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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete First…
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete First Season (1997)

by Joss Whedon (Creator), Reza Badiyi (Director), Dean Batali (Writer), Scott Brazil (Director), Stephen Cragg (Director)13 more, Rob Des Hotel (Writer), Ashley Gable (Writer), Bruce Seth Green (Director), David Greenwalt (Writer), Matt Kiene (Writer), John T. Kretchmer (Director), Stephen Posey (Director), Ellen S. Pressman (Director), Joe Reinkemeyer (Writer), Dana Reston (Writer), David Semel (Director), Charles Martin Smith (Director), Thomas A. Swyden (Writer)

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A vampire-hunting teenager moves to a new school.

Fun, but slightly repetitive and very low budget. I expected it to be better, based on how much people love it (and how much I love Firefly). Presumably it will improve in later seasons. The level of thought that seems to go into everything is promising.

Concept: C
Story: C
Characters: B
Dialog: B
Pacing: B
Cinematography: D
Special effects/design: D
Acting: C
Music: C

Enjoyment: B

GPA: 2.1/4 ( )
  comfypants | Nov 19, 2015 |
The very first scene is a great preview of what's in store. I've heard that the inspiration for Whedon was all those slasher films where that blonde girl, often a cheerleader, disappears into an alley or goes down the basement stairs--only to die horribly. So, first scene. We see a young blonde girl dressed in what looks like a schoolgirl uniform breaking into a school after hours with a guy looking to score. We all know how that's supposed to end, don't we? Well, except she's a vampire and eats him. :-) Buffy herself is the other anti-stereotype. A blonde sixteen year old girl who tries out to be a cheerleader, who doesn't always do her homework, who wants to have fun. But she's no victim--she's what the monsters are scared of. The Slayer, the "Chosen One" the one girl in all the world with the strength and powers to fight the demons and the monsters.

I refused to watch Buffy in its first four seasons. I mean, puhleeze. Buffy? The Vampire Slayer? I finally gave it a try in Season Five on the urging of a friend and got hooked. All in all, I'd name it the finest television show I've ever watched, despite my being a Trekkie from childhood and greatly admiring the reimagined Battlestar Galactica and for that matter, Joss Whedon's Firefly. Season One only gives hints of the riches in store, though I think it should charm from the beginning. Mind you, one friend didn't even make it through the first episode, "Welcome to the Hellmouth." Her reaction basically was "ewwww, vampires." But, honestly that's not what the show is about. It's about growing up. High school as hell. Various fantastic metaphors for the horrors of the teen years--like feeling invisible, the chase for popularity, crushes on teachers, dealing with parents divorcing or a parent that wants to relive their glory days through you, bullies, dating, internet relationships, losing your virginity, unrequited love, first love, hopeless love. It's all there in that first season and all done with great wit, humor, and some of the most endearing characters in television such as Buffy herself, Giles and Willow. And a character that almost to the end of the Season I loved to hate--Cordelia.

I think there isn't even one episode in this season that isn't fun and entertaining, even if very few wind up named in "Best of" lists for the overall series. The ones that tend to show up on lists are the seventh episode "Angel" and the very last "Prophecy Girl." Almost every episode does have great moments though. The second episode, "The Harvest" stands out to me for one of the best Willow lines ever, said to Cordelia: "Deliver." The ending of "The Witch" is truly creepy and chilling. The ending of "The Puppet Show" provided my first laugh-out-loud moment of the season. "Nightmares" stands out to me for a powerful scene between Buffy and her father, and the next to last episode "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" because it finally humanized Cordelia. Her lines to Buffy about the loneliness even in the midst of seeming popularity were poignant and the first glimpse of something deeper in her character than providing comic relief. And then there's "Prophecy Girl"--the very last episode. That friend who convinced me to try Buffy tells me that was the episode that really sealed the deal for her. The one where Buffy really got to her.

I think that the next two seasons, the second and the third, were the best. But the seasons after, even if I didn't like aspects of the overall arcs, had incredibly strong and innovative episodes that ranked with the best of any season. Compared to those seasons, the first one isn't that strong. But not one episode is dull or embarrassing or not worth watching. Oh, and the nice thing about having the DVDs of it are the extras like Joss Whedon's commentary and interviews with him and David Boreanaz (Angel). ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Nov 18, 2011 |
I started watching this show just because my friend was watching it, I watched the first episode and was hooked! ( )
  Laura_Jean | Jul 6, 2011 |
A great beginning. ( )
  Coach_of_Alva | Mar 12, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Whedon, JossCreatorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Badiyi, RezaDirectormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Batali, DeanWritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Brazil, ScottDirectormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Cragg, StephenDirectormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Des Hotel, RobWritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Gable, AshleyWritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Green, Bruce SethDirectormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Greenwalt, DavidWritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Kiene, MattWritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Kretchmer, John T.Directormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Posey, StephenDirectormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Pressman, Ellen S.Directormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Reinkemeyer, JoeWritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Reston, DanaWritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Semel, DavidDirectormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, Charles MartinDirectormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Swyden, Thomas A.Writermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Balfour, Ericsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benz, Juliesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boreanaz, DavidActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brendon, NicholasActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carpenter, CharismaActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
DuVall, Cleasecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gellar, Sarah MichelleActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hannigan, AlysonActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Head, AnthonyActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
LaMorte, Robiasecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lerner, Kensecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McNab, Mercedessecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Metcalf, Marksecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shimerman, Arminsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, KristineActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Episodes:

• Welcome to the Hellmouth
• The Harvest
• Witch
• Teacher's Pet
• Never Kill a Boy on the First Date
• The Pack
• Angel
• I, Robot...You, Jane
• The Puppet Show
• Nightmares
• Out of Mind, Out of Sight
• Prophecy Girl
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