on 4 February 2004
Having been hopelessly addicted to Buffy since Season 1, and having religiously watched every episode in sequence (which to date has cost me a fortune in videos and yet which has been worth every penny), I absolutely couldn't wait for Season 7. Having viewed it, I can sympathise with those viewers who found it less gripping or appealing than Seasons 2 or 3. By Season 6, Buffy is no longer a teenager and with maturity has come self-doubt, depression and a bleak view of her future - this theme continues in the early episodes of Season 7. However, as the season progresses Buffy's view on her purpose in life becomes clear once more, and she emerges as a true leader - no longer the lone warrior, who fights alongside her friends but without ever really trusting them to take control - but a leader who has the presence and abilities to bring out the very best in those around her. This is particularly evident in the character of Willow. While Sarah Michelle Gellar does a great job as Buffy, Alyson Hannigan is a truly exceptional actress who knocks the socks off her fellow cast members - no mean feat among so many talented actors. There is one particular scene which illustrates this to perfection. After Xander is injured, Willow goes to comfort him in the hospital, at first by chatting lightheartedly about his condition. She then gradually comes to a full realisation of the seriousness of the situation and begins to break down.. until finally, when Xander can bear it no more,she chokes back the tears. Alyson's reactions here are pretty damn perfect and she was not the only one crying when I watched it! I can honestly say that for true Buffy fans, this little scene alone, which lasts no more than a couple of minutes, and which does not move the plot forward particularly, is comparable to the very best of Buffy ... and that is probably the best compliment I can pay!
on 10 May 2004
After the shockingly poor quality of most of season six, I was expecting season seven to be an equally huge disappointment. Season six had convinced me that the show should have died a graceful death at the end of season five, and I wasn't expecting to have my perception changed during its last season.
Season seven starts slowly, perhaps a little too slowly - but it builds to a fantastic and very satisfying climax. The progression from 'Sunnydale as normal' to the apocolyptic tenseness of the last few episodes is excellently paced for the most part. Really for the first time, we get to see the effect of the world-shattering importance of Buffy's work on the rest of the population. The stark emptiness of Sunnydale at the end is very effective, which contrasts sharply with the limited impact previous apocolypses have had on the 'ordinaries' of the town.
Seasons that followed the third have sometimes suffered from a lack of focus - in the first three seasons the High School was the center of the whole thing and the series concentrated on the high school experienced as viewed through the lense of supernatural phenomena. Other seasons have lacked this solid base of experience. Season seven deals with this by providing Buffy's house as a claustrophobic nexus - the hustle of the household acting as a counterpoint to the desolation of the town.
While the season has some weak moments - particularly relating to glaring plotholes and dangling storylines - it mostly serves as an excellent ending to Buffy's story on our screens. Episodes like 'Conversations with Dead People' and 'Storyteller' manage to transcend the plot and provide genuine insight into the characters involved. Spike's progression from demon with a chip to Angel-Lite has a cathartic conclusion, and the finale, while vaguely unsatisfying in certain respects, provides the closure that a series of this nature desperately needed after season six.
An excellent effort, and a fine way for Buffy to find her much needed rest.
on 26 February 2004
For years, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has become a show that devoted fans could take comfort in and love the whole year through. And, trust me, THIS YEAR IS NOT AN EXCEPTION!!!
The season starts quite slow, focusing on a different story per episode with momentous episodes such as :
SELFLESS (Roll on Anya!)
HIM (Up there with the funniest eps of all!)
and the magnificent CONVERSATIONS WITH DEAD PEOPLE
Episodes that do the shows acclaimed status proud!
There is an undertone throughout the first few eps of the season : An mysterious evil that cannot be beaten
This "all consuming" evil brings a number of it's henchmen to try to bring down our heroin including the Ubervamp,Caleb and Ashanti!!!
This season has many loved actors returning:
Faith, Giles, angel, Amy, Clem, Andrew, Jonathen, Warren, Glory, Adam, Drusilla, the mayor and the Master - the list is endless.
The plot twists continue to keep the watchers at the edge of their seats, and the humor in "Storyteller" can break even the hardest of souls.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is played out in true JUSTICE. People that say that this season was pathetic obviously aren't as "great a Buffy fan" as they think. In the finale, Buffy finally finds peace with who she is, accepts that she's the slayer and Willow helps lift a burden off her shoulders that no one could expect
The last EVER epsiode is "Chosen", probably THE BEST way in which this show could end, Joss Whedon has made fans everywhere proud! There are deaths, twists, tears and joy
- But I'm not gonna break it 2 u how it ends,
your just gonna have to buy the DVD 2 find out!
Plus there's always bonus stuff
This much so far :
Season 7 Overview – Buffy : Full Circle (36 minutes)
The Last Sundown (8 minutes, 43 seconds)
It’s always been about the Fans. (4 minutes, 23 seconds)
Buffy Wraps (5 minutes)
Generation S (8 minutes, 22 seconds)
Buffy 101 – Studying The Slayer (13 minutes, 55 seconds)
Easter Egg :
The Gift – montage (34 seconds)
Outtakes Reel (3 minutes, 17 seconds)
“Conversations with Dead people” by Jane Espenson, Drew Goddard, Nick Marck, Tom Lenk and Danny Strong.
“The Killer In Me”
“Lies my Parents Told me” by Drew Goddard, David Fury, James Marsters and D.B. Woodside.
“Chosen” by Joss Whedon.
and hopefully more on the way
on 11 November 2009
Buffy is not the sort of programming that would normally interest me. I like nice English girl-next-door types, so my intitial sight of Ms Gellar did not attract me.
However, surfing the TV channels one night I came across Buffy and lingered a while. I was hooked by the end of the episode.
I now own all seven series on DVD and I cannot wait for the (inevitable?) Bluray release. If I confess to watching all seven series five times it may give you some idea of the strength of my admiration for this production. And I am not easily pleased.
Ms Gellar is not just a pretty face. She can act big time. And the same goes for the entire cast. Yes, some of the characters are irritating in the extreme (I could have happily done without Jonathan...) but that's all part of the charm. The humour is razor sharp and the scriptwriting impeccable.
This isn't just a TV series, it's a gigantic milestone in TV and I have yet to see anything to equal it. The entire production team and cast should feel really proud of making something really special.
Anyway, I haven't time to sit here writing this. I'm overdue for another 'Buffython'.
PS: Hopelessly in love with 'Willow' by the way, and I'm far too old for that sort of thing......
on 22 July 2006
Unlike Season 6, which at times was a bit up and down and didn't seem to have any clear master plan; Season 7 had some real direction right from the first few episodes. All the potential slayers staying with Buffy, Willow dealing with her magic problems, the loss of Tara and moving on, Spike having a soul, Anya and Xander still ruffling each others feathers, Giles being more forceful and serious than ever, Faith back on the right side but still with her classic attitude, the addition of the son of a former slayer....the list goes on.
The "big bad" really is something to behold. "The First" offered so many fascinating story twists, appearing to people in various guises and allowing the viewer to see what was really going on inside the characters, and at the same time not exactly knowing how on earth Buffy and the gang could do anything about it.
Nathan Fillon as the creepy preacher guy Caleb, vessel of the First, was superb....he so provoked the viewer to hate him!!
The inclusion of Andrew as the only "trio" member left was obviously the comic relief character for the series, and although very irritating in the beginning, he becomes quite watchable.
When first viewing this series on TV, some of the episodes seemed to be just fill-ins until the storyline could move on, so it felt like it wasn't going anywhere. But watching the episodes close together as a whole on DVD, it all made sense and doesn't feel so frustrating.
The final episode is pure joy....and sadness. Amazing action and an excellent music score to express it. Every character played their part. Ultimately it's very sad....this is really the end of Buffy. What a way to go out though!
This DVD set has the usual good special features. Interesting commentaries, a couple of featurettes on the fandom of Buffy, and some outtakes...although again the outtakes only last 3 minutes and are a bit disappointing.
All in all, a superb and fitting finale season to Buffy!
If your not familar with the story arc of this final series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it basically delves into the story of the slayer with Buffy's latest nemesis, the origins of evil, 'The First', hoping to eliminate the legacy of the slayer. With potential Slayers being killed the world over, they begin showing up at Buffy's where their only hope is to form an army against 'The First' and its minions.
As usual, Buffy never looked so good on DVD, with superior picture quality and sound, and in the usual letterbox format not seen on the US versions of Buffy.
The extras include the usual commentaries but this time four of Buffy's star contribute to some of them. These are Danny Strong (Jonathan) and Tom Lenk (Andrew) for 'Conversations with Dead People', James Marsters (Spike) for 'Lies My Parents Told Me' and Nicholas Brendon (Xander) for 'Dirty Girls'. I thought it was great to get these actors' insight into the making of these episodes.
The featurettes are a lengthy overview of Season 7 which is normal to a Buffy DVD boxset, interviews with some of the potentials, Joss Whedons' 10 favourite episodes, a featurette on the study of Buffy at University, a featurette entitle 'It's always been about the fans', an outtakes reel and an easter egg which is the 'previously on Buffy' montage seen in Season 5's 'The Gift' altho I was sure clips from ALL seasons have been integrated into it. I thought this was a really nice idea and addition to the set.
You really can't go wrong with this DVD set. The episodes were great, fair price and the extras are fantastic (and keep you entertained that little bit longer). For me, the much needed reappearance of Eliza Dushku as Faith made this season that little bit more likeable :-)
And so we salute Buffy, but hope that before long we might see a Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy Movie...
The final season of Buffy must have looked good on paper. The fans didn't like Season 6 (too gloomy, too grown-up) so we go back to the old formula: funny episodes, cheerful Buffy ("Hey! Let's have her training Dawn!"), stand alone stories. It was always pretty cool when they were all at Sunnydale High School, right? So let's have it rebuilt. In fact, let's get Buffy a job there, with this cool and kinda sexy new principal! Brilliant! But wait, there's more: remember that old demon spirit whozit from back in Season 3, the "First Evil"? Let's bring _that_ back, right, 'cause it's like unstoppable! And let's give it this worldwide cult! And let's blow up the Watchers Council! And kill off all the potential Slayers! And then Buffy has to set up her own Jedi Academy (sorry, Slayer Academy) to train the survivors...
Yes, it does look great on paper. Does it work? Well, yes and no.
Basically, the show is tired. The cast are tired. Joss Whedon is _very_ tired, judging by his commentary for "Chosen". So, though all the pieces are in place, the game lacks a certain vitality. It feels strained, where before BtVS felt catapulted by its own contagious excitement.
Other reviewers have singled out bits and pieces: the characterless, poorly acted and deeply unsympathetic potential slayers; the strangely redundant Giles; the unappealing relationship between Willow and Kennedy; the implausibility of the Scoobies ousting Buffy in favour of Faith; the rushed ending with its maguffin amulet that saves the day (though how? why?) and plot strands left dangling. All true. I was most struck by the derivative villain Caleb, a sort of psycho preacherman straight out of The Night Of The Hunter . Caleb can fling slayers about the way Glory used to, but he doesn't actually _do_ anything. Caleb has this line in ironic down-home dialogue like the Mayor used to, except he has nothing of interest to say. He just sits underground, like the Master used to, but without the cool face. No, sorry Joss, it's all a bit been-there-done-that.
Look, there are lots of good episodes in this series and, yes, "Conversations With Dead People" is a standout. But the whole is less than the sum of its parts. It's clearly time for Buffy to bow out.
on 11 June 2004
When you look at a season of Buffy - any season of Buffy - you are going to get solid performances from the core cast and snappy, clever dialogue from the writers. Season 7 continues that tradition. There are some very good episodes - Conversations with Dead People is every bit as good as S4's Hush and we have the welcome return of The First as the Big Bad. So far so good.
Buffy starts out in cheery form, she gets a job at the newly re-built Sunnydale High School and is being a grown up. Naturally things don't stay that way. Potential Slayers are being murdered and Giles begins to gather those remaining in Sunnydale (in poor Buffy's house to be specific!) meanwhile The First is haunting Spike and turning him mad. The First is a brilliant adversary for this final season as it really does seem unbeatable and Buffy struggles and fails to motivate those around her and keep control of the situation. So far so great!
Despite this (and despite the fact that I LOVED Andrew, the return of Faith, nasty Caleb and new recruit Principle Wood), I can't give this season 5 stars because some things about the story arc drove me half demented! I LOATHED the Potential Slayers - all they did was moan and bitch and get in the way. Kennedy is to Tara what Riley was to Angel - a poor substitute. I continued to be annoyed that the writers seem to think that they are writing the Spike and Buffy show - I think James Marsters is a nice man and a fine actor but he is overused to the detriment of the overall story and other characters. Poor Giles is pretty much ignored towards the end.
The final episode itself was a good story, well acted but left me strangely dissatisfied. I felt that, although most of the relationships had been given some form of closure/reinforcement, the relationship between Giles and Buffy was left at a slightly tetchy place. The Scoobies reaction to the main character death seemed rather muted. Even Angel's cameo was strangely unsatisfying.
Having said all of that, Buffy Season 7 is still head and shoulders above the vast majority of other television series and well worth owning. I liked it very much but if Spike is one of your favourite characters and you can learn to like the teenage potentials then you will probably love it (most of my friends do).
Also included are various featurettes, outakes (the show is funny, the cast is funny but the outakes are always very dull - I don't understand it...) and commentaries for key episodes. SMG has practically no input to any of them.
on 25 October 2004
The DVD set of Buffy Season Seven is beautifully presented (as are the previous 6 sets) and rounds off the series nicely.
While I love the series dearly, I do have to agree with a previous reviewer who said things had got a little tired by this point. While there were glimpses of the old magic (the episode 'Selfless', which showed Anya prior to her becoming a vengeance demon, was a particular highlight, and 'Chosen', the finale, was a very worthy ending), some of the episodes in the middle of the season dragged rather badly. However, it is our solemn duty as Buffy fans to overlook this ;-)
The featurettes are good and there are seven commentaries (some of which featured cast members, which I believe is a first for these sets). There is an Easter Egg of the montage from 'The Gift' which I'm sure is absolutely lovely (not that I've been able to find it - can anyone help? Please??).
Overall, while the season is not as good as the earlier ones, it is still better than the majority of TV shows these days, and I would not hesitate to recommend this DVD, especially now it has dropped in price.
on 11 December 2004
In Season 7 of Buffy the Vapire Slayer, we see many of the stronger characters degraded. Willow, due to nearly destroying the world, has given up her wiccan ways, leaving her vunerable. She seems to have lost the ability to control her own magic, and her little 'morph' into Warren really wakes her up as to why she is restraining herself. The somewhat bossy, headstrong and hormonal teenager, Dawn, has lost her childish attributes, and begins to understand the concept of 'the Slayer'. Buffy, on the other hand, has become stronger, and she confronts Spike personally about her fears of him, and realises that he really isn't your average blood-sucking vampire any more. We are shocked when she orders that his chip be removed when the Initiative arrive back in town. Buffy has been given a job by the mysterious new principal of Sunnydale High, as a Student Councillor: delighted to have the opportunity to be paid to patrol the Hellmouth. However, not all is as it seems, and unexpected dangers, reappearances of old acquantances, and a brand new (or rather old) evil, add to the mystical suspense of Season Seven... Watch out for the 'Grand Finale', it's a wonderful end, to a wonderful world!