Discovering Buffy

After watching for the nth time the precious jewel that is Firefly, I've decided it was high time for me to get on board with Joss Whedon's previous creation. I have tried half-heartily once before and was unlucky enough to catch a weird episode built around a demon-infested computer. Now, I know some of my friends would swear that's a regular condition for a computer, but the whole thing was so silly I couldn't bear it for more than 10 minutes. And I changed the channel, never to return again.

But, on the aftermath of the depression (well, now there's a strong word for it) that always sets in for me after finishing Firefly (insert customary curse toward Fox Network here) I thought Buffy - and eventually Angel - could give me at least one of the things that make Firefly so great. Namely, Whedon-style witty dialogue. And, maybe, a taste of those effortless character building and interactions, too.

So off I went, determined to really give Buffy a chance this time, and here I am after having watched the whole first season. Well. I'm not into vampires. And supernatural phenomena. And fantasy in general. I'm a sci-fi fan, from hard sci-fi (basically non-existent on television) to space opera. Of course the supernatural creeps into everything these days on screen, big and small, and I'm not a fundamentalist. I had a blast playing Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines, for instance, a great unsung CRPG commercially doomed by way too many bugs at its release and the closing of the development studio (the mod community stepped in and released a bunch of unofficial patches). Great game, all about vampires. Highly recommended. So I can dig it, if the occasion warrants it. Still, not my thing usually.

Apparently Buffy's first season isn't all that to begin with, according to Buffy fans. I can confirm that. It's the season of the demon pc, btw, as I've discovered. Yuk, that sucked. But, the witty dialogue is there, though a bit forced at times. And Sarah Michelle Gellar is spunky. Nerdy Willow could be my twin soul. And Armin Shimmerman (Quark in DS9) has a recurring guest role. There are seeds of potential greatness in this. There's also a lot of silliness, cheesy monster-of-the-week plotting and a lot of camp (the latter is not necessarily a bad thing, mind you). I'll stick to it though and watch season 2 as well. After that, if I'm not hooked, I'll give it up. And probably take out my Firefly DVDs once more. Ah, Fox, thou shall suffer greatly.

BTW Joss's working on a whole new show, tentatively (?) called Dollhouse. Tahmoh Penikett, aka Helo on Battlestar Galactica, is one of the principals. It went in production last month and should air in 2009. On Fox. Could Mr. Whedon be a little on the masochistic side?