In the first episode of the fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy discovers that college is just as overwhelming and terrifying as she thought it would be. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.
Before I begin this proper, I’d like to take a chance to elaborate on what I think the schedule will be for this new format. Any crossover episodes (where there is a direct crossover from one show to the other) will be reviewed on the same day, with the first show (Buffy for now) going up at 6am PST, the same time Mark Reads is updated; the second review will go up at 1pm PST, which is the normal time for Mark Watches to be updated. I wanted to split them up with some time between them so that folks can generally focus on one show before talking about the other later in the day.
Additionally, I am going to experiment with having two days per week being double review days. There are not that many crossover episodes, and it wasn’t too time consuming to do seven Mark Watches reviews instead of five. THIS IS TEMPORARY AND I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REVOKE THESE OR ADD TO THEM AND THAT IS INTERNATIONAL LAW OR SOMETHING. But adding a couple extra reviews per week will be fun, and I don’t think there’s a Buffy fan on the planet who will complain about me giving y’all more to discuss. Well, there might be, but his name is Joss Whedon and he hates joy.
So here’s the schedule for now, organized from here on out through the end of both season four of Buffy and season one of Angel. I will create a new schedule for the next season of both shows! NEAT! The order the shows are listed on double days is the order the reviews will post.
Master Schedule for Buffy S4 / Angel S1
March 5th: Buffy S4E01, Angel S01E01
March 6th: Buffy S4E02
March 7th: Angel S01E02
March 8th: Buffy S04E03, Angel S01E03
March 9th: Buffy S04E04
March 12th: Angel S01E04
March 13th: Buffy S04E05, Angel S01E05
March 14th: Buffy S04E06
March 15th: Angel S01E06
March 16th: Buffy S04E07, Angel S01E07
March 19th: Buffy S04E08, Angel S01E08
March 20th: Buffy S04E09
March 21st: Angel S01E09
March 22nd: Buffy S04E10, Angel S01E10
March 23rd: Buffy S04E11
March 26th: Angel S01E11
March 27th: Buffy S04E12
March 28th: Angel S01E12
March 29th: Buffy S04E13, Angel S01E13
March 30th: Buffy S04E14, Angel S01E14
April 2nd: Buffy S04E15
April 3rd: Angel S01E15
April 4th: Buffy S04E16, Angel S01E16
April 5th: Buffy S04E17, Angel S01E17
April 6th: Buffy S04E18
April 9th: Buffy S04E19
April 10th: Angel S04E18 (Yes, this is intentional. I’ve been told this has a better story flow.)
April 11th: Angel S01E19, Buffy S04E20
April 12th: Angel S01E20
April 13th: Buffy S04E21, Angel S01E21
April 16th: Buffy S04E22, Angel S01E22
April 17th: Predictions for Buffy S5, Angel S2
April 18th: Buffy S05E01, Angel S02E01
OH GOD I HOPE THIS WORKS OUT.
Can I just start this by pointing out that Xander’s “Avengers assemble!” line just made me so giddy? HE FUCKING KNEW, DIDN’T HE. Goddamn you, Joss Whedon. GODDAMN YOU.
Anyway, I just have so many feels? There are too many of them. WHY.
Mark Has Feels
Let Mark Share Them With You
- I went to college in southern California, specifically Cal State Long Beach. I know for some of you, the opening scenes of “The Freshman” might have seen campy, strange, or exaggerated to you. There’s certainly a humorous flair to the way Buffy chooses to portray college life. But sweet baby Willow, that was so accurate to what Cal State Long Beach was like that I kind of creeped me out? It’s sort of similar to how I felt to the season three opener in Los Angeles. It’s remarkable to me how stunning the setting is.
- On that note, Buffy’s first day at UC Sunnydale (where she and Willow tour the campus) captures how overwhelming the experience of going to college can be. I think that’s especially true for those of us who went to massive, gigantic universities. In my case, the campus at Cal State Long Beach is apparently bigger then the whole of Disneyland? That’s what they told us during orientation. I didn’t verify whether it was true or not, but that sort of doesn’t matter. I remember thinking that I would fail an English class because it was on the opposite end of campus from a class I had before it. I actually tested out walking times on the day before classes started because THIS IS THE KIND OF PERSON THAT I AM. I had ten minutes to get to English, and the walk took eighteen. I ended up utilizing a skateboard to cut down the time, but the whole concept terrified me that night before my first class.
- Willow’s joke about feel angry about everything she was given a flyer for just made me love her so much.
- Oh my god, the characters all look like the grew an inch over the summer my babies are growing up. Actually, Oz clearly did not grow an inch.
- WHERE THE FUCK IS CORDELIA. Was she not in the credits? I’ll have to watch it again, but I don’t recall seeing her. OH GOD WHAT.
- It’s fun and enriching to find ways to relate to fictional narratives. That’s not a surprise to anyone who reads this site or Mark Reads, but there’s a beautiful power in fiction that makes you feel whole and acknowledged. I started out college feeling exactly like Willow. I believed I was giving myself over to this institution of knowledge, that I was immersed in an environment of learning, and that I was going to become a Better Person for having gone to college. It didn’t take long until I then felt like Buffy: overwhelmed, ignored, without a place to belong, and lost.
- Buffy’s story is so fascinating not only because it’s executed well. She was sort of the star of the show in the end at Sunnydale High, but Joss so accurately shows us that once you go to college, no one gives a shit who you were in high school. It’s still so beautiful to me that we have a heroine who is unsure of herself, awkward, and clumsy. She’s not just some cookie cutter version of a superhero. Because of this, her college experience is especially difficult. What’s interesting to me is how that can differ for other people. I also felt like I didn’t belong, that no one cared who I was, and that I was a stranger in a vast sea of students. (Over 30,000 students attended Cal State Long Beach in 2002-2003. !!!!!!!!!) However, this was a good thing for me. This newfound anonymity allowed me to be myself, to not have to worry about the bullying and homophobia I grew up with. I could start over, and no one would expect me to do their homework, and no one would care that I listened to loud, screamy music. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL BECAUSE NO ONE CARED.
- Damn it, Giles isn’t the librarian. LOOK AT THAT LIBRARY.
- Hi, Riley. You’re a decent character. I like you. I also think you’ll be dead by the end of the season.
- Hi, Professor Maggie Walsh. I really like you. That means I have made a huge mistake by stating this, and you’ll be dead by mid-season.
- KATHY. KATHY. LET ME COUNT THE MILLION WAYS THAT I LOVE YOU. Look, I don’t care, when she put up that Celine Dion poster I nearly choked. Bless you, Kathy. Bless you and your blissfully unaware music taste. I will never judge you. Oh god, I suddently want her to be a Scooby so bad.
- I watched this episode with some new friends I made in Philadelphia (HELLO!!!) and they were all horrified by the professor who ejected Buffy from his class. Yeah, is this a California only thing? Most of my professors were huge assholes, extremely elitist, rude, and presumptive. You just learned to deal with it and get on their good side so that they were funny instead of horrifying.
- I knew Eddie would die the second he came on screen. He just had that “I’m Going To Be Killed Off” gait.
- AHAHAHAHAHAAH BUFFY’S LINE ABOUT PORN AND OF HUMAN BONDAGE I CAN’T BREATHE.
- Olivia. Hi. Hi, can we be friends? You are beautiful and you called Giles “Ripper.” So that means we have to be friends.
- Giles, my god, you beautiful person. I love that he genuinely looks like he’s enjoying his time as an unemployed librarian.
- Oh god, Giles tells Buffy that she has to learn how to do things by herself now. Help me, I’m so full of feelings.
- You know, for only being in an episode for like thirty-five minutes, Sunday was a fantastic vampire. I was hoping she would stick around, but no such luck in the Buffy universe.
- JOOOYYYYCCCCEEEEEE. I always forget that she has a job working for a museum. Hopefully, she makes enough money to not have an aneurysm from paying for Buffy’s books. Because for real, that is the worst thing about college. I’m so jealous of people going to school now with digital books and iPads. Fuck, books were a FORTUNE.
- For real, when Buffy finds that her own stuff is missing, I WAS SO DISTURBED. Could you imagine discovering something like that? It’s so personal and creepy!
- XANDER XANDER XANDER XANDER. I cheered when he came on screen, and then I held my face in my hands with delight as he told Buffy what he’d been up to all summer. I BET THERE IS A POWER ON EARTH THAT CAN GET YOU TO TELL US WHAT HAPPENED AT “LADIES’ NIGHT.” Oh my god, I kind of missed you? Does this also mean that since you now live in your parents’ basement, the show has to show us where you live? I WANT TO SEE YOUR PARENTS.
- You know, I’m really coming to adore how dependable Xander is to Buffy as a friend. This is now the second time he is explicitly the first person to come to her and say that he’ll help her. I know I have issues with his characterization because he reminds me of so many of the Nice Guy douchebags I’ve met, but when he does shit like this, I totally get why people love him. He can be so genuinely funny and caring!
- DID YOU JUST DESTROY THE CLASS PROTECTOR AWARD? SORRY, SUNDAY, I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU ANYMORE.
- “Some friends of Buffy’s played a funny joke. They took her stuff, and now she wants us to help get it back from her friends who sleep all day and have no tans.” BLESS YOU, XANDER. BLESS.
- HAHAHAHAHA oh Giles. You looked so adorable when you came running up to Buffy with that look of guilt and excitement on your face.
- FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUU I THOUGHT THAT WAS ANGEL AT THE BRONZE FFFFFUUUUUUUUU
- WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH THE TAZER AND THE PEOPLE IN FATIGUES AND WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!
OH MY GOD I AM SO UNPREPARED FOR SEASON FOUR WHO THE FUCK WERE THOSE PEOPLE!!?!?!?!?!?!?