Saturday, December 12, 2020

It Takes All Kinds

Ah, for the days when a vampire slayer could do her work in a teeny tiny dress. I miss the '90s. The second episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's second season, "Some Assembly Required", is a nice Frankenstein pastiche about a couple boys trying to assemble one attractive teenage girl from the parts of several.

Honestly, though, the most implausible part of the episode is when Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) jumps into a dumpster because she thinks a guy is following her.

I feel like the writers failed to consider how much time and effort--and noise--is required for a person to stop, lift the top of a dumpster all the way back so it stays open, lift herself over the side, jump in, and then pull the lid shut. Angel (David Boreanaz) ought to've been caught up with her for about fifteen minutes by that point. Added onto this the unlikelihood of Cordelia panicking so much from a guy being in the parking lot, her surprising choice of hiding place is only the cherry on the top of the implausible sundae.

But it's nice to see the two of them are already so friendly nearly two years away from when they'd be starring in a spin-off together.

The episode's concept seems like it could easily be a male gaze deconstruction story but a clear difference is drawn between Xander (Nicholas Brendon) lusting for women and the guy actually wanting to construct one by killing several. The episode's Frankenstein monster, a dead high school football star brought back by his brother, has an altogether different motive than the pervy kid doing the reanimation. He commissioned the project in much the way the monster in Mary Shelley's book demanded a bride, feeling such a one would be the only companion willing to accept him. Whether or not this is true isn't entirely clear. In the case of both the Buffy episode and the original book, it seems more like a projected self-image, like the monster requires a mate with a similar level of self-disgust. Which is a pretty lousy way to set out creating a new life though, sadly, that does sound like a lot of parents--as well as people who like to assert a dominant role over their romantic partners.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is available in a lousy cropped format on Amazon Prime.

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