Category Archives: Television

The Freshman

Wow, rather like Buffy being a freshman, that was awkward. Getting back into the Buffyverse wasn’t as smooth as I assumed it would be. Being re-immersed in a pop/culture world where Buffy references Dada and Xander knows about the Renaissance but Buffy doesn’t is a bit of a shock. It’s very stylised and arch, and a bit irritating.

That said, I am looking forward to getting back into it because there are some crackers coming up by anybody’s standards. I love, love, love several episodes of season 4.

Random notes: I remember liking Sunday more; Klimt versus Monet still funny; Willow has nice hair; would a lecturer be that mean?; when will I ever not wince at the word “bitch”?; the location for UC☼D is lovely; watching it 16:9 with a technical eye does expose framing issues.

Graduation Day Part 2

I am surprised to say this but I’m relieved that this season is over. The Buffy Angel romance did absolutely nothing for me – and is responsible for the sappiest BtVS moments ever. And sap has to be Brief Encounter brilliant for me to care. Obviously it is still great television with some of the best episodes of the entire seven seasons (“The Wish”, “Doppelgangland”) as well as a host of fantastic moments.

I don’t have any problem with the ropey CGI. Growing up on Doctor Who makes me immune to that sort of thing, really. After all, having awesome effects is pointless if your script is written by James Cameron.

Cor blimey, lor love a duck, I do hate it when Buffy ventures into British/English stereotypes – it is always excruciating – from this side of the pond anyway. Though that does remind me – Alexis Denisof’s accent is excellent.

Lovely, lovely single shot in the hospital involving the mayor, Angel and comatose Buffy and Faith.

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I hate Xander so much when he is both judgemental and wrong. And I don’t really get it either. Why is he written like that? Why don’t Willow or Oz say something in Angel’s defence? After all they know that he wasn’t in a position to “save his own ass”. It’s just annoying.

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The Buffy/Faith dream is cool. I like Joss’s dreams.

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“Scream like a woman.” Joss? Why? Why? Why? Why give this line to a woman who knows how strong women can be? A woman who knows how weak men can be. It’s horrible and inappropriate for BtVS.

General Buffy and Angel annoyance: why does Angel not fight all the time vamped out? – particularly when all the other vampires do – and particularly when the minion vampires are always vamped out even when they are not fighting. I know the practical answer but the show should have a reason too.

Talking of minions, the mayor’s vampires are paltry and uninteresting. I miss Mr Trick.

The final showdown must have looked great on paper but, in reality, with the exception of Snyder getting it, it was an bit anti-climatic. Funny that the end of part one with just the two characters was much more exciting than part two’s cast of dozens.

Roll on season 4 and Spike and Tara!

Rewind

Graduation Day Part 1

Buffy utterly surrenders the moral high ground as soon as she decides that she should murder Faith to save her “lover”. The fact that she fails to actually kill Faith does not mitigate what she does. This is no Ted situation when she was acting in self defence, this is murder. That said, the fight between Buffy and Faith ending with Faith toppling from the balcony is a brilliant BtVS moment.

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Other thoughts: did Joss and co always mean for Wesley to be right all the time? He may be a pompous ass but he’s a righteous pompous ass. I loved the exchange which cumulates in Willow asking if one of the tigers is coming. I’m not sure if I like that they made Faith murder the professor in such a cold blooded way. It makes her almost irredeemable despite that she is, erm, eventually redeemed. I love the return of Anya played wonderfully by Emma Caulfield but I do wonder at her characterisation: 900 years of helping women with their vengeance would surely give her an exceptional insight into human behaviour and not, in fact, the opposite.

The Prom

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I assume that I will never get “The Prom”. There is plenty to like about it: Joyce isn’t unreasonable, she just asks Angel to think about what he is doing with a teenage girl; Angel’s subsequent nightmare is genuinely horrific; Cordelia’s storyline moves along at last giving both her and Xander some nice character development; we meet Anya again (plus a lovely unsubtle chunk of exposition); and Giles gets to say “blueberry scone” to Wesley.

However, when Giles says “I had no idea that children en masse could be gracious.”, I think that grace and a novelty umbrella isn’t quite a good enough gesture to thank the saviour of Sunnydale High. If I were Buffy and I found out that people knew that I was saving their lives every single night by risking my own that I would prefer something more substantial like a militia force or at least my supplies paid for.

Also, Buffy and Angel’s romance? All I can say, is thank goodness he’s off to star on his own show.

Rewind

Choices

Willow is terribly clever, or at least, academically brilliant. Well, I think she is, the episode is a little unclear on this fact.

Wesley was right. Willow (nobody) is worth the lives of thousands. Oz had no right to make that decision.

This is an enjoyable but not outstanding episode though it has some nice interactions between Faith/the Mayor, Faith/Willow and Willow/Buffy.

Thank goodness, the character of Cordelia is moving on at last. I hate the way this “feminist” show has treated a female character in such a one dimensional and stereotypical way.

Rewind

Doppelgangland

Simply a great episode with so much to like about it. Alyson Hannigan’s performance as various Willows; “Old Reliable” and the banana announcement; Anya’s peevishness at being human; Willow’s friends mourning her (“She was truly the finest of all of us.” “Way better than me.” “Much, much better.”) and their reaction to her resurrection; some nice Cordelia and Wesley action; and, well, “I think I’m kinda gay.”

I have never understood why Willow jumps to her snuggling conclusion and the rescue plan is a bit rubbish really (though Buffy does say it is a bad idea).

Rewind

Bad Girls

S3 is maintaining its disappointing run. I genuinely thought it was one of my favourite seasons but very little has been thrilling me. It simply hasn’t been appointment TV which goes a long way to explaining the long gap between updates to this blog. Of course, there isn’t anything exactly bad about the series, after all “The Wish” was only five episodes ago, but it was five episodes ago.

However, things have begun to happen – Faith has accidentally killed a man (not murdered) and a new major character to the Buffyverse has entered the scene.

I’m pretty sure that I’m a bit of a bore on this subject but it is a bit of a bore: I hate what they are doing to Cordelia – she is thoroughly unpleasant and this is not nuanced writing – it’s ugly and lazy writing.


Rewind

The Zeppo

I tend not to read my old reviews before writing a new one but I did in this case and, boy, did I not like “The Zeppo”. However, while Xander’s character demolition and Cordelia’s ugly behaviour are still bothersome, the episode itself is actually quite funny.

I am also older and wiser now, and quite frankly, since I don’t really like Xander anyway, if I am quite blasé about the way that Steven Moffat wrote River Song’s story (reduced to looking for a good man) then I can live with “useless” Xander for an episode.

Rewind