Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Nightmares

episode 10 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: a girl's inane shownotes.

One of the Slayer's supernatural gifts is premonition-type dreams. The first nightmare of the episode is about the Master (the show's first Big Bad) defeating her, which means they're gearing up for the season's end. It's about time! Outfits one and two are light and fluffy even though she's plagued with nightmares. I miss those big ass rings of the '90s. I need some more of those big plastic colorful globe rings.

In this episode we get to see everyone's secret nightmares. What are my nightmares? Being lost in the church I went to as a child. Being late to class or work and not being able to find where I'm going. I used to have nightmares about not being able to stop my car, then I got a car with better brakes. I used to have nightmares about running from a big scary man and my feet would get stuck and I couldn't move, then I took control of my life and stopped associating with asshole-type-men.

It seems odd that Buffy has a fear of becoming a vampire. Ok, the nightmares are real. Giles can't read. That's the nightmare that is horrifying to me! First appearance of Buffy's dad. First of like two. First time seeing Buffy cry. I love how Buffy cries. Her eyes get all wide and horrified. Mean dad nightmare!

Cordelia's nightmare is crimped hair, apparently...and being on the chess team.

The nightmare demon manifestation has a big club hand and is very scarred and gnarly. Since when does Xander gorge on sweets? Willow has to sing Madame Butterfly in front of people which is inexplicable that she is always having these public performance nightmares in all the dream sequence episodes because they never really discuss the reason for this. Xander just punched out the clown from his nightmare; just confronted it head-on.

This is the first episode where there's a whole Sunnydale-wide epidemic. Everyone is living out their nightmares. So It's not Buffy's nightmare wherein she's a vampire: its Giles'. Or, really, both of theirs at this point in the dream wherein everything is a nightmare. Good episode!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Puppet Show

Episode 9.
airdate: 5 May 1997.

Introduction of principal Snyder, forcing Buffy, Xander, Giles, and Willow to participate. bwa ha haaaa! I hate ventriloquism, though. Creeps me out. Just imagining these guys sitting at home practicing...talking to the doll, the doll talking back. It's all very serial-killery to me.

This is another episode I normally skip. If I had started watching Buffy back in season one, I might not have been as intrigued, though it is still very high-quality programming. It's just not emotionally-wrenching quite yet. But that's ok, because there shouldn't be dramatic turmoil in a sophomore's life. Really soon, things won't be all cute and calm anymore, so I should just enjoy the lightheartedness at the beginning.

I wish I had a leopard minidress! If only Buffy had stayed this weight. Her thighs are thick in such a hot way at this point.

Giles is wearing a sexy burnt orange cardigan.

I think they actually hired an actor that is phenomenal at ventriloquism! That's impressive, even though it freaks me out.

Buffy wears a lot of white tank tops and white babydoll tees with images on them. I wonder if they put her in white because she's a symbol of goodness and morality and all that. That would make sense, but it's pretty typical symbolism. I swear this is not the same costume designer as in later seasons, unless whoever it is gets MUCH better later on. Buffy pretty regularly is either wearing white and cuddly outfits or dark and vampy outfits, which DOES make sense. And to prove my point, she is now in all black right after the white tank outfit...and right before THAT outfit was the leopard minidress with black go-go boots. I wonder how consistent this formula is. They probably phase out the lighter, cuddlier outfits as time goes Buffy herself gets darker and more tortured. Right now she hasn't reconciled her Slayer self with her Cutesy Blond self. It's odd to see her in white and pink with bows.

What is the real-life metaphor for this episode? The dummy wants to be human and is an entity trapped in an inanimate object...but what real-life parallel is there? Besides ventriloquists being creepy and probably, just to be on the safe side, you shouldn't trust them.

Oh, wait, the dummy isn't evil? I'm confused. The demon is one of the kids in the talent show? Nope. Ok, maybe he is evil. Xander saves the day by keeping Giles from getting his skull sliced open by a guillotine and some teen demon guy. ANd now there's another demon guy. Wtf is going on with this episode? Ok, the puppet is not evil?

"I don't get it." -principal Snyder sums it up.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Angel

Episode 7.
airdate: 14 Apr 1997.

This one is probably going to be epic. This may be the one where Buffy finds out Angel is a vampire.

There's the Anointed One, that kid who looks like a baby John Cusack.

Why does no one ever comment on how creepy Angel is lurking in the shadows all the time? Super creepy. I'd never go out with a guy who lurks in the shadows spying on me, no matter how good his intentions are. Gawd, he's SUCH a tortured soul. Broody broody. I'd much rather go out with Xander, but that's just me. Buffy is way too dark for Xander, though.

"Good dogs don't bite." -Angel.

Yeah, he REALLY just said that. How did Buffy make it as a Slayer so long without knowing vampires can't come in unless invited?

Angel topless for the first time, ladies and gentlemen!! And in Buffy's bedroom. Yeow! That doesn't make any sense that Angel would be staying in Buffy's bedroom all day while she was at school...weirdo.

Angel and Buffy's first kiss: yep, she's finding out in about three seconds...and she screams.

Now Buffy is wearing a tank top with a snowman on it. WTF? Xander looks nice in his usual polyester button-up...this one a nice olive green that looks good with his, everything. Xander's jealousy of other boys is annoying, though.

Joyce is so pretty. Omg, Darla bit Joyce! I don't remember that! Oh, and Buffy walks in after with Angel all in vamp-face. And Buffy throws Angel through a window! Giles and Joyce meet for the first time here when Joyce is in the hospital.

I keep looking the actors up to see their ages. In case you're interested, David Boreanaz (Angel) is 28 during the first season and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles) is 44. David Boreanaz looks older than 28. He looks better now on Bones, I think. Maybe because he's not as serious as Booth as when he played Angel.

sidebar: I just Googled "first time Giles cleans his glasses" and was searching around and stumbled upon It's apparently erotic fan fiction about Giles and Buffy. I do have a crush on Giles, and sometimes Buffy, but NEVER together. He's like her dad! Ew!

Cheesy Angel/Buffy moment. Yuck. I hate those.

Whoa, more Giles/Buffy fan porn! I'm abandoning the search. I haven't seen Giles clean his glasses yet, so I'll assume the first time I see it is the first.

Wow, I didn't remember Darla dying so early in the series!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Pack

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, episode 6, season 1.

I know, I'm WAYY behind on my shownotes! I was supposed to be doing one a day and I haven't even done one since the weekend! I'm lame. I'm going to make up for it today by watching several.

This is the one with the hyena pack unfortunately, not about a cool wolf pack or anything. Xander gets involved...there's a lot of creepy hyena-laughing. Several of the high school episodes from the beginning like this are very formulaic and cringeworthy in their plots. This is one I might normally be inclined to skip, but for the purposes of being thorough with this blog, I will not skip ANY Buffy episodes. Not even "Bad Eggs". Gawd, I hate "Bad Eggs".

Oh, no, Buffy looks like a schoolteacher again.

So, this one is about the group of bullies as hyenas metaphor. Classic? So Xander goes after this group of bullies to keep them from picking on a lesser-kid and the group of four bullies and Xander look into the eyes of a hyena in the forbidden quarantined hyena house. And of course their eyes get all glowy and they become possessed with the spirit of the hyena. Possessions happen to Xander from time to time, but I don't think he's ever been evil or had a major moral meltdown like most of the other characters on the show. Yuck! Ok, now I remember the real reason I don't watch this episode: I can't stand watching Xander be mean. It's terrible. No matter what is possessing him, he's never lost his Xander-integrity. He's so MEAN to Willow in this ep! And they eat that poor poor pig! He's so cute!

Wow, there's even one of those slow-motion walking over a hill things with music that Xander does with the pack. I don't get why Buffy and Willow don't try to investigate what's up with Xander: wait, Buffy is going to Giles right now (20 minutes in). Giles is poo-pooing it. He said it was "natural teen behavior patterns." Ok, now Buffy is catching on.

This episode is creepy. I can't imagine seeing someone you love who is generally the sweetest guy ever act like a hyena, though I know why they did it. If they hadn't shown Xander get possessed, you would have just thought the others in the pack were really mean people in general and wouldn't have gotten the emotional gravity of the whole thing.

Hyenas ate principal Flutie! Yikes.

Why is there a locked cagey bookdrop INSIDE the school library? Why lock up only the books coming back into the library and not the entire library? I never noticed that before. I have before questioned why there was a cage in the library, but never noticed it definitely has a slot for books.

The "hyena pack" sure do rip through that cage pretty easily, though. A little too easily, since later in the series all manner of beasties are trapped in that cage. Maybe they reinforce it super-serious after this hyena incident...

Oops, I spaced out during the final fight scene. Giles was knocked out again! That's twice.

The clincher at the end? Xander remembers everything. Poor Xander. They don't make him wallow in remorse as long as they would if he were Angel or Spike, though. Probably because Xander is supposed to be the fictional representation of Joss himself.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I Robot, You Jane

Episode 8.
airdate: 28 Apr 1997.

I don't even remember this one based on the title alone. Ohh, the one where an internet predator (in the Buffy world, a demon trapped in the internet gets unleashed) preys on Willow. This is so not a thing Willow would with an unknown boy online? Well, ok, maybe. She becomes so different after she comes out and gets witchy.

Jenny Calendar is introduced. How old is she? She looks really young. Googling: she was only 27 here; the same age as Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia). How old is Willow? 24?! I thought she was younger at the beginning of the show! She looks 15. OMG, Nicolas Brendon (Xander) is freakin' 26 at the beginning of the series!! So, Sarah Michelle Gellar is the only one even close to highschool age. That's so weird.

Xander is wearing a Porn Star shirt! Remember those? How come those were ok to wear back in the '90s, but you couldn't wear a shirt with Marilyn Manson's face on it? Weird.

OMG, they just showed a 1997 laptop! It was huge! It had like a normal-sized disc-drive and floppy-disc area too, like a full-sized computer! So funny!

I wonder when they decided Willow would be gay. Most plot progressions in Buffy are meticulously thought-out, but I really don't think they knew about Willow yet. She's so unquestioningly hetero at the beginning. But, I see how that can be explained away, because even lesbians would be attracted to Seth Green, and she is very outcasty and insecure at the beginning of the series...

Check out this yummy picture of Nicolas Brendon I just found!

The Giles/Jenny debate about books becoming obsolete and the fear of the internet of the mid-to-late '90s is almost cute now. I remember when my mom thought the internet was "evil" and wouldn't let us have it until probably 2000-ish.

"He's gone binary on us." -Buffy. The demon was trapped in a book and then scanned into the computer and is now trapped in the internet. That's actually pretty cool.

Giles immediately tells Jenny about a demon being in the internet. Immediate trust with another completely new character. Jenny the techno-pagan. Ha! Techno-pagan. Is that a real thing? Whoa, it is! It sounds so awesome! I wanna be a techno-pagan!

I am so bored with this episode. I like Buffy better when the continuity is more pervasive. I just gotta power through season one and then it'll truly get good.

Ooh, they're transcribing a spell into text and typing it into a computer in order to shut internet demon down.

The Giles/Jenny book vs. computer debate ends the ep with Giles explaining that he loves the smell of books ("books smell musty and rich") and that's why computers freak him out. I feel ya, Giles. I feel ya.  He just took off his glasses! He's not cleaning them, though. He's wearing too much tweed to polish. What a letdown.

"Let's face it: none of us is ever going to have a normal happy relationship." -Buffy speaking to Willow and Xander. Yep, that's true. Xander ends up with an ex-demon...Buffy boinks vampires pretty much exclusively, and Willow dates a werewolf, then later loses her gf to death. God, I love this show!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Never Kill a Boy on the First Date

Episode 5.

(So, I just finished season 8 [the series continues after season 7 in comics] and some SERIOUS shit goes down! I will not spoil it, but DAMN!)

This might be the first (of MANYMANYMANY) episode to begin with Buffy slaying in a cemetery. Oy, with the prophecies, already! So many prophecies in the Buffyverse. "As it is written, so shall it be" bla bla bla.

Buffy actually has a nice outfit in this ep. A short polyester shifty dress. Maybe this is the fashion turning point.

I should count the times that Giles actually checks out a book to someone outside of the "Scooby Gang": one.

Outfit two: fuzzy tigerprint hoodie. Yeah, it's looking up.

Ok, so there's this ominous main plot of prophecy and the "Anointed One" and bla bla...but I'd rather talk about fluffier things. I'm not really doing this shownote thing to describe I suck at that anyway...

Vampires sure looked gruesome in the beginning! They looked like zombies, kinda. I wonder if the Buffyverse vampires poop. They get to have sex, so it would make sense. I know Anne Rice vamps don't poop, but they're all delicate and pristine. I think Spike gets gassy sometimes, yeah?

Buffy's first attempt at dating a normal boy. I typically am not into the whole bad-boy thing, but in Buffy's case, she does NOT need to be with a white-bread-type boy. Ugh, like Riley?! Don't even get me started on Riley. She's much better in dramatic turmoil with vampire boys. This date of hers is boring me.

Apparently they hadn't worked out Giles' backstory yet, 'cause he's being a dweeb (holding up a cross with a scared look on his face and running, etc) in vampire combat, and you know he's got better moves than that! I mean, his nickname in his '20s was Ripper, for fuck's sake!

"Buffy, when I said you could slay vampires and have a social life, I didn't mean at the same time," says Giles. Moral of the ep. How come Willow and Xander pretty immediately were let into the mystical slayer world, when other newcomers are met with extreme distrust for months before they're let in? I mean, I know they're Willow and Xander, but this was before we knew they were Willow and Xander, ya know?

Doh! There's Giles getting knocked out! I should count those too: one.

Xander-disdain with a juicebox: cute!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Teacher's Pet

Episode 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: shownotes of a big fat geek.

This is the one that's a badly veiled metaphor for teachers as sexual predators. This teach is a praying mantis and is the first, of many, demon-like creatures attracted to Xander. I had a teacher I liked once. He's still cute, but fortunately, he was not a predator, because I was dumb enough that I would have probably madeout with him and then been pissed at him later for taking advantage. It's not cool to make out with a 16 year old if you're a teacher; even if you're a really young hot teacher, ok? Don't do it!

Buffy in red satin. You'll never see that again! Wait, this is a dream sequence. Oh, man, seriously, who is doing the costume design here? They've got Buffy in a baby blue sleeveless sweater...oh, and it has a collar. And fucking pearl buttons! WTF?! I'm not even going to look up the costume designer because I don't want to hate her/him. Maybe they were having a bad year. I imagine the budget was terrible at this point and they didn't realize, apparently, that Buffy is a fashion icon, not a soccer mom. Yeesh! How come all I can talk about is fashion on these shownotes? Wow, I guess I do think about physical image a lot. I never really noticed. I suppose I did just spend 96$ this very night on glitter makeup online. Ok, I'm vain. I knew that. But glitter is priceless, man! And it was cruelty-free and neon, too!

First ep to get Angel (mostly) topless.

OMG, Giles is wearing a sweater vest, tweed, gingham, AND a tie. Sexy librarian!

Mmmm, a mayonnaise sandwich with crickets!

Ooh, remember babydoll shirts? I used to have one with a big lemon on it.

I usually like organic girl-predators, but the pedophile aspect here is throwing me. And insects just aren't as awesome as Poison Ivy. And at least she had a global goal!

This is the first ep where Buffy takes charge and tells everyone what to do instead of Giles. I've said it once and I'll say it again, I like Buffy with a little more meat. Her ass is poppin' in yellow pants! If only my ass stayed lush at such thinness levels...Sarah Michelle Gellar's genetic gifts are plentiful, that's for sure.

How come in TV shows and movies, everyone assumes you're NOT a virgin, until proven otherwise when you're in high school? Wouldn't it be the other way around? At 15, I didn't know a whole lot of nonvirgins...guess I wasn't enough of a delinquent.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Witch.

Episode 3, Season 1...of Buffy the Vampire girl's inane shownotes:

Ah, Buffy's last attempt at cheerleading. "Something normal, something safe". Yeah, RIGHT Buffy, don't you know you live on the Hellmouth?!?! Gah! Oh, this is the one where the cheerleader spontaneously combusts. Awesome.

Oh, Giles, I'm so glad for your logical explanations for everything. Buffy is still bucking the friends helping her out thing. Cute.

Classic Xander line: "I laugh in the face of danger...then I hide until it goes away."

Again, I'm distracted by the fashion. You never think the era you're in has a style, and I didn't think we had one in the '90s, but I'm seein' it everywhere in Sunnydale. In this ep Buffy is wearing a funky psychedlic pattern a la the '70s, but with a definite '90s twist. The '90s had a lot of revamped '70s stuff towards the end.

Joyce was mean and broken-recordy at the beginning, jeez! I guess that makes sense, 'cause we're supposed to be on the teenagers' side and moms are lame in 10th grade.

Are there really high schools that teach you how to drive? That would be a good idea.

There's not much to say about this episode. It's one of those early eps where they're just lettin' you know that there are witches, psychological horrors, slimy fish monsters, and other ghoulies in addition to vampires in the Buffyverse.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Harvest

So, I've been suuuper existential since I got THE BILL in the mail for school. I will be paying for my Bachelor's degree for a really long time and its really put into focus how unsure I am about being a counselor. So I, like a lot of other recent college graduates, have decided not to make any decisions about grad school just yet. And I reread some old journal entries and such yesterday and am reminding myself of things that are important to me that I have lost sight of in the last 6 years or so. I have really bought into how things are "supposed" to society wants to automatize...I forgot that I used to want to be a writer and I used to want to program music and have a radio station, etc. I miss being a page at the library. I miss the physicality of it and the pure simplicity of never having to interact with patrons if I didn't want to. Lately, going to work has paralyzed me with anxiety thinking about all the interactions I'll have to face. And the truth of it is that I've always had this reaction to throngs of people. I've just tried to submerse it and plaster that big smile on my face. I'm not a social being, most of the time. This isn't me. I do want a job that deals with less people. If I could afford it, I'd go back to being a page in a SECOND. Best. Job. Ever. Anyway, I know I need a career plan, but for now I want to work more toward writing. Maybe I'll start freelancing in a few months, but for now my first project is:

One episode of Buffy per day with real-time blogging. I will blog as I'm watching the ep freeflow-style with minimal proofreading after ep is over. I will not think about how lame my writing is, I will just do it for the love of doing it. So, dust off those old Buffy tapes and watch along with me, kids! It'll be fun!

So, here I go: episode 2, season 1:

Some inconsistency with dusting vamps in the beginning here; sometimes they dust and sometimes you just hear them hit the ground with a thud. I should probably not get distracted with stupid continuity details like some uber-nerd, but I probably will.

A favorite quote from Giles reassures the audience that despite the wearing of crosses, Buffy is NOT a religious show: "This world is older than any of you know, and contrary to popular mythology, it did not begin as a paradise."

The first scene after the theme is a big explainy-in-the-library scene. I love those!

The show started out a lot cheesier than it ended up, but that makes perfect sense as Joss meant for the series to mirror the kids growing up and right now they're sophomores, so their fears are cheesier (big Nosferatu-type vampire).

OMG, Xander and his weird computer-graphic mushroom button-up! Nice.

I love watching old TV shows; the dated styles and decor. The bad haircuts and the overly dramatic '90s makeup. Classic.

It's so weird when Buffy jumps over that big school's like 12 feet in the air! I know she's supposed to have super powers, but she never does this again! There I go with the continuity-nerd stuff again.

You know, I never noticed this until now, but it's pretty subversive that not only is a tiny little girl kicking serious metaphysical ass throughout this series, but apart from the occasional vampire taunting her for her tinyness, the humans around her hardly ever question why she can do the things she can even though she's "just a girl". In most other TV shows, they'd be harping on that aspect, constantly pointing out that she's no ordinary girl. In this show, it's apparent she isn't an ordinary girl, but this is focused on the grown-up nature of her responsibilities as Slayer, not in the fact that she's JUST a girl.

It annoys me when much older people play high school kids, such as Charisma Carpenter, who was 27 when the show started. Sarah Michelle Gellar still has some baby fat goin', so she's gotta still be in her early '20s (just looked it up--she was 20). However, with Charisma, she just looks older to me when she's thin. Later when she crosses over to Angel, she gains a bit of weight and looks a lot better, but here she's tiny. I like my women with a bit of meat. I liked Jennifer Aniston better in the first few seasons of Friends when she was a bit curvy too.

"Everything is life or death when you're a 16-year-old girl." -Joyce Summers.

Subtext! My favorite part of Buffy. If only I got all of it.

Skirts were so short in 1997. And the music was still good...I miss 1997. I miss it so much! The beginning years of this show make me so nostalgic. What's the metaphor for big scary Nosferatu-vamp being stuck in the between-world like a "cork in a bottle"? Is that vaginal or just coincidental? Has Mother Earth swallowed him whole and he's just too big of a dick to squeeze out on his own? I'm stretching...

No one ever bares their midriffs anymore like they did in the '90s. It looks, like their bare legs, so revealing. Why have we trended towards MORE prudish?

I love Giles' famous line at the end: "The Earth's doomed." He says this again in a mirrored bookend scene in the last episode of the series right before they go into their final battle on the show.

Commentary (by Joss Whedon) notes added 5.22.13: The Master was made to look like he was devolving into a bat. Joss is talking about how awesomely dark the lighting is on the show. I agree, as I've said many times before. You don't always need to see everything. First scene with Harmony ever and she's wearing a t shirt with a unicorn on it.

Joss just stopped talking for like the last 5 minutes...longest silence in a commentary ever! Wtf?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Welcome to the Hellmouth

I've decided, in order to occupy myself on sick days and other free time chunks of my life when I could be prone to too much self-analysis, to rewatch Buffy and write about it! Yeay: two of my favorite things: Buffy and academics!!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Journal of an Obsession.

Entry #1- Welcome to the Hellmouth shownotes: I love how the show starts out with a seemingly innocent schoolgirl being lead through the highschool at night by a teenaged boy and you suspect the boy’s a vampire because the girl is acting all goody-goody, but she’s really, SHOCKER, naughty naughty. She’s the vampire. This is, of course, Joss Whedon’s (creator/head writer of Buffy) intentional gender role reversal from the very first scene of the very first episode of this seven season epicly-spectacular series. Scene two shows the protagonist as a cutesy short blonde girl who, if you didn’t know the premise of the show, doesn’t seem like she could slay anything. From the beginning, you are to suspend all your typical beliefs about how things appear, and this theme is paramount throughout the show.

It’s pretty hilarious that Xander’s introduction to the show is on a skateboard, as he’s never seen with one again.

What school checks their textbooks out in the library? If this is how they do it in Sunnydale, how come there’s never anyone in the damn library?

I like how Buffy immediately gives a disapproval face to Cordelia when she insults Willow’s nerdy dress, instantly aligning herself with the misfits.

Valley speak? Perhaps this was an homage to the movie? Regardless, I’m glad they abandoned that after episode 1.

Xander is hilarious from day one. *sigh* Xander is dreamy. He has that vague highschool boy sleaziness that only an adolescent in the mid-‘90s can bestow: Michael used to have this same style-effect back in the day.

Buffy is such a Watcher-backtalker! Yeow! Loves it!

The first Big Bad is introduced already: a classic Nosferatu-type vampire called The Master. He is summoned with incantations from a pool of blood, of course.

Oh, there’s Angel. He looks so pale and young! I used to hate his guts, but now I kind of like him. So broody! Velvet jacket, though? They so did not have his wardrobe worked out, yet! Ooh, mysterious Angel, didn’t even tell Buffy his name, yet he gave her a cross necklace. What a dweeb.

I heart the Bronze! It’s the coolest ‘90s adolescent hangout ever. I wish this place existed in Joplin when I was a sophomore in high school! Oh, cute, Willow’s eating a box of raisins.

I wonder if they had a different wardrobe designer at the beginning, because everyone looks terrible. Willow’s bad nerd-dress, Buffy looks like a mom or a typical Christian character...was this how we dressed in 1996?

One thing I really love about Buffy is that I grew up with her. When the show started, she was a sophomore in high school and I would have been a freshman, I think...maybe I was in 8th grade, either way we were almost the same age throughout the series. Buffy, with its diversity and subtexty-parallels-to-real-life-themes, was a good influence on me in my adolescence like GaGa and Glee are to kids now.

I actually didn’t start watching Buffy until season three when Faith arrived. A boyfriend forced me to watch it and I was incredibly resistant, because I liked the movie and thought the show would be stupid, not unlike thousands of people over the years have assumed, and then later watched one episode and been totally hooked. I loved the show right away and watched it through the season. We lost the WB network on local TV after that year, so I missed seasons 4 and 5, rejoining season 6 when it aired late at night on UPN. It was a shocker at the beginning of the 6th season, *spoiler alert!* because I had no idea Willow was gay now or that Buffy was dead.

Ah, getting ahead of myself! So, the first episode gets a lot of the main details out of the way, like a good first ep should. I’m glad they didn’t name it “Pilot”. I hate that.

to be continued...

Commentary (by Joss Whedon) notes added 5.22.13: Joss says the mission statement of the whole show is that "nothing is at it seems". Unfortunately, usually that means the girls kick ass when you don't think they will. When Joss cast Willow he wanted to make sure he didn't cast the "supermodel in the horn-rimmed glasses" type and get an actual quirky girl. Glad he pushed for someone like Alyson Hanigan.

The decision to make the vampires be in and out of vamp face was because Joss wanted the "villains" to not always be obvious, but he wanted them to be seen as villains when B kills them. He made them "dust" because he didn't want the good guys to have to clean up the bodies and for it to be plausible for the vampires to remain unseen by the general population.