BUFFYVERSE

Did Buffy 'jump the shark' with Dawn's intro?

POSTED BY: CHRISISALL
UPDATED: Thursday, February 16, 2006 12:23
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 4589
PAGE 1 of 1

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 8:12 AM

CHRISISALL


On jumptheshark.com , a good number say that Buffy jumped as of Dawn's introduction.
Personally, I found the character not as annoying as the fact that she was 'made', and it keeps me from getting into who she is (I keep wondering WHAT she is...), I mean is she flesh and blood? An illusion? Has she a soul? If so, where did it come from? Does she have to be annoying? Is she magically programmed?
I think Dawn as a continuing character was a mistake. It's the only thing keeping me from taking a look at season 6 & 7.

Thoughts?

Dawn cuts grease and my suspension of dis-belief Chrisisall

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 9:42 AM

STAKETHELURK


Since even the "Jump the Shark" website can't seem to properly define the term, I basically ignore anything they have to say. It's such a nebulous term that everyone has a different idea of what it means; worse, everyone thinks there's only one definition, which leads to confusion. If you want to define what you believe "Jump the Shark" to mean, then mayve we can have a talk.

As for Dawn keeping you from watching season 6&7, her role in the show diminishes in those seasons because their central plots no longer revolve around. If that's what's holding you back, then you shouldn't let it. I mean, Season 6 has "Once More With Feeling," one of the greatest Bufy episodes ever! You don't wanna miss out on that just because Dawn gets on your nerves.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 10:21 AM

STORYMARK


Didn't bother me any when Dawn showed up. Actually, I thought it was a rather clever way of adding a new character.

I personally don't think Buffy ever "Jumped the Shark", but I think it came closest

Select to view spoiler:


when Spike tried to rape Buffy.



And what are the multiple definitions of "Jumping the Shark"? I always understood it as: "that's when they took things too far / started to suck".


EDITED: Hastily to hide spoilers.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 11:41 AM

ZEEK


Heck no. I've never had the same problems that everyone else seemed to have with Dawn. When she first showed up I thought it was jumping the shark because everyone knew she didn't have a sister. I should have known better. Joss came up with a great reason for her introduction.

I found her character intriguing during the fifth season. Beyond that she was just a filler character who turned sorta hot by the seventh season.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 12:46 PM

STAKETHELURK


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:
And what are the multiple definitions of "Jumping the Shark"? I always understood it as: "that's when they took things too far / started to suck".

That’s certainly one of the more popular definitions. But look at the definition they provide at jumptheshark.com (in the FAQ) for what the term means:
Quote:

Q. What is jumping the shark?
A. It's a moment. A defining moment when you know that your favorite television program has reached its peak. That instant that you know from now on...it's all downhill. Some call it the climax. We call it "Jumping the Shark." From that moment on, the program will simply never be the same.
(emphasis mine)

They identify it here with the climax of a narrative. If one views a television series as a long-running, multi-season story—which is certainly how I think “Buffy” should be viewed—then the climax is both inevitable and vital to the story arc. It’s a good thing. And equally as vital as the climax is the denouement, the lessening of action following the emotional peak. Thus, I personally would place the climax of “Buffy” at the end of Season Five, with the following two seasons as the necessary denouement. So, again, any piece of good fiction will have a climax and a denouement, and these are good things. And if this is the definition of “Jumping the Shark” according to jumptheshark.com, then every show will (if it’s given enough time, damn FOX!) jump the shark and that is a good thing. But then look at the categories on their website and how the subject is treated, as a bad thing, something to be avoided—which contradicts their given definition.

Then there’s that first sentence, “A defining moment when you know that your favorite television program has reached its peak.” What the hell does that mean? Look at the statement very closely. From where I’m standing, it looks like they’re saying that a show “jumps the shark” when it reaches its widely accepted “peak.” IE, a show “jumps the shark” when it does its very best episode, because with that being its very best episode the show can never match that “peak” again. “Jumping the shark” again appears to be a very positive thing; a show is at its absolute best when it “jumps the shark.”

But at their same website, they seem to classify “jumping the shark” as the moment when you realize that a show is too far gone to ever recover; it’s the deathblow not the climax. That contrasts very sharply with what they actually say in their own definition of the term.

And then we get into the categories on their website: “Different Actor, Same Character,” “Birth,” “Death,” “New Kid in Town,” “A Very Special Episode,” “Singing,” etc. Has a show “jumped the shark” because it does one of the things on these categories? Certainly a lot of people call “shark-jumping” as soon as a show nears any of these things, simply because it starts dealing with what some regards as a “sharkish” subject. “Buffy” did several of them, so did it “jump the shark” multiple times? If so, then what the hell is “jumping the shark” because I find it hard to imagine that a show can enter multiple death spirals. Unless “jumping the shark” isn’t permanent, in which case what use is the term anyway—if a show enters an unrecoverable downward spiral and then recovers, well....

If “jumping the shark” is a defining moment where as you put it Storymark, they too things too far,” what happens if they take things back? The spoiler you mention was very shocking, but does a single moment doom a show? What if they shock, then deal with the shock, then move on. Does that moment count as jumping the shark? Is it even possible to pinpoint a downward spiral based on one single thing, especially if the process is a gradual decline? My point being, that in the definition you gave (“that's when they took things too far / started to suck”), taking things too far and starting to suck are two distinct things. The first one can be temporary, the second one presumably lasts until the end of the series (though it doesn’t have to, which also complicates matters).

So, you can see there are lots of problems with the definition of “jumping the shark” and I’m especially taking the website to task because if anyone was supposed to fix a definition, it should be them. In general, I think to most people it’s a nebulous bad thing, but a more specific definition actually proves elusive. Which is why in any discussion I think people should do what Storymark has done and lay down their own definitions so we can see what folks are talking about when they throw around the term.

To answer Chris’ original question, if we take the definition of “jumping the shark” to be: “A new element or stunt introduced into a series that signals to the audience that the producers have run out of viable ideas and serves as a harbinger of a downward slide in quality that persists until the end of the series,” then I will have to say that “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” did not “jump the shark” by introducing the character of Dawn for no other reason than the fact that Whedon was planning as early as the third season to introduce her (and few can say that back in season three, he was out of good ideas).

Anyway, sorry for the long post. As you can see, this whole “jump the shark” business tends to push my “angry” button.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 6:11 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by StakeTheLurk:
Anyway, sorry for the long post. As you can see, this whole “jump the shark” business tends to push my “angry” button.

But it sure does get you to write terrifically interesting posts.

Thanks.

Chrisisall, who will, I guess, get around to 6 & 7...
eventually...

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 7:20 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


I wouldn't pass up Seasons 6 & 7 just on account of Dawn being in them. She annoyed me, sure, but it's something I learned to get over. Besides, she really IS written pretty well - most 15-year-old girls I've ever known ARE pretty annoying most of the time!

Don't skip 6 & 7, or you'll be missing some (more) great stuff.

Mike

"Kaylee, find that kid that's taking a dirt nap with baby Jesus; we need a hood ornament."

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 7:35 PM

DAX82


I loved Dawn. Couldnt picture the show without her. I hated the Slayerettes though. I think I could have strangled Kennedy. When they crossed over to Angel to get the psycho slayer back I was hoping Angel and the gang would take them out. But obviously that wasnt gonna happen.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 7:43 PM

DATALESS


No way, Jumping the shark is when the show start or as least is noticible getting worse. In Happy Days when the Fonz "Jumps the Shark" on the show was already on it's way out. If that event never happen the show still would have been canceled because the show was failing to keep it's fans interested. Joss adding Dawn to Buffy is a cool and interesting, so what she is annoing. She is meant to be annoying, what little sister isn't annoying (and does say River isn't annoying, she drives her brother crazy enough to give his life to save her.) So Dawn plays here role well. Keeping her instead of killing her tells me how good a story teller Joss really is. First he could have simply erased her from history and went on with out her, how easy would that be, so easy it's cool and unique to keep her around and not kill her. She is such a pain that she invites Harmony into the house (Slayer come out and play.) How many time have you seen that happen new character or a twin appears with no explantion and the die by the end of the ep? Every Sci fi show has down it. So why even attempt to do something everyone else has done? To do it different and Joss does it nearly flawlessly. Thanks Joss.

Joss it's my master but he is a fellow Browncoat and the first. That means something, I just don't know what.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, February 2, 2006 6:56 PM

GROOSALUGG


I'm one of the few who not only don't mind Dawn, I actually like her.

Yes, she can be hard to take at times in S5, and during that year, people who accuse her of being whiny have a case. But when you get right down to it, all she ever wanted was to be included in the action with the rest of the Scoobies, and all of her angst came from the fact that they treated her like a little kid who had to be protected from it all, even after Glory was defeated. I sympathize with her. By S6, she was as old as Buffy, Willow, and Xander were when the show first started, and nobody protected them. (That's dangerously close to being a rant--all that's missing is an exclamation point on the end--but like I said, I'm a Dawn supporter, and I feel the need to stick up for her .)

Anyway, as has been said, she sort of fades to being a background character (a la Oz or Jenny) during seasons 6 and 7, so the dislike of her shouldn't be the thing that stops anyone from watching those episodes. Hey, S7 has a whole lot more wrong with it than a little Dawn-whining!

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, February 2, 2006 7:12 PM

CREVANREAVER


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Did Buffy 'jump the shark' with Dawn's intro?



Short answer: Absolutely!

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, February 3, 2006 11:50 AM

SAMWIBATT


I was very worried that BtVS had jumped when Dawn showed up - the "new kid" character is nearly always a sign of rot in a series (in fact, Dawn is the only exception I can think of).

However, it became clear she was introduced because of a well-considered, interesting storyline instead of as some kind of ratings band-aid or because the writers had run out of ideas. The episode told from the point of view of her diary won me over.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, February 3, 2006 2:51 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Like I said above, don't skip S6 & S7 just because of Dawn. Two of my favorite episodes in the entire series are in there - "Once More With Feeling" in Season 6, and "Conversations With Dead People" in Season 7. CWDP is one of the more creepifying episodes you're likely to ever see; it ranks right up there with "Hush" for sheer ability to give you the heebie-jeebies. I think I can safely say "Mother's milk is red today" without giving anything away...except for how much it unnerved me!

I don't know how much you've heard about the musical episode, "Once More With Feeling", but in my mind it's one of the greatest single hours of television history. A casual watcher might not "get it", but to me, I was so engrossed in the whole Buffyverse by the time I saw that ep, it struck me how much work had gone into it. Every single song - no, strike that - every single WORD of every single LINE of every single song just felt like it had been worked on, agonized over, and intended to be exactly where it was, and for a very good reason. Every song, line, and word fit the characters perfectly, fit the show's overall persona perfectly, and fit the episode's storyline perfectly. Oh, and it's funny as hell, too. :)

And before you roll your eyes and go, "Oh great; a freaking musical episode...", keep in mind that this is Joss we're talking about. It's a musical, but it's that way for a reason. There's a very real, very evil reason everyone has to sing their lines, and it drives the story forward. Only Joss can do things like that and make them seem...well... LOGICAL. And did I mention funny?

Those two episodes rank right up there with Hush, The Body, and Prophecy Girl I & II as my all-time favorites in a series that, on its worst day, was still head and shoulders above 99% of the other stuff on TV.

Mike

PS: I'm still waiting for Joss to head for Broadway with Buffy: The Musical. :)

"Kaylee, find that kid that's taking a dirt nap with baby Jesus; we need a hood ornament."

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, February 9, 2006 5:55 AM

QUEENOFTHENORTH


I don't think Buffy "jumped the shark" at all with the introduction of Dawn. In fact, I don't think Buffy ever did "jump the shark". I'm of the camp that doesn't really find Dawn that annoying. She's got a couple of annoying moments, but overall I liked her character and the way it was introduced to the show. I actually found the Potentials infinitely more annoying. Bunch of whiny, no-nothing, wussy . . . I'll stop ranting.

Anyways, CIA, don't let Dawn stop you from watching seasons 6 & 7. I was a bit skeptical about them at first too, but I watched them and really liked them. I didn't think I'd like Once More With Feeling, as I generally hate musicals, but it really is as good as everyone says. Especially Spike's song and Buffy's end song. I really don't know how that episode didn't even get nominated for an Emmy. And you definitely don't wanna miss out on the Trio, the "supervillains" of season 6. They're hilarious. In short, yay seasons 6 & 7.

"I'm having one of those things - a headache with pictures."

"Of course I'm right. And if I'm not, may we all be horribly crushed from above somehow."

Like books? Go to this thread: http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=2&t=14862
to find out how to buy mine!

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, February 9, 2006 4:04 PM

ANASAZI


I would say no only because it wasn't just something Joss pulled out of his hat at a whim during the summer break. Going back to "This Year's Girl" 4X15 in the opening dream sequence with Faith, she mentions something about "little sis" coming, and that's it's going to be "big". It was a small thing that no one probably picked up on, but upon second viewing, it showed Joss had a direction and an arc with this character way back, and I always thought of the term Jump the Shark refered to when a particular show went in a certain direction in order to garner better ratings at the expence of the story.

________________________________________________________
"You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought....."

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, February 9, 2006 4:04 PM

ANASAZI


And what's the deal with the double postings lately. Is it me?

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, February 9, 2006 6:31 PM

KUKOO


Actually Joss first foreshadowed Dawn's arrival in the series finale of Season 3 with the dream sequence with Faith when Faith says "little miss moffet counting down from 730" Little miss moffet is Dawn and it is 730 days until Buffy dies for her. But no matter how planned out it was, I still feel as though Dawn was a major whiny drag on the series.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, February 9, 2006 7:32 PM

SNEAKER98


That's a terrible definition for "Jump The Shark".

There's one, and only one, and it comes right from it's namesake! In Happy Days, when Fonz jumped the shark, every episode including that one became cheesy and basically unwatchable. Hence, Jumping the Shark, is when a show becomes cheesy, possibly due to a lack of story ideas, new set of writers, etc.

For instance, The Simpsons jumped the shark with Duncan the Horse. Every episode beyond that one has been pure crap; nothing like it used to be.

"I do the job... and then I get paid. Go run your little world."
-Malcolm Reynolds

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, February 9, 2006 8:08 PM

RUXTON


Chris, amigo, do not under any circumstances miss viewing all of Buffy. It remains as the sole COMPLETE masterpiece of Mr. Whedon, after all.

Also, it has this fascinatingly beautiful woman in it, name of Michelle Trachtenberg,

who provided (IMHO) the sole challenge to the incredible good looks of the titular heroine. And she's also a pretty good actress, her skills clearly evolving through the final seasons. She is also a pretty fine dancer, as you'll see briefly along the way.

Oh, and she NEVER annoyed me. And I'm particular.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, February 10, 2006 2:32 PM

RUXTON


Bump. Anyone there?

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, February 10, 2006 2:45 PM

TAYEATRA


She wound me up I'll admit but only in Season 5. Beyond that she was alright. In season 7 I even liked her... a little bit.
I agree with previous poster (*insert name here* 'cause I'm too lazy to check), Dawn wasn't added as a band aid so that in itself made her bearable.
Don't be put of Season 6+7. As numerous others have commented, Once More with Feeling is fabulous and one of my personal favorites appears in Season 7. (Selfless- lots of Anya's past with plenty of Angst and Witty writing).

Dark Angel, Firefly, Buffy, Angel, Enterprise, Farscape... anything else you'd like to cancel?

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, February 10, 2006 2:55 PM

THEMANTHEYCALLEDJAMES


You're very right, she was sooooo annoying! And it took forever for them to figure out that she wasn't buffy's sister (dramatic irony should only really be used for comedy).

Dawn brings out a real inconssistancy in Buffy too. Throught the show Buffy was VERY quick to turn on her friends ( Angel, and Williow are the big ones) but she dies to save Dawn someone that was lying to her all season and she only knew for like a month or so.

and after Glory was killed she just had no purpose. She goes no to hog Buffy's best arc. She should have never been on the show.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, February 10, 2006 2:55 PM

THEMANTHEYCALLEDJAMES


You're very right, she was sooooo annoying! And it took forever for them to figure out that she wasn't buffy's sister (dramatic irony should only really be used for comedy).

Dawn brings out a real inconssistancy in Buffy too. Throught the show Buffy was VERY quick to turn on her friends ( Angel, and Williow are the big ones) but she dies to save Dawn someone that was lying to her all season and she only knew for like a month or so.

and after Glory was killed she just had no purpose. She goes no to hog Buffy's best arc. She should have never been on the show.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Thursday, February 16, 2006 12:23 PM

PARKER6097


I loved the character or Dawn, she was one of my favorite characters. I'm not sure why people have such a problem with the way she entered into the show. I mean we're talking about a universe in which demons walk the streets and there's a portal to hell in the basement of a high school. Is it that hard to believe that this universe also spawns a mystical key made flesh?

My one complaint is the writing for dawn, it was very inconsistent, sometimes she acted like an 8 year old, sometimes she acted like a 20 year old, but yea, I loved Dawn and have no complaints with her being added as a character.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

YOUR OPTIONS

NEW POSTS TODAY

USERPOST DATE

OTHER TOPICS

DISCUSSIONS
Is there life after Buffy...??
Sat, January 26, 2019 17:27 - 7 posts
Felicia Day On Escape!
Sat, December 22, 2018 10:09 - 1 posts
Buffy Comics Reading Order?
Thu, July 19, 2018 03:00 - 3 posts
BUFFY BRACKETOLOGY - Round 7
Wed, January 31, 2018 20:35 - 1 posts
BUFFY BRACKETOLOGY - Round 6
Wed, January 31, 2018 20:30 - 1 posts
Just finished watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time
Mon, October 31, 2016 23:08 - 17 posts
Chop wifes head off... get a free hug
Sun, October 30, 2016 12:30 - 3 posts
Sarah Michelle Gellar wins People Choice Award 2014
Wed, April 20, 2016 18:51 - 4 posts
Xander goes wild ! Nicholas Brendon arrested for rowdy antics in hotel room.
Thu, September 3, 2015 08:16 - 9 posts
SMG is a dork
Wed, April 15, 2015 04:09 - 4 posts
SMG gets reality TV series for sane people
Fri, April 10, 2015 16:31 - 1 posts
SMG in beastiality fiasco
Fri, April 10, 2015 16:22 - 3 posts

FFF.NET SOCIAL