Monday, December 27, 2010

TV Series Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 2)

I was surprised to see that this season was longer than the first season and then doubled checked, apparently all the other seasons of Buffy are 22 episodes. Oh American television, you confuse me so much more than Japanese television and that's not a good sign. But, unlike the first season, I didn't feel like there were any filler episodes here so in the end I'm not complaining, it just threw me and I had to rework my viewing plans, does make me wish the show wasn't so long since it's going to take me so long to get through all of it.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
 Summary: Buffy may have killed off "the master" last season but more vamps have come to take advantage of the Hellmouth and both sides have some unexpected allies this season.

The Good: You can feel that Whedon is starting to flex his writing muscles and set up both story arcs and myth arcs and I'm interested to see how these go since Firefly was cut off too soon to see the result of his planning. I also found most of the characters enjoyable this season, had issues with some of them last season, and I'm curious to see how big a cast Whedon wants to build up. I've seen a few stories before that have a ton of characters (Narita's works come to mind)

The Bad: Knowing a lot of what's going to happen later in the series (ah, late arrival spoilers) makes me so much more cynical about the fate of half of these characters. Oh come one I know they're not dead/gone for good, I've read about stuff they haven't done yet! And, while Whedon is starting to stretch his muscles for writing bigger arcs he doesn't go all the way. It really feels like he's pulling back/holding back in parts, Ted has said that the show really gets good in season three and beyond so hopefully I won't have that gripe next time. Oh, and Mr. Whedon? I know it's not going to stop you but randomly killing off characters doesn't remind me how tragic and unplanned the world is, it just makes me question your writing skills.

The Music: Did they seriously use the exact same opening theme again? And I don't just mean music, I don't think they even remixed the images. Well that's odd and that's the only bit of music that sticks out to me from the whole show. There are plenty of one-time insert songs by whatever band is playing at the Bronx that episode but those felt like pretty standard teen-90-pop songs and, in my opinion, for an insert song to work it has to become a theme within the show itself, not pop up once and then vanish.

The Visuals: Dear lord, that werewolf episode, that was hideously bad, I'm not sure if it's so bad it's funny or if it's so bad it should never see the light of day again but I'm leaning towards the latter. Other than that, mostly the same as the first season, some vampires look better than others and some staking scenes look faker than others.

Well that was fast to write, not sure why but I guess watching one episode a day for the majority of a month is the best way for me to watch something fast while still taking it all in. It's funny because I'm now watching more Sherlock Holmes and craving more Buffy instead. I'm sure I'll get back into the swing of things in a week or so, maybe it's a good thing SH has shorter seasons.