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Barnes & Noble -Season 2
After craftily translating its big-screen origins into small-screen success, Buffy the Vampire Slayer enters its second run with zeal, confidently whupping demonic tail, introducing new characters, and developing some serious soap-opera drama. Buffy Sarah Michelle Gellar returns for her junior year of high school with an understandably nasty attitude -- she had died the previous spring, after all, however temporarily. Familiar friends like Willow Alyson Hannigan, Xander Nicholas Brendon, Cordelia Charisma Carpenter, and Oz Seth Green welcome a few fresh faces to Sunnydale -- namely nasty vampires Spike James Marsters and Drusilla Juliet Landau, and a new slayer, Kendra Bianca Lawson. Additionally, Buffy consummates her forbidden love for Angel David Boreanaz, an act that causes the broody vamp to turn evil, putting a big strain on their affair and endangering the lives of many, including our blonde heroine. Milking the two-part cliff-hanger format with three engaging conflicts, the 22-episode season builds nicely to a winning double-episode finale, "Becoming," which is refreshingly bloodcurdling. Stand-alone highlights along the way include "Halloween," in which the Scooby Gang actually become their All Hallow's Eve costumes; "Phases," which finds Oz getting in touch with his inner wolf; and "Ted," an enjoyable romp guest-starring John Ritter. By the season's end, fans new and old can see in which direction creator Joss Whedon is heading -- faster and smarter, approaching even higher peaks for the controversial Season Three. The six-DVD Season Two set includes all 22 episodes plus numerous audio commentaries, interviews, and featurettes.