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Date Posted: 11:18:43 07/26/05 Tue
Author: Eurydice
Author Host/IP: 141.154.25.236
Subject: Well, dumb decisions make people look dumb.
In reply to: Rosie 's message, "Losing His IQ?" on 10:38:52 07/26/05 Tue

Before the writers decided to make Spike a regular character, he could cloak himself in his Big Bad reputation. He could seem fearless and ruthless and he could talk a good story about all of his plots and exploits - but even then, his exploits weren't based on brainpower, they were about letting his inhibitions run wild.

Once he was defanged and had to play nice around the kiddies, the writers started piling on the "weaknesses", which included making dumb decisions, pratfalls, "non-intellectual" tastes in food and entertainment, the spectacular failure of his "cunning plans", and getting his nose punched regularly by the Scoobys. These don't paint the picture of a man of competence and intellectual achievement. So maybe his IQ didn't actually drop by 50 points, but the removal of his Big Bad mask and the character decisions the writers made developed Spike into a guy who wasn't an intellectual force. That didn't make him inferior to the other characters, he just had different talents.

Those of us who love Spike are willing to see through all this and look for the gold underneath, but those who aren't so taken with him are going to stick to the surface. And the surface says "not the sharpest stake in the drawer" cuz that's what the writers put there - it's not an unreasonable conclusion.

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Replies:

[> [> [> Oh, and let's not forget Hawaiian shirts and demon eggs -- Eurydice, 12:00:04 07/26/05 Tue [1] (141.154.25.236)

Those don't spell Brain of the Century, either. Not only did Buffy think Spike was too stupid to be an international mastermind, but his fans used that excuse, too. And we can all howl "But that was the writers!! Spike isn't really like that!!!" Except that he's a product of the writers.


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[> [> [> Intelligence and Stupidity -- Rosie, 12:49:58 07/26/05 Tue [1] (170.97.67.115)

Even intelligent people have committed their share of stupid decisions and acts. Wesley Wyndham-Price, anyone? Or even Tara in "Family"? And I'm talking about characters who are considered as more intelligent than others. I have also seen plenty of examples of Spike's sharp intelligence during his post-chip era. Perhaps your fondness for S2-early S4 Spike has made you forget this.


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[> [> [> [> I never forget anything -- Eurydice, 20:14:07 07/26/05 Tue [1] (151.203.54.109)

I don't have a particular fondness for Early Spike, I much prefer the later version, and I haven't forgotten that Spike is a fictional character whose development is at the hands of a group of writers trying to write a story that's not predominantly about him. I've especially not forgotten my points in this whole thread, which is the writers chose to portray Spike in a way that was not super-intelligent, specifically when compared with JM's upcoming role as Brainiac, who really is a super-intelligent, criminal mastermind - and that in BtVs and AtS Spike showed a different kind of intelligence than traditional kind we associate with "smart."

The fact is that Spike didn't just have occasional lapses of judgement as did some of the other characters you've mentioned did - the writers had him making mistakes all the time, the same way they put Xander in embarassing situations all the time - they had fun doing it. It may not have been the true heart of the character, but repetition creates the reputation, just as Xander became labelled as "demon magnet" and hopeless with women.

So I guess I don't see what the big fat furry deal is. We Spike fans complained all through BtVS seasons 6 & 7 and all though AtS season 5 about how the writers were making Spike look stupid (as if Spike actually existed apart from what the writers choose to say) - if we could see it, why wouldn't some guy writing an article for zap2it see it?


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[> [> [> May I ask a question? In order to "love" a character are we supposed to be blind? -- Christian, 15:52:53 07/26/05 Tue [1] (209.240.205.62)

I LOVE FAITH like crazy! To me she's the only character that really matters to me and is really interesting but if I read "Faith wasn't very bright" am I supposed to get pissed of and say "death to ALL!" just becaue I love Faith? She wasn't very bright. She's tough. She's hot. But alas not very bright.

So why is it people get upset because someone said "Spike wasn't very bright"? I mean it is kind of the truth.

I think it's time I jumped ship.


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[> [> [> [> LoL! The more I come to this board the less stupid I feel. -- Christian, 15:56:09 07/26/05 Tue [1] (209.240.205.62)


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[> [> [> [> May I ask a question? In order to "love" a character are we supposed to be blind? -- Chani, 17:29:08 07/26/05 Tue [1] (81.65.9.39)

No of course!

Willow is my favourite female character and I can say that she's quite weak and remains weak. In terms of moral development she didn't progress much. Xander grew up more than Willow at the end of the day.

I LOVE Ethan Rayne but I wouldn't say he's sensitive or good at heart.

The thing with Spike is that basically I don't think that "he isn't bright" is an accurate statement.

Now I didn't say he was smarter than Giles...


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[> [> [> [> [> Some fans may disagree with you for saying "Giles is smarter than Spike" -- Christian, 18:16:56 07/26/05 Tue [1] (209.240.205.62)

Now watch the flaming begin.


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[> [> [> [> [> [> Also -- Chani, 18:22:36 07/26/05 Tue [1] (81.65.9.39)

Spike was VERY immature until he got his soul!

I've always wanted to marry Giles anyway...

Now I need to get some rest but I feel an insomnia coming in...I'm too excited by my upcoming travel.


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[> [> [> [> Re: May I ask a question? In order to "love" a character are we supposed to be blind? -- Rosie, 10:55:05 07/27/05 Wed [1] (170.97.67.91)

"So why is it people get upset because someone said "Spike wasn't very bright"? I mean it is kind of the truth.

I think it's time I jumped ship."

As much as Spike is my favorite character, I am not blind to his flaws. In fact, I once wrote a long post on another forum about one of his flaws that still tick me off to this day.

But Spike was not a stupid character. Was he capable of stupid acts? Yes. But he was not alone. Other "intelligent" characters like Wesley, Giles, Tara, Willow, etc., have proven that they are capable of stupid acts.

Was Spike immature? Of course he was! So was Buffy, Willow, Angel, Wesley, Xander, Dawn, Fred, etc. Even Giles was capable of bouts of immaturity.


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