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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."
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November 23 2006

It's a ritual sacrifice with pie.... TV.com has a great page with trivia and quotes devoted to that very special Thanksgiving Episode where Angel revisits Sunnydale after Doyle recieves a vision of Buffy being in danger...full of humor a great review on Turkey day.

I rewatched Pangs for the gazillionth time last weekend and loved it as much as ever.
Seems to be a well established tradition to watch Pangs on this day. Very cool indeed. Happy Thanksgiving to our American posters.
FX cable station was running 'Pangs' this morning (my all time favorite Thanksgiving show), but I missed it in order to relax and sleep in (I'll just have to take out my Season 4 DVDs). I hope everyone in the US is enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving of family, friends, and Joss related goodness!
Yam Sham! ;)

Everyone have a great and delicious holiday! May you all have someone and/or something to be thankful for today.
I'm rewatching all my Buffy DVD's and Pangs just happened to be one of the episodes I watched last night. :)

[ edited by derf on 2006-11-23 21:46 ]
Coincidentally, the bachelor party episode of Ats, with Doyle's vision, aired on TNT just before Pangs began on FX. I had never actually watched the two in such close proximity, despite my having all the DVDs. Fun. But my first thought upon waking this a.m. was: if it's Thanksgiving, FX must be running Pangs. I was so glad they didn't break the tradition. I never tire of that episode.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.
Yep, Willowy, YamShamarama!

What a good idea of LadyLaFae's to link to that page today, and what a great collection of "Pangs" quotes on that TV.com page. Um-yum!

And speaking of Um-yum, I hafta go make a big vat of stuffing to take over with us to the in-laws, because they are Armenian from Iran and newish to the ways of Thanksgiving, and last year there was no stuffing at all. Nary a speck! So I volunteered to remedy this appalling situation with my own brand of stuffing-excess.

I shall watch "Pangs" while I do it, and think of you'all while I cook, including Joss, and be thankful for this and many other blessings. Happy to all.
Possibly the perfect episode. :0)

Love it all, love that dialogue, the acting, the lot of it.
i just feel obligated to post something since i got my user name from this ep :)

for those of you not lucky enough to attend, they showed "Pangs" before "OMWF" at the Buffy sing-a-long in Boston. It was even funnier watching it with a big group of people. Though my friends made me feel kinda bad for enjoying what they find to be a highly offensive episode. eek...i suppose it is.
And they say that there's nothing educational! I learned about smallpox. and pie.
Offensive? How?

It presented both sides of the "Thanksgiving" issue pretty well.
So. Yeah. Spike is 100% right in this episode.
well...but on one side of the "thanksgiving issue" was a murderous indian...and his only scooby ally, willow, changes her mind in the face of his murderous rampage. the depiction of indigenous people was a bit offensive, i thought. though it gets points for addressing the issue (and by issue i mean celebrating a holiday that ignores the horrific reality of the colonial power/indian relationship) at all.
To weigh in on the 'offensiveness' of Pangs, I should preface my feelings with the admission that it is very high on my list of Buffy episodes (really, I think it's one of the funniest of the entire series). As well, I have no indigenous North American heritage whatsoever, so my perspective is more or less the same as that of the Scoobies, therby making the Indians the "other" (to reference many a cultural or media studies textbook).

So, biases acknowledged, I am glad that, as yamsham points out above, the show addresses the issues at all and I am most grateful that it doesn't devolve into a superficial after-school special, what would be a "Very Important Episode" on a lesser series (something Joss has commented on many times in the past and deliberately sought to avoid).
Think of how Joss contrasts (among other ways) the motivations of story in film versus those in television, when asked to explain how Serenity differs from Firefly. To paraphrase, he essentially feels that a continuing television series (hopefully) has the luxury of time to slowly tell a story and ask important questions about the times we live in, how we experience them, how people interact with one another and a myriad of other 'big' questions, though without necessarily definitively answering them; engendering discussion among the audience in the hopes that we can at least talk about them and maybe even come to our own conclusions.
Movies, on the other hand, don't have that same dearth of time to continue to simply ask questions; to be truly engaging and effective, Joss argued that a film like Serenity has to take a stand (or through the film itself HE had to take a stand...opinions vary), that it wasn't enough to pose the question, somehow it must be given an answer. Whether that answer is necessarily correct is open (and most welcome) to further debate, but he claims to have said what he needed to say at least so that if it is truly 'the end' there is enough closure for him to remain satisfied with the overall story.

Returning to television and Pangs specifically, I don't feel that the story or depiction of the characters in any way reinforces traditional (and ongoing) stereotypes - but what do I know from my position of privilege? Plenty of opposing viewpoints are expressed, from Buffy's attempts at sympathizing with the spirit and the atrocities committed against his people (though only to the extent that it interferes with her plans for maintaining the accepted status quo via a holiday meal), to Giles' belief that documentation in the history books is acknowledgement enough, to Spike's "kill or be killed" doctrine - then abrupt about-face when it becomes a personal threat, to 'instinct taking over' in the end.
I don't feel that Joss or any of the writers necessarily have to somehow solve a racial divide or the issue of whitewashing history - why let ourselves off the hook from trying to work it out ourselves? I don't have any answers either but I also don't expect them to be conveniently handed to me from the television set (or from the movie screen, for that matter, despite my paraphrasing above).


So glad "Pangs" is such a good episode because it's the perfect vehicle for springing Buffy on people too surfeited and sleepy with Turkey to protest. After three years of trying to get them to watch the "Thanksgiving episode," today my friends-whose-house-I-go-to-every--Turkey Day saw their very first "Buffy" ever!(I think softening them up last month with "Firefly" helped.) And, not only did they enjoy "Pangs," but they wanted to know when they could watch season 1. To which I replied, "It's in the car." Because that's how much faith I had that they'd like it if they'd just watch it once. Plus, I'm insane.

Happy Thanksgiving.

[ edited by narnia on 2006-11-24 06:09 ]

[ edited by narnia on 2006-11-24 09:52 ]
I agree with gorramit - as I usually do :-). Joss gave us several points of view to think about in this episode, but ultimately it is a TV show, not a documentary. The spirit certainly had a right to be angry about what was done to his people, but that did not give him the right to go around murdering people whose only crime was to be there when he woke up. After all, he was a vengeful spirit (or avenging, you could say) and when another vengeance demon that we know slaughtered a number of people, Buffy (reluctantly) went after her with the intention of killing her. The spirit was already dead, anyway, which was Buffy's field of expertise.

I have to admit that Pangs is one of my favourite episodes. Witness all the wonderful lines in the link above. And in spite of the humour, or maybe because of it, the episode still makes me think each time I see it.
I watched it last night (for the umpteenth time) to celebrate and I'm not even a 'bloody colonial'

It is one of my favourite episodes by Jane too and I had the joy to listen to her live commentary on the episode at the JM & DB Halloween event in 2003 - A really funny and intelligent lady. I think I love the very last scene most of all and Xander's 'oops'.
Love this episode. And leads straight into Something Blue which I also love.
I love this episode! I watch it anytime I need a laugh, no matter what time of year it is.
I join all of you in the love of "Pangs." It showed Buffy trying to step into her mother's shoes, which she is going to be doing for real the next season, and was just full of the usual Buffy-goodness. I agree that it wasn't trying to project any particular POV about Thanksgiving and native Americans and westward expansion and all that. I thought it just presented various viewpoints and let us chew on it. It was a wonderful episode.
Count me in as a Pangs lover. I have always loved this episode. There are so many great lines and I love that it presents many different point of views, and makes you think about the holiday.

I rarely think about Thanksgiving. To me the holiday is so far away from it's origins. It's just time off to enjoy the fall and get together with my family, a chance to just be happy we are still here, as a holiday it's my favorite.

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