Barnes & Noble - Daniel CraftSeason 1
Easily transcending the box office disappointment of its feature film source, TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer will go down in history as one of the few truly successful big-to-small-screen adaptations. Writer-director Joss Whedon's teen-horror series' 12-episode first season began in 1997, favoring character development and tongue-in-cheek wit over the film's outright farce, and it quickly spawned a legion of devoted fans. Sarah Michelle Gellar's Buffy is emotionally honest and, when the line's there, really funny. She makes Sunnydale's slayer believably torn between her calling and all things teen: school, boys, family, and her friends. Led by her Watcher/school-librarian Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), Buffy's "Scooby Gang" includes nerdy Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and lovelorn Xander (Nicholas Brendon), with some comic friction supplied by ditzy cheerleader Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter). Add Buffy's rocky romance with brooding Angel (David Boreanaz), who unfortunately happens to be a vampire, and the show has all the trappings of a soap opera, but with a refreshing ironic bite. From the series' pilot episode, "Welcome to the Hellmouth," which explains away Sunnydale's improbable location on a direct door to Hell, to the season finale, "Prophecy Girl," featuring Buffy's big confrontation with The Master, there's an awful lot at stake in Season 1. Other ongoing concerns include Xander's crush on Buffy and the recurring threat of Spike -- the Billy Idol-meets-Nosferatu villain portrayed by James Marsters. Fans will enjoy revisiting Buffy's rookie year, while newcomers are prepared for the many changes still to come. Since one of the show's strengths is its attention to continuity, this set first set is an effective Genesis of Buffy lore.