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Buffy S1, Please tell me it gets better!


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#1 of 93 Stacey_B

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Posted August 29 2004 - 11:03 AM

Hey,

Ok, I heard all the rave reviews about Buffy and finally, I broke down and bought seasons 1 and 2. I'm currently on the last disk of S1 and so far, I'm not impressed!

I mean, I like corny horror and all, but that's all the show has to offer so far! Beyond alright characterizations and a quasi-interesting story with the whole angel story, I don't see what's exactly so amazing about this show...?

I'll continue to watch it and see how it's going to go because I do enjoy cheesy horror as much as anyone but honestly, Buffy kinda irritates me (Can anyone honestly be so airheaded ALL the time?) and Xander is so typical guy he makes me want to smack him! The only redeeming people so far are Willow and the librarian!

I just want some assurance to stick it out and spend my hundreds of dollars picking up the rest of this series and maybe the Angel series also...Posted Image

So far the evening with my husband goes, 1 esp of Buffy where we sit through it and go...that was alright, to Alias which we both agree that although both are typical, Alias just wins hands down for storyline....so far...but from what I've heard Alias goes down and Buffy goes up....is this accurate or am I wasting my time and money?

Thanks!
Stacey_B

#2 of 93 Martin_C

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Posted August 29 2004 - 11:30 AM

Well. I started with Buffy on early Season Two, so I have a different perspective on Season One, but I can honestly say that Season Two is far superior in terms of Storyline, Writing and Characterization than Season One.

But since you already own the second season, it's easy to recommend to just hanging in there. Chances are if you're not hooked by mid-season 2, when the Buffy/Angel relationship takes center stage, Buffy is not your kind of show. Just hold off buying until then.

I used to be a big ALIAS fan and I can attest to what you heard.

#3 of 93 Joshua_W

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Posted August 29 2004 - 12:44 PM

Your reaction to season one was my initial reaction as well -- it's kind of fun, but I didn't see what all of the hype is about.

But it has since grown into one of my favorite television series ever.

Hold the course. When the second season begins, it continues with the same kind of stories from the first season (expect a few clunkers), but it will also introduce some new faces for our characters to play off of. And let's just say that there's a point in the second season when things get really messy. And from that point on, the show will just start running and won't stop.

One thing about this series that I really appreciate is that it constantly redefines itself. Each season has its own themes, villains, and identity. The second season, by its end, will be a very different creature than the first season. And then the third season, the final year of high school, also brings its own baggage in. And the fourth and fifth seasons run everything in a whole new direction.

#4 of 93 Dave Mack

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Posted August 29 2004 - 01:09 PM

I hear ya. I became hooked by the later seasons. Then, it was fun to go back and see the beginning and how everything developed. Some of the best writing on TV lies ahead if you stick it out. My sis who I recently converted just watched S1-S6 and loves them. She got hooked by the musical ep. in S6!!

Posted Image D

#5 of 93 Dan Rudolph

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Posted August 29 2004 - 01:16 PM

Despite how they may look, the characters are 16 at this point. They grow up a lot in the next few seasons.
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#6 of 93 Stacey_B

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Posted August 29 2004 - 01:17 PM

Alright.....Posted Image
I'll take your word for it and stick with it. I was just making sure before I continued....maybe it's Alias I should consider dropping? I'm giong to try and catch up before S4 starts playing on tv again so I can guage weather I should stick it out or just sell S1-3...hehe.

Some of my favorite series include Felicity, Dawson's Creek, Gilmore girls, Six Feet Under...

I also own Sopranos, Party of Five, Nip/Tuck, King of Queens, Family guy

I would like to still own: 24, American Dreams, The O.C. (ordered), Everwood (ordered), Angel (?) Hrm....I think that's it. And also, obviously the upcoming seasons of shows already mentioned. (yeah, I'm broke a lot! I also watch anime!) hehe...

My husband has me also watching Babylon 5 right now, he claims it's like the best show on earth. We're in the middle of S2 right now. It seems to be getting better but also suffered from a bad start/my own thoughts about sci-fi getting in the way. I like plenty though, just don't tell him! Posted Image

I tend toward shows about relationships but I am also a fan of horror/drama etc....that's why even the cheesy eps. aren't really phasing me too much.

Does Buffy still sound like my type of show?
Thanks!
Stacey

#7 of 93 Dan Rudolph

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Posted August 29 2004 - 01:29 PM

Buffy has about 3 episodes in its entire run that are actually played as horror. It's not really a horror show. It's more of a superhero story.
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#8 of 93 Kevin Porter

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Posted August 29 2004 - 01:31 PM

Stacey, I went through the same thing you're going through. I was not impressed for about the first two seasons (I knew some spoilers) but when season three started is when I became captivated by Buffy. Everything seemed to click and everything seemed like I expected it to be from the beginning. Season 1 is, I'm not gonna lie to you, it's a pain to get through. I'd say the same for about half of season 2 but sprinkled with some amazing standouts ("Passion" "Bewitched, Bewildered, and Bothered") Season 3 is when everyone stopped saying "Aw shucks. We're making this little TV show and we don't know what we're doing" and started making a TV show. Perhaps I've been spoiled with the brilliance of The West Wing which I reccomend you check out ASAP. TWW's Aaron Sorkin is like Joss Whedon on cocaine overdrive (probably shouldn't toss that expression around wtih AS) with the highest of high production values. Buffy is a cornball cheese show through seasons 1 and 2 and still retains some of the cornball elements throughout later seasons (painfully obvious stunt doubles. We've been spoiled by pros like Jennifer Garner doing it all her own) but once you get the ball rolling with Season 3 and continue into some of the more brilliant hours of television in S4 ("Hush", "Restless"), you'll see why everyone loves it.
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#9 of 93 Paul_Scott

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Posted August 29 2004 - 02:04 PM

i'm in the middle of watching season 2 episodes again (after having just finished off season 6 not too long ago) and boy do they seem tedious.
i always liked the shows sensibility from the start, but the first season and quite a bit of the second are formula tv- week in and week out, and no matter what occurs in a given episode, it all just sort of resets itself back to 0 at the start of the next one.

but like everyone is telling you, there is a point in the second season where the show starts to break off from that.
where things happen that have lasting, rippling consequences, and once that starts to happen, then it becomes a very affecting show.

#10 of 93 Stacey_B

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Posted August 29 2004 - 02:08 PM

OK....so I assume it's a lot like Babylon 5 in the 'rippling effects' sort of way?

Good to know! Posted Image
Stacey

#11 of 93 Adam_ME

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Posted August 29 2004 - 03:28 PM

I guess I'm one of the only people who actually dug Season 1. I first started watching Buffy in the summer of 1997 when the WB reaired the first season and I was immediately hooked by the "Welcome To the Hellmouth" and "The Harvest". And I was a tough sell since I'd sat in the theater back in 1992 and suffered through the debacle of a motion picture that the show was based on.

About the only thing that didn't appeal to me about the show early on was Angel. When he first appeared, I was really concerned that David Boreanaz was gonna be a Luke Perry type of character(in the mold of Dylan from 90210, not Pike in the movie). You know, the older, mysterious, rebellious boyfriend for the lead actress. And in many ways, that's exactly what he became. But the development of Angel went in a completely different direction than I'd expected, starting in Episode 7, appropriately titled "Angel".

Otherwise, I thought the rest of the cast nailed their roles from day one. Sarah Michelle Gellar brought humor and charm to the character of Buffy that Kristy Swanson never could've even dreamed of. I also liked how she was more intelligent in the series than the ditzy blonde they portrayed her as in the film. Xander was a perfect male sidekick. He delivered one-liners better than anyone on the show, and his unrequited love for Buffy has major payoffs later this season and in subsequent years. Willow, amazing to go back and see what she used to be like. From the moment I first saw her in the pilot, I thought she was a hottie(although she gets progressively hotter each season). But what always impressed me about Alyson Hannigan is how she's able to handle every aspect of the show(horror, drama, comedy) brilliantly. And Joss is absolutely right. Nobody can do that sad, teary-eyed look on their face the way she can(see Episode 6, "The Pack"). Giles was the ideal adult foil for Buffy. Anthony Stewart Head took what could've been an annoying, uptight parental figure and made him a sympathetic surrogate father(and the Mutant Enemy writers certainly contributed in this area). Cordelia Chase is the perfect spoiled bitch and rival to the Buffy and the Scoobies. If Charisma Carpenter hadn't made me love to hate her so much in the first season, her character's growth over the next 5 years wouldn't have been nearly as satisfying.

Also, one other aspect of Season 1 that I always enjoyed that never seems to get mentioned by fans is how most of the episodes ended with some sort of bizarre cliffhanger. I suppose Joss was poking fun at horror movie endings, but I thought the praying mantis eggs hatching or the closeup of Amy's mom in the trophy case(which has a great payoff with Oz in Season 2) were both great ways to cap off episodes.
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#12 of 93 Mark Oates

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Posted August 29 2004 - 03:53 PM

Buffy is an acquired taste. I picked the show up during its second year on tv and quickly got up to speed catching repeats of the first season. If you don't "get" Buffy by the end of the first season ("Prophecy Girl"), you might not want to continue. Season Two, however, has a spectacular relational story arc that is frequently heartbreaking - you find yourself caring dearly for characters you might not initially have expected to.

The strength of the show is in its writing - the use of "Buffyspeak" in particular. I've collected the entire run on DVD, and I wouldn't be without them.
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#13 of 93 Stacey_B

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Posted August 29 2004 - 06:40 PM

I have to chime in and agree that I actually did enjoy Hellmouth and such...but I just didn't get smacked in the face that it was 'that' great like everyone was saying it is.

I do enjoy it plenty though and will keep watching it. Thanks for the imput! All comments are welcome, I'll keep reading! Posted Image

Stacey

#14 of 93 DaveGTP

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Posted August 29 2004 - 06:44 PM

Yeah, the husband chiming in here.

Honestly, I'm pretty particular when it comes to TV & movies. The only TV on DVD I own is B5 (to be given up only if pried from my cold, dead hands), S1 Northern Exposure (it was cheap, and we like the cold/wilderness up here in Michigan). And Twin Peaks S1, which I have yet to see any of.

I'd probably have X-files if it wasn't so damn expensive.


To be perfectly frank, Stacey actually has me liking Dawson's Creek quite a bit. I am a fan of character-driven storytelling.


Admittedly, I have a weakness for fantasy, being a hardcore fantasy/sci-fi reader. I think books are what give me such high expectations.

So far, I am not impressed. Campy, mostly formulaic superhero/horror stuff. Tolerable, more so than most crap they show on TV these days, but not more so yet. You Buffy-ofites are pretty fanatical about the show, so I've been giving it a chance. No one here is a big fan of Xena, are they? A show with a big fanbase that frightens me. Posted Image

Edit:

Quote:
no matter what occurs in a given episode, it all just sort of resets itself back to 0 at the start of the next one.

I think this is what bugs me the most so far. With B5, JMS always said he hated the "reset button" effect. A lot of shows are victim to this. Hopefully it passes.


I'm willing to sit it out through S2. Or at least, as long as Stacey is still watching B5 with me Posted Image
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#15 of 93 Joshua_W

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Posted August 29 2004 - 08:23 PM

Couple of comments...

Formulaic?

Not really. The longer it runs, the series will start branching out in different directions. It's not afraid of change. And one interesting thing they do is, occasionally, there will be "gimmick" episodes. An episode without any spoken dialogue for an extended sequence, an episode that's entirely a dream, an episode that's a musical with the cast singing and dancing. But each of these episodes are also integral parts of the overall arc -- introducing new characters, creating new plot elements while resolving others.

And often times, the show turns cliches on their ear by doing the exact opposite of what you would expect.

Character driven storytelling.

BTVS is very much a character-driven storyline. The characters grow and change over time, but it's a slow process and not always apparent. Just to give an example, Cordelia -- yes, THAT Cordelia -- will likely grow to be one of your favorite characters over the next five seasons of story. Willow also has some big changes coming over the next few years, but I won't give them away. And, at by the end of the first season, you've only just scratched the surface of the world. There's a lot more out there than vampires and these four high school kids. You still haven't met Spike, Oz, Faith, The Mayor, Anya, Wesley, Tara, Dawn, or Glory yet.

The Reset button.

Not really. There are consequences for everything on this show. Even if something appears to be reset, there is still a price to be paid.

#16 of 93 Dan Rudolph

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Posted August 29 2004 - 11:23 PM

Quote:
No one here is a big fan of Xena, are they? A show with a big fanbase that frightens me.

I was at first. I started liking it gradually less and less starting some time in season 3 and by the end of season 6, I hated the show.
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#17 of 93 Sebastien S

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Posted August 29 2004 - 11:38 PM

Stacey... Have you ever considered "Smallville"?
Regards

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#18 of 93 MichaelGH

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Posted August 30 2004 - 02:31 AM

I first watched Buffy a couple years ago starting with the first season. I did think at first that the show was somewhat formulaic and made up of standalone episodes...that the acting was competent but not spectacular. That all changed when I saw the season finale "Prophecy Girl" I can honestly say that 'Willow' and 'Buffy' was much better than what I thought this show was capable of. Even though there are some clunkers in season 2, I think that at this point, the show hit its stride and only got better through the next 5 years.

I also think if you want a darker, more adult story focusing more on redemption and less on the superhero aspects of buffy, Angel is definitely a show to try. It also starts off a bit shaky through the first half of the first season, but season 2 through 4 were some of the very best television ever in my opinion. Even better than buffy seasons 3 and 5 which were my favoritesPosted Image

I'm also a fan of B5...Buffy and Angel are very similar in that they become very arc driven.

Hope you end up enjoying the showsPosted Image If Buffy doesn't grab you, maybe give Angel a try as it is a rather different show.

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#19 of 93 Chris Roberts

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Posted August 30 2004 - 03:18 AM

S1 and S2 were both great and what got many viewers hooked, many critics applauding, and set the stage for everything that came after. If you don't like S1 then you should stop watching because the rest of the show is either more of the same or trying to be more of the same.

#20 of 93 Cory B

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Posted August 30 2004 - 04:21 AM

Wow, I'm actually surprised by the number of people claiming Buffy just gets better and better... I started watching about halfway through season 1, and while I watched it for the whole run, I found the show continued to go downhill steadily after season 3. I felt that the characters lost some of their charm, the dialogue felt more forced, and the villains became lamer.

In my opinion, the bad/cheesy episodes in the early seasons were still enjoyable because the characters were so entertaining and the dialogue was sharp, but once that was gone in the later seasons, the bad/cheesy episodes were just that.

There were still some great episodes in each season, I just felt that after season 3 the percentage of good episodes was disappointing.

As for Angel, I enjoyed the first 2 seasons and the 5th season, but the 3rd and 4th were so melodramatic and frustrating that it fell from my "must-watch" list.

Personally, I think season 2 of Buffy is the best there is, so if that doesn't work for you, I'd stop there...





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