Sunday, July 24, 2005

5

I missed Buffy the first time around; I've never even seen an episode on television. I rarely watch tv to begin with, so I just never caught it, despite having a lot of friends who loved the show. I resisted. But, I bought the first season on sale last fall and was hooked. Since then, I've been methodically catching up. One of the consequences of the show being out there in the world, even though I wasn't watching, I knew by osmosis many of the major turning points/episodes in a general way: I knew what "Hush" was all about; I knew "Once More With Feeling" is a musical and I look forward to it; I knew about Buffy's deaths. That said, I sure as hell had no idea what "The Body" was about.

I'd heard of it, of course, that it was one of the great, classic episodes. But somehow I never heard what happened in it.

I'm not saying here, so I don't spoil it for anyone else.

The episode is too self-consciously structured to give each of the gang a showy moment of high acting; you can practically feel the stark rhythms of the episode changed up, see Willow, Xander, Anya, et al, step forward into a script spotlight and begin to emote. It feels both appropriate and contrived at once and that bothered me. That said, it's just a pulverizing episode in which I spent most of the time choked up. I had no idea.

6 comments:

Charles said...

If you you back and watch the camera set-ups and pay close attention to the way he's working with sound, you can see how the entire episode is a physical de-centering of the normal Buffy film grammar.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I remember I'd read articles about how great Buffy was (somebody at Salon thought it was the cat's pjs). But whenever we'd tune it it just seemed ... not quite. The wisecracks were cute but they seemed to fall flat.

After all the Buffy Dies hoopla and the switching networks we decided to give it a few episodes. And got hooked. What really did it for me was the rough sex between Buffy and Spike -- are they really doing that?! And the writing really is good.

Sometime I'll get the first season and we can DVD it from the beginning.

BTW, congrats on the teaching gig.

cheers,
GI

Ali Davis said...

I second the rough sex. Hear, hear.

Paul said...

*getting the vapors*

;)

gina said...

I had the same experience with watching Buffy. Had never seen an episode before deciding to watch it through Netflix, starting with the first season. By the end of season five, I stopped waiting for the mail and bought six and seven. Great stuff ahead of you.

Gina

Ali Davis said...

Stop making me laugh, Paul. Damn it. I'm trying to be sad.