PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on television spoiler-free ... good luck with that.

REVIEW ARCHIVES

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I don't get it. What is it, avant-garde?

Episode 1.9: The Puppet Show. Original Airdate 5.5.97 

    "The dummy slayer? There's nothing funny about that."

"Buffy suspects that a ventriloquist's dummy may be harvesting organs from classmates performing in a talent show."










Daniel's Thoughts:
  • I like that this is basically an old cliche Twilight Zone-type episode with a new twist.
  • And there are so many suspects you really can't tell who the culprit is until the end.
  • DUMMIES ARE SCARY!
  • I love Giles' face when he's watching Cordelia sing.
Buffy:  Uuuhhh. They give me the wig. Ever since I was little.
Willow:  What happened?
Buffy:  I saw a dummy. It gave me the wig. There really wasn't a story
there.  (HEE!)
  • Snyder is introduced in this episode and he is AWESOME. So many great lines.
  • Giving Joyce a break this episode - she's actually being a supportive mom for a change.
  • I love Giles' Mr. Rogers type sweater. This is his way of being casual.
  • On the fashion note, Buffy seems to wear a lot of animal prints....I wonder if they'd ever come to life being on a hellmouth...
  • Xander actually makes me laugh a lot in this episode - especially when he plays with the dummy. And when he jumps on the table like the dummy is a mouse.
  • 
    "I don't get it.."
    
    I think Cordy should have done a number with her Cordettes: Santa Baby?
  • Cute Willow Moment: "It could be me! It isn't though..."
  • Love the Giles/Cordy hair moment.
  • Buffy: "Okay, everyone look at me like I'm in a bunny suit..."  Foreshadowing?
  • The Tableau at the end when the curtain opens is AMAZING.
  • Check out Sid the Dummy in Chaos Bleeds - an old video game. You can actually play as Sid!

Zelda's Thoughts:
  • So we open with a crotchshot as a ballerina does a stretch. Thanks?
  • Shenanigans! The first shot is a POV shot that includes looking at the person whose POV it is! WHAT THE WRONG.
  • Giles is reminded that he actually works at this school and is forced to produce the talent show.
  • "Giles, into every generation is born one who must run the annual talentless show! You cannot escape your destiny." heeeeeeeeee
  • Everyone's reaction to the Scoobies' getting drafted into the talent show is hilarious. Giles smirks. Buffy makes whiny sounds. Xander says "No no no." Willow stares in horror.
  • "It could be anyone. It  could be me! ... It's not though." Aly is hilarious!!!
  • Awww I really like this episode. It's punchy and clever, and the interrogation scenes were adorbs.
  • Giles fucking with Cordelia about her hair - best thing ever or BEST THING EVER?
  • Giles makes tea! Because he's British! We're not tracking this or anything, but still ...
  • "Judging me like I'm some kind of ... Buffy!"
  • Snyder has probably the greatest character episode introduction ever. My apologies to Spike.
  • zomg Xander spoilered us about Keyser Soze! Luckily I had no idea what he said in that line until years after I saw the movie.
  • BEST ENDING CREDITS EVER.
  
Crossfire!

Willow: A dramatic scene is the easiest way to get through the talent show, because it doesn't require an actual talent.
Zelda: Fuck you!
Daniel: Heyyy!


Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "That's the kind of woolly-headed liberal thinking that leads to being eaten." - Snyder
Zelda: "There are things I will not tolerate: students loitering on campus after school; horrible murders with hearts being removed; and also smoking." - SNYDER IS THE BEST EVAR


90s Factoid:  
Cordy decided long ago never to walk in anyone's shadow.
In the 90s, singing Whitney was popular


Arc/Continuity Stuff:
  • Cordelia can't sing. She really can't.
  • Snyder's first appearance! He is set up as an antagonistic figure, but it is unclear how "in the know" he is.
  • I think Buffy has a new history teacher. To go with her five history tutors.
  • Morgan has a brain tumor. Just like Ford! And Joyce!

Stats:

I will beat up All The Puppets.

Voiceover - Creepy B-Movie Guy
Angel's Character - hiding in the magician's vanishing box
Dead Humans - 2
Dead Undeads - 2
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 1 (...to a locker)
Evil Reveal - 1 (Marc the magician)
Unevil Reveal - 1 (Sid the dummy)
Shenanigans Called - 1
Apocalypse Called - 0

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My spider sense is tingling

Episode 1.8: I, Robot ... You, Jane. Original Airdate 4.28.97


"Let's face it - none of us is ever gonna
 have a happy normal relationship."
"We're doomed!"
Hahahaha ... ha.
 
"Willow unwittingly unleashes a powerful demon that takes refuge on the internet." 




















   
Daniel's Thoughts:

  • I love a good origin story and I like that Moloch is from Italy. And I'm glad they actually speak Italian instead of just English in an Italian accent.
  • Will continues to be cute:
    • Xander: Are you kidding?
    • Willow: Yes, it was a joke I made up.  - Great line, better delivery
  • Love that Giles has someone to flirt with and Miss Calendar seems to be very good at it
  • This show creates its own language... "Wigged" is introduced here.
  • I love when Willow says she met "Malcolm" online and Buffy says, "On line for what?"  - Email and the internet is all still pretty new this decade.
  • Fritz is creepy. And a bad actor. "Party". Ew.
  • I forgot how much Xander made me laugh in season one: "To read makes our English speaking good."
  • Shenanigans! Turning the monitor off does not turn the computer off, Willow.
  • Shenanigans! When Willow leaves her room, the icon for "You Have Mail" is open but when Buffy and Xander go into her room later, the email that "Malcolm" sent is now on the screen.
  • Although not said out loud, in the script, Miss Calendar's first name is Nicki.  This later got changed to Jenny because they called Nicholas Brandon 'Nicky" and it was too confusing.
  • So far there's been one Xander-centric episode and one Willow-centric episode. The Willow one was tons better. [Wrong - Z]

Zelda's Thoughts:

Okay, here's my thing: I was really dreading rewatching this episode because I roll my eyes whenever I think of Moloch. And it's a bit unfair, because as you'll see, I love so much of the dialogue and there are some gems here. So ... I like the idea of it. A lot. It's really clever, to spin the demon's essence being read as scanning him into the computer network and thus bringing him back. It's a great marriage of the magical demon stuff and modern technology. That idea is awesome. The Willow character development is awesome. But ultimately, I'm just kind of bored by Moloch himself, and all his minions. So that's the stuff that induces eye-rolling.

THAT ASIDE, I think the final moment of the episode is so important (not to say hilarious) to what the show is. And, even as the show has arguably weak episodes running left and right, I think most of them have at least one redemptive moment like this. The acknowledgement that they have remarkably bad luck (which, in the metaphor of high school is hell, we all feel that) when it comes to love, and then laughing about ... and then ceasing to laugh about it - is just perfect. Love Love Love. Now to the bullets:
  • This episode is a demonstration of the dangers of technology. We on this blog agree that technology and all sorts of internets are DANGEROUS.
  • I like how excited Buffy is for Willow's boyfriend. Yay good friends.
  • OMG WHAT IS THAT LAPTOP [It's called a "word processor" - D]

Also a 90s Factoid.

  • "Does it involve a midget and a block of ice?"
  • Oh Buffy. Calling it an e-letter. You're so cute. Go play with your beeper.
  • Daniel's winces in reaction to Fritz during this episode were pretty hilarious.
  • "What, I can't have information sometimes?" / "Well, it's just somewhat unprecedented."
  • I call Shenanigans on Willow speaking aloud to her computer in the lab as she types.
  • "I simply don't adhere to a knee-jerk assumption that because something is new, it's better." Oh Giles, I feel like smartphones would make your poor head explode.
  • Yes, Jenny Calender, a book the size of an Atlas is a diary. Your intelligence is staggering. No wonder you got spoilered.
  • Do you think calling Moloch's minion Dave was a shoutout to 2001: A Space Odyssey? [Yes! - D]
  • I'm impressed SMG was willing to let them static-ify her hair for her post-electrocution scene. I feel like she usually makes sure to look good even when she doesn't.
  • "For those of us in our studio audience who are me..."
  • "I think I pretty capped it with that nuclear missile thing." / "You're right, yours was best."
  • Oh, the days when being online meant your phoneline was busy.
  • Buffy really is taking charge of the mission in this episode, giving Giles instructions, and not taking his whining when he protests.
  • Aw, Jenny called shenanigans on the virus-planting in Independence Day.
  • Buffy trying to kick Moloch down and bouncing to the ground was pretty hilarious.
  • Yay, Willow gets to be badass as she wails on Moloch with a fire extinguisher.
  • When braun fails to defeat metal-made Moloch, Buffy turns to brains and tricks him into zapping himself dead. That's why she's the best.
  • Giles defending books is quite sweet. Yay books!

Crossfire!: First Demon?

Daniel: So, I think this is our first Demon of the season.
Zelda: What about the fake Natalie French? She was a demon.
Daniel: I think she might have been a were.
Zelda: No - in this 'verse, the only were we have is the werewolf - and they only change (spoiler!) the three nights around a full moon.
Daniel: Hmm, okay, probably not a were ... but I still don't think she was a demon. She was never referred to as more than a giant bug.
Zelda: Okay so, not a were, but a giant bug - but that doesn't count as a demon? She clearly has more powers than a regular bug, since she can pretend to be human and somehow make babies with other humans. What are your prerequisites for demons?
Daniel: Well, if we're being totally technical, a vampire is a demon.
Zelda: A half-demon, if you ask a pureblood. That's a good point.
Daniel: Also, according to Anya later, we've never seen a pure-blood until the Mayor (spoiler!).
Zelda: Also an excellent point! So then, does Moloch count more as a demon for you because he was green and scaly?
Daniel: Yes, I think Moloch represents the traditional demon we'll see later in the show.
Zelda: But Moloch as we actually see him in modern times is a metal construction! That argues more robot than demon.
Daniel: But he was originally a demon. And Giles and everyone calls him a demon. "There's a demon on the internet." And his demon essence was in the internet. The robot body he uses is just a shell...I guess like vampires use human bodies!
Zelda: Okay, so we do agree he is a demon. But does he count as the series's first demon? Hey audience, what do YOU think?

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "Smell is the most powerful memory trigger there is. A certain flower or a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell -- musty and rich. Knowledge gained from a computer has no texture, no context. It's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, the getting of knowledge should be tangible. It should be smelly." ~Giles into why books are superior to computers and the reason I insist I won't use a kindle ;)
Zelda: "To read makes our speaking English good." - Xander. Also, I like books and kindles. I think it's an and, not an or choice.  

90s Factoid:

Willow's retro scanner - the Scan-o-Matique
 
Arc/Continuity Stuff:
  • First appearance of Jenny Calendar. She knows about demons and such already! She casts bones! She's a witch! Burn her! Okay, fine, techno-pagan.
  • Buffy's birthday is 10/24/80 ... sometimes.
  • Xander's uncle used to work at CRD in a floor-sweeping capacity.
  • Willow has a dad. Who forgets his keys.

Stats:

Voiceover - Creepy B-Movie Guy
Angel's Character - in the recycle bin ... with Cordelia, who is also AWOL
Dead Humans - 2
Dead Undeads - 1
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 3
Apocalypse Called - 0

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Interview With A Fellow Scooby

Today, we're taking a break to interview a fellow Scooby and Blogger.  V writes Coincidence and Leprechauns: A blog about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, [her] life, and other important things.
D: How did you start watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
V: I first became aware of Buffy with the movie, which my younger self thought was fabulous. So when I read in TV Guide ('member those?) that there would be a series based on the movie, I tuned in to the premiere and the rest is history.

"Whoa!"

D: Wow, so unlike Zelda and I, you actually watched it from the beginning!  No spoilers! What episode did you realize that this was going to be an awesome show?
V: Yep, I was a fresh Buffy virgin, waiting anxiously every week!
I'm gonna have to say Prophecy Girl. Although younger me was totally sold on the star-crossed lovers angle of Angel and taped it to watch over and over, it was Prophecy Girl that made me go, "whoa!"
D: What was it about Prophecy Girl that made you go, "whoa!"?  And would you recommend it for first time viewers?
V: Mostly, it was the acting. Sarah Michelle Gellar was phenomenal throughout, as was Anthony Stewart Head. It was a great episode for the three-named actors!
But also, that a show would have the guts to kill their own main character in the season finale was something I had no idea you could do. And it was glorious! Even bringing her back didn't feel like a cop-out, because it was just so powerful an image.
I absolutely recommend it to first time viewers. If you don't like Buffy after Prophecy Girl (after having watched the rest of the first season, of course...all the episodes are important!), then you are insane and I no longer wish to know you.
D: Let's talk about characters.  Who's your favorite and why?
V: Buffy. No question. Though Giles comes super-close.
She's the one I related to most. We both were children of divorced parents, we both had a really small circle of best friends, and we both slayed vampires at night. Actually, a lot of the situations she went through I went through and as a result, she became my spirit self, of sorts.
D: So what decided you to start a blog about Buffy after all these years?
Well, I am way too witty to keep all my thoughts to myself!  

Just kidding! I think it was a combination of boredom (I'm by myself for much of the day), passion for the show, and just wanting to accomplish something I thought was worthwhile.
Part of the reason I like Buffy so much is that not only does it have something important to say, but you can find new things to see in it even when you're rewatching for the hundredth time (which I passed, like, so long ago). And I'd hate to think that there's someone out there just dismissing it as a cheesy vampire show when I know for a fact it's anything but. So this is my way of fighting against that ignorance.
D: And with you, we shall fight!  Please make sure to visit V's Blog to fight the ignorance!