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on 3 September 2000
People are continally bashing season 4 - I don't get it. This season contains some excellent episodes - take "Hush" for example, which was an interesting premise to begin with, but then superbly carried out! I think we see Buffy and her friends (and foes!) growing up more - following on from season 3, which was when they stopped being "school kids"
While I originally didn't like the idea of Riley, I have to admit that it was all done so well - and showed a new aspect of Buffy. Angel is doing much better in his own show - in BTVS he was always overshadowed - he was "Buffy's boyfriend" and didn't get a lot of chance to shine. Having Angel leave also left the door open for some fantastic crossovers, and led to interesting scenes between Buffy and Angel. The re-introduction of Spike was a stroke of genius, although it would've been nice to see a bit of Dru as well.
The whole Willow/Tara arc caused some controversy, and a lot of people have criticised it. Personally, I thought it was a great idea - it dealt with an issue that is very real in today's world, but did so in a tasteful, discreet way. Alyson Hannigan does a superb job as Willow - she's really brought her on from the computer geek with frog fear!
All-in-all, season 4, I feel, keeps the BtVS flag flying high - it's kept the original feel of the first 3 seasons, while adding new flavours that have matured the show - mixed metaphors aside! I just can't wait for season 5!
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on 21 August 2000
Major changes abound in Season 4 of BtVS. Now Buffy is in college and sharing rooms with Willow, and the season is sadly lacking in Angel, Cordelia and stories focussed on Giles and Xander.
However, accomplished storyteller Joss Whedon has some great tricks up his sleeve, including Spike (an absolute treasure), Anya, heartbreak for Willow and Oz, magic spells going wrong (again) and mysterious commando guys running around in the shadows. I liked the gentle and clever introduction of Riley. It was rather obvious that he was destined to be Buffy's new love interest when he kept on popping up, but the relationship between Buffy and Riley doesn't quite pull off on screen. I think he's too young for Buffy, who has already lived through years of very tough growing up.
Still, nearly all the episodes are fun viewing, with #3 The Harsh Light of Day, #6 Wild at Heart, #7 The Initiative, #8 Pangs, #9 Something Blue and #10 Hush, being top watches and well worth the money to buy them.
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VINE VOICEon 18 April 2001
This boxed set contains the best ever episode of Buffy and the worst, which says all you need to know about season 4. Beer Bad is rubbish. Hush is a masterpiece: it's worth buying the boxed set for that episode alone. Bet you can't sleep after watching it. "Can't hear you scream, can't hear you cry, the Gentlemen are coming by..."
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on 20 October 2000
Although Season Three is my favourite ever season, Season Four comes a close second. As a huge Buffy fan, even I have to admit the show needed a refreshing change of scenery. And that's what we get as (most of) the Scooby Gang head off to UC Sunnydale, home to some of the nastiest demons Buffy has ever faced. There's more of what we Buffy fans love. Super scripts, exciting action scenes, excellent characterisation and amazing performances. As well as this, there's the return of Spike and Harmony (who's a little different this time around). Tara, who will become an important part of Willow's life later on this season, is introduced as is Riley, part of a little thing called the Initiative... Hush is the standout eppy on this box, if not the whole series. It is truly nightmarish, scary and tense yet funny. The whole cast do a great job, and although there's less Giles and Xander than we'd like, they're still around for light relief as is the hysterical Anya. Make sure you purchase this boxset as soon as it hits the shelves! Your life won't be worth living without it......
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on 5 September 2000
I give this set of episodes 5 stars to make up for the previous 2 reviews, both of which gave it 1 star. Most episodes during this fourth season are still brilliant. I agree that Riley was not the best addition to the show, but that alone should not lead to a rating of 1 star.
Hush (ep. 10) is one of the best Buffy episodes ever, and Something Blue (ep. 9) and Fear Itself (ep. 4) are hilarious. Willow's heartbreak in Wild At Heart (ep. 6) is nicely done, and Spike's return in The Harsh Light of Day (ep. 3) is excellent. Angel crosses over in Pangs (ep. 8). These 6 episodes are must-sees and provide a great reason to buy this Season 4 box set.
To sum up, do not make the mistake of hating this season just because it dared to make some changes. Some worked, some did not, but Buffy is still the best show on TV.
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on 3 September 2000
Although a departure from recent buffy adventures, this first half of buffys fourth season moved into more mature terroitory. the pains of growing up, relationships, and teen angst is evident. we are introduced to riley[ buffys new boyfriend].Tara willows wiccan girfriend and returns of anya + spike. Of course butt-kicking mayhem again ensues with the introductoin of one of the best monsters in buffy history{the gentleman} in the terrifying "hush" featured on this box set. The main enemy the iniative is introduced, who become more of a threat against the slayer as season progresses. Any person who underates buffys fourth season maybe because of its very different style of storytelling. College is a time of change in the slayerretes lives which moves away from high school and family to the adult world, trying to find their feet and discover themselves. Of course angel has gone, cordeila too which also maybe a source of its underated status but just because of change it does not mean its the shows downfall. First time viewers who had never watched the show before loved this, and i fell reviewers who gave it * are seriously undermining the show. Brilliant/ A must have. Embrace the change.
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on 17 August 2000
Buffy season four had a hard act to follow after the amazing climax to season 3 and the gang moving from high school to college.
As a whole season 4 is not as good as the first three. The main story arc is no where near as good as the season three story concerning Faith, the rogue slayer, however the series contains some of the best stand-alone episodes yet.
In the first box set of the season you get episodes such as 'The Harsh Light Of Day' which marks Spikes return and the first crossover with the new spin-off show 'Angel'. 'Wild At Heart' is another episode that focuses on Oz and his wolf side and episode 10, 'Hush' has recently been nominated for an Emmy.
The start of the series definatly lacks something after the departure of Angel last season but picks up as it goes on a few episodes with the return of Spike and Anya, the ex-vengeance demon, now dating Xander who is moving from bad job to bad job having not made it into college.
Overall a good buy that will make you want the second half of this series and with two crossovers the complete set of Angel videos as well.
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on 5 September 2000
This season of Buffy had alot to live up to. It lost Angel and Cordelia to the spin off show. This series of buffy moved alittle bit away from fantasy and more into sci fi. The iniative was the weakest plot line. But the transfer from school to college went well. Its a pitty that the villian Sunday had to be disposed of so quickly in "the freshman". She could have given some Spike & Dru comedy to the show. The series was about breaking up the scooby gang alittle, but this just makes some episodes hard to watch. There seems to be a lack of cosy teamwork like the last three years. Riley was an ok addition to the team but never really gets to shine as a character, he`s to busy trying to be a replacement for angel. Other additions like Anya and Spike were great and made alot of comedic releaf. "hush" is the best episode. And season 5 is just a month away from its premiere in the USA. It looks asthough its going to get better. But dont dis season 4 its still essential buffy viewing. Buy It!
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on 6 November 2001
I suspose it had to happen....a Buffy set that is less than perfect. After three great seasons (each better than the last,) expectations for season 4 were high and as often happens in life expectations were left unfulfilled! Season 4 starts weakly with the first couple of episodes. There is some attempt to duplicate the dichotomy of the slayer/schoolgirl relationship that worked so well in the first threes seasons. Buffy clearly feels uncomfortable with the new college surrounding, but it never quite works as well. Likewise, new beau Riley is at best unconvincing and at worst slightly irritating. It seems unlikely that Buffy would find attraction in such a damp squib after her tempestuos relationship with Angel. It is a clear sign of weakness when the best episodes rely on some Angel reference or season cross-over. Worst of all is the introduction of "The Initiative" which seems an ill-conceived and poorly focused "villian." Some of the episodes here are clumsy and some just plain silly. Earlier Buffy was often flippant but never silly.
So why 4 stars? Well Buffy below par is still far better than most TV and there are still a handfull of great episodes in this season including the classic "Hush." The show and it's stars still look great and there are other plusses too. The transition of Giles from (arguably) core of the show to somewhat side-lined figure is nicely handled. Spike is developed in a novel direction and has many great lines. The appearances of Angel and Faith recall the heights this show can reach at it's very best and Sarah Michelle Gellar is as good as ever.
Season 4 had a very hard act to follow and this is still very good if not quite great TV. Whether this show will be able to return to it's former glories will depend on whether the shows producers and writers can rediscover their best ideas and enthusiasm. Quite a challenge, but if anyone can rise to it Buffy can!
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on 31 October 2000
Buffy,Willow,Oz,Giles,Anya and even Spike are back for another great series of "Buffy". The gang start college and everyone has issues. Buffy has Issues with a group of vamps,An evil roommate,The return of Spike,Being used in the sack,Spooky houses,Beer,A group of Gentlemen and even corn-fed Iowa boy Riley Finn.
If that's not bad enough check out are red-headed little witch, Willow. Lets see: Oz dumps her,Spike tries to eat her,She makes a spell that makes Giles blind, Xander a demon magnet and Buffy and Spike engaged however, things brighten up for our little Wicca as she meets another little Wicca,Tara and they become close, very close.
Oz,Hmmmm nothing bad really he just panicks and freaks when he meets another werewolf and dumps the love of his life followed by leaving Sunnydale but otherwise, Nothing big.
Xander, where do I start. A lot of good a lot of bad: Xander has a new girlfriend(ex-demon Anya), Xander works in the most awful and degrading jobs which naturally turns the ex-demon on, Xander feels really rejected by the gang now that he isn't in University with them and a lot of as Tom Hanks says "... Happens".
Giles becomes the pitiful unemployed ex-watcher, ex-librarian man with a nice girl who visits once in a while.
Spike gets a chip in his head and hooks up with Harmony until she dumps him and somehow, he hangs out a lot with the scooby gang.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: Maggie Walsh,Riley Finn,Forrest & Graham.
Maggie: Teacher by day, Initiative boss by night.
Riley: Joe regular by day, Initiative Soldier by day.
Forrest: Another Soldier boy.
Graham: The shy, silent soldier guy.
And oh yes,The Initiative = The secret underground place under a fraternity house that captures the demons of Sunnydale and studies them instead of killing them witha bunch of soldiers and scientists.
That pretty much uncovers Series 4 1st Half, Another great series, another must buy!!!
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