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There's a reason Buffy that nearly a decade after it ended, Buffy is one of the shows that immediately gets brought up when talking about great genre television (or great television in general), and season 2 is where it really hits its stride.
The show starts up with Buffy is back in Sunnydale after a summer away, and is still significantly affected by events of the season 1 finale where the young vampire Slayer faced her destiny and even died and came back to life, an event followed up by the central emotional conflict of "When She Was Bad" and a surprise plot development later in the season.
There are so many ways in which season 2 is an improvement on the previous one, the least of which is that we first get the full 22-episode run (as opposed to S1's 12). It's also the season that sees the introduction of Spike and Drusilla, a pair of vampires who are about ten times more compelling, interesting and, let's face it, prettier to look at than the previous Big Bad The Master (who while posessing a high camp value, was much more of a traditional Nosferatu-like baddie). Spike in particular was supposed to be killed off midway through the season, but the fan response to James Marsters' charismatic performance was so positive, Joss Whedon decides to keep him on for longer. And the general arc takes an unexpected but truly genius turn midway through the season, in a plotline heavily featuring Buffy's vampire boyfriend Angel.
This season features some outstanding episodes including but not limited to "School Hard", which introduces Spike an finds a rather creative way to deal with him at the end, the emotionally gripping two parter "Surprise/Innocence" which kicks the season into high gear, the beautifally devasting "Passion" and of course the truly fantastic and action-packed finale "Becoming". It also has some less succesful episodes: Phases has a solid plot but special effects right out of the 50s, Go Fish has a second-rate X-Files premise and a bizarre implied death method I can't believe they got past sensors and I dare you to look at the monster in the extended date rape metaphor "Reptile Boy" without laughing yourself to tears (let's just say it's not subtle). Still, even the less than stellar episodes are worth watching, and the writing, complex themes and characters are as stellar as ever, with some definite improvement in acting and production values from the first season.
I'm definitely reccomending this one without reservations: if season 2 doesn't hook you on Buffy, nothing will!
Series 2 takes place the next school year after killing the Master. The series starts off as it finishes excitement from start to finish. This series seems to concentrate on relationships between the characters including: Buffy and Angel, Willow and Oz, Xander Cordelia and Giles and Jenny Calender. Throughout the series all the cast are put through their paces as they are tortured by Spike (played by the brilliant James Marsters) and Angel after turning evil. There are some really stand out episodes including "Passions" I dare you to find better writing than this. The final episode "Becoming pt 1 and 2" is also excellent resulting in the death of Angel and a brilliant way to close one of the best series.
The writing and directing is as good as usual and there is significant improvement in the music and lighting from the first series. The picture quality makes the series slightly dated. The casting is impeccable especially James Marsters as Spike who steals all the scenes he's in.
The series is on 6 disks with the usual extras.
The second season of Buffy starts out after the summer break, with Buffy returning from a somewhat eventless summer vacation. However, school's back in and the Hellmouth is again open for business sending in a stream of vamps and demons only the Slayer can rid the world of. However, the arrival of a new vampire - the brutal and very British William "Spike" the Bloody is making things a lot harder for the Slayer. With her relationship with Angel complicating more, Buffy stop Spike before he starts doing far more damage.
The second season, in my opinion, is much stronger in both storylines and characters than the first season. While in the first one we can see Joss Whedon getting to grips with the characters he has created, the second season goes a bit more into each person - now that they've all been introduced, they can allow for much more character development and depth than was possible in the first, and it really shows through. Buffy and Angel, and their relationship is greatly detailed in this, and evolves in such a natural way. Buffy's watcher Giles's relationship with Jenny deepens too, and both of these couplings act as quite important parts later on in the season (when it all really begins to kick off). We see Xander and Willow developed more, and we see that Xander has a bit more to him than just the Chandler Bing-like comic relief of the show.
The writing is really good, as you would expect. It's filled with enough twists and turns to keep you hooked for each episode and although it retains a lot of the silliness and weird episodes from the first season (like the episode of the swim team being turned into sea monsters) there are pretty clever ones (one of my favourites was the Hallowe'en episode where everyone turns into the costumes they are wearing), and they don't really weigh down the overall story like they did in the first season.
Not to give much away if you haven't seen it, but I like to think of the writing (and that of a lot of other Buffy seasons) to follow a very Final Fantasy type of writing, which usually involves villains. They're never really the ones you think they are at the beginning and it's really fun to see how they all get developed.
With its improved characters and baddies (I mean, did anyone really like The Master?), and overall better quality, this show really does keep getting better.
My flatmate and I seem to be going through our massive Buffy collection at an alarming rate, and had finished the first two series in less than a week! Neither of us have been watching any other TV really, but still anyone would say that that's quite a lot. I've decided to try to review each of the series as we go so that I can share the magic that is Buffy with all of you, as well as make back someo of the money that I spent buying the complete collection. There will be many similarities and copied sections from previous reviews in my reviews of each series, but rest assured that these reviews are all my own work.
For those of you who don't know, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a very popular series that ran from the mid-1990s until the early noughties. I was only about eight or nine years old when I started watching it, as was my friend, but it was popular amongst teenagers and adults just as much as children. It definitely had a cult following among some sections of society, with many boys and men counting themselves as fan due to the fantasy vampire element, as well as the fact that much of it involved a hot woman running around and fighting. The fact that every single Buffy box set and DVD listed on Dooyoo has a rating of 5 stars shows that it's very popular even still.
Anyway, as the title suggests, this programme is about a sixteen year old girl called Buffy who is a vampire slayer. The first series saw Buffy and her mother move to the Californian town of Sunnydale after Buffywas expelled from her high school in LA, where she makes new friends in classmates Willow and Xander and her Watcher, Giles, and by the second series she has established herself and feels at home in the town. As with the previous series, each episode revolves around some kind of evil threatening the gang and the town in general, and how Buffy et al. try to protect everyone and work out what is happening.
There's all manner of demons and monsters on offer in this series, from the very frightening to the frankly hilarious, and often the comedy content shows that the series doesn't take itself too seriously and is happy to throw in the odd silly monster every now and then. Much of the dialogue is funny in a dry way, and while there are the odd laugh out loud moments most of it is fairly subtle and light hearted. This series also has more of a romantic element, with both Willow and Xander finding someone new, as well as Angel having a bigger part in Buffy's life. The fact that the characters can have the same relationship problems and dilemmas as everyone else despite fighting the undead and mystical forces on a daily basis makes the programme seem more believable and relatable, as a show in which none of the characters do anything but fight evil would be fairly one dimensional and a little dull. With the characters' other halves or interested occasionally involved in the danger they all face, some episodes also show how their feelings for a person can affect their decisions and actions.
I have to say that although I'm rating them both as 5 stars, I do prefer this series to the first. Not only is the second one longer, so there's lots more Buffy action, but the makers and actors seem to have gotten more into the swing and spirit of the programme and everything seems a lot neater and realistic in this series. Another reason why I love this series is the arrival of Spike, the peroxide blond vampire who arrives in Sunnydale with the sole intention of killing the slayer. Somehow Spike, despite being a real threat, comes accross as a more funny and relatable baddy, and along with Giles he is probably my favourite character in the show (although I do like Angel for his topless scenes).
This series has a lot more going on than the previous series, often with what is happening with vampires and demons mirroring what is going on the characters' personal lives. I also found that Series Two was a lot sadder than the first, and there were a couple of teary moments and one time where we both openly cried. I would, however, say that it wouldn't make much sense to buy this as a stand alone DVD as without seeing the character development and what happened in the first series a lot of the second won't make lots of sense, but if you really wanted to you probably would catch on to what was going on fairly quickly. If you already know that you like Buffy, or think that it sounds amazing thanks to my glowing review, then I would recommend buying the complete seven series long collection for £60 on Amazon instead of buying the series separately, as it works out to be much cheaper this way. If you have already seen the first series and think that you'd only like to own one DVD set of Buffy, however, then the this boxset would be a good one to go for as each of its six discs is very entertaining and top quality. This series costs roughly £20, which is a great value for something that lasts over 15 hours, although it is still much better value to buy the complete Buffy collection.
For those unfamiliar with Buffy the Vampire Slayer I suggest you start with Season 1 but since you are reading here is a quick bit on what the series is about.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an American TV show that is classed as supernatural drama so and has elements of sci-fi, mild horror and other things thrown in there sometimes. It's a series about a girl called Buffy Summers who has been called by fate and given special powers of increased strength and abilities to be able to fight vampires and demons. The lore goes that she is the chosen one to stand-alone against the vampires. She is in high school and like other Slayers before her has a watcher, a person to help her, teach and train her in the battle. Unlike other slayers though she has friends, friends who know what she is and help her out with her duties, they are known as the 'Scooby Gang'. The show follows Buffy as she tries to combine her duties as a slayer fighting vampires and demons in a bid to save the earth with her everyday life.
It first burst onto our screens in the late 90's and thankfully we now have the pleasure of watching this anytime thanks to DVD.
Season 2 boasts a way bigger budget due to the success of season 1 and the season length increases from 12 to 22 episodes. We are introduced to new characters like Oz, a shy guitar player with a lot of teenage changes to come to terms with and Spike & Drusilla, the vampire couple who decide to make Sunnydale their new home. Spikes rebellious British punk rock nature and Drusilla's unpredictable madness leads to all kinds of dark maniacal unpredictable madness that will leave you wanting more.
The cast from series one all return, Buffy, Giles, Xander, Willow, Cordelia and Angel all present and accounted for. During this season you see the relationship between Buffy and Angel being explored a bit more and a story arc that lasts throughout the whole of the series as opposed to the more stand alone episodes of the last season. Don't get me wrong there are a few stand alone episodes here, not all of them good, one or two are slightly mediocre but it follows the story arc with references and other things, so all the time you are heading to a big climatic finish to the series that will blow you away.
This seasons Buffy has my favourite villains in it ever, they are smart, bad arse and so very witty. The whole show builds on what was a lot of promise in season one and delivers in a big way. Buffy fans could possibly say that even though the seasons get better as they go that this one has the classic and best line up of both the Scooby Gang and the Villains they are up against.
This DVD includes all 22 episodes from the season as well as some good special features. You get scripts for 4 of the episodes, Photo galleries, Cast Biographies, 4 audio commentaries by the creator and writers, Trailers and 3 featurettes spanning more than an hour in length combined, Designing Buffy, Buffy and the Beasts and a Buffy Bestiary.
I remember when these DVDs first came out and cost about £80 a series, I thought good value then but now you can pick them up for £25 or so a series I think they are a must buy. A fantastic program and a fantastic little DVD with extras that are worth watching and listening to, they don't feel tacked on for the sake of tacking on.
Season 2 takes what was good about the first season and expands on it so much. Same old characters are there; new characters to enhance the old cast, great witty dialogue that stands the test of time, good strong drama that makes you feel for the characters and great action. This has everything you will need to keep you glued to the TV for hours. I can't recommend this highly enough. Buy it people.
Season Two is easily where Buffy the Vampire Slayer was at its best. While Season One (which I have reviewed on this site) was a great start, the series was still finding its feet and occasionally felt a little clichéd or safe. Characters were still forming and the show was still experimenting with which direction to travel in.
The season which followed had a clear sense of itself, and is easily one of the best stretches of television I have ever watched. It's so appealing as there is such heavy gothic elements permeating throughout the season - in the characters, the twisted storylines and even in the sets. This is what makes it stand-out from any other teen drama series, yet, the turbulent personal lives of the characters and their own trials, triumphs and tribulations makes it not your typical science-fiction or fantasy series either. What this season epitomises to me is balance. A balance between supernatural and personal. A balance between humour and darkness. A balance between enjoyable stand-alone episodes and the serious arc-related storylines.
For those who are not familiar with the series, it revolves around the life of a teenage girl who discovers she is the Slayer - someone who has been gifted with the strength to fight against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness which descend upon the town of Sunnydale. As she does this, she attempts to live a normal life but finds the two rarely work in harmony.
What appeals to a lot of the fans about this season is the fact that the emotional stakes are raised. Spike and Drusilla come to town, two vampire lovers who have a twisted relationship, and intend on wreaking havoc and mayhem. Shy wallflower Willow begins to grow in confidence and experiment in witchcraft, as well as pursuing a relationship with Oz - a boy who she later finds out is a werewolf. However, by far the central storyline of the season is Buffy's relationship with vampire Angel. As they fall deeper and deeper in love, one night of passion results in him losing his soul. He once more reverts back to becoming Angelus - a sadistic killer who torments the characters throughout the season, murdering and maiming, and eventually threatening to bring about the apocalypse.
As the viewer, there is no sense of being the impartial observer. You don't sit back and watch passively. You feel your heart break as Buffy and Angel are ripped apart. Sarah Michelle Gellar's acting is just taken to the next level in this season, as every tear; every inflection in her voice seems authentic and raw. Her genuine chemistry with David Boreanaz means that their love never seems artificial, and as a result, you almost forget that this is even a TV show. However, the writers of the show take this far beyond just good drama. Their entire relationship is rich in metaphor. The ultimate being of course the worst nightmare that every teenage girl harbours - you sleep with a guy and then he turns bad on you.
The introduction of Spike and Drusilla also makes for good television viewing. The characters are evil, through and through, yet possess some human-like properties. For example, they show affection for each other and show both devotion and jealousy. I think this is important as it stops the villains from being just your simple "monsters-of-the-week" who show up, are flimsy two-dimensional characters merely there to cause trouble and be killed. This is where the season outshines its predecessor as The Master in Season One, while fearsome, was rather devoid of personality.
The season is sheer joy to watch as the characters develop back-story (we learn of Angel's past) and their relationships begin to become more complex. Xander starts a secret affair with Cordelia, for example, and Giles moves away from the image of a stuffy librarian as he falls for computer teacher Ms. Calendar (plus we have some sinister old faces from his past reappear).
Some of the more fun episodes in the early part of the season are also just pleasures to see. 'Inca Mummy Girl', an episode where an ancient Egyptian princess returns from the dead and poses as an exchange student (killing as she goes in order to preserve her life force) shows great creativity from the writers. Or 'Some Assembly Required', where the bodies of dead girls are being cut up and sown together to create a zombie girlfriend. Well, 'fun' was probably the wrong word to use. But they make great television and interesting adversaries.
Stretched over 6 discs, the season contains an impressive 22 episodes. The special features are sporadic, containing three brief featurettes and a handful of audio commentaries from directors on key episodes. I don't feel particularly hard done by though, as I understand that the when the DVDs were first released, there wasn't the expectation from consumers to have a vast quantity of special features. The set can be bought for under £20 on Amazon, and really, it's a bargain for so many episodes. You really can't complain about value for money. Although if you want a real steal, you can even get the complete series (1-7) on DVD for just under £60. For 144 episodes of glorious television, I don't think anyone can sniff at that.
I really wish I could have written a vitriolic review here. Torn apart the series, used creative similes to describe how bad it was and then capped it off with a declaration, warning you never to see this show. But I can't. There is absolutely nothing bad to say about this season. Along with Season Five, it is probably the best season on the best television show I've ever watched. It has it all - humour, action, suspense, emotion and great storylines. It's a pleasure to watch and for fans and casual watchers alike, this set is a must-have.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer really found its feet in season two. It progressed from being a monster of the week show, to a show with a serious storyline, character and plot arcs.
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, Nicholas Brendon and Anthony Stewart Head return as Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles - the Scooby gang of Sunnydale who fight vampires and demons.
In terms of character development for this season, we see Willow really coming out of her shell, and Buffy grows up a lot as she deals with the hand life has dealt her.
There are some wonderful new characters in this season, amongst them the infamous Spike. The bleach blonde vampire is played by James Marsters with aplomb and despite the slightly dodgy English accent at the beginning of the season, he is a fantastic character. Accompanying Spike is the insane Drusilla; another English character played by an American - in this case Juliet Landau. Spike and Dru make a great addition to the show.
Also introduced in this season is Oz, Willow's love interest, played by Seth Green.
Episode One: When She Was Bad
Buffy returns from a summer spent shopping in LA with her father, but memories of killing the Master plague her every thought. She has to try and deal with this whilst trying not to alienate her friends. This is a great re-introduction to the Buffyverse.
Episode Two: Some Assembly Required
This episode asks you to suspend belief for a while - but then again, in a show where vampires, demons and praying-mantis women are commonplace, re-animating a dead person doesn't seem so strange. A mediocre episode in a brilliant season.
Episode Three: School Hard
Welcome to Sunnydale, Spike and Dru! Spike crashes into town - quite literally - and begins to wreak mayhem everywhere. Meanwhile, Buffy has to deal with the annoying Principal Snyder and parent-teacher night at school. I love this episode, simply because it's our first glimpse of Spike.
Episode Four: Inca Mummy Girl
Perhaps the weakest episode of this season, if only because it's pretty boring. On the whole it's not too bad an episode, but it just seems to go very slowly without much happening.
Episode Five: Reptile Boy
Buffy and Cordelia are wooed into attending a frat party, where something mysterious is going on down in the cellar. Another mediocre episode, but it's mostly entertaining.
Episode Six: Halloween
In one of my favourite episodes in the season, evil Ethan Rayne comes to town and turns everyone into their Halloween costumes. When Buffy becomes a helpless eighteenth century maiden - who'll be there to save the day? Highly entertaining episode that also plants the seeds for a later story arc...
Episode Seven: Lie to Me
I like the aspect of this episode that shows that other people apart from Buffy and her friends are aware that things aren't quite right in Sunnydale... A cult that idolises vampires comes to town, hoping that Spike and his gang will turn them into vamps. Can Buffy save the day?
Episode Eight: The Dark Age
Ethan Rayne shows up again, this time to reveal dark secrets about Giles' past. A very interesting episode as we get to see what Giles did before becoming a Watcher.
Episode Nine: What's My Line? Part One
Episode Ten: What's My Line? Part Two
An excellent two-parter and two of the best episodes in the season. Spike finds out that the only way to cure Drusilla of her illness is to kill Angel. Meanwhile, there's another vampire slayer in town and the mysterious Order of Taraka are intent on killing Buffy and her friends. Two great episodes.
Episode Eleven: Ted
Not a great episode, in my opinion. Buffy's mother has a new boyfriend in the form of Ted, but is he all that he seems? The redeeming feature of this episode is that we get to see how Buffy deals if she thinks that she's killed a human being, something that will resurface later in the series.
Episode Twelve: Bad Eggs
This episode pretty much stinks - it's more reminiscent of the season one plots than the more sophisticated season two. Buffy and her friends take part in a class experiment to look after an egg - but there's something evil lurking inside them. There's a silly subplot with a couple of Texan vamps too. Not a great episode.
Episode Thirteen: Surprise
Episode Fourteen: Innocence
I'm grouping these episodes together as they tell the same story - and these are two of the best episodes in the season. It's Buffy's birthday and she's having a party - but so is Drusilla. Spike and Dru plan to put together The Judge - a being who burns the humanity out of people. Buffy grows up in more ways than one in this two-parter, with devastating consequences...
Episode Fifteen: Phases
It's the full moon and there's something up with Willow's new boyfriend Oz. A rogue werewolf hunter is on the roam...will Buffy stop him in time?
Episode Sixteen: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
Feeling spurned after breaking up with Cordelia, Xander enlists the witch Amy's help to cast a love spell - with terrible consequences. This is a hilarious episode and one of my favourites.
Episode Seventeen: Passion
Giles' love interest Jenny Calendar thinks she has found a way to help Buffy with a problem...but the problem has other plans. A devastating and sad episode - but a great one.
Episode Eighteen: Killed By Death
Buffy falls ill and is admitted to hospital, where she sees a demon attacking the children. Another rather mediocre episode, with an admittedly creepy monster.
Episode Nineteen: I Only Have Eyes For You
This is a great episode whereby a spirit from the 1950s returns to Sunnydale High and begins to possess random people, making them act out its final moments. A pivotal moment in the Buffy/Angel relationship as well as a great standalone episode.
Episode Twenty: Go Fish
I always find it strange that this episode is placed where it is in the season. It has nothing to do with the overall plot arc, and its only redeeming feature is Wentworth Miller of Prison Break fame appearing as a member of the Sunnydale swim team.
Episode Twenty-One: Becoming - Part One
Episode Twenty-Two: Becoming - Part Two
An amazing two-part season finale. The first part shows us snatches of Angel's life prior to Sunnydale - including how he was sired. In part two, the season's story arc is resolved in a devastating way.
--Special Features- -
There are several documentaries on various aspects of making Buffy, as well as a season two overview that is always interesting. Also included are audio commentaries, character profiles, a stills gallery and TV adverts and trailers.
To say that season two of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a vast improvement on the first is an understatement.
There are several fantastic episodes in this season, and despite the odd bad egg, the overall feeling you're left with at the end is a good one. Spike and Dru were a great addition to the cast, and the season finale is perhaps the most shocking in the entire series.
The themes dealt with in this season are more adult and a lot darker, and it all works for the better!
Joss Whedon first introduced the iconic image of the petit blonde school girl wielding a wooden stake in the 1992 film. The initial concept got the Hollywood seal of approval it seems, only after Whedon relented to the studio's desire to create a family fun flick, with none of the intelligence, depth and mythology that would follow five years later with the TV series, which launched Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz to a mainstream, prime time audience, and helped turn them into legitimate stars. Let me make it clear here that for the purposes of this review, the 1992 movie does not factor into the Buffy universe, and only the general outline of the movie plot (LA Cheerleader becomes slayer, gets assigned a Watcher and burns down the school gym) are to be considered canon.
Season 1 served to lay the foundations of what was yet to come. Season 1 has a feel of a creative and visionary writer desperate to cram as many plots and subplots into 11 episodes as possible, as the show set out to prove itself to Fox executives.
That mission accomplished, season 2 is where the story really begins to come into its own. Characters begin to become more multi-faceted, the writers begin to establish their creative style and "Buffyspeak" and the "Buffyverse" as a whole begins to take shape.
Whilst later seasons have a more polished look and feel to them, Season 2 is for me the point at which the Buffy franchise began to attain real credibilty, and some of the most important developments, characters and character arcs are introduced here.
Characters we were introduced to in season 1 each undergo mild but significant personality growth - see in particular Alyson Hannigan as Willow, who, for obvious reasons later goes through the greatest life changes, but her steady journey towards what will eventually unfold begins here.
Xander (Nicholas Brendon) continues to develop at a steady pace - one of the constants of the series' entire seven year run is Xander can be relied upon to crack wise, and occasionally to cause ructions wth his volatile nature, but always (except possibly for the final moments of this season) has his friends' best interests at heart.
Cordelia (the wonderfully named Charisma Carpenter) remains the perennial stuck-up bitch who begins to display "Tart with a Heart" qualities as the season unfolds.
Tony Head as Giles is one of the star turns of every season, but season 2 sees Giles less and less the stuffy British librarian, and ever more the authority bucking rebel and mentor/father figure to Buffy.
The most obvious character shift goes to David Boreanaz as Angel. The quiet, softly spoken, broody figure shrouded in darkness and plagued by a century of guilt is cast aside in the major plot point of this season, and one of the most important in the whole Buffy/Angel universe. Possibly THE storyline in Buffy history. Angellus returns, and for the first time, Boreanaz is off the leash, and seems to revel in the anarchy and coolness.
This season looks and feels more lively and established than its predecessor. It was really the point at which Whedon's Buffy proudly announced to TV audiences "I'm here!"
No other introduction did more for the series, arguably, than James Marsters as Spike. The man is endlessly watchable, wonderfully charismatic, and evil has rarely been cooler or played more sympathetically, in spite of the fact that Spike's redeeming features are few and far between. Juliet Landau is no Gwyneth Paltrow in the English accent stakes, but she is wonderfully insane here as Drusilla.
Seth Green joins the gang as Oz, which pretty much - almost - completes the scooby gang.
Bianca Lawson joins the cast towards the middle of the season as Kendra, the replacement slayer. (I won't spoil that bit for you). She looks the part, but is possibly best watched muted. The dialogue written for her is probably top notch, but you won't notice - you'll be too busy trying to figure out that accent. (For my money, she sounds like a Northern Irish, Jamaican, Geordie American. You figure it out.)
In closing, this one really got the ball rolling for the Buffy franchise. Watch this and you'll feel compelled to go straight to season 3 to see what happens next!
With the death of the Master at the end of season 1 the quality of the show improves tenfold. In what is perhaps my favourite season of all we see the introduction of some of our favourite all time characters Spike, Drusilla and of course Angel's alter ego, Angelus. While the Master was a very simple one dimensional character the baddies introduced here are anything but.
Introduced first are Spike and Drusilla. We see here the first pair of vampires on the show with apparent feeling, wants, emotions and desires. Spike indeed is particularly endearing and remains so throughout the show. Drusilla, Spike's lover is completely insane, prone to visions and psychotic tendencies she tends to lean towards the disturbing. Introduced finally is Angelus. This alter ego of Angel is perhaps the most famous "big bad" on the show. Capable of acts of unspeakable evil he manages to provoke a strong feeling of rage in the viewer. The episode Passion where a supporting character dies at his hand is particularly haunting.
Also introduced is Ethan Rayne, the old Pal of Giles from back in the day. This worshiper of Chaos provides much needed comedy moments in an otherwise dark season. We also see glimpses of the past of Giles when he was known as ripper. A far cry from the affable librarian we know today his violent tendencies come out a few times during this season, again particularly in Passion.The character of Oz is also brought into the series to much acclaim.
The DVD quality is great and the extras included good value.
Overall this is in my opinion the best season of Buffy there is, containing all the elements that make it the programme we know and love.
While I am typing I have actually got a Buffy episode on in the background, seriously that is how obsessed I am. Buffy series 2 is obviously a follow on from series 1 so before you even read this review I would recommend that if you don't want to know anything about season 1 then please don't read this. Now I will let you know why series 2 is even better than the first and why you should definitely carry on and stick with Buffy.
Series 2 came out around 1998 and it was very well received by everybody. The storyline follows series 1 so after the Master is stopped and Buffy comes back after the summer it shows you what happens. All of the relationships are still there and the same characters are in the show so you should be familiar with them all by now. Story of the series follows a bad guy as usual but it is a spoiler to tell you who that is so I will resist.
Like the first series this season follows a central story line so watching them in order is a good idea but what I will say is that a lot of the episodes are one off stories so you can pick up when you want and not spoil much which is nice. There is still a good amount of comedy, action and drama but also a lot more gritty scenes than in the first series so it does deserve its 15 certificate in my opinion. It does remain though in full a funny show with lots of vampires, puns and mad demons.
The characters in this show are as always fantastic and because they are the same as the last series you know them now so rest assured that Willow, Angel, Giles, Xander and Cordelia are still there. You have the additional character in this series of Spike though who is played by James Marsters who is fantastic and then Drusilla who is played by Juliet Landau.
These new characters come in to the show and really rock the boat which is fantastic and you will love them from the beginning. Everybody is always well cast in Buffy and they are actors who can actually act and play characters with ease. The second series is quite gritty and dark at times but the characters make the show seem lighthearted and extreme;ly entertaining throughout the whole series.
Series 2 has 22 episodes which is almost double what the first has. Every single episode is fantastic in its own rights but my favourite would have to be Halloween where everybody turns into their actual Halloween costumes. It is so funny!
You can buy this series for about £15 everywhere.
In conclusion I think this show is amazing and series 2 remains as strong as series 1 and makes you actually yearn for series 3. It has some great new characters and some fantastic story lines and the big bad guy is amazing.
Reccommend to all.
Thanks for reading.
~ When She Was Bad ~ Buffy Season 2 - Spoilers Included!!
Season 2 is defiantly my favourite of all the Buffy seasons. I got given the box set for Christmas after I already had the 3rd season and needed the first two.
The second season is a lot more action packed and interesting than the first. Buffy gets tougher and wiser and has to defeat more dangerous enemies. There are a few more characters added but mostly the main characters stay the same. I think I watched the second box set in a week as the episodes were so good I needed to watch the next straight after.
Season 2 has a lot of changes to the characters and a lot more danger to see to. Sunnydale is becoming more attractive to demons and many see a challenge to see what the new slayer can do. There a lot of large groups and vampires who see themselves as invincible. Buffy after the first season has gone away for the summer with her father who she hardly sees and seems totally different when arriving back to start a new term at school and a new year for slaying.
~ INFO ~
Creator- Joss Whedon
Season 2 was aired in 1997-1998 on Sky One and BBC 2.
~MAIN CHARACTERS ~
Sarah Michelle Gellar- Buffy Summers
Buffy returns after a long and relaxed holiday with her father. She seems to be quite high spirited and eager to get back to her training and slaying which the others find odd. She has changed her appearance, her hair is short and sassy and her attitude is a lot different to the long haired and careful girl in season 1. She has a lot more to face in this season and seems to be full of energy to kick some ass.
David Borenaz- Angel
Angel is quite close to the group and seems to have missed Buffy over the summer. Season 2 shows a lot of emotions between himself and Buffy and he shows his infatuation for her. He carries on to help the group and many changes in events led him to live his worst nightmare.
Anthony Head- Rupert Giles
Giles continues to work at the school and to be Buffy's 'watcher'.
They start training in the library and is startled by Buffy's eagerness to step up the training and fighting straight away. He seems to be more confident around vampires now Angel has joined the group and has seen Buffy's potential. His knowledge is shown to be great and he is always researching each enemy for Buffy's advantage.
James Masters- Spike
Spike makes an appearance in Season 2 with his love Drusilla. He seems to be a dangerous and confident vampire who has come on hearing of a new slayer's arrival. He watches Buffy to see how skilled she is and to make plans on overcoming her. Spike is known by Angel as they share a past and Angel warns Buffy of Spikes reputation of his 2 slayer killings. I like Spikes appearance- long leather coat, bleach blonde hair he has an English accent and lived in the 80's which he still keeps the punk image.
Emma Caulfield- Anya
Anya is introduced to Sunnydale as a new student for Sunnydale high but is almost immediately exposed to the gang as a demon that can makes wishes come true. Even though she plays around with the group she is disabled and hangs around the group. She has an interest in Xander even though they argue all the time.
Eliza Dushku - Faith
After confusion at the end of season 1 Faith turns up in Sunnydale and announces herself as The Slayer. She is welcomed into Buffy's life and her friends have a great likeness for her. Even though it is great to have another who has strength and abilities to fight along side her Buffy finds it hard to share her fate. Faith is very different to Buffy she doesn't think before she does things and tells Buffy that they are special and have power above everyone else which means they can do as they please. Being a bad influence on Buffy, Faith loves life in Sunnydale until she realises she is not all that powerful.
Robia Lamorte- Jenny Calendar
Miss Calendar is introduced as the new school IT teacher after the first died in season 1. She shows a lot of positive attitudes toward the group and Giles takes a special liking to her. As everyone who comes to Sunnydale is not as they seem Buffy finds that she has a secret and after she helps the gang with their research when they are faced with a dark soul.
~ Other Characters ~
Nicholas Brendon - Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan - Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter - Cordelia Chase
Seth Green- Oz
Juliet Landau - Drusilla
Mercedes McNab - Harmony Kendall
~ EPISODE GUIDE ~ Spoilers Included!!
1 - When She Went Bad
After returning from the summer break Buffy is eager to get back on track with her training but her friends don't see the same loving Buffy they knew. She treats Angel badly, acts like she doesn't care and that she can do anything she wants. After dealing with The Master, Buffy has to get hold of herself as vampires try to reconstruct him and kidnap her friends.
This episode is really good. Buffy's attitude comes as abit of a shocker and the way she is with her friends is brilliant. She has an 'I don't give a toss' approach and her fighting is more violent and aggressive. Angel tries to console in her that he missed her and she shrugs him away and flirts with Xander in front of him. She is cold and the episode has a lot of emotional but explosive events. 10/10.
2 - Some Assembly Acquired
As Buffy gets back to herself, she and the gang find that there are several missing corpses from the cemetery. They investigate and get clues from two people's behaviour in school that they have something to do with it. Angel continues to help out and finds that Cordelia is in danger when she attends her cheerleading after school.
A strange episode where more types of evil introduces itself to Sunnydale. There is a lot of investigation work more than action but includes good comedy and acting. 8/10.
3 - School Hard
Its Parent's evening at Sunnydale High and the principal seeing Buffy as a trouble maker puts her and rebel student Shelia Martini in charge of hosting the evening. Putting her slayer duties aside to try and not get expelled from yet another school Buffy sees that everything seems to be going ok. Giles after research warns them all that the weekend is St Vigeous night a dangerous and evil is suppose to arise but Buffy has too much to deal with in her normal life. The evening turns ugly when Spike returns and attacks the school without success of killing the Slayer.
This episode has a lot included in it. The fight scenes are good as it has all types- one on one with Spike and Buffy and bigger fights with vampires and the gang. Angel again shows he is here to help and tries to trick Spike which doesn't work but I liked the way each vampire is completely different. I also liked the fact that you got to see more of Buffy's mother Joyce. Even though she is in the middle of this attack she is blinded by the truth but sees that Buffy is caring and a good leader as she saves them all from the 'PVC gang' which is what the others think they are. 8/10.
4 - Inca Mummy Girl
The gang have a school trip to an ancient museum where a treasure gets broken and a sprit is released. As a forgein exchange takes place at the school Buffy is confused when the guy expected turns out to be a pretty girl which Xander is pleased about. Xander and the Indian girl become very close and even go to the dance together but not is all as it seems and Xander is left knowing he has seriously bad taste in 'women'.
I didn't really like this episode a lot. It is quite over the top and doesn't really have a lot of fighting involved. The Inca Mummy doesn't look particularly great when she is seen in her true form and the start does drag on abit. 5/10.
5 - Reptile Boy
Buffy seems to be trying to please everyone when Giles wants more time for training and her mother wants her at home and thinks she is out too much. Cordelia introduces Buffy to some of her College friends where one has an instant attraction to her. Convincing Buffy to come to their Pratt party after Angel shrugs her off for a date and Giles does her head in her and Cordelia go to the college party. When the others find out where she has gone and that the college boys have a dark secret Angel and Xander go to rescue them.
This is quite a good episode. There is a good fight scene as Angel and Xander enter the house and Xander brings a lot of comedy to it. It was good to see that other characters where coming more important in their roles such as Cordelia and Williow who shows Giles and Angel that Buffy is as sensitive as the rest of them. 7/10.
Halloween hits Sunnydale and the gang are made by their principal to take children trick or treating. As a curse hits the village everyone changes into the characters in which they are dressed in. This means Xander becomes a soldier, Williow a real ghost and Buffy a helpless 19th century Noble women.
Spike sees this as his chance to get to Buffy and Angel has to protect the defenceless slayer.
Having Buffy being defenceless in this episode was good to see that the others have to take charge. Angel being a vampire has to protect them all and his fear for Buffy is shown. There is a lot of action involved as normal people turn into creatures and the town becomes a hell hold. 8/10.
7 - Lie To Me
When a friend of Buffy's from LA turns up called Ford many of her friends are wary of him and the fact he seems to know she is The Slayer. Angel is accused of being jealous when he says there isn't something right about her friend and Buffy spends time with Ford on patrols. Angel and Williow dig into Ford's past and follows him to a den of vampire wannabies. Buffy comes face to face with Spike when she discovers her friend Ford doesn't know what he is getting himself involved in.
Having a new face to Sunnydale was good to see. Ford's arrival shows the audience many things about the others. Buffy is not aware of dangers when its involving someone close, Angel's jealously but care for Buffy and how close Angel is within the gang. Willow totally trusts him and helps him find info on Ford. 8/10.
8 - The Dark Age
Giles finds his past has come to hunt him down when several people he knows are murdered. Buffy tries to help Giles and dig for the truth but Giles rejects her and says he will deal with it. He finds out he does need help but goes into resentfulness when he fears he has put everyone in danger.
It is good to know more about Giles and of his past. I liked the fact that the episode wasn't focused on Buffy this time but someone else. There is quite abit of action but has a lot of emotional scenes and signs of how much the gang care for Giles. Buffy and Giles really show that they have a father and daughter like bond. 8/10.
9 - What's My Line part 1
Career week hits the school and Buffy seems to be down when she realises she doesn't have a future apart from slaying. Spike sends 4 deadly assassins after Buffy to make sure she has no future at all.
10- What's My Line part 2
There is another twist as a girl who attacks Buffy is not a vampire but another who claims to be a Slayer. Kendra after realising Buffy is one too comes to the gang and they realise that after Buffy nearly died another was appointed. Buffy and Kendra face Spike and Drusilla in a battle in an abandoned church.
When her mother brings home a boyfriend Buffy has a hard time dealing with him. Everyone seems to love him as he is funny, caring and great with her mum but Buffy sees he is not all good and there is an expected way about him. Xander and Cordelia grow closer.
12 - Bad Eggs
When the class is given eggs to look after they hatch into evil beings. Buffy has problems when two cowboys turn up and think they can have their own fun in town.
This episode is abit strange and except the fight scenes with the cowboys there isn't much else that is interesting going on. 5/10.
13 - Surprise
Buffy's 17 birthday is near and the gang prepare a party for her. Angel and Buffy are now together and enjoy walks in the moonlight. Xander and Cordelia's relationship is in the open. Just as everything is going well and Buffy's party begins Spike and Drusilla return and make sure her night is ruined. Buffy and Angel escape the evil and head out of the rain. 9/10.
After sharing a passionate and intimate night with Buffy Angel wakes up in the night to find he doesn't feel his normal self. Buffy wakes up to find he has gone and is left confused when he shows no love for her later on. Angel is not who he used to be and Buffy is left totally destroyed.
This is one of my favourite episodes of the season as it shows all emotions and the action scenes are brilliant. 10/10.
15 - Phases
There is a werewolf in town and Buffy and Giles go on patrol to find it. Buffy still shows signs of her broken heart for Angel and Oz and Willow get closer.
16 - Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
Cordelia coldly dumps Xander on Valentines Day which splits the group and everyone is not feeling strong. In revenge he summands Amy to do a spell to get Cordelia to love him again which back fires. Angel joins Spike and Drusilla to make their own celebrations for Buffy. 8/10.
17 - Passion
Buffy continues her suffering for her lost love as Spike is getting fed up of Angel who is stronger and has Drusilla drooping over him. Miss Calendar brings back hope when she comes across a gypsy curse to re soul Angel and after hurting Buffy and not talking to the group she thinks this will solve it.
Angel goes to the extreme and Giles is left devastated when one of the gang is lost when facing Angel.
18 - Killed By Death
Buffy becomes ill and is taken to hospital where she finds that there is a strange force present which is the reason for children dying quickly.
19 - I Only Have Eyes For You
Sunnydale High has a dark secret of its own and Buffy finds herself taken in by its past. Two students were killed there and Buffy is drawn in to react a part. The other part though draws in a familiar face and though they share a moment of romance it is only a curse and Buffy has scars reopened for her love for Angel.
20 - Go Fish
Members of the swimming team in the school are going missing and Buffy investigates the cause.
21 - Becoming part 1
Willow is showing that she has a secret ability and after finding Jenny Calendars spell she has hope for Buffy and Angel. But as Spike and Drusilla have plans to destroy the world Buffy prepares for battle.
22 - Becoming part 2
A surprise attack leaves the gang broken and Buffy to defeat the terrible three by herself. Spike makes a temporary alliance with Buffy to get rid of Angel as he wants Drusilla back to himself. Buffy and Angel have a showdown and the outcome destroys the both of them.
This is an excellent episode. It is full with action, tears and emotion and I felt so involved all the way through. 10/10.
~ RECOMMEND ~
This is defiantly the best season of all 7. If you are going to get one of them this one is the one to get. There is plenty to keep you entertained and unlike the first season there were only 2 episodes I didn't really like. I loved the developments from all of the character especially the ups and downs of Angel and Buffy's relationship. There were also other characters that had there spot light moments which were good to watch.
~ DVD ~
Amazon £15.18 new
Distributed- 20th Century Fox
Certificate - 15
Runtime- 930 Mins
* Audio commentaries
* Set designs
* Character profiles
* Stills gallery
* Monster sketches
* Biographies of cast and crew
* TV spots
* Thanks for reading * Blackmagcistar4* Jan09 * published on Dooyoo and Ciao.
After the huge success of the first season, Buffy and the gang return, this time for a full length season.
Unlike the first season in which it slowly introduced us to the characters, this season wastes no time in getting into the action and also drops in a few new characters along the way. The focus of the story is heavily based around Buffy and Angel with regards to their feelings for each other. We learnt in the first season that Angel is a vampire with a soul and its in this season that we finally meet Angelus (Angels alter ego) who unlike Angel is determined to put a stop to the slayer once and for all.
After the fallout from the first season it appears as though Buffy is struggling to cope with recent events. Visions of a return from The Master continue to torment her and with her friends pre occupied with their own lives the only person she can turn to is Angel. As the pair grow even closer its seems as though feelings have went beyond friendship. Buffy ends up spending the night with Angel but awakes early, only to find Angel gone. After she finally tracks him down it appears he is no longer himself. Its soon revealed that Angelus is now in control and the only thing he wants from Buffy is her life. Angelus torments Buffy, playing with her emotions and feelings. It seems he will do anything to bring the slayer down including hurting the people she loves the most. As Buffy searches franticly for a cure to bring Angel back it becomes obvious that the only solution may be to kill Angelus which would result in the death of Angel also. With her friends dealing with their own problems and Giles busy dealing with the council she soon realises that without Angel she is more alone in the world than she has ever been.
Angel himself is a major character in the second season. As we learnt in season one, he is a vampire who had his soul restored to him after a gypsy placed a curse on him. The curse was that he would live an eternity with all the memories and feelings of all the evil that he has done throughout the centuries. Legend has it that only a moment of true happiness would banish his soul and resurrect the demon inside of him. After his feelings grow stronger for Buffy it is obvious his feelings have gone beyond friendship for her and turned into love. After spending the night with Buffy he soon realises something is wrong and runs off in order to protect her. With Angel gone and Angelus reborn he flees to the underground and is soon joined by Spike (James Masters) and Drusilla (Juliet Landau), two new vampires who have just arrived at Sunnydale.
Angelus does not waste any time in hatching his plan to unleash hell on earth and take care of the slayer in the process. With a new evil attitude and sporting a new set of leather pants he begins tormenting Buffy and plays off of her emotions and fear. As he attempts to open a portal to a demon dimension though it appears that not all is good and well amongst the ranks of evil. As he prepares to go head to head with Buffy herself it seems as though someone else within his camp is rooting for the slayer in order to move up in the ranks. As tension rises among evil, Angelus soon reveals that the only way to stop him is to kill him and he knows that Buffy is not strong enough to do so.
Willow meanwhile is going through a few changes in her life. Unlike the first season she seems to be growing in confidence. She begins looking into witchcraft and feels she can give more to the team and help fight the cause of good. Her confidence also seems to be attracting the attention of a new student by the name of Oz (Seth Green). Oz has taking a shine to Willow and the two soon become more than just friends. All is not as it seems however as it appears Oz is hiding a dark secret of his own. As Willows suspicions grow, her investigation soon leads her to a confrontation between the one thing that Oz was trying to protect her from.
Meanwhile it seems as though Xander is also having relationship problems of his own in the form of Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter). Unlike Xander she is the most popular person in school and the two of them couldn't be any more different to each other. After a life and death moment though the two share a kiss and soon their feelings for one another become apparent or so it would seem. Alone everything seems ok but in public Cordelia continues to treat Xander like he doesn't exist despite feeling guilty about it. She really likes Xander but figures if people knew she was with him that it would affect her popularity around school. Like Willow, Xander is too busy dealing with his own emotions to even realise what Buffy is going through and the difficult times that she will soon be facing.
The rest of the cast including Giles play their respective roles but the focus of this season revolves around Buffy and Angel/Angelus. A new slayer by the name of Kendra (Bianca Lawson) arrives in Sunnydale to help Buffy but her presence is short and brief and its not long before Buffy is once again alone in her fight against evil. Spike and Drusilla make appearances throughout the series but play major roles in following seasons. Spike especially becomes a bigger character as this season grows. He is your typical vampire who believes that humans are nothing but food and he doesn't take too kindly to being told what to do. He hates the slayer but he dislikes Angel also. The two have history together and the tension between the two becomes apparent as the plot develops.
The thing I loved about season two was that despite the main story line being present throughout the series there were some brilliant individual episodes. One of my favourite episodes in particular is the Halloween episode in which an old friend and enemy of Giles casts a spell on the residents of Sunnydale. The spell itself transforms the residents into their costumes making for some interesting moments. You have people dressed in skeleton costumes and zombie costumes meaning the dead begin to run wild around the streets. My favourite though is Xander himself who dressed up in a military outfit armed with a plastic machine gun. As he is transformed into character he begins moving an acting like an actual soldier and the plastic gun he had is now firing real bullets. I found his scenes in particular very entertaining and fun to watch.
I would probably be at a loss to think of anything I didn't like about season two but If I had to choose something it would be the part of Kendra as the second slayer. I can understand why a second slayer was brought into the show and how it happened but I just didn't care much for the character. Her voice was pretty annoying and compared to Buffy she just didn't seem to get the whole slayer thing. She could fight don't get me wrong but she had no personality and her character was quite plain. I have never seen her in any thing pervious to Buffy so whether this was the actress herself or the character she was asked to play I could not be sure. In my eyes there is only one slayer and there is a reason the show is called Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Season 2 Episode List
Episode 1: When She Was Bad
Episode 2: Some Assembly Required
Episode 3: School Hard
Episode 4: Inca Mummy Girl
Episode 5: Reptile Boy
Episode 6: Halloween
Episode 7: Lie To Me
Episode 8: The Dark Age
Episode 9: What's My Line, Part 1
Episode 10: What's My Line, Part 2
Episode 11: Ted
Episode 12: Bad Egg's
Episode 13: Surprise
Episode 14: Innocence
Episode 15: Phases
Episode 16: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
Episode 17: Passion
Episode 18: Killing By Death
Episode 19: I Only Have Eyes For You
Episode 20: Go Fish
Episode 21: Becoming, Part 1
Episode 22: Becoming, Part 2
If you watched season one then you probably have no choice but to watch season two as overall in my opinion this was a brilliant series.
This was the season that brought Angel into his own and we got to see Angelus and witness how evil he was. The story follows on directly from the first season so you know exactly where you are and what's going on. The cast are brilliant once again although their characters start to develop a lot more in this season. The main story has been written really well and each episode builds up brilliantly to an explosive final episode which leaves you hanging for the next season.
There wont be many people who watched the whole of season one and didn't bother with season two. The show is one of the best to be seen on TV over the past ten years although it may not be every ones cup of tea. If you have heard about it and always thought about watching it then I really hope you do check it out. There are a lot of shows where you could get away with just watching any particular season but with Buffy The Vampire Slayer I advise you watch it from the beginning. I have also reviewed season one previously, so if you like the sound of it then check it out if you wish.
It would be easy to list all the positives of the show and being a big fan of the show it would be biased not to list any negatives. Unfortunately even when trying to think from a neutral point of view though I just don't have any thing bad to say about the show. Its well written and every episode is very entertaining.
Unlike the first season it's a full 22 episodes which is double than its predecessor. At no point does it feel over run or too long.
Every episode tells a story and every episode keeps you watching.
Overall a brilliant season which helps develop the character of Angel.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer bit into its second season in late 1997 with all the wit andstyl that had made it a cult favourite a few months earlier. The second season doesn't really take a big leap from the first in some aspects but the show definately puts its foot into much darker territory and brings some new and strong characters to the mix.
Buffy [Sarah Michelle Gellar] is of course The Slayer. The chosen one that has the strength to stand against the vampires and forces of darkness. Aided by her friends Willow [Alyson Hannigan] and Xander [Nicholas Brendan] and Wotcher Giles [Anthony Stewart Head] she takes on the everyday evils that crawl out of the hellmouth and plague the fictional town of Sunnydale,
whilst also dealing with her family life, studies and of course romantic liasons.
Season two was much about the Buffy and Angel romance. After establishing their relationship last year it's in full swing and provides the major story arcs for the season ahead.
This is the year that Angel reverts to his former evil self the sadistic Angelus. After a night of passion [Buffy losing her virginity in the process] in 'Innocence'. Angel loses his soul due to that moment of 'perfect happiness'and starts to torture Buffy and her friends. I think that noit only does this paint for one of the best episodes of Buffy but it also deals wit ha completly daunting topic that a lot of the audience will relate to. The notion of sleeping with a guy for him to turn bad on you. [Though obviously the writers take that metaphore to the extreme here].
David Boreanaz plays evil so well it's unbelievable. My opinion of him as an actor changed completely after watching the cool and calculated way he just acts like a scary villain without batting an eyelid. Of course taking Angel to the dark side wouldn't be complete without a ready made vampire family in the form of head case Drusilla [played by Julliet Landau] and the obnoxious and obvious eye candy Spike [James Marsters]. Both became very popular characters in the Buffyuniverse due to their loving relationship despite the fact that well - they're dead.
The two arrive in episode three 'School Hard' which I thought was a brilliant episode as it brings Buffy's mum into the line of danger for the first time ,setting things up quite nicely for her uncovering of Buffy's secret at the end of the season.
For Willow the season sees her start to explore the black arts and start dating Oz [Seth Green]. Oz is a great addition to the cast and has that sort of 'cool' vibe the rest of the group lack and 'Phases' is a brilliant episode as he finds out he is a werewolf.
The character relationships shift dramatically this year as Xander starts to date the hilarious Cordelia [Charisma Carpenter] who delivers some of the best lines and put downs in the entire show and I was thrilled that she becomes a bigger part of the show.
Personal highlights from the season include 'Halloween' in which a spell causes everybody to become their costumes. It's a brilliant episode as it shows Buffy in a different light, vulnerable and powerless and is also the first proper episode of many in which the show uses a lot of comedy from something that's gone wrong.
'The Dark Age' is a brilliant delve into Giles' past and really changes the way I perceived his character as he changes from a boring, stuffy librarian into someone that has a lot of strength. This is shown again in 'Passion' when Angelus kills his girlfriend Jenny Calendar [Robia Lamorte].The scene of her murder is truly gripping and misleading throughout leaving no explanation as to why Buffy can move so freely through different genres and still remain hooking.
"Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" in which Xander casts a love spell with hilarious results and trhe brilliant 'Killed By Death' that in my opinion lacked a strong story but produced the scariest villain on Buffy to this point - the 'boogeyman' type creature Der Kindestod. The two part finale obviously steals the season providing truly gripping fight scenes between Buffy and Angel as well as one of the most tearful moments in the show's history. It's just another reason why I feel Sarah Michelle Gellar is one of the most talented actresses around.
Alongside the six discs containing all 22 episodes from the season there are a number of great special features here. Commentary from various writers and people who work on the show for specific episodes is a brilliant insight into the genius minds that work on Buffy as well as episode scripts and three interesting featurettes that take you even further into the wonderful world of the vampire slayer. Of all the seasons though it probably has the worst cover and packaging.
Buffy Season 2 is a perfect purchase to add to your collection as everything from the first season is here with so much more as the show continues to build on its exsisting foundations and take over.
Whilst Season two isn't technically the best written of the Buffy seasons (that honour goes to Seasons 6 and 7) its the one that cemented my love for the show, one of the most experimental in terms of what it does with narrative form and maybe the one that I find just the most flat out enjoyable.
In an effort to transcend its potentially stale "Monster of the Week" format, head producer Joss Whedon introduced the idea of having an overarching plotline in the show and introducing returning villains, Sid and Nancy-esque vampires Spike and Drusilla whose antics, great lines and exceptional delivery will have you equally rolling with laughter and hiding behind the sofa. I won't spoil any plot lines as much of the impact of the season comes from a mid-point twist that you'd have to be pretty smart to see coming....the effect of which leads to much genrebending and an altered dynamic between the main characters which the show resolutely sees through right until the end.
Whilst there are still some eaker "monster of the week" type shows in there, which I suspect were hangover scripts fro the first season, such as "Some Assembly Required" "Inca Mummy Girl" and "Reptile Boy" the show excels in the writing department this season, with some absolutely classic standalones like Halloween (the gang find their personalities transformed into thehalloween costumes that they are wearing) and I Only Have Eyes for You that have the larger form effect of tying into the seasons thematic ideas of power and identity; this alongside world-altering moments in Surprise, Innocence and Passion as well as what has to be one of the greatest TV series finales ever conceived...Becoming in which Buffy has to dig deep down inside herself to face a foe that has been wreaking havoc with her not just physically, but also emotionally.#
The only negatives here are the wretched TV transfer on these discs, the fairly sparse range of extras Kendra. This is a show to watch and rewatch and then to lend to your family.
Buffy the Vampire slayer is an enormously successful series from American. Spanning seven seasons it is a mix of sci-fi, action and comedy. It's creator Joss Whedon got the idea from watching horror flicks where the blonde girl was always the helpfless victim. He thought it would be cool to make the seemingly helpless blonde girl the heroine, and superstrong. Being blonde myself I can only agree and say yep its cool that we're not typecast as the helpless bimbo.
The boxet contains 6 DVD's enclosed within a book, each DVD is contained in a seperate page protected by a "fluffy" sleeve. The book also contains a episode guide. The book then fits into a cardboard sleeve.
The actual boxset is somewhat larger than a standard DVD case measuring 16cmx20cmx2.5cm. The outer sleeve is a brownish colour and features a picture of Buffy on the front surrounded by 5 candles.
Unlike the first season, seasons 2-7 all have the same format and as such look very good when displayed together.
Each DVD has a picture of buffy on it, unlike the later seasons where they feature pictures of different characters.
All 22 episodes of the seasons are contained on the discs along with the extras.
Each DVD begins with the copyright warnings, and then goes onto a fancy motion menu. Now this is probably just me, but I find the motion menus annoying, I would prefer to get straight to the action.
There are quite a few main characters in this boxset and I've split them into three groups, The Scoobies (who are the main group), The Vamps (the baddies in other words), and others (other characters that have some importance)
Buffy Summers - Played by Sarah Michelle Gellar
Buffy Summers is the slayer, the one girl in all the world chosen to slay vampires. (Well not quite the one, but we'll get into that later).
Rupert Giles - Played by Anthony Stewart-Head
Giles is the librarian at Sunnydale High School and is also Buffy's watcher. It's his job to train and guide Buffy in her slaying duties.
Willow Rosenberg - Played by Alyson Hannigan
Willow is one of Buffy's two best friends. A whizz on the computer and super smart.
Xander Harris - Played by Nicholas Brendon
Xander is still the class clown and the other of Buffy's best friends. And although still infatuated with Buffy gets into an unlikely relationship with Cordelia.
Cordelia Chase - Played by Charisma Carpenter
Cordelia (Cordy) is super rich, super popular and can be super bitchy, however in this season her however strange relationship with Xander does seem to bring out her niver side.
Oz - Played by Seth Green
Oz is the lead singer of the band "Dingo's ate my Baby". Willows love interest throughout the season, who just happens to be a wolf 3 nights of the month.
Angel - Played by David Boreanaz
The vampire with a soul, cursed to feel the pain of his misdeeds for eternity, or until he experiences even a moment of true happiness. The true love of Buffy's life.
Spike - Played by James Marsters
Bleached haired english vampire, also known as William the Bloody (due to his bloody awful poetry) Got his nickname from his use of railway spikes to torture his victims.
He has already fought and killed two slayers in the past.
I actually found a inconsistancy with who Spikes sire was, that is who turned him into a vampire. In School Hard Angel states he's Spikes sire, but in later seasons of Buffy and in the series Angel Drusilla is named as Spikes sire.
The character Spike was orginally only intended to be in this season, but he proved so popular he was brought back.
Drusilla - Played by Juliet Landau
Drusilla (Dru) was the daughter of a strict catholic family plagued with visions of the future. She became an obsession of Angelus' and after he drove her mad by killing all those that she loved, he turned her bad.
Angelus - Played by David Boreanz
Angel's alter ego, a vicious killing machine, who enjoys torturing his victims before killing them. A master of mind games he's looking for his revenge on Buffy who made him feel human.
Kendra - Played by Bianca Lawson
When Buffy "died" at the end of season one Kendra was called as slayer. She is a very different slayer to Buffy, she has no friends and has devoted her life to her calling.
Joyce Summers - Played by Kristine Sutherland
Joyce is Buffy's Mom and is still somehow blissfully ignorant of her daughters calling and the realities of life on the Hellmouth.
Jenny Calender - Played by Robia LaMorte
IT teacher at Sunnydale High. Giles' love interest for the season. Jenny almost becomes a fully fledged scoobie until its revealed that she's a member of the gypsy tribe who cursed Angel and has been sent to keep Angel and Buffy apart.
Principal Snyder - Played by Armin Shimmerman
The principal at Sunnydale High, who definatly has it in for Buffy. Although we don't see much of the shady side of his character a small part of it emerges in School Hard. He definately knows about vampires and the Hellmouth.
1. When she was bad
Buffy returns from visiting her father requiring a definate attitude adjustment. When even Cordy notices her catty attitude you can tell things are'nt right. When her gung-hu behaviour puts her friends in danger its time for Buffy to deal.
My rating 8/10....I especially liked the very end of this one when Buffy, Xander and Willow are talking
2. Some assembly required
Two science geeks have got the ultimate science project, they're creating a girl from dead body parts. All they are missing is the head and they're after Cordy's. Buffy needs to find out who's to blame before Cordy loses her head.
My rating 6/10....not upto the standard of the rest of the season.
3. School Hard
It's the parent teacher conference and while Buffy is busy keeping her Mom and Snyder apart, new vamp in town Spike is after a meal. Buffy needs to save her Mom without revealing her secret identity.
My rating 10/10......this is one of my favorite episodes and very revealing.
4. Inca Mummy Girl
A student breaks a mysterious seal while on a school field trip and releases an Inca mummy princess who then sucks the life out of him. Buffy must discover who is sucking everyone dry. Willow is spotted by Oz for the first time.
My rating 8/10........this is a good episode, especialy as you can see Buffy relating to the Inca princess and the sacrifices made.
5. Reptile Boy
Cordy persuades Buffy to go to a frat party with her. Unfortunately these successful young college boys are secretly sacrificing young girls to a snake like demon in exchange for wealth.
My rating 7/10......you just gotta see Xander in drag as a pledge.
Buffy gets roped into taking the local children trick or treating, unfortunately her and the other scoobies costume cause them to change into the actual characters they were dressed up as. Cue lots of choas with mini demons running around.
My rating 8/10.....pretty good episode especially Xander as a soldier.
7. Lie to me
When a friend from Buffy's old school turns up and even knows about her secret identity she is only to happy that she's found some else she can talk to. But he's secretly planning to turn her over to Spike in exchange for becoming a vampire.
My rating 7/10.....not the best episode, but a lot of Spike.
8. The Dark Age
Giles' rebellious past catches upto him when a demon he raised as teenager comes back to kill him. Just as his relationship with Jenny is getting off the groud she is possessed by the demon and she just can't forgive him
My rating 8/10
9/10. What's my line?
It's career day at school, and Buffy is feeling depressed because she can't have a career.
Then when Spike sets a group of asasinins on Buffy, everyone advises her to hide.
In the meantime there's a new slayer in town, Kendra who has been sent because there is a great darkness arising. I'm not going to say any more cos it'll spoil the episodes if you have'nt watched them.
My rating 10/10.....These episodes are pivotal to the rest of the buffy seasons
Buffy's Mom has a new boyfriend, who seems to good to be true. In fact he is too good to be true he has a collection of wives in his cellar.
My rating 9/10....a good episode with glimpses of what it would be like if Buffy did kill an innocent
12. Bad Eggs.
Buffy and co are given eggs to babysit to show them what it would be like to be parents. Unfortunately these eggs hatch into something a lot less nice than baby chicks.
My rating 7/10
It's Buffy's birthday and her friends are arranging a surprise party for her. But this is interrupted by the arrival of the judge. While Buffy and Angel are hiding out they share a moment of passion and oops Angel experiences complete happiness.
My rating 9/10....
Poor Buffy, Angelus is back and he starts tormenting her. Giles discovers the truth about Jenny and can't forgive her. And Willow discovers Xander and Cordy's secret.
My rating 9/10....Boy talk about the split up from hell.
When a werewolf starts haunting sunnydale, the hunt is on to discover who he is before the werewolf hunter does.
My rating 8/10
16. Bewitched, bothered and bewildered.
When Cordy dumps him on valentines day Xander turns to Amy to cast a love potion on her. But this misfires and suddenly every female in Sunnydale is in love with him, with hilarious consequences.
My rating 10/10....this has to be the funniest episode ever
Angelus is working harder and harder to demoralise Buffy, and Jenny is trying to redeem herself by restoring Angels soul. This episode is voiced over by Angel.
My rating 9/10....I found this episode very haunting and sad.
18. Killed by death
Buffy is ill and in hospital. The children are being killed by a mysterious monster that no-one can see.
My rating 7/10...I found this episode a bit far fetched
19. I only have eyes for you
Couples are being possessed by the spirits of two lovers from the past. Buffy and Angel must help them to move on.
My rating 9/10.....I enjoyed Angelus being manipulated into kissing Buffy again.
20. Go fish
The school swimming team are being killed off. Xander goes under cover to find out who's doing the dirty deed.
My rating 7/10
This is the season finale, and to give any information on it would spoil the episodes. Needless to say it's a very good ending.
My rating 10/10
*Reptile boy scrpt
*Reptile boy commentary by writer and director David Greenwalt
*What's my line pt1/2 script
*What's my line pt1/2 commentary by co-writer Marti Noxon
*Innocence commentary by writer and director Joss Whedon
*A Buffy Bestiary
*Beauty and the Beasts
*Set Design Blueprints
*Sarah Michelle Gellar
*Anthony Stewart Head
Angel Season 1 Video Trailer
Buffy the Vamipre Slayer Season 2 DVD Trailer
UK TV Spots
US TV Spots
Although there were a great number of extras, I personally felt it was quantity over quality.
Picture and Sound Quality
I do not beleive that the picture quality for this boxset is the best that it could be. I use a LCD TV and at times the picture was very grainy. I also feel that although sound quality was good, Dolby 5.1 would have made it even better.
First Aired : 1997
Total feature run time : 16 hours 30 min (approx)
Certificate : 15
Region : 2 (PAL)
Picture : Full Screen (4:3)
Audio : Dolby Digital 2.0 (Stereo)
Languages : English
Subtitles : English, French, Dutch
Price : I paid £29.99 for this boxset, but I beleive it is presently selling for £33.99 at Choices Direct.
In this season Buffy seems to have started growing up and dealing with slightly more adult issues, than in the first season. And with the longer season there is more chance for character and story development, in fact all later seasons follow the same format of an underlying storyline, running throughout, with occasional standalone episodes.
At the present price this boxset is excellent value for money for both diehard Buffy fans and those new to the genre. Although rated a 15, there is a lot less violence in it than many films that are rated PG and I am quite happy to allow my 9 year old to watch it.
After the traumatizing ordeal in the movie with the same name, Buffy Summers and her mother move to Sunnydale, only to discover that L.A. was just a walk in the park...