Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | January 13, 2014

Podcast #139: Showtime

Here’s the podcast for Season 7, Episode 11 – Showtime

Eve...or is it?

Eve…or is it?

Download: Showtime

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 20th January 2014  for episode twelve of Season Seven: “Potential.” Buffy and Spike train their army and look for more Potentials.

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  1. Not that keen on this episode, just lots of things that didn’t seem right:

    – The scene with Buffy and Spike getting a bit personal in front of the potentials – I’m quite happy with hinting Buffy is still thinking about Spike in a..ummmm…. non-platonic way but the chorus of comments from the Potentials was really uncomfortable.

    – The terribly lazy “the first are in remission” line that feels like the writers just couldn’t be bothered.

    – Dawn being irresponsible enough to just escape out of the window when she knows how worried everyone will be about her. I liked her gutsy fight with the vampire but she went into the room with absolutely nothing – not even a little stake.

    – Buffy’s counselling skills are not getting any better….

    – I was almost finding Andrew funny but now been brought round by your argument, and find his presence as the comic relief killer increasingly inappropriate

    – Stupid demon bar scene, why do none of the potentials ask about the morality of demons and which ones she should slay and which are just apparently harmless?

    Nice scene with Dawn and Xander at the end. Although Xander hasn’t been in the foreground much this season (I don’t think) he has developed into a really likeable character. He feels trustworthy and dependable as well as funny.

  2. Showtime: ok, this could have been a good episode but it didn’t feel really organic and it didn’t click with me. The best thing about it? Andrew saying episode 1 bored…I watched the movie in the cinema with a friend and we both fell asleep 😉 oh, and I like the last scene with Buffy and Spike..but apart from that i don’t have much to say about it.

  3. About “Here endeth the lesson”, this phrase could also be an internal reference, since it’s been in the series twice before.

    The Master uses it in Never Kill a Boy on the First Date after reading from the prophecy and threatening some minions. And Spike uses it in Fool for Love after explaining how he killed the two slayers.

    • Ooooo nice catch!

  4. I think Amanda screaming “What the hell?” at the episodes end really sums up “Potential” for me.

    For starters the First taking a vacation. Ummm, why? If it wanted to take out the potentials in one go I think now would be the time to do that since Spike does not seem to be restricted in any way and is even pretending to be an evil baddie in delightful training scenarios. Buffy could not make the Firsts job any easier at this moment and it is taking a break?!

    I suppose Amanda’s propensity for violence is supposed to be her potential ness seeping through but really it just seems murder-y but hey Spike, Andrew and Anya are running around Team Good so I guess she fits right in.

    I appreciate Dawn taking charge but maybe take one weapon before you go to the enclosed space with the superpowered creature. Yet still Dawn of all people seems to be a better leader then Buffy who vacillates between callous and a tad bit pretentious in all her scenes/speechifying with the potentials. By the way a potential straight up disappeared between Showtime and this one and I know this only because she was featured in the previously on not because she was great memorable character.

    All that being said Xander’s speech does get me in the end. I was worried it would be a bit like Buffy’s “I am the thing the monsters are afraid of” speech where the speech itself is awesome if you isolate because it surrounded by events that make it seem completely ridiculous. However while it’s true that Xander has basically drifted out of the shows focus so completely that I don’t connect to his feelings as his part of the group and Dawns a bit more stupid then heroic it is a touching well-acted and well-written speech.

  5. I may be in the minority but I enjoyed this episode a lot. I especially liked Xander’s speech to Dawn at the end. I thought it was very well acted. It was nice to see Xander being the one trying to lift morale. He seems to have a soft spot for Dawn (which continues into the comics…), and it’s nice to see them interact that way. I think Dawn’s reaction to maybe being a potential was pretty fitting with her character, both in how she tends to react badly and having some restraint since she is maturing.

    I also really enjoyed the romantic tension between Spike and Buffy, but that’s because I’m a Spuffy fan. It would have been better without all the unneeded commentary from the peanut gallery (ie, the potentials).

    But what was Buffy thinking, locking 4 scared girls in a crypt with a vamp? Didn’t she have a fit when the council did that to her in Helpless? Sure, 4 against 1, but yikes. I hope they were at least listening on the other side of the door.

  6. Showtime:
    I’m not as down on this episode as everyone else. I thought Andrew was funny, still not sure why they keep him around but as long as hes there he might as well crack jokes. I liked how he asked for a weapon and Buffy gives him holy water. I also got a chuckle out of Anya’s comment about how no one wants to have sex with her and she cant even give it away. Just a funny call back to when Spike rejected her advances. The only weird thing was the telepathy part and I’m not sure what the plan was anyways. We see Buffy try to kick the Turok-Han and is stopped like she just hit a wall, except if Buffy actually kicks a wall she would go through it. So the Turok-Han is equally matched and as tough as Buffy but she just decapitates him like its nothing. I didn’t really like that part. And here we go again with another one of Buffy’s “inspirational” speeches, unfortunately they won’t end for the rest of the season. All in all I thought this was am okay episode slightly better than the last maybe, but by no means a great episode of Buffy. And to comment on the podcast when you guys talked about the bad accents and acting of the potentials, I just wanted to say that 3 of the potentials (Annabel, Molly and Chloe) are Disney channel actresses, they were all in shows and movies on Disney Channel just before this season of Buffy. So for me I did not expect much from them especially the horrible accents. Not hating on Disney Channel actors because there are some that are good and do go on to do more, but these girls are not them.

    So moving on to Potential. I really enjoyed this episode. Starting with Conversations with Dead People, there was a string of episodes that progressively went down hill and sort of dealt with The First but not really. This episode was a nice refresher from the last 5 episodes. Even though I knew Dawn wasn’t a potential and I knew Amanda was, I was very intrigued about how this would all play out. I’m glad we get an episode about Dawn. They do a good job to build this sense that Dawn is being left out and I really felt bad for her. I liked the training scenes with Buffy, Spike and the Potentials. I thought it was funny when Buffy is on top of Spike in the graveyard and Rona says “thats hot” and Molly is like “are we supposed to make out with them now?” And then the scene with Clem in the demon bar one of them says “did she date him too?” So I actually liked the potentials in this one. I liked Amanda’s little story that takes places and the reveal in the end was good. It was nice to see vampires back in the school. I loved Xander’s speech in the end and how he tells Dawn she is extraordinary. Xander knows how Dawn feels and it nice to see that it does affect him. I like how he says that he can see things because no one is watching him and Dawn tells him that maybe his gift is seeing things. Hmm, we’ll see where that comment leads down the road. Overall this is one of the better episodes this season, and as we go through it I find that this season is not as bad as I remember it.

  7. It’s been awhile, but I’m finally (for the most part) caught up! Aside from general busy-ness I think I’ve avoided commenting because I really, really don’t like S7, so pretty much any of my comments are going to be negative. Still, I can’t help but respond to the podcast. I cut the really long ramble I had into a smaller, still way-too-long ramble, so here are some disconnected S7 thoughts:

    – My main issue with this season is that it messes up every character and dynamic I loved: Buffy, Willow, Buffy/Giles (I’d include Buffy/Willow but their friendship was already messed up last season). Willow’s two main stories this season are struggling to control the magic and power within her, and moving on from Tara with Kennedy. Neither of these stories are very compelling and it’s sad to see one of my favorite characters get sidelined. I think they just went too far with her last season, she’s no longer as sympathetic or relatable as she used to be.

    I don’t think they ‘ruin’ Buffy but I COMPLETELY agree with Robin that her preachy speeches are very un-Buffy and do not jive with the tone of the show. I’ll have more to say about that later but there are definitely a lot of speeches in Potential, too. I get what the writers are going for, they’re trying to show how after all her experiences Buffy can teach the next generation everything she’s learned. It’s supposed to be inspiring and instead it’s obnoxious. It’s probably also just a petty personal gripe because I’ve seen people use her speeches this season as examples to prove that Buffy is power-hungry or overly self-righteous, when I think these speeches are bad examples because they’re so out of character.

    I’m not going to talk about much about Giles yet because it will all be spoilery until The Killer In Me, but I agree with Cordia that we were cheated out of a proper reunion between him and Buffy.

    – My other problem this season is Andrew. If they had brought Jonathan into the Scooby fold I actually would’ve enjoyed that because he’s a more real, palatable character. Andrew’s humor always grated for me but mostly I don’t like him because he brings out a bad side in the Scoobies. They’re always either apathetic about or mean to him. It’s fine to have someone like Spike be treated as pathetic or be the joke punching bag starting in S4 because he’s actually an evil character (not that Andrew didn’t do disgusting things, but his horribleness came from complying with Warren. He should be in jail or something, not kept ‘hostage’). Making Andrew the punching bag turns the Scoobies into dismissively cruel people, and I don’t think they’re really like that. This is related to a general problem this season, which might not be as apparent right now, but there’s a general apathy about people and deaths (Cassie excluded). I can’t feel the weight of Spike unknowingly murdering a bunch of people when there’s no emotion attached to their deaths. I’m having trouble wording this, but it’s as if it’s more about the fact that Spike killed than the fact that these people died horribly, if that makes any sense. Like “Spike’s sorry because he did a bad thing,” and you don’t really realize that the bad thing he did was actually KILL PEOPLE. All is okay because he’s tortured and has a soul and can’t remember what he did. It’s all taken too lightly. There are also weird jokes – Buffy caring more about whether Willow got into a class than about a boy who had his heart ripped out, and of course Willow’s completely inappropriate joke about killing Anya. I’m sure they undercut deaths with humor in previous seasons but they still would take little moments to be affected by them (Teresa’s death in Phases comes to mind). I guess they’ve just become numb to it now, but if these characters’ morality and selflessness is at the core of the show then I have to feel that. There’s a specific episode that comes to mind to exemplify this, if I remember I’ll point it out then.

    To end on a more positive note:
    – I absolutely adore that image of Buffy and Willow meditating together, sharing strength at the end of Same Time, Same Place.
    – I LOVE the episode Selfless, especially the Scooby argument in Buffy’s living room. Xander’s emotions make complete sense but Buffy defends her position so well. I even enjoy the scene where Spike talks to First!Buffy about how Dru used to see stars. I found it difficult to deal with his occasionally-crazy, occasionally-lucid behavior in this season but I remember finally sympathizing with him here.
    – As always these podcasts continue to make me think, laugh, and nod along 🙂

    • whoops, *jibe with. Guess I’ve been saying that wrong all along!

  8. My favorite line of the episode came from Andrew: “I hate my free will.” That was followed closely by Buffy’s observation that Andrew’s not evil, but that when he’s around it he takes on it’s flavor like a mushroom.

    The fact that Andrew isn’t tied up anymore but isn’t really one of the Scoobies doesn’t bother me much. He’s essentially occupying the same role Spike played for much of season four, being treated as harmless even though he probably isn’t.

  9. The bit of information that The First is attacking the slayer line because they brought Buffy back was really important to me. It allowed me to forgive some of the problems I was having with some of the past episodes. For example when the Turok-kan doesnt kill Buffy after their first fight. If the First needs Buffy for some reason then it helps me forgive these logic gaps. And Hopefully their will be some “plan” to The Firsts activities that ties everything together.

  10. Potential:

    The good: I thought the last six minutes were legitimately some of the best of Buffy, starting with the look on Dawn’s face when she realized she wasn’t a potential, through to her inspirational speech to Amanda, all the way to her conversation with Xander.

    – Dawn’s speech to Amanda really worked for me. All episode, we’d been hearing people talk about how special it was to be a potential, but Dawn was the only one who convinced me that it was special, that Amanda really had all of this potential inside her to be found.

    The rest of the episode is a muddled mess.

    – I like that they don’t make Buffy be perfect, and it’s funny to see how bad she is at being a guidance counselor, but I can’t figure out if the show thinks she’s a good leader, a terrible one, or what. I think her speeches and plans are terrible, but the show acts like we’re supposed to think they’re good.

    – Is this season’s metaphor about potential, about Buffy paying it forward to the next generation? That would make sense given the guidance counselor job and the house full of 15 year olds, but Buffy and the potentials are both so awful that I’m not buying it.

    – I hate Andrew so much. The guy did his best to brainwash Katrina to be a sexual toy. Then he framed Buffy for her death, and when Warren said “we got away with murder,” all Andrew had to say was “that’s so cool.” Then when a ghost told him to stab his only friend, he did it. I know Buffy doesn’t know how enthusiastic a member Andrew was in the trio, and I’m sure he wouldn’t tell her, but it makes me angry to hear her describe him as just wishy washy. And mushrooms have a flavor! They are mushroom flavored! Or umami!

    – Everyone talks about Buffy having to die to call the next slayer, but they should know the line runs through Faith now. She just died, and no slayer was called then. (Although it would be kind of funny if some girl in Cleveland was called, then lost her powers when Willow raised Buffy.)

    – Spike stabs a Bringer, so I guess they’re not human, or his chip isn’t working. I liked them better when I thought they were humans who had mutilated themselves to honor the First.

    • Well put, I agree with everything you said (positive and negative).

      This is spoilery but I remember a future episode where the hellmouth is acting up (can’t wait to discuss the plot holes in that storyline…) and a bunch of students are huddled around the seal, turning into Bringers. So I think they are humans-turned-into-demons, which is pretty much what you’re suggesting, except it doesn’t seem like they voluntarily mutilate themselves. They’re just drawn to the evil energy. I could be wrong about that though.

      • They are classed as demons on the Buffy wiki.

  11. Oh, one more thing.

    It’s kind of a cool idea that the First started this by trying to wipe out the potentials, but Buffy is going to flip the script by training the potentials to realize their power NOW, but the show isn’t really selling it. If Buffy had given THAT speech sometime in the last two episodes, I probably would have stood and cheered.

    “The First thinks you’re weak. You’re just targets to be killed. But you’re not. You’ve inherited the will, and the knowledge and the power of generations of women who have been what the First fears, who’s very name is legend. And you don’t need to sit here, waiting for someone to die. That’s what Watchers do. I’m going to teach you how to draw on your power. I’m going to teach you to be Slayers.”

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