Once More, With Feeling - the short version
I finally got a chance to watch the short version of the Buffy musical. It still works, although it is abrupt at points. It was cut at 13 points as far as I can tell. They were
- The entire opening silent sequence was cut. This is no loss except the scene where Tara finds the flowers under the pillow and pins them to her dress is gone and that is picked up on later.
The scene where Buffy walks into the shop in the morning and the others ask about Dawn is cut.
Anya's line after her song about bunnies is cut. So are all the songs and dialogue after that up until Buffy is asked if anyone else is affected and looks outside at the guy singing about his dry cleaning. The most significant loss is her important song about it doesn't matter where she talks about dying and coming back. I'd say this is the worst cut since it removes interesting stuff and really lessens the impact of this scene.
Dawn's line about giving birth to a pterodactyl and Anya's followup are cut
A small bit of the scene where Xander believes Tara and Willow have gone to make out is cut. This is just a second or two, but it makes the scene look abrupt.
Xander explaining to Anya why he is not going to work is cut.
Dawn's line to Tara about being 15 and it's ok for her to be alone in her locked house is cut.
Dawn's entire dance sequence with the minions, up to the demon appearing on the stairs, is cut. This is Dawn's best scene, but not essential to the story in any way.
Anya's funny line about how the child/demon marriage never works (well maybe once) is cut. It's interesting that so many of Anya's funny lines were cut. Clearly Whedon doesn't think they are essential to the story.
A bit of the demon talking to Buffy before she fights the minions
while singing and dancing is cut.
Dawn's reprise of Buffy's line about living is hard from last season is cut. I'd say this is the second most serious cut of the episode and a big mistake. It saves virtually no time and costs a lot in emotional impact.
Xander's line about does he have to be the demon's queen and the demon's response are cut. Again, pretty well all the funny lines are cut.
The last bit of the final group song, which actually foreshadows the kiss, is cut.
That's all I noticed off the top of my head. Most of the cuts don't hurt, although it does make the episode look a bit more hurried. I'd have cut the dry cleaning and parking ticket scenes and left in Buffy's it doesn't matter song and Dawn's line at the end. I might also have done a shorter version of Xander and Anya's number, maybe cutting the original conversation while they are in bed. This was partly cut, but you could even lose the entire number except I suspect it will be referenced in a later episode. I really enjoy Anya's funny bits, so I miss them although I agree they are far from essential to the story.
Update - what I missed
Well, it turns out I missed at least one more cut and Kristin Pacitto and Erica Forgarty were kind enough to point it out to me. The additional cut was in Spike's initial song to Buffy, when she visits his crypt. The following verse was cut:
You got a willing slave
You just love to play the thought
That you might misbehave
Till you do,
I'm telling you
Stop visiting my grave
Let me rest in peace
Yet another update on what I missed
Chris Fisher sent me the following correction:
In the song "Walk Through The Fire", it goes straight from when Giles, Tara, Willow, Anya, and Xander sing "We'll see it through it's what we're always here to do, so we will walk through the fire" ... to when ..... Anya sings "She came from the grave much graver". The lines edited out are as follows:
Buffy: So one by one they turn from me ... I guess my friends can't face the cold
Tara: What can't we face
Buffy: But why I froze, not one among them knows
Tara: When we're together
Buffy: And never can be told
Got a comment? Send me mail.
Go to more Buffy the Vampire Slayer reviews and commentary.
Go to other tv reviews.
Go to my home page and get links to everything.