1. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by Simpson17866, Sep 29, 2013.

    Has anybody else seen this? This series changed the way I look at TV. Period.

    1) The characters remember the things that have happened to them before. It's so simple, but it's the difference between an epic story and 144 vignettes (256 counting the spin-off Angel). Normal TV shows are just collections of short-stories that you can "collect" in any order because the order doesn't mean anything. Buffy is not like that. The long-term plotting means that everything that comes after comes from what came before, and skipping an episode is not "I'll add it to the collection some other time, I want this other one first," it's "NO, one of the middle chapters was ripped out of this copy!" And even if it's not directly tied to what's happening in a particular episode, the characters still talk about what they've been through like real people, as opposed to mediums for getting a particular sequence of actions and dialogues across, and without (normally) taking time out of what's happening now.

    I cannot make myself watch episodic procedurals anymore.

    2) The characters' lives are at risk. Joss Whedon fans like to pretend that we hate him for killing off the people he's made us grow to love, but we secretly respect him for how much he reminds us that these characters actually put themselves at risk for the people they care about. Normally, main characters - let alone Opening Credits main characters - are not actually going to die. They might go to the hospital, and they might come closer than they have in previous episodes, and the villain is almost certainly going to die, but ultimately we don't care about what happens to the heroes because we know that nothing's going to happen to them. Joss Whedon respects his fans too much to do that to us, and no matter what we say, we love what he does instead, and we love it every time one of his characters survives because it could've legitimately not happened.

    He has done his best to kill main characters in everything he has made, and his supervillain origin story is the creation of this series. The Body count as I remember it:
    Season One: 1 Opening Credits main character dies
    Season Two: 2 main characters die, 3 suffer fates worse than death
    Season Three: 1 main character suffers a fate worse than death
    Season Four: 3 main characters suffer fates worse than death
    Season Five: 2 main (including 1 Opening Credits main) characters die, 1 suffers a fate worse than death
    Season Six: 1 Opening Credits main character dies, 3 suffer fates worse than death
    Season Seven: 2 main characters die
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love Buffy. Now, it's not the only TV series with a strong story arc. Battlestar Galactica did, for example, and a little further back so did Babylon 5, and X Files had a continuing arc, though it quite often took a break from it. And Dr. Who. And...well, lots of series.

    But that doesn't change the fact that Buffy is extraordinarily good, IMO.
     
  3. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    I never got hooked on Buffy - perhaps I was not in the right mood for it when it first aired, or my adolescent-me found the premise unlikable, or maybe it was because of that horrible Luke Perry movie that sucked very, very much... but I came to respect Whedon for Firefly/Serenity series, and I am currently considering giving Buffy a go...
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you do, hold out for a few episodes before you declare a final judgement--the first episodes are still good, but it's one of those shows that took a few episodes to really hit its stride. (Unlike Firefly, which was flawless from the beginning.)
     
  5. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @ChickenFreak damn those failing ratings and greedy networks ;)
     
  6. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Buffy consistently churned out good episodes for it's entire run which is so rare for a show. I think the "I Robot, You Jane" episode from season 1 and a few from season 7 were argued to be the weakest episodes of the series but even they are still better than half the stuff on tv today.
     

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