I mean, it keeps staring at me with its puppy-dog eyes saying, "Watch me! Watch me!"
So, over dinner tonight, I decided..."Hey! Let's start from the beginning!"
- I warn you: I tend to have big love for first seasons of long-running shows. Sure they're buggy. Sure the actors are trying to feel out their roles. Sure the special effects are less-than-stellar. (Yike! Didn't love the vampire dustage or the Master rising out of his pool of blood.) But it's so charming! And it reminds me why I liked this series to begin with.
- Plus, I have a love for cheesy B movies. 'The Harvest' is one awesome cheesy B movie, as is all of S1 if memory serves. But it was a B-movie with heart.
- It's Darla! Hi, Darla! This is Darla before she got backstory. And a plot. And before she got staked. And resurrected as a human. And then revamped. And then became pregnant. And then staked herself while she gave birth to Connor. Not bad for a throw-away vampire. Why didn't they keep her around again?
- The most hilarious thing: We find out in this episode that Darla is an airhead and...best of all...she seems to have no clue what a vampire slayer is. Just...man, all I can say is that it's one hell of a retcon. At least this one worked.
- Awwwwww! Sarah Michele Gellar is so cute, as in pinch-your-cheeks cute. Remember when Buffy looked like she ate a hamburger every once in a while? Remember when Buffy looked like a normal-sized girl instead of a skeleton? Just...awwwwww!
- That opening nightmare scene with Buffy? Cheeezy with a capital cheese.
- Incoming! Introduction of Xander and Willow. I actually started shouting at the screen, "Guys! Stay away from the blonde! She's trouble! RUUUUUUUUUUUUN!"
- I'm actually kind of amazed: Nicholas Brendon and Allyson Hannigan actually do look like high school students. Lord knows they look slightly older than the 16-year-olds they're supposed to be playing, but they do look high school-ish.
- Aaaaaand we are reminded of those by-gone days when Allyson Hannigan knew how to act. She's so good here, that I feel the re-awakening of Willow-love.
- Plus, I really don't see any trace of an unrequited love for Xander on Willow's part. It strikes me that she's acting like they really are just friends who grew up together, which is really very nice. She's certainly not vibing at Buffy to stay away from "her man" when they chat at the Bronze. So I really don't get why people say she did. Because I'm not seeing it here.
- Remember those days when Buffy got whiny and stubborn and all negative-girl she would still march forward with head held high and briming with optimism? I almost forgot those days. *hugs Buffy* Awwwww! Buffy! You're breaking my heart over here.
- Poor Giles. Relegated to creepy guy in the library and creepy Watcher who's a walking text book. And Giles? Here's a hint when dealing with students, even if she is a Slayer: don't stand so damn close when talking to her in the halls, don't corner her while talking to her in the halls, and don't follow her to the Bronze. This could get you in trouble.
- And iiiiiiit's Angel! I think we should call this: "Before David Boreanaz figured out he could act."
- You know what? Not loving Eric Balfour as Jesse. Not loving Jesse, actually. Killing him off was a good move. Too bad he will disappear into the sands of time fueling character growth for absolutely no one.
- *snerk* Xander begins his very long career as a man who is attracted to deadly women. *pets Xander* It appears he had an unerring sense of getting hot and bothered over the woman most likely get him killed at a very young age. It's a wonder he survived until he met Buffy.
- He also begins his very long career of dragging people to safety while Buffy kicks ass in this episode. He wants to bail. He asks if he can bail. But he still runs across the crypt to help Willow carry Jesse out.
- *raises hand* Question. At the end of the episode, Jesse, Willow, and Xander are surrounded by a dozen vampires. So how come they only grab Jesse, but don't take Xander and Willow with them? Okay, I'm looking ahead to the next episode, but I just thought I'd toss that out. It's not like any of the three of them even know how to fight any of these guys off.
- I don't remember whether I liked Cordelia during the first run (and actually, I didn't start watching until 'The Pack' and only because my mother bugged me to watch and I didn't start watching regularly until S2), but she's just awesome high school teen queen. I want to tell Cordelia to run, too.
- Although I have to wonder on what planet does Charisma Carpenter look like a high school student because...not so much.
- Principal Flutie was some kind of awesome. The actor just had this impeccable comic timing. Don't get me wrong, I liked Snyder, but the mean old principal who's out to get the hero and her gang is kind of cliche from the Saturday morning cartoons. But Flutie was sooo fluffy, torn between being a teacher and being the "students' friend" that it's kind of cute.
- Hunh. I didn't realize how much Xander didn't like Cordelia back in the day. Cordelia was strictly a Jesse-shaped crush. Xander was more like a "go away you bother me" person when it came to Cordelia.
- Wow. Joyce back in the day was a clueless mom who tried too damn hard. Okay, Joyce was clueless on her best of days all through S1 and S2, but there's an extra sort of clueless new-agey feel to her here.
- So, basically, new-ish Slayers, even new-ish Slayers with a little experience, aren't candidates for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon during a fight. Vampires can be stronger than they are. They're not all Kung Fu Hustle right out of the box. Watch as Luke hands Buffy her ass. Compare and contrast with all those Potentials getting the juice during the final battle in 'Chosen.' Discuss.
- Heh. Nice to be reminded that Xander was literally the first student Buffy talked to at Sunnydale High and was the first student to find out she was the slayer. Okay, he wasn't supposed to overhear the slayer part. Nice how the flow of the plot got him in the library. Willow tells him at the beginning of the episode to "go where the books live" so he can get a textbook in the first act and in the third act, Xander's there to overhear the convo between Giles and Buffy.
- Speaking of plot, a ton of stuff happened in the first episode. Wow! There were multiple scene changes! And multiple storylines! And every character in the significantly smaller cast had something to do! And it went by so very fast!
- Famous last words from Buffy: "It's Sunnydale. How bad can it be?" Dun-dun-DUUUUUUN.
- More famous last words from Buffy: "It's not like I'm going to get fluffy bunny feelings over vampires." Say it with me people: *sigh*
- Line that still makes me laugh: "What's your childhood trauma?"
Finally, upon finishing 'The Harvest,' just how happy would these characters be if they saw what would happen to them?
I think Giles might be okay with how he turned out. If anything, Giles almost returned to type in S7. Which...well, that's not actually character growth, is it?
Willow would be horrified and would run squeaking away. She might be cool with the magic mamma part, but not so much with the thumb-sucking, ex-murderess, forgot-how-to-use-a-computer part.
Buffy would probably force herself to eat a hamburger. She'd then make fun of Ms. I'm-Depressed-So-I-Must-Make-A-Speach-A-L
As strange as this sounds, I have positively no clue how 'The Harvest' Xander would react to 'Chosen' Xander beyond, "Dude! You have one eye!"