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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 (New Edition) - £14.98

Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) looks like your typical perky high-schooler, and like most, she has her secret fears and anxieties. However, while most teens are worrying about their next date, their next zit, or their next term paper, Buffy's angsting over the next vampire she has to slay. See, Buffy, a young woman with superhuman strength, is the "chosen one," and she must help rid the world of evil, namely by staking demons. The exceptional first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer introduces us to the treacherous world of Sunnydale High School (where Buffy moved after torching her previous high school's gym). The characters there include "watcher" Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) and the original "Scooby Gang" members--friendly geek Xander (Nicholas Brendon), computer whiz Willow (Alyson Hannigan), and snobbish popular girl Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter)--who aid Buffy in her quest. Those used to the darker tone that Buffy took in its later seasons will be surprised by the lighter feeling these first 12 episodes have--it's kind of like Buffy 90210 as the cast grapples with regular teen problems in addition to saving the world from demonic darkness. Fans of the show will enjoy the crisp writing, the phenomenal chemistry of the cast (already well-established within the first few episodes), and the introduction to characters that would stay for many seasons, including moody vampire Angel (David Boreanaz). Through it all, Gellar carries the series with amazing confidence, whether conveying the despair of high school or dispatching various demons--she's one of TV's most distinctive and strongest heroines. --Mark Englehart

Customer reviews (av rating: 4.5):

Rating: 5:
A Great Start To A Great Series! : The first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer consisted of only twelve episodes. The series opening was to establish the main character Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and her relationship with her watcher Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) and her two friends Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) and Xander (Nicholas Brendan). Buffy's mother Joyce Summers is played by Kristine Sutherland who is totally ignorent of the fact that her daughter is a slayer. The first series also establishes the character of Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter) a rather ambitious and a little snooty student who eventually becomes an important character in her own right.

There are some good episodes in this first season, with its usual mix of horror, hilarity, (yes, some of the scenes are really very funny) and human elements as the friends try to establish close relationships despite being surrounded by vampires and demons emerging from below ground since Sunnydale where the stories are set is built on a Hellmouth. Some of the best episodes are:

Welcome To The Hellmouth/The Harvest
Teachers Pet
The Pack
Angel
The Puppet Show
Nightmares (this is my own favourite from this first season)
Prophecy Girl (this is a corker!)

There is also a brief introduction to the mysterious Angel (David Boreanaz) who eventually becomes an important part of Buffy's life as she battles to save the souls of those who live around her.

There are some fabulous one liners which refer to other movies "Dont go all Wild Bunch on me!) (The Harvest) which is a reference to the final scene in Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch; and "We're talking full-on Exorcist twist" (Teachers Pet) a reference to perhaps the most famous Horror Movie of all time The Exorcist. There are many others of course, and you should listen out for them.

My favourite episode is Nightmares which is quite hilarious in parts, the scene in which Willow finds herself on stage suffering from stage fright during a scene from Madam Butterfly is one of the highlights of the season. I am sure Buffy fans will have their own favourites though.

A great start to a great series which is still very popular today. My own criticism of the DVDs in the box set however, is that some of the episodes are rather grainy and lack detail in some of the dark scenes. Although Season Two is much better. And the sound isnt 5:1 Audio Surround Sound, although it is adequate in Dolby Pro-Logic if your system does provide it. A very good buy though, and much cheaper too.

Rating: 5:
evryone should watch this! : This television series is fantastic, the characters are well delveloped and you really believe that they are all friends thanks to the fantastic acting of Sarah Michelle Geller and co.
The monsters and demons are not really up to much compared to the other series but this sghow is very down to earth you apart from there being lots of monsters running around a town.
This series really does have it all comedy, romance, horror, supense, thrills and sometimes it is a real tear jerker.
The comedic timing of all the acters mostly SMG and Nicky Brendon is very well timed and i chuckled my way through the whole season and was really sad when each episode ended.
So if u want a quality show that delivers get this you wont be disappointed.

Rating: 5:
'What's a slayer?' - Xander : Season one of Buffy the Vampire Slayer may not be that consistent overall what with the odd episode's main plot being rather old-school style horror; yet it really has that cool edge Buffy possessed in the early high school days. One has to remember however that it all gets so much better from here on in. The gratification of these episodes and the convoluted darkness that some of this season focuses upon really is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. If anything season one stands a nice short run of 12 episodes in which to introduce the viewer to the often oddball characters and mythology of the premise. The show opens with 'Welcome to the Hellmouth' followed by the second episode of the two part opener 'The Harvest'. These do well to establish the characters as distinct individuals not just by their looks but by their speech and mannerisms. What's fun about season one is the 'getting to know you stage' the characters go through in attempting to get to know not only each other but the rules of living on a Hellmouth.

The show is basically about a teenage girl, name of Buffy, who moves to Sunnydale after having been expelled for slaying vampires (disguised as delinquent behaviour to those not in the know). She arrives to find not only is the ironically named 'Sunnydale' overrun with vampires and all other kinds of hell beasties it's situated above a Hellmouth which means evil things gravitate toward it -- much to Buffy's initial exasperation. She wants to give up this gig but fate has stepped in for a reason and consequently, she teams up with Mr Giles the school librarian who is also her Council appointed 'Watcher' (someone to teach her about all things Slayerness) and Xander and Willow. Her new BFFs! All the characters are unique in and of themselves each developing little fears/quirks of their own. Cordelia being a prime example of this, as she starts life as nothing more than the nasty pretty girl who likes to pick on those more unfortunate than herself. What's lovely is that these people grow and learn. The evolution is less clear by the end of this season but its there. There is also the mysterious Angel (or 'cryptic guy' as she tags him), who also seeks to help Buffy out upon occasion. This show really is worth the time, since one does find themselves actually caring about these people and wanting them to survive the incidents of the story. Buffy as a concept sounds relatively hokey but it's done with such wit and irony, and post modernism that it ends up being something so unexpectedly enjoyable. The second season really is worth getting to. I would recommend this show to anyone who likes individualistic characters and intelligent humour; here is a show that makes you think and analyze because it has depth. The DVD extras are a little sparse but there is two commentaries on the first two episodes and there is a small number of extras discussing the show.

Highlight episodes include: 'Welcome to the Hellmouth', 'Angel', 'Never Kill A Boy on the First Date', 'Out of Mind, Out of Sight' and the excellent season finale 'Prophecy Girl'. Which acts as a great payoff to the season 'Big Bad', and the various other subplots that have been weaving their way throughout the season.

Rating: 4:
The start of my obsession..... : I remember excitingly watching this when it first showed on BBC 2 all those years ago and adoring it. A few seasons later when the storylines were getting better and better, I thought to myslef, wow , season one seems really shoddy compared to the newer episodes.

Having rewatched Season one, that just isn't true. Ok, the season long arc is a bit weaker than subsequent years but there is some great stuff in here. The 2 part season opener is probably the best opener out of all 7 seasons. It sets up the characters really well and has everything you came to expect from the show. Some of the stand alone episodes are a bit ropey but on the whole they are enjoyable and still a pleasure to watch.

The special effects, such as the vamp dustings, are still needing some work in this season but by the final episode (Prophecy Girl) the show is as good as it has ever been.

My only quibble with rewatching this season is that it really hits home that David Boreanaz as Angel is really not immortal because he is so lovely and young looking in this season that his later appearances are a bit of a shock to the system!

Rating: 4:
A weak 4 stars or a strong 3 stars but still the beginning of one of TV's most entertaining series : The first series of Buffy is ten years old this year and this collection is a more than adequate reminder of how it all began and a very good introduction for new viewers to the town of Sunnydale and the mythos of the Slayer and her Scooby Gang.

Originally opted for a half season by its commissioning network, season one of Buffy is far shorter than its successors (or for that matter, the majority of US dramas). The episodes are also very much stand-alone compared to later seasons as, although this one has its "Big Bad" in the form of dermatologically challenged über-vampire The Master. The prevalence of monster-of-the-week episodes (usually involving sexy young things becoming possessed by/killed by/sexed by the forces of darkness) seems greater in this collection than in later ones, possibly because at 12 episodes it is greatly shortened.

The witty dialogue and mix of action, comedy, pathos, cute cast-members, and some genuine scares that defined the seven years of Buffy is apparent from the get-go and you can't help but admire Joss Whedon's work. The cast are top-notch from Sarah Michelle Gellar's starring role, to Nicholas Brendon's caustic teen Xander, and Tony Head's stuffy Giles. Its tightly written and the smaller cast gives them all room to grow. The special effects and make-up are very occasionally a bit dodgy but at a full decade old have generally worn very well. Most importantly for me though the key episodes, the ones involving the Master's plots, and especially the season finale are brilliant.

The format of the set is simple. 3 DVDs fitted nicely into a VHS sized box, when lined up next to the other seasons it actually does look like a collection of video cassettes. These boxes are compact as well as sturdy. While season one of Buffy is not exactly flawless it is the start of something special and there's a lot to enjoy. I've watched all these episodes far more than once and they are enjoyable to this day.

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