Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Buffy Blog: "Some Assembly Required"

Previously on Buffy: Buffy and Angel refer to the “sexy dance” Buffy did with Xander in “When She Was Bad”.

Playing with Genre: Buffy does James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931) and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935).

Monster of the Week: Daryl Epps, Buffy’s Frankenstein and former Sunnydale High School football hero, and those who have brought him back to life, Daryl’s brother Chris and creepy Eric, both “humans”. Daryl, now an outcast because of his injuries and his frankensteinian visage, wants Chris and Eric to build him a bride. Chris and Eric rob the graves of three young Fondren High School girls who have died to create the bride of Chris. Formaldehyde, however, makes it impossible to use a head from anyone of the dead girls.

Scoobies in Peril: Once again it is Cordy. Daryl choses Cordy’s head to complete his bride. Once again it is Xander who saves Cordy with a lot of help from Buffy, of course. Daryl momentarily has Buffy on the ground and almost smashes her with a school desk. This is not the last time Buffy will be in this kind of peril.

Scoobies in Love: While “Some Assembly Required” is largely a stand alone it does move some character arcs forward. Giles’s and Jenny’s relationship culminates in a date at the Sunnydale High School football game and the promise of a future second date. Xander remains jealous of Angel. Angel is jealous of Buffy. Buffy admits to Angel that she did the “sexy dance” with Xander to make him, Angel, jealous. Cordy plays the weak victim to get Angel to take her home. She is still fighting Buffy for Angel’s arm. Buffy’s and Angel’s relationship is on standby if not in remission: Buffy lies to Angel saying she is staying home when she is actually going out to investigate missing bodies symbolizing the holding pattern in their relationship. At the end of the episode, however, Buffy’s and Angel’s relationship is a go again. Xander notes, at the end of the episode, that Buffy and Angel and Giles and Jenny have paired off and wonders why they can never get dates. As he is saying this Cordy comes up to him and thanks Xander for rescuing her and tells him if there is ever anything I can do for you. At this point Xander interrupts Cordy saying, [d]o you mind? We’re talking here. Guess why Xander can never get a date? Is this a foreshadowing of the Xander/Cordy relationship?

“Love makes you do the wacky”: This is the first time this phrase is used. It is, by the way, looped. Anyway, Chris’s love for his brother makes him try to build Daryl a bride.

Slayerettes er Scoobies: Jenny and Cordy though still not full fledged Scoobies are becoming more and more involved in the wide world of scoobyage. Cordy is even present in the library during a Scooby research gathering and planning meeting.

Black Comedy: all the darkly humourous references to body parts that comes out of the mouths of Eric and the Scoobies. “Eric to Cordy: You're gonna feel a little pinch, maybe some discomfort around the neck area. But don't worry. When you wake up, you'll have the body of a seventeen-year-old. In fact, you'll have the body of several.”

Cinematography: Liked the crane shot/ladder sot (?) above Cordy while she is trying to get into her car. Liked that this shot moves in on Cordy during this scene. Note the nice use of shadows to raise the tension in this scene. It turns out that it is Angel who is shadowing (in both senses) Cordy in this scene. Note the greens.

Sets: It looks as though the cemetery scenes were shot on the Mutant Enemy studio lot in Santa Monica. This is a first.

Lighting: Are the dark scenes lit with natural light?

Clothes: Buffy fights a vamp in a mini-skirt in the teaser. Is this an attempt to get a male tween demographic? Does it make sense for a vampire slayer to be fighting in a mini-skirt? Or can a third feminist sort of slayer fight in anything she wants? Or is Buffy playing the role of bait, as Buffy scholar David Kociemba claims? Who is dressing Sarah Michelle Gellar at this point? Does SMG have a say in her attire? Angel is wearing a white shirt and jacket and doesn’t look like his goth James Dean self.

Foreign Accents: Giles claims that American football is rugby with forty pound of equipment. Jenny likes basketball, baseball, and football.

Woman Power: Buffy asks Angel if he wants her to walk him home. It is, of course, usually the guy who asks the gal this.

Popular Culture: Buffy references Chicago based newspaper and TV film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.

High Culture: Giles references Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand as Buffy tries to tell him a la Cyrano how to ask Jenny out. Xander references deconstruction telling Willow that he doesn’t “deconstruct” her “segues”.

Religious Reference: Reference to the Hindu and Buddhist ideology of karma, the notion that what you do during your life impacts what you are your next lives.

Metaphor of the Week: Xander reveals it. “We want”, he says, “what we can’t have”. Males, in other words, dream of having the beautiful women they know they can never have. When Eric tells Cordy that she will soon have the body of a seventeen-year-old girl is this a metaphor for the search of many older women for the springs of eternal youth via cosmetic surgery?

No comments:

Post a Comment