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Watched, Watched, Watching: It's not the plane, it's the pilot


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2 hours ago, Annara Snow said:

It's considered a cult classic, beloved even 20 years later, has even been a subject of academic works, but I'm sure you have a better source for your claim that loving it is "niche"? Based on...?

Well, you said it yourself. "Cult" classic. As in, niche.

2 hours ago, Annara Snow said:

Oh, the source is impression of season 1.

Yes. I believe season 1 is an element of the set "Buffy", which I evaluated. ;)

2 hours ago, Annara Snow said:

I will never stop being amazed that so many people think "I found the characters irritating" is a legitimate critcism of any show's quality. 

I don't see why it wouldn't be. The characters had neither the depth, the charm, or any particularly outstanding feature to engage me as a viewer. Quite the opposite, to the point that it harmed my experience.

I don't need a character to be "good". In fact usually I find myself liking the most heinous type of characters since they are often the most compelling. But I do need characters to be interesting in some way, and that applied to none of the Buffy characters (that wonderful librarian being the sole outlier).

2 hours ago, Annara Snow said:

Ah, yes, IMDB ratings, widely known as the most relevant and objective markers of quality....

No system is perfect, of course. But it is a good indicator for what an online stranger may find appealing. Over 144,000 people rated Buffy on imdb, and the rating ended up at 8.3, which for a television show is fair. I think that rating is way too high, but this is where the community landed.

Does this guarantee that every internet stranger will think it's an 8.3? Of course not. But there's a good chance they'll be a standard deviation or two within that average. And it's more likely for an internet stranger to like Sherlock or Friends than Buffy.

I quite like both Sherlock and Friends myself, though Sherlock took a dive for me immediately after season 3.

Also, I may be misreading your tone, but it seems that you are personally affronted by my take on Buffy. If that is the case let me say that this is my opinion. I don't think there is anything wrong with liking it, and in fact for the people who do, I'm glad they found something they cherish. I wish I could like it, since it would give me many hours of entertainment.

I merely posted my opinion to offset the enthusiasm, and note that it's worth keeping mind that this thread may not be a good representation of how most people respond to Buffy.

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I remember renting all the Buffy box sets from Blockbuster and bingeing the hell out of it. 
 

But I also remember putting it on tv recently and borderline hating it. Outside of the effects, I just feel like the special quality of the writing, the quippy characters etc now seems pretty unspecial. It’s like Whedon’s unique voice has been imitated to death, to the point of being irritating.

Also, I just expect more from tv these days, I can’t do these low stakes episode of the week things very often. It was great at the time but TV has really evolved since then 

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25 minutes ago, Annara Snow said:

A ton of 1990s shows would've been dead and gone if that had been the case.

Especially Star Trek: The Next Generation. You need to wait for season 3 for it to stop being absolutely horrible and turn good.

That's true. I'm not sure that was due to these shows having great numbers despite being bad, or to the networks sticking to them and giving them a chance to devlop, unlike today's streaming networks cancelling even shows with stellar reviews and a decent following early on.

It's not the responsibility of viewers to wait until a show gets good, is all I'm saying. YMMV of course.

 

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6 minutes ago, IFR said:

Well, you said it yourself. "Cult" classic. As in, niche.

That is not what "cult classic" means.

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Yes. I believe season 1 is an element of the set "Buffy", which I evaluated. ;)

Everyone here has said that season 1 is weak and that the production values were lower.

 

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I don't see why it wouldn't be. 

Because "I find the characters irritating" is not any measure of quality of a show. 

Let's see the characters from the highest rated show on IMDB that's not a nature documentary... Breaking Bad. One could easily say all the characters on that show are "irritating". Walt is a terrible person and an arrogant, prideful SOB constantly finding excuses for himself. Jesse is a total screw-up. Hank covers his vulnerability with that overblown macho attitude that really got on my nerves in season 1. Skyler is... well, she's OK, but the fanboys believe she's the worst person ever. Some dude I talked to said he found Walt Jr. the most annoying character.

Whether characters are "irritating" or not is completely a subjective thing. What matters is whether they are fleshed out and well-developed.

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I don't need a character to be "good". In fact usually I find myself liking the most heinous type of characters since they are often the most compelling. But I do need characters to be interesting in some way, and that applied to none of the Buffy characters (that wonderful librarian being the sole outlier).

This is your opinion, which many don't share.

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No system is perfect, of course. But it is a good indicator for what an online stranger may find appealing. 

IMDB is famous for being a good indicator of what a certain type of online fanboy finds appealing.

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Does this guarantee that every internet stranger will think it's an 8.3? Of course not. But there's a good chance they'll be a standard deviation or two within that average. And it's more likely for an internet stranger to like Sherlock or Friends than Buffy. I quite like both Sherlock and Friends myself, though Sherlock took a dive for me immediately after season 3.

You're really failing to convince me that Sherlock and Friends are better shows than, say, The Leftovers or The Americans.

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Also, I may be misreading your tone, but it seems that you are personally affronted by my take on Buffy. If that is the case let me say that this is my opinion.

No, I just find it funny by what was not framed as "your personal opinion", which, BTW, you have no basis to form since you have, by your admission, only seen season 1 (which everyone here has said is the weak one), but as a supposed objective truth that Buffy is only really liked by this specific selection of people in this thread and is generally looked upon unfavorably, which you based on... your own feelings on season 1, plus IMDB ratings, which you consider the most reliable possible indicator of quality.

 

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1 hour ago, Annara Snow said:

That is not what "cult classic" means.

 

 

That is what cult classic means. Nowadays the term's started to be used more broadly to mean anything with a really dedicated core following, but since that would ultimately include Marvel and Star Wars I'm not sure how useful it remains as a definition if we start using it that way. The original meaning is obscure or seemingly initially failed works that gain a strong long-term fandom.

 

I'm not sure Buffy the TV show qualifies, even if it does have that extremely dedicated core.

 

1 hour ago, Annara Snow said:

A ton of 1990s shows would've been dead and gone if that had been the case.


There are a lot of things wrong with the way tv is produced nowadays but I think the idea that you have to wait several seasons before the creators figure out what they're actually doing being done away with is a positive to be honest.

 

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I totally agree that if you watch a show for a season and it doesn't click, it may not be for you, and certainly you owe it nothing. That said... if you were interested enough in it to watch a whole season, didn't you have anything you genuinely liked about it other than a performer or two? Because if you did, seriously, the 2nd season is a real improvement and the things you liked you may like even more, and the things you disliked may improve so that you don't dislike them anymore.

I will add that Buffy has a very solid presence on various "best TV series ever" lists, including in Rolling StoneThe Hollywood ReporterTV Guide, EW, Time, and the WGA.

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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is very much a mixed experience. Nic Cage is solid as always and I appreciate the self-deprecating performance, Pedro Pascal is excellent, he really steals the show and Alessandra Mastronardi....just wow. That said the movie is overall very uneven, it doesn't make any sense at times and the plot twists are odd to say the least. It's worth watching, but don't expect a masterpiece.

I have Starz for a few more weeks so I'm doing a Black Sails rewatch. The first few episodes really do show how brutal this show was willing to go. 

Also, I found Hulu's anime section. Watching Dragon Ball in its original Japanese version is a trip. And there's so much content to explore that I've never seen. :D

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39 minutes ago, Ran said:

That said... if you were interested enough in it to watch a whole season, didn't you have anything you genuinely liked about it other than a performer or two?

There were some pretty witty and clever lines, to add another positive.

Honestly, though, my parents are huge Buffy fans. I happen to be very close with my parents, so I did want to like their show. Same thing with Doctor Who. They love it, and I tried it and found it to be far too silly for my tastes. 

39 minutes ago, Ran said:

Because if you did, seriously, the 2nd season is a real improvement and the things you liked you may like even more, and the things you disliked may improve so that you don't dislike them anymore

I'm sure, and like I said, I appreciate that the show is loved. But I think Whedon's works are not for me. I tried Firefly and The Nevers and a little of Angel, too, and none of that appealed to me.

It was not meant to be, I think. :lol:

Edited by IFR
Typos! Always the typos.
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Buffy's first season was quite generic -- until it started not to be, toward the end.  Myself watched the first three episodes and never went back.

Some years later, after all the 7 seasons had been completed, I had a severe medical bout that had me staying at home 24/7 for most of a summer -- and began ordering dvds via Netflix, and picked up Buffy again, since so many people I know loved it. I became enthralled, though I wonder if part of that was due to being able to watch it all, from beginning to end, all the way through, while discussing it with friends who had watched it season-by-season, with the long summer hiatuses.  I re-watched it from start to end several times since, having received the boxed set.  Also for me, it was season four and the following seasons that cemented my personal admiration for the show.  If there had been only three seasons, probably Buffy wouldn't have become a perennial personal best.

Even now, many of our friends, particularly the women, when their daughters are judged old enough, begin watching the show all over again, with their daughters, having whole new levels of enjoyment through the girls' discovery and reactions, all tempered by their own milieu and age groups' attitudes.  It brings on hours of shared enjoyment discussing their differences in perceptions and reactions, as well, as why? and, what happens next?

 

 

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58 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Also, I found Hulu's anime section. Watching Dragon Ball in its original Japanese version is a trip. And there's so much content to explore that I've never seen. :D

If Attack On Titan is available, pls do watch it. AOT is the best of animes IMO. 

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By the way, watching such historical epics as Panipat on Netflix sparked my research into those horses, with such oddly shaped ears, odd to my conditioned perception of how horses' ears are among the horses I've known in my lifetime.

So I was thrilled to learn these are specific horses, their ears are that way, not made that way with splints and so on, which is what breeders have done with the ears of dogs and so on in earlier decades.  These horses' ears are called curly, the native Indian Marwari war horse. It was new to me, and thus a delightful discovery.  Just another way of saying there are lots of reasons to watch these films!  :thumbsup:

https://ihearthorses.com/meet-the-marwari-horse-a-rare-breed-known-for-their-curly-ears/

https://owlcation.com/academia/Horses-in-India-The-native-Marwari-horse

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2 hours ago, polishgenius said:

 

 

That is what cult classic means. Nowadays the term's started to be used more broadly to mean anything with a really dedicated core following, but since that would ultimately include Marvel and Star Wars I'm not sure how useful it remains as a definition if we start using it that way. The original meaning is obscure or seemingly initially failed works that gain a strong long-term fandom.

 

I'm not sure Buffy the TV show qualifies, even if it does have that extremely dedicated core.

 

No, "cult classic" does not mean, nor has it ever meant "show that most people dislike and that is widely considered mediocre, but just happens to be loved by one very small and specific bunch of people that happen to be all in this thread". Not by most people's definitions 

If that's your definition, then Buffy is not a cult classic, but, I dunno, something like Ghost Whisperer might be if you come upon a thread full of people who love it because they're super into stories about ghosts and psychics and are at the same time huge fans of Jennifer Love Hewitt, therefore creating a niche interest.

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51 minutes ago, TheLastWolf said:

If Attack On Titan is available, pls do watch it. AOT is the best of animes IMO. 

I mean, it's not going to be as good as DBZ, but it's available on Hulu.

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1 minute ago, Annara Snow said:

No, "cult classic" does not mean, nor has it ever meant "show that most people dislike and that is widely considered mediocre, but just happens to be loved by one very small and specific bunch of people that happen to be all in this thread". 


Weirdly, I didn't say that's what it meant and neither did IFR. But, like, there's a whole wikipedia page summarising the many articles and papers arguing the definition, of which the origin definitely is obscure and niche and underground stuff and many people's current definition still is. Certainly there are some usages of the term under which Buffy would qualify but you can't blame IFR for interpreting the phrase in its commonly used meaning. 

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39 minutes ago, polishgenius said:


Weirdly, I didn't say that's what it meant and neither did IFR. But, like, there's a whole wikipedia page summarising the many articles and papers arguing the definition, of which the origin definitely is obscure and niche and underground stuff and many people's current definition still is. Certainly there are some usages of the term under which Buffy would qualify but you can't blame IFR for interpreting the phrase in its commonly used meaning. 

"Temper your expectations... it's getting a lot of praise here, but it's relatively niche audience who enjoys it to the extent seen in this thread"

If this is your definition of "cult classic", then you seem to believe that 1) it's something that is of poor quality in the opinions of most people,  2) is only enjoyed by a small group of people, which is much smaller and more "niche" than the group of people that would be expected to post on a forum dedicated to a fantasy book series that is not Harry Potter. 

If that's what you think the common meaning of "cult classic"... you're wrong.

Edited by Annara Snow
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Isn't Buffy just too well known, and recognized, all across pop culture fandoms, as well as viewers like me who never have and never will belong to any kind of fandom,  to be called 'cult' or 'niche'?  It was on mainstream broadcast television.  Liking or not liking isn't the same as recognizing w/o trouble a reference to the series and the primary characters.  Or am I missing something?

 

 

Edited by Zorral
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