Buffy the Vampire Slayer still slays!
So it's week two of my favoritest month of the year and the scary shows on DVD are keeping my player- and Pepito the Wonder Chihuahua- working overtime. And I know this column was supposed to be all about boorific B&W fare, but the vampires struck back over the weekend and there's no denying these pains in the neck!
Obviously, if we're talking about bloodsuckers, there's none better than
. BUTthat one we're saving for the end of the month and a big old chat with a certain Whedonverse whiz kid we all know and love. (Hmmm, wonder who that could be?)
's Angelus on hold, I say we give the love to
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
, since the show that gave us
continues to rock well beyond its own cancellation grave. Why, the uninitiated may ask? Three words, people. Best. Writing.
If I'm lying, I'm undyin'. Honestly, there's something spooky about how well the dialogue stands up, even four years after the then-UPN axed their WB acquisition. Why the WB didn't ante up the coin to keep Buff where she belonged for her final season is baffling, but then again, we
talking about a network that also allowed
to go with the wind.
The great thing about
is that each set, though part of a greater whole which is also available on DVD, can stand on its own. The three high-school seasons are obviously the underworld equivalent of
's West Beverly years, with the teen angst at full throttle and Buffy being all Brenda to Angel's immortal Dylan. But once the Scoobies blow up the Mayor in the "Graduation Day" episode (which, by the way, features the greatest "yes!" moment ever when the Sunnydale grads rip open their gowns en masse to reveal that their armed to the teeth for battle), the series itself graduates to more sophisticated storytelling. Willow's coming out and murderous dalliance with the dark arts, the gut-ripping death of Buffy's mother, Spike's rise as a romantic herothey all coalesce into a body of work that not only set the bar for how young people were portrayed on TV, but also established
Sarah Michelle Geller
and the gang as talents to be reckoned with and made creepy hot again.
, you're welcome.
In addition to the goodness, there are also fab extras on all seven seasons, the best of them being quick, tidbit-filled interviews with
. As creator of all things
, Whedon's the one who can explain why Wesley was such a wuss during his pre-
days, where Oz went and how the Initiative came to be.
Oh, speaking of the Initiative, who can tell me who played Riley's buddy, Forrest? No one? OK, it was
. I know, so cool right? I love that game.
Moving on to another vampire tale that died in vein (get it?), we have NBC's ill-fated and at times, bloodless, remake of
. Having never watched the original daytime drama from the '60s due to my not-born-yet disadvantage, I at least knew the soap was groundbreaking in the way that
is today: instead of just desperate housewives and the young bucks who wronged them, viewers feasted on gothic nymphets and centuries-old neckbiter Barnabas Collins. And a lot of cheesy effects.
But let me tell ya, the big budget retelling totally took me back. Every Friday night, my buddy Neil and I would crash out in my parents' living room to watch
do this whole "I love youbut I drink blood" ballet with
, who I lovedlovedloved from
. But then the Gulf War broke out and everything else went out the window. After a dozen episodes, a slew of preemptions and creator
's wildly unfortunate decision to set half the show in the past,
went dark for good.
And I was OK with that, because really,
Michael T. Weiss
in Pilgrim drag was not my idea of a hot time,
What is hot in an ewwww kind of way, however, is the new direct-to-DVD release of
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End
. Granted, there's no ex-Faith
to found- or vampires- but ya do get a batch of carnivores, gallons of spilled blood, and supercool
as the host of a
-like reality show set in the backwoods of Virginia. One by one, the cast is picked off by the most inventive inbreeds, starting with a literally jaw-dropping attack on the TV GUIDE Network's very own
. God bless the blonde, before she bites it, Kim even takes a few jabs at herself for being stuck in B-list hell after tanking on
. Didn't stop
from finding A-list work, but who's judging, right?
OK, so that's that. I'm gonna go download
's season 2 "Halloween" episode onto my iPhone and then double-check my front door. All these shows are making me skittish.
Next week: Is it me, or was
totally out there? And do I hear a ghost whispering?
AND DON'T MISS...
is re-airing its brizzziliant
spoof this Sunday night on Cartoon Network at 10:30/9:30c. And if you haven't already, go grab the first two seasons on DVD. Your other DVDs will thank you!