“Never Kill a Boy on the First Date” (Buffy: Season 1)

As of today, it has been four months since the last time I posted anything on this site.  I really do believe in the value of aiding in healthy discernment of pop culture.  However, the tricky thing with writing is that the inspiration doesn’t always come.  I wish that I could say that it was an issue of time, but it isn’t.  I have the time, but the inspiration I haven’t had.  However, in an attempt to get the show going again, I am going to work through the Buffy series to rebuild the inspiration.

Initially, I desired to go with variety.  To post a variety of subject matter or themes, however really that probably played a role in my challenge to find inspiration.  So, it is for that reason you may see a lot of one genre of film or one TV series.  Simply put, it is a way to keep the blogs coming and the inspiration flowing.

So with all of that in mind, here comes a post for Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

“Never Kill a Boy on the FIrst Date”

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 1, Episode 5

 REVIEW

     Throughout season 1 there were a lot of early indicators that Buffy was going to be a very good show.  The unique twist on the monster movie genre, where the pretty girl isn’t the victim, but the hero who beats the snot out of these monsters.  However, in this episode you begin to see the Joss Whedon humor really begin to pull through.

   Joss Whedon’s humor is a unique humor, and it makes his shows connect so much better.  In a place full of vampires and ghosts and witches and other sorts of demons, his writing makes it feel real.  At times, their characters are people you could imagine knowing in real life.  Especially the characters of Xander and Willow.

   In this episode, Buffy attracts the attention of a heart-throb named Owen.  While, Giles is saying that the prophecies are pointing the emergence of the anointed one who would be bad news for Buffy and everyone in Sunnydale.  Buffy struggles with her priorities.  Dating a cute boy or stopping the anointed one from rising.

  The character of Owen himself was pretty wooden.  Which, I guess is necessary so that you as the audience realize that Owen really isn’t the keeper in terms of relationships.  Furthermore, he really is more of a plot device than anything else.

   Meanwhile, the Scooby gang of Willow and Xander are on top of things with good dialogue.  But this really isn’t the stand-out moment of the episode.  It was the moment at the end between Giles & Buffy.

   Buffy realizing that she cannot be with Owen, that the relationship wouldn’t work out.  This was in all reality a cross or burden for her to carry.  Giles sat down to talk with her and connected with her.  It is in this conversation that you realize that Giles also is giving up a lot to train her.  It is burden that both of them must bare.  They make great use of music to carry this connection.

   This is what was always great about the Buffy-Angel tv series, they were excellent at developing characters and leading the audience to sympathize with them.  This was the first sign of that strong writing.

GRADE:  72%

Topics for Teaching

Priorities

In the episode, Buffy is heavily leaning towards spending evenings with Owen as opposed to carrying out her calling.  A calling that if ignored has great consequences.  While, most don’t have as high of a calling as she does, we certainly have priorities.  While, the date with a most eligible bachelor (bachelorette) sounds great, there are priorities that stand above it.  To ignore such priorities has consequences that are greater than missing out on a date with that boy (or girl).

Burdens/Crosses

This is really an ongoing theme throughout the show and will be addressed more with a later episode.

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