#1  
Old 01-03-2004, 07:09 PM
Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Season 5)





NOTE: This is a television series as opposed to movies, but since Arrow seemed to've gotten into the series thing we schmoes should follow suit. So here we go . . .

SECOND NOTE:
Since this is a television series I'm going to rate it differently than my previous reviews. Every television series will be rated on the following:
Episodes
Characters
Story
Growth
All of the above pertain to THIS SEASON ONLY.
The final rating will be a letter grade instead of the */10 format.
So here we go . . . uh, again . . .


Ah, Buffy. The show's personality is hard to put a finger on: it's a comedy, horror, suspense, drama, action extravaganza with a few chunks of chick-flick, a few scoops of bad-ass, and a very brooding nature. For those of you who tune in for five seconds and start foaming at the mouth with how stupid the show is, well, shut up and go sit in your corner. Now stay there.
For everyone else, let's see how the scoobies fare in Season 5.

Buffy Summers is the chosen one. She's the slayer; a simple girl with an extraordinary power and the duty of fighting the forces of darkness (namely vampires, but we also got demons and ghosts and . . . well, and apparently gods). She's got her scooby gang, a band of loyal friends that began as two outcasts (the adorable Willow and hi-larious Xander) a school librarian who's also her watcher (Giles a.k.a Ripper) and a vampire with a soul (broody Angel) on her side. Fast-forward five years down the line and you'll start to see what makes Buffy different from other shows. For one, the characters GROW. I mean, big time. Their personalities are continually wrapped in more and more layers, and by the end they're as complex as you or me (well, not you; you suck). A nerdy schoolgirl with a crush on her best friend - who's a guy - becomes a powerful, gay witch and quite the quipper'. A geeky loser who throws out a few jokes is soon a functioning adult who's working a nice job at a construction company (no college for him) and dating a demon. I could go pages and pages on everyone's traits and faults . . . but I won't. So let me just say that by year 5 everyone's all grown up now . . .
. . . oh, and Buffy has a sister.

Wait--stop everything. What? She's never had a sister before! Well, see, her sister isn't exactly 'normal'. She's actually a key created by some monks and given to the slayer so that she'll have adequate protection from the beast . . . who, by the way, happens to be a god with the personality of a stoned model who's actually two people in one body, and-
Long story short, there's a new Big-Bad in town. But what makes this season so different from others is that it doesn't stop there. Much like S3, S5 throws in a variety of elements that all work around the characters and the Big-Bad to create a season story that's really quite elaborate and well spun. Suffice to say that things change big time for our pals in Sunnydale, California. And we as an audience love every minute of it.

Sarah Michelle Geller is Buffy. No really, that's her character. She plays it as well as always, notably in the episode The Body (the most superbly acted hour of television ev-ah), but season 5 unfortunately marks the occasion when I start disliking the character of Buffy. Why? This is the start of her relationship with Spike, played by the underrated and highly talented (not to mention cool) James Marsters, a relationship I always felt Spike got a raw deal on. Give him a break, Buf'! Next up we have the impossibly likeable Alyson Hannigan, who's cute as always and even gets in a nice show of power ("I owe you pain!"). Nicholas Brendon continues to provide the laughs and heart as Xander; he does just as well as other seasons. Emma Caulfield works very well as the bubbly Anya and assuredly ups her performance from last season. Anthony Stewart-Head hits another homer with the ex-librarian-turned-magic-shop-owner Giles. I've always had a soft spot for this character and he's only tenderized that (. . . that sounded odd, didn't it?). I've already mentioned Marsters but I'll just heap on some more praise--he rocks. Amber Benson plays Tara, the shy love-girl for the Willow character . . . and she wasn't too annoying. So-so, but that's just my view of the character; her performance was great. The newcomer to the bunch, Michele Tratchenberg, never quite manages to make Dawn likeable, but she does the best she can.

The episodes in this season are some of the best. We have another scary creature-feature in the form of the Queller demon (ack!), another stand-alone episode that should've won fifty bazillion emmys and would've nabbed an Oscar nomination for Geller if it'd been a movie, and an awesome Big Bad in the form of Glory (and Ben, of course). Everything leads up to what ties S2's finale for the best in the series; it slouches initially but picks up and delivers a whammie. God, I loved that score at the end! One of the saddest moments in the series. Joss Whedon, writer and creator of Buffy, polishes a few of his own episodes, all of which are expectedly exceptional. The only loser in the bunch in the Season 5 premiere, featuring a very lame episode where they bring in Dracula (God knows why).

Buffy's almighty, sure, but the chick has some issues. The main one would have to be the peculiar quality rift that sometimes comes up empty-handed in Season 5. We can be treated to a string of phenomenal television (looooved the Spike flashbacks!), and then there's an episode that seems almost alien compared to the quality of others. Obviously this happens in television shows, and to Buffy's credit season five's episodes get better and better with each one (a rarity), but I'd still just like to see one season that's perfect all the way through. Season 5 is the closest we will ever get to that said perfection, offering only a handful of lousy moments (most of which are in the premiere).

Season 5 doesn't change its characters as much as the previous seasons, but with so much going on story-wise it's hard to tell. And hey, this starts the lovin' between Buffy and Spike and ditches Riley (a decent character that was just never used quite the right way). Rejoice!

Well-written, funnier than most sitcoms, sometimes rather terrifying (I hate baby-slug-alien things that crawl on walls; don't need em' I say), always engrossing, emotionally charged, and filled with lots-o-depth, Buffy has a go at what is quite possibly her best season ever.


Episodes: A
Characters: A+ (some of the best characters ever conceived; I love these guys!)
Story: A+
Growth: B (not so much the characters but mythology: what a slayer is gets some more light shed on it; again, the character DO grow, just not as much as previous seasons)

A--an underrated series that deserves to be held in the highest regard. You can't get much better than Season 5.



REVIEW DATABASE

MOVIES
:
28 Days Later : 7/10
8mm : 9/10
Alien : 6/10
Audition : 7/10
August Underground : 5/10
Battle Royale : 8/10
Cannibal Holocaust : 9/10
Dawn of the Dead : 5/10
Day of the Dead: 8/10
The Dead Zone : 7/10
Donnie Darko : 10/10
The Eye : 7/10
Elephant : 6/10
Freaky Friday : 8/10
Ginger Snaps : 7/10
Hardcore : 6/10
Hellboy : 6/10
House of 1000 Corpses : 4/10
House of Sand and Fog : 9/10
Hulk : 10/10
Irreversible : 8/10
Kill Bill Volume 1 : 8/10
Kung Pow! Enter the Fist : 7/10
Last House on the Left: 3/10
May : 10/10
Memento : 8/10
Mulholland Drive : 7/10
Near Dark : 6/10
One Hour Photo : 9/10
Perfect Blue: 9/10
Requiem For a Dream : 8/10
Se7en : 9/10
Terminator 2: Judgment Day : 10/10
Thesis : 6/10
Underworld : 7/10
Willard : 8/10


TELEVISION
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 5): A

Neon Genesis Evangelion - Perfect Collection : B-
End of Evangelion : A-


BOOKS
Stephen King's IT : 5/5 stars

Last edited by C-Desecration-; 09-20-2004 at 06:06 PM..
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2004, 09:24 PM
season 5 is definately one of my favorite seasons.... the only thing missing is faith, but atleast spike becomes the ultimate of all characters in this season.... though none of my top 5 episodes come from this season....it is still the best season pound for pound...
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  #3  
Old 01-04-2004, 06:30 PM
Season Five was definitely my favorite season of Buffy--I did miss Oz, though. But Spike was my favorite and he was in it so much that I found it hard to complain. Plus, there was definitely a lot of character growth and change because they thought for a while that it would be the last Buffy season.
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2004, 05:17 PM
I'm going to completely geek-out here, so step back people.
Are you back?
All right . . .

Just to clarify the 'character development prob' with S5, I personally don't think it compares much with the previous four, or even season six and seven.

Season 1: Obviously quite a lot. We meet the gang. We get the personalities of buffy, willow, xander, angel, giles, cordelia (the latter of who gets a few more layers as the eps go on), etc.

Season 2: Again, a lot. Buffy and Angel get romantic, Xander and cordelia get romantic, Willow and Oz meet, Giles and Jenny get together . . . love's in the air this season. Angel gets a big character arc, as does buffy (especially at the finale), Giles gives us a hint at Ripper, and Willow even begins her magic. This might have the most of all seasons.

Season 3: A good bit. Willow gets more used to magic, Xander gets more into cordelia before everything goes horribly wrong, Cordelia gets some dimension, Angel stays the same, Buffy largely stays the same (Faith doesn't really bring out much in her, 'side form one ep), Giles loses his status as a watcher, and we are introduced to Faith.

Season 4: College. Big one. Willow goes gay (and Oz leaves, which is a bummer), Buffy gets a normal guy, Xander feels left behind - what with everyone else going to college - Giles gives us a view of Rupert (the guy actually has a life aside from the supernatural bit? wha-?), Anya becomes a main character (biggie), Spike becomes a main character (biggie again), and so does Riley; Tara is sort of in the shadows, which is how it always is. We basically introduce a ton of characters and still add a little to the old.

Season 5: Xander loves Anya more, Willow gets magic more, Buffy stays the same with the exception of her irritation with Dawn, Anya herself resolves some issues with Willow, Giles gets a job, and Spike gets a huge makeover and develops a love for Buffy . . . sadly the majority just get 'bumps' with development. Tara is unchanged, despite the fact that they trick you with that The Family episode, where they make it seem the scoobies will aknowledge her more . . . but the next ep everything's back to normal. Dawn is introduced but never really has much dimension (ugh, I'm the key! *breaks down crying* why does anything matter! . . . repeat that a few dozen times). Oh, and joyce dies.

Season 6 and 7 are obviously major (willow gets too uppity with magic, tara dies, buffy learns to enjoy life again, the characters turn into functioning adults, Anya and Xander breakup (the former gets all demony again), the nerds are introduced, Spike and Buffy start bangin', etc etc


All right, everyone can come back. Geek-out is officially over.

Anyways, I'm I the only one that thinks Season 5 is the least remarkable character-wise? I mean, its still better than the vast majority of television, but when its compared to the other seasons I just thought it came up a little short.

Last edited by C-Desecration-; 01-06-2004 at 05:21 PM..
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2004, 04:54 PM
*Spoilers here, and also geekiness*

I liked the development of Season 5, but it's a little more internal than the rest. Still, Xander gets far more confident to where he starts to feel vital (from being Dracula's "butt-monkey" to being promoted to crashing construction equipment into a hell goddess), and Buffy gets more at peace with her Slayer-ness by choosing to actively train again and then sacrificing herself. Willow's magic reaches its "good" peak, and Spike settles down to his love for Buffy by acknowledging that he "may be a monster, but [she] treated me like a man." Tara--get's nothing, unfortunately. She was barely there the whole season.

I'm personally really fond of that season.
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  #6  
Old 02-24-2004, 07:32 AM
----POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR SEASONS 1-5----

OK, I`ve seen seasons 1-5 so far and, to tell you the truth, I liked season 5 the least of them. The main problem might be that the main baddie is the most unlikeable baddie this far. That constant Glorificus-wining really got on my nerves and she herself was like a total bitch. She wasn`t awful, but by comparison to the previous main bad-guys ( The Master, Spike, Drusilla, Angelus, Mayor, Faith, Adam) she was totally not up to the bar. And her minions, they were more annoying than she was, and they didn`t even look cool.
The other problem I had with this season, was that there were only a few stand alone episodes. I don`t usually count that as a negative, but when the main plot is not that interesting at all.
It was kinda exciting, but not enough to carry through the whole season.
All the regular characters where still cool as always. Even Spike, though he`s obsession with Buffy sometimes kinda made him look like a pussy, still remained almost as cool as always and ofcourse the coolest character of the season.
I also didn`t like the obvious fading away from the horror genre. Besides the episode The Body and the presence of Dracula in the first episode, this season had quite little to do with horror.
Also, the season finale (MAJOR SPOILERS), though Buffy died and it should`ve been the most emotional and exciting episode yet, it was weaker than season 3 finale and came nowhere near season 2 final.
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  #7  
Old 02-24-2004, 07:04 PM
Season 5 was a good season for Buffy. Glory wasn't as good as some of the other baddies (Spike and Dru, The Mayor) and wasn't as bad as some of the baddies (Master, Adam and the Three Stooges). You got to see a new character (Dawn). Spike became more main characterish, Giles got to run the Magic Box which is like where the gang does all their research (instead of the library which was blown up at the end of season 3). Willow became more powerful with her magic. Buffy and the rest of the gang went through a tragedy. The finale was good, but not as good as season 2.

Overall i give season 5 7/10.
One of the better seasons of Buffy.
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  #8  
Old 02-24-2004, 10:59 PM
Buffy is my favourite show, and season 5 is one of the best seasons. It had a great arc & big bad, with very well-constructed plot twists and turns. There were only a couple of below-par episodes, the season flowed nicely and the DVD extras were really good, though I wish there was a The Gift commentary and more stuff with SMG. But most of the extras were really entertaining, in addition to the fabulous episodes.

Buffy vs. Dracula 7/10
Real Me 8/10
The Replacement 5/10
Out of My Mind 7/10
No Place Like Home 8/10
Family 9/10
Fool For Love 9/10
Shadow 7/10
Listening to Fear 5/10
Into the Woods 9/10
Triangle 8/10
Checkpoint 9/10
Blood Ties 9/10
Crush 9/10
I Was Made to Love You 7/10
The Body 10/10
Forever 9/10
Intervention 9/10
Tough Love 9/10
Spiral 9/10
The Weight of the World 7/10
The Gift 10/10

Average Grade 8.1/10
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  #9  
Old 02-25-2004, 10:48 AM
Season three was by far the best season 5 was average
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  #10  
Old 02-25-2004, 01:25 PM
Quote:
Season three was by far the best

That seems to be the feeling among the show's fans. Personally, I didn't care much for S3. Faith was irritating (okay, she's "street", we get it already) for most of the season. The relationship between her and the major was GREAT, I loved the hell out of it (helped make the mayor more than just a giggly big-bad) . . . but that's it. Though I also liked the prom episode. A lot of episodes were very lame (bad effects) and oddly dull for Buffy. They weren't fun/exciting/enjoyable/whatever to watch. The S3 finale was GREAT, but since the season backing it didn't do it for me there wasn't much of an impact.
Then again, maybe I'm just remembering everything wrong. Wes was awesome, so was Giles' increasingly paternal feelings for Buffy . . . and hey, we get more Oz . . .
Hmm.

On any account, S2 is my favorite. I'm not sure if its the best pound-for-pound, but it has the most memorable moments.
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  #11  
Old 03-17-2004, 06:45 AM
I personally like seasons 1,2 and 4 more than three. Yeah, Faith was cool, but major wasn`t that cool and Angel had become a total pussy. Also there was no Spike. Still I think that seasons 1-4 were all great, the 5th season on the other hand lost some steem and was`t completely up to bar with the previous ones.
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2004, 09:01 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by C-Desecration-
That seems to be the feeling among the show's fans. Personally, I didn't care much for S3. Faith was irritating (okay, she's "street", we get it already) for most of the season. The relationship between her and the major was GREAT, I loved the hell out of it (helped make the mayor more than just a giggly big-bad) . . . but that's it. Though I also liked the prom episode. A lot of episodes were very lame (bad effects) and oddly dull for Buffy. They weren't fun/exciting/enjoyable/whatever to watch. The S3 finale was GREAT, but since the season backing it didn't do it for me there wasn't much of an impact.
Then again, maybe I'm just remembering everything wrong. Wes was awesome, so was Giles' increasingly paternal feelings for Buffy . . . and hey, we get more Oz . . .
Hmm.
Out of the ones I've seen, yeah, Season 3 was the best. "The Wish" and "Doppelgangland" (I adore Anya) are my favorite episodes. Loved it.
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  #13  
Old 05-10-2007, 03:24 AM
I've only watched the first 6 episodes of Season 5 so far, but for some reason I'm liking it more then Season 4. It might have something to do with the arc. Season 5 seems like its going to have a great arc, while I found 4's arc to be weak. Plus Adam, although a good villain, was a weak big bad and was introduced too late in the season. Glory seems like she's going to end up being a bitchy yet badass big bad. Can't wait to watch more.
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  #14  
Old 05-10-2007, 04:18 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by MisterTwister
I've only watched the first 6 episodes of Season 5 so far, but for some reason I'm liking it more then Season 4. It might have something to do with the arc. Season 5 seems like its going to have a great arc, while I found 4's arc to be weak. Plus Adam, although a good villain, was a weak big bad and was introduced too late in the season. Glory seems like she's going to end up being a bitchy yet badass big bad. Can't wait to watch more.
I hope no one has spoiled what happens later in the season. Trust me there are hundreds of surprises and shocking twists to look forward to.
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  #15  
Old 07-17-2007, 03:25 PM
BUFFY! love it! and this is one of my favourite seasons.

Great villian in glory, shes funny and you cant help but in a way like having her on the show because shes great.

Also tara became more of a main character in this season, i love tara, shes just a nice, sweet, kind lesbian witch lol.

My favourite episodes are The Gift, The Body, Family and Tough Love.
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  #16  
Old 07-27-2007, 05:38 PM
It's awesome this is about season 5 because thats where I'm stuck at.

My friends finally got me to watch the series so I've gotten pretty far this summer, though after a few episodes of season 5 I took a hiatus and I'm contemplating quiting.

Season 1: My favorite, loved the campy feel and all, somewhat careless fun episodes.
Season 2: 2nd favorite, darker, more vampirey,hated spike at first but he gets better later on...
Season 3: Pretty cool I guess, my friends built up the finale to much, cant stand faith
Season 4: Didnt really like it, hated Adam, hated the initiative, could not STAND Riley...
Season 5: I've seen 3 episodes, I cant stand Dawn...

So should I continue?

Oh and favorite episode is probobly Hush, and they should have kept the old werewolf look...
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  #17  
Old 07-30-2007, 12:22 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Henry Lee Lucas
So should I continue?
Yes.

Like C pointed out, Dawn never really manages to be likable throughout season 5, nor season 6 . . . She's fine by season 7.

Good news is, that the rest of the episodes aren't Dawn-centric like that lame-ass episode "Real Me" (which I'm SURE it's what pissed you off like every other fan). She does whine a lot during the entire season, but the overall plot and character interaction outweighs her annoying character big time. The big bad kicks ass.

My favorite seasons, though, are 7, 5, 4 and 6. I hated season 1 and really like 2 and 3. But the early years of Buffy are definitely the ones I rarely rewatch.

Just continue. It'll pick up. The first episode is 'tarded fun, the second sucks ass, and the third was pretty dumb. You've watched the worst this season offers. By the time you watch stuff like "The Body" and "The Gift", you'll see why someone would say something like "to Buffy's credit season five's episodes get better and better with each one (a rarity), but I'd still just like to see one season that's perfect all the way through. Season 5 is the closest we will ever get to that said perfection, offering only a handful of lousy moments (most of which are in the premiere)."
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