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2003-01-20 18:18:05-05:00 - [rec.arts.tv] Buffy and the Cheese Factor (fwd) - (tehom@panixNOSPAM.com)


Found this on rec.arts.tv. Good post. Path: reader1.panix.com!panix!bloom-beacon.mit.edu!newsfeed.stanford.edu!postnews1.google.com!not-for-mail From: giebergoldfarb@yahoo.ca (Gieber Goldfarb) Newsgroups: rec.arts.tv Subject: Buffy and the Cheese Factor Date: 18 Jan 2003 11:34:22 -0800 Organization: http://groups.google.com/ Message-ID: <701c7075.0301181134.1da6100f@posting.google.com> NNTP-Posting-Host: 192.30.226.29 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit X-Trace: posting.google.com 1042918463 23574 127.0.0.1 (18 Jan 2003 19:34:23 GMT) X-Complaints-To: groups-abuse@google.com NNTP-Posting-Date: 18 Jan 2003 19:34:23 GMT So I was watching the first two seasons of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on DVD, and I was realizing something horrifying: I love the cheesy Monster-of-the-Week episodes. Love 'em. "Inca Mummy Girl," "Bad Eggs," "Some Assembly Required," "Reptile Boy," and even "I Robot You Jane" and "Go Fish." And I really feel the show lost something after season 2 when they more or less stopped doing this kind of episode. For the first two seasons "Buffy" basically had two different modes. One was the angsty episode involving Buffy making tough choices and stuff, usually focusing on vampires. These are episodes like "Angel," "Prophecy Girl," "Lie To Me," "Passion." These were alternated with episodes where the focus was more on Buffy and her friends solving monster problems at school, often thinly disguised takes on horror-movie staples ("Go Fish" = "Creature From the Black Lagoon"; "Bad Eggs" = "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"). These episodes were deliberately sillier than the arc-heavy episodes, and were used to satirize typical teen problems, give the supporting characters more to do, and show that Buffy and friends could still have fun even when they had romantic problems to deal with. Come season 3, the MotW episodes were fewer and less strongly related to the high school setting, and the focus on Buffy's after-school relationships (with Angel and Faith) took up more time. And it's been more or less like that ever since; i.e. in season 4 the show more or less abandoned the opportunity to do horror-comedy stories set at college (except the highly underrated "Living Conditions"). Well, I know that the cheesy episodes are not well liked among "Buffy" fandom, which may be one of the reasons the producers cut back on them. Personally I've lost a lot of interest in the show since they cut back on the half-serious, half-campy division. I don't think the show has gotten any "deeper" for the lack of silly episodes; if anything, the characters are less rounded than before because they seem to spend *all* their time worrying about their romantic lives and sundry problems. Whereas in season 2 you knew that even when things were at their most complicated, Buffy and friends were still able to have fun together, still cared enough about others to solve the mysterious deaths at the high school, and to let light as well as darkness into their lives. The show was, paradoxically, much more 'real' back then because it knew that life doesn't allow you to focus all the time on your sex life or your fake sister or your wussy boyfriend. There are petty problems in between the serious ones, and fun times even when life is not at its best. Besides which, I think that the more "Buffy" consciously tried to be profound, the more it came off to me as insufferably pretentious. Some of the best points the show made were the quiet ones in the MotW episodes, like Buffy realizing in "The Puppet Show" that she's not the only one who has to put her life on hold to fight demons. And finally, I've always thought that the heart of "Buffy" was not her romances, but her friendship with the two misfits (Xander and Willow) who shared her secret. That friendship was always best explored in the MotW episodes, because those episodes tended to have less Angel and therefore to show that, yes, Buffy does care about someone except her loser boyfriend. (Season 3 also copped out by dropping all the hints, dropped throughout season 2, that Buffy-Angel-Xander could become a legitimate triangle. It's like they were afraid of pissing off the 'shippers, so they had Xander have a "fluke" with Willow when all signs suggest that it was supposed to be with Buffy, which would have injected some real tension into the Buffy-Angel relationship.) This season started out by showing that they might get back to the Scoobs trying to help people (Nancy in "Beneath You") and having silly adventures sometimes ("Him"), but that's been dropped in favor of more lameness with the First Evil and the accursed Spike. Too bad. "Buffy" was better when it was a mix of seriousness and cheese. Then it tried to be mostly serious, and wound up being even more cheesy than before (the idiocy with Wicked Witch Willow), making less serious points, and losing its uniqueness. Viva "Inca Mummy Girl." -- Tom Breton at panix.com, username tehom. http://www.panix.com/~tehom

2003-01-20 18:18:05-05:00 - [rec.arts.tv] Buffy and the Cheese Factor (fwd) - (tehom@panixNOSPAM.com)


Found this on rec.arts.tv. Good post. Path: reader1.panix.com!panix!bloom-beacon.mit.edu!newsfeed.stanford.edu!postnews1.google.com!not-for-mail From: giebergoldfarb@yahoo.ca (Gieber Goldfarb) Newsgroups: rec.arts.tv Subject: Buffy and the Cheese Factor Date: 18 Jan 2003 11:34:22 -0800 Organization: http://groups.google.com/ Message-ID: <701c7075.0301181134.1da6100f@posting.google.com> NNTP-Posting-Host: 192.30.226.29 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit X-Trace: posting.google.com 1042918463 23574 127.0.0.1 (18 Jan 2003 19:34:23 GMT) X-Complaints-To: groups-abuse@google.com NNTP-Posting-Date: 18 Jan 2003 19:34:23 GMT So I was watching the first two seasons of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on DVD, and I was realizing something horrifying: I love the cheesy Monster-of-the-Week episodes. Love 'em. "Inca Mummy Girl," "Bad Eggs," "Some Assembly Required," "Reptile Boy," and even "I Robot You Jane" and "Go Fish." And I really feel the show lost something after season 2 when they more or less stopped doing this kind of episode. For the first two seasons "Buffy" basically had two different modes. One was the angsty episode involving Buffy making tough choices and stuff, usually focusing on vampires. These are episodes like "Angel," "Prophecy Girl," "Lie To Me," "Passion." These were alternated with episodes where the focus was more on Buffy and her friends solving monster problems at school, often thinly disguised takes on horror-movie staples ("Go Fish" = "Creature From the Black Lagoon"; "Bad Eggs" = "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"). These episodes were deliberately sillier than the arc-heavy episodes, and were used to satirize typical teen problems, give the supporting characters more to do, and show that Buffy and friends could still have fun even when they had romantic problems to deal with. Come season 3, the MotW episodes were fewer and less strongly related to the high school setting, and the focus on Buffy's after-school relationships (with Angel and Faith) took up more time. And it's been more or less like that ever since; i.e. in season 4 the show more or less abandoned the opportunity to do horror-comedy stories set at college (except the highly underrated "Living Conditions"). Well, I know that the cheesy episodes are not well liked among "Buffy" fandom, which may be one of the reasons the producers cut back on them. Personally I've lost a lot of interest in the show since they cut back on the half-serious, half-campy division. I don't think the show has gotten any "deeper" for the lack of silly episodes; if anything, the characters are less rounded than before because they seem to spend *all* their time worrying about their romantic lives and sundry problems. Whereas in season 2 you knew that even when things were at their most complicated, Buffy and friends were still able to have fun together, still cared enough about others to solve the mysterious deaths at the high school, and to let light as well as darkness into their lives. The show was, paradoxically, much more 'real' back then because it knew that life doesn't allow you to focus all the time on your sex life or your fake sister or your wussy boyfriend. There are petty problems in between the serious ones, and fun times even when life is not at its best. Besides which, I think that the more "Buffy" consciously tried to be profound, the more it came off to me as insufferably pretentious. Some of the best points the show made were the quiet ones in the MotW episodes, like Buffy realizing in "The Puppet Show" that she's not the only one who has to put her life on hold to fight demons. And finally, I've always thought that the heart of "Buffy" was not her romances, but her friendship with the two misfits (Xander and Willow) who shared her secret. That friendship was always best explored in the MotW episodes, because those episodes tended to have less Angel and therefore to show that, yes, Buffy does care about someone except her loser boyfriend. (Season 3 also copped out by dropping all the hints, dropped throughout season 2, that Buffy-Angel-Xander could become a legitimate triangle. It's like they were afraid of pissing off the 'shippers, so they had Xander have a "fluke" with Willow when all signs suggest that it was supposed to be with Buffy, which would have injected some real tension into the Buffy-Angel relationship.) This season started out by showing that they might get back to the Scoobs trying to help people (Nancy in "Beneath You") and having silly adventures sometimes ("Him"), but that's been dropped in favor of more lameness with the First Evil and the accursed Spike. Too bad. "Buffy" was better when it was a mix of seriousness and cheese. Then it tried to be mostly serious, and wound up being even more cheesy than before (the idiocy with Wicked Witch Willow), making less serious points, and losing its uniqueness. Viva "Inca Mummy Girl." -- Tom Breton at panix.com, username tehom. http://www.panix.com/~tehom