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Doug Petrie - Scoopme.com

By Allyson

Thursday 27 March 2003, by Webmaster

It’s hard to catch up with a Buffy writer nowadays. They have handed in their final scripts, offices are getting cleared out, things are getting quiet. It’s sort of depressing. I had been trying to get in touch with Doug Petrie for a few days, and at 10 this morning, I called Joss’ assistant, Mike, to make one final plea to bring me the head of Doug Petrie. My evil cell phone rang at 11:00 AM with the cheerful voice of Doug Petrie bidding kind salutations, which was good, because otherwise this column would be titled, "An Interview with Mike, Joss’ Superfly Assistant Who Is Just as Cool as Joss’ Other Assistant, Kern."

Since Mutant Enemy will soon be on Summer vacation, that interview may actually happen. For now, share in the Petrie love.

Allyson: I’m so glad you called, I had nothing to write. I would have had to make stuff up.

Doug Petrie: It’s not unheard of, you could still make stuff up.

A: Yeah, but I promised an interview with you, I’d have to make stuff up about you.

D: That’s okay, too.

A: So this is it? You’re done? Home now? Office cleaned out?

D: It’s so traumatic, I still have the other half of my posters to take down, but yeah, this is it, it’s over.

A: I’m sad, but I’m relieved.

D: Why relieved?

A: Fandom, it’s crazy, sometimes. I get Fury’s hatemail. He’s always pushing people’s buttons.


D: What ARE the secrets of David Fury?

A: Don’t back down. Puff out your chest and hand his attitude right back to him.

D: Now you tell me. I wish I had known that four years ago.

(More laughter, more of my sycophantic adoration. We won’t go there.)

A: You have had TWO fan clubs (Petrie’s Dishes, and the Petriettes). I’ve looked around, and I don’t see many other television shows whose writers with fan clubs. Is this totally weird for you guys?

D: Oh it’s totally weird, but then, I always wondered who DC Fontana was when I watched Star Trek.

A: People with no interest in becoming writers keep tabs on who is writing what, and when. You’re a rock star.

D: I know, I know! I should go trash a hotel room. That’s a good idea.

A: Do you check out the posting boards for reactions after your episodes air?

D: No, not really. It’s all either you’re a God or you need to be destroyed, right now. Not good for the ego. I really love going to the Posting Board Party, (and meeting the fans, though.

A: You wrote the screenplay for Harriet the Spy, were you stoked to be working with Michelle Trachtenberg again?

D. Oh Michelle is just great, yes! Harriet the Spy, was like, 20 screenplays over 20 years. And then I came in and did it all over the way I wanted it. I love that movie.

A: Michelle has very shiny hair.

D. She does.

A: When I was being Research!Grrl, I saw that you storyboard the episodes you direct, tell me more…

(Note to readers: Storyboarding is drawing pictures of each scene, sort of like a comic book.)

D. The more I direct, the less I storyboard. After the first couple of times I directed, it became easier to visualize, if that makes any sense. If I was directing a movie, I think I’d definitely storyboard it all.

I was one of the few, the proud, a fan who adored "As You Were" as the best episode of Season Six. I wrote my only fan letter, ever, to Doug Petrie for that episode. I was nursing an anvil hangover, and although people called Six "dark" I always thought it "sucked." But "As You Were" was funny. Captain Cardboard and his wife, Mary Sue Cardboard as the Perfect Couple cracked me up. Willow turning to Buffy and saying, "I will hate her for the both of us," was a small nugget of the relationship I had come to love between Willow and Buffy. Whiny!Buffy dissolved into General!Buffy as she leaped over the counter at DoubleMeat Palace to kick demon ass. My show was still alive and kicking, somewhere beneath the constant pissing and moaning and getting bent on catwalks. I loved As You Were. The rest of fandom had to clean up their gray matter with a Swiffer Wet Mop after their collective heads exploded when Captain and Mrs. Cardboard twirled away on the helicopter.

D: Are you saying people hated "As You Were"?

A: Well, there was that helicopter at the end.

Petrie disagreed with my assessment of Season Six. Which blew. And yes, you can email me all you want and tell me I didn’t get it. I got it. I’ve been in my twenties. No one that pretty was ever that friggin morose, especially not while consistently getting a piece of ass.

D: Honestly? I’m a fan of the show, I continue to be a fan but I don’t have the perspective of a fan, from the outside. Every season has its own flavor. Season six was dark, but I think we brought the characters where they needed to be.

If we could go back and do it all over again? As a former teenage boy, I’d like to have seen Xander’s feelings for Buffy get paid off. You know how he had a crush on her? I know people probably think he’s not good enough for her.

A: Xander had Faith. I’m sure that current and former teenage boys would be thrilled to do Faith. And no one does Faith like you do.

Petrie wrote the Faith-centric episodes; Bad Girls, which coined Faith’s "Want. Take. Have," Enemies, in which a very pissed off Faith awakens from a coma, and Revelations, which features a hella fight between Buffy and Faith regarding Faith’s new (and evil) Watcher.

A: When you were writing your last script, did you think, "This is the LAST script? Did you do anything in it you’ve always wanted to do,

D: Oh TOTALLY, I thought about it the whole time, and when I turned it in, I kept thinking, "This is the last Buffy script I will ever write." Joss said, "This is it, it’s the last five, it’s time to do everything we always wanted to do." But I wrote it like I would any other script.

A: Whatcha gonna do, now?

D. Write. Maybe do a movie, or another television show. You’ll see all of us, again, I’m sure.