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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1 (Disc 1 of 3) back to product details

"Buffy" season 1, disc 1
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written by Saroz November 13, 2004 - 11:09 PM PST
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
The first disc of "Buffy" season one contains these episodes:

"Welcome to the Hellmouth"

There's no way I would start a prospective fan with this episode. Everything about it screams "pilot" - the heavy-handed dialogue, the corny fights, and most of all, the stagy acting. As with the actual, unscreened pilot, nobody but Nick Brendon seems comfortable with their character yet; Angel and Giles have some particularly clunky moments. The first 'dusting' effect looks ridiculously cheap, and slow as hell to boot. Whedon's script somehow manages to rise above all of this, but in hindsight, it really doesn't stand up to repeat viewing. 5.5/10

"The Harvest"

The second half of the story is a little better and a little worse, all at the same time. The story itself has better pacing, but the cast never really sells the idea that they would ever team together to plan a strategy, let alone fight evil on any grand scale. Anthony Stewart Head starts to come into his own by the end, but the rest are just as bad as before in fact, this is a very rare episode where even Willow seems more dense than cute. The Master makes a completely ineffective villain, too, standing in his lair and gurning while Luke gets all the action. The worst scene, however, has to be the inept one where Cordelia and Harmony gossip while attempting to program in BASIC. When the long-haired boy joins in, he acts like he's about to break into song. Six seasons too early, pal... 6/10

"The Witch"

Things are finally starting to snap into place. The main cast is completely 'on,' with special points for Sarah Michelle Gellar for her hyperactive scenes, and Nick Brendon for...well...pretty much the entire episode. Even Kristine Sutherland has her share of decent lines. The script is witty and fun, with a great twist. It also has a horror element strong enough to feel convincing, unlike the 'scream, run, scream' antics of "The Harvest." It's just a shame this episode wasn't followed up more quickly; Amy would have made an interesting semi-regular. 8/10

"Teacher's Pet"

This is the first of several 'friends in trouble' episodes this season, and arguably the least successful. The very concept of the thing doesn't lend itself well to the show's limited budget, and most of the effects - the "Exorcist twist" comes blazing to mind - look really, really lame. The monster's costume isn't too painful, since they manage to keep it in the dark, but it's still not great. On the other hand, the cast seems to be having fun: Nick Brendon is on autopilot, sadly, and David Boreanaz still isn't being given very good material, but the moment where Giles questions the legality of Willow's methods is the funniest yet. The framing sequences - where Buffy first learns to trust, and later remembers Dr. Gregory - are also quite nicely done. 5/10


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(Average 7.80)
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