Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) looks like your typical perky high-schooler, and like most, she has her secret fears and anxieties. However, while most teens are worrying about their next date, their next zit, or the... more »ir next term paper, Buffy's angsting over the next vampire she has to slay. See, Buffy, a young woman with superhuman strength, is the "chosen one," and she must help rid the world of evil, namely by staking demons. The exceptional first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer introduces us to the treacherous world of Sunnydale High School (where Buffy moved after torching her previous high school's gym). The characters there include "watcher" Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) and the original "Scooby Gang" members--friendly geek Xander (Nicholas Brendon), computer whiz Willow (Alyson Hannigan), and snobbish popular girl Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter)--who aid Buffy in her quest. The second season took the romance between Buffy and hunky Angel (David Boreanaz) from ecstasy to agony in a now-classic plot arc that catapulted the show from WB teen drama to true TV greatness. You see, if the cursed Angel ever experiences true happiness for a moment, he'll revert to being an evil vampire again. Buffy found its true momentum during the second season, as Xander fell in love with Cordelia, Willow gave up her crush on Xander in favor of werewolf boy Oz (Seth Green), and watcher Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) began a sweetly tentative relationship with computer teacher (and witch) Jenny Calendar (Robia LaMorte). Mayhem came to Sunnydale, though, in the form of evil vampires Drusilla (Juliet Landau) and Spike (drolly wicked James Marsters), who were more than ready to aid and abet Angel as he turned bad. The third season was marked by the arrival in Sunnydale of renegade slayer Faith (Eliza Dushku), a moody loner who seemed to like her demon-staking calling just a little too much. While Buffy was always wary of Faith, the two developed a deep friendship and appreciative rapport--that is, until the evil mayor of Sunnydale (Harry Groener) tapped into Faith's dark side and lured her into his plot to take over the world, first as a double agent spying on Buffy, then as out-and-out nemesis. And as the mayor's ascension approached--which happened to fall on Sunnydale High's graduation day--Buffy and Faith's battles got nastier and nastier, as Buffy attempted to wrestle with her dark side (literally and figuratively), save the world and her friends, and keep her lover Angel out of Faith's evil clutches. Chock-full of exceptional episodes, the third season started out with a bang (the superb season opener "Anne," in which a runaway Buffy finally returns to her Slayer calling) and never let up. Buffy truly hit its golden years in the fourth season--just when you thought this show couldn't get any better, Joss Whedon and his creative team pulled out all the stops and took Buffy and co. into rich new territory. By far, the highlight of the season (and the entire series) was the Emmy-nominated "Hush," a nearly dialogue-free episode in which the creepy "Gentlemen" rob Sunnydale of its collective voice, and Buffy and Riley finally come face to face with each other's hidden identities. Throughout, the entire cast, headed by the unparalleled Sarah Michelle Gellar, worked television magic of the kind rarely seen on the small screen. This is Buffy at its best. --Mark Englehart« less
"Many media and television critics have labeled BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER the new Star Trek, and there is a very real sense in which this will prove to be true: like Star Trek, Buffy is about to have as big or bigger an existence as when the show was in first run. There is a very, very simple reason for this: a gigantic number of people have mindlessly and dismissingly ignored Buffy, wrongly thinking it is just a show for teenagers. In fact, it is unquestionably one of the intelligent, funny, engaging, and brilliant shows in the history of television. Even at its peak, Buffy was able to catch only a very small amount of the viewing audience. All of this means: there are a lot of potential Buffy fans out there.This set is perfect for either of two individuals. For those very small number of Buffy fanatics who for whatever reason haven't been able to afford the previous box sets, this will afford a remarkably inexpensive way of collecting the first four seasons. The list price for the entire set is only twice as much as the cost of the box sets of seasons 2, 3, or 4. This truly is an amazing bargain. This should never have achieved television greatness, yet it did. When Buffy premiered, it seemed the height of folly to do a low-budget television show based on a mediocre film. It seemed obvious to many that no show produced by a fledgling network (initially the WB and later the even smaller UPN) with the words BUFFY, VAMPIRE and SLAYER in its title could be more intelligent, innovative, and superb than anything produced by the BBC, or HBO, or the broadcast networks. But one of the great things about Buffy is that it almost immediately began destroying all ones assumptions and misconceptions. After the first season, Buffy began to eschew the format common to most TV shows where each episode contains a self-contained story, but instead opted for season long (or more) story arcs previously found in series like TWIN PEAKS, THE X-FILES, BABYLON 5, and the soaps. These long arcs are unquestionably a source of much the show's great power with fans, but it is also the reason that many potential new viewers were unable to get into the show. After a period of time, there was simply too much back story to pick up. This set should allow anyone to get the full Buffy experience, at least through the first four seasons. The show also broke with previous formats in combining comedy, romance, action, suspense, and realism in a degree not previously found on television. One episode might be primarily comedic, the next intensely romantic, another tragic, but most often one show would combine all of these. The show always did very poorly in Emmy nominations (despite being vastly better than any of the other shows nominated; that it didn't at the very least win every writing award is testimony to how absurd these awards are), and part of the reason is surely the fact that it fit uneasily in the established categories.Season One is in many ways the weakest season in the history of the show, but it is nevertheless amazingly successful. Almost in the first fifteen minutes, the core characters have been introduced and the chemistry that would drive the central friendships established. The season primarily consists of self-contained episodes, though a few themes that go season-long and even into the second season are introduced. We meet Willow, Xander, and Giles, who form the heart of the Scooby Gang through all seven seasons of the show, along with Angel and Cordelia, who depart after season three for Los Angeles and Angel's own show. Despite an excruciatingly small budget, Joss Whedon (the creative genius behind Buffy and Angel) and his team achieve miracles.Season Two is when the show achieves true greatness. The central story is that of the doomed love between Buffy and Angel, and there surely has been no more heart breaking pair of lovers in TV history. The show hits its full strike and rushes through a brilliant set of episodes, and along the way expands the cast to include Oz, who turns out to be a werewolf, and a pair of Sid and Nancy vampires, the platinum-haired Spike and his insane psychic girlfriend Druscilla. The final episode of the season is one of the most heart wrenching, and I defy any but the most hardhearted of individuals not to shed a tear or two.Season Three picks up where the previous one left off, and instantly proves it is capable telling stories with astonishing virtuosity. The Gang is in its final year of high school and as befitting seniors, the problems they face are more emotionally challenging, and all are called upon to deal with fresh disappointments and problems requiring more mature reactions. A new major character, Faith the rogue slayer, is introduced, and story of her embattled relationship with Buffy is a story that extends for more than just the one season and just the one show, carrying over onto ANGEL as well. In Season Four, Willow, Buffy, and Oz go off to college; Giles is unemployed (having previously been librarian at Sunnydale High), and Xander striving to find his way after high school. The season contains several superb episodes, including the highly acclaimed "Hush," performed with no dialogue for most of the show. These first four seasons are almost beyond criticism they are so remarkable. I urge anyone who hasn't experienced Buffy to do so, especially those who considered themselves smart, savvy, and literate. If ever there was a show made for smart people, it is this one. Just get over the silly name and your misconceptions, and take the plunge. You won't regret it."
Yeah, don't bother with any reviewer, ozy
Consumer in Washington, D.C. | 06/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"you are just a tattletale, denny is doing fine"
Amazing show, fantastic bargain!
Furiae | USA | 10/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Forgive me for coming across biased, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of the best series ever to grace television. For some reason, a stigma stuck with it that it was a kid's show, and watching it was a guilty pleasure of adults, but mark my words, there are more adult fans of Buffy out there than kids and teenagers.I remember watching my first episode of Buffy seven years ago. I was against it from the beginning because I had watched the movie and Kristen Swanson looked more, well, 'Buffy-ish' because of her physical build. Sarah Michelle Gellar was so tiny, I couldn't fathom the show taking off as an action show like its predecessor movie. After that first episode, I realized that Buffy wasn't just an action show. Action took a second seat to the drama. There was also lively dialogue, wit, intelligence, charm, and very funny comedic bits. Basically, here's the plot: In each generation, a slayer is born and that slayer is always a girl. She's basically a superhero, and she hunts vampires, demons, evil-doers, etc., until she dies and the next slayer is called into action. A slayer is overseen by a 'watcher,' who is essentially a guide/tutor/mentor/trainor to the slayer. Buffy Summers is this generation's slayer. (I'm not going to delve too much into detail about backstory, because I'm sure the other reviewers have and will do a much better job of it.)The absolute genius behind the success of Buffy is it's one of those spectacular shows where you feel like you're in the middle of the drama- right in the thick of the action with the characters. Even with the dialogue's rapier sharp wit, you never feel as if the show is talking down to its audience; they assume you know what they're talking about. All this leads to the show possessing what I call a terrific quality of inclusion, which when combined with the drama makes a very, very, very gripping show.What I absolutely loved about Buffy the Vampire Slayer is you take away whatever you want from the show. If you're only looking for some butt-kicking action, it's definitely got that. If you're looking for drama, it has plenty of that. If you want comedy, it has lots of that. It's also both simple and intelligent at the same time, where a twelve year old can have a blast watching Buffy and a 45 year old academic could sit right next to the twelve year old and take away just as much enjoyment, if not more. This show has so many layers that it's amazing. It was as deep or as shallow as you wanted it to be, and I've never seen any other show do that.I noticed that Buffy has always provided quality entertainment that defies age groups. It's so diverse, yet so true to its own style and mythology that it's absolutely mind boggling how the writers and producers managed to pump out season after fantastic season- and it never got old!Buffy offers fantastic acting. I've never seen such a talented and capable group of actors (with such incredible chemistry with each other). Whether they're singing, dancing, fighting, doing comedy, drama, or action, they can do it all, and they make a very believable group of best friends who rely on each other to survive impending doom and apocalypses. Buffy also offers stellar writing. There are actually Buffy dictionaries out there are compiled of 'slayer slang.' I seriously wonder if each and every writer on that show are linguists, because the things they do with the English language are just spot-on perfect for the scenes and hilarious, at times. Also, rarely is anything really corny on the show. They don't write up stories full of molding, ancient plot devices. There's definitely levity in the show in the form of irony, sarcasm, and comedy, but the drama and darkness written in the show is very adult, smart, and fascinating. It's really not a kids show, when you think about it, and 13 is the absolute minimum age I'd let a kid watch Buffy. I loved the witty humor, I loved how Buffy both tugged at my heartstrings yet offered cerebral stimulation, but on days when I was out of it and just wanted mindless entertainment, it gave me that, too. I've personally seen fans of Buffy from 10-50 years old comprised of both men and women who loved Buffy. I wanted a character I could relate to and I got her. Others wanted different things from their entertainment, but that was the absolute genius and beauty of Buffy: it offers everything, but never forced anything down throats, so you take away only what you want. It was only as realistic or fantastic as you wanted to be, and at this price for the set of the first 4 seasons, you're cheating yourself out of a heck of deal if you don't consider it."
5-star mystery series also has mysteriously changing prices
De Bruin | The Netherlands | 09/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What kind of stupid game is Amazon playing with the prices? I had been saving for months for - the complete seasons 1-4 - and even had my DVD player made zone free because I wanted the American version. Just when I was about to order, the price changed from 118 to 182 dollars! After a while the price changed back to 118 dollars and just when I was ready to order it again, the price changed back to 182 dollars. Again! I am very disappointed and angry."
5 stars for show itself; 1 star for "deal"
Consumer in Washington, D.C. | 09/27/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Where is the "deal" here? If you buy all four seasons individually on Amazon you pay slightly *less* than the price advertised here for all four at once. Strange. Just two days ago the cost for this Complete Seasons 1-4 was $118. Now it's about $182. I don't understand the sudden drastic price hike. Buy the seasons individually!"