As Cool As A Fruitstand

…and maybe as strange. A movie blog.

Blogging Buffy – Wrapping Up Season 2

Posted by Hedwig on August 14, 2008

According to the WordPress sign-in window, I am “already hip”. Good to know. In any case, I’m sitting here with a very hip, very cute little laptop my dad bought for my mom, which can almost fit in my pocket. All typos are due to the fact that the keyboard is 85% as big as the one I’m used to.

The reason I’m finally writing up the fourteen (14!) episodes I’ve seen since the last time I wrote a Buffy post (that’s the entire rest of season 2) is partly because I want a clean slate before starting on season 3, the DVD of which I bought today. But it’s also, and mostly, because Noel Murray’s catching up with us. My Buffy-watching buddy is sick right now (get well soon, Evan!), but as soon as he’s better we’ll start racing Noel to the finish.

Don’t worry, I won’t discuss all 14 episodes one by one, for your good as well as mine. But there are a few here that deserve mentioning, especially those advancing the master plot: Surprise, Innocence, Passion and the grand finale.

Let me make a confession: of Buffy’s fangy boyfriends, Angel is not my favorite. But I have to say, the arc he and Buffy have in season 2 is amazing, and moves way beyond its superficial “sex = dangerous” message. It puts some real weight on Buffy’s destiny, and the consequences of her inability to kill Angel the first time around are truly horrifying. I forgot that, in Passion, you know that a certain character is dead. I thought we got the reveal at the same time Giles did, but it’s much, much more heartbreaking this way, and cruel. Talk about playing with expectations: a main character gets accosted, there is a chase…

It’s really all about love, isn’t it? It makes you do the wacky, indeed. It can be seen also in one of the sappier, but nonetheless great one-shots, I only have eyes for you. And once again, Whedon makes an unconventional role distribution seem natural: the boy-ghost possesses Buffy, and casts Angel as his ex-girlfriend. And true, this distribution is necessary the plot to work. But it’s more than that: the words of the lovers take on new meanings, and the despair is real.

But enough about Buffy and Angel. Xander once again gets a few episodes, the best of which is undoubtedly Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (Go Fish? Not so much). It’s one of the sillier episodes, but it fits with the whole “obsession” theme that runs through the season, and it’s just fun to see Xander being chased by wild hordes of girls. And Willow gets a sweet love story too, with Oz. It’s almost too cute, but you can’t help but love ’em, especially in how their quiet, hesistant courtship and dating contrasts with the high-anxiety Buffy/Angel (and even Xander/Cordelia) stuff.

Finally, some observations. First of all, I love how Buffy includes all the standard high school stuff we know from… well, every other TV show, basically, like career day, “learning how tough it is to be a parent” (with eggs), etc. I also really like the sense of continuity, like how Xander still remembers military stuff from Halloween. And that long before Bryan Singer did it with X-2, it includes a scene in which Buffy reveals what she is to her mom…and gets the line “Have you tried NOT being a slayer?”.


Which is, of course, exactly what she starts season 3 doing. But that’s a Buffy post for another day.


4 Responses to “Blogging Buffy – Wrapping Up Season 2”

  1. bc3263827 said

    One thing that always struck me about Buffy is that through the course of 7 seasons she has one bad thing after another happening to her. I watch them all and really feel like I am along for the journey but rarely ever feel a real sense of compassion and loss, mostly “come on Buffy, pick yourself up and let’s go kick some butt.” However, if I see Willow cry, I divy up a few man-points and get teary eyed. You just don’t mess with Willow.
    Why is that?

  2. Sam Juliano said

    I like BUFFY, and have collected the episodes on DVD. My oldest daughter is hooked on it now. My favorite episode of all is the musical one, which I even have the CD of. Passionate treatment here Hedwig, thanks for it.

  3. Elizabeth said

    Sharp commentary, esp. on love/obsession/passion as themes for season 2. Looking forward to your thoughts on season 3, one of my favorites.

  4. jizzka said

    Love, love, love everything Joss Whedon. Love Buffy. And I started all the loving after I saw Faith. Lol. Hope to read your thoughts about her character soon.


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