Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Big Re-Watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Season 5)

(AKA- the first one with Dawn)

The fifth season. I remember watching it and thinking the show in general took a bit of a dip. Kinda didn't like the Big Bad Glorificus (Gloria), kinda didn't like how much of a whiny moaning toad Dawn was, kinda didn't like Spike being so tame and I outright despised Tara, and how much of a wet blanket she was, but hey, this is Buffy! there is always a saving grace in all of the series! season five can boast that it has Dracula! Giles cleaning his glasses again! And the Best. Episode. EVER.

The first episode is a pretty good one, Dracula comes into town and decides to take on our trusty slayer but Buffy has none of it and defeats (but not slay) him. Its all good fun, but every time I watch this episode, I wonder why he is only a monster of the week. I mean c'mon surely THE vampire of all vampires would have been a kick-ass Big Baddie of the season? and damn sight better the the stupid initiative we had in season four and better than season fives Big Bad Gloria...

'Glorificus' or 'Gloria' is some sort of uber evil god who is after the 'key', who she believes to be in the form of the Slayer, but is she the key? Clare Kramer gives a great performance which is Hammed up to 11 and is by far the best big baddie since season three's Mayor. Throughout the season there are plenty of entertaining face offs between Gloria and the scoobie gang, including a great head to head with Willow. 
The season also introduces Buffy's sister, Dawn into the fold and she whines and moans and is insecure as any other cookie cutter teenager in any other show is. Now don't get me wrong, there are some great Dawn moments later in the series but all in all, I ain't a fan, and how the show explains her sudden appearance in the Summers family seems more shoe-horned than anything else. I could go on about Dawn but I won't, nor will I mention Tara, I will keep my review for that wet blanket until season six. 

SPOILER ALERT. The Body is one of those episodes of T.V that go beyond the expectations of the show and receive praise across the board. And with reason. In the first half of the season Buffy and Dawn's mother Joyce (as always excellently performed by Kristine Sutherland) suffers a long battle with a brain tumor that has caused her great illness and finally succumbs to it in episode. Joss Whedon is on writing and directing duty for this episode, and he handles the subject with great sensitivity and skill. Great performances across the board and a glaring absence of a score bring an eerie quality to it. for Buffy herself it is obviously a tragic thing to happen and reminds her that, even through she is the Slayer, she cannot defeat everything. 

There are plenty of other stand out episodes (two Xanders!, The First Slayer again! and Riley leaves! hooray!) and the finale is, admittedly, awesome. and leaves us with quite a shock...where will the Scoobs go from here? will Dawn stop whining?  Will the show improve?...

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