My contrarian determination never to watch an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was foiled by Chad's inviting Jennifer Ouellette, author of The Physics of the Buffyverse and another pop-science book, to speak at Union next week. Chad figured it would be good if he'd actually seen more than a half episode of Buffy here and there, so Netflix'ed the first two discs of Season One & borrowed Season Five from a pimping co-worker (who recommended episodes 5 & 12, FWIW). We watched the very first two episodes tonight.
I'd always said that I wasn't interested in Buffy because I didn't want to watch a show about high school, even the demons of high school literalized. I realize now that I forgot a much more salient objection:
I don't want to watch horror.
I realize to everyone else in the world, the things-that-go-bump (or boo) moments are very tame, but I react very badly to that kind of suspense, and just don't enjoy watching it. Which is actually a relief, because I was afraid I'd like it, and seven seasons of Buffy plus how many of Angel?, well, that's a really big time commitment.
Some specific comments about these two episodes, behind the cut. If you're going to spoil anything past these episodes, ROT13 it or enclose it in <span style="color: #999999; background-color: #999999"> </span>.
In no particular order:
- I liked that Buffy had already found out that she was a Slayer and was trying to ditch it. For some reason I expected the show to start with her discovery, but this was a lot more interesting.
- Willow is adorable.
- It's very weird watching the beginning when I have general ideas about what happens in the rest of the series from indiscriminately reading other people's spoiler comments.
- For instance, I'd never heard anyone talk about Jesse, so I was pretty sure he was toast. I don't know how it appeared to anyone watching for the first time.
- Though I think that Angel had big flashing "Warning! Major Character!" signs hanging all over him right from the start.
- Apparently Buffy's super-strength goes away when the plot requires it, because it should not have been that hard for her to shut the door underground after Jesse trapped them.
- Did your suburban hometown have a club where the teenagers hung out?
- And they're really sure that no-one ever goes in that library, huh? Did Giles put up an aversion spell or something?
- It's really hard to talk around spoilers for the rest of the show. I think I'll have to go suck down spoilers at Wikipedia or something.
ETA: Congratulations if you didn't find it scary. I did, I didn't enjoy it, you're not going to convince me otherwise.
Man, I knew this was going to happen if I posted this, but I thought my comments were sufficiently clear to avoid it.
ETA 3: Chad's comments.