Monday, December 28, 2009

"Teacher's Pet"

Written by David Greenwalt, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, co-starring Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter and Anthony Stewart Head, featuring David Boreanaz, Ken Lerner, Musetta Vander, Jackson Price and Jean Speegle Howard, also with William Monaghan, Jack Knight, Michael Ross Verona and Karim Oliver.

I have recently noticed that it is difficult to explain the metaphors of the different episodes without revealing some of the content. So from now on, I will not hold back on the details and if you are currently watching “Buffy” and do not wish to find out the crucial storylines, don’t read this.

This episode, “Teacher’s Pet”, is focused strongly on Xander and his love for Buffy. He is jealous of her when she seems a bit to comfortable around Angel, and deludes himself into thinking she is jealous when he develops a crush on Miss French, the substitute Biology teacher. While Xander struggles with his masculinity, Buffy is obviously starting to slowly discover her feelings for Angel.

This episode is all about the pressure on teenage boys to have sexual relationships. Indeed, male virgins are considered uncool, while it is totally the opposite with girls. This leads Xander to believe that Miss French provides him with a chance to lose his virginity. For this reason, even when Buffy tries to warn him that the new teacher isn’t what she seems, he chooses to ignore her and falls headfirst into the trap.

But what exactly is Miss French? As Buffy says after seeing a vampire running away from her, “So I’m an undead monster that can shave with my hand. How many things am I afraid of?” Well, for one, praying she-mantises the size of human beings that prey on innocent virgins.

I have been lucky to receive a guide on “Buffy” that clarifies certain obscure points of each episode. At one point, it is written, “But why a praying mantis?” This is a good point; of all the members of the insect world, why choose this one for “Teacher’s Pet”? As it is explained later in my guide, “An important feature of the mantis that isn’t broached in this episode is its ability to blend into its surroundings. (…) Similarly, Ms. French is camouflaged as a substitute teacher, and the boys have no idea how dangerous she is.” Musetta Vander is absolutely phenomenal as the womanly predator in this episode.

And to conclude this fascinating episode about relationships and teen pressure, Xander’s funny “Thank you” quote: “Just for the record: you were right, I’m an idiot, and God bless you.”

20th Century Fox Television and Mutant Enemy Inc., Kuzui Enterprises and Sandollar Television.

Next time: "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date".

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Written by Dana Reston, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, co-starring Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter and Anthony Stewart Head, featuring Kristine Sutherland, Elizabeth Anne Allen and Robin Riker, also with Jim Doughan, Nicole Prescott, Amanda Wilmshurst and William Monaghan.

This episode is the first ever written without vampires in it. In the beginning, it’s a bit confusing, but as you get into the mood, you discover a complex, layered context of parental and peer pressure. Amy, played by Elizabeth Anne Allen, is forced by her mother to tryout for cheerleading. Here you can see the parental pressure. This episode strives to show the public that sometimes, parents ought to let their kids do what they want, and not what their parents want.

This leads us to Buffy. In this episode, she wants to do something normal, something that has nothing to do with slaying. And so, she tries out for the cheerleading squad too, where she finds out about all the pressure on Amy, and tries as well as she can to help. But she is meddling in something very dangerous indeed, and her head is now on the chopping block as well as the other cheerleaders.

Of course, Willow and Xander want to help. At first, Buffy is reluctant to put them in danger, but as Xander says: “I laugh in the face of danger. Then I hide until it goes away.” This is my very favourite quote in, I think, all the seasons I have viewed so far.

Then, there is the fact that Xander is completely into Buffy, and she keeps on not noticing, which sort of puts him off. He is nervous, obviously, not having a very good history with girls, and that does nothing to help. Maybe we will soon find out what happens there!

20th Century Fox Television and Mutant Enemy Inc., Kuzui Enterprises and Sandollar Television.

Next time (unconfirmed): "Teacher's Pet".

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"The Harvest"

Written by Joss Whedon, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, co-starring Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter and Anthony Stewart Head, featuring Merk Metcalf, Brian Thompson, David Boreanaz, Ken Lerner, Kristine Sutherland, Julie Benz and Eric Balfour, also with Mercedes McNab, Jeffrey Steven Smith, Teddy Lane, Jr. and Deborah Brown.

“Welcome to the Hellmouth” is continued in this touching episode also written by our dear friend Joss Whedon. I found this episode to be one of my favourites from season one, because it is more emotional than “WttH”. Buffy’s potential friend Jesse has been taken as bait by the Master’s merciless minions, and in this episode, emotions range widely. From shock at the discovery that vampires exist to sadness at the thought of Jesse’s fate to anger, being unable to help, to humor that can light up the darkest times. This is mostly what Buffy’s friends feel. As for her, I would think that despair should be the reigning emotion. Despair, because she thought she was on top of things when she wasn’t really, despair, because she failed to save Jesse… All in all, friendship is an important part of this episode.

I also think that, if it was me, I would have trouble believing in all that happened to Xander and Willow, even if I was them. You know, who would have known that vamps existed? For a while, there was probably a state of denial (though it didn’t last long). But I think Buffy convinced them pretty well that there isn’t much else that has a wrinkled, demonic face, yellow eyes and pointed fangs, yet acts human.

This is one of my favourite quotes, when she tells Xander what else could have happened in the mausoleum.

Buffy: No. No, those weren't vampires. Those were just... guys in thundering need of a facial. Or maybe they had rabies? It could've been rabies. And that guy turning to dust? Just a trick of light. That’s what I thought when I saw my first vampire. Well, after I was done with the screaming part.

Buffy uses sarcasm a lot, and I think it’s really funny. To me, sarcasm is the funniest joke of all. It beats traditional pranks.

On a happier note, we finally discover who Buffy’s night time “stalker” is: a mysterious stranger going by the name of Angel. He will take on a more important role later on in the series, but I won’t say anymore for now. You want to know who he is, watch them!

Meanwhile, we also get a glimpse of what could well be family problems. Call from the principal, mother panicks, daughter grounded… Of course, that didn’t stop said daughter of creeping out to dust a few baddies.

So, finally, my opinion on “The Harvest” is that it is designed to show you how important friends are, and how important it is for family members to understand each other, which must be a lot harder if you’re a Slayer.

20th Century Fox Television and Mutant Enemy Inc., Kuzui Enterprises and Sandollar Television.

Next Saturday: "Witch".

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"Welcome to the Hellmouth"

Written by Joss Whedon, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, co-starring Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter and Anthony Stewart Head, featuring Mark Metcalf, Brian Thompson, David Boreanaz, Ken Lerner, Kristine Sutherland, Julie Benz, J. Patrick Lawlor and Eric Balfour, also with Natalie Strauss, Carmine D. Giovinazzo, Amy Chance, Tupelo Jereme and Persia White.

This episode, to me, demonstrates the difficulties of arriving at a new school. For example, how hard it is to make friends, to catch up, to fit in in every way possible. Of course, you have to take into account that Buffy also has problems slayer-wise. “Welcome to the Hellmouth” reflects quite a few real-life problems and situations. Take rejection; Willow, a girl that Buffy meets and befriends on her first day, is not that popular and you can immediately see that she has social problems.

But, as Sarah Michelle Gellar states so perfectly, “To me, the scariest elements of horror films are the things that could really happen. And what is more scary than high school? ... What I like about the show is that it reminds you it's O.K. to be different. What people think isn't necessarily true. If people walk away with half of that, we've done our job.” Those were my thoughts exactly, following the first time I viewed “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”. Another reflection is that of accepting your responsibilities. This is a very important one. I feel that if Buffy had only not refused her status as Slayer, things would have gone much more smoothly. She wouldn’t have been wasting her time arguing with her new Watcher, Giles, and could have watched over the town instead. Of course, then she might not have found out all she could about the Harvest, but I believe it would have been a wiser choice.

Let’s now go to the famous phrase: “Seize the moment ‘cause, tomorrow you might be dead.” There are no truer words. I think this is a lesson to learn. If Willow hadn’t seized the moment and talked to the vampire Thomas, she would have escaped a load of trouble, but also, she would have stayed in ignorance, and unlike some people, I do not think that ignorance is bliss.

Now for a quick look-over. In the teaser (that is, before the song), we see two apparently normal people, a boy and a girl. This goes to show that first appearances are not always truthful, for, as we soon discover, there is nothing normal about the girl, who turns out to be a vampire serving the Master. I believe that the Master is the main evil, if I may say so, of the first season. An ancient vampire that has gained more power over the years, he lives (or perhaps “exists” would be a better word) in the ruins of an underground church, located at the Mouth of Hell. This vampire was stuck there when he tried to open the Hellmouth and since then, has been striving to free himself as well as all the demons and creatures of the darkness imprisoned below.

Mark Metcalf is admirable in his role of the Master. You can almost believe in what he says and does. I personally believe that no one else could have handled it better than he.

Finally, my humble opinion on this first episode of a phenomenon is that it tries, and manages, to show us that things are never what they seem. I think all episodes have a lesson like this one hidden in them, and different people may interpret them differently. This, of course, is only my interpretation.

20th Century Fox Television and Mutant Enemy Inc., Kuzui Enterprises and Sandollar Television.

Coming up tomorrow: "The Harvest".

Monday, December 7, 2009

Change of plans

There has been a slight change of plans. I am expected to lend the first season of “Buffy” to my aunt at Christmas! So I should really get started. I thought it would have been nice to officially start this blog on the first day of the new year, but now I have no choice but to begin next weekend. I will be updating every day for the Christmas holidays, and then I will go back to writing about two episodes a week.

You should all know that to correctly understand “Buffy”, you have to get under her, and all the other characters’ skin. That is my humble opinion, and I will do my best to do so as I give full details about the passion that I wish to share with you, and whoever finds the time to read the following.

Feel free to add your comments, whether they are good or bad. If they are bad, that’s okay; everyone is allowed their opinion and I will not take it personally. In fact, I would enjoy reading what you have to say and will gladly take any suggestions you have to make it a better adventure for both you and I. If they are good, well, that would make me a very happy fourteen-year-old indeed.

All the while you read, bear in mind that this is only my take, and there may be some things we agree to disagree on.

I can't wait to start! See you Saturday!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Look inside Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Everything began when a man by the name of Joss Whedon watched a horror movie and decided he thought it was unfair that the ditzy blonde girl always got killed. From there sprung a whole world, representing all that a normal teenager would go through, and more. By more, I mean vampires, demons, spirits and evil.
I first discovered Buffy when I was thirteen years old. I went to the movies to see Twilight, the movie adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's captivating novel. Since then, my passion for vampires has been blown out of proportion. I remember well how my mother came home one day and told me: "Here, I found a book on vampires for you. It was only 99 cents at a second-hand store. I figured you would like it."
Did I? Oh. Yes. I immediately fell in love with the realistic characters, passionate emotions and hilarious dialogue. Of course, I just had to get all seven seasons for my birthday. And watching Buffy has been the best experience in my life. I wish to share it with you.
Starting January first, 2010, I will watch one episode every week and post all the details here, enabling you to find out about the goal of the series, personal quotes from the actors, and my thoughts on each of every episode of every season.
Enjoy yourselves!!!