Saturday, February 16, 2008

Buffy - Season One

I have been very poorly this week. Stuck indoors in the grip of a hideous virus, unable to swallow without pain, or eat, drink, read, talk. My husband has a similar virus that has taken hold of him in a different, yet utterly gross, way. We had so many plans for this week and next, and have had to cancel everything and settle to a routine dictated by needing to take penicillin at strict 6 hourly intervals. We have long been planning to watch Buffy season 1 to 7, it's a marathon that will probably take us a decade or so! We first saw Buffy many years ago, and began with Season 3, watched until 7, then caught up with 1 and 2. My brother has bought me Buffy dvd's for birthday and Christmas for ages, the complete set is ours now but we are usually way too busy, and it seems too huge to start over. However, our unexpected and coinciding illness has meant that dahdah, in just 1 week we have 'done' Season One. For the delight of nobody at all, but for the benefit of future me who will find it has all turned into a blur, here are my random thoughts which I will not even bother to put into a coherent essay style format:

Buffy Season One.

Her clothes! My god, this is Buffy the whore, the Lolita, the paedophile's fantasy. I am amazed that I didn't see her knickers at all. Surely filming was regularly held up in order to make sure nothing showed, such teeny, tiny dresses and skirts! Funny nose too.

Nicholas Brendan (Xander) seems the most comfortable actor in the first ep's. He displays good timing and quippy goodness from the get go, so I was astonished to read on good ol' wiki that he was the person with the least experience.

Giles takes only a couple of episodes to settle into his role. Why do they always call him Giles and not Rupert?

Cordelia is very amusing, and convincing, in her head bitch role. It's cool watching her way back then, knowing the arc her character takes all the way through to the end in Angel.

Willow seems very small and thin and childlike.

Angel - oh such a pretty vampire, no idea how he gets away with allegedly never aging when we contrast him here in the early days with the man who gets his own spin off! Such a classic white tee and black leather jacket combo. Sigh.

It's a fairly straight set up of what is to come, but it lacks the emotional depth and layers that work so well in later seasons. Traces are there though, Buffy and Angel the love that can not be, Willow yearning for an oblivious Xander who is busy crushing on Buffy.

Still one of my favourite scenes is the initial one where the bad boy leads the nervous blonde girl into school and we are there as we have been before in so many horror films, when the tables turn, and the genre is neatly and immediately subverted.

Watching so many together makes one tire a little of the sarky chat/visit to the Bronze/graveyard scene/big fight with ultimate vamp dusting. But it still is compulsive viewing.

The Master is a good scary character. His face is the stuff that nightmares are made of, and his nails are grotesque, the way he twists necks is creepy and efficient.

I always have hated the Teacher's Pet episode. I thought I disliked The Pack too, but this time round I thought it was really well observed. Out of sight, Out of mind is a fantastic idea. Fave tho' is Nightmares as it ranges from the lols of Cordy's hair to the heartbreak of Buffy's dad dream superbly. Yayness.

Right, sorry about that. Normal service will hopefully resume shortly.

11 comments:

Chris said...

Y'know, you've reminded me that I might have to "acquire" Buffy and watch it all. I think I missed a lot of episodes back when it was on TV.

Thing is, how many seasons were there? Sounds like a big thing to get into, and that intimidates me...

Sara said...

7 seasons in all. And season 1 is just 12 episodes, but season 2 jumps to 22! It is intimidating, a bit of a commitment, but it's fun too. thing with Buffy is find it always leaves me going "Shall we do another?' so it ticks over well.

Jim Murdoch said...

You might enjoy the original unaired pilot then with Riff Regan as 'Willow':

Wikipedia article

download here

Sara said...

Hi Jim. Yes, I especially like the idea of a larger character appearing somewhere in the Buffyverse. It would have been nice if they weren't all uniformly pretty, skinny, young things. Let's face it they were supposed to be (apart from Cordy) the 'nerds' and outsiders.

Apparently Riff Regan didn't do so great though, and Willow does have a naive charm.

However, I have never seen it...so I am really looking forward to watching, thank you.

kellie said...

Oh how poo that you are unwell! I hope you feel better soon. In the meantime, enjoy your dvd marathon.

pierre l said...

Sorry to read about what sounds like a very uncomfortable illness. I hope your health and that of your husband are both improving.
My younger son is interested in writing as a hobby and we all like everything Joss Whedon, including Firefly the series and Serenity the film (one of the few films I have seen at the cinema in the last few years).
I would have to say that my favourite Buffy episode is "Hush", an episode from season 4 with almost no words. As my son just pointed out, this would have been a difficult episode to write because they had to convey all the actions and emotions largely without the use of words (they occasionally use a slide projector and a notepad).
I think they call Rupert Giles by his surname, as he is the adult librarian. Certainly, when my children were at secondary school the teachers were Mr X or Mrs Y, and we didn't even know their first names.

Sara said...

Hey Kellie, thanks, I am recovering well, last penicillin tonight, hurrah.

We are half way through Season 2 now...all good fun.

Pierre l - yes, I remember Hush well, very clever, and sinister too. I also love the musical episode. Joss Whedon is very good at pushing what can be done. Curiously though whilst I adore Buffy and Angel I never got into Firefly. We have sky plussed Serenity though, so may give it a go sometime.

re:Giles...yes, I understand that, but still think it should be Mr Giles as just Giles seems disrespectful, or Rupert as they become closer and ever more familiar.

pierre l said...

Very glad you are on the mend Sara.
When I was discussing Hush with my son earlier, he mentioned "Veronica Mars" as being very well written also (although not Whedon, but liked by Whedon if I remember correctly) - and they have used "Cordelia" among others.
I vaguely remember the first two episodes of Firefly being tedious, and then the series became more interesting.
We are also great fans of Herskovitz and Zwick as in "thirtysomething", "My So-called Life" and "Once and Again".

Sara said...

Pierre l I ADORE Veronica Mars, love Veronica more even than Buffy. I wrote a bit about it here:

http://asalted.blogspot.com/search/label/veronica%20mars

I am also a fan of My so Called Life too, and recently bought the dvd, liked Thirtysomething back in the day, but know nothing about Once and Again so will look out for that.

pierre l said...

I think your article on Veronica Mars must have come out the week before I started reading you (which was when you published part of one of your old diaries, and wrote about it at Clare Sudbery's).
Once and Again was on a Freeview channel called ABC-1 (now closed, I think). I got seasons 1 and 2 from Amazon.com. but had to buy a bootleg copy of season 3 while the owners are trying to decide whether to release it or not.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Pierre had sent me to you. I begin Buffy this week-episode 7 just now. I hope to find the reason for all this hoopla. My university library has seven books and many articles on Buffy. I journey on. A summer project.

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