Sunday, July 02, 2006

Overture/Going Through The Motions (2001) – Sarah Michelle Gellar (Joss Whedon)

There’s ennui in the vampire slayer business and Buffy Summers has come down with a case of the blahs. While Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s musical episode, Once More With Feeling, boasts more complex and entertaining fare (“I’ve Got A Feeling/Bunnies/If We’re Together,” “I’ll Never Tell,” “Something To Sing About”), opening number “Going Through The Motions” whets the appetite by alluding to the puns, visual gags, and inside jokes that cater to viewers’ knowledge, as well as showcase Buffy creator Joss Whedon’s surprising brilliance as a songwriter with a knack for the tongue-in-cheek musical jocularity of The Simpsons. With its refined orchestration, and in true Hollywood soundtrack tradition, the overture foreshadows a central theme to be revisited later in the episode (“Something To Sing About”). The episode itself weaves in the series’ ongoing storyline, and this song in particular epitomizes Buffy’s chronic grievance as she kicks vampire and demon ass while nonchalantly strolling through the cemetery, yearning for a deeper purpose in life.

Sure, Sarah Michelle Gellar is no more accomplished a singer than, say, Winona Ryder is an actress. But hey, at least Sarah’s chosen profession isn’t singing. (Sorry, Noni—loved ya in Beetlejuice, Heathers, and to a lesser extent Edward Scissorhands, but it’s been all downhill since then). Gellar’s voice is tenuous, unsophisticated, nasally, and comes off like that of a girl starring in a backyard play—endearing qualities all. But, importantly, she is able to remain fairly within the neighborhood of the twin suburbs called timing and tune, where Buffy vanquishes the undead as she strolls down the boulevard, cutting a svelte figure that has a promising spot as musical guest on Sesame Street singing a duet with Count Von Count.

  • Listen to "Overture/Going Through The Motions" and purchase from iTunes Music Store.
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