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StephenT [userpic]

(Poll) Buffy and Satsu

4th May 2010 (15:24)

So, I'm curious. Both the opinions given in this poll have been stated often in the last few weeks; I'd like to get some idea of how the numbers stack up on either side. If you feel my poll questions are way too restrictive and arbitrary, by all means tell me so in the comments.

I'm asking about the sexual relationship between the two women, but I've worded the question to include the build-up to it and the aftermath once they broke up as well. Also, I'm not asking about whether you enjoyed reading the story, but whether you thought it was credible and played a part in the overall season arc, or if it was just pure fanservice.

When a few people have answered I'll edit this post to look at how the answers and the demographics correlate. 

ETA: Updated Statistical analysis as of 19:50 on 4 May. I'll update again if and when more people answer the poll!

People who think the story was realistic include 43% of the women who are attracted to women, 67% of the heterosexual men, 33% of the other humans and 50% of the penguins.


No women who are attracted to women, no straight men, and no penguins thought the story was purely pandering to fanboys. 28% of the other humans thought it was.

(Everybody else went for the 'neither' option.).


Poll #1560142 Buffy and Satsu

The interaction between Buffy and Satsu in Season 8 was:

Believable and realistic, and appropriate to the plot and themes of the season.
31(43.7%)
Shameless pandering to heterosexual men, with no credibility or artistic merit.
12(16.9%)
Neither of the above.
28(39.4%)

Are you:

A woman who is sexually attracted to women.
14(19.2%)
A heterosexual man.
15(20.5%)
Neither of the above.
34(46.6%)
A penguin.
10(13.7%)

Do you know about their relationship through:

Reading the comics.
62(84.9%)
Hearing about the comics from other people.
10(13.7%)
Neither of the above.
1(1.4%)

I don't know enough about the comics to answer but I want to tick a box anyway.

Ticky!
19(100.0%)


Comments

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 14:42 (UTC)

For 1), I'm sorely missing a "little bit of both" option.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 15:01 (UTC)

I did warn people I was being restrictive and arbitrary in the poll choices. :-)

But I do think they cover all the options; something can be realistic and fit into the storyline but ALSO have a fanservice element. The comics are a commercial enterprise, after all, not pure art for art's sake. Not to mention, I'd argue that a lot of Buffy's hero poses and speeches fall into the fanservice category. ("I'm the thing monsters have nightmares about - and right now, you and me are gonna show 'em why. It's time. Welcome to Thunderdome", anyone?) That's my first option.

Option two is the argument I've seen put forward frequently that the whole thing is nothing but fanservice, and it's not credible or believable, and Joss (or Drew, rather) only put it in there to boost sales.

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 17:33 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 18:31 (UTC)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 17:48 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 15:36 (UTC)

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 16:34 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 17:10 (UTC)

Posted by: An Overachiever of the Wrong Persuasion (rhi_silverflame)
Posted at: 5th May 2010 04:49 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 5th May 2010 08:33 (UTC)

Posted by: majingojira (majingojira)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 16:33 (UTC)

I can't make a choice because I still haven't determined what the overall theme and plot of the season is!

My need to make sense of the villain's main plan is hindering me greatly.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 17:06 (UTC)

You can answer at the end of the year, then. :-)

Although I'd say that the theme of Buffy's need for a feeling of connection has already been well-established over the last 34 episodes, and to me her relationship with Satsu was one of the key building-blocks of that.

Posted by: majingojira (majingojira)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 17:09 (UTC)

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 16:39 (UTC)

Also, and I hate to point this out, but the fact that Satsu is of Asian origin, to me, it feeds into a stereotype, which really doesn't help when the whole thing felt as if it was only created in the first place so they could say "Hawt Lesbian Sex in this issue!!"

And yes, I am aware they didn't actually say that, but you get what I mean ;)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 17:04 (UTC)

It does? I can honestly say I've never even heard of that stereotype. And my degree course included a course on 'The role of women in modern Japan', so...

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 17:09 (UTC)

Posted by: majingojira (majingojira)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 17:23 (UTC)

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 17:34 (UTC)

Posted by: majingojira (majingojira)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 17:52 (UTC)

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 19:40 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 18:00 (UTC)

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 19:42 (UTC)

Posted by: majingojira (majingojira)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 20:03 (UTC)

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 20:09 (UTC)

Posted by: majingojira (majingojira)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 20:21 (UTC)

Posted by: majingojira (majingojira)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 20:19 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 20:29 (UTC)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 23:00 (UTC)

Posted by: majingojira (majingojira)
Posted at: 5th May 2010 00:32 (UTC)

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 17:45 (UTC)
Wide-eyed Buffy

I am not really sure how to answer this question. It's complicated, lol.

Okay, from a generic standpoint, the "straight girl wants to experiment, but decides she's still straight" plot is totally realistic. It happens, no question.

Whether or not it's realistic for Buffy is a different question, which I'm undecided on. I do think it makes sense for Buffy within the context of S8, given the way she's been developed, and the way the story played out. It's just that show!Buffy always seemed like Straighty McStraighterson, and a lesbian hook-up is the last thing I would've expected from her. So maybe I agree with elisi that show!Buffy and comics!Buffy are just different.

From the bird's eye view, they definitely played it up to get readers, so it carries an element of fanservice, regardless of whether or not it made sense in the story. Although, actually, I think it's not so much fanservice as it is trying to be shocking. Because the publicity was less "Hot Girl on Girl Action!" (after all, they already have actual lesbians for that) and more "OMG Buffy's a lesbo now! (Oh, but not really.)" It seemed like it's the fact that it's Buffy in bed with a woman that was supposed to be the big deal, not just two chicks getting it on.

So, um, ticky box?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 18:21 (UTC)

It's just that show!Buffy always seemed like Straighty McStraighterson

Maybe I should have included another question in the poll, "Do you think that there was sexual subtext between Buffy and Faith in Season 3?", and seen if there was a correlation between people ticking 'yes' and people who thought the Satsu hook-up was believable. :-)


From the bird's eye view, they definitely played it up to get readers, so it carries an element of fanservice

I wouldn't disagree with that - though I think we need to distinguish between the writers and the publishing company. I can see a thought process going something like this:

Joss Whedon: Okay, I want to establish the theme that Buffy is totally invested in her Slayer Army, but at the same time feeling lonely and disconnected. Hmm. Maybe I could have her involved sexually with one of her fellow Slayers? And of course that would have lots of angst and misery potential, because Buffy's still basically straight so the relationship would be doomed from the start. I like it! And then I can kill her lover in the last episode - no, strike that, too many people have seen through the trick now. I'll just have them break up.

Drew Goddard: Hey, Joss, in this arc you've asked me to write you say you want Buffy and Satsu's relationship to be consummated? Well, why not start with a big splash page of the two of them in bed together, and then backtrack to explain how they got there? That would create a huge impact on the reader and get people talking.

Scott Allie: Uh-oh. This next issue of the comic is going to be hugely controversial, and everybody will be talking about it. We'd better make sure we manage the publicity and spin the story in our favour. And done right, it'll mean lots of good press and attention, and that should mean extra sales.

The Media: OMGWTFBBQ! Buffy is in bed with another woman! Has Buffy gone gay? See exclusive images of the same picture that everybody else is using here!

In short - like I said to BGF, something can be a valid part of the plot and a realistic storyline and still be played to the fans for publicity. But to be pure fanservice, as I understand it, it would have to be gratuitous.

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 18:35 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 19:20 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 19:01 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 19:16 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 21:08 (UTC)

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 23:03 (UTC)

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 18:02 (UTC)
penguins

Kaark? *flaps wings*

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 18:23 (UTC)

*throws you a fish*

Posted by: flake_sake (flake_sake)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 18:33 (UTC)

Beer good foamy said what I wanted to say, I missed a bit of both answer in the first option.

In parts it was realistic and in parts it was fanservice directed at men. I found those two things can go quite good together.

The element where I had the impression it became clear that it was directed primarily at men, was when they felt the need to underline Buffy's heterosexuality over and over. They could have just left that ambiguous and it would have made the story more convincing. Yet they went with the "the sex was great, but she could never love a woman trope" which seemed highly unrealistic to me. Hot sex demands a certain emotional compatibility (not love necessarily, but certainly the possibility), to devorce them so completely is porn movie sexuality to me, that may or may not exist but that I never have encountered in reality.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 19:08 (UTC)
buffy-satsu-healing

I can sympathise with the 'underlining her heterosexuality' part, though I do think they were caught in a dilemma - "Buffy the straight girl who is open to experimentation" fits in with her characterisation over the last seven seasons, "Buffy who's actually been bisexual all along" really doesn't, and I think they would have had even more complaints if they'd tried that. I can still see how it would be an uncomfortable message to have pushed at you again and again, though.

(Mind you - hasn't it mostly been Willow and Kennedy pushing that line, and they're hardly unbiased witnesses?)

I do disagree with you on the lack of emotional compatibility, though. Buffy made it very clear in 'A Beautiful Sunset' that Satsu meant an awful lot to her: she enjoyed her company, she cared about her, she didn't want her to get hurt, and she liked the way she smelled. And I do wonder what was in Buffy's subconscious mind to lead her to bring this all out in the open with Satsu at that particular time?

Posted by: flake_sake (flake_sake)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 19:32 (UTC)

Posted by: flake_sake (flake_sake)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 20:18 (UTC)

Posted by: majingojira (majingojira)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 20:22 (UTC)

Posted by: flake_sake (flake_sake)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 20:26 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 20:42 (UTC)

Posted by: flake_sake (flake_sake)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 21:07 (UTC)

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 21:26 (UTC)

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 4th May 2010 23:06 (UTC)

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 5th May 2010 09:48 (UTC)

For Q1: I had to go with neither. Explanation: I don't find it very believable that Buffy fell into bed with Satsu in the way it was told, but I could see Buffy falling into bed with another Slayer. I just don't think there was quite enough of a build up for Buffy to 'throw caution to the wind' and make that leap. But, I could be wrong.

For Q2: I had to go with neither. Explanation: A man, but not heterosexual.

For Q3: Read the comics.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th May 2010 10:28 (UTC)

It seems to me that the comics are a very abbreviated form of storytelling, especially when compared to a 22 x 43 minute episode US TV season. There's not much time to build up anything - so every detail of every panel has to carry narrative significance, and one entire issue devoted to building up their relaitonship ('A Beautiful Sunset') is actually a superabundance of attention...

As for question 2, given that it was a story about gay and bicurious women that's been accused of being fanservice for straight men, I thought that separating out the opinions of gay and bicurious women, straight men, and everyone else would be interesting. :-)

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 7th May 2010 07:54 (UTC)

Posted by: ubi4soft (ubi4soft)
Posted at: 5th May 2010 12:34 (UTC)

People who think the story was realistic include 43% of the women who are attracted to women, 67% of the heterosexual men, 33% of the other humans and 50% of the penguins.

As for now, I'm glad that 3.5 penguins enjoyed Batsu.

I heard about Batsu during Paleyfest 08 events and seeing SMG surprised that it wasn't Willow.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th May 2010 10:59 (UTC)
buffy-willow

The more recent pengiuns to answer the poll have been voting for 'neither'. It's currently at 2 believable, 5 neither and 2 didn't pick an option at all.

It did amuse me that Sarah is possibly a secret Buffy/Willow 'shipper. ;-)

Posted by: Lisa (shipperx)
Posted at: 5th May 2010 14:22 (UTC)
30 Rock - Liz&Jack

Oh, I think it had some merit. Satsu is a worthwhile character. However, I also think the sex was a plot stunt to generate interest and to titillate male readers. So, basically, it's both.

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