Thursday, August 4, 2011

Buffy Blogthrough: 1.9 "The Puppet Show"

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!

1.9 “The Puppet Show”
broadcast: May 5, 1997
writers: Rob Des Hotel & Dean Batali
director: Ellen S. Pressman
Buffy already has shown a gift for final scenes, but the one in this episode—Buffy and pals performing Oedipus very poorly—is especially winsome. This coda typifies the tone of “The Puppet Show”, the series' first episode to go all-out for comedy without compromising on action and thrills. “Show” even cheerfully undercuts Buffy's triumph over this week's monster by showing us the baffled reaction of the new principal (Armin Shimerman as a perfect martinet) to the typically gory scene. The light touch eases the potential silliness of the titular puppet, who's not the predictable demon-doll but a demon-hunter cursed to inhabit a ventriloquist's dummy. That twist is one of the plot's many red herrings, which get turned so deftly they cover for the lack of a social theme. Taken alone, “The Puppet Show” is forgettable fun, but the success of its execution points ahead to better episodes.

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