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Syndication

"So, Descartes Walks Into Willy's Bar..." And Willy says, "you want a beer?" Descartes replies, "I think not," and vanishes. Normal Again is the topic of the day as we ponder whether this is the single most important episode in the Buffyverse.
Direct download: Buffycast_1-13.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:23am EDT
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  • Just wanted to have a real human as the latest comment, to demonstrate to Revello that, if he's checking, yes, there are people who, after nearly a decade, still would love to see another Buffycast episode. :) Still true for me in 2016 ^

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  • Just wanted to have a real human as the latest comment, to demonstrate to Revello that, if he's checking, yes, there are people who, after nearly a decade, still would love to see another Buffycast episode. :)

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    posted by: Gauccania on 2012-10-23 06:43:27

  • So when's the next episode? Been a while now.

    posted by: vanya on 2012-09-21 04:30:52

  • Still come here now and again to see if another episode has been published. August 2012 now. Still nothing new except for the spam in the comments.

    posted by: Osiris on 2012-08-03 09:04:12

  • Yeah. I know it's been 5 years, but this was a really great podcast. I miss them too, and I wish I knew what happened to Revello and co.

    posted by: TomH on 2011-10-24 04:39:53

  • Osiris - I tried searching for Revello. Turns out that was Buffy's address. Learn something new every day. However, that makes searches for him all that more difficult. Isn't there an episode due in September of 2013? :)

    posted by: Jesse on 2011-09-11 00:41:24

  • Does anybody know what happened to Revello and crew? Was there ever any explanation as to why they stopped? Is there any hope they will someday continue?

    posted by: Osiris on 2011-08-25 07:25:51

  • Just re-listened to the first ep again. Still good. Hope springs eternal.

    posted by: Jesse on 2011-01-24 21:04:43

  • Best Buffy podcast ever. I just re-listened to all 13 for the second time because for some reason my RSS feed had marked them all as new. I really, really hope you pick up this project again.

    posted by: More Buffycast please? on 2010-12-01 20:49:15

  • Still waiting guys. Looking forward to 1-14!

    posted by: BRING BACK BUFFYCAST on 2010-11-24 18:10:36

  • New listener. Really enjoyed all 12, even if I didn\'t agree with the position you took in some of them (Particularly 1-8) - as you noted, the differing opinions is half the fun. Four years after its end, this is still the best Buffy podcast I\'ve come across. Thanks, Revello and gang, for putting in the time. Fingers crossed for 1-14 in 2012 I guess.

    posted by: Osiris on 2010-02-28 08:33:00

  • Another flybye - only 2 years to go till the next new podcast . lol . No seriously reello we miss , please think about doing a few more.

    posted by: tabath on 2009-12-26 18:10:00

  • Doing a flyby on Christmas Eve, 2009. Still no new eps. Hope waning, but never vanishing.

    posted by: Jesse on 2009-12-24 13:38:00

  • These podcasts are absolutely amazing. As a relative newcomer to the Buffy fandom, your excellent analysis helps me justify my love of the series. I especially love the insights that could only be produced by a gifted student of the writing process. Like everyone else, I hope more podcasts magically appear at some point. Even if they don\'t, thank you so much for your hard work on those that are available. And for free, to boot.

    posted by: Alexa on 2009-08-21 04:25:00

  • Yet another flyby to check on new eps? Come on Revello!!!Please!!!

    posted by: tabath on 2009-07-28 09:14:00

  • Just stopping by to check for a podcast. These were really great. 5/17/2009

    posted by: Jesse on 2009-05-17 12:10:00

  • Totally agree Clem , I check back semi-irregularly even if I don\'t always post just on the offchance the gang have produced some more gems. Are there anyother podcasts Revello and the gang have done? Best Wishes to all on the podcast!

    posted by: tabath on 2009-03-10 08:01:00

  • wow, I can\'t believe I still check in years after the last podcast- it\'s like driving by a ex-lovers house thats out of the way when you\'ve been happily married to someone else for 5 years.

    posted by: Clem on 2009-01-15 18:36:00

  • Happy New Year everyone!

    posted by: BreeVee on 2009-01-03 23:03:00

  • Just a quick drive by. No new podcasts :-( Happy New Year to all.

    posted by: Breeee on 2009-01-03 22:58:00

  • happy xmas revello and all the gang

    posted by: tabath on 2008-12-12 08:11:00

  • @ Veyron: The concept of the world being a figment of the main character\'s imagination is in no way a new concept. It\'s long since been considered one of science fiction\'s greatest clichés. Joss Whedon did this to challenge himself, and yes, he should be praised for doing it well, but it\'s far from brilliant.

    posted by: Evan Raymor on 2008-12-08 02:21:00

  • Well, it only took me 2 years and several months to find this site and the Normal Again podcast. I have to say though that I disagree with most of what\'s been written here by other people regarding this ep. I am one of a lot of people who think that Buffy is actually in the asylum and that the whole series prior and afterward are figments of her imagination. That\'s not to say that I dismiss what happened before and after out of hand, because I don\'t. I think that the whole premise of the show revolving around one sick girls fantasies is a brilliant plot twist and the writer(s) and Joss should be praised for coming up with such a wonderful idea. Just for Gunngirl - this was posted at 2.34AM on Friday the 14th of November, 2008.

    posted by: Veyron on 2008-11-13 21:21:00

  • I hope Revello is Okay. I know the production was a lot of work, and took a lot of time. I still enjoy eps 1-13. Just know your Buffycast was the firs and the best. MISS YOU REVELLO! posted on 11/8/08 If anyone else posts after this, please put the date, just wanna know if the boards are dead or not.

    posted by: Gunngirl on 2008-11-09 00:06:00

  • Moar podcasts plz? I really loved them.

    posted by: Peter on 2008-09-06 14:11:00

  • Why is it taking so long to make the next episode? An update would be great!

    posted by: Jenny on 2008-10-15 12:38:00

  • Sighs in disappointment - once the penis spam starts somewhere its a sure sign a site is dead.lol. Really miss the revello - more please? Or maybe do some Angel?

    posted by: tabath on 2008-09-04 09:47:00

  • So I have finished all 13 BuffyCasts. All I have to say is that...I WANT MORE!

    posted by: gurlkicksboy on 2008-09-02 16:42:00

  • just checking in to see if theres any life around here? kudos revello

    posted by: tabs on 2008-07-29 11:50:00

  • Posting July \'08. Only four more years until the next podcast! Well, if thirteen podcasts were what we got, I\'ll just say thanks, Revello & Co., for your time and effort. Obviously, you reached a lot of people. But as long as the site stays up, I\'ll check in every few months to see if they\'ll grace us with another podcast. I do sincerely hope it\'s good RL issues and not bad RL issues that have kept the gang from the podcasting mic. Best wishes.

    posted by: shelbel on 2008-07-15 19:53:00

  • I just came across this podcast on iTunes this week. I listened to all of the episodes in one day and I am hooked. I am so dishearten to learn that such a long time has passed since the last posting. Please Revello, I beg of you. I finally found a group of people that can appreciate the great complexities, humor and humanity in Buffy. There are fans that support you. I am now one of them.

    posted by: BreeVee on 2008-04-24 16:48:00

  • After having podfaded myself for a long time I revived Radio Free Sunnydale if you guys want to come check it out. I realize I\'m not Revello but a lot of the strength of this podcast was the community. Stop by.

    posted by: Miles on 2008-06-13 14:43:00

  • Still looking forward to next cast. Keep the faith

    posted by: tabath on 2008-04-10 09:57:00

  • I think Revello should make an official announcement that Buffy Cast is dead. If nothing else, Revello.

    posted by: Tyson on 2008-04-02 10:39:00

  • I think the fact that people are still posting despite the fact that no new podcasts are out it a testament to how awesome this podcast is. Never before and ever since have I heard such a well researched and interesting podcast. Come back, please?

    posted by: Peter on 2008-03-18 02:06:00

  • It really is too bad that there are no years in the dates on the posts. It would be nice to know if the board has been dead for over a year or not. Hope this comes back... For the record, I am posting this on 2/28/2008.

    posted by: Jesse on 2008-02-28 13:58:00

  • Just keeping the faith. Looking forward to the next episode some day.

    posted by: Vanya on 2008-02-03 23:02:00

  • Just checking in after more than a year. Revello, if you ever look here, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE come back.

    posted by: Traveller on 2008-01-13 19:38:00

  • Am I just daft? I can\'t figure out if the bulletin notice is new or old since there are no years on the dates. Is there a new episode coming for reals? That sounds too good to be true. Is anybody out there that can clear this up for me?

    posted by: Fozziebare on 2007-12-08 00:52:00

  • Fozziebare...........the bulletin notice has been changed a few months ago,sept I think. I assume there is a episode in the works but its gonna be a long way off since there is not deadline commitment from revello. *keeps fingers crossed that we get some more shows!*

    posted by: tabath on 2007-12-14 08:46:00

  • Happy new year Revello and crew!

    posted by: tabath on 2008-01-01 19:33:00

  • normal again is very simaler to a charmed episode where piper is tricked into thinking she is in an asylm with her two \"sisters\" and that prue never dies but just leaves the asylm. sorry if i am not aloud to talk about other shows i just thought that that was interesting. :)

    posted by: Kiwi on 2007-12-04 14:30:00

  • I just wanted to say that your podcast is awesome. All other Buffy podcasts I\'ve listened to just don\'t go until the level of awesome detail you guys do. I really hope to listen to another episode one day. Thanks again!

    posted by: Peter on 2007-11-03 17:19:00

  • um.... can SOMEONE at Least tell me if this is DEAD?

    posted by: Zombiewulf on 2007-09-17 15:47:00

  • What a great surprise when I checked back on one of my semi irregular visits........1-14 in production. I will be starting to relisten to all the eps now!!!!hae really cheered me up and I will start spreading the word at the altbronze et al. Welcom back revello. !

    posted by: tabath on 2007-09-14 16:58:00

  • Oh you have got to be kidding me!! I am so completely obsessed with Buffy that my friends and family doubt my sanity. I finally find this, put every episode on my Zen, and then there are none! C\'mon Revello...throw me a bone, and let the Ghost of Buffycast Future win the bet. And please let it be soon!!! Everything i am finding where people speak of Buffy like i love to, always ends up being a past event, and i have missed taking place in it while it is happening. And obviously all these people that have posted here can go on forever about it like me. You should too!! Don\'t make me come find you, chain you up in my basement, and make you do another episode from there! You should be flattered that we all wanna hear you talk so much! Thank you for getting me addicted to your heroin buffycast, now give me another fix!!!!!

    posted by: Sired by Spike on 2007-04-14 11:16:00

  • This is the Ghost of Buffycast Future. I predict a future of hungry Buffy fans becoming all tortury and stuff, which would be nice to avoid. I have a bet with the Ghost of Buffycast Past that you might actually produce another episode before 2012, so I\'m being encouragy, because otherwise I lose 20$. *adds random motivational comment*

    posted by: Spirit Thingy on 2007-04-06 03:24:00

  • The sultry voice and pinpoint analysis has me hooked. Where, oh where has it been? Please, Rovello, engage in production!

    posted by: Goaleo on 2007-03-09 15:11:00

  • Hope you decide to cast again before 2012. Out of all the Buffy related podcasts out there, yours is by far the best. Come back soon

    posted by: harleyquinn on 2007-02-24 22:15:00

  • You can digg the podcast here (as well as all the individual episodes): http://digg.com/podcasts/Buffycast Let\\\'s see how high we can get the numbers.

    posted by: menachem on 2007-02-02 15:08:00

  • Hey, has anyone designed a Dashboard widget to count down to Sept. 2012? ; ) Hope y\'all had a happy New Year.

    posted by: shelbel on 2007-01-18 11:38:00

  • I HATE REVELLO!

    posted by: Jennifer on 2006-12-16 04:05:00

  • Long time listener, first time writer. You\'re going from strength to strength in these podcasts, and you\'re making me talk back to my iPod. This discussion reminded me of how outraged I was at the end of Margaret Atwood\'s The Handmaid\'s Tale. It\'s the story of a US taken over by a right-wing religious coup whose weapons render most of the population infertile, as told by one of the last fertile women whose fertility causes them to be enslaved as babymakers. It\'s an horrific cautionary tale, and then the last chapter is told by a history professor centuries in the future who laughs off the narrator\'s journal as fiction. \"Normal, Again\" made me froth at the mouth in the same way, but I think that is a measure of its brilliance. Atwood\'s point is that we forget our history at the peril of repeating it. I think Joss\' point is similar. There are monsters among us. Not supernatural monsters, I don\'t mean, but real ones against which we each need to muster our inner Slayer. Buffy was always all about the metaphor.

    posted by: storyknife on 2007-01-04 11:49:00

  • Hope you\'re doing alright, Revello :) Know that we are all missing your great Buffycast podcasts. Easily the best Buffyverse podcast available. Heck, easily the best podcast ever. Muchly.

    posted by: Rae on 2007-01-06 13:06:00

  • Just a thought - How come the Watchers get paid, but the Slayer doesn\'t? Seems very harsh that the Girl(s) risk their lives everyday and don\'t even get a yearly bonus from the Watchers\' Council! Can\'t wait for next podcast - others just don\'t measure up...

    posted by: Jacqui on 2006-09-12 11:24:00

  • The slayers were created out of a tribal culture. Traditionally, children who worked family businesses (farms, family-owned shops) weren\'t compensated per se, their work was considered their contribution towards the survival of the family. When the slayer tradition began, the girls\' contributions were shifted to the good of the whole community. They weren\'t seen as needing material compensation, because their families were meeting the physical needs of food, clothing, shelter (it gets a little iffy w/Kendra, who was sent away from her family to live w/her watcher, but I assume he supported her from his allowance). Since the slayers never expected to live to adulthood, they never faced the financial demands of adult independence. Nikki Wood and Buffy and Faith, by surviving to adulthood and by achieving an independence unimaginable by the original tribesmen who set up the structure, were basically screwed by a system which hadn\'t anticipated relying on grownups to continue fighting. And why did the slayers do it? Sense of obligation, sense of mission, need to protect loved ones, which developed into the desire to hunt and fight which we see in both Buffy and Faith.

    posted by: shelbel on 2006-09-12 12:18:00

  • Amen to that!

    posted by: shelbel on 2006-11-07 11:39:00

  • I NEED MY FIX! WHERE IS THE NEXT CAST?!

    posted by: Richard on 2006-11-25 15:38:00

  • Came late to podcasts, but you are the best in the B-verse, maybe in all podcasting! Please please please don\'t stop now that I\'ve found you.

    posted by: Diana on 2006-12-02 23:41:00

  • Hey, those months have felt like years to me...

    posted by: Moira on 2006-09-12 10:56:00

  • That\'s good news but it looks like we will have to wait until 2012.

    posted by: vanya on 2006-09-07 10:42:00

  • YES!!!!! New podcast coming!!!

    posted by: Palaemon on 2006-09-06 19:34:00

  • Just a recommendation for anyone who hasn\'t read it - for a really interesting (fictional) background to \'Dracula\' and vampires, read Elizabeth Kostova\'s \'The Historian\'. Raises points that I think you can relate to vampires in the Buffyverse.

    posted by: Jacqui on 2006-08-24 09:12:00

  • I believe the commentary discusses this was actually a weird coincidence. I believe the first episode of season six or seven or whatever had several characters in shirts with numbers on them and Marti Noxon or Joss talk about how it was just an accident the fans spilled over.

    posted by: Richard on 2006-08-23 23:25:00

  • \"I agree with Mikejar that the incredibly layering in the show--the fact that we\'re still arguing passionately about it years after it ended--is a major strength. Or evidence that we are really sad and seriously need to get a life! : )\" This is an interesting tpoci for discussion. At what point are we truly examining something worth looking at and when do we cross that line in the sand? It\'s probably not well marked at all. Let\'s use \"OK\" and \"over the line\" or \"OTL\" as our two terms. Are these OK or OTL: 1. Discussion of male/female roles and relationships. 2. Discussion of wardrobe choices and numerolgy in Season 6 and 7. 3. Discussion of Buffy as true spiritual guide (\"What Would Buffy Do?) 4. Discussion of the spiritual ramifications of What Buffy Did. Please responded and add your own points.

    posted by: MrB on 2006-08-19 16:56:00

  • Clarification: The point of the previous post is to a) have some fun and b) let us see what boundaries there are to intelligent discussion. I may think that some of the above are clearly OTL, but someone else might be able to discuss them in a way that really works. Revello has always been able to stay clear of the line. Most of the discussions on this board have also seen their way clear. Certain things may be OTL, but who is to say? Us as a group, I guess Tom

    posted by: MrB on 2006-08-20 18:20:00

  • Hey MrB, I don\'t know that any of those topics are OTL. If you accept the importance of wardrobe and of numerology, then buffy is as good a reference point as any. I certainly don\'t have a problem with basing moral and spiritual questions on fictional characters (I don\'t have any fundamental problem with \"What would Jesus do?\" or \"What would Slim Shady do?\" as an ethical test). Of course, I don\'t know that Buffy Summers is actually a *useful* moral yardstick. After all, she is often less than wonderful, less than compassionate, etc.

    posted by: Professor on 2006-08-20 19:43:00

  • RE: where I see Buffy giving instructions to others as passing over the power, you see it as showing her power Think of it this way--if your boss assigns you a special project, and that project helps you grow and improves the company as a whole, does it make your boss any less powerful or in control, or even more powerful by having strong, capable employees? I see your point about \"giving away power,\" but in all honesty I think that\'s an early feminist interpretation of texts, when women were first coming out from under the male tradition (I will never forget reading an article that insisted the Scarlet Letter was not about Hester at all, but really about Dimmesdale! Talk about not wanting to give up male authority!) I guess the question one has to ask is : Is Buffy stronger at the end of Season 7, or weaker? I don\'t think anyone can seriously question her moral and leadership growth over the seasons. I agree with Mikejar that the incredibly layering in the show--the fact that we\'re still arguing passionately about it years after it ended--is a major strength. Or evidence that we are really sad and seriously need to get a life! : ) And, yes, Revello (PLEASE COME BACK!) male/female power relationships would make a great tandem topic after your Buffy and the Boys episode.

    posted by: traveller on 2006-08-18 16:36:00

  • Re: Xander and Willow in \"Grave\" - Remember, all Xander does is help Willow remember herself, which drains the darkness out of her. As we see in S7, she still has retained most of that raw power, hence why she\'s so scared to use it throughout the season. Re: the show having too much in it. - You see this as a big problem? Personally, it\'s what I consider one of the biggest strengths of the series. Each person comes at it with a unique perspective and interpretation, which often makes debates and discussions really illuminating and offers insight into each person in the debate if one\'s willing to dig deeper and find out why a person sees it the way they do. I agree with you that a male/female power relationship topic would be great! Lets hope Revello comes back again. :)

    posted by: mikejer on 2006-08-18 13:03:00

  • After reading those comments by traveller and the Professor, I actually feel that I\'ve learnt a new interpretation of BTVS - and thank you for not shouting at me this time! (lol). I think one of the biggest problems with the show is that there is so much in it, and it is so open to interpretation and we all take different things to it from different contexts in our own lives, that it\'s impossible to really say one way or the other what exactly one particular thing Joss does in the universe is right or wrong. Hope that makes sense. I\'m willing to take back what I said about it not being at all feminist, because you\'ve opened me eyes to a few things that I hadn\'t thought of - where I see Buffy giving instructions to others as passing over the power, you see it as showing her power, which is interesting and I never thought of that before. Definatly agree that Williow is the most important woman in the show, although couldn\'t we then argue that it is Xander that saves the world at the end of season six and she gives up her power for him? The male/female power relationship is really interesting in this show... maybe we need a podcast dedicated to that argument? If Revello ever comes back....

    posted by: Jacqui on 2006-08-18 10:58:00

  • Jacqui-- I\'ll take up the gauntlet. With a Master\'s in English Lit, I\'m well-versed in all the male gaze, double-in-the-mirror, trapped behind the yellow wallpaper feminist tropes, AND I\'m a woman, so can understand your pain.... and I STILL don\'t buy your argument. (grin--and, Prof, I (that should be capped and bolded for emphasis!) recognized your sarcasm. Fear not!) Anyway, we\'ll pass over the \"men can\'t be feminist\" line, as I can\'t really say what I think about that in a public forum. Suffice it to say it harkens back to the early days of angry feminism, and we\'ve supposedly grown beyond that. First of all, being feminist doesn\'t mean you can\'t (or shouldn\'t) be influenced by males. Face it, we alI are (and vice-versa) and I find it immensely interesting that you insist upon giving the power in Buffy\'s relationships to the men and reading more significance into them than I think is actually there. In fact, I think Joss does a great job of subtly undercutting those relationships. He gives them the surface appearance of power, but when you dig deeper, you find it actually lies elsewhere. Giles, as surrogate father figure (and we all have fathers, though Buffy\'s REAL father is a great example of the negative male). Yes, Giles provides information, but that information is absolutely useless without her power and leadership. Moreover, it was Buffy who had the idea to empower all the Slayers. (a decision which I actually find troubling, but that\'s another issue). Giles and Xander both are reduced to mere tools for Buffy by season 7--as are Spike and Angel, their saving of the world NOT to the contrary. Because it\'s not about who actually saves the world, but about who makes the decisions and assigns roles. And in this it is definitely Buffy. It\'s WILLOW who makes that possible and is, in fact, as Buffy says, THE most powerful character in the show. If you look back at the heroic sagas from Beowulf through Lancelot, yes there are champions who fight dragons, but always at the behest and under the control of a king. Joss uses the same tool here--Angel and Spike are champions, but Buffy gives the orders. In fact, Angel WANTS to stay and wear the amulet, but Buffy makes him leave. Where\'s the power? Definitely with the female. To go back further in your argument, Buffy is only \"defined\" in her relationships with men to the extent that we all are defined by relationships in general. Part of her strength as Slayer, what makes her unique in Slayerdom, is her desire to be PART of the world and not alone. (See \"Restless.\") But she is just as \"defined\" by her relationship with Faith, with Willow, with Dawn and her mom. In fact, one of the reasons Buffy HAS so many relationships with men is because she wears them out; they can\'t compete with her and begin, actually to feel emasculated--Giles, Xander and, most famously, Riley ALL go through this. She literally leaves Ford to die and knocks Parker out, taking back the power she\'d temporarily lost through his abandonment of her. In fact, I thought Joss did a fun job of turning that little \"helpless female at the loss of the charming but heartless guy\" story on its end. Even Spike, hilariously, (that great scene on the bed with Willow) faces emasculation. First with mechanical help from the Initiative, but eventually at his own request as he earns back his soul and, ultimately, comes to heel in Season 7--to the point where he even makes Buffy chain him to the walls so he won\'t risk hurting her or the others. These men are all Rochesters, not Heathcliffs! In fact, if I were a guy, I\'d find it troubling that Joss doesn\'t really offer any hope of male equality, just as male worlds seldom offer any real hope of female equality. Even Angel, as powerful as he is, has to bow to Buffy\'s decisions. (Think Angel, season five, when he wants to keep the mad potential slayer, Andrew (talk about ineffectual males!) refuses to let him. Angel\'s TRUMP CARD, the big ploy to get his own way is not his power or his intelligence but, \"I\'ll call Buffy.\" Only to be told, \"who do you think gave me my orders.\" Or words to that effect.

    posted by: traveller on 2006-08-17 10:54:00

  • Hi Jacqui, I\'m happy to accept that BtVS may be a good example of \"male gaze\". I don\'t believe that it is, but it\'s a prefectly reasonable opinion to hold. I\'m just objecting to the idea that a male can\'t be a feminist. (I know that\'s not exactly what you said, but is that your intent?) You are certainly saying that you can\'t be a feminist without understanding all the issues around feminism, and that is just impossible for me to accept. Is there any other belief system where you have to \"understand all the issues\" before you can qualify as a true believer? Do I have to understand all the issues around Christianity before I can be a true Christian?

    Your attitude can only perpetuate the basic problem. \"What can I do to help women\'s position in this world?\" \"Oh that\'s okay thanks, it\'s sweet of you to offer, but don\'t worry about it. We really don\'t need your help, and you wouldn\'t understand anyway.\"

    As for your argument that men save the world in BtVS, that was just much less provocative, so much less likely to get a response in the face of the Big Statement. I would probably say that men and women saved the world in partnership, at least in The Chosen. Spike couldn\'t do it without the slayers, and they couldn\'t do it without him.

    See ya,
    Lee.

    posted by: Professor on 2006-08-16 19:54:00

  • Wow people calm down! Don\'t take me all out of proportion! Think I may have been a bit misunderstood! For a start, feminism can have a lot of different interpretations, and its a personal interpretation of mine - I believe that men can have feminist sympathies, but if you aren\'t a woman, then I\'m sorry, but you can\'t understand all the issues around feminism - I\'m a woman and I don\'t! I also don\'t agree with a lot of feminist arguements. I love Buffy, I think it\'s a great show. But even with the female writers and execs, they are still operating in a universe that was created by a man. And it is therefore a male idea of a powerful woman. There are lots of essays on \'male gaze\', check them out and you might understand what I mean! Plus, I think you all misunderstood that I like the fact that its NOT a feminist show! Its great fun, it teaches quite a lot, and its nice to have something where the man isn\'t the central character... but I notice none of you argue with my observation that ultimatly, its men that save the world, in this \'feminist\' show!

    posted by: Jacqui on 2006-08-16 15:41:00

  • Proessor: After your comments, I took another look at Jacqui\\\'s post in toto. I think she really does mean that guys can\\\'t be feminists. That\\\'s like saying women can\\\'t be macho jerks. Guess what – they can be. It may be semantics. I think you might be buying into the only-female argument a little too quickly. Who created the show, the environment, and hired Marti Noxon and Jane Espenson and Rebecca Rand Kirshner and others in the first place? That\\\'s right - a neanderthal, incapable-of-understanding-your-pain, guy. You could complain that he had the power because he was a guy. But just look what he did with it! I certainly don\\\'t buy the argument or definition (not sure which it is at this point) that only a female can be a feminist. My view is that in this case, how a person acts and what a person does allows classification, rather than anatomy. In this case, Joss and BtVS look like feminist ducks, swims like feminist ducks and act like feminist ducks. I\\\'m calling them feminist ducks. If they are actually elephants, I don\\\'t really think it matters in this regard. Tom

    posted by: MrB on 2006-08-14 22:32:00

  • Actually, MrB, I don\'t think that Jacqui was saying anything about the relationship between feminism and the quality of the show. That would be silly, whereas the statement \"It could never be a feminist show, because it was devised by a man\" is obviously non-silly. Makes me wonder exactly what the word \"feminist\" might mean. I had never considered that it might entail being female. A fantastic idea! Makes it all so much more exclusive. And it\'s so obvious, I don\'t know how I missed it. In fact, now that I think about it, it\'s clear that the eps written by Marti Noxon were most nearly feminist (though inevitably tainted by Joss), while those written by David Fury weren\'t even close. This is opening whole new ways of thinking for me! (Just mucking around, people. Don\'t mean to offend!)

    posted by: Professor on 2006-08-14 17:08:00

  • Hi Tom. I just shouldn\'t attempt sarcasm on a web forum! I don\'t buy Jacqui\'s position AT ALL. What difference does your gender make in determining whether or not you can be a feminist/pacifist/nihilist/baptist? ISMs are all about belief and behaviour. Jacqui\'s view smacks of another, less desirable, ISM.
    Lee

    posted by: Professor on 2006-08-14 22:37:00

  • \\\"It could never be a feminist show, because it was devised by a man\\\" Wow! I thought schools finally got over that PC crap a while ago. Seriously now. So \\\"Charmed\\\" and \\\"Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman\\\" are, purely by nature of their creators\\\' hormones, more feminist than BtVS? That\\\'s a very tough argument to make. Accepting that argument also means that you would rather have \\\"pure and true\\\" feminism than a show worth watching or discussing. Anything for the cause, I guess.

    posted by: MrB on 2006-08-14 02:50:00

  • \"It could never be a feminist show, because it was devised by a man.\" Discuss, with particular reference to how depressed this statement makes me.

    posted by: Professor on 2006-08-13 19:30:00

  • good topic! I studied Television as part of my degree, and one of the questions put to us was \\\"Is BTVS a feminist show?\\\" I think this really ties in with how important the men are in the series - as I see it, they are more important than the women! You talk about female empowerment, but in truth most of the female empowerment is given or helped by the men. Buffy needs her watcher - there isn\\\'t much in the first few seasons that she could have succeeded at if it wasnt\\\' for the knowledge that Giles provided. She is defined by her relationships with Angel, Riley and Spike, even Parker - they make her question what it means to be a woman and she never really seems 100% percent confident in this role, when she doesn\\\'t have a man by her side. Spike and Angel are even the ones who ultimatly save the world at the end of season 7 - Angel hands over the amulate and Spike wears it. Without that, Buffy and the potentials may have put up a good fight, but the chances of her actually winning against the millions of uber vampires is tiny! And that is what annoyed me most about the entire series! It could never be a feminist show, because it was devised by a man, and whilst a man might want to make a powerful female, it will therefore be a man\\\'s opinion of what a powerful female is. And whilst that doesn\\\'t necessarily matter to the enjoyment of the show, if you start going into the deeper roots, I think it actually tells you a lot about how men want to control women - men created the slayer (in the Buffyverse and in reality) and so although they may not seem crucial on the surface, I think that there are a lot of underlying questions about how powerful Buffy can be - even Willow is given her strongest power by Rack, and then it is the result of a man\\\'s behaviour - Warren\\\'s killing of Tara - which turns her. The fact that all the big bads were men is cancelled out a bit when you realise that it was also men that made the Slayer - its a man\\\'s world!

    posted by: Jacqui on 2006-08-12 11:56:00

  • Whoa, whoa, whoa! Jenny died because of GILES??? In what universe??? Jenny died because, instead of being honest and telling the gang who she was, why she was there, and warning Buffy/Angel of possible dire consequences should their relationship continue, she allowed her loyalties to the clan to outweigh good sense. Understandable? Sure. But she paid the price for it later. To blame GILES for this seems stretching things beyond reason!

    As to Buffy and the Boys....There\'s so much talk about female empowerment in Buffy, I\'ve never really even thought about the roles of the boys in the show. In fact, if you look at the seasons as a whole, the men grow weaker and less significant, don\'t they? Xander becomes the in-house fix-it man, Giles a mere cipher, who actually betrays Buffy, Angel leaves. Her father disappears God knows where. The only males added are seriously gender-compromised (Andrew, Jonothan, and Warren) and hilariously ineffectual, when not actually murderous. Well, except the new Principa!

    Then there\'s Spike, whose transformation from serious bad-guy to saver- of-the-world comes as a result of his feelings for Buffy. It\'s also rather like Rochester (of Jane Eyre fame), who can only become a suitable husband for Jane through symbolic castration. Spike becomes a hero, but has to die (and only after enduring the emasculating chip for a few years). Riley was strong to begin with, but couldn\'t deal with the contrast between his role and Buffy\'s--though I need to go back and watch those episodes again. I wonder how much Buffy had to do with that. However, that image of him letting female vampires feed off of him. Yikes! He comes back better than ever in season 6, but married. Nevertheless, he\'s able to help restore some of Buffy\'s self-esteem, remind her that her job is not who she is. I\'m trying to remember other significant males. Ford betrays her. Oz doesn\'t have much to do with Buffy per se, though he\'s another strong male figure, and terminally cool. He\'s so ok with who he is as a person (ignoring the werewolf dilemma), that he\'s really the only male not to feel threatened by Buffy in one way or another. In all, Giles is obviously her most significant and lasting male relationship (including Angel). And I think he only grows weaker as a character as Buffy needs him less, and part of why she needs him less is because of his successful \"parenting.\" He deliberately leaves in order to force her to grow, and it works, painful as it is. And all the Big Bads were men, except for Glory and Willow (with a few stand alone exceptions)--in fact, if you count The First as neither male nor female (it walks around as Buffy most of the time!), could you say women even usurp the evil power by the last few episodes? I don\'t know. I\'m just thinking out loud--or virtually-- here.

    posted by: traveller on 2006-08-10 21:56:00

  • \"The magic (metaphor for drugs) dealer Rack.\" That\'s pretty generous calling it a metaphor ;)

    posted by: Grounded on 2006-08-08 06:23:00

  • Oooh--just thought of another example of Man+Magic=Badness: The magic (metaphor for drugs) dealer Rack. Also agreeing with you on the example of the Council in general. Before they got all modern and PC, I\'m betting it was composed of all men (I guess dating back to the tribal guys we see in the shadow play who made the first Slayer). So you\'ve got a bunch of guys who, instead of taking on Slayer powers and protecting themselves, instill them in unsuspecting girls to fight off the demons, then, ironically, maintaining the Council procedures for keeping the Slayers in check, thus retaining the social power for themselves.

    posted by: Shelbel on 2006-08-07 14:50:00

  • Since it looks like RL has kept the Buffycast gang from podcasting for a while, maybe we could jump in on the next episode topic: \"What\'s it like to be a guy in the Buffyverse?\" Won\'t be the same as Revello\'s yummy voice and the Buffycast crew\'s insights, but hey, it\'s something. At first glance, women do seem to have the power in this show. The Slayers have all of the strength etc., and the writers ask us to believe that Buffy\'s got all sorts of insight and emotional strength from being a Slayer who\'s lived well past the usual life-expectancy. The witches have magical powers (plus Willow still has geeky superpowers), Anya occasionally has demon powers, Drusilla had psychic ability, as well as being the dominant half of the Dru-Spike pairing. When men have power, it\'s usually evil (Ethan Rayne) or humorous (the Evil Nerd Trio--just think back to any scene where Jonathan uses magic, and it\'s played for laughs). And didja notice that when Giles confronts Willow, he does so with power borrowed from a coven of witches? The men in the show: Xander, Giles, Robin Wood, Oz, etc. are relatively ordinary (well, except for Oz\'s wolfiness, and that was hardly useful in any way), and they do indeed seem to be cast in the role of support for their women. Xander, sadly, was doomed from the start to be Comic Relief Guy, but he does have his moments when he does exactly the right thing. Giles, Robin and Oz are pretty strong characters, both physically and emotionally. I don\'t think their portrayal on the show is all that bad. Thoughts?

    posted by: shelbel on 2006-08-03 12:01:00

  • Very good overview. I\\\'d add the fact that the woman\\\'s only weakness in BtVS are men. Look at Buffy for example, her emotional breakdown after all relationships that have failed, with Angel, Riley and Spike. Jenny Calendar ultimately died because of Giles, since she was introduced into this core group of scoobies, became a target and after her betrayal wanted to help them - hence Angelus killed her. Joyce moved to a different town after her divorce, Willow\\\'s breakdown after Oz slept with Veruca and Anya\\\'s dependency upon men and her loss or non-existence of own individuality. Drusilla coming back to Sunnydale in \\\"Crush\\\" and almost being dusted by Spike and the Cordelia/Xander-Tragedy. Faith being stabbed by Buffy because of Angel. Wow, listing all of those storylines makes it even seem more poignant than it occured to me at first.

    posted by: Slayernator on 2006-08-06 18:11:00

  • You can throw in the Cruciamentum and the Council--source of Giles\' first real betrayal--for added creepiness. Willow\'s Tara related breakdowns are interesting. Emotionally, she\'s as broken over Tara as Buffy ever is over a guy. The first time Tara leaves her isn\'t man-related at all (where Warren\'s involvement in Tara\'s death sort of makes that one different). Anyway, there\'s certainly never a loss of powe for her, just less control. But back to the men. Ben is clearly the weaker side of Glory. . .

    posted by: lF_Scone on 2006-08-07 07:59:00

  • I just got my little brother (11.5 y/o) into Buffy. We just finished watching the 1st season. I have been clueless this whole time that Revello was the name of the street where Buffy lived.

    posted by: Palaemon on 2006-08-03 01:26:00

  • Well if you can\'t find a Michelle Branch CD in HMV or Virgin you\'re not looking hard enough ;) But yeah, I get your point :)

    posted by: Grounded on 2006-08-01 05:55:00

  • Here\'s a new topic of discussion (possibly in the wrong place, as it isn\'t about Normal Again, but what the heck!) - favourite song from a Buffy episode? I LOVE the musical episode, but discounting that, I love Michelle Branch \'Goodbye to You\' from Tabula Rasa.... possibly the saddest song ever, especially as it\'s played as Tara and Willow split... heartbreaking! That\'s one thing I love about itunes - I can get hold of all these songs I don\'t think I could otherwise get in England!

    posted by: Jacqui on 2006-07-31 16:26:00

  • I plugged it before, and I\'m doing it again: http://www.sofadogs.libsyn.com Now I\'m really, really shameless. :) Not only does the podcast cover episodes of Buffy, but we also talk about shows like Firefly and Titus. Coming up very soon, we\'ll discuss Wonderfalls. We also have episodes on genre movies such as Jaws and War Of The Worlds. It doesn\'t even touch Buffycast in terms of quality, but at least it\'s something. Enjoy. -John

    posted by: John Pavlich on 2006-07-28 01:30:00

  • I\'ll say one thing in the Geek-Guys defense - they do make good use of the indexing available in iTunes. You don\'t have to listen to the entire 3 hours, you can scroll right to the episode you want, if you\'re so inclined. Anyway, having established that there is simply no substitute for Buffycast in the world of Buffy fandom, anyone have any good podcasts to recommend in the non-Buffy universe? Any other good scifi or genre podcasts out there? I listened to The Signal for a while but my enthusiasm has faded, I don\'t think there is much left to say about \"Firefly\" at this point.

    posted by: vanya on 2006-07-24 17:39:00

  • so is this the last one in existence no more podcasts cause i need more

    posted by: Spuffy the Bangel on 2006-07-18 15:49:00

  • Yeah, this is it so far. It\'s been 3 months, but I still have hope. Hiatuses happen, right? If you haven\'t already, do check out the KSLA casts. They\'re without a doubt the next-best-thing in audio buffy-fix.

    posted by: LF_Scone on 2006-07-18 22:10:00

  • You can find KSLA podcasts on itunes, or miles\' website is Radiofreesunnydale.com. The site has a bunch of entertaining stuff; linkage to more Buffy, forums, & whatnot. Haven\'t actually seen anything new from him since late May. Maybe Buffycast or KSLA will make like Principal Wood & surprise us.

    posted by: LF_Scone on 2006-07-19 22:50:00

  • Hey, Did you guys (Brisco & firehawc_69) actually listen to the podcast? I thought Revello did a good job explaining why \"Normal Again\" should not \"ruin it all\" for you. I\'m kind of surprised to see that kind of response to the episode posted here. I agree that none of the other Buffy casts has anywhere near the level of quality this one had, in fact none of the other fan podcasts I\'ve listened to of any TV series is comparable. But in a completely different vein, if you\'re jonesing for a good podcast go check out the RU Sirius show, always interesting.

    posted by: vanya on 2006-07-13 13:03:00

  • I just want to start off by saying I miss the Buffycast. I tried to fill the void with another Buffy related Podcast, but it sucked and I eventually deleted all traces of it ever being on my computer. I also want to say that I disliked \'Normal Again\' because the ending was played out to make you believe that the Buffyverse was all in her head, which was the point, but made the Buffyverse seem unreal to the viewers. Of course, it was a fictional place, but I enjoyed sitting down for an hour a week and being able to dive into the fantasy of Sunnydale. That episode just ruined it all for me. And I also want to say that I liked \'Restless\'. It was a slow season finale, but I still liked it.

    posted by: Brisco on 2006-07-11 18:25:00

  • Hi all, I am just finding this site for the first time during a bout with job-boredom. I haven\'t heard any of the podcasts, frankly I don\'t even know how they work nor do I own an ipod. But I have seen every episode of Buffy and Angel numerous times. I HATED Normal Again. In fact, I watched the entire series with a girlfriend and refused to watch it when it came up on the playlist. I told her she could watch it later if she wanted but I wouldn\'t watch it. It\'s a completely unnecessary episode and was designed purley to piss off the fans. That writer and Joss both need to be slapped for doing it, as well as anyone else involved. Normal Again was absolutely insulting to even suggest that there is this \"normal\" reality in the minds of fictional characters. What they did was the equivalent of the Skipper from Gilligan\'s Island looking into the camera every few episodes...stupid. To quote The Comic Book Guy from The Simpson\'s: \"Worst Episode Ever\". I\'m just glad it wasn\'t a pivotal episode, you can still watch the rest of the season and only hear a few references about Buffy trying to kill her friends, so it doesn\'t screw things up too much. I will admit that individually, the show itself was done well. I just refuse to even consider it as part of the Buffy/Angel canon. Horrible.

    posted by: firehawc_69 on 2006-06-29 01:17:00

  • Really missing you Revello! When do we get another podcast?! Are you still there...??? Really enjoy reading everyone\'s Buffy comments - I came to it quite late (season 5 I think) but am a huge fan now, and love all the intelligent conversations around something that is \"just a tv show\" ;-)

    posted by: Jacqui on 2006-06-20 15:00:00

  • Since there seems to be so many people interested in \\\"Restless\\\" analysis right now, I figured I\\\'d put up a link to my own, very lengthy, look at it for anyone interested: http://www.superjer.com/buffy/4x22_restless.php

    posted by: mikejer on 2006-06-14 20:54:00

  • Heh, I liked Restless. It has the ability to call itself the only episode of that kind in the entire series. There\'s a great commentary for this, yes, but in the many studies I see of this episode I always here new and different theories on what some of the images mean, so I agree with whoever made mention to an episode on this.

    posted by: Kyarorin on 2006-06-14 17:32:00

  • i love this episode...this has always been my favourite episode and i\'m very pleased you chose to do a show on this one!!

    posted by: tru_faith on 2006-05-29 02:15:00

  • another thing, thinking about the whole \"it was all just a dream\" thing, have you ever seen Eliza Dushku\'s Soul Survivours?? I love Eliza, she\'s one of my favourite actresses of all time, but that movie is another example of the \"painted into a corner\" type thing...the main character begins having hallucinations and the audience isn\'t informed what is real and what is not...and in the end, she wakes up and her husband says something to the effect of \"That dream again honey?\" and she shakes her head yes or something of the like...it\'s awful. Now I haven\'t been faithful to listening to every show of yours, but I would really enjoy one on Restless. I hated the show, just like everyone else, until very recently, and I began to notice very subtle little symbolisms, and some not so subtle ones, that I think deserve a reasonably decent explaination and discussion. [No one kill me for suggesting that please...]

    posted by: tru_faith on 2006-05-29 02:23:00

  • Whaddya mean, hated the show, just like everyone else. I liked it--although it isn\'t one of those I watch over and over. The scene where Giles sings is worth the price of admission alone. Not sure how much there is to discuss, though, as Joss pretty much covers it all on the dvd commentary.

    posted by: shelbel on 2006-06-01 10:24:00

  • I was watching episode 22 from Season 4 tonight, Restless. Reading the credits, I noticed that the writer of Normal Again, was Joss Whedon\'s personal assistant. What a guy. You bring him enough coffee and he\'ll let you write an episode. :)

    posted by: John Pavlich on 2006-06-06 04:43:00

  • First I want to say that Normale Again just seemed like the writers dealing with some writers block. I found Dark Willow sums it up in Two To Go pretty good (\\\\\\\"You\\\\\\\'re trying to sell me on the world? The one where you lie to your friends when you\\\\\\\'re not trying to kill them and you screw a vampire just to feel and insane asylums are the comfy alternative? \\\\\\\"). One question though what do you think Andrew and Warren were really doing in that episode? ;) Also comment on the next show about Guys in Sunnydale I think it sucks. All of the guys are unhappy and feel a need to do really stupid things to be on the same level as the girls (Riley letting him self get bitten and The Trio doing the evil). I know you guys asked a long time ago about personal storys about how Buffy effected us. I\\\\\\\'ll admit I didn\\\\\\\'t always like Buffy although I\\\\\\\'d seen Buffy once in the past (Rock Star from season 4.) I was the type of kid instead of being a Doctor I wanted to grow up to be a vampire. In 9th grade I was feeling sort of outcast by my friends and started to do in to a dark unhappy place. Then when I was in theater class I met Allie and we started to talk about Vampires and she told me about Buffy. Allie threw Buffy helped me get out of my pit of unhappyness. :) Are you guys ever ganna do a show about any of the Nerds?

    posted by: Sake1 on 2006-05-28 18:10:00

  • Do we know when the next episode of buffycast is going to come out and or do we know why there is always a few month break between episodes?

    posted by: Andy on 2006-05-23 07:45:00

  • Same here shelbel, this podcast is the most insightful angle I\'ve ever experienced on storytelling, and I will keep listening as long as they keep making them. I may bitch about the time it takes, but its just because I\'m worried we\'ll never hear from Revello again. I bet if he pronounced it \"Vam-pyres\" like Andrew, it would sound cool, cuz he\'s Revello dammit.

    posted by: Richard on 2006-05-18 01:19:00

  • I think Noblecreed is just saying \"let\'s not obsess, people.\" I know I get a little depressed when I visit fan sites and people get into major time-sucking tizzies over minutiae. There must be something more productive to do with their time. But N, if you\'re about to graduate (and by the way, congratulations!), then you have probably had a lot of opportunities, either in class or hanging out with fellow student types, to have this type of discussion, whether about tv, literature, or some other genre. Those of us who can count whole presidential administrations since leaving the college life don\'t get as many opportunities to have serious interaction with people about the creative works in their lives... hence the flowering of communities like this one and TWoP. I particularly enjoy Buffycast because of its focus on the details and structure of storytelling. While the focus of my writing is nonfiction, I enjoy learning more about the craft of writing fiction, just as Ron Moore\'s podcasts about Battlestar Galactica sometimes feel like a mini-class on tv writing and production. It\'s nice to expand the ol\' horizons. Anyway, I\'m not giving up on the Buffycast crew until they raise the white flag.

    posted by: shelbel on 2006-05-12 04:59:00

  • I\'ve gotta say that Buffy is \"just\" a show, but only in the sense that Shakespeare is \"just\" a playwrite and the Mona Lisa is \"just\" a painting. Buffy is fiction, but fiction teaches us about our lives. People have been using storytelling as a way to understand the world they live in since the beginning of human beings. Greek and Roman mythology also had supernatural elements, but it was an attempt for people to explain things they didn\'t understand about the world they live in. With that said, nothing is meaningful all the time. Maybe, Noblecreed doesn\'t need Buffy to understand the world he lives in right now. Maybe some of us do. They other thing that is particularly great about all artforms, whether a painting, a photograph, a novel or a TV show, is the way it brings people together. I love Buffy the show. But more than that, I love the way it brings smart, creative, interesting people together for dialogue beyond the show. All artwork is an excuse for people to be engaged with other people and ideas. At least, that\'s what the best artwork does.

    posted by: Stacia on 2006-05-11 18:29:00

  • Hey, I hope when I called BuffCast a little lame that that wasn\'t some kind of signal that we should all be rude to each other. I\'m all for non-conformity in the spelling department - it promotes careful reading and digestion - and if some people have comprehension problems, Kira, then Darwin will surely sort them out.

    posted by: Professor on 2006-05-07 17:32:00

  • I used to love this show, but I\'m about to graduate from college this week, and I realized that maybe my love for this show, one that has been off the air for years now, is getting kinda sad.

    I love Buffycast. Love the insight. But maybe it\'s time to move on. I\'ve watched the DVD\'s (twice) and now need to stop discussing a show that despite its brilliance, is still just a TV show. These discussions have been great, but rather than mourn the fact that Revello (which is Buffy\'s street address by the way) hasn\'t made a new podcast, we should be doing something else anyway. I\'m sure Joss and all the show\'s creative talent aren\'t sitting around still thinking about this show. So, although I\'ll watch the DVDs again, I\'m taking a long, long break. Goodbye Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Hopefully you\'ll be as great as I remember in a decade or so.

    posted by: Noblecreed on 2006-05-11 06:52:00

  • \"just a TV show\" The entire point of BtVS is that it *isn\'t* just a TV show...

    posted by: Grounded on 2006-05-11 15:36:00

  • Aside from the horrific spelling errors, I agree with Kira. It\'s time there was a new episode. I enjoy listening to Buffycast and I need my fix.

    posted by: Rachel on 2006-05-07 16:46:00

  • Apparently you\'ve also lost the will to spell check.

    posted by: Petula on 2006-05-06 20:25:00

  • My take on Normal again has always been that its Death calling Buffy back. Buffys mother tries to get in touch with buffy and give her the option of returning to death in a way her mind can understand. As far as i know Buffys dad is still alive thou, but even so... -Exodus

    posted by: Exodus on 2006-05-02 02:55:00

  • I\'m scared...it\'s been a month since the last buffycast...are we going to be stranded without it again? The fiscal quarter is almost up Revello!

    posted by: Richard on 2006-04-26 21:10:00

  • I think this is the best Buffy-related podcast out there. It seems to me that the episodes require a large amount of research to properly cover the topics discussed within. So, while I don\'t like the long wait in between updates (the show is just so good. I need my fix.), I understand it. At the risk of sounding like shameless self promotion, I would like to take this opportunity to direct you all to my podcast show, where myself and some friends provide our own audio commentaries to various films and television series. Currently, I\'m making my way through every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The first few episodes of Season One are now up. I figure this will give everyone something else to listen to while they patiently wait for Revello to return and school us all. :) The podcast show is called Sofa Dogs. I hope you enjoy it: http://www.sofadogs.libsyn.com

    posted by: John Pavlich on 2006-04-28 21:41:00

  • Where is a new podcast at?!

    posted by: nocturnalrites82 on 2006-05-01 02:17:00

  • I\'ve seen a few eps, but I never remember when it\'s on (UK).

    posted by: Grounded on 2006-04-25 09:01:00

  • Hey Shelbel. It\'s definitely a conceit we have to buy into in order for the show to be possible. That was kinda my point. I enjoyed what you had to say about Buffy alone bearing the knowledge. I guess if I were a writer on the show, I wouldn\'t have Buffy and Co. telling the world about the supernatural, but I wouldn\'t necessarily have them trying to convince the world it didn\'t exist. Anyone watch the TV show \"Supernatural\" by the way? It\'s no Buffy, but it has built a surprisingly fun dynamic between the two main characters.

    posted by: Noblecreed on 2006-04-25 05:29:00

  • As much as I love Buffy, and am captivated by how the show always played out its events and characters as if they were real, in order to watch the show you have to shut off that tiny part of your brain that understands the way things work in the real world.

    For example the death rate in Sunnydale would be astronomical, so much so, that newsmagazines would be doing shows called, “Sunnydale: Town of the Death.? As much as the show tried to explain that the populace was suspicious about Sunnydale (as Joyce voices in S3’s “Gingerbread?) the truth is no middle-class suburban family would ever choose to live there (as it appears so many have.) You have to suspend your belief for a moment, because if you didn’t, there wouldn’t be a show to start with.

    The show was the most believable for me when things like demon bars didn’t exist. Season One of “Angel? started this trend by introducing demon cage fighting, demon nightclubs, even demon immigrant families that only wanted a fresh start. I can believe in a world where demons and vampires are so small in numbers that the majority of the population or the news services would never find out about them. But when Joss and Co. decided that millions of folks around the world would know about demons and such, it became harder and harder to keep up the fantasy that the rest of the world was completely ignorant.

    One other question: Why did Buffy and the rest of the Scoobies try so hard to conceal the truth about demons and vampires from fellow students and adults? Wouldn’t you want to know that walking home from The Bronze or walking through a park at night might get you killed by a vampire? I don’t buy the whole “They wouldn’t understand? idea. People have a right to know about the real dangers they face, and in a way, by hiding it from them, Buffy and the gang were complicit in many deaths.

    Just trying to keep the conversation light and fun.

    posted by: Noblecreed on 2006-04-11 04:43:00

  • in repsponse to the last paragraph posted by Noblecreed, who would have believed them? well, that\'s not entirely true, it was obvious something was happening in sunnydale. but many people would probably consider them cray, and who knows what the principal would have done? called her crazy and said she couldn\'t see giles, or something stupid? but you make a good point. however, I think it was mainly a secret because if people don\'t know Buffy\'s the slayer, they won\'t know to stay away from her if they are turned, sort of a protection of the identity thing. MY OPINION ON NORMAL AGAIN: While I hate this episode because it stomps all over everything I believe in, it is great television writing. It\'s very original, takes a whole enw spin on the \"it was all a dream\" excuse TV series will use, and makes you question everything. but if Buffy\'s not real, then I kind of feel alone inside.

    posted by: VeronicaMars on 2006-04-23 11:23:00

  • Mutant Enemy danced all over their convention that the demon/vampire/Slayer element had to be kept a secret. Remember the singer leaving The Bronze and remarking to her band member \"I hate working vampire towns\"? Sometimes the civvies know, sometimes they don\'t--however it serves the story that day. It was a nice plot-driving element in the first two seasons, when Buffy had the whole secret-identity thing going, and had to lie to her mom and potential boyfriends, reappeared in Buffy\'s college year when she now had to lie to her roommate and Riley (only to find out he had a secret identiy as well). The secret also helped hammer home the theme that Buffy is alone in bearing the knowledge, and later the theme that the Scoobies make Buffy a better slayer by helping her bear that burden. Sure, if you think about it, if everyone knew (well, acknowledged and managed not to forget the evidence all around them), I believe that a largish, well-armed group of civilians could fend off and even kill the average vamp on the show. In the end, the \"secret\" is just a conceit we have to buy into and not look at too closely.

    posted by: Shelbel on 2006-04-24 05:29:00

  • It turns out the correct answer is that the Buffyverse is not real, and the asylum is not real. Everything in the Buffyverse, along with the events of Star Trek, Homicide, X-Files and many other shows all take place in the mind of an autistic boy named Tommy Westphall - see here for explanation: http://home.vicnet.net.au/~kwgow/crossovers.html (And to do a whole show on \"Normal Again\" without mentioning St. Elsewhere was a big oversight, although one I also failed to notice at first listen). So Willow was right in the end - \"some kid is dreaming and we\'re all stuck in his wacky Broadway nightmare.\"

    posted by: vanya on 2006-04-10 15:26:00

  • Hey Five x Five, when Snyder talks to a cop at the end of the ep where Spike attacked the school in season 2, the cop asks what story they should give the media. I gathered from that that any authority figure in Sunnydale (Principal, Law, even the mayor is mentioned here in season 2 by the cop) has a grip on the occurances and is trying to minimize their exposure. Also, note that the tone in which the mayor is mentioned to Snyder is very threatening, more than job-related. Perhaps they knew about the Mayor\'s secret as well and were afraid of speaking out because of his power in Sunnydale?

    posted by: Richard on 2006-04-09 15:14:00

  • Absolutely Vanya, I agree that denial is the key ingredient that allows the residents of Sunnydale (and in particlar law enforcement as well as the high school students) to continue life as normal. As I recall there were references in Season 3 (can\'t remember the specific episodes) to a conspiracy of silence on the part of City Hall et al to keep the whole Hellmouth stuff under wraps. And in season 4 too - when the nurse alerts folks to the fact that Faith has broken out... So personally, I have no problem with \"The Prom\"...

    posted by: Five x Five on 2006-04-05 07:28:00

  • Well, I\'m not really wanting to get into garden-variety continuity issues. I\'m just wondering if The Prom basically violates our writer/audience contract by conveniently and dramatically throwing out a basic premise of the show, rather as Normal Again seems to do.

    posted by: Professor on 2006-04-03 00:01:00

  • The bigger continuity issue is in Season 7. When Buffy meets former schoolmate Holden in \"Conversations with Dead People\", he is unaware that she is the Slayer. HOLDEN I heard a lot of rumors about you back then. You were all mysterious. BUFFY I was? HOLDEN Well, you were never around. A lot of kids thought you were dating some really old guy, or that you were just heavy religious. Scott Hope said you were gay. In the context of the Prom and Graduation Day this doesn\'t make much sense. Even if Holden were a year older or younger, wouldn\'t he have heard more specific rumours?

    posted by: Vanya on 2006-04-02 23:10:00

  • I don\'t think the Prom violates a basic premise. There were just far too many events involving far too many people for the students to really have been completely in the dark - \"Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered\", \"Band Candy\", \"Bad Eggs\", etc. not to mention the incredibly high mortality rate. Also if I remember correctly it is not clear that the students know Buffy is THE Slayer or what exactly the Slayer is, they just know that she seems to be involved in the dark stuff that goes on in Sunnydale. For the most part the students are scared of her and don\'t really want to know the details. I know I certainly didn\'t feel like a premise had been violated when I first saw \"The Prom\", I felt a sense of relief - finally the show was acknowledging that the student body could not possibly have been that oblivious all this time.

    posted by: Vanya on 2006-04-03 10:13:00

  • Yeah, it\'s particularly bothersome because it is not merely a one-off throw-away to get the tears flowing. It is an essential change in the order of things, so that the Scoobies can plausibly rally the school to beat the Mayor. I mean, I *like* the Class Protector Award, but in terms of the arc, it seems as though the writers had painted themselves into a corner, needed the whole school to work together under Buffy, and so had them all magically become aware of Buffy. Even worse, the students all seem to have completely forgotten about Buffy by the time the next season rolled around. So we had a temporary suspension of the rules to wind up season three.

    posted by: Professor on 2006-04-02 19:22:00

  • Just think of all those former classmates who might have lent a hand in the dim days when Buffy was forced to work at the DoubleMeat Palace. She should have set up a PayPal account, and taken a few donations.

    posted by: Professor on 2006-04-02 21:15:00

  • Is The Prom a continuity break? (sounds like another show, Revello). I never took it that way, I find it easier to believe that most of the Sunnydale students knew about Buffy but were in denial. Just one of those things you know not to talk about. Given the number of students who were involved in various escapades with Buffy in the first three seasons, assuming the students are in denial makes a lot more sense than assuming the students really don\'t know. I see the Prom as an attempt to respond to the criticism that was often levelled at the show during the first three years - \"how could Buffy possibly stay anonymous?\" Turns out she didn\'t. Professor raises a good point about Season Four -but apparently very few Sunnydale students attend the University (not very realistic I admit) since we never meet any.

    posted by: Vanya on 2006-04-02 20:56:00

  • Hi Professor: I disagree with the continuity problems with The Prom. Just look Superstar in season 4 and at the Nerds in season 6. Also Percy shows up at UCSunnydale for something in the begining of season 4. They didn\'t show up more often than that because they are not important - just like the Sunnydale Police after the Faith stuff.

    posted by: MrB on 2006-04-02 21:32:00

  • You\'re not crazy. That\'s always bothered me.

    posted by: Grounded on 2006-04-02 18:01:00

  • You know, I was thinking about The Prom during the discussion over on RadioFreeSunnydale, and it occured to me that the Prom too is an episode that calls into doubt one of the apparent conventions of the show. I\'m talking about the Class Protector Award, and what that says about the way the students view Buffy and the goings on at the Hellmouth. Am I crazy?

    posted by: Professor on 2006-04-02 17:32:00

  • To give you an idea on how good BtVS was, just compare this out-of-place-or-time-sequence episode with another one from another (onetime) great show, The West Wing. I of course am refering to that strange mess, \"Access\", from the 5th season. You can find a great recap here : http://televisionwithoutpity.com/story.cgi?show=4&story=6451&limit=all&sort= This is the one that is a fake Frontline documentary, supposedly aired a year after they are out of office. It created backwards and forwards continuity issues. The worse of these is that the \"documentary\" states that Press Secretary CJ serves two full terms; she gets promoted to Chief of Staff less than 8 months later. This demonstrates in spades why you don\'t do things like \"it\'s all a dream\" or time travel (which, in effect, \"Access\" is in WW.) It does things you can\'t come back from, and normally can\'t be referenced in future episodes to fix. But...here we are 4 years on talking about \"Normal Again.\" That shows you how good this is. Nobody is talking about \"Access\" in these terms. Tom

    posted by: MrB on 2006-04-02 11:21:00

  • Great podcast, Revello - good to have you back. I view Normal Again as a standout, standalone episode. I don\'t think it was the writers\' intention that we should seriously view the series as the psychotic hallucination of the main character. However, if there exists an infinite ensemble of worlds (and in the Buffyverse we believe this to be true), and if Buffy has identical experiences in a given subset of these worlds, then it is meaningless to ask which one of this subset she is \"really\" in - these worlds have essentially blurred together. She is in Sunnydale, and she is in the Asylum, and she is in many other worlds which generate identical experiences. An infinite ensemble blunts Occam\'s razor. The Deep Space 9 epsiode \"Far Beyond the Stars\" had a very similar premise, and appeared to end with an acceptance of this multitude of overlapping worlds. It is interesting to reflect upon the fact that the cosmology of the Buffyverse suggests a subjective immortaltity - death in one world does not result in oblivion, but rather in you finding yourself in another world consistent with your past experience, regardless of that word\'s prior probability!

    posted by: Atomic Lobster on 2006-03-27 18:32:00

  • Yes, my point exactly, Vampire! It\'s not about what\'s real and what isn\'t--especially, as everyone has pointed out, since there are so many alternate realities in Buffy (and, Atomic, remember the STNG episode with the plethora of Enterprises, all from different realities, including one in which Riker wouldn\'t go back because the Borg were about to annihilate everyone?) Anyway, it\'s not so much about which is real (and I, too, choose Sunnydale, but realize what I\'m saying in that choice), but about the power of story to create a reality so vivid and compelling, it becomes more real than reality. It\'s not just the \"WILLING suspension of disbelief, \" it\'s preferred or imperative.

    posted by: Traveller on 2006-03-28 22:28:00

  • Fantastic podcast Revello, first things first, I\'ll thank you for making a piece of radio that runs for the exact length of time that my train takes to get to uni. I love \'Normal Again\', I think it\'s a fantastic piece of television. I agreed with a lot of the ideas in the podcast as well, though my one disagreement was with Revello\'s suggestion that if Buffy created the world in which she lived, she should not be surprised of any of the happenings. One of the biggest themes that I find in the episode is that of abandonment and rejection. \'Normal Again\' gave me temporary relief from things in the series that had once irritated me somewhat: -her parents splitting up with her father going MIA and not even caring to call or care when the mother of his children dies, leaving two young girls to fend for themselves and a mortgage. -The cheesy creation of the key into a human form, rather than a rock or something else unsqueezable. Almost all of the recurring themes of abandonment were nicely explained in one “is she or isn’t she? episode. The growing absurdity of the Buffyverse could also finally be accepted.The ever-changing abilities of the vampires, may be due to fluxes in her mind. Spike comments at one point in the episode that she’s addicted to the misery. Why not make her fantasy life hard as hell? People are unwilling to accept perfection, it\'s rejected, and it\'s hard to write. Take the poet W.B. Yeats for example, his poem \'Sailing to Byzantium\' is regularly criticised as self-indulgent, in fact, the only part of the piece that is acclaimed at all are his references to what he\'s escaping from. Surely Buffy\'s mind is doing the same thing...nightmares are easier to create than perfection, especially for someone who\'s already been traumatised. My only other comment (and I apologise for how convoluted it is) is the fact that Revello at some point suggest that it was strange that the loving Joyce had never mentioned Buffy\'s asylum idea previously. However, I believe that the idea that Buffy\'s world is born from her head negates this. At the beginning of the series (or as the episode argues, at the beginning of the fantasy), Buffy\'s fantasy world is strong. She is free to include and remove that which she will...Joyce\'s memories of the asylum would throw out the fantasy...and thus, it\'s in her advantage to not be reminded of the fact that it may actually *be* a fantasy. If this had occured, I think that we can assume that the fantasy would end a whole lot sooner.

    posted by: highandrandom on 2006-03-29 03:46:00

  • Wow, everyone\'s differing comments are making me giddy! Another amazing episode Revello--I hope you\'re proud of yourself for sparking so much thought and commentary! As for \"Normal Again\", I absolutely love the episode. I never doubted that Sunnydale was the real reality as far as the show was concerned; what I loved was that it forced the audience into self-reflection. All throughout the episode, I found myself wanting to shout \"Of course Sunnydale\'s real! It\'s not ridiculous at all for there to be vampires and witches and demons and slayers! That makes much more sense than--oh, wait...\" For fans like me (and I\'m sure anyone else who listens to this show), it posed the question, what have we invested so much time, energy, and passion into? Why do we believe in this universe so whole-heartedly? Are we in fact insane to spend so much of our lives analyzing a world of vampires and witches and demons and slayers? If so, than I choose insanity (and I know I am not alone). I love \"Normal Again\" for the exact same reason that I love these podcasts--it made me think things about the Buffyverse that I hadn\'t previously considered. Can\'t wait for the next episode!

    posted by: VampireVixon on 2006-03-27 19:29:00

  • \"I don\'t see a real contradiction there, if the universe of \"The Wish\" can seemingly have an independent existence after its creation, why not the universe of the asylum\" I\'ve seen a lot of people say that the Wishverse continued independently after its creation, but I have to disagree. Here\'s the relevant quote: Anya (to Willow): Um, then I pour the sacred sand on the representation of the necklace, and Eryishon brings it forth from the time and place it was lost. The important part is \'time and place\'. I think this makes it clear that the Wishverse existed only for the period from Cordelia\'s initial wish up until the amulet was broken.

    posted by: Grounded on 2006-03-27 12:00:00

  • Back to Normal Again. Revello\'s discussion of Occam\'s razor was very good. In particular the reasoning why we as viewers should assume the Buffyverse is \"real.\" He could have added a few more episodes that contradict \"Normal Again\" - for example, \"The Zeppo.\" What kind of person, even if psychotic, creates a meta-episode inside their own fantasy poking fun at the conventions of that fantasy? Also, where did asylum Buffy learn all those languages? At various points people in the series have spoken Italian, Latin, German, Romanian and Czech, not to mention the large number of characters using diverse British slang and speech patterns. (On the other hand David Boreanaz\'s horrible Irish accent might argue for the reverse).

    So we are not supposed to doubt the Buffyverse. But I\'ve always assumed that both universes - the Buffyverse and the asylum - are real. I don\'t see a real contradiction there, if the universe of \"The Wish\" can seemingly have an independent existence after its creation, why not the universe of the asylum? We know the Buffyverse is a universe of many alternative dimensions and realities, either with or without shrimp. There are also many examples in the fantasy genre of characters existing in dual universes simultaneously, or close to it. Narnia for example or the Thomas Covenant Chronicles. If you posit that both the asylum and Sunnydale are equally \"real\" (maybe \"valid\" would be better), then Buffy\'s choice to reject the offer of normality and accept the burdens of heroism becomes far more poignant. \"Normal Again\" becomes in a way the Buffy parallel to the Angel episode \"I will Remember You\"

    posted by: Vanya on 2006-03-27 10:40:00

  • Silly. The monks are vowed to poverty, but the church isn\'t. (I\'m sure it provides them with the entire Adobe line!) Otherwise they\'d have to use those hand-cranked computers BG was sneering at a while ago, much to Miles\' distress.

    posted by: Traveller on 2006-03-26 09:06:00

  • So happy to see you back! Looks like I am taking the dog on a half-hour walk tonight so I can listen to this. Woohoo!

    posted by: Jesse on 2006-03-26 18:51:00

  • It\'s just me, Grounded. Australians are infamous for having no sense of humour. I did recognise that you were being funny, though - Monks are vowed to poverty, so they obviously use Paint Shop Pro.

    posted by: Professor on 2006-03-26 07:17:00

  • \"The classic PhotoShop Theory has a certain mundane elegance, Grounded, but can it explain why Dawn fades in and out of the photos as Joyce fades in and out of consciousness? I have always thought that the monks messed with people\'s *perceptions* rather than with the actual stuff they were perceivng. This would explain why different poeple are perceiving the same thing differenttly, simultaneously.\" Ah right. I haven\'t watched S5 in a while so I didn\'t remember the fade-in-out scene. And obviously I was trying (and apparently failing) to be funny using the Photoshop analogy ;)

    posted by: Grounded on 2006-03-26 06:27:00

  • The classic PhotoShop Theory has a certain mundane elegance, Grounded, but can it explain why Dawn fades in and out of the photos as Joyce fades in and out of consciousness? I have always thought that the monks messed with people\'s *perceptions* rather than with the actual stuff they were perceivng. This would explain why different poeple are perceiving the same thing differenttly, simultaneously.

    But back to parallel realities, the Dawn-filled Sunnydale reality is not one in which there was once a baby called Dawn. It is a reality in which a bumch of monks make people believe that there was once a baby called Dawn. They didn\'t go back an re-engineer the past, just did the superficial work necessary to keep people fooled. If you go to look at Dawn\'s birth certificate, you do see it, but not because it is there, but because they can make you see whaever they want you to see.

    So the two relevant parallel realities are ones with and without monkly interference. But that still does not explain why there would not be a further infinite variety of realities. The monk\'s decision is just a normal binary decision - do we or do we not manufacture a Dawn deception? Same category of decision as Willow\'s - do I or do I not bring back Buffy from the dead? The fact that the potential action would involve messing with people\'s heads is not particularly important to the parallel reality question, is it?

    posted by: Professor on 2006-03-25 21:19:00

  • \"There is some physical evidence, though, like photos of Dawn and Buffy and Joyce (the one where Dawn fades in and out).\" I always took this as being modification of existing photos i.e. the monks whipped out Photoshop and added her as opposed to created a whole new reality in which Dawn is actually photographed with the family.

    posted by: Grounded on 2006-03-25 16:45:00

  • Interesting question, Grounded. That would make a big difference. Buffy asks the monk about \"her memories,\" and the monk says they \"built them.\"
    On the other hand Giles says the monks possessed the ability to \"bend reality.\" This could have just been an assumption on Giles\'s part.
    I guess if they just introduced her, and then altered everyone\'s memories, it would have had to be pretty comprehensive-- people that the monks might not have been aware of believe those memories (like Angel and Faith). Anything\'s possible.
    There is some physical evidence, though, like photos of Dawn and Buffy and Joyce (the one where Dawn fades in and out).
    I personally would have looked for paper records: report cards, birth certificate, etc.

    posted by: Daigoro on 2006-03-25 16:00:00

  • \"especially since the creation of Dawn appears to retroactively alter the events that took place prior to season five.\" Isn\'t it explicitly stated at some point that the monks only altered everyone\'s memories in order to \'write\' Dawn into history? I seem to remember that but can\'t conjure up the quote.

    posted by: Grounded on 2006-03-25 15:31:00

  • Well, I\'m not sure if I got the entire thread of the listener\'s comments about a post-Dawn parallel universe, but I would agree somewhat in that the monks who opposed Glory actually altered the course of events to allow Dawn to exist.
    I think there\'s a distinction between this kind of history-altering event, and the everyday decisionmaking, or random variables, that all result in multiple, divergent chains of events.
    I woud agree with Prof in that you can break down almost every choice or even every random happenstance into multiple paths. Writers tend to focus on events that, subjectively, are \"significant\", ie what if George Bailey had never been born, or what if Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale. But there\'s no need to be so subjective, since even seemingly insignificant events can have offer fairly divergent outcomes, especially in a horror/suspense show in which the heroes are supposed to have a certain amount of brushes with death every week.
    I think the distinction with Dawn\'s creation is that it was a deliberate attempt to change history. In most cases, there is often some level of tension that this new reality is not the correct reality. There\'s the idea that something is \"not quite right.\" In season five of Angel, we see some tension resulting from Angel\'s decision about his son, in which powerful magic is used to completely re-write Connor\'s history. In Philip K. Dick\'s Man in the High Castle, there\'s tension from characters sensing or glimpsing the true reality as opposed to their \"alternate\" reality. In The Wish, Giles doesn\'t seem to know that he is in an alternate reality, however, once the idea is presented to him, he is willing to set things right, even knowing that it will bring an end to his own subjective existence. For Dawn, however, the focus was on whether Dawn was a \"real\" person, rather than on the reality in which she exists.
    The post-Dawn reality is never really treated as an alternate reality, although it certainly is one, especially since the creation of Dawn appears to retroactively alter the events that took place prior to season five. For example, Dawn knows Angel and Faith, and they know her, although any event in which they would have met would have taken place prior to Season 5. You might look at any episode in Season 1-4 and wonder what role Dawn might have played, had she been there, because as of Season 5, she would have been there. What Halloween costume would she have turned into? Would she have fallen under Xander\'s love spell? Did she know about the slaying all along, or did she find out at the end of Season 2 when Joyce does?
    Based on the original listener\'s comments, I think he\'d rather imagine season 5-7 without Dawn, rather than 1-4 with Dawn, which I don\'t necessarily agree with. In any case, I think the point is valid, though I think the Dawn story was more of an expedient one to work the character in, rather than an attempt to examine multiple realities.
    That said, I don\'t think Normal Again is an attempt at presenting an alternate reality, rather, it\'s just a hallucination, a pretty nasty one that insulates itself from skepticism by undermining the elements of the actual reality. There\'s lots of \"convenient\" amulets and demons in the Buffyverse, yet I think we have to assume that neither Andrew nor the demon knew what the poison would actually do, whether it attacked Buffy or some guy who happened to be walking down the street. So the specifics of the hallucination probably resulted from Buffy\'s own baggage, perhaps a buried desire to escape her current reality.

    posted by: Daigoro on 2006-03-25 13:43:00

  • I realize this begs the question of whether to believe in the next 1 1/2 seasons. But I think it\'s not the seasons\' reality or not that matters. It\'s which you choose to believe, and what that says.

    posted by: traveller on 2006-03-25 11:52:00

  • \"I realize this begs the question of whether to believe in the next 1 1/2 seasons.\" Well if you choose to believe that the next 1 1/2 seasons aren\'t real, then you have to also believe that the preceding 5 1/2 seasons aren\'t real either.

    posted by: Grounded on 2006-03-25 12:58:00

  • Good show, Revello. Thrilled your back. grin--Not that I agree with you, of course! Your analysis via Occam\'s razor was right on, and compelling re: which universe we were to consider real; however, since the episodes as REAL probably wouldn\'t stand up to that kind of analysis, I\'m not sure I buy it. This board and others all list the innumerable errors and parodoxes in the Buffyverse over the various seasons, so I\'m not sure that alone is enough to convince me. Mostly because, unlike the Librarian, I LOVE this episode precisely because it messes with our willing suspension of disbelief and that faith in our narrator, as in Life of Pi. (OK, so it\'s TV and there\'s no narrator, but you catch my drift). As Joss so often does, and as you point out in the opening, he\'s playing with narrative conventions. (btw I have personally staked heads outside my English room door as a result of the infamous \"It was all a dream ending.\" And Bob Newhart\'s was so funny not just because it was a sitcom, but because, I believe, it was the year AFTER the Bobby Ewing debacle, so everyone got the joke!) ANYWAY, specifically, Joss is yanking our chain to get PRECISELY the kind of reaction Librarian gives, outrage at the suggestion that this universe we tuned in to religiously every week isn\'t real; For at least the time we\'re there, we want to believe it is, that (girl) heroes exist, evil is easily recognizable, and it\'s a whole lot easier to tell good from bad. All those great lies Giles tells Buffy at the end of Lie to Me. In fact, in our \"Say it isn\'t so!\" reaction, in something that is really so \"Well, of course...\" we make the same choice Buffy makes--choosing Sunnydale and the Hellmouth over the LA asylum and its mundane (and even more overwhelming) problems, because there\'s a grandness to it; it\'s epic and hyper-real. Bloody brilliant. It\'s about the power of story, really, to not only shape reality, but maybe replace it? At least metaphorically--though of course Storyteller in Season 7 takes that to a much more literal level and one step further.

    posted by: Traveller on 2006-03-25 11:34:00

  • Oh, btw, that is my basic response to The Librarian... Normal Again does not seriously make US question the reality of Buffy, so nobody is dismembering your Teddy. Of course, the writers (via the Trio) may be dismembering *Buffy\'s* teddy, but we know they like to find new ways to torture her. After all, they brought her back from Heaven, buried her alive, gave her the job to slay vampires, made her fall in love with a vampire, killed her mum, etc. Wht should we now complain when they make her doubt her own reality? We love it when they throw this stuff at her, and let\'s not pretend otherwise.

    posted by: Professor on 2006-03-25 05:08:00

  • Nice one, Revello.

    I want to differentiate between two questions that arise out of Normal Again:
    1) Should we, the audience, now doubt the \"reality\" of Sunnydale? and
    2) Should Buffy now doubt the reality of Sunnydale?

    You make a persuasive case, via Occam\'s Razor, that we have no reason to doubt Sunnydale. I am not, howvere, so sure that Buffy herself does not have good reason to doubt. Nor am I sure that Buffy, at the end of the episode, is in fact convinced. She simply appears to have chosen the most involving reality, ie the one in which she can play a useful role, a reality in which she has her own close-knit gang, rather than the reality in which she is a helpless, crippled, isolated soul. I\'d have to go back and re-watch to confirm this, but that was certainly my initial impression.

    Interesting that you should mention the Fonze and Mork, because that was my first thought when I was listening to the start of your podcast: Hey, The Fonz dreamed up Mork way back when, and he went on to be a real-life superstar!

    Apart from the Matrix and its ilk, with their solipsist/sci-fi themes, we also have The Usual Suspects, which is entirely non-mystical, but still builds a whole reality out of someone\'s imagination. This has, of course, been a criticism of that file too, ie that its final reveal completely undermines the entire story.

    Didn\'t Gilligan once dream that they escaped from the island?

    There\'s much more to ponder before I comment more. Just a thought, one of your listeners wrote to say that the whole post-Dawn Buffyverse is in fact a parallel reality, while another reality goes on in which Dawn has never existed. This is, of course, just the thin end of an infinite wedge. Your listener is basically following a Many Worlds metaphysics in which every happening causes reality to branch into multiple possible paths, all of which continue to co-exist without ever re-combining. Why does your listener stop with Dawn, and why does he describe the non-Dawn universe as somehow more real thean the Dawn universe? What about the universe in which Xander does not resuscitate Buffy, or the universe in which Oz does not get bitten by his nephew and stays with Willow? Not to mention the already-known universe in which Buffy does not come to Sunnydale? Etc etc? Once you start to allow one other universe, you end up allowing ALL of them, and then the idea that any poarticular one is canon, if you will, becomes ridiculous.

    Thanks heaps, as ever,
    Professor

    posted by: Professor on 2006-03-25 04:44:00

  • I\'m a member of the army serving in afgan. i bought my first i pod 2 weeks before deploying. i found out about this podcast just one week before i deployed and loved it. no offence to Miles but this podcast is the best that involves the buffyverse. luckly for me i am still able to download podcast across the world. second i liked \"Normal Again\" it mad u think. any show that makes up think about the verse it has created either good or bad is a great show once again thank the powers that be u are back i once again have a buffycast i can look forward to. i also recommond the Signal podcast for all the browncoats out there

    posted by: nocturnalrites82 on 2006-03-24 21:06:00

  • Thanks, for quoting me. I was very excited to see your podcast back. I have tried other podcasts but yours is the only one I don\'t find mind numbing. You made some great points about the Normal Again and I was glad to see it as a topic. By the way, \"Possum Kingdom\" by The Toadies is one of my favorite songs and is written from the p.o.v. of a vampire.

    posted by: The Librarian on 2006-03-24 17:55:00

  • Welcome back Revello! I’m downloading Episode 13 now and will listen to it the first chance I get.

    posted by: thorley winston on 2006-03-24 15:25:00

  • Thank you for another brilliant episode! It\'s great to have you back! =)

    posted by: Olli on 2006-03-24 17:44:00

  • Great episode Revello. Very refreshing take on \"Normal Again.\" As is probably obvious with my own comments you quoted on the show, I completely agree with your conclusion that Sunnydale is, in fact, the real world (there was never any question of that for me). Grounded, I love NA but not for either of the two reasons you pointed out as the popular ones. I love it because of the power of Buffy\'s internal emotional struggle and the fabulously \'realistic\' acting by SMG. No, NA isn\'t particularly deep on an intellectual level and I don\'t feel it\'s the best, and certainly not *the* most important episode of the series, but it\'s emotionally gripping and that\'s what makes it so good (imo, of course). Keep the shows coming Revello! :D

    posted by: mikejer on 2006-03-24 15:42:00

  • Revello! You\'re back! My hero! Can\'t wait to listen. Will download immediately!

    posted by: Traveller on 2006-03-24 10:45:00

  • That was great :) First off, I should say I neither hate nor love Normal Again - it\'s just, as Revello said, a reasonable standalone. But I remember going online after watching and reading a bunch of posts on various boards/groups which said either a) BEST EPPY EVR!!1 or b) Oh my God that ep just blew my mind. It was sooo original! or both. I\'ve never quite understood why...

    posted by: Grounded on 2006-03-24 07:54:00

  • Woo! Finally!

    posted by: Grounded on 2006-03-24 05:51:00

  • How like Angelus.. he sneaks in when you are asleep and leaves a little surprise.

    posted by: Professor on 2006-03-24 06:26:00

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