This was originally published in the 2013 ebook “Liz Tells Frank: The Skip It/Watch It Guides”, but it’s been a few years and people are still out there watching “Buffy” and “Angel” on Hulu with no idea how to do so properly, so what the hell. It’s almost Christmas. A perfect time to check in with these two iconic series.
It still astounds me that there are people in the world who haven’t watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I mean, what were you doing in the late 90s and early 00s? Not watching one of television’s great complex achievements? For shame.
It is less shocking when I find out that people haven’t seen Angel. “Vampire private detective” might sound like an easy pitch, but the show was always a weird nut, and never got the recognition Buffy did, despite hitting some magnificent highs over the course of its five season run.
While the two shows eventually took on separate paths — even eventually airing on separate networks — Buffy and Angel, much like their titular heroes, remain forever connected.
This guide attempts to capture not only which episodes are best avoided when watching both series, but how the two shows interacted during their initial airing — the one thing binge-viewing can’t quite capture without a little guidance.
As you’re a man who enjoys cross-platform approaches to narrative, I think you’ll appreciate this. Buffy Season 8 is different from other Buffy comics that have been released by Dark Horse over the years because of the words “Season 8” — unlike other comics, this is no stand-alone side adventure. This is what Joss Whedon and his team genuinely consider to be the continuation of the Buffy story, following that whole Buffy-shared-the-slayer-power-with-everyone-and-oh-yeah-Sunnydale-collapsed-into-the-earth thing you might remember from the TV show’s series finale.
And freed from budget constraints by the magic of sequential art, let’s just say that some imaginations get a massive fucking workout. Frank, every once in a while I am genuinely concerned that I will not be able to capture the batshit insanity of something I am telling you about. Today is one of those days.
By the way, when I say batshit insanity, I do mean that in a good way. Mostly.
What happens in it, Frank? Oh, my god, so much stuff. But I’ll try and keep things simple. Read the rest of this entry
Hey, want to check out on the complete series? A guide to all seven seasons of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” as well as its spinoff “Angel,” can be found in “Liz Tells Frank: The Skip It/Watch It Guides,” now available on Amazon!
A quick bit of back story: Karmically I feel obligated to write this guide, because I never would have watched Buffy without my friend Nicky. Nicky was a good friend from high school who moved to Arizona my senior year; for the next five or so years, I’d visit every once in a while for a few days of sitting on her couch and watching TV. (It was glorious.)
It was on one of those trips — right before the premiere of Buffy season four, if I recall — that Nicky said “Okay, it’s time for you to understand Buffy,” and using her insane archive of videotapes (Nicky taped everything) I proceeded to get a highly compressed version of the first three seasons, which was instrumental in helping me fall in love with the show.
The first season of Buffy is a season spent figuring out tone and plot and character; there are a few great episodes, but nowhere near the number that would follow in subsequent years. So, if you’re new to the show that made Joss Whedon a nerd god and wanna get to the good stuff faster, here you go!
Buffy Season 1: The Skip It/Watch It Guide Read the rest of this entry