Buffy the Vampire Slayer Seasons 1-3 Review

Preface

  • Hello everybody!
  • While the summer movie season is winding down, I am here to bring you part one of a Review for a show SO cool (mostly…), that I need two reviews to talk about it.
    • Actually, I’m also doing two reviews because Seasons 1-3 are have a much different caliber and feel than Seasons 4-7 (which have some issues…). So summarizing everything in one review just wouldn’t be fair.
  • And something funny: this is a show that I actually started watching in May and binged A LOT of, but then I got distracted with the summer movies and just finished the last season this week.
  • Regardless, it’s done now, so, here we go!

Premise

  • So Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a show that began airing in 1997 on the CW and it was created by Joss Whedon (yeah, the Avengers guy).
  • This was the show that put Joss Whedon on the map and after season 1 (DEFINITELY after Season 2) you can see why.
  • The show is about this girl named Buffy who moves to a town called Sunnydale with her mom after she was expelled from her old school.
  • The catch is that she’s ‘The Slayer.’
  • The Slayer is this girl, usually a teenager, who is always the one superhero-ish powerhouse that is best at taking down vampires, demons, and everything else supernatural.
  • Sunnydale, the town Buffy moves to, is located on ‘the Hellmouth’ which is the worst place on the planet for supernatural activity.
  • So you’ll get a lot of really cool action sequences from this, naturally, but what makes this show work is the characters.
  • This show could try to get by on gore and cheesy makeup (more on that later) but it builds itself on a small amount of fascinating characters, especially in these first three seasons and that is what carries the show through the rest of its run.
  • Every other TV show on right now in 2015 should take a note from this because characters are the most important part of making a TV show work.
  • And I loved all of these ones.

Characters

  • So the first character you’re introduced to is Buffy, of course.
  • Buffy Summers is this character that is presented fully in just the first 10 minutes she has on-screen. Sarah Michelle Gellar shined in this role and made Buffy the bubbly, relatable, and awesome slayer that they needed for a show like this.
  • Then we got Willow, played by Alyson Hannigan.
  • Willow is Buffy’s best friend and is the innocence of the show. Using her and Xander, they see these monsters the way you or I would. And she’s really entertaining. I’ll talk more about Willow in my second review because that’s when her arc becomes more full, but I liked seeing the different and minor ways that her character grows throughout high school, and Alyson Hannigan is always sweet to watch in a show.
  • A guy that I mentioned briefly up there: Xander.
  • Xander is the show’s comic relief and the best way I can describe Xander is the perfect combination between Joey and Chandler in Friends. If you ever wondered what Joey and Chandler in Friends would be like as one character, you got Xander.
  • Xander is one of these characters that’s more realistic than anyone on the show, because he can come off one very distinct way, but as the show goes on (and you learn more about him and the way he thinks) the more human and emotional of a character he becomes.
  • The first couple episodes of the show are a little hard to get into too, but Xander’s quips are the parts that draw you back in and make you want to continue. He was my favorite character in the whole show.
  • Another one of my favorites though is Giles.
  • Giles is Buffy’s “Watcher” or basically mentor/trainer in all things supernatural. He’s the school librarian and he’s this resource with a huge brain on everything supernatural going on in Sunnydale.
  • For the first season or so, Anthony Stewart Head was a little bit awkward as Giles, but during Season 2 you really learn more about his character too. Season 1 sets him up well, but Giles really excels as the show goes on and you understand his main function more. And by the time you get into Season 2, he’s one of your favorite characters. Definitely in Season 3, he becomes one of the MAIN main characters and that’s probably my favorite Giles season.
  • Then we got David Boreanaz (or ‘the guy from Bones’ as I previously knew him) as Angel, this shady guy who hangs around Sunnydale and knows a lot about these supernatural forces too. And of course he’ll eventually be a love interest for Buffy…
  • But his relationship with Buffy works well, they start off well together and I liked the first few episodes after they start dating.
  • It’s a little awkward getting the two of them together because there isn’t a TON of setup to their romance, but once they’re in a relationship (mild spoiler, I guess?) it works really well.
  • And the last character I’ll touch on is Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia. Cordelia feels like this completely irrelevant and pointless character during the first season, but you unknowingly get to know more of who she is during Season 1, so that way when she becomes a big player in Season 2 you’re happy to see more of her.
  • There’s a lot of other characters too in these 3 seasons who I won’t touch on, but all of the supporting cast is great.
  • What I loved about the Buffy supporting cast is that they weren’t needlessly brought out to any episodes they didn’t need to be. Like some shows will bring back characters from other episodes just for fun, but this show didn’t. Some characters are just one-time deals and that’s perfect in almost every case.
  • So all of the characters worked really well together and the chemistry was just there. Alyson Hannigan and Nicholas Brendan (Xander) were my two favorite in the chemistry department, but Cordelia and Xander worked really well together, I loved how Giles interacted with everyone.
  • The show was just so brilliantly written, each actor could give their best performance possible and the results are remarkable.
    • Even if there is a little bit of awkwardness in that first season…

Season 1

  • There won’t be any spoilers here, but I’ll just run through each season and say why I liked each one individually because they are each written differently than the last.
  • So Season 1 is a pretty typical first season to a show, but it starts off a little weird…
  • You’re thrown right into the action, which isn’t a bad thing, but you’re a little confused because of the lack of setup.
  • What I love though, is that after the first two episodes, you get a lot of setup and exposition about the Hellmouth and Sunnydale and you spend that time setting up the characters, but the procedural episodes are still interesting.
  • There are probably two or three episodes in the first season that I loved most, but it is one of the best despite its clunky start.

Season 2

  • But then we got Season 2…
  • Season 2 was my personal favorite season of the entire show because it took the setup of the first season and continued to further the characters, as well as create this insanely compelling storyline over the season.
  • Most of the time, you care more about the season’s arc than the episodic stuff, but the ‘procedural’ episodes in Season 2 were awesome too.
  • As for the season-long arc? All I’ll say is that I LOVED the villain. And that’s all I’ll say…
  • Part 2 of this review will contain some complaints about Network Television Syndrome, but honestly this season was 22 episodes long and there isn’t a single one I can even think of taking out.
  • Everything in Season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was paced perfectly, its story was laid out beautifully, everything just came together and worked for this season.
  • The writing the directing, the acting, the effects.
  • Season 2 had everything going for it, and it did not disappoint.

Season 3

  • Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer kind of reminded me of Season 3 of Dexter.
  • If any of you guys watched Dexter, you’ll know that Season 3 was a very positive Season, but it just wasn’t AS awesome as the season before it.
  • And just like Season 1, Season 3 started off a little clunky too.
  • It took about 2 episodes before you’re in for the season.
  • Actually, Seasons 2 and 4 are probably the only seasons that begin well.
  • Season 3, though, introduced a lot of new elements that were vital for the continuation of the show.
  • What I really enjoyed was this expansion of the universe, everything felt bigger and the characters all fit into this bigger universe which was great.
  • Season 3, if I have one complaint, does feel just 2-4 episodes too long though.
  • Like, it was a positive season but they could have tightened it up even a little bit more and just made it flow.
  • And I wasn’t a huge fan of how they handled Angel in this season… Weak season for Angel.
  • Good one for Cordelia though! I really enjoyed how they did Cordelia in this season, she had a much bigger chance to shine than either of the previous seasons.

In Conclusion

  • In Conclusion guys, Buffy the Vampire Slayers Seasons 1, 2, and 3 do a fantastic job of establishing their characters and growing them out from the pilot onwards, something that other shows should take a hint from nowadays.
  • The characters were all really enjoyable and super likable and the writing was done well and realistically.
  • Season 1 felt pretty simple but was really enjoyable, Season 2 was downright brilliant, and Season 3 did a great job of making the transition between Seasons 2 and 4, while staying a solid standalone season.
  • The show did have some flaws, things were a bit awkward at times, there was a cheesiness factor throughout, and not every characters was GREAT all of the time.
  • But that being said, Seasons 1, 2 and 3 are all definitely worth watching, in fact I’d say Buffy the Vampire Slayers Seasons 1-3 is Awesome and Worth Checking Out Multiple Times!
  • Part 2 coming soon…

***

So guys, those are my thoughts on Seasons 1-3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! What are your guys thoughts on these seasons and whose your favorite character on the show? Let me know in the comments down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.

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