The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn April 22, 2015 The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn Usman Malik He will inherit the Unseen. The Ways of Walls and Words April 15, 2015 The Ways of Walls and Words Sabrina Vourvoulias Can the spirit truly be imprisoned? Ballroom Blitz April 1, 2015 Ballroom Blitz Veronica Schanoes Can't stop drinking, can't stop dancing, can't stop smoking, can't even die. Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David."
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April 22, 2015
Daredevil, Catholicism, and the Marvel Moral Universe
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April 22, 2015
The Old Guy Action Comeback: I’m Getting Too Old for This Sh*t
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The Net is the Meat: Bruce Holsinger’s Middle Ages
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Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
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The Disney Read-Watch: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
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Showing posts by: Alyx Dellamonica click to see Alyx Dellamonica's profile
Jan 6 2014 2:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Looking for Blood in All the Wrong Places

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Never Leave Me, Bring It On

“Never Leave Me” by Drew Goddard and “Bring on the Night” by Marti Noxon and Douglas Petrie

This phase of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s seventh season is moving at breakneck speed: once again, with this episode, we pick up directly after what passed the week before. XandAnya, Willow and Dawn are trying to repair the damage from the First’s recent spooktacular visit to the Summers home. Instead of whistling while they work, Anya and Dawn are being vocal about their misgivings about Buffy’s “Let’s bring Spike home and not kill him immediately,” plan.

Elsewhere, the First is using Andrew as a reluctant agent, egging him on by appearing to be Warren and urging him to... well, at this point we aren’t sure precisely what the goal may be.

One of the things we do learn about the First, in case we all hadn’t processed it earlier, is that it can’t can’t take solid form. Andrew and Fake Warren compare this situation to its media antecedents, bringing up Obi-Wan Kenobi and Patrick Swayze in Ghost. They entirely leave out Al from Quantum Leap, so I am officially miffed.

[Oh boy!]

Dec 30 2013 2:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: My Sire Can Beat Up Your Sire

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sleeper, Spike, First

“Sleeper,” by David Fury and Jane Espenson

You know it isn’t a good thing when your friendly neighborhood slayer comes rapping on your door at way too early on a workday. It’s five point two seconds after Buffy’s convo with Webs the Dead Person ended. Now she’s looking for Spike, who isn’t home. Where is he? Well, he’s found a new basement hang-out, one that’s a little less shabby than the high school, and he’s burying the blonde from last week there. He looks sane, as such things are reckoned, as well as remorseless. Plus he’s humming what we in Canada think of as the Friendly Giant theme song.

From there we go to England, and a Watcher with a Potential named Nora. Oh, never mind. She’s dead and he’s stabbed.

[Back to Sunnydale...]

Dec 23 2013 2:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Evil rephrased—it eats you, starting with your bottom

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Conversations With Dead People

“Conversations with Dead People,” by Jane Espenson and Drew Goddard

Angie Hart is singing at at the Bronze, providing moody background music as we check in with a few—but not all—of the Scoobies. Mere meters from the emo-music, at the bar, Spike nurses a beer. Elsewhere, Buffy hunts vampires in a cemetery, Willow studies in a library (showing an unusual lack of zest for what was formerly one of her all-time favorite activities) and Dawn arrives home to a “sorry we’re gone, don’t eat pizza,” note. Affixed to which is pizza money.

As the montage wraps up, Buffy finds a fresh grave. A hand claws at the air: someone’s trying to get out. “Here we go,” she says.

[From beneath you, it psychoanalyzes...]

Dec 16 2013 2:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Dawn and the Amazing Lettered Dreamboat

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Him, RJ

“Him,” by Drew Z. Greenberg

Xander is showing his apartment to a potential roommate... one who turns out, a moment later, to be Spike. This may be the single most self-sacrificing thing he’s ever done for Buffy or the world, and I’m talking about a guy who offered to let Willow kill him.

Spike knows he’s not wanted and tries several times to volunteer himself out of the homesharing gig. But Buffy is determined to get William out of the school basement. His proximity to the Bidet of Evil is clearly one of the reasons he spends so much time jabbering. She is okay enough with having feelings for him that she wants him to get better.

(Or, maybe, she’s that tired of having to parse useful clues out of the babble.)

As they process this, Dawn asks a fabulous question: What does it mean exactly, that Spike is all soul-having?

[Read more...]

Dec 9 2013 2:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Someone was a bit of an Audball all along

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Selfless, Anya

“Selfless,” by Drew Goddard

It’s another glorious morning in Sunnydale, and Dawn is briefing Willow on how to fit in at university as she unpacks some of her things. The message seems to be keep your head down and don’t make waves. Willow is taking it all on board very kindly. (What this advice says about Dawn and how things are going in high school, I’m not sure.)

Buffy and Xander, meanwhile, are worrying about Anya. Xander’s worry is that she’s sad. Buffy’s is more that she’s working her old vengeance gig. Oh no, says Xander. The thing with the worm-monster was totes an aberration.

Guess which one of them is right? Or don’t—no guessing is required. Across town, at a local fraternity, a whole bunch of guys are lying around with their hearts ripped out. Anya’s sitting in their midst, covered in blood, trying to figure out how she got there.

[Read more...]

Dec 2 2013 2:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Pretentious Inner Turmoil or Precognitive Abilities? How to Tell?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Help, Cassie

“Help,” by Rebecca Rand Kirshner

The only show that opens in a funeral home more often than BtVS, I’m thinking, is probably Six Feet Under, and that’s where we are today, with Buffy, Xander, and Dawn waiting for the close of business before crawling out of a trio of coffins. It’s a nice change from waiting over a fresh grave for the latest new-hatched vampire, and they pass the time by jawing over about Buffy’s anxious-making new job in the exciting field of youth counselling.

Just as their attention turns to the old job, and whether or not the corpse du nuit is a vamp, it turns out she is. Surprise! Buffy dusts her, and with that we move onto the credits.

[One vamp at a time, one kid at a time...]

Nov 25 2013 2:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Redemption School Dropout

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Same Time Same Place, Xander, Dawn

“Same Time, Same Place,” by Douglas Petrie

This episode has a very literal title: the time is 9:24, and the place is the airport, at least in the beginning. We know this because we get an unnecessarily good eyeful of the airport clock and, below it, a bunch of insignificant—yet moderately memorable—deplaning passengers. Once that’s established, we go to Buffy, Dawn, and Xander, who are anxiously waiting for Willow to arrive.  Xander has a yellow crayon sign and some understandable pride over having saved the world from the destructive rage of his oldest friend.

Pride aside, they’re all finding it a little weird, this upcoming reunion. The tension only increases when Buffy’s obliged to confess that Willow didn’t exactly finish what she was up to in England, this thing with Giles and his coven friends that Xander and Dawn are calling a recovery course.

“She didn’t finish not being evil?” Dawn demands.

[Read more...]

Nov 18 2013 3:00pm

Surprise, Fear, and an Almost Fanatical Dedication to the Womack

Random Acts of Senseless Violence Jack Womack This spring I moved from Vancouver to Toronto, a relocation across three exciting time zones into an apartment half the size of the old one. An early stage of this process involved rehoming hundreds upon hundreds of books. We gave them to friends, to writing colleagues, to editors, and to guys in the housing project down the road. We gave them to neighbours, shop owners, and the guy who brought us our uber-green moving boxes. (He took about thirty titles, and left a note on my site recently to say he and his girlfriend got in a fantastic summer’s reading, and thanks. This made up, slightly, for having to let go of so many treasures.)

At the end of the purge, we had gone from floor to ceiling shelves, many of them stacked double, to having only three bookshelves left. As you can imagine, every single book remaining is a precious object, a pearl among prose drops, something that could never be given up, under any circumstances.

One of those books is Jack Womack’s Random Acts of Senseless Violence.

[Read More]

Nov 18 2013 2:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: “Did you turn this lady’s ex into a giant worm monster?”

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Beneath You, Spike

“Beneath You,” by Douglas Petrie

This episode opens with noisy club music in Frankfurt and a pink-haired Potential (who we don’t know is a Potential, yet) on the run for her life. It doesn’t work out any better for her than it did for the young woman last week. This time, though, Buffy sees it all unfold, in one of her prophetic dreams.

“From beneath you, it devours,” the dead dream-girl tells her, before she wakes up screaming.

[Read more...]

Nov 11 2013 3:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Best Principal Ever or Evil Fiend? How do you tell?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lessons, Dawn

“Lessons,” by Joss Whedon

Istanbul! Eastern music, an exotic courtyard of... death! But whose death? A young girl, nobody we recognize, is fleeing from entities in dark robes, and nobody seems keen to help her. Though she fights hard for her life, she’s outnumbered, and soon enough she’s so very fatally stabbed.

[Mysterious, right?]

Nov 11 2013 1:00pm

Rise of a... Saint? Meet Hild, and Decide

Hild Niccola Griffiths Historical fiction, well done, is a delicious form of time travel. We read books about the past so we can experience it, in all its color and mystery, from the privileged comfort of a chair. We experience its joys, without truly enduring its hardships. In the hands of a great storyteller, it carries us into lands every bit as faraway and exotic as Frank Herbert’s Arrakis or Ursula Le Guin’s Gethen. Historical fiction even makes aliens of our ancestors, by illuminating how humanity’s attitudes, beliefs and cultural practices have changed over centuries gone by.

Such a book is Nicola Griffith’s Hild.

[Read More...]

Nov 4 2013 2:30pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Wanna Kill the World? Start with Xander!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Grave, Willow, Xander

“Grave,” by David Fury

The final episode of Buffy S6 picks up right where “Two to Go” left off, which is to say with Giles having poof! appeared in The Magic Box to confront Willow in the midst of her magic-fueled homicidal rampage.

[Our Watcher’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble]

Oct 28 2013 1:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: In Which the Annoying Virgin Has A Point

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Two to Go, Willow

“Two to Go,” by Douglas Petrie

Say what you will about S6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it is packed. So much so, that this penultimate episode opens with Xander announcing: “This is what happened this year.” We get an extra-long series of clips, which offer a detailed account of Buffy’s resurrection, the coming together and apart of Spuffy, Willow’s addiction arc, Dawn’s thieving and the failure of the XandAnya wedding to come together.

We also, naturally, see Tara’s tragic demise and, as a piece de resistance, Willow’s violent dispatch of Warren.

[Read more...]

Oct 21 2013 1:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Willow, the Misogynist Flayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayers, Villains, Willow

“Villains,” by Marti Noxon

This episode opens with an ambulance racing to the Summers house, not for the first time, with an extra at the wheel who looks like he can’t quite believe he’s on BtVS. When they arrive, a panicked and blood-splashed Xander directs the paramedics to the back of the house, where Buffy is lying in a pool of bullet with a stunned expression on her face.

Nobody knows that upstairs, Willow is also seeking help because Tara’s been fatally shot—but instead of 911 she’s calling 1-800-Osiris—and without doing said deity the courtesy of having slaughtered a baby deer or even a couple goldfish first.

Osiris is, in his way, a good sport about it. He tells her straight up that she cannot defy the natural order by resurrecting Tara.  Poor Willow is completely shattered, naturally, out of her mind with shock and grief. She gives him a zorch, of sorts, by way of hanging up.

Time for a homicidal plan B, she thinks.

[Rampage ahoy...]

Oct 14 2013 1:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: “Someone had to guinea pig the meat suit”

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Seeing Red, Tara

“Seeing Red,” by Stephen DeKnight

Love is back in business in the Buffyverse, because WillTara are a thing again! A happy, delighted, so-in-love post-coital thing. After the events of “Entropy,” they spent the night together, and now as morning comes they’re just catching their breath with a bit of shop talk.

What a contrast with Spuffy waking up in that broken house, huh?

[Read More…]

Oct 7 2013 1:30pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: I’m lonely and drunk and you smell really good...

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Entropy, Spike Anya

“Entropy,” by Drew Z. Greenberg

Ah, springtime on the Hellmouth. Vampires flee in apparent terror, all thoughts of drinking the blood of the living forgotten as... wait! There isn’t a Slayer in sight! No Buffy, no friends, no ex-lovers or off-and-on allies, not even a plucky victim, a much-missed Watcher or a misguided, doomed cop. Instead we see the Trio, on quads. They are completely ineffective in catching the vamps, who nearly get away. The Sunnydale vampire population is becoming weaker and more prone to bolting without cause as time goes on, I think.

And for good reason, perhaps, because now Buffy does show up, as does Spike. Warren, showing true nerve if not actual courage, edges closer until he’s fray-adjacent, all so he can snatch a mystic disk off the ground. The disk, naturally, was the reason the three of them were chasing the undead in the first place.

It was nice of the vamps to drop the thing before it got dusted along with their clothes.

[Read More...]

Sep 30 2013 1:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Delusions of Grandeur? Not!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Normal Again

“Normal Again,” by Diego Gutierrez

A week after the XandAnya wedding misfires so spectacularly, we find Buffy walking the streets of Sunnydale in a somewhat peculiar outfit, reading from a list of newly rented apartments. This is a search for the Trio—hurrah for being proactive!—and she’s about to hit paydirt.

Or maybe not. The Trio are just smart enough to put out a security camera and keep an eye peeled for the Slayer. Unfortunately, they’ve put Jonathan on watch and he has dozed off. Warren hits him with a squirt gun and he admits to having slept poorly since Katrina’s murder.

His partners in crime are not so sure he’s entitled to his feels.

[Read More...]

Sep 23 2013 1:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Marriage, Circus Folk Style

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hell's Bells, Willow Anya

“Hell’s Bells,” by Rebecca Rand Kirshner

What’s a TV wedding without horror in the form of ritual bridesmaid humiliation? “Hell’s Bells” opens on another decoy moment, with Buffy and Willow apparently contemplating some great monster to be fought.

In fact, the awfulness is just bright green gowns with silly sleeves. The best that can be said about them is that the two best friends are, once again, equally condemned to fashion embarassment. (If this season is largely about Buffy suffering, it’s about Willow suffering in parallel.)

The dresses look good on nobody, as we’ll see when Tara and Dawn turn up. But Anya loves them! Today is on track to be the happiest day of her whole life, and as we ease into watching the little wedding that couldn’t possibly, I already feel terrible for her.

And for myself. “Hell’s Bells” is one of those episodes that is excruciating to watch from the get-go. I might actually prefer another round of “Doublemeat Palace,” complete with edible props.

[Read more...]

Sep 16 2013 1:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: “So they’re like really mean tribbles?”

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, As You Were, Sam Riley

“As You Were,” by Douglas Petrie

Buffy’s at the day job, getting a lecture about office politics from a keen-eyed college student, and feeling demoralized about her apparently non-existent future. On the way home, she’s singing the Doublemeat jingle, which doesn’t serve to build her morale. It’s almost a relief to be attacked by a vamp, at least until he’s put off by her grill smell. He’s grossed out and only too happy to pile insult onto injury.

Don’t you wish you could kill people like that? Hey, in this case she can!

[Read More...]

Sep 9 2013 1:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: “We do not joke about eating people in this house!”

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Older and Far Away, Dawn

“Older and Far Away,” by Drew S. Greenberg

Buffy is rushing out to Slay and making excuses to Dawn, who tries to be understanding. This, I’m coming to realize, is rarely a good sign. But it’s a normal enough occurence in the Summers household. And I do have something to add to my list of good things about Season Six: Buffy’s coat is exceedingly cute.

It had been long enough since I’d seen this episode that I suspected that Buffy’s stated intention to go kill evil things was actually a cover for slinking off to a certain crypt to Spuff her brains out. But no—the Slayer is indeed at her non-Doublemeat, non-paying job. There is an actual demon, complete with sword, on the loose. He can teleport, but it doesn’t help him much: she fights him, stabs him with his own sword, and seems not to notice when his demony essence (or somesuch) ends up trapped inside the thing.

[Read more...]