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[personal profile] oyceter
Because it was the very first thing I watched the second I had my S6 DVDs in hand. Well, actually, first I watched the making of, which was fun, because I always love seeing the behind the scenes stuff of musicals (particularly of dancing). I wish the Chicago DVD had more of people practicing the dancing. Then I watched the commentary.

Then I watched the episode. Mmm. Possibly my favorite episode of Buffy ever. This is despite glaringly horrible holes in the plot, but those are easily forgiven, because I am a sucker for musicals and because I love the sheer pain. And the chessy musical jokes. And the dancing. And, well, pretty much everything. I think this is also the episode I've seen the most often -- it was the second Buffy episode I watched after catching FFL on FX (really crappy download though, horrible quality). Then I took a class on musicals senior year partly because, hey, musicals! and because the syllabus had this ep and Moulin Rouge on it. The happy factor of that really cannot be expressed in type ;).

Random things I still love -- all the deadpan cuts (can a cut be deadpan?), from the Tara and Willow song to Xander at the Magic Shop, the brief cut to the Mustard Song, everything. And all the silly jokes about musicals ("Anya, Tara, she needs backup!").

Things I dislike that I keep noticing (it's sort of like rewatching Beauty and the Beast for the millionth time -- even the annoying bits are sort of comforting). I still dislike Spike's song. I watched the behind the scenes thing and finally pinpointed why it annoys me so much. Granted, JM isn't quite on key, which is annoying, but then, the non-professional-singer-ness of the other cast members never quite annoyed me. Mostly I realized while watching JM rehearse, he just kind of mumbles the song. No emotion at all, no rage, no growly rock screams, nothing. Sort of MTV Unplugged confessional style, which doesn't go with the song or his actions during the song at all. Spike is striding around angrily and growling and in vamp face, and JM is just mumbling into the mike! I mean, it's supposed to be a rock anthem type thing, so it should have been loud, with guitars screaming and Spike wailing in a vaguely frightening punk way, not all acoustic. The closest it gets to that is his line in "Walk Through the Fire," when he sings about hoping Buffy burns so he'll be free.

Though I adore ASH's voice, I still completely disagree with his song. Mind you, I am also completely within Buffy-POV (I don't know when Buffy became my POV character, but she is very firmly in that position now), and the thought of being in deep depression and having the one dependable in your life who did not pull you out of heaven leave is simply devastating. If I were in a deep depression (kind of was, but obviously not to the same degree) and if people had done that with me, even more than they had in RL, I would have absolutely freaked out. Or, actually, probably just quietly implode under the pressure to be "normal again" (heh, pun sort of intended), because for me, at that time, being normal was hard enough, much less doing things that Buffy was supposed to do, like take care of Dawn, take care of herself, find a job, keep her friends from imploding, etc. Plus, then there's all that nonsense about making Buffy go alone to rescue Dawn. So, yeah. Despite the fact that I fall completely under while Giles sings, I cannot help but wish they played up his fear of watching Buffy die again, of a failing in himself, sort of. Makes more sense to me, and that way it would have been all the Scoobies sort of succumbing to their fears and their bad sides, as opposed to Giles alone being wise enough not to.

Other things: I want Buffy's outfit in the last number. The red shirt with the sleeves and the droopy collar and the jeans and the boots and the long leather coat and the guh. Yes, I am shallow. I also had fun noticing that she and Spike match perfectly -- black leather coats, bright/blood red shirts. And Buffy's coat was lined with purple and the combination of purple and black made me immediately think of Smashed. Somehow, I am not sure that the wardrobe department had that planned out, but it's still nifty.

The Xander summoning thing still doesn't make sense. Also, I could never figure out -- why do they keep singing after the demon disappears? Is it his goodbye gift?

"Something to Sing About" is still my favorite song, followed by "Walk Through the Fire." I like angsty songs. Plus, SMG completely sells it. Her voice isn't stellar, but she pumps so much emotion into it that I always feel kind of sniffly, especially when you can see Buffy's bitterness spouting all the platitudes, singing about her friends and "Well that depends / on if they let you go..." And the final bit with "Heeeeeeaven..." and the horrified looks on everyone's faces. And the almost tender way Buffy sings "There was no pain, no fear nor doubt..." as though she still wants to let them down gently, despite what they did. *sniff* And the dancing. And the way the opening scene between Buffy and Sweet echoes The Gift, Buffy offering herself once more for Dawn in an almost desperate fashion, because she wants out of this world. I honestly like Spike as a person (or humanoid thing) when he stops Buffy and sings instead of "Liiiiiiving....so one of us is liiiiiiving." It's a little harsh, like Joss says in the commentary, but instead of the harsh truthfulness (or what Spike thinks as truthfulness) of FFL or the spiteful truth of Into the Woods, this is Spike actually looking compassionate and giving her maybe the only hope she can take, bitter though it is. Maybe the bitterness is what makes is acceptable to her, because the sugar-coated platitudes don't work.

Ah, much love, much love. Now I want to go watch it again!

(no subject)

Fri, May. 28th, 2004 10:00 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] katie-m.livejournal.com
Though I adore ASH's voice, I still completely disagree with his song. Mind you, I am also completely within Buffy-POV (I don't know when Buffy became my POV character, but she is very firmly in that position now), and the thought of being in deep depression and having the one dependable in your life who did not pull you out of heaven leave is simply devastating.

Oh, God, yes. I never quite forgave Giles for that. So awful.

(no subject)

Fri, May. 28th, 2004 10:27 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] buffyannotater.livejournal.com
re: Xander...I think his summoning Sweet makes more sense if you think of it on a grander scale. We learned this season that magic always has consequences, and although he isn't immediately chastised for what he did, there is a major consequence later in the season: he does not get the happily ever after he so wanted with Anya. I see this as similar to how Tara's death, shot in the heart, is the universe's price for Willow having slaughtered the fawn and cut out its heart to resurrect Buffy. Not direct at all, but still a consequence of it.

(no subject)

Sat, May. 29th, 2004 01:28 am (UTC)
ext_1774: butterfly against blue background (The Boy - Xander (by saava))
Posted by [identity profile] butterfly.livejournal.com
Plus, if he were ever going to screw around with magic again, this would be the season -- two witches in the group, both of whom contribute a lot. Much of the danger factor of magic would seem less just because he's seen so much more of it, and from allies.

(no subject)

Sat, May. 29th, 2004 02:10 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] londonkds.livejournal.com
I mean, it's supposed to be a rock anthem type thing, so it should have been loud, with guitars screaming and Spike wailing in a vaguely frightening punk way, not all acoustic.

I was disappointed by Spike's song as well, but I see it as a nod to the way that post-1960s stage musicals never do a real rock number, but sometimes a diluted approximation of it.

(no subject)

Sat, May. 29th, 2004 04:50 am (UTC)
ext_6428: (otp (base by jess79))
Posted by [identity profile] coffeeandink.livejournal.com
Also, I could never figure out -- why do they keep singing after the demon disappears? Is it his goodbye gift?

It's his final command:

All those secrets
You've been concealing
Say you're happy now,
Once more with feeling


(no subject)

Sat, May. 29th, 2004 11:43 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] avrelia.livejournal.com
I love SMG singing in this episode the most (I love also the Anya/Xander song, but for different reasons), because it is not SMG performs the musical number, it is Buffy singing her heart out, so even the imperfection of it feels very natural. As opposed to Tara's song, which is supposed to be "a breakaway hit", but bores me, or Willow who in two lines she is singing is actually "a very embarrassed AH"(to quote someone).

(no subject)

Sun, May. 30th, 2004 07:44 pm (UTC)
jcalanthe: Clem from Buffy knocking at a door (clem)
Posted by [personal profile] jcalanthe
I haven't rewatched this in ages, but I was convinced that Xander was covering for Dawn, and that's why his excuse was so dumb. This never got followed up tho, so probably that was just my handwaving to make it make more sense.


And YES, I'm so glad you said that about Giles's song. It rubbed me the wrong way, but you've put into words exactly why. Joss doesn't usually misstep so wildly, so I'm now pondering if it's in character for Giles to think his leaving will be helpful. The "stiff upper lip" stereotypical British approach to depression perhaps? Or maybe he just didn't grasp the extent of her depression at that point?


The Mustard Song is my favorite part of the whole episode. *g*

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