Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A Buffy Season: 14: The Special Occasion Or Holiday Episode

Special occasions include things like characters' birthdays and anniversaries, Homecoming, The Prom, Graduation Day... this is starting to sound like a season three episode guide, but there are a few others here and there.

And there haven't been a lot of holiday episodes in the series - every other Hallowe(')en, one Christmas, one Valentine's Day and one Thanksgiving, am I missing any? But that's nearly one a year, so here we go.

(And a comic strip covered New Year's Eve for 2000, featuring - yes! - a bug concerned with the millennium.)

Hallowe(')en ties in to horror naturally, hence its three episodes, putting it on a par with Buffy's birthday. These were more Funny Magic Episodes in actual fact.

I've talked about Christmas specials before. I'd feel hard pressed to better Amends, so while I've addressed the season in The Watch House it was mostly low-key.

Basically this episode is about any normal event big enough to interfere with the Cast's nightly misadventures. The civilians around them who aren't preoccupied with monsters and stuff concentrate on something else, something which might seem trivial to world-saving heroes but is a reminder of the nice normal world they work so hard at saving. With the marking of time in a normal world and regular rites of passage for characters who've been through much more testing ones, the juxtaposition of the everyday and the uncanny is a bit more juxtaposy than usual.

And there may be buying presents and/or dancing.

And buying presents leads to all kinds of shades of meaning and opportunities for misunderstanding or understanding-only-too-well. And dancing leads to getting dressed up all fancy and occasional slow dancing and public displays of affection and the jilted and heartbroken and... well, you can see why there are loads of these in season three.


Example: Straight To The Heart

Despite assorted breakups and disasters, Will Play For Food are still booked for a college Valentine's party and Hope is determined the show must go on. So there they are doing their best to play cheerful, when inevitably things start going magically wrong with couples breaking off and pairing up all chaotically. Did somebody spike the punch Puck style?

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