Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pose Reviews A...TV Show?! #23: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Season One)

Despite being among the target demographic for Buffy The Vampire Slayer while it was actually on television, it took me till now to actually sit down and watch it.

And both to my surprise, and the surprise of die-hard Buffy fans who tend to think the first season is sheer swill, and explain it away with a desperate "it gets better after this," I actually dug it!

Yep, it's safe to say that I've been bitten by the Buffy bug. And given that it's only a bug and not some larger, more sinister creature of the night, I think I got off light.

There are three things that make Buffy so enjoyable, in this converted cynic's opinion...

First, it doesn't take itself too seriously.

Most of the time.

There are certainly instances of melodrama in the first season, but they're usually offset by corny and occasionally self-reflexive one-liners, and charming humour that may inspire more "aww's" than guffaws, but still work to keep the show lighthearted.

It also helps that, despite its outlandish premise, the plot of Buffy manages to covers its bases.

Although some of the explanations for the weird and wonderful phenomena that occur on the show are a little thin, they're there, and if you can suspend your disbelief, you can enjoy the hell out of some of the more ridiculous episodes. (No pun intended.)

Secondly? The characters on Buffy are just so freakin' endearing.

I didn't realize Buffy was a kind of paranormal-themed Freaks and Geeks, but lo and behold, the elements are there!

Buffy herself has trouble leading a normal teenager's life of listening to awful music and sulking, given that she's responsible for guarding humanity against the forces of evil.

And her friends, the adorably awkward Willow (played by American Pie's and How I Met Your Mother's Alyson Hannigan) and the delightfully sarcastic Xander (played by Nicholas Brendon, who isn't really famous but looks like the guy from Boy Meets World) are going through their own growin' pains--more social than biological, but pains nonetheless. (Oh, and occasionally they get punched. Hard. Which I guess just qualifies as "pains" without the "growin'".)

And thirdly? Season One has vintage cred. HARDCORE vintage cred.

Remember, it's from 1997, so some of the episodes make really awesome, outdated references.

Especially the episode where a demon haunts the internet.

Oh yes.

And keep in mind, this is the internet circa 1997, so there are frequent references to floppy disks and modems, made in total seriousness given that they were the height of technological achievement at the time.

And it's hilarious.

All in all, season one of Buffy The Vampire Slayer is cute, campy and thoroughly enjoyable--plus, it gears you up for six more seasons which I've heard get pretty spectacular.

I'd definitely recommend it as a fun twelve hours of entertainment, not to mention a great throwback to the nineties.

Oh yeah, and there's also vampires.

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