Best Fan Videos

[Article by Mike Marinaro]

[The Vids]

Below are my favorite fan music videos for Buffy. It’s really rare to find ones that are well made from a technical standpoint (i.e. proper aspect ratio, good editing, etc.), an emotional standpoint, and an argument standpoint. This collection often makes me think, always makes me feel, and Continue reading “Best Fan Videos”

Ten Things Buffy Does Best

[Article by Mike Marinaro]

[Article (Spoiler Free)]

I’ve had quite the journey with Buffy the Vampire Slayer over the years. As the brilliantly rendered characters grew and evolved through their adolescence and young adulthood, I grew too; as they learned about themselves, I did as well. What, you might ask, beyond helping some geeky guy you Continue reading “Ten Things Buffy Does Best”

Buffy Season 7 Review

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Introduction]

Well everyone… we’ve, at last, arrived at the end of the road. It’s been quite the journey over these seven seasons and, wow, almost five years. My exploration of the series has helped me explore myself as a person – something that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is very conducive to. As the br Continue reading “Buffy Season 7 Review”

Buffy 7×22: Chosen

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Joss Whedon | Director: Joss Whedon | Aired: 05/20/2003]

Well, folks. This is it! The final episode of the uniquely brilliant Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I feel a bit overwhelmed at not only finally making it to this review, but also at the task of analyzing what sums up seven seasons of pure emotion, thought, and excitement. My goal here is to stic Continue reading “Buffy 7×22: Chosen”

Buffy 7×21: End of Days

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Douglas Petrie and Jane Espenson | Director: Marita Grabiak | Aired: 05/13/2003]

“End of Days” is not at all awful and is certainly watchable, but it’s also quite a disappointment. There’s no other way to say it. We’re at the end of what’s my favorite television show and we have to sit through a bunch of unwieldy exposition about an overly convenient plot device thrown into the Continue reading “Buffy 7×21: End of Days”

Buffy 7×20: Touched

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Rebecca Rand Kirshner | Director: David Solomon | Aired: 05/06/2003]

As Buffy the Vampire Slayer enters its final three episodes Rebecca Rand Kirshner, for the first time, gets everything right. Pretty much all of her episodes have been solid outings, but this is the first one that really sucked me in and didn’t let go. “Touched” is the last episode of the se Continue reading “Buffy 7×20: Touched”

Buffy 7×19: Empty Places

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Drew Z. Greenberg | Director: James A. Contner | Aired: 04/29/2003]

With only four episodes left in the entire series, I have to express my disappointment that an episode as troubled as what we have here exists. At a point when the series should be burning brightly in one final burst, what we instead have is a candle flickering wildly with a wind that keeps threate Continue reading “Buffy 7×19: Empty Places”

Buffy 7×18: Dirty Girls

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Drew Goddard | Director: Michael Gershman | Aired: 04/15/2003]

“Dirty Girls” is an exciting and surprising episode, but is also one that is slowed by a focus on plot and unnecessarily long introductions. Interspersed into the plot are some great character scenes, a dash of humor, and some shocking moments. Added all up it’s a bit of a jumble, but it mostly wor Continue reading “Buffy 7×18: Dirty Girls”

Buffy 7×17: Lies My Parents Told Me

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: David Fury and Drew Goddard | Director: David Fury | Aired: 03/25/2003]

Uhh… yes, please? From the first time I saw “Lies My Parents Told Me” I thought it was one of those “big” episodes where complex situations and character growth won the day. From the revelations and growth Spike experiences to the depth and satisfaction we get in closure to Wood’s arc to th Continue reading “Buffy 7×17: Lies My Parents Told Me”

Buffy 7×16: Storyteller

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Jane Espenson | Director: Marita Grabiak | Aired: 02/25/2003]

“Storyteller,” like other classic comedy episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, manages to be extremely funny while also having rousing character development and a heart. I’m the first to admit that, until now, Andrew has been little more than comic relief — great comic relief, but ot Continue reading “Buffy 7×16: Storyteller”

Buffy 7×15: Get it Done

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Douglas Petrie | Director: Douglas Petrie | Aired: 02/18/2003]

“Get it Done,” an episode with a very relevant title, does a solid job at helping several key characters move beyond their fears and doubts so that they will be ready and able when the big fight is at hand. Buffy continues to take a very authoritative stance towards everyone, including her friends Continue reading “Buffy 7×15: Get it Done”

Buffy 7×14: First Date

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Jane Espenson | Director: David Grossman | Aired: 02/11/2003]

I’ve always somewhat enjoyed “First Date,” but it wasn’t until I took a closer look at it that I fully realized why. It’s an episode that gets one thing wrong (i.e. Xander’s date) and almost everything else right. “First Date” also serves up some solid setup for the next three episodes and h Continue reading “Buffy 7×14: First Date”

Buffy 7×13: The Killer in Me

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Drew Z. Greenberg | Director: David Solomon | Aired: 02/04/2003]

There’s no polite way to put this: “The Killer in Me” doesn’t get much right and is easily the worst episode since “Where the Wild Things Are” [4×18]. The good news is that I think this is going to be the low point of the season. As for this episode, though, oh where do I begin? There’s tone problems, pacing problems, and p Continue reading “Buffy 7×13: The Killer in Me”

Buffy 7×12: Potential

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Rebecca Rand Kirshner | Director: James A. Contner | Aired: 01/21/2003]

“Potential” is a decidedly mixed bag. Although I liked more than I didn’t like, the episode just didn’t come together for me. Surprisingly, though, the Potentials themselves aren’t what pulled this episode down. It actually makes sense to focus on the Potentials for an episode. Its downfall is real Continue reading “Buffy 7×12: Potential”

Buffy 7×11: Showtime

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: David Fury | Director: Michael Grossman | Aired: 01/07/2003]

I’m going to just come out and say it: “Showtime” is a poor episode, and it’s pretty easy to explain why. The first 75% of the episode is pretty much a waste of space. While I very much enjoyed the last act of the episode, involving the big Ubervamp fight, I can’t say as much for very much else in Continue reading “Buffy 7×11: Showtime”

Buffy 7×10: Bring on the Night

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Marti Noxon and Douglas Petrie | Director: David Grossman | Aired: 12/17/2002]

“Bring on the Night” takes the setup of the season so far and runs with it in fairly entertaining fashion. What we’ve got here is a very dark plot-heavy episode that doesn’t have a lot of time for the characters. Now, being the ‘character’ guy that I am, I won’t lie in that I would have liked more Continue reading “Buffy 7×10: Bring on the Night”

Buffy 7×09: Never Leave Me

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Drew Goddard | Director: David Solomon | Aired: 11/26/2002]

“Never Leave Me,” and to a slightly lesser extent, “Sleeper” [7×08], do what I feel is an excellent job of blending plot, character development, drama, and comedy. “Never Leave Me,” in particular, also has many of the same qualities I applauded “No Place Like Home” [5×05] for, although it’s not quite as polished and tight. D Continue reading “Buffy 7×09: Never Leave Me”

Buffy 7×08: Sleeper

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: David Fury and Jane Espenson | Director: Alan J. Levi | Aired: 11/19/2002]

“Sleeper” does an surprisingly admirable job of following through with what was started in “Conversations with Dead People” [7×07]. Although not nearly as strong or inventive as “Conversations,” it’s a very respectable and solid follow-up that goes out of its way to begin showing us the scope of the First’s ambitious plans and i Continue reading “Buffy 7×08: Sleeper”

Buffy 7×07: Conversations with Dead People

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Jane Espenson and Drew Goddard | Director: Nick Marck | Aired: 11/12/2002]

When the writers want to pull out all the stops on Buffy, they almost always succeed. “Conversations with Dead People” is a quintessential example of an extremely tight episode of television — it’s got plenty of action, brilliant and penetrating dialogue, tons of creepiness, a unique struct Continue reading “Buffy 7×07: Conversations with Dead People”

Buffy 7×06: Him

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Drew Z. Greenberg | Director: Michael Gershman | Aired: 11/05/2002]

“Him” is a stand-alone episode that suffers precisely the same problem as “Help” [7×04]: long-term character and/or story relevance. While “Help” [7×04] earns its points through a fairly engaging script, “Him” stays in a decent point area due to the fact that I cannot, in my right mind, allow anything that c Continue reading “Buffy 7×06: Him”

Buffy 7×05: Selfless

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Drew Goddard | Director: David Solomon | Aired: 10/22/2002]

Season 7, in general, does an admirable job using six years of back-story and character development to define the positions and actions that are taken in the critical situations that arise in it. There is no better example of this than the textured perfection of “Selfless.” All of my frequent reade Continue reading “Buffy 7×05: Selfless”

Buffy 7×04: Help

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Rebecca Rand Kirshner | Director: Rick Rosenthal | Aired: 10/15/2002]

This is a very difficult episode to judge, because it’s a very solid production with very little character and story relevance. “Help” feels a lot like an old school stand-alone which, I suppose, is alright from time to time, but just doesn’t have the lasting impact to the season as a whole that I Continue reading “Buffy 7×04: Help”

Buffy 7×03: Same Time, Same Place

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Jane Espenson | Director: James A. Contner | Aired: 10/08/2002]

“Same Time, Same Place” is a very nice Willow episode that, while not particularly amazing in any one way, is not particularly bad in any way, and has really grown on me every time I’ve seen it. When I first saw this episode, it confused me quite a bit. Now that I know what’s going on from the star Continue reading “Buffy 7×03: Same Time, Same Place”

Buffy 7×02: Beneath You

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Douglas Petrie | Director: Nick Marck | Aired: 10/01/2002]

Here lies an episode that ultimately works because of how generously it spreads around its solid character work and follows-through from last season. It also happens to contain one of the best scenes in the entire series, which makes a part of me want to give it an A just for the one scene. The plo Continue reading “Buffy 7×02: Beneath You”

Buffy 7×01: Lessons

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Joss Whedon | Director: David Solomon | Aired: 09/24/2002]

“It’s about power. Who’s got it. Who knows how to use it.” -Buffy

It’s with this quote — a theme setter — that I dive into reviewing the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In “Checkpoint” [5×12], both the Watcher’s Council and Glory were exerting their res Continue reading “Buffy 7×01: Lessons”

Buffy Season 6 Review

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Introduction]

Sometimes I think about what my life would be like had I been completely happy in each and every moment leading up to the one now. Would I be a happier person because of it? Well, it’s hard to say. I suppose I’d need to quantify what “happy” really meant to me. Too much of a good thing can eventual Continue reading “Buffy Season 6 Review”

Buffy 6×22: Grave

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: David Fury | Director: James A. Contner | Aired: 05/21/2002]

Well folks, we’ve made it! It’s the end of S6 and “Grave” does a very good job of wrapping up the season’s threads, while setting up several new ones for the upcoming final season. But is this a quintessential mind-blowing Buffy finale, the likes of “Becoming Pt. 2” [2×22] , “Restless” [4×22] , and [“5x Continue reading “Buffy 6×22: Grave”

Buffy 6×21: Two to Go

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Douglas Petrie | Director: Bill Norton | Aired: 05/21/2002]

“Two to Go” is a decent continuation of the creepy awesomeness that was “Villains” [6×20] . Unfortunately, it slips up a couple places and just can’t maintain the previous episode’s unique tone, look, and feel. With that said, there’s still a lot to like here including entertaining action, Willow cont Continue reading “Buffy 6×21: Two to Go”

Buffy 6×20: Villains

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Marti Noxon | Director: David Solomon | Aired: 05/14/2002]

“Girl is running on pure fury. I’ve never felt anything like it.” – Rack

The truth is, gentle readers, that we haven’t felt anything like this before either. “Villains” is a near-perfect episode that lets Willow’s magic — which has been slowly building and occ Continue reading “Buffy 6×20: Villains”

Buffy 6×19: Seeing Red

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Stephen DeKnight | Director: Michael Gershman | Aired: 05/07/2002]

I’m almost tempted to call this “Entropy, Pt. 2.” The first two-thirds of “Seeing Red” really do represent an extension of “Entropy,” made even more evident early in the episode when Willow and Tara are talking about what happened the previous evening. Also like “Entropy,” this episode, overall, la Continue reading “Buffy 6×19: Seeing Red”