Winter Sunlight

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Ah yes, that mildly braindead point in a novel rewrite when I start making incredibly cryptic notes to myself as I try to keep details straight from 50,000 words ago. "Remember to mention the state of his car." Whose car? In which scene? Thanks, self.

Fandom things:

• Nominations for the SSR Confidential tag set close on Sunday. Current tag list here.
• Agent Carter rewatch happening here!

Today is the 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy was never a watershed show for me -- too old to be its target demographic, I finally started watching it in season six (giving in at last to my younger sister's urging; she'd been watching since the beginning). But I loved it enough to go back and marathon the rest of it, and watched it through to the (bitter?) end, even though it was never really one of "my" shows. Here is an interesting article on Buffy's influence on later TV (discovered via [personal profile] umadoshi) - I'm not sure if I entirely buy the thesis that Buffy did all of these things with commercial success before any other show, but I don't disagree that it was hugely influential on TV that came later, especially on complicated female characters in genre shows, and on the shift from mostly episode-of-the-week TV to mostly serial-arc TV that happened in the late 90s/early 2000s. It seems so weird now to look back on a world where DVDs didn't exist, season-long plot arcs existed only on soap operas, and while actors regularly abandoned TV for movies, respected movie actors almost never turned up on TV, because TV was a cheap, disposable medium where washed-up movie actors went for their careers to finish dying.

(Random side note: I first encountered Sara Michelle Gellar on the soap opera All My Children, which I used to watch obsessively in the early '90s. I was absolutely primed for getting hooked on serialized TV; I've always loved that kind of thing, first in comics and soaps, then in anime, finally in Western prime-time TV when it finally got there.)

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I don't seem to be having too much trouble with this one; I think turning 40 last year was my official acknowledgement that I am old as dirt and everything I remember watching when I was young is hopelessly far away now in time and space. XD I did really love the show when I watched it, and yeah, the arcs were so well constructed. Especially compared to most shows which didn't have season arcs at all.

Oh man, though, watching sci-fi and fantasy shows from the 90s, in general ... I remember the f/x being SO much better than they look now! Everything looks so low-budget and weird!
We started watching Buffy at the same time! I watched season 6 as it aired and then went back and watched the whole show prior to that on DVD.

It immediately captured me hard. BtVS was my first fandom, and I'll always love the show.
It never got me fannishly, but it also hit at the wrong time. I wasn't really in western fandoms at all at that point; I was in anime fandoms, and I was also pretty monofannish. I think it's possible I would've gotten fannish about it if it'd hit at a time when I had space in my brain for something like that, but it didn't.

I enjoyed it all the way through, though -- and yeah, I remember that I was watching season six as it aired (taping the episodes for my sister, who was going to college in a small town that didn't get the station that carried it -- come to think of it, I think that's what started it, because she asked me to tape it and I started watching it while I taped it and WELP XD) and renting the DVDs of the earlier seasons from a little video rental place in town that carried a lot of TV seasons on DVD, when that was just starting to become a big thing.
HA, that's so funny, I was also into multiple anime fandoms at the time Buffy aired. :D ftw!
It hit me at exactly the right time.

I had a tiny baby and no friends. LOL I was pretty isolated because Josh was going to school and working three jobs. It filled a void and gave me something to do.

And it was my first online fandom.
Ha, yeah - so much of it is a matter of timing, isn't it? For me there had been a point like that a couple of years earlier, when we'd just moved into a new town that I hated, I had no local friends and didn't know what to do with myself, and so I ended up getting involved with online comics fandom (not fanfic-fandom, the reading-and-discussing-comics part of fandom) and with anime. I watched a bunch of other shows as the next few years went by, obviously, but my online social calendar (lol, so to speak) was already filled by those. I didn't start getting into Western TV fandom until I moved again, dropped out of fandom entirely for a couple of years, and basically lost touch with everyone I'd been in touch with before. So Buffy/Angel/Firefly etc just happened to come along at a time when I wasn't doing fandom for those types of shows.

I'm really glad it was there when you needed it, though! <3
*nods nods*

It really is about timing.

I don't think I'd be in fandom at all if I found it for the first time at this stage in my life. I'm too busy, and I've got too much going on. I had a solid run of about four years when I could spend hours and hours writing fic and modding comms and posting all the time. I can't put that much energy into fandom anymore, and my fannish experience has suffered for it. On the other hand, I'm glad I have things to do in real life and friends in real life that I didn't before, so it all washes. I do miss the thrill of posting fic all the time and getting lots of feedback (not that I have anything to complain about; my fic is always well received and continues to be even if I don't have the kind of name recognition I think I used to).
I watched Buffy as it aired from season 2 through 3, shipping Buffy/Angel as my young heart found it so ~romantic~. Then of course THAT happened so I quit the show cold turkey. And I came back to it again in season 5, was greatly amused that Buffy/Spike was a thing but...intrigued....Next thing I know I'm in love with Buffy/Spike as a pairing, and rewatching the whole thing and reading ALL the fic. I can't stand Buffy/Angel now because the exact nature of the pairing that seemed so romantic when I was younger is such a turn off now. XD Funny how that goes. I'm one of the minority who liked the ending. IDK if I just don't need canon to address Issues for me or what, but it worked.

But it's crazy to think that it was so long ago! It feels like it was a few years ago that I first watched it.
I liked the ending too, fwiw - I also liked the last season in general.

But yeah, it's so fascinating to go back to shows I enjoyed when I was much younger and find myself loving different characters, shipping different pairings, and just generally relating to them in a completely different way. I think being in fandom for a show helps "set" my preferences in a way -- once I've written or read a ton of fic with a particular take on the characters, it's going to be more likely for that to continue being my preference even after I've moved on. But yeah, then there are those times when you notice major things about the show/characters that never jumped out at you as a teenager/young adult. I've heard people describe this as the show/book/whatever having been visited by the Suck Fairy since you watched it last. XD
Except, I don't know, but I don't feel like I love things less now than I did as a child. I just love them differently. I need different things to satisfy me, a different texture if you will, but I get extreme amounts of glee from my fandoms now (as you've seen in your chat box XD ), so the suck fairy can suck it! HA.

And yeah, I liked every season (though not every episode, obviously), and while I wish certain characters didn't end up the way they had, I still loved that show. I was never too much into the fandom for some reason. I feel like canon was giving me what I wanted, I guess? I think I watched Buffy the first time around without reading much fic at all (I was violently into other shows at the time, so it wasn't like I didn't know fandom existed.) But at some point on a rewatch I did go and read a whole bunch of fic for that too. It was a strange fandom for me, in terms of participation.

I never got into Buffy, so don't really know how influential it was. I have to admit that if a show has a subplot, that it is exactly what I want it to be, a subplot that doesn't get in the way of the episode of the week and then builds into its own episode(s), rather than shows that develop more slowly over the season. With the occasional exception, of course!

As for the cryptic notes - I can imagine it made perfect sense when written, but a bit more context would have been helpful! Notes this for future writing, should I ever get back into writing!
I gotta say, as much as I love season arcs in shows, and I was all over that when a lot of (American) shows started doing it, I'm starting to really appreciate shows that actually END things. I really liked that about Agent Carter, for example, that each season was a self-contained little miniseries. I'm getting really tired of shows where every season ends in a cliffhanger and it's just nothing but nonstop revelations and mysteries and constantly building suspense. Sometimes I feel like TV writers have forgotten how to craft stories that are short.
Season arcs are fine if, like you say, they come to an end. I can't stand ones that continue on and on and on and on... Or even worse, fade into the background without any resolution! White Collar had the balance right for me, season arcs but the season arc didn't take over every single episode completely. And Agent Carter got it right for me too, perhaps because the seasons were short - and, let's be honest, that show was just so much fun!! :D :D

I've never been a fan of cliffhangers. I feel it's a cheap way to try and tempt people back, but many shows use them, even shows that I've loved (like White Collar and SGA), so I've learned to live with them. Sort of.

I have a feeling it's a very good thing I never watched Lost. From what I've heard about it, it's exactly the sort of show that would drive me up the wall!!