Saturday, December 18, 2010

TV Series Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 1)

Just a heads up, since my backlog is still huge and since I have a ton of stuff that I haven't reviewed yet (I stopped around mid-November when my NaNo started taking up a lot of my time) I'm bumping this up to three reviews a day now, hopefully this means I'll be done with the backlog in early January and I should have enough material for a post a day until February.
I can feel my nerd cred increasing with each Whedon show I watch but I was pretty glad that Ted had warned me that the show doesn't really pick up until the third season or I would be really grouchy about this.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season One
  Summary: Buffy Summers really wishes she was a normal high school kid again but she is The Slayer, the one girl from each generation who is able to kill vampires. Which is really lucky for the town of Sunnydale which happens to be located on The Hellmouth, a mystical convergence of magic which means that nearly every week you have something strange going on which requires Giles and Willow to research the thing so Buffy can slay it (and it also requires Xander to snark about it).

The Good: I had fairly low expectations for the show and it definitely surpassed that. It was also nice that not every strange thing in the show was the result of vampires (although, considering the title is The Vampire Slayer I wouldn't have minded that as much). A few of the episodes managed to surprise me by seeing which classic horror tropes they screwed with and it did try to mess around with the high school drama cliches as well.

The Bad: This may have been one of the first shows to mock the horror drama (and the high school drama as well) and it coined the phrase Buffy Speak but I feel like I've seen the "snarky teens comment and deal with how weird their world is" better done. I was pretty darn unhappy with the last episode actually, it wrapped everything too neatly in, three minutes? Now, if it had taken more effort to wrap stuff up then yes I would've been happier, but between how easily it ultimately was and the fact that Xander was REALLY annoying me this episode just left a sour taste. It also bears mentioning that I've heard a lot of little details about the show over the years and hadn't realized how spoilery some of it was so I was annoyed to find out that some of the stuff (like about Willow) hadn't happened yet.

The Music: You can tell whoever thought of it thought they were so cool for putting the theme music at the big damn heroes moment. Unfortunately it made me roll my eyes and the opening at the beginning of each episode "THEIR IS ONE GIRL" ect made me roll my eyes as well. So, nothing worth noting here.

The Visuals: I almost started gagging at how bad that tentacle monster in the last episode looked. I know I should be cutting the show some slack since it was made in 1996 but still, it was pretty bad there. The vampire facial prosthetics looked crappier in some scenes than others too but that tentacle monster was the worst offender of the season.

All in all, I've seen it done better but I'm not going to stop watching the show. There's plenty left, I don't hate it (just some parts), I'm just going to watch it in parts so I'll have time to get to other stuff. Planning on making The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes my next watch and after that I'll get back to Buffy.