Thursday, May 10, 2007

10 May Buffyupdate

I don't much feel like writing a Buffy Wednesday blog today. I don't know why, exactly, except that I started a new job recently (that I hate) and am not struggling, exactly, but am having trouble adapting to it. Don't know why I would be more tired, since the new job is at the same place as the old one, and I don't get up any earlier than I used to, but I am tired. In fact, after tyranist and I watched the first "Buffy" episode, I suggested it might not be a bad idea to call it a night.

Of course that suggestion was ignored, but hey, I'm just the copilot.

Maybe I'll call tyranist Captain on this post.

So, we saw two installments, "Homecoming" and "Band Candy." For some reason, the phrase 'band candy' is funny to me. And to the Captain.

In "Homecoming," it's time for the big dance, which of course is being held at the Bronze, the dance club they've gone to pretty much every week since the show started. Since everyone's still paired off, it looks like Buffy and Scott will be going together, even though Scott may have his doubts. Cordelia has in her head that she is going to be prom queen, and is actively campaigning for the job. She's as conceited and bitchy as usual, and takes it just a little too far that Buffy decides to enter the "race" as well, just to show her up. Now the gang has to pick sides, and oddly enough, everybody except Faith (who barely appears in this episode) picks Cordelia's.

At the same time, there's a little gathering in Sunnydale, a group of hunters of different shapes and sizes (humans, vampires, Germans, and a demon), brought together by Mr. Trick from "Faith, Hope, and Trick" to participate in Slayerfest '98, a free-for-all foxhunt . . . with Buffy and Faith as the targets.

So, the gang arranges it so Buffy will end up in the limo with Cordelia instead of with Faith, and the two can work out their differences. Of course, Slayerfest '98 interferes with that. Buffy and Cordelia battle the hunters, defeating and/or evading them (and getting two to shoot each other), and get back to the Bronze just in time to find out who the prom queen is . . . it's a tie . . . and not them.

This episode also introduces Sunnydale's mayor (Harry Groener), a corrupt sort with all sorts of demonic and vampiric connections. Tyranist thinks that he may be our Big Baddie of the season, so it will be fun to find out.

This episode was pretty light (despite killing and yellow-skinned demons and German people), and the Captain was really happy to see the self-centered, bitchy Cordelia back. I'm of two minds, though. While I find her awfulness refreshing, we've seen the other side of her (like when she's alone with Xander) so often, that I have difficulty believing that she's as petty and shallow as she sometimes acts. And I do wonder, if she hates the gang and slaying and such, why she continues to hang out with them.

Note from 15 May:
Wow, I'm really suffering when it comes to writing this up. Usually I get right to work the next day, and finish it within one or two, but not this time. It may be next Buffy Wednesday before I finish posting about the last one.

"Band Candy" was the second episode we watched, and was written by Jane Espenson, who I knew from "Firefly," as well as the book of essays she edited about that short-lived series. In this show, the Sunnydale students are given candy to sell to generate money for the band, but that candy has been cursed (by the same man, Ethan Rayne, who cursed the costumes in last season's excellent "Halloween" show). It seems that any adult that eats the candy becomes addicted to it, and their minds regress to a less responsible, more impulsive, less reserved, more teenage state. It's all a plan by the mayor to allow vampires to run wild and unchecked, and to snatch some babies from the local hospital for use in a ritual sacrifice to a snake demon.

I know, I saw this same scenario on "The Andy Griffith Show" fifty-something years ago.

Interestingly enough, Buffy's mother Joyce and her surrogate father-figure Giles are both affected by the chocolate, and end up making trouble, making time, and making out.* Besides that, the loathsome yet lovable** Principal Snyder also reverts to teenagehood, becoming the geeky tag-along kid he must have been many years ago.

Also, Buffy is allowed to drive her mother's car for (apparently) the first time in this show. She also gets in a car accident (not her fault), which is easy for me to relate to, since I am the worst driver the world has ever known (I even ran over myself once . . . ask me about it sometime).

In the end, Buffy is able to get in there, save the babies, and kill the snake demon. Everything returns to normal, and the adults seem to have no memory of the previous day . . . though we do wonder if there will be ramifications in the weeks to come.

"Band Candy" was a very fun episode, if only to see a different side to the adults (I nearly said "grownups") on the show. I especially liked seeing Giles with a Brit teen mentality.

Besides introducing the character of the mayor, these two episodes saw the genesis of a romance (albeit covert) between Xander and Willow. I would've thought I'd be totally creeped out by those two getting together, but for some reason (maybe just the way it was handled), I wasn't. Tyranist--er, the Captain--found even more delight in this than I did, but then, he was also a much bigger fan of the Willow/Oz relationship than I was. Maybe he's just a bigger romance fan than me, or maybe, as much as I loathe to admit it, the spectre of Willow's impending Alternate Lifestyle Characterisation is constantly looming with her in the back of my mind.

Uh oh. Except perhaps for religion and race, there's no more delicate a topic than Sexuality, but I gotta bring it up. Knowing what will become of Willow in the seasons to come, I'm a bit skeptical every time she is paired off with a male character. If one subscribes to the People Are Born Gay side of the fence, then does that mean that Willow was always a lesbian, and her feelings for Xander (and Oz) are not genuine? Can it just be a passing thing, or a hormonal thing, or just that he was her first crush and she never considered looking at girls in that way before? For those who stand on the other side of the fence (People Are Made Gay By Circumstance), perhaps Willow is hurt, disappointed, or disillusioned with the men in her life, finding what she's looking for in girls rather than guys, and we'll see that natural progression. It's hard to say. There are, of course, those who theorise that All Girls Are Inherently Bi, so that simplifies the argument. I do look forward to finding out how this will happen, though I hope it's done in an organic way.

Darn, now I'm getting into it, I might as well get into it. I'm not gay myself, but there have been times, especially when I look at the ease with which those around me pair off, that I've wondered if I was gay, or should have been gay. From the conversations I've had with other guys, this is either really uncommon, or not something that men are willing to admit to. So who knows how typical my thoughts and feelings are on this subject?

I get along better with guys and am often baffled by female behaviour, but that seems normal. Who knows what it would have taken for me to . . . I don't know, become homo- rather than hetero-sexual , but if the People Are Born Gay camp is correct, then there's nothing that could have spun me in that direction. And hey, I like girls, I find myself attracted to them way more often and more strongly than I'd like, but I have less success with them than Stevie Wonder at an eye chart. Most people just make it look so easy, and even on "Buffy," where there seems to be more thought and care put into the human interactions than most shows, the romance is as easy as Sunday morning (or Paris Hilton on Saturday evening).

But all of this is a big tangent. The real truth of this show is, these are not real people; they are characters created by writers and actors, and all these (entertaining and interesting) turns with Willow are happening because they have not yet decided on (or even considered) turning her gay. So I'm ruminating for no reason.

Both episodes were good, but I don't think they were great. It was hard to write up this blog, and I hope next week's is far simpler.

Oh, and I'm not going to call tyranist "The Captain" anymore. A tyranist is easily a step up from a captain.

Rish "All Demons Are Inherently Bi" Outfield

*You know, I've got to apologise for that sentence. I thought it would be cute to use the word "making" three times, but I have no idea what making time is.

**Ditto on that. Sorry again.

No comments: