Author Topic: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer  (Read 3210 times)

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

  • The Epic Trinity
  • Sacrificial Lamb
  • *********
  • Posts: 13239
  • "And all that'll be left is pure, white ash..."
    • Email
Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
« on: August 20, 2013, 01:18:32 PM »
I decided to create a thread for this show since I just recently finished it via Netflix. I'll admit that I wouldn't have even considered watching this show if it weren't for Avaitor's recommendation, but, I took that into account, and also figured that since I liked Firefly, Serenity, and The Avengers, it was worth it to give Joss Whedon's first TV series a shot. And, for what it is, I thought it was a pretty fun and entertaining show on the whole. It has a lot of flaws of its own, and its definitely not as strong a show as something like Firefly (though to be fair, that show may have developed more flaws if it actually had the chance to go on longer), but its still a great series in its own right, if you can get past some of the 90's cheese-factor along with the hilariously low production-values (even for the time). I figured that I'd sort of do what I did in some other threads, and rate this series in separate parts (in this case by seasons), with all scores being relative to the show itself, rather than being compared to any other shows:

Season 1 - 7/10

A decent start to the series, but it severely lacked the character depth and level of writing of future seasons. It was also the season that was most plagued by bad 90's era dialogue and cliches.

Season 2 - 10/10

The 2nd half of the season where Angel turns into Angelus is the main reason it rates so high for me, but having Spike present throughout most of the season also helps maintain it as a thoroughly awesome package the entire way through.

Season 3 - 10/10

The Mayor was yet another great villain, and the addition of characters like Faith created some interesting contrasts to the team. Buffy also had some interesting dilemmas to overcome throughout this season. This was, overall, probably the most consistently well-written portion of the show.

Season 4 - 6/10

Boring. Adam was a boring villain. Riley was a boring replacement for Angel. And the plot was just stupid most of the time. The only thing that really saved this season from being more boring, for me, was the inclusion of Spike, who really helped bring a lot of flavor to a mostly tasteless season with his great sense of humor. I really think the weakness of this season was probaly because Whedon was paying more attention to Angel's 1st season at the time, but that's just speculation, on my part. I will say that the episode "Hush" is easily one of the best episodes in the entire series though, so there is that.

Season 5 - 9/10

I think that this season was definitely a return to form for the series. You once again had a really threatening villain and a lot of heavy-handed stuff going on with the plot, including the death of Buffy's mother, Joyce, which was made even heavier by the fact it it was actually a "natural" death, which I have come to realize is ironically one of the most unnatural things to happen in this show. The only thing that keeps this from being a full 10 for me is that I CANNOT STAND DAWN. If the writers were intending to make her as obnoxious and annoying of a character as possible, then they actually did too good of a job. I don't mind how she was written into the plot, but the character honestly has no bright spots for me. There are many scenes that could have gone really well with a much better-written character, but Dawn just sucked the fun out of any scene that she had any sort of significance in. Still, even her inclusion couldn't do too much damage to what was otherwise a great season.

Season 6 - 6/10

The Spike and Buffy relationship was stupid. Everyone knows that, though ironically, just like with season 4, Spike was once again the best thing about this season, OUTSIDE of his relationship with Buffy (he was still funny as hell). The villains being The Triad (of nerds), including previously recurring characters like Warren, Jonathan, and Andrew was a stupid idea for the main villains of this season (it would have worked better as a one-off idea). I will say that I did actually like the finale of this season with Willow (though her character arc in this season dropped her from being my favorite female character in the series), and yet again, just like with season 4, it had one of the best episodes in the entire series in "Once More, With Feeling."

Season 7 - 8/10

It could be kind of wonky at times, and sort of suffered from a lot of the convoluted character development and plot-lines that had been mostly started from previous seasons, but the writing surprisingly held itself together pretty well despite all of that. We got a real sense of dread that was suitable for a final season of this sort, which is definitely a feat considering that we had already gotten that from previous seasons, so the fact that this season could make it seem like it was even bigger of a deal than that was really a testament to how well they managed to ratchet up the tension, here. I will also state my very unpopular opinion that I actually liked this season finale (and consequently the TV series finale) more than the season 5 finale, "The Gift." I really did like "The Gift," but something about this finale just made me feel like it was really a bigger deal. While "The Gift" was primarily focused on Buffy's resolve as a character, "Chosen" managed to feel like it was about everyone involved, rather than just Buffy, and considering how many characters the series had incorporated into the story by that point, that was no small feat. So, on the whole, I found season 7 to be a mostly great season for the show to go out on, even if it certainly wasn't close to the best season if the series.

So, yeah, on the whole I liked this show a lot. It has plenty of flaws, but I think the good far outweighs the bad, here. I'll create a new thread and give my ratings for each season of Angel once I finish that show, which may even be later today.

Dr. Insomniac

  • Thaumatrio
  • A Duck, Amuck
  • ********
  • Posts: 4279
  • I Startled a Cult
Re: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2013, 02:11:36 PM »
I should really do a rewatch of this show once I finish college. But there's always that sour feeling when your favorite characters like Cordelia appear in the first season as unlikable pricks. You know they're going to develop into someone cooler, but the first impressions are always the oddest.

Avaitor

  • The Epic Trinity
  • Sacrificial Lamb
  • *********
  • Posts: 12567
    • Email
Re: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2013, 02:17:49 PM »
I could only really do this for like, the first 3 seasons, but even then, I suck at ranking stuff like this.
Life is not about the second chances. It's about a little mouse and his voyage to an exciting new land. That, my friend, is what life is.

Sir, do you have any Warrants?
I got their first CD, but you can't have it, motherfucker!

New blog!
http://avaitorsblog.blogspot.com/

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

  • The Epic Trinity
  • Sacrificial Lamb
  • *********
  • Posts: 13239
  • "And all that'll be left is pure, white ash..."
    • Email
Re: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2013, 02:22:22 PM »
I should really do a rewatch of this show once I finish college. But there's always that sour feeling when your favorite characters like Cordelia appear in the first season as unlikable pricks. You know they're going to develop into someone cooler, but the first impressions are always the oddest.

EVERYONE is really different in the first season. You can tell the inexperience of the writers, directors, and actors during that first season of the show. Thankfully they step things up big time as early as the 2nd season, and even Cordelia grows out of her 1-dimensional bitch phase by that point in the series. Of course, her character development on Angel is just so good that it probably really would feel jarring to go straight back to the beginning and see what she was like at that time. I swear, by the end of Angel, Cordelia has become a completely different character in every single aspect than what she originally was. I find that to be pretty awesome, personally, and its saying a lot that someone like her ended up being my favorite female character in the entire Buffy-verse, and my 2nd favorite Character on Angel (Angelus is my favorite, and I mean specifically Angelus).
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 02:24:39 PM by Ensatsu-ken »

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

  • The Epic Trinity
  • Sacrificial Lamb
  • *********
  • Posts: 13239
  • "And all that'll be left is pure, white ash..."
    • Email
Re: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2013, 02:23:57 PM »
I could only really do this for like, the first 3 seasons, but even then, I suck at ranking stuff like this.

Well, It's not really ranking them. I was only just rating each season on a scale relative to the best and worst of the show, itself.

Avaitor

  • The Epic Trinity
  • Sacrificial Lamb
  • *********
  • Posts: 12567
    • Email
Re: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2013, 11:20:14 PM »
You know what my favorite episode of the show is, aside from OMWF and "The Body"? And maybe "Hush". And maybe "Restless".

"The Zeppo". It's such a fun little episode which completely helped to build up on Xander's character. It also has great bits for Faith and even bitchy Cordy, among others. Playing around with the show's serious side also helped towards its advantage.
Life is not about the second chances. It's about a little mouse and his voyage to an exciting new land. That, my friend, is what life is.

Sir, do you have any Warrants?
I got their first CD, but you can't have it, motherfucker!

New blog!
http://avaitorsblog.blogspot.com/

Spark Of Spirit

  • Forward & Up!
  • Da Mod Squad
  • Head Of City Security
  • ********
  • Posts: 16000
  • Keep Moving
Re: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2013, 07:46:17 PM »
My friend talked me into watching this.

Starting at season 1. And it has been a LONG time. And no, I won't quit because it's dated or anything. I know season 1 is almost always the weakest season in almost any show.

I'm not a Whedonite but I'll give it another chance.

It was either this or Supernatural.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Avaitor

  • The Epic Trinity
  • Sacrificial Lamb
  • *********
  • Posts: 12567
    • Email
Re: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2013, 08:15:38 PM »
I have a feeling that you'll appreciate Xander though.
Life is not about the second chances. It's about a little mouse and his voyage to an exciting new land. That, my friend, is what life is.

Sir, do you have any Warrants?
I got their first CD, but you can't have it, motherfucker!

New blog!
http://avaitorsblog.blogspot.com/

Spark Of Spirit

  • Forward & Up!
  • Da Mod Squad
  • Head Of City Security
  • ********
  • Posts: 16000
  • Keep Moving
Re: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2013, 09:46:29 PM »
I'm a bit over halfway through season 1. Angel is still my favorite part of the show, though I don't really dislike anybody (except Buffy at the beginning STOP WHINING), but the plots and writing aren't all that strong yet. Right now it's a decent MOTW show with some fun characters but I know it'll improve so I'll stick around.

I can't believe they ate the Principal. I knew he was a jerk but... wow.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

  • The Epic Trinity
  • Sacrificial Lamb
  • *********
  • Posts: 13239
  • "And all that'll be left is pure, white ash..."
    • Email
Re: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2013, 10:38:57 PM »
Whedon seems to have a bit of Togashi-ism in his writing style when it comes to killing off characters for the sake of shock value (or maybe it's vice versa). :sly:

Season 1 wasn't anything special for me, either, but it was a fun watch for what it was. I think season 2 is really when the writing in this show started to get legitimately good, and Spike and Angelus were the first truly memorable villains in the series. Season 3 is arguably the strongest season in the show, and Faith makes for a pretty good anti-hero to contrast Buffy. Season 4 is rather weak, IMO, but it has some strong episodes in there (most notably "Hush"). Season 5 is another really strong season. Season 6 is probably my least favorite season in the show, but it does have OMWF and a surprisingly good finale to sort of make up for it. And finally, there's season 7, which is the perfect conclusion to the show, IMO.

Overall, it's a surprisingly good show given how bad or cheesy it could have been given the subject material. It's not consistently great, but when it's great, it really stands out as some of the best programming to have ever been on television (at least as far as my limited experience with TV shows can tell). I'm glad to see you give the show another shot. Personally, I think it's just as good as Angel, as both shows have their own set of strengths and weaknesses.

Spark Of Spirit

  • Forward & Up!
  • Da Mod Squad
  • Head Of City Security
  • ********
  • Posts: 16000
  • Keep Moving
Re: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2013, 08:00:44 PM »
Yeah, season 1 wasn't all too great. The invisible episode kind of totally lost me (other than Cordelia showing she might have depth beyond being a cardboard cut-out) and the finale was sort of muddled. Still, I really liked the episode focused on Angel so I'll keep on trucking to see what's next.

... Really? Government assassins? That was like a Goosebumps ending shot.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 08:02:19 PM by Spark Of Spirit »
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Avaitor

  • The Epic Trinity
  • Sacrificial Lamb
  • *********
  • Posts: 12567
    • Email
Re: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2013, 09:03:36 PM »
Yeah, "Angel" is easily the best episode of the first season, give or take the finale.
Life is not about the second chances. It's about a little mouse and his voyage to an exciting new land. That, my friend, is what life is.

Sir, do you have any Warrants?
I got their first CD, but you can't have it, motherfucker!

New blog!
http://avaitorsblog.blogspot.com/

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

  • The Epic Trinity
  • Sacrificial Lamb
  • *********
  • Posts: 13239
  • "And all that'll be left is pure, white ash..."
    • Email
Re: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2013, 10:32:38 PM »
Yeah, season 1 wasn't all too great. The invisible episode kind of totally lost me (other than Cordelia showing she might have depth beyond being a cardboard cut-out) and the finale was sort of muddled. Still, I really liked the episode focused on Angel so I'll keep on trucking to see what's next.

Cordelia gets a lot more development in the next 2 seasons, though she still doesn't become the strong kind of character that we know her as on Angel....until that show itself actually starts. :sweat:

Even so, it's still great to see her develop from a bratty teenage bitch into a strong female figure who can prove that there's more to her than just trying to be popular. Hell, she gives up that angle pretty much by season 3 of Buffy, even though she tries to pretend that she's still that kind of person.

Also, if Angel was your favorite aspect of the show so far, then I think you'll really like season 2, because he gets a ton of focus, there. This is also the best we ever see of Angelus, IMO. His presence on Angel (the show) is great as well, but he never had quite the same impact to me as he did in season 2 of Buffy, where he definitely came off as his most threatening. And not just because of "Passion" (one of the best episodes in the entire series), but more so in how far he could go with his sadistic mental torture of Buffy and her friends. He managed to put her through all kinds of hell, and in many cases he did so without having to lift a single finger against her personally to do it.

Quote
Really? Government assassins? That was like a Goosebumps ending shot.

If you thought that was bad, you certainly aren't going to like season 4 (I know I wasn't a fan of it). :humhumhum:

Spark Of Spirit

  • Forward & Up!
  • Da Mod Squad
  • Head Of City Security
  • ********
  • Posts: 16000
  • Keep Moving
Re: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2013, 10:35:48 PM »
Yeah, season 1 wasn't all too great. The invisible episode kind of totally lost me (other than Cordelia showing she might have depth beyond being a cardboard cut-out) and the finale was sort of muddled. Still, I really liked the episode focused on Angel so I'll keep on trucking to see what's next.

Cordelia gets a lot more development in the next 2 seasons, though she still doesn't become the strong kind of character that we know her as on Angel....until that show itself actually starts. :sweat:

Even so, it's still great to see her develop from a bratty teenage bitch into a strong female figure who can prove that there's more to her than just trying to be popular. Hell, she gives up that angle pretty much by season 3 of Buffy, even though she tries to pretend that she's still that kind of person.

Also, if Angel was your favorite aspect of the show so far, then I think you'll really like season 2, because he gets a ton of focus, there. This is also the best we ever see of Angelus, IMO. His presence on Angel (the show) is great as well, but he never had quite the same impact to me as he did in season 2 of Buffy, where he definitely came off as his most threatening. And not just because of "Passion" (one of the best episodes in the entire series), but more so in how far he could go with his sadistic mental torture of Buffy and her friends. He managed to put her through all kinds of hell, and in many cases he did so without having to lift a single finger against her personally to do it.
I watched the first episode of season 2 not long after posting that, and it really was a tenfold improvement over the first season. Though I still have more to see, it does bode well.

Quote
Quote
Really? Government assassins? That was like a Goosebumps ending shot.

If you thought that was bad, you certainly aren't going to like season 4 (I know I wasn't a fan of it). :humhumhum:
No. freaking. way.  :srs:
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

  • The Epic Trinity
  • Sacrificial Lamb
  • *********
  • Posts: 13239
  • "And all that'll be left is pure, white ash..."
    • Email
Re: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2013, 10:57:48 PM »
To be honest, I don't mind the idea of the whole Government Conspiracy angle, because Buffy at it's core has always been like a campy horror show that just happens to have way better than average writing and acting (at least when it's at its best), which makes for surprisingly good drama that can actually make you take most of the insane things that you are seeing on screen pretty seriously, and legitimately enjoy it. That said, all of season 4's problems both amount to and can be summed up in one word: Boring....

I'll say that there are only 2 things that saved season 4 from being a total waste for me, and actually made most of it pretty watchable when it could have been much worse than that, and those 2 thins are: "Hush" and Spike. "Hush" is one of the best episodes of the entire show, and Spike becoming a recurring character in season 4 was terrific, as he really added in a huge fun factor to the show, which it seriously needed to counteract the dullness of Riley and The Initiative. Also, Adam is easily the most boring villain in the show.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 08:14:12 PM by Ensatsu-ken »