Monday, December 8, 2008

BtVS: 2.18 Killed By Death

Alisa says:
Here we have another break in the intensity of the season arc with a Buffy Needs Some Rest episode. Buffy gets sick - which is a bit weird because she's the Slayer; she never gets sick. But, the break works because otherwise, Come On! Someone kill someone already! The fight scene in the beginning of the episode between Sick!Buffy and Angelus reminded me of how she didn't just kill him when she had the chance last episode.

I think though that I'm not the biggest fan of the break in intensity episodes. I noticed random things like the fact that the creepy music for the monster roaming around in the hospital is the music that use for the menu on the DVDs. I also noticed the great credit shot, right at the end after Buffy kills the monster.

This episode does have some awesome moments though. The confrontation between Xander and Angelus where Xander has no chance of stopping Angelus, if he really had to, but that fact doesn't get in the way of him trying to protect Buffy and will damn well go down trying. We see that Xander is a hero. Or a hero in the making.

Verdict: "Tact is just not saying true stuff."

Rachel says:
I dunno, there's something really horrible in the mundanity of Buffy having the flu. And as you may have gathered, I prefer these off-arc episodes. There's only so much you can do with Buffy vs Angelus given that they can never kill each other - otherwise the show would've had a much shorter run!

For this week's monster we get the Kinderstott who is just the right amount of yuck. He almost looks like an elderly person (surely the most terrifying real life thing that kids ever face) but then has the nasty teeth and eyes that eat you. Which is what old people threaten to do to kids. "Oh, you're so adorable I could just eat you up!" It really hits the buttons in what is scary for a kid. Not to mention that it's something the adults can't see and don't believe in.

Other neat scenes in this episode are Cordelia distracting the security guard, Willow's "Frogs! Frogs!" moment and the sequence where we get a little peek into Buffy's childhood. I know I had never thought of her as a little girl before this.

"I feel fine. I mean, the world's spinning a little bit, but I like it. It's like a ride."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

BtVS: 2.17 Passion

Rachel says:
This was the first Buffy episode to make me cry, and it turns out, it still does. Not Jenny's death per se, but Buffy and Willow's response. So heartbreaking. The other standout sequence is the chase between Angelus and Jenny. The camera angles, editing and low lighting all create a superbly creepy and scary run through the school culminating in the horrible neck snap.
The scene in Giles apartment, where he thinks Jenny is waiting for him upstairs (and I suppose she is) is brilliantly portrayed by Giles, almost to the point where you think there has been some mistake and Jenny really is waiting for him. *sob*

"You know, I think there may be a valuable lesson for you gals here about inviting strange men into your bedrooms."

Alisa says:

I think this episode raises the stakes for the audience. It's here, at the climax of this episode, we learn that all the rules don't apply in Jossverse and that all bets are off - anyone can die, even a main player. And so too, Angelus kills Jenny in an almost anticlimatic, off-hand way, such that I think it becomes all the more shocking and heartbreaking. He doesn't break a sweat. He doesn't stalk and play with her (much). He just does it. Dramatically and with a gorgeous backdrop of the night, framed in that window. And he glorifies in it too but more so because of the anticipated effect on Buffy than for the kill itself.

This episode is about passion and the bookend narration is by Angelus. I think this works beautifully to use the change in POV to show that we, the viewers, should expect the unexpected. That this is not all going to go the way we want it to go. Evil, Angelus may be, but as Willow points out, he is still obsessed with Buffy. Sort of the dark to the lightness that went before.

Even having watched this episode many times before, I still cried in that moment that Giles calls Buffy to tell her what has happened. And it works well. Despite watching it from afar, removed, with Angelus looking through the window, it's still very powerful and desperately sad. And there is a really great shot of Buffy as she sinks down to the ground, absorbing the enormity of what has happened and you can see the realisation dawn to her that this is *real*.

I want to finish by saying how rightly it depicts how CREEPY it is for one's Vampire to sit and watch one sleep. (*cough* Bella Swan *cough*)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Shiny Issue 4

The Fix have given Shiny 4 are really great review. Thanks for the heads up.

Of Bren MacDibble's "Being Bella Wang", Smith writes: In this short tale, MacDibble expertly evokes an exotic locale full of magic, as well as vivid, interesting characters with a strong bond.

Of Michael Merriam's "All the Leaves Your Bed”, she says: Merriam deftly skirts the well of sentiment that could so easily have drowned this story, and takes it to surprising places. There is an image near the end that is simply breathtaking.

And of Rhonda Parrish’s “Skitter Skitter,” - Parrish does a great job with teen exasperation as Chloe describes their progress, often talking in the purple clich├ęs of teen writing... The rest will please readers who like the illogic of go-for-the-grue horror.

Take advantage of our special promo and purchase Issues 4 and 5 for the special price of $5 and get Issue 4 in your inbox now and Issue 5 very very soon.