estepheia: (Ladykiller)
not really spoilery )
In case I haven't mentioned it in a while: I love the show and look forward to a hopefully stunning conclusion with lots of closure and just the right mix of happiness and sadness.




And now for something completely different

This is an exerpt from a school essay by a Scottish 13-year-old girl:

"My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we usd 2 go 2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 :-@ kds FTF. ILNY, its gr8.
Bt my Ps wr so {:-/ BC o 9/11 tht they dcdd 2 stay in SCO & spnd 2wks up N.
Up N, WUCIWUG -- 0. I ws vvv brd in MON. 0 bt baas & ^^^^^.
AAR8, my Ps wr :-) -- they sd ICBW, & tht they wr ha-p 4 the pc&qt...IDTS!! I wntd 2 go hm ASAP, 2C my M8s again.
2day, I cam bk 2 skool. I feel v O:-) BC I hv dn all my hm wrk. Now its BAU ..."

Translation )
estepheia: (Default)
Vampinocchio just grew donkey's ears and a tail...

Part 1 of my S7 speculation is here.

more speculation )
estepheia: (Default)
Oh yes. Another rant. Sorry.

I'm working on a little Spike/Anya fic and found myself wondering about a number of things:

Is the Magic Box closed now? Is it run by someone else? Did insurance pay for the damages? If Dawn had to work off her stealing debts shouldn't Willow be paying for the demolished shop? Why then is she going to college instead of getting a job? Does Anya have some kind of income? I doubt there's a vengeance demon retirement fund. And how did vengeance demons get paid for their work? Is Xander's income feeding the whole SIT brigade as well or did Giles bring funds? Why isn't Andrew in jail? Why is it never mentioned that Willow killed TWO people? Rack was like a drug pusher but he hadn't killed anyone, so shouldn't there be guilt on his account? Is Hank Summers paying child support for Dawn? Is the house paid for by now? How well does that counselor job pay? I get that some of the sets had to be taken down, like Spike's crypt, but shouldn't there be some kind of explanation why Spike didn't go back to it? Is Clem still living there? Did Spike and Clem meet between "Grave" and "Potential"?

The list could go on and on.

Now, I don't need a series to spell everything out for me. In fact, I get irritated if that happens. I like the fact that ME gives us room for fanfiction and our imagination. It's not always necessary to watch a development in its entirety. It's often enough to see the beginning of something and the end and not the long middle bit. A COMPLETE disregard of certain background matters irritates me, though. I don't want to fill in ALL the blanks by myself.

I think the S7 story-arc is great. But it's not my impression that the writer's had more ideas than they could squeeze into an episode. There would have been enough room to tackle all the questions raised above, peu á peu. I can't help it, these things make me grumpy.

PS: I'm still staying away from spoilers. Yay me.
estepheia: (Default)
I watched the new episode of Buffy last night.

My two cents )
estepheia: (One day she)
Okay, time for my thoughts on Buffy 7x12 - "Potential".

First let me say it was alright in a lame but inoffensive kind of way. I was entertained.

I enjoyed the Spike scenes. For one thing, I was glad to see James fully dressed for a change. And without the bruises. Maybe ME are finally done with the disfiguring and the torture. I like the way Marsters plays Spike somewhat muted with flashes of old Spike. Very plausible. I also liked Spike's interaction with the SITs. In fact, my favourite moment of the episode was when Spike walks into the kitchen to pick up the SITs for the little trip and the girls all greet him with "hi" or "hi Spike" (you hear it but you don't see it). Spike appeared fully integrated, which is something I've wanted to see for a long time.

I enjoy Andrew, although he doesn't really contribute a lot. At least he's funny, plus we get a spin on different kinds of evil, his take on friendship and leadership and other flawed opinions. It's a tough job taking on the "bad example" role after Cordelia and Spike but Tom Lenk is a hoot.

The SITs I neither like nor dislike. Kennedy I like least. *shrug* What I can't help wondering about are the little things:
Who pays for everybody's food?
What about the SITs' parents? How come they let their daughters out of their sight? Or are we to assume all SIT's are orphans or lived with their Watchers? Buffy never lived with hers... The SITs feel unreal, like they have no history - just crappy accents. They worry about their future, sure, but I'd expect them to be homesick. Just more 3-dimensional...

Other misgivings about this episode: Dawn. I just don't like her. Period. Amanda. Don't particularly like her either. IMHO they had too much screentime. I'd like to see more of Willow and Xander, watch the old friendship work its magic. Most of all I'd like to see them smile for a change.

I loved the fact that Clem had a cameo, but I nearly threw something at the screen when he and Spike didn't get to share a friendshippy moment. It was a little gimmicky scene that just annoyed me. The whole bar scene was supposed to lighten up the mood of the episode but it just came across as pointless.

Admittedly, there were a few good segues. The Xander/Dawn scene was touching but heavy-handed. The direction uninspired. Blah! I really didn't need it shoved down my throat that Xander sometimes feels left behind. The episode reminded me of "Help" which I didn't like either.

*Shrug* Your Mileage May Vary.

2.5 out of 5
estepheia: (Default)
Just wondering: When was the last time we saw someone smile on the show? Happily, while not under some kind of spell?
Not many instances come to my mind:

* Willow smiles, believing she's talking to Tara through Cassie
* Buffy smiles when Principal Wood hires her
* Xander and Anya share a pleased moment when discussing their good cop/bad cop interrogation of Andrew

If ME aren't careful, everybody's smiling muscles will atrophy beyond repair...
estepheia: (Default)
I'm still thinking about this episode. I watched it three times now, trying to find out why I didn't particularly like this episode. (BTW, my husband wasnn't impressed with it, either.)

One more attempt to put my thoughts on BotN into words )
estepheia: (Default)
More thoughts on Buffy 7x10 - Bring on the Night:

Spoilers )

I think that Marti Noxon is a heavy-handed writer. She is good at accomplishing certain plot developments, but lacks the finesse and elegant craftmanship of some of the other writers. But since it's impossible to tell which writer wrote what, Doug Petrie might be just as 'guilty.'

I like David Fury's scripts better because they are more focused. He may say things about the character that not every fan likes, and I know people dislike his Spike-as-a-serial-killer-in-prison analogy, but I always found his scripts consistent and sharp. He doesn't get side-tracked easily. So, I look forward to the next episode, which I heard was written by him.

Joss Whedon seems to be the one writer of ME who manages to juggle a dozen plots and themes at once and not drop half of them. Marti tries the same but drops more. Jane Espenson and David Fury play with fewer balls but hardly ever drop any.

There was an article at the Firefly-site in which Jane Espenson explained how story arcs are planned and scripts are written. So, when the credits tell us that an episode was penned by two authors it actually means that they wrote different parts or the script, they didn't pore over each scene together. Meaning the first half of "Bring on the Night" was written by one author and the second half by the other...

What I wouldn't give to play mouse during one of these Mutant Enemy script writing sessions!!!!
estepheia: (Default)
This is my Christmas wish list for the rest of Season 7 (and I'm trying to keep it reasonable):

* I want to see Giles's reaction to the news that Spike is a) souled, b) manipulated by First Evil. Somehow I don't think we will get a very sympathetic reaction from him but a pragmatic one, a 'better safe than sorry - let's stake him' from the man who killed Ben. But I can always hope that I'm wrong right? Maybe Giles will be the one who finally says it out loud: that a vampire who voluntarily gets his soul back is darn amazing!

* I don't want to see Dawn become a Slayer or a potential Slayer. I want her to die closing the hellmouth for good. Is that too much to ask? After all, she's a mystical key, right?

* I want to see Xander and Anya together again.

* I want to see more guest appearances of former cast-members: Dru, Jonathan, Warren, Jenny Calender, Cecily, Angel and Darla (what I wouldn't give for another Fanged Four flashback.

* Spike and Buffy? Should end up as friends at least.

* I want Spike to be alive or undead at the end of the season - definitely not dust.

Is that too much to ask?
estepheia: (Default)
I have several friends who visit me to watch the latest Buffy episodes. Tonight one of these friends dropped by, so we watched "Help", "Selfless" and "Him" and ate large quantities of Tortilla chips.

It was the fourth or fifth time that I watched each of these episodes. It struck me again how there were many references to earlier episodes, in the shape of flashbacks, quotes, parallels and casting: Buffy talking about killing Angel, the "kick his ass" line, D'Hoffryn's talisman, Olaf the troll (played by the same actor who played him in "Triangle", many rabbits, a flashback to "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", a flashback to the musical episode, Spike talking about Dru's visions... Lots of references - and not just in these three episodes. This year, ME really caleidoscopes through the earlier seasons, no doubt about it.

For us fans this continuity-fest is great fun. But there are things that could have been handled better.

To me it feels like ME had trouble timing the various arcs and tones right. "Him" could have been so much better, if Spike had been set up in Xander's closet one or two episodes earlier. Spike could have been semi-normal in "Him" and less mute. It seems like ME forgot to move him out of the basement in time, and suddenly, on the advent of "Conversations with Dead People" they went'oops'. "Help" should have ended with Buffy telling Spike to get out of that basement (the scene with Cassie's father could have been cut and some of Cassie's 'I want to live' speech). In "Selfless" Spike should have moved in with Xander.

"Help" and "Him" are not suitable for frequent viewing. Too many redundancies make some of the scenes quite painful. I hope I never have to listen to Buffy and Dawn discussing love and boy friends ever again.

BTW, am I the only one who finds Dawn's high school trials excessively boring? And does anyone else feel utterly squicked out by the subliminal visual message of Buffy + Dawn + Xander = core family? All those scenes where Xander has the "man about the house" air - eeek! I find Xander a lot less painful than Dawn, who is pretty to look at but boring and shrill. Her voice is so grating. Oh, and the way Xander's yellow hard hat crops up all the time? So not subtle.

I enjoy Season 7 tremendously. There have been some outstanding episodes. But there are some pacing problems. Fortunately, with CwDP the pace picked up. I am now as much on the edge of my seat as everybody else. I just hope we get another episode before Christmas.
estepheia: (Default)
I liked the episode because it resolves several issues and because it gives the word cliffhanger a whole new meaning.

Never Leave Me )

"Lessons" - 4/5
"Beneath You" - 5/5
"Same Time, Same Place" - 3/5
"Help" - 2/5
"Selfless" - 5/5
"Him" - 3/5
"Conversations with Dead People" 5/5
"Sleeper" - 4/5
"Never Leave Me" - 4/5
estepheia: (Default)
This week I'm lucky. I got to see Buffy 7.07 this morning, earlier than most people, and let me just say: Whoa!

Those of you who do not want to be spoiled can read my comments
here )

I would classify this as one of the best episodes to date. It has everything that makes Buffy a brilliant and higly addictive series: quirkiness, humor, structural irony, good segues, continuity, funny dialogue, genuine creepiness, good acting, good action sequences, great suspense and fantastic music.
estepheia: (Default)
Do you sometimes write little scenes and then you get jossed or you never write the story that scene was supposed to be part of?
My Post-"Grave" fic never got launched because I was too busy doing other stuff. Funnily enough, some of the things I had planned to write, happened on the show. Not exactly the same way, but on a more abstract level.

For instance, I was absolutely certain that ME would try to totally dismantle Spike's physical sex appeal. I expected them to literally peel him like an onion, to remove layer for layer to eventually enable the other characters (and the not so Spike-infatuated viewers - yes, they exist) to see him for who he is - rather than what he is. I thought they'd start with his looks. That they'd disfigure his face (the lighting in S6 constantly underlined his man/monster conflict by often casting half his face in shadow). I honestly didn't expect them to make him insane and filthy (And what does the fact that I still find him yummy say about me?).

I recently found out that the initial church scene in "Beneath You" had a shot where his face is partly burned by the cross.

I wondered, why Spike looks healed and well (sort of) in the following episode, but I suppose it's for practical reasons: all the aditional make-up uses up an awful lot of time every day and slows down the general shooting schedule.

I must admit, ME surprised me, by dismantling both the crypt set(although in hindsight it makes sense to move Spike from a place of the dead to a place of growth) and the Magic box set.

Which means I won't be needing the little snippet I wrote about the Magic Box. But I'm a hamster kind of person - I never throw anything away. I don't own my things, my things own me.
Sometimes, I can so relate to Anya.



100.000

“Almost 100.000 bucks?“ Buffy exclaimed, squinting at Anya’s notepad.

“It would have been more if Xander hadn’t done some of the repairs free of charge,” Anya informed her helpfully.

“100.000 bucks,” Buffy repeated in awe. Part of her mind was busy imagining the pile of clothes and shoes that kind of money could buy, before guiltily applying her imagination to more immediate financial problems, like the mortgage on the house and Dawn’s college fund.

“And you’re saying you expect Willow to cough up this kind of money?”

“Absolutely,” Anya said firmly. “Dawn had to give back what she stole and work off her debts, why should Willow get away with her orgy of destruction?”

“But 100.000 bucks? No way is she ever gonna have that kind of money,” Buffy said dubiously.

“She can pay it back in easy monthly instalments,” Anya explained cheerfully, pointing at the figures. “She should start paying off Giles’s half. After all he’s mortal and doesn’t have many years left in him. Unlike me. I can wait. I’ll charge interest, of course, but at a humane rate.”

“I’m sure she’ll be pleased to hear it,” Buffy said.

She opened a cardboard box and started to put various scented candles into the shelf.

“I didn’t know the stuff was worth that much.”

“The books she sucked dry, they’re the largest lump. Some of them were quite rare. Some were Giles’s private property, but I don’t see why he shouldn’t be compensated for the loss. It’s not like they were insured against evil witchcraft.”

“Why don’t we tell the insurance it was theft or vandalism? The shop was insured against that, wasn’t it?” Dawn could be heard, coming up from the basement, carrying a glass jar filled with dried chicken feet.

“Because it wouldn’t be the truth,” Anya simply said. “There, how does it look?” She held up a cardboard sign: ‘Grand Re-Opening – Stock up for the next Apocalypse’

Buffy formed a circle with thumb and index finger. “Perfect, Anya,” she said.

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estepheia

June 2015

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