My Buffy obsession

kassto asked me some questions yesterday about the nascent beginnings of my Buffy obsession, and my reply is under the LJ cut. These are the questions she asked:

How did you know to watch it from the start?
How long before you were hooked in?
Which was your favourite season?
How would you rank the seven seasons?
What's your favourite episode from each season?

I could make this a meme - WOO HOO!

How did you know to watch it from the start?

J saw the ads on TV for it, so we knew it was coming - he had watched the movie and wanted to watch the TV show, he was about 9 or 10, but also a regular X-Files watcher, so the genre was appealing to him.

How long before you were hooked in?

Hooked pretty much straight away, although annoying timeslot changes by the TV station made it hard to initially keep track of the show. Obsession probably kicked in with the release of S1 DVDs, and reruns on TV.

Which was your favourite season?

Season Five - The family theme really worked well this season, and it had so many good things going on - Xander gets out of the basement, Giles stops drinking and gets a life, Riley goes dark and leaves (yay), Willow and Tara are good together, Dawn is not too annoying, the heartbreaking death of Joyce, the Buffybot!!!, Spike - the fool for love. It all gelled together and made for a great season - I still tear up at the end of The Gift - but that could be because I know what coming in Season 6 ;-)

How would you rank the seven seasons?

Really hard to do, and I moved them around a lot, and if you asked me tomorrow, I'd probably rate them differently.

7 - S6 Although some of the early episodes were wonderful, and it includes 2 of my all time favourite episodes (Once More With Feeling and Tabula Rasa), overall I find it the most painful, and have not yet been able to re-watch the whole season.

6 - S1 Only 12 episodes but does include some great episodes and Joss begins to show us the wonders of his mind.

5 - S7 Yes, yes I know there are many detractors of this season, but I liked many aspects of it (mostly the B/S moments, and yes I know I’m strange and obviously off my rocker, but there you go).

4 - S3 One word - Faith, or make that two words - Faith and Wesley (how I loved that little rogue demon hunter to be).

3 - S4 Lost Oz but gained Spike.

2 - S2 Spike - Dru - Angelus, what a triumvirate.

1 - S5 Fool for Love, ‘nuf said, possibly in reflection this season would have been a good end to the series.

What's your favourite episode from each season?

S1 - The Puppet Show - Snyder, horny puppet, Giles the director, what’s not to love, “Mm. He thought it would behoove me to have more contact with the students. I did try to explain that my vocational choice of librarian was a deliberate attempt to minimize said contact, but, uh, he would have none of it.” Behoove, oh how I love this show!

S2 - Tie between School Hard “Home, sweet home” (SPIKE!!) and Passion - Angelus at his best, “Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping... waiting... And though unwanted... unbidden... it will stir... open its jaws, and howl.”

S3 - Doppelgangland - VampWillow “That's me as a vampire? I'm so evil and... skanky. And I think I'm kinda gay.”

S4 - There were a lot of good episodes in this season, but I will have to go with the obvious and say Hush - the Gentlemen were so damned creepy, and it was such a brave televisual thing for Joss to do. Obviously no quote, but my favourite scene - Giles’ exposition with suitably grotesque illustrations, all done with The Dance Macabre playing in the background - fucking hysterical.

S5 - Fool for Love - The change from William to Spike, mesmerising “What can I tell you, baby? I've always been bad.”

S6 - Tabula Rasa - For me the season concluded with this episode, the rest is a figment of someone’s warped imagination “We ... we kissed, you and me. All Gone With The Wind, with the rising music, and the rising ... music, and what was that, Buffy?

S7 - Sleeper - I’ve changed this about three times, but I’ll stick with this one I think, I liked the interaction between Spike and Buffy, plus Aimee Mann is singing! “As daft a notion as ‘Soulful Spike the Killer’ is, it is nothing compared to the idea that another girl could mean anything to me. This chip - they did to me. I couldn't help it. But the soul, I got on my own - for you.”

I will also say that my favourite SCENE from S7 is the church scene in Beneath You - the Joss rewrite of this scene is absolutely breathtaking, it has such a feel of Shakespeare about it, Spike’s words are so poignant, the lighting is incredible - I find myself not breathing when watching this scene. The original was so cruel and Spike-unfriendly, but Joss made it better, and then made it bloody marvellous.

“Buffy, shame on you. Why does a man do what he mustn’t? For her. To be hers. To be the kind of man who would nev— To be a kind of man. And she shall look on him with forgiveness and everybody will forgive and love… and he will be loved. So everything’s okay, right? Can we rest now? Buffy, can we rest?”
  • Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Jesus, Deb, you write about it so beautifully. Thank you. You make me want to watch it all again. God I loved Passion - that really was a brilliant episode. Who wrote that? Was that Joss?

You know I have to confess, there are three episodes of season 7 I have never seen, because I was so tied up with watching season 6 for the first time and I missed them when they were shown on TV here. So when I get the DVDs and rewatch 7, I will be seeing Lessons, Beneath You and Sleeper for the first time. I've read so much about each of them that I feel like I have seen them, but still . . .
The obsession comes through fairly clearly, doesn't it? I was watching a Firefly episode last night, and I said to J - look that actor played the guy who wanted to eat Doyle's brain in S1 Angel - he just looked at me, rolled his eyes and said "only you would know that Mum, obsessed much".

Ty King wrote Passion, never credited with anything else, which I always thought was strange. It was such a powerful episode. There's an episode in S5 Angel written by a guy called Brent Fletcher - another writer never to be heard of again - I've always wondered if it was really Joss and why he would use a pseudonym, both episodes 'feel' like it's his writing ... weird.

Passion was one of those episodes that ignited my obsession, not just because of Angelus, but because of the intertextuality, the self reflexivity that the show did so well - I may have mentioned it before - was doing a reading for uni about 'camp' movies of the 70s, and one of the titles was "Faster pussycat, kill, kill" - when I got home I got the dvd out, went directly to the scene in Passion where Xander comes down the stairs at Giles' house and says that exact phrase - it clicked and I had an epiphany - this was my absolute all-time favourite show!

You must watch those 3 episodes, there are some really good segments in all of them, plus Lessons has sexy, curly-haired Spike in it.
So, as your obsession developed, how did your husband and son react? Did they watch bemusedly from the sidelines . . .?
They actually shared it, perhaps not to the extent of my obsession, but they've watched all of Buffy, and BM has watched all of Angel. J refuses to watch the last 5 episodes of S5 Angel, because as he explains it, that way in his mind, it has never ended. Amongst BM's favourite episodes are "Once More With Feeling" and "Tabula Rasa". We periodically have a Buffyfest, and BM will request certain episodes. He likes Wesley in Angel and loved the Jasmine storyline in S4 Angel. BM has also really being enjoying Firefly too. When J was ill with glandular fever earlier this year he watched 2 or 3 seasons of Buffy. Here’s part of a conversation I had with J about Buffy (cut from a previous post I made):

J: So what costume can I wear to a Halloween party?
Me: What party, where, with whom?
J: New friends from school, in ::insert suburb name here::
Me: Not sure, what sort of costume do you want to wear?
J: I could do what Oz did, and go as God (4:4 Fear, Itself - Oz goes dressed as usual, but with a sticker on his shirt that says God).
Me: I really liked Oz (discussion of Oz, and his existential thoughts in 3:18 Earshot)
J: Oz was cool.
Me: And besides if anyone at the party was a Buffy fan, then they'd think you were in costume as Oz as God.
J: That would work too, cos Oz was a werewolf which goes with the Halloween theme (son wanders off ).

So my whole family shares the Jossverse love, if not my abiding obsession - it’s kinda nice.
No, no,no!!!

I sent the most brilliant post ever on this meme and it was eaten!
Sometimes LJ sucks like a great big sucking thing - I tend to write my long posts in Word and then cut and paste - like Xander says "measure twice, cut once".
Okay, spat the dummy, now I will reconstruct.

How did you know to watch it from the start?

There was lots of buzz on it in newspapers and magazines, so I watched occasional eps from 'Ted' in s2 onwards.

How long before you were hooked in?

Like you, Deb, I blame/credit my son. BIB was watching this anime crap, 'Dragonball Z', and I said, look at this good sci-fi/fantasy show. Buffy had just started in syndication on the Space channel every weeknight at 8. After about 2 eps, I was completely hooked. It was s6 on first run.

Which was your favourite season?
s3. Best villains in the Mayor and Faith. I thought Buffy and Willow's growth as characters was terrific. No one does high school like Joss. Principal Snyder. Oz. And the 'season arc', especially towards the end, was fabulous.

How would you rank the seven seasons?
From best to worst:
s3: See above.
s4: On the one hand, Riley, Adam, and the Initiative. Yech. On the other hand, the 3 episode run that was 'Pangs', 'Something Blue', and 'Hush': highpoints for funny and inventive. Spike/Harmony: greatest comic relationship evah.
s2: I hated Buffy and Angel. But Buffy has never been prettier or cooler, and there are some amazing episodes in this season.
s5: I liked Glory and I loved her minions. I agree that it felt like a logical end to the series.
s6: Unbelievably good until 'Tabula Rasa', then it all goes pear-shaped.
s1: Some good episodes. especially 'Prophecy Girl'.
s7: Grrr. Argh.

What's your favourite episode from each season?
s1: Prophecy Girl.
s2: School Hard. I like 'I Only Have Eyes for You', because I think it dealt well with the obsessive nature of the Buffy/Angel relationship.
s3: Was it 'Graduation Day' when Buffy got her umbrella? 'Bad Girls'. 'Lover's Walk'.
s4: 'Pangs', 'Something Blue', 'Hush'.
s5: 'Fool for Love' of course, and also 'Crush' and 'The Gift'. The amazing silent scene in the Bronze in the former, Spike has never been scarier or sexier. The monster/man line on the stairs in the latter.
s6: 'Becoming'. As an unrepentant Spuffista, that other scene on the stairs, when Spike first sees Buffy, is all I need to know. 'Once More With Feeling'. I have an odd fondness for 'Hell's Bells' because again I think it got to the rotten core of Xander and Anya's relationship.
s7: 'Conversations with Dead People', except it should have been Tara talking to Willow. 'Sleeper' but only for the scene where Spike realizes he is killing again. Not for the icky Anya scene.

Realised later when talking of S3, that I had forgotten to mention Mayor Wilkins - Harry Groener was absolutely fabulous - I can remember laughing so hard at the scene where he ticks off his 'to do' list, breakfast meeting TICK, meeting with school officials TICK, become immortal TICK.

The umbrella - "The Prom"

I kinda like "Hell's Bells" too - Anya made me cry!

"Sleeper" Half way to happyland - yeah fairly icky, and oh look, Spike's naked again ::Spike Hips-Hips of Spike::, what a surprise - was Noxon on the set that day?
s3: And as you say, 'Dopplegangland', I've never loved Willow more.

Anya was just starting to develop as an interesting character, Tara too, then they both got screwed over, end of s6.

s7: What I hated beyond measure in s7 was the sense that the producers were playing with and to a section of the fanatical fan base (and I'm a part of that base and felt both condescended to and ignored): keep on watching until the end, because we ain't going to resolve Spuffy until after the final commercial break! I know you aren't interested in Willow, Anya, Xander, Dawn or Giles, so we'll just throw their characters to the wolves! More nekkid suffering Spikey! Step right up! Feh.
Re S7 - can totally see your view, it was condescending to the viewers and the actors. The final "I love you" "no you don't but thanks for saying it" was pretty much a slap in the face as well, but we shouldn't complain because didn't we also get to see lots of sexy wounded Spike. Poor James, but I have a feeling that he's canny enough to continue to work it for all it's worth, for as long as he can.