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November 17 2008

DVD Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 1. Blogcritics magazine reviews season 1 of Buffy on DVD.

Hey! I wrote this! :-D
I'm currently taking my mom through Season 6 -- and I watch 'em strictly in order, so reminders of the early days like this one always throw me for a loop. Looking back on the series gives me vertigo.

The reviewer's assessment matches my own: "Nightmares" is the first truly good episode and "Prophecy Girl" is their first true great. I still sometimes feel that Gellar hit her peak there. Not that she's ever bad, but something about the way she laughs in the classic scene sets me reeling every time.

[ edited by ManEnoughToAdmitIt on 2008-11-18 06:51 ]
I'm rewatching the series myself, which is what inspired me to write the piece. I plan on writing reviews of every season of Buffy and Angel, as well as Firefly and Serenity. Maybe the comics as well.

It'll take me a long time, but it's an ongoing project.
I recently watched the first five or six episodes while visiting my sister and her husband (and they've since been hooked of course >:). I had the same feeling watching these early eps and revisiting how the characters met, how young they were, and thinking about all they would go through together in the following seven years.

Also, watching the final scene of "The Harvest" and remembering how it is mirrored in the final episode "Chosen" gave me a bit of a chill.
It's nice to be reminded sometimes how good the first year of Buffy is, though it's (rightly) overshadowed by the excellence that came after.
I think the review is a bit too kind to the first season. Sure, it was good, but it wasn't yet the classic TV series it was going to become.

At the very least, I think the overall 5 star rating is a bit much.
Well, I've always loved it to pieces, ever since I first saw it.
And 'The Puppet Show' in my eyes is one of the best Buffy episodes ever. I will never tire of watching it.
Indeed... that moment when Buffy comes bursting out of the library, running down the hall yelling 'GILES!!' was the moment I fell in love with the show. Just so well executed that episode was.
I'm rewatching the series myself, which is what inspired me to write the piece. I plan on writing reviews of every season of Buffy and Angel, as well as Firefly and Serenity. Maybe the comics as well.
It'll take me a long time, but it's an ongoing project.
UnpluggedCrazy | November 18, 06:55 CET

UPC in your first post ("Hey, I wrote this!"), I thought you were kidding.
I have to say that is the most insightful, totally dead-on, review of season one I've ever read. Coincidently, I just finished a re-watch of season one last night! (Not much on TV right now that interests me, so I go back to the TV love of my life).:) So it was especially fresh, for me.

I bookmarked your sight and can't wait for your reviews of subsequent BtS seasons.
I have a big soft spot for season 1 though it was bettered numerous times. 'Welcome to the Hellmouth' was such a witty and entertaining introduction to the series (though I thought The Harvest was pretty bad). 'Angel' was really well-done soap opera but with guns and vampires. And 'Prophecy Girl' was a a pretty damn classy episode. Sure, the season had some low points but I actually don't mind 'I Robot ... You Jane' or 'Teacher's Pet' , and I definitely don't think they're as bad as later episodes like 'Triangle' or 'Him'. So, yeah, despite the weaknesses of the first season (eg. terrible music, uneven writing, some caricturing eg. Giles and Joyce) I think it just oozes charm and wit and the characters are loveable from the get-go. In fact, I think I've just talked myself into giving season 1 another watch
That's the thing about Buffy. Season 1 is one of the weaker seasons (at least compared to, to pick an example at random, Season Two) but it's still Buffy, and therefore mostly good.

It might not deserve five stars out of five, but if it does, it's because a lot of the others deserve six.
I'd probably give it four stars, though I might give it more if the other seasons didn't exist (admittedly, that's not how star system should work).

I'd say:

Season 1: 4/5
Season 2: 5/5
Season 3: 5/5
Season 4: 4.5/5
Season 5: 3.5/5
Season 6: 5/5
Season 7: 4.5/5
Hm. Time for another complete re-watch!
Am I the only one who thought the first really good, REALLY EFFING SCARY episode, was "The Pack"?

Still my absolute favorite from that season.
I literally finished watching the entire series for the second time less than five days ago, and now I want to start all over.

Luckily, I found my first real-life Buffy fanatic friend on the weekend, so now I have someone to rewatch it with for a new and exciting experience!
Like Unplugged, I loved this show from the beginning of the first episode. I, too, would give the first season a high, high rating. The whole world was immediately magical to me. I didn't have to wait until later seasons to see that something extraordinary was happening. From WttH on, the show had a uniqueness and wit that transcended any early production values or lack thereof. The longer the show went on,the more I marveled at how it just got better and deeper. I'm not an uncritical fan of the Buffyverse, but in my opinion, the Buffyverse was generally - in a gestalt sense - incredible from the first episode onwards.

Yeah. It's getting to be about that time for another complete re-watch.
Am I the only one who thought the first really good, REALLY EFFING SCARY episode, was "The Pack"?
Still my absolute favorite from that season.

No, completely agree, damaged justice. The Pack is just awesome. It's the first Buffy episode I ever saw and I was hooked immediately. Best ep of the season, though Prophecy Girl is a close second for me.

My rating of the seasons would be very similar to Let Down, though I think I would rate season 1 and 4 a little bit higher, something like this:

Season 1: 4.5/5
Season 2: 5/5
Season 3: 5/5
Season 4: 5/5
Season 5: 3.5/5
Season 6: 5/5
Season 7: 4.5/5
I'd seen The Pack maligned for the "annoying hyena laughs," and so didn't think much of it for a while, but on a rewatch I was much more impressed. And, as Joss says, that episode taught them so much about how the show had to operate, namely: one of our own had to go bad. Thus setting the stage for the Big Bads for Seasons 2 and 6, not to mention Faith's arc, and pretty much all of the angst from then on.
Thanks, Shey! You do not know how exciting it was to come on Whedonesque and see one of my own pieces linked.

I just started rewatching S2, I'm about three-quarters of the way through "When She Was Bad" ('cuz I started it while I was dead tired and fell asleep during it). Not sure when I'll finish it and get the review up, but hopefully some time in the next month, maybe?

damaged justice, about "The Pack"...I'd always liked the episode, but rewatching S1 for review purposes, I was surprised by just how effective and suspenseful it was, especially because all of the things which Xander does actually are within him. He's capable of all of it, especially his sexual attack on Buffy. They're his animal urges, and that's such a brave place for a fledgling show supposedly aimed at the teen demographic to go with such honesty.

3.5/5 for S5, guys? That's, like, my favorite season after S2.

I think you can predict all of my star ratings (I'm an unabashed fanboy), but hopefully you'll still read the eventual reviews...
I'm also a big fan of The Pack. The visual look of the episode is completely different from all the rest of Season 1, as if it was shot much later than the other episodes. Buffy World has the "Original Draft" and the transcript here:
I get the feeling that Joss almost completely rewrote the script.

The direction, by Bruce Seth Green, is also unusually stylish, and I would be surprised if Joss wasn't more involved than usual.

And finally, the devouring of Principal Flutie. When I first saw this episode I was suitably horrified. But lately, when Willow asks, "Ate him up?" I find myself laughing hysterically. Am I sick, or is that scene being played for laughs?

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