Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S01E02 – The Harvest

In the second episode of the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy’s new group of friends bands together to stop the mouth of hell from opening up. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Hey! You! Yes, you! You probably want to comment about Buffy down below! I DO NOT ALLOW SPOILERS and I will irritatingly remind you of it for at least a couple weeks so that people drill this into their brains. (Thankfully, the vast majority of you were wonderful yesterday!) Please read my updated Spoiler Policy to see what counts as a spoiler and to learn how to cyper and decode all the gibberish down below!

You know, I think I remember why I never gave this show a chance: I don’t like vampires. In general, I’ve never been too interested by the mythology that surrounds them, and it certainly doesn’t help that a certain “saga” of books pretty much ruined everything ever. But let’s say I never read those books; I still haven’t been terribly fascinated by them. I’m hoping that this is going to change that by at least making things a little more silly than I expect. I suppose that’s what’s so weird about vampires: they’re always played with this hyper-serious eroticism, and it rarely strays from that. At this point, a lot of the witty humor comes from those around the vampires, but even that is a welcome change for me. Vampires are inherently absurd to me, and I like that there’s a slight acknowledgment in the writing that this is goddamn ridiculous.

I like the premise of the show so far, and I’m getting a lot of hints towards things that will continue being more awesome, but I’m still in that period where I’m like I DON’T KNOW Y’ALL GIVE ME MORE TIME. I need to get to know Buffy better, and I’m slow to declare my love. Well, only sometimes, but I don’t need to rush into another relationship after Battlestar Galactica, okay? STOP PRESSURING ME!

Given that, I’m keeping an open mind about this show; I can’t say I liked “The Harvest” more than the pilot, but it’s interesting to me. Whedon sets up what will probably be this season’s mythological arc (The Master, who I still maintain should be John Simm), and wraps up most of the storylines introduced in the first episode. Things are…awkward? I think this is the first show I’ve watched where I don’t think the acting is really all that solid, except for Charisma Carpenter. And that’s weird to me, because I got the tiniest hint of her character doing something different and evolving, and then it’s taken away from me. I have no clue why I am drawn to her at all because her personality is so grating at first! She’s rude, dismissive, and mouths off a billion shitty and problematic things to those around her, but to me, it feels like a show. It’s a performance, but I can’t figure out why. Plus, her interaction with Buffy changes almost immediately after the girl saves her life. If you look back at the scene of the morning after the attack, she’s still gossiping about Buffy being weird, but it doesn’t sound cruel. It sounds…almost like she respects her?

But now I’ve jumped all the way to the end. WOOPS. It happens! I don’t find this show particularly creepy yet, even if it’s steeped in fantasy and horror tropes. The thing is, I sort of don’t care about that. The show doesn’t feel like it’s trying to be this terrifying, supernatural thing, and I’m perfectly fine with that. That’s not to say that it can’t be; I think the set of the tunnels underneath Sunnydale was used extremely well and utilized darkness and claustrophobia properly. Since I’m coming off of Battlestar Galactica, which was unbelievably intense and serious, it’s nice that this is campy and silly and over-the-top. That tonal change is appealing to me.

Whedon doesn’t accept that a campy storyline can’t have some realism in it, though, and there are two important plot points that prove this. First of all, Giles immediately has to deal with the fact that Xander and Willow now know Buffy is a slayer, there are vampires, and more people will be killed because of this. I can’t express just how much I love that this is so early into the show. These characters are now available to have intricate involvement in the plot that isn’t them wondering what the hell Buffy is up to; thankfully, Giles doesn’t seem like he wants to drag the process out longer than it has to be:

“A Slayer hunts vampires; Buffy is a Slayer; don’t tell anyone. Well, I think that’s all the vampire information you need.”

I MEAN RIGHT. Oh god I love you Giles I LOVE YOU.

I also picked up on Xander’s little temper tantrum regarding feeling useless because Buffy asked him to let her do things on her own. It’s kind of a brilliant moment because…look, this shit came out in 1997. And it had a young women basically telling a man who’s bigger than her to sit the hell down and let her take of shit her own way. That’s…kind of cool? And I don’t want to either overstate or underestimate the influence of this sort of thing, especially when you retroactively look at this sort of stuff. But even in 2011, that’s kind of a big deal? Which is an unfortunate thing to state, since not much has changed in fourteen years.

The other thing that not only made me laugh, but I recognized as a great addition to the story was having Buffy’s mother refuse to let her out of the house. I am hoping that this show is not going to ignore the fact that Buffy is just sixteen years old, and this seems like a good sign of it. Earlier, Principal Flutie already tried to prevent Buffy from leaving campus, and now Buffy’s mother is putting up restrictions on her behavior. The problem that Buffy faces, then, is how she is going to attempt to stay in Sunnydale without burning down the gym again. Will there come a day when she has to tell her mother what’s going on, or will it remain a secret over all seven seasons? Thankfully, Whedon’s already provided Buffy with three alibis in the form of Giles, Xander, and Willow; however, how long can that last? How much will Buffy try to integrate into high school life? These are things I sort of want to know! Like…will she join a sports team to try to deflect any suspicious attention to her? Or will that actually be a disaster?

At this point, this is the stuff I’m looking for. I know that I’m going to just let the story develop from here, but I’m paying attention to all the details that stand out as being unusual for an American drama for teens or as a fantasy show. Again, that doesn’t mean Whedon doesn’t use familiar tropes or patterns. I think the portrayal of the vampires is pretty hokey and tired, to be quite honest. There’s nothing in the way Luke, Darla, and the Master act that seems all that much different from nearly every vampire representation that I’ve seen.

However, I was totally shocked that Jesse was made a vampire in the second episode of the whole show. Of course, I’d assumed that when the Master wanted to use him as bait, it would be in Jesse’s human form. So as he led them through the tunnels, I figured that if he was leading them to a trap, it was because he’d made a bargain with the Master to spare his life. But really, how ridiculous is that assumption? Why would the Master turn away a fresh body??? So yes, I did gasp loudly when Xander turned to see that Jesse’s face had changed.

But purely from an emotional standpoint, it’s Whedon’s first statement that this show isn’t going to be safe about certain things. Why should I have expected everyone to get off scot-free after their very first experience with vampires? Instead, I find it more realistic that one of the human characters would lose their life, unprepared to deal with a vampire.

At the same time, I do have one huge complaint about how “The Harvest” ends. As soon as Luke started sucking the bouncer’s blood, I was ECSTATIC. Because there were like 50 fucking witnesses!!! Oh god, and Xander killed Jesse when someone pushed him onto the stake he held, and THIS NEVER HAPPENS IN THE BEGINNING OF A SCI-FI/FANTASY BOOK. It’s always a secret that has to be kept so no one ever knows this underground society exists. But Luke just ate a dude on stage in front of a ton of other people. THIS IS SO EXCITING.

And then we see Cordelia the next morning, explaining to another girl how a “gang” of some sort bust into the Bronze. And the entire plot is written off because people are more likely to rely on denial than being honest with themselves. All fifty people???? I’m sorry, I can’t believe that. Look how many people there were! Not one of them thought it was weird that a guy sucked blood out of another guys’ next? Did the police just not get involved at all? Perhaps Whedon didn’t want to out do himself so early on, but I was kind of disappointed with this dismissive explanation for it all. It felt like a bit of a cop-out.

Still, I’m excited to see where this goes. And if Giles is telling the truth, that means there will be other creatures around that aren’t vampires??? UM YES PLEASE THAT WOULD BE AWESOME. thank you very much.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

509 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S01E02 – The Harvest

  1. pica_scribit says:

    Do I get to giggle at you for making a whole tag just for Eric Balfour now?

    Wow, I'd forgotten how bad some of the acting is in these early episodes!

  2. pica_scribit says:

    Do I get to giggle at you for making a whole tag just for Eric Balfour now?

    Wow, I'd forgotten how bad some of the acting is in these early episodes!

    ETA: I don't much care for vampires either. For a long time I resisted this show because I considered it to be "Dawson's Creek with vampires". But then friends made me watch the whole first season in a couple of days, and I became so hooked it wasn't even funny. That was 11 years ago.

  3. pica_scribit says:

    Do I get to giggle at you for making a whole tag just for Eric Balfour now?

    Wow, I'd forgotten how bad some of the acting is in these early episodes!

    ETA: I don't much care for vampires either. For a long time I resisted this show because I considered it to be "Dawson's Creek with vampires". But then friends made me watch the whole first season in a couple of days, and I became so hooked it wasn't even funny. That was 11 years ago. I used to have the whole damn show (up through season five, I think) on VHS. How old do you think that makes me feel?

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I LOVE MAKING TAGS. I've debated using the tags like I do on Tumblr, but….fuck, i actually have no reason NOT to do it.

      OMG. UPDATING THE REST OF THE REVIEWS.

    • RoseFyre says:

      Joss Whedon actually wanted to include Eric Balfour in the credits so it would be even more of a shock when he died – because, as it is, you know already that Jesse's not going to be a major player in the show. But they didn't have enough money to make two sets of credits for the first season, so he didn't, unfortunately.

    • hassibah says:

      I got turned off of vampires because Anne Rice was kind of a big thing when I was in middle school and the people that were obsessed with them annoyed me and I didn't have much interest after that. There were a few exceptions, like the movie Near Dark, but I really don't care for vampire romance. Being Human rules though.

      A lot of people I knew with decent taste seemed into the show but I wasn't watching a lot of tv at the time so I was still late to this party.

    • nanceoir says:

      Generally speaking, I don't hear about a story with vampires and go all, "OMG MUST EXPLORE THIS STORY" or anything. I've never sought out vampires, but I don't mind them, I guess. But I like the Buffyverse vampires.

      Also, I feel old when I think about when this show first aired and I remember being vaguely aware of it but having no interest in it because it was based on that dumb movie with Luke Perry (why was "Beverly Hills 90210" a thing? WHY?), and it had that obnoxious Kendall from "All My Children" and that annoying guy from those Taster's Choice commercials. I'm actually really glad I didn't watch the show then; I know I wouldn't have liked it, and that would mean I wouldn't have a Giles in my life, which would be awful.

  4. Karen says:

    We open with a brief scene to resolve the cliff hanger and set up the conflict of the episode (Jesse is captured!), but the episode really gets going after the opening credits where Giles spends a few minutes expositing the mythology of the show. Blah blah demons walked the Earth, vampires are their vestiges, one girl chosen in all the world to fight against them. Not especially exciting, but necessary for new viewers.

    The actual plot of finding Jesse or whatever while the Master tries to… idk… take over the world or whatever is just kind of there. But there are some important character beats in this episode. Willow thinks practically and is able to help with her technological skills while Giles uses his books to research. Buffy asserts that there is no “we”. She’s the Slayer and this is her destiny. She works alone. From this we can see how lonely being the Slayer is. Xander, however, takes personal offense to this, thinking that Buffy considers him to be “inadequate” and “less than a man” which… ugh. DNW TO DEAL WITH YOU AND YOUR CRISIS OF MANLINESS WHICH IS BASED ON SEXIST IDEAS ANYWAY. SO… STFU. He can’t stand the idea of being impotent and useless so he follows Buffy to the super dangerous underground lair.

    Angel and his loneliness and brooding is just not super appealing to me. He’s too afraid to stop the Harvest and doesn’t have friends, not compelling to me, to be honest. Although I did lol when he whispered “good luck” after Buffy left and then again when he was lurking after the battle all, “she did it. I’ll be damned.”

    Jesse being turned into a vampire was slightly obvious from a plot perspective, but I think it was good in that it firmly establishes that those who have been turned into a vampire are no longer their former humans selves at all. The human body is just a shell. And it also sets up the moment where Xander has to face the fact that the person who looks like Jesse isn’t Jesse anymore and has to stake him, but then Xander doesn’t even have to pull the trigger in the end. Someone else accidentally pushes Jesse into the stake Xander was holding.

    This episode was high on the horror tropes, but we did still get a bit of the teen drama aspect of the show in the conversation Buffy has with Joyce. I think this helps ground the show a bit. It’s not pure horror or fantasy or supernatural drama. This is still a story about a teenage girl who has to save the world while keeping it secret from her mother. The high school girl aspect of it all is again highlighted at the end of the episode where Buffy, Willow and Xander are joking about the horrible stuff they’ve gone through and Giles wryly remarks that the Earth is doomed.

    • @Ivana2804 says:

      Funny, I saw it in a completely different way. Giles may say whatever he wants to make it easier for Xander to stake Jesse (and it sure makes sense that a Watcher ideology would maintain that vampires have nothing to do with the humans they used to be), but I thought it was obvious that this was Jesse all right… but an evil Jesse, with all the human morality and inhibitions stripped down, and feeling a connection to an all-powerful evil. Same desires, same memories, he thought he was Jesse, and Xander thought of him as Jesse, too, despite what Giles said.

      I know that a lot of people take Giles's word as gospel truth, but the episode actually leaves it open for interpretation. Naq va gur yngre frnfbaf, vg'f cerggl boivbhf gung Tvyrf'f jbeqf jrer abg yvgrenyyl gehr, naq gung inzcverf ner fgvyy gur fnzr crbcyr gurl hfrq gb or, whfg jvgu gurve crefbanyvgvrf gjvfgrq naq rivy.

  5. tigerpetals says:

    I came into this show while cooling off on my vampire phase, I think. I'm still cool on them. Buffy is more than a vampire show to most of us fans. That observation you made on Cordelia is something I never noticed before, so thanks for that.

  6. enigmaticagentscully says:

    My thoughts on the second episode of Buffy. WRITTEN LIVE AS I WATCH.

    -Wow, for a vampire with super strength she sure escaped from him quickly
    -Oh no! Guy who’s name I didn’t remember has been taken! OK OK, it’s Jesse.
    -The opening credits sequence is pretty awesome, I’ll give it that.
    -Wait they just left him?? Ouch!
    -Giles is clearly Mr Exposition in this show. He does add a touch of class to the proceedings
    -Urggggg this is kind of slow…
    -Stop talking! DO SOMETHING.
    -Omg old style computer!
    -Willow is a l33t h4x0r
    ‘God I am so mentally challenged!’ UM. I’m not gonna touch that one.
    -Oh Giles you so silly and British YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THE INTERWEBS what.
    -LOL Buffy admiring the fence. Her excuses are the best
    -STOP WITH THE BRITISH HATE
    -Awwww is it just me or is Willow totally adorably in love with Xander?
    -Oh hey it’s that Angel dude again
    -He’s being remarkably unhelpful
    -Oh what a surprise Xander followed her didn’t see that one coming YAWN
    -Buffy’s beheading story is awesome. BUFFY IS AWESOME.
    -WILLOW IS EVEN MORE AWESOME
    -OH SHIT THEY TURNED JESSE INTO A VAMPIRE.
    -WHAT WHAT WHAT
    -I ACTUALLY DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING AT ALL
    -I WAS JUST STARTING TO LIKE HIM
    -Shit got real
    -Ooooh is the Harvest starting??
    -…this ceremony is weirdly homoerotic
    -More Giles exposition! GILESPESITION
    -Aw who am I kidding I’d listen to him read a phonebook
    -Awwwww her Mum is so sweet! I feel so sorry for her.
    -Wait Buffy is supposed to be 16? Um..ok, sure.
    -I’m still not sure what the point of Cordelia’s character is. She doesn’t seem to serve any narrative purpose except to be an ass to everyone.
    -And as soon as a guy tells her to shut up she loves him. Great.
    -OH MY GOD SLIGHTLY UGLY PEOPLE TOOK OVER THE CLUB. SCREAM AND RUN!!!
    -Noooooo! Not totally ripped bouncer guy!
    -LOL at Buffy’s completely unnecessary acrobatics
    -You would need…a fair amount of force to take someone’s head off with a cymbal
    -NOOOO NOT GILESSSS
    -YUSSSS WILLOW TO THE RESCUE why isn’t the show just about these two again?
    -Awww Jesse got staked.
    -“Did we win? Well…we’re standing in a group posing so probably yes.”
    -So everyone just forgot about it? HOW CONVIENIENT.
    -LOVE YOU GILES.
    Sooooo my thoughts on this one…are mixed. It’s weird because so far there seems to be a mix of really good funny or insightful dialogue (“You’re not looking at your friend. You’re looking at the thing that killed him”) and really really awful over dramatic dialogue (I’m looking at you ‘master’). Also, there are a few really great characters (I’m loving Giles and Willow, and Buffy is great too) and some that are as yet completely flat and cliché (Cordelia obviously, and Xander still annoys me). Similarly, there are some moments which took me completely by surprise, and some moments which are so contrived and obvious I can see them a mile off and it makes me cringe.
    I’m sure you’re thinking ‘WHO IS THIS ASSHAT WHO THINKS SHE UNDERSTANDS THE ENTIRE SHOW AFTER TWO EPISODES???’ and you’re totally right. I haven’t seen nearly enough to make a judgement yet, but as of this moment I’m still sitting on the fence. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it.

    You know who I do love? GODDAMN GILES.

    <img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/mhpsh1.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  7. enigmaticagentscully says:

    My thoughts on the second episode of Buffy. WRITTEN LIVE AS I WATCH.

    -Wow, for a vampire with super strength she sure escaped from him quickly
    -Oh no! Guy who’s name I didn’t remember has been taken! OK OK, it’s Jesse.
    -The opening credits sequence is pretty awesome, I’ll give it that.
    -Wait they just left him?? Ouch!
    -Giles is clearly Mr Exposition in this show. He does add a touch of class to the proceedings
    -Urggggg this is kind of slow…
    -Stop talking! DO SOMETHING.
    -Omg old style computer!
    -Willow is a l33t h4x0r
    ‘God I am so mentally challenged!’ UM. I’m not gonna touch that one.
    -Oh Giles you so silly and British YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THE INTERWEBS what.
    -LOL Buffy admiring the fence. Her excuses are the best
    -STOP WITH THE BRITISH HATE
    -Awwww is it just me or is Willow totally adorably in love with Xander?
    -Oh hey it’s that Angel dude again
    -He’s being remarkably unhelpful
    -Oh what a surprise Xander followed her didn’t see that one coming YAWN
    -Buffy’s beheading story is awesome. BUFFY IS AWESOME.
    -WILLOW IS EVEN MORE AWESOME
    -OH SHIT THEY TURNED JESSE INTO A VAMPIRE.
    -WHAT WHAT WHAT
    -I ACTUALLY DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING AT ALL
    -I WAS JUST STARTING TO LIKE HIM
    -Shit got real
    -Ooooh is the Harvest starting??
    -…this ceremony is weirdly homoerotic
    -More Giles exposition! GILESPESITION
    -Aw who am I kidding I’d listen to him read a phonebook
    -Awwwww her Mum is so sweet! I feel so sorry for her.
    -Wait Buffy is supposed to be 16? Um..ok, sure.
    -I’m still not sure what the point of Cordelia’s character is. She doesn’t seem to serve any narrative purpose except to be an ass to everyone.
    -And as soon as a guy tells her to shut up she loves him. Great.
    -OH MY GOD SLIGHTLY UGLY PEOPLE TOOK OVER THE CLUB. SCREAM AND RUN!!!
    -Noooooo! Not totally ripped bouncer guy!
    -LOL at Buffy’s completely unnecessary acrobatics
    -You would need…a fair amount of force to take someone’s head off with a cymbal
    -NOOOO NOT GILESSSS
    -YUSSSS WILLOW TO THE RESCUE why isn’t the show just about these two again?
    -Awww Jesse got staked.
    -“Did we win? Well…we’re standing in a group posing so probably yes.”
    -So everyone just forgot about it? HOW CONVIENIENT.
    -LOVE YOU GILES.
    Sooooo my thoughts on this one…are mixed. It’s weird because so far there seems to be a mix of really good funny or insightful dialogue (“You’re not looking at your friend. You’re looking at the thing that killed him”) and really really awful over dramatic dialogue (I’m looking at you ‘master’). Also, there are a few really great characters (I’m loving Giles and Willow, and Buffy is great too) and some that are as yet completely flat and cliché (Cordelia obviously, and Xander still annoys me). Similarly, there are some moments which took me completely by surprise, and some moments which are so contrived and obvious I can see them a mile off and it makes me cringe.
    I’m sure you’re thinking ‘WHO IS THIS ASSHAT WHO THINKS SHE UNDERSTANDS THE ENTIRE SHOW AFTER TWO EPISODES???’ and you’re totally right. I haven’t seen nearly enough to make a judgement yet, but as of this moment I’m still sitting on the fence. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it.

    You know who I do love? GODDAMN GILES.

    <img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/mhpsh1.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  8. enigmaticagentscully says:

    My thoughts on the second episode of Buffy. WRITTEN LIVE AS I WATCH.

    -Wow, for a vampire with super strength she sure escaped from him quickly
    -Oh no! Guy who’s name I didn’t remember has been taken! OK OK, it’s Jesse.
    -The opening credits sequence is pretty awesome, I’ll give it that.
    -Wait they just left him?? Ouch!
    -Giles is clearly Mr Exposition in this show. He does add a touch of class to the proceedings
    -Urggggg this is kind of slow…
    -Stop talking! DO SOMETHING.
    -Omg old style computer!
    -Willow is a l33t h4x0r
    ‘God I am so mentally challenged!’ UM. I’m not gonna touch that one.
    -Oh Giles you so silly and British YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THE INTERWEBS what.
    -LOL Buffy admiring the fence. Her excuses are the best
    -STOP WITH THE BRITISH HATE
    -Awwww is it just me or is Willow totally adorably in love with Xander?
    -Oh hey it’s that Angel dude again
    -He’s being remarkably unhelpful
    -Oh what a surprise Xander followed her didn’t see that one coming YAWN
    -Buffy’s beheading story is awesome. BUFFY IS AWESOME.
    -WILLOW IS EVEN MORE AWESOME
    -OH SHIT THEY TURNED JESSE INTO A VAMPIRE.
    -WHAT WHAT WHAT
    -I ACTUALLY DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING AT ALL
    -I WAS JUST STARTING TO LIKE HIM
    -Shit got real
    -Ooooh is the Harvest starting??
    -…this ceremony is weirdly homoerotic
    -More Giles exposition! GILESPESITION
    -Aw who am I kidding I’d listen to him read a phonebook
    -Awwwww her Mum is so sweet! I feel so sorry for her.
    -Wait Buffy is supposed to be 16? Um..ok, sure.
    -I’m still not sure what the point of Cordelia’s character is. She doesn’t seem to serve any narrative purpose except to be an ass to everyone.
    -And as soon as a guy tells her to shut up she loves him. Great.
    -OH MY GOD SLIGHTLY UGLY PEOPLE TOOK OVER THE CLUB. SCREAM AND RUN!!!
    -Noooooo! Not totally ripped bouncer guy!
    -LOL at Buffy’s completely unnecessary acrobatics
    -You would need…a fair amount of force to take someone’s head off with a cymbal
    -NOOOO NOT GILESSSS
    -YUSSSS WILLOW TO THE RESCUE why isn’t the show just about these two again?
    -Awww Jesse got staked.
    -“Did we win? Well…we’re standing in a group posing so probably yes.”
    -So everyone just forgot about it? HOW CONVIENIENT.
    -LOVE YOU GILES.
    Sooooo my thoughts on this one…are mixed. It’s weird because so far there seems to be a mix of really good funny or insightful dialogue (“You’re not looking at your friend. You’re looking at the thing that killed him”) and really really awful over dramatic dialogue (I’m looking at you ‘master’). Also, there are a few really great characters (I’m loving Giles and Willow, and Buffy is great too) and some that are as yet completely flat and cliché (Cordelia obviously, and Xander still annoys me). Similarly, there are some moments which took me completely by surprise, and some moments which are so contrived and obvious I can see them a mile off and it makes me cringe.
    I’m sure you’re thinking ‘WHO IS THIS ASSHAT WHO THINKS SHE UNDERSTANDS THE ENTIRE SHOW AFTER TWO EPISODES???’ and you’re totally right. I haven’t seen nearly enough to make a judgement yet, but as of this moment I’m still sitting on the fence. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it.

    You know who I do love? GODDAMN GILES.

    <img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/mhpsh1.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • monkeybutter says:

      I love the Gilesposition, too! Please come tell me demon stories forever, sir.

    • cait0716 says:

      Buffy's beheading story is pretty awesome. "And all I had was this little exacto knife…"

      You can think of Cordelia as the girl Buffy used to be. It makes more sense if you've seen the movie, but Cordelia represents everything Buffy used to be and still kinda of wants to be. They were almost best buds in the first episode, until Buffy realized that she was no longer a person who could pick on other kids and be consumed by concerns with fashion and boys. Coredlia is very concerned with traditionally female things and embraces a pretty stereotypically feminine role. It's Buffy's could have been, except that being called as a slayer is forcing Buffy to strive for more balance. Their dynamic is an interesting one to watch.

      • sundaycoma says:

        This.

        Don't worry, OP. We'll get there. And you brought a Lisa Kudrow gif and I love her whenever she's being exasperated/frustrated. And hey, it even fits the 90s theme so Buffy and you should be fine as we go along!

      • @Ivana2804 says:

        I don't agree that she wants to be Cordelia. She's pretty disgusted by Cordelia – and even more so, probably, because she reminds her who she used to be, and she dislikes that. e vafgnapr, va Orjvgpurq, Obgurerq naq Orjvyqrerq, fur gbyq Knaqre ur jnf gbb tbbq sbe Pbeqryvn.

        Naq va Bhg bs Zvaq, Bhg bs Fvtug, Ohssl fnlf fur nyjnlf sryg fbzrguvat jnf zvffvat sebz ure yvsr jura fur jnf cbchyne va Urzrel Uvtu.

        Though I don't remember Buffy ever being that mean – shallow, yes, but not that mean – in either the movie, or "The Origin". Also, in "The Origin", she also didn't like it when her boyfriend and the other guy were making a sexist comment about her, so she was not completely OK with the stereotypical feminine role.

    • RoseFyre says:

      God, those acrobatics are SO unnecessary. Every time I watch that scene I'm like "…but why didn't she just run up the stairs instead of doing a backflip up them?"

    • Smurphy says:

      I tried to do that…. I am WAY too ADD to watch a show and take notes. I don't know how Mark does it.

    • lula34 says:

      As you're one of my favorites 'round these parts, I can already tell I'm gonna love reading your comments as you watch. Because this one right here…these observations? GOLD.

    • t09yavosaur says:

      Look at that, I dont need to post as you said practically every thought I had. πŸ™‚

      Except the one about Buffy having quite a large Jar of Christ Chex in her vampire killing trunk, and I am curious how you use them for killing.

      • sundaycoma says:

        Nah, those are just for snacks. She stole them from the altar at the same time she took the holy water. Girl gets hungry walking around cemetaries all night and it ain't like the local Steak 'n' Shake going to come to her!

        • t09yavosaur says:

          LOVE this comment but Worst. Snack. Ever. I don't think those things even have half a calorie in them. And when you havent had breakfast yet they just added to the torture of waiting for church to be over.

    • notemily says:

      God I am so mentally challenged! Yeah, the valley girl slang is pretty problematic. I'm trying to just skip over it. Cordelia being more attracted to Jesse once he starts being an asshole is SUPER problematic. Sigh.

      Njjjj vf vg whfg zr be vf Jvyybj gbgnyyl nqbenoyl va ybir jvgu Knaqre? Bu zna, V fuvccrq gurz sbe gur ybatrfg gvzr, lbh unir ab vqrn. (NOT REALLY A SPOILER, BUT JUST IN CASE)

      The way to deal with the Master's awful dialogue is just to REVEL IN THE CHEESE. REVEL IN IT!!

  9. dasmondschaf says:

    Can I just say that I love how no one knows how to talk with the vampire teeth in yet? It makes the forces of evil all shound jusht a little like Shean Connery.

    And welcome to Sunnydale! Where the powers of denial are at their strongest. Eh, blame it on the Hellmouth.

  10. Maya says:

    Apparently Joss really wanted to put Eric Balfour in the opening credits so he could pull a Psycho and kill off a "main" character in the first/second episode, but the network said no or something.

    Bs pbhefr, ur yngre tbg uvf jnl jvgu Gnen *fbo*

    Moar John Simm = everything awesome.

    Yeah, this is very clearly a pilot. Everyone is feeling out their character and the writing is still shaky and not quite sure of its tone. But man, that's a radical tone shift going from BSG to Buffy…I mean, vampires eating a few people's got NOTHING on mass genocide…

    • Rob M says:

      I believe it was the cost of producing two credit sequences that put them off. And of course, ur tbg uvf jnl jvgu Qblyr'f rkvg rneyl ba in Angel.

    • hilarius11 says:

      Oh, Gnen. Gung pnzr bhggn yrsg svryq pbzcyrgryl. V jnf va grnef.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      Its is funny the breadth of stuff Mark's covered. We've got magical wars, underground rebellion, gladiator fights, WW2, genoicides of entire cultures and species….and now vampires om noming some people. I suspect that Shit had to get Real.

    • Dru says:

      vampires eating a few people's got NOTHING on mass genocide…

      I'd agree with that normally, but aren't they threatening apocalypse here? Or at least the Master is, anyway. Which = THE WHOLE WORLD ENDING.

  11. randomisjen says:

    Bu, zna. Znex vf tbvat gb YBIR gur Znlbe.

    YBY Cbyvpr… tnatf ba CPC

    • Maya says:

      BZT GUR ZNLBE V NZ RKPVGR. Ur'f qrsvavgryl va zl Gbc 5 ivyynvaf bs nyy gvzr

      • settlingforhistory says:

        Gur shaal guvat vf, gung ur ernyyl tvirf zr gur perrcf rira gubhtu ur unf ab snatf naq vf zber uhzna gun nal bgure ohssl ivyynva (ng yrnfg hagvy tenqhngvba).
        Znlor vg'f gung Hapnaal Inyyrl srryvat gung n ybg bs crbcyr unir jvgu gbb ernyvfgvp ebobgf.

      • Smurphy says:

        Agreed.

  12. Mez says:

    Oh, Mark. You are so not prepared.

    I had the same "Eh, vampires" reaction as you, initially. But I started really enjoying the show's portrayal of vampires as it went on. (Sbe gubfr jub pner: Fcvxr jnf gur svefg fvta (sbe zr) gung vg zvtug abg nyy or bireyl qenzngvp naq TBGU – naq gura pnzr Unezbal'f fvyyvarff, naq gur thl va gur Unafba fuveg, naq crbcyr trarenyyl orvat CRBCYR, rira vs gurl'er rivy crbcyr jub jnag gb fhpx lbhe oybbq…)

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Sbe zr vg jnf Natry naq Qneyn'f vagrenpgvba.
      V arire yvxrq gur 'tbgu' inzcver-va-n-cbby-bs-oybbq naq nyy gubfr evghnyf, fb gurfr gbb jurer n avpr punatr. gurl unir n uvfgbel, Qneyn vf boivbhfyl wrnybhf. Fb gurer ner dhvgr uhzna, gung jnf vagerfgvat sbe zr, gung orrvat n inzcver jnf abhg whfg nobhg svaqvat gur arkg fanpx.

    • Smurphy says:

      V pna'g jnvg sbe Fcvxr va trareny… V whfg… GUVF RAGVER GUVAT ZNXRF ZR JNL GBB RKPVGR! V NZ ABEZNYYL ABG YVXR GUVF!

    • V'z whfg rkpvgr sbe frnfba gjb va trareny.

  13. plaidpants says:

    Random distracting thought throughout this episode – was that a handkerchief in Giles' pocket? Some kind of tissue? I have no idea why I found that so distracting, but I kept starting at it.

    Anyway, like you Mark I was pretty excited that Buffy basically showed these people what a BAMF was but was a little shocked that no one seemed to realize anything supernatural was going on. I wonder if this will be a running theme: how many ridiculous instances of the paranormal will the people in Sunnydale just completely ignore/explain away with stupid rationalizations?

  14. enigmaticagentscully says:

    So if Sunnydale is this massive nexus of evil, what were they doing about it before Buffy came along? Were the monsters just waiting for her to show up?

    • cait0716 says:

      Oh man, books have been written in an attempt to answer that question.

      This fandom can get kind of intense.

    • plaidpants says:

      I wonder too if somehow she was "pulled" there, like someone created the option for her Mom to get a job there, planted the idea of moving there in their heads, etc.

      • settlingforhistory says:

        V jbaqre vs gur Jngpure'f Pbhapvy unq fbzrguvat gb qb jvgu vg.
        Qvq gurl trg Wblpr gur wbo fbzrubj? V qba'g erzrzore vs vg vf rire ernyyl fgngrq.

      • Smurphy says:

        Qbrfa'g gur crbcyr jub bepurfgengrq "gur xrl" unir fbzrguvat gb qb jvgu Ohssl zbivat gurer? Guvf jnf gbb ybat ntb… V zvtug or qrnq jebat.

        V whfg erzrzorerq V jebgr n snasvp sbe ohssl bapr. Zhfg svaq gung…

      • notemily says:

        Giles even suggests as much in these episodes. "There's a reason why you're here, and a reason why it's now." "Because now is the time my mom moved here?"

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Lbh ner evtug vg vf fgenatr. Jub gbbx pner bs Fhaalqnyr orsber?
      V thrff vg vf fbzrguvat gung gur Jngpuref Pbhapvy whfg qvfpbirerq (yvxr gurl qvq jvgu gur bar va Pyrirynaq yngre) be znlor gur ynfg Fynlre unq gb gnxr pner bs nabgure uryyzbhgu.

    • rabbitape says:

      Well, the Master rising thing, that's like a once-per-hundred years opportunity, right? And since everyone else in town thought a weird gang attacked the Bronze…I don't think they are super attentive to much evil happenings?

    • Genny_ says:

      What I want to know is: what does the rest of the world do? Does world-ending evil always just HAPPEN to occur around the Slayer? Like, what if someone is plotting the apocalypse in Hong Kong or England or Spain or something?

      …I should stop thinking about this too much, shouldn't I.

    • Noybusiness says:

      It looks like it got more active around the time of the Harvest, but Giles says in this episode or the last that there have been incidents in Sunnydale throughout its history. So the monsters have been chowing down on people all this time.

  15. enigmaticagentscully says:

    I actually didn't notice he wasn't in the credits so it still came out of the left field to me.
    Sometimes being unobservant pays off!

  16. Jenny_M says:

    Some of the acting in these early episodes really is cringeworthy. Boreanaz, I am looking at YOU, Sir, with your alleyway smirkiness. NO. That is NOT how you deliver a line, young man.

    I had to giggle at the technology references. Willow, get on the 'Net! Although I thought it was pretty believable that someone with Willow's level of skill would be able to get into the city databases – you know that shit was not locked down nearly securely enough back then. Hell, even today I bet it would be fairly simple to crack into a lot of municipal records.

    • dasmondschaf says:

      As someone who works in local government, I can enthusiastically say that such a thing is much harder than you think!

      But not due to security. Instead, it's due to the fact that municipal agencies tend to be stuck in the stone age and still don't digitize anything, let alone old records.

    • sundaycoma says:

      Alleyway smirkiness is probably the best phrase anyone's ever crafted in the history of wordsmithery. Just needed to let you know that. I'm retroactively applying it to characters like John Constantine and Gambit. I needed to let you know.

    • Smurphy says:

      I don't care how bad his acting is, David Boreanaz is still amazing.

    • hassibah says:

      I totally forgot about Angel showing up at the end and being like "yeah, they did it?"
      Ummm Y U NO HELP, hmm? Did you have something better to do that night.

    • MandaCookie says:

      I especially love how narmy Boreanaz's line is in Jura Fur Jnf Onq, jura ur nfxf Ohssl "Jul lbh EVQVA zr?" I'm not sure why it's not listed on TVTropes under Narm. Am I the only one who finds it hilarious? My husband and I say it to each other on a regular basis, it's just so awesome. (Also, yay for discovering rot13.)

    • @LarrikJ says:

      I read in an interview with Joss that when David Boreanaz auditioned for the role, Joss thought he was terrible. But he had such an effect on all of the women in the room that Joss hired him anyway.

      He could have just been picking on him, but it sounded true.

    • ladysugarquill says:

      Hmm, everyone is saying how Angel is awful in this ep, but I don't see it. I love David's acting (in the little scenes he gets), I think he's as awesome as always…

  17. hpfish13 says:

    Lrnu, sbe zr Fcvxr nccrnenapr vf jung ghearq gur fubj vagb fbzrguvat V ernyyl ybirq. V gubhtug vg jnf terng gung ur qvqa'g gnxr nalguvat irel frevbhfyl (ohg ur jnf fgvyy vagvzvqngvat). V jnf ernyyl tynq gung ur xvyyrq gung veevgngvat rivy xvq, orpnhfr V jnf abg ybbxvat sbejneq gb n jubyr frnfba bs uvz.

  18. cait0716 says:

    I really like that Willow's a hacker and it's just not a big deal. There's no mention of "but you're a girl." She's smart. She's good with computers. She can break the city's encryption code and find the plans for the sewers. Brilliant.

    Also, her revenge on Cordelia in the computer lab is inspired. Way to use your brain, Willow!

    Can you tell she's my favorite character?

    I find that, even when a Buffy episode doesn't completely work for me, there are still a lot of little moments that definitely do. Joyce's grounding of Buffy and her speech about how everything is life or death when you're a sixteen year old girl may be a bit on the nose, but I love it. The reveal that Jesse was a vampire and that he died in the second episode is pretty inspired. Joss had wanted to put Eric Balfour in the credits for the first two episodes because he's an evil sadist who loves to toy with his audience. But it was two expensive to make two sets of credits, so he didn't get to do that.

    As for everyone just forgetting about the vampire attack…well it wouldn't be any fun if EVERYONE knew Buffy's secret identity right off the bat.

    I'm excited for you to watch more and really get into some of the meat of this series. I'm sure we'll see the day that you declare your love for it.

    • RoseFyre says:

      I LOVE that "Deliver" line. Revenge of the nerds!

    • Smurphy says:

      "As for everyone just forgetting about the vampire attack…well it wouldn't be any fun if EVERYONE knew Buffy's secret identity right off the bat." … lol. True. Ohg…. vg orpbzrf vtabevat gur ovt onqf orpbzrf fhpu n cneg bs Fhaalqnyr gung… jryy… vg ernyyl vf nznmvat. Rkprcg sbe cebz. Jnf vg cebz? V pna'g erzrzore ohg guvaxvat nobhg gur hzoeryyn fprar whfg znxrf zr jnag gb pel.

    • magpie says:

      Is Willow the first chick hacker? Or does Oracle predate her? Also, is my vision of what Oracle does totally misinformed?… basically I'm just wondering how much Chloe Sullivan and Claudia Donovan owe her. πŸ™‚

    • claretstock says:

      Haha, yes. The scene between Cordelia and Willow in the computer lab was excellent. Go Willow!

  19. monkeybutter says:

    I’m slow to declare my love. Well, only sometimes, but I don’t need to rush into another relationship after Battlestar Galactica, okay? STOP PRESSURING ME!

    Oh Mark, can’t you just settle down with a nice show already? Have a couple of spin-offs? You’re breaking my heart.

    Overalls and strands of hair framing the face! These are a few of my favorite things.

    I love that it’s only the second episode and Buffy’s already prevented the end of the world. More than that, I love the guitar music in the background of the “we just saved the world and no one knows” conversation. But most of all, I love how Giles is being super-British (I appreciate him in new ways now that I’m older) and how Willow stood up to Cordelia. I'm quickly being reminded of the things I loved about all three of them. And I totally agree that it was satisfying to hear Buffy tell Xander to sit down and let her do her job; his snit was a bit unnecessary.

    My favorite line-delivery of the show had to be Angel’s “actually, I thought it was going to be a little sooner.” I rewatched a half dozen times to satisfy my appetite for ham. The wincing head-tilt. Beautiful. I don’t know if this is really a spoiler, ohg Natry’f oebbqvat, urnq-funxvat fznezvarff jnf tvivat zr frevbhf Rqjneq ivorf va gung fprar.

    • psycicflower says:

      Oh Mark, can’t you just settle down with a nice show already? Have a couple of spin-offs?

      <img src="http://i43.tinypic.com/2w1tl3b.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
      Does this mean it's Mark's fault we haven't gotten our Helo and Starbuck as BFFs with bonus Athena show or Adama and Roslin drink tea and talk about books *ahem*and do other stuff*ahem* spin offs yet?

    • cait0716 says:

      Vg'f gur raq bs gur jbeyq. NTNVA!?!

      Angel's so pretty in this episode. I always forget how young he was.

      • monkeybutter says:

        Yeah, I know people were saying it yesterday, but when I was watched this as a kid, Angel seemed so old and mature, and I'm used to him as Booth, but here he looks my age and it's freaking me out.

        • psycicflower says:

          I much prefer him as Booth. I was never really attracted to him in Buffy or Angel, but Booth? Hell yeah I would.

        • tigerpetals says:

          He is. I am now close to the age DB was when this first aired! If he was in his twenties, I don't remember now.
          Bu yby V jnf tbvat gb fnl V'z nf byq nf Natry.

    • sundaycoma says:

      Followed shortly by one of my least favorite line reads.

      "Angel… that's a pretty name".

      GET IT GET IT orpnhfr ur unf n cerggl snpr ohg ur'f nyy zlfgrevbhf naq fghss fb vg'f tbvat gb or yvxr ur unf n *cnfg* naq vg'f tbvat gb or yvxr n *onq cnfg* juvpu vf jul gur anzr Natry vf tbvat gb or yvxr vebavp naq punenpgre-frggvat naq fghss! DO YOU GET IT!??

      Yeah, thanks, line. We — we actually kind of understood from the first scene in the alleyway but uh, thanks for shouting it in my ear. We, uh, don't know where we'd be without you.

    • sundaycoma says:

      Followed shortly by one of my least favorite line reads.

      "Angel… that's a pretty name". *shrug that's supposed to render this into a completely casual and meaningless throw-away comment but totally doesn't because it doesn't negate how serious and earnest SMG was while delivering the line*

      GET IT GET IT orpnhfr ur unf n cerggl snpr ohg ur'f nyy zlfgrevbhf naq fghss fb vg'f tbvat gb or yvxr ur unf n *cnfg* naq vg'f tbvat gb or yvxr n *onq cnfg* juvpu vf jul gur anzr Natry vf tbvat gb or yvxr vebavp naq punenpgre-frggvat naq fghss! DO YOU GET IT!??

      Yeah, thanks, line. We — we actually kind of understood from the first scene in the alleyway but uh, thanks for shouting it in my ear. We, uh, don't know where we'd be without you.

    • lula34 says:

      QBA'G LBH QNER. AB ZRAGVBA BS RQJNEQ ZNL PBZR ARNE NATRY, CYRNFR. V zrna, cyrnfr. V'z abg lryyvat. V whfg ernyyl, ernyyl ungr Rqjneq. Naq V ernyyl, ernyyl yvxr Natry. Orfvqrf. Natry pbhyq xvpx Rqjneq'f nff. Nyy'f V'z fnlvat.

    • notemily says:

      Gung ynfg fragrapr vf gbb fcbvyrel sbe zl gnfgrf!

    • notemily says:

      Gung ynfg fragrapr vf gbb fcbvyrel sbe zl gnfgrf! V jnag Znex gb or pbzcyrgryl hacercnerq!

  20. psycicflower says:

    I need to get to know Buffy better, and I’m slow to declare my love. Well, only sometimes, but I don’t need to rush into another relationship after Battlestar Galactica, okay? STOP PRESSURING ME!

    HOW COULD YOU BETRAY BSG LIKE THIS MARK! WAS THE FLING WITH JEKYLL NOT ENOUGH!?!

  21. NB2000 says:

    (Yay finally made it to the review! WOW that's some giant bolded text)

    Still giggling at how unprepared you are.

    Willow you are the awesomest, her little revenge on Cordelia for gossiping about Buffy (to a guy who REALLY can't act) is mean but so satisfying. Saving Giles by throwing Holy Water on Darla is even better (dear god that's a lot of smoke coming off her). Yay Willow!

    So many wonderful moments for Buffy. Her little speech about how she reacted the first time she saw a vampire, the screaming and then trying to rationalise it, is so perfectly her it's funny and charming and yet makes a serious point. The way she slays Luke with the sunlight fake-out makes me lol every time. That and her attempting to use Giles as her excuse for leaving campus show how good she is at thinking on her feet. (Although WTF at that magical leap over the fence. She barely bends her legs when jumpuing and somehow ends up facing the same way as when she started? How does that even work?). The Slayer supplies hidden under the girly items in her trunk is just such a perfect visual metaphor for her.

    Bu unv gurer Natry, lbh'er njshyyl pybfr gb fhayvtug va gung pelcg.

    • cait0716 says:

      Unun, zl oblsevraq (jub V'z svanyyl sbepvat gb jngpu guvf jvgu zr) pbzzragrq ba gung. V unq gb gryy uvz gung vg'f bxnl jura vg vfa'g *qverpg* yvtug. Gurl qb phg vg pybfr fbzrgvzrf. Nyfb, V nyjnlf ynhtu ng uvf yvar "V'yy or qnzarq". Lrf, lbh zbfg qrsvavgryl jvyy.

      • settlingforhistory says:

        Unq gurl qvpvqrq gung ur vf n inzcver ng gung cbvag nyernql?
        V'ir ernq gurl bevtvanyyl jnagrq gb znxr uvz uhzna, bhg sbe eriratr orpnhfr inzcverf xvyyrq uvf snzvyl (yvxr Ebova Jbbq yngre.).
        V unir ab vqrn jura vg jnf qrpvqrq jub Natry vf gubhtu lbh pregnvayl pna ernq uvf pbzzragf (V qba'g ovgr' 'Gurl qba'g yvxr zr') rvgure jnl.

      • notemily says:

        V'z nyjnlf yvxr "Gbb yngr!"

        Zna, gurl nyzbfg pbzcyrgryl guebj gur fhayvtug guvat–sbetvir gur cha–bhg gur jvaqbj va Natry. Irargvna oyvaqf! Ab ceboyrz!

    • RoseFyre says:

      "Bu unv gurer Natry, lbh'er njshyyl pybfr gb fhayvtug va gung pelcg. "

      Gurl gnyx n ovg nobhg gung va gur fcrpvny srngherf ba gur inevbhf QIQ frgf – nobhg ubj onq gurl jrer ng npghnyyl xrrcvat inzcverf bhg bs gur fha. Bs pbhefr, V qba'g nqivfr gur fcrpvny srngherf hayrff lbh'ir nyernql frra rirel rcvfbqr bs gur fcrpvsvp frnfba, naq fbzrgvzrf zber guna gung. Orpnhfr, frevbhfyl, gurl JVYY fcbvy lbh.

  22. atalantapendrag says:

    Oh Giles, I love you so much. And Willow. ALL THE LOVE.

    There is so much you are not prepared for, and I am gonna love watching it hit you.

  23. Mez says:

    On the subject of bad acting: bear in mind that, for three of the characters (Xander, Cordelia, and Angel), it was their first real acting job.

  24. egao-gakari says:

    Site bwoke πŸ™

    I remember watching this in 2007 and thinking, "wow, this is what the 90s were like? with all-ages bars and stuff? weird!!"

    I think the Master is kind of a boring villain. What does he want to do after he escapes his prison? Take over Sunnydale and make it a vampire mecca? Take over the world and eliminate the humans entirely? I dunno, I just think he has no characterization. He's not even really that scary, he has to get his minions to do everything for him. Color me unimpressed.

    • plaidpants says:

      The "all age" bar kinda stuck out for me, particularly because I could have sworn I saw some kind of sign on one of the doors about needing to be 21. There's got to be some kind of age limit on that thing.

      It also makes me wonder what everyone else thinks about the librarian hanging around with these kids the whole time.

    • RoseFyre says:

      Far as I know, no one ever goes to all-ages bars, not really.

      The one thing that always gets me about it is that the bouncer checks IDs! And then lets the high-schoolers in anyway! I mean, maybe he gives them "under 21" bracelets? But no one is wearing anything like that in what we've seen so far, and the bouncer doesn't have a stamp or bracelets or anything. And often, if a club serves alcohol at all, you can't get in if you're under 18, and then you have to wear a special bracelet or have a special stamp or something. So I don't quite get the point of checking the IDs at all, except to force him into a confrontation with the vampires? I don't know.

    • claretstock says:

      I agree with ya. But he sure is way uglier than all the other vamps so….I think his ugly face was supposed to make him more significant somehow?

  25. cait0716 says:

    Well, the former human self certainly informs the demon. Vampire Jesse still goes to the Bronze and seeks out Cordelia, just like he would have wanted to do as a human. But, yes, the distinction between the "friend" and the
    "thing that killed him" is an important one to make so early.

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      The vampire has your memories, but it doesn't have your soul – which is a fairly nebulous concept, but because we're shown the effect, we get an idea, without having to wade to deep into the metaphysics. What strikes me most of all is how Jesse has a completely different conception of himself – and how that shows how everything that made him human is now gone.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Jryy jvgu Wrffr vg'f whfg yvxr jvgu Natryhf.
      Ur vf whfg nf vagrerffgrq va Ohssl nf Natry vf, whfg va n ernyyl perrcl haurnygul jnl. *fuhqqre*

  26. hpfish13 says:

    So, I'm not sure if this is true, but I heard once that David Boreanaz got cast because he walked his dog down the casting director's street and fit the description they had for the character (he was already an actor at that point, but hadn't done much). Does anyone know if this is true?

  27. hilarius11 says:

    I'm all for becoming a Watcher. Can we have awesome British accents? I've always wanted to be British!!

    • Mez says:

      Yes, but you also have to wear tweed.

    • hilarius11 says:

      Out of curiosity…why was this comment deleted?

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        I have no idea! Perhaps it was spoilery? That's 99% of the reason why, so that I can read comments.

        • enigmaticagentscully says:

          Speaking as someone who hasn't seen the show yet…no it wasn't.
          It was just a suggestion that we call us Mark Does Stuff fans 'Watchers' as Giles said he was last episode.

          Maybe deleted by mistake?

        • Jack_of_Hearts says:

          I'm not really sure what would make it spoiler-y, but I've checked and edited the comment for repost just in case. 100% lack of spoilers below πŸ™‚

          • evocativecomma says:

            Gur pbzzrag jnf qryrgrq orpnhfr fvzcyl ol qvfphffvba gur "Jngpure" frevrf gung unq orra cebcbfrq, lbh erirnyrq gung Tvyrf yvirf guebhtu gur ragver frira frnfbaf bs Ohssl. Gung vf na rabezbhf fcbvyre, orpnhfr gura Znex jvyy arire srry gung Tvyrf vf rire va qnatre, naq fb nyy bs gur cybgyvarf jvyy ybfr gur ryrzrag gung fbzrguvat zvtug unccra gb Tvyrf, ehvavat frireny grafr zbzragf guebhtubhg gur frevrf.

  28. The Earth Is Doomed

    [youtube BCOfQExyCMk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCOfQExyCMk youtube]

    Of course there is a Lego version. Of course.

  29. lawrence says:

    God there is so much I want to say, but just can't. I mean, I could rot13 an entire post, I suppose, but that seems like kind of a ridiculous idea.

    I think the denial of *every* witness is unrealistic, yes, but also necessary, at least this early. If there were too many people in on Buffy's secret, it might work in a movie or a mini-series, but not in something intended to be long running (obviously they didn't know in season 1 that it would run for 6 more years, but I'm sure they hoped it would at least get picked up for the fall).

    After all, if enough people knew, they'd probably be able to convince the doubters at some point – if one person says "There are vampires and I'm the slayer!" that person is easy for society as a whole to dismiss, because *obviously* she must be delusional. But if twenty, or thirty, or fifty people start saying "No, really, I saw a vampire feeding off this guy, and this girl staked him and he turned to dust!" it becomes a lot harder for everyone else to disregard. (And even if they do, at least now you have more of an army to deal with it instead of just four people.)

    And if everyone was then in on it, it would completely remove a lot of the potential conflict. What I liked about The Harvest was that the conflict *wasn't* just Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles versus the Vampires. It was them versus the Vampires, but also Buffy versus the principal and Buffy versus her mother. If they knew, she could just say "I have to go slay vampires," and they'd be all "Oh, OK, don't let them kill you." (Also, if they knew, she probably wouldn't have been kicked out of school in the first place for burning down the gym, since she apparently did it to save everyone from vampires.)

    So if everyone found out after The Harvest, scenes like that couldn't happen again, and I think they need to in order for the show not to become 'just another show about fighting vampires'. There needs to be tension other than the battle between good and evil, otherwise it's either a very short or a very boring series.

    • Smurphy says:

      "God there is so much I want to say, but just can't. I mean, I could rot13 an entire post, I suppose, but that seems like kind of a ridiculous idea."

      AGREED. I kept writing things and then rewriting them to make them less spoilery and then completely erasing them… *sigh*

  30. Rhiannon says:

    One factoid I love about the first two episodes is how Joss really wanted to suprise people with Jesse’s death. He really wanted to drive home the “no one is safe” message. He actually wanted to have Eric Balfour included in the credits for the first two episodes to give it even more importance/shock value when he was killed, but it was too expensive to do two sets of credits.

    I like how neatly these opening episodes set up the tone of the show. Buffy is the Slayer, Giles the Watcher. Willow and Xander the moral support and research team. Joyce as Buffy’s connection and reminder of teen life. Sunnydale the bright Californian town with the hidden darkside. It has it’s elements of supernatural horror and teen angst, but that classic Whedon wit is threaded throughout the structure very neatly. It isn’t a PERFECT pilot but in my books it’s extremely close.

  31. maccyAkaMatthew says:

    I don't think they make it explicit, but the implication is that the hellmouth was closed in the earthquake when the Master got trapped and that now that he's getting ready to open it again, the force is increasing. So Buffy's arrival coincides with an increase of activity.

    As with the "everyone forgets" line, you sort of have to go along with the conceit. It allows for a frequency of incident to power the story, but it doesn't necessarily support a consistent fictional world if you think hard about it.

    • Dru says:

      Also, the Hellmouth zbirf ybpngvbaf trbtencuvpnyyl, V guvax vg'f zvtengrq bire gur praghel – tvira gung bar bs gur Fynlref Fcvxr xvyyrq jnf Puvarfr be Xberna, naq jr frr nabgure Rnfg Nfvna Fynlre ng bar cbvag, zl crg gurbel bs gubfr qnlf jnf gung n Fynlre vf hfhnyyl njnxrarq arne jurerire gur uryy-npgvivgl vf, be ng yrnfg ba gur fnzr fvqr bs gur jbeyq.

      Juvpu svgf jvgu gur ynggre unys bs gur praghel univat ybnqf bs Nzrevpna Fynlref – Avxxv Jbbq p. 1977 (?), abj Ohssl, gura Xraqen jubz V guvax vf Wnznvpna, naq gura Snvgu.

  32. hilarius11 says:

    Mark, I'm going to reiterate what you told me about Jekyll. IT GETS BETTER! If this is spoilery, I'm sorry, but you need to know this.
    Also, vampires suck. Literally. But that, in my opinion, is what makes this show so wonderful. A truly awful villan who is consistently asking to have his butt kicked. And by a hot blonde. Who is witty. I mean, what more do you want?!

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      No, that's not spoilery! I'm totally okay with people telling me this. I know it's a rocky start. πŸ™‚

    • Genny_ says:

      This is basically the mantra people gave me when I started: 'just get through series one', heh. But even so, while not PERFECT, these two episodes are good fun. If this is what you have to warn people about, you're off to a damn good start! VZB lbh pna cvacbvag gur cerpvfr zbzrag gur fubj ernyyl fgnegf gb xvpx bss: Ohssl'f fcrrpu ng gur irel raq bs frevrf bar.

  33. settlingforhistory says:

    I was so surprised the first time I watched that episode that someone actually died.
    Of course it's a show about vampires, but a character that could have just as well become a main one was killed in the second episode. Wow, just wow.
    But yes, the acting is not the best and the vamp-fangs are terrible, Jesse sounds as if he is wearing braces.
    I’m glad that the whole Harvest plot was resolved in the second episode though, I really dislike Luke and I always thought this vampire cult thing pretty silly.
    Vg'f fgentr gung ur sryy sbe gur fhayvtug-gevpx.
    Jr xabj sebz Natry gung ur srryf gur fhaevfr ybat orsber vg'f gurer, fb ur fubhyq abg unir ernpgrq gung jnl. Jryy, znlor vg'f fvzcyl vafgvapg.
    That they can all just go on with their lives and pretend nothing happened irked me a lot at the beginning, but I guess it’s just easier to life like that.
    Vg znxrf gur Cebz nyy gur zber jbaqreshy sbe Ohssl, orpnhfr gurl qvq abg vtaber vg, gurl whfg cersrerq abg gb gnyx nobhg vg.
    V ybirq Favqre pbirevat hc fgenatr guvatf va gur fpubby, gbb. 'Tnatf ba cpc' be 'Tnf yrnx'. πŸ™‚
    V haqrefgnaq abg orrvat guevyyrq ol gur svefg rcvfbqrf, V ubcr Znex jvyy yvxr gur frnfba svanyr gubhtu. Bar bs zl snibhevgrf sbe nyy vg'f yvggyr fubx zbzragf.

    • RoseFyre says:

      Lrnu, Cebcurpl Tvey vf n terng rcvfbqr. V nyjnlf fhttrfg gung crbcyr fubhyq jngpu ng yrnfg guebhtu gung orsber tvivat hc ba gur fubj – orpnhfr, gb or snve, Frnfba 1 vf ebpxl, ohg vg ernyyl qbrf trg orggre!

    • MandaCookie says:

      Gurer'f n ybg bs inzcver yber nfcrpgf gung jrer vagebqhprq va Natry gung pbagenqvpg guvatf gung unccrarq orsber. Vg'f xvaq bs naablvat. Gur zbfg rtertvbhf sbe zr jnf va vgf svany frnfba, gur pbaprcg jnf vagebqhprq gung inzcverf frafr bgure inzcverf. Lrg whfg gur lrne cevbe ba Ohssl, Fcvxr vf fvggvat arkg gb n jbzna jub ur qbrfa'g ernyvmr vf n inzcver hagvy ure snpr tbrf ohzcl. JUNG? *areq entr* Be Qbccyrtnatynaq. Jung'f V rfcrpvnyyl qba'g yvxr nobhg gung bar vf gung vg freirq nofbyhgryl ab checbfr gb gur fgbel rkprcg gb fnl "guvf thl unf n inzcver urapuzna."

    • sundaycoma says:

      Qvq Natry fnl vg jnf n inzcver genvg gb or njner bs gur fhaevfr be whfg gung *ur* jnf njner bs gur fhaevfr? V bayl nfx orpnhfr V qba'g ernyyl erzrzore rirelguvat nobhg gur Ohsslirefr zlgubybtl naq vg bpphef gb zr gung gurer pbhyq whfg or n ernyyl fvzcyr rkcynangvba – znlor Natry jnf whfg orggre ng vg guna Yhxr? Yvxr ubj fbzr crbcyr ner whfg orggre ng univat n frafr bs qverpgvba be unir n orggre frafr sbe gur cnffntr bs gvzr?

      • settledforhistory says:

        V fnlf va Nzraqf 'V pna fzryy gur fhaevfr ybat orsber vg pbzrf.'
        Fb V thrff lbhe rkcynvangvba znxrf n ybg bs frafr.
        V arire gubhtug bs vg gung jnl, fb gunaxf.

  34. knut_knut says:

    OH MY GOD I MADE IT ON! I was worried that the 90s campiness would be kind of a turn off for me, but I think it works well coming from BSG. That show RUINED me, so it's nice to watch something that is a little gentler I guess. And doesn't take everything I love in life and KILL IT (even though I secretly love all things that make me sad).

    WHO WAS THAT RANDOM GUY GOSSIPING WITH CORDELIA?! The one who just popped up from behind her computer? He was AMAZING and I need more of him. Maybe his own spin off? I don't know but seriously, he was fabulous.

  35. Mez says:

    Hey, commenters:

    Jvgu Znex dhbgvat Tvyrf:
    “N Fynlre uhagf inzcverf; Ohssl vf n Fynlre; qba’g gryy nalbar. Jryy, V guvax gung’f nyy gur inzcver vasbezngvba lbh arrq.”

    V xvaqn jnag gb cbvag bhg gung, npghnyyl, Tvyrf fnvq "GUR Fynlre uhagf inzcverf"… ohg gung zvtug or fcbvyrel. Gubhtugf?

    • sundaycoma says:

      Qrsvavgryl fcbvyreel. Ur'f fcrpvsvpnyyl nfxrq hf gb fuhg bhe gencf vs jr abgvpr ur'f zvffrq fbzrguvat va gur qrgnvyf bs gur fubj gung cbvagf gb yngre vzcbegnag qrirybczragf. Gur fubj jvyy pynevsl gur fvathynevgl bs gur fynlre fbba rabhtu naq hagvy gura…

      We just have to settle for keysmashing and rot13ing our hearts out.

    • MandaCookie says:

      V'z abg fher gung gurer'f bayl bar fynlre vf n fcbvyre. Vg'f fcbvyrel gung vg punatrf! Ohg gur bcravat rkcbfvgvba sbe rnpu rcvfbqr, nf jryy nf fnvq ol Tvyrf va gur cvybg, fgngrf gung gurer'f "bar tvey va nyy gur jbeyq…" Ohg gurl'yy or trggvat gb vg yngre ba, naljnl. Pna'g uheg gb yrg uvz guvax bgurejvfr.

  36. tigerpetals says:

    Also, while I may have cooled on vampires, I still love mythology so the idea of demons once walking the earth and their remains wanting to bring them back is very appealing. I love Cthulhu-type stuff, though not Lovecraft's actual writing or racism. The vampires may be overdramatic, but I like the Master's exchange with that guy who failed him.

    I love Xander but I agree about his attitude with regards to the sewers. I noted that when he had to pull Buffy out of the sewers, it was because she let him go up first, so she got caught by the vamps. Female characters have been criticized for endangering themselves and needing male characters to risk themselves to be heroic.

    I really love the story with the exacto knife and Buffy's matter-of-fact willingness to tell it.

  37. Kickpuncher says:

    I think this is the first show I’ve watched where I don’t think the acting is really all that solid, except for Charisma Carpenter

    Did you just forget about Anthony Stewart Head, you… you jerk?

  38. monkeybutter says:

    yes it is

  39. lyvanna says:

    You know what I love most about this episode? Despite all the ass-kicking that Buffy does, it's her ability to outsmart Luke that defeats him in the end when she tricks him about the sunrise.

  40. Inseriousity. says:

    "Deliver"
    -Cordelia presses Del button-

    LOLOL yes the show can be cheesy but it's so funny too so I can go along with it. πŸ˜€

  41. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    Can I just pretend this is true?

  42. NB2000 says:

    I vaguely remember that being in this like, unofficial tie in book that was full of biographies of the cast that I had when the show was running.

  43. Jack_of_Hearts says:

    Truth be told, the first time I watched this opening two-parter, I didn't really care for it all that much. Until Giles' final line. It was around two hours of me going "Eh… it's okay, but it's not exactly up to Firefly standard." Then, after all the dark-tunnel-chases and blood sacrifice nonsense, the happy, upbeat music kicked in and I was sort of expecting the "everything's back to normal JUST LIKE MAGIC" stuff, and I was mostly okay with it, even if it kinda made it seem like everyone had been on a field trip to Lake Laogai (apologies for the sort-of injoke new Mark Watches fans). I was all set to watch the rest of the series, but couldn't help feeling a little let down. Then Anthony Stewart Head's total deadpan delivery made me laugh like hell, and I found myself re-assesing everything I had set myself up to think. I watched both episodes again, and found, to my surprise, that I thought they were excellent. Weird, huh?

    On an unrelated note, how do you guys feel about refering to Mark Watches fans as "Watchers" from now on? Seems appropriate πŸ™‚

    • Smurphy says:

      mmm… I'm a fan of Mark in general can we have a name that encompasses both the sites… and just his utter greatness. How about … (nevermind my attempt to do something with Oshiro just turns out wrong.)

      but good idea!

    • monkeybutter says:

      I think your original comment was caught by the spam filter because it was posted a few times, but since you've reposted it here, I'm not gonna try to bring the first one back.

  44. cait0716 says:

    I heard this, too. I believe it can be confirmed by going through the special features on the season 1 DVDs, but I haven't watched those in a while.

  45. Suzannezibar says:

    I am so glad I am not the only person who thinks the vampire mythos is…sort of uninteresting? I don't know, I've never been into it, hence having never done Vampire Diaries or True Blood or any of that (and Twilight, obviously, but clearly those books have WAY MORE PROBLEMS than just being about vampires :P)

    But at the same time, this is sort of what I like about Buffy. It gives me vampires but it also gave me characters who I formed very deep connections to quite quickly (Willow and Giles I will love you forever until the day I die), and…the vampire "thing" become sort of secondary? On the other hand, that could also be my tendency when watching TV to latch on to characters I love and ignore everything else (see: Laura Roslin).

  46. cait0716 says:

    My favorite example of this is Will Smith in the first few episodes of Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I mean, I have never seen a worse actor. It's just as bad as it gets. Who could have known the career he had in front of him?

  47. sundaycoma says:

    I've heard him tell stories about how he would miss his marks and just screw up the scene so badly but I mean, it's stories like that are so god damn encouraging. It really just drills in the aesop that no one is good at everything when they first try their hand and skill requires honing.

    Unless, you know, we're just looking for vampires in a bar. Then there are other ways.

    Giles: You didn't… hone…

  48. robin says:

    I like how you keep in mind when the series was made. Though some of the tropes may seem a little tired now, when Buffy originally aired it had an enormous influence — imo a lot of the action movies and tv that came afterwards with a young female lead were inspired by Buffy. Having a teenage girl protagonist as a superhero who has agency, is stronger than the men who surround her, who keeps up with the wisecracks when in peril (emotionally strong as well)… it's important stuff.

    Don't feel pressured to love the show, though. It's definitely popular enough to handle some critique.

  49. arctic_hare says:

    Vampires… meh. I'm not too big on them overall myself. I think it says something that my favorite vampire of all time is Bunnicula (note to Stephenie Meyer: THAT is how you do a vegetarian vampire!). I love the Discworld vampires I've seen so far, though, and am eager to read Carpe Jugulum. But then, it's Pratchett, and thus the vampires aren't being played seriously. πŸ˜€

    Giles is truly the best. <3

  50. rabbitape says:

    It's just part of the Slayer baggage. You can't be one without also doing unnecessary parkour.

    And because dammit we are gonna justify every penny of hiring a body double.

  51. psycicflower says:

    Jung fhaqnlpbzn fnvq. Jr'ir unq fbzr sha va gur cnfg jvgu Znex zvffvat fghss yvxr gung nf jryy fb vg'f orfg abg gb pbeerpg uvz nobhg vg.

  52. NB2000 says:

    Bu qba'g jbeel V'ir frra gur ragver frevrf, qrne tbq fbzr bs gur pbzzragnevrf ner onq sbe fcbvyref.

  53. rabbitape says:

    According to Wikipedia, the most 100% reliable source in the world, that is true:

    He was cast in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, after being suggested for the role to Marti Noxon by one of Boreanaz's neighbors, after walking his dog past their house.

  54. eulaliavox says:

    Giles. Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles, Giles,

    That's all I have to say. <3

  55. Kickpuncher says:

    Whatever. Next you'll tell me that Matt Smith really is The Doctor.

  56. Rob M says:

    Gur ovg V arire haqrefgbbq nobhg gur Natry-va-gur-pelcg fprar jnf UBJ QVQ UR TRG VA GURER??? Jnf ur jnvgvat gurer fvapr fhaevfr? Qbrf ur fgnl gurer nyy qnl? Ur pyrneyl qbrfa'g jnag gb tb qbja vagb gur ghaaryf orpnhfr gur bgure inzcverf qba'g yvxr uvz naq ur yrgf Ohssl tb bss ba ure bja!

  57. rabbitape says:

    Don't you dare try to tell me he's not.

  58. Noybusiness says:

    I was putting together the calendar today with the 144 episodes of Buffy and a prediction post for each season after the first, and I realized that "just" with that, you'll be finishing in early July. So I've changed my mind, I think you shouldn't watch Angel concurrently. You should take a break from the Buffyverse, I recommend watching Caprica, before returning to Angel. It's really not necessary to watch Angel to understand Buffy, even the episodes with minor crossover references – they're always minor and not integral. You can skip Angel and still enjoy the plot of every Buffy episode.

  59. Nos says:

    Zbfg bs gur snaf V xabj qb gurve erjngpurf fgnegvat jvgu frnfba gjb. Fb gurer vf ab cerffher ng nyy gb yvxr frnfba bar. Frnfba gjb, ubjrire…

  60. Noybusiness says:

    I like that the vampires on this show are evil mooks and not tortured romantics.

  61. cait0716 says:

    I always assumed it was a 16+ club. Then again, I was 10 and therefore very naive. Now I just sort of accept it

  62. echinodermata says:

    Giles is a librarian and is seemingly confounded by the bright and shiny computer and its magical resources. Oh Giles.

    Willow's a hacker, and she breaks into…city council records. Oh Willow.

    I do like that we don't spend a long amount of time on getting Xander and Willow to come to terms with vampires existing. A couple bits of dialogue to that respect is understandable and expected, but I'm glad Willow goes pretty straight into being practical and problem-solving. Too much denial and it becomes too un-genre-savvy.

    So, Angel. Angel who is pretty unhelpful and only shows up to be mysterious and give Buffy vague warnings without actually explaining the shit that he thinks is so important. In line with my point above, Angel bugs me for not being helpful and being un-grenre-savvy and why won't tv characters just talk to each other about important things?!

    Also, second ep in a row where I'm pleased with the show on the Bechdel Test front. Cordelia and her friend talk about their evening plans, Buffy, and computer programming. (I'm suspicious about how hitting the delete key deletes the entire program, though, but the operating system looks significantly dated so maybe I'm judging based too much on modern standards.) And Buffy and her mom talk too. And while Cordelia does talk about boys with her friends at the Bronze, that scene is entirely about characterizing Cordelia and contrasting Cordelia's personality with Buffy's 'saving the world while her mom thinks she's shallow and reckless' bit that occurs just before. Good for you, show!

    "Buffy's a superhero." Yes she is and I'm excited for reviewing 7 seasons worth of television with a female protagonist. I mean sure it's an ensemble show, but I started watching for Buffy and stuck with her to the end. I mean, c'mon, she has a trunk with a hidden compartment full of vampire weapons, and is out to save the world.

    <img src="http://i39.tinypic.com/xc12bm.gif&quot; alt="Buffy standing by herself and lifting her head up confidently">

    But BtVS woefully has tons of ableist dialogue; I do think it's unlikely to see dialogue like "I am so mentally challenged" coming from a sympathetic character like Buffy on tv today (at least not from shows not trying to be gritty, I guess), so at least I think tv has improved in this respect since Buffy started? But yeah, this show is definitely bad at ableism. And it's also got a (nameless, I think) Black guy as the first to be sacrificed. Yeah, so while BtVS's premise is about subverting expectations of the typical horror story, it seems not to be cognizant of other problematic horror tropes outside of the gender-relevant ones.

    General expectation spoilers: naq gung zbfgyl fhzf hc guvf fubj gb zr – cbjreshy va znal erfcrpgf jura vg gevrf gb or, ohg nyfb qvfnccbvagvatyl hanjner va bgure erfcrpgf.

  63. echinodermata says:

    Giles is a librarian and is seemingly confounded by the bright and shiny computer and its magical resources. Oh Giles.

    Willow's a hacker, and she breaks into…city council records. Oh Willow.

    I do like that we don't spend a long amount of time on getting Xander and Willow to come to terms with vampires existing. A couple bits of dialogue to that respect is understandable and expected, but I'm glad Willow goes pretty straight into being practical and problem-solving. Too much denial and it becomes too un-genre-savvy.

    So, Angel. Angel who is pretty unhelpful and only shows up to be mysterious and give Buffy vague warnings without actually explaining the shit that he thinks is so important. In line with my point above, Angel bugs me for not being helpful and being un-grenre-savvy and why won't tv characters just talk to each other about important things?!

    Also, second ep in a row where I'm pleased with the show on the Bechdel Test front. Cordelia and her friend talk about their evening plans, Buffy, and computer programming. (I'm suspicious about how hitting the delete key deletes the entire program, though, but the operating system looks significantly dated so maybe I'm judging based too much on modern standards.) And Buffy and her mom talk too. And while Cordelia does talk about boys with her friends at the Bronze, that scene is entirely about characterizing Cordelia and contrasting Cordelia's personality with Buffy's 'saving the world while her mom thinks she's shallow and reckless' bit that occurs just before. Good for you, show!

    "Buffy's a superhero." Yes she is and I'm excited for reviewing 7 seasons worth of television with a female protagonist. I mean sure it's an ensemble show, but I started watching for Buffy and stuck with her to the end. I mean, c'mon, she has a trunk with a hidden compartment full of vampire weapons, and is out to save the world.

    <img src="http://i39.tinypic.com/xc12bm.gif&quot; alt="Buffy standing by herself and lifting her head up confidently">

    But BtVS woefully has tons of ableist dialogue; I do think it's unlikely to see dialogue like "I am so mentally challenged" coming from a sympathetic character like Buffy on tv today (at least not from shows not trying to be gritty, I guess), so at least I think tv has improved in this respect since Buffy started? But yeah, this show is definitely bad at ableism. And it's also got a (nameless, I think) Black guy as the first to be sacrificed. Yeah, so while BtVS's premise is about subverting expectations of the typical horror story, it seems not to be cognizant of other problematic horror tropes outside of the gender-relevant ones.

    General expectation spoilers: naq gung zbfgyl fhzf hc guvf fubj gb zr – cbjreshy va znal erfcrpgf jura vg gevrf gb or, ohg nyfb qvfnccbvagvatyl hanjner va bgure erfcrpgf.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      In terms of ableist dialog, I don't think its really gotten better. My awareness has increased, and I try to note everytime I hear an ableist slur. They are very common, and its a bit distressing. There are plenty of show's I like, that give nuanced and positive portrayals to all sorts of minorities, but you'll still have a character saying "that's lame" or "you're crazy".

      It makes me a bit nervous to suggest some of the shows that otherwise I think Mark would love, but are a bit saturated on the ableist language.

    • MidnightLurker says:

      Y'know what? I'm mentally ill.

      I am FAR more offended by all this political correctness than by the "ableist" dialogue. Crazy is a good word. So is mad. You can apply them to things that aren't people. You can even tell stories about insane people, use the words all the time, go ahead. I read "Girl Genius" and "Narbonic," and they're all about… MAD SCIENTISTS. They are two of the best written webcomics on the planet. Do they offend me? NO. Does being PC about "ableist" stuff offend me? FUCK YES.

      I have a friend who has cerebral palsy. He can't bend his knees, can barely walk without assistance. He *hates* people who try to suppress words like "cripple" and "lame." Uses them himself, a lot. This is the same thing.

      …I'm sorry, but this has been bugging me for months and it just keeps building up. &gt;.&lt;#

    • MidnightLurker says:

      Y'know what? I'm mentally ill.

      I am FAR more offended by all this political correctness than by the "ableist" dialogue. Crazy is a good word. So is mad. You can apply them to things that aren't people. You can even tell stories about insane people, use the words all the time, go ahead. I read "Girl Genius" and "Narbonic," and they're all about… MAD SCIENTISTS. They are two of the best written webcomics on the planet. Do they offend me? NO. Does being PC about "ableist" stuff offend me? FUCK YES.

      I have a friend who has cerebral palsy. He can't bend his knees, can barely walk without assistance. He *hates* people who try to suppress words like "cripple" and "lame." Uses them himself, a lot. This is the same thing.

      …I'm sorry, but this has been bugging me for months and it just keeps building up. >.<#

      • notemily says:

        OK, look, you have the entire rest of the internet to complain about "political correctness" and use words like "crazy." Here, this is Mark's site, and his rules are clearly stated in the About page and in yesterday's post. Regardless of your opinion on this issue, if you want to comment here, you have to follow Mark's rules.

        And once again, it's not about offense, it's about harm.

      • echinodermata says:

        Does it matter to you that you offend me by knowingly breaking the rules in a reply to me when I'm tasked with enforcing the site rules? Mark just updated his site rules yesterday to add that the accusation of "political correctness" towards the policy of not using "crazy" on this site is not an argument that will get anyone anywhere. And yet that's exactly where you went.

        This is Mark's site and you are expected to follow the site rules even if you don't agree with them. That means refraining from starting a line of discussion that has been gone over too many times to count and that tires us who have to respond to it and deal with the same arguments over and over. Maybe you don't realize that you are certainly not the first to say you disagree with these rules, but trust me, there is a long history of comments like yours being made. And yet, the site rules still stand, and they will stand for the forseeable future.

        If you are truly offended by people calling the use of words like "crazy" ableist, then perhaps you should stop visiting this site. No one's forcing you to stay. The rules are not going to change, so the ball's in your court – learn to live with it or stop visiting the site.

    • pica_scribit says:

      While the first victim was Nameless Black Guy, I did think it was interesting to have the first victim be Big Strong Dude, not Helpless Waifish Female. And I like that these vamps don't always bite just the opposite gender, either.

      • Raenef says:

        Ooh good point, I didn't notice that.

      • cait0716 says:

        Possibly not spoilery, but also maybe too early to really start talking about: Nf sne nf V'z pbaprearq, inzcverf ner ovfrkhny. Rirel ynfg bar bs gurz. Guvf znl whfg or urnq pnaba, ohg V guvax vg'f cerggl jryy fhccbegrq va n inevrgl bs inzcver yvgrengher

        • pica_scribit says:

          V'z fher lbh pna svaq rivqrapr gb fhccbeg gung gurbel, rira va gur Wbffirefr. Ohg jurer jr trg inzcverf jvgu ebznagvp nggnpuzragf ba guvf fubj, gurl qb frrz gb or cerggl urgrebabezngvir. Ubjrire, Wbff qvq fnl bs Fcvxr naq Natry, "Gurl jrer gbtrgure sbe n irel ybat gvzr. Lbh ernyyl guvax gurl arire…?"

          • cait0716 says:

            Lrnu. V nyfb trg ivorf yvxr gung sebz Qneyn/Qehfvyyn naq Yhxr/Gur Znfgre. Natryhf jnf pregnvayl vaibyirq jvgu obgu Qneyn naq Qeh, fb V svther gurer jrer guerrfbzrf unccravat nyy bire gur cynpr. V ernq n ohapu bs snasvp, fb znlor gung'f vg. Ohg rfcrpvnyyl va Vagreivrj Jvgu n Inzcver gurer'f n gba bs frkhny grafvba orgjrra Ybhvf/Yrfgng naq Ybhvf/Neznaq (V zrna, gung ynfg bar vf xvaq bs boivbhf). Fb rira gubhtu nyy gur ynfgvat eryngvbafuvcf ner urgrebfrkhny, V svtherq gurer unq gb or fbzr rkcrevzragngvba tbvat ba ng yrnfg.

            • notemily says:

              I agree with you. I think the whole sucking-blood thing is hard to NOT make a sexual metaphor, especially yngre jura Evyrl tbrf gb gung inzc-ubhfr naq vg'f cerggl rkcyvpvgyl pbqrq nf cebfgvghgvba. So when you have stuff like Luke and the Master doing that ceremony, and Luke sucks the Master's blood, there's definitely some homoeroticism going on there.

          • kristinc says:

            "Gurl jrer gbtrgure sbe n irel ybat gvzr. Lbh ernyyl guvax gurl arire…?"

            Qnaprq? :oP

    • Hecubot says:

      Joss was responsive to the criticism about the white washed casting. In casting the main roles for all his future series he's much more consciously inclusive on that score, starting with Angel, but obviously on Firefly and Dollhouse as well.

      He also does a pretty good job of casting women with a variety of body types going forward, and that was a conscious effort on his part as well.

      I'm not sure how much relief you're going to get from the ableist language during the course of the show.

  64. settlingforhistory says:

    Znlor gurer vf nabgure ragerapr gung bayl ur xabjf nobhg be ur uvg haqre n oynaxrg yvxr n pregnva lrg haxabja inzcver. πŸ˜‰

  65. cait0716 says:

    Naq orpnhfr qnzzvg jr ner tbaan whfgvsl rirel craal bs uvevat n obql qbhoyr.

    Guvf whfg erzvaqf zr bs "gvzr gb fgenc ba zl svtugvat obbof!" V qba'g rira xabj jurer V urneq/ernq gung, ohg vg unf fghpx jvgu zr sbe n ybat gvzr.

  66. lyvanna says:

    Yay for the Buffy love. She's my girl.

    Always wonder about those communion wafers in her trunk though. Can they really be used to fight Vampires? Grind them up and throw them in their eyes? Vampire itching powder?

  67. arctic_hare says:

    Yeah, the ableist dialogue REALLY bothers me in this show. So do the race issues it has.

  68. cait0716 says:

    I'm suspicious about how hitting the delete key deletes the entire program, though, but the operating system looks significantly dated so maybe I'm judging based too much on modern standards.

    I'm more suspicious about Cordelia thinking "del" was short for "deliver"

  69. RoseFyre says:

    Lrnu, frevbhfyl. V guvax vg'f cnegvphyneyl onq va fbzr bs gur yngre frnfbaf. Vs lbh xabj jung unccraf, gurl'er ernyyl vagrerfgvat, ohg vs lbh qba'g…whfg qba'g jngpu gurz.

  70. RoseFyre says:

    …Fb, fb, fb gehr.

  71. RoseFyre says:

    Yeah, you just kind of have to let it go.

    Or assume that every single teen in Sunnydale has a fake ID. Which…could be possible?

  72. Mez says:

    Jung nobhg jung unccraf jvgu Snvgu?

    Vs lbh whfg jngpu Ohssl, fur yrnirf gbja enaqbzyl, naq gura fhqqrayl pbzrf onpx jvgu Jvyybj, frireny frnfbaf yngre…

    • Noybusiness says:

      Lrnu, ohg lbh cvpx vg hc dhvpxyl rabhtu (fur zragvbaf gur "zntvpny zvaq jnyx" jvgu Natry) naq jung'f ernyyl vzcbegnag gb OgiF vf jung fur qbrf jura fur'f gurer, abg ubj fur tbg gurer. Nyfb, vg jbhyq znxr n avpr fhecevfr.

  73. Smurphy says:

    I really have missed Sunnydale. Is that odd that I am sentimental about a fictional hellmouth?

    Angel is just… *ugh* I will forever be in love with David Boreanaz. He will forever be on my celebrity list. "You going to wish me luck?" *buffy walks away* "Good luck." CLASSIC!

    I agree Willow is amazing. Although I didn't think this was a particularly fantastic Willow episode. I will also FOREVER be in love with Alyson Hannigan. "Oh, I-I need to sit down." "You are sitting down." "Oh. Good for me." CLASSIC!

    Ignore everything I just said… I think Xander is my favorite character on the show. Although I have no outside the show love for him… what else has he done? "I don't like vampires. I'm gonna take a stand and say they are not good" CLASSIC!

    … at like 31:19 when she is getting supplies from the chest is that a jar of communion hosts?

    Charisma Carpenter. … I can't think of anything to say. Just wait. "I have to have the most expensive thing. Not because its expensive but because it costs more." CLASSIC!

    BUFFY ALWAYS HAS THE BEST ENTRANCES!!! "Sunrise… is in about 9 hours. Moron." … and the best lines.

    And then in the end everything is explained away…. Oh Sunnydale.

    THIS IS SO CLASSIC VAMPIRE. THIS IS WHY I LOVE VAMPIRES SO MUCH (outside of twilight although it is why I tortured myself by reading it in the first place). I love Joss Whedon. I love Buffy. I love you for watching this. I love you in general. I love that you have new fans. I love that we crashed your servers. I love that I have months more of experiencing this with you. I AM JUST SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW. I hope you grow to love vampires… at least Joss Whedon's take on them, as much as I do.

    "The earth is doomed." I LOVE THIS SHOW!

  74. Smurphy says:

    I gave no love for Giles in that…. but I do love him.

  75. shyfully says:

    OHMY yaaay it is working finally~

    I will say that I have such a hard time getting people into Buffy nowadays because the show starts off so rough! Coming back to the episodes, I can be more amused at how adorable it all is, but I have been trying to get two people into Buffy for ages and can't get them past the first few episodes so far. Oh well.

    Anyway, I don't have a whole lot to say about any of the stuff from this episode. Oops. I will say that I watched the show with my mom when it was airing and will probably inform you guys of her VERY STRONG OPINIONS as they crop up, but right now the only main ones were that she wanted to marry Giles and adopt Willow.

  76. James says:

    Just a sidenote, that if you aren't into vampires but like Buffy, it might be worth reconsidering The Vampire Diaries. It's like Buffy in that it's very much a show about people, some of whom just happen to interact with/be vampires. Plus it does really cool stuff with the lore. And shit happens at breakneck speed.

    I'm an eternal advocate of that show because it's SO DAMN GOOD but I'll shut up now πŸ˜‰

  77. Smurphy says:

    V npghnyyl sbetbg Qneyn jnf gurer fvapr gur ortvaavat. V sbetbg unys bs gurfr punenpgref jrer urer fvapr gur ortvaavat.

    Ba n frcnengr naq xvaq bs fvyyl abgr V nz fgvyy natel ng zl snzvyl sbe abg anzvat bhe qbt Pbaabe.

  78. tigerpetals says:

    V'z abg fher ng jung cbvag gurl qrpvqrq gb znxr Natry n inzcver. V'ir urneq gjb guvatf: gung ur jnf bevtvanyyl tbvat gb or uhzna, naq gung ur jnfa'g nyjnlf pregnva gb or gur ybir vagrerfg vafgrnq bs Knaqre. Gurer'f n fubbgvat fpevcg sbe Cebcurpl Tvey gung unf uvz or uhzna ol gur raq bs gur rcvfbqr. V oryvrir ur jnf tbvat gb or n uhzna va gur bevtvany cvybg (be va gur fubbgvat fpevcg sbe gur bevtvany cvybg, nf V qba'g erzrzore uvz orvat va gur cvybg).

    V guvax ur jnf tbvat gb n inzcver ol gur gvzr gurfr rcvfbqrf jrer znqr, ohg V qba'g unir cebbs naq pregnvayl bgure punatrf va uvf punenpgre jrer znqr ol gur Natry rcvfbqr. Yvxr uvz ybfvat uvf fznezl fzvexvarff.

  79. sundaycoma says:

    Hahah. Markers. And we can start assigning people colors from the crayola box.

    I'm calling Purple Mountains Majesty.

  80. Karen says:

    I have a feeling that a lot of my comments here while Mark is watching Buffy are going to be variations on the same theme. And the theme is going to be "XANDER HARRIS IS THE WORST".

  81. RoseFyre says:

    Vg'f nyfb vagrerfgvat ubj zhpu gur fubj ernyyl vf ABG nobhg inzcverf yngre ba. Gur ovt onqf va Frnfbaf 1 naq 2 ner inzcverf, lrf. Ohg abar bs gur yngre barf ner! Gurl pyrneyl uvg n cbvag jurer gurl unq qbar zbfg bs jung gurl pbhyq qb jvgu inzcverf, fb gurl zbirq ba gb bgure ivyynvaf.

    Ohg bgure guna Natry, Qehfvyyn, Fcvxr, naq Unezbal (naq Gur Znfgre va Gur Jvfu), inzcverf…ernyyl nera'g znwbe nsgre Frnfba 2. Gurl'er gur "yrg'f fubj Ohssl fynlvat n enaqbz inzcver fb jr pna fubj ure va na nyyrl" punenpgref. V erzrzore abgvpvat gung n srj gvzrf va Frnfba 5, rfcrpvnyyl, jurer Ohssl jbhyq fynl n inzcver va gur grnfre orsber gur bcravat perqvgf naq…gung jnf gur bayl inzcver fur'q fynl nyy rcvfbqr, be rira zber guna bar rcvfbqr va n ebj. Naq va snpg, gurl orpbzr zber nyyvrf guna rarzvrf unys gur gvzr!

    Fb, lrnu, inzcver zlgubf, juvpu vf vagrerfgvat, ohg nyfb trggvat fuhagrq gb gur onpxtebhaq.

  82. evocativecomma says:

    Gur pbzzrag jnf qryrgrq orpnhfr fvzcyl ol qvfphffvba gur "Jngpure" frevrf gung unq orra cebcbfrq, vg erirnyrq gung Tvyrf yvirf guebhtu gur ragver frira frnfbaf bs Ohssl. Gung vf na rabezbhf fcbvyre, orpnhfr gura Znex jvyy arire srry gung Tvyrf vf rire va qnatre, naq fb nyy bs gur cybgyvarf jvyy ybfr gur ryrzrag gung fbzrguvat zvtug unccra gb Tvyrf, ehvavat frireny grafr zbzragf guebhtubhg gur frevrf.

  83. RoseFyre says:

    I always figured she'd selected the whole thing?

    Whatever, it's still revenge of the nerds. πŸ˜€

  84. Karen says:

    haha. Yes! You could totally hear the actor who plays the Master trying to figure out how to talk around the teeth.

  85. robin says:

    I have the same challenge with The Vampire Diaries. The show truly becomes fabulous and may end up being as beloved as Farscape & Buffy for me, but the first episodes are SO ROUGH. Makes it really hard to suck your friends in.

  86. arctic_hare says:

    I will have much to say on that same theme, so I support this! <3

    • sporkaganza93 says:

      I still can't bring myself to hate Xander, but then again, I can put up with nearly any kind of shit imaginable from a character and still not hate them. As a viewer, I'm extremely generous to the characters in a show.

      Plus I'm still only partway through Season 3. Give me time.

      • I can't bring myself to dislike him, either. He's a shlub. A dork. A Nice Guy. A stand in for the writer (I suspect) and the viewer who is everyman.

        Also, pbafvqrevat uvf ubzr yvsr ur'f nfgbhaqvatyl jryy nqwhfgrq.

        • sporkaganza93 says:

          Him being a Nice Guy is a good reason to dislike him. I don't think you understand the definition of "Nice Guy" in this context.

  87. tigerpetals says:

    I heard it was because women were seen swooning over him.

    And more recently I heard that he had been recovering from an injury, otherwise he'd have been playing sports at the time and never been on the show.

    I have no source for this.

  88. Jack_of_Hearts says:

    YES! FLAWLESS!

    I call Fuzzy Wuzzy (It's a colour. I checked.)

  89. James says:

    Abg pbhagvat Natry (cer uvf bja fubj) jvgu fbhy va gnpg, bs pbhefr. Naq Fcvxr va yngr f6 naq 7 sbe gung znggre…

  90. sundaycoma says:

    I– I gave my fez 'cause he said he needed it. To save the world.

    Are you saying I'm fezless for nothing now, OP!?

  91. robin says:

    oh, has anyone else noticed how aggressively WHITE everything is? It's been quite a while since I've rewatched this show and I realized how spoiled I've been by programs like Doctor Who. All of our significant persons in these first 2 episodes have been white white white. It's a little embarrassing for a show that I fangirl so hard.

  92. robin says:

    oh, has anyone else noticed how aggressively WHITE everything is? It's been quite a while since I've rewatched this show and I realized how spoiled I've been by programs like Doctor Who. All of our significant persons in these first 2 episodes have been white white white. It's a little embarrassing for a show that I fangirl so hard.

  93. Smurphy says:

    I'm some shade of pink…. have fun while I look… http://www.crayola.com/colorcensus/history/chrono

  94. Smurphy says:

    flamingo pink. dibs.

  95. RoseFyre says:

    Yeah, but they say in the Harvest that there isn't a band that night, don't they? So it can't be ONLY that.

    And yeah, I don't know, it's illogical, but whatever. Maybe it doesn't serve alcohol? But then why are adults there at all? (Other than Giles, who's clearly there for the vamps.)

  96. arctic_hare says:

    I have noticed that, yes. It's especially glaring to me as someone who ACTUALLY LIVES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, because I know damn well that if Sunnydale were real, it would not be that white.

  97. Kari18212 says:

    I second this Vampire Diaries rec πŸ™‚ It is my favorite show currently airing. It does a lot of cool stuff with vampire myths (also makes fun of Twilight!) and shit happening at breakneck speed may be an understatement. Except feel free to mock the first five or six episodes… It's a rough start lol.

  98. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    OH MY GOD THIS IS HILARIOUS

    i call "Stormageddon Sass" because that is totally a color.

  99. Kari18212 says:

    Every one of those lines is amazing. For Giles, I suggest the obvious-"The Earth is doomed." Also, I TOTALLY get sentimental about Sunnydale. I was rewatching these two episodes today because Mark's reviewing them so I have an excuse and I kept getting nostalgic over shots of the front of the high school and the library and the Bronze…. Too bad it would be the worst place ever to live lol.

  100. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    ugh you are going to make me cry at work

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