fairy tales

Favorites Week: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

It’s Shark Week everywhere else, but it’s Favorites Week here on nikkisee.com!  This is something I’ve been toying around with for a while– highlighting some of my absolute favorite episodes of my absolute favorite shows.  I’ve decided, for the scope of this week, I’d highlight my top 5 episodes of 5 favorite shows.  We’ll be 5 by 5 at the end of the week, which leads me into today’s show, my number one favorite: Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

 

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Earshot [S3E18]

An brush leaves Buffy to inherit an “aspect of the demon” which turns out to be telepathy.  This makes for a lot of humor with Buffy reading people’s thoughts.  It also makes for a very interesting concept in that she (unlike Sookie Stackhouse) cannot shut the voices off.  It gives her, and us, an opportunity to consider that everyone has their own internal struggles.  As Buffy says to Jonathan– “If you could hear what they were feeling. The loneliness. The confusion. It looks quiet down there. It’s not. It’s deafening.”

 

Pangs [S4E08]

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and Thanksgiving-themed episodes will appear on another list later in the week! At a particularly seasonally appropriate time, a Chumash Indian site is disturbed by Xander (as part of a construction crew) unleashing a vengeful spirit.  What I love about this episode is its comedy– from Anya’s classification of the holiday as “a ritual sacrifice with pie” to Spike, held hostage and tied to the chair, commenting, “You made a bear!  Undo it!”  The final scene with the motley crew sitting down to a meal with an arrow sticking out of a pumpkin says it all— see above!

 

Hush [S4E10]

This episode is absolutely brilliant– a full 27 minutes go by without any dialogue and the story is so engaging!  The premise is this: fairytale villains called The Gentlemen roll into town and steal everyone’s voices.  It starts with a creepy, classic horror dream in which a young girl sings a nursery rhyme indicating “they need to take seven” human hearts “and the might take yours.”  Hush explores communication in its characters and with its audience.  This is an absolute must-watch!

 

Once More with Feeling [S6E07]

This episode is a musical, and I know, musicals may not be everyone’s thing.  They do happen to be my thing, though!  With magic in play, it’s easy to rationalize why everyone is singing, although the Scooby Gang is stuck for an explanation at first.  All of Sunnydale is suddenly singing, dancing, and letting all their feelings out.  At a time when the characters are dealing with heavy emotions, music makes it enjoyable for us while still letting us experience these emotions.

 

Tabula Rasa [S6E08]

Fresh off the open wounds from OMWF’s airing of emotional baggage, everyone wishes they could just forget.  Willow takes this to the extreme and a spell goes awry making the Scooby Gang forget entirely who they are.  What would it be like to wake up with no idea who you are?  Watching them piece together clues about their own identities and each other’s with varying inaccuracies is super fun.  They also forget about demons… that’s fun to watch them find out, too.

 

Now it’s your turn!  What are you favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes?

Third Time’s A Charm

IMG_0275With my Netflix supply of Lost Girl depleted, I was of course in search of a new binge show.  I’ve written before about nothing in my queue jumping out at me, and I seemed to be in that slump.  I turned to show I’d tried before— Once Upon A Time.

It took me exactly three viewings of the first episode to decide to watch this show.  I’d watched it once before and it just didn’t click.  For some reason, I let it sit in my queue thinking I could try again.  I did, to not avail.  For some reason, I tried one last time, and I finally decided I liked this show.

The premise is a bit contrived, but hey, I’m a girl who watches a lot of weird shit. The stories of present-day Storyville, ME and the enchanted world these characters live in are intertwined in each episode— at the start of the series, none of the Storyville residents know they are fairytale characters.

The good:

  • Jennifer Morrison was the reason I invested in this show.  I loved her in House as Cameron.  She gets even more of a chance to shine here as the main character Emma— tough, strong, and full of heart.
  • Lana Parrilla is absolutely amazing.  She plays the evil queen and the evil adoptive mother and is all-around pretty evil, but this girl is beautiful, compelling, and talented.  I’ve developed an enormous crush on her, and I find myself completely rooting for her.
  • This show is shockingly beautiful!  The scenes, even non-magical, are so aesthetically gorgeous; lovely scenery and well-executed camera placement makes it a treat to watch.
  • Boston is mentioned a bunch of times!  The show starts there before moving to Maine, where it mainly takes place.  I feel a lot of hometown pride.  Also, Maine really works to this show’s advantage— you’d never really need to drive through Maine to get anywhere in the US, so it makes sense that no one ever visits Storyville.

The bad:

  • I find it super awkward that Emma’s parents are like, the same age as she is.
  • Ginnifer Goodwin’s teacher look does not work for me.  She is so lovely as Snow White, and that pixie cut is great when styled correctly, but not with the schoolmarm attire.  That makes the haircut sad.
  • I think there’s so much opportunity to infuse more darkness into this show.  Sometimes it’s a little too… fairy dusty?  I like more Grimm’s less Disney’s.
  • There’s the overwhelming aura of Emma being The Chosen One (to use Buffy terminology) or the Savior.  Because the show isn’t really dark in tone like Buffy was, this bothers me to an extent.

The in-between:

  • OUAT uses fairytales and folklore to formulate characters and storylines.  This is sometimes a really great thing (I like what they did with Pinocchio) and sometimes a stretch (like with Belle’s Beast & Rumpelstiltskin being one in the same).

The best thing out of this show is beautiful scenery, beautiful costumes, and beautiful people… okay, Lana Parrilla.  I’m glad I gave it a third shot.

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I’m a sucker for wedding dresses…

The 44 episodes on Netflix kept me busy for a while, but not long enough!  Thankfully, my experience with OUAT inspired me to give another show a third try… How I Met Your Mother.  That’s right, I’ve watched this show over and over, and now finally, I’m LOVING it!  I’m already caught up before the big finale, and I have so many feelings.

While I eat through these seasons, I’m always taking new Netflix suggestions.  What have you got for me?!