Tag Archives: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Sing, Sang, Sung – “Walk Through The Fire” From “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”

This post is going to be a bit earlier than usual, due to my heading out to grandma’s for Thanksgiving not too long from now. As such, I haven’t had much time to write anything neat… partly because I had to write three posts in one day. That takes some time, guys.

Anyway, I’ve talked about Joss Whedon’s musical talents, or at least the great music on his shows, before. This little ditty comes from one of the more influential shows Joss did, and one of the more influential episodes in the show. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” took sci-fi/fantasy head on, abandoning the space element most every show had done before and hitting it from a “Twilight Zone”-esque angle, in that it’s weird, supernatural things happening in the real world. In this show’s case, that’d be vampires and demons.

In Season 6, the show unveiled its musical episode, “Once More, with Feeling.” It was Joss’ first attempt at writing music, and I think it went rather well. While most fans dislike anything after Seasons 4 or 5, it’s pretty universally agreed that this episode was extremely good and very well done. It may not be the first musical episode on TV, but it certainly helped popularize the format. Both “Scrubs” and “House, M.D.” have had musical episodes since then, and I’m certain other shows I’m forgetting have done so (like “Grey’s Anatomy” and, of course, the entire show “Glee”).

The plot of the episode revolves around a demon casting a spell, essentially, over the town, forcing the residents to randomly sing and dance, often revealing secrets through their song. Worse, at a certain point, they end up dancing so much they spontaneously combust and die.

This song takes place after the demon kidnaps Buffy’s little sister Dawn, and she goes to get her back. It’s in one of my favorite formats, the style of everyone singing individually and overlapping one another in their own thematic music, creating amazing melodies and harmonies and I really just like it. It’s probably my favorite song in the episode, though I pretty much love them all.

The reason I’m bringing this up as a post, though, is that Kate Nash recently performed “Once More, with Feeling” at a concert, which reminded me of the episode. I like the episode better, but good on Nash for recognizing good music and being awesome enough to play it.

I think you should watch the show, personally. I’d say watch the episode by itself, but some things might be lost on you. Still mostly followable without background.

“Walk Through the Fire” – “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Buffy
I touch the fire and it freezes me.
I look into it and it’s black.
Why can’t I feel? My skin should crack and peel!
I want the fire back!

Now through the smoke she calls to me,
To make my way across the flame.
To save the day, or maybe melt away.
I guess it’s all the same!

So I will walk through the fire,
‘Cause where else can I turn?
And I will walk through the fire, and let it

Spike
The torch I bear is scorchin’ me,
Buffy’s laughin’ I’ve no doubt.
I hope she fries, I’m free if that bitch dies!
I’d better help her out.

Sweet
‘Cause she is drawn to the fire,
Some people never learn

Spike (with last line)
She will never learn,

Sweet & Spike
And she will walk through the fire and let it

Giles
Will this do a thing to change her?
Am I leaving Dawn in danger?
Is my Slayer too far gone to care?

Xander
What if Buffy can’t defeat it?

Anya
Beady Eyes is right, we’re needed!
Or we could just sit around and glare.

Scoobies
We’ll see it through, it’s what we’re always here to do,
So we will walk though the fire.

Buffy
So one by one, they turn from me,
I guess my friends can’t face the cold.

Tara (Simultaneously)
What can’t we face?

Buffy
But why I froze, not one among them knows,

Tara (Simultaneously)
If we’re together

Buffy
And never can be told.

(All simultaneously)
Anya
She came from the grave much graver.

Sweet
So one by one, they come to me

Spike
First he’ll kill her, then I’ll save her!

Sweet
The distant redness as their guide

Tara
Everything is turning out so dark.

Buffy
Going through the motions…

Sweet
Ain’t what they had in mind

Spike
No I’ll save her, then I’ll kill her!

Willow
I think this line’s mostly filler.

Giles
What’s it going to take to strike a spark?

Buffy
These endless days are finally ending in a blaze!

Sweet
She will come to me.

All
And we are caught in the fire,
The point of no return,
So we will walk through the fire,
And let it burn!
Let it burn!
Let it burn!
Let it burn!

Sweet [Spoken]
Showtime!

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A Whovian Experience

It’s Labor Day weekend. Meaning I don’t have to go into work until Tuesday. …which actually kind of messes me over, since I’m supposed to be going home this weekend and now I can’t leave until Thursday after work if I want to get all of my hours in.

Woe is me.

The benefit of the long weekend, however, is my getting to sit down and get work done! Like reading all the reviews and comments for “Camp Gethsemane” and getting in on the editing process, which needs to be done in November.

Yeah, that’s not even close to what I’ve been doing. I will get back into that starting this weekend, though. I just really need someone to start kicking me in the butt about it. Probably should be myself… I’ll get it done. No worries. Well, lots of worries, I just can’t worry about them.

No, what I have been doing is watching the British TV show “Doctor Who.” You may have heard of the show. It’s the single longest running science fiction show ever. Longest American sci-fi show (and I think second longest ever) is actually “Stargate: SG-1,” which ran for 10 seasons. “Doctor Who” ran from 1963 to 1986, 1987 to 1989, in 1996, and then was booted back up in 2005, running to the present. In total, 35 years, and Wikipedia tells me they’ve run 784 televised installments. Compare that to “Stargate”‘s

Now, because “Doctor Who” has been running so long, it’s gone through tons of changes. The central character, the Doctor, has been portrayed by eleven different actors, in fact. His regenerative abilities allow for the story to make sense with changing actors. Most notable after that, though, is the “reboot” brought about by Russell T. Davies. I say “reboot” because I can’t actually think of a better word. It’s more like a… revival, actually. That’s a much better word. After nearly 10 years in stasis, Davies brought about a revival in 2005, one that got most of the younger generation, especially the younger American generation, hooked.

So, as a nerd, one who’s seen all of “Babylon 5” and “Stargate: SG-1” and “Stargate: Atlantis” and “Firefly” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and oodles more sci-fi TV shows, you’d think I’d be right on top of this one, right?

Well, not really, no.

Here’s how my experience with “Doctor Who” went. I had many several friends very into the show back in its early days of the revival. As in, literally, 2005. I had friends in the U.K. and in America trying to get me to watch the show. So I said, alright. I’ll watch it.

I watched the first two episodes, “Rose” and “The End of the World,” with Christopher Eccleston playing the Ninth Doctor. Aaaaaaaaaaand I really didn’t like them much at all. The writing was poor, as I saw it. There were holes and hokey references, stilted dialogue… it just seemed bad. I gave up on the show, despite my friends screaming “It gets better, we swear!”

Time jump to summer of 2010. I was vacationing with my family for the first time since childhood, staying at our time share resort in Massanutten, Va. We turn on the TV at some point out of boredom and flip through the channels randomly. Suddenly, we land on BBC America, and I’m watching David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor in the last bits of the episode “Silence in the Library,” written by Stephen Moffat of “Sherlock” fame (and, of course, “Doctor Who” fame, taking over for Davies as head writer in 2010).

And then, “Forest of the Dead” came on. After which came “Midnight.” A lot of my friends posit that those three episodes are the best Tennant episodes ever. Whether I agree or not remains to be seen, but they were quite good. I started reconsidering watching the show again.

Zooming to fall of 2011, I still hadn’t picked the show back up. Then my sister showed me a humorous four part “Doctor Who” spoof called “Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death,” which was quite entertaining. So I decided to go to the library and check the DVDs out.

Unfortunately, all of Eccleston was checked out. So I decided to grab the first available season they had: Tennant’s first season, with Rose Tyler as his companion.

And I enjoyed it. I really did. Still, life and lethargy got in the way and I didn’t actually pick the show back up until… this weekend. Well, after being slightly forced a week or two ago by my roommate, who made me watch “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances.” Partly to try and get me to love Eccleston.

Either way, I’m watching the show. I’ve finished with Eccleston, and now I’m a few episodes into Tennant’s second companion Martha Jones. I still like Tennant better than Eccleston, but the writing for Eccleston greatly improved past those first two episodes and handled his character with much greater finesse. And I actually liked Rose. I know many who didn’t, for whatever reason. But I liked her. Donna is almost certainly going to be my favorite, though. “The Runaway Bride” was simply fantastic.

Anyway. I’ve had so many friends incredulous (and nearly crazy-murdery eyed) at my lack of “Doctor Who” immersion. So, just to let them and the world know, I am getting into it. And it is, so far, quite good. And after all, I have to at least get through to the Neil Gaiman written episode. Otherwise my nerd-cred is almost completely obsolete.

So please don’t murder me.

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The Misogyny Of Life, The Misogyny Of Art

Lately, I’ve been noticing this trend that has targeted many a person. It’s a trend to start pinning people down with terms like “racist” and “misogynist.” Rush Limbaugh, Sandra Fluke, Trayvon Martin… all of these people and the events associated with them got those terms thrown around a lot. You’re racist if you support George Zimmerman, and racist if you support Martin. And if the term “misogynist” didn’t get thrown around a lot when Limbaugh called Fluke a slut, then it must be true that (insert hyperbolic falsehood here).

But “misogynist” has been getting thrown around more and more these days. Sure, “racist” is a classic that pops up often, what with our having a black president. But the movement of feminism has had a strange renaissance as of late… I don’t say strange as though it shouldn’t have happened or something… but I’ve seen a lot of new terminology and repetition of the themes and rallying cries in recent months. For example, the Bechdel test. The Bechdel test was actually created by cartoonist Alison Bechdel in 1985, so it’s not new. Yet I’ve only within the past year been hearing about it. A lot.

To pass the Bechdel test, a movie must have two or more named female characters. Two of those females must converse with one another, and it can’t just be about boys/men. Now, this isn’t necessarily a gauge of how “feminist” a movie is. While there are some movies that pass the test with strong female leads a girl could potentially look up to, or female leads that dare to break gender stereotypes and conventions, such as, perhaps, “The Iron Lady,” movies like “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” also pass the test. The test doesn’t judge quality or feminist potential, just whether or not it breaks the male-driven norm the years have seemingly imposed on entertainment.

Now, it’s true that women haven’t exactly had the most glamorous history in entertainment. They’ve often been portrayed as simple sex symbols, objects, et cetera. And while we are more aware of that nowadays and attempting to break out of such trends, the more some things stay the same. For example, look at most every movie Megan Fox is in and tell me what her purpose in the movie is. If it’s not to stand there and look pretty to draw in the men of the crowd for most of the movies, I’ll be surprised. (The one exception that I’ve seen is, sort of, “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People,” where she plays the super hottie and the lead male character plays as the dumbstruck male.)

But, still, even with this trend, many people that label themselves “feminists” have taken up their own personal crusades against a lot of different media, railing against them if they ever portray a woman in any fashion that isn’t what they deem as having feminist equality, so to speak. For example, some people give Joss Whedon a lot of praise for creating somewhat strong female roles and for not caring about conventions. In “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Buffy Summers was one of the first females on TV to be seen having multiple sexual partners and not be judged for it. She is also decently independent throughout much of the series. Then, in “Firefly,” you have Zoe Washburne, the strong, no nonsense female enforcer.

Of course, others will point at Whedon’s work and call foul, saying Buffy was emotionally fragile and practically catatonic at times over her connection with a man, such as during the time Angel, her former boyfriend, went evil. And Zoe goes from enforcer to little housewife around her husband Wash several times. And don’t get them started on River Tam.

Not just with Whedon, but there have been many times where I’ve seen “feminist” people cry out against any media if it ever depicts a woman as a sexual object that draws the eyes of men, or is unintelligent, or whores herself out to men in a “non-sexually liberated fashion” (whatever that means), or is ever emotionally attached to a man, or emotionally dependent on a man, or ever cries over the loss of a man, et cetera.

It’s getting to the point where I have to say that nothing will satisfy some of these people.

Is the world, particularly the Western bits, strongly heterocentrist? Yes. Is it strongly male-focused, in regards to power? Yeah. So, should there be a strong effort to show non-heterosexual lifestyles and women in better lights, ones where they are treated as kindly as men and heterosexual relationships? Definitely.

But not all men and heterosexual relationships get the kindest treatments. Yet there seems to be a growing (at least in volume, if not number) trend to demand only the ideal in portrayals of women and alternate lifestyles. Here’s my problem: Sometimes, women are weak. Sometimes, women grow dependent on a man. Sometimes, they lose it when they break up with someone. It happens in real life all the time. And the inverse is true, too. I’m not saying our current standards are good, but I am annoyed at the people who seem to suggest it would be best to eliminate all those “negative” representations. Sometimes, it’s just representative of real life.

There are definitely measures to take. For example, I started to put my play “Camp Gethsemane” up to the Bechdel test. Theatre and film aren’t so terribly different. It passed the test, sort of/barely. I noticed then that there were a lot of big male roles and only two decent sized female ones. So I made the decision to change one of the bigger minor characters (named and has several lines/scenes, but not exactly a main character) to a girl. But out of all the major characters, James was the only character I could do that to. Because of the setting, because of the other characters, because of the story… That’s just how it worked out. A different story, different setting, I could feasibly have a mostly female cast. But you have to remember also that I’m a guy. I default to writing things I’m more comfortable with and used to, which will tend to be male characters, especially since I often put some of myself in those characters.

My suggestion? Lets get more women writing screenplays, plays, television shows and stories. Let’s make a concerted effort to not cast a blanket over an entire group and stereotype them all over the place. Let’s let art imitate life in every aspect and treat everyone equally. But by that same token, let art imitate life. Life isn’t always kind to everyone, so don’t demand art to be that way. Instead of calling everyone misogynistic, let’s work toward dialogue and actually fixing the problem.

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Sing, Sang, Sung – “Hello!” From “The Book Of Mormon”

Okay. So, this is clearly not going to be a post about the philosophical quandaries of the American legal system/law as an idea. Nor is this going to be a massive rant on how freaking stupid working at Walmart can get at times.

But it could have been.

Anyway, I just recently checked out a copy of the original Broadway cast recording of the decently new musical “The Book of Mormon” from the Huntsville Public Library on a whim whilst waiting for my sister to remember how a library worked.

For those that are unaware of this musical, “The Book of Mormon” premiered on Broadway in March 2011. Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of “South Park” fame with Robert Lopez, who co-wrote and co-composed the hilarious hit musical “Avenue Q,” the musical won a landslide 9 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Which is like the Best Picture Oscar. So, this musical is a pretty big deal.

As a musical, it pokes fun of the traditional musical as well as, you might have guessed, organized religion, with a special focus on Mormonism. This is not unfamiliar territory for the “South Park” guys, who have made fun of Mormonism on their show several times. Not only that, but Matt Stone produced the movie “Orgazmo,” written by, directed by and starring Trey Parker, who played a Mormon missionary that gets talked into being a porn star. It also has Ron Jeremy as Jizzmaster Zero, so you know it’s got to be good.

Anyway, the musical as you might be able to guess from knowing anything about anything on the world of “South Park” is HUGELY irreverent and, at times, vulgar and obscene.

But the musical is, as you might’ve guessed from the Tony Awards bit, really quite good. And Parker and Stone are definitely not new to the musical, as anyone who has seen “South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut” should know. They clearly spoof one of the longest running popular musicals “Les Miserables” twice in the film, and the music is actually pretty daggum good. Satan’s song “Up There” is a great solo (even if the falsetto part kind of makes it awkward to sing). They’ve shown of their musical muscles the same way Joss Whedon has proven his and his family’s musical talents in the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” episode “Once More With Feeling” and the internet video “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” both of which are excellent watches. Sadly, we’ll never get to see what the musical episode of “Firefly” would have been like. Curse you, Fox.

…anyway, off of the tangent, the song I’m picking to represent the musical is the opening number, “Hello!”. Much tamer than later songs (like “Hasa Diga Eebowai,” which was the first song from the musical I’d ever heard), the song sets the tone for the musical as a humorous, catchy and irreverent ball of fun. The Mormons are practicing their ever-infamous door-to-door skills. The song has moments that sound reminiscent of the popular musical “Wicked” (particularly the end of the song… think “Dear old Shizzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…”) as well as other musicals, but it really shines in its peppy, upbeat, many-parts-becoming-a-whole style. With funny little tidbits like “My name is” “Jesus!” as the Mormon Elders interrupt one another is rather entertaining.

But the shining moment is actually when Elder Cunningham is introduced. “HELLO WOULD YOU LIKE TO CHANGE RELIGIONS I HAVE A FREE BOOK WRITTEN BY JEEEZUS!” (Elder Harris has a humorous “Hello” as well. You’ll know it when you hear it.)

It’s just a great little song. Give it a listen, will you? If you like musicals, comedy, and can handle some… well, vulgarity and adult themes… this is definitely a musical to check out. The song is completely harmless on its own, though, so give it a listen either way. For the sake of your humor.

“Hello!” – “The Book Of Mormon”

ELDER PRICE:
Hello!
My name is Elder Price
And I would like to share with you
The most amazing book.

ELDER GRANT:
Hello!
My name is Elder Grant.
It’s a book about America
A long, long time ago.

ELDER PRICE:
It has
So many awesome parts
You simply won’t believe
How much this book can change your life.

ELDER GREEN:
Hello!
My name is Elder Green
I would like to share with you
This book of Jesus Christ.

ELDER YOUNG:
Hello!
My name is Elder Young

ELDER HARRIS:
Hello!

ELDER YOUNG:
Did you know that Jesus
Lived here in the U.S.A.?

ELDER GRANT:
You can
Read all about it now!

ELDER WHITE:
Hello!

ELDER YOUNG:
In this nifty book, it’s free!
No, you don’t have to pay!

ELDER YOUNG:
Hello!

ELDER SMITH:
Hello!
My name is Elder Smith!
And can I leave this book with you
For you to just peruse?

ELDER BROWN:
Hello!

ELDER GREEN:
Hello!

ELDER HARRIS:
Hello!

ELDER SMITH:
I’ll just leave it here.
It has a lot of information you can really use!

ELDER PRICE:
Hello!

ELDER HARRIS:
Hi!

ELDER PRICE:
My name is-

ELDER GREEN:
Jesus Christ!

ELDER GRANT:
You have a lovely home!

ELDER CROSS:
Hello!

ELDER YOUNG:
It\’s an amazing book!

ELDER SMITH:
Bonjour!

ELDER WHITE:
Hello!

ELDER HARRIS:
Ni hao!

ELDER WHITE:
Me llamo Elder White!

ELDER GRANT:
Are these your kids?

ELDER GREEN:
This book gives you the secret
To eternal life!

ELDER SMITH:
Sound good?

ALL:
Eternal life!

ELDER GREEN:
With Jesus Christ!

ALL:
Is super fun!

ELDER BROWN:
Hello!

ELDER HARRIS:
Ding dong!

ALL:
And if you let us in,
We’ll show you how it can be done!

ELDER GRANT:
No thanks?

ELDER GREEN:
You sure?

ELDER GRANT:
Oh, well.

ELDER GREEN:
That’s fine.

ELDER GRANT:
Goodbye!

ELDER GREEN:
Have fun in hell.

ELDER GRANT and ELDER CROSS:
Hey now!

ALL:
You simply won’t believe how much
This book will change your life,
This book will change your life,
This book will change your life!
This book will change your life,
This book will change your life!

ELDER CUNNINGHAM:
HELLO!  Would you like to change religions?!  I have a free book written by Jesus!

VOICE:
NO, NO, ELDER CUNNINGHAM!
That’s NOT how we do it!  You’re making things up again!
JUST STICK TO THE APPROVED DIALOGUE.
Elders, show him!

ELDERS:
Hello!

ELDER CUNNINGHAM:
Hello…

ELDERS:
My name is:

ELDER CUNNINGHAM:
Elder Cunningham?

ELDERS:
And we would like to share with you this book of Jesus Christ!

ELDER PRICE:
Hello!

ELDER GRANT:
Hello!

ELDER GREEN and ELDER YOUNG:
Ding dong!

ELDER WHITE and ELDER BROWN:
Heigh ho!

ELDER SMITH:
Just take this book!

ELDER HARRIS:
It’s free!

ELDER BROWN:
For you!

ELDER HARRIS:
For me!

ELDERS:
You see?
You simply won’t believe
How much this book will change
Your life!

(Hello!)

This book will change your life!
This book will change your life!

(Hello!)

This book will change-

-So you won’t burn in-

ELDER WHITE:
Hell…O!

ELDERS:
You’re gonna die someday!
But if you read this book you’ll see
That there’s another way.
Spend eternity
With friends and family.
We can fully guarantee you that
This book will change your life!

(Hello!)

This book will change your life!

(Hello!)

This book will change your life!

The book of Mormon!

(Mormon!)

Hello!!!

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