Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Buffy Retrospective

Last weekend, when I should have been getting a head start on my readings for my final semester of law school, I fell into an unplanned marathon of Season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I dreamed up a great tool of procrastination for myself. I am going to blog a full retrospective viewing of the series. Sounds like a daunting task, but I have already spent an excessive amount of time thinking about the show, and it's not as if I'll be viewing any unfamiliar material. I have set blogging goals for myself in the past, and I don't think I have achieved any of them to date, but I think my excessive dedication to Buffy will get me through. (If anyone questions my dedication to the show, I once wrote a blog defending Dawn after she was included on a list of the most annoying characters on television, and I stand by what I said. If that's not dedication to the series, I don't know what is.)

By way of introduction, let me share a few words about how my relationship with Buffy (and thus the cult of Joss Whedon) began. In 1992, at the tender age of 7 or 8, I rented Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yes, the movie. I recall enjoying the movie. Of course, I had no idea what was to come, but the film somehow stuck with me because when I got word of the series, I knew, before anyone told me, that it was based on the film and I wanted very much to watch it, though I didn't know how different from the film the series would prove to be.

Buffy premiered on the WB Network on March 10, 1997. However, I didn't see an episode until a few weeks into Season 2 because my mother, under the mistaken belief that the show was too violent and scary for an impressionable youth such as myself, didn't let me watch it (YTV was airing the show in Canada at this stage). I managed to sneak a few episodes and by the time the Season 2 finale rolled around, I somehow convinced my mother that the show was not going to scar me. I taped "Go Fish" and "Becoming" and proceeded to watch them almost every day over the course of the summer of 1998. I've had a pretty serious addiction every since. I started taping every episode and watching them repeatedly, and managed to get a few friends watching, as well. I also started collecting various forms of Buffy memorabilia, particularly comics, action figures, and books. The collection may warrant a special post someday. Since the series finale in 2003, I have continued to watch episodes on a regular basis and am enjoying Season 8, which is being conveyed in the form of a comic published by Dark Horse and produced by Joss.

So, here is the plan going forward. I am not going to follow any particular format in my entries, which will allow me to tailor each entry to the particular episode. In the interest of time and because there are thorough recaps available elsewhere online (my personal favourite site for all things Buffy is Much Ado About Buffy the Vampire Slayer), I'm not going to get into episode and storyline recaps to any great degree. Rather, my attention will be focused on what I can recall of my impressions of the episode when it first aired, how my perspective on the episode has changed in relation to subsequent episodes and after repeated viewing, and my favourite tidbits from each episode. I'm also going to work on compiling a few different lists because lists are fun.

With that, let's get on with the show!

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