Monthly Archives: January 2015

Buffy, season 4, disc 6

Joss Whedon’s Wisdom: ‘Restless’ Dreaming (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, S4E22) (Part 2)

(Spoiler alert)

(To the tune of ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’)

Blink blink blink your eyes

While you watch the screen

Verily verily verily verily

‘Restless’ is but a dream

Not bad, huh?

WAIT! Please don’t leave! I promise I’ll stop….

It’s just that it’s true, right? Most of the episode—the last one of the fourth season of Buffy—takes place in dreams. And the song is about a dream. And sometimes I have dreams where someone sings the wrong words to a song I know. So I thought it’d be a good way to start. I mean, the first sentence is always the hardest, so I thought I’d try a song, just for something different, y’know? But I get it. I don’t have the greatest voice. That’s okay. I’ll stop.

Joss Whedon, he’s got a good voice. It’s a little low and gravelly, but in a nice way. Sometimes I think he’s got a bit of a lisp. I dunno why, but it makes me trust him. I know that’s silly, though. I heard about this other guy with a lisp—a big guy—and his job used to be beating people up, and he bit the ear off one of those guys, and that guy was just as big as he was! I don’t think I could trust a guy who bites off people’s ears….

Anyway, Joss, he’s pretty smart. Continue reading

Buffy, season 4, disc 6

Joss Whedon’s Wisdom: ‘Restless’ Dreaming (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, S4E22)

With the season’s big bad disposed of in the penultimate episode and only a thin thread connecting four surreal dream sequences, Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s season four finale, ‘Restless,’ is arguably the most unconventional episode of the whole series. Based on his comment on the DVD audio track that he “wanted to do a commentary on [this episode] because it’s different than anything else [he] had ever done before or have ever done since,” it seems Joss Whedon would agree (00:00:15).

(Spoiler alert)

Unlike the real thing, dream sequences in films or TV shows do not occur by chance. Departing from typical season finale expectations was a very deliberate decision on Whedon’s part. The episode picks up immediately after the previous episode’s big climax as Buffy and the Scoobies curl up on the couch at her mom’s place with a bowl of popcorn and a stack of movies…and promptly fall asleep. Continue reading

Twitter logo

I’m a twit!

It’s official: I’m a twit.

Not a twerp, or a moron, or a ninny, simpleton, doofus or nincompoop, mind you. A twit.

That’s what they call people on Twitter, right?

I’m new to the whole thing…sort of. I tried to sign up for it two days ago and discovered I already had an account. I’d created it six years ago. Yesterday, I tweeted for the first time. I guess I’m a late bloomer.

To make my Twitter account a bit different from my blog, I’ll tweet capsule reviews, random thoughts, links to interesting articles/interviews, and anything else that’s completely (ir)relevant to my blog. A few of my most recent tweets will appear in a Twitter feed in my blog’s sidebar, but if you missed something, look for GregOsadec on Twitter.

I’ll probably tweet more frequently than I blog because 140 characters is more in line with my attention span, and I promise that every one of the 140 characters will be loaded with mind-blowing profundity, head-scratching intellectualism, gut-busting hilarity, or eye-rolling mediocrity.

Please be patient with me while I figure out how Twitter works and what it’s all about. 48 hours ago I thought “hashtag” was what they smoke in Morocco, so I’m definitely making progress.

See you in the Twit-o-sphere!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 4, disc 3

Joss Whedon’s Wisdom: ‘Hush’ Now (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, S4E10) (Part 2)

Last time, we heard what Joss Whedon had to say about the conception of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s season four episode ‘Hush’, widely regarded as the best episode of the season and one of the ten best episodes of the whole series. He also has a lot to say about the execution of those ideas, so let’s get to it.

Whedon’s work on Buffy is often admired for the way he revamped horror conventions (sorry, couldn’t resist), such as creating strong female characters and fully-developed villains. Still, one reason those developments were such a success is that Whedon integrated them with the genre tropes that fans love. Whedon alludes to one such example when he says “nothing’s creepier than a little girl singing a little nursery rhyme about the bad guys” (00:01:50), which is exactly what occurs in the few couple minutes of ‘Hush’. The roots of such conventions can often be traced back to seminal works that continue to influence the genre, and Whedon is happy to give credit where credit is due. In this case, he says, “Needless to say, A Nightmare on Elm Street did this better than anybody” (00:01:50).

The roots of The Gentlemen, the villains of this episode and probably one of Whedon’s creepiest creations overall, can be traced back even further. Continue reading

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 4, disc 3

Joss Whedon’s Wisdom: ‘Hush’ Now (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, S4E10)

(Spoiler alert!)

When a TV show runs for seven full seasons, the quality is bound to vary. Buffy the Vampire Slayer did better than most, overall, but there were bound to be low-points. For me, the majority of season four is about as low as it gets. But even in a season that can perhaps best be compared to an unexpected eclipse temporarily covering the Buffy-verse in deep shadows of boredom in which Initiative-driven absurdities and V-chip-in-Spike’s-noggin’ inanities lurk, waiting to jump out and force you to shake your head and groan for 43 minutes at a time, Whedon and his team manage to deliver amazing episodes that shine with a brilliant light straight from the heavens and overpowers the darkness. (Side note: I will never again forget the definition of ‘hyperbole.’) Whedon himself calls it “one of the best episodes of the season” (00:00:10), and I’d have to agree.

Whedon is a very perceptive person, which is one of the reasons his shows and films are so good, and it’s a testament to his strength of character that he’s not afraid to turn those powers of perception on himself. Continue reading

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 2, disc 4

Joss Whedon’s Wisdom: The Resonance of ‘Innocence’ (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, S2E14) (Part 2)

(Spoiler alert!)

Last time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon shared his thoughts on balancing his portrayal of Buffy as an empowered “blonde girl in an alley” with the dramatic necessity of putting Buffy through the wringer after losing her virginity to Angel in the season two episode ‘Innocence,’ as well as the importance of the episode as a whole.

But for the episode to reach the level of achievement that it did, Whedon had to play the role of Dr. Frankenstein and stitch together a variety of scattered pieces of the story, especially when it was time to write the scene in which Angel’s gypsy curse is explained. Continue reading

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 2, disc 4

Joss Whedon’s Wisdom: The Resonance of ‘Innocence’ (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, S2E14)

Anyone who watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer remembers ‘Innocence.’ It was a pivotal episode not just for the second season, but for the series as a whole. The previous episode, ‘Surprise,’ ended with (spoiler alert!) Buffy and Angel having sex for the first time around her 17th birthday. But the warm afterglow doesn’t last long. ‘Innocence,’ its direct continuation, opens with a profoundly changed Angel having a post-coital smoke…second-hand smoke, in fact, which he sucks through the neck of an innocent bystander. He has, in fact, become the deliciously evil Angelus thanks to the gypsy curse that changed him after experiencing one moment of pure happiness.

(So at least we know they had good sex . . . or at least Angel did.)

This episode also has a special place in the memory of Joss Whedon, Continue reading