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Entries in Buffy (34)

Nov 26 2011

Q&A: Small Screens & Sex Workers

Since there were so many television centric questions in last week's "Ask Nathaniel"insert,I figured we'd have to give them their ownQ&Apost.We'll get to the movie questions on Tuesday.But for now let's handle all these questions involving smaller screens than we usually go for.

BENSUNCE: Like George Clooney,which current television actors would you see having a successful career on the big screen?

Expectinganyoneto have Clooney-sized silver screen success after switching from the small screen is,well,a recipe for disappointment if not disaster.He's a 1%er.Most of the people I enjoy on TV now already had their movie shot and have gone small screen for better / bigger roles than they were getting at the movies. But the current small screen actors I think absolutely deserve and would ace major big screen opportunities are Christina Hendricks and Jon Hamm (Mad Men).On a riskier pipe dream note I hope Harry Shum Jr (Glee) gets at least one romantic comedy opportunity both because he's adorable and because Hollywoodreallyneeds to end their strange delusion that Asian men can't be romantic leads...or leads at all.

SEAN D: If you were in charge of the Emmy awards how many nominations/wins wouldBuffy the Vampire Slayerhave received?

I knewtalking about Buffy earlier this monthwould get send us all spinning back in time to Sunnydale.It's always difficult to answer questions like this because so much of what should have been nominated and won in any given year in any given artform is contingent upon the competition that year.But I will say that I think Buffy's second,third and sixth seasons had no business whatsoever not being nominated for Best Drama Series and I think they should have won the Best Series Emmy at least once for Season 3.I'd probably have nominated the show itself for seasons 2 through 6 consecutively though I get why people have issues with seasons 4 through 6.But the standard lines of complaining about those seasons are wrongheaded ("it should have stayed in High School") and short sighted ("it got too depressing!").In the first short seasonBuffy The Vampire Slayerwas merely finding its footing and establishing its identity and the last season was a badly paced mess with a couple of wonderful moments but the rest is gold.As for writing Emmys,it's inexcusable that "The Body"and "Once More With Feeling"didn't have writing and directing nominations and in both cases you could make strong arguments for actual winged statues,too.

Shouldn't "Doppelgangland"have secured Alyson Hannigan an Emmy nod?For acting the show deserved the following nominationsat least(Season #)

Sarah Michelle Gellar (2,4,6)
Supporting Actor,Drama
James Marsters (2), Anthony Stewart Head (6)
Supporting Actress,Drama
Allyson Hannigan (3,4), Emma Caulfield (5,6)
Guest Actress,Drama
Juliet Landau (2), Eliza Dushku (3)
Guest Actor,Drama
Harry Groener (3)

TOM M: Which recent film would make the leap to television and prove a MASH-ing success?And which television series has the bones to make a great film?

Crazy difficult question.The mediums are so different despite all the crossover these days.I don't know aboutM*A*S*H*level success ratios for anything but I wouldlove love loveor should I say I would ♥ a series based onI ♥ Huckabeesthat focused on the existential detectives Vivian (Lily Tomlin) and Bernard (Dustin Hoffman).I would fill my DVR with that nonsense and delete every other show taking up too much room.I could see a series based onInceptionworking fairly well and I thinkScott Pilgrim vs.The Worldshould have been a TV series to begin with.

Nathaniel's dream television series


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Nov 15 2011

10th Anniversary Top Ten: "Once More With Feeling"

One of the all time best episodes of anything ever turned ten just a week(ish) ago...but I wanted to celebrate on a Tuesday.

Dawn's in trouble?Must be Tuesday."

That means for the past week and for many weeks after circa 2001 I had the songs fromBuffy the Vampire Slayer's"Once More With Feeling"in heavy rotation in my head and or ipod.

One of my favorite moments of any awards season,obscure though it be,is the moment during theAFI's one and only televised award ceremonyin January 2002 (anyone remember that?They combined TV and film like the Globes do) whenBuffy the Vampire Slayerwas nominated for best drama series.When they announced the category a clip from this very episode played proudly alongside clips from its three fellow nominees,all traditional awards heavyweights:The West Wing,The SopranosandSix Feet Under.This is the sort of companyBuffyshould have been keeping during its run though Emmy voters just couldn't see it*.

For today's top ten,because I can never find a good excuse to talk about my #1 favorite TV series of all time,here's a top ten of that historic episode,in chronological order because the episode is so beautifully constructed.


IntroOnce More With Feelingproclaims itself 'a very special episode' immediately,dispatching the usual credits for an overture style opening credits with each cast member smiling inside the (spot)light of the moon.It then surprises by 'going through the motions' of a typical daywithout dialoguebefore getting to its first number "Going Through the Motions",instantly recalling the gold standardepisodeHush.It's a ballsy confident move and,as it turns out,telling: Aren't those two episodes essentially fraternal twin classics,each riffing imaginatively on the difficulty of truly communicating with the people we love most?

"Going Through The Motions"manages to answer all the complaints about Season 6's Sad Sloggy Buffy Summers and respond with a knowing and compelling cry for help.And it performs this dramatic spell with hilarious little sung asides (Demon Just Realizing He's Been Killed: "She's not even half the girl she --owwww!"| Hot Guy Rescued: "How can I repay..."Buffy: "Whatever...")

♫ I don't want to be...going through the motions
Losing all my drive
I can't even see,if this is really me
And I just want to be
Aliiiiiiiiivvve ♪"

The best part is the ending which reworks a now excessively familiar sight,a vampire being dusted,into something newly magical;Buffy emerges from the cloud singing beautifully,like it's fairy dust not ashes.

8 other 'best' moments & grudge-holding Emmy bitching

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Aug 26 2011

My Missing Whedon: "Angel"

This morning I read all 3,040 words of "Angel by the Numbers"an essay by Dan Kerns,who started on Joss Whedon's vampire seriesAngelas Best Boy and worked his way up to Gaffer.I discovered the article throughWhedonesqueand I heartily recommend it.During the reading I consumed ½ a cup of coffee (I've successfully narrowed down my daily consumption to 2 cups!),ignored the urge to pee twice,and thought of 4 other television shows: my belovedBuffy the Vampire Slayer(which sits comfortable at #1 of my all time favorite tv shows),one-of-a-kindFirefly,fascinating but unevenDollhouse,and the non-Whedon seriesDexterbecause "Darla"(Julie Benz) was mentioned and I just watched the first three episodes of Season 5 andit's just not the same without her...(and maybe it's the kind of repetitive series that should've wrapped with Season 4?)

Buffy,Angel and Faith.

Before I move on to work on 4 pending articles,I feel the need to admit that I've only seen 19 episodes ofAngel,despite seeing literally every other episode -- even the unaired ones including the aborted Buffy pilot where Willow was not Alyson Hannigan (!) -- of every other Joss Whedon series and all of his movie work,too!Hell,I've even seen that animated sci-fi bombTitan A.E.(2000). I've never understood why I couldn't work up much interest inAngelas a series but perhaps it was the procedural stand-alone nature of the early episodes which are the bulk of what I saw.Maybe I was just angry that Buffy received only 1 spinoff and not 2 (At least twice a year I impatiently dream of a 4 season run of "Faith the F*cked Up Vampire Slayer").Of the 19 episodes I remember only about 6: the one where Oz visits to give him the Ring of Amara,the one where Willow drops in to restore Angelus soul,and any of the times that Eliza Dushku stopped in for a little big city ass-kicking.You get the picture:Crossovers!I tried again 2 times in later seasons and could not understand what the hell was going on.

Jun 18 2011

Howling at MTV's "Teen Wolf"

Tyler Posey as "Eddie Munster"...I MEAN,"TEEN WOLF"!Have any of you been watching MTV's new seriesTeen Wolf?I thought I might give it a go as it premiered right after the MTV Movie Awards which we wrote up here (live blog) and here (fashion).I think withMad Menmissing from my summer schedule,I'm searching for a TV show worth writing about - not that an MTV high school show based on a cheesy 80s movie is equivocal but I was curious.I mean how long can the current vampire/werewolf craze last?Zombies reigned for nearly an entire decade of pop culture so perhaps this trend has got a few more years in it.

As withGame of ThronesI decided three episodes was enough before sounding off...

episode 1 (pilot) "Wolf Moon"
It begins,as many monster movies,do with an investigation: cops,flashlights,woods,dead body ...or half of one at least (ewww).We are then introduced to the lead character Scott McCall (Tyler Posey),who is shown shirtless fixing his LaCrosse gear.So he's already coded as "hot jock".His best friend Stiles (Dylan O'Brien),a cop's son,calls to urge him to sneak out and see what all this dead body business is about.Weirdly,Stiles has Scott who is a severe asthmatic,hold the flashlight while they run up and down forest hills in the pitch black.Pant pant.Cough cough.BITE BITE.wolf attack!Well,you saw that coming.The next morning at school there is this amusing but entirely implausible* conversation,as Stiles berates Scott for being such a nerd.

the writers of that 80s Michael J Fox movie,get a shout out but this is closer to borrowing a "title"than adaptation.

"Dragging me down to your nerd depths.I'm a nerd by association.I've been Scarlet Nerded by you."

The creator of the show citedBuffy the Vampire Slayeras an influence in a recent interview -- another reason I tuned in -- and in dialogue exchanges like this you can feel it reaching for the smart geeky pop culture fun of that classic.

But in no way shape or universe is a guy on a high school's #1 sports teamwho looks likethisa nerd.

No that is notakey party invitation from a cougar.That is a sex talk with his mom!(Cuz,you know,people generally have those talks with their mom while dripping wet and wearing only a towel.) Of course the mom uses this opportunity to make an MTV in joke -synergy!

I'm not going to end up on some reality show with a pregnant 16 year old."

ANYWAY...I was talking toJoeafter the show about all this sexiness and I said 'Remember in 80s and 90s movies how the people playing nerds weresometimesnotregulation hotties who have personal trainers on speed dial.' And he says...

Oh,you mean the bad old days?"

So...uh,well,Joe won that argument.

Trust: I'm not complaining aboutlookingat Tyler Posey.But when your casting director fills an entire high school with beauties,it's hard not to giggle at the conversations about who's hot and who's not.  There is one moment in particular in episode one that had me totally LOL'ing where I was supposed to be sympathizing: A super hot black girl (unnamed...this school is lily-white but for her) stares at the new girl chatting up the most popular couple in school.She asks Scott and Stiles why the new girl gets to hang with them on her first day and they tell her 'Duh,she's hot!' So basically three hot 20somethings pretending to be highschoolers are staring at three other hot 20somethings pretending to be highschoolers,whilst bemoaning their fate as the Unhot?

The things you're hearing are hilariously irreconciliable with what you're seeing.Hey,maybe the show is a sly satire on body dysmorphia?

But if there's one thing this show is not,that's subtle.[Lots more after the jump,including more Buffy comparisons.]

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