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Episode Forty-Eight: And Then the Werewolf Fell In Love With the WAIT WHAT [Nov. 27th, 2011|02:23 pm]
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[queenanthai]
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Episode 48 is live!







SHOW NOTES

Thanks to our Senior Sparkle Correspondent Cleolinda Jones for joining us this month, as well as Noel from I Hate/Love Remakes and our glutton for punishment K.C.!

Cleo has Breaking Dawn In Fifteen Minutes up on her blog, and she just knocked it out of the park.

Doug Walker, a.k.a. That Guy With the Glasses has also done a really great video review of Breaking Dawn, with >9000% more rage! (Also a Bum Review, but we're pointing to his actual review.)

MarzGurl has been picking apart the first Twilight novel rather effectively, if you feel like going back to basics. A more innocent time, if you will.

This isn't mentioned in the episode, but Robert Pattinson is the greatest Twilight troll of all time and we just had to share it.










Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Email us at made_of_fail@yahoo.com, or send us a message on Twitter: @made_of_fail.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: exiled_mind
2011-11-27 08:36 pm (UTC)

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I have been looking forward to this for days.
[User Picture]From: snapdragon76
2011-11-28 03:39 am (UTC)

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ME TOO!!!

I know what I shall be listening to while at work tomorrow...
[User Picture]From: cleolinda
2011-11-27 09:23 pm (UTC)

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Btw, I remember now: someone asked Chris Weitz, "Do you like to fap?" That's the "dirty question" I was referring to. It did not come from the other Twitter user I referenced, though.
[User Picture]From: westonian
2011-11-27 10:43 pm (UTC)

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Hooray! Downloading now, listening in four minutes.
[User Picture]From: mysticowl
2011-11-28 12:13 am (UTC)

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Dayne, I appreciated your WoW joke even if none of your co-hosts did.

I kind of disagree with both Dayna and Noel in "why this sucks/doesn't suck as a fantasy," because my problem with it comes from looking at the creator rather than the audience. I wouldn't mind Twilight if only its creator didn't honestly (sincerely, as Noel would put it), whole-heartedly believe that is the ideal of how a romantic relationship should be. I have a problem with, for example, Edward disabling Bella's truck, but I have an even bigger problem with the fact that Stephenie Meyer doesn't think Edward is crossing any kind of line doing it.

It's kind of related to the concept versus execution debate and honestly, I think Noel is giving Meyer too much benefit of the doubt.

I think when Noel was talking about the Quileute shapeshifters having vampires back in their genealogy, he was actually thinking about Stephenie Meyer's attempt at introducing genetics as an explanation of the paranormal in her book. In the world according to Meyer, humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, vampires have 25 pairs, and both Quileute shapeshifters and half-vampires like Renesmee have 24 pairs. I still can't believe Meyer, who doesn't understand the way periods work, actually tried to explain her fuckery with science. Melissa Rosenberg wisely decided not to touch that.

Noel might disagree with this because I understand from the podcast he's read The Host. I tried the first two or three chapters of The Host because a coworker of mine was reading it and liking it. I loathed it. I have never hated a book before or since. The Host is the book that made me feel negatively about Stephenie Meyer as a person. Maybe it isn't fair for me to judge having only read the beginning, but I just couldn't get over the seething rage.
From: noelct
2011-11-28 02:24 am (UTC)

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The thing about the disabling of the truck is that it's the start of Edward's Eclipse character arc where he comes to learn that he's wrong. He's had zero experience with the wolves and doesn't believe they can control themselves enough to not be a lethal threat to Bella, and the arc is him coming to trust and respect the wolves, culminating in the tent scene where he steps aside and allows Jacob to care for Bella in a way he himself cannot. It is a clumsy arc, bookended by the two worst scenes in the story, and it does denigrate Bella as little more than a pet tossed back and forth between two masters, but there is a genuine attempt to teach a lesson there and I find the accusation that Meyer is condoning Edward's behavior as a strong over-simplification of the moment.

Okay, so shapeshifters and hybrids just share the same number of chromosomes. I took that as Meyer suggesting there was a relationship between the two, but that likely could have been me reading too much into it.

I don't argue that The Host is a perfect or great book, just that it's a good book. The absolute worst part - and I don't blame you for not getting past it - are the opening chapters which are nothing but massive infodump exposition between characters we haven't properly met who tell us all about a society we haven't seen in action. Once it get out of that room and the actual story kicks in, it significantly improves. I'm in agreement with you that those opening chapters were a mistake and the info within should have been (and actually kinda is) peppered throughout the novel instead of clustered up front.
[User Picture]From: mysticowl
2011-11-28 02:58 am (UTC)

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I honestly think you're giving Stephenie Meyer more credit than she deserves on the Edward's characterization issue, but in the absence of omniscience or at least the ability to read her mind, it's all a matter of opinion.

As for The Host - specifically I was outraged by her description of the aliens (Souls? Is that what they were called?) as beings of pure, unadulterated good. I mean, this invasionary force travels planet to planet, basically committing genocide in their quest to experience life as other species, and I'm supposed to believe they're good?!

Possibly, I'm completely mistaken in this impression and it all would've been explained further into the book. I just couldn't put my trust in that because of my experiences with Twilight. Stephenie Meyer is the best example of why "telling not showing" is bad, in my opinion. Meyer keeps on telling the readers (mostly through Bella's dialogue) that Edward is such a good person, such a pure soul, and I can't recall a single example of him doing something good or giving a fuck about someone other than Bella or Carlisle. One can argue that Meyer doesn't mean it that way, that this is Bella idolizing the boy she lusts after, but from all the interviews and public statements I've read, I honestly believe that Meyer means every word Bella says.
From: noelct
2011-11-28 05:31 am (UTC)

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The book doesn't treat them a pure, unadulterated good. That's just their own perspective on things. The entire point of the book is having a Soul encounter free humans and learn about and appreciate the precious individuality that's being crushed in the name of "the greater good". But, importantly, nor does it vilify the Souls. They are parasites. It's what they biologically are and the only way of life they've ever known. Before humanity, the only species they'd attached to were either advanced but non-individualistic species (the insect race nicknamed "Spider") or more primitive pack races equivalent to dolphins or bears. The entire thrust of the novel is the shift in perspective as the lead Soul is not only unable to fully overcome the human mind she's inhabiting, but the lessons she learns from the community of humans she finds herself trapped among, and the lessons they also learn from her.
[User Picture]From: mysticowl
2011-11-28 12:18 am (UTC)

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Also, because I'm an asshole for forgetting to say this in the first place, it was awesome. I laughed so hard that I cried. Thank you, guys!
[User Picture]From: snapdragon76
2011-11-28 04:54 pm (UTC)

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Just finished listening and I gotta say, I loved the MST bit with the 'Dull Surprise'. I'm assuming Devin had his hand in that? Plus, Devin, I gotta know the song at the end now...

And I kinda agree somewhat with Noel in the whole 'enjoying it even though it's bad' kinda thing. I think that's what I do. Kinda like a car crash. You know it's horrible and awful, but somehow you just can't tear your eyes away. Stupid eyes...

And, because I must:

Photobucket
[User Picture]From: queenanthai
2011-11-28 06:05 pm (UTC)

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That gif never gets old.

"Dull Surprise" was actually my idea, and the song at the end is "Twilight" by E.L.O. as per Noel's request.
[User Picture]From: snapdragon76
2011-11-28 07:30 pm (UTC)

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It never does.

And anytime anyone gets a chance to use MST, the world is a better place for it.

I thought it sounded like E.L.O. Now I need to download that sucker...
[User Picture]From: cleolinda
2011-11-29 03:50 am (UTC)

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I wanted SO BADLY to post that gif in the thing I wrote, but I ended up deciding not to use anything that didn't originate with me or the movie itself. Because let me tell you, otherwise, the whole thing would have been this gif, assorted macros, the Nonono Cat, and clips of KC shrieking.
[User Picture]From: queenanthai
2011-11-29 04:36 am (UTC)

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Awwwwww, I forgot to send Devin Nonono Cat to use at his discretion. :(
[User Picture]From: cleolinda
2011-11-29 04:44 am (UTC)

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It's okay. You have to have the visual to go with it, I think, or it just sounds like a little traumatized grandma-toddler and you can't tell it's a cat.
[User Picture]From: visiblemarket
2011-11-28 06:15 pm (UTC)

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I normally don't comment on these, but I just wanted to write in and thank Noel for expressing the feelings I have for the series, especially with regards to Stephenie Meyer's obvious earnestness in writing the books.

Something else I've always found interesting is the influence of Mormonism; I have no explicit problem with it, and I'm pretty sure it's unintentional, but I can just feel certain things (the belief in predestination, especially) just bleeding through the whole series. I mean it's the subtext of Jacob's connection to Bella's ovaries, and even Bella's clumsiness ties in there, I think, beyond being an "adorable" and/or endearing flaw: she's not meant to be human and is meant to be a vampire. That's why she ends up Vampiring Better Than You, because that's what she's destined to be. I think it's also partly why she never quite fits with the other mundanes, or maybe that's just an especially charitable reading. That belief in predestination explains to me why Meyer doesn't seem to find the imprinting as icky as most people seem to: I almost get the feeling it's meant to be involuntary, and it happens to the person your Supposed To Be With, whenever you see them, and Renesmee, for better or worse, is that person for Jacob, so he just can't help himself at that moment.

Anyway just some thoughts, I really enjoyed the episode overall.
[User Picture]From: gabbygrl
2011-11-28 07:20 pm (UTC)

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I hate myself for doing this... but Noel says that Alice would have seen Jacob coming, but it's a pretty major plot point that Alice can't see wolf-futures.
[User Picture]From: cleolinda
2011-11-29 03:53 am (UTC)

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Yeah, I listened to the finished cut of the episode and went, "Wait, but he's a... is it worse that I didn't remember that then or that I do remember that now?"
From: noelct
2011-11-30 10:02 pm (UTC)

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This is true. But they would have still heard his motorcycle coming from a ways off through the power of their sparkle ears and Edward would have pick up Jacob's thoughts.

Strange that the wolves are immune to Alice's power, but not Edward's.
[User Picture]From: animefiend_176
2011-12-16 08:44 pm (UTC)

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I think that's actually explained in Breaking Dawn somewhere. Alice is telling someone that she can see humans because she was one, and vampires because she is one, but the wolves and hybrids are outside her experience. So it's not so much down to the wolves as it is to Alice herself.
[User Picture]From: uldihaa
2011-11-28 08:15 pm (UTC)

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My problem with the imprinting can be summed up by the question, "What happens when she hits puberty?"

People don't go into puberty at 18 year of age; or 17; or 16; or 15. It might not be sexual at 2 years old, but it won't remain that way. Eventually she'll run right into that wonderful state known as puberty and the whole "not sexual" will go flying out the window. Add in that puberty can start as young as 9 year old, and you have a real problem.
[User Picture]From: keleri
2011-11-28 11:52 pm (UTC)

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I didn't really care for Noel in this one, I feel like he talks over everyone in places (and he's also quite a bit louder than everyone else, would have been nice to have a sound check before recording).
From: noelct
2011-11-29 03:28 am (UTC)

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I was recorded in a separate track from the others.
[User Picture]From: sora50
2011-12-02 03:43 am (UTC)

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That was a bit of an over-correction. He was lower than everyone originally. Sorry about that.
[User Picture]From: jaytshade
2011-11-29 05:50 am (UTC)

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Loved the podcast, but I did want to rehash the imprinting debate you guys had...

I almost feel like Meyer's contradicts herself and retcons her own definition of imprinting WITHIN THE SAME BOOKS. I feel like Eclipse tries to introduce imprinting as a very chaste, heroic devotion -- that could be romantic and sexual but totally doesn't need to be.

Then she blatantly contradicts this by having Jacob talk about how bad it sucks that Quill has to stay a virgin until Claire's old enough to do it, or by having him give Renesmee the promise-ring-bracelet thing.

So, I blame the squicky-ness on clumsy writing. It was a poorly thought out concept to begin with - there is NO logical reason for the wolves to imprint. They shapeshift to protect the tribe. They're spirit warriors who can turn into wolves and I utterly fail to understand WHY they need to imprint other than Meyer having a ridiculous obsession on pre-destination.

Also, sorry Noel, but Dayna is right -- Emmett did punch a Wolf in the face...twice. Jasper kicked one in the face and shoved one, I didn't see him PUNCH one though. (I may or may not have an illegal download of Breaking Dawn. Ahem.)

Anyway, enjoyed the podcast very much. I live for the Twilight discussions.

One thing though, maybe work out a way to not talk over each other so much? It gets really hard to follow along with all the talking over one another. I understand it's really hard when you're basically during an audio conference over skype, but it gets pretty messy sometimes.
[User Picture]From: cleolinda
2011-11-29 05:34 pm (UTC)

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Then she blatantly contradicts this by having Jacob talk about how bad it sucks that Quill has to stay a virgin until Claire's old enough to do it, or by having him give Renesmee the promise-ring-bracelet thing.

See, this is why I just can't accept imprinting as it is given to us in the text as an okay, non-creepy thing. I think I did remember to mention the first example--that Jacob just assumes that Quil's going to have to wait to have sex until Claire grows up, and that her "choice" won't be anything else. But even I had forgotten the promise bracelet. Jesus take the wheel.

I feel bad about us talking over each other; it's hard when you don't have the visual cue of seeing someone open their mouth to speak. I try to drop whatever I was going to say if I realize someone else wants to talk, which is why you often hear me say one word and then stop.
[User Picture]From: jaytshade
2011-12-01 07:31 am (UTC)

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I think I did remember to mention the first example--that Jacob just assumes that Quil's going to have to wait to have sex until Claire grows up, and that her "choice" won't be anything else.

You did mention it. Yeah, I was originally going to make a point that (at least in Eclipse) everything is just Jacob's opinion on imprinting and his understanding of it as someone who A) still hasn't actually imprinted yet and, B) is only 16-17... Which, by that logic it stands to reason that Jacob gives Bella, and us, a slightly skewed explanation of imprinting and the feelings of the imprinter and the imprintee.

So I mean, when Jacob assumes that Quill's going to have to wait that could just be Jacob's own opinion--I sometimes got the feeling in Eclipse that Jacob was a little preoccupied with the thought of sex, but that was just my reading.

Also, Jacob says that "it's hard to resist that kind of devotion" or something to that effect, which I have an issue with. I can't interpret that as anything but Jacob's observation and opinion of the other imprinting situations prior to Quill. Since he can't read the minds of the girls imprinted on, he's just noting that they either didn't resist or had a hard time doing so. But I would like to point out that the main imprinting situations have been between these guys who, in the book, all average at about 6 feet tall and completely ripped and young women -- at least one of whom already had a crush on her imprinter.

Also, with the Sam/Emily situation, if I remember correctly it was implied that Emily had a crush or at least some feelings for Sam very early on.
SO, my rambling point being. Jacob's statement is really nothing more than his own opinion.

However, if the wolves imprint because someone is their soulmate and the person they were destined to be with ~omg~ then my argument doesn't really matter, because destiny intended for those people to be together... or something.

The reason I didn't initially go with this thinking was because since Meyer never clarifies within the books the specifics of imprinting and we are left only with Jacob's explanation, we have to assume that his is correct. Creepy as it is.

Although, I do find it interesting that with Quill/Claire, we never see Quill act in any way other than a big brother/babysitter and he seems completely content with this. With Jacob and Renesmee, however, he gives her a freaking promise bracelet. Reading the scene with Quill and Claire, I don't get this feeling like Quill's just waiting for the day she's older, versus Jacob who gives Renesmee a promise bracelet before she looks much older than, what, 7? Anyway, my rambling point, is that Jacob seems preoccupied with the idea of being in love with someone and romantic relationships.

I feel bad about us talking over each other; it's hard when you don't have the visual cue of seeing someone open their mouth to speak. I try to drop whatever I was going to say if I realize someone else wants to talk, which is why you often hear me say one word and then stop.

Yeah, I would go crazy if I couldn't see the other people to know when someone was about to speak. It just got really muddled this particular episode for some reason. I think my issue wasn't so much the talking over -- it happens. It was just seemed to get very muddled and was harder to understand than usual.
From: noelct
2011-11-30 10:05 pm (UTC)

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Did he? I could swear the shot where the wolf is reared back, his mouth all quivering from the blow as spittle and blood spattered out, was when Jasper punched it, not Emmet. Huh. I'll definitely double check that when it hits DVD.
[User Picture]From: jaytshade
2011-12-02 03:20 am (UTC)

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Re-watched my copy, so what happened was BOTH Emmett and Jasper punched a werewolf. Emmett had the first real punch if I see it all correctly, and Jasper did have a good bloody-spit-spewing punch right before Jacob busted out of the house.

So, therefore, EVERYONE is right.
From: (Anonymous)
2011-12-01 01:49 am (UTC)

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I think it's also mentioned in one of the books that Sam's theorized the werewolves imprint on their best genetic match, the person with whom they'll have the best and strongest werewolf babies. Of course, Sam's also the big bad wolf that wants to kill Renesmee, so maybe we're not supposed to take his word for it.
[User Picture]From: jaytshade
2011-12-02 03:28 am (UTC)

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I do remember that now that you mention it, but I personally read that as Sam's excuse to himself for breaking Leah's heart. Or at least something to that effect. Sam's default excuse seems to always be "What's best for the tribe" and no one really argues with him on that. So I always figured that Sam felt guilty over the whole Leah/Emily thing and needed a way to explain it other than "I love Emily because she's my soulmate and Leah isn't." By saying "We imprint on whoever is the best genetic match and therefore best for the tribe." is kind of like a 'so, it's the best thing for everyone so we can't argue.'

Besides, if the only reason was for making babies ("YOU MIGHT WANT BABIES.")then wouldn't thety only have a strong sexual attraction to whoever they imprint on? and they'd possibly imprint more than once to make as many strongest bestest most fursplodiest werebabies ever. Stephanie Meyer likes to write DESTINY driven romances. Edward and Bella are together because they are soul mates and it was MEANT to be, so I feel like that logic applies to all the "happy and content" relationships in the book.
[User Picture]From: detritius
2011-11-30 03:13 am (UTC)

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About Bella being deliberately written as a cypher, here's a quote from Stephenie Meyer's FAQ on her website: http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/twilight_faq.html#bella

I left out a detailed description of Bella in the book so that the reader could more easily step into her shoes.

So, yes, I think in some aspects, Bella was written more as a placeholder for the reader than as a character. Which is personally disturbing to me on a lot of levels. I have young cousins - twelve and thirteen - who read and love these books with their mothers' blessing, so I kind of can't help but think of the messages this is sending. And because Bella is shown in a lot of ways as a wish-fulfillment stand-in, I really can't see her as a character that makes situation-specific choices; all I can see here is Stephenie Meyer's messed up romantic ideal being transmitted to tens of thousands of girls as a healthy and viable relationship that real people should, and in my experience, unfortunately, do aspire to. And that honestly terrifies me a little.

Great discussion, though. Really made me think about and need to articulate this.
[User Picture]From: mogumogu
2011-11-30 03:53 pm (UTC)

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Nooo, don't fall for the "It had potential" trap when you actually judge things!

I do agree there was amazing potential in imprinting, both in the messed up nature, and in actual non-sexual things. Like, instead of insisting "it's not sexual, I swear, not yet," maybe we could delve into non-sexual urges or even non-sexual imprints that are simple devotion.

But... no. That's not what imprinting is in the Meyerverse.

... makeup? Really? I have no words for that.
From: noelct
2011-11-30 10:09 pm (UTC)

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Look, I'm not using the potential to defend the execution in the films. The execution is bad. I fully acknowledge that. But I can criticise the execution while simultaneously giving props for the concept and its potential. People keep missing where I agree about the ultimate shortcomings and mishandling of how it was executed.
From: (Anonymous)
2011-11-30 04:20 pm (UTC)

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I loved this episode, but I'm kind of new to the Made of Fail podcast.
So, I was wondering which episode is the whole "horrify the Twilight noob" thing?
[User Picture]From: queenanthai
2011-11-30 08:38 pm (UTC)

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Glad you asked! We have a few!

Episode 7 is Cleo's first episode, discussing the books.

Episode 10 is the movie review for Twilight.

Episode 23 is the New Moon review.

But the one you're probably thinking of is Episode 32, which is where we first absolutely destroyed K.C. And it was beautiful.

From: misscriac
2011-12-01 03:31 am (UTC)

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One thing that I really wanted to point out was that when you guys were talking about how because Bella doesn't mind Edward's stalking and therefore the relationship is "healthy"-- Bella never gave CONSENT for Edward to sneak into her room at night. That's where this becomes unhealthy. That's where it differs from BDSM-- because that is an agreed upon choice by both parties. If its *not* agreed upon by both parties, it then becomes abuse. Therefore, at least at that point, their relationship is abusive.
[User Picture]From: alliancesjr
2011-12-01 01:06 pm (UTC)

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Oh, don't worry. We've mentioned how unhealthy it is many, many, many times.
From: misscriac
2011-12-01 03:28 pm (UTC)

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Oh, sure, no worries! Thank you, I love your show, and I thought the discussion in this particular episode was really well balanced, and you guys mixed serious discussion of implications with humor fabulously. Great episode!
[User Picture]From: aunt_zelda
2011-12-08 07:46 am (UTC)

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(Stupid college, getting in the way of MoF episodes ...)

Charlie beating the vampires to death with a jawbone sounds like good times to me!

Charlie Swan: Vampire Sheriff
So, like The Gates, but better? *SQUEE*

I used to be part of the Middle Ground with Twilight. In my younger teen years, I read the first three, liked some elements (hey, supernatural teenage adventures!) and didn't like others (this writing isn't so good … why is he so controlling … why doesn't she think for herself … why aren't I watching Buffy right now?) but it was something to talk to about with my friends, who weren't into the stuff I was (i.e. Buffy, Heroes, Doctor Who). Then it got ridiculous, and my friends started fighting about Team Edward vs. Team Jacob, and I realized that you could either be For Twilight, or Against Twilight, and the Middle Ground had been firebombed in the ensuing wars. So I was firmly in the "Twilight sucks oh my god abusive relationships rape culture vampires used to be scary hide your kids hide your wives" and felt kinda sad about losing the fun of a silly trashy book I could discuss calmly with my friends instead of having to worry about setting off fights by mentioning that it's kinda creepy that Edward watches Bella sleep, y'know, why are you biting my head off now Rebecca? *sighs*

I resent Bella and Edward being compared to BDSM couples. A hundred-year-old stalker and his sociopathic manipulative teenage pet is not a healthy relationship. A couple who agree to the conditions and terms of their relationship AS EQUALS and then get kinky in the bedroom, and sometimes in other areas of their life, might not be "normal" to you, but it's two adults making decisions together as equals, and that's healthy, which is exactly what Twilight isn't.

I think if you decide to carry a chestburster to term you are clinically insane and need a guardian to make the choice for you, because legally you aren't capable of making those kinds of decisions anymore. Bella, IT IS GOING TO KILL YOU!

Imprinting is creepy as fuck. Even putting aside Quil and Claire for a moment, what about Emily and Sam? Y'know, Sam, who was dating Emily's cousin? Emily, who got a nasty scar from Sam when she rejected him … and ended up marrying him and making muffins for him and his gang of shirtless dudes? Talk your way around that one, please, for the love of god. Explain how a woman being genetically FORCED to marry a man who physically attacked her is in any way ok.

Four hour debate on the concepts introduced in Twilight? Yes please! Make it a special!

Surprised nobody mentioned that episode of Angel where Cordelia gets knocked up by a demon and has a fast pregnancy that's going to kill her, and drinks Angel's blood-stash. That's the first thing I thought of when I read Breaking Dawn.

"Strawberry jam and cream cheese"
… and now I can never go to the Dining Hall and have a bagel ever again.

Don't you dare make me write that fanfic between the two grumpy dads! I won't do it! I won't!

"Aro …"
"It's pronounced 'awesome.'"

Bahahahaha!
(Aro kills someone because she misspells his ex-boyfriend's name? Wow …)

"I want Leah to imprint on Angela, and have the steal Tyler's van and go off on fursplosion adventures."
Dude, let's make this happen RIGHT NOW! It reminds me of a Buffy/Doctor Who crossover I never got around to finishing! Except instead of with girls it was going to be Oz and Mickey and Jake!

Loving all the double-entendres and dirty jokes. Dayna and Noel, you two are hilarious together and have great debate/fight/discussion/things together.