Buffy the Vampire Slayer

17 10 2008



I really didn’t care much about Buffy at first. It was just another US teen show, I watched it when my nephews watched it. It was OK, I guess, I just saw some random episodes from the first and second season.

Then Estonian TV stopped showing the show for a quite a while – and as my nephew didn’t have a net connection at home back then, he asked me to download fourth and fifth season for him

I was in the university – 100 mbit/s connection – so that was not a biggie. Bittorrent didn’t exist in that dark age of the Internets, so I had to rely on eMule – and I got all kinds of crappy quality, including 64 MB episode packed with Real Video.

eMule being as slow then as it is now, it took quite a while to download all those episodes. One evening I didn’t have anything better to do, so I started watching them… and started with a random episode of fifth season. And I was shocked, the show was really quite good!

I didn’t do too much but watching Buffy for the rest of the week. Mostly season five, in random order – i.e. as they arrived. I decided to download rest of the show as well.

By then, the sixth season had started – and one of the first episodes I saw from it was “Once more with a feeling”. And that was it, I knew that I am sold to the series for good. How can you resist a singing demon?!

Now I am in the middle of watching the whole shebang for the third time. And it is still fresh and exciting to me – out of all the TV-series, I think only Babylon 5, my absolute favorite, can beat that.

When you start watching Buffy, just endure the first season. Yes, it has horrible praying mantis (horrible not in a good way!) and so forth… but just endure it. The Master as the nemesis is just really bad. Overcliche‘d, boring, dumb.

Second season gets better. For a first thing, Spike and Drusilla come to Sunnydale – and Angel can be endured much more easily when he is evil Angelus, not the boring Angelwimp.

Season three can be endured knowing that Angel will leave. I also like the mayor – Big Bad of the season. His humor, attention to small things… just gotta love it.

And of course, there is already lots of Spike in season three.

Fourth season is already pretty decent. A bit too many filler episodes (Beer Bad, one of the worst Buffy episodes!) – but then again, there is Hush, one of the best ones. Adam is extremely likable, even though his end comes a bit too easily. And I do like the last episode of the season, the dreams.

But BtVS peaks in seasons five and six – especially the latter.

Season five has Glory. First time I watched Buffy I didn’t like her. Dumb skanky blonde. But since then I’ve started to like her more – and at some point I realized that Clare Kramer does a brilliant job playing Glorificus. Now I enjoy most of the time she is on screen – and, of course, there is the memorable ending of the season.

Sixth season had Once More, With Feeling. Need I say any more? Oh yes, funny villains (I like Jonathan a lot), scary stuff, lots of feelings, lots of Spike. Good long complicated storylines, unexpected twists.

Seventh season was a bit of a let-down after the incredible sixth season. Not bad, just not as good. Buffy as a character gets a bit drawn out – I suspect Joss Whedon felt the same, that is why last season is as much about Spike as it is about Buffy.

Why do I like this show so much?

Storyline. It had continuous story arcs going not only whole season, but sometimes several seasons.

Good actors. Not all cast was good – some were outright mediocre – but there was Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles. And naturally Spike (James Marsters). He literally makes the show – occasional comic relief, occasional action hero, occasional lover. Spike truly is the best thing about the show – and one of the best handled characters in TV, ever.

Out-of-the-box. Lesbians in mainstream TV. Insanity. Issues. Relationships. Weirdness. Feelings. Fights. It has it all.

By the way – have you ever noticed, in Buffy vampires bite only girls who are alone in dark alleyways. But all the vampires you see are tall athletic men who are trained in martial arts. What gives?!


I got in to watching Buffy with Sander — It’s one of his favorite shows.  I knew for a long time how much he liked it, because he talked about it often.  It rates right up there with Pratchett.  If you spend much time with him, you’ll learn right way — Pratchett & Buffy quotes as often as possible.

I started out not really caring for Buffy much.  The first season was.. hmm.. shall we just go with “not the greatest”.  The episodes seemed lame, and overly contrived.  And even more hokey than I thought a tv show could be, with the huge snake..thing, and the morph-to-human-from-Praying Mantis..thing.  I geared up for the remaining seasons by promising my self a prize of buttery popcorn, with the even better prize of getting to watch David Boreanaz play Angel (and even better, Angelus).

But with the addition of James Marsters as Spike, in the second season, Buffy started to grow on me.  His well written lines, delivered with just the right amount of sarcasm and terror, were perfectly suited to the show.  The insanity of Spike’s girlfriend, Drusilla made this even more palpable.  And, eventually, made up for the loss of Angel to the Buffy show.

I’m not sure exactly how to finish this bit, as we are still only in the 5th season of Buffy.  But I can say, with definity, that I have grown to really enjoy watching the episodes.  I’ve learned to take each one with a grain of salt, a splash of humor, a dash of believing unbelievability, and come away with 42 minutes of entertaining fun.

I look forward to finishing the series, and adding my final opinion to this post.