Buffy with her prom date

I watch this episode baffled. The end of school disco (as we call it over here) was a low key and meaningless event held in an overlit school gym. It meant nothing to anyone, no one dressed up, no one stressed about not having a dress or a suit or a date. I know because of US influence that proms are happening in our schools now, Adam went to one last year, we had the stress of getting a suit (we bought it from a charity shop, it almost fitted and was about a quarter of the price of hiring one), but even with that it thankfully didn't seem like the nightmare that a US prom is (or at least is, as portrayed in pop culture).

So I watch The Prom baffled. I also watch The Prom uncomfortable because not only has it the cruelty of the event (and it is cruel - which explains Coredelia's stress and embarrassment, Anya's pleading with Xander, and Tucker's use of Hell Hounds), it is also toe-curlingly sentimental.

And one other thing that bothers me was that I much preferred it when Sunnydale was oblivious to the hell mouth, and all the odd things could be put down to mass hysteria, dreams or gang-related PCP.

The only redeeming feature of the episode is The Sundays playing at the end, and that's probably their worst track anyway (although seriously who listens to anything but their first album anyway?).
So here's The Sundays track that really might have made the episode better:

Oh and, of course Rules of Buffy #3: If something doesn’t seem quite right… it’s a dream