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the abc's of television
alias amazes, buffy bites, csi captivates
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
5.5.03
television


Ah, May in DC. The tulips are just starting to pass their prime, but the fiery purplish buds of the azaleas are rampant. Blossoms on the trees give way to tiny pale green leaves. The air is fresher. Winter is finally gone for good. And as I stride down Connecticut Avenue under a clear blue sky, my thoughts linger on...

Michael Vartan's cheekbones.

It's that time of year. The end of the season. Season finales, countdowns, and series finales abound. In a couple of weeks, I'll pick up my VCR remote and turn off the weekly programming I set up months ago: Sundays at 9, Tuesdays at 8, and Thursdays at 9.

"Alias." "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." "C.S.I." After this: a summer of reruns and sadness.

Author's Note: I would summarize each show, but frankly, if you've never heard of, read about, or seen any of these shows, you're probably not going to enjoy this column much, despite any such summaries. Sorry 'bout that!

Two of these shows will be back, and one won't, which is exactly the way it should be. It's unfair to compare, of course: "Alias" is two seasons old and energy-packed, like a toddler; "Buffy" is seven seasons old and mouldering, like an ancient tuna sandwich; and "C.S.I." is two seasons in, but somehow ageless, like... I don't know. Dick Clark?

Taken together, these three shows provide a complete tutorial on the good, the bad, and the ugly of television writing. So let's just take them in order, shall we?

Good. The not-so-secret appeal of all three shows is this: they turn their viewers, somehow, into cults. Seriously. A quick nip over to the Television Without Pity forums is all the proof you need. When people can hunker down for a serious debate regarding the possible wealth of the imaginary parents of minor character Greg the Lab Tech, there's something going on.

Sitcoms are never worth forming cults over. No one gets polarized by "Will & Grace." Other than that, there's no magical cult bullet. There's a huge variation in the three hour-long shows I tape. "Alias" is about spies, costumes, convoluted but internally consistent storytelling, and oh yeah, the aforementioned cheekbones. "Buffy" is about vampires, high school/college, comedy in the face of horror. "C.S.I." is about science, death, analysis, and... scientifically analyzing death. One show requires suspension of disbelief, one is founded entirely on principles of the supernatural, and the third is ultrarealistic. On the surface, no one thing makes them all cultable. But they all do or have done one thing: put the characters first.

Some might argue that the characters don't matter to "C.S.I." This year's most ridiculous episode saw revolved around Sara's discovery of Hank's infidelity, and watching it, I was amazed by how very little I cared. But it really is the characters that hold your interest: if you doubt this, just try watching "C.S.I. Miami" for more than 10 minutes at a stretch. (When David Caruso is onscreen for 9 of those minutes and you can't tell three of the supporting characters apart, you'll see what I mean.) With "C.S.I.," you may tune in to see how the dead scuba diver ended up in the tree, but that's not what makes you a fan. Catherine's no-bull approach. Greg's worshipful attempts to win Gil's praise. Warrick and Nicky and David and Brass. The characters aren't primary, but they're essential.

Take the same approach to "Alias." Plot, of course, is huge in this show. That's why the previouslys used to take 20 minutes. But the plot is driven by the characters. Sydney's crusading hatred of Sloane, Vaughn's (until recently, forbidden) affection for Sydney, Will's drive to redeem himself, Irina's secret motives: they push the plot, not the other way around. Rambaldi's just a fun side road up the mountain.

Bad. This boils down to two words: change management. Pacing has the ability to kill a show where it stands. This is where "C.S.I." has a natural advantage; changes in the characters' lives aren't required to keep the show interesting every week (how has Eddie's death affected Catherine? Anyone know? Anyone care?) "Law & Order" has run forever. So can "C.S.I." Will it? Or will we get bored when the thousandth murderer botches the coverup for the thousandth time? It's too soon to tell.

"Alias" is hanging on the lip of this cliff. Change the show too much, and people who loved it might not love it anymore. Leave it the same, and it bores your viewers to tears. We thought everything would change when SD-6 came crashing down and the Vaughn-Sydney relationship broke wide open, but in the last couple months, has anything really changed? (Other than Francie being replaced by her evil clone, and Merrin Dungey apparently having been simultaneously replaced with a clone who has no ability whatsoever to act?) The challenge for J.J. Abrams is to keep stretching our credulity without letting the rubber band snap. A good start would be not pulling that "72 hours earlier" crap at the start of every single show anymore. Thanks, J. Love ya.

Ugly. Even with the questions I raise about "Alias" and "C.S.I." in this column, I still watch them religiously and believe they're the two best shows on television. I will genuinely be sad when we enter their dry summer season.

However.

Here's where I feel I have to throw Buffy against a wall. (Why not? Everyone else does it.) As I mentioned earlier, when you create a TV show, your characters are your lifeblood. They're what enables that first step -- creating a cult -- to take place. We start to care about the characters, and from then on, we're hooked.

So when you take an insecure but strong central character and turn her into a whiny brat with no, I mean no, redeeming qualities, who wants to keep watching that? Do I need to mention she loves a man (vampire, whatever) who tried to rape her, and steps out of her own life for his sake? Ignores the advice of people who've always been her best advisors? Threatens potential allies? Every last scrap of charm has been starved out of her. Hand Buffy a sandwich and send her on her way.

Even when the characters collectively took this step last week, it was clumsily done. Possibly their rejection of Buffy might've worked better had any of them ever expressed a lack of confidence in her abilities at any point in this entire season. It really feels like someone put together a great outline for the last two seasons... and then handed it over to complete morons to execute. Things happen, but there's no connection. Wood is the son of a slayer, killed by Spike; they fight; it comes to naught. Willow kisses Kennedy; it's never mentioned again. Even Faith's return lacks a certain zing. You can easily imagine the writers sitting in a story meeting, mapping it out. "And then Faith comes back! And everyone loves her! So Buffy's not needed! This is great!" Characters aren't chess pieces to be moved around a board. If you treat them as such, you lose viewers, and you lose the game.

I miss both the old Buffy, and the old "Buffy." And four episodes from now, I won't be glad it's going off the air. It should've gone off when Buffy dove off the tower. Period.

So to sum up: watch "Alias." Watch "C.S.I." If you want a tutorial in good television, watch the first five seasons of "Buffy." If you want a tutorial in bad television, watch the last two.

Here endeth the lesson.


ABOUT JAEL MCHENRY

Jael is tired of being stereotyped as just another novelist/poet/former English teacher/tour guide/"Jeopardy!" semifinalist/bellydancing editor-in-chief with an MFA who was once an overachieving oboe-playing alto newspaper editor valedictorian from Iowa. She was also captain of the football cheerleading squad. Follow me on Twitter: @jaelmchenry

more about jael mchenry

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topic: television
published: 9.5.05





COMMENTS

michelle von euw
5.5.03 @ 10:20a

You're so much more generous than I am -- I'd cut Buffy off at her high school graduation.

I enjoy CSI and Alias, too, but part of it is because these are the among the only network shows where women are allowed to be smart, competent, and kick some ass.

jael mchenry
5.5.03 @ 10:24a

That's one of the things I love about CSI. Smart, realistic women. They're not just for flirting, anymore. I loved the Greg vs. Jackie fingerprint bet a couple weeks ago.

Noted during last night's Alias: how come Sydney needs wigs, eyeliner, red leather, etc., when Vaughn is standing RIGHT NEXT TO HER DRESSED AS HIMSELF? (Jonathan: "If there weren't only 10 people in the whole CIA, they could send someone else.")

matt morin
5.5.03 @ 10:58a

Maybe it's because I don't watch much TV these days, but I've seen all three of these shows and just can't get into any of them. They don't get me excited or keep my interest at all. It's funny reading this, because your passion for the shows totally comes across in the column, but to me the specific examples you give for why a show is good sound hilariously bad.

Oh, and there have been many cultish sitcoms - MASH, Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends (well, in the old days).

mike julianelle
5.5.03 @ 11:02a

PLEASE, NO SPOILERS HERE! I can't read this yet, just in case this discussion spoils the finale of Alias!

mike julianelle
5.5.03 @ 11:51a

I must object to the fact that this column never mentions anything positive about Buffy. 7 years is a long time to stay great. At least give some credit. Let's see where Alias is in 5 more years. And CSI is not, NOT, in the same league as those 2. You said it yourself, there's no character-based drama on the show, it's all self-contained mysteries. Which is a fine, but totally different type of tv show. That said, I do agree Buffy should have ended with The Gift. But I still watch.

lee anne ramsey
5.5.03 @ 1:09p

I'm not a CSI or a Buffy person, so I just sort of skipped over those parts of the column (sorry Jael, but your author's note did give permission, right?).

Re: Alias, it was once one of my favorite shows... but going head to head with Six Feet Under... no way. SFU absolutely wins, despite my deep affection for Michael Vartan.

I feel like Alias is changing TOO much... and why every season ends with Will "maybe" dying, I don't understand. It's the only constant on the show. Seriously, I watched last night with a friend who had never seen it before (the 2nd hour of course, due to SFU - which is another column)... it was impossible to sum up what the show is about because SD6 doesn't exist anymore and Sloane thinks he's the Dali Lama now. I mean, seriously? What is the show about, again?

jael mchenry
5.5.03 @ 1:26p

Mike: I say that the first five seasons of Buffy are a lesson in good writing. That's not positive?

Lee Anne: yeah, I just can't decide. They're running it right up to the limit with the ever-changing premise. But I think I come down on the Pro side. Just because it's so unusual -- most shows spend a year delaying something and then a year chewing over how and why it happened. Alias is a huge relief from that.

michelle von euw
5.5.03 @ 2:07p

Lee Anne, that's why I love HBO: miss SFU at 9 on Sundays for Alias, and it's on again at 12 midnight, and Monday night, and the next weekend and forty-seven other times during the week...

It does amuse me that the only two shows I really don't want to miss are both on at the same time.

lee anne ramsey
5.5.03 @ 2:49p

Michelle - that is so true. When the conflict first started (When SFU's season began) I tried to watch Alias on Sundays and SFU on Mondays. But then I realized that I just didn't want to miss the Monday morning water cooler conversations about SFU!

Now... 24... that is a show I hate to miss.

jael mchenry
5.5.03 @ 3:46p

I really like 24, but not enough to tape it. That's my check. I read the recaps, and if I'm home, I check it out, but overall it doesn't hold my interest the way these other shows do.

I'm watching the first season of SFU and it's brilliant. Peter Krause is just awesome.

matt morin
5.5.03 @ 4:17p

Yeah, I rented SFU's first season a while back and it was awesome. I still don't have HBO though, so I'm waiting for Season 2 to come out.

lee anne ramsey
5.5.03 @ 5:12p

Peter Krause has the worst haircut this season.

Good point though: Peter Krause's eyes or Michael Vartan's cheekbones?

jael mchenry
5.5.03 @ 5:16p

Mmmmm, cheekbones.

As I'm watching Season 1 on DVD unspool, Krause is looking less and less like my type. Sideburns are already raging. If his haircut this season is like it was on the Entertainment Weekly cover a couple months ago, you're right: it's awful. Smudged down like a greasy revised Beatle. Ew.

He was delicious on Sports Night.

michelle von euw
5.5.03 @ 10:15p

Just watched 6FU and it was, IMO, the best I've seen in season three. So far, this season is good, but I don't have the same "this is unbelievable" feeling I had during season one. Some shows seem to improve with age (the Simpsons and Seinfeld pop to mind), some start off great, then sputter (Friends; 24, for me, although I bet that's not a popular sentiment!); and some do both -- build then falter (Buffy, I'm looking at you).

jael mchenry
5.6.03 @ 9:42a

Peter Krause fans: he's in People's 50 Most Beautiful issue. And tasty, even with the terrible hair.

Chelle, you reminded me of something I wanted to say to reply to Mike (who will hopefully join this discussion as soon as he watches the Alias finale!) Buffy isn't weakening because it's old. It's weakening because the creator left and the show was taken over by someone with a different vision. A vision that SUCKS. Some older shows have the Been There, Done That feeling, and that's why they lose popularity. But I'm not reacting to a repetition of plot lines or stagnant characters. I'm reacting to bad storytelling, period.

michelle von euw
5.6.03 @ 10:40a

Buffy post-high school had about a million possibilities, and most of my problems with the later seasons had less to do with the concepts, and more to do with their execution. Alot of that can be attributed to the show runners, who seem to let their ego get in the way of telling Buffy's story.

mike julianelle
5.6.03 @ 2:08p

I don't think 6FU this season is even close to the last two. There have been glimpses, and I understand what their doing with all this wet-blanket stuff, and for realism's sake they have to go slow, but God I hope Sunday's absent Lisa means she's gone for good. Nate is a great character, but it's getting very frustrating to see him muzzled.

mike julianelle
5.6.03 @ 2:11p

Oh, and if the Alias coda had been a dream, I might have smashed my TV. Granted, the new scenario could still be a dream, but that's fine. Glad Will's not dead. I bet they do go for a Syd/Will interlude. Will even admitted his password was Syd, the first real reference to his unrequited for a while. Syd will end up with Vaughn, but Will will get his shot for a while, I bet, until the rug is pulled out from the 2 years later thing, and everything changes again.

jael mchenry
5.6.03 @ 2:42p

Woo-hoo! Spoilers! Finally!

I don't think it's a dream. I think it might be an alternate future courtesy of Rambaldi's The Telling. And I think that they'll let it run for a while, but not long.

The S/V shippers over on TWOP are rabid about this and have threatened to stop watching the show if there's an S/W direction. But I see no problem with S/W. S/V are almost better when they're kept apart, anyway.

michelle von euw
5.6.03 @ 2:43p

Glad to see you finally watched Alias, Mike. I'm pretty much willing to go along with anything JJ Abrams comes up with, as I've done up until this point.

While I adore Lili Taylor, the character of Lisa really sinks a lot of 6FU. I hope she's gone, too -- and I'm glad we have Brenda back.

mike julianelle
5.6.03 @ 2:44p

Of course they are, and the writers know they can't be together. Like EVERY OTHER TV SHOW EVER. They can't be together till the end. As for Hong Kong, it could be time travel. Also, I saw good spec that after Syd's disappearance/assumed death, her father started working with Sloane, perhaps vs. the CIA and Kendall and stuff. Who knows, but Sloane dropped a bunch of hints about the future, and he did see Carradine's document which had predictions on it.

jael mchenry
5.6.03 @ 2:47p

They can be together, they just don't need to be. That's my take.

My favorite spec is that Vaughn's wearing a wedding ring because he's married to Sydney.

I love a good cliffhanger ending that doesn't even tell you what cliff you're on.

mike julianelle
5.6.03 @ 2:50p

They don't need to be, no, but they eventually will be. The summer wait sucks.

Brenda rules. She's too dynamic a presence to not have on the show more. Her scenes with Nate pop and the finally manifested subtext between her and Billy makes all their scenes together very tense.

[edited]

michelle von euw
5.6.03 @ 2:57p

My favorite spec: Jack and Irina are working together. Yeah, get it on, SpyMommy and SpyDaddy!

I don't like the idea of a S/V marriage, mainly because that would mean there was unseen filler between the Francie-fight and Syd losing her memory, and that gives me narrative shudders.

jael mchenry
5.6.03 @ 3:09p

Good point. Despite his affection for whiplash plotting, I do think JJ is good friends with continuity. Two years of alternate reality in which Sydney was simply not present is still my real expectation.

Yeah, the SpyRentSex was awesome, and I'd love to see more of that. Garber and Olin are just tremendous together. I want them to live forever. Of course, that might be part of the plan on this show.

mike julianelle
5.6.03 @ 3:38p

Isn't alternate reality stuff stretching it a bit? Or did we already cross that bridge? Science still seems to play a part in the plausibility here, but a lot of that Rimbaldi stuff does go a bit over the line. The predictions, for example.

Oh, and yeah, Abrams does do too much of that "72 hours earlier" stuff too.

jael mchenry
5.6.03 @ 3:41p

It's stretching, but it hasn't snapped. I'd more readily accept "alternate reality" than flat-out time travel, which is also a possible explanation.

mike julianelle
5.6.03 @ 3:47p

Yeah, well, I'd also accept a hologram world where she is being manipulated to get information, or perhaps a hallucination serving the same purpose.

[edited]

jael mchenry
5.6.03 @ 3:53p

OK, I'll accept a Matrix. As long as it's not an organic psychological snap or something.

lee anne ramsey
5.6.03 @ 4:17p

What about Syd's scar?

lee anne ramsey
5.6.03 @ 4:21p

What about Syd's scar?

jael mchenry
5.6.03 @ 4:34p

Possibly left over from the FauxFrancie knife fight. If it's a Matrix situation, then it's not really there, but meant to indicate an imagined happening, obviously. I've read theories from kidney donation (to Will) to ova removal (no) to C-section (no) but have no real idea. I think it's just supposed to make us think that time has passed when it hasn't.

mike julianelle
5.6.03 @ 5:07p

One of the reasons I thought of the Matrix thing was the horrible green screen effect when Syd was supposed to be walking in Hong Kong. It jsut looked SO superimposed. It was prolly not intentional, so the Matrix thing might not really be hinted at. I don't think the scar is from the Francie fight, nor do I think we were intended to think it was. It's linked to her situation. My brother is convinced that when Syd asked about Will and stuff, Vaughn started to say, "You..." but cut himself off. Perhaps she donated something?

jael mchenry
5.6.03 @ 10:56p

Willingly or unwillingly? No pun intended.

BTW: last night's Buffy was the best one I've seen in a long time, largely for three reasons: the Mayor, the flashlit fight scene, and Faith getting to, um, climb Mt. Wood.

("It's been a long time. This is gonna hurt a lot.")

erik myers
5.7.03 @ 9:34a

I don't know. I watched last night's episode and couldn't help myself from saying, "Bow-chka-chka-wow." all the way through.

I'm glad it finally got down to some action at the end. It's been lacking.

sarah ficke
5.7.03 @ 9:49a

The flashlight fight was cool, and I liked the last shot. And for once I was happy about what they did with Buffy and Spike.

jael mchenry
5.7.03 @ 9:53a

I disagree, but I've given up complaining about Spuffy. It is what it is, and it'll be over soon enough either way.

Next week's looks interesting ...[edited to remove spoiler]! Who knew?

russ carr
5.7.03 @ 10:01a

BQ was nursing while we were watching Buffy. He finished just as Kennedy started licking Willow's neck. Kathy turned him around so he could see the screen, and he immediately made a happy gurgle.

That's my boy!

michelle von euw
5.7.03 @ 10:10a

Loved the flashlight fight -- that was cool. The sex stuff seemed, I don't know, forced? I didn't feel like there was any chemistry going on, and ended up just feeling bad for poor lonely Giles.

I am really liking The First Buffy, and that kind of scares me.

jael mchenry
5.7.03 @ 10:12a

She's definitely more intelligent, reliable, and focused than The Regular Buffy, that's for sure.

All I could think of, when Kennedy was licking Willow's neck, was how awkward it would be to live your daily life with a tongue stud.

sarah ficke
5.7.03 @ 10:15a

I liked Spike and Buffy because they didn't have sex. The sex, especially between Willow and Kennedy, made me squirm. I just wasn't sensing any chemistry.

jael mchenry
5.7.03 @ 10:24a

I think Faith and Wood might've had more chemistry if they'd let her take off her shirt. The high Faux level of sex in tank tops (Faith, Willow) is really distracting.

mike julianelle
5.7.03 @ 10:34a

No spoilers about next week, please. I don't watch previews.

The mayor shit was sweet.

jael mchenry
5.7.03 @ 11:18a

Edited my earlier post to remove something that fits Mike's definition of spoiler. Hell, some weeks the previews are the only things that keep me watching.

The mayor's thing about Little Women rocked my world. I miss the Mayor.

sarah ficke
5.7.03 @ 11:21a

That mention seemed kind of random to me. Was it something that had come up before?

russ carr
5.7.03 @ 11:32a

The Mayor was always a bit random. Milk and cookies. Miniature golf. Meg.

Hm. I sense a trend. The Mayor likes things that start with "M." Like Mayor!

jael mchenry
5.7.03 @ 11:41a

Megalomania? Munching on spiders?

mike julianelle
5.7.03 @ 11:42a

He likes wholesome crap, like Family Circus. No "M" there.

russ carr
5.7.03 @ 11:56a

Maybe he likes Mike.

jael mchenry
5.7.03 @ 11:59a

No, I think he wants to be like Mike.

That's right, he does like Family Circus. And Faith in a dress. Unlike most people I know, who prefer Faith out of her clothes entirely.

mike julianelle
5.8.03 @ 12:02p

Hey Jael, you got plugged over here:

http://whedonesque.com/

jael mchenry
5.8.03 @ 12:17p

That would explain all this morning's hits.

I also got questioned over there about my factual accuracy, specifically on "...had any of them ever expressed a lack of confidence in her abilities at any point in this entire season." Okay, overstatement. Giles did question her partiality to Spike, and how her affection for him clouded her judgment. But Giles didn't seem to be pushing her out; Anya and Dawn and Xander and the Slayerettes did that. And I still think there was no pattern of increasing doubt, which there should've been, to make it convincing from a character consistency perspective.

denise jurski
5.10.03 @ 11:01a

I wanted to comment on something you said earlier in the thread. That Buffy didn't decline because it got old, but because it was taken over by someone whose vision sucks.

That's spot-on, imo. MN's vision not only sucks, but is so contrary to what Buffy, both the series and the character were, in the good days. Her personal obsession with the Spike character has become Buffy's-but because it's MN's it's not done in any kind of planned, or realistic sense.

And I agree with what you just said, as well, about the out-of-the-blue nature of the Scoobies deposing Buffy. Xander was, the weak before, singing her praises to high heaven. He hasn't so much as raised an eyebrow at her behavior this season. And since Willow gets about 2.2 seconds screentime each episode, much of that wasted on Kennedy issues, how can we even guess what she might be thinking/feeling?

I would also add...when did Dawn become the brains? Sumerian? Turkish? Magic?

Character consistancy? What's that?

russ carr
5.10.03 @ 12:36p

And actually, Denise, that's essentially the same argument used by Star Trek fans about the pitiful state of the once-proud franchise. Even long time fans have reached the point where they've stopped trying to find a plausible way to spin things. Rick Berman, who wrested control of Star Trek following the death of Gene Roddenberry, has set the course for mundanity and locked out the controls.

There's a huge audience for fantasy/SF shows like Buffy, or Trek, or Farscape, etc., but what producers, et al, don't seem to realize is that the audience for those genres is often highly educated and keenly discerning. If the show stinks, they won't watch.

Dawn is having to step up to fill in the void of Giles (now a deadbeat dad!) and Willow (now confidence-free!). In truth, I think they're just scrambling to find lines for MT, and since Willow's got her Kennedy on, they give all her old lines to Dawn.

denise jurski
5.10.03 @ 3:11p

You know Russ....the one thing that has been particulary true throughout both this, and the Angel series is the consistancy of the deadbeat dad.

Not a single main character has a father that fulfills the role even adequately. Buffy, Angel, Xander, Willow, Giles, Wesley...all fathers either neglectful, abusive, or simply gone.

For the first five years Giles stepped into the role of Father, not only for Buffy, but to a lesser extent for the others. Now he's gone the way of the 'Bad Dad'.

I suppose we should be grateful the show has managed to hang onto one key concept throughout the years.

I'd really love to be the producers' therapist though...I could retire on their issues.

I also just realized that in my first post I mentioned something about Xander last *weak*. Freudian slip? Nah....

russ carr
5.10.03 @ 4:15p

Did we ever even meet Willow's dad? Spike had a mother, but no father was ever mentioned. And let's not start with Connor (a hideous plot gone awry, not unlike Dawn).

Xander can't seem to maintain his focus. Neither can anyone else, but at least he's got a reasonable excuse.

denise jurski
5.11.03 @ 12:28a

Other than knowing his name is Ira Rosenberg, and Willow has to go to Xander's to watch a Charlie Brown Christmas every year, we only know that he's oblivious to his daughter. It's my assumption that he, as well as her mother, had no idea she was dating, became a witch, spent long nights out helping to save the world and on and on.

Connor is one of those plots I prefer to pretend never existed. So I'll be just like the rest of the Angel gang next season. Heh.



mike julianelle
5.11.03 @ 1:54a

I think next season has a TON of great potential for Angel. I just hope Cordy doesn't return.

jael mchenry
5.12.03 @ 11:02a

What if she stays in a coma? Will that be okay?

I wasn't watching when they had Holy!Cordy but I suppose they did a good job with her recent evil pregnancy. Hard to come back from a storyline like that.

mike julianelle
5.12.03 @ 12:03p

She was horrible as EvilCordy this year, but it was better than SaintCordy. Just saw on AICN that Angel was renewed but SANS Cordelia. Thank God.

jael mchenry
5.12.03 @ 12:11p

Denise: good points all. I wish we could see more of the Rosenbergs. Do they even know she's living at Buffy's? Did they leave town? This show has really exiled the adults, hasn't it?

Mike: you read AICN? Ew. Well, there's no need for Cordy anymore anyway. All the spec I've seen expects the mind-wipe to fall through, so Connor might still be around...

mike julianelle
5.12.03 @ 12:22p

I go to AICN for runors and breaking news. I hate the personalities, but sometimes the info is good.

I don't mind Connor, sometimes.

russ carr
5.12.03 @ 2:54p

The show's been more about Connor and Cordy this season than about Angel. What's up with that? That would be like a season of Buffy and it's all about Dawn and Xander. Bleah.

mike julianelle
5.12.03 @ 3:03p

Agreed. But Connor has potential, and the kid had some good moments. They just need to get him over his "I just wanna belong" angst.

jael mchenry
5.12.03 @ 5:09p

That would be like a season of Buffy and it's all about Dawn and Xander.

Fat chance of that, innit?

Buffy is about Buffy. Angel seems to be about the whole team. Last Buffy ep I remember... no, wait, there was that one all about Spike. And one in the fall mostly about Dawn. Other than that? Buff, buff, buff.

russ carr
5.12.03 @ 10:46p

The Zeppo was pretty Xanderful. I don't think last week's was about anyone at all. I scarcely remember a thing about last week's Buffy, period, except for all the bad sex. Noxon, Roxoff.

jael mchenry
5.13.03 @ 9:06a

It should surprise no one to know that I LOVE The Zeppo. It's the only episode I've taped and kept. Hmmm, should put that DVD in my queue...

michelle von euw
5.13.03 @ 9:25a

Jael, I'll bring all of season three with me to DC next time I visit.

brian anderson
5.13.03 @ 10:09a

I don't watch Buffy, but I watch people who watch Buffy, and I came across this on Salon today (you have to go through the day pass rigamarole, but at least you don't have to pay). It's an opinion column that says, essentially, Buffy used to be about uncool people, and emphasis on Spike has turned it into just the opposite.

sarah ficke
5.13.03 @ 10:35a

The Salon article also points out that Kennedy is exactly the popular loudmouth girl that would have stepped all over Willow in high school. Yet another reason that their relationship is totally unbelievable.

russ carr
5.13.03 @ 12:31p

Yeah, I think I'd made that point on the boards. Hold on a sec...

For the benefit of the public (so they can see what they're missing by not joining Intrepid Premium:

I agree, the Kennedy/Willow thing hasn't played right, ever. And never quite so much as Kennedy's seduction scene the other night. But the reasons aren't so much personality-wise. What bugs me is as follows:

1) Back with Willow/Tara, Willow was definitely the more dominant of the pair, certainly the more passionate of the two. But given the scene this week, Kennedy's decidedly more domme, telling Willow how it's going to be, acting all protective, etc. Now, I realize that Willow's been trying hard this season to be unpowerful, but still...

2) Willow's got to be significantly older, so WTF? Let's see...at least a good seven years or so, isn't that fair? At least 21, probably more like 23, based on the time passed since graduation/ascension. Whereas, Kennedy (and all the Potentials) should all be high school girls, right? About 16 years old? So we've got jailbait potential slayer seducing older wiccan widow-on-the-rebound. I just can't see Willow going all puppy love, cooing-about-kites over her. Could I see Willow wanting to get some preapocalyptic sex with an eager young minx? Yeah. (Recall Willow and Oz pre-ascension...) But that's it.

[edited]

adam kraemer
5.13.03 @ 3:33p

I just think Inari Limon is hot. And women kissing is hot. So it definitely works for me on those levels.

jael mchenry
5.13.03 @ 3:55p

Voila, the loyal viewer.



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