rebcake: Spike: Punk is undead (punk)
I'm excited about this project, and thought some of you might be, too:


The filmmakers are raising funds through IndieGoGo, with the permission and involvement of Ms. Styrene's daughter. I may be having more feels about this sort of thing, as I just watched Jim Jarmusch's fabu Gimme Danger documentary about The Stooges with my kid. I'd really like to see all the punk stories told, but especially Poly's, and now I can help make it happen!

So, this LJ nonsense is aggravating. I've been crossposting from DW for a long time, and plan to continue doing that, but I'm pretty sure I'm not hooked up with some of my peeps on DW. If you could point me in your direction, I'd be much obliged.

The Buffy part... )
rebcake: Buffy, pretty slayer (slayer)
In which I reflect on the greatest show evah! 

The first five episodes... )
rebcake: Buffy, pretty slayer (slayer)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer first aired on television 20 years ago this month. I did not watch it at the time, because I had seen the movie — which sounded right up my dark comedy alley — and it did not live up to expectations. Also: very small child in the house led to very little TV viewing. Back then, we didn't have such high expectations for TV shows — except for Twin Peaks — so I felt safe in my assumption that the show would not be an improvement over the film. I'm very glad to have been wrong.

To celebrate, I'm going to post any little tidbits I can remember have found interesting about the show, focusing on 4-5 episodes at a time.

But first, THE MOVIE:

1. Buffy does NOT burn down the gym at Hemery High.
2. The historical slayers/watchers (all played by Kristy Swanson/Donald Sutherland) make their debut here and not in "Fool for Love". 
3. Let's all be thankful that the movie's menstrual cramp-vamp-radar was scrapped for the show.
4. Buffy's partner-in-slayage/love interest is a pretty greaser called PIKE. Is it really plagiarism when you're stealing from yourself? I say no.
5. Paul Reubens might have been the funnest thing in the whole undertaking. How can he be more entertaining than Rutger Hauer? IDK.

The UNAIRED PILOT, which you can download at Buffyworld.com, has a couple of interesting deviations from "Welcome to the Hellmouth":

1. A different Willow. Questions? Comments?
2. Jonathan makes his first appearance here, but doesn't show up on the air until "Inca Mummy Girl". (Danny Strong also auditioned for the role of Xander. I have thoughts on this.)

What do you remember about these "prequels"?

rebcake: Buffy, pretty slayer (slayer)
The list of days... )

Favorite Friendship:

Friendship is sooo important on the show. I am sad about the characters on Buffy that don't have important friendships. Even Cordelia is keenly aware of the utter shallowness of her relationships:

CORDELIA: Bummer for her. It's awful to feel that lonely.
BUFFY: Hmm. So you've read something about the feeling?
CORDELIA: Hey! You think I'm never lonely because I'm so cute and popular? I can be surrounded by people and be completely alone. It's not like any of them really know me. I don't even know if they like me half the time. People just want to be in a popular zone. Sometimes when I talk, everyone's so busy agreeing with me, they don't hear a word I say.
BUFFY: Well, if you feel so alone, then why do you work so hard at being popular?
CORDELIA: Well, it beats being alone all by yourself.
Out of Mind, Out of Sight

And look what a lack of friends does to Marcie! And Jonathan! Fer crying out loud, it drives him into the clutches of Warren!

That said, friendship isn't exactly without its pitfalls. Most of the friendships on the show have their breaking points, as well as their triumphant moments. The Buffy/Willow friendship is really central, but also fraught with problems due to their matching superiority/inferiority issues. Willow/Xander is probably my favorite at the point where it alone saves the world, but is very disturbing at other points along the way. People rightly give Xander a hard time for the way he tries to control Buffy's love life, but the same could be said of Willow regarding Xander's relationships, exactly zero of which she accepts. The Buffy/Xander friendship is even more up and down. He struggles for years over his "friend-zone" status with her and constantly switches between "supporto-guy" and "attacko-guy".

There are interesting relationships outside the Core Three. Dawn/Tara, Dawn/Spike, Buffy/Giles all have strong familial overtones, which I enjoy, but that doesn't allow for a fully equal exchange. Buffy/Giles especially ends up breaking when he can't accept her autonomy. Spike/Clem is a huge hoot. Giles and Ethan's ex-friendship is incredibly interesting to me, if not exactly healthy. Workplace friendship Anyanka/Halfrek makes me wish better friends for Anya. Riley's friendship with Graham pretty much saves his life, so I think it's under-appreciated. Forrest, on the other hand, is exactly the kind of controlling friend nobody needs. 

I really appreciated the all-too-short Buffy/Tara friendship. Having Buffy accept her as her own person allowed Tara to come just a bit more out of her shell, and Tara's understanding and non-judgmental attitude was exactly what beleaguered, depressed Buffy needed.

But the Spike/Buffy friendship was probably my favorite, even if it was fated to be just one iteration of their tumultuous story. He accepts her as she is, she brings him into a more meaningful life. They share humor, strength, and a love of the fight. It's what Xander once described as "a solid foundation for future bliss". That future may never materialize anywhere outside of fanfic, but it's still a foundation. I'm guessing this is a minority "favorite".

rebcake: Joyce with Axe: Not in the brochure (joyce_axe)
The list of days... )

Least Favorite Male Character:

There are lots of men on Buffy to dislike. Some I love to hate. Some I only hate some of the time. There are hardly any guys on the show that I feel neutral about. All of them have disappointed me at some point or other. Even darling Oz screws up.

I'm doing a rewatch right now, and I'm finding Xander less charming than ever before. I don't hate him, though. He's pretty realistic with good and less good traits; his crimes are small time, personal ones, mostly, and he seems to show growth to a certain extent over the course of the show. 

A character trait that I find disturbing is paternalism — a person, organization, etc., that protects people and gives them what they need but does not give them any responsibility or freedom of choice. In Buffy, there are a range of men (and sometimes women) who exhibit this trait, and I don't like 'em: Quentin Travers, Angel, Maggie Walsh, later-season Willow Rosenberg. Riley Finn has a real tendency in this direction, but he never really pulls it off. There's deadbeat dad Hank Summers on the other side of the equation. Is taking on more responsibility for people than they want you to really worse than not taking any responsibility for your actual children? There are some "daddy" figures on the show that are really wonderful: Giles, Richard Wilkins III (The Mayor), and D'Hoffryn.

There are characters who are horrible, but too funny to really hate: Principal Snyder, Ethan Rayne, enormous user Parker, pre-coming out Larry. Larry is an example of lovely character growth. He's a HUGE jerk who becomes a sweetie pie and a hero. He's a cautionary tale against writing off people, really.  


But then there's the out-and-out misogynists: Pete from Beauty and the Beasts, the yucky swim team/coach combo from Go Fish, the horrible werewolf hunter from Phases, Tucker Wells from The Prom, Kralik from Helpless. These are mainly one-shot villains, though, and I don't feel like they have enough impact to rise to the level of "the worst".

Then there's Warren. He's arguably a Great Man, a genius. He's completely aware of his choices, but he chooses to use his gifts for entirely selfish, destructive ends. He's given plenty of opportunity to rethink his trajectory but remains unrepentant to the end. Was anybody sorry to see him go?

rebcake: spike air kiss (spike_kiss)
The list of days... )

Favorite Male Character:

Spike. This turned out to be a hard one, and not because it's hard to pick a favorite. It's just hard to come up with something to say that will encompass all of why he's a favorite without just echoing things that have been said better by a heckuva lot of people.

So many facets! He's loyal, funny, smart, inventive, observant, emotionally fluent, and interested in sex. He likes to dance. He gets along better with women than with men. He has a heaping truckload of "manly" defense mechanisms to keep other (usually male) people from seeing his perceived weakness. Like many other BtVs characters, he loves language and has an enormous amount of fun playing with it.

Most of those features fit Xander as well, however, so I don't feel I've really put my finger on what makes Spike unique.

Um, he fears very little, aside from bears. He's up for a challenge. He's pugnacious and stirs up trouble for fun. If he doesn't care about something, he really doesn't care about it. Conversely, if he cares, he cares a lot. He's got buckets of joie de un-vivre. He's gleeful, bless 'im.

Lest we forget, he's also a notorious vampire, a killer, a predator, and an unrepentant (until much later), violent criminal.

Okay. So here's something I've been musing on for a while and it's bound to come out wrong, but here goes: Spike works as a sort of metaphor for awful people, a window, if you will. Here in the USA, we have an increasing tendency to respond to horrible, terrible behavior with, "That's inhuman! What a monster!" But really, the scariest thing is that it is humans that are responsible for all those things we wish to call "inhuman". By demonizing the perpetrators, we give ourselves a convenient, but inaccurate, narrative that "we" are nothing like "them". But if you dig a little, you'll find that most of these "monsters" loved their mamas, or their dogs, or Bach, or they were really good at parcheesi, or something. It's not easy to accept that horrible people are, well, people. So much easier to write them off. Spike, started off as a terrifying, dangerous threat and then developed into a complex person, eventually becoming a hero vital to the good of humanity. His is a fun story, but also a tremendously deep, complicated, and thought-provoking one.

****
Went to see the Afro-Cuban All Stars perform at SF Jazz on the weekend. Once the gals in the band kicked off their heels, the party really got started!

Coming up: the Frameline LGBTQ Film Festival leading up to Gay Pride Weekend at the end of the month. There are five films I want to see this Saturday, many of them in conflicting time slots. Talk about first world problems...

rebcake: Joyce with Axe: Not in the brochure (joyce_axe)
The list of days... )

Least Favorite Female Character:

Glory. I adore her minions, but Glory herself holds little appeal or dread for me. Her tantrums are tiresome. She's vain, shallow, entitled, and screechy. And she's not funny. I understand that she's supposed to be a counterpoint to Buffy, but unlike with Buffy, I have zero sympathy or, more importantly, empathy for her or her situation. She's just...unpleasant. As far as Hellgods go, I vastly prefer Illyria.

Even Maggie Walsh is a far more interesting character/villain. One thing I do like about Glory is that she and April together give Buffy the opportunity to say this:

I've had it with super-strong little women who aren't me.
Buffy, in I Was Made to Love You

***

The opera was splendid! Bill Irwin was in it! Not so much in a singing capacity, but still! Tonight we're headed to the historic Castro Theater to see the newish Hayao Miyazaki movie, "The Wind Rises".
rebcake: Buffy, pretty slayer (slayer)
The list of days... )

Favorite Female Character: 

Buffy
. Do I really need to explain?

However, what I really love is that there are so many female characters to choose from. I mostly love 'em all at one point or another. The first episode I watched was Reptile Boy, and I remember thinking that Cordelia was really funny and interesting. I didn't watch the show again for 7 years or something, but that wasn't Cordy's fault. 

When I finally got around to watching, I started with Season 2. Drusilla and Sheila in School Hard were both fresh and women that we don't get to see all that often. Sheila especially felt real to me in a way that pop culture rarely gets right. When I went back to the beginning, the opening scene with Darla in Welcome to the Hellmouth confirmed that I was in the right place. Since then, I've come to love sassy!Jenny, Joyce, Faith, vamp!Harmony, Tara, and a couple dozen other fantastic female characters. None of them are perfect, but that just makes them easier to love, IMO.

***

Hey, a friend just called with the offer of a ticket to the opera tonight! Showboat, here I come!
rebcake: Buffy and Spike about to kiss during OMWF finale. (omwf_finale)
The list of days... )

Favorite Song Used In An Episode: There are too many to choose from! Buffy makes great use of music throughout. Band appearances at the Bronze are usually fantastic, notably Cibo Matto doing "Sugar Water" in When She Was Bad, Aimee Mann doing "Pavlov's Bell" in Sleeper, and The Breeders doing whatever the hell they want in Him. For me, Michelle Branch's song "Goodbye To You" was a bit on the nose for the end of Tabula Rasa, but it's certainly effective. Background music is also terrific, and a standout for me is "Faith in Love" by Devil Doll in Harsh Light of Day. Sexytimes! And don't even get me started on Once More With Feeling, which is packed with wonderful songs, all of which are just right for their purpose. I could never choose between them.

For me, it comes down to two: "Blue" performed by Angie Hart in Conversations with Dead People and the "Main Title Theme" performed by Nerf Herder on either end of almost every episode. They set the tone for the entire episode, and do it in such different ways. The Theme lets the viewer know that this is supposed to be a fun, rollicking ride, and that even with all the death, monsters, and mayhem, you should enjoy yourself. Surf music has always perfectly captured that "fun in a minor key" mentality that is so very Buffy. Since surfing is all about the challenge of facing your fears — what could be more terrifying and exhilarating than giving yourself to and triumphing over an ocean — it is really genius that surf music is the intro to the show. On the other hand, "Blue" forces a shift in thinking. For the final push, the final apocalypse, all the characters have to face themselves, one way or another. It's introspective and asks questions about individuality and yearning for understanding from others. Or not. Who knows? It's poetry and it's thoughtful and emotional, and that's where we're headed. Co-writer Joss Whedon is putting us on notice that things are going to be different. And, for better or worse, they are.
rebcake: Spike: What? (Spike: what?)
The list of days... )

Favorite Episode: This one is not tough at all. It's Fool For Love, y'all!

So many good episodes and still this one stands out: unexpected back story, loads of "historical" stuff, glimpses of slayers past, super funny Harmony, dead sexy Dru, and bonus Chaos Demon! This episode is a big fat payoff for continuity buffs. It explains Spike's name(s), his Slayer obsession, his scar, his coat, and his breakup with his paramour of 100+ years. The subway/alley back and forth is a dazzling, heart in the throat scene. It's also the episode that launched a thousand fanfics, and would be worthy for that alone. To top it all off, both Spike and Buffy get to fight back tears. Mmmmm, emotional.

I think the reason I like it so much is that it opens up the Buffyverse. We aren't just in this one, probably sucktastic, moment on the Hellmouth. We're all over the world and all through time. We are multitudes! There was some of this in Becoming back in Season 2, but that was mainly through Angel's eyes, and this gives us a whole host of possible perspectives. It's clear that we can't trust the teller of the tale, either, and that encourages the viewer to be a more active participant in the story. Nifty, yes?
rebcake: Buffy, pretty slayer (slayer)
Okay, I'm in! Late, but in. I might as well, since I'm still thinking about Buffy, forming opinions, and currently doing a rewatch. Plus, I want to talk to you guys. So, here is my stab at this. Away we go!

The list of days... )

Favorite Season: This will probably be the toughest question in the whole set for me. All of the seasons, even the first one, have excellent qualities. I am especially fond of seasons 2, 4, and 6, though. Two has an excellent arc, the addition of Spike, Dru, Oz, and a great villain in Angelus. It's not as cinematically pretty as Four, which I love for Buffy. It's arguably her best year. She's having fun, meeting people, and overcoming vast conspiracies. She's hit her stride, and hasn't been poleaxed by the whammy of Five yet. Six I love for the sex. Partly. I'm invested in Six. I care deeply what happens. For me, the show becomes more than entertainment in Six. I don't think I'd be as fascinated with the show without Six. It goes deeper, emotionally, than I expect televised stories to go.

All three seasons are absolutely crucial to my Buffy love. If I had to pick one to take to a desert island, I guess it would be Four. No. Two. Wait. Um, possibly Six.

You know what? I don't have to give up any of them! All three of them are my favorite! 66 episodes of Buffity goodness!

rebcake: Anya eats popcorn while watching bloody mayhem (Anya watching Joss)
I’m not a Buffy/Angel shipper. However, I read something recently that compared the Buffy/Angel relationship to the Bella/Edward one. Just as I thought, “Well, that’s not right,” I realized that it was a concept I may have entertained subconsciously. That’s really not fair of me.

For one thing, I’m not familiar enough with the Twilight series to really know what Bella and Edward are about as a couple. For another, I’m guessing people who ship Buffy/Angel don’t see Buffy as any kind of wilting violet damsel, which is what I assume is Bella’s deal. I haven’t read much fic for the B/A ship, but that can’t be what’s going on, is it? I mean, why would anyone bother to ship Buffy with anybody if they’re going to be satisfied with a super traditional romance heroine? Wouldn’t it be easier to just ship some other character?

I like Spike with Buffy in part because he seems to really appreciate her fierceness and strength. But doesn’t Angel also admire those qualities? Like, a lot? Or, is it the Bangel fandom consensus that he’s more attracted to her goodness and mercy?

Maybe the ship seems more heteronormative on its surface, and that’s why the Bella/Edward comparison is out there. But how deep does that heteronormativity ever go with Buffy? Not very with Spike, I’d say. Not successfully with Riley. Is it really so different with Angel?

I do see Buffy and Angel as two Alphas (as reductionist as that term is) and figure that’s an issue that’s got to come up in post-S3 Bangel shipping. I mean, if the ship is going to float on, she can’t stay 17 forever, so right there things are going to change, amirite?

Can anybody enlighten me about the kinds of issues that are unique to or typical of Bangel fic? Particularly later season or post-series fic? I’d love to know the kinds of things that set it apart from other ships in the Buffyverse fandom. Without, you know, having to read a bunch of it. I’m probably asking the wrong crowd, but y’all have Vast Knowledge, so I thought I give it a shot.
 

 

rebcake: Dawn: sqeeeeeee (dawneeeee)
You are probably aware, but the [livejournal.com profile] rarewomen stories are up! Woo! Master list here, and a more complete list of fandoms here.

A lovely writer, Teaotter, wrote me the most gorgeous and thought-provoking S5 Joyce fic, which I can't pimp enough:

losing farther, losing faster

Go! Read! Comment if you love it! Bring a hankie! Then check out the other goodies. Yum!


I contributed something, which I suspect is of limited appeal due to super small fandom, although it is a crossover with BtVS, so who knows? You can read it at AO3, but for consistency's sake, I'm also including it in my journals. I've written another crossover with these fandoms, Two Faces Have I, which I think might be more successful, since it uses the POV of the Buffyverse character we know, while this one uses the POV of the character that is outside the 'verse.

Title: From the Mouth of Hell to Hoppers 13
Author: Rebcake 
Rating: PG13
Word count: 2400
Fandom/Characters: Love & Rockets "Locas" crossover with Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Maggie, Hopey, Penny, Izzy, Giles, Xander, Faith
A/N: All credit to Jaime Hernandez for his characters. ♥ Oh, and Joss, too.
Summary: Maggie and her friends are going to spend the afternoon by the pool, unless the "earthquake" from up north puts the kibosh on things.

Basically I got as far as Oxnard and the engine fell out of my car. And that was literally, so I ended up washing dishes at the fabulous "Ladies Night" club for about a month and a half while I tried to pay for the repairs. Nobody really bothered me or spoke to me there until one night one of the male strippers called in sick and no power on this Earth will make me tell you the rest of that story.

—Xander, talking about his post-graduation summer in The Freshman, BtVS Season 4

Maggie Chascarrillo was fixing the pump for the motel swimming pool when the quake hit )

rebcake: spike air kiss (hello)
If you're not interested in parsing the comics, I don't blame you a bit, and this is probably not going to be your thing.

People who do read the comics seem fairly happy with one point in this issue: Spike came clean about his feelings for Buffy. To her face, even! Possibly.

I'm not that thrilled... )


rebcake: Anya eats popcorn while watching bloody mayhem (Anya watching Joss)
There's been a lot of love on my f-list lately for The Gift. You know, the season 5 closer of that classic television show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer? I can see why, but I have a minority opinion... )

rebcake: spike air kiss (spike_kiss)
My Favorite Vampires... )

Also, does anybody know how to find that vid of Spike set to the Count’s “I Love To Count” song? Funny, naughty stuff…
ETA: It's Cybermintz's award-winning "The Song of the Count", but I still don't know how to get to something I can watch and chortle over. :(
rebcake: Anya eats popcorn while watching bloody mayhem (Anya watching Joss)
Hey, y'all! You might have noticed that I love this one TV show with the power of a thousand high-efficiency solar panels, right? It's called Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and how silly is that? It's got all this stuff that gets me every time — sassy heroine who almost always triumphs, funny dialogue, complex story lines with dozens of characters, a little sex, a little politics, a little mythology, and a twisty surprise in every package. But! I just realized what it doesn't have that I also love!

The cynical and sarcastic wing-gal with the heart of gold who has never (ever) been a nun.

Where is she? Where is the Eve Arden, Joan Blondell, Thelma Ritter, or Jane Russell to our Buffy? The gal that's got the heroine's back, and pushes her to be fearless in the face of impossible situations, usually of the romantic sort, even though she's pretty sure that love is doomed? While cracking wise? Don't tell me that she disappeared with the advent of second wave feminism! That would be a terrible blow. Plus, I saw Bridesmaids, and that girl was the heroine!

Willow was never worldly enough to fit the trope. Faith got to be that girl for, like, an episode and a half. Cordy could have been, but she hid her heart of gold (even from herself) until it was too late for her to click with Buffy. Anya had the world-weariness, but little interest in what went on in Buffy's private life. Dawn was too young, but maybe she can fill the role now that she's grown up? I have hopes.

Spike would've been good in the part, but he can't be her best girlfriend because a) he's not actually a girl, and b) he's got a vested interest in her romantic choices. Oh! Is this the queer twist I've been searching for? Is the sarcastic best friend just hiding their desire for the lead? Well, not usually, but I can see the possibilities...

How about you guys?

rebcake: Anya eats popcorn while watching bloody mayhem (Anya watching Joss)
I fail at memage... )
rebcake: dalek wearing santa hat (christmas)
Yesterday was my noel_of_spike posting day, so naturally I've been busy writing Christmas fic about...Dollhouse? Thanks muse. Thanks a lot. I suspect it's because I made a blanket statement that I didn't think I'd ever write in any fandom but Buffy. It's such a contrarian muse. (Little bitch.)

It all worked out, though, so I've got two new seasonal fics to share with you!

Title: The Gift of the Techno-Magi
Author: Rebcake
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 875
Characters: Joel Mynor of “Bouncy the Rat” fame, Adelle DeWitt
A/N: A bit of background for the Dollhouse episode Man on the Street.

Joel Mynor had more or less got used to being a rich widower...


Title: Yule Be Sorry (The Great Hunt of 1998)
Author: Rebcake
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 1,200
Characters: Spike, Drusilla, and the Chaos Demon

Dru was a good Catholic girl, but traveling around in the 1960s and ‘70s had made her curious about alternative spirituality and other such rot...

Caveat: neither of the above are especially cheerful. I blame my minor cold, because it couldn't be my evil brain, could it?

Wasn't the solstice/full moon/lunar eclipse neat? You don't stay up that late? People! It's been almost 400 years since the last time! Tsk. 

In other Yule news, I have made 30 dozen pecan cookies, and a batch of star-shaped shortbread for a favorite kid with severe nut allergies. Today, I am looking at making another 20 dozen cookies, hitting the post office (won't that be fun?), wrapping gifts and packing up to leave for glamorous Oxnard tomorrow for a long Xmas weekend with my delightful in-laws. Or staying in bed with a box of tissues.

rebcake: spike air kiss (wrong)
I miss my old show.
When you see this, post another Buffy quote in your LJ. Let's see how long this can go on.




'Cause I could do anything I want . . . )

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