Last night’s make-dishes-tolerable randomly-selected entertainment was season
three Buffy episode "The Wish." It remains one of my favorites. It
has a solid story, fascinating alt-world building, fabulous new characters,
a devastating emotional punch, and is one of very few Buffy episodes
to actually be, mostly, a horror story.
Maybe I should explain. Obviously Buffy is built out of horror tropes
— vampires, werewolves, zombies, and demons and monsters of every conceivable
variety. The stories tend to have a high body count, and a surprising amount
of blood, guts and goo for network television.
Buffy is horror genre, no question. But genre is as much about milieu as it
is about story. (Which is an argument I pull out whenever people try to claim
that Star Trek isn’t really science fiction.) And genre is about approach
and desired emotional affect as much as about story.
Which, this came up as a rant about the Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror
X", part of our newly purchased season 11, when I couldn’t stop throwing a tantrum
about how segment two, where Bart and Lisa get superpowers, isn’t horror.
It was more than just "superheroes aren’t horror." Superheroes can be horror.
Anything can be scary. But, you have to commit. You have to be horror.
Continue reading This is the world we made