Buffy The Vampire Slayer 8 Seasons 1999

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Season 4
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(535) IMDb 7.8/10

1. The Freshman TV-14 CC

Buffy's initial trouble adjusting to college life is soon overcome when she discovers the only difference between high school and college is that the monsters are bigger and badder.

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon
45 minutes
Original air date:
October 5, 1999

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Season 4

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4.5 out of 5 stars

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172 of 181 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 16, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In Season Three of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Joss Whedon and the show's writers proved that the series could survive Buffy killing Angel. For Season Four the task was to prove that "BtVS" could survive losing Angel, Cordelia, and Wesley, who were spun off into their own film noir vampire detective series. The surprising success of their effort is displayed in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Fourth Season," a season that is more impressive with each viewing.

When last we left our heroes most of them had just survived graduating from high school. Now Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Willow (Alyson Hannigan), and Oz (Seth Green) are off to UC-Sunnydale while Xander (Nicholas Brendon) tries to survive in the real world and Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) twiddles his thumbs in his apartment. Instead of the "high school is hell" idea, the underlying symbolism of the season is now the brave new world of college. Buffy has moved out of the house to live in the college dorm (surprising), but with somebody other than Willow (more surprising), and is trying to move beyond Angel (sad, but not surprising). After a dalliance with Parker Abrams (Adam Kaufman), the personification of that horrible "transition" person your friends always warned you about after your first big breakup, Buffy hooks up with clean-cut Iowa farm boy Riley Finn (Marc Blucas), charming psychology graduate assistant by day, Initiative super-soldier by night.

By now we are familiar with the double-story arc structure of a "BtVS" season. For Season Four the first half story arc has to do with the mystery of the Initiative, while the second half is the confrontation with Adam.
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169 of 183 people found the following review helpful By Sean on March 29, 2003
Format: DVD
When a local TV station in my area first started airing the WB, the only show I wanted to check out was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I had read good reviews of the show from places like Entertainment Weekly and Cinescape Magazine, and I was searching for something new to watch. I first started watching Buffy around the beginning of the third season, and as you have probably already guessed, it didn't take long for me to get hooked.

During the time the fourth season was airing, I had a routine. I specifically chose a schedule at work where I was off Tuesday through Thursday. I would finish my guitar lessons at the music store where I taught part-time about six thirty or so. Throw my Strat in the trunk, cruise through Tim Horton's for an Iced Cappuchino, and home at eight. Every Tuesday, like clockwork. After half a year of this, I realized something: I was addicted to Buffy in a way no television show had ever managed before.

The fourth season is widely regarded as the worst season of Buffy on the Internet. Because of this, I believe everybody is crazy.

Why? Why do I revere the fourth season above all others, when the majority of my fellow Buffyphiles see it as an embarrassment to be forgotten?

The answer, I think, lies in the very theme of the season - change. The loss of Angel and Cordelia, and later Oz, shook the show's formula to its roots, not to mention the shift from high school to college, from the library to Giles' place, from awkward Xander-piney Willow to blossoming funky-bohemian sexual awakening Willow. We were comfortable with the way things were! After two stellar seasons, Joss was changing everything! If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

But as I think back on it now, The Joss knew what he was doing.
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Format: DVD
Let me start by issuing a spoiler alert. It is not customary by Internet etiquette to issue such an alert for shows that have been out for several years, but let me err on the side of caution.

Immediately after offering THE X-FILES in new and cheaper slim-pack editions, they now offer the entirety of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER in similar packaging. The difference is that unlike THE X-FILES, where they cut out enough special features to reduce the original seven discs to six, the BUFFY releases are uncut.

Of the seven seasons that comprise BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, Season Four is the most perplexing. On the one hand, it is almost universally regarded as one of the weakest of the seven seasons, usually ranked with Season Six as the weakest. I personally think that Season One is the weakest followed closely by this one. On the other hand, a lot of BUFFY fans, when they rank their all time favorite episodes, end up putting a disproportionate number of Season Four episodes on the list. Two of the episodes, "Hush" and "Restless," might be consensus picks for the five best episodes ever. How to resolve this paradox? It isn't hard. Although Season Four had a large number of truly great episodes, the overall Season Four arc was probably the weakest of all seven seasons. The introduction of the Initiative and the Frankenstein-like Adam, the season's "big bad," seemed in conflict with the show as a whole. In the earlier seasons and especially Season Five, much of the brilliance of the show and a great deal of the emotional tension derived from the season-long narrative. Season Four almost completely lacked the kind of narrative drama that made Seasons Two and Three so exhilarating.
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