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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

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...
red_satin_doll
Dec. 31st, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
*nods* And lots of rage and howling (and sympathy for Anya) most likely. I can't bring myself to watch the episode again, even to see SMG's funny bits. (I love the out-of-nowhere "mazel tov!")

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