deird1: Willow dressed as vamp!Willow, with text "ceci n'est pas une vampire" (this is not a vampire) (Willow (french vampire))
Rewatching The Pack...

I have to say, I love Willow here. Particularly that she insists on staying behind to watch Xander because "I know you better than Buffy does", and Xander takes it as "I knew you'd still be you, inside it all." Like she knew he would - because that was Xander's reaction to Jesse becoming a vampire. And because she's well aware that he underestimates her.

And really, she insisted on it because she thinks Buffy's a bit gullible and kind-hearted, and she does know Xander better than Buffy does, and is aware of how he'll behave if he's manipulating her.

I just... YAY. :) Don't try manipulating Willow, guys. It never, ever works.
deird1: Willow looking pretty (Willow red)
A few weeks ago I was musing about Hogwarts houses, and which one I'd be sorted into. Mentioned this to the husband, who responded with "Duh. Of course you'd be in Ravenclaw. Isn't it obvious?"

He is, of course, correct. When I thought about it, I realised that, if I was not sorted into Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin, I'd be sad, but also think "yeah, I suppose that's reasonable". If I failed to be sorted into Ravenclaw, on the other hand, I would be horrified that they didn't think I was intellectual enough.

I think, in fact, that's probably a good way of confirming someone's house. Someone who doesn't get into Hufflepuff, and says "But... you don't think I'm loyal and hardworking enough? I am SO loyal and hardworking! Let me show you how hard I can work at being loyal!" - or who doesn't get into Slytherin and is highly indignant about her resourcefulness being disparaged.



...and now, I will do what countless others have doubtless done before me, and sort the Buffy characters into Hogwarts houses. Because I couldn't get to sleep last night and this is what my brain does.

Gryffindor
- Buffy. Because duh.
- Spike. He's gutsy, and tends to put everything on the line just for the heck of it.

Ravenclaw
- Giles. (Bookish polyglot.)
- Dawn. (Ditto.)
- Angel. He knows his history, his languages, and his literature. And tends to research everything.

Slytherin
- Willow. I think she's more about knowledge so that she can do things and so that she can feel good about herself than because she actually wants to know for the sake of it. And she'd be upset about people thinking she wasn't prepared and resourceful.
- Anya. Pragmatic as all get-out. And I think she's the one character who would be most likely to shoot someone Indiana-Jones-style to cut the battle short.

Hufflepuff
- Faith. So ridiculously loyal - and the one way to make her absolutely destroy your life is to make her loyal to you and then (from her perspective) betray her.
- Everyone Willow has ever dated. (Seriously! Xander, Oz, Tara, Kennedy - all total Hufflepuffs...)
deird1: Wes and Lilah in bed, with text "you called this a relationship" (Wes Lilah relationship)
Going slightly different on this one. While I can (and will) mention my favourite romance, I thought I'd mention all my favourite romances. Or, in fact, pretty much pair off as many characters as possible.

favourite romance(s) )
deird1: Faith watching Buffy walk away (Faith and Buffy)
I'm going to finish this meme, dammit, no matter how long it takes me...

favourite friendship )

*sighs*

Feb. 18th, 2014 11:46 am
deird1: Faith, with text " 'sup, bitches?" (Faith bitches)
Next time someone starts doing episode-by-episode reviews of their first time watching BtVS, I'm going to hop in my time machine, zoom off to the future, and check out what they think of Smashed.

Because if their opinion of Buffy/Spike takes a nosedive at the end of the episode, then it's not worth me wasting my time reading all the previous reviews.
deird1: Kennedy looking stubborn, with text "And you'll be stopping me... how?" (Kennedy stopping me how)
So, Buzzfeed released a ranked list of Buffyverse characters, and put Kennedy dead-last.

Leading to this snippet of conversation:
Mez: "Quite apart from my rabid Kennedy fangirling - the worst character? Really? Worse than Sam Finn? Than Adam? Than Scott Hope? Than Forrest? REALLY?"
A friend: "Yes. Really. I have my own disagreements with the list but that one was spot on. No I didn't expect Willow to become a nun after Tara's death but Not. With. Her."


To which my only question is... why not?

Why not her? And, if not her, then who? Should Willow go out with a Tara clone? Should she reconnect with Oz? Or what? And what, precisely, is so thoroughly objectionable about Kennedy? What is the one thing that makes her so damn unsuitable a girlfriend that people are ranking her below The Anointed One, The Beast, Rack, and Parker Abrams? Why???



The more I think about it - yeah. I do think people expected Willow to become a nun after Tara's death. I think they wanted her to never move on, and were prepared to hate her next girlfriend purely because that girlfriend wasn't Tara and it was too soon. It could have been ten years later, and people still would have cried "too soon!" and "not Tara!" and hated whoever Willow finally made a life with.

(And yes, I agree that people are allowed to dislike whatever characters they choose. But the overall dislike of Kennedy is so pervasive that I think there's something else going on here. Also – this is a rant. Logic has no place in it.)
deird1: the Trio as Greek gods, with text "we are as gods!!!" (Trio as gods)
I was reading [personal profile] selenak's meta on fictional rapists and redemption arcs (which is interesting, so go read it too), and thinking about ...well, about redemption arcs. I particularly liked what she said in this bit:
One of the reasons why I think Faith wins at redemption arcs in the Jossverse is that what she did is never excused or forgotten, she eventually accepted responsibility and turned herself in (without mystical intervention causing her to do so), and she then kept (successfully) at trying to be a better person. Which is why I find it frustrating when her dark side days are then declared to have been all someone else's (preferably Buffy's) fault to begin with - that sells the redemption arc short.


Totally. I love redemption arcs where people accept responsibility for what they did and deal with it. It's awesome. I can like a fictional character who does pretty much anything – up to, and including genocide – if they have a good redemption arc thrown in. Which must be why I'm okay with fictional murderers and rapists, like Spike and Faith.

Except that doesn't quite cover it. Because I also love Scorpius, Lilah, and Azula, who are all quite happily evil, and never get redemption arcs at all.


I think I've figured it out, though. It's the up-front thing.

A character who does awful things, then says "Wow. I did all this awful stuff. That sucks. I need to be all repenty, now." will pretty much be my favourite person ever. On the other hand, a character who does awful things, then says "Wow. I did all this awful stuff. That rocks! I need to laugh manically, for a minute." will just about tie for my favourite person ever with the repenty one.

Whereas, a character who thinks their evil deeds aren't so bad, or are someone else's fault, will get much less leeway from me.


Holtz, for instance, can do very few evil things apart from trying to get revenge on Angel, and I will end up yelling nasty things at my television and wishing he'd come back to life so I could kill him again, nastily. Likewise, Xander lying to Buffy gets very little sympathy from me, because he is doing something bad that he never takes responsibility for. And Lindsey's association with Wolfram and Hart is something I tend to scowl at.

But Willow, Faith, Andrew, Spike, Lilah, Scorpius, Tempus, the Master, Azula, and Callisto? I will forgive the 'good' ones, and grin happily at the 'evil' ones, and not really mind them doing the evil things they do. Because every single one of them is, eventually, happy to point out that those things are, in fact, evil.


I think this is why writers of Xander irritate me so much when they excuse The Lie on the grounds that Xander was trying to keep Buffy focused. Because... it's an excuse. And, even though they're trying to put me more on Xander's side, giving The Lie an excuse rather than just calling it a lie is guaranteed to take me off Xander's side and want to pelt him with tomatoes instead. Whereas, if they'd just have him accept that he did it, and that it was selfish and bad, I'd like those stories a heck of a lot more.
deird1: Angel singing, with text "ceci n'est pas un chanteur" (this is not a singer) (Angel (french singer))
The fiance and I are slowly making our way through Buffy and Angel - which meant, for once, I was watching Angel with all my attention on the screen, rather than on crochet or work or similar. Which meant that I noticed a continuity error I'd never seen before.

And a rather unexpected one...

a cake with super-morphing powers )
deird1: comicbook Xander, with text "Xander" (Xander comics)
I think I've finally realised why I disagree with Xander-shippers.


Intro-ish dissertation on the subject of shippers

ridiculous stereotypes )

The genus Xandus Shipperus

best friend ever! )

The point

'good' characters )

Glad I've finally worked that out. It's been bugging me for months now.

frell that

Jul. 20th, 2012 08:11 am
deird1: Buffy looking annoyed, with text "I'm a bitch. Ask me how." (Buffy bitch)
Pro-tip: If you don't want people to discuss your traumatic past when defending their favourite television character, don't write about your traumatic past in your episode review.

Also: If the characters in question are a super-strong woman who has recently been resurrected and a 200-year-old vampire with a thing for blonde women who want to kill him, then maybe, just maybe, their situation will not be directly analogous to "generic woman" and "generic man" in the same situation? Possibly?

Plus: Listening to what people say is a good thing! Especially before you ban them for saying something they never actually said!




*sighs*

And I'm out.
deird1: Darla and Drusilla, with text "old world" (Darla Dru old world)
One thing that's been coming up in the comments at Mark Watches lately is BtVS's portrayal of "crazy" people. Which... well, I have thoughts.


The general position taken by many of the commenters is that:
1) Joss Whedon tends to portray people as generally "crazy" rather than specific-diagnosis crazy.
2) They tend to be over-the-top completely freaking nuts.
3) This is stereotyping mentally ill* people as extremely weird and freaky, which is bad PR, and not a good thing.

* (And other people who are not classified as mentally ill, but are still not neurotypical. I just didn't want to try to squeeze all of that into a single sentence.)



I see their point. I even partly agree. But my position is somewhat different.

angsty navalgazing )

The thing is, I get the fact that over-the-top portrayals are problematic and othering. I understand all that. But having realistic portrayals would made me feel crappy - whereas the over-the-top crazy speaks to me.

Which is why I'm glad it's there.
deird1: Faith looking thoughtful, with text "deep thought" (Faith thought)
I've always thought of Buffy season 5 as having four episodes of not-much at the start. (Granted, one episode of the not-much is utterly awesome because it's entirely about Dawn and I love her with every fibre of my being, but still...) It just meanders around on Monster Of The Week silliness until we finally find out what the season's about in episode five.

I basically think of it like this:
Episode 1: Not much happens, in a vaguely funny way.
Episode 2: Not much happens (although it's hilarious and Dawnish).
Episode 3: Not much happens, boringly.
Episode 4: Not much happens, yet again.
Episode 5: DAWN IS THE KEY! GLORY IS AFTER HER! MONKS! DAWN! BUFFY! GLORY! THIS WHOLE SEASON IS ABOUT THIS STUFF, AND HERE IT ALL IS RIGHT HERE!!!!

However, I may have to revise my opinion. I've just been rewatching, and realised that, in those first few episodes...
- Buffy wants to find out what being the Slayer means.
- Buffy has a little sister, who is getting on her nerves.
- Joyce is sick.
- Riley is feeling insecure about his macho-ness.
- Giles has a new job at The Magic Box.
- Spike has a crush on Buffy.
- Harmony has minions.
- Xander has a new job.
- Willow is getting good at magic.
- Anya has discovered the delights of money.
- Tara feels left out of the Scoobies, and doubtful about being "one of the good guys".

That stuff all happens right then. With the exception of Willow, none of it has been mentioned before. And, with the possible exception of Harmony, all of it will have major plot implications over the next season.

These four episodes are, in fact, one of the most intricate set-ups of future plot that I've seen. And somehow I always missed that...
deird1: Willow, with text "I am Willow. I am Death. 'Kay?" (Willow death)
On Mark Watches this morning, someone made the following comment:
I still have pretty much zero sympathy for Faith because I'm too busy sympathizing for the people she's assaulted, raped, tortured, and murdered. I'm actually kind of offended by the writer's attempt to make me feel bad for her because she is an objectively terrible human being.


- characters who assault people do not deserve sympathy
- characters who rape people do not deserve sympathy
- characters who torture people do not deserve sympathy
- characters who murder people do not deserve sympathy

So, out of all the Buffyverse characters, this person likes... Tara? And maybe Dawn?


Call me crazy, but I'd say that if you can't sympathise with characters who do terrible things to people, maybe BtVS is not the show for you.
deird1: Kennedy looking stubborn, with text "And you'll be stopping me... how?" (Kennedy stopping me how)
A trend I have noticed in post-series Buffy crossover fics with crime procedural shows:

- The team have, through an epic misunderstanding, arrested a Scooby Gang member.
- Said Scooby sits there in interrogation, being rude and generally a pain to the team.
- Finally, another Scooby shows up, flashes a badge, says "International Watchers Council, bitches", dumps a whole stack of paperwork on their desks, and smugly waltzes out the door with Arrested Scooby - because, obviously, they're now such a high-security section of the government that they are beyond the petty rules of law enforcers.


I don't see it.

For one thing, I can't see Buffy linking up with the U.S. government. Not post-Initiative. Just... not going to happen.

And for another, I can't really see the U.S. government giving them that type of power whether they were linked up or not.


What I'd really like to see happen, instead:
- The team have, through an epic misunderstanding, arrested a Scooby Gang member.
- The team get summoned by their boss, who informs them that this person is affiliated with the I.W.C., and hence gets special privileges. Such as the right to make phonecalls to a number of other I.W.C. members at any time, and to have any of them in the room while interrogation happens.
- So, Kennedy shows up (in a business suit) ready to help out with whatever mess Dawn's landed herself in this time - and the two of them try to get Dawn out from under the murder-with-sharp-knives charge she's on, and meanwhile figure out how they're going to track down the real killers, while debating how much info these cops have to have about the whole thing...

It would, in my opinion, be a much more interesting fanfic. And someday I will find it.
deird1: a penguin, with text "is everyone here very stoned?" (penguins)
Glanced at my outfit in the mirror just now.

First thought: "Huh, I look like Lara Croft, only with smaller breasts."

Second thought: "Huh, I look like Buffy from The Wish, only with darker hair."



...anyone ever noticed how much Wishverse!Buffy dresses like Lara Croft?
deird1: puppet!Angel brooding, with text "brood brood brood brood brood brood brood brood brood" (PuppetAngel brood)
So, over on Mark Watches, the comments are discussing Angel. And someone just said this:
Vampire Spike was never as evil as Angelus (considered one of hte most evil vamps ever) he just does the killing bit because he truly enjoys it. He's not a good guy, doesn't try to be, doesn't pretend to be, but he isn't so evil as to actually want to tear someone mentally to pieces.

Hmm.

I responded by pointing out this line of Spike's:
Do you know how much blood you can drink from a girl before she’ll die? I do. You see, the trick is to drink just enough to know how to damage them just enough so that they’ll still cry when you… ‘cause it’s not worth it if they don’t cry.

...and the answer I got? "Yeah, but he's just saying that so Buffy will kill him."


Allow me to get my ranty pants on for a minute or so.

brief rant )

In short? A character can do awful, evil stuff. And still be your favourite character. And you don't have to gloss over one to keep the other.

Let me leave you with a fanfic that addresses this. Because if I could write that fic, I wouldn't have to write this rant instead.
deird1: Dawn, with text "troublemaker" (Dawn troublemaker)
Normally, when I'm bored and in this sort of mood, I'll post a silly poll about Buffyverse characters.

This time, I've decided to try something different: a silly poll about Buffyverse objects.

enjoy... )
deird1: chibis of Kitty and Lydia from P&P, with text "fangirls at large" (Kitty Lydia fangirls)
...just because.


Buffy

- Spike's arrival.

Because suddenly vampires were not angsty gothic people, but would make ridiculous comments about Woodstock and then go watch telly.


And way before that...
- "They can fly??" "They can drive."

It was just so mundane and common-sense-y.


Farscape

- Crichton's first week in space:
"Get a tractor beam on that shuttle!"
"Tractor beam? What's that?"
"Graviton field. Attracto ray. Superglue. Whatever it is that you yanked me aboard with."
"You mean the docking web?"
"Yeah! Fine! Use it on the shuttle!"

Star Trek really has done a lot for us. Because, despite the fact that none of us have ever seen one in action, anyone who's watched even the slightest bit of television would recognise the draggy laser thing as a "tractor beam".
I loved that Crichton's space-vocabulary was completely different from everyone else's.


Also...
- Frag-cannons.
Specifically, the fact that Crichton reacts to the name "frag-cannons" by grinning and looking around to see who else has noticed the silly; and meanwhile, everyone else it taking it totally seriously because OH NOES THE FRAG CANNONS!


Doctor Who

- "Wait! The Prime Minister's an alien! ...nah, that's never going to work, is it?"

Most shows would have either had him continually insisting that the PM was an alien, with an aggrieved why-does-no-one-believe-me air, or else had him try to conceal it from the get-go. This one made a nice change.


Leverage

- Parker's origin story. With her blowing up her foster family's house to get her soft toy back.
AND IT WAS ALL CUTE AND EVERYTHING.

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