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The joy of the Season One scooby dynamics

telperion66

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The main reason I can always rely on this season to lift my spirits and entertain me is the dynamics of the group during this period.

Buffy, as the central character, is still far from the trodden-down, worn-down shell of herself that she becomes in the later seasons. In season one, she is full of life, bubbly, witty and for the most part, seemingly happy!

Xander is at his humorous best in season one. He is young, energetic, and is actually really funny compared to the later seasons where he becomes a bit too "nice" and loses a lot of his humour. His love interest in Buffy is cute and his best friends relationship with Willow is genuine, fresh and awesome.

Giles is at his stuffy best in this season. In my opinion, in the later seasons he too becomes a bit too "nice" and loses a lot of the edge he had during season one in particular. He brings a cohesiveness and energy to the show which is fundamental to the narrative and overall performance of the cast.

Whilst the writing for Willow in season one is that of a shy schoolgirl, she actually commands a stronger delivery and presence than she does in the later seasons, where in my opinion she loses a lot of her edge as a character and becomes a bit too "nice" and "child-esque" in her performances. She bounces off the other characters really well in season one and while quirky, has a true innocence which brings a certain shine to her character.

The show is largely built around these characters in season one, and, for me, their dynamic is far and away at its best during this season. The overall energy is really good, which is why you can keep watching it on re-watch and just feel a great warmth toward these characters.
 
BeckyTVS
BeckyTVS
I think season 1 was amazing and one of my favourites, it had a certain charm to it and stylistically was very pronounced and daring. A lot of people will say it’s too full of filler, to that I say; filler is important for character development:)

Kratos

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I agree. Also, since it’s a short enough season and most episodes can be watched in any order, it’s the best season for newcomers to watch to get into the show. It’s a bit formulaic in comparison to the later seasons, to be fair, most shows were like that until the last decade or so. Funnily enough, this season helped me to get hooked on The Fugitive (the tv series with David Jensen), as they both have a similar story procederal format.
 

Athene

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Sineya
Yeah looking back on season 1 and after watching the Buffy movie recently I have to commend how great it was - particularly Giles and Willow who knocked it out of the park from episode one. Cordelia was also good from episode 1.
 

vampmogs

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I certainly enjoyed the characters a great deal in Season 1 (I wouldn't be here if I didn't) and I definitely appreciate the Core Four group dynamic which is, after all, my favourite relationship on the show, but I don't think Willow and Xander really get fleshed out until Season 2 onwards. That's not to say that they get no development at all, but a lot of Season 1 episodes mostly consist of them reacting to the plot and saying funny lines etc. It isn't until their relationships deepen in Season 2 with both each other and others (Oz and Cordy etc) that I feel they really are fleshed out as characters.

But yes, there's something very loveable about their Season 1 incarnation. The characters are all extremely close and very insular and the season does a marvellous job of making you both feel for them as individuals and as a friendship group. Season 1 also feels quite different in the sense that the characters still feel very "new" to one another, with a lot of conversations revolving around them learning about each other (Buffy telling Willow her parent's divorce story in Nightmares etc), or pointing out how the group dynamic has changed since Buffy's arrival (The Pack). It's interesting to look back on knowing where they'll all end up.
 

WillowFromBuffy

To be or not to evil.
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I really like them in S1, though I don't mind them growing up and becoming more "nice," especially Xander, as he is a little rough around the edges.

I don't know quite what you mean when you say Willow becomes more "child-esque." I also think there is a better word for that.

It is really the characters that carry S1. The stories are so-and-so. "Nightmares" is a good example. The individual character moments are great, but the story that is meant to tie it all together is really weird.
 

telperion66

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I don't know quite what you mean when you say Willow becomes more "child-esque." I also think there is a better word for that.
I was trying to say that Willow is strong in herself as a character in season one in terms of her delivery of dialogue and interaction.

In the later seasons, particularly with Tara, she talks in this sweet "baby talk" style that diminishes the strength of her character.

And, by the very late seasons, she is noticably older and has lost a lot of what made her great in the beginning - but, she's not the only one.
 

thrasherpix

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If I could go back in time and write a single ep for Buffy or Angel, it would be the discovery that Love is itself a demon that degrades the minds and personalities of the characters (with its ultimate expression in love of Jasmine). And it actually wouldn't be far off from the truth (thinking of brain scans of those who felt passionate love), in addition to explaining much about the characters in the Buffyverse (especially when you throw in how Joss seems to hate them, or us, by targeting them with pain, misery, and death), particularly how often the difference between romantic love and a love spell (dangerous obsession) seems one of degree rather than kind.

Of course some weird Angelesque speech would be required by the show controllers, basically a mix of Spike saying he's love's bitch and also the monologue of Angelus on passion (but I'd try to sneak in the word "ratings" somewhere).
 

Octavia

My arse is not pansy!
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Sineya
I enjoy the innocence of season 1 as well. The monster of the week layout keeps it super simple. The discovery of a new world is usually the most thrilling part of a show for me. It's a nice introduction letting the audience grow along side the characters in experience, knowledge (and age).
 

Ethan Reigns

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Sineya
We get the wittiest writing in Season 1, the writing that got us a Season 2. When Cordelia is working on the computer and asks Willow, who she otherwise treats as an outcast, what to do once she has written the program and Willow says, "Deliver", we have a feisty image of Willow that somehow never returns. There is more clarity in the characters in this season so that the later characters that some call "nuanced" are more like "diluted".
 

Kratos

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The simple MOTW format makes S1 easy watching, as one can focus more on the characters in this season without having to pay much attention to the actual story of an episode.
 

spikenbuffy

"Why can't I stay"
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I prefer the later seasons but it's always good for me to see the characters when they were really young before the events of S2 when things will get really serious and thinking about how things changed. What a journey from S1 to S7!
 
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I love the season 1 dynamic. I love Willow's growing confidence, Xander's bravery, Buffy coming into her own and Giles' innocence. I do see him that way in season 1, he's so bloody excited in WTTH, that grin when he gives her book, his excitement over all the monsters they'll face. In WTTH when Buffy goes off on the 'prepare me' speech, the dawning realisation that his training did NOT prepare him for this. And his almost immediate realisation that he agrees with her. At least that's how I see that scene.
 

Faded90

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I always like seeing the scoobies close. I’d say 2,3 and 5 are probably thought of as the best Buffy seasons and in all of these the scoobies are close (although there are patches in 3
Where Willow and Xander are dicks to Buffy) . I’ve never understood this obsession the writers had with recycling the ‘scoobies drifting apart’ storylines. It worked in 4 but then got tiresome, particularly when they built up in 7 them getting back on track only to make the relationships colder than ever. I always enjoy episodes more where the scoobies are together
 

Oromous

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Sineya
From "I Robot, You Jane":
Buffy: "Let's face it - none of us will ever have a normal healthy relationship."
Xander: "We're doomed!"
The Scoobies started laughing, then gradually stopped when they realized what they just said.


Easily one of my favorite Scoobies moments in season 1, also one of my favorite episode closing.
 
burrunjor
burrunjor
And a dark foreshadowing of all of their futures.

burrunjor

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Oh yes I love season 1. It's amazing how well it holds up, and the character dynamics are all brilliant. The humour might be the strongest that year.

I loved some of Willow's low key bitchiness towards Cordelia. (Which was well deserved considering how Cordelia acted that year LOL.)

"Why would someone want to kill Cordelia?"

"Um because they've met her."

There are some wonderfully ironic moments given future developments in the series, like Buffy assuming Angel and Giles of all people are buds, Xander saying it's a relief that someone as vile as Cordelia isn't giving him any attention, and constantly insulting her looks, and dress sense, and Giles saying that Angel and Buffy's romance is rather poetic. OUCH.
 
Oromous
Oromous
Poetically tragic in a poignant way for sure! LOL

Faded90

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From "I Robot, You Jane":
Buffy: "Let's face it - none of us will ever have a normal healthy relationship."
Xander: "We're doomed!"
The Scoobies started laughing, then gradually stopped when they realized what they just said.


Easily one of my favorite Scoobies moments in season 1, also one of my favorite episode closing.
Buffy’s really rubbish sunglasses are what makes this scene somehow 😂
 

SpikeOrAngel

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Oct 8, 2020
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The mixed genres, personalities, occult, monsters, and witty dialog made me fall in love with it since Episode 1. I really hated Cordellia until much later on in this franchise though.

They had no idea Darla was going to be so important later on. Heck, even the popularity of Angel and (Season 2) Spike was organic (not forced).

Speaking of which, I don't think Buffy could have lasted with just doing Monster of the Week episodes. It needed the Angel/Spike lore, just like the X-Files needed the ongoing CSM conspiracy.

In terms of holding up in 2020+, a reddit thread said it didn't due to Xander's sexism and a lack of People of Color.
 

Priceless

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In terms of holding up in 2020+, a reddit thread said it didn't due to Xander's sexism and a lack of People of Color.
You could argue that Xander's sexism is very current and things haven't really improved, it's just gone on line and underground, with incel/MRA culture.
 

thrasherpix

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While I reject the idea that Xander is incel, or even the so-called Nice Guy, he wasn't perfect, and did have to wrestle with what his culture (that's males and females) demanded of him as a male, which includes toxic masculinity (and the idea of him getting Slayer powers right then is a frightening one). I liked seeing him struggle with that as much as the other characters in their own struggles.

Though I will always regret (and may one day write a fanfic about) that they never showed Xander mixing with his family while a Hyena...a real "beware what you wish for, because you just might get it." (I could add about him against jock bullies thinking he was an easy target only to learn otherwise, and would never admit they were scared of Xander for awhile, similar to when Percy tried to bully Willow only to find it's Vampire Willow.)

There's also something appealing to me about exploring the idea of how those who stand against oppression (as Xander originally did in the hyena episode by defending a boy from bullies) can easily become the oppressor, if given the chance. I've actually seen that happen in individuals, and then history can be especially bloody when an oppressed group suddenly gains power to show that what they've endured has destroyed any sense of compassion and understanding rather than fostering it, despite common beliefs to the contrary of those who have suffered evil will recognize the same evil in themselves and fight against it to avoid becoming what they hate (though a few do, and it can make for a compelling story).
 
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