Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | March 12, 2012

Podcast #57: The Freshman

Here’s the podcast for Season 4, Episode 1 – The Freshman

Buffy is back to her best

Buffy is back to her best

Download: The Freshman

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

The next podcast will appear on Monday 19th March 2012 for episode two of Season Four: “Living Conditions.” That’s the one where Buffy and Kathy really don’t get on.

Comment on this post to get your views on the podcast.

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    Aha! So that’s why Kathy was SO annoying! She was a
    demon! Kudos to the actress, Dagney Kerr for the great,
    believable performance.

    I have a lot of fun watching Buffy and Kathy sort things out.
    They really drive each other´s nuts! The actresses played
    off each other pretty well.

    Not the greatest episode, but good to watch for the comedy
    and humor.

    P.S – I’d like to add a section to Cordia’s fashion segment
    of the show. It’s the season of the peasant blouse for Buffy.
    What do you say we keep count of how many times she
    wears those kinds of shirts in season 4?

  2. The Good
    While I had trouble connecting to the Lonely At College theme in “The Freshman”, the Other People Are Annoying theme in “Living Conditions” is something I can relate to. The show did a good job of showing the typical things that people need to get used to the first time they have to live with a non-family member. The entire episode, I kept flashing back to the things I had to get used to in college (sharing food, playing music, keeping the room clean, noise while studying, him lounging around for hours in just a towel, etc.). “Living Conditions” did a good job showing these major sticking points in one episode.

    The dining hall education that Buffy receives took me on another trip in the Way-Back machine, and it was pretty accurate, too! My college had the best brownies with white icing and I must have snuck a hundred of them back to my dorm in napkins.

    I like that Buffy and I are the same age because watching the show reminds me of what life was like back in high school and college. The use of telephones in “Living Conditions” reminded me how I only used a land line my freshmen year in college. Cell phones were still a little too expensive for me, and my dorm room had a phone. I think I had to punch in about 25 digits in order make a long-distance call that billed my school account. Oops, you punched the wrong button? Start over. Those were the days. Anyway…I wonder if the Scoobies will have to keep using the phone to reach other or if they will start to conveniently bumping into each other on campus.

    Willow has been noticeably more relaxed and mature than she was at the end of Season III. She’s in control of herself, confident, and has a schnazzy new haircut. If only Buffy and Xander could grow up a little…

    The demons in this episode were great. They could have been just another make-up job in a robe, but they were still creepy and believable when they took off their hoods. And the face-peeling? More on that later. The other creepy aspect done extremely well was the dream/ritual/soul-stealing flashes. Creepy insect? Check. Drinking blood? Check. Weird symbols written in blood? Check.

    The Neutral
    I liked how they utilized Oz more by having him go on patrol while Willow was occupied. However, isn’t this Xander’s job? I’m not sure I like the direction the show is taking Xander, but I’m going to hold back judgment for a few episodes.

    The Bad
    I would have preferred this story to be the third or fourth season episode instead of the second. Gradually introducing the roommate’s annoyances over four episodes, and having Buffy cope with them normally, would have made Buffy’s decision to kill her more shocking. Instead, I’m left with the notion that Buffy was raised as an only child and that she is incapable of sharing as an adult.

    I liked Oz doing a double-take on that girl he walked past. It felt like a nice foreshadow. However, did the three soldiers have to lurk through the brush in the same scene? The show needs to spend some time featuring a main character (who is in a serious relationship) having a moment with a girl we’ve never met. However, the soldier’s appearance should have been more subtle. I guess they could have been trailing the girl, but that just makes them the Least Subtle Soldier Guys Ever. The demons running around were being less obvious than the three guys in BDUs and night vision goggles. It would have been cool if the soldiers were in the background many times without the audience realizing it. Then the audience could have spotted them during a re-watch and wondered how they missed them the first time (a la Fight Club sneaking Tyler Durden into the background four times before his character is introduced).

    The Weird
    How did Buffy not wake up with the taste of blood in her mouth? How did Kathy’s teeth change when all Buffy did was rip off her face? What if Kathy was human and Buffy ripped her face off? Messy…and difficult to explain to the RA.

    Favorite Moment
    Buffy ripping off Kathy’s face. Maybe this won’t stand up to another re-watch, but I forgot how they revealed that Kathy was a demon to Buffy and the audience. The way the make-up tore was realistic and gross. Finally, the look of shock on Buffy’s face was perfect.

  3. It’s taken me awhile to formulate my thoughts on this episode so hopefully my comment is in time for the podcast.

    I absolutely loved this episode first time watching, I thought it was hilarious and was taking an extremely relatable situation that everyone has been through and make it Buffyafied. My freshmen roommate situation was less than ideal, he wasn’t trying to steal my soul but try living in close quarters with someone who smells so bad that you can only conclude that they are so much of a hipster that they think soap is too mainstream, but everything in this episode hit home for me between the nail clippings, the questionable music tastes and Buffy declaring she was going to kill Kathy because she was evil. All of this was so funny to me the first time.

    Now on rewatch, I did feel nearly the same amount of joy. Is it simple Rewatch-itis? Maybe? But I think it is this, I personally would find Kathy annoying all the perkiness would be too much, but I don’t think Buffy find her irritable. I’m talking pre-soul suck because Buffy is annoyed by Kathy before she starts having the dreams. Buffy just begins to tolerate Kathy less as she gets soul-sucked so she gets I’m going to kill this bitch stage. Buffy finds Kathy annoying throughout and besides messing up her slaying Kathy doesn’t strike me as someone who would annoy Buffy, Faith surely, but I think Buffy would like Kathy or at least find her tolerable.

    It doesn’t help that Kathy sort of changes personality throughout the episode she is peppy and a little too excited at the start of the episode and last week but then we are not only supposed to believe she was soul-less by the end, but Kathy becomes a really passive aggressive person. When she takes Buffy’s sweater then seems completely in contrast with what we have seen from her up to this point.

    I’m really happy this episode exists because I love the concept of it, but I don’t know I just didn’t enjoy it as much this time.

    (P.S. Robin I was going to tweet you but it turned out to be too long. I was listening to the The Walking Dead podcast on the train today and when you screamed “What the hell was that?” about Lori I had a very public and embarrassing laugh out loud moment.)

    • P.P.S I have to mention how much I love Oz’s line of “you killed the bench which was looking pretty shifty” I’m going to go out on a limb and call it my favorite Oz line second only to the humus defense from Graduation Day

  4. Hi Robin and Cordia,
    This is my first post on the podcast! I am finally on Season 4! Hopefully I will be caught up by the time you guys come back from your break!
    Before I get into the episode I just want to say I love the structure you guys have with the podcast I really enjoy hearing what you guys have to say about each episode! Buffy has been a huge influence on my life since I discovered it almost 8 years ago! I would also like to say I’m glad you guys aren’t discussing the crossover elements of Angel just because when I first watched Buffy all the way through(in a matter of 3 weeks haha) I had no idea about Angel the Series. So it just brings me back to my first viewing!

    Ok now the episode the Freshman I really connected with because I chose to go to school that’s literally a mile from my house. I had an experience very much like Buffy did, I felt lost and confused, even going to the wrong classroom! Thankfully none of my professors didn’t yell that I was sucking the life out of the room lol although a professor did kick out one of the students for yawning!

    With that said I agree a lot with Cordia feeling that this episode was as someone said manufactured. According to IMDB that is David/Angel in The Bronze. I love all of the introductions to new people and new settings! It is a little shaky start to a new season!

    Hopefully this isn’t too unorganized I’m typing this on my iPod Touch. Next time I’ll use a computer haha
    Thank you guys for creating an awesome podcast and keep up the amazing work! 🙂

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