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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Band Candy

Buffy: "Giles at sixteen? Less together guy, more bad-magic, hates-the-world, ticking-time-bomb guy."

I got a huge charge out of this one.

Here we have a show starring teenagers that must deal all the time with super adult problems. They're sort of secret adults, in a way. It was really clever turning the tables and showing the adults acting like children so that the teenagers actually did become the adults. This wasn't just a role reversal episode; it was more like turning the roles inside out.

Giles and Joyce were so much fun to watch together, necking, smoking, drinking, and looting. I'm going to say something I say a lot — Giles is a great character. He has this fascinating bad boy past, and yet he is also the geek pinhead librarian in charge of study hall, and he does it all so well. "You're my slayer. Go knock his teeth down his throat."

Joyce is also a good character (look at that great kitchen conversation she had with Buffy about driver's ed), and I've enjoyed the co-parenting conflict she's been having with Giles. Looks like they may not be fighting very much any more; they'll probably blush and avoid each other.

Some of this episode was mildly lame, but I was enjoying it so much I barely noticed. For example, why enchant/poison all of the adults in town, when all you need is to get through the hospital staff? Most of the adults I know would buy the candy and their teenagers would eat most of it; two of the four babies were very obviously dolls; and where were all the vampires? On the assembly line? They should indeed have been getting out their spoons.

Bits and pieces:

— It was fun to see Armin Shimerman get more than a few wry, nasty lines. What a troll Snyder is.

— It was also great to see Ethan Rayne from "Halloween" again. This episode was even sort of like trick-or-treating in reverse, with the kids giving the parents candy.

— Buffy and Willow's reaction to the adult invasion of the Bronze was a hoot ("Let's do the time warp again," and "Maybe there's a Billy Joel concert in town.")

— So the Mayor probably isn't a vampire or a demon; he just sacrifices to them to get ahead. And he looks so fresh and clean cut. Maybe we've stumbled upon Ronald Reagan's secret.

— This Xander/Willow thing isn't going away. I don't like it.

— Gellar's blonde streaks moved into the neon range.

— "Ripper's" cockney accent sounded like Spike. That was Anthony Stewart Head's real accent; he coached James Marsters.

— Angel lost his shirt again.

— Wasn't it just a bit mean for Buffy to let Angel think she was still seeing Scott?


Buffy: "B. I'm going with B. We haven't had B in forever."
Giles: "This is the SATs, Buffy, not connect-the-dots."

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?"

Mayor Wilkins: "I realize it is early for you, but I think you'll agree that this matter is urgent, also... delicate."
Trick: "I'm a very delicate person."
Mayor Wilkins: "So you feel you can handle this?"
Trick: "It's a little out of my element, but I can get you what you need. I know a beast who knows a guy."

Buffy: "And then I was being chased by an improperly filled-in answer bubble screaming, 'none of the above!'"
Willow: "Wow. I hope that wasn't one of your prophecy dreams."

Xander: "I hate they make us take that thing. It's totally fascist, and personally, I think it discriminates against the uninformed."
Cordelia: "Actually, I'm looking forward to it. I do well on standardized tests. What? I can't have layers?"

Snyder: "You will sell it to raise money for the marching band. They need new uniforms."
Xander: "Yeah. Those tall, fuzzy hats ain't cheap, huh?"
Oz: "But they go with everything."

Buffy: "Why do I put up with this?"
Giles: "Because it is your destiny. And because I just bought twenty 'cocorific' candy bars."

Buffy: "They're acting like a bunch of us."

Cordelia: "At first it was fun, you know? They seemed like they were in this really good mood, not like parents, and then..."
Willow: "Badness?"
Cordelia: "Mom started borrowing my clothes. There should be an age limit on lycra pants."

Buffy: "It was just too much to deal with. It was like nothing made sense anymore. The things that I thought I understood were gone. I just felt... so alone."
Giles: "Was that the math or the verbal?"
Buffy: "Mostly the math."

Loved this one. Four out of four stakes,

Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.


  1. I love 'Band Cnady', the entire episode is just a joy from beginning to end.

  2. I love this episode so much. My favorite part is probably Giles and Joyce as their younger selves, smoking, jamming to 'Tales of Brave Ulysses', then making out repeatedly to Buffy's horror. A wonderful episode. Principle Snyder trying to be one of the cool kids is also a hoot.

  3. I love Joyce’s outfit. She’s got great legs.

  4. Lots of fun watching Giles and Joyce return to adolescence and Buffy as the parent. I pretty much smiled through the whole thing.

    Laconis (sp?), like lots of the monsters, didn't do much to scare me over the fate of the babies. And, as Billie said, it seems like the vampires should have been enjoying the all you can bite buffet. I also often find myself wondering about scenes like that between Mr. Trick and the Mayor at the end. Mr. Trick is clearly starting to wonder about his honor, so why not solve his problem the usual vamp way with a quick killing and a move to grab his power?

    On the Buffy and Angel front, I was reminded why I'm probably too old to thoroughly enjoy a show based around high school. He is just too perfectly brooding with the Tai Chi and his adorably vulnerable questions about Scott. The nice chemistry of the actors keeps me from completely throwing up my hands over the whole relationship, but not by much during this episode.

    Those things didn't stop me from enjoying this one a lot. I could watch Giles and Joyce re-enact Rebel Without a Cause for the entire episode. And, of course, there is always the funny, smart dialogue.

  5. My favorite part is Giles cheering as Buffy gets answers out of Ethan. The tension between Willow and Oz is killing me. Did I miss Buffy getting her license?

  6. Hilarious episode! Buffy's SAT method is so funny. On standardized tests I still think "there hasn't been a B for awhile," especially on difficult questions. And Giles is so sweet to spend the time to do the slay / study double feature, and thinking about Buffy going off to college. I doubt any other watchers would have their slayer's welfare at heart.

    Angel doing tai chi is very nice looking. And Buffy really appreciates that too! I wonder if that made her give Angel the impression that Scott was still her boyfriend? To keep him at a distance?

    The whole Giles and Joyce returning to adolescence scenes are so much fun to watch, and only made more funny by Buffy's horrified expressions. Snyder was delightfully uncool as a teenager. I absolutely love his line "Whoa Summers, you drive like a spaz!" Made me laugh every time.

    I noticed they wrote a love theme for Willow and Xander, sounding like innocent first love, whereas they're both cheating on their respective partners.

    I wonder if the Mayor kept the stray vampires off the street via Mr. Trick so there wouldn't be a giant Sunnydale slaughterfest? Though vampires terrorizing the town would distract the slayer and keep Buffy off his back.

  7. This one was a lot of fun for all the reasons others have mentioned. Buffy really has gotten into the habit of lying to everyone--I guess it comes with the slayer territory but she lied to all of her friends, her mother, her watcher, and her...Angel (I don't know how else to describe their relationship right now) in the span of a few hours. Being on her own helped her to mature and learn to count on herself, but I was glad we she admitted that she needed some help at the end.

    I'm still mad about the Xander/Willow thing mostly because I hate cheating. Oz is so excited to see Willow when she lies into the Bronze and Willow is playing footsteps and making eyes with Xander. Ugh! They've made it clear that Xander is not the most loyal to Cordelia all along--not that he has always cheated but he had feelings for Buffy and drilled over Faith. But it just seems so out of character for Willow (or at least out of the character I think she has)! I can't believe she hasn't confessed yet...she lays has such a guilty conscience.

    Okay back to the rest of the show...

    I loved Willow being concerned that all the adults might have heart attacks! And Snyder joining in was great fun. Plus the mayor on his cell in the sewer talking about construction projects while waiting for a demon to eat babies was great. He's such an intriguing character...

    One thing I've been meaning to mention is how much I love the writers using juxtaposition of dialogue between scenes. There are lots of examples of this but the one I noticed from tonight was Buffy's comment about Giles never apologizing immediately followed by Giles apologizing for pulling her hair. Little things like that always make me laugh.

    Overall it was a great episode with a lot of fun parts.

  8. This episode is a 12 piece bucket of fun (extra crispy). I ship Joyce and Giles. Giyce? Joyles? Whatever. They reminded me of Spike and a non crazy Drusilla in a way. I love whenever Ethan shows up. It's always fun.

    am - The thing that excuses Willow (in terms of character, not in terms of morality) is that she's been in love with Xander for years. She may have put those feelings aside when she started up with Oz, but clearly they haven't completely gone away. I think if it had been anyone else but Xander, she would've stayed true to her boo.

    Is it weird that no one seems concerned that Snyder (for all they know) learns about demons and vampires and such?

  9. Newbie report:

    I really liked this episode. Although, as a former band member, I wonder why it had to be "Band" candy? Hmph. Dissing the band.

    Like everyone, I loved badass Giles and Joyce and loopy Principal Snyder.

    Everyone who was eating candy was regressing. That was why Xander and Willow were playing footsie. They weren't responsible for their actions at the time.

    Cordelia's dad locked himself in the bathroom with old copies of ESQUIRE? Her shocked look when she realized what that meant was very funny. Even though I don't really like gay jokes too much.

    Great episode. Hopefully, we are done with the fillers.

  10. I like everything about this episode including all of the aspects of it already mentioned. I also noticed a couple of smaller parts that cracked me up as well.

    - I loved when the doctor and his pals at the Bronze were singing Louie, Louie. You could tell the men playing the roles were having a ball. I could just picture them as former frat boys.

    - Giles trying to order Buffy around, calling her "my slayer," and telling her to "sod off" was the best.

    - Joyce was great as a teen girl because she seemed very realistic.

    - I loved that Oz took Snider up on his suggestion that they just call him Snidet almost immediately when Snider got in the car. He said it so nonchalantly that it was priceless.

    Everything Snider did cracked me up, and I couldn't help thinking about Quark the whole time.

    One small nitpick, isn't Angel cold? Couldn't Buffy get that poor boy a shirt so he doesn't have to huddle by a fire all the time. Or maybe Vamps don't get cold.

  11. On the whole I find this is a great fun episode, Giles and Joyce and all regressed grown ups are very amusing and its good to see Ethan Rayne return.

    Mr Trick doesn't really grab my attention too much, but I like how the Mayor is developing. My favourite mayor moment is when he's is adding a need to look at the sewers to an agenda whilst watching the demonic ritual...

    ...I'm also really noticing how much I was not paying attention when I watched this season first time around -shame on me!

    On the downside, I'm still hating Willow and Xander story arc, I get that its the kind of thing teens do but it doesn't seem like something they would do. I'm still not really feeling the Buffy Angel arc much that tai chi bit just kind of made me cringe.

    But as I said, it really is a fun episode overall.

  12. While this episode does have its flaws, it always makes me laugh out loud. Giles and Joyce are just wonderful, from their co-parenting stuff at the beginning through their regression and back to the stumbling at the end, they are my favorite couple in this episode.

    What Kirstine Sutherland does so well is convey that sense of a young girl completely smitten with the bad boy. She desperately wants him to notice her; he is more interested in his music. "You're so brave" just sums up that feeling perfectly. And, the look on her face when Giles finally kisses her makes my heart go pitter pat.

  13. I’m sure Anthony Stewart Head, Kristine Sutherland and Armin Shimerman had a great time shooting this episode. So much fun! Sutherland’s delivery of “It’s Willow. She wants you real bad” made me laugh out loud. She totally sounded like a teenager.

    Yay for Jane Espenson!

  14. So where was Faith during this episode?


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