Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A Buffy Season: 16: The Genre Standard

Into every genre show a few familiar tropes must fall.

Because it's almost been a year, might as well look again at six staples of SF/F series.

The Bodyswap
The Time Loop
Ascension To A Higher Plane Of Existence
Alternate Dimensions
The Doppelganger/Double/Duplicate
The Dream Episode

I'll be addressing a couple of these later on.

For now, note "I only did three of them in the course of The Watch House and the Bodyswap wasn't actually my idea. Mostly because I was sticking with the Buffyverse and there had already been high-profile Ascending, Dream and recent Time Loop episodes."

Still, there's fun to be had in letting players loose on a well-known fictive structure, seeing how a particular bunch of characters deals with a familiar problem.

So I'll throw in some other tropetastic options, like...

Descent Into The Underworld. (There was some talk of doing this at the start of Buffy season six.)

Crossover. (With Buffy, with Angel... or Bureau 13 or Grimm or Pirates Of The Caribbean or any other series that looks like it could happen in the Buffyverse without changing much.)

The Hero Loses Their Powers. (Helpless, of course. And Angel in I Will Remember You, where it's totally awesome for him until it almost kills him. Also the less common flipside, The Hero's Powers Go Into Overdrive. Which I did to Jake the psychic in The Watch House, a bit like Earshot. And which latterly Buffy sorta-kinda did in Season Eight.)

Days Of Future Past. (The Wish is almost like this, but with the present rewritten to allow a villain already safely slain to win.)

Protect A (Possibly Vitally Important) Child. (Buffy never did a babysitting episode - Dawn doesn't count - but Angel had to save oracle children from a killer Daredevil-wannabe and defend a pregnant woman from weird knights after accidentally killing her champion, and had plenty of trouble with his own son to boot.)

Amnesia. (Buffy and Angel did this in the same year!)


Example: Power

The Hero's Powers Go Into Overdrive. First applied to the slayer in SteveD's Elvis Buffy season.

Pursuing a vampire, Billie throws a mailbox at him. And I mean a street mailbox, not a house one.

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