Friday, June 17, 2011

Buffy Blogthrough: 1.4 "Teacher's Pet"

Most mornings, to warm up my brain I write & edit 150 words on yesterday's entertainment — a TV episode, movie, news item, or whatever. Now that I've got Lady Hotspur watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I've decided to post these exercises so you & she can enjoy them too!

1.4 "Teacher's Pet"

broadcast: March 24, 1997
writer: David Greenwalt
director: Bruce Seth Green

Of all the supporting characters, Xander has made the strongest impression so far. So he's the logical first choice for a focus on the supporting characters. In “Teacher's Pet,” he bumbles into a sexual encounter with a substitute teacher. But, this being Sunnydale, she's actually a human-sized praying mantis who implants her eggs in young male virgins. That's a zesty metaphor for adolescent male sexual anxiety about the mysteries of reproduction and female desire. But the execution, by Greenwalt and Green, is rough. The predictable plot does let Buffy exhibit her intelligence, first by using a vampire as a bloodhound and then by applying her science lessons to defeating the she-mantis. As nicely feminist as this turn is, it shifts the drama away from Xander and leaves his sexual anxiety unresolved.  Buffy's dedication to its secondary characters is an admirable strength, but this first example is a poor demonstration.

1 comment:

M-core said...

I liked the science teacher at the beginning of the episode and hoped he'd be a recurring character. Alas, but a good Whedon move.