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Why do you love season 1 of BTVS?

Willow Tara

Grr Argh - aka WhedonverseFan
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
862
Location
Sunnydale (Germany)
Sineya
Alright... I know the first season is almost everywhere known as the "worst" season. And for me it's also I guess my least favourite season, but... The "worst" season of a TV-Show (the best Show ever Imo) with only amazing seasons is still great. So I still love it.

What do you like/love about Buffy season 1? Let's discuss about the first season (Please mainly positive things. It's okay to say that you don't really like some aspects of season 1, but please focus on positive things in this thread.) I'll post my "answers" (why I love season 1) later.
 
FaithLehane16
FaithLehane16
This isn't the worst season for me.

nightshade

Plotting and planning
Staff member
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
6,933
Location
England
Black Thorn
I think it's a great opening season, it's certainly not my least favourite of the seasons.

Darla was a great character, that I'm glad they introduced, really opening up Angel's background. The Master was a great villain too, one that going through the season you did wonder if he would be trapped forever or keep trying to get free.

The monster of the week format led to some memorable characters, like Marcie and Sid the dummy. It introduced not only vampire lore, but witches as well.
 

Puppet

You rocks think you're so smart.
Joined
Aug 1, 2017
Messages
4,850
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30
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Denmark
Black Thorn
As weak as it may be on a first run-through, it's much better once you're familiar with the show as a whole, so I personally don't have anything against S1.

The Puppet Show is an outstanding episode, and not just from the first season alone; I love everything about it. Sid is hilarious and it introduces this idea into the show that was rarely shown again (S2's Kane comes to mind) which was human hunters battling the supernatural. A bigger example of that is Gunn and his crew on AtS. The idea of puppets coming to life will never not be creepy AF and this episode also introduced us to Snyder, in all his troll-ish glory. Overall, just a great MOTW.

The show had a great pilot episode, back-ended with an even greater finale in Prophecy Girl.

It gave us the twist in Witch, a great growing friendship between Buffy and her Slayerettes, we got Jenny Calendar out of the deal and a mythology that would only be built on more as the seasons progressed.

Yeah, there was the occasional bad acting, bad special effects, and bad writing, but for the most part, it did really well. Actually, now that I'm watching a younger generation reacting to the show on YouTube, I'm realizing that perhaps S1 has aged better than I ever thought. These reactors love S1, isn't it amazing? :D
 

thrasherpix

Scooby
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
2,410
Age
36
I only vaguely recall when I first saw it. I think it helped that despite everyone wanting me to see it, I had low expectations of it (which ironically makes it easier for it to impress me). And I remember how the first scene grabbed me by the throat. ;)

Not counting the time I caught only part of a season 1 ep (and didn't understand it, which contributed to why I wasn't expecting much when I rented the entire season), I found it the right mix of light horror and fun. Given that it was winking at the audience and some of the dialog and humor was clever, I laughed with rather than at it. It didn't demand any effort on my part to understand, I just needed to turn off my brain and enjoy the ride, and by doing so I came to care about the characters by the end.

I do believe that had I started with season 2 as some said I should that I'd have rented the first 2 dvds and decided not to spend anymore time on it (though I'd have liked School Hard and Halloween), but as I got to like the characters in season 1 I got to care enough to not only get through the first 2 dvds, but actually enjoy them. (That said, I do enjoy season 2 more than season 1, but I needed season 1 to enjoy it.)

I should probably add that I'm not inclined to follow overpowered superheroes for long and I actually like how Buffy is obviously challenged (which means she's much braver when she takes on these horrors, as are the rest of the cast). While I also like how Buffy gets stronger and more skilled as the series progresses, there is the appeal of the somewhat humble beginnings of where she started her hero's journey.
 

Kratos

Potential
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
297
Location
Republic of Ireland
I love season 1. It’s not my fav season, but I thought it was a good introductory one for the show if you don’t mind the cheesiness. Welcome to the Hellmouth is one of the best pilot episodes ever, imo. Never understood why some people didn’t like it. Only episode I don’t like is Teacher’s Pet (it just drags on and on, though there were a few good moments in it). I don’t really have nostalgia for season 1, though, as I only started watching Buffy from season 5 onward.
 

spikenbuffy

"Buffy's like nobody else in the world"
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Messages
991
Age
25
Location
France
I love S1 mainly because the characters have not suffer like they will later in the show when I see the scoobies in that season and what they will become later I'm amazed. But I hate Teacher's Pet and I robot You Jane and I would have prefered more episodes than 12 episodes because it's too short.
 

Evil Seal

Alright, 10 more minutes of chanting.
Joined
Aug 22, 2017
Messages
459
Age
22
Location
France
I absolutely LOVE season 1. The Master is my favourite villain and I love everything about this season. The bad episodes are amazing in their badness and I love them so much and Prophecy Girl is one of my favourite episodes of the series.
I remember falling head over heels in love with the series when I first saw the giant praying mantis in Teacher's Pet, even though I first watched it like 3-4 years ago. I loved that the show picked male virgins as victims instead of the usual tiny chaste blond girl who is appalled by the idea of having sex.
I adore the bad special effects of the whole season, I think they did a great job with a small budget.
 
Kratos
Kratos
I agree they did a great job with a small budget. Shows one doesn’t need a big budget to make a show like Buffy.
J

joseph

Guest
I think it's a great opening season, it's certainly not my least favourite of the seasons.

Darla was a great character, that I'm glad they introduced, really opening up Angel's background. The Master was a great villain too, one that going through the season you did wonder if he would be trapped forever or keep trying to get free.

The monster of the week format led to some memorable characters, like Marcie and Sid the dummy. It introduced not only vampire lore, but witches as well.
okay what I Like about it the witch episode & the pack & teacher pet this is has xander best episodes on it.
 

sosa lola

Scooby
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
4,759
Age
34
I love so many things about S1. I love Prophecy Girl, from beginning to end. I love the early versions of the Scoobies: innocent but determined chubby cheeks Buffy. Smart, witty and brave Xander. Sweet as honey and computer genius Willow. Extremely stuffy and plays by the rules Giles. Bully but capable of change Cordelia.

I like how the characters are very fresh and closer to real people - instead of the cartoon caricatures, emancipated from basic human unpredictability by later seasons.
 

nxGangrel

Totally not checkin' you out B
Joined
Sep 1, 2017
Messages
24
Age
19
I liked Season 1 because it felt kinda unique the way it was done. It was kind of clunky, and to me felt like it have a different tone compared to the rest of the entire series.
I know this is a weird analogy but it really reminds me of the first Marilyn Manson album (Portrait of an American Family), since both were more starting experiments and were more focused on being creepy, goofy, and cartoonish rather than being more serious as both the show and the band went on to do. And both feel a bit dated, which adds to the charm.
Not my favorite season, but I don't think it's the worst.
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
I see what you mean about MM. So for you would Antichrist Superstar be the equivalent of Buffy S3?

AnthonyCordova

Earth Invasion Taskforce Unlimited
Joined
Feb 18, 2014
Messages
1,860
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Denver, Colorado
Sineya
I like the season more with each watch. What I have really come to appreciate in later watches is the general levity. None of the episodes take themselves too seriously, while many episodes after S4 lose that quality and sometimes end up being too bleak and grim. I think it is important to balance the campiness of the show and its premise with a tongue-in-cheek levity, or the danger is that it becomes cheesy. And I think for me it is this specifically that makes me nostalgic about the high school seasons, as opposed to the fact that the first 3 seasons take place in high school. I'm not nostalgic about my own high school experiences, for example.

So for these reasons the poorer monster of the week episodes from this season (as well as S2-S3) compare more favorably to bad monster of the week episodes in the late seasons (for example, Doublemeat Palace).

Also during rewatches I love watching the main characters fall into friendship with each other and in the process learn about each other too. As the show wears on in the later seasons, I get a real feeling of ennui or world weariness between the scoobies in a great many episodes. Sometimes they can feel sick of each others company post S5. Season 1 by comparison sparkles when it comes to the various human relationships, and they pursue their agendas with a vivacious freshness that is very appealing.

Like everyone else, I really wish the season ran 22 episodes like all of the rest. They could have used that extra time to explore more deeply The Master and execute an even more satisfying main arc.
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
I hated high school and only did 2 years of it (1 in a special program for those with behavioral problems) and no prom or anything like that. I still prefer the high school years in Buffy.
nxGangrel
nxGangrel
I agree with that the season should have had 22 episodes instead of just 12. Also, for me ACS would be more akin to season 2 and 3 since that they are both more serious and where the show finally gets its footing (in my opinion).

AshSlays

WOW, Sarcasm, that's original!
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
251
Location
The cursed area of tons of sweet tea (Arkansas)
Black Thorn
All the campy 90s fun! Wish I could have lived through it...

Also, I remember being so hooked by that first episode. My mom talked about Buffy for my entire life, and I remember being a sad, angry kid with nothing that I could get lost in quite the right way when she decided I was old enough to watch it. That first episode had me so invested, and she made me wait the 3 hours until I went to bed to watch the second (still mad about that). Cheerleader Amy was the other one I watched that night, and I fell asleep right at the end of mantis woman. Perfect way of establishing Xander's demon magnet status!
 

telperion66

Potential
Joined
Mar 7, 2018
Messages
136
Age
32
Location
York, England
Season one was just an unbelievably fresh breath of air to watch. The burgeoning chemistry between the tight-nit gang. The commencement of the Buffy and Angel romance. The innocence of the show actually being about what the show was originally intended to be about as shown in its purest form. Sure, some of the episode premises are kinda goofy and monsterific, but the overall character development and beautifully written scripts make up for that in spades. A triumph from start to finish.
 

vampmogs

Townie
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
73
Age
29
Well, I love Season 1 because it has a great deal of nostalgia and emotional attachment to it. For me, Season 1 is my childhood; long summer nights, school holidays, looking forward to every Monday night to watch "Buffy." Those memories are seared into my brain.

Season 1 aired at 7:30pm in Australia on Monday nights. It premiered in the summer holidays and, believe it or not, I can still vividly remember watching the first episode. My sister had wanted to watch it because her friend was a fan of the movie and had told her to. I still remember being so enthralled by it that my face was practically up against the TV screen by the time Luke leant forwards to bite Buffy and "to be continued" came onto the screen. I was blown away and I can still recall that "The Harvest" aired the next night. From then on I was hooked. That summer (I was only 7 at the time) was All. About. Buffy. In Australia, summer school holidays go for approximately 6-8 weeks due to summer taking place over Christmas so our school year finishes up at the beginning of December and we don't go back until late January. So throughout my holidays Monday nights were an event and the thing I looked forward to the most. The only episode I missed, much to my dismay, was "Never Kill A Boy On The First Date", as my parents forced my sister and I to go to a family friend's house for dinner. I still remember coming home and racing into the living room to try and catch the last few minutes. I turned on the TV just as Buffy flung the vampire into the incinerator. I remember being so disappointed to have missed it as vampire-centric episodes were my favourites and this one looked like it had been a particularly great one (I loved the action sequences and thought Buffy was the absolute coolest).

I can still recall watching "Prophecy Girl" and being shocked that Buffy was finally facing The Master! As as a young child, I guess I just expected that Buffy would never face The Master. I thought that he'd always be the villain trapped underground and things would remain this way for, well, the show's entire existence. It never occurred to me that the series would inevitably have to evolve and introduce a new Big Bad so I had assumed that if Buffy were facing The Master then this was the end. I knew nothing of "seasons" or that the series would return. I can remember being gobsmacked when The Master bit Buffy and I can even recall my mother racing into the living room from the kitchen when my sister announced that Buffy was dead LOL After that, Season 1 had ended and I had assumed the series was done. I could recall spending the next few months playing on my trampoline outside "fighting vampires" and reminiscing about what a great show "Buffy" was. I was too young to use the internet or read TV Guides so I had no way of knowing it would return.

Luckily my sister and I saw advertisements that "Buffy" was returning for Season 2 and I was overjoyed. By the time Season 2 started, we'd worked out how to use the video recorder so we'd tape every episode and then watch it repeatedly after it aired. The last episode to ever air in the 7:30pm slot was "Innocence" and after that it was deemed too inappropriate to be on so early. It moved to the 10:30PM slot on Tuesdays and remained in that exact slot for the remainder of the show's run. I still watched the show but being so young, I had to tape it from that point on. And I'd always rent the episodes from Blockbuster on my summer holidays.

But Season 1 holds such a special, special place in my heart. It's also why I'm such a hardcore, ride and die Scooby fan because Season 1 WAS Buffy/Xander/Willow/Giles. Those characters are linked to such wonderful memories to me. Even when I rewatch Season 1 now and see the original credit sequence (with the old "Buffy" font and original theme song before it was updated in Season 3) I'm transported back to that time. I can still remember the smells, the long summer nights, how carefree and happy I was with no responsibilities, the endless school holidays (8 weeks is so long for a 7 year old!), and it brings back memories of my own home. I can remember how everything looked, where I sat, and even the clothes my mum or sister may have been wearing at the time. I can't watch "Never Kill A Boy On The First Date" without thinking back to that time when I raced into the living room and caught the last few minutes. I can't think of "Prophecy Girl" without my mum running into the room (a closeted "Buffy" fan *g*) etc. Early Season 2 holds a similar place in my heart. I remember watching "Inca Mummy Girl" on loop for 2 weeks straight because I had recorded it and the series took a break. My sister and I could also recite the entire Spike/Dru conversation from "Halloween" by heart because we rewatched that episode so much ("Do you love me? The parts you can't see?" "Eyeballs to entrails my sweet"). But Season 1 in particular is a really, really special season for me.

Nostalgia aside, I do just genuinely love Season 1. Objectively speaking the writing is weaker than other seasons but, man, does it have heart. Everything is so new and wonderful and the characters are so god damn adorable. There are some episodes that I think are great ("The Witch" "Angel" "The Pack" "Nightmares" "Out of Mind, Out of Sight") and "Prophecy Girl" is in my Top 10 all-time favourite episodes. It's legitimately so. damn. good. It's like a love letter to Buffy Summers. She'll forever be my favourite fictional character of all time just for that episode alone. There's things about Season 1 that are obviously pretty naff (the vampires are very 'growly' with long finger nails and no personality of any kind) but the episodes are often refreshing to watch. It was a time before the characters became so jaded and, more importantly, the writers became so jaded. Sometimes it's just comforting to watch those episodes and fall in love with the series all over again. I adore it.
 
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