Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Buffy 1.1

You're like a textbook with arms.

I just started re-watching Buffy. Because I'm pathetic like that. And I figured that as long as I found interesting things to talk about, I'd talk about it.

*I really like that we meet someone besides Buffy first. Not only does it help with the world-building, but we also get see a female villain right off the bat. Which is cool. Especially since she isn't all smexed up. Yet, anyway. Darla does quickly become a bit smexed up, but in her first scene that's not really the case. For example, her little schoolgirl outfit is meant to make her look young and vulnerable and therefore contribute to the bait and switch. The fact that it plays to some people fetishes is a bonus, but not it's main purpose.

*Charisma Carpenter didn't even look young enough to play a teen in Ep 1. And I hate how this always sounds as though it's a complaint about her as an actress or how pretty she is. CC is gorgeous and a great actress. She also doesn't look old, she just doesn't look like a kid.

*This is obvious in part because Gellar and Hannigan are not only closer to their character ages, but they also still have a bit of the kid pudginess that teen girls often have. (For TV stars, in any case.) You look at them and can tell that they are very close, but aren't quite in adult bodies yet. It makes CC look even older than she would otherwise.

*Jesse is a Nice Guy (lite). And that's why he dies. He keep hitting on Cordelia for absolutely no reason other than that she's the hottest and most unattainable girl in school. Even blithering idiot Xander knows shallowness and meanness should be a turn-off. That's why Xander stumbles his way into being a nice guy.

*Lots and lots and lots of exposition. And apparently Watcher is a synonym for "Narrator."

*Angel comes off as creepy more than intriguing. And Gellar isn't really convincing when she says that he is annoying, but is supposed to mean something else. In fact, most of the dynamics are off. Interestingly, the most natural looking scenes are between Willow and either Xander or Buffy.

*Wow. Everyone is so very white. Now that I'm attached to all of them, I wouldn't want to lose any of the characters as I've come to know them. But still....

*I very much get the criticism that Buffy is still reinforcing harmful beauty standards, but I have to say that the show wouldn't have worked in the early days if Buffy hadn't been (TV's version of) a typical CA beauty. If she had looked like Kendra or Willow, we wouldn't have been surprised by many if the things Buffy did because the untypicalness of how she looked would have been a clue as to the untypicalness of her actions. That said, I think we are well past being surprised by a female action hero, and so that same excuse doesn't work elsewhere. (And yeah, some of us were well past it then too, but I'd say enough people weren't that it was justified.)

*Who the fuck wears a dress like that to a non big city club? And why in the world would Buffy choose pants and and an unflattering button-up shirt to wear to her first visit to the Bronze?

*Scenes in the caves: very cheesy. But the Master is kinda scary looking and the humor helps because it says "yes, we know it's cheesy looking. It's because our budget is small, not because we are stupid."

*I find it really interesting that they ended the episode with a Buffy in danger "to be continued." I'm sure that it was mostly because 45 minutes wasn't enough time for all the exposition and an actual plot, and it's best to end on a cliffhanger. But there's also something interesting about the fact that the show ends without us having not yet seen how powerful Buffy really is.

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