Monday, November 30, 2009

A Closer Look at Darla, Part II: “Do you even know what I am?”

When we last left off, Darla had been staked by Angel in Buffy season one, and then at the end of season two we were treated to a fascinating flashback to when Darla sired Angel. That was the last we would see Darla on Buffy, except for the marvelous crossover episode “Fool for Love” in season five, which I will discuss further on. However, this was only the beginning for Darla’s character, as she would become a continuous fixture in the Buffy-spin-off Angel. During her run on Angel, Darla was resurrected by Wolfram & Hart in human form, haunted Angel into sleeplessness and pseudo-insanity, was an object of affection for Lindsay McDonald, was sired by her granddaughter Drusilla and lost her soul, went on city-wide vamp rager with Drusilla, ate a roomful of lawyers (perhaps my favorite moment), was almost burned to death by Angel, slept with Angel, gave him a NOT perfectly happy moment causing him to return to his destiny, got pregnant, shared a soul with her miracle child, staked herself to give birth to said child, and finally came back and haunted her emotionally damaged son. We also learned quite a bit about her past via flashbacks. Phew, that is quite a story.

Let’s begin with Darla’s centuries-long vampire past. The first way in which Darla is presented in Angel was via flashbacks. I must admit that I am a sucker for flashbacks, and they are often my favorite part of series such as Buffy, Angel, Firefly (oh, wasn’t “Out of Gas” fun?), Veronica Mars (I lived for the Lilly flashbacks), Lost (oh, flashbacks in the early seasons were just so revelatory), How I Met Your Mother (learning about when Barney first suited up was beyond awesome, and going back in time to see college aged Ted, Marshall, and Lily is hilarious), and most recently The Vampire Diaries (the Civil War era flashbacks in “Lost Girls” were just fabulous). Thus, Angel was a special treat for me, what with the abundance of flashbacks featuring people in period dress. Loved it.

In Angel 1x15, “The Prodigal,” we pick up right before we left off in “Becoming, Part I,” in Galway, 1753. Via a series of flashbacks, we learn what attracted Darla to Liam/ Angel in the first place (well the attraction might still not be too apparent to some of us, but oh well). The episode opens on a very human Liam getting pushed around by his father. It turns out that like all the best TV characters, Angel had daddy issues during his human years, which inspired him to drink and carouse and prove his father’s disappointment right. Reeling from his father’s criticism, Liam rough-houses in a local tavern, while Darla (wearing the fabulous cream dress from “Becoming,” or at least one that looks very similar) looks on admiringly. Darla talks to Joan Saffron Bridget Yolanda a bar maid about Liam, exclaiming, “He’s magnificent.” Whatever you say, Darla. Personally, I can’t get beyond the unflattering wig in that scene, and the fact that Angel looks too old to be playing his younger self, but I guess time and bad hair happen, so I shouldn’t complain. YoSaffBridge sarcastically quips, “Oh yeah, God’s gift all right.” Darla’s classic response? “Really? I’ve never known God to be so generous.” Ha! But more about her relationship with God later. YoSaffBridge says, “Oh his lies sound pretty when the stars are out, but he forgets every promise he’s made when the sun comes up.” Darla: “That wouldn’t really be a problem for me, actually.” Basically any criticism that might turn a living girl off is a turn on for Darla.

The next night, Liam has some fun with the bar maid, and then we cut to the flashback footage from “Becoming, Part I.” We see a quick mesh of the scenes in which Liam is turned by Darla, and hear her saying: “Darling boy … I could show you … things you’ve never seen.” Cut to Liam’s funeral (in case anyone is curious, his tombstone reads 1727-1753), and then to his grave site later that night. We see Darla approach his grave in the darkness, and watch as Angelus arises. I can’t help but note that the breath of these two is super visible, despite the fact that vampires supposedly don’t breathe, but I guess it was cold that night and they couldn’t afford to CGI it out. Oh, now I’m thinking about vampire smoking (yes, I’m looking at you, Spike). Sigh. Darla tells her new protégée, “Birth is always painful.” She is very much the proud mommy, all smiles, and when some guy approaches thinking that they are grave robbers, Darla encourages Angelus to make his first kill: “You know what to do.” Darla assures him, “You can do anything, have anyone.” Angelus is not one for subtlety, or baby steps: “Anyone? I thought I’d take the village.”

After terrorizing the town, Angelus eventually goes back and kills his dad. Darla comes into the house after he has killed his father and quips, “This contest is ended, is it?” Angelus says that he has won. Darla: “Are you sure?” Oh, she’s a troublemaker, that one. Angelus: “Of course. I proved who had the power here.” Darla: “You think?” Angelus: “What?” Darla: “Your victory over him took but moments. But his defeat of you will last lifetimes.” Way to rub it in, Darla. Angelus: “What are you talking about? He can’t defeat me now.” Darla: “Nor can he ever approve of you, in this world or any other. What we once were informs all that we have become. The same love will infect our hearts, even if they no longer beat. Simple death won’t change that.” Angelus: “Love? Is this the work of love?” [Gesturing to the dead bodies of his family.] Darla: “Darling boy, so young. Still so very young.” This conversation is worth transcribing in full, as it demonstrates the way that Darla challenges Angelus’ view of the world, and his understanding of what it means to be a vampire. It also helps explain the twisted vampiric manifestation of love. Finally, the scene provides a hint about the significance of who Darla was before she was turned, and how that informs her later journey.

So, who was Darla before she was turned? We learn the answer in my very favorite Darla-centric episode, fittingly named after her. Angel 2x07, “Darla,” opens on 1609, Virginia Colony, with a very human Darla, slowing dying in bed. The Master (yes, The frakin’ Master!) comes in, and says that she will leave this life before the sun sets. She says that she didn't ask for a priest, as he is dressed as one. The better to hide his creepy demon face, I suppose. Plus, there was probably some real enjoyment of the irony in that costume choice. Darla asks, "Do you even know what I am?" Well that is the question, isn’t it? The Master: "A woman of some property. No husband. No inheritance. Yes, I know what you are." Darla is not one to tiptoe around the truth: "I'm a whore." The Master: "Well, yes, that too. You should have asked for a priest long ago, child. Your life might have been the better for it." Darla: "You should have paid me a visit before today, father. Your life might have been more interesting because of it." Ha! Seriously, this is one of my favorite scenes on Angel, ever. The Master: "Are you prepared now to renounce Satan and beg God his forgiveness?" Darla: "God never did anything for me." After the servants leave, Darla tells her fake priest: "My soul is well past saving. Let the devil take me if he'll have me. Either way, I die." The Master: "No, you will not die. You will be reborn." He says that he came to her last night, and sang to her from that window. He says that he is her savior: "God never did anything for you, but I will." Honestly, I don’t think we could have asked for a better back story for Darla, as this fits perfectly. I doubt anyone was surprised at the truth about Darla’s human past, which is why it suits her character so well.

Personally, I don’t really see this reveal as showing her as a bad person pre-vampire, but rather it makes her more complicated and tragic. Regardless of the fact that she was a prostitute, to be an independently wealthy women in early seventeenth century colonial America was a real rarity. Darla decided (or perhaps was forced by circumstances) to reject the strictures of society, and do things on her own, to take her own universally decried path in life. Thus her view of herself and the world is both pessimistic and jaded. She was no empty-headed innocent, waiting to be married and live out a dull and uneventful life. She was not planning to spend her life making babies, before she was tragically turned into a vampire. She had already seen the darkness and tragedy of life, and had already reaped the fatal consequence of her reckless youth, i.e. Syphilis. In some ways, The Master was right when he said that he would save her—her vampire un-life was an improvement for Darla, which only adds to our understanding of her embrace of said life.

Another illuminating flashback is featured in Angel 1x18, “Five by Five.” In this episode we learn more about what really happened in Romania in 1898, when Angelus was cursed with a soul. In fact, Angelus’s most touted crime, the one for which he lost his soul, was all Darla’s idea. The gypsy girl whose death would later cause the soulful Angel eternal torment was in fact a birthday present from Darla. Angelus loves the gift and asks Darla, "What would I do without you?" Darla replies, "Wither and die." As she explains, "She's not just for you. I get to watch." Hmmm. So why is it that only Angelus is punished? Those gypsies are not to good at the vengeance thing (and kind of sexist!). Yes, I know that may sound ridiculous, but seriously, why does Angelus get all the fame, notoriety, and punishment, while Darla is basically ignored and tolerated. Is she not villainous enough? If those gypsies were so vengeful and angry, why didn’t they go after Darla too? Hello! It was her idea, and she was the one who procured the girl. Not that this absolves Angelus, but I just find it very odd.

Later when Darla returns home and calls for Angelus she hears him muttering in the shadows: "Not everyone screams." Except for the children of course, and Darla amusedly replies, "Yes, they sound just like little pigs." As Angel continues to mumble disturbed musings—I guess he is Angel now, so that is what I’ll call him—Darla begins to worry. "What is this? Have you met someone else?" she asks. She can sense that something is wrong, and asks, "What happened to you? Angelus? What happened?" He does not reply, but Darla realizes the truth: "A soul. They gave you a soul. A filthy soul. You're disgusting—get out of here!" Priceless reaction. Oh, Darla. He tries to argue, and says that he’s like her. Darla will have none of it: "You’re not like anything. Get away from me. Get out, I'll kill you."

In fact, however, we learn that Darla does not give up on Angelus so quickly. In another flashback, we see Darla plead with the gypsies: "You took him from me. You stole him away. You gave him a soul." Why in the world Darla thinks this pleading will work, and why in the world they don’t just perform the same curse on her, I cannot tell you. Darla argues on Angelus’ behalf, saying that the soul will cause him to suffer for the rest of eternity. Um, I’m pretty sure that is THE WHOLE POINT, so probably not the best argument, but OK. Darla still continues to plead: "Remove that filthy soul so my boy can come back to me." I find Darla’s intercession here fascinating, and not just for the insane troll logic mentioned above. In fact, this scene really shows how important Angelus was to her, and how much she does not want to lose him.

Angel seems to feel the same way, and two years later, in China, he reunites with Darla. In more superficial news, she wears a fabulous updo during the Boxer Rebellion that is worthy of note. But back to the drama, Darla wonders how Angel found her and he explains: "You could never resist a religious war, and you always talked about China." Of course. Things get violent, and she gets the upper hand on him. She questions whether he came there because he wants her to kill him, and notes: "I can still smell it you know [i.e. the soul]. That's not all. You reek of vermin. Is that what you've been living off of?" He wants a second chance. You can tell that she wants to give him that second chance, and that she wants thing to go back to what they were, but she is doubtful. She tells him that it's impossible because he has a soul. He begs. Darla: "You almost make believe you." Angel: "We can do this. We can do anything." Sigh.

Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on your perspective—Angel underestimates the power of his soul. While he is out with Darla amidst the Boxer Rebellion, he manages to save a missionary family in an alley. Darla, of course, wants to find missionaries and "drain the piety right out of them." Hehe. Sorry, not funny. Then Drusilla and Spike appear, fresh from the events of the Spike-centric crossover Buffy episode “Fool for Love,” and they brag about Spike killing a slayer. Angel responds to this news very awkwardly and tries to move the group farther away from the cowering missionary couple. Darla is suspicious, and she can smell the fear nearby. Eventually Darla confronts Angel. He tries to make excuses, pointing out that she has seen him kill men. Darla is not satisfied, as Angel is only killing guilty men: "Rapists and murderers. Thieves and scoundrels. Do you think I wouldn't notice? Only evildoers. That's all you hunt now." How dare he? She uncovers a baby, the one Angel tried to save in the alley, and tells him that she won't be made a fool. Then she delivers one of my favorite lines: "While Spike—Spike!—was out killing a slayer, you were saving missionaries … from me!" That is the last straw and she kicks him out. Presumably that is the last that the two see each other until 1997, in Buffy season one.

All that, and I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of Darla’s character. Beyond the flashbacks, Darla had a very rich story arc on Angel, in "present" time. At the end of Angel season one, Darla was resurrected in human form by Wolfram & Hart. This event is a catalyst for most of the events in seasons two and three. In early season two, there are a series of episodes in which Angel is sleeping too much, and keeps on dreaming about Darla. Cordelia and Wesley think that he is off his rocker, but eventually it is revealed that human Darla is in league with Wolfram and Hart to take Angel down. As Lindsay explains, "We don't want him dead. We want him dark.” At first it seems that this might be accomplished via sex, with Darla giving Angel a moment of perfect happiness. However, Angel puts the kibosh on any chance of that. He tells Darla: "You took me places. Showed me things. You blew the top off my head. But you never made me happy." Darla, "But that … that teenager did? We were together 150 years. We shared everything. You're saying never?" Angel: "You couldn't understand." Darla: "I understand alright. A guy gets a taste of something fresh, and he thinks he's touching God." Angel: "It wasn't about ...." "Oh you bet your ass it was. There was a time, in the early years, when you would have said that I was the definition of bliss. Buffy wasn't happiness, she was just new." Angel explains that he didn’t have a soul then, so that was never possible, but she is not appeased. She reminds him that he is still a vampire: "See, no matter how good a boy you are, God doesn't want you. But I still do.”

Of course Darla has bigger problems than Angel’s happiness, as she is dying. It turns out that in her human form she retains the syphilis that she was already dying from in 1609. Tough break. She wants Angel to make her a vamp, arguing that she gave him eternal life, and now it’s time for him to return the favor. Angel makes her feel guilty about turning him instead, and refuses. That said, he doesn’t give up on her, and tries to find a way to save her. In 2x09, "The Trial," Angel stops her from letting some loser vamp in a Metallica shirt try to turn her, and finds an alternate way. He discovers some supernatural “trial,” in which he can compete as her champion. It involves fighting a demon, getting staked, and walking on crosses. Angel is willing to accept death, just so that Darla may live on as a human with a soul. However, after all this (duh, he survives), it turns out that the deal had fine print. Because Darla has already been given new life before, by Wolfram & Hart, she is already living her second chance and doesn’t get another. Tragic, I know. It gets worse (again, it all depends on perspective), however, when Drusilla is called in by Wolfram & Hart, and sires Darla herself. Goodbye, soulful Darla.

Despite the tragedy of Darla losing her soul, there is a major silver lining in her reunion with Drusilla. In 2x10, “Reunion,” Darla and Drusilla tear up the town, and much fun is had. The combination of wacky Drusilla and straight-woman Darla is gold. Despite the maneuvering by Wolfram & Hart, the ladies are not to be pinned down, and turn the tables on the bossy lawyers. As Darla explains to Holland Manners, “I believe you said something about … a massacre." The duo manages to get into Manners’ home, and they savor the fun. In one of the more shocking moments of the series, Angel interrupts at the last moment, but instead of helping all the humans, he tells Manners that he “just can’t seem to care.” He closes the doors behind him, as we hear Darla and Drusilla feast on all the lawyers in the cellar. Wow.

After this, Angel becomes obsessed with killing Darla, and turns away from all his friends. The solitary period of broody pseudo-evil Angel is perhaps to blame for some of the Darla hate, as Angel is super-annoying, and it’s hard to see him mistreat the Angel Investigations team. Angel is obsessed with Darla, as he feels guilty for not being able to save her. In fact, as we will learn later, he sees his own fate tied to Darla’s, and hopes to save himself as well. Eventually, Angel tries to burn Darla and Drusilla to a crisp, but they survive. However, Drusilla leaves town, so Darla is left with Lindsay, recovering from the burns. In "Reprise," episode 2x15, there is a hullabaloo over a Review at W&H, and a visit by one of the Senior Partners. There is a whole chase for a special ring, the Band of Blacnil, and the glove that can do something special—it doesn’t really matter, as it is just a MacGuffin. The real reveal is that the apocalypse has totally already started, and the good guys are losing. In fact, the good guys pretty much have NO hope. Yes, Angel is a depressing show. I happen to like it that way.

Why is this relevant for Darla? I’m getting there. Basically, this Apocalypse-now news is so soul-crushing, showing that everything that Angel has been doing is for naught, that Angel reaches his lowest point. When he goes back to the Hyperion, Darla shows up, and he throws the ring at her. Blah blah blah … he pushes her around (violently) and they have sex. He takes a page out of season six Buffy, and tells Darla, “I just want to feel something besides the cold.” Afterward, in a scene very much mirroring the one at the end of the Buffy episode “Surprise,” Angel wakes up in bed, and there is thunder and his face is all :O (that is my rendering of an open mouthed Angel losing his soul). They are totally trying to trick the audience into thinking that Angel lost his soul. We pick up this dangling cliffhanger in the aptly named episode "Epiphany," 2x16, in turn very reminiscent of the Buffy episode “Innocence,” but in this version Angel goes through a very different sort of change.

It turns out that Darla is either incredibly optimistic, or she wasn’t paying attention to the first half of the season in which Angel told her over and over again that he didn’t love her, as she is full of delight that Angel has lost his filthy soul. Perhaps she thinks that since then he has fallen for her? Angel apologizes to her, and she is confused. Angel explains: "I am sorry. You saved me. I'm sorry that I couldn't do the same for you." Darla: "What?" She realizes and steps away: "You still have a soul." Awkward. Like, really awkward. Darla: "But we … and you… then I ... you're not evil? I … I don't understand. Was I … was it not good? Well, I do not accept that. You cannot tell me that that was not perfect. Not only have I been around for 400 years, I used to do this professionally. And that was perfect. We’ll go again." He says no, and that they're finished. Darla: "Finished? Why? Because you suddenly decide? You know, an hour ago, you wanted this. You weren't tricked into anything. I didn't seduce you. You wanted this?" He says that it was perfect: "And you were the reason. You've always been the reason. You were the thing that made me what I am. And I thought that if I could save you, I would somehow save myself. But I was wrong. And when I failed … when I failed, you saved me. There's nothing I can do for you Darla. I can't even hate you." Darla is deservedly pissed: "You knew this would happen, didn't you? You made me trust you. You made me believe." I doubt Angel planned this, but wow. It sucks to be Darla. The end.

OK, except not really the end, because not only does Darla get kicked out of bed on threat of death by Angel, she gets pregnant. She is really on the wrong end of karma, isn’t she? Not that I’m saying that pregnancy is terrible, but it is when you’re a vampire and it’s supposed to be impossible, and all you want to do is go around being evil. In season three, we learn that the impossible has happened—for the first time in history the union between two vampires produced offspring, a term fitting because it is the name of the episode in which Angel learns about his NOT love-child. The Angel Investigations gang is not thrilled with this news, particularly Cordelia. This also leads to one of my favorite exchanges on the show. Fred: "Who's Darla?" Gunn: "Angel's old flame, from way back." Fred: "Not the one who died?" Gunn: "No, not that one. The other one who died and came back to life." Fred: "Do you have a chart or something?” Gunn: "Yeah, it's in the files somewhere. I'll get it for you later." Ha! As Darla sarcastically sums it up: "Gosh, I'm the luckiest vampire girl in all the world." Sigh.

Darla’s pregnancy is rocky to say the least, and there is a vampire hunter and crazy vampire cult (amongst others) after her. Plus, it turns out that since Darla is dead, and her pregnancy was impossible to begin with, she can’t really give birth the normal way, and the baby is stuck inside. Eventually, in "Lullaby," episode 3x09, Darla reveals that she is sharing a soul with the baby. She tells Angel: “I love it completely. I don't think I've ever loved anything as much as this life that's inside me." Angel: "You've never loved anything, Darla." Darla: "True. 400 years, and I never did, until now." She dreads giving birth, as she will no longer share the soul: "I won't be able to love it. I won't be able to remember that I love it. I won't remember." She has really been transformed by her love of her unborn child. She also says thanks to the Angel Investigations gang, which is probably the first time in her entire life and un-life that she has uttered such a word. Now that her redemption is complete, sadly, it is time for her to die. In fact, her death itself is a form of redemption. She ends up going into labor in an alley, and the scene is visually very reminiscent of the Nativity, and there is also rain to heighten the drama. She reminds Angel: "You died in an alley, remember?" There is very much a parallel here between Darla taking away Angel’s life and soul back in 1753, and now, in 2001, bringing a child with a soul into the world. She apologizes to Angel for making him what he was, and then delivers her final words: "We did so many terrible things together. So much destruction. So much pain. We can't make up for any of it, you know that don't you? This child, Angel, it's the one good thing we did together. The only good thing. You make sure to tell him that." Then she stakes herself, and as the dust falls, a baby boy born. It is quite a death scene. I mean, as dramatic exits go, you really cannot get more dramatic than that, right? Well, maybe Buffy jumping on the tower in “The Gift,” but that is stiff competition.

So, once Darla has died, for a fourth time, that is still not the end of her. I know, right? You are ready for this post to end, and it will … soon. In 4x17, "Inside Out," The Powers That Be send Darla (or some simulacrum of her) to try to stop Connor from going to the dark side. Yes, little baby Connor went a bit crazy, due to his childhood in a hell dimension, and his twisted love for NOT-Cordelia and their baby-who-is-really-a-goddess-played-by-Zoe-from-Firefly. Darla tries to convince her son not to sacrifice a virgin, telling him how much she loves him, and how she will always be part of him. Connor wonders why she left him then. Darla explains that she did what she had to, offering her life for his. Connor, when your mother dies to give you life, maybe you should be a bit more grateful. Darla continues: “I did so many terrible things, Connor. So much destruction. So much pain. You were the one good thing I ever did. The only good thing. I'd die every day for the rest of eternity for you. And this [motioning to frightened girl about to be sacrificed] is how you repay me?" Good point, Darla. Connor was so not worth dying over (sorry Connor fans, just my biased opinion). Sigh. She begs him: "Don't let this happen, Connor. Don't let my death mean nothing. […] As a vampire I killed without mercy or remorse, because I didn't have a soul. What's your excuse? […] It has to be your choice. You can stop this. […] This isn't you, Connor." It almost works, but then NOT-Cordelia interrupts and warps his mind further. Connor is won over by the threat to his unborn child, and drags away the innocent girl, ignoring his mother’s pleas. Suddenly, the innocent girl turns into Darla, and we see Darla killed by evil Cordy. Then Darla's body turns back into the random innocent girl again. So, do we count that as Darla dying for a fifth time? Sigh. She really is the luckiest vampire in all the world.

OK, so after this exhaustive discussion of Darla, we can see that she has really had a roller coaster of a storyline, and provided a lot of entertainment. What do you think? Is she inspiring? Or does she make you want to turn off your TV? Has she been underappreciated? Or are you still annoyed that she got so much screen time in season two? Do you resent Angel’s destructive obsession with her? Or perhaps, the fact that she stood in the way of Angel and Cordelia in season three? Or do you find her a joy to watch? I would love to read what you all think.

You can read more by Lucia on her blog, Heroine TV, where she recaps shows such as Dollhouse, The Vampire Diaries, Mad Men, and Lost. You can also follow her on Twitter, where she never tires of talking about TV.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

fanvid sunday: black weekend edition

Hey there, kids. It's been a long and busy weekend but that doesn't mean we can't make time for a little fanvid love. I hope I won't appear as too much of a debbie downer but laurashapiro put together a truly beautiful tribute to Lorne a few days ago and I just had to share it with you in case you hadn't seen it already.

Find more videos like this on BAM Vid Vault

Yeah... I liked it a bunch even though it made me super sad. Hope you all enjoy it too. How was your Thanksgiving? Were you forced to endure political dissonance with family like I was? Good times. Happy Sunday, everybody.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Closer Look at Darla, Part I: “I don’t get to have any fun.”

Vampires are all the rage these days. You can’t go very far without reading, hearing, or seeing some reference to the pale, brooding, dangerous, and above all “hot” undead. Personally, I’m rather sick of how “hot” vampires are, despite my love for the vampire genre. But amidst the blood, the sparkles, the abs, and the violence, where are the female vampires? On E!’s latest list of “10 Vampires We Love,” a TV special aired earlier this month, only 3 out of the 10 oddly-chosen vampires were female, and the discussion of these ladies was anything but complex. Angel made the list at #8, but none of his fellow Whedonverse vamps placed on the countdown. This is only the latest of such lists, and I have repeatedly found myself thinking that the lady vamps of the Whedonverse are underappreciated. Of course such things are subjective, but I cannot help but wonder about the larger trend. For example, despite Alice Cullen making it to #9 on the E! list, no one was wearing Alice shirts to the recent screenings of Twilight Saga: New Moon. Instead, most of the moviegoers identified themselves as Team Jacob or Team Edward. The tendency to read books and watch shows and movies purely for relationships leaves many of these female vampires with little fanfare. The predominantly female audience plays into this, which I find rather odd. You might think that with so many women watching things like True Blood, Twilight, and The Vampire Diaries (or reading the book versions), there would be more attention to the kick ass vampire chicks. Sadly, no.

Even within the Whedonverse, fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel often seem much more fixated on Angel and Spike, and the battle for Buffy’s heart. No female vampire was ever included in the Buffy or Angel credits, though Angel and Spike were regulars on both shows. In particular, I find that Darla, and her role in the larger mythology, is underappreciated. In an interview with Julie Benz, found on the special features of the Angel season three dvds, she talks about how the fans didn’t really like her, until finally at the end of her run in season 3, when she sacrificed herself to give birth to Connor. I was shocked to hear this, as Darla was one of my favorites since she first bit what’s-his-name in the opening to “Welcome to the Hellmouth.” In contrast, Spike and Drusilla seem to have been embraced by the fandom right away, following their entrance in the season 2 Buffy episode “School Hard,” and their popularity is referenced in the commentaries as a reason for keeping those characters around for so long. I should note that I did not watch Buffy or Angel when they first aired, and instead caught it all on dvd in 2007 (since then, of course, I have re-watched it all multiple times), so my experience is rather different from those who have been taking part in the fandom since the beginning. Nevertheless, I’m sure that there are others who feel like me, and want to see Darla given a bit more attention and credit. Or perhaps, if you have underestimated her in the past, you might reconsider after reading this post.

Darla was the first vampire to be featured on Buffy—the first to bite anyone, and the first to walk the halls of Sunnydale High School. The opening teaser for "Welcome to the Hellmouth," begins with spooky music, as the camera pans through a high school science classroom, featuring an absurd number of skeletons. The arm of a teenage boy breaks through the window, and we see Darla's face behind. Julie Benz played the role with pure innocence and fear, as Darla stammers to her companion, " I I I I don't want to go up there." At this point, I assumed that the boy was a vampire, and that the sweet blonde girl was soon to be dead meat. Darla was visibly frightened and worries that she heard someone. Her date tries to spook her further, but she is not amused. He mockingly calls “hello,” and when no one answers, he assures her that no one is there. Then, suddenly, the pretty blonde vamps out and bites the boy’s neck. Hello, unconventional vampire. Goodbye, random teenage boy. In the commentary for the pilot, and the interviews on the dvds, Joss Whedon talks about the choice to open the show this way, and the significance of this for the overall message of the show. In this opening scene, Joss manages to play upon the expectations of the audience, and then suddenly to subvert them. As Joss says over and over again, part of the impetus in creating the character Buffy was that he was tired of watching horror movie after horror movie in which the pretty blonde was killed by monsters in an alley. Buffy was an opportunity for the pretty blonde to fight back, and fight back she did. Overall, the message was empowering, at least for me, and Darla was part of this. While Darla was not the heroine of the story, the fact that she turned out to be the scary one, not the powerless victim as I would have supposed, was a sign that this show would challenge traditional gender roles.

The next time we see Darla, she is flirting with Jesse (remember him?) in The Bronze (while sitting in a chair that looks like a bird cage, but that’s neither here nor there), and he is thrilled to have the attention. Jesse eats up every word, but in his defense Darla is way cooler than the vamp that was seducing Willow in that episode. Willow goes off with the loser vamp in the 70s garb, and is led into a mausoleum. Darla arrives shortly thereafter, and the loser vamp asks why she didn't bring her own. She wipes her mouth and says, "I did." There is a pause and then a bitten Jesse stumbles in. Darla explains, "I got hungry on the way." See? That is the Darla I know and love. This was the first episode, however, so the vamp-face-change is rather awkward, and Julie Benz was sporting unfortunate bangs and makeup. Additionally, she, along with most others in the early seasons, had a hard time speaking with the fangs, but she still conveyed awesomeness. Then Buffy comes in and there is a confrontation. Darla is a bit more fearful and ignorant than I would imagine her character to be (based on the flashbacks we see later), but this was the first episode, so the writers hadn’t figured out all the mythology yet. Darla and Buffy even fight in this scene, but it is rather pathetic as the oafish Luke comes in and totally cuts-in on the fight. Darla runs off to tell the Master. Fail. I would have preferred to see Darla take lead here.

In the second part of the premiere, "The Harvest," Darla and Luke bring Jesse to the Master. The Master is not so happy with Darla, as Jesse is totally leftovers, but she makes excuses. The relationship at this point doesn’t seem as close as it seems in later episodes, but I guess the fact that he doesn’t kill Darla over this is proof of his affection. For the rest of the scene, however, Luke gets all the lines, and all Darla does is light some candles. While Luke is anointed as “The Vessel,” Darla looks on with this odd ecstatic expression, and it's kind of hilarious. Then Darla leads the gang of vamps to the Bronze, but does nothing once she gets there. Disappointing.

After this, we really don’t see Darla until “Angel,” episode seven. Buffy has increasingly become a problem for the Master, so Darla offers to kill her. The Master refuses her request, saying that she has a "personal interest in this." Darla’s response? "I don't get to have any fun." Word. The Master is totally keeping her down. When The Three (clever name) inevitably fail, they offer their lives in penance. The Master: "I am weary, and their deaths will bring me little joy. [Cue Darla happily staking The Three.] Of course sometimes a little is enough." Ha! The happiness on her face while staking the vamps really just made me adore her even more in that moment. Is that wrong?

Later in the episode, Angel arrives home to his apartment to find Darla waiting, and this is when we begin to learn about the past relationship between these two—a history that will continue to be developed in Buffy and, to a much great extent, in Angel. There is much history between the two, involving rampaging across Europe and Asia for over a century. Darla tries to convince him to embrace his vampire nature, and insinuates that Buffy will never accept him for what he is. It is left unclear whether she succeeds, and after this conversation, Darla goes back to The Master with a plan: "Angel kills her and comes back to the fold." The Master likes this, and says of Angel: "He was the most vicious creature I ever met." The way they talk, it seems like Angel actually was part of the Order of Aurelius, and had a relationship with The Master, but they retcon that later. Oh well. Darla sets her plan into motion by going to see Joyce. Through a conversation between the two, there is a hint that Darla’s family dates back to the War of Independence, but in fact we will later learn that she was turned over a century before that. Darla manages to frame Angel for biting Joyce, hoping to make Buffy try to kill Angel, and thus force Angel to fight back and kill Buffy.

After Buffy starts making preparations to hunt Angel down, Darla confronts Angel again: "She's out hunting you right now. She wants to kill you. What did you think? Did you think she would understand? That she'd look at your face—your true face—and give you a kiss? For 100 years you have not had a moment's peace because you will not accept who you are. That's all you have to do—accept it. Don't let her hunt you down. Don't whimper and mewl like a mangy human being. Kill, feed, live." Darla is very much representative of the demon aspect of the vampire, and is an advocate of the easy, and above all the fun, way of un-life. She wants Angel to let go and embrace his inner demon. As we will learn later, Darla was the one who made Angelus the monster that he was, both literally and metaphorically.

Eventually, Buffy and Angel have a showdown in the Bronze. He tells her about the gypsy girl whom he killed, and the resulting curse. At first Buffy is not very impressed at the hardship this curse presents, but Angel explains: "When you become a vampire, the demon takes your body, but it doesn't get your soul. No conscience, no remorse. It's an easy way to live." As he points out, “You have no idea what it feels like to have done the things that I’ve done … and to care.” This is relevant for Darla because it explains her persona, in contrast to Angel’s. She is in the no-cares camp, and has no remorse for her evil deeds. She also has a real spirit of fun and enjoyment.

When Darla arrives on the scene, she is still mocking Angel’s teenage love choice by wearing a red plaid school-girl outfit. She is also in vamp face and sporting the resultant lisp, but I’ll let her slide on the latter. Darla asks Buffy, "Do you know what the saddest thing in the world is?" Buffy: "That hair, on top of that outfit?" Hehe. Darla: "To love someone who used to love you." Buffy is not thrilled to learn that Darla and Angel were involved, but puts on a brave face: "Well, when you've been around since Columbus, you are bound to pile up a few exes. You're older than him, right? Just between us girls, you're looking a little worn around the eyes." Well, she’s not that old, but Buffy is only about 100 years off. Darla explains: "I made him. And there was a time when we shared everything, wasn't there Angelus? You had a chance to come home, to rule with me in the Master's court for a thousand years. But you threw that away because of her. You love someone who hates us. You're sick. And you'll always be sick. And you'll always remember what it was like to watch her die.” This really captures Darla’s role in the Whedonverse in a nutshell. She misses her play-time companion Angelus, and desires more than anything that he would return to who he was. She has a very clear idea of what it means to be a vampire, and it is a rather tempting lifestyle for Angel. She will never succeed in turning Angel, which makes her almost tragic in a way. She is fighting a losing battle and won’t accept that the past is over.

Darla quips, “You don't think I came alone did you?" Buffy didn’t either, and pulls out a crossbow. Darla: "Ooh, scary. [She pulls out two guns, one of the rare moments when guns are featured on this show.] Scarier." Even with the vamp-teeth-lisp that scene is awesome-sauce. She shoots Angel, for fun, telling Buffy: "Oh, don't worry, bullets can't kill vampires. They can hurt them like hell, but … so many body parts, so few bullets. Let's start with the knee caps. No fun dancing without them.” Really, when does Buffy have an adversary more fun in the first season? At this point, Xander and Willow try to distract Darla, and Willow tells Buffy the truth about who bit Joyce. Angel takes this opportunity to stake his former lover, and she features a look of shock, turning and saying Angel’s name, before turning into vamp dust. I have to admit, despite the fact that she is a cold-hearted killer, Darla’s death makes me sad. I can’t help but pity her—at that point no one ever gave her a second chance, or tried to save her, and it just seemed rather sudden and final. Luckily, however, this would not be the last time we would see Darla.

When The Master hears about Darla’s death, he is visibly upset, and smashes things. At least someone cares. The Annoying One (copyright some fabulous podcast I listened to, but there are so many that I can’t quite recall) tells him, "Forget her." The Master is as annoyed at this advice as me, and tells the boy: "How dare you. She was my favorite, for 400 years." The Annoying One says that she was weak, and that he doesn't need her. Shut up, Annoying One. The Master continues: "But to lose her to Angel. He was to have sat at my right hand, come the day. And now …" Again, they kind of retcon this later, as Angel turns down The Master’s invitation to join him right away. But I guess everything has to come back to Angel, since he is the tragic hero of the piece. Sigh.

We next see Darla via flashback, in the season two finale, "Becoming Part I." The episode open on Galway, 1753, and we see a young and bewigged (oh, that awful wig) Angel, or rather Liam, carousing in the streets, complete with a terrible Irish accent. He catches sight of a gorgeous and mysterious woman in the alley across the way, and it must be noted that Julie Benz rocks the period-look beyond all others on the show. Darla looks a million times better without those awful bangs and overdone makeup, and is wearing a fabulous dress and sporting a wig as lovely as Angel’s is awful. Angel asks: "So I ask myself—what's a lady of your station doing alone in an alley with a reputation like this one has?" Darla replies, "Maybe she's lonely." There is some back and forth flirting, and Darla wonders if he is up to the challenge. Angel asks where she’s from, and she says "Around. Everywhere." Angel had never been anywhere, and Darla offers to show him her world, "Things you've never seen, never even heard of." Angel: "Sounds exciting." Darla: "It is. And frightening." Angel: "I'm not afraid. Show me. Show me your world." Darla tells him to close his eyes and grants him his request. The scene is at once sexual and maternal, and we can see the beginnings of their unhealthy relationship. Especially interesting to me was the fact that Angel asked for it. He certainly didn’t know what he was getting himself into, but he was game for adventure, frightening or not. Before this fatal encounter, Liam's life was rather pointless and narrow. Darla opens up a whole new world for him, and is very much his guide and mentor. In Angel we are able to further explore the ways in which Darla shaped Angelus, and consequently Angel. Look forward to Part II of this post to come, discussing Darla’s character growth on Angel.

You can read more by Lucia on her blog, Heroine TV, where she recaps TV series such as Dollhouse, Mad Men, The Vampire Diaries, and Lost. You can also follow her on Twitter, where she never tires of talking about TV.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Willow: At least we all worked together. It was like old times.

Xander : Yeah, especially with Angel being here and everything.

For your reading pleasure between servings of mashed potatoes, here's a few more Thanksgiving quotes from the Gang:

: Thanksgiving isn't about blending of 2 cultures. It's about one culture wiping out another. And then they make animated specials about the part where, with the maize and the big, big belt buckles. They don't show you the next scene, where all the bison die and squanto takes a musket ball in the stomach.

Anya: It's a ritual sacrifice, with pie.

Buffy: Pretty darn scary. It more like a riot than a Ralph's…I thought I was going to have to use slayer moves on this one woman who was completely hoarding the pumpkin pie filling.

Buffy: We don't say "indian."

Giles: Oh, right. Yes, yes. Um, always behind on the terms. Still trying not to refer to you lot as "bloody colonials."

Welcome Guest Blogger Heroine_TV!

I'm stepping away from Buffyfest (for the first time ever!) to take a Thanksgiving trip to the magical place that is the World of Disney. In my stead, we're happy to announce that blogger Lucia a.k.a Heroine_TV will be over to fill in! She runs a kick-ass blog: If you haven't visited it before, you've missed a self-proclaimed TV addict dish about all of the female driven shows and characters. Go check that fabulosity out! You can also follow her on twitter @heroine_tv.

We're very excited to have her over for a visit and would like to extend a cozy holiday Buffyfest welcome!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Drug Scandal in the "Other" Vampire Fandom!

Seriously, they are peddling Twilight brand heroin on the streets of our city via this crafty villain in Long Island. The dime bags are "branded" with Edward Cullen's face on them. So wrong! First with the sparkling, cold-like-a-dead-man's-penis sex toy, now this. Joking aside, it's really not anything like throwing an appendage in a freezer. I'd feel terrible if it was a Buffy logo or Blue Sun type situation. Capitalizing on someone's fandom addiction is one thing, but substance addiction is another. I can just hear someone OMGing "Look how cool my Twi-hard dope baggie is!" This really is too far.

And don't forget...then Buffy slayed Edward, the end.

P.S. the guy on the bag actually kind of looks like Spike, no?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bid on Angel for a good cause!

Our buddy JB of The Browncoats of NYC is auctioning off an unopened Complete Angel Collector’s Box. This has a retail value of $139.98 and sells on for $114.99. The minimum bid is $50.

Because they are Browncoats it's all for a great cause. Every dollar over $50 will benefit Heifer ( This is a great charity (Michelle donates to them every year!) so please consider giving during this holiday season.

Go here to check out the deets:

All bids should be emailed to by December 7, 2009.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

fanvid sunday: buffy's #1 edition

I'm feeling seek (that's childish spelling for "sick") so I'll be brief. I love Buffy. This video is all about her. That is all.

Find more videos like this on BAM Vid Vault

Happy Sunday, everybody!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

As We Await The Buffy Season 8 Motion Comic

If the seemingly-confirmed but still-rumored-until-Joss-says-so motion comic turns out anything like the below, then I'm in. There are still some questions left floating in the air, like Joss's specific role in the project and if any of the original cast will be lending their voices to Season 8 (which would be amazing). We contacted Super Scott Allie for a comment and he had this to say about the motion comic:

"Dark Horse has nothing to do with it. I hope Fox does a good job." Hmmm.

One thing we're really excited about is the score. Buffy has always had such amazing music to accompany its scenes and to incorporate melody into the motion comic would really add to the emotional impact of the thing. Can we get Christophe Beck to do it, please!

Of course, our dream here at Buffyfest is still and forever will be a movie with the original (TV) cast and a big End of Days/Apocalypse showdown on the big screen. If we can't get that, then moving drawings will have to do.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Buffy and Angel: Punk Rock Style

No words...none.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Tara!

Have a great one!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dr. Horrible: One-Shot Wonder REVIEWED

Greetings, minions! Say hello to big, stinky, kind of disgusting but nonetheless *awesome* fear for it is I, Doctor Horrib.. no wait, that's not true. Let me try again.

Stand aside and consider your day saved in a both rugged and charming manner, citizens, for I am Captain Ham... no, that's not it either.

Hey, Buffyfest, it's me, your nerdiest blogger just back from running to the comic book store in the manner that a fat kid runs away from a dodge ball with Dr. Horrible #1 (of one) grasped tightly in my teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy grasp. Yeah. That'll do.

So! Zack Whedon is our writer, Joelle Jones makes with the art and Dark Horse wraps the whole thing up in a nice bow for consumption by the massively massive masses but is it any good? Is the $3.50 a worthy investment or should you just keep saving up for that nifty freeze ray you've had your eye on? Well, harken close, kiddos, because working in this industry of funny books has earned me some, at least, perceived cache. In other words: I know what's up.

In a word: Yes. In two words: Do it! In three words: It was awesome. Four words? You get the point. See what I did there? Seriously, gang, the book is a winner. This idea that Scott Allie and co. came up with to tell a series of single issue stories has really paid off and there's no better example thus far than this very book I hold in my hands. The story leaps right off the page with wit, charm, and even, dare I say it, a little tenderness. But mostly it's funny and Joelle Jones captures the crap out of Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion. You want a criticism? Okay. Penny is the weak point of the story. She gets only the briefest of cameos and it falls flat on it's face. In fairness, I think it's best to leave her out of the narrative since there just isn't much of her story to tell. If it's a heroic lady person you're after, you'll have to stick with Buffy.

But, but, but! Let's not put all our focus on the one debbie downer and lose sight of the wonderfully horrible forest of amazing doom that is this book. You know who else shows up? Moist! I love me some sweaty, jewish henchman and Moist is a special fellow who plays his special part specialfully...? There's even a cool ad in here for Brad Meltzer's upcoming arc of the Buffy comic. Yes, even the commercials are cool. What's not to love?

I'm asking you, I'm telling you, nay, demanding you run out and retrieve your copy today. Start up your jalopy, fill it up with petroleum distillate and re-vulcanize your tires, post haste, and get yourself down to the local comic book shoppe. You won't regret it and maybe, just maybe, if the book sells really well... we could get some more comics starring a certain Doc and his supposedly well endowed arch nemesis. When you're done come on back and let me know what *you* thought. Consider yourself winked at as I slowly saunter away, Buffyfest.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Can't Stop the Serenity Last Hurrah Auction

Can't Stop the Serenity is having their final fundraiser of the year with a "Last Hurrah" auction in support of Equality Now. They've already raised $128,000 and your bid will help them reach their pledge goal of $150,000!

There's some fabulous prizes, including a donation given to us by Kelley Armstrong, Angel comic writer. Kelley was nice enough to send a bunch of Angel goodies, including a signed original draft of Aftermath #1. We all read this original version while we still had it in our hot little hands and it's fantastic. It's fascinating to have a little insight from the original concept and compare to what was in the final print. The winner of the auction will be the only other person to ever get to read it besides us, Kelley and Mr. Whedon himself. A great item for any Angel fan!

Other prizes include a tour of the Dollhouse costume department and a Browncoat Fan Pack. Go check it out here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Vote for Buffy Between the Lines at the Podcast Awards

Buffy Between the Lines - The fan audio drama that explains what happened when the cameras stopped - is a finalist at the Podcast Awards! Apparently, Harry Potter wins in the entertainment category every year. Let's show those Potterheads what's up!

For an added bonus if BBtL wins, they will be producing a post-Chosen episode that fans have been clamouring for....bridging Seasons 7 and 8. So go vote! You can vote once a day, every day from now until November 30th at Buffy Between the Lines is in the Entertainment category. FYI, you must enter a valid email to validate your vote.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Buffy the Vampire Diaries

Every time a new vampire show comes out, I set my DVR in hopes it will be the next Buffy and/or Angel. Remember that show Moonlight? I lasted 3 episodes and I was gone. With True Blood I stayed around for about eight episodes until I couldn't stand it anymore. That's when I realized the truth of the matter. I don't love vampires, demons, witches and slayers, I love a show with smart writing and great characters. My love for Buffy and Angel is definitely not about a plot point.

In true compulsive fashion, though, with the season premier of Vampire Diaries looming in the "Must See TV" September air, I set my DVR to record because at this point I think it's a sickness for me to record any show set in a fantastic other world (see also: Supernatural, Fringe). And again, I almost stopped watching circa episode 5, but then something amazing happened - I saw true potential in the show and a hint of smart writing and some interesting characterization crept in, too. I do have my worries that it will soon lose my interest because in all honesty, I don't see the point of Elena (yet). I'm least interested in her and more intrigued by her screwed up brother, his even more screwed up girlfriend and her witchy best friend. Let's not forget the two vamp brothers either, who by the the way, are the equivalent of Angel and Angelus getting their own spin off called Orpheus: The Series where in the first episode they find the long lost Gem of Amara!

Which brings me to my second fear. I always compare supernatural shows to Buffy and this one's no different with the parallels. We've got the witchy best friend, the other best friend with unrequited feelings, the vamp-tortured-soul boyfriend, his evil alter-ego, the unaware aunt/parental figure, the High School bitca and the local hangout in the mystical town. The only thing missing is the Watcher and an interesting female lead, unfortunately.

I don't even mind that it clearly bites off of the Buffy/Angel relationship (see photo above) because, at the end of the day, I think the show has potential. I just truly hope that they either nix the lead actress from the show or give her arc something interesting to hold onto besides an undead boyfriend and some silly diary entries. Oh, and get rid of that stupid crow while you're at it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

He's Dead, Jim. Dollhouse Canceled

You heard it hear fifth, folks. Dollhouse just got the axe. The most positive spin on it can be found at Variety where they at least say that the remaining episodes will go to air.

This is one of those occasions where it's hard for me to be the one breaking the news. If it were Tara, she'd just let the show go quietly into that good night and Michelle... well, Michelle wouldn't write a post about this. But you've got me and that's... slightly unfortunate. I am genuinely sorry for the cast and crew and for all the people who were fans of the show. I do think the show deserved to be canceled though. It was a misstep for so many reasons, in my opinion. The concept was never going to be sustainable as an ongoing series, Eliza never quite nailed the part of Echo the way I'd wished she had, and Joss, clever though he is, has yet to learn that you have to work with the system if you are going to be a part of it. You know who else has a show whose ratings are in the toilet? J.J. Abrams. Fringe could get canceled but it probably won't because he knows how to listen to and work with network executives. That's a hard lesson to learn. Nobody likes to have their creative vision screwed with but such is the nature of the beast.

I'm sure we'll get some angry responses for this opinion so let me say that it is mine and mine alone. It doesn't reflect the opinions of Tara or Michelle. It really is a shame that so many hard working people have got to pack it in. I don't relish in that one jot but, for the sake of all involved, I hope that, once the smoke clears, they can all really evaluate the reasons why Dollhouse never took off other than "it's Fox's fault".

UPDATE: Here's the quote from Joss:

Hmm. Apparently my news is not news.

"I don't have a lot to say. I'm extremely proud of the people I've worked with: my star, my staff, my cast, my crew. I feel the show is getting better pretty much every week, and I think you'll agree in the coming months. I'm grateful that we got to put it on, and then come back and put it on again.

I'm off to pursue internet ventures/binge drinking. Possibly that relaxation thing I've read so much about. By the time the last episode airs, you'll know what my next project is. But for now there's a lot of work still to be done, and disappointment to bear.

Thank you all for your support, your patience, your excellent adverts. See you again. -j."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Whedonverse Ornament Swap 2009 Lists have gone out!

By now every swapper should have their group recipient list for this year's swap! Please let us know if you didn't receive yours. Now get crackin' on those ornaments and remember to ship out by Dec 1st (we recommend even earlier if you're outside of the US or shipping outside of the US, so that everyone gets the packages in time for the holidays). If you still have questions refer to the full details in the original post here or email us at Happy swapping!

A big "thank you" to all the participants. Some of the fabulous crafters in the swap are affiliated websites and blogs such as:

And follow these swappers on twitter:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Brad Meltzer does Buffy and...

You know something? I don't think I'm going to like Buffy when she's angry... and it looks like she just realized who is really responsible for all her unending torment. Look out, Joss!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

fanvid sunday: nice out k thx bai edition

Hey, all! It is absolutely stunning out today and I am going to reach escape velocity as quickly as humanly possible. Before I do, though, I want to make sure no one is denied to a little fanvid sunday. Today I'm throwing out a little Dollhouse love despite my personal tepid feelings for the show still. Don't say I never did anything for you, fandom!

A little despondent, broken-feeling, and depressing but that's Dollhouse for you. It's not exactly the good day, sunshine of prime time viewing. Speaking of sunshine... seriously with the beautiful out today. I'm making like Alicia Silverstone and getting outie 5000. Happy Sunday, everybody!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Reminder: Last day to sign up for the 2009 Whedonverse Holiday Ornament Swap!

If you'd like to join the dozens of others creating and swapping fabulous ornaments with a Whedon theme this year, follow the instructions below before midnight tonight. We'll be sorting the groups over the weekend and you'll receive your list of recipients this Monday!

If you're confused about what this is about, read full details here. To sign up, send an email with the following information to
- name
- address
- email address
- your website or blog (if you have one)
- whether your are willing to ship internationally

Thursday, November 5, 2009

People puts Sarah Michelle Gellar's baby in the corner

Hee! See what I did there? Personally, I think Smidgie's baby warrants a front and center article but eh, whatever cheating scandal floats your boat. Here's a few bits from People mag's exclusive with Smidge:

"I went into labor at the gym!" the 32-year-old former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star reveals. "I didn't really believe it. I just felt a little nauseous, and my trainer said to me, 'Um, isn't your baby coming next week? Maybe it's time now?' I said, 'Oh no, I doubt it...'"

"Later that night, she was like, 'OK, I think I might be in labor, but you should get some more sleep,'" Freddie [Prinze Jr.] recalls. "She was very calm, very centered, very prepared. I'm telling you, this girl is like Gandhi. It was like, three pushes and the baby was out."

Smidge's hubby Freddy Prinze, Jr, whose father, comedian Freddie Prinze, took his own life when he was just 12 years old tells People,

"I always appreciated that connection between a parent and a kid because I yearned for it so much. Growing up, I wanted a father, and because I've had this idea of what a father should be, it's exciting to finally have the opportunity to try and be that guy, to see if I can actually do it."

And what about having a girl?

Prinze said, "A lot of guys want sons, but that would have been a lot of pressure. I know throughout my childhood, there were many times I couldn't stand being a 'Jr.' I wouldn't want anybody else to go through that. If we'd had a boy, he wouldn't have been another Freddie Prinze.

"To have a girl, I almost felt like, 'Whew!' I know how to protect her and keep her away from the kind of kid I was. I know I can shower a little girl with love. A little boy comes home one day, and he needs to learn how to fight. That's all macho stuff, dealing with ego and pride, and I don't want to have to deal with that. I'd rather deal with a broken heart than a broken nose."

Smidge also told People magazine that the kid is a calm one who barely cries saying, "She smiles all day long, and she is loving and cuddly... She doesn't cry. She will just go, 'Wah' once."

Apparently it's this good behavior that is calming Smidge down. She says, "I'm a New Yorker, so I'm more high-strung than most. But everything about becoming a mother just centered me."

Freddie adds, "Sarah was a little nuts before. Don't get me wrong, I loved the nuts that she was. But now she's got it all under control. Impressive is the only word."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dollhouse Sing-Along Blog?

The fine folks at Why I Watch came up with a pretty nifty marketing startegy for the month Dollhouse is away from our screens called the "Song for November Challenge". If you follow the link you can see the rules are pretty simple: write song, submit song, cross fingers and hope for the best. Oh, and, if you do win you get a call from November herself, Miracle Laurie! We've met her and she's pretty great so a call from her is a worthy prize for any songwriter who is all about the Dollhouse saving.

I'm a musician, if by "musician" you mean "guy who plays a few chords on an acoustic from time to time". Should I take a stab at this? I don't know if anyone wants to hear my #1 chart topper "I Don't Like Dollhouse (but I Still Love You, Joss)". That title makes it sound like a Meatloaf song and that... that's just... awful. I should probably get back to the drawing board. Anyone else thinking of doing this?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween 2009 recap

I tell you this, folks. I am a fan of Halloween. I am such a fan that my friend Tony told me today that I am a Wrong'un for whom every day is Halloween. Well if that makes me wrong then I don't want to be right. Who wants to see some costumes? You do? Well come on then, let's peep 'em out!

I love the detail of these images. Not only do we get a vamp face but we get a little white-faced Gentlemen action, too. I guess she's a Vamp Gentle...lady? Yup, that's what I'm going with. Awesome. (Thanks InyRules [Cool Hip] for sending your great shots!)

A little cross'versing is always fun, too!

No holiday is complete without a little Doctor Horrible cosplay. I really need to do this one up myself sometime. The bad doc's got class. (Thanks, Lyssa!)

I want to put these tiny pumpkins in my mouth. I have no idea why. I guess that's just my way of showing love and respect...? (Thanks to Stacey McCool for sharing this via our comments!)

Meanwhile Steph looks like she's about to bite me as Vamp! Willow. (Redhead Solidarity!! Thanks, Ginge.)

And what did our favorite Whedon celebs do for this year's Halloweeny celebration? The Hanigan-Denisof clan did it up not once, but twice this year. Also check out Eliza as an undead Bonnie of Bonnie and Clyde:

And that brings us to us. We didn't dress up Whedon-ey this year, but we did go to a Zombie themed bash. Here are a few pics:

Just a little explanation: Lady Gaga has just turned into a zombie and our humble hunter is busting the glasses off her head. I guess that's how Gaga's face got so busted, huh? Zing! (Tara's note - "Hey!!)

Tara and Mike using some Photo Booth effects and some dude in a wife beater who rules.

Tara has got some balls!

Ah, another Halloween has come and gone. How was yours? Love, Bits