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May 19 2009

Ridiculous Robots. "I was Made to Love You" gets a nod from the AV Club.

I don't think April was ridiculous. "She" was sad and poignant, and what that ep said about Warren, foreshawowed a crucial story arc for an entire season.
I always wondered what the Scooby gang did with April. They kept the BuffyBot and Willow happily reprogrammed her to help with the slaying, so why not April?

"April The Robot Vampire Slayer", now that's a spin off I wanted to see. But then you'd have to explain that she doesn't kill "Robot Vampires", she's a robot who kills ordinary vampires. Although I'm sure if some robot vampires turned up she'd be happy to deal with them.
But vampire robots should attack cars to drink oil, right? Or they're like Bender and don't worry about their real "nutritional" needs?

[ edited by Brasilian Chaos Man on 2009-05-19 16:12 ]
I like the idea of April becoming a robot vampire. Presumably, there's no soul issue, so she's as chirpy as regular April but has these inconvenient... oil needs.
"She" was sad and poignant, and what that ep said about Warren , foreshawowed a crucial story arc for an entire season.

Totally agree Shey. I actually tear up a bit when her battery dies down.
"April The Robot Vampire Slayer", now that's a spin off I wanted to see. But then you'd have to explain that she doesn't kill "Robot Vampires", she's a robot who kills ordinary vampires. Although I'm sure if some robot vampires turned up she'd be happy to deal with them.

Maybe it could be called "Robot April: Slayer of the Vampyrs".

I actually tear up a bit when her battery dies down.

Me too. April is another excellent example of Joss & Co.'s ability to write characters that come off funny or scary at first but grow within 42 minutes to be people (or robots) that can bring us to tears.
Agree that April's story, which I first thought was either farce or melodrama, was tragic. Yet another one-episode heartbreak.
Besides, who couldn't love a person that threw Spike out of a window?? So great!
Shonda Farr did a great job with that role. Jane E. pointed out in the DVD commentary how great she was at the end being able to freeze her face and hold that smile.
On the other hand the robot demon in "I Robot...You Jane" was about as ridiculous as they come.
On top the question of Moloch from "I Robot...You Jane," I also wanted to suggest John Ritter's excellently wonked out Ted the Robot from "Ted." Cuz that specific premise was super redoinkulous (to steal from the Travelocity ads) but I think basically saved due to John Ritter's mad skillz ;)

ETA: Edited the episode names, since I keep getting the Moloch and Ted episodes confused :(

[ edited by BlueEyedBrigadier on 2009-05-19 23:07 ]
On the other hand the robot demon in "I Robot...You Jane" was about as ridiculous as they come.

We're having yet another Buffy marathon at out house and just finished Season 1. I had forgotten how bad Moloch was. We're up to "Some Assembly Required" now -- from bad robots to bad Frankenstein-monster guys. :)

Oh, and John Ritter really brought the creepy smarm to the part of Ted. Plus the twitching and shorting out.

Edit to be clear -- I know Ted was the psycho robot in "Ted". I was responding to blueeyedbrigadier on that point.

[ edited by ActualSize on 2009-05-19 22:47 ]

[ edited by ActualSize on 2009-05-19 22:48 ]
Ted was the psycho robot in "Ted", not in "I Robot...You Jane." But I had forgotten about him. He was certainly psychotic, but I'm not sure how high he makes it on the ridiculousness scale.

And I like "Some Assembly Required." I think it's one of the best early stand-alone episodes. It gives a real feel for the compassion that is the basis of the whole Buffy series.
Some of the stuff in Dollhouse made me think of both "Some Assembly Required" and "I Was Made To Love You." Which is a compliment.
I also second that I Robot You Jane was pretty awkward in terms of robotics. And I admit I momentarily totally forgot about Ted, but yeah, April wasn't too bad in terms of storyarc. (And she wasn't even a killer robot from what I remember, just one on a rampage.)

And I guess ridiculous isn't necessarily that they're horrible characters or anything, but maybe just aren't what you'd expect in terms of traditional killer robots ala Terminators. (I mean like half the comments in the response section are affectionately quoting the Futurama character, and he was only in about three episodes)
The one thing that always gets me about robots in fiction, and April is a perfect example, is why are they super strong?
A robot is not inherently strong, it's only as strong as its designer made it.
Why would Warren build a robot girlfriend and make it powerful enough to kill him? It just adds to the cost, complexity and power consumption and makes it harder to fit everything into a human sized body.

Why is it automatically a given that any robot can crush rocks with its bare hands? Bender in Futurama was designed to bend girders, of course he's strong. But a robot girlfriend?
Maybe Warren wanted something that doubled as a potential bodyguard as well, if needed. It's not out of character, he's pretty paranoid. This is the guy that made a convincing double of himself just in case someone might come after him (as Willow did in "Villains"). Paranoia, not to mention extreme insecurity (mind-wiping a woman into liking him, as one example).
Not to be picky (well, okay, I am) but isn't a robot in human form an android? Warren was an android maker.

Though I guess Buffydroid isn't as alliterative.

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