Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Buffy Rewatch: Anya and Cordy and Break-ups and Spike

Season 3 really hits its stride with "Revelations", "Lovers Walk", and "The Wish".

"I have to believe in a better world."
"Go ahead. I have to live in this one."

As I've said previously, the advantage of covering multiple episodes each week in the Buffy Rewatch is being able to skim over less interesting episodes. But the drawback to covering multiple episodes each week is that sometimes I'll want to write about all of the episodes. And this week brings three fantastic episodes - and they're all fantastic in their own ways.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Episode 17 - Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting In A Dystopian Hellscape

It's fun and games this week as we explore dystopian game show/reality shows from before the year 2000!   We watched David Cronberg's 1983 classic Videodrome and we read Horace McCoy's They Shoot Horses Don't They from 1935.

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Show Notes:

The three essays from Criterion that we reference in this episode are:

Videodrome: Make Mine Cronenberg, by Carrie Rickey.  This one's especially interesting since it was originally written for the Village Voice around the time the movie came out.

Videodrome: The Slithery Sense of Unreality, by Gary Indiana.

The TVTropes page on Videodrome is also quite useful.

Next Time:

For our episode in two weeks, we'll be watching My Year Without Sex and reading Ian McEwan's Atonement.

Random Junk:

Amy makes reference to a Jerry Baker in remembering saxophone players in this episode.  She meant the late Gerry Rafferty (1947-2011), who had the wonderful song "Baker Street." [My brain ain't what it used to be. I blame having to memorize how to spell Chmerkovskiy. -- Amy]

The Toronto CityTV signoff, ca. 1979:

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Buffy Rewatch: Are There Any Nachos In Here, Little Tree?

A quick update this week, as season 3 continues with "Beauty and the Beasts", "Homecoming", and "Band Candy".

"Something's weird."
"Something's not?"

More than 15 years later, some episodes have aged better than others.

"Beauty and the Beasts" was written by Marti Noxon (of "Marti Noxon ruined Buffy" fame), and it is absolutely a Marti Noxon episode. Like season 2's "I Only Have Eyes For You", the plot here revolves around an abusive relationship between minor characters (in this case, friends of Buffy's sort-of boyfriend Scott Hope). And even though the episode also features the whole gang thinking werewolf Oz may have gotten loose and killed people, AND Buffy finding out that Angel is back, all I can think of is the heavy-handed nature of the writing. If I'm feeling like this about early Marti Noxon, how am I going to approach season 6 with an open mind?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bonus Episode! Randy And Joe Make A Slap Bet

Last night was the How I Met Your Mother finale, so Randy and I threw together a short discussion of the finale, the show in general and what we saw as a bit of an overreaction to how the show ended.

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Buffy Rewatch: Let It Go

Season 3 begins with "Anne", "Dead Man's Party", and "Faith, Hope, and Trick".

"You made some bad choices. You may just have to live with some consequences."

One of the more frustrating story lines on BREAKING BAD was Jesse's in the first half of season 4. At the end of season 3, Jesse killed the kind, libertarian chemist Gale, as a means of ensuring his and Walt's safety. In season 4, Jesse spiralled into depression, partying and using drugs: anything to numb the pain. It was absolutely required from a character perspective, but it was quite frustrating as a viewer.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Episode 16 - Here, Have Some Ale While I Sing You The History of My People

We all discuss works based on Shakespeare, but not just adaptations.  For the movie we watched 1961's West Side Story and the novel was Terry Pratchett's 1992 Discword novel, Lords and Ladies.  Amy goes off on pancake makeup, I discus how Robert Wise lost something when he had to go all shiny for the color era and Randy gives some thoughts on what makes enjoyable fantasy novels.

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For next episode, Joseph chose the theme and we're doing Dystopian game shows.  Amy chose Horace McCory's They Shoot Horses, Don't They? for the novel and Randy chose David Cronenberg's Videodrome for the movie.

Amy is recapping Dancing With The Stars for the Baltimore Sun again this season! and here is her cast preview.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Buffy Rewatch: My Boyfriend's Back

Season 2 comes to its tragic, operatic conclusion with the two-parts of "Becoming".

"No weapons, no friends, no hope. Take all that away, and what's left?"


Looking back at the show now, after 7 seasons of BUFFY and 5 seasons of ANGEL, it's hard to watch these (or any) episodes of this great series without thinking of where these characters' journeys will take them. We know that, after 144 episodes, the core foursome of BUFFY will continue to be Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles. The events of "Becoming" (especially its first part) give Angel more prominence, but they also show that his usefulness as a character on BUFFY would have a limited shelf-life. (This is a dilemma I expect I'll discuss more throughout season 3.)