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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1
centurion rory
xbringbacklovex
So I started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer a couple weeks. And guess what? I'm already more than halfway through the second season!!! I haven't watched as much this past week, because real life got more busy, plus I was rewatching some of the first season to write this, but I'm getting back to it now! It's fantastic, and I love it. I love all the strong and interesting female characters, the dialogue is great, and I think it does a good job of balancing a realistic high school experience and some kick ass saving the day action.

Welcome to the Hellmouth
First impression time. First of all the intro bit is super cheesy. I can forgive that though. I didn't really relate to Buffy at all at this point, but she is awesome. I like that she's not a star student, it makes her character a lot more realistic. Xander and Willow are both adorable both together and on their own. I can definitely relate to the outsider aspect of Willow, and of the rest of them. I love Cordelia's character, even if she's a total bitch. (Also she's gorgeous.) She's a lot more complicated than your average high school popular bitch. I adore Giles, although it's a bit weird since I'm used to him as Uther in Merlin. So many good bits of dialogue and writing. I love the balance and realistic mix between the paranormal and normal and how they work together. I didn't think the actual conflict was terribly compelling, but that wasn't really the important part of the episode, so that's ok.

The Harvest
As the show progressed more, I was continuously impressed by how flushed out all of the characters were from the get go, even the minor ones. I love all the smaller details and the impression that there's more to everyone than just what they mean to the plot. I love that the slayer is always a girl. Buffy is still a girl, and she faces the stresses we all go through in high school, but she's not just a defenseless girl who can't take care of herself, and that's amazing. She doesn't freak out because of some dirt or a rat, and she kicks some major vampire ass. And I love that Willow is not only smart but clever and resourceful too. It's great that they actually deal with the fact she can't just leave during school without people questioning it or just stay out all night or leave home whenever she wants, and don't ignore that real life is going on as well. I was a bit perplexed by the fact that Xander, and Willow, were more concerned about Buffy's safety when they had just met her, and they were about Jesse, who seems to have been Xander's best friend. Xander did seem concerned, but I felt like they would have been more concerned. I did love the line "Besides, it's this or chem class." I know the exact feeling. Also loved the bit where Willow tricked Cordelia into deleting the computer program. The ending was adorable.

Witch
I liked this episode.  Much less predictable than I thought it would be. I totally called that the witch was Amy's mom. And then, I was like, nope I was wrong. And then I was right! Woo. I love how this show takes very real problems and stories and then mixes in the supernatural elements. Robin Riker's portrayal of Amy as her mom was wonderful. I love how the show never loses it's focus on real life just because of what supernatural conflict is going on. Also, Buffy had some rocking dresses this episode.

Teacher's Pet
First off, I'm rarely ever scared or grossed out by bugs, but ick! Way to combine gross bugs to the max and a creepy rape-like storyline into one. I like that they do show some teachers that are capable and honestly care about the students. I feel like that's not appropriately portrayed in a lot of shows about high school. Pity he died in this one. I love all the different music they use in the show, and at the Bronze. Though I wish there was as much good local music in my area, and I don't even live in the middle of nowhere. I'm also pretty sure most high school boys would come on to a substitute teacher like that, even if she was really attractive. I guess I can chalk that up to the insect pheromones though. I really appreciate that Giles and others don't just blow Buffy off when she has a suspicion about someone. She's the slayer, so she should know what she's talking about, and it's refreshing that she's taken seriously. CGI was pretty ridiculous at points, but it didn't really take away from the episode. Also, whoa! What was that ending? As far as I've seen so far, it hasn't come back, but it doesn't really seem like this show to include something like that without ever referencing it again.

Never Kill a Boy on the First Date
I love how this show continues to have characters that are interesting and not just shallow stereotypes. Some very cute and fun moments in this one for a dramatic storyline. Loved Giles saying Emily Dickinson is a good poet "for an American." And Zander's watch was adorable! Also, Buffy's furry striped jacket is pretty rockin. And good for Buffy for turning Owen down at the end where he clearly wanted something that would have been bad for the both of them. All in all, not one of my favorite episodes, but still fun.

The Pack
Another good episode where this show takes a lot of real high school situations and puts a supernatural spin on them. I think this one does it really well. Although there's a compelling magical take on it, there's a lot of very real elements to the story. I liked how they played on the stereotype of the dodgeball game, but didn't take it to the ridiculous cliche that so many shows and movies do. I really love how seriously this show takes things. This show goes to a very dark place. It doesn't make light of the things that happen, but instead really dig into them and don't shy away from the things we don't necessarily want to think about. I'm glad they didn't make Willow lose her cool in the library. She may have been scared, but she stayed in control of herself and didn't just become a screaming mess. She acted quickly and stayed the brilliant Willow I love.

Angel
I really liked the development of Buffy and Angel's relationship this episode. I'd heard stuff about the show before, so I knew he was a vampire, but I really enjoyed the storyline anyways. Darla annoys me though, especially her voice. I really did like how they did the mix up with Darla and Angel as Buffy's friend. I thought that was quite clever. I have noticed that some vampires such as Angel, and later Spike and Drusilla, tend to stay in human form even when they're alone or with other vampires, while most tend to stay in vampire form unless they're trying to trick someone. I'm not sure if there's any supernatural reason for that, or if it's cinematic way to show that there's more humanity in them then other vampires. I'm also a bit confused as to how a crossbow would kill a vampire if shot through the heart, when I thought it was supposed to be only a wooden spike that worked.

I, Robot... You, Jane
Watching this more than ten years after it first aired, I will never find all of the technology storylines not funny. The lesson in this episode is only more relevant today than it was then though. And the predictions about where society and technology was going to go certainly turned out to be true. I also like how a lot of this episode's character arc, even though it's kind of about Willow's romantic story, ends up being more about Willow and Buffy's friendship. It's always wonderful to see good female friendships on tv shows and movies, and there's some beautiful moments of that on this show. I really liked the development of Jenny's character, and the idea of techno pagans, even if that's not actually how she was probably introduced to magic based on the second season. I'm sure magic and the supernatural would definitely have a place on the internet if it was real. I do agree with Giles about books though. I love the internet, but there's something special about a real book. And there's nothing like the smell of a library or a bookstore. I love it. Also, the ending was kind of adorable.

The Puppet Show
*Shudders* This episode gave me the major creeps. Something about puppets is just so creepy. Even if the puppet wasn't actually the culprit, it was really scary and unnerving. That was an interesting twist though, I was definitely not expecting that. Then I was convinced for a while that Principal Snyder was the demon. I still don't like him even if he isn't. I'm also not sure all of Morgan's behavior was explained by the cancer. Also, what was with the whole bringing the dummy to class thing? That was weird and it didn't seem very realistic that teachers would allow it. And we almost lost Giles :( I would so not be happy. There was a nice mix of the creepy and the funny though. Cordelia's act and the trio's struggles with their act were both a lot of fun.Their little scene at the end was adorable. And as a flute player myself, the band/dancer rivalry made me laugh.

Nightmares
Another quite creepy episode. And other one that does a really good job of combining normal and supernatural elements. I find it a little odd that Nazis are Xander's biggest fear. I mean, yeah, the Nazis were awful, but that seems a bit random. Figures that Giles would be afraid of not being able to read. And that Cordelia would be afraid of bad hair and being on the chess team. Buffy's nightmare scene with her father was heartbreaking. I don't know if I can say anything more about it than that. And clowns in a horror setting always freak me out, even though I'm not actually scared of them. Billy's story was really sad, and I think quite well done. The whole facing your fears thing was a little cheesy, but I guess that doesn't make it any less true!

Out of Mind, Out of Sight
Such a sad episode in some ways. I loved this episode because of it's focus on loneliness, which really hit hard. I've had issues with depression lately, and loneliness has been a big part of it. I can definitely relate to the whole feeling invisible and left out aspect, from the viewpoints of both Marcy and Buffy. I've had that same kind of feeling where I make friends who have their own inside jokes going on and I end up feeling left out. And I've definitely felt invisible before. I even found myself relating to Cordelia on the loneliness front, regardless of the fact that I am in no way popular, when she said "I can be surrounded by people and be completely alone. It's not like any of them really know me. I don't even know if they like me half of the time." Despite the differences in situation, I really related to that whole scene. And in spite of her faults, I found Cordelia growing on me more and more as the season progressed. I like that we see her having a good relationship with a teacher, caring about the class, and in her own way, genuinely caring about some people, even though she has a "fabulous lack of priorities" as Xander said. And I liked the good balance between respecting the causes of Marcy's invisibility and the sadness of her story, and the good drama from her genuine insanity caused by the loneliness. I really loved the plot of this episode, compared to a lot of episodes which I enjoyed a lot, but didn't really care for their plots. The ending was really creepy, and I'm curious to know if it'll ever be brought up again.

Prophecy Girl

Back to the main plot! And to relationship drama! I've never really been one for drama, but I think this show does it fairly well. And I do like the growing relationship between Jenny and Giles, that Giles isn't just a one-note character who provides advice and knowledge and training, but isn't any deeper than that. And I'm glad that Willow turned Xander down when he asked her out, even if she likes him. I love how strong she is sometimes. In terms of the actual plot, I thought the way Buffy handled finding out about her looming death was really well done. I mean, the season started out with her having quit being a slayer, so it only makes sense she would try to now that it's almost certain she's going to die. I mean, she may be strong, but she is only 16, and most people wouldn't be able to willingly go die, even if they were brave. She does eventually go, and that's what makes her so brave, that she does it in spite of being terrified. I also think it's quite realistic that Xander and Willow care more about her life than the Master rising. I did think the plotline was a little predictable, though maybe that's cause I'm watching it now, when I know Buffy was still around for a bunch more seasons. The Hellmouth effects were pretty lame in the end, but I guess it was the 90s. And in the end, even though he killed her, I'm not sure I ever believed he was much more dangerous than some of the other vampires. All in all though, a really good finale!

Now on to the rest of the second season!

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Buffy! I always get super excited when people start watching this show. It's probably my favorite show ever, and I'm glad you're enjoying it so far! It definitely only gets better. The part you said about it taking things to a dark place? Ahahahaha. You haven't seen anything yet :P

I'm definitely excited about getting into it! And a little bit regretful I didn't get into it earlier. Although, now I've got a whole bunch of it to watch without waiting, so that's always good!

I've heard it only gets better and better. I've definitely seen the darker stuff come out in season 2 so far, and I'm really enjoying it so far.

I didn't get into it until last year, but hey late is better than never xD

Season 2 gets pretty dark, yeah. Definitely not the darkest though. But I absolutely love dark!Buffy; the darkest parts are my favorites, so.

Never too late to get into a good thing in my opinion :)

And I do love when things get dark and creepy!

And yet again I'm lacking a Buffy icon. How, how can this be.

Buffy was my first fandom. Before I even knew that fandom existed. I love reading what you thought of it all first time round. I didn't actually get into it until season 5 I think, so watched all of these knowing full well what was coming in the future, so it's cool to see how it develops without that.

And it's also interesting to see that you've picked up the exact same things I do watching that show.

I have noticed that some vampires such as Angel, and later Spike and Drusilla, tend to stay in human form even when they're alone or with other vampires

If I tell you it's because they had pretty much no budget and couldn't afford to keep putting their regulars in make up will it spoil the effect? I like your explanation better though!

thought it was supposed to be only a wooden spike that worked

Jossverse has anything wooden working. I get confused watching other vampire things as in my head Joss is God with regard to vampire rule, I forget that he really isn't.

I did think the plotline was a little predictable, though maybe that's cause I'm watching it now, when I know Buffy was still around for a bunch more seasons

When they filmed the show (and when it aired I think?) they hadn't been renewed, so I agree it probably played better first time round. I do love that ep though, is generally the one I show people when I'm introducing them to Buffy, as the opening 2 parter is a bit much all at once!

Also loving all your comments know what's coming. Especially as much of it matches my own or the general consensus on Joss Whedon too. The character development and the way stories play out. And definitely the idea that they aren't scared to go to the dark place!

Hope you don't mind the random (and rather long...) comment. Figured as I keep running into you over on Doctor Who I'd check out your journal, and then well, Buffy, so I had to stay and talk! I'm about halfway through S2 in my re-watch too, so am off to continue!

No worries about the random and long comment :D It was a pleasant surprise. I friended you back. New friends are always welcome and I love discussing stuff.

I didn't actually get into it until season 5 I think, so watched all of these knowing full well what was coming in the future, so it's cool to see how it develops without that.
Unfortunately (I guess), since I got into it so late, I do know a fair bit about what happened in the big picture from reading stuff on the internet, like Angel getting his soul back and getting his own show, and Willow becoming lesbian, and other stuff, but I try not to read too many spoilers about it now that I'm watching it and try not to let what I already know influence my opinions on it as I watch.

If I tell you it's because they had pretty much no budget and couldn't afford to keep putting their regulars in make up will it spoil the effect?
Nah, I'm fully aware of the more superficial reasons shows and movies do these kind of things. Though originally I wasn't thinking about it from a financial aspect, but a more aesthetic aspect. Either way, I do realize these things, I'm not naive about it. I just like finding something to explain it that makes sense with canon. Like, with the Narnia movies, Prince Caspian had a Spanish accent in his first movie, and then a British one in the second. I'm sure it's just because of a change in directors and laziness, but I like to pretend it was because the Telamarines had Spanish accents and the Narnians British ones, so once he became the Narnian king, he got a British accent. Stuff like that.

it probably played better first time round
I've gotten this impression from several episodes. It doesn't really lessen my enjoyment of them, but it does make the actual conflict less interesting sometimes. I just focus on other aspects.

And I do love when shows get dark and creepy! Part of the reason I loved Moffat's episodes in the first four seasons of Doctor Who, and am so excited about the new season. And I'm loving it in Buffy.

The special effects can be pretty amusing at times because not only was this made in the 90s, it was on the WB, and thus didn't have much of a budget.

And even though some of the Monster of the Weeks in season 1 can be a bit weird or lame, the characters totally carry the show. I love Buffy and Willow and Cordelia so much. <3 <3 I love that these female characters are all really interesting to watch, and they're also so very different from each other.

Yeah, I mean, I watch Doctor Who, so I'm used to some cheesy special effects. It doesn't really bother me.

I love the characters. Some of the episodes I didn't really care about the plots very much, but all of the character interaction made me love them anyways.

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