My project to watch and blog Buffy the Vampire Slayer has begun. I watched the first two hours, which I assume constitute the original two-hour premier. My expectations were low. They were not exceeded. It wasn’t that the opening show was bad, per se. It’s that it was an opening show at all.
I remember watching the series premier of Star Trek: The Next Generation. For months I had looked forward to this show. Plans were made to be able to watch that show. That episode, “Encounter at Farpoint,” set a new bar for exactly how awesome a science fiction show could be. In retrospect, though, it really kinda sucked. After the third season had begun, I barely wanted to acknowledge that the premier episode existed.
I wanted to set the proper expectations for this show, so I simply didn’t set high expectations. What I found was a fairly formulaic first episode in many ways. It has to be this way, and I’m fine with that.
The opening scene immediately made me happy. That cute girl looks familiar. Is that Julie Benz, who went on to such a great role on Showtime’s Dexter? IT IS! Way to catch me off guard, Whedon. You didn’t even know that would happen, but way to go.
I’ve seen at least part of the original Buffy movie, so I understand the idea of the show. That’s good because they don’t spend any time on the origin story itself. They quickly reference it, and quickly establish that her job isn’t over. Onward!
As the characters are introduced, I’m finding that there are only two that seem really likeable. Willow is one, and the other is the social nemesis, Cordelia. The rest I feel I’m supposed to like more than background characters, but this isn’t the episode where character growth really starts to occur.
Buffy is really a bit of a bitch. I realize that she’s just fought an invasion of vampires, burned down part of her old school, and been forced to move to a new town. That doesn’t mean she has to emasculate Xander just because he tries to be a man. She seems to have accepted him and the others, though, providing the only bit of character growth you ever get in the first episode. The main character makes the decision that there will be an episode 2. Well, 3 in this case because Netflix has the premier as a two-parter.
There’s also this Angel character. He strikes me as the black sheep, the outsider, the traitor, and the Sam Malone. The only thing I am sure of right now about this guy is that he has a spinoff show, so I’m guessing he’s important.
Another surprise was that the goofy guy, used as bait, was actually turned into a vampire. I thought he was going to be the “Screech” of this show, and now he’s a vampire? Soon enough he’s a dead vampire. Poor goofy bastard. I thought you were gonna be a star.
All in all I enjoyed the show. It was bad because it was a first episode. It wasn’t a bad first episode. It definitely wasn’t “Encounter at Farpoint” bad. Most importantly, I do want to keep watching the show.
Next: Lockjaw watches a few more episodes