Monday, August 26, 2002

Television-Impaired IV
Despite the fact that several friends and acquaintances are long-time fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I've never really watched the show. But Friday, Coco and I stayed in and watched a DVD bootleg of "Once More, with Feeling," the Buffy musical, and now I can understand part of the allure and appeal of the program. Of course, this episode, an episode in which most of the dialogue is delivered in song, is unlike most (if not all) episodes, so my exposure and opinion isn't totally accurate or representative. But if most of the scripts show this level of humor and energy, I might have to see more of the show.

I was struck by several aspects of the episode, least of which was the musical framework. While the songs were interesting, I was more intrigued by the characters' self-consciousness during the musical moments. Instead of merely couching the plot in the guise of a musical, the writers worked the very idea of the musical into the plot itself. An accidental summoning of a demon brings on a curse that causes people to spontaneously break into song and dance -- and eventually spontaneously combust. During the musical numbers, characters reveal aspects of themselves and their relationships that they wouldn't otherwise, which makes for some nice exposition as well as epiphany. Several writers and producers of the show were worked into the plot as incidental characters, as well, which Coco had to point out to me (I wouldn't have realized it otherwise). And I didn't realize that Buffy included a lesbian relationship subplot -- a pleasant surprise.

Solely on the basis of this one episode, I'll be less hesitant to watch Buffy in the future. What that says about me, I'm not sure.

No comments: