Tag Archives: Where the Wild Things Are

Stop and smell the corpses, ya know?

Think that’s good, just wait ’till OMWF

I feel pretty safe calling “Where the Wild Things Are” a failure; I’m just not sure if it qualifies as a noble one.  The episode is thoroughly watchable, but its efforts to deal with the issues of child abuse and sexual repression come off as more confused than nuanced.  We have the standard mystical metaphor as the abuse suffered by the children of the Lowell Home manifests as a blend of sexual urges and shame… and plants.  Obviously, the first two go together, particularly in cases of child abuse, but I’m unclear on whether the vines are meant be Eden imagery or a Sendak nod and, either way, they don’t really bring much the themes of the episode.  Adding to the confusion, we have Buffy and Riley’s sex drive being what sets off the whole crisis and Xander and Anya getting beyond the physical is what resolves it.  Sooo… sexual repression is bad… but so is sex? Continue reading

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Is that what I am, clean?

This episode’s title, “That Night, a Forest Grew,” is a delightful reference to Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.  For those of you suffering from either a bad memory or a deprived childhood, it’s a children’s book about a little boy sent to his room without supper for acting like a “beast.”  The boy (Max) escapes into a fantasy land populated by monsters over which he becomes king.  Fun as being a beast is, it soon grows tiresome and Max returns home to find a hot dinner waiting from him.  It’s one of those wonderful children’s stories that work on multiple levels, but the reading that best suits this episode is that of a boy coping with anger and frustration and coming to appreciate the love and security of family. Continue reading