Thursday, August 18, 2011

Buffy re-watch '11!

So, you're joining me and a dear and distant friend in medias res with a Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-watch. Though she's been a Sunnydale citizen for longer than I have, there are a couple of seasons she's only watched once. Me, this will be my, ahem, fourth time through. And since Angel is pretty much my ideal man (tall, dark, damaged, distant, undead), and Oz is the boy I always fall for (short, quirky, smart, way more articulate than I am), I decided to focus these posts on what the show can teach me about love, because, clearly, I'm crap at it. So, off to the Buffyverse with dating do's and don't's!

3.9 "The Wish"

DO remember that looking good is the best revenge.
This episode finds Cordy and Oz still smarting (Cordy, probably literally from that rebar through the torso) from Xander and Willow's make-out session in the factory. Cordelia's first day back at school post-Xander is all about rubbing his face in what he's been missing.

Nothing says I'm over you like burgundy leather.

DO get by with a little help from your friends.
Though Xander and Willow are, pretty clearly, totally in the wrong, they do legitimately feel bad about it. Well, Willow feels bad about it. Xander seems to feel bad about getting caught. But either way, they're able to sublimate their guilt and despair through some co-slaying.

If only the ugly memories of mutual betrayal could be vanquished as easily as this demon. Which is also ugly. Metaphor!

DON'T make it all about you.
As my co-watcher pointed out, Oz (I love you, Oz!) correctly and astutely identifies Willow's persistent overtures to get back together as being more about assuaging her guilt and less about giving him what he needs to process the cheating. Xander, with his "sixty or seventy" phone messages could also stand to listen to this bit of philOZophy. (Don't like the pun? Fair warning: I LOVE it and am going to use it until Oz leaves the show.) Give your person some space when he asks for it nicely. And looks like this:

FYI, the real Oz (Seth Green) is also into space in the NASA sense! For real! Check out his Twitter feed!

DO act DON'T wish.
Of course, this self-description of Cordy's coping strategy ends up being a little, shall we say, inaccurate? She makes one wish in particular, that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, in the presence of a vengeance demon. (Hi, Anyanka! Welcome to the party!) The consequences of a Buffy-less Sunnydale are, pretty much, chaos. The Bronze is vampire central, the high school resembles a police state, and non-Watcher Giles is reduced to rescuing endangered humans with fellow "white hats" in a pretty creepy white van. The Master was never dusted, and is starting up a factory farming operation and treating Sunnydale like one massive feedlot. Oh, and Willow and Xander won't be needing any rescuing, because they look like this now:

Xander is never hotter than when he's being bad. Exhibit A: Vamp Xander

Exhibit B: Hyena Xander

So, long (awesome) story short, Giles destroys Anya's pendant, thereby sentencing her to human-ness and giving us four-and-a-half more seasons with this fun character. However, basically everyone we like on the show dies before he can do that. What I like about this story is that, unlike It's a Wonderful Life, *we* get to see what would happen if Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, but Cordelia doesn't. Instead, she moves on from her heartbreak solely through affirming her own awesomeness. Not a bad lesson at all. Plus, even though the alternate reality was by all accounts bleak, it did give us this:

Shall we call it a wash?

1 comment:

  1. I have re-watched buffy too many times to count. Especially when I am sick, it is my go-to show to put on and 'play all' while I dose in and out of consciousness. Love it!