odds and ends: summer, buffy

Finished! The 2011-2012 school year is in the books, folks… the history books. The history books that write about how school years end. Every year. Very boring, unnecessary history books that no one ever looks at.

Where was I? Oh yes, summer vacation. We’ve got some tentative plans for the next few weeks. Ellen and I may be taking the boys on a mini-vacation somewhere next week. I know we’ll be spending about two weeks in New York this July… or rather, a week or so in New York and then one week on the New Jersey shore. We have a couple of friends who are visiting Ohio in August.

Somewhere along the line, I made the command decision to spend a huge chunk of my summer working; I’m going to be teaching two reclamation courses for students at my school who did not pass the Ohio Graduation Test. I’ve taught the same class for the past three years and it’s a pretty good thing; the students who attend are VERY serious about getting finished with this test and we normally get a chance to do some good work.

Besides that? Yardwork, I guess- our fence is looking like garbage and I have to replace it. The battery on our electric lawnmower just broke, so that needs to be replaced. I’m going to paint the downstairs bathroom; it’s been adorned with the world’s ugliest wallpaper since we moved in three years ago.


Ellen and I embarked on another of our great summer TV marathons this week. You may remember two summers ago, Ellen fell in love with Veronica Mars. Last summer I became obsessed with Doctor Who. This year, after much cajoling, Ellen agreed to give Buffy the Vampire Slayer a try.

I figured this was a natural progression for Ellen. As I said, she already loves Veronica Mars, which takes a lot of its’ lead from the Buffy template. Ellen also loves Joss Whedon’s work on Firefly and Serenity. For my part, I’ve been a fan of B:TVS since the beginning and I’ve been looking for a reason to see if the show continues to hold up today.

So far, we’re on the fourth episode and the show has aged… decently. Of course, any television which wants to be a reference-dropping tastemaker is going to show some wear and tear when looked back on years later. In particular, one exchange from the first episode is unbelievably awful:

Cordelia: Well, you’ll be okay here. If you hang with me and mine, you’ll be accepted in no time. Of course, we do have to test your coolness factor. You’re from L.A., so you can skip the written, but let’s see. Vamp nail polish? 

Buffy Summers: Um, over? 

Cordelia: So over. James Spader? 

Buffy Summers: He needs to call me. 

…JAMES SPADER. Like… he was almost 40 years old in 1997. I’m not saying he wasn’t a good looking man, I’m just saying it’s a weird choice to use James Spader as your go-to “hunky guy” example when you’re establishing your protagonist.

Then again, Buffy does end up falling for Angel, an almost 300 year old vampire. Perhaps she just has a thing for older men?

(Expect more Buffy updates throughout the summer with my apologies in advance.)

5 Responses to “odds and ends: summer, buffy”

  1. 1997 James Spader was gorgeous, but at 37 Buffy did need to be into older men to appreciate him. It was just showing that Buffy had mature tastes and was not an empty headed teen ager.

    • Christopher Pearce Says:

      …and yet, Cordelia is the one bringing up James Spader. I think we can agree, at least at this point on the show, Cordelia’s main characteristics are something like an empty headed teenager.

      I still think it’s a very strange bit of writing, especially because it conjures more questions than it satisfies.

  2. As much as I love Buffy, I could skip most of the first season. I’ve been rewatching (on season 6 now) and I did skip a lot in the first season. Mostly stand alone episodes with bug ladies or hyenas. And the Spader thing is weird. I guess I don’t know where his career was at the time. I lost track of him between Mannequin and Secretary.

    • Christopher Pearce Says:

      We’re almost finished with S.1 and it’s been a bit of a slog. We watched The Pack and Teacher’s Pet, but decided to skip I Robot, You Jane. Most of those episodes are pretty wretched.

      I will say however… last night we watched The Puppet Show and I had forgotten how terrific that episode was. The humor is terrific, there are some genuine scares, and a nice twist that almost supersedes the silliness of having a wooden ventriloquist dummy as a character.

      • Plus the end scene with them in the talent show is awesome.

        I Robot, You Jane is awful, but I usually watch it because it’s the first appearance of Miss Calendar.

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