Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Band Candy   Rewatch 
May 27, 2015 1:01 PM - Season 3, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Buffy has her SATs to do and is stressed out over the level of responsibility her mother and Giles are putting on her. An old friend reappears to reduce those restraints.

Wikipedia helpfully tells you when you go to the episode page that I shouldn't confuse it with "The Candy Band", who are a punk rock group designed to appeal to children. I love wikipedia.
posted by Cannon Fodder (20 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Teenage Hooligan Giles and Joyce are easily the best part of this episode, which is a highlight of the season.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:17 PM on May 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


"Summers, you drive like a SPAZ!"
posted by wabbittwax at 3:55 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Teenage Hooligan Giles and Joyce are easily the best part of this episode, which is a highlight of the season.

Teenage Hooligan Giles is like one of my top 5 things they ever did on this show
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:06 PM on May 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


"'Kiss rocks'? Why would anyone want to kiss... Oh, wait. I get it." One of the all-time Best Willow Lines.
posted by Etrigan at 5:01 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought for years that a "spaz" was a hyper wound-up person, especially when driving, because of this show. Had NO idea it was an offensive term for disabled people, especially in England.

Giles and Joyce make this every time.

Was this the last time we ever see Buffy drive?
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:51 PM on May 27, 2015


I'm sort of meh about Teenage Hooligan Giles, but I really liked Kristine Sutherland and Armin Shimerman getting a chance to do something outside their characters' very limited range, and rising to the challenge.

Teenaged Snyder in particular is tremendously sad to me. He wasn't always a nasty, hard-hearted bully. At one point he was an awkward dork who could have fit in with the Scooby Gang (if such a thing had existed when he was a teenager). For all the show goes on about the imperative to "grow up" there are a lot of examples of grownups being way worse than teenagers.
posted by creepygirl at 5:55 PM on May 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


The best part of Teenage Hooligan Giles and Joyce is the way Joyce is like, totally into the cool rebellious shady dude but pretty clearly has never done anything rebellious or shady herself. She wants to, though, and she wants something besides bourgy complacency. In a lot of ways, her falling for Giles isn't so far from Buffy falling for Angel.

Teen Snyder is sad, yes, but he also displays the same mix of sycophancy and ineffectual self-aggrandizement the adult Snyder does. You can see the flaws that make him the petty tyrant he grew up to be.
posted by kewb at 6:06 PM on May 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh inexplicably hot hooligan Giles, the strange small place you carved in a teenage boy's heart.
posted by The Whelk at 9:43 PM on May 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yeah Giles and Joyce are definitely wonderful in this episode, some great writing and performances from both of them, with Snyder adding some additional comic relief. This is a lovely little episode. A very simple theme "maybe some level of responsibility is a good thing" leads to a very fun episode, with lots of chances for silly vignettes (adults racing each other, adults singing drunkenly). The plot is actually quite a clever one, although I'm impressed that the band candy managed to be eaten by everyone, even those with lactose intolerances... I guess it was just that good. This is the first time the Mayor involves himself directly in a confrontation, but is quick to exit when opposition appears. The Mayor's powers remain very vague. He clearly has an extended life span from his deals with demons, but what else can he do? He's a sorcerer of some kind, but we never see him doing anything other than ritual magic. In a way, maybe that's best.

It's quite nice to have an authority figure as villain, someone who's power stems from his official power rather than his physical strength: until the conclusion the mayor will never directly attack someone, using various catspaws in his place. For now, it's Trick, but soon it will be Faith.

-Do you really need to just take a class to legally drive a car in California?
-How is Giles able to read SATs in a graveyard?
-There is a truly absurd amount of candy in that warehouse
-Buffy is impressed that Angel can do Ti Chi. He's a vampire!
-"I'm bored and he's not here to give me credit for it"
-Oz does a little smile when he sees Willow. Aww.
-Buffy beats up two people, quite badly, who appear to be regular shmoes handing out candy
-What did the Mayor do the last time he needed babies?
-Given how easy it is to kill Larconis I'm not sure why the Mayor wants to become a demon. This is actually a constant problems with villians on this show, they keep wanting power but then don't seem to have a clear idea what on earth they will do with said power when they obtain it.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:15 AM on May 28, 2015


So last episode we had the spatula and chicken lamp, this episode we have soooo much goodness! One of my favourite episodes ever.

Little things no one's mentioned: the Mayor has the skull of the Corinthian in his cabinet of horrors - you can see the little teeth in the eye sockets. Ms Barton: read a book quietly, just until that idiot goes away and then we can all go home. Xander says he wants to marry Ms Barton and Cordelia tells him to get in line.

What happened to Faith this episode? My only complaint really.
posted by Athanassiel at 5:35 AM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's quite nice to have an authority figure as villain, someone who's power stems from his official power rather than his physical strength: until the conclusion the mayor will never directly attack someone, using various catspaws in his place. For now, it's Trick, but soon it will be Faith.

Part of what's fun about the Mayor is that aside from his dark pact with the forces of evil and all that it entails, he's otherwise a pretty good mayor. For example, he takes a minute to note the gas main problems in the sewer and wants a crew called in to deal with it. And later, it turns out he actually wrote a pretty sincere, effective speech about graduation.

All of this makes his desire to become a giant snake creature even stranger, of course, but the prevailing theme of the Buffyverse is often that power (or the desire for it) corrupts and becomes an end in itself.
posted by kewb at 5:37 AM on May 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I thought for years that a "spaz" was a hyper wound-up person, especially when driving, because of this show. Had NO idea it was an offensive term for disabled people, especially in England.

It's basically the reverse of the c-word, which Australians, English, Welsh, and Irish regard as no big deal but Americans consider just horrifying.

Part of what's fun about the Mayor is that aside from his dark pact with the forces of evil and all that it entails, he's otherwise a pretty good mayor. For example, he takes a minute to note the gas main problems in the sewer and wants a crew called in to deal with it. And later, it turns out he actually wrote a pretty sincere, effective speech about graduation.

HE GIVES ANGEL AND BUFFY HEARTFELT, MEANINGFUL, SINCERE RELATIONSHIP ADVICE MERE HOURS BEFORE HE INTENDS TO MURDER BOTH OF THEM. He is the best villain the show ever had.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:19 AM on May 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


Things have changed since I learned to drive in the early 90s, but to be a driver as a minor I think you did have to take a driver's ed course with an "on the road" component to be able to get a license. However, that's in ADDITION to passing the written exam and road exam at the DMV.
posted by LionIndex at 7:05 AM on May 28, 2015


HE GIVES ANGEL AND BUFFY HEARTFELT, MEANINGFUL, SINCERE RELATIONSHIP ADVICE MERE HOURS BEFORE HE INTENDS TO MURDER BOTH OF THEM. He is the best villain the show ever had.

Ha, I remember being so mad at him in that scene when I was originally watching that scene - as, like, an eleven-year-old - and then on rewatch just now I was like "yeah, huh, actually good point dude"
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:13 AM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I took driver's ed class in high school, but yes, you didn't get the permit without passing the DMV written exam. I don't even think the high school class counted for anything, really. And they've upped the restrictions since Buffy's day.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:22 AM on May 28, 2015


The other thing I loved about discovering the Mayor was during a re-watch -- on second watch, through the early shows, one begins to ask, "Does the Mayor know about this monster-of-the-week? If so, how does it serve the Mayor to have, for example, snake-worshipping frat boys in town?"

Oh, wait, that one just answered itself.
posted by Mogur at 10:20 AM on May 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


-Buffy is impressed that Angel can do Ti Chi. He's a vampire!
I read that instead as Buffy perving on half-naked Angel and then, when sprung, saying the first dumb thing that came into her head. "I didn't know you could do that!"

["spaz"] It's basically the reverse of the c-word, which Australians, English, Welsh, and Irish regard as no big deal but Americans consider just horrifying.
Hang on, which c-word are we talking about here? Because the main c-word is still considered pretty insulting in Australia. Won't speak for the Brits and Irish. Or did you mean "cripple"? Which I can hardly even type without wanting to explain that I'm using it in an academic way.

I have a friend with whom I've had discussions about the changing classification of insulting words. She remembers when "spastic" was actually what you called people with cerebral palsy, and there were official organisations like the Spastics Society. Wikipedia says that it was in the 1980s that it became a derogatory term, largely because of a UK TV show called Blue Peter (which featured a "spastic" character, ie someone with cerebral palsy). It's funny how the same word can switch from an innocent description of what's happening physically (etymologically, it comes from the Greek spastikos which means drawing in or tugging) to being something really incredibly offensive.

At which point I really have to quote this Fry & Laurie sketch.
posted by Athanassiel at 6:14 PM on May 28, 2015


It's funny how the same word can switch from an innocent description ... to being something really incredibly offensive.

"Spatstic" was at the upper end of insults in my primary (elementary) school, and we had no real idea what it meant except something bad and to do with clumsiness. As mentioned above, the Spastics Society became Scope largely because of this.

I was told a few years ago -- but have never heard first-hand -- that kids in at least a couple of schools had switched to using "Scoper" in exactly the same way. Which is well into "laugh or cry" territory, really.

(The Americanism that really makes me flinch is "packie store", which apparently is completely innocuous and short for "package store" in some regions. Yikes.)
posted by metaBugs at 9:58 AM on June 1, 2015


A package store is a liquor store. I've never heard it abbreviated to sound like the racist slur, but I've also never heard an American use that slur.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:01 AM on June 1, 2015


I was always confused as to why Buffy was a terrible driver. I guess lightning-quick reflexes can backfire if you overcompensate, or if your training specifically rewards smashing into things.

I also love this episode...Teenage Hooligan Giles fist-pumping and saying "yes!" when Buffy hits Ethan is really just the best. Also, as Buffy sold both Joyce and Giles their candy bars, she has no-one to blame for her future mental scarring but herself (or, well, Ethan, the Mayor, and Mr. Trick). Teenage Hooligan Giles and Spike probably could have had some fun.

FORESHADOWING for six episodes down the line:
Giles: This isn't meant to be easy, you know. It's a rite of passage.
Buffy: Well, is it too late to join a tribe where they just pierce something or cut something off?

It's interesting watching this first as a teen, and then again as an adult/teacher. You get very different feelings watching the adults become "irresponsible."

I won some Milkbar stickers (and a chocolate bar) at a Buffy trivia night once. I treasure them (well, I ate the chocolate bar, but no irresponsibility and regression ensued, which I guess means...).
posted by ilana at 12:57 PM on June 8, 2015


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