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Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 5 Review

06 Mar

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another TV review and today I will be reviewing season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So after having good times with season 12, 3 and 4, I am ready for more. Minor spoilers follow…

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As usual, we follow the life of Buffy Summers; normal teenager by day, vampire slayer by night. As part of the “Scooby Gang” along with Giles, Willow, Xander and Anya, except this time with more Spike, as they take on the supernatural happenings that go on in Sunnydale.

The show continues to have episodic stories, but also has stories that continue over the course of the season that relate to things that have happened in the past and present too. This season deals with the concept of death of and how it affects the slayer. In addition to that we see the introduction of Dawn (Buffy’s sister), get a deeper look at Spike, have more magical happenings with Willow and deal supernatural issues that come range from the standard fare to god-like scenarios.

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Story-wise this season continues some of the themes from season 4, however it takes the darkness and despair to a whole new level. That doesn’t mean that the trademark humour is gone, it is actually still around but is used sparingly this time around. What I liked about this season of Buffy is the fact that took major storylines that could have spanned an entire season and condensed it into a few episodes. Normally that can be seen as a sign of rushing, however the writers find a way to move things along a brisk pace resulting in well-thought out stories that told in concise manner. Episodes and stories moved swiftly and some had a great deal of levity to it especially the episodes that Joss Whedon directed, and speaking of Mr. Whedon I have to say that he knows how to do the unexpected, tug at your heartstrings and great very real/fantastical experiences.

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Episode highlights include:

  • Buffy Vs. Dracula
  • The Replacement (personal favourite)
  • Family
  • Fool For Love (personal favourite)
  • Into the Woods
  • Triangle
  • Blood Ties (personal favourite)
  • Crush
  • The Body (personal favourite)
  • Forever
  • Intervention
  • Tough Love
  • The Weight of the World (personal favourite)
  • The Gift (personal favourite)

When it comes to the cast, the regulars once again give us such beautiful and memorable performances, while the new additions certain shake things up for the recurring cast members.

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So let’s start with Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers. I’ve always liked Buffy as she’s a delightful, beautiful, sarcastic and incredible individual with an awesome screen presence and kicks plenty of ass. But in this season it seems like Buffy has really stepped up and become more than just the slayer, she is a true superhero. In this season Buffy wrestles with all sorts of monsters, deals with relationships with her friends, family and lovers and has to come to terms with death in the most brutal of ways. SMG does such a fantastic job in this role and this is the best acting I’ve sen from her so far. Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg is delightful, this character continues to grow and develop as person and as a witch and it is incredible to see how far she has come. Back when the series started she was so shy and cute, now she’s still cute and funny, but is way more confident and assertive. Nicholas Brendon is fun as Xander Harris, however he is a bit more of a douchebag this season giving Buffy and Spike grief and just being generally unlikable. Michelle Trachtenberg is the new face in the crowd as Dawn Summers, she is quite different to her sister but at the same time very similar. It is interesting to learn about her, see her grow up and adjust to the difficulties of early teenage life in addition to all the extra drama that follows Buffy. James Marsters definitely steps up a in a big as Spike, his role was already being expanded following last season, but here he is at the forefront of most story and it is interesting to learn more about his backstory, see his character development and have him interact with Buffy and company in such dramatic and humourous ways.

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Anthony Stewart Head still kicks ass as Rupert Giles, while there aren’t any super fun standout moments like season four, we don’t get to see him in a more assertive and aggressive manner. Just seeing him put his foot down or just be kind of dark and sinister is delightful for me. Emma Caulfield continues to be a source of humour and confusion as Anya, and while some of her blunt statements can be frustrating, this season you really do feel for her as you see that she’s really just innocent and doesn’t know any better.  Amber Benson was a lot more fun as Tara Maclay, in this season Tara has more to do and say and we got discover more about who she is, what makes her special and how deep her relationship is with Willow. I really liked Clare Kramer as Glory, she was a very different kind of villain as she was very charismatic, confident and casual about her evil deeds and while she didn’t always have the answers, when she was in control of a situation she was a beast. I liked Charlie Weber as Be, but I didn’t care much for him. Kristine Sutherland was once again a joy to watch as Joyce Summers, she was kind and sweet and brave in the face of extreme hardship.

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So to conclude season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a great, if somewhat heartbreaking season that deals with death, gods and the power of family. There was a lot to love and overall I feel like this season was stronger than the last, but I guess there were a few nitpicks I have here an there that stop it from being perfect.

Rating: 8.5/10

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10 Comments

Posted by on March 6, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 responses to “Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 5 Review

  1. lauren

    March 8, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I really liked this season and episodes like Fool for Love and The Body are two of my favourites. The humour and drama are great. The cast are amazing, especially during The Body, and SMG in particular knocks it out the park. I still get upset when I watch it now.

     
    • Hypersonic55

      March 8, 2015 at 9:29 pm

      Those were especially great episodes and I doubt watching The Body would ever get any easier, the raw emotion hits you hard.

       
  2. sidekickreviews

    March 10, 2015 at 5:28 am

    Hello there, great to see you’re continuing with your Buffy season reviews. Season 5 had a cohesive story arc and central themes throughout the entire season. I agree that it’s not perfect and even though it had a couple of my all-time favourite episodes it’s not my favorite season. The Body still remains one of the best television episodes I’ve seen that handled a death of a character. I enjoyed Joyce playing a bigger role compared to Season 4 and I liked how Dawn was introduced as if she was there all along. A great season for Buffy too, she explored what it meant to be a slayer, sometimes a bit tough as an older sister but stayed true to her family and in the finale made the ultimate sacrifice like a true superhero. Great stuff!

     
    • Hypersonic55

      March 10, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      I know my viewing experience of this show has been fairly fragmented, but I’ve tried to make sure that I get it finished because I’m genuinely enjoying the show a lot.

      I do like how this season had a story and themes that were connected throughout, because I do like episodic adventures but I also appreciate a full story arc. I’m still wondering if I’ll be able to The Body again next time round, it was a raw and emotional experience which was beautifully crafted and I find it funny that some people criticise Joss Whedon when it comes to his writing and directing skills and yet when you see material like this, you wonder if they’ve even seen some of the masterful work he’s crafted over the years. I too liked seeing Joyce in the foreground instead of the background, she is a great character. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Dawn because of her constant bickering with Buffy, but she really grew on me for sure. Buffy was such a don in this season and I can easily see this show being a good basis for a film if the show gets rebooted into a film (which I can see happening at some point).

       
      • sidekickreviews

        March 11, 2015 at 12:53 am

        I connected with this show on such as deep, emotional level, I’m so glad that you’re enjoying it a lot!
        I really liked what you said about Whedon, totally agree. He gets criticized for relying on zippy dialogue so what does he do? He writes an episode (Hush) where the characters can’t speak haha. I don’t know if you’re watching this on Blu-ray or netflix but Whedon gives great episode commentary that has a lot of insight, plus he’s super funny. If Whedon was behind a movie reboot, I’d be interested. But I heard that the movie rights don’t belong to him; they belong to the producers of the original movie and they don’t have the rights to TV characters like Spike or Angel. I agree, we’ll see some sort of film version at some point, I mean so many stuff nowadays is getting rebooted haha.

         
  3. myreelpov

    March 13, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Yay to series 5! It just gets better and better in my opinion. What did you think when Dawn showed up?? I remember watching this when it came out on Channel 5 and my Mum and I were like HAVE WE MISSED SOMETHING and it takes a few episodes to tell the audience what’s happening I thought it was so clever. Anyway wait till you see how much Willow progresses in the next series or two! I can’t wait for you to watch them 😀

     
    • Hypersonic55

      March 13, 2015 at 3:31 pm

      It has taken a while, but I’m slowly progressing with Buffy and its hella good. As for when Dawn showed up, I had to look online and check that I hadn’t missed anything because it was one of the most WTF moments I’ve experienced in TV ever. So confusing. But yeah things did get cleared up and got more and more interesting. My friend from Sheffield said that thinks get more interesting from here so I’m hyped for sure.

       
      • myreelpov

        March 13, 2015 at 3:44 pm

        Prepare for your mind to be blown 😀 haha

         

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