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Old June 5th 10, 01:56   #1
GKarsEye
First One
 
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 16,754
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Having neglected my nerdly pop culture duty on two major fronts: Buffy and Harry Potter- that is, I've never watched any of it (nor read the Potter books), and having lost all interest in movies, and running out of TV shows to watch (Treme and Breaking Bad ending their seasons soon, Lost finished for good, I couldn't be bothered with V or Flash Forward or whatever), I decided to jump into Buffy.

In our nerd/sci-fi world, it's the biggest most important cultural phenomenon of our generation. As much as I still love B5 I'm not going to delude myself into thinking anyone but like 5 people give a crap, and Trek's glory days really were before our time (Kirk rules, bitches!).

Also, I'm just totally in the mood for trivial nonsense, and whatever else it may have, I was promised hot chicks and monsters.

So I'm almost done with season 1 (only 12 episodes). And my first impression- well this show is pretty damn stupid. 5 minutes into it and I'm like "oh I remember why I never watched this before- it's about a girl named Buffy who slays vampires."

Fortunately I'm in the mood for stupid so this is totally passable cheesy entertainment.

I'm also very aware that one must be charitable with first seasons. If I can swallow N'Grath and Tasha Yar being kidnapped by a tribe of racist stereotypes, then I can handle these ridiculous vampire masks that look like something you'd buy at Spencers.

The most important thing is the main character and she is indeed delightful. I never considered Gellar an unattractive woman, of course, but here in the flush of youth and increasingly shorter skirts, she is just the cutest little thing. I know Cordelia is supposed to be the great beauty and Willow is the geek fantasy, but Gellar is just smokin'.

What the hell is the point of the Cordelia character anyway? She adds nothing, at least not yet.

Xander and Willow are mostly annoying and not very good actors. Their supposed to mostly deliver jokes and serve as the accessibility points for the audience, but they are so clunky and awkward that it's painful. Xander had a more solid presence in the heyena-spirit-abduction episode (which I enjoyed way more than I should have), so I'm hoping they'll find something cool for him to do down the line.

As for Willow, I think later she becomes gay if I remember my internets properly, which I don't care about but whatever (though her crush on Xander is pretty straight, but whatever, we TV shows have to have our socially relevant points...)

Angel is the worst character so far. OMG what an annoying prick. Ok yes he's very good-looking, I can see why the teenage girlies liked him, what with his pecs and hair and brooding (I'm just going to assume he is the primary inspiration/blame for Twilight). I hear he gets a spinoff- I hope this dude acquires a personality before then.

Love the watcher. Hits me right in my anglophile soul.

Love the principals. Sad to see the first dude eaten, but impressed that they went there. Now there's Quark! And he's introduced by slamming the previous principal's "wooly-headed liberal" thinking. Lots of stuff on this show now ends up playing like 90s-nostalgia porn, especially the way the aging boomers try to "nurture" their kids with methods and such, especially Buffy's mother. And how in the otherwise atrocious episode about the internet demon robot, how the 'net was new and scary and mysterious. Though if I can go the rest of my life without hearing the word "techno-pagan" again, it'll be too soon.

Of course like most monster fare I have to not think about plot points too carefully. At the end of the pilot, Xander is surprised that everyone can just go about their day after The Harvest, and the librarian just blows it off. No, Xander, you're right- that's not normal! People just die left and right, and no one seems bothered by it. Yes the show sometimes makes joking self-deprecating references, but as the plots will get more involved (ridiculous), I'm expecting that to get less funny and more lazy.

The Master is just some queen bitch, like the MC at a drag club. I'm going to assume he dies shortly- he can't be a long-term villain.

This show has a reputation for getting all serious and dealing with "characters" and "issues" and whatever, which I'm hoping is good, but I'm really enjoying the superficial stupidity of the whole thing right now and I hope it doesn't completely lose this charm.

Oh, I suppose it goes without saying that this thread is by me for me and should remain spoiler free for episodes I haven't watched yet. Tonight I plan on finishing season 1.
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"Most smart people cannot watch most TV, because it has generally been a condescending medium, explaining everything immediately, offering no ambiguities, and using dialogue that simplifies and mitigates against the idiosyncratic ways in which people in different worlds actually communicate. It eventually requires that characters from different places talk the same way as the viewer. This, of course, sucks." - David Simon
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