Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | March 26, 2012

Podcast #59: The Harsh Light of Day

Here’s the podcast for Season 4, Episode 3 – The Harsh Light of Day

Harmony, Spike and a good friend I'm sure

Harmony, Spike and a good friend I'm sure

Download: The Harsh Light of Day

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

The next podcast will appear on Monday 2nd April 2012 for episode two of Season Four: “Fear, Itself.” That’s the one where the gang go to a Haunted House party for Halloween.

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

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    This episode reminded me of “Nightmares” from
    season one. But this episode shows just how much
    the scooby gang has matured.

    Willow’s biggest fear used to be stage fright, now it’s
    that a spell she casts will go wrong and turn on her
    and her friends.

    Xander, who’s childhood was marred with the fear
    of clowns, now worries that he’s not part of the gang
    and that they’ll forget about him and he’ll become
    invisible to them.

    Oz worries that he’ll transform into a werewolf at
    the wrong moment and put Willow in danger.

    And Buffy fears, like Joyce hinted in “Gingerbread”,
    that no matter how much she fights, the demons
    will keep coming and she won’t be able to save

    In “Nightmares”, the characters fears seemed to
    be the basic human fears of childhood. In this episode,
    as adults, their fears involve others. Will they put their
    friends in danger? Will their friends abandon them?

    The Scooby gang are going through big changes in
    their lives.

    While there is some heavy issues here, I love how the
    episode has its fair share of humor to keep things
    from getting too serious. The last five minutes of the
    episode are pee-your-pants sidesplitting.

    This episode has everything, fear, sadness and big
    laughs. It’s the best of the 3 halloween-themed
    episodes that Buffy has done in it’s 7 season run.

    PS – I decided to throw in my favorite quote from the

    Buffy: Conjuring? Will, let’s be realistic here, okay?
    Your basic spells are usually only about 50-50.
    Willow: Oh yeah?! Well… so’s your face!
    Buffy: What?

    That bit cracks me up every time!

    PPS – Since this is a halloween episode, I was wondering
    what your favorite costumes were? Mine’s a tie between
    Anya’s ginormous bunny costume and Buffy’s little red
    riding hood costume.

  2. Okay so I know I’ve been a bit of a Debbie Downer on the past two episodes in my comments but that is only because I have ridiculously high expectations for Living Conditions and with The Harsh Light of Day I did really enjoy that one I just still don’t think Spike was needed. You guys did convince me that Harmony, Spike, Anya and Xander all fit with the story but I didn’t need Spike there. Also a tiny bit of me coming down harshly on the episode is that I really love that the story of the Gem of Amara on Angel so seeing the first half without the second soured me a bit on the episode as a whole.

    Now moving on to Fear Itself, I really loved this episode, I wouldn’t call it my favorite of all time or at least in my top three (sorry Cordia) but that’s just because nothing really dramatic and game-changing happens for me to consider it amazing but it is really fun and really creepy at the same time.

    There’s so many great lines in here that I can’t remember or pick a favorite one it be like picking my hypothetical future child. I am partial to Anya’s matter-of-fact admission that she is afraid of bunnies because in the future I find Anya’s fear of bunnies to be one of the most endearing and funny things about the character.

    A lot of the fears aren’t visually terrifying there are few creepy ones like the skeleton and the dead (?) girl towards the start of the episode who appears to come back to life and smiles but the image of the frat boy with the broken neck taunting as corpses claw at Buffy is a really terrifying image.

    While I was really tempted to make Giles with chainsaw my favorite moment, because it’s Giles with a chainsaw! I have to go with Joyce and Buffy’s conversation. In lesser hands that conversation would seem clunky overly expositional but both actresses do a really good job there.

    As for negatives are we just supposed to believe that the house goes back to normal. Did that frat guy really break his neck? If anyone got killed at that party are they really dead or was that all in their head? Making the demon small and Buffy subsequent stomp was always too cheesy for me.

    Other bits:

    Anya in that bunny suit might be the cutest thing I have ever seen on Buffy. Fair warning, I’m going to gush over Anya A LOT from now on, if Cordia is allowed to gush about James Marsters and Spike, I should be allowed to express my Anya/Emma Caulfield crush.

    We see Oz breaking his calm facade and really lose it afraid he is going to turn and I absolutely loved it. Finally Oz getting a bigger story.

    (maybe too spoilerly) but I got a kick out of Willow saying college is a good time to experiment.

    I really identified with Xander’s fear because it’s something that always worried me in high school and still does, I hate that feeling of being invisible. Xander’s fear really is the most terrifying and I kind of felt myself getting nervous watching Xander freak out but enough about my neurotic paranoia.

  3. Hello! Love the podcast. I subscribe on itunes and this one is not downloading. Is there something wrong with the feed?

    • Hi Kelly, sorry you are having problems. I won’t be able to check the feed until tomorrow. The direct download is working so if you want the episode right now you can just download as a file and then put it into Itunes. I will look at it as soon as I can…

      • Oh dear, there does seem to be something wrong with the Itunes feed. I will do what I can but thetvcritic is changing servers tomorrow so it may be about to get even more complicated 🙂

        The direct download should still work…

      • Thanks for the reply! I will download from your site until it is fixed. 🙂

  4. I am so glad to hear that I’m not the only one distracted by the stunt doubles. I never noticed it until I watched some interviews of the doubles. Once I saw Buffy’s double, it was completely obvious in the fight scenes. Every fight scene I’ve seen since then has definitely distracted me and taken me out of the story. I’m glad I can’t tell the difference with Spike though – I like to think about James Marsters being even more of a badass.

  5. You mentioned being disappointed that James Marsters was in the opening credits of “Harsh Light of Day,” but according to, he went uncredited in the original airing and was added later. So at least the people that were watching it when it first aired got to be surprised.

    • And Spike and Anya are back! My two favorite characters!

      Also, I love when Buffy and co. have to make up some story to cover up the slaying and else-wise supernaturalness. You’d think they’d come up with better stories. Buffy: “Neck! Paler. Puppy! The angry puppy!” Oz: “Yeah, we came to warn you about the angry puppy.”

  6. I always thought that both of the stunt doubles for Buffy were terrific, excellent likenesses for SMG and very good acrobats.

    It was the double for Angel that always made me roll my eyes. While Mike Massa is a terrific stuntman, and on Angel the Series did some of the best stunts in television history, he doesn’t look anything like David Boreanaz and they could never get his hair right either. At least the doubles for Buffy had good wigs.

    But perhaps this feeling is something of a “brain bug” and once you get the idea in your head that a particular double IS a double and not the character, you can never get it out.

  7. When Cordia mentioned this was one of her top 3 episodes, I admittedly scoffed. However after watching it, I think it is definately top 10. It is one of the funniest episodes even upon rewatch. I was surprised by some of the jokes such as Willow’s, “So’s your face!” and Buffy’s hilarious reaction to it and yet there is some scary elements to it. I liked the concept and love Giles with the Chainsaw (which he just happened to have lying around) and Anya’s bunny suit. Anya’s fear of bunnies is just one of the many things that I find funny about her. Even though this episode was a great comedy, I like how it addresses real things that the Scoobies are feeling; Willow and her magic, Xander feeling like the others are leaving him behind, and Oz and being a Werewolf. I thought that was great and is part of what makes the show great. It is hands down with no competition the best Buffy Halloween episode and not only a great season 4 episode but a great episode in general.

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