Although Buffy is considered to be a cult classic, many fans would agree that there were some things that needed improving. Especially the storylines
One of the reasons why Joss Whedon'sBuffy the Vampire Slayer became an iconic show was the degree to which it successfully married reality with magic. Rather than settling for teen drama alone, like many of its fellow productions from The WB in that era, the central metaphor of Buffycaptured high school as the stuff of horror. The Slayer and friends grappled with the rigors of growing up just as they battled vampires and assorted other monsters.
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Within the framework of the show, some of the Buffy storylines felt quitereal for how they captured interpersonal dynamics and individual struggles. By the same token, there were also a few key plot points that didnt add up.
Season five of Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured one of the most emotional episodes of the series. Buffy had a complicated relationship with her mom, but nothing could prepare her for the death of Joyce Summers, or the immediate aftermath portrayed in The Body."
This episode was limited to just one vampire who appeared late in the episode and never posed much of a threat before Buffy dusted him. Instead, the episode focused on shock and grief. The gang lost a loved one, and there was absolutely nothing they could have done about it.
For most of season six, the arch-villains are The Trio. Hapless nerds Warren, Andrew, and Jonathan band together, harnessing smarts, pent up resentment, and a healthy dose of male entitlement to become a thorn in the side of Buffy and friends.
The premise and motivations behind The Trio arent unrealistic. However, given The Scoobies had survived a list of "big bads" that includes the most powerful vampires in the world, a demon mayor, a military installation, and a malevolent god in previous seasons, the idea of The Trio causing much trouble felt silly. While Warrens use of a gun injected a bit of realism into the storyline, it was immediately taken away when Tara ended up catching a stray bullet right in front of Willow. It felt a bit contrived that this was for the purpose of provoking Willows big turn.
The fact that Willow and Xander were friends for years before Buffy came to Sunnydale, and Willow had a crush on Xander was a pretty realistic dynamic. Sure, its familiar territory for teen movies and TV shows, but it nonetheless jived with real complicated relationships between young people.
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Season three saw Willow and Xander arrive at the best versions of themselves to date. They were emboldened through their slaying adventures. Moreover, their respective relationships with Oz and Cordelia had lent each character more confidence. It was only fitting that Willow would find her interest in Xander renewed and that, for the first time, Xander would reciprocate the interest.
The late 1990s were a time of technological advancement. The general public grew acquainted and increasingly comfortable with the new phenomenon of the Internet. With the mainstream surge in computer usage, the world saw a stream of films and TV episodes that capitalized on fears of the unknown.
Buffy explored this tropein season one episode I Robot, You Jane. The premise was that Willow accidentally scanned a demon from a text, into a computer, where it proceeded to romantically court her. It eventually gathered minions and eventually took the form of a robot. There are quite a few loose ends in the mechanics of how all of this worked, and the clear capitalization on fear of the unknown when it comes to computers hasnt aged well.
A big part of Spike's introduction to Buffywas that he had killed two previous slayers and come to Sunnydale bent on making Buffy the third. This unhealthy obsession with ending her life gave way to a different kind of obsession--still unhealthy, but geared toward romance.
Though Spike's love for Buffy may have been doomed from the start, it was believable that the sense of passion he felt toward hurting her would give way to attraction. That's especially so after he spent more time with the Slayer, got to know, and especially after the chip implanted in his head by The Initiative completely disqualified him from hurting her.
In season seven, the Turok-Hancolloquially described as Ubervampsarrived. They were vampires in a purer demonic form and the vanguard of The First Evil. Initial encounters with these beasts dont go well for The Scoobies as they proved too powerful for even Buffy to handle.
In episodes to follow, Buffy did slay an Ubervamp one-on-one, but not without a significant fight. So it was a little ridiculous to watch Buffy and company lay waste to an army of Ubervamps in Chosen. One particularly poorly shot spot saw a fully human version of Anya clumsily swing a sword at an Ubervamp's chest level and dusts him, thus depicting the Ubervamps as suddenly more vulnerable than the average vampire.
A major plot point for season four of Buffy the Vampire Slayer sees the protagonist matriculate to UC Sunnydale. Transitioning to college was a logical enough choice for the character and the show alike.
From there, season five saw Buffy battle Glory, part ways with Riley, lose her mom, and defend her sister. It was natural for Buffy to drop out of college. In fact, it was arguably unrealistic for Buffy to have lasted as long as she did in a rigorous academic program alongside her slaying duties. The weight of responsibility was just too much to keep up her studies by the home stretch of season five.
Season two of Buffy the Vampire Slayer sees Cordelia let down her guard as she makes the full shift from antagonist to the Scoobies to part of the gang. Then she starts dating Xander.
It's a trope for TV shows to have enemies wind up romantic partners, but this was one of the least sensical pairings on Buffy. Cordelia was portrayed as both popular and shallow. Her feeling of a magnetic attraction to Xander, who was largely ignored by everyone in the school, didn't make sense. The contrivance felt like a Hollywood clich, with the dork landing the girl who was out of his league, despite offering little of value to her.
Theres a certain sad sweetness to Buffy protecting the people of Sunnydale in largely anonymous fashion. The show doesnot portray it as common knowledge that even vampires exist, let alone that theres a Slayer.
Related:Buffy The Vampire Slayer: 10 Things About Sunnydale High That Make No Sense
Late season three episode, The Prom, rendered one of the best big school dances in the history of movies or TV, and was highlighted by Buffys classmates rallying to publicly present her with The Class Protector Award. The superlative realistically demonstrated that an individual cant help so many people, so many times, without them noticing and wanting to give thanks.
Buffy's eighteenth birthday nearly killed her. She unknowingly fell victim to a slayer ritual in which she was drugged to subdue her superhuman powers and pitted against an especially dangerous vampire to test her wits.
The premise of this test, portrayed in season three episode Helpless, felt absurd. After all, theres only supposed to be one slayer at a time, who has substantial responsibility for protecting the world, and who presumably grows more formidable with experience. Subjecting her to physical and psychological torment, not to mention putting her life at risk feels both cruel and wildly impractical forall of the Watchers to be complicit in.
Next:Buffy The Vampire Slayer: 10 Things You Forgot From The First Episode
Next WandaVision Ending Explained: What Happened To Each Character
Find Michael Chin online at miketchin.com or follow him on Twitter @miketchin.
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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero