February 2004 posts

Previous March 2004  

More March 2004

ME alum alert - Minear's "Wonderfalls" premieres, tonight 9 EST on cbs! -- Darby, 04:58:10 03/12/04 Fri


[> AND Nick Brendon Saturday on ABC Family - "Celeste in the City" -- Darby (who also has a question...), 05:28:03 03/12/04 Fri

Forgive me, I'm overcompensating for having missed Alyson Hannigan on That 70s Show, although I suspect this to be a mixed blessing. Did anybody see it?

[> [> Aly picks up an easy paycheck (Spoilers for "That 70s Show") -- cjl, 07:42:35 03/12/04 Fri

No heavy lifting here: Aly plays a police academy trainee Suzy Simpson, who's infatuated with fellow trainee Kelso (Ashton you-know-who) and pursued by Odd Foreign Guy Fez (Wilmer Valderrama). She establishes her character (hot redhead, healthy libido, likes guns), says her lines, then sits by politely while the boys resolve their dispute.

Rob Des Hotel gives her one good monologue: when Kelso suggest that Suzy "do it" with Fez to settle the dispute, she explodes with outrage, sputtering at Kelso that sure, she'd sleep with the occasional informant to break a case or a john to crack a prostitution ring, but she has standards. "What kind of a girl do you think I am?"

Aly shows good comic timing. Sit-com land awaits.

Buffy-related trivia: Dean Batali and Rob Des Hotel, who tag-teamed on Aly's two-episode run, are co-executive producers of That 70s Show. But Buffy fans know them better as the writing team who penned Oz' break-out episode, "Phases." By absolutely no coincidence, they called markers and brought Aly in for her two-episode stint, and have Seth Green slated for a multi-ep arc later in the season.

(My only question: if Des Hotel and Batali really want Buffy fans to watch, why don't they put Aly and Seth together?)

[> [> Actually on Sunday at 8pm on ABC Family in NYC area. -- s'kat, 20:31:06 03/12/04 Fri

[> [> [> Yeah, yeah, basically I'm battin' zero here -- Darby, crying wolf as the flying monkeys attack, 07:52:13 03/14/04 Sun

[> And btw, it pretty much got unanimously good to great reviews. I can't wait. -- Rob, 07:02:48 03/12/04 Fri

[> [> I think technically you *can* -- Lunasea, 08:18:16 03/12/04 Fri

Seeing as you have to. What will happen if you actually can't? I mean, I don't want anything to happen to that cute nose of yours. Make sure anything you have to do because you can't wait, such as storming the network and demanding that as the head Buffy cheerleader you should get to see it NOW, will have no lasting effect. Thanks

[> Isn't "Wonderfalls" on FOX? -- AurraSing, 08:21:16 03/12/04 Fri

Not that I like FOX for how it's treated some of my favorite shows in the past *rolls eyes* but I'm pretty positive it's FOX carrying the show,not CBS.

Right? Or are some CBS affiliates carrying the show as well and it's not showing up on my one US CBS station??

[> [> Ooops! I may be trying to blot that out of my mind! Sorry! -- Darby, 08:30:14 03/12/04 Fri

[> GREAT Tim Minear interview on "Wonderfalls"... -- Rob, 08:52:36 03/12/04 Fri


1. Why should people watch Wonderfalls? Give us your best sales pitch. One paragraph. Go.
I think itís good. Also, it adds up to something. Look, Iíve, um, seen them all. The story arc of it really starts heating up around episode 6. So do stick with us for the first 13 episodes. If for no other reason, when you see the twenty miracles that Caroline Dhavernasí face performs in the last shot of episode 13, you will be glad you stayed.

And donít fret about network plug-pulling. I have trod this road before and Iíve cleared the way of minefields for you. I can promise that if we only ever get to 13, itíll be worth it and you wonít feel cheated.

2. What character from a now-defunct show (not one of yours) would you most like to write?
Jim Rockford.

3. What TV show (still not yours) do you think you could make an interesting movie from?
Prime Suspect. But Iíd need Helen Mirren.

4. If you had to choose between writing and directing forever, which would you pick, and why?
Donít make me choose. But itíd be writing, I suspect. One doesnít have to shower for days. Though I strictly enjoy directing more, ëcause the writing is done.

5. What performer(s) that you've not had the opportunity to work with yet would you most like to employ in your television and film efforts?
Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, RenÈe Zellweger, Ewan McGregor.

6. What source material would you like the chance to adapt if given free rein? And how would you adapt it: television or a feature?
ìThe White Mountains,î also known as ìThe Tripods.î As a feature.

7. Without naming names, can you relate a funny anecdote about the most problematic/pain-in-the-ass actor or actress you've had to deal with?
Not without naming names. Also, Iíve been really lucky with cast. Really, REALLY lucky.

8. In your opinion, which of the Mutant Enemy performers you've worked with is the hottest?
Julie Benz, Christian Kane, Numfar.

9. Do you see anything short of an actual televised death and the attendant network-collapsing legal consequences as capable of stopping the current trend toward reality programming?
It devours you from your bottom.

10. How do you intend to get across the book's complex politics in what is such a visual medium? I know this isn't Kropotkin: The Movie, but is there room for anything more than "Authority bad. Manuel Good?"
I take it this refers to ìThe Moon Is A Harsh Mistress.î Less moon, more mistress. Actually, it remains to be seen. But my aim to write an adaptation OF THAT book. Which means doing my best to keep the nifty ideas in tact.

11. What do you intend to do with regards to the female characters in the movie, given Heinlein's unfortunate characterizations in most of his novels?
Less moon, more... oh. Um. Wyoming is a tough, smart woman. I suspect that will come to the fore a bit.

12. How long before you pull a Fury and we get to see you in front of the camera?
Probably never.

13. You've admitted to being a procrastinator when it comes time to write. What's your favorite method of avoidance?
Surfing the internet for faint praise of past glory. Or answering Q and As.

14. Of everything you've written and/or directed, is there one moment that stands out as your favorite? Something you look at and think, "Wow. That was really good."
In ìDarlaî at the end when she is begging Angel to turn her back. It was the first scene I directed with Julie and David together and it remains my favorite.

15. Since we've sadly been told time issues won't allow you to write another Angel script, how would you end the series if given a $10 million budget for the final episode?
Iíd make him human. Then have him trip and break his neck.

[> [> whoa. minear's making a movie of "the moon is a harsh mistress"?? -- anom, 23:17:19 03/15/04 Mon


[> Oh, crap. It's in Fox's dreaded Friday Night Timeslot of Doom -- Majin Gojira, 10:58:05 03/12/04 Fri

That timeslot killed Firefly, Dark Angel, Freakylinks, Millenium and Brimstone IIRC. Why don't they just give that timeslot up to movies?

And now I'm torn between the series Finale of Stargate and the permier of Wonderfalls. DAMN YOU TELEVISION! DAMN YOU!

[> [> For starters, it's the season finale of "Stargate," not the series finale. Season 8 starts in June. -- Rob, 11:23:29 03/12/04 Fri

Furthermore, are you in the U.S.? Because if you are and watch "Stargate" on the SciFi Channel, the season finale isn't until next Friday. This Friday, tonight, is part 1 of the 2 part episode, and it will be rerunning at 11 PM. So you could potentially still watch both.

Incidentally, the spin-off, "Stargate: Atlantis" is starting in July.


[> [> [> I was aware of the typoes--tried to change them but the second post must have been deleeted -- Majin Gojira, 06:42:08 03/13/04 Sat

[> [> Also... -- Rob, 11:26:43 03/12/04 Fri

...I am very encouraged by Minear's words that the 12 episodes they filmed for this half-season can stand on their own as a complete story, so that if it isn't renewed, the audience won't feel cheated of a resolution.


[> Wow! That was...odd... -- Darby, 19:12:12 03/12/04 Fri

Ever wonder about what if Malcolm and Buffy had a baby?

No, me either. But I've seen the offspring!

Definite potential. Trying a little too hard.

[> [> But oddly engaging! Definite potential indeed. Definitely tuning in next week. -- OnM, 19:28:04 03/12/04 Fri

[> [> Re: Wow! That was...odd... -- CW, 20:12:41 03/12/04 Fri

Actually it seemed more like Malcolm's child by Tru of Tru Calling. The family and comedy is pure Malcolm, but the story smells suspiciously of the lady from the morgue.

Seemed like it would have made a great movie, but as a series I think it's like a stretch.

Have to admit the litter box story was inspired.

[> [> [> Bizarre, but kind of neat... -- Jane, 22:06:41 03/12/04 Fri

have to admit I enjoyed it. I liked the weird off centre humour. I'll check it out again next week. Besides, Caroline Dhavernas,who plays the main character, is Canadian. Have to support the home team.

[> [> [> [> Re: Bizarre, but kind of neat... -- lynx, 23:59:32 03/12/04 Fri

lotsa ''home team'' players here, Jane. ;0)

Kari Matchett played the guest lesbian (colleen blessed from 'power play'- CTV)
Kathryn Greenwood played the texas b*tch (grace bailey on 'wind at my back' - CBC)
the carillion
the fence beside the river...

the falls :)

at least william sadler is from the american side......

[> [> [> Re: Wow! That was...odd... -- Rob, 23:54:39 03/12/04 Fri

Seemed like it would have made a great movie, but as a series I think it's like a stretch.

Disagree there. I have to say, I think there's excellent potential for stories with her family situation, and further, word on the street is that it becomes highly intricate and arc-oriented as the season progresses. I'm very interested to see where this is going.


[> [> [> Also... -- Rob, 00:04:10 03/13/04 Sat

I find it the exact opposite of Tru Calling as it succeeds in dealing with an issue ignored by that show completely. Tru saves people who have died by going back to the beginning of that same day. And yet how does she really know these people are not supposed to die? As tragic an event as the immediacy of each of these deaths might be, in the cause and effect scheme of things, she could be majorly messing up future history with her actions. For example, imagine that someone is killed and as a result some sort of legislation ends up getting past that ends up stopping all crime forever. Okay, I know I'm exaggerating, but still, Tru stops this person from dying, that never happens. Sometimes things happen for a reason. And Wonderfalls recognizes that, in the times in the episode where bad things happened. The plan to set her sister up with the EPS guy seemed to fall apart. He ends up with a swollen neck and a pen stuck in his esophagus. This all seems bad, but it leads to both Jaye's sister and "Poor Bitch" finding mates. Tru in a similar situation would have tried to stop the date from happening as soon as she found out "Poor Bitch" would end up in the hospital, without looking at the bigger picture. And that is why the premise of this series, from the outset, distinguishes itself from Tru Calling.


[> [> [> [> Re: Also... -- CW, 06:22:14 03/13/04 Sat

But isn't the business with the bad date for her sister and the pen in the throat the exact same sort of predictable 'everythings gone wrong' distraction as Tru always being doggedly wrong for most of the show about what she's really looking for? Since it's comedy I think Wonderfalls could be fun. The first episode certainly was. But it's going to take fanatastic writing (far from an impossibility) to keep it intersting.

On the other hand anybody else catch any of that reality stinker before Wonderfalls on FOX? Now that seemed more like FOX's cup of tea.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Also... -- Rob, 07:51:55 03/13/04 Sat

But isn't the business with the bad date for her sister and the pen in the throat the exact same sort of predictable 'everythings gone wrong' distraction as Tru always being doggedly wrong for most of the show about what she's really looking for?

Don't really think so, because Jaye isn't clear on her mission each time. All she gets are random snippets that don't end up making sense until she sees the chain of events in retrospect. She's not actively trying to cause an event to happen, or not happen. She thinks her mission is "put them on a date," just as Tru's is "keep this person from dying." The date falls apart--isn't that akin to failing at her mission? Or at least the mission she thought she had? If Tru failed at her mission, the person dies. But Jaye doesn't realize until the end what her true mission was, while Tru knows her goal from the beginning. I get the sense that Jaye is a more intelligent character than Tru, who will start piecing cause and effect together much sooner, start grokking why she's being told to do different things, while Tru continues to attempt to fix events that she can't possibly know are broken in the first place without seeing the future effects of each death.


[> [> [> [> [> [> I'm reminded of the age old butterfly analogy . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:39:20 03/13/04 Sat

The one which says a butterfly flapping its wings in Japan can cause a tornado in the United States. I once read a book (part of the "Animorphs" series which was actually pretty good early on) which asked the question, "How does the butterfly know when it's OK to flap its wings, then?" It also posed its own answer, "It doesn't; it just flaps its wings and hopes for the best." Everything we do, not just things set off by cosmic anomalies, is done without being able to predict what the long term effects will be. We just have to do what we feel we must and hope for the best.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> That "the age old butterfly analogy . . ." -- Old One, 11:01:57 03/13/04 Sat

Is younger than I am! It's attributed to Lorenz, circa 1963.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Do I need to point out the presence of the word "old" in your name? -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:31:09 03/13/04 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Also... -- OnM, 15:38:51 03/13/04 Sat

I'm going to wait awhile to see where they go with this, but I agree that I find it hard to imagine as a long-running series. However, as a single year piece, it could be quite excellent, much like The Tick. Nothing wrong with that!

[> [> [> [> how tru knows -- anom, 19:17:45 03/15/04 Mon

"Tru saves people who have died by going back to the beginning of that same day. And yet how does she really know these people are not supposed to die?"

The one(s) who isn't supposed to have died asks her for help. They don't ask, they're meant to be there. Remember her begging the firefighter, "Ask me!"?

BTW, I've quit watching Tru Calling. I got fed up w/the episode where she has to go back repeatedly till the right person dies the right way at the right time to...well, I'll stop there--not that I really think anyone's worrying about spoilers for it, but ya never know.

[> [> I loved it. Laughed out loud harder than I have at any comedy in a long time... -- Rob, 23:50:17 03/12/04 Fri

...and with the chewy philosophical goodness! Loved the acting, loved the directing, adored the dialogue and the premise. Can't wait for next week.


[> [> [> I'm with you, Rob -- Old One, 11:04:13 03/13/04 Sat

The potential for philosophical analysis of Wonderfalls is greater than anything I've seen so far on television, possibly including Buffy.

And if I didn't have to go to a stupid birthday lunch today, I'd be started on it already! More later.


[> [> Twin Peaks meets Joan of Arcadia -- Ames, 08:57:20 03/13/04 Sat

Has potential, but how sustainable?
JoA has certainly fallen into a rut already.

[> [> Re: Wow! That was...odd... -- mayfair, 14:22:56 03/13/04 Sat

i watched 'wonderfalls' last night and was pretty impressed with the show. it seemed to me to be a blend of 'northern exposure' (with all the quirky characters) and 'joan of arcadia' (with the heroine receiving messages that are definitely from out there). the only thing i didnt like was the rationale given by jaye's friend at the bar about 'everthing has soul'..that seemed pretty lame in comparison to the intriguing writing in the rest of the show. i loved jaye's dysfunctional family who dont have a clue! and the best scenes were the flirtations between jaye and the barman (lots of chemistry there!) overall i will definitely be watching again to see where this goes.

Illyria as myth of transformation (long and spoilers for 5.16) -- Lunasea, 08:10:26 03/12/04 Fri

The post about Why Illyria is blue got me thinking about the idea of woman as vessel (yes boys and girls, the brain is fully functional again) and how Joss is transforming this prevalent and important mythological concept.

Because of Charisma Carpenterís pregnancy, Joss had to change the Jasmine storyline a few times from what he wanted. Writers often create new characters or take existing ones in directions they couldnít take others earlier. Fred gives them a chance to really explore how being that smart affects someone, something the magic and sidekick storyline derailed when it came to Willow. I think that River on Firefly is a way for Joss to explore questions that Cordelia made him ask about empathy, but he couldnít explore with her.

Cordelia wasnít meant to give birth to Jasmine. This is the standard myth. Woman gives birth, thus transforming the divine spark into flesh. Childbirth is both a womanís power and something that has been used to oppress her. The hand that rocks the cradle can rule the world. However, by defining women solely by this, our potential has been limited. There is a conflict in the feminist movement between stay-at-home mothers and those that have a paying job. There is even conflict about how important children are to feeling or being fulfilled. Rather than it being about choice, there is still an unrealistic ideal that women are pushed to achieve.

This ideal is questioned when Joss gives us Illyria, not just woman as vessel for the transformation, but the transformation itself. The feminine ideal of Fred was destroyed, her soul consumed in the fire of resurrection. I want her to be recoverable. I want her to be an astralnaut with Willow somewhere. I want my Fred back. Mythologically speaking, she has to be gone. This isnít just to give us ìThe Bodyî redone, but because Joss is now looking at what is left over after the transformation and how that affects the transformation.

This wonít be Darla redone, which takes the birth myth to another place in that the baby changes the mother, but only when he is inside her sharing his soul with her. She cannot bear to go back to what she was, so she dies so that he may live. (weíll forget for a moment that after Connor was born, she could have been cursed). Fredís soul is gone. Instead what remain are her memories. Illyria knows these are Fredís memories. She isnít some hybrid creature. Instead we have yet to really see how what Fred has left behind affects Illyria.

With Jasmine, the ìbabyî took over Cordelia in order to give birth to itself. Cordy isnít changed by this. She is St. Cordy before it and after it. There is no place for transformation. Cordy is just a vessel, which is in line with the standard myth. When she has given birth, she is all used up. Only when she is needed again does she wake up. Not a real feminist statement there, but Joss is affected by the society he lives in on my levels. She is a transition, from Darla who canít bear to go back to what she was to Illyria who is the transformation herself.

ìWe live as though the would was what it should be, to show it what it can be.î This powerful statement about champions that Angel gives to Connor in ìDeep Downî misses something. It leaves out the importance of self-improvement. It raises champions above the world and puts them outside of it, only tethered to it by how they show the world how to be. Champions are part of this world, a world with a hole in it. That hole is created by believing they are outside of it. The hole is them.

A rule of physics is you canít push a sled you are on. Angel and company canít show anything what it can be, until they are what they can be. Angel smothering Wesley and Wesley shooting an employee or stabbing Gunn is not acting as though the world were what it should be. The idea of being what you can be is shown through the transformations on the show. The prophecy of Shanshu is a powerful symbol of this. So is the transformation that brings about the birth of Illyria.

In ìHomeî Lilah modifies Angelís statement about the purpose of champions. ìPeople donít need an unyielding champion. They need a man who knows the value of compromise and how to beat the system from inside of the belly of the beast.î Change the word people to Connor and we see how important compromise became. Change it again to the simple word ìyouî and this no longer is a statement about Angelís relationship to the world. It is now Angelís relationship to himself.

We cannot be unyielding. Change happens. It is one of the marks of existence. Things happen in us, conflicts between ego and shadow, and clinging to either will only result in more conflict. Lilah gives Angel unlimited potential in the resources of Wolfram and Hart. As she tells him, ìAnything you want, thatís the point or havenít you been listening.î That is what we all have, that sort of psychic potential. What we do with it is up to us. The first step is we have to be willing to use it and yield in ways we donít even think about.

Illyria is still clinging to her past, but she is willing to move forward and let Wesley guide her. I wonder if he will implant the sacred objects inside of him like Knox did. She told him she will ìabide.î That is a synonym for ìyield.î We have a very powerful creature willing to yield to a human, the weak link from ìLineage,î because of the transformation she has undergone. Her world is gone, just like Wesley's Fred is gone. Now she has to find a way to live in the world that isnít how it should be according to her.

She canít try to make it the way it was, the way she thinks it should be. Angel offered that option to Jasmine in ìPeace Out.î Jasmine chose not to take it. Instead she was going to wipe out our existence. Because she chose not to fit into this world, she was removed from it, by her father (it was going to be her mother, but Charismaís pregnancy got in the way again). Illyria doesnít have a father. She doesnít have a mother. All she has is her guide and herself.

She cannot live as if the world were what it should be. Instead she has to find a way to live in the world she has. Lots of compromises not to get closer to her world, but to just live. That is a hard place to be. It is one thing to work for a better tomorrow. As hard as that battle is, it is even harder to not feel like you get anything out of it. Why fight? Why live? Illyria asks herself this as she longingly touches the sarcophagus that imprisoned her for millennia.

Illyria is strong. Physically she can beat both Angel and Spike with no effort. She can warp time for those around her. Psychically she is also strong. Fred wanted to stay. This is something that she has passed onto Illyria. Illyria is willing to abide, to yield, in order to find a way to stay.

Next she will have to find a reason to fight. Feigenbaum Master of Chaos says that the tiniest flutter of a butterflyís wings can have tremendous effects. Those tiny electrical charges that reside in Illyria that are Fredís memories will have tremendous effects on her. It will further her transformation and the alteration of the myth that Joss has started with that little blond girl in the alley.

The memories of Fred arenít just of events. They are of feelings. I can see Illyria wanting those feelings. Feelings are great. Being happy is wonderful. Was she happy as an Old One? She was feared and beloved, but did she love anything? She shows contempt for Knox. Fred was not only loved, but loved others. I can see that transforming Illyria, without a soul. Darla couldnít bear the thought of losing how she felt when she was carrying Connor. Can Illyria recapture the feelings that Fred had? I hope so. It is all in perception. That Jack bottle that seems tiny when far away can see really large when right in front of our eyes.

ìI have her memories, her feelings. Isnít that what makes a person who they are?î (Darla in ìInside Outî). Can the outside be turned in? I have her memories and her feelings and I want them as mine. Such a powerful story about transformation. It can even get my brain working again. Can it start Illyriaís heart, which is more of a dried up walnut than even Angelís?


[> Our Myth Burkle -- Darby, 08:40:23 03/12/04 Fri

Don't really have much to say - I just couldn't resist the pun.

But I will say that if the sled analogy really held up (now I'm trying to remember the snarky "ergo" statement about Buffy that Walsh made to Giles), that education would be regressive, because how could the pupil ever surpass the teacher?

[> [> Resistance is futile -- Lunasea, 09:45:04 03/12/04 Fri

How many students actually surpass their teachers? It is a rare breed that can and does. Those are the exceptional ones. What makes them that way? Is their sled on a hill somehow? Often times it is combinations of teachers that allow a single student to surpass one teacher. Other times, those rare times, who knows what it is?

My original point, badly stated as it was, was that Angel is trying to act on the world as if he was outside of it when really he is on the sled. Spike has made many snarky comments about how you don't change Wolfram and Hart, it changes you. It does change you, but it doesn't have to be like the Senior Partners want. What Angel needs to do is transform and then he will be in a position where he can affect others better. He is also a shell that can give rise to a pearl. That sort of transformation takes place from inside. It is the outside working its way in and how the inside reacts to this. The world that Angel needs to affect isn't outside the sled that he can't get off. It is the people on the sled, including himself. That sled can't be pushed, but if we all put our weight in the right place, it will move. The land it is on isn't flat.

That was probably equally badly stated, but there is a point in there somewhere.

[> [> [> Figured out how to word it -- Lunasea, 10:10:12 03/12/04 Fri

When you are external to a system, you can affect it in certain ways, such as pushing a sled. When you are in that system, those ways cannot work, such as pushing a sled while riding it. However that is not to say that you cannot affect it, for example by using the distribution of mass within the system.

To take this back to Angel's statement about champions, we live in the world the way it should be to show it what it can be. By living that way, they are changing the system and makes it that way. Changes to them change the system. They are part of the world. They are the helpless that they need to save. The transformation they need is their own. That will change the world, avert the apocalypse.

Whistler told Angel that the more he lives in the world, the more he will realize how apart from it he is. This is how Angel sees things. There is the world and there is him, outside the world. He cannot affect change that way. Pushing isn't going to work. Instead he needs to change his tactics, becomes the shell that generates a pearl.

That better?

[> [> [> Re: Resistance is futile -- Cheryl, 12:59:18 03/12/04 Fri

Spike has made many snarky comments about how you don't change Wolfram and Hart, it changes you.

I wish Angel would remember Lindsey's parting words (the first time around), "The key to Wolfram and Hart: don't let them make you play their game. - You gotta make them play yours."

And why the heck didn't Lindsey throw that in Angel's face when he had the chance?

[> Feminism and Cordy (Spoilers thru "You're Welcome") -- Nino, 23:40:54 03/12/04 Fri

(With Jasmine, the ìbabyî took over Cordelia in order to give birth to itself. Cordy isnít changed by this. She is St. Cordy before it and after it. There is no place for transformation. Cordy is just a vessel, which is in line with the standard myth. When she has given birth, she is all used up. Only when she is needed again does she wake up. Not a real feminist statement there, but Joss is affected by the society he lives in on my levels.)

I must say I disagree that there isn't "a real feminist statement" with the story of Cordelia. They way you describe Cordelia's birth to Jasmine sums it up...She was used as a vessel and once her role is fulfilled she is left essentially lifeless, without meaning.

What could be a more feminist message than this? That motherhood, as an institutuion, uses women as vessels to birth and raise children. Outside of birth, Cordy has no purpose and is left for dead...an empty shell of what she once was. I think it is significant that Cordy was left lifeless after giving birth and didn't just pop back up and start anew...I believe the feminist message lies in her post-birthing fate. She is left for dead. Useless. Lifeless. Meaningless outside the confines of motherhood. Unless you think Joss and Co. were supporting such a treatment of women as nothing but breeders for the Powers that Be (men), then how can you deny a strong feminst message AGAINST the way Cordelia was treated?

She is an example of the woman who lives to be a mother and who's only project is motherhood...her child, however, is given a transcendent project (albeit, world domination), showing what happens when a woman gives her life, (in Cordy's sense, very literally) for her child, abandoning all hope of being an autonomous being. It is also significant that Cordy was possessed for the duration of her pregnancy...if there was a doubt that motherhood often equals a loss of autonomy, possesion is the perfect metaphor. Not only does Cordy have a singular mission (the birth of her child) she has NO control over her body (ala abortion rights?) and gives birth while in a trance, merely a drone completely taken over by the lifeforce within her.

It might be the Women's Studies minor in me talking...but that sounds like a feminist statement to me. This is part of the reason i loved the Evil!Cordy storyline...although it sucks that our last season of Charisma was not Cordy in any way shape of form, we got lots and lots of intellectual goodness to chew on.

[> [> Re: Feminism and Cordy (Spoilers thru "You're Welcome") -- Lunasea, 08:34:20 03/13/04 Sat

That motherhood, as an institutuion, uses women as vessels to birth and raise children.

I don't believe that either Kai, Marti, myself or any of the countless (well we probably could be counted, but that isn't a task I want) mothers were used as vessels to birth and raise children. Instead after I gave birth, I immediately took a shower and continued to be a person, a person that now had a soul to look after, but a person nonetheless. I wasn't drained and my life extends beyond how I can help others.

"I walk. I talk. I shop, I sneeze. I'm gonna be a fireman when the floods
roll back." THAT is a feminist statement. I am not any one thing and my use and life extend well beyond the children I have brought forth into this world. Cordy was used up giving birth. She was only brought back when she was needed. What is feminist about that?

(to support this, it was Cordy that was supposed to kill Jasmine, but RL and Charisma's pregnancy made this impossible. The story as it came out was not feminist. Women are NOT used up by birth and such a statment is a limiting of our potential and hence NOT feminist. The story only became what it was in order to accomodate Charisma's circumstances, which in a way is feminist, in that Joss was working with this, rather than force it into what he wanted.)

Motherhood does not use us up any more than anything else in life does. The feminist message is that life does continue after children. I am sure there are many women here who will attest to this.

[> [> [> Re: Feminism and Cordy (Spoilers thru "You're Welcome") -- Nino, 09:03:29 03/13/04 Sat

(She is an example of the woman who lives to be a mother and who's only project is motherhood...)

Like I said...she is an example of a specific type of mother...the mother who allows the institution of motherhood to overtake her life. Are you saying that such mothers do not exist? That no woman has sacrificed her autonomy, her chance at taking on transcendent projects, for the sake of her child?

[> [> [> [> Re: Feminism and Cordy (Spoilers thru "You're Welcome") -- LittleBit, 11:07:32 03/13/04 Sat

Just a question to clarify something about which I'm a little confused.

"I believe the feminist message lies in her post-birthing fate. She is left for dead. Useless. Lifeless. Meaningless outside the confines of motherhood."

I think I'm not certain exactly how you are defining 'feminist statement.' The description of a woman who has absolutely nothing outside of giving birth (in Cordy's case there wasn't even child-raising to add to the picture) may indeed be something described in feminist literature, but unless I have completely misinterpreted the entire point of the feminist movement (and yes, I've been around for pretty much all of the modern feminist movement) it certainly isn't what I would think of as a 'feminist statement.' When I hear that something is a feminist (republican, democrat, liberal, ultra-conservative, fundamentalist...) statement, my natural inclination is to assume that it is a something that describes their beliefs or goals. Maybe it would be clearer if you gave your opinion as to whether the 'feminist statement' you are discussing is a one of causation (a reason for the necessity of the movement) or purpose (what the movement hopes to achieve). It seems to me that what you are calling a 'feminist statement' is what I would call a 'feminist issue.'

[> [> [> [> [> a criticism? -- Nino, 11:18:05 03/13/04 Sat

You're right, "statement" is the wrong word, because the story does not affirm a feminist belief, but it criticizes an existing social institution. Would it make more sense to call the storyline a feminist criticism of the institution of motherhood?

[> [> [> [> [> Thanks Bit -- Lunasea, 11:28:26 03/13/04 Sat

It seems to me that what you are calling a 'feminist statement' is what I would call a 'feminist issue.'

There are women who sacrifice themselves for motherhood. These women are not called feminists and how society manipluates women into doing this is an important feminist issue.

Cordy is supposed to be a feminist statement/symbol, so for her to be used up by birth to me seems contradictory and hence not a true feminist statement (in the story, in RL being willing to adapt the story to fit Charisma's circumstances is a shining example of respecting women and is a glowing example of real feminism).

There are those "feminists" that believe that there is nothing positive in childbirth and that society just uses women as breeders. I have not seen this position in the Buffyverse and do not believe Joss and Co to be these sort of "feminists." Joyce's relationship to Buffy was not shown to use up Joyce and Buffy's mother-relationship to Dawn was also shown to enrich both women's lives. Cordelia's relationship with baby Connor was also shown to be positive.

I put the word "feminist" in quotes, because in my opinion to dismiss and even demonize a woman's fertility is neither feminine or empowering. The movement has gone through swings of the pendulum and I am glad that I live in a time where I have choice.

[> Wes, A Guide? -- Claudia, 15:00:33 03/13/04 Sat

Wes as a guide? Guide for what? He is now the last person I would teach Illyria about humanity.

[> [> Re: Wes, A Guide? -- Corwin of Amber, 18:44:21 03/13/04 Sat

Wes is very human. Humanity is about living with imperfection.

[> [> Re: Wes, A Guide? -- skeeve, 07:28:46 03/16/04 Tue

"Wes as a guide? Guide for what? He is now the last person I would teach Illyria about humanity."

Really? The last?
You don't know anyone who would be worse?
Lucky you.

Link to Joss NPR Interview -- Eloise519, 19:17:54 03/12/04 Fri

Here's a link to Joss Whedon's interview on Tuesday's (3/9/04) "Talk of the Nation" show on NPR. Scroll down to "Cult TV."

Sweet to hear his little guy in the background.


Just thought of something about the title, "A Hole in the World"... -- Rob, 01:10:53 03/13/04 Sat

We all know Joss is a major Sondheim fan, and it just occurred to me when I was listening to the soundtrack tonight that the title, "A Hole in the World" comes from a song from Sweeney Todd: "There's a hole in the world/Like a great black pit/That is full of people who are full of shit/And the vermin of the world inhabit it/But not for long./They all deserve to die..." Too tired now to think too hard, but do any Sweeney Todd fans want to mull over whether there is any significance (thematic, symbolic, what have you) linking the play and the Angel episode, or whether the idea was just inspired by that line from the song, consciously or subconsciously? I might add some thoughts tomorrow, since I adore the play, but I'm too tired now, but I just thought I'd throw this out there, and see if anyone has anything to say.



[> The other stanza... -- Rob, 01:17:30 03/13/04 Sat

"There's a hole in the world
Like a great black pit,
And the vermin of the world inhabit it,
And its morals aren't worth what a pig could spit,
And it goes by the name of London.

At the top of the hole sit the privileged few,
Making mock of the vermin in the lower zoo,
Turning beauty into filth and greed.
I too have sailed the world and seen its wonders,
For the cruelty of man is as wondrous as Peru,
But there's no place like London!"

[> [> By George, Rob... -- MaeveRigan, 13:20:19 03/13/04 Sat

I think you may have got it! (to misquote another musical)

For London, substitute L.A.--the parable seems to work quite nicely, frighteningly so.

cordelia in playboy -- frank d., 12:06:49 03/13/04 Sat

dunno if this is newsworthy, but i thought so. cordelia has shot for playboy and will be in a future issue.


[> Awesome :) -- Casino21, 08:13:02 03/14/04 Sun

[> Philosophical quibble -- Cleanthes, 19:36:32 03/14/04 Sun

Were Cordelia Chase to pose for Playboy, I would run out and buy a copy, despite my ideological objections to said periodical.

I betcha Charisma Carpenter will pose in Cordelia's stead.

This brings up a bit of pointless philosophical detritus, however. Who is less likely to pose for Playboy in a photoshoot to take place next week -- Buffy Summers, a fictional character, or Grace O'Malley c. 1530-1603 AD, a historical figure?

In order for either to pose next week, fundamental laws of the universe must be violated. Is there any reason to imagine one of these fine women more likely to pose?

Buffy because, well, she's contemporary? Grace, because, well, she might just do it on a dare?

Buffy because fictional characters live in an etherial Platonic shimmer and so could appear at any time?

Or Grace because time travel seems less outlandish?

[> [> cleanthes! this is what it takes to bring you back? -- anom, 21:06:13 03/14/04 Sun

What may be more relevant is the 2 women's own philosophies. In this context, the more appropriate question is which one is less likely to pose: Buffy, because eewww, plus it would be (heh) beneath her, or Grace, because why would a pirate queen care to pose for Playboy, esp. when she wouldn't know what it is, or what a camera is...I dunno, maybe someone could talk her into doing it, esp. if they paid her a lot during one of her impoverished periods. No idea what an Elizabethan-era pirate queen's attitude toward nudity would be.

[> [> [> Re: cleanthes! this is what it takes to bring you back? -- Cleanthes, 09:26:28 03/15/04 Mon

I lurk alot because this board has become so busy with good thoughts and I never feel I have enough original to point out. This thread has that oldie but goodie contrast between the fictional and the real presented unintentionally. How could I resist?

What may be more relevant is the 2 women's own philosophies. In this context, the more appropriate question is which one is less likely to pose: Buffy, because eewww, plus it would be (heh) beneath her, or Grace, because why would a pirate queen care to pose for Playboy, esp. when she wouldn't know what it is, or what a camera is...I dunno, maybe someone could talk her into doing it, esp. if they paid her a lot during one of her impoverished periods. No idea what an Elizabethan-era pirate queen's attitude toward nudity would be.

I switched the hypothetical from Cordelia to Buffy exactly for the hope that someone would notice the incongruity of decisionmaking by these two strong, but unavailable women that lies underneath the question whether fictional characters are more or less likely to spring into reality than historical characters.

Obviously, Charisma would pose, and, I think so might Cordelia.

Grace and Buffy share more than a few attributes, so I'd say neither would do it except in economic straits where their duties to others outweighed any "eewww" factor.

Grace apparently possessed little of traditional "feminine" modesty. Did Buffy? She hid from Oz after deratting nude in BBB, but otherwise the subject came up very seldom on the show. She often changed clothes in front of males asking them to only avert their eyes. (which, of course, they never did)

I'm thinking it wouldn't be the "eewww" factor so much as the power factor that would decide for these two.

Oh, and in case it wasn't obvious, I think fictional characters exist with as much vigor as historical in some theosophical Emerald Realm.

[> [> [> [> Re: buffy will pose... -- frank d., 11:53:09 03/15/04 Mon

no doubt in my mind buffy would pose. heres why:

you guys are forgetting that buffy is supposedly living it up in europe, where views of nudity and sex are far more "liberal" than they are here in the "moral" US. maybe those views rubbed off on her.

and besides most people pose for playboy for two reaons: money and/or exposure. since all the slayers were awakened, buffy is no longer the center of attention. she may realize that she is on the downside of her slayer career and may once again crave that attention she lost. playboy has a knack for signing washed up models, actresses, and maybe, just maybe even slayers. hef may just have enough money to convince her...

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The money's gotta beat the Double Meat Palace! -- Vegeta, 14:15:10 03/15/04 Mon

[> [> A solution to the philosophical quibble -- Vyrus, 14:54:47 03/15/04 Mon

Who is less likely to pose for Playboy in a photoshoot to take place next week -- Buffy Summers, a fictional character, or Grace O'Malley c. 1530-1603 AD, a historical figure?

In order for either to pose next week, fundamental laws of the universe must be violated.

In Grace O'Malley's case, all you would really need to violate is her grave. Of course, she wouldn't be "posing" so much as "being posed", but she WOULD be extremely nude.

Well, you did ask.

Aren't slayers considered a type of hybrid demon like vampires? -- firstevil, 18:41:54 03/13/04 Sat

Their power comes from the spirit of the demon and vampires come from demon too. Also they have a genetic compacity like a normal demon hybrid. The only difference that a chosen few can handle it.


[> Technically yes -- Majin Gojira, 18:53:56 03/13/04 Sat

But it is hardly mentioned because the Demon part only acts in the physical sense, rather than the mental and physical sense as with Vampires. Also, for some reason, demon detection/hiding spells do not work on Slayers. It might be the connection to the Gaurdians that makes them more "Power that Is" than "Evil Demon" (because, after all, the Powers are technically demons as well--demon being gene-less creature as described by Wesley in "Provider".)

[> [> Re: Technically yes? -- Buffalo, 19:48:57 03/13/04 Sat

In "Release," when they had the sanctuary spell, there was no discussion of it compromising Faith's ability to fight Angelus in the hotel. I don't remember the theory being tested. Connor couldn't hit dad, which raises other questions, but Wes didn't think it would affect a slayer. If he did it didn't come up in conversation, iirc.

[> [> [> The problem is really the word 'Demon' -- Majin Gojira, 05:05:40 03/14/04 Sun

We've seen it used many times, but it's never really accuratly defined. "Creature without Genes" or "Decendant of the Old Ones" is about as close to a definition as I can get.

Who Chooseth Me (Buffy's Spiritual Journey, 1.11) -- manwitch, 19:57:19 03/13/04 Sat

Out of Mind, Out of Sight is a semi-stand alone episode about an outcast girl who has been ignored and overlooked so much that she became invisible, and who attempts to take her resentment out on the most popular student, Cordelia. The most important plot-point in terms of the Season Arc is that in an aside Angel and Giles discuss the fact that something is brewing with the Master, who is otherwise left out of this episode, and Angel brings Giles the most salient work of Slayer Prophecy, the Codex, in which Giles will next week find the prophecy of Buffyís doom.

This is also the episode in which Buffy becomes fully prepared to make the choice that she will make in Prophecy Girl. She finally sets aside, in this episode, both her desire for a normal life and her resentment at not being able to have one, and becomes willing to give herself over to the spiritual destiny that calls to her from within. In terms of Buffyís spiritual journey, the most significant aspects of this episode are first, that like Nightmares before it, Out of Mind, Out of Sight can be thought of entirely as a projection from Buffyís psyche in which every character represents an aspect of Buffy herself, and second, that the episode is built around an extended allusion to Shakespeareís The Merchant of Venice, a story that is not, ultimately, about the anger of the outcast in society.

Psychologically speaking, all season long Buffy has been clinging to a spiritually empty existence, keeping herself caged by the dragon of normalcy. We have seen countless manifestations of this in every episode. And even though messages, urges for a more spiritually energizing experience, are bubbling up from her subconscious, symbolized by the Master and his attempts to break free from his subterranean spiritual prison, she refuses to acknowledge them. She has a conscious desire for one life, but a subconscious desire for a different one. Her conscious desire for a normal life resents the spiritual destiny that prevents her from ever being normal. And her subconscious resents her consciousness for the desire for normalcy that ignores her need for spiritual enrichment. Sheís a mass of desires and resentments that all seem to contradict each other. Sheís in deep internal conflict. Joseph Campbell, in his interviews with Bill Moyers, said something quite relevant to Buffyís situation: ìIf a person doesnít listen to the demands of their inner-most being and heart-life, thereís going to be a schizophrenic crack-up. Youíve aligned yourself with a program, and its not the one the body is interested inóat all.î In a sense, Out of Mind, Out of Sight, is the episode in which Buffy, having failed to listen to her inner-most being, addresses her schizophrenic crack-up.

And itís the allusion to Merchant of Venice that frames this crack-up, that presents the representatives from Buffyís psyche, that reveals how Buffy sorts through the desires and resentments conflicting within her. It might help to give a brief synopsis of the Shakespeare play. Bassanio is a Venetian gentleman in debt to his friend Antonio, a merchant, and in love with the maiden Portia, whose wealth, if he could win her, could settle all his debts. Lacking the funds necessary to go to Portia and present his suit, he asks Antonio to lend him the money. Antonio, seeking wealth with a fleet on the Mediterranean, will not have the money until his ships come in. So they go to the moneylender, Shylock, who they have often despised for his usery. Surprised that they would come to him for help, Shylock agrees to front the money for Bassanio on condition that Antonio will pay it back by a particular date, or failing that, surrender a pound of flesh from whatever part of his body Shylock should choose. Over Bassanioís objections, Antonio agrees, confidant that he will have more than enough money by that date.

Portia, the maiden, has made a commitment to her deceased father that she will marry the suitor who correctly picks from a set of three metal boxes the one that contains her picture. Deep down she loves only a boy she met long ago named Bassanio. Each box bears an inscription, and the first two suitors are thrown off by what they read. The first box is made of gold and bears the inscription ìWho chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.î The first suitor chooses this box, but Portiaís portrait is not inside, only a scroll that begins ìall that glitters is not gold.î The suitor has been fooled by his desire for what he sees. The second box is made of silver, the medium of exchange, and it bears the inscription, ìWho chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.î The second suitor chooses this box, assuming his desert, but there is no picture of Portia inside. The scroll refers to an error in judgement and the suitor is sent on his way. But Bassanio, now able to present his case, chooses rightly and pledges his love to Portia. She gives him a ring and makes him swear an oath never to take it off.

At that moment a letter arrives from Antonio. His ships are all lost at sea, and Shylock will claim his bond. Portia gives Bassanio the money to repay Shylock many times over and Bassanio returns to Venice. Shylock, however, wants only the pound of flesh. He refuses twenty times what he is owed so that he might claim his legal right to the pound of flesh that will kill Antonio. The Duke and others ask Shylock to show mercy. Antonio repeatedly entreats him. But Shylock will not listen. Finally, a young judge comes upon the scene to rule on the case. The judge is really Portia in disguise, and through her exposition of the law and the contract in question, she is able to refute Shylock, even while granting the legality of his claim. ìYou must cut this flesh from off his breast: The law allows it, and the court awards it,î the judge (Portia) decides. But then he (she) continues, ìThis bond doth give thee here no jot of blood; The words expressly are ëa pound of flesh;í then take thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh, but, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed one drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate.î Shylock leaves with nothing and Antonio is saved.

So are there are at least three clear allusions to Merchant of Venice that all serve to indicate not only the characterís analogy to the play, but also their representations of Buffyís conflicted psyche. The first allusion is the most obvious one, in English class, as they discuss the ìanger of the outcast in society.î The teacher recites the famous quote of Shylockís from the play, ìIf you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not bleed? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?î The language is powerful and leaves no doubt that the outcast is as human as the rest of us and has been wronged. And clearly a parallel is drawn between Shylock and Marcie. Marcie is the outcast, made invisible by the slights of Cordelia and the popular crowd. And like Shylock, Marcie is angry and out for revenge. And we see that Buffy, too, is repeatedly slighted by Cordeliaís cutting remarks. ìDid I ever tell you about the time she attacked me?î Cordelia asks her popular friends. And ìI donít need the lunatic fringe vote.î Buffy is hurt by these remarks, and her response is lame. If you prick her, Buffy will bleed. So a parallel is drawn between Shylock, Marcie, and Buffy.

And as that parallel is drawn, so is another, between Cordelia and Antonio. Just as Antonio is the one who has despised Shylock and made him feel ostracized, just as Antonio is the object of Shylockís revenge, so Cordelia is the one who has made Marcie invisible and who Marcie will retaliate against. But the parallel runs deeper. In Merchant, Antonio, who seeks his own wealth, his own advancement, is represented in the suit of Portia as the gold box, the box of desire. ìWho chooseth me shall gain what many men deesire.î And Cordelia likewise is representative of desire, in this case, of the normal life that Buffy desires. Cordelia is, metaphorically, Buffy without her spiritual commitment. She is the life Buffy would have if she wasnít the Slayer. This is pointed out repeatedly throughout the episode. When Xander and Willow ask who would want to be May Queen anyway, Buffy responds, ìMe.î Buffy was May Queen in LA, although they didnít call it that. Prior to the imposition of her spiritual destiny, Buffy was Cordelia. And this is interesting. Speaking as Buffyís heart and spirit, Xander and Willow protest that ìyou have us now, you donít need that.î But as Buffy continues to lament the ìnormalî life, the heart and spirit begin to seem foreign to her, as though they were ìspeaking in tongues.î The obsession with the normal life of her desires, cuts her off from her heart-life, from the life that her spirit craves. Later, in Buffyís conversation with Cordelia, the same truth of their connection is revealed. Buffy was popular once, in the alternate universe of LA. Even Cordelia recognizes the bond that they share deep down. Buffy and Cordelia would be the same, if Buffy had not been saddled with her spiritual destiny. So Cordelia represents desire, the life that Buffy desires, the normalcy that she is denied by virtue of being the Slayer.

In desiring this normalcy, Buffy has ignored her innermost being, the call within her for a more spiritually fulfilling existence. She has, all season long, hidden her spiritual calling, denied it, slighted it, in favor of her desire for normalcy, for boyfriends, for cheerleading, for the approval of the pier group, moral absolutes. She has, in effect, made her spiritual calling invisible. So we see a psychological conflict developing of Antonio/Cordelia/Buffy against Shylock/Marcie/Buffy. Its Buffyís internal conflict between what she wants and her resentment at not being able to have it. Marcie represents both the resentment Buffy feels at not being able to have a normal life due to being the Slayer, and the resentment her subconscious spiritual energies feel towards her insistent denial of her spiritual potential. Buffy wants all things, and is resentful of them all at the same time.

And this is the first of the messages that Marcie wishes to communicate to Buffy. The messages are for Buffy. Marcie has been invisible for months, discovering all their deeply held secrets. She knows Buffy is the Slayer. And psychologically, she knows because she is the anger the Slayer power feels at being rejected from Buffyís life. Marcieís first message is to beat Cordeliaís boyfriend, who has just shown his commitment to Cordelia to be little more than a desire for the flesh. In the play, when the suitor chooses the gold box of desire, he is greeted with a scroll that begins, ìall that glitters is not gold.î ìLook,î says Marcie. The glittering world you desire will bring you nothing. In the material world, you are only another material.

The second allusion reiterates the same parallels. Cordelia comes to Buffy just as Antonio comes to Shylock and requests help from the very person she has repeatedly despised. And Buffyís response is almost ver batim Shylockís. ìAnd so you come to me for help.î And Cordelia continues to insult Buffy, even as she asks for help, just as Antonio continues to insult Shylock as he asks to borrow money. And just as Shylockís agreement puts Antonio on the chopping block for a pound of flesh, so Buffyís agreement turns Cordelia into ìbait.î The parallel between Shylock/Marcie/Buffy is emphasized, as is the parallel between Antonio/Cordelia/Buffy. Buffyís internal conflict intensifies. Buffy has both ostracized her spiritual life and feels ostracized by the normal life she cannot have.

Then, at the end, in a continuing allusion to the Shakespeare play, Marcie/Shylock ties up Cordelia/Antonio and prepares to cut her, to disfugure her, to claim her pound of flesh. Cordelia, like Antonio, pleads for mercy, but Marcie, like Shylock, is deaf to her entreaties. Marcie, like Shylock, craves justice. Marcie deserves justice, and Cordelia deserves what she gets.

Shylock is, after all, only after what is fair. He has been wronged, so he deserves vengeance. And Antonio has forfeited on the agreement, so Shylock deserves his bond. And Antonio, having defaulted, deserves whatís coming. Shylock repeatedly declares that he wants his justice. Shylockís way is represented, in the suit of Portia, as the second box, made of silver, and bearing the inscription, ìWho chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.î Shylock seeks only what he deserves, and what Antonio deserves. He is legally entitled to his bond. And he will not listen to any pleas for mercy. But this box is also a wrong choice. No picture of Portia lies inside, only a scroll referring to poor judgement. For if we wish to live in a world without mercy, that is the world we will get. If we were all told we were going to have a world in which each would get as he deserved, well, I doubt many of us would look forward to the day. Portia, disguised as the young judge, gives Shylock the world he has demanded, the letter of the law, justice. And in that world, Shylock can only hope to come away with nothing, lest he lose everything.

And this is Marcieís second message to Buffy. ìListen,î she says, and I think she means listen to yourself. Cordelia has been a wealth of contradictions, seemingly unable to hear herself. ìShylock should get over himself,î she says, and it sounds like wisdom, until she explains in the most selfish terms possible. She seems to show compassion for Mitch, but then shows its all about her. As she says to the English teacher, her ideas all contradict each other. As a metaphor for Buffy, she shows that Buffy is not listening to herself. In talking to Cordelia, Buffy talks about the days when she was popular, and then says, ìBut I always felt something missing.î That something was her spiritual life, the spiritual needs that her subconscious has been asking for all season long. Listen to yourself, Buffy. You know what you need.

But Marcieís resentment towards Cordelia, which is also Buffyís resentment towards herself, is not to be denied. Afraid that Giles, Xander and Willow will find a cure for her invisibility, Marcie lures them into the basement and traps them in a room with a gas leak. The descent into the basement is always metaphorically a descent into the powers of the subconscious. Willow, Buffyís spirit, issues an apology for ignoring the spiritual call her subconscious has been giving all season. But the door slams shut and they are trapped. The message is that in denying our spiritual impulses and giving ourselves over to resentment over what we cannot have, we are asphyxiating our mind, heart, and spirit.

Marcie straps both Cordelia and Buffy down, brings out a set of scalpels, and presents the third and final of her messages, ìLearn.î And she delivers a line that leaps off the screen, communicating the psychological nature of all we have seen. As Cordelia says she understands, Marcie responds with, ìYou donít get it. Youíre not the student, youíre the lesson.î If the episode were simply about Marcieís anger towards Cordelia, her goal would be to teach Cordelia a lesson. But its not. It is Buffy that she wants to teach. And Cordelia, the spiritually empty desire for a normal life, is the lesson. Marcie is Buffyís subconscious, showing her once and for all that the normal life is not the path for her. And Buffy, having acknowledged that something is missing, does not dispute it. But nevertheless, she rejects Marcie, the resentment of the outcast. ìI did feel sympathy for you,î Buffy says, ìbut thereís one thing I hadnít realized. Youíre a loon.î To sidetrack yourself with resentment over an imaginary life that can never be yours is madness. And Buffy finally recognizes it. As Buffy protests, Marcie loads on the contempt. ìWhat are you going to do, slay me?î Marcie, as the aspect of Buffy that has been ignored, knows full well that Buffy has no intention of being the Slayer, and she mocks the idea.

What saves Buffyís mind, heart and spirit from asphyxiation is the aspect of the spiritual world that she desires, that still motivates her to embrace this destiny. And thatís Angel. He, and not a janitor, releases them from the suffocating box of Buffyís imprisoned subconscious. And at that exact same moment, Buffy frees herself from the tethers that bind her and confronts Marcie, her own foolish resentment. ìHey moron,î Marcie taunts, ìhow are you going to fight something you canít see?î

And that brings us to the third box in the suit of Portia. It is made of lead, a base metal, and it bears the inscription, ìWho chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.î And needless to say, this is the right choice. Our deepest commitments are not based on the rewards we might receive or on the fairness we feel we are due. They are based rather on what of ourselves we are willing to sacrifice for them, what we are willing to give that we might show our commitment. Bassanio, attracted to the eloquent simplicity of a box that ìrather threatínest than dost promise aught,î chooses correctly, and finds within a portrait of Portia and a scroll that begins, ìYou that choose not by the view.î Our best decisions are not made based on the view. They come from inner direction, from listening to our inner-most being and heart life. Like the Little Princeís rose, ìwhat truly matters is invisible to the naked eye.î

ìShut up,î Buffy says to Cordelia, her desire for a normal life. She will no more of it. She stands and centers herself, and a mysterious wind blows her hair. She perceives from within, not from desire or resentment, and she turns to Marcie, the part of herself that she had ignored, and says, ìI see you.î Buffy has settled her inner conflict, and chosen neither. She will neither seek the normal life that leaves something missing, nor seek to pacify the resentment that craves for justice. She will listen to the voice within her and give of herself. The conflict is resolved. Shylock is refuted.

But The Merchant of Venice does not end with the refutation of Shylock. There is still another act to go. Bassanio and Antonio, grateful for Antonioís life and for the judge who saved it, declare themselves to ìstand indebted in love and service evermoreî to the young judge. Bassanio insists the young man take some remembrance of them as a tribute. And the judge (Portia in disguise, remember) finally yields, saying ìfor your love, Iíll take this ring from you,î and claims the very ring she had given him earlier, testing his earlier oath to give and hazard all that he has. Bassanio reluctantly surrenders the ring. While she does, in Act V, give him a hard time about it once all is revealed and the ring is back on Bassanioís hand, Bassanio has shown that he will, in fact, give all that he has for love. He will hold back nothing. And he is surprised to find that what he had given of himself is returned to him, and he swears his oath to her again, renewing his commitment. That is where the play ends.

And Buffy, too, has one more act to go. The stage is set for Prophecy Girl. Buffy knows which box to choose, and all thatís left for her to do is to give and hazard all that she has. It is not too much for us to hope that what she surrenders in this choice will be likewise returned to her, and her commitment made anew.

The Top Ten Percent (so far)

1. Nightmares
2. The Puppet Show
3. Angel
4. Never Kill a Boy on the First Date
5. Out of Mind, Out of Sight
6. I, Robot, You Jane
7. Witch
8. The Pack
9. Welcome to the Hellmouth
10. Teachers Pet
11. The Harvest


[> Another wonderful analysis manwitch! Thank you. -- phoenix, 03:00:16 03/14/04 Sun

[> [> Ditto -- Sophist, 12:55:29 03/14/04 Sun

[> Addendum: The scene between Angel and Giles -- manwtich, 04:44:42 03/14/04 Sun

I should have mentioned the lovely scene between Angel and Giles. When the gang first figures out what is going on, Giles exclaims, ìOf course!î Reality is created by our perceptions. If we perceive a world of glittering desires, we will get a world filled with things we canít have. If we perceive a world of resentment and unfairness, we will be resented and treated unfairly. But there are other ways to perceive the world, as Buffy realizes, other ways to create reality.

Giles stays late to study up on the invisible girl and is visited by Angel. Angel reveals his love for Buffy to Giles, who finds it rather poetic that a vampire should be in love with a Slayer. This is one of the first statements in the series of a theme that will be present throughout, the love of ìothernessî and the sacrifice of self that it entails. Its not just loving the wrong person, because in a way, itís the right person, just as he-who-has-not-entered-the-series-yet will one day be the right person. As Christ says, even the Romans love their friends. But the real test is what we will surrender of ourselves that we may love more than ourselves, and in so doing, become more than ourselves. And that is what Buffy is first learning in this episode.

But Angelís visit to Giles is also the visit of an emissary of her subconscious to her conscious mind. Angel, what he represents, is attractive to Buffy. He draws her towards the mysteries within, that but for him she would reject entirely. Giles, Buffyís conscious mind, is searching for clues to understand the invisible girl, and metaphorically speaking, the invisible girl is Buffy. It is her subconscious, the urges and messages that she has ignored, kept bottled up. But now she is thinking, through the metaphor of Giles, perhaps it is time to understand these messages. Giles seeks the Codex, the most complete book of Slayer prophecy. It is the ìcodeî to understanding these deep subconscious impulses that somehow direct our lives and destinies. Of course, this code, this guide to our deep mysteries, was lost somewhere around the 15th century, around the time that man became an object of study, and the world began to be demystified. Not lost, Angel tells us, misplaced. A telling word. It is still possible for us to decipher what our subconscious is telling us, to reclaim the destiny within. We must simply return that mystery dimension of our lives to its proper place, rather than pretending it isnít there.

Angel notices the book in Gilesís hand, The Legends of Vishnu. Vishnu is a hindu god who sleeps on a seven-headed cosmic serpent and dreams the universe. The entire universe is Vishnuís dream. And so we are reminded once again that everything we are seeing is a product of the subconscious, of the landscape of dream. And we are further reminded that our dreams can create reality. Back in the Witch, Cordelia threatened what happens if we do not achieve our dreams, hers being cheerleading. But Buffyís dreams are bigger than that, and it is more important that they be realized. Giles, the mind, muses that it must be quite something, this invisible power. But Angel, the emissary from the subconscious disagrees. ìTo look in the mirror everyday and see nothing in it. Its an over-rated pleasure.î To have spiritual needs, spiritual drives, and to never see them reflected in the world is truly an over-rated pleasure. But these dreams will never be made manifest if not by ourselves, by our action in the world. We can create reality, dream the universe, but if it is going to be a world of the spirit, we must make it so.

Angel returns later, entering through the basement (the subconscious), and in delivering the key to the Slayerís subconscious, saves heart, mind, and spirit from asphyxiation.

So the series demonstrates a spectacular ability to allow the natural development of characters, while at the same time using them to tell a very tighly woven and quite coherent story of Buffyís inner life.

I should have mentioned that.

[> [> Re: Addendum: The scene between Angel and Giles -- Aliera, 15:06:47 03/14/04 Sun

Another good one and the addendum very much so also. I do wish I could come up with something pertinent to ask or say here but mainly when I read your work it just gives me the strongest desire to print, mull, and rewatch.

OSOM is one of the eps that reminds me strongly of Joss and although I may be reading too much in I tend to relate certain aspects of Buffy quite strongly to him (OMWF comes to mind first for me as it's when I first became aware of it.)

In addition to what you've mentioned the strongest feeling I get is of Joss as the outsider, perhaps not invisible in a crowd (certainly not now) but perhaps alone in one.

[> I've enjoyed reading each analysis so much. Thank you -- Artemis, 21:17:19 03/14/04 Sun

[> Another great analysis -- Pony, 08:25:08 03/15/04 Mon

I always particularly like the scene where Buffy reveals that she had been the May Queen or what have you at her old high school. When she looks at Willow and Xander as they laugh about some old in-joke there's a very cool shift in perception. We see Buffy feeling like the outsider from these two old friends, yet we also have her seeing them without her usual compassion - that they are indeed geeks, that Buffy has lost her old status forever. It's a complicated moment and my favourite from the episode.

[> [> Re: Another great analysis -- tomfool, 17:46:00 03/16/04 Tue

Manwitch inspired me to rewatch the episode and you inspired me to pay particular attention to this scene. Complicated indeed. Sarah conveys so much with her facial expressions. I wonder how much of that is direction and how much is her decision?

One thing that struck me about this episode was the cinematography. It felt very different than any S1 episode (or any season) to me. I really can't put my finger on it, but it contributed to a sense of 'otherness'. Even the non b&w scenes felt very different. Maybe the colors were subdued or the lighting was muted. It worked to give a feeling of alienation. A really good S1 episode made much better with manwitch's insights.

The whole FBI subplot was so unBuffy. I'm glad they didn't go down that road very often.

[> harmony must've been paying attention for once... -- anom, 10:11:37 03/15/04 Mon

...when The Merchant of Venice was discussed in English class. In Shells, she wants her "pound of flesh" from Knox!

Wish I had time for more, because manwitch's episode posts deserve it, but a drive-by at the edges is all I can manage. It's one of those 2-jobs-at-a-time times...just as well nearly all my social/political events for March were compressed into last week!

[> You gotta have friends (The Questors, 1.11) -- Lunasea, 20:10:05 03/16/04 Tue

I hope you donít mind if I piggyback onto your excellent series of posts. Your post last year on Buffyís spiritual journey that used the seven chakras to map the seven seasons was the reason I came to the board and couldnít resist posting. I enjoy reading your posts which mix spirituality and psychology to really get at what I consider the heart of the series.

I am enjoying this series of post, but would like to add just a slightly different angle to it. I would prefer to do this here, rather than start a new series of threads because of something Marti Noxon said:

I think that he [Joss Whedon] does feel like it's sort of a meaningless void, and what matters is the struggle to find the good. And the relationships you build with people while you struggle. And in some ways you'll never find it, but the quest and the questors, and the people that you find, who are not necessarily your family, are the only thing that lends the journey meaning. I think that is his major theme.

I feel your series is doing a wonderful job with the actual quest of Buffy. I would just like to add in the importance of friendship, which relates to why Buffy had the journey she did. The characters are written, both conscious and unconsciously, represent what is going on inside of Buffy, but they also form the environment for her quest. Buffy does not exist in a vacuum.

That said and if there are no objections, I would like to give my thoughts on ìInvisible Girlî and The Merchant of Venice. First Shakespeare. In Shakespeare in Love Will wins a bet because he shows what love is in Romeo and Juliet. This is what we tend to think of when we think of love. Not necessarily the star-crossed nature of their relationship, but their feelings and passion. We see this in many of Shakespeareís plays. In The Merchant of Venice we see how Bassanio feels about Portia. It is both powerful and beautiful. No less strong or beautiful is the relationship of Bassanio and Antonio. Antonio risks everything for his friend. Bassanio so loves his friend that he pledges his love to the judge that saved him. Portia is the gateway to love for Bassanio, a gateway that shows him what love means (ìWho chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.î) He takes that lesson and carries it over to his relationship with Antonio and love of any sort, whether it be romantic or friendship. It is a beautiful love story, to me even more powerful than Romeo and Juliet.

In ìInvisible Girlî Marcie becomes invisible because she feels invisible. She feels that way because she is ignored by Cordelia and her crowd. Willow and Xander are also ignored, but they donít become invisible. They have each other and form the ìWe Hate Cordeliaî Club. Marcie is even ignored by Willow and Xander. We donít see Marcie attempt to connect with them. In flashbacks we see her attempts with Cordelia. She is trying to be friends with someone who doesnít know the meaning of the word.

Buffy says that when she was like Cordelia something was missing. That thing is real friends. No matter how isolated we become, even voluntarily, no matter how invisible or visible we feel, humans crave not only companionship, but real friendship. Much of life is spent trying to fill the holes in us that are created when we donít have this.

Buffyís life as Slayer sucks beyond the telling of it. This mainly because of her perception of it and the fantasy she creates around her pre-Slayer life. This life was not fulfilling to Buffy. Not only had she not found her spiritual calling, as Manwitch talks about, but she hasnít found any real friends. She has other popular girls to gossip with and boys she can play games with, but her parentsí marriage is crumbling around her and life is pretty superficial. Why would someone like Buffy steal lipstick?

Defacing Cordelia would not only have been Marcieís revenge, but it would have shown Buffy how truly superficial Cordelia is. Buffy attempts to bond with her, but is completely blown off by her egocentricity. Meanwhile her friends, her real friends, are in danger.

It wonít be Buffy that saves them, but Angel. Angel is not only Buffyís guide to the supernatural (along with Giles). He is also her Portia. Loving him shows her what love is and means. In her heart, in all our hearts, we know this. We just have to find a way to discover it. The lucky ones in life are the ones that find their Portias.

This episode is revisited twice in season seven. First in ìSame Time, Same Place,î Willow is rendered invisible because she is worried about seeing her friends. Both women become invisible against their conscious desire, but with their unconscious ones. Marcie doesnít want the Scoobies to find her and instead almost kills Buffyís real friends, the thing she most craves. Cordelia is the lesson and the Scoobies should be the gold star once Buffy learns it. Marcie is so self-centered and fixated on hurting and revealing Cordelia that she undoes herself and the lesson she hopes to teach the school/world which is not to be so self absorbed that you ignore others.

Willow on the other hand has friends, real friends, and she is worried about them still loving her because she loves them. She is worried about going all veiny again and hurting others. Her problem isnít based on malice or being self-centered, so STSP ends with Buffy sharing her strength with her. ìInvisible Girlî ends with Marcie becoming a government assassin.

The other revisit is in ìStoryteller.î We see another kid vanish because of the increased effects of the Hellmouth. Buffy manages to temporarily stop this by acknowledging the kid. This is only temporary because what this kid craves cannot be assuaged by one acknowledgment. It is only constant praised, like Cordy gets, that can make us forget the hole that lack of friendship leaves.

To undo what happens to Marcie, someone would have to extend their hand to her. Buffy calls her a loon and the government sees her as a tool. Willow is able to overcome her spell because she does have real friends who extend their hands and hearts to her.

So does Buffy. In ìProphecy Girlî Buffy will learn just what she is willing to do for her friend.

[> [> Re: You gotta have friends (The Questors, 1.11) -- manwitch, 09:30:56 03/17/04 Wed

I very much agree with this and think it is certainly a part of the spiritual aspect of the show. You called her friends "the environment" for her quest. That is absolutely right on. One of the things I really like about this show is that it is a call to action rather than asceticism. The spiritual progress it calls for is achieved through connection to actual life rather than through faith or prayer. Not to dismiss those, necessarily. I suppose I should say the faith it calls for is the faith in our ability to save the world through our small local actions and love for those in our lives. Even just in season one we have seen over and over again that Buffy's spiritual progress is basically a fiction until it manifests itself in her actual life and in her interactions with those around her. And in fact her very fear of this power or destiny, is the fear of bringing it to bear in her everyday life.

I think Willow's Judaism is a reference to that, emphasizing the community, the parts that make up the whole and whose very lives are the witness or testament to the spiritual commitment of the community. The idea of Willow, Xander and Giles as aspects of Buffy is basically a restatement of the same idea. I think that philosophical discussions of I, Robot, You, Jane point to the same notion, that our power lies not in what we know but in our interactions with those around us. I believe the relationships, if not references, to Luke, Mark and John throughout season one suggest the same thing, that it is our action in the world that reveals the spiritual aspect of life.

I keep talking about action in the world, whereas you are talking specifically about friends. But I don't think in this series the two are very different. I feel strongly that the show has postmodern leanings. And one of the things postmodernism stresses is the local over the sweeping, the specific over the totalizing. And what they mean by that is that our motives for action and the meaning of our action in life is not the result of being tiny pawns in the grand narratives of history, but rather of our interactions and communications with the real people and things around us. Buffy is not advocating liberal political activism. Buffy's spirituality is not measured by her commitment to someone's political campaign, or even to someone's campaign against evil. Her participation in the fight against evil is motivated every time by love for her immediate friends and family. (Season 7 might be an exception to this, but if so it is a deliberate exception meant to signify something).

This immediacy, this local nature of her motivations and actions, will be very clear in Prophecy Girl, showing metaphorically what she will do for her spiritual life, but literally, as the vehicle for that metaphor, what she will do for her friend. But Becoming is the same, Graduation Day, The Gift, even her altercation with Black Willow all are shown to be motivated by immediate and very local considerations of love for someone she sees and knows every day, not for some impersonal battle against the forces of darkness.

So in that sense, her friends are the environment for her quest, the motivation for continuing it, and the measuring stick for its success.

I think its an extremely significant point you make.

And of course, thanks for the continuing nice things you say about these. I appreciate it. One of your first posts is still my favorite ever, although Masq's below on atheism ranks pretty high up there. It just takes me way to many words to say what I mean. Some of you can just cut right to it.

[> [> [> Re: You gotta have friends (The Questors, 1.11) -- Lunasea, 11:25:32 03/17/04 Wed

I suppose I should say the faith it calls for is the faith in our ability to save the world through our small local actions and love for those in our lives.

This is probably the best single sentence summary of the series I've seen. It is easy to get distracted by the Apocalypses that Buffy faces and stops, but even these are metaphors for smaller actions. Those Apocalypses are always stopped by some small action of love rather than the war against that particular big bad.

I was thinking about your posts on the chakras and how it fits with friendship. The conflict of each season corresponds to how Buffy is blocking the energy of that particular chakra. This affects her on many levels, including friendship. When that energy is freed in the season finale, it affects her in many ways, including friendship. What friendship is changes as the seasons/energy from the chakras progress. By season 7, it is formless, sometimes meaning Buffy gives Willow her strength and sometimes meaning Willow tells her she needs a break. It sometimes means Xander praises Buffy's abilities and sometimes means he has to question them. It means sometimes Buffy shows Dawn the world so she knows what she has to be protected from and sometimes she allows Dawn to fight without her guidance.

Call it growing up or spiritual journey. The result is the same. Buffy develops her heart which strenghtens her spirit and leads to wisdom.

O/T Wonderfalls (**SPOILERS** for Wax Lion) -- Old One, 21:13:50 03/13/04 Sat

Disclaimer #1: I really, really wish that I'd taped Wax Lion last night as I was watching it, so I could refer to the tape now, but I didn't. I didn't know I was going to like Wonderfalls as much as I did. So as far as my recollection of the events go, I'm winging it and may get things out of order, etc.

Disclaimer #2: I've never watched Tru Calling, nor Joan of Arcadia so I'm not able to compare or contrast Wonderfalls to either of these, as many viewers of Friday night's WF premiere seem to be doing.

Okay, something I noticed early on-Jaye Tyler is bound to be the oddball in her high-performing, dysfunctional family. Mom, Dad, sister, and brother are named Karen, Darrin, Sharon, and Aaron.

It seems likely that the central metaphor for the show, at least in this first season, will be the legend of The Maid of the Mist, which Jaye relates in detail to a tourist kid in the first few minutes of Wax Lion. She's trying to sell him a video about the legend entitled Surrender to Destiny, which is what the Indian maiden of the legend insisted she must do. She was determined to sacrifice herself to the God of the Falls for the greater good of her people. Right outside the Wonderfalls souvenir shop where Jaye works is a fountain displaying a life-sized bronze replica of the maiden and her canoe, just as they tip over the rim of the falls. Can't get much more symbolic than that.

Soon Jaye begins surrendering to her own destiny, which includes accepting and acting on messages from inanimate trinkets, that direct her to perform seemingly random acts which turn out to be for the good of others. Jaye didn't seem to have much of a destiny in store anyway, and seemed content not to worry too much about it. She does have a philosophy degree from Brown though, and that might be a good thing to keep in mind.

Jaye's friend, Mahandra, (interesting name: same as Majandra; Mahendra is a Hindu male name meaning "Lord Vishnu") doesn't think it's at all weird that small, inanimate objects have started talking to Jaye, and I must admit I find that a bit hard to swallow. Mahandra comes up with the "everything has a soul" explanation which is taking cosmic consciousness just a bit too far, even for a mystic-wannabe like me. But what is making the trinkets talk? Jaye speculates that the wax lion with the smooshed head who first speaks to her must be Satan or God. She tells it that if it doesn't start talking in five seconds then she'll know that it's Satan. She starts a slow count and we soon hear the lion whispering "Mississippi" between each of the numbers as Jaye counts out loud. Seems it wants her to know that it isn't Satan. She didn't check on whether it was God, but I'm really hoping not. AFAIK, that's what Joan of Arcadia is all about.

The question is, if the talking trinkets aren't Satan or God, what are they? The next question is, why choose Jaye to fulfill their missions? 'Cause, yeah, she's The Chosen One.

And what's up with Jaye anyway? She's an underachiever, for sure-bright, educated but snarky, disaffected, disillusioned, she drinks, and she doesn't seem to be particularly interested in guys who are interested in her-what don't we know yet? What's she hiding from? Is her curmudgeonly faÁade really just a shell, protective armour? Against what? Feeling too much?

She's got to be more sensitive and involved than she lets on, because it doesn't take her long to start following the directions of the wax lion with a smooshed head, attempting to do good for others. If Jaye is helping just because she's told to, she's going to rebel against this at some point; and want to know why she's been stuck with it. What's in it for her? And can she choose to ignore the trinkets?

In Wax Lion we are introduced to two guys with women problems-Thomas (the UPS delivery man) and Eric (the bartender) have both lost their wives. Thomas doesn't know why his wife left him, so he assumes it's something wrong with him. Jaye sets him up on a blind date with her sister, Sharon, and Thomas asks Sharon if she doesn't like him because he has crooked teeth. Turns out there's nothing wrong with Thomas except that he seems to be attracted to lesbians. Fortunately, Sharon and Thomas's ex-wife are attracted to each other, and there's a nurse who is attracted to Thomas, so the result is two love matches for the price of one.

Eric's bride of mere hours got it on with the bell hop in their honeymoon suite. Eric's been at the bar for six days, and figures his previous employer will eventually figure out that he isn't coming back. He doesn't appear to have had the marriage annulled, and there hasn't been time for a divorce, so Mrs. Eric is likely to show up sooner or later. And Eric is definitely interested in Jaye.

Good things happen for other people, but good things happen for Jaye too. Quid pro quo. She has sparkage with Eric. A little girl makes a point of thanking her for finding her mother's purse, even though Jaye has just had a fistfight with the mother in question. And Jaye finds out that there's nothing "dirty" about telling her sister Sharon that she loves her, or hearing that Sharon loves her right back. They even agree they might say it again sometime, on birthdays, or holidays.

Sorting back through the admittedly absurd and hilarious plot lines it turns out that this was what the wax lion had in mind all along. He first speaks to Jaye in connection with an abrasive female tourist, who soon has her purse stolen. The lion later directs Jaye to collect a shiny quarter that Thomas the delivery man wished on and threw in the fountain. In chasing down the quarter, Jaye retrieves the stolen purse and delivers it to the abrasive tourist, who starts the fistfight that leads to Jaye having to call sister Sharon to pick her up. This is were we get the first hint that Sharon feels Jaye doesn't value their relationship. "How many people did you phone before you called me?" Sharon asks her. "Six," replies Jaye, "No one else was home."

When she arrives for the blind date with Thomas, Sharon mistakenly believes she's there to have dinner with Jaye. "How many people did you invite to dinner before me?" she asks. She assumes she wouldn't be Jaye's first choice of dinner companion. The blind date leads to Jaye finding out that Sharon is a lesbian and eventually to the exchange of "I love you's." For someone as apparently disaffected and alienated from her family as Jaye this could prove to be of major importance. All you need is love?

Future episodes will tell if this is a continuing theme, but Wax Lion sets up the interesting premise that the trinkets may actually be directing Jaye to act for her own good, and that the good things that happen to other people along the way are just happy by-products, rather than vice-versa.

Okay now, somebody please tell me that I really saw these things and it's not all just wishful thinking and Buffy-nostalgia?


[> Not wishful thinking! ("Wax Lion" spoilers) -- Rob, 22:29:47 03/13/04 Sat

I thought the show was absolutely intriguing and definitely worth of philosophical study.

I found a number of things interesting in this episode:

For starters, "The Chosen One" myth that begins the show. This Chosen One is, however, very different than The First Slayer or Buffy or even Ampata. They were all forced into sacrificing themselves, whereas this Native American--sorry, Indian! ;o)--girl chose to sacrifice herself, even though the patriarchy of her society had decided at the last moment to give her a reprieve. This girl "surrendered to her destiny" on her own terms, because it is something she believed in. She is the Chosen One, because she chose herself. A few moments after that, we are introduced to her diametrical opposite: Jaye's old "friend" from school who is Jewish now. She "converted for love." Jaye scoffs at the girl's shallowness. "You mean you don't believe in it?" she asks, sardonically. On the one hand, we have genuine spirituality or religion, an idea that freaks Jaye out, probably scares her more than she cares to, or ever would, admit, and on the other hand a religious facade, which Jaye wants just as little part of and has much less respect for (note the casual way the girl refers to the funeral she will be attending to get a sense of how seriously she treats her new religion). So, when Jaye desperately asks the wax lion if he is God or the Devil, although the scene is portrayed humorously, she is grappling with a serious issue: her central dilemma in following the animals' orders are that she (a) has always, in the past, been cynical when it comes to religion and spirituality, but on the other hand, (b) doesn't want to be a hypocrite, like the girl from high school. If the wax lion is speaking for God, she feels strange being a messenger for someone she doesn't think she believes in.

When you wrote that the show "sets up the interesting premise that the trinkets may actually be directing Jaye to act for her own good, and that the good things that happen to other people along the way are just happy by-products, rather than vice-versa," I think you perfectly hit the nail on the head. What distinguishes this from other similar shows is that I don't think Jaye is being set up as this holier-than-thou, messenger of God figure. I think, like we say a great deal about Buffy, it really is all about her. The vampires and demons Buffy and her friends face are all external representations of social or internal problems that they are dealing with; on the same token, all of Jaye's deeds, while they are sometimes helpful to other people, aren't always: What real good was it to be able to deliver an empty purse back to the "Texan house-frau" who cared so much about money she demanded 20% off a purchase, retroactively, except for Jaye herself to have received that "Thank you" from the girl? And as you said, while "Poor Bitch," his ex-wife, his nurse, and Jaye's sister all romantically benefitted from the chain of events Jaye set into action, the most important aspect of the evening was the newly forged bond between Jaye and her sister. I love the complete lack of sentimentality of the show, particularly in that scene. There is no weepy music. "I love you" is immediately undercut by "That didn't make me feel disgusting." Even saying that they should say it to each other more often isn't allowed to remain sappy, as Jaye finishes it off with, "But never in public."

What I love best about the Indian girl having chosen herself is that it also ties into this theme, that Jaye isn't taking on some burden of being the messenger of God, even if she might feel that way at the moment. There is a great song in the new Broadway show, "Avenue Q," a wicked parody of "Sesame Street" and other children's shows, where the characters all realize that the best part about giving money to charity is not how it helps the people you're providing the money to, but how good it makes the giver feel: "When you help others, you're really helping yourself...Every time you do good deeds, you're also serving your own needs..." I think that Jaye's character arc will be about her realizing that she herself is benefitting most of all from the animals, that she is her own Chosen One, and will rescue herself from her current state.

Other things that kept this show from being sentimental or cheesy, besides the oddballness of it all:

--The fact that she only gets pieces of her "mission." I love that she has no clue what effect each minor piece of advice the animals give her is going to have. There are times when what they tell her to do seems wrong, such as telling her not to give that woman her money back, or encouraging her to steal (the monkey tells her to take him out of the doctor's office). And there are times where their advice seems to have been bad, such as setting up her sister and the EPS guy. I love the whole "universe works in mysterious ways" vibe of the show. You never know the whole story until you take a step back.

--The implication that not everything ends up as perfectly as it seems. "Poor Bitch" gets the girl at the end, but he also can't talk. And even if/when he recovers, there was a tiny implication that his "future wife" might be interested in girls as well. Jaye shrugs it off, but I think that detail was important, whether his fears were founded or not. A happy ending for him is not guaranteed. Another clue that it's more about Jaye's growth than the people she helps.

Also, don't know where to put this, but wanted to add how much I loved the scene between Mahandra and her, about whether the wax lion has a soul. It came off as almost a modern version of a Socratic dialogue, how it circles around itself, and ends up in the same place it started. Jaye thinks she may be crazy; Mahandra says she isn't. The wax lion has a soul, because Jaye knows it can't, and so it's trying to mess with her for knowing it doesn't. But of course at the same time, it's an inanimate object: it doesn't have a soul. Which of course returns us, as is did Jaye, to the "she's crazy" theory. That was a really brilliantly written scene, and besides the general fun in the episode, the one that really made me sit forward, pay attention, and immediately rewatch the episode after it had finished airing.


[> [> Darn you, Cheerleadery-One! -- Old One, 08:44:01 03/14/04 Sun

That was a really brilliantly written scene, and besides the general fun in the episode, the one that really made me sit forward, pay attention, and immediately rewatch the episode after it had finished airing.

Sure, rub it in. That's the scene that gave me the most trouble, and I'd love to be able to re-watch it a couple of times, or even read a transcript. I think you're right in that a major theme of the show is incapsulated in the circular logic of that scene.

Apparently some local stations are going to re-air the premiere of Wonderfalls on Thursday night, so I'm going to search and hope I can tape it then.

Good news! Angel Lives? -- Hauptman, 00:25:37 03/14/04 Sun

From the Scifi channel news:

Angel Not Dead Yet?

Are reports of the death of The WB's Angel exaggerated? The IGN FilmForce Web site, citing anonymous sources, reported rumors that the network is in talks with Fox and Mutant Enemy, which produce Angel, about a possible sixth season, even though The WB has already announced that Angel will disappear at the end of the current fifth season. A source, posting on a WB bulletin board, reported the talks, the site said.

Other posts have suggested that The WB is going to be taking a close look at the ratings for upcoming episodes, including repeats, and basing its decision on whether or not to revive the show on them.

Another source reported that Sky One, the satellite network owned by Rupert Murdoch, has been told that talks for a sixth season of the vampire drama are underway and that there will be a new season available, the site reported.


[> Also -- Hauptman, 00:35:34 03/14/04 Sun


Is Angel Back from the Dead Again?
And can the fans really help make the decision?

March 08, 2004 - Is Angel showing more signs of life? Possibly, according to sources close to the WB Network and the series producers.

According to an anonymous source posting on the WB bulletin board that has been confirmed in the past, the network is still talking with FOX and Mutant Enemy about another season.

"Hi all. Just wanted to update you guys. Just when I thought all was dead, I received a ray of hope," the poster wrote on the WB's Angel message board. "There are some additional meetings going on this week with the [Powers That Be]. I cannot elaborate with who but only tell you that it is someone we are all familiar with."

While the news was encouraging to the fans, the insider was quick to add a note of caution. "Don't get all excited yet. These are only talks. However, it appears that the several campaigns going on just can't be ignored.

"Even though this is not a shining light, there just might be a light at the end of the tunnel. This might not turn out to be anything. However, the fact that additional meetings are occurring means that at least somebody is listening."

Other posts have suggested that the WB is going to be taking a close look at the ratings for upcoming episodes, including the repeats. One complaint from the network is that the repeats tend to suffer in the ratings and an increase may make it easier for the network to reverse their decision.

Almost in response to the post, another source reported that Sky One, the satellite network owned by Rupert Murdoch (who also owns Fox, producers of Angel and Buffy, among others) has been told that negotiations for a sixth season of the vampire drama are underway and that there will be a new season available. Sky One broadcasts both Angel and Buffy in the UK.

The WB pulling a series back from the dead is not without precedence. The series Jack & Jill and Felicity were both given short season commitments after having been initially cancelled by the network. Even Angel has been on the brink of cancellation only to have a 13-episode pickup from the network. The initial ratings from the first of those 13 episodes led to the network picking up 9 more episodes to finish out the 5th season.

[> [> Re: Also -- DeathIsYourArt, 06:37:27 03/14/04 Sun

Though I was not there myself, several people who were at the (unfortunately small) rally on Friday state that one of the WB executives came out and talked to them. He informed them that talks were underway but not going well. Apparently the WB has a problem with FOX increasing the licensing cost for the sixth season.

Considering that the WB made them cut costs for this season, and the ratings still went up (to make Angel their number 2 show), you would think that a increase in the licensing cost would not be too much to ask...
Someone needs to stop being so bloody cheap! The WB is owned by Time Warner for crying out loud.

*by the way, I'm new! So HELLO everyone*

[> [> [> A Boycott -- darrenK, 08:41:33 03/14/04 Sun

Personally, I didn't have much hope for a resurrection, but, as Fox should know better than any other organization, now is not the time to alienate core fans ( Fox's rating numbers for this season are all about their lack of loyalty to shows, their creators and fans) . This is a lesson the WB is in the process of learning.

In fact, if the execs are awake they'd realize that now is a super-scary time for their dying business models and a little goodwill towards the fans now might keep some of the more ridiculously run networks alive in the near future.

A guerilla war is going on. The executives sit in their skyscrapers thinking they still have the power to choose what we will watch and we prove to them that they don't.

They don't.

And if they think that any of us are going to watch Dark Shadows they are deeply mistaken. Do they really believe that they can switch our show for one they find more cost effective and that that would just be ok?

Should Angel's cancellation be finalized, the energy from the Save Angel campaign should be funnelled into a Boycott the WB campaign. All the networks would pay attention to this and would take our audience more seriously.


[> [> [> [> I'd be doing that anyway--Angel's the only thin on the WB I watch! -- Majin Gojira, 12:45:02 03/14/04 Sun

[> [> [> So do we target Fox or the WB? -- Ames, 20:54:47 03/14/04 Sun

Is the WB negotiating with Fox or with ME? Do both sides need to compromise on the price per episode to save Angel? I mean, I'd rather have it continue with the same budget as this year and drop a character or two and a couple of fancy sets than lose the show forever.

[> [> [> [> Target FOX -- Masq, 10:10:31 03/17/04 Wed

Website www.saveangel.org reports that the latest negotiations have stalled between The WB and 20th Century Television Productions for a new season of ANGEL, in large part due to the issue of increased licensing fee 20th hopes to see. Read full story here. This information shows that it is very important for us to target 20th Century Fox and ask them to 'enter into a meaningful dialogue to negotiate a mutually beneficial license fee' with The WB, or another network, to ensure that Angel stays on the air.

Contact addresses:

Mr. Gary Newman and Ms. Dana Walden

Twentieth Century Fox Television
10201 West Pico Blvd
Building 88, Room 29
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Phone: 310-369-5962
Fax: 310-369-8726


Gail Berman, President of Entertainment
Fox Broadcasting
10201 West Pico Blvd., Blg.100, Rm.4450
Los Angeles, CA 90064-2606

Steven Feldstein
20th Century Fox Television
2121 Ave. of the Stars, Rm 2519
Los Angeles,ÝCAÝ90067

[> Re: Good news! Angel Lives? -- Marginal Drifter, 15:05:04 03/14/04 Sun

Yeah, on the Sky One thing, the um- I don't know the technical name for the emcee type voiceover people who tell you what show's coming up next, what's gonna be on tonight etc, but they kept talking about tuning in for the "last ever" series of Angel after repeats and stuff,(It was very traumatic and official, up til then it just felt like a dreadful thing that was only happening inside my computer) but now they've um, stopped doing that. For what it's worth.

[> This is why its critical to continue to send post cards to execs!! -- Masquerade, 20:27:03 03/14/04 Sun

WB affiliates are encouraging fans to fight for the show.

If there are talks between the WB and ME are going on behind closed doors, we need to show them we will watch the show--they will get the ratings they need.

Continue to send your postcards to targets at the WB and those who hold stock in the WB:

David D. Smith, President & CEO
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
10706 Beaver Dam Road
Hunt Valley, Maryland 21030-2207

Jeffrey L. Bewkes
Chairman, Entertainment and Networks
Time Warner, Inc.
75 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10019-6990

Chaos Bleeds ((Playstation2)) -- Gidget, 15:01:46 03/14/04 Sun

Im having trouble on the video game Chaos Bleeds,,im on level 2 ...and im stuck in the church and no matter what i try i cant get out :( can any one please tell me what move to do,or where do i get the so called key to get out ???????? Thanks in advance.......

Buffy fanatic :)


[> Weirdness -- Majin Gojira, 17:43:10 03/14/04 Sun

Normally, after entering the church, 2 large vamps will bust through a door and you continue your way down that. I'd suggest going to the official site's message boards for further and more detailed help...but I don't know if anyone is still active on them anymore. Describe your problem in detail and I might be able to help you out (I have the X-box version..along with the original Buffy Game)

[> [> Re: Weirdness -- Gidget, 18:43:35 03/14/04 Sun

I have beat up all the vampires & ive been through the whole church i just cant get back out of the church>> when i get to the door it says i need a key to open the door where can i get the key or is there another way out ?? Thanks again for all ur help !!!!

[> [> [> Re: Weirdness -- Antigone, 21:55:06 03/14/04 Sun

It's been a while since I played the game, but I seem to recall that you have to pick up a key. Try to kick down all the benches in the church and look around on the floor carefully. I may be wrong but that's all I can recall right now.
There are not that many good hint sites on this game but I did end up finding a couple of good walkthroughs that helped me when I was stuck. Try googling "Chaos Bleeds walkthrough/thru."
Good luck!

[> [> [> [> Re: Weirdness -- Gidget, 14:45:56 03/15/04 Mon

Thankyou so much for your help I will try the things that you have suggested :) And also thankyou for the hint site,I was trying to look on the game and see if they would give me a hint/cheat site but they didn't. SO thankyou again for all your help!!!!!!!!!!!

buffy fanatic................Gidget

[> [> [> [> www.gamefaqs.com is another good site for this stuff -- Vapthorne, 00:45:35 03/16/04 Tue

My analysis of "Shells" is up -- Masquerade, 15:24:15 03/14/04 Sun

Enter Illyria's temple here.


[> Re: My analysis of "Shells" is up -- Seven, 09:14:25 03/15/04 Mon

I like how you put the ending lines by Wes and Illyria into perspective for me.

I never really thought of it that way because, in the back of my mind, I kept thinking about how Angel is cancelled and one line stood out to me:

Illyria: Is that all there is?

Wes: there are suprises, there's love

Illyria: Is that enough to go on?

(Or something along those lines)

The word "surprises" stood out to me. In his letter to the fans, Joss said he wasn't any good at television. He said that he likes surprises and TV isn't about surprises unless it's about who gets voted off something.

I kept interpreting the final lines of "Shells" as Joss saying that. We have suprises -- is that enough to go on?

The question remains unanswered


[> [> Thanks! -- Masq, 09:42:41 03/15/04 Mon

I'm working busily trying not to think about cancellation. Still a chance it won't happen.

[> Re: My analysis of "Shells" is up -- David, 11:52:08 03/15/04 Mon

Hi i tried following your link but it wouldn't take me to the anaysis. Does anyone know if it's my computer or what, thanks

[> [> Re: My analysis of "Shells" is up -- Masq, 13:45:41 03/15/04 Mon

This happens to people from time to time. It's likely your computer is giving you a cached version of the web page (one it is loading from your hard drive). Try bringing up the page and then reloading.

Current board | More March 2004