Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel - First Time Viewer

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by tomalak301, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    I’ve been wanting to see Buffy for years. This series is part of those WB shows I skipped out on (Charmed, Angel, Supernatural, etc) and I’ve always been told that this series was revolutionary for its time. Also as a 90s guy, it’s a new series that fits my favorite decade. Also I just got Hulu so I figured it was time to dive in.

    Anyway I saw the first two episodes and it was pretty good. Already like Buffy and Willow (“I need to sit down” “You are sitting down”) but the Vampires themselves are a little corny. Looking forward to digging deeper into it though. 2019 is the year I find out if Buffy deserves its spot as one of the top TV shows ever, or a little overrated.

    I do have a question about Buffy’s origin. Is this a direct continuation of the movie and Geller is playing the role started by Swanson or is this a retooling of the movie. Basically if I wanted to know how Buffy became a slayer I would need to see the movie again (and it’s been maybe 20 years since I saw it originally) or will this series explore that (without getting too spoilerific).
     
  2. Kemaiku

    Kemaiku Admiral Admiral

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    The movie is referenced several times, but with subtle differences from what we saw. So like Stargate, it hapened in a general sense.

    There's a trade paperback comic called Origin that retells the movie events canonically with the series. But no, we only see one flashback later with a new Merrick that's a few seconds long, nothing concrete about her becoming the Slayer.
     
  3. Janeway’s Girl

    Janeway’s Girl Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Season one is very meh. They are still figuring things out but by season two it becomes so awesome!

    Little tidbit: Buffy was actually a mid-season replacement which is why there are only 12 episodes. Alyson Hannigan was also not the original Willow. They had a different actress who was in the pilot but she wasn’t working out. You can probably find the unaired pilot on YouTube.
     
  4. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Commodore Commodore

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    I'd say the differences are a bit more than subtle. For instance, the movie vampires don't dust. Movie Merrick is hundreds of years old and had a different death. Movie Buffy's parents are horrible, but TV Joyce is a great mom. Movie Buffy's a senior while tv Buffy starts as a sophomore (making her a freshman during her LA experiences). She acts like she's never heard of a master vampire before even though that's like the whole plot of the movie. Also, her movie squeeze Pike (who even helped her fight vampires) is never mentioned once even though there's an entire episode about the return of an old friend of hers from LA who knows all about the slayer gig (that guy, Ford, had no movie equivalent).

    Basically, both Buffys went to Hemery high, were socially obsessed cheerleaders of the cliched variety, and had a watcher named Merrick who died. And both had a fiery vampire enounter in the school gym. Nothing else from the movie matters.
     
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  5. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    I had heard it was a midseason replacement. I have the TV Time App on my phone and they give the original air date and it was like early March 1997 when it started.

    As for Hannagin, there's a subtly she brings to Willow that I kinda like, but then it only has been 2 episodes.
     
  6. Obsidian7

    Obsidian7 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Buffy was a revolutionary show. It subverted the horror cliche of the blonde female in distress by making her fight back.

    The every day problems that we all face in real life took a supernatural form. The vampires themselves were a metaphor of rampant puberty. Magic is another theme/metaphor that's addressed.

    The show also frequently used pop culture references that weren't just funny but highly quotable.

    There were also episodes that challenged what a tv show format should be. The show debuted in '97 - two years before The Sopranos. (Another groundbreaking tv show.) By then, the third season really shook up the format.
     
  7. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    You put it that way it reminds me a little of Farscape is a way, at least from a pop culture perspective.
     
  8. theenglish

    theenglish Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I remember watching Buffy without having any idea what it was because at that point I hadn't seen the movie. I liked the characters from the first episode.

    The series doesn't just subvert horror movie tropes, it becomes an important statement about female empowerment in an historically male dominated world. The message becomes more and more powerful throughout the seven seasons without ever losing sight of its story or becoming preachy. My daughter is almost 12 now and I can't wait to start watching the series with her.
     
  9. Velocity

    Velocity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The vampire makeup gets better after the first season.
     
  10. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hannigan actually creates a very distinctive character through which she interprets the character's part in the script. The actor in the pilot was merely reading the script.

    Not too long ago, someone in the media who was a fan of the show created a list of all the characters according to how "good" they were. If memory serves, Willow was in her top five -- or may have been number 1.

    As I also recall, a poster here tried to argue that Willow was actually a terrible person. That was pretty funny. :)
     
  11. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    The only thing she did that was terrible in the first two episodes was make some other girls delete everything they were working on after they were incredibly mean to her. That's not terrible though, that's payback in the coolest way possible.
     
  12. tafkats

    tafkats Vice Admiral Admiral

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  13. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    I'm not sure how much of a recap this thread will be. It might be casual observations and then talking about the season when I'm done. Also, the deeper I get into it the more I can chat about this series, and surprisingly, I did a board search on the series and not a lot came up.
     
  14. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    I'm watching the third episode, and we've had a Sabrina the Teenage Witch reference and a Family Matters reference. Yep, this show is definitely 90s.
     
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  15. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Commodore Commodore

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    I almost wanted to comment that Willow is basically the only character other than Buffy herself with a truly credible claim to being the best character on the show, but then I realized you're talking about moral goodness rather than good-character-ness. Top-five probably makes sense, I think. I mean there are definitely certain storylines where she clearly leaves good behind, but every character on this show has their dark side/moral failings. Even Tara wasn't always the model saint a lot of people tend to remember her as. It's one of the things that makes the characters so 3 dimensional and believable.

    I actually have a soft spot (god knows why) for The Pack. And I think the last 2 episodes of season 1 (Out of Mind, Out of Sight and Prophecy Girl) could really be counted among the top 15-20 percent of episodes. The two before that (The Puppet Show and Nightmares) are actually really good stories, too, but they still heavily have that work in progress feel to them visually/directorially.

    But yeah, the show definitely peaks in season 3. And then peaks again in season 5.
     
  16. Janeway’s Girl

    Janeway’s Girl Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    @grendelsbayne, in what way did Tara have a dark side because I’m drawing a blank.
     
  17. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Love the musical episode. They had some of the best gimmicky episodes.
     
  18. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Commodore Commodore

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    Well, the most obvious one was when she screwed with their minds to 'hide'. It was understandable, sure, but that doesn't make it right. You could also see small hints of negative stuff in season 6, I think (don't recall exact situations right now) - nothing even near as bad as most people, or the other characters on the show, but enough to prove that she is human and not, as I said, the saint people often view her as.
     
  19. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, hell, I was a fan right from the get-go. The first ep was intriguing, and then "The Witch" just totally grabbed me with its brilliant commentary on peer pressure, parental pressure, (and I don't know WHAT to call Amy's mom's psychosis) and that Rod Serling ending. This was a totally new, brilliant thing on TV.
     
  20. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Sabrina? You mean that show currently airing in 2019 on streaming media?;)