Sunday, 27 November 2011
BUFFY: 4.05 ‘BEER BAD’
Excellent musical tribute vid to the slayer and her relationship with booze.
WRITER: Tracey Forbes
DIRECTOR: David Solomon
WHAT’S THE SITCH?
Still feeling depressed, confused and dejected over being a Parker Abrams one night stand, Buffy takes solace at the on campus pub where Xander is now working (illegally) behind the bar. In a vulnerable state, she gets drawn in by a gang of hard drinking upper classmen and starts knocking back the beer by the pitcher developing a real taste for the amber nectar. Only problem is, said beer has been magically enhanced so that prolonged ingestion regresses someone to a inward and outward caveman state – complete with heavy brow, monosyllabic communication and acting purely on base wants and needs. Can Xander and the gang get to Buffy before she regresses to full on cave slayer, and can they stop the marauding cavemen upper classmen from hurting people?
WHAT’S THE SITCH BENEATH THE SITCH?
There is none. It’s all there in the title and on the surface. Metaphors be gone! Apparently beer is bad for you and too much turns you in to an aggressive, foolish sub human. There’s a bit of stuff about the human id, ego and superego and how we manage their competing needs in life, but it’s really just padding to what is the most blatant and unsubtle story ever done on Buffy.
WHO’S GIVING US THE WIGGINS THIS WEEK?
The writer? No, okay, I guess it’s the gang of marauding upper classmen cavemen.
WHY IT ROCKS
Beer Bad is notorious amongst fans as possibly THE most despised episode of Buffy. Personally I don’t hate it as it still has a few redeeming features. But not many. So here goes…
The caveman make-up and transformation FX are actually pretty good.
Xander’s enthusiasm to his friends about being a barman and his barman’s opening spiel, which includes a concerned face, a clicked on lighter, followed by the words “Rough day?”
Willow getting the upper hand with nasty Parker. The single best scene in the episode. Way to go Will.
Cave Slayer Buffy. Always the pro, Sarah throws herself in to the role. Thankfully she’s not gone all heavy browed like the others (Xander cut her off in time) but she’s still all matted straggly hair, monosyllabic aggression and ape-like pratfalls. She’s pretty darn funny too.
Normal Buffy’s earlier fantasies of Parker apologising to her for his behaviour, which comes full circle hilariously as he actually does apologise to Cave Slayer Buffy, not realising what’s happened to her. Cave Slayer Buffy’s scowling response? After a beat, she whacks him over the head with a stick, knocking him out cold. Screen goes black. Credits. It’s a perfectly timed gag.
WHY IT SUCKS
The story is quite simply rubbish. Metaphor and theme is disposed of and replaced with a stupid, rather insulting and patronising story about the dangers of alcohol. Buffy has done this sort of thing before but in far more subtle and creative ways. I expect a lot more from this show. If this were some other less intelligent, less sophisticated supernatural drama (*cough*Charmed*cough*) then I’d kinda expect it. But not from Buffy. Was Joss away that week or something?
The upper classmen cavemen are all utterly embarrassing in their running around, grunting and general stupidity. The make-up is cool but can’t mask the stupidity of the whole affair.
Buffy still obsessing over Parker. It's getting annoying now. C'mon Buff, snap out of it.
Willow getting one over on nasty Parker. She had me going for a while.
DIALOGUE TO DIE FOR
Xander (chipping in on a conversation between Buffy and Willow): "Pfffft. Nothing can defeat the penis!" (Notices how loud he was) "Too loud. Very unseemly."
Xander: “Giles, don’t make Cave Slayer unhappy.”
Xander: “How much beer would you say a person would need to consume before they start seriously questing for fire?”
Willow (To Parker): "That's right. I got your number, id boy. Only thing you're thinking about is how long before you can jump on my bones."
Buffy: “I'm suffering the afterness of a bad night of... badness.”
Willow: “You didn't. Not with Parker again.”
Buffy: “No. with four really smart guys.”
Willow: “Four? Oh... ow. Oh, Buffy, are you OK? Do you want to talk about it?”
Buffy: “I went to see Xander. Then I saw Parker. Then came... beer.”
Willow: “And then group sex?”
Buffy: “Pffft... gutterface. No! Just lots and lots of beer.”
Buffy: “Want beer. Like beer. Beer good.”
Xander: “Beer bad. Bad, bad beer. What the hell am I saying?”
Xander: “And was there a lesson in all this? Huh? What did we learn about beer?”
Buffy (grins stupidly): “Foamy!”
AND ANOTHER THING
This episode was Emmy nominated for hairstyling.
Kal Penn of Harold and Kumar fame (amongst other things) plays one of the cavemen.
In this ep we are introduced to sultry singer Veruca who in the following episode will play a major role in one of the main characters leaving the show.
HOW MANY STAKES?
It’s not Scooby Doo anymore; it’s Captain Caveslayer! 2 (out of 5)