Saturday, January 22, 2011

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Warning! Possible spoilers!

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Anthony Stewart Head, Charisma Carpenter, David Boreanaz, Seth Green, James Marsters, Marc Blucas, Emma Caulfield, Michelle Trachtenberg, Amber Benson
Created by: Joss Whedon

A couple of my friends in college were obsessed with Buffy and one of them owned all of it. She was on my freshman hall and I caught a couple of episodes in the lounge with her. They were alright, but I knew watching Buffy was going to be a huge time suck so I didn't get into it.

Well, it was nice to know I was right at least - watching Buffy was a huge time suck. I was watching it for a few months. But, on the other hand, I watched it in a few months. This is a 7 season show we're talking about, with each season having about 22 episodes. Without commercials each episode is about 43 minutes long. That's roughly 110.4 hours, or 4.6 entire days of my life spent watching Buffy. So that tells you how absorbed I was in watching it - it didn't really take me that long.

Indeed, I can now count myself in the Buffy-obsessed. It is a fabulous, wonderful show. It drew me in within a few episodes with its campy humor, teenage drama, and bad special effects. Trust me, it's awesome. It goes interesting places and deals with a lot of issues: death (of course), the burden of fate, various relationships, etc etc. It does gray moral issues very, very well. Every character in Buffy spends some time being evil. All the main characters are well fleshed out and rounded.

Different seasons are differently good. Seasons one and two have Angel (David Boreanaz), the brooding vampire with a soul, and the main characters are in high school. Season three sees Angel gone but a new slayer, Faith (Eliza Dushku), in the mix. Season 4 finds the gang in college and a new guy interest, Riley (Marc Blucas). Season 5 introduces Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg), Buffy's sister. Season 6 brings Buffy back from the dead and into a sexual relationship with the vampire Spike (James Marsters), and Season 7 has Spike get a soul and the gang is up against probably the toughest evil they've yet faced.

While not every episode was amazing, and I sometimes didn't like certain characters (though there were few if any that I didn't at least like some of the time). It was consistently good and I never wanted to stop watching it (I still don't, sigh). I think it is my favorite show - yes, I believe I am saying I like it more than Doctor Who.

This is not, by the way, your typical vampire show. It's way more complex than that. I recommend it to anyone. I'm realizing I'm not going to be able to go into great depth here - perhaps I'll follow with a few more posts. For now - go watch Buffy. I recommend starting at the beginning, or you can watch "Once More with Feeling," the musical episode, which is top notch.

What is this graphic? Whatever, I love it.

Grade: A++++

...And I leave you with the following:
An Angel vs. Spike montage. SPIKE ALL THE WAY!!!

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