Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | January 5, 2013

Podcast #94: I Was Made to Love You

Here’s the podcast for Season 5, Episode 15 – I Was Made to Love You

Have you seen Warren?

Have you seen Warren?

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 14th January 2012 for episode fourteen of Season Five: “The Body.” I’m sure I don’t need to tell you what happens there.

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  1. Sorry to disappoint you Robin but I will be the comment that provides that has the “I don’t like Giles” statement. Not me of course, Giles and Buffy are one of my favorite father/child relationship in anything but my friend can’t stand Giles. She thinks he is boring and too fussy and of course I think she is an idiot but you can’t really call your friends morons and except to stay friendly with them.

    • P.S. The Marc Blucas is just as awkward as you describe because it is clear that Seth and Joss adore Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alyson Hannigan and all Seth Green does is marvel at Marc Blucas’s height. It’s not malicious either he is clearly quite impressed but that’s all he has to say about him too.

      The commentary (I got the DVDs for my birthday on Christmas Eve, hence my sudden knowledge of commentary tracks) for I Was Made To Love You is quite interesting too because the writer Jane Espenson is the one who is recording. She is proud of the episode as she should be but she is aware of the obvious flaws. She mentions rather drily how often the theme of the episode is driven home and how Ben goes to throw away his cup and doesn’t return for a good ten minutes.

      • P.P.S. I just had a theory about Glory. It is a problem that she has been sent to the background but it doesn’t bother me too much in the grand scheme of things. I was wondering though about this apparent time limit she has to find the key. What if the warning to find the key in a timely fashion isn’t because Glory has a certain date deadline but because she will turn into Ben. Maybe the minions are warning Glory about time almost being up before she turns into Ben. I honestly don’t remember if Glory as a specific date to find the key by or not so it’s just a theory.

  2. I haven’t watched Zena but I would if you his did it, and Cordia my offer still stands for a Gilmore girls Rewatch!!!

    • If you guys did it, I mean.

  3. Hi, guys. Excellent commentary on the last two podcasts. Not that they aren’t always good, but I always enjoy a good Spike discussion.
    I wanted to go back and talk about Crush for a moment. I really enjoyed listening to the debate about whether Spike is or can ever be good but I don’t feel that the episode makes it that unclear. When Tara is talking about Quasimodo and how he isn’t a good guy because all of his good deeds are selfishly motivated, I think it is a pretty clear commentary from the writers (the powers that be, whatever) about the situation with Spike.
    I’m going to have to agree with Robin on this one and say that Spike is not a good guy. Not at all. First of all, the only reason he stopped murdering people (among other heinous crimes which are alluded to in later Buffy seasons that I know we can’t talk about so we don’t spoil anything) is because of the chip. Secondly, anything “good” that he’s doing now and all the bad that he isn’t doing is because he wants to win Buffy. Like Quasi, he is motivated only by selfish desires and not because he actually wants to be a good person (or vampire, whatever). Also, he has no inner morality that would stop him from doing evil. Even his supposed love for Buffy isn’t about her, it’s about him and how she makes him feel. He doesn’t care about what she wants, he cares about what he wants. That’s obsession, not love. I”M ABOUT TO GET A LITTLE SPOILER-Y and I know you’ll cut this out but I wanted to say that part of why I think this about Spike is that you see the difference in the Buffy and Spike relationship in Seasons 6 and 7. Season 6 relationship is so dark and selfish- they’re both using each other. Season 7, after he gets his soul, he actually feels guilt for the things he’s done and is motivated to be a good person because he now has morals and a conscience. Also, he cares about Buffy in a different way- in giving her what she needs regardless of what he wants. That, to me, is much closer to actual love.
    I know Cordia has acknowledged that his obsession in Crush is not a healthy love but that he does feel something. I agree that he feels something, I just wouldn’t call it love. Also, like Robin said, most people (in Buffyland) have forgotten that Spike is actually a dangerous guy. He is capable of horrible things. The Scooby gang doesn’t see him as a big threat anymore. The exception is Giles, he knows who Spike really is and that’s why he reacted the way he did. Don’t get me wrong, I love Spike. I want to believe that he could be a good person- that’s what makes him such a great character. I agree with Cordia that the characters reacted in a believable way. Like I said before, Giles, knowing everything he does about Spike and often being the only one to take matters seriously, reacts very harshly and makes it clear that Spike has to get gone. Buffy’s personality is very let-me-quip-in-the-face-of-death and she does just that.

    Wow. I’m sorry this was so long. Thank you guys for doing this awesome podcast. Feel free to edit as you see fit!
    P.S. I would love to hear a Xena podcast! The show is definitely more campy but touches on some real-life issues and gets pretty dark in later seasons.

  4. Hey guys!
    So I’ve just finished season 4 and I thought I’d tell you two what I thought.
    Well, my favorite episode was Wild at Heart- the only Buffy episode so far to make me cry. Hush wasn’t to far behind and neither was New Moon Rising, Something Blue and Fear, Itself.
    Least favorite was (What a surprise!) Where the Wild Things Are, followed by Beer Bad and Doomed.
    The biggest logical flaw (other than the fact that Joss Whedon could have made the most awkward character ever by the name of Riley Finn, and his best ‘friend’ Forrest Gates) was the way that Riley could have managed to cut deep into his own chest with a piece of (most likely dirty) glass, stick his hand in there, manage to pull out a chip then fight demon-hybrid Forrest at full strength without dying- the logical side of me is not happy!
    Something I really didn’t like about this season was the lack of a central character- what I mean is the character that goes through the most over the season, for example season 2 was Angel and 3 was Faith. I suppose you could say it was Riley but I just don’t think that would really fit with what the other 2 went through.
    One character who did go through something major was Willow and I liked how, after going through a season of no one really noticing her, Buffy recognizes that and I think that that was also kind of the writers acknowledging Willow and her heartbreaking break up with Oz to her new relationship with Tara who I have really mixed emotions, I didn’t really like her at the start- it was just kind of sudden, 6 episodes after Oz left and Willow’s floating roses with Tara but I did like her, especially in New Moon Rising when she’s becoming more confident- her ‘Oh yes’ in the final scene was so wonderfully said and then in the Yoko Factor when Willow is in her room and they’re discussing Drama she’s so much more confident and really pretty when she smiles and says ‘Definitely Drama’.
    Oh and my favorite line in the whole series was probably
    Willow: Oz… don’t you love me…?
    Oz: My whole life, I’ve never loved anything else.
    Sorry for the long post!

  5. The Body

    I remember the first time I saw this episode, and like Cordia, the first time I watched all the seasons in one go I’m pretty sure it was ’05. Anyways this episode I finished right before my mom came home from work and she came home to find me a blubbering mess. I’m sure I caused her to panic until I explained that it was just a fictional death.

    The scene where Buffy imagines that everything is ok, made me so happy the first time I watched it. In my memory that scene was longer than on rewatch. I assume that’s because I know now it’s not true.

    The characters reactions get me every time. Sarah Michelle is amazing with drama. It breaks my heart when Buffy has to tell Dawn at school. Emma Caulfield is brilliant too.

    What I love about this episode is how real it feels. I appreciate that the only sound is diegetic the absence of a score is brilliant.

    I have read a couple interviews with Amber Benson, where she said that both her and Alyson wanted to be more romantic on-screen and it took them this long to finally be able to kiss. It’s implied in the interview that the network wouldn’t allow it for so long.

    Here’s a link:
    Since it was done after the show it is a little spoilery.

    This episode was fantastic and horrible both at the same time. It isn’t just television, it’s art. It’s not really my favorite episode of the series, because how could it be? but it is one of the best.

    I really felt like I was experiencing the grief along with the characters. While it’s not enjoyable, per se, it is definitely powerful. Willow freaking out about finding that blue sweater and needing it to focus on something instead of Joyce was very sympathetic to me. Even Anya’s monologue, which is something we think about but don’t say. This entire script really hits you in an emotional way.

    I’m really not sure what else there is to say about it. It’s been a few weeks since I watched it, and I’m still speechless. I’m looking forward to what others have to say about it, because I feel like it was such an emotional sucker punch that I can’t really discuss it critically.

  7. The Body

    This is definately another one of my Top 3 along with Hush and surprise(!) it’s another Joss episode.

    I want to comment on Season Five real quick though, I feel like I might have over sold it as my favorite season. It seemed anything would be better than season 4 and it certainly is but listening to you guys talk about how disappointing some of the episodes are makes me wonder if it’s all that great. I think it gets overshadowed by this episode and the season finale. I do love Glory as a Big Bad but she isn’t as involved as I remembered. However, I do remember the second half of the season there is a huge rush to the end and really gains some momentum. However, if this isn’t my favorite season I don’t know which one is. Maybe I’m just the kind of person who has favorite episodes, not favorite seasons.

    Okay back to The Body…

    The heartbreak starts when Buffy is looking up the stairs and you see Joyce on the couch, out of focus in the background. Joyce was a character that I loved and I was very upset when she died. Even though there were moments that I don’t think she made the right choice, like in Becoming, but I missed her presence in season 4 and then to have her back only for her to die sucked a lot but I knew it was coming. It was good for the show because something happened that Buffy couldn’t prevent.

    In the commentary Joss talks about how he didn’t want the credits over the scenes with Buffy discovering Joyce so that’s why there was the flashback scene which I thought was a nice little scene. And then we get back to the present…

    I love the long take when Buffy is calling 911, it gives the scene a frantic feel and you can hear desperation in Buffy’s voice. We are taking the journey with Buffy, we are calling 911 and trying to perform CPR with her. We are in the moment with her.

    When the rib cracks it’s a startling sound, even when you expect it, it still surprises you.

    It’s so haunting when Buffy gets calm and calls Giles.

    The fantasy of the paramedics bringing Joyce back was great and realistic. It’s one of my favorite parts of the episode.

    There is so many sounds that because there was no music in this episode we get to hear, like Joyce’s ribs cracking, and Buffy vomiting, it’s so real and raw and at times uncomfortable.

    Buffy’s reaction when she refers to her mom as “the body” is amazing acting by SMG, after insisting that it was her mother not “the body” and then calling Joyce “the body” is such a great moment.

    Ahhh, Dawn crying about something embarrassing…I like the mislead because it shows that there is more important things going on than high school. High school can feel like the end of the world sometimes (as seen on Buffy) but there are things bigger than that. I would rather be called a freak any day.

    I found Dawn’s reaction to Joyce’s death the most heartbreaking. We don’t even hear the whole conversation, we just see it and that’s it. That’s all we need to see to feel the grief along with Dawn. While Dawn is not my favorite character, especially when she squeals, but I think Michelle Trachtenberg is amazing. I grew up watching her in various things and I really like her as an actress, and love her as Dawn.

    Okay, sidebar…the art teacher looked kinda like Joyce. Weird…

    Now back on track!

    I love Willow, and Alyson Hannigan is so great as Willow struggles to find something to wear. It fits the character perfectly and I feel for her. (The Powerpuff Girls shirt? Really?!) However, it’s hard to not feel like Willow’s grief is less than Buffy’s and/or Dawn’s because while she knew Joyce she wasn’t related to her. Did Willow spend enough time at the Summers’ to be a part of the family? I can see her as part of Buffy and Dawn’s family but it’s hard for me to see Joyce as a part of it too.

    I like that Tara is her anchor (like in the sexy spell) and is able to calm her down and make her feel better. And, oh yeah, WILLOW AND TARA KISS!!!! I like how it comes naturally, there is no stupid music building it up it just happens and it’s not a big deal like other shows have done when a gay couple kisses. When I first saw this I was shocked, and I couldn’t believe that had happened. With the unpredictablity it makes it seem like we are looking in on these people as they deal with grief and not watching a television show.

    Xander’s angry reaction is great. It makes me love him when I haven’t for awhile. Love that Willow tells him that she will fight him, so cute!

    I love Anya’s reaction and how she doesn’t understand. There’s a lot about grief and death that we don’t understand and I relate to that. Having lost someone special in my life a few years ago, I don’t understand it all. I think she’s the one I identify with most. However, I like that she doesn’t understand that her bluntness isn’t polite and that we don’t talk about cutting the body open.

    Xander punching the wall made me jump.

    Fun(?) fact: Alyson Hannigan had an allergic reaction to the plaster so when she went near the wall where Xander punched her eye started to swell so they only showed her from one side.

    OMG The Avengers reference! I never noticed that until now, with the fact that Joss did the movie I managed to catch that this time around.

    Aww Anya hugging Giles, a cute funny moment in this heavy episode.

    Another fantasy scene, great, love that the doctor says that there was nothing she could’ve done.

    I love the Buffy and Tara scene, and how Tara is the only person who knows exactly what she is going through and its a glimpse of Tara outside of Willow. I like that Buffy has someone who knows what she is going through and I always liked that Tara was that person. It gives her a purpose kind of like in Restless when she was the spirit guide.

    Dawn and the naked vampire, yikes! That’s such a disturbing scene and would be even more disturbing to happen to someone as young as Dawn. It is something traumatizing that is piled on top of her mother dying. Poor Dawn! Michelle Trachtenberg plays that scene really well. The way Buffy kills him is really brutal as well, and it fits with the uncomfortable nature of this episode that he is naked and that she pushes the knife through his neck and we hear the bones cracking.

    The episode ends perfectly when we don’t actually see Dawn touch Joyce it a great end to one of the best episodes. I love Dawn’s question “Where did she go?” Because she might never get that question answered.

    This episode is examination of grief and it was one of the closest things I had to grief for a long time. And while it’s not an episode of Buffy without a vampire it fit because it is Buffy the Vampire Slayer and life goes on when someone dies, like with Xander getting a ticket. I think from this episode on, Buffy really grows up and the dynamic between her and Dawn changes drastically and it’ll be interesting to see how that develops in the rest of this season and the following two seasons.

    Can’t wait to hear the episode, I have a feeling it’ll be a long one, which is not a bad thing for me. I would say this is my second favorite episode behind Hush an episode that relied on music when there were no words, while this episode had no music in it and had to rely on words and sounds.

  8. I wonder how long the podcast for this episode will be – 3 hours? 🙂

    I hate this episode! Why? Because it is so good that it brings me to tears really every time I watch it. And I watched a loooot of times! I don’t know why but every time I watch season 5 I seem to forget that this is the episode where Buffy finds her dead mother. And every time I forget that it happens in during this robot story. So it always feels like a little shock and oh-no-it’s-the-I-have-to-cry-all-the-time-episode.
    This episode definitively holds up to multiple viewings. According to Joss Whedon’s DVD commentary the first act of this episode opens with a flashback scene because Joss didn’t want to have the cast and crew credits appear over the scene where Buffy is trying to revive Joyce. The lack of a soundtrack and the use of ambient sounds in this episode added to its realism. This episode advances the underlying story arc of the season which is Buffy’s increasing sense of isolation from the world. Family is key to Buffy’s sense of self. She becomes so disoriented that she says “I don’t know if I’m even here…”. There is also a theme of people outside of the grief looking in, but not really being a part of it, most clearly shown when Dawn’s classmates look on from inside the classroom to her grief out in the hall which they can’t really hear or touch.
    First on-screen kiss for Willow and Tara; it was smooth and realistic and they didn’t detract from the enormity of this episode by making it a dig deal. Anya’s little speech is quite heartbreaking.

    I guess a lot of people said it before, but this episode should have been nominated for an Emmy. I recommend listening to the commentary by Joss Whedon on the DVD and reading the “production/writing” and “themes” part on Wikipedia. The “themes” part has spoilers in it! Very interesting stuff:

  9. The Body:

    I have watched Buffy several times though, and this episode makes me cry every single time. The part that always gets me is when Buffy has to tell Dawn what happened. I like that we don’t hear what she says; we just get the view from inside the classroom and see Dawn fall apart. The first time watching Buffy through, I was irritated by Dawn, but this episode made me stop and recognize what a great actress Michelle Tractenburg is. And, of course, Alyson Hannigan’s crying is so real that it hurts.
    I’ve always known that film and TV can be art forms, but this is the episode that really showed it. Every shot is perfect. Every line pulls you in to the emotions of the characters. Every character has a slightly different reaction, but we can understand all of them. Anya gets some of the most emotional lines she has ever had when she talks about not understanding death. Usually, her lack of understanding is used as comedy, but this time, it’s used to draw us closer to her. No one understands why things like this happen, and I like that Willow is the one to quietly say so, especially after her and Anya have butted heads so often.
    The only thing I didn’t love about this episode was the vampire at the end. I’ve listened to commentary, and I understand what Joss was going for and why he included it, but it sucks me out of the episode. One minute, I’m completely engrossed – the next, I’m reminded that this is a fictional world. The rest of the episode hits so hard because it is a completely relatable situation. They try to go back to the gut-wrenching stuff after the vampire’s been dusted with Dawn wondering where her mom went, but the fight had already dried my tears. Overall, it’s a small complaint compared to the amazingness of the rest of the episode.

  10. There are three major things that make this such an excellent episode:

    – The camerawork was awesome throughout the episode. Buffy seeing only the paramedic’s mouth as he told her about what happened to her mother. The long shot at the beginning of the episode, from the time Buffy walks in the door to her breaking down with Giles. Xander in the car, staring out the window, with so much empty space around him.

    – The lack of music and the silences where our oh-so-quippy characters have nothing to say are very true to life. There is never anything right to say after the death of a loved one and nothing to make it better, though that’s all you want to do. Buffy telling Dawn about their mother is particularly good, and lets you see the perspective of an outsider, seeing one of the worst days of their lives.

    – Anya not understanding how death works, and her breakdown in the dorm room. There’s still so much of a childlike quality to her, despite the knowledge and experience she has gained through her life. Something like this hits close to home, and she doesn’t have the skills to handle it.

    This is one of the standout episodes that so many believe should have been give awards for. However, the fatal flaw, like in “Hush” is that for the full impact of the episode to hit, you have to be an invested viewer. You have to know Buffy and Joyce’s relationship and situation, and know how these characters act around each other to know exactly how powerful this is. You couldn’t get the silent conversations in “Hush” without knowing the flow the show and, and you can’t truly understand the gaping hole in Buffy’s life without knowing her story, her circumstances, and her relationships.

    One last thought I have to mention is about the paramedics. I’m pretty sure that since Sunnydale has so many deaths and accidents, the paramedics can’t stay around after a death, they have to run off to the next emergency. Also, there’s not enough room in the transport vehicles for all the bodies that accumulate in a day, so they have to leave a grief-stricken girl in the house with her recently-deceased mother’s body until they can unload one batch of bodies and come back for more. The episode wouldn’t be the same if Joyce’s body weren’t left there, but really? Leave a corpse lying around? I feel like that’s against health code.

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