Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 7 Review



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Review:

Hmm, confession time. I’ve never seen a full episode of season 7 Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve seen a few bits and pieces, but that’s it. I discovered the show while season 7 was airing and was so busy catching up on past seasons I never really got around to watching the new episodes, and then when I finished watching season six I just… never got around to it. To be honest, the First Evil and the Potentials and all that just didn’t sound that interesting to me, so I watched other stuff instead and just never got back to Buffy. Every time I think I should really get around to it, I end up watching favorite episodes from previous seasons instead. So. No review for season 7.

What are your favorite season 7 episodes?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 6 Review



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Review:

In season six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Scoobies struggled with the realities of adulthood and (mostly) failed. After being dragged out of heaven by her unwitting friends, Buffy tried to deaden her feelings by entering into an unhealthy and mutually destructive sexual relationship with Spike. Dawn’s kleptomania got out of hand. Xander freaked out and left Anya at the altar. Willow got addicted to magic, and increasingly used it to arrange not just things but people to her liking. Including Tara. Giles left. Twice.

In short, fun times were had by all (not) and a lot of fans found the unrelenting darkness too depressing. It’s probably the most “love it or hate it” season of Buffy. Personally, I lean more towards love, but some parts were hard to watch.

My favorite episodes include:

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 5 Review



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Review:

Season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer had two big flaws: Glory (the Big Bad) and Dawn (Buffy’s surprise younger sister). Glory was too boring (I’ll be upfront here: none of the later Big Bads ever equaled season 2‘s Angelus or season 3‘s Mayor in my eyes), and Dawn was too annoying, and unfortunately, we got a lot of both of them this season.

Nevertheless, season 5 was pretty good. Not only did it have some great individual episodes, it was also much more consistent than season 4, or even season 2 (though I prefer season 2 overall.)

My favorite episodes include:

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 4 Review



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Review:

In season four, Buffy went to college, and the show floundered a bit trying to regain its footing after the change in setting and the loss of Angel and Cordelia. It is widely considered the weakest season of the show after season one. The pod people, refreshed from their extended vacation in season three, turned up quite a bit. (To be honest, several episodes had such bad reputations that I never even watched them.) Season four was also hurt by a boring Big Bad.

Another reason many people dislike season four is due to Buffy’s relationship with Riley. I actually kind of like Riley myself (possibly I’m biased due to the Iowa connection), but I nevertheless agree with the fandom at large that he’s a distant third on my list of favorite Buffy boyfriends.

Despite its flaws, the fourth season does contain several outstanding episodes. My favorites include:

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The Musketeers Season 1 Review



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Review:

The Three Musketeers is one of my husband’s favorite novels (and mine), so we were excited to hear about this new show based (loosely) on the story. Although the characters will be familiar to fans of Dumas, most of the storylines are not and some of the others are changed almost beyond recognition. Instead of being a simple adaptation, the show takes an episodic approach to the series, with the Musketeers facing different villains every week, sometimes hampered (or occasionally helped) by Richelieu and Milady, sometimes not.

The Musketeers is at its best when it doesn’t take itself too seriously – a few episodes were a bit heavy-handed with some extremely anachronistic social justice themes and a few others with the angst – but overall it’s a light-hearted, energetic show that’s lots of fun to watch, especially if you can revel in a little ridiculousness (such as the occasional moments when the show suddenly turns into CSI: 17th Century) instead of being offended by it.

The show benefits from a solid and charismatic cast in the lead roles, and I liked that, with the exception of the perpetually bumbling Red Guards, the main characters and villains alike are clever and quick-thinking. Contests between equals are so much more fun! There is plenty of eye candy to go around (especially Lucrezia Borgias’ beloved “Narcissus”, reborn a century later – and with a much sexier hairdo – as d’Artagnan), lots of entertaining and well choreographed fight scenes, and healthy dashes of humor, witty dialogue, and forbidden romance.

In short, don’t skip the novel, but if you’re in the mood for some swashbuckling fun, The Musketeers is an excellent choice.

Favorite episodes:

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Friday Night Lights Season 2 Review



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Review:

After a practically perfect season one, Friday Night Lights fell apart in its second season. Like most other shows in 2007-2008, it had a shortened, 15 episode season thanks to the Writer’s Strike that gave many shows a weak year.

On top of the problems with pacing faced by most other shows affected by the strike, the FNL writers also made some mystifyingly dumb story choices, most notably the disastrous murder subplot. (In fairness to the writers, some of these poor story choices were reportedly the result of Executive Meddling.) Other storylines from season one were dropped completely. Waverly? Who’s that?

Disappointed, I gave up about halfway into the season and haven’t watched the show again since, although I’m told that the later seasons were closer in quality to the first season than the second, and they are on my to watch list.

Friday Night Lights Season One Review

Review:



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I grew up in one of the most football-crazy states in the nation, and as a non-fan, got so sick of hearing about it all the time that I almost didn’t give this show a chance just from sheer dislike of the sport. However, it got such good reviews from critics and several (more football tolerant) friends that I eventually gave in and ended up really enjoying it.

Friday Night Lights paints one of the most realistic portraits of life in a football-crazy small town America that I’ve seen on screen, both for the team, their coaches and fans, and those like myself who are indifferent or even resentful of the sport’s prominence.

The acting is excellent, especially Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton as the team’s coach and his wife, who has to juggle her role as “Mrs. Coach” with her duties to students both on the team and off as the school’s guidance counselor. The show doesn’t flinch from exploring human pain, failure, and weakness in many different guises, but at the same time, its central characters (especially Coach and Mrs. Coach) are essentially good and moral human beings in a way that inspires the best of human nature not only in many of the other characters, but also in the audience. In a time when dark, grim narratives are common on television, Friday Night Lights is fundamentally uplifting. And there’s something to be said for shows like that.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

My rating: (4.5 / 5)

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 3 Review

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Third Season (Slim Set) (DVD)
Actors: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Anthony Head, James Marsters
Director: David Greenwalt, David Semel, David Solomon, James A. Contner, Joss Whedon
Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
Language:
Subtitles:
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Running Time: 990 minutes

List Price: $24.01
Price: $24.00
35 offers available from $3.30
4.7 out of 5 stars (616)

Review:

I have a hard time deciding whether season two or season three of Buffy is my favorite. I think I would have to say that I like individual episodes (Innocence, Passion, Becoming 1 and 2, etc.) in season two better than any single episode in season three, but season three was much stronger and more consistent overall. The pod people, for one, seem to have spent the season on vacation, so there are no clunkers on par with “Bad Eggs” or “Go Fish,” thank the muses. The Mayor is also one of my favorite Big Bads.

mayor-become-invincible

Unfortunately, despite the fact that it’s one of my favorite seasons, it’s been quite awhile since I’ve seen any episodes other than my favorites (Lover’s Walk and Graduation Day 1 & 2), so I’ll have to do a rewatch before doing comments on individual episodes. Oh the pain. 😀

My rating: (4 / 5)

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2 Review



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Review:

Season two might be my favorite season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’m always a little torn, because the bad episodes in season two were really, amazingly bad and I think some of the later seasons were more consistent overall.

But the good episodes were great, and the Angelus storyline starting in the final moments of Surprise is one of my favorites of the whole show. (I’ve never been much of a Buffy/Angel shipper, mainly because I always thought David Boreanaz was clearly having much more fun as Angelus.)

Another season two vampire bonus: Spike, when he was still un-chipped, un-souled, and cheerfully ripping out throats. \o/

My rating: (4 / 5)

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 1 Review



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Review:

To be honest, I’ve only seen some of the episodes from season one of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and wasn’t impressed. The show was a mid-season replacement and it was initially given a tiny budget. With just 12 episodes, it didn’t really have enough time to find its footing and it flailed around with mostly silly plots and absolutely terrible special effects for most of the season. If you want to watch Buffy but don’t want to sit through the whole season, start with these four episodes:

  • 1×01 Welcome to the Hellmouth
  • 1×02 The Harvest
  • 1×07 Angel
  • 1×12 Prophecy Girl

There are occasional callbacks to other season one episodes (especially 1×03 Witch) in the later seasons, but these four are the most important to the show’s overall arc.

My rating: (2 / 5)