62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
It's about time!,
This review is from: Buffy The Vampire Slayer - The Complete First Season (DVD)
Finally, the complete first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is available on DVD (rather than the boxed set previously available that contained only half of the episodes). While a little uneven in quality compared to later, more polished seasons, the series' trademark wit and pathos are in fine form in this set.
The set begins with the two-part series premiere, "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "The Harvest." These episodes introduce Buffy, a sophomore in high school and the Slayer chosen to fight the forces of darkness; Willow, the shy technology-savvy redhead; Xander, the goofy regular guy who happens to have a serious crush on the Buffster; Cordelia, the shallow queen always ready with an acerbic comment; and Giles, the staid school librarian and Buffy's watcher. Some important secondary characters are also introduced, like Angel, Buffy's future boyfriend, and Darla, Angel's vampiric ex-flame. The storyline involves the plans of the Master, a vampire, to escape his prison and wreak havoc at the same time that Buffy has just transferred to a new school (after being kicked out of her old one for burning down the gym). Naturally, she and her friends avert the catastrophe.
"The Witch" is a great episode, looking at both mother/daughter relationships and being pressured by parents to succeed. When the cheerleading squad meets various mystical "accidents," one-by-one, Buffy has to investigate. The trail apparently leads to Amy Madison, a gawky girl turned second-string cheerleader. She's moving up the ranks as her competitors go down... One of the best episodes in the set.
"Teacher's Pet" features Xander, as he and all the other guys go gaga for a new substitute teacher. But Buffy's suspicious when she sees the teacher do a head-twist, Exorcist-style. Unfortunately, Xander's already in her trap...
"Never Kill a Boy on the First Date" is a more humorous episode. Buffy tries to have a social life, but those pesky slaying commitments keep getting in the way. She finally ends up dragging her date to the funeral home when they find that an ancient prophecy is coming to pass...
In "Angel," the mysterious Angel's secret is revealed: he's a vampire! (As if it were a surprise to anyone.) But when Buffy thinks he's fed on her mother, she has to make a decision: can she bring herself to kill him?
The spotlight's on Willow in "I Robot, You Jane." When introspective Will starts an online romance, Buffy's a little worried. But when it turns out that there's a demon in the Internet - and that he's Willow's "boyfriend" - things get particularly hairy. This episode introduces computer teacher and technopagan Jenny Calendar, Giles' sometimes girlfriend and a pivotal character in Season Two.
"The Puppet Show" is the series' token creepy-ventriloquist's-dummy episode. Giles has been drafted for the school talent show, but several of the participants have turned up rather dead. Buffy suspects one of the stranger kids' ventriloquist dummy is behind the deaths. Though this episode is not the strongest of the season, an enjoyable and unexpected twist makes it still eminently watchable.
In "The Pack," Xander's started to act funny - snarling at his friends and hanging out with the bullies. It all started when he entered the hyena cage at the zoo. But can Buffy figure it out before things get out of hand and somebody gets...well, eaten?
"Nightmares" brings everyone's worst nightmares to life. Buffy's father tells her he doesn't love her, while bookworm Giles forgets how to read. The Master seizes the opportunity to try to make a break for the outside world, and nearly succeeds. Worth it if for nothing but Cordelia's bad hair day.
In "Out of Mind, Out of Sight," an invisible girl is terrorizing Cordelia and her associates. She comes to Buffy for help, and Buffy gives it (albeit very reluctantly). But when the attacks coincide with the crowning of Cordelia as the new May Queen, problems arise - big surprise.
The set ends on a high note with "Prophecy Girl." Giles finds a prophecy that predicts Buffy's death at the hands of the Master. It deals very clearly with Buffy's bleak realization of her own mortality, and ends with a showstopping showdown between Buffy and the Master. Quite possibly the best episode in this set.
I can't recommend this boxed set highly enough. Extras, like interviews with Joss Whedon (the creator) and David Boreanaz (Angel) round out the set. A worthwhile purchase both for Buffy fans and those wanting to see what the fuss is all about.