Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season One

Everyone has, no doubt, heard of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I think it’s safe to say that everybody has some handle on the plot. Buffy Summers, high school student, is the Slayer that stands between the world and all kinds of unseemly evil. Oh, and there’s a love story between a girl and a vampire, ala Twilight. Still, as much as the two line summary makes me cringe and flee, the show was created by Joss Whedon (of my beloved Firefly) and is often hailed as a classic by a whole host of people whose opinions I respect. So, praying that Whedon could breathe life into dead-from-birth clichés like vampiric love, I slipped the first DVD into my laptop.

The show’s two episode opening storyline had me convinced that all my fears were insufficient to the horror that awaited. Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest possess clever moments, but that’s drowned under generic vampires, unexplored characters, and an unexciting plot. Not only is the story shown generic, it’s not well told. To be perfectly honest, if I hadn’t purchased a DVD of the entire season, I would probably have stopped here. Thankfully, the third episode – Witch – heralds a massive increase in the quality and intelligence of the show. And there’s not a vampire to be seen. Though the title might be Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the shows strengths are actually when it strays from those overdone beasts of the night and ventures into fresher territory. When the writers let their imaginations roam, we’re treated to interesting creatures enmeshed in more complex and surprising plots. The show’s core is, as it turns out, not the generic save the world tale of the opening, though that’s a part of it, but rather a series of supernatural metaphors for life and, especially, life’s teenage years – a rather more interesting proposition, at least to this viewer.

Unfortunately, the show’s believability and monsters are often crippled by the special effects. Shallow a complaint as it might be, the effects here are, by and large, awful. The actors in vampire masks look like people in vampire masks, the Master looks like a more generic rendition of Lord Voldemort (alright, that’s not the show’s fault), and a fair number of the show’s one off villains look downright silly. Teacher’s Pet, judging by the concept and the first half, should have been a quite good episode, albeit not a great one. The entirety of a science class falls for an attractive young teacher, who happens to be a Praying Mantis siren luring them to their deaths. Unfortunately, all tension departs like a fart noise from a popped balloon the second we glimpse the teacher in Mantis form. Simply put, she looks like a comedy prop.

That is nothing, however, to the menace in I, Robot…You, Jayne, which proves to be perhaps the weakest episode not focused on vampires. We focus on the internet and how teenagers react to it, which would be fine if the show’s conception of the internet wasn’t so ludicrously outdated by this point. That’s not, admittedly, the show's fault, but it’s difficult to accept the premise of a demon taking over the internet in 2011. The true final nail in the coffin, however, is how that demon looks, as pictured left. That shot’s from the show’s theme, which means that the creators were – somehow – convinced that the generic joke they’d spawned looked anything but laughable.

But the problem of effects is, thankfully, not universal. Many episodes manage to use more modest effects to far greater effects. Witch, mentioned earlier, is one of the best examples of this and my favorite episode from the season. A mother, desperate for her daughter to relive her glory years, uses black magic to enforce her daughter’s place on the cheerleading team. The spells are restrained in their depiction and all the more effective for it, and the episode features a fantastic plot twist and several moments that are genuinely creepy. Out of Mind, Out of Sight; The Pack; and Nightmares all function similarly, and all come off strong. Of them, Nightmares has the grandest scale of, perhaps, any episode in the season, showing the residents of the town’s nightmares coming to life. The premise is familiar, but Whedon and co manage to keep things interesting and even frightening while the show’s leads play their parts with enough daring and skill to render anything believable and gripping.

The season’s overall plot does manage, over time, to develop a shade more depth than is exhibited in the first two episodes, but never by all that much. The reason that so much Weird Shit goes down in Sunnydale is that it’s sitting on the Hellmouth, a portal to – you guessed it! – hell. The vampiric Master, played by Mark Metcalf, is trapped in the Hellmouth and struggling to get out. At times the Master seems like a dark god, at others like an even more overdramatic vampire grunt, and his plots to escape are often a tad roundabout. The much vaunted Anointed One makes his debut to help the Master in episode five, but rarely does anything of note. The final episode of the season, Prophecy Girl, brings the conflict between Buffy and the Master to a head. The episode is indeed a climax for Buffy’s character, and the emotional impact of some scenes is fantastic, but the vampires are – as expected, by then – rather disappointing, and certain aspects feel more cheap twist than climax. Overall, the vampire portion of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the least interesting by far, varying from weak in comparison to the show’s other elements to just weak.

Sarah Michelle Geller as Buffy successfully plays Buffy as both an exuberant and cheerful teenager and as a determined woman willing to risk everything for what she thinks is right. Buffy’s main conflict throughout is balancing the duties of being a Slayer with attempting to live a normal life. The dichotomy is explored often, but perhaps most directly in Never Kill a Boy on the First Date, where Buffy attempts to coordinate dating Christopher Wiehl’s Owen with not being slaughtered by a newly risen vampire, the Anointed One. The episode’s amusing, and laden with Whedon’s standard wit, but this is one of several cases where humor deflates the scene of tension. That being said, the concluding lines are excellent. After glimpsing the “excitement” of Buffy’s life, Owen tries to join her as a daredevil accomplice. Buffy turns him down, drawing a line between her and the rest of her age group. She may be young, but she’s mature enough to realize the seriousness of her situation.

David Boreanaz plays Angel, the vampire that Buffy – surprise! – ends up falling in love with. It’s difficult to view this with anything but gut wrenching terror in our post-Twilight world. Whedon can’t really be blamed for later abominations, though, and Angel is, so far, an interesting character in his own right, an enjoyable mixture of aloof mystery and humanity. At the close of the season, it still remains to be seen whether his relationship with Buffy will grow into something interesting or merely cringe worthy. Hope can be found in the fact that the show is aware how close such a love story dwells to the melodramatic. As one character remarks: A vampire in love with a slayer. It's rather poetic...in a maudlin sort of way. (Out of Mind, Out of Sight)

Nicholas Brendon’s Xander and Alyson Hannigan’s Willow form Buffy’s social circle, and the friendship between the three of them is warm and believable. Willow is the nerdy, computer and book focused girl, but the character is sweet, and well acted, enough to draw us in anyway. Xander is a joker who wears his Social Outcast tag proudly and loves to mock his own flaws: I laugh in the face of danger, and then I hide until it goes away. (Witch) He’s also, as comes up several times, a moderately charming mixture of sex-crazed and incompetent with the opposite sex. In the first two episodes, there was a third friend, Jesse, who’s dead by the third and never mentioned again. In fact, the inhabitants of Sunnydale – and of the high school in particular – have an incredible gift at moving on. In every school I’ve been in or heard of, a death would be a fairly major event, but here we’ve forgotten about serial murders on campus by the next day. Of course, forgetfulness is needed for the show’s mélange of monsters to work – or everyone would have caught on after the first mass murder – but it does remain somewhat disconcerting throughout.

The final important student character is Charisma Carpenter’s Cordelia, a school bully and bitch of the highest order. Whedon, however, is well aware of how clichéd her role is, and so he pushes her well past any sane measure. After a murder, she says: Oh please. I don't mean to interrupt your downward mobility, but I just wanted to tell you that you won't be meeting Coach Foster, the woman with the chest hair, because gym was cancelled due to the extreme dead guy in the locker. (Welcome to the Hellmouth) Cordelia may not always be believable, but her every line is hilarious.

Giles, played by Anthony Stewart Head, is Buffy’s Watcher and the school librarian. He’s an urbane, intelligent, British man who happens to be a technophobe and occultist. Throughout, he’s used for both laughs and drama, and he proves adept as both. The rest of the school’s administration is largely irrelevant, present at most for a single episode, with the exception of the dictatorial Principle Snyder (Armin Shimmerman), who comes to Sunnydale midway through the series.

The first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a mixture of the excellent, the overwrought, and the cheesy. That being said, almost every episode has enjoyable parts, and, when the writers allow their imaginations to run unconstrained by unconvincing vampire masks, the show almost always improves drastically. So far, Buffy seems a show that’s enjoyable but not essential. Season two will, in large part, decide whether I keep going.

Standout episodes: Witch; The Pack; Out of Sight, Out of Mind


FURTHER READING


My review of Season Two
My review of Season Three

47 comments:

  1. It picked up considerably for me when Spike et al turned up. Even at the time, watching it as a fan, some episodes are infuriatingly embarrassingly bad and then the next week they'd nail it. The balance between good and bad episodes did shift a lot towards the final seasons, by which time I was only watching it out of habit.

    I remember being pretty amused to see Quark from DS9 turn up as the principal.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Posting this review was a bit strange, because in time between writing and posting, I started season two - and the difference between them is incredible. Spike is fantastic, and while there is the occasional weak episode, most of it's quite excellent.

    I had the reverse experience with a Buffy actor. I watched an episode of Bones at a friend's house and kept thinking "Oh my god! Vampire!" whenever Angel's actor walked on screen.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My wife and I found ourselves in a very similar position a few years ago.

    After being quite obsessed with Firefly we decided to give Buffy a shot...we made it (laughingly) through season 1. Barely. And have never bothered to pick it back up.

    I'm pretty sure we ended up watching all of DS9 instead.

    Anyhow, I'm new here, but your reviews of comics, books, and TV are very well done.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can sympathize with your comments on season one. When it was on, it was really good. When not on...it was really, really bad at times. Buffy is, without a doubt, a very different show from Firefly. If you've any desire to give it another shot, I'd recommend School Hard from season two, where Spike is introduced.

    Thanks for the kind words, they mean a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I, too, was pretty meh on the first season, but the second season is light years better. The grenade launcher alone makes the whole first season a distant memory. Have fun watching! I wish I could go back and watch them for the first time again!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Phew, I was about to beg you to give season 2 a chance and then I saw your comment.
    Trust me, it gets better and better. When you get to season 4's 'Hush', you'll see the brilliance of Joss just shine.
    Enjoy. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. @Nicole: Grenade launcher? I really hope you're not kidding about that, because now I'm excited...

    @Christina B: I intend to. I just saw Ted, and wow, *fantastic* episode. I feel like I could probably write an entire review on it alone.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Most consider Season 1 as the weakest, and "I Robot, You Jane" as the weakest episode, but I must admit that the final lines of that episode were the moment I fell in love with the series: Buffy - "Hey, did you forget? The one boy I've had the hots for since I've moved here turned out to be a vampire."
    Xander - "Right, and the teacher I had a crush on? Giant praying mantis?"
    Willow - "That's true."
    Xander - "Yeah, that's life on the Hellmouth."
    Buffy - "Let's face it: none of us are ever gonna have a happy, normal relationship."
    Xander - "We're doomed!"
    Willow - " .... Yeah"

    ReplyDelete
  9. Certainly a great conversation. Pretty much all of the episodes had at least a few amusing parts. In I Robot, You Jayne I actually think my favorite part might have been [SPOILER] as the computer began typing out the user's suicide note. Probably the show's creepiest moment, in my opinion, or at least one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm one of the biggest Buffy fans I've ever met, but even I HATE season one. I avoid it at all costs, and I agree with your points about the cheesy effects. However, The show improves exponentially during Season two, particularly during the second half. From then on, it's brilliant( with the occasional clunker). Season 1 is by far the worst. You have a lot of greatness to look forward to! I have confidence that, as a Whedon fan, season two will make you want to keep going.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think I may follow you just for the opportunity to observe someone as they watch Buffy through for the first time...

    Assuming you'll be doing reviews of later seasons, that is...

    ReplyDelete
  12. I will be doing reviews of later seasons, and it'd be great to have you along, but I should warn you that I watch TV at a rather erratic pace, and, also, that I like to keep the reviews rather varied. So probably not more than a Buffy review a month, or something around there. I will, however, be discussing Firefly in two weeks to soften some of the waiting for any interested Whedon fans.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I also came to Buffy late, and I never would have given it a chance had I not been so impressed with Firefly. But I watched the first season and was completely underwhelmed. Then a year later I decided to watch season two, based on what others were telling me. Overall, I'm amazed to say I now like Buffy even more than Firefly. (On the other hand, had Firefly not been cancelled before it ever really started, I doubt I would say that).

    ReplyDelete
  14. So far I can't say I prefer Buffy to Firefly, though certain season two episodes are on that level, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am soooo jealous of you....I wish i could see Buffy again for the first time....
    Season 2 is great, and then season 3 follows, OMG!!
    Season 4 with some of the greatest episodes, Hush, Pangs, Something Blue, Who are you..
    Season 5, The body, the Gift, the whole season's arc, season 6 with its darkness, and then season 7 when you are so sad that it's going to end very soon.
    So jealous of you, watching it for the first time..enjoy it!

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's a rocket launcher, and you should suspend your judgment at least until it shows up at the middle of season two.

    I also came to Buffy late -- ie, last winter. I was unimpressed with the first season, and while the second season picked up it wasn't until the aforementioned rocket launcher episode that I found myself deeply moved.

    Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have found that the best Buffy episodes are some of the best TVV to ever have been had. Continue to watch. Nothing can be great all the time but after Season One, even the lesser episodes are better than most other TV shows. ( I realize the brilliance of Firefly and also grieve it not having at least a second season.)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I AM A BUFFY BUFF , WHEDONITES UNITE!!!
    I HEAR WHAT EVERYONE IS SAYING ABOUT SEASON 1 BUT LETS REMEMBER IT WAS 1997 TIME OF BEEPERS NOT CELL PHONES, BUFFY/ANGEL CAME WAY BEFORE TWILIGHT, AND EVEN HARRY POTTER WITH A MILLIFRACTION OF THE BUDGET. SO THE TWILIGHT IS ALA BUFFY AND VALDAMORT IS A RIP OFF OF THE MASTER NOT THE OTHER WAYS AROUND. I'M ALSO THRILLED YOU CONTINUED ON TO SEASON 2 BC IT IS ALOT BETTER AND EVEN HEART WRENCHINGLY SHOCKING AT TIMES. ALL THAT SAID I ENCOURAGE YOU TO REWATCH SEASON 1 AFTER SEASON 7 OF BUFFY AND SEASON 5 OF ANGEL(BTW ANGEL IS A MUST AND YOU SHOULD WATCH AT THE SAME TIME AS BUFFY FOR CROSS OVER REASONS)ANYWAYS REWATCHING SEASON 1 WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE WILL BLOW UR MIND IN WAYS LIKE "I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW FAR THESE CHARACTERS WILL GROW AND HOW TRUE TO LIFE A SUPERNATURAL SHOW CAN BE" U'LL GO NOSTALGICRAZY!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I wasn't implying that Buffy ripped off either Harry Potter or Twilight, just that the coincidences were unfortunate from a modern viewpoint. That being said, I don't think that time period works as an argument for the episodes that don't work, as the episodes that do were (obviously) made in the same era.

    Speaking of Angel, I've been wondering where it intersects chronology wise. After which Buffy season should I watch Angel, and which seasons of it? I've never been too clear on that, though I'm guessing it's not for a while from where I am.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I summed up my "come to Buffy" experience a while back on another blog. Rather than conjure up something new, I'll just plagiarize myself:

    Between the fall of 2009 and the spring of 2010, I watched all 144 episodes of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer". A few short years ago I would have scoffed at the idea of watching a show about a teenage girl doing battle with vampires. But then something happened. In my search for great TV to fill the void left behind by the early demise of "Alias", and thanks only to the Internet, I came across a highly acclaimed, but very short-lived series, "Firefly".

    I saw Joss Whedon's name tossed around with that other boy genius, JJ Abrams. Shortly after my tour through "Firefly", a new Whedon show was announced. "Dollhouse" was a huge disappointment out of the gate, but got a lot more interesting after cancellation was announced.

    What I needed now was more conclusive evidence that Whedon was truly gifted and that "Firefly" wasn't merely a charming fluke. My research (aka Googling) led me to Buffy. To find out if Whedon was legit, I decided that I needed to check out BtVS, so, about a year ago, I dove in head first and didn't come up for air for 6 months.

    With Buffy, Whedon created a community of young characters and their mentor, Giles. They were the self-proclaimed Scooby Gang. This community embarked on a 7 year journey full of friendship and heart and loyalty and adventure and fantasy and love and heart-breaking loss and desperation and perseverance and forgiveness and acceptance and redemption and sacrifice, and the kind of love we all could use more of.

    Whedon managed, in the midst of an outrageously unbelievable show, to touch upon every emotion we have in our repertoire. There were scenes along the way that actually left me weeping like a baby. Scenes that I would rewind and watch again and again to appreciate the humanity and the beauty and the heroism.

    There were weak episodes, to be sure, but the best episodes of Buffy were memorable and iconic, silly one moment and remarkably beautiful the next.


    I went on at greater length when I posted that elsewhere, but my point is that, if you just remain patient, the payoff is substantial.

    And, I would just add to that, that you haven't taken the full tour until you've watched the BtVS spinoff "Angel" from wire to wire. "Angel" debuts as BtVS begins its 4th season and, since crossovers occur from time to time, both shows should be watched in sync for maximum enjoyment.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This webpage was my bookmarked companion as I watched all of Buffy and Angel in order for the first time: http://buffyfest.blogspot.com/2009/04/buffyangel-episode-watching-guide.html

    I'd watched the first two episodes of Buffy, hated it, then moved onto the first season of Angel, which I enjoyed. I would have kept watching but that was the only season on Hulu at the time. Then this January I discovered all seasons of both shows online, and decided to give Buffy another chance. Now it's one of my favorite shows of all time.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you for the link, Katie Hart. I take it that the linked page is spoiler free? I initially viewed the wiki page after each episode just for the moderately interesting continuity notes, but stopped when I got burned by a handful of spoilers in one of the mid season episodes.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yes, it is spoiler-free, but only that page! I had a terrible time trying to avoid spoilers myself. I'd read reviews of each episode on IMDb, but a few would give away bits of future episodes.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm so happy you've given Buffy another chance because season 2 is awesome! Also, my dad and I have re-watched the whole series this year and I've come to appreciate the first season. You don't see it your first time around...or maybe you can but my 12 year old brain couldn't... but you can tell that the writers were experimenting with what worked and what didn't and really listened to what the online Buffy fans were saying to get show input and definite improvement. I mean, you could never say it was on the same level as Firefly's first season (*insert moment of silence for seasons 2-8 which never were*) but it has some great memorable moments and quotes, like you said. I can't wait for you to see season 2, though! That's one of my favorites because I'm obsessed with Spike. :D

    ReplyDelete
  25. Here via Whedonesque

    It's so rewarding - to see a new fan discovering the treasures of BtVS.

    I discovered it more than 10 years ago and I'm still under its spell. Looking forward to your reviews of the next seasons.

    ReplyDelete
  26. http://pastehtml.com/view/axf3skc01.rtxt is my own viewing order that I use whenever I'm doing a rewatch. It minimizes disk switching and preserves crossovers without doing things the Buffyfest order does like interrupting an Angel two-parter for a random Buffy ep.

    Also, don't be put off by the inevitable comments telling you this season or that is terrible, or the show jumped the shark after season N. Both shows grew and changed a lot over the years and opinions vary wildly. Ask 100 fans to name their favourite Buffy and Angel seasons and you'll get 200 different answers.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I couldn't get into Angel (I stopped after 4 episodes) and never watched Firefly, but Buffy is far and away my favourite show of all-time.

    I got into it at the end of the third season and watched it on from there on.

    Once the DVDs started to come out, I finally watched the first and second seasons. Like any great show, not every episode is great, and the early special effects are terrible. But every bad effect and average episode still had good to great writing and exceptional acting and human emotion.

    I have watched the season end to end twice and I think I love it more every time I watch it.

    Enjoy the journey - you are in for one hell of a ride.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Like everyone else said: Season 1 is really a weak link of Buffy and it gets really, truly great. Angel even more so in a lot of ways but I really consider them the same show. Definately watch them in the proper sequence in order to get that feel.

    I have to say I completely disagree with you on a few things here. First off the dated feeling of S1 is a big reason some of it doesn't work. It's about half of it for me. The "Clueless" language mixed with, as you even said yourself, the dated feeling of the internet. The "special effects" which is mostly just make-up you're talking about aren't bad /for the time/ during which they were done.
    The second half is the show was sold during a time when you didn't market the kind of show it became. Hell, he couldn't even market Dollhouse as a different kind of show 10 years later. He had to market it as Buffy S1 part 2: An episodic, appealing to the lowest common denominator piece of garbage. But look what happened to Firefly when he didn't do that? Sadly it didn't work out for Dollhouse since S1 just wasn't a good show either. He let loose in S2 though and it turned out really good.

    You just have to remember, as I do, Buffy S1 trendsetted in a hell of a lot of ways that don't seem that big because they're so common now. At the time it was the only thing like it. An action show pushing out a female main character. Exploring homosexuality. Human-Vampire love affair. Pushing your parent(s) out of your life and disregarding them. It was a show about life with what I look back on now as a tangled mess of a backdrop of monsters and demons. They drew me in, in the first place, when I was young but it isn't really the point. How stupid a lot of them are now is the downside to the show for me rather than the fun point of it like it was.

    I have to completely disagree with you about the Vamp' makeup and Moloch also. The Vamps still look good and Moloch has always looked like a badass to me. ;D

    ReplyDelete
  29. That is until they used the giant cardboard robot body. -_-; So lame compared to awesome demon Moloch.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Angel starts at season 4 of buff and there are a couple of crossovers and they shouldnt be missed.
    i think it works well doing buffy season 4 sode one then angel then buffy then angel and so on.
    season 1 of angel is kinda looking for its footing and has good arcs but over all same problem as season 1 of buffy some of the story lines are like REALLY.... but like i said the crossovers are awsome and a couple story arcs will have u going GRRR ARGH!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I do not recommend watching Buffy and Angel in the way that they aired. It interrupts the narrative flow of each show. I recommend watching all of Angel season 1 after Buffy season 4, then Buffy season 5, then Angel season 2, and so on. If you want to watch the crossover episodes together, then you can do that later. Eventually you'll get a handle on the timeline.

    That's the way I enjoyed Buffy and Angel. I tried watching it the way it aired, with switching from Buffy to Angel after every episode, and I kept getting sucked into a storyline on one show and not wanting to stop watching it. It works better season by season.

    Congrats on becoming a Buffy fan! :) You're very lucky. I sure wish I could watch it for the first time again. Discovering the Buffyverse was one of the best experiences of my life.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Nice write-up. Think you'll enjoy Buffy more and more as you go.

    @Psylash Another way to enjoy newbies watching Buffy for the first time is listening to the Potentialcast. It's set up so one fan who's seen the whole show is doing a podcast with three people who haven't. Very entertaining and no spoilers past the episode they discuss.

    ReplyDelete
  33. simply said. you will have no regrets watching BTVS. It is by far my favorite show to date.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Another Buffy lover joining in. I am in most agreement with the 1st season being just plain silly. However, there were a few core things that happened in Season 1. 1 big thing that happens, and Joss himself talks about this, is in the episode "the pack". In this episode he realizes that he can hurt one of his "own" characters, this being Xander of course, and how powerfully it can effect everyone. That is just one example of how a core idea transformed the entire series into what it turned into.

    On another note, I love Buffy/Angel, but given the chance Firefly would have been the better show in my opinion, just better all around characters and they were just scratching the surface!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Your size-up of the season is pretty spot-on for mine as well. My BtVS/Whedon enjoyment was only sparked prior to Season 7, actually, when some kind of interest in the strange comedic noir, juxtaposed with a kind of sad familial dramatic element, caught me by surprise. Years prior, I had completely written the show off with a laugh.

    I spent that summer inhaling the series. And that fall, watched Season 7 on TV. What an amazing ride! But boy, Season 1 was almost totally silly. No wonder I dumped it after the first date.

    However, I'm glad I plodded on, because it paid off in Season 2. Boy did it ever! Despite a few S1-like weak spots, I was securely on board the SS Whedon and a real Buffy fan was born.

    I hope you haven't been spoiled to any of it - or that any spoilers you've gotten haven't been big ones.

    Have fun! --Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
  36. i must insist that the chick who says not to go back and forth between buffy and angel is wrong. there are some cross overs that are amazing and it wont be a real crossover without the back and forth also season 4 of angel needs to be finished before season 7 of buffy season 6 of buffy and season 3 of angel has no crossover bc the switch to upn but its still fun to see what each hero is doing without the other

    ReplyDelete
  37. I did the same exact thing within the last year. I it took me 6 months to watch the first season, then I watched seasons 2-7 in the same amount of time.

    I did watch buffy and angel in order though. Which is worth it, but it's not like you will miss anything overly crucial if you don't.

    Season 1 of Angel aired at the same time of season 4 of Buffy.

    ReplyDelete
  38. My opinion, the crossovers in S-1 Angel and S-4 BtVS only work viewed together and in sequence as aired. Which largelyd etermines your viewing of the other ep.s. The S-2/S-5 crossovers are deeply moving but plot-meaningless cameos.
    I'm disappointed that you didn't pick up on how "Out of Mind, Out of sight" showed Cordelia's deeper and human side.
    -DaddyCatALSO

    ReplyDelete
  39. Good grief. So that's how to get blog traffic!

    ReplyDelete
  40. @DaddyCatALSO: Does Out of Sight, Out of Mind really show Cordelia's human side? It shows her being scared and not wanting to die, but I'm not sure that's such a deep trait, and the whole mess is, after all, caused by her shallow interactions with others.

    @Anton Gully: It seems so. (Note to self: Abandon less traffic-acquiring books and solely review TV from now on.)

    ReplyDelete
  41. i keep checking back to see if u reviewed more seasons!!!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I've reviewed Firefly, and written the review for season two, but I won't be posting it for a few weeks yet, as I try to keep the blog content varied. Glad to know you're interested, though!

    ReplyDelete
  43. i wish there was a season nine with the same actors we can only wait and see its all ready been 8 years :( xx

    ReplyDelete
  44. OMG spike is sooo hot i want him back on our screen

    ReplyDelete
  45. I kinda think your whole review is a bit anachronistic. You call the master a generic lord voldemort, but this originally aired in may of 1997 but the first harry potter novel (let alone the movie) was published june 1997 in the uk (sept 1998 in us). Twilight wasnt around until 2005. The same aplies to any comments about special effects, remember this was 1996-1997 when it was shot, a lot of effect thas are cheap and available to every filmschool student werent even invented yet or extremly expensive (the dusting of vampire which look silly now, cost about usd 5000 per piece on a show with a 1 million total budget per episode). Still the billiance of this series doest really come out to the later seasons. "Hush" in season 4. "The body" in season 5" And it doesn't have any thing to do with special effects, just great writing and originality. So I advise to keep up. Watch with a suspense of disbelieve at the flaws of this show and you will discover greatness behind it.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Jeroen: I am not a denizen of 1997, and I did not watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a historical curiosity. I was looking for a good piece of art. As such, it still seems far to me to compare it not only to the standards of its time but to the standards of what came after. If later works leave it comparatively worthless, then why should it still be watched?

    Of course, the "if" there is important, and that's not the conclusion that I came to. I did get over the weak effects, and I did continue. If you go to the top right part of the site and click on "Review Index," you can find my reviews for the following seasons. Seasons two, three, and five were all excellent, in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Very interesting topic, thanks for posting.

    ReplyDelete