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July 02 2003

The West Coast Review. Wwolfe, from the Buffy Cross and Stake, has reviewed almost every Buffy episode since season 4. His comments and analysis are well worth reading.

I 'm a big dork for noticing this, but 4.2 "Living Conditions" is missing. Interesting commentary though; I agree with most of what I've read.
I like this kind of analysis...the high-toned literary approach can get a bit much at times, but Buffy merits this type of study and only beef is that it never covers enough ground, because the ground is so vast...this type of analysis shouldn't be limited to several hundred words...

Also: I liked, up to a point, the essay about the musical, but I disagree: the songs are splendid...each one perfect for the singer(s), and each a (in the literary criticism sense) a climax for each character...Dawn's sad road to kleptomania...Tara's and Giles's departure...the dreadful events of "Hell's Bells"...Buffy's doomed, damned affair with Spike, and, finally, Willow's descent into madness...each song was the linchpin for all of these developments...and, they're actually good, too...amazing....
4.12 "A New Man" and 4.13 "The 'I' in Team" are also both missing.
So is 6.8 "Tabula Rasa".

While I liked a lot of the analysis of season seven, I was flummoxed by many of the season four episodes. Mind you, I also dislike Riley and the Initiative, but overall the reviews seemed not at all fleshed out and not as well thought out as the later ones.

The "New Moon Rising" review seemed clueless, like how can someone suddenly realize they are gay? Well, yeah, it happened to me, so yeah, it does happen. Plus "this was a plot line that was chosen out of panic" is clearly not true. Joss has said in interviews that he had been trying to decide since early in season two which character should become gay, Xander or Willow. So it had been on the burner a while, and was not a decision made out of panic. And the author's omission of "The I in Team", in which we really begin to understand Tara and Willow's relationship does not help his case (I assume the author is a he). Finally, not addressing the important Willow-Tara stuff in "Who Are You" -- in fact, not really reviewing that episode at all -- was another nail in the coffin. Hey, if you want to poo-poo their relationship, at least discuss it.

And I am willing to believe the reviewer actually did come to respect the relationship, based on evidence in the season seven reviews. I guess I just wish the missing episode reviews were there.

Overall I have to agree with Chris in Virginia, there is so much more ground to cover, over all. This is all just the tip of the iceberg. For example, while the "Storyteller" review was great, it completely failed to mention the obvious "Waiting For Guffman" homage, which is a really big deal IMO. But really, maybe I am being too harsh.
"Joss has said in interviews that he had been trying to decide since early in season two which character should become gay, Xander or Willow."

Xander,really? I'd like to read that interview. Anyone know where I could find it?

Thanks :)
"Originally, Joss Whedon wasn't sure which character, Xander or Willow, would turn out to be gay, so he kept his options open for both characters during the second and third seasons."

So claims the Buffy Trivia Guide.

I'm pretty sure I saw something about this in an actual interview with Joss, but I can't seem to find it. And I'm curious what the Trivia Guide people's sources are for this as well.

Just to clarify that wwolfe's review usually came out a couple of days after each episode aired for the first time and if he didn't review an episode I'm sure he had a very good reason.
Skimmed it. Nothing that interesting overall. Usual fannish whinning about S6.
You mean Xander wasn't gay??????

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