Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | May 14, 2013

Podcast #111: Once More With Feeling, part 2: Feedback

Here’s the podcast with all your feedback on Once More With Feeling

And you can sing along

And you can sing along

Download: Once More With Feeling 2: Feedback

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 27th May 2013 for episode eight of Season Six: “Tabula Rasa.” That’s the one where the gang lose their memories.

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

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  1. On Tabula Rosa:

    The only thing I really remember from this episode is the rage I felt in watching it. I admit, Tara isn’t the best character on Buffy, despite how much am willing to go to defend her, but this is the season where she finally shines in my opinion. I remember not really noticing that she said she was going to flat out leave Willow in the previous episode, too focused on the singing to really see the deep meaning, but this episode came as no surprise.

    She was ready to dump Willow in an instant and the only reason she didn’t was because Willow begged enough that she would get her act together. It was amazing realizing that this was the same character who could hardly speak back in Hush (Before the whole no speaking ordeal came about). She has grown into her own person, perhaps not a full blown stand alone character like Anya is becoming, but she is indeed growing bigger than just “Willow’s Girlfriend.”.

    Now back to the rage part… I just remember the moment Willow used magic to get dressed, I slapped my hands on my lap and screamed “Really?” at my screen. Every time she used magic in this episode I got angry at her. I admit, I was never a fan of the whole “Magic is drugs” concept this season is doing, but they really do make you feel she has a serious problem when she wants can’t go a single day without using it with her relationship on the line.

    I’m glad Tara stepped out at the end, I truly am. She said what she meant and was fed up with Willow’s BS. It is sad to see the two split apart after a season and a half (Plus eight episodes?), but it had to happen with what it’s been building up to since the start.

    Although I do have to mention that I did enjoy the song mixing with everybody leaving, I rather like when show’s end like that for some reason.

    P.S I really enjoyed Willow saying once more “I think I’m kind of gay.” As she did back in Doppelgangland, as somebody who is blowing through the episodes much like Cordia did, I remember laughing because it was so fresh in my mind.

  2. I remember really not liking this episode the first time I watched it. I think there were two reasons, partly I was so excited about the Buffy Spike kiss in OMWF that I was desperate for that story to continue at speed but also….the demon loan-shark shark. I still hate the loan shark, like kitten poker just too silly for me, but I’m over that and I think the rest of the episode is good.

    Tara really comes into her own. From the early scene where they are reacting to discovering Buffy’s secret she really lays down her character. I loved it when she took Anya’s silly slightly panicked comments and reassured her that she isn’t stupid or weird but gently guided her into a more sensible way of thinking. She seems like a real person, reminding me of someone I know, very positive but very pragmatic. Then in her later argument with Willow she has such a strong backbone at last, without actually behaving out of character from the Tara we have been shown.

    The tabula rasa, or blank slate, concept is clever I think. I enjoyed the hints at people’s underlying characteristics coming through despite having no memories. Like Anya’s neediness when she begs Giles not to leave her and Buffy rapidly taking charge. It could have been more in depth but then I guess it is a massive philosophical argument. I actually thought the “I think I’m kind of gay” line as something unlikely for Willow to say to Dawn – who is just a random teenager to her – but I hadn’t realized it was a call back to Doppelgangland.

    The structure is much like other spell-gone-wrong episodes especially Something Blue, but unlike that it’s so sad when the spell is finally broken. Poor Buffy so depressed at remembering her life that she stays lying down and takes a beating. And it’s obviously the final straw for Tara.

    And another end scene kiss. Mmmmmm I’m so conflicted – such a pleasure to watch and yet….Buffy’s motivations aren’t that positive are they….

  3. Loved the OMWF podcasts! I could say this for any of them, but I was smiling, laughing, and nodding through the whole thing. I’m totally with you, Robin – Buffy was already one of my favorite characters when I first watched the show but when I rewatched it I felt so connected to and so moved by her story. Also, she may not have the best singing voice but in the DVD commentary Joss describes SMG’s performance as having “authority.” When I heard that I realized that it’s such a good way to describe her performances throughout the show.

    Tabula Rasa – and cue the fallout from the musical.

    I’m joining the chorus of people singing Tara’s praises. I’ve always liked Tara, but I love her in S6. Curious to see how Cordia feels about her bits of development this season, since I think one of the best decisions she makes is to break up with Willow. At this point she’s also the best friend Buffy has – Anya is Anya, Xander is unable to deal with the complexity of the situation, and Willow would rather turn to magic. I love that Tara basically says “let’s stop wallowing and actually do something.” Too bad nobody listens…

    When I think about Giles leaving, it shouldn’t make sense. Buffy doesn’t often straight up beg, but she is here and she really makes it clear that he’s abandoning her. The fact that I wasn’t completely pissed off at Giles when I watched the episode is an amazing consequence of the musical. I guess the song “Standing” convinced me that he really did struggle with this decision, even though when I step away from the show I’m completely agree with Cordia – it’s frustrating and the wrong decision. But kudos to Joss for pulling that off, for me at least.

    Other random notes:
    – Why oh why would you add a hokey “loan shark” to the already dumb kitten poker storyline?
    – I feel really bad for Dawn at the end of the episode but she bugs me after the spell takes effect. Her behavior is so fake and, as has been discussed on the podcast, she seems much younger than her intended age. I don’t know if it’s her lines, the directing, or Michelle Trachtenberg’s acting, but something doesn’t work there.
    – Spike, as usual, has some of the funniest lines. It’s a cute callback to Restless to have him in the same suit thinking he’s Giles’ son.
    – How devastating is it that Buffy has to essentially relive all those traumatic memories when the spell is broken? Especially after she was about to open up to her friends. It’s very sad but it’s also a fairly contrived way to keep Buffy from speaking up. Really a lot of this is contrived, which is why this has never been one of my favorite episodes. Most of their reactions after the memory wipe don’t make sense – even if you thought you were married to someone, without the memories you wouldn’t start ACTING like you were married to them (nevertheless, some of the Giles and Anya stuff is fun).

    Music montages don’t always work, but I like the one at the end of this episode. Usually I don’t recognize the music on the show but I grew up with a few of Michelle Branch’s songs, so I was excited when I heard it. Plus the lyric “I want you but I’m not giving in this time” made me think that Buffy wouldn’t give into Spike. Needless to say the first time I watched this I was surprised by the ending, though I suppose I shouldn’t have been.

  4. One of the things that is interesting about this episode is that without memories, Xanya (haha) have no chemistry. At all.

    And Giles. Oh Giles. This two episode bit (OMWF + Tabula Rasa) really makes me dislike his character. It’s completely contrived and out of character for him to just bail like this. He’s committed to doing good, so even if he was going to bow out of Buffy’s personal business, why wouldn’t he stick around to help fight evil? And don’t get me started on how he should have just talked to Buffy directly (and frankly) about his concerns.

    I’ll join the chorus of Tara love. Until season 6 I didn’t really understand the fandom love for her, but she is really strong here. It’s sort of ironic, that the strength she gained from her relationship with Willow enabled her to be strong enough to leave Willow. And now I will have “Under Your Spell” stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

    Another bit of feedback about OMWF: I was reading some reviews online and someone mentioned that James Marsters was not a good singer – besides the fact they are WRONG, I really noticed the difference between SMG and Marsters in that minor note in Something To Sing About. When she sings “heaven”, it’s a little flat. When he sings “living”, it’s perfect. That’s a hard interval to sing right, to me that proves he has the chops. And her singing it a little off gives authenticity to me, that she is pained by singing this, and also that the spell is really her singing. It would have been easy for them to do pitch correction in post, but they didn’t, and I think it was a good choice.

    I happened to hear about the Dancing Plague of 1518 last night, maybe Sweet has struck before?! Sounds pretty similar!

    • I don’t remember Xander and Anya really even talking? I might have missed something or forgotten…

      Had to look up that plague. They must have been referencing it in OMWF when Xander said “it’s a plague! It’s a nightmare about a plague!”

      Very crazy.

      Btw… Love that Dawn calls out to Xander by screaming “Alex!!!” Not sure if anyone has mentioned that one yet.

      Great comedy in this one, but it feels SO out of place.

  5. Hey Guys! Love the conversation on season 6 of Buffy my personal favorite season, you guys can’t knock me off my pedestal on that one! Love the podcast as always, it’s great.

    I will disagree with the Xander and Anya comments during Once More With Feeling Podcast. What they are admitting to each other is not an earth shattering or big revelation. I know it may sound a little strange but everyone in the episode is singing about the biggest emotions in there life and for these two the biggest event in their life the upcoming wedding. Which might not be as game changing as revealing that you were in heaven or that someone has magically messed with your brain or that you need to leave the people you love, but the problems that they are singing about are HUGE in their lives. They are all the fears and concern that every couple go through before a weeding, can I live and be with this person for the rest of my life. I love these characters and “I’ll Never Tell” is my favorite number from Once More With Feeling. I just had to try to defend the song a little!

    But also wanted to mention that tonight (May 20th 2013) is the tenth anniversary of the final episode of Buffy airing, it seems crazy that it’s been ten years without a new Buffy episode. Here is a link to great article about the 10 things about Buff that are still missed! and a cool video about Alyson Hannigan talking about her on-screen relationship with Tara.

    Happy 10 year anniversary everyone!

    • It’s certainly the most tonaly consistent season. And even if the show lost its early charm, I think I’d agree that it’s the best season. Season 6 was airing live when I got into the show so it’s nostalgic for me. I’ve only seen it once since then, but I just have such a strong admiration for what the writers attempted and were able to accomplish with it.

      What I mean to say is, you’re not alone in thinking that.

  6. Just watched Tabula Rasa so I’m going to shoot off some real quick comments.

    I really enjoy this episode, one of the things that I think it does right is to allow the humor to come from the characters and situations rather then forcing a joke. I very much enjoy the scene with all of the charters “discovering” who they are. Oh if only Giles and Spike were really father and son… that would be interesting…

    I will also sing the praises of Tara at this point. I think that she really becomes a character of her own when she is away from Willow or standing up to her. ALL of my favorite scenes with Tara have her and Buffy, I think there relationship is really great. Because It’s a very honest friendship and Tara (being so removed from the other main 4) seems to have the most reservation about what they did and understanding towards how Buffy feels.

    Giles leaving feels very sad, for whatever reason that might be. There is a giant hole in the show when he’s gone. But I do think that his leaving here is earned, this is not a quick choice he’s making. Since he’s been back he’s been debating on if he should stay or go, I think he feels like this is the right time to go because he can see that Buffy is not herself and is suffering with being brought back form the dead and is using Giles as a crutch. I totally understand that he feels that he needs to leave for Buffy to rejoin society.

    Finally the end montage. I love it so very much. This song is perfect and ties everything together. I think this is a very well acted, edited and directed sequence. I’d put this montage on par with any montage the show ever has done or will do. It ties everything together so nicely and the lyric “Goodbye to you” seems to be really expressing the emotion for everyone involved in the scene as well as cleaning the slate. We have moved on from Act 1 of the season and into, based of the end of this episode, a much darker Act 2 of the season. A very strong end to a very strong episode.

  7. Tabula Rasa:

    It would have been so easy for the writers to do a lack-luster episode after OMWF. It seems a lot of shows do that – a huge, wonderful, game-changing episode followed by a one-off monster-of-the-week episode. I was so pleasantly surprised that they didn’t!

    I was really worried at the beginning of the episode that Tara wasn’t going to follow through with her intention of leaving an abusive relationship just because Willow said she’d change. I thought she might give her more and more chances. I’ve seen it happen in real-life relationships far too often. So while that final montage was very sad, I’m glad that Tara realized that she had to get out, no matter how much it hurt. Kind of surprising, given her past non-characterization.

    When Willow’s sitting in the bathroom at the end, she looks like she understands that it’s her own fault. Hopefully this will continue to the next episode instead of her blaming Tara for leaving. Again, I’ve seen it happen. The abuser thinks the abusee is just overreacting. I’d hope Willow wouldn’t go that route.

    It was nice to see Buffy acting like Buffy again, even though that made it even worse when she got her memories back.

    The Anya and Giles kiss was funny, even if it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. It made sense that they’d think they were engaged, but you’d think the kissing would feel more awkward, even before they had their memories back.

  8. Overall this is a decent episode. It deals fairly well with the fallout from Once More With Feeling. It’s clear that Buffy’s declaration took its toll on the Scoobies. Willow’s admittance of the fact that she was selfish in choosing to resurrect Buffy was nice to hear, but she still does not fully realize the gravity of what her magic use is doing to her and those around her. Tara’s line about how Willow fixes things to her liking, including Tara herself really got to me. I think even more so on rewatch than it did the first time around. Again, the rules don’t ever seem to apply to Willow when it comes to magic in her eyes. Her blatant disregard of Tara’s one week deal is so frustrating because of how nonchalantly she goes about it. She doesn’t even seem to think twice about putting their relationship at risk. I love Willow, she’s my favorite Buffy character, but Tara was right to leave in the end.

    I know some people did not like the loan shark literally being a shark like demon, but I appreciated the humor of it.

    The Spike moments in this episode were great. I love his earflap hat paired with the tweed suit and bow tie. It’s about as far from his usual Spike attire as he could possibly get, which is why its so amusing to see him wearing it. His girly scream as he falls off the counter is a chuckle-worthy moment as well. I loved all the Spike-Giles stuff as well. As much as I love these Spike moments, why is it that the demon inside him didn’t show itself when he lost his memory? Everyone else exhibits some semblance of their true selves. Even Anya has a momentary need for vengeance…insert her thwacking Giles on the head with a book. We know that Spike has only been good recently because of a combination of the chip and his love for Buffy. With the memory loss, he should have forgotten about both of these things. It just seems a little convenient that his vampire instincts weren’t present at all (not that he could do anything with them because of the chip). If he really had a soul, as he guessed while under the spell, it would have been understandable, but Spike really is still inherently evil.

    Buffy being the only one who has no form of identification is reflective of the loss of and search for identity she has found herself going through in season 6.

    I have previously expressed my love of Doppelgangland, so I definitely appreciated the reference to it with Willow telling Dawn “I think I’m kinda gay.”

    I’m so used to them calling Xander just “Xander” that when Dawn yelled “Alex,” it threw me for a second and I had to process the fact that his full name is in fact Alexander. I thought it was clever writing to add that little detail.

    The title Tabula Rasa, which is Latin, literally translates to “blank slate”

    Poor Buffy, having to review the memory of being ripped out of heaven, while simultaneously being kicked by vampires. I felt so bad for her.

    The song at the end fits the episode so perfectly. I love how they matched up the lyrics with the characters whose situation they best fit. Even though they include everyone, I’ve always kind of viewed this as a song between Willow and Tara. It just fits what has become of their relationship so well.

    Other references (some courtesy of Buffy Wiki):

    Gone with the Wind, Birkenstocks, Mary Poppins, Allen Funt, Ants Go Marching One By One, and King Ralph. Spike’s suit and him being Giles’ son were foreshadowed in Restless, and Anya’s fear of bunnies returns, making for an entertaining scene.

  9. This episode starts out as such a bummer with the group talking about Buffy, and Willow and Tara fighting. Willow is getting out of control. “I know a spell” is her go-to for everything. Good for Tara for standing up for her. Messing with someone’s memories and reality is just NOT okay.

    And Giles! 😦 When I noticed Alison Hanigan’s name had replaced Anthony Stewart Head’s in the credits I was SO upset. I love love love Giles and will be so sad when he’s really gone. And I really hate to think how out of control Willow might get without him around to keep things in check.

    I have to say that while I was SO MAD at Willow when she did the spell anyway, I quickly forgot about it when the hilarity afterwards ensued.

    First of all – Spike in that suit and hat? Amazing. The way they tried to figure out who they were was priceless. “Bloody Hell! Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers, bullocks!” “Made with care for Randy. Randy Giles?!” Love it!

    I have to say, I haven’t laughed this much at a tv show in awhile. Their scream at the vampires, Anya telling Buffy to “Take it easy, Joan.” “Ready Randy? Ready Joan!” Giles and Spike’s awkward hug… “Hey, I’m a superhero, too!” so much good stuff! I think I liked this episode better than “Once More WIth Feeling.” This might have to do with the fact that I’d been hearing about the “epic musical episode” for years, and this one just snuck up on me. It was such a fun distraction from the sad breakup of Tara and Willow and Willow’s growing disrespect for people around her and consequences of using magic.

    Going back, I have to tell you that I’ve been listening to your older podcasts that I somehow missed. One of them was for “The Puppet Show” and there’s a reason why I never watched that episode – it has a ventriloquists dummy and those dummies REALLY freak me out. I listened to your podcast about it and see I missed some small tidbits, like the first episode with Principal Creepy, but I think I’ll be okay if I never, ever watch that episode.

  10. There’s a typo in my comment. “Good for Tara for standing up TO her” (not for her)

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