An idea for the best tv writing team ever! Buffy and B5!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul P, Feb 11, 2002.

  1. Paul P

    Paul P Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok,

    so I was watching buffy this weekend, and realized how great of a dialogue writer Joss Whedon is. But in watching Buffy, and reading interviews with Joss, I've realized that although he can write decent plot and character arcs, he kind of thinks them up on the fly. Then I thought about my favorite sci-fi television show, Babylon 5, and its writer JMS. He can't write dialogue(some is ok), but the show as a whole was great. Mainly because of his innovative characters and amazing plot and character arcs that spanned the years of a television show. Then it struck me. They would be amazing as a collaborative team. They both have television and comic writing experience, both are generally strong as writers, but are specifically strong in the others weak area, and are some the more innovative writers in television today. Wouldn't that be great?

    And if they brought beer. Really great beer, like keystone, and keystone light. Bottled beer taste in a can, that tastes like beer in a bottle. Wouldn't that be great!
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Actually, on the fly is the exact opposite of how things work in the mind of Most Perfect. I think Marti Noxon said it best when she said that she came upon him pacing back and forth, and asked him what was wrong, and he replied that he was trying to figure out what should happen in episode 7 next year
     
  3. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    The thing about JMS' dialogue is that, yes, some of it is painful, but when it's good, it's the best. Some of it for the foreshadowing (Walker Smith telling Garibaldi to "watch his back"), and some for character development. The scene in the broken elevator with G'Kar and Londo was one of the most dramatic and comedic moments in TV history.
    And of course, the greatest dialogue character: Kosh [​IMG]
    I don't know much about Buffy, though. I understand that it's appeal, or part of it, lies in its youth target, something B5 didn't really have. If they make that new Rangers series, there would be younger characters there. Would be interesting to see that play out.
     
  4. Paul P

    Paul P Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes. . .
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Arkady Kleiner

    Arkady Kleiner Auditioning

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    JMS and Joss Whedon are known to like each other's work ('Buffy' and 'Babylon 5'), so they would probably like working with each other.
    Unfortunately, at the moment both have too much on their plate. And frankly i'd like Whedon to concentrate more on 'Buffy', then split himself alittle more working on yet another new show.
    JMS already has 'Jeremiah' which he says is high priority for him. Then there's this new 'Polaris' show he's developing. And if 'B5:Rangers' goes to series, he probably won't have time for anything more. There's only so many hours in a day after all.
    But it'd be great [​IMG]. Maybe some day.
     
  6. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  7. Paul P

    Paul P Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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  9. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  10. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Cinematographer

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    What about the dream scene in Graduation Day?

    Faith mentioned 'Little Miss Muffet'

    Which was Dawn.

    That was the end of season 3, Dawn wasn't revealed until the beginning of Season 5. And Dawn was basically there to lead up to Buffy's death, so it can be said that Joss planned that one at least the middle of season 3, or more...

    So he does a lot of foreshadowing that really does help the show and make it all fit together. I also love when they reference really, really old episodes and situations, almost every week. Something most shows do only once a year, or less...
     
  11. Brad Grenz

    Brad Grenz Second Unit

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    There's definitely some prearrangement going on in Joss' head, but what confuses it is that I think he, and the other writers, also like to look and previous episodes work what might have been throw away lines into the new stuff. I'm guessing that happens a lot, mostly cause I don't think they could have possibly been orchestrated to such a fine level of detail. But than again, Jeff might be right and Joss could be God.
     
  12. Paul P

    Paul P Stunt Coordinator

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    See it feels more to me that he(Joss) has plot lines/arcs that run around 2 years, whereas JMS ran plot lines for Babylon 5 deliberately that started in the first season, and got resolved in the end. It all got wrapped up rather nicely. For Buffy it seems that they kind of plan a two-year plot line, then say "what can we do now?" With B5 it was more cohesive. Then again, with Buffy, maybe it shouldn't be "going somewhere" specific, since it's about the maturing metaphor, and we often don't know where we're going, and often end up in a different place than we had planned.
     
  13. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    JMS had the advantage that his show was only going to last 5 years and no more. He had a beginning, middle, and end. Joss doesn't have that with Buffy. In fact B5 is the exception, not the rule.

    When Joss finishes an arc, he also needs to plan where to go next. It can lead to some awkward plot threads to get there. It also has the possibility of not being as good too.

    I don't envy TV writers. They have to keep a show fresh, even if there is 7-8 years of history.

    Course, we then have guys like Chris Carter, who go "screw it" and not go anywere with the arcs.

    Jason
     
  14. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    The thing is, JMS was asked to do more season of B5. He refused, saying it was a 5 year show- no more, no less.

    I wonder if other executive producers have that kind of control or desire.
     
  15. Paul P

    Paul P Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I mean, c'mon. Would anyone be willing to continue another season of B5 without JMS?

    Jason- AWESOME. X-Files decayed from promising to a simple "WHAT????"

    I agree B5 is the exception, but imagine how much better a series could be if planned in such a manner. What I find impressive in the two series is the levels the writing achieves. B5 had such planning, such foreshadowing, drama, and power, that you really can't sit down to one episode without wanting to watch a season and a half. I've shown a friend an episode, and then every time it turns into an all night event. The writing includes everything from social critiques to religious and cultural representations in the different alien races. The acting improved after the first season. Buffy has a whole different element of depth through the subtext of the personal growth theme, combined with powerful dialogue and multi-dimensional characters. These two shows begin to embody what television is capable of, the opportunity to use multiple elements well to tell long term, epic size stories that in the end ring true to life. Instead television is all too often a distraction, petty storylines and contrived plots, surface acting and no compelling themes. The closest to these long term story-arcs typically achieved are in movie sequels, such as star wars. The potential is there, with such great writers and actors out there. I'm just waiting for that powerhouse combination to finally come together and make the ultimate series. Waiting might be pointless. Maybe I should take more direct steps. Hmmm.
     
  16. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Paul, you'll get no argument from me. I never watch Buffy (sorry folks, I simply cannot bring myself to watch a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer), but so many respectable people give it such good praise, including HTF members, that I certainly give it respect.

    Babylon 5, with no exaggeration, completely changed the way I look at television. Before, bad TV never really bothered me, because I just figured that TV wasn't capable of better. Now I feel differently. At its best, I think it can be a more powerful story-telling tool than movies. There is simply more time to get into the characters.

    Of course, this never happens.

    Now, when I see bad television, I sometimes actually get angry that no one is using the TV medium to its full potential.
     
  17. Paul P

    Paul P Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike, give BTVS a chance. Trust me. It's really worth it.
     
  18. Timothy Alexander

    Timothy Alexander Second Unit

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  19. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Ugh, I should have known to shut up about Buffy.

    Look, I just don't watch a lot of TV. Simpsons, Family Guy, Boston Public (only because I started last season), sometimes Frasier, and anything Star Trek and Babylon 5 related. I really have no "room" for anything else.

    Maybe if they'd show Buffy on re-runs from the beginning I'd check out an episode or two. But I still don't think I could bring myself to actually watch something with a blonde cheerleader battling vampires. You have to admit, it's a lot to get over before seriously watching it, even if it is a great show.

    I've had lots of people tell me they couldn't watch a show with funny looking aliens and computer graphics (B5). That's cool. Some things just ain't for everyone.
     
  20. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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