Friday, November 16, 2007

Today as I worked on doing research for papers I decided to check out my Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chosen Collection Box Set. I was looking for something to watch and decided during this time of papers and finals, when I like to work with somehting on in the background I'd start watching the Buffy-verse from the beginning, which means once I get to Season 4 I'll be watching Buffy and Angel. But First up is Season 1.

Episode 01.01/02 - Welcome to the Hellmouth/The Harvest
Following the events of the movie, Buffy has been expelled from her school in Los Angeles for burning down the gym (to her credit it was filled with Vampires, also in the movie she doesn't actually burn the place down, but she did in Creator Joss Whedon's original script) and she's now moved to the fictional Sunnydale, CA. One her first day of school at Sunnydale High she meets her soon to be best friends Willow Rosenberg and Xander Harris, two geeky outcasts who are tormented by the queen bee of the school, Cordelia Chase, and their best friend Jesse.
Looking for books Buffy stumbles into the library where she meets her watcher, Rubert Giles, an uptight British former museum curator whose real job is to groom the Slayer to save the world. And finally Buffy meets Angel, the dark mysterioso who would become her life's love, and a spin-off of his own, who her looks younger, but otherwise the same. Angel dishes out cryptic, hard to understand clues that will hopefully lead her to defeat evil.
But Buffy doesn't want to be "The Chosen One" instead she want to live a normal teenage life, but that dream ends when a body shows up in the girls locker room, with all of its blood drained. Soon Willow and Jesse are both taken by the vamps to feed their Master, a horribly ugly ancient vampire whose stuck underground for reasons unknown. Luckily Buffy is able to save Willow, but Jesse's not so lucky.
What will happen? Will Buffy accept her place as The Chosen One? I'm not saying, so go rent or buy the show for yourself.
I have to say the show stands up pretty well 10 years later (yes the show started way back in 1997) although some of the dialogue is pretty lame, and the shows first few episodes are a bit cheesy, its still a great show, with a great metaphor anyone can relate to: High School as Hell.

Episode 1.03 - Witch
Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles (notice Jesse's no long around hmmm I wonder what happened?) must figure out whose hurting the school's cheerleaders and why they're doing it. Stop for a second and think about the episode's title, it might help you figure out what's going on.
I'll be honest this is one of my least favorite episodes of the show (along with episode 8 "I Robot, You Jane") and in both cases, I think it's just because these are the two episodes that were constantly rerun in the first couple of years, so I've seen them far too many times. It's still a decent episode, and I'm sure it's a good one, just not my personal favorite. It is the episode that showed Buffy would be about more than just Vampires.

Episode 1.04 - Teacher's Pet
As Buffy tries to settle into her new life, and get past being "the girl who burned down her last school" to all her teachers, her science teacher tells her he things she has promise and gives her hope that she'll be ok. So it should be no surprise when he turns up dead, missing his head.
Enter the new substitute teacher, a beautiful woman who has all the boys drooling. But strange things start to happen when she asks some of the boys to stay after class. When Xander succumbs to her charm will he be the next victim? It's up to Buffy, Willow, and Giles to find out what's going on.
Overall another decent episode, but once again full of cheese, and the monster is pretty cheap looking. But some great early character moments.

Episode 1.05 - Never Kill A Boy On The First Date
Once again Buffy wants to have some sibilance of a normal life, this time its going on a date with the super dreamy Owen. Unfortunately her date coensides with a prophesy about "The Vessel" rising from the ashes of "The five" and Giles demands she skip her date to go a slaying. Which she reluctantly does. When nothing happens Buffy rushes of to find Owen in the arms of her enemy Cordelia. Of course later that night there's a bus crash caused by a gaggle of vampires which lead to the death of five people.
The next day Owen asks Buffy out again, understanding that she couldn't make it. Unfortunately while she's on her date Giles goes to investigate on his own and gets trapped by some vamps. When Buffy tries to go save him, Owen follows her and tags along which leads to action packed hilarity.
This is a great episode as it deals with Buffy trying to be normal and Xander's feelings for Buffy, as he grows jealous of Owen. The episode also furthers the Master storyline that overarches throughout the first season. (This would become the normal Buffy format with each season having a "Big Bad") Plus it has a mean twist at the end you (hopefully) won't see coming.
Overall a grand episode. The banter is witty. The action is packed. And the ology is mythical.

It's great to look back and see how the series began and see the pieces that started to fit together to form the amazing series that it would one day become. I can't wait to see what's next, again!


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