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Buffy Fashion Roulette: “Conversations With Dead People”

August 9, 2010

While drawing an episode from a later season usually bodes well for having a nicely challenging Buffy Fashion Roulette experience, I’ve come upon what is certainly the most challenging draw thus far in my experiment. In fact, when it’s all said and done, I suspect that this episode will end up being one of the most difficult fashion recaps of all. “Conversations With Dead People” takes place in real time. The cast is seriously whittled down (you guys probably know it’s the only episode that Xander’s not in); there are lots of long scenes with only one or two characters in them. Worst of all, everybody wears only one outfit for the whole freaking show. What am I supposed to do with this? I guess this’ll either end up being a really short recap, or I’ll go off on some tangentially related rants. We’ll see. Wish me luck, kids.

First, some news and the results from last week’s poll. Commenter Tat has started a blog called Living On The Hellmouth where she goes a little deeper and looks for some mini-stories behind the scenes of certain episodes. In fact, she’ll be doing them concurrently with the episodes that I skew here at The Bitter Buffalo. Cool! This week she wonders when Oz found the time to get his welder’s license, and asks what grossness lies behind the refrigerator doors of the UC Sunnydale dorms. These are two very valid questions. Check her out, kids!

I love reading hilarious blogs about our Buffy. If you’ve got one and it’s funny, send it along! I’d love to check it out. I spent a lot of time writing very serious feminist essays about this show. One day I plan to get a tattoo of the scythe. I cry every time I see the softball girl. Mostly, my feelings about Buffy are very serious and heartfelt. But you know, seven-plus years later there’s not a lot of new philosophical and social analyzing that can be done. So I say, bring on the silly.

“Wild At Heart” provided us with another decidedly close race for “Best Dressed”. Buffy, Giles and Oz were all neck and neck, and for days it looked like nobody was gonna touch Oz and his Clash and Slash rhyming shirt combo. But alas, Giles beat him by two measly votes with 23% of all votes cast. Oz drew a solid 22%, and Buffy was one vote behind him with 21%. Giles telephoned me from Season Eight to say that he has dedicated this award to everyone who has ever been the victim of being made fun of for using the word “gig”.

Worst dressed became a literal battle of good against evil; Willow and Veruca were the only substantial vote getters. It was never really a contest, though. Veruca was always going to win, what with her flippy flat-iron hairdo and her flares with grommets all the way up the seam and her plastic shoes and maybe, just maybe, her long luxurious werewolf fur. Veruca came out on bottom-top with 38% to Willow’s 30%.

Who’s laughing now, Veruca? The girl in the crazy birthday cake shirt, that’s who.

When we open the show we get a date on the screen, which is weird and indicates to us that it’s going to be a really important episode.

Jesus Christ, I’m old as hell.

Then they tell us what time it is. They do this down to the minute- they don’t just say 8:00; they make sure to tell us that actually, it’s 8:01. This also gives me creepy sense of impending doom and evil and destruction.

As we open the show, we see different people doing different routine things. Buffy is patrolling the cemetery.

Hey, contrary to my musings on What Kind Of Whiskey Spike Probably Drinks in our last recap, Spike DOES drink Jack Daniels! Look at that. Here’s something that really bothers me: has anyone ever actually been to a drinking establishment where they allow you to buy the bottle and drink it by yourself with the bottle just sitting there on the bar like that?

It seems to me that this would be a practice that would violate all sorts of laws about the proper and responsible serving of alcohol. When I was a bartender I never had a solo customer order a bottle of liquor. Nonetheless, people do this in movies and on television all the time. It’s one of those things that only happens in fake-real life, like the paper grocery bag with a loaf of french bread sticking out of it that some super petite lady is happily carrying down the street to her fourth floor walk-up, but she didn’t even drive or take a cab and the paper bag doesn’t even have any handles. It’s just so unrealistic. If I came home from the store with a bag like that the french bread would be smashed or halfway eaten by the time I got home, and I’d be huffing and puffing and complaining about my hurting arms the whole time. Then I’d get inside my building foyer and realize that there was a big hole in my bag because the bottles in one half of my 6-pack of PBR were broken and leaking from me dragging the bag down the street like a scavenging animal, and I’d have to drink them really fast so I didn’t feel like a waster, but then I’d worry after the fact that I was drinking tiny shards of glass that would slice up my insides, and since I’d be drunk and depressed about the eventual ribbon-like consistency of my insides I’d want to eat the rest of the loaf of French bread. Then I’d realize I was still in my foyer.

Anyways, I’ll give the Buffy writers a break and chalk the Spike buying bottles up to the fact that the bartender was probably like, “WTF, we’re all in Sunnydale, we’re totally screwed and doomed so who gives a shit.”

Willow is sleepy at the library. She’s at a table, so we’re not entirely sure what she is wearing. The suspense is killing me.

There’s this hippie singer at The Bronze who is wearing pajamas. All of her clothes are very silky-looking and I want to touch them when she has her back turned.

Dawn comes home in this super cute tuxedo shirt. It’s very subdued. This means that evil things are going to happen in Dawn’s presence. I call it Tuxedo Shirt Foreshadowing.

Buffy has left this really ridiculous note for Dawn.

After all of her season 6 nefarious deeds you’d think Willow could continue to mend her relationship with Dawn by studying at home, making sure Dawn gets some dinner, keeping her company, all of that jazz. Also, after the financial woes that took place at 1630 Revello Drive around the same time that Willow went apeshit, you’d think that someone would have given these women a budget. But no, teenage Dawn gets $20 to spend on dinner. No pizza allowed, but she can grab miso, a California roll and two drinks at her local sushi bar. That’s just great.

Dawn holds up some gigantic white top of Buffy’s and gets the pizza that she wasn’t supposed to order all over the front of it.

We get a peek at Willow’s shirt and it’s a doozy, of course. Patchwork, earth tones, the whole deal. Her hair looks good, though.

Oof, sorry guys, it’s another “Willow suffers deeply” episode. Geez, how many of these ARE there?

Buffy’s getup is pretty cute, upon close inspection. She has made this tiny braid around her head, and it’s serving as some sort of a headband. I’m not buying that she’d go to all this trouble on a patrol night, but whatevz; maybe she was trying to pick up a vampire at the graveyard. I’m digging the jacket and the sweater and the bangs. She totally called it with those bangs. Eight years later, that is still the hottest bangs look in town.

She starts fighting with that super cute Holden Webster character. Clearly his name is a The Catcher In The Rye reference. This becomes more apparent as the episode goes on and he reveals himself to be douchier and douchier.

I was just flipping through my screen captures and FREAKED MYSELF THE HELL OUT.


Jonathan and Andrew look like Ghostbusters. This is probably intentional on their part.

The First Evil did a good job capturing the essence of Warren Wear. Kudos, First Evil.

This lady with a leopard print collar came over and it’s like someone clinked a fork against Spike’s Fancy Feast goblet.

Spike’s outfit is much less awful than usual. It’s still quintessentially Spike, but it looks like something a human would wear. Aw, man. That’s so soul-y.

I wonder what the bottom of that For Rent sign says. They look pretty desperate.

The Summers house, meanwhile, looks like an episode of Hoarders. Dawn’s beautiful shirt is RUINED, which extra makes me want to defeat The First Evil.

Joyce looks radiant… and EVIL. Dawn should’ve known it wasn’t really Joyce, because Joyce would NEVER do that to her house.

Warren is so scary. I feel like if I was out somewhere and Adam Busch, the guy who plays Warren, was wherever I was, I’d move as far away from him as possible. That is a testament to some seriously good acting.

Haw haw, look at Andrew’s  hair.

Willow stands up and she’s merely wearing some jeans. Darn it. That’s not weird at all. Evil Cassie is a dead ringer for regular Cassie of course, with the purple hair and the anime shirt.

I had a hard time deciding what to do about the incarnations of The First Evil. I decided not to put them up for vote. What do you guys think?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Rick permalink
    August 9, 2010 11:37 AM

    As far as the fashion goes, I don’t think there was anything all that great or that horrifying (so each decision is tough), though I would say that Holden’s outfit really suits his personality.

    On a more personal note, this has always been in my top 5, both because the whole episode is really captivating (Cassie gives me chills as she slowly reveals she’s The First, I love the convo between Holden and Buffy [written by Joss, of course], etc…) and because it is literally set on the day I turned 21, since I was born Nov. 12, 1981 (I also feel old now).

    • msjacks permalink*
      August 9, 2010 12:11 PM

      Wow Rick, that really is a monumental episode for you! Assuming you’re here in the US like the Scoobies are, on that very day you could have sat at the bar with Spike and shared some of his enormous bottle of Jack Daniels. That’s pretty cool!

  2. August 9, 2010 3:06 PM

    I forget which one it is, but there’s an episode around season 5 somewhere where Spike is wearing something totally normal at The Bronze, but it’s ridiculous because it’s obviously his “goin’ a-courtin'” outfit after he gets the crush on Buffy. It always makes me lol.

    This episode is upsetting. I heard that they didn’t want to bring Tara in because it would be too traumatic for fans or something, but I think it would have been more effective than Cassie. Definitely hard to watch, but come on, seeing Joyce again wasn’t? I was totally devastated when she died, and in a lot of ways it was just as senseless as Tara’s death.

    • msjacks permalink*
      August 9, 2010 3:10 PM

      Apparently they wanted Tara to come back, but Amber Benson thought it would be disrespectful to fans of Tara? I think that while at the time I would have been seriously traumatized by this, now I wish it’d happened. I’d love to see sweet, shy Tara get all apeshit and scary. Although I don’t know how they would have kept Willow from jumping across the table and grabbing her, thus revealing her to be fake.

      • August 9, 2010 3:14 PM

        Oh right, that’s it. Yeah, I really liked Tara and wish they had done more with her in general. It’s like she didn’t grow a personality until her last season, which was a waste, not the least of all because Amber is fantastic and worth using more.

      • msjacks permalink*
        August 9, 2010 3:17 PM

        A-greed. They bored us with Riley and tormented us with Dawn, but Tara got nothin’. As far as character development and resolution go, I think Anya got the shaft in season 7, as well.

  3. August 9, 2010 8:57 PM

    Holy crap your Google Alerts are on fire! Thanks for the shout out so soon. I’m still need to get a working RSS feed, but it’s only halfway there. WordPress RSS #%@&ers.

    Super creepy episode, by the way. I just finished re-watching it and what can I say. All it needed was some projectile vomiting of pea soup and a set of bloody twins in a hallway and I think I’d have some serious trouble sleeping tonight. Honestly! When Dawn is casting out the spirit I was almost disappointed that Joyce’s head didn’t twist around 380°. But then I realized I need to work tomorrow.

    P.S. Never, NEVER start reading that book in an evening. I missed two full days of classes in college because I couldn’t sleep until I finished reading it.

  4. August 9, 2010 9:45 PM

    Season 7 is just the worst for appearance: Willow’s hair bugs me and something about her face is just off and she ditched all her adorable fuzzies for lame boring stuff. And Buffy’s hair is horrific, I just don’t think that woman should be allowed to have bangs especially after the season 3 fiasco. And Giles never wears tweed anymore. And all the Potentials come only in Lethargic Housewife or MySpace LOL flavor. Also I think this is roughly the same time that Cordelia’s hair on Angel takes a dark, disturbing turn (blonde. BLONDE! She looks like Posh) and Fred stops wearing pigtails. It all fits.


  5. buffyanne permalink
    August 15, 2010 3:37 PM

    As an older sibling who has had to provide dinner for younger siblings, leaving twenty bucks with a note is totally something I’ve done in the past. Some nights you’re just like “whatever, buy yourself dinner.” I feel sorry for my future kids.

  6. Missy permalink
    September 15, 2010 2:58 PM

    Sarah’s hair did look awesome in this ep.
    I❤ Angie Hart
    That Tuxedo Shirt suits Michelle.
    I dig Spike's jacket it's very sexy in a tailored military/casual coat way.
    YAY Azura is back😉 to bad this was it and she left in the creepiest way possible.

  7. February 18, 2011 10:59 AM

    Spike drinks Evan Williams, not Jack Daniels. The bottles are very similar. You can really tell in “Entropy.” The ‘E’ is blanked out, but the rest of the letters on the bottle are visible. (Sorry, I am a crazy nerd.)


  1. Buffy Conjecture: “Conversations With Dead People” | Living on the Hellmouth

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