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What was your initial, very first reaction to Buffy?

danzalthar

Townie
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Messages
15
Age
26
October 19th, 2008. A network TV channel started airing the first two seasons of Buffy on Sunday afternoons. I had seen the movie but only knew the series by name, from the X-Men comics Joss Whedon had penned and some mentions here and there (like on a magazine announcing James Marsters as Piccolo in Dragon Ball Evolution).

So, welcome to the Hellmouth! My very first thoughts were - The Lost Boys, Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Daphne from Scooby Doo. Are Your Afraid for the monster-of-the-week aspect I was more used to see on shows like this or The Nightmare Room. I was crazy for Scooby Doo as a kid and kind of became a Sarah Michelle Gellar enthusiast from her Daphne gigs. And The Lost Boys for reasons lol

So Buffy, something I fell for at first sight, it was just fun. Nothing too special, nor bad about it. And then, that finale. And then, Season Two. By the end of that year I was dying to see what'd happen next, since the channel would air nothing beyond the first 34 episodes. I get a lot of thumbs down from people who tried to see it but didn't go past Season 1 - always explain, "we fans are fans for the second season onwards." Patience.

Did anyone else fall in love for Buffy by surprise?
 

Priceless

Scooby
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
8,037
Location
UK
There weren't have terrestrial channels, so I watched the first episode of most new shows. I thought Welcome to the Hellmouth was okay. It had some funny lines and good story, but I thought the acting was weak and it didn't really grip me. I didn't immediately fall for any of the characters and it was only the comedy that made me watch the next episode, or have it on in the background. Luckily Witch was the third episode and I didn't see the twist coming at all, and that's what gripped me. The idea of Amy's mother trapped in the statue was great and something I'd never seen done before, and that's what made me keep watching.
 

thrasherpix

Scooby
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
3,415
Age
38
I caught part of one episode when I was in high school, missing both the start and end. It was watchable, but didn't pull me in, and I ignored people telling me I should watch it for years after, and can't say the way fans described it to me sounded appealing. It was one of those if I had the chance to see it then I would, but I wasn't going to go out of my way to see it. (The TV I had then was little more than junk so beyond catching a little local news, it was used almost exclusively to play VCR and dvd.)

I did eventually rent it from the video store (reasonably sure I was 22 by then) and was instantly hooked. Not in a "this is the greatest show" but it was fun, and I loved much of the dialog. I tend to like campy as long as it's self-aware. I did like Goosebumps as a kid (heck, Lost Boys is campy, which I also enjoyed before seeing this show), after all, as well as a fan of both horror and comedy. Witch reminded me of the novel Jinx High by Mercedes Lackey (and would not be at all surprised to find out that novel had a huge impact on this script, including the ending), and though it lacked many of the more interesting bits of the book, at least there was more closure to the ending that wasn't so nightmarish for the innocent characters. So I rented the rest of season 1.

I was surprised by the seriousness of the last ep, and it pulled me all the way in...had I not seen season 1 (and gotten to care about the characters) I doubt I'd have been able to get through season 2, not back when I had to rent each dvd separately (and had more serious money issues than Buffy in season 6). I MIGHT have gotten through 2 dvds, but no more. But having seen season 1 and liking the characters I stuck with it and was blown away with where they took season 2 that made me a true fan rather than casual viewer. As it was I ended up buying season 2-3, and then found the entire series on sale (and was doing a bit better financially) so I bought them all. That wasn't something I did lightly back then.


At the time I was coincidentally dealing with gender issues as my then girlfriend wanted to girl me up (this is why I feel confident of being 22 when I rented the first Buffy dvd) which triggered subconscious fears and anxieties that I couldn't put my finger on. I'm introspective and eventually worked it out, and I think watching this show helped me work it out faster, and soothed my subconscious fears, as the females were femme (even Faith doesn't strike me as much of a tomboy despite her rough edges) and yet still be smart, willful, clever, and able to overcome--everything I subconsciously feared I'd lose if I became more femme for my girlfriend (and that I'd be a victim). It took me awhile to make this connection. It's possible that had I not been wrestling with that at the time that I wouldn't have gotten into it as much as I did.
 

TriBel

Scooby
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
2,675
Location
Manchester
I have no idea. I'm presuming there was nothing on the other channels and I was gradually drawn in... but don't ask me why. I suspect my kids watched it and so I joined in. I honestly can't remember watching Chosen (my lads roll their eyes at that and insist I did). I also watched Angel but, for some reason, can't recall watching S5. I must have watched it because...well Spike (@Priceless - d'you think the trauma of seeing him die twice has caused me to blank it from memory? 😄 ). We must have enjoyed it because I own both box-sets but I don't recall buying them. It's a mystery to me...

So...no idea what my first reaction was and that seems to set a pattern. School Hard is the only episode I'd swear I'd watched...despite knowing I watched the whole thing religiously.
 

Puppet

Actual size.
Joined
Aug 1, 2017
Messages
7,237
Age
32
Location
Denmark
Black Thorn
I have no recollection of my first time...what did you do 23 years ago? I remember the things surrounding it, though, like that I was 8 and my sister, who was 12, roped me into watching it with her because none of her friends were interested. I know (not remember) that I watched it all the way through when it aired, but I can't even recall if I saw Angel when it originally aired or if I waited until later. Considering where I am right now, I'm betting I loved it from the get-go :D
 
TriBel
TriBel
Thank god it's not just me who can't remember. At least I can blame it on old age! :D

Moggin

Tasty Townie
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
340
My appreciation was delayed but immediate once I got hold of the right scene.

In the 90s, I saw the promos on television. At first, the prospect of vampires intrigued me. I was always a sucker for anything fantasy related, plus I had been intrigued by the name Buffy even before the show aired. Unfortunately, my personal schedule clashed with the time slot, so I didn't get to watch it, and I wasn't enough of a TV hound to wait for reruns to reappear.

I didn't get an opportunity to watch the show until the third season, when Buffy allows Angel to drink her blood to restore his health. By that point in time, Angel promos had started, and I got the general idea of him being Buffy's love interest. Unfortunately, the promo for that episode showed a clip of Buffy pulling her collar down and saying, "drink me". She was so serious. The music was so serious. Angel was so serious, and looking burdened with the weight of his decision. I laughed. There was no way I was going to waste my time watching a vampire soap opera. She looked like a blonde cheerleader type and he had that low forehead and general appearance that was becoming all too popular at the time. It wasn't for me, and I dismissed any other attempts at watching it.

No one at my school was interested in Buffy, but as I got older and the internet got more interesting I started to see other fans showing their love. I always rolled my eyes and moved on. How could anyone like such a cheesy show?

In spring of 2020, a random video was recommended to me on YouTube, which was the balcony scene between Spike and Buffy in season 6. I actually watched it, but I was confused. Spike sounded like a villain, but Buffy was clearly enjoying herself. The whole scene looked conflicted, but more importantly, I was shocked that the show I mistook as being overly sentimental and romantic was doing something that looked kind of hardcore. However, I wasn't interested in soft porn either, so I moved on.

In August of 2020, my mother got me hooked on watching clips from the TV series Bewitched. A few days into watching the clips, I came across one of Elizabeth Montgomery singing "Early One Morning". I like old folk tunes so I searched for a longer version online. In the comments section of one of the videos people kept on talking about Spike's trigger. I thought, "who the heck is Spike?" So I searched around and found it referred to a character from Buffy. I searched for the clip online, but couldn't find it. However, I did find the flashback scenes from Lies My Parents Told Me.

Once I saw James Marsters playing dorky Spike, I was hooked. I love historical films, and never imagined something like this would appear in the show. Moreover, I couldn't believe this was the same morally ambiguous character I had seen in the season 6 clip. He was so sweet! Of course, right after the flashback, I caught the tail end of the fight with Wood. It all came together and I wanted to learn more about the show.

Slowly, little bits of the series were becoming apparent, and I really loved Buffy's snappy dialogue, her love for her friends and family, and the complex plots of the later seasons. I watched all of season 6 and 7 before I went seeking all the Spike episodes from the earlier seasons. As I did so, I accidentally ended up watching everything in reverse order, where season 1 was my last season.

When I was finished, I sat back for a few moments and just had to smile. I hadn't seen anything that enjoyable in a long time, so I watched it all again in the correct order.

Four months later and I'm still watching Buffy clips every day. I'm so hooked, but I must say, I never once saw a Spike promo when it first aired. I think I might have been a fan earlier if they had.
 
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fivebyfaith

Townie
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Messages
12
Age
19
I loved it pretty much instantly. It was the first show I watched by myself- my dad watched the first two episodes with me but we couldn't watch it when my mom was home because she absolutely hates monster shows and anything remotely horror-like. I got impatient because we were progressing too slowly together and started just watching it by myself over one summer when I got my braces (a lot of just sitting in pain while relearning how to speak and eat, so Buffy was a welcome distraction). I must have been around eleven years old? I'm not really sure what drew me to it, it just really hooked me!
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
my mom is exactly like that

Athene

Scooby
Joined
Apr 8, 2017
Messages
2,524
Age
20
Sineya
I relate because me and my sister only got into Buffy because we loved Daphne and Scooby Doo.
I love thinking back on it because it's a childhood memory, I remember seeing Giles coming down on his horse and thinking this would be a boring country show 😅 then falling in love, feeling frightened of the bringers lol, I though the most of Buffy, Dawn, Faith and Spike.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
662
Age
35
Location
England
My first ever episode was Ted - it still holds a special place in my heart. I saw it when it first aired on the BBC - it came to Sky One first so the BBC were a good long ways behind, I saw it in late 1999, I would have been 14.

I had been so scathing about a show called Buffy the vampire slayer. I mean dear God, really? Stop the world I want to get off because I don't want to live on a planet that allows a show called <wince> Buffy the Vampire Slayer to exist. If I heard someone at school say they watched it I would snort and roll my eyes and think less of them as a human being. Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I nearly fainted when I found out her friends were called Xander and Willow. I mean - one person with a ridiculous name, maybe. Two - at a stretch. But three? Oh for the love of all that's holy.

Never in all the world was there ever anything quite so stupid.

So then one Thursday evening I was sitting in the kitchen with my mum and sister, the door to the living room was open - it was empty, but the T.V was on. As we chatted away, strange sounds began to filter through and we looked at each other wondering what on earth my dad had put on, only to abandon the room completely. Whatever it was it sounded intriguing so I got up to look.

Reader, it was the episode I now know as 'Ted'.

Well of course, I did not take kindly to discovering that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was on my television - and I ran back out into the kitchen loudly proclaiming my disgust.

Buffy ... the vampire slayer.

On my television!


Then I went back into the living room to switch it off, sat down and watched it instead and my life was changed forever. If love at first sight exists - it was between me and this show. 21 years on and we're as happy as ever.
 
Puppet
Puppet
Ted is truly an underrated gem <3

AnthonyCordova

Earth Invasion Taskforce Unlimited
Joined
Feb 18, 2014
Messages
2,140
Location
Denver, Colorado
Sineya
For years a friend of mine had been telling me that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of the best television shows ever. And for years I was skeptical. But finally one night while we were spending time together he insisted that I sit down with him and watch the episode Restless. I devoted my full attention to it...and by the time it had finished I was persuaded. While I obviously couldn't make sense of the sub-text concerning the characters, not being familiar with them yet, I understood enough to immediately appreciate that there was real substance to it. I could no longer dismiss the show as camp in the manner that was my habit before then. Restless of course is a truly remarkable artistic achievement; I spent the next week watching the show from the start and I was hooked.
 

BaskingINBangel

I'm a little bit bison
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
442
Age
36
Location
Nevada USA
I wish I could remember my first thoughts, but I can't. My dad took me to see the movie in the theater when I think I was 8 years old, and that is what sparked my interest in the TV show when I heard about it. I was a teen in middle school when the show first aired and although I can't remember my exact thoughts, I can tell you that I loved it and was hooked from the start. I spent more time than I care to admit talking to friends about it during class, and chatting about it in the AOL chat rooms.
 

Taake

That's right, I'm watching you...
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
17,348
Age
35
Location
Stockholm, Swe
Black Thorn
I fell for it at first sight. But I was pre-disposed to it, because I had seen the movie (and loved it), and I loved SMG from The Beverly Hills Family Robinson (not a movie anyone needs to see, lol)
 

sk

The Overlooked One
Joined
Jul 5, 2008
Messages
3,379
Location
Sweden
Sineya
I watched it on DVD after it aired. Being a big fan of Firefly I thought I would check out that other Whedon show...
Only got season 1 at first since I didn't know if I would like it or not.

Around the "But you didn’t hone..." line in the pilot I was sold and bought all other seasons in one go.
Loved it from the beginning.

/SK
 

AlphaFoxtrot

Scooby
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
1,820
Age
39
I remember. I saw a segment on Entertainment Tonight or Access Holywood sometime in 1994-1996 about the show being in development. I didn't think much about it. TV shows based on movies were still pretty common in the 1990s, they would usually run for one bad season, before being canceled. I pretty much wrote the show off until it hit FX Reruns.
 

fauxindigo

Scooby
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
756
Age
34
Location
New York
10/01/1999 I turned 13... 10/05/1999 The Freshman & City Of aired. I finally tuned into the WB after hearing my friends talking about Buffy (prior in Season 3) and one friend going on about Faith.. So when I first saw Willow & Buffy in the graveyard in the opening scene of The Freshman, I remember just wondering if Willow was Faith..and waiting to see who this character was.. imagine my surprise & delight when my intro to her was This Years Girl & Who Are You?
I just immediately fell in love with the dialogue, characters & premise. Then the first episode of Angel aired right after so I just watched it and got into it as well- I loved how they took place in the same world and that there was 3 seasons that I had missed actually made it more intriguing..I wanted to know what I missed so I was super excited when they started airing the high school years on FX. I remember being so stoked that I was going to get to see all the old episodes.
I still think The Freshman & City Of is a great starting off point for a newbie if they might not love Buffy season 1 right away.
 
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Joined
Sep 2, 2020
Messages
32
Age
52
It's so bloody long ago I can't really remember. The weird thing is I don't usually like things about vampires, they weird me out and not in a good way. But I remember the humour. And the first thing I became attached to, Giles. That happened fairly quickly I think. I was in a similar situation - a lone Brit in the US with mostly younger American friends. I understood where he was coming from and had said or thought quite a few of his lines. Also, ASH was the only cast member I recognised. I think when you are living abroad you tend to latch on to things from back home a lot more strongly than you would if you were, well, back home. And he was actually written in a way that he sounded English, which was not that common back then. Whether I would have liked Giles as much if I hadn't related so much at that specific time I don't know. Probably, because he encapsulates a lot of what I like in my favourite characters.
I also love found family and that sort of thing and it does also largely come down to the humour. AtS is good and all but I never got in to it quite as much because it didn't have as much of the humour I enjoyed.
 

IndianaSolo221

Potential
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
107
Huh. Probably something along the lines of:
“Dad, is that Buffy?”
“Dad, what’s going on?”

And then, to myself, something along the lines of: “Is everyone gonna die?!?”

When I got older and finally watched a full episode, I was more drawn to the show just because of how strong Buffy is; I vaguely remember thinking that she has the coolest job ever.

I still wanna be a Slayer sometimes.
 

Ethan Reigns

Scooby
Joined
Oct 14, 2012
Messages
7,160
Location
Canada
Sineya
I saw the trailers from before the show first aired and thought it would be ridiculous but I decided to give it a try anyway. After all, with a cute girl for a protagonist, how bad could it be? When I watched it, the quippy one-liners and good writing had me hooked. I liked the look of the show, I liked the characters and I thought this would be worthwhile and it was.

I did not see the original movie until after I watched the entire TV series and if I had, maybe I would never have given it a chance.
 
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