Buffy TV Episode Reviews
4.5 Beer Bad
This has been hailed by many as the worst Buffy episode ever. I disagree. I would argue that it is the stupidest Buffy episode ever, but not the worst. In fact, this episode is so bad it is downright hilarious. Whenever I watch it, I can't stop laughing.
This story is kind of a low point for the Buffy character as her constant pining over Parker Abrahms (who she slept with in 4.3 The Harsh Light of Day only to be dumped the next day) is really pathetic. Someone who has saved the world as many times as Buffy has should have more self-esteem. It's hard to imagine why she wouldn't be able to let Parker go.
This episode is also a low point for the series in terms of male-bashing. Men are jerks. Yeah, we've heard it before. What's frustrating is Buffy's refusal to take any responsibility for what happened, as she was foolish enough to sleep with a guy on the first date. Come to think of it, she only dated Riley for a few weeks before she jumped into bed with him! What kind of a message does that send to young women?
But the stupid moments are pretty funny: Xander's Cocktail reference at the beginning;Buffy being amused at the music coming out of the juke box; Xander telling Buffy "Beer Bad!"; Buffy banging on the television set and swirling around on a chair in her room; Buffy saving Parker and then knocking him unconscious.
In my view, it's so bad it's actually pretty good.
Rating: 3 stars out of five
Just recently, I watched this episode from start-to-finish for the first time since it originally aired. I have often rewatched parts of this episode, but not all of it. This one is pretty weird as it has a lot of great moments as well as awful ones.
Pangs could be described as the far-left episode of Buffy. It presents the far-left point of view that America is an evil country. In the beginning of the episode, Willow says that Thanksgiving "is about one culture wiping out another" and "the destruction of the indigenous peoples." Later she says it is a "sham" and "all about death." Even worse, we’re never presented with an opposing point of view as Buffy agrees with everything that Willow says. Political correctness is abound as we are told that the term "Indian" is forbidden and that we should instead say "Native American."
This is the first time and only time I’ve seen a "holiday episode" that trashes the holiday that it uses. The writers really ought to be ashamed. The demonization of Thanksgiving is despicable. Yes, there were unprovoked atrocities against that the white man perpetrated against the Indians. However, there were also many unprovoked atrocities that the Indians perpetrated against the white man (You never hear about those). The bottom line is that not all the Indians were the peaceful saints that the far-left usually makes them out to be. Many of them were cruel and waged war and did the same things that the white man did. If you’re interested in learning more about this, I would recommend checking out a book called A Patriot’s History of the United States. The book debunks a lot of the far-left attacks on America’s history.
The best parts of this episode are the scenes with Spike. He was hands down the saving grace of Season 4, a season in which Buffy often turned into a weepy chick show. In this episode, Spike becomes a humorous character, and it works out brilliantly. Spike always had a knack for being funny, but his viciousness always dominated. This season the writers tap into the character’s full comedic potential. The scenes with Spike as Buffy's prisoner are absolutely hilarious and rate four stars (out of five) but, unfortunately, Spike doesn't appear in every scene.
Xander is also funny when he learns that he is coming down with syphilis. The debate between Xander, Buffy and Willow about whether or not to kill the demon is amusing yet unbelievably stupid. The simple answer is that you don’t justify bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior.
The western references are also funny as we see Xander, Willow, and Anya riding to the rescue on bicycles with western music playing. What is less successful is the crossover element with Angel appearing. In Los Angeles, Doyle had a vision that Buffy was in danger, so Angel returned to Sunnydale to help her. The problem is that the danger Buffy faces isn’t really any different than the danger she faces in any other episode, so it’s hard to understand why Doyle would have a vision about this particular threat. Furthermore, Angel’s presence hardly seems integral to the story, although he does knife a demon just before it is about to attack Buffy from behind. It comes across as a cheap crossover ploy to set up Buffy visiting Angel in Los Angeles (where the more interesting story takes place).
Anya acts like she has never met Angel before, but she did once in Season 3 during the Doppelgangland episode. Also, Xander and Giles appear in scenes with Angel for the last time ever.
Rating: 2 stars out of five