Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Robots and Things That Want to Kill You

Reel One: The Great Buffy Re-Watch continues! Originating in Canada, but with a crack team of critics, viewers, bloggers, and just all-around swell people from around the globe, this week's effort focuses on the two parter "What's My Line?" and the creepy stand-alone "Ted." In short, Buffy learns that her drowning at the hands of the Master caused another Slayer to be activated - one with a far greater dedication to the job (as well as a truly all-over-the-place accent. Oh, Kendra. How I miss you). "WML?" is set during one of those odd "Career Days" at Sunnydale High and Buffy and the Scoobies confront the eventual need for gainful employment. (It'll be interesting to see how some of this plays out throughout the series.) In "Ted," Buffy's divorced mom tries dating. She picks John Ritter and well, let's just say it goes somewhat less than well. Miniature golf can't solve all relationship problems and robots can go mad.

Reel Two: The film class met Buffy's action hero godmother, Ellen Ripley. (#8 on the AFI list and the only female in the top ten!) I was pleased at how well Alien holds up over the years. Still psychologically creepy (and a few moments that are, for me at least, truly jump-worthy), still gets you thinking about money as motivator, and still proves that while robots may obey Asimov's Laws of Robotics, they need to be programmed in. (Who knew? I thought the link was going to be Buffy/Ripley this week - turns out I'm going with the robot angle!) The post-film discussion went so well that several members of the class didn't want to leave - a problem I love to have! The first compare/contrast essay was due, so I have reading galore to go through. (Is it geeky that I'm excited about that? No - don't tell me.)

Next week, the class examines the paranoia that comes with not being able to tell the aliens from the humans and the amazingness that is "Surprise/Innocence." In both the film class and the Re-Watch, our Stalwart Protagonists are going to be changed forever.

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