« An Experiment |
| To Shanshu On TV »
March 13, 2004
by Daniel Erenberg
Alright then. The deal with this article was that you were to send me your questions. And loads of you did. And I’m going to try to answer as many as humanly possible. The questions were good. In fact, a lot of them might make me do some research (and I HATE doing research).
But, whatever. I’m okay with that. I hope you dig the article. And off we go.
Q: Are there any actor's who've played double/multiple roles within Buffy or
across Buffy/Angel except Tom Lenk and Brian Thompson?
A: Yes, Tom Lenk played Cyrus in “Real Me” before appearing as Andrew. And Brian Thompson played Luke in “Welcome To The Hellmouth/The Harvest” and The Judge in “Surprise/Innocence”. But let’s look further.
There are two actors that appeared in Buffy, Firefly, and Angel. Joss calls these his Hat Tricks. One of these actors are Carlos Jacott who played Lawrence Dobson in “Serenity” on Firefly, Richard Straley in “The Bachelor Party” on Angel, and Ken in “Anne” on Buffy. The other is Andy Umberger who appeared as an Alliance Captain in “Serenity” on Firefly, Ronald Meltzer in “I Fall To Pieces” on Angel, and D’Hoffryn in a bunch of episodes of Buffy. Then there’s Nathan Fillion who played Malcolm Reynolds on Firefly and Caleb on Buffy. Gina Torres played Jasmine on Angel and Zoe on Firefly. Summer Glau was in “Waiting In The Wings” on Angel and played River Tam on Firefly.
Oh, yeah. And you’re right. Jeff Kober played Rack and Zachary Kralick on Buffy.
There are more. Bunches more. Check them out. If anyone remembers one or two, post them in the comments.
Q: will there ever be a Watcher's Guide Volume 3 to cover Buffy Seasons 5-7?
A: I did hear that there will indeed be a guide released sometime soon. It’s nice and I’ll read it. However, I never really liked the Watcher’s Guide so much. While it was fairly in depth, it all seemed a bit long-winded and overblown for my tastes. I’ll stick with “Dusted”, “Bite Me” (writer Nikki Stafford is releasing an Angel guide called “Once Bitten” later this year), and “Slayer”. Speaking of “Slayer”, writer Keith Topping is coming out with his Angel guide “Hollywood Vampire” in a few weeks in the states and it’s out now in the UK. In addition to that his season seven guide “The Last Days Of Sunnydale” will be out this summer, and he’s just finished the first draft of a list book called “The Slayer Miscellany”, which I actually have a copy of in my possession (naturally, it’s enthralling).
Q: Why, do you think that people were so apprehensive towards the Troika,
most specifically Andrew all of Season Six and yet, by the end of Season Seven,
we (and by we, I mean me, and every Buffy fan I know, all 2) were actually glad that it was Anya that died as long as our Andrew was spared?
A: Whoa! I’m going to have to take issue with the wording of your question. First off, not everyone liked Andrew by the end of season seven. He’s still considered by many (not me) to be overly simplistic and entirely unfunny. Also, was ANYONE actually GLAD that Anya died? Huh. No. There was reasoning to Anya’s death. It was part of her character arc. Only did she truly become mortal when she faced her mortality. I certainly wasn’t glad though. I cried my eyes out. But, yeah. A lot of people didn’t dig the Troika too much. I figure it’s because of the odd nature of the characters, the fact that they really weren’t good enough to be seasonal-arc villains or “Big Bads”. And they’d be right. But…I take issue with the fact that they are considered villains (well, except for Warren). But that’s another story.
Q: Why, in your opinion, was Kennedy so freaking annoying? I can't put my
finger on it, but she really pissed me off. And I know its not because of the
whole "adapt to Willow's new love interest" thing because I always loved Oz and
Tara, from their first episodes.
A: Kennedy was pretty annoying, I guess. However, in a lot of ways I do attribute my feelings about her to the reasons you expressed. I was able to accept Tara because Oz had only left town. It was possible for him to come back. In addition to that, we saw a long period of grieving from Willow. However, most of Willow’s grieving for Tara took place during the summer break. And she DIED!!! That’s why I really couldn’t accept Kennedy. But, you know, super-hot.
Q: Why do you consider Beer Bad to be so terrible? I admit that it's not
among the best episodes (it's okay, but not great), but I really don't
see why so many people consider it to be the worst Buffy episode. It
just doesn't strike me as being awful. There are parts of it that I
like very much, actually.
A: “Beer Bad” sucks. It does. Every time I watch it, with the exception of Willow saving the day and Xander’s proclamation that “nothing can stop the penis”, I’m just bored to death. It’s all so normal. I’d dig it if it were an episode of Smallville. But I’ve come to expect better from Buffy. From the ridiculously coincidental plot twists, to the complete severing of the Buffy/Parker relationship by having her hit him with a large stick, it was all too much for me. Also, I’m still not getting the logic and physics behind that Black Frost stuff.
Q: Now here is my question. Buffy died at the end of season 1 and Kendra was called. Kendra died and Faith was called. Buffy died at the end of season 5 in "The Gift" and..... what happened? No new slayer? Did I miss a key bit of dialogue along the way? Was this death different because it was mystical?
A: Grr. Arg. This is one I’m asked surprisingly a lot. Yeah, so Buffy died in “Prophecy Girl” and Kendra was called. Kendra died in “Becoming Part One” and Faith was called. When Buffy died in “The Gift”, she wasn’t the active Slayer. Faith was. Therefore, another Slayer would not be called unless Faith died. But at this point Faith was in prison. There you go.
This next one isn’t really a question, but I received this e-mail during the article period, so I’m gonna print it. I liked this one a lot:
Sadly, I am not a beautiful woman who has fallen in love with you but, like your
friend Christine, I can't believe I like Buffy. Here in the UK the final series
ended just before Xmas and I am inconsolable that there will not be another series.
Fortunately, having come to Buffy late, there are still some of the early ones I
haven't seen yet, so that is something to look forward to. The new series of Angel has just started as well so that we will have the pleasure of seeing Spike being tortured in whatever manner best shows off his physique (and what a physique) while he again waits to be rescued by a woman, albeit a different one. Well, that is only fair since I suspect that his presence is rescuing the Angel series.
My other consolation is that I have just discovered the fanfiction sites, and while
I can do without the misery-ridden angst stories in which bereaved characters grieve or reflect, or the excuses for gay soft porn, usually between Xander and Spike, there are one or two writers (who seem to be mainly female) who are producing joyous funny sketches which are well within the spirit and character of the originals.
So I shall look out for your articles. And I might manage to get round to seeing
Giles (well, Anthony Head) on stage here as the pirate king in the Pirates of
Penzance - although it would be difficult to top Kevin Kline's performance a few
years ago. Small mercies.
With regards from north London.
Good one. Here’s one more:
Sad to see you still haven't found a gardener to fix up the backyard!
Suppose its still freezing winter over there anyway. Read your article
last night, would have sent a message then but turned off the computer
before my brain was fully functioning, so I've been mulling over stuff
while I worked today. Will probably forget to include everything I
wanted to write, having already 'written' it in my head- always do that
especially with really emotional break-up etc letters!
So to start with 'Firefly'. I had to order it from USA (I'm in Melbourne
Australia) and the wait was a killer, a whole week, got the call to say
it had arrived on a Sunday afternoon, hot footed it into the city and
then made myself wait 4 hours to watch it. The excitement was just too
much. The first episode lead- in loved it!- the horses and the song made
me squirm with an ever so slight embarassment- set up and story, loved
it. Second episode-loved the horses and the song! Totally hooked!
Fan-girl ecstacy over Nathan Fillion (ok I admit had the hots for him as
Caleb!)! So the point of all this rambling? I think you were
right-Firefly would have ended up eclipsing Buffy, the whole concept
actually works. We had heard not so enthusiastic reports about the
program and were blown away by it.
I really can't rave enough about it, even the bits that were not super
great can be forgiven if the reports about the Evil Fox Empire's
meddling can be believed. I really would have loved to see it as the
Great Joss intended. I do have a love of his dark and wounded heroes and
would have liked to see Mal just a little darker. So having got all the
way through the dvd set in 24 hours (I just couldn't help myself!) I
went back and watched them all again and again and -ok yes -again. Now
I'm stuck I want more. I want to know what Mal's story is, why Inara
left House Madrasa, what River had done to her, who Book really is
-..... ah the pain of cold turkey withdrawal! I have to say that I love
the fact that there are no aliens on the program, humans are weird
enough anyway, you don't need someone in a shonky outfit! The effects
are fan-fucking-tastic and its funny to go back to season 1 Buffy and
see how far the effects industry has come in 6-7 years!
I just love the lighting and filming on Firefly and the retro look of
some of the shots. I grew up watching westerns and series like Bonanza,
and here in Australia we got all the great English SF series like
Blake's 7, UFO, even the Thunderbirds, so watching a Joss Whedon
penned/produced /directed program just hits soo many familiar buttons.
AND Firefly is Spacewestern- what more could a girl want? (Well maybe
Nathan Fillion knocking on my door!)
Normally over Xmas I stock up on Angel and Buffy dvds and a very large
box of juicy export quality cherries and don't come up for air until
they're all finished. This year though no A or B dvds released (we have
right up to and including seasons 3 and 6 respectively) still another
month's wait for 4 and 7. We may get the programs aired here 3 months
after you but we do get the dvds earlier! Angel starts on the 12th of
Feb so I am living on reviews and Sunnydale Socks at the moment- yes I
am a spoiler much to the derision of some of my hard core Buffy fan friends.
When the dvds do come out I get first crack at them and then they do the
rounds of those friends also addicted but even more cash strapped than me!
I, too, saw BtVS movie at the cinema all those long years ago, loved
the premise, but then didn't get into the series until about series 3-4.
Used to spend Tuesday nights at the pub, playing pool comp. drinking
beer and hanging with my boy- then the boy went phlart, the beer went
flat and I ended up in hospital after my push bike went splat. And so
began the Buffy addiction....(well actually I had started watching Angel
(Wednesday night-no pub) prior to the accident, it was a secret though!)
But the addition of large amounts of morphine made Angel a very surreal
thing to be watching while lying in a hospital bed. Then back home
recuperating and a developing need to rent Buffy videos.... a downward
spiral into serious Joss-addiction......and my friends didn't help
either! They too came out of the closet- suddenly I was surrounded!
Discussion and episode analysis the morning after! Even my sister
encouraging tha addiction- leaving Buffy vids on my doorstep! Oh the
shame! The shame! And now the next generation.... I have promised a
friend's 7 year old daughter that one day when she is old enough I will
lend her the dvds- she has seen the Buffy lunch box given to me last
birthday and asked me to explain who Buffy is- ah its a deep question.
Just who and what is Buffy-so many things to so many people! (and on
another note -this 7 year old's purple push bike with white trainer
wheels is called ...Buffy)
Hey must dash- hope I haven't rambled too much and I know I didn't write
anything like I wanted too but oh well!
Just wrote to say I loved Cap'n Tightpants and his crew too
Best Wishes and hope dystopia goes well
Alright. Back to the questions:
Q: Daniel, In FAQ you answered Season Two to the following question but Season 7 had not been
completed yet. Now that it has what would your answer be. Q. Each and every season of Buffy was great, but if you had to pick a favorite in which you thought
everything worked together so perfectly, which season would you choose?
A: I change my answer to this daily. But I’ll still say season two. In order of best least best it goes seasons 2, 3, 7, 5, 4, 6, 1. And I love seasons six and one, so it doesn’t really matter so much.
Q: Out of curiosity, why do the title credits of season 6 and season 7 end not
with Buffy but Buffybot and the First Evil as Buffy, respectively? It seemed
strange that anyone in the know about the series would do that.
A: Well, from what I’ve heard, Joss Whedon has complete control over the opening credits of all of his shows (he stated this somewhere on the Firefly DVD). I think he was just looking for a cool shot of Buffy, like the one that was used from “The Harvest” and the one from “Anne”. And it was just that: a cool shot of Sarah Michelle Gellar, who—let’s face it—is Buffy.
Q: My question is: Do you agree that the presence of thousands of
slayers leveled back the balance between good and evil; also leading to the
disappearance of the First until the next imbalance? Or, do you have another theory?
A: Yeah, I’d generally agree with your theory. However, I think Evil will always lurk; perhaps not a non-corporeal entity of evil that’s after the Slayer, but Evil nonetheless.
Q: Hi Daniel,
In your opinion which character death (good or evil) in Buffy and Angel do
you think was significant in forwarding the story arc. Also which character
made you cry the most when they did die?
A: The death I cried over the most has to be Joyce in “The Body”. But that’s abnormal on the show. The, you know, action-packed death that made my cry the most was probably Spike in “Chosen”. But he doesn’t die really.
Q: Who do you think should be the winner of the riches of the Shanshu prophecy?
A: Read a writer’s mind, why don’t you? Tune in next week.
I wrote this article three weeks ago. I never got a chance to edit it because my computer crashed. In the intervening weeks, something rather important occurred. Angel was given a notice of cancellation by the WB. Season five will be the last season. I’m saddened by this news and completely shocked as well, even more so than I was by the news of Buffy’s end. You see, Buffy had reached a crescendo. It had also reached a bookending season that was building in momentum. Angel has only begun. Season five was supposed to be the beginning of act three for Angel. Act one only lasted one season, season one, the dark and lonely year with many a stand-alone episode. I consider the Hyperion years of seasons two through four act two. “Home” at the end of season four gave birth to act three. The first six episodes of the season were set up. And the rest of the year was not given its time to shine. And the show has continued to be consistently very exquisite.
Now I know there are lots of petitions out there to save Angel. I don’t think they’ll help. My glass is half empty. But you know what? Worth a shot.
One of them is called Save Angel. It’s gotten loads of response. Keep responding. I also got this e-mail:
We hoped the subject line ("beautiful women obsessed with Buffy") would catch your attention (not that it isn't true). We know you haven't written in a while and are urging you to do so now. In an effort to get the attention of those jackasses at the WB we are attempting to organize a campaign to raise money for an ad in Variety. The damage is roughly $10,500. As daunting a number as this is, the number of signatures on the Save Angel petition tells us it's not impossible. If we could get merely one dollar from each of these individuals we would have more than enough for such an ad. But we have to work quickly. We don't have the luxury of a few months to pull this off. Any help you could give us spreading the word would be appreciated.
Dani at firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda at email@example.com
Save Angel. Give it a shot. Because it doesn’t deserve to end like this; not just Angel, but the constant that the Buffyverse has brought to my life. And many of yours.
It can’t end like this.
|Daniel Erenberg lives in a gothic-looking house in a suburb of Long Island shrouded by trees and darkness. His backyard is so overrun with shrubbery that he can't plant flowers in the soil. He's penned articles for numerous magazines (and a couple of websites for free). Currently, he's writing his first novel, entitled People That I've Long Since Forgotten. He's also written two plays, Little Room and Dystopia and a screenplay called Youth Or Consequence. He lives a fairly happy life alone except for the mind-numbing loneliness he feels on occasion. If you’re a beautiful woman that’s fallen in love with Daniel, or you just want to talk Buffy with him, you can contact Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org.