Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | May 9, 2011

Podcast #23: Ted

Here’s the podcast for Season 2, Episode 11 – Ted

Ted taking his mini-golf seriously

Ted taking his mini-golf seriously

Download: Ted

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 16th May 2011 for “Bad Eggs”

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  1. “Ted” was (co-)written and (I believe) directed by Joss Whedon, the man himself. Episodes in his name are not only superior, for the most part, in the usual ways—ingenuity of plot, clever dialogue, etc.—but can also be read on more than one level. Many are allegories—the controlling metaphor of the series, of course, is high school as hell.
    “Ted”, as you correctly noted, deals with the real issue of having your divorced mom go out on dates, and having to deal with a new father figure who’s not her real father.
    Ted himself is more than “monster of the week”, he is supposed to represent a “real” monster, i.e., a genuinely evil guy. This is a favorite theme in Joss’ work—in “Alien Resurrection”, for instance. There are real monsters among us. Ted, the character, is meant to evoke memories of Ted Bundy. In hi office he is Ted B. on the sales board. He also has traits in common with Jack the Ripper, another serial killer of women. The prime suspect behind those murders, George Chapman, killed off a number of wives by putting poison in their food. When Ted returns from the dead and Buffy asks, “What are you?” he simply says “I’m a salesman.” The episode could equally well have been called “Death of a Salesman”—only not a sympathetic one. Of course, by the end, episodes always revert to their genre roots—Ted is part robot, as it turns out. But even that can be read as a metaphor for people who are differently wired (Ted actually describes himself in some such terms at one point) and so are “monsters” in the way Ted Bundy and Jack the Ripper were “differently wired.” So I cannot agree with your assessment that “this episode touched on some very powerful issues. It explored them to a certain degree, but abandoned it all in the end by having Ted be a robot.” The episodes—not all, but many—can be appreciated as both genre thrillers and metaphors for real-life dilemmas. I, for one, like this about Buffy, and don’t consider it a copout, or whatever, when the demands of the genre are always met in the end.

  2. Sorry to be so so late with this, but I started listening to you late and this episode is where I’m at. I have listened to a lot of Buffy podcasts and yours is may favor of the episode-review type.

    You both had a problem with how advanced Ted the robot was. I find it funny that he’s more advanced than the Buffybot or the other robot Warren created given that Ted was created 40 years prior. I don’t have a problem with the science since we have seen similar things in other episodes. High school and college-aged kids make Frankenstein-esque zombies, Mr-Hyde potions, freeze-ray guns, and invisibility guns. I think it’s the influence of the Hellmouth’s energies that let you make just about anything you want as long as it goes bad in the end.

    I know that this is adding something to the Buffyverse that the shows doesn’t actually state, but it works for me to help me suspend my disbelief.

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