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22 May 2015 @ 04:45 pm
Sorry. I meant, Killed By Death, another BtVS fan favourite (sarcasm font).

Just for the record, the even numbered eps in season 2 really don't compare that favourably with the odds. And yes, I will be back soon with a review of Go Fish. Lucky me.

Anyway, I can vaguely recall thinking this episode was better than I remembered when I rewatched it, but I suspect that most of us (me included) are going to struggle to find much to say about it. Even the scenes from Buffy's childhood don't seem to fit with what little we see of it later.

No wonder Cousin Celia never gets another mention.

There are some good things in the episode, though, as there always are.

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Evil!Angel is on top form, for a start.

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18 May 2015 @ 10:13 pm
I rather feel I've been very lucky, taking the odd numbered episodes. Today we have Passion, one of the most powerful and painful episodes so far.

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So, how did you feel when you first saw this? Have you recovered yet? Do you sympathise with Xander, or is his reaction annoying? Cordelia – is she more than a chauffeur and plot device here? And do you enjoy the sheer glee of Angelus - he is not just evil, he relishes it. Do you feel sorry for Spike, for all that he is evil? And is it just petty vengeance that makes him hold Dru back?

Nothing in the Buffyverse can ever be the same again. Many people rate this episode in their top ten. How about you – and why, or why not?

Talk to us?
 
 
 
15 May 2015 @ 01:45 pm
This episode is a perfect illustration of one of BtVS's recurring themes - be careful what you wish for.

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Okay, Xander, was there absolutely nothing...

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14 May 2015 @ 12:18 am
After the excitement of last week you might think the show would slip back into MOTW form. No such thing, however - another brilliant episode, in my not-so-humble opinion, in which the relationships develop, the season arc progresses a little and astonishing things happen.

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*****


Screencaps as always are from Pretty as a Picture.

OK, the werewolf outfit is not of the best, I admit. But what about the rest? Real bonding, real issues and some extremely cute moments. What did you like best? What didn’t work for you? What was a surprise, at least the first time you saw this? Do tell!
 
 
 
09 May 2015 @ 02:17 pm
If this episode doesn't make you cry, you're made of sterner stuff than I am.

I mean it. This episode is a really tough watch. I think only The Body is harder. Everything is torn apart.

Poor little Buffy. The pain just keeps on coming.

And worst of all, like she did with her father leaving her mother (as illustrated so well in her nightmare in season 1), she blames herself for it. This despite the fact that - in this episode at least - no one else blames her, except maybe Jenny, though not in a blame-y type way.

It's also the episode in which we're introduced to the stupidest curse in the history of curses.

To whit...

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OK folks, we plan to average two episodes a week, but because of a slight glitch there will be three this week. Because would you really want to wait till Monday for Innocence?

So, after all the excitement of Ted and Bad Eggs, we move on to the innocent peace and happiness of a Buffy birthday episode. The first Buffy birthday episode as it happens. And it's a humdinger. Many would put this and its partner episode into their top ten of the whole series. I'm not sure I would, but it's still a wonderful episode.

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So, do you love this episode? What is your favourite bit? Spike and Dru, Buffy and Angel, Willow and Oz? Or are there bits that are not merely about sex young (or apparently young) people that work for you? What is it with all the water in this episode - symbolic? And what do you think of Jenny's sudden transformation into agent of the Kalderash clan?

I'm sure you have plenty to say on this episode - and the next, which will come at the end of the week. Have at it!
 
 
 
04 May 2015 @ 07:48 pm
Sorry this post is so late. I was going to put it up on Friday but completely forgot, then a lot of RL stuff happened and I forgot again until my co-mod gillo (way more on the ball than me) reminded me.

I hope the vast hordes of you who think Bad Eggs is the best BtVS episode ever haven't been too put out by the wait?

Have to say, though, I can't agree with you. While I no longer think this is the worst episode of the show ever (I've unilaterally awarded that dubious accolade to Some Assembly Required because it's not only bad, it's boring, whereas this one is just bad) I can't say it's a favourite.

Lots of reasons for that, including these.

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Cowboy vampires. Lame! Even worse, lame cowboy vampires. Lame!

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29 April 2015 @ 12:56 am
Ted

In between two two-parters we get a couple of MOTW episodes, Ted and Bad Eggs. By comparison with what goes before and after they are very minor and often overlooked, or actively disliked. There’s a distinct lack of Spike and Dru, too. Still, here we are, back after our break, and any loins which needed girding are sufficiently girt.

One point needs to be made before you click on the cut, however. This is an episode about domestic abuse, both emotional and physical. If there is any way in which discussion of this might be a trigger for you, think very carefully about whether you really want to engage here on this episode.

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So, do you like this? Are you impressed by John Ritter’s performance? Is his robotic nature a cop-out, evading the very serious issue of Buffy believing she has killed a man? Is it too neatly wrapped up? Are Jenny and Giles too much of a side-issue in this episode and do you think their reconciliation is a bit pat?

As always, screencaps from Pretty as a Picture.

Comments extremely welcome!
 
 
 
Sorry this is a bit late. I've been away. But I'm back now with lots of fun facts about the episode that brings us to almost the mid point of season 2. As gillo said, we'll take a break next week, then come storming back the week after with everyone's favourite season 2 MotW episodes, Ted and Bad Eggs.

Why yes, that was sarcasm. What can I say? I'm British. It's a thing.

Anyway, WML pt 1 ended on a cliffhanger (that lasted for three weeks if you were watching the show on the BBC back in the day, as they took it off air, so I recall, for the yearly yawnfest that is World Championship Snooker), and WML pt 2 begins where 1 left off

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As promised, we are going to take a catch-up week at the mid-point of the season; we will complete this two-parter, then take a week off. There is not necessarily any truth in the suggestion that your recappers need to hoard their strength before encountering Ted and Bad Eggs. Why would there be?

Still, onward to
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So, do you like the episode? Does it help you buy into the Buffy/Angel relationship a bit more? Do you credit Kendra’s accent? And how did she end up in satin trousers, a bare-midriff shirt and such very careful makeup? Perhaps her Watcher was unusually alert to style? Why on earth did he send her in a cargo hold without even a spare pair of underwear? The ice-rink – good idea? Xander’s pessimism about his abilities and future – is there foreshadowing in this episode? And the employers who abstract Willow and Oz – software or Government?

Thoughts? Comments very welcome.
 
 
 
Not that this episode has anything to do with history (which, as we learned in season 1, is of the then, whereas Buffy is very much of the now). If anything, the theme is, adults are fallible too. Also that the sins of the past will always come back to bite you in the end (which of course is what happens when you treat history as if it was of the then and thus nothing to do with you).

Take note (again), Angel. It may not be your mistakes this time, but you can still learn something.

This is also the first episode (I think), where we get our first real example of that good old Whedonverse trope: if things appear to be going well in your relationship, be afraid, I tell you, very afraid.

In fact, this episode hammers home all three themes with a big old sledgehammer, beginning with the very first scene.

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07 April 2015 @ 07:57 pm
Lie to Me



Another stonkingly good episode. It feels as if the season is getting into its stride, yet there’s so much yet to come.

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So, thoughts? Do you feel the love here? Buffy/Angel, Giles/Jenny, Spike/Dru? Does love require lies or friendship entail secrets? And just how silly is Diego's vampire cloak costume?
 
 
 
At last I get an episode to talk about that's generally loved by all (it is, right?) rather than cheerleading for episodes everyone thinks aren't any good (even though they are, so there! Except for Some Assembly Required).

Such a fun episode.

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01 April 2015 @ 12:38 am
We're at the fifth episode of S2 now, and it seems in some ways to be just another MOTW episode, with a cheesy snake monster. Somebody really should have warned Mutant Enemy about them - do they ever really work? However, there is rather more depth here than one might expect, though the Spikelessness is depressing for some.

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So, opinions? Is the theme handled well enough to excuse the monster? Are frat boys too easy a target; we don't have them here, so I'm never quite sure how far-fetched their representation is. The idea of an evil cult which leads to wealth and influence rings true, however, as one who has observed Business School students. I rather like the fact that when the monster dies so do the fortunes and power networks of graduates from the fraternity in question. I can think of a few bankers one might wish this had applied to.

Age and youth - not actually either/or, but a progression. The two oldest characters in this episode, Giles and Angel, have every bit as much to learn as the youngest. But one should definitely be wary of drinks from strangers at parties.

Comments, discussion, feedback?




Screencaps from Pretty as a Picture as usual.
 
 
 
I mean it. Nothing to yawn about here. Okay, I know everyone's all School Hard!Yay! and it's a big let-down that Spike and Dru (and Angel) are absent from the following episode. Plus it's well-known that season 2 is chockful of boring MotW episodes, but I'm here to tell you that this isn't one of them (and, in fact, I think only two episodes in the entire season are one of them, and one of those isn't that boring).

Anyway, just tell yourself that Spike, Dru and Angel are off somewhere having a proper family reunion, as imagined a gazillion times in very old slash fics and enjoy this is very sweet, very sad little story about a girl who was the chosen one of her people, and who couldn't escape her destiny, and whose life and death are therefore full of parallels to Buffy's own situation.

Starting with this scene, where Giles tries to stop Buffy going to the school cultural exchange program dance because her secret identity may be compromised.

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Now don't tell me you weren't all waiting for this. (Imagine Spike voice.)

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This episode is, for me, as fresh now as when I first saw it. How do you feel it’s worn? Can it really be nearly 18 years old?

Comments, discussion, arguments, even?
 
 
 
Otherwise known as Some Assembly Required, the first of the not terribly good season 2 MotW episodes, some of which were actually a lot better than I remembered, some of which (notably, this one) were somewhat worse. In fact, this episode has the dubious distinction of being the sole episode of the entire show in my personal rewatch (currently up to early season 5) where my attention wandered.

I guess Frankenstein-inspired monster stories that also feature lots of incomprehensible (to me) references to American football, plus cheerleading, just don't do it for me.

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Yawn! YMMV, of course.

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We're back, and moving to a two-episode-per-week schedule, as this was definitely the favoured option in last week's poll. Expect to see one episode on a Monday or Tuesday and another on a Thursday or Friday. Feel free to post anything relevant in the interim!


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What are your thoughts on this episode? Are the special effects better? Who is most annoying? Who has your sympathy?

Later in the week - Some Assembly Required.
 
 
 
As promised, this week features no new episodes, to give folks time to catch up or get ahead if that's what you prefer.

In the meantime, a quick poll. While the clear majority favoured three or more episodes a week for this rewatch, there was a significant number who felt this was too fast. As we are now embarking on the much meatier S2 and beyond, I thought it worth checking what you all feel about the pace.

Obviously, you don't actually have to watch an episode to have an opinion about it, and anyone is very welcome to comment on the basis of memory - or backtrack to earlier discussions if you prefer. However, it is fun to feel you are rewatching in a community.

Poll #2002681 Rewatch 2015 - pacing

How many episodes a week should we cover from now on?

One
4(18.2%)
Two or fewer
11(50.0%)
Three or fewer
7(31.8%)
Four or fewer
0(0.0%)
Five or fewer
0(0.0%)
Five or more.
0(0.0%)

What are you most looking forward to discussing in S2?

Spike!
12(18.8%)
Angelus!
11(17.2%)
Giles and Jenny.
7(10.9%)
Willow and Oz
9(14.1%)
Xander and Cordelia
3(4.7%)
Spike and Drusilla
10(15.6%)
Something else which I will mention in a comment.
1(1.6%)
Meh. I'm looking forward to later seasons/Angel even more.
3(4.7%)
The ticky box loves vulnerable!Buffy.
8(12.5%)


Suggestions and comments on how it's gone so far are welcome - just don't crush our souls too much.
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And here we are, at the end of the first season. Short but sweet, one might say.


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So – do you sympathise with Marcie Ross? It certainly brings back uncomfortable memories to me. Is it the Initiative that recruits her at the end? The theme is loneliness in a crowd, but also the casual viciousness of group behaviour, and the devastating impact it can have on those outside. Angel and Buffy, and even Cordelia, have moments of feeling very much outside - and Giles takes it for granted that he's centuries out of touch.

And Prophecy Girl – this, it would seem, is where the season’s effects budget was spent. But why doesn’t the Master die like other vamps? What is it with the whole Angel having no breath thing? Does he actually let Xander do the CPR to ease tension between them, or does the talking vamp really have no breath? Where did the tentacles come from and why – did they really add anything worthwhile? Lots of wonderful lines, though – are any of your favourites here?

Thoughts, on either episode or the season as a whole? And how excited are you on a scale of one to ten, to go on to S2?
 
 
 
Or, more accurately, a nightmare. Or Nightmares.

As in fact, was finding screencaps for this ep - the usual site having a broken link (I suspect) where they should be. So, thanks in this instance to Bloodqueen.com, for stepping into the breach.

In case you hadn't gathered from the title, this episode is all about nightmares. Some of them are silly.

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Like so. Come on, Cordy. We all have bad hair days. Surely it's not your worst nightmare?

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And here we move forward into the final trio of episodes in Season One. Next week will be a "catch-up" week, BTW, so if you feel you are dropping behind, worry not.

This was the only season to be completed before broadcast, which is why we see some elements from this week's episodes in Buffy's nightmare in the first episode. Or perhaps it's just Slayer predictive dreams?

Click to see the episodes in question.Collapse )
*****


And that's the season. Some gems there, I'm sure you'll agree, but also a lot of finding of feet. (Hint: look below the ankle.) What did you enjoy about the season? Would it be best just to start with S2, or are there important things that would be lost that way? Do you have a favourite S1 moment, image or line?
 
 
 
 
 
A couple of MOTW episodes now - the first is not much-loved - but perhaps you would like to defend it? The second introduces Snyder, the Principal we all love to hate.

Beneath the cut much picspam and recappage.Collapse )

So, are you sufficiently warned off the Internet? Do you feel sorry for Willow, though? Is it really impossible to have a nice, normal relationship on the Hellmouth?

Do puppets give you the wig too? Why did the demon turn out to be a character we'd seen hardly anything of? Is Snyder just the most horrible human in the show? What do you feel about his approach to discipline? And Giles/Jenny - cute or super-cute?

All caps, once more, are from Pretty as a Picture.
 
 
 
Well, I'd have to nominate my daughters, who argued with me about this very thing right up until Angel aired, and they were forced to admit that mum was (as always) right.

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Evidence.

This is the episode where - Hallelujah! - Angel's character finally started to make some kind of sense (though since the gypsies only cursed him with a soul, not to speak in riddles) it still doesn't really explain his Cryptic Guy schtick.

Never mind. He looks so pretty in BtVS season 1 (my favourite season Angel Looks-wise) that I can forgive him.

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Evidence.

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