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A Summers Day

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Review of chapter "A variation on a theme" from kaekae
Review:
Use the first one - it is more in keeping with his actual personality in the show.
Comments from author:
Nasty Hank, check. Thanks for the vote.
Review By [kaekae] • Date [1 Jun 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "A variation on a theme" from FireWolfe
Review:
The second Hank is the one you should run with. Or maybe a combination of the two. I mean it be intersting to see mr. I'm a ladies man realize what an idiot he was. Anyway great piece and I like this story a lot so far. I can easily see how Simion would change things. Love to see him stake angel before the whole lose my soul for a shag thing.
Fire
Comments from author:
Heh. Maybe Simon has a different solution... A nice Hank or a medium Hank. Check
Review By [FireWolfe] • Date [1 Jun 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "A variation on a theme" from etienneofthewestwind
Review:
Hey, I just found your stories and you have an interesting universe shaping up here. Simon is interesting and his effects on cannon. I also like the way things are shaping up between Giles and Jenny. And Joyce is going to be furious when she learns the truth of Sunnydale...

I have mixed feelings about your takes on Hank. TV cannon is nebulous enough to support either version of Hank, however the first feels stereotypical. I know there are guys like that in real life, but when you have characters irrelevant to the weekly story, it's easier to not write them. As a result they tend to be vilified by the writers and/or the fans who sympathize with the characters they see every week.

Having grown up with a father a four hours' drive away, I know that things aren't always so simple or one-sided. When you don't see them as often its easier not to appreciate or even know what parents do for you. (For example, when my brother's scout troop was going under, we had no idea he had anything to do with saving it until years later, much less how big a part he played.) As the show's about Buffy, we see when Hank can't keep a birthday due to his job, because that impacts the Angel romance storyline. How relevant is it to mention the phone calls to Hank Buffy blows off because she's hunting the current baddie? In season five they place him in Spain so when Joyce passes he's conveniently unreachable, therefore cannot come to the funeral and take Dawn away from Buffy's protection. In Bargaining the Scoobies were sure that he would take Dawn if he found out about Buffy.

However, the fact that the writers forgot about Hank when Buffy ran away after Becoming, does tend to argue toward your first version of Hank, though he could have been searching LA. As does your take on Buffy's institutionalization in chapter 10 of Lonely Souls, though the later could be argued as believing he was doing the best for Buffy and that Joyce was in denial.
Comments from author:
These are all very good points. I shall try to keep Hank human. But I don't know if I can redeem him. He shall be a man, warts and all. And human does not mean nice all the time of course.
Review By [etienneofthewestwind] • Date [1 Jun 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "A variation on a theme" from (Past Donor)lucidity
Review:
I haven't read the previous stories yet. That said, my view on Hank ...

I tend to come up with excuses for him because I don't like to think about people purposefully being dismissive of their family. But to stay true to his character, and because I would like to read a story about him that doesn't constantly make excuses for his behaviour, I'd say stay to the evil!bastard side of the coin. Not completely, I guess - I mean, he needs to be three dimensional and all, but the jerk left and never came back once he realized Buffy was less than your average, happy kid. So, I vote cannon on this one.

Thanks for writing - I'm going to read the other stories soon as I get the chance.

'lucidity
Comments from author:
Slightly less hard Hank, more medium or at least well rounded Hank. Not that villains can't be well rounded...As I will hopefully show....

Thanks for reading, I take ti from the fact that you're going to read the rest, and reviewed, that you enjoyed it.
Review By [(Past Donor)lucidity] • Date [1 Jun 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "A variation on a theme" from Martin
Review:
It is bad enough you don't show any of the action, but this chapter you are redeeming one of the few purely human villains. What is the point of bringing in a person that rich and powerful if you aren't going to use him. You should keep Hank a grade A bastard with him trying to hurt Joyce because he is a jealous twit, and then have Simon bring the hammer down on him.
Comments from author:
A hard Hank fan. Might I inquire what you mean by the action"? "
Review By [Martin] • Date [1 Jun 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "A variation on a theme" from Minuet
Review:
I agree with the others who voted for a mix of 1 and 2.

I think that number 1 is just a little too evil bad guy. There are lots of crappy parents in the world out there, but very few of them are so unrepentantly bad. This guy doesn't seem to have a single positive quality about him, which makes him harder to believe in as a character.

At the same time, Hank number 2 is a little too schmoopy for me. In the previous chapters Joyce talks about Hank pressuring her into having Buffy committed. The Hank she describes in therapy is definitely not Hank number 2. And since you're still in season 1 of the series, not enough time has passed for him to have had a complete personality change.

I could believe in a Hank that is somewhere between the 2. Maybe he got married to Joyce too soon and started resenting her and the girls for the tying him down too much. Maybe he feels like he didn't get to live life enough because he had to take care of his family. Maybe too much went wrong between he and Joyce that it was hard for him to separate his feelings for Joyce and his feelings for his daughters. Maybe he made a bunch of crappy decisions and doesn't know how to fix things. Maybe he just couldn't deal with being a parent when your children don't turn out the way you want them to.

Don't let him off easy without having to own up to his shortcomings, but don't make him the anti-Christ either.
Comments from author:
A very nice analysis, thank you. Hank Medium. However you also just gave another horrible Hank inspired notion...
Review By [Minuet] • Date [1 Jun 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "A variation on a theme" from (Current Donor)DeacBlue
Review:
I'd have to say that both versions are very, very similar - but you knew that already. It's literally the same character with one major difference - does he realize what he's lost and take ownership for it. I very much would prefer to be around the second person, but for the purposes of a fic, you may prefer to use the first, so that you may use his need for a wake-up call as the start of his inner journey in the fic. Of course, if you just plan to do a plot-centered fic, go with the second.
Comments from author:
I think this is the wrong story for a voyage of discovery for Hank...but like I said, I might write one yet...This story is a mix of plot and personality driven. The problem is I just never figured for Hank to play a prominent part in it.
Review By [(Current Donor)DeacBlue] • Date [1 Jun 11] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "A variation on a theme" from EarnestScribbler
Review:
I'd like to add my voice to those calling for a blending of the two versions, perhaps with a bit of leaning toward version 2. For one thing, Rotten Hank has been overdone in fanfiction. On the other hand, Truly Decent Guy Hank isn't believable either. But in Season One and the start of Season Two, he was at least trying. Given the timing, Buffy's distance during her summer with him was probably the last straw; he kind of gave up trying after that, possibly without explicitly realizing it.

I could easily believe a Hank whose first thought after seeing the newspaper is how it makes him look like a chump to his colleagues, and maybe having the irrational thought -- just for a moment -- that that was Joyce's intention in dating Simon all along. He might also be too bitter to be happy for any of the Summers girls. But I'd like to see a Hank whose failures as a human being make us feel disappointment rather than anger.

People are complex; only rarely is there ever a clear "good guy" or "bad guy." Even if Hank was mostly, or even entirely, at fault for the failure of the Summers marriage, that doesn't necessarily make him "the villain." It might be a refreshing change of pace to see a Hank who reflects this.
Comments from author:
Another medium Hank. There are very few truly good people, and truly evil, agreed. Disapointment...I can work with that. Hank should fall somewhere in the middle until something happens...Hey he might become a nun...errr....never mind.

Medium Hank.
Review By [EarnestScribbler] • Date [31 May 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "A variation on a theme" from Aimey
Review:
First I'd have to say that both chapters are very well written and in their own ways believable.

While Hank was casually cruel in cannon by not showing up to the funeral, in the earlier seasons he seemed to love Buffy but also be forgetful of her and more concerned about his own life. Yes he showed up to take Buffy to LA once, but that wouldn't really have much time involved in taking care of her during that summer. But also, less than a few months later he completely blows off doing anything with his daughter for her birthday. It seems to me that he slowly moved further and further away emotionally from his pre-divorce life to the point were there was no reason to not show up to the funeral.

As to which version I would rather see comes down to which role you feel he would be best in. A villainous character that we love to hate and want to gleefully dismember, a sympathetic character who was a jerk and is now realizing that he needs to change. The third option being what I see as closest to cannon, someone we can sneer at for going through the motions, until his image doesn't need it any more and/or he forgets.

I think maybe a mix of the two chapters would fit best, leaning a bit closer to the first. We've already seen him blow off Dawn, part of that would be calling during business hours for a non emergency, but the fact that his secretary didn't know he had daughters, especially after the burning down of the gym and the divorce, doesn't really paint a good picture of him as a person. The second chapter version of him didn't seem to mesh well with what we've been told about him so far in the series. However, if he's concerned about his image, as some of the comments about him from Joyce seem to allude to, then I can't see him being so calm and uncaring as he was in the first chapter.

In the end, I suppose I'm agreeing most with WildMartin.
Comments from author:
Thank you. Always nice to hear.

I must admit my original thoughts on Hank for this story were not flattering. I also considered your points regarding him, and they are true. I think this story's Hank will be more in the middle, flawed yet not yet broken, shades of grey rather than black. Another vote for Medium Hank.
Review By [Aimey] • Date [31 May 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "A variation on a theme" from raven
Review:
I would put him somewhere in the middle. Hank never seemed stupid enough to mouth off to a senior partner like he did in the first story, but I don't see him suddenly "seeing the light" like the second. Most of the guys like him that I know put "blinders" on while on the path to whatever their goal is. Maybe just being a partner is enough, but I doubt it.

Guys like him sometimes take the blinders off, but more often then not they simply excuse away anything that is between them and their goal. As the partner said, he can be a great attorney but a lousy human being. I could, however, easily see him looking at Joyce's new relationship as what can this bring/do for me?
Comments from author:
Hey, he was newly promoted and Massey, while still a partner, was definitely sidelined. Give the heartless bastard credit, eh? ;-)Another middle ground Hank.
Review By [raven] • Date [31 May 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "A variation on a theme" from (Current Donor)WildMartin
Review:
Excellent writing. Personally, I always felt that the writers of BtVS wrote Hank out of the show in the simplest manner possible, by having him not make an effort, in order to "kill him off" so to speak. Most of Hank's presences in the 1st two seasons was off-screen. I remember him appearing at least once to pick Buffy up for a visit and I know she spent the summer after Season 1 with him. If I remember correctly it mentioned he was too busy for Buffy's birthday during the Tarakan incident...unfortunate, yet typical behavior for divorced parents that live a few hours away. During later seasons, there was a mention of Hank moving to Spain with his secretary, but it was never confirmed for certain that he cheated on Joyce before the divorce. To me the point Hank becomes the villian is when he doesn't come to Joyce's funeral and doesn't take custody of Dawn (assuming the spell affected him in Spain and he even knew Dawn existed). I can't see the man Hank appeared to be in Season 1 abandoning Dawn, even if he subconsciously blamed Buffy for part of his marital problems with Joyce. Of course Dawn pulled an Athena in that she was "born" a teenager.

Hank takes a lot of flak in fanfic and while I don't believe the chapter two portrayal is accurate, I think the chapter 1 is too harsh. I always saw hank as a work-a-holic and overly concerned with his social position at work (as portrayed in "Origins". Now that I apparently decided to rant about Hank I guess that I'm saying I'd prefer to see a mixed Hank, more ch2 than ch1, but neither extreme.
Comments from author:
I tend to agree with your reasoning about why Hank disappeared from the series. You are in favour of a mixed Hank, which is currently in the lead. It will be interesting to write him in the main story.

Thanks for the compliment!
Review By [(Current Donor)WildMartin] • Date [31 May 11] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "A variation on a theme" from grd
Review:
The perfect example of "missing something when it is gone.". I almost felt pity for Hank. Almost.
Comments from author:
Well I was aiming for pity, or at least the softening of hardened hearts...No tears like MMooch, but hey, can't win them all. Thanks!
Review By [grd] • Date [31 May 11] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "A variation on a theme" from (Current Donor)mmooch
Review:
I'm voting for the second one because he made me cry. Most of the fanfic I read that talks about Hank treats him like he's practically half-demon (and not a nice one like Doyle); we only really had Joyce's word for what split up the marriage. I can see him having to work horrible hours to pay alimony and child support and basically not having energy to spend time with the girls. Does it make it right? No, but it does make it understandable.
Comments from author:
Apparently a nicer Hank AU would be a big hit... I need to remember that. I also just had a very naughty thought...I may do an outline story on it, just to see how people react...
Review By [(Current Donor)mmooch] • Date [31 May 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "A variation on a theme" from djhardim
Review:
Very good, thanks. I think I prefer the version of Hank Summers in chapter 2 to that of chapter 1. I think it fits in better with the one time where Hank came to pick Buffy up. The only thing it lacked was the mention of Wolfram & Hart. I'm not sure it would have fit in though.

I want to believe that Hank Summers wouldn't have deserted his children the way he did in canon. One writer implicated Wolfram and Hart. I had an idea once for a crossover with the original CSI where Hank Summers' remains were discovered in the desert outside of Las Vegas. Subsequent tests revealed that he had been dead since 1997-8.
Comments from author:
An interesting notion...it would have screwed with Buffy to kill off Hank of course...I shall think on it. A solid Soft Hank fan.
Review By [djhardim] • Date [31 May 11] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from war
Review:
While Buffy and Dawn deserve the second one the more likely is the first one.
Comments from author:
I'll put you down as a Hard Hanker then... Thanks for thinking with me.
Review By [war] • Date [31 May 11] • Rating [8 out of 10]
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