Saturday, 8 June 2013

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I Was Made to Love You

“I go online sometimes, but everyone’s spelling is so depressing.”

I know it’s been a while, but we’ve just moved in to a new house and I’ve just had a massive exam for work, all in the last two weeks. The blog will return to normal as life returns to normal and the cardboard boxes slowly get emptied. In the meantime, here’s an episode of Buffy for your delight and edification.

Yes, I realise that the concept of Warren making a science fiction sex robot has some serious things to say about the objectification of women, but there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a very silly idea, Yes, it is a comedy episode, and the witty lines are of a standard one would expect from Jane Espenson, but it’s hard to shake the suspicion that she deliberately set herself the challenging task of writing a quality episode from what she knew was a silly idea. This is not an easy task, and, brilliant writer though she is and excellently written though this script may be, the episode does not succeed in overcoming the intrinsic silliness.

The idea almost redeems itself, however, with a wonderfully metatextual joke as the scoobies just accept the existence of the robot with a knowing wink to the conventions of the genre within which they exist: Buffy usually deals with the tropes of horror, not sci-fi. The only character who does not react in this post-modern fashion is Warren himself, both because of his character and because he seems, at this point, to belong in sci-fi rather than horror.

Aside from all this we have character stuff. Early on there is a surprisingly mature conversation between Buffy and Xander which further deepens the trend in recent episodes to emphasise Xander’s sudden maturity, what with his job and that. His comments to Buffy seem surprisingly worldly-wise, but the recent development of the character  means this does not seem out of place. I also like the fact that uber-capitalist Anya has been making heaps of money with online trading. Oh, and there’s a rather interesting scene in which Giles, rather menacingly, threatens Spike with bad things if he does not leave Buffy alone. My girlfriend rather enjoyed Giles and Spike’s male on male encounter…

The episode begins with Joyce beginning to throw herself into life again after her recent brain issues. She’s beginning to throw herself back into dating and beginning to look more like her old self. Or so we thought. The ending of the episode is one of the most upsettingly shocking things I have ever seen on television, but I’ll let you make that decision for yourself.