Happy Halloween and welcome to Number One in Elliot and Darlene’s Countdown!
For any of you that have a younger sister, you’ll understand how they always get their way and how number one on the list is Darlene’s choice – When little sisters turn up on your doorstep after another doomed relationship went to hell.
Sometimes it’s Elliot who holds Darlene together and, as you’ll see below, watching this when she’s down is the glue that holds Darlene together.
Like we said yesterday, it’s not even a movie and should maybe be renamed “Darlene’s Breakup Watch List” but what’s Number One? The suspense is killing y’all, we know! Well, as a special Halloween treat, we’re going to get meta and have a countdown-within-a-countdown! A little bit like this season of American Horror Story – without us shouting things like “Number One on the list is going to blow your tiny minds and make you redefine how you think of lists forever, aren’t we amazing!” like their writers did!
No, it’s not American Horror Story, it’s another horror TV show…
This episode of Darlene’s fave show came out when she was just eleven years old and she has to watch it every Halloween and after every break-up. Which, spookily, is always around the same time! No matter how many times Elliot’s been forced to sit through this, he has come to love and sing along to Darlene’s security blanket…
Yeppers! You guessed it. It’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s musical episode “Once More, With Feeling” when a demon comes to Sunnydale and turns its inhabitants into his all-singing, all-dancing, hypnotized puppets! He even brings along some F_Society-like masked henchmen along for the ride.
So, let’s dive straight on into our countdown-within-a-countdown with number Five: (Drumroll please)
BEST LINE: “So, you’re not staying then?”
Not the strongest song, but it was a toss-up between this and “Walk through the fire” and Spike (James Marsters) ain’t the strongest singer and seems so uncomfortable with the dance moves. Being a little bit gothy, Darlene probably felt more affinity with Drusilla and Spike than squeaky clean Buffy and boring old Angel that’s why “Rest in Peace” is a nice intro before we continue with Number Four:
– How can I repay…
I remember watching as Buffy opened with “Going Through the Motions” fifteen years ago in 2001 and mine and my girlfriend’s mouths just dropping open in awe, and staying there for the entirety of the episode, which at 50 minutes (Buffy’s longest by 8 minutes.)
If you’re thinking what does this have to do with Mr Robot and why should I read a list of these two fictional characters favourite fictional movies, please allow me to let you into the secret of storytelling. Darlene and Elliot aren’t fictional characters; they’re you and me, and everyone we know. You are the hero of every story ever written, ya see!
Bunnies aren’t just cute like everyone supposes,
They got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses,
And what’s with all the carrots?
What do they need such good eyesight for anyway?
Bunnies! Bunnies! It must be bunnies!
Buffy was always about friendship and strength in togetherness – and (along with rites of passage, love, death, sexuality, relationships and life!) that’s what Joss Whedon is so damned good at writing, and why he was the perfect choice for to assemble The Avengers.
If you didn’t see Buffy first time round cos you were too young or cos vampires ain’t your cup of blood, you’re dead wrong!
Like all stories, Buffy’s vampires and demons are metaphor for growing up; the show is an essay on how to live life. It also contains some of the best episodes of television ever made (and some of the most inventive and most harrowing) and this video explains why you should watch it. If you think it’s for kids, David Simon blogged that Buffy was “the best show in years” and is better than his own show The Wire.
Speaking of second place:
BEST LINE: The whole last verse!
Poignant and beautiful as it is, I’m amazed that the sexual innuendo was allowed in a show that so many kids loved. Of course the double entendre would have gone over kids heads, but it’s not kids that get to decide what is broadcast!
From Tara referencing her lady parts as her “willow tree” and “I can feel you inside” to her levitating as Willow goes down on her and “you make me cum-plete” – I just marvel and applaud at how this song about lesbian sex got passed the conservative censors!
Joss 1 Censorship 0.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is about not fitting in – from being an introvert or gay to being a witch or werewolf. Imagine the responsibility of having to save the world from demons on a daily basis when all you wanna do is be left alone and occasionally kiss boys – everyone in Buffy is a misfit.
And while Elliot and Darlene relate to that, almost everybody in the world feels they don’t fit in – and that’s the show’s appeal.
A whole generation of millennials (born in the nineties like Darlene) have grown up not caring about the color of someone’s skin, their sexuality, gender or country of birth and that, in part, is down to shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, writers like Joss Whedon, characters like Willow and Tara and songs like “Under My Spell” – Buffy the Vampire Slayer really did help make the world a better place. For a while.
I’ve got a theory that all the re-emerging hate and bile, racism, misogyny and homophobia stems from the fact that haters can’t abide just how many people are accepting of gay and transgender folks nowadays… and women’s and civil rights. And that makes their heads explode! Stay tuned to find out who wins on November 8th!
Speaking of exploding… here’s Buffy dancing herself into a frenzy in Number One on Darlene’s Halloween Countdown List:
BEST LINE: all of it!
“Give Me Something To Sing About” is in number one spot not only cos it contains a sexy as hell dance sequence and some amazing lyrics (about how to deal with the emptiness and suffering that life throws at you) but also one of the most heart-wrenching admissions fof the whole seven seasons.
Buffy reveals that when the rest of The Scooby Gang brought her back to life for a third time, they unceremoniously ripped her from her final resting place… in heaven.
Pure. Unadulterated. Television. Gold.
But we can’t leave it there… every good musical deserves an encore, right? So here’s one last bonus song.
So there we have it, some of the other movies and shows that shaped Elliot, Darlene and, in Buffy’s case, a generation.
What a week and what a detour!
Starting from 1979’s Oregon-based Phantasm, we’ve travelled through portals from Halloweentown to Christmastown and from Elliot’s gloomy Lower East Side apartment to the song-filled Hellmouth in Sunnydale, California.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this five-day diversion – have laughed, cried, died (twice), sung and been so scared that a little bit of pee came out just like happened to us.
Happy Halloween from everyone at Mr Robot Hacks!
Don’t worry; normal service will resume later in the week with a new theory that COMPLETELY SOLVES MR ROBOT and will blow your minds… (he said, turning into an American Horror Story writer and becoming everything he hates!)