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Unpopular Opinions

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This is where we can express our unpopular likes and dislikes and have fun discussing it.

1. My unpopular opinion is I liked Dawn.

She was annoying but she was one of the best things about seasons 6 and 7. I also liked her and Buffy's relationship, Buffy acted like a human being around her sometimes instead of the unfeeling person she was in season 6&7.

2. I loved Faith, she was damaged and the total opposite of Buffy(who I love) but I got her and I understood where she was coming from(for the most part)also she had a excellent relationship with Angel.

3. I liked Wes and I was annoyed at the disrespectful way Buffy and Faith treated him in season 3.

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I liked Wes and I was annoyed at the disrespectful way Buffy and Faith treated him in season 3.

I'm curious, did you like Wesley in season 3, or is this opinion based on looking back after what Wesley became on Angel?

 

Unpopular Opinion? I love Beer Bad and not in a guilty pleasure kind of way. I think it is one of the most subversive PSAs that I've ever seen. I heard that the WB shows, in order to get some special funding, had its shows do "special" episodes that would give the target audience (teenagers) an important life lesson. So, Buffy does Beer Bad. And, what's the point of the episode? The lesson is beer: foamy. Plus, you get Cave!Slayer, Xander as college bartender, Willow misinterpreting what happened to Buffy the night before, and Xander suggesting that Giles not make Cave!Slayer angry. On top of that, Willow delivers an excellent smackdown to Parker. 

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I'm curious, did you like Wesley in season 3, or is this opinion based on looking back after what Wesley became on Angel?

I liked him at his first introduction. I did like his progression on Angel but I have always liked Wesley.

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I liked him at his first introduction. I did like his progression on Angel but I have always liked Wesley.

That's interesting. What about Wesley at his introduction did you like? I wasn't a fan of the character until probably season 3 of Angel. I thought he was a pompous twit. More of a caricature of the snooty Englishman than a three dimensional character.

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That's interesting. What about Wesley at his introduction did you like? I wasn't a fan of the character until probably season 3 of Angel. I thought he was a pompous twit. More of a caricature of the snooty Englishman than a three dimensional character.

I liked that he was working for the council. Giles from the very beginning was about Buffy first and council second so I liked that Wesley's duty was to the council/world first.

And you could see that Wesley had a lot of potential to grow and I was glad he got a chance to do that on Angel.

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Count me also as a Season 3 Wes fan.  He's clearly intelligent as anything (ID's the Eliminati from Buffy's not particularly detailed description, and he seems to have solved the problem in Earshot while Giles is just grumping around) and he's trying his best, but Buffy's just blank-walling him and Faith is even worse.  And Giles is, in the words of Willow, "not doing his best work" and seems to get more satisfaction from snarking on his replacement than actually being productive.  Yes, yes, getting fired sucked, we get that, Rupert…now put on your big-boy pants and play nice. Or at least don't undermine Wesley.

 

Sure, Wes lacks some polish (but then Giles was out of his depth with the Scoobies early on, as the diary entries Wes reads in Bad Girls make clear) and his daddy-issues make their first awful appearance in Choices (sure, let Willow DIE over some Box that might be important, maybe, on the secondhand word of a henchvamp who didn't know much and whom Buffy quickly dusted, anyhow!  Oy, vey…) but in just nine episodes, he ends up quitting the Council (an entire lifetime's preparation, and [although we don't know it until five seasons later, a family legacy]) for the sake of Buffy and her pals.  Imagine how he might have reacted if they'd been nice to him.

 

While I'm at it, here are a couple more unpopular opinions, all somewhat…well, not "anti-Giles" per se, but anti the haloed perfect image of Giles that IMO I see projected from time to time.  (That "Truthful Title Card"?  Yeah, not so much, IMO.  According to Rupert himself, "I've waded around in these old books for so long, I've forgotten what the real world is like.  It's time I found out."  He needs Buffy [and, in a slightly different way, Jenny], just as much as she needs him.)

 

That Giles pretty much neglected and screwed the pooch with regard to ticking time-bomb Faith in S3 was fairly well discussed on TWoP;  I won't go into the details again in this post.  (Although Consequences, when his idea of dealing with Faith's PTSD over killing Finch is to let her sulk in her motel room all day until Xander sticks his head in the lionness's mouth, is kind of scary.)  But I also think Giles is, as I say, not a lot of help the second half of S3.  In fact, my head-canon is that he's subtly drunk for much of the back half of the season.  Not full on "Bloody Hell!" drunk as in The Yoko Factor, but lightly buzzed and not caring a good deal. A Something Blue-esque "Thank God I have more Scotch" kind of tipsy, IMO.  (I note that even in Yoko, Buffy at first doesn't catch on that Giles is wasted, until he says that Adam is going to "kick [buffy's] ass".)

 

And I think that the Council was, by their lights, exactly right to fire him. I know, we're supposed to think that Quentin Travers is just a plain old jerk, but I think the Cruiciamentum worked as designed. Not only did it give a competent Slayer even more confidence that her talent was in herself, not in her powers (even with everything that went wrong, Buffy still triumphed; in normal circumstances, this would have been a walk in the park), but the test sniffed out that Giles was more loyal to his Slayer than to the ends they're supposed to be serving.  Is it sweet? Yes.  Is it what Buffy needs? Yes. Is it, necessarily, the best way to be saving the world? (Which is supposedly more important than any one Slayer, after all.)  Not really, IMO.

 

So, "pillock" and "berk" and whatever other insults Giles threw Brylcreem Boy's way, I'm kind of on Team Wes, I admit. Unpopular though it may be.  But JMO.

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It's always hard to know for sure what's unpopular, but I have a bunch that seem to qualify :)

1) Between the Willow/Xander tryst (which I loathed way beyond what is rational) and my hatred of Faith, I don't enjoy the much-loved S3 nearly as much as most do.

2) I dislike S5 for a variety of reasons I've probably already bored you guys with and actually think it's worse than S6.

3) I love S1. Based on the recent rewatch, that seems highly unpopular. I'm not sure I ever find the Core Four characters or their friendships as lovable as I do during that first season. 

4) I think The Body is the most overrated episode of the series. 

5) I absolutely hated the Xander/Anya relationship. Actually, I wish Anya had left the show by the end of S4. I like the actress a lot but couldn't stand her one-note 'loves sex and money and lacks tact...and, oh, have we mentioned she loves sex and money and lacks tact?!" character.

6) I LOVE, without irony, Go Fish, Inca Mummy Girl, Some Assembly Required, Beer Bad, etc. I even like Teacher's Pet. 

7) I thought Jenny Calendar was haughty, cold, flat, self-superior, etc. and could never shake the feeling that she thought she was granting Giles a major favor by deigning to date him. 

8) I don't find either DB or JM attractive. 

9) On paper, Willow is easily the character I'd love and connect with most, but I despise Alyson Hannigan's overly cutesy, breathless, cooing 'acting' to the point where I find her really tough to watch. And she never sold me on being attracted to Tara. 

10) This one pains me to admit, but I don't think the series holds up that well with multiple viewings---at least not as brilliantly as I'd hoped. A lot of it feels dated and clunky to me now, and a lot of Joss's dialogue has that trying-too-hard, cutesy quality that makes me cringe a bit. 

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4) I think The Body is the most overrated episode of the series.

 

Thank God there's someone else. I don't know if it's the MOST overrated? But I can't think of a more overrated one offhand. I don't dislike it, but the reaction it got, I did not have. And Joss did not invent "no score."

 

...Kind of with you on that last one as well. I'm liking the Rewatch, and taking another look at it the show -- but it's going to be my last look, I think, excepting Canon submissions to EHG. You never know, though, 10 years ago I couldn't stand to look at a "Seinfeld" and now I love it again.

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  • I never thought Spike worn out his welcome on the show. I like him when he's evil, I like him when he's comic relief, and I like him when he is head over heels for Buffy (mostly in S5 and S7)

I don't think Where the Wild Things Are is the worst episode. I mean it had Giles singing, and the Scoobies reaction was hilarious! That ultimately saved the episode for me, despite having some slow and stupid moments.

Despite his slapstick being hit or miss, I thought Wesley in S3 of BTVS was a good foil for Giles.

I like Dawn. Yeah she was annoying, but she got more and more tolerable as the show progressed.

I like Riley. Yeah he was bland and not too bright, but he never bothered me. You may see him as a douche, but I see him as a decent guy who is also a big dork. Although his return in As You Were was a bore!

Buffy's breakdown to Tara in Dead Things, IMO, is one of SMG's best emotional moments.

The scene in Family where Buffy and her friends defend Tara was cheesy and cliche IMO. But I am all right with people getting moved to tears by that scene.

Most of Willow and Kennedy's dialogue was cringe worthy. They make Willow and Tara's baby talk sound like poetry.

Edited by desperatelibrarian
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...Kind of with you on that last one as well. I'm liking the Rewatch, and taking another look at it the show -- but it's going to be my last look

I kind of feel the same way too. I still enjoy hearing what others think about the show, *especially* newbies, but I don't think I can rewatch the series again. Possibly the odd episode for the purposes of debate, but I've got out of it all I needed too, and now it feels old and dated.

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Maybe it's because I was already past high-school age (hell, I was almost Giles-age) when I started watching the show, but it doesn't feel dated at all to me.  The things that connect with me, the friendship, the heroism, the humor, the idealism, they resonate every time I see an episode.  Often, I discover new little details, and I doubt the show will ever "get old" for me.  (Although I'm sure my dropping the tiresome final three seasons [including Joss's lame Emmy-begging stunt eps] down a memory hole helps with this.)  Sorry to hear it's reached its expiration date for you, Erratic.

 

On a different note, it's driving me crazy how I know exactly who mstaken is from her opinions, but I can't remember her TWoP handle to save my life. (Seriously, I'm like "kathrynann? No.  hebidonherbasket? No, she was more effusive.  marlaas? No, they both love Go Fish, but marlaas was gone before this person showed up.") Clearly I don't have to worry about the series getting old…just myself.  Grr argh.

 

(Okay, sure, I could just hit the Wayback Machine's archive of the TWoP forums and try and find out that way, but where's the fun in that? Besides, that would be the sane thing to do…)

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I also feel the show is quite dated, especially season 1! Oh wow, it was SO 90's.. it was hard convincing my boyfriend that it did get better and it wasn't always so old looking.

I now only watch it every couple of years, I much prefer to watch Angel but that too is only every so often and usually only my favourite episodes.

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I too loved Wesley and I think they missed an opportunity to make Wes and Faith a couple. They were both pretty damaged and kind of insane. It would have been fun to watch

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My unpopular opinion? I loved both Buffy and Angel AND Buffy and Spike. I appreciated the relationships as they were in relation to who Buffy was at the time, and as the Buffster and I are the same age, I related to the teenage angst as well as the early 20-something year old angst. ;) 

Plus, I love Faith. (Re: My avatar.) 

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I have always loved Faith but (unpopular opinion) Kendra was always my favorite "second Slayer".  I do wish they had let her live longer and spend a little more time in Sunnydale. 

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My unpopular opinion is that Doppelgangland is one of my least favourite episodes of the entire series. On the flip side, I love the much loathed episode Inca Mummy Girl.

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3. I liked Wes and I was annoyed at the disrespectful way Buffy and Faith treated him in season 3.

 

I wasn't a fan of the character until probably season 3 of Angel. I thought he was a pompous twit. More of a caricature of the snooty Englishman than a three dimensional character.

 

I didn't really like Wesley in season 3, but I hated the way the others treated him. Not because it made me feel bad for Wesley because I don't think it really did. But because while I don't think you have to like someone you find annoying (like Wesley was), you don't have to act like a jackass towards them either. And the delight some of them took in being disrespectful towards Wesley just made them look like assholes. And made Giles look particularly petty.

 

I know, we're supposed to think that Quentin Travers is just a plain old jerk, but I think the Cruiciamentum worked as designed. Not only did it give a competent Slayer even more confidence that her talent was in herself, not in her powers (even with everything that went wrong, Buffy still triumphed;)

 

To me, the Cruciamentum doesn't have much benefit to the Slayer, or make her any better able to do her job. It doesn't even make much sense for the Watchers to do it.

 

Sure, being able to survive without her powers (if she actually survives the Cruciamentum, that is) might make her feel good. But it doesn't seem like that knowledge would help much when she had powers (as they do most of the time). And if a Slayer does lose her powers some other way, she will have to use her ingenuity and inner strength to survive, and the Cruciamentum shows that she had those things. But those are things she would have even if she never underwent the Cruciamentum. All the ritual does is give the Slayer the chance to die under circumstances (losing her powers, being totally without help) that might never have happened "naturally" in her entire Slaying career.

 

The ritual makes no sense for the Watchers because, if a Slayer reaches 18, that means she's pretty good at her job. By stripping her of her powers and putting her in a dangerous situation, they risk losing an experienced, proven Slayer. And if she doesn't survive the Cruciamentum (because the most ingenious, self-sufficient person in the world can have a bad day) they will have to start all over again with a totally new, totally green Slayer who might suck at the job. So the Watchers were doing something kind of stupid and counterproductive for the sake of tradition. Which made sense given how hidebound they seemed to be. But I was fine with Giles's feelings for Buffy making him question the Cruciamentum. 

Edited by Bitterswete
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Apparently it's safe now to say that I don't really like the "Ripper" side of Giles. Or, rather, I don't like the inconsistent, forced way it's often portrayed. A lot of stuff we see and hear about in "The Dark Age" seems like an inorganic way to make Giles seem "badass," which was unnecessary, as well as not making a whole lot of sense. I also feel like it's been way overhyped by the fans--"Band Candy" pretty much makes the case that Ripper!Giles was a giant poser, which makes me reconsider my position on this part of his past, but many fans seem to think he was a legitimate badass, and that's because of the confused writing. Kind of a "Draco in Leather Pants" scenario, if you're familiar with TvTropes.com.

 

I think "Dead Man's Party" is a well-done episode, and everyone acts in character and has an understandable viewpoint. It isn't pleasant to watch, but it's one of the times I feel the characters all have a valid reason to be at each other's throats. Much better than the ridiculous, out of character conflicts they have in the later seasons. While it's resolved too quickly, to me that's preferable to spending entire seasons dragging out the same boring, emo problems. Surely there's a middle ground there, but if not, I'll take S3 over any of the last three seasons.

 

In fact, I think the fight in "The Yoko Factor" is a lot less well done, and the Scoobies' arguments don't make a whole lot of sense. The gang has legitimate reasons to be upset with each other at that point, but the things they're saying don't match their actual conflicts. To some extent that happens in real life fights, but this was too much for me. Willow saying "You two are the two who are the two" is especially ridiculous; how could she <i>possibly</i> think Buffy is closer to Xander than herself at that point in the series? That might have made sense in S1 or S2, but not here. Xander has real reason to be upset at Willow for not telling him about Tara; the two have been best friends since elementary school, and have a romantic history. But aside from one line that's played for laughs, this conflict is never addressed and we never really see the two talk about it. Buffy and Willow both have reason to disapprove of Xander's relationship with Anya, but it's played off as "Oh, that Anya is just annoying and insensitive," not "You're dating a remorseless killer, and you gave Buffy shit for dating a remorse<I>ful</i> killer for three years." I love "Primeval" more than most, but "The Yoko Factor" (or, as I like to call it, "The One Where Buffy Yells at Everyone She Knows,") is a swing and a miss.  

 

I didn't mind Riley too much in Season 4, but he transforms into an awful mess of a human being in S5. Buffy running after that ultimatum-giving, entitled, hypocritical vamp-suck addict was just as, if not more, degrading to her character as Spuffy sex. And I'd like "All the Way" a lot more if Riley had been at all held accountable for his role in sabotaging his relationship with Buffy, but everyone still acts like she is the one to blame and it's some big loss. <i>The guy was getting his blood sucked by vampires because you were dealing with your dying mother, my god.</i> At least Buffy only let Spike have sex with her, she wasn't getting her blood sucked on the regular. Riley did not deserve to be held on some kind of pedestal, nor did he have any right to judge Buffy at that point (though I still hate Spuffy with the fire of a thousand suns). 

Adam was in some ways a more effective villain than Glory, if only because he wasn't around as often. Glory was introduced way too early and thus lost all sense of mystery and effectiveness early on. Her scenes were very repetitive, as were many in Season 5, since every conflict was introduced within the first five episodes. It has a more consistent storyline than S4, but that actually ends up being a detriment, since it goes on way too long. 

Edited by Fat Elvis 007
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I've never been that into Willow - she was too cute for me. I don't mind her, I get her, and she brought Angel back, so I'm all for her, but she doesn't make me cry when she cries. Buffy, on the other hand, makes me cry when she's sad. 

 

And I've never liked Faith. 

 

And I think that the Council was, by their lights, exactly right to fire him. I know, we're supposed to think that Quentin Travers is just a plain old jerk, but I think the Cruiciamentum worked as designed. Not only did it give a competent Slayer even more confidence that her talent was in herself, not in her powers (even with everything that went wrong, Buffy still triumphed; in normal circumstances, this would have been a walk in the park), but the test sniffed out that Giles was more loyal to his Slayer than to the ends they're supposed to be serving.  Is it sweet? Yes.  Is it what Buffy needs? Yes. Is it, necessarily, the best way to be saving the world? (Which is supposedly more important than any one Slayer, after all.)  Not really, IMO.

This is interesting - I think it really falls on where someone's personal philosophy lies. If it's make sacrifices - the greatest good for the greatest number type of deal - then Giles is wrong to be more loyal to Buffy then to the council. This is assuming the council knows best, which they didn't always. On the other hand, I've felt BTVS has always come down on the side of "any life lost is too many", which is why, in Buffyverse - and in fact, Jossverse for that matter - Giles is shown to be right to be more loyal to Buffy. If this was a World War II story by Alistair MacLean, though, Giles would be very, very wrong. 

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Apparently it's safe now to say that I don't really like the "Ripper" side of Giles. Or, rather, I don't like the inconsistent, forced way it's often portrayed. A lot of stuff we see and hear about in "The Dark Age" seems like an inorganic way to make Giles seem "badass," which was unnecessary, as well as not making a whole lot of sense. I also feel like it's been way overhyped by the fans--"Band Candy" pretty much makes the case that Ripper!Giles was a giant poser, which makes me reconsider my position on this part of his past, but many fans seem to think he was a legitimate badass, and that's because of the confused writing. Kind of a "Draco in Leather Pants" scenario, if you're familiar with TvTropes.com.

 

I do think the Ripper thing is way overrated but the magical effect in Band Candy turned every adult into a caricature of teenager, not into what they used to be once. Unless each and every Sunnydale adult was total party animal, that is. :)

 

 

Willow saying "You two are the two who are the two" is especially ridiculous; how could she <i>possibly</i> think Buffy is closer to Xander than herself at that point in the series?

 

Word. There is quite a bit of bad writing in the Yoko Factor, including the scene where Spike, a vampire who don't need to breathe, talking to people who are well aware of that fact, pretends to be out of breath and they buy it.

 

 

On the other hand, I've felt BTVS has always come down on the side of "any life lost is too many"

 

Except when a main character is sleeping with a serial killer, though, in that case murders are suddenly a perfectly redeemable thing and it's okay to even joke about your centuries of gruesome murders. Or when a main characters summons a musical demon, the lives lost are no cause for anybody to be concerned. No, really, my bitterness aside, BtVS had a huge problem in that respect. Sometimes nobody gave a damn about people dying and sometimes things like Faith killing Finch by unintentionally or Buffy wanting to kill Faith to save Angel were considered to be so bad the as if the characters were jsut one small step from becoming complete psychopaths. I mean, I hate Faith but Angel's speech to her in Consequences is all kinds of ridiculous. Projecting much, Broody Boy?

Edited by Jack Shaftoe
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I think "Dead Man's Party" is a well-done episode, and everyone acts in character and has an understandable viewpoint. It isn't pleasant to watch, but it's one of the times I feel the characters all have a valid reason to be at each other's throats.

 

Totally agree. The other characters had the right to feel however they felt, and to tell Buffy so. The party wasn't the best place to let everything come spilling out, but you can't always control stuff like that when emotions are high. And while they didn't handle things perfectly, Buffy wasn't handling things any better.

 

I didn't mind Riley too much in Season 4, but he transforms into an awful mess of a human being in S5. Buffy running after that ultimatum-giving, entitled, hypocritical vamp-suck addict was just as, if not more, degrading to her character as Spuffy sex.

 

 

Have to disagree here. I think the Buffy/Spike thing in season 6 was degrading on levels I'd rarely seen on a network television show. Or even in movies that were about degrading relationships.

 

And I know a lot of people thought Buffy chasing after Riley was an anti-girl power moment but, to me, it was just practical. I think Buffy was right to be pissed about the vamp ho thing. And it was unfair that she had to make a decision right then. But being "in the right" wasn't going to do her much good when her anger cooled, and she was miserable because she wanted to try to work things out, but Riley was long gone and there was no way to contact him. I'm all for girl power, but not if it means permanently (for all intents and purposes) losing someone you care about.  

 

Now if she'd managed to stop him, I was fine with with her busting his chops for giving her an ultimatum, on top of busting his chops for the vamp ho business.

 

The guy was getting his blood sucked by vampires because you were dealing with your dying mother, my god.

 

Riley's problem wasn't that Buffy was paying attention to her sick mother instead of him. It was that he wanted to be there for her but Buffy (being in "I have to be strong" mode) wouldn't let him. And he thought this was confirmation that she didn't really need him (just like he already thought) instead of Buffy just being Buffy.

 

This probably wouldn't have been a big issue if Riley wasn't already just waiting for Buffy to decide he was too boring and normal for her and dump him. Which I think he'd been feeling for a while but got worse when he lost the power up that gave him what little bit of specialness he did have. 

 

In fact, I think that's a big part of what the vamp ho thing was about. Riley proving to himself that he could be dark and edgy, and not-boring.

 

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In fact, I think that's a big part of what the vamp ho thing was about. Riley proving to himself that he could be dark and edgy, and not-boring.

That's what I've always thought it was about. 

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Riley's problem wasn't that Buffy was paying attention to her sick mother instead of him. It was that he wanted to be there for her but Buffy (being in "I have to be strong" mode) wouldn't let him. And he thought this was confirmation that she didn't really need him (just like he already thought) instead of Buffy just being Buffy.

 

This probably wouldn't have been a big issue if Riley wasn't already just waiting for Buffy to decide he was too boring and normal for her and dump him. Which I think he'd been feeling for a while but got worse when he lost the power up that gave him what little bit of specialness he did have. 

 

In fact, I think that's a big part of what the vamp ho thing was about. Riley proving to himself that he could be dark and edgy, and not-boring.

Actually, the problem IMO is that "Buffy being Buffy" is precisely what caused Xander and Willow to get so angry at her when she returns to Sunnydale after three months of radio silence. Her unwillingness, and even out and out refusal, to talk about what was up with her until everyone was screaming at each other is a thing she should have learned doesn't work. Maybe if she had, I don't know, communicated with Riley and told him what she did need while she was dealing with Joyce being sick, he might have responded positively, but she never finds out because she doesn't even risk it.

 

I'm not excusing the vamp ho thing, although I think it was ridiculous. And I can only have so much sympathy for Captain Beefstick when he was letting The Deliberate Stranger drip poison into his ear about how Buffy needed a little monster in her man. But my UO is that Buffy should have learned the lesson that if you don't talk to people, they're either going to be pissed off at you or they're going to jump to their own conclusions about what you're thinking and feeling. Or they're going to do both, but whatever happens, you probably won't get the results you want.

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I'm glad Riley left, Buffy did not love him and he didn't need to stay in a relationship where he was giving much more than he was receiving.

-And no Buffy does not need a little "monster" in her man, she has enough of that in her life she does not need it in her romantic life(unless it's Angel)

-Riley was a very healthy relationship for Buffy I think it was probably her most healthy romantic relationship(though I also think Angel was a very healthy relationship for Buffy also)

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But my UO is that Buffy should have learned the lesson that if you don't talk to people, they're either going to be pissed off at you or they're going to jump to their own conclusions about what you're thinking and feeling. Or they're going to do both, but whatever happens, you probably won't get the results you want.

Buffy was great in the first 3 seasons sharing her feelings and stuff but along the way she regressed. Though I think she did continue to share her feelings with Giles and Angel.

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Honestly, I was never convinced that the problem was that Buffy didn't love Riley. I felt like she was always demonstrably loving and affectionate toward him. She may have taken longer to open up to him than Angel, but girl had been through some shit by the time she and Riley started dating--it makes sense that she would be hesitant to open up again, given that the last guy she gave her heart to tried to kill her, and the last guy to give her hope for the future was just a garden variety doucheyacht. Plus, Riley and Angel were very different people--Buffy didn't have to worry about Angel judging her, given his own dark past.Riley was so seemingly wholesome and pure that I can see why Buffy wasn't always sure she could tell him everything. So I don't really think we have enough to conclude that Buffy didn't love Riley. She wasn't always open about everything she was feeling in her life, but she did seem open about the way she felt about him, if that makes sense. Although she was a bit condescending to him at times. 

 

I can understand why Riley might feel like Buffy was shutting him out, and might even interpret that as Buffy not loving him, but the way he reacted to it was still ridiculous, even by this show's characters' standards. I didn't mind his growing impulsiveness or risk-taking, that made sense, but he practically cheated on Buffy when he knew she was going through a very tough time with her mother, and then he basically blamed her for it. He could have at least waited a little more patiently and trusted that eventually Buffy would open up about what was going on, like she had about everything else, but instead he makes her problems all about him.

Edited by Fat Elvis 007
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Honestly, I was never convinced that the problem was that Buffy didn't love Riley. I felt like she was always demonstrably loving and affectionate toward him. She may have taken longer to open up to him than Angel, but girl had been through some shit by the time she and Riley started dating--it makes sense that she would be hesitant to open up again, given that the last guy she gave her heart to tried to kill her, and the last guy to give her hope for the future was just a garden variety doucheyacht. Plus, Riley and Angel were very different people--Buffy didn't have to worry about Angel judging her, given his own dark past.Riley was so seemingly wholesome and pure that I can see why Buffy wasn't always sure she could tell him everything. So I don't really think we have enough to conclude that Buffy didn't love Riley. She wasn't always open about everything she was feeling in her life, but she did seem open about the way she felt about him, if that makes sense. Although she was a bit condescending to him at times.

I can understand why Riley might feel like Buffy was shutting him out, and might even interpret that as Buffy not loving him, but the way he reacted to it was still ridiculous, even by this show's characters' standards. I didn't mind his growing impulsiveness or risk-taking, that made sense, but he practically cheated on Buffy when he knew she was going through a very tough time with her mother, and then he basically blamed her for it. He could have at least waited a little more patiently and trusted that eventually Buffy would open up about what was going on, like she had about everything else, but instead he makes her problems all about him.

Buffy never said that she loved Riley(though she said it to Spike and I still don't believe it)but I don't think she gave her all to Riley in that relationship and they didn't fit at all. They would have eventually just agreed that they didn't work together if that relationship continued to happen.

I think Riley would have been waiting a while for Buffy to open up to him.

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I can understand why Riley might feel like Buffy was shutting him out, and might even interpret that as Buffy not loving him, but the way he reacted to it was still ridiculous, even by this show's characters' standards. I didn't mind his growing impulsiveness or risk-taking, that made sense, but he practically cheated on Buffy when he knew she was going through a very tough time with her mother, and then he basically blamed her for it. He could have at least waited a little more patiently and trusted that eventually Buffy would open up about what was going on, like she had about everything else, but instead he makes her problems all about him.

Maybe this is unpopular, but I think that Buffy's self-absorption is her fatal flaw. Maybe its in character for her to bottle things up, but it also comes off like she thinks her problems are the center of the universe and no one could possibly understand what she's going through because her problems are so different/special/whatever. It never seems to occur to her that if she actually opens up and trusts that others would listen to her, they might come to understand. Instead she shuts down or even runs away altogether to avoid dealing with things. Then she wonders why everyone's mad at her, or why her boyfriend is flying away in that helicopter. Maybe Riley shouldn't have given her an ultimatum, but OTOH sometimes other people have needs and feelings too. As @DAngelus says, Buffy is a lot more appealing and rootable when she remembers that.

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I absolutely agree that Buffy is self-absorbed, lacks communication skills, and thinks her problems are more important than everybody else's, and that this problem went on for far too long, to the ultimate detriment to the character. Thing is, in this specific instance and this specific relationship, her problems were more important than Riley's. And Riley, if he was a good boyfriend, would have realized that. Mom dying > Feeling put out because your girlfriend doesn't want to talk to you about her mom dying. 

Yes, Buffy not opening up to Riley at the beginning of Season 5 caused some strain on their relationship. But saying that caused Riley to go out and get his arm sucked is going way too far for me. Whatever problems Buffy and Riley had did not seem insurmountable to me. 

I don't necessarily think Riley was Buffy's One True Love, but I think he made her happy, and she always seemed grateful for him. If the writers really wanted us to believe that the two were fundamentally incompatible, then they should have shown the two growing apart more naturally. They could have just mutually, maturely decided that they weren't right for one another, and gone their separate ways. But because everything in Season 5 had to be as dramatic and angsty as possible--and because this was the point where the various writers clearly started NOT being on the same page--we have Buffy chasing after Riley in a helicopter because Xander told her he was her once in a lifetime guy, while at the same time being told that Buffy just didn't care about him enough. Definitely mixed signals there. 

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I absolutely agree that Buffy is self-absorbed, lacks communication skills, and thinks her problems are more important than everybody else's, and that this problem went on for far too long, to the ultimate detriment to the character. Thing is, in this specific instance and this specific relationship, her problems were more important than Riley's. And Riley, if he was a good boyfriend, would have realized that. Mom dying > Feeling put out because your girlfriend doesn't want to talk to you about her mom dying. 

Yes, Buffy not opening up to Riley at the beginning of Season 5 caused some strain on their relationship. But saying that caused Riley to go out and get his arm sucked is going way too far for me. Whatever problems Buffy and Riley had did not seem insurmountable to me.

But why didn't Buffy want to talk to Riley about Joyce's illness? Look at the ease with which she leans on Angel when he shows up in Forever. If Buffy's issues about relationships in general are partly because of what Angelus did, how on earth could she turn to Angel as a source of comfort? Is Riley somehow inferior to the man(pire) who helped screw her up in the first place? Because that's the impression I'm getting right now. I could be wrong, of course.

 

Also, I never said that Riley "getting his arm sucked" was entirely because Buffy wouldn't lean on him. I am saying that it didn't help. Between Buffy's shutting down and Spike's aforementioned chumming of the waters so that he could have Buffy's vagina to himself, Riley's insecurities got ratcheted up to about ten thousand. Under better circumstances, those insecurities wouldn't have gotten the better of him, IMO. And part of those circumstances involve Buffy talking to someone she supposedly cares about as if he's not "kitteny".

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But why didn't Buffy want to talk to Riley about Joyce's illness? Look at the ease with which she leans on Angel when he shows up in Forever. If Buffy's issues about relationships in general are partly because of what Angelus did, how on earth could she turn to Angel as a source of comfort? Is Riley somehow inferior to the man(pire) who helped screw her up in the first place? Because that's the impression I'm getting right now. I could be wrong, of course.

Maybe Buffy thought she had to be the strong one because she was the slayer and Riley was not that strong as Buffy. Wasn't another of Riley's issues was that Buffy was stronger than him?

And Angel never asked anything of Buffy he was just patient and let her tell him what she was feeling or needed when she was ready, that's why she takes comfort in him and opens up to him, also she loves him so that helps.

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Maybe Buffy thought she had to be the strong one because she was the slayer and Riley was not that strong as Buffy. Wasn't another of Riley's issues was that Buffy was stronger than him?

And Angel never asked anything of Buffy he was just patient and let her tell him what she was feeling or needed when she was ready, that's why she takes comfort in him and opens up to him, also she loves him so that helps.

But this just reinforces my point, IMO. that she should have learned the lesson that her being the Slayer doesn't mean that she has to shut people out. She tried that when she ran away from Sunnydale, and all that happened is that it pissed off Xander and Willow, worried Joyce half to death, and had Giles apparently doing everything but having an APB issued to find her. It didn't solve the pre-existing problem, and if anything it drove a permanent wedge between herself and her friends. So why does she repeat the cycle with Riley?

 

As for Angel vs. Riley, sometimes people ask things of the person they're in a relationship with. That's kind of part of what being in a relationship is. The last thing Buffy's IMO unhealthy pattern of behavior needed was for someone to facilitate it. I don't fault Riley for coming out and saying that he had needs, not when the flip side of that is Buffy's Great Stone Face Of I Don't Need Anyone. It's fine to say that that was just her way of doing things, but if her way of doing things is not healthy, then it should hardly be encouraged, IMO.

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My unpopular opinions:

I was happy for Willow and Xander when they hooked up.

I dislike season 5 (despite having a few stand out episodes such as Fool For Love) even more than season 7, because I CANNOT STAND whiny Dawn and anything to do with Glory/Ben.

Beer Bad is one of my favorite episodes (CaveBuffy!)

Season 4 is probably my favorite season.

I liked Riley, and I sympathize with his actions in season 5. They weren't necessarily the best things he could have done, but I get why he felt he needed to do them.

I'm sure there are others that I just can't think of right now.

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Maybe Buffy thought she had to be the strong one because she was the slayer and Riley was not that strong as Buffy.

 

Neither were her other, very human friends, be she didn't treat them like helpless kittens who needed to be kept away from danger. But I got where Buffy was coming from. When Riley lost his power up, all she was thinking was that he was more vulnerable than he'd been before and overreacted. Which seemed to make her forget that, even without a power up, Riley was a highly trained soldier who could protect and defend himself better than most people. Including the very human friends she took into danger with her on a regular basis. 

 

No one (especially someone who's actually very capable) likes being treated like they're weak. And, with Riley, it just added to his fears that Buffy would decide he was just too normal for her and dump him.

 

 

Wasn't another of Riley's issues was that Buffy was stronger than him?

 

 

No. That was the way some viewers interpreted it. (He just can't handle his girlfriend being stronger than him.) But, thing is, Buffy was always stronger than him. Which he knew even before their relationship started getting serious. So why wait until season 5 to have a big problem with it?

 

No, Riley's problem was that he thought Buffy (Slayer powers and all) was awesome. And there was a part of him that started thinking, "What could someone so awesome see in someone as ordinary as me?" And, under the right (or wrong) circumstances, doubts like that can start eating away at a person until they spiral out of control. Which is what happened.

 

I've never said that Riley was completely blameless, or that he picked a good time to have an emotional crisis. (Although I don't think that's something a person can really control.) But I got where he was coming from.

 

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Maybe Buffy thought she had to be the strong one because she was the slayer and Riley was not that strong as Buffy. Wasn't another of Riley's issues was that Buffy was stronger than him?

And Angel never asked anything of Buffy he was just patient and let her tell him what she was feeling or needed when she was ready, that's why she takes comfort in him and opens up to him, also she loves him so that helps.

That was one of the vibes that I got from Riley as well.  In the initiative he was the leader/highest ranking member of his "team" and he got to give out orders.  I always got the sense that he felt inadequate at times compared to Buffy. 

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I liked him at his first introduction. I did like his progression on Angel but I have always liked Wesley.

I was meh on him till Angel when he said 'If you try to get nobody killed, you end up getting everyone killed'.  And his death scene haled a bit off my soul and ripped it out.

 

Don't know how unpopular this opinion will be but I never ever cared for Joyce, or Dawn for that matter.  Riley's participation in 'Hush' redeemed him for me, but just barely.  

 

Oh, and I never watched the last season except for the last two episodes or so.  And I've never been able to sit all the way though 'Once More with Feeling'.  Sorry - painfully awful.

Edited by henripootel

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But, thing is, Buffy was always stronger than him. Which he knew even before their relationship started getting serious. So why wait until season 5 to have a big problem with it?

 

That tracked for me. Some guys will tell themselves they have no problem being "less than" in certain ways, or the man behind the woman, and they WANT to have no problem with it, but when it comes down to it, they need to be needed and to provide (metaphorically), and "providing" emotionally is not enough for them/not what they mean. It can take a while for those chickens to get home, but eventually they roost and it's not pretty. And it's not a matter of sexism, exactly; it's their identities.

 

I may not be explaining this well given the early hour, so tl;dr: Riley's un-cute need to be needed was realistic to me, as was the slow-burn timing. I may feel differently on the upcoming rewatch but my take on her running after him was that she wouldn't regret trying, but she'd have regretted succeeding.

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I like "Amends." I even like the miracle snow and get teary at Buffy's anti-suicide speech. Angelus' accent is stupid, obviously, but on the plus side I think this is the only time the First Evil actually works for me (though I still hate its name.)

 

There, I said it! Stop looking at me that way

 

Personally, I find the Cordelia funeral fakeout in "Lovers' Walk" far more offensive and manipulative than anything in "Amends."

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- I never cared about any of Buffy's relationships. Whether he was a super-powered dick (Angel, Spike) or a normal guy dick (Riley) all of Buffy's loves were, um, dicks.

 

- I hated Cordelia. I didn't want to hate her because she was the most beautiful woman in all the Buffyverse and I'm really shallow....but I never thought she was funny, I hated her snottiness, and her mean girl 'tude bugged. Buffy was a good person so that stopped her from slapping the crap out of Cordelia just on general principle. If the show had been called Faith: The Vampire Slayer, I believe I would have seen plenty of Cordelia slappage. Ugh.

 

- I liked Faith, especially when she challenged the Scoobies. I love that crew, but a more self righteous bunch you'll never meet. I was happy to see Faith show up in Season 7. I often wish Eliza Dushku had realized that typecasting is a good thing (especially when you're a limited actor, IMO) and done FAITH instead of the horrible Tru Calling.

 

- Glory was the worst Big Bad the show ever had. A Valley Girl god. Really? When she was on my screen all I wanted to see was a cage match to the death between her and Cordelia. Cordelia was bitch enough to vanquish that twat with simply a sneer. Cordelia was more evil than Glory could ever hope to be.

 

- I never liked Willow much, but she was tolerable when she was with Oz. I hated Willow/Tara because all the excess baby talk made my skin crawl. Was the relationship written as infantile to remove some of the "threat" some homophobes/fundamentalists would feel? Mission accomplished, Show. This relationship was NOT TEH SEXY.

 

- Besides, if Whedon was so hot to have an gay romance, I saw more chemistry between Buffy/Faith than anyone. Their fight scenes were the best ever, and I could definitely see the slayers fucking a house down. Plus...all the pretty.

 

- I wasn't Anya's biggest fan, but I hated how her character died. I truly wish that she'd remained vengeful and become one of the shows Big Bads after Xander stood her up at the altar. It would have been reminiscent of Season 3 (Faith and the mayor) except that Anya had years of material and knowledge with which to work. I think she would have been a scarier Big Bad then Adam and Glory combined, simply because her mission would have been a PERSONAL one.

 

- Season 5 is my least favorite season because of Glory. And magical little sisters that were never there before. And Joyce's death. And...did I mention I hate Glory???

 

- I loved Season 6's Mopey Buffy. It made sense to me. She was brought back from death and heaven. Her mother was dead. She was tired as hell and more than a little dissatisfied with her life. I hated that she screwed Spike (I always saw him as a big unsexy joke and never understood the Spuffy love) but I even got why she allowed him to touch her. Her self-loathing was palpable. Normal Again is one of my Top 10 eps, and I would not have minded if the show had ended with that episode.

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I've just been watching season 6 and about to wrap it up.  Here's some of my thoughts on that I don't like about Buffy (compared to the mountain of things I love about Buffy, don't get me wrong):

 

1.  Xander wussing out on his wedding day to Anya.  Then he was given a second chance to make things right and he blew it again.  It basically undid all of the character's growth into manhood that had been happening the previous three seasons and regressed him back to the Xander of seasons 1-3.

 

2.  Willow really is too cute for her own good.  Several have said this above, but I too have cringed at some of her cutesy lines that sound like they came out of the mouth of a ten year old.

 

3.  I loved season 6, until the train wreck at the altar and then the miserable and dreary Seeing Red.  First, regarding Spike's attempted rape of Buffy, the show did not need to go there.  It had alredy done a fine job of portraying the dynamic between these two, what drew them together, and why a romantic relationship could never work between them.  The rape scene IMO added nothing and only served to give me a creepy feeling whenever I look at Spike now.  Then of course, Warren randomly shooting and killing Tara was to me just a plot device so we could see Willow jump to the dark side.  All season long the Trio was just a group of bumbling nerds whose attempts at super villainy were comical, then all of a sudden Warren turns into this murdering sociopath and kills off a beloved character.  WTF?

 

3.  I too hated Glory.  Like someone above said, it's what happens when you give a ditzy valley girl ultimate power.  The thing is, this is supposed to be a god who is older than the earth, shouldn't she be a little less like a spoiled teenage brat?

 

4.  Buffy's mom annoyed me.  Sure, there were episodes when she was fun, like Band Candy, but most of the time I was sick of her June Cleaver act, especially in the first two seasons.

 

5.  They wrecked Spike.  I loved Spike from his first moments on the show.  It all went downhill when they stuck that damn chip in his head.  I never wanted Spike with a soul, we had Angel for that.

 

6.  I loved Drusilla, and I wish she had been on the show more.  At least she got some time on Angel.

Edited by Dobian
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- I loved Season 6's Mopey Buffy. It made sense to me.

 

Just because something makes sense or is realistic doesn't mean it will be a good or engaging story. For me, Buffy going through a depression wasn't the problem, because I've liked similar storylines on other shows. The problem was the way this storyline was handled. Intellectually I could see what was going on with her, and how it would make sense. But I just didn't feel emotionally invested in what was going on. And if I'm not feeling emotionally invested, a storyline that's pretty much about emotions isn't going to work for me.

Edited by Bitterswete

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I totally understand where you're coming from Bitterswete. That's why I added my post to the Unpopular Opinions thread. And since what works for me is the only thing that matters in my home while I watch television, I have no problem agreeing to disagree about what is entertaining. Or in this case, what may be considered an unpopular opinion.

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I think my problem with Glory is that it doesn't feel like anyone ever sat down to think of an explanation for why she would behave like a ditzy Valley Girl. Yes, she was insane, but why that particular manifestation? They could have connected it logically to Ben's psychology somehow--maybe he had a relative that Glory based her personality on, or maybe this is just how he sees women, so Glory acts in kind. But Ben was such a blank slate that asking for more insight into his character is almost laughable, and there are so many "whys" attached to Glory it's not even funny. Her character often seemed like a mismatch of totally disparate elements, as well as repetitive of other Buffyverse characters who had already been written better like Cordelia, Harmony, Drusilla and even Faith. Even Jasmine and Illyria, who came later, seem like better done versions of Glory in many ways. Add that to the fact that she was introduced waaay too early in the season, especially given her power set, and the result is a lot of long, drawn-out, repetitive scenes in which we're given information we already know. Glory wants the Key, and also she sucks brains, and she really wants the Key, and she's super strong, and she treats her minions badly, hey now she's Ben, and she still wants her damn Key, let's watch her suck some more brains just to remind the audience she can do that, and has she mentioned lately that she like super totally wants the Key?

 

She had some really good scenes, and there were times I legitimately found her scary. Plus, her last fight scene in "The Gift" is wonderful. But mostly, she was a missed opportunity. 

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I thought Glory was actually very promising in her first appearance. The combo of the writing for that episode and Clare Kramer's performance really gave the sense that this was some vast alien thing that had folded itself into human shape, but could only poorly mimic linear human thought and was barely holding itself together. But the show squandered that initial impressiveness, making her seem pedestrian with her Miss Piggy-esque focus on being pampered and with the main characters referring to her as a "hellgod" in the same tone of voice one would describe annoyance at being ticketed by a meter maid.

 

Later attempts at somewhat similar characters on Angel worked much better, but they had the benefit of hindsight and vastly more talented actresses in Gina Torres and Amy Acker.

Edited by Bruinsfan
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I never could stand Glory either.. I just couldn't wait for her to die already.

It doesn't help that whenever I think of Clare Kramer I think of this:

 

bring_it_4.jpg

Ooh, scary cheerleader! I wanted to put the video of her tanty about the spanky pants but I couldn't actually find one.. 

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Ooh, scary cheerleader!

 

I actually get a kick out of actors I've usually seen in one type of role playing something completely different. Especially if they do the "different" role convincingly.

 

As for Glory, I completely agree with all the criticisms about her character. (About her personality making no sense, her scenes getting repetitive, etc.) But I still liked her. I don't think she's the best villain the show ever had, but I thought she was entertaining for the most part.

 

That's kind of how I felt about season 5 as a whole. It wasn't the best season the show ever did, and it definitely had it's flaws. But, overall, I still liked it.

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Here's another one of mine.

I love Buffy enough as a stand alone character to not care about her pairings but I think once Angel left the character suffered.

Yeah the writing did get worse but I'm talking about Angel leaving her for her own good and other stuff. Of course we see Buffy never finding a good lasting relationship after Angel, she got pulled into the darkness that he tried to prevent from happening to her. All in all I say him leaving did Buffy no favors.

And I blame the writing team for that because Buffy was more than capable of being in a healthy long lasting relationship.

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Agreed, and I think she proved that with Riley. I will never believe that Buffy was even a little at fault for that relationship ending. Did her reticence to be Little Miss Share-It-All cause problems? Sure. But they were surmountable problems. Riley intentionally getting himself bit on the regular was not. Really, I think Riley leaving (in a really shitty, blamey way) was worse for her than Angel leaving, because with Riley she internalized the blame that everyone threw at her and convinced herself that she somehow wasn't worthy of a "good, normal guy" (even though Riley proved that he was not a one of those). Angel left out of circumstance, but with Riley she started to see a pattern (even though two boyfriends is not a whole lot!) and it seriously damaged her self-esteem, thus clearing the way for Spike porkage.

Edited by Fat Elvis 007
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Agreed, and I think she proved that with Riley. I will never believe that Buffy was even a little at fault for that relationship ending. Did her reticence to be Little Miss Share-It-All cause problems? Sure. But they were surmountable problems. Riley intentionally getting himself bit on the regular was not. Really, I think Riley leaving (in a really shitty, blamey way) was worse for her than Angel leaving, because with Riley she internalized the blame that everyone threw at her and convinced herself that she somehow wasn't worthy of a "good, normal guy" (even though Riley proved that he was not a one of those). Angel left out of circumstance, but with Riley she started to see a pattern (even though two boyfriends is not a whole lot!) and it seriously damaged her self-esteem, thus clearing the way for Spike porkage.

At the risk of being a broken record, I feel like its important to say that problems are only surmountable if both parties admit and/or realize there is a problem. Considering that Buffy seemed perfectly happy, or at least content, to keep clicking along with Riley without actually addressing the situation, I don't think her headspace was compatible with that. Him being aware that something might have been amiss is all well and good, but without a similar acknowledgement from her, he might as well have been talking to himself.

 

Secondly, I don't think she had to be Little Miss Share It All, but it was her refusal to be Little Miss Share Anything that created part of their problems. What exactly did she think would happen if she were to actually open up to Riley about Joyce's illness? It must have been something pretty bad for her to be so adamant that she wasn't going to do that. Did she think it would mean she was weak? She must have seen for herself where Faith's self-imposed isolation got her in the wake of Finch's death, and beyond that she saw where her own refusal to communicate got her in Dead Man's Party. Isn't the definition of insanity ti do the same thing over and over again while expecting different results?

 

As for the blame 'everyone' was throwing at Buffy, all I can really remember is Xander telling her that Riley was a good catch. Was he wrong? Maybe, but given how easy Buffy usually found it to completely ignore Xander when he was right, the way he was right about Angel, I hardly think he counts as 'everyone'. I don't remember Willow or Joyce 'badgering'' her to stay with Beefstick. You can correct me on that if I'm wrong, though.

 

So no, I don't think Riley was blameless. But his insecurities were exacerbated by Buffy's refusal to give even an inch, apparently out of some weird idea that it would make her a weakling. And that wasn't his fault.

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