Buffy me Becoming II sword

If Buffy/Angel was a book series and it got an "adaptation" like Game of Thrones...

Like so many in the fandom, I've found Game of Thrones season 5 to be terribly disappointing and just terrible overall, both as an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, and in itself. I think that the former would be a legitimate complaint even if the latter were not true, because, you know, it's supposed to be an adaptation of the books and the show runners insist on following some major plot points even when they change everything else, like context, character motivations, characterizations, themes, the existence of logic, even the identity of the characters at times. But it seems that there are a lot of those, including some professional critics, who seem almost insulted by the idea that book readers may be upset at what the show is doing to the story and characters, and keep going out of their way to disparage book readers as purists who just can't take any change.

That got me to imagine what it would look like if Buffy and Angel were a book series and if they got a TV adaptation similar to what GoT is right now... Say, two showrunners, let's call them Ray and Rick, started to adapt the story originally written by Joss Whedon, Marti Noxon, Tim Minear and others and decided that they should really make some changes...

Rick and Ray's streamlined and improved version of BuffyCollapse )
Buffy me Becoming II sword

Buffy rewatch: 3.13. The Zeppo

This is one of the show’s most unusual and original episodes. But while most of the BtVS episodes with an unusual format belong to its best (Hush, Restless, The Body, Once More, With Feeling, Conversations with Dead People), The Zeppo is, at the same time, a great episode and a very bad episode  – depending on whether you look at in isolation or within the continuity of the show.

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This entry was originally posted at http://timetravellingbunny.dreamwidth.org/.
Comment here or there, as you like.
Buffy me Becoming II sword

Buffy rewatch: 3.12. Helpless

This isn’t one of the very best BtVS season 3 episodes, but it can be argued it’s one of the most important ones, for several reasons: it completely changes our views on the Council of Watchers; it irrevocably changes Giles’ status/relationship with them, and therefore represents a crucial moment in his arc; and it also deals with an issue that may be at the heart of the show’s themes: what would happen in Buffy lost her superstrength?

It’s also worth mentioning that this is the second episode in the show where Buffy is celebrating her birthday, and it’s continuing the tradition started by Surprise/Innocence that something terrible must happen on Buffy’s birthday.

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Buffy me Becoming II sword

Buffy rewatch: 3.11 Gingerbread (and the return from hiatus)

So... this is pretty embarrassing to say, but I started this rewatch a few years ago, believing I will post regularly and finish it within a year. But then, a lot of stuff was happening, I was moving, got a new job, was distracted by a lot of things and didn't find time to write my reviews (which always turned out to be pretty long and time-consuming)... And thus it was that, once upon a time, I made a long, long break, after I had posted the review of episode 3.10 Amends. Then I decided to rewatch the show once again, posted a review of the movie and overviews of seasons 1 and 2, again... and then another break happened, this time some 2.5 years long!

I almost lost hope I'd ever finish this rewatch... but I never give up on my projects, I just postpone them. It was just a matter of something making me get off my butt... or rather, making me get on my butt in front of my computer and forcing me to write. And finally, that something happened several months ago, when my dear friends and fellow Buffy fans on the Buffyforums.net forum started a collective Buffy rewatch, which I have been participating in, with each of us picking an episode, two or three each season to review, as a starting point for discussion.
If you want to join in, register, if you don't, you can lurk and read our reviews and discussions:

Buffy rewatch season 1: http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?19768-BtVS-rewatch-SEASON-1
Buffy rewatch season 2: http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?19794-BtVS-rewatch-SEASON-2
Buffy rewatch season 3: http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?19870-BtVS-rewatch-SEASON-3

This has given me the boost to get back to Buffy, rewatch it from the beginning, and try to continue where I've left.
There's no need to write new reviews for the episodes I've already covered - for most of them, the new rewatch did not change my opinion significantly. You can find the review of the Buffy movie, "The Origin" comic, all season 1 and 2 episodes as well as season overviews, as well as the first 10 episodes of season 3, on my Livejournal under the "Buffy rewatch" tag, and most of them are also on Dreamwidth under the "Buffy rewatch" tag. You can also find them on TrekBBS forum on my rewatch thread: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=137271&page=11

I've also written several new and improved reviews for some of the season 2 and 3 episodes I've already reviewed here:

2.10 What's My Line, part 2 http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?p=698008#post698008
2.19 I Only Have Eyes For You http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?p=698008#post698008
2.22 Becoming, part 2 http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?19794-BtVS-rewatch-SEASON-2&p=698722&viewfull=1#post698722

3.04 Beauty and the Beasts http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?19870-BtVS-rewatch-SEASON-3/page3&p=699835#post699835
3.09 The Wish http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?19870-BtVS-rewatch-SEASON-3/page3&p=699835#post699835
3.10 Amends http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?19870-BtVS-rewatch-SEASON-3/page6&p=701262#post701262

Now that I've caught up with where I was when I made this embarrassingly, shockingly long break, I intend to continue with my reviews. I've rewatched almost to the end of season 3, and I will be posting the reviews for the second part of Buffy (episodes 3.11 - 3.22) of season 3 over the next week or two. After that, I hope to settle into posting an episode review each week - a reasonably realistic schedule, and parallel with the Buffyforums group rewatch, which is also one episode a week. (Though I must say in advance that this may mean no episode for two weeks and then a couple in a row, for instance - since my job is such that I can have free time at times and then be terribly busy once I get the new translation task and a tight deadline - it's all unpredictable.)

Right - so, let's start, or rather continue, with episode 3.11.

3.11. Gingerbread

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Gingerbread. There are lots of things I really like about this episode, but there also some aspects of it that severely bug me. I think my opinion of the episode is still mostly positive, but I can see why it has quite a few haters.

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Buffy me Becoming II sword

Skyfall thoughts: James Bond, a hero?

I watched Skyfall last night - I’m not a fan of the Bond franchise, but I did like Casino Royale, and this one got great reviews for some reason… Why, I really don’t know. The story is deeply unsatisfying and even more problematic than The Dark Knight Rises. What I get from this story is that Bond doesn’t care about saving people other than his boss

[Spoiler (click to open)]

(and doesn’t actually get to save anyone in the whole movie),

MI6 is endangering the world more than it’s actually protecting it, and M would be completely unlikeable if she weren’t played by Judi Dench: she puts MI6 above everything and ‘is ready to sacrifice anyone’s life, except her own. local_max goes into more detail about the problems of Skyfall’s story: http://local-max.livejournal.com/52540.html

Skyfall could work as a really dark story about an antihero spy, an orphan who doesn’t really have anyone or love anyone except his Mother Country, who kills without remorse, doesn’t care about saving people, uses women and treats them like shit and is ready to let them die, while the only person he’ll go out of his way to protect and that he’s willing to risk his life for is his mother-figure boss, the embodiment of MI5 and Mother England, who’s using him and treating him like shit and doesn’t care if he lives or die. And even when he has an out to be free and live a different life, he comes back to the fold to work for them again, like someone who keeps coming back to an abusive relationship.

The problem is that the film can’t commit to this dark interpretation despite offering so much in favor of it, but tries to make Bond, M and MI5 into heroes and the ending into Bond’s triumphant return to his life in her majesty’s service.

The best part of the film, by far, is the amazing opening title sequence and Adele’s theme song, and I can’t help thinking it would work much better for some other, better story.

Hunger Games Katniss

Today's rant

Fandoms can be very frustrating, as we all know. Unless you find a very special safe haven where intelligent discussions can be had, you're going to get depressed and angry all the time. Art may be subjective and open to interpretation, but as you venture into online discussions of popular TV shows, books and movies, chances are that you're going to come across a great deal of absurd opinions and blatant Point-Missing. Chances are you'll also find a great deal of sexism and misogyny, including the extreme privileging of the male character's POV, and the vilification of female characters, going together with the idealization and saintification of the male characters. This in particularly tends to happen once you come anywhere near the rampant shipping or slashing... which means, in pretty much every fandom.

I'm not that surprised when this happens in fandoms of TV shows that are focused on male characters or where fans are obsessed with slashing the male characters and therefore treat the female characters as threats. But what is particularly irritating is when this kind of thing permeates fandoms of franchises based around an amazing, strong heroine, especially when shipping starts taking everything. Now, don't misunderstand me. There's nothing wrong with shipping. I ship, too, in the sense that I am more invested in some fictional relationships than other, or prefer one relationship to another. Where it all becomes infuriating is a particular type of "shipper" war that is all about squeeing over the male characters and privileging their POV, even if their function in the story is just that of a love interest (or a quasi love interest), while the heroine is treated as a  trophy for one's Favorite Guy. This kind of shipping isn't about relationship at all, since many fans don't care about things like, how these two people function together, or what their story is about, and it's not unusual to see "shippers" who hate the female character, but just want Their Guy to be rewarded. Or they're furious because this female obviously doesn't deserve Their Guy, since she committed the grave sin of not falling into his arms the moment he showed an interest in her and proclaiming eternal love and commitment the very moment, realizing just how incredibly awesome he is (the way that I, Mary Sue, would do, if I only had the chance to insert myself into the fictional narrative).

Girls are not machines you put kindness coins into until sex falls outCollapse )

Speaking of which... To end the rant, let's have a good laugh. I want to share this Hunger Games parody video I've just discovered (an 'alternative version' of the Gale/Katniss scene where they say goodbye- even though it was posted in February)  cracks me up literally every time. The only thing that's almost as funny is how many people didn't immediately realize it was a parody rather than a clip from the movie. . :D (Then again, it's not that far off the actual text...)
I am selfless like thatCollapse )

Buffy me Becoming II sword

Buffy season 1 revisited

So, I’ve finished my re-rewatch (!) of season 1. I expected it to go faster, but there were a lot of distractions – from unexpected work, to the fact that, well, it was hot summer weather and most days were being spent on a beach, and a lot of nights out in the city. My impressions were mostly the same as the last time, which is no surprise since the last rewatch was just over a year ago. I took notes of the few things I didn’t notice before or didn’t include in my previous reviews, but most of it were fun minor things, from fashion choices to various details to mistakes you only notice after you’ve watched the show a few times.

You can check my previously posted reviews and ratings (out of 5 stars):

1.01. Welcome to the Hellmouth (3.5)
1.02. The Harvest (2.5)
1.03. Witch (3)
1.04. Teacher’s Pet (1.5)
1.05. Never Kill a Boy on the First Date (3)
The Pack (3.5)
1.07. Angel (4)
1.08. I, Robot, You Jane (2)*
The Puppet Show (3)
1.10. Nightmares (4)
1.11. Out of Mind, Out of Sight (4)
1.12 Prophecy Girl (4.5)

Season 1 overview (3.21)*revised rating

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Finally, here's a couple of songs used in BtVS season 1. See you next when I re-rewatch the first 11 episodes of season 2.

Dashboard Prophets - "Ballad for Dead Friends" (from The Harvest)

Velvet Chain - "Strong" (from Never Kill a Boy on the First Date)

Buffy Always Darkest

Words that should be banned from Internet and other discussions

Could we take the words "jock" and "nerd" and kill them with fire? Please? The relentless obsession, found all over Internet, with those incredibly narrow and over-simplified (US) highschool stereotypes and with shoving every person in the world in those boxes has gotten really, really annoying. It's almost like the old "virgin vs whore" dichotomy.

Another word that needs to die a quick and painful death is "alpha" used to denote anything but the first letter of the Greek alphabet. (Or the code name of the Dollhouse character.) Except in the context of a conversation about actual wolf packs, or Teen Wolf. If I hear "an alpha" used for non-werewolf person, or "alpha" in conjuction with "male" once more time, I think I might go rabid.
Buffy me Becoming II sword

Buffy movie revisited + the canon version of Buffy’s origins (part 2)

In part 1, I've reviewed the Buffy 1992 movie and listed its differences from Joss Whedon's original script.

Now we’re going to take a look at the differences between the script/the movie on one hand, and the show on the other. While the huge difference in tone is all due to the execution and script changes, there are a few things that don’t match with the show because Joss later changed his mind. Of course, the discontinuity doesn’t matter, since neither the movie nor the script are canon.

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