Saturday, April 11, 2009

Seeing Red (#6.19)

"Your shirt.."

The regulars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Emma Caulfield, Michelle Trachtenberg, Amber Benson, James Marsters, and Alyson Hannigan.
Guest stars: Danny Strong as Jonathan; Adam Busch as Warren; Tom Lenk as Andrew; and James C. Leary as Clem.
Written by: Steven S. DeKnight ("All the Way", "Dead Things")
Directed by: Michael Gershman ("This Year's Girl", "Dirty Girls")

The one where... Spike tries to rape Buffy, Jonathan and Andrew go to jail, and Warren shoots Buffy and Tara.

Resident evil: Warren Meers and Spike. Jonathan and Andrew are barely evil compared to the other two this ep.

The rewatch: I forgot that this episode is so dark. I remember Warren shooting Tara, yet I somehow blanked on him shooting Buffy as well. I also forgot that this is the ep where Spike tries to rape Buffy. I want to talk about the latter a bit first.

Spike has been one of my favorite characters since his first appearance in "School Hard." Despite my hatred for all the Spuffy sex this season, I still liked Spike up until this ep. He tried to rape Buffy, the woman he supposedly loves. Most fans seem to forget this as Spike remains a fan favorite. Yet people are disgusted by Warren for doing practically the same thing to Katrina in "Dead Things." I really don't get it. And don't say it's because Warren has a soul, because Spike clearly knows right from wrong. I know the writers wanted to send Spike on a quest for a soul, but I don't think this was the way to do it. Congrats on ruining a great character for me.

Anyhow.. Warren shoots Tara. This is one of the most upsetting deaths on the show for me. I really like Tara as a character and the way she's killed off is pretty brutal. Many deaths on the show have occured due to vampire/demon attacks. I feel those have less of an impact, because they are fictional. I'm not afraid that I'm going to be attacked by a Glarghk Guhl Kashma'nik. I'm also not afraid to be gunned down by a crazy person in my bedroom, but that's the more realistic death of the two. That could happen.

Tara's death leads to Willow going dark and sets her up as the big bad of the season. This is one of the reasons why season 6 is my least favorite season. The previous seasons you had big bads like The Master, The Mayor and Glory. Now it's Willow and you know they're not going to kill her off so it's not a big surprise how the storyline plays out. Plus, I don't like the whole magic addiction storyline. As vamp Willow would say: 'bored now.'

I liked Jonathan helping Buffy by jumping on her back and telling her to destroy Warren's orbs. I never wanted Jonathan to go bad, like really bad. So far I don't really like Andrew. I warm up to him a bit in season 7.

Extra tidbits: This is the first and only episode where Amber Benson appears in the opening credits. Originally, Joss wanted to add Eric Balfour/Jesse to the opening credits of the pilot episode so it would be a big shock that he would get killed off. He didn't have enough money back then for two different opening credits for the season or something, so he ended up not doing it. This time round, Joss did have the budget so Amber appears in the credits of the episode she's killed in.

Adam Busch may have killed Amber on the show, but in real life they were (or are?) actually a couple.

Rating: One of the better eps this season, but still flawed.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Death and life

'And death and life. Right next door to each other.'

This quote from my favorite movie Elizabethtown popped into my head when I heard the following news:

* Alyson Hannigan and hubby Alexis Denisof became proud parents of daughter Satyana on March 24th, which also happened to be Aly's 35th birthday. As all Whedon fans know, Aly and Alexis met on the set of Buffy and married in 2003. Congrats to both! [source]

* And in much sadder news, Andy Hallett (aka Lorne on Angel) passed away on March 29th. He died of heart failure at the young age of 33. Very sad news. I always liked him on Angel, even when I wasn't too fond of the show itself. Rest in peace, Andy! [source]

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wrecked (#6.10)

"Dawnie, I'm so sorry!"

The regulars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Emma Caulfield, Michelle Trachtenberg, James Marsters, and Alyson Hannigan.
Guest stars: Elizabeth Anne Allen as Amy Madison; Jeff Kober as Rack; and Amber Benson as Tara Maclay.
Written by: Marti Noxon ("I Only Have Eyes for You", "The Prom")
Directed by: David Solomon ("Beer Bad", "All the Way")

The one where... Willow's addiction takes a turn for the worst, Willow and Dawn get into an accident and Dawn slaps Willow in the face. GO DAWN!

Resident evil: Rack and that creepy monster. Amy and Willow are pretty evil in this as well, as Amy gets Willow involved with even darker magic and Willow endangers Dawn's life.

The rewatch: HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE! I just cringe when I look at those scenes at Rack's. Yes, addiction is bad. I get it. Stop hitting me over the head with it. I was cheering when Dawn finally slapped Willow in the face.

Amy seems like a different character compared to "Gingerbread". What we learn in this ep is that she already visited Rack before she turned herself into a rat, but in "Gingerbread" Amy didn't appear to be into dark magic. I know she was more advanced than Willow, but she seemed pretty harmless.

Hate all the Spuffy scenes.

Extra tidbit: Jeff Kober played crazy vamp Zachary Kralik in the season 3 episode "Helpless".

The episode is dedicated to J.D. Peralta, Marti Noxon's assistant who passed away during the filming of this ep.

Rating: I don't understand all the "Beer Bad" hate, when this ep exists.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Smashed (#6.09)


The regulars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Emma Caulfield, Michelle Trachtenberg, James Marsters, and Alyson Hannigan.
Guest stars: Danny Strong as Jonathan; Adam Busch as Warren; Tom Lenk as Andrew; Elizabeth Anne Allen as Amy; and Amber Benson as Tara Maclay.
Written by: Drew Z. Greenberg ("Older and Far Away", "Him")
Directed by: Turi Meyer (Angel eps "Offspring", "Forgiving")

The one where... Amy is no longer a rat, the Trio steal a diamond and freeze a guy, and Spuffy get it on.

Resident evil: The Trio.

The rewatch: It isn't as bad as I remembered it. Well, that's what I thought until I got to the Bronze scene, where Willow and Amy have 'fun' with magic. And later, the Spuffy sex. Now I remember clearly why I hate this episode, because it's the start of many MANY Spuffy sexual encounters in future episodes.

I did like the Trio stealing the diamond (and Andrew doing it Mission Impossible style), their interaction with Spike and the Tara/Dawn scenes. Too bad there was little room for Xander and Anya in this ep. They are my favorites.

I liked Amy in "Witch", "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" and "Gingerbread" and I always wondered when they were going to de-rat her (excluding "Something Blue"). At first I was happy to see her in this ep. Her interactions with Willow and Buffy early in the ep are fun, but it all goes downhill from The Bronze scene. More about this in my "Wrecked" rewatch.

I miss Giles!

Extra tidbit: One of the only reasons American Dreamz is worth watching is Adam Busch.

Rating: In my opinion, one of the worst eps of the entire show.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tabula Rasa (#6.08)

"Don't blame me, you snobby, snotty, thinks he's so great kind of jerk ... and I feel compelled to take some vengeance on you. "

The regulars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Emma Caulfield, Michelle Trachtenberg, James Marsters and Alyson Hannigan.
Special guest star: Anthony Stewart Head
Guest stars: Raymond O'Connor as Teeth; and Amber Benson as Tara Maclay.
Written by: Rebecca Rand Kirshner ("Out of My Mind", "Help")
Directer by: David Grossman ("Wild at Heart", "Superstar")

The one where... they all lose their memory, and Spike thinks he's Giles's son Randy. Also, a very literal loan shark appears and Michelle Branch sings 'Goodbye to You'.

Resident evil: Teeth the loan shark, some vamps (and Willow)

The rewatch: I think I like this episode less and less each time I watch it. I used to like it, but now I feel 'meh' towards it. Sure, it has some funny moments. I love Anya/Giles! And her fear of bunnies! I love Randy Giles and Teeth the loan shark. The end with Tara and Giles leaving, while Michelle Branch is singing 'Goodbye to You' is heartbreaking.

I still don't like Willow and her magic addiction, the gang heading into the sewers doesn't add much to the story and Dawn/Buffy jumping to the conclusion that they must be sisters made me scratch my head. Also, they could've done more with the Xander/Willow pairing.

Extra tidbit: Tabula rasa is Latin for 'clean slate'.

Rating: Not near the worst of the season, but not near the top either.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Once More, with Feeling (#6.07)

"Bunnies, bunnies, it must be BUNNIES!"

The regulars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Emma Caulfield, Michelle Trachtenberg, James Marsters, and Alyson Hannigan.
Special guest star: Anthony Stewart Head
Guest stars: Hinton Battle as Sweet; and Amber Benson as Tara Maclay.
Written by: Joss Whedon
Directed by: Joss Whedon

The one where... there's a lot of singing and dancing!

Resident evil: musical aficionado Sweet and his dancing henchman.

The rewatch: Ahhhhh "Once More, with Feeling"! A bright spot in the somberness that is season six. I love this episode more and more with each viewing. This is an episode that actually needed a lot of time to grow on me. The first time I saw it, I wasn't sure what to think of it. But now? This is one of my favorite eps to rewatch.

Mucho respect for Joss for writing songs that fit so perfectly on the show. Songs that say so much about the characters singing them. How brilliant is 'Under Your Spell'? Tara sings about Willow's influence on her life, while we know that Willow actually cast a spell on Tara.

I love the 'Under Your Spell/Standing' reprise. Amber and Tony's voices sound perfect together. Emma surprised me the most with her singing and dancing skills. I still don't know why she isn't a bigger star. Less talented people are. I will never understand this industry! Nick seems sort of fearless. He seems to do whatever he is asked to do and I think he pulled the singing and dancing off well. I don't think it's a secret Aly didn't want to sing (luckily, she has other talents).

Extra tidbits: Hinton Battle is a musical star. He appeared in The Wiz and Miss Saigon among other things.

The little Mutant Enemy monster sings 'Grrr Arrrghh' at the end.

Michelle Trachtenberg requested a dance sequence instead of a song.

Writers/producers David Fury and Marti Noxon appeared in this ep as respectively the 'Mustard Man' and the 'Parking Ticket Lady'.

Rating: One of the show's best episodes.

All the Way (#6.06)

"This is a special kind of angel called a Charlie. We don't have wings, we just skate around with perfect hair fighting crime."

The regulars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Emma Caulfield, Michelle Trachtenberg, James Marsters, and Alyson Hannigan.
Special guest star: Anthony Stewart Head
Guest stars: Amber Tamblyn as Janice; John O'Leary as Kalenbach; Kavan Reece as Justin; Dave Power as Zack; and Amber Benson as Tara Maclay.
Written by: Steven S. DeKnight ("Blood Ties", "Spiral")
Directed by: David Solomon ("The Prom", "Beer Bad")

The one where... it's Halloween, Dawn kisses a vamp and Amber Tamblyn guest stars.

Resident evil: a bunch of vamps disrespecting the Halloween rules.

The rewatch: I wasn't looking forward to this episode at all, seeing as this is a Dawn centric episode. I don't hate her here as much as I did in season 5, but I still don't like her as much as I do in season 7. Luckily, it's not as bad as I remembered it.

I love the opening of the episode at the Magic Box with Xander dressed as a pirate (eye patch!) and Anya dressed as an Angel, followed by Anya's money dance and Xander announcing their engagement! It's all very fun and cute. Unfortunately, it's downhill from there. Willow's magic addiction is already starting to annoy me and it just reminds me that I have to sit through "Smashed" and "Wrecked" again.

Dawn, Janice and the guys.. well, that's all kinda boring. I did like that the old man didn't turn out the be the bad guy and that the boys turned out to be vamps. It's a shame we never got to see Janice again after this ep even though she survived.

Extra tidbits: John O'Leary, who played the old man, also appeared as a Council Member in "Checkpoint".

Amber Tamblyn (Janice) is probably best known for playing the title character on Joan of Arcadia, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She has also enjoyed success as Tibby in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies and she played Sarah Michelle Gellar's sister in The Grudge 2.

A reason why this episode heavily features Dawn is that it allowed the rest of the cast to prepare for "Once More With Feeling".

Rating: The episode has its moments, but overall it's not all that memorable.

Where do we go from here?

Okay, so saying I'm bad at this is quite the understatement. It's been months and I'm now watching season 6, while I haven't even finished my post about "The Harvest" (#1.02). I blame life, my gazillion other sites and laziness. I've realized I sometimes like to watch several eps back to back without having the pressure to write about each ep after having watched it. This should be fun, not a job. So I'll just post about eps whenever I feel like it.

Also, I'm working on my top 100 Buffy moments list. So far I have too many "Once More With Feeling" moments.