Thursday, 1 September 2011

Writer's Corner: Spin Off Skepticism

If you read my blog regularly (YOU ARE AWESOME!) will know that I am a die hard Vampire Academy fan. Having said that, I have been a heck of a lot bit resistant to pick up Bloodlines despite how much Ashley pimps it out. In theory, I should be lining up outside the bookstores, but for some reason, I just can't bring myself to care that much. At first I thought it was the not really liking Adrian thing and then I went to stay at my parent's place and saw my Buffy DVD collection in my old room and it finally hit me: I just don't subscribe to spin offs. Well, not at first anyway.
       I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to watch the first few episodes of Angel and even then I wasn't too impressed. I love it now, but I had to be pretty heavily convinced to watch it at the beginning. Plus, I still cringe at the episodes where they did Buffy crossovers. It just didn't feel right that Buffy wasn't the central character. Especially in light of the whole apocalypse ending and Buffy supposedly saying no to helping Angel. WTF was that???
      I think my problem is that I get way too invested in the characters in a specific series and it takes someone breakout to pique my interest in a spin off. Angel had Cordelia. Bloodlines has nobody I care about so far. Also, I find it really difficult to believe in the importance of a different MC when the central character in the original series was so strong. I mean, how significant could Sydney's life be when you consider the things Rose and Lissa did? If Richelle Mead had made Viktoria the MC, I would possibly have been interested because there could have been something to do with shifts in the way Dhampir communes are thought of. But I suppose Viktoria is too much like Rose for a spin off to really work.
     Suddenly I feel like an old person who doesn't like change for the sake of it. What do you guys think? How do you feel about spin offs?


  1. I completely get where you're coming from. Though I'm a huge fan of Buffy, I only ever watched the first season of Angel. Even though it wasn't about me not liking it, it just was different. I also haven't read any of the comics either.

    Sometimes for me it's fear that I'll be disappointed. For instance, I've really enjoyed the VA series so far, but I've been keeping #4 on the back burner and reading other books instead. I think I'm afraid to be disappointed more. #3 was really intense!

    I bet if you read it you'll end enjoying it. :) Maybe not as much as VA, but at least enough. Hopefully!

  2. Buffy vs Angel - perfect comparison. I LOVED Buffy (not so much after Angel left) so I thought I would love Angel the show. It has a placed in my heart, but it's not Buffy. It always Less than BTVS. :/ (Even with Fred and Lorne!)

    I've started reading Bloodlines but haven't gotten very far in. I think the problem is I keep expecting to see Rose, Dimitri, or Lissa. I like Sydney but so far I just don't care about her, as a MC.

  3. Liza: Yes, that's exactly right. I completely live in fear of disappointment as well. Which is why I didn't read Last Sacrifice for months after I bought it :)

    Molli: I agree. Buffy kinda got really weird after Angel left. I try to block out all the bits with Riley. I'd be the same as you, always expecting Rose and the gang to come into the story!

  4. :) You know I never really watched Buffy. You'd think as much as I like that kind of stuff I would have watched it. I own the first two seasons of it though.I have so many old series (and some new) that I need to watch yet I keep going back to ones I've seen tons of times. Off topic.

    I was going to say this was the first spin off I've read of a book, but then I realized I've read Radiance which is the spin off to the immortal series, and I haven't read Shimmer which is the second. I think I'm just attached to Ever even though she could be slightly annoying. I have to say, (Yes, Lan you get to hear it again. :) ) I actually like Sydney. She's no Rose, but she has her own personality. Not all the characters can be a Rose otherwise it would be boring. If I can have a little Rose in the story I'm good. I'm telling you I would buy it for you. Just so you have it. Okay, I'll get off my Bloodlines soap box now. :)

  5. Ash: I can't believe you haven't seen Buffy yet. That's insanity!! You're on vacation at the moment. Get watching!

  6. I think I'm always skeptical about spin offs too. To be honest, besides Buffy/Angel, I can't even think of any. How sad is that?

  7. I might have watched the first season last year, but I haven't watched the rest. I have to many shows to watch. Doesn't Buffy have like 8 seasons?

  8. Jenny: I can think of a whole bunch of tv spin offs?? But you're right, not a lot of book ones. Probably because I don't like reading them!!

    Ash: There are 7 seasons of Buffy, but just watch the first 3. The rest are give or take for me.

  9. I actually like spin-offs, because I get the same world, but the characters are different. I don't know why, but I tend to get tired of same characters across multiple books. But with spin-offs you get to know a less-well-know character better while still getting to hang out in whatever awesome world the author created.

  10. Okay, I now have more shows to watch.

    OHHHHHH I finished it today. The ending is gonna kill me having to wait til next year.

  11. Go. Read. Bloodlines. ;)

    Okay; how about this - consider it writing research. I was blown away by the way Sydney's "voice" is so clear, even though Bloodlines is written 1st person POV, just like VA. It's inspiring.

    (I've never seen Buffy, either. I'm hoping netflix decides to add it...)

  12. Spin-offs... Well, now I've gotta think about this one. Frazier was a spin-off of Cheers, and it was pretty good... That's all I got. Most spin-offs aren't that good.

    You have to be truly tied to the character, or be able to fall in love with the new ones to even give a crap.

    As far as books go, I don't usually find myself connected with side characters enough to care for a spin-off book/series. I did like Ann M. Martin's California Diaries side series (Baby Sitter's Club).

    Off the top of my head, that's all I got, lol. I get what you mean though! I even think as a writer it can be hard to write a spin-off. I'm usually focused on my current MC that I don't think about the stuff the other characters are facing enough to want to write from their perspective.

  13. I'm not a fan of Vampire Academy-- mostly because of lack of exposure, though. Buffy, though? LOVE it. I still don't go very long between watching a few episodes. And as much as I loved Angel, it just wasn't the same. Spinoffs never are.

  14. Can't say I understand your particular situation 100% because I never read Vampire Academy :P But I think in general, I share the same sentiments as you about spin-offs -- I am very skeptical about them too! Although I don't think I am as passionately skeptical as you =P

  15. I loved Angel and I think it eventually became better than Buffy (when Angel Season 3 was on at the same time as Buffy Season 6). It wasn't Buffy, but it had some great characters of its own (Wesley, Lilah, Lorne) and some great storylines. I'm not sorry it existed or anything; the only thing I'd agree with is, as Buffy suffered after Angel left, it probably would have been better if the actors/writers on Angel stayed with Buffy and made one phenomenal show instead of 2 good ones. That's not such a problem with the VA spin-off, as the VA story is over.

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