I’ve had fun re-watching and writing about the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now that I have finished watching the season my impression is that it is generally underrated. There have been calls from many critics to skip Season 1 altogether. But in my opinion the season sets the scene and tone for the show as a whole. It also references coming conflicts and develops the shows core themes.
Before I move on to Season 2, I am pausing to consider some of the often overlooked recurring characters introduced in Season 1.
Well, it’s been a while. As is often the case school holidays tends to delay my Buffy Re-watch progression. So where was I. Oh yes, nearly at the end. Of Season One at least. So now school’s back and I have a little more time on my hands. Let’s locate the box set, fire up the DVD player and watch the season finale, Prophecy Girl. Spoilers ahead…
I’m a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – you may have noticed. As such I have also been a long time fan of Joss Whedon. Not only were Buffy and his other shows great, but Whedon is also a self-proclaimed feminist, who has become as well-known as the show he pioneered. All good so far. But last night I read Kai Cole’s account of how Whedon treated her during their marriage, including having multiple affairs and lying about it. It left me feeling sad and sickened.
Continuing my Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-watch and nearing the end of Season One, we come to Nightmares. Spoilers for the episode lie ahead. With it’s surreal atmosphere, I felt like this was one of the stand out episodes of Season 1 when I first saw it. And I still love it now. It opens with Buffy’s nightmare that she confronts The Master and he defeats her. Fortunately it was not real, she wakes and gets on with her usual day.
But soon everyone’s worst nightmares begin to become real.
My Buffy re-watch brings me to The Puppet Show, with spoilers. Like many Season 1 episodesit is often criticised. Some Buffy fans would even go so far as to say skip it. But not me. I am a firm believer that watching every episode helps in appreciating the relationships and humour between the key characters.
Ok, so this episode has a corny talking dummy, but the character’s reactions to it make it well worth the watch. When I first saw this episode I particularly loved the awkward final dramatic scene played out by Buffy, Willow and Xander. This was a moment when I thought, ok, this TV show is really on to something.
My Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-watch brings me crashing into a world of scary new technology in Season 1, Episode 7, I Robot… You Jane. It contains spoilers and a content warning for passing references to cyberbullying and grooming.
I have to confess that in 1997 I had little knowledge of the internet and was probably further behind than Giles. As Ms Calendar encouraged Giles to join us in the 20th Century with three whole years to spare, like Giles, I felt more comfortable “back in the middle ages”.