After much procrastination, I have decided to enrol in 2 subjects next semester, even though I only have 3 subjects to go before I complete my BA. I so don't need the pressure of three with J in Year 11, and B commuting to Sydney for work. Hopefully I will be able to pick up a subject in Summer Session, and start my honours year at the beginning of 2005. The workload should be OK with one subject online, and apparently run in conjunction with US students, so that should be interesting, and the other subject is on campus - has a component on slash fiction so my fanfic reading is really research!

Cold autumn day here. Anya, the kelpie pup, is curled up on the bed with the sun slanting across her. No profound thoughts at the moment beyond the all pervasive gloom at the thought of the end of Angel, my television viewing is becoming increasingly limited. Have decided to re-watch Buffy episodes from the beginning - always hard to just come up with a list of 'my favourite episodes', so think I will indulge in that for a while.
  • Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
That's exactly what I'm planning -- watching BtVS from the very start, with my boy, and posting odd thoughts as I go. By the way I'm planning to post my very first, and probably only, fic tomorrow, in case you're interested. It's a late entry in the Spuffyficathon that was running at the end of last month.
Perhaps we can share the Buffy world together with comments as we rewatch, hopefully I can coincide watching S1 thru S6 (S6 mostly with my eyes closed and finger on the fast forward) with the release of S7 on DVDs (24 May). Yes will look forward to reading your fic (I did reply to your enquiry about what fics I read, did you receive it?).

Other comments - kitchen bench - an Aussie expression too, and counter where you buy things in a shop. I have no problem reading fanfic with US idiom, but find the British writers get the pommie slang right - tends to be a bit forced in the US fandom, too many cor blimeys etc. Always found it amusing that us little Antipodeans have found it easier to understand the Poms in the Jossverse than US viewers.
I did indeed get your fic list and have set it aside to refer to.

Thank God, someone else who knows about a kitchen bench!

And yes, whenever I read Spike saying ``Cor'', I have to go away and wipe out my mouth. Even the ME writers couldn't get him right in Angel.

Now I would love to share comments with you through rewatching Buffy. But it does sound like you are going to be watching it a lot faster than me. I was planning on taking it really, really slowly to make it last. I don't think I'll buy season 7 since I hated it so much and I don't think I'd watch it. I watched most of it with a vitriolic combination of boredom, anger, disappointment and frustration.

Please excuse my tardiness in replies because I was racing to get my fic finished. Never written one before, in fact never written fiction, or sex scenes before, so it was an education!
I suspect that whilst my intentions will be good, I will end up only watching one or two episodes a week, as real life invades. I think from past experience, when I have watched a season close together I end up fast forwarding to the good bits (especially S2, S4 & S5) and skip huge chunks of the episodes, so maybe slow would be better, and more rewarding in the long run. Wow you really didn't like S7, did you - I would enjoy reading specifics if you ever have the time. I enjoyed it, by and large, but also want to purchase it to ensure that I have the complete 'text', if I do end up doing a Buffy topic for my Honours.

Looking forward to reading your fic - naughty bits and all! Having problems with Herself's story at the moment, perhaps wish that I had waited till it was complete rather than WIP - too much angst for me in such little fragments, and my Spuffy heart aches as their realtionship seems to evanesce. Give me my stories where they are happy, mostly, and facing their problems together. Happy to supply you with URLs etc for any stories that you are interested in, and can't locate.

Tardiness not a concern, I do appreciate that people have lives, unlike myself who tends to live in a bit of isolation from the outside world.
season 7
Hi Deb

Yes, there's a lot of angst in Herself's story but the reason I can handle it is because I have faith in her ``bittersweet'' title. First the bitter, then the sweet. I think she is a very skillful storyteller, loves the characters, and knows how to string her readers along. The Bittersweets series is definitely my favourite fic of all, I think. She is hard to know as a person, though.

Season 7 -- how can I count the ways? First and probably least, I thought it looked ugly. It was all brown and faded and dull looking -- the Summers home used to be fine as part of the setting, but it took up most of season 7, and was dull and ugly, particularly when packed with a whole lot of characters I didn't care about being lectured in a tedious fashion by a very boring emotionally stunted uninvolving Buffy. (See -- my issues are emerging already!)
I was heartbroken by season 6, out of serious identification with Spike. I hated how he was treated, mostly by Buffy but by everyone else as well. The soulless demon and the ex-demon in season 6 both behaved better than the good guys and were treated like shit. And in Spike's case, the writers seemed to be suggesting he deserved that. And the finale of the season was so stupid and lame -- were we really supposed to believe Spike had gone bad again? And were we really supposed to swallow Buffy's ``epiphany'' that she was all better now and was going to show Dawn the world? There was no evidence whatsoever that Buffy had learnt anything, that she was anymore mature and any less self-centred and depressed than before. (See Barb C's analysis, which tells it all much better than me.)

But of course there was a chance that season 7could redeem things. In my view, it redeemed nothing and it did so in such an uninvolving fashion that I really hold it in contempt. The only episodes I can bear to rewatch are First Date (because it was the most terrible tease about the continuing attraction between Buffy and Spike -- I was so convinced they were going to get back together again after that episode, that I spoilt myself right to the end of theseason at some script site and was enraged how it all turned out) and Conversations with Dead People because it is stylish and beautiful and because at least it gave us a tiny bit of insight into Buffy's head. You wouldn't believe the adrenalin that surged through me when I heard Buffy tell Vamp!Holden that she had treated Spike like a monster. I thought ``at last!'' But that was just dropped. No self examination by Buffy. No generosity of spirit in her. Her rescuing of Spike was done in such an uninvolved fashion that when the big stuff came, her telling him ``I believe in you'', I didn't buy it for a second. They'd just pulled it out of a hat. There had been no emotional growth by Buffy to that point. I just sat there and thought, this is wrong, this had been done so badly.

(There's more I've written but I'll put it in a new comment because I've gone over the word limit!)

season 7 part 2
Buffy's treatment of Spike after she found him in the school basement and after his revelations in the church was callous and cold. Did she have no generosity in her at all, let alone love? After the church episode, tortured mad Spike is hauled in by the Scoobies to search for Willow and Gnarl and they make jokes about him being a dog, a blood-hound. After all his suffering. And Buffy is in on this joking. I HATED them for that. She has no compassion at all. They made her this heartless automaton in season 7. All that stuff about power and being the general -- if Buffy was supposed to be an example of girl-power, then I'd rather not have it. I'm not surprised to hear that SMG hated how she was written in seasons 6 and 7. I would too.

I also hated Spike being made into a sacrificial hero, full of unselfish love for Buffy. He's not a fucking saint. Why does he have to be a saint? Did anyone else on the show have unselfish love? I hated what they did to him -- emasculated him so much, humiliated him, killed him, and in the end, all Buffy could do was say, ``Does it have to mean anything?'' I can understand completely why Spike didn't believe she loved him. And the poor guy -- couldn't she have just gone downstairs into that lonely basement and got into bed with him. Well, she did right at the end, but hey, it didn't mean anything, as she said, and they were all going to die tomorrow anyway.

I wouldn't have minded so much how they showed Buffy in season 7, if it was made clear that she was a seriously damaged individual and that someone like Spike could bring her back to emotional and sexual life -- and hey, it's possible to be a general and love and have sex too, ME. But no, I have no idea what they were trying to show with Buffy, but it didn't impress me.I don't blame the character -- I blame the writers. I think they lost the plot and they lost the feel of their own show. Season 7 was boring and disappointing, and I was longing for it to satisfy me and wind things up well.

Sorry for the rather rambling rant!
Re: season 7 part 2
Firstly, don’t get me wrong, I love Herself’s stuff, have often re-read the Bittersweets series, but at the moment I’m thinking I wish I had waited to the end so I could f/f through the bitter and get quickly to the sweet. Her storytelling is amazing, and yes she really knows how to drag the readers in.

Totally agree with you on all your points about S7, I guess I try to stand back a bit in my evaluation. There were so many plot holes that you could drive several semis into, and the writers (Marti I’m looking at you) wrote themselves into such a corner with the bathroom scene in Seeing Red that you could see that they were palpably afraid to resume the physical side of the B/S story. I guess my blinkers come in heavily, and I only see moments such as Buffy going first to Spike, not Xander, after the demon attack in First Date, and the look between them in the cave in Showtime, and the fragments they have in the last couple of episodes. There are so many loose ends, plots started, never resolved, too many annoying characters (death to the potentials!, oh and Wood), little focus on long-time characters (Willow, Xander), pod-Giles, and that horrible Marti speech at the end of Bring on The Night, and Iron-Buffy, which I think reflects more the ad hoc, ongoing, make it up as we film approach that American series have - from what I gather here in Oz TV series are mostly filmed and in the can prior to screening the full series. American shows film over such a long time, and written as it goes along that the writers seem to be able to react to fan feedback, and I’m not sure whether that is such a good thing in the overall arc of a series.

Buffy as an example of girl-power - always worries me when this is thrown up. Yes, yes Joss I know you say you wanted to show the blonde girl in the alley taking the fight to the monsters, but did she have to be a really cute blonde in short skirts and low tops, and after watching the pilot with a different Willow who the network suits wanted to get rid of (the actress was overweight and not ‘TV attractive’), I wonder about your ‘feminist’ side, hit us over the head with a brick, it would be less painful than some of your allegories.

I often wonder whether it would have been better for Buffy to end after S5, too many bad moments in S6/S7 to justify the writers’ exploration of more ‘adult’ themes, or just another excuse to get JM out of his clothes again. Please feel free to bitter rant as much as you want, I enjoy reading your thoughts, although I suspect mine are not as coherent - it’s early here! Will ponder this some more with further possible feedback.

Wasn’t Barb C the one who described B/S as the greatest love story never told - great description, thank heavens for fanfiction.