Wanda: Buffy and Angel fans seem to be more critical than ever this season. Does that affect you?
JW: It always affects me. At the same time, I need to give them what they need, not what they want. They need to have their hearts broken. They need to see change. They hated Oz, and then they hated that he left. These things are inevitable. If people are freaking out, I'm good. If people are going, "Hmmm...well, that was fine," I'm fucked.
The BC&S poster stated that if he/she were a producer who'd gotten message boards buzzing for the last 19 weeks and inspired the kind of analysis that BtVS fans do daily, he/she would congratulate themselves on a job well done. My thoughts (had them when I first read it, thought I'd got over them enough to not bother posting, but apparently not) :
Talking about plot events and characterization choices for 19 weeks doesn't necessarily make the writing brilliant. It merely makes it controversial -- in many cases (off this board) because fans are tuning in to Angel like car-wreck-gawkers, to see what the next insane rant-inspiring piece of Gunn or Cordelia mischaracterization will be. Believe me, somthing does not have to be *good* to inspire discussion.
When I read Joss' reaction to this question, a week or so ago, I was astounded by its apparent self-congratulation. The question was about Buffy and Angel fans being more critical this season, and did Joss address the issue that many of the complaints have been not about character direction and relationhips, but about plot holes, Pod-people, unbelievable setups just to put characters in angsty positions, rehashing of metaphors without putting new twists on them, and just plain inconsistent writing?
No. He assumed (or chose to decide that) the question was simply one of "Do the fans like the direction the shows are going? Have I shaken up their little worlds? Are they upset and ranting and emotionally affected by my shows? Great!" Some of us are upset and ranting and emotionally affected by poor writing, character disintegration, and no sense of consistency or deep thought beyond each individual writer's/producer's personal agenda with the show, which differ wildly, and Joss doesn't seem to care that it's blatantly *obvious*. More so with Angel than with Buffy, but still present in both shows.
I found Joss' answer to that question to be insulting to fans who are concerned with more than just "is Oz leaving" or "Should Buffy be with Spike or Xander?" Good storytelling should make me emotionally engaged with what's happening to the characters, whether it's the direction I would choose for them or not, yes. But Joss has been saying this since Day 1, and it's not an answer to issues of *quality*.
Edited to add, because I forgot about it, but it's just as infuriating:
"This year was about adult life and relationships--and making really, really bad decisions. Next year will still be scary and different and strange, but it will be more of a positive outlook. People will stop abandoning Dawn. Willow won't be a junkie anymore. Buffy won't be dead."
Right, Joss. Because when addicts are deprived of access to their drug of choice (as I'm guessing, no spoilers here, will happen to Willow at the end of this season) they stop being addicts. And, when they get treatment instead of trying to go through rehab alone (more guessing) they stop being addicts.
The plot was idiotic in the first place -- she was addicted to power, not magic. But if you want us to buy that she was ever an addict, don't *fucking* try to tell me she won't be anymore.
Granted, "junkie" and "addict" aren't necessarily the same, as the first has connotations of non-treated addiction. But do I buy that Joss meant to make that distinction? No.