Anyway, i start reading. Partway through, i see the "Our Top Stories" inset. It includes "The Fans Who Help Write Buffy." No article can hold my interest enough to pull me from that. Obviously a lot of it resonated with me even though i’m a spoiler virgin. The part that hit me was:
Reading an edited-out line in the shooting script—such as Buffy character Tara's recent cut statement, "I'm a fag, sweetie"—can offer a level of insight into the writer's original intentions, much like scanning an original manuscript for the editor's hatch marks.
So of course i had to do a web search, find out where that was cut from. It was cut from the end scene of "Dead Things" (written by Steven S. DeKnight). (Interested parties can check out the shooting script and transcript.)
BUFFY: You don't know how hard it is. Lying to everyone you love about who you're sleeping with.
TARA (smiling kindly): Sweetie, I'm a fag. I been there.
Interestingly, just yesterday in a conversation with someone i was trying to think of a quote (the “alone with Buffy” quote from the last post) and in my websearching that day i ended up at the shooting script and found a part of the exchange between Buffy and Xander which had been cut from the episode. (I checked the transcript to be sure.) Certainly extraneous, but interesting nonetheless. It’s extra-interesting because just recently Sharon and i had been talking about my Buffy obsession and whether i should add the script books to my wishlist. She said usually when lines get cut the same point or joke or whatever is accomplished with a look or something, and basically, when stuff gets cut, it’s usually for a reason. (She was more articulate.) I would certainly agree in this case. “Fag” seems very out of character for Tara, even given how much stronger she has become since we first met her a couple seasons ago. Plus, when Tara says “I won't tell anyone. I wouldn't do that,” i think most of us made the connection to Tara’s own secretive past. It’s a great little joke, but i’m glad they left it out. The scene was very emotional, and i think it would have jarred the audience too much to hear Tara say “fag.” Not because of issues of PCness or discomfort with the word or anything like that (although those would be factors, too) but because it seems jarringly out of character. One of the things i mentioned to Sharon is that when i used to have time to read Buffy e-lists people often posted scenes or lines which had been cut, so i had them in my head anyway. This is making me wanna be obsessed again and start reading the shooting scripts once new episodes start again.