This week's Nostalgia Trip: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 1, for the YouTube version, scroll down <('-'<) (>'-')>
Back in 1997, the first prominent reboot occurred for a lot of folks... that being of Buffy The Vampire Slayer... changing it from the comedy about a valley girl facing Vampires that made the film a cult favorite... to a dark, semi-whining show about a valley girl facing Vampires and other evils that made the TV show a cult favorite...
The show hold a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes... and that's why has me thinking, particularly since the show will be having its 20th Anniversary next year, wondering if the first season of the show actually holds up. So over the course of the last few weeks I've gone back and re-watched the first season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer that aired in early 1997.
Right off the bat with episode 1, 'Welcome to the Helmouth' the Status quo is established of Buffy coming to her new school after 'burning down' her previous school's gym because it was full of Vampires (explained away as asbestos), something that would not really be explained until until prequel comic that 'adapted' Joss Whedon's intention for the 1992 movie.
We are introduced to the supporting cast of characters (her mother Joyce, Cordella, Xander, Willow and her watcher Rupert, along with Angel), learn about Hellmouth and the dangers that she'll be facing in her new town, plus met the Big Bad, the Master...
Sadly, it wasn't Anthorny Ainley or even Eric Roberts as The Master... Doctor Who fans you are welcome for that reference.
Over the course of the 13 episode season, you get your standard monster of the week plots tied into 'High School' drama, and it certainly works. The story told over the course of the season, much like a mini-series, everything building towards the confrontation between Buffy and the Master with the 'fate of the world' at stake.
Thing is though... the show feels incredibly dated in both its story telling and style, it feels very 90s... which is fair since this season aired in 1997... and it's hard not to see beyond it at times, because there's a sorta grunge feel about the attire, and locations see... and at times the show can be seen as very 'brown' with the color scheme at time...
However that's minor, the theme song certainly holds up, the character relationships are established well... though the lead character of Buffy is down-right unlikable at times, there is enough here for the season to stand on its own because its self-contained, since this easily could've just been the only season for the show, everything has a direction and a point, which is a strong advantage of having a 13-episode season, there is plenty of time for character growth, silliness... but nothing feels wasted.
Now of course these are all my opinion, you can make your own judgements, for either nostalgia sake or for checking it out for the first time. Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 1 is of course available on DVD, or check your favorite streaming service for availability.
In fact, since I have the DVD set, I can review it a bit, comes in a nice solid sleeve, folding out for a nice display image from the back, and is a standard 3-Disc set and comes with a little booklet. Because Whedon is a bit of a pratt, the original pilot is not included but you can find that online. In fact I'll include it below for you to watch.
And I think that will wrap everything up here! Catch ya next time.
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