Beer Bad • S04E05 • TPN’s Buffy Guide

By Brian Lemay 100 comments

Let me get this out of the way up front. I like ‘Beer Bad’. It’s a candy episode for me, even if it is stupid, silly, totally lacking in subtlety and completely puritanical. Sure. There isn’t any depth to the theme here. It’s right there in the title. But come on now. How you can you not love: “Foamy.” Foamy indeed, Buffy. Foamy indeed. [‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’] Buffy has adopted a rather ‘Matrix’-like attire
and a new soundtrack. She is kicking ass and
not bothering with names in the cemetery …and she realizes who this vamp’s victim is. I love her fantasy here. It’s like a video game fever dream. They even add some 80s sound effects to the mix. [80s kick] Parker walks over in his bright red jacket. The music swells… …turns out it was all a daydream. Miss Walsh is leading a class on Freudian psychology
and the basic hierarchy of needs. “The id doesn’t learn,” “…it doesn’t grow up.” Freudian psychology informed much of ‘Season 2’, though I did a pretty poor job of covering it, …and it rears its head again here. Freud divided our personalities into three parts, the id, the ego and the super-ego. The id, as Walsh says, is our animal side. Our basest instincts. Sex, food, shelter. The ego is the rational part of our minds
that process information about the world. And the super-ego, for lack of a better term, …represents our better selves. It’s what reminds us of our goals and the
expectations laid upon us by society. There’s an interesting symbolic interpretation
of the Scoobies, which has Xander as Buffy’s id, …all desires and impulses. Willow as Buffy’s ego, …helping her sort and process the world around her. And Giles as Buffy’s super-ego, calling her to adulthood and her better self. To this point, most of the monsters on the show
are concentrated manifestations of the id. Vampires have been very well covered as
selfishly driven beings. Even instances where they might appear
to be acting selflessly, say Spike letting the vampire wannabes go
to save Drusilla, …is actually selfishness through
the template model of vampirism. You also have werewolves, …another id monster. Drawn to spots where kids are making out. A mindless beast driven to feed
and possibly reproduce. And then finally …we have Parker. An id monster himself, using his powers of persuasion to satisfy his most basest of instincts. In reaction to Walsh’s lesson, Buffy revises her vision of the apologetic Parker, now hairlessly bare chested
holding flowers and a pint of ice cream. The next day, Xander has now gotten a job
as the bar tender in the campus bar. Buffy is still indulging in some Parker fantasies and we can see Willlow’s best friend patience
starting to wear thin. Buffy goes to the campus bar
to visit Xander at his new job …and accidentally runs into Riley. “Oh.” [Buffy bumping into people noises]
“Whoa.” Of course, Riley is drinking ice water at the bar. I’m surprised it isn’t a glass of warm milk. On her way to try and leave the bar,
Buffy is complimented by a foursome of
relatively harmless upperclassman …who offer her a beer. At The Bronze, Oz and Willow are having a
drink and Oz feels something… …odd. Onstage comes Veruca. Veruca seems to be staring into Oz’s soul
and something is going on he doesn’t realize. “We could go back to your place.” “I could make you soup.” But Willow… …does. The next day, Buffy seems to have a more
simplified perspective on things. “TV is a good thing.” Bright colors.” Willow misinterprets Buffy’s explanation
of the night before as …her having had group sex with four guys. Then she drags Buffy to class where Buffy
steals a sandwich from another student. The id at work. Turns out the bartender, Xander’s boss,
is brewing a cursed variety of beer that introduces evolutionary regression
in anyone who drinks it. As trouble starts to brew (see what I did there) Willow finds Parker in the bar and
decides to give him her two cents, seemingly motivated in part …by her current distance with Oz. As they talk, the college smarties
Buffy was hanging out with go full on Cro-magnon. They try and attack Xander
and he manages to scare them off with fire. Meanwhile, Parker is still making his case with Willow about how he’s never really connected with anyone, and yet he’s enjoyed talking with her tonight, …this night of nights. “Just how gullible do you think I am?” You see, this is one of the reasons I love this episode. Maybe it’s just me but this moment
caught me genuinely by surprise. Because Willow is so often honest and forthright, I read her as falling for Parker’s schtick, …when in reality she was manipulating HIM. I was reminded of ‘Season 1’ when
she got Hyena Xander to reveal himself. “Now I know.” Willow is often brilliant …but I love when she is revealed as crafty. The cavemen break in …and accidentally start a fire. Cave Slayer Buffy (I was reminded of a character we won’t meet
until the last episode of this season) …saves the day. And Parker finally gives Buffy
the respect she’s been desiring the whole time. [whack] [fall] And… …that’s pretty much it. Alcohol strips us of our super-egos, …turning us into id monsters. Nothing but basic instincts and behavior. More simply: “Beer bad.” “Bad, bad beer.” Of course, the least believable part of this episode is …that anyone would mistake
this behavior for drunkenness. And if ‘Beer Bad’ feels like an overly simplistic
piece of silly puritanical government propaganda …well that’s because it is. In the early 2000s,
the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy made a deal with the networks that they would
waive the rights to their advertising spots, provided the networks incorporated anti-drug and
anti-alcohol messages into their shows. The WB agreed and ‘Beer Bad’
is one of the results of the deal. The funding was rejected for the episode because “[d]rugs were an issue, but … [it] was,” according to them “otherworldly nonsense,” “very abstract and not like real-life kids taking drugs.” Viewers wouldn’t make the link with
the White House’s message.” If only the government …had been more patient. I don’t think the episode was necessarily written
expressly to capitalize on the deal. Rather that the deal lined up well
with the timing of the show. American college binge drinking IS a thing. In a BBC interview, Douglas Petrie said: “Well, very young people get
unlimited access to alcohol and…” “…become horrible!” “We all do it” “—or most of us do it” “—and live to regret it,” …and we wanted to explore that.” The PSA episode isn’t totally
unselfaware, of course: “I can’t believe you served Buffy that beer.” “I didn’t know it was evil.” “You knew it was beer.” “Well, excuse me, Mister “I Spent the Sixties
in an Electric Kool-Aid Funky Satan Groove”.” “It was the early seventies and you should know better.” But honestly, there is still a lot to enjoy here. Cave Slayer is downright adorable, and I love a number of the silly jokes …like Xander scaring the cavemen off with fire. The foreign language names for ‘Beer Bad’
are also entertaining. The French title translates to… …”Devil’s beverage”. And the German: “The Beer of Evil Thinking”. I’ve noticed a small minority of commenters who think that Parker doesn’t get a fair shake in these episodes and is subjected to a disproportionate level of hate, especially when you compare him …to someone like Spike. “I’ll find her, wherever she is,” “Tie her up,” “torture her,” “…until she likes me again.” I’m simplifying the argument here
but the main points are first, that Parker did not tell Buffy a lie. Second, that an interest in casual sex
doesn’t make a person unethical. And finally, that what Parker said
to Willow in the bar was true. Hooking up is about fire and passion and asking someone to sign a contract
saying they know it isn’t going to go anywhere …kills the fire. All of these things are true. They’re also missing the point. Parker is NOT a super villain. He’s a conman. And conmen are in some ways more vicious as they convince their targets
to VOLUNTARILY act against their own self interest, which can often end in the victim
wrongly blaming themselves. Parker was not a sensitive guy who liked to hookup. He was a predator …using his veneer of sensitivity as bait to the bed. Motivation matters. Take for instance the story about his father. “My father died last year.” “What made it so sad was that there was…” “well, a lot of stuff he didn’t get to finish.” “It made me think about,” “–living for now.” This is a pretty intimate detail
from a normal person’s life …and the telling of it reveals
the fundamental wrong at play here. Buffy is misinterpreting his share
as a moment of vulnerability and intimacy. And the fact that Parker is seen later telling
the same story to a different woman shows that he KNOWS
the way this story will be misinterpreted …and capitalizes on that misinterpretation deliberately. THAT is dishonest. He may never tell a lie. But he is STILL a predator. Either way, the Parker nonsense is done. Fitting then that Buffy’s metaphorical spirit
is the one to best Parker first. I love that moment so much that when I think about
Willow’s arc throughout the seasons, …I remember that moment as part of it. There is a curious consistent theme
beginning to arise here in the first five episodes. In ‘The Freshman’, Buffy struggled mightily
to regain her identity and sense of self. And in ‘Living Conditions’, Kathy stole something
of her natural essence for a time. Here the call to a higher self is taken away by the beer. More on that later on. I think one thing that’s important to bear in mind here when considering these after school special topics …is that there is profoundly
greater nuance to actual life. Casual sex CAN be fun and a comfort. Good drink can make for some
entertaining evenings at times. Nothing is one thing to all people. The trick, I think, is honesty and self-awareness. Getting back to Freud, the point is not to vilify the id,
nor to deify the super-ego. They are all parts of a complete person and there can be as much
beauty and meaning to a great meal …or a night of lovemaking as there is to a poem …or a beautiful piece of architecture. Art comes in all forms. [‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’]



Mar 3, 2017, 1:54 am Reply

Someone needs to cut together the outro for The Freshman with Riley getting bonked on the head with the book and do a side by side with the outro here of Parker getting bonked on the head with the tree limb to see who got bonked the most. For science. 😀

Brandon Minich

Mar 3, 2017, 2:02 am Reply

I love In The Hall of the Mountain King. Is that a permanent change? If so, why?


Mar 3, 2017, 2:03 am Reply

The comparison to a character like Spike is interesting. Obviously, Spike, a soulless vampire, is evil to a whole other order of magnitude than Parker. But he also has qualities and traits that make him more interesting, sympathetic and lovable. Parker is presented as a manipulative asshole, and that's pretty much the only side of him that we see. Spike is a more complex and developed character that is shown to be capable of both great evil and cruelty but also arguably selflessness, self-sacrifice and honor.

While I understand the argument about Spike being possessive of Drusilla and thus having selfish motives in protecting her and going against Angelus, I don't think it's fair to conclude that he is not capable of selflessness, and that all his actions are purely selfish. I think most people will also feel some level of possessiveness about their partner, experience jealousy, a desire to be with their partner and to keep their partner at their side. And in Drusilla's case, her being mentally unstable, and Angelus being a more extreme carricature of selfishness and cruelty, might also serve as a valid argument for him making decisions in her place, "for her own good". Also consider that beside selfishness, Spike's lack of a soul, and thus a solid moral compass, also presents itself as a kind of naivety and cluelessness about what's ok and what's best for others(and also for him, in the long term). He might do something, with at least partially good and selfless intentions, but end up hurting people he loves because he failed to understand the effect of his actions.

Brandon Minich

Mar 3, 2017, 2:05 am Reply

I was also caught by surprise by Willow the moment she says "How gullible do you think I am?"


Mar 3, 2017, 2:08 am Reply

"Foamy" is my catch all answer to pretty much any question I don't know an answer to. All of my friends understand this because they are also Buffy fans, random non fans are regularly confused af.

Feline Friends

Mar 3, 2017, 2:13 am Reply

What is the name of the classical music piece at the beginning credits?

Captain Phoenix

Mar 3, 2017, 2:34 am Reply

Its nice to see someone who doesn't bash "Beer Bad". Its not a great episode, but the level of hostility it seems to get from fans is entirely disproportionate. Honestly, their are probably about a dozen episodes of this series that are much worse. I do feel obliged to note that Freudian psychology is outdated, sexist, and to my (admittedly limited) knowledge, largely discredited by modern psychiatry.


Mar 3, 2017, 2:48 am Reply

Buffy is getting taken off Netflix at the end of March 🙁

Gary Benjamin Holt Jr.

Mar 3, 2017, 2:59 am Reply

idc I love this episode haha CaveBuffy was amazing

Gianna Mendiola

Mar 3, 2017, 3:26 am Reply

Thought this episode was just a stupid filler. And it kind of is. But your interpretation made it interesting, that's why I love your videos

Kembla Bunny

Mar 3, 2017, 3:28 am Reply

Okay I like this video and I'm not sure if the show got this wrong but the Hierarchy of Needs was devised by Maslow and not Freud. Maybe Freud expanded on it but he definitely did not propose it.


Mar 3, 2017, 6:50 am Reply

Any literature students here? Parker's spiel is just like the many Renaissance sonnets I read in college. The ones where they basically say "You're beautiful and young–but you won't be forever. Life will be over before you know it, so you better enjoy it (by getting with me)!" So many of them have been wrongly interpreted as romantic, but a lot of those poets came off as slimy…..

Guy R

Mar 3, 2017, 7:55 am Reply

Xander – "It's time to go home, Buffy."

Buffy – "Want more singing. Want more beer!"

Xander – "No, I've cut you off."

Buffy – (confused) "Did it hurt?"


Buffy – "Well, even if I've had a pretend cigarette I couldn't tell you
my pretend problems. The real ones have clogged up my headspace."

Xander – "Ooh unload em right here baby. Rough day? You wanna talk about

He's a comfortador.


Mar 3, 2017, 12:41 pm Reply

Leave it to you to find the higher, deeper meaning in what is widely regarded as one of the worst piece of fluff in BTVS history (although I think that message could be simplified to "all things in moderation")

Like you, I've always liked this episode. Part of it is that this is really the first episode of the series I sat down and actually watched as a kid (spurred in part by thinking that Cave Buffy as shown in the previews was hot). The other part is that there's really nothing offensively bad with this episode as some folks would seem to say. Something like Doublemeat Palace is difficult to watch because it's Buffy in a way we just don't want to see her, and it has what you would call the "cringe" factor… and I'm just not feeling that here.

Anyways, I ramble. Great review as always. Thank you kindly for your continued work.

Dinara Tengri

Mar 3, 2017, 10:28 pm Reply

So Willow let Parker believe that he was manipulating her with his sweet talk, while in reality she was the one manipulating him the whole time. It's a nice little subversion of the audience's expectations, and now I know where that famous interrogation scene in Avengers stems from. Whedon, you crafty s.o.b.


Mar 3, 2017, 10:49 pm Reply

Could I love the editing at the end of this review any more than I do? Nope!!! Another great Buffy Guide, thank you Ian!!


Mar 3, 2017, 5:03 am Reply

I must admit I did skip this episode my 3rd time around, but I remember liking it the first time I watched it. TPN I wrote you a private message, I hope you get to read it (sometimes messages get hidden away in the junk mail lol) Keep the videos coming!

Warren Day

Mar 3, 2017, 10:29 am Reply

Congrats on demonstrating how even a so called shallow episode of Buffy is FAR from shallow. I liked this so much. And agree so much. I always like it when you link the main quartet to a psychological model. Well done on spotting the primitive slayer link to Restless. BTW this is the first guide episode I watched on my home theatre projector (4m image) and it looks amazing.

Savannah White

Mar 3, 2017, 7:35 pm Reply

Beer Bad is a candy episode for me too. It gets so much hate (understandably) but i just can't not love it.

Teapot S

Mar 3, 2017, 8:27 pm Reply

I love the small detail of when Xander starts the juke box and Buffy gets up from the table – she completely pushes the guy in front of her out of the way with an easy motion, and yet she doesn't recognize how strong that actually is! LOL natural slayer power

o o

Mar 3, 2017, 8:32 pm Reply

When you defend an episode like this you lose credibility in my eyes.


Mar 3, 2017, 9:39 pm Reply



Mar 3, 2017, 11:19 pm Reply

2 months until the 20 year anniversary of this shows debut. Omg I'm old.

José Sarango

Mar 3, 2017, 12:17 am Reply

I like this episode 😊

Nick Adair

Mar 3, 2017, 12:18 am Reply

"If only the government had been more patient." *cuts to post flay" I see what you did there. Love these subtle references in your videos. And you are exactly right.

José Sarango

Mar 3, 2017, 12:22 am Reply

I'm not going to act like an hypocrite here: I never hated Parker. He's a guy that wanted to get laid. Period. As much as I love Buffy, I can't see her as a victim here without losing respect for her. Also I never understood the hate for Riley or Dawn, but that comes later to discuss. On the other hand, I fuckin hate those assholes that get turned into cavemen. They are like some of the most despicables character in the show.


Mar 3, 2017, 12:51 am Reply

I think an argument could be made that the ethical negotiation of casual sex could enhance the act – at the very least by resolving any post-coital deferred balance created by shady premises, thus making it more fulfilling physically (during) and emotionally (after).

Alex M

Mar 3, 2017, 9:02 pm Reply

I like this Ep Ive always seen this as a fun PSA

Connor Lachmanec

Mar 3, 2017, 10:21 pm Reply

Your disdain for Riley gives me life.


Mar 3, 2017, 11:29 am Reply

I heard Buffy and Angel (and even Firefly) were leaving Netflix on April 1st. I was wondering if this would effect your videos or not?

Mindy Newell

Mar 3, 2017, 8:14 pm Reply

Especially brilliant, Ian!

Btw, what's Parker's last name? Madoff? 🙂

Kane Menefee

Mar 3, 2017, 9:27 pm Reply

since you like buffy so much Maby you might take a look at Reviewing charmed

Diane McAlister

Mar 3, 2017, 3:25 pm Reply

Before I lose the last gossamer strand of mind I have left, plz someone tell me what that VERY WELL KNOWN and on the tip of my brain but I cannot come up with it classical piece is playing over the end credits here?? 😭


Mar 3, 2017, 4:35 pm Reply

I love this episode. That is all. Okay, that is not all. I love your video as much as I love this episode.


Mar 3, 2017, 4:09 am Reply

You always manage to bring out the best meaning even in the episodes we think of as bad or silly. Thanks, as always! I loved this!!


Mar 3, 2017, 12:17 pm Reply

No mention of 20y anniversary?

Rowynne Crowley

Mar 3, 2017, 1:35 pm Reply

What happened dude? Got a notification for Room with a Vu, went there, "not available". Que pasa?

Jon Watson

Mar 3, 2017, 2:02 pm Reply

Oh my god, that musical outro – so subtle and so funny

Typical Me

Mar 3, 2017, 3:34 pm Reply

I got a notification saying "Rm Wa Vu" was released but it's unavailable. Copyright stuff?


Mar 3, 2017, 4:17 pm Reply

It is at least stupid fun and Parker got hit with a stick so I am fine with it.

Oni Pot

Mar 3, 2017, 3:16 am Reply

I lost it at Riley drinking warm milk. You never fail to crack me up!


Mar 3, 2017, 4:03 pm Reply

Never laughed this hard with another episode of buffy. Beer bad!

Coolman Hahn

Mar 3, 2017, 1:09 am Reply


Psimple Gamer

Mar 3, 2017, 8:51 am Reply

This is one of the few Episodes of Buffy that I've never been able to finish because how bad it is. Interesting to hear a different take on it.

Vanity 945

Mar 3, 2017, 5:34 am Reply

I looove your reviews TPN…I find them funny and very insightful. Please make more…I'm waiting for your take on later seasons of Buffy……

Chris Ferguson

Mar 3, 2017, 5:14 am Reply



Mar 3, 2017, 1:05 pm Reply

I never actually noticed the ice water. But you could say that as a commando, Riley shouldn't be drinking alcohol, since he can be called in for duty at any time.

No Whiskey Rose

Mar 3, 2017, 11:10 pm Reply

I really like how you talked about Parker: a predator but not a liar. That is true. I hate him, he hurt my Buff ya know, I hated him loooong time, but you are right, he's not actually a liar. But come on, so many people at UNI wanting to just hook up, he don't wanting them, yes, you're right, con-man!

Camila Ávila

Apr 4, 2017, 5:13 am Reply

I used to dislike this episode so much until I came with this video. Since "The Hars Light of Day" you said that we (the viewers) are so protective with Buffy because she is us, and that is true.

I hooked up with this guy and, after that, he told me some stuff about his father, who died when he was younger. Just like Buffy I thought that it was a moment of intimacy and vulnerability from this guy, but it wasn't. Right now, I'm trying to get over him, unfortunately, I don't think drinking beer could turn me into a caveman. Damn.

Avivit Pasha

Apr 4, 2017, 1:45 pm Reply

Oh, man! I'm at s4 episode 3 and won't go on watching with out your guide!! Waited 15 years to watch Buffy again, and the "maybe " inside the parentheses is making me sweat. Please keep them coming!! 15 years!!! I NEED your intake to complete the experience.. remember what you said "just keep working ". I myself run a blog and have taken your advice and wrote a post and am working on the next one. I know it's hard work. That's why it's soooo good!!


Apr 4, 2017, 5:46 am Reply

I like Beer Bad too! So it's a little heavy handed–it's not the only Buffy episode that is. I kind of like the portrayal of pseudo-intellectual college dudebros.

Orange Belle

May 5, 2017, 6:12 pm Reply

if only the government was more patient cut to season 6!!!

Dominique M

Jul 7, 2017, 6:23 am Reply

Parker is a good example of a narcissist. He co-opts his targets into acting against their own self interests and they stick to simple scripts (for example, the story about his Dad).

Meredith Greenberg

Jul 7, 2017, 1:20 am Reply

This episode has gotten better and better through multiple watchings for me. I almost feel like the writing is just cheeky enough that they're almost making fun of the after school special PSA D.A.R.E.y-ness. What have we learned about beer? FOAMY. And they leave it at that.


Aug 8, 2017, 3:22 pm Reply

I think Beer Bad would have gotten a whee bit more respect if it had one of those "nifty" foreshadowing elements in it. For instance, the true Season 4 Finale Restless introduced us to The Primitive aka Sineya, the 1st Slayer. In Beer Bad, Buffy becomes a "Cave Slayer" herself. So, why not take this a step further?

I think it would have been cool if Sineya was subtly introduced in Beer Bad THROUGH Buffy. While the beer magically makes everyone cave people, it fusses with Buffy's link to the Slayer line itself. Rather than becoming her cave-self, she mentally becomes the Slayer who existed back then: Sineya. We could even get an ominous line from "Buffy" when Xander, Willow, Oz ect try to help her come to her senses: NO FRIENDS!!


Sep 9, 2017, 10:32 pm Reply

And are you making the rest of the seasons reviews?? 567??

Kieran Windsor

Sep 9, 2017, 5:57 pm Reply

Thanks for helping me study for my abnormal psych class while I was trying to procrastinate studying for my abnormal psych class.

Lauren regnier

Oct 10, 2017, 1:01 am Reply

I don't drink . I despise alcohol . Never have , never will .


Oct 10, 2017, 1:05 pm Reply

Parker looks like Jared Leto


Oct 10, 2017, 6:21 pm Reply

Holy shit, they taught Freud in Buffy?? But why do they call it "ID" in English? Freud called it "ES", which translates EXACTLY to "IT"!!


Oct 10, 2017, 6:27 pm Reply

Why does the way, Buffy touches the beer and the way she looks at 4:37 turn me on??….

F Britannia

Oct 10, 2017, 6:05 am Reply

This is so far my least favourite episode of Buffy, it's probably not as bad as some in season 1, but knowing what Bufy can be now, I find myself to be less forgiving. I also don't really hate Parker, if anything I dislike Buffy being so fixated on him, at most she knew him for a week and just fucked with him? And if she didn't wan't the sex then why do it? I have always thought having casual sex is ok, there is no need to think you are h¿going to be soul mates forever with the person you did it, and to be fair, why would Parker asume that after only one week of meeting this girl and her having sex with him would she want to be in a serious relationship. What irks me the wrong way is people love and forgive Faith while she has done much more horrible things and yet detest a silly guy like Parker. Also, I hate tv episodes that deal in such a ridiculous manner with the "beer is bad message", I think there are more interesting ways to analyze the problem, instead of just pretending beer to be Satan. All in all, I hated this episode.


Nov 11, 2017, 8:12 pm Reply

I speak from personal experience, something that i'm sharing for proof that what Parker is doing is wrong. I had a deep relationship once, we almost got married… but like buffy I let the relationship consume too much of me… so much so that when we had our explosive break up I was lost. As she had become a defining part of who i was, i felt like i'd forgotten who i was before. 

as such, i kind of broke and imploded. If i was out with friends, and i got to flirting with a girl who was open for post bar… activities, i was down for it… HOWEVER! I made my intentions clear. I told her i was a broken mess who wasn't in anyway ready for a relationship, if she was just looking for a night of fun, I was interested, VERY interested… however, if she was wanting more than that, then she shouldn't waist her time on me. I was in no place to be in a relationship and I would inevitably hurt her without meaning too. 

I didn't prey on anyone. I didn't lead them on and I didn't make promises i couldn't keep. 

this was over 10 years ago and i'm in a much better place now.


Dec 12, 2017, 12:34 am Reply

I did like the Parker/Willow scene…. but apart from that this is one of the 3 most boring episodes of the 144. as someone who is a light and controlled drinker I find the puritanical view on Alcohol very annoying and preachy, repeating momentarily in the much more entertaining 'Something Blue'

Marcie Ross

Dec 12, 2017, 2:28 am Reply

And how ironic and interesting it is that Xander has to primarily deal with the cavemen id monsters.


Jan 1, 2018, 3:13 am Reply

I know people LOVE to hate this episode. It is very silly, sure. But I think people's problem with the episode is that they think this is browbeating about the dangers of alcohol. I don't drink alcohol at all so I don't care about the message or see it in that way. I just enjoyed the episode for what it was. Fun.


Jan 1, 2018, 4:46 pm Reply

I've been watching and re-watching your Buffy and Angel videos since you began making them and, like you, I've been puzzled over how to explain the seeming contradictions within the soul canon of both shows. I think the answer lies here, in your description of Freudian psychology. The human characters have all three of the elements to personality: id, ego and superego. When their bodies are killed and taken over by a demonic consciousness (i.e. sired), the superego is removed as well. Without personal goals, responsibility and the ability to think beyond one's own self (encompassing empathy, compassion, accountability and so much more), vampires only have the id to inform the ego, determining their personalities and paths through existence. The specifics of a vampire's ego and id are definitely informed by the human template left for them, as you've discussed before, but the possibility for growth and progress afforded by the superego is gone, freezing vampires in large part in the times they were sired.

In the case of Angel, the curse placed upon him restores his superego, despite the fact that he is physically a different creature than the one who is the source of the restored superego (Liam). Buffy and many others realise that without Liam's superego, Angelus had nothing to stop him from committing the atrocities he carries out, making him distinct from Angel with Liam's superego restored to him. The nature of the superego, however, burdens him with the responsibility to own up to ill deeds he's aware of and the desire to become a better person, resulting in his heavy guilt despite those deeds being Angelus's, not his. Perhaps this isn't the intention of the writers, but it seems to me that within universe, the human soul is the vessel that carries the superego and essence of personhood into other dimensions (eg. heaven or hell, or shrimp…) Given the writers' adherence to metaphorical and emotional truths, the spiritual mechanics in universe are notably vague, so the Freudian explanation seems as good as any to contextualise the methodology of Angel's "Big, Dumb Curse."

In the case of Spike, William's superego is of course not restored to him until he undergoes the trials after season 6. That said, his seemingly selfless acts prior to that don't strike me as contradictions. The id and ego as a pair within a vampire offer limited choices and they are predominantly selfish, violent and carnal. The fact is that Spike is driven by these three aims more overtly than most other vampires on the show, but his chip from the Initiative makes it functionally impossible for him to reach a large portion of these aims. Even though vampires are often frozen in their development, eventually even the most base of ids will change in desires if gratification is too long delayed. Spike goes years without feeding on or even hitting a human and the frustration of that would naturally lead to other desires: in his case, Buffy. He becomes incredibly protective of her, yes, if the threat to her is external. If she resists satisfying his desires, however, he has no qualms about taking what he wants from her. Only the restored superego in season 7 allows him a/ the willingness to suffer on her behalf without thought of his own gain resulting from that, and b/ the understanding of how his desires and actions have hurt people, especially Buffy, even in the absence of malicious intent.

Lizica Dumitru

Jul 7, 2018, 2:22 pm Reply

Manipulators are the worst of creatures, as you have said, "motivation matters."

Squee! Pop Culture & The Fangrrl Gaze

Jul 7, 2018, 3:27 pm Reply

I love She-Hulk Buffy. Buffy smash!

Holly Smith

Jul 7, 2018, 9:09 pm Reply

“Foamy indeed, Buffy. Foamy indeed” i love this episode, its one of my candy episodes too lol


Sep 9, 2018, 6:19 pm Reply

Beer bad to me is one of the funniest comedic episodes of Buffy. Buffy's slow devolution into her caveman state is really funny and what she's like in it and her interactions with Giles and Xander are a joy to watch

Dinara Tengri

Sep 9, 2018, 9:25 am Reply

9:10 – 9:17 There was no part of that that wasn't fun!

Laverne Blaszczyk

Sep 9, 2018, 11:27 pm Reply

Here right after the whole Brett Kavanaugh debacle- yes people do binge drink in college lol sigh

Steven Atkins

Oct 10, 2018, 11:41 am Reply

Hey it's a warning against Alcoholism, and Buffy Beats up Parker for using her and throwing her away!!!!!!! Plus Buffy as a cave woman is just hilarious to me, I might be brain dead, but yes, I find her funny.

Brian Magid

Dec 12, 2018, 5:50 pm Reply

I prefer the followup episode about the next morning, "water good"

Larry Berry

Feb 2, 2019, 5:06 am Reply

I Love Beer Bad too. Never can understand why so many don't like it.

Max Austin

Feb 2, 2019, 8:44 am Reply

Thanks for helping me no longer feel like I have to pretend I don’t like this episode

Max Austin

Feb 2, 2019, 8:46 am Reply

Ok I fucking know that shot from The Body was not the only shot involving food. You monster…

Musical Neptunian

Feb 2, 2019, 2:50 am Reply

"good beer. GOOD beer! I LIKE beer!"
– Justice Kavanagh

O’Malley Caboose 5

Feb 2, 2019, 1:53 am Reply

Yeah parker wasn't just a one night stand… actually I think would have been more interesting if he wasn't a bad person… he was as you said a con man… he created a whole routine

Arturo Stojanoff

Mar 3, 2019, 10:11 pm Reply

I'd say it's also about not drowning out your problems with drugs or alcohol, but to confront it face to face and, if you can, club it in the head.

Matthew Swenson

Mar 3, 2019, 8:09 pm Reply

Freudian theory turned out to be mostly bullshit and has been recognized as such for some time, with only the notion of the subconscious mind hanging on, but modern storytellers really seem to enjoy it as a sort of modern mythological language.

Charles Edward Andrew Lincoln IV

Apr 4, 2019, 1:53 am Reply

Does beer get rid of the super ego only or also the ego itself? The video only mentions beer gets rid of the super ego.


Apr 4, 2019, 12:29 am Reply

Glad I'm not the only one who likes this episode.

Big Moby

Apr 4, 2019, 12:07 am Reply

i got a beer to watch this

TheOrchestra IsDead

May 5, 2019, 6:47 pm Reply

Am I the only one who thinks that Parker is awful simply for the fact that he uses his father's death as a way to get sex?

Reginald Jones

Jun 6, 2019, 10:42 pm Reply

Parker was basically a human angelous


Jul 7, 2019, 11:50 pm Reply

Yes, finally some recognition for the Willow-Parker scene!

Nicholas Maude

Jul 7, 2019, 10:13 pm Reply

It would've been funny if Cave-Buffy had dragged Parker back to her "Lair" after conking him on the head;).

Fitzytail 89

Aug 8, 2019, 3:15 pm Reply

3 reasons I like this episode:
1. Buffy the Cavegirl
2. Buffy saying beer "foamy"
3. Buffy hitting Parker…twice

Jose H

Aug 8, 2019, 5:58 pm Reply

I like beer bad too! It is stupid and silly but it’s fun to watch. A lot of people say it’s the worst Buffy episode but I disagree the swim team episode or the mantis episode are the worst in my opinion

Anthony Tejada

Aug 8, 2019, 3:26 pm Reply

such a bad episode

Beach Girl

Aug 8, 2019, 3:09 am Reply

It’s funny how the ending of Beer Bad makes me happy. I love how Buffy’s fantasy of Parker apologizing happens, and how she reacts to it.
Xander’s “You’re a bad, bad man” (ok, I can see the Xander love now that I’m old).
Next up: Wild At Heart. Bring on the pain, and Paige Moss’s horrible acting.

Is there a drink stream this weekend? I might have to change to water.

Boss Umbra

Sep 9, 2019, 4:59 am Reply

Giles used a demon to get high. I don’t think he has a leg to stand on.

Tim Gilbert

Oct 10, 2019, 1:11 pm Reply

"Parker finally gives Buffy the respect she's been desiring the whole time."

And Buffy finally gives Parker the respect he's been deserving the whole time.


Oct 10, 2019, 9:49 pm Reply

I love Willow in this episode!!! HAHA I also thought she was buying his talk and so I got really surprised by it

Bebe Beachball

Nov 11, 2019, 12:01 am Reply

I like it too. Episode good.

Siggi Linde

Dec 12, 2019, 1:01 am Reply

Has someone watched Einstein Junior? 😁👍


Jan 1, 2020, 9:21 am Reply

Cave Buffy = First slayer

a cat on a wall

Jan 1, 2020, 11:17 pm Reply

I've said it before, but compared to British university students binge drinking American college students are utter lightweights.

Leave a Reply