08 June 2009

Rewatching Buffy

Just a few random observations from my selective rewatch of Season 4. I started rewatching it mainly because I was writing a character with an accent similar to Spike's, and needed to get it fresh in my head again. I kept watching, at least the eps that I most liked, because I'd forgotten how much fun the show was. However, I must not have watched it while in full-on writing mode before, because I found myself picking apart bits of the storylines more. Not in a bad way: by and large, the story arcs hold together. But just...noticing little plants here and there that I'd missed before.

One of the most amusing, and strangest, is the Frankenstein doll Giles has hanging up for Halloween. Now, with no knowledge of the Big Bad, and the Initiative barely even discovered, this wouldn't have told a first-time viewer much. But it's a rather nice touch considering where the season is going to head.

There are also several not-so-subtle hints about Willow's eventual relationship shift. Played for laughs was Riley hanging a "Lesbian Alliance" sign, but there's also Willow commenting that "college is about experimenting." As I haven't been watching every episode, there were probably others that I missed.

One negative comment: did the editors really not realize that Sarah Michelle Gellar needed a thinner stunt double?!?? Also, the wig used on the stunt double was horribly obvious in at least one fight scene (Hush, at the Clock Tower). Not as bad as James Marsters' stunt-double's wig somewhere in Season 2 (which was worse, because it showed up constantly in the "Previously on Buffy" segments), but still... yick. I did not notice this so much on any previous viewing of Season 4, so maybe it's only when you've seen the episodes a few too many times. *shrugs*

Still, it's amazing how well the shows do hold up on re-viewing. So far my complaints are all technical nitpicks, rather than "Wait, I thought this made sense?" Oh, and I've also been grabbing some of my favorite lines to use as Random Quotes, which has been entertaining. (Apologies if I'm rambling; head pounding and tiredness make it impossible for me to tell)


John said...

Yeah, Buffy was a good show. With the possible exception of most of season 6.

I was pretty skeptical about Angel when it first spun off, but once it got established, I found I liked it at least as much as Buffy.

Speaking of vampire shows, have you seen True Blood on HBO. It's pretty good, in a rambling-but-predictable, soap-opera kind of way.

Qalmlea said...

I actually liked Season 6, but I seem to be in the minority on that. *shrugs*

And I've been debating about True Blood. I read the first book of the series it was based on, and, well, it was boring. I have no idea if the later books are any better, because I felt no inclination to read them. Still, tv series rarely reflect the books exactly... I suspect it's one that I'll watch when a simple opportunity presents itself.

John said...

Season six had a strong ending, what with Willow turning out to be the season's Big Bad. But the early and mid-season episodes were pretty weak.

I didn't even know True Blood was based on a series of books. I seem to have more patience for a rambling plot in a TV show than I do for books. However, I must say that the intro is better than the actual show.

Qalmlea said...

Re: Season 6 -
I think the pacing was deliberate. They'd just gone up against a god, and the idea was to fool the audience into thinking they were scaling back, that they had no way to top that (also, they needed to get Buffy back to being functional, so weak villains useful)... then they went ahead and topped it anyway. It didn't all work, but I think that was the plan.

Here is a collection of the books that the series was based on. I think the first one is called "Dead and Loving It." I didn't hate it, but I didn't really enjoy it either.