Great Show, Good episodes, bad idea
M. Hester | USA | 03/24/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Before I go into anything else, I have to say that I loved this show. Also, for the person below me, this show was not cancelled by 2 networks. The WB wasn't willing to up the show's budget, so Joss and Co. moved over to UPN. Sarah Michelle Gellar was always the person that the continuing of the show depended on, seeing as she was Buffy, and after 7 years, she decided, not UPN, to call it quits. As for the rest of your review, well that's your opinion.
Buffy was a unique show in that while never a huge ratings success it was a critical darling and had a large group of fans that dearly loved the show. The first season, while better than most TV, was not the most shining season of the show and the 2 episodes in question are good and definitely will leave a taste for the rest of the series. About the only thing that would make this intriguing to a fan is if the pilot that Joss Whedon personally financed was included, I'd pay 10 bucks to see that. If you're really not sure if you're going to like the show, check you local listings for Buffy reruns and watch a few to see what you think. If you simply must own this DVD, then by all means buy it, but don't say that you weren't warned when you buy Season 1 on DVD and find the same episodes there. So 3 stars because the show rocked and the episodes are good, but the packaging idea is dumb."
An interesting marketing ploy with the "BtVS" pilot
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 02/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Certainly the idea of a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: TV Starter Set" is interesting, but the more I think about it the less sense it makes. Essentially, you pick up this DVD, which has the first two episodes from the first season of "BtVS," which is the two-part pilot, "Welcome to the Hellmouth"/"The Harvest," and if you go on to buy one of the complete season sets the $10 coupon means you got this for free. Of course, if you buy "Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season One" you get these two episodes along with the other ten that made up the abbreviated debut season. The only thing is that the price of the season one "BtVS" DVD set has reduced that already it makes more sense to go pay a few extra bucks to pick up the whole thing. Add to that the fact that the DVD season sets of Joss Whedon's shows, including "Angel" and "Firefly," have always been fan friendly when it comes to pricing (cf. any "Star Trek" or HBO series), that this sort of incentive seems totally superfluous. Now, if they had the original "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" pilot with the other Willow, that could justify true fans picking up something like this DVD, but we already have all seven season of the show. Consequently, the attraction here might simply be for somebody who likes to collect television pilots, which would still make this DVD a strange little experiment.
Joss Whedon wrote both parts of the pilot (which aired as a two-hour movie on March 10, 1997), saving his character from the rather bizarre fate Buffy first met in the 1992 theatrical film where his script was turned by director Frank Rubel Kuzui into pure camp. But if you listen to the words and ignore how they are being said by Kristy Swanson, Paul Reubens and the rest of the cast, you can hear Whedon's voice. In "Welcome to the Hellmouth," Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) moves from Los Angeles to Sunnydale, California. There she faces her first big challenge, to be friends with the high school's queen bee, Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter), or hang out with the painfully shy Willow Rosenberg (Allyson Hannigan) and her goofy friend Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendan). Her second challenge is found in the school library, where Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) informed Buffy he is her new Watcher. It seems Sunnydale is located on the Hellmouth, a focal point for demonic activity, which explains why the Master (Mark Metcalf), a very old and extremely powerful vampire is trying to break free.
"The Harvest" focuses on the Master's plan to have his loyal servant, Luke (Brian Thompson), serve as his vessel. Luke goes to the Bronze, the local teen hangout, where he will gorge himself on blood, which will give the Master enough power to break free of the Hellmouth. Warning Buffy of the danger to come is not only Giles, but also the mysterious Angel (David Boreanaz), who is tall, dark, and handsome. He is also really, really cryptic, which does not sit well with Buffy. The showdown at the Bronze serves as the big climax, after which Buffy and her friends are ready for the next adventure against the creatures of the night. The premise for the show is established, including the basic mission statement that "high school is hell."
Looking back at the pilot today it is interesting to see what the characters were like in the beginning. Buffy is never more Valley Girl (except for the later flashbacks to the "movie" period), Willow is a totally whipping girl for Cordelia, and Cordelia is the most obnoxious junior girl in the history of the world. Xander Giles is really foppish, and Angel is actually not as brooding and haunted as he ends up being. But then you go back and look at any pilot episode and you will see that characters are always rather rough at the beginning until the writers and the cast find their way. Still, the key thing is that Whedon establishes the key set of characters, the relationships that they will build upon, and the first rules of the game for vampire slaying in the Sunnydale environs. Most importantly, the best is yet to come (i.e., "Becoming, Part II" at the end of the second season). Five stars for the pilot, three stars for the marketing ploy, and divide by two."
Bad marketing idea
Taylor McDaniel | New York, NY | 12/07/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Let me start by saying that Buffy is my favorite show ever. Now, this product just isn't practical. First it is overpriced, only 2 episodes for $10 when you could get the whole first season for $30. Second, while I love the series premiere (Welcome to the Hellmouth/ The Harvest) I don't really think that they are the episodes to use for a "starter set." Perhaps if these two episodes were combined with a few from other seasons then this whole idea would make sense, however at this stage of development it just doesn't. Great show, bad marketing."
The Ten Dollars Back Coupon is Expired So That Would Make Th
Taylor McDaniel | 01/03/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I agree that this is a terrible marketing idea! Now, don't get me wrong, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer is the best television show of all time and is absolutely awesome and magnificent but why buy this starter set that only has two episodes from the first season when you can buy the complete first season DVD boxset and get these eipisodes and all the rest of the season one episodes? And don't give me any baloney about it being worth it because you get 10 dollars back with the included coupon because that ten bucks back deal has long expirerd which makes this starter set useless! Buy the first season instead or even better if you don't own this show on DVD yet is the new 40 disc boxset that incudes every season (1 to 7) and a new bonus disc."