AOQ Review 2-16: "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered"

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Arbitrar Of Quality

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Feb 21, 2006, 8:08:54 PM2/21/06
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A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
threads.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Season Two, Episode 16: "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered"
(or "So I be-spelled an axe murderer")
Writer: Marti Noxon
Director: James A. Contner

I'd like to walk you through my thought processes as I watched this
episode.

At first I wasn't sure what to expect. Valentine's Day is bad (bet
no one guessed I'd feel that way!), stuff between Xander and Cordelia
is bad but the fact that the show wants to flesh it out is good, him
turning to Buffy for advice is good; even though they don't entirely
understand each other, that's what friends are for.

I was wary of the sudden reintroduction of Amy from "Witch," since
it smacks of going to extended lengths to set up a joke; seriously, how
is no one more worried about her dabbling in magic, given what happened
with her body-snatching mom? The other early scenes play out okay,
though - seeing Willow deliriously happy is always nice. The breakup
scene is interesting since Cordelia is pretty much right: she and
Xander have no reason to be dating (other than the Power Of The
Script). Yet she seems more concerned about his feelings than ever
before, now that she's doing the most damage. I do believe her that
she didn't want it to happen quite this way. But at the same time
Xander's reaction makes sense ("you know what a good day to break
up is? Any day except VALENTINE'S DAY!"). My reaction at this
point: well, romance episodes aren't my thing, but this could be
pretty good.

And there's that impromptu Angel/Spike/Drusilla gift competition
somewhere in there too. "I found it in a quaint little shop-girl"
represents the kind of thoroughly sick humor you can only do in a
vampire show. I love it. And good to see that they're building on
the tension in our vamp family that began about five seconds after
Angelus joined the fold in "Innocence"... hopefully this will boil
over to the point where they won't be able to just set aside their
differences to fight Buffy and friends anymore.

Then Xander gets petty and turns to Amy for a little witching. Revenge
is an interesting motive for it. And then Buffy starts coming onto him
- maybe Amy screwed up the "his beloved" thing. Will Xander be a
man about it when given the chance to take advantage of his best
friend? My reaction at this point: it's silly, but quite
interesting.

Then Amy comes after him too, and if it's possible to feel one's
heart sink at a specific moment, that was it. My reaction: Damn it,
they're going to re-enact that stupid fairy tale. I don't really
want to watch this.

>From there, 3B is all broad (har) comedy, all the time. I progressed
through the following phases over the course of the next half hour as
things progressed from hallway leering to scene after scene after scene
after scene after scene featuring mobs of girls.

Stage 1: Well, I don't find this funny, but I'm sure there're
some people to whom this kind of humor really appeals, so it's not
really a failure or anything.

Stage 2: You know, this show really doesn't do broad comedy very
well. Needs less excess.

Stage 3: These horde-of-screaming-girls scenes are getting really
unpleasant to watch. Just stop.

Stage 4: Rather than paying attention to this show any more, I'll
ponder whether Noxon and the other writers hate women. Or possibly
men, since this is being portrayed as a twisted male-driven thing.
Maybe the real problem is with society, given that there's apparently
a market for the idea of adult and near-adult women being reduced to
squealing, fighting children for our supposed entertainment. This is
degrading.

Stage 5: Okay, forget the social implications. The real explanation
for this is much simpler - the writers just hate the audience. What
did we do to deserve this? I'm embarrassed to be watching this show.


Stage 6: END! ENNNNNND! ENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNND!

[#s 7-21 censored for your protection]

I came dangerously close to busting out the elusive "ABOMINATION"
rating for this one, but a few things stayed my hand... as I said, the
beginning was fine, as was the end. (This series seems to find ways to
put something worthwhile into the most worthless of episodes.) Also,
just as I was fervently wishing Angel would show up and eat his way
through the crowd or something, he showed up. And having Drusilla be
the one to (momentarily) save Xander was actually kinda clever.

The post-spells/post-rat exchange between Buffy and Xander continues to
build on the rapport the characters have established over the last year
and a half. Since Buffy is kinda old-beyond-her-years, she sometimes
acts like a mentor or older sibling for Willow and Xander (I know he
doesn't exactly think of her that way, but...), and this scene has
that vibe, as she rationally criticizes Xander for the stuff that was
his fault whist being sure he knows that she appreciates the stuff he
did right.

Those of you who care about Cordelia can feel free to discuss the very
last scene. Telling off her former friends is a pretty big moment for
the character that's seemed inevitable for awhile. So is it bad that
this pivotal scene is done in such a trite, hollow way? Or is it a
deceptively clever method of showing how much she can change, yet
somehow remain exactly the same self-obsessed Cordy?

Taking a second for a closing comment here... If I could say what
_Buffy_ as a series was ultimately "about," it would be easy to
have an overall opinion of it. If the show is about the tight
emotional drama seen in episodes like "Ted," I'm a huge fan. If
BTVS is about character drama wedded to long-running stories and some
good violence, a la "Innocence," then it's one of my favorite
shows. If it's more about monster-of-the-week weirdness shows like
"Reptile Boy," I'm less enthusiastic; it's an okay series, I
guess. And if the series is ultimately about the alleged humor that
fills episodes like 3B here, I can confidently say that _Buffy_ is not
my show, and I want nothing to do with it.

What's so maddening, of course, is that the show is all these things.
Hence the wild variation in quality.


So...

One-sentence summary: I am not amused.

AOQ rating: Bad

[Season Two so far:
1) "When She Was Bad" - Good
2) "Some Assembly Required" - Weak
3) "School Hard" - Decent
4) "Inca Mummy Girl" - Good
5) "Reptile Boy" - Decent
6) "Halloween" - Good
7) "Lie To Me" - Good
8) "The Dark Age" - Good
9) "What's My Line (Part One)" - Good
10) "What's My Line (Part Two)" - Good
11) "Ted" - Excellent
12) "Bad Eggs" - Bad
13) "Surprise" - Decent
14) "Innocence" - Excellent
15) "Phases" - Decent
16) "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered" - Bad]

vague disclaimer

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Feb 21, 2006, 8:24:58 PM2/21/06
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In article <1140570534....@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,

"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

> (or "So I be-spelled an axe murderer")

Not even read the review yet, but LMFAO!
--
A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend

MBangel10 (Melissa)

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Feb 21, 2006, 8:40:18 PM2/21/06
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Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Two, Episode 16: "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered"
> (or "So I be-spelled an axe murderer")
> Writer: Marti Noxon
> Director: James A. Contner
>
<snip>

> Taking a second for a closing comment here... If I could say what
> _Buffy_ as a series was ultimately "about," it would be easy to
> have an overall opinion of it. If the show is about the tight
> emotional drama seen in episodes like "Ted," I'm a huge fan. If
> BTVS is about character drama wedded to long-running stories and some
> good violence, a la "Innocence," then it's one of my favorite
> shows. If it's more about monster-of-the-week weirdness shows like
> "Reptile Boy," I'm less enthusiastic; it's an okay series, I
> guess. And if the series is ultimately about the alleged humor that
> fills episodes like 3B here, I can confidently say that _Buffy_ is not
> my show, and I want nothing to do with it.

Honestly? W/O revealing much about future episodes, Buffy has the best
character arcs of any show I've ever watched. The MOW episodes were MUCH
more prevalent in the earliest seasons but the character development and
long term story arcs continue on. Also, oh yeah... there is a bit
violence too.

With that said, I thought this episode was hysterical and I would have
given it an excellent. Just out of curiosity - how did Mrs. Quality feel
about this episode? I'd be interested to know how much your opinions
vary on an episode such as this one.


>
> What's so maddening, of course, is that the show is all these things.
> Hence the wild variation in quality.

Buffy will always be a little bit of everything and a lot of specific
things... wonderful character development being one of them.

Mike Zeares

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Feb 21, 2006, 9:01:42 PM2/21/06
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Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>
> One-sentence summary: I am not amused.

Heh heh. I was. I loved it then, I love it now. The ep doesn't even
get moving until the spell kicks in (i.e. at the point where you begin
hating it). Plus, I adore Amy. Or rather, I have the hots for
Elizabeth Ann Allen.

I still think that the moment where Buffy says to Xander, "Are you
saying this is all a game?" is one of the scariest moments in the
series. A Slayer scorned is a Slayer who'll soon be detaching your
limbs.

This ep was Nick's from beginning to end, and he really shined. Shone?
Did real good.

-- Mike Zeares

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Feb 21, 2006, 9:12:04 PM2/21/06
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MBangel10 (Melissa) wrote:

> With that said, I thought this episode was hysterical and I would have
> given it an excellent. Just out of curiosity - how did Mrs. Quality feel
> about this episode? I'd be interested to know how much your opinions
> vary on an episode such as this one.

>From the source:

"Hey Melissa, this is Elissa (AKA Mrs. Quality). I must say that I
thought this episode was quite terrible. I think it's tied for worst
episode thus far with that weird egg-baby-monster episode. Otherwise,
I'm loving Buffy & looking forward to watching part 1 of the season 2
finale in a few minutes. Thanks for asking about my opinion! It makes
me feel all flattered and stuff :)"

Our opinions have been remarkably similar throughout the series,
although there were a few that she loved that I merely liked a lot
(i.e. "Lie To Me").

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Feb 21, 2006, 9:15:33 PM2/21/06
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BTW, does anyone want the reviews to come a little faster until the end
of S2? I'm trying to not flood the NG, and leave myself time to do
things other than discuss BTVS, but I have built up a bit of a backlog
now.

-AOQ

MBangel10 (Melissa)

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Feb 21, 2006, 9:26:37 PM2/21/06
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Post them, post them, pretty please? :)

P.S. Tell Elissa thanks for sharing her thoughts. As a gal, it's nice to
hear her views sometimes too (especially on those shippy episodes you
aren't so fond of). LOL

kenm47

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Feb 21, 2006, 9:34:18 PM2/21/06
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It's an excellent episode. Must be something you ate. You don't even
comment on the great Buffy-rat musical theme. Or Oz punching Xander.

One of my favorite episodes. I haven't read others' thoughts and
comments yet about your review and their views. Maybe I was the only
one who loved this episode.

Well, it's interesting reading.

Ken (Brooklyn)

Carlos Moreno

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Feb 21, 2006, 9:41:53 PM2/21/06
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Mike Zeares wrote:

> Plus, I adore Amy. Or rather, I have the hots for
> Elizabeth Ann Allen.

Oh, she's a genuine hottie!! Perhaps the most underrated
babe ever (that is, the most overlooked beauty among the
guests in the Buffyverse).

Carlos
--

Carlos Moreno

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Feb 21, 2006, 9:38:49 PM2/21/06
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Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> guess. And if the series is ultimately about the alleged humor that
> fills episodes like 3B here, I can confidently say that _Buffy_ is not
> my show, and I want nothing to do with it.

*sigh* ... From my perspective, that's the ultimate, saddest
thing you've said so far in your reviews :-((

BBB shows up once in a while in top-10 lists (well, ok, top-20),
even though it came in the middle of a pretty dark storyarc. I
think you're simply being blinded by the fact that the humor is
centered around the X/C arc, which yes, we got it, it's not your
favorite :-)

But there are just so many and so brilliant details in BBB --
Jenny's reaction to Xander -- everyone's reaction, for that
matter, including Cordelia's (indiferent) reaction; Buffy
coming on to him, the whole Hecate stuff (including the
"enough with the Hecate!"), Xander's acknowledgement that
he's twice as stupid as it takes to do something like that,
Oz telling Buffy not to go anywhere when she's suffering a
severe case of nudity, etc. etc. etc.

Humor is one of the great components of BtVS -- *the* main
component, IMO -- wonderfully, not the *only* component; and
BBB is among the Bery Best of Breed (ok, very lame joke ;-))
in that category (most definitely in the top-10 funniest
episodes). I feel truly sad that you don't seem to be in
sync with this facet of the show ... Or maybe you are, and
it's simply a case of being absolutely blinded by your
dislike for anything related to X/C ... Soon enough, we'll
see which one it is :-)

Carlos
--

kenm47

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Feb 21, 2006, 10:13:02 PM2/21/06
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I agree with this post. I too think it's sad that AOQ did not enjoy
this episode as I and others have and still do.

But, Buffy''s no longer a rat. So call it an upside.

Ken (Brooklyn)

angelbuffy0

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Feb 21, 2006, 10:14:46 PM2/21/06
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>From someone who pops in here a couple times a day looking for the
latest, I say "Bring It On"

I am somone who watched the show since it aired originally but you have
me re-watching my DVDs and wondering how they will fair from you
perspective. I have actually given up waiting for you and am already
slipped into season three eps. I hope you plan to continue past two.

Tara

Don Sample

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Feb 21, 2006, 11:06:01 PM2/21/06
to
In article <1140570534....@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Two, Episode 16: "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered"
> (or "So I be-spelled an axe murderer")
> Writer: Marti Noxon
> Director: James A. Contner
>

> 16) "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered" - Bad]

I guess that we'll have to agree to disagree about this one. What
different people find funny is a very personal thing. Some people love
'I Love Lucy' and 'The Three Stooges' and I can't abide either of them.

(Since various comments of yours have indicated that you have seen a
couple of episodes ahead, the following isn't spoilery.)

I found BBB to be one of the funniest Buffy episodes ever, and the first
half of the best yin/yang pairing of Buffy episodes in the series, from
comedy to tragedy, in one fell swoop.

--
Quando omni flunkus moritati
Visit the Buffy Body Count at <http://homepage.mac.com/dsample/>

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Feb 21, 2006, 11:14:03 PM2/21/06
to
In article <L7QKf.54110$w46.3...@wagner.videotron.net>,
Carlos Moreno <moreno_at_mo...@mailinator.com> wrote:

> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>
> > guess. And if the series is ultimately about the alleged humor that
> > fills episodes like 3B here, I can confidently say that _Buffy_ is not
> > my show, and I want nothing to do with it.
>
> *sigh* ... From my perspective, that's the ultimate, saddest
> thing you've said so far in your reviews :-((
>
> BBB shows up once in a while in top-10 lists (well, ok, top-20),
> even though it came in the middle of a pretty dark storyarc. I
> think you're simply being blinded by the fact that the humor is
> centered around the X/C arc, which yes, we got it, it's not your
> favorite :-)
>
> But there are just so many and so brilliant details in BBB --
> Jenny's reaction to Xander -- everyone's reaction, for that

that slow motion walk down the hallway
is right up there with the slow motion xander fight later on

> Oz telling Buffy not to go anywhere when she's suffering a
> severe case of nudity, etc. etc. etc.

something oz is getting used to

arf meow arf - nsa fodder
al qaeda terrorism nuclear bomb iran taliban big brother
if you meet buddha on the usenet killfile him

EGK

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Feb 21, 2006, 11:18:06 PM2/21/06
to
On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 21:38:49 -0500, Carlos Moreno
<moreno_at_mo...@mailinator.com> wrote:

>Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>
>> guess. And if the series is ultimately about the alleged humor that
>> fills episodes like 3B here, I can confidently say that _Buffy_ is not
>> my show, and I want nothing to do with it.
>
>*sigh* ... From my perspective, that's the ultimate, saddest
>thing you've said so far in your reviews :-((

>Humor is one of the great components of BtVS -- *the* main


>component, IMO -- wonderfully, not the *only* component; and
>BBB is among the Bery Best of Breed (ok, very lame joke ;-))
>in that category (most definitely in the top-10 funniest
>episodes). I feel truly sad that you don't seem to be in
>sync with this facet of the show ... Or maybe you are, and
>it's simply a case of being absolutely blinded by your
>dislike for anything related to X/C ... Soon enough, we'll
>see which one it is :-)

I agree completely. I can't even begin to understand why Arbiter started
watching this show in the first place if he doesn't like this type of humor.
It's probably the biggest ingredient that drew me to the show in the first
place.

I don't think it's spoiling anything to say perhaps he'll more enjoy the
"grown-up" years after high school. Though I personally think the show
reached it's peak in season 3, BBB is pretty close to as good as the show
gets for me.
--
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

"There would be a lot more civility in this world if people
didn't take that as an invitation to walk all over you"
(Calvin and Hobbes)

MBangel10 (Melissa)

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Feb 21, 2006, 11:37:07 PM2/21/06
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Even though I agree that BBB is a wonderful Buffy episode, all in all he
and the Mrs. seem to be greatly enjoying the majority of them. So, maybe
the purely for fun episodes don't capture his attention like the others
but overall he's been pretty consistent w/ the praise.

So, I'm not going to argue all the good points on BBB because this was
just a fun, silly episode that he obviously does not find the humor in.

EGK

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Feb 21, 2006, 11:40:41 PM2/21/06
to

As Don said, humor is something very personal and subjective. You never
know what someone will find funny as this proves. I guess i'm just
mystified that he liked The Puppet Show which is another episode I love but
not this one.

Or perhaps his dislike of Xander and Cordy color his perception the same
way episodes thaf featured you know who in later years created such wildly
differing opinions.

KenM47

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Feb 21, 2006, 11:42:03 PM2/21/06
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MBangel10 (Melissa)

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Feb 21, 2006, 11:46:08 PM2/21/06
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Well, hey... at least we agree on something. :)

kenm47

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Feb 21, 2006, 11:47:02 PM2/21/06
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Sorry. Sent by accident. Was going to say something re agreeing with
EGK and more, and then decided not. Then stupidly hit the wrong button.

Sorry.

Ken (Brooklyn)

kenm47

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Feb 21, 2006, 11:48:42 PM2/21/06
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"Well, hey... at least we agree on something. :) "

OK. We're actually both agreeing with EGK.

Ken (Brooklyn)

Carlos Moreno

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Feb 21, 2006, 11:27:45 PM2/21/06
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You mean you're now up to... what, the season's finale or so?

I don't think most people in here would mind (plus, we're a good
bunch of people, and we can distribute the load ;-)). The thing
is, will you be able to keep up with the triggered discussions?
I'm assuming you *are* interested in discussing and seeing our
reactions and getting feedback on your reviews and comments (I
know I would be interested).

If you're willing to go faster, I don't think the newsgrouppers
are going to stop you.

Carlos
--

Don Sample

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Feb 21, 2006, 11:58:33 PM2/21/06
to
In article <TJRKf.8845$Jb7.1...@weber.videotron.net>,
Carlos Moreno <moreno_at_mo...@mailinator.com> wrote:

I think that about one review a day is a good rate. Gives us time to
maul--er, I mean mull--over each one before the next one appears.

hopelessly devoted

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Feb 22, 2006, 12:20:35 AM2/22/06
to

This is one ep that I probably hadn't seen since it originally aired (I
had to go through storage. I just had to.) I'd forgotten how
hillarious BBB was and still is. Absurd. Ridiculous. Laugh out loud
funny.

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> BTW, does anyone want the reviews to come a little faster until the end
> of S2? I'm trying to not flood the NG, and leave myself time to do
> things other than discuss BTVS, but I have built up a bit of a backlog
> now.

I'll give you a dollar.

Apteryx

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Feb 22, 2006, 3:05:19 AM2/22/06
to
"Carlos Moreno" <moreno_at_mo...@mailinator.com> wrote in message
news:L7QKf.54110$w46.3...@wagner.videotron.net...

> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>
>> guess. And if the series is ultimately about the alleged humor that
>> fills episodes like 3B here, I can confidently say that _Buffy_ is not
>> my show, and I want nothing to do with it.
>
> *sigh* ... From my perspective, that's the ultimate, saddest
> thing you've said so far in your reviews :-((
>
> BBB shows up once in a while in top-10 lists (well, ok, top-20),
> even though it came in the middle of a pretty dark storyarc. I
> think you're simply being blinded by the fact that the humor is
> centered around the X/C arc, which yes, we got it, it's not your
> favorite :-)
>
> But there are just so many and so brilliant details in BBB --
> Jenny's reaction to Xander -- everyone's reaction, for that
> matter, including Cordelia's (indiferent) reaction; Buffy
> coming on to him, the whole Hecate stuff (including the
> "enough with the Hecate!"), Xander's acknowledgement that
> he's twice as stupid as it takes to do something like that,
> Oz telling Buffy not to go anywhere when she's suffering a
> severe case of nudity, etc. etc. etc.
>
> Humor is one of the great components of BtVS -- *the* main
> component, IMO -- wonderfully, not the *only* component; and
> BBB is among the Bery Best of Breed (ok, very lame joke ;-))
> in that category (most definitely in the top-10 funniest
> episodes).

I'd agree with that. One of the top two funniest along with Fbzrguvat Oyhr.
The reactions you mention, plus the Xander walk especially. Overall, my 11th
favourite BtVS episode, and 5th best in Season 2.

One of the fascinating things about the Buffy fandom is the way that so many
people can agree that it is one of the best series, but totally disagree on
which episodes make it that. But AOQ takes that to unexpected levels. Rating
Witch, The Pack and Ted as Excellent, and BBB as Bad? There aren't two of
them in the world. Surely.


--
Apteryx


drifter

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Feb 22, 2006, 5:50:12 AM2/22/06
to

Ya see, that's why our computers need to ask us "Are you sure?" more
often. But then would I have to stop screaming, "Yes, I'm sure, you piece
of sh*t!!" at it?

--

Kel
"I reject your reality, and substitute my own."


Daniel Damouth

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Feb 22, 2006, 5:52:39 AM2/22/06
to
To quote Scully: Mr. Bruckman, there are hits, and there are misses.
And then there are misses.

But there's not much point in discussing why something is funny or
not funny, is there. Still, it's hard to resist.

"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in
news:1140570534....@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

> Season Two, Episode 16: "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered"
> (or "So I be-spelled an axe murderer")

Ahh, pissed Willow with a fire axe, facing off against Harmony. Two
of the wimpiest characters ever. That's not funny in itself?

> Then Amy comes after him too, and if it's possible to feel one's
> heart sink at a specific moment, that was it. My reaction: Damn
> it, they're going to re-enact that stupid fairy tale. I don't
> really want to watch this.

What fairy tale are you referring to? I can't think of it. If your
problem with the idea is that you've seen if before all too often, it
would be nice to have at least one citation. Even then, the true
adage is that all stories have been done before.

> From there, 3B is all broad (har) comedy, all the time. I
> progressed through the following phases over the course of the next
> half hour as things progressed from hallway leering to scene after
> scene after scene after scene after scene featuring mobs of girls.

Ok, I read here that the comedy is "broad". I don't agree,
particularly.



> Stage 1: Well, I don't find this funny, but I'm sure there're
> some people to whom this kind of humor really appeals, so it's not
> really a failure or anything.
>
> Stage 2: You know, this show really doesn't do broad comedy very
> well. Needs less excess.
>
> Stage 3: These horde-of-screaming-girls scenes are getting really
> unpleasant to watch. Just stop.

No, they're funny. The lunch lady? "Only a sick pup would let Xander
get away"? The fundamental funny of tons of girls adoring Xander?

[...]


>I'm embarrassed to be watching this show.

OMG. Now I think you probably liked the Ferengi DS9 episodes.

I always used to remember this episode as the funny love-spell story
with Xander and Cordy, but there's actually a lot of other stuff
going on, including the ongoing Buffy/Angel uberplot.

While Xander, Cordy, Oz, and Willow are at the dance at the Bronze,
Buffy is chilled to revieve a black box with a black bow containing
roses and a card saying only "SOON". The really funny part doesn't
even start until around the 19th minute out of 45.

It was sad to see the continued distance between Giles and Jenny,
though they love each other. Jenny feels guilty, and Giles is
putting his Slayer's feelings first. Buffy is aware of the hardship
this is placing on Giles (asking him "are you ok?"). It's just a sad
situation anchored down by the tragedy of Angel's turning.

Giles says "better safe than sorry" to which Buffy replies "it's a
little late for both."

This episode is utterly flush with recurring female beauty at its
peak. Harmony, Amy, Jenny, Willow, Buffy, Dawn, Cordelia...

One of my all-time favorite lines is Giles reading old tomes about
Angel. "Ahh, yes, Valentine's Day. Angel nails a puppy to the--"
Buffy: "Skip it."

Xander rolling the card catelog to blog the swinging doors, and two
seconds later Buffy opens the door the other way. I love his
lameness. Is this kind of humor written into the script, or do they
discover it while shooting? Followed by...

Xander nails boards across the doorway to Buffy's basement that in no
way stop the door from opening. Girls easily duck under them!
Xander's lameness must be written deliberately! C.f. the time in
NKaBotFD when he thinks a lampshade will help block a door, and c.f.
the time in Bad Eggs when he says "careful" and immediately trips
over a wall. C.f. in this episode when he slams the door on his leg
while trying to escape the lustful Willow. It's a pattern, folks.

> So...
>
> One-sentence summary: I am not amused.
>
> AOQ rating: Bad

I am not amused by your lack of amusement!

-Dan Damouth

drifter

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 6:06:30 AM2/22/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER


> Season Two, Episode 16: "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered"
> (or "So I be-spelled an axe murderer")

> 16) "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered" - Bad

This is the first review where I'm convinced you must have written
your review on "Opposite Day." I found this to be one of the most
enjoyable episodes ever. If you do plan to re-watch any episodes
after finishing the entire series, I would put this one on the list, if
I were you. Or not. I can't force you, after all.

> BTW, does anyone want the reviews to come a little faster until the end
> of S2? I'm trying to not flood the NG, and leave myself time to do
> things other than discuss BTVS, but I have built up a bit of a backlog
> now.

Dude, do you even have a job? Watching Buffy and writing reviews must
be ALL that you do. (I don't often use emoticons, so insert the appropriate
"just kidding" emoticon here.)

I work pretty long hours, so my time at the computer is limited. Put me
down as one who feels the present posting of every couple of days is fine.
I see, though, that most others disagree with me, so I know how you feel
about your BB&B review. (I'll take another emoticon, please.)

Daniel Damouth

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 6:12:21 AM2/22/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in
news:1140574533.0...@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

No more than once per day or two, would be my desire. It takes a while
to put together responses, and responses to responses, and if there are
several episode threads overlapping, things get dropped.

Remember, too, that there are 144 episodes.

-Dan Damouth

Espen Schjønberg

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 6:59:14 AM2/22/06
to

You will of course do the Angel episodes here, too?

I have said before: donęt run ahead. Post as you watch.

If you feel this is going to fast, well, then savor the moment. Ie do
not _watch_ so fast!

That is hard, but it is the Right Thing[tm].

--
Espen

Espen Schjønberg

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 7:02:08 AM2/22/06
to
On 22.02.2006 03:34, kenm47 wrote:
> It's an excellent episode. Must be something you ate. You don't even
> comment on the great Buffy-rat musical theme. Or Oz punching Xander.

That punch could have costed Buffy her life. Actually, it's a terrible
moment.

I get scorned for saying americans are violent, and given Oz' problem -
he has a very good reason to punch, probably many other would have- but
if at any point restraints would have been good, that was it.

> One of my favorite episodes. I haven't read others' thoughts and
> comments yet about your review and their views. Maybe I was the only
> one who loved this episode.

Nah, i go for AOQ: it's not very good. "bad" is to bad, though.

--
Espen


Noe er Feil[tm]

Espen Schjønberg

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 7:04:06 AM2/22/06
to

I would have cancelled it. Most newsservers accept cancells. Not _now_
after all this time, but after five minutes? I would have cancelled it.

kenm47

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 8:09:37 AM2/22/06
to
"While Xander, Cordy, Oz, and Willow are at the dance at the Bronze,
Buffy is chilled to revieve a black box with a black bow containing
roses and a card saying only "SOON". "

And somehow those roses look laid out like dead things lying next to
each other in a weird coffin.

"It was sad to see the continued distance between Giles and Jenny,
though they love each other. Jenny feels guilty, and Giles is
putting his Slayer's feelings first. Buffy is aware of the hardship
this is placing on Giles (asking him "are you ok?"). It's just a sad
situation anchored down by the tragedy of Angel's turning."

Now, this annoyed me then. Buffy seemed petulent and spiteful to me.
Jenny's "crime" and ostracism punishment seemed over the top, but I
guess the idea was no secrets in team "good'? But we know they all had
secrets, particularly "Ripper." I got that Buffy was upset and Giles
loyalty had to be to her first, but seemed she was taking it too far
and Giles deserved better treatment, more empathy from Buffy, if only
for his closing scene in Innocence and of course there are so many
other reasons as well.

Other great moments as noted elsewhere included rebuffed Buffy looking
to do damage to Xander (SMG sells that scene) and that whole scene
through to the "Would you quit with the Hecate?"

More importantly is the brilliance (and I do not use that term lightly)
of putting a regular (who could never be really in danger, right?) in
real danger in the eyes of the viewers when it looks like Angel is
about to make a meal of him. We know Wiloow is not about to help,
Buffy's a rat and Oz is looking for her, Joyce is crazed, and Giles is
busily trying to reverse the spells. Who can come to his rescue? No
heroes are left! So, where do they go? Drusilla, also under the spell
(so vamps can be affected by magic too)!! Terrific!!. And then discard
her because "no invite" ( reminding us of the Angelus danger since he
has been invited into Casa Summers and was able to reach right into
Buffy's bedroom and pull Xander out.

This is great stuff. IMO, of course. I'm glad to see that here I'm not
alone.

Ken (Brooklyn)

kenm47

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 8:12:39 AM2/22/06
to

Further proof that a new viewer just can never fully recapture the
viewing of this show when first run, with the waiting for the next
episode, with the frustration of long hiatuses or rerun periods. Drat,
we even had to put up with commercials (because we might have taped it,
but we pretty much watched as broadcast saving the tapes for
re-viewing).

Ken (Brooklyn)

kenm47

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 8:14:40 AM2/22/06
to
"I would have cancelled it. Most newsservers accept cancells. Not
_now_
after all this time, but after five minutes? I would have cancelled
it."

I'm unaware of that capability.

Ken (Brooklyn)

shuggie

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 8:30:45 AM2/22/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
>

> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Two, Episode 16: "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered"
> (or "So I be-spelled an axe murderer")

nice!

<snip you-hated-it stuff>

Well you're no fan of X-C and humour is notoriously subjective so I
guess it's fair enough that you don't like BB&B. Personally I love it.
I love the humour. It focuses on one of my favourite characters and has
some great lines, and moments.

>
> Taking a second for a closing comment here... If I could say what
> _Buffy_ as a series was ultimately "about," it would be easy to
> have an overall opinion of it. If the show is about the tight
> emotional drama seen in episodes like "Ted," I'm a huge fan. If
> BTVS is about character drama wedded to long-running stories and some
> good violence, a la "Innocence," then it's one of my favorite
> shows. If it's more about monster-of-the-week weirdness shows like
> "Reptile Boy," I'm less enthusiastic; it's an okay series, I

> guess. And if the series is ultimately about the alleged humor that
> fills episodes like 3B here, I can confidently say that _Buffy_ is not
> my show, and I want nothing to do with it.

There's plenty of character and emotional drama and long-running
stories as well as MotW.

About humour: do you object to humour per se or the kind of humour in
BB&B? BtVS is a mixed genre show and always puts some humour in around
the dark stuff* but there are episodes, like this, where the comedy
comes to the fore and it's almost a sitcom. There are always episodes
where it's very dark. I know there have been people who object to the
"comedy episodes" because they feel it's not taking he Buffyverse
seriously. Personally I just enjoy what I enjoy and if it makes me
laugh fine. If it grips me because it's dramatic, or scary - equally
fine.

(*BX abg znal ynhtuf va Gur Obql. Nygubhtu gurer vf ng yrnfg bar wbxr)

Carlos Moreno

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 9:05:54 AM2/22/06
to
kenm47 wrote:
> It's an excellent episode. Must be something you ate. You don't even
> comment on the great Buffy-rat musical theme. Or Oz punching Xander.
>
> One of my favorite episodes. I haven't read others' thoughts and
> comments yet about your review and their views. Maybe I was the only
> one who loved this episode.

What?!!! You don't strike me as new to this newsgroup... Haven't
you been writing and reading this newsgroup for at least the last
two years? If so, how could you possibly even suggest that you
may be the only one that *loved* this episode?!

Carlos
--

gree...@gmail.com

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 9:15:30 AM2/22/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> 16) "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered" - Bad]

Yee gods man! "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered" rates at the top of
all BtVS episodes for me. It's one of the few I watch and think, ' I
wouldn't change a thing.'

Terry

Carlos Moreno

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 9:17:38 AM2/22/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

>>With that said, I thought this episode was hysterical and I would have
>>given it an excellent. Just out of curiosity - how did Mrs. Quality feel
>>about this episode? I'd be interested to know how much your opinions
>>vary on an episode such as this one.
>
>
>>From the source:
>
> "Hey Melissa, this is Elissa (AKA Mrs. Quality). I must say that I
> thought this episode was quite terrible. I think it's tied for worst
> episode thus far with that weird egg-baby-monster episode.

Yup -- it's confirmed now: it *is* something they ate!! :-)

I keep pounding my head trying to find some reasonable explanation,
but I simply can not find one... As Don said, yes, we will have to
agree to disagree... It's just... *arrrghh*, inexplicable!!! :-)

Well, at least I'm pretty sure we're going to agree about Passion;
BBB is one of those that appears on my top-10 list depending on the
day of the week and what I ate the day before... But Passion is the
first one (first one when you look at the episodes in chronological
order) that is *solid* in my top-10 list -- and I believe in the
majority's top-10 list [I'm saying this under the assumption that
by the time that you read this you'll have already written the
Passion review, so I won't be acting as a biasing element]

Plus yes, what Don said about the ying-yang, going from full-stroke
humor based that is BBB to the brutal and sadistic thing that is
Passion. Absolutely brilliant!

Carlos
--

Stephen Tempest

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 9:16:02 AM2/22/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> writes:

>BTW, does anyone want the reviews to come a little faster until the end
>of S2? I'm trying to not flood the NG, and leave myself time to do
>things other than discuss BTVS, but I have built up a bit of a backlog
>now.

My vote's for one per day. If nothing else, that means that people in
different time zones (remember, we have posters from both North
America and Europe here, at the least) have chance to see your review
and comment on it before the next one is posted.

Stephen

EGK

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 9:50:26 AM2/22/06
to
On Wed, 22 Feb 2006 09:17:38 -0500, Carlos Moreno
<moreno_at_mo...@mailinator.com> wrote:


>Well, at least I'm pretty sure we're going to agree about Passion;
>BBB is one of those that appears on my top-10 list depending on the
>day of the week and what I ate the day before... But Passion is the
>first one (first one when you look at the episodes in chronological
>order) that is *solid* in my top-10 list -- and I believe in the
>majority's top-10 list

You must be talking season 2 episodes only. I think Prophecy Girl from
season 1 would be the first episode that was almost universally on top 10
lists. Halloween would probably be next up though that's more subjective.
It sure gets mentioned a lot.

rrh...@acme.com

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 10:12:56 AM2/22/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

Mostly, What Other People Said. But...

> The breakup
> scene is interesting since Cordelia is pretty much right: she and
> Xander have no reason to be dating (other than the Power Of The
> Script).

Haven't you ever been in a relationship that was all about physical
attraction? They can be very alluring, when the physical attraction is
mutual. Both parties may realize that it can't work out in the long
run, but in the short run: Wow! If only one party realizes this, you
have a problem. If neither party realizes this, you have an even
bigger problem. This is how you end up with really bad marriages.
Well, one way. Because even if it is really all about physical
attraction, we try to make it into more.

That isn't to say that the two people don't genuinely care for the
other, but it is entirely possible to genuinely care for someone and
yet be all wrong for that person. Remember, I'm the guy who used to
date the woman who later turned into my best friend (and best man, er,
person at my wedding).

So yes, of course Xander and Cordelia are all wrong for each other.
But that is not at all the same as their daing only due to the Power Of
The Script.

Richard R. Hershberger

Scythe Matters

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 11:04:19 AM2/22/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

As I said elsewhere, it's been painfully obvious that you'd hate this
one for weeks now. Nice to have my suspicions confirmed. ;-)

> I was wary of the sudden reintroduction of Amy from "Witch," since
> it smacks of going to extended lengths to set up a joke; seriously, how
> is no one more worried about her dabbling in magic, given what happened
> with her body-snatching mom?

As Amy says herself: her mom was the witch. What that you've seen leads
you to believe that a taste for the magick is genetic (I'm not saying
it's not, but asking how you've reached that conclusion)? And Amy was a
victim in "The Witch," full stop.

Anyway, they've got a functioning witch (with not-inconsiderable power)
in the school. That could be interesting, in the future.

Overall, we disagree about this episode only around the periphery and in
some of the Cordeliaesque specifics. I hate the (way too long) screaming
girls portion of the episode too, though it has really nice moments
sprinkled throughout; some of which you note (Drusilla), some of which
you don't (Willow in the bedroom, the terrric Xander/Giles/Jenny scene
in the library when he first reveals his error). Pretty much everything
else in the A plot is take-or-leave, with an emphasis on leave; with one
exception, which I'll cover in response to something else.

> The breakup
> scene is interesting since Cordelia is pretty much right: she and
> Xander have no reason to be dating (other than the Power Of The
> Script).

Ugh. See, this is what I mean when I say you're being obstinately blind
to what they're showing you. The show has indeed given you reasons for
Cordelia and Xander to be together, despite all the superficial reasons
they shouldn't be. The payoff to this episode is her, at long last,
realizing one of them: she _isn't_ like the vapid Cordettes. She was
initially presented as someone without occasion to explore her depths,
but ever since "OOM,OOS" she has been a character in transition, and
we've seen some of the depths. This doesn't mean she becomes Oz --
without the Cordy-isms, she's not an interesting character, and Oz
doesn't look good in miniskirts -- but it certainly doesn't mean that we
haven't been given a whole bunch of character development that makes
this relationship make more sense. No, it isn't without absurdity...it's
not supposed to be...but you keep refusing to see that it's not what it
was when you first objected, and they're not what they were.

> Yet she seems more concerned about his feelings than ever
> before, now that she's doing the most damage.

Again, ugh. She's concerned because she actually has feelings for him,
which the show makes pretty plain in multiple scenes, and plainest with
the removal of the necklace. She doesn't *want* to break up with him.

> And there's that impromptu Angel/Spike/Drusilla gift competition
> somewhere in there too. "I found it in a quaint little shop-girl"
> represents the kind of thoroughly sick humor you can only do in a
> vampire show. I love it. And good to see that they're building on
> the tension in our vamp family that began about five seconds after
> Angelus joined the fold in "Innocence"... hopefully this will boil
> over to the point where they won't be able to just set aside their
> differences to fight Buffy and friends anymore.

Yes. Excellent scenes, and excellent development. Boreanaz really plays
Angelus so wonderfully (though here, I'd point out that it's quite
"broad," something you claim to dislike but really only situationally
dislike), and what's interesting here is that the heretofore flamboyant
way Marsters plays Spike is now muted to bring out the contrasts between
the characters.

> Then Xander gets petty and turns to Amy for a little witching. Revenge
> is an interesting motive for it. And then Buffy starts coming onto him
> - maybe Amy screwed up the "his beloved" thing. Will Xander be a
> man about it when given the chance to take advantage of his best
> friend?

This was actually a very sweet moment, following on the sweet moment at
Theresa's open casket. Here again, Xander shows signs of growing up. But
since the rest of the episode shows him regressing, our faith in his
essential Xanderness remains intact. One hopes there will be
consequences from this, and indeed the show suggests that there will be:
Buffy has a little more respect for Xander, there's actually some depth
to the Xander/Cordelia relationship, and Willow is more hurt than ever.

> Stage 2: You know, this show really doesn't do broad comedy very
> well. Needs less excess.

I somewhat agree. The subtle comedy is so good, it really points out the
badness of some of the broader comedy. They have occasional success with
the broad strokes, but only occasional.

> Stage 4: Rather than paying attention to this show any more, I'll
> ponder whether Noxon and the other writers hate women.

Oh, Lord. This could -- and probably will (maybe already has; I haven't
read other responses) -- re-energize endless long-running flamewars. :-/
I'll stake my position out now and try to stay out of the cross-talk. I
think that things that I find disgusting in a potential mate --
manipulation (here: the spell), stalking (here: what Xander did to
Cordy, in a way), and emotional abuse (here: what this means for
Willow/Xander) -- are somehow attractive to Noxon (here: Cordelia
actually finding what Xander did appealing...though there's also the
character-specific aspect to this, because the spell is *about her*).
It's fair to say that I don't much care for Noxon's take on
relationships (which is not to say that she won't write some excellent
relationship moments; she will, but she'll also write some stuff I find
wretched and horrifying).

> Maybe the real problem is with society, given that there's apparently
> a market for the idea of adult and near-adult women being reduced to
> squealing, fighting children for our supposed entertainment. This is
> degrading.

A more charitable viewer might see this as a counterweight to the "men
are bad" vibe of "Phases." I'm not that charitable, though. ;-)

> I came dangerously close to busting out the elusive "ABOMINATION"
> rating for this one, but a few things stayed my hand... as I said, the
> beginning was fine, as was the end. (This series seems to find ways to
> put something worthwhile into the most worthless of episodes.)

Agreed. If I understand your rating scale, I don't know that any episode
ever rates "abomination" for just the reason you suggest. However, some
will come close.

> Those of you who care about Cordelia can feel free to discuss the very
> last scene. Telling off her former friends is a pretty big moment for
> the character that's seemed inevitable for awhile. So is it bad that
> this pivotal scene is done in such a trite, hollow way?

How is it trite, exactly? What would be non-trite, in your estimation?

> Or is it a
> deceptively clever method of showing how much she can change, yet
> somehow remain exactly the same self-obsessed Cordy?

I don't know that it's exactly "deceptive" -- it seems pretty plain to
me -- but yes, I think this is the correct interpretation. She's
admitting some things to herself that the audience has seen for a while:
at first when she sorta joins the group (at least, attaches herself to
it and doesn't leave), then with the necklace, now with the Cordette
break. And probably some moments I'm unenergized to remember right now.

> Taking a second for a closing comment here... If I could say what
> _Buffy_ as a series was ultimately "about," it would be easy to
> have an overall opinion of it.

As you note, it's about all those things. Joss himself comes up with
dozens of different "mission statements" for the show, but the majority
of them somehow revolve around this: a mix of horror, drama and comedy,
with our deepest emotions played out as physically manifest metaphors.
Everyone responds to different proportions of those elements, and one
can quibble with the definition (with evidence, too), but that's
basically where the show is going. Oh, and this from Joss (paraphrased):
"always go for the pain."

> And if the series is ultimately about the alleged humor that
> fills episodes like 3B here, I can confidently say that _Buffy_ is not
> my show, and I want nothing to do with it.

There are very few episodes like this. I will say that a few that are
tend to be the least-liked of the series. That'll give you something to
look forward to. ;-)

Scythe Matters

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 11:10:31 AM2/22/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> BTW, does anyone want the reviews to come a little faster until the end
> of S2? I'm trying to not flood the NG, and leave myself time to do
> things other than discuss BTVS, but I have built up a bit of a backlog
> now.

In terms of the newsgroup, it's more fun to let discussions run their
course. But if you get too far ahead, the discussions won't be as
time-specific because you'll be too spoiled for what's coming.

I think your rate thus far has been pretty good. It's interesting to me,
though, that you appear to have sped up a bit...which tracks with the
mounting tension of the series.

If I could give you one piece of advice: if you haven't watched the
season-ending two-parter yet, hold off for a bit. Let the reviews and
discussion for the next few percolate. Watch the first half of the
two-parter sometime between your posted reviews for "I Only Have Eyes
For You" and "Go Fish." Or post the interim reviews faster. Either way,
it's going to be very hard to discuss the interim episodes in a
time-specific way once you've seen what's going to happen at the end.

Or, more sensibly: do what Mrs. Quality wants to do. ;-)

Scythe Matters

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 11:14:13 AM2/22/06
to
Mike Zeares wrote:

> This ep was Nick's from beginning to end, and he really shined. Shone?
> Did real good.

;-)

I actually thought Carpenter did some very nice work here, too. The
locker scene, the Bronze breakup, even the slightly broader final scene.

William George Ferguson

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 11:23:39 AM2/22/06
to

Actually, at this point in the original run, a lot of us in the western
states were watching the ep on WGN on cable, then watching it on our
local WB station, then watching our tape, and would have seen it three
times by Wednesday (WGN didn't pull the WB programming from its national
feed until about the 5th episode of season 3).


--
HERBERT
1996 - 1997
Beloved Mascot
Delightful Meal
He fed the Pack
A little

Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 12:01:47 PM2/22/06
to
drifter wrote:

> This is the first review where I'm convinced you must have written
> your review on "Opposite Day." I found this to be one of the most
> enjoyable episodes ever. If you do plan to re-watch any episodes
> after finishing the entire series, I would put this one on the list, if
> I were you. Or not. I can't force you, after all.

Let me think abo... NO.

> Dude, do you even have a job? Watching Buffy and writing reviews must
> be ALL that you do.

Heh. That's really my main reason for stockpiling reviews - I'm
watching BTVS, wiritng reviews about ti, and then trying to be involved
in several drawn-out discussions at a time (and don't get me wrong, I
love the fact that so many people are commenting). It was putting a
bit of a strain on my time, especially during the insanity of the
"Halloween" thread.

But the vibe is getting a little too much like witholding something
just for the sake of witholding it now that everyone knows where the
written reviews are relative to the posted ones. Since I'm in
something of a professional state of flux right now, I have a little
more time on my hands at the moment, we'll try one a day (which seems
to be the consensus choice) for the rest of S2 and see how that works.
Expect "Passion" sometime this evening.

> (I don't often use emoticons, so insert the appropriate
> "just kidding" emoticon here.)

Ah, someone else. Yeah, a good piece of online writing advice I once
read (and appropriated) is not to use emoticons as a crutch. It really
helps one write better to avoid them, but sometimes they seem
unavoidable...

-AOQ

Carlos Moreno

unread,
Feb 22, 2006, 12:32:28 PM2/22/06
to
EGK wrote:

>>day of the week and what I ate the day before... But Passion is the
>>first one (first one when you look at the episodes in chronological
>>order) that is *solid* in my top-10 list -- and I believe in the
>>majority's top-10 list
>
> You must be talking season 2 episodes only. I think Prophecy Girl from
> season 1 would be the first episode that was almost universally on top 10
> lists.

Oh -- no, I was talking *my* top-10 list for the first statement
(first episode that is solid on my top-10 list), and then suggested
that Passion is indeed in most fans' top-10 lists (regardless of
whether or not it is the first one to make to their top-10 lists).

Prophecy Girl is one of those in which I go very much against
popular opinion -- to me, that episode ranks somewhere between
"good" and "unremarkable" -- it does have pretty good stuff,
but really, *really* far from my top-10 list (I don't think it
would even make it to my top-25 list -- maaaayyyyybe not even
to my top-50 list, though I would have to sit carefully for
that one)

> Halloween would probably be next up though that's more subjective.

Halloween is another one that is on my top-10 list depending on
what day of the week it is and what I ate the day before :-)

I think I have some 7 or 8 episodes that are *unconditionally*
part of my top-10 list, and then another 8 or 10 that are
"floating" there -- top-10 list material, but not necessarily
always making it to my top-10 list.

Passion is the first one (chronologically speaking) that is
part of the list of "unconditionally on my top-10 list". I
think Mr. and Mrs. AOQ just finished seeing the second one
(chronologically) that is unconditionally part of my top-10
(any double episode, I count it as one -- "Becoming" is *one*
episode -- that it took two weeks for it to air, that's IMHO
entirely irrelevant)

Carlos
--

vague disclaimer

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Feb 22, 2006, 12:58:17 PM2/22/06
to
In article <EfmdnX1B_4s...@rcn.net>,
Scythe Matters <sp...@spam.spam> wrote:

> Oz
> doesn't look good in miniskirts

And you know this for a fact how?
--
A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend

William George Ferguson

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Feb 22, 2006, 12:55:20 PM2/22/06
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On 21 Feb 2006 17:08:54 -0800, "Arbitrar Of Quality"
<tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

>A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
>threads.
>
>
>BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>Season Two, Episode 16: "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered"
>(or "So I be-spelled an axe murderer")

>Writer: Marti Noxon
>Director: James A. Contner

I don't see that anyone has mentioned this yet, so I'll throw in a behind
the scenes tidbit. This episode was shot the week immediately preceding
Sarah Michelle Gellar's first appearance as a guest host on Saturday
Night Live. The setup to have Buffy spend around half the episode as the
Buffyrat was specifically to allow her to be in NYC rehearsing for SNL.
This was the most Buffy-lite episode in the entire run of the series,
based on the time SMG spent on-screen and the amount of SMG dialogue (OK
there is an episode with less dialogue, but it had a lot more on-screen
time for SMG)

Gellar liked to tell the story in interviews that when she got back from
NYC, everyone was telling her what a great job the rat did and how
enjoyable it was working with it.

Scythe Matters

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Feb 22, 2006, 1:33:22 PM2/22/06
to
vague disclaimer wrote:

> And you know this for a fact how?

Stay out of my private life. ;-)

kenm47

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Feb 22, 2006, 1:40:31 PM2/22/06
to
"Gellar liked to tell the story in interviews that when she got back
from
NYC, everyone was telling her what a great job the rat did and how
enjoyable it was working with it."

Thanks for that bit of trivia.

I guess it's also the only episode up to this point where Buffy does
not save the day or at least actively participate in saving the day.

Very clever way to deal with her absence. And she did look good in that
raincoat.

Nice looking rat too.

Ken (Brooklyn)

Don Sample

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Feb 22, 2006, 2:01:05 PM2/22/06
to
In article <dthjsg$g93$3...@readme.uio.no>,
Espen Schjønberg <ess...@excite.com> wrote:

Actually, most news servers don't accept cancels. They are too easily
abused.

--
Quando omni flunkus moritati
Visit the Buffy Body Count at <http://homepage.mac.com/dsample/>

angelbuffy0

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Feb 22, 2006, 2:11:04 PM2/22/06
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There is actually one other episode that Buffy appears much less and it
was also done to accomidate Sarah's need to be elsewhere. But maybe I
have gone to far.

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Feb 22, 2006, 3:30:14 PM2/22/06
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Daniel Damouth wrote:

> But there's not much point in discussing why something is funny or
> not funny, is there. Still, it's hard to resist.

No there isn't, and agreed.

> > Then Amy comes after him too, and if it's possible to feel one's
> > heart sink at a specific moment, that was it. My reaction: Damn
> > it, they're going to re-enact that stupid fairy tale. I don't
> > really want to watch this.
>
> What fairy tale are you referring to? I can't think of it. If your
> problem with the idea is that you've seen if before all too often, it
> would be nice to have at least one citation. Even then, the true
> adage is that all stories have been done before.

I thought it was a common one. In the version I read as a kid, the
main character was named something like "Big Anthony." Frustrated with
his lack of success with the town's ladies, he puts on a magic ring
(which of course he can't figure out how to remove) that works a little
too well... I think the women chase him up a tree and have busted out
the hatchets by the time the deus ex machina kicks in. Never liked
that story, so I wasn't exactly thrilled once I realized that was where
the episode was going.

> The fundamental funny of tons of girls adoring Xander?

I am unlikely to ever find the image of a Katamari (if you don't get
the reference, read that as "mass") full of infantile, crazed, shrill,
slapping/hair-pulling girls to be remotely amusing. That's that.
(Although if it were an _actual_ Katamari, that might be cool...)

> >I'm embarrassed to be watching this show.
>
> OMG. Now I think you probably liked the Ferengi DS9 episodes.

[whap]

I challenge you to a dual!

-AOQ
~this insult cannot go unanswered~

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Feb 22, 2006, 3:35:44 PM2/22/06
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Carlos Moreno wrote:

> Humor is one of the great components of BtVS -- *the* main
> component, IMO -- wonderfully, not the *only* component; and
> BBB is among the Bery Best of Breed (ok, very lame joke ;-))
> in that category (most definitely in the top-10 funniest
> episodes). I feel truly sad that you don't seem to be in
> sync with this facet of the show ...

I think those who have suggested that I'm inherently opposed to humor
haven't been reading the reviews carefully.

Or maybe you are, and
> it's simply a case of being absolutely blinded by your
> dislike for anything related to X/C ... Soon enough, we'll
> see which one it is :-)

Which would explain why I suggested that the X/C Bronze scene and the
final moment were okay.

-AOQ

kenm47

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Feb 22, 2006, 3:43:08 PM2/22/06
to
"I thought it was a common one. In the version I read as a kid, the
main character was named something like "Big Anthony." Frustrated with

his lack of success with the town's ladies, he puts on a magic ring
(which of course he can't figure out how to remove) that works a little

too well... "

Never heard of it. I've seen variations on Xander's version, but that
didn't make BB&B less clever or fun IMO.

Ken (Brooklyn)

Carlos Moreno

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Feb 22, 2006, 3:54:33 PM2/22/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

>> enjoyable episodes ever. If you do plan to re-watch any episodes
>> after finishing the entire series, I would put this one on the list, if
>> I were you. Or not. I can't force you, after all.
>
> Let me think abo... NO.

If there is one piece of advice that I would really *really* give
you is that once you finish the series (or some time after), you
should re-watch it entirely, without skipping a single episode.
I mean, *really*.

On the specific issue of having hated one episode and re-watching
it -- I can tell you from my (and others') experience; it's
amazing the number of times that you like an episode on re-watch
that you had originally disliked or even hated (perhaps after
having discussed it with other people, and then finding a different
angle the second time you watch it).

I can tell you, in my case, I've gone (in some instances) from
an episode that I originally had ranked as weak or below, all
the way to considering it top-10 material. In some other cases,
like "Ted", after having seen it two or three times (when re-
watching the series, I do it without missing a single episode,
for the continuity, plus, there is always at least one detail
in every episode, no matter how bad, that makes it worth having
re-watched it), I still ranked it as "unbelievably bad" (no,
I'm not saying this for "comic exaggeration", or to emphasize
or exaggerate our different points of view on that episode --
I really used to hate that episode that much).

After reading and participating in some discussions in here
related to that episode, at the 4th or 5th re-watch, it kind
of clicked -- and even though I still consider it one of the
episodes on the rather weak side of the series, I now
appreciate and acknowledge that there is some pertty good
stuff in it.

Another thing is that with many BtVS episodes, it happens
(to me, at least) that one tends to stick to the bad moments;
that is, after the episode finishes and one looks back, the
bad moments are the ones that stand out as representative of
the episode -- this happened to me with I Robot You Jane;
when thinking about that episode, the silly fight between
Buffy and the ridiculous-looking robot was all that stood
out; not surprisingly, that one was on my list of top-10
worst ever episodes... On re-watch, my opinion changed so
drastically -- it doesn't come remotely close to be on my
top-10 list, but I consider it one of the *very good*
episodes.

With BBB, I can see that happening with the scene in the
basement, towards the end, and maybe even the scene of
Cordelia dumping Harmony and co. -- not that I consider
them bad, but just that I can understand how someone could
dislike those scenes.

So... Anyway, I strongly advise you to re-watch the entire
series after you've finished it -- I'm sure you'll enjoy it;
there's so much extra stuff that you catch the second time;
plus, you tend to appreciate the continuity and consistency
a bit more -- hey, look at us, how much we're enjoying your
reviews that are making us re-live those moments (and in some
cases re-watch -- I just watched Innocence and Passion within
the last few days, triggered by your comments about how you
enjoyed Boreanaz playing Angelus, how one can sense his sense
of joy and pleasure towards torture -- could not agree more on
that, BTW! Angel's lame (uvf unve tebjf fgenvtug hc, naq ur'f
oybbql fghcvq! I bet you all know what I wrote in there without
having to rot13 it ;-)) -- Angelus rules!!! ;-))

Cheers,

Carlos
--

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Feb 22, 2006, 3:59:38 PM2/22/06
to
Scythe Matters wrote:
> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>
> As I said elsewhere, it's been painfully obvious that you'd hate this
> one for weeks now. Nice to have my suspicions confirmed. ;-)

Yeah. I find it depressing that you and Espen seem to be the only
others who don't unconditionally adore it. Well, one of Ibsen's
characters once said "A minority is always right." (Which to me begs
the question of what happens if a majority of people agree with that
quote.)

> > I was wary of the sudden reintroduction of Amy from "Witch," since
> > it smacks of going to extended lengths to set up a joke; seriously, how
> > is no one more worried about her dabbling in magic, given what happened
> > with her body-snatching mom?
>
> As Amy says herself: her mom was the witch. What that you've seen leads
> you to believe that a taste for the magick is genetic (I'm not saying
> it's not, but asking how you've reached that conclusion)? And Amy was a
> victim in "The Witch," full stop.

It's just that magic has caused problems in her life before... and
also, given that our heroes never actually found out what happened to
Catherine, who was known to posess her dauhgter's body...

> Yes. Excellent scenes, and excellent development. Boreanaz really plays
> Angelus so wonderfully (though here, I'd point out that it's quite
> "broad," something you claim to dislike but really only situationally
> dislike), and what's interesting here is that the heretofore flamboyant
> way Marsters plays Spike is now muted to bring out the contrasts between
> the characters.

My objection is mainly to too much broad humor rather than all things
broad, but yes, it's situational. It very much helps if the actor and
the script are good enough to pull it off.

> > Stage 2: You know, this show really doesn't do broad comedy very
> > well. Needs less excess.
>
> I somewhat agree. The subtle comedy is so good, it really points out the
> badness of some of the broader comedy. They have occasional success with
> the broad strokes, but only occasional.

Exactly. BTVS always has so much wit and nuance in even the "serious"
episodes that it's a shame when a "funny" episode is so bad.

> > I came dangerously close to busting out the elusive "ABOMINATION"
> > rating for this one, but a few things stayed my hand... as I said, the
> > beginning was fine, as was the end. (This series seems to find ways to
> > put something worthwhile into the most worthless of episodes.)
>
> Agreed. If I understand your rating scale, I don't know that any episode
> ever rates "abomination" for just the reason you suggest. However, some
> will come close.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that no episode with anything good in it
can avoid that rating... I just have to really, really hate it. And
while I despise the A-story of 3B, it helps that the spell doesn't get
cast for like 15 minutes, before which the episode is actually pretty
decent. And there are the individual good moments mentioned, and the
Buffy-rat stuff is just dumb rather than offensively bad.

> > Those of you who care about Cordelia can feel free to discuss the very
> > last scene. Telling off her former friends is a pretty big moment for
> > the character that's seemed inevitable for awhile. So is it bad that
> > this pivotal scene is done in such a trite, hollow way?
>
> How is it trite, exactly? What would be non-trite, in your estimation?

It's trite in the sense that she doesn't really have the epiphany she
could. Her stance isn't "I've moved beyond thinking only about myself"
or "People should date who they want, not worry about trendiness."
It's "I'm sick of you, I'm much cooler than you are."

That doesn't automatically make it a bad scene, unless the writers
believe that she's now more likable than she actually is. Here
Cordelia's continued superficial streak seems more likely to be
intentional than an oversight; it'd be less in-character if her
dialogue was more "meaningful," and you can read in plenty of
choosing-attraction-over-popularity subtext too.

-AOQ

kenm47

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Feb 22, 2006, 4:41:30 PM2/22/06
to
I also think you're overlooking that this is a Xander redemption
episode. He may start off as confused, and later vengeful, but he
recognizes the errors of the spell, refuses to take advantage of
Buffy's or Willow's largese, and ultimately is reconciled with Cordelia
as a partner, not just a minion, on public terms no matter how "lame"
he is.

BTW my read on Cordelia (did someone like her or who looked like her
once give you a hard time in H.S. or college? - just curious) is just
what you say it should be. Yes, she still has her Queen C pride, but
she recognizes that her actions should be her choice (here's a little
female empowerment), not looking to just do the popular thing, not
just please her friends thing, not do things just because of the way
they look to others. And yes, she's right, that does make her way
cooler than Harmony and the rest of the Cord-ettes.

Ken (Brooklyn)

Scythe Matters

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Feb 22, 2006, 4:50:29 PM2/22/06