Ozzily Yours

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Go Fish

Why do I feel like I'm letting this Buffython turn into a Jonathan-a-thon? Because I am pleased to report that this is the first episode in which he gets to be comic relief all on his own - "So you wanted revenge. And you delved into the black arts, didn't you?" "What? No. I snuck in yesterday and peed in the pool." Heh. Danny Strong, you rock. Call me.

Anyway, back when this first aired, I clearly was not yet aware of the gloriousness that is Danny Strong, and I remember my then-boyfriend accusing me of enjoying this episode strictly for the Xander-in-a-Speedo scenes. Thankfully, I now have a husband who more than respects my enjoyment of the Xander-in-a-Speedo scenes. I will say, though, while Nicolas Brendon does look good in this episode, it does no favors for a pre-Prison Break Wentworth Miller who turns up in a distinctly unflattering turtleneck sweater. (Is Wentworth Miller still working? I'm thinking not so much.) I do like the moment when he sheds his skin to become the fish monster. Too bad the fish monster itself is kinda cheesy.

I'm not sure I agree with Adam807's take that the not-subtle subtext here is even more heavy-handed than the very-important internet lesson from "I, Robot... You Jane." Maybe because in the end, the steroid monsters got to be happy in the sea! - so... it all worked out? Sort of? Except for poor swim coach and nurse Conchata Ferrell.

I Only Have Eyes For You

When I was a preadolescent, my mom took me to see The Journey of Natty Gann and it was SUPER AWESOME. It took place in the depression and followed Natty as she traveled across the country to find her father, who, taking whatever job he could find, had left Natty in the care of his landlady when he found work in Seattle. (Side note: having just had the revelation that Natty's sweet, gentle dad is played by embodiment-of-evil-charm Ray Wise, I realize I must watch this movie again. Soon. To Netflix!) I loved loved loved Natty who, as played by Meredith Salenger, was all spunk and confidence and smarts AND, on top of all that, got to have a very PG pseudo romance with John Cusack.

The next time I registered Meredith Salenger, she was in a movie with the Coreys (RIP, Haim) which, though I did not see it, I'm guessing was no Natty Gann. Then she fell off my radar.

And then she reappeared in Buffy a decade later! And, no surprise, is the reason I have a soft spot for this episode - she is the teacher who, after breaking off an affair with her student (which, good for her - that's a whole other issue) is killed by said student... only to return in ghost/flashback form four decades later.

Other things I like:
  • "'Something weird is going on.' Isn't that our school motto?" -Xander
  • Giles being so pathetically sure that the ghost haunting the school is Jenny, and later giving Buffy a very sweet speech on the nature of forgiveness
  • The continued exposition regarding Snyder's knowledge that the school is on the hellmouth - but that he wants to cross the mayor even less than he wants to confront the beasties from the hellmouth
  • Spike can walk! And he's MAAAAAD at Angel!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Killed by Death

Lame Freddy Krueger rip-off lameness. Though the extending eyeballs are kinda cool. But mostly: lameness.


I'm currently rereading William Goldman's The Princess Bride. If you've never read it, I highly recommend it (even if you have read it - I got my battered old copy some time in the '80s and, clearly, I still return to it). The central conceit is that Goldman has edited and annotated an old book by one H.S. Morgenstern, and he occasionally interrupts the tale to talk about something he's edited out, explain a certain reference, or just randomly opine. And in one segment, he warns readers that things aren't always fair, both in life and in this book. Specifically, he warns, the wrong people die.

Now that, of course, turns out to be a cop-out. Our hero Westley does, in fact, die - and then, as in the beloved film, Miracle Max eventually brings him back to life (he was only mostly dead, as it turns out, not all dead). I'm not saying I don't love the book - just that it was a cop-out.

The Whedonverse doesn't cop out. And when Jenny Calendar dies, she's the wrong people. I'm not ashamed to admit it got a little dusty in here a couple of times, and I might have had to get a tissue. But at the end of the day, this remains one of the extraordinary things about this series (and, again, about all of Whedon's work - I still hate thinking about Wash in Serenity). It acknowledges that life isn't fair, and the wrong people die, often unexpectedly. And that's important. And heartbreaking. And true.


Also of note: why did no one think before that perhaps Angel's invitations to both Buffy's and Willow's houses might be a problem? And lastly, this episode featured another Jonathan moment - this time accompanied by Ellie Kemper of The Office fame in a non-speaking role as a fellow student who ventures into the library with Jonathan. Awesome.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Bewitched, Bothered, & Bewildered

Not a great episode, but entertaining enough as Xander's Cordelia-intended love spell goes horribly awry. The early season Xander-centric episodes tried to rely too much on comic relief, I think.

I believe it's the second appearance for both Amy and Harmony, which is kind of fun in and of itself - I like the way the Whedonverse takes bit players, gives them a few more lines, then a few more lines, then, suddenly, they're central characters. Given hindsight, it was fun to watch Harmony get to play the queen bee for once - you know she reveled in it for the two days it lasted.

But speaking of who gets to be Queen Bee - if Cordelia's minions turned on her just for dating Xander, why would they not reject the girl with the hair straight from 1966?

Sunday, September 04, 2011


Why is it so hard to get werewolf makeup and effects right? Werewolves always look ridiculous. It almost makes me want to watch one of the hugely-budged Twilight movies just to see if, with their huge budget, they're capable of making a good-looking werewolf. Except, you know, then I'd be watching Twilight. And that would be no good.

And it's a shame, because it's otherwise such a good episode! Willow and Oz first kiss = awesome, there are some good lines, it advances the evil Angel storyline well. It also features Larry's coming out, which was probably pretty revolutionary at the time (I don't think Dawson's Creek had outed Jack yet at this point - sure, Larry's not a major character, but I still give them credit for it. Especially since it didn't end up being a one-off thing.

In other amusing news: at the beginning of the ep, Oz tells Willow,"They might not look it, but bunnies can really take care of themselves." Perhaps paving the way for Anya. Who knows? And, as I believe Adam807 already pointed out, Seth Green's delivery of, "Is Geordie a werewolf? Uh-huh... and how long has that been going on?" is legendary.