Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So... Buffy.

I've been meaning to make a post about this for a while. I have a personality trait which makes me pretty much dive into things, obsess over them for a while, and then move on (this only applies to things like fiction/music, not ladies! It's the opposite for ladies. Singular. Lady. :) ). For a long time I could trace my taste in music through these phases and only these phases. In middle school it was The Beatles, then Blue Oyster Cult (don't ask me why) then Bon Jovi. Jovi lasted quite a long time, with punctuations of other groups or genres occasionally, but Jovi really wasn't dethroned until a few years ago when they became eclipsed by musicals, in particular Rent, then Wicked, then Les Mis, with some smatterings of Jesus Christ Superstar and Avenue Q and some other things that I am probably forgetting at the moment. After that obsession diminished, nothing else really came to fill it. I've had flirtations with Frankie and that genre of music.

The point, still, remains. It's generally true for fiction (which explains my 11 Philip K. Dick novels in 3 months which were some weird months), and also television. Anna has experienced me through the Dr. Who obsession, which I predict will crop up every Spring or so from now on. In college and in various periods before I've had Trek extravaganzas. Sophomore year I ran through all 24 seasons of Trek (no animated) in maybe two months. I probably watched Babylon 5 in that short of a timespan, and LOST happened as well. While these obsessions are active I spend extra time reading about them on the internet, listening to podcasts, etc. Late this past summer I did the same thing with Beer.

So, I tend not to direct my free time to several activities spread out over a long period of time (it occurs to me that this could be a positive attribute for my academic work, as long as my research and my current obsession overlap. And I finish my work before the obsession dies out).

This has all been a lead up to the point of this post: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I powered through 7 seasons of Buffy, plus 5 seasons of Angel, its spinoff. I prefer Buffy, as it's a much more character and background oriented show, but Angel is good on its own (after the first season) and tends to have better story arcs.

The character arcs and interactions are really what make the show. I give both Series my highest recommendations. The best episodes:

"Hush" - Season 4, Episode 10. It's available on Netflix. If you want to get a sense of whether you will like the show or not, this is a good place to get a taste.

"Once More, With Feeling" - Season 6, Episode 7. The musical episode. I would like this one.

"The Body" - Season 5, Episode 16. This one comes out of nowhere and is a complete emotional bulldozer. The style is brilliant, the acting is brilliant, it's all just brilliant. If you're familiar with the show, you can watch this one and get a taste of just how powerful the medium of television can be. If you're not familiar with it, wait.

I'm trying to think of more episodes, but I can't. The seasons are strongest at the end, but the end depends on what is built up beforehand. All of the seasons are great (except for a lot of season 4, which is just good). I suggest diving in from the beginning, with a little bit of patience in season 1. It's miles ahead of any of the modern Star Trek first seasons by a mile, but that doesn't say too much.

This is what happens when blogging is mixed with a lack of sleep.

1 comment:

  1. "Hush" and the musical are precisely the two episodes that stand out the most in my memory, along with the episode where they all lose their memory and Spike thinks he's Giles' brother. What was that one called again? For a show about basically dark subjects, Buffy sure excelled at comedy.

    I don't think I ever saw "The Body" but it sounds powerful. I'll have to give it a try.