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The Buffy Project is Over. I Tried

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I tried. I really did. My plan was to watch, and blog about watching, the entire series of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Unfortunately, the process of blogging it was the most interesting part of the process. Watching the actual show was pretty darned boring.

No offense meant if you’re a fan. Me? I’m not. At least this means I don’t need to watch “Angel” too.

The Buffy Project: Two Bad Seasons Down but Things Are Looking Up

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No, I haven’t forgotten about the Buffy Project. The quest continues to watch the entire “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” TV show from start to finish, and blog the experience. I knew that it was a bad idea going in.  No, not a bad idea to watch the show.  The bad idea was to start at the beginning.

If you’ve read my previous Buffy Project posts, you know that the show has been meeting my rather low expectations. Now that I’ve finished season two, not much has changed.  It’s not a bad show, mind you. It’s just that they’re seasons one and two.

The second season came in fits.  I’d watch an episode or two, and then none for a while. Since starting season two I’ve watched the entire Netflix runs of Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Black Books, Spaced, Archer, and Bob’s Burgers. I’ve watched parts of the original Star Trek, Nikita, Top Gear, Doctor Who, Psych, Greg the Bunny, The Good Guys, and Darker than Black. I’ve read all three Hunger Games novels, the Harry Potter series (and the movies), one James Patterson, a Terry Pratchet, and Andrew Breitbart’s excellent, but last book. I’m currently working my way through Cryptonomicon. You might say that I’ve done everything but the Buffy Project.

I buckled down again lately, and started catching an episode or two at a time again. I began to dread the end of the season, because that would mean the end of procrastination.  How do you blog about watching a show which isn’t good enough to love, but isn’t bad enough to abandon once blog-honor is on the line?

Luckily, the final two-parter happened.  Everything gets twisted.  She admits to her Mom that she’s a Vampire-slayer. One friend (albeit a short-lived one) dies, another kidnapped, and the third hurt. At the end it’s Buffy, teamed with her worst enemy in a fight to defeat her boyfriend.

I realized why I haven’t been able to enjoy the show, as I watched the last episode of the season. At no point have I felt emotionally invested in the characters.  They’ve grown.  Interesting things have happened.  Still, though, these people on my screen are just characters.  No big deal.

At the end of season two, however, that’s starting to change.  I’m starting to get a connection with the characters. This is a good thing, because I’ve believed all along that season three is where the show really starts. I won’t repeat the theory here as it is not unique, terribly insightful, nor short.  See previous posts.

Next up?  Season three.  If it lives up to expectations, I don’t expect to wait until the end of the season to post.

Thoughts?

The Buffy Project Begins: Welcome to the Hellmouth Craptacular

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My project to watch and blog Buffy the Vampire Slayer has begun.  I watched the first two hours, which I assume constitute the original two-hour premier.  My expectations were low.  They were not exceeded.  It wasn’t that the opening show was bad, per se.  It’s that it was an opening show at all.

I remember watching the series premier of Star Trek: The Next Generation.  For months I had looked forward to this show.  Plans were made to be able to watch that show.  That episode, “Encounter at Farpoint,” set a new bar for exactly how awesome a science fiction show could be.  In retrospect, though, it really kinda sucked.  After the third season had begun, I barely wanted to acknowledge that the premier episode existed.

I wanted to set the proper expectations for this show, so I simply didn’t set high expectations.  What I found was a fairly formulaic first episode in many ways.  It has to be this way, and I’m fine with that.

But…

The opening scene immediately made me happy.  That cute girl looks familiar.  Is that Julie Benz, who went on to such a great role on Showtime’s Dexter?  IT IS! Way to catch me off guard, Whedon.  You didn’t even know that would happen, but way to go.

I’ve seen at least part of the original Buffy movie, so I understand the idea of the show.  That’s good because they don’t spend any time on the origin story itself.  They quickly reference it, and quickly establish that her job isn’t over.  Onward!

As the characters are introduced, I’m finding that there are only two that seem really likeable.  Willow is one, and the other is the social nemesis, Cordelia.  The rest I feel I’m supposed to like more than background characters, but this isn’t the episode where character growth really starts to occur.

Buffy is really a bit of a bitch.  I realize that she’s just fought an invasion of vampires, burned down part of her old school, and been forced to move to a new town.  That doesn’t mean she has to emasculate Xander just because he tries to be a man. She seems to have accepted him and the others, though, providing the only bit of character growth you ever get in the first episode.  The main character makes the decision that there will be an episode 2.  Well, 3 in this case because Netflix has the premier as a two-parter.

There’s also this Angel character.  He strikes me as the black sheep, the outsider, the traitor, and the Sam Malone. The only thing I am sure of right now about this guy is that he has a spinoff show, so I’m guessing he’s important.

Another surprise was that the goofy guy, used as bait, was actually turned into a vampire.  I thought he was going to be the “Screech” of this show, and now he’s a vampire?  Soon enough he’s a dead vampire.  Poor goofy bastard.  I thought you were gonna be a star.

All in all I enjoyed the show.  It was bad because it was a first episode.  It wasn’t a bad first episode.  It definitely wasn’t “Encounter at Farpoint” bad.  Most importantly, I do want to keep watching the show.

Next: Lockjaw watches a few more episodes

New Project – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Many of my friends know that I like to watch TV shows from start to finish.  Netflix has made this easier, so I get more opportunities to see new shows.  I decided it was time to choose a new show, that I’ve never watched before. What’s more, I’d blog the experience. This meant that the show had to be something special.  It had to be a show that I’d somehow missed out on watching, but that had appropriate “geek cred” to make it worthwhile.  I decided on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

Why this show?  I’ve become a big fan of Joss Whedon’s work through Firefly and Dollhouse.  Alyson Hannigan is in it, which was pretty much enough for me to watch “How I Met Your Mother.” Even Felicia Day is in it, apparently, so you’d think this show would have been a slam-dunk for me.

Honestly, though, as much as the show had to offer, it was still a vampire show to me.  I’ve never really enjoyed vampires, or the glorification of the undead.  Give me a good old lumbering zombie movie any day.  I almost NEVER hear anyone wishing they could be a zombie.  Vampires, on the other hand, just bother me.

It’s not that I haven’t tried.  I’ve tried watching funny vampires, teenage vampires, silent vampires, serious vampires, vampires in other countries, alien vampires, and far too many simply bad vampires.  That is the biggest reason I didn’t watch the show.  I just don’t dig vampires.

Well it’s time.  It is time for me to put aside my anti-vampire bigotry and step forth.  Alright, Buffy, show me what you’ve got.

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark Review

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I’ve reviewed a movie or three, and a couple new music releases in the past, but this has never really been a review blog. This, though, will be my first time reviewing a Broadway musical.

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is still in the preview period before the official opening. Initial reviews weren’t so great. Due to that fact, and some accidents during previews, the show was shut down for three weeks for a major retooling. I was able to see the show on the second night after the retooling, so I had high hopes.

The show opened with Peter Parker telling the story of Arachne, who was punished for blaspheming against the gods in her weaving. As the report progresses the scene transitions to Arachne, hanging above the stage while dancers hang from cloth strips, swinging while more strips slide upward until they have woven a backdrop to the scene. It was stunning. It was so stunning that the crowd gave a standing ovation. That’s right, the OPENING SONG received a standing ovation.

The story is one with which we are all familiar. Peter Parker is a geek who is picked on by the jocks at school. During a school field trip he is bitten by a spider from a scientific experiment in the laboratory of Dr. Norman Osborn. Through a series of events he becomes a crimefighter, while also developing his relationship with Mary Jane Watson.

What’s great about this show is that it flows very well through the life of Peter Parker. The villains are handled as comic relief to offset against the much more serious story of Parker and his relationships.

When the music or story felt weak, which was rare, it was during the parts which were needed to establish parts of the story to come. Overall the music was excellent. The story was very well done, and familiar.

The wire-work ranged from the subtle chat on the balcony, hanging over the stage, to the spectacular flying battle. The work in the opening scene was simple, yet complex in a way that set the stage for the brilliance that was to come.

It was a great show. I am glad to have been able to see it after the retooling, and would gladly see it again. Now, where’s the soundtrack?

Muppets – Beaker sings Dust in the Wind

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Mike Baker on Homeless Soccer, aka The Clip That Hooked Me on Red Eye

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I discovered Red Eye, late night on Fox News and watched it now and then, but it was this clip that made Red Eye a daily watch for the wife and I. When you see it, you’ll understand why.

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Multi-Camera Office Lip-Sync Brilliance

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One Reason I Love Fox News “Red Eye” at 3am

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This is making the rounds because “Attack of the Show” featured it. I’ve been wanting exactly this clip, plus the “Homeless soccer fat chicks” comment for some time. I’ll have to settle for just the one, for now.

Warcraft Economics – Auctions, Profiteering, and Helping Others

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I love to play World of Warcraft.  Questing, killing beasties, gaining achievements, and Player vs Player are just entertaining things to do on a nice relaxing evening. One of the great things about WoW, as it is known, is that there are so many different ways to play the game.  One of my most enjoyable things to do, though, is profiteering.  I farm expensive materials, gather sellable quest items, and pick up items from vendors in my travels for resale.

My favorite way to find things to sell, though, is to scan the auction house for items that are, frankly, being sold too cheaply.  I buy them at the seller’s asking price, and immediately place them back up for sale at a higher price.  The price I sell for more closely matches the price that the market will bear.  Sometimes, I can multiply my investment several times on one item.

More: Read the rest of this entry…

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