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Least favorite romance(s)



Good evening - or morning, I don't know - everyone. It's time for me to rant about least favorite romances!
Day 1: Favorite Season
Day 2: Favorite Episode
Day 3: Favorite Song Used In An Episode
Day 4: Favorite Female Character
Day 5: Least Favorite Female Character
Day 6: Favorite Male Character
Day 7: Least Favorite Male Character
Day 8: Favorite Friendship
Day 9: Favorite Romance
Day 10: Least Favorite Season
Day 11: Least Favorite Romance
Day 12: Least Favorite Episode
Day 13: Favorite Potential Slayer
Day 14: Favorite Female Villain
Day 15: Favorite Male Villain
Day 16: Episode You Like That Everyone Else Hates
Day 17: Character You Relate To The Most
Day 18: Character Who Didn’t Get Enough Screen Time
Day 19: Character You Like That Everyone Else Hates
Day 20: Best Spike-centric Episode
Day 21: Best Willow-centric Episode
Day 22: Best Xander-centric Episode
Day 23: Two Characters You Wanted To Get Together That Never Did
Day 24: Hottest scene
Day 25: Favorite Buffyverse Saying
Day 26: Favorite Scooby Moment
Day 27: Cutest Moment
Day 28: Character You Love To Hate
Day 29: Episode You Hate That Everyone Else Loves
Day 30: What You Think Made Buffy So Great





Necessary premise: I don't get "shippy" a lot. A pairing has to inspire me in a special way to get shippy. I can deal with shows without romances and just platonic friendships. (For example: I don't ship John and Sherlock like most of the fans do though I love their relationship)

Active shipping is something I don't do for every cute couple and sometimes I think that some pairings are adorable - like, I don't know, Rory and Amy from DW or Willow and Oz - but I don't go there with the ugly sobbing and the feels.

In BtVS I get really shippy when it comes to three people: Spike, Angel and Buffy. I don't know why, they are sexy. I get involved with lot of feelings and "Please Joss, make them a couple" when it comes to these three in various combinations - with other people too. So I guess that Spuffel is a necessity sometimes: it's a way to resolve the triangle without breaking anyone's heart. I like it. You also already know that I really, REALLY want to see Spike and Buffy together in the comics and that's my active shipping part in the fandom. Love them, want to see them together. GIVE ME. (Plus can we have other Spangel interaction?)

So, in the end, there are pairings I find truly cute and that I love (especially Jenny/Giles and Willow/Oz) but they don't provoke the crazy shipper in me.

They are also pairings I couldn't care less, like Riley and Sam. Is there anyone in the fandom who cares about their marriage? I guess that they could be a valid candidate for "least favorite romance" expect that we get to see them together just for one episode and I don't care enough about Sam as a character to even dislike her. She's merely an appendix of Riley's character. Not interested.

There are also couple I don't like per se but that I can understand. Take, for example, the brief interlude between Xander and Willow: absolutely the worst thing, especially since they were both cute and generally happy with Cordelia and Oz, but it felt real. Xander and Willow grew up with this special bond and their mistake seemed understandable. Not something to like or ship in any way, but something human and, especially since they were both so young, normal.

I refuse to consider Parker and Buffy a couple and the romance was a big kick in the teeth for Buffy, but I liked the arc because it was Bangel in a regular, not-so-metaphoric and over the top way. Parker was the human answer to Angelus.

Let's see: Anya and Xander could have been a beloved OTP of mine IF he was really supportive to her. I don't like how Xander treats Anya in many occasions, I can't really be on board with the romance. I suffered for them in Hells Bells and I loved SO MUCH the final scene of Selfless but I'm forever pissed at Xander rolling his eyes everytime Anya expresses a non conventional opinion. Why he even wants to be married to her if he doesn't like what she thinks about stuff?

So here's my choices: As a Spuffy shipper I was (am?) supposed to hate Riley and Buffy. But I don't. I think that S4 Riley and Buffy are cute: she finally has some balance between her mission and her private life. She gets to be happy much more than she ever was with Angel. She gets to go out like a normal girl and her boyfriend doesn't seem alarmed by her mission. I like happy!Buffy. She doesn't get to feel happiness or - better definition - contentment a lot. (The only part that makes me all "Noooo" is when they bang after killing demons in The I in the Team because of creepy fascistic groups.)

So I hate when it all goes to hell and she gets the blame for it. I'm annoyed by Riley/Buffy's romance in S5 not because I ship her with Spike but because Riley is annoying and I'm happy when he goes away and, with all due respect and love to Spike, but I like too much Buffy's singleness in the second half of S5. I wish we could have seen her being single much more because she doesn't need a love interest to be ... interesting. And to express affection and being loved, generally. Buffy and Dawn are the big love story in S5.

Also Robin and Faith. It feels like he wanted so desperately to bang a slayer, any slayer, that he finally took a chance with Faith. Ew.





EDIT: Wait, stop! If we consider the comics ... Xander and Dawn. Xander and Dawn more than everyone. More than Warren being Amy's boyfriend. (?) More than everything. Dawn deserves better.

Comments

( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
red_satin_doll
Mar. 24th, 2014 11:59 pm (UTC)
They are also pairings I couldn't care less, like Riley and Sam. Is there anyone in the fandom who cares about their marriage?

WHAT? YOU DON'T LOVE COMMANDO BARBIE AND KEN? *snerk*

Anya and Xander could have been a beloved OTP of mine IF he was really supportive to her.

But then there are moments such as in OAFA where he comforts her, or OMWF where they are laughing together after the dance. I really thought those kids had a chance. (His comments in the Body when she tells Buffy how sorry she is that Joyce died, OTOH...shut up, dude.) So I really feel torn about those kids. They actually had one of the most workable and long lasting ships on the show.

Which, given the general dysfunction, isn't saying much.

I think that S4 Riley and Buffy are cute: she finally has some balance between her mission and her private life. She gets to be happy much more than she ever was with Angel. She gets to go out like a normal girl and her boyfriend doesn't seem alarmed by her mission. I like happy!Buffy. She doesn't get to feel happiness or - better definition - contentment a lot.

Agreed. His treatment of her in Doomed bugs, but for the most part I was able to ignore it because she was happy. (Which says things about me I'd rather not think about right now *ahem*) I didn't hate him, I didn't ship Spuffy at the time (and honestly not until S7), and I was puzzled by the haters. Until I saw S5 and BUCKETS OF RAGE POURING DOWN I CAN'T EVEN.

BTW- I thought the sex scene in TIIT was really sexy (again, I didn't get the hate.) And when she wakes up the next morning and you can tell from her expression that she expects to find herself in bed alone? Oh Buffy, sweetie....

I wish we could have seen her being single much more because she doesn't need a love interest to be ... interesting. And to express affection and being loved, generally. Buffy and Dawn are the big love story in S5.

It pisses me off that the writers felt it necessary to get rid of Riley (and in the most horribly humiliating way to Buffy) because they wanted Dawn to be her "love object" that season - because Buffy cannot hold love for more than one person in her heart at one time? That may not have been their intention but the implication is pretty vile.

OTOH - YES to more Dawn and Buffy interaction. With all due respect, at the start of S7 I didn't want "Spuffy" - I was exhausted b it. I WANTED more of my Summers sisters.

It feels like he wanted so desperately to bang a slayer, any slayer, that he finally took a chance with Faith. Ew.

Well when you put it like that...in my post-series headcanon Faith tells Buffy she's broken up with Robin because she needs her space and his "mommy issues" are a big turn off. At least they were to me when he told Buffy she reminded him of his mother. And I actually thought they were a cute potential ship early S7 but by that point oh NO.

If we consider the comics ... Xander and Dawn.

Must we consider them? Let's not and say we did anyway.
kikimay
Mar. 25th, 2014 12:44 pm (UTC)

But then there are moments such as in OAFA where he comforts her, or OMWF where they are laughing together after the dance. I really thought those kids had a chance. (His comments in the Body when she tells Buffy how sorry she is that Joyce died, OTOH...shut up, dude.) So I really feel torn about those kids. They actually had one of the most workable and long lasting ships on the show.


I agree. In the general landscape of dysfunction and pain Anya and Xander are a light in the dark (And they even were *HOPE* for Buffy) I would shipped them a lot if I liked Xander a little bit much. I get frustrated with him when he usually rolls his eyes at Anya's ideas which is even something that happens with RL couples. It's realistic, I guess. Still they could have been my second OTP, but I don't really like Xander that much.

The scene in TIIT makes me "scared" (I can't find a better word rn) because there's this fascistic vibe about the commando and Buffy is basically sleeping with a potential enemy and I'm like: PLEASE NO. Which maybe is what the authors wanted. Also I don't find sexy the sex scenes between Riley and Buffy so I'm indifferent to the hot part.

I believe that Riley got a lot of hate because Bangel and Spuffy shippers felt like he was taking their favorite guy's and truest-Buffys-love-forevah's place. The Bangel because Riley happened after Angel went to LA and there was still a lot of people shipping BA and IWRY happened. But also the Spuffy who wanted to see Buffy ending with Spike.

Personally I'm fine with S4 Briley romance even if I don't really care and I don't ship them. Technically Riley is an interesting character except that the execution makes me bored. (I get really bored at Goodbye Iowa for example, so something about him doesn't make me interested) Plus lots of rage for S5 Briley's breakup, of course.

because Buffy cannot hold love for more than one person in her heart at one time? That may not have been their intention but the implication is pretty vile.


While I personally I'm all about Spike+Buffy and Dawn being a happy family and Buffy being totally able to love more people at once (I still think that she loves Angel, being not in a romantic way, but she does so much) I'm just glad to see her single for some time. It's still hard to see an happy and loving single woman on TV.


OTOH - YES to more Dawn and Buffy interaction. With all due respect, at the start of S7 I didn't want "Spuffy" - I was exhausted b it. I WANTED more of my Summers sisters.


Oh, but S5 Spuffy is SO SWEET. Like, in Blood Ties, when they search for Dawn together like they are her parents - OMG - and he comforts her I'm totally PLEASE GET MARRIED THIS INSTANT. I love their little moments in S5.

Must we consider them? Let's not and say we did anyway.


LOLOLOL.


red_satin_doll
Mar. 26th, 2014 04:39 pm (UTC)
And they even were *HOPE* for Buffy

Keep in mind this is after the terribly humiliating Briley breakup *whips out shovel*. I've been in that place years ago where I thought staying together "forever" was an automatic good, because my mom was divorced twice from abusive husbands when I was young. So I can see exactly where Buffy's coming from. She and Dawn also encourage Tara to get back together with Willow in S6 and ignore huge problems. None of the SG have a model for healthy adult relationships. I'd argue that more people IRL don't than do.

It's realistic, I guess.

Yeah, my partner and I argue and snipe at each other A LOT and we've been together 17 years. And Anya can hold her own a lot of the time and throw jibes back. She's the one who first pursed him in S4. They can both be pretty scary at times in their own way. So I didn't really have this sense of "terrible horrible relationship" but I realize my own metric is pretty screwed up anyway. jilting her in HB though and the way he can't come to terms with her in S7 left a really bad taste in my mouth though. So when I rewatch I'm a bit harsher I think.

Which maybe is what the authors wanted.

definitely. there is no other scene quite like it in the series stylistically: the use of slow motion, the strange music and the constant intercutting; and of course that image of Maggie watching 'cause she's such a pervert being a closeted butch lesbian usurping masculine priviledge for herself. Brainy androgynous women are DANGEROUS don't you know?

And men don't turn me on in general, certainly not the male body. But I know I'm in the minority when I say I find that scene weirdly hot.

I believe that Riley got a lot of hate because Bangel and Spuffy shippers felt like he was taking their favorite guy's and truest-Buffys-love-forevah's place.

A lot of people don't even acknowledge that Buffy might have actually loved Riley, which irks, because that is NOT what S4 communicated to me at all; and did anyone actually watch her tear-filled speech in Out of My Mind? It's like, people go with Riley's reading: "you don't love me the same way you love (blank) therefore it isn't "real love." Nonsense. But I am SO bored with the entire "Buffy's vagina is a prize to be won" anyway.
http://red-satin-doll.livejournal.com/36749.html I think they would have been better off shipping Riley with Willow. Marc and Aly had a lot of chemistry and were funny together.

It's still hard to see an happy and loving single woman on TV.

CAN I GET AN AMEN? I am beyond tired of the idea that people HAVE TO BE PAIRED UP. Or that men and women can't be friends, when we know that isn't true. Yes, I'm looking at you, bones and crossing jordan.
And even Spuffy to be honest - I liked Buffy and Spike, pre-OMWF, as friends. I liked Tempe and Booth as brotherly-sisterly partners; I didn't ship Jordan with Woody. Why is it that in the 21st century we cannot wrap our head around the idea that some women can be and ARE very happy single? Actually the happiest single women I know are all middle-aged and divorced, the exact demographic that tv execs don't care about except in terms of soap operas and laundry detergent. Not as actual characters.

I love their little moments in S5.

Sure, but I didn't love a lot of his bs that season either - FFL, Crush (everyone thinks that it's so cute that he let Dru tazer her, then chained both them up and was ready to kill Dru to prove his love? Sorry but no thanks.) So both those things existed for me - I sympathized with him sometimes absolutely, I enjoyed the banter and little moments between him and Xander when they are able to actually talk (Spiral, TWoTW); etc. But that other was always there too. If anything I wanted him to grow up and drop his shit, just like I wanted Xander to grow up and drop his shit. My feelings about the two of them are actually very similar.

And I was really super-focused on the ladies anyway: Willow/Tara, Buffy, Dawn & Joyce. They were and are the main event of the season for me, but I get that I'm in a minority. We all watch the same show differently!

Edited at 2014-03-26 05:01 pm (UTC)
kikimay
Mar. 26th, 2014 09:14 pm (UTC)
She and Dawn also encourage Tara to get back together with Willow in S6 and ignore huge problems. None of the SG have a model for healthy adult relationships. I'd argue that more people IRL don't than do.

I agree. I think that Buffy and Dawn didn't have a totally positive model. Also Dawn invested so much of her emotional balance in Tara and Willow after Buffy's death and it's understanble that she wanted her "surrogate moms" to get together again. She didn't care about their problems. It's understandable.

By positive model I mean "not abusive". Relationships are flawed. The epic romance can't last forever and sometimes people fight, disagree and need space. It's fine. The idealized concept of love (Angel/Buffy and even Tara and Willow at first) isn't a really solid thing to build on. Anya and Xander have a much more solid story.

the use of slow motion, the strange music and the constant intercutting; and of course that image of Maggie watching 'cause she's such a pervert being a closeted butch lesbian usurping masculine priviledge for herself. Brainy androgynous women are DANGEROUS don't you know?

Poor Maggie! XD I liked her a lot. She seemed like a good teacher: the one who gives you a lot of work but is there when you need him.

It's like, people go with Riley's reading: "you don't love me the same way you love (blank) therefore it isn't "real love." Nonsense.

THIS FOREVER. Everyone expresses love differently. But I also think that Buffy was very affectionate towards Riley. She expressed her love physically and verbally. WTF do you want more, Riley?

CAN I GET AN AMEN? I am beyond tired of the idea that people HAVE TO BE PAIRED UP. Or that men and women can't be friends, when we know that isn't true.


I feel like these shows have an agenda: X and Y have to end up together. So I don't care about the preheated and factitious romance. (Part of me is also a Spuffy shipper because they weren't supposed to end up together) I'm happy when I can watch a male/female close friendship like the one between Will and Diane in the Good Wife. All the hearts in my eyes. <3

And Spike trying to stake Dru for Buffy was THE WORST. I'm a Spike fan, I love him so much, but that's shit. I'm maybe in the minority of his fans because I don't condone everything he does and I never approved all the Spike fans justifying his behaviour on that episode. It was fucking creepy and wrong. Stop.



red_satin_doll
Mar. 26th, 2014 09:43 pm (UTC)
She didn't care about their problems. It's understandable.

Completely! I've actually written a little fanfic on this that was supposed to be AU but really isn't in terms of emotions esp Dawn's. (I may post it...someday.)

And I'd call them "surrogate aunts" because then where does that leave Buffy, as her surrogate dad? (I'm joking of course - sort of - but Dawn's relationship with Tara reminds me a little of my own with one of my aunts who we lived with for a year. She was the one I confided in, but Mom was still the real caretaker.)

Those Summers sisters and their abandonment trauma - I just want to hug them so tight sometimes.

Relationships are flawed. The epic romance can't last forever and sometimes people fight, disagree and need space. It's fine. The idealized concept of love (Angel/Buffy and even Tara and Willow at first) isn't a really solid thing to build on. Anya and Xander have a much more solid story.

ALL OF THIS! Can we put this on brass plaque somewhere? A banner maybe? Kudos for mentioning Willow and Tara in the same breath as Bangel because it's true. "I am you know....yours" isn't romantic, it's creepy. And it's completely understandable given Tara's background but you don't have to come from a family like hers to buy into that fantasy because it is so prevalent in our culture. We rarely see how actual love, how a working relationship honestly looks.

Love is the hardest work we will ever take on in our lives.

Poor Maggie! XD I liked her a lot.

There is so much wrong with the way they depicted Maggie I don't know where to begin.

But I also think that Buffy was very affectionate towards Riley. She expressed her love physically and verbally. WTF do you want more, Riley?

And WTF more does fandom want? (But then I feel the same when people claim that Buffy "didn't mean it" in Chosen - what more does she have to do? )

I'm happy when I can watch a male/female close friendship like the one between Will and Diane in the Good Wife.

I'll have to give that show a try I've never seen it. And yes to everything you said there. One of the things I notice today is that men and women probably have closer friendships than ever before because we interact more in the world and the workplace, as equals; but the media hasn't caught up with that fact yet.

I'm maybe in the minority of his fans because I don't condone everything he does and I never approved all the Spike fans justifying his behaviour on that episode. It was fucking creepy and wrong. Stop.

Then we're in the minority together, sweetie! *hugs*
kikimay
Mar. 26th, 2014 10:05 pm (UTC)
I'm curious about the little Dawn's story. *w*

Agree on calling Tara and Willow the aunts. The cool aunts XD Buffy was the surrogate mom and Dawn loses even her for an entire summer. No wonder she reacts so bad when Tara leaves the house (Even if Tara was totally on the right side)

And WTF more does fandom want? (But then I feel the same when people claim that Buffy "didn't mean it" in Chosen - what more does she have to do? )


I don't understand that part of the fandom. Honestly I'm tired of seeing Angel and Spike being justified for everything and Buffy being harshly punished for her mistakes. Stop with that, really. (And I love Angel and Spike)

I think you would love The Good Wife. The female characters are AWESOME. But to be fair the male characters are interesting and cool too. It's generally a bunch of well-written, complex and interesting characters.


red_satin_doll
Mar. 27th, 2014 12:50 pm (UTC)
I'm curious about the little Dawn's story. *w*

It started as me trying to write an Au S6 Buffy/Tara and Buffy/Spike (mostly B/T and dear god not B/T/S I tried for all of 1 minute and realized I CANNOT ship Tara with any male character, in any fandom. She's an actual lesbian, damnit. Big DO NOT WANT for me.)

Anyhoo, it started as that and then two bits from Dawn's POV popped in to my surprise, where she notices what's going on with the erstwhile "adults" around her. So I'm not sure if the thing will work as a whole but I kind of like it.

Agree on calling Tara and Willow the aunts. The cool aunts XD Buffy was the surrogate mom and Dawn loses even her for an entire summer. No wonder she reacts so bad when Tara leaves the house (Even if Tara was totally on the right side)

All of this, pretty much.

Honestly I'm tired of seeing Angel and Spike being justified for everything and Buffy being harshly punished for her mistakes. Stop with that, really. (And I love Angel and Spike)

Right?

And I was just talking about the tv series.

Add the comics and - ugh. I really do wonder - too much for my own good - just how much of the comics are meant as a parody of fanfiction and fandom. I really do, because once I started reading fanfiction a lot of aspects of S8 made more "sense" - "Ah instead of Buffy saving the world with her vagina, she's destroying it". etc etc

The comics have a lot of fanfiction tropes in them. So either it's conscious parody (mockery) or they really are just bad fanfic themselves.

I think you would love The Good Wife. The female characters are AWESOME. But to be fair the male characters are interesting and cool too. It's generally a bunch of well-written, complex and interesting characters.

And of course it's not on Netflix instant streaming *grumble* This sounds like something I'd enjoy - and just because I want strong and interesting and complex female characters doesn't mean I want that at the expense of male characters. I want strong and interesting and complex characters, period but yes, I want parity of representation in terms of gender. Why is that still so hard to figure out?
kikimay
Mar. 27th, 2014 01:03 pm (UTC)

Anyhoo, it started as that and then two bits from Dawn's POV popped in to my surprise, where she notices what's going on with the erstwhile "adults" around her. So I'm not sure if the thing will work as a whole but I kind of like it.


Well, we're here in case of sharing. :D

I think that part of S8 weirdness is due to the parody of fanfics tropes. The whole Bangel Twilight space frak is the clearest example: big romantic reunion - and some people actually believed it was meant to be the ultimate win for Bangel - and then the tragedy and the mockery of romantic tropes. I don't think that the comics are totally trash, but, of course, it doesn't seem the real BtVS and some things just don't work at all.

If you want I can give you the link to a watch online site with all The Good Wife episodes. I don't if I can on LJ XD I send you a private message.


red_satin_doll
Mar. 27th, 2014 03:05 pm (UTC)
some people actually believed it was meant to be the ultimate win for Bangel

That does not compute.

I saw it and thought "Whoa, Bangel fans are going to be horrified and rightly so" but - no? (But then again Spuffy fans agree with Spike that he loves her ergo she SHOULD love him back. And Xander fans who think she SHOULD return his affections....and GIles fans who think she SHOULD be nicer to their guy...)

In either case, it's about pissing on Buffy; Joss is destroying beloved characters while also pissing on fans and laughing that they don't "get it". Joss bashing Buffy (Bangel) in order to bash the fans who bash Buffy (Bangel) is just a whole 'nuther realm of badness.

If you want I can give you the link to a watch online site with all The Good Wife episodes.

I got it, thank you!
kikimay
Mar. 27th, 2014 07:47 pm (UTC)
I get the irony on "fandom doing things wrong", but you just can bash Buffy to prove a point. I'm sorry, it's not cool and ultimately it ruins the plot.

(Love the gif! *hugs back as Willow* :D)
red_satin_doll
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:23 pm (UTC)
Plot? there was an actual plot? *LMAO*

but you just can bash Buffy to prove a point. I'm sorry, it's not cool

I don't know if you read elisi's meta review of S8, Mind the Gaps, or Norbert's comments but it's just SO incredibly tone-deaf to take a character who is regarded as a feminist icon, even if Joss' feminism is wonky (and dear god the racism!), and tear her down like that.

And gifs are my crack lately, for real.
itsnotmymind
Mar. 25th, 2014 01:04 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I don't read the comics. The idea of Xander/Dawn makes me shudder. I just can't imagine wanting to date a friend's kid sister whom you've known since she was, what, eleven?
kikimay
Mar. 25th, 2014 01:27 pm (UTC)
The creepiest thing, right?
red_satin_doll
Mar. 26th, 2014 04:18 pm (UTC)
Euydice's "A Stone's Throw from Yesterday" is the only fic I've seen that makes Xander/Dawn work for me. Xander is the protagonist of a Spuffy fic so X/D isn't actually the main event but a small part of it; and it works because the author writes the characters really true to actual, post-Chosen canon IMO: Dawn is mature, smart, sharp and calls Xander out on his shit; Xander is a guy who loves his friends and wants to do the right thing but can be an asshole at times.

It takes the big brother /little sister vibe out of the equation; whereas the comics manage to make Dawn still seem like a little girl - she's closer to S5 Dawn than a post-Chosen Dawn.

It's not just that Joss/DH won't let Buffy grow up in the comics - NO ONE is allowed to grow up. Everyone is regressed to suit the needs of the plot.
kikimay
Mar. 26th, 2014 09:23 pm (UTC)
Euydice's "A Stone's Throw from Yesterday" is the only fic I've seen that makes Xander/Dawn work for me.

I read it! I read the Italian translation a while ago and I really enjoyed. (Of course, I was focused on the Spuffy but I also liked the Xander/Dawn's plot. Really lovely)

To be fair, I think that they're trying to do that - to portray a mature relationship that grows on mutual grounds - but all the characters are kinda blurred in the comics. Meh.
red_satin_doll
Mar. 27th, 2014 01:02 pm (UTC)
(Of course, I was focused on the Spuffy but I also liked the Xander/Dawn's plot. Really lovely)

for me the least interesting aspect of the story was Spike himself. I guess I'm not fond of floaty crazy in and out of sanity amnesia Spike. (I'm not into amnesia stories period and every fandom has them.) I'm not saying she didn't write him well but there was SO MUCH interesting things going on in the story, including a wonder OC Xander meets in Africa. And even Buffy's observation about how Giles is closer now to Willow than to her and how she feels about that. So many wonderful details.

I just wish she hadn't given Buffy a lousy creepy boyfriend that we HAVE to hate - he's practically twirling his mustache like a stage villain. That's a big thing with me in fics or movies - if you have a "love triangle" , don't do the game where there is only ONE right partner for the protagonist whose choice really isn't a choice at all. Make all the partners equally worthy of the girl or guy at the center, if for different reasons. Make the choice a real choice,

Or have a threesome :D

To be fair, I think that they're trying to do that - to portray a mature relationship that grows on mutual grounds - but all the characters are kinda blurred in the comics. Meh.

That sounds generous. I have no idea what they're trying to do except, as I said elsewhere, mock fandom and fanfiction tropes. (Or just embarrass and humiliate Buffy because she's an albatross around Joss' neck?)
kikimay
Mar. 27th, 2014 01:41 pm (UTC)
Make the choice a real choice,

Or have a threesome :D


THIS THIS THIS! :D
It was a really nice story. (Personally I don't mind amnesia!Spike. I don't mind any kind of Spike, to be honest. He's my favourite)

I really wish we could read interesting and complex comics. I love the Buffyverse, I'm forever a fan and there's this big occasion of still reading stuff about this characters. WHY CAN'T WE HAVE NICE THINGS?! *cries*

I'll keep reading S10 - without to much emotional involvement - because I'm curious. I liked the first issue, 10x01. Hope they don't disappoint too much.

red_satin_doll
Mar. 27th, 2014 02:10 pm (UTC)
THIS THIS THIS! :D

I was complaining about this to my friend Kendra, who is a novelist, a few years back; I was thinking of rom-coms, tv shows - I was thinking of the movie Moulin Rouge in particular that day; she then wrote a cute novella in which the female protagonist had two suitors who were very different but equally likeable (I kind of fell in love with the guy she didn't chose actually) and she told me it's something she's kept in mind ever since when she's writing.

I don't think it has to be that difficult. Bones did this well in S2 for a little while, and then it just turned into "we know you're going to put these two together so why are you taking so many years to do it?" It's boring.

Maybe I have a thing about it in part because I've been in a place of having a choice with two people who would be equally worth getting to know better, and there wasn't a sense of "good person/bad person". For the most part that just isn't real. Even when we see our friends or family with people we think are not right for them, there were very real reasons for that choice.

I really wish we could read interesting and complex comics.

A few months ago I picked up a copy of one of the Carbon Grey graphic novels for the first time and I LOVED it. I wasn't even reading carefully, just skimming, but I wanted to take it home, The art was beautiful, and the general storylines were clear, and had so many of the same elements as the Buffy comics, but with great care and intelligence - there was geopolitical warfare, an army of warrior girls and a PR war as well as a military one against them; whenever there was an act of violence or a death it had actual weight and meaning (unlike Angel snapping Giles neck in S8); a single frame with a drop of blood on someone's cheek conveyed so much meaning.
http://carbongrey.blogspot.com

It was everything I imagined the Buffy comics were going to be like when I first heard about them. I assumed, naively, that the tv show was such a "work of art" as tv shows go, that the comics would be to the same standard. Oh was I wrong. Horribly wrong.

Then I picked up the last issue of S9 and flipped through it and - ugh, no, Just so much no.

I liked the first issue, 10x01. Hope they don't disappoint too much.

Sadly, that's a really low bar by this point.
ruuger
Mar. 25th, 2014 03:26 pm (UTC)
because Riley is annoying and I'm happy when he goes away

Yes, this. I really liked Riley in S4, but in S5 he's just a whiny, needy jerk. How self-centered do you have to be hurt that you're girlfriend would rather spend time with her terminally ill mother than you? And the worst part is that we're clearly meant to sympathise with him and to see Buffy's behaviour as an example of her coldness. Ugh. And I won't even start with Xander's "Riley was too good for you" speech...
kikimay
Mar. 25th, 2014 07:24 pm (UTC)
AMEN. The Briley break-up is annoying in every way.
red_satin_doll
Mar. 26th, 2014 04:29 pm (UTC)
Yes, this. I really liked Riley in S4, but in S5 he's just a whiny, needy jerk. How self-centered do you have to be hurt that you're girlfriend would rather spend time with her terminally ill mother than you? And the worst part is that we're clearly meant to sympathise with him and to see Buffy's behaviour as an example of her coldness. Ugh. And I won't even start with Xander's "Riley was too good for you" speech...

THIS, ALL OF THIS! I remember watching S5 and thinking "Oh you're not trying to tell me what I think you're telling me...are you? You are." And it starts from the very first episode - we're supposed to read Buffy "sneaking" out of bed in the middle of the night in BvD as a metaphor for cheating on him: "she's not satisfied with Riley so she's getting her needs met another way."

By doing her goddamn job as the Slayer she's cheating on him? Which is reinforced when he gets upset that Dracula bit her while she was under his thrall? Granted, that is a real-life situation in that in this culture we constantly blame victims for being raped (rather than blame the actual rapist) and yes that includes the partners of the victims. But the show in the end doesn't question or subvert that, it joins in the slut-shaming. We're supposed to sympathize with Riley and agree with Xander.

But when Riley goes to "get his needs met" in ways that endanger Buffy and her friends and family who all trust him, it's somehow whitewashed, and they wiggle out of the sexual metaphor by mixing it with a drug addiction metaphor (as if sex can't be an addiction?) Or at least that's the reading I see of it so often and I. Don't. Get. It.

And fyi the notion that any one person can or should meet all our needs is so vile I don't even know where to begin.

That whole situation is the main reason I rarely rewatch anything in season five until after he leaves the show. It's not that I was bored by him, it's that I was infuriated by the messages.
kikimay
Mar. 26th, 2014 09:18 pm (UTC)
Seriously my hate for S5 Briley knows no boundaries with these comments XDD Because SO MUCH THIS *points at the words above*

The whole break-up story is shit and that's it.
red_satin_doll
Mar. 26th, 2014 10:28 pm (UTC)
The whole break-up story is shit and that's it.

AMEN, SISTER!

frelling_tralk
Mar. 26th, 2014 10:47 pm (UTC)
I never felt like the show did a good job of showing what Xander actually liked about Anya, he seemed embarrassed by her everytime she opened her mouth around his friends ffs. Him and Willow both seemed to react very similarly in fact by rolling their eyes whenever Anya expressed an opinion that could be considered out of the norm, yet one of the two obviously disliked Anya, and the other decided to marry her for whatever reason. I loved Anya and the funny comments she would make, but it seemed like all Xander ever wanted her to do was shut up half the time :(
kikimay
Mar. 27th, 2014 08:53 am (UTC)
Yes. I get that they wanted to be more normal with them, but at the same time it's not clear why Xander is so in love.
red_satin_doll
Mar. 27th, 2014 01:32 pm (UTC)
yet one of the two obviously disliked Anya, and the other decided to marry her for whatever reason.

Because Willow wasn't sexually attracted to Anya? (And OMG there needs to be more W/A shippy fic. There just does.) Or turning that around, because Anya was attracted to Xander?

The thing the show doesn't explain to my satisfaction: WHY are Cordy, Willow, Anya, Dawn, the Inca Mummy Girl and even Buffy in the comics all so terribly attracted to Xander, aside from "Geek boy fantasy"? (Or revenge, depending on how you see it.)

I can get why he is attracted to all of these women - smart, pretty, intelligent, witty - but the other way around? Maybe this is my lesbianism talkin' but I'm just not seeing it.

The other thing missing for me is - What is his relationship with his mom? We get no sense of that whatsoever.

but it seemed like all Xander ever wanted her to do was shut up half the time

Which is pretty realistic, to be honest. I hate to say "I know from experience" but - I know from experience. the things that initially attract you to someone are the first things about them that drive you crazy (or you let drive you crazy.)

People treat their partners in ways they would never treat a friend, unfortunately.

frelling_tralk
Mar. 27th, 2014 01:50 pm (UTC)
He was sexually attracted from when she first propositioned him, but he never seemed to like spending time with her that much and never seemed to get her. Okay to be fair she was talking about past victims of torture at the time, but still he couldn't wait to get away from her on their first date at the Prom and was trying to corner anyone else to come and speak with him instead. For me it mostly always came across that Anya really loved Xander, whereas he just kind of fell into the relationship because of how much she pursued him. I can't imagine him sitting down and enjoying an evening of conversation with Anya, even in his 'visions' from the future in Hell's Bells they're kind of based around Anya being an awful nag that Xander ends up physically attacking because he can't take listening to her any more

And hmm I can't say that I ever understood what drew Anya to Xander either! For Cordelia it made sense to me though as Xander was pretty cute IMO in the high school years, he was witty, and he seemed like a reasonably good guy compared to the other guys that she was dating. And as her longtime best friend he was the safe choice for Willow to crush on and imagine herself being with and, other than Cordelia and Inca Mummy Girl, he didn't get that much more interest in females before Anya. Buffy never crushed on him I don't think, and Dawn was just shown to be briefly crushing on him as her older sisters best friend (and was likely written into her by the monks as she soon loses that crush after Real Me)
kikimay
Mar. 27th, 2014 02:11 pm (UTC)
All of this basically. I feel much more Anya's love for him than otherwise. But maybe it's just me. I still think that Anya/Xander works on many levels.

Agree on Cordelia, Willow and Buffy. I also think that Buffy never thought about him that way. Maybe there was a little tension during the whole Angelus tragedy, but I explain that with "asshole bad boyfriend, maybe I really have a tragic taste in men and I should change?"

(Another Triangle icon, yay!)

Edited at 2014-03-27 02:12 pm (UTC)
frelling_tralk
Mar. 27th, 2014 02:14 pm (UTC)
I was gonna say earlier that I find your new icon very cute!

Edited at 2014-03-27 02:14 pm (UTC)
red_satin_doll
Mar. 27th, 2014 02:31 pm (UTC)
For me it mostly always came across that Anya really loved Xander, whereas he just kind of fell into the relationship because of how much she pursued him.

That actually works really well for me. Attention is the most powerful aphrodisiac in the world.

Kind of OT, I always thought there were parallels between Buffy and Willow meeting in WTTH and Willow & Tara in Hush - the difference being Willow's position in the social pecking order. In both instances though it's someone else noticing and pursuing Willow - Buffy for friendship, Tara as a lover. Imagine if Willow had been "gay now!" in S1 and how differently that might have gone - same B/W/X triangulation, but in a different direction. *ponders*

Ok where is THAT fic?

And Xander is played as someone who oftentimes will expend the least effort possible - not exactly lazy, he's a hard worker, but in the early seasons I think he's a lot brighter than he pretends to be. But why make the effort when he's got Willow right there to lean on? Just like, Buffy rejects him as his date so he turns to Willow as his back-up (and fortunately she pawns his ass.)

Which has me thinking of how much Xander uses other people, and how possessive he is (and why is Buffy the only one who gets stuck with that label and at least she freakin' apologizes for it and - stopping now.)

even in his 'visions' from the future in Hell's Bells they're kind of based around Anya being an awful nag that Xander ends up physically attacking because he can't take listening to her any more

THIS, THANK YOU! This is a huge part of the reason why Xander leaving Anya at the altar and the whole poor me she tore out my heart afterwards even into S7 does not work for me. I get that his mindset is realistic. No one thinks of themselves as the bad guy; even the worst human beings think of themselves as the victims (aka Hitler ); and Joss said that "everybody has their own reasons" is central to the show and I respect that.

But the entire "she'll be a nag and a shrew and I'll be the poor henpecked husband" is realistic but it's gross when he never gets called on it and nothing contradicts his thinking - except in the behavior of his parents there at the wedding. So IDK, maybe we're meant to see that Xander's fantasies - and they're as much fantasies as fears I'd argue - are wrong and turned upside down. But IDK. And I guess that's on Joss and the writers or maybe I'm expecting something that isn't there.

And I think your analysis of why the various women are individually attracted to him is pretty spot-on; I think it's not so much one person or another as the aggregate of ALL these women attracted to THIS guy - its the pattern that irks. In part because it's become so commonplace in movies and tv - the shlubby, nerdy, overweight, balding, immature etc etc etc guy and the gorgeous girls who fall in love with him. Never the other way around. And NB isn't hard on the eyes per se, so he's better than a lot of instances I can name. It's just all a bit much.

My friend just started watching S1 and her reaction is "Oh Willow you could do so much better!" She's had experiences with guy who think you should be in love with them JUST BECAUSE they think you should so she has no patience for Xander at this point.

I tried to tell her he gets better - then conversations like this make me wonder "Why was I defending him, again?"

Buffy never crushed on him I don't think

That's my girl. *lol*
frelling_tralk
Mar. 27th, 2014 02:44 pm (UTC)
Well if I'm being shallow I would say that Xander really was not attractive to me physically at all in seasons 5-7, but then he was already with Anya in season 4 and it made sense to continue that I guess, so it's not like we have adult Xander beating the ladies off with a stick! When he was in high school I thought that Xander was pretty well build for a supposedly nerdy character though, I could understand the girls double take when he does his poolside stroll in Go Fish for example *g* Also with the inca mummy you could argue that he was her first exposure to men for a loong time, so obviously he's going to seem like a great catch compared to the men to her culture planning to sacrifice her :P Xander is shown to be surprised and flattered that such a beautiful woman is interested in him, and really it's just her and Cordelia that Xander has any kind of relationship with before Anya. I think that Willow always liked Xander more as a friend tbh, we were never shown that she was incredibly physically attracted to him, I read it more as her being confused and Xander being the safe option to crush on because they were so close already

And yeah HB annoys me for that reason because so much of the visions are about how Anya is going to cheat, nag, and eventually drive Xander to abuse her, it was basically a series of scenes of Anya being at fault until Xander smashes her with the frying pan. It felt like blaming the victim to me and told me a lot about how Xander sees himself in relation to the women in his life
red_satin_doll
Mar. 27th, 2014 02:56 pm (UTC)
And yeah HB annoys me for that reason because so much of the visions are about how Anya is going to cheat, nag, and eventually drive Xander to abuse her, it was basically a series of scenes of Anya being at fault until Xander smashes her with the frying pan. It felt like blaming the victim to me

THIS.


told me a lot about how Xander sees himself in relation to the women in his life

And I may get in trouble for saying this but *gasp!* I think this is another way that Xander and Spike are more alike than fandom generally acknowledges. They can both be possessive, jealous, manipulative; AND they can be very loving and giving. To me it's not "either/or" it's both.
red_satin_doll
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:26 pm (UTC)
Kiki what you said to me upthread about not liking Buffy sleeping "with the enemy" (a fascist) got me thinking today - I saw his racism and naivety but I think on the first watch I missed some of the "fascism" and I wonder if that's because as an Italian it's something you'd be sensitive to in the wake of WW2 - whereas we have a gov't in the US that functions oftentimes as de facto fascism but we don't use that label?

Or maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but you've got me pondering the question.
kikimay
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:45 pm (UTC)
I don't know. I mean, when I first saw the scene it just thought immediately: FUCK NOT A FASCIST PLS. Because the Initiative was all about gouvernament's controls and it was fought by civilians. I know for a fact that in Italy there still are people who believe that Mussolini was a great man, that fascism wasn't bad after all ... I mean, I always think that it's really easy to go back there. The line is thin and when you ignore this matter, then you have to be seriously scared. So, maybe, yes: that's just me projecting.
red_satin_doll
Mar. 30th, 2014 04:28 pm (UTC)
Or maybe it's me failing to look deeper.

I was creeped out by the fact that Maggie was watching - but then that particularizes the situation to "the one bad apple" as movies and tv tend to do (it's not the system, it's just a few bad folks messing it up, blah blah blah) and also because I already read Maggie as lesbian, the stereotype of the lesbian who is also a pervert and evil (a 500+ year old stereotype), as well as the devouring dangerous mother figure, all sort of overshadowed my concern about Riley himself at the time, I think.

So it was interesting and uncomfortable at the same time. sometimes I don't know what to make of S4, Maggie, the Initiative storyline etc

I know for a fact that in Italy there still are people who believe that Mussolini was a great man, that fascism wasn't bad after all

And there are a few (wackos) in America who say that the Holocost was a myth. Neo-fascism, the KKK, neo-Nazism thrive all over the world, preying on the weak, the lonely, the vunerable, to draw in members, drawing on anger, ignorance and fear as these groups have always done and always will.

Evil thrives when good people fail to speak up and act.

Everyone thinks they are inherently "good" and "right".


Edited at 2014-03-30 04:32 pm (UTC)
kikimay
Mar. 30th, 2014 09:44 pm (UTC)
Huh, that's it!

I saw Maggie much more as the evil mother figure and she was creepy on that aspect especially since she felt like a motherly figure to Riley. Still I was more worried about Buffy sleeping with another bad guy - and she was worried too, poor girl - also I didn't find the scene sexy so I didn't feel really involved with what was happening.
red_satin_doll
Mar. 31st, 2014 12:30 am (UTC)
The scene where Buffy wakes up the next morning and is surprised that Riley is still in bed next to her breaks my heart every time I watch it; and Sarah's expression is so subtle - you just know that she's expecting to wake up alone. (screw you both, Angel & Parker)

The fact that she did trust Riley for a time and felt safe with him - and in a way, I felt safe with him because he made Buffy happy - maybe makes me ever madder at him than if he'd been an outright jerk from the beginning. (Again I'm probably projecting the experience of watching my mother fall in love with and trust men who treated her heart like a piece of shit.)
kikimay
Mar. 31st, 2014 11:32 am (UTC)
Eh, it's infuriating that something that started generally in a good way ended like that.
red_satin_doll
Mar. 31st, 2014 12:03 pm (UTC)
Agreed.



Maybe Riley is really a closet case after all and Buffy and Sam are his "beards"...which would also explain the whole Riley-Xander thing *lol*...
kikimay
Mar. 31st, 2014 12:24 pm (UTC)
LOLOL. And it would also explain the burning sexual tension in all the scenes with Spike. XD
red_satin_doll
Mar. 31st, 2014 12:44 pm (UTC)
I forgot about that!



*HUGS BUFFY TIGHT*
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