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HappyLand Episode #4

Episode #4 is up!

How I got into Buffy: Mike Marinaro
Promo: FanTABZulous
Epode Highlight: Afterlife
Topic of the Podcast: Later Seasons—To Love or Not and Why?
Also: Save Veronica Mars!

5 Responses to “HappyLand Episode #4”

  1. Another great show Anthenumuze, congratulations, keep up the great work. Another high quatlity show exploring indepth ideas in new and original ways like no other podcast to date. Well done

  2. Hey,
    Ok I am a die-hard Buffy fanatic I watched the show from the very first airing of “Welcome to the Hellmouth” to “chosen”. You did a great job with the first buffy podcast,and it was interesting to hear about how you got into the show and from a female perspective.Im looking forward to listening to the other podcasts,keep it up.

  3. Thanks to you both! no worries, I have plenty more ideas and stories on the way!

  4. “Season Arc; Character Arc”

    I just finished to listening to Episode 4 and I have to say it is very enjoyable.

    I want to confirm something you said in your podcast, but offer a complimentary explanation. Among the BtVS fans I know, those who like the later seasons watched the show on DVD for the first time and those who like the earlier seasons watched the show on television. This is consistent among the ten or so BtVS fans I know.

    Let me say that I am 47 and don’t own a television. (I haven’t owned a t.v. for about 17 years.) I watch my television on my computer when it comes out on DVD.

    My girlfriend was a BtVS fan. She had Buffy DVDs for Season 2. I enjoyed the show and sought out, and eventually bought, the other six seasons. It was a mark for me of how television had changed since I gave up my television, that a show such as this, with Dickensian character development, and cinematic mise-en-scene and photography, could exist on television.

    My girlfriend who watched the show as it appeared on television prefers the earlier season; I prefer the later seasons. (Season 6 with all of its “mistakes”, some of which, I believe, Whedon would not have allowed if he had been paying full attention, look closely at the editing in “Afterlife” for example.) The reason I believe this is true is because of “Arc.”

    Those who watch the shows on DVD end up watching the seasons as if they were one piece of a long novel, that takes a few days to finish. The latter seasons are more embedded in season long narrative arcs and seven season long character arcs. Thus we watch the shows in a way that is very similar to reading a Dickens novel, and see more in the seasons that have less “one-off” shows and more character development and season narrative arc. The latter seasons are simply stronger on this, with Season 6 being the strongest “narrative arc” season.

    I would go further. What those of us saw the show first on DVD, like about the earlier seasons are the episodes that show character development and change. Thus an episode such as “I Only Have Eyes for You” (S2E19)becomes more than a “monster of a week” episode, but a crucial episode in the revelation of the faults in Buffy’s character, and how she struggles to overcome them… but can’t.

    There is another problem with the later seasons, that might strike some people on an unconscious level, but only cinephiles on a conscious level. The acting is better but the directing and editing really goes up and down in a dreadful way. Such elementary mistakes are made like not setting up the shots properly, crossing the axis of action, lack of eye-line match, not paying attention to how long a shot should last, etc. I expect these problems with normal television. (To avoid such problems everyday “bad” television reverts to very simple shot-reverse-shot mechanics.) But I don’t expect this from a Joss Whedon series.

    I blame Marti Noxon, in this respect. I think that she was a great head-writer but not a great “film-maker”. (Some don’t seem to grant her even this much, but when she was second in command to Joss she wrote great episodes, and when she was able to simply act as “head writer” she guided the seasons brilliantly.) When Whedon was paying full attention to BtVS such simple cinematic mistakes did not occur, because Whedon is a television producer who has the heart and mind of a great film maker (Orson Welles, Hitchcock, Scorsese). To see this you only have to look at the episodes Whedon directed. (For instance “Who Are You?” in Season Four. Just watch the episode and pay attention to where Whedon positions his camera and when he cuts a shot; or look at the very Goddard-like jump-cuts in the scene between Riley and Faith-in-Buffy’s-Body.)

    Episode to episode Season’s 6 and 7 are not a smooth ride. Even the best episodes are sometimes confused in the way they use the camera, while some episodes have great directors and come off perfectly. But those of us who first watched the latter seasons on DVD are able to see the season as a whole and not get lost in the forest of missteps.

  5. Jerry, I loved this so much I included it in my latest cast. Thank you!

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