monster of the week formula

Scattered thoughts from rewatching Buffy for the first time in 5 years or so, Part 1

For reference: at the moment I’m currently, like, two thirds of the way through Season 3.

  • jesus fucking christ Xander
  • To elaborate: Xander’s nice guy syndrome in season 1 and most of season 2 makes me want to punch him in the fucking face every time he opens his shitty mouth
  • It’s not Nicholas Brendon’s fault.  The dude is a really charming actor and makes Xander more likable than the writing does.  But holy shit does the writing make him fucking unlikable.
  • In season three he gets better - “The Zeppo” remains one of the best episodes of anything ever - but there are still moments where Xander gets self righteous and the writers clearly want us to view him as the voice of reason buy my gut reaction is “Xander shut your fucking mouth you nice guy fucking shithead, you are in no place to lecture anyone”.
  • A lot of people prefer the music of the later season because it’s more original and serious, but as the show goes on I find myself missing the synth heavy score of the first season.  It felt so much more horror movie-y than the music the show uses from season 3 on out.
  • The high school seasons are so great though.  Excellent use of both the monster of the week and the Seasonal Big Bad formulas.  The world of Buffy feels a lot more full and varied in these seasons - monsters could be anything, from vampires to scientific mutants to demons to robots.  Season 3 is sort of the beginning of the end for that though, as more and more episodes are just “it’s another demon, huzzah.”
  • I miss when vampires were scary on this show already.  Again, the show makes them really feel intimidating in the first two seasons, and then in season three their threat begins to wane.  It’s sad.
  • Spike
  • Spike
  • Spike is so good and I dread his season 6 character assassination
  • I mean I dread the character assassination that everyone gets in season six but I dread Spike’s most of all
  • I remember why I crushed so hard on Allyson Hannigan as a teenager
  • Also heeeheee none of these actors are believable as high school students
  • Sunnydale’s teachers are, sadly, pretty shitty stereotypes.  Giles kinda makes up for it though.
  • Giles is great.
  • The first three seasons of Buffy are great and wonderful even with their flaws and I know it’s all going to change in fourth season and am sorta sad for it
On Danny Phantom’s Characters

I recently read an enlightening post by @ectoplasmbender​ titled A Word On Sam that honestly made me want to apologize for referring to her as a “Parody of Teen Rebellion”, not because she isn’t that, but because that’s all she was ever designed to be.

It’s no secret that I’ve held nothing but scorn for the many missed opportunities in DP, but it was that post that made me realize the true nature of Danny Phantom’s characters.

It didn’t occur to me until I read A Word On Sam that most characters are underdeveloped, and that I was being unfair, if not straight out sexist, by singling out Sam. 

My biggest mistake in judging these characters, is that I thought of them as people, not as the machinations of Butch Hartman’s mind. Teenagers as idealized by a middle-aged man.

It is unfair to treat a character as a person. That is not to say that a realistic character is a bad idea, but it isn’t actually necessary. As much as I hate to admit it, if all characters were realistic the show wouldn’t have moved forward. 

Danny Phantom thrived and suffered from its purposeful campiness and its Monster-Of-The-Week formula. It thrived in that it could use ridiculous villains without batting and eye, but suffered in it’s character design and development by using some frankly outdated stereotypes.

Honestly, who here had anything resembling the Casper High social cliques in high school?

There was an attempt to keep the playing field fair that ultimately failed. Paulina and Dash for example, are both designed to be the stereotypical high school bullies. However, where we get to see Dash’s more vulnerable side through his pet chihuahua, Paulina never moves out of the cookie-cutter pretty-girl stereotype beyond her race. She starts shallow and stays shallow as a puddle, whereas Dash could at least count as a kiddie pool. I believe that this is a side-effect of having a middle aged man design teenagers, as he would have a clearer idea of the different angles of a teenaged male than of a female’s.

The character whose evolution I liked most was Valerie due to her shift from A-Lister to Nobody to Wrathful Ghost Huntress to Dani’s Best Friend. I’ve also made it no secret that I like Valerie way more than Sam, but that has a lot to do with the fact that Valerie got more development in the few episodes she appeared in than Sam did in the whole series.

This, however, has a purpose. Val showed up sporadically where Sam showed up almost every episode. Due to the way the show is formatted, it is intended to be able to be seen in a non-consecutive manner. As a result, Sam’s personality had to remain largely unchanged to ensure that anyone could tune in at any point in the show, and not be confused by Sam’s new personality. Although he is rarely brought up, it should be noted that Tucker’s development was also rather stagnant, remaining a “Revenge of the Geeks” character from beginning to end.

In this way, Danny Phantom is a victim of it’s time. This is before executives figured out that children can keep track of long narratives, allowing characterization fallacies that are not acceptable in modern cartoons.

I’m not trying to denounce Danny Phantom as “Salvageable By Nostalgia”, it was certainly innovative by its own right. But it was not a realistic view of teenagers, and it certainly did not go out of its way to develop its characters properly.

This is an old one, but I’m still proud of it.  I should really draw these two again.  

P.S.  This is one of the best shows ever made.  It is called Revolutionary Girl Utena.  Watch the show before you watch the movie.  It masquerades as a formulaic monster-of-the-week to get your guard down, but as you keep watching the layers peel back, it’ll blow your mind.   When you watch it a second time, you’ll realize there were signs all along…

And if that doesn’t convince you, PRETEND it is a Bubbline AU.

anonymous asked:

At least with SMC you don't have to worry about 200 episodes of monsters of the week like the original. So make fun of the animation, the faster pace, the faithful adaptation which fyi everyone wanted in the original. People still like SMC.

So the monster of the week formula is wrong but Crystal horrible adaption isn’t?.

Damn, there have always been a lot of people who despised the monster of the week formula (Idky tbh) but it’s a bit too much saying that Crystal is better because it doesn’t have that.

Yeah, Crystal doesn’t have the monster of the week formula but it also doesn’t have:

  • Good Animation
  • Faithful adaptation
  • Character development
  • Memorable characters
  • Action
  • A good plot
  • Knowledge of the basic proportions of the human body
  • Powerful senshi
  • Friends bonding
  • Chicks before dicks message
  • Female empowerment theme
  • Effective attacks
  • Good looking attacks
  • Accuracy in anything
  • Heart
  • And a lot more

Everything that the classic anime does have.

   In which I talk about Introduction Speeches and All Might

   I’m not entirely sure where the tradition of characters giving introduction speeches every time they appear really originates from, characters announcing that they’ve arrived is nothing new really but like, full-on introduction speeches facinate me a little. You know I love the magical girl genre and Sailor Moon especially, and of course, the characters always having surprisingly long introduction speeches is nothing new in this genre.

  Of course having long introduction speeches means that a studio can save some money and time by getting to use stock footage (hi Toei), so the introduction speeches in kids shows that use a MotW formula (hi Toei) is nothing shocking. But what these speeches can do on a psychological level is facinating in my opinion.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Sophie chan what's your opinion of the current season of the nick TMNT and why does it suck so much?

i haven’t seen any of the current season! i stopped watching in the middle of season 2, and then a couple episodes after that like the Karai mutation episode and season 2 finale. i thought i’d get back into it in season 3 because i always love the Northampton farmhouse stuff, but after i saw a clip and people talking about it, i just… ugh. i don’t know. for me April is a big reason why it sucks, they do not know what to do with her or how to write her (or any of the female characters, period, what few they have). the Don/April thing got creepy real fast. the monster of the week formula got boring, the characters are mostly pretty one-note, it feels driven by trying to sell toys (which is fine, it’s a reality, but only goes so far), and overall it feels like nobody knows what to do with TMNT so they’re throwing every idea they have at the wall and nothing is sticking so then they move on to the next one.

on the other hand, i think disappointed older fans like me have to accept we’re simply not the target audience for this show, and just move on. :)

katieisamused  asked:

I feel like SMC could have been better if it had better pacing and they had done some character development. If we all hadn't seen and/or read the manga or 90's adaptation, we'd know nothing about these girls! While I feel like they could have cut out a lot of filler in the 90's anime and it still would have worked, Crystal needs the filler. I like Crystal, but I feel let down.

One of Crystal’s biggest problems is the lack of development (and bad pacing but I’m only going to talk here about the fillers).

A lot of people bashes the classic anime because of the amount of fillers and the monster of the week formula but let me tell you how important those episodes were for character development and the story itself and how they made it the anime so much better.

Let’s take one of Minako’s filler episodes of the first season for example

The hard and painful task of letting go.

This filler episode was really emotional and needed to understand (and develop) Minako’s character whom had just joined the senshi.

This episode wasn’t really relevant to the main story (it could’ve been omitted and not esential info would have been lost) but it gave a lot for the characterization of Minako.

We got to know about her past,her background story, where she comes from, why she is like that, how she was “kind of” betrayed by her friend and how she was mature enough to not hold on hard feelings and let go for her own good and wish nothing but the best to their friends.

In other words, ~CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT~ that Crystal wishes it had.

Of course not all of the filler episodes were like this and some of them were pretty much pointless and gave nothing (like that dinosaur episode in R) but the fillers were a great thing overall and by watching Crystal you realize even more how important they were to have a consistent story and characters.

Crystal has nothing of that, and also because of the lack of fillers, the pacing is horrible.

triplehamburgerjack  asked:

Binan was sort of funny at first, but, it doesn't last.

To be honest, I thought I would get easily bored of it but I have to say that today I caught up on the episodes and I was kinda surprised that I enjoyed it lol.

Maybe it’s because I’m not watching any other anime at the moment (apart from Crystal).

Definitely it’s not an anime I would recommend if you’re looking for a good plot, so far the anime only follows the monster of the week formula without leading up to anywhere and without developing any other side stories or background stories (I have to say that on episode 4 it looks like they start to build up a major plot though but we’ll see).

I’m surprised that I’m liking this so far.

Also the babies episode was hilarious.

And the fanservice is on point lol <3.