This Week's Barks

Real Me

"...the votes are in, and it's time for my concession speech." -- So said Xander himself.

Woo hoo, finally new bark bytes! This one's for the episode Real Me. Thanks to the faithful dingo action players for coming out to bark. Now, here's what y'all said:

cemetery My first reaction to Dawn was:

   Go away, little girl.
   Takes grease out of your way.
   Wahoo, new blood, yay!
   Wahoo, new blood, okay. (Now shed it.)
   I'm more of an evening person, myself.

The Winner: Wahoo, new blood, yay!

A very close vote though. And for the record, yes..I'm more of an evening person myself. (Does that make me a pessimist?)

A nagging question I had during this ep. was:

   Did they rename the magic shop?
   That's not the same shop Jenny went to for the orb, is it?
   Does Hank pay enough alimony?
   Will Anya's new career be in babysitting?
   Will we get to see Buffy and Willow in drama class?

The Winner: That's not the same shop Jenny went to for the orb, is it?


The not-yet-a-Scooby who's melding the best is:


The Winner: Anya.

Cordelia, anyone?

This episode reminded me:

   of the My So-Called Life ep. narrated by Danielle.
   How glad I am to have a sibling.
   How glad I am that I'm an only child.
   That vampires make poor houseguests.
   That back-to-school shopping sucks.

The Winner: That back-to-school shopping sucks.

Then again, most shopping sucks...


   Could use a napkin better.
   Sure can attract the drunks.
   Probably hates wearing Buffy's hand-me-downs.
   Doesn't even like cereal.

The Winner: Probably hates wearing Buffy's hand-me-downs.

Because it's sort of like being naked? No, just jokin'.

NEW EPISODE BONUS -- the title just breaks it up a little.


   Knows more about real estate than I thought.
   Needs to stock up on unicorns.
   Could ask Ethan for shopkeeping advice.
   Has a crappy car.

The Winner: Knows more about real estate than I thought.


   Looks like he did 3 years ago.
   Goes through Joyce's drawers when she's out.
   Is the best hair-puller ever!
   Isn't Dawn's butt-monkey.

The Winner: Is the best hair-puller ever!

Of the ones listed, Dawn's favorite Beatles song could be:

   Paperback Writer
   Do You Want To Know A Secret?
   Lonesome Tears In My Eyes
   Little Child
   And I Love Her

The Winner: Do You Want To Know A Secret?

What Did You Think of This Episode?

Then finally, your non-dingo-guided opinion about the episode. Some of you liked the Dawn character, others had a problem with the whole insertion of her as if she's always been part of the show. Harmony and her minions scored big with some of y'all too.

So...let's see what we've got this week, byte-wise.

But first -- Standard disclaimer: Can't post 'em all, but this week I'm posting a decent amount. Hope the authors don't mind being put up here, and some may be abridged. And again, no name, no bark byte recognition (even though I still like reading what you thought; make it easy on me and put a name on there, please! Thanks!)

L, said:

I think Dawn's really an insane fanfiction writer. [Heh. Actually that makes a lot of sense.]

From jua the vampire slayer:

Not that I haven't already had bloody drawn out arguments about this with my friends but I like Dawn. Yes obviously there is secret mystical where the heck did she come from mojo going on there. But I liked the classic and...true to life sibling relationship that exists between Buffy and Dawn. I felt like her character was well developed and opens up good story possibilities.

From Tacy:

It wasn't as hilarious as the premiere, but it was great in many ways. I loved Giles' reaction to his sporty-I'm-over-forty new car. But owner of the "come and kill me" magic shop? Harmony was a hoot. The little smiley face on her death note through the window was classic.

rubyluna said:

The guy who said the "little miss muffet" stuff to Dawn outside of the magic shop.....was he the dead shop owner? I think so....

And has anyone else noticed how much Dawn and Tara look alike? Like EXACTLY alike?

Jess said:

I know a lot of people were annoyed by Dawn but I got a kick out of her. She gets points for the Xander-awe (Xander's due for some good awe-time), and for her new insights into the Scooby gang. Also, I thought Tara came across really well in this episode too, and I'm really curious to find out what her secret is and what the deal is with Dawn.

FurryRabbits said:

Tara has just GOT to go.

Ula said:

Anya was hilarious in this ep. It was cute how Dawn had a crush on Xander though. Note to Riley: You're neither cute nor sensitive. Go away!! And our Willow and Tara living together?? Seems like a big step -- they haven't even been going out that long.

angry rabbits said:

While I think the idea of Buffy having a sib has potential, I don't like how they just dropped her in and are trying to make it like she's always been there. One little mention of how Dawn has spent the last few years in LA with her Dad would make me happy. On another note, I can't wait to see what they do with Giles and the magic shop.

From Joy:

Dawn just rules. I really thought I'd hate her, but the chick just rocks the casbah. Although the whole, pretending that she'd been there the whole damn time kinda got on my nerves. Yeah, she's just been locked in the closet eating cheese for the past four years. :) [Not a bad way to pass the time...]

Deb said:

Hopefully they'll resolve the "Dawn" issue before the end of the season (or at least by the end of the season). Sorry, but I'm not in the least interested in her or her problems except as they may be part of this year's major evil. I found this episode to be a big yawn.

From Jane, the Frog on the Wall:

The one burning thought I had by the end of this episode was: Dawn and Faith! They could get together and have a 'We Hate Buffy' party. Faith's jail buddies could come along! Heheh...I'm still waiting for Riley to kick the bucket. Thrown into giggle fits by the line, "I bet they've had sex." If only she knew...but he's going to die soon! With a fondue fork and the judicious application of hot coals. We can't forget the hot coals. Whoa - where did that go? Dunno...

From Leia:

Dawn's voice doesn't annoy me like so many early-teen voices do. So I can deal with her.

From Kyla:

Michelle Trachtenberg is cute, and actually looks like she could be Buffy's sister. I *am* surprised they didn't have a fight over Dawn wearing Buffy's clothing, though--if I had an older sister with a wardrobe like Buffy's, I'd definitely steal stuff. But I'd mix-and-match better than she does. And never never wear orange. One of my friends commented, when Dawn was talking about Xander, "Way to go--that's exactly what having a crush is like!" So props to Joss for that. But people are getting kind of annoying about the "hey, wait--what's with the sister thing? huh? huh?" thing. No, sometimes those of us who read spoilers and are generally clueful still have no idea what the reason behind something is.

Sonja said:

Real Me was an episode for those in dire need of something to do. Besides being boring, Real Me screamed "Harmony" all throughout it; did the writer and director take hints on how to make an annoying script and show by spending long tortuous hours with the single brain cell blonde? The dialogue was slow and in need of a tune-up, the action was less than slayer-esque, and please don't even mention Dawn. Argh, the pain! The pain!

One can only hope that the Harmony-like episodes will end, and Dawn will die a slow and horrible death that involves grapes. Yay for hope!

From Fnord:

What's with Tara's reaction when Willow called her "one of the good guys"?

Dawn in chains was so like Cordelia in 'Reptile Boy' that I now think that if she's anyone's daughter from the future (it's a BtVS=Sailor Moon theory), she's Cordy's.

Anya is a much better person than I thought. After nearly being knocked unconscious she told everyone about Dawn instead of complaining about her pain.

CalliAnn said:

Did you notice that Buffy's halter was just a cut up t-shirt strategically tied? Looks like they're cutting the budget...

ButterflyInMotion said:

It was good for someone to adore Xander who deserves it and Anya was hilarious. Tara and Willow were so cute and I hope Tara's secret doesn't tear them apart.

Jaime said:

Giles got a grown-up car?! That was funny but sad :( cuz.. bleh. It's like they're taking away every single ...*Giles* thing away! First it was (duh) the library, and the Watcherness, then his tweed, and blah...

Willow and Tara. I swear, it's painful to watch them. I noticed that Tara seems uncomfortable being called the good guy too. And I'm already extremely sick of all the lesbian jokes. Buuuut my favorite line of the whole ep:
"The hell with Giles!" "I can *hear* you, Willow!"

Ken no Kishi (formerly known as Devinistan) said:

Two great lines in the beginning, first the "violate your first born" by Riley, and then Dawn wanting to learn what Willow and Tara do.

Man, I miss Oz.

I still wanna know what's up with the suddenly sister deal. I'm sure Joss would rather commit seppuku before introducing a random plot loop like "Oh, the sister we never mentioned!" I'm sure all will be explained in the due time.

ash said:

I loved the ep but I wish they hadn't made Dawn so stupid. After all, if she's 14, she should have figured out Willow and Tara and how to use a napkin! 14 year-olds are not that stupid. I sure hope I wasn't that stupid at 14. They should have either made her act older (After all Buffy was called at 15. Only one year.) or they should have said she was 11 or 12. And what's with Riley calling her "kid"? If my older sisters boyfriend tried that, I'd...well I wouldn't let that happen any way. And the closing her eyes thing when Buffy was fighting? I won't even start.

Humm...that was kinda ranty. Maybe I didn't like this episode as much as I thought I did. I know that I now dislike Buffy more than ever, don't like Riley as much, like Tara and Willow a little more and love Xander as much as ever.

Now just to vent a little. I missed 20 mins of Angel!!! GRRRR!!!! [Bummer. I feel your pain.]

MadHatter said:

Riley? This is God. Your 15 minutes...Are up. Is it SO CLEAR to everyone else that his welcome has SO worn off??? Time to dust him. And if somehow Spike could do it, I'd be pleased.

Spike. Jeeeeeez, I love that man. And that's all I have to say about THAT.

All in all, I'm pleased so far. The coma of last season seems to have worn off, we have our Giles back, and I'm looking forward to the season. It's already leaps and bounds better than last season. Two stakes up.

PS: I know he wasn't in this ep, but...

jupiter lust said:

This ep was definitely better than the Dracula ep which in my opinion sucked major ass!

I really like the addition of Dawn. It's about time someone on that show treat Buffy like the total bitch that she is. Hello Buffy, you are not the first slayer and you aren't even the coolest (she's in prison in LA). Someone needs to knock her down a peg or two and it looks like little sis Dawn is going to be the one to do it.

Riley so needs to die already. Why the hell is Joss still torturing us? Have we been bad or something? [I can only speak for myself.] His condescending attitude towards Dawn was sickening. Also, he and Buffy are the nastiest couple on the face of the planet. Why the hell is he even patrolling with her anymore? He's not on his special initiative "vitamins" -- what's his special power? Dumping hair gel all over the bad guys. All he is is a liability. God, I hate him!!

Along the couple line, Willow and Tara and Xander and Anya are so great. One question though, why must they always dress girls that are witches in long skirts, sweaters, beaded necklaces, and tons of layers? Can't they be in something kick ass like leather?! [Well...Amy's sporting a lot of fur these days. Does that count?]

The Harmony gang had me laughing my ass off. It's just so wrong..."good work minions." The interaction with Spike was also great. The 'evil for dummies' line was classic Spike. Heheheh.

From Dodge:

I'm fond of wee Dawn. It's nice to have a kid character who looks (who is!) her age. And we got such lovely Tara scenes! And Giles was seduced by a car! (Hmm. Seduced BY a car, seduced Joyce ON a car. Just realized the connection.) Spike, however, is bugging me, because there's no reason for him to be around! Alas, I preferred it when he was infrequent but satisfying menacing.

Aly said:

It's always interesting when your favorite show decides to add a new character. Especially when she's highly irritating and is in the same episode as Harmony, who is a mockery of pretty much everything. But, it's the beginning of the season and I can accept all of this as part of Joss' plan. HOWEVER, no one puts the annoying twerp on the credits before my beloved "Spikey!" He's the only sexy guy since Angel left. And how exactly did Joyce find out about Willow and Tara? Don't tell me mother's intuition because we all saw her first and second season!

SNeaker said:

I think Dawn adds such a great dynamic to the show. Here's someone who gets to live the life Buffy wanted to live. It must be hard for her to watch day in and day out her own little sister NOT having to save the world, NOT having to risk her life, NOT having to see horrible things everyday, and NOT appreciate it. It must be hard for Dawn to have an older sister who's a superhero, who's adored by all, who gets to get away with stuff while she herself is constantly being overprotected. It must be hard on both of them that Joyce feels the need to over-shelter Dawn bec. of how unsheltered Buffy HAS to be, and gives Buffy the responsibility of keeping it that way. And it makes perfect sense that Joyce does so. She hates Buffy's slayerness, always has. Here she has another daughter and all she wants for her is to be happy and normal (like she told Buffy she wished she could be in Gingerbread) and she overcompensates. It's always hard on older s! iblings when parents make them take care of the younguns, and it's easy for resentment to rear its ugly head. I have friends with little sisters, and they are ALWAYS snapping at each other, even though they love each other to pieces.

We're getting back to the old way of things without losing important character development. Giles and Buffy are back to their fun and sweet, "I'm the Watcher and I deserve respect" with Buffy rolling her eyes and teasing him relationship.

We're back to Buffy getting flak, esp. from Joyce.

We're back to someone having a huge ol' crush on Xander, and that my friends is worth the price of admission alone.

And most importantly to me at least, we're back to Buffy having a hard time dealing with the slayer vs. normal girl-ness. Favorite scene of the whole episode: Buffy in the cemetery telling Riley that she envies Dawn's "normal" childhood. I think a big part of the reason it's so hard on her now (well, besides the fact that Dawn didn't ACTUALLY exist until a week ago) is bec. Dawn is nearing the age Buffy was when she became the slayer and was forced to grow up. I was reminded of way back in WTTH when Giles is going on to Buffy about how all the kids have no idea what evil is out there, and he barely noticed her sad reply of "lucky them."

[SNeaker wins the "thesis of the week" award. Go, SNeaker!] :-)

broksgirl (formerly known as katie) said:

Oh and I know this isn't Buffy related but I HAVE to tell everyone.... I MET THE BACKSTREET BOYS OVER THE SUMMER!!! They were in my town shooting commercials and I went and waited outside dehydrated for 9 hours straight and touched them and got their autograph!!! Ok, sorry, I had to get that out. Buffy should say to her mom 'I'm a grown woman' or something, her mom is treating her like she's 13!!!

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