I became familiar with Joss Whedon a few months ago through Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which I love. I’ve heard acclaim for Buffy The Vampire Slayer in the past, but I’ve never paid much attention to this as I’m caught up in (and behind on) way too many television shows already. I was also under the impression that a) Buffy was a gruff, male adult with a chip on his shoulder, b) the show was set in the eighteenth century, and c) all the characters were really mopey and not relatable in the slightest…no, I don’t know either.
Buffy Summers has never had the chance to be normal. She is the Slayer, the only one with the strength and the skill to keep the world safe from demons. While other teenagers go out with their friends and have fun, she battles vampires. It is a burden she hates, but is stuck with, and shirking off her duty may mean the end of life as we know it. By her side? Two social outcasts and the school librarian; together they stand against the forces of evil.
The first season consists of twelve episodes, each around 45 minutes in length. I chewed through it in four days, because when I find something new I like—I binge. I would have finished sooner if not for life. Of these first twelve installments, my favorites have to be Witch; I, Robot…You, Jane; Nightmares; Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight and Prophecy Girl (the season finale), although all the episodes are entertaining and worth watching.
I would like to talk about the characters, because I love them. Buffy makes a great protagonist—she is intelligent, kind (even to people who aren’t), strong (physically, emotionally, and mentally), good in a crisis and extremely noble. Xander reminds me a particularly enthusiastic puppy, and Willow’s awkwardness (if you could even call it that) is adorable and, on occasion, hilarious. Giles is a valuable addition to the team, being the source of any information pertaining to the supernatural, and I can definitely relate to his love of the library. I like watching these characters grow and interact with one another, and to me they feel very real.
Although I am slightly sick of Angel.
The overarching plot is interesting. It’s not spectacular, but it’s not boring, either. It’s tied in well, and I’m not confused yet, which is good. One qualm I have with it is that I feel like the Master has a lot of wasted potential. They build him up, but he isn’t as scary as he could be. This is made up for by the looming threat of hell being opened, though, so it’s acceptable.
Individually, the episodes are consistently unique and well-done. Though the name of the show may focus on vampires, the supernatural elements of each episode vary, and vampires seem to usually be involved only in the episodes that directly relate to the big picture of the plot.
Another thing I like is that while each episode includes some sort of paranormal crisis, it also provides insight into the characters’ lives in high-school. The fact that these people can balance homework and social lives with monster slaying on a regular basis is admirable. Of course, it’s difficult. Buffy has a notably hard time staying out of trouble with the school district, as she inadvertently wrecks the school a lot during the course of her fights. With the world needing saving all the time, she doesn’t have a lot of opportunities to keep up with things like, say, homework. In addition to all this, her mother isn’t aware of Buffy’s duty as Slayer—this is the main cause of the rift between them and their distance.
On to the season finale: it’s good. I’ve seen better, but I’ve also seen worse, and this one is good. It’s dramatic, suspenseful, and, at times, sad and unfair. Buffy really gets a chance to shine. She has to make some tough choices; the situation she’s placed in is a terrible one, but she handles it beautifully and proves herself to be a truly honorable, awesome heroine.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer (season one) features a good plot, unique episodes, and loveable characters to drive them. The antagonist could be a bit scarier, and Angel could quit moping so much, but otherwise I enjoyed this season a lot. Of 5 stars, I’m giving it 3.5. I’ll definitely be watching season two, which a friend has told me is better. If you’re a fan of Doctor Who or The X-Files, you should check this show out! All seven seasons can be found on Netflix. Enjoy!