Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Series
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Series
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Now slaying in one extraordinary collection...this must-own DVD set for every Buffy "watcher." Loaded with fantastic extras, this collection contains all seven butt-kicking season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on 39 discs. So jump into your favorite demon-filled episodes whenever you like or watch all the high voltage vampire action from the beginning!
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|Actors:||Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, Nicholas Brendon, David Boreanaz, Anthony Stewart Head|
|Format:||Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC|
|Number of Discs:||39|
|Studio:||20th Century Fox|
|Run Time:||6480 minutes|
|DVD Release Date:||October 12, 2010|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 639 reviews|
Box set; Color; Dolby; DVD; Full Screen; NTSC
|Average Customer Review: ( 639 customer reviews )
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604 of 644 found the following review helpful:
In my opinion, the finest series in the history of TV Nov 15, 2004
By Robert Moore
Most serious fans of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE already own all of the individual sets that make up this DVD collection, so I thought I would address this review to those who own none of them and will make up the primary target for this set and focus on two questions. First, how does this set differ from the individual season collections? The answer is that they are identical. This set does not represent a new product in any way, but merely collects all of the seasons in a new, low price. If you don't own any of the individual seasons, this is an absolutely ideal way to discover the Buffyverse. Second (and for me this is the fun part), what's this Buffy chick all about?
What sets BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER apart from most other shows, apart from the individual brilliant scripts that graced most of the episodes, is that the show over the course of seven seasons tells a story. What the casual viewer of the show could easily miss is the semi-tragic themes underlying the series: young, happy cheerleader and inevitable prom queen is pulled away by destiny from the life she loves to unwillingly undertake the burden of being her generation's Chosen One: a super-empowered heroine to fight against the powers of darkness. This is a responsibility she has neither sought nor desired, and one of the persistent themes of the show is that destiny basically dealt Buffy a nasty set of cards. Sure, she has super strength and agility and recuperative powers, but she also knows how she became The Slayer: someone else died. For one becomes the Slayer only by the death of another Slayer, which calls attention to the fact that she, too, is destined to die to make way for another Slayer. As she puts it in one episode, "Every slayer comes with an expiration date." She goes from a carefree, happy young girl to someone who wonders if she will make it to the age of 25.
Ultimately, however, the show isn't about a girl with super powers, but about taking responsibility for one's life, for accepting the cards that life has dealt one and making the most of that. Over the course of seven seasons all of the major characters struggle with this precise issue. All of them continually have to face up to the demands of the moral, and what is unusual for a genre show, they all have to work hard to be better people. More than about fighting vampires, the show is ultimately about the fighting of one's inner demons, with the external monsters being mere metaphors for that which lies within. As a result, all of the major characters changed dramatically over the course of seven seasons.
A second great theme of the show is that of community. The show actually contains a bit of a lie in the famous opening words that introduced the show in the first season: it says that unto each generation a Slayer is born and that SHE ALONE possesses the strength to fight the vampires and demons. Only, that isn't at all the case on the show. In fact, Buffy becomes less, not more, effective when she becomes a loner. As Spike, an evil vampire who has killed two Slayers in the past, said at the beginning of Season Two: "A Slayer with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure." And it isn't! Says so right at the beginning of the show. The Intro should read "She and her extensive support network" will fight the demons. And showing that no one understands this better than Spike, in Season Four he attempts to help a demon destroy the Slayer by sowing discord among the Scoobies, as the demon fighting buddies referred to themselves (this was before Sarah Michelle Gellar's unfortunate forays into the SCOOBY DOO movies). He fails when the four key members respond by forging a stronger bond than ever.
Over the seven seasons, Buffy struggles constantly against her destiny, initially fighting and resisting it, gradually accepting it, frequently resenting it, and eventually embracing it before the magnificent resolution in the final episode. While there is always only one Slayer (though on Buffy, there are two, but that is a different though very interesting story), there are always many potential Slayers. In the final episode of the series, Buffy realizes how they can make all the potential Slayers into actual Slayers, and after they do so they are able to defeat the baddies and save the world from evil, again. In literally the last five seconds of the series, Faith, the other Slayer, asks Buffy what she's going to do now that she's no longer the only Slayer. In a beautiful resolution of the central tragedy in the series, a blissful, contented, expectant smile breaks out over Buffy's face. Her life has been given back to her. The expiration date has been repealed.
Those who have only occasionally dipped into the show will not be able to appreciate how brilliantly written the show is. It is as if every individual writer knew every other line ever written in the show, and the result is a self-consciousness in the series that is highly unusual for TV. At the very end of Season Six, for instance, Buffy's best friend Willow utters the words, "Bored now," which is not merely a reference to something she said in Season Three, but brilliantly explains where her character is at that point in the show. The scripts are, in my opinion, simply the best TV has ever seen. They are dramatic, they are believable (astonishing in a show about vampires), they are profoundly emotional, and they are funny. In fact, the show really did manage to be several things at once. I think this ability to stride several fences is one of the reasons why BUFFY, though easily the finest show on television for most of its run, never won or even received an Emmy nomination for Best Show. Should it have been nominated as Best Drama or Best Comedy? (The complete neglect by the extraordinarily conservative Emmys of BUFFY has inspired Salon to create a new TV award, the Buffy, for the most unjustly neglected show on TV, with THE WIRE as the first recipient.)
The writing really was the key. I don't want to imply that other things weren't done as well. Though not one of the great casts in TV history, all of the actors did a great job and there were some truly memorable characters, from Buffy to Willow, Xander, Spike, Giles, Cordy, Anya, and Angel (who went on to star in his own spin off). The sets were always first rate and it was one of the few shows on TV to have its own utterly unique look, merely from the lighting and camerawork. Speaking of camerawork, few TV shows have ever taken so much care with the way scenes were shot. There was even their own unique blend of camp. For instance, fighting vampires is tough work, but Buffy inevitably went on patrol wearing some incredibly stylish outfits. My favorite is when she goes to the graveyard in Season Six wearing an ankle length white cashmere duster. I'm sure anyone about to engage in physical combat would decide to wear such an expensive and delicate item. But as good as all of these elements were, it all came in the end back to the writing. The show was brilliantly written on multiple levels. Many of the episodes were astonishingly good, but within them the individual lines were simply astonishing. I have many shows that I love, but in the history of television there are only two that contains dozens of lines that I can recall with ease: MONTY PYTHON and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. But apart from the individual episodes and the huge panoply of memorable lines, the seasons were almost always well conceived and executed. And even when individual seasons contained flaws in their, such as Seasons 4 and 7, these were more than made up for by the way they all fit into a larger story.
In the end, no series that I know of had a better story to tell than BUFFY. As much as I loved THE X-FILES, the series was always better on the individual episode level than it was as a whole. Lone episodes of THE X-FILES are as good as any in the history of TV, but the deep back story by the end of the series ended up being more than a little muddled and incomplete. When BUFFY ended, there was a single brilliant and marvelously develop tale of a young girl who was forced to give up her life for the greater good, but who in the end managed to get her life back again. I honestly believe that BUFFY will be the gold standard for television shows in the future. It has raised the bar for what can be done and should be done on television, so in the end Buffy might not have saved the world from the powers of evil; she just might have saved television as well.
274 of 295 found the following review helpful:
You buy "The Chosen Collection" so your kids will leave your "BtVS" DVDs alone Nov 20, 2005
By Lawrance M. Bernabo
My premise here is that by the time all seven seasons of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" were released on DVD the vast majority of fans who were inclined to do so had gone out and bought all seven sets. I am sure there are a few frugal fans who were waiting for something along the lines of "The Chosen Collection," but they would be relatively aware (something akin to being a vampire with a soul). Of course I had all of the episodes of "BtVS" (and "Angel") on video tape (even made up my own special boxes with cover art and episode synopses on the back) before I went out and bought all of the DVD sets, but I had occasion to buy "The Chosen Collection" as well.
That is because my oldest daughter is away at college and she was not allowed to take my "BtVS" DVD sets with her. I had purchased the first season for all three of my kids (two are away at college so it is not like they are all in one place) and was intending to eventually get them the other six but "The Chosen Collection" is too good of a deal to pass up and not just because of the price. This one big red and white box takes up a lot less space (a bit more than a third). That is because when you open it up inside you will find wallet-like cases for each of the seven seasons. So it seemed an appropriate gift for someone turning 21 who writes about Buffy whenever possible in her college classes.
I have covered each of the seven season of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" elsewhere, so here I want to talk about the "EXCLUSIVE, NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN EXTRAS" included on the 40th DVD in "The Chosen Collection" (Yes, the other 39 discs are the same produced for the individual series sets):
"Back to the Hellmouth: A Conversation with Creators and Cast" is a casual 54-minute conversation amidst candles and old books with Whedon, Marti Noxon, Doug Petrie, Nicholas Brendon, Emma Caulfield, Danny Strong, David Fury, Jane Espenson, Charisma Carpenter, Drew Z. Greenberg. Topics covered include first Buffy moments (for Joss it all goes back to a scene in Invisible Girl), favorite Buffy moment, and assorted behind the scenes stories, all with choice inserts from episodes (e.g., Nick in a Speedo) and piano music. Noxon does a good job of getting off topic to interesting things (e.g., Joss writing the musical during his down time), but the fact that writers talk more than actors is hardly surprising. This is the best extra, what with finding out how Fury got Giles fired ends up getting Allyson Hannigan married and all, plus how being a mid-season replacement allowed Whedon to make the first twelve episodes before their aired so that the WB was denied the opportunity to tinker with the show. There is enough new stuff here for those who do not pick up this set to make friends with someone who has to check this out at least once.
"Buffy Cast and Crew: Favorite Episodes" is short and to the point, although the choices are basically made by those listed above with a few other additions. However, if you are waiting for Sarah Michelle Gellar to weigh in on any of these featurettes you will be totally disappointed. Hannigan only popped up once, which is not enough for me and I suspect many others as well, but cast members Amber Benson and Danny Strong both speak well for the series and David Greenwalt shows up as a key talking head as well.
"Buffy: An Unlikely Role Model" begins with Joss Whedon's explicit intention of creating a role model and has the cast and crew talking about why it actually worked (personal actions are key) without getting into ivory tower explanations.
"Breaking Barriers: It's Not a Chick Fight Thing" focuses on Buffy stunt double Sophia Crawford and Stunt Coordinator Jeff Pruitt and details how she got the gig (she had good kinetics according to Joss) and what they tried to do in terms of developing Buffy's martial arts fighting style, with some of Crawford's best fights (e.g., "Anne") caught by behind the scenes cameras. So you really get to see familiar things in a new way with this one.
"Love Bites: Relationships in the Buffyverse" looks at most of the major romantic entanglements as things went from metaphorical sex to the real thing for Buffy and her friends. Vampires are always rich in veiled sexuality and the show combined that with the imperative that teenagers need to be punished for sex (see "Friday the 13th," et al.). There are a few insightful comments from a few actors and writers on this featurette.
"Evil Fiends" is a brief look at not so much the individual Big Bads but rather at the philosophy on the show of turning teenage problems into tangible monsters. Nothing really new here and it is so short it hardly seemed worth including and ends the bonus disc on a weak note.
But then I am hardly arguing that this one disc justifies picking up this set if you already have the complete "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," because it does not. I do think it is an ideal present to stop family and friends from always want to borrow your sets, although I can also see where you might decide to buy this one for yourself and let the kiddies (or whoever) take your old ones (I kept those but made sure I got to see the bonus disc, twice, before she takes it back to college). Of course, now the next generation of fans are going to want the "The Angel Collection."
88 of 93 found the following review helpful:
The story of BUFFY, one of the greatest shows ever Sep 30, 2006
The original idea for BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER came to creator Joss Whedon when he was thinking about classic horror films. He noticed that films constantly included clueless blonde victims who wandered into an alley at night and were swiftly killed by whatever evil nasty was lurking there. If the blonde wasn't killed, she always needed a well-muscled male hero to save her. Whedon thought it would be far more interesting if the blonde went into the alley, but wasn't killed. Instead, she would soundly kick the evil nasty's [...]. Whedon wrote a film based around this concept. The clueless girl became a blonde, Southern Californian high schooler who also happened to be the one girl in all the world with the strength and skill to hunt and kill vampires. The idea was quirky enough to get picked up and a film was made. However, much meddling on the part of the director and the studio turned the film into a hoaky cheesefest that was nothing like Whedon's original vision. The film flopped at the box office and Whedon thought that was the end of the road for his quirky little idea.
However, there was something about the movie that caught the attention of the president of the tiny WB network. The network had so far only found success with the overly-sentimental family drama 7th HEAVEN and was more willing to take a chance on something unusual than the four major networks were. Gail Berman called Whedon and asked that he revitalize and rework the idea for television. After seeing the unaired pilot he had made to shop around the idea to networks, she agreed to a 12 episode order. And with that, one of the greatest television shows ever created was born.
The TV version of BUFFY is very different from the film version. He kept some of the basic plot elements of the film around as canon for the show (chief among, the fact that Buffy burned down the gym of her high school in Los Angeles) but has always stated that, for the sake of the show, the film does not exist. Instead, we pick up in the two-part pilot episode with Buffy Summers, played by the fantastic Sarah Michelle Gellar, moving to Sunnydale, California with her mother. Her parents have divorced and Buffy has been kicked out of her high school because of the aforementioned fire. It is the middle of her sophomore year of high school and Buffy has already been called as the next Vampire Slayer in an ancient line of female warriors blessed and cursed with all the skills required for hunting and killing vampires, and other demons. However, Buffy is so upset about the negative effect slaying has had on her life, that she decides to give it up.
It is only when she is confronted with the truths about her new town that Buffy gets back into the game as a Slayer. Sunnydale rests on a "Hellmouth"- a literal gateway to other, nastier dimenstions, and for this reason it is a center of mystical energy which draws all sorts of evil beings to it. For this reason, there is a seemingly endless supply of demons and ghouls for Buffy to fight. However, she won't be doing it along, because she quickly makes friends with a couple of outsiders (brainy Willow and snarky Xander) and meets her new Watcher, Rupert Giles, who has the task of training and leading her in her duties as the Slayer. Also in the mix right at the beginning are the acid-tongued and popular Cordelia and the mysterious Angel.
That's just the basic opening premise for BUFFY. It is a show that, on the surface, is about a rag-tag group of outsiders who must band together to fight forces of evil we can't even imagine. However, the things that made BUFFY a true delight are its sense of humor and its heart. The show has its own sound, based around the way that Joss Whedon writes, and "Buffyspeak" became instantly recognizable as a blend of snarky sarcasm, witty pop culture references and unexpected turns of phrase. The show is smart and fast, which allows the campier elements to be fun and not hoky and the darker elements to feel unique. Along with comedy, this horror show also mixes in romance and drama leading to some truly poignant and heartbreaking moments between the richly drawn cast of characters. The series darkened as it progressed, with bigger evils to face and less and less hope for a "normal life" for our heroine Buffy, but it always remained a story about friendship and family.
All seven seasons of this show are phenomenal. Each episode crackles with energy, smart writing and cast chemistry and the mythology of the show deepens and matures as BUFFY ages. Villains are allowed to be multi-faceted and three-dimensional (witness the sunshiny exterior of the brilliant evil Mayor of season three and the twisted romance between season two vampires Spike and Drusilla). The main cast expands to include a wonderful array of characters that include a laconic werewolf guitarist (played perfectly by Seth Green) and a straight-forward and hilarious ex-Vengeance Demon. However, the core four Scooby Gang members of Buffy, WIllow, Xander and Giles always remain the focus as they move through the perils of Sunnydale and real life together. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER is hilarious, eye-opening, genre-bending, heart-breaking, intelligent, romantic, amazing television and if you've never seen it before you are in for a glorious treat. Whatever you've heard about this show, in actuality it is worse and its better and it is truly one of the most amazing things to ever grace the television screen.
79 of 85 found the following review helpful:
Looking forward to a great collection Nov 17, 2004
By S. Maxey
A friend got me hooked on Buffy earlier this year by loaning me her season-by-season sets (seasons 1-6, still waiting for 7). I was skeptical, and season 1 didn't do much to move me--clever dialogue, yeah, but the monster-of-the-week format didn't seem like anything special. But by the third episode of Season 2, I was hooked. I was watching two and three episodes of Buffy a night, watching the characters grow and change in fast-forward.
There are websites that dissect the occasional flaws and inconsistencies of fact, but what I was amazed at was how consistent it was at heart. The characters change and grow, they have good weeks and bad, but they all grow in ways consistent with their characters as we first meet them.
And we come to care about them, deeply--to feel for their pains and losses, to grow frustrated with their weaknesses and blind spots. Yes, the series is full of humor and adventure and scary demons, but ultimately, it is full of these rich and complex characters, their trials, their fears, the dilemmas--big and small--that they must wrestle, and the internal demons they must face.
The first person to review this box says that "this set does not represent a new product in any way, but merely collects all of the seasons in a new, low price." I'm hoping that that's not precisely the case. Yes, the discs will hold precisely the content of the seven individual season collections. however, while there is no picture for this collection as I write this, on Amazon's site in the UK, there are pictures of a nice single vertical box with an embossed seal on the outside and each season in its own CD-sized package. The spines of the season packages stack up to assemble an image of Buffy. While the UK package is a limited edition (10,000 copies), I'm hoping that the US packaging for this complete collection will be equally unique and attractive (and compact). [UPDATE: Unfortunately, this was not the case. I bought this set, and I'm not at all disappointed by the quality of the discs or the series, but I really would have preferred a more compact and unified package for the entire series, and I think Fox Video is being quite stupid by offering that delicious looking package to just 10,000 Brits and not to American fans.]
342 of 396 found the following review helpful:
The widescreen and Full screen issue (UK vs. US) Sep 27, 2005
By Asaf Shemesh
I keep running into people who want the UK version cause it's widescreen. Guys, it's very simple - not always widesceen is better. At Buffy - Joss wanted us to see it in Full screen - not widescreen - it's very simple. The widescreen contains more elements that was not intended to be seen !
Here is a note from JOSS about it:
No doubt you are looking over this scrumptious BUFFY package and exclaiming "No @#$%ing letterboxing ? Whutzat ? GYPPED !" Possibly you are breaking things. Please calm down. The fabulous episodes of BUFFY (and that one crappy one, sorry about that, seemed really cool when we wrote it...) were not shot in a widescreen format. They were shot in the TV 4 by 3 ratio. Now I'm a letterbox fanatic, but not just because I crave th' wide. I want to see the whole screen, as framed by the director. The BUFFY's I (and others) shot were framed for traditional TVs. Adding space to the sides simply for the sake of trying to look more cinematic would betray the very exact mise-en-scene I was trying to create. I am a purist, and this is the purest way to watch BUFFY. I have resisted the effort to letterbox BUFFY from the start and always will, because that is not the show we shot. This is. So enjoy ! Stop breaking things. You're getting the best presentation of -- let's face it -- the best Television Drama since MATCHGAME '79. Bye for now !
To the people who got hurt by the Double Dip - get over it ! almost any Tv Show or movie that come out on DVD gets double dipped today ! that's life - the studios want to make more money. I really don't know what you want from Joss. would you prefer that the 7 seasons would not be available until now?
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