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13 September 2010 @ 01:54 am
Finance in the Jossverse  
How do you feel ME handled financial issues in the Jossverse?

While I love all four shows, I wasn't really impressed with the writers portrayal of personal finance especially in season six of Buffy. I feel like they could have written money issues much better  instead of going for a laughs when Buffy works at DoubleMeat Palace.They never really went into the roommate situation between Buffy, Willow, and Tara which is a shame because one would imagine that it would have baring on the three's relationships.  I'm of the opinion that they split rent, food, and utilities, unlike most opinions I've read of the situation, simply because I can't imagine how Buffy could have afforded it alone on a fast food salary or that Tara or Willow would have mooched off her. Another mystery was how Willow and Tara afforded to maintain the Summers' house and Dawn during the between between seasons five and six. I could see both having student loan money (and Willow getting cash regularly from her parents as well as tutoring on the side) but I always figured that Tara would have had to have a job of some kind since she was disowned by her family. ME did a good job with Xander's job hunt, but its a shame that they didn't even throw in a toss away line to give some sort of hint at what jobs Tara and Willow might have had.

Whats everyone else's thoughts on the subject?
(Deleted comment)
Staringiscaring: Anyageekstaringiscaring on September 13th, 2010 09:25 am (UTC)
Thanks. My own current job search inspired me.

Also, that reminds me of how the writers had Buffy ask the council (in season five) to pay Giles but didn't even mention herself despite the fact that she was a full-time superwoman.

Tara's family always struck me as working class. Hmmmm, I could see her in a nurturing job like at a daycare or a nursing home as well as doing work study at UC SunnyD. I had a sudden vision of her as a maid.

Buffy and Dawn always seemed to have different outfits (including a lot of leather pieces for cashier). It would have made sense if Dawn got a job when she was 16 but ME seemed to want to have all the characters treat her like she was 10.

Well, there was a an episode in season two that implied that he got money from this old bankrobber, but in season three when Connor is born he is hustling around for cash.

(no subject) - gillo on September 13th, 2010 10:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - staringiscaring on September 13th, 2010 10:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - frelling_tralk on September 13th, 2010 11:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
Staringiscaringstaringiscaring on September 13th, 2010 09:26 am (UTC)
Oh, I forgot to mention that I thought that Firefly seemed the most realistic about money.
Avox in Arcadia: Lockheedperpetual on September 13th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC)
Definitely. Everything added up on Firefly, even the stealing from the rich and selling to the poor...

Mostly I think S6 of Buffy was a plothole. There's never any indication that Willow and Tara had jobs or other ways to contribute to the household, but freeloading would have been totally unlike them, so there's no clear explanation for what's going on. Xander could have helped out, too. And Hank. And the Watchers' Council.

But mostly I just want to comment on your icon which is the most addictively sweet visual I have seen in the history of ever.
(no subject) - staringiscaring on September 15th, 2010 05:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
velvetwhipvelvetwhip on September 13th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
I agree that financial issues were not handled with the highest degree of realism.

Staringiscaring: willowstaringiscaring on September 15th, 2010 05:45 am (UTC)
Indeed. I'm not expecting the nitty gritty but it would have made the show feel more grounded.
FreeSpiritbuffyangellvr23 on September 13th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
I wanna know how Giles afforded the magic shop....it was before his back pay.
racheltngracheltng on September 14th, 2010 02:43 am (UTC)
Not that this is a complete explanation, but someone (I think Willow) mentioned that he was able to get it on the cheap because the last 2 shopowners had been murdered. Though cheap still = money, even if not as much.
(no subject) - staringiscaring on September 15th, 2010 05:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
lostboy_ljlostboy_lj on September 13th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
Well, one aspect that would send my lovely wife (and Buffy Superfan) into ranting, fuming tirades was the wardrobe.

For instance, every time we watch the first episode of Season 6 - Every Single Time - she makes the same commentary about how unemployed, single-parent Buffy could never afford that couture warbdrobe. There's even a particular jacket Buffy wears that makes her literally growl whenever it shows up on screen. I think what irks her the most is this season is partly about her financial woes, which makes her crazy-expensive duds Wrong with a side of Wrong sauce.

But Buffy was far from the worst popular TV show when it came to money issues. "Friends" was a horrifying depiction of an alternate-universe New York City, where underemployed orphans and starving actors can live in GIANT RENTAL PALACES OFF CENTRAL PARK. Those apartments were like a thumb in the eye and salt in the wound to us real New Yorkers, who struggle to pay the bills on studio apartments that are probably smaller than most suburban bathrooms
Avox in Arcadia: You're even testing Lorne's patienceperpetual on September 13th, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
OY I so hear you on that. I've never even lived in New York but I've been there enough to get enraged on your behalf when I see the apartments on Friends. And Seinfeld. One of the only things those two shows had in common.
(no subject) - staringiscaring on September 15th, 2010 05:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
zanthinegirl: Anyazanthinegirl on September 15th, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)
I've always wondered how Anya was supposed to have lived once she got herself stranded in Sunnydale. She doesn't have parents to live with (unlike the other scoobies) and doesn't go to college, but she doesn't seem to have a job until Giles opens the Magic Box two season later.

I did like that they sort of address money issues on Angel; I'm pretty sure I remember Cordelia buying clothes, wearing them, and being upset that she can't return them because of demon-fighting related damages.
Staringiscaring: Anyageekstaringiscaring on September 15th, 2010 05:48 am (UTC)
Thats true. How did Anya survive before the magic box. It was implied that she had an apartment. It would be hilarious if she was rooming with Clem off-screen.

Yeah, Angel did touch upon the money issue a bit especially in the first season and then when Connor was born, I believe. Angel Investigations always seemed to be in the red.
assia24assia24 on September 15th, 2010 12:40 pm (UTC)
money problem in BTVS
I was thinking about the money problem in BTVS, too. So it is really weird how Buffy manage to keep the housekeeping and to get new clothes.
About Tara and Willow – IMO Tara has some scholarship from university. So and Willow, plus help of Willow`s parents. We never have seen in the show that they both have a job. About Buffy – until episode “ Double meat palace” – she has no job, too. So how Buffy manaage to survive ? At first place I think she get some help from Giles. In S5 she gave her a check . We don`t know about how much money is this check , but may be they were enough for the moment. And may be Buffy`s father was help with money ,too. And in episode “ Flooded” Anya suggest very correctly that Buffy has right to want to be paid for killing vampires. After all in Ats, Angel make an agency – Angel investigation and his clients pay him. Why Buffy can`t do the same ? I know she is noble, but after all she risking her life every day . She deserves to be paid, IMO.
Staringiscaringstaringiscaring on September 15th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
Re: money problem in BTVS
I agree. Everyone acted like Anya farted or something when she suggested that but I feel like if Buffy did become a bodyguard or something that she could have helped more people. Given the people of sunnydale a place to turn to instead of just having Buffy follow the screams in the night.
Re: money problem in BTVS - assia24 on September 15th, 2010 07:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: money problem in BTVS - staringiscaring on September 15th, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: money problem in BTVS - assia24 on September 17th, 2010 11:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: money problem in BTVS - staringiscaring on September 17th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: money problem in BTVS - sockmonkeyhere on September 19th, 2010 07:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: money problem in BTVS - staringiscaring on September 19th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: money problem in BTVS - sockmonkeyhere on September 19th, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: money problem in BTVS - staringiscaring on September 19th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: money problem in BTVS - assia24 on September 21st, 2010 07:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: money problem in BTVS - sockmonkeyhere on October 6th, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: money problem in BTVS - assia24 on October 8th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
aaronlisa: BTVS: Willowaaronlisa on September 18th, 2010 06:03 am (UTC)
BtVS really didn't handle financial issues well at all. Even in Season Three with Faith's arrival, there's a disparity to how she's protrayed financially and what she has materially. For example, a plausible timeline for Faith's trip to Sunnydale is around four months, although we're given ample evidence of Faith's want, take, have attitude, it still doesn't explain how she made it four months on the road. Furthermore although Faith's wardrobe is basic and not as elaborate as say Buffy's is in Season Six, the fact of the matter is she has a lot of leather pants. (Keep in mind that it's not until BtVS Season Four/ATS Season One that we're given evidence how far Faith's want, take, have attitude goes and I don't think that until that point Faith was so ruthless to mug people like she did upon her arrival in LA.) It also doesn't explain how Faith is able to afford her motel room, yeah it's a cheap dump but we're not given any evidence of Faith actually obtaining money to pay for her rent/daily food/etc.

Then comes Season Six. With Joyce's death, I really feel that the writers dropped the ball. And in a way it seems to me that Buffy's job is just a way to either a) further a plot point or b) comedic relief or even c) some combination of a and b. There are certain issues that are never brought up that should have been:

1) Joyce owned the gallery. What ever happened to it and the contents?
2) Even if the house was paid off in full, the fact that the house still needs to be maintained, where is the money coming from that.
3) What about Joyce's hospital bills? I don't know how insurance works in the US but I am sure that it's rather unlikely that it covered her bills 100%.
4) Joyce was not an only child, according to the Buffy wikia, she had at least two sisters. So where is her family? Why aren't they helping out with Joyce's illness and then her children after her death?
5) Hank Summers? Sure the show gave us the lame response of he moved to Spain and couldn't be found but I find it hard to believe that with Willow's computer skills and her magical ability that she couldn't somehow manage to find Hank.
6) Considering Buffy's financial situation at the time of her mother's death, I find it hard to believe that she would just be awarded custody of her sister. Especially considering that Buffy's only 20 and her sister is 15 at that point.

TL; DR BtVS is probably the worse of the Whedon shows for showing how characters handle finances. Even when they're in dire straits financially.
Staringiscaring: Anyageekstaringiscaring on September 18th, 2010 06:21 am (UTC)
Very good points. Not addressing those issues made it hard to take Buffy's plight seriously and undermined the 'mundane life sucks' theme they were going for.
(no subject) - aaronlisa on September 18th, 2010 06:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - staringiscaring on September 18th, 2010 06:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aaronlisa on September 18th, 2010 06:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - staringiscaring on September 18th, 2010 07:06 am (UTC) (Expand)