February 2004 posts
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
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
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
[> 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
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
[> 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?
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
Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, RenÈe Zellweger, Ewan
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?
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
[> 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
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
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
Ever wonder about what if Malcolm and Buffy had
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
[> [> Re: Wow! That was...odd... -- CW, 20:12:41
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
[> [> [> [> 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
Kathryn Greenwood played the texas b*tch (grace bailey on 'wind
at my back' - CBC)
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
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
[> [> [> Also... -- Rob, 00:04:10 03/13/04
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
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
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Also... -- Rob, 07:51:55
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
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
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
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
"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
...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
The potential for philosophical analysis of Wonderfalls is greater
than anything I've seen so far on television, possibly including
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
Has potential, but how sustainable?
JoA has certainly fallen into a rut already.
[> [> Re: Wow! That was...odd... -- mayfair, 14:22:56
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
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
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
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
[> [> [> 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
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.
[> [> [> Re: Resistance is futile -- Cheryl, 12:59:18
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
(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
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
Just a question to clarify something about which I'm a little
"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
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
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
Wes is very human. Humanity is about living with imperfection.
[> [> Re: Wes, A Guide? -- skeeve, 07:28:46 03/16/04
"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?
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
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
"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
I think you may have got it! (to misquote another musical)
For London, substitute L.A.--the parable seems to work quite nicely,
cordelia in playboy -- frank d., 12:06:49
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
[> [> [> [> 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
[> Technically yes -- Majin Gojira, 18:53:56 03/13/04
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
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
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
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
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
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
The Top Ten Percent (so far)
2. The Puppet Show
4. Never Kill a Boy on the First Date
5. Out of Mind, Out of Sight
6. I, Robot, You Jane
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Call it growing up or spiritual journey. The result is the same.
Buffy develops her heart which strenghtens her spirit and leads
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
[> [> [> 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
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.
Mr. Gary Newman and Ms. Dana Walden
Twentieth Century Fox Television
10201 West Pico Blvd
Building 88, Room 29
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Gail Berman, President of Entertainment
10201 West Pico Blvd., Blg.100, Rm.4450
Los Angeles, CA 90064-2606
20th Century Fox Television
2121 Ave. of the Stars, Rm 2519
[> 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
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."
[> [> [> [> 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!!!!!!!!!!!
[> [> [> [> 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
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.
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