Some Assembly Required
Written by: Ty King
Directed by: Bruce Seth Green
Air date: Sept. 22, 1997

And here we have the adventures of Patches McCorpse and his ragtag team of evil high school kids as they try to assembly a girlfriend for this weak-as-hell Frankenstein-level “monster of the week” character. Let me start by saying that this episode, regardless of how bad it is, will never get the proper lashing it deserves. This is due, largely, to the fact that my notes and observations for the 45-ish minutes of content were lost when my computer manually reset before I could save them. Of course, no amount of evidence to support my claims that this is one of the worst episodes in the show’s history would really matter, seeing as how this episode is so bad, I can’t believe I never used to badmouth it when I would list the worst episodes of the entire Buffyverse. Oh well.

If there’s anything that I hate about this show during its early seasons, its that there is always a plethora of never-before-seen high school students that either die, scream, or are bad guys. Now, granted, some of these high school students become pretty important bad guys, later, but we don’t come to realize that, yet (here’s looking at you, Season 6!). No, here, if you’re introduced to a character and shown their individual plight and motivation, the either end up dead or – I can only assume – arrested in some fashion (its true, though, that the lame-ass evil, photo-taking sidekick kid is only shown knocked-the-fuck-out and not dealt with appropriately in any fashion, slayer-style or “by the book”). This holds true, here. Two characters who have names I can’t remember are shown early and named; the writers even felt it necessary to make the “sympathetic” one to be a science nerd… so much so that Willow knows him “very well” — what a weak device: she never mentioned him, he was never seen, and never heard from again. Buffy, Willow, and Xander spend all their time together, when did she have time to get to know him “very well” anyhow? Dumb.

There is some good stuff, here, though. Namely: character development and the concept that the episode-to-episode plots can move at a pace well above “embarrassing by tortoise standards”. The episode sucks, yes, but it moves at a good clip and never dwells to long on its inherent and ever-present low-brow writing and contrived plot devices. And the character interactions are good enough that you’ll forget all about some of the weaker lines. Check every interaction Giles has on his first date with Jenny Calendar (who is getting more and more attractive the older I get, I might add) and you’ll see two characters who are alive, not just actors playing them. Hell, even Cordelia is a pro in this episode, letting out her now-trademark screams with great efficiency and proper utilization. And there are cute and timeless moments and lines, and even an admittance on Buffy’s part that her “sexy-dance” was inappropriate and just a dick-move against an otherwise goofy Angel (goofy: wearing some cream/white combination for the first – and only – time ever. Seriously. What the hell) who didn’t have enough to do in this episode, really.

The battle against the dead football player and Buffy was dumb and I get that he was a big dude and that he probably doesn’t feel pain or anything anymore, but he took Buffy real fast and it was filmed in a way that made it look like, if there hadn’t been a fire, he would have even killed her. All these vampires in the Buffyverse long to kill her, or any Slayer, really. This jack-hole almost did it with out much effort, all while his stupid lacky watched (seriously, by the way, sometimes having a demented killer sing a song adds to the creepiness and overall effectiveness. Here? With “My Girl” it doesn’t do that, in fact it does the opposite… it makes the show look lazy and the actor look like a heel. And it makes me want to kill myself).

"Herp Derp.... my girl"

Having said all of this, it makes me glad my notes aren’t around. I’m sure I’d be more long winded. This episode doesn’t deserve it, doesn’t deserve to even be mentioned again. Ugh.

Episode Rating: 30 + 15 for Charisma Carpenter getting more and more attractive as I get older, too: 45

(Death/Annoying Scream count is discontinued because I’m not going to rewatch this episode just to count and add)

Additional Notes:
-with all of my observations destroyed, I can only assume they were based on how hot Cordelia is: