Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Top 10 Best Moments of the Whedonverse

Spoilers for this month's Angel: ATF comic below. Read #8 at your own risk!

As the year comes to a close, let's reflect back on 2008's most memorable moments in the Whedonverse - Buffyfest Edition.

#1 - Dr. Horrible
This made me laugh and made me cry, but most of all, it left me yearning for
some more.

#2 - The Buffy Reunion at the Paley Center
Buffy cast on stage and talking - 'nuff said.

#3 - Buffy/Satsu
Buffy's bed mates have been known to stir up some controversy with fans (see any shipper argument), but this pairing got even the non-fans going.

#4 - Angel's Human!
2008 started with a bang with the shocking conclusion to Issue #3 of After the Fall . Of course, in true Joss fashion, being human comes with a price and this time it's a trip straight to hell.

#5 - Buffyfest 2008
There's nothing like watching Buffy & Angel under the stars with some good friends. Throw a little Dr. Horrible into the mix and it's damn near perfect.

#6 - Dollhouse Anticipation
The high expectations followed by the low expectations of this show are making me dizzy.

#7 - Buffy wins an Emmy (sort of) for "Most Dramatic TV Moment of All Time"
"The Gift" took this title and although absolutely deserving, they were 7 years too late.

#8 - The Death of Connor
I hated Connor, then I loved Connor, then Connor died.

#9 - Twilight
Buffy's new nemesis is intriguing and constantly brings up the question, "Who the hell is this guy?"

#10 - The Return of Fray
It's been over 5 years since we last saw Fray and not only do we get her in the Season 8 comics, but we get to see her crossing scythes with none other than Buffy herself.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Buffy Theme Song as a Town Tune for Animal Crossing

So, I love Video Games. Lately I've been playing Animal Crossing: City Folk on the Wii (which is annoyingly not much different from Animal Crossing: Wild World for the DS - but that's probably an entirely different post for a different blog). Anyway, I of course have the Buffy theme song as my town tune. Bitsy and I worked it out together. I love hearing that familiar diddy every time the town clock chimes on the hour, I enter Nook's or talk to a neighbor. If you want this as your Town Tune, talk to Pelly (or the other girl night-shift girl who's a bitca) at the Town Hall and enter the following:

"Buffy Theme Song"
A _ B C G _ (Zz) G G _ A B G_ _(Zz)

The '_' is the line that sustains the note longer.
The (Zz) is the sleeping silenced note.

You can do it in the lower chords, too. I've done it both ways and I'm not sure what's better. Both ways sound good since they are both used in the real song. Speaking of games, I plan on doing a complete walk through for the upcoming DS game Buffy: Sacrifice and maybe post some hints and cheats for the older Buffy games too.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Whedonverse Holiday Ornament Swap Recap

So the Whedonverse Ornament Swap was pretty successful. Most of the ornaments landed and their creators did an outstanding job. Check out the immense creativity and fabulosity above. Thanks to everyone who participated! If you haven't yet posted your pictures to the Flickr group page, please do!

PS, not all of the photos show up in the group unless you're logged in to flickr. This is because Flickr's policy states that the public cannot view unless the user has uploaded 6 or more photos. Lame...it's really annoying. Next year we'll use a different photo service. Anyway, if you'd like to see them all, please log in to Flickr first.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All I Want from Santa - A Buffy Wish List

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule or just the ritual of shopping, there's something magical brewing in the air. All of us at Buffyfest want to wish you an amazing Holiday Season and in honor of Santa's flight tonight, we've got an exclusive sneak peak into his mail bag!

Buffy - All I want from Santa is...
1. Angel
2. One good birthday
3. A gift certificate from Neiman Marcus for some stylish, but sensible boots

Angel - All I want from Santa is...
1. Buffy
2. To be forgiven
3. A shiny new broad sword

Connor (Poor Conner) - All I want from Santa is...
1. To be a Champion like his father
2. The Dean's List at Stanford
3. A gift certificate to Tony Roma's

Giles - All I want from Santa is...
1. Buffy's safety
2. His pilot license
3. English Breakfast Tea

Spike - All I want from Santa is...
1. To rest
2. A chance to play for Manchester United
3. Passions DVD Box set

Xander - All I want from Santa is...
1. A girlfriend who doesn't die prematurely
2. An eye
3. A custom leather carpenter's tool belt

Wesley - All I want from Santa is...
1. Termination of his contract with Wolfram & Hart
2. His father's approval
3. Rhythm

Willow will say it again..."Not everybody worships Santa!"A special addendum to our list written by our beloved Ryan.

For the first night of Hanukkah, Willow would like her girlfriend to stop doing tampon commercials.

For the second night of Hanukkah, Willow would like a sweater made from real Muppet fur.

For the third night of Hanukkah, Willow would like her Barbie back.

For the fourth night of Hanukkah, Willow would like the collected Dingoes Ate My Baby box set.

For the fifth night of Hanukkah, Willow would like unbreakable crayons.

For the sixth night of Hanukkah, Willow would like new goldfish.

For the seventh night of Hanukkah, Willow would like Tina Fey and a bucket of whipped cream.

And for the last night of Hanukkah, Willow would like A Charlie Brown Christmas on DVD.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dr. Horrible NYC Sing-along Recap & Interview with Clinton McClung Pt 2.

So despite the freezing cold and snowy night in New York we still had a great time at the Dr. Horrible Sing-along at the Paley Center. Many people braved the storm to sing their hearts out. There were laundry bubbles and evil mustaches (more on that further down the post.) Afterward, host Clinton McClung was gracious enough to sit down with us for part 2 of our interview on camera. See below:
Buffyfest: We had heard that that you started this because you used to have parties and it turned into this thing. Are you proud of what you've accomplished?

CM: Yeah! The other thing I always thought about the sing-alongs
was that I never wanted to do it at fan conventions, not because I hate fan
conventions, but they have their own thing going on and all these people are
into it. I love doing it in movie theatres because it was more open to anybody
and I got such a variety of crowds at the sing-alongs, people who were casual
Buffy fans and a lot of first-timers who had never seen an episode of Buffy. I
started these sing-alongs just to get people hooked.

Buffyfest: How did make the move from Boston to New York?

CM: I quit my job at the movie theatre in Boston and I was
feeling a little tapped out and I moved here (NYC) and I got a job working at
the IFC Center as a consultant and it while I was in meetings with them that I
mentioned that I used to do this Buffy thing and they were like, "Let's do it!"
Almost immediately after it happened and the IFC thing petered out, I started
doing a show a weekend and I would spend the entire week preparing for the show
and then I would travel. I didn't make money off if it, just enough to live on
and I was hoping as it went on that I would be able to make some money. Then
when it was cancelled, I was kinda unemployed for about a year.

Buffyfest: Were you sad when it got cancelled?

CM: I was devastated.

Thank you again to Mr. Clinton McClung for taking the time to have a drink with us after the show.
Us Buffyfest Bloggers in front of the Paley Center

Check out the goody bag contents:

Some interactivity included a sea of waving red glowsticks during part in when the on-screen crowd is doing the same (sans glowsticks). Also, as Dr. Horrible grows huge during Brand New Day we were instructed to "Stand up and crush the ant-like people around you". Fun.

Clinton McClung said, "If the [Dr. Horrible] sing-along became more of a regular thing, there's
a lot more stuff I'd like to do – I'd love to have balls for the audience, when
he actually says "balls" and certain little give-aways, sort of keepsakes that
people could take home like the buttons we used to have [at the Buffy Sing-along]."

Finally, we met a bunch of fans like Samantha who made her own fabulous Dr. Horrible glasses and some other crafty folk. Ah fandom:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dr. Horrible Sing-along ticket give away

We have an extra ticket to the sold out Dr. Horrible sing-along at the Paley Center tonight! First person to email us gets it! buffyfest [at] aim [dot] com

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Exclusive Interview: Clinton McClung talks The Dr. Horrible and Buffy Sing-alongs

In case you've been living under a rock, Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog will be getting the actual Sing-along treatment at New York's Paley Center this Friday at 7:30 PM. Who better to host the event than Buffy Sing-along founder, Clinton McClung? Buffyfest had the good fortune to interview Mr. McClung a scant few days before the festivities begin.

Buffyfest: Let's recap - we here at Buffyfest were devastated when the awesome Buffy Sing-along came to an end. Can you tell us anything now about the rights issue that caused that tragedy?

Clinton McClung: Unfortunately, most of what went down was between Fox and the Screen Actor's Guild, and I wasn't privy to any of the specifics. But, from what I've gleaned, the popularity of the Buffy Sing Along lead SAG to investigate the theatrical screenings, and they didn't think they were being appropriately compensated by Fox for that revenue. With potential strikes looming, and other business issues to deal with, Fox decided to simply pull the rights for doing our shows (and all other television programs that were being presented in cinemas for admission, like Firefly and Family Guy) so as to avoid a potential legal fight.

Buffyfest: We were actually at the Sing-along at the IFC center when MTV was there covering it. The show got so much publicity and fame, how was that for you?

CM: It was insanely fast. I didn't have any grand scheme to start doing Buffy shows full time, it was just a fun hobby. And then I got sucked up on this crazy roller coaster ride. The MTV piece lead to more exposure and more media coverage, and within a month I had theatres all over the country contacting me because they wanted to do a sing along. Since I had done some theatrical booking in the past, I had those contacts and was able to make the show happen in more places than just New York. I spent the summer traveling the country and meeting other Buffy fans, and every single show was so filled with this feeling of camaraderie and love, it was really incredible.

As for personal fame, that really wasn't a factor. The show wasn't about me at all, I was just the one who happened to be getting it started. When I would promote the show I would always use "we", because I didn't make it happen by myself. It is a sing along, and without the audience participating and being excited and really getting into it, the screenings would have been kind of "blah". Plus, I had the NYC cast that were all volunteers, and Buffy fans in pretty much every city who helped with the shows.

Buffyfest: How many shows did you get to do before it closed?

CM: We did one weekend a month at the IFC Center for almost a year, and played 22 weekends is other cities. In total, we had over 16,000 attendees.

Buffyfest: Is there a chance to ever get the Buffy Sing-along back?

CM: I haven't had any progress in working out a deal with Fox to make the show happen again, but I'm unfortunately working from "outside the industry", so I just haven't had the power (or money) to get anyone to seriously talk to me about it. That doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying!

Buffyfest: How did it feel to have Joss at the LA event? Had you met before?

CM: I didn't know Joss was at the show until Marti Noxon brought him on stage. I didn't know she was at the show until near the end when one of the ushers whispered to me that she would like to come on stage and say something. So it was a completely awesome surprise on both counts! I had never met or spoken with Joss before (though I had "emailed his people" as they say), but I knew he knew about us. Scott Allie, the editor of the Buffy comics at Dark Horse, came to the show in Portland and told me that Joss wanted him to "check it out" and report back. I didn't know that meant he would want to come.

Anyway, I haven't spoken with him directly other than that night. He was very gracious on stage and thanked me personally for making it happen, which was very sweet. I read many reports that said he had a great time and loved the use of the party poppers, though obviously the "Shut Up, Dawn" was not something he really liked (it was also something that we were phasing out of the show).

Buffyfest: How did you get involved with the Paley Center for the upcoming Dr. Horrible Sing-along event?

CM: I worked with them earlier this year when they did a screening in NYC of the Buffy reunion panel in LA. They screened Once More With Feeling beforehand, and even though it wasn't a "sing along", I did help them promote the show and threw in a few moments (we took over the front row and did an impromptu dry-cleaning dance). They lined up the Dr Horrible screening as a benefit for the Paley Center itself, and knew that I have been talking with Mutant Enemy about doing some sing alongs. So they asked if I could help to make something special happen at this screening. That was less than a month ago, so this has all happened really fast!

Buffyfest: What is your favorite scene or song from Dr. Horrible?

CM: The opening number "My Freeze Ray" is still my favorite because it had such a perfect lead-in, that quiet pause from Billy just before the song starts. Plus, it gets stuck in my head every time I go do laundry. Also, the reveal of Bad Horse still kills me. And that very last shot of Billy staring into the camera just grabs my drama spot and won't let go. I won't ruin the ending for anyone that hasn't seen it, but I will say to those that are critical of the ending that the final shot is the point of the whole darn thing!

Buffyfest: Care to share any inside secrets for this Friday's event?

CM: I have been mulling over sing along ideas for Dr Horrible for a while. Even the first time I watched it my mind was racing with how fun it would be to see with an audience, and what kind of interactive activities we could do. So, I made a list of moments, found some props, and there we go. I don't really want to spoil any of it ahead of time...but there won't be a cast or anything like that. This show will be all about the audience, and the experience of finally seeing Dr Horrible all big and shiny and with a huge group of happy, roaring fans.

Oh, and I know there was a Dr Horrible sing along in LA on Halloween, which was a huge event and raised a ton of money for homeless charities. This screening is much smaller in scope than that, and I purposefully didn't look for any details on what Whedonopolis did for that show because I didn't want to steal anything. There were still some overlapping ideas (shrubbery!), but this is just the first experiment in doing the show sing along style over here on the East Coast.

The Buffy Sing Along continued to evolve and change and grow - and was getting to the point where it was going to start becoming its own complete thing that would have the same basic structure but would be different in every city, with its own casts and local flavor (a la Rocky Horror). I hope the same will happen with Dr Horrible!

So that's it for now, thanks so much to Clinton for taking the time. There's more to come, though, look for part 2 of this interview after the show. Visit www.buffysings.com for more info about the sing-alongs. We'll see everyone at the show tomorrow night!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Give Her a Break!

This kinda relates to my post below. SMG just can't catch a break. She's a great actress and proved it for 7 years, but maybe that's the point. She's being overshadowed by Buffy and now everything she does will be compared to her emotional depiction of this iconic character. If she doesn't get a chance to break free, I'm sure no one would mind if she starred in a new Buffy movie.


Holiday Gift Guide - What to buy for your Whedon-worshipping friends!

So the Holiday shopping season is almost over with less than 10 shopping days left until Christmas. We've gone and compiled a list of the bestest Whedon loot there is. There are more goodies than ever to choose from and some that are even great for the "Last-minute Larry" shopper! So whether your list has a casual Buffy fan or hard core Whedon-worshipper on it, we've got you covered. Better get on it and take advantage of all the sweet free shipping deals!

For the Casual Viewer or Newbie:
The Serious fan:
Recession Specials!
Last Minute Larry - don't even need to leave the house for these finds!
  • Pre-order Buffy comic subscriptions at TFAW
  • Dr. Horrible Soundtrack available on iTunes
Crazy-super-duper-hard-core-fan that has everything:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Buffy's, er Sarah Michelle Gellar's Veronika Decides to Die Trailer


I'm sorry, but I can't help but see Buffy in most of those scenes, especially the one where she's laying in the hospital bed ("Normal Again") or the one where's she's about to jump off a bridge ("The Gift")and don't get me started on the crying. She did get a nice compliment from Paulo Coelho which should make her proud.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Seth Green to Save Dollhouse?

So there are 3 interactive videos featuring the creators of Robot Chicken and Seth Green talks the Whedonverse in these 3 clips:
"Taken from Oz"
"Hamming it up with Joss"
"Leaving Buffy"

and in that 3rd part he blatantly says that he's offered to Joss to be on Dollhouse. He could very well save the day over at Doomedhouse. Check out the extras below - you can find them under Part 1 Extras on the right of the screen.


Plastic Surgery in the Buffyverse

Eliza had surgery? She looks the same to me but this site claims to see something. Yeah I know it's trashy supermarket rag type gossip. What? It's funny. Click the pic to enlarge. http://education.makemeheal.com/index.php/Eliza_Dushku

A Doctor on Just Jared commented once on this picture (Click the pic to enlarge):

Sarah Michelle has lip injections. I am a plastic surgeon and one of the tell-tale signs are bumps and ridges inside the lip track. You can see the bumps just under her upper lip near the gumline.

She herself once said:

What do you think of plastic surgery, and would you consider it in thirty years?
By the way, God bless you for saying "in thirty years." God bless you! I can't comment now what I'm going to do ten, fifteen years from now. What I just can't stand is when people's face changes. It's so disappointing to me. Faces are interesting, you know? Faces are what make us unique, and expression is what makes us unique. I didn't speak the same language as my director. If I couldn't read his expression, like if he was all Botoxed out, God only knows how this movie would have come out!

That doesn't really answer the question. I will say that that's a pretty close pic of Smidge and she actually looks amazing with great skin and wrinkle free. If she is doing something, it's working.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures
October 9, 2004

What to make of this James Marsters event?

photo from www.jaded-paradise.net

I'm not even sure what to make of this. So James Marsters is going to be at the South Orange PAC in South Orange, NJ. He will apparently be performing in several different ways and the event will span 10 and a half hrs. The tickets are $195(!) per person but like I said, it's an all day affair with Spike so I'm sure the limited 150 capacity will fill up without a hitch. To top it off, the event is called James Marsters: Your Funny Valentine. He will be doing the following:

- exclusive theatrical performance
- signed souvenir from Dragonball
- personalised autograph
- Q&A with James
- photo session (with professional event photographer)
- acoustic concert
- screenings
- free raffle for exclusive goods

Now for $225 you can sit in the first 2 rows. So this event will be making a little more than $30,000. Not sure how much of this will go to our Mr. Marsters himself....but this whole thing does beg the question: Do we need to buy Spike a sandwich?

WTF is going on?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

We do the weird stuff!

A Dr. Horrible Sing-along is scheduled at the Paley Center in NYC and we'll be there! Let us know if you're also attending the event which is Dec. 19th at 7:30. Click the link for all the deets:


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Spoiler for Buffy Comic #21!

We hate spoiling everyone but inquiring minds want to know. We think is a major spoiler for #21 (since it really affects everything else in the verse). CLICK HERE for the details at your own risk of spoilage. It really brings up a lot of questions!

Mmmm, Shrimp Cocktail...

Have I told you lately how much I love Neil Patrick Harris? Add a little JB into the mix and it's perfection with a side of hilarious. "See ya later, sinners."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sweaty Review

In case you haven't had the pleasure, you may want to go here and have a quick read. All done? Super. Did you like it? Me too. Let's have a little chat.
Continue Reading...

Before diving into the writing of the piece proper I want to first mention what a great direction the visual style took under Farel Dalrymple. I felt sort of soggy just looking at the art which, considering it's subject matter, is quite apt.

As to the story: I thought it was, to coin an oft used super villain phrase, "sheer elegance in it's simplicity". It's a well known fact that nothing screws a child up like their parents and Moist is no exception. His father's obsession with normalizing his boy and his mother's unwillingness to step in and stop the madness, indirectly leads to Moist's super villainy ways. What's so wrong with a child being dry anyway? What does that even mean? Dry? Lesson to parents: don't try to fix it if it aint broke.

It's not the moisture that is keeping our titular hero down (though I'm sure it doesn't help). No, it's the weight of the shame he feels that his parents never accepted him. It makes sense that he'd only seek solace from a sex chat line. Nothing reeks of desperation quite like feeling like the only way to get someone to care about you is to pay them to.

That's what brings Moist to Dr. Horrible. The bad Doc represents someone reviled but, rather than crawling under a rock, he fights back. Even when Horrible loses to the corporate tool, Captain Hammer, his point is made: tis better to fight and lose than never to have fought at all. The moment is transformative to Moist. We all have that great rebel who first captured our imaginations and made us realize that rules were made to be bent, if not broken entirely and so it is with Dr. Horrible and Moist.

What I love best about this series is that there are no true heroes or villains, just rule makers and those who challenge authority, creating a kind of balance. Moist is an excellent addition and I hope that this won't be the last we hear from him.

the great spoiler caper

Hey! You've watched television before, right? Seen a movie or three? Maybe even skimmed yourself a novella, perchance? Sure you have. Has anyone ever ruined an ending for you or given you the answer to a question you didn't want to know until it was revealed within the confines of the story? Darth Vader is Luke's dad, Bruce Willis is dead, it was all just a dream, the butler did it, what have you. Chances are you've been spoiled for something. Continue Reading...

Like many of you, my gut instinct is to thwack the they who doth did the spoiling over the head and declare "What the heck, person of variable or abstract gender? I wanted to be surprised!" We avoid spoilers to varying degrees. Some don't like seeing previews, some won't want to know a writer or actor involved, and some don't want to know anything down to the smallest detail but one thing holds true: we all like to leave at least something unknown.

Which brings us to what people do when they don't know what is the proverbial what: they speculate. It's probably one of the main reasons internet forums exist. When people aren't busy saying "Character X is sucktastic and totally not as cool as Character Y" they are actively engaging each other in the grand old tradition of "What do you think will happen next?". Sometimes we analyze things to death and sometimes we just have pipedreams but we always have our giant magnifying glasses out playing at our best Agatha Christie.

Things have changed though in recent years. More and more writers are reaching out to their viewership and that invariably involves talking about plot. I've known occasions where a fan will post their speculation and, in response, a writer will tell them if they are right or not. That's brand new territory.

My question is this: what do you make of the ever expanding author/fan dynamic? Do you like when writers confirm or deny fan speculation? Or is it still more fun not to know? If you were in the writer's shoes, what would you do?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Two Truths: I'm Predictable and David Boreanaz is Hot

I'm back everyone and it only seems appropriate that my first post revolves around the words "David Boreanaz" and "Hot". He's #47, but can someone tell me how he gets beat out by #43? I am seriously confused.


**Reminder** Tomorrow, Dec 4th is the deadline to send out your ornaments for the Whedonverse Ornament Swap! Hopefully you've already sent out if you had international addresses in your group. If you have any other questions, please feel free to email us at buffyfest[at]aim[dot]com.

Also, as you receive them remember to post pics to the Flickr group to show off your new Whedonverse wares. That can be found here:

Happy 300th!

Guess what?! I've got a fever, and the only prescription... is more Buffyfest blog posts! 100,000 more!!

Happy Birthday, Buffyfest!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Musings on Twilight (no...not the vampire-lit!)

The Big Bad of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's eighth season made his first appearance in the debut issue of the series. Those ominous floating boots. From that moment my mind was filled with ideas, possibilities, even hopes of who that was. In the issues to follow we were given small clues, wisps of information on this new menace, a symbol of a setting sun, it's followers bearing that same mark. Even a spell book, engraved with insignia of Twilight. It was not until Issue 9, the conclusion of Faith's arc No Future For You that we see the 'ominous boots' make another appearance.Continue Reading...

A meeting between Lt. Molter, and Twilight (it is then confirmed that is his name) takes place atop a strange plateau not unlike the one from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. From this meeting we can decipher many things, actually. The first being that the military is going with any means necessary to eliminate Buffy Summers and all that follow her. They want to rid the world of Slayers. The second is that Twilight aims to end the 'age of magic'. But he does not want to simply fight, he wants to manipulate the players on the chess-board to fight one another. To wage the war for him. Finally, the most important aspect of this meeting was that we got to get a good look at the guy. I feel that it is important to note that he is fully clothed, with not an inch of skin exposed. Does this sound of any 'vampire-alerts'? Or is it just a device to throw us off? Also worth noting, is that he wears a mask that covers his entire head. This suggests that it is a character we know, but that could also be a throw off.

The next meeting is between the man himself, Twilight, and Buffy. After quickly dispatching fellow Slayer Satsu, Twilight takes Buffy for a ride. And ass-kicking ride. All the while giving a few more clues as to who he might be underneath the mask. The first of which being his opening statement, "The Chosen One. Always in pain...and always complaining. Just like a girl." (does he know her?) and, "I know that move Slayer." Referring to Buffy's attempt to slice him up the middle like she did to Season 7's mysoginistic menace, Caleb. Okay okay, hold on right here! There were only a limited number of people present during Buffy's brawl with Caleb in the Egyptian tomb! Angel, Spike, Caleb and Buffy herself. Judging by that alone, we have three suspects to who Twilight might be. And his outfit and mask would make sense if it were Angel/Angelus or Spike, as vampires need protection from the sunlight. We know Caleb is dead, as The First Evil even mentioned to Buffy in Chosen. So I doubt it would be him, it just wouldn't be "big" enough to justify hiding his identity. Moving on, we then learn that he has been monitoring Buffy for some time, "...I watched you and the witch; it seemed that you didn't like flying." After catapulting Buffy through a steeple, and onto a roof he says, "I just hate to see you cry." Yet another thing that alludes to him knowing her. It also sounds like something Angelus would say with his aloof yet menical demeanor. The next except is important:

"One Slayer was all right. But all these girls...the world can't contain them. And they will suffer for that. I'll not kill you now. My first gift is my last. I know that you meant well.
But you have brought about disaster. And it falls to me to avert it. Have you made a difference? Have your Slayers helped change anything in this world? Have they helped you?"

This is what will be an on-going theme for Buffy. Did she do the right thing in sharing her power? The best villains are those that are partly correct. Twilight isn't wrong in thinking this way. He aims to strip her of her moral certainty. Her belief that she is doing the right thing...saving the world. As he does say, Buffy has always believed she is on the right side. But is she? Slayers worldwide are going rogue and joining the ranks of Simone, a slayer gone bad. So it goes both ways, and I think we will see this develop further. Future Slayer Fray even remarks that it was better "when there was only one".

Over the course of the most recent arc, we saw Twilight along with his cohorts Warren (skinless!) and Amy the witch fire a magically embued missile at the Scotland base. Effectively leaving the place in shambles and forcing Xander and Dawn to seek refuge in a nearby forest, later to be rescued, foiling Warren and Amy's plan. Twilight though, seemed unphased by their utter failure to take out Xander and his squad. The last development we have for this plot is the reveal that our own Riley Finn has aligned himself with Twilight! He is their "mole", the "inside man". To me personally, it feels like a retcon. Out of place and out of character for Riley. He is too sweet and too good to ever want to see Buffy killed. Part of Twilight's agenda previously was to have Buffy murdered at the hand of Genevieve Savidge and Roden. We now know that it was Riley who confirmed that Buffy lived to the Big Bad as well as to the military. Could Riley be playing both sides, and really be on Buffy's? Is he also her "legitimate funding" as well? All of this remains to be seen, but either way this ups the ante and adds another layer to this story. If it's true that he has gone to the other side, then Twilight is a mastermind. Funding Buffy, but also trying to manipulate her position in the world so she is targeted by the US Government. I'm very curious to see how this all plays out. Either way, my theory that Riley was Twilight has been staked.

BtVS vs. Buffy Season 8 - Does the Budget Matter?

The presence or lack of a budget very much determines the tone and character of BUFFY. The Season 8 story is being told differently because it lacks the limits of the TV series and these limits would have made a televised Season 8 a different beast altogether. Is the quality of the story better in Season 8 than previous seasons on TV? Some fans say yes and that it ranks as high as Season 2, 3 or 5. Some fans say absolutely-are-you-kidding-me-no. While many others refuse to even acknowledge Season 8's canon existence. 

Buffy the TV series was very much the little show that could. People discounted it, judged it and underestimated it. It fought uphill to make an impact. It ran the gamut of censoring and opposition to become this finished product of brilliant humor, drama, action and fantasy. It ran the trial by fire and I believe it was better for it. Like a gem polished over time by the powerful forces of nature...
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These limits and the challenge of having to overcome them demanded creativity and I believe it heightened the value of the finished product.

Anyone ever seen the original film (based on the play) Twelve Angry Men with Henry Fonda where the entire story is set in the jury's deliberation room? I'm always amazed by stories set in one room that can remain riveting. BtVS was like that to me - one girl (Henry Fonda) in all the world set against incredible odds (11 angry men) who must fight (win the argument) the forces of evil (ignorance and prejudice) in her small hometown (jury room). The setting was limited and set; yet once the formula was laid out it opened up a whole new creative world to be explored.

Buffy was the fantasy series that didn't have enough money to do overblown special effects (Smallville has better effects, would anyone dare say it was a better show...) nor have exotic locales to visit. So here was the caveat - how can we use the limited space and special effects available to us to tell a story about a girl and her friends who fight the forces of evil?

They took these limitations and made an amazing show by focusing on the characters' journeys. It was amazing for how creatively they worked around the limitations and even used them to their advantage. It was not a perfect show and we Buffy experts are very aware of the issues in continuity and other mistakes we catch on screen. But each flaw made it better than any overblown perfect fantasy story. The flaws and limitations are embedded into the character of BtVS. Without them, the heart can't help but be changed.

Season 8 is different from Buffy the Vampire Slayer the TV series because it doesn't have the creative limitations of a budget. Is it better for this? There lies the debate. Does one find more value in a creative work that grows in adversity or a work that knows no limits? No TV budget means that Dawn transformed into a giant, that Buffy and her gang live in a castle and travel around the world to Tokyo and NYC on their private planes and helicopters. The battles are limited only by what the writer decides to lay on the artist's shoulder. An army of zombies? Sure! Why not? A battle between Giant Dawn and her Mecha counterpart? Why, yes thank you. These things would not have been possible on the TV show. (Some fans wish they hadn't happened, but let's not focus on that...)

We must also recognize that Season 8 brings with it a whole new creative environment - the comic. The truth is that Buffy Season 8 possesses brand new limits imposed by this new medium - trying to make that bottom right corner a page turner, keeping the dialogue tight while giving a visually stimulating action for the character in each panel, telling a riveting story in only 22 pages of art and dialogue boxes. It's a brand new world and it's very bright thanks to Michelle Madsen's coloring.

Avid comic readers have advised me that it takes on average 10 to 15 minutes to read a comic issue. If you're reading a Buffy Season 8 issue *that* fast, whoa buddy! Slow down. Buffy Season 8 reads deeper than most comics out there. Take your time, absorb the panel of art, re-create the characters dialogue in your imagination by using SMG's voice or imagine how Hannigan would have made a cute pout after delivering that one-liner. Admit it, you've watched the DVD's so many times that you can act out a scene using the correct body language and dialogue of your favorite characters. It's okay, you're not the only one. Now after you've brought the story to life in your imagination and had a satisfying read, go back and look for all the themes and symbolism Joss so kindly laid out for us. That deeper reading just got a whole lot, well, deeper.

Those who know me know I love Season 8 and am very much enjoying the continuation of the story. Yet even I cannot escape the fact that it's different from BtVS and I catch myself imagining what could have been. But Season 8 is what I have *now* and it's pretty damn great. Season 8 is the next generation of BUFFY. It's different and I'm embracing it. I won't stop comparing it to the show (I'm physically and mentally incapable of stopping) and it won't always be as good as that most beloved TV series, but I'll still treasure it because in this regard it could not more closely resemble BtVS - it is flawed and it is entertaining.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm just talkin' bout Moist

What's that you say, Dr. Horrible's Twitter page? Everyone's favorite humidified henchman is getting his own web comic at the Dark Horse MySpace page on December 3rd? Well that's a jim dandy! We Buffyfest Bloggers seriously love us some Moist. Expect a review of his solo adventure right here. In the meantime, I raise my digital glass to you, my sweaty sidekick friend. L'Chaim!