that it would've better served ME to have cast her as either older (but still younger than Buffy around 15-16) or younger (around 6-7).

I think also with the advent of Dawn & later Spike that the group dynamic is thrown off but never really addressed. For instance I felt like a lot of the Buffy-Willow dynamic was dropped in favor of Buffy-Dawn much like I felt Buffy-Xander was dropped a great deal for Buffy-Spike IMO. I felt like it certainly was possible to maintain the existing dynamics and intergrate the new ones, but it didn't and that goes back to ME's execution for me personally. I think that's what ultimately made the show somewhat lopsided to and it becomes really prevelant in S6 & S7 to me.

I also think that the focus on strengthening the new additions (Dawn/Spike) were somewhat overfocused on and instead of letting them interact strongly with everyone on the canvas it kind've stunted them. For instance the Anya-Dawn interaction in ST,SP & Bring On The Night is hilarious IMO. And Spike-Willow showed some interesting chemistry in The Initiative but didn't ever have a scene together again IIRC. In S's 1-3 (and even 4) a lot of the beauty was through different characters interacting and the sometimes surprising chemistry of the actors like Charisma-Aly, David-Nicky, Smidge-Charisma, Smidge-Seth, Nicky-Seth, Charisma-Tony, David-Aly, Nicky-Tony, and so on down the line. But when the sole purpose of the two new main characters is interaction solely with Buffy than things feel off (at least to me).

Dawn I think suffered most of all because she never fully had an identity of her own and it showed up in her interactions onscreen. So a lot of the time I was all "Get your own friends wench!" more than anything.

Edited by DeeeDee, Jan 4, 2004 @ 3:31 PM.


#20

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 3:36 PM

I didn't mind Dawn when she first showed up, mostly because I was interested in who the heck this chick who was "Buffy's sister" was and what kind of evil brought her. But, as her story played out I kept expecting her to go away, to return from whence she came. But she never did. Unfortunately, I pretty much never stopped waiting for that to happen. And then there was the screeching. I did feel better about her during Season 7 though. But, considering Season 7 and the characters during it, that isn't saying much. The poseable Dawn made me laugh, as did the anchovies song.

I would have probably warmed up to her a lot more if they had broken the monk's magic and dealt with the outcome and had Dawn still remain family. I've got a thing with fake memories and mind wipes. If they come undone, I've got no problem with it. It's when they never do that I start to feel resentful. Unfortunately, Dawn was the best target for my irritation. Maybe if I had come into the series during or after Season Five I wouldn't have minded so much. I don't know.

Shiny hair, though.

Edited by Vandalisimo, Jan 4, 2004 @ 3:37 PM.


#21

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 3:41 PM

The Dawn/Buffy sisterly interactions in the beginning of S5 cracked me up, to be honest. They just felt so right. I thought SMG and MT did a great job of acting like believable sisters right off the bat. Dawn later made me want to whack her over the head in S6 with the whining and the "get out Get Out GET OUT!" (good lord that girl can shriek, and no it didn't bug me as much when she did it in S5 b/c I felt like her S5 cry had more legitimate pain) but I never really hated her. But then, on a whole, I seem to have less trouble accepting plot twists and changes, or the introduction of new characters than others do. And I can't think of a single character on either show I've ever hated anyway. Disliked or wanted to smack, yeah, but never hated.

#22

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 3:50 PM

Yeah, I kind of liked their interactions too. Honestly, I like The Real Me. The sudden plopping in of this sister was pretty interesting, I thought. I mean - who the hell is she? Why is she here? Why does noone know she shouldn't be there and when will they realize it? I thought it was all pretty cool. And, while I would have been happy with Dawn jumping off the tower in The Gift, I didn't really need her to go away. I just wanted the monk's spell undone. Then she could stay. Work her into the family. Have Buffy realize that even though the specific memories were now gone, the feelings are the same. But that monk spell really affected the way I looked at Dawn once it became clear that they were never going to unravel it.

Edited by Vandalisimo, Jan 4, 2004 @ 3:50 PM.


#23

HexLover

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 4:02 PM

Which reminds me, I hate when Buffy says that she and Dawn share the same blood and that the monks made Dawn out of her. While both of these statements are entirely plausible, and actualy how I explained some things, Buffy should not have said them without a shred of proof to back her up. Back in S2 when I was first watching Helpless I thought that when Giles and the CoW were drugging Buffy it was to take samples of her DNA to create a human body to hide the Key in. Since we don't get a lot of info about the Key in S6, where I first came in, I thought that it was possible and that Dawn would soon be there and all would be explained. Instead Giles was robbing her of her powers so that she could fight the crazey vampire guy defensless, stupid coming of age test.

#24

Lil Miss Muffet

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 5:00 PM

Am I the only one who hasn't gone through the "I hate Dawn" phase?

*raises hand* - personally, I never hated S5!Dawn. In fact, I'll cheerily admit I was quite fond of her *ducks tomatoes*.

I know there are those who didn't much like her - and that's cool by me. From my perspective though, I really enjoyed the sisterly dynamic between Buffy and Dawn. As others have stated, I think it smacked of authenticity – IMO, it struck a nice balance. Instead of being overly saccharine, I saw it as rather realistic. There was rivalry and sniping and other such sisterly antagonism – yet at the same time, I saw an undercurrent of genuine warmth. So for me at least, it worked quite well.

Personally, I easily relate to that dynamic. As of now, I’m 23 years old, and my little sister is 17. The age gap between us nicely matches that of Buffy and Dawn. So I can easily attune myself to Buffy’s perspective. At the same time, I also have an older sister - so I can attune myself to Dawn’s perspective, as well. So yeah – I enjoy the Buffy/Dawn dynamic on a bunch of levels.

I also found it significant that Buffy didn’t show much overt affection towards Dawn until after Dawn’s origins were revealed. Before that, Buffy didn’t display much fondness towards Dawn… but after learning the truth, a genuine sense of kinship seemed to arise. Personally, I think there are compelling parallels and contrasts between being the Key and being the Slayer. I think Dawn and Buffy are interesting reflections of one another. As such, I loved seeing that relationship developing. So yeah – I quite enjoyed S5!Dawn. That being said, I’ve found that the path of a Dawn-fan is a somewhat lonely road to travel. But hey – lonely though it is, I'll keep on marchin'.

Anyhoo – I should probably switch gears before things get too Dawn-centric. In general, I really liked S5. I found it neat that it started out kind of light-hearted and cheery, and then slowly spiraled into emotional darkness. At the start you had fun stuff like Dracula, and Harmony, and Xander’s twin… but that lightness and levity was soon contrasted by dark, gritty subject matter. Personally, I liked the transition of mood.

#25

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 5:02 PM

I would have probably warmed up to her a lot more if they had broken the monk's magic and dealt with the outcome and had Dawn still remain family.

I agree. With the way Joss has played it out, the only way I could accept the story is if Dawn had been a recurring character on the show from the beginning of the series and was only revealed to be the Key in season 5 (she would have really been there the whole time though, none of the memory change bullshit). Buffy's loyalty to Dawn and ultimate sacrifice in the Gift made her look irrational and maybe even insane because I couldn't relate to her. As far as I was concerned Dawn wasn't real, and Buffy's refusal to kill her even if it meant the destruction of reality was deplorable. I still have my doubts that Buffy wasn't altered by the monks somehow to be loyal to Dawn above all reason.

#26

DEM

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 5:24 PM

And in general, for me, I don't think that introducing a new character who's entire function is to drive your main character batty, is going to do anything other than make you hate the new character and throw all your support behind the main character.


Exactly. When I looked at Dawn in S5-6, I thought, "For whom does this does this storytelling and method of character development work?!" Certainly not for me. Dawn was intriguing, if still annoying, in Real Me but she completely lost me for the remainder of her tenure with No Place Like Home. The one exception to that came in Tough Love with the "I must be evil" monologue. That was the one time I felt for the character, probably because MT was subdued in her acting, and Dawn's lament focussed -- finally! -- on her effect on others.

And here's a rare event (hee!): DeeeDee, I agree with everything you said about Dawn (and Spike) and character dynamics. Dawn mucked up everything in ways that I neither wanted nor needed. For one thing, at the beginning of the season I really thought ME was going to go somewhere with Buffy's frequent complaints about Dawn's naive and irresponsible behaviour. You know, actually pay off the subtext? Tie Buffy's exasperation into her slayer-sense and what not? Tie Dawn's 'underage' behaviour into the fact that she was constructed by isolated monks? But no, Buffy's crankiness was ultimately just that and only that: big sister crankiness. And Dawn was socially and emotionally behind her peers 'just because'.

Speaking of Tough Love: It occupies an odd niche in my mind. I really like that ep. It's easily in my Top 5 for the season. Pardoxically, it also highlighted the 3 main aspects of the season that were driving me absolutely batshit by then: creepily co-dependent and baby-talking W/T, B/D in all its hairstroking weirdness, and the irrevocable splintering of B&W. Actually, the list goes on with: underutilised Xander, spineless & passive-aggressive Tara, and homemaker Buffy. What would have been neat in S6 was a multi-ep arc that built upon the richness of Tough Love with a memory-restored Scooby gang.

Edited by DEM, Jan 4, 2004 @ 8:07 PM.


#27

a2zmom

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 5:36 PM

I never hated Dawn. It probably helps that I have two younger sisters, so I always saw the Buffy/Dawn dynamic as realistic, especially in "The Real Me". But, I do agree that the Willow/Buffy friendship seemed to disappear and I didn't like that at all. In general, the show seemed to forget how to do interactions between anyone who wasn't currently boyfriend/girlfriend.

And the sad thing is that he never knows that she tried to stop him from leaving because the idiot wasn't looking! What kinda of a person goes through everything that Riley went through then doesn't give the place a final glance on the way out? She was yelling his name and jumping up and down waving her arms and he didn't notice!


Since I don't think Buffy ever loved Riley and was never going to love Riley, I think him not noticing was the best thing that could have happened to him.

#28

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 6:46 PM

And here's a rare event (hee!): DeeeDee, I agree with everything you said about Dawn (and Spike) and character dynamics. Dawn mucked up everything in ways that I neither wanted nor needed. For one thing, at the beginning of the season I really thought ME was going to go somewhere with Buffy's frequent complaints about Dawn's naive and irresponsible behaviour. You know, actually pay off the subtext? Tie Buffy's exasperation into her slayer-sense and what not? Tie Dawn's 'underage' behaviour into the fact that she was constructed by isolated monks? But no, Buffy's crankiness was ultimately just that and only that: big sister crankiness. And Dawn was socially and emotionally behind her peers 'just because'.


Hee DEM! I think that Michelle & Smidge had good chemistry as sisters and the dynamic between Buffy & Dawn was fairly well delineated. My problem came because as it also later did with Spike was that they're main purpose was all about Buffy IMO. Dawn didn't have any of her own friends, we never really saw her in school, or even much with Joyce so things seemed out of place. Then add to that Willow-Buffy was almost all but dropped to drive home that point.

A much similar thing happens with Spike. He wants in the group but he doesn't want to respect anyone else. I felt like if the writers had shown him interacting with others and acting as if he'd wanted to be included than maybe I might've had a little sympathy for him. Throughout S5 and majorly IMO in S6 Buffy-Xander is damn near totally dropped because of it.

I felt like both characters were complex and interesting but the existing bonds/relationships of characters didn't have to be thrown off because of their introduction. Then we get little snippets of stuff like Anya-Tara interaction that seem interesting, at least to me, that I thought they should've ran with. Or even Anya-Buffy about beind excluded from X-W's relationship.

Dawn suffered most of all to me because like I said she was cast in the "difficult" period of being a preteen which automatically lends itself to being a pain in the ass IMO. I'm the youngest of four sisters and the 5th child of 7 so I can understand somewhat, but it all goes back to the execution for me.

But in the end canonBuffy ends with The Gift in S5. In S5 at least I felt like there was still some hope for the show. OMwF is wonderful but other than that I don't really have any use for the S6 & 7 personally.

#29

HexLover

HexLover

Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 6:49 PM

IMO Tara/Anya had great potential for developping an awsome friendship but was wasted.

#30

jerry

jerry

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 7:07 PM

As far as I was concerned Dawn wasn't real, and Buffy's refusal to kill her even if it meant the destruction of reality was deplorable.

Word, JonW81. In Buffy's world, the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.

At the time, I suspected if Dawn's character was well-received, we'd see a spin-off... BtVS: The Next Generation.

MT did a great job of being a brat, but I didn't want to see it... certainly not at the screentime expense of more likable characters. I was invested in the original group and wanted to see more, not less of them. A growing cast meant less Willow/Xander/Buffy interaction.

An exception: I thought Dawn and Spike shared scenes well. He called her pet-names and was protective of her, and Dawn seemed to adore him.