Thursday, July 3, 2008

Into every generation, a slayer is born...

I think I referenced it before in one of my potpourri posts, but I'm really digging the AV Club's review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the beginning, especially since the reviews are being written by someone with only a casual previous knowledge of the series. All the thoughts, observations and analysis are from the point of view of a "newbie," and it's always great to see someone exposed to the series through fresh eyes. In fact, thought it brings up memories of one of the most traumatic periods of my life, I'll always fondly recall the joy I experienced sharing my favorite show, and one of the best shows on television ever, with my new "insta-family" over the course of a few months several years ago.

Here's a link to the recaps of the first three eps of season 2 on the AV Club, and if you haven't been keeping up, it's worth going back to the beginning and watching it all unspool. The writer, Noel Murray, generally posts reviews 3 at a time and does this a couple of times per week. It's a fun and entertaining journey through the entire series, and it will be interesting to see how the opinions shape up once we get to season 4, where the views of the fans start to wildly diverge.

Longtime readers of TNRLM will recall that one of the first posts I did was a summary of my own personal ratings and rankings of BTVS eps, from 1 through 144. (Aside: in the AV Club post, there's a question about assigning letter grades to the shows as you go along, and whether or not it's worth doing. I think from the POV of the reviewer it would be interesting, but there's also a good case to be made that things that would be a sold "A" in S1 might look like a "B" or "C" once you get deeper in, so the evaluations would have to be kind of fluid anyway. For my ratings, I did them after having seen the entire series all the way through at least 4 or 5 times). Actually, in that post I just hit the highlights -- top 10 and bottom 10 -- from my own exhaustive spreadsheet. At the time I did that post, I don't think google docs was a widespread application, so I had no way to actually share the entire thing. But now I do. If you'd care to peruse the entire thing, you can, by looking here. (Note: there are three "tabs" or pages. "Episodes" lists all the eps in chronological order, with a rating for each. "Summary" looks the same, until you get to the end, where I average out the episode ratings by season, to see how each season stacks up, which was rather surprising to me looking at it numerically. Which of course, doesn't take into account the overarching quality, throughline and arc of the season as a whole, but is informative and interesting. "Rankings" reorders the list from highest rated to lowest rated, and assigns a ranking to each episode from 1 to 144). YMMV, of course, but if you'd like to debate, agree or tell me to get a fucking life, feel free to in the comments or via the TNRLM email on the right.

No matter which way you go, it's always fun to re-experience one of the greatest things to ever grace the tube.

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