Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | April 2, 2012

Podcast #60: Fear, Itself

Here’s the podcast for Season 4, Episode 4 – Fear, Itself

Guiding spell gone wrong

Guiding spell gone wrong

Download: Fear, Itself

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

The next podcast will appear on Monday 9th April 2012 for episode three of Season Four: “Beer Bad.” That’s the one where students begin reacting in strange ways to the College beer.

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

You can get your voice on the podcast by leaving a message on our voicemail 206-338-7832 (It’s a US number, so add 001 if you are elsewhere).

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  1. BEER BAD:

    I have nothing good to say about this episode.
    It’s just plain stupid. Cave people? Really?

    Although I seem to have a favorite moment
    from this episode, and that’s when Willow is
    confused and thinks that Buffy engaged in
    group sex with the four college boys.

    The look on Willow’s face is priceless!

    I’d also like to mention how excited I am for
    the next episode, “Wild At Heart”. It’s quite
    the emotional ride and I hope you have your
    tissues ready!

  2. There is bad episodes of Buffy, there are bad episodes of TV, then there are what can only be described as eye rape. “Beer Bad” is unquestionably eye rape. Is there a redeeming aspect to “Beer Bad”? No there is not, one could argue that the start is less terrible then when the cave people are introduced, but that’s only because it’s so bad after Buffy turns into a cavewoman that I can only assume that Hell is a constant loop of Buffy and her caveman college friends saying “You Stupid!”

    Okay here’s things I hate in this episode:
    Here’s things I like in it:
    It Ends

    Could you make the argument that the Oz and Veruca stuff is interesting? Yes you could because Oz having an attraction for someone other than Willow is a big deal, but even that’s horribly awkward and badly written. Even if it wasn’t bad and it was this amazing subplot would it make the episode any better now because its surrounded by drivel. If there is a diamond in a pile of crap, do you say oh look at the diamond it’s so pretty? No, because that diamond is surrounded by excrement, no one wants a poop covered diamond so don’t put what should be a major and dramatic storyline in this God awful sorry excuse for episode.

    There is not an ounce of subtext in this episode, character say exactly what they are thinking all the damn time in this episode. Furthermore a show that is usually full of cleverly written, witty jokes resorted to a penis joke. A PENIS JOKE THAT DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE! “Nothing can defeat the penis!”, What the hell does that mean?!

    This episode makes so vehemently angry it’s becoming hard for me to not resort to just a stream of consciousness cursing storm, so I’m going to have to cut it short just say let’s just pretend this whole thing is some kind of fever dream and never happened.


  3. The Good
    The best thing about “Beer Bad” is that it wasn’t as bad as I remember it. While that isn’t a glowing endorsement, it was the one thing that I kept thinking of when I watched it. I think it is easy to dislike “Beer Bad” because 1) “Fear Itself” is a really good episode and 2) “Beer Bad” tackles moral lessons that no one really wants to hear. Drinking may have its problems (hangovers suck), but no one wants to think about that when they’re icing down a case before a party.

    Speaking of morals, this episode deals with a lot of them:
    • Buffy turns into a Neanderthal because she drowned her sorrows in beer.
    • The haughty college jerks are cursed into becoming what they mocked earlier.
    • Parker is punished for his womanizing by women (Willow and Buffy).
    • Oz and Willow’s relationship is strained because he lust after Verruca.
    • Even Xander gets punched around after accepting more money than he deserves.
    In fact, the only person who does something bad and gets away with it is the bartender, who started the whole thing!

    The transformation effects and make-up for the Cavemen was actually really good. It reminded me of the amazing transformation done with practical effects in An American Werewolf in London. If “Beer Bad” was made today, I’m sure there would be some CGI mixed into the transformation scene, but the old-school way of showing it was the right way to go.

    I enjoyed the slow development of the Verruca/Oz relationship. The show is laying some solid groundwork while putting Willow in a position to advance the plot of this episode. Finally, Willow’s comment “dresses like Faith” is a nice in-show reference that also shows just how much Verruca is getting under her skin.

    I also enjoyed how nonchalant the bartender is about spiking the beer. The delivery of the “my brother is a warlock” line made me laugh (despite the fact that he is using alchemy, not a spell).

    I’m sure that Robin and Cordia have done a better job ripping apart the main plot than I could have. I’ll keep this short by listing a few things that caught my eye.
    • I’m pretty sure the show doesn’t usually play cheesy techno/dance music during the opening fight. Maybe it was a sign that Buffy is fantasizing, but I thought it was distracting.
    • I’m pretty sure I saw the Smart Guy Embarrasses the Dumb Townie in Good Will Hunting. Yawn.
    • I didn’t have many TA’s in college, but isn’t it weird that Riley is hunched over paperwork in the front of the class?
    • What do those chairs have on them? Gasoline-based paint? And where are the sprinklers? The insurance company needs to check the building code requirements before cutting a check.
    • The Bronze is featuring even more music you can’t dance to. I was blissfully unaware of this fact before Robin and Cordia pointed it out. And you say this retrospective is “spoiler-free”…
    • Evil scientist labs are always so much more colorful than in real life.

    Favorite Moment
    Cave girl Buffy using the fire extinguisher. Predictable? Yeah, but her acting made me laugh and it was in-character.

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