This batch included Smashed, Hell's Bells, Life Serial, and Prophecy Girl. Since I got home a bit late and was sleepy, I knew I wouldn't make it through them all so, of course, I went to Smashed first. ;-)
Unlike the Wrecked dailies, there is very little difference between various takes. What you saw is what they shot. They seemed to know exactly what the tone is they wanted to set and from what angles to show it.
Once again, I'm struck with how un-divaish Sarah is. You see a lot of her laughing and joking between takes. While waiting for the crew to finish setting up the shot where she resecues the couple from the muggers, she looks like she's pretending to do some gymnastics routine. As she goes to stand on her mark she comments "I could be on circus of the stars..." and, it's a little muffled, but I think she continues with "...mostly I am".
There are several close-ups of Sarah following Spike's "You came back wrong" line. On the final one, instead of looking stunned, in her best flippant, put-off voice she states "No I didn't." I think my laughter may have drowned out the crews.
Watching the various takes of the B/S fight, I became aware of a few things. I didn't realize just how physical that shoot was for the two of them. There's a lot of pushing and pulling with James hitting those walls *hard* on several occassions. And Sarah really does throw him as much as she is able. At one point after they yell 'cut' you hear her cursing because she hurt herself.
As I mentioned earlier, line readings run pretty much as they appear in the final cut. When they did do multiple takes, apparently they would throw in one different line reading just to see what the result would be. For instance, when Buffy says to Spike "Can't be a human, can't be a vampire" she delivers it in a completely mocking tone and comes off as very harsh. Later, during Teh Sex and they are shooting her reaction shots to Spike, uh, entering her, she has this wide eyed shocked expression on her face which could have been construed not just as 'I can't believe I'm having sex with Spike!' but, 'OMG, he's huge!'. ;p
Once again, we see James beat himself up over flubs. When he can't seem to recall the line "Afraid to give me the chance" he becomes extremely frustrated, replacing it with a bunch of f***'s, until Sarah feeds him his line, calls for a reset, and completes the scene as if it had never happened. Yes, she's so selfish.
There was one instance where I wish they had used a different shot - a close up rather than a wide view. After Buffy sees the news report about the guard at the museum being frozen, she lets out a sigh and goes into full pouty lip mode. With the shot they chose to use in the final version, you don't sense what Buffy is truly feeling. This would have helped to better set up the chain of events to come.
Buffy, who, if she never was excited about her duty had always energetically met the challange, seems now to face it with a mixture of sadness and resignation. She doesn't want to go and only does so because it's what she's suppose to do. Yeah, one little look could have conveyed a lot.
I think her reaction was also indictive of the fact (and I hadn't thought about this before) that this was the first crisis she had to deal with without Giles help. And while trying to deal with the weight of that issue who should show up lurking in the shadows at the museum? Spike. Who really is stalking her at this point and won't leave her alone. She just wants to get rid of him, he won't go and continues to push her buttons, which causes fists to fly. Initally, I wasnt happy with how Buffy chose to react, but now I see her frustration and why she let loose as she did.
Once again, the cut of the episode that was originally presented to the network is here. There are a few small differences. Spike's line after Buffy tells him she only kissed him because of Giles - "I always wondered about you two" - is not present, so Buffy's "gross" reaction makes less sense.
The final scene between Amy and Willow in the Bronze is longer. They discuss in more detail going out and causing 'trouble'. EAA had a funny line that was cut. After Willow proclaims "forget", Amy says "Wait. Who am I?" and off Willow's worried expression "Just messing with you." :)
And, yes, the sex scene in it's entirety is presesnt. Honestly, given what they did show or implied over the course of the season, I don't know what the big deal is.
I also watched the dailies for Prophecy Girl. Not much to tell there. The disc is only about a half hour long and consists of the conversation between Willow and Buffy in WIllow's bedroom and Willow/Jenny/Cordelia in the school parking lot trying to escape the vampire horde. I only had two observations. First, how much better an actress Sarah has become. Now, she acts in every moment that is being filmed of her whereas before, if she knew stuff was going to be cut, she just sat there stone faced. Secondly, that the framing of shots is far better. Joss really didn't know what he was doing back then. ;)
I'll try to get my Alien3 observations up later. Obviously, I got sidetracked. ;)