Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Zohar » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:10 am UTC

Well to be fair, she didn't get into too many relationships. And it's a common story for plenty of lesbians or homosexuals.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Belial » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:07 pm UTC

Well, they also made it pretty clear she still had both attraction and feeling for Oz, which was kindof portrayed as her "deciding" if she was straight or really a lesbian, but one gets the feeling that it was only portrayed that way because TV is allergic to bisexuality in "good" characters or people they aren't actively trying to slut-shame.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Chen » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:23 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Well, they also made it pretty clear she still had both attraction and feeling for Oz, which was kindof portrayed as her "deciding" if she was straight or really a lesbian, but one gets the feeling that it was only portrayed that way because TV is allergic to bisexuality in "good" characters or people they aren't actively trying to slut-shame.


Well there was also no real other male characters on the show around that time. They had already done the Xander/Willow thing breaking up his relationship with Cordelia so they probably didn't want to rehash that with Anya. And the last season (after Tara was gone) really mainly introduced extra female to the show with one "new" male character who was kind of a love interest for Buffy/Faith instead.

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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Virtual_Aardvark » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:36 pm UTC

It wouldn't have been necessary for her to hook up with a dude. They could have just left out all the "Hello, gay now!" type comments. Not actively turning her lesbian would have been fine. In television implied sexuality often seems to work better.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Belial » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:03 pm UTC

Yeah, switching all the "I R A LESBIAN" statements for "I R BISEXUAL" would've done it fine.

Disclaimer: if willow were a real person, I'd obviously defer to her right to identify as whatever suits her fancy. "Lesbian with an exception for that guy" is totally a valid sexuality, honestly. Since she isn't, though, I'm totally down with criticising the writers' choices in deciding how she identified.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Jessica » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:43 pm UTC

I used to agree with that, but the method that she came out wasn't out of line with how lots of lesbians come out. Many lesbians have had male partners before they came out, and I'm sure many of them even felt something for them.

There is the general bi phobia of TV though. But, there are also many real life people who have bi phobia. Eh, it's hard to say either way in my opinion.

Fridging Tara, on the other hand, is inexcusable!
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Zohar » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:40 am UTC

Fridging? Urban Dictionary doesn't help me here. Do you mean what happens with Warren in S6?
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby JayDee » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:48 am UTC

Zohar wrote:Fridging? Urban Dictionary doesn't help me here.
You want TvTropes, not urban dictionary.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Malice » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:45 am UTC

Jessica wrote:Fridging Tara, on the other hand, is inexcusable!


It wasn't Tara getting fridged that was the problem; it was not really using her for much of anything up to that point. Her role in plots of the week was limited, because anything she could do, Willow could do better; and she was such a nice and uncomplicated person that she never got involved in any character conflicts, either, or even the moment to moment bits of abrasion or teasing that made up the witty repartee that powers the show. Her only bit of importance was to be the "nagging girlfriend" (a generally thankless and hated role) in Willow's anti-drug metaphor (a generally thankless and hated plot), and then getting fridged. She was only ever there for Willow to react to, not as her own character or somebody who worked in the group. Fridging is in general bad (or maybe bad when done generally) but it's better than having her hang on around the edges of the story, uselessly.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Jessica » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:12 pm UTC

They needed to get rid of Tara, and I do understand that. Her arc was pretty crappy, all things considered. I mean, she's the person who "made willow gay" in season 4, she had an episode in 5, then was a damsel for the rest of 5, then she was (as you said) the nagging girlfriend who then was killed. A device, and little else. Kind of shitty if you ask me.

Also, sorry about the fridge reference. It wasn't entirely a correct trope, as it was closer to this one, but really what I meant was that they killed a character (a female character) to advance a main character storyline. Named after the website Women in refrigerators. But yeah, I was never a fan of what Joss did with Tara, and killing her just bugged the hell out of me, because, while she really needed to leave the cast, they didn't need to kill her either, especially as a plot device.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Zohar » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:18 pm UTC

Well as I wrote earlier, he didn't do a very good job (IMO) with Riley's leaving either. I just saw The Body today and she does have a few nice moments in it.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Malice » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:40 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:Also, sorry about the fridge reference. It wasn't entirely a correct trope, as it was closer to this one, but really what I meant was that they killed a character (a female character) to advance a main character storyline. Named after the website Women in refrigerators.


I'd argue that, by the definitions on TVTropes, it's much closer to "Stuffed into the Fridge" than "I Let Gwen Stacy Die"; the latter is characterized as a character death which raises the stakes (or makes them real) for the hero, while the former is a specialized form which is usually brutal, unexpected (yep), and directed at a female character the writers never figured out how to use properly (yep). Plus, Peter Parker didn't fly into a horrific rage and murder Norman Osborne. Tara's death didn't raise the stakes; they completely altered what was going on, simultaneously making the villains much, much worse (all part of the brilliant deconstruction of supervillainy that was "the Trio") and changing the essential problem of the season from them to Willow.

But yeah, I was never a fan of what Joss did with Tara, and killing her just bugged the hell out of me, because, while she really needed to leave the cast, they didn't need to kill her either, especially as a plot device.


Not to be contentious or anything, but I disagree! Her death is emotionally painful, thematically resonant, and a wonderfully effective plot twist. They used every bit of the goodwill they had built up by leaving Tara out of conflicts and put it to incredible effect. Forget about what it did for the season, or for Willow's character (or for the show); nothing else they could have done with Tara's removal from the cast would have been anywhere near as effective, let alone in the multiple areas that it was. The only two possibilities consistent with her character up to that point were "Tara leaves Sunnydale to get away from/help Willow" or "Tara goes back to her family now that Willow no longer anchors her" and neither of those have the thematic (much less dramatic) weight of what happened. Again, I wish we had gotten a useful Tara over the course of the series, but if she had to go, this was the best way to do it.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby RetSpline » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:07 am UTC

Oh hey, so the first few episodes of Angel (which I've been waiting to watch after finishing Buffy a few months ago) are finally up on Hulu! http://www.hulu.com/watch/23664/angel-city-of-angels for episode one. I'm at the very beginning of episode 3, and I just fucking love Spike so much, he always has the coolest intros. Then, during intro credits, "Guest starring Seth Green"?!?! This is going to be awesome.

To weigh in on the current discussion regarding Tara's death, I wasn't really affected by it at all. It probably had to do with the pace at which I was watching the episodes (I watched the whole series in a week, which looking back and in conversations with friends has contributed to my differing opinions on various things) but it seemed like her death was very sudden and then immediately overshadowed. It was a bit striking, but then all of a sudden we have evil Willow going on and Tara's death just really didn't seem to matter except as the impetus.

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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Zohar » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:28 am UTC

Well the issue of Tara's death comes up again in S7 as well. It's not just a one-time thing.

As for Angel, I just started watching the show a short while ago as well. While episode three was pretty good, episode four was just incredibly dumb. One of the worst pieces of TV I've ever seen, I wonder if from time to time the actors stopped the scene and asked "Is this really what's supposed to happen now??".

So yeah, have fun with that one. I'll keep going though. :)
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Amnesiasoft » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:21 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:While episode three was pretty good, episode four was just incredibly dumb. One of the worst pieces of TV I've ever seen, I wonder if from time to time the actors stopped the scene and asked "Is this really what's supposed to happen now??".

It could seem that way by just watching Angel since Season 1 is tied together fairly strongly with Season 4 of Buffy. The list I was following basically had me watching 4 episodes of Buffy between episode 3 and 4 of Angel, and I didn't feel like anything was tremendously out of place.

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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Zohar » Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:26 pm UTC

I meant because the main plot (the stalker guy who's somehow able to always see his stalkee) was incredibly stupid.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Amnesiasoft » Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:43 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I meant because the main plot (the stalker guy who's somehow able to always see his stalkee) was incredibly stupid.

Eh, I've seen stupider things elsewhere.

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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Virtual_Aardvark » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:00 pm UTC

If I may ask, what list might this be? And where can I find it?
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Amnesiasoft » Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:06 am UTC

I used the timeline here: http://buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?t=4383 It's not entirely accurate, but the idea is it's accurate enough and requires minimal DVD switching.

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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Jesse » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:30 pm UTC

Honestly, while Angel was fun, I really didn't feel it hit its stride until about Seasoun Four

Spoiler:
When all the Wolfram & Hart stuff was going on

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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Adacore » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:29 pm UTC

Jesse wrote:Honestly, while Angel was fun, I really didn't feel it hit its stride until about Seasoun Four

Spoiler:
When all the Wolfram & Hart stuff was going on

There were a few very good bits here and there before that, but I largely agree that season 4 & 5 were the best. Five By Five / Sanctuary in season 1 were awesome, for example, and there were quite a few decent episodes in season 3.

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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby clockworkmonk » Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:36 pm UTC

I've been rewatching Buffy with my girlfriend(she is seeing it for the first time) and we are almost done with season 6. I always forget how hard it is to get through that season, not because it is bad season, but because it is so depressing.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Belial » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:24 pm UTC

Jesse wrote:Honestly, while Angel was fun, I really didn't feel it hit its stride until about Seasoun Four

Spoiler:
When all the Wolfram & Hart stuff was going on


Really? I felt like it was pretty solid by "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb" (end of second season), and had had seriously good moments well before then. And honestly, all whedon series take about a season or so before they get good. Which is why dollhouse and firefly are such tragedies.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Jesse » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:55 pm UTC

I didn't much enjoy the whole Connor/Zoe thing that made up most of Season (Three was it?). I mean, I'm not saying it was bad, but it just felt like Four and Five were a massive step up in the 'shit getting real' stakes.

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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby clockworkmonk » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:50 am UTC

My favorite season of angel has to be 3, but that might be because my favorite villain is by far Holtz.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Adacore » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:53 am UTC

Yeah, Holtz was cool.

Actually, one thing both Buffy and Angel always did really well was the historical flashback sequences. I can't think of any of them that weren't good, and some of them were really awesome. Plus you got to see most of the main cast vampires (Angelus, Darla, Spike, Drusilla) in full-on evil mode in the flashbacks; it was normally toned down for the present day scenes.

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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Belial » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:45 am UTC

Yeah, I liked Holtz and Sahjahn (or however he was spelled). And big chunks of the monster-of-the-week stuff that came before them.

The historical sequences are why I really wish Whedon had ever gotten his "Giles, the younger days" esque series off the ground. Granted, that's not as far back by any means, but I suspect it would've been similarly amusing.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby setzer777 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:41 pm UTC

No love for Holland Manners? The time he was in charge was the only time I felt that Wolfram and Hart actually seemed competent. He actually convinced Angel that fighting them was pointless!
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Belial » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:57 am UTC

I liked Manners, but I didn't feel like Wolfram and Hart became really awesome, within the story, until it ceased to be the power that Angel and Co. were raging against, and started being the seduction they had to resist. To that end, Manners was set-up.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Nattlinnen » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:28 am UTC

All Angel seasons are a blur for me. Buffy had a clearer structure. Granted, I've seen buffy 3/4 times (and some season more, s3,5,6) and Angel only once. Regarding Angel, everything (not really) was great but the symbolic sex... :| (and it's even worse in buffy season 8 )
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby clockworkmonk » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:30 pm UTC

Thats certainly is one of the things I love about Angel. I mean, the idea that fighting evil isn't something that is always well defined and rarely has big glorious victories.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby The EGE » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:29 am UTC

I just started watching. Up to Teacher's Pet and I'm in love.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby eeris » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:58 pm UTC

The EGE wrote:I just started watching. Up to Teacher's Pet and I'm in love.


Funny, season 1 was pretty awful from what I remember. I'm surprised you've taken to it so quickly.

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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby The EGE » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:28 am UTC

I like snarky people. I like Joss Whedon. And I like the serious / funny mood whiplash.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:42 pm UTC

eeris wrote:
The EGE wrote:I just started watching. Up to Teacher's Pet and I'm in love.


Funny, season 1 was pretty awful from what I remember. I'm surprised you've taken to it so quickly.


I remember being in a similar situation to the EGE when I started watching it but, looking back on it, season 1 looks pretty bad. Personally, seasons 3 & 4 are my favourite (I've yet to watch 7 though) so it gets even better.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Adacore » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:53 am UTC

My favourite season was probably the third. I am (I believe) highly unusual in that I actually really liked season 6. Season 2 was also a classic, although in retrospect probably not as strong as some of the others that followed, and 7 was pretty good (although I only watched it after a long gap - I saw 1-6 when they aired, but only saw season 7 about a couple of years ago). Seasons 4 and 5 aren't really up there for me, although they did have a number of standout episodes. That's not to say they weren't good, though, because Buffy was consistently good. Season 1 was just... different, it was obviously a Whedon show, and good, but it was much more 12 unconnected episodes than a season-long arc, with the characters far less well developed than in later seasons.

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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby eeris » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:21 pm UTC

Adacore wrote:My favourite season was probably the third. I am (I believe) highly unusual in that I actually really liked season 6. Season 2 was also a classic, although in retrospect probably not as strong as some of the others that followed, and 7 was pretty good (although I only watched it after a long gap - I saw 1-6 when they aired, but only saw season 7 about a couple of years ago). Seasons 4 and 5 aren't really up there for me, although they did have a number of standout episodes. That's not to say they weren't good, though, because Buffy was consistently good. Season 1 was just... different, it was obviously a Whedon show, and good, but it was much more 12 unconnected episodes than a season-long arc, with the characters far less well developed than in later seasons.


Season 6 had a fantastic first 7/8 episodes and then just turned amazingly sour and character building done during those episodes was just destroyed. But more than anything it just seemed like Joss was messing with the characters just because he could.

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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Zohar » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:25 pm UTC

We're rewatching Buffy now, I think it's my third time or so but it's been a while. We're in season 2 now (after having skipped roughly half of season 1). It's really great to be back with a show I love. I'm surprised at the messages I keep seeing it now that I didn't before. For example, there's an episode with a frat that sacrifices girls to a demon every year so they can gather power. That episode includes a super creepy guy using familiar manipulative and abusive tactics to draw Buffy to a party, then she's manipulated into drinking alcohol, which ended up being spiked. Seeing it today, it's obviously referring to date-rape. When I was seeing it the first time I knew it was bad, of course, but I didn't necessarily see the social situations it's trying to refer to.

It's true frat culture isn't a thing in Israel, so I wouldn't have necessarily known about it then, and since my husband is doing a research on sexual harassment on university campuses I learn about it a lot. So I guess it's not that surprising.
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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:15 pm UTC

Yeah, the magic and demons in Buffy are often metaphors for adolescence and the perils and privations of growing up.

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Re: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And Spinoffs)

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:51 pm UTC

In some instances it's just "TeenageProblems++" where the strange and supernatural causes create (initially, at least) almost mundane effects.

When Xander falls in with the Hyena-gang, it's your basic gang/rebelious clique (it goes a couple of steps 'beyond normal', but only a couple!). Then there's the Bad Eggs episode, where it deals with the opposite phenomenon of 'normalisation' and undue indoctrination of youngsters by the devoutly monolitjic seniors, much as with the more insular communities of real life with enforced Stepfordian attitudes.

Potential step-father 'Ted' isn't even a "turned up to eleven" example of a real-world psychologically abusive Jekyl/Hyde relationship, whilst the reawakening of Angelus could be described as an immature relationship going sour (either "he was only nice so he could get into your panties" or the awakening of a jealous possesiveness, taking for granted and/or the repurcussions of an assymetrically bad break-up).

A number of episodes (if not whole character arcs) portray the straight dangers of substance abuse (Band Candy is an interesting example), even if the substance is not exactly 'normal', and Spike becomes the classic "recovering alcoholic" archetype (but not with alcohol, obviously) and further typical teenage pitfalls (Dawn's kleptomania, Cordelia's original self-centred sense of privilege and superiority, Xander's feeling of being a fifth wheel and alone even while in the group, etc) or just plain surprises (Xander going from Zeppo to boss, Buffy actually surviving and being considered actually academic, Cordelia becoming more sociable after the trials of her life-style changes, Willow discovering and embracing her sexuality).

It's not all like that. It's perhaps a stretch to commit to Graduation Day being anywhere near 'normal' (though the sense of scholarly cameraderie/belated acknowledgement of unspoken friendships/last-blast-of-the-class prior as the final academic year comes to an end can be 'a thing').


Buffy is not just "at the edge of the Hellmouth", it is at the edge of adulthood (both sides!), at the edge of the various main in-groups, at the end of authority, at the edge of the kinds of successes and failures that mirror how people find their way through life. You could probably write a dissertation on any or all of these. I bet someone has, actually, but it wasn't me.

(Avoided expanding into spoilers too much stuff not based on the early seasons. One example... make that actually two... are past that cut-off and a bit seriously spoily, but if you're not near them I decided you're not actually going to remember enough about what I suggested when you do eventually approach the respective areas of the story-arcs.)


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