Finished 7-th season of "Buffy". Well - I am really impressed. And please take into account, that (contrary to my userpic) I am not a big fan of all that fiction about vampires.
"Buffy experiences the pain of having been ripped from Heaven, as well as the added responsibilities of raising her sister and paying bills" - sounds absurd? But it worked. Whedon played the classic trick of interlacing fantasy and reality. And the fantasy part - a pulp-fiction mix of vampires, robots, government conspiracy, demons etc - is protected by its own absurdity from being taken apart by audiences' common sense.
First four seasons were OK. Plot lines of fantasy universe provided an endless action. Characters were funny. Self-parody level was balanced exactly so. A far better entertainment than I expected when started to watch the series.
But then fifth season followed and it all become real. I used to laugh over endless discussion of Buffy-Angel relationship by Buffy's fans. But, all of a sudden, an impossible Buffy-Spike relationship turned into something actually worth watching. Suddenly, an absurd plot started to shape characters. Suddenly I caught myself watching some episodes twice instead of hitting my favorite fast-forward button.
Extra: interview with "Buffy"'s director Joss Whedon
I did want to make a movie where a poor girl that kills would have to get her own back. Then, I started out with "Martha the Immortal Waitress." The idea of somebody that nobody would take account of, who just had more power than was imaginable.
So, you know, when I hit on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it was right around the time when Revenge of the Bimbos, or Attack of the Killer Bimbos or something – there were a lot of movies coming out that were proto-silly '50s style titles. They were on the video store shelves. I worked at a video store. I would watch them, and I'd be like, "You know what? This is just another bimbo movie. These women aren't empowered at all. They just made up a funny title." I was like, "I would like to make a movie that was one of these crappy, low-budget movies, that like the Romero films, had a feminist agenda, had females in it who were people, and had all the fun, all the silliness. Night of the Comet was a big influence. That actually had a cheerleader in it. With a title that would actually make people take it off the video store shelves, because it has to sound silly and not boring.
It was the name that I could think of that I took the least seriously. There is no way you could hear the name Buffy and think, "This is an important person." To juxtapose that with Vampire Slayer, just felt like that kind of thing – a B movie. But a B movie that had something more going on. That was my dream.
Well, the problem was season six took us to a dark place, and that dark place we lost Buffy – and I think that's why people didn't respond to it, because they always had Buffy to lean on. No matter how sad she got, she was still Buffy. In six she was really questioning her very identity. People didn't want that. That upset them. It was like they didn't have their anchor. So it didn't matter if you have something tight or interesting or thematic or funny – they wanted that anchor back. I get that. In season seven, it wasn't like we weren't going to put her through her paces. Buffy in pain is a staple of the show from season one. As [David] Greenwalt and I told each other very early on – "Buffy in pain, story more interesting. Buffy not in pain, story not interesting." So we couldn't just have her be like, "La-di-da, do-di-do, all is well," for a season, because – hey, show not about that. The dark place we took her to was about, "I'm accepting my power, my responsibility, and my leadership, and those are hard things to deal with." So, inevitably, she got kind of bummed out, because that's how you tell the story. The hero goes through something and then they resolve it.
"Важно - как вести себя под давлением". Начиная с пятого сезона "Баффи" - место решаемых проблем начинают занимать нерешаемые. Или решаемые дорогой ценой. При этом спрятаться от необходимости их решать не удается. Даже красиво умереть у Баффи не получается - друзья выдергивают героиню назад в реальный мир, где она чувствует себя "как в аду".
Но именно оказавшись под давлением характеры оживают.
Конечно, жанр ограничивает. Единственный взрослый персонаж во всей истории - мать Баффи. Какие-либо дети в сериале появляются всего в нескольких эпизодах (из 150+). Большие игры большого мира тоже оставлены за кадром... Но внутри своих границ "Баффи" блистает.
Да. Порой просто жалко становится, что я не тролль. Озаглавил бы эту запись "Баффи" - лучше чем "Война и Мир", получил бы пятьсот комментов и место в Яндексе...
А может быть и не получил бы. Потому что, судя, например, по этой статье в русской Википедии в сравнении с вот этой в английской - Баффи до России так по-настоящему и не добралась. Интересно почему.