Thursday, September 29, 2005

Once more

Finally reached the long-awaited "Once More, With Feeling" episode of Buffy. Famously a musical, it occurs to me that everything that's great about the show is brought into stark relief by the singing, even more so than in "Hush," which was mostly worldless. Often, it's easy for, in this case, a few years of advance hype to blunt the power of a movie/show/play/etc. Little is capable of standing up to such hype. Here's the exception to that merciless rule. A handful of times I had chills, not so much because of danger, peril, or whatever, but because of the emotional resonance of the scenes, seeing the distillation of what you've come to love about these people: seeing the rest of the gang decide, after all, to join in with Buffy, to stand with her -- you're seeing how art or artifice raises the ordinary (walking out of the magic shop, down the sidewalk) to the mythic, the transcendant. And that's precisely the source of my chills, bravery that's thrilling. What a wonderful episode. You almost wish it had been saved for the very last.

5 comments:

k1tchenwitch said...

plus, Anya's bunny diatribe is just plain fun

ruth-e said...

at every place i've worked, i have at least stumbled upon two academics (most often history or philosophy professors) standing off to the side in a hallway talking about buffy....it fascinates me.

jeannine said...

Okay, Paul, time to throw down:
your top 11 Buffy eps.
Here are mine:
The Wish
The Prom
Becoming Part II
Once More With Feeling
The Zeppo
Fool for Love
Angel
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
Prophecy Girl
Doppelgangland
Restless

Alexis Z said...

I have this soundtrack on my iPod and I listen to it every time I need a little lift. Definitely a fantastic episode.

Charles said...

Paul, this really is a wonderful episode. Imagine all the work that went into its production. The lyrics to some of the songs are particularly harrowing I thought, which is impressive.

Note producer David Fury (I think that's his name) dancing to the "They got the mustard out" interlude and writer/producer Marti Noxon pleading (in song) with the parking attendant.

Jeannine, Great choices on favorite episodes. I also love "Normal Again." I agree with almost all your choices, with the exception of probably "The Prom" and "Angel." I would substitute "Passion" and possibly "What's My Line?"