You are viewing mcjulie

Previous Entry | Next Entry

NoShoes
Finally! I finished the poll on the musical. It turned out to be challenging, mostly because it has so much going on -- so many character arcs and important moments -- and it's also such an interesting episode from a meta viewpoint -- I had to rewatch it three times! (Such torture, I know.)
Poll #1886393 BTVS Episode Poll: 6.07 Once More, with Feeling

1. Favorite song (note: you can interpret this as either "favorite song to have going through my head later and sing in the shower and stuff" or "favorite song in context of watching the episode")

Going Through the Motions
4(10.0%)
I've Got a Theory / Bunnies / If We're Together
1(2.5%)
Under Your Spell
0(0.0%)
I'll Never Tell
1(2.5%)
Rest in Peace
5(12.5%)
What You Feel (Sweet's intro)
1(2.5%)
Standing (Giles' song)
7(17.5%)
Walk Through the Fire
16(40.0%)
Something to Sing About
4(10.0%)
Where Do We Go from Here
0(0.0%)
Other
1(2.5%)

2. Second favorite song

Going Through the Motions
4(10.0%)
I've Got a Theory / Bunnies / If We're Together
2(5.0%)
Under Your Spell
5(12.5%)
I'll Never Tell
1(2.5%)
Rest in Peace
7(17.5%)
What You Feel (Sweet's intro)
0(0.0%)
Standing (Giles' song)
5(12.5%)
Walk Through the Fire
9(22.5%)
Something to Sing About
6(15.0%)
Where Do We Go from Here
1(2.5%)
Other
0(0.0%)

3. "Going Through the Motions" -- At the end of it Buffy sings "I just want to be alive," but by the climax of the episode, her refrain is "give me something to sing about" and she’s heading almost willfully into the dance of death. How do you reconcile those conflicting sentiments?

She starts the episode feeling a little better, but the events of the episode send her emotionally back down again.
0(0.0%)
She’s completely on the fence the whole time -- at any given moment she can’t work out whether she wants to try to feel better or just give up.
14(34.1%)
It’s based on association. In cemetery slaying monsters = marginally more cheery Buffy. Remembering her experiences being ripped out of Heaven by her friends = completely the most depressed Buffy.
11(26.8%)
It’s Sweet actively working to bring her to her most negative emotional state -- remember he wants to see The Slayer burn.
4(9.8%)
Other
12(29.3%)

4. "Under Your Spell" ends with a bit of explicit, yet TV-safe, romantic activity between Willow and Tara, including a very juvenile pun. What do you think?

Love it!
6(14.6%)
Sure, it’s juvenile, but it’s also sweet and sexy, so I like it.
5(12.2%)
It’s fine.
6(14.6%)
It’s sweet and sexy taken on its own, but in the context of what Willow did to Tara last episode it becomes a lot more problematic.
18(43.9%)
My reaction is... complicated.
4(9.8%)
I’m more disturbed by the weirdly... intense interest Xander displays in their sex life after we cut back to the gang in the Magic Shop.
1(2.4%)
Other
1(2.4%)

5. "I'll Never Tell" -- Xander and Anya's number. How strongly does it foreshadow the events of Hells Belles?

You know, after that musical number, I really thought those two crazy kids were going to make it
4(10.0%)
The song makes it obvious they aren't ready
17(42.5%)
At this point it could still go either way
17(42.5%)
Other
2(5.0%)

6. The reveal that Xander was Sweet’s summoner -- how does that work for you?

The arbitrary nature of the Xander choice emphasizes the fact that HOW Sweet got here isn’t important to the story, and fits with the idea that Sweet isn’t a “villain” in the usual BTVS sense
16(41.0%)
Drives me nuts. Only flaw in an otherwise perfect episode.
7(17.9%)
As usual, only Xander sucks.
3(7.7%)
Actually it totally fits his character, remember the love spell in Season 2?
9(23.1%)
Other
4(10.3%)

7. Giles’ “tough love” attempt, when he tells Buffy to save Dawn on her own. What do you think?

Makes sense but his timing sucks
17(42.5%)
It seems forced
9(22.5%)
It’s not tough love, it’s cowardice
1(2.5%)
I always fanwank that whole storyline into Giles making excusesfor going back to England because that’s what he wants to do anyway.
11(27.5%)
Other
2(5.0%)

8. When Buffy starts her dance of death, all her friends and family seem rooted to the spot, while Spike actually steps in to save her. What gives?

!!!SPIKE!!! (he’s just that awesome)
9(23.1%)
They are paralyzed by the logic of the musical number
3(7.7%)
They are paralyzed by indecision and guilt
22(56.4%)
They were just ABOUT to do something -- Spike merely beat them to it
0(0.0%)
Other
5(12.8%)

9. The kiss! How did you react the first time you saw it?

I knew it!
2(4.9%)
Finally!
21(51.2%)
Wow! Didn’t see that coming!
6(14.6%)
Did they really just do that?
3(7.3%)
WTF?!?
0(0.0%)
Buffy, no!
1(2.4%)
Meh
3(7.3%)
Other
5(12.2%)

10. The musical frequently gets singled out for screenings at conventions and so on, so I’ve always wondered how common it is for people to see this episode first and then watch the rest of the series --

I watched the series in real time and saw this more or less when it first aired
17(41.5%)
I watched the series on DVD/Netflix/whatever, but all in sequence
12(29.3%)
I saw a handful of episodes before watching the whole series, and this was one of them
6(14.6%)
I saw a handful of episodes before watching the whole series, but this was not one of them
5(12.2%)
I’ve never seen any BTVS episode, I just like clicking on poll questions ;)
0(0.0%)
Other
1(2.4%)

11. -- and if it changes their overall interpretation of the series in a major way

It makes me less likely to watch the seasons with no Spike
2(5.9%)
It makes it harder to see Spike or Anya as real villains in their early episodes
5(14.7%)
It makes it harder to relate to the characters when they were still in high school
1(2.9%)
I don’t think it changes my interpretation much
19(55.9%)
Other
7(20.6%)

12. OMWF is usually on any short list of Buffy "best of" episodes (and for that reason I decided the usual numeric ranking wouldn't be that interesting). What say you?

Yeah, it’s my favorite, or close to it
6(14.6%)
Top five
21(51.2%)
Top ten
10(24.4%)
Top twenty
2(4.9%)
Actually, I kinda think it’s overrated
2(4.9%)
Other
0(0.0%)

13. Favorite thematic/quotable/hilarious

ANYA (in song) Bunnies, bunnies, it must be BUNNIES!
9(22.0%)
BUFFY Well, I’m not exactly quaking in my stylish-yet-affordable boots.
2(4.9%)
GILES I managed to examine the body while the police were taking witness arias.
6(14.6%)
SPIKE Drink? BUFFY A world of no.
0(0.0%)
SPIKE (in song) You know, you’ve got a willing slave, and you just love the play the thought that you might misbehave
3(7.3%)
TARA some Lord of the Dance -- but not the scary one. Just a demon.
1(2.4%)
DAWN Yes, the fifteen year old can spend half an hour alone in her locked house. (Included here because, actually, she can't.)
1(2.4%)
GILES Well, if we hear any inspirational power chords, we'll just lie down until they go away.
1(2.4%)
BUFFY (in song) to save the day, or maybe melt away -- I guess it’s all the same.
1(2.4%)
SPIKE (in song) I hope she fries! I'm free if that bitch dies. (pause) I'd better help her out.
11(26.8%)
DAWN The hardest thing in this world, is to live in it.
3(7.3%)
Other
3(7.3%)
Bonus question: when Buffy confesses that she burst into song while patrolling, Xander exclaims “Merciful Zeus” to express his surprise. Is Xander actually a neopagan worshiper of the Greek pantheon?

Comments

( 60 comments — Leave a comment )
mcjulie
Dec. 22nd, 2012 06:28 pm (UTC)
1 Walk Through the Fire
I’m completely a sucker for these big whole-company numbers (the Tonight number, as Joss says on the commentary track). I also like the way it indicates progression -- the passions which originally seemed to be mostly helping people experience their lives more vividly, are starting to result in dangerously overheated chaos. Everything is on fire. Everything is burning down. I also like Buffy’s “I want the fire back” as a callback to her session with the spirit guide -- you love with all your soul, brighter than the fire, that’s why you turn away. Well, her love hurt her, she turned away, and that's what got us to this place.

2 Going Through the Motions
i have to credit my husband Paul with the observation that the songs in musicals fill the same purpose as soliloquies in Shakespeare plays. So, this is Buffy’s "to be or not to be" speech. I have always appreciated this as an emotionally resonant expression of Buffy’s depression. In the course of thinking about that, though, I notice that based on this particular song she concludes “to be.” which leads me to...

3 It’s based on association.
Buffy’s depression is very much caused thing, so being reminded of the triggering events makes her feel much worse.

4 My reaction is... complicated.
I like it for being romantic and cheeky and all, but I can't watch it without thinking of the way Tara reprises "you made me believe" in the Magic Shop, and it breaks my heart into a million pieces. Just like Buffy's "What Can't We Face," "Under Your Spell" is an apparently cheery and heartwarming number with deeper and more disturbing implications.

5 I thought those crazy kids were going to make it
In spite of their fears and anxieties, their interaction in this song feels so... couple-y. The things they're scared of, the things that annoy them about each other -- I really identified.

6 The arbitrary nature of the Xander choice …
For a long time I was in the "only flaw in otherwise perfect episode" camp. It bugged me because not only is Xander an arbitrary choice, but the information is delivered offhandedly, very much as an afterthought. Then it occurred to me that it fits as a signal that you shouldn't be worried about how it happened -- it doesn't matter. There's an explanation just to avoid driving the fans too nuts, but it's not much of an explanation. Because it doesn't matter. Sweet is the catalyst of this episode but he's not actually the threat that is vanquished at the end. The threat that was vanquished was everyone's silence and secrets. And that brings a new kind of threat...

7 I always fanwank that whole storyline...
In a way he’s right -- Buffy shouldn’t need a parent figure around all the time. but that whole “for your own good” business just never sits quite right with me. I know, he sings it and everything which makes it “true” in an emotional sense. I still think he’s just making excuses. I would respect his choice more if it was more like, “Buffy, I’m an adult, you’re an adult, there’s no imminent apocalypse here at the moment, so I’m gonna go do my own stuff for a while” Although come to think of it I can’t actually picture Giles saying “I’m gonna go do my own stuff for a while.”

Edited at 2012-12-22 06:42 pm (UTC)
red_satin_doll
Dec. 23rd, 2012 02:03 am (UTC)
i have to credit my husband Paul with the observation that the songs in musicals fill the same purpose as soliloquies in Shakespeare plays. So, this is Buffy’s "to be or not to be" speech

Smart husband! It's also an homage to the "I want" song sung by heroines in Disney musicals ("Someday my prince will come"; "I want to be where the people are".) At the same time it's a subversion of that type of song - sung in a graveyard by a clinicially depressed protagonist who wants to want to live - maybe.
(no subject) - mcjulie - Dec. 23rd, 2012 02:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 23rd, 2012 03:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
mcjulie
Dec. 22nd, 2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
8 They are paralyzed by the logic of the musical number.
Which might be almost the same thing as paralyzed by indecision and guilt. But if the logic of the musical can force people into doing a dance routine, it seems reasonable to expect that it can force them into not acting as well. Spike’s ability to say “bugger this” and leave the final number is meant to be a sign that the spell is fading.

9 Finally!
When they finally kissed, I had been shipping Buffy and Spike since early Season 4. It wasn't because I wanted to see them together so much as I thought it was obvious that they wanted each other.

10 I watched the series in real time and saw this more or less when it first aired.
Actually, funny thing. My husband Paul went over to a friend's house to watch the new The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror, which was airing at the same time, and I made it clear that nothing short of complete Armageddon would keep me from watching the musical. Then, because the musical ran a bit long, he came back close to the climax and I was all, like, "can't talk. watching Buffy." I have seen that Treehouse of Horror since then. I am confident I made the correct choice.

11 It makes it harder to see Spike or Anya as a real “villain” in their early episodes.
Sure, I originally watched it in real time, but I’ve probably seen it more frequently than any other single episode -- and seeing Spike and Anya as they are now does make it weird to go back to the episodes where they first appeared. it’s not even that they seem inconsistent character-wise -- School Hard, which introduced spike, has a few scenes where he specs Buffy out before trying to kill her and there’s definitely a quasi-sexual quality to his interest in her. Similarly, in Doppelgangland, Anya is kind of a sympathetic character from the audience perspective -- even if not from Willow’s perspective.

Part of the prompting for this question was one time when I saw OMWF at the San Diego Comic-Con. Spike has two big moments where the audience cheered -- when he starts singing, and when he saves Buffy. Each time, just a little after most of the cheering had died down, somebody in the back shouted, "Booo!" That's when it first occurred to me that if you see the musical first, your interpretation of Spike might be very different.

12 Top five
It’s too hard to pick a favorite episode.

13 Well, I’m not exactly quaking in my stylish-yet-affordable boots.
I went with this one, because I said it just the other day. I wasn’t even wearing boots.
kikimay
Dec. 22nd, 2012 08:04 pm (UTC)
1 & 2 - I'm going with "Going through the Motions" and "Standing" because the first is my godchild's favourite and I sing it sometimes and I listened the second very recently, but I really like all the songs.

3- I think that those statements are both true. She wants to feel something, to be alive, but she also misses incredibly Heaven and feel a strong death wish.

4- It's fine. When I watch the first musical moment between Tara and Willow I'm too content for them.

5- At this point either way. When they sing I actually think: they're doing everything wrong, they should face their difficulties and "tell" the truth to the other. I kinda know how is going to end! But I could be also change during the following episodes. So, at this particular point I'm like fifty/fifty with their chances.

6- First answer. It's a lame explanation, but it fits in the spirit of the episode.

7- He's trying to justify his own reasons. He already decided to return in England.

8- I think that they are petrified by Buffy's revelations but I went for Spike!! Couldn't resist, sorry! XD

9- Finally, yeah!

10- I watched the first three seasons kinda regularly, then I watched some episodes without OMWF and then I watched all the show.

11- I don't know how it changed my views on the show. I checked "Others", but mostly because I understand that my feelings towards the characters and the show are affected by the order I watched the show and I can't know how it could it be if I watched everything regularly and in the right order. I also know that some of my views are changed. The first time I watched Buffy and Angel's romance, for example, I was fourteen years old and I was totally blinded by DB's pretty face, I thought it was the perfect romance. Now I have a very different opinion.

12- Top twenty just because I adore so many BtVS episodes to choose seriously.

13- It must be BUNNIES!
mcjulie
Dec. 22nd, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC)
I was fourteen years old and I was totally blinded by DB's pretty face, I thought it was the perfect romance

I definitely remember that segment of Buffy fandom! Kind of pre-Twilightish -- of course BTVS is so much better than Twilight words can barely express it, but I could see the Buffy/Angel romance appealing for the same reasons.
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 23rd, 2012 02:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mcjulie - Dec. 23rd, 2012 02:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 23rd, 2012 03:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 23rd, 2012 04:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mcjulie - Dec. 23rd, 2012 07:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 26th, 2012 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mcjulie - Dec. 27th, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 31st, 2012 04:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
kikimay
Dec. 22nd, 2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
Ps: Sometimes I also use expressions like merciful Zeus or Damn Hades but just because it's fun! XD I'm assuming that Xander does it for the same reason.
mcjulie
Dec. 23rd, 2012 02:36 pm (UTC)
"Merciful Zeus" does have a nice ring to it.
pocochina
Dec. 22nd, 2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
3. I don't think it signifies a big change in her emotional state, really? I think the wording of how she expresses her unhappiness changes from scene to scene, but her whole point is that Things Are Not Good.

4. There's certainly darkness to the sweet-and-sexiness, but I hesitate to say it's problematic. I think it's meant to put us in Tara's POV, so we feel the disillusionment and betrayal over what Willow did to her.

5. I remember thinking that if their biggest issues were snoring and cheeses they were better off than most couples I've ever known.

8. Spike was the only one who wasn't surprised by her revelation there, right? I think they were all in shock and hurting for her. Spike was sympathetic, but he wasn't getting any new information. So he had a little bit less mental work to do before reacting.
mcjulie
Dec. 23rd, 2012 01:24 am (UTC)
Spike was the only one who wasn't surprised by her revelation there, right

Oh, good point!
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 23rd, 2012 02:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spikesjojo - Dec. 23rd, 2012 03:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mcjulie - Dec. 23rd, 2012 02:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
kwritten
Dec. 23rd, 2012 01:48 am (UTC)
1> Standing. I love Giles' voice. It's depressing and probably not a fan favorite - but I think it's just lovely. Also - I pick (Reprise) but it wasn't on the list - because Tara and Giles' singing together is haunting.
2> Walk Through the Fire. The most narratively and lyrically complex piece in the show. I love the chiasmus structure to Buffy/Spike's lines and how the whole thing feels like a progression, but is a bit of a mirror on itself. kink = mirrors


10> TRUE FACT: This is the first episode I distinctly remember watching. I know I had seen other episodes, but this memory is so vivid:: I was at my BFF's house with her little sister, learning how to knit, and we were all snowed in for a couple of days. Baby sis injured herself sledding and so I nursed her while we watched a Buffy marathon on cable. We fell in love with the show, Spike, Dawn, everything - and have been best friends ever since. Even though her sister and I don't really talk anymore, even though I moved to another State years ago, we still have this episode, this series, and each other.

It isn't my #1 episode of all time (that's "Family" actually) - but it is the one that is dearest to my heart for RL-contextual reasons.
kwritten
Dec. 23rd, 2012 01:58 am (UTC)
I forgot: I picked "(in song) I hope she fries! I'm free if that bitch dies. (pause) I'd better help her out."

But - I have a caveat - I picked it b/c it is closest to my true favorites::

Spike: First, he’ll kill her, then I’ll save her || No, I’ll save her, then I’ll kill her

They are related to the first quote, but so much more powerful:: both suggest that the only logical conclusion/outcome Spike sees to this is Buffy "dying" - which can be taken as "vamp!Buffy" or just: to be like him ...

... and she does. Embracing Spike - kissing Spike - is what Spike's lyrics predict. He is both her savior and her killer. Saving her makes her like him, but she chooses to go into the darkness with him.

Ugh. I just have a LOT of feelings about that line. I think it's so wonderful.

Also - did I mention my complete geek!hard-on for Chiasmus structures? Mirrors are wonderful. Especially in words. #feelings
(no subject) - mcjulie - Dec. 23rd, 2012 02:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kwritten - Dec. 23rd, 2012 08:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 26th, 2012 03:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kwritten - Dec. 26th, 2012 10:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 27th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kwritten - Dec. 31st, 2012 06:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 31st, 2012 04:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mcjulie - Dec. 23rd, 2012 02:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
beer_good_foamy
Dec. 23rd, 2012 09:49 am (UTC)
3. I don't see any contradiction at all. Buffy wants to feel alive, but doesn't, or even can't. That doesn't exactly help make life any more worthy of clinging to.

8. They haven't actually seen anyone burn up from dancing, have they? Apart from the guilt and indecision, they also have about 1.8 seconds to intervene once it's obvious that Buffy is starting to burn. Whereas Spike already knows what she's going through and has super speed to boot.

13. "She's not even half the girl she - OW!"

Bonus: No, which is obvious since Zeus wasn't exactly famed for his mercy. but wouldn't it be neat if he was? Would put a funny spin on that "Xander's supposed to be a paragon for white straight christian males everywhere" stuff you hear from some corners of fandom.
mcjulie
Dec. 23rd, 2012 03:03 pm (UTC)
I don't see any contradiction at all. Buffy wants to feel alive, but doesn't, or even can't.

That's good! I wish I'd thought of that as a poll answer.

Zeus wasn't exactly famed for his mercy

That's certainly my recollection from classical studies classes.

Xander's supposed to be a paragon for white straight christian males everywhere

Interesting -- are these corners of fandom pro or con paragons of white-straight-christian-maleness? That is, are they part of the Only Xander Sucks crowd, or the antithesis of it?

The Buffy gang is pretty secular overall. Riley was some flavor of Protestant (whatever kind of church he's going to in Who Are You?) and Tara gives signs of actual Wiccan devotion, not just spellcasting, and Willow is culturally Jewish, but not very religious about it. That's about it, I think.

The first time I saw this, I think I assumed "Merciful Zeus!" was somebody's catchphrase from a comic book, because it sounds so comic-booky.

(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 26th, 2012 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sophist - Dec. 25th, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mcjulie - Dec. 27th, 2012 07:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sophist - Dec. 27th, 2012 10:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 26th, 2012 05:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
scarlettina
Dec. 23rd, 2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
The Spike/Buffy kiss always felt like fan service to me, and not a very good choice. When it happened, all I could feel was some disbelief, and then curiosity about how Whedon was going to make it work. There's so much toxic history behind the two characters that it felt like a bad choice getting worse by the moment. Buffy never could make a decision about men that made any sense. It always felt like she paid for being a superhero by never learning anything from her previous relationships. She could be a superhero but she just had incredibly poor judgment about men. Always.
mcjulie
Dec. 23rd, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
all I could feel was some disbelief

On the commentary, Joss talks a lot about the things he did in the script to "get them to the smoochy place" so he knew it was going to be a hard sell for some people.

It always felt like she paid for being a superhero by never learning anything from her previous relationships

The funny thing is, I think her post-Angel romantic relationships indicate an attempt to learn -- to correct whatever seemed to be the problem last time. Oh, I dated a sexy "good" demon who turned bad, I need to date a Joe Boring. Well, that didn't work out, maybe I'll try a sexy demon who isn't even "good." And that ends badly.

That's actually it for her major romantic relationships.
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 26th, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - scarlettina - Dec. 26th, 2012 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 26th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
livejournal
Dec. 25th, 2012 07:02 am (UTC)
Saturday, December 22 - Monday, December 24
User rahirah referenced to your post from Saturday, December 22 - Monday, December 24 saying: [...] BTVS Episode Poll: 6.07 Once More, with Feeling [...]
red_satin_doll
Dec. 26th, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC)
I always take way too long after I actually answer the poll *sigh*

1) Other - my favorite moment in the show is the duet between Giles and Tara. A complete "wow" moment musically and emotionally when their voices and their songs intertwined. That was probably the moment I fell in love with Tara on the show. Before that I had wanted to love her but she was just "Willow's girlfriend".

2) I think I said "Walk through the fire" for the same reasons you did Julie, the complexity of the big group number (yes I'm a sucker for those too.) The layers and intertwining of voices - everyone's perspective on Buffy (Anya, Spike, Tara, Giles, Sweet). "I touch the fire" - wonderfully iconic image and feeling for where buffy is right then. (I love that in S7 it's recalled not only in Chosen but in Touched by The First as Buffy. "I want to feel....an innocent neck crack and break...") The firetruck shot is a thing of beauty - it just all comes together, right to the moment Buffy kicks down the door. Perfect. The entire song, the way it's edited, it all sums up so much, yields so much information in far less time than spoken dialogue would have.

3) "Going through the motions" is the song I almost chose for #2 because it's the song I've sung to myself at times in those moments when I'm fighting off the depression when it bubbles under the surface. Not the best number but I understand the sentiment completely. In terms of the question - I think I answered "Sweet is pulling it out of her" but I should have said "Other - all of the above except for the cemetary option." It's not that she's more depressed at the end of the episode because she's remembering so much as, she has fought so hard to keep the secret and now it's being torn from her without her consent by Sweet; it's exposing the secret that's killing her, actually making Willow face what she's done, and giving everyone certain proof that she's "not all right", not the girl they expect her to be anymore.

The thing about depression, in my experience, you swing back and forth between numbness, not caring at all - you don't feel suicidal in clinical depression most of the time because that would actually require some effort, and you don't care enough to do a damn thing; and feelings of shame, anger, sadness, suicidal ideations, etc. You "feel" but most of the time it's negative emotions, not the things you want to feel. And you can't hold on to the memory of happiness, what that feels like; they have actually demonstrated this in research studies recently: depressed people can feel happiness, but have a hard time remembering it afterward. I think that explains why Buffy is not able to use the feelings of love and warmth from "Heaven" as a way to cope. The feelings are sliding away from her as the season goes on.

4) I LOVED "I'm Under Your Spell" the first time I watched it, because as a lesbian I find it's still unbelievably rare to find lesbian characters on tv movies much less realistic, complex characters, and AB & AH have terrific chemistry. (Step back, haters.) It wasn't until I was reading some comments about it by other fans, who pointed out the problematic nature of the scene that I realized, "oh..." I haven't been able to watch it the same way since. (Damn)
red_satin_doll
Dec. 26th, 2012 08:02 pm (UTC)
5) #1 - I thought Xander and Anya were one of the nicest, most ironically "normal" couples on the show, without the fireworks and drama of Buffy's relationships, and their number was adorable. And they call that stuff "Problems"? These kids don't know from "problems". Hells Bells actually shocked me at the time, I thought Xander had the usual "jitters" but not enough to walk away from the altar and abandon her. Either their arc was mishandled or I wasn't paying attention.

6) #1 It didn't even register to me that in summoning Sweet Xander "was responsible for the deaths of ten people", which drives some fans bonkers - they actually hate him for that.Whatever. It's clear from the show that Joss didn't give a shit, he just needed a vehicle to get Sweet there - but it provided a "twist" to the end in that the assumption up to that point was that Dawn had done it.

7) You know what I said about Giles - it's not a fanwank; he's been trying to shake off his role as "Watcher" and build a new life for himself since "The Freshman" in S4 when he tells Buffy "I'm not your watcher anymore." Her death and absence was the only thing that gave him the impetus to actually get away. He's trying to convince her - and himself - that she doesn't need him anymore. But the thing is, the ways in which she needs him have changed; it's less about the comforts of logic and Watcher/Slayer roles, more about emotional need and father/daughter, and Giles does not handle emotions well.

8) I think I said, only one not affected by guilt and indecision? I'm pretty sure Joss' reason was "Because I need this to happen to bring these two together". And "you have to go on living so one of us is living" is sort of creepy in context; you have to live because I crave my lost humanity and as a vampire I can only feed off you for some semblance of it. While Buffy is busy trying to thrust away her humanity at the same time she clings to the shreds of it. *whew*

9) I honestly don't remember what I thought of the kiss in context of the story - the kiss in Tabula Rasa affected me much more emotionally, in part because of the context of Giles and Tara leaving, and the song; in TR I could feel Buffy's desperation in the kiss; this one is a bit more stage-y. And I wasn't a "shipper" in a "She must love Spike because he loves her, poor vampire!" kind of way. (At the time I could have lived with them being friends. Of course Joss doesn't play it that way.)

10) I watched the show on Netflix in about three weeks from beginning starting with WTTH. I did, however, read a review of this episode on The Film Experience blog by Nathaniel Rogers, that motivated me to actually finally watch the series.

12) In my top twenty. I would go insane if I attempted to numerically rank my favorites.

13) It must be bunnies! This episode also shot my love for Anya through the roof. Runner ups would be "Witness arias", "I gave birth to a pterydactyl"; "OMG did it sing?", and "If I want your opinion Spike, I....I'll never want your opinion." And "I've seen some of these demon/child bride deals and they never end well...except once."


mcjulie
Dec. 27th, 2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
Either their arc was mishandled or I wasn't paying attention.

I anticipate much polling controversy when we get there...
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 31st, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
amysisson
Dec. 28th, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
My "Other" answers:

#3 "Going Through the Motions" -- At the end of it Buffy sings "I just want to be alive," but by the climax of the episode, her refrain is "give me something to sing about" and she’s heading almost willfully into the dance of death. How do you reconcile those conflicting sentiments?

She says "I just want to be alive" but I always thought of it as "I just want to feel alive" -- and by the end of the ep, she wasn't feeling it, hence the willingness to go towards death.

#6 "The reveal that Xander was Sweet’s summoner -- how does that work for you?"

Would have been totally OK that it was Xander -- he's that doofy -- except for the fact that when things started happening, like people burning, he didn't fess up then.


Unrelated: I always thought of Giles' and Tara's duet as a separate song, although obviously it was both "Standing" and "Under Your Spell". In my mind, together they were spectacular, and that would have been my favorite. Giles' song alone is very good but there are several others that top it for me.

Fun poll -- thanks!

mcjulie
Dec. 28th, 2012 06:01 pm (UTC)
together they were spectacular, and that would have been my favorite

I think that's two votes for the reprise!

I mentioned earlier that I left off the shorter songs because of the item limit on LJ polls -- but that moment really is so powerful, I'm not surprised it's getting singled out.
(no subject) - amysisson - Dec. 28th, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 31st, 2012 04:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
amysisson
Dec. 28th, 2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
So a question re: #4 response of "It’s sweet and sexy taken on its own, but in the context of what Willow did to Tara last episode it becomes a lot more problematic."

I feel like I'm missing something. When you say what Willow did to Tara "last episode" -- do you mean the series finale? Or are people talking about what she did within the same episode (tried to make Tara forget the argument) or in the later episode (when Willow tried to make everyone forget their troubles and really blew it?)

I really feel silly, but I keep thinking there was some further big bad Willow did that I'm just forgetting, unless people just mean how Willow went all evil to avenge Tara's death (which didn't really work for me).
mcjulie
Dec. 28th, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
The last (previous) episode was All the Way -- that's when Willow uses a spell to make Tara forget their argument.

OMWF is when Tara finds out about it, but not until after they have sex. So, Willow's previous use of an abusive and unethical mind control spell undermines the otherwise sweet romance of the moment, and there's a lot of fan controversy over exactly how MUCH it undermines it.
(no subject) - amysisson - Dec. 28th, 2012 09:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - red_satin_doll - Dec. 31st, 2012 04:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
treadingthedark
Jan. 2nd, 2013 04:58 am (UTC)
3. "Going Through the Motions" -- At the end of it Buffy sings "I just want to be alive," but by the climax of the episode, her refrain is "give me something to sing about" and she’s heading almost willfully into the dance of death. How do you reconcile those conflicting sentiments?

This is something that has ALWAYS driven me crazy, and still does everytime I watch. If the lyrics were "I just want to feel alive" then everything makes sense. So I fanwank it that SMG just sang the wrong words, not likely I know, but that's what I do. :)
red_satin_doll
Feb. 3rd, 2013 10:28 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure that Joss would have let any of his lyrics get messed with? The vocals would have been recorded beforehand anyway.

(gettin' personal here and kinda long-ish, I hope it's ok, and forgive me if I'm telling you what you already know, because I don't know what your experience is and don't want to assume.) I guess it doesn't cause any conflict in me because I've lived with depression for so long and have even dealt with "suicidal ideations" as it's called. (That phrase sounds ridiculously harmless.) And the two -being depressed and feeling suicidal, are not necessarily the same, or rather, the one doesn't always lead to the other, for everyone. Depression is about despair, self-loathing, shame, but also about apathy, lack of focus, at loose ends; the notion of even trying to commit suicide feels like it requires too damn much effort to bother with.

Depression can also involve numbness but it's not really lack of feeling; even numbness is an emotion. It's not that I can't feel; it's that I am not experiencing the emotions I'd like to, or even that I still feel positive, happy emotions but can't hang on to the memory of those feelings; the negative emotions are so much more intense. (they have actually done studies that prove this to be generally true in depressed people. It has a LOT to do with brain chemistry and function, not "willpower" per se.)

The thing I find is that the "lifeforce" is the strongest one there is, at least inside human beings. (I'm going to stay away from "God" per se, because I'm not sure that one exists.) This to me is the thing that keeps us "something other than dead" even more than blood or breath. If it weren't true, then suicides would be LEGION, uncountable. Something in me, in us, fights always and continually to stay alive, even when that life "sucks beyond the telling of it." Even when we don't understand why. During the Nazi Holocost, during droughts and massacres, it's amazing that more people don't give in to despair. This is part of what makes Buffy's death in the Gift so brutal, and why ending the series there would not have been a satisfying choice. This song reminds me of the Gift, her words to Giles. "I don't see how to live in this world when these are the choices." Buffy didn't WANT to die, she wanted to not want to have to make this choice and live with this burden yet again.

And it's why her words in this song ring true for me. Wanting to be out of pain, wanting peace, is not the same thing as a "death wish", contrary to what Spike believed. But sometimes there are points when the two impulses are at war with one another. How do you reconcile these conflicting impulses, at war within ourselves, at war with ourselves? I'm not sure that we ever really do, beyond acknowledging they both exist and try our best to chose one over the other.
(no subject) - mcjulie - Feb. 5th, 2013 03:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 60 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

December 2014
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   
Powered by LiveJournal.com