Prophecy Girl: Machete Season 1 of Buffy

I am rewatching Buffy The Vampire Slayer with my teenage daughters.  We have been watching Season 1 and I have to say….it hasn’t held up.  Now before you stake me or put me out in the sunlight give me a second.  I am simply saying Season 1 doesn’t hold up not the series.   I have felt that the show just didn’t live up to my memory until we got to episode 12: Prophecy Girl.  This is the first episode that Joss Whedon wrote and directed.  The episode was very prophetic of the future of the series.  It removes the fluff and shows as what Buffy will becomes.  10 of the first 11 episodes just didn’t have what I remembered.  The only episode that was decent was entitled Angel.   Written by David Greenwalt, this introduced the back story that will play out for years to come.  But still the series was missing something then we got to the season finale.  When I saw that Joss wrote and directed it, I had hope.  The episode delivered.  For the first time I realized what the main element of Buffy is.  That element is Emotion.

Joss brings emotion to this episode and from here on out the show will be fueled by emotion.  Buffy finds out early on in the hour that she is going to die at the hands of The Master.  On most shows, the hero would spend the next hour defying the odds and taking it head on.  Buffy cries and runs away.  She spends the time longing for a dance, enjoys a nice dress, a dinner with her mom and a moment with her best friends.  This is exactly what a 16 year old would do.   We feel the weight that this child feels in having to save the world. In the end, she mans up and fights the fight.  This follow through is why Buffy is a better role model than Carrie on Homeland.

So if you are thinking of starting the show for the first time.  I suggest you use a Scott approved machete version.  Watch The Pilot, Angel and Prophecy Girl.  Yes, I am suggesting you only watch 3 episodes, 4 hours of the first season.  You will be totally caught up and can get right to the good part…Spike in season 2!

If you  have already watched all of Buffy, check out our podcast on the entire series.

If you have already watched the spinoff show Angel, check out our podcast on the series.

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5 thoughts on “Prophecy Girl: Machete Season 1 of Buffy

  1. I see what you’re saying, but I’ve always felt that if youve already watched the show, its cool to just watch the good episodes. But if youre new, theres an appreciation that you get if you watch all the episodes and see how it improves each season. If you skip the mediocre ones, you dont have that appreciation of its progress. Like drinking a bottle of water after a marathon, vs drinking one after youve done nothing. The good episodes stand out more if youve seen the weak ones.

    • I agree with you but only after season one. My friend saw the pilot and said, this show is awful. It was hard to argue the point. I could see what he was saying, but also knew that Hush, Once more with feeling, Passion, etc, are some of the best hours of TV ever. – Scott

  2. I started watching Buffy about six weeks ago for the first time. The first two or three episodes were pretty dreadful. But I kept watching on the promise that it would get much better. Over on the FB page, Scott suggested that I skip certain episodes, but being the completist that I am, I watched them all, and now that I am midway through season 3, I am glad that I did. Even the lousiest episodes have lots of great dialogue and character moments that pay off later. Plus, you get to see the full trajectory of character arcs. For example, if you skip over “I, Robot” you would miss an episode about Willow’s pining for male affection and the introduction of Miss Calendar. And even though its a weak episode, it has humor and style and funny 1990s dialogue about the scary internet.

  3. Couldn’t disagree more. Like the early episodes quite a bit. It is a bit like the early Beatles. Innocent? Yes. Shape of things to come? Absolutely. Just listen to Buffy tell Giles how difficult a Slayer’s life is in the two part pilot. The two part pilot, by the way, is great.

  4. and yes it is emotion, emotional realism, that is at the heart of Buffy. Makes Buffy a bit like the films of Ingmar Bergman…

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