Monday, July 21, 2008

blogging buffy: season two, thoughts and questions

On The Banality of Evil:

I am utterly confused about the principal, whom I originally believed was the epitome of Gradgrindian toolishness, but now suspect to be secretly evil and in league with the dark side. What's up with him knowing about the hellmouth? What's his vendetta against Buffy? And how is the mayor in on this? I am waiting to find out if this is merely banal evil or supernatural evil. You know, like in Roswell with the sheriff. (Did any one else watch that show?) Sometimes authority figures are duplicitous, other times they are true but still morally bankrupt.

Part of the pleasure of watching these shows is that by appearing to focuse so completely on demons, arch villains, et al., the occasional detours to the more mundane, human forms of evil are given such effective display. We expect mad scientists to take over the Empire State Building (really, why? I never understood that impulse), vampires to kill viciously, and zombies to feed on human flesh. But (in the background, watching Season 3 right now with The Angry Dude Episode Where Angel Comes Back From The Dead, WTF), do you expect your boyfriend, the person you love the most to hurt you? Do you expect your mother to kick you out of the house when she can't accept who you are? It is heartbreaking to watch such betrayals of trust, hope, and faith.

The banality of evil (most likely, coupled with emotional betrayal) is the most surprising and the hardest to fight. Authority figures are the most common ambiguous characters. It's not so much an emotional betrayal as a moral betrayal. There is a reason we have so many movies about corrupt cops and mayors too close to the mob. What is worst is when those in authority are not only tainted by evil, but when their zealotry for good becomes its own evil. (Insert inadequate, insipid metaphor about the War on Terror here.) So, I'm still waiting to see if Principal Snyder is merely an asshole, a corrupt asshole, or a truly bad motherfucker.

On Xander, Nice Guy (TM) + Douchebag

Amber was right.

On Doomed Love

Man, Buffy and Angel have it tough! I don't really think David Boreanz is all that handsome, but you know, some girls dig that big bulky, thick-necked abs of steel szhused hair look with the refugee from the Roxbury wardrobe. Yeah, yeah, his eyes are sensitive and perhaps soulful. Or perhaps he just doesn't blink much. Also, he is a kind of terrible actor. When Amber first expressed reservations about his age in-relation-to Buffy, I was thinking it was his 241 years to her 16. But yeah, this guy does look like a graduate student compared to her teenager-ness. He looks way older than 19 or 20! But I digress.

Doomed love does suck. Sometimes you just can't "make it work." It must be really hard to love someone you know isn't right for you, because he is like, a vampire, and you are like, a vampire slayer. And then be responsible for their transformation into someone you can't recognize just because you loved them too much. To be always worried about whether they'll love you enough to overcome the minor obstacle of mutually assured annihilation. And then to have them leave you, and so brutally. And then to have to give up hope that they'll ever come back to you. And then to have to give up on them completely as unredeemable and unchangeable. And then you really have to kill them in order to save the world from disappearing into a vortex into hell. Wow, Joss Whedon has like the most insight ever into male-female relationships.

Every relationship in this show is doomed. Either it's mismatched (Xander + Cordelia), unrequited (Willow --> Xander), pained by mutual betrayal (Giles + Miss Calendar), or just plain fucked up (Buffy + Angel). That Oz thing is like, whatever. I predict he will be some sort of emotional casualty, because he is actually normal and all he wants to do is love Willow. Which means, like most of us poor mortal fools/werewolves, he will be screwed over by someone else who is still trying to recover from some other messed up relationship.

At first, I was going to say that this show makes me glad I'm not a teenager anymore, but I don't think much changes, other than that the stakes are raised as you get older and while you recover faster, it still hurts the same as it did in your teenage years.

On Being a Teenager

Hell, I'll say it anyway. I am really glad that I am not a teenager anymore. I am also glad that I'm not in high school anymore, but then again all of life is a ceaseless repetition of high school. See, e.g., Sarah Vowell on this (in her book Take the Cannoli, and here and here). This is why this show is awesome! Joss Whedon knows everything.

On '90s Fashion and Music

Too much to write here. I must do a follow-up post. But man, I am ready to rock some mini skirts and y-necklaces with a baby T and some chunky heeled shoes and a vinyl jacket. Why don't I wear slip dresses more often? Also, I was wondering when Lisa Loeb would play in the background. I was expecting Duncan Sheik though. This is so awesome. Where the hell is my MAC brick lipliner and Viva Glam I lipstick?!