Saturday, 21 April 2012

The Big Re-Watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer (season 1)

A look back at the all slaying all dancing show...does its still pack a punch?

A favourite show of mine in my early teen years when it was originally broadcast, I wanted to see if Joss Whedons massively successful show stands the test of time. Would it be too dated? Would it still resonate with someone in their twenties as much as it did when he was a teenage boy? Was it still, well, good? with these questions in mind, I decided to watch all 7 seasons,that's 144 episodes of vamp killing, witty wordplay, romance, teen angst, witching spells, sports bras, the hell mouth and a great title sequence...

Season 1 (aka the first one)

Immeditate thoughts-class.A bit dated going by the fashion statements,but class. The pilot is a prime example of the show- great fight sequences,witty dialogue, crude but forgiveable special effects and a dash of  adolescent empathy. Joss Whedon was on both writing and directing duties in the first episode and in many of the episodes throughout the shows seven year run, and you can see his input in all of the episodes that followed- whether it is the sarcastic humour, the well orchestrated  dramatic scenes or the kinetic action sequences. The only criticism would be that most of the characters have a 'THIS IS MY CHARACTER, HEAR ME ROAR' moment, but hey, almost every pilot of every show is guilty of this.

A s the season continues the characters get a little fleshed out, the long running romance between Buffy and the Vamp with a soul Angel begins to heat up and Giles (excellently played by Anthony Stewart Head) teaches the cast how to clean spectacles and act properly (zing!). The show takes a familiar page from The X-Files with episodes alternating between a monster-of-the-week (Xander as a hyena! robo-cyber-demon!) and the main season arc, speaking of which...
As with most of the seasons, there is a threat of Apocalypse, and the first seasons 'Big Bad' is a demon called The Master rises and tries to open the Hell mouth (directly under the school library floor/the scoobie gangs main hang-out) which they have to team and face in an excellent season finale.

All in all it is a great season. Sarah Michelle Gellar stars in what would become her signature role, and a supporting cast including Nicholas Brendon as the witty Xander, Alyson Hannigan as the awkwardly shy but brainy Willow and  Anthony Stewart Head as Buffys 'watcher' and school librarian accompany her through the highs and lows of being a Slayer and teenage girl battling through high school. By the end of its 12 episode run, it garnered a large and faithful audience (myself included) who loved its balance of horror, action, comedy and teen angst which made its such an enjoyable and entertaining watch.Soon season 2 followed which was bigger and much, much better...

1 comment:

  1. Last time I did this (round about 2008/2009) I started struggling once I got to season 4 and by the end of the series I hated Willow, perhaps more than any character in telly history. More than Janice Soprano, even.

    Season 1 of Buffy's great. I'm gonna buy the first three years on their own again soon, and commence a rewatch. So many great moments. Killing Jesse in the first episode, big oul Luke (who'd show up in season 2 as The Judge, also), Angel wearing the same outfit all the time, the bloody handprint on the cartoon-showing tv screen.

    AAAAAAND Xander's haircut and entire performance for the season, and the gammy dusty yellow cinematography, and principal Flutie, and Sid, and god it was a deadly year.

    Feel free to co-post season 2 on Four Dicks, Man o Scots.