BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
My niece is finally of age where she can watch season one of BUFFY so we watched a bulk of season one last night. Here's my thoughts:
When the show first started, I avoided it like the plague I thought it was going to be. I had had enough of vampires to last a life time and was sure no one could do anything new with them. Then I heard it was going to have demons in the bodies of the soulless victims of people and that made me want to watch it LESS. I hate when vampire lore is screwed around with and hate it when they say that crosses don't work or vampires aren't really vampires and not the real person any longer...I hate that and still hate that about BUFFY's mythology. It just doesn't work dramatically for me. We know on the outset that Xander can't realy get through to Jesse because Jesse is no longer in the house, you know? The other thing is that from the bits I saw of the movie BUFFY I didn't want to see this at all. I didn't realize it would be stylisically different from that camp fest. I still haven't seen the movie. I probably never will. To me, the character was going to be an airhead. The thing that drew me to the show is the idea of a little child the Anointed One being...a leader or some kind. I think the show blew that totally but more on that later. And Angel. If demons entered the body, then HOW could this guy be a good vampire and that really lured me to the show. Then episodes like INVISIBLE GIRL made me stay.
WELCOME TO THE HELLMOUTH and THE HARVEST set it all up and rather well too. Frankly some of it was boring. Yet some of it was not. It was surprising that Jesse gets turned and killed off later on. Darla is an interesting villain as were most of the others including Luke and the Master, although I could have used far less of their scenes together in the lair. I guess I wasn't paying attention but who locked the Master in a forcefield? An eternal order? A brotherhood? I just wasn't that into the explanations mostly. I shoulkd have been listening better but it was a long week. The bonding between Buffy, Willow and Xander was nice and that Buffy was so nice was cool but very unrealistic. From what I saw of the movie (not much granted), she probably would have sided with Cordelia but anyway...it was nice to see someone of good acting skill play someone of shallow behavior like Cordelia and I hoped that she would become more of a character in future stories...not sure I like how ANGEL the series made her END but that's another long story. THere were some real angsty stuff going on here and alot of it was great, some of it was dull, some of it looked to the future and I guess any set up that can do that is correct in making others come back to it. I didn't...at first. It took the ep ANGEL to lure me back and INVISIBLE GIRL to keep me. Anyway there is enough here to warrant more interest. THey also made Giles very wimpy didn't they?
WITCH was also one I watched since I didn't know how the show would handle non vampire threats and villains. This one was rather good with some great scenes, some gruesome, some funny. Wasn't sure that doping Buffy in the third ep was a good idea but it was funny. SOme really great stuff here. Amy was not a great charcater but she fit the storyline and the ep. I was not sure what was going on and anyone raised on X FILES and other shows with body swaps can tell you that nowadays i'ts routine stuff but in 1996 not so much even if TREK did do it in the 1960s (as did LOST IN SPACE with the Robot and Smith no less!). In any event, it was a good way to start a show that didn't just do vampires. The acting was good, the script tight and intersting with lots to say.
I know a lot of people don't like TEACHER'S PET and one can see why but I still like it. I think it says a lot about the relationships but even so< i had hoped that the male lead in this show wouldn't have a crush on the female lead for once. Still, is that realistic? I mean look at Buffy. It's hard to reconcile the Willow that I know in the later seasons and from ANGEL the series but this Willow is so innocent, so funny and so on the mark with wit. Not sure but I think she's got the start of her lesbian moments here and it's why she's nver really dated I'd guess and it's just that she doesn't know it. The monster could have been better designed or CSGed or whatever but in the dark it is really quite disturbing. The Virgin thing doens't really come off as funny but annoying and sorta shallow. I like the idea that a teacher that liked Buffy is killed. I wish more was made of that. The last scene of her and the glasses is amazingly touching but why were his glasses still there and his jacket?
ONE THING: did the dvd set change the music? It seems as if some of the bands playing are not playing the songs I heard when I viewed this on TV? Is that true?
NEVER KILL A BOY ON THE FIRST DATE has a remarkable title. It's also very very well done. Owen though: would Buffy really abandon that boy? I mean she does it to save his life and tha'ts noble but ...something doesn't seem right in a way. I thoiught for sure he was dead in the climatic fight and that would have been cliche I think. There's alot of action here and one was not sure that Owen was going to make it out alive. The angst between Buffy, Xander, and Angel with clueless, innocent Owen is nice. Owen was a good character. Did he appear in any of the comics or novels? In a way he's too nice a charcter to inhabit the Buffy universe and he would have probably been killed off. A really funny and good ep. Sarah does a great comedic job here. Still not sure about David as Angel though: lve the idea but he seems a bit...I duinno, full of himself? Xander's jealousy is getting annoying. Also: what was this about the Anoinited One? Was he a vamp? A little boy with power? Why should the Mastedr be respecting him or fearing him? Or using him? It didn't really gel to be honest.
THE PACK: I gather that a lot of people don't get this one either or like it. I like it. It's diffrent. I hate HATE that the pig had to die. Flutie I could understand and that was disturbing, too. One felt sorry for the principal and his death scene went on FAR too long. It was rather upsetting. He was the nice principal. The actor who plays Xander (think I'd know his name!) did a great job and this seemed to be Buffy's first near rape. Leaving Willow alone with Xander was dramatic but stupid and I feel the pack did a good job in delevring a sort of unnerving horror driven by something different than vampire lore. Still, even so, some of it reminded me of THE LOST BOYS. I didn't really get the ending. SO Xander remembered? Why not let the girls know that? Because of the near rape? or what. A bit uneven of a script but not as bad as some say and cdertainly not as bad as the robot ep.
ANGEL is probably the best ep of the first season and certianly the best of the EIGHT eps we watched last night. It also hints as much of what is to come. Angel getting mistaken for biting or attacking Buffy's mum; Darla; the Anointed One stuff which does'nt come off. the ep still doesn't gel that way. The interaction between Buffy's love and her hate and her destiny is sort of...amazing. Xander is quite funny here, "Okay, now I'm saying something. You saw him naked?" Just great. The fights as in NEVER KILL...are amazing, too. Darla is a good villainess. I really thought this was the end of her though and she deserved it. An entertaining ep which never bores, and keeps one wanting more while also delieving on an ep basis. Buffy and Angel both know they should part but they just keep coming back...but not for quite a bit...while I wanted more of this, it was doing the show good to keep other things going on even if they were bad eps like...
I ROBOT, YOU JANE, starts out with some intriguing stuff but none of it really original. On line predators, a creature in the computer as in the good movie GHOST IN THE MACHINE and LAWNMOWER MAN and sequels, and even a Dave ala 2001 A SPACE ODYESSY reference. The look of the robot is frm the movies PREDATOR, PREDATOR 2, etc. Mix with Willow (love how she tells the really bitchy in this ep Cordelia to DELIVER and Cordy deletes her own project by hitting DEL). Computers looked old in THE FUGITIVE ep the 2130 where Kimble was being hunted by a punch card computer! but here they also look dated, big and bulky. I also noticed that NO ONE has or uses a cell phone. Well it was 1996 or 1997. That Willow is so stupid is stupid. Like that Xander realizes he really loves her or does he? realize it or love her? THe last scene foreshadows the truth: none of them will have normal relationships. The one that comes close in future is Willow but even her's are not normal and don't really last. She and Tara had a chance but Tara died and rose on or ascended or whatever. The entire climax at the computer thing doesn't really hit the mark. It's sorta routine.
All in all only one real bad ep in the pack of 8 and even that wasn't terrible. It was watchable and my niece just loves the show.