Welcome to the Hellmouth
Never Kill a Boy on the First Date
I, Robot… You, Jane
The Puppet Show
Out of Mind, Out of Sight
On paper, Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s premise seems tired and clichéd; a prophecy involving a vampire hunter tasked with slaying the forces of evil is hardly an original concept. What is original however, is the way Buffy typifies female empowerment but it never feels forced or out-of-place. Coupled with a wicked sense of humour and a good balance between comedy and drama, Buffy makes for a great watch. Although the first season feels a little rough around the edges and some of the episodes are lacklustre, it paves the way for what ultimately becomes an incredible series.
The story begins with Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) starting high school. If the pressures of school weren’t enough, a watcher named Giles (Anthony Head) informs her she possesses special abilities and is the prophesied slayer – a girl chosen to keep the forces of evil at bay. What ensues is a supernaturally charged series rife with action, comedy and drama in 12 great episodes of entertainment. Although the overarching plot involving The Master is a little lacklustre, the main focus is squarely on the characters and it’s here that Buffy shines.
The natural chemistry between the characters and the way the misfit group alongside Buffy team together is rare to find in a show like this. Xander (Nicholas Brendon) and Willow (Alyson Hannigan) typify the group’s comedy and geeky awkwardness, Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) flits in and out of the group and plays the popular girl archetype and Giles plays the teacher trait perfectly. This harmonious fit and great chemistry between the group is largely what makes the show so appealing and drives the narrative forward. There’s a touch of romance thrown in too through the mysterious Angel (David Boreanaz) and adds an extra dimension to the show.
Alongside the episodic monster-of-the-week is a recurring storyline between the characters that grows and evolves as the series progresses. Xander and Willow’s relationship, Buffy’s relationship with her mum, Angel’s presence and The Master looming over the town of Sunnydale all stand out as the key focal points this season. Some of these scenes are really dramatic too and Buffy The Vampire Slayer manages to nail the right balance between comedy and drama in the smartly written scripts through this season.
If there’s one gripe this year, aside from the slightly rushed resolution to The Master story line, it’s with the special effects. They feel a little poorly implemented; vampires bursting into clouds of dust and CGIed monsters don’t look great but on the whole, it doesn’t detract too much from the show. The episodes are enchanting and full of charming titbits of witty dialogue that help Buffy stand out from other shows on the market.
Although a little rough around the edges, Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s first season is a great slice of entertainment. The balance between comedy and drama is on point and the witty dialogue mixed with the great chemistry between characters helps Buffy stand out from the mass of other TV series out there. There really isn’t anything on the market like it and although the resolution to the plot involving The Master feels underwhelming and under-developed, it’s overshadowed by a fun season of entertainment.
Verdict - 7.5/10