Reality Shows Bite and Suck
Often times a television show will have an entire episode that only features cameo appearances by the lead cast members.Â This is done for contractual reasons, pregnancy issues, and too many other nit-picky reasons to get into.Â Those lesser-cast member shows often are throw away nothings, but in Buffy the Vampire Slayer #21, Jane Espenson is able to spin a most awesome tale that pokes fun at reality television and kills Andy Dick in the process.
Iâ€™ve never been a big fan of Harmony. I think she is a petty bitch that doesnâ€™t deserve the things sheâ€™s been given, and even when she gets what she wants itâ€™s never enough.Â Of course that is the point of the character, and why so many people do like her – that and sheâ€™s pretty easy on the eyes. So when I found out this issue was going to be a Harmony centric issue, I thought about passing on it completely.Â Iâ€™m glad I didnâ€™t.
If you like all the sexual innuendoes scattered throughout the Buffy-verse, then youâ€™ll be pleasantly pleased with this issue.Â Not only do you get to see Harmony sucking the heck out of A. Dick (a character that bares a striking resemblance to Andy Dick), you also get boob jokes, dirty old man jokes, and just a hint of bestiality.Â Well not so much on that last one, although a horse galloping up and presumably wanting to mount the centaur Dawn is pushing that boundary.
By far the biggest joke in the issue is the writer poking fun at reality television.Â With networks and cable channels digging up any and all the C and D-listers it can scrounge and turning them into born again stars of their own reality series, it doesnâ€™t take long for Harmony to realize she can capitalize on genre and make herself popular at the same time.Â The reality show is called Harmony Bites (HA!) and features the night to night antics of Hâ€™woodâ€™s â€œhottestâ€ vampire.Â Yes, Harmony does suck on screen and it gets broadcast across the country.
Any right minded individual would turn off the show in disgust and complain to the government that creatures of the night are roaming around and killing people.Â But comeâ€™on this is America, where the lowest (and often dumbest) common denominator rules, and Harmony Bites becomes a huge hit, with people lining up to be on the show in hopes of being her latest victim.Â The idiots probably get what they deserve.Â The upside for the undead community is Harmony ends up making vampires as popular as those running around in HBOâ€™s True Blood.
But even this second stringer episode has repercussions for the entire Buffy-verse.Â As the story develops, readers meet a newly activate slayer, who decides to take it upon herself to kill Harmony.Â The Slayer is never named, and it is probably a good thing that readers donâ€™t get too attached to her as the very public (and broadcast) stabbing attempt goes wrong, as the Slayer getting her throat ripped out by Harmony.
One would think this kind of violence by the vampire community would be frowned upon, but because vamps are the new craze, everyone turns on the Slayers and views them as the bad guys.
Yeah, not only does Buffy and her crew have to contend with demonic forces, and governmental agencies that wish to take them down, they now have to deal with the court of public opinion.
As much as I didnâ€™t want to like this issue, I enjoyed it quite a bit.Â Jane Espensonâ€™s comedic pacing is right on, and she knows what she wants in a tale that barely features the most famous vampire slayer of them all.Â The art by Georges Jeanty is pretty awesome as well as the characters in the book continue to look like characters from the television series.Â Buffy the Vampire Slayer #21 is a must read and earns 4.5 out of 5 Stars.