14 March 2011

'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' Part 2

Double review of Buffy Season 5 and Angel Season 1! :P

(CREDIT: to Joss Whedon... the creator)
Rank: 2.5 out of 5 <- dear God in heaven...

Remember when I said that seasons 2 and 3 were my favorites because they made the characters lovable? Well... many have came close to going out via the guillotine. To be honest, I don't completely know why I disliked this season. It couldn't have been Angel: I watched his spin-off along with this so I'm not detoxing... Cordelia? Nah, she's in Angel and is treated better... Oz? Giles? Xander? Anya? Hmm... how about those four? Though not much could have been said about the plot of season 3, at least there was one enemy to care about. This time around, by the time Riley and Buffy are a couple, all care for anything went "bye bye."

Characters were deprived beyond belief. Giles was ignored 80% of the time; Xander felt more useless than he might actually be; and Anya was worse off in the development department then Angel was in season 1. And as interested as I am in Tara, I still couldn't help but mourn the fact that Oz left the gang for good, leaving me with three quarters of a season to suffer through. Minus these guys, I could only find comfort and amusement from Spike and Willow. That's it.

More complaints flying in at the horizon. Although Riley is sweet, nice, and a good guy, I can't help but find him to be annoying. I'm not saying this because I find Angel and Spike to be better because of their "conditions," but they had something interesting to offer, wether its humor, usefulness, or their own identities. Despite being in the military, Riley is the normal guy Buffy wanted... a nervous, passive, uninteresting dork. You have no idea how happily amused I was when the testosterone fight over Buffy happened in "The Yoko Factor."

Maybe it's because I lack the boyfriend-girlfriend relationship experience, but Buffy was so emotionally and physically clingy to Riley that Buffy and Angel looked coldly heartless and distant. What a world...

Once I get past my tears over the characters, I cared less about the entire plot, which was a total waste of potential. Having no invested interest in characters often equates to having no concern for conflict. The Initiative attempted but failed at being a "conspiring" project under the government; the "monsters of the week" were lame; and Adam was an interesting villain (compared to the Mayor) with poor initial set up.

A lot of complaining? Yep. This was a boring season. OBVIOUSLY.

But there were some decent episodes like "Hush" (the Gentlemen are freaky!), "Fear, Itself," "The Yoko Factor," "Restless," and "Who Are You." "Pangs" could have introduced a better monster of the week, but I can't complain if there was a crossover with Angel. *sigh* I think I am detoxing...

On one hand, I can't say this season is horrible since it was still watchable enough for me to stay with the show. However, it's disappointing when one skips two episodes because he/she has no patience for the slow pacing. So I'll just leave this at a 2.5.

(CREDIT: created by Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt)
RANK: 4.3 out of 5 <- awkward, but hilarious

Those three words sum this up pretty accurately.

Seriously, what better way to start the first episode than this: a 247 year old vampire is at a bar (oh boy...), fairly drunk and bummed about his failed relationship with Buffy (*pinches bridge of nose*), stops a bunch of vampires from feeding on two women, and storms off in a gloom back to his apartment. (*cringes at the awkwardness*) A half-demon with prophetic vision named Doyle follows him and tells the vampire to get his act together and take advantage of his abilities by helping people. The obnoxious whiney gi - I meant Cordelia-
is also in Los Angeles and teams up with Angel and Doyle by forming their own private investigation agency.

Might I add that the first two episodes are pretty painful to sit through? All three of these guys are so socially awkward that even a wallflower would be thankful for planting her roots in deep. On one hand, a new series needs to find its sense of direction, so strange scripting and the like are understandable; even in the story, each character has their own insecurities and socializing isn't their specialties. But as far as first impressions go, the first two episodes dampened my hopes for Angel. And then Spike appears in episode 3. His priceless entrance saved me from discarding the show, which does get better soon after. (SPOILER!) Things improved so much that Doyle's death in "Hero" made me cry. (I hate you Joss Whedon!! T-T)

As mentioned in the above review, Angel surpassed Buffy overall. The new characters, such as Linsey and Gunn, were fascinating, and old, Angel, Cordelia, and Wesley, developed from their previously restrained selves from the main show into complex identities. Because of this, the plot and conflict held interest so tightly that I would often play two episodes in a row instead of playing this and Buffy simultaneously. There are loads of pop culture references thanks to Cordy, but the humor was executed really well, reminding me of the first three Buffy seasons.

My favorite episodes? "Rm w/a Vu" and "I've Got You Under my Skin" since I'm a sucker for exorcisms... "Sense and Sensitivity" with the epidemic caused by the talking stick (a long and hilarious story)... "The Prodigal" and "Eternity" for Angelus (ah, good times)... and "Sanctuary" for Angel's way of saying "This is my show, Buffy, and I don't need your help!"

Just don't get me started on "I Will Remember You." I am still shaking in anger and sadness from it.

Without a doubt, Angel gets a 4.3 for helping me stay sane from the boring main show. But if only the beginning started off a bit less rocky, I could have given this season a 4.8.

So imagine that. A spinoff was more enjoyable than the main show. Let's see what Season 5 and Season 2 bring...

1 comment:

Tenebris In Lux said...

Joss Whedon stated that he loves to kill characters. I haven't watched too much of Angel, but I knew he wanted to kill off Spike when he was first introduced. *Drusilla voice* Poor Spikey ..

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