Monday, June 1, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 5/Angel season 2 episodes 1

Starting with my viewing and reviewing of season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and season 2 of Angel...


B5-1: Buffy Vs. Dracula (written by Marti Noxon, airdate 9/26/00)

You knew it was inevitable - I am sure fans demanded it. Just how does Dracula fit into the Buffyverse? From Spike, we learn he's just any other vampire who happened to get famous, spill a lot of vampire secrets out to the public, and knows a bunch of gypsy parlor tricks to augment the usual vampire ways. Dracula of course can become a mist, turn into a bat or wolf, and exert mental control over others. Standard stuff in any other lore. Buffy's reaction to meeting him - "get out" (in a much surprised tone). Of course, the girls all get the sexy mystique - heck Anya even hung with him once or twice in her youth. The guys, naturally, act all jealous. Then poor Xander gets made into Dracula's bug-munching emmissary - but even he can't handle a single punch from Riley. Giles, meanwhile, has to deal with the three sisters who want to ravish him (poor guy). In the end, Buffy defeats the dark prince, as we all knew she would. And Xander declares that he "is finished being everyone's butt-monkey". In the end, Buffy realizes she needs Giles for her Watcher again, so she can learn about the history of being a Slayer (at least Willow will be glad she doesn't have to keep his planned leaving a secret any more). Now, that last scene leads to one question - "sister?". Joyce, you got some 'splaining to do!

A2-1: Judgement (written by Whedon and Greenwalt, airdate 9/26/00)

Be it Cordelia acting or Wesley hustling guys at darts, when the pager call goes out the team comes together - to bust the evils of health clubs. Okay, technically a sacrificial rite behind the mirrors of health clubs. LOL. Interesting that Lindsey is finding himself akin to the recently raised Darla - that could be an unholy alliance of trouble when she gets her strength back up. I just love the idea of a demon karaoke bar - hilarious. And the fact that Angel has to get up and sing to find the pregnant woman he has to champion after killing her protector was genius. "Mandy" because he thought it was pretty and knew the words. Funny indeed. This along with the final scene of Angel visiting Faith in prison salvaged the episode for me. The main story seemed just a little low key for a season opener for me. Oh, and David's karaoke over the credits was also funny too.


Michael O'Connell said...

ANGEL: Okay, man, I just keep falling too far behind on writing these, so I'm going to jump up to where I am on watching and work my way back, or it's going to start to depress me too much. Haven't watched the Buffy yet, but I just finished the season opener on this one.


I totally loved it, while agreeing with you that the "main" story was fairly so-so. That part didn't matter to me. What I loved so much was all the character stuff, and all the things getting set up in this ep that happen over the rest of the season! It's gettin' me all psyched to get into season 2!

First, as I'm sure you noticed when you saw the picture on the back of the season 2 box, and especially when you saw J. August Richards in the opening credits of this ep, Gunn is here to stay. Gunn is one of my favorite Buffyverse characters ever (one of my favorite TV characters, period). Loved him from his first episode. Badass AND funny, played by an actor that puts a remarkable amount of humanity into him. Slowly...a Scooby gang begins to rise!

Next - the karaoke bar, and its host? Greatest NPC EVER! You'll likely be seeing more of him. Let's just hope we don't have to hear any more Angel Manilow...

Next - Loving Lindsey going darker, and having to deal with his Angel-induced "disability", and starting what appears to be a strange bond with Darla. And just having Darla back! Yes! I loved they kept bringing her back in all those flashback episodes last season, and then, in the final seconds of the finale, they drop the bomb, and we're all, "Oh, THAT's why they kept showing her...". This smells suspiciously like bad news for our boy Angel...

And what IS that mysterious hotel that Angel stumbled into and seemed to be so familiar with? Hmmm...

Loved the opening, showing what the gang is up to, how much they've now come together as a team. Love that they're stuck at Cordy's place (hey, Dennis is just trying to help!). But more importantly, I loved reliving the first Gunn/Cordy/Wes meeting. I forgot that it didn't happen until then. Welcome to Angel Investigations, Gunn. Hope you...yeah, you know.

Yes, the unexpected (as I forgot about it) cameo by Faith was great. Love that they chose to do that and keep us up on that storyline.

Very satisfying all around. And more satisfaction comin'!

Martin Maenza said...

Feel free to jump around and comment on where ever you see fit (most recent or jumping back). I don't mind at all. I'll try to pick back up on my viewing now that my crazy week is over.

Michael O'Connell said...

BUFFY: Awesome. I remember when this first broadcast - it was marketed as this big event. The ads made it look all dramatic. Buffy vs. Dracula! Wow! The internet was all a-buzz! So when it finally happened, and it turned out to be kind of a throwaway wacky episode? There was a lot of disappointment, just based on the way it was billed. Now, without all that expectation, it stands as a hilarious episode, and Buffy-perfect in its delivery. This is one of my favorite Xander eps, I think, with him being in thrall to the dark prince (bater). Fun for all, and a great interpretation of the Dracula character and legend. Everyone's star-struck reaction was awesome. I loved it. But like many of the Whedonverse season openers, it seemed like a self-contained one just there to get us back up to speed and reveal one big thing for the season to come. In this case...a little sister?! Huh?!

Heh heh heh.

Martin Maenza said...

But as a season opener, it did work. I like that it was self-contained, it had the humor as you noted, and it had that "what the...?" ending. Perfect start for a new season, IMHO.