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.
Oh, Agents of SHIELD — a big thing done… well, not so great. At some point, I may tell Frank in full what happened during the first season of Marvel’s efforts to bring its superhero mega-franchise into prime-time broadcast television. But I started receiving requests for a Skip It/Watch It Guide for this show back in November. Clearly, the people have demands.
Here’s the most important thing about SHIELD — if you don’t have fondness in your heart for Joss Whedon and/or the Marvel Movieverse, you should probably just skip the whole damn thing. This show has potential, and definitely improves as it progresses, but it is an investment that you’d be totally justified in not wanting to make. Even though ABC did agree to continue the show, we’ll all look back on this season as a groundbreaking, but at best troubled, 22 episodes.
In a perfect world, this show would have been 13 episodes long, there would be a lot more make-outs and the hacker chick would have been shot in the head halfway through. This is not a perfect world. But for Whedon fans, superhero fans and those intrigued by what SHIELD might mean for the general media landscape, it will spark some interest. So, here you go. Watch in good health. This guide, I admit, came out as much more generous than anticipated. But that’s life in the NFL. Read the rest of this entry
It is weird, being here in the year 2013, and seeing what’s happened to Joss Whedon — see a man whose name was synonymous with “cult not-really-a-hit” no less than three years ago play puppet master with one of Hollywood’s biggest, most profitable franchises.
The Whedon-directed Avengers grossed all those billions! ABC picked up the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D TV show he’s executive producing! He signed up for Twitter and got over 100,000 followers in like no time! Frank, Joss Whedon is en fuego!
Which is why it’s fun to look back at Whedon during his slightly more humble days — you know, when he had only three shows on television at one time–
Hmmm. It’s fascinating, isn’t it Frank, how Joss Whedon always seems like an underdog? Even when he’s doing insane things like making millions of dollars off a web series?
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
I feel kind of guilty about writing this, so let me just be upfront: You should see Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods. You should read this post only after seeing The Cabin in the Woods, because it’s a smart inventive film with some great twists and surprises. You and everyone else should go to a movie theater and vote with their ticket dollars for smart, original films that play with genre. I’ll see you in two hours plus however long it takes you to walk/drive/bike/bus to your local movie theater. Have fun!
Two hours plus however long it takes Frank to walk/drive/bike/bus to his local movie theater later…
Great! I hope you liked the movie, Frank! Let me tell you about what you saw:
Five young college students load into an RV and drive out to a creepy cabin in the woods. Once there, they party hard, but just as things are getting sexual they are each brutally killed by a variety of horrible creatures and accidents. THE END.
All right, some other stuff happens too… 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