infinitejest: (buffy: the wind speaks)
Episode Title: "The Pack"
Writers: Matt Kiene and Joe Reinkemeyer
Episode Number: 1.6

Spoilers. And, as usual, I got my script transcripts from TWIZ TV.

Demon Lore, in four parts. )

Slayer Notes. )

Characterization. )

Themes. )

Miscellaneous. )

Giles Knock-Out Count

KO #3: The zookeeper knocks Giles out with his staff-- first a blow to the gut, then a blow to the back/head. He drags him off-stage and into the maintenance area behind one of the walls of the exhibit.

Favorite Quotes

Principal Flutie: "Today it's all gangs and drugs and those movies on Showtime with the nudity. I don't have cable, I only heard."

Coach, on how to play dodgeball: "Now, for those of you that may have forgotten, the rules are as follows: you dodge."

Coach, on dodgeball: "God, this game is brutal. I love it."

Giles: "It's devastating. He's turned into a 16-year-old boy. Of course, you'll have to kill him."

Giles: "Testosterone is a great equalizer. It turns all men into morons. He will, however, get over it."

Buffy: "I can't believe you, of all people, are trying to Scully me."

Willow: "What're you gonna do?"
Giles: "Get my books. Look stuff up."

Buffy: "It shouldn't be too hard to find a new principal. Unless they ask what happened to the last one."

2010 Update

Now that I've actually watched all of The X-Files, I finally caught Buffy's Scully comment in this episode. Heh.


Links

Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Movie
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Origin comic
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.1: "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.2: "The Harvest"
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.3: "The Witch"
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Viva Las Buffy! comic
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.4: "Teacher's Pet"
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.5: "Never Kill A Boy On the First Date"
infinitejest: (buffy: the wind speaks)
Episode Title: "Never Kill A Boy On the First Date"
Writer: Rob Des Hotel and Dean Batali
Episode Number: 1.5

Spoilers. And, as usual, I got my script transcripts from TWIZ TV.

Vampire Lore )

Slayer Notes )

Characterization )

Miscellaneous )

Themes )

Giles' Knock-Out Count

Knock-out #2: Vampire Andrew knocks a cross from Giles hand, then throws him across the room. Giles hits the wall, his head slamming into the button to turn on the incinerator, before he falls to the floor, unconscious.

Favorite Quotes

Buffy, to Giles: "Oh, that's great: I kill them, you fence their stuff."

The Master: "'And one of the Brethren shall go out hunting the night before and get himself killed, because he couldn't wait to finish his job before he ate.' Oh, wait. (grabs one of the Brethren by the throat) That's not written anywhere."

Owen: "I've lost my Emily. Dickinson."

Buffy: "There's some new hoity-toity vampire sect in town."
Willow: "That's bad."
Xander: "Well, hey, they're bringing the much-needed tourist dollars."

Buffy: "Well, in that case I won't wear my button that says, 'I'm a Slayer. Ask me how!'"

Buffy: "If the apocalypse comes, beep me."

Giles: "Buffy, when I said you could slay vampires and have a social life, I didn't mean at the same time."

Links

Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Movie
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Origin comic
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.1: "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.2: "The Harvest"
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.3: "The Witch"
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Viva Las Buffy! comic
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.4: "Teacher's Pet"
infinitejest: (buffy: the wind speaks)
Episode Title: "Teacher's Pet"
Writer: David Greenwalt
Episode Number: 1.4

Spoilers, as usual.

Demon Lore )

Vampire Lore )

Sunnydale Lore )

Characterization )

Themes )

Miscellaneous )

Favorite Quotes

Dr. Gregory: "Don't be sorry: be smart."

Mr. Flutie: "Don't say dead! Or decapitated, or decomposing, I'd stay away from D-words altogether."

Mr. Flutie: "We all need help with our feelings. Otherwise we bottle them up, and before you know it, powerful laxatives are involved. I really believe if we all reach out to one another we can beat this thing. I'm always here if you need a hug, (jumps back) but not a real hug! Because there's no touching, this school is sensitive to wrong touching."

Giles on Willow's creative use of the computer: "Right. Wasn't here, didn't see it, couldn't have stopped you."

Xander: "Need should definitely be met as long as it doesn't require ointments the next day."

Xander: "Wow, your hands... are really serrated."

Giles, on the phone: "Frankly, madam, I haven't the faintest idea what time it is, nor do I care. Now, unlock his cell, unstrap him, and bring him to the telephone immediately. This is a matter of life and death!"

Buffy: "Yeah, well he taught me: you do your homework, you learn stuff."

Links:

Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Movie
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Origin comic
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.1: "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.2: "The Harvest"
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.3: "The Witch"
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Viva Las Buffy! comic
infinitejest: (buffy: the wind speaks)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Viva Las Buffy! by Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza.

In some ways, this comic reads like fanfiction. As far as I can tell, this wasn't written by anyone who actually worked on the series. Therefore, I think that this mostly falls under the category of non-canon. (Of course, this same team of writers also came up with Slayer Interrupted and Notes from the Underground, both of which I now want to read.)

The heart of the story was good: Buffy continues killing vampires for a while and even follows some to Las Vegas to bust up a huge ring. She doesn't know what she's doing: she only knows that she's meant to kill vampires, so she rushes in and relies on her powers to save her. She has no strategy, no sense: she relies on instinct alone. She's also going through an emotionally trying time (identified as the Slayer, lost her Watcher, got kicked out of school, her parents are fighting), so maybe she's even trying to take herself out of the picture (though subconsciously) by being reckless.

I like how that contrasts with Pike actually thinking things through: he's trying to figure things out and comes to recognize what Buffy can't. He sees her self-destructive behavior, but he's too insecure in his relationship with her to call her on it. He also doesn't figure he has a right to considering his background of delinquency (although that just gives him the authority to back up his statements). Of course, he still has his blind spots: he doesn't see that there are certain strengths a Slayer with friends has that one who stands alone lacks. Anyway, he ends up trying to take himself out of the picture (consciously).

This collection of comics also does a good job of setting up the dissolution of Buffy's parents' marriage. They're painted as a stressed family, slowly collapsing under the weight of misunderstanding and lack of commitment. Also, the Joyce here is the understanding and interested Joyce of the television show. That's a comfort, considering the ridiculous Joyce from the Origin comic. (Oh, yes, I've heard since that, in terms of the show, the Origin story doesn't exist. Only the hinted-at back-story in the show is canon.)

However, this collection's revisionist in that it includes Dawn and gives us scenes of how Giles came to be Buffy's Watcher. Dawn fits in well-- she's background noise and she is characterized properly. Giles, though, is not Giles as we know him and he's casting spells left and right. Actually, the Watcher bit was one of the weakest parts of the book-- it's just kinda thrown in there and I don't like the way they portray Giles. The Giles of this comic simply is not characterized properly-- he doesn't ring true with the Giles of the show.

They also included an Angel subplot, which was the second weakest part of the book. He's still going by Angelus at this point and his presence in this story is rather amorphous. They bring him in all strong and silent and then give him lines and emotions that don't fit later (begging Buffy-- who still doesn't know he exists-- to forgive him when he ends up vamping a man to get out of an pocket in time, etc.). His lines don't fit within the supposed show storyline nor within the context of the comic. It really just made me even more annoyed with Angel's character, though they did a good job of making ironic comments on the later situation between Buffy and Angel. For example, there's a point where Pike is watching Angel walk away and he thinks, "Happily ever after? I got about as much of a shot as THAT guy does..." Hah.

The Big Bads were interesting, though: they were Siamese twins, only one of which was a vampire. I feel that this would be physically impossible, but they were really scary and interesting. And, when one of them died, the other one had a very interesting, understandable, and avaricious reaction.

And, lastly, the thing that bothered me the most was that Buffy showed no tendency of wanting to return to being a normal girl in this graphic novel. I know I've argued before that, in her heart of hearts, Buffy (eventually) doesn't actually want to BE normal. But she's always saying she does, and I think she'd be saying that even more vehemently at fifteen when her parents' marriage is on the rocks and her Watcher is dead. (However, seeing as how I just found out earlier that this same team wrote Slayer Interrupted, I guess they get to this a bit later on. Slayer Interrupted is the graphic novel wherein Buffy's put in the mental hospital.)

The artwork is really pretty, though.

Overall, I'd say give this one a miss. It doesn't really add anything to the Buffy mythos and mostly just detracts. If you want to know what happened between LA and Sunnydale, just imagine that Buffy ran away to Las Vegas with Pike for a few weeks, then had a break down and ended up in a mental hospital for a few months. Anything you imagine, within reason, oughta do it.

Links

Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Movie
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Origin comic
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.1: "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.2: "The Harvest"
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.3: "The Witch"
infinitejest: (buffy: the wind speaks)
Episode Title: "The Witch"
Written by: Dana Reston
Episode Number: 1.3

The usual spoiler warning applies.

Witch Lore )

Characterization )

Themes

They continue playing up the theme of there being a huge generation gap preventing adults from understanding children and vice versa. However, I'm more interested in the other theme at this time: that of victimization, fairy tale style.

This story is a fairy tale at its root. Beautiful and accomplished woman becomes trapped by her circumstances (saddled with a husband and a baby). Beautiful woman comes to resent her life, and is wronged when she's cast off for another woman. She pours her resentment into her child, eventually stealing her daughter's youth and beauty out of the desire to recapture her glory days. As a witch, she begins a string of gory spells in blind pursuit of her goal and is foiled by a person with genuinely good intentions. She's locked in a prison of her own making for all eternity, and her daughter, returned to herself, walks free into the Wood.

I like how they handle the theme of victimization. While the rest are quick to blame Amy for the terrible and disfiguring spells they think she's committing, Buffy says:

"It's not Amy's fault. She only became a witch to survive her mother."

This is a loaded statement. It points out that a victim can often be driven to do terrible things to escape that victimization (i.e., go against their true nature or commit crimes in order to become that which is desired by the abuser), but it also points out what can happen to the victim over time. Even when the actual abuse stops, it never really stops. It's still going on inside the victim, and this leads to a choice, sometimes one that has to be made again and again: will the victim become the victimizer, become that which she hates, or will she rise above what was done to her and prevent the legacy from continuing? I've been faced with this before, and I was strong enough to rise above it. Sadly, Amy later proves not to be so strong.

Miscellaneous )

Giles' Knock-Out Count

This episode allows the debut of the "Giles' Knock-Out Count" section. Much later in the series, I was struck by Giles' comment to the effect of, "Well, I've been knocked out. Now I know I'm back in Sunnydale." Although he got knocked out a lot, I never realized how much of a running gag it must have been backstage of the show. So I've decided to keep track on the re-watch.

So, this would be Knock-Out #1. Catherine sends a table rocketing across the floor, which crashes into Giles and shoves him hard against the wall. He crumples to the floor, unconscious.

Favorite Quotes

Giles:"You have a sacred birthright, Buffy. You were chosen to destroy vampires, not to... wave pompoms at people. And as the Watcher I forbid it."

Giles: "But that's the thrill of living on the Hellmouth! There's a veritable cornucopia of, of fiends and devils and, and ghouls to engage. ... Pardon me for finding the glass half full."

Xander: "Oh, huh, I laugh in the face of danger. Then I hide until it goes away."

Xander: "First vampires, now witches. No wonder you can still afford a house in Sunnydale."

Links

Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Movie
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Origin comic
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.1: "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.2: "The Harvest"
infinitejest: (buffy: the wind speaks)
Episode Title: "The Harvest"
Writer: Joss Whedon
Episode Number: 1.2
Notes: This episode is technically a two-parter with "Welcome to the Hellmouth" being part the first.

As per usual, spoilers abound.

Buffyverse Mythology )

Vampire Lore )

Characterization )

Themes )

Miscellaneous )

Favorite Quotes

Willow: "Oh, I, I need to sit down."
Buffy: "You are sitting down."
Willow: "Oh, good for me."

The Master: "My ascension is almost at hand. Pray that, when it comes, I'm in a better mood."

Giles: "Alright. The Slayer hunts vampires, Buffy is a Slayer, don't tell anyone. Well, I think that's all the vampire information you need."

Xander: "They can fly?"
Buffy: "They can drive."

Giles, to Willow: "Well, then help me. I've been researching this Harvest affair. It seems to be some sort of preordained massacre. Rivers of blood, Hell on Earth, quite charmless. I'm a bit fuzzy, however, on the details. It may be that you can wrest some information from that dread machine. ... ... That was a bit, um, British, wasn't it?"

Angel: "They really don't like me."
Buffy, sarcastic: "How could that possibly be?"

Xander: "Well, the part of my brain that would tell me to bring that stuff is still busy telling me not to come down here."

Xander: "I don't like vampires. I'm going to take a stand and say they're not good."

Buffy: "So, Giles! Got anything that can make this day any worse?"
Giles: "How about the end of the world?"
Buffy: "Knew I could count on you."

Luke: "Ladies and Gentlemen! There is no cause for alarm. Actually, there is cause for alarm. It just won't do any good."

Luke: "Tonight is his ascension. Tonight will be history at its end! Yours is a glorious sacrifice! Degradation most holy. What? No volunteers?!"
I love how offended he sounds that no one volunteers.

Buffy: "There's something you forgot about, too. Sunrise! ... It's in about nine hours, moron!"

Buffy: "Well, we averted the Apocalypse. I give us points for that."

Favorite quotes continued... )

Links:

Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Movie
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Origin comic
Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1.1: "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
infinitejest: (buffy: the wind speaks)
Episode Title: "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
Writer: Joss Whedon
Episode Number: 1.1
Notes: This episode is technically a two-parter with "The Harvest" being the second part.

And so Buffy the Vampire Slayer begins its metamorphosis from a one-shot cheesy movie into a multi-faceted, quirky genre-bending television show. This first episode takes Joss' desire to give the Blonde Damsel in Distress walking boots and weapons and shoves it even more into center stage.

By the way, as with my earlier posts, I'm more concerned with discussing mythology, themes, characterization, and relationships here. In my analyses of Buffy episodes, you won't really be finding any summaries or episode reviews. So, if that's the kind of thing you want, it's best not to waste too much time reading these.

Now, on with the show.

spoilers abound )

Favorite Quotes

Giles: "Then why are you here?"
Buffy: "To tell you that I don't care. Which I don't, and I have now told you. So bye."

Buffy: "To make you a vampire, they have to suck your blood. And then you have to suck their blood. It's like a whole big sucking thing. Mostly, they're just going to kill you. Why am I still talking to you?"

Buffy: "From now on, I'm only going to hang out with the living."

Buffy: "Seize the moment because tomorrow you might be dead."

Buffy: "I didn't say I'd never slay another vampire. It's not like I have all these fluffy bunny feelings for them, I'm just not going to get way extra-curriculuar with it. You know, if I see one, sure--"
(See, I just find this comment to be so ironic in light of her later extra-curricular activities with the blood-sucking undead...)

Giles: "But you didn't...hone."

Buffy: "Now, we can do this the hard way or... well, actually, there's just the hard way."
Darla: "That's fine with me."
Buffy: "Are you sure? Now this is not gonna be pretty. We're talking violence, strong language, adult content..."

Whew. I cannot keep doing this for EVERY episode. I'm hoping that this post was just so much work because I'm dealing with the set-up. As soon as characterization and patterns are developed, these posts should drop down to something much more manageable.
infinitejest: (buffy: the wind speaks)
Now that I've addressed my main concerns with the movie, let's move on to the comic. I bought the graphic novel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: the Origin, which is a collection of three issues of the Dark Horse comic. Its sole purpose seems to be integrating Buffy's origin story into the world of the series. Authors Christopher Golden and Daniel Brereton adapted the comic from Joss' original script. I was really excited about this, hoping for a well-rounded comic that restored Buffy's origin story back to its original dark, quirky, and gritty glory.

First, a note on the binding: when I first cracked open my copy, the pages started coming undone from the spine. I read it in a couple of hours, and the cover had completely come apart from the pages in that time. This makes me cranky.

Now, a note on the adaptation: this is a poor adaptation. My opinion on this is no doubt due, in part, to my recent reading of Alan Moore's Writing For Comics, Volume 1. Moore goes on a bit about how comics should be comics and not try to be films or books. I totally jived with this philosophy, which meant that this comic book was a definite disappointment to me in that regard. They just took the film-as-it-should-have-been and put it into panels... they didn't even try to give us more time with the characters or even fix up the transitions between scenes. This leaves us with a rather unsatisfying illustrated version of Joss' close-to-original script.

However, I must admit that the illustrations are gorgeous (apart from a few design choices regarding the vampires that annoy the shit out of me; however, I'll get to that in a minute). The artists on this project did an amazing job. I'm just happy that they made Buffy look like a 15-year-old...

Anyway, on to the story:

spoilers abound )
infinitejest: (buffy: the wind speaks)
I have to admit that I've almost always had a thing for vampires-- ever since I got over being afraid of them, anyway. Funny factoid about me: I generally come to embrace that which I fear as a means of getting over it. This only works for some things, of course: wolves, witches, vampires.

Anyway, it means that I've almost always been attracted to vampire flicks and, given my strange guilty pleasure involving compulsively watching stupid movies, it's guaranteed I'll pick up pretty much any vampire movie I find. It means that movies like My Best Friend's A Vampire, Love at First Bite, Once Bitten, Night Life, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are all definite shoe-ins.

My mom and I definitely couldn't resist a movie called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was just too cheesy and provocative. The premise behind it tickled our fancy-- you know, the usual Helpless Blonde "Oh, look, help me, I'm monster food in the first five minutes!" archetype is turned all topsy-turvey when said blonde is made the main character and given the power to kick the monsters' asses. Also, I've always appreciated seeing a seemingly shallow heroine deepening.

Buffy has, of course, become a phenomenon since its beginning as a cheesy valley-girl/vampire flick of the early 90's. And I love the show more than I ever liked the movie. Still, I think it's important to analyze the show's inception. In this post and the next one, I'll examine both the movie that was made from a severely modified screenplay and the comic book (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Origin) that sticks closer to the original screenplay.

Now, I'll mainly be looking at Slayer mythology and how this movie set up themes, Buffy's character, and introduced Joss' particular world of darkness. So, without further ado:

spoiler-heavy observations )

The Principal really was one of my favorite characters. He was portrayed by Stephen Root, y'know, who also played Milton in Office Space. I guess we know what made Milton the way he is, eh? ;)

Trivia: Seth Green was actually in the movie, but his part was cut during editing. Apparently you can still see him vamping out on Grueller on the DVD and Video packaging, though. That makes him the only actor to be in both the movie and the series.

December 2010

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