DISCLAIMER: This is a parody of the "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" sixth-season episode, "Once More, With Feeling" (the "Musical" episode). All music that this is set to is copyright 2001 by Mutant Enemy and Twentieth Century Fox. Original lyrics in this parody are hereby released into the public domain by the author, with the sole proviso that both these lyrics and any directly derived from these may not be used for any commercial purpose(s) whatsoever. Other than that, *freely* distribute them/post them/print them/pass them on in any way you see fit. And I'd appreciate it if you left this disclaimer and the Author's Notes at the end with it.

The Fan "Once More, With Feeling"

(Opens on a fan settling down in front of a TV screen, as a familiar set of credits begins to roll; she is humming gently to herself.)

Fan: Every single week, the same old story
The fans all put their hearts on line,
But now we see a strange estrangement
Nothing here is good - No character is right!
We've been having fun since show's Day One
But lately that's all done
'Cause they're just going through the motions
Yanking on heartstrings
Leaving out the most important things!

They were always strong at art of writing
Now I find they're wavering
Open up your eyes
Give us plots that sing!

Mutant Enemy: You don't mean a thing!

Fan (dejectedly): Thanks for noticing.

Trio of fans: They do really well
With raising Hell
But lately we can tell
That they're just going through the motions
Losing it somehow.

(Member of trio is looking over a recent script)

Trio member: They're not half that writers that they - (Eyes bug) - OW!!!

Fan: Will they stay this way forever?
Sleepwalk through their fans' loud clamors?

Second Fan: -You are hurting us...

Mutant Enemy: -Whatever.

Fan: I don't want to see...
Them just going through the motions
Shuckin' us some jive.
Oh please, oh please, ME,
Won't you try to see
Your writing sure's taken... A DIVE!

(Opens on a bunch of fans sitting in a living room trying to figure out what exactly has gone on that the writing [plots, consistent characterization, canon, clarity, and lots of other things starting with the letter "C"] has slipped so badly, after half a season's worth of it has passed.)

First fan: I've got a theory - It could be burnout
To all the writers - No, something isn't right here...

Second fan: I've got a theory - Joss is distracted
And we're all stuck inside some dumb soap opera nightmare.

Fan wearing a nametag
reading "Chuck": I've got a theory they won't work it oooout!

All: It's kind of eerie how we're so leery of future shows!

Third Fan: It could be Bad Drugs
Some Really Bad Drugs

(receives glares from other fans)

Third Fan: Which is ridiculous
'Cause ME gives message that Drugs Are Bad and Just Say No
And Good Clean Minds and I'll be over here.

Fan with a T-shirt reading
"Lone Gun Fan": I've got a theory - It could be Marti!

(All fans look at her)

Second fan: I've got a theory-

Lone Gun Fan: Marti's not innocent like everybody supposes!
She jams her twenties down our throats and says it comes up roses!
And what's with all those interviews?
Why does she insult all her fans anyhow?
Marti! Marti! It must be Marti!!!

(fans blink and look around at each other)

Lone Gun Fan: ... Or maybe "Firefly".

Second Fan: I've got a theory we should get out faaaaast,

All: -Because it clearly could get much more worse before it's

Fourth Fan: I've got a theory-

Quiet Fan: -It doesn't matter.

(Quiet fan looks at all of the assembled fans)

Quiet Fan: What can't we face if we're together?
What can ME do that we can't weather?

(A B/A fan joins hands with a B/S fan, who smiles at a B/X fan; the B/X fan
puts his arm around a W/T fan)

Quiet Fan: Long angst trips - We've all been there!
They act like dips - Why should we care?

All: What can't we face it we just watch it?
There's fanfiction if ME botched it!
Every quirk - We'll stand for it
It's watch or quit-

Author: Hey, I've quit twice.

All: What can't we face if we're together?
What can ME do that we can't weather?

First Fan: -We're together!

Quiet Fan: There's nothing we can't face-

Lone Gun Fan: ... Except for Marti!

(The scene opens on a group of fans discussing the plots holes and inconsistencies of the characters, script, etc. while walking past another fan and a blonde woman on the street. The fan in the background is waving a recent script and singing to the strange blonde.)

Fan in background: ... It isn't right, it isn't fair
Your old boyfriend isn't there
We're not part of your nightmare!

Just leave poor Spike alone!!!-

(Fans discussing walk off)

(Scene opens on a fan trying his best to write a letter to Mutant Enemy, telling them how he feels about the current nightmare of a season. He has obviously been driven past where he is able to shrug things off, and is almost being forced to write.)

Male fan: We cried
So many years ago
For a strong SF series - Boy, you don't even know!!
And we thought you had it right
'Til it began to blow!
No - No!!

Well that's great, but you've thrown it all away
And what you all were thinking then, I can't even say
There's barely a fan left, ME, who doesn't feel betrayed
So listen to your fans!!

So listen to your fans
Do what you can
Piss off *everyone* and we'll leave you, to a man
The shows were shining once, then the writing hit the fan
So listen to your fans!

You know, you've got your audience,
When characters change week to week, it makes them a little tense
So until your act cleans itself, don't be quite so very dense
And listen to your fans!

We're your people, Joss,
As loyal fans, we met the test
If any fans were true, we were the best
We were loyal like a man possessed
Now our hearts are breaking in our chests!
So if your ratings leave you unimpressed
Just drop your pride, and-

Listen to your fans!
Face it like a man!
Don't touch the characters with plots from tired clumsy ham-hands!
It's your show, but without us, it'd be in a trash can.
So listen to your fans!
Joss, just listen to your fans!!

(The show's sixth season is almost over, and the fan from the opening song is addressing the head of Mutant Enemy, who is holding the last few episodes captive as the fan pleads to him.)

Fan: It's a show, and fans they play a part,
'Cause when the credits start
We open up our hearts.
It's all right, to minor string-along
Our patience is quite strong
But please don't do us wrong.

While there's life, there's hope
Every week, a gift
Wishes can come true
Smiling while we watch
Same time, Tuesdays,
Characters who shine
Not ones who sit and whine!

Don't do us wrong...
Don't do us wrong...

Give us something to sing about!
We need something to sing about!

It's a show
But fans should not be dissed
And every last plot twist
Can show you what you've missed.
Still, ME
Continues to ignore
The million fans or more
They should be writing for

All the joy
It brings
That zing
In swing!
But every, single, thing
Depends on if they string
Their poor fans along

The same old song
Shows done us wrong.

(The fan pauses, and looks up at the head of ME, tears in her eyes)

Fan: There was no pain
No angst, no doubt
'Til Buffy came out
Of Heaven.

Will they soar again?
We watch a Hell
And I'll say Farewell
'Fore Seven.
I fear season seven.

So give us something to sing about!!
PLEASE!!! Give us something...

(She breaks down crying while the ME head looks on. She is obviously about to go into total breakdown until a second fan comes up to her and gently hugs her.)

Second fan: 'Buffy''s not your life
If the show does you wrong
You'll get along
Without it.

You'll get along
The message you send
Only will wend
By leaving.
Think about just leaving
If bad plotlines aren't leaving.

Third fan (stepping forward): The hardest thing about a fandom is leaving it.

Joss: Boy, I really got everyone stirred up - Great!

(The season has just ended, and everyone - No exceptions - is not smiling)

Joss: What a lot of fun
Playing with you's been... Really swell.

(looks at the assortment of fans)

Joss: And no matter what the 'ship, can you say
This ended well?

All your complaints you've been revealin'
Now say you're happy fans - Once more, with feelin',
See you... In Hell!!!

(The fans pause, and look at each other in shock)

First Fan: Where do we go from here?
Where do we go from here?

Second Fan: The season's done, and it wasn't fun
Will I be back next year?

All: Where do we go from here?

When will they give us cheer?
Now everything's pain and fear?
Understand that bad scripting's banned
And to most fans that ain't "mere".

Second fan: Tell me - Where do we go from here?

(One fan realizes what ME's put him through, drops his remote, and says, "Bugger this," as he walks off.)

(While others are singing, the first fan joins him outside.)

Leaving Fan: You ought to go back inside - Join the group cry, help fan-wank a bit.

First Fan: I don't want to.

Leaving Fan: Well then, care to join me? - I hear 'West Wing' is very good...

(They walk off into the sunset, under a backdrop of ME's falling ratings.)

Author's Notes:

1. The name "Lone Gun Fan" in the "I've got a Theory" song is merely meant to imply that that fan is someone that is a bit of a conspiracist theorizer. I know from my days reading XF fanfiction that there were at least two people who went by the name, and this is in no way meant to imply anything about their personalities or beliefs; I don't know either of them (and they don't know me).

2. I did not include every single song in here, for various reasons, including that I ran low on creative juice before I got to the W/T, A/X, or Giles songs. (Other reasons include that the W/T song is one that I both love and find painful right now, after what they've done to both Willow and Tara - And ironically, I think Willow got it much worse than Tara.)

3. I noticed, in Sixth Season, that that was the first season where NO group of fans seemed happy, no matter what their "Ship", or even those ship-free. I am/have shipped multiple 'ships, including B/S, B/A, B/W, W/T, W/O, A/X, etc., and still speak to fans from those and other sub-genres. And no one was happy and ratings dropped like a rock. I wonder why. (Ironical look)