What the Fang

Jul 21, 22:59 by John Frost
Comments on Buffy, or Cynthia Ward's discussion of the first season...
Jul 22, 00:55 by Niall Harrison
I completely agree that 'Welcome to the Hellmouth'/'The Harvest' is an uninspiring introduction to the series, and that 'The Witch' is leagues better. That said, I think the first season is one of the weaker seasonsl only four episodes of the twelve really hit the high notes, for me (those being 'The Witch', 'The Pack', 'Nightmares' and 'Prophecy Girl'). Other episodes are hamstrung by bits of dodgy plotting and some unfortunately shaky effects ('I Robot, You Jane' and 'Teacher's Pet' are particular offenders).

Other than that, all I can say is that if you've made it this far without finding out what happens next, watch season two as soon as you possibly can...!
Jul 22, 07:19 by Janine Stinson
The actress who played Buffy on the TV series is Sarah Michelle Gellar, unless she's suddenly changed her name order. ;) She has her own Website, too; I just Googled it.

Regards,
Jan S.
professional Pest
Jul 22, 07:40 by Janine Stinson
Now for something completely different....

Being an old phart at 48, I have a lot of trouble visualizing what high school was like for those who went through it in the 1980s and 1990s (and in the current decade). The high school I went to was only a few years old when I started 10th grade there, and the student population was primarily made up of kids from military families (military installations were quite prominent in the D.C. suburban area then), which meant most of them had moved at least four times before they got to high school. The early 1970s saw the continuation of the peace-and-love movement from the previous decade, and that perspective inundated my high-school years.

I cannot recall any bullies bothering me. I was friends with a variety of "clique" members, but no one was actively snobbish, as far as I could tell. The people I considered my closest friends were most likely to be called the hippie type, but not all of them dressed the part. My friends were readers, writers, actors, budding directors. The school administration was fairly moderate, as well.

I think this is the reason why "Buffy" holds no attraction for me. There's no connection between my high-school experiences and those portrayed in the TV series. I like the movie version better, but I wouldn't buy a copy for my personal movie library.

My experience of high school may sound like heaven (or a delusion) to some people. My greatest regret is that it wasn't the same experience for later generations of high-school students. I've always considered myself very lucky to have gone to that school.

Regards,
Jan S.
Jul 22, 08:29 by John Frost
The actress who played Buffy on the TV series is Sarah Michelle Gellar


Thanks Jan, I corrected the text. We like professional pests.
Jul 22, 08:40 by David Bratman
Although I'm a stone Buffy fan, I have a great sympathy for Cynthia Ward's position. It's one thing to watch a show as it's going on over a period of years; it's quite another to have to face what amounts to a two-week long movie (if you spent all day every day watching it, which I wouldn't advise) and try to absorb it. Most shows that I've missed when they were in first run, I never try to catch up on.

I also agree with an earlier poster that season 1 is far from the best of Buffy anyway. Season 2 gets much better, but even it is mixed. At a Buffy panel not long ago, the question was raised, what's the best single episode to introduce a new viewer to the show with?

And the best answer, I thought, was: a second season episode titled "Lie To Me". (For those who know the show but, like me, have trouble remembering titles, it's the one with Ford and the wannabes.) My advice to Cynthia Ward, and anyone in her position is: borrow a friend's copy of season 2 (we all have copies, of course) and watch that episode. You don't really need any background to follow it.

Then, if you're impressed, watch the whole season in order. Do not, under any circumstances, watch the finale, "Becoming", without having watched the rest of the season first: it derives its power from what came before. And perform bodily mayhem on anyone who threatens to tell you what happens.
Jul 22, 08:45 by David Bratman
I would also recommend that Jan S., posting above, watch "Lie To Me". This will show you how Buffy is about more than high-school cliquishness.
Jul 22, 15:22 by Nathan Blumenfeld
I was another Buffy virgin. I watched the first episode when it aired all those years ago and was not impressed. Then when everybody started loving it, I figured it must suck to be so popular. Finally, on a whim, I bought Season 1. I personally didn't like The Witch, but by the end of the season I had enjoyed the show more than I'd though I would, so I picked up Season 2, which is LEAGUES better than season 1 so far.
Jul 23, 00:46 by Farrell McGovern
Greetings:

If you find a lot of Buffy's Hellmouth in your high school experiences, you should check the Hellmouth series of articles on Slashdot.org by Jon Katz. Starting just after Columbine incident, it got huge responses...most computer geeks didn't have a good time in HS, and this provoked a facinating discussion. You can read the series here: http://slashdot.org/search.pl?tid=&query=hellmouth&author=7654&sort=1&op=stories

As well, I co-wrote a song about the whole Columbine incident, and you can download the mp3 of it here: http://stonehenge.homeunix.org/thecat

ttyl
Farrell
Jul 26, 06:21 by marilyn graves
Hi, I did not start watching Buffy till third season and grew to love it. I like the dark sixth season best. It does a good job of illustrating psychological conflicts through beastie action and I think has great emotional appeal. I did a book review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy at the Metapsychology Online book review site a few months back. It is a good book. Marilyn
Aug 3, 12:28 by will Rinaldi
When I think Buffy, I don't think about high school cliques. For one, only 3 seasons were spent in high school. I've never seen the movie, and don't particularly feel the need to do so. But I have seen every episode of the series and its spin-off ANGEL. I have also followed Joss over to his short-lived series, Firefly. When introducing someone new to the series, I do like to start off with Lie to Me. It gives nothing from the first or second season away, but it is one powerful stand alone. Then I give them season 1, and sit with them through the first 4 episodes so that the quality is less painful. If, by the end of season 3, you are not in love with the series enough that you have to buy ANGEL and the rest of Buffy, just to see what happens to the characters, well, then, at least you gave it a shot. But I would not write it off until then. Unfortunately, I felt the quality of the show went steadily downhill after the writers spilt their time between the 2 shows, and later between 3 (that would be Firefly.) The 6th season was probably one of my least favorite seasons, with the 7th being the worst. Just not that much depth to them, and the dialogue was stale. But I never stopped watching, because you care about these kids, want to see them reach adulthood, and want to see the guys from ANGEL survive it. But in the Whedonverse, that doesn't happen too often. So buy the first 3 seasons from Amazon, though it may sound like a bit much at $90. A word of caution, though: Donít go on any website for the series, don't google it. You could have 12 seasons of show spoiled for you in 2 seconds.
Aug 3, 14:09 by Ed Oetting
Enjoyed the article. I started watching somewhere around Season 3 and was hooked immediately and obsessively. While ver far removed from my high schools years, I have enjoyed both the seasons set in HS and those as young adults.
Interestingly I have finally hooked my daughter on BTVS by watching the seasons backward(6,7,5) and, as she turns 21 this Saturday(yeah!), she has been reluctant to watch the early seasons because of a lack of interest in High School.
I have prevailed, however and we are at The Witch(great episode) in S1. In concert with several others, my favorite season is 6, but like others I strongly urge you to watch them all(and then get started on Angel).
Aug 3, 20:30 by Diana Lee
It's true that Buffy becomes about a lot more than high school and its terrors. The metaphor broadens into other areas, like first love, friendship and loss. Because the show is nothing if not about loss.

But even beyond that, the show is just purely enjoyable to watch. It's entertaining in the best possible sense of the word: witty dialogue, great characters (there's still Faith, Oz and Spike on the horizon) and even better, greater villains.
Aug 6, 10:37 by Terry Hickman
It's extremely difficult to figure out how to sell Buffy on someone who hasn't seen it. Season Two hits some of the greatest heights I've ever seen on series television, but you won't appreciate them as much unless you've taken the journey through the admittedly not quite as good Season 1. My only advice is to have faith that it will be worth it. If you still want to get off the ride by mid-way through Season Two ("Surprise/Innocence"), you probably won't ever enjoy it. My guess is by that point you'll be hooked. Enjoy.
Aug 12, 22:57 by Camden
My sister really loved it. As do most people who watched it at all faithfully. Yet I tried a few and couldn't get into it. I actually liked the movie though, weird huh?
Aug 14, 13:10 by Bluejack
Camden: that's my experience too. I fully understand the concept of using threadbare horror tropes as metaphor for teen angst and high-school power dynamics. It sounds great! But somehow the series just never caught me.

True: I haven't sat down with the first series and just started watching -- but I saw the first episode or two. I've watched an additional episode here or there, mostly later in the series.

Ah well.
Aug 28, 20:18 by Michele D
I was inspired to begin at the beginning, also a buffy virgin. In fact I even signed up at netflix so i could view all the seasons at a reasonable price. While awaiting the first disc, I watched a random rerun on tv - it was about kids in school who all thought vampires were cool and wanted to become vampires too. The leader turned out to have a fatal disease, and Buffy had to stop him from leading the others into disaster. (I'm confused, because the vampires did have goofy-evil faces, but this review hinted that those ended after episode 3.)

Bottom line, it was a stupid episode, and not the mythic genius I'd expected. I returned the first season disc to netflix unwatched. My question is: was that episode representative of the quality of the series?
Jan 28, 23:59 by Allan Rosewarne
some one with the screen name of brightcrow wrote the following
While awaiting the first disc, I watched a random rerun on tv - it was about kids in school who all thought vampires were cool and wanted to become vampires too. The leader turned out to have a fatal disease, and Buffy had to stop him from leading the others into disaster. (I'm confused, because the vampires did have goofy-evil faces, but this review hinted that those ended after episode 3.)

Bottom line, it was a stupid episode, and not the mythic genius I'd expected. I returned the first season disc to netflix unwatched. My question is: was that episode representative of the quality of the series?

LMAO. This cracks me up becaue the identified "stupid episode" is titled 'Lie to me'. The same episode at least three messages identified as being wonderful for its stand alone-ish excellence. I think I'm begining to see why Ann Landers is so amused by the Yalies that write phony letters to her
   

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